Aoli, Comet Clones & Pod People Print the Aoli, Comet Clones & Pod People poster by Hardy Snyman BHGA Wings! November 15, 1982 A frame from “Aoli, Comet Clones & Pod People” – The great dust devil disaster, where a powerful thermal crossed through launch, hurling gliders right and left as pilots struggled to hang on to them. The Owens Valley Hang Gliding Center worried that this segment might dissuade pilots from coming to the Owens Valley. They needn’t have worried. Cross Country flying in the valley became a mania in the following years. The Bishop television station ran a week-long special on the Owens Valley hang gliding competitions, playing parts of “Aoli, Comet Clones & Pod People” and interviewing Rick Masters, President of the Cross Country Pilots Association. The interview was salvaged from the only remaining U-matic cassette, Don Partridge (right) of the Owens Valley Hang Gliding Center in Bishop, presents Independence resident Rick Masters with the 1982 Gray Prize for his video production, “Aoli, Comet Clones and Pod People.” The award is given by Bettina Gray, a hang gliding photographer, to recipients whose work strives “to enlarge the scope of hang gliding,” according to Gray, a Rancho Santa Fe resident. Masters received $250 and an engraved Cartier mint julep cup. Chris Cavenaugh photo After suffering a dislocated shoulder in the crash of his Aolus, Rick Masters films “The Sky Blue Movie”(unreleased) with one arm at Gunter Launch in the White Mountains in July of 1982. The camera is an Elmo 1012XL S8 loaded with Kodachrome film, one of the most popular professional news cameras of the era, counterbalanced with a weight for smooth panning. The Gucci scarf was supplied by Bettina Gray.