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KAL 007 Diver Gives Interview



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KAL 007 Diver Gives Interview

Contrary to all known airliner crashes at sea, there were no bodies, luggage or life jackets on found on the surface of the waters after the downing of KAL 007--no one, either dead or alive.  Some commentators opined, and many people believed, that the bodies would be found trapped in their watery tomb, the remains of KAL 007 on the bottom of the Tatar Straits. What the world did not know until eight years after the shootdown was that Russian civilian divers had been ordered down just 15 days after the shootdown to examine the aircraft.  In 1991, and now once again, they have begun telling their story--there were no people found in or around Korean Air Lines Flight 007.

Russian deep sea diver Vadim Kondrabaev, one of the civilian divers brought to explore the wreckage of KAL 007 in 1983 gave an interview to the Russian magazine Itogi published on October 1, 2000.  It can be read in English here.  This interview is significant in supporting a number of points made in the book Rescue 007.  Kondrabaev is one of three divers referenced on page 89 in a quote from the Izvestia series about KAL 007.

He points out that after he and the other civilian divers were brought to Sakhalin on September 10, 1983, they were kept there until "the end of September."  "...They literally forgot about us for several days."  When they did get to the wreckage, they were surprised to find neither bodies nor luggage.  "We worked beneath the water almost a month for 5 hours a day and didn't find one suitcase, not even a handle from them."  He states that it was difficult to verify that what they were finding was more than rubbish and parts deliberately strewn around.  He did retrieve a small Bible which he found in the pocket of a raincoat and kept that along with a few other souvenirs.

This interview is valuable as another recent Russian acknowledgement of the mystery of the missing bodies. (See the Kamenski interview.) It also corroborates points in the Republican Staff Study about attempts at deceiving Japanese and Western rescue efforts.


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Last modified: March 10, 2009

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