04-01-2021, 10:56 AM
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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One of the (few) rules in the Paul Bunyan thread is to stay topical.  

Today being April 1, I could not resist sharing the following, but I do so outside the Paul Bunyan thread.  

This week, I was engaged in an exciting out-of-“town” business project; I had advised a few close friends with whom I communicate almost daily that my space would be dark for a few days, that is, incommunicado.  I returned last evening, and one of those friends asked what had been up.  Here (edited) was my reply:  

Quote:Welcome home.

This is all we get on the covert op?

More to come, but there are very strong restrictions as to what we can divulge.

Not well publicized (OBVIOUSLY, for national security raisins, to maintain the grape-est level of security), the intelligence community maintains a small fleet of specialty aircraft to ferry agents and their equipment to hotspots around the globe; some of the aircraft are quite exotic, like the Mach 5 (cruising speed five times the speed of sound) plane that we boarded Tuesday morning.  Because many of our assignments are in metropolitan areas, and some of the aircraft require long runways to take off, the intelligence aircraft are dressed in the "livery" (aircraft terminology) of regular commercial aircraft to avoid suspicion when they take off from, or land at, commercial airports.  Some of the most complex and sophisticated technology in those airplanes are the modular skins around the underlying airframes that collapse and fold into compartments in the fuselage once the planes have achieved sufficient altitude to be all but invisible from the ground, and which unfold and reassemble around the plane high up in its landing glide path. 

However, even the very best of intelligence security officers sometimes commit slip-ups from time to time.  The as-the-crow-flies distance from Portland to Salt Lake City is between 600 or 700 miles, and the flight between those cities consumes about one and a half to two hours, take-off to touch-down.  Our remote assignment required that most of the flight take place at very high altitude. traveling at around the Mach 5 cruising speed; but the flight information screen in the cabin — correctly, but, one assumes, not intentionally — displayed the true flight manifest distance for the actual flight that we boarded (the distance shown in the attached photo).  Probably, some employee's head will roll for the SNAFU.

[Image: 4lo3R2I.jpg]
Even Homer sometimes nods; or, as the Japanese say, "even monkeys fall out of trees."

Mel S. "as usual, Jim, if your operation is exposed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge" Meles
[This message posted on April 1]

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 04-01-2021, 05:48 PM
  • Garb
  • Senior Member
  • Oregon
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Interesting story and I for one knew you were above board on some of this. LOL

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