Category: Local News

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EgyptAir Flight Disappears From Radar



MS804 Synopsis


1. 66 people were on board. None of the people on the manifest were on a terrorism watchlist.
2. Leaked passenger list: According to a leaked passenger list, only very few of the passengers have a non-Arabic name. A leaked passenger list can be found on a anti-Muslim website
2.1 Strangely, the plane mentioned on the leaked crew list is SU-GBZ, but at least two confirmed victims (among them, French photographer Pascal Hess) do appear on the passenger list.
2. Earlier that day, SU-GCC flew to Eritrea and Tunis, returning to CAI each time.
3. According to BBC, no terrorist organization has credibly claimed responsibility.

Flight History
1. Flight entered Athens FIR at 2:24 AM. Last successful communication was at 2:48, the flight was cleared to the exit of Athens FIR. “The pilot was jocund and thanked in Greek.”
1.1 Several ACARS messages beginning at 3:26 AM:
2. At 3:27, Athens ACC tried to communicate with the flight, to hand it over to the Cairo FIR. Repetitive calls, also on the emergency frequency, went without any response. At the same time, 0:27Z, there was the “2600 AVIONICS SMOKE ACARS” message.
2.1 ACARS message:
3. The flight passed the FIR boundary at 3:29 AM. At the same time, these ACARS messages were sent:
00:29Z 2200 AUTO FLT FCU 2 FAULT
00:29Z 2700 F/CTL SEC 3 FAULT
After those, no more ACARS messages were received.
At 3:29:40 AM, the flight was lost from ATC radar, almost 7 nm southeast of KUMBI (KUMBI lies on the FIR boundary). The Greek Air Force was called, they were unable to track the plane with their radars (as it had already crashed at this time).
4. The aircraft stayed at FL370, at least when the transponder was still working.
5. Supposedly, the Greek Air Force’s primary radars did record the plane’s flight. “It turned 90 degrees left and then a 360-degree turn toward the right, dropping from 38,000 to 15,000 feet and then it was lost at about 10,000 feet.” (Paul Kammenos, Greek minister of defense)

1. First debris spotted at around noon of May 20th.
2. Possible oil slick photographed by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel satellite.


Thanks to Flying Turtle for his work on the chronology of events.

I have three remarks to make:

1/- It’s still very early news and, as usual, information arrives in bits and pieces, very often very contradictory. There isn’t a reliable source of news except specialised media and officials… and even then…

2/- Theories and assumptions are fine… provided they have some logical basis :
– ” I think this happened (….x….) because of this info…” The usual wild guesses about fuel starvation and stall / spin, for the time being have absolutely no basis whatsoever.

3/- Accident investigations are a fine balance between causes and effects , appearances and realities, technical and human failures, all those in a very dynamic environment: weather, air traffic…
Here, for instance we have two sets of apparent facts :

A/- A turn, followed by a rapid descent, another turn ion the opposite direction, a steeper descent until a target signal loss around 15 000 feet.

B/- A set of ACARS messages which need to be qualified:

1/- ANTI ICE RIGHT WINDOW / RIGHT SLIDING WINDOW SENSOR / RIGHT FIXED WINDOW SENSOR : Of these, only the first one is displayed to the crew, indicating a fault in the RHS window heating : the panes are no longer heated.

2/- SMOKE LAVATORY SMOKE / AVIONICS SMOKE . Onlyt the Lav smoke would trigger an alarm, the avionionics smoke is just a level 2 caution.  On this aspect one should be really basic about the info / warning / advisory : *smoke* means the detectors and the system are seeing smoke in the affected compartment : It doesn’t mean a fire had started there.  On this fire and smoke protection system, one has to say that there is no sensor (that I know of ) and no indication / warning of a COCKPIT SMOKE, for obvious reasons : there are two – or more – pairs of eyes and nostrils in that flight deck.

3/- AUTO FLIGHT : FCU 2 FAULT / FLIGHT CONTROLS : SEC 3 FAULT . Only the second triggers a caution. FCU 2 Fault means that , had the FO been the PF, A/P #2 would have disconnected, causing even more disorder on the flight deck. Otherwise, it has no real impact on the flight conduct.

Now, with all the above in mind, what can we seriously say ?

– The absence of a MAYDAY call seems to point toward a very sudden event that became rapidly unmanageable : IMHO the only event that could have happened was a fire. A violent fire which started either in the avionics bay or in the cockpit.

The fire quickly destroyed most of the electronics, which is the reason there is no more ACARS messages – that we know of – just three minutes after the events initiation at 00:26 Z.

What caused the fire ? culprits abound : shorts / laptop batteries / cigarette…. or plain sabotage or bomb…

Wherever the fire started, the cockpit was one of the most affected volumes on that aircraft ; it must have been a very uncomfortable place to be in…



Quoting mandala499:
it looks like a Sub-Bus of the DC-Bus 2 system that’s affected. I think this is more of a fire in avionics bay,

As usual, Buddy, you have a knack for complexities… And here, we have one which could go very far.

1/- Electrical fire in the Avionics Bay:

What is galling is that the right window(s) anti-icing is ruled by the WHC – window heating computer – which is in turn powered by DC BUS 2. That bus seems to be rather involved : SEC 3 and FCU 2 are amongst the systems it furnishes power to.

There now comes the big problem : DC BUS 2 powers a lot more systems and as a matter of fact, one is left with FAC 1 ELAC 1 and SEC 1… The F/O has lost his static sensor —> needs to switch to ADR 3… One’s lost three spoilers per side… and those haven’t been ACARS transmitted.

The only explanation that makes sense is a fire, are we to consider that its progression was very fast and it destroyed basically most of the communications capability of the flight in less than four minutes.

On that subject, we have to consider that the detected smoke should have triggered a QRH procedure, here the AVIONICS SMOKE… and guess what ? the procedure could lead to an ELEC EMER CONFIG situation and com-wise, one is left with only VHF1… no bloody ACARS possible.

2/- Fire in the cockpit:

I’m afraid we have to consider the possibility of an event similar to the B-777 Nefertiti on ground at Cairo.

What is of note is that the wires to the sliding window sensors / heaters run very close to the pilots’ O2 masks stowage, and we have basically a continuous table running parallel to the fuselage skin from the instrument panel to the circuit breakers boards behind the pilots, on which to store a book, a laptop…etc… the O2 mask hose would add a lot to a fire in this area.

Then, the already polluted cockpit air would go to the avionics bay, for cooling, then be evacuated through the extract duct / fan where it would be scanned for particles. Then, and only then we would have a “Smoke” warning.




Egypt officials claim to locate EgyptAir black boxes
CBS/AP May 21, 2016, 6:16 AM

Search crews located the data recorders for EgyptAir Flight 804 close to an area where human remains and debris from the crashed flight have been found, Egyptian government sources confirmed to CBS News on Saturday.

Also Saturday, the French air accident investigation agency said smoke was detected in multiple places on the flight moments before it plummeted into the Mediterranean, but the cause of the crash that killed all 66 on board remains unclear.

On Friday, sources told CBS News that information was transmitted from the flight indicating that smoke was detected on the plane before it crashed.

According to the sources, the information indicates smoke was coming from one of the engines. The data was transmitted through the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, which sends snapshots of engine performance throughout the flight…

The spokesman’s Facebook page later posted a brief video that showed more debris, including what appeared to be a piece of blue carpet, seat belts, a shoe and what looked like a woman’s white handbag. The short clip opened with aerial footage of an unidentified navy ship followed by a speed boat with five service members aboard heading toward floating debris.

gyptian authorities said they believe terrorism is a more likely explanation than equipment failure, and some aviation experts have said the erratic flight suggests a bomb blast or a struggle in the cockpit. But so far no hard evidence has emerged.

No militant group has claimed to have brought down the aircraft. That is a contrast to the downing of a Russian jet in October over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula that killed all 224 on board. In that case, the Sinai branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, issued a claim of responsibility within hours. On Friday, ISIS issued a statement on clashes with the Egyptian military in Sinai, but said nothing about the plane crash.

Three European security officials said on Friday that the passenger manifest for Flight 804 contained no names on terrorism watch lists. The officials spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation. The manifest was leaked online and has not been verified by the airline.

Further checks are being conducted on relatives of the passengers.

French aviation investigators have begun to check and question all baggage handlers, maintenance workers, gate agents and other ground crew members at Charles de Gaulle Airport who had a direct or indirect link to the plane before it took off, according to a French judicial official. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Whatever caused the aircraft to crash, the tragedy will most likely deepen Egypt’s difficult predicament as it struggles to revive a battered economy and contain an increasingly resilient insurgency by Islamic militants…

Additional Reference Material:


Airbus Training

Flightcrew Training Manual




“Based on the available data and a close correlation of thunderstorm activity at the last received location, it appears that weather was a factor, or was a compounding factor. The most likely hazard, if weather was a factor, appears to be icing. This is only an assessment of best available meteorological information, and is not a final determination on the cause of the incident.”

Tim Vasquez / Weather Graphics


Aircraft was seen on radar at FL363 and 353kts ground speed… later on, mode-S data showed it was at FL240 at -11000fpm and just over 60kts ground speed.

The climb rates of over 6000fpm and even up to 9000fpm were recorded on the Mode-S. Sources also said that at times the aircraft exceeded -24000fpm (yes, 3 zeroes)…

The other thing is that the climb, peak, descend and disintegration/disappearance (ie: FL320 to FL360 over, to FL240 where it disappeared) took just under 1 minute and 10 seconds or so.

Aircraft turned left throughout the drama, except for the end where it tracked east varying plus minus 5 degrees… through the very fast descent rates prior to disappearance.

Now, AF447 had peaks of +9500, and -16500fpm… this -24000fpm baffles me at the moment…

The slow ground speed is the confusing part. Flat spin or a nose up fall should still result in higher ground speed even at those descent rates.
Current suspicions are:
1. an AF447 style accident with higher nose up angle (which makes little sense in terms of pilot action)
2. loss of control due to one reason or another.
3. Structural failure of some sort.

awq8501-2332visSatellite Visible 8 minutes after QZ8501 crossing. 

Thunderclouds were in their majority behind the aircraft.


Debris, bodies from QZ8501 found in waters off Kalimantan

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta – Hans Nicholas Jong

After two days of fruitless effort, the search and rescue operation discovered on Tuesday debris and bodies from AirAsia flight QZ8501 in the Karimata Strait, the waters that separate Belitung Island and Kalimantan.

The first discovery was made in the afternoon when a C-295 transport aircraft discovered floating debris in the strait.

Shortly after, an Air Force Hercules C-130 found an object casting a shadow in the ocean, thought to resemble an airplane.

Rescue workers on the aircraft also found three bodies thought to be victims of the crash at 1:25 p.m., while the Indonesian Navy warship, KRI Bung Tomo, discovered an emergency exit door at 1:50 p.m.

All of the discoveries were made within sector V, one of 13 sectors in the search and rescue area, measuring 150-by-200-square nautical miles.

“Now we are focusing our recovery process in sector V,” National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) chief Air Chief Marshall Henry Bambang Soelistyo told a press conference at his office in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday.

As night fell on the strait, Basarnas had recovered three bodies, he said.

“They are on KRI Bung Tomo. Two are female and one is male. They were recovered at 5:50 p.m.,” Bambang said.

Basarnas decided to halt the recovery operation after finding the three bodies because the tide was rising.

“When the tide recedes tonight, we can continue the recovery using lights from the ships. But now the tide is still 3 meters high,” said Bambang.

Basarnas also retrieved some items from the aircraft, including an aspirator assembly, a small blue suitcase and a reservoir slide craft.

AirAsia had confirmed the aspirator assembly and the reservoir slide craft belonged to the airplane, according to Bambang.

Basarnas is being assisted in the search and rescue operation by the Indonesian Navy.

“In the vicinity of the debris, we have KRI Yos Sudarso, KRI Bung Tomo, Basarnas ship KN 224. Later tonight, other ships will arrive, including KRI Banda Aceh, three Singaporean ships, KRI Pulau Romang and KRI Pulau Rengat,” Bambang said.

Also expected to join the rescue operation are sonar-equipped ships from the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) and the Indonesian Survey Association (ASI).

Earlier on Tuesday, Reuters reported that 40 bodies had been recovered from the sea. The news agency quoted Col. Manahan Simorangkir, a spokesman for the Navy for the report.

The misreporting prompted Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander Gen. Moeldoko to issue a statement saying that all information regarding the rescue operation would come from Basarnas, which was in charge of the whole search and rescue operation.

Moeldoko also stated that all military assets, including ships delivering logistics such as fuel, would be under Basarnas.

“We will deploy helicopters to take the bodies [from the sea to the ships],” he told reporters on Tuesday.

Moeldoko said that the Navy also had 47 divers, 11 of whom had been deployed on Tuesday to help Basarnas’ 10 divers.

The bodies and jet wreckage, once they could be retrieved, would be transported to Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan.

“There, we have prepared coffins. Then the bodies will be transported on Hercules aircraft to Surabaya. […] The bodies will be identified there and returned to their families,” Moeldoko said.

In Surabaya, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said that the recovery operation would solely be focused on retrieving the bodies.

“I have given orders to focus on the recovery of both passengers and crew. Right now, just focus on the recovery,” Jokowi said in a press briefing at Juanda International Airport.


“There is a recent development however that relates to Airbus A320 series aircraft. A December 10, 2014, Airworthiness Directive (AD 2014-25-51) describes how control of the aircraft could be lost in flight as a consequence of icing of the angle-of-attack probes and an interaction with the airplane’s stall protection function.

Those probes act like small weather vanes on the side of the aircraft and measure the angle at which the airplane moves through the air — the angle of attack. If the angle is too high the air can no longer flow smoothly around the wings, resulting in an aerodynamic stall. The acceptable range of angles of attack is fairly small, and gets considerably smaller at higher speeds, such as cruise speed.”

Simply put, depending on the position of the angle-of-attack probes when freezing occurs and the subsequent speed of the aircraft, the system may be fooled into thinking that the aircraft is approaching a stalled condition — even when it isn’t. In response, the airplane’s stall protections pitch the aircraft’s nose down to recover. This erroneous pitch down cannot be overridden by the pilots unless an emergency procedure in the Airworthiness Directive is followed. All pilots flying this model airplane should be aware of this.”

“The procedure instructs the pilots to shut down two of the three air data computers to render the usual stall protection inoperative and allow recovery of the aircraft…”

Bill Palmer, Airbus A330 captain, author of “Understanding Air France 447



First passenger identified, seat 23B, according to this list. No doors have been recovered as yet. They mentioned doors and emergency exits, but these turned out to be escape slides.  The slides have been identified as from both rear exists and they were not inflated.
“In total we have recovered 30 bodies; 10 bodies have been flown to Surabaya [East Java], four are in Pangakalan Bun, seven are on [naval vessel] KRI Bung Tomo, one on [Malaysian naval vessel] KD Pahang and eight bodies are in Surabaya,” Bambang told the press on Friday evening at Basarnas headquarters in Central Jakarta.
“We have also recovered debris from the plane, but I won’t go into detail.” The team also detected the presence of aviation turbine fuel (avtur) in the search area. He said the joint Search and Rescue (SAR) team was being challenged by bad weather in the operation, such as strong winds and high waves.
 5:36 PM EST – 2 Jan 15 Michael Bachelard (@mbachelard) - Twitter 2015-01-02 22-43-09

JAKARTA: Two big objects were found in the search for Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 on Saturday, Indonesia’s search and rescue agency chief said.

The two objects are about 30m under water and located near an oil slick spotted Friday, said Basarnas chief Bambang Sulistyo.

The first object measured 9.4 meters by 4.8 meters by 0.4 meters (30 feet by 15 feet by 1.3 feet), while the second is 7.2 meters by 0.5 meters (24 feet by 1.6 feet), he said.

“With the discovery of an oil spill and two big parts of the aircraft, I can assure you these are the parts of the AirAsia plane we have been looking for,” he said.

“We are lowering a ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) underwater to get an actual picture of the objects detected on the sea floor. All are at the depth of 30m,” Soelistyo said, adding that a strong current was making it difficult to operate the ROV.

Three vessels sent out to a sea area where the oil slick was spotted located the “two objects…that are close to each other,” said Soelistyo.


“…As you can see, the lines are well correlated until the final squawk, where the reported airspeed is 469 kts and the average ground track speed is calculated at 264 kts.

This points strongly to Pitot tube icing, and the aircraft stalling as it attempted to climb.

I have uploaded the raw data here: Google Drive…”



Interesting Internet Chatter

Q: I noticed all the cargo was in bay #3 near the wings. Any chance of a sudden shift in CoG owing to a failure in the nets caused by heavy turbulence resulting in a loss of control? Similar to US 5481?

A: I had the same thought, but the numbers don’t bear this out. The 1.3 tonnes of baggage could move at most 8 meters aft, shifting the CG of the 60+ tonne aircraft by about 1/6 of a meter, a tiny amount that is well within the range of acceptable trim. It would certainly not result in a rocket climb.


Q: Does the 6k-9k fpm ascent rate work against the on-board-explosive theory? I have a hard time seeing how an explosion would be followed by a climb rate 3-4x greater than can be commanded.

A: Please think for just a minute of the balance of an airplane

– Forward of CoG : the cockpit / the front cabin / the equipment bay / the forward cargo hold / the engines and part of the fuel.

– Aft of CoG : the aft cabin / the aft cargo hold (s) / the tailplane and fin / the APU. The tailplane has generally an upward moment ( hence a nose-down effect ) to balance the wing lift in flight.

Hence the loss of the tailplane can be associated with a pitch up moment.


Q: If I read Pihero’s explanation about weight distribution right, CoG would move backward leading to a nose up attitude. Since the wings certainly provide much more lift than the stabilizers

A: Normally the horizontal stabilizer will produce downforce, not lift. More precisely, lift in the downwards direction.


Q: That requires a downward force on the tail, and would result in a nose down motion if the tail is los

A: You are of course very right. Typical brainfart for thinking too fast. On modern airplanes, we can move the CoG far enough for the tailplane to generate lift (a la A330, for instance ) Not generalised and not on the 320.


Mandala499’s above post depicts an altogether different scenario : fast climb to 36 000 ft +, followed by a rapid – very rapid descent, a continuous heading variation to the left.

FWIW, LTC8K6 had already given the climb rate : 8600 ft/min a long time ago.

Mandala499 goes on saying that the whole SSR event lasted 1 minute and 10 sec, descent rates reaching 24 000 ft/min.

We can now derive that :

FL 320 to FL 360 = 4300 ft in less than 30 sec –> vertical speed of 8600 ft/min

time left from 36 300 ft to 24 000 ft = 40 sec –> 12 300 ft in 40 sec –> vertical speed 18 450 ft/min average, or 182 kt

Recorded ground speed : 60 kt says Mandala499. That means, the fall was on a trajectory just 20° from the vertical.

182 kt is not terminal velocity, so it’s not a dive… more a falling leaf-type of situation… which means a major structural damage : wing (left wing probably) and flight controls.

Therefore there are two probable causes left:

1/- A freaky, violent encounter with a monster updraft which is not backed by study of the ITCZ weather in the zone at the time of the accident…

2/- An explosion / sudden violent fire… We might well be seeing the effects of a bomb here.


LB ;(


UPDATE (21 Dec 2300)

Jon Hammar Sr,. has confirmed that his 27-year-old son, is back on U.S. soil and with him in a rented car in Brownsville, Texas.  Hammar Sr. said his son was released from CEDES prison at 8 p.m. local time and made it back across the bridge between Matamoros, Mexico and Brownsville, Texas by around 8:30 p.m.


Twenty-seven-year-old former Marine Jon Hammar of Palmetto Bay will be released Friday from a Mexican prison, according to U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Source: CBSMiami


UPDATE – Dec 20, 2012

Ever since the plight of Lance Corporal Jon Hammar was made public, the Silver Star Families of America, (SSFOA), have been quietly working behind the scenes for Hammar’s release from a prison in Mexico. And they have made some headway.

CEO of the SSFOA Steve Newton, stated: “We have contacted the Mexican Embassy in Washington and every Mexican consulate in the United States. We have also contacted the U.S. State Department and our Embassy in Mexico City. To be honest our State Department has been somewhat slow and—unhelpful.

We finally made a solid contact with our Consulate office in Matamoros who gives us up to- date information on Hammar’s condition and provided us an address to send him reading materials so we have made progress.”

“While some are engaged in big media events, the SSFOA has been working quietly with both U.S. and Mexican officials,” Newton continued. “It is probably a good thing the plight of Mr. Hammar has gotten out to the public because it might draw the attention of those in the government that can help.

We have also been passing on information to the family through Hammars Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla office.”

“It is not our job to determine blame for the situation and we feel that any solution will be a compromise between Mexico and the United States and the people of both Nations. Our main concern is making sure Hammar is well treated, safe, and is at least fairly comfortable while we work to free him.

We firmly believe that he will be released on January 17th, at his next court appearance. If that does not happen we will have to –reevaluate the situation and take other action. And we are doing a few things we can’t talk about at present.”

“We learned today our letter to the President of Mexico has finally been delivered. (Letter in full below) We will build on that and we will not rest until Hammar is home.”


Dear Mr. Newton,

Thank you for your letter addressed to President Pena Nieto that you sent to the Ambassador regarding the imprisonment of Mr. Jon Hammar in Matamoros. The U.S. Embassy has forwarded your letter to the Government of Mexico per your request.

We appreciate your concern of fellow citizen Jon Hammar. Please know that U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros are working closely with high-level Mexican Officials to ensure that proper judicial proceedings are in place and encouraging a prompt resolution.

Embassy and Consulate officials continue to monitor Mr. Hammar’s safety and well-being throughout his detention.


Office of the Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs U.S. Embassy Mexico City

The Honorable Lic. Enrique Peña Nieto President of the United Mexican States

In care of: U.S. Embassy and the Mexican Consulate


I would like to bring to your attention the mission of the Silver Star Families of America: to remember, honor and assist the wounded, ill, injured and dying of the American Armed Forces from all wars.

We are an organization of thousands of members who respect the sacrifice of those who have stood for freedom. Intergral to our mission is the welfare and well-being of Jon Hammar, a United States Marine Corp veteran has been arrested and is presently incarcerated in CERESO de Matamoro.

Mr. Hammar suffers from post traumatic stress, a psychological and emotion illness caused by prolonged exposure to violence. Mr. Hammar was a soldier in Afghanistan and Iraq, and should be receiving therapy for his wounds, which is likely to become worse under the stress of his incarceration.

We have no wish to interfere with the Mexican judicial system, nor with any official negotiations between governments, but we would like to request that for humanitarian reasons, the honorable President Enrique Peña Nieto will consider using your considerable influence and power to prevail upon the Public Ministers to consider Mr. Hammar’s condition and intention, reducing the charges to those that would allow him to leave prison and return to his own country.

The Silver Stars Families of America is willing to pay whatever fines are assessed by the court. Our respect for the sovereignty of the Mexican state is absolute and our only concern is for Mr. Hammar’s well-being.

If charges cannot be dropped or reduced to the minimum, we would ask that you consider having the criminal matter expedited, and grant Mr. Hammar amnesty as you are empowered to do in Article 89, XIV of the Political Constitution of the Mexican United States, or you request that the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic grant amnesty to Mr. Hammar under the powers granted the Legislature in Article 73, XIII.

Again, our only concern is to assume that Mr. Hammar receives the help he desperately needs. Our respect for the sovereignty of the Mexican state is absolute and our only wish is for an honorable settlement of this situation. A misunderstanding of Mexican customs regulations should not deprive a young wounded warrior of years of his life.

I appeal to you as a father and a Christian. Please let the good hearts of the Mexican people prevail and provide justice tempered with mercy. You know and I know this child should not suffer anymore than he already has.

I stand with you in justice and compassion,

Steve Newton

CEO Silver Star Families of America

The Silver Star Families of America has one mission: To remember, honor and assist the wounded, ill, injured and dying of our Armed Forces from all wars.

They can be contacted at: Letter edited by a friend and don’t know if he wants his name used. Thank you my friend. I also want to thank our interpreter. You know who you are.

Steve Newton The Silver Star Families of America 525 Cave Hollow Rd. Clever, MO. 65631


Dear Mr. Newton:

This Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City, Missouri, acknowledges receipt of your letter dated December 10, 2012, regarding the situation of Jon Hammar, a United States Marine Corp, arrested and presently incarcerated in CERESO de Matamoros.

I inform you that your letter has been sent to the appropriate Mexican authorities for their attention.

Kind Regards,

Alicia kerber Palma Head Consul



‘Devastating’ photo sent to family of ex-Marine jailed in notorious Mexican CEDES prison over antique shotgun

NY Daily News – By Christine Roberts

The mother of a former Marine imprisoned in Mexico says she is heartbroken over a new photo of her son, the first taken since he was locked up for trying to declare an antique gun at the border.

“It’s just devastating,” Jon Hammar’s mother, Olivia Hammar, told the Daily News. “He’s normally such a happy kid. And now he just looks so lost.”

The photo shows the 27-year-old chained to a bed inside his cell at the notorious CEDES prison in Matamoros, Mexico.

An anonymous email account from Mexico sent Olivia’s husband, Jon Hammar Sr., the picture Monday, as first reported by Fox News Latino.

“I found your email on the Internet and I wanted to send you this photo,” the sender wrote in Spanish.  “I am not giving you my name because I like my job and I don’t want to lose it. Juan is OK but I hope he is let out quickly.”

Jon Hammar, who spent four years serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been jailed at CEDES since shortly after Aug. 13, when he was arrested while crossing from Brownsville, Tex., to Matamoros.

Hammar and his friend, former Marine Ian McDonough, were on a road trip to Costa Rica. When the pair reached the Brownsville border, Hammar told U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents that he was carrying a shotgun.

The agents allowed the two to continue, and allegedly said that the gun, which apparently belonged to Hammar’s great-grandfather, wouldn’t be an issue at the Mexican checkpoint.

Yet when Hammar told Mexican border agents about the gun, he and his friend were immediately handcuffed. The friend was later released…


Parents Enlist Help To Free Ex-Marine From Mexican Prison

CBS Miami – By David Sutta

…The Hammars went public with their story a week ago, four months after Jon was locked up, because all diplomatic efforts seemed to be getting nowhere.

Hammar’s troubles began in August when he took off with a buddy to Costa Rica to surf and deal with post traumatic stress from the war.

Once across the border, though, he was immediately arrested, placed in a notoriously dangerous prison some say is run by a drug cartel and charged with bringing a firearm into the country – a federal crime.

“We started receiving calls from members of the cartel saying, we have your son and we’re going to kill him. And then they’d put him on the phone, and I realize that they really did,” said Olivia Hammar.

The rifle, a family heirloom, was actually cleared by U.S. Customs.

“Customs weighed the gun, measured the gun, I think took pictures of the gun and gave him paperwork to fill out and then he took that paperwork across to the Mexican side, declared the gun and was immediately arrested,” said Olivia Hammar.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Mexican Embassy stressed that possession of any weapon restricted for the use of the army in Mexico is a federal crime and must automatically be prosecuted.

“All it is, is that the barrel of the rifle was this length or the other length. It was not like he was trying to start a militia,” said Ros-Lehtinen.

Olivia said her son spends his days shacked to his bed, reading a bible…



11 December, 2012


 On Monday evening, the Board of Directors of the Silver Star Families of America, (SSFOA), unanimously passed a resolution calling for the release of Jon Hammar, a Marine veteran who has been jailed in a Mexican prison in Matamoros since August over a misunderstanding regarding the registration of a firearm.

Steve Newton, President and CEO of the SSFOA stated, “The mission of the SSFOA is to remember, honor and assist the wounded, ill and injured of our Armed Forces from all wars.

Hammar suffers from the invisible wound of PTS (D) and that makes him our business. We do not and will not leave one of our own behind.”

 The Board of the SSFOA also authorized the President to use “any and all legal means necessary, including the allocation of funds, to affect the release of Hammar.”

Newton continued by saying, “We have already contacted our embassy in Mexico City, although one of the three e mails was inactive. They have not responded. We attempted to contact the Mexican desk at the State Department in Washington but no one answered the phone.

It was our intention to make sure our efforts were not in conflict with any negotiations being carried on between our government and the Mexican government that might further complicate the matter. But due to their non response and the request for public assistance from the family, we are going ahead with our efforts.”

 “We will begin our efforts by trying to reach the newly elected President Enrigue Pena Nieto and by faxing letters to all the Mexican consulates in the United States. We will also continue to attempt contact with State and the White House. This issue with Hammar is not acceptable and every effort will be made to secure his release.”

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UK Set For Continued Cold Snap As Snow Arrives

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore —
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door —
Only this and nothing more.”
 Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Lenore —
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me – filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“‘Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door —
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door; —
This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you” – here I opened wide the door; ——
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!” —
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore —
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
‘Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door —
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door —
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore —
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning – little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door —
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered – not a feather then he fluttered —
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before —
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore —
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never – nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore —
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite – respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! —
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted —
On this home by Horror haunted – tell me truly, I implore —
Is there – is there balm in Gilead? – tell me – tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us – by that God we both adore —
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting —
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! – quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!

—Edgar Allan Poe

Seagulls fly around a crow

The Raven” is a narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. First published in January 1845, the poem is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It tells of a talking raven‘s mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man’s slow fall into madness.

The lover, often identified as being a student, is lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore. Sitting on a bust of Pallas, the raven seems to further instigate his distress with its constant repetition of the word “Nevermore”. The poem makes use of a number of folk and classical references.

Poe claimed to have written the poem very logically and methodically, intending to create a poem that would appeal to both critical and popular tastes, as he explained in his 1846 follow-up essay “The Philosophy of Composition“.

The poem was inspired in part by a talking raven in the novel Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty by Charles Dickens. Poe borrows the complex rhythm and meter of Elizabeth Barrett’s poem “Lady Geraldine’s Courtship”, and makes use of internal rhyme as well as alliteration throughout.

“The Raven” was first attributed to Poe in print in the New York Evening Mirror on January 29, 1845. Its publication made Poe widely popular in his lifetime, although it did not bring him much financial success. Soon reprinted, parodied, and illustrated, critical opinion is divided as to the poem’s status, but it nevertheless remains one of the most famous poems ever written.

“The Raven” follows an unnamed narrator on a night in December who sits reading “forgotten lore” as a way to forget the loss of his love, Lenore. A “rapping at [his] chamber door” reveals nothing, but excites his soul to “burning”.

A similar rapping, slightly louder, is heard at his window. When he goes to investigate, a raven steps into his chamber. Paying no attention to the man, the raven perches on a bust of Pallas above the door.


Amused by the raven’s comically serious disposition, the man asks that the bird tell him its name. The raven’s only answer is “Nevermore”. The narrator is surprised that the raven can talk, though at this point it has said nothing further.

The narrator remarks to himself that his “friend” the raven will soon fly out of his life, just as “other friends have flown before” along with his previous hopes. As if answering, the raven responds again with “Nevermore”. The narrator reasons that the bird learned the word “Nevermore” from some “unhappy master” and that it is the only word it knows.

Even so, the narrator pulls his chair directly in front of the raven, determined to learn more about it. He thinks for a moment in silence, and his mind wanders back to his lost Lenore. He thinks the air grows denser and feels the presence of angels, and wonders if God is sending him a sign that he is to forget Lenore.

The bird again replies in the negative, suggesting that he can never be free of his memories. The narrator becomes angry, calling the raven a “thing of evil” and a “prophet“.  Finally, he asks the raven whether he will be reunited with Lenore in Heaven.

When the raven responds with its typical “Nevermore”, he is enraged, and, calling it a liar, commands the bird to return to the “Plutonian shore”, – but it does not move. Presumably at the time of the poem’s recitation by the narrator, the raven “still is sitting” on the bust of Pallas. The narrator’s final admission is that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “Nevermore”.

Poe wrote the poem as a narrative, without intentionally creating an allegory or falling into didacticism. The main theme of the poem is one of undying devotion. The narrator experiences a perverse conflict between desire to forget and desire to remember. He seems to get some pleasure from focusing on loss. The narrator assumes that the word “Nevermore” is the raven’s “only stock and store”, and, yet, he continues to ask it questions, knowing what the answer will be. His questions, then, are purposely self-deprecating and further incite his feelings of loss.

Poe leaves it unclear if the raven actually knows what it is saying or if it really intends to cause a reaction in the poem’s narrator. The narrator begins as “weak and weary,” becomes regretful and grief-stricken, before passing into a frenzy and, finally, madness. Christopher F. S. Maligec suggests the poem is a type of elegiac paraclausithyron, an ancient Greek and Roman poetic form consisting of the lament of an excluded, locked-out lover at the sealed door of his beloved.

Poe says that the narrator is a young scholar. Though this is not explicitly stated in the poem, it is mentioned in “The Philosophy of Composition”. It is also suggested by the narrator reading books of “lore” as well as by the bust of Pallas Athena, goddess of wisdom.

He is reading “many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore”. Similar to the studies suggested in Poe’s short story “Ligeia“, this lore may be about the occult or black magic.

This is also emphasized in the author’s choice to set the poem in December, a month which is traditionally associated with the forces of darkness. The use of the raven – the “devil bird” – also suggests this. This devil image is emphasized by the narrator’s belief that the raven is “from the Night’s Plutonian shore”, or a messenger from the afterlife, referring to Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld (also known as Dis Pater in Roman mythology).


Poe chose a raven as the central symbol in the story because he wanted a “non-reasoning” creature capable of speech. He decided on a raven, which he considered “equally capable of speech” as a parrot, because it matched the intended tone of the poem. Poe said the raven is meant to symbolize “Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance“.

He was also inspired by Grip, the raven in Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty by Charles Dickens. One scene in particular bears a resemblance to “The Raven”: at the end of the fifth chapter of Dickens’s novel, Grip makes a noise and someone says, “What was that – him tapping at the door?” The response is, “‘Tis someone knocking softly at the shutter.”

Dickens’s raven could speak many words and had many comic turns, including the popping of a champagne cork, but Poe emphasized the bird’s more dramatic qualities. Poe had written a review of Barnaby Rudge for Graham’s Magazine saying, among other things, that the raven should have served a more symbolic, prophetic purpose. The similarity did not go unnoticed: James Russell Lowell in his A Fable for Critics wrote the verse, “Here comes Poe with his raven, like Barnaby Rudge / Three-fifths of him genius and two-fifths sheer fudge.”

Poe may also have been drawing upon various references to ravens in mythology and folklore. In Norse mythology, Odin possessed two ravens named Huginn and Muninn, representing thought and memory. According to Hebrew folklore, Noah sends a white raven to check conditions while on the ark.

It learns that the floodwaters are beginning to dissipate, but it does not immediately return with the news. It is punished by being turned black and being forced to feed on carrion forever. In Ovid‘s Metamorphoses, a raven also begins as white before Apollo punishes it by turning it black for delivering a message of a lover’s unfaithfulness. The raven’s role as a messenger in Poe’s poem may draw from those stories.

Poe also mentions the Balm of Gilead, a reference to the Book of Jeremiah (8:22) in the Bible: “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” In that context, the Balm of Gilead is a resin used for medicinal purposes (suggesting, perhaps, that the narrator needs to be healed after the loss of Lenore).

He also refers to “Aidenn”, another word for the Garden of Eden, though Poe uses it to ask if Lenore has been accepted into Heaven. At another point, the narrator imagines that Seraphim (a type of angel) have entered the room. The narrator thinks they are trying to take his memories of Lenore away from him using nepenthe, a drug mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey to induce forgetfulness.

Mound Of Grave Amid Construction Activity in China

The Bath School disaster is the name given to three bombings in Bath Township, Michigan, on May 18, 1927, which killed 38 elementary school children, two teachers, four other adults and the bomber himself; at least 58 people were injured. Most of the victims were children in the second to sixth grades (7–11 years of age) attending the Bath Consolidated School. Their deaths constitute the deadliest mass murder in a school in U.S. history.

The bomber was school board treasurer Andrew Kehoe, 55, who was enraged about a property tax levied to fund the construction of the school building.

On the morning of May 18, Kehoe murdered his wife by beating her to death, then set his farm buildings afire. As fire fighters arrived at his farm, an explosion devastated the north wing of the school building, killing many schoolchildren.

Kehoe had used a detonator to ignite dynamite and hundreds of pounds of pyrotol which he had secretly planted inside the school over the course of many months. As rescuers started gathering at the school, Kehoe drove up, stopped, and detonated a bomb inside his shrapnel-filled vehicle with his Winchester rifle, killing himself and the school superintendent, and killing and injuring several others.

During rescue efforts searchers discovered an additional 500 pounds (230 kg) of unexploded dynamite and pyrotol planted throughout the basement of the school’s south wing. Kehoe apparently had intended to blow up and destroy the whole school.


Telephone operators stayed at their stations for hours to summon doctors, undertakers, area hospitals and anyone else who might help. The Lansing Fire Department sent three men and the city’s chemical truck.

The local physician, Dr. J.A. Crum and his wife, a nurse, had both served in World War I, and had returned to Bath to open a pharmacy. After the explosion the Crums turned their drugstore into a triage center. The dead were removed to the town hall, used as a morgue. Private citizens were enlisted to use their automobiles as additional ambulances to take survivors and family members to area hospitals. By the afternoon some 13 ambulances were at the township hall to transport the dead to undertakers.

Hundreds of people worked in the wreckage all day in an effort to find and rescue the children pinned underneath. Area contractors had sent all their men to assist, and many ordinary people came to the scene in response to the pleas for help.

Eventually, 34 firefighters and the Chief of the Lansing Fire Department arrived on the scene, as did several Michigan State Police officers, who managed traffic to and from the scene.

The injured and dying were transported to Sparrow Hospital and St. Lawrence Hospital in Lansing. The construction of the latter facility had been financed in large part by Lawrence Price, Nellie Kehoe’s uncle and formerly an executive in charge of Oldsmobile‘s Lansing Car Assembly.

Michigan Governor Fred Green arrived during the afternoon of the disaster and assisted in the relief work, carting bricks away from the scene. The Lawrence Baking Company of Lansing sent a truck filled with pies and sandwiches, which were served to rescuers in the township’s community hall.

The bombing had destroyed the north wing of the school. During the search rescuers found an additional 500 pounds (230 kg) of dynamite, which had failed to detonate, in the south wing. The search was halted to allow the Michigan State Police to disarm the devices.

The State Police found an alarm clock timed to go off at 9:45 a.m., one hour after the explosion in the north wing. Investigators speculated that the initial explosion may have caused a short circuit in the second set of bombs preventing them from detonating. Then a sweep of the building was made and recovery work recommenced.

Police and fire officials gathered at the Kehoe farm to investigate the fires. It was not until the following day, May 19, that investigators identified Nellie Kehoe’s charred body among the ruins of the farm. The body was so disfigured it went unnoticed by hundreds who walked past it the previous day.

All the Kehoe farm buildings were destroyed, and the animals trapped inside the barn were killed. The amount of unused equipment and materials on the farm reportedly could have easily paid off the Kehoes’ mortgage. Investigators found a wooden sign wired to the farm’s fence with Kehoe’s last message, “Criminals are made, not born” stenciled on it.





…Lanza had two bedrooms in the house, including one in the basement in which he kept his computer, his computer video games and other possessions. Lanza had thousands of dollars worth of video games and preferred to play on his computer with other anonymous gamers, investigators said.

The basement also is where Nancy Lanza, a gun enthusiast and target shooter, kept her collection of weapons in a locked box. She had at least five weapons – two handguns a semi-automatic rifle, a .22 caliber rifle and a shotgun. Lanza had all the weapons except the .22 with him when he drove to the school…

Authorities said they have determined that a hoaxer, on Dec. 12, published a fictitious conversation, purportedly instigated by Lanza, on an Internet chat room frequented by computer enthusiasts. The first post purportedly made by Lanza read, “I’m going to kill myself on Friday and it will make the news. be watching at 9 am.”

Some days later, someone opened an offensive Twitter account that seemed designed to further hurt the families of Lanza’s victims.

“Someone is going to be arrested,” a law enforcement official said…

Five days after the shootings investigators still are collecting bullets from inside and outside the school. Lanza fired so many rounds that many bullets pierced cars in the school parking lot.

Sources said that Nancy Lanza owned at least five guns and that all of them were purchased legally since her divorce in 2009.

Adam Lanza was carrying three weapons when he entered the school, two pistols and the Bushmaster rifle that he used to spray the hallway and two classrooms with bullets. A source said that he left a shotgun in the trunk of his mother’s car, which he drove to the scene…

Source: Hartford Courant



Fear of being committed may have caused Connecticut gunman to snap

… Adam Lanza, 20, targeted Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown after killing his mother early Friday because he believed she loved the school “more than she loved him,” said Joshua Flashman, 25, who grew up not far from where the shooting took place. Flashman, a U.S. Marine, is the son of a pastor at an area church where many of the victims’ families worship.

“From what I’ve been told, Adam was aware of her petitioning the court for conservatorship and (her) plans to have him committed,” Flashman told “Adam was apparently very upset about this. He thought she just wanted to send him away. From what I understand, he was really, really angry. I think this could have been it, what set him off.”

… Adam Lanza attended the Sandy Hook School as a boy, according to Flashman, who said Nancy Lanza had volunteered there for several years. Two law enforcement sources said they believed Nancy Lanza had been volunteering with kindergartners at the school. Most of Lanza’s victims were first graders sources believe Nancy Lanza may have worked with last year.

Flashman said Nancy Lanza was also good friends with the school’s principal and psychologist—both of whom were killed in the shooting rampage.

“Adam Lanza believed she cared more for the children than she did for him, and the reason he probably thought this [was the fact that] she was petitioning for conservatorship and wanted to have him committed,” Flashman said…

Source:  Fox News

Hearse carrying the casket of 6 year old Jack Pinto is driven to Newtown Village Cemetery. Lucas Jackson, Reuters


“… Nancy Lanza died of four gunshots to the head from a .22-caliber rifle, Dr. H. Wayne Carver, the chief state medical examiner, said Tuesday. Nancy Lanza was likely asleep she was killed.

The rifle was not among the weapons Adam Lanza took with him to the school on Friday…”

Source: Hartford Courant

Silk roses imprinted with photos of those killed in Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School were stapled to a telephone pole in the center of Sandy Hook Monday. (Cloe Poisson)


Malloy Recalls Difficult Task Of Telling Newtown Parents Of Their Children’s Deaths

The Hartford Courant – By JON LENDER

…Starting shortly before 1 p.m. Friday, Malloy and Occhiogrosso were at the firehouse down the road from the school, along with the parents of at least 18 of the children who had died.

“As time went on, it was clear at least a few of them thought that there was some chance that their child might be alive” — perhaps “being treated at hospital en route or at the hospital,” Occhiogrosso said. “There was clearly some sense of confusion as to whether that was true. … That went on for a little while.”

By about 3 p.m., “it became clear” that no surviving children were being treated, and Malloy verified that information with the commander of the state police, Col. Danny Stebbins, who was standing in the firehouse.

“The people clearly wanted information,” Occhiogrosso said, and “one gentleman finally said, ‘Will you please just tell us what’s going on?'”

“It was at that point that the governor made clear that if their child wasn’t with them … they wouldn’t be coming home. There was a range of reaction. … Some people collapsed on the floor. Some people screamed. It was a horrific scene.”

Malloy explained his decision to inform the parents by saying that their suspense “had gone on for a period of time well after there was any expectancy that families would be reunited.”

“So I made a decision that rather than relying on traditional investigative policies — that you actually have a child or an adult identified as the particular victim before you inform someone, or at least give them the information by which they could formulate for themselves that their loved one was not going to return — I made the decision that to have that go on any longer … was wrong.”

Twenty-seven wooden angel figures are seen placed in wooded area beside road near Sandy Hook Elementary School for victims of school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut MIKE SEGAR, REUTERS


… Several sources in law enforcement and elsewhere provided what they said was the most current information on how the events leading to the school shootings unfolded.

On Friday morning, as Lanza turned left, toward the first-grade classrooms, Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Scherlach, shocked by the sounds of gunfire and shattering glass, bolted into a corridor from a conference room across the hall from the classrooms.

He shot them both with the rifle.

The first classroom that Lanza reached was that of teacher Kaitlin Roig. Alarmed by the gunfire, she had hidden her students in a bathroom and closed her classroom door. For reasons that could not be explained Saturday, Lanza passed by Roig’s classroom.

The classroom he chose to enter was substitute teacher Lauren Rousseau’s, where he proceeded to systematically shoot everyone inside — the 14 children who investigators believe were huddled and clutching one another in fear, Rousseau and a special education teacher who happened to be in the room.

Rousseau was filling in for the regular teacher, who was out on maternity leave. Rousseau had been teaching at the school for six weeks.

“There were 14 coats hanging there and 14 bodies. He killed them all,” said a law enforcement officer involved in the case.

Lanza next arrived at teacher Victoria Soto’s classroom. Soto is believed to have hidden her 6- and 7-year old students in a classroom closet. When Lanza demanded to know where the children were, Soto tried to divert him to the other end of the school by saying that her students were in the auditorium.

But six of Soto’s students tried to flee. Lanza shot them, Soto and another teacher who was in the room. Later, in their search for survivors, police found the remaining seven of Soto’s students still hiding in the closet. They told the police what had happened.

The two teacher’s aides who were killed were Mary Anne Murphy and Rachel Davino. It was unclear which aide was in which room when they were killed.

The first officer to arrive at the school found Lanza’s body near the door of Soto’s classroom.

The intense violence lasted about 10 minutes. Lanza fired at least three, 30-round magazines with deadly accuracy. Two of the people he shot survived. All of the victims were shot multiple times…

Hartford Courant


Nancy Lanza loved guns, and often took her sons to one of the shooting ranges here in the suburbs northeast of New York City, where there is an active community of gun enthusiasts, her friends said. At a local bar, she sometimes talked about her gun collection…

Investigators have linked Ms. Lanza to five weapons: two powerful handguns, two traditional hunting rifles and a semiautomatic rifle that is similar to weapons used by troops in Afghanistan.

Her son took the two handguns and the semiautomatic rifle to the school. Law enforcement officials said they believed the guns were acquired legally and were registered…

New York Times


… He had two bedrooms that were clean and orderly when law officers swept into the house after the shootings Friday morning. Lanza apparently lived in one of the rooms and kept his computer gear and other items in the other one, the sources said.

Law officers found evidence that Adam Lanza played graphically violent video games, the sources said.

Rebecca Jaroszewski said she was in the same first- and third-grade classes with Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary.

She said the memory that stands out most is Lanza standing alone while other children played at recess, straining himself to make his face turn red and making animal-like noises. He did this often, Jaroszewski said. “He would seem really angry, but he wouldn’t tell people why,” she said…

Hartford Courant


… CBS News learned the identities of three students who were killed. They included Anna Marcus Greene – the daughter of a well-known saxophone player; Emily Parker, who moved to Connecticut with her family just a year ago; and Chase Kowalski, who is survived by his parents Rebecca and Steve.

Also among the dead were school psychologist Mary Sherlock, 56, who planned to retire next year, and Vicki Soot, a 27-year-old first-grade teacher.

All bodies had been removed from the school as of the 9 a.m. hour, police said on CBS This Morning Saturday.

Meanwhile, state police told Aiello they were looking at the strong likelihood that the gunman gained entrance to the school by shooting out a window right next to the front door.

Thus, he would have been able to get around the new security system that was put in place earlier this year, which includes a remote control lock and intercom with a video buzzer system to let visitors in…


A friend posted a tribute to Miss Soto on her Tumblr account. In her tribute she wrote: “I talked to Vicki Tuesday and she told me that she loved her 16 angels and never wanted to let them go. Today when the shooting started Vicki hid her kids in closets and when the gunman came into her room she told them the class was in gym. She was then murdered. Not one of her students were harmed. Words can not express how heartbreaking and tragic this is. I will miss you dearly.”


Sandy Hook mass murderer Adam Lanza, 20, ‘deeply disturbed kid’

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – By Matthew Lysiak , Denis Slattery AND Rich Schapiro

He was dark and disturbed, a deeply troubled boy from a wealthy family who unnerved his neighbors and classmates.

Mass murderer Adam Lanza, 20, was a ticking time bomb, people who knew him told the Daily News…

“This was a deeply disturbed kid,” a family insider told the Daily News. “He certainly had major issues. He was subject to outbursts from what I recall.”

A “longtime” family friend said Lanza had a condition “where he couldn’t feel pain.”

“A few years ago when he was on the baseball team, everyone had to be careful that he didn’t fall because he could get hurt and not feel it,” said the friend. “Adam had a lot of mental problems.”

…Nancy Lanza, 54, whom Adam murdered inside the home the two shared, reportedly had worked at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But more recently, she was taking care of her son.

“She needed to be home with Adam,” the family insider said.

Nancy was known as a pillar of the community, while neighbors viewed her troubled son as a terror…


A Gunman, Recalled as Intelligent and Shy, Who Left Few Footprints in Life


He carried a black briefcase to his 10th-grade honors English class, and sat near the door so he could readily slip in and out. When called upon, he was intelligent, but nervous and fidgety, spitting his words out, as if having to speak up were painful.

Pale, tall and scrawny, Adam Lanza walked through high school in Newtown, Conn., with his hands glued to his sides, the pens in the pocket of his short-sleeve, button-down shirts among the few things that his classmates recalled about him…

In his brief adulthood, Mr. Lanza had left few footprints, electronic or otherwise. He apparently had no Facebook page, unlike his older brother, Ryan, a Hoboken, N.J., resident who for several hours on Friday was misidentified in news reports as the perpetrator of the massacre.

Adam Lanza did not even appear in his high school yearbook, that of the class of 2010. His spot on the page said, “Camera shy.” Others who graduated that year said they did not believe he had finished school…

One former classmate who said he was familiar with the disorder described Mr. Lanza as having a “very flat affect,” adding, “If you looked at him, you couldn’t see any emotions going through his head.”

Others said Mr. Lanza’s evident discomfort prompted giggles from those who did not understand him.

“You could tell that he felt so uncomfortable about being put on the spot,” said Olivia DeVivo, also now at the University of Connecticut. “I think that maybe he wasn’t given the right kind of attention or help.

I think he went so unnoticed that people didn’t even stop to realize that maybe there’s actually something else going on here — that maybe he needs to be talking or getting some kind of mental help. In high school, no one really takes the time to look and think, ‘Why is he acting this way?’ ”

Ms. DeVivo remembered Mr. Lanza from sixth grade and earlier, talking about aliens and “blowing things up,” but she chalked this up to the typical talk of prepubescent boys…

Beth Israel, 43, said she and her family lived down the street from the Lanzas, and her daughter went to school with Adam Lanza. She said she had not spoken to any members of the family in three years.

“He was a socially awkward kid,” Ms. Israel said. “He always had issues. He was kind of a loner. I don’t know who his friends were.”

She said she would speak with his mother on occasion, but said the family was not social…


28 Dead, Including 20 Children, After Sandy Hook School Shooting In Newtown

By MATTHEW KAUFFMAN,  The Hartford Courant

The shootings took place in two first-grade classrooms around 9:30 a.m., sources said, and one witness said she believed as many as 100 rounds had been fired. All of the adults and 18 of the children were pronounced dead at the school. Two more students died at a hospital. A single victim was injured but not killed.

State police sources identified the shooter as Adam Lanza, 20. When Lanza was found — dead in a hallway of a self-inflicted gunshot wound — he was carrying his brother Ryan Lanza’s identification, which initially led to confusion about his identity, police said…

Adam Lanza was dressed in black fatigues and brought two weapons into the school, police sources said: a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both pistols. A .223-caliber rifle was found in his car in the school parking lot, sources said…

Police have not confirmed the identities of the other victims, but they are believed to include a school psychologist and at least one teacher. Sandy Hook has more than 600 students from kindergarten through fourth grade…

Later in the day, authorities set up a makeshift morgue in the school and took photographs of the young victims to show to parents to make a positive identification…

Alexis Wasik, 8, a third-grader at the school, said police checked everybody inside the school before they were escorted to the firehouse. “We had to walk with a partner,” she said.

One child leaving the school said there was shattered glass everywhere. A police officer ran into the classroom and told them to run outside and keep going until they reached the firehouse…

The first police on the scene instantly recognized the gravity of the crime and “asked for every resource we could get,” Newtown Police Lt. George Sinko said. On- and off-duty state troopers raced to Newtown, including tactical units, K9 units and the bomb squad. The state police helicopter was put in the air, and before long agents with the FBI and ATF were headed to Newtown as well. No officer fired a weapon at the school, police said…

As the school was cleared, heavily armed police swept the building at least four times looking for victims, evidence and the possibility of additional shooters. Lanza is believed to have acted alone, and the killings were limited to two rooms in one section of the school…

“Kind Of Strange”

Adam Lanza was a 2010 graduate of Newtown High School. Andrew Lapple, who sat next to Lanza in homeroom, described him as a skinny, reserved kid “who never really talked at all.”

Lapple said he played Little League baseball with Lanza and remembers he wasn’t very good. Instead, Lanza was more of a “tech-geek,” he said.

“He was always carrying around his laptop holding onto it real tight,” Lapple said. “He walked down the halls against the wall almost like he was afraid of people. He was definitely kind of strange but you’d never think he’d do something like this.”

In this photo provided by the Newtown Bee, a police officer leads two women and a child from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 children, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Newtown Bee, Shannon Hicks) MANDATORY CREDIT: NEWTOWN BEE, SHANNON HICKS Photo: AP / SL


  • Father of alleged Sandy Hook Elem. School shooter lives in Stamford, declines to comment @connpost
  • Nancy Lanza, mother of gunman Adam Lanza, was found dead in her Connecticut home. The 20-year-old man, shot her in the face, authorities told ABC News.
  • Weapons used in Connecticut school shooting legally purchased, registered to shooting suspect’s mother, source says – @NBC News
  • Neighbors described Adam Lanza  to ABC as “odd” and displaying characteristics associated with mental illness
  • Adam Lanza listed as having made honor roll in 9th Grade back in 2007, according to local report
  • John Miller reported Nancy divorced a long time ago and Adam lived with her and Ryan lived with the dad in NJ
  • Ryan Lanza tells authorities that his younger brother is autistic, or has Asperger syndrome and a “personality disorder.” ABC News
  • Adam Lanza shooter per updated reports
  • Obama: Most of the school victims were between ages 5 and 10
  • Suspected shooter armed with four weapons, wearing bullet proof vest – WABC
  • Law enforcement officials say SIG, Glock pistols were found in CT school, Bushmaster rifle was found in suspect’s vehicle
    Shooting suspect’s mother was teacher at school – WCBS
  • Woman’s Body (shot in face) found in search of home linked to gunman
  • WCBS-TV reports that shooter’s mother was teacher at school, many of the victims apparently her students @CBSNewYork
  • AP: official says Ryan Lanza’s girlfriend and another friend are missing in New Jersey.
  • AP saying shooter killed himself


Police Official: 27 Dead, ‘It is Not a Simplistic Scene’

Newtown Patch

A town once voted the safest place to live in America experiences horrific violence in one of its elementary schools.

“This is an active ongoing investigation” Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance said at an afternoon press conference Friday, updating the assembled media about the state of the investigation into the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Vance confirmed the death toll: 20 children, 6 adults, including the shooter, and one adult victim at a “secondary scene” in Connecticut.

But in response to multiple questions from press, Vance said at one point: “There are a lot of things we cannot confirm.”

He did offer the beginning of a basic timeline, saying the first call came in at around 9:30 a.m.

“Officers immediately entered the school to search for students, faculty and staff and remove them,” he said. “They did search every nook and cranny…Those who were rescued were taken to a staging area.”

“It is not a simplistic scene,” Vance said. “We will be here through the night and through the weekend. We are not putting a time stamp on this process.”

Vance confirmed a secondary crime scene in Connecticut, apparently referring to the investigation in Sandy Hook.

The man identified in media reports Friday as the shooter has told friends that he thinks his developmentally disabled brother may have committed the crime, Patch has learned.


A close friend of Ryan Lanza who would not be identified told Patch that he spoke to Lanza as Lanza made his way home from work to Hoboken. Lanza also took to his Facebook page to rail against CNN naming him as the suspect in the shooting in Newtown, Conn.

“I’m on the bus home now, it wasn’t me,” Lanza wrote.

Lanza’s mother, Nancy, a school teacher, is believed to be among the dead.

Patch was among the media outlets to highlight and link to reports naming Ryan Lanza as the alleged shooter. Police haven’t yet officially confirmed the identity of the gunman.


Police Raid Sandy Hook Home Hours After Shooting

Police haven’t yet disclosed what they are looking for on Yogananda Street.

Newtown Patch By Paul Singley and Davis Dunavin

Police have raided a home in the Sandy Hook part of Newtown, a show of investigative force that comes just hours after a gunman shot students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary today, killing as many as 27.

There were at least 15 police cars at 36 Yogananda St. as of 2:13 p.m. There are multiple armed police officers there, including one with a rifle at his side.

The 3,000-square-foot home is owned by Nancy and Peter Lanza and was built in 1998, according to property records.

“When I moved here it was beautiful. Still is beautiful,” said neighbor Jim McDade. “When we came up here we found out what quiet was…My wife’s at work and wants to come home. She can’t concentrate well. …

You hear things like Columbine and all the other tragedies that take place, and say my God… If there’s a distance it kind of buffers it a little bit. But then when it hits close to home it’s unbelievable.”


27 victims dead after Newtown school shooting


Connecticut State Police are confirming that 28 people including 18 children and the gunman as well as another adult at a secondary scene are dead after a shooting inside a school in Newtown Friday morning.

State police said this is one of the worst shootings emergency officials have seen in a long time.

“It’s a tragic, tragic scene,” said state police Lt. Paul Vance about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

State police said the gunman was found dead inside the school, but it was unknown how the gunman, who emergency service officials have not identified, died.

State police said another adult victim was found at a secondary scene.

Eyewitness News is on scene of a home in Newtown on Yoganada Street, where gunman’s mother is believed to live. At least one and possibly two bodies have been found inside the home, according to sources.

According to CBS News, the gunman got into an argument with people at the front office, possibly the principal, at about 9:30 a.m. People have to be buzzed in before entering the school and there is a camera to view whoever is entering the building.

State police said they are executing warrants on the possible suspect in and out of state.


A law enforcement source told CBS News two pistols, a Sig and a Glock, were found in the school and a Bushmaster rifle was found in the car. According to CBS News, a preliminary trace shows that the guns belonged to Lanza.

Connecticut State Police is assisting the Newtown police along with other agencies with the shooting investigation. Multiple police, ambulance and emergency crews from the surrounding area remain at the scene.

During a press conference at Treadwell Park Friday afternoon, state police Lt. Paul Vance said the scene is secure.

“The public is no longer in danger,” he said.

Upon arrival, state police immediately entered the building and performed a search of the building. Children inside the school were evacuated to the nearby Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire Department and reunited with some of their parents at this staging area.

Vance said the shooting into place in “one section” of building and occurred in two classrooms.

Sources told Eyewitness News that someone may have tripped the loud speaker system as possible a way of warning everyone in the school.

A fourth grader told Eyewitness News that a scream was heard over the intercom this morning and then shut off.

Sources are also reporting that the gunman went classroom to classroom shooting adults and children. There were reports that piles of bodies were seen inside the school.

Connecticut has called surrounding states for more medical examiners because they do not have enough to conduct autopsies.

Vance said the most challenging part will be identifying all the bodies, however some preliminary identifications have been made.


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who has been in communication with President Barack Obama and the head of FBI, is at the scene in Newtown and will continue to update the public.

“You can never be prepared for this type of tragedy,” Malloy said.

He added that the shooting will leave a mark on the community and every family in Connecticut.

“Earlier today, beautiful children had their lives taken away from them,” Malloy said.

Just before 12:30 p.m., Malloy had finished a conference call with federal officials about what assistance could be needed

“We have endured too many tragedies in recent years,” said President Obama, who was visibly emotional during the speech and even wiped tears from his eyes.

He said the majority of those who died Friday were children between 5 to 10 years old.

President Obama said on days such as Friday, he acts as a parent and not a president and feels overwhelming grief for all those affected.

“Our hearts are broken today,” he said.

President Obama said more preventive measures need to be taken in the future.

“And may God bless the memories of the victims,” he said.

Malloy along with state police have met with the families of the victims and their main goal is to get them as much information as possible.

Eyewitness News reporters on the scene observed a man in camouflage gear being taken away from the staging area. He screamed to people in the area that he was not involved in the shooting.

The superintendent’s office said all the schools were placed in lock down schools as a preventive measure to ensure safety of the students and staff. All schools except for Sandy Hook Elementary School are no longer on lock down.