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Article posted Jan 16 2013, 4:45 PM Category: Tyranny/Police State Source: William Norman Grigg Print

Private Pilot Nearly Shot Down for Violating 'Secret No-Fly Zone'

by William Norman Grigg

Last July, the Small Wars Journal published an essay co-written by retired U.S. Army Colonel Kevin Benson entitled “Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A ‘Vision’ of the Future.” That article presented a speculative case study of domestic military operations to put down a domestic insurrection that would seize control of the unremarkable town of Darlington, South Carolina.

In the scenario painted by Col. Benson and his co-author, Professor Jennifer Weber of the University of Kansas, a militia inspired by the Tea Party movement seized control of Darlington’s municipal government, erects checkpoints “on major transportation lines,” and imposes a form of martial law in which “citizens who complain are immediately detained.” The governor of South Carolina invokes the Insurrection Act, leading to a “full-spectrum” response by the U.S. military.

Shortly after that essay was published, 70-year-old private pilot Robin Fleming learned that Darlington County – or at least the airspace above it – is already subject to a form of martial law.

Fleming, who belongs to the Bermuda High Soaring aviation club in Lancaster, South Carolina, went for an afternoon glider flight last July in Darlington County. His course briefly took him over the HB Robinson Nuclear Generating Station near Lake Robinson. As he was preparing to return to Lancaster, Fleming lost radio contact with the other members of the club. Hours passed as his friends imagined the worst. Finally they filed a missing aircraft report, and a search began. To their relief, Fleming contacted them – only to leave them horrified when they learned what had happened.

After Fleming passed over the power plant, he was ordered to land his glider, which he did as soon as prevailing wind currents permitted. Once he was down on the ground, Fleming was swarmed by law enforcement.

Fleming was informed that he had violated a “secret no-fly zone.” This was an entirely spurious claim: There is no such thing as a domestic "no-fly zone," secret or otherwise. That term, significantly, is used to describe aerial blockades imposed by the military – generally under the purported authority of a multilateral body, such as the UN or one of its regional affiliates – against a "rogue nation," such as Iraq or Libya. The Homeland Security Department apparently considers itself entitled to impose similar restrictions wherever it chooses, and do so without bothering to inform civilian pilots or make suitable notations on FAA-produced sectional aviation charts.

Despite the fact that he had done nothing wrong, Fleming was handcuffed, charged with “breach of peace,” and held for more than 24 hours before being interrogated by FBI and Homeland Security officials. The charges were dismissed after he showed the investigators that the zone wasn’t marked in aviation charts – but he was required to sign a document promising that he wouldn’t file a lawsuit against the officials who had illegally detained him. He later learned that local police officials had made preparations to shoot down his glider if he hadn’t landed as quickly as he did.

Fleming did nothing illegal – yet he was brutalized by people who had been prepared to kill him, and could have done so without consequences. Such is life in our Homeland Security State.
William Norman Grigg [send him mail] publishes the Pro Libertate blog and hosts the Pro Libertate radio program.

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Comments 1 - 8 of 8 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Jan 17 2013, 12:11 AM

69209 The problem is not even with the so called law enforcement. Here's where it is:

"When his attorney returned and said the case would be dismissed if he agreed not to take any legal action against Darlington County law enforcement, he reluctantly agreed". So, without any legal cause whatsoever, the police made threat to kill him (terrorist threat), then arrested him on bogus charges on breaching peace (false arrest), then intimidated him with further false imprisonment if he does not promise not to sue them. And he agreed.

Next time they _will_ shoot him. Or someone else.

Posted: Jan 17 2013, 12:21 AM

69209 Also note this ridiculous whining about lack of training. "Homeland Security is taking these matters seriously", " better educational efforts of law enforcement authorities" etc.

Seriously? the people from Sheriff's department came, looed at the situation, and told tell the cops that there was no law violated, after which turned away and left. So by the time of arrest, the cops knew 100% well that they had no grounds. They also knew that they have no authority to demand landing of an aircraft. Yet they did it. After which they went forward and charged him with ridiculous and patently irrelevant "breach of peace" charge. If this was not malicious prosecution, I don't know what is. Finally, they did their best to cover their racket by demanding that he does not sue them. Gotta like the attorney who advised his client to agree to this blackmail.

No, it's not about lack of training at all. it's about the chain of fully conscious crimes committed by Darlington law enforcement on that day.

Posted: Jan 17 2013, 2:22 AM

65110 Why did a militia group set up checkpoints there? To give the regular military justification to have their little test area? The whole episode looks like a setup.

Posted: Jan 17 2013, 3:26 AM

9885 If they can disobey the law and threaten anyone without and harm, then guess what, so can we!! You get what you give bitches! It's time!

Posted: Jan 17 2013, 12:38 PM

6674 He could argue the signature was made under duress.

Posted: Jan 17 2013, 12:44 PM

687 the real loons of this country are in charge of the U/S..

Posted: Jan 17 2013, 1:34 PM

75145 "and the charges were eventually dropped (after he agreed not to file suit)."


"we know that you are innocent, and we also know that we have committed a crime. Because of that, we can't let you go unless you promise that you won't go after us."

That's what we call Law Enforcement. Indeed, if they were genuine mafia, the "unless" part would be replaced by two bullets in the head. Darlington County officials are definitely making good progress.

Posted: Jan 27 2013, 12:41 AM

70190 but he was required to sign a document promising that he wouldn’t file a lawsuit against the officials who had illegally detained him. this is duress and is unenforceable in any HONEST court!
He should sue them all til they are homeless!!!
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