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The Mysteries of Flight 21



Last night, my friend Jennifer Fader Scott, who lives in Los Angeles, was on her way from JFK back home.

Midway through her flight, she started posting to Facebook messages about a lone man on the flight who she said was insubordinate for over an hour and screaming things in another language, likely Farsi. She also suggested that American Airlines was not doing everything it could to subordinate the insubordinate flyer.

But the situation came under control at last; according to Jennifer, the passenger was ultimately subordinated and given a dose of valium, and the flight made a forced landing in Denver. Four FBI agents boarded the plane immediately after landing.

Feeling the matter resolved, I went to bed. This morning I expected to see some media coverage.

There isn't much. The Fox affiliate in Denver calls the man a "drunk" and mentions nothing about his behavior or his language. (Jennifer does not seem convinced that the man was merely a "drunk" and indeed even Fox puts the word in quotation marks). Other than that, all I can find to this point is this story about how Jennifer reported that her Twitter access was blocked as the situation was developing, and how it likely wasn't blocked--which is rather a tangential point.

Very ironically (even if perhaps equally tangentially), I singled out Jennifer in my preface to the recent re-release of a novel of mine (a 9/11 novel at that) as a "social media maven." And that she is, as an SVP at Rogers and Cowan, and that she certainly proved to be last night. Were it not for her maven-ness, in fact, very likely nobody at all would even know that there was a disturbance on Flight 21 last night, a severe enough one to interrupt the flight schedule. I guess that's the way we roll with "drunks" shouting things, maybe in Farsi, on airlines these days, a day after the president says that Iran must "pay a price" for promoting the escalation of hostilities between that nation and its neighbors.

Curious, creepy, and coincidental update. Friend Will Campbell reports some very odd activity in front of his house this morning. "Well That's Odd: Got back from our dog walk and found 3 FBI cars double-parked in front of the house... Really." A later tweet says they're gone almost as soon as he noticed them, and he didn't even hear them leave. All these little boys sneaking around America so quietly, not wanting anyone to know anything about what they're doing!