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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 15, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta The hijacking Terrifying aviation era By JACK CAVANAUGH NEW YORK (Renter) On May l, 1961, a man with a gun took over a National Airlines Convair 440 plane bound for Miami and ordered it down to Cuba, The plane, along wim Us passengers and crew, re- turned to Miami several days later. The man, so far as is known, never returned. It was the first hijacking of an American commercial air- craft. Six years earlier, on Nov. 1, 1955, a United Airlines DC-SB airliner had exploded and crashed at l.ongmont. Colo., killing all 44 persons aboard. Investigation revealed that Mm C. Graham had planted a bomb aboard the plane, on which his mother was a pas- senger, and on whom he had just taken out a large insur- ance policy. Graham was exe- cuted. It was the first known in- stance in which a bomb had gone off aboard a commercial airliner in flight. As time was to show, these two isolated hi- jacking and the bombing- were portents of what has be- come the most terrifying era in aviation history- STARTED TREND The hijacking set off a rash of such incidents, with most o[ the air pirates demanding to be flown lo Cuba. In a sense it was ironic. Before Hie first U.S. hijack, 25 Cuban planes had been "sky jacked" to the U.S. by Cubans fleeing their homeland. Angry at Fidel Castro for refusing to return the Cuban- bound few were returned subsequently for amend- ed the federal sea piracy statue to include air piracy and set penalties of from 20 years in prison (o death. Despite the new penalties, hijackings proliferated, reach- ing a peak in 1960 when there were 40 attempts in the United States, 34 of them suc- cessful. The number declined to 27 in 1970, of which 18 were successful, and 26 in 1972, H of them successful. But while the number of air piracies has dropped, attacks on planes have become far more spectacular and terrify- ing. On one weekend in 1970, Palestinian commandos com- mandeered four jetliners, be- longing to Pan American World Airways, British Over- seas Airways Corp., Swissair and Trans World Airlines. Three of the aircraft were flown to Jordan, the fourth to Cairo. All four were blown up. The hijackers escaped. Some 125 hijackings were committed between 1961 anc 1971. NEW TREND DEVELOPS Late last November, a man listed as "D. B, Cooper" ac complished a feat of deering- do that added to the hijacking problems. Boarding a Northwest Air lines 707 jetliner in Portland Ore., Cooper drew a gun, took over the aircraft and ex traded in cash from Northwest along with two par achutes. Once the plane was air borne, Cooper, a conserva lively-dressed man about 40 bailed out over northwestern Washington state. No trace o him lias been found and au thorities believe he made i clean getaway with thi money. This escapade touched off a spate of similar attempts none of them successful. In one instance, a skyjackc: obtained and two para chutes from Hughes Airwes Airlines and bailed out ove eastern Colorado. Pursuinj LT.S. Air Korce jets hovem over the chute contained an electron] he was captnret by Colorado police. In a similar incident las .January, an unemployet father of seven extractec from Mohawk Air lines, (lien was shot dead h Find in Marilimes SAINT JOFIN, N.B. (CP) The discovery of potash deposits near Sussex in southern New Brunswick could lead to a mul timillion dollar industry directly employing about 400, Dr. R. R. Potter, director of the provin- cial mineral researches branch, said here Saturday. Test drilling last year be- tween Saint John and Moncton revealed four potash layers with a loin! thickness of C2 feet. Seven mining companies will begin talks with the provincial government within the next few weeks. Most Canadian potash is mined in the Estcrhazy area of Saskatchewan, n FBI marksman as he led le plane in Poughkccpsie, I.Y. 'AY So .MILLION RANSOM In a third instance, also in anuary, hijacker pulled a un, held 100 passengers and rew members at bay for Wi ours and demanded rom Trans World Airlines be- ore he was shot and captured at Kennedy Airport in New 'ork. These with he hijacking by Arab com- nandos of a Lufthansa jet- iner and the subsequent ran- om payment of million by he West German government airlines throughout lie world lo step up security measures. But it took last week's es- .ortion plot against Trans World Airlines to prompt the airline industry to put in force .he most intensive precautions n aviation history. In an era of declining reve- nues, airlines have been reluc- .ant lo spend millions of dol- lars on preventive systems, despite the rising air-crime rate. Some lines merely gave lip service to governmental edicts on security. "We have gone from home- sick Cubans, to fleeing felons, to political t e r r o r i s I s, to straight says J. J. O'Connell, president of the Air Line Pilots Association. "Something has to be done- fast." Whether new stringent secu- rity measures ordered by President Nixon will become permanent remains to be seen. In the past, security has been stepped up after serious incidents, only to be relaxed shortly after. SCREEN PASSENGERS Under an order from the Federal Aviation Administra- airlines operating in the United States had been compelled to put info effect a "screening system" by last mon'Ui. Airlines were allowed to "screen" boarding pasengers with magnetometers, which detect metal objects, or by a "behavior profile pattern" system, intended to keep per- sons whose actions fit the pro- file of a hijacker from board- ing a plane. Although the magnetometer led to more than arrests last year, most of them unre- lated to hijack activities, it has its flaws. For one thing, it detects any metal object. Nevertheless, says Jack Shields, manager of operation safety for Eastern Airlines which pioneered the magne- tometer, "we've never had a hijacking where the magne- to meter-profile system was operational." Most airlines industry offi- cials agree that the federal sky marshal system, insti- tuted last year and now being reduced, has not been suc- cessful. One airliner was hi- jacked to Cuba last year with three sky marshals and an FBI man aboard. Dr. Graham Hubbard, a Denver psychiatrist, who has made an exhaustive study of skyjackers, says the system of armed guards on planes Is "dead wrong." Hubbard says the average hijacker is trying to redeem a life of bitter fail- ure and is not averse to shoot- ing it out in a crowded jet- liner. AGHEEMENT SIGNED One obstacle in the battle against skyjackers has been inability to get all countries lo join in an international ac- cord. Last December, 50 coun- tries, meeting at The Hague, signed an agreetnent provid- ing stiff punishment for hi- jackers. The signatory nations are obliged to either prosecute hijackers, including political refugees, or extradite them to (he country where the hijack- ing occurred. Absent from the meeting were Cuba and Jor- dan, which have been the des- tination of many hijackers. Many government and air- line officials here and abroad have called for an airline boy- cott of nations that refuse to return hijackers. Only one passenger has been killed during the more than 125 hijackings that have taken place in the U.S. since 1961. The victim, Howard Franks, 65, of Darien, Conn., was shot to death when he tried to restrain a hijacker last June in Chicago. The hi- jacker eventually was cap- tured in New York. Based on interviews wilh 20 of (he 29 hijackers who have been convicted in the U.S., Dr. Hubbard says the sky- jacker considers himelf a life-long loser, bent on self-de- struction, perhaps with one "grand glorious, final fling." Hubbard and some others feel that more than a few hi- jackers have been glamorized that this has.'spurrcd others to attempt similar deeds. EVENT STARTS THURSDAY 9 A.M. PERSONAL SHOPPING ONLY of First Quality Drapery Overstocks and Discontinued Lines from our Catalogue Centre. Shortie Lengths Regular Lengths Floor to Ceiling Lengths Lined Floor Including self lined foam Ml Qp IB back Drapes; Pleated Taps Eg XJ (hook: 48" x IB Reg. 18.49 lo 25.98 B Group includes: Damasks, Florals, Antique Satins, and Prints. Colours include: Green, Gold, Red, Blue, ine, Lilac and Size 72x84" to 96x84" lo 120x84" lo 144x84" to 48x95" 72x95" 96x95" to 120x95" 144x95" 60.98 to 200x95" Unlined Floor Length i H Drapes Including Damask Fibreglns; JBJ! H Plain Fibreglas, Cross-Dyed O Q Dacron Batiste. 48" x Bal I Reg. ro 15.49 If lH i 9 Hooks are wirti pinch pleated 1 Green, Blue, Gold. Not all colours are able in all to to to j to to SAVE 25% to 50% SAVE te 58fi Lined Shorty Drapes Including self-lined Foam backing; Pinch pleated lops {hoolci 48 x Reg, T.9B to 17.49 Group includes: Damasks, Plains, Florals and Spanish Prints, Green, Blue, Gold, Tangerine, Red, Lilac. Nol all colours ava all sizes. Ail sizes are approximate. Size Reg. Sale 72x45" lo 26.49 13.99 96x45" 523.98 lo 35.98 17.88 48x63" 515.98 to 20.98 72x63" S23.98 lo 31.98 Size Reg, 96x63" to 40.98 120x63" 539.98 lo 46.98 Coloursj ilable in Sole 29.88 45.44 Unliiied Shorty Incfuding Fibreglas, cottons and texlured rayons. 48 x Reg. Choose from plains, florals and prints in Green, Gofd, Blue, White Tangerine. All sizes approximate. Size Reg. Sola 48x45" 5.59 lo 8.98 72x45" 5 7.99 to 13.98 5.99 96x45" 511.29 to 16.98 9.77 Size Reg. 48x63" S 6.59 to 72x63" lo 96x63" 513.59 lo 110x63" 524.98 11.98 1598 19.98 Sab 4.88 8.88 1.0.44 18.66 SAVE 25% to 53% Group I Save 25% to 41% I. 4.66 Sizes include bunk, Iwin or double. Colours: Blue, Green, Rose, and Yellow in plains and prinls Most are washable. Ideal for Children's rooms. Reg. to Group II Save 25% to 52% 3. 58.99 6.66 Sizes include twin or double only- Colours of Blue, Brown, Green and Red. Nice spreads for any room. Shop early for best selection. Reg, Fo Group III Save 25% to 45% 1 A no i. Sizes lo fil twin, double and queen size beds. Colours of Green, Blue, Tangerine and Brass rn plains and prints. Dry cleaning is recom- mended. Reg. 514.98 lo B I 1 I Group IV Save 25% to 53% "sg. 16. Sizes for Twin, Double, Queen and King size beds. Colours of Blue, Gold, Lilac and Tanger- ine, in plains and florals. Quilled slyles. Dry clean. Reg. lo STORE HOURS: Open Doily 9 o.m. to p.m. Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Centra Village. Telephons 328-9231 ;