March 13, 2016

I feel so safe!

"Bomb-sniffing dog discovers 2 Hellfire missiles bound for Portland". As in my Portland, the city in whose suburbs I live.

Marvelous. Were there others, shipped by other routes, which didn't get detected?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 08:20 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
Post contains 36 words, total size 1 kb.

1 "Pardon me, sir; is this your anti-tank weapon?"


"You appear to have dropped a missile, sir; is this yours?"

Posted by: Ben at March 13, 2016 09:01 PM (DRaH+)

2 I would be surprised if it was truly intended to go to Portland as opposed to being diverted somewhere en route.  Probably Europe as I've long had a suspicion that a mass muslim uprising would be the source of our next great European Adventure (along the lines and scale of the two previous Adventures from the early part of last century).

Posted by: StargazerA5 at March 14, 2016 11:00 AM (5YSpE)

3 At least they didn't end up shipped to Cuba again.

I can see the dedicated TSA agents now:

Dog: *Woof*
Agent 1: "Woah! Check this out!"
Agent 2: "It had better be a bomb; we have too many packages to check."
Agent 1: "It's a Hellfire Missile!"
Agent 2: "Bad dog!"
Dog: *Whine*
Agent 1: "But he found a missile! He's a good boy!"
Agent 2: "He's a bomb-sniffing dog. It's not a bomb. Let's keep moving."
Agent 1: "But it's a dangerous item!"
Agent 2: "Orders are to look for bombs.  This is a propelled weapon; ergo, it isn't a bomb, now, is it?  You're new, you'll get used to it..."

Posted by: Civilis at March 14, 2016 12:07 PM (UkqiM)


I was reading about this somewhere else, and it got pointed out that a Hellfire isn't "man portable". It is in fact pretty complicated to launch. For one thing it requires a significant avionics package on the launch vehicle to designate a target.

It's not an ideal terrorist weapon. About the only thing a terrorist could do is disassemble it enough to get the warhead out and use that as a bomb -- but if that was the intention, why not do that before it got shipped?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 14, 2016 12:14 PM (+rSRq)


Update at your link: they're warhead-less training missiles that the Lebanese army was returning to their manufacturer (in Portland, Maine).

And, according to the comments, "paperwork was provided", so it may just be that Serbia's TSA is as good as ours...

Posted by: Mikeski at March 14, 2016 04:13 PM (LIUK5)


If there was no warhead, how did the dog spot them? It was sniffing for explosives.

Sounds like a fuckup all around.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 14, 2016 05:12 PM (+rSRq)

7 You can't discount inaccurate initial reporting, especially coming from a distant country where English is not the primary language, but that latest conflicts with what was reported last night in significant ways.  Most notably, the initial reports were that that missiles were hidden in false compartments, and that the shipping crates were, in fact, wooden coffins.

Posted by: David at March 14, 2016 05:30 PM (+TPAa)

8 Move along! Nothing to see here!  Absolutely no terrorism involved!

Posted by: ubu at March 14, 2016 08:46 PM (GfCSm)

9 It would be nice if they'd say that once in a while when it's obviously true instead of obviously being bullshit.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 14, 2016 09:20 PM (+rSRq)

10 Even with the original reports I assumed that "wooden coffin" was a mistranslation. The word is cognate with "coffer" and comes from a Greek or Latin word that meant something like, well, "box". So there are presumably similar-looking words in other languages.

Posted by: Boviate at March 15, 2016 02:33 PM (XRvFv)

11 Not to mention that a pair of coffins wouldn't have enough room for two Hellfires and associated electronics, let alone hide them in a secret compartment.

Posted by: ubu at March 15, 2016 03:33 PM (GfCSm)

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