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Pic of Soldier Kneeling in the Clouds Dates to 2017

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A years-old instance of pareidolia found new meaning in August 2021.
A cloud in the shape of a kneeling soldier was spotted in North Carolina in August 2021.

In August 2021, as U.S. military forces returned home after spending 20 years in Afghanistan, and after more than a dozen soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber during the evacuation, a photograph started to circulate on social media that supposedly showed a cloud formation resembling a kneeling soldier. These posts were typically accompanied by praise for the United States military, religious messages, and the claim that the unusual scene was spotted recently in the Outer Banks, North Carolina.

One post with over 300,000 shares, read: "Wow look at this cloud that was…
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