Collection 10

The Most Toxic War...

Late medical research...




The Most Toxic War...

Memorandum submitted to the UK House of Commons Defence Select Committee by Professor Malcolm Hooper, Scientific Advisor to the Gulf Veterans Association, on 15th December 1999.




There is compelling evidence that Gulf War Veterans, GWVs suffered extensive exposures to chemical and biological insults -


(i) Pyridostigmine Bromide, PB, NAPS tablets.

(ii) Vaccinations in large numbers and of varied types.


(i) Further vaccinations.

(ii) Exposure to varieties of pesticides of different chemical classes, and DEET.

(iii) Depleted Uranium, DU, particularly as a ceramic dust.

(iv) Chemical Warfare Agents.

(v) Some Biological Warfare Agents.

(vi) Extensive exposures to Crude Oil and Smoke from the Oil Well fires.

These exposures can be linked directly to the chronic illnesses Gulf War Veterans are experiencing. They impact on many different systems in the body causing multi-symptom, multi-organ, and multi-system adverse effects.

There is very strong evidence of chemical weapons exposure. There was an admitted colossal failure in providing chemical detection equipment. Production, storage, training and use were all deficient and left our troops unprotected. This totally invalidates and renders hollow the repeated MOD assertions that there was no exposure to chemical warfare agents.

The Gulf War was unique in the annals of Western Military History. It was the first war in which the Coalition Forces were faced by both chemical, CW, and biological BW, weapons.

The knowledge that Iraq has already used these weapons in vanquishing the Iranian army and those fighting for an independent Kurdistan made it clear, beyond any doubt that such weapons would be used, against the Coalition Forces. Very high casualties are known to be associated with the use of these weapons, Maynard 1992, and were expected during the Gulf conflict.


The Pentagon, DOD, and VA in the States and the MoD in the UK have continuously denied and rejected any suggestions that there was any exposure to CWs by any Coalition troops. Many alarms were switched off on instructions from Senior Officers and some were disabled by removing their batteries.

Chemical fallout appears to have come from three sourcesó

(a) Aerial bombardment of Iraqi field munitions depots, production and storage sites.

(b) Explosive demolition of munitions bunkers by ground forces eg Khamisiyah.

(c) Sporadic and unco-ordinated Iraqi use of chemical weapons, eg SCUD and Frog missiles.

Dr Tucker in evidence identified over 55 specific chemical weapons detections or exposure incidents and their locations, from January 13 to March 26 1991.

The Pentagon have now conceded that the Czech detections were valid and credible.

Not so the MoD who still insists that there were no chemical exposures.

SCUD missiles were explained as sonic booms but alarms still went off. (Thomas)

© 1999 Malcolm Hooper. Used with permission.

Late medical research...

From the work of Professor Nichola Cherry and her team at Manchester University published in the Spring of 2001. (The work put in place by former Minister for the Armed Forces, the Right Honourable Nicholas Soames, on November 10th 1996, then to take three years.)

Extract: "Few veterans thought that they had been exposed to nerve gas (93 subjects) or depleted uranium (52) and these exposures have not been considered further in this report."

(Circa 80% more veterans report nerve agent exposure against DU exposure. This was out of a random survey with participants mainly not complaining of illness symptoms.)

© 2001 Nichola Cherry. Used with permission.


Air Force Magazine, June 1992 Vol. 75, No. 6

Six years before its official deployment date, the E-8A made a spectacular combat debut in the Gulf War.

Joint STARS Does Its Stuff

By Peter Grier

Every night of the Gulf War one of the Air Force's two E-8A Joint STARS aircraft, still in development, flew a wide-area surveillance and targeting mission lasting ten to twelve hours. Having reaped the benefits of the powerful system, the Air Force may never fight in another conflict without a Joint STARS aircraft or something like it.

One of the more unlikely heroes of Operation Desert Storm was a powerful radar system that flew in an ex-civilian aircraft, arrived in Saudi Arabia only hours before the start of the war, and faces six more years of development and tests before it reaches its "official" deployment date.

It is the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS), designed to detect and target Soviet armor columns in Europe. The Air Force sent this special sensor to the Persian Gulf at the request of Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Commander in Chief of US Central Command.

Every night throughout the Gulf conflict, one of the Air Force's two development E-8A Joint STARS planes flew a ten- to twelve-hour orbit. Its systems beamed back real-time data on everything from the movement of mobile Scud missile launchers to the location of concertina- wire barriers and traffic on previously undetected military roads.

The Air Force's tactical fighter units grew increasingly eager to acquire Joint STARS target information. CENTCOM headquarters came to view the F-15E tighter, with its deep-strike, nighttime capability, as an especially effective stablemate.

The Air Force, to hear US military men tell it, has fought its last war without bringing with it a Joint STARS-type aircraft. Lt. Gen. Gordon Fornell, commander of Air Force Systems Command's Electronic Systems Division (ESD) at Hanscom AFB, Mass., notes that Joint STARS gave commanders something they have never had before, what he calls "this real-time, gods-eye view of the battle."

In one of the more startling of Joint STARS's Desert Storm exploits, specially equipped radar aircraft detected an Iraqi convoy carrying free rocket over ground (FROG), surface-to-surface missiles fitted with chemical munitions, according to General Fornell. US officers immediately targeted the convoy; it was destroyed by cluster bombs dropped from F-16s. . .

© 1992 Air Force Magazine

The Story of: "Ghostrider" AC-130 Spectre Gunship #69-6567 Call Sign: Spirit03

The Flight Crew

1. Pilot - Major Paul J. Weaver, 34 of Alamosa, CO
2. Co-Pilot - Capt. Thomas Clifford Bland, Jr., 26 of Gaithersburg, MD
3. Fire Control Officer - Capt. Arthur Galvan, 33 of Navarre, FL
4. Electronic Warfare Officer - Capt. William D. Grimm, 28 of Manhattan, KS
5. Navigator - Capt. Dixon L. Walters, Jr., 29 of Columbia, SC
6. Sensor Operator - S/MSG Paul G. Buege, 43 of Mary Esther, FL
7. Gunner - S/MSG James B. May II, 40 of Jonesboro, TN
8. Gunner - Tech. Sergeant Robert K. Hodges, 28 of Hulburt Field, FL
9. Gunner - Tech. Sergeant John L. Oelschlager, 28 of Niceville, FL
10. Sensor Operator - SSG John P. Blessinger, 33 of Suffolk, NY
11. Gunner - SSG Timothy R. Harrison, 31 of Maxwell, IA
12. Flight Engineer - SSG Damon V. Kanuha, 28 of San Diego, CA
13. Illuminator Operator - SSG Mark J. Schmauss, 30 of Waggaman, LA
14. Gunner - SGT Barry Clark, 26 of Fairhope, AL

One Crewmember's Wife's tale...

The crew was on an armed reconnaissance mission, and were called in to help some Marines trapped on the ground, who were fearing being hit by chemical weapons. The plane was shot down by a SAM and at the time it went down, we were told they didn't know what happened to the plane, that all they had was the last coordinates of AWACS and the MayDay! MayDay! Call that came in. So from Jan 31st to March 5th when they found the crash site, the crew was on MIA status. The plane went down in water off the coast of Saudi Arabia (although at the time we were told it went down behind enemy lines in Kuwait and they couldn't risk sending people into search for it).

Yes, what you heard was true, they did take only three body bags out to the crash site, so something leads me to believe they knew more than they have told us. But to put this delicately, they didn't retrieve bodies, only parts of remains. They were only able to identify five remains, and the rest of the remains went unidentified. I was one of the families that received unidentified remains. To prevent a group grave the families had to fight with the Sec. of the Air Force, just so we could have the privilege of having our own funerals, not a group funeral deemed appropriate by the Air Force (this may sound a little bitter, but I guess I am, it wasn't a good time to have to be putting up a fight so I could remember my husband in a manner of my choosing).

The Weaver family has called for several Congressional investigations, and at this moment is requesting another one. There isn't conclusive evidence that no one was not able to get off the plane, all we have is what the Air Force has told us. But then again, how do you lose a great big AC-130 during the war and not have any idea where it went down? I was in Kuwait several years ago, and spoke to the man who was in charge of all the Special Forces and he said they had Navy Seals aboard that plane removing the secret equipment two days after the crash (his name was Col. Jesse Johnson). So as you can see somewhere we have been lied to, which leaves some room for doubts. Recently I have been called by a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle who is investigating this matter, because he told me that the CIA is sending in people regularly looking for POW's. I wish someone could get to the bottom of the truth and I could put my doubts to rest. My husband's position on the plane would lend itself to him being able to get out since he was close to a door, but I have been told that centrifugal force held him in place. To be perfectly frank with you, I try not to think about this, because doubts can eat you alive. You always want to hold onto the hope "that maybe" someone made it out alive and will come home. The MIA period, and His death have been the cruelest things I have faced in my life. The Air Force is unwittingly asked me to have faith and believe their words that he is dead, but in my heart he hasn't died.

Additional claimed information:

1. There was "evidence" found on the ground, indicating that some may have survived.

2. When the search and rescue helicopter finally did take off to go search the site, they only took THREE body bags.

3. Even the information provided by D.O.D. conflicts! One report states that they were on a Frogger hunting mission, where "supposedly", the Iraqi's had EIGHT Frogger missiles hidden under a bridge. NOT exactly the type of mission assigned to a Spectre gunship.

4. It was also reported that SEVEN force recon marines wanted to go and try a rescue attempt at the immediate time. They were stopped and told if they tried again that they would be court martialed.

National Alliance of Families

What Happened To The Crew Of Spirit 03 - The families of crewmen lost on a AC130, on January 31,1991, during the Gulf War wonder if they were told the truth about the loss of their loved ones. For one family the questions began almost at once.

In the spring of 1991, Lynn O'Shea was told by a very reliable source that one family was questioning the identification process. Approximately 5 years ago, one family member contacted the National Alliance of Families and had detailed conversations with both Dolores Alfond and Lynn O'Shea regarding the process used to identify the remains, the unidentifiable remains, and the distribution of those remains. This conversation was in strict confidence. We kept that confidence. Today, other families are now speaking to the media, repeating what we were told approximately five years ago.

We start first with a quote from the DPMO weekly update, dated January 18, 2001. It states: "DESERT STORM REPORTS CLARIFIED - Air Force and Navy officials have clarified information related to accounting for American casualties during Desert Storm. One media report indicated that most of the crew of the Air Force's AC-130 "Spirit 03" were still listed as "killed in action, body not recovered." However, that report was based on outdated information. According to the Air Force, all crewmembers of "Spirit 03" were recovered, and buried in individual funerals."

"Two U.S. Navy aviators are still listed as KIA/BNR from combat in Desert Storm. They are Lieutenant Commander Barry T. Cooke and Lieutenant Robert J. Dwyer."

The Air Force is WRONG! All crewmen WERE NOT recovered. However, all crewmen were buried in individual graves, containing remains. According to the family member we spoke with the unidentifible remains were "apportioned." That phrase is mentioned in the Associated Press article quoted below.

Associated Press, January 27, 2001 - "Mary Esther, Fla. (AP) - Terry Buege had put aside lingering questions about the fate of her husband, who was one of 14 men lost when Spirit 03, an Air Force gunship, was shot down 10 years ago Wednesday during the Persian Gulf War."

"Then less than three weeks ago the Navy changed the status of Lt. Cmdr. Michael Speicher, of Jacksonville, from killed in action to missing. The Navy had new information indicating the fighter pilot may have survived after his plane was shot down on the first day of Operation Desert Storm.

"That rekindled Buege's questions about what happened to her husband, Senior Master Sgt. Paul Buege, a sensor operator, and other airmen aboard Spirit 03. "If you have some doubt, and your husband wasn't identified, it certainly gives a question mark for your mind," Terry Buege said. "You always have this 'what if."'

"Only five bodies were positively identified after remains were recovered from Spirit 03, which was missing for more than a month before being found on the bottom of the Persian Gulf off Saudi Arabia. A shoulder-fired missile brought down the AC-130H Spectre from Hurlburt Field outside this Florida Panhandle town where Buege still lives...."

"... Air Force officials said no one could have survived the fiery crash. It was the service's largest loss of life in the war. The Air Force wanted to bury the unidentified remains in a mass grave, but the families balked. At their request, those remains were apportioned for individual burials."

"The discovery on the beach of debris from the plane, including a pair of one-person life rafts, and two flight jackets, one belonging to Buege's husband, contributed to lingering doubts that now have resurfaced. "If I could really know for sure that my husband were dead, or alive, that would bring the final peace to my heart," Buege said."

She wants to see more evidence, however, before deciding whether to seek a change in her husband's status from killed to missing in action, or MIA."

"Jennifer Lavery, of Alamosa, Col., said she and her parents have seen enough and will ask Congress for a new investigation into Spirit 03's loss in the wake of the Speicher reclassification. Her brother, Maj. Paul Weaver, was the gunship's pilot. His remains also were not identified. "If it takes a reclassifying to MIA, we will go that far," she said. "If there weren't survivors, fine, then give us the proof."

"Not all families that buried unidentified remains have such doubts. "Nobody got out of that airplane," said Chris May, whose husband, Master Sgt. James B. May II, was an aerial gunner. "Once that wing was gone, that plane augured into the water." May, who lives in nearby Fort Walton Beach, herself was a master sergeant at Eglin Air Force Base when Spirit 03 went down...."

"... A 1993 Air Force report to the Senate Armed Services Committee said centrifugal force in the spinning aircraft would have pinned the men to the plane's sides and made it impossible to put on their parachutes, open a cargo door and bail out. Rita Hodges, who lives in the Panama City area, said she, too, had no reason to believe her son, Tech Sgt. Robert K. Hodges, also a gunner, survived. "I think our son is gone," she said...."

"Other questions still nagging at some family members are whether the gunship had been given a mission too dangerous for such a plane and why it was still over hostile territory after the break of dawn. The gunships are a variation of the four-engine, turboprop C-130 Hercules cargo plane. They are big, slow and highly vulnerable to anti-aircraft artillery and missiles. For that reason they normally fly only under cover of darkness and in areas with low to moderate anti-aircraft threats."

"Following the war, there were published reports crew members of the four gunships deployed for Desert Storm had complained in letters home that they were being sent on "crazy missions." The Air Force acknowledged three men refused to fly after close calls. The commander of the gunship squadron had demanded and was given authority to conduct "sanity checks" and refuse missions that were too hazardous. Spirit 03's final mission passed the sanity check, but a message ordering the gunship back to base before dawn was delayed for 49 minutes."

"Air Force officials, however, said in the report to the Senate committee that it was Weaver's decision to remain over Kafji past dawn and that he did not need an order to return home. Lavery said she was told her brother wanted to leave but sent a radio message that he had polled the crew and all agreed to stay on to attack the FROGs at the urging of ground commanders. "The ground wanted those FROGs gone - now," she said.

"That's how Spirit 03 ended up in the light of day."

© 2001 National Alliance of Families


On February 25, 1991, British Type 42 destroyer HMS Gloucester detected two Chinese-made Silkworm anti-ship missiles being launched from Iraqi-occupied Kuwait. Their target was the American battleship USS Missouri that was bombarding Iraqi positions during the first hours of the coalition land offensive to liberate Kuwait.

Within two minutes the Gloucester detected the launch, identified it as hostile and launched a Sea Dart missile to successfully intercept the Iraqi Silkworm that exploded above the British warship. This engagement was a text book example of successful ship defence and contrasted with the British experience nine years before during the Falklands War when French- made Exocet missiles put three British ships out of action and severely hampered the Royal Navy's operations to recapture the Argentine- occupied islands.

© Global Defence Review / Tim Ripley

Hansard, House of Lords, 2nd February 1998, Vol. 585, No. 95.

In the previously mentioned debate in the House of Lords on 2nd of February 1998, on the subject of Gulf War illnesses, Baroness Strange speaks of the widow of a Petty Officer who was responsible for opening the air vents on his ship after a chemical attack.

Lord Burnham responded to this by stating:

"I was rather alarmed by the reference by my noble friend Lady Strange to a petty officer who is suffering as a result of a chemical attack on the frigate on which he was serving. I am not aware that any chemical attacks took place during the Gulf conflict."

(The Noble Lord had got this slightly wrong, his Noble Friend had told him that the Petty Officer had died.)

The Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, Lord Gilbert, also responded:

"Like the noble Lord, Lord Burnham, I was a little surprised to hear from the noble Baroness, Lady Strange, reports of a chemical attack on a Royal Naval warship. I heard of no such incident during the course of the Gulf War."

© 1998 Parliamentary Copyright


US Department of Defense Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses

E-mail to SCUDWATCH:


12:12 (14 Dec 2001)

Subject: Re: Al Jubail III.

To: (removed as this address is now closed)

- att1.htm

Response: Dear XXXX:

Thank you for your recent e-mail. My name is Joan, and I am responding on behalf of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses, Medical Readiness and Military Deployments. Your message was forwarded to one of our analysts, who provided the input for this response.

Thank you for providing a list of Scud launches during the Gulf War (Log A) with your communications regarding our recently published case narrative on Al Jubayl. It is not clear who prepared the launch list you provided, but it is generally accurate. In comparing it with our own list derived from extensive research of Gulf War operational reporting (some recently declassified) and other sources, we find some differences.

Regarding total number of Scuds fired, we have reported 88 plus several more that probably were early in-flight failures (your list totaled 83).

Against the Kuwait theater of operations (mainly Saudi Arabia) we count 46 Scuds. Your interest appears focused on the Dhahran area. The entries on your list for Dhahran attacks (including false alarms) agree with our data except as follows:

18 Jan 0345 1 Scud -- This report of an attack resulted from US Patriot missile batteries engaging false targets generated by interference from Alliance emitters. The US missiles were set to fire automatically without operator intervention. Hardware, software, and procedural changes eliminated this problem after about January 23 but not before more than 20 missiles were fired at false targets. The Patriot missiles detonated in the air and resulted in widely reported Scud attack on January 18 and other dates (the record was set right only after the war).

20 Jan 2145 3 Scuds -- We believe this attack involved only two Scuds.

21 Jan 0050 3 Scuds -- We believe this attack involved only two Scuds.

22 Jan 1745 4 Scuds -- This appears to have been another false alarm resulting from Patriot engagement of false targets.

22 Feb 0235 1 Scud -- We count three separate Scuds in this attack.

23 Feb 0505 1 Scud -- We count two separate Scuds in this attack.

26 Feb 0300 1 Scud -- The basis of your entry is unclear, but we suspect duplicate or delayed reporting on the 0130 valid entry on this date, which was an attack against Qatar.

There are also some differences between our lists with regard to attacks on other target areas. The detailed results of our research on the Iraqi missile attacks can be reviewed in our information paper on "Iraq's Scud Ballistic Missiles" on our web site at If you have questions, please feel free to contact us.


DoD Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses acknowledge only 88 Scud missiles at targets during the 1991 Gulf War, discount 7 missiles at Dhahran from the Log A account (extract below, full list elsewhere on this website, which gives 23 missiles + 8 false alarms at Dhahran), to leave just 16 confirmed missiles at Dhahran from the Log A account, and adds 4 others for February 22/23 not seen on the Log A account, to give a total of 20 Scud missiles arriving at Dhahran during the 1991 conflict.


DoD discount one January 20th 1991 missile at Dhahran and one January 21st 1991 missile at Dhahran or Riyadh, which however are indicated on the available first and second generation NBC incident desk logs, and which are also shown on the (low missile count - 83 versus 93, 97 or 102 missile) Log A account.

(Please also see 1991 Scud Missile count section.)