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Can I Get Arrested For This?

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posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 03:54 AM
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Okay, here's my dillemma. I've asked my friends and family about this, and I have gotten mixed answers. I figured I would come here, where some of you have successfully peeped at government facilities.

1) I really, really like to watch airplanes and military jets do touch and goes. I'm sort of like "Rainman" about it. We live about three miles from Hector International Airport, so I get to see the approaches, but I would like a better view. As a gift, my brother took me for a ride two nights ago on a public road that encompasses the airport. There are several dirt patches that would make excellent parking spots, and these dirt patches end with a chain-link fence. One important aspect I would like to add is that there is also a military installation within the airport's borders. However, the only thing that separates me from them is a simple chain-link fence. I have NO INTENTION of climbing this fence, I just want to watch the jumbo's take off and land.

2) Here's the problem. I do not have any felonies or misdemeanors. My record is a clean slate. However, if I get arrested there is a good chance that I would end up in the hospital for a long time. I am on many meds, and my life would go downhill fast if I did not have access to them.

I do not want to have to go to an attorney about this, because it's just a hobby. I am sure there are some of you in cyberspace who may share this hobby, and I am just looking for advice about how to pursue it without ending up being strip-searched and sent to Guantanamo.

Thank you.
Dot




posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 04:00 AM
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If you want not to get into trouble, get a bar stool and sit on it in the back of a pickup adjacent to the fence with a good pair of binoculars. No one can say if you will get caught bypassing the fence. That is ultimately up to you. I have done it before and not got caught, but by no means this gives you license to do the same. You take your own risks in life. If you are so hard up to get a close look at air traffic, contact the airport authority and tell them you are making a documentary. Get a video camera and get permission to get a sweet spot to film the air traffic. You could watch your moments while sitting at home and think how wonderful it was.



posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 04:02 AM
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At first I wondered what country you're in, then I looked up Hector airport. Regardless of all the Patriot Act stuff, this is still the US of A and citizens still have basic rights. A person can't be sent to Guantanamo just for taking pictures from a public road.

Provided it IS a public road...if you want to be sure, simply call the local police and ask them.



posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 04:10 AM
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Thank you for the advice!

Hector International Airport is in Fargo, North Dakota. The only reason it is designated as an international airport is that it has a customs office.

I have no intention of bypassing the fence, though it's the size of a playground fence. A local news reporter did so earlier this year and got arrested and fired from the newspaper. Plus, I have to watch my P's and Q's in everything I do.

I can say for a fact that my brother drove me on a public road. It wasn't an access road, it stretches far into farm country. This road had dirt patches for people who need to turn around. Most of the farm roads have these turnaround patches.

My S/O just happens to have an old pickup. My only problem now will be getting him to let me drive it. Up in these parts, you do not let anyone drive your truck, especially the missus..

LOL.

Looking forward to it.. too bad it's November up here. I'll have to wait until spring.

Thanks everyone.
Dot.

Edited to add the airport location and why it is called "Hector International."

[edit on 22-11-2004 by dotgov101]



posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 04:40 AM
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Have you considered just calling the local law enforcement office and telling them the same thing you told us? They would probably say they dont see anything wrong with it, and they should have no problem giving you a written statement saying you asked if you would be breaking any laws and that they replied they were aware of none. I may have a problem with authority, but I still think that for the most part cops can be decent about things like this. If they say they cant give you the statement, call the mayors office and ask why they arent able to, I would bet money they would, and enough people would remember talking to you about it to keep you out of Cuba.

Good luck



posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 08:03 AM
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ummmm.... not sure what would happen,depends really what aircraft you were photographing,there was a load of brits detained in greece not so long ago who were plane spotting and were arrested for being spys,they were released eventually but i know there was a lot of trouble about it!



posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 08:36 AM
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I won't be taking pictures. Even if I'd wanted to, my camera would just display a gray smear. What everyone driving by would see is:

A 28 year-old, licensed (with NO violations) woman sitting on her registered, current, heavily-insured car looking up at the sky just outside the airport perimeter, in broad daylight.

I just want to make completely sure that I will not be arrested. The Patriot Act is so loosely-worded that it seems as though the possibility still exists. However, the police up here are real-llllyyyy lenient, and (no offense) are more concerned with poaching right now instead of terrorism. Don't get me wrong, they're good cops.

And, it isn't as though I'll be parked outside of O'Hare, JFK, or Reagan National with a Polaroid. But I guess the best idea would be to get a written statement from a higher-up that I am a harmless individual who has a hobby of looking at airplanes.

My lord, the United States has changed so much.
Dot.



posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 08:46 AM
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I would definitely contact law officials as to what you can and cannot do. In the Detroit area, since 911, it is against the law to photograph or videotape the Ambassador Bridge -- a border crossing between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario Canada.

I am certain that there must be millions of photos and videotapes of the bridge taken before 911 but now, in the post 911 atmosphere, this is now a serious offense. Before I continued a seemingly innocent hobby, such as photographing planes, I'd check it out. In fact, I would contact the airport authorities. Perhaps there is a flying club affiliated with the airport who would understand this shared affinity for planes. They might be most accomodating by allowing you to use their hangar from which to view planes, departures and take-offs



posted on Nov, 25 2004 @ 06:50 PM
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I have been to my local airport before and watched the helicopters there without any problems, they even gave me a tour trough the hangers and what not! but this was pre-9/11...

But I see nothing wrong with you watching planes behind a fence, they might have a problem with taking pictures though like most were saying...



posted on Nov, 25 2004 @ 11:34 PM
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Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
I would definitely contact law officials as to what you can and cannot do. In the Detroit area, since 911, it is against the law to photograph or videotape the Ambassador Bridge -- a border crossing between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario Canada.



No kidding? I used to live in the Detroit area. We had some Australians come visit us (my pen pal and her family--and her mother and my mother were pen pals) and they went with us to Windsor in '90, and we were videotaping each other by the Detroit River. Since they were from Australia they had to show passports and they did a quick but thorough search of my mother's car, but no hassle.

Times have changed, haven't they? I certainly wouldn't dream of blowing things up or any other act of terrorism. But thanks for the heads-up. Now I know what not to tape when I visit Detroit!



posted on Nov, 25 2004 @ 11:58 PM
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Hello Dot :

I'm a license Radio Amateur and radio scanning is one
of my hobbies I scann ,Police ,E.M.S. , Fire, F.B.I. ,D.E.A.
and ...yes aircraft. Sometimes I go to the Luis Munos Rivera
intrn. airport to hear what I can't from my home. I usualy
park by the fence. Up to now I haven't had any problems
I figure that if any one tells me something I'll show them
my Radio Amateur license.
Be careful use comon sence what will you do if YOU were the
police officer? Put your self in their shoes...and after 9/11
who knows. Like evrybody else is telling you ...just ask.



posted on Nov, 27 2004 @ 12:42 PM
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Based on what you have said I probably wouldn't take a chance with it. Anything related to a military complex would likely result in you being detained if not arrested for a period of time.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 04:57 AM
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I don't see anything happening. If you're not touching the fence and/or outside the base and not on their property, then do whatever. I think people tend to get a little too James Bondish with this whole looking at military bases thing.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 05:39 AM
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My best advice has already been said here by others, take the most public route possible to make sure you will not be mistook for anything else then just an aircraft hobbyist.

Call the local authorites, and explain without too much personal details, that you just admire planes and would like to watch them.

You know really honesty is the best policy, my young padawan.

Cheers,

-ADHDsux4me



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 12:56 PM
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I don't have any links or anything but I know that you can
no longer do this at Lambert Internationl Airport in St. Louis
if they catch you looking through binoculars expect to be harrassed
at least around here. I have several friends who have been detained and
held without charges for 24 hours for doing this.

It bums me out really some of the best times of my life were at the end of the runway here watching planes take off and land and just taking in the power that these giant beasts have.


geo



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 08:34 PM
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Based on my knowledge of the hobby in the States, you're not going to have any major problems. Even if it is a military facility.

You may well be approached and asked what you're doing. Just tell them the truth, be courteous and if asked to move...do so.

People are used to "plane-nuts" by and large you'll have no difficulty in most of the world. The example quoted earlier of those arrested in Greece, was in my opinion an over reaction by the Greek Security Forces, however (also IMO) it was in reaction to gross abuse of privelege by some of the enthusiasts involved.



posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 12:22 PM
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Im going to have to agree with most everyone else on this one, ask to be safe. But, IMHO, paranoia on this subject is just that, paranoia. If you arent doing anything illegal, then you have no worries. I still watch air traffic, and the worst Ive been told is I was on airport property and if i wanted to watch id have to move on. When i asked politely where to watch from, the officer told me to simply move across the street, that that wasnt owned by the airport, and unless the property owner called and complained, they couldnt do anything about it unless i looked severely suspicious.



posted on Dec, 19 2004 @ 06:32 PM
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the govt can't do anything about your hobby......I know that if you want to watch civilian aircraft do landings and even military aircraft do the same then is not a problem unless is posted ..... I was stationed (let's just say overseas) and there were aircraft there that you could not photograph....was a federal offence to do so and the air police would arrest you and confiscate your camera....and this was even with my being in the military......I can say that these air craft no longer fly on the missions intended and seems like any air craft museum worth its salt has one that you can get close up and personal with.....lol...Unless you are trespassing on govt. property they cannot do anything to you...I hope this helps.....wyo.



posted on Dec, 19 2004 @ 06:36 PM
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If you need a legal opinion, the last thing you should do is ask this forum. What you need to do is talk to a lawyer. I'm not a lawyer, but majored in law, and working in a sort of paralegal capacity, am well aware of the danger of getting opinions from the unqualified.



posted on Dec, 19 2004 @ 06:50 PM
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Originally posted by latinwolf
Hello Dot :

I'm a license Radio Amateur and radio scanning is one
of my hobbies I scann ,Police ,E.M.S. , Fire, F.B.I. ,D.E.A.
and ...yes aircraft. Sometimes I go to the Luis Munos Rivera
intrn. airport to hear what I can't from my home. I usualy
park by the fence. Up to now I haven't had any problems
I figure that if any one tells me something I'll show them
my Radio Amateur license.
Be careful use comon sence what will you do if YOU were the
police officer? Put your self in their shoes...and after 9/11
who knows. Like evrybody else is telling you ...just ask.



i listen to the scanner too, even thought you have a amateur license this doesnt mean you can take your police scanner in your vehicle because its illegal even thought you have the license, lets say police or security come up to your vehicle and ask you why you have a police scanner in your car you would show the license which is ok for transmitting on radios but on a scanner you cannot transmit you can only listen in... thats not good enought proof for a cop because its illegal to have one in your car for obvious reasons the cop will take away your scanner and you will probly get a fine aswell... plus dea and fbi frequencies are encrypted not trying to make you looks stupid just want to clear this up.. and dotgove your best guess would be to call up the airport and ask for permission i know it sounds idiotic but try it, the worst that can happen is they will say no..

[edit on 19-12-2004 by ShadowMan]




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