Reed Irvine - Editor
  2001 Report #21 December 6, 2001  

PUT IT TO PUTIN

 THIS ISSUE:
  • PUT IT TO PUTIN
  • Soviet Disinformation and Deception
  • What They Were Hiding
  • The Persuasive Evidence
  • Survivors Saved, Search Stymied
  • Divers Discredit Demolition Reports
  • It's Time For The Truth
  • Questions To Put To Putin
  • BIN LADEN'S MILITARY MOLE
  • FBI Embraces CIA Reject
  • Working For Osama Bin Laden
  •  What You Can Do
  • NOTES FROM THE EDITOR'S CUFF
  • One of the great mysteries of the 20th century is the disappearance into thin air of all but a handful of the 269 passengers and crew on KAL Flight 007, the Korean airliner that was forced down by a Soviet fighter plane off the coast of Sakhalin Island on Sept. 1, 1983. Congressman Larry P. McDonald, a Georgia Democrat, and 60 other Americans were among those who vanished without a trace. The final report of the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, issued in 1993, concluded that everyone aboard the plane died in the crash, but only partial remains of perhaps as many as 10 people were found. Two mangled bodies were found floating in the water and none was found in the Boeing 747 that Soviet divers located in about 300 feet of water off the coast of Sakhalin Island. According to accounts published in Izvestia, the government newspaper, in 1990-91, the first divers to inspect the plane soon after it went down found the fuselage largely intact. They were astonished to find no bodies and no baggage.

    Sen. Jesse Helms sent a letter to President Vladimir Putin's predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, on Dec. 10, 1991, in which he asked Yeltsin to provide information from KGB and Ministry of Defense files that would answer important questions that had been raised about KAL 007. Sen. Helms expressed the hope that the improvement in relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union would make it possible "to resolve the mysteries surrounding this event."

    His first request would be considered off the wall by many. It was: "Please provide depositions or accounts from eyewitnesses who saw KAL 007's landing" and "the coordinates of the location where KAL 007 landed." Most of those who remember this highly publicized tragedy probably are still under the impression conveyed by what our major media reported at the time-that the plane was "cartwheeling toward the sea" (Time magazine) and "blasted from the skies" (AP). They think of the plane being demolished and all aboard being killed after a 35,000-foot free fall. Could that be a "landing?"

    Soviet Disinformation and Deception

    The first Soviet disinformation in the KAL 007 case originated with Lt. Col. Gennadiy Osipovich, the pilot of an SU-15 interceptor who fired two missiles at the Boeing 747 that had strayed far off course on a flight from Anchorage, Alaska to Seoul, Korea. It had overflown Kamchatka without having been found by the Soviet interceptors sent up to bring it down. Still, not realizing they were far north of their intended course, the pilots flew over Sakhalin Island and were exiting Soviet airspace when Osipovich finally locked on and fired his two missiles. He reported, "The target is destroyed," but it was not true.

    One of the missiles, a heat-seeker, missed its intended target, one of the jet's four engines. The other detonated near the plane, and the shrapnel tore a hole about 16 x 16 inches in the rear of the passenger cabin, causing its rapid decompression. [The size of the hole is calculated from the 11 seconds it took for oxygen masks to deploy automatically.] The few body parts that were found suggest that a few of those seated near that hole were swept through it by the escaping pressurized air, but the pilots were able to keep the plane under control.

    We know from the tapes from the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and the flight data recorder (FDR), which were not turned over to ICAO until January 1993, that all four engines continued to function normally, proving that the heat-seeking missile missed its target. The tapes also show that the nose pitched up and the 747 momentarily gained altitude, but the pilots were able to return to 35,000 feet in a little more than a minute. They then began a rapid descent to the 5,000 meter level (16,440 feet), the altitude at which oxygen masks would no longer be essential to sustain life. KAL 007's descent from 35,000 feet can be divided into four stages. Japanese radar showed that it went from 35,000 feet to 1,000 feet in 12 minutes, slowing down as it went.


    KAL 007's Four-stage Descent
    Descent in FeetTime in Min.Ft. per Min.Time Completed
    Stage 1 - 18,600
    5
    3,720 3:31: a.m.*
    Stage 2 - 11,400
    4
    2,8503:35: a.m.
    Stage 3 - 4,000
    3
    1,3333:38: a.m.
    Final - 1,000
    1 (est.)
    1,000 (est.)3:39: a.m.
    Total  35,000
    13
        

    *Japan time

    The speed of the decline fell 24 percent in the second stage and 53 percent in the third. It probably fell further in the final stage because the pilot would be slowing down to try to make a soft landing. Reports in Izvestia from Soviet sources and reports from Japanese fishermen indicated that the pilot had brought the plane down in a broad spiral and had twice circled Moneron, a small island 26 miles west of Sakhalin, apparently looking for a good place to ditch the plane.

    What They Were Hiding

    More than thirteen minutes elapsed from the time the missiles were fired until the plane hit the water, but the CVR and FDR tapes the Russians concealed for more than 9 years covered only the first minute and 44 seconds of those 13 minutes. The Soviets didn't even admit that they had recovered the black boxes until 1991. There was no known catastrophic event at 34,000 feet that would have caused both recorders to cease functioning simultaneously. There was something on those tapes that the Soviets did not want the world to know, and to this day they have succeeded in concealing what the last 11 minutes and 16 seconds of those tapes showed. It is probably evidence that the plane "landed" safely with many survivors. If it had crashed, killing all aboard, there would be no reason to conceal the portion of the tapes that would prove it.

    A study done for Sen. Helms reported that eyewitnesses had given statements saying they had seen the plane land safely on the water. That is why he asked Yeltsin for eyewitness accounts of the landing. Soviet military communications showed that commanding officers knew from their own radar where the plane was coming down. They ordered both navy and civilian vessels to converge on Moneron.

    Avraham Shifrin, director of a research center in Israel that studied Soviet prisons and forced labor camps, issued a paper on July 11, 1991, in which he claimed that Soviet coast guard vessels under the command of KGB General Romanenko were alongside the plane soon after it ditched. He said all the passengers and crew, together with their luggage, were taken to the coast guard base on Sakhalin. He said all were subsequently sent to mainland prison camps, except for the pilot, the copilot and Cong. Larry McDonald, a high-profile Georgia Democrat who was president of the anticommunist John Birch Society. Shifrin said they were taken to the Lubyanka, the KGB prison in Moscow. Shifrin, a former Soviet official who had served 17 years in prisons and in exile before emigrating to Israel, had good contacts among former prisoners and emigrés.

    He also claimed that after all those aboard the plane disembarked, it was towed to shallower water and sunk in about 300 feet of water between Sakhalin and Moneron. Schifrin said the towing was photographed from the air by a plane. A top secret CIA report concurred with this, but said that the photos were taken from a helicopter. Three teams of Soviet divers soon inspected the plane on the ocean floor, according to interviews with the divers published in Izvestia.

    The Persuasive Evidence

    The strongest support for Shifrin's claim that nearly everyone aboard KAL 007 survived is the abundance of shoes found floating in the water or washed up on Hokkaido beaches and the failure to find bodies, life jackets, suitcases, and personal effects such as handbags and wallets either on the sea, on the beaches or in the plane. Izvestia reported that the divers who inspected it were surprised by what they saw. There were a few body parts, but no bodies, no baggage, few personal effects and no life jackets. In addition none of the seat belts were fastened.

    This indicates that as the captain was preparing to ditch the plane, he instructed everyone to put on the life jackets, take off their shoes and fasten their seatbelts. When the plane came to rest, floating on the water, they unfastened their seat belts, kept the life jackets on, grabbed their belongings and boarded the Soviet coast guard or other vessels that came to remove them, leaving their shoes behind. If the ditching had failed, there would have been a lot of shoeless life-jacketed bodies either floating on the surface or strapped in their seats. There would also have been an abundance of suitcases and purses containing valuables and money floating around.

    The top-secret CIA study that endorsed much of Shifrin's evidence, reported that the amount of aircraft structural debris was "likened to that of a crash of a Piper Cub." By Sept. 20, 1983, 449 pieces of aircraft debris had been found by Japan and only 54 were turned over by the Soviets. That includes items like seat cushions and paper cups. The largest structural part of the aircraft recovered was a piece of aluminum measuring 28 by 32 inches that was believed to have come from the vertical stabilizer on the tail. That may have been torn off by shrapnel from the same missile that tore a hole in the passenger cabin.

    The Japanese had found only two bodies, both badly mutilated, and 11 small body parts. The Soviets did not turn over any, but their divers who inspected the plane soon after it was towed to shallow water and sunk reported seeing a few body parts, but they had not been told to retrieve them. Japan found 323 items belonging to passengers or crew, the Soviets only 22. Over the next three months the Soviets turned over an additional 153 small items, bringing their total to 235 compared to 785 for Japan. Those 1,020 items are all that was reported recovered from this jumbo jet carrying 269 people.

    Survivors Saved, Search Stymied

    Rescue 007, a paperback book published this year by Bert Schlossberg, an American-born Israeli scholar, whose father-in-law and sister-in-law were passengers on the plane, also endorses Shifrin's claims. Schlossberg met Shifrin and one of his sources in 1991. He credits those meetings with changing his focus from trying to find missing bodies to trying to find the live survivors. He quotes Soviet military communications given to the U.N. in 1992 that show that they knew only minutes after the plane landed that it was near Moneron. At 3:55 a.m., only 16 minutes after the time KAL 007 hit the water, Gen. Strogov, the deputy commander of the Far East Military District, ordered that all civilian ships near Moneron be sent there immediately. Adm. Vladimir Sidorov, the commander of the Soviet Pacific Fleet, said that Soviet vessels were at the site 27 minutes after the plane came down. [All times are Japan time; Schlossberg's book apparently uses Kamchatka time, which is 3 hours later.]

    Schlossberg describes the Soviet search in international waters north of Moneron a month and a half later as an "intentionally misleading and audacious ruse." The Soviets refused to allow search and rescue units from the U.S., Japan and Korea to search for KAL 007 in their territorial waters. They harassed non-Soviet search vessels and planted a false pinger in deep water to keep them away from the real site, the spot to which they had towed it.

    Divers Discredit Demolition Reports

    Schlossberg says that the first team of divers that inspected the 747 on the ocean floor was military and that they found the plane largely intact and clambered all over it. The military divers, he says, were assigned to get the black boxes, which they did. Schlossberg claims they were also ordered to plant and detonate explosives to make it look like the plane had crashed into the ocean and had been badly damaged. Divers that inspected it later reported that they observed heavy damage, but they also said that it looked like parts of the plane had been dragged to the places where they were found.

    For example, Izvestia published this quote from the diary of Capt. Mikhail Igorevich Girs, the commander of a submersible that was used in the diving operation. "Submergence 10 October. Aircraft pieces, wing spars, pieces of aircraft skin, wiring and clothing. But no people. The impression is that all of this has been dragged here by trawl rather than falling down from the sky."

    V. Zakarchenko, one of the leading divers, refuted the impression that the plane was demolished and a widely accepted assumption that it was the fireball that fishermen on the Chidori Maru 58, a Japanese fishing vessel, had reported seeing at about 3:30 a.m. At that time the ship was 22-1/2 miles north of Moneron and KAL 007, according to radar, was at about 20,000 feet in the air. The fishermen said they had first heard an explosion and then saw an orange-colored, expanding fireball and then heard more explosions. It was widely assumed that they had heard KAL 007 explode and had seen it burning, but Zakarchenko made it clear that whatever they heard and saw it was not KAL 007.

    Schlossberg quotes him as saying in an article published in World Wide Issues, February 6, 1991, "But there was no fire in the Boeing-that is for sure. Things were intact, although all thoroughly saturated with kerosene." He also said, "The aircraft was filled with garbage, but there were really no people there. Why?" The kerosene is a reference to jet fuel, which must have been spewed out when explosive charges planted in the plane after it sank ruptured the fuel tanks. The statements "things were intact" and "the aircraft was filled with garbage" suggest that the passenger cabin was not blown to smithereens. "Filled with garbage" implies a "container," not scattered pieces of what was once a "container."

    In the November 1991 Reader's Digest, John Barron, who has long had excellent connections with the intelligence community, reported that the Soviets had launched rescue operations immediately when KAL 007 went down and that the military soon radioed Moscow that they had downed a civilian plane and that some of the passengers were Americans. How could they have known the nationality of the passengers if they had all vanished into thin air, along with their passports, other identification and their luggage? This supplements all the other evidence that indicates that the plane made a soft landing and that nearly all those aboard survived and were made prisoners by the Soviet Union.

    It's Time For The Truth

    No response was ever received to the letter Sen. Helms sent Boris Yeltsin. Ten years have now passed, and the evidence that most of the passengers and crew on KAL 007 survived and were imprisoned in Soviet forced labor camps and in prisons is stronger than ever. In December 1991, it was suspected that the CVR and FDR tapes were being withheld by the Soviets because they would show that the plane made a survivable landing and that there were survivors. That suspicion was strengthened by the discovery that the tapes that Yeltsin gave ICAO in January 1993 did not include conversations and data recorded for the last 11 of the 13 minutes of KAL 007's controlled descent.

    Most of the questions Sen. Helms asked are still pertinent and could be asked of President Vladimir Putin. Putin was a young KGB officer at the time, and he may refuse to do anything that would expose the KGB's dirty linen, but he should be shown the evidence that points to the indefensible imprisonment for over 18 years of a U.S. congressman, Larry McDonald, 60 other American citizens and as many as 200 citizens of other nations. He should be asked to release the complete VCR and FDR tapes and the 108 photographs of the radar screen taken by Lt. Valery Vladimirovich Ryzhkov of Radio Technical Brigade 1845 as he was tracking KAL 007's descent all of which were confiscated by the KGB. Schlossberg says he was personally told about this by a former Soviet soldier named Reuben who he had met through Schifrin. Reuben had served under Lt. Ryzhkov and said Ryzhkov had told him of his photographing the radar screen, using three 36-exposure rolls of film. He had been ordered not to discuss what he had seen with anyone, but he told Reuben that he was sure the plane made a safe landing.

    Questions To Put To Putin

    If Putin insists there were no survivors, we should insist that he explain what happened to 260 bodies that were not found in the water or in the submerged plane. The only two explanations we have seen so far have been that they were devoured by crabs, bones and all, and that the plane hit the water with such force that all the bodies totally disintegrated even though the plane, according to the divers, was largely intact. President Bush has developed a rapport with Putin, which he may not wish to jeopardize by asking these embarrassing questions even for the sake of freeing 260 hostages, 61of them Americans. If he is unwilling to do so, it might be possible to find some courageous congressmen and senators who would sign a letter that would get President Putin's attention if our media can be persuaded to get behind it.

    BIN LADEN'S MILITARY MOLE

    Last year, a former U.S. Army sergeant, Egyptian-born Ali Mohamed, admitted that he had been involved in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. He agreed to plead guilty in the federal court for the Southern District of New York. His plea agreement was sealed and he did not testify at the trial of the other defendants, but he told the court that he had helped train members of Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization, Al Qaeda. A book, Dollars for Terror, by Swiss television journalist Richard Labeviere, suggests that Ali Mohamed was an active agent of U.S. policy who trained bin Laden's agents in the New York area.

    Labeviere, who conducted a four-year investigation, concluded that the international Islamic networks linked to bin Laden were nurtured and encouraged by elements of the U.S. intelligence community, especially during the Clinton years. This strikes some as too outlandish to accept, but Larry C. Johnson, a former deputy director under the Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the State Department who had previously worked for the CIA, confirms it at least in part. He told the San Francisco Chronicle that the CIA had a brief relationship with Ali Mohamed after he offered in 1984 to provide information about terrorist groups in the Middle East. In 1981, the year in which Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Army officers who belonged to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Mohamed joined that terrorist group.

    FBI Embraces CIA Reject

    Larry Johnson told the Chronicle that the CIA had ended its relationship with Mohamed because they found him unreliable, but he said the FBI later used him as an informant. Johnson said the FBI should have recognized that he was a terrorist who was plotting violence against the U.S. "The FBI assumed he was their source," Johnson said, "but his loyalties lay elsewhere."

    The Egyptian Army sent Ali Mohamed to Ft. Bragg in 1981 to train with the Green Berets for four months. Returning to Egypt, Major Mohamed spent three more years in the Army, but he quit in 1984 and took a security job with Egypt Air. That was when he approached the CIA. In 1985, Mohamed obtained a U.S. visa. He came here in 1986, enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 34 and was assigned to Special Forces at Ft. Bragg as a supply sergeant. Lt. Col. Robert Anderson, one of the officers at Ft. Bragg who got to know him, thought it strange that a major in the Egyptian Army unit that killed President Anwar Sadat would be given a visa to come to the U.S. and that he would be accepted by our Army and assigned to Special Forces. Lt. Col. Anderson says that in 1988 Mohamed told him, "Anwar Sadat was a traitor, and he had to die."

    The colonel assumed that Mohamed was sponsored by the CIA, but Larry Johnson told the Raleigh News & Observer, "He was an active source for the FBI, a double agent." Johnson charged that the FBI "did a lousy job of managing him. He was holding out on them. He had critical information years ago and didn't give it up." That probably explains why Mohamed's plea agreement was sealed by the court and remains so until this day. The other four defendants, all of whom were foreign nationals, testified at the trial, and all were convicted. Mohamed did not testify for reasons which have yet to be explained. He and his attorney have not been available for interviews. It appears that the secrecy was invoked to spare the FBI and the Army painful embarrassment.

    Working For Osama Bin Laden

    In 1988, while still on active duty, Mohamed used his leave to go to Afghanistan and fight the Soviet army of occupation. Lt. Col. Anderson told the Chronicle this was "contrary to all Army regulations." He said he wrote reports to get Mohamed investigated, court-martialed and deported, but no action was ever taken. The News & Observer says that near the end of his tour at Ft. Bragg, Mohamed used to go to New Jersey on weekends to train Islamic fundamentalists in surveillance, weapons and explosives. He was honorably discharged in 1989 with commendations for "patriotism, valor, fidelity and professional excellence." He relocated in Santa Clara, California, married an American, and became an American citizen, but he was secretly working for Osama bin Laden.

    Mohamed traveled abroad to meet with bin Laden and his operatives. He helped move him from Afghanistan to Sudan, and in 1996 he helped him and his aides move back to Afghanistan. He handled sensitive security matters for bin Laden, trained his bodyguards and his fighters in Afghanistan and translated training manuals from English to Arabic. He cased the American Embassy in Nairobi for bin Laden, helping plan the bombing that killed 224 people.

    Ali Mohamed, a member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the group responsible for the assassination of President Anwar Sadat, was trusted by both bin Laden and the FBI, but it was the FBI that failed to realize to whom he was really loyal. Bin Laden learned more from Ali Mohamed about the weaknesses in our defense against terrorist attacks than the FBI learned about bin Laden's plans to attack us. What bin Laden learned must have given him confidence that his carefully planned "Bojinka" attack on September 11 could be executed successfully. What the FBI should have learned was what Larry Johnson and Lt. Col. Robert Anderson knew about Ali Mohamed long ago.

    What You Can Do

    Sign the enclosed petition to Presidents Bush and Putin and mail them to AIM. We will see that they are delivered to the White House and to the Russian embassy in Washington.

    NOTES FROM THE EDITOR'S CUFF BY      By Reed Irvine

    SOON AFTER THE FALL OF KABUL TO THE NORTHERN ALLIANCE, FOREIGN JOURNALISTS discovered two houses in an upscale neighborhood, one bearing the seal of the Taliban and the Ministry of Defense, where a lot of interesting documents, papers and notebooks had been left behind when the Taliban made their hasty departure. On November 17, the New York Times ran a big page-one story by David Rhode on the revelations found in these documents about Al Qaeda's activities and plans for future terrorist operations, including weapons they were thinking of using. There were references to chemical and biological weapons and even developing nuclear weapons. A page listing flight training schools in Florida torn out of a magazine and a form that comes with the Microsoft Flight Simulator 98 program that simulates flying airliners provided additional evidence linking Osama bin Laden to the Sept. 11 attacks. The Times followed up with a story the next day that focused mainly on the notes and drawings of one individual who had described some proposed new weapons that a reporter for the London Sunday Times had described as "unnerving for the layman." The New York Times story by Rhode and James Glanz countered that opinion with evidence provided by scientists that the grandiose weapons for which this individual had drawn up plans were totally impractical.

    "BUT," THE TIMES SAID, "CHEMICAL FORMULAS WRITTEN BY HIM AND BY ANOTHER MAN, a Bosnian, who left notes behind at the Taliban Defense Ministry in the same quarter of Kabul, show clearly that they knew how to make crude explosives. In an apparent reference to the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh, one chemical formula at the defense ministry is annotated in Bosnian, 'Was used in Oklahoma.'" This had been described toward the end of Rhode's story the previous day a little differently. Discussing the house that bore the Taliban and Ministry of Defense seals, Rhode had written, "Upstairs, a room labeled 'special office,' had been mostly emptied, but numerous papers remained in desk drawers. Most of them were notebooks from students. One gave a detailed description of various ways to make nitroglycerin, dynamite and fertilizer bombs. A note next to one of the explosive formulas said, 'the type used in Oklahoma.'"

    MY REACTION WAS WOW! THAT COULD BE THE BIGGEST NEWS IN THE STORY IF THE formula was not ammonium nitrate and fuel oil. That is known as an ANFO bomb; and it was what Timothy McVeigh is supposed to have used to blow up the Murrah Building. I say "supposed to have used" because there is a lot of evidence that an ANFO bomb alone could not have caused all the damage done to the building. There is strong evidence that smaller powerful bombs inside the building caused much, if not most, of it. The inspector general of the Justice Department said the FBI analysis of the Oklahoma City case "merits special censure" because conclusions about an ANFO bomb were "incomplete," "inappropriate," "flawed," and nonscientific. The FBI decided it was ANFO because they found a receipt for ammonium nitrate at Terry Nichols' home.

    IF AL QAEDA KNEW MORE THAN THE FBI ABOUT THE FORMULA FOR THE BOMB, THAT would be powerful evidence that it was involved in the Oklahoma City bombing. The New York Times failed to acknowledge this, perhaps because its story had not made it crystal clear that the notation indicated that the Oklahoma bomb was made of nitroglycerin, dynamite and ammonium nitrate (a fertilizer), not of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil as claimed by the FBI. The London Sunday Times story by Nick Fielding, featured the information about the Oklahoma bomb and made it clear that the formula differed from what has been accepted as the Oklahoma formula. He wrote, "On one page, under the title Explosivija za Oklahomu, the owner of the notebook had scribbled formulas with inscriptions in English for TNT, ammonium nitrate and nitroglycerine. The Oklahoma bomb was made from ammonium nitrate and fuel oil." That made it clear that there was a difference, but the story failed to discuss the significance of the difference-the revelation that more sophisticated bombs were used in Oklahoma City and bin Laden apparently knew it. This suggests that Oklahoma City was his second attack on a building in the U.S., the first having been the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Many people saw swarthy John Does with McVeigh and Nichols. It is believed that they are shown on surveillance tapes the FBI seized. The evidence from Kabul should force the release of the tapes and reviving the search for the John Does.

    IT HAS BEEN NEARLY 10 YEARS SINCE WE LAST DISCUSSED KAL 007 IN THE AIM REPORT. A book about it titled Rescue 007, The Untold Story of KAL 007 and its Survivors by Bert Schlossberg revived my interest in this case. This paperback, was recently sent to me by Ben Torrey, U.S. Director of the International Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors. I had not heard of this organization or Bert Schlossberg before, and my hat is off to them for their efforts to publicize the facts that our media have largely ignored. Schlossberg's interest in the case stems from the fact that his father-in-law and a sister-in-law were passengers on KAL 007. He says in his book that a meeting he had in Israel in 1991 with Avraham Shifrin, the director of the Center for Research on Soviet Prisons and Forced Labor Camps, changed his focus from trying to find the bodies to trying to find the survivors.

    SCHLOSSBERG'S BOOK SHOWS HOW U.S. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WHO WERE correctly blaming the Soviets for a horrendous deed-shooting down a civilian airliner-didn't focus on the evidence that indicated that most of the passengers and crew survived. They made statements that contributed to the impression that survival was out of the question. For example, Secretary of State George Shultz on Aug. 31, 1983, the date of the downing, said, "At 18:26 (Greenwich Mean Time), the Soviet pilot reported that he fired a missile and the target was destroyed. At 18:30 hours, the Korean aircraft was reported by radar at an altitude of 5,000 meters (16,400 ft). At 18:38 hours, the Korean plane disappeared from the radar screen." That sounds bad, but as the lead article in this report shows, the speed of the descent was greatly reduced in those last 8 minutes, proving that the plane was under control. This suggests that it could have made a soft landing either on land or on sea. I have to confess that this possibility eluded me as well as all the establishment media. We called it a massacre in the AIM Report and continued to assume that all those aboard had perished until 1991, when we were persuaded by a report prepared for Senator Jesse Helms by the Republican staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the evidence indicated that most of them survived.

    THE HELMS REPORT WAS INFLUENCED BY INFORMATION PROVIDED BY AVRAHAM SHIFRIN. I also want to give credit to Robert W. Lee, whose article "What Happened to Flight 007?" in the August 29, 1988 issue of The New American reached the same conclusion even though he did not have access to nearly as much information. Lee believed that the plane landed safely on Sakhalin, not ditched in the Japan Sea. If the 747 landed on the water and stayed afloat long enough for the surviving passengers and crew to disembark safely, that would be the first and only time that has happened. The chances of it having happened may appear to be small, but they are infinitely greater than the chances that the 747 hit the water with such force that everyone aboard was reduced to unrecognizable mincemeat. That is one of two explanations for the missing bodies that came out of Russia. The other was that the bodies were devoured, bones and all, by giant crabs.

    THE HELMS REPORT RESULTED IN THE CREATION OF A CONGRESSIONAL SELECT COMMITTEE to investigate the question of whether or not we abandoned POWs and MIAs in Vietnam. Evidence was found that American POWs were sent to the Soviet Union from both North Korea and North Vietnam, but the Soviets refused to acknowledge that. It is not surprising that they have not acknowledged that they made prisoners of all the survivors of KAL 007. On Jan. 4, 1992, an ad paid for by Accuracy in Media, ran in The Independent, a new newspaper in Russia that was making waves at the time. It offered a reward of $100,000 for information about American POWs and survivors of KAL 007 who were being held in Soviet prisons or prison camps. The ad did not result in our finding any prisoners, but I believe that an ad with a higher reward in a paper with a much larger circulation might succeed. Our government is offering large rewards for information leading to the capture of terrorists. We should add to the list of "most wanted" our POWs/MIAs and KAL 007 survivors, offering an appropriate reward for information leading to their recovery.

    SENATOR HELMS CHALLENGED BORIS YELTSIN TEN YEARS AGO TO EITHER ADMIT THAT survivors from KAL 007 were imprisoned in the Soviet Union in 1983 or to tell what had happened to the bodies if all of them perished. Congressman Larry P. McDonald, a conservative Georgia Democrat and a courageous, outspoken foe of Communism, was 48 years old when he was apparently captured. President Bush should ask President Putin what happened to Larry McDonald and all the other Americans and foreign nationals aboard KAL 007. I hope that every member of AIM will join in petitioning President Bush to seek that information. Please sign the enclosed cards petitioning Bush to do so and Putin to respond. Return them to AIM and we will see that they are delivered. You may request additional petitions to be signed by others by e-mail (Claudia@aim.org) or calling toll free 1-800-747-4567, ext. 110. Copies of Rescue 007, The Untold Story of KAL 007 and its Survivors may be ordered by calling 1-888-795-4274.


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