Past Features

November 23, 2016

The Montezuma Tower Scandal
A fake story?

Top: View from Montezuma Pass overlook using zoom camera.
Bottom: Deep washes within the five-mile range of the new Border Patrol camera.
See larger image
Glenn Spencer -- American Border Patrol   
Investigative Reporting
Doing the job newspapers can't afford to do
    Our recent stories about the 160-foot camera tower planned for the Coronado National Monument were made possible by an excellent report in the Sierra Vista Herald.
    I have encouraged the paper to dig deeper into this story, but, as with most newspapers, the Herald is but a shell of its former size and probably will not be able to follow-up.
    American Border Patrol, a non-profit 501 (c) 3 Arizona corporation, has been working on this story for two weeks, including making three visits to the site of the proposed camera tower - using technology such as an electric drone and GoPro cameras to gather data.
    I am not a trained journalist, and neither are most others who post stories on the Internet --- some better than others.
    Today I posted a graphic that shows how difficult it would be for the new Border Patrol camera to see illegal activity. I produced this graphic and I took the zoom photo. I did my best to make sure it is accurate --- but not all do. The only conclusion I can draw from my investigation is that the new Border Patrol camera would be more-or-less blind.
    Even if Arizona newspapers other than the Herald weren't forbidden from reporting on my work --- and they are --- it would still be very expensive for them to cover this story.
    The recent explosion over the issue of fake stories, has placed a greater burden on those of us searching for the truth to take care to report accurately --- and properly. I encourage those who wish to do a better job to take a close look at Wikipedia's Journalistic ethics and standards.
    I also encourage readers of this Web site to send me your comments and corrections on any of my feature stories.
    Please email me at