I used to be a fan of the tv show 24. It used to be good, before they got all politically correct, and made every terrorist hell bent on destroying the united states, anything BUT Islamic extremists.
Now, its a green celebration of politically correct idocy, with stars like jeanine garrafalo (dont care that I spelled her name wrong, shes an idiot)
So 5 or so years ago, after watching this GREAT tv show every week religiously, it was the day of the season finalle, a 2 hour shoot em up and kill all the dammed Islamic terrorists television extravaganza.
Before I made popcorn and put on my special ops pajamas to settle in for a serious night of tv watching, I decided to go down by the "crick" and burn some boxes.
I started to burn the boxes in the fire ring, and noticed some people walking upstream, on the other side of the creek.
I went to the water's edge, and said to them "I'm sorry, but this is private property and you cant come......................."
So there's 4 of them.
The oldest of the 4 was about 40, and the other 3 were 20ish.
The oldest was wearing khaki pants and pennyloafer shoes, and he martches right through the stream to my side, and sticks out his hand and says
"Hi, I'm Tony and we just want to walk through and fish here...."
Really friendly. Caught me off guard friendly.
They all had fishing poles. Deep sea fishing poles, but they had fishing poles.
One guy carried a white plastic garbage bag, one carried a large cooler, and the others had just fishing poles.
None of the poles were "rigged", that is to say the string wasnt run throught the poles' eyes, nor were any of the poles equipped with hooks or anything else to catch fish with.
The men were all dark skinned, like say......................Lebanese dark, not Etheopian dark. All had very short, very dark hair.
They also spoke a language I didnt know, while speaking amongst themselves, but I think I recognized a few russian words in there. Not sure.
Anyways, "Tony" the apparent leader and speaker ot the group, was as friendly as friendly gets.
He said "We're from some shit-hole of a town near philly, and we're up here to fish".
I asked them where they parked, and they told me about a half mile downstream.
I asked them where they were headed, and Tony said "just up that way". I said that there wasnt anything "up that way" for over a mile, but he just smiled and said "thats ok". Now it was 7 pm or so, and to be that far from your vehicle, going in a dierction that didnt lead anywhere, didnt add up in a big kinda way.
One of the men pointed out my St. Francis statue in the landscaping to one of the other men, and in his gesture, it didnt appear to be in a complimentary kind of way.
It didnt set in, until after events played out.
When my wife holding my then newest baby came down the steps to the patio, one of the younger men said to Tony "hey tony, we gotta go".
And they started walking upstream.
I said to them as they walked up, "hey, watch out for rattlesnakes, they're here, and I kill em all the time around here. (kids and all. SCREW poisionous snakes when the kids are present)
Anyways, Tony didnt miss a beat, said thanks and smiled and waved bye bye.
I walked back up to the house, and something just didnt add up. I started to replay what I just witnessed, and started to notice things I missed at first.
So I called the state police in shickshinny. (first mistake)
I told them what I witnessed, and why I thought it was suspicious, and they said "those guys were stopped by a trooper from the wyoming barracks, and they had fishing licenses and checked out. If you see anything else, give us a call.......click".
So I called Wyoming barracks, and told THEM what I saw and thought about it all.
Some female phone answerer told me pretty much the same thing the shickshinny barracks person did, but at least she thanked me.
She hung up too.
DAMN DAMN! THis isnt RIGHT!" I thought.
So taking matters (and my favorite .45 caliber handgun) I decided to run upstream to see just what the hell they were up to. I went through a neighbor's field, and got to a point high above the creek where I could see them if they came through. They didnt, and it started to get dark. So I headed back to the house, and just as I was coming out of the woods, I saw a black suburban pull up on the bridge. A "guy" got out, walked down to the water's edge with a box, and looked up and downstream, and then got back in the suburban.
THAT, really didn't add up.
So I walked up to the house, all kinds of frustrated with the state police's inability to recognize me as a bonafide terrorist watcher...........................
Then the phone rang.
It was the trooper who pulled the guys over earlier in the day, and he asked me to tell him everything I saw.
So I did, and then he said "tell me again".
After I told him a second time, he said "hang on, I'm going to connect you with someone"..... and another phone rang, and then someone answered and said "homeland security".
This guy also wanted to hear everything. Twice.
After I told him everything (twice), he asked me, "what do YOU think they were doing?"
I said I was a fisherman who traveled a LOT to fish, and from what I saw, these guys were definitely NOT fisherman. I also said I was in the military, and we used to practice (and practice) missions under conditions that would best resemble the theoretical mission.
I ALSO mentioned that there is a water filtration plant for over 50,000 people directly Up Da Crick, from my house, and if you just walked up the creek, you'd run right into it.
He said "Up until the part where you told them there were poisionous snakes, I thought they were just some goofy guys from philly going fishing. When you told me the part about the snakes, it became different.
I'll be right there".
Meanwhile, I was missing the season finale of 24, but hell, I had my own little 24 going on right here.
In a little while, we had very low, very slow flying helicopters buzzing overhead.
Never found anything, or anyone.
A week or so later, I received a phone call requesting me to identify the four guys on a video tape where they bought the fishing stuff.
Not a problem.
Right place, right time. Burning boxes by Da crick.
I talked to the homeland security guy once after that, when my wife noticed another black suburban stop on the bridge near our property, and two guys got out and without expression or acknowledging her standing 30 feet from them. The guys both looked and pointed upstream, and talked quietly amongst themselves, then left.
Fast forward a month or two at a family party or something, when I got to recount this story to (as luck would have it), a high up muckity muck from the water company.
I told HIM the story, and he turned white as a sheet.
He said he heard nothing of it, and I asked him " what kind of security is on the water treatment plant"?
He said "the door has a lock"
Hence the white as a sheet response.
Not very encouraging. On many fronts.
So My intuitions (albeit a little slow) were dead nuts on. The state police and homeland security thought as I did. Gee, imagine that. Took em a while, but they came around.
Problem is, the water treatment plant is being protected by Joe the cleaning guy.
"Hey, whaddya doin IN there!?"
"Uh.......nuttin...we just checking pipes is all...................."
"oh, okey-dokey then........Light turn off by themselves at 9, so wrap it up.........................".
Not so much.
Hey, at least I'M on the job...................................
Nice photo, heyna or no?