Thursday, November 10, 2005

Where Are Mulder and Scully When We Need Them?

This is the official story: 3,000 geese flew over St. Louis International Airport yesterday morning. The air traffic control radar system thought they were 3,000 airplanes, hyperventilated, and crashed. They switched to the backup system, it crashed (because of "faulty telephone lines"). The Kansas City air-traffic controllers took charge of the airspace over metro St. Louis until the backup system came back online.

This is what I found out on my own:

A night-shift fry cook at the McDonald's on Natural Bridge said he saw the geese and that is was "amazing that so many birds could fly in that tight saucer-shape pattern."

Harriet Sumters, a retired librarian who lives near 270 and Page said she heard all the honking but "thought that MODOT had just closed down Highway 40 a little sooner than planned."

A spokesman for the federal airport administration said that the only solution would be to have all waterfowl wear transponders similar to those installed in each aircraft. "We have highly paid consultants working on it now," he add, "so there is no reason for the public to panic yet and none of this has absolutely anything to do with the bird flu."

NOTE: 11/11/05 The new official story is that "high pressure" bent the radar beams from the primary radar system and it thought trees and cars were thousands of aircraft, so it shut down. (We all knew 270 would somehow get the blame , didn't we!). The airport is still operating on the backup system.

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