posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 05:51 PM
With the 30th anniversary of the Korean Airlines 007 shoot down, and the recent petition filed by family members I thought it would be appropriate to
revisit the incident. After reading about the petition filed by family members, I started rereading the details of the attack, and the more I read,
the more my hackles raised. There are a number of things that aren't right, and a few that scream cover up.
The shoot down
On August 30, 1983 Korean Airlines flight 007 departed New York at 1225 am, approximately 35 minutes late (scheduled departure was 1150 pm), bound for
Seoul, South Korea, via Anchorage. On board the flight were 246 passengers, and 23 crew members. The flight would land in Anchorage for fuel,
cleaning, and servicing before departing on to Seoul.
At approximately 4 am local time, KE007 departed Anchorage. Almost immediately (unknown to the crew), things began to go wrong. Upon being cleared
to the Bethel checkpoint, the autopilot should have been placed into either INS or VOR/LOC mode. VOR/LOC would have locked onto the VOR signal from
Bethel and guided the plane to the correct location, at which time it should have been placed into INS mode. In INS mode, the autopilot uses the
Inertial Navigation System to keep the aircraft between waypoints. This is used when a VOR is out of range, and would have to be used to keep KE007
clear of Kamchatka Peninsula, as their route would have them under 20 miles from Soviet airspace. However, if you are more than 7.5 miles off from
the INS course line, the INS mode will not work.
Approximately 10 minutes after take off, the aircraft, flying on a heading of 245 (Bethel was a heading of 220), began to drift off its course,
towards Russian airspace. Approximately 28 minutes after take off, the radar at Kenai noticed them 5.6 miles where they should have been. This would
continue towards Russia for the rest of the flight.
It appears that neither Kenai, or Elmendorf noticed that the aircraft was out of position in real time, so no warning was passed on to the crew.
Meanwhile, on 007, they attempted to use the VHF radio to radio their position to ATC, but were unable to do so. This should have been one warning
them that they were off course, but they simply asked KE015 which was behind them, and in range, to pass their reports on.
At the same time, near the Kamchatka Peninsula, a Soviet missile test was scheduled for the same day that KE007 was going past. A US Air Force RC-135
was flying in the area monitoring the test, and gathering signals intelligence at the time the 747 was passing by.
KE007 penetrated Soviet airspace at 1551 UTC, when Soviet aircraft were scrambled to intercept it. Due to radio problems the intercept failed.
Meanwhile Soviet commanders were arguing over what to do. One wanted the aircraft destroyed, even if it was in international airspace, after positive
identification was made. Another said no ID was required, as it had already penetrated their airspace.
The flight reentered international airspace for a short time, before reentering Soviet airspace, near Sakhalin Island. This time it was intercepted
by three Su-15, and one Mig-23 fighter. The lead Su-15 fired warning shots, but they were ignored. He later said he fired approximately 200 rounds,
but they were armor piercing, with no tracers. He was then ordered to destroy the aircraft.
The lead pilot knew the aircraft was a Boeing, but he never told the ground controllers. He fired two K-8 air to air missiles at the aircraft (NATO
name AA-3 Anab). Both missiles exploded under the tail of the aircraft.
The 747 immediately began to climb for several minutes, before leveling off, and returning to pre-attack altitude and airspeed. It was heavily
damaged, but remained under control for the rest of the flight. The aircraft began a four minute decent to 16,000 feet, where it remained for several
minutes, before continuing down to 10,000 feet. The aircraft was last seen in a slow spiraling decent over Moneron Island, both visually, and on
radar. The radar could only see down to 1,000 feet, so it's not known when, or how the aircraft finally crashed. However, it appeared to be under
control the entire way down.
Korean 007 carried 246 passengers. Most were Korean nationals returning home, but the most interesting person on the plane was Georgia Representative
Lawrence McDonald, on his way to Seoul for a ceremony commemorating the anniversary of South Korean and US military cooperation. He was supposed to
be traveling with Senator Jesse Helms, Steven Symms, and Representative Carol Hubbard, but due to delays the previous couple of days, he was the only
one on the flight. Rep Hubbard had canceled and Senators Symms, and Helms were on KE015, behind KE007. Senator Helms had tried to get Rep McDonald
to join them, but he was sleeping and didn't want to be disturbed so he remained on 007.
Rep McDonald was the Democratic Representative from Georgia, but was so conservative that he apparently made the Republicans look downright liberal.
He introduced a number of bills, including bills that would make it illegal for aid, loans, or weapons to go to any Communist or Communist friendly
regime, as well as trying to create a committee for internal security (he greatly admired McCarthy). He was the second president of the John Birch
Society, and at the time of the incident he was considering running for President of the United States.