Yesterday’s news that a Stockport man is being held as a co-conspirator in a goofy-but-grotesque terrorism plot leaves Columbia County residents wondering: Who is Eric J. Feight?
Many people leave extensive traces of themselves online, but Feight’s web presence seems relatively slight. The highlighted photo above—found in a 2013 newsletter of the Kinderhook Elks Lodge #2530—is one of the only photos of Feight uncovered after an extensive web search.
Feight is listed as the Lodge’s “Leading Knight,” evidently the #2 position in the group.
Feight is, of course, innocent until proven guilty; and most experts seem to think that the crackpot device he and Glendon S. Crawford (reported to be a Tea Partier and KKK wannabe) allegedly sought to construct would not have actually worked.
The mustachioed and slightly-graying 50something man above appears to match a grainy photo of Feight being arraigned yesterday, published in the Times-Union.
Feight’s former employer, Smith Control Systems, no longer has his bio posted on their website, and denies any contact with him since he left in 2010. But an archive of that bio can be accessed via the Wayback Machine, indicating Feight’s technical expertise:
Eric Feight - Project Engineer
Engineering Manager - MCSE - Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer - Has over 19 yrs. experience designing control systems. Projects Include: Water & Waste Water Treatment Plants, Material Handling, Conveyor Systems, Extrusion, Coordinated Motion Machinery, High Speed Sorting Systems, Paper Processing. Software Experience: Cimplicity HMI, SQL Server, Access, Intouch, Texas Instruments, Red Lion, Emmerson, Allen-Bradley, Honeywell, PanelView, GE Fanuc, Quick Panel, Intellution and API.
Feight is listed currently as Vice President of a company called Genius Industrial Solutions. GIS’s website gives no physical address, only phone and email contacts; but other records indicate it is located in Cobleskill. Feight and GIS are included on a Hudson Valley Community College list of companies interested in hiring HVCC grads.
As noted by the website Heavy.com Feight used the sci-fi codename “Yoda” in his dealings with Crawford. According to conversations recorded by the FBI, Feight said was motivated to “act” by Obama’s 2012 re-election:
So, I mean I, I, I have to admit having never been involved in anything like this before, you know, at first it made me a little bit nervous...I don’t want to say apprehension, but nervousness about how much involvement I was gonna get in this kind of got outweighed, uh, quickly with, you know, when I started seeing how things, the direction things were going and then certainly after the elections. It's like well, ok, you know, that old saying is right. You know, the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
Speaking of code words, the indictment indicates that the pair called themselves the “The Guild,” and referred to their intended Muslim targets as “medical waste.”
Feight left this question on a technical message board, looking for advice for getting a DRPAM interface to work. (No one replied.) It’s not clear whether this had anything to do with the control device he is charged with building for Crawford.
Feight is, of course, innocent unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; and in any case, most experts seem to think that the device planned was more fantasy than reality.