A man is being questioned by authorities after he claimed to have poisoned everyone traveling on United Flight 116. The flight, which was making its way from Hong Kong to Newark’s Liberty Airport, landed at 1:34 p.m. today, several hours after a male passenger made the frightening declaration.
According to news reports, the passenger was in an emotionally disturbed state. He made the announcement about having poisoned everyone on board several hours before the flight was due to arrive in New Jersey.Despite this, the FBI said the decision was made not to divert the plane to a closer airport. Instead, flight attendants surrounded the man along with a number of other passengers who volunteered to help restrain him for the duration of the flight.
Both local police and FBI agents were notified and were ready to meet the plane as soon as it landed. According to an FBI spokesman, there is no evidence that any passengers were actually poisoned.
Start with three key ingredients: Detroit, a bag of urine, and the TSA.
Add an agressive pat-down at security and what do you get? A disgruntled man on a plane, soaked in his own warm pee and a national news headline!
On Nov. 7th, a male passenger flying from DTW to Orlando, Florida was selected for additional security screening. A bladder cancer survivor, the passenger carried an urostomy bag under his clothes–a plastic bag attached to his abdomen for collecting urine. Despite repeated requests to exercise caution in their search, the agents broke the seal on the bag, spilling the passenger’s urine all over him.
Adding insult to injury of the American psyche, the poor guy’s name was Tom Sawyer (not making this up), a Michigan special education teacher who is currently learning the true power of the internet. Obviously, this guy is pissed–he’s already taken the issue to the White House and the Department of Homeland Security.
An official response is still unknown, but the current threat advisory level is yellow.
You know when you’ve just downed your water bottle before reaching airport security? And you didn’t have time to use the airport bathroom? And then the plane is delayed on the tarmac?
Yeah, even then…don’t use the airplane toilet before takeoff.
One passenger learned the hard way yesterday. United Flight 22 had already left the gate at Los Angeles International Airport, but hadn’t taken off yet, and the man needed to use the toilet. But of course the fasten seat belt sign was on and a flight attendant told him to sit down.
He got up and ran to the toilet anyway.
I could easily imagine that happening. In my mind, it’s more of a personal emergency and not a threat to public safety.
But apparently, the flight crew didn’t think so. The plane was brought back to the gate. Once there, the man was escorted out, and the other passengers were let off the plane. Then, the plane was searched.
What did they find? Nothing. Nothing on the plane. Nothing in the man’s luggage. Nothing but proof that the passenger really needed to use the toilet.
Shortly after taking off from Cancun on Wednesday, the pilots of AeroMexico flight 737 radioed the control tower to say the plane had been hijacked. The hijacker had showed off a bomb (later found to be fake) and demanded to speak to Mexican President Felipe Calderon. He threatened to blow up the plane, which was carrying over 100 people, and said he needed to warn the President of an impending earthquake.
The hijacker was unable to get into the cockpit, and the plane landed safely in Mexico City, its intended destination. After the plane landed and taxied to a part of the runway designated for emergencies, passengers deplaned, and security forces boarded. They quickly apprehended who they thought were the nine hijackers, but it later became clear that there was only one, Bolivian-born Jose Flores, 44, who told police he was a Protestant Minister and that “it was a divine revelation that made him carry out his actions.” The other suspects, innocent passengers caught up in the confusion, were released.
Most of the passengers had no idea that the hijacking was even taking place until it was over, and no one was injured in the incident. This was Mexico‘s first major hijacking situation since 1972.
One of the more insane ways the government is protecting us may soon come to an end.
After 9/11, the previous administration decided that scary colors and a constant “threat level” warning at the airport would help keep people aware of the danger of terrorists.
Of course, the system is pretty useless, and after 6 years, it may come to an end. A committee is meeting next week to decide whether they’ll modify or abolish it.
I’ve never been a fan of the scare tactics, and I think it was pretty obvious to everyone that we’d never reach “blue” or “green”. Which essentially means everyone should always be scared and prepared for the worst. The nation has already learned that fear doesn’t work too well, so the best course of action is to simply be observant and keep our eyes open for anything out of the ordinary. We don’t need snazzy colors and verbal airport warnings to be reminded of that.
So, fingers crossed that common sense prevails, and that we may finally see these stupid signs disappear, along with the scary announcements at the airport.