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Woman faces charges in flight scare (actually confirms much of the early reports)
AP, via MLive.com ^ | 8/17/06 | MELISSA TRUJILLO

Posted on 08/17/2006 11:36:12 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat

BOSTON (AP) — A woman on a trans-Atlantic flight diverted to Boston for security concerns passed several notes to crew members, urinated on the cabin floor and made comments the crew believed were references to al-Qaida and the Sept. 11 attacks, according to an affidavit filed Thursday.

Catherine C. Mayo, 59, of Braintree, Vt., was to appear in federal court later Thursday on a charge of interfering with a flight crew after disrupting United 923 as it flew from London to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

The flight, with 182 passengers and 12 crew members, landed safely with the escort of two F-15s after the pilot declared an emergency on board.

The scare came just a week after London authorities said they foiled a terror plot to blow up trans-Atlantic flights. Federal officials quickly determined there were no indications of terrorism ties.

According to an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Daniel Choldin filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, flight attendants noticed Mayo about 90 minutes into the flight because she was pushing against the aircraft bulkhead. When the attendant told her to return to her seat, Mayo said she wanted to speak to an air marshal and made statements about knowing that people wanted to see what was in her bag.

FBI spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz confirmed Thursday that authorities found a screwdriver and an unspecified number of cigarette lighters in her bag, items which are banned under new security regulations. Marcinkiewicz also confirmed that matches were found Mayo's bag.

She also had a bottle of water, which did not appear to be supplied by the flight crew. It wasn't clear how the items made it through airport security.

Since a foiled terror plot surfaced in London last week, airports have tightened security in both the United Kingdom and the U.S. Liquids and gels have been banned from carry-on luggage, and even tighter restrictions are in place in Britain. The terror plot apparently involved using such liquids to make and detonate bombs aboard planes.

Later during the flight, according to the affidavit, Mayo asked a flight attendant: "Is this a training flight for United Flight 93?" The flight attendant didn't know if she made a mistake because the flight was actually Flight 923, or if she was referring to Flight 93, the hijacked plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11.

During that time, she was "biting her fingers, rubbing her feet and in a constant state of movement. She appeared very agitated," the affidavit said.

She wrote in a note and said to flight attendants that she had been in a country illegally, and later said she had photographs of Pakistan.

"She stated that the photographs would be awful, and she indicated that they related to the people that she had been with in the mountains of Pakistan," the affidavit said.

Her U.S. passport indicated that on Aug. 15 she had left Pakistan and entered the United Kingdom, according to the affidavit. As many as 17 people have been arrested in Pakistan in connection with the London terror plot.

Flight attendants summoned the captain, who spoke to Mayo. During the conversation, she made reference to there being "six steps to building some unspecified thing."

"She made reference to being with people associated with two words. She stated that she could not say what the two words were because the last time that she had said the two words she had been kicked off of a flight in the United Arab Emirates," according to the affidavit.

The captain and purser both believed that she was referring to al-Qaida, Choldin wrote.

About 35 minutes later, when she tried to go to the bathroom, the flight attendants directed her to a different lavatory. Instead, she pulled down her pants and urinated on the floor, Choldin wrote in the affidavit, which was based on his interviews and those of other federal officials.

At that point, the captain ordered her restrained. Two male passengers helped a flight attendant tackle Mayo and restrain her in plastic cuffs. She remained seated in the galley area of plane until the flight landed, according to the affidavit.

The outburst on the flight — just a week after London authorities said they foiled a terror plot to blow up trans-Atlantic flights — prompted a massive security scare.

Gov. Mitt Romney said the woman was claustrophobic and became so upset she had to be restrained, and passengers said Mayo appeared to have emotional problems.

"She was in a frenzy," passenger Martin Drinkwater of London told The Boston Globe. "She then pulled her trousers and knickers down and squatted on the floor."

Antony Nash, 31, of San Diego, said he grew nervous watching the muttering woman seated near him, as she paced and made too many trips to the bathroom. The pilot did not make a general announcement to passengers of what was happening.

"I noticed F-15s next to the plane. I said, 'Oh my God.' And then we saw the emergency vehicles," Nash said.

Terror scares garner particular attention in Boston because of Logan's history. Members of al-Qaida hijacked two planes from Logan on Sept. 11, 2001, and flew them into the World Trade Center towers in New York.

Logan airport also was where an American Airlines Paris-Miami flight was diverted in 2001 when Richard Reid, the so-called shoe bomber, tried to blow up the plane. He was thwarted by attendants and passengers after he tried to light a fuse leading to the concealed plastic explosives in his sneakers. He is now serving a life prison sentence.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 2006; 200608; 20060815; 20060816; airlinesecurity; bottle; bottlebombs; braintree; catherinemayo; cigarettelighters; codeyellow; flight923; flight93; lighters; logan; matches; mayo; mittromney; pakistan; screwdriver; sixsteps; transatlanticplot; united923; unitedflight923; unitedflight93; vermont; ytranstlanticplot
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...flight attendants noticed Mayo about 90 minutes into the flight because she was pushing against the aircraft bulkhead...authorities found a screwdriver and an unspecified number of cigarette lighters in her bag, items which are banned under new security regulations. Marcinkiewicz also confirmed that matches were found Mayo's bag.

She also had a bottle of water, which did not appear to be supplied by the flight crew. It wasn't clear how the items made it through airport security...Later during the flight, according to the affidavit, Mayo asked a flight attendant: "Is this a training flight for United Flight 93?"...She wrote in a note and said to flight attendants that she had been in a country illegally, and later said she had photographs of Pakistan.

"She stated that the photographs would be awful, and she indicated that they related to the people that she had been with in the mountains of Pakistan," the affidavit said...Flight attendants summoned the captain, who spoke to Mayo. During the conversation, she made reference to there being "six steps to building some unspecified thing."

"She made reference to being with people associated with two words. She stated that she could not say what the two words were because the last time that she had said the two words she had been kicked off of a flight in the United Arab Emirates," according to the affidavit.

The captain and purser both believed that she was referring to al-Qaida...

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Sounds like she wasn't part of any actual plot and was just a kooky leftist journalist who freaked out.

More info on her here:

Woman In Logan Airport Incident Identified

1 posted on 08/17/2006 11:36:14 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat

Oh good grief, so many nutcases out there!!!


2 posted on 08/17/2006 11:37:09 AM PDT by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion have been born. Ronald Reagan)
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To: Diddle E. Squat
"Catherine C. Mayo, 59, of Braintree, Vt.,

Ahhh, one of the "Deaniacs".....EEEEAAAWWWW.....

3 posted on 08/17/2006 11:38:21 AM PDT by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: Diddle E. Squat
It wasn't clear how the items made it through airport security.

Maybe TSA was looking the other way because she looked Middle Eastern? I mean, hundreds would die, but atleast they could meet their maker with the wholesome good feeling that nobody had their feeling hurt.

4 posted on 08/17/2006 11:40:18 AM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Either nut case or brain washed.... either way, definite need for a mental eval.
5 posted on 08/17/2006 11:40:19 AM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: Timesink; martin_fierro; reformed_democrat; Loyalist; =Intervention=; PianoMan; GOPJ; ...

Update to re-state that much of what was initially reported and then retracted was true...


6 posted on 08/17/2006 11:40:54 AM PDT by weegee (Remember "Remember the Maine"? Well in the current war "Remember the Baby Milk Factory")
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To: Diddle E. Squat

This is just unbelievable that with such intense security she was able to get through security with lighters and bottled water.

And I don't know how, given that she made statements about AQ, that the TSA was able to say so quickly that she didn't represent a terrorist threat. Granted she's probably just a nut, but how do we know that some terrorists don't have intent but such severe mental health problems that they get caught?


7 posted on 08/17/2006 11:43:33 AM PDT by Peach (The Clintons pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: Diddle E. Squat

"Sounds like she wasn't part of any actual plot and was just a kooky leftist journalist who freaked out."
After spending 6 years in Pakistan. Nope, nothing to see here whatsoever.
"Cathy Mayo is an American journalist based in Pakistan"
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/print.asp?page=2003%5C03%5C04%5Cstory_4-3-2003_pg3_7


8 posted on 08/17/2006 11:43:49 AM PDT by ARealMothersSonForever
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Gov. Mitt Romney said the woman was claustrophobic and became so upset she had to be restrained, and passengers said Mayo appeared to have emotional problems.

Where did he get the idea that she was claustrophobic? None of that description sounds like claustrophobia to me. She's a looney tune but I don't know that claustrophobia is what's going on. This statement of Romney's bothers me.

9 posted on 08/17/2006 11:43:56 AM PDT by iceskater (One person's mess is another person's filing system.)
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To: taxcontrol
Sirhan Sirhan was reportedly squirrelly and didn't make much sense. He was still a threat.
10 posted on 08/17/2006 11:43:58 AM PDT by weegee (Remember "Remember the Maine"? Well in the current war "Remember the Baby Milk Factory")
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To: Diddle E. Squat

Holy Shiite. Flash to TSA: Time for you to handle security in ALL locations where flights to the US are boarding. Mega flash to airlines: Anyone using a passport that shows a visit to Pakistan only days before boarding your flight needs to be seated surrounded by the biggest blond-haired American males on the flight.


11 posted on 08/17/2006 11:44:58 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (Tom Gallagher - the anti-Crist [FL Governor, 2006 primary])
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To: Owl_Eagle

She's not middle eastern; she's from Vermont. She has 3 children from a previous marriage and grandchildren. She's 59 years old, a journalist, and had visited Pakistan earlier because of an online relationship she'd developed with a Pakistani.

This all came from an earlier thread on this topic. What's written here pretty much confirms the details outlined earlier. A couple FReepers came up with articles about her which pretty much identified who she is.


12 posted on 08/17/2006 11:45:01 AM PDT by bcsco ("He who is wedded to the spirit of the age is soon a widower" Anonymous)
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To: diamond6

Given the amount of people flying there ain't so many.


13 posted on 08/17/2006 11:45:13 AM PDT by vimto (Blighty Awaken!)
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To: Peach

You have to be mentally ill to kill total strangers in close hand to hand combat and then deliberately crash an airplane into even more people.

An insanity plea doesn't work for me.


14 posted on 08/17/2006 11:45:44 AM PDT by weegee (Remember "Remember the Maine"? Well in the current war "Remember the Baby Milk Factory")
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To: weegee

Exactly.


15 posted on 08/17/2006 11:46:57 AM PDT by iceskater (One person's mess is another person's filing system.)
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To: Peach
This is just unbelievable that with such intense security she was able to get through security with lighters and bottled water.

Easy-peasy. She went through security in Pakistan, came in to London via Dubai. She was already inside the "sterile" area. We know she connected through Dubai, UAE. The problem is she did not have exit visa from Paki. Hence the "illegal" statement.

16 posted on 08/17/2006 11:47:15 AM PDT by ARealMothersSonForever
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Catherine C. Mayo, 59, of Braintree, Vt.

Obviously OUT OF HER TREE!.........

17 posted on 08/17/2006 11:48:14 AM PDT by Red Badger (Is Castro dead yet?........)
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To: diamond6

Yeah, but how many nutcases just happened to have been spending time in Pakistan, LOL. That's the weird part about the story, IMHO.


18 posted on 08/17/2006 11:48:18 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: iceskater

I have a friend that is soooooooo claustrophobic she requires maximum drugs on a flight or boat. She has NEVER come close to doing anything like this woman did.
Sounds like BS to me.


19 posted on 08/17/2006 11:48:49 AM PDT by sheana
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To: ARealMothersSonForever

"Cathy Mayo is an American journalist based in Pakistan"

Wonder if she works for Reuters or AP? Maybe NYTs?

20 posted on 08/17/2006 11:49:21 AM PDT by AMHN (Book Survey: Which is greater "Truth" or "Love"? FReepmail a reply)
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