Busted flashlight or nefarious device from Minnesota baffles Newark Airport cops

What do you call a cross between a ballpoint pen and a disassembled flashlight, wedged between two seats on a flight from Minneapolis to Newark, N.J.?

The FBI, the TSA, and the Port of New York Authority bomb squad call it trouble.

A cleaning crew found the device between seats 21B and 21C on Delta Flight 1972 early Tuesday morning, after passengers were off the plane. Here's how the Port Authority described it to the Star-Ledger:

It had the body of a clear ballpoint pen, with an electrical button trigger device and a nail and alligator clip protruding from it. A battery was held in place by electrical tape, and next to it was a flashlight top.

A nefarious detonation device? The shards of a bored child's over-active imagination? Nobody seems to know.

But the panic over what it might have been forced Delta to relinquish control of the plane for almost six hours while authorities evacuated the area and went over the scene with a fine-toothed comb before the FBI said it posed no imminent threat.

You can never be too careful these days.

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