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Air Force One Graffiti

  1. Apr 18, 2006 #1
    Marc Ecko, advocate of freedom of expression, displays a video on his website of him graffiting Air Force One by accessing an airbase where this 747 was parked. If the video is legitimate, I think it's shameful that two guys can breach security like that.

    http://stillfree.com/

    Thoughts?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2006 #2

    Astronuc

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    Something tells me that he will visited by strangers. :cool: They will not be smiling.
     
  4. Apr 18, 2006 #3

    chroot

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    Here's how easy it is to defeat airport security.

    1) Most small uncontrolled airports have flying clubs and schools. People rent small aircraft from these organizations at all hours of the day, including hours when the office (and airport controller) are closed. The keys to these small aircraft are typically stored in a cabinet or locker on the side of a building, protected by nothing but a combination padlock. All you need is a pair of bolt-cutters, and you've got yourself a selection of fully-fueled small aircraft with a range of some 400 miles. (Convention is that tanks are filled immediately after landing.)

    2) Since the uncontrolled airport is vacant, you don't have to interact with any controller to take off. Since you're going to be flying VFR, you don't need to file any flight plan, or otherwise interact with anyone. Just take off and head wherever you like.

    3) Clear yourself into Class Bravo airspace around any major airport you'd like. Make up a tail number to add some additional anonymity. The ATC center will likely have had you on radar from the beginning of your journey, but they won't be paying any attention to your echo until you clear into controlled airspace, at which time they'll give you identifying transponder numbers and so on.

    4) Land at your chosen airport. Request that ground control taxi you to a parking area owned by a club or other organization that's closed for the night. No one will see you taxi to the parking spot, or tie the plane down.

    5) Put on a jumpsuit with a Chevron logo other other camoflauge and impersonate a fuel serviceman. Walk across the tarmac to the airport's main terminal (or commandeer an unused fuel vehicle, if you'd prefer).

    6) Put your hot little hand on a 747. Or load your bomb into a suitcase waiting on the conveyors. Or whatever else you'd like.

    That's all it takes. Really. It's not even hard. Of course, the authorities will piece the whole thing together later, but your "mission" will have already succeeded long before. I'll let you all in on something that no one except pilots ever seems to realize: airport security is make-believe. The airports and airlines construct airport screening flows to produce the appearance of security, so that you will continue to purchase tickets. No one who has any serious intention of blowing up an airliner is going to go through the metal detector. There are easier and more effective ways available.

    Now, does this mean flying is not safe? Of course not. Even with the threat of terrorism, flying is still an order of magnitude safer than driving. But, the next time the airport screener makes you take your shoes off so they can be put through the X-ray machine, you might enjoy a laugh at the silliness of it all.

    - Warren
     
  5. Apr 18, 2006 #4
    Wouldn't you think though that there would be better security for Air Force One?
     
  6. Apr 18, 2006 #5

    chroot

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    If Air Force One is parked at an airport, which seems likely, I'd venture that it's not very secure at all. Sure, you can throw more and more secret servicemen at the problem, but it is a fundamentally unsolvable problem.

    - Warren
     
  7. Apr 18, 2006 #6

    Pengwuino

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    How is it not very secure (other then the display we just saw haha)? They're lucky they weren't shot dead. Security should have been tighter.

    Oh well, guess vandelism is considered free speech as long as Republicans are in office.
     
  8. Apr 18, 2006 #7

    JamesU

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    from Wikipedia:

     
  9. Apr 18, 2006 #8

    Pengwuino

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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    I still don't trust things you say though so i want a real person to say so
     
  10. Apr 18, 2006 #9

    russ_watters

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    Impressive if true, but damn - I've seen the security around Air Force 1 and Marine 1 before 9/11 and it was formidable enough then.

    I watched the video and it looks legit, but it can be really hard to tell. It is tough to imagine someone would take such a risk (getting shot) just to spray-paint an airplane.
    Regardless of where it lands, it isn't ever out of sight of a squad of secret service. None of those six possibilities really applies.
    I'm no mathematician, but an object with a finite perimeter to defend definitely seems like a solvable problem to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2006
  11. Apr 18, 2006 #10
    Nice detailed step-by-step plan.

    Is there a terrorist manual or something?
     
  12. Apr 18, 2006 #11
    I like Warrens' points and I agree that they can definitely apply to commercial airliners, but I'm a little skeptical on whether the security for AFO is truely that faulty. I know that it's easy to steal a privately owned airplane from an untowered airport, such as my local airport, Brandywine (N99), and takeoff unnoticed if you know what you're doing. [1]

    I also don't understand the motive of Ecko in publishing a video online and taking credit for committing a serious crime. But anyway--yomamma, thanks for that information; I didn't bother to debunk this video myself.


    [1] I read a while ago about a 12 year old boy who drive down to his local airport at night, stole the keys to a Cessna, took off and flew around a bit until he was finished, then landed only to find that everyone during the flight went well and he wasn't caught til after the fact. Maybe too much Flight Simulator (by the way-- I grew up on Flight Simulator 98 through 2004 and it actually did prepare me for real flying lessons).
     
  13. Apr 18, 2006 #12

    russ_watters

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    I watched the video and it was definitely shot at Andrews AFB (home base of Air Force One), but I'm still not convinced the actual tagging was real.
     
  14. Apr 18, 2006 #13

    Pengwuino

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    The plane looks so lit up... why would that be???
     
  15. Apr 19, 2006 #14
    Maybe so security could see if anyone is near the plane for nighttime "protection." Russ-- so you think the actually did sneak on the airfield but the graffiti could have been put in later? Still, they did break the law.
     
  16. Apr 19, 2006 #15
    OK, I just read that this is in fact a hoax. It was produced to promote his new video game. Now everyone must boycott his game for wasting our time. yomamma must be a soothsayer. ;)
     
  17. Apr 19, 2006 #16

    russ_watters

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    Do you have a link that says it was a hoax? I'd be interested in reading it...
     
  18. Apr 19, 2006 #17
    If you go to the bottom of his site there is a link to a legal disclaimer.

     
  19. Apr 19, 2006 #18
    I must say, that video fooled me. It looks very legit.
     
  20. Apr 19, 2006 #19
    I have a hard time imagining it but they may have gotten permission to actually enter the base and make the film. You never know.
     
  21. Apr 20, 2006 #20
    Then if terrorists would blow up the president's plane in the near future, the government would have to blame Marc Ecko.
     
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