Coastal Post Online


May, 2003

The Tragedy Of Wellstone's Death: Mishap Or Murder
By Carol Sterritt

   On October 25, 2002, a twin turboprop crashed two miles south of the Eveleth, Minnesota airport. On board, everyone was killed. These eight people were Paul Wellstone, the Democratic Senator from Minnesota, his wife, his daughter, three of his staff, and the two men that were piloting the plane. 
   In examining an event like this, those skeptical of the "official story" do well to pay attention to all discrepancies and all attempts to discount immediate witnesses.                            
   To that end, we should examine a transcript of a local Eveleth MN reporter and CNN News Analyst  Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer has shown up on the Minnesota airfield, and is basically interrupting the young news-woman as she makes her initial report:
   Reporter: There is no evidence that weather had anything to do with the crash.
   Blizter: But the plane was flying into some sort of ice storm, was it not?
   Reporter: There is no evidence that the weather had anything to do with the crash.    
   Observers say that CNN immediately cut away from the on-scene reporter, who of course was simply not heard from again. Other watchers noted a crawl along the bottom of the screen which they said ran only one time, "Weather not a factor in crash." However I would dispute that this item only ran once. Although I did not view CNN transcripts and news posting until November 1st or 2nd, what I found was that even at that late date, there were still some official notations that "weather was not a factor." 
   Local eyewitnesses add interesting highlights to the report of the crash. The plane was reported to be flying at an extremely slow speed, under 95 knots before the crash, and 76 knots (87 MPH) in the moments before impact. (Experts have stated that for a KingAir 100, a speed below 109 knots compromises the safety of the plane, and at speeds below 95 knots, there is the likelihood to stall and crash.) At least one eyewitness reported that they saw the plane's interior being engulfed in flame BEFORE it went down. Another eyewitness reported "a bright ball of light" just off the mid to back section of the plane, before the report of fire, and of course, before the crash itself. (The significance of this last report will be addressed later in this article.)
    The plane came down inside a wooded area two miles south of the airport. The pilot had made contact with the airfield's tower a mere sixty seconds before the crash. After that communication, the aircraft began drifting south, away from the airport. For whatever reason, at this point on, the plane slowed to the  dangerously low speed. At the time of impact, the body of the plane assumed a crash angle indicating that the pilot was not attempting to land. Nor were the landing gear or wing flaps positioned as they would be in any deliberate attempt to land.
   In early November, 2002, The Saint Louis County medical examiner, Dr. Thomas Oncini concluded that the passengers died as a result of "traumatic injury to, or as a consequence of an aviation fire." Although autopsies of the bodies indicate that neither drugs nor alcohol were involved, three of the passengers had inhaled significant amounts of the smoke from the fire. And on March 27th, the first official reports became public. Almost all of the reports as they are filtered through the main media focused on a theory of pilot(s) error. So it should come as no surprise that most of the statements by The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) do support earlier speculation by aviation experts that Wellstone's plane crashed on the cloudy morning of Oct. 25 because its pilots weren't flying fast enough.
   As reported in the Minnesota "Star Tribune", NTSB spokesman "Paul Schlamm didn't comment on the latest release of factual information, but he said months of work remain in the probe before a final report is presented for determination of probable cause by the safety board."
   In reading through the NTSB report, I am struck by how many of their comments relate to past behavior of the pilot Conry. Apparently Wellstone had kidded him several days before the crash about Conry's need to catch up on his sleep. Is Wellstone alive now to refute this reporting? Is Conry? Does the joke prove anything? 
   Perhaps it doesn't prove anything, but it might indicate certain tendencies that the pilot had. On Conry's Oct. 22 flight with Wellstone (three days before the fatal crash), he mistakenly engaged the autopilot instead of switching on the plane's yaw damper, according to the report. The copilot for that flight said he disconnected the autopilot, continued the climb "and later had to explain to Mr. Conry what had happened."
   The report also relies a great deal on Conry's past history. Pilots who had flown with Conry expressed concerns about his flying skills. For example, one King Air pilot told investigators that during an instrument approach to the airport in Fort Dodge, Iowa, he had to take the controls away from Conry because Conry was unable to hold altitude. Such information has a bit more credibility than a joke made in passing.
   The NTSB was nothing if not thorough about Conry's past. Their report mentions that in 1994, he informed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that he had lost his logbooks and sought permission to reconstruct his more than 5,000 flight hours. The FAA later accepted a notarized statement in which he summarized his hours, but the NTSB investigators said a number of the entries could not be verified.
   But of course, the verbal portrait of an individual  depends a great deal on who renders it. Several people described Conry as meticulous and "by the book," and one witness to his character considered Conry  "the most careful pilot with whom he had ever flown."
   As for the official version of the weather: as there was rampant speculation by the media that the weather was bad and that this discussion was featured prominently across all regular media's broadcasting, circa October 25th, through November 2nd (and on out), one would expect the NTSB to focus on the weather. Indeed their report does concern itself with the issue of ice particles and the plane's need for de-icing. But the NTSB does not dwell on the reality that the KingAir 100 is an able craft that can safely land in almost any weather. De-icing was a part of the plane's normal operation, especially given that it was a top of the line aircraft, and that it was accustomed to the rigors of severe Minnesota weather. Certainly the plane should have had no difficulty with the type of weather occurring the morning of October 25th, 2002. Visibility was at lest 300 feet. Several other planes landed and took off within the hour of that plane's crash. 
   Michael I Niman, a professor from Buffalo State College, has raised the specter that this plane crash may have been a political assassination. "In a Senate that is one heartbeat away from Republican control, Wellstone was more than just another Democrat. He was often the lone voice standing firm against the status-quo policies of both the Democrats and the Republicans. As such he earned the special ire of the Bush administration and the Republican Party, who made Wellstone's defeat the party's number one priority." 
   And this longed for defeat was not likely. The Senate race was a close one. But one thing that the Republican Party from its headquarters in Washington had not counted on was the Mid-Western values of the Minnesota people. Voters who did not agree with Wellstone (on his out-spoken opposition to the Administration) were none-the-less happy to tell him that he was their choice. This because even though they may differ with him on his opinions, voters found him an honorable man whom they admired.
   At the time his plane went down, many absentee voters had already turned their votes in to be counted. And according to the election rules of the state of Minnesota, those votes could not be recast for a different candidate if the original candidate died. This gives those favoring the Republican Party the motive for the crash. And of course, now that the Shadow Government is the legitimate government, it may not be so far fetched to examine the earlier, eyewitness reports, reports that the NTSB manages to avoid entirely.
   Let's examine things occurring at the time of the crash. Sixty seconds before the plane goes down, one of the two pilots makes contact with the Eveleth Air Tower. Then there is nothing. Local Minnesota media speculated that perhaps the plane had run into a flock of geese. But a flock of geese, although it could take down a plane, would not cut off communication between the pilots and the Air Control personnel. John Judge, an expert on the JFK assassination, has a thought on this. He suggests that an electric-magnetic pulse might have been employed to disable computerized components. Such a device would also account for the disorientation that the pilots of the plane may well have been experiencing. 
   You hit a flock of birds, you know what is going on with that as you go down. And you can make the report as you do so. This plane was lost, despite there being two pilots aboard, and despite the plane itself being a sophisticated, well-designed aircraft. A device such as Judge suggests is available commercially for police to use to impede those making escapes in high-speed car chase. The same device would work as well for an airplane.
   It is in discussing electro-magnetic pulsing that we need to remember the testimony of the earlier witness. Remember, he had said that there was a "ball of light" toward the rear of the plane in the moments before the crash. This kind of phenomena is associated with electro-magnetic puling devices, and with electro-magnetic "bombs." Such bombs do not "explode" in the conventional sense, but such a device could trigger a bomb already aboard. This would account for the one report that the plane was engulfed in flames before it hit the ground.
   But funny thing, the NTSB, now overseen by a woman who was formerly CIA, does not address this speculation. Strange that the official examinations never undertake the needed effort to dispel the alternate views of a tragedy. Officialdom takes the Roswell event and says that it happened ten years later, and was weather balloons. They took the Kennedy assassination, and then report that it was a lone, crazed gunman. (Currently 13% of Americans believe the "official" JFK murder scenario. The rest of us do not.) And now Wellstone's death and the deaths of the seven others with him, falls into this category.
   Undoubtedly, we will be discussing this years and years from now.


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