Canadians vow mass-mooning of US spy-blimp


35 Responses to “Canadians vow mass-mooning of US spy-blimp”

  1. Takuan says:

    green lasers

  2. buddy66 says:

    I live an hour’s drive from Sarnia. I think I’ll go moon the balloon. One look at my wrinkled ass and they’ll surrender.

  3. snakedart says:

    They don’t have laser pointers in Canada?

  4. IamInnocent says:

    I hope to live long enough to see the US stop circling the drain one way or another.

  5. Anonymous says:

    If it’s a blimp then it’s slow, big, filled with gas and can be easily shot down with a precision rifle. Just make sure you don’t get photographed or filmed while doing the right thing.

  6. andyhavens says:

    My Canadian brothers/sisters… we are just interested in viewing your comedy, wildlife and pristine vistas. Do not be alarmed. Go about your business.

    The balloon is only dangerous if you try to cross the border going south. Stay in your strange, primitive land, continue to send us better writing and beer, and all will be well.

  7. Takuan says:

    that would be a fun project: build an autonomous drone that launches with rocket assist up to a few thousand feet and then deploys as a solar powered semi-glider. It’s programmed to make search spirals that eventually converge on any object that reflects like the balloon wing. Then it tightens in the spiral until barbs on the underside catch the target. Finally it craps a few ounces of whatever solvent or acid eats balloon skin. Sound doable with off-the shelf gear?

  8. angryhippo says:

    “The 50-foot dirigible, shaped like an airplane wing, is owned by the Sierra Nevada Corporation and operated by True North Logistics of Port Huron.

    It has clearance to fly to 1,000 feet and can read the name of a ship from nine miles (14 kilometres) away. Its owners hope to draw interest from U.S. Homeland Security.”

    So it’s a privately-owned device not affiliated with any US Gov entity? What’s the difference between this and if some random company put up a camera on a post pointing into my backyard?

  9. AsteriskCGY says:

    Funny how half of the solutions provided involve a gun.

  10. Dougall says:

    Hi Cory.

    I just read the piece in BB about the blimp, and I thought I’d share this with you.

    I was driving along one of the streets paralleling the river about a week ago and I caught a glimpse of this bloody great big balloon on a tether on the other side of the river.

    At first I thought it might be one of those ‘sale here now’ kind of balloons you see over car dealers, until i realized the scale of it – huge! Within two days the rumors were flying. Someone’s mother thought it was a UFO. Someone told me it was Homeland Security’s and it could read the name on a boat 12 miles away, but ‘would not look across the international boundary or into the city’ (the boundary runs down the middle of the river) – yeah sure!

    How many times have you heard about CCTV’s being used to track busty women down the street etc.? Want to bet that if there’s a nude sunbather on a condo balcony facing the river (There’s 6-8 condos along the river) that someone won’t take a high resolution peek?

    I can actually see the damn thing from the upstairs back window of our house, and I guess they can see me too. I don’t go around in the nude very much, so I’m not too worried, but why should they be allowed to photograph us at all, going about our business on the street, or in our homes. We have a boat, and we take it out on the river now and then. I don’t do anything illegal with it, but why should I have to put up with being spied on?

    There’s a pretty strong climate of opinion here that this is a ridiculous intrusion by the Americans. We’re pretty pissed off. I certainly don’t advocate shooting at the balloon, because any idiot who did would be shooting into downtown Port Huron.

    What I think is pretty likely is that they will not get it cranked down in time during one of our sudden intense thunderstorms (and we’ve had a lot lately) and it will either be cooked by a lightning strike, or yanked off it’s tether by a 80 mph gust and wind up sailing off over the peninsula towards Georgian Bay – if that happens it will be a VERY serious hazard to aircraft, especially at night.

    When I read the piece in BB I was amazed to learn that this is not even a real government initiative. Homeland Security is a pretty scary agency (the name is unfortunately reminiscent of Germany during the war). Bad enough if they did this, even worse that some civilian contractor is spying on us on spec.

  11. Anonymous says:

    FYI: You won’t be able to shoot down a blimp with a rifle. The amount of lifting gas it will lose from one or two small holes, or even dozens of them, wouldn’t be nearly enough to make it crash.

  12. Takuan says:

    at that range, .50 calibre.

  13. jackie31337 says:

    (g)o Canada! This is exactly what I would do in this situation – mooning is my favorite form of protest.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Definitely shoot it down. This is an invasion of privacy by another sovereignty. We don’t need this…its rude and arrogant. And Americans ask “Why don’t peepul liek us, huh?”

  15. Pantograph says:

    According to international law, would the Canadians be allowed to down said aircraft if it strayed over Canadian soil?

  16. Anonymous says:

    We should plant a nude sun bather or two just for them to keep the camera on instead of everyone else.

    Maybe we can get a bunch of people together to a game of “war” (you know the kind we played as kids with fake guns running around the neighborhood yards). It would probably start an international incident.

  17. Tdawwg says:

    This butt-naked act of aggression will not stand, Canada.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Wow. I had no idea what that was. Sarnia Reisdent here. Like the person above I figured it was some kind of advertisement ploy. I’m a shut-in nerd so I hadn’t heard the news untill just now.


    I’m not the mooning type, but if I get energetic maybe I’ll write a sign in big ‘ship-name’ letters for them to read.

  19. Marcel says:

    Is there a way to beam projections on the balloon from Sarnia?

    Like gay porn.

  20. Mojave says:

    Mooning is all well and good, but how about if we just blast the obscenity right out of the sky?

    or barring that, couldn’t some hunter have a bullet go astray….or something?

  21. Jardine says:

    Mooning is just as silly. Burn a few drums of oil at the edge of the city, and that takes care of that.

    It’s Sarnia, they already burn plenty of oil and other nasty crap there.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Its a sad day when US homeland security is in the hands of balloon jockeys with an eye on Canada.

    - monitoring our hospital wait times?
    - trying to understand how to make beer?

    Don’t you Americans have better things to do?

  23. boingaddict says:

    Use the gattling potato gun and shoot down the blimp mmhmm

  24. Modusoperandi says:

    Well, you do have to admit that “Sarnia” sounds awfully foreign…

  25. gollux says:

    For use by Terrorist FEMA cells to bring on more Katrina Style acts of kindness.

    Doubtful that it will catch anything. You can see it from distance and take appropriate camouflage actions. Another fine example of spending our childrens future, may they appreciate servicing the debt.

  26. gollux says:

    And as a side note, forget the rifles, what you want is Muskies with Freaking Lasers on their heads.

  27. iloveyou says:

    I applaud the organizers for getting this kind of surveillance on everyone’s er, radar.

    Sarnia’s my hometown–I’m scheduling a visit home from Toronto to coincide with the Moon. There really is no place like home when you’re from Sarnia : )

  28. DanMac2 says:

    If I were living in Sarnia, I think I would make sure to release any foil birthday balloons I had enmasse as well. I love the idea of a million dollar camera erratically trying to keep up with technology from the local dollar store.
    Perhaps one could take a leaf from the fundamentalist Christians in South Korea, and attach messages to the balloons, like how gerrymandering is against the law in Canada, and other democracies.

  29. Anonymous says:

    According to international law, would the Canadians be allowed to down said aircraft if it strayed over Canadian soil?

    Given that:

    1. Canadian air defense it dependent on the United States via NORAD, making it difficult for Canada to down the aircraft without the U.S.’s OK…

    2. The United States is Canada’s largest trade partner and Canada’s economy is completely dependent on U.S. trade…

    3. Given that this is a legal, unarmed, civilian aircraft and it would be a complete violation of all international laws to shoot down…


    4. Given that most TV news helicopters are already equipped with comparable sorts of equipment, and that the only novel thing is that this is attached to a self-guided blimp.

    …I would say it is a bad idea. I mean, I know that Canadians lack a central unifying identity, and so anti-Americanism is the easiest way to drum up feeling of nationalism is Canada, but I think the political leaders know it is wise to stick with completely token and useless forms of anti-Americanism that won’t endanger the well-being of the nation.

    And while the mooning probably won’t alienate the otherwise self-loathing crowd of American’s on Boing Boing, those of us that want to seriously influence the U.S. government to not waste money on spy blimps are now going to have to deal with the fact that you guys turned it into an “us vs. them” nationalism issue. Yeah, thanks guys, now we get our issue to be associated with childish pranks and anti-Americanism, thus dooming our cause to failure. But yeah, I guess the whole mooning thing was funny.

  30. snsr says:

    Somebody please shoot it down, for Christ’s sake.

    Just be sure to do it from behind a bush. Possibly someone else’s bush. Wearing a big hat.

  31. InsertFingerHere says:

    14km is good for borders , but they can’t see Toronto (when we hide all our WMD’s).

    And laser pointers are just gonna get you in trouble with the FAA and the RCAF.

    Mooning is just as silly. Burn a few drums of oil at the edge of the city, and that takes care of that.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I was riding my bike along Front Street the other day, just to get a better look at the offending balloon and I noticed more than one ‘security camera’ stuck on the sides of buildings on our side of the river (the Sarnian side). I’m sure some of these cameras had a ‘field of vision’ that covered neighbouring properties (and parts of Front Street too). Let’s clean up our own privacy invasions before we start complaining about others.

    Don’t a lot of cop cars now have cameras on them? Where does it all stop?

    By the way, how can there be an expectation of privacy when someone is ‘out in public’ anyways?

  33. Anonymous says:

    Instead of mooning why not try sunning? two hundred people with tinfoil over cardboard ‘mirrors’ concentrate the suns light on the camera. Not illegal – after all the sun’s there anyway.

  34. Anonymous says:

    If they give you lemons, then, make lemonade …. or …. every dark cloud has a silver lining.

    The RCMP estimate that Canada is losing about $2,000,000,000.00 every year due to the smuggling of tobacco products and other contraband. A great deal of the smuggling occurs across the St Laurence River on the Ontario/New York border near Cornwall.

    Why don’t we contact the manufacturer of the Port Huron blimp and see if we can buy a couple and set them up down near Cornwall and catch some of the smugglers – sure the cameras will also see into the U.S. but they can hardly complain when they started it.

    Who knows, we just might get to collect some of those $2 billion we’re losing every year.

  35. Anonymous says:

    “1. Canadian air defense it dependent on the United States via NORAD, making it difficult for Canada to down the aircraft without the U.S.’s OK…”

    I can’t comment on Canadian’s Air Defense (although I do know they have their own F-18s, etc so I highly doubt it’s dependant on the U.S. any more than Israel’s is just because they fly F-16s). I can however comment that NORAD is a JOINT program between Canadians and Americans, thus they are responsible for ours as much as we’re responsible for theirs and each responsible for their own.
    If it drifts into their airspace they have the right to do whatever they want with it. Personally my response would be to float a similar craft on their side looking over to our side and see how quickly the first one gets taken down. There are many ways to test new ideas without infringing upon another nation’s sovereignty without their ok, I don’t care how close or on how good of terms we are with them. On the flip side, the folks in Sarnia may want to make sure their government hasn’t already OK’d it to make sure they’re directing their ire in the right direction.

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