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Video: Air Force squad's annoying horn stolen, held for ransom -- sort of

Members of the Air Force spend their days defending the rest of us from evil-doers, and we're grateful. But they apparently have enough free time to engage in Facebook-related pranks.

Today's bizarre examples: Members of a sorta-unknown squadron have stolen a sister outfit's super-irritating air horn, placed it in a cage and created a hilariously overwrought video spelling out the terms that must be met before it's set free. See the clip, plus photos and the very strange details below.

According to this post on the website of Schriever Air Force Base, not far from Colorado Springs, the horn is the property of the 4th Space Operations Squadron, known as 4 SOPS. According to Lieutenant Colonel Scott Trinrud, "I wanted to restore some symbol of 4 SOPS to rally behind and be proud of, so I thought a semi-tractor air horn would be a great way to do it. Many units have cheers or chants they do at...events" such as promotion ceremonies, "but I liked the simplicity and power of the 4 SOPS horn, so we went with that."

A photo from the 50th Space Wing's Facebook page.
A photo from the 50th Space Wing's Facebook page.

Trinrud then turned to Master Sergeant Sergio Perez, who created the device by attaching semi-truck horns to some air tanks.

The result was deafening -- and irritating as hell to those on other squads. Indeed, the 3rd Space Operations Squadron is said to have previously stolen the horn. Apparently, the airmen didn't give it back in ear-wreckable condition, so 4 SOPS built another one.

Now, however, a new pack of thieves has stepped to the fore with a scheme infinitely more elaborate. After a recent promotions ceremony, the horn vanished again -- but it turned up in a video on the Facebook page of another Air Force group, the 50th Space Wing.

The clip begins with ominous shots of the horn in a cage and the following message either flashed across the center of the screen or scrolled along the bottom:

4 SOPS -- FORE SOME TIME NOW YOU HAVE ANNOYED ATTENDEES OF PROMOTION CEREMONIES WITH YOUR HORN'S INCESSANT HONKING.

WE HAVE TAKEN YOUR SOURCE OF POWER AND MOTIVATION.

A screen capture from the video.
A screen capture from the video.

How to get the horn back? The message continues:

OVER THE COMING DAYS, PICTURES OF YOUR HORN, HENCE FORTH KNOWN AS "FLAT STANLEY," WILL BE TAKEN IN THE SURROUNDING AREA AND POSTED FOR YOU TO SEE.

IF YOU EVER WANT TO SEE YOUR HORN AGAIN, YOU WILL COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING...

FIRST YOU WILL FIND THE AREAS WHERE THE PICTURES WERE TAKEN WITH FLAT STANLEY. THEN, YOU WILL TAKE A PICTURE WITH ONE OF YOUR AIRMEN STANDING WHERE FLAT STANLEY WAS. FINALLY, YOU WILL POST THE PICTURES ON 50TH SPACE WING'S FACEBOOK FOR ALL TO SEE.

IF NOT, YOU WILL NEVER SEE YOUR HORN AGAIN.

Cue dramatic music!

Continue for more about the horn-napping, including the complete video.  

Another photo from the 50th Space Wing's Facebook page.
Another photo from the 50th Space Wing's Facebook page.

Whodunnit? Well, eyewitnesses claim they saw members of the 50th Security Forces Squadron making off with the gadget, but Lieutenant Colonel Jasin Cooley, its commander, claims innocence. The Schriever AFB article quotes him as saying, "My investigators are tirelessly chasing down every possible lead to determine who perpetrated this heinous crime; no stone will be left unturned! We have already provided a case summary to the Office of Special Investigations and the El Paso County Sheriff's Office in case we find reason to believe that the stolen property has left the installation," he said -- adding that the FBI branch in Denver has also been notified.

Given that we're mere weeks away from April Fools Day, we have severe doubts about the accuracy of the previous paragraph. Still, maybe this wacky scavenger hunt will be good training for hunting other things. Like terrorists.

Here's the video.

More from our Videos archive: "Videos: Gallon Smashers prank pisses off grocery stores -- 'F#ck the Harlem Shake.'"


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