National Alliance of Families

For The Return of America's Missing Servicemen

+ World War II + Korea + Cold War + Vietnam + Gulf War +



BITS 'N' PIECES - JANUARY 9TH, 1999


Dolores Apodaca Alfond

National Chairperson - (dolores@nationalalliance.org)

Voice/Fax 425-881-1499

Lynn O'Shea

New York State Director - (lynn@nationalalliance.org)

Voice/Fax 718-846-4350





For those who have not heard, we lost our dear friend Mary Hall, wife of T/Sgt. Willis R. Hall - POW/MIA - Laos - Lima Site 85, on December 30th, 1998. Those of us who were fortunate enough to know Mary will miss her greatly. She was a woman of strong faith, great spirit and enormous courage. As her good friend, Ann Holland stated: "she fought the good fight and now one of God's soldiers has gone home."


To her son Steve and daughter Jean, we offer our deepest sympathy. We can only imagine how much you will miss her, because we know how much we will miss her. Cards may be sent to: The Family of Mary Hall, c/o Timmons Funeral Home, 510 North 7th Street, Fredonia, Ks. 66736.



Project Heavy Green - Lima Site 85 - Much has been written about the top secret radar base located on Phou Pha Thi, in Laos. We all know the names of the men unaccounted for - Holland, Hall, Kirk, Calfee, Price, Shannon, Worley, Davis, Blanton, Springsteadah, and Gish, when the site fell, on March 11, 1968.


For a clear picture of what happened leading up to the fall of Site 85 and its aftermath, "One Day To Long" by Dr. Timothy N. Castle, is a MUST READ. In clear concise writing, Dr. Castle tells an unbelievable story. If you thought you knew the facts regarding Site 85, think again. This book is well documented and brings new facts to light, regarding both the events leading up to the fall of the site and the thirty years of lies and cover-up that followed.


The book jacket says it best "A saga of courage, subterfuge, and intrigue "One Day Too Long" reveals a stocking betrayal of trust, for thirty years the U.S. government has sought to hide the facts and now seeks to acquiesce to perfidious Vietnamese explanations for the disappearance of eleven good men."


Dr. Castle, in dealing with the aftermath of the fall, discusses U.S. efforts to account for our missing servicemen, focusing on the men of Site 85. Our favorite quote on the subject of case investigations is -- "As carefully documented, the Joint Task Force - Full Accounting and the Defense Prisoner of War Missing in Action Office have acquiesced to sloppy work and shockingly loose ethical standards and the Site 85 case is thus indicative of a broader problem. The Vietnamese and Lao governments have consistently lied about their knowledge of Site 85 and these blatant falsehoods have been accepted and, in some cases encouraged by U.S. government employees. There is much more to be learned about the fate of the missing Heavy Green technicians. Moreover, the appalling conduct of the Site 85 investigation necessarily calls into question the quality and professionalism accorded hundreds of other cases."


Dr. Castle's credentials are impeccable, both as a scholar and researcher. His integrity beyond reproach. If Dr. Castle's name sounds familiar, it should. In 1997, while working as a researcher in the DPMO office, he authored a blistering memo (now known as the "Castle Memo.") detailing the questionable action on the part of DPMO employees regarding the Site 85 case.



Folks, this book is so good, we expect an all out effort from our friends in that five sided monument to red tape, to debunk the book and discredit Dr. Castle.


It can't be done.

When you tell the truth, no one can touch you.

Dr. Castle tells the truth!



"One Day Too Long" - hits the bookstores at the end of March. To order directly from the publisher, send $24.95 + 4.95 to Columbia University Press, Order Department, 136 South Broadway, Irvington, N.Y. 10533. Books will ship in early February, allow 4 - 6 weeks for delivery. (Note: California, Virginia, Illinois, and Washington DC, add sales tax.) To order by phone call 800-944-8648.


This one is a must read!



Update - The Volkogonov Document - Responding to a letter from National Alliance of Families Chairperson, Dolores Alfond, President Bill Clinton writes; "I have been very concerned about a possible KGB plan 'to transport knowledgeable Americans' to the USSR in the 1960's for intelligence purposes. I agree that we must do everything possible to get to the bottom of these reports, given that American personnel were held as POWs in Southeast Asia during this same period." The letter continued "...We have also asked for information on the authors of the plan, the names of any Americans who were transferred, and information on their fate. If the plan was not carried out, we have requested documentation that convincingly proves this point. We will also continue to press the Russians to provide access to all documents that may help our efforts to locate missing U.S. servicemen." In closing Mr. Clinton stated: "My Administration will continue to pursue the POW/MIA issue aggressively with the Russian leadership." He has talked the talk.... Now he has to walk the walk.... We need to keep the pressure on the White House. President Clinton has committed to an aggressive pursuit of the documentation referred to in the writings of General Dimitri Volkogonov. There was a plan to transport American POWs, from Southeast Asia to the former Soviet Union. We need to see the documents. We need to know if the plan was carried out and we need to know the names of the Americans taken to the former Soviet Union. Or, perhaps the Russians have already given us the names.


Contact President Clinton thank him for his comments and ask when he will follow through with a personal appeal to the Russian leadership. He has talked the talk, let's see if he walks the walk.

The Honorable Bill Clinton Tel: 202-456-1414
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Fax: 202-456-2461
Washington D.C. 20500 e-mail: president@whitehouse.gov



Servicemen Accounted For - in a Memorandum for Correspondents, dated December 22nd, 1998, the Defense Department announced the accounting for three servicemen missing in Southeast Asia. The servicemen are: Capt. Thaddeus E. Williams Jr., Mobile, Ala., and Spc. 4 James P. Schimberg, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, both officers were lost in North Vietnam in 1965. The name of of a u.s. navy officer is being withheld at the request of his family.


According to the DOD Memo - " In August 1993 a joint team of specialists from the U.S. Joint Task Force - Full Accounting and from Vietnam interviewed two Vietnamese informants in a local village near the suspected crash site. One of the villagers said he had recovered bone fragments, two identification tags and Williams' identification card in 1979. He recalled that one of the identification tags contained a name beginning with "S." The joint team flew an aerial survey of the suspected crash location, but found no evidence of the loss."


"The following month, one of the informants met with the team again and presented them with identification tags with both Williams' and Schimberg's name affixed. He also turned over the bone fragments he claimed were those from the crash."


"Anthropological analysis of the remains and other evidence by the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii established the identification of both Williams and Schimberg. Mitochondrial DNA testing was used to help confirm the identifications."



To the Williams and Schimberg families, we hold you in our hearts and prayers during this difficult time and we truly hope you now have the answers you have waited so long for.



Did you notice - For the first time in almost 1 year DOD has acknowledged the use of mt-DNA testing. Unfortunately, we have to question the DOD phrase "to help confirm the identifications." We also question the shading of the DOD Memo regarding the JTF-FA investigation.



From: The Summary Report of the 25th Joint Field Activity in Vietnam, 19 August - 20 Sept 93 re: Case 229 (Williams and Schimberg) - "On 27 August, 3 (sic) and 13 Sep 93, IE4 investigated case 0229... IE4 interviewed one witness in Phu Yen Province who could provide no information pertaining to this case. Witnesses in Phu Yen Province indicated there was no crash site located near the last know location for this case.


A second witness interviewed in Khanh Hoa Province provided the team with information of his recovery of human remains and identification media from a crash site on Ong Mountain in Phu Yen Province. Although this witness refused to guide the team to the alleged crash site location, he turned over two identification tags correlating to both individuals lost in this incident as well as 26 bone fragments alleged to be associated with the two individuals.


A third witness could provide no information pertaining to the incident location nor of the alleged recovery of remains. The second and third witnesses are suspected of being Remains Traders. IE4 also overflew the last known location indicated in U.S. records as well as the location of an alleged crash site found in refugee reporting, both with negative results. Recommend this case be placed into the pending category."



Is CIL-HI now making identification based on bone fragments and dog tags turned in by possible Remains traders, then "confirming" those identifications with mt-DNA? Sounds like the dog tags were used to cover the use of mt-DNA as a primary means of identification. Was any testing done to authenticate the dog tags? We hope so.

Why does Johnnie Webb still have a job?



Don't take DNA Identifications to the Bank - Several months ago, you may have read how DNA testing was used to confirm the relationship of descendants of Thomas Jefferson with descendants of Jefferson's slave Sally Hemmings. Thus proving, according to an article in Nature Magazine, that Jefferson fathered one of Ms. Hemmings children.


The Associated Press reported on Jan. 6th, that "Critics renewed attacks Wednesday on findings of a genetic study that indicated Thomas Jefferson was the father of his slave's child...."


"To help settle historians' debate over the matter, scientists tracked down descendants of both families for DNA testing. In a study published in the journal Nature in November, they reported a match in Y chromosome DNA -- which is passed along mostly unchanged from father to son -- between the descendants of Eston Hemings, Sally Hemings' last child, and of Field Jefferson, the president's paternal uncle."


"Adding the DNA evidence to prior circumstantial evidence made Thomas Jefferson the most likely father, although the DNA couldn't rule out other Jeffersons, concluded study author Dr. Eugene Foster, a retired Virginia pathologist."


" The Associated Press reported at the time that critics, led by an amateur historian whose wife is a Jefferson descendant, insisted Eston Hemings' father could instead have been Jefferson's brother, Randolph; his cousin, George Jefferson Jr.; or one of Randolph Jefferson's sons."


"The historian, Herbert Barger, held a news conference Wednesday in Washington to renew those charges and highlight two letters published in this month's Nature by scientists who agree the DNA is not conclusive proof."


"Foster responded in Nature that the title of his study -- "Jefferson fathered slave's last child" -- was misleading because it was too simplistic. But he defended the study's conclusion: "From the historical knowledge we have, we cannot conclude that ... any other member of the Jefferson family was as likely as Thomas Jefferson to have fathered Eston Hemings."



"DNA is not conclusive proof" - that is the key phrase in the above article. Strong circumstantial evidence is need, in conjunction with DNA testing before any determinations can be made. "DNA is not conclusive proof."

In our last editions of Bits 'N' Pieces - we acknowledged those who contributed to efforts to keep the National Alliance of Families going. In acknowledging contributors, you run the risk of forgetting someone and we did. At this time, we would like to acknowledge, those omitted and those who have recently contributed.


Thanks to the following Santa's - Jack & Gloria Adkinson, Ernest R. Adler, Frank G. Anton, Beverly A. Haire, Help Free POW's MIA's Now (Daniel & Debra Stock), Lima Area MIA-POW (Jack & Wilma Laeufer,) Michael H. McDaniel, Harry & Josephine Meekins, A.G. & Jenni Milner, Charlotte Mitnik, Frederick & Kay Ogle, Rapids V.F.W. Post 6992, Linda Rivera, Josephine Simpson, Andrew V. Spurrell, Veterans of the Vietnam War, VietNow National Headquarters, VietNow Pacific N.W. Chapter, Barbara & Robert White and Earl Wood.


Additionally, the family of Mary Hall requested in lieu of flowers that contributions be made the the National Alliance of Families. We thank the following for their contributions in Mary's memory - The Castle Family, Lois M. Coffey, Ann Holland, Tom & Cathy Humphries, Jan & Dennis Phillips and Lt. Col. Tom Mc Kenny.

Thanks to your support, we were able to retire our 1998 debt of $6,000.00+. We enter 1999 broke but not in debt. We believe the wonderful support we received in 1998, we will continue in 1999.


Therefore, we will commit to a National Alliance of Families Forum in 1999. Our Tenth Annual Forum is scheduled for June 17th - 19th, at the Sheraton Center City Hotel (same as last year.) We will have reservation information, in an upcoming edition of Bits 'N' Pieces.


We must tell you, we had serious doubt about our ability to finance a Forum this year. We thank you all for your support.


Remember - contributions are still needed to keep the Alliance going. Donations may be mailed to:

National Alliance of Families

P.O. Box 40327

Bellevue, Wa. 98015


Remember all contributions are tax deductible.



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