So, some time ago I was flying through French airspace when I heard a Spanish airline - not the famous one, but a more obscure lo-cost airline with a European sounding name - asking ATC why a couple of Mirages had formated on his wing tip. The conversation went like this:

A/C:  Er, er, Brest [French air traffic sector, not the pilot's desire] we have military jet on our side.

ATC: Er [most European air traffic trasmissions begin with this simple word] yes, you have to contact 121.5 [emergency frequency, monitored by most conscientious pilots], they want to talk to you.

A/C: Er, yes, but why?

ATC: Er, you need to contact them now, please.

A/C Er, but we are talking to you, why do they want to talk to us?

ATC: Er, because you have not been in radio contact for 2 hours, and so you need to speak to them, switch on 121.5 now, please.

A/C: Er well, we have been listening; no one called us!

Oh Dear! This was a genuine exchange and happened about 5 years ago between a notoriously laid back Brest control centre and a rather confused pilot.  Now, I suspect the French controller was exaggerating slightly when he claimed the airliner had been out of radio contact for 2 hours, but it was certainly a significant length of time if fighters were scrambled.

The scary part for me, the listener, was that the pilot showed little understanding of what was happening, and refused to cooperate. He had 2 jet military fighters formating on his aircraft in a World where we are, quite simply, waiting for the next 911, and he was arguing about speaking to them!

And all this time, his passengers sat behind drinking sangria and gorping at the cabin crew (they are, er, well attired for this) completely oblivious to the dimness of their pilots and the perilous state they were sliding into.

In the end, they chose to follow the instructions of French ATC - something you always do with caution at the best of times - and there was a happy ending. Well, perhaps not for the captain when his chief pilot read the report. But then again, perhaps there was.