PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Feds Probe ‘Invisible Paint’ Graffiti

Friday, September 23, 2011

Comment | More

Federal authorities are investigating the defacing of several Southwest Airlines 737s with a special “invisible paint” that appears only after the plane is warmed with an auxiliary power unit.

Persistent reports that the scrawls were Arabic symbols or secret messages triggered fears of terrorism last week, but language authorities said later that the markings did not appear to be Arabic.

 Invisible paint markings appear after the plane heats up
An anonymous Southwest employee said the markings look like swords.

Nevertheless, both the FBI and the Transportation Security Administration are investigating, and Southwest Airlines is conducting “an internal investigation,” a spokeswoman said.

Press reports say the marks appear to have been etched using a chemical process and become more prominent as the plane heats up.

‘Internal Vandalism’

The graffiti began appearing in February and has increased in recent weeks, the airline and press reports said.

In a statement Thursday, Southwest said the “markings have no affiliation to any known group or activity” and were being treated as vandalism. The airline did not say how many planes have been affected.

“Southwest takes this behavior very seriously, and we will continue to involve local and federal law enforcement agencies as needed until the situation is resolved,” the airline said, adding that aircraft safety “is in no way impacted” by the graffiti.

An internal Southwest memo obtained by ABC News said the airline was investigating the matter as an “internal vandalism issue.”

‘Disturbing Questions’

The paint appears toward the back of the 737 aircraft, but only after an auxiliary power unit is turned on, warming the underbelly, engines and landing gear. Most of the affected planes appear to be flying out of Los Angeles, reports said.

A Southwest employee told gawker.com that the markings “are on the exhaust pipe of the engines. Usually on the inboard side. And most of them are described as looking like swords. (picture an elongated “S” with a line crossing it toward one end.)”

Los Angeles radio reporter Charles Feldman, who first reported the story, said the incidents raise “disturbing questions about the security, because anybody who has the ability to write on an airplane and can get that close to do it, also has the ability to do other things to that aircraft.”

   

Tagged categories: Criminal acts; Graffiti

Comment from Car F., (9/26/2011, 11:13 AM)

Trap within themselves, the fear striken dwellers committed suicide....then things returned to normal.


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Armakleen Company, The
ARMEX when nondestructive cleaning is critical

Use ARMEX to clean, remove paint and degrease a wide variety of substrates including metals, plastics, composites and masonry materials like brick, concrete and natural stone.


Manus Abrasive Systems, Inc./Mod-U-Blast Mfg.
Manus Abrasive
& Mod-U-Blast Mfg

stock several handy tools to accomplish a wide range of internal pipe blasting/cleaning.
Dealer inquiries welcome.


Clemco Industries Corp.
Powerful Protection in a Small Package

Mounts inside blast helmet, alerts operator to dangerous breathing-air condition by audible, visual, and vibratory alarms. Easily calibrated, battery operated.


NLB Corporation
Water Jets in Action

Video demo shows how
easily Vortex™ removes
coatings and more. Lawn-
mower-style water jet unit strips floors, ship decks, etc. quickly and keeps debris contained.


Termarust Technologies
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion

Hydro Utility Penstock Overcoated in 1997. Was power washed and overcoated with major cost saving. No environmental impact with Termarust's low LC50 of 41,007 ppm.


Axxiom Manufacturing
Schmidt Improves
Portable Blasters

Schmidt's VBS System reduces blowdown intensity, prevents exhaust from damaging floor while using no screens or filters. Reduces sound; Increasing safety.
Call 1-800-231-2085


Safway Services
Suspended Access Made Easy With QuikDeck™

The smart choice for suspended access, QuikDeck’s interchangeable, lightweight components make them easy to set up and reassemble when you need to move.


Trelawny Surface Preparation Technology
Surface Preparation Equipment

Manufacturer of needle scalers, grinders, scarifiers and scabblers. Pneumatic tools for Marine and Construction. US distributor CS Unitec: 800-700-5919

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com