BANGOR — A former Air Force intelligence specialist showed signs of paranoia aboard a trans-Atlantic flight Tuesday and told federal air marshals that he had dynamite in his boots and laptop computer, forcing the plane to be diverted to Maine, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

Derek Stansberry told the FBI that fellow passengers were talking about him, ridiculing him and using interrogation techniques on him, and suggested that he concocted the dynamite story to divert attention from the fact he held “classified information,” according to an affidavit.

Passengers reported that seat cushions, pillows and blankets were taken to the back of the plane, where federal air marshals erected a bunker of sorts around the boots and laptop “to dampen the effects of any potential explosion,” FBI Special Agent James McCarty wrote in the affidavit.

Stansberry, 26, of Riverview, Fla., is charged with false information and threats, and interfering with a flight crew. He was ordered detained pending a detention hearing Monday.

His federal public defender, Virginia Villa, said she would seek a competency hearing but had not yet had time to fully review the case.

The Air Force described him as a former intelligence specialist who served four years, ending his Air Force career as a senior airman in 2009.

He told an FBI agent after the plane landed that there were no explosives and said he made the claim to deflect attention from the classified information he held, McCarty wrote. He also told an FBI agent that he had taken the sleep aid Ambien, McCarty wrote.

Stansberry’s father, Richard, described his son Tuesday as “squeaky clean” and said the episode made no sense. He couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

Delta Air Lines Flight 273 was the first of two flight diversions in a 24-hour span. On Wednesday, a Continental Express flight from Houston to the Washington area was diverted to North Carolina after a threatening message was written on a bathroom mirror, the Transportation Security Administration said.


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