Bubble Wrap Puts New Mexico Air Force Base Into Lockdown Mode

An Air Force base in New Mexico went into high alert and lockdown mode after three loud bangs were heard by a civilian employee. It turns out it was just bubble wrap popping.

Let’s face it, playing with bubble wrap is a popular pastime. The sound the wrap makes while playing with and popping the bubbles is, somehow, quite satisfying to many. However, in the following story, the sound of bubble wrap popping caused a major problem and actually sent an entire New Mexico Air Force base into lockdown mode for almost an hour.

It happened at around 2:30 pm on Wednesday this week when a civilian employee at the Kirtland Air Force base in Albuquerque, New Mexico heard three loud bangs. The employee was instantly alert and — believing it to be the sound of gunfire and fearing an attack of some kind — immediately dialed 911.

According to KOB4, that call caused the entire Kirtland Air Force base to be put into lockdown mode, as base chiefs feared there could be an active shooter on the scene. Three elementary schools and the VA hospital on the base were also placed on lockdown until 3:15 pm that afternoon.

However, after security forces could not substantiate the claims of gunfire, the base stood down the high alert. Master Sgt. Phyllis Keith on the base revealed Thursday that the sound heard by the civilian employee was merely the popping of bubble wrap and not a weapon being discharged.

As reported by the Huffington Post, it turns out another civilian employee on the Air Force Base had stepped on some “heavy duty” bubble wrap, which apparently had “sandwich bag-size air pockets,” hence the loud bangs.

While the whole shut down process was merely a case of bubble wrap popping gone mad, Eric Elliott, a spokesman for the base, did say it’s always better to be safe than sorry, even if it causes a little inconvenience. He also added that at the very least, everyone got a good exercise out of the incident.

Better to be safe than sorry, indeed, as ironically the incident with the bubble wrap occurred shortly after the attack by a married couple — Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27 — at a party at a social services facility in San Bernardino, California, which caused 21 people to be injured and the death of another 14 people.

While the heavy duty bubble wrap in this story caused a huge problem, it seems things may change in future when it comes to the plastic popping toy. The Inquisitr reported back in July this year that a company is developing a bubble wrap that doesn’t actually pop. It turns out the company is developing this product for economic reasons, but they are definitely going to spoil our fun in the process.

Reportedly, the fun version of the product takes up too much space, making for expensive shipping and it’s also not that great for the environment. However, the new product, which they have dubbed iBubble, won’t have all those tiny little air bubbles like the current product.

The new iBubble bubble wrap will consist of long connected rows of air instead, which, while they won’t actually make a satisfying pop, will cut down on costs and reportedly be more reliable, too. This has to be a buzz kill for all who love popping bubble wrap, but at least the new product won’t shut down any Air Force bases.

[Photo via Flickr by Keith Williamson/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]