Lynn Garrison

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Lynn Garrison
Lynn Garrison in cockpit 1966.jpg
Lynn Garrison in the cockpit of his Corsair N693M at the National Air Races in Reno, Nevada, 1966
Born (1937-04-01) April 1, 1937 (age 81)
Allegiance  Canada

 Royal Canadian Air Force

United Nations United Nations Emergency Force
Years of service 1954–1964
Rank Wing Commander
Unit 403 City of Calgary Squadron
Awards Paul Tissandier Diploma

Lynn Garrison (born April 1, 1937) is a Canadian pilot and political adviser. He was a Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot in the 403 City of Calgary Squadron, before holding jobs as a commercial pilot, film producer, director and mercenary. Later he became a political adviser in Haiti, and is now an author. With regard to flying, Garrison is known for his oft-repeated comment, "If it has fuel and noise, I can fly it."

Military career[edit]

Throughout the Second World War, Garrison's family hosted student pilots from the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan

Lynn Garrison in cockpit of RCAF Mustang, July, 1956

during their fortnightly leave. Contact with these pilots stimulated young Lynn's interest and by the age of four, he had decided he would be a pilot. During April, 1946 his parents purchased a ride for him in an ex-RCAF Cessna AT-17 operated by Kepler Aviation, at Calgary International Airport.


At the age of 17, Garrison joined the RCAF and trained at the RCAF Officer Selection Unit (Ontario) and Course 5411, 4 Flying Training School (RCAF Station Penhold, Alberta) and then the 2 Advanced Flying School (Portage la Prairie, Manitoba) for jet aircraft training (in the Canadair CT-133 Silver Star).

Garrison received his wings on 6 April 1955 making him the youngest "winged pilot" in the RCAF since World War II, a record that still remains. Garrison's wings were presented by Wing Commander Joe McCarthy DSO, DFC, CD, a second world war veteran who was famous for attacking the Sorpe dam on the Dambuster's raid.

After completing additional training in the F-86 at RCAF Station Macdonald, Manitoba, Garrison returned to 403 City of Calgary Squadron, where he served for 10 years from 1954 until 1964.

On April 1, 1958, Garrison piloted the last Canadian military flight of the Hawker Sea Fury. The specific aircraft was WG565, now displayed in Calgary.

On July 4, 1964, Garrison captained the last RCAF flight of the Avro Lancaster with Flight Lieutenant Ralph Langemann as co-pilot. Specially authorized by Minister of National Defence, Paul Hellyer, the flight was made more difficult by the fact that Garrison had never flown a Lancaster and had broken his ankle the previous day. Hellyer and Air Commodore John Emilius Fauquier DSO and Bar, DFC and Bar visited Calgary to witness the flight.

In his classic, Fighter Command Air Combat Claims, 1939–45 (1939–1940), John Foreman commented on the question of pilot temperament and ability. Foreman observed that Garrison had once remarked, "In every squadron there were, perhaps, four or five pilots who exuded confidence. They knew that they were going out to shoot. The rest knew sub-consciously, that they would make up the numbers, mill about, and get shot at".[1]

Post-military career[edit]

In 1960, Garrison obtained a contract to ferry 75 P-51 Mustang aircraft, retired from RCAF service, to their new owners in New York.

Lynn Garrison P-51D Mustang CF-LOQ at Calgary July 1962. Note Lancaster Memorial behind spinner
Lynn Garrison 9261 wheels up Canastota New York

Milt Harradence, took time off from his law practice to accompany Garrison on the trips. Flying without radios for much of the time, they navigated by following the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks eastward. Harradence and Garrison acquired two Mustangs as part of their compensation and registered them RCAF 9221 44-74435"CF-LOR" and RCAF 9223 44-74446 "CF-LOQ";[2] the first of their type registered in Canada.

Lynn Garrison crew with UNEF Otter, Sinai
1973 saw Lynn Garrison on coordinating committe for Federation Aeronautique Internationale conference in Dublin, Ireland, Gene Cernan, and John young were guests.

While ferrying surplus Mustangs from the old RCAF Station Macleod, Harradence and Garrison noted a number of Avro Lancaster bombers heading into the melting pot. Garrison purchased Lancaster FM-136 in 1960 and ferried it to Calgary where, with the help of Harradence and Arthur R. Smith MP, he created the Lancaster Memorial Fund. The Lancaster is a permanent display in Calgary as a memorial to those who served with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan during the Second World War.

In 1962, Garrison served with 115 Air Transport Unit of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), on the Sinai Peninsula, where he flew de Havilland Otters and Caribous. While with 115 ATU he acted as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Dr. Ralph Bunche's pilot.[3]

Kingfisher donated to North Carolina Battleship Commission

During 1963, Garrison, with authorization from Paul Hellyer and the help of RCAF 121 Search & Rescue Unit, assisted with the salvage of a Vought OS2U Kingfisher from Calvert Island. It had crashed there during a ferry flight to Alaska during World War II. The aircraft was brought to Calgary, restored by Vought Aeronautics and donated by Garrison to the North Carolina Battleship Commission where it is now displayed on the stern of the USS North Carolina, one of the surviving Second World War battleships.

In 1963, Garrison purchased the first Canadair CT-133 21001 for his growing collection of classic aircraft. The trainer, with 212 total flying hours, was stored at the repair facility in Lethbridge, Alberta. It is now displayed on a pylon near the old site for Edmonton, Alberta’s Municipal Airport. As an interesting fact, Lynn’s son, Anthony Lynn Garrison purchased the last flying RCAF CT-133648 upon its retirement. It was readied for a ferry flight to Texas but was lost on take off, from CFB Trenton, Ontario on July 16, 2009. An armament door opened during take off making the jet uncontrollable.

First RCAF T-33 21001 from Lynn Garrison collection

In June 1964, Garrison purchased two Canadair Sabre Golden Hawks aircraft from the Government of Canada. One was registered as CF-AMH and flown by Harradence. Garrison operated the other Sabre (RCAF 23454) before it was sold to Russell O'Quinn's Flight Test Research in Long Beach, California. Canadair Sabre (American registry N186F), was converted to a QF-86E drone and crashed on recovery at White Sands, New Mexico on 17 May 1978.

F/L Lynn Garrison in cockpit KB-976 before last official RCAF flight of type, July 4, 1964
Lynn Garrison acquired collection of aircraft accumulated for The Blue Max. It included 2 Fokker Dr.1.

On July 4, 1964, F/L Garrison, with F/L Ralph Langemann as his co-pilot, piloted the last official RCAF flight of the Lancaster bomber at the Calgary International Air Show, an event created and coordinated by Garrison. Neither Garrison or Langemann had ever flown a Lancaster before this historic flight. Garrison broke his ankle the night before. The aircraft was tagged KB-976 and after the flight, Garrison purchased the aircraft which is now on display in Kermit Weeks' Fantasy of Flight collection in Florida. Garrison later wrote an account of the flight and the creation of the Air Museum of Canada.[4]

In 1964, Garrison established the Air Museum of Canada.[5] Prior to the creation of the Museum, Garrison had accumulated a personal collection of 45 classic aircraft including:

Lynn Garrison’s Hurricane, acquired in 1963, now flies in United Kingdom as G-HURI

In 1963 Garrison acquired a number of Hawker Hurricanes, from farmyards in Alberta and Saskatchewan, for inclusion in his collection. He planned to create Canada’s first flying aviation museum. Unfortunately, there was no interest in the community. One of these now flies as G-HURI while Hurricane 5389 is now under the stewardship of the Calgary Mosquito Aircraft Society and is under restoration in Wetaskiwin, AB. During December 2013, BONHAM’S Auction House, in the United Kingdom, offered one of Garrison’ Hurricanes for sale, expecting between $2,000,000 and $3,000,000. Their brochure commented, “We understand that 'G-HURI' as offered here is one of two such Hurricanes acquired at one point by Lynn Garrison who, in 1964, established the Aircraft Museum of Canada.”[6]

Lynn Garrison’s Spitfire AR-614 now a part of Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Collection, Seattle, Washington

In 1963 Garrison purchased Supermarine Spitfire VB AR-614 from the British Ministry of Defence and had it transported to Calgary, Alberta for his personal collection. It has now become a part of Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Collection in Seattle, Washington.

After 50 years in storage, on August 11, 2012, Garrison’s ex-Spartan Air Services PR.35 Mosquito (RS700 CF-HMS) was transferred to the Bomber Command Museum, Nanton, Alberta for restoration by the Calgary Mosquito Aircraft Society with half of the funding provided by the City of Calgary.[7]

Garrison became involved in air show promotion with the Calgary International Air Show in 1963, 1964 and 1965. In 1966 the show was moved to Red Deer, Alberta. In 1966 he created the Los Angeles International Air Show which ran until 1969. Garrison was also involved in the Irish International Air Shows of 1970 and 1971 and the 1968 Las Vegas International Exposition with Danny Kaye.

Lynn Garrison leads A-7s of VA-147 before first deployment to Viet Nam, July 7, 1967 over NAS Lemoore, California

From 1965 through 1969, Garrison was president of Craig Breedlove & Associates. Breedlove held the World Land Speed Record five times in 1965 with a top speed of over 601.1 miles per hour. During 1968, Garrison started to package a deal that saw Utah's Governor, Calvin Rampton provide a hangar facility for the construction of a supersonic car. Bill Lear, of Learjet fame, was to provide support, along with his friend Art Linkletter. Playboy magazine hoped to have the car painted black, with a white bunny on the rudder. TRW was supplying a lunar lander rocket motor. A change in public interest saw the concept shelved for a period of time. The group also negotiated for the use of the late Donald Campbell's wheel-driven Bluebird CN7 record-breaker.[8]

Bluebird CN7

In 1968, the Indian Air Force donated Consolidated B-24 Liberator HE-771, stored at Poona, to Garrison for inclusion in his aircraft collection. It was to be ferried back to the United States in company with the B-24 given to Strategic Air Command. Garrison was busy with Roger Corman's film Von Richthofen and Brown, in 1970, so he turned it over to the RAF. Ultimately, it ended up in Kermit Weeks' museum in Florida.

Garrison published aviation magazine, AVIAN, from 1966 to 1969 with contributions from actor and pilot Richard Bach, Ernest Gann, Ray Bradbury and others. AVIAN started a tradition, with its first issue, including an aviation-oriented poem. The first issue featured “Planes that Land on Grass” by Ray Bradbury while the last issue, Vol, 2, No. 6 featured Lynn Garrison’s Remembrance which has been used over the years by pilots’ groups such as Fighter Pilot University.

The soldier sleeps – in distant foreign lands,
Beneath the ice or shifting desert sands.
An airman in the sun-split clouds.
The sailor in his watery shroud.
Their sacrifice, in time is lost,
With scant appreciation of the cost
Lest we forget.
                   Lynn Garrison[9]

Cloud seeding[edit]

During the 1960s, Irving P. Krick & Associates operated a successful cloud seeding operation in the area around Calgary, Alberta that pumped silver iodide into the atmosphere in an attempt to reduce the threat of hail damage. Garrison, Ralph Langemanand and Stan McLeod (all ex-RCAF), were attending the University of Alberta and spent their summers flying "hail suppression". The program was funded by farmer contributions and government grants. The program is run each summer and does much to reduce damage by hail.[10]

Other activities[edit]

In April 1960, Garrison and Harradence became a founding directors of Monarch Savings & Trust, Ltd.,

23424 one of 2 ex-Golden Hawk Sabers purchased by Garrison in July, 1964

the last financial institution of its type chartered by the Province of Alberta. In 1963, Garrison also took time away from flying to coordinate Roy Farran's successful campaign for a seat on Calgary City Council.

In 1982, Garrison created The Haitian Children's Fund, a charity to focus on the needs of Haiti's young. During the 2004 Gonaïves hurricane disaster, Garrison coordinated all container donations into Haiti for Prime Minister Gerard Latortue's government. Immediately after the January 12, 2010 earthquake disaster, the fund distributed 10 containers of emergency medical supplies. At the present time, the charity coordinates transfer of young Haitian cardiac patients to the Star Hospital, in India, for free treatment.

During 1989–1992, Garrison operated The Yellow Bird – Galerie d'Art Haitien, a Santa Monica art gallery specializing in Haitian art.

Film projects[edit]

In August 1980, as producer and director of a television segment for a series on paranormal subjects, Lynn Garrison set out to film the secrets of Voodoo. Accompanying him were Burt Lancaster and Samantha Eggar. Lancaster was slated to be the host of the series. During an effort to dig up a buried zombie in a cemetery of Desdunes, the team was almost killed by angry peasants. This exciting visit was the foundation for Garrison's 30-year involvement with Haiti.

In 1990 Garrison collaborated with Lou Lenart. Lenart led the first Israeli Air Force attack in May 1948, flying Bf 109s) to create First Strike, a feature film based on Israel's Operation Babylon, the June 7, 1981 attack on Iraq's Osirak nuclear plant. Garrison re-wrote the script and was to direct the aerial sequences utilizing the Israeli Air Force. Walt Disney Productions took over the project and it is still under consideration.

Russian aircraft carrier Kuznetsov

In 1994–1995, Greystone Communications Group gained access to all Russian wartime footage. They planned an aviation series for the History Channel and retained Garrison and Bill Casale to develop the concept. Greystone also received permission to place a five-man crew on board the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov for a Mediterranean shake-down cruise in 1995. Garrison was to head this team. The DIA approved this concept but the project was delayed until 1996 and by this time Garrison had moved on to other things.

Ireland, the Irish Air Corps and film industry[edit]

Camera crew from Richthofen & Brown, 1970. Peter Peckowski and Peter Allwork in cockpit of Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama. Jimmy Murakami,Shay Corcoran, Lynn Garrison

During 1975, Justin Keating of Ireland’s Fine Gael/ Labour coalition government introduced the first substantial legislation for the development of Ireland’s oil and gas. He worked with Lynn Garrison, a key element in creating Ireland’s Film Act of 1970 to draft the original legislation. Garrison brought petroleum experts from Calgary, Alberta, Canada to assist in the project. The legislation was modeled on international best practice, ensuring the Irish people would gain substantial benefit from their own oil and gas. Under Keating’s legislation the state could acquire a 50 per cent stake, by right, in any viable oil and gas reserves discovered. Production royalties of between 8 per cent and 16 per cent with corporation tax of 50 per cent would accrue to the state. Keating’s legislation specified energy companies would begin drilling within three years of the date of the issue of an exploration license. Over the last 35 years successive governments have legislated away their percentage share of the gas and oil down from 50 per cent to 0 per cent.[11]

Miles-built S.E.5 replica from Lynn Garrison’s collection flown by Charles Boddington, five seconds before a fatal crash on September 15, 1970

Between 1964 and 1965, Garrison worked with the Irish Air Corps to establish a collection of World War I replica fighter aircraft, facilities and support equipment at a facility at Weston Aerodrome, Leixlip, Ireland. This was originally put together in support of 20th Century Fox's 1966 film The Blue Max.[12] The aerial fleet included a sole Caudron 277, two Fokker DR 1s, three Fokker D VIIs, two S.E.5As and two Pfalz D IIIs (all full-scale replicas) four de Havilland Tiger Moths, three SV4C Stampes, a Morane 230 and six Curry Wot 3/4 scale S.E.5As.

Lynn Garrison and author Richard Bach with Helio Courier G-ARMU used for Von Richthofen and Brown, 1970

Garrison and the Irish Air Corps continued their relationship and the Corps provided aircrew and engineering staff to support films and television commercials Garrison worked through to the late 1970s. Garrison was also responsible for coordinating the first demonstration of the Marchetti SF-260 Warrior at Baldonnel. As a result of this presentation the Corps acquired a number of Warriors. At the time he was in partnership with James Baring, heir to the Barings Bank estate. Baring was also a well-known demonstration pilot who flew in a number of Garrison's film projects along with John Fairey, of the Fairey Aviation family. Garrison later established new techniques for obtaining aerial footage, creating new camera mounts and special effects.

Irish Air Corps pilots filming Roger Corman’s Von Richthofen and Brown, 1970. Lynn Garrison is second from right, front row.

The Irish Film Act of 1970 set the foundation for an expanding Irish film industry by providing advantageous tax advantages for film productions and resident foreign creative individuals, like Garrison. The Film Act of 1970 was the result of an initial collaboration between Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Jack Lynch and Garrison who had shared a semi-detached house. The Film Act of 1970 became the basis for other national film acts throughout Europe.

Garrison supplied the airfield, equipment and personnel for the Roger Corman movie, Von Richthofen and Brown. He directed the aerial sequences and flew the camera aircraft, a Helio Courier. On September 15, 1970, Charles Boddington, a veteran of The Blue Max and Darling Lili shoots, was killed when his S.E.5 spun in during a low-level maneuver over an airfield. The following day, during the last scheduled flight on the shooting schedule, Garrison and actor Don Stroud were involved in a low-level sequence across Lake Weston, in an Stampe SV.4, when a jackdaw flew through the propeller's arc struck Garrison in the face, knocking him unconscious. The aircraft then ran through five power lines, snap rolled and plunged into the lake inverted. Garrison and Stroud were rescued from the waters; Stroud was uninjured but Garrison required 60 stitches to close a head wound.

During the September 1970 filming of Owen Crump's film, Zeppelin, Garrison's unit lost an Alouette helicopter and S.E.5 in a mid-air collision over Wicklow, Ireland with a loss of five people including Burch Williams, brother of 20th Century Fox executive Elmo Williams. For the film Tora! Tora! Tora!, Garrison and Jack Canary created the large fleet of "Japanese" aircraft. Some of these aircraft still make appearances at air shows.[13] Garrison also worked on Darling Lili, Barry Lyndon, Ryan's Daughter and the TV series "Twelve O'Clock High".

Other film projects[edit]

In 1981, Wakusei Robo Danguard Ace (惑星ロボ ダンガードA(エース) su?) was a Japanese science fiction anime series created by Leiji Matsumoto. It was licensed by Jim Terry Productions as part of the Force Five promotion as "Danguard Ace". English dialog was written for re-dubbing by Garrison who then combined a number of episodes into a feature length presentation which gained a cult following on the Showtime network during the 1980s. This series was the forerunner of the 2010–2011 Transformer craze.

Mercenary activity[edit]

Garrison became a mercenary, flying as a combat pilot in various conflicts, then later acting as a military and political advisor, allegedly with the support of a number of US Government agencies and various U.S. senators.

During the Nigerian Civil War (1967–1970), Garrison joined a group of mercenaries fighting for the Biafrans in their effort to create an independent state.[14]

Operation Tiger Claw (October 17–20, 1967) was a military conflict between Nigerian and Biafran military forces. On October 17, 1967 Nigerians invaded Calabar led by the "Black Scorpion", Benjamin Adekunle while the Biafrans were led by Col. Ogbu Ogi, who was responsible for controlling the area between Calabar and Opobo, and Lynn Garrison a foreign mercenary. The Biafrans came under immediate fire from the water and the air. For the next two days Biafran stations and military supplies were bombarded by the Nigerian air force. That same day Lynn Garrison reached Calabar but came under immediate fire by federal troops. By October 20, Garrison's forces withdrew from the battle while Col. Ogi officially surrendered to Gen. Adenkule.

In May 1969, Carl Gustaf von Rosen formed a squadron of five Malmö MFI-9 MiniCOIN small piston-engined aircraft (armed with rocket pods and machine guns) known as the Babies of Biafra, which attacked and destroyed Nigerian jet aircraft on the ground and delivered food aid.[15] Garrison coordinated the attacks, destroying an Ilyushin Il-28 bomber and a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 fighter aircraft during the first attack against Port Harcourt airfield on May 22, 1969. He led attacks on Benin airfield, May 24, Enuga airfield, May 26, to neutralize the threat of Russian-made jets, then put the Ughelli Delta One power plant out of action on May 28 as the first, of what would become an ongoing assault against the SHELL/BP infrastructure.

Malmö MFI-9 Biafra Baby two-view silhouette

He also introduced a supply-dropping procedure (learned in northern Canada). A bag of grain was enclosed in a larger bag before dropping. When the load hit the ground the inner bag would rupture, while the outer bag contained the contents. Many lives were saved through air drops using this simple concept.[16]

The operation effectively neutralized the Russian-sponsored jet element, changing the balance of power. Someone remembered: During August, 2017 the American intelligence community was drafting a study: ANALYSIS: POTENTIAL USES OF LIGHT CIVILIAN AIRCRAFT IN MINI-COUNTER INSURGENCY (MINI-COIN) ROLES They found the Biafran action among some dusty files and asked Garrison for details of what had actually happened in 1969. They were trying to convince decision-makers expensive, sophisticated weapons weren’t required to counteract small threats.

Their first e-mail contact to Garrison said, in part:

“ .….. the idea that we would release half-million-dollar weapons---or more---against hostiles in battered pickups that they traded for a goat is astounding. Certainly such things can be done, but it is tantamount to using a shotgun to kill a fly.

I pointed out to the planners at USNORTHCOM the example of your Biafran squadron, and they were rather amazed that simple light sport aircraft---with no advanced electronics, no GPS-guided munitions, nothing whatsoever that resembles the high-tech approach of an F-22 or F-35---were able to take on a decently-funded Russian-supported air force with MiG fighters and Ilyushin bombers, and show the world that all of that advanced approach ultimately meant nothing. Using the Malmo MFI-9 aircraft, your squadron destroyed half of the Nigerian bomber force, and a disconcertingly high number of MiG fighters.” [17][18]

And so Garrison wrote a brief reply, in part:

“At tree-top height we popped over the perimeter, I then dropped a few feet to flash across the grass at a shattering 135 mph, throttle against the stop, leaning forward in the harness as though this would add speed. In recalling those moments, I would swear that my spring undercarriage bounced on a grassy hump as I rushed towards my target.

Complete surprise.


No gunfire!

Close, very close - about 300 yards - pointed directly at a MIG-17. With a whoosh my 12 explosive tipped Matra 98mm rockets accelerated away.

Several hit the MIG.

The jet erupted in a giant fireball. At least two rockets hit an Il-28. This collapsed, broken where it sat. There were eruptions further along, among the other aircraft.


None of our aircraft took hits. Surprise was total,

I found myself destroying at least one target on each strike. I had experience, while, with the exception of one Swede, the others didn’t. I understood the value of getting close, then closer! My 10 years flying fighter aircraft was finally bearing fruit.”[19]

The war saw some 4,500,000 people displaced. Over 1,500,000 starved to death, half of these were children.

Each year, on May 30, the IPOB - Independent People of Biafra,coordinate the Biafran Annual Remembrance Day. Since the Biafrans think Lynn Garrison is dead, he has been included, over the years. The 2018 remembrance activities were marked by publication of articles, one entitled: “Biafra Fallen Heroes: The Heroic Deeds Of Lynn Garrison In Focus” [20][21]

Later in 1969, Garrison flew in the last military conflict involving propeller-driven fighters (P-51 Mustangs and the Vought F4U Corsairs) during the Football War between El Salvador and Honduras.[22]

Lynn Garrison with RCAF 9281, 1956. Subsequently flown during 1969 Football war. It was returned to the U.S. by Jerry Janes and flown as “Cottonmouth".

At the time, Garrison owned an ex-French Navy Corsair which had operated in Vietnam and during the 1956 Suez Crisis. He purchased it after its retirement from French service and it was transported to the United States for him by the U.S. Navy, stored at Norfolk, and then transferred to California where he was based.[23] It was later used in the TV series Baa Baa Black Sheep, depicting Pappy Boyington's wartime experiences. Later, Garrison was retained by LTV Aerospace president Paul Thayer to do a Bob Hoover aerobatic show to promote Vought's new jet fighter, the LTV A-7 Corsair II but the idea was dropped due to insurance requirements. Garrison went on to do many low-level aerobatic displays in the Corsair, but as a private operator.

It was rumoured that in 1970, Garrison worked to overthrow the Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi, though the allegations were never substantiated.[24] Later in the 1970s, Garrison was reported to have flown covert missions with the Helio Courier in South East Asia.[citation needed]

Haitian activities[edit]

By August 1991, Garrison was back in the political arena and back in, arguably, a military role as a personal advisor to Haiti's military ruler, Lieutenant General Raoul Cédras,[25] the US Senate and, allegedly, the DIA and CIA.[26] He acted as the interface between the American embassy and Cedras after diplomatic relations were severed. His code name was "'The Shadow".

Lynn Garrison with Haitian Corps d’Aviation Marchetti and crew, September 1990

In June 1992, Garrison, working with Colonel Pat Collins, the Military Liaison Officer with the American embassy, wrote a White Paper visualizing modification of the Forces Armeés d'Haiti (FAdH) into what they called, an Army of the People. This would see the FAdH undertake many projects to support Haiti's population including road building, school and hospital construction, revival of the nation's nation's 23 airfields and interdiction of drug traffic from Central and South America. Mobile medical/dental clinics were to be a major factor in the program, staffed by military personnel. A team of 700 Canadian and American military engineers and technical staffers, was dispatched to Haiti on the USS Harlan County, 11 October 1993, but left Haitian waters when its captain, Commander Butcher, perceived dangers not seen by Colonel J.T.F. Pulley, 7th Special Forces chief on board.[27][28]

During his 3 years with the Haitian military, Garrison managed to defuse a number of situations that could have been disastrous. Perhaps his most important act was the key role he played in derailing President Clinton’s planned invasion of Haiti, during September, 1994, to return exiled President Jean Bertrand Aristide.

Prior to the American occupation of Haiti, Operation Uphold Democracy, 19 September, 1994, the borders were sealed and air traffic suspended. Garrison’s friend, journalist Colonel David Hackworth, one of America’s most decorated war heroes, and author of the best-selling book Up Front, wanted to cover the Haitian situation. Garrison sent someone to the Dominican frontier to pick up Hackworth and bring him to Port-au-Prince.

In a last ditch effort to avoid a full scale, violent invasion of Haiti, on September 18, President Clinton sent a three man team, made up of Jimmy Carter, Sam Nunn and Colin Powellto negotiate with military leader General Raoul Cedras.

The American negotiators used Lynn Garrison’s office, located adjacent to that of Cedras, as the focal point of their communications with President Clinton’s team. It was in Garrison’s office that the American team installed their scrambled telephone.

Garrison secreted himself in an adjoining room to listen in on the American negotiations, utilizing tape recorders which were defeated by the American ‘white noise’ units..

In his book, ‘Hazardous Duty.’ Hackworth recounted the final moments before the Clinton attack on Haiti, in which Garrison’s intercession effectively derailed the invasion with its predicted potential civilian casualty count of 25,000.

Hackworth wrote: “I had my Deep Throat, Lynn Garrison, who was an adviser to General Raoul Cedras. I mean, this dude was in his back pocket all the time. He was a Canadian and had served as a Canadian paratrooper.

When Jimmy Carter, Sam Nunn and Colin Powell came down to negotiate, they brought a guy from the National Security Council. He asked for a private room where he could call Washington on the scrambler. The CIA techs swept the room for bugs, and pronounced it secure. So the NSC guy was in there talking constantly to Washington, directly to National Security Adviser Tony Lake and others, reporting on how negotiations were going, and not going. For a while they were swimming deep in the toilet.

The Pentagon was reaching the fish-or-cut-bait moment when they would have to kick off the airborne armada out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Cedras was holding his ground. At one point my spy was upstairs in his office with Clinton’s dream team while the NSC guy was downstairs in his ‘secure’ little cubbyhole.

David Hackworth

People were running back and forth with messages.

Finally Washington signaled they were launching the 82nd Airborne.

The NSC guy whispered this to Carter.

What Tony Lake’s man didn’t know was Garrison was up in the room directly above him. The NSC guy also didn’t know the Canadian had drilled a hole into the inner sanctum. He had his ear to a glass pressed to the hole and could hear everything that went on in the room.

The dream team had all the high-tech stuff. Every expensive spy gadget in the inventory. But they were being screwed by the most time-worn gimmick in the book: the old ear-to-the-hole-in-the-wall trick.

‘I was like a fly one the wall,’ Garrison explained, ‘I could hear everything they said.’ He flashed the signal that paratroopers were on the way, to General Biamby. Biamby went bursting into the meeting with Carter, Nunn, Powell and Cedras, shouting Washington was tricking them, the paratroopers were coming, the time had come to quit talking and go to battle stations.

At that moment, Cedras knew President Clinton finally meant business. But he didn’t get the truth from the dream team. He got it from Garrison with his ear to the hole in the wall.” [29]

On page 267 of his book ‘Plunging into Haiti: Clinton, Aristide and the Defeat of Democracy,’ Ralph Pezzulo, whose father Lawrence A. Pezzullo had played a role in the Haitian debacle, wrote: “President Carter asked for more time. Clinton gave him three hours. Overhearing the entire conversation was a Haitian military aide, who reported everything to Biamby.

Biamby rushed into Cedras’s office, carrying a cell phone. He had just learned that the Eighty-second Airborne had launched. ‘They were on the verge of saying, ‘We will not negotiate anymore, this may be a trick to keep us occupied,’” said Carter later. ‘We obviously assured them this was not the case, but the thing was about to break down.’

According to Carter, General Cedras still refused to sign. They adjourned to the Palace. It was a few minutes after 6:30 P.M. when the delegation reached the Presidential Palace. After explaining the agreement to President Jonassaint he agreed to sign. The agreement was signed by Jimmy Carter and Emile Jonassaint.

At 9:31 P.M. President Clinton went on national television. “My fellow Americans, I want to announce that the military leaders of Haiti have agreed to step down from power,” the president said. “I have directed United States forces to begin deployment to Haiti as part of the UN coalition and General Shelton, our commander, will be there tomorrow. The presence of the 15,000 member multinational force will guarantee the terms of the agreement.”

And so ended another chapter in Haiti’s troubled history.[30]

The 1994 return of President Jean Bertrand Aristide was predicated upon the existence of a restructured FAdH, to act as a counterbalance to his predicted thrust for a dictatorship. To this end, the US military was sending instructors and new equipment, including fast-boats and aircraft, to support the concept. Soon after his return to Haiti, Aristide unconstitutionally attempted disbandment of the FAdH, which, until now, exists on paper and is protected by Article 263 Titre XI de la Constitution de la Republique d'Haiti.

Aristide with his friend US President Clinton in the Oval Office

Garrison was accused of running the public relations campaign against former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide[31] after he accused Aristide, prior to leaving the country, of ordering the murder of eight political opponents.


Haitian President Michel Martelly distributes free soccer balls February, 2014

In 1992, Garrison was named Haitian Consul to the United States, an appointment he retained in 2010. Garrison has now retired but is writing a third book: HAITI: Coup de Grace, due for release in the near future. He remains a resident of the United States but has continued to work on the project he created in 1987, the Haitian Aerial Reforestation Project (HARP) to scatter tree seeds by aircraft.

In January 2010, Garrison helped to coordinate the airdrop of food and other aid in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. On October 20, 2010, even as the cholera epidemic was reported in central Haiti, Garrison was on the way to the area with a truckload of re-hydration solutions to combat the epidemic.

Garrison’s Haitian Children's Fund is coordinating distribution of donated One World Futbol soccer balls in Haiti as part of a Chevrolet sponsored worldwide project to acquire and distribute containers of these undeflatable balls to Third World countries.[32] President Michel Martelly, a soccer enthusiast, is personally assisting with distribution in Haiti.


In 1973, Garrison was awarded the Paul Tissandier Diploma by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale for his contributions to world aviation. He was recommended by the Royal Canadian Flying Clubs Association.


Garrison’s ancestors migrated from Ireland to Pennsylvania in 1728. Some moved on to Kentucky and then to Marion county, Illinois. Garrison’s great grandfather, William Lloyd Garrison, served with the 40th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War. He lost his leg in the Battle of Shiloh, and was subsequently released from service on October 18, 1862.[33] In 1904, his son, William Garrison, took the family to homestead in Westlock, Alberta, making the 1500 mile journey in covered wagons. Ivan Garrison, Lynn’s father, was born February 22, 1897 in Enterprise, Illinois. He would serve with the 4th Field Ambulance of the Canadian Army Medical Corps during the First World War, and with the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, during the Second World War. His brother Tim Garrison resided in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada.



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  29. ^ David H. Hackworth. Hazardous Duty. New York, New York: Avon Books, 1996. ISBN 0-380-72742-0 page 236}
  30. ^ Ralph Pezzullo.Plunging into Haiti:Clinton, Aristide and the Defeat of Democracy: University Press of Mississippi, 2010. ISBN 978-1-60473-533-8 page 267}
  31. ^ Davison, Phil. " 'Shadow' plays dirty tricks in Haiti: A Canadian adventurer is behind the smear campaign against Aristide." The Independent, Retrieved: December 8, 2011.
  32. ^ O'Hanlon, Ryan. "The Soccer Ball That Never Needs Air". Outside Online. Mariah Media Network, LLC. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  33. ^ Yarbrough, Carol. "Men of the 40th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry." Retrieved: September 23, 2012.


  • Garrison, Lynn. Aristide: The Death of a Nation. Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Leprechaun Publishing Group, 2004. ISBN 978-0-9704636-7-8.
  • Garrison, Lynn. Voodoo Politics: The Clinton/Gore Destruction of Haiti. Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Leprechaun Publishing Group, 2000. ISBN 978-0-9704636-2-3.
  • Garrison, Lynn. EVOLUTION: 90 MPH to Supersonic in 30 years. Portland, Oregon: Bitz Publishing, 2016. ISBN 978-1-4942507-1-3.