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‘Tornado Alley’ Filmmaker Used Armored Truck To Film Inside Twisters

The "Tornado Interceptor" is a modified Dodge Ram truck. (Credit: Museum Of Science and Industry)

The “Tornado Interceptor” is a modified Dodge Ram truck. (Credit: Museum Of Science and Industry)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A documentary filmmaker used an armored truck to get himself inside a tornado while shooting “Tornado Alley” which is now showing in IMAX at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Sean Casey, a star from Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers,” clad his Dodge Ram 3500 in three tons of armored plating and equipped it with hydraulic rams for anchors in the face of tornadic winds that can reach 300 mph.

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Casey filmed the birth and death of tornadoes as well as the destruction of entire towns in their path. He used a 92-pound IMAX camera to capture the storm images seen in the film-many of them from the inside of the vortex.

“There’s a huge difference between filming a tornado from a couple miles away with a telephoto lens, and filming a tornado that’s on top of you with a wide-angle lens,” Casey said. “After eight years, I’m thrilled to finally share these incredible experiences with audiences everywhere.”

He worked with Dr. Josh Wurman, who has a doctorate in meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and operates a microwave truck that surveys the insides of tornadoes.

Dr. Wurman is trying to find why some twisters just blow away harmlessly, while others become intensified and blow away entire towns.

Tornado Alley plays several times daily at MSI through the end of the year. General admission tickets, with the addition of an Omnimax film ticket, are: $23 for adults, $21 for seniors and $16 for kids 3-11.

Chicago residents receive a discount: $21 for adults, $19 for seniors and $15 for kids 3-11. Additional ticket and show time information is available at msichicago.org.