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“Nationals October 2019

TSA Blogger Goes Into Hiding

| October 17, 2009, 10:31 AM | 40 Comments

Annapolis Woman Who Accused TSA Pulls Site

UPDATE: There is some good advice for both the TSA and “Nic” at Christopher Elliott’s site, Elliott.org.

UPDATE: Thanks to Atrocity17 (a commenter) for this link to a larger screen version of the video.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have received many emails and a few comments about her site being pulled down versus crashing. Only Nic knows for sure, but typically a site that crashes from traffic will go to a 404 Error page or there will be a browser error saying unable to connect to the site. That is not the case here. When you go to the site, yo get a black screen and the URL is still clearly visible in the address line. This is consistent with taking it offline. Regardless, her silence speaks volumes and if I had to guess, an attorney likely advised her to keep mum and pull the site. (JWF)

Yesterday, an Annapolis woman who blogs by the name “Nic” took to her blog (currently down) to tell the tale of the TSA in Atlanta separating her from her infant child.

Immediately, it created a buzz with travelers, parents, and the TSA. He story was emotional and on the surface

"Nic" the "tattooed liberal" freelance writer who falsely accused the TSA of separating her from her infant son.

"Nic" the "tattooed liberal" freelance writer who falsely accused the TSA of separating her from her infant son.

traumatizing for any parent. “Nic” who bills herself as a “tattooed liberal” freelance writer married to a 6’6″ Navy fighter pilot recounted her tale of being sequestered, ignored, separated from her child, and more.

The TSA initially responded with a standard reply and later last night placed a video of the incident on their blog which absolutely refutes 99% of her tale.  The entire process took 10 minutes. The video is time-stamped, her identity was able to be confirmed by comparing photos of her, her son, and her stroller on her blog. About the only truthful thing was that she was pulled aside for secondary screening.

What makes someone go to these lengths? Her story was very close to being a lead story on MSNBC.com yesterday–and she still may be newsworthy for creating this elaborate story.

While her blog received hundreds of comments offering support, today, the comments disappeared, and now the blog is completely down. We have tried to contact “Nic” by email, twitter and telephone and she did not return any message. The TSA even tried to contact her and also got no response.

So, with ignored twitter messages, ignored email messages, ignored voicemail messages, a vanished blog. What do you think?   If you want to read her full blog entry (less comments) the complete text is after the jump.

16
Oct
2009

As I sit and write this post, 24 hours after this event took place, my hands still shake… with rage and with terror.

I woke up this morning to my husband’s alarm clock, sat straight up in bed and thought “Where’s Jackson?” with fear paralyzing me.

My worst nightmare took place yesterday. Worse than events that have taken place and that I have survived in my short 28 years of living. Worse than my wildest of dreams could conjure.

My son was taken from me.

Taken.

My son was taken from me by the TSA agents at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport yesterday.

He was taken away from me and OUT OF MY SIGHT because his pacifier clip went off when I carried him through the metal detector.

According to the Transportation Security Administration website,We will not ask you to do anything that will separate you from your child or children.”

Bullshit TSA.

You took my son. MY SON.

Here’s what took place… minute by terrifying minute…

I had Jackson in his stroller, his diaper bag, and a duffle bag which contained my mac book as I entered security. I placed all of these items on the conveyor belt to go through the metal detector. Jackson was in my arms, and in the midst of getting all of our gear on the conveyor belt, my mistake was neglecting to take off my son’s pacifier clip that hangs from his shirt, which is metal.

The instant I walked through the metal detector with Jackson in my arms, we beeped. I knew exactly why.

I told the TSA agent, who asked me to back up and walk through again, “It’s my son’s pacifier clip, can I put it on the conveyor belt?

Ma’am turn around and come back please,” I was told.

Of course Jackson’s clip went off again. Both Jackson and I were then escorted to a 6 ft tall plastic holding box because I was forced to wait for a female TSA agent to search me.

At this point in time, all of my belongings were sitting at the opposite end of the conveyor belt, thereby backing up every other passengers belongings because I was not there to gather mine.

A woman out of the kindness of her heart (and if you are out there somewhere reading this, THANK YOU) saw me just standing and waiting in my 6 ft plastic box and gathered my belongings for me. She waited with my stroller, my diaper bag, my duffle bag and my mac book. This woman motioned to me that everything (including my flip flops) was all together and then she left.

She must be a mother.

She understood.

I was so grateful.

4 female TSA agents stood at the end of 2 conveyor belts, gloves on their hands, none of them searching anyone, none of them doing anything but watching luggage pass through the conveyor belts.

It was at this point in time that I realized my flight was leaving in less than 45 minutes. I had not even been searched yet. I began to panic.

Through the 6 holes in the plastic box that contained Jackson and I, I began asking for help. I waved to all 4 female TSA agents, each of them looked at me and then looked away. Then I started speaking through the 6 holes, and said, “Can someone please search me? My flight leaves in less than 45 minutes.”

Each of the 4 women answered me using the same exact phrase…

Ma’am you need to wait. I don’t care about your departure time.

Eventually one of the four female TSA agents opened the door and let Jackson and I out of our plastic containment box. We were escorted to a chair that was opposite from where my belongings were. I asked if I could bring my belongings over or take a seat closer to where they were. I was told no and to take my seat.

At this point in time, my heart began to race, thinking we would miss our flight and I would be stuck in the Atlanta airport with Jackson for who knows how long until there was another flight to Baltimore.

The female TSA agent stood in front of me while I sat with Jackson and she continued to watch luggage come through the conveyor belt.

Ma’am, can someone please just search me so we can be on our way? We are going to miss our flight,” I said.

The female agent then called an older gentleman, also a TSA agent over. The male TSA agent stood in front of me and said “I’m going to have to pat down your son.

With Jackson still sitting in my lap (he was being so good despite all of this chaos) I said ok and continued to hold on to my son, expecting the male TSA agent to start touching Jackson.

He then told me, “I’m going to have to pick him up to inspect him.”

I rolled my eyes and sternly told him “It’s his pacifier clip that went off, can’t you just run that back through the belt and let us go. We are going to miss our flight.”

The female TSA agent, who had been standing there the entire time said to me, “You need to adjust your attitude and do as you are told.

The male TSA agent repeated, “I’m going to have to pick him up to inspect him.

I handed him my son.

I handed him my son and he walked away with my child.

My eyes welled up with tears, I stood up from my chair and I asked the female TSA agent, “Where is he going? Where is he taking my child? Why is he leaving?”

Jackson, while being whisked away looked at the male TSA agent awkwardly and repeated “no no no no.

I started crying.

The female TSA agent did not answer me.

Panic set in. My hands began to shake. My body was sweating. My breath was short and my heart was racing.

They had taken my child and not told me.

Jackson was out of my eye sight.

I could not see my son.

Now sobbing, I repeated my questions to the female TSA agent.

She told me “Ma’am, we’re trying to be nice to you. We don’t know which one of you went off in the metal detector. Stay here so I can search you.”

But my son… where is my son?” I asked over and over again.

The female TSA agent called a second female TSA agent over as she began to search me. Apparently the second female TSA agent could hear me protesting and asking for my son.

Ma’am you need to calm down or I’m going to have to involve the authorities,” she told me.

Now I was pissed.

Horrified. Terrified. Enraged.

You fucking get the authorities,” I told the female TSA agent while the other continued to wand me and forced me to unbutton my jeans because the button beeped when she went over my abdomen with her wand.

You get the goddamn authorities right the fuck now and tell them to GIVE ME MY SON,” I said.

I began to black out. I knew I was having a full on panic attack. I feared passing out.

I was told to take my seat again, after being searched, but I was not allowed to collect my belongings.

My cell phone was within reach and I grabbed it without being seen by the TSA agents.

I called my husband. I do not remember what I told him on the phone in terms of Jackson and what took place.

I do recall asking him to calm me down because I could not breathe. As a father, he couldn’t. I imagine any father would do the same. Paul had questions, tons of questions. Questions that I was not capable of answering because I literally was losing my breath and on the verge of blacking out.

I hung up and called my mother.

Jackson’s gone,” I remember telling her. I do not remember what she said in return, but she instantly could tell I was having a panic attack. She began breathing with me on the phone in an attempt to calm me down.

She told me, “Nic, you’re going to have to stop crying. You need to be strong for Jackson. He’s going to be that much more scared if he sees mommy so upset. In through your nose… out through your mouth…” I think she may have counted, or had me count, I don’t know.

Jackson was still gone.

My guess is that all of this took place within a period of 10 minutes or less.

It felt like hours… days even.

My son was gone.

Sobbing and seated, I watched both female TSA agents walk away from me and go back to monitoring luggage come through the conveyor belt.

Finally the male TSA agent who took Jackson brought him back.

Jackson was in my sight and immediately started yelling, “Mommy!”

I was hysterical.

Running to my son and grabbing him from the male TSA agent’s arms, I sobbed and yelled obscenities at every single TSA agent who stood guard at the end of the conveyor belts.

One of them asked me if I wanted to speak to a supervisor.

Through tears I told him (or her, I don’t remember) that I had a flight I was about to miss.

With Jackson in my arms, I gathered our belongings, through him in the stroller and ran to the elevator that took us down to the tram to take us to our concourse where our plane waited.

B-25.

Sobbing as we traveled down the elevator, then during the tram ride, and up the next elevator to our concourse, I began running to our gate. I approached two female Delta agents at the desk of gate B-25.

How much time do I have before this flight leaves?” I asked, knowing I needed to get to a bathroom due to my panic attack.

Looking at me concerned, I was told I had 5 minutes.

I ran to the bathroom. I placed Jackson on the diaper changing station with his juice and then I hit the floor. I could not see. I had no peripheral vision.

Channeling my mother, thinking of my phone call with her, I began to calm down.

I had an emergency Xanax in my jeans pocket. I always carry an emergency Xanax in my pocket. The result of severe anxiety.

I took the pill, but it did very little. I was so traumatized that it would’ve taken probably 4 Xanax to get my blood pressure back down to a normal level.

Splashing my face with cold water, then grabbing Jackson, I ran back to gate B-25.

Both female Delta agents looked at me and asked how they could help. I told them that my ticket had me at an aisle seat and if I could switch to a window (Jackson LOVES the window).

They told me that if I didn’t mind sitting at the back of the plane, they could give me an entire row to myself.

I started crying again. I told them a shortened version of what had just taken place and how grateful I was for their kindness.

One of the female Delta agents walked me down the jetway, helping me with the stroller and getting it a gate-claim ticket.

I hugged her. I thanked her. I got on the plane.

I had my son and we were on the plane.

I called my mother again, telling her briefly that I was on and to please call Paul. I didn’t remember that I had spoken to Paul earlier, and thought he did not know any of what had taken place.

Mom said she would call Paul and tell him everything. She reminded me that I had my son and we were on our way home.

Both Jackson and I slept during the flight. I held him so close that when he woke up, his head was drenched in sweat.

Our nightmare ended once the plane landed in Baltimore. Jackson and I exited, walked out of the concourse and Jackson demanded to get out of the stroller.

He ran to his daddy.

We were home.

**********

I’m unsure how to end this post. I do not know what my story will lead to (if anything) but I needed to do more than file a complaint or write a letter. My hope is that this post of mine will be read by mothers and fathers, passed along to parents traveling with their children… most of all, my hope is that NO PARENT HAS THEIR CHILD TAKEN FROM THEM.

TSA TOOK MY SON IN ATLANTA HARTSFIELD-JACKSON AIRPORT.

THIS SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN TO ANY PARENT. EVER.

Filed Under: TSA took my child, anxiety, help, parent’s worst nightmare, parenting, traveling with a baby

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: OPINION

About the Author - John Frenaye

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for nearly 25 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.

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Comments (40)

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  1. Maria says:

    You guys are turning tail after posting a story without fact-checking and now attacking a woman for “hiding?” Classy.

  2. Maria says:

    Her blog has obviously crashed from the insane amount of traffic she’s been getting.

    This isn’t news. Get a grip.

  3. Tom says:

    @Maria
    Site hasn’t crashed, it was taken down.
    She lied about the whole story and was trolling, she deserves the backlash.

  4. T Durden says:

    This ding dong gives a bad name to hysterical liberals everywhere!

    Note to self: get lithium prescription refilled.

    – T

  5. WP Admin says:

    Her site isn’t legitimately down for traffic as the dark gray message on the black screen states.

    Type: http://www.mybottlesup.com/wp-admin

    She’s merely thrown up a blank splash screen. That screams “I’m hiding” to me.

  6. WP Admin says:

    You can also go directly to the post: http://www.mybottlesup.com/tsa-agents-took-my-son/

    Again, her site isn’t down. She’s hiding. Which is worse than lying the first time around.

  7. Matt says:

    Oh please. If this is what we call news nowadays, I think I’m going to go and puke in someone’s hair.

    Stop bashing other people’s lives. It’s absolutely disgusting.

    Also, considering that everything on www.MyBottlesUp.com is subject to copyright laws, I wonder whether or not you’re allowed to have that picture of her up there.

    And heck, even if you are, you’re still a bit of a douche.

  8. Tom says:

    @Matt She is merely reaping her rewards! She goes public with this and demands justice.. no fun when the tables are turned around isn’t it? Moral of the story: Don’t lie to be an attention whore.

    I’m surprised you’re even defending her!

  9. lizriz says:

    Were you in contact with her to get the rights to reprint her blog post and picture? Isn’t that material under copyright?

  10. @Matt Use and reproduction of her post and image int his sense is perfectly legitimate.

    Also, @Matt @Maria how can you even think of defending this behavior. The only person to be attacked her is “Nic” as she has more than clearly fabricated the entire event and her actions serve not only to show how untrustworthy she is, but will be seen as yet another excuse to show how unreliable the entire blogosphere is. And we wonder why the FCC apparently needs different rules for us than mainstream media! It’s because there is no accountability and any wing-nut can right anything they want…

  11. Eye Spy says:

    Actually, her blog was properly referenced with a link back to it (which she has subsequently removed but it is available via cached copies on the major search engines).

    And before we ever posted this, we made several attempts to contact her by phone, email, and twitter.

  12. Since this post is reporting on the events of her posting and TSA’s response, that falls under fair use and is not considered copyright infringement.

  13. niite says:

    She took her whole site down, except for the TSA blog post.. you can still get to it directly.. though I see she disabled comments on it now. http://www.mybottlesup.com/tsa-agents-took-my-son/

  14. Anonymous says:

    Friendly FYI, her article concerning the TSA is still available via its permalink:
    http://www.mybottlesup.com/tsa-agents-took-my-son/

  15. Eye Spy says:

    The permalink is probably from a cached version of the post.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Eye Spy, according to a footer in the page’s source:



    You are correct! It’s a page cached via the wp-super-cache plugin, so it may well disappear soon, depending on how high she set the cache’s expiry time.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Ha, silly me, pasting an HTML comment directly into the comment.
    Here’s the footer I was talking about:
    Dynamic page generated in 0.919 seconds.
    Cached page generated by WP-Super-Cache on 2009-10-16 11:44:24
    super cache

  18. Eye Spy says:

    AS long as it is accessed, I believe the cache time will extend. Once it sees no activity for a “period” it goes away.

    However, it could very well be cached on your individual computer and likely since it is a blog (and not a website), google crawled it and will have a cached version as well.

  19. TM says:

    Dear World: Nicole is not going into hiding. Her site is down because of too much traffic. See for yourself. http://twitpic.com/lx1bl

  20. Eye Spy says:

    TM. The site was taken down. If it was due to too much traffic, there would be a connection/page unfound/404 error. Not a black screen with a hidden comment in black font.

    Additionally, if the site was down to too much traffic, the admin login page for the site would also be down.

    Besides the Site Meter report certainly indicates that the site is indeed up and running. http://www.sitemeter.com/?a=stats&s=sm3magoo&r=3

    She has had 35,000 visitors today (not enough to crash) and currently there are at least 100 users on the blackened site (or the cached page)

    And considering that she averages 200 visitors per day, the 41K she had yesterday and the 37K and counting she has today will certainly make their mark in the blogosphere.

    So try again. The site is up. Albeit it is blacked out. And I am still saying that it is probably on the advice of an attorney! There is more to this story!

  21. BlackRose says:

    The site is back up with further explanation. If you look closely, you can see that the TSA’s video is edited and does not show the entire incident from beginning to end, just enough to “exonerate” the TSA. Luckily it seems the lady in question has some “outside” evidence, several phone calls made while she was detained. Neither call appears in the TSA’s proof of its own innocence. I do think there is more to this story than those in power want you to see.

  22. Eye Spy says:

    Black Rose—she would not have had a cell phone to make the calls. Her cell phone would have been with her belongings that were retrieved by another traveler and kept away from her while she was being screened.

  23. lizriz says:

    “Since this post is reporting on the events of her posting and TSA’s response, that falls under fair use and is not considered copyright infringement.”

    Really? So if I’m reporting about something the AP reported, I can replicate their article in full?

    Also, what about the issue that everyone who reads this here isn’t reading it on her site, thereby directly costing her income? Isn’t that an argument against fair use?

    I’m genuinely interested. I totally thought that fully reprinting someone’s blog post on your site without permission was copyright infringement, and this total reprint doesn’t seem to meet fair use tests to me.

  24. anon says:

    In high school, girls are horrible to each other. It’s made for books and movies. Queen Bees and Wannabes. We have words like drama queen.

    After high school, women never lie about anything, women never make false accusations of anything.

    You shut your pie holes if you think Nicole was lying! Nicole is a woman, she is oppressed, she is a victim. I think she needs a federal grant to help her out.

    And you folks are sexist pigs.

  25. getoveryourself says:

    what a Hoax, let’s hope your charged too.

  26. ASeth says:

    @LizRiz “Really? So if I’m reporting about something the AP reported, I can replicate their article in full?”

    No, you misunderstand.

    The situation here is that Nicole White’s post IS the story. Her statements are what kicked off this whole fiasco, and her published response are part of that.

    To give an example: several years back, due to an intern’s error, the Associated Press accidentally announced on their web site that Bob Hope had died (he had not). Naturally, people reacted: fans ordered flowers to be sent to the family, news organizations subscribing to the AP’s service published it on their own sites, etc. When the mistake was discovered a short time later, the AP’s error BECAME the story, and so everyone was allowed to–under Fair Use–replicate it and discuss it.

    Simply republishing an article ABOUT a topic you want to discuss violates copyright. But republishing an article that IS the story is Fair Use.

    Does that help?

  27. ASeth says:

    @BlackRose: “The site is back up with further explanation. If you look closely, you can see that the TSA’s video is edited and does not show the entire incident from beginning to end, just enough to “exonerate” the TSA. Luckily it seems the lady in question has some ‘outside’ evidence, several phone calls made while she was detained. Neither call appears in the TSA’s proof of its own innocence. I do think there is more to this story than those in power want you to see.”

    BlackRose: you, like Nicole White, don’t know anything about video editing. The timestamps on the video are what really make Nic’s version of events…problematic.

    Nic claims in her non-apology that the video was edited. Missing time: 20 seconds between the overhead view of the x-ray conveyor and the view of the holding box (11:01:40, 11:02:00), then 19 seconds between that view and the view of the search table area (11:04:12, 11:04:31).

    The only other missing part is about 5 minutes of standing in line at the beginning.

    Editing video is one thing, but it’s _extremely_ difficult to fake timestamps, even if you know what you’re doing.

    Beyond the timestamps are all of the other things happening in the video – during key parts of her story, there is no sign of editing (people moving through don’t suddenly appear or disappear).

    Could that be edited together with people & actions that weren’t necessarily going on? Sure. But that’s a very time-consuming process, requiring a certain level of expertise that costs money. Assuming that TSA _did _contract with people from Industrial Light and Magic to edit this video, they still would not have released the video when they did. That sort of editing takes days. We’d still be waiting for the video.

    The other problem is that Nicole White was already trying to sell her story before it went viral. If you go back through Nic’s Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/mybottlesup), you can see that she was already discussing pimping her story to publishers before she even posted it. The Suburban Oblivion blog has posted screencaps of those specific tweets discussing the sale of her article here: http://bit.ly/u9bGb.

    You can also see her encouraging people to retweet her story and to contact the TSA to express their support and outrage.

    I understand that some people are sympathetic to Nic and want to give her the benefit of the doubt. But at this point, what Nic’s basically saying is “THE TSA TOOK MY BABY AND THERE’S A SOPHISTICATED GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY TO COVER IT UP.”

    Even in her non-apology, she contradicts herself. She states ” this matter is one that is being handled between my family and the TSA.” Then, a paragraph later, she claims that no one from the TSA has contacted her. Well, which is it? She’s either “handling the matter” with the TSA, or she’s not.

    Bottom-line: Nicole White lied when she wrote her story. She worked readers into a frenzy with her allegations, and then encouraged to contact the TSA to express their outrage, and to spread her story far and wide so she could get publicity and sell it. The TSA responded with proof that she was lying, and now she’s trying to simultaneously save face AND avoid talking about it.

  28. lizriz says:

    ASeth,

    Ah. Yes, I see the distinction. Interesting example about that Bob Hope story.

    Thank you!

  29. Devedander says:

    @BlackRose: Once Nics items were on the converyor belt, she had no access to them until after the incident (her own words) and a cell phone does and will set off a metal detector.

    So first: Nic says she knows it’s the babies pacifier which sets off the metal detector? By her own logic she has no cell phone to make these calls.

    Then she is wanded. IF she had her cell phone before being wanded, the search would have turned up her cell phone. No such occurded.

    Edited video or not, there is no evidence she had a cell phone to make calls with before she was rejoined with her stuff, which is after the whole ordeal is over.

  30. Rebecca says:

    There are more than just her side and the TSA’s side to the story. It’s called the truth…it’ll never come out. I’m sure something happened that provoked her to write that blog.

  31. Devedander says:

    Rebbeca there is definitely something that provoked her. She is an entitled drama queen who possibly suffered from a reality altering anxiety attack and took extremem liberties to garner some kind of attention/support/sympathy on her blog.

    This happens all the time, just usually wihtout such fanfare. How often have you heard your friends exagerate a story about how some customer service person totally screwed them over, made them wait an HOUR for their pizza or hid items at the store so they woudln’t be able to buy them or something else dramatic only to find it they were told when ordering the pizza ther would be a long wait becuase the an oven was broken or the person who said they were out of stock of an item didn’t realize the stock location had changed?

    It happens all the time, this time the lady took it a bit too far and got caught on it.

    We all dislike the hassles TSA brings, their attitude and their ineficiencies… I am sure this lady took an incident, blew it out of proportion with help from her mental condition and had her revenge on TSA for something which really only merrited some grumbling.

  32. ASeth says:

    The TSA has added a bunch of new videos from different angles for the remaining “they doctored the tape” people.

    Rebecca, I suggest that you take a good hard look. Scroll down past the original post to see them.

    Nic’s family and/or friends and/or blogging colleagues need to tell her to come clean, give a _real_ apology to the TSA instead of the pseudo-apology she has on her site right now, and then take a break from the internet for a while.

    Honestly, I don’t think the woman genuinely understands the seriousness of her allegations. Does she really want to keep provoking the government at this point? And I don’t mean that question in a “facist jackbooted thugs will make your life a living hell” kind of way, but more in a “you keep insisting we did you wrong, so let’s just go to court and settle this once and for all; hope your attorney is a miracle worker” kind of way.

  33. ASeth says:

    Oh, and now she’s apparently deleted her Twitter feed. This just gets better and better.

  34. Devedander says:

    And a little background on her mental state, just a few posts form her blog

    http://www.mybottlesup.com/tense

    http://www.mybottlesup.com/therabitch

  35. PM says:

    @ASeth:

    “BlackRose: you, like Nicole White, don’t know anything about video editing. The timestamps on the video are what really make Nic’s version of events…problematic.

    Editing video is one thing, but it’s _extremely_ difficult to fake timestamps, even if you know what you’re doing.”

    I don’t believe the videos are faked either, but your comment makes it obvious you didn’t really look at the video (unless the low-res version is fundamentally different from the high-res version I’m looking at, which would be odd).

    Sure, if the timestamp text was directly overlaid on the background video it would be difficult to change. But the timestamp here is in a black bounding box. There’s no changing background to worry about. Anything in that strip of black could have been easily modified without touching the rest of the video at all. I could do it with a simple free tool like VirtualDub in minutes. A timestamp on a solid background is next to useless as proof against tampering. Since it’s superimposed by hardware or software you can’t even compare ambient noise with the rest of the video to gauge similarity. You’d have to believe they went beyond a simple “choosing when to cut” to “active deception”, which I don’t, but there’s no technical proof that they didn’t.

    “Beyond the timestamps are all of the other things happening in the video – during key parts of her story, there is no sign of editing (people moving through don’t suddenly appear or disappear).”

    You’re right, they would have a hard time editing bits out in the middle of a continuous shot because of all the other motion in the background. They could do it in the latter portion when Nic is seated and there’s much less background motion, by just concentrating on her and the TSA’s area of the frame if nothing else, but that’s definitely another level of expertise I’m not willing to credit them with on such short notice.

    However, if you don’t assume the timestamps are correct, (and there’s no technical reason why you must) then there’s also no way to tell how much time elapsed between cuts to different camera views. The background completely changes at those cuts whether it’s only skipping a couple seconds or ten minutes, and the views are different enough that there’s not much that’s constant between them to judge by. Again, not saying I think that happened, but there’s also no technical proof they didn’t without gaining access to the original version of all the raw footage. It just wouldn’t be that hard to do if they were so inclined.

    I personally believe that her panic attack inspired some memory revision, which is understandable in someone with that kind of condition placed under stress. But if you’re going to come down as the voice of knowledge and authority, completely ruling something out based on your expertise and belittling the opinion of the uninitiated, you should really stop and think about it first. Implying that something which is relatively straightforward would be impossible without a full restaging or the efforts of George Lucas doesn’t exactly make you look like an expert yourself.

  36. Devedander says:

    PM while you are right that tinkering with the timestamps on a black border would not be terribly difficult, doing so is a very bad idea as it leaves a huge trail.

    If this story was true, it is very likely this could go to court, the tapes could be subpoenad and they would have to show all CCTV for extended periods. In such a situation it would be very easy to find a falsified timestamp as something would not match up between two camera angles.

    Technically possible doesn’t mean it is even a remotely good idea to try.

  37. PM says:

    Agreed. I was just reacting to the way ASeth was shutting it out specifically as technically impossible, or even “very hard”. I thought he was being kind of obnoxious about it – which is bad enough when you’re right.

  38. ASeth says:

    @PM:

    I’m going to do something that Nicole White probably won’t do, unless dragged into a court of law by the TSA. I’m going to publically admit I was wrong and apologize.

    I freely admit that the last time I did any serious video editing was back it the late ’80s. My statements were based on information that is dated and therefore no longer accurate given today’s technology. For that, I apologize to the readers of these comments.

    I want to thank you, PM and Devender, for bringing correct information to this discussion. I also want to apologize to you both, and the other readers, for the obnoxious tone of my post. I get very frustrated when people whip out accusations of tampering with evidence–and those are VERY SERIOUS accusations, ones NO ONE should make lightly or in the heat of the moment–for no reason other than “It doesn’t show what I want to be true”. When that happens, I admit, I don’t moderate my tone the way I should, and I do get obnoxious. So again, I apologize.

    I’m going to close with two things. First, Nicole White’s latest update:

    http://www.mybottlesup.com/ownership

    Short version: she stands by what she said. She “owns” it (as in, she’s taking responsibilty for her statements). And the rest of you can just shut up, because it’s not about you. Oh, and she’s really hurt that she’s lost some friends in the blogosphere over this.

    White also states, “they call it social media for a reason. it’s social. it’s not news. it’s sometimes fact and sometimes fiction and sometimes a variance in between.” So, basically, because she’s a blogger, you can’t expect her to tell the truth.

    Lastly, to Nicole White and her supporters: I just apologized in public for making an idiot of myself on the Internet. It’s high time White did the same.

  39. twoblondiesmommy says:

    Maybe this idiot will learn to treat people better. TSA doesn’t give two sh*ts if you late for your flight. However acting rude and treating TSA rude will do nothing but tick them off and make them go slower. A little kindness goes a long way.

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