Crash in Gander
December 12, 2006 8:54 AM Subscribe
Twenty-one years ago today a plane crashed in Gander, Newfoundland. The flight carried American soldiers heading home for the holidays, returning from a mission in the Sinai. Called the worst aviation disaster on Canadian soil, the crash killed the 248 soldiers and 8 crew members aboard. On December 16th, mere days after the crash, President Ronald Reagan gave a speech at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, to comfort the victims' families. As time passed, however, some of the families demanded answers from the US Government regarding the circumstances of the crash. In 1989, Robin Tallon, member of congress from South Carolina, assisted the families' by bringing the matter before Congress - and also sending a letter to then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney (scroll down page). In 1992, a Time Magazine article addressed forensic evidence which supported the idea of an on-board explosion prior to impact, as well as the flight's connections to Iran Contra and the terrorist group Islamic Jihad. This article also discusses the book written on the crash by Les Filotas, a dissenting member of the air safety board. The question was brought forth again in 1993, with a bill introduced requesting that a commission be formed to further investigate the circumstances of the crash. As with any disaster with unanswered questions, conspiracy theories abound. To this day, many of the questions surrounding Flight 1285 remain unanswered. While the crash may never be fully explained, one certainty remains - for the families whose loved ones never came home for Christmas, the twelfth day of the twelfth month will never be forgotten.
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