Tried a search, but couldn't find anything, so my apoligies if this has been posted before.
And this tidbit was posted on another forum (non-public access I'm afraid):
"Basically, the nose gear wouldn't come done. The Harrier has a backup system with a nitrogen bottle to blow the gear down in this event. Well, someone significantly outranking the pilot ordered him not to blow the gear down (which is the specified emergency procedure) b/c by his reasoning, if the nose gear didn't come down, he was afraid the jet would break its back by having all that weight on the long nose of the T-bird. With that, he elected to gather mattresses and strap them down to support the extended nose, and you have the obvious result.
"Normally" a Harrier that can't get it's gear to come down will suck up the gear and do a vertical landing on the strakes/gun pack, they'll jack the bird up, fix the gear, and it's back to flying rather quickly. In this case, the motor was hilariously trashed with mattress springs protruding out and everything."