This was heard on the Paul Harvey radio clip this morning.
Over the airplane's public address system came an announcement from the captain of Untied Flight 564 as it was about to pull out of the gate at Denver International Airport last Saturday, writes Peter Hannaford, a public-affairs consultant in Washington and former adviser to President Reagan
"I want to thank you brave folks for coming out today," the pilot began." "We don't have any new instructions from the federal government so from now on, we're on our own." The passengers listened to total silence.
"Sometimes a potential hijacker will announce that he has a bomb. Here are no bombs on this aircraft and if someone where to get up and make that claim, don't believe him. If someone were to stand up, brandish something such as a plastic knife and say, 'This is a hijacking' or words to that effect, here is what you should do:
Every one of you should stand up and immediately throw things at that person: pillows, books, magazines, eyeglasses, shoes...anything that will throw him off balance and distract his attention.
If he has a confederate or two, do the same with them. Most important: get a blanket over him, the wrestle him to the floor and keep him there. We'll land the plane at the nearest airport and the authorities will take it from there.
"Remember, there will be one of him and maybe a few confederates, but the are 200 of you Now, since we're a family for the next few hours, I'll ask you to turn to the person next to you, introduce yourself, tell them a little about yourself and ask them to do the same."
The end of this remarkable speech, Mr. Hannaford says, brought sustained clapping from the passengers.