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Ron Brown: Evidence Of A Cover up

By Michael Rivero

NEW! Was there a bullet hole in Ron Brown's head?

Subject Index

OVERVIEW OF THE RON BROWN AFFAIR

CLINTON'S FAKE TEARS

AVIATION WEEK ARTICLE SCANS

MY THEORY

NEWS ARTICLES

PASSENGER LIST


OVERVIEW

Bill Clinton appointed Ron Brown Commerce Secretary, partly as a reward for Ron Brown's success as a campaign fund raiser. From day one, allegations surrounded the exact means and methods by which this success was attained. Investigations into Ron Brown's activities (his son would later plead guilty to money laundering) were nearing the point of indictments, and Ron Brown had publicly stated that he would not go to jail alone, when the airplane carrying Ron Brown and about 30 other people crashed in Bosnia.

It is worth noting that Ron Brown was just one of four Clinton campaign fund raisers to die under questionable circumstances. The others were C. Victor Raiser II, Hershel Friday, and Ed Willey, a total of three plane crashes and one "Fosterization". Following Brown's demise, his personal attorney as well as a co-worker at the Department of Commerce, Barbara Wise also died under questionable circumstances. As in the case of yet another "suddenly dead" member of the Clinton administration, Vincent Foster , Ron Brown's office was ransacked for files by Commerce staff immediately after his death.

In the wake of Brown's death, even though the investigation into his activities was effectively closed down, allegations continued to surface that Brown had traded seats on trade missions for DNC campaign donations, and had even solicited money from Vietnam! Now infamous security leaks John Huang and Ira Sockowitz were at Ron Brown's Commerce Department at the times they were leaking classified satellite technology to the Chinese. Brown's closest associate, Nolanda Hill, admitted on ABC-TV that Brown was using drugs, and that the White House had ordered Brown to meet with "some damn Chinaman", a reference to John Huang.

The crash itself was the subject of much controversy. Originally claimed to have happened in the Adriatic itself, subsequent news stories slowly but surely moved the wreckage from sea to hilltop.

Russian, French and Croatian TV reported the recovery of the black box recorders. U.S. sources denied it and said that only some instrumentation that looked EXACTLY like the recorders were recovered. The flight recorders on aircraft are designed to be unique in appearance. They cannot be confused for any other item on the aircraft. Despite the name "black box" they are actually bright dayglow orange with black stripes and very clear labels saying what they are. All commercial models of that aircraft come with flight recorders. But the government claims that THIS aircraft, used for VIPs including Hillary only two weeks previously, had no such standard safety systems.

On one thing all the news stories did agree. The claim was put forward repeatedly that the plane crashed in, "The worst storm in a decade". This was the exact wording used by TIME, Newsweek, and the White House in describing the accident.

However, the Dubrovnik airport weather office told a different story. The official weather report issued at the time of the crash reported light scattered rain, broken clouds at 400 feet, a thin overcast at 2000 feet, and a steady head wind right down the runway just the way pilots like it. The reported visibility was 5 miles. The flight crew acknowledged receiving this weather report (more about that later). The distance from the airport to where the aircraft crashed was less than two miles.

Storms, or to be more precise, the weather systems that produce storms, are easily recognized features. The updrafts that create a hazard for flying will push a column of clouds up to 20,000 feet for a regular storm, and up to 33,000 feet whereupon a "super cycle" sets in and a major storm, complete with lightening, is underway.

It's safe to say that had such a behemoth weather system been just two miles away from an airport reporting five mile visibility, it would have been seen. No other pilots reported such storms, and no such storm cell formations show up on weather satellite photos of the area at the time of the crash.

In short, no official document from the actual crash area exists to support the claim of "The Worst Storm In A Decade".

The storm story was a lie, which means some other cause for the crash exists.

While the plane carrying Ron Brown and his party was still 7 miles from the crash site, 1/2 mile in the air and on the normal approach path out over the Adriatic, three radio based links with three separate propagation paths all failed at the same time.

According to Aviation Week & Space Technology, April 8, 1996, the Dubrovnik tower lost voice radio contact with the aircraft at the same time the aircraft vanished from the screens of the approach radar at Split and an AWACS.

Let's look at the Split radar first.

The Split radar watches the approach to Dubrovnik airport, which is where the Ron Brown aircraft was when it dropped off of the radar screen. Contrary to some silly claims made in the media, the plane was NOT flying in the mountains. It was out over the water, with open space all around. The radar at Split routinely tracks aircraft through that airspace without problem. If it were normal for the Split radar to lose traffic at that point on the approach path, nobody would have mentioned it because it would be normal and expected behavior. There would be nothing unusual about it. That a comment was made about the target dropping off of the Split radar establishes that it was an unusual event.

The Split radar, like all ATC radar, tracks primarily by aircraft transponder. So, when the Split radar lost track of the Ron Brown aircraft, what was actually lost was the transponder return, as the aircraft was still there, on the approach path, although just starting to veer slightly left.

Now let's look at the AWACS.

The AWACS system is designed to track NON-transpondered targets. Radar "hits" are placed in a computer system that keeps a list and tries to match the returns from the present radar sweep to the returns from the previous sweeps in order to generate meaningful target tracking data for the operators and weapons management systems. Part of that process involves target to target comparisons to make certain that what the computer thinks is target XYZ this sweep is the same target it thought was XYZ last sweep. The total workload on the computer is a power function of the total number of non-transpondered targets being carried in the target list.

If a target has a transponder, the AWACS will track the target using the transponder return, because not only is less computer power needed for a transpondered target, but the workload for sorting out non-transpondered targets is reduced.

How do we know that the AWACS was tracking the Ron Brown plane via transponder? Because the AWACS lost it's track at the same time that the Split radar lost it's transponder return. Had the AWACS been tracking the Ron Brown plane via skin-paint, there is no reason for it to lose track of the aircraft at the same time that Split did, while the aircraft was still 7 miles from the crash site.

Had the AWACS not reported losing contact, we could surmise that either the AWACS was tracking on skin paint or the Split radar suffered a momentary failure, but this was not the case.

It is also true that the AWACS could have immediately reacquired the Ron Brown aircraft on skin paint (and it's not known for a fact that the computers did not add it as a non-transpondered target), but the AWACS was there to watch Bosnia, not the Dubrovnik airport.

The two radar tracks, propagating along two different paths, come together at only one common point where a single failure could make the aircraft vanish from both Split and the AWACS, and that is the radar transponder in the Ron Brown aircraft. A failure of the transponder is the only explanation for the Ron Brown plane vanishing from two different radar screens at the same time, while still 7 miles from the crash site and 1/2 mile above the Adriatic sea.

At the same time that the aircraft vanished from the radars at Split and the AWACS, the Dubrovnik tower reported it lost voice radio contact with the aircraft.

This is a third distinct propagation path from the AWACS and Split. In fact, it's direct line of sight from the Dubrovnik airport to the location on the approach path where radio contact was lost. There are no intervening geological features to block the radio signal. The Dubrovnik tower continued to communicate with other aircraft in the area, so the radios in the tower were not at fault.

The data reported in the Aviation Week & Space Technology article shows evidence that TWO SPERATE SYSTEMS on board the Ron Brown aircraft failed at the same time. The cockpit radios, and the radar transponder.

The radios and radar transponders come together at only one common point where a single failure could make the aircraft vanish from both Split and the AWACS and also lose voice radio contact with the Dubrovnik tower, and that is if the electrical system failed in mid air, while still 7 miles from the crash site and 1/2 mile above the Adriatic sea, on the approach path.

No other explanation fits the facts reported in Aviation Week & Space Technology.

The electrical power buss cables share the same conduit as the flight control cables, which run from the control yokes in the cockpit to the various flight control surfaces of the aircraft. Any event sufficient to sever the electrical cables would present a real danger to the control cables (especially if the control cables were the real target and the electrical failure a side effect).

There is clear evidence that the control cables had indeed failed at the same time as the electrical system. As was mentioned before, the Aviation Week article reported that the flight crew had acknowledged receiving the weather report, which indicated that clear air was just below them. Having just descended into the overcast the flight crew also knew there was clear air above.

From the loss of the radar transponder and cockpit radio, we know the plane was without electrical power. The flight crew therefore did not have any means to follow any beacons (real or fake). In such circumstances, the flight crew would have every reason to either climb or descend into the clear air they knew was there, and no reason to stay within an overcast without instruments.

There is only one reason to explain why an aircraft without electrical power did not move to clear air and that's if the control cables failed at the same time as the electrical system did. There is no reason for a pilot to stay in the clouds without instruments. None.

While the claim has been put forward that the plane executed a missed approach and turned to the left, the fact is that nobody at the airport (the one with 5 mile visibility) ever saw the plane anywhere near the runway. Following the loss of electrical power, the plane seems to have veered slightly left of course (or to be more accurate failed to make a slight starboard turn to line up on the Dubrovnik runway) and plowed into the hill.

The first announcement of the crash came not from Dubrovnik, or anywhere else in Bosnia, but from a Pentagon spokesman who requested anonymity (an odd occurrence in a supposed simple airline crash) while announcing that the wreckage was not on land but in the Adriatic.

In a news story carried by UPI on April 3rd 1996, the White House claimed that actual wreckage had been spotted.

WASHINGTON, April 3 (UPI) -- A U.S. Air Force plane carrying Commerce Secretary Ron Brown in the Adriatic Sea near the port city of Dubrovnik on Tuesday, officials said. The White House said wreckage was spotted in the Adriatic Sea near Dubrovnik. The debris apparently came from the plane, which was carrying Brown and an undetermined number of leading U.S. business executives, who were on a trade mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina. ``The wreckage in the Adriatic is his,'' a Pentagon official told United Press International, speaking on condition of anonymity. "

As a result of these initial stories, rescue forces sent out by French and Croatian forces in the area all headed to the wrong spot. As a result, it was several hours before any known parties arrived at the actual crash site.

When the rescuers arrived, they found one survivor, an Air Force Sergeant named Shelly Kelly, one of two stewardesses assigned to the T-43 (a modified Boeing 737) which had only recently been converted from a navigation training aircraft equipped with all the latest navigation aids to a VIP passenger transport. The rescuers spotted Shelly Kelly moving about the wreckage, several hours after the crash itself. Shelly was placed on a helicopter and evacuated to the hospital, but strangely, was dead on arrival of a broken neck! I strongly suggest that you ask your own doctor just how likely is it that someone who survives a crash by several hours and is seen moving around will suddenly develop a broken neck during a helicopter ride.

Ron Brown, along with the other crash victims, was removed from the hillside and eventually examined by Air Force Col. William Gormley, who declared Brown dead of the crash trauma itself, and ignored the hole seen in Brown's skull which was observed and commented upon by Air Force Lt. Col. Steve Cogswell and Army Lt. Col. David Hause, both of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

Despite clear signs that the hole might have been the result of a gunshot, which would prompt an autopsy, no autopsy was performed. Photos and X-rays were taken, but later, as has been the case in so many other of the deaths surrounding this administration, the X-rays and photos had vanished.

There the matter would have ended except for one thing. Dr. Cogswell, as part of his regular duties, lectures other Armed Forces pathologists on current developments and had made copies of the photos and X-rays to illustrate his talks with. Apparently, the issue of the hole in Ron Brown's skull was regularly being discussed by AFIP doctors during educational conferences over the last several months, but as long as the subject stayed inside the "trade", nobody complained.

This changed when reporter Chris Ruddy learned of the photos and what they showed. Dr. Cogswell provided copies and Ruddy wrote the first of several stories detailing the new allegations, which were soon corroborated by Dr. Hause.

Both Dr. Hause and Dr. Cogswell were immediately subjected to a gag order while Dr. Gormley, who initially insisted that the hole in Ron Brown's skull did not penetrate to the brain and was therefore not a bullet hole, was allowed free reign to attack, unchallenged and with impunity, the prior statements of Drs. Hause and Cogswell.

This backfired when Dr. Gormley, appearing on NET, was shown the photos and X-rays that showed the hole clearly penetrating all the way into the brain. On TV, Gormley reversed himself and agreed that the hole did penetrate to the brain, excusing his former statements as a lapse of memory (after all the photos and X-rays in the official records were missing).

During the first week of 1998, AFIP convened a panel of its pathologists and issued a report claiming that all of it's pathologists agreed with the official cause of death, only to have members of that panel break ranks just days later to publicly state that the report was not representative of the actual conclusions of the AFIP panel!

It was during this time that Cyril Wecht entered the picture.

Wecht is considered by many to be the world's foremost forensics expert with over 40 years experience including gunshots and plane crashes. He is also a Democrat which means that the White House cannot quite paint him with their usual broad brush of "it's a Republican plot".

Wecht concurs that the hole in the top of Ron Brown's head is consistent with a gunshot, based on the inward beveling, and the "snowstorm" of highly dense particles seen on the X-rays behind Ron Brown's left eye. Wecht also pointed out additional lead particles in the photos as well as the cracking one would expect near the entry point of a bullet. As for Dr. Gormley's comment about there not being an exit wound, one need only look at the relationship of the entrance wound to Ron Brown's neck to postulate that the bullet is lodged somewhere in his abdomen. Most significantly, according to Wecht, Ron Brown's other injuries were not that serious, and it was quite possible that Ron Brown survived the actual crash, as had Shelly Kelly.

This opens up the possibility that during those first few hours, when the White House reports of wreckage being found in the Adriatic had everyone looking in the wrong location, a "clean up" crew visited the crashed T-43, to make certain there were no survivors. Somehow, Ms. Kelly was overlooked, which required "special handling" during her helicopter ride to the hospital. (A Dubrovnik airport worker also required "special handling" in the days immediately following the crash).

Evidence that such a "cleanup" crew was there is contained in the following story from Associated Press which confirms that when the rescue crew finally reached the crash site, someone had gotten there ahead of them.

April 4, 1996 Associated Press - Cited under "fair use" 12:07 PM (ET) April 4 [snip] U.S. military officials said searchers arrived at the crash site at 5:50 a.m. Thursday. They joined three Americans who had been lowered in by helicopter earlier .......

The Black Congressional Caucus, led by Maxine Waters, is demanding an investigation. Maxine is also a Democrat. Alen Keyes, a former ambassador, is also demanding an investigation. Meanwhile, the mainstream media continues to ignore the X-rays and photos and the testimony of those doctors who were actually there in their haste to inform us as to what the first puppy has been named. On the internet, the spooks and hired public relations experts are in a panic, reduced to name calling because they have little else, and insisting that such a crime as is implied by the bullet hole in Ron Brown's head is simply "unbelievable".

As I have posted before, beliefs are the chains placed on free minds. If you don't believe such horrors as mass murder for gain are possible, you will not see the evidence when it is in front of you.

History is a great teacher. It teaches us that after Hitler rose to power in Germany, the brown shirts, his supporters who had placed him in power, became a political liability. In one night, known as the "Night of the long knives", Hitler had all his liabilities murdered.

Ron Brown had become a serious political liability to Bill Clinton in April 1996, as had all those who handled large sums of cash that flowed in and out of the 1992 campaign. They had all helped Bill Clinton come to power. Knowing his secrets, they had become liabilities. They are now all dead.

FACTS:

There was no "worst storm".

There was evidence of onboard electrical failure.

There are signs that the flight controls ceased working at the same time the electrical system failed.

Ron Brown had a strange hole in his skull, thought to be a bullet hole. Regardless of whether it is or is not a bullet hole, it should have resulted in an autopsy. None was performed.

The official copies of the X-rays and photos of Ron Brown vanished.

The witnesses have been gagged.

Three days after the crash, a maintainence chief at the Dubrovnik airport, Nilko Jerkuic, supposedly committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest with a rifle only hours before he was to speak with investigators.

In short, regardless of just what that hole is, we have all the elements of a cover up.


Clinton's Fake Tears

[Clinton Tears Video Clips]Clinton's fake tears at the Ron Brown funeral


The Aviation Week & Space Technology Article


[Page 1]Click for full size picture.(180K) [Page 2]Click for full size picture.(118K)


My Theory

My theory of the downing of the aircraft is derived from the two reported wreckage sites, the lie about the weather given out by the government, and the loss of three radio links at the same time while the plane was still 7 miles from the crash site.

SIGNS THE PLANE WAS SABOTAGED.

First off, the claims made in both TIME and NEWSWEEK that Ron Brown's plane crashed in the "worst storm in a decade" are directly contradicted by the weather report issued by the Dubrovnik Airport Tower adjacent to the crash site. The storm simply did not exist.

While the plane carrying Ron Brown and his party was still 7 miles from the crash site, 1/2 mile in the air and on the normal approach path, three radio based links with three separate propagation paths all failed at the same time.

According to the Aviation Week & Space Technology article, the Dubrovnik tower lost voice radio contact at the same time the aircraft vanished from the screens of the approach radar at Split and an AWACS.

Let's look at the Split radar first.

The Split radar watches the approach to Dubrovnik airport, which is where the Ron Brown aircraft was when it dropped off of the radar screen. Contrary to some silly claims made in this newsgroup before, the plane was NOT flying in the mountains. It was out over the water, with open space all around. The radar at Split routinely tracks aircraft through that airspace without problem. If it were normal for the Split radar to lose traffic at that point on the approach path, nobody would have mentioned it because it would be normal and expected behavior. Nothing unusual about it. That comment was made about the target dropping off of the Split radar establishes that it was an unusual event.

The Split radar, like all ATC radar, tracks primarily by aircraft transponder. So, when the Split radar lost track of the Ron Brown aircraft, what was lost was the transponder return, as the aircraft was still on the approach path, although just starting to veer slightly left.

Now let's look at the AWACS.

The AWACS system is designed to track NON-transpondered targets. Radar "hits" are placed in a computer system that keeps a list and tries to match the returns from the present radar sweep to the returns from the previous sweeps in order to generate meaningful target tracking data for the operators and weapons management systems. Part of that process involves target to target comparisons to make certain that what the computer thinks is target XYZ this sweep is the same target it thought was XYZ last sweep. The total workload on the computer is a power function of the total number of non-transpondered targets being carried in the target list.

If a target has a transponder, the AWACS will track the target using the transponder return, because not only is less computer power needed for a transpondered target, but the workload for non-transpondered targets is reduced.

How do we know that the AWACS was tracking the Ron Brown plane via transponder? Because the AWACS lost it's track at the same time that the Split radar lost it's transponder return. Had the AWACS been tracking the Ron Brown plane via skin-paint, there is no reason for it to lose track of the aircraft at the same time that Split did.

Had the AWACS not reported losing contact, we could surmise that either the AWACS was tracking on skin paint or the Split radar suffered a momentary failure, but this was not the case.

It is also true that the AWACS could have immediately reacquired the Ron Brown aircraft on skin paint (and it's not known for a fact that the computers did not add it as a non-transpondered target), but the AWACS was there to watch Bosnia, not the Dubrovnik airport.

The two radar tracks, propagating along two different paths, come together at only one common point where a single failure could make the aircraft vanish from both Split and the AWACS, and that is the radar transponder in the Ron Brown aircraft. A failure of the transponder is the only explanation for the Ron Brown plane vanishing from two different radar screens at the same time, while still 7 miles from the crash site and 1/2 mile above the Adriatic sea.

At the same time that the aircraft vanished from the radars at Split and the AWACS, the Dubrovnik tower reported it lost voice radio contact with the aircraft.

This is a third distinct propagation path from the AWACS and Split. In fact, it's direct line of sight from the Dubrovnik tower to the location on the approach path where radio contact was lost. There are no intervening geological features to block the radio signal. The Dubrovnik tower continued to communicate with other aircraft in the area, so the radios in the tower were not at fault.

The data reported in the Aviation Week & Space Technology article shows evidence that TWO SPERATE SYSTEMS on board the Ron Brown aircraft failed at the same time. The cockpit radios, and the radar transponder.

The radios and radar transponders come together at only one common point where a single failure could make the aircraft vanish from both Split and the AWACS AND lose voice radio contact with the Dubrovnik tower, and that is is the electrical system failed in mid air, while still 7 miles from the crash site and 1/2 mile above the Adriatic sea, on the approach path.

How Do We Know The Problem Extended Beyond The Electrical System?

Simple. Prior to the loss of radio, the flight crew had acknowledged receiving a weather report. They knew there was clear air beneath them. There is only one reason for the flight crew, suddenly without any instruments at all, not to descend out of a cloud layer into the clear air they knew was below them, and that's if the event that severed the electrical cables also severed the flight control cables, which occupy the same midline conduit in the 737.

Possible Trigger?

Given the unscheduled nature of the trip, a timer would be useless to pinpoint the exact geographic location of the detonation. However, knowing the approach pattern into the airport, a location over the Adriatic can be selected by the altitude of the aircraft along the glide slope.

The simplest explanation which fits the twin wreckage sites and the early news reports of a water crash is that of an altitude triggered bomb, placed on the aircraft prior to departure. As the aircraft climbs above a certain altitude, the device is armed. As the aircraft descends through the trigger altitude, say, 2000 feet, the device detonates.

Why Did The Plane Make It To Shore?

As the reports have pointed out, the weather was not ideal. The pilot, even with the best navigation aids in the world, would be fully justified in delaying his descent in order to stay in clear air as long as possible, then ducking quickly down through the clouds to find the airfield.

This means that the altitude triggered bomb would have detonated far closer to land than expected, with the result that portions of the wreckage came on shore.

The 7 mile spread between wreckage sites indicates an airborne event which blew part of the aircraft off. The same 7 mile distance, coupled with the shallow impact angle suggests that the aircraft was still flyable and that the pilot may have been trying to make it to the airfield when the crash into the hill occurred.

Was Thermite Used?

It's impossible to state, based on the information available to the public. But thermite is a definite possibility. It can be made using available materials and will not show up on the various detectors which would sense chemical explosives such as C-4. Thermite, when ignited, burns at half the temperature of the surface of the sun and would burn through the aluminum of an aircraft with ease. Packed in a suitcase near the top of the baggage compartment of the converted 737, it would be in an ideal location to sever the control linkages and to short out the plane's electrical system, as well as burning a hole through the skin, dumping debris into the ocean.

How Bad Was The Weather?

There were several reports in the media that Dubrovnik was in the grip of the "Worst Storm of the Decade". This is not true. As can be seen by the weather information contained in the Aviation Week Article, and the first news articles from Reuter's, the weather was not exceptionally bad. Indeed, the wind conditions were excellent, providing a 12 knot head wind with no cross component at the runway, perfect landing conditions. Below the overcast at 2000 feet, visibility was 8km or 5 miles.



Assorted News Articles

WASHINGTON, April 3 (UPI) -- A U.S. Air Force plane carrying Commerce Secretary Ron Brown in the Adriatic Sea near the port city of Dubrovnik on Tuesday, officials said. The White House said wreckage was spotted in the Adriatic Sea near Dubrovnik. The debris apparently came from the plane, which was carrying Brown and an undetermined number of leading U.S. business executives, who were on a trade mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina. ``The wreckage in the Adriatic is his,'' a Pentagon official told United Press International, speaking on condition of anonymity. NATO officials at Aviano Air Base in Italy said the plane crashed while on approach to the Dubrovnik airport. They said a rescue mission from a French aircraft carrier was the first on the scene, and the search for survivors was later joined by U. S. helicopters and C-130 aircraft. Croatian officials told CNN that the plane crashed into a mountain near Dubrovnik, but the report could not be immediately confirmed. NATO said the plane disappeared from radar at 2:55 p.m. local time, three minutes after it had been cleared for landing by Dubrovnik traffic controllers. The craft was identified as a T-43, the military equivalent of a Boeing 737. White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry said the plane was three hours overdue on landing in Dubrovnik from Tuzla in northern Bosnia- Herzegovina, and that there was no indication of foul play related to the plane's crash. ``Mechanical was the likely reason for the crash. Nobody could plant a bomb on the plane in Tuzla (which is operated by the U.S. military). If it's over the sea nobody's gonna shoot it down,'' the Pentagon official said. The chances of anyone surviving the crash are ``somewhere between slim and none,'' he said. The T-43, was used by U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry and Secretary of State Warren Christopher during their recent trips to the Balkans. Officials said weather conditions were extremely poor near Dubrovnik at the time of the crash. Brown, 54, was traveling with 27 passengers and about 12 crew members, including U.S. business leaders who were seeking to help develop Bosnia after the country's four-year war. The White House said it was looking into who was actually aboard the plane. The delegation was to proceed to Zagreb, the Croatian capital, to meet Croatian political leaders and local U.S. businessmen. Brown was to return to Washington on Friday. U.S. President Bill Clinton canceled a planned appearance at the Justice Department following reports that the plane was missing. Brown had been due to spend three days in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, joining business leaders in meetings with local government and business leaders in a bid to stimulate U.S. investment in the war- ravaged region. Brown also had been meeting during his tour with U.S. soldiers assigned to the region's multinational peacekeeping mission. Brown told reporters Tuesday in Paris that rebuilding the region would cost an estimated $5.1 billion. World Bank President James Wolfensohn also was touring the region this week, and a conference of donor nations was scheduled for next week in Belgium.

WASHINGTON, April 3 (UPI) -- A U.S. Air Force plane carrying Commerce Secretary Ron Brown crashed in the Adriatic Sea near the port city of Dubrovnik on Wednesday, officials said. The White House said wreckage was spotted in the Adriatic Sea near Dubrovnik. The debris apparently came from the plane, which was carrying Brown and an undetermined number of leading U.S. business executives, who were on a trade mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina. ``The wreckage in the Adriatic is his,'' a Pentagon official told United Press International, speaking on condition of anonymity. NATO officials at Aviano Air Base in Italy said the plane crashed while on approach to the Dubrovnik airport. They said a rescue mission from a French aircraft carrier was the first on the scene, and the search for survivors was later joined by U. S. helicopters and C-130 aircraft. NATO said the plane disappeared from radar at 2:55 p.m. local time, three minutes after it had been cleared for landing by Dubrovnik traffic controllers. The craft was identified as a T-43, the military equivalent of a Boeing 737. White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry said the plane was three hours overdue on landing in Dubrovnik from Tuzla in northern Bosnia- Herzegovina, and that there was no indication of foul play related to the plane's crash. ``Mechanical was the likely reason for the crash. Nobody could plant a bomb on the plane in Tuzla (which is operated by the U.S. military). If it's over the sea nobody's gonna shoot it down,'' the Pentagon official said. The chances of anyone surviving the crash are ``somewhere between slim and none,'' he said. The T-43, was used by U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry and Secretary of State Warren Christopher during their recent trips to the Balkans. Officials said weather conditions were extremely poor near Dubrovnik at the time of the crash. Brown, 54, was traveling with 27 passengers and about 12 crew members, including U.S. business leaders who were seeking to help develop Bosnia after the country's four-year war. The White House said it was looking into who was actually aboard the plane. The delegation was to proceed to Zagreb, the Croatian capital, to meet Croatian political leaders and local U.S. businessmen. Brown was to return to Washington on Friday. U.S. President Bill Clinton canceled a planned appearance at the Justice Department following reports that the plane was missing. Brown had been due to spend three days in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, joining business leaders in meetings with local government and business leaders in a bid to stimulate U.S. investment in the war- ravaged region. Brown also had been meeting during his tour with U.S. soldiers assigned to the region's multinational peacekeeping mission. Brown told reporters Tuesday in Paris that rebuilding the region would cost an estimated $5.1 billion. World Bank President James Wolfensohn also was touring the region this week, and a conference of donor nations was scheduled for next week in Belgium.

WASHINGTON, April 3 (UPI) -- A U.S. Air Force plane carrying Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and a high-level trade mission crashed Wednesday near the port city of Dubrovnik, officials said. The White House said wreckage was spotted in the Adriatic Sea near Dubrovnik. The debris apparently came from the plane, which was carrying Brown and an undetermined number of leading U.S. business executives, who were on a trade mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina. McCurry said later that two possible crash sites were being investigated, one and land and one in the sea. The first site was based on civilian reports of wreckage at sea. Croatian sources informed U.S. officials of a site on land approximately 10 miles (15 km) southeast of Dubrovnik. The Croatian state news agency reported the bodies of three men and one woman had been recovered at the location near Velido, a town in the mountains south of Dubrovnik. NATO officials at Aviano Air Base in Italy said the plane crashed while on approach to the Dubrovnik airport. They said helicopters from a nearby French frigate and U.S. ships were the first on the scene, and the search for survivors was later joined by U.S. helicopters and a C-130 aircraft. NATO said the plane disappeared from radar at 2:55 p.m. local time, three minutes after it had been cleared for landing by Dubrovnik traffic controllers. The craft was identified as a T-43, the military equivalent of a Boeing 737. White House press secretary Mike McCurry said officials were alerted when the plane was three hours overdue for a scheduled landing in Dubrovnik from Tuzla in northern Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that there was no indication of foul play related to the plane's crash. ``Mechanical was the likely reason for the crash. Nobody could plant a bomb on the plane in Tuzla (which is operated by the U.S. military). If it's over the sea, nobody's gonna shoot it down,'' a Pentagon official said. The chances of anyone surviving the crash are ``somewhere between slim and none,'' he said. The same T-43 plane was used by U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry and Secretary of State Warren Christopher during their recent trips to the Balkans. Officials said weather conditions were extremely poor near Dubrovnik at the time of the crash. Brown, 54, was traveling with about 27 passengers and crew members, including U.S. business leaders who were seeking to help develop Bosnia after the country's four-year war. The White House said it was looking into who was actually aboard the plane. Commerce spokeswoman Maria Cardona said they were still unsure which of the 12 business executives and approximately 10 Commerce employees accompanying Brown were actually aboard the plane. U.S. officials confirmed that Harza Engineering Co. Chairman John Scoville of Chicago, Ill., and ABB Inc. President Robert Donovan of Norwalk, Conn., were aboard the plane with Brown. Other business leaders including transportation and telecommunications business leaders were traveling with Brown, but several had left to travel on their own since Tuzla. The delegation was to proceed to Zagreb, the Croatian capital, to meet Croatian political leaders and local U.S. businessmen. Brown was to return to Washington on Friday. U.S. President Bill Clinton canceled all his business for the day and visited the Brown family home in Washington, where he was receiving information on the crash. Brown had been due to spend three days in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, joining business leaders in meetings with local government and business leaders in a bid to stimulate U.S. investment in the war- ravaged region. Brown also had been meeting during his tour with U.S. soldiers assigned to the region's multinational peacekeeping mission. Brown told reporters Tuesday in Paris that rebuilding the region would cost an estimated $5.1 billion. World Bank President James Wolfensohn also was touring the region this week, and a conference of donor nations was scheduled for next week in Belgium.

WASHINGTON, April 3 (UPI) -- President Clinton, awaiting final word Wednesday on the fate of his friend and political ally, Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, made emotional visits to Brown's home and the federal department where he spoke to distraught federal workers. After hearing mid morning that the military plane carrying Brown had crashed near the Adriatic Coast in Croatia, Clinton wasted little time in sharing his grief and trying to console the Brown family, friends and workers. The Browns have a son, Michael, and a daughter, Tracey. A family spokesman said the Browns were still ``holding out hope.'' The president and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, dressed in dark suits and wearing solemn faces, spent nearly an hour at Brown's Washington home where he lived with his wife Alma. Couriers also arrived with flowers from well-wishers, and the Secret Service checked each bunch before allowing them into the townhouse. The Clintons emerged from the home, located in the affluent secluded, Chatworth neighborhood of Washington, with their heads down and the first lady appearing to choke back tears. Brown was head of the Democratic National Committee when Clinton was the party's presidential nominee in 1992, and he was greatly credited with playing a key role in putting a Democrat in the White House. After the visit with the family, the Clintons immediately headed across town to Commerce Department headquarters, where the president addressed employees who packed the auditorium. Clinton told the gathering that he, his wife and other administration officials came ``to be with the employees of the Commerce Department at this very difficult hour.'' ``The plane carrying Secretary Brown and his delegation, including a number of your colleagues, business leaders, and leaders of the United States military, went down today near Dubrovnik, Croatia,'' Clinton told the workers. ``We do not know for sure what happened there.'' Clinton said he asked Brown's wife what he should tell the department workers. ``She said, 'Tell them Ron was proud of them, that he liked them, that he believed in them, and that he fought for the Commerce Department. And tell them that you're going to do that now,''' Clinton said, winning sustained applause from the crowd. Many of the hundreds of department employees were visibly shaken at the news, with many crying and others holding and consoling one another. Also present at the Commerce Department when Clinton spoke were several Cabinet secretaries, including Attorney General Janet Reno, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, Education Secretary Richard Riley and Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt. Vice President Al Gore and the first lady also joined Clinton at the Commerce Department. Earlier, Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., visited the Brown family to express his condolences. Brown was Kennedy's chief of staff before going to the Urban League and Democratic National Committee. Clinton named him Commerce secretary in 1993. Another visitor was Vernon Jordan, former head of the Urban League and now a high-powered Washington lawyer and unofficial adviser to Clinton . A U.S. Air Force T-43, which is the military equivalent of a Bowing 737, carrying Brown and his entourage from Tuzla to Dubrovnik, crashed into a mountain near the Adriatic Sea coast. But officials were writing off the possibility of foul play. ``There hasn't been any report over here indicating anything hostile, but again we can't confirm that,'' White House spokesman Mike McCurry said. Republicans in Congress have been working to dismantle the Commerce Department, although a GOP aide said Wednesday the effort may be scrapped following the crash of Brown's plane.

WASHINGTON (Reuter) - President Clinton's wife, Hillary, and daughter, Chelsea, flew on the same plane last week that crashed in Croatia with Commerce Secretary Ron Brown aboard, U.S. Air Force sources said Wednesday. A military version of the widely used Boeing 737 passenger jet flew Mrs Clinton and her 16-year-old daughter from the Turkish capital of Ankara to the ancient biblical city of Ephesus and on to Istanbul last Wednesday. The T43A plane, with a tail number of 1149, was based at the U.S. air base at Ramstein, Germany, the sources said. Mrs Clinton used it rather than the Boeing 707 assigned to her for a week-long goodwill tour of southern Europe because of the short runway at Ephesus. The same plane was used to ferry Defense Secretary William Perry in and out of Bosnia last week. Mrs Clinton also visited the Yugoslav region during her trip but used a giant C-17 military cargo jet for that leg of her journey.

==================UPDATE================================================= The following material is from Lt. Gen Howell Estes Joint Chiefs Operations Director for the Pentagon. The crash happened on approach, MC-130 aircraft and MH 53 helicopters were conducting search and rescue as Brandisi was the closest group that had proper equipment. Other nations were also involved. Croationas say heavy cloud cover hid crash site (so much for wind). Croatian police and a Croatian doctor are at the scene, but US forces are still on their way. Helicopters were unable to land at the crash site. There are Croatian reports of one survivor. This is unconfirmed. The survivor is apparently a woman. Gen. Mike Canavan is on site in Dubrovenick and directing the US forces there. US forces are going to Split first and then Dubrovnick. There is no evidence of an explosion aboard the aircraft or of any attack on the airplane. The DOD says there were 33 people aboard including a crew of six.

WASHINGTON, April 3 (UPI) -- The White House said Tuesday wreckage has been spotted in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Dubrovnik near where a U.S. plane carrying Commerce Secretary Ron Brown was due to land. White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry said the plane, a U.S. Air Force jet that is the equivalent of a civilian 737, was three hours overdue on landing in Dubrovnik from Tuzla in northern Bosnia- Herzegovina. McCurry said a search-and-rescue mission was under way in the area. Brown was traveling with 27 passengers and 12 crew members, including U.S. business leaders who were on a trade mission to the war-ravaged Balkans. The White House said it was looking into who was aboard U.S. President Bill Clinton canceled a planned appearance at the Justice Department following reports that the plane was missing.

The Passenger and Crew List

April 4, 1996 WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A delegation of American corporate and government leaders were among the 35 killed Wednesday when the plane carrying Commerce Secretary Ron Brown crashed in Croatia. The State Department released the grim news Thursday, providing the official list of passengers and crew. Also accompanying Brown on the economic development trip were Jim Lewek, a Central Intelligence Agency analyst; Lee Jackson of the Treasury Department; and Nathaniel Nash, The New York Times' Frankfurt bureau chief. Two Croatians, the only non-Americans, also died -- Dragica Lendic Bebek, an interpreter, and Niksa Antonini, a photographer. Secretary of State Warren Christopher called the deaths an "immeasurable loss for America, the United States government, and for the families of those aboard the aircraft." The State Department's official list of employees on the plane is as follows:

OFFICIAL PERSONNEL

Ronald H. Brown Secretary of Commerce

Kathryn Hoffman, Commerce Senior Advisor for Strategic Scheduling and Special Initiatives

Duane Christian, Commerce Special Agent, Secretarial Protection Unit

Carol Hamilton, Commerce Press Secretary to the Secretary

William Morton, Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Economic Development

Charles F. Meissner, Commerce Assistant Secretary for International Economic Policy

Gail Dobert, Commerce Deputy Director, Office of Business Liaison

Lawrence Payne, Commerce Special Assistant for United States and Foreign Commercial Service

Adam Darling, Commerce Confidential Assistant

Stephen Kaminski, Commerce Commerce Counsel for United States and Foreign Commercial Service

Naomi Warbasse, Commerce Deputy Director, Central and Eastern Europe Business Information Center

Kathryn Kellogg, Commerce Confidential Assistant, Office of Business Liaison

James Lewek, CIA Analyst

Lee Jackson, Treasury U.S. Executive Director, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Dragica Lendic Bebek Interpreter

Niksa Antonini Photographer

PRIVATE AMERICAN CITIZENS/BUSINESSMEN/PRESS

Nathaniel Nash N.Y. Times

Barry Conrad Barrington Corp.

Paul Cushman Riggs National Bank

Robert Donovan ABB, Inc.

Claudio Elia Air and Water Technologies Corp.

Leonard Pieroni The Parsons Corp.

John Scoville Harza Engineering Corp.

Donald Terner Bridge Housing Corp.

Stuart Tholan Bechtel Corp.

David Ford Interguard Corp.

Frank Maier Ensearch International Corp.

Walter Murphy AT&T Submarine Systems, Inc.

Robert Whittaker Foster Wheeler Energy International, Inc.

CREW MEMBERS

Ashley Davis, Capt. USAF Pilot

Timothy Shafer, Capt., USAF Pilot

Gerald Aldrich, SSgt, USAF Flight mechanic

Robert Farrington, Jr. SSgt, USAF Steward

Cheryl Turnage, TSgt, USAF Steward

Shelly Kelly, TSgt, USAF

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