by Robert O’Dowd
Treachery is the untold story of Iran/Contra, involving the sabotage of Arrow Air 1285, a highly questionable covert mission to deploy a nuclear backpack to destroy an Iraqi nuclear weapons research facility, the murder of two LAPD Bomb Squad officers, a covert operation involving guns-for-cocaine and US military bases and CIA proprietary aircraft. The forensic and physical evidence and testimony from witnesses support homicide, aircraft sabotage of a military chartered flight and the deaths of hundreds of Americans, the torture and murder of a DEA agent in Mexico with the taping of the torture provided by the CIA to DEA supervisory agents, and the murder of a Marine colonel and other Marines who were a threat to blow-the-whistle on the shipments of cocaine into Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, CA.
While not as compelling as the forensic evidence, the circumstantial evidence supports an aborted mission in Iraq to deploy a nuclear backpack resulted in the deaths of Americans. The dead were put into the cargo hold of Arrow Air 1285 in Cairo. Two team members were escorting the bodies to Fort Campbell, along with one or two B-54 Special Atomic Demolition Munition backpacks. The Army’s officer responsible for inspecting the aircraft in Cairo was denied a ramp pass to the plane. A rogue CIA team planted incendiary devices on the DC-8 in Gander, remotely blowing-up the aircraft on take-off. An Israeli-American counterterrorism expert confirmed in a video tape interview that an American helicopter landed at Gander while the DC-8 was refueling. Several men from the helicopter loaded a crate into the forward cargo hold. The sabotage of the aircraft and the connection to the CIA was uncovered by Arleigh McCree who was killed in a booby-trapped pipe bomb several weeks after reporting his findings to the federal government.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions was informed of these illegal activities by letter, dated April 4, 2018. The information provided to the Attorney General supported the need for an aircraft sabotage investigation of Arrow Air 1285 and criminal investigation of murders of DEA agent Kiki Camarena, LAPD Bomb Squad officers Arleigh McCree and Ron Ball, Marine Colonel James E. Sabow and other Marines. The Justice Department’s reply in August 2018 was that the April 4th letter didn’t indicate any prosecutable violations of “federal criminal civil rights statues.” The Justice Department’s response gave new meaning to the proverb “you can lead ‘em to water but you can’t make ‘em drink.”
The nexus among these felonies was the Iran/Contra scandal, which triggered the use of the national security blanket to protect powerful people against prosecution for aircraft sabotage, homicide and narcotrafficking.
MARINE COLONEL JAMES E. SABOW
Marine Colonel James E. Sabow was murdered at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, CA, to prevent him from blowing-the-whistle on cocaine trafficking into El Toro. The official cause of death was suicide, but the forensic evidence supports homicide and crime scene coverup. CIA proprietary C-130s flew guns to Costa Rica and El Salvador, returning with their cargo bays full of the white powder. These aircraft crossed the Mexican border with transponder codes issued by the government. Besides El Toro, March AFB and Homestead AFB were involved.
This cocaine pipeline fueled the crack cocaine epidemic, resulting in the deaths, addictions and imprisonment of thousands of Americans. Billions of dollars were made from cocaine trafficking, funding an unauthorized war in Nicaragua, other covert operations and lining the pockets of those in the know or on the take.
Those who were a threat to blow-the-whistle like Colonel Sabow were murdered. The ‘official’ manner of death for Colonel Sabow was suicide. But the forensic evidence supports homicide, crime scene tampering by federal agents, doctored autopsy photographs and a government cover-up.
Bryan Burnett, forensic scientist, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA, and Dr. Robert MacLachlan, neurologist, Rapid City, SD, reported on the colonel’s homicide and Defense Department cover-up in the UK Journal of Forensic Research in late 2017 and early 2018. Their articles were peer-reviewed by other forensic experts and passed the litmus test for publication. They are not the imaginations of unqualified individuals, but that of court-recognized experts in forensic science.
The autopsy photographs showed a depressed right occipital skull fracture on the back of Colonel Sabow’s head. The colonel received a powerful blow by a club to the back of his head before the intraoral shotgun blast. Burnett examined the gunshot residue (GSR) and back splatter residue (BSR) by scanning electron microscopy/elemental analysis, the bloodstains on and around the body, the staging of the body and reconstruction of the death scene. Burnett used CSI techniques to reconstruct the crime scene and demonstrated that the intraoral shotgun blast was used to fake a suicide scenario. After being struck, he was rendered unconscious, falling to the ground on his right side. A fatal brainstem injury followed. The injury caused central neurogenic hyperventilation and because he was lying on his right side, he aspirated one-half liter of blood into his right lung. Death soon followed. Because the Colonel had already expired when an assailant shot him intraorally with the 12-gauge shotgun, there was no blood circulation, and only a small amount of blood was part of the gunshot blowback.
A message from the Commanding General to the Commandant of the Marine Corps was initiated and ZULU date stamped over eight hours before his death, supporting prior notification of the criminal act.
Others who supported the homicide and the conspiracy to commit murder of Colonel Sabow include: Dr. David Sabow, board-certified forensic neurologist, Rapid City, SD; Mr. Daniel P. Sheehan, attorney, Santa Cruz, CA; Mr. Michael Jacobs, attorney and former supervising attorney, Orange County Homicide Unit, Anaheim, CA; Mr. Robert Romaine, retired Marine Corps Sergeant Major and retired Orange County Homicide Detective, Costa Mesa, CA; and Mr. W. Scott Goldie, film writer and documentary film editor and producer, Hollywood, CA.
DEA AGENT ENRIQUE KIKI CAMARENA
DEA agent Enrique Kiki Camarena was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in Mexico in February 1985. The official Mexican and US government version is that Rafael Caro Quintero, a Mexican drug cartel leader, was responsible for the torture and death of Camarena. Quintero was convicted of Camarena’s murder but freed from a Mexican prison in August 2013 after serving 28 years of a 40-year sentence. Fifteen months later, the court reversed its ruling. Quintero’s whereabouts are unknown.
In interviews with Proceso, Phil Jordan, former director of the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), Hector Berrellez, former DEA agent, and former DEA agent Celerino “Cele” Castillo reported they had evidence that the US government ordered the murder of Camarena. In addition, they pointed to Felix Ismael Rodriguez, retired US Army officer, former CIA agent, and Cuban American, as the murderer. Rodriquez, who managed the guns-for-drugs covert operation in El Salvador for the National Security Council, was a long-time CIA operative and associate of Lt. Colonel Oliver North and Donald P Gregg, National Security Advisor for Vice President George H. W. Bush. Rodriquez vehemently denied any involvement in Camarena’s death.
ARROW AIR 1285
At Gander, Newfoundland, Arrow Air 1285 was the worst American military aircraft crash, killing 248 Airborne troops and eight Arrow Air professionals. The forensic, physical evidence and eyewitness testimony supports an airborne explosion and fire. Creditable sources lend support to a government coverup of an aborted covert mission to use destroy an Iraqi nuclear research facility as a quid pro quo for Israeli support in the transfer of Hawk and TWO missiles to the Iranians. Testimony from a counterterrorism expert and other sources support the DC-8 was deliberately destroyed by rogue intelligence operatives on December 12, 1985, to prevent soldiers on the aircraft from blowing-the-whistle on an aborted covert mission to use a nuclear backpack (nuclear bomb) to destroy an Iraqi nuclear weapons research facility. Casualties from the mission were loaded on the aircraft in Cairo. Survivors were angry and the risk of someone blowing-the-whistle was high and the motive for a rogue CIA team to plant incendiary devices on the aircraft in Gander and remotely detonate them on take-off. The intended use of a nuclear backpack in the Middle East would have resulted in calls for impeachment for Reagan and Bush, criminal charges against those who ordered and executed the sabotage of the aircraft and murdered hundreds of American 101st Airborne troops.
Donald Devereux, long-time print and TV journalist, Tempe, AZ and Charles Byers, former owner of Accuracy Systems Ordinance Corporation, New River, AZ, provided information that incendiary devices and napalm chemicals planted in soda cans were used to remotely destroy the DC-8-63 aircraft in Gander. Byers’ company sold the incendiary devices exclusively to the CIA.
Under international law, the Canadian government was responsible for determining the cause of the crash. The Canadian Air Safety Board in a 5 to 4 split decision ruled that icing was the cause of the crash. The facts support that icing was not the cause. The Gander Airport meteorologist reported no precipitation while the aircraft was on the ground. The ground crew that had their hands on the surfaces of the aircraft reported no ice. The four professionals on the CASB agreed that fire and explosion were the probable cause of the crash.
Witnesses reported fire on the aircraft on take-off. Their conclusions are supported by forensic evidence reported by Dr. Cyril Wecht, internationally recognized pathologist and attorney, who examined toxicological profiles on file with Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), finding carbon monoxide levels in several dozen individuals greater than 70%. These were lethal levels. Dr. Wecht opined that fire on the airborne aircraft had to be responsible for the high levels of carbon monoxide since no individual could have survived ground impact.
Jubal Aviv, counterterrorism expert and FOX TV consultant, testified in a video tape interview with Terri Taylor, KDKA-TV Pittsburgh, PA, that he had witnesses to an intelligence helicopter landing at Gander while Arrow Air 1285 was refueling. Four men with government credentials from the helicopter loaded a crate into the cargo hold of the DC 8-63CF. The aircraft was remotely blown-up on take-off. The motive was to prevent those on the aircraft from blowing-the-whistle on an aborted mission to use a nuclear backpack in Iraq. The US Army disputed any sabotage without any terrorist or criminal investigation by the FBI and the RCMP. There was no reconstruction of aircraft debris to determine the cause of the crash, and a push by the US Army for quick burial of aircraft debris.
Aviv reported there were bodies of dead “commandos” in sealed wooden boxes loaded on the aircraft in Cairo. To make room for the wooden boxes, Lt. Col. Marvin Jeffcoat, Commander, 3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry, ordered the removal of 41 duffel bags. Arrow Air Captain Schoppaul observed “possibly 4 wooden boxes” loaded in the cargo compartment. He guessed their weight at 160 pounds, and it took two men to load them in the cargo hold. Schoppaul guessed the dimensions at 6 feet by 2 feet by 14 inches, “about the size of a coffin.” There was no manifest for the wooden boxes. The US Army later reported the wooden boxes contained aircraft parts for Arrow Air. The airline denied it. Separation of soldiers’ clothing and equipment from them is a highly unusual act. Captain Gerald De Porter, accredited as the customs supervisor for the MFO, inspected the hold package for the 2nd lift in the Sinai in December 1985. He then rode with the sealed trucks from the Sinai to Cairo. Captain DePorter was denied a ramp pass to inspect the wooden boxes and other materials loaded on the aircraft in Cairo.
Two Eygptair 737s carried a total of 242 troops from Ras Nasrani to Cairo. The other eight men (the Army revised the count down to 248 passengers, but Arrow Air testified there were 250 passengers), rode on the trucks or at least that was the assumption made by Dr. Les Filotas, member of the Canadian Air Safety Board and author of Improbable Cause: Deceit and Dissent in the Investigation of America’s Worst Air Disaster, who couldn’t find any documentation on the transport of the additional men and assumed they must have traveled in the trucks from the Sinai. The two additional soldiers, not included in the Army’s official count of the dead, were most likely survivors of a Special Forces Green Light team, escorting the bodies of their dead team members in the wooden boxes, home. The covert mission reported by Aviv was top-secret, but it was not a hostage rescue mission but one to deploy a nuclear backpack in the Middle East.
Gene Wheaton, retired Army criminal investigator, opined that the nuclear backpacks were intended for use in a hostage rescue mission in the Middle East. Wheaton believed that the backpacks were intended for use in covering the escape of the hostages, but the radioactive fallout would have been deadly and nearly impossible to hide. The use of a nuclear weapon to cover the escape of hostages would have generated world-wide criticism of the US. Instead, as insane as it was, the use of the nuclear backpack to blow-up an Iraqi nuclear weapons blaming the explosion and fallout on the Iraqis is easier to understand. Don Devereux and others believe the Green Light covert mission was undertaken as a quid pro quo for Israelis support in supplying weapons to the Iranians.
One box, fitting the size of a backpack nuke, had been carried from the Sinai on board one of the EgyptAir 737s. The B-54 Special Atomic Demolition Munition (SADM), a backpack nuke, weighed about 58 pounds, and could be carried by one soldier so this was not one of the wooden boxes observed by Arrow Air Captain Schoppaul at Cairo. A backpack nuke was not part of the unit’s inventory. No Special Forces were part of the 3rd Battalion.
At Gander, a fire burning 50 feet into the ground supports the destruction of a nuclear core from an SADM. Also, an American Explosive Ordinance Team (EOD) at Gander were ordered to wear their dosimeter badges (used to detect radiation levels), and Canadian firemen suffered the effects of radiation exposure, not something associated with the crash of a DC 8-63CF.
Sergeant Todd Jennings, age 20, a member of the 3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry, who was killed in the crash, wrote a poem to his mother where he cited top secret terms, “Lucifer Directive and “Omega Deception.” The poem was copyrighted by his mother. A Lucifer Directive was an order to deploy a weapon of mass destruction (clearly a nuclear bomb) while Omega Deception meant “to shift the blame away from those who actually used it.” Devereux concluded that Sgt. Jennings’ use of these terms “seem to apply to [the] covert mission to take out an Iraqi nuclear weapons plant.”
How did Sgt. Jennings come to know these top-secret terms? In the 1980s, skilled Green Light teams from the Special Forces, Navy Seals, and Marine Recon were trained to deploy a nuclear backpack. Backpack nukes were part of the NATO inventory, stored in Europe and volunteers were trained in their deployment as part of the tactics to slow up an invasion of Western Europe from overwhelming Russian conventional forces. There was no need for them in the Sinai and it’s very unlikely that any backpack nukes were kept in the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) arsenals. Sgt. Jennings had to have contact with someone he knew in the Sinai on a Green Light team who shared this information with him.
On August 20, 2016, Bob Romaine, retired Orange County homicide detective and cold case investigator, and I wrote a joint letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the sabotage of Arrow Air 1285, and the failure of the RCMP to conduct a thorough investigation. The Canadians were courteous but stuck to icing as the cause of the crash.
The presence of US Army Major General John Crosby at Gander who pushed for an early burial of aircraft debris was highly unusual, bordering on interference with Canadian responsibility for investigating the aircraft crash.
There are two logical and nefarious reasons for the US government to push for a quick burial of aircraft debris: (1) a finding of elevated radiation levels in the debris would show that one or more nuclear backpacks were on the aircraft, and (2) reconstruction of the aircraft would confirm a fire and explosion while the aircraft was airborne, supporting the need for a sabotage investigation. The fact that no effort was made by the Canadians to reconstruct the aircraft debris was unconscionable, supporting cooperation with the US in covering up the sabotage of the DC-8.
LAPD BOMB SQUAD MURDERS
Arleigh McCree, the head of the LAPD Bomb Squad, connected the Arrow Air 1285 crash to the CIA and reported his findings to the federal government. Within a month, McCree and officer Ron Ball, his partner, were killed in a booby-trapped pipe bomb. Donald Lee Morse, a Hollywood make-up artist with no military experience in explosives, was convicted of their murders.
The booby-trapped pipe bombs and trail of evidence used to convict Donald Lee Morse supports the involvement of a sophisticated CIA team in the murders of McCree and Ball. McCree, an internationally renowned bomb disposal expert, connected the Arrow Air 1285 to incendiary devices sold exclusively to the CIA. His report to the federal government could be classified, even destroyed but McCree knew that icing was not the cause of the crash. The risk of McCree leaking his finding to the media was unacceptable. Those involved in the sabotage of Arrow Air 1285 made the call to kill McCree, planting evidence to convict an innocent Hollywood make-up artist of booby-trapping a pipe bomb to fool a world class bomb disposal expert.
Retired LAPD Detective Captain Robert Michael reported in 2017, on a Canadian website, that McCree’s and Ball’s deaths were linked to the Gander crash. Bob Romaine’s efforts to track down Michael were unsuccessful. None of his many LAPD contacts wanted to help.
Charles Byers, the other man who knew about the CIA’s involvement in the crash of Arrow Air 1285, was targeted too. A package addressed to Byers exploded when his plant manager opened it, killing him. His manufacturing facility was taken over by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Records destroyed. Finally, he was convicted of a federal procurement fraud in a highly questionable transaction. Now as a convicted felon, his testimony about Arrow Air 1285 could be challenged.
Those responsible for their murders need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The information needed for a criminal investigation is protected by the national security blanket. Justice demands that there is no place to hide for those involved in homicide. The dead Americans can’t speak for themselves.
Robert J. O’Dowd
Robert O’Dowd is a Marine Corps veteran who served on active duty for 52 months with the 1st, 3rd and 4th Marine Aircraft Wings in the 1960s. At Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, CA, he was assigned to Marine Wing Services Group 37, “Spook Corner,” the area where CIA proprietary C-130s, offloaded cocaine in the 1980s and 1990s. This was the most industrialized area of the base. The perfect location to offload cocaine in the early morning hours with only a few Marines on duty watch. To cross the Mexican border, the aircraft had government-issued transponder codes to avoid interception by US Customs and Border Protection aircraft. The white powder was off-loaded by long-air civilians in jeans into waiting vans. Marine MPs would stop any vehicle without a government-issued decal. It was obvious that this was a government approved operation. Retiring from the Defense Department in 1996, he teamed up with Tim King, Marine veteran and founder of Salem-News.com, to write about the environmental contamination at El Toro and Camp Lejeune, two EPA Superfund bases, and the health effects to veterans unknowingly exposed to toxic chemicals and radiation. His reporting led him to the sensational murder and government cover-up of Marine Colonel James E. Sabow at El Toro, the sabotage of Arrow Air 1285 and the deaths of 258 Americans in Gander, Newfoundland, other murders and the trafficking of cocaine into El Toro, the fuel for the crack cocaine epidemic. The official dead count from Arrow Air 1285 was 256 Americans, including 248 Airborne troops and 8 crew members. Arrow Air reported 250 passengers. There are convincing reasons to believe that the Army deliberately understated the dead to avoid including two Special Forces passengers, escorting the bodies of dead Green Light team members, loaded in the cargo hold of the DC-8 in Cairo, to Fort Campbell. Arrow Air 1285 failed to clear US Customs in Cairo when the officer responsible for inspecting the aircraft was denied a ramp pass. This and other factors support an aborted covert mission to deploy a nuclear backpack in the Middle East. The names of the dead Special Forces are known only to God. You can write Robert at email@example.com.
Cast of Characters
ADAMS, Wayne T. Brigadier General. Commanding General, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) El Toro in January 1991. Transferred to Quantico later in May 1991. In a military hearing at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Adams was found guilty of filing an expense claim for a trip to Big Bear with his fiancée and given false information to military investigators about the trip. Adams had been using a military-owned C-12 Beechcraft for personal purposes.
AGENBROAD, Jerry. Colonel. On February 24, l995, five days after “60 Minutes” did a story on illegal C-130 acquisitions, Colonel Jerry Agenbroad was found hanged in the Bachelor Officers Quarters at El Toro. His death was determined to be a suicide by the government. He oversaw Morale Welfare Recreation (MWR), which included responsibility for contracts with civilian air carriers, at the time of his death and at one time headed the El Toro air museum. One aspect of Iran/Contra was the exchange of retired C-130 and P3-A aircraft for obsolete C-119 aircraft owned by CIA proprietary airlines. The retired military aircraft were obtained from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (the military aircraft boneyard), refurbished at contractor expense and put back into service. This was an illegal activity and resulted in the conviction and imprisonment of two individuals. This was reported to the US Attorney for Arizona by Gene Wheaton, together with the names of individuals and the serial and tail number of the military aircraft. No action was taken by the DOJ, and Wheaton, a retired Army criminal investigator, was found dead from a fall on December 31, 2015. A review of his files kept by one of his daughters found no supporting documentation. Wheaton’s death was ruled an accident by local officials.
ALBIN Gary, Lieutenant Colonel. Gary Albin was returning some flight manuals to Colonel Sabow the morning he was murdered. Getting no answer, Albin decided to wait on the porch and try again. This probably saved Sara Sabow’s life as the original intent was to murder Sara, and “suicide” Colonel Sabow. Albin sees Colonel Sabow’s corvette in the driveway, and concludes that he is home when Colonel Underwood, the next-door neighbor, intercepts him, and takes the manuals from Albin. Underwood is never questioned as a person of interest by the NIS crime scene team. Outside of the immediate family, he’s the only person who knew the 12-gauge shotgun was moved from the garage to Colonel Sabow’s bedroom.
AVIV, Juval. Israeli American counter terrorism expert, security consultant and former Israeli intelligence operative. In the video report aired in February 20, 1990, Juval Aviv told Taylor that US intelligence operatives landed in a helicopter operated by an intelligence agency at Gander while the Arrow Air 1285 was refueling. Four men from the chopper loaded a crate on the plane. Aviv repeated his story to the Toronto Star that wooden boxes loaded on the aircraft in Cairo contained the bodies of “US commandos who died in a secret attempt to free US hostages in Lebanon.
BALDWIN CRAYCRAFT, Cheryl. NIS Crime Scene Investigator. She was the agent in charge of the crime scene investigation of the death of Colonel Sabow.
BALL, Ron. Bomb Squad officer killed on February 8, 1986, while defusing pipe bombs found in the garage of Daniel Lee Morse, a Hollywood make-up artist.
BLANDON, Danilo. He was a Contra drug trafficker in Southern California from 1981 to 1991. When the Somoza government was overthrown in 1979, Blandon fled to the United States, and raised money for the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN), a Contra group. Blandon sold drugs and weapons (via Ronald Lister and “Freeway” Rick Ross) to the Crips in Los Angeles. In 1986, Blandon was arrested on drug charges by the FBI. In May 1992, Blandon was convicted in US District Court (San Diego) on the federal charge of “conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute.” He was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison but was released due to time served. Following his imprisonment, Blandon was hired by the Drug Enforcement Administration at an annual salary of $42,000. He worked for the DEA to take down drug kingpin Rick Ross in a sting operation, which resulted in Ross’s conviction in 1997.
BURNETT, Bryan. Crime scene reconstruction, gunshot residue and digital imaging expert; published more than 80 publications in nine fields of science and Director of Meixa Tech, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA. Together with Dr. David Sabow investigated the death of Colonel Sabow and proved through gunshot residue and blood splatter evidence that Colonel Sabow was murdered. Burnet’s digital analysis of a high-resolution image of a fraudulent autopsy photograph shows it was likely the result of manipulation in the darkroom. A nearly identical photograph to the questioned photograph was submitted in a report to the US Congress in 2004 with a different fabrication. In December 2012, the original, unmodified photograph was discovered from which both manipulated photographs were likely generated. Comparisons of the two modified photographs to the original showed these photographs were modified to hide evidence. This study proves beyond reasonable doubt that perjured evidence submissions had occurred by the United States Department of Defense—the first to a Federal Court and the second to the US Congress.
BYERS, Charles (Chuck). Former owner of Accuracy Systems Ordinance Corporation, New River, AZ. Sergeant Arleigh McCree, the head of the LA bomb squad, visited Byers in his Phoenix plant in January 1986. Byers had samples of his special ordinance devices on display. McCree saw one of these items and told Byers that it was the device that blew up “the aircraft.” McCree told Byers that he would have to “get federal clearance to discuss this in more detail with him.” McCree and his partner were killed in a bobby-trapped pipe bomb four weeks later. Byers wrote Congressman Porter Goss, Chairman, House Intelligence Oversight Committee, that the device was sold by his company exclusively to the CIA. He received no reply to his letter and didn’t know that Representative Goss had been a CIA agent in the 1960s. Someone tried to kill Byers with a bomb in a package mailed to his Arizona office; his plant manager was killed when the package exploded. This was only the beginning of his troubles, including a false and bizarre case of attempting to assassinate the president of the Philippines.
CALLAHAN, Bill. Lt. Colonel, USMC (Rtd). Colonel Sabow’s former wingman and best friend describes corruption in a covert operation involved in the transporting of arms to the Middle East, including kick-backs from civilian contractors to Colonel Joseph Underwood, and the unsuccessful effort by the Marine Corps to discredit Colonel Sabow to force him to retire early from the Corps.
CAMARENA, Enrique Kiki. DEA agent and former Marine, kidnapped, tortured, and murdered in Mexico in February 1985. The official Mexican and US government version is that Rafael Caro Quintero, a Mexican drug cartel leader, was responsible for the torture and death of Kiki Camarena. Quintero was convicted of Kiki’s murder but freed from a Mexican prison in August 2013 after serving 28 years of a 40-year sentence. In October 2013, the Borderland Beat reported that Camarena was murdered on orders of the CIA because he had discovered the connection of drug trafficking and its profits to support the Contras.
CASTILLO, Celerino Retired DEA agent Celerino Castillo, along with Dave Harmon, gave the following account in their 1994 book, Powder Burns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War: “… every pilot had his own preferred technique for getting his illegal payload to US soil. Some liked the John Wayne approach, flashing their CIA credentials at Florida airfields and unloading the drugs in plain view. Those who wanted to maintain a lower profile shipped the kilos out in innocuous cargoes like towels, seafood, frozen vegetables, or auto parts. Many landed at military bases around the United States, knowing no one would inspect a Contra plane….”
CROSBY, John S., Major General, USA. MG Crosby, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, led the Army’s Gander Response Team. The stated mission of the Gander Response Team was to assist the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in search and recovery operations and to arrange for shipment of the remains of the Army’s dead to the United States. At the scene, MG Crosby ordered the debris buried. MG Crosby disputed the bulldozing order but Gene Wheaton, retired Army criminal investigator, interviewed personnel on site and had a copy of a hand-written note from a Canadian supporting the order. If fact, no attempt was made to reconstruct the aircraft, and the aircraft debris was buried.
DAVIS, J. K. Major General, USMC. Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps from July 1983 to May 1986. Had dinner with General Adams, General J. K. Davison, Marine Corps Inspector General, at Adams’ residence the evening of 1/18/91. Colonel Sabow called him the night before his death (1/21/91) to complain about the false accusations of misuse of government aircraft, and his decision to pursue courts martial, if formal charges were filed.
DAVISON, Hollis, General USMC. Inspector General of the Marine Corps arrived at MCAS El Toro to investigate allegations of misuse of military aircraft by Colonel Joseph Underwood.
DE PORTER, Gerald, Captain USA. Captain Gerald De Porter, accredited as the customs supervisor for the MFO, inspected the hold package for the 2nd lift of the 3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry, 101st Airborne Division in the Sinai in December 1985. He then rode with the sealed trucks from the Sinai to Cairo. Two Eygptair 737s carried a total of 242 troops from Ras Nasrani to Cairo. The other eight men rode on the trucks or at least that was the assumption made by Les Filotas (Improbable Cause) who couldn’t find any documentation on the transport of the additional men and assumed they must have traveled in the trucks. He was denied a ramp pass by the
DEVEREUX, Donald (Don). Graduate of Phillips Academy (Andover), a Korean War Army veteran, and a graduate of Michigan State University. A long-term member of Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), Devereux participated in IRE’s “Arizona Project” in 1976-77 — in the aftermath of the car-bomb murder of Phoenix journalist Don Bolles — which won several national news media awards for public service. His investigative work for the print media also earned him two Pulitzer nominations over the years. Since 1989, he frequently returned to the electronic media, working on a decade-long assignment with NBC-TV’s “Unsolved Mysteries,” as a field producer for A&E-TV’s “Investigative Reports,” and as a consulting journalist with the syndicated “Save Our Streets,” and “Inside Edition” as well as most recently with CBS News. Devereux provided information on the involvement of the CIA in the destruction of Arrow Air 1285 in Gander, Newfoundland, the deaths of two LAPD Bomb Squad officers linked to the Gander crash, and the involvement of Charles Byers, a Phoenix arms manufacture, in the sale of incendiary devices to the CIA. He has followed the Gander crash for over 30 years.
EITEL, Gary R. An attorney and Vietnam Air Force pilot in Vietnam who uncovered an illegal aircraft swap of military aircraft, blew-the-whistle, and shut down the program. The CIA needed C-130 transports for weapons and cocaine shipments, and the Department of Agricultural gave them the perfect excuse to obtain them until Eitel filed a successful qui tam lawsuit, which allows private citizens to sue on behalf of the government. Eitel claimed that the aircraft swaps (Fairchild C-119s for Lockheed Hercules C-130s and Lockheed Orion P-3As) were illegal since the military aircraft were used for nonfirefighting purposes, including hauling weapons oversees.
FELDMAN, Jack PhD. Chairman of the Department of Neuroscience at UCLA. He lectures worldwide and has published over 500 treatises on how the nervous system controls breathing. Dr. Feldman reviewed the Colonel Sabow autopsy report and couldn’t understand how blood entered the lungs as Colonel Sabow would have died instantly because his brain vaporized after the gunshot wound, making breathing impossible.
FIX, Ron. Colonel Ron Fix oversaw letting all civilian contracts, including those for servicing CIA proprietary aircraft. Before his early retirement in June 1991, he had the authority for the acquisitions and dispersal of aircraft through the MCAS El Toro air museum.
FOUQUER, FNU Captain, Deputy Provost Marshall. Several minutes after the fatal shot was fired, the Provost Marshall, Major Goodrow and his deputy, Captain Fouquer arrived at the Colonel Sabow crime scene. Staff Sergeant Randy Robinson intercepted their radio dispatch, an M.P., patrolling in the vicinity, who arrived a few minutes later.
GRAY, Alfred Jr., General, Commandant of the Marine Corp. The message from Brigadier General Adams regarding Sabow’s suicide was addressed to General Gray. The problem was that the message was dated eight hours before Colonel Sabow was murdered.
GRIGGS, George, Colonel He was one of General Al Gray’s immediate subordinates. As Grigg’s wife, Kay Pollard Griggs, said in several hours of a video tape posted on the internet, “Army General Carl Stiner, Marine General Jim Joy, General Charles Wilhelm, head of Marine Southern Command – part of Joint Special Operations Command, and my husband who worked under him at the State Department – they’re all Al Gray’s boys. Alleges that the Marines do the assassinations…”
GRODE, Bill, FBI Special Agent. FBI Agents Bill Grode and Fred Collins of the north central FBI district in Minneapolis sent a report on the Colonel Sabow case to Washington. Dr. David Sabow subsequently learned that it had been referred to the Los Angeles FBI bureau but that “it was too hot to handle” and sent back to Washington.
HANEY, Julie. NCIS cold case investigator from Camp Pendleton took on the Colonel Sabow case in 2010. Met with the Orange County pathologist but Bryan Burnett, an independent forensic expert and expert on the Colonel Sabow death, was present but prevented from participating in interviews with the pathologist and others. Haney accepts the oral withdrawal of an affidavit to the NCIS, stating evidence of crime scene tampering and homicide from Dr. Werner Spitz, internationally known pathologist. Haney never disclosed that she was a member of the original NIS crime scene team. Haney wrote Dr. Sabow that she could not pursue a homicide in Federal District court since there was no proof of externally caused damage to the scalp and skull, no proof that Colonel Sabow was incapacitated before he was shot from behind the head, or strangled from behind or poisoned, etc.
HARRIES, Betsy, Captain, Provost Marshall. Gene Wheaton alleged that Staff Sergeant Randy Robinson said that Colonel Underwood had directed the Provost Marshal, Captain Betsy Harries, to keep all military policemen away from the unidentified C-130 aircraft while they were on the airfield. “In our interview of Mr. Robinson, he stated that on one occasion he had gone to Colonel Underwood’s office to brief him on an investigation and that Capt. Harries had accompanied him. During the conversation, the topic of aircraft landing late at night came up and Colonel Underwood told them “Keep your ass off the airstrip at night. Leave those airplanes alone. Don’t go near them. Don’t worry about them….” Harries denied any knowledge of this conversation in an interview with the DOD Inspector General.
HUNTER, Duncan Lee. Vietnam Army veteran, Congressman, and former Chairman House Armed Services Committee agreed that the evidence supports homicide of Colonel Sabow and helped to pass an amendment to re-investigate the death of Colonel Sabow.
JACOBS, Mike. Retired Supervisor, Homicide Trials Division, Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Based on his review of the evidence, Jacobs told Congressman Hunter that the compressed skull fracture to the occipital skull was an inward fracture that could not have been caused by a shotgun blast to Colonel Sabow’s mouth. Jacobs cited the autopsy photographs which showed significant bleeding beneath the scalp, resulting in the formation of a large blood clot. He was denied a request to pursue the case by Orange County DA.
JEFFCOAT, Marvin. Lt. Colonel USA. Commander, 3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry. Jeffcoat orders the removal of 41 duffel bags to make room in the Arrow Air 1285 aircraft for six wooden boxes. Soldiers’ duffel bags are left behind in Cairo. Lt. Colonel Jeffcoat was killed with the other troops in the crash. Captain Art Schoppaul, the pilot of the AR 1285 on the first leg of the trip from Cairo to Cologne, observed four wooden boxes loaded in the cargo compartment. He guessed their weight at 160 pounds, and it took two men to load them in the cargo hold. They were approximately the size of coffins.
LANG III, George Colonel. USMC Deputy Staff Judge Advocate. He and Colonel Wayne Rich in a telecom documented a “script” stating the intention to convince Dr. Sabow in a March 1991 meeting that his brother’s death was a suicide. The call was made on March 8, l991.
LICHTBLAU, Eric. In 1991, worked for the Los Angeles Times after years of work as an investigative reporter covering the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Earned a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for national reporting. He was the primary reporter on the Colonel Sabow story, and evidently it was decided early on by his editors that he was not to apply his considerable investigative reporting skills to this specific case.
LUCAS, William J. Colonel. Staff Judge Advocate, MCAS El Toro. The chief legal officer at MCAS El Toro wrote a three-page MOU on the questionable behavior of the Marine Corps Inspector General and the changing offers made to Colonel Joseph Underwood to accept charges of misuse of government aircraft and other violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice to retire and avoid courts martial. A copy of the MOU was provided anonymously to Dr. David Sabow by an El Toro Marine.
MACLACHAN, Robert M.D. Board certified neurologist determined that the initial assault on Colonel James Sabow was a blow to the back of his head causing a large depressed skull fracture. After being struck, Colonel Sabow was rendered unconscious and he fell to the ground on his right side. A fatal brainstem injury followed. He exhibited the classic pathological indicators of this injury, which included decerebrate and decorticate posturing prior to death. During these severe muscular contractions, the Colonel was biting and lacerating his tongue and lips. The injury caused central neurogenic hyperventilation, and because he was lying on his right side, he aspirated one-half liter of blood into his right lung. Death soon followed. Because the victim had already expired when an assailant shot him intraorally with the 12-gauge shotgun, and was without circulation, only a small amount of blood was part of the gunshot blowback.
MCBRIDE, Paul, Captain USMC. Legal counsel for Colonel James Sabow when the Marine Corps Inspector General was investigating him for misuse of government aircraft. Colonel Sabow disputed the charges and was prepared to demand a general court martial to clear his name.
MCCREE, Arleigh. McCree Bomb Squad. He traced incendiary devices that destroyed Arrow Air 1285, killing hundreds of Americans in Gander, Newfoundland, to an Arizona company. McCree was a friend of Charles “Chuck” Byers, President of Accuracy Systems Ordinance Corporation, Phoenix, were friends. Both men had common interests in munitions and guns and knew each other for several years. In January 1986, Byers had samples of his special ordinance devices on display in his factory. On a visit, McCree saw one of these items, and told Byers that it was the device that blew up “the aircraft.” McCree told Byers that he would have to “get federal clearance to discuss this in more detail with him.” McCree and Ron Ball, his partner, were killed in a pipe bomb explosion four weeks later.
MORSE, DONALD LEE. A North Hollywood television and film makeup artist found guilty of the murder of Arleigh McCree, age 46, and Ron Ball, age 43, on February 8, 1986. Morse, age 36, pleaded not guilty in the pipe bomb deaths of the two officers. Police discovered the bomb while searching Morse’s home for a gun believed to have been used in an attack a few days earlier on an official of the Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Union Local 706. The pistol was never found, and one eyewitness said that the man fleeing the shooting scene was a thin Latino who drove away in a Volkswagen. Morse was a big African American man who drove a Cadillac. Notwithstanding this and other discrepancies, Morse was convicted of the murder of the two LAPD Bomb Squad officers. He committed suicide in prison in May 2009.
NAKASONE, Burt. NCIS, Forensic Officer. Observed placing a patio chair on the body of Colonel Sabow by Marine MP Staff Sergeant Randy Robinson. Patio chair was used to support the government’s suicide scenario of Colonel James E. Sabow.
NORDBY, Jon Dr. PhD. Owner of Final Analysis Forensics of Seattle, Washington selected by DOD to do the reinvestigation of Colonel Sabow’s death. Final Analysis Forensics is an independent consulting practice in forensic science and forensic medicine. Dr. Nordby specializes in ballistics, bloodstain pattern analysis, medical-legal death investigation, and scientific crime scene reconstruction. Dr. Nordby has more than 30 years’ experience in forensics. His nineteen-page curriculum vitae list extensive experience in forensic investigations, courtroom testimony, and publications on forensics. Dr. Nordby is not a medical doctor.
PLUMLEE, William “Tosh.” Testified to the Kerry Commission that he flew C-130s into El Toro filled with cocaine, and then flew back to South America with a cache of weapons. Threatened and physically beaten, Colorado house burned to the ground; told his story of cocaine trafficking, and gun running to Senator Gary Hart who passed information to Senator John Kerry. Plumlee testified before the Kerry Subcommittee. Testimony classified, but not before Plumlee tells his story to a San Diego reporter.
RICH, Wayne, Colonel. A full-time US Justice Department attorney called to active duty to handle the Sabow matter for the Corps. The plan was to have Colonel Rich run the meeting with the Sabows at El Toro (March 9, 1991), convincing Dr. David Sabow and Mrs. Sara Sabow that Colonel Sabow was guilty of numerous felonies and took his own life. Brigadier General Adams asked for the meeting after learning that Dr. Sabow was going to go to the LA Times, complaining that he was being stonewalled regarding evidence (e.g., autopsy report, fingerprints on shotgun, NIS investigation report) on the death of his older brother. His assignment was to convince the Sabows that Colonel Sabow was a crook and in an act of despair took his own life.
ROBINSON, Randy, Staff Sergeant. Marine MP who was patrolling the area when Brigadier General Adams called El Toro’s provost martial to report the death of Colonel Sabow. At the crime scene, he observed several NIS personnel handling the shotgun without gloves, witnessing crime scene tampering by a NIS agent who placed the patio chair on the body of Colonel Sabow. Robinson several years later, shown the photographs of the patio chair on the body of Colonel Sabow, continued to insist that there was no chair on or near the body when he arrived at the crime scene. His testimony agrees with that of Mrs. Sara Sabow, the first person to discover the body of her husband on their quarters’ patio. Robinson reported civilian C-130s offloading their cargo in the early morning hours in the most industrial and isolated part of the base. The individuals involved in this activity wore jeans and had long hair. They were not Marines.
ROMAINE, Robert. Marine Sergeant Major USMC (Rtd), and Orange County Detective (Rtd). Active in investigations of cold case homicides for several police departments in Orange County. Worked with Dr. David Sabow on a pro bono basis in the investigation of Colonel Sabow’s death. Made initial contact in 2010 with Julie Haney, NCIS cold case special agent, Camp Pendleton, suggesting that she investigate the death of Colonel James E. Sabow at El Toro as a homicide. After retiring from police work, one of several individuals involved in the investigation of crash of Arrow Air 1285, and the deaths of LAPD Bomb Squad officers Arleigh McCree and Ron Ball, reporting that retired LAPD Detective Captain Robert Michael posted comments on a Canadian website that two of his fellow officers’ deaths were involved in the Gander crash of Arrow Air 1285. His attempts to contact Robert Michael were unsuccessful.
ROSS, Ricky. ‘Freeway’ Ricky Ross, a convicted drug trafficker best known for the drug empire he established in Los Angeles from the early to the mid-1980s. While in his 20s, he became a multi-millionaire drug dealer, a major distributor of crack cocaine with thousands of workers in Los Angeles, St. Louis, New Orleans, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Seattle until arrested in a sting operation in 1996. Ross had no idea that Danilo Blandon and his boss Norwin Meneses, Nicaraguans and his suppliers of cocaine, were CIA informants who funneled millions in profits to the Contras in support of the internecine war in Nicaragua.
SABOW, James E. Colonel. Marine Corps career spanned nearly 29 years during which he flew 221 combat missions in Viet Nam in an A-6 Intruder, served as commander of the Third Marine Air Group, and was the recipient of numerous medals and citations including the Bronze Star for valor. Relived of his position for allegation of misuse of government aircraft that he was not certified to fly. Denies the allegations and threatens to request a court martial, if formal charges are filed. Learned of cocaine trafficking the night before he was murdered. Called retired Marine General Davis to complain of mistreatment and cocaine trafficking on CIA proprietary airlines at MCAS El Toro. Davis said he will discuss with BG Adams and “not to worry.” He was murdered the next day. The government called his death a suicide, despite forensic reports from independent medical experts stating that he was murdered.
SABOW, John David M.D. Board certified neurologist and younger brother of Colonel James E. Sabow pursued the investigation of his brother’s violent death for over 25 years. Collects extensive data records supporting the murder of his brother. Obtains independent medical and forensic confirmation of homicide. Denied permission to presents his findings to the Orange County Sheriff/Coroner. Briefs Congressional committee on the murder, makes numerous radio, and TV appearances.
SABOW, Mrs. Sara. The wife of Colonel Sabow charged the government with lying about her husband’s death. He was not depressed and obsessed with the charges of misuse of government aircraft as alleged by the government. At 0830 on January 22, 1991, Mrs. Sabow left their quarters to attend a Catholic Mass off the base. She returned at 0920; entering, she found the house unexpectedly quiet, the TV on mute. Through the kitchen window, she saw his body laying lifeless in the backyard. She ran to the body and immediately realized that he was dead. In an affidavit, she stated there was no patio chair on her husband’s body, accused the government of lying about his mental state; he was not depressed and not suicidal as portrayed by DOD investigators.
SCHOU, Nick. Journalist for the Orange County Weekly reported on the Colonel Sabow case since its inception. Covered the Sabows vs. United States trial in Santa Ana, CA. Together with Gene Wheaton, met unnamed individual in the California desert who had official, classified documentation stating not to record CIA proprietary aircraft landings at MCAS El Toro and March Air Force base.
SCOTT, Archibald Friend of Colonel Sabow and Colonel Underwood. Was at a meeting that took place on 1/21/91 at Colonel Underwood’s residence where Colonel Sabow told him that, “Quitters never win, and winners never quit.”
SHEEHAN, Daniel Constitutional and public interest lawyer, public speaker, and educator. Participated in numerous legal cases of public interest, including the Pentagon Papers, the Watergate Break-In, the Karen Silkwood murder, and Iran-Contra. Retained by Dr. David Sabow to investigate the death of Colonel Sabow. Sheehan confirmed that two NIS agents, who were part of the original Colonel Sabow crime scene investigation, witnessed three men who entered the crime scene, flashed government credentials, got into an intense argument with the NIS Special Agent in charge, ordered everyone to leave the Sabow backyard, and wait across the street until told to return.
SHERMAN, Sid. Sid Sherman, a retired Hollywood film executive and friend of Donald Lee Morse, wrote a self-published pamphlet, “Sir Lord,” that Morse was erroneously convicted of the murders of LAPD Bomb Squad Detective Arleigh McCree and Officer Ron Ball. Sherman wrote that LAPD Bomb Squad officer Ron Ball used Tim, his father’s name in moonlighting for the studio. Sherman’s allegation was based on a conversation with Morse in the Vacaville State Prison.
SINGHANIA, Aruna. Contract pathologist who performed the autopsy of Colonel Sabow in Orange County.
SPITZ, Werner Professor of Pathology at Wayne State University School of Medicine and one of the most well-known forensic pathologists in the world. Signed affidavit stating the evidence supported homicide of Colonel Sabow and crime scene tampering. Affidavit provided to the Julie Haney, NCIS cold case special agent, Camp Pendleton. Dr. Spitz changed his mind several days later. Haney never questioned Dr. Spitz on the sudden change.
TAYLOR, Bill. Former Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division (CID) enlisted Marine and private investigator, received information on the Colonel Sabow homicide from a Pentagon contact. Taylor arranged with a source at Camp Pendleton and was given access to computer records, which showed that on January 22, 1991, the helicopter that made the routine daily rounds of Marine and Navy bases carried four men from Pendleton to El Toro. These were members of a government sanctioned assassination team. Taylor refused to be interviewed without written permission from Dan Sheehan. Sheehan provided email authorization, but Taylor insists on typed, signed copy of authorization letter.
TAYLOR, Terri. Investigative reporter for KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh, PA, followed the leads from the Arrow Air 1285 crash from Gander, Newfoundland to Washington, DC, California, and Ottawa, interviewing Canadian Aviation Safety Board (CASB) members, Gene Wheaton, retired Army Criminal Investigator, Buck Revell,
UNDERWOOD, Joseph. Colonel Chief of Staff, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, CA. Forced into early retirement due to charges that he abused military aircraft for personal reasons. Fined and reduced in rank to major. He was the next-door neighbor to Colonel James Sabow. If Colonel Sabow manner of death is changed from suicide to homicide, he is a potential person-of-interest.
VERDUCCI, Anthony, Lt. Colonel. He was assigned to conduct the re-investigation of the death of Colonel Sabow. Colonel Walker in the JAG office gave him a yellow pad that was compiled by Colonel Lange containing a list of items which were to be the official findings of the re-investigation. Verducci refused to be a part of this scheme. Consequently, he was relieved of the responsibility of conducting the investigation. Verducci wrote, “This was nothing more than me reviewing the death certificate stating the name, age and address of Colonel Sabow, much like you would quote in a newspaper obituary.” He was told not to wait for any of the criminal material from NCIS.
WADE, Tom, Staff Sergeant. Computer ‘guru’ at MCAS El Toro. On January 12, 1991, Inspector General Hollis Davison’s team arrived at MCAS El Toro January 1991. The first place they went to was Building 53 – the records department. They ordered Master Sergeant Felix Segovia to access the command staff computers. Segovia assigned this task to then Sergeant Tom Wade, his networking specialist. When Wade accessed the MWR computers, he discovered that they were completely “purged.” There was absolutely nothing in their memory, not even a program. Wade promoted and transferred to Blount Island, FL. Arriving home from church services on Christmas Day, l994, Staff Sergeant Tom Wade was dragged from his car as his four-year old daughter watched in the back seat, then shot in the head, execution style. His daughter spent the night whimpering in the car. Even though the killing occurred off-base in a civilian apartment complex, the Marines cordoned off Wade’s apartment, not allowing the local police to investigate. The County Sheriff told Gene Wheaton that the Marines sealed Wade’s apartment before local law enforcement agencies could conduct their investigation, on the grounds of “national security.” Wade’s death remains a cold case today.
WECHT, Cyril, Dr. Internationally renowned pathologist and attorney examined toxicology reports from Arrow Air 1285 crash, finding that carbon monoxide levels of more than four dozen soldier equaled 70% or higher. He noted that death was “nearly certain” for carbon monoxide levels of 60% and higher. Carbon monoxide levels were determined from examining blood, brain and liver tissue. Dr. Wecht said that these soldiers had to be breathing in carbon monoxide from a fire or something else before the plane crashed because no one survived impact. Dr. Wecht told Terri Taylor, KDKA-TV investigative reporter, that “There is no question whatsoever that postmortem absorption of carbon monoxide does not occur under any circumstances.”
WHEATON, Gene. A retired military investigator, learned about Dr. David Sabow from a story in LA Times, and offered his help. Worked as an investigator for Dan Sheehan at the Christie Institute, who subsequently became Dr. Sabow’s attorney in federal tort claim against the government. Had many high-level contacts in the military and the CIA. While in the military declined offer to be part of a government assassination team whose mission was to kill officers who threatened to blow-the-whistle on convert operations. He was vice president of a small freight air carrier. Asked to run weapons to support the Contras, Wheaton declined the offer.
 Zulu time is used in the military and in navigation generally as a term for Universal Coordinated Time (UCT), sometimes called Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) or Coordinated Universal Time and formerly called Greenwich Mean Time. California is eight hours earlier than UTC so the time the message was drafted can be calculated by subtracting eight hours from ZULA time.