Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

Bizarre Air Force Low-level “Photo-op” Terrorizes New York

Bizarre Air Force Low-level “Photo-op” Terrorizes New York

The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and CNN are reporting that today, April 27, 2009, an “Air Force I lookalike” and two F-16 jet fighters frightened New Yorkers with low-level maneuvers over Manhattan and New Jersey.

Photo by New York Times reader Dan Kohn, of two Air Force jets conducting low-level maneuvers over ManhattanPhoto by New York Times reader Jim Brown showing low-level flyby of Air Force AF-25 jetJim Brown's photo of Air Force Jet flying low-level maneuvers over New York

Many office buildings were evacuated and people who had lived through 9/11 were re-traumatized. The New York Times reported that during the exercise, the Dow-Jones dropped 40 points in ten minutes.

The Associated Press reported, “A Boeing 747 used by the president was escorted over lower Manhattan by an Air Force fighter jet Monday as part of a government photo opportunity and training mission, causing a brief panic among office workers near ground zero.”

The Wall Street Journal had this:

The U.S. Air Force confirmed that an “aerial photo mission,” which involved an F-16 fighter jet, had been carried out Monday in the area of New York City by the Presidential Airlift Group, which according to the White House Web site is responsible for maintaining and operating presidential airliner Air Force One.

“This mission was conducted in conjunction with normally scheduled continuation training for assigned aircrew members,” the Air Force said in a statement. The mission was scheduled to last from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. EDT.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said the maneuver wasn’t an emergency and was coordinated in advance with state and local officials. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates bridges, tunnels and airports in the area, said initially the agency had no knowledge of the low-flying plane, according to a spokesman. But several Port Authority executives, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to an ongoing investigation, said that the agency received a memo from the FAA, but not until sometime Monday morning.

“Information in this document shall not be released to the public or media,” the memo instructed. “Public affairs posture for this effort is passive.”

The memo specifically directed local agencies not to tell the public about the photo shoot, according to a government official. The memo detailed the nature of the event and the flight details, saying there would be a transport and fighter aircraft flying over New York Harbor.

Note WSJ story has been updated: 8th WSJ UPDATE: Airplane ‘Photo Op’ Angers 9/11 Witnesses

The WSJ now notes:

The White House had planned a second photo shoot of a jumbo jet used as Air Force One in Washington D.C next month. The follow-up session would have taken place May 5 or May 6, using the nation’s capital as a backdrop, according to two government officials.

One official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Washington photo session is being reconsidered, given the reaction to Monday’s flight in New York.

You think?

I am really curious about the “photo-op” aspect of this mission. Has nobody heard of Photoshop? Was this still photography, or part of some video project? Who and where were the photographers?

What was so important about this mission that there could be no prior public announcement, and why must the planes operate at such low altitudes over a populated area?

Very odd indeed.

see:
Air Force One Photo-Op Scares the Crap Out of Manhattan
Low-level flight panics New York
Readers: Did You See the Low-Flying Jet Over Lower Manhattan?

Update: More from CNN:

After a YouTube video showed panicked New Yorkers scrambling as a Boeing 747 flew frighteningly close to the lower Manhattan skyline, a former Homeland Security adviser questioned whether the man who approved the flyby should remain in his White House office…

Witnesses reported seeing the plane circle over the Upper New York Bay near the Statue of Liberty before flying up the Hudson River.

The YouTube video shows dozens of people standing in a parking lot, watching the plane approach. As it nears, they begin to run. Someone unleashes an expletive. “Run, run!” says one person. “Oh my God,” cries another.

Copyright © 2009 Henry Edward Hardy

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27 April, 2009 Posted by | 9/11, Air Force One, government, New York, news, photo-op, propaganda, scanlyze, state of fear, terrorism, US Air Force | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Children of Men’ is a Thoughtful, Provocative Science Fiction Drama

‘Children of Men’ is a Thoughtful, Provocative Science Fiction Drama

Children of Men
Universal Studios, 2007 (Widescreen Edition)

by Henry Edward Hardy

Children of Men is a brutal and provocative vision of modern society stressed beyond its breaking point. It is 2027, and no children have been born for 18 years. Theo Faron (Clive Owen) is a civil servant and former radical now working for the totalitarian civil administration in Britain. Theo is played with shell-shocked stupor by Owen. Theo fails to react visibly as a nearby shop blows up and a woman runs out screaming, holding the remains of her arm in her remaining hand. Owen’s best friend is broadly portrayed by Michael Caine, who channels John Lennon in his character of aging hippie “Jasper”.

Theo’s life of quiet desperation is shattered when his ex-wife-turned revolutionary, Julian (played by Julianne Moore), has him kidnapped and bribes him to assist in smuggling a young woman out of the country. Britain stands alone as much of the world descends into terrorism and anarchy–but it is a future Britain with much in common with dystopian novels such as George Orwell’s 1984.

Children of Men has much of the immediacy of a hand-held camera or a first-person view. A six minute sequence, apparently filmed continuously, represents the harshest and most realistic-appearing combat footage in cinema since Saving Private Ryan. The computer effects are undetectable; everything looks harshly, painfully real.

Children of Men is full of eclectic references, from Pink Floyd’s Animals to Banksey to Picasso to The Godfather to TS Elliot. When Theo and his companions enter a immigrant detention facility, one man in a metal cage stands in the Christ-like pose of the hooded man from the infamous Abu Ghraib photos. They are inducted to the detention facility through a metal series of aisles like a cattle corral over which hangs a sign reading “Homeland Security”.

Children of Men can be viewed as a futuristic road movie, a dystopian science fiction parable, or as a harsh and stinging attack on the repressive anti-terrorist and anti-immigrant policies of today. It is refreshing to see an action scene in which the hero or anti-hero doesn’t pick up a gun or use violence to resolve the situation. Director Alfonso Cuarón has produced a cataclysmic tour-de-force worthy of consideration and repeated viewing.

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

A version of this review was previously published by Current.

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5 September, 2007 Posted by | 1984, Alfonso Cuarón, Britain, Children of Men, Clive Owen, dictatorship, dystopia, George Orwell, immigration, Julianne Moore, media, Michael Caine, movie, movies, Orwell, repression, review, scanlyze, science fiction, terrorism, UK, video | 4 Comments