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FTR #483 2nd Interview with Daniel Hopsicker

[1]Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [2] (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this web­site.)

Record­ed Octo­ber 31, 2004
REALAUDIO [3]

Intro­duc­tion: The sec­ond of an ini­tial series of three inter­views Mr. Emory did with Daniel Hop­sick­er (the author of Wel­come to Ter­ror­land: Mohamed Atta and the 9/11 Cov­er-Up in Flori­da), this pro­gram high­lights the extra­or­di­nary irreg­u­lar­i­ties in the busi­ness oper­a­tions of Wal­ly Hilliard, Rudi Dekkers and Arne Kruithof, as well as Hilliard and Dekkers’ air­line part­ner Rick Boehlke. Recall that these were the peo­ple at whose “flight schools” many of the 9/11 hijack­ers enrolled. These schools were the hijack­ers’ con­duit into the Unit­ed States. After detail­ing the extent to which Dekkers could break every rule of busi­ness and avi­a­tion with impuni­ty, the pro­gram high­lights Flori­da Air—a dum­my air­line that Hilliard and Dekkers ran in part­ner­ship with Rick Boehlke. Boehlke’s oper­a­tions in the Pacif­ic North­west mir­rored the stun­ning irreg­u­lar­i­ties that char­ac­ter­ized Dekkers’ activ­i­ties in Flori­da.

In addi­tion to set­ting forth the sus­pi­cious air crash­es that almost claimed the lives of Kruithof and Dekkers with­in a few months of each oth­er, the broad­cast presents infor­ma­tion about a wealthy Sau­di who worked with Atta, a con­ve­nience store owne, and alleged 20th hijack­er Zacharias Mous­saoui in Flori­da.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Flori­da Sec­re­tary of State Kather­ine Har­ris’ endorse­ment of Hilliard and Dekkers’ dum­my air­line Flori­da Air; the fact that Dekkers’ sus­pi­cious crash occurred as he was on his way for a show­down with Wal­ly Hilliard; an appar­ent attempt on the life of Pres­i­dent George W. Bush on the morn­ing of 9/11/2001; dis­clo­sure of the fact that Dekkers is still enter­ing and leav­ing the U.S. ille­gal­ly (in part­ner­ship with some Ger­mans with whom he is appar­ent­ly under­go­ing jet train­ing in Ten­nessee); the pres­ence of covert oper­a­tions lumi­nary Jack­son Stephens in the Venice (Flori­da) area; Rick Boehlke’s involve­ment in the man­aged care indus­try and the extra­or­di­nary irreg­u­lar­i­ties in all aspects of his busi­ness activ­i­ties; Boehlke’s involve­ment with Mob loot­ing of union pen­sion funds.

1. The pro­gram begins with dis­cus­sion of an appar­ent attempt on the life of Pres­i­dent Bush on 9/11. Appar­ent­ly mod­eled after the suc­cess­ful attempt on Ahmed Shah Mas­soud (the head of the North­ern Alliance) who was killed on 9/9/2001 by Islamists pre­tend­ing to be reporters, this attempt has gone almost unre­port­ed in the U.S. news media. It should be not­ed that the per­sons involved in this appar­ent attempt were alleged­ly from a group opposed to the Islamist gov­ern­ment in Sudan (the for­mer pro­tec­tors of Osama bin Laden). Among the pos­si­bil­i­ties to be con­sid­ered is that the would-be assas­sins were actu­al­ly pro-Islamist and, pos­si­bly, infil­tra­tors into a CIA gueril­la train­ing pro­gram for the oppo­nents of the Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ist gov­ern­ment of Sudan. “ . . . We did our job by piec­ing togeth­er two sep­a­rate news reports from Sarasota—one a local tele­vi­sion news­cast, the oth­er a town newspaper—that togeth­er lead to the inescapable con­clu­sion that dur­ing the intrigue which was swirling in Sara­so­ta before dawn that day, ter­ror­ists were look­ing to kill George W. Bush. The first report stat­ed that a pre-dawn warn­ing of immi­nent attack had been deliv­ered to Pres­i­dent Bush’s Secret Ser­vice detail in Sara­so­ta, and aired on the Sara­so­ta ABC affiliate’s evening news­cast.”
(Wel­come to Ter­ror­land Mohamed Atta & the 9–11 Cov­er-Up in Flori­da; by Daniel Hop­sick­er; Mad­cow Press [HC]; Copy­right 2004 by Daniel Hop­sick­er; ISBN 0–9706591‑6–4; p. 40.) [4]

2. “ ‘The warn­ing of immi­nent dan­ger was deliv­ered in the mid­dle of the night to Secret Ser­vice agents in Sara­so­ta guard­ing the Pres­i­dent,’ report­ed Mon­i­ca Yadov of ABC’s Sara­so­ta affil­i­ate, ‘and it came exact­ly four hours and thir­ty-eight min­utes before Mohamed Atta flew an air­lin­er into the World Trade Cen­ter.’ The sec­ond sto­ry is a chill­ing eye­wit­ness account of the attempt­ed assas­si­na­tion in progress. It came from the Long­boat Observ­er, which lit­er­al­ly cov­ers the water­front in upscale Long­boat Key, where Bush spent the night before the attack.” (Idem.)

3. “ ‘At about 6 a.m. Sep­tem­ber 11, Long­boat Key Fire Mar­shall Car­roll Mooney­han was at the front desk of the Colony Beach & Ten­nis Resort as Bush pre­pared for his morn­ing jog. From that van­tage point, Mooney­han over­heard a strange exchange between a Colony recep­tion­ist and secu­ri­ty guard,’ the paper report­ed. ‘A van occu­pied by men of Mid­dle East­ern descent had pulled up to the Colony stat­ing they had a ‘pool­side’ inter­view with the pres­i­dent, Mooney­han said.’” (Ibid.; pp. 40–41.)

4. “Nei­ther of the two reporters knew of the other’s report. But both had cov­ered dif­fer­ent angles of the same sto­ry. . . .a con­cert­ed attempt by four Arab men pos­ing as jour­nal­ists to gain access to Pres­i­dent George W. Bush at 6 a.m. on the morn­ing of Sep­tem­ber 11th, for the pur­pose of end­ing his life. Here’s how it went down:” (Ibid.; p. 41.)

5. “Zain­lab­deen Omer, a Mid­dle East­ern native resid­ing in Sara­so­ta, con­tact­ed Sara­so­ta police in the mid­dle of the night to tell them a friend of his, who had made vio­lent threats against Pres­i­dent Bush in the past, had just shown up—and unexpectedly—in Sara­so­ta, ABC’s Yadov report­ed. The man who Omer warned author­i­ties about was iden­ti­fied in the Sara­so­ta police report of the inci­dent only as ‘Ghan­di.’” (Idem.)

6. “Omer said ‘Ghan­di’ told him he was in town to get a friend out of jail . . But Omer had heard ‘Ghan­di’ make vio­lent remarks about Bush in the past, and since the Pres­i­dent was in Sara­so­ta at the same time, Omer feared his friend might be in Sara­so­ta to kill the Pres­i­dent. The warn­ing was ini­tial­ly giv­en to the Sara­so­ta police, who called in the Secret Ser­vice. With­in hours Secret Ser­vice agents were search­ing an apart­ment in Sara­so­ta. Turns out, Omer was right. They arrest­ed three men, all from the Sudan, and took them in for inter­ro­ga­tion. The ques­tion­ing last­ed, accord­ing to one of the three, Fathel Rah­man Omer, for ten hours. ‘The police came and arrest­ed me and three oth­er peo­ple,’ Fathel Rah­man explained in the ABC inter­view. Rah­man said he couldn’t help the Secret Ser­vice. . . .” (Idem.)

7. “ . . . Mov­ing quick­ly, the Secret Ser­vice next swooped down on a local beau­ty sup­ply store, whose own­er had been fin­gered by Omer as being a close asso­ciate of ‘Ghan­di.’ . . . Agents detained and ques­tioned the own­er of the beau­ty sup­ply store, a Mus­lim named Hakim. Hakim, too, had dis­turb­ing infor­ma­tion for the Secret Ser­vice about Ghan­di, report­ed Yadov. He told agents Ghan­di was a mem­ber of the SPLA, or Sudanese People’s Lib­er­a­tion Army, a Chris­t­ian and ani­mist gueril­la group fight­ing the fun­da­men­tal­ist Mus­lim gov­ern­ment in Sudan. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 42.)

8. “ . . . Maybe they had been receiv­ing covert train­ing in the swamps, which is a south­west Flori­da tra­di­tion. Bay of Pigs invaders stormed the beach­es here prac­tic­ing for Cuba, a local Sher­iff told us. And why would oper­a­tives of a gueril­la orga­ni­za­tion fight­ing against a gov­ern­ment of Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ists close­ly allied with Osama bin Laden want to assas­si­nate, of all peo­ple, George W. Bush? It didn’t make sense. . . .” (Idem.)

9. “ . . . Until reporter Yadov went look­ing for Hakim, the own­er of the raid­ed beau­ty sup­ply store, and dis­cov­ered that Hakim’s beau­ty sup­ply store wasn’t there any­more. Hakim was miss­ing, too. He left in some­thing of a hur­ry after being released by the Secret Ser­vice, Yadov learned. Gone. No one knew where. And Hakim wasn’t the only wit­ness to dis­ap­pear in Sara­so­ta. Zainelab­deen Omer was miss­ing too. The man whose warn­ing of immi­nent hav­oc had been right on the mon­ey was now unavail­able for com­ment. He
quit his job and left town, just ahead of reporter’s ques­tions. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 43.)

10. In a digres­sion from the sub­ject of the 9/11 hijack­ers, the dis­cus­sion turns to a pic­ture that Daniel Hop­sick­er obtained of a meet­ing in a Mex­i­co City night­club in Jan­u­ary of 1963. In addi­tion to CIA oper­a­tive Bar­ry Seal, Oswald dou­ble William Sey­mour; Iran-Con­tra oper­a­tive Felix Rodriguez, and Water­gate Bur­glar Frank Stur­gis, the pic­ture appears to show Porter Goss, a long­time CIA offi­cer and recent­ly name by Bush to become Direc­tor of the Agency. The soiree is a gath­er­ing of Oper­a­tion 40 per­son­nel. Oper­a­tion 40 was a no-holds-barred gueril­la cam­paign waged against Castro’s Cuba. Many JFK assas­si­na­tion researchers sus­pect a link between Oper­a­tion 40 and Kennedy’s mur­der. As dis­cussed in Guns of Novem­ber #3, Stur­gis’ name also crops up in con­nec­tion with the inves­ti­ga­tion into the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy.
(“CIA Nom­i­neee in Pic of Agen­cy’s 60’s Assas­si­na­tion Squad” MadCowMorningNews.com.)

11. Next, the pro­gram focus­es on the extra­or­di­nary fis­cal and aero­nau­ti­cal irreg­u­lar­i­ties that char­ac­ter­ized the oper­a­tions of Rudi Dekkers and Wal­ly Hilliard—at whose “flight schools” sev­er­al of the 9/11 hijack­ers trained. It appears that the schools and their own­ers enjoyed high-lev­el pro­tec­tion. There was seem­ing­ly no rule that “the Mag­ic Dutch Boys” and Hilliard couldn’t break with impuni­ty. “ . . . Time after time, we dis­cov­ered that gov­ern­ment enti­ties had inex­plic­a­bly smiled on the for­tunes of Dekkers and Hilliard’s avi­a­tion part­ner­ship, until it began to seem as if they had a ‘rich uncle’ in gov­ern­ment some­where. The FAA, for exam­ple, pro­tect­ed Dekkers on a num­ber of occa­sions. An avi­a­tion mechan­ic who worked for him told of crim­i­nal acts Dekkers com­mit­ted which the mechan­ic had been forced by law to report to the FAA eigh­teen thou­sand feet in the air, safe­ty is an impor­tant con­sid­er­a­tion. . . At least it’s sup­posed to be.” (Ibid.; p. 187.)

12. “ ‘Rudi Dekkers did an import of an air­plane,’ the mechan­ic explained. ‘We found dents on the front of a wing and replaced sheet met­al, and then we found ribs that were crushed. This ren­ders an air­plane un-air­wor­thy. And yet he still sold the plane. I turned Rudi Dekkers into the FAA. They didn’t do a damn thing.’ Anoth­er avi­a­tion mechan­ic who worked for Dekkers over a peri­od of years, Dave Mont­gomery, laughed when we asked him if this sto­ry could be true. Mont­gomery said when he found some­thing wrong with an air­plane Dekkers bought, Dekkers had fired him. Adding insult to injury, Dekkers then bounced his last pay­roll check.” (Ibid.; pp. 187–188.)

13. “John Vil­la­da, who man­aged Wal­ly Hilliard’s huge jet fleet, con­firmed Montgomery’s sto­ry. ‘Dave Mont­gomery worked for Rudi for three years as his Chief Mechan­ic till he found some­thing wrong with an air­plane Rudi bought. Rudi fired him, and then bounced his last pay­roll check.’ Rudi Dekkers rep­u­ta­tion at the Naples Air­port got so bad, we learned, that he couldn’t even buy gas there . . . for cash. ‘When he bought Huff­man Air­port,’ said a Naples avi­a­tion exec­u­tive ‘His rep­u­ta­tion as a dead­beat was so bad that the local Fixed Base Oper­a­tor refused to sell him avi­a­tion fuel, even for cash.’” (Ibid.; p. 188.)

14. “ . . . He put lives at risk to make a buck. ‘He would take in people’s planes to rent out while they were idle,’ one avi­a­tion mechan­ic who worked for him stat­ed. ‘Then he would come to me and want me to pout switch­es on the Hobbes meter. It’s like dis­con­nect­ing an odome­ter on a car. It’s a direct FAA vio­la­tion and an extreme­ly dan­ger­ous prac­tice, because you can no longer tell when the plane is due for ser­vice,’ the mechan­ic explained.” (Ibid.; p. 189.)

15. “ ‘But he want­ed to do it because it let him rent out planes with­out hav­ing to pay the plane’s own­er their cut.’ Huff­man was the only full-ser­vice fixed base oper­a­tor, or FBO, at the Venice air­port. An FBO sells gas, pro­vides mechan­i­cal ser­vices and oth­er­wise caters to pri­vate avi­a­tion, and is usu­al­ly a cen­ter of activ­i­ty at the air­port. In oth­er words, some­thing of a civic resource. ‘When Wal­ly found Rudi Dekkers, Dekkers had already been thrown out of Naples as a con artist,’ said Naples avi­a­tion observ­er Rob Till­man. ‘Plus he had tax prob­lems. He didn’t pay tax on shit. And this is the guy to whom Wal­ly sold Flori­da Air.’” (Idem.)

16. “Who approved Dekkers buy­ing the FBO in Venice?’ asked an irate avi­a­tion insid­er at the Venice Air­port. ‘He’d been thrown out of Naples. . . how come they let him buy the ‘dia­mond’ of Venice?’ . . . We found a num­ber of peo­ple will­ing to talk about Dekkers on the record. We heard from numer­ous sources that Rudi Dekkers had been the object of a seri­ous mul­ti-agency fed­er­al inves­ti­ga­tion dur­ing the mid-90’s. Appar­ent­ly author­i­ties found a num­ber of fruit­ful inves­tiga­tive leads to pur­sue. . . ‘Rudi owned a com­put­er busi­ness doing ille­gal activ­i­ties at the Naples Air­port,’ explained Till­man. ‘When Wal­ly and Rudi were romanc­ing, Rudi was smug­gling air­craft back into the U.S. over the Arc­tic. Inter­na­tion­al Com­put­er Prod­ucts was the name of Dekkers’ com­put­er firm, active dur­ing the 1990’s, we learned. Naples avi­a­tion exec­u­tive John Vel­la­da con­firmed the accounts. ‘There was a war­rant for Rudi’s arrest for smug­gling com­put­er chips,’ he told us. ‘Both the DEA and U.S. Cus­toms were inter­est­ed in him back in ’93 and ’94. Every­thing he ever did, from A to Z, was ille­gal. A major source of con­jec­ture around the air­ports in both Naples and Venice was what were the two part­ners doing togeth­er. They were con­sid­ered an Odd Couple—universally, so far as we can tell—by observers at both air­ports. . . ” (Ibid.; p. 190.)

17. “ ‘Rudi would write a lot of bad checks, dis­ap­pear for a while, and come back with lots of cash,’ an air­port observ­er recalled. ‘Huff­man Avi­a­tion was a lit­tle jew­el when he bought it, and it had a real­ly good rep­u­ta­tion,’ anoth­er avi­a­tion exec­u­tive told us. ‘He took a prof­itable busi­ness and ran it right into the ground. So he’s got a busi­ness that’s los­ing mon­ey had over fist, and yet he was awash in cash. It just doesn’t add up right. ‘I can recall times when Dekkers owned mon­ey to every­one at the (Naples) air­port,’ said a busi­ness own­er there. ‘And then he would leave town for three weeks or so in the Lear, and come back flush.’” (Ibid.; p. 191.)

18. “Rudi Dekkers’ finan­cial pro­file changed overnight, said Coy Jacob in Venice. ‘Just about a year before he bought Huff­man, he asked me for a ride from Venice to Naples, an air­plane ride, which is maybe a 20-minute flight. I said yeah, sure, I’ll take you down there with one of my pilots if you buy the gas,’ Jacob relat­ed. ‘He didn’t even have the mon­ey to buy gas for an air­plane to go down and back, and yet a year lat­er he shows up and plops a mil­lion sev­en, a mil­lion eight or two mil­lion dol­lars on the table as if it were paper mon­ey.’” (Idem.)

19. Exem­pli­fy­ing the extra­or­di­nary oper­a­tions of Dekkers and Hilliard was their ini­ti­a­tion of an airline—called Flori­da Air—at the same time as their oth­er busi­ness­es were hem­or­rhag­ing mon­ey, air­craft and per­son­nel. Again, it appears that the pro­tec­tion they enjoyed ensured that they could break any and all rules with impuni­ty. “In the spring of 2001—while Mohamed Atta was at his school—Rudi Dekkers did some­thing so incred­i­ble that we spent over a year exam­in­ing it in befud­dled amaze­ment. At the same time he was receiv­ing the most painful kind of humil­i­at­ing cov­er­age in the local press (‘Huff­man Rent Is Late, Again’), Rudi Dekkers and Wal­ly Hilliard blithe­ly launched an air­line. They called it Flori­da Air, or FLAIR.” (Ibid.; p. 213.)

20. Dekkers and Hilliard’s part­ner in Flori­da Air was Rick Boehlke, whose avi­a­tion and man­aged care busi­ness­es in the
Pacif­ic North­west mir­ror the unusu­al activ­i­ties of Hilliard, Dekkers and Kruithof in Flori­da. Boehlke was involved with the mob-led loot­ing of union pen­sion funds in the Pacif­ic North­west. “We were not sur­prised to dis­cov­er no one in the local avi­a­tion com­mu­ni­ty thought the move made any busi­ness sense. All agreed that FLAIR was a doomed ven­ture from day one. Once again, the ques­tion was why were they doing it. If both had not had busi­ness with Mohamed Atta, it might not have mat­tered. But they had. They chose, as part­ner, a man named Rick Boehlke, who owned an air car­ri­er called Har­bor Air, in Gig Har­bor, Wash­ing­ton. Boehlke was also, just then, a par­tic­i­pant in Port­land, OR., in the $340 mil­lion loot­ing of pen­sion funds of most­ly Mob-led unions, like the Labor­ers Union. . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 213–214.)

21. “ . . . What were the odds that Rudi Dekkers and Wal­ly Hilliard would go look­ing for a busi­ness part­ner and come up with a guy with Mob ties who’s help­ing pull off a spec­tac­u­lar $300 mil­lion heist? . . . Flori­da Air, the new air­line, used Rick Boehlke’s Har­bor Air’s license to fly. Boehlke also end­ed up sup­ply­ing the new air­line with both planes and pilots. What Dekkers and Hilliard were bring­ing to the par­ty was an open ques­tion. Mean­while, Mohamed Atta was still at Huff­man Avi­a­tion, doing no one knows quite what. Was it out­side the realm of pos­si­bil­i­ty that all three men—Dekkers, Boehlke, and Hilliard worked for the same com­pa­ny? A com­pa­ny, or net­work, spe­cial­iz­ing in ‘nich­es’ like loot­ing pen­sion funds and train­ing ter­ror­ists to fly? Or . . . was this just anoth­er freak coin­ci­dence? What are the odds, that the men who helped ter­ror­ist ring­leader Mohamed Atta estab­lish his Amer­i­can beach­head would be in busi­ness with a part­ner who robs banks . . . from the inside.” (Ibid.; p. 214.)

22. “How­ev­er it played out, our under­stand­ing of what the ter­ror­ist con­spir­a­cy was doing in Flori­da would be shaped by what it was Rudi Dekkers and Wal­ly Hilliard were dis­cov­ered to have been doing—and with whom—while Mohamed Atta prac­ticed touch and go’s at their facil­i­ties in Venice and Naples. Flori­da Air launched with great fan­fare in the Spring of 2001. Dekkers and Hilliard had start­ed anoth­er avi­a­tion busi­ness that did not make busi­ness sense.” (Ibid.; p. 215.)

23. “Dur­ing its brief two-month exis­tence, Mohamed Atta may well have flown for the air­line as a co-pilot. No one will admit it, but there were ter­ror­ists inside the cock­pit of an Amer­i­can air­line plane dur­ing the year 2001 who didn’t need box-cut­ters to get there. We dis­cov­ered that the chance to fly as a com­mer­cial pilot with Flori­da Air, after tak­ing flight train­ing at ‘sis­ter com­pa­ny’ Huff­man Avi­a­tion, had been a big part of Rudi Dekkers Euro­pean sales pitch, and was played up in the company’s adver­tis­ing. . . .” (Idem.)

24. It appears that Flori­da Air was a major pro­mo­tion­al ele­ment in Dekkers’ lur­ing of Arab and Euro­pean pilots from Ger­many and Europe to his school in Flori­da. “ ‘I kept ads from fly­ing mag­a­zines from 2000,’ said Bill Bersch, a for­mer man­ag­er at Huff­man. ‘Come to Huff­man to train, and then fly with our Flori­da Air air­line.’ The flight school was adver­tised as a feed into Flori­da Air as future employ­er of Huffman’s flight school stu­dents. Flori­da Air put the ads in every­where, but when it came down to it they couldn’t offer fly­ing jobs, because there wasn’t an air­line for very long.’ While this would seem to be a pret­ty seri­ous crime, there had been no FAA inves­ti­ga­tion, which isn’t sur­pris­ing. Dur­ing the course of his ‘avi­a­tion career’ in Flori­da, Rudi Dekkers received so many free ‘pass­es’ from the FAA that they should enshrine it with an exhib­it at the Air & Space Muse­um.” (Idem.)

25. “ . . . We need­ed to take a clos­er look at Rick Boehlke, at Flori­da Air, and at Rudi Dekkers and Wal­ly Hilliard’s moti­va­tions for start­ing it. How many busi­ness­men behind on their rent for six month in a row have the gall, or chutz­pah, to at the same time start a new air­line? Was it not enough for Rudi and Wal­ly that they were already los­ing mon­ey hand-over-fist in their flight school ven­ture, they decid­ed they might as well be los­ing mil­lions in an air­line as well?” (Ibid.; p. 217.)

26. “Bill Bersch, a long­time avi­a­tion pro­fes­sion­al with expe­ri­ence as senior pilot for a region­al air car­ri­er, rues the day he hired on to help launch Flori­da Air. . . . Bersch’s pro­fes­sion­al frus­tra­tion showed. ‘Wouldn’t you think you would have at least week­ly meet­ings if you were try­ing to start an air­line? And then when you could get a meet­ing sched­uled, some­body would tell you that it had been can­celed, because Wal­ly was in Havana.’ Why ‘Wal­ly was in Havana’ would become a focus of our inves­ti­ga­tion, but at that time we hadn’t any idea what it meant. Bersch passed on anoth­er big clue a moment lat­er, while speak­ing of how poor­ly the com­pa­ny was man­aged. ‘It was just ridicu­lous,’ he said. ‘For the bet­ter part of a year, we were pay­ing eight pilots to do noth­ing.’” (Idem.)

27. “ ‘Rudi and Wal­ly were run­ning a whole bunch of com­pa­nies as if they were just one enti­ty,’ Bill Bersch explained. ‘They had Flori­da Air, Dekkers Avi­a­tion Group, Flori­da Air Hold­ings, LLC and even Flori­da Air Hold­ings, Inc. but since they inter­min­gled funds all the time, I just thought of them as one com­pa­ny. They all had the same per­son­nel and the same man­age­ment, and they were all the same com­pa­ny.’” (Ibid.; p. 221.)

28. “So com­min­gling funds was the pre­ferred way of doing busi­ness for Wal­ly Hilliard. We’d thought it was ille­gal. This became more impor­tant when we learned that Hilliard was involved with anoth­er flight school bank­rupt­cy, in Orlan­do, where hun­dreds of stu­dents at Dis­cov­er Air were ripped off when Hilliard’s part­ner the school’s own­er, skipped town. ‘Nobody will ever know the extent to which these guys engaged in under­hand­ed busi­ness deals,’ said Bersch. ‘They didn’t pay state tax­es, they didn’t pay employ­ee tax­es.’” (Idem.)

29. Although Flori­da Air was, to all appear­ances, a phan­tom enti­ty, it did gar­ner the endorse­ment of the Flori­da Sec­re­tary of State Kather­ine Har­ris. Har­ris, of course, presided over the elec­toral irreg­u­lar­i­ties that gave Flori­da to Bush in the 2000 elec­tion. “The chief and, indeed, only accom­plish­ment of Boehlke and Dekkers’ unsuc­cess­ful air­line was that it pro­vid­ed a ratio­nale for the pres­ence on the tar­mac of the Venice Air­port of a half dozen British Aero­space Jet­streams poised with­in easy reach of Caribbean hot spots. Well the air­line did have one oth­er accom­plish­ment: it was pub­licly endorsed by then-Flori­da Sec­re­tary of State Kather­ine Har­ris. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 239.)

30. “ . . . Boehlke and Dekkers seemed too sim­i­lar for it to be just a coin­ci­dence . . . For exam­ple, Boehlke’s avi­a­tion com­pa­ny was evict­ed from its ter­mi­nal at Sea-Tac Inter­na­tion­al for fail­ure to pay back rent. And Boehlke’s avi­a­tion-relat­ed busi­ness­es didn’t make busi­ness sense, either. ‘Richard Boehlke’s for­mer employ­ees always won­dered what the avi­a­tion busi­ness was real­ly doing,’ reporter Mason told us. ‘From the begin­ning they felt that the finances flowed from the real estate hold­ings and the retire­ment home into this avi­a­tion com­pa­ny, and that there was real­ly no way this avi­a­tion com­pa­ny was real­ly mak­ing mon­ey. So the ques­tion about what this avi­a­tion com­pa­ny was real­ly all about still remains to be seen.’” (Ibid.; p. 225.)

31. “Boehlke’s Har­bor Air had invest­ed $8 mil­lion in new planes to accom­mo­date more pas­sen­gers in 1999, for exam­ple, and com­pa­ny offi­cials said 2000 was a prof­itable year. But the firm’s debts had already mount­ed to the point where man­age­ment just cashed out and split. A Har­bor Air employ­ee could only spec­u­late as to why the air­line was going under. ‘Mis­man­age­ment of funds,’ said the employ­ee. ‘[Pas­sen­ger] loads have picked
up tremen­dous­ly. We have five or six flights in and out a day.’” (Ibid.; p. 226.)

32. As men­tioned above, Boehlke was involved with man­aged care facil­i­ties. They, too, were con­duct­ed in an alto­geth­er irreg­u­lar fash­ion. “ . . . Was Rick Boehlke an inno­cent busi­ness­man hav­ing a hor­ri­ble string of bad luck? Or had he been feath­er­ing a bank account in the Cay­mans? Like Rudi Dekkers, all his com­pa­nies were losers. . . even his ‘flag­ship’ assist­ed liv­ing com­pa­ny. ‘Even Boehlke’s Alter­ra Health Care went side­ways,’ said an avi­a­tion observ­er in Taco­ma. ‘The stock went from $38 three years ago to 22 cents.’ The ‘cov­er’ sto­ry we heard was: Boehlke lost $40 mil­lion in the stock mar­ket. . . .” (Idem.)

33. “ . . . ‘For the 53 year-old Boehlke, the sun-drenched par­ties aboard his per­son­al Grum­man Alba­tross with friends in the San Juan Islands were sup­pos­ed­ly over,’ report­ed the local paper in the San Juan Islands. ‘His huge fly­ing boat sits for sale at the Taco­ma Nar­rows Air­port in Gig Har­bor, along with oth­er assets from his bank­rupt avi­a­tion com­pa­ny. Observers in Wash­ing­ton not­ed that he was not, how­ev­er, run­ning notice­ably short of cash.’” (Ibid.; p. 227.)

34. “ . . . Eric Mason explained. ‘Richard Boehlke start­ed in busi­ness cre­at­ing free­stand­ing retire­ment homes, and he at one point had the largest com­pa­ny, the largest hold­ing of these free­stand­ing retire­ment homes in the coun­try. One of the retire­ment homes that belongs to the com­pa­ny that Richard Boehlke once held was just a stone’s throw from the air­port where Mohamed Atta was trained. You have to ask your­self, there’s a lot of coin­ci­dences here. Are they just coin­ci­dences, or is there some­thing more to it?’” (Ibid.; p. 240.)

35. One of Boehlke’s Alter­ra facil­i­ties was locat­ed right near Dekkers’ Huff­man Avi­a­tion in Venice, Flori­da. “ . . . But, just a few hun­dred feet down the block from Huff­man Avi­a­tion in Venice, Boehlke’s com­pa­ny, Alter­ra, built a gleam­ing new assist­ed liv­ing facil­i­ty dur­ing the 1990’s. Sure­ly there couldn’t be any con­nec­tion between the assist­ed liv­ing indus­try and covert oper­a­tions? Could there? There could. We need­ed to look no fur­ther than a round-up of the usu­al sus­pects. A block away from the Venice Air­port, on the oppo­site side of the street from Boehlke’s assist­ed liv­ing home facil­i­ty, is a large and state­ly colo­nial build­ing which looks eeri­ly like the plush digs of the law firm in the Tom Cruise movie ‘The Firm.’” (Ibid.; p. 241.)

36. Inter­est­ing­ly (and per­haps sig­nif­i­cant­ly), a nurs­ing home owned by Jack­son Stephens was right across the street from Boehlke’s Alter­ra facil­i­ty. Jack­son Stephens’ name has been linked with covert oper­a­tions and scan­dals for the bet­ter part of the last two decades. “The ele­gant build­ing cer­tain­ly seems out of place along­side the weed-strewn air­port perime­ter. It was built, we learned, to house the nation­al head­quar­ters of nurs­ing home giant Bev­er­ly Enter­pris­es, which was owned at the time they built it by a name almost syn­ony­mous with Amer­i­can covert oper­a­tions. Gleam­ing like a movie set in Florida’s sun­shine, the opu­lent three-sto­ry red brick build­ing is a mon­u­ment to the rivers of mon­ey which have flowed through the finan­cial empire of Jack­son Stephens, whose name has been linked with every major Amer­i­can scan­dal of the past gen­er­a­tion: from BCCI to con­tra cocaine through Mena, Arkansas.” (Idem.)

37. “Today, the state­ly build­ing still hous­es Stephens’s for­mer law firm, local polit­i­cal pow­er­house Boone, Boone & Boone, a firm which worked so close­ly with client Stephens that at least one of his exec­u­tives was per­ma­nent­ly housed there. Some cred­it the Boone law firm with run­ning the town of Venice still. ‘I don’t think you could safe­ly say that they (Boone & Boone) run every­thing in town,’ one local jour­nal­ist told us. ‘But you could safe­ly say they run almost every­thing. They exert a strong influ­ence here, includ­ing out at the air­port.’” (Idem.)

38. “In an iron­ic twist wor­thy of the spy fic­tion of John LeCarre, the very thing that made Venice seem to us such an unlike­ly des­ti­na­tion resort for Arab terrorists—its elder­ly population—attracted the home office of a nurs­ing home com­pa­ny con­trolled by a man whose name is syn­ony­mous with Amer­i­can covert oper­a­tions dur­ing the past sev­er­al decades. . .” (Ibid.; pp. 241–242.)

39. Next, the pro­gram details two sus­pi­cious air crash­es with­in a space of a few months that almost claimed the lives of the Mag­ic Dutch Boys—Arne Kruithof and Rudi Dekkers. Dekkers appar­ent­ly antic­i­pat­ed trouble—he asked a col­league to fly along­side him. That col­league appar­ent­ly saved his life. It is worth not­ing that Dekkers was on his way for a show­down with his boss Wal­ly Hilliard. “ . . . On Fri­day morn­ing, Jan­u­ary 24, 2003, Rudi and his heli­copter ‘splashed down’ at the mouth of a riv­er spilling into the Gulf. He had been en route to a show­down over Huff­man Avi­a­tion with his erst­while part­ner Wal­ly Hilliard, with whom he had been pub­licly feud­ing.” (Ibid.; p. 288.)

40. The air­craft that almost claimed the life of Arne Kruithof was com­pact­ed before the FAA could exam­ine it. Anoth­er extra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stance sur­round­ing the Mag­ic Dutch Boys. “Just a few short months ear­li­er it had been fel­low Mag­ic Dutch Boy Arne Kruithof’s turn. Kruithof was one of three men who bare­ly sur­vived the crash of their Twin Beech D‑18, which plum­met­ed from 100 feet in the air to a run­way at the Venice Air­port. The men were able to drag them­selves out of the man­gled fuse­lage and dash to safe­ty moments before the plane’s 300 gal­lons of fuel explod­ed in a fire­ball. It made for a great pic­ture in the next-day Venice Gon­do­lier.” (Idem.)

41. “When the tumul­tuous Dekkers crashed his heli­copter into the Caloosa­hatch­ee Riv­er, his lat­est mis­ad­ven­ture made the news every­where from Sara­so­ta to South Africa. The cov­er­age revealed an abid­ing and con­tin­u­ing pub­lic curios­i­ty about him, even in the face of the offi­cial black­out. What was most reveal­ing about Dekkers’ crash was that before he took off for what was to be a show­down with Hilliard, he had been seri­ous­ly wor­ried about hav­ing an in-flight ‘mishap.’” (Idem.)

42. “Although the flight from the Naples-Fort Myers area to Venice takes bare­ly half an hour, Dekkers pre­vailed on anoth­er heli­copter pilot head­ed in the same direc­tion, Tony Douang­dara, to fly along side him an effort, as he explained it, uncon­vinc­ing­ly ‘to stave off bore­dom.’ Either Dekkers was psy­chic, or he was afraid some­one might want him dead. Some­thing clear­ly was going very wrong for Rudi Dekkers even before his chop­per began expe­ri­enc­ing dif­fi­cul­ties.” (Ibid.; p. 289.)

43. “The first sign of trou­ble-to-come came when one of the heli­copters began pulling away. When his more pow­er­ful heli­copter surged ahead, pilot Tony Douang­dara told the Venice Gon­do­lier, Dekkers seemed remark­ably upset. ‘He was call­ing me on the radio say­ing ‘slow down, slow down!’ said Douang­dara. ‘Then, just a cou­ple of min­utes lat­er, I heard him say ‘I’m going down!’ Douang­dara seemed to be sug­gest­ing he’d been recruit­ed to be near­by if some­thing went wrong. . . .” (Idem.)

44. “ . . . Rudi Dekkers’ unex­plained heli­copter crash came while he was on his way to a Venice meet­ing to sign papers relin­quish­ing con­trol of ter­ror flight school Huff­man Avi­a­tion to Wal­ly Hilliard. The two simul­ta­ne­ous events—the crash, and being forced out of busi­ness by his partner—weren’t linked by law enforce­ment. But the strange tim­ing added anoth­er bizarre twist to the saga of the 46 year-old Dutch nation­al, who had already achieved inter­na­tion­al noto­ri­ety.” (Ibid.; p. 290.)

45. The pro­gram notes Mohamed Atta’s “Sau­di Cover”—his links with the Sau­di pow­er elite. A cab dri­ver who had picked Atta up on a num­ber of occa­sions relat­ed Atta’s links with a wealthy Sau­di and a con­ve­nience store own­er. One of the p

eople appar­ent­ly involved with this group was Zacharias Mous­saoui, the alleged 20th hijack­er. “On Fri­day, Sept. 14, three days after the Sept. 11 attack, cab dri­ver Simp­son was con­tact­ed by the FBI, who ques­tioned him close­ly about an asso­ciate of Atta’s, a Mid­dle East­ern man who owned the con­ve­nience store across the street from the apart­ment build­ing where Simp­son said he picked him up. . . . ‘I said yes, I rec­og­nized Mohamed Atta,’ Simp­son con­tin­ued. ‘I’m the day dri­ver for Yel­low Cab in Venice, and he was in my cab a bunch of times in August, 2001. The night dri­ver had him even more than I did.’” (Ibid.; pp. 309–310.)

46. “So the FBI clear­ly knew—much ear­li­er than we—that Atta was in Venice just before the attack. ‘They were espe­cial­ly inter­est­ed in a rich Sau­di guy that I’d been sent to pick up at the Orlan­do Exec­u­tive Air­port. They said they already knew that he’d rid­den in my cab because they’d got­ten my cab num­ber from a sur­veil­lance cam­era there.’ The FBI agents asked spe­cif­ic and direct ques­tions focused on sev­er­al trips to the Orlan­do Exec­u­tive Air­port begin­ning in Decem­ber 2000, said Simp­son.” (Ibid.; p. 310.)

47. “Simp­son told the FBI he had been asked to dri­ve to Orlan­do by a con­ve­nience store own­er in Venice, a Mid­dle East­ern man who was an asso­ciate of Atta’s and who left town short­ly after the attack. ‘I took the store own­er, and when he got to Orlan­do Exec­u­tive Air­port, we wait­ed togeth­er for a flight to come in. then out comes this real­ly wealthy Sau­di busi­ness­man, dressed in Armani and shades, as well as his wife, who was wear­ing tra­di­tion­al Arab cloth­ing.’” (Idem.)

48. “ ‘The store own­er knew him real­ly well. They hugged, and I am sure he was bring­ing the store own­er a lot of mon­ey, because you could tell that he had a lot of mon­ey. The first thing they want­ed to do was go to a good restau­rant, so there we were, steak, lob­ster, every­thing. The guy had a lot of mon­ey. I just know this meet­ing had to do with this wealthy Sau­di busi­ness­man bring­ing him mon­ey.’ After din­ner they pro­ceed­ed back to the Venice apart­ment of the con­ve­nience store own­er, the one where Simp­son said he picked up Atta sev­er­al times. ‘I took them back to Venice, and to the apart­ment, where I had to car­ry in lug­gage. I guess this wealthy Sau­di busi­ness­man stayed there at the apart­ment too, at least that’s where I left him.’” (Ibid.; pp. 310–311.)

49. “Six weeks lat­er, Simp­son said, he drove the wealthy Saudi’s wife back to the Orlan­do Air­port, once again leav­ing from the con­ve­nience store owner’s Venice apart­ment. When he arrived to pick up the fare, he was asked to help car­ry a chest down to the cab. The chest was so heavy, he said, it took two peo­ple to car­ry. The man who helped him car­ry it down the stairs to the cab, says Simp­son, was Zacharias Mous­saoui, the so-called 20th hijack­er. ‘He was a big, bald buy, and he helped me with the chest.’” (Ibid.; p. 311.)

50. “Simpson’s iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of Mous­saoui in Venice added con­fir­ma­tion to the sto­ry we’d heard about the sec­ond ‘Mag­ic Dutch Boy,’ Arne Kruithof, being grilled for two days at the Sara­so­ta, Flori­da, Cour­t­house about his con­nec­tions to Mousaoui by a Jus­tice Depart­ment Asst. Attor­ney Gen­er­al and top-lev­el offi­cials from the FBI, there tak­ing depo­si­tions from poten­tial wit­ness­es in Moussaoui’s upcom­ing tri­al. So Mous­saoui was in Venice too. The FBI has said noth­ing about it.” (Idem.)

51. “Also of major sig­nif­i­cance was Simpson’s state­ment that on sev­er­al occa­sions he drove Mohamed Atta and Mar­wan Al-She­hhi from Venice to the Orlan­do Exec­u­tive Air­port, a con­sid­er­able dis­tance, on one-way trips. This places the two men at the same scene where Huff­man Aviation’s true own­er, Wal­ly Hilliard, lost a Lear jet after it was dis­cov­ered to have 43 pounds of Hero­in onboard. Hilliard also owns a flight school and com­muter air­line in Orlan­do as well.” (Idem.)

52. One of the strik­ing aspects of Hopsicker’s nar­ra­tive is the fact that many of the peo­ple he inter­viewed would speak only on con­di­tion of anonymi­ty. They appar­ent­ly feared for their lives or the lives of their fam­i­lies. “ ‘I know more about Wal­ly Hilliard than I ever want to know, said a for­mer Huff­man Avi­a­tion exec­u­tive. . . .Like many oth­ers, this exec­u­tive demand­ed anonymi­ty. He explained: ‘I’ve got a fam­i­ly.’” (Ibid.; p. 256.)

53. One of the star­tling rev­e­la­tions in this interview—repeated in FTR#484—concerns Daniel’s asser­tion that Rudi Dekkers, and some Ger­man and Egypt­ian asso­ciates are still able to enter the coun­try. Fur­ther­more, Daniel main­tains that Dekkers and com­pa­ny are tak­ing jet train­ing in Ten­nessee. This would indi­cate that the oper­a­tions in which the hijack­ers were tak­ing part are ongo­ing!!

54. In both FTR#’s 482 and 483, Daniel reveals that one of the Ger­mans asso­ci­at­ed with Atta had threat­ened to sue the Ger­man pub­lish­er of Wel­come to Ter­ror­land in order to main­tain his anonymi­ty.