I guess many Australians, particularly Victorians, have been following the story of Victorian Cabinet Minister Tim Holding who was lost out bush walking in the extreme weather over last weekend. Thankfully he was found safe and reasonably well yesterday (Tuesday) after giving his partner and parents one hell of a scare (and presumably the state Premier, now spared a by-election!). You can read some of the story here, and see a video of the rescue here.
The alarum had been raised on Sunday night, and searching commenced Monday without any success. Terrible weather conditions meant no helicopters or planes could be used, and mobile phone triangulation on the minister’s mobile wasn’t working because of the poor reception and mountainous area. By Monday evening when the searchers stumbled back down the mountain for their warm cups of chocolate and a debrief, no one had any idea. Hopes were fading. But then, quite suddenly, on Tuesday morning the search team amazingly had a very good idea of where he was and bingo, he was found first thing that morning.
Mention keeps being made of some mysterious plane which spotted him on Monday night. Apparently this flight is so sensitive no one can discuss it. No, we can’t say what kind of plane it was or who was flying it. No, it wasn’t a police plane/helicopter. It was just sort of, like, ‘out there’, man, and it spotted Mr Holding through all the mist and fog and the snow and the gales and the mountains and the thick bush and the deep dark and in flying conditions when nothing else could get up or was allowed up and in the middle of the dark, dark night. It was just, like, drifting past, minding its own secret, secret business, and, like, wow man, it just spotted Mr Holding right there!
I am just too intrigued for words. One assumes the premier of Victoria, Mr Brumby, had called out the secret Batmobile to help in the hunt.
Come on, guys, ‘fess up! What was it that found Mr Holding? And is it peeking into my shuttered bathroom at night?
Yep, they ‘fessed up. And it was a spy plane! The toys a premier can haul out of the box for one of his mates!
The aircraft that found state Water Minister Tim Holding in the Victorian alps on Monday night was fitted with secret experimental night surveillance equipment being developed for the Australian Federal Police.
Advanced thermal imaging technology, designed to track fugitives by detecting body heat, is believed to have helped locate Mr Holding on the slopes of Mount Feathertop and hasten his dramatic rescue yesterday, ending a two-day ordeal.
The Americans should get one of these for governors gone missing on the Appalachian Trail. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
On a more down to earth note, watch this wonderful video about Michelle Obama and the White House Vegetable Garden. All kudos to her for pushing this through.