Michael C. Ruppert
Copyright 2002, From The Wilderness Publications, www.fromthewilderness.com.
All rights reserved. THIS IS A SUBSCRIBER-ONLY STORY AND
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Nov. 1, 2002, 15:00 PST (FTW) -- The air crash deaths of Sen. Paul Wellstone, his wife, daughter, three staff
members and two pilots at approximately 10:25 a.m. on
Oct. 25 in Eveleth, Minn. has given rise to the widespread
belief -- shared by at least two members of the House
of Representatives who spoke on condition of anonymity
-- that the crash was a murder.
as important as the known details of the crash, in many
cases contradicting mainstream press reports, is the fact
that the belief is so widely held. It says something about
America that cannot and should not be ignored.
HISTORY TOO FULL OF COINCIDENCES
a historical standpoint Democrats are twice as likely
to die in air crashes as Republicans. Frequently, those
who have died were known to have been either involved
in the investigation of covert operations or to have taken
highly controversial positions in opposition to vested
Smith of the Progressive Review (www.prorev.com) published an
Oct. 25 story titled "Politicians Killed In Plane
Crashes." For his source he used a wonderful database
found at http://politicalgraveyard.com.
Of 22 air crashes involving state and federal officials,
including one ambassador (Arnold Raphael) and one cabinet
official (Ron Brown), FTW found that 14
(64 percent) were members of the Democratic Party and
8 (36 percent) were members of the Republican Party. If
the list was limited to only elected members of Congress,
the total was eight Democrats and four Republicans.
of the fatalities occurred during election campaigns.
Of those, four were Democrats and two were Republicans.
Maybe Democrats can't afford the same type of planes that
Republicans can. That certainly was not the case with
Paul Wellstone who was killed in a Beechcraft King Air
100, twin turboprop. The King Air is a favorite of many
politicians and is widely regarded as the "Cadillac"
of twin-engined propeller driven airplanes. The state
of Minnesota owns two of them. And as FTW
reported in October 1999, a Beechcraft King Air owned
by the state of Texas was a personal favorite of then-Gov.
George W. Bush. That particular King Air had a sordid
past however. It had previously been owned by the legendary
drug smuggler Barry Seal. (The Associated Press picked
up our story of the plane's history).
read our story on the Bush/Seal airplane connection, please
names on the list are readily connected to intrigue.
Hale Boggs, D-La., was killed in 1972 and had been an
outspoken member of the Warren Commission investigating
the assassination of JFK. Various sources reported that
he had openly expressed doubts about the commission's
Jerry Litton, D-Mo., was killed while campaigning for
a U.S. Senate seat from Missouri nearly two months before
the 1976 election. This was exactly the same fate that
was to befall Missouri Democratic Gov. Mel Carnahan twenty-four
Larry McDonald, D-Ga. and the national chairman of the
John Birch Society and creator of a private intelligence
operation called Western Goals, was killed on KAL 007
after it had mysteriously veered off course on a flight
to South Korea and ventured several hundred miles into
Soviet territory. The plane was shot down by the Soviet
air force. At the time, McDonald's Western Goals was being
exposed in an LAPD intelligence scandal linked to massive
domestic spying, the CIA and covert operatives like Gen.
Larkin Smith, D-Miss. was killed in a private plane crash
in 1989. At the time he had been working with veterans
of U.S. Army Special Forces looking into the deaths of
five Green Beret colonels, all of whom had been connected
to a covert CIA drug operation known as Watchtower. [Details
of Smith's death are included in the FTW
package "The Tyree Papers."]
of Commerce Ron Brown, a Democrat, was killed in a plane
crash in Croatia on April 3, 1996. There are many unresolved
mysteries with this incident, not the least of which is
a color photograph of a post mortem Brown, which is frequently
displayed by comedian/activist Dick Gregory, clearly showing
a bullet wound in the back of his skull.
Tower, a recently retired Republican senator from Texas
known for his heavy drinking, was writing a book about
the Iran-Contra affair when he was killed in a plane crash
in 1991. Tower had reportedly been extremely unhappy when
he had been denied an appointment as secretary of defense
by President George Herbert Walker Bush. Tower had also
been the chairman of a Reagan-appointed independent commission
no member of the Senate ranked higher on the Bush Administration's
enemies list than Minnesota Democrat Paul Wellstone. And
the enmity goes back years to when Bush's father was president.
The Nov. 4 issue of Time recounts an encounter between
Wellstone and the elder Bush after which he referred to
Wellstone as "this chickenshit." And it is known
that there has been at least one prior reported attempt
on Wellstone's life.
the months before his death Wellstone had voted against
several key Bush agendas including Homeland Security,
the Iraqi use of force resolution and many of Bush's judicial
nominees. In a Senate controlled 50-49 by the Democrats,
Wellstone was perhaps the single one-man obstacle to Bush's
fervent and stated desire to secure passage of the Homeland
Security measure prior to a U.S. invasion of Iraq.
the Senate reconvenes after the Nov. 5 election the balance
will be 49-49 with one independent, Sen. Jim Jeffords
of Vermont. Jeffords has been caucusing with the Democrats.
If there is a tie vote, Vice President Dick Cheney, as
president of the Senate, will decide the outcome.
special interest now is the Missouri Senate race, where
the victor will be seated immediately after the election.
Jean Carnahan -- whose husband Mel was killed in a similar
plane crash two years ago -- seeks to hold on to a seat
she gained by filling in for her husband after his death
just days before the 2000 election. Under Missouri law,
because of the death, the seat is only legally occupied
until a new election is held.
what happened to Paul Wellstone?
check of more than 50 of the world's leading news organizations
three days after the Wellstone crash left one clear impression:
the crash had been caused by "freezing rain and snow,"
limited visibility, and likely icing of the wings. One
CNN report on Oct. 24 described the plane as flying in
"snowy, frozen rain."
of these conditions, which did not exist as just described,
had anything to do with the crash.
can be ruled out for a number of reasons. First, as reported
in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Oct. 29, "Another
pilot who landed a slightly larger twin engine plane at
the airport on Friday, a couple of hours before Wellstone's
plane crashed, said in an interview that he experienced
no significant problems.
pilot Ray Juntunen said there was very light ice, 'but
nothing to be alarmed about. It shouldn't have been a
said he ran into moderate icing conditions at 10,000 feet
and requested permission to drop to 5,000. At that altitude,
he had only light icing. When he dropped to 3,400 feet,
to begin his approach, 'the ice slid off the windshield,'
to the NTSB [National Transportation Safety Board], Wellstone's
pilots received warnings of icing at 9,000 to 11,000 feet
and were allowed to descend to 4,000 feet. Juntunen said
he was able to see the airport from five miles out, and
another pilot landed a half-hour later and told him the
clouds were a little lower, but still not bad."
local press reports state that the weather conditions
at the time of the crash were overcast, with visibility
of three miles and a ceiling of 700 feet.
argument that the weather worsened immediately after these
two pilots landed and before Wellstone crashed is belied
by the fact that a contemporaneous Doppler weather radar
map of the region obtained by FTW from the
National Weather Service shows no major storm activity
and the same basic conditions as reported previously.
[Click image to enlarge.]
(Note: Image shows time in GMT. Duluth, MN is GMT -6.)
further clarify this, FTW interviewed a
retired commercial airline pilot who still maintains full
current FAA certifications. The pilot, who asked not to
be identified by name, provided FTW with
copies of his pilot's license, his current FAA medical
certificate, and his gold membership card in the Airline
reviewing the radar map he stated that there was nothing
inherently dangerous in what he saw depending upon what
additional conditions might be prevalent at the time like
ceiling and visibility. When advised that the reported
visibility was three miles with a ceiling of 700 feet
he stated, "That shouldn't be any problem, especially
if you have planes taking off right before and even at
the time of the crash."
various press reports the King Air was described as an
excellently powered aircraft, and that de-icing equipment
the Pioneer Press reported on Oct. 26 that Gary Ulman,
the assistant manager of the Eveleth-Virginia Municipal
Airport, "jumped into his own private plane and took
off in search of the missing aircraft" after noting
the Wellstone plane's delayed arrival. Therefore, the
icing conditions could not have been a contributing factor
in the crash, or else the airport manager would not have
has been disclosed by various local press sources, including
stories in the Oct. 28 and 29 Pioneer Press, is the following:
plane, although it was required to have only one, had
two fully licensed commercial pilots. The lead pilot had
5,200 hours of flying time and the highest possible certification.
No physical problems had been reported with either pilot;
plane was not required to and did not have either a flight
data recorder or a cockpit voice recorder;
plane had notified the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) that it was on approach to the airport and had activated
the runway lights;
time from the last radio contact with the FAA when everything
was normal until the crash was approximately 60 seconds;
pilots -- as is standard procedure for unmanned airports
-- had sent a radio signal from their airplane to equipment
at the airport which turned on the runway lights and activated
a directional beacon that would align the plane with the
runway. [Note: The Eveleth airport was not equipped with
a more sophisticated remotely activated instrument landing
system that would have provided feedback to the pilots
on speed, rate of descent and above ground altitude];
FAA found that "an airport landing beacon, owned
and maintained by the state...[was]...out of tolerance
Saturday and was retesting Sunday." This was later
confirmed by the acting chairwoman of the NTSB, Carol
Carmody; [Note: According to the NTSB web site
Carmody formerly worked for the Central Intelligence Agency.]
runway selected ran directly east to west and that Wellstone's
plane was on final approach from the east;
to FAA records as reported Oct. 29 in the WWorkers Daily,
at 10:19 a.m. at an altitude of 3,500 feet the plane began
to drift away from the runway toward the south;
to the same source, the plane was last sighted at 10:21
a.m. flying at 1,800 feet;
plane was found approximately two miles south of the eastern
half of the runway, facing south. [Early press reports
placed the crash site at between 2-7 miles east of the
runway. Subsequent television reports, accompanied by
maps, placed the crash site at this location. FTW
is continuing to investigate the exact location of the
propellers were turning at the time of the crash;
angle of impact was 30 degrees (extremely steep), indicating
the plane was out of control;
wing flaps, which should have been fully extended for
landing were only extended to 15 degrees (a setting used
for initial approach descent);
the plane had been traveling at approximately 85 knots.
quote from the Pioneer Press is interesting. "Radar
tapes indicate the plane had descended to about 400 feet
and was traveling at only 85 knots near the end of its
flight. It then turned south, dove at an unusually steep
angle and crashed."
from the aircraft's sudden change in direction and the
setting of the flaps, the airspeed is perhaps the most
intriguing known element in the crash. A number of factors,
if the data which had been released by the NTSB is to
be believed, indicate that the Wellstone plane stalled
just before crashing. A stall usually occurs when an aircraft's
nose is raised too steeply for the throttle setting of
account of a King Air's stall characteristics can be found
text described a situation where the stall warning horn
(an alert that warns if airspeed is too slow) was activated
under landing conditions (gear down with full flaps) at
85 knots. This writer has been in several small aircraft
and experienced the noise. It is intentionally loud, distracting
and unmistakable. The account stated that the actual stall
did not occur until the aircraft being tested reached
69 knots. That's 16 knots slower than what was reported.
factors like the plane's total weight and center of gravity
might have changed these outcomes. The FAA lists the standard
approach speed for a King Air B 100 (the type carrying
Wellstone) as 111 knots. Therefore the crash speed was
significantly below the recommended approach speed which
is generally estimated at 1.3 times the manufacturer's
listed stall speed.
fact that the planes flaps were extended only 15 degrees
would have raised the stall speed.
writer has spoken to several pilots who have flown high-risk
covert missions for the CIA or the Department of Defense.
One of them related to me once that it would be easy to
cause an aircraft to fly right into the ground by recalibrating
the airport's IFR approach equipment and resetting the
altitude. In fact, such a scenario was used in the movie
Die Hard II.
the Eveleth airport was equipped with only a directional
beacon to line the plane up with the runway. It has already
been established that this equipment was not "properly
calibrated" and yet there are no reports of any deviations
by either of the two pilots who landed safely shortly
before the crash. That might have been what caused Wellstone's
plane to veer off to the south.
press reports have described small hills around the airport.
that the ceiling was only about 700 feet and the plane's
rate of descent would have been between 300 and 500 feet
per minute it is possible that the plane emerged from
the clouds close to the ground and the pilots, seeing
that they were off course, initiated a sharp left turn
toward the south to initiate a go-around. They would not
have turned right because that would have taken them at
an angle over the center of the runway, something pilots
are trained not to do to avoid collisions.
this point, answers are hard to come by. A physical examination
of the crash site might reveal a large hill that would
have been immediately in front of the aircraft when it
emerged from the clouds. FTW has not found
any press reports that address this point.
imminent head-on crash into a hillside would have prompted
a "Hail Mary" yanking back of the control yoke
and an instant move to full throttle. FTW
has seen no press reports indicating the throttle settings
of Wellstone's plane -- only statements that the propellers
sabotage of flight controls that would only be triggered
under certain conditions or an incapacitating gas might
also offer explanations as to why a stall warning horn
was not responded to. King Airs have pressurized cabins.
are many questions, but the circumstances of the crash,
as known thus far, do not lead to conclusions of pilot
error, mechanical failure or bad weather. What does that
leave? It leaves us with three dead Democratic senatorial
candidates (Litton - 1976, Carnahan - 2000, and Wellstone
- 2002) who all died in small private airplanes just days
before critical elections.
WITH BLITZER OVER THE DEATH OF A KNOWN TARGET
experienced internet researchers, especially post-9-11,
understand the importance of immediately securing local
press reports and eyewitness statements to pivotal events
in the moments after they occur. Several keen observers
were able to transcribe the following live dialogue between
an on-the-scene reporter and CNN's Wolf Blizter.
There is no evidence that weather had anything to do with
But the plane was flying into some sort of ice storm,
was it not?
There is no evidence that the weather had anything to
do with the crash.
to these observers CNN immediately cut away from the on-scene
reporter who was not heard from again. Other watchers
noted a crawl along the bottom of the screen which, they
said, ran only one time, "Weather not a factor in
the stories currently posted on the CNN site still suggest
that the crash was caused by bad weather and icing.
Wellstone had been a target of an assassin once before.
He was strident opponent of Plan Colombia, a U.S. military
aid package which involves massive aerial spraying of
lands believed to be growing cocaine and the use of private
military contractors employed by companies like DynCorp.
Wellstone had traveled to Colombia to evaluate the program.
after his arrival on Dec. 1, 2000, as reported by a number
of news sources including the AP, a bomb was found along
his route from the airport. Although the State Department
later downplayed the incident, the general opinion was,
and remains, that as an outspoken critic of CIA and covert
operations, Wellstone had indeed been a target.
suspicions gained credibility the next day when Wellstone
and his staff were sprayed with glyphosate, a chemical
that has been routinely documented as the cause of a variety
of illnesses in the local population. It has left certain
regions of Colombia, as one native put it, "Without
butterflies or birds."
anonymous author, using the pen name Voxfux, actually
predicted Wellstone's assassination in spring 2001. The
story can be read at www.voxnyc.com.
In that missive the author predicted, "If the death
occurs just prior to the midterm senatorial elections,
expect it to be in a state with a close race. Expect a
'Mel Carnahan' style hit."
was able to receive comments on the crash from two Democratic
members of the House of Representatives. Both, who spoke
on condition of anonymity, stated that they believed that
Wellstone had been murdered.
said, "I don't think there's anyone on the Hill who
doesn't suspect it. It's too convenient, too coincidental,
too damned obvious. My guess is that some of the less
courageous members of the party are thinking about becoming
Republicans right now."
is a rare occurrence when this writer refers to a quote
from an unnamed CIA source. I have demonstrated in at
least four interviews with the staffs of both the Senate
and House Intelligence committees established that I know
sources who have worked for the CIA in some very nasty
day after the crash I 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. The message read, "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 around with. There will
be a few more strategic accidents. You can be certain