Viral Email: INFO NOT FOR THE PUBLIC !!!
The following email has been widely forwarded. Media Matters Action Network has written a response to the text below. Please feel free to copy and paste it and send to your friends.
INFO NOT FOR THE PUBLIC !!!
[note - all mistakes below are original to the text]
Sent: Saturday, December 12, 2009 9:52:32 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: INFO NOT FOR THE PUBLIC !!!
Seems to have some validity.
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 2009 15:29:24 -0600
I, XXXX XXXXXXXXX, received this email from Tedd Petruna, a diver at the NBL facility [Neutral Buoyancy Lab], at NASA Houston. Tedd happened to be on this same Flight. 297, Atlanta to Houston.
Read Tedd's story:
One week ago, I went to Ohio on business and to see my father.
On Tuesday, November the 17th, I returned home. If you read the papers the18th you may have seen a blurb where a AirTran flight was cancelled from Atlanta to Houston due to a man who refused to get off of his cell phone before takeoff. It was on Fox.
This was NOT what happened.
I was in 1st class coming home. 11 Muslim men got on the plane in full attire. 2 sat in 1st class and the rest peppered themselves throughout the plane all the way to the back. As the plane taxied to the runway the stewardesses gave the safety spiel we are all so familiar with. At that time, one of the men got on his cell and called one of his companions in the back and proceeded to talk on the phone in Arabic very loudly and very aggressively. This took the 1st stewardess out of the picture for she repeatedly told the man that cell phones were not permitted at the time. He ignored her as if she was not there.
The 2nd man who answered the phone did the same and this took out the 2nd stewardess. In the back of the plane at this time, 2 younger Muslims, one in the back aisle, and one in front of him, window, began to show footage of a porno they had taped the night before, and were very loud about it.
Now..they are only permitted to do this prior to Jihad. If a Muslim man goes into a strip club, he has to view the woman via mirror with his back to her. (don't ask me..I don't make the rules, but I've studied) The 3rd stewardess informed them that they were not to have electronic devices on at this time. To which one of the men said "shut up infidel dog!" She went to take the camcorder and he began to scream in her facein Arabic. At that exact moment, all 11 of them got up and started to walk the cabin. This is where I had had enough! I got up and started to the back where I heard a voice behind me from another Texan twice my size say "I got your back." I grabbed the man who had been on the phone by the arm and said "you WILL go sit down or you Will be thrown from this plane!" As I "led" him around me to take his seat, the fellow Texan grabbed him by the back of his neck and his waist and headed out with him. I then grabbed the 2nd man and said, "You WILL do the same!" He protested but adrenaline was flowing now and he was going to go. As I escorted him forward the plane doors open and 3 TSA agents and 4 police officers entered. Me and my new Texan friend were told to cease and desist for they had this under control. I was happy to oblige actually.
There was some commotion in the back, but within moments, all 11 were escorted off the plane. They then unloaded their luggage.
We talked about the occurrence and were in disbelief that it had happen, when suddenly, the door open again and on walked all 11!! Stone faced, eyes front and robotic (the only way I can describe it). 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, whose 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. I had 5 hours to kill at this point so why the hell not. Due to the amount of people who got off that flight, it was cancelled. I was supposed to be in Houston at 6pm. I got here at 12:30am.
Look up the date. Flight #297 Atlanta to Houston.
If this wasn't a dry run, I don't know what one is. The terrorists wanted to see how TSA would handle it, how the crew would handle it, and how the passengers would handle it.
I'm telling this to you because I want you to know.. The threat is real.
I saw it with my own eyes..
Wow. This email is really unbelievable.
There have been a lot of negative comments about the media lately - but this incident, if true, would be a widely covered story. And, if it was true, passengers other than this Tedd Petruna would have been telling their story to reporters and not just writing it up in some dubious email.
Here is some proof that this email is giant pile of horse manure.
The (ahem, media outlet) Atlanta Journal-Constitution had an article about the incident fabricated by Mr. Tedd Petruna:
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...
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.
And as for that nonsense about Petruna refusing to continue on the flight, signing a statement to officials, and getting so many passengers to leave the plane that the flight was cancelled? Yeah, not so much:
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...
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.
If you'd like to read the whole article, you can do so at this link: http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/faa-to-investigate-cell-202143.html
Do you need further evidence that the author of this deceitful, (frankly) racist email that is meant to incite hatred and fear in his readers is full of baloney? Here is AirTran's statement:
After conducting additional research into this situation, we have verified, according to flight manifests (legally binding documents) that the individual that allegedly created a first-hand account of events on-board AirTran Airways flight 297, a Theodore Petruna, was never actually on-board the flight.
According to all available records, Mr. Petruna's trip originated from Akron-Canton, Ohio (CAK) on AirTran flight 205. This flight arrived at the gate in Atlanta at 5:06 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Flight 297, the flight which Mr. Petruna allegedly wrote a first-hand account of, originally pushed back from its gate in Atlanta at 4:40 p.m. EST, a full 26 minutes before flight 205 arrived at the gate in Atlanta making this flight connection impossible.
While Mr. Petruna was originally scheduled to begin his journey on AirTran flight 202 from CAK and connect to flight 297 in Atlanta he did not make that original flight.
The full statement is here: http://www.insideairtran.com/?p=2200
So, in summary, Petruna lied about nearly everything that happened on the flight - not to mention the fact that he lied about ever even being on the flight in the first place. What would motivate someone to do something like that? It's truly disgusting.
Look - I know that some of what has been going on in the air is scary. The near-miss at Christmas is a perfect example. But those incidents are not an excuse to make up stories to portray everyone of a certain faith and background as crazy terrorists. Would you want all Christians to be categorized with those few who viciously burned people at the stake for not keeping their eyes on the Host during Mass? I don't think so.
If we're ever going to effectively counter terrorism, we need to start by using facts.
Posted in - Viral Email