I have included this section to document many of the events that have taken place starting back on November 1, 2006, the day our FedEx Business Continuity team drove through the Hurricane Creek Tunnel beneath Memphis International Airport and Runway 9/27. The events are true but I’m still trying to confirm what were the causes.
Tire Mishap 1 – November 1, 2006
Immediately after our FedEx Business Continuity Group drove through the Hurricane Creek tunnel at Memphis International we went back to the Airfield Maintenance Building located at Winchester and Tchulahoma. We went inside for about fifteen minutes to thank the staff for the tour. When I got on the on-ramp at Airways and I-240 my front tire came completely off. Tommy Zinser took this picture of me holding up my AAA card.
Four of the five bolts holding the tire on were sheared completely off. I had my Jeep towed back to Cordova and replaced the rotor, all the bolts, and lug nuts that evening and left the Jeep in my apartment parking lot.
I looked back at some of the photos we took during our “tunnel tour” and found this one below which shows my front tire and it looks to be okay. See further down for a close-up.
Still seems odd that less than 30 minutes after this photo was taken this tire would come completely off. The lug nuts in the photo below appear to be tightened. I didn’t think much about it at the time…at least not until the next morning. See Tire Mishap 2 next.
Tire Mishap 2 – November 2, 2006
The next morning, about a mile from my apartment complex the same tire came completely off again. Janet Bledsoe, a friend from my Business Continuity department at work brought me an extra jack to lift the Jeep and took this picture of me trying to get the jack under the axel with her cell phone. You can see that the new rotor and all the bolts are still intact…so where’d the new lug nuts go that I’d bought the previous night?
The Google Earth Runway Photos
Google Earth Runway Photo – February 28, 2004
Below is the Google Earth image that started it all. This is a Google Earth satellite image of Runway 9/27 at Memphis International taken on February 28, 2004. You can see the two large vertical fractures at the center of the photograph which is the location directly above the Hurricane Creek tunnel. The runway was “open cut” here in 1985 to install the tunnel.
Google Earth Runway Photo – April 9, 2010 (six years later)
Below is a Google Earth photo published on April 9, 2010 of the exact same Runway 9/27 location directly above the Hurricane Creek tunnel. What is strange about this photo is the obvious lack of quality and detail in the image. Generally you would expect the quality of satellite images to only get better over time, especially after six years but in this case it appeared to me as if someone contacted Google or their third party vendor that provides these images, and asked that they adjust the contrast of the images to remove any details that would show the new runway’s fractures directly above the tunnel where I believe it is sinking.
I contacted Google on July 12, 2010 to ask if these new satellite photos had been altered in any way. The following is the response I received from Google’s Kate Hurowitz on July 13, 2010:
Thanks for getting in touch.
I wasn't able to find the exact location in the screenshots you sent, but I can tell you that I don't know of any alterations that have been made to Google Earth imagery in Memphis. From taking a look at the image, it looks like a quality issue. Sometimes imagery will be a bit blown out or over-saturated.
But to be clear regarding altered imagery on Google Earth, our satellite and aerial imagery generally comes from third-party providers, some of which may blur images. Google itself has never blurred imagery in Google Earth or Maps.
I hope that's helpful. Thanks,
FedEx settles an $8 million dollar Whistleblower lawsuit on May 5, 2011
WASHINGTON (AP/WUSA) -- The Justice Department says FedEx Corp. will pay $8 million to settle allegations that company couriers falsely blamed increased security following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks for delivery delays on packages to the government.
IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT HURRICANE CREEK, ANONYMOUSLY OR OTHERWISE, YOU MAY CONTACT ME AT email@example.com
This documentation and the author, Guy Cobb, are protected by the United States Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 Section 806 -- Protection for Employees of Publicly Traded Companies Who Provide Evidence of Fraud; the False Claims Act; the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act For the 21st Century (AIR21) Public Law 106-181, April 5, 2000 49 USC Section 42121 Subchapter III – Whistleblower Protection Program and the American Reinvestment & Recovery Act, Article 4 Section 1553.