Somewhat Incredible Claim About Body Scanner Capabilities

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Bungnoid, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. Bungnoid

    Bungnoid Original Member

    From here: http://www.elliott.org/blog/tsa-watch-what-getting-your-freak-on-really-means-for-air-travelers/

    Is this possible? We know that the backscatter units do penetrate some (small?) distance into the body, but based on the limited information we have, not deep enough for this to be true. Is it more likely that the TSA agent was trying to be humorous and happened to guess lucky (approximately 50% odds)?

    The other question is: what was this woman thinking going through the backscatter x-ray while pregnant?
     
  2. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    the jerk was pulling her leg. nowhere does anyone, even the manufacturer, talk about such capabilities. Now Smith Detection I believe does make a model that can do this but this is being developed for a CBP alternative to a medical cavity search.
     
  3. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    I've never seen a fetus in x-ray resolution because in my field we absolutely do not x-ray expectant mothers because of the possible harm to the fetus. Some of my colleagues go so far as to ask non-visibly pregnant women the date of their last menstrual cycle to rule out possibly exposing a younger fetus.

    I would imagine the resolution of x-ray, like those used in the backscatter machines, could reveal the sex of a fetus. However, I doubt the backscatter machines have the capability to penetrate that deep. Of course, since TSA obviously has something to hide, we may never know the level of detail of these machines.

    That said, I doubt the fetus was visible during a scan. It's just yet.another.example of the "professionalism" of these employees.

    And that mother was stupid for exposing herself and her child to this technology.
     
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  4. LeeAnne

    LeeAnne Original Member

    I don't believe Christopher was saying that the screener could actually see the fetus. Clearly that couldn't happen - the people viewing the naked images are supposed to be somewhere else where they can't actually see the person whose nude body they are viewing, so even if it was possible to see the fetus, the screener out front wouldn't have seen the image anyway. It's entirely possible and quite believable that this happened the way he described - that a screener said that to a pregnant woman, just to be funny.

    I read his column pretty religiously, and knowing his writing style, I believe the point of including that little story was to provide more evidence of just how inappropriate and unprofessional screeners can be, with their perverted notes and sicko jokes.
     
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  5. I don't know, it takes some skill to identify the sex of a fetus on a sonogram. Plus, a seven month fetus has his or her legs all bunched up, pointed upwards, in the, well, fetal position. Even if the image penetrated that deeply, I doubt it would be possible to identify the sex of the fetus from the vantage of the full body scanner.

    If it happened that way, the screener was joking. Rather off-color, in my opinion.

    I want to know where the AMA and ACOG are, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, too, with warnings about pregnant women and children going through these things. I mean, the AAP doesn't want children under the age of 2 watching TV at all, for example. They don't want pregnant women eating soft cheese and cold cuts. I ate both, by the way, both pregnancies, and my children and I lived to tell about it. And just about every drug, herb, or medicine has a CYA label warning pregnant women off of it, or at least to check very carefully with their health care provider, even if it's pretty safe for pregant women to use. Shouldn't the medical academies be voicing concern about backscatter devices for women and children, if only because they haven't been tested on pregnant women and children?
     
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  6. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    Which is how we know this story, while possibly true (A screener said...), is bogus. I don't think they can see that deep.

    It was obviously a sick and stupid attempt at humor.

    "Golly, the screeners are so nice, I don't understand why you people get so upset with them." :rolleyes:
     
  7. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Such a comment is redundant when speaking of the TSA.
     
  8. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Just another "get your freak on" attempt at humor from the TSA zombies.
     
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  9. Seriously, how do they get away with all of this joking, and sexual joking at that? Remember the girl who got her shirt pulled down? And all she got was a paltry settlement, and IIRC nobody got fired. I've read numerous anecdotes about off-color comments from screeners. I don't see why there isn't a zero tolerance policy for joking at checkpoints if we're not supposed to joke about bombs and sexual orientation, or even mention the word "grope" or any anatomically correct terminology for the parts that get groped.
     
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  10. LeeAnne

    LeeAnne Original Member

    I was threatened with being tossed out of the airport and denied access to my flight just for using the word "vagina"! It was during my last grope, in which a pissed-off TSO gave me four vicious karate-chops into my crotch, thumb sticking up and penetrating into my vagina through my stretchy leggings. When I flinched and said "STOP TOUCHING MY VAGINA" the screener went ballistic, saying stuff like "You can't say those words here, there are children in line you know!" So I said "Stop touching it and I'll stop saying it!"

    That was no joke. :mad:
     
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  11. Jeez, Leeanne, I am so sorry. And what's so family-unfriendly about the word vagina? My five year old son knows it and says it, "penis" too. It just underscores the fact that they know what they're doing is totally pervy and they want to keep that fact on the down low by not having it spoken.
     
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