What kind of plane spied Tim Holding last night?
Update 7:00am 2/09/09: The Herald Sun’s Padriac Murphy is reporting this morning that the plane is a secret anti-terror spy plane owned by the Australian Federal Police.
What type of plane was it that spotted Victorian Water Minister Tim Holding stranded in the Victorian Alps?
In a statement on their website this morning the Victorian Police stated that an Australian Federal Police plane had spotted a light from Holding’s makeshift camp.
Yet this afternoon Victorian police have contacted news organisations telling them to remove any reference to the plane being an AFP plane with the reference taken out of the media release . What is going on here and who owns this plane?
According to the original statement on the police media website an AFP plane located a possible camp site overnight.
The possible site gave searchers a narrowed-down area to investigate this morning.
A camera from the Victoria Police helicopter confirmed Mr Holding’s position on the mountain.
But if Victorian Police have now contacted media outlets telling them to take out a mention of the AFP plane for “security reasons.”
So if it is an AFP plane then why all the secrecy? Well The Punch can find no mention in the AFP’s annual report that they have a plane, so if they do have a plane it doesn’t appear to be on the public record.
Of course the plane may not be owned by the AFP at all.
It could be an Air Force plane, but then why not just come out and say it was an airforce plane unless it was an Air Force plane we’re not supposed to know about.
At the risk of sounding conspiratorial, we could be talking about another Commonwealth organisation that owns planes and doesn’t talk about it - say one of our spy organisations.
The point here is not whether the plane should have been used in locating Mr Holding, obviously any way they could have found him is a good way.
The question is why can’t we know about it given that we’ve funded the search? And secondly, would the same plane be used if you or I were lost in the bush? Is this a plane brought out for Ministers who manage to get lost in the bush.
Watch this airspace.
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