Letter Of The Month

Gary Powers Flight Was Sabotaged To Fail!

What I am writing now is already covered in detail and with references in my books and articles. I am writing today because of the good questions you have received and to put the "POWERS U-2" subject on firm ground. For more refer to my book "The Secret Team" or the many essays on the CD-ROM

The Lockheed U-2 aerial reconnaissance aircraft was ordered after meetings that took place in the Pentagon between Kelly Johnson of Lockheed, Gen. Ken Bergquist of the Air Force and Gen. Charles Cabel, Deputy Director of the CIA in late 1954, and into 1955.

An Air Force officer in the Pentagon, in the same office as I, worked with them on this special project. Therefore for all practical purposes the U-2 was an Air Force aircraft, and was covered for clandestine reconnaissance purposes by the CIA. As a result of National Security Council Directive #5412 the U.S. Military Services were prohibited from operating clandestine activities. I was responsible for providing the military support for other military aircraft in a similar, for the clandestine activities of the CIA and under CIA cover.

By 1960 President Eisenhower's biggest wish was to end his presidential service with a massive world around "Crusade for Peace". For example, more than one million people had gathered in New Delhi to honor his visit to India.

A significant step along this crusade was to be a High-Power Summit Conference in Paris on May 1, 1960 between Eisenhower, Macmillan, DeGaulle and Khrushchev; to be followed by the most massive of all meetings with Eisenhower as a guest of Khrushchev in Moscow in mid summer 1960. This was to be the goal of his "Crusade for Peace."

Among the "Powers that be" there were those who did not favor that close collaboration between those leaders at that time. They took action to interfere with this plan for a "Summit Conference" and for its Moscow follow-up... in the following manner.

Sometime earlier, a CIA scheduled U-2 had made a "belly" landing near the CIA U-2 base, Atsugi, Japan. Quite "incidentally" this was the U-2 base where a young U.S. Marine, Lee Oswald, had been assigned.

Because the U-2 had not been seriously damaged it was shipped back to Lockheed for repair in California. Later it was returned to service and it "just happened" to be one of the available U-2's on the flight-line of the Peshawar air base in Pakistan that morning of May 1, 1960 when Captain Gary Powers was selected to fly it across the Soviet Union.

We know now that during its preparation for this flight this U-2 had been stripped of its "TOP SECRET" Lundahl aerial reconnaissance camera. (That camera was too valuable to lose on a flight over the Soviet Union.) Furthermore, we have learned that when Captain Powers was given his pre-flight briefing and his medical exam, and other orders he then dressed in the special flight suit for U-2 pilots that had no pockets and no identifying labels of any kind. And, we now know that after his landing, yes... landing, not crash, near Sverdlovsk, the Soviets discovered, packed in his parachute, between the seat and the folded chute, all of his identification papers and such. He even had valuables ostensibly to trade for assistance if captured. (The list is too long; but he had a whole bag full of identification and other gear that is prohibited to "spy" pilots. This list with photos is available.) He was uninjured, and his plane had been only slightly damaged by a "belly" landing.

On May 30, 1960 Mr. Allen Dulles, Director, Central Intelligence appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and, under oath, stated that the U-2 had not been shot dawn. It is well known that if the U-2 had been hit by a missile or gunfire at its service altitude it would have exploded in that thin air.

Powers himself has said that he felt a rumble toward the rear of the aircraft, and that his engine quit. Even U-2 pilots in those days had not been told that their extremely high altitude operation required a special pure hydrogen additive to their more ordinary fuel. If the U-2 ran out of this hydrogen additive, at altitude, the engine would flare out and it could not be re-started until it had descended to a much lower altitude.

Powers knew that and began to let down, and then found that he was surrounded, at the lower altitude, by Soviet interceptors. He had but one choice...LAND. He did, and survived to tell his story.

This is an interesting story because so much of what we have heard and read has been contrived to cover actual events. For example: once the Paris Summit Conference of May 1, 1960 had been scheduled the CIA was ordered to ground all "Over" flights of Communist territory - worldwide". The U-2's were grounded. I was responsible for supporting a large number of "over" flights" primarily in Asia to support the Tibetans who were being invaded by the Chinese, and to support major lower-level reconnaissance programs operating out of Taiwan, Thailand, and a few other places. Despite the fact that many of our flights were solely humanitarian, especially for the Khambas in Eastern Tibet, my special request, to the National Security Council, for permission to continue those flights was denied until after the Paris meetings.

This was a strict and blanket order to us all. With that in mind, who was it then with the authority to "order the Powers U-2 flight"? It had to have been ordered from a very high echelon of the true power structure above the customary military or civilian elements of the government.

Think back:

a) Who (used here in the plural: WHO?) ordered that crashed U-2 in Japan to be repaired and to be refitted?

b) Who knew so much about the U-2 that they knew that the U-2 was equipped with the finest, and most valuable high-altitude camera, the "Lundahl"?

c) Who had the authority to order that precious camera to be saved in favor of a standard U.S.Air Force model that was used on May 1, 1960?

d) Who knew enough about the CIA-operated U-2s to know that they functioned at extreme altitude on a mix of regular jet fuel and pure hydrogen?

e) Who ordered the hydrogen bottle (like a fire extinguisher) to be half-filled, or half-empty?

f) Who was familiar enough with U-2 operations to know that all U-2 pilots before take-off had been stripped to the bone, and dressed in a specially made flight suit with no pockets, etc.?

g) Who was able to have someone else assemble Powers personal "pocket" belongings and other selected items such as gold rings, identification, etc. and pack them between the seat of Powers' chute and its folded fabric below?

h) who had the authority to set this whole train of events that involved so many other skilled people, in motion early that morning from Peshawar, Pakistan?

Scenario by L. Fletcher Prouty and based upon considerable "Over Flight" operations and support experience, 1955-1963.

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