Man sought Y2K refuge in Australian outback : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Man sought Y2K refuge in outback

Friday 31 March 2000

Staff at a remote outback roadhouse in Western Australia revealed yesterday how a Japanese tourist turned up on their doorstep equipped with a gas mask and army camouflage gear, fearing the Y2K bug would trigger a nuclear explosion.

The terrified tourist had travelled to Australia, believing the world would be plunged into chaos as it entered the new millennium.

Customs officials revealed yesterday the man had been stopped at immigration carrying a flak jacket, a survival kit, a blow gun and darts, and a chemical warfare outfit. The flak jacket and the blow gun, which are illegal in Australia, were confiscated by customs officials. But the man was allowed to enter the country with the other items.

Lisa Williams, who works at the Willare Bridge roadhouse 2300 kilometres north of Perth, said the man "freaked out" when a routine check caused the generators to cut out at about 10pm on 31 December, resulting in a four-minute power blackout.

"He was running around going 'Y2K, Y2K'; he was really panic-stricken," Ms Williams said.

It was not until the roadhouse manager, Graeme McNamara, telephoned a Japanese interpreter in Broome, who then spoke to the terrified tourist, that he calmed down.

He told them he believed the millennium bug would trigger a nuclear explosion and he planned to head for the outback because he thought it would be the safest place to be.

Roadhouse co-manager Sheree Marich said the man had arrived at the roadhouse earlier that afternoon by taxi from Broome, a 165-kilometre trip for which he paid about $300.

"I didn't understand why the taxi driver had dropped him off to us at first," Ms Marich said. "I actually thought he was a bit of a callous bastard who'd taken his money and dumped him in the middle of nowhere."

It was only later that she learned that the man had researched the area and had asked to be taken there because of its remoteness.

-- Martin Thompson (, March 30, 2000


Interesting article Martin! Thank you.

-- (, March 30, 2000.

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