Operation Eagle Crawl

Lest We forget . . .

By P Chong                               30 April 2010

Operation Eagle Claw (or Operation Evening Light) was a United States military operation that attempted to rescue 52 Americans from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran on 24 April 1980. The attempt was aborted when three helicopters that were part of the operation were damaged by a sandstorm or forced to return to the carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68). As the U.S. force prepared to leave Iran, a refuelling accident led to the remaining helicopters and a C-130 Hercules refuelling aircraft being destroyed or left behind, and the deaths of eight American servicemen.”

To the Iranians, the above debacle or disaster was interpreted as an act of Divine intervention. The Iranians had but very slim chance of any success against the might of the American force.

Lest we forget!

Repainted RH-53Ds in sand camouflage and without markings aboard Nimitz.

On the part of the Americans, the Operation was meticulously planned & prepared. As with the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan (or the past wars in Korea & Vietnam), the Americans were never short of detailed planning & preparation. Their military strength & strategies were always hailed with great enthusiasm & optimism. How could they fail – Goliath against David?

Air Force AC-130

The Operation was designed as a complex two-night mission. The first stage of the mission involved delivering a rescue team of of U.S. Army SFOD-D operators to a small “staging site”, named as Desert One, inside Iran, near Tabas in the Yazd Province. The site Desert One was to be used as a temporary airstrip for the the three USAF special operations MC-130E Combat Talon I penetration/transport aircraft & three EC-130E Hercules, each of the latter installed with a pair of collapsible fuel bladders containing 6,000 U.S. gallons of jet fuel.

The burned out wreckage of one of the RH-53 with an intact one sitting in the background

Suffice for me to say that every inch of the military operation was precisely & timely planned. Nothing was left to chance. They had the helicopters, aircrafts, trucks for transporting the ground troops, aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the nearby Indian Ocean, a “hide site” in Desert Two to conceal the helicopters, top commanding generals – just about bit of military power & strength to overpower their poorly equipped Iranians. Of course, they never left out the services of the CIA.

Yet, against all odds, disaster struck & the victims were the Americans. The Iranians were the unexpected victors! It looked like God was never kind to the Americans . . . one defeat after another . . . so unimaginable!

From the Iranians’ perspective, they deemed it as a miracle, an act of Divine intervention. It did appear to be as it was. But when will the Americans learn? When will they ever stop pushing their military weight around & threatening every nation on earth? God alone knows.

The 53 Americans were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981, after a group of Islamist students & militants took over the American Embassy in support of the Iranian Revolution. The Americans should have persevered in their release through diplomatic means, but I guess pride & haughtiness got in the way as always happened. This embarrassing & unfortunate episode is otherwise referred to as Iranian Hostage Crisis.

It ended with the signing of the Algiers Accords in Algeria on January 19, 1981. The hostages were formally released into United States custody the following day, just minutes after the new American President Ronald Reagan was sworn in.

Now, with the present Iran nuclear question, will the Americans strike the first blow again possibly as an entanglement of “vengeance and mutual incomprehension”? God forbids!

War is so senseless.

It doesn’t solve problems.

Atrocities of war spell only misery & suffering.

It’s a lose lose situation for all parties involved.

The only ones benefitting are the manufacturers of war weapons & equipments.

Source: Wikipedia & Aljazeera TV Report (26 April 2010)


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Miraculous Messages From The Sky & Sea

By P Chong                                29 April 2010

Many wonderful stories have been told of bottle messages found floating in the sea or found on the beach. You would have read about them at least when you were young & often marvel at them as fairy tales.

Is it fate or sheer coincidence that the message is ever found, very often years later?

Be it a random message stuffed into a bottle & thrown into the sea or one that is sent up in a balloon, both messages would eventually find their way in the hands of finders. Imagine the kind of fate & consequences in store. The stories that unfold are usually unbelievable & nothing short of miracles. It’s fascinating to say the least.

It’s interesting to note here two stories that appeared to be from the fairy realm.

Story One (Source: Unknown)

Laura Buxton, meet Laura Buxton

(Technically this isn’t a “message in a bottle” story, but it’s the same concept—and the story is simply too good not to mention it.)

In June 2001, Laura Buxton (almost 10) released a red balloon into the air over her hometown of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England. On one side of the balloon, she had written “Please return to Laura Buxton,” and on the other side, her home address. A few weeks later, a man 140 miles away in Milton Lilbourne found the balloon stuck in the hedge that separated his farm from the next-door neighbors. He noticed Laura Buxton’s name and address and immediately took the balloon to the neighbors’ house, showing it to the 10-year-old girl who lived there…whose name was also Laura Buxton.

Laura Buxton from Milton Lilbourne wrote Laura Buxton from Stoke-on-Trent to let her know that she had found the balloon. Thinking this coincidence was simply too amazing to be true, they decided they had to meet in person. And that’s when things got really weird.

On the day of the meeting, the two girls wore the same outfit – a pink sweater and jeans. The girls were the same height, which was unusual because they were both tall for their age. They both had brown hair and wore it in the same style. They both had three-year old black Labrador Retrievers at home, as well as gray pet rabbits. They both brought their guinea pigs, which were the same color and even had the same orange markings on their hindquarters. It was almost as though these two Laura Buxtons were the same person.

The strange events surrounding their meeting have helped the girls form a strong bond, and they remain friends eight years later. Both feel the circumstances that brought them together are too significant to be written off as mere coincidence.

Story Two (Source: Unknown)

Love in a Bottle

Ake Viking was a lonely Swedish sailor who decided to place his search for love in the hands of fate. He wrote a simple letter “To Someone Beauitiful and Far Away,” corked it inside a bottle, and tossed it overboard in the hopes that it might help him find a young woman to marry.

Two years later, in 1958, he was surprised to receive a letter from a Sicilian girl, Paolina, who said, “I am not beautiful, but it seems so miraculous that this little bottle should have traveled so far and long to reach me that I must send you an answer…” The two began writing one another and, three years after he threw a bottle into the sea, Ake moved to Sicily to marry his very long-distance love.

How do these stories, coincidences at minimum, divine intervention at best, make you feel?

Whenever such messages are found, it invokes a sense of fairy tale. The idea that two people have made a connection that would mathematically be virtually impossible gives us hope that life is more than a series of random events. Fate does play a part or if you are a believer, there is such a thing as Divine intervention.

Will we ever make contact with the outer world if wkeep sending messages into cyberspace?