MIA Facts Site

What's New?

This page contains the links to new articles.  "New" is a relative term;   articles listed on this page could be brand new -- posted today -- or they could be thirty or more days old.  I try to update the page every weekend and to move an article off the page after it has been here for sixty days (more or less). 

Page was last updated onWednesday, September 03, 2014.

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6 December 2010:  This is the funniest thing I've read in years!!  Former member of Congress and one of the dumbest men in the world, John LeBoutillier, was ripped off for around $800,000 in a "live POW" scam!!!!

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30 October 2010:  As of 31 October 2010, it's time to stop.

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8 January 2010:  Former Congressman John LeBoutellier appears to have been scammed out of $18.5K by someone claiming to have information about US POWs.  Heh, heh.

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2 August 2009:  Remains of US Navy Captain Scott Speicher found, identified.  Speicher was lost on the first night of the Gulf War, January 1991.

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14 July 2008:  An observation:  On 10 July 2008, the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee held hearings on the POW-MIA issue -- the first Congressional hearings on the issue for several years ( 11 years ?).  I note with great satisfaction that the only people testifying were Navy Rear Adm. Donna Crisp, Commander,  Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, and Charles Ray, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW and MIA affair.  No mention was made of the "live prisoner" myth or of "live sightings."  None of the usual "activists" were allowed to testify.  Thank goodness -- no Earl Hopper, no Ted Sampley, no Roger Hall, no Billy Hendon -- none of the usual foolishness.   About time.

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"My Adopted POW." One has only to surf the worldwide web for a few minutes before encountering a "POW-MIA remembrance site" featuring "my adopted POW-MIA."    On several of these sites and other sites sponsored by MIA "activist" groups one sees messages to the effect that "I have adopted (a missing man's name) and would like to contact his family."  These "remembrance sites" and attempts to contact families are, in my view, bad ideas. (Added 13 June 2002.)

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Operation Wild Fire:  Another MIA Scam:   On 10 May 2002, an individual signing the name "Richard Barker" left a message on the Guestbook.  Barker was part of a scam alleging that the people running the scam knew of US POWs and would free them -- but they needed a bit of financial help.

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Charles Duke and Kit Mark:  A Serious Analysis.   In May 1970, two US civilian employees of Dynalectron Corporation disappeared in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam.  The US Embassy, US forces, and ARVN forces immediately launched search operations to find these men or to determine what happened to them.  Within a few days, information was received from several sources making it clear that both men were killed in a surprise encounter with Communist guerrillas and buried west of Pleiku on 30 May 1970.  The Duke-Mark case has become one of the bits of mythology used by the MIA "activist" cult -- the incident is misrepresented, and, inaccurate and untrue information is spread about this incident.    Former MIA investigator Bill Bell wrote an article on this incident that was published in the April 2002 issue of Vietnam magazine.  Bell's article is typical of his sloppy analysis and wishful thinking.  The article also is a compilation of the inaccurate, misleading, and untrue information spread by the MIA cult regarding this incident.  Read this article for a serious analysis of this loss incident.

bulletMaps: Added three maps to the web site:  (1) Map of Communist military organization for South Vietnam; (2) The Ho Chi Minh Trail, 1968-1972; (3) Regional Map -- Republic of Vietnam.
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Missing USAF Officer IdentifiedUSAF Captain Victor Apodaca and 1LT Jon Busch were lost when their F-4 was shot down over North Vietnam, June 8, 1967.   Busch's remains were returned and identified in the 1980's.  In late 2001, the DoD announced the identification of CAPT Apodaca.   CAPT Apodaca's sister, Delores Alfond, has released a denunciation of the identification that is filled with false and misleading information.  Read the facts here. (Added 19 Mar 2002)

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The MailbagRead the mailbag -- a collection of e-mail messages to me that need to be shared with the rest of the world. (Added 19 Mar 2002)

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USMC Major Hugh FanningThis case has been a favorite of the MIA activists for years; they claim that Major Fanning is still missing.  In fact, his remains have been identified twice -- once shortly after the remains were returned and, in the early 1990s, identified again by mtDNA testing.   Read about it here.  (Added 19 Mar 2002)

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Jerry Mooney -- NothingFormer USAF Master Sergeant Jerry Mooney is a hero of the MIA activist cult.  Mooney was an Air Force Security Service analyst who analyzed intercepted radio communications.  He has made numerous claims, most of them revolving around his claim that he saw intercepted communications proving that US POWs were taken to the Soviet Union -- "MB - Moscow Bound" as he put it.   The facts are quite the opposite.  When given a chance to show what he knew to the Senate Select Committee on POW-MIA Affairs, Mooney had nothing -- which is exactly what he has always had -- nothing.  Jerry Mooney is just another charlatan and liar, making a name for himself at the expense of MIA families.

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SPECTRE 17In December 1972, a USAF AC-130 gunship was shot down in Laos.  Two crewmembers were blown out / jumped from the rear ramp and were rescued.  The remaining crewmembers died in the explosion, crash, and fire.  This incident is seriously misrepresented on MIA activist websites.  Read the facts in this article.

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"The Secretary of Defense said . . . ":   One often hears the MIA cultists claiming that a former Secretary of Defense, or an Assistant Secretary of State, or a similiar senior official stated that US POWs were left behind in SEAsia.  Read this article to put things in perspective.

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LTG Tighe:  The MIA cult activists are fond of quoting statements by former DIA Director LTG Eugne Tighe to the effect that he believed there were US POWs abandoned at the end of the Vietnam War.  This article addresses LTG Tighe's unfounded allegations.

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What to do now?  As required by law, on May 11, 2001, President Bush issued a certification that Vietnam is cooperating fully  in our efforts to account for our missing in  SEAsia.  In 1999, when Bill Clinton issued the same certification, the National League of Families stated that they "reject as invalid" Clinton's certification.  The League is openly pro-Republican.  Now that a Republican president has issued the same certification, the League is in an interesting position.

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Statistical reports on US personnel missing from the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and the Cold War.  The Defense POW-Missing Personnel Office has  on their web site several useful reports on men who are missing from the Vietnam War, Korean War, and Cold War.  Most of these reports are in .pdf format requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them -- Adobe is available free and the DPMO site has a link to download Adobe.  Some of the reports are in HTML or ASCII format.  This page has links to the DPMO site where you may download these reports.

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Why Do I Bother With These Fools?  On February 24, 2001, an individual signing the name "Paul Rifenberg" left an uniformed and basically dumb comment on the MIA Facts Site Guestbook.  Here is a response -- though I don't know why I bother.

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The French experience.  The MIA "activist" cult claims that for many years after the end of the French Indochina War, thousands of French POWs were held by the Vietnamese and finally relased.  I have read claims on "activist" websites that the French government paid millions of dollars in ransom to free thousands of French POWs years after the end of their war.   None of these claims are true, not even remotely.  The French experience was the same as our experience:  At the end of the war, all POWs were released.   This article describes the French experience.

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All the bad actors in one place.  In late 1985-early 1986, a "POW rescue" caper developed around claims made by Mark Smith, Major, US Army (retired) that he had a videotape showing several live US POWs.  Before this phony story ended, it involved a large group of bad actors and fools, including Smith, Senator (then representative) Bob Smith, Billy Hendon, Ted Sampley and an international criminal, Robin Gregson.  This is a long and bizarre story -- here it is.

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Shredding Documents.  A favorite story of the MIA cult claims that General Tom Needham, the first commander of Joint Task Force -- Full Accounting, shredded thousands of valuable documents in the US Embassy in Bangkok.  They even claim that Needham pulled his pistol on the Ambassador when he attempted to stop the shredding.  The story is horseshit, though it is based on a real event.

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Revised:  Read this article for the facts on the loss of USAF 1LT Earl Hopper, Jr.  Hopper's story is the subject of an enormous lie that is perpetuated by none other than his father.  This article updates an earlier article and includes the results of the excavations of Hopper's crash site.  

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1991:  What a year.  1991 saw a consolidated effort by the MIA cult to influence US policies toward Vietnam -- it almost worked.

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The Japanese Monk's StoryIn 1989, the Vietnamese released a Mr. Ganshin Yoshida, an old Japanese Buddhist monk who had been in Vietnam for 25 years.  Yoshida's story -- actually, his lack of a story -- has been falsified and misrepresented by the MIA activists.  This article contains the facts about Yoshida.

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Bogus claims by Task Force Omega.  This article contains claims made by "Task Force Omega of Kentucky" that are typical of the bogus claims and misrepresentations common in MIA activist cult circles.  The article also contains the facts of these claims.

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Tilting at windmills.  In the finest tradition of Don Quixote, self-appointed MIA researcher Roger Hall has identified windmills posing as giants -- or is it the other way around?  Either way, Hall filed a frivolous and ignorant suit against the CIA -- he keeps plugging away.  This article contains an article written by Hall with the facts inserted.  November 10, 2000

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The Earth is Not Flat.  Once upon a time, the most advanced, wise, and learned scientists believed that the earth was flat and that the earth was the center of the universe -- the sun and stars revolved around the earth.  This belief held on until well into the 17th century and later in some places.  The MIA activist cult practices the "earth is flat" belief system -- they dust off old reports, letters, and what not and proclaim they have discovered a deep, dark secret.  This article deals with some of the activists' favorite flat-earth beliefs.

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Article on the Senate Select Committee final report. In January 1993, the Senate Select Committee on POW-MIA Affairs adjourned (had been in session since summer 1991) and published their final report.  The final report comments on nearly every aspect of the MIA issue.  I was disappointed that they did not spend much time on what the Vietnamese, Lao, and Cambodians (especially the Vietnamese) could tell us.  Still, the report is useful.  Not surprisingly the SSC Final Report is  misrepresented by the MIA "activist" cult.  This article features several of the major points of the SSC Final Report.   (October 28, 2000)

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Barry Toll -- More TalesAnother of the heroes of the MIA cult is former US Army sergeant Barry Toll.  Toll appeared on the scene during the Senate Select Committee hearings, 1991 - 1993.  Toll had served as an intelligence sergeant in the detachment that supported the national airborne command post at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.   He claimed that while in this assignment -- 1973-1975 -- he saw briefing material for the Nixon and Ford White Houses and for senior military commanders.  Toll claimed that these briefings told of US knowledge that 290 to 340 US POWs were being held in Laos or North Vietnam.  He further claimed that US intell had tracked Soviet flights carrying US POWs from SEAsia to the USSR or to Soviet bloc countries in Eastern Europe.  Toll's claims are lies. (October 20, 2000)

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The "Nixon letter."   On February 1, 1973, after the Paris Peace accords ending the war were signed on January 27, Richard Nixon sent to the North Vietnamese Prime Minister a letter outlining the terms under which the US would help pay to rebuild North Vietnam.  The MIA cult points to this letter as "proof" that Nixon offered to pay ransom for the release of US POWs.  They further argue that the Vietnamese kept a few US POWs back for "insurance" and that, when the US reneged on our "promise," they simply kept the POWs.  Here is the Nixon letter.  You read it and decide.

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What are they afraid of? On October 17, 2000, I made an entry into the guestbook of the National Alliance web site at http://www.nationalalliance.org/.  In my entry, I listed the URL for the MIA Facts Site and I invited people to visit my site.  I checked the guest book a few minutes later and my entry was there.  Now (October 18), my entry has been deleted.  The same thing happened one year ago.  What is the National Alliance afraid of?  Why do they not want people to visit my site?  On this web site is a link to their site yet they delete my entries from their guest book.  I do not delete guest book entries.   Sad but this is what I expect from the Alliance.

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Abandoned in March 2000?  On the evening of September 7, 2000, I opened my e-mail inbox to find the usual stuff -- messages from friends and family, spam, and then I found the most amazing message titled "Were 2 Americans Abandoned in March 2000?"  The message came to me from an anonymous mailer; it was a LONG message from "MIA activist" Steve Golding in which he described a truly bizarre chain of events, including quotes from e-mail messages to/from three other people.  You must read it to believe it -- no one could make up something as loony as this.  Caution:  This is a BIG file -- it will take a minute to load.  UPDATE: (October 2000) There's more!! It seems that Bob Necci, chair of the VVA POW-MIA Committee, hauled himself off to SEAsia in March 2000 where he chased around, following scams about "Americans."   Now, a small war has broken out involving Necci, Golding, and a few others from the MIA cult.  That's what happens when you are committed to mythology.

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Much ado about nothing.  One of the many "POW-MIA" sites on the web is the "POW-MIA Freedom Fighters" site.  These folks are an inconsequential collection but they do like to give themselves credit.

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Glory Hallelujah !! It's happened !! The truth about the MIA issue has slipped out.   Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW-MIA Affairs Bob Jones was quoted speaking the truth.  Here it is. (August 18, 2000)

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The Sky is NOT Falling, Part IIThe National Alliance is at it again -- spreading misinformation.  Read all about it here.  (June 4, 2000)

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Response re:  Korean War MIAs.   This article is in response to a question left on the MIA Facts Site Guestbook. (7/22/00)

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On July 23, 2000, the Washington Post published an article about the continuing gamesmanship between North and South Korea involving old men from each side that the other sides still hold, 50 years after the war.  It's not as simple as unrepatirated POWs -- and it has nothing to do with US personnel missing from Korea. (7/23/00)

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In late May 2000, the Department of Defense approved a policy on the recovery and identification of remains of missing personnel.  Read the policy here.  (June 4, 2000)

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DoD procedures to account for missing servicemembers.  On January 31, 2000, the Department of Defense approved a new instruction governing the process of accounting for missing service members.  The Defense POW-Mission Personnel Office (DPMO) has on their web site a link to the DoD site where readers can find the DoD instruction and the forms associated with it; here is a link to the DPMO page: http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/special/dodi2310_5.htm   My artilce reproduces the DPMO page, which includes a link to a Washington headquarters Service site where readers can find the full directive. The DoD Instruction (2310.5) is long and detailed but I recommend that intersted people read it. 

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Mythology Galore.   During my tenure in the MIA offices in the Pentagon, we occasionally received letters from one Paul Rifenberg from Michigan.  Mr. Rifenberg was filled with the usual cover-up-and-conspiracy stories and he apparently believed them all.  Now, Mr. Rifenberg has found the MIA Facts Site and he has been leaving messages on the Guestbook.  One of his messages reveals an enormous load of mythology.  Here is a reply --  though  I don't know why I bother.  (May 29, 2000)

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Another Myth in the Making. Please deliver me from true believers.  Mr. Rifenberg strikes again.   Now he has left a message on my guestbook claiming that downed US airmen sent distress signals by using air-dropped remote sensors to punch in their authenticator codes.  Never happened -- read about it here. (July 5, 2000)

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Bring 'em Back Alive.  Would you like to rescue a US POW who is still imprisoned a quarter-century after the end of the war?  Sign up here, send lots of money, and go get 'em.  Don't be surprised if you come home empty-handed and broke.

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The Sky is NOT FallingIn the normal course of events, Pentagon offices undergo reviews to see if they are operating the best way possible.  These reviews go by different names but a common one is "Mission Area Analysis," or, MAA.  The Defense POW-Missing Personnel Office is undergoing a MAA (as of March 2000).  The National Alliance of Families has sounded the alarm, claiming that this MAA means that DPMO will essentially stop looking for missing from Vietnam in 2004.  Nonsense.  Read the facts here. (19 March 2000)

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The Trust:  Vietnamese Intelligence Services At Work.  This article describes a little known aspect of the MIA issue.  In fact, the topic of this article is unknown outside a few US intelligence folks and some historians.  Following the end of the Russian Civil War, the "Reds" (The Russian Communists) had a problem on their hands:  The fledgling Soviet Union was under attack by "White" forces and organizations inside Russia, supported by anti-Communist Russian emigre organizations around the world.   Furthermore,  the Western democracies were hostile to the new Communist regime and they collaborated with the "Whites" to oppose the new "Red" regime.  What to do?  The Soviet intelligence agencies put together a very successful operation -- "The Trust" -- that eventually cut off the opposition at the knees -- it was brilliant.  After the Communist unification of Vietnam in 1975, the intelligence services of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) ran an operation based on the Soviet "Trust."  (3/7/00)

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ResponseOn the Guestbook page of this site is an entry from the family member of an individual who was lost in a shootdown over Laos.   The author asks that I comment on her message.  I am not familiar with this loss and, thus, am not able to comment on details but I have provided some general comments. (2/9/00)

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Beneath the Streets of Hanoi.  In the early 1990s, Senator Bob Smith seized on some reports from a number of refugees who claimed that they know of American POWs being held in an underground prison, in downtown Hanoi, underneath Ho Chi Minh's tomb.  Several of these reports surfaced but, when we tracked them down, we found that they were the invention of one source who had started the rumor and it spread, taking on a life of its own.  Senator Smith did as he normally does:  He claimed that there are XX reports from YY sources, therefore, it must be true.  There are and there were no US POWs held in underground prisons beneath Hanoi, and certainly not in or under Ho's tomb.   Reuters news service carried two stories, one a report of Smith's claims and the other an interview with the Russian ambassador on the topic of US POWs underneath Hanoi.   On a few occasions, I have heard Smith or his supporters claiming that the Russian ambassador admitted that the area under Ho's tomb was secure, thereby supporting their claim.  Read the documents on this page and make up your own mind. (2/7/00)

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"The Merry Prankster."  Quoted here in full is the chapter from the book Prisoners of Hope:   Exploiting the MIA Myth in America that deals with MIA activist Ted Sampley. (2/6/00)

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Hopper on the Attack.  This article is an e-mail that was plucked from cyberspace and sent to my mailbox.  It is from "Col. and Mrs. Earl P. Hopper, Sr.," of "Task Force Omega" -- now there's a collection of unstable flying platforms.  (2/8/00)

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"Show Me The Money."   One of the little known facets of the MIA issue is that of individuals and groups who use the MIA issue to raise money.  Groups who do this fall into two categories: (1) Grass-roots organizations who really are working to keep the MIA issue in the public eye, and (2) those who are making money off the issue.  This articlereproduces the relevant sections from the final report of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIAs (the SSC).   I recommend strongly that interested folks read the book by  Susan Katz-Keating, Prisoners of Hope.  Ms. Keating started off supporting the "activist" point of view.  She became known to several of them and they talked with her.  She soon realized that their views were not in accord with reality so she produced an investigative work that spilled the beans on many of them and that was documented.  She has been attacked by the "activists" for fabricating portions of the book but none of them dare sue her because they know that she has the documents. (1/29/00)

 
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