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IP: ATTN: Does Any Listee Have Eye-Witness Report???

From: [email protected]
Subject: IP: ATTN: Does Any Listee Have Eye-Witness Report???
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 17:04:45 -0500
To: [email protected]

NOTE:  This is an anecdotal report, UNCONFIRMED at the present time.  If
anyone on the list is an eyewitness to this event, please report in ASAP
with additional details.  Thank you! -- Michele


>Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 09:57:00 -0500
>From: "Shonda P. Wigington" <[email protected]>
>Subject: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Helicopter Harassment
>>Freedom-Lovers International
>>Shonda P. Wigington, President
>>5308 Robinsdale Lane
>>Austin, Texas  78723
>>   OCTOBER 13, 1998--AUSTIN, TEXAS--On October 10, 1998, around noon, a
>>yellow and black helicopter flew around a South Austin neighborhood where
>>Alex Jones' mother lives.  Carol Jones reported that she did not pay
>>attention initially, but that it stayed in the area for about an hour.  She
>>observed the helicopter hovering over her property.  She said that the
>>words "Travis County" were printed on the side of the helicopter and that
>>the helicopter looked new. Someone was leaning out of the door of the
>>helicopter which she said was low enough for her to see that there was a
>>big lense camera pointed at her.
>>   When she returned into her home, she called her husband, Dr. David
>>Jones, who then called the Austin Aviation Department where he left a
>>message.  Simeon Tolgol returned the elder Mr. Jones' call the next
>>morning, explaining that the Travis County Sheriff's Department had logged
>>a four hour surveillance mission.  
>>   Around 2:00 AM that night, Alex Jones' girlfriend called Steve Lane of
>>"The Freedom Report" because of a helicopter shining spotlights into her
>>windows.  He stated to the Commissioners during Citizens Communication on
>>October 13, that the helicopter was so low that he could hear the noise
>>through the phone as he spoke to her.  She was frightened and crying.
>>   Jones' producer, Mike Hanson got film footage of the helicopter as it
>>moved over his home, shined the spotlight, turned it off, passed over, came
>>back, shined the light again several times. 
>>   "I was spotlighted by the helicopter very early saturday morning," Lane
>>said, "I believe it was about 1:30 to 2:00 am saturday morning. (The)
>>helicopter flew over, again, well under 800 feet above ground level, in
>>direct violation of the Federal Aviation Regulations, did not have a
>>spotlight on until it came to the house that I was at. The spotlight was
>>turned on, I have a video of it, and I'll be glad to give ya'll copies
>>because I would like for ya'll to look into this..."  Lane described the
>>incident as "unnerving".
>>   Mike Hanson called all of the County Commissioners for information
>>regarding the incident.  All of the Commissioners returned his call, that
>>is all accept Judge Bill Aleshire.
>>   Karen Sunleitner (Precinct 2 Commissioner) stated, "It was not the
>>Travis County Sheriff's office, it was the Austin Police Department.  The
>>Austin Police Department was piggy-backing on an existing flight that was
>>going on that particular day during the hours that Mr. Jones talked
>>about...were undergoing pilot training for the brand new helicopter.  They
>>piggy-backed on that.  They are doing ariel video footage of several
>>locations pertinent to ongoing homicide investigations."
>>   Several months ago Travis County Commissioners voted to buy the
>>helicopters at taxpayer expense, supposedly for Starflight assistance
>>during emergency situations.  But these particular helicopters were also
>>equipped with infrared "FLARE" technology that could easily be used for
>>   The Texas Media Alliance was concerned that this technology could be
>>abused.  The different organizations that make up the Alliance voiced their
>>concerns to the commissioners, who adamently denied any such agenda for the
>>new helicopters.
>>   "They spoke to me like a child," Rusty Fields of Common Sense said, "and
>>they assured me that they would not use the helicopters for surveillance."
>>He looked around and gestured at the number of people in the room and said,
>>"This is what happens when they get caught lying."
>>   Alex Jones informed the commissioners that day that he was "conducting
>>an investigation."
>>He claims the county conducted a surveillance mission last week, denying
>>the county commissioners' claim that it was done by the city. 
>>   "You are all a pack of liars!" Jones stated, "Pure harassment. It's
>>SABER 1. You see, they passed it (the bill) under Starflight so everybody
>>can laugh and call it Starflight." Starflight being the term to use for
>>emergency pick-up missions by the local EMS.
>>Jones said he obtained the I-D of the people doing it through the Aviation
>>   "Flying over Alex's mothers house, I'm not buying that it was a homicide
>>investigation," said Mike Runyan, who had been there when the county
>>commissioners assured him by likening the use of the new helicopters to
>>"searching for lost children in the greenbelts."  Runyan commented that he
>>was not real happy about the video footage of the incident over Hanson's
>>   "Ya'll keep doing it," he warned, "and you're libel to provoke somebody.
>> It's just the natural progression of things."
>>   Mike Hanson played a tape-recorded interview of Mrs. Jones by Alex Jones
>>on his radio show, "The Real Spin," heard on KJFK 98.9FM (Austin).
>>   "I really still didn't know, or become paranoid or anything," she said,
>>"but these people made about eight passes over my place, maybe more, but
>>let's just say conservatively eight."
>>She stated that they were passing and "taking pictures."
>>   "I don't know what is more disturbing, that they would do this because,
>>like, I'm your mother," she told her son during the interview, "or that
>>they would just do it to somebody who's just sitting there, because this
>>person either has film of me or got really good pictures of just someone
>>looking straight up at him."
>>   "Are there any federal funds involved in these helicopters?" asked John
>>P. Roberts, when it came his turn to speak.
>>   "No, sir," Sunleitner stated.
>>   "There are no federal funds?" Roberts asked again, "So technically you
>>are not tied to them in any way if they want to come and 'borrow' them for
>>any reason?"
>>   "That is purchased by the taxpayers of Travis County," Sunleitner
>>assured him.
>>   Roberts closed his remarks with, "Common sense tells you you don't
>>harass the people that pay you."
>>   "The people will be informed," stated Shonda P. Wigington of
>>Freedom-Lovers International, "and if it (the harassment) doesn't stop, we
>>WILL strive for a class-action lawsuit against Travis County."
>>   During Citizens Communication that day, Darwin Mckees (Commissioner of
>>Precint 1) called in the Sheriff's Department as a result of a sit-in
>>attempt made by Free Press International's Greg Ericson in protest to the
>>three minute limit forced upon the people who came to speak that day.
>>Ericson left before the deputies arrived, and other than the Commissioners
>>trying to quieten Alex Jones's exclamations of what "liars" they are, there
>>were no other incidents.

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