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Infilnews 11, February 2002

Welcome back to Infilnews!
Due to technical difficulties last summer, Infilnews was temporarily offline for many months. Many of the news items we had been saving may now seem out of date or less important -- indeed, all infilnews past and present has been eclipsed by the unfortunate events of September 11th, 2001. If you'll forgive our tardiness on these news items, though, we promise to get back up to speed shortly.

Full-Motion ads Aren't Just for Highways Anymore
Atlanta subway riders got a taste of the cinematic future last September when subway tunnel advertising was introduced along the MARTA routes. Riders looking out their train windows were able to view glowing full-motion ads for Dasani bottled water. The ads are generated using 1,000 feet of light boxes displaying compressed images (200-300 frames per second) that, when viewed from a high speed train, appear as moving billboards. Coca-Cola, Dasani's manufacturer, along with Adidas had already experimented with subway tunnel ads in Budapest and Athens. (Thanks to Fern for this story.)

Guy Parachutes onto Statue of Liberty
In a botched attempt to parachute onto the Statue of Liberty's torch, Frenchman Thierry Devaux snagged himself on the statue's flame and dangled above New York Harbor for half an hour last August. Deveaux had been maneuvering a motorized parachute in an attempt to land on the torch and then bungee jump from it.
        After clinging to the statue's arm for safety, Deveaux was eventually rescued and arrested by police. Deveaux's history with the statue dates back to 1994, when he was arrested for hiding out in the statue overnight and defacing the structure.

New Jersey Man Loves Monorails
Robert Mathews took a leap many of us only entertain for a few moments last November when he assumed the controls of an unmanned monorail train at Newark airport and began to drive. The train, which was full of passengers, traveled part of the way between Parking Lot E and the Rail Link station under Mathews' command. The monorail, known as the Newark AirTrain, is remotely controlled and intended to be unmanned.
        The train Mathews boarded happened to have a control box in it that was for some reason unlocked and had an operators' key inserted in the control panel. "I'm a curious sort of person," Mathews said, "and I pushed one of the buttons." Able to bring the train to a stop, Mathews then decided to see if he could make it go. He drove the train about fifteen feet before an AirTrain engineer on an adjacent catwalk signaled for him to stop the train. Minutes later, authorities arrived with guns drawn and arrested the man for "stealing the monorail". "I'm clearly not a terrorist," said Mathews (a self-proclaimed transit geek), "Maybe I shouldn't have touched it, but I was curious."

Big Drill Comin' Through
An enormous tunnel boring machine (TBM) was delivered this past August to Minneapolis-St. Paul international airport via ocean freighter and side-by-side trucks. The TBM will be used to dig Minnesota's longest transit tunnel, a light-rail corridor along Hiawatha Avenue leading to the airport and crossing under several runways. The 11.6-mile tunnel will largely be dug through layers of sandstone with stable upper layers of limestone and shale. However, there is one segment of the tunnel that will require boring through an underground valley of collapsed limestone boulders. Risks include getting the 500-tonne tunnel-boring machine caught in the boulders, or worse, inadvertently creating a massive sinkhole. During this dangerous stage of tunneling, air pressure will be applied in this area around the clock in order to support the earth nearby. The tunneling project is expected to be complete in November of 2002.

Post 9/11 Idiocy
A California man dressed in army fatigues succeeded in getting an upgrade to first class on an American Airlines flight in January by claiming to be a sky marshal. Michael McManus has since been charged with impersonating a federal officer after it was discovered he was neither a sky marshal nor, in fact, a military officer. The pilot of McManus' flight became suspicious when McManus asked for the "code word" to access the cockpit and performed an inspection of the galley. McManus, claiming to be a member of an "elite military unit", told real sky marshals that he was the "military version" of a sky marshal. He did not carry a weapon.

Call for Submissions
As always, Infilnews welcomes and encourages your contributions. Please forward any articles of interest in the areas of exploration, construction, infrastructure, infiltration, and so forth, to
        Upcoming issues of Infiltration's print publication include the "Where are they now?" issue, which will take a look at past article subjects and examine what changes they have undergone. Anyone with an interesting story about anything that's been previously covered in Infiltration is enthusiastically encouraged to submit it for publication. We also need submissions for our "Churches" and "Secret Societies" issues, so please step forward if you've got something. Please send submissions to and/or
        The latest issue (#17) of the print zine Infiltration, "Buildering", was released in December 2001. You can get one by sending $2 (US/CDN) cash to PO Box 13, Station E, Toronto, ON M6H 4E1, Canada.

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