Ex-Air Force Specialist Diverted Plane With Fake Bomb Threat

April 28, 2010

(ChattahBox)—A strange story was in the news yesterday, regarding an American passenger on board an airplane, who bragged about having a fake passport and a bomb in his luggage. His claims proved to be false, but stranger still, the fake bomb threatener is a former Air Force intelligence specialist.

Derek Stansberry, 26, of Riverview, Fla., was on board Delta Air Lines Flight 273 from Paris to Atlanta, when he made his bomb threat and fake passport claims. Air marshals quickly detained Stansberry, while the plane was diverted to the Bangor, Maine airport.

According to the AP’s report, the security threat was quietly handled by airline personnel:

“There were 235 passengers and 13 crew members aboard Flight 273 when it landed safely just after 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Bangor International Airport. Passengers said there were some tense moments but everyone remained calm and there was no shouting or ruckus.”

Crew members also collected pillows and blankets, presumably to shield Stansberry’s luggage, in the event it actually did contain an explosive device:

“After the man was apprehended, flight attendants asked passengers – including several children – in the back of the plane to move to empty seats in the front of the aircraft. They also collected passengers’ pillows and blankets, piling the cushions in the back of the plane.”

Stansberry’s father Richard Stansberry, of Apollo Beach, Fla., was perplexed by his son’s actions, saying his military job “required he live a squeaky clean life.”

No explosives were found in Stansberry’s luggage or on board the airliner.

Derek Stansberry was removed from the plane in handcuffs and will appear before a U.S. District Court in Bangor. FBI spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz said she did not know the specific charges that would be filed against Stansberry.

More to come on this strange story.

Source: the Washington Post

(Update: According to the Tampa Tribune, Stansberry was employed by a private contractor and he was returning home to complete the rehabilitation on a home he recently purchased in Riverview, Florida. His father is hoping it was all a misunderstanding and his son’s name would be cleared:

‘”I’m just in shock,” said Stansberry, 59, of Apollo Beach. “And I’m looking forward to having his name cleared and everything ironed out. ”Stansberry said his son was returning home from out of the country after working as a contractor for a company he wouldn’t name. “It’s not the CIA,” Stansberry said. “The company he works for puts him on the road. He’s not a spy, any of that.”‘ Derek Stansberry served in the U.S. Air Force from 2005 to 2009, including two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.


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