What's Suspicious?
April 19, 2006 1:35 PM   Subscribe

Atlanta Airport Security Gets Suspicious, Makes National News! In light of past false alarms, flubs, and missed threats, what do you think the "Suspicious Object" in Atlanta Airport is?
posted by BigLankyBastard (17 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: how about we wait until they actually find something?

Here in Bastardland, we're betting it's one of those beanbag-bottomed lapdesks.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 1:38 PM on April 19, 2006

"It's a dildo. Of course it's company policy never to, imply ownership in the event of a dildo... always use the indefinite article 'a dildo,' never 'your dildo.'"
posted by keswick at 1:40 PM on April 19, 2006

This sculpture was on the floor in a corner at the whitney biennial. Maybe the suspicious object was modern art.
posted by jrb223 at 1:41 PM on April 19, 2006

A thermal detonator?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:42 PM on April 19, 2006

My theory:

One of the Canadian/European born Atlanta Thrashers were flying home for the summer after not making the playoffs this year and accidentally dropped a hockey puck.

That is all.
posted by Shfishp at 1:46 PM on April 19, 2006

I hope it's a durian.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:47 PM on April 19, 2006

I hope it's a Duran Duran
posted by devbrain at 1:52 PM on April 19, 2006

Maybe it's a merkin!
posted by Shfishp at 1:55 PM on April 19, 2006

I bet it's a clue.
posted by wakko at 1:57 PM on April 19, 2006

posted by keswick at 2:01 PM on April 19, 2006

posted by docpops at 2:01 PM on April 19, 2006

OK. So there was a suspicious object in something in the x-ray machine. Why did they shut down the whole airport? Did they think the skilled screeners might have missed something gone through the machines earlier? Did they think that other suspicious objects were in the line waiting to get through?
posted by birdherder at 2:03 PM on April 19, 2006

Bomb, birdherder. That would be enough to evacuate. Or any kind of nerve agent canister. It's really not hard to find many options that might cause an evacuation.
posted by NationalKato at 2:09 PM on April 19, 2006

Why did they shut down the whole airport?

Because of ATL's layout. One huge security area, then a train ride to the five (IIRC) terminal buildings. So, if you're thinking bomb, you have to close the security area, now nobody can pass through.

This means, of course, that nobody gets to any of the ATL concourses. I presume they evacuated the landside part of the terminal, and possibly the airside of the first concourse, which is attached directly. (once again, I recall, but may be wrong -- been a long time since I flew into ATL) but left everyone airside out in the far concourses -- and with the train shut down, that's where you would stay.

The big bitch, of course, is that this vaporlocked ATL -- the only airport that competes with ORD for "busiest", as defined by number of takeoffs and landings. (Basically, ORD wins unless the thunderstorms that year are bad or the UAL pilots are bastards.) That pretty much screws up the whole air network when you suddenly leave 100 some planes an hour not moving.

Most other airports would have been able to shut down the terminal, but keep the rest of the terminals moving. But ATL and DEN are both the One Big Building with remote concourses, and if you have to shut down the security lines, you've shut the entire airport down to traffic.
posted by eriko at 2:13 PM on April 19, 2006

It could be anything. One of these water quality sensors shut down the Ottawa airport about a year and a half ago. A university student was traveling with it and the security staff freaked.
posted by bonehead at 2:14 PM on April 19, 2006

Wow, that sucks.

My bet:

Baby Murloc! (png) What.. you've never heard an angry Murloc? (mp3) I'd clear the whole airport, too.

(Media props to WoWWiki)
posted by cavalier at 2:19 PM on April 19, 2006

Nine times out of ten it's an electric razor, but every once in a while...

I saw some comedian talking about how there is a pre-recorded voice on the shuttle doors at the ATL shuttle that says “You are being delayed because the door mechanism has been interfeared with.”
He likes to stick his foot in the door before it closes and yell “WHY ARE WE BEING DELAYED!!?!?”

So maybe it has something to do with that.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:28 PM on April 19, 2006

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