Friday, January 16, 2009
Canadian Terrorists Strike Again
I’ve often wondered what New York’s Native Americans thought in 1609 when they first saw Henry Hudson sailing up the Hudson River in the 85-foot Half Moon. Was it big news? Did they gawk? Were they frightened? Did they see this strangely shaped European vessel as a thing of wonder, or as harbinger of their doom? Perhaps neither. After all, many natives had heard tales of Europeans. Some had encountered their sailing ships before and perhaps even traded with them. It had been almost a century since another European, Verrazano, in the service of France, sailed into New York harbor. Still, it must have caused some excitement.
And just yesterday, 400 years after Hudson made his New York debut, the river that bears his name saw another splash of excitement. A commercial jet, which had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport, was forced to make an emergency landing right onto the river, just west of Midtown Manhattan. Incredibly, all 150 passengers and the the crew were rescued.
Now I fly occasionally and I am one of those people who routinely disregards the flight attendants when they give their instructions before take-off. “In the event of water landing…” Water landing? Are you freakin’ kidding me? Isn’t “water landing” just a nice way of saying crash? Well no. Thanks to the skill of a US Airways pilot, I now appreciate the difference. Most especially, so do the 150 passengers on the flight. So it’s a feel good story of rescue and resourcefulness, an intrepid pilot, plucky New Yorkers and blessed good fortune. (The pilot, Captain Sullenberger already had over 100,000 fans on Facebook - and counting).
But there’s a dark side to this story as well. What forced the emergency landing? What caused the plane’s engines to fail? Well, the official story is that a “double bird strike” took out both of the plane’s engines. But as a savvy and cynical New Yorker, I’ve learned, ever since 9/11, to disbelieve all “official” explanations. After all, the “official” version of 9/11 would have us believe that 19 Islamist hijackers crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center. Well, by know, everyone knows the real truth – it was the Canadians.
A double bird strike? Now what kind of birds would be so cunning and malevolent as to pull off a move as complicated and daring as the double strike? And then it hit me.
Why of course.