China’s Exploding Pigeon Security Threat
You wouldn’t expect many places to worry overly about an exploding pigeon security threat, but in China it’s something that’s taken very seriously indeed. Ten thousand pigeons had to suffer the indignity of invasive body searches to ensure that they posed no risk to the country’s National Day celebrations in Tiananmen Square, Beijing.
China suffers from quite considerable levels of political and social unrest and terrorist attacks are fairly commonplace in some regions of this vast country. Deadly attacks have even taken place in Tiananmen Square itself, so it’s quite understandable that China should take its security seriously.
Slightly less understandable is the thought that a terrorist would pack the bottoms of 10,000 pigeons with explosives in an attempt to disrupt a national holiday in China. But someone somewhere thought that exploding pigeons was a likely threat, which rather leaves the question, which threats did they consider unlikely?
The pigeons were released in Tiananmen Square as part of the annual holiday celebration marking 1949 founding of the People’s Republic China. To ensure nothing went wrong and not a single exploding pigeon slipped through, each one had to be checked by hand. For the sake of the pigeons, we hope it was a fairly small hand… with little fingers.
The intimate search of each pigeon’s back end was even filmed before the startled little creatures were sealed into cages and transported to the event. People’s Daily, China’s state-run newspaper posted a photograph along with the following caption:
“10,000 pigeons go through anal security check for suspicious objects on Tuesday, ready to be released on National Day on October 1.”People’s Daily
In the end (sorry about that one, just couldn’t resist) no explosives were found during the cavity searches and China’s holiday celebration went off without a hitch. In fact holiday revellers were surprised at the speed with which the pigeons disappeared. One shocked Chinese gentleman commented:
All the cages opened at once and the pigeons just went. I mean really went. 10 seconds and it was all over, not a pigeon in sight. It was like they couldn’t wait to get out of there. I don’t know what had gotten into them, it was like someone had put a rocket up their arses or something!Shocked Chinese Gentleman
If only you knew…