Belly Button Bomber may cause airlines to go belly up


Chicago, IL – A passenger on a United flight from Chicago to Dallas was subdued and later arrested after threatening to set off an internal bomb during the flight.  Herman Sykes of Skokie IL was apprehended Sunday after United Flight 347 from Chicago to Dallas made an emergency landing in OK city.  Sykes had apparently jumped up from his seat after the plane had reached cruising altitude, pointing at his navel and shouting “Nobody move, or I’ll push this button!”

            “It was terrible,” said passenger Bart Finkel of Chicago. “He had this wild look in his eyes—as he pulled up his shirt, everyone screamed!” 

            Sykes, dubbed the “Belly-Button Bomber”, insisted he had a bomb inside him that could be set off by pressing his belly-button.  Several passengers came from behind and knocked him unconscious, while the pilot made the emergency landing and notified both local and federal authorities. 

As for the bomb, it seems that Sykes was bluffing—X-rays conducted later found no evidence of anything abnormal about his insides.  Although he also professed allegiance to Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, neither group (nor any other) claimed any affiliation with Sykes.  However, one of his distant cousins (twice removed, related by marriage), allegedly is from Iran.  Sykes had reportedly been deported to Guantanamo Bay for further questioning.


A false alarm?

            Despite the seeming absurdity of this past Sunday’s terrorist threat, Dr. Wilhelm Blunderbus, director of the Research, Development, and Speculation department at Lockheed Martin, says this event poses chilling possibilities for Americans and the future of the American air travel industry. 

            “It is quite possible for terrorists to construct a device (bomb) that could be worn internally, that could pass through current security devices undetected, and that could be triggered from the outside—for example, by pressing on one’s navel”, says Blunderbus.  “Such a device might even be capable of bringing down a commercial airline.”

            Blunderbus went on to say that his department has already come up with such devices, and that they have been on the market for at least two years.  “However, we at Lockheed Martin are well aware that this technology could be dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands.”


A new threat to the airline industry

            News of America’s latest terrorist threat has sent more shock waves through the already harried airline industry.  Airport security has been heightened once again to level red.  But airports have not wasted time in responding.  A new contract with Lockheed Martin will allow Chicago’s O’Hare airport and several others to build bomb-proof shelters adjacent to airport security lines. 

            “Passengers should expect longer delays in airport security lines,” says TSA official Burt Olinger.  “We’re working to set up rooms where everyone will undergo mandatory navel examinations.”  People will now be required to press on their belly buttons under surveillance by airport security officials, before they will be allowed through airport security. 

            “This is a small price to pay for our freedom,” says Olinger.  “Airports are looking at implementing more stringent measures in the next 5 years.  CAT scans may be required for all passengers prior to flights. This may not apply to those in business class, first class, or priority gold members of the airlines we serve.”                

--Tracy S. Feldman, copyright 2006, Ass. Press


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