On This Day — Remembering Arrow Air Flight 1285 (December 12 1985) [2019]

 “Hours after the crash the Islamic Jihad – a Shiite Muslim extremist group – claimed it destroyed the plane to prove [its] ability to strike at the Americans anywhere.”

UPI — Anonymous caller to a French news agency in Beirut

“An in-flight fire that may have resulted from detonations of undetermined origin brought about catastrophic system failures.”

Four (of nine) members of the CASB dissenting Opinion

“Governments lie. They do it all the time. And, much as we’d like to believe otherwise, the US government is no exception. There were times when we may have believed otherwise. But after Vietnam and Watergate, we know better.”

Ted Koppel — “The USS Vincennes: Public War, Secret War.” (July 1, 1992)

The “Silent Witness” Arrow Air Flight 1285 memorial at Gander Lake, with a DC-8 taking off in the background

December 12 2019 — On the morning of December 12 1985, shortly after take-off from Gander en route to Fort Campbell, Arrow aircraft 1285 crashed, and burned about half a mile from the runway, killing all 248 passengers and 8 crew members on board.  Investigators blamed icing. But many experts think otherwise. Was it really an accident? Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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UPDATE (December 12 2019) — Robert O’Dowd and Tim King are former US Marines who investigate military history.

Robert O’Dowd has authored: “Treachery: Murder, Cocaine, and the Lucifer Directive” about the flight of Arrow Air 1285.

Earlier this year he penned a story titled: Arrow Air 1285, Murder and the Lucifer Directive — Army Airborne and LAPD Bomb Squad officers murdered to keep the lid shut on the Gander Air Crash.

The article is certainly worth reading in full but a few sentences caught my attention:

In a video report, Juval Aviv, Israeli-American counter-terrorism expert, told Terri Taylor, KDKA-TV, investigative journalist, that U.S. intelligence operatives landed at Gander while the Arrow Air 1285 was refueling.

Four men from the chopper loaded a crate on the plane. Aviv told Taylor that he had witnesses but refused to divulge their names unless compelled to do so.

Don Devereux, retired investigative reporter who followed the Gander crash for over 30 years, speculated that the interior of the plane was engulfed in flames almost immediately on take-off at Gander, the apparent consequences of two bomb components: one containing an explosive incendiary trigger adjacent to a second holding a napalm-like substance.

The remote detonation instantly ignited and spread a deadly conflagration throughout the body of the aircraft. Devereux’s sources suggested that soda cans “placed next to each other among cases of soft drinks” contained the incendiary trigger and napalm.

Small word! Juval Aviv and Don Devereux have played a significant role in the Lockerbie saga.

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Here is what I wrote about Devereux and the infamous MST-13 timer that allegedly triggered the bomb on Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie.

“Devereux says that Sherrow told him that while working for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) when asked to identify the timer in the photograph he was certain that he knew the origin.

Rather than implicating the MST-13’s original manufacturer MEBO, Sherrow said a company in Florida made the timer, and made it exclusively for the CIA.

Sherrow allegedly told Devereux, that he brought this information to the attention of senior personnel at the ATF he was reprimanded and immediately removed from active duty and taken off the Lockerbie investigation.” (Cover-up of Convenience. John Ashton, p 269.)

A few years ago, there was some rumors that Steven Spielberg was planning a movie based on Juval Aviv’s Pan Am 103 report.

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Spielberg’s MUNICH is based on the book Vengeance (1984), an account of Operation Wrath of God. The main source of the book is Juval Aviv.

Back to Arrow Air Flight 1285, Tim King has launched a petition to Unseal the Records in America’s Worst Military Aircraft Disaster.

70% of the soldiers killed in the crash had aspirated smoke, yet no one survived the crash impact, so that means they breathed smoke before dying. Experts scientifically dismiss the US government’s suggestion that soldiers aboard an Arrow Air DC-8 aspirated smoke from the violent crash. They believe a bomb on the plane was remotely triggered to prevent soldiers on the aircraft from blowing-the-whistle on an illegal covert mission to use a nuclear backpack (nuclear bomb) to destroy an Iraqi Nuclear Weapons Research Facility.

Our elected leaders must insist that we are told the truth, the records must be unsealed. The type of secrecy, when employed by the US government, only breeds more suspicion. More than 250 American families as well as the American public, need to know what happened.to the soldiers aboard the chartered military aircraft, a DC-8 (N950JW).

About 700 people have already signed up. I encourage you to read the petition.


December 12 1985 — Arrow Air Flight 1285

Arrow Air Flight 1285 was a McDonnell Douglas DC-8 jetliner that operated as an international charter flight carrying U.S. troops from Cairo, Egypt, to their home base in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, via Cologne, West Germany and Gander, Canada.

On the morning of Thursday, 12 December 1985, shortly after take-off from Gander en route to Fort Campbell, the aircraft stalled, crashed, and burned about half a mile from the runway, killing all 248 passengers and 8 crew members on board.

The Canadian Aviation Safety Board Investigation

The accident was investigated by the Canadian Aviation Safety Board (CASB), which determined the probable cause of the crash was the aircraft’s unexpectedly high drag and reduced lift condition, most likely due to ice contamination on the wings’ leading edges and upper surfaces, as well as underestimated on-board weight. [Wikipedia]

Dissenting Opinion

Four (of nine) members of the CASB dissented, issuing a minority opinion asserting that there was no evidence presented proving that ice had been present on leading edges such as the wings.

The minority report speculated that: “An in-flight fire that may have resulted from detonations of undetermined origin brought about catastrophic system failures.”

The Expert : Les Filotas

Icing of the plane was listed as the official cause of the crash, but some members of the Canadian investigative team issued their own minority report, accusing officials of withholding critical evidence and covering up evidence of an on-board explosion – with possible ties to Iran-Contra.

30 years anniversary (December 2015) — Les Filotas, an aeronautical engineer with the CASB, was one of four who filed a minority report on the crash.

He later wrote Improbable Cause, a book which suggests other causes — particularly an explosion — may have been the real reason why the plane went down.

Filotas believes that the crash pattern was not indicative of a plane that had lost altitude because of icing.

“Looking at the report, I did a few calculations and verified that there’s something wrong here. The acceleration is something like 30 knots in seven seconds, that’s something equivalent to turning all the engines off.”

Filotas isn’t alone in his skepticism. [See the 20/20 documentary below.]

President Reagan’s Remarks at a Service in Fort Campbell, Kentucky 

President Reagan’s Remarks at a Service in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, for the Members of the 101st Airborne Division who died in the Airplane crash in Gander, Newfoundland on December 16, 1985.

NOTE: I remember reading that president Reagan wrote a cryptic comment in his diary on the evening of the tragedy. But I was not able to find that quote. It was something like: “This event is a reminder of the high price we pay for our presence in the Middle East.”

(If you know the exact quote, please let us know.)

UPDATE (December 12 2019) — Many thanks to Les Filotas who sent me the exact words in President Reagan’s diary about the crash:  “reminder of the high price we were having to pay for the continuing strife in the Middle East”.


Arrow Air Fight 1285: Unanswered Questions

To mark the 30th anniversary, ‘Arrow Air Flight 1285: Unanswered Questions’ aired on CBC’s The National.


Arrow Air DC-8 Crash in Gander Newfoundland — 20/20


30 years later: Skeptics still question cause of Arrow Air crash — CBC News

Improbable Cause: Deceit and dissent in the investigation of America’s worst military air disaster by Les Filotas

“At least 248 American troops didn’t make it home for Christmas when the Arrow Air charter flight bringing them home from peacekeeping duties in the Sinai blew up after refuelling at Gander, Newfoundland on December 12, 1985 – the worst peacetime military disaster in U.S. history.

The Canadian investigators ignored the Islamic Jihad’s claim of terrorist action and suppressed evidence of an in-flight explosion. A slim majority of the investigative board blamed the crash on the crew’s inattention to a thin layer of ice on the DC-8’s wings.

The board disintegrated in controversy after a review by a former supreme court justice roundly rejected the ice theory. Les Filotas, one of the minority who disputed the ice theory, gives a fully-documented insider’s account of the infamous investigation – and of the collapse of a long historical struggle to rid the investigation of aviation accidents of bureaucratic and political entanglements.”


Suspicious Aviation Tragedies: December 12 1985 — Arrow Air Flight 1285

On This Day — Remembering Arrow Air Flight 1285 (December 12 1985)

On This Day — Remembering Arrow Air Flight 1285 (December 12 1985) [2019]

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