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In The Walking Dead, Season 2, Episode 5 - Chupacabra, we see a flashback of Shane and Lori on the outskirts of Atlanta, watching as military helicopters drop napalm in the streets.

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I identified the buildings in the shot and mapped them out on Google Maps, and came to the conclusion that the shot was a composite, because I couldn't imagine any vantage point that would provide this view of the city. Then Loong posted an almost identical shot:

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The fact that this vantage point actually exists means I can ask the question I had in mind:

Where in Atlanta is the napalm falling?



Video and Screencaps of the scene:

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When I first looked at the image I assumed it was a composite as well, until I took a look at the city in Google Maps. By rotating the map until I found the correct orientation, I was forced to rely on my experience in the military to make sense of the targets.

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  • They were not random. The bomb blasts appear to coordinate with all of the major freeway entrances out of the city. Deciding they could not stop what was happening, the military decided to take a containment protocol and close the main freeway exits out of the city.

  • They were not bombing buildings. The military assumption is the city will be able to be retaken at some point, so they were keeping damage to a minimum. Note, no buildings are damaged in the city center (as you might expect if they were doing a fuel air detonation, like in The Crazies).

  • The bombing runs were targeted and given the city's central location, yellow, the explosions appeared closer to the viewer than in the city in the central blast below.

  • Given a suspicion of contagion, it makes perfectly good sense to reduce the number of ways the pathogen could be spread by destroying anyone who could be carrying the disease and reducing the number of easy pathways out of the city.

  • There is one more major freeway behind the central part of the city which also corresponds to the attack pattern. (Behind the yellow square, but it is not visible in this image.)

Given the angle of the camera and the locations lit by the bombings it is safe to assume these were infrastructure attacks meant to slow the escape of people and presumably the vectors for the disease. They used napalm to destroy the bodies of the dead as completely as possible.

Note: The map is rotated to the same orientation as the viewer in the video with the viewer at the bottom of the map, facing toward the central city. The locations for bomb drops occur at the apparent distances necessary for all four major arteries out of the city.

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