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Kal 007 Revisited (Part 2)

By Bert Schlossberg
August 3, 2005

Bert Schlossberg now takes a close look at the facts surrounding the search and salvage operations carried out in international and in Soviet waters. Schlossberg uses compelling new evidence to demonstrate that much more was transpiring around the small island of Moneron than a simple search operation. With this impressive evidence, Schlossberg reaches a new, powerful conclusion as to what really happened to the downed Korean airliner.

KAL 007, the U.S. Seventh Fleet, and the Great Russian Ruse
Part I—The Mirage

October 17, 1983

The new commander of U.S. Seventh Fleet Task Force 71 stood on the bridge staring deeply into the dark in the direction of Moneron Island. Today, Rear Admiral William Cockell had been relieved of command of the Task Force and its Search and Rescue mission, now reclassified (as of September 10th) as Search and Salvage—all hope for survivors from Korean Air Lines Flight 007 was gone. Rear Admiral Walter T. Piotti, Jr., was now in command.

On September 1st, Korean Air Lines Flight 007 had departed from Anchorage, Alaska and strayed deep into Soviet territory over the Kamchatka Peninsula and its sensitive military facilities. It then crossed over the Sea of Okhotsk and was leaving Russian airspace over Sakhalin Island – just across the Tatar Strait from Siberia – when it was shot down. Now, “they” and the Russians were competing to be the first (and the only) to recover the flight’s “black boxes,” the Cockpit Voice Recorder and the Digital Flight Data Recorder. These were expected to provide evidence that would either confirm or refute the accusation that KAL 007 was on a U.S. spy mission.

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HL7442 Photo © Gerhard Plomitzer

“They” were the United States, Japan and South Korea. Immediately after the downing, South Korea, as owners of KAL 007, designated the United States and Japan as their agents for the Search and Salvage operations. This meant that Soviet salvage would be illegal and allow for the U.S. to use force against the Soviets if they did, indeed, attempt salvage operations outside their own territorial waters—off Sakhalin and around tiny Moneron Island.

Commander Piotti thought hard about this matter. Vladimir Pavlov, Soviet Ambassador to Japan, had come across with Soviet coordinates for the probable crash site to the west of Moneron. Task Force 71 was now conducting it's search within coordinates comprising 225 square miles of international waters to the north and northwest of Moneron. But the Soviets were concentrating most of their search within their own territorial waters. Why?

There, beyond Commander Piotti’s vision, but in the direction of Moneron, was the main Soviet salvage ship, the Mikhail Merchink. Designated an S.P.D. (Self Propelled Drill ship), the Merchink was a Swedish built vessel having the great advantage of being able, thanks to its gyros, to stabilize itself dynamically over one spot, regardless of wind or waves.

The Mikhail Merchink

Commander Piotti knew that the Merchink was positioned within Soviet waters about eleven nautical miles north of Moneron and that nineteen underwater operations had been performed from her decks. He did not know that the divers working off the Merchink had been flown, immediately after the shootdown, by helicopter from their deep-sea assignment off the shores of Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula in northwest Russia and then by transport to the port of Kholmsk on the island of Sakhalin for their “Flight 007” assignment.

He also knew of the Hydronaut, a combined search and fishing boat, which was the mother ship of two small two-man submersibles, the Tinro 2 and the Okeanolog. He did not know that its divers had also been hastily flown, this time from Crimean Sevestapol on the Black Sea shores of the Ukraine. And he knew of the Georgi Kozmin with its two manned and two unmanned submersibles. He did not know that the Georgi Kozmin divers had come from Soviet Gavan, the main naval port across the Tatar Straits from Sakhalin and that all these divers were naval, working separately, and, for the most part, prior to the two civilian groups. Had he known all of this, he might well have pondered the reason for the separation in time and place between the military and civilian divers. He might have pondered the nature of their respective operations.

The Georgi Kozmin

In the now unclassified “Surface Combatant Forces—7th Fleet Task Force 71 Flight 007 After-Action Report,” dated November 18, 1983, Commander Piotti would summarize the Soviets’ Search and Salvage operations:

“Within six days of the downing of KAL 007, the Soviets had deployed six ships to the general crash site area. Over the next 8 weeks of observation by U.S. naval units, this number grew to a daily average of 19 Soviet naval, naval-associated, and commercial [but undoubtedly naval-subordinated] ships in the Search and Salvage [SAS] area. The number of Soviet ships in the SAS area over this period ranged from a minimum of six to a maximum of thirty-two and included at least forty-eight different ships comprising forty different ship classes.”

This was a formidable naval array, indeed!

On the U.S. side, as far as the SAS vessels were concerned, there were three U.S. ships—the Coast Guard cutter Munro, the rescue salvage ship USS Conserver, and the Fleet Tug USNS Narrangansett. There were also three Japanese tugs chartered through the U.S. Navy’s Far East Salvage Contractor (Selco)—the Ocean Bull, the Kaiko-Maru 7, and the ill-fated Kaiko-Maru 3.

These vessels, which housed navigation systems equipment, had the assignment of towing sideways scanning sonars designed to detect objects at the bottom of the sea such as the wreckage of Korean Air Lines Flight 007. They also served as launch platforms for unmanned “deep drones” designed to investigate whatever the side scanners detected. And then there was the all-important “pinger” locator that could pick up the pinging signal emitted by KAL 007’s black boxes. This signal could last thirty days.

Aside from these SAS vessels, there were the U.S. naval combatants and logistical support ships—the USS Elliot, USS Badger, USS Sterrett, USNS Hassayampa, USS Callaghan, USS Brooke, USS Meyerkord, USS Tower, USS Stark and the USS Wichita. In addition to the above ships, there were numerous Japanese Maritime Safety Agency (JMSA) patrol boats and South Korean vessels.

Commander Piotti’s assessment of the enormity of this naval undertaking:
“Not since the search for the hydrogen bomb lost off Palamares, Spain has the U.S. Navy undertaken a search effort of the magnitude or import of the search for the wreckage of KAL Flight 007.”

But things had been taking a turn for the worse. Confrontations had occurred, threats had turned to deeds, weapons had been pointed and locked on, the nuclear specter had loomed and become a distinct possibility—all over KAL 007’s wreckage and its black boxes!

Interference, antagonization, and tension- a typical scene.
Here, a soviet fighter pesters the USS Eliott DD967

A sequence of events:[1]
•7 September—The USS Elliot’s helicopter harassed by Soviet aircraft.

•15 September—The USNS Narragansett reported hazardous maneuvering by the Soviet ship Alpinist.

•18 September—The Narragansett harassed by the Pegus.

•19 September—USNS Conserver operations met with interference from the Gavril
Sarychev. The USS Sterrett met with interference from the Pegus.

•23 September—The near collision of the USS Callaghan and the Gavril Sarychev.

•27 September—The Kashin class destroyer no. 660 interfered with the flight of a U.S. Navy helicopter. Radar lock-ons of U.S. Navy ships by the Kara class cruiser Petropavlovsk and the Kashin class destroyer Odarennyy.

•26 October—Soviet combatants criss-crossed in front of the USS Tower and the

Commander Piotti would describe the provocative, obstructive and dangerous activities of the Soviets as:
“...maneuvers which prevented ships towing search sensors from making good their programmed search track, maneuvers with significant potential for cutting/fouling umbilicals of towed sensors or the deep drone and extremely close approaches to moored Japanese charter ships which their masters believed risked collision or damage to their moors [which in several cases did occur]. It appeared at the time and remains so in retrospect, that the Soviets deliberately harassed and sought to intimidate the masters of the Japanese charter ships.”

“...close escorts [by U.S. combatants] including interposition in risk of collision situations was not sufficient to prevent the intimidation of the First Master of Maru NR 3, who twice slipped his moor rather than remain in what he considered a vulnerable position.”

The 1991 Republican Staff Study of the Committee on Foreign Relations would add to and amplify Commander Piotti’s list:

“Moreover, the Soviet Navy and auxiliary vessels committed many serious violations of the 1972 Incident at Sea Agreement... such as attempted ramming of several U.S. and allied ships, presenting false flag and fake light signals, locking on the radar guidance of their weapons... sending an armed boarding party to threaten to board a Japanese auxiliary vessel chartered by the U.S. They engaged in a naval live-firing exercise northwest of Moneron Island, and sent Backfire bombers armed with air-to-surface nuclear-armed missiles to threaten the U.S. Navy search task force... move[d] U.S. sonar markers... manipulated the U.S. Navy search efforts into searching for decoy “pingers” on the sea bottom in very deep, international waters.”

Piotti would conclude:

“Had TF [task force] 71 been permitted to search without restriction imposed by claimed territorial waters, the aircraft stood a good chance of having been found.”

“No wreckage of KAL 007 was found. However, the operation established, with a 95 percent or above confidence level, that the wreckage, or any significant portion of the aircraft, does not lie within the probability area outside the 12 NM area claimed by the Soviets as their territorial limit.”

The search area

But had the commander been able to see deeply through the dark, past the twelve-mile limit of territorial waters claimed by the Soviets, past the Merchink conducting its phoney salvage posturing, and to a point not far from the shores of tiny Moneron Island and then down through the shallow depths of the Tatar Straits between Moneron and Sakhalin that were now stirred up, he would have seen the truth emerge. He would have learned why it was that neither KAL 007, nor its wreckage, nor its people, nor its luggage was to be found by a naval undertaking of such a “magnitude” and “import” that had not been seen “since the search for the hydrogen bomb lost off Palamares, Spain.”

Part II—The Reality Below
(The following section is from Rescue 007: The Untold Story of KAL 007 and Its Survivors, Bert Schlossberg, Xlibris, 2000, pages 82-92. Used with permission.)

KAL 007 From Below

“Remember that it took the downed plane about 10 minutes[2] to plunge toward the ocean. During this time, many passengers, if not all, put on their life vests. In addition, they certainly strapped themselves in with seat belts. No matter how hard the aircraft hit the water, it is difficult to imagine all 269 people disappearing without at trace. Some of the passengers should have been carried to the surface precisely by their life vests. Some should have remained at the bottom, strapped to the seats. All of them could not have disappeared.”—James Oberg, former NASA official, specialist in crash analysis.

Not having the benefit of learning what subsequent Boeing 747 explosions and crashes at sea would provide (KAL 007 was the first Boeing 747 to allegedly explode and crash into the sea), and being convinced that KAL 007 had “cataclysmically” and “catastrophically” been “destroyed” in the air and had “cartwheeled,” “hurled earthward,” “whirled,” “plunged,” and “free-fallen” with “ever-increasing acceleration”[3] to its doom, many commentators have concluded that 269 corpses could be found incarcerated in a portion or portions of KAL 007’s fuselage, their underwater tomb.

Then a bombshell went off, but almost inaudibly—deadened, as it were, as terrorist bombs are deadened when they are exploded before their time in the remote-controlled, steel-jawed containers of a bomb squad. The bombshell came in the form of a series of articles, part interview, part analysis, published in the Soviet newspaper Izvestiya from December 1990 through June 1991, the subject of which was the KAL 007 shoot-down. The dulling and deadening container of the bombshell’s blast was that investigators and the media soon realized that these articles had been published by a not-yet-free opinion-forming organ of the Communist regime, and was being used by the Soviets for disinformation purposes. Those among the general public who had been following events soon lost interest.

The genius of disinformation is to speak the truth—but in such a way that the fuller or the more threatening aspects of the truth not surface. Lies are ancillary. But below the surface of the waters off the coast of Sakhalin somewhere near the Island of Moneron, that fuller truth lies waiting.

Three diving groups have been documented, but there are indications that other groups were involved as well. The first of the three documented groups were the military divers assigned to the naval units on Soviet Gavan on the Siberian coast, across the Tatar Straits from Sakhalin Island. These naval divers operated two manned and two unmanned submersibles from their mother ship, the Georgi Kozmin.

Second, there was the Murmansk group working from the Ministry of Oil drilling ship Mikhail Merchink. The Merchink was a Swedish-built ship that had the great advantage of being able to coordinate its position and then dynamically stabilize its position regardless of changing wind and water conditions, without the use of anchors. This ship was of central importance in recovering most of the debris from what was probably the main location of the downed, sunk, and exploded aircraft.

The third group was the Svestapol group operating from the combined search and fishing boat, the Hydronaut (the aforementioned mother vessel of two small two-man submersibles, the Tinro 2 and the Okeanolog). Mikhail Igorevich Girs was the designer and captain of the Tinro 2, the submersible used most extensively by the Svestapol divers. The Okeanolog made only two dives.

Admiral Vladimir Vasilyevich Sidorov, Commander of the Soviet Pacific Fleet, directed the Soviet Salvage operations, having the civilian divers as well as the military under his direct command. Chief diver for the Murmansk group, but also involved with the Svestapol team, was Vladimir Vasilyevich Zakharchenko.[4] He chronicled the diving sessions.

The Svestapol group began diving on September 15, sometime after the military divers had descended. How much earlier the military had started its work is unknown—unknown, that is, as far as the Izvestiya series is concerned. However, according to reports of Soviet immigrants to Israel and elsewhere (referred to in the CIA Report/Republican Staff Study), military divers were present immediately after the downing—yet after Soviet Coast Guard ships under the command of KGB General Romanenko had removed passengers and luggage. It was at this time that KAL 007 was “towed to Soviet territorial waters near Moneron, and deliberately sunk in shallow waters inside Soviet territorial limits.”[5] It would have been possible, therefore, for Soviet military divers to have commenced their diving on September 1, the very day KAL 007 was shot-down.

The civilian divers knew that military divers had preceded them and understood, or were given to understand, that their presence was required because of their superior equipment.

As A. S. Torchinov, Chief of the Far Eastern Deep Water Drilling Administration and former KAL 007 “Murmansk Group” diver expresses it, “As for the divers, the military, of course, has its own underwater rescue service. But its maximum depth is 160 meters, and the armed forces’ equipment cannot stay underwater for more than 15 to 20 minutes. And, judging from everything, the work takes a long time.”

“So, having decided that they could not do the job with their own forces, the people in uniform began to recruit everyone they could into the search area.” The explanation that civilian divers were called in because the military divers had inadequate equipment seems plausible on the surface as the militaries of a number of countries invest neither manpower nor finances adequate for the relatively rare occurrences of deep water search and salvage. For example, Israel hired an American company, “Nauticus,” which succeeded in April of 1999 in locating its long lost submarine, “Dakar,” and has once again turned to Nauticus to locate wreckage and the black boxes of an F-16 that crashed and sank beneath the waters of the Mediterranean thirty kilometers west of Atlit on March 28, 2000. This civilian firm, Nauticus, has, to date, located for the various militaries of the world a total of twenty F-14s, F-15s and F-16s.

Yet, however plausible this explanation appears, the reports of KAL 007’s Soviet civilian divers suggests that the military equipment was, indeed, adequate for the task. Rather, the task the military accomplished was other than the task assigned to the civilian crews. The ensuing evidence of the Soviet civilian divers suggests that the task of the military vessels—and civilian vessels commandeered by the military—was, as strange as it may seem, primarily to tow and then sink the downed airliner, and then to explode the submerged airliner and disperse its wreckage in order to simulate an aerial explosion. The civilian divers could then be called upon to authenticate and corroborate the shoot-down story, and the Soviet Union would escape incrimination.

Here are the main findings of both military and civilian divers:
The plane as viewed and searched by the military divers was basically integral—more structurally sound—than when the plane was later visited by the civilian divers. The description of the plane by the military divers as being “enterable” was so at variance with the plane as viewed later by the civilian divers that Captain Mikhail Igorevich Girs, Commander of the Tinro 2 submersible, doubts their report.[6]

“It was during one of these exchanges that we met the military divers.” An entry in Captain Girs’ diary: “During the day, spent some time with the rescue divers. They clarified a lot of things, but it looks like our work is not over yet. They found the fuselage, closer to the tail, and there are many remains there. It was standing vertically between the reefs. They first lowered it down, and then got inside.”

“To be honest,” continued Mikhail Igorevich, “I did not completely believe those divers.
According to them, they found the tail part of the aircraft standing upright. But this is a very large fragment of the Boeing. They said that they found it in the reefs. I also went to the reefs, but there, too, I saw only small fragments—but they were everywhere. The biggest parts I encountered were the chassis, wheels, engines, and pieces of the aircraft body.”

Yet when questioning high ranking officers at Sokol Airbase on Sakhalin Island, Izvestiya correspondent Andrey Illesh found confirmation that at an early stage KAL 007 was integral enough to be climbed upon.

“Specialists—navy men—had found the giant aircraft in the Sea of Japan. In addition, submariners (military also) had gone to the bottom and had ‘clambered’ all over KAL 007 top to bottom.[7] The people from Svestapol told us that they had also been working at the bottom of the Sea of Japan. On top of that, even earlier than the divers from Murmansk!”[8]

Diver Viyacheslav Popov informs us of the military’s prior work, and then in amazement he informs us of a reversal in procedures—a reversal that should not have occurred:

“The first submergence was on 15 September, two weeks after the aircraft had been shot down. As we learned then, before us, the trawlers had done some ‘work’ in the designated quadrant. It is hard to understand what sense the military saw in the trawling operation. First drag everything haphazardly around the bottom by the trawls, and then send in the submersibles? ...It is clear that things should have been done in the reverse order.”[9]

But this “reversal” supports the contention that KAL 007’s final resting place was not its original placement, but that while still afloat, it had been towed from its original landing site and then sunk (and exploded); and then its wreckage dispersed to make it appear that a plane in disintegration had scattered its parts as it hurled earthward. Captain Girs confirms this general impression of secondary placement: “The impression is that all of this has been dragged here by trawl rather than falling down from the sky.”[10]

By the end of September, the Soviet drilling ship Mikhail Merchink, which possibly had been stationed and working east of Moneron off of Sakhalin Island, situated itself north of Moneron. Both civilian diving groups inspected, photographed, and recovered wreckage and debris from the Boeing 747. A full understanding of the fate of the 269 people requires a familiarity and appreciation of what these divers saw and—just as importantly—what they did not see. Their reactions to their underwater experience are equally informative, revealing both their expectations and the minds of those who prepared them for their underwater task. For these reasons, it is best to hear their descriptions and experiences from the watery environs, as reported in Izvestiya.

Viyacheslav Popov:
“I will confess that we felt great relief when we found out that there were no bodies at the bottom. Not only no bodies; there were also no suitcases or large bags. Sometimes the thought even occurred: Was it really a passenger plane, or is that a deception? I remember we put together this independent version (we had to explain the situation to ourselves somehow): they did have an accident with a specific Boeing somewhere out there, but then they ‘covered’ it with this forgery—this spy plane.”[11]

Vladimir Bondarev:
“‘I discovered this human hand,’ he extends a horrifying photo toward us [Izvestiya’s reporters], ‘during the second or third submergence—between 17 and 20 September. When I saw it, I decided to make sure that it was not a plaster cast—I asked the captain to zoom in on it. That was the only way to make sure that it could not be a fake.’”[12]

Captain Mikhail Igorevich Girs:
“From Captain Girs’ diary: ‘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 a trawl rather than falling down from the sky...’”[13]

“So we were ready to encounter a virtual cemetery. But one submergence went by, then the second, and then the third... During the entire rather lengthy period of our work near Moneron, I and my people had maybe ten encounters with the remains of Boeing passengers. No more than that.”[14]

“Something else was inexplicable to us—zipped up clothes. For instance, a coat, slacks, shorts, a sweater with zippers—the items were different, but— zipped up and nothing inside. We came to this conclusion then: Most likely, the passengers had been pulled out of the plane by decompression and they fell in a completely different place from where we found the debris. They had been spread out over a much larger area. The current also did its work.”

V. Zakharchenko, G. Matyevenko, V. Kondrabayev:
“We thought we would go down and see a cemetery... But... There were no bodies the first day or the next... We learned our way around. And when I saw some remains for the first time I was surprised but not frightened. And then we did find some bones. Two... I took them in my hand... Later I saw some human skin with hair, like a scalp. The hair was black... But when it was touched all this fell apart... I saw what I thought was a fist in a glove. And then, remember, we saw a torso without a head, wearing a jacket. And winding their way out from under the jacket were some white strands—apparently the remains of entrails...”[15]

“I did not miss a single dive. I have quite a clear impression: The aircraft was filled with garbage, but there were really no people there. Why? Usually when an aircraft crashes, even a small one... As a rule there are suitcases and bags, or at least the handles of the suitcases.”[16]

V. Zakharchenko:
“But the main thing was not what we had seen there but what we had not seen—the divers had found practically no human bodies or remains...”[17]

“Well, we found some pants with holes in the knees, a belt—also torn, everything else intact. What does this say? A person was probably wearing these pants... Then when we returned to Murmansk, we started reading the newspapers - we found what they were writing especially interesting. I thought at that time—it is impossible to simulate the death of such a number of people... to organize their relatives who would be in mourning—in Korea, Thailand, the United States, Taiwan... You might be able to fake two or three—but two hundred or more?”[18]

“But there was no fire in the Boeing—that is for sure. Things were intact, although all thoroughly saturated with kerosene. So... you heard all kinds of talk among members of this expedition—like there were no people there, on this aircraft, that all this was a falsification. All in all, I too was of this opinion at first. Almost no traces indicating people there, except for personal effects. But there were personal effects! Judging from the clothing, clothing worn by people. Why? Because it was torn. The way I see it—the people were cut apart by fragments.”

“No, they were not looking for people at all. They were looking for something they feared more than the tears and the curses of those who lost their loved ones...”

“No, no one asked us to recover people’s remains. Only—components, tapes, documents, the black box.”[19]

Based on the facts presented in this and in the previous chapter, we can now list the evidence supporting the successful rescue by the Soviets of at least 259 of the 269 passengers of KAL 007.[20]
• Within 27 minutes of KAL 007’s landing on water, small Soviet craft were at the site—
Admiral Sidorov.
• Contrary to all known passenger plane explosions in air/crashes at sea, bodies were not found floating on the surface of the sea.
• Contrary to all known passenger plane explosions in air/crashes at sea, suitcases were not found floating on the sea (KAL 007 would have carried over 450 suitcases in the cargo area).
• Contrary to all known passenger plane explosions in air/crashes at sea, and contrary to the egalitarian nature of dispersion in midair explosions/crashes at sea, not one item of the 1,020 items recovered came from KAL 007’s cargo area.
• There is evidence that KAL 007, or portions of it, may have been moved under the sea by the first diving team (that of the military), and by trawls, and then scattered in order to simulate crash debris dispersal.
• Contrary to what should have obtained from an aircraft explosion in the air, no aircraft wreckage recovered and no wreckage viewed under the sea by the divers evidenced burn marks.
• KAL 007 was viewed more or less intact under the water by the first diving team, the military divers.
• At an early stage, the military divers describe the fuselage as intact enough to be entered and even climbed upon form “top to bottom.”
• At a later stage, the civilian divers describe KAL 007 as being in pieces and fragments. This could only have occurred if there had been an underwater explosion.[21]
• Divers report with astonishment the absence of bodies on board or in association with the sunken airliner. (But one diver reports seeing one decapitated torso—while not more than ten “encounters” with body fragments are noted throughout all of divers’ reports.)
• Divers report with astonishment the absence of luggage aboard or in association with the sunken airliner. (But one diver reports seeing some suitcases.)
• Some civilian divers express astonishment that they had not been briefed concerning passengers’ bodies, whereas they had all been briefed concerning the black box and electronic equipment locations.
• The contention of the Soviet divers, as well as Admiral Sidorov, that there were no bodies found could not have been contrived to support the initial Soviet position that KAL 007 was a spy plane without civilians (as General Ogarkov had asserted years previously, only to concede that it was instead a civilian flight used by the United States for espionage). All evidence, therefore, suggests the sincerity of the Russian divers’ claims that there were no bodies aboard or in association with the sunken airliner.

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A successfull ditch with survivors? It wouldn't be the first time...
Photo © Linze Folkeringa

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N935F, the sister of N936F (pictured) successfully ditched in the Atlantic Ocean in heavy rain.
35 Passengers and 5 crew survived, a total of 63 were aboard.
Photo © Bob Garrard

For the survival rates of other passenger planes that water ditched, see http://www.rescue007.org/faq.htm#14

* * *

“Thus, our search efforts were in actuality little more than a charade being played out while the Soviets engaged in their own ruse of pretending themselves to “search” for a wreck they had probably already immediately located, stripped [abducting all passengers and crew. B.S], probably sunk, and probably destroyed under water.” (CIA Report/Republican Staff Study, pg. 65.)

From pages 137-138 of Rescue 007: The Untold Story of KAL 007 and Its Survivors:

For a fascinating corroboration of the Soviet harassment on this particular vessel [Keiko-Maru No. 3] as well as corroborating Commander Piotti’s assertion that the Soviets employed false pingers to divert and confuse the allied endeavors, we may turn to a Soviet seaman’s report published in the Izvestiya series and quoted in “World Wide Issues,” 31 May 1991:

“I recall: there was a moment when Japanese search vessel Keiko-Maru No. 3 (or Kaiko-
Maru No. 3) dropped anchor next to Merchink; this vessel had a self-propelled underwater search apparatus, controlled from the vessel via cable. The operational radius of the apparatus from the mother vessel is, if I am not mistaken, two to 2.5 kilometers... At that time the TOF commander, Admiral Sidorov, gave an order—immediately equip a trawler stationed on Sakhalin with grapnels [devices to cut mine mooring cables or hawsers] and send it to a station next to the Keiko-Maru. As soon as the vessel lowered its apparatus, the trawler was supposed to cut the control cable of the Japanese... See how far it went: this was outright banditry! The only thing that saved the Keiko-Maru was the false “pinger” planted by our Navy. The Japanese also took the bait of its beacon signal and went to the wrong area.”

And so the Soviets not only safely absconded with KAL 007’s surviving passengers, they also successfully kept U.S.-led forces at bay, preventing them from seeing and understanding that the “wreck” that their lead salvage vessel, the Mikhail Merchink, was bringing up—was nothing but a ruse.


This presentation of the evidence now has two startling confirmations-
1. In one text of Five Top Secret Memos dated November 1983 (http://www.rescue007.org/TopSecretMemos.htm), unearthed by Boris Yeltsin in 1992 and then published in Izvestiya, October 16, 1992, KGB head Victor Chebrikov and Defense Minister Dmitri Ustinov wrote Soviet Premier Uri V. Andropov as follows:
“Imitation [simulated] search efforts in the Sea of Japan are being performed by our vessels at present in order to disinform the U.S. and Japan. These activities will be discontinued in accordance with a specific plan.”
2. Mikhail Prozumentshchikov, Deputy Director of the Russian State Archives of Recent History, comments on the shooting down of KAL 007 in RIA Novosti, September 1, 2003—the twentieth anniversary of the tragedy:
“...Large numbers of American, Japanese and Soviet planes and ships concentrated in the area of the incident. They did not so much as co-operate to look for the remnants of the airliner as interfered with each other's efforts and even deliberately provoked each other (U.S. ships repeatedly announced in Russian that if Soviet planes flew over them, they would be shot down). But since the USSR, FOR NATURAL REASONS, KNEW BETTER WHERE THE BOEING HAD BEEN DOWNED [emphasis added-B.S.], and also thanks to a wind blowing towards the Soviet coast, the principal exhibits from the sunken plane came into Soviet hands... Even with deepwater ships available to the USSR and the U.S., it was very problematical to retrieve anything, ESPECIALLY AS THE USSR WAS NOT PARTICULARLY INTERESTED [emphasis added-B.S.]...”
This Russian Federation statement acknowledges Soviet knowledge of the plane's location and their efforts to mislead the U.S. and other nations while perpetuating the deception that they were sincerely looking for the crash themselves. There is no acknowledgement that the Soviets rescued and imprisoned the passengers and crew of KAL 007 but the unveiling of Soviet duplicity in this matter is a step in the right direction. How can the Russian Federation be induced to unveil more of the truth?!?


[1] Cold War at Sea, David F. Winkler, U.S. Naval Institute Press, June 2000, pg. 47.

[2] At least 12 minutes according to combined Soviet/Japanese radar trackings.

[3] Oft-repeated popular media characterization for KAL 007’s post-hit flight. See Appendix A for an explanation of the media’s initial propensity for such descriptions.

[4] Vladimir Vasilyevich Zakharchenko, not to be confused with Admiral Vladimir Vasilyevich Sidorov.

[5] CIA Report/Republican Staff Study report, p. 75.

[6] Izvestiya, May 28, 1991, p. 8.

[7] Izvestiya, December 21, 1990, p. 12. The military and civilian diving sessions at no time overlapped. When the military divers had concluded their work, the civilian divers began. The first of the civilian divers to descend were from the Svestapol group.

[8] Izvestiya, May 27, 1991, p. 6.

[9] ibid.

[10] Izvestiya, May 28, 1991, p. 8.

[11] Izvestiya, May 27, 1991, p. 6.

[12] ibid.

[13] Izvestiya, May 28, 1991, p. 8.

[14] There is no way of ascertaining from this testimony if the “ten encounters” were with ten separate bodies or (more likely) ten encounters with a lesser number of bodies. It is entirely possible that these encounters were with fragments from the same individual.

[15] In all the divers’ reports, this is the only reference to a torso—that is, a body.

[16] “World Wide Issues,” February 6, 1991, p. 21.

[17] ibid., p. 19.

[18] ibid., p. 20.

[19] ibid., p. 21.

[20] The ten-passenger disparity takes into account the unlikely possibility that the divers’ ten encounters with the remains of Boeing passengers were with the remains of ten separate individuals.

[21] See earlier. The disparity between the few and tiny fragments actually handed over by the Soviets and reported by the Soviet divers, and a basically intact aircraft that would be entered as reported by some divers and military sources to Izvestiya, is truly striking.

Written by
Bert Schlossberg

Bert Schlossberg is the International Director of the International Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors, http://www.Rescue007.org. His wife, Exie, lost her father, Alfredo Cruz, and her cousin, Edith Cruz, both of whom were aboard KAL 007. Bert and Exie welcome all email responses about this article and about this incident, from pertinent to personal.

26 User Comments:
Username: Maxca [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-07 14:04:22 and read 32768 times.

Right, and these 259 people are currently slaving in Gulags? What a load of BS.

Username: BSchlossberg [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-07 19:44:34 and read 32768 times.

I don't know about currently, but if "gulag" means forced labor, barbed wire and guards, with torture and executions for runaways, then according to Amnesty International, the New York based Human Rights Watch, and Russian human rights activists, gulags for foreign nationals existed in the Russian Federation at least until 2002. These were the camps mainly, but not exclusively, in the timber area of Tynda and Amur river region of Siberia where up to 30,000 North Korean dissidents and common people labored to pay of their country's billions of dollars of mainly weaponry debt to, first, the Soviet Union and then the Russian Federation. The camp guards were sometimes Russian and sometimes the notorious North Korean Protective Securty Service. After this became known in the West, they were gradually phased out for paltry pay operations to starving North Koreans. For more about this, read - http://www.rescue007.org/docs/LaborCamps.pdf

Username: DON14 [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-08 04:15:49 and read 32768 times.

there is a lot of truth in the words i just read . more than you might think

Username: Maxca [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-08 18:14:26 and read 32768 times.

Sorry if I seemed a little harsh in first comment. In fact I did quite a bit of research on KAL007 over the years. I ready many obscure Russian and Western publications on the subject. Well, being Russian myself I can tell you right away that most Western researchers greatly overestimate how organized and coherent that Soviet Union or Russia really is. They make the same mistake in believing that Russian military was sophisticated and advanced in its techniques and equipment.

Dragging an airplane, or keeping 259 people imprisoned for 2 decades that's a lot of work. You have to have the equipment, you have to be organized and have a plan. These are not real "fortés" of Soviet/Russian military. Also, they would have to keep everything under tight secrecy, over many years, and frankly, I just dont see it happening. I dont see the point and I dont see the capability in keeping 259 Western people working in forced labour camps.

I cannot imagine how painful it is for someone to lose a family member or a friend in any sort of accident or disaster. But after 2 decades I think it's time for many to finally move on.

Here's what I think have happened with KAL007:
a) the Russians had no clue what a Boeing 747 is
b) one of the Russian Border Patrol commanders decided that by being decisive and shooting a foreign plane he would earn the rank of a general, so he gave the order to fire
c) Very quickly the Russians realised they f**cked up so they recovered a couple of objects from the plane, maybe a couple of bodies and kept it rotting in some wharehouse, somewhere on Sakhalin for 2 decades
d) The Americans also recovered a couple of pieces, possibly including the black boxes and kept it under secrecy ever since (unlike the Russians, American military is well organized and prepared in keeping important secrets secret for long period of time).

Here you go.

Username: BSchlossberg [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-08 20:00:41 and read 32768 times.

Apology accepted. Thank you for your good words!

If I could make replies under you statements-
a) "the Russians had no clue what a Boeing 747 is"

Major Ospovich admitted in an interview to the N.Y. Times in 1996 that he had lied under orders in saying that he had shot down a military plane when in fact he know that it was a Boeing passenger plane:
"I saw two rows of windows and knew that this was a Boeing. I knew this was a civilian plane. But for me this meant nothing. It is easy to turn a civilian type of plane into one for military use." (New York Times interview, September 9, 1996)

b) "one of the Russian Border Patrol commanders decided that by being decisive and shooting a foreign plane he would earn the rank of a general, so he gave the order to fire"

The orders came down from from General Govrov, Commander of the Far East Military Theater of Operations, and General Ivan Tretyak, Commander of the Far East Military District. This was no trigger happy subordinate making the decision. In "KAL 007 Part 3", I intend to post an amazing set of transcripts of the Shootdown with the actual communications from the Generals ( handed over by the Russian Federation) showing their part.

c) "Very quickly the Russians realised they f**cked up so they recovered a couple of objects from the plane, maybe a couple of bodies and kept it rotting in some wharehouse, somewhere on Sakhalin for 2 decades"

Also next posting

d) "The Americans also recovered a couple of pieces, possibly including the black boxes and kept it under secrecy ever since (unlike the Russians, American military is well organized and prepared in keeping important secrets secret for long period of time)."

Boris Yeltsin handed over the Black Boxes to the Korean government and the tapes to the International Civil Aviation Organization in 1982 - after 9 years of Soviet and Russian denials of ever having recovered them. He also revealed 1983 Memos from Defense Minister Dmitri Ustinov and KGB Victor Chebrikov to Uri Andropov in which they report on the Soviet's recovery of the Black Box and the in process deception of the US 7th Fleet then in search of KAL 007 and the Black Box - See http://www.rescue007.org/TopSecretMemos.htm .


Username: BSchlossberg [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-08 20:22:37 and read 32768 times.

"Boris Yeltsin handed over the Black Boxes to the Korean government and the tapes to the International Civil Aviation Organization in 1982". The date should be 1992 not 1982!

Username: RedAirForce [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-12 02:49:02 and read 32768 times.

Provide ANY evidence of the survivors; there are anecdotal stories about US airmen shot down in the cold war who eneded up in the camps, but i have never heard any tales of these survivors from guards, other camp inmates, locals, etc. It would be impossible to keep the lid on 250+ westerners in the GULAG for so long.

Username: Efranrider [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-12 03:18:06 and read 32768 times.

I think it is important to note that the term "gulag" has only been used in the "comments" section--never was it used in the actual article. Because of the connotations of the word gulag, it seems only to be used to discredit this story (as if the passengers were extracted, then forced to work--laughable indeed). Isn't it possible that these victims have been kept in the Soviet Union outside of a forced labor camp? Is there no other place to hold prisoners in the vast Soviet Union than the gulag?

Username: BSchlossberg [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-13 10:29:59 and read 32768 times.

My a-few-posting above in Comments, should alert us to not ruling out altogether a gulag type situation for foreign nationals
as, at least until 2002, that was the case for North Korean laborers in the Russian Federation - up to 30,000 of them!
But as the posting directly above suggests, the gulag is not the only setting possible for the the surviving people of KAL 007. Of particular note is the survival of the Soviet "closed cities" well into Russian Federation times - and, indeed, these cities may still be in existance in some parts of the Russian Federation today. The West is familiar with closed and off- limits military areas and reserves but these regions with their facilities are off limits to all civilians - other than civilian contractors. But the Soviet Union and the successor Russian Federation know of another experience - closed POPULATION CENTERS: whole cities, and even parts of towns, in which 100s of thousands of civilians can not leave without permission, and only special pass people can enter. All is monitored and enforced my armed guards. This phenomena is on the wane but not out. and their substitutes may already be in place. Concealing up to 269 people in these areas is childs play!
Here is a 2003 write-up by a Russian sociologist on the existance and the problem of the closed cities of her day- just two years ago!


Username: BSchlossberg [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-13 13:19:46 and read 32768 times.

According to this publication - http://www.bellona.no/en/international/russia/envirorights/36480.html , there are still (at least until 2004) 10 closed cities, Ozersk, decreed "open" by by Boris Yeltsin in 1992, being one of them!

Username: Kojuchar [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-14 23:21:32 and read 32768 times.

Hello Bert,

nice article. I have been interested in the matter
for few years.

However, having read the book by
Michel Brun "Incident at Sakhalin" (Four Walls Eight
Windows, 1995, ISBN 1-56858-054-1) I disagree
to your theory.

In this source Michel Brun desribes a fully different
scenario envolving a soviet-US airbattle around and
over Sakhalin with more than 10 downed US aircraft
and 30 serviceman killed. All the debris and wreckage
found around Moneron and Sakhalin originates from
military aircraft while the KAL 007 has been shot down
few hundred miles south, within Japan airspace (as
presumed by Japanese).

The author himself has found debris of the (real)
Boing (KAL007) along the Japanes coast even 10(!)
years later!

I strongly recommend the book to the interested
reader. Opens a fully different view on the topic.

I admit the question with the lost bodies remains
open in this scenario as well, the only explanation
is that they could have been recovered in this
area which has not been in focus at the time by
Japanes/US/Korean ships.

Looking forward for comments!


Username: BSchlossberg [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-15 06:02:32 and read 32768 times.

Well, there are really two parts to Brun's theory - a Japanese locale for the shootdown instead of a Russian one, and the mini-air war. The former I believe to be wrong. The latter, has some merit to it. I'll tackle the former first. As it turns out, I had just written a letter about this, and aside from some personal deletions, here it is!

Michel Brun believes that ICAO, and generally world opinion, is wrong in saying that KAL 007 set down/crashed, whatever, in the the area of Sakhalin / Moneron (interesting that people can even dispute the locale, but understandable because of the dearth of aircraft remains as well as the absence of bodies and luggage.) Brun points out that the currents of the Tsushima flow NORTH past Korea and then Japan, passing the Le Perousse strait, separating Russian Sakhalin and Japanese Hokkaido, and then continuing on past the eastern coast of Sakhalin with its tiny singular Island of Moneron. Brun points out that if the wreck (and the wreckage) was located in International waters north of Moneron Island , it could never have wound up 8 days later over 200 miles away SOUTH on the shore of Japan's Hokkaido Island (which it did!). The current flows NORTH! And so he says that the objects that came from KAL 007, must have come from the SOUTH , from Japanese waters, and thus a "JAPANESE" locale for the crash.

But if you will look at that JMA Chart that Brun uses ( I don't have the book with me. This part begins one of his chapters), you will see that there IS a southerly flowing Current in the Tatar straits. (We are excluding from consideration the southerly flowing Liman Current with its near freezing waters from northern Siberia as it is on the other side of the Tatar straits and irrelevent) This relevent southern flowing current is not north of Moneron and Brun is right in this (I think!). The southerly flowing current is rather between Moneron and Sakhalin -which is precisely where we had received information from Research Center for Prisons, Psych-Prisons, and Forced Labor Concentration Camps of the USSR informants that the set down after the spirals had taken place. The Republican Staff Study of 1991 (which is in the "documents" section of our website - http://www.rescue007.org/documents.htm) also provides support for a set down east of Moneron, between Moneron and Sakhalin Islands. The Report cites "special intelligence" regarding a Soviet plane making "point- reference circles" (indicating location) some where near the Port of Nevelsk on Sakhalin right after the shootdown. There is also a report, which we are trying to follow up on, that the Soviet Oil drilling ship,the Mikhail Merchink, which later would work north of Moneron (in a salvage operation which now the Russian Federation acknowledges was a ploy to deceive the U.S. into believing that they (the Russians) had not already retreived the black boxes and that they too were earnestly searching for the downed airliner) was at this time working EAST of Moneron , between Moneron and Sakhalin. It's mission might have been connected with debris dispersal toward this southern current. Remember, The US, Japanese, and Korean naval forces were at no time allowed to enter the 12 miles territorial waters zone to search. (Rear Admiral Walter Piotti, commander of Task Force 71 of the US 7th fleet would recount in his now unclassified After Action Report the incident in which 2 US ships did cross into Soviet territorial waters inadvertently north of Moneron- only to be turned back by Soviet boats.)

Brun mentions this southerly flowing current (as does David Pearson) but I think he passes over it lightly. He mentions that it is a slow flowing intermittent current of about 1 Nautical Mile an hour. He does not mention that from Moneron Island to the southern tip of Sakhalin Island is 35 miles. (and on from there through the Le Perousse strait at ( JMA figures) 6-7miles and hour flow. (Again, you will have to check these figures with both the Brun's book and the chart contained therein. I'm doing this from memory, having read the book some time again, but I think that the figures are accurate).

Well, It is at this particular current that Brun and I begin to drift away from each other. That southerly flowing current between Sakhalin and Moneron fits perfectly with the time and "traditional" place (west coast of Sakhalin) and the finds on Japan's shores as well as the informant information. In this I agree fully with ICAO, though I don't see how they got to it, seeing, as Brun points out, a wreckage North of Moneron (which ICAO holds to) takes the debris northward - not southward!

{The southern current view has another support from "on the scene"- a Soviet naval Specialist's remarks quoted in the Izvestia series on KAL 007 and reprinted in the Feb. 14, 1991 issue of "Worldwide Issues"-

"When we learned that the aircraft had been attacked and that weapons had been used, we began to analyze when it might come down. Ships were ordered to the anticipated area" [There are 3 documented rescue missions. 2 aerial were ordered just after KAL 007 had come down. The naval mission was order while KAL 007 was still in the air! B.S.] "Several ships were ordered there at once at full speed.One of them soon reported" [this was possibly the Uvarovsk. B.S.]"- this was two or three hours after the report that the aircraft had been shot down- that a multitude of small objects could be seen in the water, Presumably parts of the fragmented Boeing" [Brun might relate to these as parts of fragmented US and/or Russian fighters]. "But the current in these parts is rapid. And floating objects are constantly born SOUTH" [my emphasis]}

The total picture is this- there is wreckage (we believe from an underwater explosion in order to simulate a plane disintegrating in the air. The wreckage takes about 35 hours or more ("intermittent") to get to the tip of Sakhalin where it is taken by the 6-7 mh current of the Le Perousse strait (Brun, as I remember, characterizes it as brisk) to wind up on the shores of Hokkaido. That under water explosion explains the fact that the divers in the Izvestia series, successively, describe KAL 007 underwater in, first, more or less intact stage, with divers able to clamber all over it and enter it (military divers), while the civilian divers find it in pieces. It also explains the tail section in small pieces, in contradistinction to the little damage done to the tail as shown in the maneuverings of KAL 007 while in the air after missile detonation, and in contradistinction to the intact tail as seen by the military divers - according to the discription of that by the amazed civilian divers. The civilian divers who comment on it note that the plane, now in small pieces lying before them does not seem to have fallen from the sky but rather seems to have been dragged by trawl. This also supports and underwater explosion or explosions intended to simulate disintegration in the air

"Diver Viyacheslav Popov informs us of the military’s prior work, and then in amazement he informs us of a reversal in procedures—a reversal that should not have occurred.

“The first submergence was on 15 September, two weeks after the aircraft had been shot down.As we learned then, before us the trawlers had done some ‘work’ in the designated quadrant. It is hard to understand what sense the military saw in the trawling operation. First drag everything haphazardly around the bottom by the trawls, and then send in the submersibles?...It is clear that things should have been done in the reverse order.”95

But this “reversal” supports the contention that KAL 007’s final resting place was not its original placement, but that while still afloat, it had been towed from its original landing site and then sunk (and exploded); and then its wreckage dispersed to make it appear that a plane in disintegration had scattered its parts as it hurled earthward. Captain Girs (designer and captain of the Tinro II, the submersible that made most of the dives) confirms this general impression of secondary placement:

“The impression is that all of this has been dragged here by trawl rather than falling down from the sky.”96" (From my book)

Here is more on how the tail section (and the plane) appeared differently to the civilian divers than it did to the military divers - as related by the military to the civilian divers and to the reporters:
“It was during one of these exchanges that we met the military divers.“An entry in Captain Girs’ diary: ‘During the day, spent some time with the rescue divers.They clarified a lot of things, but it looks like our work is not over yet. They found the fuselage,closer to the tail, and there are many remains there. It was standing vertically between the reefs. They first lowered it down, and then got inside.’

“‘To be honest,’ continued Mikhail Igorevich, ‘I did not completely believe those divers.According to them, they found the tail part of the aircraft standing upright. But this is a very large fragment of the Boeing. They said that they found it in the reefs. I also went to the reefs, but there, too, I saw only small fragments—but they were everywhere. The biggest parts I encountered were the chassis, wheels, engines, and pieces of the aircraft body.’

Yet when questioning high ranking officers at Sokol Airbase on Sakhalin Island, correspondent Andrey Illesh found confirmation that at an early stage KAL 007 was integral enough to be climbed on.

“Specialists—navy men—had found the giant aircraft in the Sea of Japan. In addition, submariners (military also) had gone to the bottom and had ‘clambered’ all over KAL 007 top to bottom.”93

Brun, also contends that there was a mini-war, and air battle between Soviet planes and US forces. I bring forward some of Bruns evidence (including a McDonell Douglas II Zero Zero ejection seat of a US fighter) for this in my book. I don't deny this, though I can't confirm. But it is difficult for me to see, knowing Americans, how that US service men involved in this mini-war, which supposedly took so many lives and planes, could or would ever keep their mouths shut about such a secret. This is not how I feel, from my contact with men who had been in the Soviet military with the threats of the gulag and execution laid upon them, with the Russian counterparts of such a supposed secret mini- war.

A "Japanese" location for KAL 007 rather than "Russian" local, would mean not only a massive conspiracy between Russia,the US, and probably Japan, to have taken place at the time of the shootdown and shortly after, but it would have had to continue:

through early Russian Federation Times (Izvestia series) than the late 1990s ("I saw two rows of windows and knew that this was a Boeing. I knew this was a civilian plane. But for me this meant nothing. It is easy to turn a civilian type of plane into one for military use." (Gennadie Osipovich, now a civilian in retirement -New York Times interview, September 9, 1996),

then on into the 2000s - Gen. Valeri Kamenski interview http://www.rescue007.org/kaminski.htm ,

Diver Kondrabaev interview ( "On the night of 10 September 1983, when my colleagues and I were working on the diving and rescue craft "Sprut" in the Barents Sea, an aircraft carrier approached us. They reported from it that myself and 16 other divers were to fly immediately to Kaspiy. However, instead of Kaspiy, we landed in Moscow at Chkalovskiy airport.
Having been refueled, our military transport airplane once again took off and assumed a heading unknown to us. We landed in Yuzho-Sakhalinsk. From there by buses to Kholmsk - to the Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka diving base. Then they literally forgot about us for several days and only at the end of September brought us to the drilling ship "Mikhail Mirchinko." There was a diving complex there, which also became our home for a whole month.

- Didn't you know what you would be doing?

- Of course not. No one had explained anything to us. Only having started training in the pressure chamber did we find out that we would be diving to the destroyed South Korean Boeing. They showed us an old, shabby pocket calendar with ((Korean)) characters, on which this very Boeing was rendered.

- Did you start the dives right away?

- At first they lowered a video camera from the Mirchinko to the bottom, and then they decided to use a diving bell. where one of the divers looked to the right, a second to the left, and a third and fourth below, directly beneath the bell. On the third day of the dives we noticed a heap of wreckage on the bottom. We were ordered to leave the bell and begin to collect all of this debris. There were especially interested in radio parts, the remains of equipment, documents, in general, everything that was there. Everything was placed into a basket, welded with metal bars and attached to the bell.

- Did you see the airplane with your own eyes?

- It is difficult to call this an airplane. The largest wreckage was the size of not more than a square meter. Despite the fact that on board, as they say, was a large number of passengers, we didn't find one body, with the exception only of one hand in a black glove that had been torn off from the arm. The only fact testifying to the fact that there was a destroyed airplane laying on the bottom was the a landing gear strut.

We found very many things - ragged clothing, cosmetics, tape players, children's toys, spoons, forks, and rescue equipment with the KAL trade mark. But were weren't able to explain some finds. For example, a completely new powder box was found in a box, but with a cracked mirror, as if someone had broken it specially in advance."),

And finally, in 2003, there is the admission by the Deputy Director of State Russian Archives http://www.rescue007.org/anniversary_commentary.htm .

All of these people, most of them participants, confirm the Russian locale.

Now I will tell you from my own experience. This may mean little to others but for me this is decisive-
In Israel, I speak to many groups, some of them Russian new immigrants, and as part of this, though not pertinent to the meetings, I mention KAL 007 on the chance that someone may know something. I did this one day in Tiberius at a new congregation of immigrant Russian believers in Jesus. After the meeting, one of them rushed excitedly up and told me that while in Russia, a friend of his who was a diver from Murmansk had photographed KAL 007 at the bottom. It was intact but had holes in the side of the fuselage. I always recall that and it greatly encourages me that we are on the right track. Now I'll tell you why. This was in 1990 before there was an Izvestia series which told the world (or whoever cared) that one of the Soviet civilian diving groups that had visited KAL 007 on the bottom was from Murmansk!

A comment about the authenticity of the black box tapes. I realize that Brun discounts them completely as forgeries. I think that this is unwarrented though I do not doubt that part of them had been "doctored" About the "only two engines" instead of four that the 747 has. It would be very strange indeed and very stupid for ICAO, Russia, US, whoever, to simulate KAL 007's flight path for purposes of deception and coverup, by using a 2 engine aircraft rather than a 4 engined one and then to include the only 2 engine pressure ratio chartings in the final report. That is what it seemed to me when I first heard the theory. It seemed that there should be a more reasonable explanation for only 2 engines being charted for the final report. But actually, it is not only the engines (which are admittedly pertinent) which are found wanting as only engines 3 and 4 are charted. Other parameters of the DFDR, some pertinent and some not, are likewise deleted or simply not included. Here are the parameters of KAL 007's DFDR -
" acceleration (lateral, longitudinal and vertical), altitude (coarse and fine), calibrated airspeed, control column position in pitch, control wheel position in roll, engine pressure ratio for engines no. 2 and 3, flap configuration, Very High Frequency (3) and High Frequency (2) radios' key positions, magnetic heading, pitch and roll attitude, rudder pedal position, thrust reverser state for each engine, radio altimeter, autopilot (in and out of manual control), autopilot (in and out of command) and marker beacon."

Here is what are left out in the ICAO Report charting: engines 1 and 4, flap configuration, three VHF radio and one HF radio key position, thrust reverser state for each engine, and marker beacon.

Some of these deletions are just not pertinent (such as marker beacon, but some are ( engines 1 and 4 and flap configuration). The real question in all of this - what was guiding ICAO in its apparently erratic "editing"? There are some answers for that!

Well, this looks like an article within an article. thanks for the interst!

Username: Lumberton [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-17 22:14:36 and read 32768 times.

(quote)"But it is difficult for me to see, knowing Americans, how that US service men involved in this mini-war, which supposedly took so many lives and planes, could or would ever keep their mouths shut about such a secret. (unquote)

For sure!!!

This whole "mini-war" thing is kind of nutty. I was sent from Subic Bay to Hakodate the day after the shootdown to assist with the arrangements for the salvage effort mounted by the US Navy. Stopped at Yakota AB, went to Yokosuka naval base, met with Japanese counterparts, & arrived Hakodate the next day. During the next week I traveled the length of Hokkaido, including spending time in Otaru. N-E-V-E-R did I see any evidence of conflict or conflict preparations. Now, having said this, I haven't read the book in question (my appetite for these conspiracy theories isn't what it used to be) but I agree that any U.S. service persons could have never kept quiet regarding something like this--especially if combat had occurred.

Maybe the aircraft in question originated from Area 51? :-)

Username: BSchlossberg [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-18 09:12:22 and read 32768 times.

Thanks for the additional info!
Check me out on this. If there had been a "mini-war", there would have been knowledge of this at all the places you were sent the day after the shootdown. Is that right? It was a day after the shootdown, so you would not have seen preparations for a conflict TO BE but you would still have seen the signs of the preparations of the conflict that WAS. Is that right? And is it correct in assuming that if there had been a conflict, preparations for it would have taken place at the locations that you mention- rather than elswhere? Finally, I realize it is with a wink of the eye, but what is Area 51?

Username: Lumberton [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-18 15:58:17 and read 32768 times.


Firstly, thank you for this great article!

Yes, there definitely would have been indications of a conflict, or preparations for a conflict. From reading your post #12, it appears that there is "evidence" in the form of (quote) McDonell Douglas II Zero Zero ejection seat of a US fighter (unquote). I assume this is referring to an F-4 Phantom II. Please note that the ROKAF and Japanese Air Self Defense Force flew these aircraft also. I don't know how this can in any way be construed as evidence? The USS MIDWAY's airwing (this carrier was homeported in Yokosuka during the period in question) carried F-4's, and I believe there were some USAF F-4's at Misawa AB in Japan at the time, but if there had been conflict it would have been virtually impossible to have kept this under wraps.

If you haven't heard of "Area 51", then I highly recommend you do a Google search. There are undoubtedly thousands of references to this restricted test area in the Nevada desert. There are claims of everything to testing advanced technology to the re-engineering of harvested alien spacecraft. Along with Rosewell, New Mexico, it's "ground zero" for the UFO "true believers".

For Kojuchar (Post #11). I hope you didn't take my sarcasm as directed at you. It wasn't meant to be. I had just never heard of this very strange theory before.


Username: BSchlossberg [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-19 00:56:15 and read 32768 times.


Your quote-
" From reading your post #12, it appears that there is "evidence" in the form of (quote) McDonell Douglas II Zero Zero ejection seat of a US fighter (unquote). I assume this is referring to an F-4 Phantom II. Please note that the ROKAF and Japanese Air Self Defense Force flew these aircraft also"

These are good points! It looks like the support for a US-r
Russian aerial combat (other than the shooting down of KAL 007) is slim, indeed. Aside from the ejection seat shell, the following is brought forward by Brun as support for a US/Soviet aerial combat - Among the items recovered from the sea:

* what Brun identifies as part of the tail fin of a non Soviet infrared guided heatseeking missile. "N3" is marked on the fin. "N" does not appear in the Cyrillic alphabet so Brun considers this fin to be non-Soviet block.
But the Japanese Maritime Safety Agency identified this same object as the aileron of a light civilian plane.

* part of the wing flap of a the 2 seat electronic warfare fighter EF-111. If it were to be that, could this be other than US use, just as the ejection seat could well have been from a Japanese or Korean aircraft? Did the Japanese or Koreans fly the EF-111?

Bert Schlossberg

Username: Lumberton [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-19 15:34:48 and read 32768 times.

The RAAF also flew (and still does to this day I believe) a version of the F-111. Here is a great web site on the F-111 for further questions you might have:


Again, IMHO this is at best a "far fetched" theory. I would like to know who identified the wing flap as coming from an F-111? Remember, a lot of Soviet metal crashed during the days of the Soviet Union. Also, the Soviets flew an aircraft very similiar to the F-111, the SU-24 (NATO Codename "Fencer"). Unless you can cross that piece of wreckage with serial numbers to an actual airframe, there isn't much of a case. Even then an air battle with the numbers and losses alleged would have created quite a bit of debris. I remember when I was in Hokkaido in the aftermath of the KAL shooting, the Japanese media would report on debris from the jetliner washing ashore. (And, if I remember correctly, human remains.)

With all respect to Mr. Brun, he's going to have to do better than that to convince me that this "mini-war" ever took place.

Username: BSchlossberg [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-19 16:48:44 and read 32768 times.

Brun had people with him that helped in the identification. I have no idea now who they were and I'm not even sure that Brun specified in any detail. If I remember right, no book in front of me, it was this object, the "wing flap from the F-111", that Brun identified as such because it was titanium. Is the wing flap of the 111 titanium and does that rule out other aircraft?
About the debris that was washed up on the shores of Hokkaido, there were 13 human fragments washed up 8 days later, all unidentifiable, which might have come from the one missile that detonated (killed by the missile but not "released" to the deep until after the plane came down. This from the International Civil Aviation Organizationo analysis that the combined ruptures {holes}from the missile {proximity fused, designed to detonate 50 meters to the rear of aircraft} detonation was only 1 1/2 square ft.- ascertained by the 11 seconds for air to rush out before warning alert is heard by Cockpit Voice Recorder. No one could be sucked out through these holes!), or might have come from a hard setdown of the aircraft that killed some. OR it might have come from a Soviet plant as this was at the height of what is now acknowledged as an extensive Soviet attempt (successful) to deceive the US and Japan and, in particular,Task Force 71 of the US 7th Fleet.
Another strange thing about the washed up debris- All the finds (aside from aircraft structural material) came only from the cabin portion of the aircraft - nothing from the cargo area. This is pretty difficult to do if an aircraft experiences a devastating explosion/crash at sea.

"The nonstructural 1,020 items that had been recovered included dentures, newspapers, books, seat cushions, 8 “KAL” paper cups, shoes, sandals and sneakers, a camera case, a “please fasten seatbelt” sign, an oxygen mask, a handbag, blouses, a bottle of dishwashing liquid, an identity card belonging to 25-year old passenger Mary Jane Hendrie of Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, bottles, a vest, the business card of passenger Kathy Brown-Spier of New York, and a baby doll.
All of these items, as well as all the other nonstructural items that were recovered, came from only one section of the jumbo jet—the passenger cabin, the “top section” of the aircraft which includes its distinctive hump. Nothing had been recovered and nothing had been reported floating on the ocean surface that had come from the “bottom section” of the aircraft’s fuselage—the cargo hold.
This alone ought to have alerted investigators that the passenger jet could not have exploded in the air—neither at missile detonation (as would nine years later be confirmed by the black box tape analysis), nor in proximity to the Japanese cuttlefish boat Chidori Maru (as would be confirmed nine years later by analysis of Soviet ground-to-ground communication.... Nor could KAL 007 have crashed at sea since such a conjectured crash at such conjectured force would also have demolished the aircraft “top and bottom.” No suitcase (over 450 were on board), crate, carton, or any other cargo area item emerged from the deep.
It should have been apparent from the start that KAL 007 had successfully landed and that any explosion of the aircraft could only have occurred subsequent to its landing, and after all passengers, crew, and luggage had been removed.
The CIA/Republican Staff Study (Committee on Foreign Relations) of 1991 concluded that, “The only way to explain the lack of wreckage, bodies, and luggage from this great airliner incident is to assume that after its twelve-minute flight in search of a landing spot, KAL 007 successfully ditched at sea, and that the Soviets either rescued all the passengers who survived and recovered their luggage, or that the Soviets recovered all the bodies, wreckage, and the luggage. Since the Soviets are now known to have recovered the black boxes and the wreckage, as revealed in 1991 by Izvestiya, it is reasonable to presume that the Soviets also recovered at least all the passengers, dead or alive, and all the luggage.”9
7 The miniscule amount of KAL 007’s debris may be compared with the Challenger’s 20 tons of debris (245,000 pounds) and Air India Flight 182’s more than 4 tons of debris (4,480 pounds).
8 CIA/Republican Staff Study, p. 10.
9 The CIA/Republican Staff Study was written prior to Boris Yeltsin’s surrender of the actual black box tapes to the ICAO in Montreal." Excerpted from http://www.rescue007.org/docs/Crash%20Comparisons.pdf

Username: Lumberton [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-19 21:59:37 and read 32768 times.

I cannot find any reference to titanium being used on the F-111. At the time, titanium was very expensive and difficult to work with. It was used on the SR-71, but I don't believe it would have been used on an aircraft that was producted in fairly large numbers such as the F-111. And even if it were used, why use titanium for a wing flap? It would have been used on the leading edges, right? Maybe some other a.netter can help on this one?

Interestingly enough, the Soviets were quite adept at working with titanium. I don't find Mr. Brun's "evidence" convincing that the alleged "mini war" ever took place.

Username: BSchlossberg [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-19 22:08:52 and read 32768 times.

Thanks for the interchange and the info, Lumberton! I agree pretty much with you about the mini-war. I hope in the process I didn't misrepresent Mr. Brun's position - not having his book with me. Hope to hear from you further at the posting of KAL 007 Revisited Part 3

Username: Lumberton [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-19 23:20:29 and read 32768 times.

Thanks, Bert. I look forward to reading it. Someday, I hope the truth comes out and there is an accounting for these innocent people who died. I pray these souls rest in peace.

Username: Efranrider [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-21 16:36:00 and read 32768 times.

To Lumberton: Just to clarify, the piece of titanium that Brun cites was separate from the EF-111 wing flap. Brun believes the United States lost one of its most valuable planes in the air battle, hence the titanium. Brun has photographs of both in his book, and they may be published in a subsequent article on KAL 007.

Username: Lumberton [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-21 23:25:42 and read 32768 times.

Thanks. It will be very interesting to see his proof. The only aircraft in the U.S. inventory at the time that I am aware of that made extensive use of titanium was the SR-71, certainly not a mass produced tactical aircraft. The SR-71 would not have been involved in any air battle. I am at the 99.99999999...+ percent confidence level that if something like this had occurred it would have been made public by now. But, I await the "proof".

Username: BSchlossberg [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-24 13:38:55 and read 32768 times.

You have asked about anecdotes concerning survivors. I want to provide that now, but first I have to say that we consider these stories in the catagory of "credible reports" worthy of, and needing, further investigation, rather than "live sightings" or "proof". I need further to say that there are further anecdotes that are not included, of recent vintage, that are in the process of verification, and have issues of confidentiality connected to them. Confidentiality has also played its part in separating the following anecdotes from reality. But you have asked! The following, in part, is material already made public from our website:

First, there are the anecdotes—difficult to assess, impossible to dismiss. Walter O’Reilly, President of Forget Me Not, the umbrella organization for various POW/MIA groups, the organization popularly associated with yellow flower distribution, reports that while on official business in the new Russian Federation, he was accosted at the steps of the former Lubyanka Central KGB prison by two men who surreptitiously said to him “We have your congressman.” O’Reilly’s response was a startled, “No, you don’t,” as he walked quickly away. He then realized that they must have meant Congressman Larry McDonald. He quickly returned to the steps but the men were gone.

A Christian minister in Long Island, New York, reports that while visiting Russia, he had contact with a Russian pastor who claimed that he had been imprisoned for his faith with a group of people whom he believed were the American contingent from KAL 007. They had arrived at the prison the same week as the shootdown. Initially clothed in Western civilian attire, they presently donned the normal prison uniform. This Russian pastor now lives on the west coast of the United States and still has contact with the Christian minister in Long Island, but he refuses to say anything further about the matter, fearing for the safety of his relatives in Russia and for his own safety in the United States. Certain individuals have circulated among the Russian émigrés in his area warning them with threats lest they should ever speak of their prison experiences.

One mother of teenage children—passengers of KAL 007—reports that while on a business trip to China, she received a phone call from one of her children who immediately hung up after telling her not to worry. This mother has no idea how her child located her at her hotel room, but she has no doubts that it was her child.

Another woman, whose husband a computer specialist on board flight 007, received a phone call from an individual whose voice she immediately recognized as her husband’s. But the call was abruptly cut off.

And then there is the strange and chilling tale of former Russian academician, David Stavitski, now residing in the United States. In an article published in Aleph, the Russian language US/Israeli publication5, Stavitski recounts that just three months after the shoot-down of KAL 007, while in the process of preparing for a conference of college teachers in the field of the effects of psychotropic drugs during combat, he had recourse to discussion with a medical colonel named Kodumov. Their discussion led to the use of parapsychology in altering perception. Kodumov informed Stavitski of a program begun at Serbsky Institute near Moscow, which was later adapted at the Sverdlovsk Institute for an experimental program called Adnure (parole).6 Adnure was a program in which captured foreign national subjects were conditioned out of operating from their identities in order to become pliable agents of espionage to be returned to their home countries, responding in all ways as, for example, Americans, but faithful and obedient suppliers to their Soviet “handlers.”7 Kodumov informed Stavitski that he thought the KAL 007 passengers would be used for the Adnure program. What is startling is not
that the KAL 007 passengers had been definitely placed at the Adnure project facility (they had not), but that a medical colonel associated with a scientific institute of the Soviet Union could suggest, as a matter of course, the real possibility of captured foreign nationals—among them the passengers of KAL 007—being found in such a horrendous program.

[5. “Will Project Adnure Be This Century’s Secret?” David Stavitski, Aleph no. 606, 2-9 November, 1995, pp. 42,43.
6. Serbsky Institute and Mental Hospital figuring in as a center for mind altering experiments receives startling confirmation from Emilia Cherkover, former Deputy of the Zelenograd Soviet and member of the Russian Federation Human Rights Commision. Cherkover maintains that, along with Vladivostok and Moscow prisons and the mental hopital in Oryal, microwave
(psychotronic and electromagnetic application) experiments had been conducted between 1989 and 1990 at Moscow's Serbsky Institute
7. Adnure seems to be a type of Soviet espionage training facility commonly known as “charm schools”—but with a parapsychological input. The typical charm school operation is currently being popularized (and fictionalized) through a recent book, The Charm School, by Nelson Demille (New York: Warner Books, 1988).
8. On February 6, 1997, the published results of Centre investigations were conveyed to, among others, United States Congressman Robert K. Dornan (R-California, 46th District) while he was in Israel in connection with Israeli and Palestinian counterclaims to Hebron.]

Username: Lumberton [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-25 16:21:35 and read 32768 times.

Are you going to further elaborate on your notes to RedAirForce in Part 3 of your Article on KAL 007? These are absolutely chilling accounts. Your access to Russian emigres has really shed a new light on this whole incident.

Username: BSchlossberg [User Info]
Posted 2005-08-25 23:14:05 and read 32768 times.

KAL 007 Revisited, Part 3 will not deal with the fate of the passengers and crew of KAL 007 after they were rescued and "extracted" by the Soviets. Part 3 will primarily be the transcripts of the shootdown of KAL 007, it's post detonation flight and escape from destruction, and the immediate rescue missions sent out by the Soviets. These transcripts will be a "first time" and eye opener for probably all of our viewers- though they are all in the public domain since their release by the Russian Federation. But once assimilated, these transcripts will provide the actuality and setting for the subsequent reports concerning the survivors. And yes, some of these reports are chilling. This one is a little heavy on me and numbers of other people are concerned with some of the most vital of reports. If any might think that the fate of the passengers and crew is a dead issue after such a long time, I have to report that yesterday I received a letter from the 3 week old baby on the cover of the edition of People's Magazine that came out the week of the shootdown. He is pictured with his mother and his sister. After 22 years, he wrote to find out more about the flight and his father who had been a passenger on the flight. I have to think hard just how and when to present these findings. But after Part 3 all will be ready.
Regards to you too!

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