The Boggs And Begich Plane Crash (Alaska; 1972)

Spookdaddy

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On Monday, October 16, 1972 a twin engine Cessna 310 disappeared while on a flight from Anchorage to Juneau in Alaska. On board were the US House majority leader Hale Boggs, of Louisiana, and Congressman Nick Begich, of Alaska, the latter’s aide, Russell Brown, and their pilot, Don Jonz. The consequent search was officially suspended on November 24 and on December 12 the men were declared dead and a presumptive death certificate recorded on December 29.

Now, all of this might just be another incident in the long line of disappearances that occur in that vast and icy land if it wasn’t for the fact that twenty years later a Washington newspaper discovered FBI documents that stated that the plane had been found and that there were two survivors. The Begich family were never informed.

I’m not a big believer in big conspiracies. It always seems to me that they end up relying on a huge and unwieldy set of circumstances, organisations and individuals. I’ve always half suspected that those big, brassy conspiracies we associate with the Kennedy’s, Monroe’s and Hoffa’s of the world are encouraged in order to distract us from the Boggs and Begichs of the world. The nearest equivalent I can think of on this side of the Atlantic is the mystery surrounding the death of the radical Scottish Nationalist, Willy McRae, in April 1985. See here

I’d like to ask any Americans out there if the Boggs/Begich mystery is maybe better known over there? I suspect not that much. Of course at the time it would have been front page news but has it entered the Big Book of Conspiricy or just been forgotten? Why do we give some mysteries the four-star, blockbuster, Oliver Stone treatment and choose to push others to the back of the cupboard?

I find these lesser known apparent conspiracies infinitely more fascinating, and more worrying, than the big ones.
 

soaringspirit

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The Hale Boggs plane crash/disappearance has been more or less totally forgotten by the American public. And since the last person to be actively looking for Boggs apparently disappeared as well in the 80's, perhaps it's just as well....There is plenty wrong here.
If conspiracy researchers would spend less time looking at the big glossy conspiracies which will likely never be solved in our lifetime, and more time looking into cases like this one and United flt 553 which crashed roughly two months later in Chicago (with twelve people heavily associated with Watergate aboard), perhaps they could finally put a few mysteries to rest.


Sidenote: Boggs was apparently driven to the airport in Texas by none other than a young Bill Clinton:hmph:
 

Spookdaddy

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Thanks for responding spirit. I was beginning to feel a bit lonely and then I thought that maybe I had just proved my point. I find it strange that when a US House majority leader and congressman are left to die on a glacier the fact doesn’t imprint itself indelibly on a national conscience. Maybe everyone was too busy reading books on the Kennedy assassination at the time. Maybe some Machiavellian genius said “Hey, why don’t we go out and cap some real high-profile, media-attractive figure, leave loads of loose ends and red herrings and then, while everyone is watching the show, we can get rid of the ones that really count?” Actually I don’t believe that at all but the result is the same.

I work in Scotland regularly and, especially with the current resurgence of Scottish nationalism, I would have thought that the name Willy McRae would be familiar to most Scots. However the few times I have mentioned his name I’ve received a blank response and this one of the strangest political deaths in the geographical British Isles in recent history.

I’ve always mistrusted Conspiracy Theories and their promoters because of their apparent obsession with glamour. Maybe unwittingly I’ve used the right word there in the sense that originally “glamour” meant bewitchment or enchantment rather than glossiness. Have we, in effect, been hexed to make sure that we will always be looking in the wrong direction?
 

soaringspirit

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Well spook, Ill tell you one thing. The two telexes from the FBI stating they had found the plane and two survivors got zero press as far as I can tell. (actually I am familiar with the crash, and I never heard about it till I read your post).
Conspriacy theorists often fall into the fame trap...they want to break the big cases, while ignoring the less well known ones that could explode with the right questions asked.
Of course keeping in mind that there are certain powerful people out there who may not want these cases solved......ever.
( On the United flight were people with documents which a number of witnesses have stated would have brought down the Nixon white house).
 

emina

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Actually, the coast guard's telexes can be read here:

http://www.check-six.com/lib/Famous_Missing/Boggs.htm

It seems that this story's grown arms and legs.

Firstly, they didn't report that the plane had been found at all. They simply state that a member of the public had contacted them with information regarding the (or 'a') crashed plane and two survivors, and that the FBI had verified the authenticity of the witness (i.e. his ID checked out.)

It also states that the information was 'questionable' and should not be released to the press. Another states that the information was 'erroneous' probably based on local rumors. A later telex gives details of the subsequent fruitless search.
 
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