Old Dude On Flying Bike Lands On Capitol Lawn With Mailbag Full Of Epic Win (VIDEO)

Old Dude On Flying Bike Lands On Capitol Lawn With Mailbag Full Of Epic Win (VIDEO)

What the hell happened to Capitol security on Wednesday? Or Homeland Security? Anybody? Some heads are going to roll over this one.

Doug Hughes, a 61-year-old mailman from Florida, landed a gyrocopter on the Capitol lawn, carrying 535 stamped letters with him. Each one was addressed to a Congressman. The letters protest Citizens United and corrupt campaign financing. They include this statement:

“I’m demanding reform and declaring a voter’s rebellion in a manner consistent with Jefferson’s description of rights in the Declaration of Independence.”

Hughes had to fly through protected airspace to pull off this feat. As soon as he landed, he was arrested. But, wait a minute! How did he ever get that far?

He notified plenty of people about his plan, a whole year ahead of time. He told the Secret Service that he was going to carry a letter protest to Congressmen on his gyrocopter. Of course, he didn’t tell them when — or where he was going to land.

He also told a local newspaper, the Tampa Bay Timeswith whom he had been talking for a year. He gave them an interview ahead of time, that was to be published once he was in the air — assuming he didn’t chicken out. The immediately released article says in part:

“If you’re reading this, Doug Hughes, a 61-year-old mailman from Ruskin, has taken flight. His stated intent: to buzz through the air at 45 miles per hour at about 300 feet up in an ultralight gyrocopter toward Washington, D.C., toward protected airspace, where, if his plan works, he’ll land on the lawn of the United States Capitol building and deliver the mail.”

As instructed by Hughes, they apparently also called the Secret Service to warn them he was in the air. Hughes himself let the Secret Service know when he was an hour outside of protected airspace, approaching the Capitol.

In the interview, he said:

“No sane person would do what I’m doing.”

“I don’t believe that the authorities are going to shoot down a 61-year-old mailman in a flying bicycle. I don’t have any defense, okay, but I don’t believe that anybody wants to personally take responsibility for the fallout.”

Hughes figured the government would at least scramble a Blackhawk once he entered protected airspace:

“There’s a 50-50 chance that a Blackhawk at full throttle will overfly me and realize that he’s missed and he’ll have to come back. Again, I’m going to fly low and slow and these guys are going to have a full head of adrenaline. Eventually, I’m hoping the Blackhawk will catch up with me about the time that the authorities realize that I’m not a threat and knocking me down is not a politically savvy move, and I anticipate having an escort all the way in. I’m hoping for a friendly escort.”

Except no one ever figured out he was in that space. No Blackhawk. No escort. Just one little old guy on his flying bicycle, landing where no aircraft should ever land. Once he was on the ground, the Capitol Police leapt into action, arresting the man and hauling him off to jail to await charges.

Hughes called one other person before he took off — his friend Michael Shanahan. Shanahan told CNN:

“He has no weapons or anything else. I know him personally. He’s like a pitbull when he has an idea. He wants to wake up the country.”

“He’s upset that politicians can be bought and sold at auction, and I agree with him. That’s the point he’s trying [to make]. Happy he made it alive. I want to thank the people who decided not to kill him.”

That does not appear to have been a decision. Hughes is probably mighty lucky that there seems to have been a dereliction of duty. Not that he wasn’t prepared to die. He was. As he told Tampa Bay:

 “I will tell you completely honestly: I’d rather die in the flight than live to be 80 years old and see this country fall.”

Unfortunately, Hughes learned that it takes big actions to get people’s attention. What got his attention was the suicide of his son two and a half years ago — a big action that tragically took another person’s life as well.  Out of his grief came Hughes’ plan of action at the Capitol.

The story has the potential of making Hughes a folk hero, along the lines of the infamous and never found hijacker, D.B. Cooper. However, Cooper’s scheme was apparently to profit only himself rather than trying to make a point.

Hughes is attempting to save the country. At great personal risk, he’s asking us all to look and to speak out before the United States is entirely ‘bought and sold at auction’.

Hughes’ landing, via the Tampa Bay Times, can be seen here:

Feature photo via Twitter, @Johsilman1.

Deborah Montesano is a writer and political activist, who has just been freed from decades of wandering in the Arizona desert. She is now stunned to find herself actually living in progressive heaven — Portland, Oregon. READ MORE BY DEBORAH.

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Deborah Montesano is a writer and political activist, who has just been freed from decades of wandering in the Arizona desert. She is now stunned to find herself actually living in progressive heaven — Portland, Oregon. READ MORE BY DEBORAH.

ReverbPress Mobile Apps ReverbPress iOS App ReverbPress Android App ReverbPress App