Princeton MN Bombing Spree Update

At first, the three “suspicious packages” were “possible bombs.” Then they were “incendiary devices” (a bomb that makes fire). Then, they were “potentially dangerous.” They said “if this is a hoax, it’s a good hoax” and at roughly the same time “we have no idea what these are.”

Now, they are “inert” and presumed to have been some kind of joke.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service said they will pay a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for placing the suspected explosive device at the Princeton Post Office. *

Those words were written before it was put around (via a talk with some TV reporters, apparently) that the “bombs” are fake. I wonder, if someone does provide this information, if they can pay the reward with Monopoly money?

Four other “bombs” were actually “thrown” and “exploded” in the sleep east-central Minnesota town just a few miles north of The Blog Cave. These, it turns out, were coke/Mentos devices, or something like that, that were thrown in a ditch. On a day that 3,400 students wer let out of school (because of the other “bombs”). And no one had thought to round up the Mentos first.

I understand that this is homecoming week in Princeton. Despite protestations that I should not do so, I’m sticking with my story.

On the other hand, if the good people of Princeton do find the perpetrator of this outrageous act, and it is outrageous, they should probably kill him right away. They should, however, be prepared for the possibility that this was perpetrated by a couple of 13 year olds who might even be important members of one of the sports teams. Or whatever. So just be careful.

Comments

  1. #1 John McKay
    October 1, 2009

    “They should, however, be prepared for the possibility that this was perpetrated by a couple of 13 year olds who might even be important members of one of the sports teams.”

    In which case they’re a couple of good kids who just made a mistake. Boys will be boys and all that.

    On the other hand, if they were Goths, get out the torches and pitchforks and head for the next school board meeting to demand something be done about this threat. Maybe we should ban black.

  2. #2 Irene
    October 1, 2009

    I’ll bet you anything they were atheists.

  3. #3 Roadtripper
    October 1, 2009

    On the other hand, if they were Goths, get out the torches and pitchforks and head for the next school board meeting to demand something be done about this threat.

  4. #4 planetspinz
    October 2, 2009

    Sounds to me like someone didn’t study for an exam, so decided to get a day off from school. I grew up in the 60′s and this stuff happened a lot.

  5. #5 Dunc
    October 2, 2009

    The really stupid thing about all this is that it means that you don’t actually need explosives to cause mass panic and disruption. You could probably bring half the country to a standstill with papier mache and lolly sticks if you put your mind to it.

  6. #6 Michael Spencer
    October 2, 2009

    No, the really dumb part of this is the utter lack of common sense on the part of our first responders.

    On the other hand, these people are dedicated pros.

    It’s the common sense part that’s lacking.

  7. #7 JohnV
    October 2, 2009

    @Dunc

    Perhaps you’ll recall the Mooninite invasion of Boston in which LiteBrite representations of cartoon characters brought the mighty city of Boston to its knees.

  8. #8 djb4178
    October 2, 2009

    Its easy to point a finger and say that the first responders didn’t use common sense. Its much more difficult to appreciate the fact that these first responders, who in many cases are volunteers, that go out everyday with the mindset to look out for and protect their fellow man. I applaud the emergency services personnel in the Princeton area for looking out for their citizens. Most people don’t have the training or expertise to recognize an “inert” bomb from a “real” bomb and I would much rather err on the side of caution because in today’s world the probability of it being a real bomb are pretty high.

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    October 2, 2009

    I think the first responders have to do more or less what they do (and I assume did here). What I object to is the rhetoric that goes with it. I want the first responders to assume it is a bomb and act that way. That is a simple case of Pascal’s wager. The cost of being wrong is very high.

    But when the people in charge are talking about it, they should simply tell the truth, and where the truth involves ignorance and uncertainty, they should simply state that.

    “We don’t know what these things are. When things like this happen they usually turn out to be a case of mistaken identity or a hoax. If you ever think of carrying out such a hoax, please remember that this is costing us a lot of time, money, and trouble, so I guarantee you we woudl be seeking the perpetrator of any such hoax as vigorously as if this was not a hoax.

    But remember, these things are usually nothing or hoaxes, and the reaction people have to this sort of thing is almost always overdone and unnecessary.”

    Instead of

    “This is a very dangerous situation. You and your children will die if you do not acquiesce to the power yielded by your leaders. It is important that you remain frightened and in a state of abject panic for as long as possible. If you demonstrate this panic in any visible way you will be arrested.”

  10. #10 lynn
    October 6, 2009

    This all started from phone calls made to the police department from the US Post office building, the public utilities building and the high school. From there, the packages which were taped up boxes and/or glass bottles with wires within view. From there the bomb squad was called to identify them. They first brought in the trained dogs who are able to identify approximately 250 materials which can be used to create a bomb. From there they HAD to follow extreme measures. They actually brought in a bomb tank with robot to pick up the bomb and put it in the explosive proof tank.

    Later in the afternoon, there was the call from citizens who heard 5 explosions. These were made from kids who thought it would be funny to add a little excitement to the party.

    The incidents were separate. The people involved in the pop bottle bombs and the person involved in the packages are not related.

    I am just shocked that a person would do something like this to a government building without knowing it is a federal offense. More than likely that person wanted to be identified, since he walked right up to the door, not covering his head while wearing a hooded sweatshirt, and basically faced the surveillance camera.

    All persons have been apprehended as of yesterday. Idiots!!!

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    October 6, 2009

    Lynn: I’m only aware of the arrest of two kids who did the six “bombs” that were not the three suspicious packages. were others arrested? Also, has it been confirmed and reported as to what those “mentos-like” “bombs” were made out of? (The ones these two teens were arrested for, and are bing charged with setting off)?