Flights of Fancy

Looks like we’ve got trouble, right here in river city. A drone strike … in Cincinnati, Ohio. Have they pissed off Kentucky that much? In basketball season maybe, though not often. . But now? Hmm … terrorism comes to mind, especially since it hit something called the Great American Tower, headquarters of a grim-sounding insurance and financial conglomerate with tentacles all over the world. A perfect symbol for heavy-handed imperial corporate arrogance. But — if we’re getting the full story — it was just an accident. Then again, people have also been shooting at the building. Cut-throat rival companies? Disgruntled customers with Second-Amendment claim submissions? Who knows?

Way too last-millennium to just fly kites for fun, I suppose. Am I the only one surprised that consumer-level drones can fly so high — the 28th floor would be about 280 feet or so, right? Note that we civilians are not supposed to fly such aircraft in urban areas… though our government can use killer drones anywhere it likes. In any case, no more crop-dusting gigs for me — it’s getting too damn crowded up there!


Drone Crashes into Great American Tower

WCPO-TV * 3:59 PM, Aug 4, 2015 / update 10:45 AM, Aug 5, 2015

CINCINNATI — A drone crashed into Great American Tower early Tuesday afternoon.

According to José Marques, Advertising and Media Relations Manager with Western & Southern Financial Group, a small drone crashed into a space between the 28th and 29th floor of the building between 12 and 1 p.m. Tuesday. Marques told WCPO some glass fell as a result of the impact.

Marques thinks the crash was accidental, but also said he knows Cincinnati Police are investigating the incident.

Copyright 2015 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Drone hits Great American Tower

Posted: Aug 04, 2015 4:32 PM EDT Updated: Aug 05, 2015 6:47 AM EDT

by Ashley Harrington, WCPO-TV

CINCINNATI, OH. A personal drone flying around downtown Cincinnati hit a skyscraper Tuesday afternoon.

The pilot of the drone lost control and crashed the device into the north side of Great American Tower on third street, according to officials. The impact damaged part of the glass windows between the 28th and 29th floors.

The pilot, who has not been identified, was cited for criminal mischief.

Cincinnati Police Capt. Mike Neville says that flying a drone in the city goes against Federal Aviation Law. The law prohibits recreational aircrafts and unmanned aerial vehicles from flying in the downtown area, including airspace over the river, Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium.

FOX19 NOW will continue to update this story as more information is available.

Copyright 2015 WXIX. All rights reserved.


Just this week, I heard that more shots have struck Great American. But that may be an urban-legend echo of the earlier incidents. Hard to tell these days.


Who is shooting at Great American Tower? * 2:18 p.m. EST January 28, 2015

by Emily Eaton, staff writer

For the fourth time in eight days, someone driving on Fort Washington Way aimed a gun in the direction of the Great American Tower and fired, breaking windows and a considerable amount of peace of mind.

Multiple units within the Cincinnati Police Department are working to find the suspect responsible for shooting the tallest building in the city, said police Cpt. Mike Neville.

“This is very disturbing to me,” Neville said. “The safety of the people in the building is paramount to me. Anything short of that is unacceptable.”

The incidents occurred on Jan. 19, Friday, Monday and Tuesday, all well after normal business hours when no one besides security personnel were in the building, Neville said. The shots hit both the Great American Tower and the building next to it – the 303 Broadway building – between the ninth and 11th floors. The shots caused damage to the windows, wall and blinds. One window remained boarded up Tuesday afternoon, while the other shattered windows were heavily taped.

On Tuesday morning, the department shut down the Lytle Tunnel to investigate the scene. Officers recovered spent ammunition casings, did trajectory analysis and submitted evidence to lab analysts.

Neville didn’t want to reveal too much about how police are going about their investigation, but he said he would walk the public through the process once police apprehend the suspect.

“We have every bit of technology at our disposal,” he said. “We have motivated, driven police work on top of it.”

The department has not released the name of a suspect or any possible motive in the shootings.

Preliminary work indicates that the suspect was using a handgun. When asked why someone would use a weapon that probably isn’t very accurate from a long distance, Cincinnati police Sgt. Mark Hunley said the suspect could have military background and be very accurate, or the suspect may not care about accuracy.

Employees walking into the Great American Tower Tuesday morning said they weren’t too concerned about the shots.

Mike Laatsch, the vice president of public relations at Western and Southern Financial Group, the company that owns the building, said management is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of employees.

Great American Insurance Group, Insight Global, Key Bank and Lafayette Life Insurance are some of the building’s current tenants, according to the building’s website.

Management has set up expanded access control to the building – employees now have to swipe a badge to get into the elevators and other locations – and more security personnel is present. Each company is making its own decision about whether employees should move desks away from the windows, Laatsch said.

Diane Weidner, the assistant vice president of investor relations at the Great American Insurance Group, said the safety of employees is the company’s No. 1 priority right now. “We’re hoping this comes to a conclusion very quickly,” she said.

Great American Insurance Group closed its office from 6 p.m. Tuesday until 6 a.m. Wednesday for safety reasons. Weidner said there aren’t a lot of employees who are in the building late at night, but the company wasn’t taking chances.

Police have been in contact with representatives from the building about security measures, but Neville said the police department won’t be imposing any restrictions on employees.

“We, as a police department, are doing everything we can to assist in finding this person. The safety of the people in the building is my utmost concern. I will not sleep until the person is found.”


About l. l. frederick

I'm pretty ordinary, so I find any number of things in the world interesting, among them: books, music, flowers, food, social justice, politics and (sometimes!) people. As for my writing, I've decided that I can be subtle and tasteful when our only problems are esthetic ones. Or when I'm dead, whichever comes first. In the meantime, read at your own risk.
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15 Responses to Flights of Fancy

  1. Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s Superman… no, it’s Big Brother’s little drone brother!

  2. sojourner says:

    Maybe they’re disgruntled Reds fans? Or maybe they are simply them pesky “reds?”;-)

    • Sojourner, Could be either one. Although who would guess there were any such lefties in commie witch-hunt country? And if you’re wondering, it wasn’t me — I’m a lousy shot. Thanks for commenting! – Linda

      • sojourner says:

        Now, Linda, you know you’re an expert with a bb gun;-)

        • Not me — maybe you’re thinking of Bessie, my trouble-making imaginary twin? She had all the fun, damn it!

          • sojourner says:

            This reminds me of an old friend’s imaginary twin, Sam. Every time Frank would screw up, he would exclaim, “Damn it, Sam, you did it again!” Never failed to make me laugh!

            • That’s fun. I’ve mostly stopped blaming Bessie for things … mostly. But now I’m stretched trying to care for my mother and aunt, plus keep up with my own shit, and find myself kind of wishing Bessie could take part of the load now and then. Besides, she always kicked ass, and would probably do a better job!

              • sojourner says:

                I understand that. I was the caretaker for my mother the last few years she was alive. And being an only kid, I could have used an imaginary friend to help out! I just stuck with me for the blame. It always felt good when I stopped;-)

                Do the best you can, Linda, and don’t beat yourself up. I’m certain you are doing a good job of caring for them!

  3. I’m sure, as usual, that the drone pilot was just another lone nut kook.

  4. tubularsock says:

    Ahh, if the fucker doesn’t explode and take out downtown Cincinnati it really isn’t news worthy.

    Linda, Tubularsock is sending you his Blow-It-All-Up-Drone (BIAPD). Should be able to bring down the entire tower even if it doesn’t hit the tower because as we saw in Building #7 on 9/11 it only takes one post to give way according NIST.

    • Tubularsock, Thank you so much for such a thoughtful … care package! The Samson effect, yes that will do nicely, even with my inability to hit a barn with a brick. Cinci’s past due for remodeling anyway — I don’t think they’ve put up another blimpy tasteless sports stadium in 3 or 4 years now. Thanks for your good comment … and I’ll do my best. – Linda

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