MH370 hijacked by CIA, to stop Technology Transfer to China

My comments are shown {thus}; write to me at contact.html.

You are at

MH370: Stop Looking in the Wrong Place

by Peter Myers

Date February 2, 2019; update February 16, 2019.

Copyright Peter Gerard Myers. This material may be reproduced, but only with attribution to Peter Gerard Myers and with a link to this webpage.

(Feb 2, 2019): MH370 is back in the news, with reports that it probably crashed near Madagascar, based on data from underwater microphones:

The Acoustic Source is close to the area where Blaine Gibson has found debris. The Acoustic Source is shown on the map at

Station HA08 is at Diego Garcia. The acoustic source is shown between there and Madagascar.

I also uploaded the map of the acoustic source to MH370-Acoustic-source.jpg.

Blaine Gibson was reported in May 2018 as stating that STALKING, death threats and even assassination are being used to stop his work:

"In an interview with The West Australian, Gibson, who is said to have found more than half of the debris that has been discovered of the ill-fated jet, said his own search was subjected to intimidation, stalking, death threats, defamation and assassination.

"For whatever reasons, some people are very upset that I and other private citizens are finding pieces of the plane," he told the newspaper."

Earlier in January 2018, he found debris that, he said, disproves the pilot suicide theory.

"He said the wing flap was found to be retracted and not deployed for landing, indicating that there was no controlled glide."

That MH370 crashed in the vicinity of Mauritius or Madagascar has occurred to other investigators too, but it does not fit the Inmarsat data, so has usually been discarded.

For the same reason, eyewitness reports, by multiple witnesses, of a plane matching MH370 in the Maldives on the day it disappeared, were dismissed by the official bodies, and the witnesses ridiculed. Investigators chose to spend close to $200 million on undersea searches in the wrong area, rather than spend $20,000 interviewing those witnesses in the Maldives.

Here is a map of the Maldives. At Huvadhoo atoll, south of Male, also called Kuda Huvadhoo, there were multiple reported sightings of MH370 on March 8, 2014: Maldives.jpg

Blaine Gibson DID interview those eyewitnesses, and published his account at .

IBM employee Philip Wood allegedly sent an i-Phone message from Diego Garcia to his fiance Sarah Bajc, a business executive in Beijing, saying that MH370 had been hijacked.

Blaine Gibson found many pieces of MH370 wreckage around Madagascar, Mauritius, Rodrigues Island, and the east coast of Africa. But he was loath to accept that it might have been an Inside Job, so for years he kept trying to fit his data with the official theory.

Researchers with a 'conspiracy' mindset are not so deceived. Those who are aware of the evidence that JFK was killed by the Deep State, and that 911 was an inside job, probably by Mossad with CIA complicity, are quick to assess the disappearance of MH370 as an inside job by an intelligence agency.

Most likely it was electronically hijacked by the CIA, and flown by computer as a drone. Those familiar with Operation Northwoods guess that were two identical planes, one being a decoy to keep the search focused on the wrong area, while the real MH370 headed for the CIA base at Diego Garcia, either directly or via the Maldives.

As for the reason for the hijacking, that seems to be to prevent technology-transfer to China - either cargo on its way to China, or the 20 Freescale engineers en route from Malaysia to China. Details of the cargo in the hold have not been released.

Blocking the transfer of military technology to China would be a concern of the CIA, rather than Mossad, and in keeping with the Pentagon's Air-Sea Battle plan.

Mossad's only credible motive would be the diversion of military technology to Israel instead of China. But Ken St Aubin suggests that Mossad helped out by supplying a decoy plane, a Boeing 777 which Israel had bought from Malaysia Airlines; it had been sighted at a hangar in Israel prior to the hijacking:

Suppose that the CIA could not prevent the equipment being loaded onto MH370. An open attack on he plane would have been seen as an act of war. Stealth methods would have achieved the desired result without risking a diplomatic disaster.

Emirates head Tim Clark told Der Spiegel that MH370 had been hijacked - but he wasn't buying the idea that this had been done by one of the pilots. He said that the plane may not have flown south, that Government agencies were covering up, and warned that "others would like to bury" the truth:

"My own view is that PROBABLY CONTROL WAS TAKEN OF THAT AEROPLANE, the events that happened during the course of its tracked flight will be anybody's guess of who did what and when. I think we need to know who was on this aeroplane in the detail that obviously SOME PEOPLE DO KNOW, WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT WAS IN THE HOLD OF THE AEROPLANE, in the detail we need to know, in a transparent manner. And we need to continue to press all those stake holders, that were and are involved in the analysis, in the assessment of what happened, for more information. Because heading an airline that operates the largest number of 777s in the world, I have a responsibility of knowing exactly what went on. ... But I will continue to ask the questions and will make a nuisance of myself, when OTHERS WOULD LIKE TO BURY IT, and we have an obligation to the passengers and crew of MH 370 and their families, whose deep distress you see every day. We have an obligation not to brush this under the carpet, but to sort it out and do better than we have done"

Former Proteus Airlines boss Marc Dugain claims MH370 may have been shot down by the US military near Diego Garcia:

Researchers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 rely heavily on Wikipedia for its assumed neutrality.

Wikipedia has two webpages on MH370, one presenting the official theory, and one presenting unofficial or conspiracy theories; the two link to each other. The official one is at .

The unofficial one is at

In the past, the unofficial one, being edited by many people, at times presented incriminating information. However, it no longer does so; it's now written by the same people as the official one. The difference is that, whereas the official one ignores conspiracy theories, the unofficial one seeks to debunk them.

The current Wikipedia webpages, official and unofficial, make no mention of the comments of Emirates CEO Tim Clark, or of Proteus Airlines boss Marc Dugain, or of Philip Wood.

When I checked it on January 28, 2017, and again on February 2, 2019, I found that the unofficial webpage not only omitted the most incriminating evidence, but favorably quoted Cass Sunstein, a leading, government-appointed, debunker of 9/11 and other conspiracy theories. This is what it said:

'Harvard professor Cass Sunstein noted that the conflicting information initially released by the Malaysian government explains the interest in alternative theories. Sunstein, who has written on the topic, argued in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on 20 March 2014 that conspiracy theories in general often are borne out of horrific and disastrous situations, because such events make people angry, fearful and looking for a "target".'

Cass Sunstein, when at Harvard University, authored a paper recommending "Cognitive infiltration" of Dissident groups by Government agents:

Conspiracy Theories, by Cass R. Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, both of Harvard Law School, January 15, 2008:

Sunstein was later appointed by Obama to take on this role.

In reply, David Ray Griffin wrote a book Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory: .

MH370 kept flying for 5 or more hours after its last known location, proving that mechanical failure and fire were not the problem.

If the pilot had planned to suicide, he would not have bothered to fly so far; so that can be ruled out. As for his practice landings at Indian Ocean airports, on his simulator, that is not unusual; flights are sometimes diverted by bad weather. It does not indicate malice on his part. The media beatup such stories, but failed to ask hard questions of government spokesmen, eg, Why wasn't MH370 picked up on the US military radars at Singapore and Diego Garcia? Why not interview the witnesses in the Maldives? Why not release the full cargo manifest for MH370?

Henry Balfour <> informs me that Diego Garcia has "Aussie Jindalee over-the-horizon radar, or the equivalent .... these powerful long-range radars are a part of an early warning layer that is NEVER TURNED OFF ... but when I ask the Aussie Defence people for clarity they told me it was "not switched on at that time" I will let you judge the reason that I don't believe them The Jindalee system would have 'seen' MH370 entering its scan zone."

The US military bases around Singapore and the Strait of Malacca would also have such radar; yet the media failed to press such questions, instead pursuing 'pilot suicide'.

The Transponder and ACARS of MH370 were turned off, proving conspiracy of some kind. Either by one of the pilots, or by an intelligence agency taking control of the plane and flying it remotely like a drone.

After being turned off, the ACARS unit was unable to send data, but was still able to do handshakes with the Inmarsat satellite.

After its diversion, and without radar protection, the plane first flew high, to avoid collision with other planes, then flew low to avoid radar, as it doubled back and flew west over Malaysia. It hugged the borders between countries, possibly to keep changing the jurisdiction it was in, and successfully dodged mountains, suggesting computer control.

The co-pilot attempted to make a distress call from his mobile phone, as the plane neared the Penang mobile system towers at low altitude.

The Daily Mail reported, "The co-pilot of missing flight MH370 made a call from his mobile phone while the aircraft flew low over the west coast of Malaysia, it was revealed today as the U.S. denied reports the plane landed at a military base on the remote island of Diego Garcia. Investigators have learned that the call was made from Fariq Abdul Hamid's mobile phone as the Boeing 777 flew low near the island of Penang, on the north of Malaysia's west coast. The New Straits Times reported the aircraft, with 239 people on board, was flying low enough for the nearest telecommunications tower to pick up Fariq's signal. The call ended abrupty, however it has been learned that contact was definitely established with a telecommunications sub-station in Penang state. The paper said it had been unable to ascertain who Fariq was trying to call 'as sources chose not to divulge details of the investigation.' It added: 'The telco's (telecommunications company's) tower established the call that he was trying to make. 'On why the call was cut off, it was likely because the aircraft was fast moving away from the tower and had not come under the coverage of the next one,' the paper said, quoting 'sources'.":

In the early days of the search, station WNYC published a map showing 634 runways MH370 could have landed on without refueling, based on its last location detected by primary radar, which is half-way between Banda Aceh at the tip of Sumatra, and Phuket on the Thailand coast, at 2.22am Malaysia time.

The 634 runways MH370 could have reached without refueling are at: MH370-634-runways.png.

The 3 isolated dots (runways) at the south-west of the map are (from north to south), Male, Gan (both in the Maldives), and Diego Garcia.

The report from Sydney Morning Herald:

The WNYC original is at

My sketch showing the probable route of MH370 is at: MH370-Male-DG.jpg .

People looking for debris would have been looking within the circle of 634 airports. If it had crashed at sea, there would have been a huge debris field. Given the worldwide interest, the debris would have been spotted. It wasn't - not within that circle - so the plane landed somewhere. It would have either been stored in a hangar, or refuelled and then dumped further afield, for example between Diego Garcia and Mauritius.

Some say Diego Garcia is the most likely location. There were no scheduled flights from Diego Garcia airport on March 8-10, 2014; flights resumed on March 11:

I uploaded that flight board as follows:

Board from Diego Garcia airport: no flights from March 8 to 10, 2014: DG-140308-no-flights.JPG

Landing at Diego Garcia could not be done without approval of the US Military. Hijacking by the Captain or co-pilot is unlikely, because they would still have needed permission to land at Diego Garcia. No demands or ultimatums were presented to Malaysian authorities, of the type "do this or else", and there are more pleasant ways to commit suicide.

Which leaves the CIA as the most likely culprit; Mossad being the other possibility. Israeli submarines use Diego Garcia as a base.

One might surmise that the intelligence agency behind the hijack (CIA or Mossad) could have stored MH370 in a hangar on Diego Garcia, and disposed of it later, after it faded from public attention.

After I did a radio interview on Tony Gosling's radio program in 2017, I received an email from Ann Diener <>, as follows:

"I have a friend who was stationed on Diego Garcia. This is her response to the Diego Garcia portion.

"Diego Garcia theory - there is no hanger to hide a jet that large on the island. There aren't regular schedule flights because there are only 3/4 flights a month that come and go. 2 of those flights are every 2 weeks, 1 flight is once a week and the other flight is once a month."

Following up, I then investigated the hangars on Diego Garcia. The Boeing 777 is much larger than military jets; in particular, its tail is too high for the hangars on Diego Garcia.

The B-2 Shelter System [B2SS], also called Extra Large Deployable Aircraft Hangar Systems, provides hangars 250' wide by 60' high on Diego Garcia:

But the tail of the 777 is 60 ft 9 in high:

It follows that MH370 could not have remained on Diego Garcia during daylight hours. Although there were no flights scheduled from March 8 to 10, and workers may have been deployed offshore on a naval exercise, the risk of someone seeing MH370 there and later blabbing would be too great, whatever the penalties.

Next, I investigated the times of reported sightings of MH370 in the Maldives, and sunrise there and on Diego Garcia.

MH370 was last tracked by military radar near Banda Aceh at 2:22am Malaysia Time.

See the map at

Then there were multiple sightings by witnesses at Kuda Huvadhoo in the Maldives, about 6.15am Maldives time. These sightings matched the description of MH370.

Suppose that from Banda Aceh, MH370 went west instead of south. Perhaps a decoy plane went south, as suggested by captain Field McConnell. A decoy plane was part of Operation Northwoods.

From that waypoint near Banda Aceh to the Maldives is 4 hours' flying time, which means that if MH370 went west, it would have arrived there about 6.20am Malaysia Time (UTC+8), which is 3.20am Maldives time (UTC+5).

Yet the sightings at Kuda Huvadoo atoll were about 6.15am Maldives time. This would require that MH370 have landed somewhere. And if it landed, it would have refuelled.

The witnesses said it came from the north-west, and headed south towards Diego Garcia. But Malaysia is to the east. Why was the plane coming from the wrong direction?

Kuda Huvadhoo is in the southern Maldives - south of Male, but north of Gan.

Blaine Gibson's sketch of the path of the plane sighted at Kuda Huvadhoo is at: Kudahuvadhoo-turn.png

I think that MH370 landed at Male or Maamigili in the Maldives, about 3.20am Maldives time, and took off by 5.45am.

Both of these are international airports, with runways long enough for a Boeing 777.

Male International Airport is also called Velana International Airport; it has a 3000m runway, and routinely takes Boeing 777s.

Maamigili is about 108km to the west of Male. Its airport is called Villa International Airport. The runway is 1800m, just sufficient for a 777; Leeds airport (LBA) is 1800m, and takes 777s. Maamigili is a quieter airport than Male, but the runway is less secluded from domestic buildings.

Thimarafushi, on the other hand, is too short.

China has a long-term lease on Hambantota port in Sri Lanka, has built many engineering projects in Mauritius, and has been courting the Maldives government; Male International Airport was recently upgraded by a Chinese company.

Such intrusion alarmed the US. In 2013, the US proposed a "lily pad" military base in the Maldives:

US seeks military presence in Maldives

April 26, 2013 M K Bhadrakumar

The intriguing 'leak' of a draft Status of Forces Agreement [SOFA] between the United States and the Maldivian government has led to reluctant confirmation by both countries that they are indeed involved in discussion with each other to conclude such an agreement. ...

{endquote} The draft SOFA is at

But in 2014 the Maldives government rejected the "lily pad" Military Pact with US, because it would upset neighbors India and Sri Lanka:

Maldives Rejects Military Pact With US

Jan. 22, 2014 - 02:53PM | By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - The Maldives has decided not to take part in a proposed military cooperation pact with the United States over fears that it could upset the regional power India, senior officials said Wednesday.

Speaking on a visit to Sri Lanka, the atoll nationÕs new President Abdulla Yameen said he did not want to proceed with the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that would have given the US a foothold in his archipelago located across the main east-west sea route.

Nevertheless, the discussions mean that there was close contact between Diego Garcia and the Maldives military.

That liason came in handy in the wake of sightings of MH370. The Maldives National Defence Force dismissed those sightings:

Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Maldives discounted as possible location for MH370

Sydney Morning Herald, March 19, 2014

Eyewitness reports of a possible sighting of missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 flying near the Maldives have been officially discounted in a statement issued by the Maldives National Defence Force.

If MH370 landed at Male as suggested here, the commander at Diego Garcia would have phoned the Maldives military & got the ok for a job in the night, without having to give any details.

The runway at Male runs north-south. MH370 would have landed from the south, and stayed at the northern end of the runway, instead of taxiing to the terminal near the southern end. It would have been refuelled, and cargo & passengers of interest been transferred to another plane, or a boat, or both. Those other craft would then have gone to Diego Garcia, where they would not have aroused suspicion. Then MH370, flying as a drone, would have headed towards Diego Garcia, but, I believe, not have landed there, because it would have been daylight, and thus too risky. Instead, it would have been dumped between Diego Garcia and Mauritius.

To familiarise yourself with Male airport (Velana InternationalAirport), study the Google Map:,73.5285805,14z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x15aa005ed9e5a5a2!8m2!3d4.1887827!4d73.5285805

Here is a youtube of a High Power Take off of an Emirates 777-300er from Male International Airport: h

The Emirates Boeing 777 first taxis from the Terminal to the South end of the island; then reverses around, at which point you can see the city of Male on the Left; it's on another island.

Then it takes off towards the North. As the plane lifts off the ground, you see the Terminal on the left (ie West).

Blaine Gibson has published the Arrivals & Departures Boards for Male International Airport on March 8, 2014:

I uploaded them as follows:

The Arrivals board at Male (Velana International Airport) for March 8, 2014; supplied by Blaine Gibson: Male-AR-140308.JPG

The Departures board at Male (Velana International Airport) for March 8, 2014; supplied by Blaine Gibson: Male-DP-140308.JPG

There were no scheduled Departures from Male airport between 2.50am and 6am. There were no scheduled Arrivals between 11.05pm and 6.50am. MH370 could have landed about 3.20am Maldives time, and taken off by 5.45am.

That whole time was dark. The moon was at First Quarter. Sunrise was at 6.14am (see; first light about 5.35am. At Male, residential areas are a long way from the northern end of the runway.

If the witness sightings at Kuda Huvadhoo are correct, I believe that MH370 would not have landed at Diego Garcia, because it would have been seen (being daylight). Despite "Shut Up or Die" orders, I think that, given the worldwide interest, someone would have blurbed.

Instead of landing there, MH370 would have been flown past Diego Garcia as a drone, and been dumped in the Indian Ocean between Diego Garcia and Mauritius. The closest debris find, on Rodrigues Island, fits that. This area is outside the circle of 634 runways that MH370 could reach without refueling, so no-one would have been looking there. Also, it's very remote.

But there is a credible alternative scenario to the above. Both scenarios need to be seriously considered, until the case is finally solved.

(Feb 11, 2017) Yesterday, I did a Skype video call with Field McConnell, a former US airforce pilot (flew F4s & F16s) and former airline captain (747-400) with Delta Airlines & Northwest airlines. He flew for 31 years, then resigned because he refused an order to shut up over plane hijackings by governments.

He says that the planes were electronically hijacked by intelligence agencies, using technology called "Uninterruptible AutoPilot".

There's a Boeing brand Uninterruptible AutoPilot, and a Thales one.

All modern planes have one; they can be flown remotely as a drone.

The pilot of American 77, which supposedly hit the Pentagon, was a friend of his.

In fact, a missile hit the Pentagon; AA77 was switched and, he says, detonated over the Atlantic Ocean.

This sort of "decoy plane" was first advocated in Operation Northwoods, in 1961. At that time, the Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on it. They wanted to stage a False Flag attack, to be blamed on Cuba, as an excuse to invade it.

But President Kennedy, and Attorney General Robert Kennedy, vetoed it, and sacked the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

(Feb 12, 2017) Field McConnell believes MH370 was hijacked by the CIA and flown to Diego Garcia; he told me that someone in Australia, connected to Boeing, rang him and told him that MH370 landed in Diego Garcia and that the engines were turned off at 6.51am Malaysia time (which is 3.51am Maldives time, 4.51am Diego Garcia time). The travel time is feasible if it flew direct, not via the Maldives; it's not compatible with sightings in the Maldives. The plane would have landed in the dark. I believe that in this scenario, it would have taken off before sunrise, after cargo and passengers of interest were unloaded. That way, workers on Diego Garcia would not have seen it.

Diego Garcia is about the same longitude as Male. But whereas the Maldives is UTC+5, Diego Garcia is UTC+6.

On March 8, Sunrise was at 6.14am at Male (see, and 7.15am at Diego Garcia (see First Light is about 40 minutes earlier. The moon was at First Quarter on March 8, 2014.

If Field McConnell's source is correct, CIA & military operatives would have had from 4.51am to 6.35am Diego Garcia time, to refuel the plane and remove passengers and cargo of interest, before it took off by First Light at 6.35am. I believe that it would then have been flown towards Mauritius and been dumped, outside the circle of 634 runways, and far from where anyone was looking. It would have been refuelled, because they wanted to dump it at a place of their choice, not just where it ran out of fuel.

Field McConnell said it's quite possible that the plane tracked off Western Australia was a second plane, a decoy plane. The same happened with 9/11.

He resigned from his airline rather than shut up.

Here is a youtube of Field McConnell (who I Skyped with) addressing a meeting about MH370 and 9/11:

(Feb 16, 2019) Shortly before the start of the Korean War, Stalin, at Kim Il-Sung's request, gave 100 T-34 tanks to North Korea; these formed the spearhead of its attack. But the Soviet T-34 tank, mass-produced in the Soviet Union, was a Soviet development of a Christie tank sold to the Soviet Union by the United States.

Antony C. Sutton wrote in his book National Suicide: Military Aid to the Soviet Union:

"The Soviet T-54 tank is in Vietnam. ... According to the tank handbooks the T-54 has a Christie type suspension. Christie was an American inventor. Where did the Soviets get a Christie suspension? Did they steal it? No, sir! They bought it. They bought it from the U.S. Wheel Track Layer Corporation." (pp. 258-9) sutton.html.

Sutton wrote in Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development 1930 to 1945:

"Walter Christie ... developed the Christie tank - the basis of World War II American tanks. ... Two chassis of the Christie M 1931 model medium tank (MB) were purchased by the Soviet Union in 1932 from the U.S. Wheel Track Layer Corporation. After further development work this became not only the Soviet T-32 (the basic Soviet tank of World War II) but also several other development models in the U.S.S.R. ... The Soviet T-34 and the American M3, both based on the Christie, had the same 12-cylinder aero engine: a V-type Liberty of 338 horsepower ..." (p. 241) sutton.html.

Might similar technology-transfer have happened in the cargo of MH370? China could have STOLEN some hi-tech equipement; or BOUGHT it legally e.g. from Freescale. If legal, it might have contravened laws against dual-purpose technology transfer, but this might not have been enforcable in Malsian courts. Then the CIA found about it, and had to find a way to prevent delivery.

If MH370 was carrying cargo with military use or dual-purpose use (civilian & military), even if labelled differently, was it then a modern-day Lusitania?

In this scenario, Malaysian authorities would be partly liable, for lax supervision, and would not be rushing to release the Cargo Manifest; if they had nothing to fear, they would do so. Chinese authorities would be culpable, if they had stolen or cajoled the technology, repackaged it and labelled it incorrectly.

Culpability would extend to the US Government (Deep State), which hijacked the plane; then to other Governments eg the Australian Government, for their complicity in the cover-up. This would help to explain why Governments are hindering the investigation, keeping it looking in the wrong place, i.e. anywhere but the Maldives and Diego Garcia.

One of the greatest crimes of the century is left to amateur investigators, and to scientists who are not part of the official investigation, to solve. Despite the best efforts of some journalists and editors in the media, the intelligence agencies are likely to have a spook in every newsroom, to stop them from disclosing the government role in the hijacking. ==

APPENDIX - Operation Northwoods

Papers on Operation Northwoods were released about 1995, as part of an investigation into the assassination of JFK.

More info on Operation Northwoods is at

However, Wikipedia omits the best bits. Here they are, from the book that broke the story:

Body of Secrets

by James Bamford

DOUBLEDAY New York 2001

{p. 82} According to secret and long-hidden documents obtained for Body of Secrets, the Joint Ghiefs of Staff drew up and approved plans for what may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government. In the name of anticommunism, they proposed launching a secret and bloody war of terrorism against their own country in order to trick the American public into supporting an ill-conceived war they intended to launch against Cuba.

Codenamed Operation Northwoods, the plan, which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war. ... {p. 83} They would have to trick the American public and world opinion into hating Cuba ...

Among the actions recommended was "a series of well coordinated incidents to take place in and around" the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This included dressing "friendly" Cubans in Cuban military uniforms and then have them "start riots near the main gate of the base. Others would pretend to be saboteurs inside the base. Ammunition would be blown up, fires started, aircraft sabotaged, mortars fired at the base with damage to installations."

The suggested operations grew progressively more outrageous. Another called for an action similar to the infamous incident in February 1898 when an explosion aboard the battleship Maine in Havana harbor killed 266 U.S. sailors. Although the exact cause of the explosion remained undetermined, it sparked the Spanish-American War with Cuba. Incited by the deadly blast, more than one million men volunteered for duty. Lemnitzer and his generals came up with a similar plan. "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," they proposed; "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation." ... {p. 85} Bombings were proposed, false arrests, hijackings: ...

-"Hijacking attempts against civil air and surface craft could appear to continue as harassing measures condoned by the Government of Cuba." ... AN AIRCRAFT AT ELGIN AFB WOULD BE PAINTED AND NUMBERED AS AN EXACT DUPLICATE FOR A CIVIL REGISTERED AIRCRAFT belonging to a CIA proprietary organization in the Miami

{p. 86} area. At a designated time the DUPLICATE WOULD BE SUBSTITUTED FOR THE ACTUAL CIVIL AIRCRAFT AND WOULD BE LOADED WITH THE SELECTED PASSENGERS, ALL BOARDED UNDER carefully prepared ALIASES. The actual REGISTERED AIRCRAFT WOULD BE CONVERTED TO A DRONE [a remotely controlled unmanned aircraft]. Take off times of the drone aircraft and the actual aircraft will be scheduled to allow a RENDEZVOUS south of Florida.

FROM THE RENDEZVOUS POINT THE PASSENGER-CARRYING AIRCRAFT will descend to minimum altitude and go directly into an auxiliary field at Elgin AFB where arrangements will have been made to EVACUATE THE PASSENGERs and return the aircraft to its original status. The drone aircraft meanwhile will continue to fly the filed flight plan. When over Cuba the drone will be transmitting on the international distress frequency a "May Day" message stating he is under attack by Cuban MiG aircraft. The transmission will be interrupted by DESTRUCTION OF THE AIRCRAFT, which will be TRIGGERED BY RADIO SIGNAL. This will allow ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organization] radio stations in the Western Hemisphere to tell the U.S. what has happened to the aircraft instead of the U.S. trying to "sell" the incident.

Finally, there was a plan to "make it appear that Communist Cuban MiGs have destroyed a USAF aircraft over international waters in an unprovoked attack." It was a particularly believable operation given the decade of shootdowns that had just taken place.

In the final sentence of his letter to Secretary McNamara recommending the operations, Lemnitzer made a grab for even more power, asking that the Joint Chiefs be placed in charge of carrying out Operation Northwoods and the invasion. "It is recommended," he wrote, "that this responsibility for both overt and covert military operations be assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staf£"

At 2:30 on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 13, 1962, Lemnitzer went over last-minute details of Operation Northwoods with his covert action chief, Brigadier General William H. Craig, and signed the document. He then went to a "special meeting" in McNamara's office. An hour later

{p. 87} he met with Kennedy's military representative, General Maxwell Taylor. What happened during those meetings is unknown. But three days later, President Kennedy told Lemnitzer that there was virtually no possibility that the U.S. would ever use overt military force in Cuba.

Undeterred, Lemnitzer and the Chiefs persisted, virtually to the point of demanding that they be given authority to invade and take over Cuba. About a month after submitting Operation Northwoods, they met in the "tank," as the JCS conference room was called, and agreed on the wording of a tough memorandum to McNamara. "The Joint Chiefs of Staff believe that the Cuban problem must be solved in the near future," they wrote. "Further, they see no prospect of early success in overthrowing the p'resent communist regime either as a result of internal uprising or external political, economic or psychological pressures. Accordingly they believe that military intervention by the United States will be required to overthrow the present communist regime." ... {p. 89} As has been described, the document was signed and fully approved by Lemnitzer and the rest of the Joint Chiefs and addressed to the Secretary of Defense for his signature. Whether it went beyond McNamara to the president and the attorney general is not known. {endquote}

Write to me at contact.html.