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Held up at gunpoint


GBMUD
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I went to Devizes earlier to visit Morrison's in search of a map net affair, failed to find one. :( Rather than go straight home I went the long way and used a road/BOAT which skirts around the northern edge of the Imber ranges. As I came up to and past New Zealand camp there were a few squaddies variously laying in the mud and standing about with machine guns. One was standing in the middle of the road and, as I approached, he raised his gun and pointed it at me, looking down the barrel. He then lowered the gun and caused me to stop with a hand signal.

As I drew up alongside him he said that I could carry on and then said, presumably to the boom microphone he was wearing, that I was only a civvy. I drove on and was stopped twice more in the next couple of miles by more soldiers - no gun pointing though.

Now, the gun that was pointed, along with all the guns I saw, had a yellow bit on the barrel which I took to mean that it was safe - although at 50m or so distance in silhuette that yellow bit was not evident to me! I was not specially upset by all this but I imagine that someone less used to seeing soldiers out training may have been more distressed - or may even have cra**ed themselves. I suspect that the soldiers may not have realised that it was a public road they were on - but that sort of local knowlege/inteligence will not help them much in Afganistan (for which they were training on a freezing Salisbury Plain!).

Chris

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I went to Devizes earlier to visit Morrison's in search of a map net affair, failed to find one. :( Rather than go straight home I went the long way and used a road/BOAT which skirts around the northern edge of the Imber ranges. As I came up to and past New Zealand camp there were a few squaddies variously laying in the mud and standing about with machine guns. One was standing in the middle of the road and, as I approached, he raised his gun and pointed it at me, looking down the barrel. He then lowered the gun and caused me to stop with a hand signal.

As I drew up alongside him he said that I could carry on and then said, presumably to the boom microphone he was wearing, that I was only a civvy. I drove on and was stopped twice more in the next couple of miles by more soldiers - no gun pointing though.

Now, the gun that was pointed, along with all the guns I saw, had a yellow bit on the barrel which I took to mean that it was safe - although at 50m or so distance in silhuette that yellow bit was not evident to me! I was not specially upset by all this but I imagine that someone less used to seeing soldiers out training may have been more distressed - or may even have cra**ed themselves. I suspect that the soldiers may not have realised that it was a public road they were on - but that sort of local knowlege/inteligence will not help them much in Afganistan (for which they were training on a freezing Salisbury Plain!).

Chris

My farther always told me it was an offence in the army for them to point a gun at a civvy. this was after we wnet to a base to del somthing and the gaurd pointed a gun at my dad , as we were waiting. My dad told him to stop pointing his gun at him or he would get his CO and report him. The solder started to carp himself and was very very sorry and telling us it was a mistake and please don't call his CO

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I once stubbled across a military base in the Tunisian mountiains while working out there as a field geologist in a previous life! I got marched off to the site commander at gunpoint by lads barely out of school. Camera was taken, film removed and lots of hectic phone calls were made to various places to ascertain my credentials and all was OKish. But damn scarey at the time. Best part was, I drove back down the mountain (these are great mountain tracks by the way and I was in a stage one V8 with someone else paying for fuel ....happy days) only to be met by the local police (in a battered series landie) and was escorted to the station for further questioning. Was not a good day alround!

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I went to Devizes earlier to visit Morrison's in search of a map net affair, failed to find one.

I don't believe these so-called £1 map nets ever existed. Has anyone got proof, and a till receipt? A prize to the first person pictured in Morrisons holding one. I think it was a wicked rumour invented by someone on the forum to give us all hope in the dark winter months. If you ask me, it's a myth, like the tooth fairy or the Pipeline Card.....rant over.....

MJ

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I would imagine he was using the Susat optical sight to check you out using it's magnification, :D

you of course don't know what exercise they were doing, they could have had a VCP (vehicle check point) in place with the idea being to check for insurgence using 'civvy' vehicles.....

you must have looked dodgy :lol:

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No.....I said "excercise" not for real, this would depend on if it was on a public road on/within the training area ? or out on a public public road not within a training area

and military personel using the civvy vehicles, hence checking with the sight first

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Having justr undertaken Guard training ( you have to do it every 3 months so you are legal), you can point your weapon at a Civvy should you suspect them of undertaking or about to undertake an act that is likely to cause harm to human life.

They were more than likely on a training exercise and the road you were on ran right through it, (byelaws are great).

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I was here, on an open BOAT, outside the Danger Area - as marked on the map AND on the ground.

They were on exercise, I asked one of the soldiers later on. They were practising for a trip to Afghanistan. One might imagine that care would need to be taken where one pointed ones gun when there might be armed terrorists about who may take exception.

It may well be standard practice to point a weapon at a civilian but it is not bl**dy cricket to do so when there is no "emergency", no war, no marshal law and that civilian is posing no immediate threat to any human life, breaking no law nor looking like he might do so imminently and has had no warning. If the army needs to practice pointing guns, "safe" or not, at unarmed and un-warned civilians then it should do so AWAY from the public, away from roads to which the public have access etc. As I said, I was not too upset by this but I imagine my wife might have taken a very different view - mind you, that would imply that she was looking beyond the end of the bonnet.

Yes, I am cross about this.

Chris

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I was a passenger in a car than ran an armed police road block in West Africa :o:o:o

The 2nd roadblock 500m down the road stopped us.

The police were not amused :o

My driver (who was employed by my company) was about to get a serious beating, car impounded etc etc.

However we were offered the option for me to take him home and beat him 1/2 to death myself.

I took this option, as at least I still had a car, and we went home. I let the company disicplin the driver the next day.

My outstanding memory of the situation was the fact that I was rolling drunk as I had been drinking G&T's for about 6hrs......and the police suggested that I drive, and they waved me on my way :lol:

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I was a passenger in a car than ran an armed police road block in West Africa :o:o:o

Not funny at all - my father has vivid memories of seeing two of his friends do this in the middle east, about thirty years ago during a Moslem Brotherhood uprising. The regular police guard recognised them and waved them through, but the armed soldiers on the other side of the roadblock missed this, just saw a car go through the road block without stopping, and opened fire. :(

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Yes, more than likely the squaddie was checking you out through the SUSAT but not particurly good for PR purpose - just be grateful that he didn't drag a stinger across the road and burst your tyres as well! For the truely anal amongst you, the BFA not only catches the debirs from the spent round but also creates the compression from the gases to permit the loading of the next round from the magazine which enables fully automatic fire. It is surprising how much damage can be caused (at close range) with a blank round though!

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Blimey, people with guns in a military training area :o What ever next angry sheep in wales ;)

Chris what distance where you from him when he raised his weapon? As suggested maybe he was checking you out through his scope, maybe thinking you where part of the excercise. From a distance your 90 still maintains a LR-esque silhouette.

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From a distance your 90 still maintains a LR-esque silhouette.

I will try to take that positivly... :D

As I said, irrespective of why the gun was pointed, surely such an excercise should be undertaken away from the public roads?

Chris

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I will try to take that positivly... :D

As I said, irrespective of why the gun was pointed, surely such an excercise should be undertaken away from the public roads?

Chris

I reckon he was using the sights to check out whether your rubber band needed replacing. You can usually tell on a diesel by the grimace on the face of the driver or the clatter of the valves, maybe he had an ultra sensitive listening device.

Mind you if you were driving a nice V8, guess you wouldn't have woken him from his slumber..................... :rolleyes::ph34r::D

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I have been stopped at gunpoint a few times on my travels. Best one was when I was stopped and arrested in Mali. The policeman leapt out from behind a mudbrick wall next to the dirt track I was on and pointed his pistol through the windscreen at me.

The best part was that he jumped out slap bang in the middle of the track, and had obviously misjudged the speed and stopping distance of my VERY heavily laden 109 forward control with sand worn brakes. Judging by the look of terror on his face, I was lucky not to get shot, and he was equally lucky not to get run over!

GBMUD, I agree with the others, that he was probably just 'scoping' you and wouldn't worry unduly. It is almost certainly standard practice in Iraq, Afghanistan etc and is a sign of the times and the training required.

I agree that it was very unfortunate that this occurred on a byway open to the public, but I suppose all of that area is a military training area. It just happens to have byways on it.

I would just chalk it down to one of those things that makes life interesting! :)

Regards,

Diff

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As an addition to my earlier post, I have also been on the other end of this particular type of incident when in Iraq in 2003 on vehicle checkpoints. I recall being stationed on a section of road west of Basra which was rather like that piece of road from the advertising posters of the film Close Encounters which disappeared into vanishing point. We used to stand on the road watching the huge trucks lumbering towards us through the heat haze from the horizon and which sometimes took about 10 minutes to reach us belching oil smoke and other vital fluids. One of us would stand on the road and hold their hand up to try and get the thing to stop whilst another trained a well greased in GPMG at it from the safety of a sanger. Many was the time that the driver's cat-like (?) reflexes coupled with the appalling absence of brakes nearly resulted in a significant amount of firepower being emptied to the windscreen! Happy days!

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I guess the young lad was playing soldiers with you.What with all the nonsense they have to deal with out there then let them practice.

Only on the news last night a roadside bomb was set off in two DEAD bodies!!!

Least the yanks get some armour on there trucks.

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