New PDF release: Claim of Privilege: A Mysterious Plane Crash, a Landmark

By Barry Siegel

On October 6, 1948, a U.S. Air strength B-29 Superfortress crashed quickly after takeoff, killing 3 civilian engineers and 6 workforce participants. In June 1949, the engineers' widows filed swimsuit opposed to the govt, made up our minds to determine what precisely had occurred to their husbands and why the 3 civilians have been on board the aircraft within the first position. however it used to be the sunrise of the chilly struggle and the Air strength refused handy over any files, claiming they contained labeled info. The felony conflict finally reached the superb court docket, which in 1953 passed down a landmark choice that might, in later years, let the govt to hide gross negligence and misconduct, block difficult litigation, and detain legal suspects with no due-process protections.

Claim of Privilege is a enchanting precise account of a shameful incident and its lasting influence on our nation--the gripping tale of a brave struggle to correct a prior fallacious and a strong indictment of governmental abuse within the identify of nationwide security.

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Additional info for Claim of Privilege: A Mysterious Plane Crash, a Landmark Supreme Court Case, and the Rise of State Secrets

Sample text

According to the Waycross newspaper’s account the next morning, they and the authorities faced a considerable challenge: Standing by the fence originally erected to keep cows in a pleasant pasture were herds of people intent on viewing a spectacle of twisted metal and twisted bodies. Horrified at the calamity which struck like thunder, thousands of people milled to view in awesome horror the wreckage that gave the Zachry farm the sudden aspect of a battlefield. . Fields that once grew sweet grasses were splattered with blood.

He felt safe inside this huge hull. Planes land with an engine on fire all the time, he kept thinking. This pilot will get us down okay. He’d rather stay with the ship than parachute. On the floor before him, Peny recovered his senses and pulled once more on the escape-hatch handle. Finally the hatch popped up and Peny yanked it back over his head. The hatch led into the huge, empty bomb bay. For the crew to parachute, they would next have to open the bomb-bay doors. ” B-29 #866, down to one fully operating engine, was flying only thirty to fifty miles per hour above stall speed.

This time there was fire, too. In an instant, the flames engulfed the aft half of the engine, then the entire engine. “Engine number one on fire,” shouted the left scanner, Sergeant Walter Peny, over and over. ” The civilian engineers in the rear compartment stood calmly, listening to Peny’s reports on the fire, listening to him relay information coming from the cockpit over the interphone. Later, Eugene Mechler would remember no panic, only Peny doing his job, staying at his position, cool and efficient, shouting loudly enough for everyone to know the situation.

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