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Tag: plane

Wack: The FBI’s First Use Of Airplanes & The Original Pilot

Retired FBI Special Agent Larry Wack maintains a website as a tribute to the early FBI and the G-Men of the 1930s. More can be found at this website.

By Larry Wack

The FBI’s First Use Of Airplanes & The Original Pilot Retired FBI Agent, Murry C. Falkner was actually the only FBI Agent during the ‘30s who was an “authorized pilot.” Falkner became an FBI Agent in 1925.

He obtained his pilot’s license in 1936 at the Albuquerque Airport while assigned to the El Paso FBI office.

Most of his official flying duties were in the West Texas and New Mexico areas. Falkner recounted some of his career in a 1967 interview for the FBI’s internal magazine, “The Grapevine.”

Among other high profile cases, Falkner was involved in the Dillinger and Bremer kidnapping investigations and received a raise in salary along with others for their work.

He used his raise to learn how to fly. In 1939, he was on special assignment in Seattle and bought his first plane. Before delivery, he was transferred to San Francisco, FBI and then had to travel to Detroit to arrange delivery. After a short sprint in San Francisco, FBI he was transferred to Alaska but found problems financially in taking the plane with him. Falkner retired from the FBI in the ’60s and maintained a residence in Mobile, Alabama.

At the time of his retirement, he had a new career in mind – writing. In a recently found July, 1965 news interview with Falkner, it’s revealed “Writing is not new in the Falkner family.

He (Murry) is a brother of the late William Faulkner and John Faulkner, also a novelist. William Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1949 and the Pulitzer prizes for fiction in 1955 and 1963.”

Said Falkner in the same interview, “I’m going to try to do some writing. I have no illusions that I have the talent my brothers had but I am going to try my hand at it.”

At the time, Falkner was 66 years old. Falkner retained the revised spelling of the family name when his brothers, on the other hand, restored the “u” dropped by their great-grandfather.

 

Was Hacker Able to Seize Plane Mid-Flight? FBI Investigates

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether a purported hacker was able to control a plane mid-flight, The Washington Post reports. 

Chris Roberts, who’s with a security intelligence firm called One World Labs, tweeted on April 15 that he was able to manipulate the in-flight and crew-alerting system of a United Airlines plane. The FBI detained Roberts for several hours after the flight, seizing his equipment and barring him from taking another United flight.

“Lesson from this evening, don’t mention planes,” he later tweeted. “The Feds ARE listening, nice crew in Syracuse, left there naked of electronics.”

Roberts told Wired in an interview that he was only kidding and did not actually take control of the flight. But the point, he said, was to show that it can be done and to alert U.S. officials to the problem.

The FBI said Roberts claimed he was able to take control of the flight.

“He stated that he thereby caused one of the airplane engines to climb resulting in a lateral or sideways movement of the plane during one of these flights,” FBI Special Agent Mark Hurley wrote in his warrant application, as Wired reported. “He also stated that he used Vortex software after comprising/exploiting or ‘hacking’ the airplane’s networks. He used the software to monitor traffic from the cockpit system.”

FBI Steps Up Crackdown on Laser Pointer Attacks After Success of Pilot Program

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is increasing its crackdown on people who point lasers at airplanes.

CBS News reports that the bureau is offering $10,000 rewards following an increase in laser cases.

The FBI launched a pilot program at 12 offices in February, which saw a 19% decrease in the number of reported laser strikes.

The number of cases has increased 1,100% since the FBI began tracking lasers.

“The FBI hopes to build off the success of the initial launch in February and not only reduce the threat but continue to generate public awareness about the dire consequences of lasing and the understanding that it is a violation of federal law,” said Michael Kaste, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Kansas City Division.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

ticklethewire.com Salutes Federal Law Enforcement in Its Battle Against Terrorism and Honors Those Who Died on Sept. 11, 2001

istock image

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

I still remember walking down Connecticut Avenue in Washington, headed to the subway, when I ran into a friend who told me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

About 20 minutes later, when I got off the subway downtown at the Farragut North stop, I bumped into an editor at the Washington Post who told me the city was under attack. There was eerie feeling in the city. Some people were already heading home even though they had just gotten downtown. There was a sense of chaos. A sense of fear. A sense of uncertainty.

When I got into the Post newsroom, everyone was standing around television sets, watching the events of Sept. 11 unfold. Shortly after, we all got our assignments for the day.

In the days that followed, I felt like life would never be the same, we would never feel safe again. We all felt so vulnerable. A few days later, I was at the BWI airport near Baltimore, waiting for a flight to Detroit to report on a story for the Post. Everyone in line was looking at everyone else, paranoid, looking to see if there were any potential terrorists.

Thankfully, in time, a sense of normalcy returned to our lives. But we knew things would never be the same, from the the airport experience to concerns about abandon packages to the threat of al Qaeda.

We learned about Code Orange. We saw law enforcement change, most notably the FBI, that shifted significant resources to address counterterrorism. We got involved in two wars.

Since 9/11, federal law enforcement has unearthed a number of terrorist plots. It deserves a great deal of credit.

Granted, things haven’t been perfect. Some folks at the FBI aren’t happy with the way resources were divided up. Groups like the ACLU have raised questions about privacy, about stings, about civil rights, about torture. Republicans and Democrats have had heated debates about the proper venue to prosecute suspected terrorists and about reading Miranda Warnings. Politics have sometimes hijacked the true concerns about terrorism.

Federal law enforcement can’t stop everything. It can’t make us feel 100 percent safe. And yes, it can still improve upon what its done and how it does it. But it deserves a great deal of credit for the job its done since 9/11.

It ain’t easy and it won’t be in the future.