View Full Version : Reginald S Potter; Lies, Spies and Security Breaches

capt waffoo
29th Nov 2001, 22:30
Firstly, read this article from today's Times about the shenanigans and deceits that some of the Reg Spotter brigade get up to.

Is it any wonder those guys are banged up in Greece if this is the way they've been carrying on? A Greek source said today that this group had been warned three times in the previous week not to take photos of military installations. If so it begins to look like a huge own goal based on a very cynical attitude towards authority.
"IF", I said...

Nonetheless interesting points arise from the article in the Times;

"They know when Mildenhall is expecting ...F117s..."

"When six B52s flew into...confronted by 200 spotters..."

"Accidentally (!) driving down a prohibited lane at Palmdale AFB..."

"Enter a museum...self guided tour...claim they are 'lost'..."

It seems to me that if our military security, plans and operations are so transparent that it is no wonder folks get antsy at these people crawling all over Air Force Bases claiming thy'd just got "lost" from the nearby museum!

Perhaps I'm a bit naiive, but surely the military don't publish movements of F117s or B52s in advance, or do they? Are military flight plans available to the public? If so every time Uncle Sam mounts a raid from Mildenhall or Diego Garcia perhaps Reg S Potter or his Taliban chums are reading the info before the raid even takes off. Is this a good idea?

Is there a huge breach in military security (as there appears to be) or is there a more rational explanation?

Whilst I have no axe to grind against registration spotters (though I take the Greek Government's line that I cannot comprehend what the hell they are doing it for) surely their activity may well be an indication that our securtiy is far too lax and needs to be drastically tightened?

1st Dec 2001, 03:32
First off the article is clearly not written by any suffering wife. It's cobbled together from a good period on a spotters mailing list I'd say, with a good dose of fiction to spice things up.

(Or can you really name any RAF station where you can bluff your way in past the gate saying you want 'a look at the museum'!!!)

As for details of arrivals such as B-52s etc. Airspace reservations get publicised - 2 + 2 often equals 5... sometimes the predictions are wrong, sometimes 4 B-1Bs really do turn up at Mildenhall.

Many CROs will happily tell you about foreign visitors expected during the year - I don't think there any security breaches going on at all.

1st Dec 2001, 04:03
There is the RNAS museum ay Yeovilton:

Then there is the BoB Memorial Flight at Coningsby:

And there are museums on non-flying RAF stations such as in the old R30 at Neatishead:

Or the old B of B Ops room at Uxbridge:

Now, I am not sure about what is inside or outside the security perimeter on all the sites, (or how robust it is,) but I would not write-off the possibility of someone stupid enough managing to slip away.

Guards are not always as alert as they should be.

[ 01 December 2001: Message edited by: ORAC ]

1st Dec 2001, 18:16
There are good and bad in all walks of life. Are we trying to say that all spotters are bad and all pilots are squeaky clean?

I guess that you have not visited any of the places you mention! Getting on an operational part of these sites would tax even Touchdown Tours!

1st Dec 2001, 19:20
25 years in the RAF including over 8 years at one of the units in question and numerous visits/dets to the others.

The only one I have no person knowledge of is Yeovilton.

With the extent of privitisation you would be surprised at the number of civilians wandering around a base these days. Unless someone was obviously carrying cameras they could quite easily roam around.

Access to anywhere like a PBF, WOC or HAZ complex or other secure area is, however, substantially more protected!

1st Dec 2001, 19:53
Sure, plenty of people can wander round inside the base - once inside (thought last time I did that at Colt, with the chap giving me a tour round the interesting bits, we were stopped 5 times to ask us what we were doing).

But walking up to the guard room and saying 'just popping in to see the museum' will get you NOWHERE.

Yeovilton's museum is not part of the base. Coningsby's BoB museum thing is not part of the base. Neatishead's museum has closed. Dunno about Uxbridge but as I say, you can't get in without prior arrangement where such facilities exist, and you'd have an escort at all times.

1st Dec 2001, 20:11
Obviously not going to name names or places but one certain base in the UK isn't even fenced in and joe public can wander off the pavment through the remains of the hedge! :confused: