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KAL 007 Passengers Taken Alive to Sakhalin! - Two Items

Most Recently, a calling card, showing no water damage or stains which would have indicated that the card had come ashore through the waters, has come into the hands of an informant from the port city of Nevelsk on Sakhalin Island. This is the card of So J. Son, a passenger of KAL 007, shot down by the Soviets on Sept 1, 1983, in the waters of the Tartar Strait near Moneron Island. Moneron is 41 nautical miles from Nevelsk. So J. Son is listed on the manifest of Fight 007 as "Sohn So-Ja (showing that the transcriber was an American transcribing phonetically). Mrs. Korea, seat 22J, sitting to the right of her, was most probably a member of her family, "Sohn Young-Ja, Korea, seat 22K". The card shows Mrs. So J. Son to have been the Executive Designer with the Young Jin Trading Co.

Further, though a firm called Young Jin Trading can still be located in Korea, and the location is in Seoul, the address and the phone number are obsolete and the district of Sung Dong-Ku no longer exists. 
They have long been gone. The card is at least 35 years old!

How, then, could this card of a KAL 007 passenger, with no sign of having been in water, ever have gotten to the city of Nevelsk? What other way can we think imaginable or probable, other than being bought to Nevelsk by boat or by rescue helicopters - we know were ordered to Moneron Island by the Soviets within minutes of KAL 007 having started its spiral descent around Moneron?

Let's consider first "by helicopter":

To KAL 007’s true position, Moneron Island itself, there were, indeed, at least two Soviet rescue operations sent out within minutes of KAL 007’s downing. These missions are documented in the Russian ground-to-ground telecommunications transcripts, and in view of the specificity of KAL 007’s location, and the smallness of the island (3 1//2 by 4 1/2 miles) there is no reason to doubt their success. The first mission involved rescue helicopters, border guards and the KGB, and was ordered at 6:47 A.M., just 21 minutes after missile impact and nine minutes after KAL 007 had reached point zero altitude, point zero being 1,000 feet altitude, when it went below radar—not when it landed or impacted!

Lt. Col. Novoseletski, Acting Chief of Staff, Fighter Division, Smirnykh Air Force Base, Sakhalin: (6:47 A.M.) You don’t have the sunrise there yet?
Lt. Col. Titovnin, Flight controller, Fighter Division Combat Control Center No, it will be in about thirty minutes.
Novoseletski: Prepare whatever helicopters there are. Rescue helicopters.
Titovnin: Rescue?
Novoseletski: Yes. And there will probably be a task set for the area where the target was lost.
Titovnin: Roger. Is this to be done through your SAR [Search and Rescue]?
Novoseletski: Eh?
Titovnin: Assign the task to Chaika through your SAR, Comrade Colonel, Khomutovo [Civilian and military airport at Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk City in southern Sakhalin] does not come under us and neither does Novoaleksandrovska. We have nothing here.
Novoseletski: Very well.
Titovnin: Novoaleksandrovska must be brought to readiness and Khomutovo. The border guards and KGB are at Khomutovo.

“Chaika” is the call sign of the Far East Military District (FEMD) Air Force Command Post. Consequently, this first documented rescue mission could only be effected by order of the FEMD, which was second in jurisdiction to the Soviet Far East Military Theatre of Operations. Neither the shooting down nor the rescue of Flight 007 was, therefore, of local decision.

Apparently, neither Smirnykh Air Force Base in central Sakhalin (under the Tactical Air Command and where the MiG23 ordered to guarantee destruction of KAL 007 was based) and Sokol Air Force base in southern Sakhalin (under the Air Defense Command where Osipovich and his SU-15 were based) had any available rescue helicopters. Therefore, the jurisdictional step up to the Far East Military District Air Force was required to bring the out-of-jurisdiction Khomutovo Air Base into action. Khomutovo was the civilian and military airbase at Yuzhno (Southern) Sakhalinsk City.

Let's now consider "by boat" as the means that the card and its carrier, Mrs. So J. Son, might have arrived at the Sakhalin port city of Nevelsk. 

Firstly, we need to note that ships and boats, as well as rescue helicopters, had been ordered to Moneron:

This mission involved the civilian ships in the vicinity of Moneron as well as the Border Guard patrol boats and ships commanded by KGB General Romanenko*. It was ordered at 6:55 A.M.; just 29 minutes after missile impact and 17 minutes after KAL 007 had reached point zero, 1,000 feet altitude.

Gen. Strogov, General, Deputy Commander, Far East Military District: (6:54 A.M.) Hello… Hello, Titovnin… You s... [obscenities] I’ll lock you up in the guard house. Why don’t you pick up the phone?
Titovnin: Comrade General, everyone was busy here.
Strogov: You have nothing there to be busy with. Busy! What kind of nonsense is that? So, where is Kornukov (General Anatoli Kornukov, Commander Sokol Air Force Base, Sakhalin)?
Titovnin: Kornukov is here.
Strogov: Put him on the phone.
Titovnin: One minute. He is reporting to Kamenski (General, Commander, Far East Military District Air Force), Comrade General.

Here is clear evidence that the shoot-down of KAL 007 and the rescue of its passengers were not decisions made by local commanders but emanated from high echelons of the Soviet military.

Strogov: (18:55) So, what you need to do now. Contact these ... [obscenities], these sailors, these, what do you ... [obscenities]?
Titovnin: Border guards?
Strogov: Huh?
Titovnin: Border guards?
Strogov: Well, the civilian sailors.
Titovnin: Understood.
Strogov: Moneron Island. The border guards. What ships do we now have near Moneron Island, if they are civilians, send [them] there immediately.

But this mission was ordered after KAL 007 had descended to the waters, - though a very short number of minutes afterward. Yet there is clear evidence that ships were dispatched by the Soviets even prior to that, while both ship and land position radars were tracking KAL 007 to its ANTICIPATED site of its set-down. That is, they were sent to the site that the trajectory of the plane was shown on radar to be its set down or impact site:

That this Soviet naval rescue mission had been ordered even before KAL007 had reached the surface of the waters off Moneron is attested by the following - taken from the Izvestia testimony of a Soviet Naval Specialist who had been involved in the rescue mission: "When we learned that the aircraft had been attacked, and that weapons had been used, we began to analyse when it might possibly come down. Ships were ordered to the anticipated [emphasis added] area. Several ships headed there at once at full speed...".

In fact, KAL 007 had been tracked by Soviet radar from numbers of installations and these trackings which extended from prior to attack, through the attack phase, and on into KAL 007's descent onto the waters off Moneron were the basis why ships could be sent to the precise site of the set down even before the set-down.*

But is there any evidence that passengers and crew, including Mrs. So J.Son, could have been taken off the aircraft before it sunk, or had been sunk by the Soviets? The answer is Yes in the form of electronic intercepts by the U.S. of Soviet air controllers at the time of the shootdown:

According to the 1991 Republican Staff Study of the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chaired by Senator Jesse Helms, (”CIA” Report, “sensitive special intelligence”) the following was revealed: About four hours after the shoot-down, Soviet Air Defense command posts reported that Soviet pilots were saying that a civilian passenger plane had been shot down instead of a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance plane, and that they (the command posts) were expressing regret, both that they had not downed the RC-135 and that now the Americans would accuse them of killing Americans.

The Study asks how, while flying overhead, could Soviet pilots conclude that Americans were among the passengers? They might conclude from seeing the aircraft’s distinctive hump as the plane floated on the water that it was a passenger plane that was shot down, as in 1983 there were no military versions of the Boeing 747. And they might have seen the distinctive bird emblem on the tail of the aircraft—the symbol in use then by Korean Air Lines—but this would not indicate the nationalities of the passengers. The Study would conclude that the only way Soviet pilots could know that Americans had been killed is if they had heard that information on their radios during the time the rescue was actually taking place.

“Thus the only way that Soviet pilots could possibly have known that the nationality of some of the KAL 007 passengers as Americans, from the air, would have been from possible emergency radio communications which U. S. Intelligence did not intercept, from either the stricken airliner ditched at sea, or from its life rafts, or from Soviet rescue boats.” (Republican Staff Study/”CIA” Report, pg. 47)

Further, two related reports emanating from the Israel Research Centre for Prisons, Psyche Prisons, and Forced Labor Concentration Camps of the U.S.S.R, headed by Avraham Shifrin, reported, based on eye witness informant information, that KAL 007 had been viewed on the water by fishermen off Moneron Island. People were standing on the wings, much like the passenger of the "Miracle on the Hudson" with hand luggage with them. And the Research Centre's investigations in 1989 to 1991 determined that the passengers and crew of KAL 007 were taken, upon rescue, to the KGB Coast Guard base on Sakhalin.

And what could have been experienced by the Port of Nevelsk, the day that So J.Son was taken by "rescue" boat to its shore? This report has just come in from an informant who 35 years previous, on September 1, was in the office building facing the port who recounts the unusual activity within the building. If it took place in this building, it is reasonable to assume, the same activity took place in all the buildings facing the port and having a view of the waters beyond. It is this that the informant witnessed. The KGB came into the building and then proceeded hanging black curtains on all the windows, preventing them from looking out and seeing port and the bay. What activity was being concealed? It is not hard to understand that it would be the small fleet of KGB patrol boats, as well as the larger KGB vessels, with the civilian trawlers requisitioned for the purpose, all carrying KAL 007's passengers and crew and docking at the harbor.

Finally, we need to ask how actually the card had dropped from So J. Son's person. Did it come inadvertently out of her pocket or bag as she made her way or was assisted or forced up onto the dock? Was she jostled among the crowd of KGB guards and other passengers and the card with other articles came down scattered (and then taken by a resident 35 years later to wind up in the hands of the informer? Or did she intentionally drop it in the hopes that it become a mute but effective clarion some day, as it has now, to her plight? And what of the others with her, 269 passengers and crew members of KAL 007, including Congressman Larry McDonald and 22 children under the age of 12 years? What could they have dropped?


** On Monday, September 26, 1983, a delegation of seven Japanese and American officials arriving aboard the Japanese patrol boat Tsugaru, met a six-man Soviet delegation at the port of Nevelsk on Sakhalin Island. KGB Major General A. I. Romanenko, the Commander of the Sakhalin and Kuril Islands frontier guard, headed the Soviet delegation.* Romanenko handed over to the Americans and Japanese, among other things, single and paired footwear. With footwear that the Japanese also retrieved, the total came to 213 men's, women's and children's dress shoes, sandals, and sports shoes. The Soviets said that all that they had retrieved, they had found floating in the water or washed up on the shores of Sakhalin and Moneron islands.

Family members of KAL 007 passengers would later state that these shoes were actually worn by their loved ones for the flight on that fateful night. Sonia Munder had no difficulty recognizing the sneakers of her children, one of Christian, age 14 and one of Lisi, age 17, by the intricate way her children laced them. (Sonia confirmed that her children were wearing these shoes when they boarded the flight). Another mother says, "I recognized them just like that. You see, there are all kinds of inconspicuous marks which strangers do not notice. This is how I recognized them. My daughter loved to wear them." And yet, another mother (and maybe it takes a mother!), Nan Oldham identified her son, John's, sneakers from a photo in Life magazine of 55 of the 213 shoes—apparently, a random array on display those first days at Chitose Air Force Base in Japan. "We saw photos of his shoes in a magazine," says Nan, "We followed up through KAL and a few weeks later, a package arrived. His shoes were inside: size 11 sneakers with cream white paint." John Oldham had taken his seat in row 31 of KAL 007 wearing those cream white paint spattered sneakers. He had just come from painting his suburban Washington, D.C., family home. From an examination of the shoes in the photo of Life magazine, pairing the sets and counting them with the single shoes, and relating them to the whole, it turns out that the total amount of shoes retrieved account for 198 of the 269 people of KAL 007 - or almost 74% of the total.

The Soviets retrieved the shoes of some portion of this 74% of the flight's passengers, yet claimed not to have found one single body, not one person. This adds great weight to the question "Where are the bodies?" Either the shoes were on the bodies and removed by the Soviets (or the Japanese), or they were removed by the wearers and retrieved by the Soviets (or Japanese). Why were these shoes loose? Were they taken off in preparation for the landing or were they simply removed during the course of the flight? In either case, the one great question remains.

Is it really possible for so many shoes to be found and not one single person found to wear them? And if we should negate that the shoes were taken off in preparation for a ditching - that there was no time to do so, or the aircraft was in an exploded and too disintegrated condition to do so, then another question arises - If the non appearance of bodies is explained by their flesh being eaten by crabs, and, contrary to expert opinion, bones eaten by sea creatures, is it really credible, that not one of the 213 items of footwear had a foot, or a toe or a toe bone within it?

The Fate of Gen Romanenko
Note - Gen. Romanenko would meet a bad end due (according to the Republican Staff Report) to his handling of KAL 007 matters. The Republican Staff Study reports that he was probably sent to the Gulag himself. The Israeli Research Centre for Prisons, Psych-Prisons, and Forced Labor Concentration Camps of the USSR, resting on informant information reported, independently and prior to the Staff Study, that Romanenko's name no longer appears in KGB computers. (Once in, a person is noted as reassigned, deceased, retired, etc., but never deleted. It is as if Gen. Romanenko never existed). And finally, Hans Ephraimson-Abt, the head of the US families of the victims association, reports that while he was in East Germany at the Soviet embassy, he was informed by embassy officials that Gen. Romanenko, whom he had come to inquire about (he had not!), had committed suicide. Of course, each in its own time could have been true.

** From the 1991 minority staff of Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Study (page 76):
"The new emigres also state that several Soviet air defense radar sites on the Soviet mainland opposite Sakhalin simultaneously tracked the gradual descent of KAL 007 and that these radars were able to pinpoint exactly where KAL-007 had successfully ditched at sea near Moneron. The emigres give precise identification of the local air defense commanders, precise locations, and the precise nomenclature of the types of radars involved, all of which seem consistent with existing U.S. Intelligence information. For example, then-lieutenant Valery Vladimirovich Ryzhkov was the duty officer the night KAL-007 went down at Radio Technical Brigade 1845 at the town of Zavet Ilyicha on the mainland coast. He personally tracked KAL-007 in its controlled descent to the water, and he was in communication with at least three other air defense radar sites [ie. town of Yedinka at maritime coast {B.S.}] and several Soviet KGB Border Guard boats which also tracked KAL007 in its controlled descent... This new emigre information is also consistent with Izvestiya, which states that: 'The coordinates of the region where the aircraft was shot down were known by the anti-aircraft defense.' Moreover, the emigres also report that Soviet small boats were immediately on the scene of KAL-007’s ditching, which is also consistent with U.S. Intelligence information.

Second item of evidence of passenger presence at Nevelsk, previously unreported and now identified:

WE HAVE JUST RECEIVED A CONFIRMATION THAT THIS RENTAL CAR CARD FOUND AT NEVELSK BELONGS TO A PASSENGER OF KAL 007..."Jun-seon Yu, the son of Kabil Yu (seat 11 B), just called...and confirmed that the rental car card belonged to his father who was the vice-president of the Korean branch of Ingersol Rand. He frequently traveled back and forth to the States. Mr. Jun-seon Yu is now 49 years old, he was 13 at the time."

This item appears to be plastic encased, while the first item appears to be of calling card type of card board slightly creased with all four edges slightly frayed and has no sign of water damage. Both items have come to us by the same source at Nevelsk. Sakhalin, 41 miles from Moneron Island, the site of the aircraft set down.

Sitting next to Kab-il Yu, seat 11B was Mark A. McGetrick, 33 years old from Danbury, Connecticut

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