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

Guest James H. Fetzer

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What is the probability that two B747s would collide on the ground?

Also, I'll repeat points I made in the other thread.

No, you mustn't be reading my posts. Wellstone may have had people out to get him, and may have been murdered... but the aircraft incident does not point to that. You can't use the aircraft accident itself as 'proof' because it does not specifically point to foul play. Perhaps the aircrew were slipped undetectable drugs that caused them to lose SA; if you can find such a drug then it becomes a possibility. The fact is, however, that there have been similar aviation accidents involving loss of SA during an instrument approach, unintentional stalling of the aircraft, crew actions leading to either uncontrolled or controlled flight into terrain and various combination of them. So don't use the simple occurrence of the accident as 'proof' that they were murdered, because it's not true.

The King Air comes in varying models. Overall, in excess of 3100 have been produced since 1963.

There have been 289 King Air crashes worldwide. Of those, 194 involved fatalities. Of those fatalities, 86 incidents were in the US.

If we look at just the A100, there were 157 built. Of those, 38 have been involved in aircraft accidents. Of those, 23 had fatalities. Of those 23, 19 were is the US.

So lets do the math:

24% of A100 King Airs have been involved in a crash.

60% of A100 King Air accidents have resulted in fatalities.

50% of A100 King Air accidents have occurred in the US and resulted in fatalities.

82% of all A100 King Air accidents resulting in fatalities have occurred in the US.

16 FEB 05, Cessna Citation 560, N500AT. An experienced crew conducting an ILS approach. They failed to monitor the situation and icing caused a stall, from which they did not recover. They did not make any MAYDAY call. The stall warning did not activate until after the stall had occurred.

There was a sister ship, of the same aircraft type, flying with them at the same time. It landed at the same airport in the same conditions 14 minutes later... without problems.

Let's assume for a moment that Dr Fetzer is correct about a 'high energy' weapon of some type 'luring' the aircraft off-course and completely frying all the aircraft electrics.

That would make his theory about the crash correct, wouldn't it?

Simple answer: no.

If all electrical systems are completely fried:

1. Engine power and blade pitch controls still have a mechanical linkage that would allow close to normal performance - sufficient to fly out of the stall;

2. Aircraft still has altimeter - pressure operated, no electrical power required;

3. Aircraft still has Air Speed Indicator (ASI); pressure operated from pitot tube and static port on fuselage - no electrical power required;

4. Aircraft still has Vertical Speed Indicator (VSI); operated by pressure - no electrical power required; and

5. Aircraft still has Standby Atitude Indicator (AI), sometimes called the 'artifical horizon'. Main AI runs off electrics; standby AI run off vacuum reserve specifically in case of total electrical failure. FAA standards say it must run for at least 30 mins with no power.

So you still have control of your engines to deliver power, you know your pitch / roll (AI), how fast you are going (ASI), your altitude, and how fast you are descending / climbing (VSI) - everything you need to fly out of the situation. Even if the stall warning was disabled, part of instrument flying is maintaining an instrument scan - looking at all those primary flight instruments.

EVERYTHING indicates they didn't have a proper scan going (PIC responsibility), they should have seen the airspeed bleeding off, failed to recognise the impending stall, then failed to correctly recover from the stall.

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13 MAR 02, Beech King Air E90, N948CC. Inadequate approach airspeed for existing conditions during instrument approach. Delayed reaction to avert stalling leading to loss of control.

6 MAR 02, Cessna 208B, N208TF. Inadvertent stall during approach.

Next we need to look at aviation accidents statistics. Since it is very important to compare apples to apples, I'll only look at US aircraft operations. US commercial aircraft operations generally fall under three Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) areas:

- FAR Part 121 (major airlines)

- FAR Part 135 Scheduled (minor airlines operating to a schedule)

- FAR Part 135 On Demand (charter airlines)

The Wellstone aircraft was operating under FAR 135 On Demand, so my stats will involve only those aircraft. The figures also refer to fixed wing operations, and not helicopters.

Firstly, let have a look at the general statistics. All data has been taken from the annual NTSB Review of Aircraft Accident Data reports, available at the NTSB website (www.ntsb.gov). I have shown:

- the total number of aircraft accidents

- the number of those accidents that involved fatalities*

- the percentage of aircraft accidents that were due to pilot error

- the number of aircraft accidents that were due to loss of control during the approach to landing phase

- the number of fatal accidents that were due to loss of control during the approach to landing phase, and

- the number of fatal accidents per million flight hours

(* The number shown is not the number of fatalities but simply the number of incidents which resulted in at least one fatality)

In 2000, the NTSB changed the way it published data, so some stats aren't available. So you can still compare 2002 to previous years data, I have copied the graphs from earlier reports:

So we can now see that experienced pilots losing SA with resultant loss of control during instrument approaches - especially during marginal weather conditions - is nothing unusual. As I said previously: it's happened before and it will happen again.

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Here are more incidents with similar circumstances to that of the Wellstone accident:

So far I am only looking between about 1998 and 2004. An expanded search will highlight more examples.

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Now let's have a look at more general statistics and the accident in question. The pertinent facts are that it was judged to be loss of control / pilot error (human error) during an instrument approach (landing phase). A contributory cause was weather. Dr Fetzer has said:

What a nitwit! These events, each of which is relatively improbable, are all happening at the same time. Their probability of occurring together is equal to their product. That would be a very small number, indeed. I am quite confident that all of these -- or even a substantial subset -- have never occurred together before. Some of them, like the odd meteorological phenomenon, have probably never happened before. Evan Burton appears to be pulling this right out of his ass. IF THERE EVER WAS A CASE WHERE THE SIMPLE OCCURRENCE OF A CRASH WAS NOT USED AS IF IT WERE THE ONLY EVIDENCE OF SABOTAGE, THIS IS IT! Either Burton is not reading my posts or he is grossly incompetent or he is dissembling in the extreme. There are no other alternatives.

So let's look at more worldwide statistics. The stats come from the Aircraft Crashes Record Office in Geneva.

67.57% of all aircraft accidents have human error as the primary cause.

50.39% of all aircraft accidents occur during the landing phase.

53.89% of all aircraft accidents occur less than 10 km from the airport.

5.1% of all aircraft accidents occur during a charter flight.

41.49% of all aircraft accidents have no survivors.

Now let's compare that to Dr Fetzer's belief:

0.0% of all aircraft accidents have occurred because of a directed energy weapon against the incident aircraft.

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Let's go back and look at some of Dr Fetzer's claims, and see how they stand up.

As always, I urge people to independently investigate the claims and NOT rely on what myself nor Dr Fetzer say.

Another example. The plane was headed south when it crashed, but the airport was almost due north. The plane was off course in its general direction by 8 degrees, which may not sound like much but extended over rate times time, could have put it very far from the airport.

The NTSB reports says they entered an inadvertent stall during the approach. What would be the result of such a stall?

In aviation, a spin is an aggravated stall resulting in autorotation about the spin axis wherein the aircraft follows a corkscrew path. Spins can be entered unintentionally or intentionally, from any flight attitude and from practically any airspeed—all that is required is sufficient yaw rate while an aircraft is stalled. In either case, however, a specific and often counterintuitive set of actions may be needed to effect recovery. If the aircraft exceeds published limitations regarding spins, or is loaded improperly, or if the pilot uses incorrect technique to recover, the spin can lead to a crash.

In a spin, both wings are in a stalled condition, however one wing will be in a deeper stall condition than the other. This causes the aircraft to autorotate due to the non-symmetric lift and drag. Spins are also characterized by high angle of attack, low airspeed, and high rate of descent.


The bolding is mine, but you'll find similar examples amongst the internet (or better yet - flight training manuals). If people would like further explanation or more references, I am happy to provide.

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And this previous post of mine sums things up.

Mr Fetzer,

You insist on 'harping' on! The FACTS are:

1. The weather WAS marginal. The reason the NTSB concludes it was not a factor was because it was still within limits. Being within limits does NOT make it 'fine'. Refer to an aviation meteorologist if you need guidance on this.

2. The aircraft requested, and was cleared for, a VOR approach to RWY 27. That is the approach they were vectored for. That is the approach they conducted.

3. If they had set up the GPS to monitor the approach, it would have been different. The GPS RWY 27 approach tracks 273 to the FAF from the COLLS intersection (see

4. If the GPS signal had been "manipulated" in any way, a 'GPS UNRELIABLE' or 'GPS DEGRADE' flag / warning would have appeared.

5. If they had a problem with the VOR approach, and the GPS became unreliable, and they had ANY doubt about what was happening, the CORRECT thing to do would have been to conducted a missed approach, gone around, and sorted out the problems.

6. There is NO evidence they attempted to power up the engines and fly out. This does not mean the engines or systems did not respond, it means there was no attempt to do so.

7. There is NO evidence that the communications system was inoperative.

8. There is NO evidence that any systems were damaged by any type of EMR, as would have been apparent if any systems had been subjected to sufficient EMR as to cause a malfunction.

9. It is unknown if the stall warning went off. Even so, as the reports show, the stall warning may have only sounded (IIRC) 5-7 kts above stall speed. The airspeed was bleeding off quite rapidly, so they may have only had a few seconds to react (not 'ample time'). This, combined with a preoccupation to regain the radial and get the aircraft back on the profile, may (and most likely did) lead to momentary confusion and a failure to react in time to the stall. A stall, 400-800 ft AGL when transitioning from IFR to visual, without dedicated and proper prior training, is DEADLY. More experienced and capable pilots than that flight crew have been killed in similar circumstances.

10. Pilots can and have 'worked against each other', each trying to do what they thought was right in an emergency situation. That's what CRM is all about.

Mr Fetzer, you make wild assumptions and draw conclusions from data which you are not qualified to assess.

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Guest James H. Fetzer

What happened to Paul Wellstone?

Jim Fetzer (Duluth READER WEEKLY 28 November 2002, pp. 18-19)

Conspiracies are as American as apple pie. Does anyone doubt that the Enron debacle

was a conspiracy? or that 9/11 was a conspiracy? or that, when two guys knock off

a 7-11 store, they are engaged in a conspiracy? All it takes is two or more persons

collaborating in the pursuit of illegal purposes, which could range from murder and

rape to treason and bribery. They aren't always described that way or prosecuted

under conspirarcy statutes. When have you heard 9/11 depicted as "a conspiracy"?

Most American conspiracies are economic crimes depriving people of their property

rather than political crimes that deprive them of their lives. But there are plenty of

those, too. Abraham Lincoln, for example, was shot by John Wilkes Booth, while his

Vice President and Secretary of State were simultaneously attacked. You can find

photos of four of the conspirators being hung from the same gallows at the same time.

The assassination of John F. Kennedy appears to have been a large-scale conspiracy,

involving elements of the Secret Service (setting him up), the CIA/Mafia/military

(taking him out), and the FBI (covering it up), which was overseen by LBJ and J.

Edgar Hoover. Evidence published in Assassination Science (1998) and in Murder

in Dealey Plaza (2000) includes fabricated X-rays, the substitution of another

brain for that of JFK, and extends to the alteration of photos and the Zapruder film.

Not every case involving the death of a famous person turns out to have been as

the result of a conspiracy. John-John's death piloting his own plane to Martha's

Vinyard accompanied by his wife and her sister, for example, appears to have


been a tragic accident brought about by a combination of poor judgment, lack of

instrument training, personal physical impairment, and bad weather conditions.

What becomes most important about any specific event where conspiracy might

be suspected is that it should be investigated thoroughly on its own terms. One

of the most basic principles of scientific reasoning, for example, the requirement

of total evidence, insists that, in the search for truth, all the evidence whose truth

or falsity or presence or absence makes a difference must be taken into account.

The basics of the death of Paul Wellstone appear to be the following. His plane

was an Air King A100, one of the most reliable small planes in use today. It was

piloted by two experienced fliers, with strong aviation credentials and training.

The plane was approaching the Eveleth-Virginia Municipal Airport in overcast

weather when it experienced a loss of control. It crashed and burned, killing all.

An article in the Duluth News Tribune (30 October 2002) states that, "Veteran

pilots remain puzzled by the plane's bizarre path during the final moments of its

flight Friday and theorize that a propeller failed or that the plane hit a flock of

geese as it approached the airport. 'Something dramatic happened and--whatever

it was--it happened very quickly,' said Bob Peasley, a longtime Northwest Airlines

pilot, who has flown everything from two-seat Aeronca Champs to Boeing 757s."

The problem with these explanations is that communications between the pilots

and the control tower were abruptly terminated as well when the plane went out

of control. Not only could an Air King A100 fly on only one propeller, but the two

pilots should have been able to notify the tower of their problem. If they had only

said, "We've got a hell of a problem up here, with feathers all over the place!", then


we would have known what caused the plane to crash. There was nothing but silence.

Bill Wilkerson, who has been hiring pilots and leasing small planes for more than 30

years, points out in a posting on the NPR web site that A100s have the best avionics in

the business and usually also carry black boxes because of the calibre of their customers:

"The A100 is not only one of the most reliable in the air, they are complicated enough

to require extensive checkouts before every flight and the maintainence is rigorous,

not just for safety reasons but because they cost as much as a mansion"


"This is not a plane that goes down in freezing rain", Wilkerson reports. "Visibility and

conditions were not an issue in this accident. A pilot cannot fly this plane without

an IFR (instrument flight rules) rating and thousands of hours of experience. IFR

rating means the plane can be landed completely on instrument with no visibility

at all--fog, freezing rain, driving snow, etc. Wellstone's plane had two such pilots,

which is unusual in itself." This makes it very difficult to imagine how the pilots

or the plane could have been responsible for the crash that killed Paul Wellstone.

Wilkerson has also been puzzled by the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board)

investigators, who have been emphatic that a severe fire had begun after impact:

"In fact, that's about all they had to say, other than describing a crash perimeter

that was preposterously small for serious investigation. There was mention of

witnesses that saw the plane on fire on the way down, but they were neither

identified nor repeated later in the day". That suggests the reports were phony.

"Plain and simple", Wilkerson says, "based on my every experience with dedicated


pilots and precision aircraft, planes like the A100 do not catch fire in spotty, wet

weather and two experienced pilots are extremely unlikely to agree to fly under

conditions they can't control. They were not suicide bombers. This plane was

destroyed intentionally from afar".

A colleague of mine, Tim Roufs, who is an anthropologist and used to making and

maintaining records of observations, kept notes on national reports about the crash

from Friday through Sunday and was struck by the extent to which misleading and

false information was being disseminated as though it were true: "They were clearly

planting little thoughts in peoples' minds that simply were lies, like 'The plane crashed

in freezing drizzle'", more than a half-day after it was clear that this was not the case.

"They also repeatedly on national media lied about the visibility, in spite of the fact

that it was well documented by a UPS plane of slightly larger size (flying in/out, I

think from Bemidji) flying into the airport just before that visibility wasn't that

great but that it was fine for professional pilots, that the airport manager who

hopped in a plane when the Air King was overdue and flew to the wreckage, said

the visibility was fine", where the FCC for the first few hours reported that the

visibility had been fine but then--for reasons unknown--stopped reporting that.

Roufs also noticed that local news anchor Denny Anderson, a retired private pilot

himself, tried to explain that visibility had not been a factor and the difference

between IFR and VFR (visual flight rules) to his audience. "It was almost mildly

comical", Roufs said, "that Denny would review the difference between IFR and VFR

flight rules after national news segments tried to obfuscate the difference, implying

the pilots should have been flying VFR rules, which is ridiculous", which he tried to



Roufs has extensive flight experience himself and has a son who is a professional

pilot. "The plane was on straight final in, indicating no problems, going about 95

(or so knots), with all flaps set at 15 degrees (slight flaps down, but according to

the Go Team all four working perfectly), 7 or so miles from touch down. Then,

[according to the national media] 'for some mysterious reason that we may never

know', the plane veered off course and took a steep dive."

He also noted several peculiar announcements from the NTSB, including an initial

press conference during which the national spokesperson refused to confirm the

identity of two other persons traveling with the party as the pilots, as though the

plane could have been flown without them. Or another during which it announced

that this Air King did not have a flight-controlled black box, then spent a day and

a half search for the cockpit voice black box, which it subsequently reported did

not exist either, something it should have known Friday from the plane's papers.

"The bottom line", in Roufs' judgment, "is that it pretty much looks like a small

bomb to the controls. Probably remotely detonated. And, remember, a little

over an hour of so, Wellstone and Kennedy were traveling together. That might

also become a factor in the timing, should the investigation ever reach a higher

level." The only alternative that fits the picture, in Roufs' view, is a suicide job

by one of the pilots. "I would doubt that, but stranger things have happened."

That two experienced pilots should have decided to commit suicide at the same

time, of couse, defies belief. And it is difficult to imagine why, if one of them


had tried to take the plane down, the other would not have communicated the

information to the tower. Under these circumstances, regrettably, more sinister

motives have to be taken seriously, including the possibility the crash resulted

from a political conspiracy. In that case, his death would be an assassination.

Michael I. Niman, a professor from Buffalo State College, has raised the specter

that this may indeed have been the case. “In a senate that is one heartbeat

away from Republican control, Wellstone was more than just another Democrat.

He was often the lone voice standing firm against the status-quo policies of both

the Democrats and the Republicans. As such, he earned the special ire of the Bush

administration and the Republican Party, who made Wellstone’s defeat the party’s

number one priority this year.” And it looked as though it wasn’t going to happen.

John Judge, an expert on the assassination of JFK, addressed the Wellstone crash

During a recent interview on Black Op Radio. Judge opined that the loss of control

might have been brought about by the use of an electro-magnetic pulse that would

disable computerized components and render the aircraft out of control. Judge

stated that devices of the kind are available to law enforcement authorities for the

purpose of ending high-speed chases with hijackers with minimal loss of life. (Hear

his interview at www.blackopradio.com under “Archived Shows 2002”, #100.)

The key to understanding the crash appears to be the complete cessation of

communication between the pilots and the control tower. If the plane had lost

a prop or hit a gaggle of geese, that could have been immediately reported to the

tower. That did not happen. Something like a small bomb might have caused

the crash, as Roufs suggests; or perhaps an electro-magnetic pulse, as Judge has


proposed; or possibly even opiate-derivative gas of the kind the Russians used to

overcome the Chechen rebels during the recent hostage crisis. It had to be something

that caused a loss of communication as well as of control.

The latest reports from the Star Tribune (24 November 2002) are not overly

encouraging for those who would like to get to the bottom of this tragedy. The

reporters on the story, Paul McEnroe and Tony Kennedy, are focusing on one of

the pilot's lack of sleep the night before. This, of course, cannot explain why the

co-pilot, who was also exceptionally well-qualified, would not have taken over,

if the pilot had drifted off to sleep. Nor why the plane would have suddenly

lost communication with the tower. But it does distract the American public.

And that is a bad thing. Reports about the weather and visibility problems

that appear to have made no difference to the crash should not be advanced

as explanations. The same goes for the pilots. It is difficult to deny that by

concealing the presence of two experienced pilots, the NTSB's spokesperson

prevented the nation from learning right off the bat that pilot error was an

extremely improbably occurrence. These are acts that mislead the nation.

The latest from the St. Louis Country medical examiner, Dr. Thomas Uncini,

in the Duluth News Tribune (21 November 2002), reports his conclusion that

the occupants died as a result of "traumatic injury due to, or as a consequence

of, an aviation crash with fire". This inference, of course, does not explain why

such a crash occurred nor whether it might have been caused by a small bomb,

an electro-magnetic pulse, or an opiate-derivative gas. While the bodies of the

family were severely burned, perhaps the bodies of the pilots can tell us more.


Indeed, the very occurrence of an extensive fire appears suspicious on its own.

Our government has been lying to us about practically every matter of moment

in our lives, including the tax cut, the SEC, Homeland Security, 9/11, and even

Iraq. Covering up a crime of this magnitude would be nothing new, as the

case of JFK vividly displays. But in Minnesota we ought to be able to do better.

We should not let the death of man who courageous spoke up for the little guy

go without thorough and competent investigation. If the plane was sabotaged,

as I also believe, we have to come to grips with that fact and do what we can to

bring the perpetrators to justice. That is the least we can do for Paul Wellstone.


Jim Fetzer, a professor of philosophy at UMD, has edited two books on the death

of JFK, Assassination Science (1998) and Murder in Dealey Plaza (2000), and

maintains a web site devoted to current research on this and other issues of

national and international significance at www.assassinationscience.com.

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Guest James H. Fetzer


Paul Wellstone: The Plot Thickens

Jim Fetzer (READER WEEKLY, 2 January 2003, pp. 16-18)

In response to my analysis of the Wellstone tragedy (READER WEEKLY,

28 November 2002, pp. 18-19) and related discussion of this event,

I have received quite a few emails, many of which have taken strong

exception to the very idea that George W. Bush could ever have been

involved in something of this kind. My suggestion that Republicans

may have been motivated to take Wellstone out, alas, is not mine alone.

Michael I. Niman, a professor from Buffalo State College, for example,

whom I quote in my column, has raised the same question. Control of

the Senate was at stake, which is a serious business, not only regarding

the President's policies--where I strongly suspect Wellstone would have

filibustered the corrupt "Homeland Security Act"--but also billions of

dollars in government contracts and appointments to the US Supreme

Court. He was a thorn in the administration's side.

My approach, for those who missed that column, has been to take this

event and subject it to scrutiny from the point of view of scientific

reasoning. The most adequate model is that of inference to the best

explanation, which characterizes science as a process or procedure

involving four steps or stages, namely: puzzlement, speculation,

adaptation (of hypotheses to evidence, excluding those that are

inconsistent with the evidence and calculating the probabilities that

the remaining alternatives confer on the evidence), and explanation

(when the evidence warrants acceptance).


The basic elements of the Wellstone crash are rather puzzling. The

plane was a King Air A100 (not an "Air King A100", as I previously

reported), which is an exceptionally reliable and smooth handling

aircraft. We might call it the Mercedes-Benz of small planes. Since

it is such an expensive aircraft, it receives a thorough maintenance

prior to every flight. As Bill Wilkerson, who has leased them for

more than 30 years has explained, "the maintenance is rigorous, not

just for safety reasons but because they cost as much as a mansion."

A recent article about the crash has quoted Jeff Johnson, an associate

professor in the aviation program at St. Cloud State University, who

said that he has flown about 500 hours in King Air 100s as a private

pilot. He said the planes are forgiving, stable and reliable, and that

the A100 has a flexible, boot-like device on the leading edge of the

wing that the pilot can make "expand like a balloon to break off ice"


Wilkerson has also observed that this is not a plane that goes down

in the freezing rain. The plane was also piloted by two pilots with

extensive experience: "A pilot cannot fly this plane without a IFR

(instrument flight rules) training and thousands of hours of experience."

The plane was on straight final in, indicating no problems, traveling

around 95 knots, with all flaps down 15 degrees (flaps slightly down),

7 miles or so from the touch down, when it veered off course and took

a steep dive. The crash killed all aboard and a fire erupted, burning the

passengers beyond recognition. They were identified by dental plates.


Perhaps the most important indication that something unusual was up,

however, was the complete cessation of communications between the

pilots and the airport. Local pilots were puzzled by the abrupt loss of

control. The crab-like movement of the plane and the termination of

communication has led some to speculate that whatever happened had

to have happened very quickly, speculating that perhaps a propeller

had failed or the plane had hit a gaggle of geese. Unless a prop had

come off and slammed into the fuselage, the loss of an engine cannot

not have caused the crash, since the plane can fly on only one engine.

An encounter with a gaggle of geese does not appear to be adequate

to explain the cessation of communication between the plane and the

airport. The copilot, for example, could have explained, "We have a

hell of a mess of feathers up here and we're going down!", taking but

a moment of time to explain the situation they were in. Instead, there

was nothing but silence. Although it has now been discovered that a

VOR (very-high frequency omni-range station) navigational aid, which

assists in aligning planes with runways, was slightly out of adjustment,

it was by a small tolerance and does not appear to be among the factors

that caused the crash (Duluth News Tribune, 23 December 2002, p. 3C).

A pair of emails from Elizabeth Sirius (ESirius@aol.com) have suggested

that there is a consensus among pilots in the Twin Cities area that the

accident was caused by pilot error. "Apparently the pilot came down

from the clouds and found that his approach was incorrect to line up

with the runway. Instead of rising into the clouds again to turn and


organize another approach, he tried to do a power turn UNDER the

clouds which caused a loss of airspeed and eventually a stall which he

would not have had enough altitude to pull out of." Hence the crash.

She elaborates upon this position by maintaining that "The records

are full of notable people who have died on these same aircraft. Most

recently this includes another Senator, this time from Missouri, and

Payne Stewart". But the plausibility of her contention depends upon

the state of the weather, where Steve Filipovitch, who was in the area

at the time but on the ground rather than in the air, has sent me two

photos of the area along with the following important information:

{For photo, open article in the menu bar at assassinationscience.com]

"I was approximately 10 +/- miles from the Eveleth airport at the time

of Senator Wellstone's demise. I was inspecting and taking pictures of

some real estate in the area. I was outside for a good 15 to 20 minutes

around that time. I am a pilot and have landed at Eveleth.


[For photo, open file in the menu bar at assassinationscience.com]

"I know the possibility of icing when descending. The temperature on

the ground was pleasant with my estimation of visibility was 3 miles

with a 500 to 1000 (foot) ceiling. There was no ground wind. Experienced

pilot(s) could handle these conditions very easily."

The plane crashed at about 10:20 AM, shortly after these photos were

taken. This report and these photographs confirm the absence of bad

weather, absence of ground wind, and lack of rain (freezing or not)

and provide powerful evidence inconsistent with icing, with limited

visibility, and even with pilot error. This evidence clearly contradicts

The New York Times (18 December 2002, p. A28), which mistakenly

reported, "Visibility was poor amid light snow and freezing rain. In

such conditions, planes can quickly accumulate a thin layer of ice

that reduces lift by disrupting the flow of air over the wings". This

seductive depiction of the accident has many merits but not truth.


A preliminary report one day earlier from the NTSB has confirmed

that the engines were intact at the time of the crash and that the

pilots had received two weather briefings prior to their flight. It

has also confirmed that the copilot's voice was heard "on nearly all

radio transmissions", where the pilot working the radio is typically

not the pilot flying the aircraft. A review of the aircraft's records,

moreover, has revealed no maintenance problems (NTSB Advisory/

National Transportation Safety Board, released 17 December 2002).

The latest from the Star Tribune (29 November 2002) also has it that

the crash was caused by a stall, where the air speed is supposed to have

dropped to 85 knots and the wings could have lost their aerodynamic

lift, causing a crash. But actual tests with King Air A100s have shown

that they do not stall out until air speed falls below 70 knots, which

suggests that the story's sources may have confused stalling with the

loud warning alarm that stalling is about to occur, which triggers off

at 85 knots.

The warning would do no good, of course, if it did not allow opportunity

for the pilot to take corrective action. Although questions have been

raised about his past, this pilot had 5,200 hours of flying time and the

highest possible certification. Even if it had taken only 60 seconds from

stall to crash, there would have been ample time to notify the airport

they were in trouble. Just try counting out, "One, two, three, . . ."! How

long does it take you to say, "We're in trouble!" Try it and time it. This

appears to be another ad hoc hypothesis intended to bury the problem.


The stage of speculation--which considers the full range of possible

alternative explanations--is perhaps the most crucial component of

scientific reasoning, even if you might prefer not to consider some of

them for personal, political, or ethical reasons, since otherwise you

may exclude the true hypothesis from consideration. Neither pilot

error nor mechanical problem nor weather conditions appear to be

responsible for this crash. It had not thrown a propeller and both

of its engines were intact. Geese are not a likely problem, especially

at this time of year. None of the more obvious explanations will do.

That means we have to take seriously more sinister alternatives, such

as a small bomb under the control panel, the use of an electro-magnetic

pulse, or perhaps a canister of gas of the kind the Russians used to

overcome the Chechen rebels in Moscow during the recent hostage.

crisis. They could be detonated by remote control. If any of these

hypotheses were true, there are causal consequences that should be

testable to confirm or disconfirm them, such as the presence of small

shrapnel in the bodies of the pilots, which were not severely burned.

In the hope that I might elicit the judgment of the St. Louis County

Coroner in this matter, I sent a copy of my earlier column to Thomas

Uncini on 3 December 2002. My thought was that he might be able to

confirm shrapnel in the bodies or residue from an opiate-derivative

gas of the kind I had conjectured might be involved. He was not glad

to hear from me, however, and, in a post of 3 December 2002, he told

me that he had released all information the law requires, that he would

not be offering any more information about the crash "at this time", that


I might contact the families for more, but I should not contact him again.

I have heard, but do not know, that toxicological tests have excluded the

use of gas of the kind the Russians used, in which case that hypothesis

has been disconfirmed. If there are no shrapnel wounds on the bodies

of the pilots, which I do not know and have not heard, that alternative

too will have thereby been disconfirmed. The use of an electro-magnetic

pulse initially sounds exotic, but I have found several reports about EMP

through a google search, including "Non-Nuclear EMP: Automating the

Military May Prove a Real Threat" and "E-Bomb--Electro Magnetic Pulse

Weapon", which are now at http://milnet.com/milnet/e-bomb.htm and


More disturbing than these studies by far, however, has been a contact

I have received from a weather fanatic who records unusual weather

patterns picked up on radar. He has send me links to his site, where I

have encountered what may or may not be effects from the use of an

EMP against Mel Carnahan in Missouri on 17 October 2000. Please go

to http://www.toledolink.com/~flash/CARNAHAN-CRASH.html. (These

same images are accessible via http://www.assasssinationscience.com.)

These images are accompanied by newspaper stories about the crash.

There are aspects of these stories that trouble me. For example, one

of the officials on the scene, Captain Ed Kemp of the Jefferson County

Sheriff's Department, said, "We found wreckage in very small pieces

spread over a large area." My expectation from a non-explosive and

ordinary crash due to the weather, as this one is alleged to have been,


would be precisely the opposite, with rather large pieces spread over

a small area. The reported effect thus appears to me to contradict the

alleged cause.

Other email I have been sent has raised other alternatives, including the

use of a deliberately misplaced VOR or the use of lasers. I have discussed

the case with an acquaintance, who has 30 years of aviation experience,

an Air Force military background, and who used to supervise air crash

investigations. He agreed that these alternatives could not be ruled out,

but said the same was true of a lucky rifle shot rifle that just happened

to hit the control board the right way! Since the plane apparently only

burst into flames after impact, however, perhaps the use of lasers can be

ruled out, at least provisionally until the discovery of additional evidence.

For some time I was troubled by the prospects for testing the EMP

hypothesis. But my military source pointed out to me that, while

such a weapon would take out the computerized components of an

air craft, it would not affect those that are not computerized, such

as an eight-day clock all planes are required to have on board. It

should be possible to compare that clock with others on board. And

if residents of the Eveleth area noticed any oddities about their own

time pieces or other computerized equipment, that would provide

overwhelming evidence that the Wellstone crash was caused by EMP.

The alternative that an electrical problem might have brought the plane

down--such as the result of frayed wiring--is undermined by the A100's

extreme reliability and thorough maintenance. And, as my colleague, Tim


Roufs, has observed, it can also be discounted on the grounds that it would

only affect an instrument landing. Since the plane was on final landing,

the pilots would have been operating on the basis of visual flight rules,

not instrument flight rules. Nothing about "frayed wires" applies here.

And the photographs vividly support the conditions for a visual landing.

Hypotheses that explain more of the evidence are preferable to those

that explain less. Hypotheses that are preferable become acceptable

when sufficient evidence becomes available. We already have enough

evidence to exclude pilot error, mechanical problems, and bad weather

as adequate explanations. We also have enough to exclude a thrown prop

or a gaggle of geese. We may or may not have enough to exclude a small

bomb or a canister of gas. We do not have enough to rule out the use of

EMP. Indeed, the use of a weapon whose existence is generally unknown

is highly desirable, since usually no one will even consider the possibility.

It also bothers me that the member of the NC who was sent to cover

this case is Carol Carmody, Vice Chairman and Acting Chairman. Nothing

about her background and training recommends her for this task--from

her B.A. from Oklahoma to her Masters in Public Administration to her

service with the CIA and series of non-technical administrative positions.

She appears to me to be a public relations type, yet she was assigned to

the earlier crash of Mel Carnahan as well as the death of Paul Wellstone.

(See her credits at http://www.ntsb.gov/Abt_NTSB/bios/carmody.htm.)

When you consider the alternatives, the assignment of Carmody becomes

even more perplexing. Another member of the board, George Washington


Black, Jr., has an outstanding technical and engineering background, with

a string of awards as long as your arm. He is a fellow of the Institute of

Transportation Engineers, a member of the Society of Civil Engineers, of

the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Society of Automotive

Engineers--the list goes on and on. Why send a Carmody when a Black is

available? (Compare his http://www.ntsb.gov/Abt_NTSB/bios/black.htm.)

A couple of college professors are not the only ones to suspect foul play

in this case. A long piece my Michael Ruppert, "History Suggests It; Crash

Inconsistencies Suggest It; Many, Including Some Members of Congress,

Believe It", details the history of plane crashes involving politicians and

that twice as many Democrats as Republicans have died in them. He

reports that several members of Congress have confided that they believe

the Wellstone crash was no accident. This column, which may be found

at his web site, www.fromthewilderness.com, provides other reasons for

suspecting the worst. This is a case that appears suspicious on its face.

Ruppert also reports that the day after the crash, he received a message

from a former CIA operative who has proven extremely reliable in the

past and who is personally familiar with these kinds of assassinations,

who told him, "As I said earlier, having played ball (and still playing, in

some respects) with this current crop of reinvigorated old white men,

these clowns are nobody to screw with. There will be a few more

strategic accidents, you can be certain of that." Which is more than

just a little disconcerting.

Sometimes things are as they appear to be. When I suggest Republicans


may have been involved, however, I do not mean the average GOP voter.

I mean the troika that runs the government, consisting of Dick Cheney,

Karl Rove, and Donald Rumsfeld. I would put nothing past them. Those

who think it outrageous to suggest that Bush may have been involved

really should think a bit harder. Dubya admits he is an alcoholic, will

not deny that he was a cokehead, and went AWOL from the National

Guard for an entire year. This administration has lied to us about tax

cuts, the SEC, Homeland Security, 9/11, and Iraq. This is not a stretch.


Jim Fetzer, a professor of philosophy at UMD, has devoted more than

ten years to the study of the death of JFK and therefore may be more

attuned to signs of deception, disinformation, and assassination. Visit

his research web site at http://www.assassinationscience.com.

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Guest James H. Fetzer

Paul Wellstone: more questions, fewer answers

Jim Fetzer (READER WEEKLY 9 January 2003, pp. 12-13)

As I explained in my last column ("Paul Wellstone: The Plot Thickens," Reader

Weekly, 2 January 2003), the most obvious possible explanations for the crash

that killed Paul Wellstone, his wife and staff--such as mechanical problems, pilot

error, and bad weather--cannot be sustained as likely. The King Air A100 turns

out to be a highly reliable aircraft with an excellent safety record; there were two

pilots aboard, one of whom had the highest possible certification; and the weather

was perfectly fine. (Take a look at the cover of the 2 January 2003 issue, in case you

have any doubts!)

The latest explanation, published in the Star Tribune (29 December 2002), is that

the pilots committed a blunder that turned into a stall, where airspeed had dropped

to 85 knots. That theory does not withstand critical inspection, when the pilots'

qualifications and the suitability of the weather are taken into account. Indeed, with

this plane, a loud alarm sounds at 85 knots warning the pilot(s) that a stall is imminent,

but leaving enough time to compensate. Experiments with these aircraft indicate that

they only actually stall out below 70 knots.

This means other, less obvious, possible explanations have to be considered, even if—

on moral, political, or personal grounds--we would prefer not to confront them. These

include the possibility that the plane might have been disabled by a small bomb, by a

canister of gas, or by an electro-magnetic pulse. The most salient feature of the crash

is the loss of communication that occurred simultaneously with the loss of control. This

is difficult to explain by other, less sinister, causes. Neither pilot error, mechanical

problems nor difficult weather can explain it.

It would have taken only a moment to report, for example, that the plane had come in

out-of-alignment with the runway and that another attempt was being undertaken, as

the stalling-out scenario would have it. Only a moment. "We're turning around and

trying again!" would have been enough to notify Gary Ulman, the Assistant Manager on

duty at the Eveleth-Virginia airport, what was going on. Instead, Ulman heard the clicks

of the microphone indicating that the runway lights were being activated--and nothing

more. No words, no sounds-nothing but silence!

The plane had been expected to land on its flight from St. Paul between 10:20 and 10:30

AM as the Senator came to Eveleth for the funeral of a friend. Instead, a possible crash

alert sounded at 10:50 and Ulman took to the air in an effort to locate the plane. Within

a few minutes, he had located the crash site about two mile south of the airport, which

was visible from blue smoke rising into the sky.

That in itself raises questions, because, as Christopher Bollyn of The American Free Press

has observed, the fuselage burned for hours emitting blue smoke, when the aircraft's

kerosene fuel, which was stored in tanks in its wings, should have emitted thick, black

smoke instead. Why was the fuselage burning rather than the wings, especially when

the wings were found separated from the fuselage?


The blue smoke allowed Ulman to locate the site of the crash between 10:55 and 11 AM.

When he returned to the airport, he observed that local fire trucks had arrived. He took

the fire chief up to survey the landscape and ascertain the most appropriate access route

into the crash site, which was a road about 500 yards south of the wreckage. The time

was 11:15 AM. Astonishingly, according to Rick Wahlberg, the Sheriff of St. Louis County,

a team of FBI agents was on the crash site by noon!

Ulman told the Reader that, with all the phones he had to answer and people with whom

he had to speak, he did not notice precisely when the FBI arrived, but he did notice their

presence at the airport no later than 1 p.m. As Christopher Bollyn discovered, these

special agents were from the Twin Cities, not from Duluth, even though they had driven

to Eveleth from Duluth using cars they had rented there. The FBI was certainly prompt

to reach the crash site around noon, only 45 minutes after the occurrence of the crash

had been confirmed by Ulman. And Gary had not even notified them.

This situation appears remarkable enough to undertake a reconstruction of what must

have been the purported FBI time line, using MapQuest to estimate trips of this kind.

The FBI Office in Minneapolis is located at 111 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis,

MN 55401. Assuming that the plane the feds would use would be situated at Herbert

Humphrey Terminal, which many special flights take as their point of departure, the

distance turns out to be 12.41 miles, with a MapQuest estimated travel time of 17 minutes.

The HHH premise does not represent any stretch, moreover, since even if their plane had

been located at one of the regional airports, such as Crystal or Eden Prairie, it would have

taken at least 17 minutes to get there on the assumption that traffic is not very heavy. If

the plane the feds were using had been flown earlier in the day, it might have been ready for

departure almost upon their arrival. If it were the plane's first flight, however, preparation

might have required 30 minutes, which could at least partially overlap with time spent

reaching the airport.

If these guys did not have to pass through airport security, then they would not have lost

additional time consumed by having their luggage examined, the contents of their pockets

evacuated, and even their shoes removed. Still, it takes time to access and to board even

their own private plane. Let us assume that the time from arrival at the airport to entering

the plane was as few as 10 minutes. (That is a conservative estimate, all things considered,

but let's acknowledge the efficiency of the federal government in times of crisis!)

Take off, alas!, is not automatic, but might well consume anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes,

especially if the plane they took was a regularly schedule commercial carrier. But let's make

the simplifying assumption that the time from entering the plane to its actual departure

from the airport could have been as little as 10 minutes. 17 + 10 + 10 = 37 minutes at a

minimum just to get the team to the plane and the plane in the air.

Now I have made the trip from the Twin Cities to Duluth International Airport many times,

and a flight time of 40 minutes sounds about right to me. Assuming it was a small, private,

"FBI ONLY" plane, then exiting the plane could be expedited. If it was an ordinary commercial

flight with other passengers, however, then it might have taken longer. Let's assume the FBI

charters its own and that it only took 5 minutes to exit. That means it had to have been 37 +

40 + 5 = 82 minutes or 1:22 just to make it to the Hertz counter.

Here real problems can arise. Just how long do you think that it took the FBI to rent a car?

Well, there are forms to fill out and licenses to produce and credit cards to process. If

anyone has gone through this in less than 10 minutes, they probably deserve a prize!

And then there's the matter of finding the car and packing the trunk.

Now traveling to Eveleth is something that I have done in the past-not to Eveleth, precisely,

but to Gilbert. At a certain juncture in the road, Gilbert is to the right and Eveleth to the left.

By my MapQuest maps, the distance to Virginia, which is immediately adjacent to Eveleth,

is 61 miles, with a driving time-absent a police escort-no less than 50 minutes. Even though

I have a heavy foot, it has taken my wife and me that long to reach the junction.

These guys, of course, were not heading for a pleasant meal at The Whistling Bird, as were

we, but for the gruesome wreckage of a King Air A100. Actually getting to the scene of the

crash, of course, is something else entirely. According to the Pioneer Press (October 27,

2002), "Crews rode all-terrain vehicles to the site, about a half-mile from the nearest road,

and had to vary their routes to avoid becoming mired in the swamp with up to 2 feet of

water." Anybody's guess, but certainly it had to take another 10 minutes--at the absolute

minimum--to arrive at the site.

So if we take 1:22 to get to Hertz, :10 more to rent and find the car, :50 to make it to Eveleth

and another :10 to reach the actual site of the crash, then it should have taken these special

agents at the very least 2:32 to make their trip, which remains a very conservative estimate.

Yet according to the Sheriff of St. Louis County, they were on the scene at noon!

The crash, you may recall, did not actually occur until about 10:20 AM and had not been

visually confirmed by Gary Ulman until 11 AM. Ulman did not notify the FBI that there had

been a crash--ever! Even if a 911 operator had notified the FBI around 11 AM, how in the

world did these very special agents know that they needed to head for the airport by 9:28

AM in order to be in Eveleth by noon? Perhaps the FBI possesses psychic powers and can

anticipate the occurrence of tragedies of this kind in advance!

Or perhaps the FBI was in the position to anticipate the occurrence of this tragedy, without

them? Even if we suppose the Sheriff of St. Louis County made a mistake in his recollection

and that the FBI was only on the scene an hour later, as Ulman clearly recalls, that doesn't

explain their arrival time. These agents might have had an additional hour but would still

have had to depart for the airport by 10:28 AM!

The FBI might reply that the agents on the scene at noon had arrived from Bemidji rather

than from Minneapolis or Duluth. But anyone familiar with a map of Minnesota will

immediately perceive that this point of origin only makes the matter worse. It would have

taken at least 1:40 minutes to reach Eveleth, which dictates a 10:20 time of departure.

Conceivably, only agents from Duluth could have arrived by noon (with an 11 AM time

of departure), but a female employee of the FBI office in Duluth assured Bollyn that

Minneapolis agents had arrived first.

The FBI has displayed similar acumen in the past. For example, Jean Hill and her girlfriend,

Mary Moorman, had been taking pictures of her boyfriend, who was a motorcycle patrolman

escorting the Presidential limousine through Dealey Plaza. Immediately after the assassination,

she was interrogated for an hour and a half. When Jean explained that she had heard at least

one shot from the grassy knoll, they told her that she had to be mistaken, because there had

been only three shots and they had all come from above and behind.

Jean's story may be found in JFK: The Last Dissenting Witness (1992). J. Edgar also stationed

agents at the photo labs around Dallas for two weeks following the assassination, where they

appropriated every photograph and film they could find that captured any part of the

assassination, leaving a card in their place, a copy of which appears in Richard Trask, Pictures

of the Pain (1994). The vast majority of these photographic records were never returned.

When LBJ created the Warren Commission (so-called after its Chairman, Chief Justice of the

United States, Earl Warren), he designated the FBI as the sole investigative agency for the

inquiry. Hoover employed an ingenious triple-tiered strategy: if a witness knew too much,

you simply didn't call him; but if, by chance, you did call him, then you didn't ask the

important questions that he could answer; and if, by chance, those questions were asked

and answered, then you simply changed his testimony.

By securing the perimeter at the Wellstone crash site and discouraging photographs from

being taken, the FBI was able to control access to the evidence. Experts have reported that

planes of this kind are usually equipped with black boxes, because their clients are typically

well-to-do, including celebrities and dignitaries. Indeed, the officials on the scene searched

for a cockpit voice recorder for a day and a half before declaring there had not been one.

If indeed the FBI departed before the accident had even taken place, then the most reasonable

explanation is that the FBI knew that it was going to occur. What other justification could

possibly have warranted such a risky course of action, other than an deliberate cover up?

The head of the NTSB, Carol Carmody, was even reported by the Pioneer Press (27 October

2002) to have explained, "She had consulted with the FBI and there was no intelligence

information and no evidence in the wreckage to suggest any possibility of terrorism."

That's odd on several grounds. Surely it was the function of the NTSB to undertake the

investigation of the causes of such a crash, including any possible indications of terrorism.

The NTSB should be reporting to the FBI, not the other way around. Notably, Carmody

is a former employee of the CIA. Furthermore, what are the indications of terrorism? A

small bomb, perhaps, or a gas canister, or the use of EMP? How could these causes have

possibly been ruled out at such an early stage?

As Christopher Bollyn astutely observes, if the wing section is charred but the tree is not,

then either the wing was moved from the crash site (unlikely, and probably strictly

forbidden in accident investigations) or the wing was on fire before the plane hit the

ground (accounting for the lack of damage to the tree itself). This suggests that the small

bomb hypothesis has to be taken seriously and that early reports from local residents, that

there was an explosion, may have been actively suppressed.

Other reporters who have raised what should be easy questions about the FBI's arrival time

include Michael Ruppert and Joe Taglieri. They have reported that Paul McCabe, a special

agent from Minneapolis, has claimed the Minneapolis contingent only arrived about 3 PM.

That contradicts Sheriff Wahlberg's report that he had arrived about 1:30 PM and saw

Minneapolis FBI agents he knows personally who were already on the scene. When

McCabe was asked about logs with official times, he became evasive, claiming, "We don't

really keep log time, per se, like that," and suggested that times were not essential parts

of investigative reports (http://mail-archive.com/ctrl@listserv.aol.com/msg99496.html).

Ruppert contacted Lt. Tim Harkenen of the St. Louis Country Sheriff's Department, who

maintained official logs of arrival times at the scene. After telling Ruppert that he would

retrieve his files and check for the time, he has been unresponsive. The Reader left a

message for Lt. Harkenen at his number at the Hibbing Sheriff's Office 8 January and we

are awaiting a reply. Perhaps our new St. Louis' County Sheriff, Ross Litman, could

contribute to clearing up this crucial point? It would be a good thing if our officials

could help to answer questions rather than raise more of them.

Who could have directed the FBI to participate in such a cover-up, other than our own

government? After all, Attorney General John Ashcroft eventually rose to power as a

result of a similar accident. As Nafeez Ahmed, the author of The War on Freedom (2002),

has observed, the Bush administration has justified blocking an inquiry into 9/11 on the

ground that it would undermine its efforts to combat terrorism: "In other words, the

administration (has) suppressed an inquiry into the greatest terror attack in U.S. history

in the name of fighting terrorism."

Jim Fetzer, a professor of philosophy at UMD, is the editor of Assassination Science (1998)

and of Murder in Dealey Plaza (2000). He maintains a research web sit at


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Guest James H. Fetzer


Paul Wellstone: why take him out?

Jim Fetzer (READER WEEKLY 16 January 2003, pp. 18-19)

In my last column ("Paul Wellstone: more questions, fewer answers", Reader Weekly

9 January 2003, pp. 12-13), I explained how the FBI was on the scene of the crash by

noon, as reported by St. Louis County Sheriff Rick Wahlberg. Which means that, since

this contingent came from Minneapolis, it must have departed from the city no later

than 9:28 AM to make it to Duluth around 10:50 AM and arrive at the scene by noon.

Remarkable, considering the crash only occurred at 10:20 and was verified at 11:00.

These agents are truly special. Their powers of anticipation defy explanation. Indeed,

Wellstone's plane only departed from St. Paul at 9:30! So they were heading north to

cover a crash that had yet to occur at approximately the same time that the plane they

were going to cover was taking off! Anyone with predictive abilities of this caliber is

wasting their time with the FBI. They should be investing in stock, running a betting

emporium or, better yet, picking tickets for the lottery. They would make a bundle!

Of course, they might be making a bundle already. Who am I to say? Shenanigans by

the FBI are nothing new. They knew that JFK had been killed by a lone assassin before

the smoke had cleared in Dealey Plaza. That was in the past. More recently, a St. Paul

man says the FBI set him up (Duluth News Tribune, 9 January 2003, p. 4C). The victim,

who was born in India, claims they gave him a plane ticket to Hong Kong and arrested

him there after engaging him in an alleged terrorist plot to trade drugs for weapons.

I know enough about the FBI to find this claim highly plausible, especially during the

reign of John Ashcroft, Attorney General extraordinaire, who specializes in depriving


American citizens of their rights under the Constitution, which he is in the process of

dismembering. Anyone remember the USA Patriot Act, which compromises your and

my rights to legal representation, to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure,

from detention without formal charges, and other basic elements of the Bill of Rights?

This administration has been lying to us about its tax cuts, the SEC, Homeland Security,

9/11, and Iraq. The foundation for its domestic policy has become an obsession with

terrorists. We are not actually fighting a war against terrorism, which would require

attacking its causes rather than its effects. If we wanted to eradicate terrorism rather

than kill a few terrorists, we would be doing very different things, as I have explained

("Killing terrorists vs. eradicating terrorism", Reader Weekly, 27 September 2001, p.10)

What the Attorney General and this administration need, more than anything, is some

sort of evidence that there actually are terrorists at work in the USA. And that remains

the case, even if they have to fabricate their evidence, as may be true in this instance.

Even Eisenhower was sufficiently distraught over the ascension of Castro in Cuba that

he instructed the Joint Chiefs that, if the Cubans did not commit an incident to incite an

invasion, they should invent one, as James Bamford, Body of Secrets (2001), disclosed.

The schemes they proposed including blowing up the Atlas rocket carrying John Glenn

into space or loading a commercial airliner with college students on a holiday and

shooting it down over Cuba. The Chiefs took satisfaction in the thought that the list

of casualties would inflame the nation to rise up, demanding a military invasion of Cuba.

Jack thought these guys were paranoid--which they were--and disapproved their daffy

schemes. Which led them to conclude that JFK was an obstacle to fighting communism.

If the FBI was faster than a speeding bullet in reaching the scene of the Wellstone crash,


which implies a cover-up, then what were they covering up? At the very least, they had

a chance to secure the black box experts say the plane was probably carrying--although

it was not required by law--and the cockpit voice recorder the NTSB spent a day and a

half looking for, before concluding it did not exist. It may have been taken by the FBI.

So there are advantages to being on the scene right away, even if getting there in time

might entail certain risks of discovery. Who would bother to think about the precise

time the FBI reached the crash scene in the midst of all of that confusion and concern?

or what time it had reached Duluth and rented a car? or what time it had departed for

the northland from Minneapolis/St. Paul? If they had not reached the scene on time,

they would have lost the chance to seize or affect whatever could give the game away.

Having studied the death of JFK for more than a decade, however, I might have become

a bit paranoid myself. Even if elementary considerations and simple addition prove that

the FBI knew the crash was going to occur before the plane had taken off, that does not

explain why this man was targeted. As in other cases of the discovery of a corpse, it is

possible to know that a man is dead without knowing how he was killed, much less why.

The how looks increasingly like the plane was brought down by the use of EMP, as I had

originally proposed ("What happened to Paul Wellstone?", Reader Weekly, 28 November

2002, pp. 18-19). But even if that turns out to explain how it was done and why there

was complete cessation of communication concurrent with complete loss of control,

it does not explain why Wellstone was targeted for assassination. The reasons, however,

as in the case of JFK, may not be very difficult to discern. They appear political in kind.

In a column published seven months before the election ("Paul Wellstone, Fighter", The


Nation, 9 May 2002; at http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020527&s=nichols),

John Nichols advanced reasons why Paul Wellstone was "a hunted man". "Minnesota's

senior senator is not just another Democrat on White House political czar Karl Rove's

target list, in an election year when the Senate balance of power could be decided by

the voters of a single state", Nichols wrote. "Rather, getting rid of Wellstone is a passion

for Rove, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and the special-interest lobbies that fund the

most sophisticated political operation ever assembled by a presidential administration".

It was Wellstone's unabashed liberalism and determination to block the Bush agenda

that won him so many enemies. When most Democrats were ducking for cover from

the Bush political machine, Wellstone was leaping into the ring and taking them on--

with gusto! The race was being read as a measure of the potential of progressive

politics. Nichols wrote, "If he wins, a blow will be struck, not just against the Bush

machine but against those in the Democratic Party who argue for tepid moderation."

For years, he notes, progressives have argued that Democrats can win big only when

they emphasize fundamental differences between them and Republicans on principles

of social justice and economic fair play. Wellstone understood that it is a huge mistake

to back away from the "liberal" label. With which I agree. Democracy, after all, is a

liberal idea. Liberals believe that everyone deserves representation, not just the rich.

Nichols also reported that Wellstone had the most consistent record of opposing Bush

administration initiatives of any member of the Senate, according to Congressional

Quarterly. He received 100% ratings from the AFL-CIO, American for Democratic

Action, and the League of Conservation Voters. As the Star Tribune had described

him, he was "the go-to guy to advance the causes of educators, environmentalists,


consumer and labor groups, the elderly and the poor". And he is greatly missed.

As a measure of the difference it makes that his voice has been silenced, take the

news from a single day, such as Saturday, as reported in the Duluth News Tribune,

and ask what Paul Wellstone would have had to say. The headline concerns a local

issue, the anti-loitering ordinance, but does anyone doubt Paul Wellstone believed

in the right of peaceable assembly and association? I think he would have opposed it.

On the national scene, another front-page story concerns a Bush proposal to deny

some 20 million acres of wetland protection from industrial pollution as an industry

effort to gut key provisions of the Clean Water Act. Wellstone understood, as this

administration does not, that wetlands play a crucial role in our ecology, filtering

out wastes and nurturing sensitive links in the food chain. When the wetlands are

gone, the human species will not be far behind. Wellstone would have opposed it.

In international affairs, a headline announces, "U.S. officials want Iraqi oil to help

cover cost of war", which will inflame Arab opinion that America has gone to war

in Iraq to help itself to that nation's natural resources. Paul Wellstone would have

observed that the apparent justification for going to war in Iraq is to take control

of the oil that we need to pay for a war in Iraq. But, if that is true, we don't need

the oil, because we don't need a war with Iraq. It is that blatant and that stupid.

Turning to page 3, "Special interest provisions cut from security measure", even the

Republicans have been so embarrassed by their own secret machinations in passing

the so-called Homeland Security bill that they are now acting to remove language

that would have protected pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits for defective

vaccines and broadening a provision that would have had the effect of restricting


federal funding for related research to Texas A&M! Wellstone would have agreed.

As though those provisions were not outrageous enough, Republican leaders are

said to have agreed "to restore language pushed by the late Sen. Paul Wellstone,

D-Minn., to prohibit homeland-security contracts with American companies that

have moved offshore to avoid U.S. taxes". That would hardy seem controversial,

but the Bush administration is going to reserve the right to make exceptions in

the name of national security! Wellstone would have observed that national

security is rooted in economic security, which is thereby further weakened.

On page 4, "U.S. condemns North Korea for withdrawing from nuclear treaty", he

would have pointed out that the United States set a poor example for the world

when it withdrew from the Kyoto Accords and efforts to control global warming,

and abandoned the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty to undertake an expensive and

(almost certainly) ineffectual ABM system, which has undermined a half-century

of arms control agreements. How can we complain when they simply emulate us?

On the Opinion page, Paul Wellstone would have agreed with Michael Hill that, but

for the presence of oil, the US would not be considering--even remotely--going to

war against Saddam Hussein. He would have gone further, however, to point out

that our real reason for attacking Afghanistan appears to have been to construct

a vast oil pipeline that the Taliban had opposed and the what has been going on in

Venezuela appears to be a classic CIA destabilization operation for the sake of oil.

And he would also have agreed--most emphatically!--with Maureen Dowd that

this administration is brilliant at manipulating its image to reveal only what it


wants the public to see, where "(Karl) Rove and his president have a new style

of class warfare--the affluent afflicting the afflicted; the ruling class enacting

policies to help itself, weaving a pashmina safety net so the well-off can buy

more expensive stuff they don't need." Pure Wellstone! We miss you, Paul.

On the business page, he would have deplored the Bush administration for not

extending unemployment benefits for 800,000 American workers that expired

between Christmas and New Year. He would have opposed a judge's ruling that

required United Airlines the union for 37,000 machinists to take a cut in pay, no

doubt observing that it would be far more effective and judicious to have ordered

United executives to take massive pay cuts, which they can easily afford, instead.

He would also have skewered Republican complaints that Democrats are practicing

class warfare, when precisely the opposite is the case. As my father taught me,

the Republicans tend to accuse the Democrats of that of which they are most

guilty. And he would have ridiculed the Vice President's reply that the tax cuts

are not slanted toward the rich, will not adversely impact state budgets, and will

not increase the federal deficit, which appeared in The New York Times today, as

ludicrous claims which are provably false, as Reaganomics should have taught us.

And he would have been outspoken in denouncing Richard Perle's announcement

that the US, even without United Nations' authorization, is still going to attack Iraq,

pointing out that the US is bound to the UN by a treaty; that nations entering into

that treaty renounce their right to attack other nations without UN authorization

unless subject to imminent attack; that treaties have the same status under our

Constitution as the Constitution itself as the supreme law of the land; and that


Bush would thereby violate his oath of office and have committed an obviously

impeachable act (http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/011203A.perle.attack.htm).

JFK was taken out for many reasons, including his desire to cut the oil depletion

allowance; to reform or abolish the Federal Reserve; and to dismantle the CIA.

The mob wanted him out to regain control of its resorts and casinos in Havana,

where it was running the largest money-laundering operation in the Western

Hemisphere and to get his brother, Bobby, off their backs; J. Edgar wanted to

stay on as Director of the FBI; LBJ wanted to be "the president of all the people".

The Joint Chiefs resented Jack because he had not invaded Cuba against their

unanimous recommendation; he had gone ahead and signed an above-ground

nuclear test ban treaty with the Soviets against their unanimous opposition;

and he was withdrawing our advisors from Vietnam, again contrary to their

unanimous recommendation. The Chiefs had come to believe that removing

JFK as the Commander-in-Chief was essential to the fight against communism.

The day after the plane crash, David Cogswell raised the question of whether

Paul Wellstone could have been the victim of an assassination ("Wellstone

Death: Foul Play?", http://davidcogswell.com/Political/WellstoneDead.html).

"The right-wingers have shown clearly with their veiled threats that they will

stop at nothing to achieve their aims. Now they are prepared to take it to all-

out-war in Iraq. They are no longer talking about bombing some killers holed

up in caves in the barren rural landscape of Afghanistan . . . .

"Yes, the people running things are willing to kill large numbers of people. They

don't like to get their hands dirty. They like to push buttons and have other


people do the killing. They are far too genteel to do the dirty work. Obviously,

killing is not a problem for these people. So, yes, when, when I see someone

killed and I see a motive for someone to have killed him, yes, I am suspicious.

"The United States is [this was written prior to the election] one Senate seat

away from total domination by the Bush-Cheney-Lott-Delay right wing of

America. The stakes are extreme. These guys play for keeps. It used to be

called hard ball. It's not ball at all. It's war. It's gang war on a very large scale.

. . . I am suspicious of everything I see. I see them playing games, cheating, lying

and manipulating in practically every sphere. . . . Isn't it strange how many people

who opposed the fascists are killed in some mysterious manner?" Strange, indeed.

Paul Wellstone was defying the odds. He was pulling away from Norm Coleman,

the hand-picked candidate of Karl Rove. The differences between them could

hardly have been greater. (See, for example, "20 Questions for Norm Coleman"

Reader Weekly, 3 October 2002, pp. 10-11.) His lead by 25 October 2002 had

grown to six or seven points and was increasing. He was threatening the image

of the omniscient and omnipotent Bush political machine. He was in their face.

Use a small bomb. Detonate it by remote control or a pressurized device. Better

yet, use that new EMP thing. No one will ever think of that. Make sure you get the

feds there right away to clean up the scene and secure incriminating evidence. Send

someone unqualified to head up the NTSB. It has worked before. It can work again.

And let's not kid ourselves. This guy was a menace. He might have filibustered the

Homeland Security Act. He also opposed us on tax cuts, the SEC, and the war on Iraq.


He wanted us to investigate 9/11! He had become an obstacle to the war on terrorism.

Killing him set an example. In the name of national security. He had to be taken out.


Jim Fetzer, a professsor of philosophy at UMD, believes the Bush administration,

like the Joint Chiefs under Kennedy, has gone off the deep end and would do

anything to promote its conception of national security, which just happens to

coincide with the best interests of the nation's oil industry. It's a small world.

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Guest James H. Fetzer

Paul Wellstone: the use of futuristic weaponry?

Jim Fetzer (READER WEEKLY 20 February 2003, pp. 16-17)

A recent Reader (16 January 2003, p. 4) included a letter to me from

John Ongaro, who described an unusual experience he had en route

to the funeral that Paul Wellstone had planned to attend when his

plane crashed, taking not only his life but the life of his wife, six of

his aides, and two pilots. The plane was highly reliable, the weather

was not a problem, and the pilots appear to have been well-qualified.

John's description of the weather (neither sunny and warm, but with

no freezing rain or snow, but generally cloudy, just above freezing,

and hazy with little or no wind), coincides extremely closely with the

depictions and photographs given by Steve Filipovitch and printed

in the Reader (2 January 2003, front cover and pp. 16-18). There is

no basis for early reports that freezing rain was a contributing factor,

as an earlier column has explained (28 November 2002, pp. 18-19).

These circumstances force us to take seriously possibilities we might

prefer not to confront on moral, political, or personal grounds. If the

more obvious hypotheses, such as mechanical problems, pilot errors,

and bad weather, cannot account for the evidence, then other, more

sinister, hypotheses require consideration, such as that the crash may

have been caused by a small bomb, a gas canister, or EMP weaponry.

Electro-magnetic pulse weaponry may initially sound exotic, but there

are reasons to take it seriously. Ongaro wrote to explain exactly what

what had happened to him. "Just a few minutes prior to reaching the

Hwy #53 and #37 intersection [which is within a mile or two of the

airport], I distinctly remember receiving a call on my cell phone.

Although I have received calls on my cell phone before that have

had bad reception and [have been] barely audible, this call was in a

league of its own.

"When I answered it, what I heard sounded like a cross between a

roar and a loud humming noise. The noise seemed to be oscillating

and I could not make out any words being spoken. Instead, just this

loud, grotesque, sometimes screeching and humming noise. . . . [John

has confirmed that he received an incoming call at 10:18 AM on the

morning of 25 October 2002, shortly before the crash.] Could an EMP

type event cause this to happen to a cell phone within in a few miles

of the immediate area?" Indeed, the answer appears to be, "Yes".

As Major Scott Merkle explained in an issue of Military Intelligence


1/merkle.htm) published in 1997, the existence of these "Goldeneye

-like pulse weapons first became a reality in the early 1960s. While

testing hydrogen bombs in outer space, hundreds of miles above the

planet, American and Soviet scientists discovered that each atomic

blast created a pulse of electromagnetic energy similar to conventional

radio-made microwaves, but with energy so great that they erased

magnetic memories and melted the microscopic junctions in transistors

on the Earth below." This lead to a surge in military development of

their use as sophisticated electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weaponry.

Indeed, another instance that may exemplify the use of EMP on a

civilian target occurred about 30 miles northeast of Nashville on

6 July 2001 at 10:45 AM CST, where a mysterious power surge

killed dozens of birds and damaged transmitters, phone lines,

and computer equipment at country music radio station, WJFK

(1090 AM). The residents of Williamson County were shaken

by this occurrence, which had effects that were experienced over

a large part of the county. Their disturbing accounts have been

chronicled at http://www.greatdreams.com/1090wjkm.htm.'>http://www.greatdreams.com/1090wjkm.htm.

More recently, Paul McGeough of The Sydney Morning Herald (4

January 2003) of Sydney, Australia, has confirmed reports that

the United States has new high-tech weapons to unleash against

the Iraqis in order to save American lives. "If the fighting starts

in Iraq, Saddam Hussein and his forces will be instant guinea pigs

for a new generation of US weapons which may be used for the

first time in all-out war. . . .

"In the years since the last Gulf War it has emerged that America’s

so-called smart bombs were not as precise or as plenty as the world

had been led to believe. This time the US and its weaponry have to

be smarter--if Washington wants world acceptance of its role in

Iraq during and after a war, it cannot afford to trash the country

and its civilian infrastructure as it did last time.

"Which is where a new suite of US weapons will come into their own.

These are high-powered microwave devices, 'directed energy'

weapons that the US hopes can be used to render a fleet of army

vehicles useless by destroying their ignition or fuel systems. They

will also cause disorientating pain--but apparently no lasting

damage--by playing with nerve-ends in the enemy’s skin (http://


EMP weapons for military use appear to have been operational at

least since 1997: "On 15 December 1997 Raytheon TI Systems

(formerly Texas Instruments Defense Systems & Electronics)

announced that its AGM-154A JSOW [which is a nonnuclear EMP

weapon] has been recommended by the Navy for fleet release. In a

report released on October 9th, the Navy's Operational Test and

Evaluation Force found JSOW to be operationally effective,

operationally suitable and recommended it for fleet release"(http://


A Lt. General's Congressional testimony on 17 June 1997 also affirms

the adaptability of such devices to take out aircraft: "These weapons

can interfere with the takeoff and landing of planes. They can bring

an airplane down. . . . They can effect the national power grid,

anything that has got an electronic chip in it, a circuit board, any

piece of electronic gear that is touched by one of these weapons.

And, they come either as narrow beam over long distances, or

ultra-high beam, ultra-wide beam, ultra-wide beam weapons

that can project greater rates of power(http://sun.soci.niu.edu/


Even TIME magazine's web site has reported on their availability:

America's Ultra-Secret Weapon


Posted Sunday, 19 January 2003; 10:31 AM EST

"If there's a second Gulf War, get ready to meet the high-power

microwave. HPMs are man-made lightning bolts crammed into

cruise missiles. . . . HPMs fry the sophisticated computers and

electronic gear necessary to produce, protect, store and deliver

such agents. The powerful electromagnetic pulses can travel into

deeply buried bunkers.

"The HPM is a top-secret program, and the Pentagon wants to keep

it that way. Senior military officials have dropped hints about a

new, classified weapon for Iraq but won't provide details. Still,

information about HPMs, first successfully tested in 1999, has

trickled out. 'High-power microwave technology is ready for the

transition to active weapons in the US military,' Air Force Colonel

Eileen Walling wrote in a rare, unclassified report on the program

three years ago. 'There are signs that microwave weapons will

represent a revolutionary concept for warfare, principally because

microwaves are designed to incapacitate equipment rather than



It may not remain "top secret" for long. Even The New York Times

(2 February 2003) has reported that the war with Iraq is going to

be fought using these sophisticated weapons, almost in passing as

an aside: "Although some experimental weapons are expected to

be used--including high powered-microwave weapons that could

flash millions of watts of electricity to cripple Iraqi computer and

equipment--the air campaign would shut down but not destroy

important city services, like water and electricity, so they could

more easily be restarted to minimized public health problems."

Phil Ratte´ has drawn thoughtful comparisons with the Carnahan

crash, raising many questions about the similarities between the

events, including that they were both on final landing approach

when they veered off and dove into the ground; that both had loss

of communication coincident upon the loss of control; that both

could be explained by the use of EMP weaponry; that their Senate

seats were crucial to Republican control; and that Carol Carmody,

a former employee of the CIA, led both NTSB investigations. (The

use of EMP in the Carnahan case may even have been captured by

radar weather maps. See "Carnahan Crash EMP?" and related links

at http://www.assassinationscience.com.'>http://www.assassinationscience.com.)

Ratte´ believes--and I agree--that both tragedies deserve further

scrutiny and objective investigation by authorities not controlled

by the US government. "Political insiders know that a number of

US Congressmen and US Senators suspect that both Wellstone and

Carnahan were assassinated but are afraid to speak out", Ratte´

remarks. "They are afraid for their lives because of the anthrax

attacks on two Democratic US Senators [Tom Daschel and Patrick

Leahy] and the assassination of two more Democratic US Senators.

As FDR remarked, 'There are no coincidences in politics.'"

It should also be observed that Senator Wellstone had experienced

two close calls during visits to South America in recent years. On a

fact-finding trip to Columbia, Wellstone was doused with herbicide

while he was observing a Columbian National Police demonstration.

According toWeekly News Update on the Americas, which reported

it, "Wellstone and other members of his delegation were hit with a

fine spray of the herbicide glyphosate from a helicopter flying less

than 200 feet above them.

"Just before the incident, Lt. Col. Marcos Pederos, the police official

in charge of the spraying mission, had assured Wellstone the spray

posed no risk to humans, animals or the environment." That seems

to be false. Glyphosate has causal links to acrylamide, which turns

out to be a potent nerve toxin in humans that can bring about the

translocation of mercury toxins stored in the fat cells of the body

to cross the blood-brain barrier and poison brain cells, according to

a recent medical report(http://www.i-sis.org.uk/acrylamide.php'>http://www.i-sis.org.uk/acrylamide.php).

And it is ridiculous on its face to suppose that a herbicide strong

enough to destroy coca fields should have no ill-effects. Ironically,

the US Embassy in Colombia had just circulated materials to reporters,

noting the 'precise geographical coordinates' used to spray coca fields.

According to embassy officials, a computer program sets precise flight

lines with a 170-foot width, leaving little room for error"(http://www.


As though one close call were not remarkable enough, bombs were

found at crucial locations as Senator Wellstone continued his visit to

the small town of Barrancabermeja. Although American authorities

denied that the Senator or the US Ambassador to Colombia, Anne

Patterson, who accompanied him, were targeted for assassination,

suggesting it was merely a "coincidence", Police Colonel José Miguel

Villar said Wellstone and Patterson were the most likely targets.

According to ABCNews.com, which reported the story, "Villar said

two shrapnel-wrapped land mines were found on Thursday hours

before the US officials flew into Barrancabermeja alongside the road

leading from the airport to the town. The land mines each carried a

6.6-pound explosive charge, were attached to cables and a detonator

and were ready to be set off, 'If the bomb had gone off, it could have

caused immense damage,' Villar said. 'It would have spread shrapnel

over a wide area and could have taken out 10 or 15 people'" (http://

abcnews.go.com/sections.world/Daily News/columbia001201.html).

Wellstone, displaying his knack for standing up to political pressure,

was one of a handful of senators opposing a $1.3 billion US aid plan

ostensibly directed against drug trading in Columbia and said he

would insist that Colombia get no more US aid until it improved

its human rights record. Ratte´ has observed that the herbicide,

through its links with acrylamide, might have induced Wellstone's

MS. Mercury poisoning appears to have MS, Parkinson's, and ALS

among its effects. Maybe they had killed him, just not fast enough.


Jim Fetzer, a professor of philosophy at UMD, has become convinced

by his investigations that Paul Wellstone was taken out for political

reasons and that his death thus properly qualifies as an assassination.

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Guest James H. Fetzer

Wellstone cover-up: the beat goes on

Jim Fetzer (READER WEEKLY 13 March 2003, pp. 16-18)

In the case of the death of Paul Wellstone, the obvious possible hypotheses that have

to be considered include bad weather conditions, pilot incompetence, or problems with

the aircraft. As earlier columns in the Reader (28 November 2002, 2 January 2003,

9 January 2003, 16 January 2003, and 20 February 2003) explain, none of these more

benign alternatives can stand up to critical examination. They provide "reasons" but

not "good reasons", forcing consideration of other, more sinister possible explanations,

such as the use of a small bomb, a gas canister, or an electromagnetic pulse weapon.

In my opinion, this man was killed for political reasons using a EMP weapon. If I am

right, it would be unsurprising if attempts were made--repeatedly and with fanfare--

to resurrect explanations that have no more merit now than they had then and still

cannot withstand scrutiny. Which is precisely what has been happening in this case.

A striking example appeared in the Duluth News Tribune (22 February 2003), when it

ran a story entitled, "Pilot almost called off Wellstone's fatal flight". According to St.

Paul Pioneer Press reporters Charles Laszewski, Rich Linsk, and Tom Webb, who wrote

the story, Senator Wellstone was uneasy about the weather, and his pilot, Richard Conry,

"had expressed grave doubts about the weather on that October morning--so much so

that, when he got his first weather briefing from the Federal Aviation Administration

at 7:15 AM, he wanted to cancel the flight." They quote him as saying, "You know what,

I don't think I am going to take this flight." The weather, it appears, was troubling him.

Their story, based upon the first major report from the National Transportation Safety

Board since the 25 October 2002 crash, is reinforced by Congressman Jim Oberstar (D-

MN), who said that he was more concerned than ever about icing and the fight crew's

performance. "I'm always hesitant to be critical of a pilot on a fatal crash because he's

not here to defend himself", Oberstar, the senior Democrat on the House Transportation

Committee, remarked. "But you look at these pieces of information and it begins to raise

questions about competence in flight management", thereby supporting that impression.

You would have to read 15 paragraphs to learn that, as the time for their scheduled 9:30

AM departure grew nearer, the weather had improved. In the 17th paragraph, we learn

that, when Conry obtained an updated weather briefing around 8:30 AM, he received a

new report that the wind at Eveleth was calm, visibility was three miles, light snow was

falling, and the cloud ceiling was at 900 feet. "OK, that's what I need", Conry said. "At

least, it's above my minimums." Also buried in the story is a report that other planes

flying in the area earlier that morning had taken on some ice, "but nothing severe". So

when you read the story carefully, you discover that weather wasn't a factor, after all.

Think about this, because it displays the power of newspaper reporters and editors to

spin stories creating one impression or another. The headline, "Pilot almost called off

Wellstone's fatal flight" implies (a) that the weather was bad, (B) that the weather was

probably responsible for the crash, and © that if Conry had only been more prudent,

the crash would not have occurred. But when you actually read the story, it becomes

obvious (a) that the weather was not bad, (B) that it could not have been responsible

for the crash, and © that the pilot was very prudent, only proceeding when he had

been reassured that the weather was fine. The impression created was the opposite

of what the facts revealed! Read the story if you think I am making any of this up.

The subtitle, which maintains, "Pilots who had flown with the senator's pilot raise

questions about incompetence", is nearly if not quite as bad, implying that there

were serious questions about Conry's competence. No doubt, every pilot has had

incidents that, if taken out of context, might create an impression of incompetence.

In one instance, Conry allegedly turned to converse with a passenger and, when he

turned back, the plane was inclined down 45° and dropping at 1,000 feet a minute.

That may sound serious, but anyone who has ever flown in a small plane knows

that changes in attitude are common and that the rate of descent only matters if

it persists for a period of time. 1,000 feet a minute is only 16 feet per second, no

big deal if it only lasted for a few seconds, as appears to have been the case here.

In another instance, a past copilot alleged that Conry had flipped the wrong switch

and caused an attitude change while the plane was only 300 feet from the ground.

He was uncertain what had happened and the copilot corrected the problem. Again,

out of context, this sounds serious, but it was a minor incident that did not lead to a

crash. Other pilots described him as careful and meticulous. He had some 5,200

hours of experience and the highest possible pilot's certification. Why would Paul

Wellstone, who had displayed great concerned about safety during airplane trips

in the past and had frequently flown with Conry, have asked for him as his pilot?

Another pilot has called Conry the most careful pilot with whom he has ever flown.

When you take these factors into account, these incidents, assuming that they are

true, surely do not constitute a bill of particulars that indict his abilities as a pilot.

Every one of us, as a driver of an automobile, for example, has had some incident

or other where the passenger riding beside us became alarmed because we swerved

too sharply, rolled through a stop sign, or didn't stop in time to avoid extending out

into an intersection. We would regard it as ridiculous if our driving competence were

judged on the basis of a few isolated incidents. I can imagine my wife observing that,

if I had allowed the car to continue to drift to the right, "Why, we might have run off

the highway, into a ditch, and both been killed!" Yeah, right. But it didn't happen.

Violations of the requirement of total evidence by citing only evidence favorable to one

side are fallacies of special pleading, which are often committed by used-car salesmen,

defense attorneys, and politicians. They are not supposed to be employed by the NTSB

or the government in reaching conclusions or in arriving at decisions affecting life and

death or the well-being of this nation. The headline in this instance was a spectacular

case of special pleading, creating a lop-sided impression of incompetence and weather

as the probable causes of this crash. You have to read very carefully to discover that

the weather was not a problem and that, contrary to its emphasis, the story actually

tends to vindicate Conry as a careful pilot who would not fly if the weather was bad.

So the Duluth News Tribune ( 22 February 2003) followed the lead of the St. Paul

paper by publishing an unrebutted case of special pleading citing some--no doubt,

isolated--incidents reported by another pilot whose motives are unclear to be used

to impugn the character and competence of a pilot who is dead and cannot defend

himself, when the rest of the story, when it is read carefully, tends to vindicate him

as a prudent pilot who would not even fly if there were questions about the weather!

He almost called off the flight because of concerns about the weather and only went

ahead with the flight after those concerns had been allayed! A better headline might

instead have read, "Wellstone pilot exercised prudent judgment evaluating weather"!

As though this gratuitous smear of a dead pilot were not enough, Obsertar told the

Minneapolis Star Tribune (22 February 2003) that, "It's going to take some time to

read and digest this report", said the aviation expert, "but it may well turn out to be

. . . a mixture of pilot error and weather conditions" that caused the crash. But, as a

point of logic, it cannot be a combination of pilot error and weather conditions when

the weather was just fine. Photographs taken within 10 miles and 20 minutes of the

crash were published in the Reader (2 January 2003), pp. 16-18 and on its cover. The

very report on which Oberstar was commenting indicates that Conry was only willing

to take the flight after he had been assured that the weather was fine! These photos

by Steve Filipovich, who happens to be a pilot himself, show lakes in the area clearly,

where there is no simply no evidence even of rain, much less freezing rain or snow.

Moreover, other reports have come to me further substantiating that there were no

problems with the weather. Another resident of the area wrote me to say that the

weather was rainy and icy, which I knew to be untrue. But just to be sure, I called

Gary Ulman, the assistant manager of the Eveleth-Virginia airport, who confirmed my

impression that other flights had flown in and out of the airport earlier that day with

no problems. He told me two UPS flights had landed and departed that morning, one

at 8:30 AM, one earlier--planes with fuselage similar to the King Air A100 in which

Wellstone was flying. These were both turbine airplanes known as "Queen Air"s and

also made by Beechcraft. They had encountered no special problems with weather

nor had Ulman himself when he took to the air to search for the site of the crash.

So there were no problems with the weather. And we now know that there were no

problems with the aircraft itself. According to The Washington Post ("NTSB Report:

Nothing Wrong with Wellstone Plane", 5 March 2003), the King Air A100 in which the

Senator had been riding "had a clean maintenance history and underwent a detailed,

scheduled inspection two months before it crashed", federal documents showed. The

plane had undergone minor repairs in late August 2002 for its deicing system and its

flight controls, wiring, engines, and propellers and fuel system were also checked out.

The report about deicing is especially interesting, of course, given the claims of icing,

since it suggests that, even if the weather had included icing conditions, this plane

should have been able to cope with it. Indeed, as Bill Wilkerson, who has been hiring

pilots and leasing small planes for more than 30 years previously observed, this is not

a plane that goes down in freezing rain (Reader Weekly 28 November 2002, pp. 18-19).

Even the Duluth News Tribune ("Wellstone plane had clean record", 6 March 2003, p. 4B)

had this story right, which meant that neither the plane nor the weather could properly

be blamed for the crash. Under these conditions, I speculated, anyone who wanted to

continue a cover-up would probably want to return to the qualifications of the pilots.

So I was not surprised when, the following day, the Duluth News Tribune ran another

story ("Wellstone pilot made other errors", 7 March 2003, p. 3B) implying Conry had

problems with controlling his aircraft. This news allegedly prompted Jeff Blodgett, the

Senator's campaign manager, to react with alarm and to criticize Aviation Charter, the

Eden Prairie, MN, company in charge of the flight. "Had Wellstone and his supporters

known about the pilots flaws, 'huge alarm bells' would have gone off", Blodgett said.

But there was nothing new here that had not been reported already on 22 February.

Tim Roufs, a colleague of mine at UMD, noticed this redundancy "ISN'T IT VERY (!)

CURIOUS", he wrote, "that one of the lead features on the Ch. 10 Denny Anderson news

reports on the 6 and 10 PM news programs (the next major regularly-scheduled news

broadcasts after this article appeared) that 'they' ran were bad-mouthing features on

past mistakes of the pilot, WHICH WERE 100% A REHASH OF STUFF ALREADY A MATTER


Indeed, he explained, they not only raised icing again (after that hypothesis had long

been discounted) but failed to report the new news about the virtually perfect record

of maintenance on the Wellstone plane. Roufs has (once again) hit the nail on the head.

Something strange is going on and there are other examples. The version of the story

that appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune ("Wellstone's pilot balked at flying on

morning of crash", 22 February 2003) perpetrates the same deception as the St. Paul

Pioneer Press ("Pilot wanted to cancel Wellstone's fatal flight", 22 February 2003),

falsely implying that the weather was a problem or the pilot showed poor judgment,

but went further in its reporting on Oberstar. "I think the fund of information here

should put aside the idea that there was a deliberate takedown of this aircraft", he

said. "There were enough people who voiced those thoughts and expressed them to

the NTSB staff up at Eveleth at the time to warrant saying, 'Look this over first'", he

added. "The conspiratorialists will have to be put aside for a while we digest this

very substantial information."

But remarks like these do not bolster confidence in the Congressman, in spite of his

expertise with respect to aviation. Many people raised questions about a possible

assassination, by his own acknowledgment. The NTSB has yet to determine a cause

for the crash. How can we possibly know that this was not a conspiracy if we don't

know what caused the crash? Oberstar's remarks are reminiscent of those of Carol

Carmody in saying that, "She had consulted with the FBI and there was no intelligence

information and no evidence in the wreckage to suggest any possibility of terrorism"

(Reader Weekly 9 January 2003, pp. 12-13). Not to insult the intelligence of a US

Congressman or the head of the NTSB, but what are the indications of terrorism? A

small bomb, perhaps, or a gas canister, or the use of EMP? How could these causes

have possibly been ruled out when the cause of the crash has yet to be determined?

Moreover, surely it is the function of the NTSB to be investigating the cause of this

crash, including any possible signs of terrorism. The NTSB should be reporting to

the FBI about the causes of this crash, not the other way around. And for Oberstar

to be dismissing alternatives that have not yet been ruled out even at the same time

the simpler, more benign hypotheses--such as pilot error, mechanical malfunction,

and problems with the weather--are being undermined by more and more evidence

as it becomes available displays a remarkable lack of mental agility that is simply

astounding in the case of a man known for his expertise with regard to aviation. If

the weather was as acceptable as it appears to have been, how good did Conry need

to be? I find Oberstar's conduct to be unjustifiable and virtually incomprehensible.

My opinion regarding this man is not only rooted in the published record but in my

personal experience with his staff. When I first learned that the FBI could only have

been on the scene of the crash by noon (as St. Louis Country Sheriff Rick Wahlberg

reported) if it had departed from St. Paul at approximately the same time that Paul

Wellstone's plane departed, that Carmody was reversing the roles of the NTSB and

the FBI, and that John Ongaro had experienced an unusual cell-phone phenomenon

that appeared to be a manifestation of the use of an EMP weapon, I made efforts to

contact the Congressman. I called his Duluth and Washington offices on 15 January

2003, after I learned that he would be in Duluth on the following day. I explained

the reasons I wanted to confer with him, but his staff would not allow us to meet.

So I conveyed this information in writing to a member of his staff that night right

here in Duluth at the Federal Building. She assured me that the Congressman was

familiar with my views, because they kept copies of my columns from the Reader.

I told her, as I had told his Washington staff, that John Ongaro and he knew each

other, which I thought ought to enhance his credibility with the Congressman. But

apparently to no avail. My confidence in Oberstar has been badly shaken, especially

because his latest remarks indicate that he had not scrutinized or even closely read

the NTSB report on which he was commenting or else he would have realized that,

rather than impugn his decision, Conry's conduct displayed very prudent judgment.

After having been stonewalled by Oberstar, I have not been surprised to have run

into other dead ends in my investigations. I have traveled to the Eveleth Sheriff's

Office to review the official logs of persons coming into and departing from the crash

scene, only to discover they are grossly incomplete. The records I was given as the

"original" logs were on assorted legal pads. The "computer log" created from them

not only included no entries prior to 3 PM (apart from setting up "North Command"

at 12:20 PM) but excluded a whole sheet of names of FBI agents. If there were as

many as 100 agents on the scene, as another source has told me, there is nothing in

the logs to substantiate it nor the presence of anyone else on the scene before 3 PM.

That in itself is disturbing, but the situation is even worse. In my research on the

time of arrival of the FBI, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the

FAA on 8 January 2003 for information about private and charter flights into the

Duluth International Airport on the morning of 25 October 2002. I heard back by

a letter dated 30 January 2003 that my request was being forwarded to the same

office sending the letter. By a letter dated 10 February 2003, I heard from the same

office that I should not expect a response until around 1 August 2003 and that there

would be a charge of .10 per page. By a letter dated 28 February 2003, however, I

was informed that "the requested data has been purged". Why am I not surprised?

Most telling of all, in an obscure article that appeared on page A8 of the Star Tribune

("Safety Board to Report on Wellstone Crash", 20 February 2003), Tony Kennedy and

Greg Gordon stated that a new report (which we have been discussing) will cover the

areas of operations and human performance and that future reports (one of which we

have also discussed) will consider airworthiness and airplane maintenance. In closing

paragraphs, they also observe, "In some of its crash investigations, the NTSB conducts

an investigative public hearing when it first releases factual reports from its working

groups. That won't be the case Friday. 'The board felt that [a hearing] was not needed

to move the investigation forward'", according to NTSB spokesman Paul Schoamm. No

doubt! When you already know your conclusion, you don't have to worry about the

evidence. Why am I not surprise?


Jim Fetzer, a professor of philosophy at UMD, has become even more convinced that

the death of Paul Wellstone was a political assassination. His published columns on

this and many other topics are now archived at http:www.assassinationscience.com.

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Guest James H. Fetzer

Notes for the Wellstone file

Threatened lawsuit frivolous, even malicious

Jim Fetzer (READER WEEKLY, 12 June 2003, pp. 10-11)

A retired attorney, Tom Bieter, who was once a student of mine and whom I used to

consider a friend, has announced his intention to bring a lawsuit against me, my UMD colleague,

Tim Roufs, and the editor and publisher of the Reader. On 29 May 2003, he sent a NOTICE

AND DEMAND FOR PUBLISHED RETRACTION . What has Mr. Bieter’s dander in a

bunch is his belief— based upon his interpretation my work, which I find to be highly creative—

that the six columns I have published in the Reader on the death of Paul Wellstone (which are

archived at http://www.reader-weekly.com) libel “President Bush, Republicans, Minneapolis

FBI agents, Congressman Jim Oberstar and others.”

In these columns, I lay out the evidence that has become available to me, much of which

is a matter of public record, and explain why, on the basis of scientific principles of reasoning,

the Senator’s death was probably the result of a political assassination, where the White

House— specifically, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Donald Rumsfeld— may have been

involved. I explain why neither the plane nor the pilots nor the weather appear to have brought

his plane down and why the most likely causes are a small bomb, a gas canister, or the use of an

electromagnetic weapon, which I consider more likely.

In his DEMAND, Mr. Bieter asserts standing as a Republican to bring such a suit and

insists that an adequate response by the Reader would require the publication of a piece that

he has written extolling the virtues of a “jurisprudential model” as preferable to the scientific

model that I employ. Mr. Bieter not only exaggerates my position to make his claims sound

remotely plausible but misconceives the purpose of my investigation, which is to discuss what

the evidence tells us about the causes of death of Paul Wellstone, not to launch a criminal

prosecution of Cheney, Rove, and Rumsfeld.

Mr. Bieter’s prospective lawsuit has generated a lot of interest in the press and within

the media. A front-page story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune (3 June 2003), p. A1 and p.

A7, for example, has led to four talk show appearances for me and two television interviews,

which produced four different segments over Channels 3 and 10/13 here in Duluth on June 4

and 5—vastly more attention to the cause of death of Paul Wellstone than all my previous

efforts combined. For that I am most appreciative.

Before anyone decides that I am obviously off the mark, let me ask a simple question:

Do you know what caused the crash? Because if you don’t know what caused the crash, then

how can you know I am wrong? I don’t mean about the details: anyone could be wrong about

those. I mean about the very possibility. Don’t you find the timing of this accident to be

suspicious: a week before the election just as Paul is pulling away? The keen White House

interest in this case? Control of the Senate at stake?

And what do you make of Michael Ruppert’s reports that members of Congress were

telling him that they thought this had been an assassination? Or his call from a CIA guy still in

the business who said that it was a hit, that a group of reinvigorated old white men were in

charge “and these clowns are nobody to screw with” and that there would be more to follow?

What do you make of this?

I was drawn into this gradually, with my first column in November. and most recent

March. I was not personally convinced this was an assassination until I was deeply immersed in

this investigation.

None of this would have received any significant public attention but for the involvement

of Mr. Bieter. I therefore have him to thank for making this story front-page news, where it

belongs. We all should want to know what happened to Paul Wellstone in the interest of the

integrity of our government. If our representatives are being selected by undemocratic means, it

deserves front-page exposure. That would never have happened but for Tom’s threats to bring

a lawsuit. I am grateful that he has stirred things up to the point where many, perhaps even most,

Minnesotans are thinking about what happened to Paul.

That does not mean that his suit is not fundamentally misconceived. Here are some

twenty-five reasons why I think his efforts are wholly misguided:

(1) The columns are not libelous because I have only said that these guys (Dick Cheney, Karl

Rove, Donald Rumsfeld) may have been involved. I have not asserted that they actually were


(2) Bieter has no standing, because he claims standing merely by virtue of being a Republican.

But I have stated that I am not talking about your average GOP voter.

(3) Bieter has no standing because he is not Cheney, Rove, or Rumsfeld.

(4) What I have written is not malicious, because I believe everything I have written.

(5) These columns are not malicious because I have evidence for everything I have written.

(6) These columns are not malicious because they were not written with ill will.

(7) These columns are not malicious because they were not written with improper motives.

(8)These columns are not malicious because they were not written without cause or regard for

the consequences.

(9) They do not even fall under libel laws because they examinations of a public event involving

public figures in a public newspaper.

(10) They are not libelous because they are—for all we know!--true, as the evidence that I

have presented suggests.

(11) They are not libelous because they are—for all we know!--true, as Michael Ruppert has

been told.

(12) They are not libelous because there is a history of criticism of past administrations on

grounds as serious as these, including far nastier attacks by the right wing on the Clintons as

responsible for the death of Vince Foster, none of which were treated as libelous.

(13) They are not libelous because this administration has a poor reputation for honesty.

(14) They are not libelous because this administration may be the most corrupt in American


(15) They are not libelous because this administration has no good reputation for anyone to


(16) They are not libelous because they were written in my capacity as a journalist.

(17) They are not libelous because they were written in my capacity as a news reporter.

(18) They are not libelous because I they were written in my capacity as an investigative


(19)They are not libelous because the First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press.

(20) They are not libelous because the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech.

(21) They are not libelous because inhibiting inquiry about abuses of government contributes to

further abuses of government.

(22)They are not libelous because exposing government corruption is in the public interest.

(23) They are not libelous because it would become almost impossible to expose corruption in

government if journalists were subject to libel for investigating possible corruption in


(24) They are not libelous because, if it were impossible to expose corruption in government, it

would contribute to further government corruption.

(25) They are not libelous because exposing corruption in government promotes the general

welfare and the administration of justice.

Moreover, it could also be argued that these columns are not libelous because this

administration has sent hundreds of thousands of young Americans into war in violation of

international law, the UN Charter, and the US Constitution, where they have deliberately

bought about the death of hundreds, even thousands, of Iraqis, whose deaths therefore properly

qualify as acts of murder. And an administration that would send hundreds of thousands of

young Americans into war in violation of international war to deliberately kill hundreds, if not

thousands, of Iraqis thereby displays its willingness to commit murder.

No doubt, some might argue that (16), (17), and (18), for example, are redundant,

depending upon the overlap in responsibilities of columnists, reporters, and investigative

journals. But these reasons, in their totality, overwhelmingly suggest that Mr. Bieter’s lawsuit is

not only without legal foundation but, if it were to succeed, would be all too likely to have the

effect of promoting corruption in government. That would not be in the interests of justice or

promote the common welfare. It appears to be frivolous.

I might be more impressed with Bieter’s position were it not based upon false and

misleading representations of my columns. So far as I can see, he cannot overcome even the

first of the reasons I have offered for concluding that his suit is without merit, much less the other

twenty-four. But he is welcome to proceed. I await his legal action. Lay on, MacBieter! Let’s

see where this country now stands.

Interestingly, along the way, in message #143 on the FETZERclaimsDEBUNK website

he established in March , Mr. Bieter has outlined the meaning of “malice” by authors and

publishers under Minnesota libel law, where the definition of “actual malice” is specified in

CIVJIG 50.35 as follows:

“A statement or communication is made with actual malice if the purpose is to injure a

person and:

1. It is made with ill will and improper motives; or,

2. it is made without cause and without regard for the consequences.”

It does not take a rocket scientist reading the posts on this forum to observe massive

and repeated examples where posts have been made from which actual malace could readily be

inferred, one rather egregious example of which has been posted by Mr. Bieter himself as


Message 76 of 190 | Previous | Next [ Up Thread ] Message


Msg #76

From: Thomas Bieter <thomasbieter@y...>

Date: Thu Jun 5, 2003 4:30 pm

Subject: Re: [FETZERclaimsDEBUNK] A has-been who would like to return to his days

of glory…

Fetzer also argues and believes that the Columbia space shuttle was shot down by

President Bush using Fetzer’s all-purpose conspiracy weapon, the electromagnetic pulse

weapon (EMP).

See his article at http://www.readerweekly.org

Anyone would have to assume that a retired attorney—and former prosecutor!--knows

what he is talking about when it comes to issues of this kind. But anyone who actually goes to

the web site he gives and reads the column he cites will be astounded to discover he has grossly

misrepresented my position in a fashion that implies malice. So there’s a five minute test of Mr.

Bieter’s honesty and integrity! His suit not only appears to be frivolous but actually even


Mr. Bieter seems to think that I am bringing a criminal action against the Bush

administration, where, in his view, I cannot satisfy the elements for legal prosecution of Cheney,

Rove, and Rumsfeld for causing the death of Paul Wellstone. But that is not what I am about. I

am trying to figure out what the available evidence has to tell us about his death. I am trying to

figure out the causes of the crash.

There is no point in waiting for the NTSB to tell us, because the NTSB itself may be

covering it up. We won’t know whether or not what we are told by the NTSB makes any

sense if we don’t understand of the evidence and how it relates to conclusions. The evidence

that I have reported, moreover, suggests that the FBI and the NTSB are indeed engaged in a

governmental cover up.

I do not make these things up. I cannot change the evidence. The plane is not

Republican or Democrat. The pilots are not ideologies. The weather is not a political platform.

If neither the pilots, the weather, or the plane were responsible for this crash—as the NTSB’s

own simulations, which were reported in The Pioneer Press (26 March 2003), which Tim

Roufs has posted on Mr. Bieter’s forum as message #48—now imply, then some other factors

were responsible.

Assassination, of course, does not imply conspiracy, and I do not contend the scenario

that I believe to be most likely could not be wrong. It might have been a lucky shot with a rifle

by a lone, pro-life gunman! But I am hardly the only one to suspect foul play. Example may be

found at other web sites by authors who find the kinds of evidence I cite have also led them to

conclude this was no accident, such as http://www.investigate911.com/wellstonemurder.htm. I

believe this opinion is rather widely held.

This is hardly the first time that the possibility has been raised of White House

involvement in murder. The right wing was unrelenting in promoting the hypothesis that Bill and

Hillary were responsible for the death of Vince Foster. Where was Mr. Bieter when his heroes,

Rush Limbaugh, G. Gordon Liddy, and (I surmise) Jason Lewis were making their case against

them in far more vivid language and with a vastly harsher tone than anything I have had to say

about George Bush and his cronies. The hypocrisy of the right is overwhelming. They can dish

it out but they can’t take it.

Every American should want to get to the bottom of what happened in order to seek

reassurance this is not the latest act of a new fascist state. If we passively and uncritically

accept what our government tells us, then we will never know. Better to dig in and sort things

out for ourselves. Let me reiterate the last paragraph from the Star Tribune.

I am not doing this off the top of my head. I’m not just interested in stirring up some s..t-

storm. I’m interested in the truth. If I can become convinced that I am mistaken about this, I

will gladly accept that and sleep easier at night. Because, believe me, the implications of this are

profoundly disturbing.

Jim Fetzer, a professor of philosophy at UMD, has an academic web site at

http://www.d.umn.edu/~jfetzer/ and a web site devoted to issues of public concern at


Edited by James H. Fetzer
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Guest James H. Fetzer

Loose ends in the Wellstone crash

Jim Fetzer (READER WEEKLY, 10 July 2003, pp. 18-19)

My columns on the Wellstone crash, which are archived at www.reader-weekly.com and at

www.assassinationscience.com, have now produced at least two substantial responses, one

by Kathleen Bangs in the Minneapolis Star Tribune (15 June 2003) and another by William H.

Rees in the Duluth Reader Weekly (19 June 2003). In addition, Tom Bieter’s threatened

lawsuit proceeds apace, but with his now declared intention to include UMD, its Chancellor,

Kathryn Martin, and the University of Minnesota as plaintiffs. He has most recently indicated

that he plans to ask that Governor Pawlenty become involved in this case, but precisely what

should be expected to come of this is open to speculation.

I shall begin with these critiques before addressing Bieter’s latest moves. Both of the authors,

Bangs and Rees, have aviation experience that greatly exceeds mine, which is limited to

commercial flights, a few private plane rides, and a training ride on a T-34. Bangs, the mother

of a student of mine, had her ask me to call her. During our phone conversation, Bangs told me

she had served as an instructor for the copilot, Michael Guess, and that she was very confident

the pilots had come out of the clouds, discovered they were too low and too slow, had

challenged the law of gravity, and lost.

In her Star Tribune column, Bangs reiterates the same conception, explaining that “in the few

seconds it took to plummet into the trees, the stunned pilots would not have had time to make a

radio call”. She says, “airplanes do occasionally fall out of the sky, and sometimes they do so

for no immediately apparent reason”, which is why official inquiries can be painstakingly slow.

So we’ll just have to wait and see what the NTSB has to say. Bangs has opinions but really

doesn’t know.

Rees, by his own account, a retired Air Force pilot with more than 5,500 flying hours, mostly in

jet fighters, echoes her opinion of the crash with a few passing remarks about the pilots and the

weather. He correctly observes that my inference to the possibility this may have been an

assassination depends on ruling out the weather, the pilots, and the plane—individually or in

combination—as causes of the crash. He says that they have to be ruled out “absolutely”,

which I have not done. Rees’ bottom line, believe it or not, is that “something unexpected


That something unexpected happened, of course, is not news. The claim that the pilots, the

plane, and the weather have to be ruled out “absolutely” goes too far, since in the real world it

would be enough to rule them out as improbable rather than as impossible causes of the crash.

Evidence presented in my columns had already done that, but you don’t have to take my word

for it. The NTSB itself has conducted its own studies, which undermine those possibilities.

An article published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press (30 April 2003) by Charles Laszewski

explained, “pilots flying a simulator meant to duplicate conditions near the airport at the time of

the crash of the Beech King Air A100 twin-engine plane were able to safely land, even after

coming in slower than normal, the National Transportation Safety Board said.” Because this

information is crucial to understanding the case, I quote it here at length.

“Earlier this month, safety board investigators brought to Florida two pilots from Aviation

Charter, the company that flew Wellstone’s party, and put them into a simulator similar to the

King Air A100. The pilots were given three scenarios for approaching the Eveleth-Virginia

Municipal Airport, with two of them duplicating the instructions given to Wellstone’s plane.

“The final of the three tests asked the pilots to wait longer than usual to extend the landing gear

and begin their descent to the run way. That one significantly increased the workload for the

pilots, according to the report. They also flew the plane at the unusually slow speed the

Wellstone plane traveled at before the crash. However, the pilots were able to power up the

engines and fly the simulator out of trouble.

“Charles Hvass, Jr., a Minneapolis aviation lawyer and pilot, said running the pilots through

simulators is a normal procedure in accident investigations. Because the plane did not have

cockpit voice recorders, the investigators are trying to figure out what happened by flying

different scenarios, he said.”

The NTSB also tested a navigational aid, the landing beacon, and found that it had not

contributed to the crash, either. A dozen tests conducted between 26 October and 23

December 2002 showed that the closer the plane came to the airport, the more accurate the

signal became. Looking at both the beacon and the simulator, Hvass said, it’s clear the

investigators are focusing on the pilots making mistakes because no mechanical problems have

turned up on the plane or on the ground. “I don’t see anything in either of these that spooks

me”, he observed. “You’ve got a working airplane. It shouldn’t be on the ground.”

The NTSB has also been investigating the pilots. Richard Conry, the pilot in command (PIC),

had some 5,200 flying hours, primarily with small, private planes. According to employment

records in the possession of Charter Aviation, he had over 4,600 hours as pilot-in-command

(PIC), including 200 hours as PIC of King Air A100s. Rees cites some anecdotal reports from

pilots who criticized Conry, which I discussed in the Reader (13 March 2003), but he ignores

other evidence from the NTSB.

“Mr. Conry was described by several individuals as very meticulous and ‘by the book’. He was

also described as calm and very ‘laid back’. One individual who made about 50 flights in a C-

172 with Mr. Conry, described him as the most careful pilot he had ever flown with. Mr.

Conry checked everything on every flight”, as the NTSB reported (see


I would suggest that a pilot who has flown with Conry about 50 times is somewhat better

positioned to comment on his qualifications than others, such as Bangs and Rees, who have

never flown with him. But, fortunately, there is objective evidence that Conry was competent to

fly this plane, namely, that he had passed his FAA professional proficiency “check ride” on 23

October 2002, just two days prior to the crash. According to the FAA, Conry was qualified

for the A100.

Other indications of Conry’s prudence in taking the fatal flight were discussed in my column for

13 March 2003, which neither Bangs nor Rees appear to have read. It is striking to me that

they would publish these criticisms on 15 June and on 19 June 2003 when evidence

undermining their positions was published six weeks before based upon the NTSB’s own

simulation studies! They offer opinions they cannot substantiate that the NTSB has now

disconfirmed, while they criticize me for exploring other alternatives.

Bangs and Rees both submit that the pilot would have had his hands full in attempting to control

the aircraft and would not have had time to make a distress call. But this is more plausible in the

case of a solo pilot than in the case of copilots. Even though Rees dramatizes the idea of going

down—in a fashion that might fit fighter jets better than it does King Air A100s—I find it

difficult to imagine that a pilot would not want the world to know where he was coming down.

His life—and that of his passengers—might depend upon the speed with which first responders

make it to the scene.

They also make the point that the Eveleth-Virginia airport does not have a control tower as such

and that planes arriving under instrument flight plans are under the direction of Duluth Approach

Control. There can be no cessation of communication, Rees asserts, if there was no

communication to begin with. But Rees is playing games with words. The plane was in

communication with Duluth Approach Control and had made contact with the Eveleth-Virginia

airport by electronically activating its landing lights!

I cannot resist observing that something appears to be wrong with Bangs’ signature in describing

herself as having “agreed to serve as an expert witness on behalf of copilot Michael Guess’

estate in litigation related to the Wellstone crash”. If it is indeed the case, as she told me on the

phone, that she served as an instructor for Guess, then she cannot serve as an “expert witness”

in this case. Having a personal relationship with one of the deceased would compromise her

objectivity. She may well have occasion to explain herself, perhaps in a court of law, but

something does not add up here any more than her theory of the crash. I found what she had to

say unbelievable based on my own research, but I was glad to have her opinions.

Bangs has now contacted me to clarify that, while she served as an advisor to Guess, she did

not serve as a flight instructor for Guess. Her opinions about the case are therefore not based

on personal experience as a flight instructor, but rather on her inferences about the “training

philosophy” at the school where he trained. Since she

knew him personally, she cannot be an “expert witness”, but tells me she will be an “expert

consultant” in this case. This clarification, I believe, considerably weakens her degree of

expertise in this case.

She has also suggested that my position appears to be inconsistent, since I am citing NTSB

simulation studies even while I suspect the NTSB of covering up the true causes of the crash. I

am not taking for granted that the NTSB is covering it up, but I am very suspicious about what’s

going on here. That the simulations look right, given the other information available, indicates

that they are doing this part right. But no one who is not actually looking at the evidence and

thinking about its relationship to alternative conjectures about the crash would simply be taking it

on faith, not exercising reason. These studies support my position that this was not an accident.

My columns have been intended to lay out the evidence as it has become available and to

explain what I take to be its significance from the point of view of basic principles of scientific

evidence. Rees claims that I have failed to follow them myself, but it doesn’t take a rocket

scientist to observe that there are many aspects to this case that neither his nor Bangs’ account

can explain, including the cessation of communication, the bizarre cell phone experience of John

Ongaro, the FBI’s early arrival at the scene, and the odd exchange of roles between the NTSB

and the FBI.

Anyone who has actually read my columns will know what I am talking about. Bangs and Rees

might also want to consider the incomplete state of the logs maintained by the Eveleth Sheriff’s

Department, the FAA’s response to my request for information about private planes landing in

Duluth on 25 October 2003, and the NTSB’s decision not to conduct public hearings where

input can be provided by the community. These are all peculiar circumstances that suggest to

me—rather strongly—that something is being covered up and that the truth is being withheld.

As I continue to investigate this case, however, new hypotheses continue to emerge. Although I

have devoted a column to the possible use of futuristic weaponry as the cause of the crash,

there appear to be alternatives to electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons, especially in the form

of high energy radio frequency (HERF) guns. HERF guns are focused beam transmitters that

send a concentrated radio signal to the target, which could be a stationary network or mobile

electronics, as in the case of a car or an airplane (see


Even more disturbing, a typical HERF gun “is backpack sized, costs about $150 to build, and

puts out an incredible 16 Megawatts of pulse”, where the US deployed them in Iraq already in

1991 (see http://liun.hektik.org/hightech/herf/clip5.html). A book about them, Winn

Schwartz’ Information Warfare, was published in 1996! Like EMP weapons, they are not really

“futuristic” but are available now and might even have been a more suitable choice for use in the

mucky terrain where the plane went down.

If we proceed in stages following the principles of scientific reasoning, then when we encounter

a puzzling phenomenon, such as the Wellstone crash, we have to consider all of the possible

alternative explanations, not only those we may personally prefer! The weight of the evidence,

at this point in time, suggests that the crash was not caused by the plane, the pilots, or the

weather, as I have emphasized especially in my column of 2 January 2003, which included

photographs of the weather in the vicinity at the time, which are available for viewing at


The weight of the evidence suggests that this was no accident. Other information that simpler

explanations cannot accommodate include Michael Ruppert’s report that he has been told by

members of Congress that this was deliberate and that someone who is still on the inside doing

wetwork (terminations) for the CIA called him the day after the crash to tell him this had been

no accident, that a group of reinvigorated old white men were in charge and were nobody to

screw with, and that other such events would occur.

Apparently, even thinking such thoughts has infuriated my one-time student, Thomas Bieter, a

retired attorney and former prosecutor, who has announced his intention to bring a lawsuit

against me, Tim Roufs, my colleague, Richard Thomas, the editor, and Robert Boone, the

publisher, of the Reader, on the alleged ground that we have libeled the Republican Party by

publishing my columns. The publisher and I have responded to Mr. Bieter in columns that

appeared the issue of 12 June 2003, for those who may have missed them, which are also

archived at the Reader’s web site..

Mr. Bieter, who appears to be having a difficult time deciding what kind of lawsuit he wants to

pursue, has announced that he is expanding his suit to encompass UMD and its Chancellor,

Kathryn Martin, and the University of Minnesota, on the alleged ground, in his own words, “that

the university had knowledge, rewarded, encouraged, financially supported, approved and

condoned Professor Fetzer’s investigations, research, and publications on

assassinationscience.com and on the Wellstone crash”, which may be found at his


Mr. Bieter explains this means that, when I published articles, statements, and other

communications on the subject of the Wellstone crash, I was acting within the scope of my

employment duties as a Distinguished McKnight University Professor, with the full knowledge,

consent, and approval of Chancellor Martin, who was acting on behalf of the University of

Minnesota. But Mr. Bieter commits an obvious fallacy, insofar as, while Chancellor Martin is of

course aware of my appointment as Distinguished McKnight University Professor on her own

campus, that does not imply that anything I may have written on this or any other subject was

with her knowledge, consent, or approval.

Mr. Bieter may not understand that faculty at the University of Minnesota are given the

academic freedom to investigate whatever subjects they choose by whatever methods they

consider appropriate, without requiring the knowledge, consent, or approval of the Chancellor

or other administrative officials of the University of Minnesota. She is no more responsible for

my research on the Wellstone crash than she is for my research in philosophy of science or on

the theoretical foundations of computer science, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science (see

my vita at http://www.d.umn.edu/~jfetzer/).

The entire suit that Mr. Bieter proposes, moreover, requires the commission of what is known

as “actual malice” by me in publishing these columns, which implies, among other points, that I

did not believe what I was writing and nevertheless disseminated them in a deliberate effort to

harm (in his opinion) the Republican Party! Not only is such a view unsupportable by the

evidence but it completely disregards the obvious, namely, that I am expressing my personal

conclusions, interpretations, theories, conjectures, and inferences. I do not claim to possess

definitive knowledge of criminal activities.

My columns are not libelous because I have only said that these guys (Dick Cheney, Karl Rove,

and Donald Rumsfeld) may have been involved. I have not asserted that they were involved.

My columns are not libelous because Mr. Bieter has no standing, since he claims standing as a

member of the Republican Party, when I have specifically stated that I am not talking about your

average G.O.P. voter. Indeed, there are more than twenty-three other reasons why his

proposed suit is frivolous or even malicious, as I have explained in an earlier column in the

Reader (12 June 2003).

If there were any merit in implicating UMD, Chancellor Martin, or the University in these

matters, then I suppose we could add that I was exercising academic freedom. But ask

yourself, once again: Does anyone seriously doubt that what I am suggesting is a real possibility,

especially in the political context of a tight election with control of Senate at stake? I mean in its

general conception, not in its specific details, since anyone can be wrong about those. Because

it should be borne in mind that no one, including the NTSB, has shown that what I believe may

have happened to Paul Wellstone is not true.

There is no point in waiting for the NTSB to tell us, moreover, because the NTSB itself may be

covering it up. Indeed, we won’t know whether what we are told by the NTSB makes any

sense if we don’t have an understanding of the evidence and how it relates to alternative

explanations. Every American should want to get to the bottom of what happened to our

Senator, if only to seek assurance that this is not the latest act of a new fascist state. If we

passively accept what our government tells us, we will never know.

Jim Fetzer, a professor of philosophy at UMD, encourages his students to apply their

critical thinking skills to problems of real life, such as understanding the war in Iraq and

the Wellstone crash and how to deal with advertising and used-car salesmen.

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Guest James H. Fetzer

Paul Wellstone: what happened, once more, with feeling

READER WEEKLY (31 July 2003)

A retired Air Force pilot, William Rees, has taken me to task (Reader 24 June 2003) for my

columns exploring the death of Senator Paul Wellstone, where I explain why the evidence

supports the conclusion that this was no accident, that politics was probably the motivation, and

that the White House may have been involved. He has raised several objections concerning my

sources, what I say about the loss of communication between the aircraft and the tower, the use

of simulation studies to draw inferences about the crash, and even the possibility that EMP

weaponry may have been used to take him out.

In an earlier column, Rees explained that, in his opinion, “something unexpected happened”,

which, as I observed at the time, is hardly news. Here he emphasizes the close margins within

which pilots must operate, stating that a plane that might stall out at 80 knots may have a

recommended final approach speed of 120 knots. What he says may be true in general, but

appears to have scant relevance for the Wellstone crash, where the NTSB’s own simulation

studies, which replicated the weather, the plane, and the pilots (by taking pilots from the same

charter service), were unable to bring the plane down.

Rees says that his real bottom line is that my series should have ended with my first article, if not

before. But that appears to be a difficult position to defend, especially given the abrupt

cessation of communication, the odd cell phone experience of John Ongaro, the FBI’s

extraordinarily rapid appearance on the scene, the exchange of roles between the FBI and the

NTSB, the destruction of records of planes landing in Duluth that morning, the missing

information from logs about those at the crash scene, the NTSB’s cancellation of a public

meeting for comments from citizens, previous attempts on Wellstone’s life, the report of an

insider that this had been a hit, and so much more.

Rees and I obviously have different standards of reasoning. I believe that the public interest

receives substantial benefits by examining events of political significance where chicanery and

wrongdoing may be taking place, if only to reassure ourselves that the government has not been

lying to us, once again, in this instance. Frankly, it happens all the time—about tax cuts, the

SEC, Homeland Security, 9/11, and Iraq—in case he hasn’t noticed. My opinion is that

anyone who is still willing to take what the government, including the President, tells us at face

value has simply not been paying attention. We live in another world.

Rees alleges that I haven’t actually talked with any pilots with experience flying in bad weather.

So I have reviewed my columns and discovered that I have drawn upon plenty of experts who

have all kinds of experience with planes, including Bill Wilkerson, who has been leasing these

planes for 30 years; Tim Roufs, a pilot with a son who is a commercial pilot; Denny Anderson,

local TV anchor and pilot; Jeff Johnson, associate professor in the aviation program at St.

Cloud; local pilots who were quoted in newspaper columns and on TV; Steve Filipovich, a pilot

on the ground near the airport at the time; and Gary Ulman of the Eveleth-Virginia Airport, to

mention only a few.

That does not include a former inspector general for the Air Force who used to supervise crash

investigations. But I have also consulted with or drawn upon the research and opinions of many

other, including Michael Niman, a professor from Buffalo State College; Thomas Uncini, M.D.,

St. Louis County Medical Examiner;

Carol Carmody, the head of the NTSB investigative team; other articles by other reporters,

such as Paul McEnroe and Tony Kennedy of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Michael

Ruppert and Joe Taglieri of fromthewilderness.com; John Judge, a JFK assassination expert;

and Christopher Bollyn of the American Free Press. I am also drawing on studies conducted

by the NTSB itself.

Other sources I have cited have included Sheriff Rick Wahlberg and Lt. Tim Harkenen of the

St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department; Paul McCabe of the FBI;

Charles Laszewski, Rich Linsk, and Tom Webb of the St. Paul Pioneer Press; deputies from

the Eveleth-Virginia Sheriff’s Office; multiple sources on EMP and RF weaponry, including an

Air Force Lt. General in testimony before Congress;

Paul McGeough of The Sydney Morning Herald; Air Force Colonel Eileen Walling;

Police Colonel José Miguel Villar of Columbia; and local critics of my work, such as Elizabeth

Sirius, Kathleen Banges, and now William Rees. I think it would be difficult to argue I do not

have sufficient sources.

As a journalist investigating a suspicious crash that tilted control of the US Senate in the

direction of the Republican Party and all this implies, it would be irresponsible not to review the

evidence in a case like this. Because I have spent more than ten years conducting research on

the death of JFK, where the FBI and the Warren Commission staff suppressed, distorted, and

fabricated evidence in an extensive conspiracy to conceal the truth causes of death from the

American people, perhaps I am more aware than most of us about how these things are done.

From the start, it did not look right to me. And the evidence that I have encountered since has

only strengthened my conviction. This was no accident.

I don’t doubt that Rees is not the only one to be disturbed by the basic elements of my position,

which include the suspicious behavior of the FBI in arriving at the scene too early to have come

in response to requests after the crash and of the NTSB in deferring to the FBI about the

absence of indications of terrorist activities, WHEN THE CAUSE OF THE CRASH HAD

YET TO BE DETERMINED! In case Rees has overlooked it, the cause of the crash has still

to be determined.

It is my opinion that the FBI arrived early in order to clean up any evidence, such as time pieces

and clocks, that might contradict the official finding, which, by predetermination, is going to

attribute the crash to pilot error—even though the NTSB’s own simulations and the FAA re-

certification of Richard Conry, the pilot in charge, which occurred only two days before the

crash, contradict it!

I have not covered all of these bases on my own but have also benefited from the research of

others, including members of http://groups.yahoo.com/group/0FETZERclaimsDEBUNK/, the

forum that Thomas Bieter created to assail my work. Considerable discussion has revolved

about my used of the term “tower” and “communication”, insofar as the Eveleth-Virginia does

not have a physical tower. I have explained that I was referring to the function, not the

structure, but if there had been no genuine communication, it would have been impossible for

there to have been “an abrupt cessation of communication” as my position implies. Since this

became a hot topic on the forum, it would be a shortcoming of my research if I had this all

wrong. Laura <twainable2@hotmail.com>, fortunately, has made several valuable discoveries,

which she has posted on the forum that clarify this issue.

Ruppert and Taglieri, for example, quoted a piece from The New York Times (October 2002),

where Carol Carmody, citing “air traffic control records”, reported, “At 10:18, he was cleared

for an east-west approach to the runway, and, according to radar, the plane was lined up with

the runway. ‘That was the last transmission conversation with the pilot,’ Ms. Carmody, a former

CIA employee, said.” Laura also discovered an NTSB Report (February 2003), which has

1519:12 (10:19) as the last “co-pilot/control tower communication”. Both support my use of

the word “communication”, but the difference in time between 10:18 and 10:19 requires further


Another difference Laura noticed is that both NTSB reports have the 10:19 radar returns the

same—at 3500 feet. But the November 2002 article (quoting The Times) has the last radar

return 2 minutes later: “Two minutes later, radar recorded the last sighting of the plane at 1,800

feet and a speed of 85 knots just northeast of the accident site.” The NTSB report (February

2003) says the last radar return was one minute later: “The last radar return was received at

1520:23. Radar data indicated N41BE was 4 miles southeast of EVM at an altitude of 2,300

feet with ground speed of 160 knots.”

Laura provides links for comparison, which are available at the forum, where the post from

which I am quoting here is message #535. When a forum participant, Craig Lamson, asked for

more supporting information, Laura was able to oblige.

In her message #544, she offered the following excerpts taken from an article published

Monday, 28 October 2002, “Relatives visit Wellstone plane crash site”, which is situated at

http://www.brainerddispatch.com/stories/102802/sne_1028020018.shtml, namely:

EVELETH (AP) — A makeshift memorial adorned with roses and a picture of a smiling Paul

Wellstone rests in a clearing about 100 feet from where a plane crashed killing the U.S. senator

and seven others.

“...Carol Carmody, acting chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said

investigators reconstructed the flight based on information from radar, tapes and air traffic


“At 10:01 a.m., controllers cleared the plane to approach the Eveleth airport. The pilot was then

advised of light icing between 9,000 and 11,000 feet. At 10:10, the plane began its descent.

Controllers cleared the pilot for an east-west approach to the airport at 10:18—the last

exchange with the pilot.”

Laura also offered a link to The New York Times article she had cited, which may be found at

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/28/politics/28CRAS.html. And in her message #545, she

posted excerpts from the St. Paul Pioneer Press, which may be found at


“Two minutes before crash, plane was already drifting”,by Hannah Allam, Todd Nelson, Phillip

Pina, and Charles Laszewski, The Pioneer Press (Monday, 28 October 2002):

“...The flight, which left the Twin Cities at 9:37 a.m. Friday, had been routine until its final

minutes, according to a reconstruction of the flight based on radar data reviewed by

investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board.

“At 10:18 a.m., the pilot got clearance to land at the Eveleth Virginia Municipal Airport, lined

the aircraft up with the runway and was heading straight west. Everything appeared routine, said

Carol Carmody, acting NTSB chairwoman.

“’There was no evidence on the controller’s part or from the pilot’s voice that there was any

difficulty,’ Carmody said of the last conversation between the pilot and the ground. ‘No

reported problems. No expressed concern.’

“Something changed in the next 60 seconds, because at 10:19 a.m. the twin-engine aircraft

began drifting slightly to the south, radar showed. The last appearance on radar came about two

minutes later, as the plane was just north of the crash site’s east side.”

If these references do not settle my use of the phrase, “cessation of communication” (and

implicitly the use of the term “tower”), then I am at a loss as to what it would take.

The time differential might be explainable in several different ways. A cell phone listing of 10:18

could also have been 10:18:59 or anything in between. Clocks have been known to be 1 or 2

minutes off GMT, even though it would be reasonable to assume that the FAA would be

accurate. The discrepancy between my inference that the cessation of communication was at

10:18 and the NTSB report that the last communication was a minute later at 10:19 thus

appears to be more illusory than real. Nor is it difficult to imagine that a minor transcription (or

rounding) error could have resulted in changing a "7" into a "9", which provides an alternative

explanation. Neither precludes the possibility the plane was intentionally taken down.

As cover-ups go, this is not asking for much. In the case of JFK, autopsy X-rays were

fabricated (to conceal a massive blow-out to the back of the head, in the case of the lateral

cranial X-ray; and to add a 6.5 mm metallic slice, in the case of the anterior/posterior X-ray),

someone else’s brain was substituted for that of JFK; Lee Harvey Oswald was framed using

fake photographs, among other phony evidence; and a home movie of the assassination was

fabricated to conceal the crime. If I now suggest that the communication record may have been

compromised by changing a single digit, no one should suppose that is asking a lot in covering

up the death of a US Senator. But it does place emphasis on my reliance upon the anomalous

cell phone experience reported by John Ongaro. This is especially the case since some of my

critics, such as Josiah Thompson, have been adamant that John has “backed off” his original

claim and now thinks it was nothing out of the ordinary. In the front-page story on Bieter’s

threatened lawsuit that appeared in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (3 June 2003), he played

down its significance, which both surprised and disappointed me.

He was even quoted as saying, “It’s not unusual for cell phones to cut out, especially in

northern Minnesota”. That was most certainly not his response at the time, when he initially

contacted me after I had published my first two columns on this subject and made a few

appearances on radio talk shows. Here is the post that John Ongaro sent to me at the time.

Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 00:41:26 -0600

From: John Ongaro <email address omitted>

Subject: Wellstone Crash/ I was within a stone’s throw of...

To: jfetzer@d.umn.edu


I have both read your two stories in the Reader and also heard you on the Duke Show

concerning the suspicious events surrounding Senator Wellstone’s death. Although as a rule I

am usually skeptical of conspiracy theories, etc, in this instance, I think you may be onto


The morning of Wellstone’s crash, I too was on the way to the funeral of Benny Rukavina. In

fact, after the funeral when we first heard about the crash and the approximate time of the crash

was reported as 10:21, I immediately thought to myself, “Jeez, I was within a couple of miles of

that airport (traveling north on Hwy. #53, due west of the airport) at almost that exact moment.”

The reason I was sure of this, was because I arrived at the church at exactly 10:35 after picking

up my mother in law who lives just two short blocks away. Having driven this route hundreds of

times, I know that it is exactly 10 minutes to Virginia from the Hwy #53 & #37 (to Hibbing)

intersection. The airport is just a stone’s throw from this intersection.

The weather, although not sunny and warm, was not freezing rain or snow either. Instead it was

cloud, hazy, with little or no wind and just above freezing. An occasional mist fell. What was

happening 10,000 feet up, may have been another story, but at and near the surface there was

nothing that appeared threatening in any way.

More than anything, what caused me to write you is your electromagnetic theory and how such

an event could disable the plane. You see, just a few minutes prior to reaching the Hwy #53 &

#37 intersection, I distinctly remember receiving a call on my cell phone. Although I have

received calls on my cell phone before that have had bad reception and barely audible, this call

was in a league of its own. When I answered it, what I heard sounded like a cross between a

roar and a loud humming noise. The noise seemed to be oscillating and I could not make out

any words being spoken. Instead, just this loud, grotesque, sometimes screeching and humming


Since then, I have discovered that a friend of mine who I had tried to call earlier that morning,

said he returned my call that morning and left me a message. He said his message was

something like, “Another gloomy day in NE Minnesota!” Little did he know how gloomy it was

about to get! Strangely, I never did receive his message on my voicemail, however, and to

prove my point about receiving the call will go back through my old cell phone records to see

the exact time when the incoming call came in, if you think there is good reason to do so. Could

an EMP type event cause this to happen to a cell phone within a few miles of the immediate


Finally, I am also still troubled by an email that a friend of mine sent me the week after the crash.

He said that several of his coworkers who are pilots, insisted that there was no way that the

plane should have burned up the way it did. They said that someone in the immediate vicinity of

the incoming plane (a nearby resident, I believe) had reported to the media that they thought

they had heard a loud band, like a gunshot, just prior to the crash. My friends email said his

coworkers theorized that a hunter (or sniper, if your at all in the ballpark) could have shot the

plane and that leaking fuel could have ignited an engine. My friends coworkers said that,

otherwise, it is unheard of for other plane crashes of this type of small plane to have a fire

incident like this one connected with it.

Knowing Congressman Oberstar quite well, I decided to forward my email onto his Duluth

office. Ironically, they emailed me back with a message that stated that the FBI had already

informed them that they had already investigated any possibility of foul play and had ruled it out.

Hmmm...I wonder if it was one of their “early arriving agents?”

If you think there is any reason to further look into either of these two strange occurrences that I

have presented you, please feel free to contact me.

John Ongaro

The remarks from his coworkers about the crash are interesting, but I find his experience with

Congressman Oberstar, whom he knows personally, to be extraordinarily disconcerting. This is

very much like the announcements from Dallas that three shots had been fired by a lone gunman

less than an hour after the event! Some reports are simply incredible on their face. So John

Ongaro was not minimizing the importance of his experience at the time. Indeed, more than two

months later, it was still very much on his mind. He sent me the following post on 16 March

2003. His suggestion was brilliant and right on the money. Ask yourself if this post comes from

a man who does not believe something suspicious occurred in the death of Paul Wellstone—and

admire, as I do, the clarity of his reasoning about this event and the context of its occurrence.

Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 00:39:09 -0500 (EST)

From: <email address omitted>

Subject: john ongaro has sent you an article from NPR Online

To: jfetzer@d.umn.edu

This NPR article was sent to you by john ongaro (email address omitted) with the following


This segment on EMP ran on “talk of the nation,” yesterday. I thought you would find it

interesting...By the way, couldn’t one of your colleagues in statistics rate what the odds were of

two Democrat U.S. Senators getting killed in plane crashes in the final 10 days of a neck and

neck election within 2 years of each other, then having Ashcroft directly and indirectly involved,

the same former CIA, NTSB investigator, etc, etc? I bet one might have a better chance of

winning the lottery, twice! Once people saw what the odds of this all happening were, maybe

then this would be construed as perhaps more than the “mother of all coincidences.” Call me, I

might have another lead for you.

The article title is “NPR : News Roundup: EMP Bomb” and can be found at


Portions of John’s original post were published previously in the Reader, but the totality of his

message—and his subsequent correspondence—have become of immense importance to

understanding the case. I am not surprised that he has “backed off” recently as this matter has

received more and more attention from the press and the public. John makes his living as a

lobbyist for the City of Duluth, where he deals with members of both parties in the state

legislature. I suspect that he has wanted to move off the hot seat on this one, because it is not a

popular issue, especially with Republicans. Indeed, I can sympathize, because the verbal

assaults to which I have been subjected on Bieter’s forum—some of which even qualify as

sadistic—have far exceeded the boundaries of civilized discourse. I can understand his current


That does not mean what he has had to say in the past is not the best evidence. As decades of

research on the death of JFK have revealed, early—especially first day—eyewitness reports

tend to be far more reliable than their later testimony, which has often been revised under

pressure to conform to “official” findings. The FBI and the Warren Commission staff perfected

a three-stage practice to obfuscate the evidence: if a witness was too close and knew too

much, you did not call them; if they were called by mistake, you did not ask them questions that

would reveal their knowledge; if they were called and were asked questions that revealed their

knowledge, the testimony would simply be changed! It is not difficult to find what John had to

say in January and March is more credible than what he had to say in June.

I would like to believe that all of this now settles the matter regarding the phone call as well as

the cessation of communication. I suspect the plane was probably taken down by the use of a

weapon of a kind that most Americans do not know exists. There are whole families of new

radio frequency (RF) and electromagnetic pulse (EMP weaponry, including high-energy radio

frequency (HERF) guns, some of which have been around at least since the mid 1990s. Rees

says, “I may be out of date, but last I knew a nuclear detonation is required to produce an

Electromagnetic Pulse. I am unaware that such a force has been harnessed in an anti-aircraft

weapon, especially one small enough for assassins to skulk around in swampy woods.”

Actually, Rees is “out of date“ with regard to EMP weapons. Historically he is correct insofar

as EMP pulses are a by-product of nuclear explosions, but Time magazine and other nationally

respected publications have released stories earlier this year describing one od our new EMP

weapons, attached to non-nuclear cruise missiles, as having been available for use in our

invasion of Iraq.

Others, such as Craig Lamson, want to discount the NTSB’s own simulations on the grounds

that they were not conducted under exactly the same conditions. Doing that would require using

the original pilots, plane, and weather. Being that exact is obviously impossible, which suggests

a standard of evidence that could never be satisfied. I take it that the simulations by the NTSB,

which I discussed in my last column, are close enough to support the inference that the crash

was probably not caused by the pilots, the plane, or the weather, which means we have to

search elsewhere.

A whole column was devoted to “futuristic weaponry” appeared on 19 June 2003 in which,

among others, I even cited a Lt. General’s testimony to Congress on weapons of this kind (RF

specifically rather than EMP). In my column of 10 July 2003, I suggested a HERF gun may

have been a more practical weapon to employ in that terrain. If he had actually read my

columns, it would have been appropriate to cite them or at least discuss what I had said about

this subject, but he passed over them in silence.

His own methodology may have done him in. According to Rees, he has created a file on his

word processor, where my articles (as of that time) “consist of 99,841 characters, 16,919

words, 424 paragraphs, and 27 pages.” That is all well and good, of course, but it is no

substitute for actually reading. While Rees may be adept at computer searches, which may

support his claim that I have used the word “pilot” 97 times, searches like these can identify the

use of words in certain strings of symbols but they do not reflect the meaning, content, or

significance of what was written. Bereft of context, it is hardly surprising that he would not

appreciate where I stand or the evidence that supports it. His approach was very unlikely to

induce real understanding. One of us may owe the other an apology, but it is not I who owes

one to him.

Jim Fetzer, a professor of philosophy at UMD, maintains a web site on JFK and

other issues of public interest at www.assassinationscience.com, where he

recently posted a new, technically improved version of the Zapruder film.

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