...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

July 23, 2004

When Is A Dry Run Not A Dry Run?

When one of the passengers turns out to be all wet.

Undercover federal air marshals on board a June 29 Northwest airlines flight from Detroit to LAX identified themselves after a passenger, 'overreacted,' to a group of middle-eastern men on board, federal officials and sources have told KFI NEWS.

The passenger, later identified as Annie Jacobsen, was in danger of panicking other passengers and creating a larger problem on the plane, according to a source close to the secretive federal protective service.

Jacobsen, a self-described freelance writer, has published two stories about her experience at womenswallstreet.com, a business advice web site designed for women.
Dawn has more.

You know i'm a hawk when it comes to the war on terror. i'm not saying we should let our guard down, especially nowadays. But still, this lady's story, when i first read it, sure sounded like an urban legend to me.

It turned out not to be an urban legend, but neither did it turn out to be what Jacobsen thought it was. i bet that's how half of the urban legends out there start, by somebody over-reacting.

Posted by annika, Jul. 23, 2004 |
Rubric: annikapunditry


The thing is, there's a lot of pilots and flight attendants who have observed "dry run" type behavior on other flights.

And the other thing is, if the CIA/FBI were trying to monitor the Syrians to see if they lead to bigger fish, then the CIA/FBI would want to put out disinformation.

And the other other thing is, what kind of people rise up en masse and head for the toilets when the plane is beginning its descending run in preparation for landing?

The journalist and her spouse could be overreacting, but I think it's maybe impossible for us to judge the truth of this situation.

This next has me wondering if I am getting too conspiratorial in my thinking, but-
is it so farfetched that a group of Syrian musicians might agree to "dry run" certain behaviors on a flight? They would've known they had legitimate alibis and likely wouldn't be detained. They could've been induced to action by bribe or blackmail. Gotta go- think I hear a black helicopter outside the house!

Posted by: gcotharn in Texas on Jul. 23, 2004

This particular situation probably was entirely innocent, but, as gcotharn just noted, there have been plenty of recent incidents which have been very worrisome indeed. I think it is simply irresponsible that the arming of flight crews has not proceeded with a sense of real urgency (and have a post up on this topice)

Posted by: David Foster on Jul. 24, 2004

My understanding is that they were indeed members of a band, and yet each and every one of them had an expired visa.

And just because you're in a band doesn't mean you can't be a terrorist.

For some stupid reason, the PC-crowd thinks that being middle-eastern automatically means you *can't* be a terrorist.

Posted by: Ted on Jul. 24, 2004

2 cents :)

Posted by: Scof on Jul. 24, 2004

If they can learn to fly a plane, they can learn to play a musical instrument.

If their visas were truly expired, they should not be able to board a plane except to return to whence they came.

Remember, the operative part of illegal alien is "illegal". This is still America, a rule of law country.

Posted by: shelly s. on Jul. 24, 2004

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Posted by: Anna on Jul. 24, 2004

I'm shocked at your outlook on this, Anna. I thought your eyes were more open than this.

Posted by: The Agnostic on Jul. 25, 2004

The CIA had an opening for an assassin. After all of the background checks, interviews, and testing were done there were three finalists - two men and one woman. For the final test, the CIA agents took one of the men to a large metal door and handed him a gun.

"We must know that you will follow your instructions, no matter what the circumstances. Inside this room you will find your wife sitting in a chair. You have to kill her." The first man said. "You cant be serious. I could never shoot my wife!"The agent replies, "Then you?re not the right man for this job."

The second man was given the same instructions. He took the gun and went into the room. All was quiet for about five minutes. Then the agent came out with tears in his eyes. "I tried, but I cant kill my wife." The agent replies, "You dont have what it takes. Take your wife and go home."

Finally, it was the womans turn. Only she was told to kill her husband. She took the gun and went into the room. Shots were heard, one shot after another. They heard screaming, crashing, banging on the walls. After a few minutes, all was quiet. The door opened slowly and there stood the woman. She wiped the sweat from her brow and said, "You guys didnt tell me the gun was loaded with blanks. So I had to beat him to death with the chair."

Posted by: Jokes on Oct. 8, 2004