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KAL 007 Revisited Part 6 - New Evidence!

By Bert Schlossberg
November 14, 2006

The title speaks for itself! Schlossberg remains the only individual today who proves able to uncover new, real evidence in this tragedy, and who has not accepted the dated Kirkpatrick theory. Airliners.net remains dedicated to posting new information as it continues to surface.

A note from the editor:

What is Bert Schlossberg doing? Why does he want to go back and rehash these old memories? What can possibly be gained by publishing these wild theories that are simply delusional? Doesn’t he understand that all he’s doing is insulting the victims’ families and spinning his wheels?

These are important questions to ask—we at Airliners.net asked them earlier this year, when we considered publishing a commemoration of the 10th anniversary of TWA 800 (which would have been a series of articles about the possibilities of the truth having not yet been told!).

It’s important to understand that Schlossberg isn’t on a conspiracy trip, and he’s not just keen on his latest outrageous theory. The organization that he’s founded, The International Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors, has been around for five years now, and he himself is the “family of the victims” that we try so hard not to offend.

And what he’s done in the last few years is incredible. In fact, Schlossberg has consistently uncovered new, reliable evidence, and seems to be the only one doing so anymore…

So what’s the point? Why does he bother? So what if the whole truth has been a little distorted or veiled—isn’t that the case for ALL military maneuvers?

I think Schlossberg’s mission is clear—he just wants the truth. He doesn’t want to send Reagan to jail, or collect $1 million for every victim, or become famous for his work—he just wants the truth. So remember this as you read—Schlossberg is not merely, as one of our readers put it, a clown who is doing a disservice to the relatives of the victims—he, like so many great figures in history, believes that the best service that can be done for victims of a tragedy is for the truth to be told—no matter how long it takes, and no matter how great the opposition.

In the words of a proven leader,“An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it… Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear… Truth never damages a cause that is just.”1

You don’t have to believe anything that Schlossberg has written—but he shouldn’t be resented for simply pursuing the truth. The case is far from being closed on this tragedy. Those interested are encouraged to read the other Airliners.net articles on this disaster:

Part One (Schlossberg)
Part Two (Schlossberg)
Part Three (Schlossberg)
Part Four (Henry)
Part Five (Schlossberg)



KAL 007's Intrusion into Soviet Airspace
Seen by U.S. Reconnaissance

by Bert Schlossberg

One of the great unknowns has always been the question of U.S. responsibility in KAL 007's deviation from its course, causing it to enter Soviet airspace over the Kamchatka peninsula and Sakhalin Island. This question was extremely pertinent in light of the (admitted) fact that there was indeed a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft in the vicinity as KAL 007 made its initial intrusion into Soviet airspace over Kamchatka. What the RC-135 was doing was positioning itself to intercept telemetry from the planned Soviet test launch of a mobile Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). Could the RC-135 have seen the jumbo jet and warned it? Could the crew of the RC-135 have warned its own command and civilian air traffic controllers? Could it have intercepted the ground chatter from the Soviet posts along Kamchatka as Soviet MiGs were scrambled to intercept KAL 007 as it passed into the forbidden Soviet Defense Zone? Could it have seen the Soviet radars along the coast lighting up as they successively captured the passenger aircraft as it dangerously made its way across the coast, and passed over Pacific nuclear ICB submarine fleet, and Soviet airfields?

These questions have never had an answer for one reason only: The U.S. courts decided that obtaining this information would have compromised U.S. national security interests. The capabilities of U.S. intelligence, and in particular the capabilities of the RC-135, could not be revealed during the peak of the Cold War. And so, this track was abandoned by the United States, as the ensuing litigation in both the liability cases and the cases for damages was dropped. But what if there was a way to learn what had happened without revealing the capabilities of the RC-135? What if the truth could be relayed by witnesses, without revealing the classified technical capabilities?

This is our mentality now.

An airman who flew back to Anchorage from Shemya Island—with the RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft crew after they had returned to Shemya base from their surveillance at Kamchatka's borders—tells what was told to him by the crew. The answers to the aforementioned questions are affirmative—the crew was aware of KAL 007, and they knew that it was entering into harm's way, and nothing was done about it. No one reported the disaster they knew to be imminent. When they returned to their base on Shemya, KAL 007 had already left Kamchatka's airspace but had not yet entered Sakhalin's airspace where the attack would occur. There was still time!

Here are the words of this airman, directly from his letters to the Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors. We begin with his unsolicited letter to the Committee. There were a few deletions made, to ensure the non-disclosure of his identity. The possible need for this will be apparent. Perhaps, at a later stage, with the airman's permission, more information will be forthcoming…

Tonight I watched the History Channel special about KAL 007. One part that could not help but stick in my gut was the statement that the RC-135 may not have been aware of 007 because, as the former Cobra Ball pilot said, they were using downward looking radar. That may have been true, but that night I was waiting on the ground for that RC to land so that I and the crew that was onboard the aircraft could fly back to Elison AFB. I was friends at the time with a number of the aircrew members in the back of the aircraft who, when questioned as to why they were so late and pale-as-sheets answered, "Watch CNN when you get back." These guys were specifically Russian linguists and analysts, so it was apparent they had knowledge of what had happened. Until I heard the statement on TV tonight, I never knew that there was any disavowment of knowledge about the incident. Since I had such a high security clearance at the time, I have never mentioned this to anyone and even today worry about sending you this, but I hope that this little bit of truth may help.


Russian Chief of Staff Ogarkov shows where he believes
KAL 007 and a U.S. RC-135 flew side by side

After reading this letter, I sent a few requests for clarifications:

1). Would it have been possible, or even likely, that these people had tracked (radar, other means?) KAL 007 without being aware of 007's forbidden intrusion? This seemed unlikely to me, but I wanted to ask.

2). Did the linguists and analysts say anything about where 007 was when it was observed? Was it heading for Russian airspace? Was it ALREADY in Russian air space?

3). Was it on Shemya that you (the letter writer) boarded the plane with the RC-135 crew for your flight back to Elison AFB?

4). Is there any way that we can get in touch with any of the other airmen? Do you recall their names? Have you kept in contact with any of them or know of their whereabouts?


And the airman's responses…

1). The RC-135 platform listens to every comm coming out of an area. But it's all of the guys sitting in the back. The actual flight crew may not have known anything.

2). These guys only said, "Watch CNN when you get home." They have to be very tight-lipped about what goes on, but understood that we knew what their capability was in the air, so simply saying that shouted to me that they knew what happened.

3). Yes, I rode a training RC down to Shemya with the weekly replacement crew to complete some business. I had to wait quite some time for the crew on the mission to return, but when they did, they were as white as ghosts from what they had heard. I re-boarded the training RC with them to return to our home base of Elison.

4). I'm sorry, but as so often happens, there are too many miles under the bridge and I no longer communicate with any of the linguists. As is typical in the military, you work so close and depend on each other so much only to lose touch through all the assignments and years....


Shoes—some of the only articles ever recovered


Can the U.S. government be somehow moved to reopen investigation into the shootdown of KAL 007 and reopen the issue of survivors of this great tragedy? Is the notion that the United States could have prevented this tragedy too powerful to breach such issues, or strong enough to reopen the investigation?

Bert Schlossberg, Director, The International Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors, http://www.Rescue007.org.

1Mohandas Gandhi

Written by
Bert Schlossberg

Bert Schlossberg is the 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, by email.

6 User Comments:
Username: BSchlossberg [User Info]
Posted 2006-11-14 13:45:46 and read 32768 times.

Just a note, Folks. Some of the important circumstances and background to the intrusion of KAL 007 can be found in the first article of this series - KAL 007 Revisited (Part 1).

Username: Tdhart [User Info]
Posted 2007-01-29 06:38:53 and read 32768 times.

Sorry, looking for conspiracies never did anyone any good, and does occasionally have the opposite effect.

Look, "I knew a guy, who was there that night...And he said...." Stops a LOOOONG way from the implied assertion that....

1. The surveillance aircraft knew about the incursion at all, much less with enough time to do anything about it. However, they would certainly have known about it after the fact and realized that they were in the same area, which would have the stated effect of them being "white as ghosts". And...

2. That the surveillance aircrew could have had ANY inkling that the Soviets would dare fire upon a commercial airliner.

3. The intel crew does not talk on aviation frequencies, generally, and may not have the ability to do so. I am no expert on this platform, but when I consider the logistics and violations involved versus the percieved risk to the airliner, a timely call on the radio does not seem to be a likely outcome. Particularly considering #2 above, and the fact that they are generally restricted from making transmissions in the clear while on station that would have the effect of identifying their location and mission. Let me reiterate: No matter if the pilot of the Surveillance aircraft himself knew of 007's incursion, he would NEVER have expected the shootdown of a commercial airliner! A forced landing...perhaps, but not a shootdown.

4. None of the above puts the crew of the surveillance aircraft at fault for this shootdown! Are we saying that the Russians shot down a commercial airliner and the Americans are at fault!?!

If this is what passes as investigative inquiry....All I can say is....Wow.

One final thing, which also proves nothing. As a guy who used to do this type of work (working in the same part of the world in fact) who left the military 19 years ago, I, to this day, still communicate with many of my fellow servicemen from this time. It's the nature of the business....It builds strong ties.

Username: BSchlossberg [User Info]
Posted 2007-01-29 14:25:12 and read 32768 times.

Tdhart,
Thanks for your response.
A number of observations:
1. If United States assets were to have failed to prevent the entry of KAL 007 into harm's way, when they could have prevented it, this would in no way exonerate Russia from shooting down a civilian passenger plane. And since 1996 there is no longer any doubt that KAL 007 was known by the Russians to be a civilian passenger plane -

"Maistrenko was incorrect but Osipovich had not reported at the time to his controller that he had seen KAL 007's lights. He was to acknowledge this in his Sept. 9, 1996, New York Times interview :

"'I was just next to him, on the same altitude, 150 meters to 200 meters away,' he recalled in conversations with a reporter this weekend. From the flashing lights and the configuration of the windows, he recognized the aircraft as a civilian type of plane, he said. 'I saw two rows of windows and knew that this was a Boeing,' he said. '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.'"

From - http://www.rescue007.org/stalk.htm

2. With regards to this your comment-
"Particularly considering #2 above, and the fact that they are generally restricted from making transmissions in the clear while on station that would have the effect of identifying their location and mission. Let me reiterate: No matter if the pilot of the Surveillance aircraft himself knew of 007's incursion, he would NEVER have expected the shootdown of a commercial airliner! A forced landing...perhaps, but not a shootdown" - You here do suggest a reason why, the RC-135 would not have reported the danger that KAL 007 was about to be exposed to. That is, they may have not reported the entrance of KAL 007 in Russian air space to prevent their mission (and ones to follow) from being compromised. The question to be answered - would that risk justify the silence!
The same would hold true if the RC-135 crew would have thought that the danger to KAL007 would be just a forced landing on Soviet territory rather than being shot down.

3. A U.S. State Department release designates 15:53 GMT as the time that KAL 007 penetrated the Soviet Buffer zone over Kamchatka. KAL 007 exitted Kamchatka, and then traversed international air space over the waters of Okhutsk, only to re-enter Soviet airspace and be attacked just past Sakhalin at 18:26 GMT. There were therefore about two and half hours between the time that U.S. assets, according to the report, picked up the Soviet ground station chatter, radar, etc. indicating harm coming to the passenger plane, and the actual harm having come - plenty of time to have warned off KAL 007.

4. If the report is accurate, than this must be taken seriously as strong evidence, that, at least by the U.S. Russian language translators and analysts, the "ravens", aboard the RC-135, harm was about to come to a civilian passenger plane.


Username: Tdhart [User Info]
Posted 2007-01-29 17:13:03 and read 32768 times.

Okay, I understand your point, perhaps a personal interest as well, when you say:

"You here do suggest a reason why, the RC-135 would not have reported the danger that KAL 007 was about to be exposed to. That is, they may have not reported the entrance of KAL 007 in Russian air space to prevent their mission (and ones to follow) from being compromised. The question to be answered - would that risk justify the silence!
The same would hold true if the RC-135 crew would have thought that the danger to KAL007 would be just a forced landing on Soviet territory rather than being shot down."

With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, of course. But we cannot argue for condemnation ex-post-facto. Such a condemnation is not prudent or beneficial to a free society. The simple fact that nothing like this had occured before, and no reasonable man could assume that the Soviets would do something this reprehensible, argues persuasively (in my book) for them to protect their mission.

As far as your point #3: I cannot agree with your assertion that based on the chatter, the crew could have; 1. understood that an order would be given to shoot down the Airliner, as this order was not given (and would not have been expected in any event once identification was made) until just prior to the shoot-down. And 2. By the time the order was made, there was No time left to issue a warning.

Look, this was a crime of epic proportions. Something no man who claims to be civilized could be expected to do or to condone. I maintain that the US Aircrew on board the RC-135 would have never expected this outcome. With regard to the force down issue: I disagree. Forcing the aircraft to land to confirm it's status as a civilian airliner is well expected given the airspace penetration of this sensitive area. I dont believe the US Aircrew knew of the initial penetration until after it occured, they are just not interested in commercial aircraft after they have been so identified, and after the initial penetration, the die had been cast as far as the soviets were concerned in terms of their legal status. However, with the prevailing expectation that the aircraft would have one of two things happen to it, either it would be let go (once it's identity was verified by the Russian pilots) or it would be (perhaps less likely) forced to land for identification. Neither scenario, in my opinion, justified compromising the mission.

Reasonable people would not have, until that fateful night, expected a civilized nation to do such a thing, at least not without severe reprecussions.


Regards,
Tom

Username: BSchlossberg [User Info]
Posted 2007-01-30 15:02:25 and read 32721 times.

Tom,
I too am loath to bring the intentions of U.S. airmen into disrepute. This is because I have had opportunities to see how much good is in America - despite all those who hope to bring her down. I need to say that because, even in the posting of the above article, I had to do it from the resolve to see this through, rather than a desire to cast aspertions.
One comment to this your comment - "The simple fact that nothing like this had occured before, and no reasonable man could assume that the Soviets would do something this reprehensible, argues persuasively (in my book) for them to protect their mission."
Sometning like this did happen before, 5 years before. In April of 1978, A Soviet Sukhoi 15 shot down a civilian passenger plane, KAL 902, a Boeing 707, about 250 miles south of Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula. The Sukhoi 15 fired a missile which disabled the plane, killing two passengers, but the plane was able to be put down on a frozen lake. It is a question, of course, how much an influence, if any, this would have had on American airmen would might have seen KAL 007 enter Soviet airspace. It had a great influence on the Soviets, though - a couple of Colonels executed for allowing a civilian plane to penetrate so far into Soviet airspace, and the incident might well have primed the Soviets in the shooting down of KAL 007 - lest their heads role too.

What is the name of yuour book? Does it deal with KAL 007 issues or background?

Bert

Username: BSchlossberg [User Info]
Posted 2007-01-31 13:32:11 and read 32681 times.

Dear Folks,
There have been good comments and responses to comments at the ends of the other articles about KAL 007. It's very worthwhile to take a look. Also, since this article is the last so far in this series, you can comment here on this article even if the subject matter is dealt with in the other articles. That way, all can be kept abreast.
Bert

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