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Aborted Nuclear Mission and Murder

Arrow Air 1285 blown-up to prevent public disclosure of an aborted nuclear attack on Iraqi nuclear facility.

Arrow Air Flight 1285
Wreckage from Arrow Air Flight 1285, which stalled, crashed, and burned killing all 248 passengers and 8 crew members on board, December 12, 1985.

(GANDER, Newfoundland) - A US Army Special Forces mission to use nuclear backpacks to blowup an Iraqi nuclear research facility in 1985 led to the death of hundreds of 101st Airborne troops returning from a six-month tour with the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai when the aircraft was deliberately destroyed in Gander, Newfoundland, with the loss of 248 Army personnel and six crew members.

The McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63CF flight originated in Cairo, stopped in Cologne to change crews and refuel and landed at Gander to refuel but after takeoff, the aircraft never reached more than 700 feet in altitude before an incendiary device planted on the aircraft in Cologne was remotely detonated.

Information from two informed sources supported the destruction of Arrow Air 1285 was done by a CIA faction or their cutouts to prevent the public disclosure of an aborted covert mission by Special Forces to use a nuclear backpack to destroy an Iraqi nuclear research facility.

Public disclosure of the planned use of a nuclear weapon and the deaths of several Special Force troopers would have been breaking news and could have led to the impeachment of President Reagan and Vice President Bush with a ripple effect throughout the government, including the indictments and prosecution of CIA, NSC, DOD and Army officials who were part of an illegal ‘off-the-books’ covert operation.

On-Board Fire and Explosion

The Arrow DC-8-63 fully loaded with 45,000 liters of jet fuel took off from Gander and had difficulty gaining altitude, reaching only about 700 feet above the runway, according to witnesses.

Witnesses on the highway saw a “bright glow emanating from the aircraft before it struck terrain just short of Gander Lake and crashed…3,000 feet from the end of the runway.”1

The Canadian Air Safety Board (CASB) had the primary responsibility for investigating the crash. In a split decision, the CASB (5 to 4) approved a majority report that found the crash caused by icing on the wings and fuselage; a minority report from the four professionals on the board found that icing played no part and that the crash was caused by an incendiary device and explosion.

Majority Report: The aircraft crash was caused by icing on the wings and fuselage, which increased drag and caused the DC-8-63 to stall and crash. The CASB “was unable to determine the exact sequence of events which led to this accident. The Board believes, however, that the weight of evidence supports the conclusion that, shortly after lift-off, the aircraft experienced an increase in drag and reduction in lift which resulted in a stall at low altitude from which recovery was not possible.

“The most probable cause of the stall was determined to be ice contamination on the leading edge and upper surface of the wing. Other possible facts such as a loss of thrust from the number four engine and inappropriate take-off reference speeds may have compounded the effects of the contamination.”

Minority Report: The crash was not an accident but was caused by an incendiary device, explosion and massive loss of power on the aircraft.2

Icing Not a Factor at Gander

Charles Bowering, the official weather observer at Gander, told Les Filotas, Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering and member of the CASB, that “there wasn’t any significant amount of precipitation during the 75 minutes the plane was on the ground. All four of the ground crew said there was no ice on the aircraft’s wings.3

The icing and mechanical cause of the crash was dismissed by the four professionals on the CASB who concluded that the evidence showed an on-board fire and a massive loss of power. The fire was caused by an explosive or incendiary device.

The minority report stated that: “The evidence shows that the Arrow Air DC-8 suffered an on-board fire and a massive loss of power before it crashed, but we could not establish a direct link between the fire and the loss of power. The line may have been associated with an in-flight detonation from an explosive or incendiary device. Consequential damage to various systems precipitated the crash.”4

Eyewitnesses including truck drivers, car rental agent, residents, and the Gander Airport Manager saw a fire on board the aircraft before it crashed. The master fire warning lights on the plane’s instrument panel was turned on.

Further support for the incendiary device and explosion comes from conversation in January 1986 between Arleigh McCree, the head of the LA Bomb Squad and recognized international expert on explosives, and Charles Byers, President of Accuracy Systems Ordinance Corporation, Phoenix. Both men were friends, had common interests in munitions and knew each other for a number of years.

Don Deveraux, investigative reporter, reported on the startling exchange between the two men:

    On the shelves in a company office, Byers had arranged a display of the various specialized products being manufactured and marketed, mostly going to defense, intelligence, and law enforcement customers.
    While walking past the display, McCree suddenly stopped and reached out to pick up one object.
    Obviously startled by what he held in his hands, he exclaimed, “This is what brought down a plane we’re investigating!”
    The object in question was a transparent plastic packet with three sealed pockets.
    Two of the pockets contained chemical compounds—one white, one black—which when combined became highly volatile, and the third pocket included a folded aluminum foil cup in which to mix them.
    Once combined, the chemicals could be ignited by a simple burning fuse, by a trigger, or even by remote control.
    The device had various names in the trade; a “flash” compound, an “incendiary trigger,” a fire starter.”
    Detonated in association with such inflammatory materials as napalm, it very quickly could produce one hell of a conflagration, easily sufficient to bring down an aircraft.
    McCree asked Byers who had been buying the device.
    Byers answered that he only had one customer for it, indicating that the single purchaser was, in fact, the Central Intelligence Agency.
    McCree in turn told Byers that he was going to be writing a report about his discovery at Byers’ place and that someone would be getting back to him about it.5

The discussion between McCree and Byers was witnessed by Todd Cremeans, an employee of Accuracy Systems, according to Don Deveraux.6

Did McCree filed his report with the CIA or another federal agency? We don’t know. McCree and his partner Ronald Ball were both killed trying to disarm a pipe bomb on Saturday, February 8, 1986 in North Hollywood. The pipe bomb had been booby trapped.

In a telephone discussion with Don Deveraux, he questioned if this was a set-up, since McCree and his partner could have used a robot to remove the pipe bomb and destroy it without exposing themselves to harm. Deveraux thinks that someone asked McCree to not destroy the pipe bomb but to disarm it and report his findings.

Deveraux followed-up with an interview with Mrs. Edie McCree, the wife of the Arleigh McCree. He reported that, “she was informed that their home in San Fernando Valley was placed under LAPD guard on day her husband died. The security was necessary because her husband was thought to have a copy of a “top secret report” in his possession and authorities wanted to be sure that it didn’t get lost or misplaced in the confusion.”

Several days later four men showed up to retrieve the document. Mrs. McCree told Deveraux that “two were ex-military officers...both with apparent links to the CIA, she recalled.”

The third man was an LAPD representative and the fourth man a locksmith. She was excluded from the room while the search went on for several hours. Mrs. McCree said they left without telling her what they found.7

Deveraux confirmed the search for a top secret document with one man; the other man said something about a search for dangerous munitions. They hadn’t gotten their stories straight. Were they looking for a copy of McCree’s Gander Report and found it?

This is speculation but it’s possible that McCree could have filed a timely report with the FBI or the CIA about his discussion with Charles Byers about the “flash ignition device” sold by Byers exclusively to the CIA, and his report may have gotten him killed.

It’s highly unlikely that McCree, an employee of the LAPD, kept top secret documents in his home office. The federal government’s requirements on securing top secret documents would require that they be kept in a locked safe, meeting federal regulatory requirements.

If McCree needed access to a top secret document, he would have to view the document in federal location. But, the Gander report filed by McCree could easily have been classified as top secret and hence the need to search his office for a copy to prevent it from becoming public knowledge.

Incendiary Device and Napalm in Soda Cans

Forensic evidence supports a fire on board the aircraft before impact. Wheaton said that, “They [the families of dead servicemen] hired Dr. Cyril Wecht, a world-famous pathologist to analyze the pathology reports on the bodies... somewhere up to 75 to 100 of the passengers on the airplane had inhaled lethal doses of carbon monoxide and HCN, hydrogen cannot get that into your system unless it’s inhaled in your lungs…meaning that those troops breathed those poison gases while the plane was in the air, while they were still alive.”8

There was opportunity to plant a bomb at Cairo or Cologne. Wheaton interviewed Captain Gerald DePorter, a US Army officer, in charge of a Military Customs Inspection Team trained and certified by US Customs to clear military personnel overseas to fly directly into a US military base without having to clear Customs in the US.

The aircraft flew out Cairo without clearing Customs; Captain DePorter’s team were denied ramp passes by the peacekeeping forces; Captain DePorter sent a message to Fort Campbell that the aircraft had not clear Customs.9

There were six wooden crates loaded on the aircraft, requiring that 41 duffel bags be offloaded to make room for them. Lt. Col. Marvin Jeffcoat, the battalion commander, said that the boxes contained important military material. 10

We don’t know the contents of the wooden crates. Munitions like TOWs and HAWKs may have been in the crates? Bodies of Special Forces troopers killed in an aborted covert operation to explode a nuclear backpack in Iraqi? The two nuclear backpacks reported by Wheaton on the aircraft? Any of these items would have been red flags for Captain DePorter’s team. Easy solution was to deny ramp passes to the US Army team responsible for clearing customs.

Other evidence supports a pre-crash explosion, according to Wheaton. This includes “bodies hanging from trees, unburned trees with burnt bodies hanging from them, and we’ve uncovered documents, that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) took, that were not given to the full board, uh, saying that the plane was on fire as it lifted off the runway and parts were falling off the plane and that it exploded in the air, including testimony of truck drivers, and civilian airplane pilots at that time.”11

Caskets containing the bodies from Arrow Air 1285, Photo: Wikimedia Commons

An Islamic Jihad terrorist group claimed responsibility for the explosion, which was summarily dismissed by the White House the same day of the crash without any follow-up FBI investigation of terrorist involvement; the FBI report on the crash had hundreds of pages redacted for national security reasons.

It’s obvious that the White House didn’t want a thorough review of possible terrorist cause of the crash and made no objection to the questionable CASB finding several years later of icing on the wings and fuselage as the responsible agent, even though the four professionals on the CASB supported an explosion and fire as the likely cause of the crash.

Arrow Air Did Not Clear Customs

According to Wheaton, there was opportunity to plant a bomb at Cairo and the plane flew out without clearing US customs available from the US Army team who were prevented from getting ramp passes to observe the loading of the aircraft by the peacekeeping forces on the aircraft. No doubt the nuclear backpacks would have caused some concern on both the part of customs and the Arrow Air 1285 pilot.

Easy answer: don’t give ramp passes to the US Army team responsible for ‘clearing customs’. The nuclear backpacks give support that a Special Operation team was on the aircraft as alleged by Wheaton and Charles Byers. Wheaton said that he had evidence that as many as twenty Special Forces were flying under cover on the aircraft.

Wheaton obtained a copy of the roster of the troops aboard the aircraft. It included a nonexistent Company “E.” All of the men in Company E, except one, had the same military occupational specialty, which was TOW operators. TOWs were sold to Iran as part of an operation run by Lt. Colonel Oliver North, the White House staffer who was the point man for the Iran/Contra.

It’s highly doubtful that U.S. military personnel were involved in training Iranians on the use of TOWs. Wheaton claimed that ‘the Enterprise’ operated by Ollie North diverted weapons from US military stockpiles; the inventory procedures in the Sinai peacekeeping force were weak and allowed TOWs and other weapons to be taken from stock and sold to the Iranians, according to Wheaton. Arrow Air pilots told Wheaton that they illegally few weapons in the bellies of aircraft all over the world in DC-8s.

While that may be factual, it still doesn’t answer why TOWs would be in the belly of Arrow Air 1285 on a flight back to the states. The TOWs were initially sent from Israeli stocks to the Iranians at a mark-up over cost with the proceeds used to support the Contras in Nicaragua. The US then replenished the Israeli stocks. Is it possible that Wheaton was unknowingly a recipient of disinformation and passed it on to the media?

US Army Bulldozed Wreckage

Major General John S. Crosby, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, led the Army’s Gander Response Team. The mission of the Gander Response Team was to assist the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in search and recovery operations and to arrange for shipment of the remains of the Army's dead to the United States. That’s the Army’s official story anyway.

Why would the US government send a US Army Major General with no background in air crash investigations to Gander? MG Crosby had been the Commanding General of Fort Sill, OK, before his selection in June 1985 for a third star and a new assignment in Washington.

Fort Sill is the home of US artillerymen but that’s a long way from aircraft and aircraft crash investigations. There’s nothing to indicate that MG Crosby had any experience in aircraft investigations.

Was his mission to ensure that only ‘the right dots’ were connected and any incriminating evidence was buried on the site? The aircraft fully loaded with jet fuel burned for hours after the crash. What was not consumed by the fire, the US Army bulldozed.

At the scene, US Army Major General John Crosby ordered the debris buried. Why the US Army ordered the bulldozing of aircraft wreckage on Canadian soil is an unanswered question? MG Crosby disputed the bulldozing order but Gene Wheaton interviewed personnel on site and had a copy of the hand written note from a Canadian supporting the order.12

There were two empty hangars on the airfield that could have pieced the remaining wreckage together, which is the normal practice followed to determine the cause of a major air disasters. From what little wreckage remained, there are blast holes inside to the outside, which supports proof of explosion in the aircraft.

Could the unexplained loss in speed before the aircraft impacted the trees and ground been caused by an explosion? “At 95 seconds after takeoff it was traveling at 140 knots, and two seconds later, only 30 knots. The crash did not impact with the trees until 105 seconds,” according to Joel Bainerman.13

Special Forces in the Saini

The official Army history of Arrow Air 1285 made no mention of Special Forces personnel on board:
    The passengers on the ill-fated charter were U.S. soldiers. All but twelve were members of 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), most of whom were from the 3d Battalion, 502d Infantry; eleven were from other Forces Command units; and one was a CID agent from the Criminal Investigations Command. They were returning to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, home station of the 101st Airborne Division, after completing a six-month tour of duty in the Sinai with the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO). This international peacekeeping organization, made up of contingents from ten nations, had been established under terms of a protocol between Egypt and Israel signed on 3 August 1981. The MFO has had the mission of implementing security provisions contained in the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.14

The official government statement is that 248 Army 101st Airborne (including 12 other Army personnel) were the only military personnel on the aircraft. Gene Wheaton obtained a list of twenty Special Forces warrant officer (chopper pilots) from Task Force 160 who he said were on Arrow Air 1285.15

Our review of the memorials of the dead from the crash didn’t show any more than three or four Army warrant officers among the reported 248 dead. The DC-8-63 could seat 269 passengers so there’s no question that the aircraft could seat an additional twenty personnel.

Why would the Army not report the death of twenty warrant officers for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), or the 160th SOAR (A)?

Weapon’s list was not published and with his death last year, it’s impossible to obtain a copy of the list. At this point, the numbers just don’t add up. But, it does raise some interesting questions about the presence of Special Operations forces in the Saini.

The 160th SOAR (A) is a special operations force that provides helicopter aviation support for special operations forces. Its missions have included attack, assault, and reconnaissance, and are usually conducted at night, at high speeds, low altitudes, and on short notice. As one person reported, the 160th SOAR (A) is the type of outfit that leaves in the middle of the night without leaving a forwarding address.

It's clear that AR 1285 was a DC-8-63 with seating capacity for 269 passengers. Gene Wheaton said he had a list of twenty warrant officers on the aircraft. The gov't claimed 248 military deaths.

If they admitted 268 deaths, including twenty Special Forces warrant officers from a black ops unit like the 160th SOAR (A) or Task Force 160, then it would open the door to questions about a covert operation, even one whose mission it was to use nuclear backpacks. So, the Army slams the door shut by not admitting to twenty additional deaths.

It would make sense if you're running a top secret covert ops in the Middle East with deployment of tactical nukes, then you would use your very best. A review of Army occupational specialties showed MOS 180A, Special Forces Warrant Officer.

Wheaton's list of twenty warrant officers (not chopper pilots) on AR 1285 makes sense, if the mission is to deploy a nuclear backpack in Iraqi and blame the nuclear explosion on the Iraqis.

The military was in control of the autopsies, the death notifications and the disposition of remains. An intentional deception of the deaths of Special Forces from the 160th SOAR (A) would not be hard to do. The first step would be to not list them on the aircraft’s manifest or any memorial dedicated to the Arrow Air 1285 crash.

The dead Special Forces remains could be held in a military mortuary like the one at Dover AFB, released weeks or months later, survivors notified that their loved ones died in the line of duty on a top secret covert operation. The $50,000 life insurance check could be hand delivered with appropriate condolences and a reminder that this was a national security matter whose disclosure would result in severe penalties.

Aircraft Destroyed by the CIA?

Charles Byers, president of Accuracy Systems Ordinance Corporation, New River, AZ, in a letter to the US House Intelligence Oversight Committee alleged that the CIA planted a device to blow up the Arrow flight at the Gander airfield. The device was manufactured by Byers’ company and sold exclusively to the CIA.

Byers alleged that a Special Operations team aborted a suicide mission to blow up an Iraqi nuclear weapons development facility to make it seem like an Iraqi nuclear accident. This mission “seems to have been under the direction of Lt. Colonel Oliver North.” It was a suicide mission and may have been aborted when the team realized they had no chance to outrun the blast from the nuclear explosion.

MK54 Special Atomic Demolition Munition or SADM: SOF Backpack Nukes

Did these men abort the mission on their own authority and now were literally expendable? Even if this was a suicide mission, would our government be so callous to kill those involved and take the lives of innocent bystanders? There wouldn’t be a problem with a failed rescue mission but using a nuclear backpack to blow-up an Iraqi nuclear facility would not only destroy the facility but kill many others and cause an international uproar, if confirmed.

Orders were given by the US Government to destroy the plane before it reached the United States, according to Byers. “A bomb was planted during a stop at Gander and remotely detonated shortly after the landing gear retracted upon takeoff...”

If Byers is correct, who gave the order to kill? Six wooden crates loaded at Cairo included the bodies of at least 3 Special Forces troopers killed in the aborted attempt to use nuclear backpacks. The crates took up so much space that 41 duffle bags had to be left behind in Cairo. Byers’s letter stated that the covert Special Force operation was under orders from NSC staffer Marine Lt. Colonel Oliver North.

Byers’ letter to Congressman Goss contains allegations that the CIA planted the explosive device at Gander to murder everyone on the aircraft. Both men agree that the explosive was Magdex Star Fish, an incendiary manufactured by Byers company and sold exclusively to the CIA.

Deveraux disagreed that the explosives were loaded on the aircraft at Gander. Instead, he said that his research/contacts showed that soda cans filled with Magdex Star Fish and napalm were loaded on the aircraft at Cologne. Both men agreed that the Magdex Star Fish was set off by remote control at Gander once the aircraft was airborne. Crates loaded at Cairo included the bodies of at least 3 Special Forces troopers killed in the aborted attempt to use nuclear backpacks. Byers’s letter stated that the Special Operations Force was under orders from NSC staffer Marine Lt. Colonel Oliver North.

Death of LA Bomb Squad Head

Charles Byers said that Sergeant Arleigh McCree, the head of the LA bomb squad and a friend, visited him in his Phoenix museum. Byers had samples of his special ordinance devices on display. McCree “saw of these items, he excitedly proclaimed that it was the device that blew up the plane [this was about three weeks after the Arrow Air 1285 crash].

McCree allegedly told Byers that he would have to “get federal clearance to discuss this in more detail with me.” McCree and his partner were killed in a bobby-trapped pipe bomb four weeks later.

Byers said that he started to ask questions and this led to “difficulties with federal agencies. Following this, a bomb was mailed to Byers but opened by his plant manage who was killed in the explosion. The ‘kicker’ is that Byers said his company manufactured and sold the explosive device identified by McCree exclusively to the CIA.16

Honorable Portor Goss
Chairman House Intelligence Oversight Committee
US House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.

February 14, 1998
My knowledge of CIA involvement in the crash of the Gander Arrow Air DC-8 and PAN AM 103

Dear Chairman Goss,

My specialized knowledge of ordinance, explosives and pyrotechnics may provide the missing insights needed to solve several major terrorist crimes. For 15 years my company ACCURACY SYSTEMS ORDINANCE CORPORATION, provided specialized explosive devices to law enforcement, the military, Special Forces and the Central Intelligence Agency.

As you read this letter Accuracy Systems’ former munitions manufacturing facilities in New River, Arizona are under occupation of the BATF who moved onto the property Sept. 20, 1997 and have been occupying the facilities there at considerable expense to the tax payers ever since. Their intent from the start has been to “blow up” the explosives magazines and burn our former research and development workshop and its contents — and in the process — destroy certain evidence that can link U S aircraft bombings to the CIA, a former client of Accuracy Systems.

Specifically, I wish to bring your attention to a device that Sgt. Arleigh McCree, the renowned head of the Los Angeles Police Bomb Squad Unit, felt certain was the device responsible for blowing up the US Army chartered ARROW AIR DC-8 passenger transport that crashed in Gander, Newfoundland December 12, 1985. All of the 248 servicemen and the 8-person flight crew died when the bomb exploded immediately after take-off. The plane then traveled a short distance in the air before it crashed and burned. Our firm designed and manufactured the responsible device exclusively for, and sold it only to, the Central Intelligence Agency.

This crash, which was the worst military air disaster in United States history, involved more strange occurrences than any other crash on record. While the wreckage still burned on the ground, White House Spokesperson Larry Speaks announced that the plane had crashed “probably as a result of icing on the wings.” This was the official cause that the US government forced on the Canadians, who have subsequently repudiated it.

There are compelling reasons to believe that this air crash involved a nuclear accident.

Within hours of the “crash”, U S Army General John Crosby arrived with a Broken Arrow Nuclear Disaster Team, and, without conducting any normal investigation, ordered the area bulldozed over with 6 feet of soil. There was a glowing white-hot object the size of a large grapefruit that had burned through the plane and through the body of a stewardess. This object continued to glow “white-hot” for 16 hours even after fire hoses were trained on it.

This is NOT chemical behavior. It is what can only be expected of a sub-critical core of a nuclear bomb whose explosive shell had burned but did not detonate. The presence of this white-hot glowing object is the key to the motive for the bombing.

Most of the military victims had been part of the 101st Airborne who were returning from Cairo, Egypt, where they were part of the U. N. peacekeeping mission enforcing the Camp David Accords. However, in addition to these troops, there was also a small group of Special Operations personnel who boarded the plane at the last minute.

Sources found to be reliable told me that these personnel smuggled a nuclear backpack bomb aboard in Cairo because they had discovered the true nature of their recently cancelled hostage rescue mission.

Their mission included surreptitiously transporting and detonating a small, man-portable nuclear backpack bomb at an Iraqi nuclear weapons development facility to make it seem like an Iraqi nuclear accident. This mission seems to have been under the direction of Lt. Col. Oliver North who frequently utilized Arrow Air to smuggle arms and other contraband in conjunction with the Iran-Contra operation.

The soldiers were not told that they would not have the chance to outrun the blast that would destroy them. Thank God it is the duty of every soldier to disobey an unlawful order or the world would have seen its third intentional tactical nuclear detonation and the mass destruction of innocent civilians by a nuclear bomb.

Orders were given by U S Government personnel that this plane be destroyed before it reached the United States of America. A bomb was planted during a stop at Gander and remotely detonated shortly after the landing gear retracted upon takeoff. Enclosed color photos of the downed Gander plane show internal damage from an explosive. The blast holes are clearly from the inside to the outside.

I have since been informed that there was a completely new water system installed in Gander— courtesy of the US taxpayers. Was this because of nuclear contamination from the crash?

Three weeks after this disaster, Arleigh McCree, head of the LAPD bomb squad and a professional friend of mine, was visiting with me in Phoenix and examining items in our museum. This was where we kept samples of all of the different “Special Ordnance Devices” that we had produced over the previous twenty-something years.

When Sgt. McCree saw one these items, he excitedly proclaimed that it was the device that blew up a plane. He said he would need to get federal clearance to discuss this in more detail with me. He did not reveal the exact plane at the time.

Just four weeks later Arleigh McCree and his partner were killed disarming a pipe bomb that was booby-trapped. You will see from the enclosed article on this tragedy that these two deaths were also very unusual. In fact these are the only two members of the LAPD bomb squad to ever die this way.

Some time later when I began asking questions in professional circles I started to develop serious difficulties with certain agencies of the federal government. I was framed and convicted for a crime I did not commit. An attempt was made to implicate me in a plot to assassinate Corizon Aquino. On the same day that a sophisticated assassination weapon arrived in Australia for this purpose a bomb arrived in the mail addressed to me. It killed my plant manager instead. Certainly I would like to investigate the wrongs by these federal agencies. However, the real reason I am sending you the reports of federal efforts to silence me is to emphasize the value of the specialized knowledge that I possess. As a second example, I present photos of the detonator that initiated the bomb on PAN AM 103. I know where this circuit board was manufactured in Florida, not Europe, and that it was sold exclusively to the CIA— not to the Libyans!

As you can see from the letters of support attached to this letter there are persons in key positions willing to stick their necks out to proclaim my innocence. But there are far greater issues here than the fate of Chuck Byers. I am ready to provide all that I know whenever and wherever you think best.

Literally hundreds of American citizens and soldiers have been blown out of the sky. These mass murders need to be investigated and the guilty persons brought to justice!

I am sending this letter to every member of Congress in the hope that each of you will support my efforts to find answers to the haunting questions raised by the facts presented in this letter.

All of my current efforts to have local and federal law enforcement agencies (including their parent agencies in DC) investigate these matters have been unsuccessful. In fact, our US Attorney has actually defended the perpetrators and local US District Court judges have refused to act on my requests, or, in most cases, simply Dismissed them or ruled in favor of the U S Attorney. In spite of overwhelming evidence that not only am I telling the truth, but the Federal Agents are lying, filing False Affidavits or otherwise knowingly misleading the Court.

Since this matter represents a situation of extreme national importance, I am requesting you to immediately initiate hearings before the HOUSE INTELLIGENCE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE to thoroughly investigate these charges and to bring the guilty perpetrators to justice.

Charles M Byers

The professionals on the CASB concluded that an on-board explosive or incendiary device caused the Arrow Air 1285 crash. Terrorists claimed responsibility for the crash. The US quickly dismissed the terrorist’s claim the same day as the crash.

The FBI report on the crash contained hundreds of redacted pages, which is a strong clue that the politically correct term “national security interests” was in play. Arrow Air was a charter airline that the NSC used to run guns to the Contras and used to ship TWOs and HAWKs to the Iranians in the Iran/Contra guns-for-hostages scandal.

A few weeks before the crash, the Iranians complained loudly about being over-charged for defective HAWK missiles. The security at the Cairo airport was inadequate and could have allowed the planting of an explosive or incendiary device on the aircraft in retaliation for the defective HAWKs.

If terrorists were involved, then there’s no reason not to allow the FBI to conduct a thorough investigation to identify the terrorists so that the US could take punitive action.

The forensic evidence supports inhaled lethal doses of carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide into the lungs of passengers. No one survived the impact of the crash landing so a fire on board the aircraft while it was in flight is the only reasonable explanation for the lethal doses of poisonous gases inhaled into the lungs and found in the blood during autopsies.17

Wheaton said that, “They [the families of dead servicemen] hired Dr. Cyril Wecht, a world-famous pathologist to analyze the pathology reports on the bodies…. somewhere up to 75 to 100 of the passengers on the airplane had inhaled lethal doses of carbon monoxide and HCN, hydrogen cyanide…you cannot get that into your system unless it’s inhaled in your lungs…meaning that those troops breathed those poison gases while the plane was in the air, while they were still alive.”18

This brings more support to Charles Beyer’s allegation of CIA involvement and the deliberate destruction of the aircraft and the murder of 248 101st Airborne troopers and eight crew members. The remains of a Special Operations nuclear backpack were reported by Gene Wheaton who interviewed Captain Tom Badcock, the Canadian Gander Force Base’s nuclear officer. Badcock confirmed to Wheaton that he was called to the crash scene and found portions of one of a nuclear backpack that had not been completely destroyed.

Nuclear Backpack and Soda Cans

Don Deveraux, an Arizona investigative reporter for both print and electronic media, long-term member of Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), field producer for A&E-TV’s “Investigative Reports, decade-long assignment with NBC-TV’s “Unsolved Mysteries,” and consulting journalist with the syndicated “Save Our Streets, and “Inside Edition,” provided information on the Arrow Air 1285 crash to me.

He said that this was a CIA/NSC covert operation to use Special Forces to blow-up an Iraqi nuclear research facility and blame it on the Iraqis. Something went wrong as can happen in a covert mission; the mission was scrubbed. Casualties occurred with as many as three Special Force troopers killed.

Survivors were on their way back to Fort Campbell on Arrow Air 1285. Don wrote that the “interior of the plane was engulfed in flames almost immediately after take-off at Gander, the apparent consequences of two bomb components: one containing an explosive incendiary triggers adjacent to a second holding a napalm-like substances.

The detonation of the first instantly ignited and spread ad deadly conflagration throughout the body of the aircraft.” Deveraux sources suggested that soda cans “placed next to each other among cases of soft drinks” contained the incendiary trigger and napalm-like substance. The crew and troopers on the aircraft never had a chance. This has to be one of the most horrible cases of cold-blooded murder of innocent Americans in the 20th Century.19

This was a CIA/NSC inspired operation in conjunction with Israeli intelligence, according to Deveraux. The Israelis had planned to use aircraft to bomb the Iraqi facility like the successful Operation Opera carried out on June 7, 1982, which destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor under construction 17 kilometers southeast of Baghdad. But, US officials objected and suggested that US ground forces deploy nuclear backpacks to destroy the facility.

Deveraux said there was intense disagreement within the CIA over the covert operation.20

The Israelis were extremely nervous about Saddam Hussein acquiring a nuclear weapon and using it on them. The Iran–Iraq War (1980 - 1988) was on-going; the US was supplying HAWK and TOW missiles to Iran as part of the secret Iran/Contra guns-for-hostages’ exchange; the use of Israelis IDF forces to destroy the Iraqi facility endangered the guns-for-hostages exchange and increased the risk of an expanded Middle East war.

The easy answer for some aggressive covert operators was to use Special Forces to deploy nuclear backpacks and blame the Iraqis for blowing-up their own facility. However, this would have been the first use of a nuclear weapon since WW II and there was a major disagreement within the CIA over the use of US forces to deploy a nuclear weapon to destroy the Iraqi facility.

There was no Presidential Finding supporting the mission but the CIA/NSC ‘cowboys’ proceeded on their own authority, according to Deveraux.

I found this hard to believe since Vice President George H. W. Bush was in charge of all covert operations and knew exactly what was in play through a series of presidential executive orders. In any event, it appears that the operation was aborted while the Special Forces team was in the field with their nuclear backpacks.

The CIA ‘cowboys’ were ordered to destroy the aircraft with the disgruntled Special Forces team on it, according to both Don Deveraux and Charles Byers. In regard to the crash of Arrow Air 1285, there’s no doubt that a government cover-up was in play. An Explosive Ordinance Team (EOD) team from Andrews AFB flew to Gander the same day as the crash and were told to use their nuclear protection gear, according to the Don Deveraux.

The EOD team found a CIA team on the ground when they arrived at Gander. The CIA team had to be have been on the ground when the crash occurred and may have been the ones who set off the incendiary device on Arrow Air 1285; Canadian firemen not warned of the radiation exposure from the nuclear backpacks became sick from radiation exposure.

There was real anger among the Special Forces team. This was an extremely well trained and highly motivated military force and the loss of three or more of their team members (the aircraft had five wooden crates on board) had to go down hard. The CIA ‘cowboys’ appear to have concluded that there was a high risk that Special Forces team members would leak information on the illegal covert operation to the media when they got back to the US.

Family phone calls were made among some member of the US force that their lives were at risk and a number suspected that they could not get back to the US alive. This was an extraordinary mission that went bad with Special Forces team member killed and the mission aborted; if made public, this would have had severe political repercussion.

The Special Forces team of twenty or so members flew on the same aircraft with 101st Airborne troopers on their way home from a Sinai peacekeeping mission; their present on the aircraft unknowingly placed the entire aircraft in jeopardy.

Sergeant Todd Jennings, age 20, who was killed in the crash wrote a poem to the mother were he cited top secret terms “Lucifer Directive” and “Omega Deception.” Deveraux contacted one of his confidential military intelligence sources who “expressed amazement” that the young sergeant had used such top secret terms.

The source told Deveraux that “Lucifer Directive” was an order to deploy a “weapon of mass destruction” (clearly a nuclear bomb) while “Omega Directive” meant “to shift the blame away from those who actually used it.” Deveraux concluded that Sgt. Jennings use of these terms “seem to apply to [the] covert mission to take out an Iraqi nuclear weapons plant.”

The government failed the Special Forces by sending them on a mission impossible. The team had the legal right to disobey an illegal order to use a nuclear backpack without a presidential authorization under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

There’s no question that if actions were taken by the team to deviate from orders to return on Arrow Air 1285, they could have expected senior Army officers to threaten them with courts martial. As it turned out, the suspicions of some that their lives were at risk turned out to be accurate.

The link between George H. W. Bush, the NSC and the CIA, the use of Arrow Air charters to ferry weapons in the bellies of their aircraft for the Contra and the Iranians is a fact. This speculative but it’s not beyond reason for a former CIA Director to order the use of Special Operations forces to use a nuclear backpack to blow-up an Iraqi nuclear research facility as a quid pro quo to the Israelis for their assistance in the guns-for-hostages’ exchange with the Iranians.

There is no statute of limitations on murder. Arrow Air 1285 is a 30-year cover-up of mass murder. Who planted the explosives on the aircraft? Who remotely detonated the bomb at Gander? Who ordered the deaths of 256 Americans?

Joel Bainerman (1957-2014), author of The Crimes of a President, was given a necktie at an event in the US, the next morning he called his wife; his neck was swelled beyond belief. Four months later he had cancer in the neck that spread throughout the lymphatic system. Joel died of cancer several years later. Someone said that Joel, a courageous and excellent investigative journalist, died of the ‘CIA flu’.


1“Gander: The Untold Story,”
2“Gander, Newfoundland, Crash Remains a Mystery to Canadians and American Public,” House of Representatives, July 20, 1989, The Congressional Record, page H4025, stated that, “Four of nine members of the Board [Canadian Air Safety Board] released a dissenting opinion from which I [Mr. Tallon from South Carolina] will quote: “…We cannot agree--indeed, we categorically disagree—with the majority findings…The evidence shows that the Arrow Air DC-8 suffered an on-board fire and a massive loss of power before it crashed…The fire may have been associated with an in-flight detonation from an explosive or incendiary force.”
3Joel Bainerman, The Crimes of a President, S.P.I. Books, a division of Shapolsky Publishers, Inc., New York. NY, 1992, p. 167.
4CASB Minority Report, Gander: The Untold Story,
6Don Deveraux, op. cit. , p. 3.
7Deveraux, op.cit. , p. 10.
8 Ibid, p. 5.
9Ibid, p. 7.
10Bainerman, op. cit. , p. 175.
11Declassified, op.cit., p. 5-6.
12Declassified, op. cit., p. 6.
13Bainerman, op. cit. , p.168.
14Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1986, “Appendix A, Tragedy at Gander,”
15Bainerman, op. cit., p. 178.
16Bainerman, op. cit., p. 170.
17Declassified, op. cit. p. 5.
18Interview with Don Deveraux and detailed explanation contained in Deveraux’s memorandum for the file, “Possible Copy-Cat Bombing”, dated November 19, 2015.
19 Telephone interview with Deveraux, June 2016.
20Don Deveraux Newsletter No. 44, “Gander Crash Follow-up Suggests Nuclear Mishap,” April 20, 1995, p. 6-7.


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Rodger Asai June 26, 2017 8:03 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you for the well-researched article. One tiny typo on Operation Opera - I believe it was on the 14th anniversary of Israel's attack on the USS Liberty in 1981 (not 1982).

Maricopan February 22, 2017 4:45 pm (Pacific time)

Chuck Byers once suggested that his knowledge of the link between his "flash" device and the crash of Arrow Air 1285 is why the ATF took peculiar interest in his New River AZ manufacturing facility in Sep 1997. Their insistence that his "dangerous compounds" be destroyed right there, on-site, was destruction of evidence. FEDS TO LIFT 'SIEGE' OF ARIZONA TOWN Residents win standoff against BATF, EPA Published: 03/09/1999 at 1:00 AM

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