Hello! I was an intern at the International Airport Montello where I got to help out behind the scenes and to really find out how it all happened. I had a brilliant time, what an adventure! I've seen things you people wouldn't believe! During the events I kept a blog, and over the next few weeks I will post my blog up here along with photographs of the action.
This is the first photo. It was sent to me by the organisers when I was applying to intern. It's of Montello if you face south-west taken just beyond the edge of the runway of the airport. If you look really closely, you can just about make out one of the minotaurs…but more on them in a later post. Also I will forever have a fondness for the path that leads up to the summit of the left peak. We had an amazing day trecking there, standing in the clouds when we got to the top. I'll tell you more about the sculpture trail that lead up the paths and also the story about the eggs and S's telescope.
So this photograph was sent to me, and I thought I really really wanted to see this place. I live really really far away in a block in the old center of the city, so to be in a place so open was an opportunity not to be missed. That's all for now, more soon!
From Lietuvos Rytoje, daily newspaper of Vilnius, Lithuania
Further reports are coming in about the sandstorms and extended layovers at the International Airport Montello. At least four Lithuanian citizens are reported to be in the centre of events, we have heard that they are safe and have even quipped “It's like in movies” according to one source close to the action. A vigil is planned should the sandstorms worsen, so tune into Uzupio radio for updates as to where you nearest vigil point is. The basketball match Kaunas vs Varena will continue as planned but players and the audience will join the vigil during half time. We will bring more news as it breaks.
Above is a picture that we took about three hours after landing. I'll post up pictures of the actual journey too when I've sorted through them. Here on the left you can see the barbecue that was central to our activities. It was custom designed and actually had a plasma screen tv embedded in the hood made by a sculptor and part-time product designer who was on the trip. It was powered by solar panels, but had a back-up battery which, as you can see from the grey clouds, we needed. Seeing the tv through the flames felt quite apocalyptic especially out there in a place that could be post, well, post everything when actually it was pre everything. A little bit of me wanted it to play Jerry Springer to make it all very Dante and Stewart Lee.
Also in this picture you can see a lot of people are wearing hats. They were members of the Association of the Guild of Quantum Horology who were an eclectic group, and a lot of fun. One of their members kept . . singing sea-shanties but changing the words to suit aeroplanes. I wish I'd asked him to write some down, ah well, next time!
From Hawaii Daily Tribune, daily newspaper, Hawaii and Pacific rim
The International Airport Montello continued its layover for passengers another night, this makes its third night adding two to the originally planned one. Freak weather conditions raged again with a total of 16 sandstorms logged at the Montello weather station. This marks an 89% increase on the yearly average. The highest number of successive sandstorms for that region was recorded in 1978 when there were 29 sand torrents with the highest measuring 12 on the Mamparo scale with a 66% density and particle veracity of 9. The storms at Montello only register as Mamparo four and five, but the situation is being monitored by the international satellite stations in both Nelson and Phoenix. Many legends in the Bonneville Salt Flats region concern the sand storms including figures leaping between dimensions and visions visited upon those in the heart of the storm. There are no reported injuries and organisers are confident the conditions will improve.
Oh my word you would not believe the flies we encountered at IAM. This was the last fly paper to be taken down from the 20 we had hanging from the ceiling of the bunk house. I forgot to take photos of them, but I caught this final one. It was macabre, just before the sandstorm flies just filled the place. I suppose it must be one of those natural phenomenon, like rats leaving a sinking ship. It was really hot, especially for me as its usually winter where I live, but I don't think that was unusual for there. It was a dry heat and the bunk house was stifling – I generally stayed outside where there was at least a little air movement. When I say there were a lot of flies, I mean more than the regular quota, there were always some flies, but this was incredible. It was mid-morning when the hum started. Gradually over the following hour the hum crescendoed and the air around us blackened. Thousands, maybe millions, of black buzzing flies with iridescent wings swarmed through our camp. Their frantic wings individually refracting the sun turning them into an undulating mass of black glitter, each fly's song dopplering as they passed by my ears. As soon as we realised what was happening everyone tried to close the windows and doors of all of the trailers and in the bunk house we scrambled to cover all of the food and provisions. It felt biblical. The mass tore through, everyone hit the floor or tried to remain perfectly still, fighting the instinct to flail. I grabbed a tablecloth and crouched down putting it over my head, feeling ridiculous but safe. I realised that the base of my back was expose when insects started sharply skimming my skin at speed so I squirmed until I was secure. The weave was loose enough for me to see through into the dense air. Shapes seemed to form, perhaps an exercise in emergence, maybe the flies were calculating algorithms through their mass movement. Curling forms presumably following the air currents unfurled in the group, then more recognisable forms – beasts, propellers, horns – but I blinked the images away rationalising it down to my over-active imagination.
After at least 30 minutes they seemed to taper off. Everyone seemed fine, no one choking from a mouth full of the blighters, just a few scratches in the commotion. The bunk house was full of lost flies buzzing aimlessly. We had only put up one role of fly tape before, which was already saturated with seething casualties, so we put up our entire stock, reams of sickly sticky fly tape spiraled from the ceiling, horrible stuff that I used to get my hair caught in when I was little. The eerie hum drifted over the breeze from time to time throughout the rest of the stay, events took a different turn instead.
(sequence 008 landing)(box location: pilot 4ad)
16:23 -(unintelligible) YOU SEE THAT -EAST SIDE CLEAR -TURN DUE NORTH -TURNING -CONFIRMED, OBJECTS SIGHTED -DISTANCES VARY CAN'T GET A HOLD ON DIMENSIONS -ARE THEY STATIC -LOOKS LIKE YES REGISTERING NON-THREATENING -WHAT ARE THEY HAVE YOU SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE -NO
16:24 -ARE THEY THEY CAN'T BE WEATHER BALLOONS -NO ARE THEY (unintelligible) -THEY AREN'T SPREADING -RADAR 4 SHOWS CLOSEST IS 70, AVERAGE DEPTHS 65 -(unintelligible) -PUT A REPORT THROUGH TO THE TOWER
-TOO MUCH INTERFERENCE
-ROUTE IT THROUGH THE REAR TRANSMITTERS
-AGAIN TOO MUCH INTERFERENCE
-RADAR 4 STILL SENDING FEED
Here are two photos I really like. One is of the International Airport Montello in the USA, and the other is of Exchange Aerospace Kangerlussuaq B in Greenland in a small town called Kangerlussuaq, our twin town. The airport twinning scheme has been operating since the 1950s and seems to be really popular, admittedly mostly with civil servants. As Kangerlussuaq was our twin one of my bosses decided that we should do some projects in tandem. As you can see they’re not an identical twin, but it’s not far off. I was texting with the intern there, he was called Erik, from Texas but with Irish Grandparents. One of the projects we did was to send an sms ordering how an aspect of the layout of the other’s camp should be so that we could be make small aspects of our camp identical, but in a way that was imbued with personal choices and interpretation. In a time where it feels like buildings, in particular municipal ones, can be so totally identikit, it felt like a nice gesture. I made him set the top kitchen draw in the staff mess room to use the same layout as ours, and he made me angle three of the trailers to the same bearings as theirs, which is, incidentally, reflects Orion’s Belt. I sought help from some of the stronger members of the crew for that; Sofia put her shoulder in, as did Alesso. It was just a subtle change but it took everyone by surprise by how different the configuration looked.
From the Al-Amai, Weekly English language newspaper, Cairo, Egypt
Claims of corruption at the International Airport Montello have been quashed once and for all for the organisers. This news comes after the ruling by the governing body of GIA was made public last Thursday. Stories of moonshine smuggling and bribes offered to officials at various international border points have been rife. The ruling named IAM as corruption-free following an enquiry following up one of the libellous claims. The name of the prosecutor has been withheld from the press, but speculators have offered various rival Airport management groups as possible sources. It is unknown if IAM will press counter-charges or take further legal action under libel law.
It's about time I tell you a bit more about the rest of the folks involved with the International Airport Montello. You can find some info about some of the people on this website already such as the organiser who was perpetually giggling, or the other one who would hide hiccups behind a book, or the technician with the best vogueing this side of the ashes of Paris. But there were so many more! Here is a photo with just some of them:
2nd from the left in grey trousers: this was Davina, she had flown over from Caracas and was the manager of the layover ground staff. She was great, always had a smile and was one of those managers who would make you really care about the job you were doing, even the really grotty ones.
4th from the left: Hector was the health & safety consultant. We were all really good (with the exception of the pesky canine Sweety and the equally naughty bovine Delicious) and so Hector was able to enjoy his time taking in the sights and catching up on his knitting.
7th from the left: Wendy was one of the check-in staff. She was slightly OCD but I think that can be a good trait when you have to deal with checking people and all their paperwork. She's was keen-eyed and caught 3 fraudsters trying to get aboard with counterfeit tickets.
One had chosen the false name of one of the key organisers which rather gave the game away.
Next to her is Carlos in red shoes. Carlos was the mascot - I'll try and find a picture of Carlos later.
Finally 16th from the left: Man Wai, possibly the tallest women I have ever met - she was bending nearly double in this picture. She was the ladder technician and rather saw Kaylee from Firefly as a bit of a hero. I think she had a secret crush on Kaylee, tee hee not so secret now!
The Foreign Correspondent is on holiday. Upon return a re-structuring will take place. Please check back at a later date.