[Covered-up since 11 May, 1997]......[First Reported 14 May, 1997]


(click) You won't believe this.

Citizens have a right to know why successful breaches of security at the Reno Airport and at the Nevada Air National Guard were allowed to happen, and why they are being covered up. (Brief Report from Reno Police "Blotter" at bottom.)
* At approximately 9:43 PM on 11 May, 1997, a man rammed through the Nevada Air National Guard security gate in a large vehicle, streaked past the closely parked C-130 war planes, and eventually "crashed" his way onto the Reno Airport.
* The apparently crazed
attacker, who initially must have been perceived to be a terrorist by any intelligent person, proceeded toward the terminal; before being driven back by airport security guards.
* The attacker then drove all about the Reno Airport, and
up and down the main runway, causing havoc and substantial damage... before fleeing on foot.
*Airliners were forced to abort their landings
- endangering the lives of hundreds of passengers.
* Airport and City Police Officers were sent to the scene, and the man was eventually captured near the south end of the runway area.

Interesting so far? Click here to write to Sam Dehné

North South

Click here to read about Runway Drag-Racing at Reno

Much of this bizarre episode was video taped by tenacious investigator Michele Jackson... who also interrogated on-duty Reno police officers and the dispatcher.
The next day she, and Reno citizens, Jackie Decker and Gilbert Weikel, were informed of specific details by a Reno
policeman who was not aware of the attempted cover-up of this near-tragic episode.
"HOW LONG WILL THE COVER-UP LAST?" Sam Dehné Lt Col, USAF (Ret) (click here)

1. Why would the Airport and the Air National Guard and the FAA cover up an attack that citizens should know about?
2. Does the attempted cover-up have anything to do with Reno Airport bureaucrats' fear that episodes like this will reduce the success of their ill-conceived scheme to build an even larger military base in the middle of Reno?
3. Are they afraid of the adverse affect news of this attack could have on security funding and oversight? How many FAA personnel are in on the cover-up?
4. Where WERE the multi-million dollar security measures?
5. What would have happened if the purpose of this successful breach of security was to blow up some C-130s or maybe an airliner?
6. What if the attacker's intent was to commit suicide by ramming a landing airliner?
7. Was he crazed... was he a terrorist... could he perhaps be a
disgruntled former airport employee?
8. And... how would this gross breach of security effect president Clinton's planned visit to Reno?
Citizens have every right to know why a tragedy like this is being covered up.
All personnel involved in this cover-up must be held accountable.
When confronted with these charges of Airport corruption and cover-ups at the monthly meeting 5 days later, the duplicitous Reno Airport Board of "Trustees" claimed they did not know about it and had no comments or questions. They sat their with their mouths open. Dozens of airport employees in the audience shook their heads - NO.
An atmosphere of indifference permeated the Airport "Trustees"... mostly aviation amateurs who were appointed by local politicos to supposedly protect the safety and welfare of citizens.
Later, when this breach of airport security was reported to the another responsible agency, the notoriously lethargic FAA, it also showed no interest... while trying to down-play its dangerous significance.
This is the typically shameful type of violation that casts aspersions on the hundreds of other Reno Airport employees... most of whom are good honest workers. The alert response of the tower controller saved the day. But since the attack is being covered-up, he/she will never be properly recognized.

When will this be investigated... or will it be swept under the rug with the rest of the
Reno Airport's slippery meat?

Interesting so far? Click here to write to Sam Dehné

Reno Police Report (2300 Hours)
South: GTA, BDW, Felony DUI, Felony DOP; Reno
International Airport.
We responded to the airport at the request of Airport
Police. A suspect, Michael Smith of Sutcliffe, Nv had
stolen a vehicle from Avis rent a car on National Guard
Way. Avis employees saw this and attempted to stop him.
One employee was hit on his hand by the suspect
vehicle. The suspect drove east on Nat. Guard way and
crashed the gate at the entrance to the Air National
Once on the base, the suspect hit a parked car
and other property. He then
crashed another gate and
was now on airport property.
The tower saw this and
called airport police. The suspect attempted to allude
and a pursuit was started. The suspect crashed into a
fence, ran over aviation signs and then fled on foot
toward Model Way. 30 minutes later we get a report of
an injured subject on Karen St. That suspect was
identified by 2 Avis employees and was arrested,
treated at Washoe Med and booked for the above charges.
Case 105386-97
Sgt. Schott on scene
Log entry by Sgt. Jones
[Editor's note: The Reno Airport is reported to be the 47th busiest in America. It is First in Mismanagement and Corruption... with "incidents like this happening all the time", according to its airport Director.]
AP quote: "The FAA does not hesitate to take swift action to protect the safety of the flying public," said Barry L. Valentine, the acting FAA administrator. Hmmm???
The TRUE FACTS about this embarrassing and dire breach of security are still being ignored, covered-up... or pooh-poohed by at least the following organizations (in no order of importance):
Airport Authority of Washoe County, the Reno City Council, Federal Aviation Agency (FAA), FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), Nevada Air National Guard, the Governor of Nevada, Senators Reid and Bryan, Reno Gazette, CNN (Ted Turner won't be happy)...
[Read more updates and perspectives at Citizen Gadfly by "clicking" here.]
Read below... and gasp at the arrogance of your local FAA... sworn to protect the safety of the traveling public. Then ask, "How are they doing so far in Reno?"
This is the only report of any significance by print media to date. EVER! NOT COUNTING MYRIAD WRITTEN AND PUBLIC COMMENT COMPLAINTS

_____May 22, 1997_____

This reporter, JOANNA WELCH, was in the top 5% of quality Reno area reporters.
And certainly one of the top 1% of honest reporters.
She was gone within a month. Removed ignonimously by
the people involve in this biggest Cover-Up in Nevada history.


This Sparks Tribune newspaper Front Page exposé (as damning as it is) is still fraught with deception and outright lies by local FAA agents... and who knows who else.
A few observations and questions:
1. The breach of security started at about 9:45 p.m... which is one of the densest landing traffic periods.
2. At least two airliners had to abort landings.
3. If the FAA considers cars speeding up and down airport runways to be in "full compliance" with FAA security, no wonder citizens are in deep kimshee when it comes to danger at the Reno Airport.
4. If this "attack" does not not constitute a security breach, what, pray tell, does?
5. There was a concerted attempt to cover-up and hide these almost tragic events from the public... by several levels of government bureaucracy... starting with the Reno Airport czar.
6. Hundreds of lives were in danger because of this lapse of security. Thank God the tower operator was awake and vigilant. How can the military and the duplicitous Reno Airport Authority appointees have the unmitigated gaul and audacity to even suggest that we should build an even larger military base in the middle of the city? They can't even protect the one they have now.

Airport contemplates Night Time Drag Racing on Main Runway (click)
By Sam Dehné 702.825.1398
At 9:45 PM on May 11th, 1997, a new chapter was written in the annals of drag racing. Novice race car driver, 21 year old Michael Lee Smith, of Reno, Nevada, driving a stock '96 Caddie... and several anonymous Reno Policemen, driving Black & White Chevies, entered the inaugural drag race held on Reno Airport's main runway... possibly in anticipation of moving the Hilton Grand Prix to a new site.
Hundreds of passengers seated in nearby airliners, waiting for takeoff, were awestruck as they watched the cars reach speeds of over 75 miles per hour racing up and down the airport runway straightaway.
These passengers were further amazed at Smith's ability to continuously outrun the Black & Whiters in his damaged Cadillac.
The passengers in the airliners that were trying to land, also had ringside seats to this exciting event... as their obviously dumbstruck pilots aborted their landings at the last minute... in the dark of night.
When queried about possible safety and security implications of this drag racing on Reno's main runway, the Federal Aviation Administration gave its tacit approval by saying that there were "no major breaches of security", and that the airport "was in full compliance with safety regulations," throughout the entire competition. And airport czar White, while preferring to cover-up the drag race, did tell his bosses that the airport "has incidents like this all the time."
The airport was reportedly closed for some 15 minutes during the race. In the future, however, it might possibly be kept open... adding a demolition derby motif to the competition... as airline pilots see if they can find and avoid the race cars during landings.
Smith's unique method of entry onto the racetrack was also given the FAA's okay. You see, Smith, rather than using the normal entry procedure, smashed through the Air National Guard main gate, the fuel storage area, and then crashed through the Reno Airport security fence... on his way to the runway race track.
So, folks, don't be surprised if the next time you choose to fly to some far off destination from Reno's Hometown Airport, you are treated to some extra excitement.
Thus far there is no planned charge for viewing the runway drag racing. But it is rumored that airport czar White and city manager McNeely, always on the look-out to increase Reno's bloated coffers, might be planning to add extra charges for your tickets whenever one of these spontaneous races occurs. Of course, the charges will have to be added afterward... because the Airport and FAA have shown they have no way of knowing when the next security breach and drag race might occur.
Can a Reno Airport Runway Roller Derby be far away... as concession stands and slot machines are added along the edges of the runway... with FAA boss, Barry Valentine, as Grand Marshall?

Sam Dehné, editor/reporter, The Reno Citizen Internet Magazine
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