Oh what a tangled

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when at first we do plane-spot!

According to this article in the Daily Telegraph, the leader of the imprisoned plane-spotters, Paul Coppin, was detained in August in Romania for similarly aggressive plane-spotting. And he may even have been nabbed earlier in the year in a similar incident in Poland.

Meanwhile, with the lull in new news about the plane-spotters, reportage has given way to commentary. This article from the BBC speculates on why the Greeks don’t seem to give a *#$% about the plane-spotters or their predicament. And none of them seem able to grasp what the attraction is to plane-spotting.

More ominously, the piece demonstrates that the plane-spotting crisis is dashing whatever might have been left of British philhellenism

“Though less than 20 years old,” writes BBC correspondent Ryan Dilley, “the courthouse in the coastal town of Kalamata [where the plane-spotters are held] is already as mangy as the stray dogs that sun themselves on the scrubby grass outside. With a family of pigeons noisily nested in the ceiling of the main hall, graffiti covering many walls and every clock in the building stopped at 10 to seven, Kalamata’s court has the air of a shopping arcade fallen on the hardest of times.”

Finally, this article (“Nerdism with just a dash of risk”) from the Daily Telegraph and this one from the Independent (“Plane-spotting: Harmless hobby that can become a dangerous and costly obsession”) shed new light on the seductive but sometimes dangerous craft of plane-spotting and the pitiful nimrods who practice it.

“Most plane spotters lead stable lives,” an editor of one aviation magazine told the Telegraph, “Plane spotting is their fix. Some people get off on drugs and some on taking down tail numbers.”

Meanwhile, here’s the plane-spotting quote of the day, from Alex Standish, editor of Jane’s Intelligence Digest. “It seems very, very unlikely that [one] Nato country would be interested in spying on another by infiltrating plane-spotting trips.”