Stories about Dubai Hijacks 1970s

Security was not high priority in 1960s Airport Terminal design. Security precautions were effectively zero. Dubai Airport proved to be remarkably easy for HiJackers to break through Security and access aircraft. They did so on five occasions without meeting any resistance. Sadly lives were lost. But these hijackings gave unknown Dubai worldwide publicity. Soon the wider world knew of Dubai and where it was. Meanwhile......

Hijackers should follow the Signs

My wife worked at Dubai Airport. She had a problem with her car.
"Can you come to the Airport and pick me up?"
"Outside the Administration Building".
"How do I get there?"
"Drive up the flyover then just before the Terminal Building you'll see a Slip Road with a Drop Barrier and a Guard. Speak to the Guard and he will let you in."
"How will he know to let me in?"
"I'll speak to the Security Officer. He will arrange things."
I drive to the Airport and up the flyover. I see the Slip Road on my right. The Drop Bar is down. There is an armed Guard standing by the Drop Bar. He is carrying a huge automatic weapon plus a pistol on his hip. I stop and explain why I want to enter the Airport Perimeter. He asks for ID. I provide it. He looks at it and hands it back. He wanders round my car looking inside and in the boot. Finally the Guard nods and raises the Drop Bar waiving me through. I drive down the narrow Slip Road to the Administration Building to meet my wife. All four of her car tyres are deflated. She'd parked in someone else's car park. They were obviously upset. No choice but to drive her home and arrange to get the tyres fixed next day.
"How do I get out?"
" Just continue along the road. It's a one way system. It will take you out of the airport."
I drive very slowly. Eventually I ask my wife
"Where's the Exit Checkpoint?"
"There isn't one"

Len Chapman

Terrorists were expected to obey the road signs.

Sadly they didn't!!!

Crosswords can be Dangerous

Eve was a Daily Telegraph Crossword Addict. Eve was also BOAC Ground Staff at Dubai Airport. UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper was hard to come by in 1970s Dubai. The newspaper sold in Jashanamal's Store in Al Nasr Square. Deliveries were not reliable particularly if the UAE Censor decided there was something in the newspaper not acceptable in the UAE. However Eve discovered a readily accessible and reliable source of supply for her favourite newspaper and crossword. Even better - it was free!

BOAC VC10s flying in from London had the Daily Telegraph on board for their passengers to read. After the passengers were off loaded in Dubai, the newspapers were gathered up as part of the garbage collection routine ready to be taken off the aircraft for eventual disposal by Dubai Municipality. Eve developed a close working relationship with the BOAC VC10 crews to the point where they set aside a copy of the Daily Telegraph for Eve to collect on board as soon as she finished processing arriving passengers. That usually entailed quick dash onboard, pick up the newspaper then a dash back to the Terminal Building.

On 21 November 1974, Eve made her usual dash up the Aircraft Stairs to collect her Daily Telegraph. This BOAC VC10 flight was going on to the Far East so no time to waste. Eve didn't see the four armed men running across the tarmac behind her. Once on board, they hijacked the VC10, eventually forcing the VC10's Captain to take off with 27 Passengers, 8 Airport Workers who had been cleaning the interior, 10 Crew members and Eve. Their ultimate destination was Tunis. It was another 84 hours after landing in Tunis and the tragic murder of a passenger before the Hijack came to an end with everyone still on board released.

Being addicted to Daily Telegraph Crosswords has its risks!

Kippers don't Keep

Lilly loved food. She was an excellent Cook who missed not being able to buy many of the foods she loved. They were just not available in Dubai in 1970s. Sale of Pork products was not permitted so bacon and pork chops were something Lilly longed for. Black Pudding was something else she missed, not that they were banned in UAE, it was just they didn't travel well. Plus Dubai's grocery stores had the habit of switching off their refrigerators at night to save electricity which made buying perishable foods risky. Lilly really missed her Kippers - her favourite food - and Black Pudding.

Lilly found how to overcome this food shortage - at least for a short time. Each year Lilly and her husband flew back to UK for their annual leave. They always took two full suitcases and one empty suitcase but returned to Dubai with three full suitcase. The day before their return to Dubai, Lilly bought Pork Joints, Pork Chops, Pork Sausages and any other Pork products she fancied plus a sizeable stock of Kippers. These were packed into the "empty" suitcase together with some ice packs ready for the flight back to Dubai. Lilly reasoned the suitcase would be kept cool in the aircraft's hold until Dubai then its perishable contents should survive the short drive to their Jumeirah home where they could be refrigerated. This worked well for Lilly over the years until she and her husband boarded BOAC Flight BA870 at London Airport for their return to Dubai. They disembarked BA870 in Dubai as usual then waited for their luggage to arrive - and waited and waited. Slowly news filtered through - BA870 had been hijacked. By then Lilly's Pork Chops, Kippers etc were in the air en route to Tunis where they stayed for several days while the Hijack drama played out. A week or so later there was a knock on the front door of Lilly's Jumeirah Home. It was the Courier delivering Lilly's Luggage - all three pieces. Lilly bought good quality luggage - the suitcases were almost airtight so no one commented on any unusual odour coming from the suitcase - that is not until Lilly opened her third suitcase.

Lilly's husband retired before their next annual leave. They returned to UK where Pork and Kippers were readily available. Apparently Lilly had lost her taste for Pork in any form - and especially Kippers.