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Appleton WI airport evacuated due to salesman's suitcase

Appleton WI airport evacuated due to salesman's suitcase

Old Nov 18, 04, 3:44 pm
  #1  
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Appleton WI airport evacuated due to salesman's suitcase

Yep, the electronic components resembled a bomb.

Electronics = Bomb. Of course. At least the suitcase was not disrupted.

First terminal evacuation at that airport since the TSA took over. Are there any others left that have yet to be emptied due to a non-bomb suspicious device scare?

Terminal evacuated for about an hour, a couple of flights delayed.

Owner of the suitcase was cooperative and was not arrested.

Mulder said the traveler’s suitcase contained electronic components. He said the way they were placed in the case made it look like they could be a bomb.

“The TSA folks thought it looked like a bomb and the bomb squad folks agreed, so they both did the right thing,” he said.

“After about 45 minutes, they determined it was at least safe to move it out of the building and then they opened it.”
http://www.wisinfo.com/postcrescent/...18673938.shtml

Fortunately, no admonition to leave your electronics samples at home.

Could be that the security staff at an airport ought to conduct an evacuation drill periodically anyway, which may tend to increase the number of these non-bomb suspicious device incidents. Why hold the drill in the middle of the night when you can do it just after lunch?
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Old Nov 18, 04, 4:11 pm
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This is bad. Now the insanity-flu will infect the other airports in the state. The TSA want their face on TV.
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Old Nov 18, 04, 4:49 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
The TSA want their face on TV.
No they don't. Otherwise they would be on TV all the time talking about all the terrorists they have had arrested when going through TSA checkpoints.
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Old Nov 18, 04, 5:55 pm
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At least they didn't disrupt the suitcase (this time).... or the salesman.

Or discomboobulate it
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Old Nov 18, 04, 6:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Doppy

Or discomboobulate it
Too slow again! I need to do less of this work stuff and focus more on FT.
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Old Nov 19, 04, 12:46 pm
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Here's another news story about this incident demonstrating our current collective security insanity:

Walker said Thursday he has taken that same metal case — a foot wide, 2 feet long and 6 inches high — through airports across the country and throughout the world, and never had a problem.

<snip>

But when that time came, the airline wouldn’t let Walker fly. He said they told him other passengers knew he was the reason for the delay, and they didn’t want him on the flight where people were upset with him.

<snip>

Walker said screeners wouldn’t let him touch the case once it became suspicious.

“I tried to explain it to them, and going through other security places they take it and ask me about it and I open it and explain it to them,” he said.

http://www.wisinfo.com/postcrescent/...18685383.shtml

Of course, the Airport Director and the Sheriff's spokesman both claimed that everything was done correctly by the book in this case. If so, then why doesn't this happen to this guy everywhere he goes?

So everywhere else, the airport security staff has screwed up? Because that's the inference to be drawn from these statements.

We now have 429 airports with 44,000+ TSA employees all looking for bombs in empty haystacks. And we have some awfully eager searchers for those nonexistent bombs. They also have some allies in the eager bomb squad experts that always seem to agree that the device looks like a bomb. I'm not disputing that it probably looked like a bomb. But experience in this country should teach these people that It's Probably Not a Bomb and that there is almost ZERO risk in allowing the guy to open his suitcase and show them that it isn't a bomb.

What's very sad is the collective paranoia that has permeated our nation's airport security personnel that cause them to "clear the area" and forbid him from simply showing them that it IS NOT A BOMB.

Their response would be much more reasonable if, in fact, they had experience in actually encountering a real bomb at the airport. But as we all know, the TSA has yet to find a real bomb. Erring on the side of caution is a convenient excuse for their overeager response every time they encounter something that they think "looks like a bomb" on the screen.

This isn't security. This is hysteria.
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Old Nov 19, 04, 3:47 pm
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Time to Make a Business Decision...

But when that time came, the airline wouldn’t let Walker fly. He said they told him other passengers knew he was the reason for the delay, and they didn’t want him on the flight where people were upset with him.

Instead, the airline got Walker a car, and he drove to Milwaukee and stayed overnight, catching his flight to Louisville early Thursday. He made his appointment in Kentucky, he said.
The airline made a business decision by not allowing him to fly. Regardless of the car (I wonder if the airline paid for his additional day perdiem and hotel?) offer, my business decision would have been to never again give a dime to this particular airline. I'd write a letter and tell the CEO the specific reason.
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Old Nov 19, 04, 4:54 pm
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Ah

Originally Posted by FWAAA
Here's another news story about this incident demonstrating our current collective security insanity:




http://www.wisinfo.com/postcrescent/...18685383.shtml

Of course, the Airport Director and the Sheriff's spokesman both claimed that everything was done correctly by the book in this case. If so, then why doesn't this happen to this guy everywhere he goes?

So everywhere else, the airport security staff has screwed up? Because that's the inference to be drawn from these statements.

We now have 429 airports with 44,000+ TSA employees all looking for bombs in empty haystacks. And we have some awfully eager searchers for those nonexistent bombs. They also have some allies in the eager bomb squad experts that always seem to agree that the device looks like a bomb. I'm not disputing that it probably looked like a bomb. But experience in this country should teach these people that It's Probably Not a Bomb and that there is almost ZERO risk in allowing the guy to open his suitcase and show them that it isn't a bomb.

What's very sad is the collective paranoia that has permeated our nation's airport security personnel that cause them to "clear the area" and forbid him from simply showing them that it IS NOT A BOMB.

Their response would be much more reasonable if, in fact, they had experience in actually encountering a real bomb at the airport. But as we all know, the TSA has yet to find a real bomb. Erring on the side of caution is a convenient excuse for their overeager response every time they encounter something that they think "looks like a bomb" on the screen.

This isn't security. This is hysteria.
But when we have found the real deal, we cant tell you!
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Old Nov 19, 04, 6:31 pm
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How do you know that? TSA has not yet found a real bomb!

Bruce
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Old Nov 19, 04, 7:08 pm
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Originally Posted by ND Sol
No they don't. Otherwise they would be on TV all the time talking about all the terrorists they have had arrested when going through TSA checkpoints.
The TSA have been on local Wisconsin TV quite a bit after this incident. ... well, just once or twice.
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Old Nov 21, 04, 7:46 am
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Without attracting hostility, I am just curious. This question is for the FF'ers. What suggestions would you like to give if you spotted an image on the xray monitor that resembled a bomb? If it had all the basic components that you were trained to look for and you saw them on the monitor, what do you think should happen?
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Old Nov 21, 04, 7:58 am
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Keep this in mind. When TSA spots an image resembling a bomb, they notify a LEO who in turn notify the bomb squad. When the bomb squad is mobilized, TSA's role is done. TSA doesn't make anymore decisions. TSA just reacts to the Bomb Squad's suggestions. If the squad agrees or suspects there is a bomb in that briefcase, the terminal(s) is/are evacuated. TSA's role is to look for them, that's it. Law Enforcement confirms/denies the bomb's presence.

I can say most airports are not willing to evactuate the terminal unless Law Enforcement has good reason to do so, in reference to a bomb. Even I had at one time stopped a checkpoint at RDU because an image resembled a bomb. It turned out to be an unfortunate configuration of electronics and food items, but it only caused a 2 minute shutdown. The LEO examined the bag, cleared the bag, and operations resumed. No evacuations happened.
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Old Nov 21, 04, 8:00 am
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Originally Posted by TSASuper
What suggestions would you like to give if you spotted an image on the xray monitor that resembled a bomb? If it had all the basic components that you were trained to look for and you saw them on the monitor, what do you think should happen?
How about asking the owner of the bag, "Excuse me, sir [ma'am], but the x-ray machine is showing something that looks like a bomb in your bag. Do you have any idea what that could be?" Depending on the response, take it from there. But look at the passenger and use a little judgment. Does anybody believe for one moment that a 60-year-old salesman was trying to carry a bomb on board a plane? Obviously, there was a reasonable explanation. Just let the poor guy explain it to you!

Bruce
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Old Nov 21, 04, 8:06 am
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Originally Posted by bdschobel
How about asking the owner of the bag, "Excuse me, sir [ma'am], but the x-ray machine is showing something that looks like a bomb in your bag. Do you have any idea what that could be?" Depending on the response, take it from there. But look at the passenger and use a little judgment. Does anybody believe for one moment that a 60-year-old salesman was trying to carry a bomb on board a plane? Obviously, there was a reasonable explanation. Just let the poor guy explain it to you!

Bruce
That sounds like a reasonable approach. The only thing I can see wrong about that is that different people will interpret his response differently. Not trying to sound paranoid, but what if he was a disgruntled salesperson and was lying when asked about his bag? Not too much was thought about a Ryder truck being used as a bomb in Oklahoma.
Thanks for the civil response.
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Old Nov 21, 04, 10:55 am
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Originally Posted by bdschobel
How about asking the owner of the bag, "Excuse me, sir [ma'am], but the x-ray machine is showing something that looks like a bomb in your bag. Do you have any idea what that could be?" Depending on the response, take it from there. But look at the passenger and use a little judgment. Does anybody believe for one moment that a 60-year-old salesman was trying to carry a bomb on board a plane? Obviously, there was a reasonable explanation. Just let the poor guy explain it to you!

Bruce
What's to say they don't ask?
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