Talk:Korean Air Lines Flight 007 alternative theories

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This article is rubbish. Large portions of it are ungrammatical. By comparison, I have heard callers to Art Bell's radio program that were more coherent and articulate than whomever wrote/edited large portions of this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.222.236.227 (talk) 20:06, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Will shortly amplify and order these theoriesBert Schlossberg (talk) 00:26, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Will supply more referencingBert Schlossberg (talk) 01:39, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

I remember...[edit]

I remember last time I saw this there was another theory about deliberately getting the aircraft to enter the zone to be shot down in order to give USSR a bad reputation with propaganda. However, now I don't see it anywhere, and has simply disappeared from the page history. 66.183.59.211 (talk) 01:10, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, will shortly supplyBert Schlossberg (talk) 01:39, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Good job, Bert. Is it worth stating for each theory when it was put forward and if it's been discounted? Specifically, some of the more tenuous theories were proven to be null and void when the CVR tapes were released. Socrates2008 (Talk) 07:51, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure, Socrates. Need to think more about the "when". I think that it's best, generally, not to decide on whether or not a theory is discounted, but to briefly "suggest" by giving a "counterfact" to the theory. I think that the emphasis is on the theories that have been spawned rather than a complete rebuttal. Having said that, I need add, that I think that it is proper and important, to include the information from the tapes as a counterfact, as the tapes are so crucial and had not been available during the spawning period of many of the theories.Bert Schlossberg (talk) 08:27, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

HSI[edit]

The picture of the Horizontal Situation Indicator in the the Theory of Intentional Deviation may be confusing. It is clear from ICAO '93 2.4.4 and 2.7.2 and from "KAL 007: the Cover-up. David Pearson, Summit, N.Y., 1987, pg.39" that the crew would have known from the HSI then in use, both by displayed cross track error reading and by the HSI indicator pegged at an 8 mile deviation, when KAL 007 was more than 8 mile deviated (therefore crew was enormously inattentive - ICAO's opting or intending to deviate). But the HSI of the photo does not show, I think, the HSI indicator that would have been pegged. The photo may be of an HSI currently being used rather than the one that was used for flight 007 in 1983Bert Schlossberg (talk) 22:09, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Added a note that it's a stock image. Socrates2008 (Talk) 09:26, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

good enough!Bert Schlossberg (talk) 19:13, 26 July 2010 (UTC)


again, will supply more citations to US Governmental cover up theoryBert Schlossberg (talk) 21:52, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

POV[edit]

I added a Pov warning in the paragraph Unplanned "intelligence bonus" theory. It's mostly related to the style of the writing, where the heavy use of direct questions is clearly used in a rhetorical way. I removed the two links spammed at the end of the paragraph, too. I'm in favor of completely removing the paragraph, since

  • Most of those questions are plain stupid at the light of what is in the incident article, in the transcript article and in this article itself
  • The only references to this hypothesis is from one website (the one spammed)
  • The paragraph was written with a clear bias

--Jollyroger (talk) 15:32, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

(I am moving down here the comments by Bert Schlossberg, since I feel they make the paragraph less readable --Jollyroger (talk) 08:13, 15 September 2010 (UTC))

    • Perhaps I can give a perspective. It is true that the incident article really makes some of the theories or questions arising from the theories "stupid". But some of the theories were spawned prior to the material presented in the incident article (the "transcript" article as well). This alternate theories article, I believe, intends to present the theories that have been spawned since the time of the shootdownBert Schlossberg (talk) 15:22, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
    • Possibly a telling point. Pearson considers the evidence he has marshalled pointing to an intentional deviation also cogent for a "target of opportunity argument" which he feels is not developed by commentators intent on exonerating the U.S. from responsibility, but his book itself does not develop the theory. This, I think, is the only possible rationale for deletion of the paragraph.Bert Schlossberg (talk) 15:22, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
    • I believe it fair to say that I am the main contributor to this paragraph. I think it a fair presentation of the theory. As to bias, I cannot say that I am convinced by the theory, though the questions (or problems) brought up do require an answer. I am still working over in my mind the cogency of this theory and have written about it to some extent bring forward the evidences of those who do believe it is true. I do not think that the paragraph reflects a bias of mine. Again the nature of the article is to present the alternate theories, and suggesting,perhaps, their shortcomingsBert Schlossberg (talk) 15:22, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

I think that Jollyroger is technically right, but it is obvious that Pearson, certainly notable in the field, considers the "intelligence bonus" theory, which he calls the "Target of opportunity argument", viable. He himself does not develop it, probably, because he throws his weight in the direction of intentional deviation rather that unintentional, but he considers the reason that others, who do hold to a theory of innocent intrusion into Soviet airspace, do not develop the target of opportunity argument is because "they go to great lengths to exonerate the United States from responsibility for the tragedy". Most of the the data in the "intelligence bonus" section actually comes from Pearson - chapters 2 and 19 and the Trial chapter plus his footnotes. For Pearson on the target of opportunity argument, see KAL 007: The Cover-up, Summit, New York, 1987 page 330. Bert Schlossberg (talk) 00:33, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

I can't understand why Pearson's speculation have such a great display in this article. I do not know who he is, but with a google search he seems to be just the usual conspiracy-theory loon.
We have on wiki a few David Pearson, but none of them is the David Eric Pearson we are speaking of. He appear to have published just two books, one about the "cover-up of KAL007", the other one is a non-technical military treaty. His bio on Amazon does not show any expertise whatsoever on civil aviation, or in aviation at all.
--Jollyroger (talk) 12:35, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

A great deal has been written about KAL 007 - almost everything written prior to the release in 1992 of Soviet military real-time to the incident communications and black box tape transcripts by the Russian Federation. Among these "pre 1992" writers, the most prominent and most quoted are Pearson, Hersh, and R.A. Johnson. I really don't agree with any of them on certain key points, but they are not loons. A quote from Pearson from the introduction to his book, "My interest in the downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 developed quite by accident. During my doctoral studies at Yale, I had become interested in how systems that are sufficiently complex and "tight coupled" - interactive, that is, where things happen very quickly and can't be turned offf, where redundancies are not available, and where failures in one part of the system have ramifications for the other parts - inevitably experience what sociologist Charles Perrow called "normal accidents." Bert Schlossberg (talk) 14:55, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

He may be a (self-styled) expert, but again most of his theories are just uninformed speculations, he has not, in my opinion, any relevant competence on the argument to consider his hypothesis more encyclopedic than my own theory that the flight was downed by a an alien starship of the Leather Goddesses of Phobos...
Since, I am still convinced that the paragraph has to be removed, being irrelevant, POV and badly written.
On a side note, I'd point out that I feel that your activity on this article is quite inappropriate, due to your personal involvement in the matter. I see a few user pointed out this situation before. --Jollyroger (talk) 07:49, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Has the dispute been resolved? Where do we go from here? David Pearson and his book seems totally appropriate as a source. Not so to Jollyroger.Bert Schlossberg (talk) 04:47, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

I think a good course of action would be to ask a few opinions to other editors. --Jollyroger (talk) 08:16, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
WP:V applies, as does WP:WEIGHT if too much emphasis is placed on his (or anyone else's) theory. Socrates2008 (Talk) 13:20, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree that it's not just POV - it's original research, and an amazing amount of UNDUE.
  • I've already taken out Bert Schlossberg's material, as there is simply no way it passes RS - self-published and unreviewed in RS (as far as I can see).
  • For the "planned spy" section, the basis, Allardyce and Gollin, have the virtue of an NYT article reviewing their work. But again, they come from a suspicious looking publishing house, "American Vision Publishing", which has the grand total of three books available on American Amazon (four if you count two different listings for Desired Track).
  • The "theory of intentional deviation" has no sources and no indication whatsoever who proposed this idea. I would have deleted it too, but thought there might be some sources if I stress the obvious need for them.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 13:21, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
  • The "unplanned intelligence bonus" section might be based on that Pearson book, as it's the only source. It's very hard to tell, and looks like OR.
  • The "meaconing" section is basically unsourced, with only one citation to a rather odd site called disinfo.com - which doesn't look like a source with a great reputation for fact checking.
  • The US government cover-up theory also looks like a bunch of OR.
Unless anyone can come up with sources, I can't honestly see any alternative than to cut more than half of the content as OR and UNDUE.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 13:21, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

I've reverted Bert's attempt to insert his own website and promote his organisation. It simply isn't RS, and it's driving a coach and horses through the COI provisions to add that kind of stuff - I've warned him on his talkpage. Referring to my suggestion of five days ago, are there really no sources to support the sections I highlighted five days ago?VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 14:29, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

There's also a web of fact & fiction that needs to be separated here. By way of example, it's a fact that there are people that believe that the earth is flat - and we can write an article about that viewpoint at Wikipedia. But if we represented in an article as fact that the earth is flat, this is where we would come unstuck. The subtle difference is in how non-mainstream information is presented, and this is where this article is coming undone. Socrates2008 (Talk) 20:45, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

The article is about alternate theories concerning the incident. There doesn't seem to be any question about the fact that that there was a paucity of bodies, body parts, tissues, and luggage. There were various attempts to account for that fact,and these are noted in the article. I have offered another one, certainly it is one that I hold, but it is also one of the incorporated organization that has been in existance for 9 years, and, in fact one that has contributed to much of the data, references to books, the published ICAO transcripts,that make up the main article. I am the director of the Organization, the International Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors, and one of the researchers. Dose that fact automatically make me biased? does bias increase with the increase of familiarity of the subject? Neither the organization or the website is mine. The name of the orgaization is not mentioned in the body of the article. It is in the footnote. Does it violate the rules of Wikipedia to mention in the article that there is a longstanding organization that believes that there are survivors? Doesn't this seem appropriate in an article on Alternate theories? Is the fact that I name the organization or give the url of the website in the footnote to be attributed to my desire to promote "my website", rather than the normal attribution that is accepted elsewhere or by others than myself? Have I made up the fact of the scarcity of remains, and is there not an organization in existance all these years having concluded that there are survivors? Does the fact that there is a belief in survivors seem somehow out of place in an article of alternate theories whereas, for instance, the belief that KAL 007 came down in Japanese waters rather than Soviet, and that there was a Soviet-U.S. air battle in Soviet waters (Brun) not seem out of place?Bert Schlossberg (talk) 03:20, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Bert, after all this time, do you really need another editor to point you to the pages on WP:COI, WP:RS, WP:PROMOTE and WP:OR?
  • You are putting in your own material (COI, self-promotion). The policy is very, very clear that you should not do this if there are other editors who do not think the material is appropriate. It does not mean you are actually biased - that is not what COI means. COI means that it is not for you to judge the merits of your own material. You should not add your material, or anything relating to your organisation. You can ask other editors here to add it if they see fit.
  • You are adding material from your book and website, neither of which can be considered reliable sources. Your book is self-published. The policy on self-published sources WP:SPS is very clear - they are no good as sources on the topics they claim to cover - unless, and I quote - when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. This is not true of you or your organisation, at least as far as I have found, and I had a pretty good look.
  • Your arguments, inter alia, that the paucity of bodies means your organisation is a suitable source for wikipedia is just another example of you doing original research. Your response to policy-based criticisms of your edits seems to be to reproduce your own original thoughts on flight 007 - which is not what a wikipedia editor is here for, and is missing the point. We don't make up content, even if we put it on a website or in a self-published book first. Half the sections in this article, bereft as they are of sources, appear to be original research, collections of factoids strung together to create an impression.
Look at it like this: there are tens of thousands of people around the world trying very hard to get themselves and their ideas published in proper venues. You don't have the right to bypass that. Instead, given that you've read a lot on the topic, why not help people to apply what the reliable sources say, while continuing to work hard in real life to get recognition for your work?VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 04:05, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

There is no doubt that the editors of this article as well as of the main article on KAL 007 have shown an enourmous amount of good will toward me. That is about all I have to sayBert Schlossberg (talk) 04:26, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

I honestly don't mean you any ill-will, and nothing I have said has anything to do with the quality or otherwise of your work or your organisation. The situation happens to be that at the moment your work has the same sourcing status as thousands of people and organisations whose work we can't use. If you want your ideas on Wikipedia, you have to change that real-world situation.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 04:36, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
I think your criticisms on this page, VK, are fair and policy driven. I do believe it's prudent to allow a lot of latitude in COI issues that would normally be more strictly applied, due to the gravity of this matter, the many questions that remain unanswered, and the fact it's been all but forgotten. Toward the article it need to have the lack of citations cleared up, ortherwise at this point it really doesn't look that bad to me.Batvette (talk) 19:15, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
First of all, it needs to be made clear who has put any of these theories forward. If it was a notable figure, fine. If it was an Internet blogger, or vanity publishing, not fine. That no one seems able to provide citations makes me suspicious. My own searches on material here (such as Korean 007 "unplanned intelligence bonus", which gets wiki mirrors and Bert's site and 0 hits on google books and scholar) indicate that most of the sections are original syntheses. As I do not think the material is inflammatory, I have delayed deleting and asked people for citations. As for COI - I think it is a vital part of wikipedia. There is no need for "latitude" - there are guidelines on how to handle it. There are enough people interested in this topic for Bert to work with.

VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 21:12, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

In the next couple of days, I hope to get all the requested citations up. I think that I can do it all. They will not be from "my" website, book or organization, but from published books and from the pertinent passages, conclussions etc, from the Official ICAO report itself. But for now, one question and request. From what I understand from here and from the discussion page of my user page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Bert_Schlossberg [Bert speaking], This paragraph:

"Passenger survival and abduction theory Congressman Lawrence McDonaldMore recently in 2000, Rescue 007: Untold Story of KAL 007 and its Survivors by Bert Schlossberg,[16] which is promoted by the author through the organization he directs, the International Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors,[17] advanced a theory that KAL 007, though crippled, was able to land on water safely enough for at least some of its occupants to have been rescued by the Soviets in Soviet territorial waters, then retained, finally to be incarcerated in various locations in the Soviet Union. This best explains, according to the organization, the Soviet nine-year concealment of both the flight recorder tapes and the immediate Search and Rescue mission to Moneron Island involving helicopters, KGB coastal patrol boats, and civilian trawlers then close to Moneron (Military communications of which disclosed by the Russian Federation in 1992); the lack of bodies, body parts and tissues, and luggage; the otherwise mysterious abundance of shoes (indicating passengers might have been prepared for evacuation by slides); reports of survivor sightings,[18]; and the reported Soviet harassment of U.S. search efforts and preventing conducting of the search in Soviet waters. Particularly compelling, according to the organization, are the Soviet military transcripts handed over by the Russian Federation in 1992 revealing for the first time that KAL 007's post missile detonation descent, rather than resulting in a plunge to destruction, was arrested at 5,000 meters, KAL 007 continuing it's flight at that level for almost 5 minutes, and only over the only land mass in the entire Tatar straits, Moneron Island, did begin a slow spiral descent being tracked by Soviet radar until 1,000 ft. above sea level, the point under which Soviet radar could no longer further track due to curvature of the earth. The organization believes that there is credible evidence concerning the subsequent whereabouts of passengers Congressman Larry McDonald and 5 year old Noelle Anne Grenfell[19] to reopen the investigation into the shootdown and aftermath.

Though independent of the initiative by Senator Jesse Helms to launch a CIA investigation of the shootdown while he was ranking member of the Minority Staff (Republican) of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the International Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors is undertaking a dissemination to the media of the 1991 Republican staff study[20] on the shootdown. The organization fully supports both the Helms letter to Yeltsin[21] requesting information about survivors, including Larry McDonald (which was sent, according to Admiral Bud Nance,[22] the Staff director under Helms, as a direct result of information coming from Israel indicating possible survivors), and supports the conclusion of the study, “KAL 007 probably ditched successfuly, there may have been survivors, the Soviets have been lying massively, and diplomatic efforts need to be made to return the possible survivors.”"

which was deleted since it was COI could be re instated if someone other than myself would do so. I hereby request someone to do so. Please. P.S. I don't know how to retrieve the footnotesBert Schlossberg (talk) 02:32, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

The section as formatted (with footnotes) can be accessed through looking at the diff which removed them. Many thanks for offering to help with citations. VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 03:25, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Having looked at the section, my first question is - why should we include the views of Bert Schlossberg? By this I mean, who else has mentioned or analysed Bert Schlossberg's work in a reliable source? For example, I could set up a website, write a book and go on various internet fora spreading the viewpoint that Bert Schlossberg is actually a Ukrainian nationalist seeking to discredit Russia through propaganda about passenger abduction. Would such material be allowed on Wikipedia? It depends on how whether reliable sources consider such a theory - not on the merits of a theory as judged by Wikipedia editors. Seymour Hersh gets considered because he's Seymour Hersh. Michael Brun gets a mention in the Conspiracy Encyclopedia and several other books (where he's called "bizarre" and "ludicrous", but a mention is a mention), so his views have gained attention in reliable sources, even if it's been mostly negative. VsevolodKrolikov's theory about Ukrainian nationalists doesn't get considered not because it's silly (although it is), but because it has had no coverage in reliable sources. What about Bert Schlossberg, or the abduction theory in general? (See WP:DUE).— Preceding unsigned comment added by VsevolodKrolikov (talkcontribs) 03:51, 19 October 2010

If the above paragraphes were put up in the article, of course by someone other than myself, thus obviating the COI issue, then it will be shown that an incorporated 9 years old and active research organization definitely holds to an alternate KAL 007 theory of passenger abduction. Sources that this organization utilizes are formidable such as the work of the Committee on Foreign Relations 1991 support of the abduction theory, which motivated, according to Committee chief of staff Admiral Nance, Helms appeal to Yeltsin, and such as Helms own letter, also insisting on abduction, but these are mentioned as important conclusions of the "Committee for the Rescue". But it is the Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors itself, which is being here the one under consideration as the proponent of the abduction theory. The title of this article is Korean Air Lines Flight 007 alternate theories, not Books about KAL 007 alternate theories. That is why I believe that an Organization can fit the bill as well as a book. So I think that if someone other than myself would post the above paragraphs, there would be no problem. Bert Schlossberg (talk) 05:11, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

That's not enough, and you know that's not enough. There are guidelines about the kind of material that should go in, which you've been pointed to before, and which I would hope you have actually read. I'll put it simply: Absolutely no evidence has been provided that your or your organisation's viewpoint has attracted any attention of any reliable sources, let alone enough attention, and I say the paragraph should not go in. Not even you, the author of the material, can point to any RS giving it any consideration, despite being asked several times. Other editors are free to disagree with me. VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 05:23, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

I know of no book reliable source that mentions the International Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors and its theory of passenger abduction, but there have been magazine articles that do mention the organization and its theory (as well as my name and my book). Does Wikipedia policy rule out Magazine articles as a source?Bert Schlossberg (talk) 05:44, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

I've had another look. I've found Accuracy in Media (a "conservative" news organisation that deals in anti-Clinton and other conspiracies) covering Bert, and a published description by a University of Georgia Law Professor of the book as "even more preposterous" than Michael Brun's. Neither are great RS, but it might be enough, and it would help us to meet WP:FRINGE by presenting the theory alongside a critique. VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 05:46, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes, there are others as well, mentioning the organization, the book, the theory of abduction, myselfBert Schlossberg (talk) 05:59, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Well, if you could provide them, it would be a great help.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 06:11, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Here are some mentions in articles. I must say that derive great comfort in what is said above that "a mention is a mention" however negative and "bizarre" the charcterization" From the above mentioned author Donald E. Wilkes, Jr., Professor of Law, University of Georgia School of Law. Published in slightly abridged form in Flagpole Magazine, p. 7 (September 3, 2003) and with regard pretty much as accorded to Michel Brun

  • "Michel Brun, Incident at Sakhalin: The True Mission of KAL Flight 007 (1995). Brun is a French aviation expert. His book preposterously claims that (1) when the doomed airliner approached Soviet airspace there was a two hour air battle between American and Soviet military planes which resulted in the deaths of 30 American servicemen and the loss of 10 American military aircraft, and (2) the airliner never entered Soviet airspace and was destroyed 45 minutes later than generally thought and crashed in the Sea of Japan at a site hundreds of miles from the location everyone else thinks it went down.

Bert Schlossberg, Rescue 007: The Untold Story of KAL 007 and Its Survivors (2001). Schlossberg is an American-born Israeli scholar. His book makes the even more preposterous claim that after being attacked KAL 007 ditched safely in the Soviet territorial waters of the Sea of Japan, that 256 survivors were rescued by the Soviets, and that the survivors, including Larry McDonald, have been secretly detained ever since in Russian prisons and labor camps. (Schlossberg is International Director of an organization unbelievably entitled "The International Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors." Its website: www.rescue007.org.)"

That's all I know of, though Airliner's.net has published 6 article's of mine on KAL 007, and one making mention, http://www.airliners.net/aviation-articles/ , all expounding the theory of passenger abduction, introducing the International Committee for the Rescue of KAL007 Survivors inc., and my name. If I can get under WP:FRINGE, well, I'm not too proud!Bert Schlossberg (talk) 06:49, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

One other reputable source my name, book, is mentioned - Wikipedia article on KAL 007 Korean Air Lines Flight 007, "Books" section - "Schlossberg, Bert (2000). Rescue 007: The Untold Story of KAL 007 and its Survivors. Xlibris. ISBN 0-7388-5775-0,0-7388-5774-2. http://books.google.com/?id=CcMeKQAACAAJ. Retrieved 2009-01-01. "

The John Birch Society source is certainly getting up there for fringe! I think what would be for the best is a shortened version of your theory, the inclusion of which is supported by the fact that AIM and JBS sources have also brought it up (although one would need to mention their alignment; JBS is radical right and extremely (many have argued paranoiacally) anti-communist). It needs to be written up not as fact, but as a report of what you argue. That is, this is not the place to make your case by marshalling evidence, but have a summary of your view. Citing your book would be an idea. Other editors might disagree that AIM and JBS are good enough for inclusion. VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 07:06, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
As for the main article on this topic, - Wikipedia cannot be used as a reliable source for wikipedia articles. VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 07:39, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Should I do anything about this or would that still be considered COI? I'm not entirely clear. You are suggesting that I or someone, may write this abduction theory up more sumarizing the view instead of marshalling the evidence, and then mention that the main supporters of this view seem to be conservative organs such as John Birch Society and Accuracy in Media. Is that it? I could have a go at it if that's the general viewBert Schlossberg (talk) 08:50, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Here's a suggestion for how to frame it:
The abduction theory, promoted by Israeli-American Bert Schlossberg, a son-in-law of one of the crash victims, has received some coverage in the conservative news agency Accuracy in Media (cite) (cite) (cite) and the newspaper of the radical right anti-communist John Birch Society (cite). In his self-published book and on his website, Schlossberg has argued that.... (abduction theory, including mention of JBS' interest in the affair via Larry McDonald). His viewpoint has not gained mainstream media attention; a review of the circumstances of the death of Larry McDonald by University of Georgia Law Professor Donald E. Wilkes considered the theory as "even more preposterous" than Michael Brun's (cite).
It doesn't finish well for you, but it's normal to put the critique after the story.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 10:17, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Looks good. I thought I would have been able to work already on supplying those requested citations. Hopefully will do in a couple of daysBert Schlossberg (talk) 16:34, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Helm's letter in the abduction theory[edit]

What I had written, I think has been wrongully deleated. The reason for deletion is that Helms did not say that McDonald was alive. But what is written is this - "Schlossberg has also claimed that a letter sent in 1991 by senator Jesse Helms, while he was ranking minority member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, to Russian President Boris Yeltsin requesting information about the fate of KAL 007 (including, in a list of questions, a request to know the whereabouts of any survivors, with specific mention of Larry McDonald)[1], indicates that Helms took the abduction theory seriously." there is not a claim that Helms believed that McDonald was alive. What I had written has to do with Helms' request to recieve information about the whereabouts of survivors, and specifically mentioning Larry McDonald. Helms didn't ask to know if there were survivors, just the whereabouts of the survivors, including McDonald. I think that the absencse of the "if" implies he believed there were survivors, including McDonald, but I grant, that it merely implies the possibility/likelyhood. what I have written does not say more than that. That is why I think that that deletion is wrong. But you all judge it for yourself. Here is Helms' own words from the letter:

"From Soviet reports of the incident, please provide: 1.A list of the names of any living passengers and crew members from the airplane; 2.A list of missing passengers and crew; 3.A list of dead passengers and crew; 4.A list and explanation of what happened to the bodies of any dead passengers and crew; Please provide detailed information on the fate of U.S. Congressman Larry McDonald. 1.How many KAL-007 family members and crew are being held in Soviet camps? 2.Please provide a detailed list of the camps containing live passengers and crew, together with a map showing their location"

These last two questions definitely express Helm's belief that there were survivors (no "if"), and leaves open the possibility that McDonald is/was among them. that is all the deleted passage implies.Bert Schlossberg (talk) 03:20, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

VsevolodKrolikov, I reread the deleted pasage. I think that you are right. Unclear even to me. Will try againBert Schlossberg (talk) 03:43, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm happy with the version now. Although we're having a lot of disagreements, I commend you for your patience! VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 04:11, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

requested citations[edit]

I am "approaching" working on requested citations. Knowing that this is not the main article, I have not included some of them knowing that they are in the main article. But I will include them in this article. If not necessary, let me know. As far as the "fuel saving" citation, the fuel saving motive for the deviation was the original theory of Murray Sayle, as well as the head of Alitalia air lines, and as communicated to me by Attorney Broder of Bailey and Broder law firm, one of the prominant law firms of the litigation, it was considered important in their case against KAL. Now, I need to find this info in a published bookBert Schlossberg (talk) 20:18, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Citations done except one (the above). If I am unable to find, I will delete or changeBert Schlossberg (talk) 19:56, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Deleted the phraseBert Schlossberg (talk) 03:59, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

recent deletion from "abduction and retention"[edit]

VsevolodKrolikov, you have deleted the bold print in italics below saying, "Maier is NOT more favourable to this theory." I think that Maier is decidely more favorable than Wilkes to the theory of survival. Maier spends a lot of ink on bringing foward the points of Helms report and related matters. There is no disavowal of them by Maier, and instead there are statements like, - "But part of the émigrés story appears to be verified by a..." and "While solid proof of the survivor allegations has yet to surface, intelligence experts have been baffled by classified NSA intercepts of Soviet cockpit conversations never released to ICAO.... These". He goes on like this on a number of subjects with the point that the emigres reports cannot be lightly dismissed. I think that this is a far cry from Wilkes' "preposterous". It is decidely "more favorable" and I think the deletion should be reinstated.


"Schlossberg's viewpoint has not gained mainstream media attention; in a review of the circumstances of the death of Larry McDonald, University of Georgia Law Professor Donald E. Wilkes considered the theory as "even more preposterous" than Michael Brun's theory of a Japanese locale for the shootdown and an air battle having taken place between Soviet and American aircraft.[32] More favorable to the possibility of survivors, though not necessarily their present survival, is Timothy W. Maier, who, in an article in Insight Magazine[33] discusses a number of unanswered questions concerning water landing and survivor reports dealt with by the Helms Committee" (This latter has been deleted)

From Maier's article -

“The only way to explain the lack of wreckage, bodies, and luggage from this great airliner incident is to assume that after its 12-minute flight in search of a landing spot, KAL 007 successfully ditched at sea, and that the Soviets either rescued all the passengers who survived, and recovered their luggage, or that the Soviets recovered all the bodies, wreckage, and the luggage,” the study prepared for Helms maintains. “Since the Soviets are now known to have recovered the black boxes and the wreckage, as revealed in 1991 by Izvestia, it is reasonable to presume that the Soviets also recovered at least all the passengers, dead or alive, and all the luggage.”

In 1992, the late Avraham Shifrin, an Israeli intelligence specialist on Soviet labor camps, alleged two expatriate Russians had told him in a debriefing that some KAL passengers, including McDonald, had indeed survived the crash and were imprisoned. According to intelligence sources, these were the same Russian émigrés who were interviewed for the Helms’ staff. Shifrin, author of the seminal Guidebook to Slave Camps, claimed in a 1993 TV interview that he had asked President George H. W. Bush to confirm details by electronic surveillance but the administration never got back to him. The study refers to the émigré story as “partially verified,” because the survivor allegations could never be corroborated independently...

But part of the émigrés story appears to be verified by a Soviet salvage diver quoted in the Izvestia series. The divers say they were ordered to destroy “everything that was turned in. … The main thing was not what we had seen but what we had not seen. The divers found practically no human bodies or remains,” and the seat belts allegedly were found unbuckled. While solid proof of the survivor allegations has yet to surface, intelligence experts have been baffled by classified NSA intercepts of Soviet cockpit conversations never released to ICAO. These NSA intercepts indicated that at least three Russian search-and-rescue aircraft identified the downed Boeing 747 jetliner as a commercial plane carrying “American” passengers, according to the study, which quotes the still-secret NSA reports. It is unclear how Soviet searchers could have known “Americans” were aboard KAL 007, but the Helms study says intelligence intercepts indicate Soviet military forces mounted “rescue operations” for “American passengers.” According to the study: “Soviet command posts were expressing regret that they had not shot down the legitimate military target of the American RC-135, but instead had shot down by mistake a civilian passenger airliner carrying some Americans, because they feared that soon the Americans would be accusing them of killing ‘Americans,’ presumably the innocent civilian passengers.” It is unclear how the Soviet search pilots knew...

Bert Schlossberg (talk) 04:24, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Maier, if anything, rather more favourably cites James Oberg describing Shifrin as having '"got real confused" about KAL 007.', and he cites another passenger relative as saying Shifrin was a "con man who has no idea how much grief he has caused to families." (two quotes that actually look includable.) Maier reports all the different conspiracies - one cannot read his article as looking favourably on all of them. It's true he isn't directly rude about the abduction theory, but "doesn't insult" is not the same as "is more favourable towards".VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 05:14, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

VsevolodKrolikov, you have deleted the large print in italics below saying, "Maier is NOT more favourable to this theory. " I think that Maier is decidely more favorable than Wilkes to the theory of survival. Maier spends a lot of ink on bringing foward the points of Helms report and related matters. There is no disavowal of them by Maier, and instead there are statements like, - " But part of the émigrés story appears to be verified by a..." and "While solid proof of the survivor allegations has yet to surface, intelligence experts have been baffled by classified NSA intercepts of Soviet cockpit conversations never released to ICAO.... These". He goes on like this on a number of subjects with the point that the emigres reports cannot be lightly dismissed. I think that this is a far cry from Wilkes' "preposterous". It is decidely "more favorable" and I think the deletion should be reinstated.


"Schlossberg's viewpoint has not gained mainstream media attention; in a review of the circumstances of the death of Larry McDonald, University of Georgia Law Professor Donald E. Wilkes considered the theory as "even more preposterous" than Michael Brun's theory of a Japanese locale for the shootdown and an air battle having taken place between Soviet and American aircraft.[32] More favorable to the possibility of survivors, though not necessarily their present survival, is Timothy W. Maier, who, in an article in Insight Magazine[33] discusses a number of unanswered questions concerning water landing and survivor reports dealt with by the Helms Committee" (This later has been deleted)

From Maier's article -

“The only way to explain the lack of wreckage, bodies, and luggage from this great airliner incident is to assume that after its 12-minute flight in search of a landing spot, KAL 007 successfully ditched at sea, and that the Soviets either rescued all the passengers who survived, and recovered their luggage, or that the Soviets recovered all the bodies, wreckage, and the luggage,” the study prepared for Helms maintains. “Since the Soviets are now known to have recovered the black boxes and the wreckage, as revealed in 1991 by Izvestia, it is reasonable to presume that the Soviets also recovered at least all the passengers, dead or alive, and all the luggage.” In 1992, the late Avraham Shifrin, an Israeli intelligence specialist on Soviet labor camps, alleged two expatriate Russians had told him in a debriefing that some KAL passengers, including McDonald, had indeed survived the crash and were imprisoned. According to intelligence sources, these were the same Russian émigrés who were interviewed for the Helms’ staff. Shifrin, author of the seminal Guidebook to Slave Camps, claimed in a 1993 TV interview that he had asked President George H. W. Bush to confirm details by electronic surveillance but the administration never got back to him. The study refers to the émigré story as “partially verified,” because the survivor allegations could never be corroborated independently...

But part of the émigrés story appears to be verified by a Soviet salvage diver quoted in the Izvestia series. The divers say they were ordered to destroy “everything that was turned in. … The main thing was not what we had seen but what we had not seen. The divers found practically no human bodies or remains,” and the seat belts allegedly were found unbuckled.

While solid proof of the survivor allegations has yet to surface, intelligence experts have been baffled by classified NSA intercepts of Soviet cockpit conversations never released to ICAO. These NSA intercepts indicated that at least three Russian search-and-rescue aircraft identified the downed Boeing 747 jetliner as a commercial plane carrying “American” passengers, according to the study, which quotes the still-secret NSA reports. It is unclear how Soviet searchers could have known “Americans” were aboard KAL 007, but the Helms study says intelligence intercepts indicate Soviet military forces mounted “rescue operations” for “American passengers.” According to the study: “Soviet command posts were expressing regret that they had not shot down the legitimate military target of the American RC-135, but instead had shot down by mistake a civilian passenger airliner carrying some Americans, because they feared that soon the Americans would be accusing them of killing ‘Americans,’ presumably the innocent civilian passengers.” It is unclear how the Soviet search pilots knew

Bert Schlossberg (talk) 04:24, 28 October 2010 (UTC)


Maier as a good reporter and writer conveys the negative remarks about Shifrin, from Ephraimson, and the remark also of Oberg about his confusion. But note the difference, he conveys their remarks. But it is his pointing out possibities sometimes of Shifrin, sometimes of Helms'report that I am underlining. It is Maier who is pointing out ""But part of the émigrés story appears to be verified by a..." and "While solid proof of the survivor allegations has yet to surface, intelligence experts have been baffled by classified NSA intercepts of Soviet cockpit conversations never released to ICAO.... These" and he does this in other places of his piece, not related directly to survivors, to show that the emigre reports about a safe landing cannot be dismissed lightly, that there is substance in some way to it, though, of, course, not solid proof. Maier is one of the few, that deals with the issues of this paragraph, and it is clear, that he does not dismiss them, while at the same time bringing the negatives that others say. The latter fact should even hightlight further the importance of his positive points. This is not proof, nor is it conviction, but it is what I have said - a more favorable view of the theory than Wilkes "preposterous", and that from a man, Maier, who is actually dealing with the material. By the way, I have spoken to that passenger who said that Shifrn is a "con man who has no idea how much grief he has caused to families" and I was at the intimate meeting at which he came to that conclusion. I can say that he is much wrong, but that, of course, carrys no weight here. But thinking something about a man doesn't invalidate the cogency of what he says, and that is the issue. So Maier relating what others say about Shifrin in the article, of course has a purpose in the article, but does not mute his pointing out the questions brought up by the emigrees and Helm's report. I think that though I have been accused on Wikepedia and other places that my motivation for pursuing this matter stems from greed for money, sell my book, mental sickness, moment of fame, etc., I have had the good fortune of editors being able to say and think this at times, and yet give me a good hearing, and good attention to what really matters and deal with the real issues. I, like Shifrin, have had accusation in almost the same words, that I do not know how much pain I have caused to people by pursuing this. And yet, I have met people here, though believing that, have not let that harm the quest, and the reasoning along the way. The same with Maier. Bert Schlossberg (talk) 06:29, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Maier reports the so-called "Helms" report conclusions, but doesn't back it. He clearly says the emigre stories are not corroborated. In addition Ephraimson's comments are given far less coverage in this article than your own work. I can't see what you have to complain about. VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 06:41, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

I am so sorry to see this quote you have put in the body of the section: Avraham Shifrin, a "self-declared KGB expert". What purpose is there for your including it?. Avraham acquired his "expertise" through Lubyanka followed by 17 year of the gulag with much torture and then exile, and that is how he learned what the KGB was and what it can do. He was rather than "self delared", considered an expert by many others. That is why he came to give his expertise in the matter of the gulags in testimony before the Judiciary's "Sub-Committee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws". He acuired knowledge of the KGB and related matters through his years as Red Army major and Chief investigator for the Krasnodar region, before he was sent to the Gulag for spying for the U.S. and IsraelBert Schlossberg (talk) 07:17, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

If you can find better sourcing for who he is, please present it. He was a defence witness for alleged Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk; his testimony was discredited when it was discovered he was prone to flights of fancy (such as suggesting the KGB were employing witchcraft to kill an American legislator and turn Nixon into a pro-communist). He left the Soviet Union in the early 1970s, and his expertise, as asserted, is on prison camps, not on aircraft. The Red Army and the KGB were separate institutions; I'm not sure what role or what organisation a "chief investigator" is (it would help if you could provide the Russian terms), but it sounds like a police (militsiya), not a KGB role. That he provided no evidence for his theory of internment, and that he's not an expert in the field, is quite important when we're considering the merit of sources.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 07:34, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

I had not heard about the "witchcraft", but perhaps that is not what you intended. Was it witchcraft or something similar to what Emilia Cherkover believed about Soviet experimentation. "Serbsky Institute and Mental Hospital figuring in as a center for mind altering experiments receives startling confirmation from Emilia Cherkover, former Deputy of the Zelenograd Soviet and member of the Russian Federation Human Rights Commision. Cherkover maintains that, along with Vladivostok and Moscow prisons and the mental hospital in Oryal, microwave (psychotronic and electromagnetic application) experiments had been conducted on humans between 1989 and 1990 at Moscow's Serbsky Institute." Had you read that Shifrin believed that the KGB practiced "witchcraft" rather than above or the powers of the mind generally? I know that he believed that the KGB did have experimentation like the above. I do not know that he believed thay attempted it on Nixon or an American legistator. Perhaps. That Avraham would defend an alleged Nazi war criminal like John Demjanjuk could be. Many Israelis would, and did, defend him if they believed he in reality was not "Ivan the Terrible". Can you show me that his testimony was thrown out because he believed witchcraft was being used by the KGB on others? It may be so. I would like to know. In any case, it did not seem to interfere in his dealing with hard facts, and judgement of the testimony of others. I met one of his sources, and far from anything esoteric, this Soviet radar man, having come to Israel as a new immigrant, sat long with me demonstrating how KAL 007 descended being tracked on their radar screen, motioning with his flattened palm down, what angle it assumed with reference to the surface of the water (the table) at various stages of the descent until it fell below, at 1,000 ft., the ability of the station at Komsomolsk-na Amure to capture because of the curvature of the earth. He did this over and over. I say this because this is the sort of thing that Shifrin dealt with, whatever other thing he might have believed potent. I don't believe that he knew anything about aircraft, but that has nothing to do with what he did know about and what is pertinent to the subjectBert Schlossberg (talk) 08:34, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

I too am a relative of KAL 007 passengers. Should my praise of Shifrin be noted in the article because of that fact and the fact of having been successful in meeting his sources? Why should this discredit of Shifren be included. "Hans Ephraimson, a relative of one of the passengers, has called Shifrin a "con man who has no idea how much grief he has caused to families," having been frustrated in his attempts to meet Shifrin's sources.[36]" How does this help? I don't think it is right.Bert Schlossberg (talk) 08:49, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

The source for Shifrin's claims about the KGB using witchcraft are in the New York Times article I linked to, which was in 1985. It certainly wasn't what happened in Zelenograd, as that was after the court case in question. In general, the use of electrical and magnetic treatments, even if quack medicine, is not the same as witchcraft. As for Ephraimson's quote, your objection puzzles me. You yourself say that this accusation has been levelled at you several times. It would seem to be representative. It is clear from the text of the article that you more or less agree with what Shifrin argued, given that the two of you are cited as the leading proponents of this theory, and in any case, your approval doesn't appear anywhere in an RS. Ephraimson's quote actually balances your own position as a victim's relative. Shifrin, like so many of the sources you cite, has connections to the radical right-wing John Birch Society (he gave at least one presentation for them in the 1980s, for example). These are people who specialise in conspiracy theories about communists. (Fluoridation was a communist plot, according to the Birchers). Shifrin argued at one JBS meeting that Glasnost was a communist plot (see here). He didn't get that right, either, but perhaps as he wasn't in the USSR at the time, he couldn't know that much. It's evidence that he shouldn't be taken as gospel, or as the expert he claims to be. Out of interest, you made a claim that he was a Red Army Major and a "chief investigator" in Krasnodar krai. Is there any link you can provide about this?VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 10:46, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

I knew him and his wife for many years. I had no reason to doubt them. No, I do not have any quote about him being a major and chief investigatorBert Schlossberg (talk) 13:29, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

I appreciate he may have been a friend, and a pleasant and helpful person to know, but may I give you some reasons to doubt Shifrin's word about his past? I've read your conservapedia page about Shifrin. Here's a timeline of his life that you say he alleges.
  • Born 1922 or 1923. In 1938 he says his father was shot "for being a Jew". This can only mean that he was active in proscribed Jewish cultural activities, in direct defiance of the Stalin-era Soviet programme of eliminating or minimising ethnic identities. So Shifrin comes from a marked family.
  • In 1942 or after, he is made to join a penal battalion (a shtrafbat) to fight the Germans (1942 because that is when the shtrafbats were formed) meaning he already had a criminal conviction. During the war Shifrin was wounded twice, escaped from hospital, acquired false papers and rejoined the army. Interesting behaviour for a strident anti-communist. And interesting that no one was bothered that a wounded convict and effective deserter was on the run that matched his description.
  • He then rose very quickly to become a major (on false papers? or as an ex-convict, the son of a dissident and during the worst anti-Jewish persecution in Soviet history? Very odd).
  • He then, sometime from probably 1946 or later (the time it takes to become a major) entered a completely separate organisation (possibly the militsiya, but very unlikely the KGB) and rose within less than three years to become the chief criminal prosecutor (or is it chief criminal investigator?) of a whole federative area, Krasnodar Krai, again, at the height of anti-semitic persecution, and even though he was probably no more than 26, if he then had time, as you state, to send lots of people to the camps and then be subject to "years" (at least two) of hard labour).
  • He was then arrested for spying (and he was actually a spy!), and had as his prosecutor - heads up for the namedrop - Lavrenty Beria, but was not shot because of the death of Beria in 1953. Interestingly, you say that Shifrin told you that "Lavrenti Beria himself, upon order from Stalin, was executed", which is an interesting feat considering Stalin died first, and Beria wasn't even arrested until four months later. Treason was a capital offence even after the death of Stalin, so being spared the death penalty is odd, but not impossible if the spying wasn't really spying. From then on Shifrin is in a prison camp until he is allowed to emigrate at the beginning of the 1970s.
He claims all this pre-prison life happened to him (from rejoining the army, through becoming a major and then a chief prosecutor/investigator, to being arrested for spying, to doing "years" of hard labor) in a period of no more than ten years. That is, from, at the earliest, the end of 1942 to, at the latest the end of 1952 (Stalin's death and the fall of Beria happening in the first half of 1953). Either you've got quite a few of the details of what he said wrong, or Shifrin was something of a fantasist.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 08:15, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

Well, I need to say first of all, better to impune me for my errors rather than Shifrin. From a piece that Eleanora Polltinnikov- Shifrin, Avrahams wife, wrote in 2000. "[he] was finally arrested in 1953 (already after Stalin's death)". You tell me that I say,"Shifrin told you that "Lavrenti Beria himself, upon order from Stalin, was executed", which is an interesting feat considering Stalin died first, and Beria wasn't even arrested until four months later. I do not doubt for one second, that I wrote what you say I did, I find that I write many incorrect things among the many correct things, but please show me that I said that Shifrin told me that. I would need doubly to correct that. You and Eleanora are right. Avraham was arrested after Stalin died.

You write, "He then rose very quickly to become a major (on false papers? or as an ex-convict, the son of a dissident and during the worst anti-Jewish persecution in Soviet history? Very odd). Eleonaora writes,""On the way to the hospital he threw away his papers and changed his identity. Thus he got lost to the KGB...he finished the war as a decorated officer with clean papers which allowed him to proceed building his civilian career as well". I remember Avraham telling me that he had no papers at that point and had changed his name.

About the proposition of Avraham becoming a major as the son of a dissident and during the worst anti-Jewish persecution in Soviet history?", Eleanora writes (concerning the suggestion of Golda Meir as first Ambassador to the Soviet Union that Jews fight for the independence of Israel), "Avraham coud not participate in this activity simply because he was working away from Moscow at the moment, So, he miraculously avoided arrest when all the participants were arrested and sent to the camps where most of them perished. But when he was finally arrested his indictment and sentence emphasized his Zionist activities."

Avraham's civilian work was in the Ministry of Weapons, which enabled him to have access with material conveyed by him to, among others, Americans. As far as dates, Eleonora writes, "At the outbreak of World War II, Avraham was drafted to the Red army and sent to the front line to serve in a penal battalion, along with many other sons of 'enemies of the people'. I do not know if that was the unit you mention."

Avraham was an investigator in civilian matters in Krasnodor. Eleanora corrected me about that once, and I changed what I had written about it being in criminal matters. But not everywhere apparently. In any case that is my error and not something I had gotten from Avraham. I need to say that I would have liked much to have been considered a friend of Avraham. He was to me. But the relation was more complex. I can say that I had tremedous respect for him, and empathy, and learned much from him, and because of who my wife and I were as related to victims of the shootdown, I was in some ways intimate with him. No he was not a con man (that was unneccesay of you to include that quote and only serves to impugne not enlighten) and he gave so much of his life to others that were left behind. One other thing that I know you would not know, a number of things prevented me from accurately understanding in those early days with Avraham. One was my state of mind, and the other was the fact that he spoke little English and I hardly any Hebrew, and no Russian at all. And I was often resistant to "loosing the flow" in order to question intensively. Over a period of time this changed.

Eleonora writes "Avraham was initially sentenced to be shot; the sentence was then commuted to 25 years of strict labor camps plus another 10 of exile and curtailment of legal rights" This changed with the death of Beria.

You write, "Interesting behaviour for a strident anti-communist". Avraham was not a strident anti-communist. He was a secretive anti-communist, burning with hate for the system.

The date Eleonora gives for Avraham's birth is 1923Bert Schlossberg (talk) 12:45, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

You clearly wrote in your Conservapedia piece that he did years of hard labour before his execution was permanently stayed following Beria's death, not that he was arrested just before Beria died. The idea that Stalin ordered Beria's death is, to anyone who knows their Soviet history, phenomenally wrong. It's like having Johnson elected before JFK gets shot. And you only wrote it all only a few months ago - in July this year. As for his wife saying he was put in a penal battalion at the beginning of the war - they didn't exist at the beginning of the war - not until halfway through 1942, and then for people actually convicted of something.
His pre-imprisonment career didn't stop in Krasnodar. In 1991 in the New American (cited in the article) there is a claim that Shifrin was a "legal adviser in the USSR's Ministry of Defense". In 1973, the conservative newspaper Human Events in 1973 (link here) has the same claim, with more detail: "Only a year before [his arrest] Soviet authorities made him chief legal adviser of the Ministry of Defence's Juridical Department". Neither mention Krasnodar.As for his father who was shot in 1938 for being a Jew - Human Events have it as "His father was arrested on a charge of anti-Soviet propaganda in 1938 and sentenced to Siberia, where he died after 10 years at hard labor." By the by, The last exodus by Leonard Schroeter on page 67 even has Shifrin arrested in 1954, over a year after the death of Stalin and the end of the anti-Jewish campaigns, but that might be a mistake.
Perhaps a more authoritative source might be the Russophone Israeli organisation MAOF that he helped to found, which in this obituary says during the war he became a Captain, not a Major, and it repeats the claim that he was in a penal battalion in 1941, which was simply impossible. It says he was a senior criminal investigator in Krasnodar, and then moved to become the head legal consultant to the Ministry of Defence, with "access to top secret information". Being accepted to such work sounds very odd for someone with no formal legal training (he was sent to war when he was 17), no party membership, only in his 20s, no traceable personal history and active in Jewish circles in Moscow just when such activity was suspicious. Were there no other more established lawyers around? MAOF also says he lived in Odessa for the last three years of his life in the USSR, which seems to contradict the idea that he was living in exile in Kazakhstan, which is what your website says. It's also interesting to note that the site says that "Until his last day, Avraham continued his lecturing activities on the questions of esoterica, parapsychology and religious philosophy" - which might explain his belief in the Soviet use of witchcraft. (Coincidentally, there was a Soviet paranormal researcher called Abraham Shifrin who emigrated to Israel in the 1980s.) The website also argues that the case against John Demjanjuk was cooked up by the Soviets; anti-communism trumps all. But it's his group; one can suppose they're repeating what he told them.
I suppose there are three points coming out of this. Firstly, there is an odd degree of uncertainty about who Shifrin was, and some very implausible stories (that's to be expected with fringe and conspiracy theories, I suppose), and he was clearly into some very odd ideas. Secondly, it's looking like Shifrin's and the John Birch Society's motivations were more or less identical - a belief in a vast Soviet conspiracy within America, which might be worth alluding to, within the bounds of non-original research. Lastly, you really need to be careful in the way you handle material. It creates doubts about the way you use sources on wikipedia.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 16:09, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

convenience section break[edit]

I feel that in the various sources about Shifrin, for me there is one that stands out as more determinative. His wife. I know her as a truthful person and intelligent. She writes "Avraham was drafted to the Red Army and sent to the front line to serve in a penal battalion, along with many other sons of 'enemies of the people.'" I think that your approach is to say that this is impossible as the shtrafbat was not in existance until later. This seems grounds to you to think that it is made up, and thus casting doubt on other things said about Shifrin. I note that shtrafbat is the term you used not her. Could not his wife, know that her husband was in a penal battalion, that is a military unit made up of offenders of some sort sent out to battle as she describes, that might have existed at that time, that might not have had the name shrtafbat which you use, an experience about which she and Avraham shared knowledge? If she had termed it with the later term, which she did not, it would be considered anachronistic, such as terming Canaan Israel, or Jebus Jerusalem. a wrong name which came from a later period but used in a non etymological context and adequate for its purpose. But she did not even use the term. When I weigh what she was trying to convey with your protests over the impossiblity because of the founding date of the shtrafbat, she is far more convincing as to the reality of the experience than you are by limitations imposed by the use of the name. Her English is good but could "penal battalion" be the english closest to describe the reality in her thoughts, though not the "shtrafbat"? Could there have been local usages of penal battalion before the "real thing" came about? What is your approach? Do you think that Shifrin made that up, that his wife continues the pretense, or that just possibly there was a real experience that she is trying to convey, that needs to be weighed for its meaning, its dimensions for the fit of truth, and perhaps, an adjustment of nomenclature? knowing them both, I have no doubt that Avraham was indeed in a "penal battalion" regardless of your insistance that he couldn't have been.

Eleonaora agrees with the source that says that Shifrin was in Odessa prior to his immigration to Israel. "Following a period of active participation in the underground Zionist movement in the U.S.S.R in the course of which he organized Jewish underground in Odessa and established secret ties with Israel, Shifrin arrived in Israel in August, 1970. The muliplicity of articles and their differences doesn't bring to me the slightest doubt about it. Avraham was in Odessa as Eleonora has said it. Had I denied it? I doubt it. Had I passed over it? possibly. Had I simply forgotten about it? possibly. Had I written in haste, inaccurately, ceasing to chronicle, explain carefully? I think so. Is your caution about me having to be more exact in my usage or work true. I admit it is. Does it cast doubt on the rest of the matters I write about, about KAL 007? I think that might be so. But I know this: the cogency of what I say, its truthfulness can be apprehended and affirmed or discarded by my reasoning from the sources I bring forth, and by evaluation of the sources themselves. And these sources, I think in the whole, are the published material considered by wikipedia as RSBert Schlossberg (talk) 18:35, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

I think that you ought to remove the pejorative quotes about Avraham which do not have a purpose other than to discredit. Avraham is one who cons someone because that person could not get to his sources? Wouldn't we have to know more about why the source was withheld to include that quote in the article, more of the circumstance, the nature of the request, the use to be made of it? I was a victim's relative and I was accorded knowledge of sources and access. He was not. More would have to known and told, before quotes like that publically aired, I think. I would take them down, but I think that you would put them up.Bert Schlossberg (talk) 18:35, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

A few points
  • I don't see why you think your views should crowd out those of Ephraimson. Your views are in the article, and at greater length. In addition, you yourself say that his comments are not untypical when people react to this theory that all the passengers and crew were saved and then put into camps.
  • I did not invent the term "shtrafbat". It's a well-known phrase in Russian, and noteworthy enough for it to be a redirect in wikipedia to "penal colony". It's not a sin that you don't read Russian, but it's certainly not good to start having opinions on Russian terms if you don't.
  • Shifrin has a track record of exaggeration (glasnost as a cunning plot to overthrow the west, a giant concentration camp right in the middle of Odessa, prison population estimates out by a factor of three or more, Soviet witchcraft, a vast media conspiracy to stop him publishing). On other sites, you've wondered how it was that the staffer's report became known as the CIA report, and blame it on journalists. You should blame it on Shifrin, who states quite clearly that it is a top secret CIA report here. We should not be surprised that someone is dissatisfied with him (smell test).
  • In that document, we see how Shifrin plays fast and loose with sources. He says: "Izvestiya started publishing a series of 25 articles based on what they claimed to be an "independent investigation" undertaken by the newspaper. The articles provided invaluable, as, along with bold lies and misinformation, they gave a great number of facts which had previously been kept secret". This is no way for a scholar of any stripe to behave. You can't believe only what you want to.
  • Shifrin's own status as a world expert in prison camps seems to be the result of someone's exaggeration. He isn't considered to be such.
  • He and particularly his wife Eleonora Shifrin have long been involved in the fringes of right wing politics (JBS including the very odd Alan Stang, who believes the American Civil War was won by communists). His wife has some very odd and disturbing allies, such as Baruch Marzel, with whose party Eleonora Shifrin's own far-right (Yamin Yisrael) merged not so long ago. Such groups are not known for their perfectly objective grip on reality, but quite well known for paranoia. Again, something of a smell test. It may be the case that you don't consider the Jewish National Front to be extremist; most of the Israeli press apparently does.
In short, I don't see a reason to remove the less flattering material about Shifrin, as there is nothing much to contradict the assertion, except what his wife and one of his followers says, and an awful lot bubbling under that suggests it's fair comment. It's as well sourced as anything that covers any of your or Shifrin's theories. Wikipedia is not about giving free publicity to conspiracy theorists, or being nice to the friends of editors. It's about balance. So stating what one of the victim's relatives has said about him is not "pejorative". VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 00:56, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

O.K. I think that we have come to an impasse. It looks like the quotes I find objectionable stay unless someone else can do a better job than I have done about it. You jump too quickly to conclusions. I do not think the right wing politics of Eleonora comes into play here and right wing "American style" is something different from her variety. You are wrong about the "CIA" appelation coming from Shifrin. The Republican Staff study (designated as such on page 43) draft was first noted and publicized as such (wrongly) by Sonn Se-Il opposition member of South Korean Parliament and then picked up by the media as such for a short while. Maier speaks about it. Because it was known at first as the CIA report, it probably best to put the CIA in parenthesis for identification after 1991 Republican Staff Study (minority) report of Committee on Foreign Relations. Here is its history http://www.rescue007.org/faq.htm#8. Here is a letter from Admiral Bud Nance http://www.rescue007.org/nance_letter.htm , who took over from Jim Lucier as Chief of Staff under Senator Helms. The letter among other things points out that the CIA, which Helms had asked to evaluate the info coming from Shifrin, had partially confirmed the info, held "consistant" (I can tell specifically and quote which parts)with the info that Shifrin was sending and that that info sent by Shifren (After 3 of Helms' staff visited with Shifrin in Isfrael) was the reason that Helms sent this letter with interrogatories http://www.rescue007.org/helms_letter.htm to Boris Yeltsin requesting the Military communications and other documents - which Yeltsin would send along with the black box tapes and transcripts Helms requested - and thus ICAO 93. That Helms, Nance, the rest of his staffers involved, who knows, maybe the CIA, are conservative, is not relevant and not discrediting. But you can see that there were others beside myself that had a positive impression of Shifrin and the strength of information he was sendingBert Schlossberg (talk) 02:24, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree we've come to an impasse, but I think it's based on you objecting personally to material, not as an encyclopedia writer. I have to correct you on two things. Firstly, in the link I provided there is, quite clearly, reproduced a document by Avraham Shifrin entitled "ANALYSIS OF THE TOP SECRET CODE WORDED CIA REPORT on the subject of the mysterious disappearance of the South Korean Boeing 747 (Flight 007), its crew and passengers after its 1983 shooting down near the shores of Island Sakhalin". That's pretty unequivocally identifying the document as CIA. Either he was incompetent/delusional (which I presume you rule out), or he was not telling the truth. I'm not sure how you missed it. Secondly, the John Birch Society is not "conservative", but radical right, and Avraham Shifrin quite clearly shares its defining characteristic, which is a paranoid anti-communism (paranoid here used in the political science sense as described by Hofstadter. Shifrin spoke at JBS meetings, appeared on Birchite radio talk shows, and the obituary from an organisation he founded states that "having gone to the West, Avraham discovered that this same West was flyblown with Soviet agents like dungflies, full of Soviet Propaganda and poisoned with Marxist ideology", which is a pretty good statement of the JBS position, including that of Larry McDonald. (For what it's worth, Eleanora has argued that there is a conspiracy to de-judaise Israel through the assertion of constitutional supremacy (link here, and search for "Shifrin", as the page is long), which is very much like the JBS opposition to civil rights as a scheme to undermine essential American culture.) We're not talking about liberal pushing out conservative (which would be bias), but mainstream balanced against WP:fringe.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 05:13, 31 October 2010 (UTC)


I understand from what you had written below that we are to blame Shifrin that the report was incorrectly termed CIA, that somehow he is the one, in line with his supposed crookedness, who foisted it on us all. "On other sites, you've wondered how it was that the staffer's report became known as the CIA report, and blame it on journalists. You should blame it on Shifrin, who states quite clearly that it is a top secret CIA report here." But , what I pointed out to you was that it was Sonn Se il, South Korean parlimentarian who began the claim (based on teh cover slapped on to it) in a session of the parliament, and this was taken up by the press, not that Shifrn didn't call it CIA. No question that Shifrin referred to it as the CIA letter (as I also, with the jounalists, at first) but clearly we are not to blame him for it having become known as such, as you have said. Shifrin's memo itself, the document in question, on the first page tells us about it: "Then, in the autumn of 1992, there appeared in the world media a sensational declaration made by Mr. Sonn De Il, head of the opposition of the Parliament of South Korea, concerning a top secret CIA report that he had somehow obtained and which contained sufficient proof of a safe water landing of KAL 007 on Sept. 1, 1983 near Island Sakhalin with the subsequent removal of all surviving passengers and crew to the Soviet Gulags." You know in Israel, there are in the same universities, professors of the extreme right, religious right settler type advocating political mentality working along side in whatever their speciality, in the same institiution with professors of a completely opposite and socialistic viewpoint. Sometimes there are heated debates concerning their viewpoints. But this does not impugn normally, automatically, ipso facto, etc. their objectivity in their respective fields. I think that the same is true for KAL 007 research. Being JBS or Israeli settler in viewpoint and commitment, or for that matter being globalist, socialist, etc. doesn't decide the merits of the work itself. I really do not know Pearsons political views. I think I know R.W. Johnson's, but am not sure. It all is irrelevant.Bert Schlossberg (talk) 11:19, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

I suppose that's where the impasse is. I would take a really solid track record of being wrong about things, as is the case with both JBS and Shifrin, as important when considering their claims to scholarship and objectivity, and, in this case, alleged impugnity from criticism. I wouldn't oppose JBS with socialism - I'd oppose it with non-paranoia of any colour. JBS occupies one end of that odd area of the political spectrum where extreme left and extreme right start to turn full circle. VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 12:52, 31 October 2010 (UTC)


You say the following: "...a really solid track record of being wrong about things, as is the case with both JBS and Shifrin,". I think that Shifrin has shown a solid track record of being right about KAL 007, aside from him being the only one in the world asserting that the Soviets had already recovered the Black boxes while they pretended search for it. Here is from Maier's article which you condsider "less insulting" than Wilke and which I consider "more favorable" than Wilke. Maier is talking about Shifrin and the report and then lists some of the emigre reports that have susbstance. By" emigres reports", he means primarily Shifrin and the informants that came through Shifrin. This can be shown by a word for word transmittal from Shifrins investigation to the CIA input contained in the Repubican Staff Study report:

Here from Maier -

"The study, however, says the émigrés knew information that only was known in 1991 by U.S. intelligence. For example, “they gave precise identification of local air-defense commanders, precise locations and the precise nomenclature of the types of radar involved, all of which seem to be consistent with existing U.S. intelligence information,” according to the study.

  • The émigrés also had detailed knowledge of the decisive role in the tragedy played by Marshal Ogarkov, then chief of the Soviet General Staff. They knew the Soviet military was highly embarrassed that it took so long and so much effort to intercept and shoot down a huge civilian airliner over international waters. There was, at minimum, a whirlwind of incompetence so great that the pilot, Maj. Gennadi Osipovich, had to be told six times to fire on the 747 before doing so. Incredibly, a Soviet radar operator at an antiaircraft missile battery on Sakhalin incorrectly identified the 747 as a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft, adding to the embarrassment. But, according to the intelligence sources, three Russian aircraft searching for the alleged intruder radioed that it was a civilian airliner. Pilot Osipovich initially said he didn’t know it was a commercial jet but says he never believed it was a spy plane. The Soviets promptly promoted him to lieutenant colonel.
  • The émigrés also knew of the Soviet military “after-action” reports that falsely accused KAL 007 of spy-plane evasive measures and had precise knowledge that the black boxes contained subsystems marked Hamilton AIDS, which Boeing confirmed, but which had not yet been made public. These sources also reported the following:
  • c KAL 007 ditched successfully in Soviet territorial waters between Moneron and Sakhalin islands; KGB Col. Gen. Semyon Romanov’s Border Guard boats recovered the 747 largely intact; the jet was stripped of all its surviving passengers and their luggage; a Soviet helicopter pilot reported seeing KAL 007 in one piece on the surface of the ocean; the craft was towed to Soviet territorial waters near Moneron, where it deliberately was scuttled in shallow waters inside Soviet territorial limits.
  • c Romanov failed to retrieve the black boxes and was disciplined for this mishap and died under mysterious circumstances in East Germany in 1985, according to the émigrés. They reported that a special team of Soviet divers was brought in to retrieve the black boxes and search for spy gear. Upon discovering no espionage equipment, Ogarkov ordered that the 747 be blown up underwater. The black boxes were sent to Moscow for analysis at Lyubertsy and the Ilyushin Aircraft Design Bureau, where Moscow learned for certain that KAL 007 had no spy mission.
  • c After confirming McDonald’s identity, say these informed sources, Moscow ordered the concoction of the spy-plane legend. The captive congressman then was transported to KGB’s Lubyanka prison while others were imprisoned along the Trans-Siberian border and on Wrangel Island. " , END

My note: Maier mistakenly, I think, has "Romanov" instead of "Romanenko" (At the end Maier includes emigres reports that have not been substantiated yet but not been refuted yet). Clearly this is a soloid track record of being right, not of being wrong, and there are other examples that Maier does not mention!Bert Schlossberg (talk) 13:42, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Why the inuendo?[edit]

I don't think that the "radical right anti communist John Birch Society" instead of just simply the "John Birch Society" is proper here. This is more of a spin to discredit. This is not a discussion of the JBS. It is as inappropriate as terming the Democratic Party the "liberal Democratic Party" when the discusssion calls for a designation rather than a characterizationBert Schlossberg (talk) 23:20, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

First of all, because JBS is not well-known and a descriptor is necessary. Secondly, because there is a clear connection between JBS' radical anti-communism and their belief that the Soviets would down a plane and imprison everyone just to silence one congressman. (The only people and organisations giving your theory any kind of credibility are radical anti communists.) The Democratic party is not all liberal, by the way. Finally, if you think that a belief that the communists would do such a thing to undermine American liberty is discrediting, then we'll have to take out the JBS references, and the whole section starts to look as if it doesn't merit inclusion at all.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 23:36, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

I will pursue it further, but I think that a descriptor could be in order. I think that radical right is probably better than anti-communist because I think that the interests of the JBS have shifted that way. Secondly, I don't think that JBS holds the theory that KAL 007 was shot down to get McDonald. I know that at one time, his wife believed that and Jerry Falwell believed that, possibly others of JBS, but I don't think that the JBS as an organization believed that. Maybe you know better. Some other things, from personal communications to me as well as nothing to the contrary in the public communcations, no one in JBS believes in my view of passenger survival. Different articles they have published at the most assert the possibility of it being true. And of course, no one in JBS has shown interest in getting Larry back. I am aware that not all of the Democratic party is liberal. I don't belong to the JBS and I do not believe the Soviets shot down KAL 007 to get Larry McDonald. The evidence does not yet point that way. I think it likely that once having found who they had gotten, there was more incentive to retain him for various reasons. I think that "radical right" is a good descriptor whereas radical right anti communist seems to be a dig and wrongBert Schlossberg (talk) 01:35, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

How on Earth is labelling JBS as anti-communist a "dig"? It is named after a man identified by JBS founder Robert Welch as the first anti-communist casualty of the cold war. They thought that fluoridation was a plot to introduce communism and that Eisenhower was a communist stooge. It's as much of a dig as labelling the Catholic church "religious". VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 02:00, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

I should not have used that word. But I ask you, as you might read the literature of JBS today, do their concerns seem to be (anti) communism or other matters? I do not read much of anything by JBS, but I have the impression that they are concerned about other matters. I think "right" is a good descriptor, maybe even radical "right"Bert Schlossberg (talk) 02:25, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes, they still obsess about communism and Marxism in general. Here's a search of "communism" on their website. More importantly, lots and lots of reliable RS note them as anti-communist. There's good RS for labelling them "paranoid" as well, as I mentioned previously, but I think that would not be relevant for this article.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 03:37, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

A WELL-prepared spy mission[edit]

Another theory from Russia (a fresh one) states that the plane had been grounded at Andrews AFB for several weeks prior, which could indicate a special-purpose ElInt refit. Any related material?--46.138.189.25 (talk) 14:25, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Released by the Soviet Union in 1993?[edit]

I could have swore that cookie crumbled in 1991.67.1.89.187 (talk) 05:11, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Probably my error. I couldn't find where you found this but the Russian Federation 1992 release of the Soviet documents were appended to the ICAO reports of 1993.Bert Schlossberg (talk) 15:58, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
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