A lot of maintenance and refurbishment occur at the San Antonio airport. This brings in a lot of interesting aircraft; so when I visit my son there, we always check out the latest arrivals.
Today we were in luck. A Saudi Arabian Royal MD
-11 (HZ-HM7) and a totally white 747 (G-VRUM) were parked very close together, and were just behind a fence adjacent to a public road.
I got several shots of the Saudi, then was in the process of getting pics of the 747 when my son hollered at me that security was running toward me. A guy ran past the '47's landing gear toward me. I could hear a voice crackling over his radio saying, "Detain him. Get his license number and ID
Now get the picture here. I'm on public property with no signs posted on the fence. The street I'm on connects a rental car company with the rest of the airport. The guy breathlessly runs to the fence and calls for backup. A larger security man appears in the distance behind me, also running.
To shorten the story, both guys had patches on their uniforms that said "San Antonio Aerospace Security". Guy #1 told me that the Saudis did not want people taking pictures of their plane. I said that I would have gladly complied but that there was no sign saying such.
The voice on the radio interrupted: "The Saudis want to get the film. If it's a digital camera, he must delete the pictures in your presence." I knew there was no legal right to demand such, but I didn't want a lot of trouble, you know. So I started pressing buttons on the back of the camera. What I did was to save every other shot I had taken. I would then hold the camera so that Guy #2 could see the me delete the pics that I did not save. I deliberately worked so quickly that to a novice, it appeared that I was clearing the deck.
I then asked him if it were OK
to take pictures of the 747. This is classic. He said, "You have to have permission from Boeing." Now since I didn't want this to escalate into somethng ugly (even though I had done nothing wrong), I refrained from getting smart-alecky with this guy. My son told me later that I should have told him that I DID have Boeing's permission.
Guy #2 took all the info from both our drivers licenses. He seemed to understand the silliness of all this and that we were not threats to the nation's security. He even said, as we parted, "Sorry about this."
Since I'm away from home, I haven't had a chance to refine the shots I took. Hopefully they will slip through the screening process so I can share them with you later.
Somebody please spread the word: Cameras are not guns!"
II Cor. 4:17-18