Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bomb Scares

Someone called in a bomb scare to LSU yesterday. 30,000 students evacuated the campus causing massive traffic jams in Red Stick. I'm told by my niece, who was in that scrum, that Mike the Tiger was evacuated before the warning was issued to the students. Can't have Mike in danger and mixing a tiger into the traffic jam was probably not a good idea.

I wonder if we are again in for a spate of bomb scare calls. When I was a student in the late 60s, the SDS was famous for calling in bomb scares to the various campuses in Beantown. It was like the boy who cried wolf - there were so many false alarms that we became immune to them. I was in a fluid dynamics lecture when a guy came to the door and told the professor that a bomb scare had been called in for our building. Prof looked at the walls and the ceiling and informed us that the walls looked strong and that he was going to continue with his lecture but we were free to go if we wanted to. None of us left - missing the lecture would have put us behind the curve and nobody was willing to risk that.

Years later I was working for Big Oil. I was responsible for pipelines and I kept a tool in my office. It was an underwater pinger. We used to to find pipeline breaks. You send the thing down the pipeline and when it pops out at the break, you can locate it with sonar. It was cylindrical, painted blue and had a chain on one end. There was a short spate of anger against the oil companies in the 80s and our security folks were on the watch for "problems". Unknown to me, they did an office by office search to make sure all our offices were "clean". When they saw my pinger, they about passed the proverbial brick. They found me and, in a breathless voice asked, "what the hell is that thing"? I explained to them that it was a simple underwater noise maker and not to worry. Anyway, it gave them something to talk about.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

I'm beginning to think you're right... Witness the same type of calls lately to airlines... sigh