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Paranoid style: Sen. Wellstone's death was an acci

Craig Lamson

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Paranoid style: Sen. Wellstone's death was an accident? Yeah, right

Washington Monthly, Dec, 2004 by Justin Peters

Conspiracy is as American as apple pie!" says Jim Fetzer. "When two guys knock over a 7-11, they're engaging in a conspiracy. It happens all the time? Fetzer, a professor of philosophy at University of Minnesota-Duluth and the author of several books on conspiracy and assassination, is a self-professed expert on the topic, a luminary in the world of cabal-and-cover-up publishing. Which is why, on a bright, windy afternoon in late October, Fetzer is standing before a podium in a small conference room at Washington's National Press Club. Two years ago to the day, a small charter plane carrying Paul Wellstone, his wife and daughter, and several campaign aides crashed in a remote part of Minnesota, killing all aboard. Today, Fetzer is marking the anniversary of Wellstone's death with the release of his latest book, co-authored with Northern Arizona University professor Don "Four Arrows" Jacobs, titled American Assassination: The Strange Death of Senator Paul Wellstone.

There are about 15 people in attendance at the press conference, most of who seem to be the authors' friends and colleagues. They listen attentively to Fetzer's theories and nod along to his frequent digressions on the press ("Logic and evidence are not the strong suit for the American media") or John F. Kennedy's assassination ("The Zapruder film was recreated"). But they are most receptive to his main point, which is that Wellstone's death was no accident. As conspiracy theories go, the one limned in American Assassination is pretty simple: An electromagnetic pulse device, of "EMP," was used to kill the plane's instruments and cause it to crash, whereupon the FBI rushed to the scene and removed the cockpit voice recorder. Afterwards, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) covered everything up with a rushed, perfunctory investigation blaming the crash on pilot error--a finding at which Fetzer scoffs. Noting other elected officials who have died in small plane crashes in recent years, namely the late Missouri governor Mel Carnahan, Fetzer announces, "We do believe that the use of airplanes to take out political figures is a genuine phenomenon and an example of fascism." At this announcement, several audience members break into applause. The shadowy forces behind it all? None other than "the troika that controls the White House: Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld," according to Fetzer. Why? Because "Wellstone, the Senate's most liberal member, was an enemy of the Bush administration's way of doing business. "He was shifting the way people were looking at politics. He was dangerous to the neoconservative agenda," claims Jacobs, his taut, intense face at odds with the colorful Western garb he is wearing.

Supporting this audacious theory is a voluminous--though somewhat rickety--scaffolding of circumstantial evidence, which Fetzer and Jacobs energetically lay before their audience during their presentation. As evidence for the use of an EMP device, they cite reports of interrupted cell-phone calls and garage doors gone haywire, as well as the expertise of one John Costella, an Australian physicist and conspiracy aficionado who collaborated with Fetzer on his last book, The Great Zapruder Film Hoax. (Costella's support is all the more crucial given that the man who claimed his cell phone cut out due to the EMP later retracted his statement, admitting that it wasn't unusual for phone calls to cut out in northern Minnesota). As evidence that the plane was tampered with, they rely on reports that the smoke rising from the burning plane was bluish-white, rather than the black smoke that Fetzer asserts should have risen from a kerosene fuel-based fire. Then there is the intriguing fact that the plane's co-pilot was a flight-school acquaintance of Zacarias Moussaoui. Fetzer's not sure what this means, but he's certain that it means something. "There was actually a connection between the co-pilot and Zacarias Moussaoui," he blurts excitedly.


Read the rest at:


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Hi Craig;

          The link that you posted does not work.....

BTW: Have you read the book...??..what did you think of it..?

I thought it gave all much to think about..


Sorry it was broken, lets try this one.


Have not read the book but followed Fetzers work on this and I think it's bunk.

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Hi Craig;

           The link that you posted does not work.....

BTW: Have you read the book...??..what did you think of it..?

I thought it gave all much to think about..


Sorry it was broken, lets try this one.


Have not read the book but followed Fetzers work on this and I think it's bunk.


Thanks Craig for enabling the link....after reading the book, I meant to do a much through search on this subject, your post last evening reminded me..

After reading the link to Justin Peters of the Washington monthly, well I believe now more so, that the answers are not as simple as he implies.....Perhaps

you and others may be interested... :D

Senator Paul Wellstone

There are at least 381 links to Senator Paul Wellstone..His biography,political history, the information on his and his families death by airplane crash..He apparently was a very special kind of that rare man, we call, and honest Politician......Below you will find many links, not all.....some conspiratial, some government,some honoring the man and his accomplishments, some with simply many questions.....Non are to Dr.Fetzer's site, though that is available also...go to Google...he relates much information on the crash......as this search does not relate in anyway to him, just my inquisitiveness....After reading the book, and the post last evening, thankyou...Craig for drawing my attention to this subject again....I became even more interested, so I thought I would share with you some of what I have found...

I wanted to make it known and show the other side of the coin, here perhaps, as I think this site honours the Freedom of Speech, and wants to present all evidence and opinions not just in part or what a particluar individual may believe and chose not to present when he is of a different opinion, ......though in some areas I also see this being done...I thought on this special man it should not be left to any one sided view, so I took the time,to find more information for myself and decided to share it perhaps with the members..or anyone interested.

I have not completed reading all, but have been to many, and it seems there are many other people out there who do not believe this was a simply airplane crash and accident...

Read and make up your own minds, let no one do that for you ever..That relates to freedom...of speech and is your privilege alone...

So we proceed:

Two years ago, all eyes were on the Senate race of Senator Paul Wellstone. In the wake of the defection of Jim Jeffords, the White House hand-picked Norm Coleman to attempt to unseat the populist Wellstone. But Coleman still trailed Wellstone late in the campaign. On October 11th, Wellstone voted against the President’s war on Iraq, despite a dire personal warning of "severe ramifications" from Vice President Cheney. As the result of his vote, Wellstone’s popularity soared.

Then tragedy struck. Just ten days before his probable re-election, Senator Wellstone was killed in the mysterious crash of his small aircraft. On October 25, 2002, the American people suffered the loss of a leader for peace and justice. Some folks harbored suspicions. And some remember how the media blamed the weather.

After two years of research, James Fetzer, Ph.D. and Don "Four Arrows" Jacobs, Ph.D., prove that the weather did not kill Senator Wellstone. Nor were the two pilots incompetent, as the final report of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) would claim.

With impeccable logic, these two highly-lauded university professors ask the hard questions: Why the mysterious cessation of communication from the airplane right before the crash? Why did a passer-by experience cell phone interference at the exact time the pilots lost control? How did the FBI arrive at the crash scene, only an hour or so after the first responders, and eight hours before the NTSB?

At the time of Senator Wellstone’s death, 69% of Minnesotans polled said they had a hunch a "GOP Conspiracy" was at play. Now, a new book makes the case that the common people were right all along..


Analysis: Wellstone Anomaly

The webmaster of RadarMatrix makes the allegation that something fishy caused Senator Wellstone's plane to crash in Minnesota on October 25, 2002 at 10:20am. The claim is that some kind of Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) caused a problem with the aircraft and subsequently led to the crash. EMPs are bursts of energy that cause electrical failure of devices within the area of effect of the EMP. He then produces the following image from an infrared satellite image and draws attention to the black lines, which he calls "magnetic strips", which appeared on the image to the north and south of the airport where Wellstone's plane went down. His original claims may be found here.


The claims of such a high-tech conspiracy to kill the senator are not based in science.

First, an EMP causes severe problems with electronics in its area of influence. It is not a directed beam, but the affects are spread out in all directions from the burst. Had an EMP been employed against Wellstone's plane it would have affected all other electrical devices in line-of-sight including any nearby power lines which would have propagated the effect outside the area. While the possibility that the U.S. military has directed-EMP weapons is not entirely impossible, it is only speculation.

Second, since an EMP pretty much destroys everything that uses electricity, including engines and motors, we would expect the engines of a plane targeted by an EMP to shut down. However, evidence indicates that the engines on Wellstone's plane were operating when the plane crashed.

Perhaps most interestingly, however, is the IR satellite image above that the webmaster at RadarMatrix provides us with as evidence.

If you'll look at the time/date stamp on the image you'll see it is 10/25/02 at 05:15Z (Zulu). That equates to UTC or GMT. During Daylight Savings Time, which was in effect on 10/25/02, "Zulu" is 5 hours ahead of Central Daylight Time. That means that the satellite image provided at RadarMatrix at 0515Z was at 12:15am Centrail Daylight Time--over 10 hours before the Wellstone accident. When the above satellite image was taken the Wellstones and their plane were in St. Paul far outside the area enclosed by the "magnetic strips." So what relevance the above "evidence" has on a crash that occurred 10 hours later is very questionable.

Of course, the black lines, or "magnetic strips," are themselves irrelevant. While he suggests they are magnetic strips or some kind of signature of an EMP and somehow provoked by other radar anomalies (which themselves are irrelevant), the reality is that these are simply communications errors between the satellite and the receiving station. The GOES satellites from which these images are received operate in geosync orbit at approximately 22,000 miles above the equator. They are constantly making observations and transmitting data back to scientists and meteorologists, and they do a good job most of the time. But just like your cell phone occasionally has interference problems, so do satellites. If a satellite experiences interference during the transmission of the IR imagery, "noise" will be apparent in the resulting image.

While monitoring GOES imagery for a few days, here are a few examples of similar anomalies that I observed:

These are just a few examples. It seems that these kind of anomalies are pretty common on the GOES West satellite but, even so, appear from time to time on the GOES East satellite. That these relatively common communications problems happen at any given time is not particularly surprising and certainly not evidence of a conspiracy to kill a senator.


The evidence that RadarMatrix presents is flawed. The satellite anomaly presented is almost definitely a communications problem that can often be observed in different forms and magnitudes by constantly monitoring GOES satellite imagery. And even if the satellite imagery presented by RadarMatrix were something besides a communications error, the anomaly occurred more than 10 hours before the Wellstone accident.

The suggestion that the Wellstone crash was anything but an accident is completely unfounded based on the "evidence" provided by RadarMatrix.


How Very Convenient..Rense


Many reporters have already pointed out how convenient it is that that George W. Bush's most outspoken opponent was killed in a plane crash less than two weeks before an election in which his victory was essential to maintain Democrat control of the Senate. FoxNews.com, reported that Wellstone was flying in a "King Air A-100 turboprop, said to be one of the safest planes in the air." Further, reports indicate "freezing drizzle and light snow had been falling and there was light fog, but officials are not certain the weather contributed to the crash." In addition, "the plane's pilots called the airport to get clearance for landing when they were about seven miles out, and they reported no problems, said Gary Ulman, who was on duty at the small airport at the time." As a direct consequence of Wellstone's death, Bush now has control of both Houses of Congress.




Wellstone’s death comes almost two years to the day after a similar plane crash killed another Democratic Senate hopeful locked in a tight election contest, Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan, on October 16, 2000. The American media duly noted the “eerie coincidence,” as though it was a statistical oddity, rather than suggesting a pattern.

One might say, paraphrasing Oscar Wilde, that to lose one senator is a misfortune, but to lose two senators, the same way, is positively suspicious.

Last year two leading Senate Democrats, Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, were targeted for assassination with letters laced with anthrax. The federal Justice Department—headed by John Ashcroft, who lost to the deceased Mel Carnahan in the Missouri contest—has failed to apprehend the anthrax mailer.

Wellstone was in a hotly contested reelection campaign, but polls showed he was beginning to pull ahead of Republican nominee Norm Coleman, the former mayor of St. Paul, in the wake of the vote in the Senate to authorize President Bush to wage war against Iraq. The liberal Democrat was a well-publicized opponent of the war resolution, the only Senator in a tight race to vote against it.

More broadly, with the Senate controlled by the Democrats by a margin of 50-49, the loss of even a single seat could shift control to the Republicans. The immediate effect of Wellstone’s death is to deprive the Democrats of a majority in the lame-duck session scheduled for late November.

Without exaggerating Wellstone’s personal significance—he was a conventional bourgeois politician and no threat to the profit system—there are enormous financial stakes involved in control of the Senate. Republican control of the Senate would make it possible to push through new tax cuts for the wealthy and other perks for corporate America worth billions of dollars—more than enough of an incentive to commit murder.

See below..


Wellstone was the only progressive in the U.S. Senate. Mother Jones magazine once described him as, "The first 1960s radical elected to the U.S. senate." He was also the last. Since defeating incumbent Republican Rudy Boschowitz 12 years ago in a grassroots upset, Wellstone emerged as the strongest, most persistent, most articulate and most vocal Senate opponent of the Bush administration.

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 that party's number one priority this year.


In the mood for a cartoon...





More Rense:


A Government report:


Links to Facts & Commentaries about the plane crash of Senator Paul Wellstone and his family


In Appreciation


The Plane Crash: All files in alphabetical order.


Welcome to America's Future


As stated there is much more information, both pro and con on the web....My opinion..well I feel there has been the loss of too many good men over the years, through, assassinations, accidents, sudden deaths.etc...Many years ago I was not into conspiracies, but as time has gone by, and the good continue to die unexpectedly, and the questionable, continue to prosper and, live long healthy lives, I see a unequality about all this, that has raised my ire, and curiousity to the point, where yes, conspiracies at times have become the norm...IMO.

Thanks Bernice.

P.S....I do not know if the maps above will attach here, if not then you must go to them...for the information.


Edited by Bernice Moore
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Thanks Bernice,

I've read almost all of these links but perhaps other have not.

I made my mind up sometime ago based on quite a number of things.

First most of the CT's dismiss pilot error out of hand as a cause, but when it comes to small planes its the biggest cause of crashes. I can offer tons of crash data for small planes where that is the cause. In fact just last fall a King Air 200, with two very experienced pilots flew into a mountain carrying 10 members of the Hendricks Racing team. The plane was fine, the weather similar to the Wellstone crash but not as cold, and a good pilot and copilot aboard yet they ran the plane into the mountian. The cause was simple, the pilots screwed up.

Next most CT's say the weather was ok, not great, but ok and cite a plane landing hours before and also cite the airport manager taking off in his Cessna to look for the Wellstone plane as evidence the weather was ok. In doing so they make two grave failures. First, as we all know the weather is not a constant and it changes. Second, the airport manager flew well below the iceing level while the Wellstone aircraft decended for a number of miles right through the icing level.

And finally I sent all of my links on this case to a friend of mine who is a pilot. I have flown with this man many times in a King Air 200 on business. I trusted him with my life in every case. He knows his King Air inside and out and I trust his opinion. His comment to me was that even if his aircraft was hit by some "EMP" weapon, it would still fly.

I also asked him to querry some of his fellow pilots and they gave the same response.

He reminded me that while the King Air is a great aircraft, with very good all weather flying ability, sometimes pilots overstep their bounds. In his opinion the biggest reason for business aircraft crashes are passengers with "gotta get there itis" and pilots willing to try busting minimums to get them there. He also notes that the de-icing boots on a King Air work great...provided that the pilot performs the task as required.

Sometimes pilots just plain screw up. In this case my friend and his peers think the Wellstone aircraft was downed due to pilot error and weather. He believes it was a tail stall casued by ice and slow airspeed caused by a throttle back decent and then putting the landing gear down with too litttle airspeed and an iced tail section.

In total I see a wholesale dismissal of weather and pilot error in Fetzers theory and a whole lot of grandstanding and baseless speculation to arrive at their pre- conceived conclusion.

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  • 7 months later...

I couldn't agree more with Craig's assement of Fetzer's work on the Wellstone case. A lot of his information is flat out wrong. He omits things that undermine his case and he spins what he can't " sweep under the rug".

For more on why I feel that way go to the following thread


If that doesn't work try the following search on google

site:educationforum.ipbhost.com wellstone +conry

And if all else fails you can find it this way

The Education Forum > Controversial Issues in History > History Books > Jim Fetzer: The Strange Death of Paul Wellstone


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