Flour Flyer Followups
The New Haven Register is continuing to follow the story of the now-infamous flour flyer. From the links at the end of this post, we can now compile this timeline.
- 8/23/07 pm — Dr. Salchow and his sister lay a running trail in New Haven, CT. They mark the trail in flour. The run goes through an Ikea parking lot, in front of the police station, and ends at his house.
- 4:50 pm — An eyewitness sees his sister, dressed in black and carrying a bag, drop a white substance onto the ground. Police respond by sending personnel to the scene.
- 5:00 pm — The Ikea is evacuated; the order is given approximately within 10 minutes of receiving the initial call. Police trace the piles of flour to a Bank of America parking lot next door. The police fail to notice that the piles are placed in convenient piles a few dozen meters apart in a pattern than stretches across 4 miles of town. No action is taken to follow the piles of flour or secure the town.
- 5:00-6:00 ? — Not knowing the trouble they have caused, the Salchow’s send their running club on the trail. The runners pass the police station, apparently unnoticed. They follow the trail of flour through the Ikea parking lot, and apparently are not questioned by the police. The police, in turn, despite having runners follow the trail of flour, continue to fail to realize that the piles are connected and form a trail — a trail that goes in front of their own police station, coincidentally. Upon finishing the run, the runners tell Dr. Salchow of the situation brewing at the Ikea parking.
- ?? Dr. Salchow bikes back to the Ikea parking lot. He was yelled at by police and told to step back. It is unknown if he was able to communicate that the piles were flour, or that they stretched across town.
- 7:00 Dr. Salchow’s sister is taken into custody.
- 8:15 The Ikea manager is allowed back into the Ikea story, more than 3 hours after the initial call, and hours after the Salchow’s tried to correct the problem.
We don’t know when officials figured out that the piles of flour did not contain any hazardous substances. We don’t know why officials were unable to locate the vast majority of the piles of white powder. We don’t know why officials did not make contact with the variety of witnesses who knew what the white powder was. We don’t know why officials did not notice piles of white powder outside the police department, or why they didn’t respond if they did. We don’t know why officials thought that a few piles of flour in an Ikea parking lot was viewed as a sufficiently credible threat to warrant calling in the various hazardous materials experts.
Lastly, we don’t know why the mayor’s office and city officials are not embarrassed at both the ineptitude and inappropriateness of their response.
The Sachlow’s hearing is scheduled for Sept. 14.
8/24 — Toxin Scare