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(Seattle Times)   Lasers have been aimed at 7 planes recently, sharks not fricken amused   ( divider line
    More: Followup  
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16670 clicks; posted to Main » on 31 Dec 2004 at 9:32 AM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

232 Comments     (+0 »)

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2004-12-31 09:36:53 AM  
2004-12-31 09:37:43 AM  
Wow, tied time stamps. I just barely made it.

That's got to be a first or something.
2004-12-31 09:39:17 AM  
2004-12-31 09:39:23 AM  

/invade oregon
2004-12-31 09:40:20 AM  
I hope the person writing the article has tried to hit a distant moving target with a laser.

Degree of difficulty > expected

2004-12-31 09:41:33 AM  
I knew it...."they" have won, have'nt they ?
2004-12-31 09:41:39 AM  
TF'ers just wanted you guys to feel part of the whole.
Either that or this link sucks.
I dont know, DRTFA
2004-12-31 09:42:50 AM  
In other news, the new traveling "KISS Laser Light Spectacular 2004" has been postponed for technical difficulties.
2004-12-31 09:42:55 AM  
i hope it was one of these
[image from too old to be available]
2004-12-31 09:45:07 AM  
DH did it
[image from too old to be available]
2004-12-31 09:45:17 AM  
In order to hit a moving jet at roughly 350 mph with a laser, you have to have a pretty sophisticated tracking system just to hit the plane, let alone shine it in the cockpit
2004-12-31 09:46:24 AM  
> The lights appeared as their United Express plane began its descent about 8:20 p.m. Saturday.
> The FBI offered no explanation for the "unusual" sighting.

"unavailable for comment" pictures from the X-files and "This Island Earth" in 6...
2004-12-31 09:47:53 AM  
Get out the tin foil hats.
2004-12-31 09:48:17 AM  
Could this be the culprit?
2004-12-31 09:52:32 AM  
I call bullshiat. Aim a less then 1" diameter beam of light into the eyes of a pilot in an aircraft that is descending at, let's say, 1000' per minute and moving at, let's say, 170 knots? How farking stupid is this? More fearmongering by the Feds to keep the money flowing towards anti-terrorism and out of the pockets of those who really need it.

BTW, I happen to work for our beloved TSA, and I have never seen such a flagrant waste of taxpayer's money before in my life.
2004-12-31 09:53:52 AM  
I have a hard time believing that these incidents are the result of someone with a hand-held laser pointer and even with a laser pointer on a tripod (like you see on construction sites) this would be difficult.

Try this one night: Stand a couple hundred feet from your house or other large flat surface and have a friend stand near said surface. Point your laser pointer at the house/whatever and try to keep it steady. Have your friend measure how much the point dances around. Moves around quite a bit, doesn't it? Now, double your distance and try the same thing. It dances around even worse, doesn't it? Now, imagine you're at least a few thousand feet away from your target and your target is moving at 100 knots (I have no idea what speed approaching planes use but 100 sounded like a good figure; could be 50 or 200 for all I know). Keep in mind that you have to keep the laser pointer trained on the airplane's window for some amount of time or else the pilots won't notice it. Even if you had a tripod to steady the laser, you'd still have to move it in order to "track" the airplane's windows. That's is non-trivial at that distance.
2004-12-31 09:54:47 AM  
BTW, I happen to work for our beloved TSA, and I have never seen such a flagrant waste of taxpayer's money before in my life.

welcome to america
2004-12-31 09:56:00 AM  
Not really. All one would need is a tripod and a pretty hefty laser. Shine it in when the plane is taking off or landing.

/not a terrorist
//live next to an airport
2004-12-31 09:59:10 AM  

If at all possible, can we wait to have the terrorists attack Oregon until after my vacation there in February? That'd be swell. Thanks. :)
2004-12-31 10:00:16 AM  
It's either a massive fearmongering ploy by the government (which is strange, since the election is over already), or some Muslim dudes are testing out their laser guidance system before they're ready to launch a SAM through the cockpit window
2004-12-31 10:02:30 AM  
Maybe they're painting the planes for a laser guided rocket attack.

Hrmm. I wonder who could be at my door at this hour...
2004-12-31 10:02:42 AM  
I was walking through O'Hare on my way to Greece and I overheard a TSA agent say "Sometimes I think so hard I confuse myself."

Made me feel REAL good.

/only barely has to do with the f---ing article
2004-12-31 10:03:02 AM  
They aren't going 350mph while attempting or waiting to land, but it's still extremely difficult, I'm not denying that.
2004-12-31 10:03:26 AM  
You know, considering, according to the "liberal" media, terrorists are apparently attacking us every single day using every single possible weapon imaginable, they're not doing very well considering the last and only attack was three years ago and only killed a mere 2,700 people.

Obviously Bush's leadership in the war on terror has been completely successful.
2004-12-31 10:04:15 AM  
Yes, I am a paranoid fruitcake, I know. But a lot or range finding and tracking systems use lasers as guidance. It's probably nothing, but its one of those damned things that if you don't follow it up, you face the "[somber voice] THe TSA had been aware of the laser usage for some time, but did not act. President Bushs' connections with Halliburton are being probed pending . . . . . ". It is maddening.
2004-12-31 10:04:56 AM  
terrorists are apparently attacking us every single day using every single possible weapon imaginable

I thought that is what the current administration is saying.
2004-12-31 10:07:26 AM  
(Last and only attack on American soil, I mean. Obviously. But you know someone was going to scream Madrid or Bali because reading comprehension is another of those terrorist weapons.)
2004-12-31 10:07:40 AM  
"sophisticated tracking system" - human brain
"powerful enough laser" -

I think that given the right circumstances (a predictable glidepath on approach), a powerful enough laser that you can see the beam, you could "flash the cockpit" with some green laser light that the pilot could look out the window and see that someone had a laser trained on them.

Just my two cents...
2004-12-31 10:10:19 AM  
Who cares. Non-sensationalist experts have already concluded such lasers won't interfere enough to cause trouble. Let this administration have its fear-mongering fun.
2004-12-31 10:10:50 AM  
kids with laser pointers are the "REAL" terrorists.....

/i love playing "make the cat run head first into the wall" with them..
//cat is real dumb
///i'm easily amused at times
2004-12-31 10:11:01 AM  

[image from too old to be available]

THAT'S gotta hurt!

2004-12-31 10:12:24 AM  
I think that it is the evil genius of Dr. Blowfeld!!!!

Where is the James Bond 007 when you need him?
2004-12-31 10:13:13 AM  

Meteorologists toyed with the possibility that the light in Medford could have been Saint Elmo's fire

[image from too old to be available]

/burnin' in me

2004-12-31 10:13:20 AM  
Nice headline though, sharks, made me laugh.
2004-12-31 10:17:06 AM  
This stuff is full of idiocy.

You know what the pilots see? "A hazy, strobelike green effect".

That means the person is just waving it in their general direction. It isn't some death-beam accuracy setup. Try this for an experiment:

Stand far away from your house with a green laser. Point it at, say, a window pane. Have a friend stand nearby, and note if it EVER TOUCHES THE PANE EVER.

You just wave it in the general direction on the window for a bit, and the laws of probability state that it will hit the window lots of the time. This isn't archery, with focused shots - you are ALWAYS SHOOTING with a laser.

Getting one of these lasers is easy to do, from any online store. Or, build one your freaking self. Oooo.

As for blinding the pilots? BS. You know about planes, right? How they fly because of the world being filled with air? Lasers disperse because of air, too. At that distance, a green laser would have expanded from 1mm (at the discharge point) to about 20mm.

That is about 5 inches in diameter. In effect, this is the equivalent of someone standing about 50 feet away and shining a flashlight on the plane. ON NOES MY EYES!!!!!!11!

Next, we'll hear about the terror of people hiding under your car and slashing your ankles when you get in, or eating too many Pop Rocks and exploding.

You want the math? go check about twelve thousand blogs. This is a scare tactic.

/has been on 2 idiot-filled radio programs, debunking this - the hosts on both sides went "well, this can't just be kids with laser pointers - I mean, come on, it is a LAZOR, people" right after clicking off with me
//one right-wing, one left-wing
2004-12-31 10:24:20 AM  
2004-12-31 10:24:53 AM  
mykelone, GREAT picture.

I need to start a David Hasselhoff collection of pictures.

Somebody posted the one of him and Gary Coleman in front of KITT with the "thumbs up"...I printed it out as well. Both are now hanging in my cubicle at work. They help motivate me to get through the day...ok..well, they help me keep a sense of humor at work.
2004-12-31 10:25:24 AM  
Federal law-enforcement officials previously have expressed fears that terrorists could use lasers as weapons....

OMG. Tinfoil sunglasses please.
2004-12-31 10:26:29 AM  
Some kid got a fancy laser pointer for Christmas - durrr.
They'll catch him when his brother turns him in.
2004-12-31 10:27:30 AM  
Let's all worry about lasers being shined into airplanes and not worry about that pesky war, or those other effective ways to create a terrorist incident that we have no real way to prevent.
2004-12-31 10:29:56 AM  
2004-12-31 10:31:19 AM  
"Can Lasers Really Bring Down Planes? Actually, Yes."

Duh. Anyone, properly motivated, can do anything.

Want to crush an economy? Pick the largest cities in the nation. Get four buddies to drive on the highway with you. Every morning, during rush hour, line up your cars, slow to a stop for five seconds, and then just drive away. Traffic is farked for the rest of the day, to the point that NO shipping or working occurs. Forest fires, anthrax-mail scares, bomb threats, and everything else is just as easy. Remember what two guys, a rifle, and a car with a hole in it did to an entire region?

All of this BS about 'stoppeng teh terrorists!!1!1' is just that, BS. No amount of money can stop people willing to commit their whole life to pooping in your cornflakes. You can only alleviate the reason they want to do the pooping.

/hopes that my door isn't busted down for stating the obvious
2004-12-31 10:33:12 AM  
i do code for video games.

tracking systems are kinda really easy to make. it's getting the parts that's the biatch.

i call bullshiat as well. unless it's sattelite stuff interacting with the coatings on the pilot's windows, which it very well could be.
2004-12-31 10:35:37 AM  
McMasters, if lasers can't bring down airplanes, as you so loudly claim, then why are the Chinese and the Russians investing in offensive laser systems designed to bring down airplanes?
2004-12-31 10:38:13 AM  
[image from too old to be available]

Chinese ZM87 "blinding laser"

2004-12-31 10:45:39 AM  
"It could be anything," said an FBI security official who asked not to be identified. "It could be people got new toys for Christmas, and they thought it would be great to test them on airplanes or anything else."

[image from too old to be available]
Wanted for questioning.
2004-12-31 10:46:17 AM  
McMasters: You can only alleviate the reason they want to do the pooping.

Yes, and I'm sure there's a perfectly legitimate reason why a group of terrorists would do something like this.

/bewildered by the return of appeasement
2004-12-31 10:47:57 AM  
Emperor_Spleen: Obviously Bush's leadership in the war on terror has been completely successful.

Are you farking kidding me? What is it about these two unrelated wars that you people still can't differentiate Afghanistan from Iraq? Nor can you seem to separate neoconservative policy from the more traditional republican policy.

Wake up and realize that Bush is actually completely unsuccessful since the person who attacked us is still at large, yet the country who can best serve our interests is now under our control.

Whether or not they've attacked us here on our soil again is irrelevant as they have made it clear their ambitions expand far outside the U.S. Bush is a fool and nothing but the puppet figurehead for the Project for the New American Century.
2004-12-31 10:48:32 AM  
Nazi Shopping Channel:
Do you have any idea how much power would be needed to bring down a plane with a laser? The power source alone would be huge and would have a hefty price tag.

If I wanted to bring down a plane with something, I would use a 3 million candle power floodlight. Now that would blind the pilots. You would have to do it on final though.

Y'all want something to worry about? I know how to poison the drinking water for an entire city with:
A pressure washer
a whole bunch of castor beans
any faucet connected to the supply

There is no way to stop it folks. Quit being so afraid. You are 1000's of times more likley to get killed on your way to work in the morning than by terrorists.

/O my god! the sky is falling!
2004-12-31 10:50:09 AM  
Yet another trumped up, manufactured way to keep the sheeple in a state of fear, trying to compensate for the Chimp having a 53% DIS-approval rating. (and dropping like a rock)

Kids get lasers for Giftmas. One tries to aim it at a passing plane....emails his buddy, who also got a laser for then he points it at a plane....and so on.

Military targeting lasers are not visible to humans.
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