As my physics prof used to say, if youโ€™re going to do something illegal, make sure youโ€™re only doing one illegal thing at a time

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Manfred Ramminger was also an architect and drove a silver Ferrrari 250 GTO as a professional racing driver.

Which means heโ€™s probably the closest thing to an actual spy-movie spy that the world has ever produced.

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One of my favorite parts of the story is that he only got four years in prison, instead of a longer sentence, because the judge was so mad about the lax security at the air force base

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@RobinHood โ€œTogether with his Polish driver Josef Linowski and German F-104 Starfighter pilot Wolf-Diethard Knoppe, [Ramminger] stole an operational AIM-9 from the local ammunition depot and transported it down the entire runway on a wheelbarrow to his Mercedes sedan, parked outside the base.โ€

@alexis @RobinHood Probably whistling a happy tune all the way and giving out cigarettes to all the patrols he encountered.

@RobinHood Act like you belong and you're supposed to be doing what you're doing and you can get away with almost anything, a brilliant example

@RobinHood I have a polo shirt with a well known industrial company on it, that is also a powerful tool

@RobinHood Also I just read he didn't even serve the full length of it which makes it even better


How on earth do you ship something as big as a sidewinder missile tho? That must be expensive af

@Alonealastalovedalongthe he disassembled it into its components and shipped them all in one big box. According to court records, it cost $79.25


Ahhh lol.

I really don't understand how he only got four years. He single handedly eliminated a significant advantage in the power balance between nato and russian militaries?

Is it because he was rich?

@Alonealastalovedalongthe part of the reason he only got four years was that the judge was so mad at the airforce for having terrible security.

He didnโ€™t even serve all four years though, he was exchanged in a prisoner swap, if I remember correctly.


Yah I mean I get that and I am not a fan of jail but we are talking about a weapon that shifts the balance of air superiority which in turns shifts geopolitical strategy in general.

I would think nowadays US government would have forced the guy to be extradited to the US and he woulda been thrown into a deep dark cell somewhere for a lonnngggg time.

Not that I would have wanted that, but I would expect nothing less from my government lol

@Alonealastalovedalongthe @RobinHood that treatment is for whistleblowers. Foreign spies are accepted as a cost of doing business. After all you wouldn't want foreign nations to throw your own spies into a deep dark cell forever, would you?

@Alonealastalovedalongthe @RobinHood (I mean, if you were a government. As a decent human being you probably have different priorities.)


A guess this case of punishment for spies vs whistleblowers is a good example of how states view their real enemy as their citizens, not other states.

@RobinHood My take on 'drive it like you stole it' is obeying all traffic laws, because you don't want to draw unwanted attention to yourself.

@RecursiveRabbit *criminal in jail, talking to his criminal pals*

โ€œWhat if, next time, and bear with me here, we drove we hadnโ€™t stolen it?โ€

@RobinHood why? if you do more illegal things at once it's just saving time
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