taken from www.lonelyplanet.com/forum
22 November '01
Greek Military in a Flap over Plane-Spotters
A tour group of British plane-spotters on a sightseeing holiday was arrested and
charged with espionage this week after photographing a helicopter at an airport
south of Athens. The 12 middle-aged spotters were on a trip organized by
Touchdown Tours, which runs tours to view military aircraft around the world. The company had received a written invitation from the Greek Air Force to attend the Kalamata air show, but afterwards they were arrested and charged with photographing 'sensitive military installations', an activity that is strictly forbidden in Greece.
It appears the detained spotters are victims of a cultural schism, because Greek authorities can't believe anyone would take pictures of planes and jot down their numbers as a hobby. In plane-spotter circles, Greece has long been known as a potential danger zone, and several aviation enthusiasts have added prison cells to the list of sights they've seen. Due to its historically troubled relations with its neighbours, Greece is extremely sensitive about such activities. If they are found guilty, the plane-spotters could be imprisoned for up to 20 years.