Yellow Rain

This article from ADST reminds me of a trip I made to Udorn, Thailand, while serving at the embassy in Bangkok.  Udorn had been a huge Air Force base during the Vietnam War, but when I was in Thailand in the 1980s there was very little left there, except an American Consulate with very few employees. As the embassy computer systems manager, I went up to Udorn to help them with their computers. An embassy secretary (administrative assistant) with a lot of time on her hands used her new PC to inventory everything in the consulate, down to the number of pencils. I was happy to help her do something c

On my way home to Bangkok one of the officers at the consulate asked me if I would take something back for the embassy. He gave me a picnic cooler with biohazard labels on the side. This was about the time when the dispute about “yellow rain” was at its peak. Was it bee pollen or a deadly biochemical weapon? I was inclined toward the bee pollen viewpoint, so I wasn’t too worried, but I wondered what Thai Airlines would say about putting a biohazard in the overhead luggage rack. They didn’t say anything. We all arrived safely, and I took the picnic cooler into the embassy. I never knew what happened to it.

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