Mon, Feb 11, 2008
Police Say Plane Crossed Into US From Mexico
An ardent critic of current US immigration polices recently
experienced firsthand what it's like to see an F-16 off your
On January 15, Glenn Spencer was flying from El Paso in a Cessna
206, in a surveillance flight as head of the privately-operated
American Border Patrol. About eight miles east of Douglas, AZ, his
aircraft apparently triggered security alarms... and two F-16s from
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
According to a report by the Bisbee (AZ) Police Department,
Spencer's aircraft crossed into Arizona from Mexico illegally.
"Contact was to be made with the pilot and he was to call the FAA
(Federal Aviation Administration) Command Center. Two air fighters
were launched from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base," the report
stated, according to the Sierra Vista Herald.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Spencer has turned the incident into a
rallying cry for his cause. "I was monitoring the progress of the
government in securing our border, and I was intercepted by an
F-16!" He added he was descending at the time from about 8,000
feet, and it's possible his aircraft strayed into Mexican airspace
before coming back into US airspace.
Spencer adds he was surprised by the buzzing F-16s, one of which
he claims "made two passes within 100 feet of me!" He’s been
flying his own monitoring missions along the US-Mexico border for
18 months, stating, "I do it all the time."
He also maintains he was squawking the right code, and stayed in
radio contact with regional flight authorities, such as Libby Army
Airfield on Fort Huachuca.
Most of the amateur surveilling Spencer and his crews perform
involves using high-definition cameras to watch fence construction.
The American Border Patrol then compiles notes and comparisons
using Google Earth into reports made available to any interested
party, including Congress.
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