As part of my ongoing effort to raise awareness relating to the artificially generated stampede, I mailed a batch of letters this afternoon. They were sent to 25 individuals. These are the people who have responded to my concerns during the time frame of March 1, 2012 > June 20, 2012. I have accumulated a total of 27 written responses. 4 individuals responded twice. At this time, I will neither divulge the content of any responses nor openly document whom I have spoken with. For this blog, I chose to omit the brief description of a "viral blitzkrieg."
Content of the letter...
June 20, 2012
In prior correspondence, I informed you and your peers of the unique danger presented by the potential for artificially generated stampedes. Whether it was responding to my letters or taking the initiative to contact me, you are now part of a group that has recognized a profoundly changed dynamic in stadium security. A brief perusal of the cc list will verify that you are in good company. Your feedback has helped reinforce two inescapable conclusions:
• There is a clear and present danger in large crowds equipped with cellular communication devices.
• There still exists a prevailingly myopic, isolated approach to stadium security. While there is ample concern for stadium security on an individual basis, the entire NCAA Division I community as a whole appears neglected.
In my second letter, I identified three significant ways to initiate a stampede. Recently, I have developed an additional, even deeper concern for something I've termed a "viral blitzkrieg."
conceptual description of the viral blitzkrieg has been omitted
This represents yet another way to compromise emergency evacuation protocol. These concerns extend to the National Football League as well, particularly the Sunday afternoon slate of games. I notified NFL ownership and Commissioner Roger Goodell in letters dated May 1, 2012. As of this writing, there has been no response.
A comprehensive, unified plan to adequately handle these threats does not exist. The state of inaction on behalf of the federal government and private industry demonstrates a severe lack of oversight and accountability. This is largely the result of conflicting interests and the inability to recognize stampedes as a national security issue. I realize this places you in a difficult position and I sympathize.
I originally provided seven bullet point suggestions to help counteract the problems associated with the artificially generated stampede. In retrospect, I may have overreached. I was viewing the dilemma you would face in the aftermath of a tragedy. However, my basic contention remains the same. You have a fundamental obligation to warn people in stadiums that under no circumstance would they receive an evacuation order via their cellphones. A dialogue must be opened, even if it is a minimal one. It needs to start somewhere. I would strongly urge you to incorporate one of the two following statements and routinely loop either of them through your game day public address system. Both of them should be consistent with your current stadium evacuation protocol.
• A stadium evacuation order can only be delivered via the public address system.
• Under no circumstance would you receive a stadium evacuation order from your cellphone (or cellular communication device).
Stadium evacuation procedure is an incredibly sensitive issue. And for good reason. Evacuations set a terrible precedent. Other than incidents involving inclement weather, they're just simply not supposed to happen. I completely understand this. Yet, that does not mean the subject can be neglected. If you still remain skeptical, simply do some empirical research. Pose these questions to anyone:
• What would happen if large numbers of fans simultaneously received a text message conveying imminent danger and/or the demand to immediately evacuate? What if the message's content had more explosive connotations?
• What would transpire if stadium attendees suddenly learned of stampedes at other major college football venues? My gut instinct tells me they would immediately seek to exit.
These are real-time, real-world questions that desperately need to be addressed. Although the artificially generated stampede is a hypothetical scenario, it is an easily identifiable generic concept. Its premise harkens back to "shouting fire in a crowded theater." If you doubt its inevitability, you must ask yourself a few critical questions. Regardless of time and location, is the prediction of an artificially generated stampede a reasonable one? Will a scenario of this nature unfold in the future? Could cellular text messages extend beyond concerns of privacy and nuisance, resulting in matters of life or death? An objective analysis will compel you to reluctantly admit that yes, at some point during the course of humanity, an artificially generated stampede will occur. This might sound disconcerting, but it WILL happen because it CAN happen. It's simply a matter of where and when, scope and magnitude. An untold chapter in the collision of technology and humanity.
It has been a challenge being straightforward, especially when the acceptable parameters are ill-defined. Throughout our correspondence there were certain words I was reluctant to put in writing. And there are several pertinent issues I have purposely omitted (stampede dynamics, generational warfare, the jurisdiction of federal and state government, the nullification of OODA loops and fundamental human rights). Suffice to say, I've left a lot on the table.
I've tried my best to maintain a dispassionate and analytical tone. But it's difficult when the stakes are immeasurably high and the public dialogue, nonexistent. With regard to the subjects I have raised, I believe the status quo is unacceptable and unsustainable. The prospect of an artificially generated stampede and the potential for the domino effect are moral issues. If you engage in future high level discussions, I would ask to be included. I've done extensive research and believe I'd be a valuable asset to the conversation. These matters are time-sensitive. I will come to you. All I ask is that you listen. Just listen.
contact information omitted
President E. Gordon Gee, The Ohio State University
President Teresa A. Sullivan, University of Virginia
President James F. Barker, Clemson University
President Diana Natalicio, The University of Texas at El Paso
President Michael F. Adams, University of Georgia
Chief of Staff Jack G. Johnson, University of Washington
Chief of Police/Director of Public Safety, Michael Cureton, University of Cincinnati
President Richard L. McCormick, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Chancellor Brady Deaton, University of Missouri
Chancellor Harvey Perlman, University of Nebraska
Office of the President, University of Southern California
Associate University Counsel Anne Murray, University of New Mexico
Interim President Robert M. Berdahl, University of Oregon
Chief of Police Bob Roberts, West Virginia University
Vice President Sherwood G. Wilson, Administrative Services, Virginia Tech
President Sue W. Martin, Eastern Michigan University
President Mohammed H. Qayoumi, San Jose State University
Vice President Kyle J. Cavanaugh, Duke University
Superintendent Lieutenant General Michael C. Gould, United States Air Force Academy
President Rodney A. Erickson, Penn State
Chief of Police/Associate Vice Chancellor Susan Riseling, University of Wisconsin
Commanding Colonel Michael J. Tarsa, United States Military Academy
Captain Brad Rhodes, Clemson University
Director Lou Marciani, National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security
Director Jonathan Roark, Emergency Preparedness & Business Continuity,
Texas Christian University
My concerns are well documented in my book. Despite my best efforts to bring this issue to the forefront, I expect my mission will fail. I predict a maximum of 2 people will call me and consider implementing my suggestions regarding stadium security. I also predict the artificially generated stampedes will occur sooner, rather than later (possibly in early or mid-September of this year). If events unfold as I anticipate, it will likely replace "jobs and the economy" as the lead issue in the 2012 presidential election. In the aftermath of such a tragedy, American citizens will demand a thorough investigation as to why nothing was done in the realm of awareness or prevention. When it's discovered that many in the Obama administration were cognizant of the issue and did nothing, general sentiment will turn heavily against the Democratic party. Furthermore, assuming my hunches are accurate, I think Mitt Romney will easily win in a landslide. Although unlikely, I would not dismiss a 538-0 electoral count victory as a possible outcome.