back to article Man uses tank in phone mast flattening rampage

An Aussie bloke went on a phone mast destroying spree yesterday, on the grounds that his health had been damaged by mobile phone signals. According to the Times, John Patterson - who previously worked at Australia's biggest telecoms firm, Telstra - used a 15-tonne armoured personnel carrier (APC) to bring down seven phone …


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  1. Michael Sheils

    Big towers

    They are pretty hefty towers he destroying by the looks of it from the video on the bbc news article.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Again you have made me unleash my dogs of war

    "Police said they had no option but to simply follow the vehicle as the rampage continued because they had no way of overpowering the APC and bringing it to a halt."

    And as the police surrounded the APC, the captain got up on the hood of his squad car and said "just walk away, I will give you safe passage in the wasteland, and there will be an end to the horror".

  3. Daniel Ballado-Torres

    An APC?

    Ow! Where can I get an APC like that one? That would definitely give me "right of way" through the 8am rush hour.

    Did this guy get the "Mad Max" ticket?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mad Max?

    I bet he's in the pleasure dome playing with Bubba now!

  5. Chris Goodchild


    For anyone who admires this guy there are dozens of sites on the net that can sell you a tank, APC, self propelled gun ETC. starting at a couple of grand you can drive it on a car license I think but it does have to have rubber tracks to go on a public high way. And for the sailors amonst you there are a number of ex cold war submarines knocking about for sale, ideal for city workers with Thames-side residences.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: An APC?

    Daniel, you don't need an APC for that... all you need is a Z3 with Stinger missiles behind the headlights.


  7. F Seiler


    Using missiles.. I don't think you'd want to spend that much on destroying stupid aerials. Also, ramming has a lot more style.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good on yer mate

    Well done.

    Can you please come and do the DVLA and several thousand speed cameras when you get out.

  9. kain preacher

    state side

    Her in the USA some stole a tank and went on a rampage. The cops got near the tank got on top , opened the hatched and fired some thing like 12 rounds ..

  10. Geoff

    Daniel re An APC

    The owner got the APC from the British Army. You will have to load the page using IE6 or the IE rendering engine in FF. You will probably have to sit through an ad as well before the story. The story ran about a week before it was stolen for the joyride.

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Fired 12 rounds

    Only because one of the cops present had done his military service in the Armor Brigade and knew how to open the hatch on that specific model of tank. Seems that it is not so easy.

    Funny thing, though, that in Australia, land of the so-called crooks and renowned for the aggressive behavior of its males, this guy got peppered and thrown in jail, whereas in the Land of the Used-To-Be Free, the guy got swiss cheesed and thrown into a body bag.

    Ironic ?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Easy' target...

    Is there any evidence at all to suggest that the waves from mobile masts are any different / more harmful than waves emitted by TV or radio transmitters?? They are surely just variations on a theme?

    It's my understanding that it's the handsets themselves that are the grey area here (i.e. no evidence yet, but studies are ongoing).

  13. Erlang Lacod

    bit of a tanker

    sounds like a bigtime case of a rebel without a cause. This NIMBY thing about phone masts is kind of unreal. i mean we all hear of these folk opossing masts being built near their homes and the occasional one thats demolished by lone gunmen but hell when was the last time any of us knew someone who actually refused to use or own a phone in protest. Yep that must be the guy we sat next to on the bus the other week sitting there dribling and with tin foil wrapped round his head to stop the Martians reading his thoughts.

  14. John Latham

    No way to overpower the APC?

    The Australian army were due to start receiving an order of M1A1 Abrams this year.

    Cue...That's not a tank...THIS is a tank!

    (cultural stereotype fulfilled)

    But, being defence procurement, the order is probably late.


  15. Bob Hannent

    RE: 'Easy' target...

    The frequency of mobile phone transmissions is typically much higher than that of TV transmissions and significantly higher than that of conventional FM radio. Some have claimed that at certain wavelengths the human body will act like an antenna near a transmitter and induct more energy than it would at any other frequency. However mobile phone masts are actually not very high power in comparison to many other energy sources we expose ourselves to each day and because of the effects of the inverse square law the power exposure drops off substantially over distance.

    I worked as a senior microwave communications engineer at significantly high powers and once or twice I was accidentally exposed to moderately high levels of radiation, but this is non-ionising radiation. Non-ionising radiation does not have the energy levels required to displace electrons in DNA and thus cause cancers. I also have worked with an engineer who was involved in early tests of radar and was able to describe the agony of high-power radiation burns, he is however still alive and well.

    I have read about a study by a Greek PhD student who discovered that the formation of neural collagen in rodents was found to have a different structure as a result of exposure to mobile-type signals. However no implications could be drawn from that.

    All in people will focus on anything they can these days. If it's not mobile phones its wifi...

  16. Craig Leeds

    He must be right

    I think he's right the masts did affect him, they sent him Bonkers.

  17. Bill

    Re: Bonkers

    Yes. If you've seen the Panorama "a warning signal" show on Wi-Fi,

    you know they don't allow the towers near schools in the UK because

    the government science adviser thinks there could be health effects.

    Personally, my ears ring when I am exposed to most towers, which I found out later is an effect shown by Allan H. Frey back in 1962 (and in Science, 1973). His 1998 paper on headaches from cell phones is a must read for anyone in the civilized world.

  18. Paul

    Please take this issue seriously

    Sometimes it takes an event like this to get the attention of the public and government on this issue: some people seem to be sensitive (more so than the norm) to mobile phone radiation (and related electromagnetic fields). Even though studies to date have failed to show a link between mobile phone radiation (within exposure guidlines) and symptoms people have been claiming result from exposure to this kind of radiation, the studies themselves might not have been setup in the right way to resolve the kind of symptoms being reported. The reason I say this is because I have found myself affected by this radiation, but only from the headsets (I've been near mobile phone towers and never noticed anything, but some people do claim that the signals emitted from the antennas on such towers do cause them problems; however, it might be that one might think exposure is coming from a tower signal when a handset is to blame). The kind of symptoms I have noticed are: skin irritation like painful and prickling sensations, rapid and repeated nerve twitching (sometimes quite severe), very bad tinnitus (ticking and buzzing sounds), eyesight problems like snowy and less light sensitive vision after long exposure to such fields, and feeling of pressure that bulids up in sinus region. The symptoms tend to have a delayed onset in that they build-up during exposure and continue well after exposure, only slowly subsiding. This latency effect could make testing difficult, but certainly not impossible (I think there also needs to be more objective testing done in such studies, such as blood tests, nerve tests etc..). Also, I have found that using WiFi on my mobile device seems to be worse, but it could also be electromagnetic fields, including extremely low frequency (ELF) fields, generated by the mobile device itself that are having an effect. There are definitely noticable and sometimes severe symptoms.

    I think this issue really has to be taken more seriously by the relevant government regulatory authorities. As such, the usual line that 'mobile phone radiation is just non-ionising radiowaves and harmless within the exposure guidlines' is being maintained. This is of course welcome news for the mobile phone industry, but it really doesn't help in raising public awareness of the potential health hazard. I honestly think there is too much complacency about this issue at the moment, especially given the proliferation of mobile phones, yet there are many people like myself who are noticing health problems from being in close proximity to the electromagnetic fields these devices emitt.

  19. Paul

    Small correction to previous post

    "but it could also be electromagnetic fields, including extremely low frequency (ELF) fields, generated by the mobile device itself..." should read "but it could also be other electromagnetic fields, including extremely low frequency (ELF) fields, also generated by the mobile device..."

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