Arrow Air flight 1285 crashed shortly after takeoff on December 12 1985. It was a charter plane full of US military personnel returning from a peacekeeping mission separating Egypt and Israel, that is, enforcing the Camp David Accords of 1978-1979. The crash killed all 248 soldiers (or 256) in Canada near Gander in Newfoundland. It left Cairo, Egypt, went to Cologne in Germany, then to Gander International Airport and it was supposed to land at Fort Campbell, KY.
The accident was investigated by the controversial Canadian Aviation Safety Board (CASB), a body abolished once their incompetence and bias was discovered. They reported that the crash came from the weight of ice that had formed on the wings. The jet was never deiced. A minority report (four out of nine members) vehemently disagreed and said an “explosion” was responsible, very possibly a bomb.
Many other planes took off that day without being deiced. No one reported ice on the wings. Even if there were, it was only a thin sheet. There is good reason to believe, at least tentatively, that it was bought down by Mossad. This slaughter is the USS Liberty for the 1980s except in this case, Israel was far more careful about identifying itself. Still, the deductive evidence points to them beyond a reasonable doubt.
Evidence can be circumstantial, which can be sufficient if there’s enough of it. Deductive evidence exists when nothing else remains but the guilt of the party, that is, there are no other possibilities. When the variables are well defined and the situation known in detail, the result can be certain without being logically perfect. Even the strictest syllogism depends on the definitions of the words used. This leads to abductive evidence, coming from the probability that any other option is possible. Abductive need not come from deductive, but it often does. The former is certain, the latter is almost certain, but still able to convict. The standard is “reasonable doubt,” not doubt as such.
Then most commonly, direct, or a witness or forensic material. Any and all of these forms of evidence can convict in court and all are logically viable. All forms of evidence imply that the variables, circumstances and “boundaries” of the event are well known and all terms are being used in their normal sense. This is why circumstantial evidence can be very strong and often leads to convictions in court. There has to be more than one “circumstance” however.
In this case, Mossad is guilty of the Arrow Air Disaster using Deductive and Abductive logic. Direct evidence is weak, but we’re dealing with an experienced intelligence agency that specializes in avoiding all direct evidence of its work. It would be surprising if direct evidence was anything else. The Liberty is an anomaly because it was such a direct event.
Most of my information here comes from the hearings held at the US Congress. The document is 1000 pages long and is called Fatal Plane Crash in Gander, Newfoundland, December 12 1985. Hearings before the Subcommittee on Crime for the Committee on the Judiciary. House of Representatives, 101st Congress. December, 1990. It contains all the dissenting opinions and ideas that comprise the factual information in this paper.
Additional help comes from Robert O’Dowd’s excellent paper in this area, “Arrow Air 1285 and the ‘Lucifer Directive’: Part 3, The Rest of the Story.” This is a section of a longer paper called “The CIA at Gander.”The paper was published on Jim Fetzer’s site in 2016. In addition, “Families for the Truth at Gander” has also provided some very interesting materials about this crime.
O’Dowd’s Treachery: Murder, Cocaine, and the Lucifer Directive contains tremendous information, including the suspicious deaths of those looking into the issue. He deals with the cocaine aspect of Iran Contra, and yet still, Israel isn’t mentioned at all. O’Dowd’s argument is that “rouge CIA” elements brought the plane down. Yet, this doesn’t explain the total media blackout. “Rogue CIA” factions don’t have that power. They don’t have the clout to shut down the entire federal government and journalistic apparatus in the US. The CIA has been outed many times before. No, the entity here must be more powerful. They all make similar arguments, which itself is suspicious.
They are hardly experts in international politics or economics. They are former military and, in the case of TV producer Don Devereux, was actually working with an Israeli “terror expert” Juval Aviv. In fact, most of the writers here are being partially guided by this Israeli disinformation agent who is attempting to steer the discussion away from Israel. Their information has been invaluable, but their conclusions incorrect because they simply aren’t knowledgeable about the technical aspects of international relations. None show and systematic knowledge about the players in the region and their specific interests. It destroys their case. Of course, Mossad involvement isn’t even mentioned nor will it be. These men aren’t lying, they’re just in over their heads as military-veteran “patriots.”
Despite the fact that all aboard who were killed were military personnel, there was little investigation into the crash and the plane was never even reassembled, as is standard practice. Little interest was taken in the case. There was no voice recorder found and the “black box” was too primitive to show anything. Prior to the flight, a newer version was switched out for an older one without any reason or explanation, one that only provided the most basic information. For some reason, none of the normal recording devices were operational. This is where a deductive case begins, since there are very few legitimate reasons for this switch, especially given the sensitivity of the flight.
The “Islamic Jihad” (IJ) claimed responsibility for the attack by calling a French radio station in Lebanon, where they operate. The caller was anonymous, but used the proper codes for these kinds of communications. IJ was kicked out of Egypt because of their threats to President Sadat. They split from the Muslim Brotherhood but very soon became close allies with Iran and Hezbollah, a group created about the same time. IJ was in existence for one year at the time of the Arrow Air incident and wanted to make a name for itself. Its entire focus was Palestine, making their involvement in the attack all the less likely.
Yet, the US rejected all terrorism claims regardless of evidence. IJ almost certainly didn’t do this because the US was negotiating with them for the release of four American hostages. They were taken from Lebanon and were still alive. False news stories said they were dead, but a month before the crash, a letter from the hostages begged Reagan to negotiate. The previous June, the US negotiated after the TWA hijacking, so it was certainly standard procedure. A press briefing just before the crash said the US will negotiate with the captors, but not IJ specifically. It was a huge victory for them. This means they were granted a certain legitimacy and would be given concessions. They had no incentive to harm the US at that time and had every reason to play nice.
The anonymous caller also claimed that the “Egyptian Arab Movement” was involved, except no one has heard of this group. The only hits it gets are from stories about the crash. By the name, it sounds like a secular nationalist movement like the Ba’ath, which would hardly be working with a religious, pro-Shiite faction like the IJ. That such a group doesn’t exist puts the call’s authenticity in grave doubt.
The US was also giving weapons to Iran against Iraq in what would soon be known – and misconstrued – as the “Iran-Contra” scandal. Since IJ was a pro-Iranian group, their action against the US makes no sense under the circumstances. The US had tilted slightly in Tehran’s direction at Israel’s insistence. Therefore, IJ must be ruled out.
So who did have an incentive? Israeli Likudniks hated the peace deal. While the Muslim Brotherhood would kill Sadat over this, the US rejected any Arab or Iranian involvement. They’re right, so who would the US cover for? The only other group who felt slighted were the Israeli nationalists. The website “My Jewish Learning,” considered an authority, writes on the Accords:
Israel lost its prime source of oil and had to return to a boundary that was less secure. Most significant, Israeli settlers had created a community in northern Sinai on the Mediterranean, Yamit. One of the terms of the peace treaty was Israel’s returning that land to Egypt. Riots broke out as the settlers refused to leave, and the Israeli army had to be called in to force the evacuation. Yamit was totally bulldozed, leaving Egypt with desert sand, but tremendous bitterness was created among the settlers, who felt that they had been betrayed. The return of Yamit to Egypt provided Israel’s right-wing groups with a rallying point.
There were 12 settlements in the Sinai after the 1967 war. Avshalom, Netiv HaAsara, Holit, Dikla, Pri’el, Sufa, Talmei Yosef, Di Zahav (Dahab), Neviot (Nuweiiba), Ofira (Sharm El Sheikh, given over to Egyptians) and the Aviya Sonesta Beach Hotel. The Hotel was Israel’s prime tourist destination. Selling this at a low price angered Israelis. Many of these were kibbutz farms (like Holit) that were quite prosperous. There were two Israeli Navy bases and an Air Force base that also were dismantled.
It also normalized relationships with Egypt and gave autonomy to the occupied territories. US aid then flowed into Egypt as a reward. It nullified the results of the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Jewish nationalists hated the idea that the government that had killed Israelis was now an “ally.” The Camp David Accords state:
Egypt and Israel agree that, in order to ensure a peaceful and orderly transfer of authority, and taking into account the security concerns of all the parties, there should be transitional arrangements for the West Bank and Gaza for a period not exceeding five years. In order to provide full autonomy to the inhabitants, under these arrangements the Israeli military government and its civilian administration will be withdrawn as soon as a self-governing authority has been freely elected by the inhabitants of these areas to replace the existing military government. To negotiate the details of a transitional arrangement, Jordan will be invited to join the negotiations on the basis of this framework. These new arrangements should give due consideration both to the principle of self-government by the inhabitants of these territories and to the legitimate security concerns of the parties involved (A.1.a)
Its not difficult to see why many Israelis will dislike this treaty and would also hate the forces arrayed to keep it in force, no matter how well disposed. The US was becoming too “even handed.” The Egyptian side of the Accords wasn’t a UN matter, so it was mediated by the US. Many Arabs saw it as a failure since it used such vague language like “autonomy” and put off real decisions for five years. Professor Fayez A. Sayegh says in his “The Camp David Agreement and the Palestine Problem”
If we look more closely at these proposed arrangements, we observe that the concept of the transitional period (which is essentially based on Begin’s plan of December 1977) is carefully designed to serve Israel’s national interests and not to satisfy the aspirations or realize the rights of the Palestinian people. Many analysts have noted its principal defects from the standpoint of the Palestinians: the exclusion of the representatives of the Palestinian population from the negotiations aimed at defining the powers and responsibilities of the “self-governing” authority, and the built-in limits circumscribing those powers. What has not been so widely noted, however, is the degree to which the original Begin Plan and the Camp David metamorphosis thereof serve the vital interests of Israel itself by resolving a dilemma which has haunted Israel since its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 (Journal of Palestine Studies 8.2: 1979).
Ultimately, there would be elections under Israeli military rule, making them illegitimate (though Hamas would soon win anyway). What had been, from the point of view of UN law, an illegal occupation was now accepted by the powers of the world for the medium term. The results were a foregone conclusion. The fact that they were recognized at all incensed the Israeli right.
To dismantle the Israeli border city of Yamit was, to quote Meir Kahane, “a stake in the heart of religious Zionism.” Menachem Begin, once a hero of the right, was viewed as a traitor to the religious Zionist cause. More than one major writer claims that the “radical right” in Israel was born in Camp David and a new type of Zionist was born, one more militant and even anti-US. Contrary to the American press, no one was happy with these Accords, but only one side had the ability to pull of a terror act like this and have no one investigate. If it were IJ, it would justify increased military spending and more money on Israel.
Few truly believe the US government’s explanation. The minority investigation board members cite physical evidence of an explosion. The official American explanation for its lack of interest was that it crashed in Canada, despite it killing 256 US soldiers. The Canadian Labor Party called the report a “coverup” and rejected the IJ connection. Worse, the US military has refused to engage the families of those killed and they were rebuffed when demanding information. This only made the press years later.
Who were the four dissenters in Canada? One even resigned as a result of what the majority stated. These men were: Ross Stephenson who is a retired Air Canada pilot and former president of the Air Pilots’ Association, who is very significant because he was a pilot out of that very airport and knew it very well. N. Bobbitt was an aeronautical engineer and D. Mussallem was an aeronautical engineer and former Wardair pilot. Les Filotas holds a doctorate in aeronautics and said in 1988 that he “had a lot of trouble since I joined the board to satisfy myself that the factual underpinnings of our accident reports are soundly based.” Finally, the most important member was probably Robert Lacroix a retired Air Force Brigadier-General and longtime pilot. Their words were totally ignored. They couldn’t even get the CASB majority to delay just a bit so more data could be gathered.
Terrorism was immediately dismissed as a cause even before the Canadian investigation began, but had no evidence to the contrary. This is an important hallmark of a coverup similar to the immediate declaration of “Osama bin-Laden” minutes after 9-11. An opinion of such certainty couldn’t have been formed so quickly and without actual data. A coverup is therefore almost certain, using abductive reasoning. Witnesses saw the plane explode or at least, burn in the air. The US government sought to discredit witnesses and news reports on possible terrorism quickly disappeared. Within two hours all major government agencies were loudly claiming that no “terrorism” was involved in the crash.
On December 12, 1985, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, Robert Sims said “We have no indications of explosions prior to the crash or of hostile action.” On the same day, the White House spokesman Larry Speakes said “Initial reports indicate no evidence of sabotage or an explosion in flight.” Also on the 12th, Canadian Transport Minister Don Mazankowski said, when he was asked about foul play “We have no indication at all,” and a few hours later, his spokesman said “There is no evidence that the plane blew up before it crashed.” Not to be outdone, the Pentagon said “There was no evidence of sabotage.” This was said all on the same day, using very similar language. This was a script they were given with only minor variations.
Regardless of who did this, it’s not an act of “terror,” but a military attack, however irregular, since no civilians were killed. The plane was a legitimate military target given that the men aboard were involved in semi-combat operations in Egypt. Terrorism can only occur against civilians, have a clear political purpose and the terrorists must identify themselves or take credit. Without taking responsibility, terrorism is useless. The alleged IJ response didn’t give a good reason for the attack, making it false. Gander had none of these marks.
Autopsies of the soldiers showed they inhaled explosive materials, proving the existence of a bomb. The engines weren’t operational at the time of the crash, which also shows that something happened in the air. The ground didn’t destroy the engines. One witness said the “sky lit up” as the plane went overhead. Others spoke of fire or an “orange glow.”
The site was quickly bulldozed after the crash on direct orders from Maj. Gen. John S Crosby, thus making a coverup certain. In an internal memo from Michael Mendez, who was the Director of Maintenance for Arrow Air to an executive Betty Batchelor, he claims the command to destroy the site came “immediately” after the incident “to reduce pilferage.” While this order was ignored due to the difficulty of getting equipment out there, it still doesn’t explain what motivated or pressured General Crosby to demand this “immediately” or how he knew it was necessary. It took a few days for the bulldozers to get there, but even that wasn’t fast enough. A coverup has now been established with total certainty.
A coverup for whom? This is equally certain. The bigger picture is that the Israelis wanted the US to destroy all Iraq’s nuclear capabilities. Operation Babylon was instituted in 1981 and the Israeli Air Force destroyed the complex near Baghdad. The Iranians too tried and failed to destroy it. Not only was Israel universally condemned for this sneak attack, but Iraq beefed up its air defenses with Soviet help. Another strike wasn’t feasible and the Americans vetoed it. The Soviets were quick to rebuild their capability.
A covert mission was put into motion, using American special forces, but canceled because it was too dangerous. Iraq was ready for them. This is why Israel – not used to hearing “no” – was wiling to kill Americans. The CIA had offered to use commandos from the Special Forces to destroy an Iraqi nuclear research lab, but there was intense division within the CIA over the operation and Iraq’s military capabilities. Americans would be killed.
The Israelis were in a panic over Saddam Hussein building a nuclear device. Nuclear energy isn’t based on the chemical that makes weapons, though they’re obviously related. Public perception seems to believe that nuclear power plants can take the same material it utilizes for making electricity and turn it into a weapon by stuffing it into a warhead. This is absurd. The plutonium than can be extracted from the fuel rods of a commercial nuclear power reactor is not suitable for making nuclear weapons. There’s not one example of a country taking its power plants and using them to make nuclear weapons. These are two totally different plants.
The insipid connection between nuclear power and nuclear weapons has more to do with keeping Iraq in the third world than the belief that a power plant can be converted to a weapons facility. Israel wanted to remain the only nuclear power in the region. Now that Pakistan has nuclear weapons, this might be a moot point in general, but at the time, it was Israeli policy number one.
The Iran–Iraq War (1980–1988) was still raging and the US was supplying HAWK missiles to Iran as part of the Iran-Contra guns-for-hostages’ exchange. Iran-Contra was exclusively for the sake of Israel, since Likud had ascertained that Iraq was a worse danger than Iran, thus Iran gets weapons. Having them fight each other was a gift to Zionism.
Islamic Jihad was a part of the negotiations as they were considered to be under the Iranian foreign service to some extent. Any use of military force, especially from Israel directly, endangered the exchange and any clout the US would have with Iran would be gone. The easy answer for some aggressive covert operators was to use Special Forces to deploy small nuclear bombs and blame the Iranians for it. The truth is that Israel would have let the ax fall on the US and the Israelis would then distance themselves from Washington.
After Reagan was elected in 1980, Israeli interests set up shop in DC though McFarland, Wolfowitz and the rest of the neocon movement that Israel began to finance. McFarland soon joined the NSC where Mossad ruled openly. Resistance, however, began to build in the national security apparatus, though mostly due to this secret tilt to Iran. Paul Bremer, for example, wrote a memo that, in part, laid out a strategy which included confirming “to American businessmen that it is in the U.S. interest to take advantage of commercial opportunities in Iran.” But the memo noted an inter-agency disagreement over whether the United States should oppose third-country shipments of non-American weapons to the Islamic Republic. Gen. Paul Gorman was one who fought this tilt and stated that
the moderate Arab states of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates are committed to a policy opposing arms transfers to Iran. If the United States drops its opposition to the transfer of arms not of US origin to Iran by third countries, the moderate Arabs would interpret that action as directly counter to their interests. The impact would be especially serious if Israel increased its arms deliveries to Iran in the wake of a US policy change. The Arab perspective tends to automatically link Israeli actions and US policy. The Iraqi Government recently informed the Chief of the US Interest Section in Baghdad that Iraq considers the United States ultimately responsible for arms already transferred to Iran by Israel since, in Iraq’s view, those transfers were possible only because US arms supplies to Israel are more than actually needed for Israel’s defense.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff made it clear that Iran didn’t even need weapons, as it was well stocked. The Iraqis were asking for a cease fire, which wasn’t in Israel’s interest. Despite frenzied denials by military officials, the press and administration drones, Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon told the Washington Post that the Americans approved all Iranian arms sales with themselves as mediator. The “Iran-Contra” affair was an Israeli concern, not an American one, though they certainly let the dumb Americans take the fall when it was discovered. Building up Iran to destroy Iraq wasn’t a popular policy in the US.
The scandal was invented, since the Boland Amendment prohibited specific departments of the federal government from aiding the Contras militarily. In this case, private individuals were raising money through arms sales, using Israeli intermediaries, stemming from overcharging the Iranians. Only a few million dollars ever got to the Contras, but Saudi Arabia sent them over $32 million. No law was broken and the impact on the war was negligible.
The media, for reasons no one can figure out, refused to discuss the fact that Israel was dictating this policy, not the clueless hacks in Virginia. The US ruling class were deeply divided over this. The weapons bought with the proceeds were bought from Israel. Having artificially stretched out the length of the Iran-Iraq war, they were able to put a dent in Iraqi power, only to finish the job in the 1990s. In other words, the Israelis wanted the US to use nuclear weapons against Iraq or at least, use conventional forces to destroy all their nuclear capability. When the US refused, Mossad killed 256 of its soldiers.
The special forces mission was aborted and a number of Americans were killed, but this was kept secret. Several angry members of the strike force were on Arrow Air 1285. The CIA was ordered to destroy the aircraft with these men on it once it crashed. They knew too much about Israel’s desire to nuke Iraq and blame it all on the US. They needed to be killed. The Special Forces were legitimately angry. They were going to be used to commit a war crime at the behest of a hostile foreign power posing as an ally. Now, more of their number were murdered to keep Israeli control under wraps.
An Explosive Ordinance Team (EOD) team from Andrews AFB flew to Gander the same day as the crash and found the CIA on the ground when they arrived. How did they know to be there? The CIA had to have been on the ground when the crash occurred and certainly have something to do with these murders. Mossad and CIA, in some ways, were indistinguishable. Canadian firemen who were not warned of the radiation exposure from the nuclear backpack became sick from radiation exposure.
This is perfectly consistent with Mossad’s mission to take out the recalcitrant and uppity soldiers. Whoever ordered this concluded that there was a risk that the Special Forces team would leak information on the covert operation to the media when they got back to the US. Family phone calls were made among some member of the US force intimating that their lives were at risk and a number suspected that they wouldn’t get back home alive. This was an extraordinary mission that went badly and led to several deaths. If this were made public, it would be a severe embarrassment no differently than Carter’s disastrous rescue mission that likely cost him the presidency several years earlier.
Task Force 160 was the unit meant to go into Iraq. Task Force 160, moreover, was not sent to the Sinai for covert operations purposes, the Pentagon said, but simply to improve the helicopter maintenance program of the multinational peace-keeping force which had fallen into disarray. This is a laughable cover story. The 160 are trained for clandestine operations, not for improving the maintenance levels of other Army helicopter squadrons. The Pentagon’s attempt to lie about the use of the Force 160 in the Sinai was total nonsense. This same unit was used against Iranian naval patrols in 1987 and in the firefight in Mogadishu in October 1993. The results in both cases were mixed. Even more, they were used in Grenada, the Persian Gulf naval fight in 1987–1988, the Chad conflict in 1988, the war in Panama, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm from 1990-1991; Operation Restore Hope, Somalia 1993 and many others. To say they were there for helicopter maintenance shows just how stupid the American media is.
General David Nathan Steiner, a retired Israeli officer, told the story of an aborted covert mission to use a nuclear weapon or “small nuke” to destroy an Iraqi nuclear weapons facility and the crash at Gander included a nuclear device on the aircraft being returned to the US. He was killed in a plane crash in the Arizona desert in August 1994. Before his death, Steiner described the small nuke as looking like “a large flower pot” and “extremely dirty, with some of the radioactive contamination even blowing Iran’s way.” This is similar to the B-54 Special Atomic Demolition Munition (SADM), a backpack nuke carried by Special Forces:
For 25 years, during the latter half of the Cold War, the United States actually did deploy man-portable nuclear destruction in the form of the B-54 Special Atomic Demolition Munition (SADM). Special Forces used the delivery container pictured above to protect bombs during parachute jumps. The container and the weapon inside were extremely heavy, adding about 58 pounds to a parachutist load.
The Special Forces team had the legal right to disobey an illegal order to use a nuclear backpack without a presidential authorization under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). There’s no question that if actions were taken by the team to deviate from orders to return on Arrow Air 1285, they could have expected senior Army officers to threaten them with courts martial.
There are connections between Vice President George H. W. Bush, the NSC, the CIA, and the use of Arrow Air charters to ferry weapons in the bellies of aircraft for the Contras and the Iranians. The mission to destroy Iraq’s nuclear plants was a way to mollify Israel. The CIA knew a massive war would erupt of Tel Aviv got its way. Fearful of Zionist influence, other options had to be tried. When the special operation failed and was canceled, the Americans needed to be punished. Israel would profit for the guns-for-hostages deal and stay quiet about their role. Its no accident that this “scandal” blew just a year after the Arrow Air murders.
During the hearings into this, Army Col. Lewis Millett stated:
Mr. Chairman, many inconsistencies and irregularities exist regarding the crash that took my son John’s life and some 247 members of the 101st Airborne. Why did the majority members of the Canadian panel investigating the tragedy decide the cause was icing when no evidence existed to support this conclusion? Why did the minority members of the panel, every member with technical qualifications, insist the cause was an explosion? Why did the wreckage scatter over a wide area instead of coming down in a concentrated location, as would happen if it had actually been icing? Why was there a presence of toxics in the autopsied bodies consistent with a midair explosion and not possible with death on impact? Why were not the pieces of aircraft mapped out at the crash site and then taken to another location to be reassembled, as in the case of Pan Am Flight 103 and similar tragedies? Why was the crash site plowed under, destroying the crime scene? When a terrorist organization took credit for this abomination, why was this claim not investigated and a report made to the American people? Why have the families of the victims and Members of Congress been unable to gain access to Government records of the tragedy? Why has there been no official investigation by an organization of the U.S. Government of an incident that caused the brutal slaying of more American servicemen than the terrorist bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in 1983?
The family of Captain Kyle Edmonds of Hartsville, South Carolina, sought help for Democratic Congressman Robin Tallon of South Carolina who had no problem with running interference with the Republican administration to obtain answers about the crash from an administration that seem willing to leave it to a split CASB. Going to a private actor would have made more sense. Tallon is a businessman with little knowledge of or interest in foreign policy. This either made him a very bad choice or a very good one.
He wasn’t bad. He made a good-faith effort to at least ask some uncomfortable questions. He held a press conference and put the list of unanswered questions in the Congressional Record. He asked the House Armed Services Committee to hold a hearing and he appeared on the ABC news show 20/20. Most of all, he persuaded 103 members of Congress “to co-sign a letter to President George Bush to initiate a formal investigation into the crash” (Gander, Newfoundland, Crash Remains a Mystery to Canadian and American Public, House of Representatives – July 20, 1989). He sponsored the H.R. 5024 (102nd Congress): Commission on the Airplane Crash at Gander, Newfoundland, Act (1992). It was killed in the following Congress and never enacted. It had 40 co-sponsors, almost all of them Democrats. What were the republicans worried about? Did the deaths of American soldiers not interest them?
Tallon was strangely unsuccessful in obtaining a clean copy of the FBI report on Gander. This tells you all you need to know. The FBI report had 239 pages out of 280 pages redacted. At the December 1990 Congressional hearings “the evidence suggested there was” a systematic repression of the evidence. Congressman Tallon asked: “Why was the possibly of sabotage not investigated by our government? Why was the U.S. government so willing to accept the CASB’s version of events if there was so much evidence to the contrary?”
While the Congressman was trying to pin this on “Mideastern terrorists,” this was only to cover for Israel. His remarks are valuable because he shows in detail why this was a “terrorist” act, though of course, it was against military men who were combatants on the Israeli side of a major war.
Keep in mind that we are talking about an U.S. civilian plane that was chartered to carry American servicemen and women to an American destination. At the very least, the official report should have been a joint effort between the Canadians and the Americans. I want to know why it was not. Why was there such a cynical disregard for the loss of American military lives by the appropriate Federal agencies? And why has there been a callous reluctance to respond to the families of these victims when they have asked U.S. agencies for answers to their many questions?
This makes it certain it was an ally of the US (or the US itself, which is unlikely), since an enemy would be treated as 9-11 was almost two decades later. The CASB insisted that ice was the cause without evidence. When presented with contrary evidence, they stuck with the ice theory. The Congressman continued
The Airline Pilots Association which re-examined the flight recorder information said that the Canadian report was based on “manufactured data.” I quote from the association’s report:
“This study, contracted by the Canadian Air Safety Board, represents technical dishonesty at its highest. Many, many other allegations into the faulty investigation and possible coverup by Canadian and American officials have been addressed in the press. I will list just a few which have followed this story: U.S.A. Today, the Army Times, Counter-Terrorism and Security Intelligence, the Ottawa Citizen, the St. Petersburg Times, and Jack Anderson. It’s not only the press that is involved in getting to the bottom of this mess. The Labor Party in Canada has charged that the Canadian Board is involved in a coverup and has demanded a judicial review to include all available evidence and testimony.”
On July 28 of 1983, the state of Pennsylvania unanimously passed a resolution calling for the United States and Canadian Governments to reopen the investigation. The bottom line – the Gander crash remains a mystery to the Canadian and American public. Families of these soldiers have suffered too long and have heard too much evidence to indicate that their government is either hiding something from them or is just plain lying to them.
“Families for the Truth about Gander” was an association trying to get to the bottom of this mess. There were many things the US didn’t want discussed. That body, also cited by Congressman, has argued many points over the decades that, as always, get ignored. Given our climate, how can the murder of almost 300 US soldiers be completely ignored for 40 years? A coverup is obviously the case, but until today, this issue has been almost entirely forgotten.
The soldiers weren’t on a military craft. They were on a private charter. Why were they flying to civilian airports, not military airfields? Congressman Tallon also noted that there was almost no security at Cairo and Cologne airports, two places the plane visited on its way to Canada. In early December of 1985, during a layover in Cairo, the soldiers had to stay overnight. This is one of many times the plane was open to infiltration. Upon arrival at Cairo International Airport the following morning, there were no customs, immigration, baggage check or even security screening of passengers. A report prepared just one week before for a similar transfer of servicemen from Cairo on board a Transamerica Airlines flight also shows no inspections upon arrival.
Captain Arthur Schoppaul of Arrow Air stated later that there were no security at all. The luggage was on the ramp unattended for five hours. This is unheard of, especially at a time of severe tension in the Middle East and two years after the Beirut Marine barracks bombing. Normally at that airport, all baggage is checked, and maybe 60 percent checked by hand. Mossad would certainly know the plane’s itinerary and its the only body with the resources to not only blow the plane up, but to make sure it becomes a non-issue from then on.
The cargo manifest is gone. It was never released, showing that the Army had much to hide, including the number of dead. There are two numbers used – one says 250 killed, but there are 258 autopsies. Why the discrepancy? Why weren’t the ground crews and maintenance crews questioned in Cairo and Cologne? Who worked on the plane? Who had access to it? These questions have never been answered. In a situation reminiscent of the 9-11 “hoax calls,” real calls were placed by soldiers during various times of the flight on the ground expressing consternation. These have never been released. Other pilots from that flight were never questioned. Arrow was also flying into Tehran and Honduras, giving rise to the theory that the “Iran-Contra” scandal is tied up in this.
Arrow Air representatives were denied access to the crash site for almost 12 hours after the crash with no concern from any party. FBI forensics were also denied access to the site for the entire time they were in Canada. Even the FBI brass lied, claiming they just did fingerprinting but, somehow, also wrote an investigation. They never got near the site. Who is lying? Witnesses also reported other explosions at the site. This plane had two additional fire extinguishers at the wheel wells. There was something else on this plane that was to be controlled. Could the plane have been carrying explosives to Central America that were set off by a saboteur? Why were several of them exhausted? This would’ve been a key piece of evidence: the fire suppression units had been used before the crash. This means ice is definitely not the issue, so the report was a deliberate lie. Interestingly, firemen from the site were deemed to have PTSD. They developed headaches, nausea and liver problems from working this site, but not a word was uttered about it.
The reports of the Defense Department and CIA were never published. Both American and Canadian aircraft specialists issued reports. The NTSB didn’t share information with the CASB. The same could be said for the FAA, DOT and of course, the Army itself. None of these reports have ever seen the light of day. Still, none of these reports ever questioned those at the site. The few conversations that occurred were immediately dismissed as imagination.
Irving Pinkle, NASA’s explosive’s expert, was dismissed when he requested the right to conduct a test on the surviving parts of the plane. Later, Pinkle found sections of the craft that most certainly were damaged in an in-air explosion. Afterwards, the USAF buried the rest of the plane at Scott AFB in Illinois. In the Pan Am 103 case, they examined every shred of evidence. They painstakingly checked every fragment. They reconstructed everything they could.
Is there precedent for such a Mossad operation? Most certainly, as Israel has killed many Americans over the years in hopes it would incense the population against her enemies. These examples are accepted by all without general controversy and come from Michael Collins Piper’s Final Judgment. In 1978, a bomb went off in Corsica, killing an organizer for the PLO, Muhammed Boudia. Within hours, anonymous phone calls came into the police station talking about his involvement in narcotics. The police thought this might be a mafia hit. It turns out, according to Paris police, a specialized Mossad unit was responsible.
In 1977, a German national Willian Jahnke went missing in Paris. Again, phone calls came in saying he was part of a Korean bribery scandal that went sour. Again, the Paris police discovered it was a Mossad hit, as Jahnke was accused of selling secrets to the Libyans and worse, that it was the CIA that informed the Mossad of his intention.
On October 3 1980, a French synagogue was bombed with four killed and nine injured. The media outcry was universal and Reagan claimed it was “right wing extremists” that needed to be “brought to justice.” There was no evidence against those who were arrested. French military intelligence began to look elsewhere. It was a Mossad hit squad that had recently destroyed the offices of several French firms they claimed were building a nuclear reactor in Iraq. Targeting the synagogue was, presumably, to build sympathy to the Jewish cause as other terror attacks were changing French perceptions about Zionism. Yet again, calls to the police came in, claiming it was a radical environmentalist group. Once the identity of the killers was made known, the universal outcry was silenced.
In 1976, two German students were abducted from Bavaria named Brigette Schula and Thomas Reuter. Phone calls again came in, claiming it was a “neo-nazi” group that kidnapped the Germans for reasons unknown. Yet again, French intelligence advised the Germans that it was a Mossad operation. These two were sent to Israel and tortured for allegedly being part of the PLO in Germany. They had signed a false “confession” under extreme duress.
While a brief summary can’t do the subject justice, the Beirut attack on the Marine base in 1983 was, while not executed by Israel, was accomplished with its full knowledge. Viktor Ostrovsky, former Mossad, states in his famed By Way of Deception that the Israelis knew of the impending attack. Mossad director Nahum Admoni said from Tel Aviv just before it happened that “We’re not here to protect Americans.”
Ostrovsky went into hiding upon the publication of his book. Islamic Jihad was blamed again, but its questionable if either Hezbollah or IJ existed at the time. According to President Reagan’s Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger “We still do not have the actual knowledge of who did the bombing of the Marine barracks at the Beirut Airport, and we certainly didn’t then.” Weinberger mentions lack of certainty about Syria or Iran’s involvement as the reason why America did not take any retaliatory actions against those states.
Mossad claimed that Ostrovsky was “barely a case worker” at the time. This is an obvious lie and typical of damage control by such organizations. You can actually gauge the stupidity of a person by the extent to which they believe claims like this. According to court papers filed by the Israeli government in an attempt to stop the publication of his book By Way of Deception, Ostrovsky was recruited by the Mossad in 1982 and trained as a katsa (case officer) at the Mossad’s training school north of Tel Aviv. He worked for them until 1986 due to what he called “unnecessarily malicious actions by Mossad operatives.” He was a full fledged agent for several years. If the information in the book was false, Mossad wouldn’t have tried to stop its publication.
Needless to say, there was the attack on the USS Liberty in 1967, where an American spy ship came under attack by the Israeli Air Force and Navy leading to the deaths of 34 sailors and injuring almost 200. The pilots and their commanders were well aware it was an American ship, as they were frantically hailing in all frequencies on their sophisticated radio system to no avail. Just like the men killed at Gander, the Liberty too was seen as too “even handed.” Israelis claimed that the communications from the Liberty were monitored by the USSR, meaning that Syria would soon know about it.
There are many more. With the exception of Beirut and the Liberty (which were very different sorts of attacks), what they all have in common is professionalism: these were skilled operations taking place without a hitch. “Terror cells” don’t have this level of sophistication and their operations are always crude and clumsy. Then, strange phone calls to the police blaming a specific group that’s hostile to Israel come in which is then taken up by the press. Soon, investigation discovers the Mossad connection and all media coverage ceases, though the public record remains clear. This is the case for all of these – dozens and dozens of cases – worldwide.
So what of the phone call in this case? In Appendix 47 of the transcript of the Congressional hearings on the matter, we come across a curious passage:
In January 1986, the U.S. Embassy in Port Louis advised the Secretary of State via telegram that they had received a letter, dated January 17, 1986, in which a group claiming to be the “Sons of Zion” informed them that the fatal plane crash in Gander was a “cold blooded premeditated act which involved an expert sabotage of the aircraft a few hours before takeoff, with the complicity of several Egyptian and Libyan mechanics and other Anti-U.S. and Anti-Israeli individuals.”
The Sons of Zion were a radical Jewish group and Masonic order. Its normally called the “order of the Sons of Zion.” They were essential in purchasing land in Israel in the 1920s and were connected with the Rothschild empire. One of the founders was Ziv Birger. The Sons were founded to enhance Zionist education of Jewish teens and struggled to preserve Hebrew culture and language, which had been outlawed by the Soviets, as they promoted Yiddish. The movement published a journal, Nitzotz, proving its close connection to the Kabbalah.
Beyond that, its a strange thing to do – a radical Zionist organization calls the FBI and declares the enemies of Israel are responsible for this atrocity – a clear falsehood. They are careful to claim that anything anti-Zionist must be anti-US too. They don’t explain how they can possibly know all this detail. They also explicitly point the finger at Egypt, the country that was the subject of the Camp David Accords and the recognition of the Egyptian state was a fact that all radical Zionists hated. The Settler Movement condemned it because it permitted Egyptians near Sinai.
Then the Subcommittee says: “The NTSB pointed out that they receive claims of responsibility by terrorist groups for every plane crash.” This is true, as every such incident receives a flurry of terror groups, some totally invented, calling radio stations and the FBI claiming responsibility. In this case, the last group who wanted this derailed were the Iranians. The telegram from the Sons of Zion, the refusal of anyone to investigate, the refusal to even consider the issue of terrorism, the obvious and clumsy coverup, the nature of their mission, the connection to Iraq’s nuclear program, Islamic Jihad’s alleged claim of responsibility, the total lack of any benefit to Iran and very strong precedent go far in demonstrating that it was a Mossad operation.
Just as the Israeli connection to Iran-Contra was covered up by the press, so too was this mass murder. Why would this pro-Iranian group want to disrupt things when they were getting weapons via Iran-Contra? There most certainly was a bomb on the plane, so by process of elimination, it was Israel attempting to blame radical Islamic or “Egyptian” interests to poison the US against the Arabs even further. Most of all, the total lack of memory, the fact that the whole thing was swept under the rug, shows its an “ally” of the US that was involved.
That the Reagan administration would refuse to look into this killing of US soldiers under bizarre circumstances is one of the more twisted elements of recent American history. Ultimately, nothing was done. With this level of radical panic, refusal to even discuss evidence or even investigate the incident in any depth prove that something serious is being covered up. Its why no one has heard of it today and why, of all the theories on this, not one involves Israel.
Its the USS Liberty of the 1980s. Its far less blatant and obvious (there were no uniformed men or marked jets), but with a much higher body count. The rationale is the same, and the perpetrator will not be brought to justice so long as liberalism rules the west and the press is populated by mental midgets with agendas incapable of even basic critical questioning skills. By process of elimination, this paper has proven that it was Mossad that brought Arrow Air 1285 down, which is why no one’s ever heard of it.
Matthew Raphael Johnson is a scholar of Russian Orthodox history and philosophy. He completed his doctorate at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1999. He is a former professor of both history and political science at the University of Nebraska (as a graduate student), Penn State University and Mount St. Mary’s University. Since 1999, he was the editor (and is presently Senior Researcher) at The Barnes Review, a well-known renegade journal of European history.
Dr. Johnson is the author of eight books. Six are from Hromada Books, “Sobornosti: Essays on the Old Faith;” “Heavenly Serbia and the Medieval Idea;” “Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality: Lectures on Medieval Russia;” “The Ancient Orthodox Tradition in Russian Literature: “The Foreign Policy of Mass Society: The Failure of Western Engagement in the Middle East;” and “Officially Approved Dissent: Alasdair MacIntyre’s Strategic Ambiguity in His Critique of Modernity.” And two published by The Barnes Review, “The Third Rome: Holy Russia, Tsarism and Orthodoxy;” and “Russian Populist: The Political Thought of Vladimir Putin.”