The newspaper headline screamed at us this morning that a member of the U.S. military attempted to board a plane at Midland International Airport Saturday with explosives in military grade wrapping. See the revised online version at Man found with explosives at Midland International Airport.
The print edition said "officers found the explosives while he went through the X-ray machine." However, the online version clarified that it was the carry-on bag that went through the X-ray machine.
If MPD sergeant Brian Rakow says the item was a real explosive, then I'll believe him. However, the TSA has built such a reputation that skeptical observers will want to wait for official test results. There's at least a strong possibility that it was a gag gift wrapped to make it look explosive -- salsa, candy, four-alarm chili, for example.
The guy was supposed to have been in town visiting family for the Christmas holiday and was said to be returning to North Carolina, so one has to wonder about a couple of things. First, if he had it with him when he came to visit his family, had it already passed through the TSA once before? And if not, and if Santa didn't leave it under the tree, where would one acquire explosives in military-grade wrapping in Midland, Texas?