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AirTran e-mail stirs up Internet firestorm -with video (FAA now investigating)
KHOU ^ | 12-3-09 | Leigh Frillici

Posted on 12/04/2009 12:03:40 AM PST by STARWISE

The FAA is investigating an incident aboard an AirTran flight from Atlanta to Houston that touched off a firestorm of e-mails.

AirTran Flight 297 was delayed on November 17 after a passenger refused to turn off his cell phone.

*snip*

According to the e-mail, Petruna and other passengers believed they witnessed a dry run for a terrorist attack. Petruna said he couldn’t talk on camera, but Chaplain Keith Robinson, who was also on the flight, did talk with us.

*snip*

“Flight attendants were sobbing openly,” Robinson said. Robinson said a passenger getting off the plane warned him not to get on.

“He said ‘I just saw them there were these Middle Eastern men. They were taking pictures. They wouldn’t sit down, ‘” Robinson said. “Besides that, he said a couple of them were making gestures with their hand as if they were shooting people.”

Petruna’s e-mail said there were 11 Muslims on the plane and two of them ignored flight attendants orders to turn off their cell phones. He said they shouted at the flight attendants and he and another Texan had to intervene.

Petruna said the 11 men were taken off the plane, but then allowed back on, angering the crew and some passengers.

(Excerpt) Read more at khou.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: airlinesecurity; airtran; airtranflight297; dryrun; faa; flight297; muslims
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-89 next last
Another Muslim Hijacking Dry Run?: If True, Tedd Petruna’s My New Hero; UPDATE: CONFIRMED

**** UPDATE, 9:41 p.m. ET: Earlier today, I contacted Tedd Petruna, the brave passenger on AirTran Flight 297, who–with another Texan–saved the day from apparent Islamic terrorists, leaving him a voicemail message asking for confirmation of the e-mail and events below. Mr. Petruna called me back, tonight, and confirmed that he did write the e-mail below and that it’s all true. WAKE. UP. AMERICA. We are under siege. ****

**** SCROLL DOWN (at link) FOR MORE UPDATES ****

~~~~~

FR Thread

1 posted on 12/04/2009 12:03:42 AM PST by STARWISE
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To: penelopesire; seekthetruth; television is just wrong; jcsjcm; BP2; Pablo Mac; April Lexington; ...

~~Ping!


2 posted on 12/04/2009 12:04:42 AM PST by STARWISE (They (LIBS-STILL) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war- Richard Miniter)
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To: STARWISE

/mark


3 posted on 12/04/2009 12:06:55 AM PST by happinesswithoutpeace (Good Lord deliver us)
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Let's hope and pray FAA Administrator, Randy Babbit, has the guts to reveal the entire truth, such as it truly is.
4 posted on 12/04/2009 12:07:52 AM PST by STARWISE (They (LIBS-STILL) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war- Richard Miniter)
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To: STARWISE

I’m getting a lot of flack for posting info on this... on another local forum here in Houston. They are quoting Snopes to debunk most of this and claiming that it was just a miscommunication. To some, snopes is like the bible. How do I convince them otherwise?


5 posted on 12/04/2009 12:08:00 AM PST by StolarStorm
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To: STARWISE

I’m getting a lot of flack for posting info on this... on another local forum here in Houston. They are quoting Snopes to debunk most of this and claiming that it was just a miscommunication. To some, snopes is like the bible. How do I convince them otherwise?


6 posted on 12/04/2009 12:08:04 AM PST by StolarStorm
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To: STARWISE
Another article on this story. More information and passenger interviews.

Security incident aboard AirTran Flight 297 suggests terror “Dry Run” Canda Free Press


7 posted on 12/04/2009 12:08:49 AM PST by TigersEye (Sarah Palin 2010 - We Can't Afford To Wait)
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To: StolarStorm
The Snopes page on this doesn't debunk it. It merely says unproven.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/flight297.asp

8 posted on 12/04/2009 12:11:21 AM PST by TigersEye (Sarah Palin 2010 - We Can't Afford To Wait)
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To: STARWISE
The thing that I have trouble with is the article claims that the passengers and airline attendants were upset that the men (if that is what you want to call then) were allowed back on the plane. Yet no one got off the plane or quit their job. From what I have heard about this incident if it were me and my wife, no way we would have stayed on that plane.
9 posted on 12/04/2009 12:15:53 AM PST by JoSixChip (It's better to die on your feet than live on your knees. km_freep@yahoo.com)
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To: JoSixChip; All

Update: FW: writing to verify your story of the Houston flight

From: Jamie Cain
Sent on: Thursday, December 3, 2009 11:14 AM

From: A. Gene Hackemack [mailto:[address removed]]

Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2009 1:17 AM

To: Jamie Cain

Subject: Re: writing to verify your story of the Houston flight

Hi Jamie, this is Gene Hackemack, and I am the one who posted Tedd’s story.

NASA almost fired him today, and he is now “laying low” because he does not want to endanger his employment. I am attaching his story and another eye witness.

I wish I could say this is false information, but unfortunately it is true. Thank you for your email - please let me clarify that I was not on the flight with Tedd.

I worked with Tedd for about ten years and have no reason to doubt his word and wanted the world to know so I sent his email to all Americans who care about where this country is heading to.

I am so proud of Tedd and what he did – HE is the true hero. I am only trying to get the word out.

This story IS legitimate – but the drama continues.

This morning Tedd informed me that he was fired for speaking out! I was livid. So I continued my full court press all day today trying to keep everyone abreast of the situation.

Then I received a phone call from another witness aboard the plane, Dr. Keith Robinson, Senior Chaplain for Houston Regional Community Chaplain’s Corps. He backed Tedd up and said he was going to bat for him, especially since he will soon be appearing on Fox News!

THEN – just before I was leaving for my American Legion meeting – a call from Tedd Petruna, that NASA had “unfired” him after further investigation. I actually cried for joy, I was so happy!

Included in this email will be some hard evidence supporting documents. Don’t forget to open them.

- Gene Hackemack

A. Gene Hackemack
[masked] cell & home
[address removed]

http://www.meetup.com/The-SWFL-9-12Project-Meetup-Group/messages/8420980/


10 posted on 12/04/2009 12:20:53 AM PST by STARWISE (They (LIBS-STILL) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war- Richard Miniter)
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To: StolarStorm

Snopes slants very left.

I hope someone gets to hear directly
from the flight attendants .. especially
the ones who were crying.

They better not be shutting this down
and covering it up, not now as we get
into the high volume of flying for the
holidays.


11 posted on 12/04/2009 12:28:49 AM PST by STARWISE (They (LIBS-STILL) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war- Richard Miniter)
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To: JoSixChip

They did get off the plane. Its in the email from the witness.


12 posted on 12/04/2009 12:31:08 AM PST by StolarStorm
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To: JoSixChip

Tedd Petruna’s original documentation of the event ... including this

~~~~~

The stewardess from the back had been in tears and when she saw this, she was having NONE of it! Being that I was up front, I heard and saw the whole ordeal. She told the TSA agent there was NO WAY she was staying on the plane with these men.

The agent told her they had searched them and were going to go through their luggage with a fine tooth comb and that they were allowed to proceed to Houston .

The captain and co-captain came out and told the agent “we and our crew will not fly this plane!”

After a word or two, the entire crew, luggage in tow, left the plane. 5 minutes later, the cabin door opened again and a whole new crew walked on.

Again…..this is where I had had enough!!! I got up and asked “What the hell is going on!?!?” I was told to take my seat. They were sorry for the delay and I would be home shortly.

I said “I’m getting off this plane”. The stewardess sternly told me that she could not allow me to get off. (now I’m mad!) I said “I am a grown man who bought this ticket, who’s time is mine with a family at home and I am going through that door, or I’m going through that door with you under my arm!! But I am going through that door!!”

And I heard a voice behind me say “so am I”. Then everyone behind us started to get up and say the same. Within 2 minutes, I was walking off that plane where I was met with more agents who asked me to write a statement.”

http://www.debbieschlussel.com/13158/another-muslim-hijacking-dry-run-if-true-tedd-petrunas-my-new-hero/


13 posted on 12/04/2009 12:33:45 AM PST by STARWISE (They (LIBS-STILL) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war- Richard Miniter)
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To: KeyLargo

Needs an aviation ping


14 posted on 12/04/2009 12:34:32 AM PST by zipper
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To: STARWISE
Here's the ring leader saying good bye to his harem!


15 posted on 12/04/2009 12:36:19 AM PST by jws3sticks (Sarah Palin forever!)
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To: STARWISE
Ahh, thanks. That restores some of my faith. I think if one has a CCW license, they should be allowed to carry on flights. That would solve allot of this crap and give piece of mind. JMHO
16 posted on 12/04/2009 12:38:03 AM PST by JoSixChip (It's better to die on your feet than live on your knees. km_freep@yahoo.com)
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To: Cindy; holdonnow

~~PING! And read post #10


17 posted on 12/04/2009 12:38:38 AM PST by STARWISE (They (LIBS-STILL) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war- Richard Miniter)
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To: JoSixChip

According to the story I read, the crew walked off the plane and a new crew came on for the flight...


18 posted on 12/04/2009 12:39:28 AM PST by goat granny
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To: StolarStorm

You don’t. “Arguing with idiots” is like wrestling with pigs: you get filthy and only the pigs enjoy it. Speak the truth as you know it, and accept that many will reject it.


19 posted on 12/04/2009 12:41:44 AM PST by JohnQ1 (Pray for peace, prepare for war.)
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To: JoSixChip

Almost everyone but the eleven “problems” got off, a new crew was assigned, the flight was eventually cancelled, and Petruna got home at 12:30 AM instead of 6:00 PM. Other replies should take you to at least two other sources.


20 posted on 12/04/2009 12:46:16 AM PST by JohnQ1 (Pray for peace, prepare for war.)
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To: STARWISE

This is quite strange.
I know first hand how the slightest suspicion is dealt with
on airline flights.
A few years ago, I was on a NW/KLM flight from Amsterdam
to Memphis.
There was a small kid, maybe age 8, in the center section, just a few seats behind me.
The kid was turning around and making faces or something to
an Arab looking guy several more seats back. The Arab was part of a group of four or five, not all sitting together.

The Arab took a piece paper and printed “boom boom”, or something to that effect, and held it up for the kid to see.
When the plane landed, there was an announcement for everyone to stay seated when the plane parked at the gate.
“US marshals will be boarding”.
Four big scraping guys, looking very serious, came marching up the aisles, picking out the Arabs and taking them off.

It was in the paper the next morning.
They were detained for some time, and maybe overnight, before they were allowed to take a connecting flight.


21 posted on 12/04/2009 1:01:42 AM PST by AlexW (Now in the Philippines . Happy not to be back in the USA for now.)
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To: TigersEye

I would not trust “Snopes” run by a couple of LIBS


22 posted on 12/04/2009 1:07:12 AM PST by saintgermaine
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To: STARWISE

Probably a bunch of Muslims trying to gin up a lawsuit for some cash, I cant imagine real terrorists would be so stupid as to create a scene.


23 posted on 12/04/2009 1:19:22 AM PST by Husker24
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To: Husker24

They were probably hoping the airline wouldn’t let them back on so they could try and sue the airline.


24 posted on 12/04/2009 1:23:06 AM PST by Husker24
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To: StolarStorm

Well, Snopes isn’t the Bible, and they have been wrong or misleading before. Read what they have to say about Algore’s famous Internet statement. They are clearly twisting facts and omitting important details to stick up for him.


25 posted on 12/04/2009 1:23:14 AM PST by LifeComesFirst (http://rw-rebirth.blogspot.com/)
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To: STARWISE

The rich Eyeranians in Atlanta and Philistinian Government employees and students around Texas universities have been known to be more special than the rest of us for quite a few years now. The suckups in orderly rooms and agency offices don’t want to hear about them.


26 posted on 12/04/2009 1:57:19 AM PST by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), NG, '89-' 96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote)
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To: familyop

FAA to investigate cell phone use on Atlanta flight

By Alexis Stevens and Kristi Swartz
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

8:41 p.m. Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating what led to the two-and-a-half hour delay of a Tuesday flight from Atlanta to Houston, an agency spokeswoman said Wednesday morning.

An AirTran spokesman said a man traveling with a group Tuesday afternoon refused to turn his cell phone off before takeoff. But the woman sitting behind the man said it wasn’t a phone at all, and feels the entire incident was the result of poor communication.

“He was not talking on a cell phone, it was a camera,” said Nancy Deveikis of Marietta. “He was looking at pictures.”

A flight attendant asked the man twice to turn off the device, Deveikis said. But it was clear the man did not speak English, she said. Although the man was traveling with others, the rest of the group was seated throughout the plane.

When the man did not respond to the flight attendant, she took the camera from him, Deveikis said. Deveikis, who presented ajc.com with her boarding pass for the flight, said she watched the exchange from directly behind the man in seat 28A and the female flight attendant.

“She grabbed it from his hand and basically said I’ll be holding this until you get off the plane,”Deveikis said.

It’s unclear whether he was talking on the phone, snapping photos or texting, AirTran spokesman Christopher White said. But to airline officials and flight attendants, it didn’t matter. The Boeing 717 had pulled away from the gate, and the phone was on, White said.

“Flight attendants were telling him, ‘Turn off the phone, turn off the phone,’” White said.

“We can’t taxi with the cell phone on, and we certainly can’t take off,” White said. “Language barrier or not, you start to butt up against interfering with a flight crew.”

Deveikis said she never heard the one flight attendant use the word “phone” when speaking to the man.

“Passengers are required to follow instructions of the flight attendants,” regional FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said. AirTran reported the incident to the FAA, Bergen said. The federal Transportation Security Administration will not handle the incident, saying it is a customer-service issue between the passenger and the airline, a TSA spokesman said.

Houston-bound Flight 297 was scheduled to leave Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport at 4:40 p.m. Tuesday. But the pilot decided to return the plane back to the gate, and the man and the group he was traveling with were asked to exit the plane.

Another person in the group – someone who could speak English – got off as well to act as an interpreter, White said.

So, why didn’t he leave his seat to help in the first place?

“He told flight attendants that he could have helped during the taxi time, but he didn’t want to get up,” as passengers are to be seated at that time, White said.

Deveikis said the flight attendant who took the phone told other members of the group, “If you’re English-speaking, then maybe you should get off the plane, too.”

Another flight attendant, Deveikis said, was in tears as she left the plane following the incident. A new crew later returned to fly the plane, she said.

AirTran gave the 72 other passengers on the plane the option to stay on that flight or switch to another one without paying any fees, White said. Of the remaining passengers on the plane, 12 decided to take another flight.

The 11 others in the 13-passenger group got back on the plane, which took off for Houston, White said. TSA officials spoke to the man with the electronic device as well as the other person who was acting as an interpreter, and they took a later flight to Houston, White said.

Deveikis said she remembers the original members of the group reboarding.

Deveikis, who often flies to Houston for business, chose to remain on the flight. She said the man with the camera and his entire group reboarded the plane. The whole incident, which scared other passengers who weren’t clear what was happening, could have easily been avoided.

“Just one flight attendant snowed everyone into believing she had an irate passenger,” Deveikis said.

Still, airline officials contend the right action was taken.

“It’s a fine line that we have to play,” White said. “Is there any safety or security reason to bring the plane back? Yes, there was a safety reason.”

White declined to identify the passenger. No charges were filed. And, for AirTran, the case is closed.

“Once we determine there is no other problem, it’s our responsibility to get everyone back on and get the plane taken off as quickly as we can,” White said.

Staff writer Megan Matteucci contributed to this report.


27 posted on 12/04/2009 2:08:53 AM PST by BubbaJunebug (s)
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To: STARWISE

Thank you for the ping Starwise.


28 posted on 12/04/2009 3:02:06 AM PST by Cindy
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To: StolarStorm
Have them look at Wikipedia. Snopes.com is run by a man and wife. Two people. The very idea that they have the resources to validate definitively whether something is true or not is shaky at best.

Wikipedia says they're apolitical, but you might note that Factcheck.org, the same folks who "affirmed" BO's BC are the ones that tell us they're apolitical. EVERYBODY is political. The Communist Democrats in this country have made sure that no one can ignore politics any more.

29 posted on 12/04/2009 4:21:03 AM PST by Hardastarboard (Maureen Dowd is right. I DON'T like our President's color. He's a Red.)
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To: STARWISE
Petruna said the 11 men were taken off the plane, but then allowed back on, angering the crew and some passengers.

Political Correctness protects them. They're a left wing voting block, and they donate.
I'm sure the Oboma administration would like to keep this little incident a non-event. It could interfere with campaign contributions.

30 posted on 12/04/2009 4:44:57 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: StolarStorm

To convince them otherwise, show them the Smopes DISINFORMAYION on the Hussein Obama Birth Certificate controversy!


31 posted on 12/04/2009 4:57:30 AM PST by 2harddrive
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To: 2harddrive
LOL. Yeah, they call those people birthers. Its a local community website filled with big time liberals. I go their for local issues, and occasional to rebute the idiots.

We even have one guy I've battled for days now who seems to think that the Taliban are just misunderstood and that I am an ignorant American for condemning them.

www.kingwood.com Look under the political tab (there are two tabs, a main one and a political one).
32 posted on 12/04/2009 5:50:13 AM PST by StolarStorm
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To: 2harddrive

Interesting.

I wonder about other fact check websites?

http://urbanlegends.about.com/?once=true&;

http://vmyths.com/

http://truthorfiction.com/


33 posted on 12/04/2009 6:22:09 AM PST by KeyLargo
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To: STARWISE
Another Passenger Confirms AirTran Flt. 297 Dry Run
34 posted on 12/04/2009 9:24:44 AM PST by Moe Tzadik
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To: STARWISE

Were there any sky marshalls on board or does Sarah Brady allow them anymore???


35 posted on 12/04/2009 9:37:42 AM PST by Waco (Stay as bootiful as ya are Karvile.)
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To: Moe Tzadik

Thank you.


36 posted on 12/04/2009 9:42:44 AM PST by STARWISE (They (LIBS-STILL) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war- Richard Miniter)
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To: STARWISE

Were there any sky marshalls on board or does Sarah Brady allow them anymore???


37 posted on 12/04/2009 9:43:21 AM PST by Waco (Stay as bootiful as ya are Karvile.)
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To: STARWISE
You're welcome. One more...

Security incident aboard AirTran Flight 297 suggests terror “Dry Run”

38 posted on 12/04/2009 10:03:53 AM PST by Moe Tzadik
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To: nahanrac

More info on the Atlanta-Houston flt...


39 posted on 12/04/2009 10:15:46 AM PST by lilycicero
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To: saintgermaine

Thanks. I don’t trust Snopes at all.


40 posted on 12/04/2009 11:30:46 AM PST by TigersEye (Sarah Palin 2010 - We Can't Afford To Wait)
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To: Husker24
I cant imagine real terrorists would be so stupid as to create a scene.

If they do this a few times they will lower the standard for setting off any alarms. It has happened before and we can see that here they were escorted back onto the plane by TSA agents. Agents who tried to order other passengers to quiet down and stay put.

The passengers that stayed and the new crew that came on were psychologically neutered at that point. Everybody would have been afraid to confront the camel jockeys again for anything short of a full-on hi-jacking. Might be sued or accused of a hate crime ya know. The flight crew might get that plus lose their jobs.

41 posted on 12/04/2009 11:40:44 AM PST by TigersEye (Sarah Palin 2010 - We Can't Afford To Wait)
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To: TigersEye

“The passengers that stayed and the new crew that came on were psychologically neutered at that point.”

excellent point


42 posted on 12/04/2009 1:33:59 PM PST by thouworm
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To: thouworm

PC at work.


43 posted on 12/04/2009 3:09:01 PM PST by TigersEye (Sarah Palin 2010 - We Can't Afford To Wait)
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To: StolarStorm

Lots of people on Free Republic quote Snopes as if it’s reliable.

I often get the same feeling arguing with people around here. I remember one person used Snopes to tell me stories of anti-Christian bias were all made up.

Some people just act as if Snopes is some sort of all-knowing oracle.


44 posted on 12/05/2009 7:15:31 AM PST by MichiganConservative (Abolish the IRS, income tax, the 16th amendment and the Federal Reserve. Replace them with nothing.)
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To: STARWISE

AirTran has confirmed that Tedd Petruna was never on the plane. They debunk this issue pretty throughly on their own website:

http://www.insideairtran.com/?p=2200

Petruna didn’t even arrive in Atlanta until well after Flight 297 was already boarded. This is just some loser trying to get his 15 minutes of fame. Seems there is a lot of that going around lately.


45 posted on 12/05/2009 12:11:02 PM PST by truthfree
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To: Husker24

I think it is more than cash that they are interested in. They could be trying to intimidate the airlines into not following anti-terrorist safety regulations. They already won in the courts with the flying imams. There have been other similar disruptive incidents as well. They are learning how to play the system with the assistance of the ACLU which has a large national network of ACLU judges in the courts who will always side with the criminal/terrorists.

If they succeed in intimidating the airlines, then any crew or employees who speak up will be disciplined or fired. They intimidate the people at the top of the corporation who only want peace so they buy off the muslims. The muslims are looking for cowards in high places whether in the corporate world, politics or the military. Look at how that General Casey at Fort Hood was turned into a mouthpiece for Obama. He was under orders from Obama. We are all under orders from our employers. The muslims know this so they go right to the top of the government and business. They know that if they intimidate the leadership, the leaders will throw us under the bus in order to keep peace with the muslims.


46 posted on 12/05/2009 12:20:46 PM PST by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
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To: truthfree; penelopesire; seekthetruth; television is just wrong; jcsjcm; BP2; Pablo Mac; ...

OMG ... he’s a fraud .. did this as a hoax ??

And the chaplain .. he said he saw the red-faced, crying
attendants coming off the flight ..

WT ...????

This is crazy ... please post any further info y’all may find.

Just found that the Northeast Intelligence Network
(Doug Hagmann’s site, was taken offline .. appears
to be back up.

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/17563


47 posted on 12/05/2009 12:53:01 PM PST by STARWISE (They (LIBS-STILL) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war- Richard Miniter)
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To: StolarStorm
To some, snopes is like the bible. How do I convince them otherwise?

Snopes is great for debunking many urban legends about waking up in a bathtub of ice minus a kidney, or pending legislation that will tax every email. But they're out of their league on bigger stories. This couple does not have the resources to break through bureaucracies whose job it is to supress info. The Snopes report on this story merely rehashes the Atlanta Journal Constitution article, which a careful reading shows actually CONFIRMS a serious enough incident to turn the plane around, disembark passengers, and reboard a new crew.

Tactically, my advice would be: Don't make the discussion about Snopes at all. Leave the Petruna letter out of the mix altogether and concentrate on the bottom line for facts not in dispute: The original crew left the craft and refused to fly. This speaks far more powerfully than dithering about whether it was a camera or a cell phone, Spanish or Arabic. Since none of us knows for sure what happened on that plane, the goal is to get people to think about what makes sense and to keep an open mind.

48 posted on 12/05/2009 12:59:30 PM PST by Eroteme
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To: StolarStorm

Keep up the fight, our Country depends on it. Not to mention it pisses off libs.

Pray for America’s Freedom


49 posted on 12/05/2009 1:02:10 PM PST by bray (Palin can see the White House from her Porch)
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To: STARWISE; truthfree

Petruna’s story and AirTran’s versions could both be crocks. The underlying story is the same: Something serious enough occurred on this aircraft to get the pilot to turn the plane around, disembark passengers, assemble a new crew, and take off again hours late, minus two incident passengers, original crew, and a dozen others who chose not to take later flights. Just the details and drama vary.


50 posted on 12/05/2009 1:18:22 PM PST by Eroteme
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