TSA Confiscates Blower Because "It Could Fly Like a Missile"

TSA Confiscates Blower Because "It Could Fly Like a Missile"

Of the things photographers should consider not putting into their carry-on luggage, the Giottos Rocket is pretty high up there. Generally the reason is that it somehow resembles a bomb. Even if the resemblance only exists in Looney Tunes. However, that isn't why CanonRumors user Surapon lost his. Nope, this reason is legit even dumber.

After being stopped by security to search his bag the TSA officer asked about the blower (which Surapon has never had issue with in 10 years of traveling). He responded courteously, even going so far as to demonstrate how it worked. That's when the TSA pointed at the fins and asked... "can it fly like a rocket?"

Our hero was understandably dumbstruck.

In response to his silent shock, the TSA then took the blower to his supervisor and discussed it for a few minutes. When he returned to Surapon he said that the blower would need to be thrown away because if someone put gunpowder into it, "it could fly like a missile."

Go ahead, read it again. Don't bother wondering where the gunpowder would come from, that's irrelevant. What matters is that it could fly, simply because it looks like a rocket. So could a water bottle, a DVD case or maybe even a boot, but hey...whatever.

Anyway, the result of the story is that Surapon tossed the blower and bought a new one when he got home (because you don't argue with airport security). However, he made a quick change to the potentially lethal rocket by cutting off the fins. Apparently he hasn't had a TSA issue since.

Via Canon Rumors

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29 Comments

The $8 Billion a year welfare program keeping thieves, rapists, pedophiles, smugglers, and pimps employed all without actually stopping any terrorist at the gate.

I stay in Canada now, tired of dealing with those retards at the gate. When the "American Spring" happens, and they people fired when the coup for the WH happens, then I'll come visit again, when I'm made to feel like a guest, not a fricken criminal!

A 'coup' really? Are you forgetting, the crazy ones are in the minority. Yeah, they have guns, but we have drones.

'Crazy ones'? 'We' have drones? By 'We' you mean...?

Pretty stupid but then you gotta admit it kind of does look like a rocket. I guess the designers had to decide whether they wanted their device to look like a rocket or an enema.

I don't have any kind of degree in engineering... but I'm pretty sure if you put gun powder in that and lit it, being made of plastic, it would probably melt. This is next level stupid.

Typical TSA mentality I'm afraid.

Now don't get me wrong, I have the upmost respect and appreciation for those genuinely just trying to protect us and enforce the rule of law but my own personal experience with TSA agents has been awful.

They were rude, intolerant and at best unwelcoming. It's like they are trained to make peoples lives a misery. 99.9% of visitors just come to work or spend their hard earned cash on vacation and then go home, not to be interrogated, violated and made to feel like criminals.

I'm not tarring them all with the same brush but many are an absolute detriment to your country.

Trevor Dayley's picture

My bags have been searched by TSA for the exact same reason - the rocket blower. Fortunately after pulling out the "suspicious" item and reviewing it they realized it was harmless and let me continue on my merry way.

Given the story is legit (which I've a hard time to believe) it's a glaring testament to the exceeding inability of those TSA guys. Maybe hiring people who lack any formal education and paying them minimum wages is not the best way to get qualified staff.

Hard to believe? Most non-americans trying to cross the american border -- mostly for transfer -- have a personal story to share I'm sure. Last time they didn't believe my dad was my dad (he is from Taiwan and I am half, but I don't look like one), so for this reason they brought like half of their staff and wanted us to count all the money we had in our pockets. It was like 5K because my cousin was getting married and we give cash in Chinese tradition and they were apparently pissed off at us for having "so much cash". I mean, the rules say I don't have to declare anything past $10,000, so exactly why should they be pissed off?

A friend of mine shares the same name as a person on their wanted list, so every single time he travels, he has to say the same exact thing, "I am NOT the guy you're looking for", he always gets interrogated for at least half an hour nevertheless.

LOL. I've one of these on my desktop...

The only appropriate reaction to this is *HEADDESK*...

The TSA has got to be the most useless of all agencies. You always hear stories like this. Either they're confiscating the most harmless items or letting through the most deadly.

Ha ha I have been carrying this with my hand carry all the time. I think this needs to be redesigned in different shape. May be like a boob :D lol

Daniel Johansson's picture

Paranoia strikes once again in the U.S

The problem is that people DON'T argue with the TSA. Bunch of cowards afraid to complain about someone with a badge, making my life more difficult. Any time some idiot TSA agent acts up, there should be a scene, lawsuit, and firing of the employee. And I'm not going to sit here and say "I have sooo much respect for the good ones keeping me safe". Stop pandering. Every TSA agent is responsible for every other. If you're working with a moronic punk like the two involved in this story, you're one of the bad ones too. You're letting it go unpunished. People should start harassing them in their daily lives. Let them try and check out at the market and have a teller confiscate their credit card because it could be used to cut someone. No you can't have any bags for your items, they could be used to suffocate people. Buying gas? What for? When was the last time you filled up? Oh? Why so much driving? I'm sorry but you can make a bomb with gasoline, none for you. Have a nice day!

Actually, surf the youtube, keyword 'TSA'. You'll find a bunch of negative videos about TSA, from amateur videos to news clips about complaints to the TSA. To name a few, from the issue of TSA agents stealing stuffs (which one video caught the thief red handed, at his home!!), TSA sexual harassment (with the infamous 'pat down'), even a diner/cafe who won't serve TSA agents at all.

Complaints and resentments are pouring in on daily basis, I'd say. They just switch to 'deaf' mode....

Maybe it is because people have plans when they are flying somewhere... Messing with a TSA agent would just cause you more trouble. Maybe they wouldn't even let you fly anymore because you're getting more and more "suspicious". So all you do is doing exactly what they tell you to. The land of the free I guess. Be submissive or suspicious.

Maybe this is a bit off the actual subject but what do you guys think is the most effect that people like Bin Laden could have dreamed of? Destroying the USA? I don't they ever believed this could be possible. What they actually wanted is leave a country in fear.

US citizens are terrorized by others for the sake of "security". You don't even dare to stand your rights because you know that in case of doubt, you don't have any rights. Maybe it is about time to think different..

I owned one as well until the TSA agents in Thailand confiscated it from me because they thought it was some kind of sex toy... haha.

Mike Pomazal's picture

It's a good thing that it's made of rubber so it will do minimal damage to whomever it hits.

Jayson Carey's picture

That's it...the terrorists have won.

There is only one reason for TSA's existance. Keeping americans docile and desensetized. Tyrannies rarely come over night and americans do live in a tyrannical society, they're just not aware of it.

and all of you who think this article is funny...wake the .... up!

jose pablo chavez's picture

TSA in Los Angeles Took away from me 8 SD Cards, i brought 60 rolls of neopan 400, office told me next time you come to LA bring only 5 why would you need 60 rolls? why????. go figure

Ben .'s picture

The only time I've ever had an issue getting my gear through was when I took the handles (for pan/tilt etc) off my tripod and stuffed them in my camera bag to save a bit of space when I packed the tripod into my checked luggage. Stupid me didn't think they'd see some weird shape which could look like it was a make shift stabbing implement which forced me to have my bags checked multiple times and face some interesting questioning.

Once the suspect items were found (cuz not even I knew what they were referring to initially) a quick explanation as to their intended use and I was on my way.

Note to self: Try to get tripod as carry on in future.

Ariel Martini's picture

or try to stab someone with a tripod handle

C0cksuckers

a friend of mine had to give his blower away at Düsseldorf airport in 2009.. because it looks like a handgranade lol