Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Good Catch! Sword Canes to Reptiles…

Sword Cane Found at ROC
Sword Cane Found at ROC
No, this post isn’t about what we’ve caught with the “Fishin’ Magician,” it’s about the  "Good Catch" page over at TSA.gov!  Since March of this year, we’ve been posting some interesting catches and I wanted to share them with our blog readers. There are currently nine “Good Catch” articles available for your reading pleasure ranging from a sword cane to artfully concealed reptiles.  Be sure to check them out and visit frequently for updates! 

Speaking of good catches, did you know that our officers have found 725 firearms in carry-on luggage since January of 2011? And it’s still only September! Most people say they simply forgot the gun was in their bag, but I remember a few years ago at CVG when a passenger went as far as to blame his mother for putting the loaded pistol in his backpack.  Stay classy…


If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

How many of those 725 were charged with any crime that involved attempting to harm an aircraft in any way?

How many of those 725 were convicted?

JustSayin said...

TSA caught all those prohibited items because TSA ensures that Officers are well trained through an extensive vetting and interviewing process (usually one year in length) and rigorous training programs.

Job well done, TSA!


Grand total of terrorist attacks since 9/11 and the formation of the TSA: 0

Anonymous said...

I dont worry about the hundreds of times you catch someting, I worry about the times that you *don't*

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is incredibly good information. Why doesn't TSA get good PR for the safety in adds to our flights, instead of the inconveniences of extra time spent at the security checkpoints?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Blogger Bob telling someone to stay classy. Don't TSOs go through people's bags for a living?

Stay classy, Bob? You first.

Kat said...

It is stated in one of your articles referenced that "peanut butter is allowed." Apparently, your highly trained TSOs don't know that. It has been reported multiple times on a special needs diet list that individuals carrying peanut butter have had it confiscated by TSOs because it was claimed to be a liquid or a gel. If peanut butter is permitted, why don't ALL of the TSOs know this?

Anonymous said...

Do you have a breakdown by week, Bob?

I've been keeping track the last few months, and those numbers have been:

Period ending - #

July 3rd - 8
July 10th - 7
July 17th - 9
July 24th - 17
July 31st - ? - not posted
August 7th - 17
August 14th - 18
August 21st - 27
August 28th - 18
September 5th - 10

This is 131 over 9 weeks (not including the week you never posted the number), for an average of 14.55 a week.

725 guns since January = 20.7 average per week.

Actually, since we know 9 of those weeks, we can re-calculate with that in mind- and we get an average of 22.8 guns per week for the 26 weeks not specified above.

I wonder why the weeks we actually have numbers for are soooo much lower than the weeks we don't have numbers for. It's not like the TSA would exaggerate the numbers to make themselves look better, is it?

Anonymous said...

How about a TSA 'FAIL' page? There are lots of TSA blunders you could use to fill it.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/08/screening_incidents_at_newark.html
"A TSA screener is being given "remedial training" after the screener allowed a three-inch folding knife to pass through a security checkpoint Wednesday morning."

http://consumerist.com/2010/11/adam-savage-tsa-scanners-missed-my-12-long-weapon.html
"Adam Savage of Mythbusters carries around a bunch of weird crap, so he's always careful to check his laptop bag and person to make sure he's not going to have any of his valuable nonsense confiscated by the TSA. Except one day last May...
... long story short, he forgot to remove two 12" long razor blades from his stuff. The TSA inspected the bag and put him through the body scanner, but somehow neglected to find the blades in his bag."

http://consumerist.com/2007/08/tsa-confiscates-pudding-misses-knife.html
"Reader Porter says he accidentally left his Swiss Army knife in his backpack as he went through the TSA check point, an all too common mistake.
Thankfully, the TSA agent spotted his package of pudding and confiscated it, missing the knife completely."

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/practical-travel-safety-issues/884796-msn-tsa-misses-large-swiss-army-knife-carry-after-hand-check.html
"Our keyboardist's laptop bag got called out for a "bag check" after passing through the x-ray. An agent went through it pretty thoroughly (I was standing next to him gathering my stuff), and nothing was found so off we went.
Later as we were sitting at the gate my buddy was going through his bag looking for something and found his rather large Swiss Army knife in the side pocket! We couldn't believe it made it through undiscovered! He was quite happy as he completely forgot it was in there and would've been bummed to lose it, but we were both reminded instantly how big the holes are in the TSA's fishing net."

http://www.tgisfw.com/2008/03/tsa-is-complete-jokeand-not-funny-one.html
Finally, my super-sharp and very handy lock-knife keychain. I had put my keys in my coat pocket and completely forgot about the dangerous weapon attached. I was surprised then that this object was never considered a threat. My coat went through the x-ray machine with no issues, and I left the screening area to board the plane carrying a deadly weapon. Make no mistake, this knife could gut a deer carcass (which I would never do, but you get the point).
After my few days in New York, I made a decision. I would keep the knife on my keychain and see if the New York screeners would catch it. ...
It once again passed through the x-ray machines without incident and I boarded my flight home carrying a seriously sharp knife in my pocket."


I can easily find more if you want. In fact, let's make this a collaborative effort- EVERYONE post links to stories the TSA can use on their FAIL page!

RB said...

Yet Alvin Crabtree, a TSA employee, can bring a loaded handgun to work and still work for TSA.

IraqVet said...

This is really rich...reptiles? Really? Now there's something worth scanning. Sounds like another blow to terrorism and another victory for Der Fuhrerland.
As for those canes: How many elderly did you have wrestle them from, and will they be available for purchase on Ebay?

Hugs

Anonymous said...

Your last admonition in this blog entry to passengers..."stay classy". It's obvious that you don't hold your own TSA workforce to that standard. Class requires dignity which the TSA has stripped away from American citizens along with billions in wasted tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

"Grand total of terrorist attacks since 9/11 and the formation of the TSA: 0"

Just curious, but what exactly, if anything, did the previous contract screeners do wrong on 9/11? I thought that while it might have been stupid to allow box cutters on board it wasn't illegal.

If so, then just what has the TSA brought us that simply changing existing regulations without creating a new Government run monstrosity could not?

Anonymous said...

"Stay classy…"

What a classless statement.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why the weeks we actually have numbers for are soooo much lower than the weeks we don't have numbers for. It's not like the TSA would exaggerate the numbers to make themselves look better, is it?

The discrepancies you pointed out are just more of the planned inconsistencies the TSA uses to keep terrorists off guard and the rest of us safe.....

Anonymous said...

Asking most of the bloggers who post on this site to stay classy is like asking an allagator to take little bites. They only see negative, and hate everybody, including themselves.

Anonymous said...

"They only see negative, and hate everybody, including themselves."

Stay classy....

Anonymous said...

The number of items found by the TSA says nothing about the number of items missed which is what we really want to know.

Anonymous said...

Still looking to find their first terrorist.

TSA: "Billions and Billions Groped"

Anonymous said...

How about this for a new policy?

"Only grope the terrorists."

Al Ames said...

So JS, what proof do you have of a 1 year interview and vetting process?

I got a TS in less than 6 months, and that included a background check with an investigator traveling the country investigating me, plus 2 polygraphs.

Considering your average screener doesn't access classified information at the secret level let alone TS, I'd really like to know why it takes so long to investigate a screener. Sounds like a lot of fraud, waste, and abuse to me if that is indeed true. Or does the 1 year include the 11 months sitting in the resume pile?

Al

Anonymous said...

Since we have been violating the 4th Amendment on unreasonable searches, the 2nd Amendment by forbidding travellers to carry the means to defend themselves, and now a TSA agent files suit to end freedom of the press.

How long before we are forced to quarter TSA agents in our homes?

Anonymous said...

Do you think that TSA agents were actually some of those cute kids I grew up watching on the Art Linkletter show? Perhaps you remember how he used to go through the purses of women on his show?

Anonymous said...

JustSayin said...
TSA caught all those prohibited items because TSA ensures that Officers are well trained through an extensive vetting and interviewing process (usually one year in length) and rigorous training programs.

The TSA hires people from ads on gas pumps (http://www.gadling.com/2010/11/04/tsa-looking-for-new-colleagues-at-gas-stations-promi/) and pizza boxes (http://digitaljournal.com/article/300638).

Grand total of terrorist attacks since The Queen Isabella Causeway in Texas collapses after being hit by a tugboat, killing 8.: 0

'Post hoc ergo propter hoc' is a logical fallacy.

michael chrietzberg said...

Today the TSA in Sacramento confiscated the interchangeable bits to my screwdriver despite the fact that screwdrivers are not prohibited to carry on. The supervisor could not produce any document showing screwdriver bits as prohibited but explained that they could be used as projectile weapons. Does anyone know of any policy on this subject?

Anonymous said...

How many guns are flying today?

What's the failure rate? The last published figure was 70% - that is, 70% of weapons were missed in tests.

That means, that if about 3 guns a day are being caught, 4+ guns a day are flying. Thankfully they belong to idiots, not terrorists.

Has the failure rate improved? If so, you need to tell us. It shouldn't be secret, a good success rate at catching weapons will deter terrorists.

Oh, you don't want to disclose it? Something smells fishy.

Anonymous said...

The failure rate is over 70%, so if you found 700+ guns, something close to 2000 flew around.

And nothing scary happened...

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"Just curious, but what exactly, if anything, did the previous contract screeners do wrong on 9/11? I thought that while it might have been stupid to allow box cutters on board it wasn't illegal."

they never did anything to stay current with their procedures, they kept the same procedures in place for decades. therefore the terrorists of 9/11 were able to find a loop hole in the system and take advantage of it. the old contractors were paid for by the airlines and to keep their bottom line down they kept things status quo in order to keep makin money for their shareholders and execs. so, yes, they were wrong. you can say whatever you want about the amount of money that the govt has put into tsa (which in the big picture of the budget isnt much) but at least they are constantly evaluating current threats and are evolving to try and keep up or stay ahead of threats. which, the pre 9/11 contractors did not. putting their porfit margins in front of our safety makes them at fault.

TSM said...

" michael chrietzberg said...
Today the TSA in Sacramento confiscated the interchangeable bits to my screwdriver despite the fact that screwdrivers are not prohibited to carry on. The supervisor could not produce any document showing screwdriver bits as prohibited but explained that they could be used as projectile weapons. Does anyone know of any policy on this subject?

September 8, 2011 1:15 AM"
--------------------
Screwdrivers are permitted. Drill and screwdriver bits are not.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"Has the failure rate improved? If so, you need to tell us. It shouldn't be secret, a good success rate at catching weapons will deter terrorists."

its funny, on here even if it was a 99% pass rate it wouldnt be good enough cause if 99 guns are caught then one gets through, per the examples given on here. the tsa people are only as good as the equipment they use.

Anonymous said...

Quoting JustSayin,

"Grand total of terrorist attacks since 9/11 and the formation of the TSA: 0"

That is an utterly false statement. Both the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber were terrorists who attacked us. They may not have been successful in taking human life, but they have been very successful at wasting time and resources.

The shoe bomber’s attack was successful with the help of the TSA to force 1,800,000 people to remove their shoes and put them through an X-ray screener every day.

The underwear bomber's attack was highly successful with the help of the TSA. His successful attack lead to the spending of nearly $500,000,000 dollars on whole body imaging machines and is used as an excuse for government employees to touch the genetalia of over 50,000 people every day. Not only that, but his attack has successfully resulted in the appropriation of another $250,000,000 to purchase more whole body imagine machines.

Of course the cost of purchasing the machines is less than the cost to maintain and operate them, so we are quickly getting into the billions of dollars spent as a result of the underwear bomber’s terrorist attack.

Through the hard work of the TSA, these two terrorist attacks that did not result in any fatalities, were turned into true successes that have cost the US significant resources.

I fully expect JustSaying to continue to repeat his lie as loud and as often as he can, because if he says it enough people will start to believe him.

Screen Cap Made
Not Scared of Terrorists

Anonymous said...

Hey anon, what do you base that on? From everything that's been shown, the pre-9/11 screeners did exactly what they were mandated to by the FAA. If anyone's guilty of not forward thinking, it's the FAA.

Even with TSA and its "forward thinking", nothing has been done that would prevent another 9/11 outside of pax fighting back and securing the cockpit doors. If TSA were in place like it is today, we'd still have the same problem.

Earl Pitts said...

@Anon: "its funny, on here even if it was a 99% pass rate it wouldnt be good enough cause if 99 guns are caught then one gets through, per the examples given on here. the tsa people are only as good as the equipment they use."

Hey anon, you know what? That's funny! TSA uses the "it just takes one" excuse to harass us all the time.

1 shoe bomber
1 underwear bomber
1 liquid plot
etc

They use that for justification and yet WE'RE wrong for criticizing the Few Bad Apples® and Isolated Incidents®?

Physician, heal thyself.

Earl

Andrew said...

I wonder how many they missed. Of course, that information is concealed because its so damn embarrassing to the TSA. I'll venture a guess its a hell of a lot more than 725, though.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"they never did anything to stay current with their procedures, they kept the same procedures in place for decades. therefore the terrorists of 9/11 were able to find a loop hole in the system and take advantage of it. the old contractors were paid for by the airlines and to keep their bottom line down they kept things status quo in order to keep makin money for their shareholders and execs. so, yes, they were wrong. "

This is entirely, completely incorrect. Screening standards were defined by and contractors inspected by the FAA. There is no evidence at all that the contractors didn't scrupulously observe the FAA standards. The contractors had ZERO authority to change inspection standards. That authority was retained by the USG.

Anonymous said...

"Screwdrivers are permitted. Drill and screwdriver bits are not."

Yes, because taking the handle off a screwdriver will turn the same screwdriver into an instrument of death - especially if it's only an inch long.

Anonymous said...

TSM said...

Screwdrivers are permitted. Drill and screwdriver bits are not.

----------------------------------

The TSA website states drill bits are prohibited. The only thing it says about screwdrivers is that they are permitted (7 inches or less)

A screw driver bit is simply a short screwdriver.

MarkVII said...

TSM said "Screwdrivers are permitted. Drill and screwdriver bits are not."

If I go to this page http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm#4, it says that "drills and drill bits" are not permitted in a carry on. However, "Screwdrivers (seven inches or less in length)" are allowed in a carry on.

There is no mention of screwdriver bits at all, one way or the other. I fail to see what security risk is posed by a screwdriver bit -- I can do more damage with my Cross pen than with your average screwdriver bit.

If the concern is that a screwdriver bit can be used as a projectile, bloody near anything can become a projectile.

Mark

MarkVII said...

OBTW, I'm left wondering how many bottles of contact lens solution have been "caught" along the way. I've posed the question of whether contact lens solution is considered a medical item or not, and have never received an answer.

Mark

Venison said...

Is deer meat or venison permitted?