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Remains of U.S. Pilot Missing 18 Years in Iraq Found

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posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 07:20 AM

Remains of the first American lost in the 1991 Persian Gulf War have been found in the Anbar province of Iraq after a nearly 20-year search, the U.S. Navy said Sunday.

The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology has positively identified the remains of Captain Michael "Scott" Speicher, whose disappearance has bedeviled investigators since his jet was shot down over the Iraq desert on the first night of the 1991 war.

The Navy said the discovery illustrates the military's commitment to bring its troops home.

"This is a testament to how the Navy never stops looking for one of its own. No matter how long it takes," Commander Cappy Surette, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy, told FOX News.

Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, added, "we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Captain Speicher and his family for the sacrifice they have made for our nation and the example of strength they have set for all of us."

The Pentagon initially declared Speicher killed, but uncertainty — and the lack of remains — led officials over the years to change his official status a number of times to "missing in action" and later "missing-captured."

After years, the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq finally gave investigators the chance to search inside Iraq. And it led to a number of leads, including what some believed were the initials "MSS" scratched into the wall of an Iraqi prison.

The search also led investigators to excavate a potential grave site in Baghdad in 2005, track down Iraqis said to have information about Speicher and make numerous other inquiries in what officials say has been an exhaustive search.

Officials said Sunday that they got new information from an Iraqi citizen in early July, leading Marines stationed in Anbar province to a location in the desert which was believed to be the crash site of Speicher's jet.

The Iraqi said he knew of two other Iraqis who recalled an American jet crashing and the remains of the pilot being buried in the desert.

"One of these Iraqi citizens stated that they were present when Captain Speicher was found dead at the crash site by Bedouins and his remains buried," the Pentagon said in a statement.

He was positively identified through a jawbone found at the site and dental records, said Read Adm. Frank Thorp.


Additional Source:

I'm not quite sure what to think about this one. Of course, I feel for the family, and I'm glad they finally have closure. But it's just odd that the Navy would search that hard for that long. Could it be that he had seen something and they wanted to ensure he was dead, and if not, bring him into custody? Or maybe it is just what they said it was, a simple search for one of their fallen. What's your opinions?

[edit on 2-8-2009 by gatorboi117]

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 07:46 AM
reply to post by gatorboi117

My guess? A simple search for one of their fallen.

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 07:53 AM
Of course it was a search for a soldier they feared may have been captured. His last status was missing-captured, so they had some hope he was still alive. That hope was magnified when some reported see MSS (his initials ) carved into an Iraqi prison wall.

I'm glad we never stopped looking for him.

R.I.P Captain Michael "Scott" Speicher.

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 08:39 AM
At least the family finally has closure, and now know for sure what happened to him. They can at last bury him and say goodbye properly.

As far as the US Navy looking for it's missing troops for as long as it takes, they didn't worry too much about the missing troops (marines or seals there) held in Vietnam for decades...did they.

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 10:14 AM
The article I read said that some Bedoiun people found and buried the body of the airman.
Respect to them for at least trying to give a burial to an "enemy" soldier.
They could have handed it over to Saddams people,and then he may have never been found.
Feel bad for his family,not knowing what happened to thier son/brother for so many years must have been agonising for them.

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