December 14, 2004

Take The Pledge/ The Grandpa of Political Crashes

The ACLU - which rarely does this sort of thing, has a site where you can pledge to not surrender the freedoms of the Constitution of the United States. The best reason? It is probably already in your best interests not to do so.

And just to feed SoAM's paranoia, the History's Mysteries that featured the loss of 1972 loss of the Cessna flight Democratic Congressman Nick Begich and Majority Leader Boggs, which was rebroadcast Sunday- featuring old friends like Tom Begich and professional conspiracy theorist Nick Jr. Dr.X and the Viceroy's father's were both directly involved in the air search. (If you look this up on the interweb, you will, I think unfortunately, run into a lot of ancillary conspiracy speculation).

Aside from the somewhat ludricrous structure of the 2001 documentary ("Alaska's Bermuda Triangle"), and how ordinary air crashes and loss are in Alaska, it reminded me of interesting loose ends.

- The SR-71 and it's incredible image making capacity was used secretly in the search, but the film has been lost.

- The loss and rediscovery of the October 1972 memo, released in 1992 under FOIA, a memo which purported to report the exact location of the crash on Malaspina Glacier, including two survivors; the report is one thing, but this information, credible or not, was not passed on to searchers in the one of the most intense searches in history. Boggs had made a serious enemy of Hoover, before he died earlier in the year. It's reasonable to ask if someone sat on the memo; but of course the names, particularly the sources for this report, are blacked out.

The memo is fascinating - but as you'll see Nick's website is beyond extreme, and ends up making reasonable questions mockable. The irony of conspiracy theories, true or not, is that they end up making dissent look ludricrous and paranoid, and leaves believers politically impotent. It becomes impossible to sort out delusion from fact, and otherwise critical facts are drowned out.

-An untidy aside has to do with Jerry Pasley - the guy who briefly married Peggy Begich after the crash, and who had connections as a bomber for the mob. Here, a frequent subject of private speculation, is where a case for malfeasance is most interesting.

It was most likely a case of a hotshot pilot too embarassed to radio he was in trouble (he actually wrote an article mocking the dangers of icing!) but as conspiracies go, and with the odd record of politically convienient air deaths of troublesome Democrats, I'm willing to indulge this one a little longer.


Blogger Dr. X said...

Pasley is still alive?

December 14, 2004 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger First Sea Lord said...

I believe he died recently.

December 14, 2004 at 12:28 PM  

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