On the heels of last week’s foiled al-Qaeda airline bombing plot comes this bizarre story from Vancouver:
An elderly white man boarded a plane in Hong Kong – and turned into an Asian youth somewhere over the Pacific.
In an incredible breach of security, the passenger, wearing a mask that made him look decades older, dottered past security guards whose heads apparently were in the clouds and onto an Air Canada flight Oct. 29, according to a Canadian alert.
Then he walked into the plane’s lavatory, where he took off the mask and calmly returned to his seat.
Upon landing in Vancouver, the quick-change artist was escorted off the plane and immediately claimed refugee status. The reason he pulled the bizarre stunt remains a mystery.
… The man was apparently able to slip past several guards and get on the plane after swapping boarding passes with a 55-year-old US citizen.
And here’s a photo of the passenger and his disguise.
More here from CNN, which notes:
After landing in Canada, Border Services Officers (BSOs) escorted the man off the plane where he “proceeded to make a claim for refugee protection,” the alert says.
“The subject initially claimed to be in possession of one bag; however, flight crew approached the BSOs with two additional pieces of luggage which were believed to belong to the subject. One bag contained the subject’s personal clothing items while the second contained a pair of gloves. The third contained a ‘disguise kit’ which consisted of a silicone type head and neck mask of an elderly Caucasian male, a brown leather cap, glasses and a thin brown cardigan.”
The man put on the disguise for the officers who “noted he very much resembled an elderly Caucasian man, complete with mimicking the movements of an elderly person. The subject admitted at this time that he had boarded the flight with the mask on and had removed it several hours later,” according to the alert.
For those of you who aren’t Mission Impossible junkies, Rollin Hand – The Man of 1000 Faces, was a character on the first three seasons of the show, deftly played by the great Martin Landau. His extreme makeup often included silicon and rubber masks and facial prosthetics. Rollin’s “reveal” (peeling off the mask) generally coincided with the climax of the episode.