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IE Journal 1

Page history last edited by Michael 9 years ago

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Saturday, January 10th, 2010


At 3:15 pm PST, several emergency calls are received at the Santa Clara 911 center:  people are feeling woozy, people are staggering into the street, and are seen lying or fallen down in the open around the 700 block of San Aleso Avenue. Trucks from three Sunnyvale DPS stations are dispatched, along with the HAZMAT team from Fire HQ. First on the scene at 3:18 pm is a DPS patrol car; the officer confirms that people are fleeing from 760 San Aleso. AMR is requested to send ambulances.


About the time the first truck (Station 1) arrives (3:19), the automated dispatch system provides HAZMAT data on the building. It's occupied by The Spaceflight Group, and the explosive, corrosive, flammable and toxic materials on the site go on for pages and pages. The communications center is trying to contact the company's emergency contact numbers – unsuccessfully for now.


People are standing in front of nearby buildings, and in parking lots. A few people are seen lying in front of 760 San Aleso, and in the driveways along either side of 760 San Aleso. The first trucks and police units begin moving people away; a few individuals are identified as feeling a bit numb and hallucinating.


Firefighters begin putting on their SCBA. The DPS HAZMAT trucks arrive (rescue truck and mini-rescue) at 3:22 pm. The Santa Clara county HAZMAT team is summoned, they'll be along in about 20 minutes. The Station 1 lieutenant has command of the scene. More DPS and county fire units are summoned, and two more DPS police cars arrive at 3:24 pm (including McClellan). About a dozen persons affected by some kind of exposure at 760 San Aleso are being treated (mostly checking vitals, preparing oxygen masks). The Station 1 truck crew runs their test equipment – nothing dangerous in the street area that they can detect. Of course, nothing they can detect has these symptoms.


3:25 pm:  O'Reilly is suiting up as part of the HAZMAT team. McClellan is wearing his SCBA, and is sort of looking (from the sidewalk) at some of the people visible about 50 or 100 meters away, on the pavement near the rear of the building. Burns is all suited up, with his SCBA on, and is helping some woozy people away from the building.


The HAZMAT coordinator and O'Reilly proceed in their Level A suits to the building entrance, with a hooligan tool and some sensors; McClellan and Burns are waiting in Level B gear at the corner, near the trucks. O'Reilly and the coordinator enter the building lobby at about 3:35 pm. At 3:37, they inform the waiting teams that there is some sort of activity, possibly a fight, occuring in the rear of the building, and request Burns and McClellan hustle up with weapons. Burns and McClellan obtain a shotgun and AR-15 rifle from patrol vehicles, and hustle up to the front door of the building. Shots are heard from inside the building at 3:41 pm; the four officers inside do not respond to further radio calls. A CHP and a television helicopter are overhead.


3:43 pm:  the Santa Clara county HAZMAT trucks arrive. A 4 person team in Level A suits moves forward at 3:54 pm, with firearms and testing gear; most other emergency personnel in the area are in Level B gear by now. The lobby is entered at 3:57 pm, and the work area at the rear half of the building at 3:59 pm. The DPS HAZMAT coordinator is located, unconscious with a slightly ruptured suit. There are torn pieces of protective suits on the floor, and blood trails leading across the work area floor. A jammed DPS-issue shotgun is lying on the floor. A large ceramic Chinese urn is standing in the middle of the work area floor.


4:30 pm:  no more victims have been located after a search of the building. Security personnel from The Spaceflight Group confirm that eleven persons were signed in via their key-fobs through the front door; six are unaccounted for. Santa Clara county HAZMAT determined there was no current environmental hazard, and turned the building over to Sunnyvale DPS for investigation. A thorough search of the building and the grounds begins.


That evening, a cardboard box in the lobby is found to contain what appears to be a dynamite bomb. The bomb squad quickly determines it is a crude fake, constructed from road flares and entirely unable to detonate even the road flares. The box is addressed to Hadrian Black, an employee of The Spaceflight Group (and one of the people missing from the building); it has a UPS label, but was not actually sent through UPS, and the other information on the label is spurious. A clipboard with some photocopied receipt forms is also found in the lobby, with Hadrian Black's signature on it.


The HAZMAT coordinator has quite a set of injuries, consistent with a beating. He is interviewed Saturday evening, and has no memory of even leaving the Fire HQ that afternoon. The five other persons who were recovered by emergency personnel from outside of 760 San Aleso also have no memory of anything from roughly 3 pm on Saturday, and testify that they recall nothing unusual about the day up until that point.


Analysis of the urn contents reveals the burnt components of quite a lot of items used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. There is equipment damaged and knocked over in the work area, but nothing apparently stolen; the hazardous materials on-site check out okay in terms of amount, methods of storage, etc.


The missing persons are:  O'Reilly, Burns, McClellan, the delivery man, Hadrian Black, the security guard, and four other TSG employees.



Upon Further Investigation


Mr. Black had informed the Sunnyvale DPS on Wednesday, January 6th that his apartment had been broken into during the day, and a threatening message had been left. Thursday evening, he informed the police (via cell phone) that he was being followed by two men in a car; the Sunnyvale DPS, Highway Patrol, and Santa Clara sherrif's deputies chased the car nearly to Capitola. The chase south along State Highway 17, during the rush hour, reached speeds of up to 90 miles an hour, and damaged several other cars. The vehicle being pursued, a stolen 1995 Mercedes sedan, crashed into an abutment, and the two suspects were taken to Valley Medical Center with minor injuries. A 20 gauge shotgun and a 9mm Hi-Point semi-automatic pistol were recovered from the (stolen) car, and the two men were identifed as having criminal records. Their residences were searched, and a variety of illegal items were seized, along with over $1000 in cash. The suspects refused to discuss the case with police, and said (more or less) that they wished to be represented by the public defenders office.


Early on Friday, a man arrived at the Santa Clara county jail (to which the suspects had been moved) and informed the staff that he was an attorney representing the suspects. The name and bar association number he provided were false, but this was not noticed at the time. He briefly spoke with both suspects and left. Later that day, another man appeared -- the famous criminal defense attorney Mark Sogareg -- and informed the jail staff that he was representing the two suspects. Naturally, there was some surprise about this ...


An anonymous phone message was left at DPW HQ for O'Reilly on Saturday. It read:

"The Spaceflight Group is working with unregistered hazardous materials. These materials are being stored unsafely. They are also conducting illegal animal research, implanting electronic devices in apes."
A fax was sent on Saturday to Frank Burns, at Station 1:
"The Ascended are looking for you! They are not happy with you & your Sunnyvale friends. You should look into 'The Spaceflight Group'. They seem to have ties with the Chimps. -- Hadrian Black"
A voicemail message was left for McClellan, something about the Jammers and 'Meester Smeeth."


By Sunday morning, an inter-agency task force is being formed; leading it is the FBI agent from the San Francisco office who was the last agent working on the mysterious disappearance of the Sunnyvale Four in 2008. There are some pointed questions for Hobbes.



The security system at 760 San Aleso includes a lobby camera, two cameras scanning the driveways and the rear parking lot, and one in the work area. The camera footage was provided by The Spaceflight Group once their security experts were able to enter the building. When reviewed by police investigators the following points are important:


  • 3:09 pm:  a man wearing the uniform of a UPS delivery driver approaches the main lobby door. He is admitted after a few seconds by the security guard on duty at the lobby desk. The man is caucasian, medium height and build, with no distinguishing features; he is wearing a baseball-type cap and sunglasses, and made some effort to avoid having his face seen directly by the lobby camera. The delivery man is carrying the cardboard box and clipboard found later in the lobby. The security guard leaves the man in the lobby for about a minute. No UPS or other delivery truck is located in the area.

  • 3:11 pm:  the security guard and Hadrian Black arrive in the lobby. Black and the delivery man have a short conversation, and Black signs the clipboard; the footage is at this point interrupted for all four cameras.

  • 3:45 pm:  the security system cameras all begin providing video again at the same time. About 12 minutes later, the Santa Clara HAZMAT team is seen on the cameras ...


Interesting fact:  The Spaceflight Group did not mention to the police anything about the folder of data disks at Hadrian Black's desk, nor about any intrusion in his supervisor's office.


On to Journal entry 2


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