MIA Facts Site

Report of the
Senate Select Committee
POW-MIA Affairs:
Appendix 6h

Symbols Erickson
10/15/92 Chairman Kerry: Now, with respect to
the K up there, it has been referred
to occasionally as a walking K.
Without getting into great details
about walking, does that appear to be
a walking K?

Mr. Erickson: To me, it does.

Symbols Godley
09/24/92 We had one very peculiar incident.
Some random aerial photography
happened to take a picture of a rice
paddy or some cultivated area, and we
thought we saw USAF spelled out in
this field, even with an arrow. We
got very excited about it, and we
sent an intelligence team of local
American irregulars -- these were
Hmong. They went there and they said
there was absolutely no evidence of
any American or any other prisoners
in that area.

Symbols Grassley
10/15/92 On October 2 and 5, the Committee
received a full court debunking from
DoD on the pilot code numbers in two
closed sessions. They said that
numerous sets of numbers seen in a
photo and which match code numbers of
know MIAs were shadows and
vegetation. They made the numbers
disappear, presto, just like that, by
some sort of high-technology

Symbols Gray
12/04/92 Mr. Gray: Yes, sir, exactly. The
owner was brought out. We talked to
him about the symbol being seen in
his field several years before. At
first he didn't understand what we
were talking about. As the
conversation went on, he laughed when
they showed him the line drawing of
the USA. He said I know now what
you're talking about. My sons did
that 3 or 4 years ago and they did
that based on letters that we got
from our relatives in the United

We said we'd like to see those
letters. They brought them out and
written under the sender's address on
these envelopes in big letters was
USA. The owner of the rice field
said my sons saw this. They went
down, one of them wrote it in a hut.
The other said I can do better than
that, and he went out into the middle
of the field, stacked up rice straw,
and burned it in the shape of a USA.

We asked if we could speak to his
sons and he said absolutely. They
were brought out. They were 20 and
17-years-old. They admitted that
they had made the symbol. The older
son that he had done it by stacking
up the rice straw. He was asked if
he had written anything else and he
said, yes, I made a stick airplane
and he drew that for us. And he said
he also did a dragon's head in the
same area either days before or day
after he burned the USA into the rice

We have pictures of the letters that
came from the United States. It
turns out most of the villages in Ban
Hui Hindon have letters from the
United States and all of them have on
them in big letters USA. So he
says -- the long man said that's
where he got the idea for the USA.

Symbols Gray
12/04/92 Vice Chairman Smith: Mr. Gray, I
have no reason to doubt what the
individual told you. On the other
hand, I do not have any reason to
believe him either. So let me just
ask you a tough question. Was he
[given a polygraph test]?

Gray: He was not [given a polygraph

Symbols Gray
12/04/92 Vice Chairman Smith: Now do you have
proof that he made this?

Mr. Gray: Do we have proof that he
went out and burned a symbol into the
field? We have his word.

Vice Chairman Smith: Well see the
point I am making -- I am not
doubting what you say, I am really
not. I am just trying to make a
point here that we make these quantum
leaps when it relates that is not
live Americans. We draw the
conclusion the man is telling the
truth. He may be, I do not know.

But I guess what frustrates me in
trying to get to the bottom of the
issue...is that when we get live-
sighting reports, which are [given
polygraph tests] and pass some, we do
not believe them. And we do not have
any evidence to contradict it in some
cases. In many cases we do, but in
some cases we do not, and we do not
believe those reports.

So I mean I guess I get concerned
about -- DIA and intelligence people
are supposed to be strict and tough
on methodology.

Symbols Santora
10/15/92 ...when you're not looking at the
original imagery and you're trying to
detect something on anything else,
any other form or copy of that
imagery, then all bets are off on
what you might see or might not see.

Symbols Sheetz
12/04/92 I share the Senator's concern about
the need to be as careful as you can
given the situation that you are in,
to make sure you are collecting
accurate information. And I would
point out that I was a bit skeptical
when I first heard about this and the
first thing I asked Warren when he
came back was there any indication at
all that these kids had been coached
or that someone had sort of prepared
the war for Warren's entry and had
pushed these people out.

Because I will admit, we have had
experiences in the past in Southeast
Asia in investigating cases where
witnesses appear to have their story
coached. But in this case we did not
even know who we were looking for and
it was only through happenstance that
they were able to track these kids
down. And basically they dug the
kids out on the their own. They
weren't pushed out there by a local
Lao official saying ha, we found the
person who made these symbols.

Symbols Shields
06/25/92 Sen. Robb: Let me just go back to
the question that I think has
troubled the panel... it has to do
with the whole question of
compartmentalization of information
during a critical period and what
appeared to be the lack of sharing of
information and/or critical questions
being directed to those who might
have been able to help in that
reconciliation process.

General Tighe observed during his
testimony yesterday that when policy
makers in the early 1970's made
statements about no Americans being
left behind, that the intelligence
analysts tended to believe them,
despite contradictions with most
current intelligence, simply because
they felt that the policy makers had
access to compartmentalized
information not available to them.

Shields: Senator, to my knowledge,
all of the intelligence agencies,
including the NSA, were part of our
process. That information was fed
in... into the DIA.

Symbols Smith
10/15/92 ...it would be my position... that if
information like this was provided to
me, I would want to take the position
that these symbols should be treated
as valid until proven as otherwise.
But that is not the position that has
been taken here. The position that
has been taken here is that these
symbols are not valid.

Symbols Smith
10/15/92 ...what do we need this agency for?
If we have signals and we are
training people to do is, and then
when we get the signals but we do not
have the capability to determine
whether it is a signal, it does not
make any sense to me.

Symbols Smith
10/15/92 [to Andrews] ...But basically, what
you are saying here is that the
analysis on 52, by your early
analysis, is incorrect, or may have
been incorrect. Therefore your
analysis today very well may also be
incorrect. And yet you are taking
the emphatic position that you are

Symbols Smith
09/24/92 if we are talking about negotiating
an end to a war and accounting fully
for all of our prisoners of war, and
we have photographs like that -- if
somebody has presented you an
analysis of those photographs and
they say they are not true, they are
not accurate, they are not Caucasian,
they are something else or somebody
else, fine. But your testimony is
not that you got that testimony.
Your testimony is that you never saw
the photographs, and that very well
may be the case. But the point is,
it shows there is a communication
breakdown somewhere, in terms of
information that we had on POWs. Symbols Smith
10/15/92 Second, if a pilot were to attempt to
communicate by ground signal, letter
or whatever means, by using his
authenticator number, the U.S.
government will be unable to identify
the individual if his number happened
to be among those numbers DIA can't
account for. This could be
potentially tragic.

Vessey Cases Ford
The way we define a discrepancy case
is, a case about which the United
States Government has convincing
evidence that the Governments of
Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia should
have specific knowledge. The term
'discrepancy case' includes not only
individuals who were last known
alive, but also individuals who we
are not certain of their fate, or who
were known dead but for whom the
Indochinese Government should be able
to provide information or remains.

Vessey Cases Trowbridge
...the 97 who were listed as prisoner
that have not subsequently been
accounted for. They have made their
way into the General Vessey list as
priority cases. And those are the
cases that are the core of the search
efforts that are ongoing right now.

Vessey Cases Vessey
06/25/92 It was not to mean that we weren't
going to investigate the other cases.
We were going to investigate all the
cases, but these were the priority
cases because they appeared to be the
cases of those people had the best
chance of being alive.

Vessey Cases Vessey
11/05/91 . . . my approach with the Vietnamese
is that we are not trying to
reconstruct the past or come up with
war crimes trials or any such thing
as that. We want to know what
happened to our people. First, we
want to know, are there any live
Americans there? We are not going to
ask the question about what you said
in the past, that you said there were
not any, and now there are. Fine, if
there are some, let us have them and
we are just going to ignore the past
statements. If people have been
killed under circumstances that are
embarrassing, we are not going to
make an issue out of that. What we
want to know is where are our people,
what happened to them?

Vessey Cases Vessey
06/25/92 So in early 1989 I asked DIA and JCRC
to work together to refine the list
and include all cases where the
evidence showed that the person
involved was alive when he last knew
of him and we had evidence that he
likely came under Vietnamese control
or was captured and for whom we had
not yet had an accounting.

I also asked that the border areas be
searched for the same sort of cases.
And as a result of that effort we
added 39 people lost in Vietnam and
came up with 49 so-called discrepancy
cases in the border area.

Vessey Cases Vessey
06/25/92 I wanted to be able to confront that
assertion that they had held no live
prisoners with the sort of glaring
examples that led Americans to
believe that there may well have live
American prisoners held. So at that
time, the Defense Intelligence Agency
officials gave me a list of about 70
cases... they were the cases for
those individuals for whom the
Vietnamese should have been able to
account readily, some of them were
not cases of people we thought had
been reported to have died in
captivity, but the remains had not
been returned and we believed that
the Vietnamese government should be
able to account for them.

Most of them were in fact people who
the U.S. believed we had the evidence
to show that they were alive when we
last saw them, they were captured or
about to become captured.

Vessey Cases Vessey
11/05/91 The people who are missing are my
comrades, as they were comrades of
many of the people on this committee.

Watergate Kerrey
09/22/92 The question today for this committee
is how could this have happened?
Several witnesses who were appointed
policymakers in 1973 have identified
Watergate as the culprit. They
believe the United States would have
forced North Vietnam to abide by the
terms of the peace treaty had
President Nixon not been weakened and
distracted by the scandal of
Watergate. Perhaps this is true.

It also seems likely to me their
attitude towards informing the
public, coupled with their obsessive
desire and need for secrecy, led to
information about our missing being
withheld from the American people.
While they were trying to keep
information about Watergate secret,
they were also trying to keep
information about our missing in
action secret. The faulty judgment
which resulted in one tragedy also
produced a second.

Watergate Kerry
09/22/92 It is clear also that paramount among
the pressures of that time, when the
agreement was signed and
implementation began, was the energy
and attention- sapping saga of

Watergate Kissinger
09/22/92 Now on the impact of Watergate, I
think it is only fair to point out
that the opposition to using any kind
of military force strongly antedated
Watergate. If you read the media of
February and March when the
Administration was repeatedly saying
that it preserved the right to
enforce the agreement, we were
constantly told that we had no right
to enforce a cease-fire. And it was
something we always objected to on
the ground that under those
conditions any time America ends a
war and makes a cease-fire, it has,
in effect, surrendered because it
cannot enforce what it has fought

Watergate Kissinger
09/22/92 ...it is quite possible that
President Nixon did not have the same
strength to resist that pressure as
he might have had without Watergate.
He never said that to me. I think
the position he took, which was that
he wanted one more negotiation before
considering military operations, was
a perfectly reasonable position. I
had a somewhat different view, but I
had always a somewhat more
professorial view and he had a
somewhat more understanding of the
political situation; that's why he
was President.

Watergate Rodman
09/21/92 I think knowing all the risks that we
were heading into as 1973 began, none
of us anticipated Watergate and how
it would explode and totally wipe out
Nixon's political leverage, and I
think our analysis was that some of
the crucial votes in the Congress
that we used to defeat were lost this
time and it was probably because of
the demoralization of the President's
supporters, so this was an
unanticipated factor.
But I agree with what Winston said
earlier, and it's very important. We
signed this agreement believing that
if we did the right thing we had a
good chance to maintain it, and that
there was a chance that the South
Vietnamese -- that the struggle
within Vietnam would turn into some
kind of political competition. There
was a chance for this agreement to
survive, and a lot depended on what
we did.

Chairman Kerry: Well, I accept that,
and I said earlier, and I'm convinced
from all the reading that I have been
doing, that Watergate looms far
larger in this than I had ever

Watergate Secord
09/24/92 What I think happened was we evolved
through the Watergate era on this
issue, and it just dragged on and on,
and it was just kind of pushed off to
one side, and it became less
important in people's minds. And to
our discredit, I think, it kind of
left the consciousness of nearly
everyone. But I think those of us who
knew the truth, or what we thought to
be truth, were always bothered by
this. I don't know what else I can


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