Southwest Airlines Planes May Have Arabic Symbols, Feds Investigating

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Southwest Airlines has quietly been investigating several strange acts of vandalism on their aircraft for months, and federal agencies have gotten involved.

ABC15 in Phoenix first broke the news that the mysterious marks, which appeared on several of Southwest's 737 aircraft, seem to be either Arabic or Arabic-type symbols. A company-wide internal memo from Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President Mike Van de Ven, obtained by ABC 15, explains that "these unauthorized markings typically appear as symbols or words tagged on the exterior of the aircraft." However, the letter also asks staffers to be vigilant about any suspicious activity and reveals that both local and federal agencies are involved in the investigation.

KNX 1070 reporter Charles Feldman's exclusive report reveals that the etchings seem "to have been done with a chemical process that reveals the text once an auxiliary power unit is turned on and heats up the outside skin of the aircraft." Feldman also notes that Southwest Airlines has ordered its workers not to discuss the symbols with the media.

Brandy King, a spokesperson for Southwest Airlines, tells The Huffington Post that "the activity has been going on for several months," although she could not provide an exact start time. "We are tracking our fleet and logging when and where the vandalism is taking place," she adds, but "other than that, we're working with the appropriate authorities to investigate the acts of vandalism."

ABC 15 posted their report online. WATCH:

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