What really happened to
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
In Argentina, during the dark days, they called them "los desaparecidos," the disappeared. On April 10, 1996, Ron Brown was buried with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery and then joined his fellow desaparecidos. So thoroughly has Brown disappeared from view that the only articles I could find on Google News about the 10th anniversary of his death were those that I had written myself.
What follows, unless new information breaks, is my last article on the subject. In it, I attempt to find the one scenario that makes sense of all the existing evidence. Although speculative in part, it follows the evidence in full. There are no loose ends.
Aviation systems manager Niko Jerkuic does not report in for work on the morning of April 3, 1996, but he has a busy day ahead of him. He is not looking forward to it. Just a day and a half earlier, embattled Commerce Secretary Ron Brown was ordered to fly to Jerkuic's airport in Dubrovnik, Croatia. A trip like this in a war-torn area would typically require weeks of security planning. Not this time.
Right after that change of plans, agents of the Croatian intelligence services gave Jerkuic an assignment he did not feel free to turn down. They needed to misdirect Brown's plane, and they required his assistance.
The project is not technically difficult. Jerkuic has seen a lot in his 46 years. He knows all about "meaconing" or "spoofing" as it is sometimes generically known. Since the 1940s, portable Non-Directional Radio Beacon stations have been available to military and civilian operators and have proved especially useful in war-torn areas like this one near the Bosnian border.
The agents with whom he is working have brought along a gasoline driven generator, a tunable transmitter, and a temporary antenna, all loaded into the back of a pickup truck. Together, they drive to an isolated spot just outside of Dubrovnik and only about three or four miles east-southeast of Kolocep Island, the site of the real Non-Directional Radio Beacon, the beacon on which pilots are supposed to fix in order to guide their planes into the Dubrovnik airport.
Jerkuic sets the frequency of his portable beacon at 318 kilohertz to match that of the Kolocep (KLP) beacon and encodes the KLP Morse code identifier. He cannot power it up, however, until all the earlier scheduled flights have landed.
Still about 100 miles away, a CT-43A, the military version of a Boeing 737 carrying Ron Brown and 34 others, is cleared "direct to the KLP NDB." The primary reason for Brown's trip is to broker a sweetheart deal between Croatia and the Enron Corporation. Croatia's anti-Semitic strongman Franjo Tudhman has agreed to the deal, one disastrous for Croatia, in the hope that by cooperating with Enron he can ingratiate himself to the Clinton administration and avoid indictment by the World Court for war crimes. He has cancer. He doesn't want to die in prison.
The pilots are told they are "number one for beacon approach." When the word comes from the Dubrovnik tower that Brown's plane has checked in at 2:46 p.m. local time and the other planes have landed, Jerkuic shuts down the normal NDB and activates the "rogue" NDB. The automatic direction finder in Brown's plane now points to Jerkuic's beacon near Dubrovnik.
At this distance, the needle shift is negligible. USAF pilots Ashley Davis and Tim Shafer scarcely notice. "Hmmm," Davis thinks to himself when he sees it, "the NDB's a little further east than I thought." But given its 318-kilohertz frequency, Davis naturally assumes the radio signal to be coming from Kolocep and flies toward it. The Dubrovnik tower has no radar. At this stage, the radio signal is the pilots' only real guide to the world below the clouds. In fact, Brown's itinerary was shifted to Dubrovnik only after the weather service confirmed that the next several days would be overcast in Croatia. These conditions were critical for the plan to work.
As the signal strengthens, Davis gradually aligns the automatic direction finder with the posted 119-degree setting. At 2:54 pm, he watches as the ADF swings back around to the bottom, now at a 299-degree reading. He has passed over the beacon and will navigate from the tail of the ADF needle.
"We're inside the locator, inbound," he radios the tower, and the tower clears his approach and landing. At that moment, the charts tell the pilots the airport is 12 miles straight ahead on a 119-degree course. They will be able to see the runway in about three minutes. In fact, however, the plane is now heading right toward St. John's Peak about eight miles away, as the AWACs plane hovering over head will later verify.
Word of the crash comes over Jerkuic's radio. He shuts down the temporary transmitter and reactivates the Kolocep beacon. Still, he has no stomach for this. The agents assigned to him sense his unease, but they have work to do, like finding the plane and making sure the person they were assigned to kill is dead.
They make their way to St. John's Peak and up the mountain. The bodies are scattered, and there are only a few black men among them. They pull out the photo of Brown and start checking. Brown is not hard to find. But what stuns the men is that he is farther from the plane than is anyone else. He appears to have crawled there.
The leader kneels down next to Brown and turns him over on his back. He is still not sure whether Brown is dead or not. He has no obvious fatal wound. The leader pulls out his pistol and fires skillfully into the laceration on the top of Brown's head. In this part of the world, no one even blinks at the sound of gunfire.
The men look around quickly for other survivors. Tech sergeant Shelly Kelly survived the crash in the rear jump sheet. But her back is broken, and she lies mutely amidst the rubble. The men don't see or hear her. They hustle back down the hill. Their colleague back at the airport has misdirected the search in the opposite direction, out over the Adriatic, for several hours. But the men on the hill do not want to hang around any longer than necessary. They exit the area with their portable beacon and deep six it. Kelly will die from that misdirection.
Three days after the crash, a memorial service is held at the Dubrovnik airport for those killed in the crash. Just hours later, Niko Jerkuic answers the knock on his door and greets the men who recruited him. He is still anxious, and they can see it. U.S. Air Force investigators will start interviewing airport personnel in two days. The Croatian agents cannot afford to let the Air Force talk to Jerkuic.
"We hate to do this," says the one agent as he shoots Jerkuic in the chest. They don't sweat the details as they know who will be investigating, Miroslav Tudjman, Franjo's son, the head of Croatian intelligence. Miroslav declares it a suicide.
Back at the Armed Force Institute in Pathology, in Dover, Del., pathologists discover the hole in Brown's head. By order of the White House, there is no autopsy, no forensic testing, no notification of the Brown family. Brown is quickly embalmed, and the head X-rays are destroyed.
In November 1996, just months after Brown's death and one week after President Clinton's re-election, Tudjman travels not to The Hague to be tried as a war criminal but to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington to have his cancer treated. The Croatia-Enron liaison, Zdenka Gast, later shows up in the Croatian equivalent of People Magazine arm in arm with her buddy Hillary Clinton at Alexis Herman's intimate wedding reception at the White House.
By this time, Ron Brown has long since joined the ranks of "los desaparecidos."
About Mega Fix:
In this stunning, surprisingly entertaining, 90-minute DVD video documentary, Emmy-award-winning filmmaker Jack Cashill traces the roots of Sept. 11 to the perfect storm of disinformation that surrounded the Clintons' desperate drive for the White House in the years 1995-1996.
Cashill leads the viewer from Oklahoma City to Dubrovnik, where Ron Brown's plane crashed, to the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia to the destruction of TWA Flight 800 off Long Island to the Olympic Park bombing. Jack Cashill's "Mega Fix" DVD is now available.
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