FBI Says Someone Keeps Pointing A Blue Laser At Planes
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October 3, 2019:

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, someone in Roslyn, New York (a town on Long Island, New York keeps aiming a blue laser at planes flying into and out of John F. Kennedy International Airport. Authorities are attempting to track down the person in question, who has caused eye injuries to pilots in flight and risks causing an air disaster. It's happening so often, the FBI has started asking the public for helps in finding the culprit. If caught, they face a five-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.

The article goes on to say that nearly 7,000 laser strikes have happened nationwide since the Federal Aviation Administration began tracking them in 2010, but that an disproportionately high number recently are from Roslyn, NY.



Game and Story Use

  • Could be espionage- or terrorism-related. Some foreign government or group of extremists could be attempting to kill hundreds. The PCs may be sent in to uncover the terrorist cell.
  • Or it could be some idiotic airplane-enthusiast or laser-enthusiast who thinks it's funny and doesn't know the danger they are causing. It could be a cautionary red herring subplot to fill time and establish setting in a police procedural session.
    • Possibly someone experimenting with a lidar style scanning device … or a laser used for some other purpose that happens to intersect a flight path.
  • There could be some significance to the laser being blue.
  • Maybe like kryptonite (or other applied phlebotinum) someone is trying to affect a person (or a non-human entity that only looks human) who just happens to have a day-job as a commercial airplane pilot. This pilot may be dangerously powerful, too dangerous to confront in person, so whoever is trying to affect them does it from a distance. At first the PCs are hunting for the reckless fool who is endangering airplanes full of civilians, but once they learn about the true nature of the pilot, the PCs have some hard decisions to make.
  • It may be a mind-control laser, and the pilot is receiving a secret message or being programmed from afar. If the PCs don't solve the mystery, it may evolve into 9/11 All Over Again meets Manchurian Candidate.
  • It may also be a UFO projecting a tight beam, mistaken for some joker on the ground with a laser pointer.
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