Oh, the Stupidity! Zeppelin Prison Escape Attempt is a Disaster

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By David Goguen on July 07, 2009 10:28 AM

No Amount of Hot Air Can Get a Bad Idea Off the Ground

The Hindenburg wasn't an unmanned, 13-foot long, remote-controlled zeppelin. And it wasn't on its way to aiding a prison escape attempt when it crashed. You can't get chills from an eerie absence of similarity, so let's just call this a personal disaster for one imprisoned drug trafficker.

Spanish police officials announced last week that they had foiled an elaborately unsuccessful escape attempt at a Canary Islands prison, involving an Italian prisoner they are calling "Giulio B".

The 52 year-old Giulio was in jail after he was caught transporting over 400 pounds of cocaine in a seaplane, the kind of aircraft that made little Tattoo tug on the sleeve of Mr. Roarke's tuxedo on Fantasy Island.

Apparently Giulio has a flair for pairing unconventional flying machines with unsuccessful criminal activity, because the escape plan involved a miniature remote-controlled zeppelin airship that was supposed to carry climbing gear, camouflage paint, and night-vision goggles into the prison. Giulio would then use the equipment to scale the prison walls and make it to the outside, according to a story in Reuters.

But all the air was let out of the scheme when a package containing the balloon and equipment was intercepted by police, a nearby surveillance camp used by Giulio's cohorts was discovered, and three would-be escape accomplices were arrested outside the jail.

So Giulio remains behind bars. You had to see this one coming. A remote-controlled blimp never even floated its way into a story arc on Prison Break, and when it came to eye-roll-inducing jail escape ideas, that show was the Titanic.