Why is no one else disturbed about the recent Plum Island incident? The boater that washed ashore on Plum Island last week may have saved his own ass while also showing how lax security is on a most mysterious and hazardous island!
I hear your question. Why should I care about Plum Island?
Plum Island is located off the North Fork of Long Island. It’s less than 10 miles from Connecticut. It used to be run by the Department of Agriculture. It’s a scary place.
We’re proud of our role as America’s first line of defense against foreign animal diseases.
We’re equally proud of our safety record. Not once in our nearly 50 years of operation has an animal pathogen escaped from the island.
The island houses labs performing dangerous research often with live diseased animals! They publish papers with titles like, “Swine Genomics and Biodefense Countermeasures Discovery ” Some tests are performed on genetically engineered cloned swine–so called “knockout pigs.”
No wonder Plum Island needs “state-of-the-art biosafety practices and procedures to prevent a disease organism from escaping into the environment.”
In case you weren’t already convinced of this place’s importance, “Land, buildings and other facilities of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center were transferred to the Department of Homeland Security in June 2003.” You know them–the shoe people from the airport.
Basically you would expect this place to be protected in the manner of a James Bond villain’s lair! High tech security. Constant diligence. Massive law enforcement presence. Actually that’s close to what Plum Island claims.
Last week an unlucky boater drifted across the Sound, landed on Plum Island and walked a few miles across it before being found… but only because he’d stumbled upon the security facility and waited!
Just a guess, but had this been a real emergency I don’t think he would have walked to the office and waited, right?
I don’t know everything on Plum Island and probably don’t want to. Even with the little I know this undetected incursion scares the crap out of me.
Has DHS come to the same conclusion I have? God, I hope so.