vafi88
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Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Sun Jun 08, 2003 3:35 pm

Yes, this was the quote from a military person in a truck when Me, My brother Alex, and Aaron Mondolesi were spotting at DEN earlier this afternoon.

We drove up and saw what looked to be about 12 F-16s parked on the ramp a short distance away from Runway 35L, we also saw military personell and asked one if we could spot where we usually do (which wouldn't bother their operations in any way), he said *there's nothing here, you're in the wrong place* So me and my brother went a little bit away where Aaron was parked and spotted for about a good 20 minutes before the first truck with 2 men pulled up...They were the nice guys of the story, they said that they usually go to the VOR and get head on shots, so if we were to do that it would be fine.

The second guy wasn't as friendly...He drove by and stopped right behind my brother's Car and got the licence plate numbers (while me, my brother, and Aaron were in between the 2 cars) then he went away and returned as quickly as he left and got Aaron's licence plate numbers, he proceeded to us and asked if we spoke English.....Fellas, what kind of question is that? Basically what he was trying to say was *Are you a bunch of f***ing terrorists???*

What is this world coming to these days?
I'd like to elect a president that has a Higher IQ than a retarted ant.
 
jwenting
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Sun Jun 08, 2003 3:41 pm

Good, they saw a potential breach of security and acted on it.
Given the number of foreigners in the US (even living there) who don't speak English the question was quite possibly an honest one.
Especially near airports the number of people from outside the country would be large.

There was a military operation going on, so they were of course a bit more skittish than normally and military personel on dutie are supposed to be paranoid about security.
The Beirut and Riyad bombings taught them that every truck and car can contain a bomb no matter how innocent it looks.
I wish I were flying
 
serge
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Sun Jun 08, 2003 3:47 pm



Photo copyright Larry Rader http://larry.911photos.com/index.html

Thats why.

I agree with Jwenting about the military operations but I'm sorry to hear that had to happen to you guys. Its just what this world is coming to.
 
B777
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:28 am

You can be sure if the military is involved, you may be under more scrutiny. Even if DEN isn't an air force base, if military activities are present, it's best not to get too "interested" in it. That's the way things are now. If you are interested in military aviation, the best place to get pictures would be at air shows.

Cheers,
James
 
An-225
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:39 am

James,

We just went there for our regular spotting. While I do not find "Do you speak English?" comment particularly offensive, but I think that the comment deserves an award for thickness. I mean, what kind of a moron do you have to be to ask that? We had cars, we had driver licenses, and this is 21st Century US of A. If he thinks that he single-handedly can stop terrorism with his thick remarks, he might want to think again, because as far as I know, terrorists have something resembling a brain, while this guy surely didn't.

Having said that, I do want to give credit to the guy for not kicking anyone out - and it's not like he had the power to do that anyway.

Alex.
Denver, Colorado.
Money does not bring you happiness. But it's better to cry in your own private limo than on a cold bus stop.
 
vafi88
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:03 am

Ahhem, that should be Mandolesi***...

While I don't find it to be offensive in any way either, I do find it strange that the person we first asked if we can go close (where we usually do) and spot there, to send out one of his buddies because he overheard us talking in Russian while turning around and heading off to where Aaron was parked...

I can maybe understand that they have to be more alert, but I don't understand how they can be paranoid at people who speak more than one language....

I hope they get out soon.
I'd like to elect a president that has a Higher IQ than a retarted ant.
 
2912n
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:21 am

Are you perhaps confusing paranoia for sarcasm????
 
jwenting
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:33 am

Alex, cars can be rented.
Driver's licenses don't require you speak English I think? Lots of Hispanics in Florida and SoCal no comprendo when you speak Inglesi.
I wish I were flying
 
An-225
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:42 am

Hmm, Jwenting, didn't think about that one.  Smile. Anyway, overwhelming majority of people who drove by either waved, didn't care or engaged in friendly conversation. I hope that the situation does not worsen with all that Buckley stuff at DEN.

Alex.
Money does not bring you happiness. But it's better to cry in your own private limo than on a cold bus stop.
 
aagold
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 3:23 am

Here's a nicer encounter ...

I was on the Cross Bay Blvd. bridge across from Howard Beach, NY trying to get the AF Concorde departure last Tues. I look up and two police officers are approaching me, a man and a woman. I walk toward them a bit and the woman greets me with: "We've been getting calls about you. You don't look like a terrorists to me!" After that we had a pleasant 5 minute talk about what we do and why we do it. No checking ids, no hassles, just a nice and friendly talk.

Art
 
Continental
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 3:53 am

Come on Serge, let's be realistic. Do you honestly think a few young guys are going to do some harm standing near a fence with a camera!? I can reassure you that a few young kids will not blow up a building or do any other terrorist-related things. Security has gone nuts, it has become a joke, I honestly hope bush doesn't get reelected, all this money spent on this crap has sent us into a hole. Bush is a bad pres., face it everyone, he is. I think it's a waste of money to wand a baby at an airport, or when I witnessed an old white man get wanded, and had to have clothing articles removed. It's become a joke.

co
 
An-225
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 4:15 am

We weren't even standing close to the fence. Those F-16's would have looked good on digital though...  Big thumbs up. I hope they repave the runways at Buckley pretty soon, since there might be more of that crap in the future.

Alex.
Money does not bring you happiness. But it's better to cry in your own private limo than on a cold bus stop.
 
goboeing
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 5:13 am

Art,

My friend and I were at JFK on May 30 to see the Concordes. We were right in front of the large brick tan colored tank at the end of 31L if you know where I am talking about, directly across from the UAL hangar. Just as the Air France Concorde was out of sight, 3 police cars pulled up and asked us "what we were doing." Yo! What do you think?! They're on airport patrol, they're not stupid. They know pefectly well that the last Air France Concorde had just landed. Anyway, they checked our driver's licenses, and we offered them a look at our pilot's licenses too, and one of them gave us a ride back to where we parked, the easy way, since it took us about 30 minutes climbing through trees and swamps to get there.

Nick
 
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JeffM
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 6:02 am

Alex,
Sorry to hear you were treated like that while shooting over at 35L. But, you must remember those are F-16's and not MD-80's or A319's. They do have equipment in them that they can kill you for without even asking you if you speak english or not. They are probably a bit jumpy having just come back from overseas and are not used to just anyone pulling up to the fence and taking pictures, or havining anyone point anything at their planes. I cannot shoot those things and I can get ON the flightline at Buckley, so don't feel so bad. I just regret they made you feel like that.

Did you get any shots of them anyway?

Jeff
 
serge
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 8:04 am

John,

I never said I believed they would do any harm. I was simply stating why this is happening. Theres no way I would suspect those guys as terrorists but I'm sure others would as we just found out from them (especially military who are the ones defending our country for the most part).

regards,
Serge
 
silverfox
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 8:09 am

Continental,

There are countries that train young kids to do such things ,mainly because of your thoughts such as yours in disregarding them.
Terrible situation but true.
 
ericbelgium
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 8:16 am

Only one thing comes to my mind

Only in America, land of the 'free'.....

No surprise actually if you see who's ruling the White House. No offence to anyone, but within a few years the same question might be asked to you at every corner of every street in the US.

Long live the European spotter friendly mentality!

greetz, Eric
 
2912n
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 8:25 am

"Only in America, land of the 'free'....."

Your comment and predictions are silly. Sorry to sound offensive, but a snide comment was made to these young people. They were not dragged off in handcuffs, beaten, questioned under lights etc....

If the American public does not like what is happening under the current administration then President Bush will be voted out of office next year. There are many threats to our liberty here in the US, but those are threats that to one degree or another have existed since our nation was founded. Thankfully our forefathers created a government that maintains checks over itself through the courts/legislature/executive office. Yes, we do make mistakes and go too far at times, but those problems are addressed and we, as a nation try to do as much as possible to be fair and equitable.

Before 9-11 no one really cared about spotting and no one saw it as a threat. Just as we had much to learn before that time about security we now have to learn how to apply security. It is not something that happens over night.
 
Continental
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 9:35 am

So next time I see a kid with his bike next to an airport fence looking at airplanes, I should call 9-1-1 immediately and let the airport police take note that a probable terrorist threat is right outside the fence?!

co
 
2912n
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 9:52 am

co---you want to explain how you got there from any of the comments posted above???????

We ask for security to not overreact and to use common sense...should we not do the same?
 
N754PR
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:25 pm

Not being rude but there are many people in the states that do not speak English, at least a level of English that most can understand.
Bush, your a sad, sad man.
 
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JeffM
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:49 pm

If you see a youngster hanging out near the airport fence, go talk to him or her. You may just make their day by sharing a story, listening to what they have to say, or just answering a few of their questions.

Without being rude, I believe to become a citizen here, you should speak at a level that can be understood.

v/r
Jeff
 
An-225
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 2:42 pm

Actually, it's pretty easy to become a citizen here. You have to become a permanent resident first, then you wait until you've lived here for 5 years and apply. Then you have a short exam, and then you get to go to a ceremony, usually on a Friday. Then you get a certificate and can get a passport at that point.

Alex.
Money does not bring you happiness. But it's better to cry in your own private limo than on a cold bus stop.
 
jwenting
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 3:38 pm

I can reassure you that a few young kids will not blow up a building or do any other terrorist-related things.

Tell that to the parents of the kids blown up in a disco in Haifa...
Or the families of people killed in streetfighting in Mozambique.

Kids make excellent smart bombs. They're impressionable and can be brainwashed and trained to do just about anything.
They have often little concept of death so won't think twice about killing.

If the US had implemented sensible security in the 1970s like Europe and most of Asia you wouldn't be in the current situation where guards sometimes overreact (which this wasn't, you were observing a military operation. In some countries you'd have been thrown in prison for life (a short life...) without trial for that as being seen near military bases personel or equipment with a camera is considered espionage there which carries a mandatory death sentence), expect that to last a few years until they get comfortable in their jobs.
If you feel harassed, get their name and that of their supervisor and file a complaint, then move on. Don't fight them at the spot, you'll only make all spotters look bad.
I wish I were flying
 
sunilgupta
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Mon Jun 09, 2003 9:33 pm

Maybe it wasn't such a bad question after all - "Me, My brother Alex, and Aaron Mondolesi"... sorry couldn't resist Big grin

Seriously, it is a stupid question to ask someone. You ask in English and if you get a confused look then you can ask the question. You simply should not assume anything from a person’s looks… period.

Sunil
 
Continental
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:34 am

Yeah, but first they gotta jump the fence, sprint to the aircraft or building then blow it up. I just think that the security has gone chaotic, we notice the smallest things, and have to overreact. Yes, those kids should have been approached, most definetely, I just think that security should handle situations a little more friendlier, like the Joe Wagner case... I mean, think about it, ANYTHING can happen....

co
 
vafi88
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Wed Jun 11, 2003 1:26 pm

So, uh, just because we are kids, and we are not natives, it means that we are highly skilled smart bomb makers who go to the airport to see what time the big ones come and one of these days blow something up?

Excuse me, but that is a downright stupid excuse to kick us out or be suspicious of our activities...

3 guys in lawnchairs with cameras and binoculars are terrorists now?
I'd like to elect a president that has a Higher IQ than a retarted ant.
 
2912n
Posts: 1978
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Wed Jun 11, 2003 1:36 pm

When this guy asked you the question did he make you leave? Was this just a comment he made or??? Did he think someone else had told you to leave or were there signs posted that you could not be where you were?

Tony
 
An-225
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RE: Excuse Me Sir, Do You Speak English?

Sat Jun 14, 2003 3:27 pm

This guy did not make us leave, he just made a comment and then said - just checking. There are no signs posted that we can't be in that area, it's public property and DEN is a spotter-friendly place anyway. Someone else didn't tell us to leave. People stopped and had polite chatter.

Alex.
Money does not bring you happiness. But it's better to cry in your own private limo than on a cold bus stop.

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