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Dream Machines Delights Crowds With Mock Battles and Blank Gun Firings

It was loud — but educational — at Dream Machines this weekend with reenactments by the West Coast Armor Association and Military Vehicle Technology Foundation.

 

In addition to the loud airplanes buzzing over Half Moon Bay all weekend for Dream Machines, there were also some big bangs and explosions.

It was the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation (MVTF), which oversees one of the largest and most significant collections
 of historical military vehicles in the world at its museum in nearby Portola Valley, conducting periodic blank firings of vehicle-mounted machine guns. Members of the MVTF's Re-enactor Volunteer Program were also on hand to talk about their rare vehicles.

With display military aircraft and MVTF vehicles in the background, re-enactors from the West Coast Armor Association also performed a "mock-battle" entitled, "Rescue of a Downed Pilot" during the show. All of the re-enactors are trained in "presentation stunt combat" and are regularly used in feature movies, as well as TV programs on HBO, The History Channel, and Discovery Channel.

A San Mateo County alert went out to residents warning of “a military re-enactment display that will include loud bangs and simulated explosions” at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday and that this is only “a mock display and there is no cause for alarm.”

It still caught people off guard.

"All of sudden we heard these shots," said Dan Olsen who made the drive over from Foster City in his 1999 black Ferrari. "Definitely caught our attention. So much so we made sure to catch the 1 p.m. display."

Members of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office were also on hand at the event and shared their photo here of the miliarty re-enactment on their Facebook page with: “Thanks to everyone who came out to the 27th annual Pacific Coast Dream Machines Weekend today and yesterday. It was a beautiful weekend and we appreciated everyone's patience in dealing with the parking and traffic that came along with the events massive turnout.”

David Vespremi May 01, 2013 at 05:21 AM
Never mind that a mock battle with explosions has zero to do with "dream machines" this was in incredibly poor taste given what just happened in Boston. Another in an increasingy long list of examples of terrible judgment exhibited by event organizers.
Tyler May 01, 2013 at 04:11 PM
There were no explosions, David, only blanks being fired, as part of a military demonstration showcasing the different uniforms and firearms, as there were many military vehicles there. Doing public education on current and historical military machinery is something everyone enjoys, and I'm pretty sure everyone enjoyed the display and got some education. What a ridiculous mind set you have - rescuing a downed pilot has nothing to do with terrorists placing bombs in a crowd, you sound like some cranky old fart with nothing better to do except complain on the internet. Next year's display will be even better, looking forward to it!
David Vespremi May 01, 2013 at 07:18 PM
Tyler: first line of the article: "In addition to the loud airplanes buzzing over Half Moon Bay all weekend for Dream Machines, there were also some big bangs and explosions." Also, I received not one but two SMC alerts warning residents not to panic if they heard gunfire or explosions. Let's face it, if you have to send out those kinds of warnings, that's a pretty good sign that maybe the activity shouldn't be happening. In any event, who cares what you or I think about it. Let's see what the FAA thinks - they're the ones that objected to non-aviation motor sports in the infield and I'd be willing to bet, they're the ones that may not be such big fans of mock gun fire and explosions in the vicinity of active runways.
Michael G. Stogner May 01, 2013 at 07:25 PM
Great Event, Great Cause, Great People....Great Day
Tyler May 01, 2013 at 08:46 PM
David, so here you sit behind your computer complaining about something that you obviously didnt even see. Again, it was only blanks being fired, no explosions, no 50-cal machine gun fire. Just rifles with blanks. How do I know? I was actually there, something you cant even say. Perhaps those warnings were for people like you who would surely complain about anything noisy, how dare the coastside put on an educational and exciting show! The audacity!! And a note about the FAA, they rejected the helicopters because it was too last minute, not because there was ANY shred of danger from firing blanks, next year wont be an issue. Perhaps you should educate yourself before you spew your ignorance all over the internet...
David Vespremi May 02, 2013 at 01:13 AM
The warnings, as relayed to me by both the airport manager, and the sheriff's office, were specifically out of concern for public reaction based on what happened in Boston. It's also the reason the loud explosions ("blank cannon" demonstration) was cancelled. In other words, Boston was specifically the reason these warnings went out and Boston is specifically the reason the demonstration was cancelled. Boston is also very clearly why this was grossly inappropriate use of the airport property along with the fact that firing blanks from guns and cannons has absolutely nothing to do with exhibiting "Dream Machines"- just like I wrote in my original post. And yes, I suffered through the event this year, just like I do every year. You know what happens when you assume...
Tyler May 02, 2013 at 05:41 PM
"Boston was specifically the reason these warnings went out and Boston is specifically the reason the demonstration was cancelled." As someone who performed the military demonstration at this event, and has first hand knowledge, you are incorrect. If Boston had never happened, the exact warnings would have gone out. You really think they would just let us shoot blanks and not warn the career-complainers like yourself? Please, you are a delusional cranky whiner with nothing better to do but complain on the internet. "grossly inappropriate use of the runway"?? Hahaha, are you joking?? We werent even on the runway, we were in a grass field south of it! Go find something to do, I can see petty arguments on this website are something you really enjoy doing. I encourage you to come see me next year during this event, you might actually learn something instead of sitting at home passing ignorant and uninformed opinions around the interwebs. "cannons"?? No one had "cannons", there were no intentions for firing cannons, this wasnt a civil war demonstration....haha
David Vespremi May 02, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Tyler, I'm done with this discussion. Readers can plainly see the mis-quote you posted: "grossly inappropriate use of the runway" and my actually statement "Let's see what the FAA thinks - they're the ones that objected to non-aviation motor sports in the infield and I'd be willing to bet, they're the ones that may not be such big fans of mock gun fire and explosions in the vicinity of active runways." And form their own conclusions.
Tyler May 03, 2013 at 12:54 AM
Looks like little Davey has gone off the deep end... You're not even making sense now, your actually statement?? What mis-quote? Whatever man, sounds like you lead a pretty miserable life with all this crying over nothing, I'll guess we'll pick this up next year when we bring out Black Hawks and you REALLY complain on the internet. Not one person complained about the gunfire, about the demo, or about the proximity to the Boston incident, so for some twit like you who didnt even see it to complain, is pretty much meaningless... I cant' tell you how many little kids walked up with their parents and asked about our rifles and gear... They loved it, the parents loved it, and we had a blast doing it. See you next year!
haveapizza May 03, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Note to self: "avoid any party where the guest list includes a David Vespremi as party is likely to include similar whiny, self-important, unhappy people who will find something to be miserable about now matter what the circumstances.

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