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US: "SkyTag Green Laser Aircraft Tracker" gag product

Internet retailer ThinkGeek is advertising a laser aircraft tracker called SkyTag. This April Fool’s page has a bogus description of the gag product.


According to ThinkGeek, SkyTag comes with software that finds aircraft through online tracking websites. A built-in GPS orients SkyTag so it knows its own location. It can then identify aircraft “that are at the appropriate altitude for your green laser.”

Excerpts from the description:

  • “Stop worrying about things like mandatory jail time and social isolation and play the intriguing game of SkyTag today.”
  • “Successful back-to-back tags might even earn you a complimentary visit from your local FBI office!”
  • “Arrives with a voucher you can redeem to get 5% off your first fine of $25,000 or greater!”

A note states “Is this product legal? … CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!” This leads to a file-not-found page (Error 404), as does clicking the “Add to Cart” button.

From ThinkGeek. Thanks to Frank Chaves, U.S. DHS, for bringing this to our attention. A list with SkyTag along with other ThinkGeek April Fool’s day products, such as the USB Pet Rock, is here.

Onion satire: Pilot about to crash

Humor publication The Onion is at it again. This time, they have written a fictitious P.A. announcement being made by a pilot who has been temporarily blinded by a laser pointer and is about to crash. In addition to the black humor, the article makes excellent points about the severity of this problem. It ends by exhorting the reader to not shine laser pointers at aircraft.

The article begins: “From the flight deck, this is your captain ....in case you're wondering why the plane feels like it's completely out of control, well, there's currently some [idiot] standing on the roof of his car down near the tarmac shining a laser pointer directly into in my eyes. I literally can't see a goddamn thing.”

The “captain” goes on to explain that “ there were almost 3,000 lasering incidents last year alone.... [t]hat's eight instances per day in which a human being—someone with a conscience who ostensibly knows the difference between right and wrong—drives to an airport, gets out of his car, and entertains himself by shining a [very bright] laser pointer directly into a pilot's eyes.”Click to read more...

Xoraxia: Laser pointer hits planet

Even humor publication “The Onion” has noted how annoying laser pointer misuse can be. In a March 15 2010 story, they describe how a laser pointer aimed skyward from Earth in 1997 is now annoying a planet 13 light years away.

They also describe the ultimate revenge: “At press time, irritated Xoraxian military personnel were hard at work building a giant megalaser designed to incinerate the source planet of the irritation.”

The Onion