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One of Our Planes

let's see if the brains that assured us they can find and hit enemy missiles in space flight can find it

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, April 09, 1997.

Well, we have a missing military plane. A Thunderbolt, which is a jet designed for ground attack, apparently peeled off from a three jet formation going towards an Arizona bombing range and headed north towards Colorado about a week ago. It was seen circling around Aspen airport and then towards Vail. There is suspicion it may have hit the mountains around Telluride, which has the in-crowd all in a tizzy.

It has talk radio all in an uproar, if the 3AM shows this morning are any indication. Because talk radio’s audience is composed of mostly bitter white males, the favorite supposition is that the pilot had militia leanings, and was flying north to hide his plane and bombs for their use. This is indeed a frightening prospect. Imagine if David Koresh had been able to call in an air strike against the FBI. Or the Montana Freemen, had they paid their phone bill.

But we were discussing, about a month ago, the horrors of finding the American military bought off by drug dealers, since we are so concerned about Mexican revelations of corruption, and since our military - with nothing much to do - has been increasingly used as a tool of civilian policing both here and abroad. Here is a plane and pilot that would be used to attack, perhaps, warehouse storage areas. The plane is heavily armored against small arms fire, designed to support our troops against enemy tanks. It has a large payload. It can fly under radar, low and slow.

Yet again, there is no mention in even the paranoid media about this possibility which, I may say, is far more likely than another right wing militia scare, given that drug traffickers are not known for being chronically short of handy cash and militia groups cannot afford much above a six-party line to their rural hideouts and have to make their bombs out of composted cow dung. Of course, the two options are not necessarily separate, and the media - perhaps for the good stories - is notably restrained in its condemnation of drugs, especially in where the money is being obviously laundered. Certainly, the use and procurement of illegal drugs and their vehicles - whether cocaine, meth, or pot - is seemingly a major concern of many of these militia groups, either for their own use or for the money they can raise. But then, it is a major concern of many Americans.

The military’s spinmeisters have been rather choleric in their sifting of possibilities when they talk to the media, not a good sign. Yes, one of our planes is missing and yeeess, it does have three five-hundred pound bombs, but no, these bombs cannot go off unless activated by the pilot. And the pilot, who - yes - did seem to make a lot of voluntary flights to Colorado from his base, and who - yes - may have been a likely candidate for militia duty, and of course there is that McVeigh trial going on in Denver, this pilot may have passed out from the high altitude or equipment failure. Yes that’s it. Our pilot passed out of oxygen deprivation, executed a 180 degree turn and flew to Colorado. He did circle Aspen airport, maybe a few others. He was seen heading off towards Vail, and since attack bombers do not blend in with the Lear Jet crowd or Cessnas, we may be reasonably sure of this. Nothing to worry about.

Nothing, that is, except that as of this writing they have not found the plane. They dispatched a spy plane to photograph the entire area, and they cannot find it. They have been searching in mountainous woods covered with snow, and against this white backdrop, they cannot find the wreckage of a desert camouflaged aircraft. Or its perfectly safe bombs.

Would you rather have the public think that this is one lone loony with a mission to help McVeigh or would you choose to tell them that, at any given moment, there are probably several military pilots, armed with missiles, in the air over our nation bought and owned by Mexican drug cartels? Which, given the financial resources available to the suspects, is more likely? It couldn’t happen to more deserving hypocrites.