Pompeii Photo Gallery

These photos were taken on a recent trip to Pompeii and Herculenium where Charlie and a History Channel crew recorded a soon to be released special on the destruction of Pompeii and Herculenium Pompeii photos are by Robert Consentino, during the History Channel filming of "Ghosts of Vesuvius," 2005.

Oplontis under Vesuvius, where death shimmered indoors in 1/200th of a second. Comment from a member of the History Channel film crew: "Don't these skeletons ever creep you out?" Pellegrino: "No. These people never cause harm. They only teach. It's the living who give me the creeps."

Oplontis, September 2005.

The History Channel film crew: "Ghosts of Vesuvius" at Oplontis.

The streets of Herculaneum, Pompeii's smaller and lesser known but infinitely better preserved sister city.

Volcanologist to Pellegrino: "Do you ever get the feeling, while working on these bodies, that you are touching your ancestors?" Reply: "No. The Pellegrino effect is very old. I'm sure my people were out of town that day." (They probably followed all the cats. We find paintings of cats in Pompeii, but no cat skeletons; only dogs.)

Fast food in Herculaneum. In the "House of Neptune," the food was actually preserved by the surge cloud.

Pompeii's "fugitives" of the olive grove.

The ghostly cast of a child, in the olive grove of Pompeii.

New finds, atop Pompeii's 7:30 AM surge cloud layer, in a place tentatively named the House of the Snake-Heads effect (September 2005).

The cities of Vesuvius are filled with works of art in remarkable states of preservation, paradoxically immortalized in the Earth, by the same forces that destroyed the cities.

A mosaic in close-up.

Looking for clues in stone and bone.

Clues in stone and bone.

In the House of Menander, Pompeii. The view from the 'other' side of the camera

"The Pond Effect," Oplontis, approximately 1:00AM, August 25, AD 70. As the surge shimmered gently into a shock-coccooned building, the glowing white bones floated for approximately three seconds on a solidifying pond of air and glass dust, after vaporizing to the bone - within 1/20th of a second, at more than five times the boiling point of water. Vaporizing flesh "chilled" the ash, causing an eerie geologic snowstorm indoors.

Overlooking a volcanic hot zone. Throughout all of human history, Vesuvius has been only a smoldering pimple, left over from the supervolcano that carved out the entire Bay of Naples, about 250,000 BC.

Pellegrino, describing the horror of a super-heated surge cloud's approach - which the people of Herculaneum perceived as a glowing tsunami, with tall cedars pinwheeling toward them in the precursor wave. The radiant heat of the surge cloud alone would have disintegrated the cedars in mid-flight. In the Herculaneum boat-houses, the surge carried pieces of carbonized trees indoors, then imploded the plant matter into the spaces left behind by instantly vaporized brain matter.

On the rim of Vesuvius, Charlie P. and Guiseppe explore and debate the nature of collapse column, surge cloud, and surge cloud physics.