Canberra Air Disaster

madalynmitchell 9 April 2012 59

On the 8th of April 2012, myself along with a small group of friends headed up to the Canberra Air Disaster Memorial we wanted to see if we saw any paranormal activity. We arrived at roughly 9pm at night, there were two other NSW P plater cars at the gate, discussing whether we would go through the gate or go home.

One person from the NSW cars recognised me from school and told us that it would be a 90 minute walk to the site. They left shortly after.

Two of our party stayed back at our cars because they were superstitious, we arrived at the memorial site after walking for 25-30 minutes and taking a wrong turn at the fork in the road, heading into the bush (we quickly realised that it was not right and retracted our steps) arriving at the memorial site we looked around and headed back unsatisfied, the two girls rang us on a mobile phone to tell us that a security guard had arrived and wanted to speak to us. Walking along the road next to the paintball center, looking at the meche fence, there were lots of cuts in it as if people were trying to cut through it, and at the beginning of the road, 50m from the main gate, there was a hole cut through the fence. None of these were from us.

We walked back to the cars and were told to stand against one car by a security guard with a German Shepard, he then asked us if we knew that we were trespassing on Government land, this was the first any of us had heard about it belonging to anyone. He threatened to call the police to charge us with trespassing.

Speaking up, i asked who it belonged to. The security guard shun his torch in my eyes and told me that it now belonged to the Australian Army and had for quite some time. He continued to ask us for our details and who owned the cars to hand over to the police in case of any report of vandalism. He told us that this was our only warning and if he saw us again we would be arrested and charged. Curious, i asked how long he would keep our details in his phone, he told me that he would keep them for a long time.

I told him that there are no signs stating that this land belongs to anyone, and another member of my group stated that it was not stated on any website on the internet. The security guard could not explain why they had not been updated. I apologised on behalf of myself and my friends for trespassing that we did not know that it belonged to the government, that he could be sure that he would never see any of us again and that we would pass on this information to anyone who spoke of heading up to the memorial site to see the paranormal activity. The security guard told us to leave and that he was now going to check for damages.


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59 Responses to Canberra Air Disaster
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Skidd Marx Skidd Marx 1:42 pm 09 Apr 12

I wonder how many times his cop application got knocked back?

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 2:24 pm 09 Apr 12

I agree there’s people who put on a uniform and get carried away with their own importance. I met one once when I had to go back into my office building after hours to get something I’d forgotten. The simple identification procedure at the front desk turned into a big finger-wagging lecture. Jeez, I simply forgot something and no I can’t do without it till Monday, I’ll be out of here in five minutes!
HOWEVER, I’m an old lady and there are things that people used to do with no reservations that I certainly wouldn’t do any more because the stupid behaviour of a proportion of the community has ruined it for everyone else. I used to play tennis at the school courts and walk home between the buildings without giving it a thought, now I won’t go near school buildings after hours because of the vandals and/or the guards/police looking for the vandals. I used to walk the track between Civic and the TAFE without giving it a thought, now I don’t go to Glebe Park unless I’ve figured out when’s a good time to visit when plenty of other people will be there, safety in numbers and all that. I’ve walked around the sequoia plantation near the airport, but the last time I was there I couldn’t jump back in the car fast enough because of all the rubbish and broken bottles and I haven’t gone back. As for memorials and people’s right to visit them, how many people (especially young enough to be on P plates) really know or care what that memorial is for? Even the bushfire memorial at Stromlo, about an event which is surely still vivid in Canberrans’ hearts, has been vandalised. So perhaps this particular poster and her friends were only after a bit of harmless spooky fun, but if kids lurking in dark out of the way places raises suspicions ask yourselves WHY? Instead of complaining about security guards complain about the people who are spoiling things for you and me and everybody!

milkman milkman 2:37 pm 09 Apr 12

Sounds to me like a cyclone in a thimble.

c_c c_c 3:00 pm 09 Apr 12

staminaman62 said :

I potentially could’ve had HIM charged with illegal detention.

Nice that we live in an era when every tool who’s seen a courtroom scene on TV thinks he knows the law.

Firstly, it’s called “False imprisonment”

Secondly, it requires a total restraint of the persons freedom, which isn’t the case here.

Thirdly, it’s not false imprisonment where a lawful excuse exists. A lawful excuse would be detaining people on suspicion of committing or planning to commit a crime.

Thumper said :

It’s certainly not defence land. ACT government maybe.

Well by default, it’s either Commonwealth or ACT Government land, there’s no “unowned” land anywhere in Canberra. The only question is what agency within those two has direct control.

Sandman said :

c_c said :

They weren’t after vehicle access, they parked at the gate and walked. There are plenty of places in Canberra where you are allowed to walk but not allowed to drive.

Point isn’t that, point is they claimed not to know anyone owned it. The search result clearly states ACT Forests controls vehicle access, so it’s safe to assume they control/own that area.

In any case I pity the OP. If the most exciting thing you can think to do at 9pm is go into a dark forrest looking for ghosts, not only aren’t you very intelligent, you’re obviously not normal. Or perhaps they would like to come clean about why a bunch of them were really sneaking out there.

dazzab said :

I was told earlier in the week by a security guard that I couldn’t photograph one of the buildings in the Brindabella Business Park from Pialligo Rd. Yeah right.

When I asked why, after taking the photos mind you, I was told that the Australian Defence Force had offices in the building. No fence, no sign, on a major public road and this guy tells me I can’t take photos.

Now here is someone with a genuine complaint, one that happens often. Security guards and Police overstepping the mark trying to block photography and filming.

There are no laws against photographing buildings and people in public places. Even photographing private property is fine so long as you don’t enter the property beyond any implied licence.

There are certain areas where the law specifically is written to prevent photography, such as sensitive installations like Pine Gap.

c_c c_c 3:04 pm 09 Apr 12

6matt9 said :

It is a memorial! People are allowed to go there.

You do realise many memorials in Australian cities are closed after hours. And those that aren’t are frequent targets for vandals. Even some that close still get vandalised like the War Memorial in Melbourne.

Put it this way, would you break the lock on the AWM after hours to get a look?

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 4:03 pm 09 Apr 12

Did OP say they broke a lock?
anyone can visit anything like this at anytime they choose. Same with forests, lookouts, etc etc.

And lol yes, i imagine the penis of a *security guard* has been rejected from the police several times and now has a chip on his shoulder.

Muttsybignuts Muttsybignuts 4:06 pm 09 Apr 12

So a bunch of kids head out to the Air disaster memorial to see if they can see some ghosts. Half of Canberra did it in their teenage years. A wanker security guard gets off on harassing the kids because he can.
And c_c you just sound like a horrible boorish wanker. Were you the security guard?

trevar trevar 4:16 pm 09 Apr 12

c_c said :

You do realise many memorials in Australian cities are closed after hours. And those that aren’t are frequent targets for vandals. Even some that close still get vandalised like the War Memorial in Melbourne.

Put it this way, would you break the lock on the AWM after hours to get a look?

That may be true, but there is a big difference. The fact that the War Memorial is closed after hours is obvious because I’d have to break in to get in! If there’s nothing except a little gate I can walk around, I will assume it isn’t closed. Even if there’s a sign to say I can’t enter, I might think about complying with its request, but under the circumstances, I’m with the OP.

I would look a little further than the security company, though. I hardly think the Australian Army would be happy with a security guard (or someone dressed as one) pretending to represent them. Surely if it’s army property the army can keep it secure; why would they be using a civil security company? And in case there’s any continuing thoughts about it belonging to the army, they might want to take that up with TAMS, as they’re claiming it belongs to them here.

Also, both Monument Australia and the National Capital Authority encourage visitors, although the NCA suggests you should call for the key to gain vehicular access. There is no indication of hours when this is appropriate.

So, whether or not you want to complain to the security company (who may or may not really employ the bloke you encountered), it may be worth warning the army that there is some drongo out there dressing like a security guard and claiming he works for them, and also go visiting the site on another night, with a key for the gate so you can drive to the top and save yourself the walk!

Ko. Ko. 4:19 pm 09 Apr 12

c_c said :

Put it this way, would you break the lock on the AWM after hours to get a look?

It’s no different to walking down Anzac parade and having a look at the memorials there.

The air disaster memorial is only shut to vehicle access, and it’s shut to public vehicle access all the time. These kids did nothing wrong, not a thing.

Ko. Ko. 4:27 pm 09 Apr 12

Without looking too hard, I’m guessing you security guys belong to this company

http://www.leadersecurity.com.au/blog/articles/leader-nabs-15-intruders-in-the-pines.html

Given they have dogs and patrol the neighboring premises.

Thumper Thumper 5:16 pm 09 Apr 12

c_c said :

6matt9 said :

It is a memorial! People are allowed to go there.

You do realise many memorials in Australian cities are closed after hours. And those that aren’t are frequent targets for vandals. Even some that close still get vandalised like the War Memorial in Melbourne.

Put it this way, would you break the lock on the AWM after hours to get a look?

All you need to do is climb through the fence to get to the ADM. It’s there to stop vehicles, not pedestrians.

Just thought I’d point this out.

BenMac BenMac 5:42 pm 09 Apr 12

Was this the entrance with the locked gate?

If so, those signs (behind the fire danger one) state that it is defence land and restricted.

steele_blade steele_blade 6:58 pm 09 Apr 12

I would look a little further than the security company, though. I hardly think the Australian Army would be happy with a security guard (or someone dressed as one) pretending to represent them. Surely if it’s army property the army can keep it secure; why would they be using a civil security company?

This is completely wrong. A lot of defence assets are secured by private companies. You will often see a van with dog kennel patrolling ADFA and Duntroon. TNT used to man the gate at our biggest Naval dockyard, not naval police.

c_c c_c 7:10 pm 09 Apr 12

steele_blade said :

Surely if it’s army property the army can keep it secure; why would they be using a civil security company?

Did you not see news stories just weeks ago about armed AFP taking over security at Holsworthy?

Did you not see the same stories confirm that private security would remain in place for bases until threat assessments suggested AFP should take over and provide armed protection?

Did you not see the many stories over the past 3 years about how Australian military bases use unarmed, private security, in light of the plot against Holsworthy?

This was all literally front page news.

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 7:59 pm 09 Apr 12

Muttsybignuts said :

So a bunch of kids head out to the Air disaster memorial to see if they can see some ghosts. Half of Canberra did it in their teenage years. A wanker security guard gets off on harassing the kids because he can.

I guess I was in the other half.
I honestly don’t know if the poster and her friends were just out for some juvenile but harmless silliness and the guard overreacted or if the poster and her friends were displaying potential for trouble and the guard did exactly what he is paid to do, but I think it is sad that having read one side of the story there are people who have made up their minds to be outraged. Like I said, in this case I honestly don’t know, but in general I’m glad there are guards keeping an eye on things in a location where a thoughtlessly abandoned camp fire could cause a bushfire or where some joker with a laser could interfere with airport operations. If people remembered where to draw the line with their fun so it doesn’t cause problems for other people perhaps our community wouldn’t be so full of guards and locks and cctv’s and so on.

Gerry-Built Gerry-Built 9:10 pm 09 Apr 12

c_c said :

Did you not see the same stories confirm that private security would remain in place for bases until threat assessments suggested AFP should take over and provide armed protection?.

Stop grasping at straws. Where the OP indicated they walked (“Walking along the road next to the paintball center, looking at the meche fence”) is in the forest, which is public land (see TAMS website). Not the paint ball lease (fenced off with ~12ft fencing and hessian), not the speedway(with steep berms to climb) and not the Army training grounds (fenced off with ~10ft chain fencing – and clearly marked). The security officer was clearly over-stepping his mark. Being seen there as a physical presence/deterrent would have been perfectly adequate. Also – the “fence” for the forest is low, easily cleared and from memory, the gate is a step-through gate for easy walking access.

That being said – clearly the signage for the start point and walk could be more clearly marked (especially with commercially and militarily significant locations literally next door). The ADM is a little difficult to find with some of the recent changes to the tracks out there. I have gone out there very late at night/early morning on occasion to do some night photography, and often bump into other walkers. The whole area has an eerie quality (though I ain’t afraid of no ghosts).

I don’t think anybody has the right to suspect these kids of being up to anything more than what was stated. A bunch of 17/18YO are not young kids, and 9pm is hardly an inappropriate time to be out for someone of that age. Not every young person is a miscreant, and there are enough who are real trouble to keep legitimate law-keepers busy enough…

milkman milkman 7:42 am 10 Apr 12

The best way to deal with over-excited security guards is to ignore them, then if they get into your face advise them that you will be calling the police and pressing charges if they touch you.

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 8:29 am 10 Apr 12

I call shenanigans. Why would a security guard be there?

    johnboy johnboy 8:30 am 10 Apr 12

    paintball fields have security problems you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy!

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 8:31 am 10 Apr 12

johnboy said :

paintball fields have security problems you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy!

Accusation of shenanigans cheerfully withdrawn.

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