hkgspotter1
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British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 3:35 pm

FROM THE BBC !!

-----------------------------------------

UK tourists detained in Greece


The arrests came after an air show

By Paul Wood in Athens

Twelve British citizens have been arrested in Greece and may face charges of spying.

The twelve, eleven men and one woman, are being held in a jail in Kalamata, in the southern Peloponnese.

They are due to appear in court on Monday.

British diplomats in Athens are puzzled and, in the words of one source, deeply baffled as to the exact circumstances behind their detention.

They were arrested on Thursday, near the air base at Kalamata, where there had just been an air show.

'Film seized'

The original charge was taking photographs in a restricted area, although British officials are concerned that this has now been hardened to a charge of spying.

The group have told diplomats they didn't have cameras, only binoculars.

But Greek sources say that film has been seized, showing pictures of aircraft.

The 12 are being held in the local jail attached to the police station in Kalamata, where conditions are said to be good.

Their lawyer has reportedly expressed confidence that the whole affair will turn out to be a misunderstanding - plane-spotting gone wrong, and not a major spying scandal.

----------------------------------------

Thats crazy, what the hell would the British be doing spying in Greece ???
 
GDB
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 5:19 pm

It's well known in the UK that airports in Greece do not welcome people hanging around and taking photos, so these clowns were warned.
For all their rather paranoid 'anti-terrorism' measures, the Greek security services have never arrested ONE terrorist in over 25 years.
Being British won't help these spotters, despite being a NATO member, the organisation is unpopular there.
 
bluewhite
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 5:39 pm

I was in Greece in Sep. Binos were ok (i used small 8x30's) in the terminal and I peered around like a tourist. However, at Rhodes, when I took out a camera to snap a Yak42, I got yelled at by some security guy.
There is some military stuff there too, so maybe thats why. Heraklion (Crete) was OK and my car got moved on for stopping on the roadside, rather than for my spotting.

Discretion is key and a good memory to remember the reg's until you can write them down, I guess...

BW
 
tsully
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 6:20 pm

What's in Greece that's worth spying on?  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Sounds like a big misunderstanding to me, but you can't be too careful anymore.
I love America. I guess that makes me Bush's poodle, but I'd rather be a dog in New York City than a prince in Riyadh.
 
LJ
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 6:24 pm

This is why all spotters should keep a low profile and take extreme caution while doing their hobby. Don't forget we're at war at this moment and it's not strange that the military doesn't like spotters at this moment.

Regards
Laurens
 
GDB
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 6:50 pm

This sort of thing has happened before sept 11th.
 
yka
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 6:55 pm

Why is the security always thoughest in the least developed countries? They likely dont have anything useful to offer to the proposed spy in the first place.
 
hkg_clk
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 7:44 pm

I guess all spotters should be a little cautious nowadays. You don't want to give the police an excuse to arrest you!!
See my homepage for a comprehensive guide to spotting and photography at HKG
 
nfx
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 7:47 pm

whooo lj - i didn`t know holland is at war now... Big grin
 
hkgspotter1
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 8:08 pm

Lets just hope this gets cleared up ASAP. Those guys must be very worried at this moment.
 
flyinghighboy
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 8:08 pm

Happened to me, I was on a BA flight from LGW to Athens, landed, since we had to go down stairs and walk to the terminal, I took a chance to take a photo of the 757 i was on. Looked nice so I took a snap shot, up comes running a guard telling me not to do it again. I guess I got lucky that I didn't have my camera taken off me but no one said anything about taking photos.
Though I guess i probably didn't hear properly on the plane but I remember hearing the captain saying that we weren't allowed to take photos of the country while flying over Greek airspace. Hmm, either i was a bit tired or he did say that.
 
Guest

RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 8:13 pm

Remember that Turkey and Greece are still officially at war over Cyprus - this is the reason why there's all this security. That said, the Greeks have a very active terrorist organisation who, amongst others, have assassinated the British Military Attache - yet none have been caught.

If I was a cynic, I'd say that they have their priorities the wrong way around!  Insane  Insane  Insane
 
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VapourTrails
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 8:25 pm

This incident is just ludicrous. What were the authorities thinking? Sounds like Greece is not the place to go spotting!!
-VapourTrails =
 
dvintiadis
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YKA

Sun Nov 11, 2001 8:54 pm

YKA i would strongly advice you not to use words that are difficult for you to understand.Greece, A least develloped country?????Give me a break and please,please try finding a few things about Greece before you open you stupid mouth!
 
Guest

RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 8:59 pm

YKA - actually, Greece - the home of Plato, Homer and Archimedes - is the birthplace of civilisation and philosophy.
 
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BNE
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 9:48 pm

What I want to know were these spotters members of airliners.net, hope they are ok, and won't they have a good holiday trip report to tell all there friends when they get back.
Why fly non stop when you can connect
 
voodoo
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 10:18 pm

There is a level of paranoia in Greece because there has been a fairly constant state of tension with Turkey since.... a long time ago. Even tho both Greece and Turkey are in NATO. I can understand it to a certain extent but they should be more leniant at bases which are also tourist destinations.

I was once (back in the `80s) told off by an Olympic Airways flight attendant (who had an Australian accent!) for trying to take a photo of an Interflug Tu-134, at Heraklion.
Gee, I hope the Interflug pilots were as consciencious at not photographing the details of that shared NATO base!
` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
 
hkgspotter1
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Sun Nov 11, 2001 10:55 pm

They seem to be in a bit of bother.

=================================

Again from the BBC.

Twelve British citizens are due to appear in court in Greece on Monday on espionage charges, apparently after a plane spotting holiday went disastrously wrong.

The 11 men and one woman, all with an organisation called Touchdown Tours, are being held in a jail in Kalamata, in the southern Peloponnese.

Diplomats say they are being well treated. The Britons have been allowed to speak to relatives, and the British Consul will attend the court hearing.

Puzzled

Puzzled British diplomats have been talking to the detainees, to try to establish exactly what happened.

Officials say it looks as if they were a harmless group of respectable plane-spotters, but there is concern that the Greeks could take a more serious view.

They were arrested following an air show at the military base, near the southern town of Kalamata on Thursday.

The initial charge was taking photographs in a restricted area, but worryingly that was later changed to a more serious charge of spying.

British diplomats say they understand the group did have a written invitation to attend the air show, but one which would have included a strict no-photography clause.

The group have denied taking any photographs and say they were using only binoculars.

However, diplomats are worried about a report that they had already been cautioned in Athens for a similar offence and about a claim from Greek police sources that notebooks were seized containing details of several military airports.

A lawyer for the group has expressed confidence that it is all a misunderstanding, and that Greek British relations are not about to be troubled by a major spying scandal.
 
bluewhite
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Mon Nov 12, 2001 1:23 am

The "paranoia" in Greece IS due to its relations with Turkey. A good example - arrived in Rhodes, chatting to the taxi driver - I said "Isn't that Turkey over there?" and his response was "So what? We can take'em on."

I transitted thru Cyprus and was using the binos to read off the Eurocypria's etc (thru the rear door - not allowed to disembark naturally!!) when the crew warned me to stop, saying that if I was seen by the local officials, I'd be taken in for questioning. They really thought that I was inviting trouble for reading off reggies...........Amazing.

BW
 
olympicEagle
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Mon Nov 12, 2001 2:57 am

Yka you moron...please open a history book and go to the first page..tell me what you will see....of course the birthplace of civilization---Greece. Dunno where your from but you sound an uneducated being.

OA411
 
G-CIVP
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Mon Nov 12, 2001 5:17 am

Er the irony of this episode is that the tour organiser visited the same air-base this time last year, with a group of mil-spotters, and by judging from the firm's web-site, took numerous photographs with relative ease!! (no doubt, with permission!) To be realistic, its got nothing to do with a country named after a feathered bird.
 
Guest

Greece Developed?

Mon Nov 12, 2001 5:46 am

Greece may be the birthplace of "Western" civilisation but it's far far away from being a developed country now. Sure it's in the EU and all but there's still a lot they've got to do to get on par with the rest of Europe and even with places such as Ireland. I'd say, in terms of developedness, Greece is similar to Portugal. Both have a rich cultural heritage but that's not to mean that they can recline and relax now.

Ceilidh by the way, Turkey and Greece have not been "officially" at war since 1923 when modern Turkey was founded. Yea there's a lot of tension and both sides are suspicious of one another but that's a far cry from war. The sitation is much better now than it has been in the eighties let's say.

Basically what I'm saying about the developedness issue: Being the birthplace of Homer, Plato, Aristotle etc. doesn't really mean that much today except a proud past, and an ancient one at that, the recent past of Greece has been far from "proud".
 
tsully
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RE: Greece Developed?

Mon Nov 12, 2001 6:36 am

Greece is certainly not third world, but neither is she a fully developed, westernized civilization. On the same note, just because Athens was the birthplace to "thought", does not qualify modern-day Greece as being developed as some have asserted.

On a separate note, some countries are just very picky on picture taking. I once flew BA into SVO and was told by the captain (during a cockpit visit) that I would be unable to take a picture of the cockpit mid-flight. I merely wanted a shot of the captain and F/O with the sunrise out the cockpit windows. His concern was that we were flying over one of the former USSR countries, where aerial photography is prohibited. I thought his reasoning was ridiculous, considering a) the picture I wanted to take was of the cockpit and clouds - not of the land below. AND b) It would be completely impossible to determine our locale from the picture.

Anyway, you cannot argue with the captain, so what can you do...
I love America. I guess that makes me Bush's poodle, but I'd rather be a dog in New York City than a prince in Riyadh.
 
Heinz
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Mon Nov 12, 2001 7:54 am

I was at the old Hellenikon airport for a week of spotting about two years ago.
What bugged me was that, besides the military and police, there were a whole bunch of self-appointed policemen (i.e. civilians who happened to pass by) who kept telling me that photography was prohibited.
The only real "safe" place seemed to be the pool deck of the Emmantina Hotel.
One time, as the green Analinda 707 was lining up for take-off, some Greek spotters and I were taking pictures at the crash gate on the Glyfada side. Police passed by and, after an argument with the Greek spotters, let me know through the Greek spotters that photography was only permitted to Greeks and not to me.
And I thought we were all in the E.U....
In addition, on the way to Athens, we had a stopover at SKG. During transit, I was walking around the lower level of the terminal with my camera around my neck. As I approached the window, the guy from the money changer booth (!!!) stormed out of his booth to signal me that photography was prohibited and that I had store my camera in my bag. (Does he work for the secret police ??)
Any similar experiences ?
Heinz
 
delta-flyer
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying

Mon Nov 12, 2001 8:26 am

I am sure that this incident will negatively impact their tourist industry if it intensifies tomorrow. Let's keep an eye on it.

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
yka
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Mon Nov 12, 2001 8:36 am

I didnt say Greece was the least developed country in all the world, I simply said that the most useless countries in the world have the toughest security....which in turn puzzles me since I cannot see what they could possibly protect from a camera. Still Greece is not as developed as other Eurpean countrys and is acting like the least developed of counties(including afghanistan) by arresting spotters. Frankly, I wouldn't be suprised if they executed them. So take it easy and spare me the insults.


P.S. my dad lived a few years in Greece(Athens) so I know a few things.
 
hkgspotter1
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Mon Nov 12, 2001 10:08 am



YKA,

You are a very funny. Just two days ago you made a claim that SINGAPORE and HONG KONG are third world countries !!!.

Have you ever left the village you live in ??. How many 70+ floor buildings are there in your town ??, do you have a world leading stock market ??

Best Regards
Daryl
(From the third world dump called HONG KONG)
 
CX Flyboy
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Mon Nov 12, 2001 10:29 am

Canada? That's that place where everyone lives in log cabins in the woods right? (No offence to other Canadians!)
 
9V-SVA
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Mon Nov 12, 2001 11:28 am

Wow YKA, I never knew my home country Singapore was third world! Check up your facts before making a claim YKA, which means idiot in Russian I believe.

HKGspotter, he doesn't live in a town,he lives in a dumpster!

9V-SVA  Big thumbs up
(From the third-world dump called SINGAPORE)

9V-SVA | B772ER
 
hkgspotter1
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Mon Nov 12, 2001 11:31 am

Well SVA,

We do have are CX / SQ problems but at least we both agree we live in Third World dumps !!

Rgds
Daryl
(From the worlds best Third World hell hole)
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Mon Nov 12, 2001 11:40 am

Well YKA, most here would spare you the insults, if you would stop dumping on their countries. BTW, you might also want to do your research on Singapore and Hong Kong before making such comments.

I would also hazard to guess that there might be quite a few Greeks who will take issue with you implying that their country 'useless'!

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
nfx
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Mon Nov 12, 2001 12:16 pm

so sva perhaps YOU do some reserach and look up what other people tell you before you believe everything they say!

btw singapore is much further away from a democratic country as greece is!
 
9V-SVA
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Mon Nov 12, 2001 2:32 pm

Nix: Singapore is more democratic than Greece. At least airport police don't arrest people like us for "spying".

9V-SVA  Big thumbs up
(From the second-best third-world hellhole)
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OA412
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YKA

Mon Nov 12, 2001 2:33 pm

Apparently you know very little if you are comparing Greece with Afghanistan. Last I checked Greece is a democracy whereas Afghanistan is well... Any by the way, don't count on them executing those Brits. The death penalty was outlawed in 1993.
Hughes Airwest - Top Banana In The West
 
Guest

Lortab 7.5mg

Mon Nov 12, 2001 3:14 pm

You're thinking of an inaccurate and notorious movie, Midnight Express. The director of that movie personally admitted that facts had been twisted and exaggerated.

Before you pass idiotic comments about the notoriety of foreign prisons, take a few minutes to read this

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/14415/
 
Lortab 7.5mg
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RE: Everett, WA

Mon Nov 12, 2001 3:59 pm

You're thinking of an inaccurate and notorious movie, Midnight Express.

Wrong! I was referring to "Airplane".


Capt. Oveur: You ever been in a cockpit before?

Joey: No sir, I've never been up in a plane before.

Capt. Oveur: You ever seen a grown man naked?

Capt. Oveur: Joey, have you ever been to a Turkish prison?


Now who's the idiot?!?!  Big grin
 Big grin
 
buckfifty
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Mon Nov 12, 2001 4:19 pm

It's funny how these threads turns into nation bashing, full of armchair experts with very little people with knowledge of what those places are actually like.

Not to mention all the bashing going on between the Aussies and the Kiwis (or others) over Ansett. This has really gone too far.

Let's just stick to airplane talk, and begone with it. This is a civil aviation forum, not a UN forum.

Though I do find it funny how spotters can be charged with spying. I think all this is more a symbolic gesture than anything, just to scare people off. I highly doubt these charges will be carried through.

They must be pissing their pants in their cell...
 
voodoo
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Time For Constructive Action

Mon Nov 12, 2001 7:48 pm

I agree with BuckFifty that turning this thread into nation bashing is silly.

Instead we should all spend a few minutes writing a (very polite) e-mail to our local Greek tourist office/embassy stating that we are concerned to hear that some plane spotters have been arrested and that this will deter us from visiting Greece.
Some spotters are a bit foolish and get themselves in trouble. Nevertheless this sort of letter writing campaign should be a regular event whenever one of `us' gets arbitrarily arrested/hauled in. Be it in Toronto or Timbuktu. (e.g. viz. Mr. Gupta in Thailand a few weeks ago).
Eventually this (world wide) archaic security paranoia might actually reduce somewhat. If military people want to keep things secret they should simply be more secretive and not go for people who are perfectly open about their hobby.
` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
 
Banco
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Mon Nov 12, 2001 9:00 pm

Delta Flyer, I'm afraid you are mistaken if you think that this incident will damage Greece's tourism industry. The fact is, the public at large think that spotters, be they aircraft, train or other, are a bunch of sad cases who should get a life.

Put simply, I suspect that a lot of people will think this is rather funny, providing the Greek government ultimately do what I would expect, which is give them a dressing down and then tell them to shove off.

Fans of aviation are a pretty small group, it might put you off going, but not your average holidaymaker.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Yorkie
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Mon Nov 12, 2001 10:00 pm

I used to know some of these guys. They are hardcore military enthusiasts, who tour around the air force bases in a minibus. They don't really fit the description of an organised tour in the usual sense (my opinion).

Perhaps part of the problem is their trip last year - now I don't know whether they had permission to take military photos but they have also posted many of them on the www. Perhaps more serious from the authorities' point of view is that they also posted an apparent complete list of serials at each base on their web site right up to front-line squadrons (e.g. F-16). I would class them as number-takers who take pictures as trophy evidence of their sightings rather than A.NET contributors who tend to be the opposite.

p.s. I keep reading postings on A.NET implying that spotters / photographers have the right to do as they wish and that police etc are being kill-joys. Get real! When / if the next outrage occurs, would you be the person in authority who could have prevented it? or would you think, better safe than sorry? We have got a lot of enjoyment from this hobby in the past. But that's all it is with me - a hobby. The aviation industry doesn't exist for my leisure time benefit. Let's hope things can get a bit more relaxed in a couple of years' time.





 
Guest

RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Tue Nov 13, 2001 4:21 am

Are talking about Homer Simpson? I presume so.
 
yka
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Tue Nov 13, 2001 4:56 am

Singapore and Hong Kong are citys that for some reason are callled countrys. Basicly their overpopulated, poluted and full of people living in third world conditions. I saw the documentries. Both are the last places I would want to live in. Ohh and hongkongspotters point about me calling SQ and CQ third world, i had to say something to piss him off after he started whining about there beign too many C3 topics.

p.s. its pretty hard to use a computer in a dumpster.....morons.
 
Trident
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Tue Nov 13, 2001 6:14 am

ANY country can be considered risky when carrying out "spotting" activities. Even the UK, where spotting is a well known (if not respected) past-time can have its problems. About twenty years ago, a number of Irish spotters were detained in Britain when they pulled up outside an RAF base and started taking pictures of the Gloster Javelin fighter on Gate Guard duty. Obviously, they were totally innocent of any misdemeanours but they were given a thorough grilling by the RAF police (their car was partly dismantled for checking). Having spoken to some of the individuals involved, I can assure you they were extremely frightened at the time.

I have always exercised extreme caution when "looking over the fence", particularly in Continental Europe. Plane spotting as a hobby is almost totally unique to Britain with smaller "enclaves" in Ireland, Holland and Switzerland, and is generally not understood elsewhere.
 
Olympic A-340
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Tue Nov 13, 2001 6:26 am

"I didnt say Greece was the least developed country in all the world, I simply said that the most useless countries in the world have the toughest security...."
Wow YKA, I will join my Greek comrades in saying what an uneducated oaf you are. Is Greece really one of the "most useless" countries in the world? What a scholar you must be!...Keep those great comments coming you moron.
 
9V-SVA
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Tue Nov 13, 2001 10:36 am

Singapore and Hong Kong are citys that for some reason are callled countrys. Basicly their overpopulated, poluted and full of people living in third world conditions. I saw the documentries. Both are the last places I would want to live in. Ohh and hongkongspotters point about me calling SQ and CQ third world, i had to say something to piss him off after he started whining about there beign too many C3 topics.

Oh Singapore is overpopulated isn't it? WE live in dumps that we call apartments do we? Well, I suggest you COME TO SINGAPORE and take a look. It is far from what you said about it.

I have been to Hong Kong and people DO NOT LIVE IN DUMPS AS WELL! YOU OUGHT TO BE DELETED FROM THIS FORUM.

9V-SVA

9V-SVA | B772ER
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Tue Nov 13, 2001 11:11 am

It amazes me that someone who has probably never been to Singapore, Hong Kong or even Greece would even make these moronic statements! Basing all of his knowledge of the world around him on so-called documentaries. Then I suppose that Canada is a frozen wasteland, and Polar bears roam the streets of Toronto and Ottawa when they get bored with Churchill! Give me a break!  Yeah sure


Well YKA, have you ever been to any of the countries mentioned . How about my home of Texas ? Any pearls of wisdom that would like to enlighten the world about the Lone Star State ?

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
CX Flyboy
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Tue Nov 13, 2001 11:29 am

YKA,

You are a twit. A complete twit. You say in your profile that you wish to become a commercial pilot. If are ever in my cockpit acting as such a moron, I will make sure it's the last flight you do. You seem to have little or no common sense.....a quality deemed highly neccessary to pilot an airliner.
 
9V-SVA
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Tue Nov 13, 2001 12:32 pm

CX flyboy good one! If he ever joins CX and he is sitting on the right of you and acts stupid, file an incident report with Flight Ops. They will check it out  Smile/happy/getting dizzy  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

YKA,you have just stepped into the lamers club.

9V-SVA
9V-SVA | B772ER
 
9V-SVA
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Tue Nov 13, 2001 12:36 pm

Also YKA, I believe this is waiting for you at the bus terminal.



Remember to close the door and lock it on the way in!

9V-SVA  Big thumbs up
9V-SVA | B772ER
 
CX Flyboy
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RE: British Spotters Arrested In Greece For Spying!

Tue Nov 13, 2001 12:39 pm

LOL!!!

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