One week after the crash
outside Caracas, Venezuela of a twin-engine Piper Navajo (N6463L), an air of
intrigue surrounds almost everything about the flight, including the plane's
ownership, passengers, and pilot.
Woven into one small story
about a plane crash in Venezuela that killed seven people are visible threads
from two perennial American cover-ups: one surrounding vote fraud, and one
covering-up the CIA's role in drug trafficking.
For anyone interested in the
news that gets left out of the newspaper, its’ a Perfect Storm. The Mother of
The downed plane's relevance to the ongoing story of vote fraud in America
involves the identity of it's passenger, Jose Alfredo Anzola, a
34-year old founder of
Venezuela-based election company whose American subsidiary counted one in every
three votes in the 2004 Presidential election, while engaged the whole time in
heated controversy over allegations the firm counting America's votes had hidden
ties to—of all people— Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.
The connection between last week's plane crash and the ongoing saga of CIA Drug
trafficking begins with 43-year old Mario Donadi Gafaro, the veteran
drug pilot at the controls of the twin engine plane.
Donadi boasts a 1999 drug trafficking conviction in the U.S., where he served
Then, even more recently, he was convicted of the same offense in Venezuela,
and sentenced to an eight-year stretch at Venezuela’s Big House.
When he crashed and burned last week, reporters noted with surprise, he still
had six years to serve. Donadi was supposed to be in prison.
apparently has friends in high places.
Seven die in crash
plane crashed atop a six-story roof near Caracas while attempting to return to
the international airport at Maiquetía after both engines quit just minutes
people died in the accident, three from the plane and four people living in the
apartment house where the aircraft crashed. Two were children, girls 8 and 9
Crash pictures show the
plane's tail, decorated with four aces because it was used to ferry gamblers to
sitting upright on a rooftop.
Several aviation observers,
citing the rare failure of both engines at once on twin-engine planes, have told
the MadCowMorningNews they thought the
crash appeared suspicious.
People,” the Venezuelan company operating the stricken plane when it crashed, has
something of a checkered aviation history.
company owned a Beach King Air 90 that last December
ditched in the
Caribbean 35 miles short of the Dominican Republic.
Seven people got out through
an emergency hatch. 81 year-old Alicia Emmerich Fargie did not. She sank
with the plane.
The Dominican Institute of
Civil Aviation later issued a statement saying one of their priorities remained
locating her body.
"Maybe he was just slippery."
Aircraft registered in
another country must have a permit to conduct charter flights in Venezuela. But
that was the least of the irregularities which red-faced Venezuelan officials
were left trying to explain away.
unanswered questions about why pilot Mario Donadi Gafaro's eight-year
stretch for drug trafficking had had such little apparent effect on the pilot's
freedom of movement.
Aviation officials in
Venezuela predictably preferred to dwell on why U.S. authorities should be investigating how
convicted felon Donadi got a pilot’s license in the U.S. from the FAA.
reporters asked, "How it was possible that Donadi, instead of lifting weights in
a prison yard, was able to jet off to international destinations like the
flight's announced destination of Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles?"
One went so far as
to write that it was a "Ripley's
Believe it or not Moment."
We recalled what we'd been
told while reporting the story of 23 missing helicopters at the Charlotte County
Airport (later discovered to have been exported overseas by the CIA.)
The choppers weren't
missing, said one wag at the airport. They'd just released themselves
on their own recognizance.
Maybe that's what
Donadi had done, too.
'Sheep-dipped' in Houston?
What's the connection
between last week's plane crash and the ongoing saga of CIA Drug trafficking? If
you guessed "the plane's tangled ownership," you've
obviously been paying attention.
The mystery of who
owns the downed American-registered aircraft is, as per usual, an
enduring one, perhaps even to law enforcement.
Like other well-publicized
recent American planes downed in Central and South America, as more became known
about the incident, the identification of the plane’s owners became
progressively less certain.
“According to the Federal
Aviation Agency in the United States, the aircraft is owned by Aircraft Guaranty
& Trust of Houston,” The Miami Herald
Well, not exactly.
The downed plane was merely registered to Aircraft Guaranty,
which reportedly regularly disguises, or "sheep-dips," CIA aircraft into the
unsuspecting world of general aviation.
Who actually owns the plane
is anybody's guess. And therein lies a tale.
Over America: Six Hundred Ghost Planes
The doomed flight’s owner, or owners,
are deliberately shrouded in the mystery of an
Offshore Aviation Trust.
The scheme is the brainchild
of Connie Wood, a former senior FAA official who owns Aircraft Guaranty, the
company to whom the downed plane was registered. Despite its tiny size,
more than six hundred American aircraft are registered to the
It’s “a boon for well heeled
U.S. owners seeking personal liability protection and ownership anonymity,” Wood
told the Mooney Pilot.
The aviation magazine reported, “He
predicts soon full FAA-approved and legal Off-Shore (as in the Cayman Islands)
Aviation Trusts will be THE way most liability conscious and financially
established owner/pilots will opt to take title to their aircraft… It promises
to be far better than a typical corporate entity in protecting the beneficiary
from personal liability exposure.”
Wood is a former U.S. Lt.
Colonel who one aviation magazine (Mooney Pilot) stated is “the original
Foreign Pilot Examiner for the FAA, where he personally served as
prototype in the FAA’s Foreign Pilot Examiner test bed program.”
“Wood is the only such FAA
Foreign Pilot Examiner Designee licensed to operate outside the U.S.,” the
“Uniquely, this allows Wood
to issue FAA Licenses to non-residents outside the U.S. without the applicant
ever entering the U.S.”
Wood’s FAA connections would
seem to make him ideally suited for providing “cover” and plausible deniability
to airplanes which have become infamous in planespotter circles for flying CIA
The emergence of the famous
'planespotters,' who have identified, or "outed," several dozen airplanes
apparently belonging to the CIA for use in "extraordinary renditions," may be
responsible for some of Wood's success.
We called Wood for comment,
but the only answer at the company's number was a voice mail message. At least
they have a phone.
"Takes the checkered flag for checkered pasts."
Nor is Aircraft Guaranty’s
reputation for serving as a "nominee" or "front" for ownership of planes by
foreign nationals and spooks undeserved. Examples abound. Some Aircraft
Guaranty highlights (or lowlights:)
Aircraft Guaranty “owned” a
plane (N11ZD) discovered sitting unattended at the Portland Airport on September
11, 2001. It had been left there by Khalid Alzeedi, a shadowy Saudi who owned
Zidi Aviation, who was wanted for
questioning by the FBI.
”FBI agents have been
looking into whether associates of Osama bin Laden may traveled to Middle
Tennessee this past summer in search of aircraft that could be used for training
pilots, NewsChannel 5 has learned,” reported Brian Mosely of NewsChannel5 (WTVF
- Nashville) on Oct. 7, 2001.
“The name of one man who spent some time here has made it onto an official list
of some 370 possible suspects inadvertently released by Finnish banking
"Z-Man, We Hardly Knew Ye."
name was Khalid
Alzeedi. A year after the attack
(fall 2002) the FBI announced they were no longer looking for him.
Others weren’t so sure...
“One night, Alzeedi was
inside Eddie George's Grill at the Hilton Suites, just across from Nashville's
arena,” Mosely reported in the evening newscast.
“Someone apparently stepped
on his foot. Hotel workers say Alzeedi then identified himself as an Iranian
diplomat, and demanded that the hotel compensate him.”
“(Later) the hotel locked
Alzeedi and his party out of their rooms because of an unpaid bill of
approximately $2,500. Inside the rooms, hotel workers found satellite navigation
equipment and wet suits.”
Those kinky Saudis.
The "return" of Wally Hilliard
Guaranty even owns a plane which was used by and registered to terror flight
school owner Wally Hilliard.
Hilliard’s Plane 1 Leasing owned a Lear Jet (N35NK), used for frequent flights
to Rum Cay in the Bahamas,
a sleepy little isle which began suddenly
experiencing the wonders of big-time cocaine shipments.
The plane was later sold
to Aircraft Guaranty, where it made flights to Guantanamo, as well as numerous
other dubious Caribbean hot spots, and had its picture taken during a
rendition flight in Portugal.
Yet it also still flew, and
regularly, to known drug transfer points: Venice, Florida, Treasure Cay
San Salvador, and Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas, the Netherlands Antilles, St.
Maarten, and even Toluca, Mexico (where the DC9 with 5.5 tons of coke was
supposed to offload.)
The sister ship to the DC9 'Cocaine One'
Aircraft Guaranty today owns
a DC 9 (N120NE) which was the sister ship of the DC-9 (N900SA) caught carrying
5.5 tons of pure cocaine in April of 2006, which set off a chain of events that
eventually led law enforcement authorities in Mexico to identify 100 American
planes purchased with laundered money from Mexico’s dominant Sinaloa Cartel.
Both DC9’s belonged to
company insiders at SkyWay Aircraft, itself a company whose dubious existence
cannot pass close scrutiny. There are two separate Skyway Aircraft’s, their
owners insist, two business entities located at two separate small airports,
with nothing in common but the same name.
The 5.5. ton bust was a
depth charge dropped beneath into hitherto unexplored depths of an American drug
trafficking empire which may be larger than any known object in the Universe.
legitimate trade with the U.S., for example, is big enough to send $4 billion
north annually into U.S. banks.
Yet Mexico banks $16 billion
in the U.S. annually. The other $12 billion, as any banker can tell you, is drug
money, which the banks are happy to have.
All this intrigue, its hard
to believe, is occurring in a sleepy city on Florida’s Gulf Coast filled with
amiable retirees, a good number of whom do, indeed, play shuffleboard, St
Petersburg FL., the most unlikely place imaginable for to find the American Drug Lords.
That's probably why they’re there.
Tomorrow: The hilarious world of election fraud.
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