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The most rediculous thing I have ever read

  1. Dec 10, 2004 #1
    Can you say Hysteria?

    "Government Says Terrorists May Use Lasers

    WASHINGTON (Dec. 9) - Terrorists may seek to down aircraft by shining powerful lasers into cockpits to blind pilots during landing approaches, federal officials are warning in a bulletin distributed nationwide.

    The memo sent by the FBI and the Homeland Security Department says there is evidence that terrorists have explored using lasers as weapons, though there is no specific intelligence indicating al-Qaida or other groups might use lasers in the United States.

    "Although lasers are not proven methods of attack like improvised explosive devices and hijackings, terrorist groups overseas have expressed interest in using these devices against human sight," the memo said.

    "In certain circumstances, if laser weapons adversely affect the eyesight of both pilot and co-pilot during a non-instrument approach, there is a risk of airliner crash," the agencies said.

    In September a pilot for Delta Air Lines reported an eye injury from a laser beam shone into the cockpit during a landing approach in Salt Lake City. The incident occurred about 5 miles from the airport. The plane landed safely.

    FBI and other federal officials are investigating. It is not clear if a crime was committed or if the laser was directed into the cockpit by accident.

    Steve Luckey, a retired airline pilot who is chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association's national security committee, said pilots are concerned about a recent increase in laser incidents, but do not know what to make of them. He said he has learned of two or three cases in the past 90 days.

    "The most recent incidents appear to be aimed at pilots in the vicinity of airports," Luckey said. "A few seem to be intentional, and we're wondering why and what's going on."

    Lasers can cause temporary blindness and severely damage the eye by burning the retina. The bulletin notes they are "relatively inexpensive, portable, easy to conceal and readily available on the open market."

    Lasers are commonly used in a number of industries and are featured in outdoor light shows. A variety of more powerful military-grade lasers are produced around the world, but there is no evidence that terrorist groups have managed to obtain one, according to federal officials.

    The bulletin was sent late last month to law enforcement officials and key government agencies and industries. A copy was obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

    Associated Press writer Leslie Miller contributed to this story.

    On the Net:

    FBI: http://www.fbi.gov

    Homeland Security Department: http://www.dhs.gov


    12/09/04 20:41 EST"
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2004 #2

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    In Tom Clancy's "Debt of Honor" or "Executive Orders," there is a weapon used that is essentially a flash-bulb on a spotlight that covert operatives used to blind pilots of landing planes from a mile or two away, crashing the planes. Is it possible in reality? Maybe. Terrorists using it? I don't think its likely.
     
  4. Dec 10, 2004 #3
    there was a report several years, where china (I believe it was china, I don't know if somebody remembers this story) allegedly shined lasers at U.S. military craft who were doing a recon mission of some shipment or something, I remember the story saying that one of the pilots had permanant eye problems becuase of it. I don't know if this would be a common terrorist tactic though, it seems it would just be easier to use other means.
     
  5. Dec 15, 2004 #4
    The planes that land in Salt Lake International, fly the length of the Wasatch Mountains, this was in hunting season, and there are thousands of guys out with high powered rifles, and doubtlessly their new laser scopes. Likely they are unaware that their scopes can do long distance damage, and they are using them like pointers at aircraft, out of night time boredom. There is a lot of military surplus bouncing around in Utah. A medical helicopter went down very near a shooting range last year, there was a loud bang before they went down. There never was an explanation regarding the loss of the 'copter. The last time there was a big fire near the Holladay gun club, allegedly some guy with a big automatic rifle of some sort, was shooting tracer bullets. It takes all kinds.
     
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