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05 Dec 2021, 12:51 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


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 Post subject: Before the Fulton Skyhook …
PostPosted: 16 May 2021, 17:27 
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I thought that the Fulton Sky Hook was developed by the CIA the early 1950’s. I found photos of similar work done at KILN dated 1944. I am surprised that they were using a Cub derivative.

Attachment:
25A480EB-DD09-4D36-BBF3-02F9A4D375A9.jpeg


No joy finding the name of the fellow that was being hoisted.

KILN is also the site where operationlized.


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 Post subject: Re: Before the Fulton Skyhook …
PostPosted: 16 May 2021, 22:36 
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looks like the landing gear on a Norseman... (?)

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 Post subject: Re: Before the Fulton Skyhook …
PostPosted: 17 May 2021, 12:40 
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The Fulton Skyhook was used in the CIA Operation Coldfeet. The Russians had a drift station in the Arctic that was a submarine listening base.

The drift station was on the ice that began to breakup, and the Russians abandoned the base hastily , leaving valuable intel equipment behind. Our government wanted the equipment but had no way to get on and off the drift station.

They hatched a plan to parachute personnel onto the station, retrieve the equipment, and snatch them off with the Fulton Skyhook. CIA proprietary airline Intermountain Aviation was chosen for the mission, mounting a Fulton Skyhook on a B-17. The mission was a success.

The picture below is the B-17 used, parked on the ramp at Marana Arizona. In 1972 when Congress ordered the CIA out of the airline ownership, Intermountain Aviation became Evergreen International Airlines with all of Intermountain's assets, and the CIA base at Marana's Pinal Airpark was turned over to Evergreen on a no bid contract.

The B-17 that flew Operation Coldfeet was retired to Evergreen's Museum in Mc Minnville Oregon, and was later sold to the Collings Foundation. The Skyhook on a B-17 was used in the James Bond movie Thunder Ball.

https://www.collingsfoundation.org/2015 ... o-join-cf/


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Last edited on 17 May 2021, 14:33, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Before the Fulton Skyhook …
PostPosted: 17 May 2021, 14:24 
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In 1972 when Congress ordered the CIA out of the airline ownership


"officially". They kept some. One of my customers at DCA in the late '80s was Fairways Corp. G-I, Twin Otter, Dash 7, Lear 25. Completely CIA.


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 Post subject: Re: Before the Fulton Skyhook …
PostPosted: 17 May 2021, 14:45 
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Yes, there were Intermountain Aviation planes that Evergreen couldn't readily put to work but kept some:


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 Post subject: Re: Before the Fulton Skyhook …
PostPosted: 17 May 2021, 22:35 
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Company: boyes bros. inc.
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Almost two years ago , the CIA advertised in a few aviation magazines for adventurous souls. The ad prominently featured this painting of the B17 snatching men off the ice. Does anyone know what they had in mind ?


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 Post subject: Re: Before the Fulton Skyhook …
PostPosted: 18 May 2021, 19:42 
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I flew the MC-130E on active duty at two overseas squadrons.

One had the Fulton Surface-To-Air-Recovery (STAR) system, one did not. I was checked out as a safety pilot in the back during the recovery, Co-Pilot, Pilot, Instructor and Evaluator.

The Yokes on the Combat Talon I were retractable (not so on the B-17). The airplane was featured in The Green Berets with John Wayne and in one of the Batman movies.

I never did any live pick ups, only our 150 lb dummy we named Fritz. We did night pickups as well.

It’s hard to see but during Fulton missions, the airplane has fending lines that protect the props in case you miss the pick up. The fending line has two sets of razors that cut the line to prevent fouling the props. Intercept speed was 125 KIAS with lots of flaps.

The drag coefficient with the yokes extended and the fending lines was off the charts!

But it was a BLAST! The CIA (and some other “users”) didn’t want the system anymore, it got retired and mothballed in the early 1990s. I still miss it to this day.

Butch


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 Post subject: Re: Before the Fulton Skyhook …
PostPosted: 18 May 2021, 22:59 
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Username Protected wrote:
Almost two years ago , the CIA advertised in a few aviation magazines for adventurous souls. The ad prominently featured this painting of the B17 snatching men off the ice. Does anyone know what they had in mind ?


Hard to say, but from my own experience as a pilot for a CIA contract airline, Evergreen, those operations weren't that glamorous usually. About 15 of us captains held Secret level security clearances, but as with all clearances, it's on a "need to know" basis, and we were never told anymore than we needed to know to fly the mission.

Sometimes the missions would go spectacularly wrong, and end up in the public eye. One was a mission to Kyrgyzstan. There is what is called a "diplomatic pouch" that foreign diplomats can carry and is not subject to inspection.

So we had a load of general cargo, and one "diplomatic pouch", which was an 8 foot by 8 foot pallet, covered and sealed. They didn't buy our assertion that it was a diplomatic pouch immune from their inspection. So they opened it up and it was full of shoulder fired missiles for the separatist rebels. It blew up into an international incident making the newspapers, and was smoothed over by the US State Department.

Another incident happened when Iran had our hostages. The deposed Shah of Iran staying in Mexico became gravely ill with cancer . He needed medical treatment in the US, but if the Iranians found out he was in the US they might have executed our hostages.

So he was flown into the US on a clandestine flight, but after treatment, Mexico didn't want him back in their country , so he was flown to Panama. The Iranians found out that
he was in Panama which had an extradition agreement with Iran.

Just hours before he was to be extradited to Iran, Evergreen flew him out on a DC-8 freighter to Egypt. A while later our hostages were released.

None of that is classified anymore and was covered by the news media eventually. And none of it was as glamorous as Operation Coldfeet, but I can see that painting as a good attention getter for CIA recruitment. ;)

Some of the stuff we did hasn't been declassified yet, and could stay that way for 50 years as some things do.


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 Post subject: Re: Before the Fulton Skyhook …
PostPosted: 19 May 2021, 08:19 
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Username Protected wrote:
Almost two years ago , the CIA advertised in a few aviation magazines for adventurous souls. The ad prominently featured this painting of the B17 snatching men off the ice. Does anyone know what they had in mind ?


CIA has always had a robust aviation presence, some more overt than others. After all, getting people and things to places where we're not wanted is an everlasting requirement.

It doesn't have a great search feature but some great stuff in the declassified Studies in Intelligence - https://www.cia.gov/resources/csi/studi ... elligence/

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0006122561.pdf

Some even better stuff in the classified ones. :tape:

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 Post subject: Re: Before the Fulton Skyhook …
PostPosted: 19 May 2021, 11:38 
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Username Protected wrote:
Almost two years ago , the CIA advertised in a few aviation magazines for adventurous souls. The ad prominently featured this painting of the B17 snatching men off the ice. Does anyone know what they had in mind ?


Hard to say, but from my own experience as a pilot for a CIA contract airline, Evergreen, those operations weren't that glamorous usually. About 15 of us captains held Secret level security clearances, but as with all clearances, it's on a "need to know" basis, and we were never told anymore than we needed to know to fly the mission.

Sometimes the missions would go spectacularly wrong, and end up in the public eye. One was a mission to Kyrgyzstan. There is what is called a "diplomatic pouch" that foreign diplomats can carry and is not subject to inspection.

So we had a load of general cargo, and one "diplomatic pouch", which was an 8 foot by 8 foot pallet, covered and sealed. They didn't buy our assertion that it was a diplomatic pouch immune from their inspection. So they opened it up and it was full of shoulder fired missiles for the separatist rebels. It blew up into an international incident making the newspapers, and was smoothed over by the US State Department.

Another incident happened when Iran had our hostages. The deposed Shah of Iran staying in Mexico became gravely ill with cancer . He needed medical treatment in the US, but if the Iranians found out he was in the US they might have executed our hostages.

So he was flown into the US on a clandestine flight, but after treatment, Mexico didn't want him back in their country , so he was flown to Panama. The Iranians found out that
he was in Panama which had an extradition agreement with Iran.

Just hours before he was to be extradited to Iran, Evergreen flew him out on a DC-8 freighter to Egypt. A while later our hostages were released.

None of that is classified anymore and was covered by the news media eventually. And none of it was as glamorous as Operation Coldfeet, but I can see that painting as a good attention getter for CIA recruitment. ;)

Some of the stuff we did hasn't been declassified yet, and could stay that way for 50 years as some things do.


"50 years"

The name of the original CIA airline holding company was the Airdale Corporation. Airdale Corporation was headed by the father of all the CIA airlines, including Evergreen. George A. Doole Jr. who was the President of Airdale and on the Board of Directors of all of the CIA airlines including Evergreen.

Airdale bought their first airline, Civil Air Transport from General Claire Chenault in 1950 and operated it under the name CAT for a while , then renamed it Air America.

Airdale Corporation was starting to draw too much unwanted attention, and so in 1957 the Delaware corporation changed it's name to The Pacific Corporation stilll under George Doole which remained as the CIA's airline holding company until Congress ordered the CIA out of the airline ownership business, which spawned Evergreen.

The attached document is the corporate change over from Airdale to Pacific Corp in 1957. It was declassified in 2009, more than 50 years later, and long after Pacific Corp ceased operations in 1975 after it and George Doole's last act of forming Evergreen International Airlines by buying the Supplemental Air Carrier Certificate from Johnson Flying Service of Montana and merging Intermountian Aviation into the new Evergreen.

So more than 50 years to release Airdale/Pacific Corporation document, long after it seems anybody would care or it would have any intel value.

As these things go, the CIA never acknowledged George Doole's relationship with the CIA and their airlines.

A 1986 Time Magazine article "In Arizona: A Spymaster Remembered" - George Doole

The image below was taken at Marana Arizona with Evergreen's hangar in the background.


https://content.time.com/time/subscribe ... 36,00.html

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 Post subject: Re: Before the Fulton Skyhook …
PostPosted: 19 May 2021, 22:26 
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Paul, Thanks for the interesting reading. I appears that our world is managed in the shadows.


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 Post subject: Re: Before the Fulton Skyhook …
PostPosted: 19 May 2021, 22:43 
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Way back when I was in SF; we were briefed on Sky Hook. However, helicopters were able to insert and extract us where I never was (wink).

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 Post subject: Re: Before the Fulton Skyhook …
PostPosted: 20 May 2021, 07:56 
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Tell the mail story!

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 Post subject: Re: Before the Fulton Skyhook …
PostPosted: 20 May 2021, 11:26 
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Username Protected wrote:
Tell the mail story!


Not sure you are referring to me Doug , but I do have a mail story. The government decided that the US Postal Service should have an overnight service, Express Mail. So Evergreen got the contract to set up the hub a spoke system including the ground stations using Evergreens sister companies EAGLE, Evergreen Aviation Ground Logistics Enterprises.

The hub was set up in Terrehaute, Indiana. We put 12 727's and two DC=8's on it. We had stations in the major cities.

We also had a 727 dedicated solely to flying the command staff of the Delta Force. It was painted all white, no markings. They wanted it based on the east coast but we convinced them that Terrehaute would be better; more maintenance availability.

Well, one night one of the postal 727's broke down in Terrehaute. There was a huge penalty for late mail, so the boss decided to load up the Delta Force plane, strapping mail bags in the seats, and launch it to San Francisco, betting the Delta Force wouldn't call for the plane. Wrong! The plane spent the day in SF having arrived early in the morning, scheduled to fly out that evening.

That evening they had just loaded the last bags of mail into the seats, and the call came. They wanted the plane on the east coast right now! About 10 of the rampers got on the plane and were throwing bags of mail out on the ramp out of every door.

We gave the Delta Force folks a maintenance story, but still got to the east coast only a little late, but as it turned out, they just wanted the plane in position for a potential short notice launch that didn't happen. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Before the Fulton Skyhook …
PostPosted: 20 May 2021, 17:01 
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Doug: For a short period of time (since I was wounded first mission), I ran long range reconnaissance missions out of the north part of South Vietnam (to the west). Sky Hook was for areas farther back where normal aircraft couldn't reach and for one or two folks at a time. We had an eight man team. We were loaded for bear if we came in contact with the enemy. Probably carried more than half my body weight in ammo, food, water and equipment. Wasn't much longevity in that role. This was at at age before the frontal lobes in my brain (the risk centers) were fully developed. :lol:

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