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The Death of Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-MN)


Guest James H. Fetzer
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Guest James H. Fetzer

What Happened to Senator Paul Wellstone?

By Jim Fetzer

The plane crash that took the life of Senator Paul Wellstone occurred on October 25, 2002, just ten days before the election that pitted him against former St. Paul Mayor, Norm Coleman. It was widely known in Washington that the Bush leadership had targeted Wellstone for elimination, although most would have assumed that was politically speaking rather than literally. One of the first to raise alarms was Michael Niman, a professor at Buffalo State College, who enumerated reasons why they wanted to get rid of him. In an early article, "Was Paul Wellstone Murdered?" (October 28, 2002), he explained that Wellstone was the only progressive in the US Senate and an outspoken critic of the Bush administration. No one knew of Cheney’s assassination unit, but the circumstances of his death raised suspicions on their own. Control of Congress hung in the balance, since Jim Jeffords (R-VT) had left the Republican Party and become an independent. There were 50 Democrats and 49 Republicans.

Preliminary Indications

On the day of the crash, several signs suggested to me that something was not right. The crash had occurred at about 10:22 AM/CT, but the site was not discovered until 11 AM/CT by Gary Ulman, the Eveleth-Virginia Airport assistant manager, who then landed and picked up the local fire chief so they could fly over the crash site—which was in a wooded, swampy area—and figure out the best way to bring equipment to the scene. Remarkably, when Rick Wahlberg, the Sheriff of St. Louis Country arrived there at 1:30 PM/CT, he encountered members of the FBI’s Rapid Response Team from St. Paul, whom he knew personally, who told him that they had been there since noon. Christopher Bollyn, a reporter for American Free Press, noted in an article published on October 29, 2002, this was remarkable insofar as Gary Ulman had not notified them. Indeed, when I calculated the minimal time it would have taken to fly from St. Paul to Duluth, rent a car and drive to the crash scene, they had to have taken off at about 9:30 AM/CT, which was the same time the Senator’s plane had departed. It was very strange.

Moreover, after the plane crashed, even though the wings (which carry the fuel supply) had been sheared off by the surrounding trees and the tail had broken off (a common occurrence in plane crashes), the fuselage burned so intensely for seven hours the firemen were unable to extinguish it and the bodies would not be recovered until the following day. Nonetheless, an FBI spokesman, Paul McCabe, would announce that night that there were “no signs of terrorist involvement”. That struck me as rather odd, because terrorists are simply assailants with specific political motivation, who do not have special access to techniques for sabotaging aircraft. Since the cause of the crash was not yet known, how could the FBI have possibly known? It would be more than a year before the NTSB would announce its findings. According to its official report, the plane crashed because the pilots had lost track of their airspeed and allowed the plane to crash.

The plane, a King Air A-100, was akin to the Rolls-Royce of small aircraft and had an excellent maintenance record. While there had been many exaggerated reports about the weather—Wolf Blitzer, for example, attributed the crash to freezing rain and heavy snow—those of us in the vicinity knew that was not true. Indeed, a local TV-news anchorman, Denny Anderson, who was himself a pilot, spent much of the day correcting those false impressions. It turned out that other planes had landed there earlier in the day and that Ulman had had no hesitation in taking off to search for the plane when he noticed it was overdue. A pilot in the local vicinity, who had been out taking pictures across water in close proximity of the airport, sent them to me. It was clear by studying them that there was no rain, much less freezing rain. Indeed, the NTSB would eventually conduct simulations of the flight with pilots from Charter Aviation and, even though they had them fly abnormally slowly, they were unable to cause the plane to crash.

The NTSB Report

The NTSB pinned responsibility for the crash on the pilots. The principal pilot, Richard Conry, however, had some 5,200 hours of experience, an Air Transport Pilots certification--which is the highest civilian qualification short of astronaut—and had passed his FAA “flight check” just two days before the fatal flight. His co-pilot, Michael Guess, was not as highly qualified, but he was a competent pilot for a plane that did not require two. Indeed, one of the ironies of the FBI’s announcement is that Guess turned out to have known Zacharias Moussaoui, an accused 9/11 conspirator, whom he had met at the Pam Am International Flight Academic in Eagan, MN, where he had allegedly “inadvertently” allowed Moussaoui access to a computer program about flying a Boeing 747. So not only could the FBI not have known there was “no terrorist involvement” the evening of the crash but the co-pilot would turn out to have actually had contact with an alleged terrorist.

Several features of the crash caught my attention early on. Although there were two pilots, there had been no distress call. A loss of air speed brings with it a loss of altitude, and the plane had crashed two miles south of the airport, apparently flying on the wrong azimuth. I began to ask myself the probability that two pilots would neglect their air speed, their altitude, and their azimuth. If we assume that these are independent events that might happen, say, one time in a hundred—an absurdly high frequency—then for one pilot to neglect all three would be equal to 1/100 x 1/100 x 1/100 = 1/1,000,000 or one time in a million. And there had been two of them, where the probability that they would both neglect those factors was equal to 1/1,000,000 x 1/1,000,000, a very small number. And the plane was equipped with a loud warning alarm to alert them of any risk of stalling.

The more I investigated the case, the more peculiar it seemed. An odd cell-phone anomaly was reported to me, where the driver, passing just south of the airport en route to the funeral the senator had planned to attend, heard a loud wailing and war-belling sound, unlike anything he had heard before. I contracted an Australian colleague, John P. Costella, who has a Ph.D. in electromagnetism, and asked him if this could have been an effect of the use of a high-tech weapon, which could take out all the planes electronics, including its navigation system, communication system, and stall warning alarm. It would turn out that the props were on idle when it crashed, which the NTSB was unable to explain. A directed-energy weapon could not only have taken out the plane’s electronics, including its communications and navigation systems, but flipped the solenoids that control the pitch of the props and set them to “idle”. The more that I studied the case, the more it appeared that the plane was not under their control. They had apparently been unable to stop it.

AMERICAN ASSASSINATION

By this time, I had published ten columns on the case in an alternative newspaper in Duluth, which had led a Native American scholar from Northern Arizona University to contact me and offer to be co-author if I were disposed to turn my research into a book. We had both learned of an incident shortly before the crash where veterans at a meeting in Wilmer, MN, had learned from Wellstone that he had been threatened by Cheney, who told him that, if he opposed the administration on Iraq, there would be “severe ramifications” for him personally and for the state of Minnesota, which I confirmed with veterans who were there. He (Wellstone) had gone ahead and made a speech opposing the invasion of Iraq, which he thought might end his political career. Instead, he surged ahead of Coleman and was running 6-8 points and gaining at the time of the crash. Rove’s hand-picked candidate was going to lose to Wellstone.

We announced the publication of AMERICAN ASSASSINATION (2004) at the National Press Club exactly two years after the crash. My co-author, Don “Four Arrows” Jacobs, and I observed that the official account of the crash had a vanishing probability and that the NTSB had only considered accident-compatible alternatives, but that if you considered the possible use of a small bomb, a gas canister or a high-tech, directed-energy device, then the latter would confer a high probability upon the evidence, including the lack of any distress call, the odd cell-phone anomaly, and reports I had confirmed that garage doors in the vicinity had opened spontaneously that morning. I flew John to Minnesota and we visited the crash scene together in 35 degree-below-zero weather, picking up pieces of debris, studying the damage to the trees, and making other observations. He and I would also review some 2,500 pages of official documents and studies on which the NSTB report was purportedly based, where its report ran only sixty pages.

John Costella made the remarkable discovery of an odd meteorological phenomenon in the atmosphere above the crash site, where clouds that were normally loaded with ice were filled with water instead. This would be otherwise inexplicable, since the heat from the intense fire would fall off as a function of distance from its location. But it would be a predictable effect of the use of a directed-energy weapon. We authored a report, “The NTSB Failed Wellstone", summarizing our findings, which Michael Ruppert would publish in his “From the Wilderness” newsletter. Indeed, his own research would lead him to the same conclusion, as he explained in his CROSSING THE RUBICON (2004). Ruppert had even been contacted by someone in the business of assassinations (“wet work”), who told him that some reinvigorated old white guys were in charge, that they were nobody to screw around with, and that he could anticipate there would be other “strategic accidents” in the future.

Outing an “Executive Assassination Ring”

My own inference is that this was a small-scale conspiracy, which might have involved as few as ten persons. The King Air A-100 is manufactured by Beechcraft, which is owned by Raytheon. A military-industrial colossus, this company also owns numerous patents for directed-energy weapons. I believe it could have been as simple a matter as a phone call from one of the directors of Charter Aviation to Dick Cheney, telling him that Wellstone would be aboard. After consultation with Rumsfeld and Rove, a phone call to Raytheon would provide the information necessary about the best way to take the plane down. A small team from the JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) could be entrusted with the assignment, where the crucial problem would be to lure the plane into the kill zone, apparently by manipulating the on-board GPS system, which is completely under military control. I even discovered corroboration that this is how it was done, as I have explained in a one-hour video lecture about 25-30 minutes into the program.

My suspicions have been strikingly, albeit indirectly, confirmed by subsequent revelations. The story broke on Minn Post.com (March 11, 2009), when Eric Black wrote of a “Great Conversations” even at the University of Minnesota, where, during the question and answer session, Hersh reported not only that the CIA has been “deeply involved in domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state” but that a special unit of our military called the JSOC had been set up independently of the normal chain of command, reporting only to the Vice President and to neither the Joint Chiefs or even the Secretary of Defense:

“Congress has no oversight of it,” Hersh explained. “It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on. . . . Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the Ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on in the name of all of us.”

If the only targets were foreign terrorists who were threatening to attack the United States, of course, many Americans might be sympathetic and even forgiving. But, after publishing ten news columns, co-authoring a book, and following up with an expert in extending the scope of my research about the death of Senator Paul Wellstone, I am personally convinced that Dick Cheney deployed one of these JSOC teams to bring about his death. There is no proof that Wellstone was assassinated unless you look at the evidence.

Jim Fetzer, a former Marine Corps officer and McKnight Professor Emeritus at UMD, has archived “The NTSB Failed Wellstone” on http://assassinationscience.com, where a one-hour video lecture about the plane crash may be found at the bottom of the menu bar.

Edited by James H. Fetzer
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Guest James H. Fetzer

I posted this because the FBI has just released its Wellstone files, which

include articles of mine that appeared in several newspapers. See here:

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/projects/2010/wellstone-files/feature/

From protester to senator, FBI tracked Paul Wellstone

By Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio

October 25, 2010

It started with a fingerprint of a 25-year-old college professor who opposed the Vietnam War and ended with a search for his remains, 32 years later, in a wooded area near Eveleth, Minn.

The FBI's files on Paul and Sheila Wellstone, many of which are being made public for the first time, shed new light on the extent of the relationship between the FBI and the political activist who would go on to become a U.S. senator from Minnesota.

Some of the information uncovered in the 219 pages was new to one of his closest confidantes, former Wellstone campaign manager and state director Jeff Blodgett.

The files show that although the FBI initially took interest in Wellstone as part of the broader surveillance of the American left, the agency later served as his protector, investigating death threats the freshman senator received for his views on the first Gulf War, and, in the end, helping sift through the wreckage of the fatal plane crash that killed Wellstone and seven others eight years ago.

Wellstone's surviving sons declined to comment on the documents, which were obtained in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by MPR News.

The U.S. Department of Justice released 88 of the 125 pages in Sen. Wellstone's FBI file, and 131 of the 227 pages in his wife's file. All of the documents included in Sheila Wellstone's file are related to the plane crash that killed the couple and their daughter Marcia.

The FBI did not include 76 pages related to the National Transportation Safety Board, the agency that investigated the crash. A request for those records is pending.

DEATH THREATS

Wellstone traveled to Washington, D.C. in January 1991 on the green school bus that became famous in his underdog fight against incumbent Republican Sen. Rudy Boschwitz. He arrived in the middle of a tense debate over the Persian Gulf conflict and, nine days after being sworn in, voted against a resolution authorizing U.S. military force against Iraq.

Angry Callers Threaten to Kill Wellstone, January 1991

Within the first two weeks of his term, Wellstone began receiving death threats for his views on the war. The FBI files provide a detailed description of the angry and sometimes violent calls the Democratic senator received. One man called Wellstone's office and threatened to "throttle" him. A caller from Faribault said, "If I had a gun, I'd come after you, you SOB." Another caller said that if his son dies during his military service in the Persian Gulf, "then Wellstone will die."

The threats alarmed Wellstone's staff, and led the senator's state director, Jeff Blodgett, to contact the FBI and other authorities. An FBI agent recommended that a "trap and trace" be placed on Wellstone's St. Paul office phone line to locate the callers, and Blodgett agreed.

"We were shocked and surprised by these kinds of calls," Blodgett said in an interview last week. "We certainly didn't expect that death threats would be part of the job of being a U.S. senator or taking death threats would be part of the job of Senate staff."

Wellstones at Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Blodgett said Wellstone was saddened by the threats "and as surprised as everyone else was." In his memoir, "Conscience of a Liberal," Wellstone said his fledging political career was spiraling downward within a few short weeks, as he attracted opposition for his views on the Gulf War and for his decision to hold an anti-war press conference next to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

"There were threats on my life," Wellstone wrote. "I wished I had never been elected."

The FBI files indicate that the agency took the threats seriously. Investigators tried to track down the threatening callers and kept detailed information about their efforts.

The documents show that an FBI agent traveled to "Marine," (sic) Minn. on January 29 to meet with the man who threatened to "throttle" Wellstone. The man, whose name has been redacted from the documents, admitted that he called the office and said that he wanted to wring Wellstone's neck and throttle him.

The FBI Taps Wellstone's Phone in Wake of Threats, 1991

Man Calls Sen. Wellstone's Office, Threatens to 'Start Shooting,' 1992

Wellstone Gets Threatening Calls After Radio Program, 1991

The man told the FBI agent that the receptionist was "snotty" and hung up on him. He said he called back and spoke to a "polite receptionist." He told her, "Tell Senator Wellstone that Saddam Hussein appreciates what he's doing."

Federal prosecutors declined to file charges against the caller, and the FBI was unable to locate the other callers. Wellstone continued to receive threats, including a call from a man in February 1995 who said, "I'm watching you senator and I'm going to kill you within the week." Wellstone was assigned a protective detail for the week of the threat.

The FBI Investigates More Death Threats Against Wellstone in 1995

FBI spokesman Steve Warfield declined to comment on the Wellstone files, but Warfield and former FBI agents said that threats against members of Congress are relatively common.

"I would say as active as (Wellstone) was and as liberal as he was and as much as he was against the war, I'd say that's a relatively small number" of threats, said Nick O'Hara, who served as the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Minneapolis office from 1991 to 1994.

O'Hara added that although the number of threats Wellstone received might not have been unusual, it likely took a psychological toll on the junior senator.

"Somebody's who's been in office and is aware of the crank calls that come in might not be as upset as a first-time senator who gets that first call and he starts thinking about his wife and his family," he said.

EYEING AN ACTIVIST

Wellstone did not pursue a traditional path to the U.S. Senate. He formed his political opinions while active in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s, and wrote a doctoral dissertation on "Black Militants in the Ghetto: Why They Believe in Violence." In 1969, he moved to Northfield, Minn. to teach political science at Carleton College.

Paul Wellstone at Carleton College

The FBI took note of the bushy-haired college professor when he was arrested on May 7, 1970 at a protest against the Vietnam War at the Federal Office Building in downtown Minneapolis. Wellstone and 87 others were arrested for disturbing and obstructing access to a federal building.

Most of the names in the 1970 documents have been redacted, making it impossible to separate Wellstone out from the other defendants. One defendant pled guilty, another had the charges dismissed, and another was acquitted. The documents state that the rest of the defendants were found guilty during a jury trial in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis and received fines of either $35 or five days in jail.

Wellstone Arrested at Vietnam War Protest in 1970

The FBI Tracks Court Proceedings Following Vietnam War Protest

Neither the FBI files nor available court records indicate how Wellstone's case was resolved.

In a document sent to FBI headquarters, the head of the FBI's Minneapolis office said the case warranted "considerable investigation." The document notes that U.S. Attorney Robert Renner "could foresee the potential blockage of federal buildings throughout the country" if the anti-war protesters were acquitted.

The FBI obtained a copy of Wellstone's fingerprint card from the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and sent it to FBI headquarters to keep on file. A related FBI document notes that Paul David Wellstone, age 25, weighed 150 pounds, stood 5'6," and had brown hair and brown eyes.

O'Hara, the former head of the FBI's Minneapolis office, said that the FBI used to routinely investigate protests that occurred on federal property.

"There were sit-ins. There were break-ins. There was blood spilled over Selective Service files," he said. "There were a number of minor federal crimes committed. And back then, there maybe wasn't the patience that there might be now."

O'Hara joined the FBI as a special agent in 1963, but did not work in Minnesota until he was transferred to the Minneapolis office in 1991. He said he was not familiar with the arrests.

Sen. Paul Wellstone

Coleen Rowley, the 9/11 whistleblower and former chief legal advisor in the FBI's Minneapolis office, said the documents from 1970 shed light on the FBI's far-reaching efforts to quash political dissent.

"I think this really is valuable … because it's basically history repeating what we have right now," she said, noting the recent FBI raids at the homes of several anti-war organizers in Minneapolis.

Wellstone's arrest occurred less than a year before the official end of Cointelpro, a series of secret domestic surveillance programs created by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to monitor and disrupt groups deemed to be a threat to national security. When the operation got underway in the 1950s it focused on suspected communists, but by the 1960s it had expanded to include broader groups, including civil rights organizers and anti-war protesters. Hoover ordered an end to Cointelpro operations in April of 1971, after news of the programs started to leak.

Paul and Sheila Wellstone

"So '70 would've hit you right in the midst of this," Rowley said. "In fact, that probably was the peak of the time when this was going on."

As for Wellstone, Blodgett said the senator "would've probably chuckled at it because he was exercising his free speech rights as an American and would've thought it was funny that the FBI would've taken notice of that and put it into a file somewhere."

Blodgett added, "You would think they'd have better things to do with their time."

Wellstone's fingerprint card remained on file, and his activism continued. In the two decades leading up to his Senate race, he helped organize poor families and farmers in rural Minnesota, and was once arrested for trespassing during a foreclosure protest at a bank in 1984. None of these activities are mentioned in the FBI files released by the Department of Justice.

A FINAL INVESTIGATION

When a plane carrying Wellstone, his wife, daughter, and three staffers crashed near Eveleth, Minn. on October 25, 2002, the FBI was among the first agencies to respond.

Wellstone plane crash scene

The plane crash occurred 11 days before the end of a tight Senate race between Wellstone and his Republican opponent Norm Coleman, spurring a flurry of conspiracy theories that the crash was not an accident.

The NTSB would later find that the crash was caused by pilot error, but the FBI pursued several criminal leads in the first two days of the investigation, according to the documents obtained by MPR News.

The plane crashed at 10:21 a.m. The documents indicate two agents from the FBI's satellite office in Duluth "immediately responded to the crash site," but don't specify what time they arrived. The agents assisted local authorities, who had already secured the area after determining there were no survivors, and waited for the NTSB team to arrive.

The FBI Opens Its Investigation of the Fatal Plane Crash

The FBI Pursues Criminal Leads in Plane Crash Investigation

The FBI files recount how agents from Bemidji and a group of 11 officials from Minneapolis arrived at the scene later that day. One of the Duluth agents jotted down the names of the deceased, and took notes on potential problems with de-icing equipment. The agent's handwritten pages span four days and provide an inside look into the investigation. The agent notes that the initial search found "no cockpit voice recorder" and "no bullet holes."

Eight members of an FBI evidence response team spent two days searching the wreckage. They assisted with an initial search for aircraft parts and the flight data recorder, and then helped retrieve human remains and personal items - watches, rings, campaign buttons, keys, and coins.

The FBI files reveal, for the first time, the specific criminal leads pursued by investigators.

FBI agents investigated the claims of a caller from Jacksonville, Florida, who said that members of the American Trucking Association had planned to disconnect the plane's de-icers. The man said that Wellstone had been trying to schedule Senate hearings to expose organized crime in the trucking industry. In response to the call, a Wellstone staff member asked a Labor Committee member and a legislative director "who both indicated that they were not aware of any Senate hearing being scheduled to discuss this topic." The rest of the document has been redacted.

The FBI Investigates Threatening Postcard Sent to Wellstone's Office

Agents also obtained a threatening postcard sent to Wellstone's St. Paul office the day before the plane crash. The handwritten postcard said, in part, "We need to gut (sic) the word out for the snipper (sic) to go after people like you, not real Americans … This voter fraud you propose will get you dead."

An FBI agent noted that the handwriting and stamp were similar to those sent to two members of the U.S. House of Representatives who, along with Wellstone, voted against the October 2002 resolution authorizing the Iraq War.

FBI agents also interviewed a former employee of Executive Aviation, the company that employed the pilots who died in the crash. A heavily redacted report describes a conversation between an FBI agent and the former employee regarding a November 2000 incident at the company's airplane hangar.

An FBI Agent Describes Initial Investigation Into Fatal Plane Crash

The FBI Compiles Maps of the Plane Crash Site Near Eveleth

The FBI Investigates the Pilots of Crashed Plane

At a closed meeting the night of the crash, the NTSB directed the investigation, with assistance from the FBI and law enforcement agencies. During the initial investigation, NTSB investigators noted several problems that the agency would later identify as key factors in the crash, including the plane's low speed, unusual sharp left turn, and the lack of any apparent problems with the plane's equipment.

FBI agents met with the lead investigator for the NTSB the following day and handed over the results of its investigation. The NTSB investigator said the agency would continue to examine the wreckage for any sign of damage to the plane, including the deicing equipment, and would interview local witnesses and investigate any previous issues with Executive Aviation.

The NTSB said it would "advise the FBI if its investigation revealed any indication that the crash was due to anything other than accidental causes."

'Soul of the Senate'

The Duluth FBI agents and the Evidence Recovery Team left the crash site on October 28, and the FBI files do not refer to any subsequent investigations.

Blodgett said that he was unaware of the FBI's investigation, but said he was not surprised.

"It's actually heartening to hear that they were extremely thorough in following every lead to make sure it was tied up," he said.

The FBI received the NTSB's final report on the plane crash in April 2004. The report brought the FBI's decades-long relationship with Wellstone to an end.

The final document states, "Inasmuch as no indication of criminal activity was indicated after exhaustive examination and analysis by the NTSB which warrants further FBI investigation, this case is considered CLOSED at Minneapolis."

The FBI Gathers Newspaper Articles About the Fatal Crash

Duluth FBI Agent Documents Travel to Crash Site

NTSB Issues Final Crash Report, FBI Closes Case

Back to the The Wellstone Files project home »

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Guest James H. Fetzer

Abundant and Compelling Evidence

December 5, 2004

David R. Griffin

The authors of this important book argue that Senator Paul Wellstone's

death, 10 days before the 2002 elections, was an assassination, most

likely ordered by the Bush administration.

Directly confronting the widespread tendency to reject all "conspiracy

theories," the authors point out that "the idea that every theory that

implies the existence of conspiracy ought to be rejected out of hand"

is no more rational than the idea that every such theory should be

accepted. Rather, "each case has to be evaluated on the basis of the

evidence that is relevant and available in that case." On that basis,

they argue, if we look at ALL the relevant evidence and employ the

scientific method of inference to the best explanation, we must

conclude that the theory that Wellstone was assassinated is far more

probable than the official theory, according to which his Airplane

crash was an accident.

The evidence includes several facts suggesting that the NTSB (National

Transportation Safety Board) colluded with the FBI in a cover-up:

1. FBI agents from Minneapolis arrived at the crash site within 2 hours

after the crash, even though the trip from Minnesota to Duluth to the

crash site would have taken at least 3 hours--so they must have

departed before the plane crashed.

2. When asked for the times at which private flights had arrived in

Duluth that morning, the FAA said the records had been destroyed.

3. Considerable disinformation about weather conditions was quickly

given to the press.

4. Although regulations called for the investigation to be carried out

by the NTSB, not the FBI (because the crash site was not designated a

crime scene), the FBI agents were there for 8 hours before the NTSB

team arrived.

5. The FBI, even though there illegally, prevented the local "first

responders" from taking photographs.

6. Although it was the NTSB's responsibility to determine the cause of

the crash and although the FBI's prior presence was illegal, the NTSB

leader publicly accepted the FBI's declaration, made before the NTSB's

investigation, that there was no evidence of terrorism.

7. When the NTSB team finally carried out its own investigation, it was

unable to find either the cockpit recorder, which it assumed the plane

had had, or the black box.

8. The NTSB held no public hearings, claiming that it was not a

sufficiently "high-profile" case.

9. The NTSB's final report concealed the fact of the FBI's

participation.

10. The NTSB investigation was headed by Acting Director Carol Carmody,

a Bush appointee who had earlier ruled that there was no foul play in

the small airplane crash in 2000 that took the life of Governor Mel

Carnahan of Missouri, the Democratic candidate for the Senate who was

killed 3 weeks before his expected victory (over John Ashcroft).

The evidence also includes some facts strongly suggesting the falsity

of the NTSB's official conclusion, which was that the plane crashed

because the pilot failed to maintain proper speed, causing the plane to

stall.

1. The plane would have stalled only if it slowed to below 70 knots,

yet it was equipped with a device that emitted a loud warning at 85

knots.

2. The plane was being flown by two experienced and fully certified

pilots, a fact--obfuscated in the NTSB report-that makes this kind of

pilot error very unlikely.

3. The NTSB's theory fails to explain why, about two minutes before the

crash, all communication was abruptly terminated and the plane began

going off course.

The evidence also includes facts suggesting that the plane was instead

brought down by an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) weapon:

1. The plane's fuselage burned, although it was separated from the

wings, which contained the fuel.

2. The plane's electrical system, which would be affected by an EMP,

was in the fuselage, and the fire from the fuselage gave off blue

smoke, which is indicative of an electrical fire.

3. An EMP could explain why the plane simultaneously went off course

and lost its radio about two minutes before the crash.

4. At the same time, cell phones and garage doors in the area behaved

in a way consistent with the occurrence of an EMP.

5. An NTSB spokesman professed ignorance about the existence of EMP

weapons that could have brought down the plane, although the existence

of such weapons had been known for several years.

An important part of the authors' case is the fact that the Bush

administration would have had several motives:

1. Wellstone's defeat would return control of the Senate to the

Republicans.

2. Wellstone's death 10 days before the election meant that $700,000 in

the Republican campaign chest could be transferred, the very next day,

to the (successful) effort to defeat Max Cleland in the Senate race in

Georgia.

3. Wellstone was the biggest obstacle in the Senate to several

Republican policies, such as those involving Iraq, Colombia, the SEC,

tax cuts, and Homeland Security, and he was the strongest voice in

Congress calling for a full investigation into 9/11.

4. Two days before his death, Wellstone reported that Cheney had told

him: "If you vote against the war in Iraq, the Bush administration will

do whatever is necessary to get you."

5. Wellstone had developed a 7-point lead in the polls over Norm

Coleman, the Bush administration's hand-picked candidate.

Finally, with regard to the question whether the Bush administration

would commit such a heinous act, the authors argue that an

administration that "compounded lie upon lie to . . . send hundreds of

thousands of young American men and women into harm's way [in Iraq] is

not an administration that would hesitate to kill a single senator."

The authors conclude that the evidence shows beyond reasonable doubt

that Wellstone was assassinated. They have, in my view, made a

convincing case.

David Ray Griffin, author of "The New Pearl Harbor" and "The 9/11

Commission Report: Omissions & Distortions"

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It is no surprise that Fetzer chose to start a new thread about the Welstone crash rather than revive the old one because he knew he had his ass handed to him on a plate there. So started this one where his distortions had not already been debunked. With one minor exception all of this has been repeatedly discussed.

“Remarkably, when Rick Wahlberg, the Sheriff of St. Louis Country arrived there at 1:30 PM/CT, he encountered members of the FBI’s Rapid Response Team from St. Paul, whom he knew personally, who told him that they had been there since noon.”

The source of this claim is white supremacist and fugitive from justice Chris Bollyn who was fired from his only journalism job (writing for neo-Nazis) for “filing false stories”

“I calculated the minimal time it would have taken to fly from St. Paul to Duluth, rent a car and drive to the crash scene, they had to have taken off at about 9:30 AM/CT”

In his book Fetzer claimed that a TV station made the same trip through Hibbing in far less time.

“the fuselage burned so intensely for seven hours the firemen were unable to extinguish it”

That was because it was in a remote area in the woods and they didn’t have a water supply and it was very difficult to bring in equipment.

“the NTSB would eventually conduct simulations of the flight with pilots from Charter Aviation and, even though they had them fly abnormally slowly, they were unable to cause the plane to crash.”

The objective of the simulations was not to see if the plane would crash but rather to see if pilots with their level of experience should have been able to recover.

“The principal pilot, Richard Conry, however, had some 5,200 hours of experience”

This is BS and Fetzer knows it:

1) Conry only claimed to have 5116 hours

2) the only evidence in support of this was an affidavit he sent the FAA in which he claims to have lost his logbooks, which were actually in his attic. Conry had been convicted of several counts of fraud and had repeatedly exaggerated his flying experience.

3)Per his own logbooks and previous declarations he had about 3600 hours but even that is questionable since he had dual log books for the same period with contradictory info and one contained forged signatures.

4) His wife and best friend also pilots though he had 3 – 4,000 hours

5) What ever his true flight time all but 3 – 400 hours had been accrued before an 11-year hiatus from flying due to his fraud conviction and poor eye sight.

6) He was not at the controls for most of those 3 – 400 hours because his co-pilots said he normally let them fly. His co-pilots flew all of the 6 legs he did for the charter company in the 3 days before the crash.

“…an Air Transport Pilots certification--which is the highest civilian qualification short of astronaut”

Yeah the highest of only three certifications (two for professionals), lots of ATP’s far more experienced than Conry have caused planes to crash

“—and had passed his FAA “flight check” just two days before the fatal flight.”

But he hardly passed with “flying colors” he responded a bit too slow to a simulated engine failure, a situation not too different from a stall.

“His co-pilot, Michael Guess, was not as highly qualified, but he was a competent pilot for a plane that did not require two”

Both pilots were perceived as being poor pilots amongst their co-workers who said they had trouble taking off and landing and were easily distracted. There were several reports of Conry almost causing crashes. His best friend who was also a pilot told the NTSB that Conry told him a few months before the crash that he had difficulty flying and especially landing King Airs. The Wellstone flight was on landing approach. Conry’s own wife said that he told her the other pilots at the charter company thought Guess was a bad pilot. In his diary Guess said that Conry was the only pilot who regularly let him fly.

“Although there were two pilots, there had been no distress call.”

- Crashes with no distress calls are common including ones with 2 – 4 person crews

-There was no one in the airport office at the time of the crash, so even if a distress call had been made it probably would not have been heard.

“A loss of air speed brings with it a loss of altitude, and the plane had crashed two miles south of the airport, apparently flying on the wrong azimuth.”

The plane was on the wrong azimuth because it missed a turn, it flew the wrong azimuth for several minutes and was in radio contact with Duluth or Eveleth most of the time.

“I began to ask myself the probability that two pilots would neglect their air speed, their altitude, and their azimuth.

For two good pilots it would be low but for the likes of Conry and Guess not so unlikely since both had trouble landing and tended to become distracted. Evidence suggests who ever was flying was having difficulty locating the runway because he clicked on the runway lights during the day and the airport’s beacon was faulty. You forgot to tell your readers and listeners that FAA test pilots following the beacon also flew south of the center line and one nearly flew over the crash site. Additionally Conry was probably not using contact lens as mandated by the FAA due to his vision problems

“A directed-energy weapon could not only have taken out the plane’s electronics, including its communications and navigation systems, but flipped the solenoids that control the pitch of the props and set them to “idle”.”

Despite having several years to do so Fetzer has yet to produce a citation from a credible source that such weapon exists. The claim that one could remotely controlled solenoids is new. The plane was on “flight idle” not idle, this was the appropriate setting for approach.

"Eric Black wrote of a “Great Conversations” even at the University of Minnesota, where, during the question and answer session, Hersh reported not only that the CIA has been “deeply involved in domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state” but that a special unit of our military called the JSOC had been set up independently of the normal chain of command"

1) Fetzer has repeatedly attacked Seymour Hersh’s credibility over his bio of JFK

2) Hersh has admitted to making stuff up when he speaks http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/features/11719/

3) In his writings at least Hersh only said the assassination squads operated in Iraq and Afghanistan

Edited by Len Colby
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American Assassination

Book Description

Senator Paul Wellstone was the first 1960's radical elected to the U.S. Senate. In Senate Race 2002, the White House made defeating Wellstone "Priority #1". Karl Rove hand-picked conservative Republican Norm Coleman to run against him. Despite massive funding, Wellstone was increasing his lead over Coleman less than two weeks before election day.

Then, tragedy struck. On the morning of 25 October 2002, Wellstone was killed after an apparent loss of communication and control that led to the crash of his small plane. He died alongside his wife Sheila, their daughter Marcia, three staff members, and the two pilots, while trying to land at Minnesota’s Eveleth-Virginia airport.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer insisted to his reporter at the scene that foul weather was the lethal factor in the crash, despite statements to the contrary from the CNN correspondent who was actually there. To this day, the public tends to blame the weather. First reports convey enduring impressions but are not always right.

Ph.D. Professors James Fetzer and Don "Four Arrows" Jacobs present the harrowing truth. The plane was not responsible. The weather didn’t cause it to crash. Nor were the pilots incompetent, as the report of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) would eventually maintain.

The facts point elsewhere. The FBI arrived at the remote rural crash scene with perternatural speed. Could they have known in advance? The FBI restrained the ambulance and the fire teams from taking photos. Even the AP photographer on hand was intimidated, delayed and monitored. And a member of the U.S. Capitol Police Dignitary Protection Division was there.

Did these representatives of law enforcement illegally remove evidence, such as indications of foul play, before the NTSB arrived to investigate, some eight hours later? Why did the FBI state that they were treating the site as a "crime scene" but also maintain that this was not the scene of a crime?

How could the FBI conclude and publicly announce, even before NTSB had arrived, that there was "no evidence of terrorism"? A determination of the cause of the crash would not be made for more than a year. So how could they possibly know? And there actually was a connection to an alleged terrorist.

AMERICAN ASSASSINATION confirms the worst fears of a nation. Senator Paul Wellstone was murdered for political purposes and the cause of the crash was covered up. This book explains how, why, and by whom it was done. Their intent included to gain GOP control of the U.S. Senate.

Both authors are distinguished university professors. A Native American, Don "Four Arrows" Jacobs teaches educational leadership and is a staunch critic of US foreign policy. James "Jim" Fetzer is an expert on logic, critical thinking, and scientific reasoning, who has published three books on the death of JFK.

These two scholars point out the official story’s inconsistencies and what even appear to be its deliberate omissions. They assess its inadequacies and explain why it should not be taken seriously.

With methodical arguments, they present evidence of an official cover-up, a compelling motive for Wellstone’s assassination, and a more likely explanation of how the plane was downed. Some of the most important evidence they discuss includes:

• NTSB’s Carol Carmody handled the Wellstone case. A former CIA official, she is a damage-control expert who handled the NTSB’s investigation of the suspicious aircraft crash of Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan during his race against Senator John Ashcroft two years earlier.

• NTSB is legally mandated to take jurisdiction over a crash scene, but let the FBI take control. Yet in its official report, the NTSB failed to even mention any role played by the FBI.

• There was no distress call from the pilots, even though they were going down in a remote, swampy area and immediate assistance might make the difference between life and death.

• Some witnesses heard the engines cutting out, a phenomenon not consistent with a stall.

• Others reported odd cell-phone and garage-door phenomena that were taking place about the same time the plane appears to have lost communications and control.

• The NTSB's own simulations, which replicated the weather, the flight, and the plane under similar conditions, were unable to bring it down - even when they were conducted at abnormally slow speeds!

• One of the members who actually signed the report, Richard Healing, admitted that the NTSB really had no idea what had caused the plane to crash.

Since becoming active in this issue, local residents have contacted Dr. Fetzer and related strange electronic interference in the area at the time of the crash. One experienced an odd cell-phone phenomenon with a form of noise unlike any he had heard before.

Its auditory pattern appears consistent with the use of "electro-magnetic" (EM) weapons developed by the Pentagon to take out computerized systems and wreak harm on human targets. It was part of the plan to bring down the plane using kinds of weapons of which most Americans are unaware.

These weapons can disable radio communications, stall warning systems, course deviation indicator, and electrical switches controlling the pitch of the props, causing substantial loss of control. They can render persons unconscious, incapable of muscle control, or even bring about their death.

In the wake of the crash, 69% of Minnesotans blamed a "GOP conspiracy" for Wellstone’s death. AMERICAN ASSASSINATION provides a rigorous argument based upon a thorough assessment of the evidence establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that this was no accident and that they appear to have been right.

The appendices present highlights from Wellstone’s agenda and his speech "On Iraq." His opposition to the rich and powerful helps us all understand why he would be targeted for assassination. When you encounter this courageous man in his own words, you will absorb his vision and appreciate precisely why Senator Paul Wellstone continues to inspire us.

Prepublication Reviews

“Gripping and compelling...With new evidence and scientific rigor, Drs. Fetzer and Jacobs systematically appraise the alternative explanations for the death of a United States Senator. Their conclusion--that Paul Wellstone was the target of an assassination--is very disturbing. It should motivate local authorities to launch a formal inquiry into the death of this remarkable American.”

-- Donald T. Phillips, Author, Lincoln on Leadership

“Meticulous research...rigorous analysis. Their efforts lead us to only one conclusion...much of the circumstantial evidence incriminates Vice - President Dick Cheney and other prominent figures in the Bush Administration as having some involvement in Wellstone’s death.

“This book represents a tremendous collaboration in courage. In chronicling yet another chapter in what has rapidly become one the darkest eras in the history of American democracy, this book deserves far more serious attention than it will likely receive from the mainstream of American journalism and scholarship.”

-- David Gabbard, Professor, East Carolina University Author, Knowledge and Power in the Global Economy

“By unraveling the conditions under which he died, Four Arrows and Jm Fetzer have not only paid tribute to Paul Wellstone, they've brought to light the facts surrounding yet another suspicious plane crash in a lineage that extends back to Governor Mel Carnahan, Senator John Tower, and Congressman Hale Boggs.”

-- Russ Wellen, Freezerbox.com

http://assassinationscience.com/American_Assassination.html

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Guest James H. Fetzer

This is quite typical of the rubbish I have come to expect from Colby. There have been no "distortions" except from him and no one--including those who have participated in a thread set up to debunk my work on Wellstone back in 2004--has been able to demonstrate that any of my arguments are wrong. I shall comment on Colby's in bold. His quotes from my work are also in bold, but have "quotation marks" around them. There is no substitute, however, for reading the book.

It is no surprise that Fetzer chose to start a new thread about the Welstone crash rather than revive the old one because he knew he had his ass handed to him on a plate there. So started this one where his distortions had not already been debunked. With one minor exception all of this has been repeatedly discussed.

“Remarkably, when Rick Wahlberg, the Sheriff of St. Louis Country arrived there at 1:30 PM/CT, he encountered members of the FBI’s Rapid Response Team from St. Paul, whom he knew personally, who told him that they had been there since noon.”

The source of this claim is white supremacist and fugitive from justice Chris Bollyn who was fired from his only journalism job (writing for neo-Nazis) for “filing false stories”

Attacking the messenger rather than the message is an elementary fallacy I spent 35 years teaching freshmen to avoid. Bollyn was the first to notice the early arrival of the FBI and was right on the mark. I confirmed it with Gary Ulman, the airport assistant manager who discovered the crash, who confirmed that they had been there at least since 1 PM. The FBI spokesman, Paul McCabe, however, insisted they had not arrived until 3:30 PM, contradicting both the Sheriff and the assistant manager.

“I calculated the minimal time it would have taken to fly from St. Paul to Duluth, rent a car and drive to the crash scene, they had to have taken off at about 9:30 AM/CT”

In his book Fetzer claimed that a TV station made the same trip through Hibbing in far less time.

This is making stuff up, which is typical of Cobly. Notice he gives no reference because there is none. Hibbing is about 20 miles west of the crash scene, while Evelyth-Virginia is about 60 miles north of Duluth. Colby doesn't know what he is talking about, which is part for the course. They were flew from St. Paul, landed at Duluth, and drove the rest.

“the fuselage burned so intensely for seven hours the firemen were unable to extinguish it”

That was because it was in a remote area in the woods and they didn’t have a water supply and it was very difficult to bring in equipment.

This is nonsense. They initially had a tanker that turned out to have no water within it, but they brought in others and were still unable to extinguish the fire. It is one of the oddest aspects of the crash that the NTSB did not even address.

“the NTSB would eventually conduct simulations of the flight with pilots from Charter Aviation and, even though they had them fly abnormally slowly, they were unable to cause the plane to crash.”

The objective of the simulations was not to see if the plane would crash but rather to see if pilots with their level of experience should have been able to recover.

They were unable to cause the plane to crash in the simulator, even though it was being flown abnormally slow. Colby is outdoing himself here, because this means the NTSB's own evidence contradicted its own conclusions.

“The principal pilot, Richard Conry, however, had some 5,200 hours of experience”

This is BS and Fetzer knows it:

1) Conry only claimed to have 5116 hours

2) the only evidence in support of this was an affidavit he sent the FAA in which he claims to have lost his logbooks, which were actually in his attic. Conry had been convicted of several counts of fraud and had repeatedly exaggerated his flying experience.

3)Per his own logbooks and previous declarations he had about 3600 hours but even that is questionable since he had dual log books for the same period with contradictory info and one contained forged signatures.

4) His wife and best friend also pilots though he had 3 – 4,000 hours

5) What ever his true flight time all but 3 – 400 hours had been accrued before an 11-year hiatus from flying due to his fraud conviction and poor eye sight.

6) He was not at the controls for most of those 3 – 400 hours because his co-pilots said he normally let them fly. His co-pilots flew all of the 6 legs he did for the charter company in the 3 days before the crash.

He not only had considerable experience but had an Air Transport Pilot's Certification, which is the highest civilian rating short of astronaut and had passed his FAA "flight check" just two days before the fatal flight.

“…an Air Transport Pilots certification--which is the highest civilian qualification short of astronaut”

Yeah the highest of only three certifications (two for professionals), lots of ATP’s far more experienced than Conry have caused planes to crash

The whole theory of allowing the plane to crash is so improbable that I can hardly believe this guy is trying to resurrect it. You can arrive at Colby's conclusions only if you ignore the evidence.

“—and had passed his FAA “flight check” just two days before the fatal flight.”

But he hardly passed with “flying colors” he responded a bit too slow to a simulated engine failure, a situation not too different from a stall.

This is simply ridiculous. Why would any experienced pilot neglect his airspeed and altitude? That is wildly improbable. And there were two of them. Not only can't Colby add and subtract, he can't multiply either.

“His co-pilot, Michael Guess, was not as highly qualified, but he was a competent pilot for a plane that did not require two”

Both pilots were perceived as being poor pilots amongst their co-workers who said they had trouble taking off and landing and were easily distracted. There were several reports of Conry almost causing crashes. His best friend who was also a pilot told the NTSB that Conry told him a few months before the crash that he had difficulty flying and especially landing King Airs. The Wellstone flight was on landing approach. Conry’s own wife said that he told her the other pilots at the charter company thought Guess was a bad pilot. In his diary Guess said that Conry was the only pilot who regularly let him fly.

Nice example of the fallacy of special pleading by citing only part of the evidence. Another pilot who had flown with Conry 50 times described him as the most careful and cautious pilot he had ever known. A friend of mine went to high school with him and descsribed him as obsessive-compulsive. The chief pilot said he had never heard any of these complaints prior to the crash. Guess was a competent pilot but not as qualified as Conry. If Colby were right, it is a wonder they were even employed by the company.

“Although there were two pilots, there had been no distress call.”

- Crashes with no distress calls are common including ones with 2 – 4 person crews

-There was no one in the airport office at the time of the crash, so even if a distress call had been made it probably would not have been heard.

There would have been ample time to issue a distress call, especially given there were two pilots, when they would know that, since they were going down in a desolate, wooded area, the response time would make a difference. They appear to have made no distress call because there electronics were no longer functional.

“A loss of air speed brings with it a loss of altitude, and the plane had crashed two miles south of the airport, apparently flying on the wrong azimuth.”

The plane was on the wrong azimuth because it missed a turn, it flew the wrong azimuth for several minutes and was in radio contact with Duluth or Eveleth most of the time.

Colby knows better. Check out my one-hour video lecture on the death of Paul Wellstone, which is archived at the bottom of the menu bar of http://assassinationscience.com . The evidence suggests that the GPS was manipulated to bring the plane into the kill zone.

“I began to ask myself the probability that two pilots would neglect their air speed, their altitude, and their azimuth.

For two good pilots it would be low but for the likes of Conry and Guess not so unlikely since both had trouble landing and tended to become distracted. Evidence suggests who ever was flying was having difficulty locating the runway because he clicked on the runway lights during the day and the airport’s beacon was faulty. You forgot to tell your readers and listeners that FAA test pilots following the beacon also flew south of the center line and one nearly flew over the crash site. Additionally Conry was probably not using contact lens as mandated by the FAA due to his vision problems

If you assume that a pilot would neglect one or another, say, one time in a hundred—an absurdly high frequency—then for one pilot to neglect all three would be equal to 1/100 x 1/100 x 1/100 = 1/1,000,000 or one time in a million. And there had been two of them, where the probability that they would both neglect those factors was equal to 1/1,000,000 x 1/1,000,000, a very small number. And the plane was equipped with a loud warning alarm to alert them of any risk of stalling. Colby has to know better, since this argument appears in both the book and the article he feigns to be discussing.

“A directed-energy weapon could not only have taken out the plane’s electronics, including its communications and navigation systems, but flipped the solenoids that control the pitch of the props and set them to “idle”.”

Despite having several years to do so Fetzer has yet to produce a citation from a credible source that such weapon exists. The claim that one could remotely controlled solenoids is new. The plane was on “flight idle” not idle, this was the appropriate setting for approach.

They are discussed extensively in the book by a Ph.D. in electromagnetism. At the time it was composed, I had located the Professionsl Directed Energy Society, which was having its eight annual meeting in Honolulu that year. More and more data about these weapons is being released, as anyone can discover by conducting a google search. Colby is blowing more smoke.

"Eric Black wrote of a “Great Conversations” even at the University of Minnesota, where, during the question and answer session, Hersh reported not only that the CIA has been “deeply involved in domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state” but that a special unit of our military called the JSOC had been set up independently of the normal chain of command"

1) Fetzer has repeatedly attacked Seymour Hersh’s credibility over his bio of JFK

2) Hersh has admitted to making stuff up when he speaks http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/features/11719/

3) In his writings at least Hersh only said the assassination squads operated in Iraq and Afghanistan

The only fault I have found with THE DARK SIDE OF CAMELOT is that it appears to me Hersh exaggerated JFK's philandering, where I am of the opinion that his back injuries would have precluded some of the escapades attributed to him. On most scores, Hersh has proven to be an exceptional investigative journalist, certainly overwhelmingly more reliable than Colby.

This is vintage Len Colby. Offer a large number of alleged mistakes in the hope that no one will bother to check them out or consider the rest of the available evidence. For whatever reason, he has made the dissemination of false information on serious subjects, such as JFK, 9/11, and Wellstone, his area of specialization. The problem is that those who know less about the case are liable to be impressed because they don't know the extent of his chicanery. I have no idea if that is the case with Norman George, but if he actually thinks Colby is credible, then he has been played for a sap. That is the key to Colby's style: play his audience for suckers and hope that no one is going to call his bluff! Sorry about that, Len, but your pseudo-intellectual buffoonery is getting old. Those of us who have his number have long grown sick of it, but he persists and persists as though that were his life's mission. Those who read the book will admire the labor he has invested here.

Edited by James H. Fetzer
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Guest James H. Fetzer

Target Wellstone

BY RUSS WELLEN

09.07.2004 | BOOKS

American Assassination: The Strange Death of Senator Paul Wellstone

By Four Arrows and Jim Fetzer

Vox Pop, 199 pages, $14.00

So fierce is the competition in the crime fiction market today that only the cozy genre of mystery can still get away with a single murder victim. In padding the body count, however, authors lose sight of the first rule of a good crime novel: reanimate the corpse. In other words, the reader must get to know and care about the deceased.

When the plane carrying Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone to the funeral of a state lawmaker's father crashed, his wife, daughter, three staff members, and two pilots died as well. By writing American Assassination: The Strange Death of Senator Paul Wellstone (on Sander Hicks's new Vox Pop imprint), Four Arrows and Jim Fetzer honor all the victims. But demonstrating that a crime--massacre actually--was committed requires showing how Wellstone's Senate career constituted a monument to humanitarianism that demanded to be toppled as sure as Saddam's statue in Firdos Square, Baghdad.

Unfortunately, sniping from the left that he failed to hew to the party line obscured Wellstone's achievements (documented in an appendix to the book). In fact, his comprehensive approach to progressive causes, from reforming American farm policy to opposing GATT and NAFTA, paralleled how the right leaves no stone unturned in its relentless quest to roll back any legislation that could conceivably be called enlightened.

In light of the suspicious circumstances under which he died, you can't help but think that the right saw him as not one, but a plague of gadflies that had to be eradicated. He was in fact exposed to aerial spraying--intentionally, the authors maintain--while inspecting the effect of glycophospate on Colombian coca fields. With each vote, Wellstone more and more resembled a man marching to his doom.

Not only the mainstream, but also most of the independent media has used Wellstone campaign manager Jeff Blodgett's profession of certainty that pilot error was at fault to back off from allegations of foul play. In other words, don't let them tar you with that darn conspiracy theory label because when you try to peel it off your skin comes with it.

But conspiracy theories don't only play with the Generation X-Files crowd; now they're scrutinized by the ever-more-credentialed, such as Dr. David Ray Griffin, the author of The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11. Like Griffin, Jim Fetzer is a professor of philosophy (at the University of Minnesota, Duluth) and he's polished his philosopher's stone with three books on the death of JFK. Co-author Four Arrows is an associate professor at Northern Arizona University. (Though the authors fail to describe the division of duties, the interviews Arrows conducts suggests he's the leg man.)

Applying the principles of philosophy to the crime, Fetzer claims that when an investigator examining a hypothesis violates "the requirement of total evidence," "special pleading"--intentionally selecting evidence to create a biased result--occurs.

Excluding, and perhaps removing, evidence is exactly what official bodies seem to have set out to do. Only an hour after first responders arrived on the crash site at 11 a.m., the FBI materialized on the scene. In other words, they would have departed from St. Paul at 9:30--when Wellstone's plane was taking off.

After possibly spiriting away the cockpit voice recorder, the FBI announced the crash wasn't the work of terrorists. Meanwhile, the National Traffic Safety Board's lead investigator, Frank Hildrup, when asked why there was no public hearing, responded that they were reserved for "high profile cases."

As for the cause, at first the NTSB blamed icy conditions. However, when the plane didn't land at the Eveleth-Virginia (Minnesota) Airport, its assistant manager, Gary Ulman, had no qualms about immediately taking off to search for the crash site. Others, such as National Center for Atmospheric Research meteorologist Ben Bernstein, downplayed the icing theory as well.

Besides, the Beechcraft King Air A-10 boasted an elaborate de-icing system--you learn a lot about aviation in this book--such as pneumatic de-icing boots that inflate and deflate to break ice from the leading edges of the wing and tail. And when the King Air's maintenance records turned out to be in order, mechanical problems, along with the icy conditions, were disqualified as causes.

The NTSB then turned to the highly rated pilot, Richard Conry, a favorite of Wellstone's who had passed an FAA flight check two days before. Sixty seconds after his last conversation with the ground, during which he reported no problems, the King Air began drifting south, whereas a normal landing would have continued straight west. In other words, discounting his turn in the opposite direction before crashing, the NTSB adopted the conclusion that Conry and co-pilot Michael Guess's approach was too slow, stalling the plane and causing it to crash.

But even if the pilots failed to check airspeed and altitude--an almost unimaginable lapse--they would have been alerted by an alarm in plenty of time to regain speed. In other words, by arriving at this conclusion the NTSB demonstrated the same lack of concern for public scrutiny as the FBI did when it arrived early at the crash scene. More likely, the authors maintain, the King Air lost airspeed and altitude because the pilots were unable to control it.

Understanding the crash, they believe, requires establishing why the King Air suddenly stopped communicating. Another man on his way to the funeral, driving within a couple blocks of the airport at the time of the crash experienced otherworldly cell-phone interference. He reported hearing a sound "between a roar and loud humming voice...oscillating...screeching and humming noise."

Most responsible for narrowing the authors' search for a cause was the blue smoke typical of electrical fires that streamed out of the King Air's sheared fuselage for hours after the crash.

In an arresting passage, the authors cite a Time magazine article describing microwave weapons the US is developing to knock out enemy electronics. Supposedly they're capable of unleashing in an instant as much power as the Hoover Dam cranks out in a day. The authors report, among other accidents, an F-111 that crashed or aborted due simply to the radio transmissions (electromagnetic pulses) of other US military aircraft.

Suddenly the idea of electronic-jamming equipment sending a decoy VOR (landing guidance system) signal to the King Air becomes plausible. Obeying instrumentation that's tricked into believing the plane is several degrees off course, the pilot follows the signal straight into the ground.

Possible means mapped out, what about more specific motives than the general pugnaciousness of this former wrestler's progressivism? First, at the time of the crash the Republicans' Senate majority was in jeopardy because Vermont's Jim Jeffords had bolted the party. In an attempt to redress the balance, they threw all their support behind Norm Coleman, Wellstone's opponent in the upcoming election. When Wellstone voted against granting the president power to invade Iraq, his popularity surged.

Wellstone reported that before the Senate vote on Iraq, Dick Cheney had warned him that bucking the administration could result in severe consequences for both him and the state of Minnesota. Neither was the vice president happy about the legislation Wellstone had introduced to improve protection against asbestos poisoning. Cheney had left Halliburton in a position to be sued by its insurer for asbestos claims staggering in their potential for remuneration. Only his assumption of the vice presidency granted him immunity from deposition.

After Wellstone's funeral, you may remember how Republicans claimed the event was partisan, essentially garnering Democrats free campaign airtime. This, of course, stood in contrast, to the heartfelt way the Republican party grieved--by transferring money designated to fight Wellstone to defeating Democratic Georgia Senator Max Cleland. Corporate America was equally broken up: From the instant Wellstone's death was reported by AP--the rise in corporate fortunes that a Republican Senate signified needed no spelling out to investors--the Dow rose steadily.

By unraveling the conditions under which he died, Four Arrows and Jim Fetzer have not only paid tribute to Paul Wellstone, they've brought to light the facts surrounding yet another suspicious plane crash in a lineage that extends back to Governor Mel Carnahan and Senators John Tower and Hale Boggs.

Finally, let us recall the prescience Wellstone demonstrated in his statement to the Senate on Iraq: "The United States should unite the world against Saddam and not allow him to unite forces against us."

Russ Wellen is an editor at Freezerbox who specializes in foreign affairs and nuclear deproliferation.

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Guest James H. Fetzer

What's ironic about this? It is meant to settle conspiracy theories:

"FBI finds no foul play in Wellstone plane crash" by Joel Siegfried

http://www.examiner.com/airlines-airport-in-national/fbi-find-no-foul-play-senator-paul-wellstone-plane-crash?cid=examiner-email

I was trying to figure out how to submit a rebuttal, when I took a

closer look. Joel appears to have done a modicum of his own research,

which is not likely to please the FBI! (Check out the photos and the

video that accompany the article on its left-hand side. I love it!)

Edited by James H. Fetzer
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As has been pointed out before, there are many inaccuracies and with respect to the aviation matters, the facts do not support the proposition that it was deliberately brought down.

7. When the NTSB team finally carried out its own investigation, it was

unable to find either the cockpit recorder, which it assumed the plane

had had, or the black box.

That's because one was not fitted to the aircraft, nor did that class of aircraft / operation require one.

1. The plane would have stalled only if it slowed to below 70 knots,

yet it was equipped with a device that emitted a loud warning at 85

knots.

No, stall warning devices are normally designed to activate between 5-8 KIAS before the stall. The stall speed of this aircraft is normally 78 KCAS with a clean wing; stall speeds can be raised if there is any ice build up on the wings which disrupts airflow. Raytheon did some test after the crash and estimated that at the aircraft's gross weight, the stall speed would have been 77 KCAS. The radar returns from just before the crash indicate the aircraft slowed to a speed of about 76 KCAS. The same test showed that the stall warning with a clean wing occurred between 81-84 KCAS.

2. The plane was being flown by two experienced and fully certified

pilots, a fact--obfuscated in the NTSB report-that makes this kind of

pilot error very unlikely.

Some people like to "obfuscate" the fact that fully qualified, healthy and experienced aircrew make errors - sometimes fatal - all the time. Pilot error is the LEADING cause of aircraft accidents and incidents around the world. Accident databases are littered with examples of this.

3. The NTSB's theory fails to explain why, about two minutes before the

crash, all communication was abruptly terminated and the plane began

going off course.

Some people make up stuff. The last transmission from the aircraft was at 1019:20, which was the co-pilot acknowledging the ATC approval to change frequency and instructions to cancel SAR when on the ground. No further transmissions were to be expected until they were on the ground.

As usual, it's people without the requisite knowledge making faulty assumptions and drawing erroneous conclusions.

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3. The NTSB's theory fails to explain why, about two minutes before the

crash, all communication was abruptly terminated and the plane began

going off course.

Some people make up stuff. The last transmission from the aircraft was at 1019:20, which was the co-pilot acknowledging the ATC approval to change frequency and instructions to cancel SAR when on the ground. No further transmissions were to be expected until they were on the ground.

As usual, it's people without the requisite knowledge making faulty assumptions and drawing erroneous conclusions.

Actually you're both wrong the 1019:20 transmission was the last to the DULUTH tower. One of the two, presumably Guess, changed to the Eveleth frequency as advised by the controller and told Ulman the plane was (IIRC) 7 miles out and coming in for landing. Ulman then went outside to do some chores including moving some planes and heard the runway lights being clicked on. Runway lights are activated by cuing the microphone 7 times. This was the last transmission and was very shortly before the crash.

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Guest James H. Fetzer

As I have explained, several features of the crash caught my attention early on. Although there were two pilots, there had been no distress call. A loss of air speed brings with it a loss of altitude, and the plane had crashed two miles south of the airport, apparently flying on the wrong azimuth. I began to ask myself the probability that two pilots would neglect their air speed, their altitude, and their azimuth. If we assume that these are independent events that might happen, say, one time in a hundred—an absurdly high frequency—then for one pilot to neglect all three would be equal to 1/100 x 1/100 x 1/100 = 1/1,000,000 or one time in a million. And there had been two of them, where the probability that they would both neglect those factors was equal to 1/1,000,000 x 1/1,000,000, a very small number. And the plane was equipped with a loud warning alarm to alert them of any risk of stalling.

Evan Burton (and Len Colby) appear to be oblivious of arguments about probabilities. It is overwhelmingly improbable that two pilots could have lost track of their air speed, their altitude, and even their azimuth! Even overwhelmingly improbably events, however, are not therefore impossible. Burton takes the ploy of treating (even extraordinarily improbable) events that are POSSIBLE as though they were PROBABLE or even CERTAIN. This is not the first context in which he has performed this gambit. Accidents do happen. But it is overwhelmingly improbably that this was an accident. And the NTSB itself undertook simulations in Florida where the closest simulator had a weaker engine than the King Air A-100 but other similar flight characteristics and were unable to bring it down -- even when they had it fly at abnormally slow speeds! So the NTSB's own evidence contradicts the NTSB's own conclusions!

Edited by James H. Fetzer
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