Tim Samaras, who had appeared on The Discovery Channel’s show, Storm Chasers, was killed by an EF-3 tornado which touched down in El Reno, OK on Friday, May 31, 2013.

The CNN video linked in this story is the last Mr. Samaras ever recorded.

It shows just how much risk that the professional meteorologist was willing to take for the sake of his research.  The video shows how the scientist got directly in the path of the storm before he was literally consumed by it.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The original version of this article contained the CNN video and an additional video which was uploaded to YouTube.  That video, while incredible and chilling, was later discovered to be depicting a tornado encountered by Steve Casey, not Tim Samaras.  It was removed by YouTube today as well as from this story.

During the May 20 EF-5 tornado which destroyed Moore, OK, Liberty News released epic viral videos of the storm, but also asked the very serious question, is capturing such videos really worth the potential loss of life incurred by the videographer.  

tim paul and youngIt is very important to note that Tim Samaras, who was killed along with his son, Paul Samaras, and fellow researcher, Carl Young, were not thrill-seeking.  Tim Samaras was fifty-five years old and had studied tornadoes up-close for more than thirty years.  Paul was twenty-four and well acquainted with the “Family business.”  Mr. Carl Young was forty-five.

These men were not amateur videographers or untrained citizens who were recording the storm for the sake of making a viral YouTube hit.

These men were scientists who studied tornadoes in order to help other meteorologists find out more about them in order to provide cities with earlier warning systems to save more lives before, during, and after a twister like the one which claimed their lives.

The Christian Post interviewed several of Tim’s friends.  Eric Treece, told Denver’s FOX31, “Tim was one of the safest, mostly highly regarded chasers in the game.”  ABC News’ Ginger Zee, who was close to Mr. Samaras, added:

stormchaser 1“Out of all storm chasers he doesn’t take chances, he’s the one that puts the probes in the path of the tornado to learn more about them. He is not, you know, a young gun running around making bad decisions person, so I am so sad and shocked, it is such a loss for the community.”

This video shows the approach the team took which led them right into the patch of a very erratic storm which changed course suddenly and simply enveloped the storm chasing vehicle.

F5 3Post-storm forensics reveal that the elder Mr. Samaras had to powerlessly watch as the maelstrom violently took his son and friend.  The report said:

“While Tim was found inside his car, with his seat belt on, Paul and Young were dragged out from a car by the tornado, which reportedly took a sudden turn.”


  • Parmenter

    Not “reportedly” It -did- take a sudden, sharp turn in a fairly unusual direction, that we know from the radar track.

    The Twistex team has saved uncounted lives, and their work will continue to do so, as it has already revealed much about tornadoes, why and where they form, and other matters that help predict and warn people to take shelter.

  • Joshua Dorsette

    we are WAY too safety conscious. some things are dangerous. sometimes, risks have to, should be, or will be taken by professionals and amateurs alike to further what they see as a worth while field. end of story.

  • Kimberly Shannon

    What is the white SUV flash between 53 and 55 seconds on the video?

  • Yoshi LongBottom

    That’s not even Tim’s vehicle. That is the TIV. Sean Casey owns that and runs it. Fake Video. Way to try and dupe us, now I am second guessing your stuff you schlop on the internet.

    • Joe Calandra

      Hi Yoshi. I wanted to let you know that we investigated the claim that the initially posted first video was depicting an incident involving Mr. Casey after we saw the comments left by yourself and Rod. The misidentification was acknowledged by YouTube and then YouTube removed the video as did we. The CNN video that remains in the story is still the last recording of Mr. Samaras’ approach into the twister. It still shows his daring and courage in the face of potential death. I can assure you no one at Liberty had the intention of “duping” anyone.

      • Jeremy

        The CNN video is of TWC’s Mike Bettes as they get thrown 200 yards.
        So when are you going to change the headline since obviously there isn’t video?

  • Rod

    That video is of the TIV from 2011 Brandon Ivy and Sean Casey

    • Rod

      and its already been deleted from youtube

      • Joe Calandra

        Thanks for the update Rod. We removed the initially posted first video from this story when we read the comments that had been left and when we saw that it had been removed from YouTube. The CNN video that remains in the story is still the last video of Samaras’ approach into the twister before he was killed.

  • Rod

    The video on this page titled Oklahoma Tornado Raw Footage 5/31/13 is not of Twistex either..its Mike Bettes chase vehicle from the TWC

    • Rod

      There wont be any footage found taken by Tim , Paul or Carl….their cameras are gone..and will never be found intact anyway

      • Brendan,

        Carl’s camera was found 1 month and a half after they died. There is details on it on the National Geographic Website. They didn’t release it to the public due to the possibility of Kathy Samaras seeing it. The video ended at 6:20:23PM, and they died at 6:22:42PM. Tim said We’re in a very bad spot, and it stopped. A Twistex Member said that Paul Samaras’ Camera was rolling until he got thrown 1 half of a mile south of where the car landed, but it was never found.

  • The Griffinator

    “Legandary”? (See article title.)