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BA 149 To Kuwait On Eve Of Gulf War: Conspiracies  
User currently offlineCityofAthens From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 10 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 8420 times:

This has apparently been screened on the Discovery Channel, and regards the story of the last British Airways flight into Kuwait before the outbreak of hostilities between Iraq and Kuwait (the first Gulf War).

There are rumours (whether partly based on fact or completely fictitious) that BA in co-operation with the UK Foreign Office and other govt branches willfully placed the lives of crew and passengers in danger by operating a 747 into Kuwait whilst Saddam's army had massed onto the border. The claim is that secret agents/special air services personnel were aboard the aircraft and needed to be 'delivered' to KWI in order to conduct a covert operation.

All the while BA management assured the crew of BA 149 that their safety and security were the first priority. The story would seem to indicate that beneath the surface, there were other priorities and the implication is that someone, somewhere knew the danger that the aircraft and its crew were likely to encounter on the ground in KWI.

The aircraft arrived in KWI and was subsequently blown up and all the passengers and crew taken hostage by Saddam's army. It was during this time that many of the crew and passengers suffered their worst nightmares.

Of course, there are two sides to every story .... we probably won't know the truth in its entirety for a while; in the meantime, the series makes for interesting viewing.

Apologies if this has already been discussed, but it's the first I've seen of this BBC production.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=RKoDxQaVX2k

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (5 years 10 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7957 times:

There was a thread just before the first screening of the BBC programme in March 2007

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...aviation/read.main/3308949/#menu26



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 7162 posts, RR: 57
Reply 2, posted (5 years 10 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 7427 times:

I hear Shergar was on the plane, along with Lord Lucan.


The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlineStandby87 From Switzerland, joined Jul 2001, 536 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (5 years 10 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 7168 times:

I was involved with this.

It was cock-up, rather than conspiracy.
We got the news at BA overnight and it was, TBH, panic and disbelief mode. Correction, panic mode for a split-second, then emergency procedure mode.
I don't work for BA anymore, but I can't go into the details.

Quoting CityofAthens (Thread starter):
BA in co-operation with the UK Foreign Office and other govt branches willfully placed the lives of crew and passengers in danger by operating a 747 into Kuwait whilst Saddam's army had massed onto the border. The claim is that secret agents/special air services personnel were aboard the aircraft and needed to be 'delivered' to KWI in order to conduct a covert operation.

Seems a lot of effort to take a scheduled flight from LHR last-minute hey?!

I saw the passenger list.
There was a Mr Rambo and a Mr Rocky and Bruce Willis was in Row 1...
 Wink


User currently offlineCityofAthens From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (5 years 10 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 7115 times:



Quoting Standby87 (Reply 3):
It was cock-up

That sounds very much more like the company I work for ... still cocking up today . Just look at T5Big grin

Ok, sorry for the repeat thread folks, I completely missed this documentary. Thanks for the link to other thread, very interesting.

I'm a bit surprised by the Captain's decision to abandon some of his own crew in a bid for freedom, but then again it's all too easy to pass judgement from the comfort of your armchair.


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3602 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7030 times:



Quoting Standby87 (Reply 3):
I saw the passenger list.
There was a Mr Rambo and a Mr Rocky and Bruce Willis was in Row 1...

And a Mr Andrew McNab stowed away in the wheel well
 bigthumbsup 


User currently offlineSteve6666 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 411 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 10 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6952 times:



Quoting CityofAthens (Reply 4):
I'm a bit surprised by the Captain's decision to abandon some of his own crew in a bid for freedom

From what I recall of the documentary he didn't do so voluntarily - they missed the rendez vous for whatever reason (think it was oversleeping).



eu nasci ha dez mil anos atras, e nao tem nada nesse mundo que eu nao saiba demais
User currently offlineGulfstream650 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2008, 539 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 10 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6850 times:



Quoting Standby87 (Reply 3):
There was a Mr Rambo and a Mr Rocky and Bruce Willis was in Row 1...

Rambo and Rocky were played by the same actor.



I don't proclaim to be the best pilot in the world but I'm safe
User currently offlineSandyb123 From UK - Scotland, joined Oct 2007, 1110 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 10 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6604 times:
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Quoting Standby87 (Reply 3):
It was cock-up, rather than conspiracy.

Not according to the documentary. It was deliberately landed in Kuwait to offload MI6 agents. Unfortunately it was a politically motivated move which put hundreds of civilians at risk.

I also found it interesting to read a French court found for the passengers who where then financially compensated and an American law suit was settled out of court.


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Sandyb123



Member of the mile high club
User currently offline1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 10 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5758 times:

I saw the documentary and while very convincing they were slightly ambigous about where they got their information from. If there was a covert operation then from the doc, it seems more likely that there was a cock up given that their aircraft was delayed at Heathrow for two hours by mechanical problems meaning that it arrived just in time for Saddams assault at KWI.

User currently offlineGT4EZY From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 1789 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5553 times:



Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 9):
I saw the documentary and while very convincing they were slightly ambigous about where they got their information from. If there was a covert operation then from the doc, it seems more likely that there was a cock up given that their aircraft was delayed at Heathrow for two hours by mechanical problems meaning that it arrived just in time for Saddams assault at KWI.

A plausible explanation only it omits any reason as to why the crew were not informed mid-flight.

Quoting Standby87 (Reply 3):
I was involved with this.

It was cock-up, rather than conspiracy.
We got the news at BA overnight and it was, TBH, panic and disbelief mode. Correction, panic mode for a split-second, then emergency procedure mode.
I don't work for BA anymore, but I can't go into the details.

No disrespect to whatever role you played at BA but surely information on such a plan/conspiracy would be painstakingly kept right at the very top of the airline thus keeping those further down in the dark and making it seem like a cock up.

I'm not a huge conspiracy theorist but the evidence (and I have only just watched the docu-drama) seems overwhelming given that one of the MI6/SAS personnel involved gives testimony.

a) There could have been a plan to land those intelligence personnel at the cost of putting civillians and crew at risk.

b) There could have been a plan to land those intelligence personnel and have BA149 continuing on to the Far East before any invasion. A cunning plan but still sends a civillian aircraft into a critically unstable part of the world.

c) If B was the case, why wasn't the crew informed that the invasion had taken place? In not doing so then the all situation reverts to plan A.



Proud to fly from Manchester!
User currently offlinePoint8six From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5366 times:

As an aside, the Captain recently lost a long battle with cancer.

User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3527 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5340 times:



Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 10):
No disrespect to whatever role you played at BA but surely information on such a plan/conspiracy would be painstakingly kept right at the very top of the airline thus keeping those further down in the dark and making it seem like a cock up.

Official plans are kept at the very top - but it's the ground staff, crew and other administrative people who have to coordinate the activities for any covert op, disguised or otherwise. Just because they weren't officially informed that other activities were happening, most people who work for airlines are fairly intelligent, and can probably figure out what's going on (or at least get a whiff that something is not quite normal) and deduce what they will from any unusual procedures or requests that come alongside the "normal" operation.

What was the axiom ... The probability of a secret being found out is directly proportional to the square of the number of people who know about it?



Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offline1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5291 times:



Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 10):
A plausible explanation only it omits any reason as to why the crew were not informed mid-flight

Possibly to stop the crew panicking and diverting the aircraft en route out if it was essential to get whoever was onboard into the Kuwait as soon as possible.

Quoting Point8six (Reply 11):
As an aside, the Captain recently lost a long battle with cancer

I'm sorry to hear about that.


User currently offlineGT4EZY From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 1789 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5282 times:



Quoting Planespotting (Reply 12):
Official plans are kept at the very top - but it's the ground staff, crew and other administrative people who have to coordinate the activities for any covert op, disguised or otherwise. Just because they weren't officially informed that other activities were happening, most people who work for airlines are fairly intelligent, and can probably figure out what's going on (or at least get a whiff that something is not quite normal) and deduce what they will from any unusual procedures or requests that come alongside the "normal" operation.

Absoulutely true and in fact the crew were surprised that when they reported for duty the plan was still to stop off in KWI. Therefore it can be deduced that this was deemed as unusual procedure. So standby87 in one part of BA deems there to be nothing unusual but the crew do. Therefore your theory doesn't work.



Proud to fly from Manchester!
User currently offlineUnited_Fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7496 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4973 times:

I've only gotten thru 2 Youtube episodes,so far. To me,the 'young men' saying to the pusur that they 'don't need these arrival cards' would raise the suspisions of the purusur.Looking forward to watching the rest of them.

BTW,the 74 classic looks so nice inb the 'Landor' sceme,IMHO.



'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 7162 posts, RR: 57
Reply 16, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4882 times:



Quoting United_Fan (Reply 15):
'young men' saying to the pusur that they 'don't need these arrival cards'

Thats right - the MI5 people would be that stupid.



The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13220 posts, RR: 77
Reply 17, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4878 times:

If there was SF personnel in board, it was surely a cock up still that the aircraft arrived where it did, when it did.
This is far from an ideal way to insert such people, effectively in the lap of the enemy.
You'd want a normal arrival at an airport, normal deplaning etc.

Not risk blowing the whole operation from the start.

Another word of caution, the long running campaign for compensation for the pax affected, at least above and beyond what the already may have had.


User currently offlineCityofAthens From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4836 times:



Quoting BestWestern (Reply 16):
Thats right - the MI5 people would be that stupid.

Isn't MI5 the domestic branch of the SIS (Secret Intelligence Service) ? I thought MI6 (the int'l branch) or more likely the SAS might have been involved in such reconnaissance missions.

We'll soon have the spooks keeping an eye on this thread. Big grin


User currently offlineGT4EZY From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 1789 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4675 times:

Lets not forget that these guys were, in fact, MI6 and SAS on an intelligence operation not combat. That is key. The incident with the landing cards..................well, from experience, squaddies and armed forces in general CAN be somewhat cocky. They soon realised their potential mistake and accepted the cards.


Proud to fly from Manchester!
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