Goodness. Just when I think the whole “Terror in the Skies!!” story is done, it takes another turn. Check out this reporting from LA radio station KFI, as quoted by Donald Sensing at One Hand Clapping (Air marshals “not worried” aboard Flight 327):
Undercover federal air marshals on board a June 29 Northwest airlines flight from Detroit to LAX identified themselves after a passenger “overreacted,” to a group of middle-eastern men on board, federal officials and sources have told KFI NEWS.
The passenger, later identified as Annie Jacobsen, was in danger of panicking other passengers and creating a larger problem on the plane, according to a source close to the secretive federal protective service. …
“The lady was overreacting,” said the source. “A flight attendant was told to tell the passenger to calm down; that there were air marshals on the plane.”
In subsequent commentary, Reverend Sensing writes:
Also, I now retract my previous claim that in fact “nothing actually happened” aboard Flight 327. It’s now obvious that something did: an American husband and wife panicked for no reason whatever and potentially put the flight in jeopardy.
I wouldn’t go that far, but I do think it’s pretty sweet that the whole story finally makes sense, including the really weird part about the flight attendant revealing the presence of air marshals on the plane and enlisting Jacobsen’s husband in writing down a description of one of the musicians. It’s standard practice for dealing with wigged-out delusionals at 30,000 feet: don’t challenge their delusion. Give them something to do, agree with them, just keep them from making a more-dangerous disruption until you can get them on the ground.
I originally said this story reminded me of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, but now I realize that it reminds me even more of that Twilight Zone episode, “Terror at 30,000 Feet,” in which William Shatner gets carried off the plane in a straitjacket after grabbing a handgun and shooting at the hairy gremlin on the wing. I guess it’s lucky Annie didn’t know who the armed marshals actually were, eh?