MR. G.B. brought this to my attention, after reading last week's blog about the alleged radar-computer jamming incident involving a Russian Sukhoi-24 bomber and the US missile Aegis frigate the USS Donald Cook. This time, the brief story is reported on Zero Hedge:
The report is confirmed by local Los Angeles news:
As the Zero Hedge article indicates, the grounding effected at least three US states, and apparently certain airports across the nation. Apparently, the problem was a "computer glitch", for according to the local Los Angeles reporting of the incident, it was a regional air traffic control facility that was affected:
"All flights were temporarily grounded at Southern California airports on Wednesday afternoon due to ground stop issued by the FAA because of technical problems at a regional air traffic control facility.
"The “ground stop” was announced by LAX on Twitter at 2:13 p.m., and the airport referred questions to the Federal Aviation Administration, which issued the order.
"The FAA said it was “gradually restoring the system” at about 3:30 p.m.
"The stop was “due to computer issues,” Los Angeles International Airport stated on Twitter.
"Flights were also grounded at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, Long Beach Airport and Ontario International Airport, representatives of those airports confirmed."
When I saw this article, I, like Mr. G,B, immediately thought of the Russian reportage of the USS Donald Cook incident, where the Russian reportage stated explicitly that due to Russian jamming efforts, the computer algorithm on the USS Donald Cook "failed to load." In other words, something far beyond radar jamming in the conventional sense was occurring. Accepting the Russian reportage as being true for the sake of argument, this was a case of remote jamming of the computer systems.
In this context, there is something in the FAA grounding story, as reported by local Los Angeles television, that disturbs. Computer glitches don't just "occur" in a "regional facility" that effects most of the US southwest air traffic control. If they did, we would expect to see such incidents more often. Granted, computer glitches do occur, and they occur occur at the most inconvenient moments, as most of us reading this blog or these articles are aware.
But assume for a moment it was not merely a "glitch." Assume, rather, that it was the result of some sort of deliberate interference: hacking, or, even more significantly, remote jamming of a crucial air traffic control center, jamming of such a nature to cause the "algorithm (to fail) to load," ala the Russian reporting of the USS Donald Cook incident. It would be an unlikely demonstration for anyone to make, but nonetheless, it is condign to the capabilities demonstrated in the Donald Cook incident, provided Russian explanations are to be believed (and, quite frankly, I think they are to be believed). Such a capability would, as I stated in my blog about that subject, have sweeping systemic implications... and perhaps, though I view it as only a "remote perhaps," we are seeing another demonstration. Why only a "remote perhaps"? Well, simply because the Russians have already made their point, and made it in clear, unmistakable language that even the insane warmongering neo-cons can understand: consider those big billion dollar-plus aircraft carriers to be immensely vulnerable and essentially useless. A further demonstration against essentially civilian infrastructure is unneeded, and geopolitically risky. It is not, however, altogether out of the question.
Which raises the faint whiff of something malodorous in the FAA grounding to greater strength...
See you on the flip side...