John 03>> accompanied paleontologist Paul Sereno on an expedition into the Sahara:

  • Suddenly the silence was ripped apart by the sound of machine gun fire: Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! We saw tracer bullets going across the sky, which was what our “shooting star” was. We were being fired at—or at least fired over.

  • In this job you are in some pretty frightening situations. Being involved in a shark attack is a frightening situation. Flying 100 feet [30 meters] off the ground in a downhill dive over a forest fire is a frightening situation. But this was the most frightening situation I’d ever been in.

  • Milling around was a small army with AK-47s and grenade launchers, wearing Desert Storm fatigues. I had the feeling, Oh my God, these people are so committed to getting these bones 02>> out of the ground that they do paleontology in an armed camp! 07>>

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© 1999 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved.
John on Terror

Dinosaur Fever

Photograph 03 by
Paul Sereno

Photographs 02 and 07 by
John Bredar