June 14 is Flag Day in the U.S., but it also marks yet another of Islam’s bloody coup’s in the eternal jihad against the infidel.
The hijacking of TWA Flight 847 and brutal killing of American Robert Stethem, returning from Naval duty is yet another fact littering the annals of history and further highlighting that Islamic terrorism is not new; that Hizbollah is not a peaceful political organization regardless of who/where they are elected. And extreme evidence that they have every intention of killing Americans and have done so with impunity as evidenced in this atrocity from June 14, 1985. Read it all.
It was twenty one years ago on June 14,1985 two armed hijackers commandered TWA flight 847 in a 17 day seige. The Boeing 727 aircraft was originally destined to departure from Athens to Rome on this day,when the two weilding grenades and guns forced the pilot in making a avert change of course towards Beruit. I remember the incident as if was yesterday,because I had graduated from junior high that very day.
The hijacking incident was covered on the news via both radio and television during the entire horror when the hijackers threatened to blow up the aircraft when their demands were not met. The plea from pilot John Testrake was heard saying through the broadcast in communications with Beruit’s airport traffic controller “They are beating the passengers. They are beating the passengers. They are threatening to kill them now” and included when one of the hijackers pulled the pin from the grenade “He has pulled a hand-grenade pin and is ready to blow up the aircraft if he has to.” At this moment there was a demand for refuel.
Accordingly to witnesses aboard flight 847,the ordeal began within 20 minutes into the flight. There were 153 passengers aboard,including the two who identified themselves as members of Hezbollah. The aircraft was to be flown to Beruit at first. The hijackers became suspicious that there military personel on board. Passports from everyone was taken from everyone for identification. In the story from airline purser Uli Derickson,she helped collected all passports with other crew members. When she got to one passenger, Robert Stethem a U.S. Navy seabee diver, it was pretended that Uli collected his identification(a military card) for his own safety.
When Stethem’s I.D. was not collected,one of the hijackers demanded to know why it wasn’t given. Soon afterwards the I.D. was finally submitted. When the Boeing 727 was near its destination,there was a refusal by Beruit International Tower from allowing it to land. The gunmen then grabbed Stethem and another military officer(Clinton Suggs) out of their seats and pushed and shoved them towards the cockpit door. Both men were bounded with rope. One of the gunmen pulled off a armrest off one of the chairs and began to lower it on Sugg’s head beating him,then on Stethem. When Uli Derickson pleaded the savage to stop”Good. American pig must suffer!” the hate spilled out from his mouth. When the aircraft was permitted to land,the beatings stopped.
Kurt Carlson who was one of the five military personel on board, recalled in a interview that he looked towards his badly injured friend and asked “Hey Red, you ok?” meaning Stethem.
Uli asked that bandages were needed to be applied over the badly bruised face of this young man,and needed medical attention. Again,the hijacker shouted “American pig must suffer. Must die!” Benjamin Zimmerman,the flight engineer,testified in Mohammed Hummadi’s trial of the beatings of both servicemen. “We could hear the groans and moans and the screams and the panting and the uneven breathing. And we knew these guys were getting beat up pretty badly…”
Zimmerman also said that he was pistol whipped on the back of his head describing “seeing stars.”
The terrorists asked that they speak to a Amal official for negotiations. Several women and children were released from the plane. Testrake and his flight crew were ordered to fly to Algiers.
It was here after spending numerous hours on the tarmac, 21 additional passengers were set free. Still the terrorists were becoming more impatient as they threatened to kill all passengers. Uli Derickson who served in bravery in attemting to stop the beatings of several passengers on TWA 847,offered her own Shell credit card. The gound crew charged about $5,500 for 6,000 gallons of fuel.
The plane then was ordered to be flown back to Beruit. In between landing destinations, another beating of young Robert Stethem was unloaded. He was blindfolded,bounded and gagged,then repeatedly tortured throughout the next several hours. Stethem was pistol whipped ,as he was being kicked and punched on the floor mercilessly for a prolonged period of time. However,testimonies by several passengers,and John Testrake, Stethem never uttered out a cry of pain. “He (Stethem) was probably the bravest man I’ve ever seen in my life” the pilot said of the Navy seabee in a interview after his release. Stethem was kicked in the face and the knee caps and was repeatedly stomped and kicked until they(hijackers) had broken all of his ribs. Another navy diver who was on TWA 847 gave a graphic detail when he saw his commrade beaten severely that “there was blood all over his(Stethem) face and his head’ that his shirt was torn and there was blood all over his chest; that his ribs were bruised,red and inflamed; and that he was limping and dragging one foot.”
Another testimony given by Ruth Henderson who was 16 at that time amoung the 153 passengers on TWA 847 was the only person who communicated with Robert Stethem when he was placed back on a seat in between his beatings.
“He said how it may be better that he died” Henderson testified in Hummadi’s trial “He believed that someone would die on the plane,someone from the navy men(there were five other divers on the plane) and he said that because he was the only one who wasn’t married,that he should be the one to die. He spoke with a clear mind…he didn’t believe that all of us could get out alive. He felt it was fair that he dies so the rest of us could live.”
The ailine stewardess Uli Derickson,who placed herself in harms way on may occasions in trying to stop the beatings tells her own story of what happened to the navy diver: The German-speaking hijacker] called Robert Stethem to the first-class section. It’s a night flight now. The hijacker with grenades took off his own shirt and his undershirt, and he took out a razor blade. I started getting very emotional because I thought of throat cutting. All the lights were turned off in the cabin. Only the galley lights were on. Then the hijacker started cutting his undershirt into small strips. He’s blindfolding Stethem. Very tight. And then he takes one of those thick elastic cords from a suitcase cart and ties up his hands, very, very high behind his back and pulls that elastic cord to the very end. Stethem’s hands immediately turn white. Then they drag him to the cockpit door and they are beating Robert Stethem with the armrest they ripped off the flight engineer’s seat. They were jumping in the air and landing full force on his body. He must have had all his ribs broken. I was sitting only 15 feet away. I couldn’t listen to it. I put my fingers in my ears. I will never forget. I could still hear. They put the mike up to his face so his screams could be heard by the outside world. When they were finished, one of the hijackers picked him up like a cat picks up its kitten and dragged him over to a seat.
…Now I’m telling . . . I’m telling Bob — Robert Stethem — to hang on. He was in tremendous pain. His arms had lost all feeling. I kept saying to this German-speaking hijacker, “Can I not untie his hands? We’re cooperating with you. Why are you doing this to those people?” He said, “No. Leave him alone. He’s just an American pig.” I kept asking, please. Then he let me untie his hands. It took me five minutes, the elastic was so tight. There was a carving knife hidden in the galley, but I didn’t want to bring it out to cut the cord. Then the hijacker told me to take him to a seat in coach. I’m lifting this man over passengers. He was hurt very badly.
It was sometime after 12:00 A.M. the next day(June 15) that the aircraft had approached Beruit Internaional,and as the day before was refused to land,and the fact it was nearly a close to immediate time to refuel. Making things more impossible,the airtower controller shut off all the lights in the airport. The hijackers grabbed the pilots microphone and shouted “We are suicide terrorists! If you don’t let us land,we will crash the plane into your control tower,or fly it to Baabada and crash into the Presidential Palace!” Not knowing for sure if there was going to be a suicide crash landing,Testrake asked that all remaining passengers to be prepared for a crash landing. Then the lights on the runway were turned on again by the control tower.
It was still horrific,because there was no way of telling of what the hijackers could do next and the body of the unconsciousness Robert Stethem was laying behind the cabin door. Screamings between the hijackers and tower control were heard throughout the mass hysteria scene. Then both hijackers grabbed thier pulverized victim-Robert Stethem- by his elbows and beat him again so that they were trying to get Stethem to scream in the microphone to get a fuel truck in the tarmac. John Testrake said”The sounds (of the beatings) were sickening. If I had a gun ..I wouldn’t bother to hestitate in shooting both the bastards.” There was a demand that a Amal officer could be reached. When none was given, the doomed Stethem was dragged to the front passenger door,and was shot in the head and dumped on the tarmac. One military officer who was held captive on TWA 847,recalled when the shot bursted, Stethem cried out “Oh my God!” at the moment of his execution.
The same navy officer who was beaten earlier the previous day with the now slain Robert Stethem,was forced towards the front of the plane as well. He could feel the change of the air pressure and the wind and heard a second shot and heard the body pushed out of the plane onto the tarmac below. Moments later,Suggs just like Stethem before him was beaten; Uli Derickson intervened and yelled to the assailants “Enough, enough, we’re doing everything we asked!” The assualts then stopped.
Unrecognizable,the body of Robert D. Stethem was recovered by the Red Cross and shipped to a U.S. airbase in Spain for proper indentification. The autopsy doctor described the horrifying wounds on the Navy officer during Hummadi’s murder trial in Germany.
“He just killed a passenger! He just killed a passenger!” Testrake announced over the microphone to the tower control. The execution was transmitted over the radio waves in the presence of the media who were in Beruit. Even CNN had the ‘live’ audio and video coverage of the whole event from the begining. Later on,the network displayed a photo of a body of the victim. Obviously it was a gruesome display of the murderers,who wanted to show the world ‘they meant business.’
Fearing there would be a Isreali Mossad or a U.S. Delta Force raid on the landed aircraft,the hijackers demanded that all aiirport lights to be shut off. In the midst of darkness,a ploy of the hijackers was to bring a reinforcement of well armed militia ,as well for the release of passengers with Jewish sounding names who were later imprisioned with the remaining military personel somewhere in Beruit.
Several hours later,the plane was headed off again to Algiers. During this flight,a demand for another hijacker’s release was being negotiated with Algerian officials. A third hijacker the day before was in the custody of Greek authorities,who was arrested after a argument with TWA officials in Athens in attempts to get on TWA flight 847. When Ali Atwa was released from custody,he was placed on a private plane heading towards Algiers to rejoin with the original hijackers. The remaining women on flight 847 was released in exchange. Still the political prisioners held in Isreal were not released,when the plane was finally flown back to Beruit for one final time where the hijackers were working out negotiation deals,where they also held a news press conference as it was broadcasted ‘live’ to gain sympathy from supporters.
On June 30,1985 all the passengers during the entire ordeal as well the remaining who were held somewhere in Beruit were finally released. For more of the story,ENTER HERE.
In the aftermath, as of Dec 20,2005 Mohammed Hammadi was released from German officials in a exchange for a German anthropologist,SusanneOsthoff held by the Hezbollah terrorist organization backed by Iran and Syria. Hammadi was identified by witnesses as one of the original hijackers of TWA 847. Germany has appearantly been proven weak in giving into demands of terrorists now that the killer of Robert Stethem is paraoled in exchange for a hostage. Hammadi only served 19 of a 25 year life sentence for air piracy and murder. Hezbollah is a terrorist front for Osama Bin Laden’s Al Queda network. Hammadi is being sought out by U.S. Officials. His WANTED POSTER is on the F.B.I.’s Most wanted list. CLICK ON HERE.
Three of the alleged hijackers,Imad Mugniyah, Ali Atwa and Hassan Izz-Al-Din have been indicted by the United States District Court in the 1985 hijacking ,and was placed by President George W. Bush on the newly formed F.B.I. Most Wanted Terrorists lists.
Uli Derickson in her part in saving many lives on flight 847 was honored the Silver Cross for Valor by the Legion Of Valor. She passed away from a battle with cancer in her Tuscon,Arizona home on Feb. 18th 2005.
Robert D. Stethem was posthomously awarded the Purple Heart in 1985 and the Bronze Star in 1986. A warship was build in 1995 named after the Navy seabee: USS STETHEM DDG 63.
© 2006 sleepparalysis/obe.
The body of Robert Stethem lays on the tarmac of Beruit Int’l Airport. Stethem was tortured for a prolonged
period of time before he was shot and dumped out the plane. One of the hijackers holds on hand against the mouth of pilot John Testrake while waving a pistol as the media asks questions on the tarmac below.
Another hijacker donned with a hooded mask wields a rifle as blood from victim Robert Stethem is seen under the front passenger door. Below: a undated photo of Robert Stethem.
While researching another story recently, we came across this disturbing information.
The daughter of the Hizollah negotiator during the TWA Flight 847 Islamic terrorist hijacking resides in the United States. Her husband is principal at Fordson High School and he is the cousin of Hizbollah’s spiritual leader. Another cousin in the assistant principal and the school has earned the infamous nickname of Hizbollah High. Read it all.
The school’s principal, Imad Fadlallah, is a relative of Hezbollah spiritual leader Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a Specially Designated Terrorist (SDT) on the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control terrorist list, used by the State Department. Imad Fadlallah’s wife, Susan, is the daughter of Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who was Hezbollah’s negotiator during the 1985 TWA flight 847 hijacking during which Hezbollah tortured to death Navy Diver Robert Dean Stethem. Before that, he was the head of the Shi’ite Amal Militia, which has been absorbed into Hezbollah.
Another cousin, Majed Fadlallah, is Fordson’s Assistant Principal. And the school is a virtual one-stop employment shack for many of the cousins of Hezbollah’s Sheikh Mohammed Fadlallah.