'I was sent US president's flight plan'

MILITARY secrets - including the flight plans of the US President - were sent to a Suffolk man by people who confused his website with an American airbase.

Laurence Cawley

MILITARY secrets - including the flight plans of the US President - were sent to a Suffolk man by people who confused his website with an American airbase.

Metal worker Gary Sinnott set up www.mildenhall.com in 1995 to promote his home town and to learn more about information technology.

But he ended up getting between 2,000 and 3,000 emails every day, many from those within the US military who confused the “mildenhall.af.mil” domain with Mr Sinnott's website - which meant he was receiving emails intended for staff at RAF Mildenhall.

Despite Mr Sinnott raising the issue with base commanders, the problem was never sorted out.

Items sent to Mr Sinnott, who is in his 40s, include flight details of a presidential trip to the UK, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of parents and children involved in a club on base, secure website passwords and special tactics and fire power memos relating to American activity in the Middle East.

Most Read

The latter carried a destruction notice calling on the recipient to “destroy by any means that will prevent disclosure of contents or reconstruction of the document” after it had been read.

Speaking from his home in Mildenhall yesterday Mr Sinnott, who says he has suffered heightened blood pressure as a result of the problems, said: “It drives me nuts. I am very annoyed with the US military. The only time they went ballistic was when I received the flight plan for the President coming over here.

“I've ended up with so much information on so many people. The fact is that if I've got them, then who else might have received them.”

A spokesman for the base said a letter had been sent out which read: “The owner of the Mildenhall.com site, Mr G Sinnott, contacted the base as recently as September about the issue and spoke with the RAF commander, who investigated and replied in November.

“In November, we confirmed that our base servers block any e-mails going to this site and we sent out a base-wide email advising everyone to use appropriate government email domains and inform family/friends.

“In 2004, The 100 Communication Squadron advised Mr Sinnott to block unrecognisable addresses from his domain and have an auto-reply sent reminding people of the official Mildenhall domain, and blocked his website from PC access on base.”

The site has now been taken down.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter