But one war photographer’s pictures depicting “mysterious dancing lights” that sometimes envelop helicopter blades in that hostile land are certainly interesting.
An NPR article has more of the photos by journalist Michael Yon.
Yon, in his blog, asked multiple pilots what they called the lights and, surprisingly, got no answer.
He’s taken to calling it the Kopp-Etchells Effect in honor of American and British soldiers killed in 2009 that he never met.
American Benjamin Kopp died after a gun battle and buried in Arlington Cemetery. His heart still beats inside of Judy Meikle, a 57-year-old woman from Illinois.
Yon attended the battlefield funeral of British soldier Joseph Etchells, who wanted to be cremated and his ashes used in fireworks exploded over a park he visited as a child in Manchester.
Helicopter pilots say the lights are simply sparks created when the metal blades of a helicopter strike airborne dust, which may contain suspended metals or minerals.
Mystery solved? Perhaps. But beauty lingers, even in Afghanistan.