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NEWS: Unidentified Helicopters Buzz Nuclear Facility, Security Brought Into Question

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posted on Mar, 12 2005 @ 09:26 PM
In a bizarre failure to communicate, two unmarked helicopters buzzed a New Jersey nuclear facility, and questions are now being asked about the security force's failure to respond. They were under orders to bring down any suspicious aircraft in the vicinity, and they failed to engage the helicopters. The helicopters were carrying officers in training with the State Police, but there was no advance notification that they would be flying over the power plant. Security forces were on high alert after the aircraft were spotted, but failed to fire for some reason.
As they flew over, security forces went on high alert and were ready to fire until they realized the choppers belonged to the state police.

Their decision not to fire is now being examined.

Jerry Hauer, security consultant: "It appeared that there was an imminent threat, and the security forces at the power plant chose not to react."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This incident brings several questions to mind. Why didn't the State Police notify the nuclear plant regarding their planned operation? Why didn't the security forces fire when they were obligated to? Are the laws in place a good idea, how can they be revised to account for this sort of situation, if at all?

It appears as though a disaster was narrowly avoided, this incident could have ended badly. If a similar incident occurs in the future, will security forces hesitate at a critical time, knowing the backlash possible in case of a mistake?

I think a situation like this teaches a valuable lesson about restraint. Of course, restraint at the wrong moment could be truly disastrous. What if the helicopters had plunged into the nuclear plant carrying explosives? More on this story as it develops.

posted on Mar, 12 2005 @ 09:30 PM
I think this is scary indeed, although it worked out, next time might be for real.......

Do I take this to mean that a PowerPlant now has SAM's?

posted on Mar, 12 2005 @ 09:37 PM
Exactly, Ed, what exactly are they supposed to bring it down with? Now if they secure the sites with a MANPADS for that it makes sence. I also posted a ATSNN article a while back that they were selectivly jamming GPS signals around plants but that does not seem to be the case anymore at least. We flew on the boundries of the restricted airspace around SLO plant last week and the GPS was working fine

posted on Mar, 12 2005 @ 09:45 PM
Well that is not exactly the way to make friends but GPS jammers will not do much, I am just spooked at rent a cops having the option of firing SAMS, now that is scary. Its bad enough some have handguns but SAM's?

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 12:26 AM
Their armament is, as far as I can tell, classified, or at least a somewhat protected secret. I would guess they have anti-material rifles rather than SAMs. They couldn't possibly shoot down an aircraft reliably with pistols, so it's logical they would have some other form of weaponry. If they were expected to shoot the helicopters down using nothing but their side-arms I'd say that should be filed under "Ridiculously Unreasonable Expectations."

Next we'll be hearing about Port Authority police who are expected to sink cargo ships using walkie talkies.

As I said, it's awesome this incident worked out, but it doesn't bode well. It's a bad sign, and an alarm to be sure, hopefully someone in a position of power will notice the issues being raised, and do something to address them.

I bet those pilots are thanking their lucky stars.

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 12:53 AM
I think this story is being blown out of proportion. The headline states "Unidentified Helicopters Nearly Fired Upon Over Nuclear Power Plant" but in the article it states "security forces ... were ready to fire until they realized the choppers belonged to the state police."

So, were the helicopters marked or unmarked? If they were unmarked, who did the guards communicate with to determine the helicopters belonged to the state police? If the guards know the helicopters belong to the police, do you still expect to fire? Would you want the guards to fire at police helicopters that might be tracking escaped prisoners who happened to roam near a nuclear plant?

And what if the guards did fire and shoot down the helicopter? There would be an outcry for why the guards did it. We would all be asking, "How could you mistake a Police Helicopter for terrorists?".

I think the State Police should be scrutinized for flying into restricted airspace. And the pilot should have his license revoked.

I will agree that the security around nuclear plants is nothing more than a facade to make people "feel" safe. But that is also true of 99% of all security that people think they have.

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 01:29 AM
The guards were obligated to fire on the helicopter, and didn't. They realized after some time had passed who was in the choppers. As far as I've been able to gather, the helicopters were unmarked. There were two pilots, and I think they were both trainees. It begs the question, what the hell did they think they were doing?

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 02:00 AM
From the link you have, it is hard determine how much time passed. And there are still many questions that I have. Like, how could you NOT realize you are going over a nuclear plant. And why are any Police flying in unmarked aircraft???

With the little info we have, I firmly believe both (all) pilots involved should have their pilots license revoked and never allowed to fly again. Pilots have maps and many (too many) restricted areas where they can not fly. They should have known better than to get close to the site. They have no excuse, period.

I think it was a case of rookie pilots who thought they could abuse their "power" and fly anywhere they wanted. Just like military pilots who constantly "buzz" radios towers showing off to theirs peers. Then one day day, they hit the tower, or the guy line, and bring down a multi-million dollar aircraft and vital communications to a community.

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 02:07 AM
Like you said, the information in the link isn't enough to form any kind of picture of events, at least not a detailed one. As far as I can tell, the story is available exclusively through that news provider. They'll probably sell the story to one of the news dumps, who will charge money to access it. And another story slips into the memory hole...

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 02:18 AM
they should of taken pot shots at it

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 02:23 AM
In the interest of political correctness, I believe they are now reffered to as 'warning shots.'

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 02:28 AM
Nothing against you. and I'm glad you provided the story. I just think we're not provided with enough information to make a judgment. And it could take some time before we get some real good links with real data considering the parties involved.

Quite commonly I hear helicopters buzz my place and run outside to look. They are very clearly below the 500 foot level that they are to stay above. And most of them are military and police aircraft. There are reasons for the 500 foot minimum and it applies to all, no exceptions. It is clearly abuse of power.

It is a shame to this country when we see this abuse. And when you complain, you get excuses but no written reports and investigations. Of course, the only people to complain to is another government agency that will try to cover up for the other agency. They will tell you the aircraft was marked but it is in "camouflage" ??? Then what is the purpose of marking it???

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 04:34 AM
The pilots probally had a pucker facter of 100 on this one. This just goes to show those who stand up in the press everyday and claim that our nuclear plants are safe are DEAD WRONG. I can't help but ask how long will it be before thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands will die as a direct result of a station being unprepared, underarmed, and underfunded?

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 04:59 AM
Bringing an aircraft down when its violating specific air space is fine if thats what the orders are, but imagine bringing down an aircraft over a nuclear facility.

Maybe thats why they didn't open fire on it. It would have been too dangerous.
Just my thoughts

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 05:05 AM
There orders were to bring down any aircraft approaching the facility. What the actual ROE was in this case is a matter of speculation, since security of nuclear plants is pretty much hush hush.

They were supposed to bring it down before it reached the plant, otherwise, what good would bringing it down at all do? Doesn't make any sense to shoot it down so it crashes into the smokestack.

It's just odd that they were supposed to fire, and decided not to, and THEN found out the helicopters belonged to the State Police.

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 05:16 AM
Quite often at the facility I work in, there are joint exercises, where people take imaginary pot shots at each other.
I'm sorry...couldn't resist.

Usually we have co-ordinated scenarios played out between the military, police and our security teams.

The notion of particular weaponry such as SAMs to bring down threatening aircraft is not 'far out' speculation, but we'll never tell.
All i can say is that after 911 there have been significant in depth improvements.

Could that fly-over have been a sortie to guage the responsiveness of the security forces? IMO...that's exactly what it was.

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 06:07 AM

Originally posted by masqua

Could that fly-over have been a sortie to guage the responsiveness of the security forces? IMO...that's exactly what it was.

Putting rookies in the line of potential live fire? ...Of all the possible explanations, that is the most scary.


posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 07:53 AM
Yeah, I have a hard time believing that the pilots were told to fly in the direction of the nuclear plant to see if anyone tried to shoot them down. It could have been an organized drill, unbeknownst to the security guards, but known to State Police and the security chief of the nuclear facility. This type of training excercise would only work if the chief is the one who has to give the order to fire.

I remember a while back there was a scare a nuclear plant involving a drill. Not everybody was informed, and some people on the staff thought an actual attack was taking place. These sorts of excercises are good for readiness, but bad for the nerves...

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 10:26 AM
There was an incident I remember, from those happy days far before 911, when there was an excercise involving the OPP detachments, both local and special squads, attacking the control room of a 4 unit nuclear facility, containing the unit operators and holding command.

It must have been in the early 80's

The special assault squads dropped out of the ceiling tiles above the control room, totally surprising the staff who knew NOTHING.

Reality check...

I think this type of testing is vital, though it's rarely seen by employees these days. After 911 all security changed, much for the better by defining the weakest barriers.

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 11:15 AM
I do not understand. Since I been coming to this website it seems everyone is against security,but now when security fails everyone starts crying. What if this happened, what if thats right stop worrying. Cant you all see the more you are scared and the more you dont stand behind what you believe (freedom I hope) the worse it is going to get. Security is not going to stop anyone from hurting or destroying are civilization. What it does is just give us a blanket to hold on to and someone to blame. What happened to the world, it seems overnite we becamer scared of evey little thing, when this country at one time was scared of nothing. Whats up people!!!

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