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Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!

14 Jan 04 - 08:32 AM (#1092615)
Subject: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Charley Noble

Be calm. Set your coffee cup down, away from your keyboard. Swallow completely whatever is in your mouth before reading further. Now rereadthese instructions and make sure you have implemented each step.

This morning's Portland Press Herald brightened my life by printing a story of how a carefully packed musical instrument was viewed on a security screen, triggering an immediate evacuation of the Portland (East) International Jetport: Click to Story

In all good faith, I can't blame the security worker for triggering the alarm. The same security people raised questions about my carefully packed concertina on my recent trip to Australia, but I was able to reassure them that it was harmless and no evacuation was ordered while I was questioned.

In the above story I note that after questioning the owner of the instrument decided not to bring it with him when he was finally allowed to board his flight. He left it in the trunk of his car in the parking garage; his car is probably now being towed away by another team of vigilant security personnel.

Alas, a sign of our times.

Resume coffee drinking.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


14 Jan 04 - 08:46 AM (#1092623)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Amos

A bagpipe, indeed? They've been used for inducing terror in enemies, I understand. Poetic justice at work!

A


14 Jan 04 - 09:01 AM (#1092627)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: mooman

Quite right too!

From a bagpipe history site:

"As a musical instrument of war, the Great Pipes of the Highlands were without equal, according to historians. The shrill and penetrating notes worked well in the roar and din of battle and pipes could be heard at distances up to 10 miles. Because of the importance of the bagpipes to any Highland army, they were classified as an instrument of war by the Loyalist government during the Highland uprising in the 1700s. After the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745, kilts and bagpipes were outlawed, the pipes being classified as instruments of war."

Peace

moo


14 Jan 04 - 09:17 AM (#1092631)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Wesley S

I guess if you amplify them they can be considered weapons of mass distruction.


14 Jan 04 - 09:21 AM (#1092633)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Charley Noble

There's probably an appropriate song to summarize this story. Maybe "Bonnie Charlie's Been Hauled Awah/Will Ye No Come Back Again?"

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


14 Jan 04 - 09:46 AM (#1092650)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Big Mick

Wait.......do I understand correctly that the authorities ultimately figured out that this was an instrument used to practice playing the Great Highland Pipes........and they didn't arrest this fella? Obviously these folks haven't heard the racket these creatures make!!

Mick
Uilleann Piper


14 Jan 04 - 09:46 AM (#1092651)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Amos

HE should haver just demonstrated it without the earphones -- they would have paid him to leave the area!


A


14 Jan 04 - 10:12 AM (#1092658)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Midchuck

I know it seems funny because of the bagpipe connection.

But if we have no more rights to privacy, or freedom from arbitrary arrest, search and seizure, because of fear of terrorists, doesn't it mean the terrorists have already won?

Peter.


14 Jan 04 - 10:14 AM (#1092660)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Jeri

The pipie's no' happy the pipie's no' gay
He willnae fly out of Portland today
His chanter electric has been hauled away
It left with the bomb squad this mornin'
Farewell, ye dangerous implements
Farewell, headphones and a'
There's one threat that's lost its imminence
Thank goodness it wasn't a bodhran


14 Jan 04 - 10:19 AM (#1092663)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Charley Noble

The serious context to this story is that this is the same Jet Port that two of the 9/11 hijackers used to shuttle to their Boston flight. Well, the security measures have definitely been beefed up since then, and I have to admit that image of the instrument in question looks highly suspicious. That's the "high road" so to speak. Now let's continue on down the "low road."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, who still flies internationally with banjo and concertina


14 Jan 04 - 10:20 AM (#1092664)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Peace

They were worried he was going to play it, aloud in public.


14 Jan 04 - 05:56 PM (#1092840)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: The Fooles Troupe

I attended a performance of the Battlefield band at Woodford - they used an amplified Scottish Pipes set. My (7 month pregnant and thus rather exhausted) friend managed to fall asleep during the performance.... :-)

See that are not that deadly.... :-)

Robin


14 Jan 04 - 06:36 PM (#1092866)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: SINSULL

The news last night said it was an electronic flute in a PVC pipe. An embarrassed airport manager begged passengers to volunteer odd objects and prevent further panic.

This after the Casco Bay Bridge was closed for hours because of radio chatter. Apparently they have reason to take threats seriously.


14 Jan 04 - 06:51 PM (#1092885)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: The Fooles Troupe

What is needed is a certificate from the first scan that says it WAS checked OK as a musical instrument or such- while it may be thought that such paper things can be faked - with the computing technology we have today, I am sure a solution CAN be found - unless the whole IDEA is to just keep the Public panicked in order to support Warmongering Politicians.... oooh hush ma naughty mouth...


14 Jan 04 - 07:20 PM (#1092918)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Charley Noble

Very nice, Jeri!

Now we have clear evidence this is a music thread and we need not fear sinking to the lower depths.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


14 Jan 04 - 07:24 PM (#1092921)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: GUEST,petr..

well, actually the bagpipes (specifically the highland variety)
were not an instrument but a weapon of war.

(at least thats what a piper tried to use as his legal defence
when they tried to ban the playing of pipes in public parks in Scotland a few years ago - and he had a point sort of.. as
bagpipes were used in the military - during a charge etc..)


14 Jan 04 - 07:29 PM (#1092927)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: McGrath of Harlow

What struck me was this quote:

"He didn't do anything wrong technically," said Robert Dyer, TSA's security chief for the jetport.

Note that "technically", how grudging can you get? Why didn't he say "He didn't do anything wrong"?

Actually I'm pleased they are willing to stick their neck out when they get suspicious. But a bit worried that they appear to think that a pipe bomb has to be shaped like a pipe.

What I'm wondering is, how the hell did InOBU, just a few weeks ago manage to get across the Atlantic both ways, without apparently causing any major disruption to services? I'd have thought his uillean pipes would have caused the checking machines to have a nervous breakdown. Not to mention Larry himself...


14 Jan 04 - 07:54 PM (#1092951)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Barbara

We had something similar in Portland (west)last week, only it turned out to be a metal cylinder that -- I believe -- keeps safe and secure some of the holy water used to baptize a baby. The wife wrapped it as a present, and sent it with her spouse, not bothering to tell him what it was, so when the airport security questioned him about it, all he could say was "I dunno." Paper called it "a baptizmal device", and described it as looking like a metal capsule.
Net result -- he was detained and the airport closed down for a while.
I've stopped fastening all my pennywhistles together with an elastic band when I travel, but I still have to show them off every now and then.
Blessings,
Barbara


14 Jan 04 - 08:44 PM (#1092982)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Joe Offer

Is there any other city in the world that has a "jetport"?

I think it was only once that I flew to Maine - in an 18-seat Cessna that barely cleared the skyscrapers of Boston. I landed at Portland International Jetport. It has been almost 30 years since that flight, and I can't believe they still call it a "jetport." Well, our Sacramento International Airport changed from "Metropolitan" to "International" a full year before they got a weekly flight to Mexico. Why is it that small-town airports have to be so pretentious?

Sure had good food once I got to Maine, though....

-Joe Offer-


14 Jan 04 - 08:47 PM (#1092987)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Charley Noble

There is a level of insecurity in all of us who need to travel by air, and what makes this story interesting to me is that the security people were actually paying attention to what was passing through the X-ray view screen, and what they saw was truly alarming. I do find this part of the story re-assuring.

I do hope the security people aplogized to the musician, and I hope he/she apologized for not getting the instrument pre-inspected. However, the stress of dealing with airports that most of us experience also makes this story very funny!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


14 Jan 04 - 08:50 PM (#1092989)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: SINSULL

Joe? Come over here and let me slap you this side of your face! Small town???? Pretentious??????


14 Jan 04 - 09:14 PM (#1093008)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Peace

During what was called "The Quebec Crisis" a member of the Vandoos (Royal 22nd Regiment) pointed an FN at me and aked what was in my guitar case. I had a short time earlier trained with the FN and I thanked him for having the rifle 'safed'. He nodded. I then opened the guitar case in downtown Montreal and sang a few songs for the boys, including Phil Ochs' "Draft Dodger Rag" which they enjoyed. But, it could equally have been a guitar case filled with plastique or Lord knows what. Caution is a wise thing to have.

Incidentally, I love bagpipe music, and if any pipers are offended by my remark earlier, I do apologize.


14 Jan 04 - 10:18 PM (#1093028)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Bob Bolton

G'day Charley & all,

Musical instruments have been able to upset airport security for some time. When I flew from Sydney to Adelaide for the Australian National Folk Festival, Easter 1991, I carried my Hohner D/G Erica in a soft case, as hand luggage. The flight stopped at Canberra - Australia's national capital ... and all passengers who had been checked through at Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport were told to disembark with their hand luggage and be re-checked by Canberra security. Apparently the Canberra mob felt they were the only ones who could safeguard any poltician skiving off for an Easter break.

My Erica rang the alarm bells at X-ray and the screen operator called in the senior checker - a middle-aged woman, who looked at it and said: "Oh! That's a button accordion - I play one of those." (Well, apart from the Parliament, Canberra is a rambling country town (or, as someone once said: "A good sheep station spoilt".)

Smaller instruments seem to be more threatening. A friend repairs and deals in concertinas ... and returned from England with two or three in his suitcase. Security called him in and asked what was concealed in the case. He explained - and they asked him to unlock and open the case. As he inserted the key, he noticed the security people had vanished ... behind a concrete blast-screen! He took out the concertinas and demonstrated that they played music - even if they did look just like nail-bombs on the scanner screen.

However, they had identified another suspicious object in the case. This turned out to be several sticks of Brighton Rock, brought back for his homesick Pommy acquaintances. I think he had to eat a small sample before they believed that anyone ate anything as weird as that!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


15 Jan 04 - 12:17 AM (#1093083)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: LadyJean

I flew to Cincinnatti with a toy frog that hopped up and down while going "ribbit ribbit" and giggling maniacly. I could see a hopping ribbiting frog in a checked bag shutting down the whole airport, so he went in my carry on bag, ribbiting now and again, as I boarded and exited the plane.

My church has Scottish Reformation Sunday, with a local bagpipe band performing. Someone fell asleep during the service. I spoke to security to make sure the poor guy hadn't passed out or something.


15 Jan 04 - 02:23 AM (#1093116)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Metchosin

Perhaps if someone really wanted to shake things up, they could try boarding with a Carnyx.   Of course the fact that it's 12 feet long might make it a bit awkward, but it looks cool and sounds scarier than a chanter.


15 Jan 04 - 04:15 AM (#1093149)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: GUEST,Davetnova

Of course if you want to leave America just fill your pockets up with bullets and go.


15 Jan 04 - 08:23 AM (#1093254)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Charley Noble

Bob-

No one called me back to question me about my checked banjo on my most recent flight, or had me demonstrate how to play it. However, someone did tune it and even made the adjustments for pitch in the southern hemisphere by shifting the bridge position on the head.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


15 Jan 04 - 10:04 PM (#1093800)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Gorgeous Gary

Interestingly enough, two of my friends who were down in Georgia this past weekend at the same filk con I was are both flutists, both carrying, and both flew to the con. So when I first saw the headline in a Usenet newsgroup this afternoon, I **did** briefly wonder if one of them was the culprit!

Better yet, one of them's even from Portland! And plays a bass flute no less; I can imagine security's reaction to **that** since it's so much larger than a normal flute.

(Meanwhile, I had no trouble with my guitar...)

-- Gary


15 Jan 04 - 10:59 PM (#1093826)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: Naemanson

Joe, (sigh of exasperation) look around you. What you don't see is air. Now look at your door. That is also a portal. So airportals are everywhere. Why would all those other places want to call themselves airports when air is everywhere around us and moves through whatever port is made available? It's a foolish name for a thing like that.

Now, what flies into and out of airports? Airplanes. And the commercial airplanes that pay the larger fees are jets. So Portland has a jetport. It's a much more accurate name and hardly pretentious at all.

See how simple it is?


16 Jan 04 - 08:11 AM (#1094052)
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
From: McGrath of Harlow

So presumably if you wanted to land an aeroplane with a propeller in Portland they'd tell you to bugger off?

One thing occurs - if they ask you what's in your guitar case, for God's sake don't say "my axe", even if that's what you might normally call it. They'd think it was a joke, and they don't like jokes. In fcat they jail people for that kind of thing.