Solved! Rutland Herald, Facebook and loose lips

Hold the presses! A mysterious Department of Defense-US Navy oversized load being hauled by truck goes off the road on Wednesday while traveling through rural Vermont. Susan Smallheer at The Rutland Herald/Times Argus  smells a story, starts making calls — officials refuse to answer questions and won’t speculate.

Front pageThe newspaper presses officials for information — they ask: Helicopter blades headed for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard? No, said Lt. Kevin Andrews of the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles.

Cruise missiles? “I’m not going to speculate,” said Colleen O’Rourke of the Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command.

The facts as known and reported Friday, July 8, by The Times Argus/ Rutland Herald:

The long, unmarked gray metal container originated in Williamsburg, Virginia, and was being hauled to New Hampshire by Crofton Specialized Hauling of Virginia, according to Lt. Kevin Andrews of the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles.

The reporter was stymied regarding the contents of the hauler, and the mystery deepened: Officials at the shipping company didn’t return messages Thursday. Andrews said the shipment entered Vermont on Route 279 in Bennington, and at the time of the crash, it had been making a turn from Route 103 to head north on I-91.

Security must not be all that good at Crofton Specialized Hauling in Virginia as they posted an image of the truck and what the “secret” cargo was on July 1 –– days earlier on Facebook. Crofton ind.Seven days later and the paper never checked.

The cargo, it turns out, is a ship’s propeller shaft — or in Navy-speak, a “primary output shaft for a Navy cruiser”; for now reports are that it, along with the truck and driver, will stay in Vermont until repairs can be made.

Well, next time, Times Argus/Herald reporters, you may find it first on Facebook. And in case you are wondering, Crofton Specialized Hauling hasn’t posted anything more to Facebook about it — better check Twitter. And how about that next “secret” D.O.D/US Navy hauling contract…

2 thoughts on “Solved! Rutland Herald, Facebook and loose lips

  1. Gotta say these typically stock evasive answers from officials do not inspire trust & invariably leave an air of suspicion, back & forths hilarious. First query was “helicopter blade, as in black, maybe? Yeah ya’d think Facebook would be checked first in this day & age. Unsure the why here, Susan Smallheer a veteran reporter with decades of experience, always professional & imo Heralds finest reporter, but also a fan of Gordon Dritschillo whose dry wit makes mundane city news fun plus an occasional offbeat story.

    Went to Crofton FB, poked around & saw this: Ceremony for new Waterside District in which Croftons offering is dropping of anchor into the water to symbolize WD as “anchor of the community”. Guess it beats the mundane ribbon cuttings & hardhat-wearing neckties with shovels, but these events are solely photo-ops for a politician & public promotion of someones business, attendees are mere props.

    One of the FB phenoms is ability to attract populace to sites & pages for interaction no matter how small the business where everyone is star of own show – all the time. Thumbs-up imploring of all to “like” everything *everywhere*. Constantly created buzz, exuberance & added ebullient selfies just too much. And a new likely taxpayer-funded”study” tells us FB is bad for us, along with everything else one enjoys or does to have fun, complete with survey:

    Awaiting the day when DSM5 will be updated to include non-FB usage as an official mental illness or at least a symptom. Any publicly traded entity is beholden to shareholders period. Social networks above all are marketing gimmicks for the owners, tracking devices, too much distraction & just more work. Plus I believe Google, FB & others are paid spies for governments & at the bottom of why EU does not want them & they have been sued:

    Have a Twitter account but don’t have much to say & can follow hashtags online. Includes piles of emails every day from ppl I don’t know who want to “follow” me, spam-magnet & offers for porn, porn & more porn. Plus, would feel compelled to interact with relatives & everyone I do or did know or risk alienating or offending someone for not “liking” them or their faves.

    And then there’s the drama kings & queens and other assorted jackasses who ask for divorces or publicly “unlike” or “unfollow” others, but can also be done by stealth:
    More random FB creepiness:

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