When the Cold War was Hot

The Cold War wasn’t always cold and aircraft were lost to “enemy action”.

5 November 1957 A Republic of China Air Force B-26 Invader was shot down over the People’s Republic of China and the crew of three was captured. The crew was released eight months later.

24 December 1957 A US Air Force RB-57 was shot down over the Black Sea by Soviet fighters.

27 June 1958 A US Air Force C-118, reportedly on a regular supply flight from Wiesbaden West Germany to Karachi Pakistan, via Cyprus and Iran, crossed the Soviet border near Yerevan Armenia. Soviet MiG-17P Fresco pilots G.F. Svetlichnikov and B.F. Zakharov shot the aircraft down 30 km south of Yerevan. Five crew members parachuted to safety and four other survived the crash landing on a half-finished airstrip. The crew of Dale D. Brannon, Luther W. Lyles, Robert E. Crans, Bennie A. Shupe, James T. Kane, James N. Luther, James G. Holman, Earl H. Reamer and Peter N. Sabo were captured and later released by the Soviets on July 7, 1958. This aircraft was reported to be the personal aircraft of Allen Dulles, then director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The C-118 had carried senior CIA aides to Europe on an inspection trip, and it was in Turkey when it was diverted.

2 September 1958 A US Air Force C-130A Hercules (60-528) of the 7406 CSS, flying from Adana Turkey, was shot down near Sasnashen, Soviet Armenia, about 55 kilometers northwest of the Armenian capital of Yerevan by Soviet MiG-17 Fresco pilots Gavrilov, Ivanov, Kucheryaev and Viktor Lopatkov. The C-130 was a Sun Valley SIGINT aircraft. The remains of John E. Simpson, Rudy J. Swiestra, Edward J. Jeruss and Ricardo M. Vallareal were returned to the US on September 24, 1958. The remains of the other crew members, Paul E. Duncan, George P. Petrochilos, Arthur L. Mello, Leroy Price, Robert J. Oshinskie, Archie T. Bourg Jr., James E. Fergueson, Joel H. Fields, Harold T. Kamps, Gerald C. Maggiacomo, Clement O. Mankins, Gerald H. Medeiros and Robert H. Moore were recovered in 1998.

1 July 1960 A US Air Force ERB-47H Stratojet (53-4281) of the 38th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, flying over the Barents Sea was downed by Soviet pilot Vasili Poliakov, flying a MiG-15 Fagot. Co-pilot Bruce Olmstead and navigator John McKone survived and were taken captive. The pilot, Bill Palm and ELINT operators Eugene Posa, Oscar Goforth and Dean Phillips were killed. Olmstead and McKone were released from Soviet captivity on January 25th, 1961. Bill Palm’s remains were returned to the US on July 25, 1960. Eugene Posa’s remains were recovered by the Soviets, but never returned to the US.

10 March 1964 A US Air Force RB-66 Destroyer from the 10 TRW, based at Toul-Rosieres France, was shot down over East Germany by Soviet MiGs. The aircraft was shot down near Gardelegen, after straying out of one of the Berlin air corridors. The three crew members, David Holland, Melvin Kessler and Harold Welch parachuted to safety and were released several days later.

15 April 1969 While flying a patrol mission over the Sea of Japan, a US Navy EC-121M of VQ-1 (BuNo 135749) was attacked and shot down by two North Korean MiG-17 Fresco fighters 90 miles off the coast of Korea. All 31 crew members, James H. Overstreet, James L. Roach, John Dzema, John H. Potts, Dennis B. Gleason, Louis F. Balderman, Peter P. Perrottet, Richard H. Kincaid, John H. Singer, Dennis J. Horrigan, Robert F. Taylor, Frederick A. Randall, Robert J. Sykora, Stephen J. Tesmer, Norman E. Wilkerson, Hugh M. Lynch, Marshall H. McNamara, Gene K. Graham, Laverne A. Greiner, David M. Willis, Richard E. Smith, Gary R. Ducharme, Ballard F. Connors Jr., John A. Miller Jr., Stephen C. Chartier, Philip D. Sundby, Bernie J. Colgin, Richard Prindle, Timothy H. McNeil, Richard E. Sweeney and Joseph R. Ribar, were all killed in the attack. Two bodies and some wreckage was recovered by search vessels.

GARY POWERS

Rudolf Anderson Jr. (September 15, 1927 – October 27, 1962), was a pilot and commissioned officer in the United States Air Force and the first recipient of the Air Force Cross, the U.S. Air Force’s second-highest award for heroism. The only person killed by enemy fire during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Anderson died when his U-2 spy aircraft was shot down over Cuba.

The Shoot Down of TWA800

TWA800

On July 17, 1996, at 8:19 p.m., TWA Flight 800 took off from JFK airport bound for Paris, France.  The Boeing 747-131 (N93119) had 230 passengers and crew aboard.  Off of Long Island, NY, their flight path paralleled   the northern edge of W-105.  Unknown to the crew and passengers, TWA800 was participating in a classified weapons test (GLOBAL YANKEE ’96) being conducted by the DoD inside of the restricted air space of W-105.

In response to the 1988 shoot down of Iran Air Flight 655 by the USS Vincennes, the DoD was developing a missile can discern from a hostile target and a civilian airliner.

W-105 was filled with US Navy vessels guarding “Neutral Vessels” when a BQM-34 “Firebee” target drone was launched and controlled by a P-3 Orion and headed to the coast. The missile being tested was fired from the USS Seawolf (SNN21). The Navy’s newest  SNN was participating even though it had not been commissioned yet. It would be commissioned a year later.

TWA800M

The Seawolf’s Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), which linked its weapon systems with the Aegis radar systems installed on other Navy ships participating in the exercise. Once the subsurface missile was launched, the Seawolf’s combat software no longer had control over the missile.

TWA800

Witnesses saw the missile searching for a target.  When it ignored the target and homed in on TWA800 a second missile was fired to intercept the first. The second missile did intercept the first but exploded inside of TWA800.  The two explosions witnessed were nine tenths of a second apart.  The second detonation exploded the fuel inside of the center fuel tank resulting in the massive fireball.  The fireball that the CIA as TWA800 climbing was the fireball of the test missile disintegrating.

THE SHOOT DOWN OF TWA800

The full  documentary can be seen here:

Silenced: TWA 800 and the Subversion of Justice (2001)

Image result for twa800 missile damage
Intercept Missile

THE COVER UP

Since 1996, independent investigators have found the following:

  • The “Highest Levels of Government” was Hillary Clinton, protecting her husband’s re-election.
  • According to the former Navy official, the missile test was so important for the Clinton administration, it was being shown live on a Navy closed-circuit television feed at the White House.
  • The Attorney General declared the wreakage a “crime scene and required the NTSB to relinquish control of the investigation to the FBI.
  • The FBI removed evidence and altered wreckage with impunity and without notifying the NTSB.
  • Two FBI agents were caught by airport security sneaking evidence from the hangar in the early morning hours.
  • James E. Hall was a Clinton Arkansas Crony and was the Chairman of the NTSB.  The Washington Post said his only qualifications for the position was his driver’s license.
  • Jim Sanders and TWA employee Liz Sanders were arrested by the FBI and convicted of stealing evidence. The evidence was snips of passenger seat covers with missile fuel residue. 

Two U.S. Navy salvage ships, the USS Grasp and USS Grapple, were sent to Long Island waters to recover TWA wreckage.  The green area was searched by the US Navy and all debris was turned over to the NTSB.  The red area was searched by Navy SEAL divers and none of the debris recovered was turned over to the NTSB.  The yellow area was searched by both teams and it was here that the “Black Box” recorder found.

SEAL’s have come forward stating that their mission was to remove any missile parts found.

REFERENCES

  1. Callahan, Maureen, (2016),“Was TWA Flight 800’s fiery crash part of a massive cover-up?” New York Post.
  2. Cashill, Jack, (2016), TWA 800: The Crash, the Cover-Up, and the Conspiracy , Simon & Schuster
  3. Cashill and Sanders, (2003), First Strike: TWA Flight 800 and the Attack on America, HarperCollins Publishing
  4. Fisher, Max, (2013),    The Forgotten Story of Iran Air Flight 655 ,         Washington Post
  5. Schultz, Gwyneth J. , (2009),  Accusations “reckless and a mistake,, U,S. Navy