Ok, this one's weird.
May 29, 2002 8:19 PM   Subscribe

Ok, this one's weird. On May 11, "Jacksonville, Fla., police arrested a Fort Stewart soldier after finding him armed, wearing black clothes and leaving a power plant where he allegedly left an explosive." The story got a tiny bit of play, but searches at CNN and FoxNews turn up no sign of it, despite the possible terror angle and a bond set at $5 million. Days later, a follow-up story (can't find the original) quotes a detective saying, "This has been blown way out of proportion." Bizarre cover-up? Or really nothing worth mentioning?
posted by mediareport (13 comments total)
Covert security test gone wrong?
posted by krisjohn at 8:27 PM on May 29, 2002

I remember hearing about this on the radio (I'm from Jacksonville), but it is true—there hasn't been much talk about it after the story initially broke.
posted by oaf at 8:28 PM on May 29, 2002

I'm from Jacksonville

Is there a nuke plant nearby? Krisjohn may be right. Here in NC, we found out about a recent security breach on a radioactive waste transport train only after a scientist stumbled onto the incident report while searching for something else in the NRC's online archive.
posted by mediareport at 8:50 PM on May 29, 2002

so, the real question is: rogue or provocateur?
posted by dorian at 9:06 PM on May 29, 2002

There are no nuclear plants near Jacksonville. The closest is on the Gulf Coast. Map.
posted by rcade at 9:12 PM on May 29, 2002

I'm also from sunny Slacksonville. We don't have any nuclear plants nearby, though there are several underground warheads near our military base.

Anyway, the story on the news was that the guy was doing some kind of bizarre research/homework assignment on anti-terrorist security and was not an actual threat.

Or was he...
posted by Xkot at 9:13 PM on May 29, 2002

St. Augustine here. I'm sorry I missed the local news stations, which were no doubt wetting themselves with glee at the initial possibility this was related to the WAR ON TERROR!
posted by rcade at 9:27 PM on May 29, 2002

Could this be "Operation Northwoods II?"
posted by goodhelp at 1:21 AM on May 30, 2002

If you're really curious, perhaps you can call the reporter who initially covered the story:

Military reporter Noelle Phillips can be reached at phillips @ savannahnow.com or 652-0366.

Strange, perhaps, but to quote Homer: "Yeah, but what are ya gonna do...?"
posted by davidmsc at 3:21 AM on May 30, 2002

If you're really curious, perhaps you can call the reporter who initially covered the story

I'm more curious about why this story didn't get wider attention in the early stages, regardless of the eventual outcome. You'd think a black-clad soldier + explosives + a power plant would earn at least a little national media attention. Especially so soon after everyone's least favorite Fight Club fan was caught.

Did anyone see any national coverage of this story?
posted by mediareport at 4:28 AM on May 30, 2002

[oh, I emailed the reporter, too.]
posted by mediareport at 4:43 AM on May 30, 2002

Perhaps the lack of coverage was due to the relatively small explosive he planted -- "equal in power to a half-stick of dynamite" -- which wasn't even armed. Or the fact it wasn't really planted at a power plant or near power lines. Somehow, I don't expect the national presses to ground to a halt for "Man Plants Non-Armed Small Explosive on Isolated Dirt Road."
posted by rcade at 5:24 AM on May 30, 2002

I'm still left wondering why the first round of stories didn't get more play, rcade. It's not every day that black-clad soldiers engage in an "attack" while leaving explosive devices lying around. Was he acting as part of a training mission? If so, who's responsible? We recently saw a soldier killed nearby when a local cop didn't know he was part of a training mission and shot him as he went for his gun. That alone makes me wish for deeper coverage of this one. Seems to me this should have registered at least a blip; national media have gnawed for weeks on much less interesting stories.
posted by mediareport at 11:19 AM on May 30, 2002

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