Cablegate Chronicles: The Plane and the Shopping Mall

More

This is an installment from our on-going series on the adventures of American diplomats and the people they monitor. The button below will take you to another random episode.

new story button.png


A strange plane hijacking in Brazil.

FROM: BRASILIA, BRAZIL
TO: STATE DEPARTMENT
DATE: MARCH 28, 2009
CLASSIFICATION: SECRET//NOFORN
SEE FULL CABLE

¶1. (S/NF) Ref B describes a March 12 incident in which a small private aircraft was stolen at gunpoint in Luziania (approximately 23 miles from Brasilia) and after two hours was intentionally crashed into a parking lot of a shopping mall in Goiania, approximately 90 miles from Brasilia. The incident was notable in that it provoked a rare activation of Brazil's shootdown procedures (described in ref a). Given the plane's proximity to the federal capital and lack of any flight plan, Brasilia Air Traffic Control notified Air Defense Control, which scrambled planes from Anapolis Air Base to intercept, observe and try to communicate (details in ref b). When the plane suddenly steered for a densely populated area and a large shopping mall, controllers began to view it as a threat. With the possibility that the stolen plane could be used as a weapon, Air Defense Command briefed Air Force Chief Brigadeiro Junito Saito. Saito then contacted Defense Minister Jobim and President Lula about the possibility of ordering a shootdown should there be a threat to civilians. During the discussion, the pilot went down in the mall parking lot.
Browse the Cablegate Chronicle archive.

Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

An Eerie Tour of Chernobyl's Wasteland

"Do not touch the water. There is nothing more irradiated than the water itself."


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Global

Just In