Drug catapult found attached to Arizona-Mexico border fence

“Fetchez la vache!”


Nobody puts all his eggs in one basket. Drug-smuggling is a trade notorious for high loss ratio: you produce 10 to sell 3 or 4. Production is cheap anyway, that shit literally grows like weed (eh). So you send some by boat, some by tunnel, some by catapult, some by car, some by plane, some by drone, some by helicopter… in the end, enough stuff will get to the other side to make the whole operation profitable.

Obviously there is no wall that can stop this sort of thing.


If anybody thought this was a recent development, look at this NYT article from 2012:

Michael Braun, the former chief of operations for the D.E.A., told me a story about the construction of a high-tech fence along a stretch of border in Arizona. “They erect this fence,” he said, “only to go out there a few days later and discover that these guys have a catapult, and they’re flinging hundred-pound bales of marijuana over to the other side.” He paused and looked at me for a second. “A catapult,” he repeated. “We’ve got the best fence money can buy, and they counter us with a 2,500-year-old technology.”


i dunno man…get some tweezers and start combing through the shag carpet.

no, no, they were just using bundles of drugs to test the scale model of their new immigrant-a-pult.


Total Lannister move.


Unfortunately, prior attempts to add the cyber have primarily served to make the price tag of a non-virtual wall look vaguely reasonable.

(There was also the “Integrated Surveillance Intelligence System”; from back when calling things ‘ISIS’ was still considered an adequate PR move.)


I prefer the speech from the books…

“You’ve seen our numbers, Edmure. You’ve seen the ladders, the towers, the trebuchets, the rams. If I speak the command, my coz will bridge your moat and break your gate. Hundreds will die, most of them your own, Your former bannermen will make up the first wave of attackers, so you’ll start your day killing the fathers and brothers of men who died for you at the Twins. The second wave will be Freys, I have no lack of those. My westermen will follow when your archers are short of arrows and your knights so weary they can hardly lift their blades. When the castle falls, all inside will be put to the sword. Your herds will be butchered, your godswood will be felled, your keeps and towers will burn. I’ll pull your walls down, and divert the Tumblestone over the ruins. By the time I’m done no man will ever know that a castle once stood here.” Jaime got to his feet. “Your wife may whelp before that. You’ll want your child, I’ll expect. I’ll send him to you when he’s born. With a trebuchet.”

AMERICAN TV AUDIENCES: “What the heck is a ‘Trebbu-chay?’”


Those scary medieval missile-launchers from Kingdom of Heaven ?


It’s gotta be setback from the Rio Grande a bit due to some treaty with Mexico, so as not to disrupt its flow.

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fetchez la vache


dunno. how old is the technology “fence”?


We know what a trebuchet is. We’ve got nothing better to do with our time but watch people use trebuchets to launch pumpkins a half mile.


I see Mythbusters: The Search is stepping up their game. Too late, but good effort.

If you mean the kind worth having a siege over; that brings you back at least to Early Dynastic period Mesopotamia; which would make merely 2,500 year old weapons bleeding edge sci-fi stuff.

If you take a slightly broader view of historical efforts to keep their filthy chemistry out and our chemistry in; cell membranes and walls are more or less as old as life as we know it; in large part because they are a pretty important part of life as we know it. Billion years; plus?


IIRC the particular version of The Cyber Wall described by Fearless Leader doesn’t yet exist as a usable technology, and would be rabidly impractical even if it did.

Such a great wall! The best!.

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I assume that the reason that all the catapults they show are the incompetently designed ones, is that the ones built by people with a clue can hurl far enough to not be easy to catch. The current record for torsion catapult is 3636 feet (1.1km), and trebuchet are close at around 2,900 feet, (1km).

These machines were built on blue collar hobby budgets, imagine what might happen if they had the budget of people that can build their own submarines…

The one pictured simply can’t get any of their springs power into the throwing arm. Instead of compressing or stretching the full length, they are just bending it to one side.

They should stop taking their design cues from movie props, and look at real historical designs. Movie catapults are designed to be easy to build and move. Of equal importance, always throwing forward, as a badly tuned sling machine is quite happily to throw straight up, or even backwards. They actually don’t want a lot of range, as sitting behind that painted castle wall set, is the Main Street of a western, one that wouldn’t particularly like having a foam fake boulder landing in the middle of their high noon shootout scene.

Yes, I have built catapults for the TV industry, and they even paid, fed and housed me on location. I have taught others to make them. Yes, I have hauled a machine down to Delaware to hurl vegetables more than a dozen times and collected gaudy trophies a few times. One machine even set a class record.

Oh yea for all of you muttering trebuchet, a few definitions: A catapult is any machine that can throw a bigger rock farther than you can unaided. A trebuchet is the European name for a kind of catapult invented in China, that is distinguished by using gravity as it’s power source, as opposed to some sort of spring.

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