In 1981, Ronald Reagan, the former actor, governor and senator, took over as US President. Already from his first steps as head of state, he made it clear to compatriots and the world that he was going to arrange something similar to the second Caribbean crisis.
However, with all the Hollywood charisma and aggressive rhetoric of the fortieth White House owner, it was difficult to call it an independent political figure. He only realized the plans of the American military-industrial complex, a protege of which was. Those who brought the former actor to power, sought to deploy an unprecedented scale arms race - above all in space.
A sly plan
As part of the “Crusade against Communism” proclaimed by Reagan, the White House launched a large-scale military and financial assistance to all partisan, gangster and other formations that fought with the socialist and USSR-oriented regimes. There is no need to go far for examples: it suffices to recall the Nicaraguan Contras and the Afghan Mujahideen, on whose account the blood of thousands of innocent civilians, including children.
However, the key objective of the US administration was to deploy the latest Pershing-2 medium-range ballistic missiles and ground-based cruise missiles in Western Europe: the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Italy and Belgium.
This gave the White House the opportunity to conduct a tighter dialogue with the Kremlin, because the Pershers needed just 8 – 10 minutes to reach the European part of the USSR, which retaliated against NATO countries, if not leaving the United States behind the nuclear conflict, then giving im a gain in time.
But it was here that bad luck arose: the public opinion of Western countries did not want to be a bargaining chip in the crazy game with the fire of American strategists and came out categorically against the appearance of Pershing on its territory.
Reagan and his team needed to somehow reverse such a negative attitude of the population of the allied countries to the plans of the United States, and most importantly, to convince the Europeans not only of admissibility, but also of extreme necessity for their own security of deploying these missiles.
It was possible to do this by provocation, the consequence of which would be to create an unprecedentedly negative image of the Soviet Union on the world stage. And the reason was found - how effective in consequences, so monstrous in execution ...
A little background: from the beginning of the 80s, American military aircraft regularly violated the airspace of the USSR in the Kamchatka and Sakhalin regions, flying 20-30 kilometers deep into Soviet territory, where the Pacific submarine bases were located fleet with nuclear missiles on board.
In the immediate vicinity of Kamchatka, electronic reconnaissance aircraft RS-135 constantly cruised. Military exercises were periodically held near the Soviet borders with the participation of US Navy aircraft carrier groups, in particular in the Aleutian Islands area, during which American planes invaded the airspace of the Soviet Union and conducted conditional bombing of our territory.
In this situation, an operation was developed, with the help of which it was planned to kill two birds with one stone: reveal the Far Eastern air defense system of the USSR, as well as create a negative and inhuman image of the Soviet Union in the world. Ultimately, this would allow the US military-industrial complex to achieve additional allocations for military spending, and the White House to convince the West of the need to deploy Pershing in Europe, because you can expect anything from the Russians.
The plan was devised truly devilish. For its implementation, the choice fell on the Boeing-747 civilian airliner of Korean AirLines, a Korean airline (KAL007 flight), carrying 246 passengers and ... Here we have to give the number of crew members, but more on that below.
So, 31 August 1983, the "Boeing" left New York and headed for Anchorage, where, after refueling, had to fly in the direction of Seoul. However, KAL007 took a changed course, following deep into the territory of the USSR, and that part of it, over which foreign aircraft were forbidden to fly.
Before us the error of the pilot and navigation equipment? The Americans and the whole “free world” still insist on this version. But they insist, without giving a really convincing argument. And they could not be, because on board the Boeing there was the most advanced navigation equipment at that time, which allowed an error in deviation from the course no more than 200 meters and consisted of three inertial navigation systems (INS).
They had to lead the plane on a pre-planned route. In order to avoid a system crash, all three computers worked autonomously, receiving information independently of each other. And what, all three computers failed? Unlikely.
Pilot error? Oh, this is excluded even more than a malfunction of the navigation system. In general, the crew of the South Korean aircraft - a separate issue.
The commander of the ill-fated "Boeing" was Chong Bin Ying - the best pilot of KAL and once the personal pilot of the South Korean dictator. He has 10 627 flight hours, of which 747 hours are on Boeing 6618. On the Pacific highway, Jong Ben Ying flew over five years and a year before the events described he received an award for trouble-free work. The co-pilot was Sag Dan Wang, an Air Force lieutenant colonel and also a very experienced pilot.
And both of these pilots made a mistake by confusing the water surface of the Pacific Ocean with the land of Kamchatka? Note that until their death, the crew did not lose contact with ground tracking stations located along the route. In this whole situation, it’s not that difficult - it’s simply impossible to imagine that such experienced pilots didn’t deign to check the course followed by the autopilot-driven aircraft.
Now about the crew size: by state - 18 people, but in the tragic stories there were more pilots aboard the Boeing - 23 man. Also an accident?
And here's another detail: with all his experience and excellent knowledge of the route, Jong Ben Ying did not want to go on a flight, which was his last. Let us turn to the testimony of the widow of the commander of "Boeing": "My husband did not hide the fear of this flight and directly said that he really does not want to fly - this is very dangerous."
It makes no sense to comment on such a confession and talk about the reasons for fear, which declared, of course, a brave military pilot, as well as absurdly dispute the reconnaissance tasks that Chon Ben Ying deviated from the course and condemned his own life, the lives of colleagues and passengers to death.
Now for some details of the flight. When the KAL007 flight departed from Anchorage, not far from the airspace of the USSR, in the region of Kamchatka, the RS-135 reconnaissance cruiser — apparently similar to Boeing, was already cruising. When the South Korean plane approached the Soviet border, the American intelligence officer began to converge with him and at some point on our radar both aircraft merged into one point.
It is not surprising that the Soviet border guards had a reasonable assumption that the PC-135 had taken the Boeing course, flying right over the secret military facilities of the USSR.
The MiG-23 fighters were raised into the air. Why did they not identify the South Korean plane as a civilian? The answer is simple: on the tail of the Boeing there should have been an illumination of the aircraft’s number, but, alas, it was missing. Also an accident? ..
In this regard, another question arises: did the American air traffic controllers - did they really not notice the deviation of the South Korean plane from the course? We noticed, because for five hours they were driving KAL007 on their locators, knowing that the plane would inevitably be above the closed territory of the USSR. But the Americans were silent. Why? The question is more than rhetorical.
Passing Kamchatka, Boeing left the airspace of the USSR, continuing the flight over the Sea of Okhotsk, and our fighters returned to base. It seemed that the unpleasant incident was settled. But alas, it turned out to be wrong: four hours after takeoff, the plane again deviated from the course and went over the territory of Sakhalin. And here another “coincidental coincidence” occurred: the course taken by Boeing coincided with the turns of the American radio intelligence reconnaissance satellite Ferret-D.
Over Sakhalin, the deviation from the route was already 500 kilometers. Above, we argued that the mistake of the experienced and perhaps the best South Korean pilot, as well as the reliability of the most up-to-date navigation equipment at that time, in fact excluded the course deviation, especially at such a distance.
It could be accomplished only consciously and podgadano so as to coincide with the passage of the American reconnaissance satellite over Sakhalin.
Perfect plan, isn't it? Probably, in the time of M. S. Gorbachev or B. N. Yeltsin, he would have succeeded, but then the head of the Soviet Union was Yu. V. Andropov, a strong-willed man, tough and far from the paradigms of "new thinking." He saw in the USA an unconditional enemy, with whom it was necessary to conduct a dialogue, but one could not demonstrate weakness, especially with regard to the security of the borders of the USSR
The answer is adequate
Against this background, the reaction of Soviet border guards to such a brazen intrusion of foreign aircraft into the country's airspace is not surprising. It turned out to be completely adequate and the only possible under those conditions.
To intercept the offender was raised Su-15, led by Lieutenant Colonel Gennady Osipovich. Being in the zone of visibility of the South Korean plane, the Soviet pilot made several warning shots from the air cannon - there was no reaction. There is an opinion that Jong Ben Ying did not see the shots - there was no tracer bullets in Su's arsenal. Why? According to the order of the Minister of Defense in order not to unmask the plane. Actually, the Americans say: they did not see the pilots of the shots.
But this could not be, because, according to the commander of the 40th fighter aviation division in the Far East in 1983, “the exhaust of the flame from the four trunks is always visible perfectly, and even in the afternoon. The highest rate of fire - five thousand rounds per minute. The flame was large, as when turning on the afterburner, it was simply impossible not to notice the flashes. ” And again, no reaction.
But the reaction was: after the shots fired by Osipovich, the South Korean plane lowered the speed to 400 kilometers per hour, its further fall would have led to the stall of the fighter in the corkscrew. Military pilot Jong Ben Ying could not have been unaware of this.
In addition, after a few minutes KAL007 had to leave the airspace of the USSR. Under these conditions, the commander of the fighter air division gave the order to destroy the violator. Osipovich fired two P-98 missiles on the plane.
Consequently, it was the missiles from the Soviet interceptor that led to the death of a huge airliner. Our pilot does not think so - two of these missiles could not destroy such a powerful aircraft. Recall that in the year 1978 there was a similar incident with another South Korean "Boeing", "accidentally lost" and found themselves in the airspace of the USSR. Then two Su-15 damaged, but did not shoot down the plane - the pilot (also military) managed to land him in the Karelian taiga.
The rocket released by Osipovich hit the keel part of the Boeing, which began to decline at a non-limiting speed, while its sharp decline began with 5000 meters. And it was caused, quite likely, by the impact of an American missile fired from the ground. This version exists and it has a basis.
Why did the Americans need to finish off a wounded plane? The answer is simple: if the crew managed to land a Boeing, then its real mission would be revealed and made public, which for Reagan would be tantamount to political death.
There is another version
So, the intruder was shot down, but is it possible, with an absolute guarantee, to assert that it was South Korean Boeing that Osipovich was hit. Not. Arguments? They abound, we will focus only on some.
Even the worst air crashes in the sky leave behind the corpses of people. Just one example from a very recent past: AirFrance’s A1-2009 330, June 300, heading for Charles de Gaulle Airport from Rio de Jeanneux, crashed over the Atlantic Ocean, dropping from 11 600 meters. 228 people died. Raised managed 127 tel.
The Soviet sailors who arrived at the place of the alleged crash of the South Korean plane found a pile of debris at the bottom (about their identification just below) and ... a bunch of passports - a strange find, isn't it? Not a single corpse from more than two hundred people was ever found. Can this be called a mystery "Boeing"? It is unlikely, because the solution is simple: there were no passengers on board the plane shot down by Osipovich.
Before that, in describing the Boeing flight in general terms, we followed the version according to which a South Korean aircraft with reconnaissance targets entered Soviet airspace. It really is. But did only one aircraft cross the air borders of the Soviet Union on that ill-fated night?
There is an assumption that another reconnaissance aircraft RS-135 was flying over Sakhalin. He was shot down by Osipovich. Arguments? The most significant of them were presented by the French researcher Michel Brun, who has spent more than a decade studying the events described by us.
Brune draws attention to the detection among the wreckage of two rescue rafts, not provided for on the Boeing. Further: the pieces of the fuselage brought down by Osipovich were found at the site; the pieces of the fuselage were painted in white, blue and gold colors (colors of the American Navy) and a pylon for the underwing weapons. This data with reference to Brun is cited by the famous journalist and writer M. Kalashnikov, in particular, noting: “Michel Brun, after analyzing the data of the records of Japanese radar, caught the Americans in frauds. Calculations said that the South Korean flight, according to the American incident cards, flew faster than these Boeing-747s usually fly.
It was Brune who not only insists on the destruction of Osipovich PC-135, but also claims that there were several foreign aircraft. Let's look at some of his arguments. On the morning of September 1, Washington and Tokyo announced the destruction of the South Korean aircraft. However, both sides called the different times of the tragedy. The Japanese claimed that the plane was shot down in 3 hours 29 minutes, Americans - in 3 hours 38 minutes. According to representatives of the Self-Defense Forces of Japan, the airliner was pursuing the MiG-23 fighter, while the Pentagon called the Su-15.
Tokyo claims that the wounded aircraft, after being hit by missiles, was still in touch with the Japanese controllers of the order of 40 minutes.
Having understood all this confusion and thoroughly studied the information available to him, Brune concluded: a real air battle took place in the skies over Sakhalin, one can say mini-third world war, the victim of which was the South Korean Boeing, but shot down not by Osipovich, but by the Americans.
However, our task does not include a detailed analysis of the details related to the incident: plenty has been written on this topic for the thinking reader. We would like to say something else.
There is no doubt: if Osipovich had not shot down the plane that had invaded our airspace, the provocations would continue and, perhaps, would have been more arrogant, and the Americans would conduct a dialogue with us solely from a position of strength - as they always talk to the weak. This is clearly demonstrated by the relationship between Russia and the United States in the first half of the 90's.
The decisive actions of the Soviet border guards in the history we reviewed forced Washington to refrain from such unceremonious actions on the borders of the USSR in the future.
But, unfortunately, in 1983, the White House managed to win a round of ideological struggle, convincing the whole world that the Russians had shot down a passenger plane. It was after this tragedy that the Western countries, including their public, agreed to deploy Pershing-2 missiles on their territory.
Reagan bluntly stated that the destruction of the Boeing gave impetus to congressional approval of the rearmament program. The Kremlin did not start a new round of the arms race, but it was ready to respond quite adequately to the IDF program and to the deployment of Pershing-2 missiles in Western Europe.
However, with the death of Andropov, the situation has changed. The new leadership of the USSR had neither the will nor the desire to defend the national interests of the country, we emphasize - not ideological, but national. But that's another story.
In conclusion, we note that five years after the events we described, those who did not spare epithets for exposing the inhuman "essence of Russians" committed a real crime: Iranian civilian Airbus A-300 was shot down by a missile launched from the Gulf Vincennes cruiser. 298 passengers and crew members died, including 66 children.
Regret on the part of the White House administration? It was expressed in awarding the Order of the Legion of Honor to the captain of the cruiser Rogers. Apologies? The then vice president of the United States, George W. Bush, said: “I will never apologize for the United States of America. It doesn't matter what the facts were. ” Comments are unnecessary ...
As for Gennady Osipovich, then, without a doubt, he is a hero who has fulfilled his duty to the Motherland. No matter how pathetic it sounds. And on his uniform there is no blood of the passengers of the flight KAL007.