KAL 007: Recovered and imprisoned by the Russians?

in 1983, a Korean Air Lines flight from Anchorage to Seoul was lost somewhere over Russia, wildly off course, and by most accounts it was shot down by the Russians and crashed, killing everyone aboard. There are those, however, that think the plane landed safely, the Russians imprisoned the passengers, and they still have them to this day, in labor camps. See this site:


I don’t believe the Russians could get away with something like that, nor do I believe that a plane hit by a missle could land safely. But it is curious that search and rescue teams never recovered any bodies. So who thinks the Russians could have done something like this? Is there any other proof (besides the questionable proof on this website)?


Heh, okay… you just brought the ratio of words to posts in GD way, way down. :slight_smile:

So why didn’t the Russians recover the bodies? Or did they, and this website is just making crap up?

Didn’t the plane go down over water? I seem to remember shoes and such washing up on a beach.

Here’s an article by Robert W. Lee, of the John Birch Society:


It raises questions such as:
?Why was no distress or “mayday” signal sent from the aircraft during the 12 minutes between impact of the missile and loss of contact?
?Why was so little debris found (and again, no bodies)?
?Why were no life vests found in the debris?
?Why did the Japanese self-defense force initially report to the FAA that the plane had landed safely on Sakhalin, as tracked by Japanese radar?

I am getting curious, the more I read. There seem to be many theories and little information, thanks to the politically sensitive nature of the crash. Has any one theory or idea been brought to the forefront?

Seems like the website has chosen a topic on which is can present many theories and “facts” which cannot be easily verified. What are you going to do…ask the Soviets?

The John Birch Society, huh? They’re good at coming up with conspiracy stuff. Well, off the top of my head, here are some possible answers for ya:

  1. The crew was unconscious or dead from decompression as of the moment the missile hit, and could not send a mayday.
  2. The debris fell over a wide area of ocean, where currents were carrying it even further from land. To find it, you have to know where to look and go there. The bodies were strapped in their seats (the passengers lost consciousness or died just as immediately as the crew).
  3. The life vests were stowed under the seats, not inflated. Same reason.
  4. They lost track of the plane as it broke up and thought the last known track might have been headed toward Sakhalin.

Or maybe they were all captured, enslaved, and brainwashed by the KGB. Does that make more sense?

Man, I can think of much better passenger airliner shootdowns to spin conspiracy theories from.

The main problem with the theory that the plane landed and it passengers taken prisoner by the Soviets is that it simply makes no logical sense. The Soviets admitted that they had fired on the plane (as they had fired on and forced down another off-course Korean airliner several years ealier); the pilot of the fighter and members of the air-defense establishment of the time have given detailed, public descriptions of their actions. Given that, what earthly reason would the Soviet government have had for hiding the existence of survivors, or of a post-soviet government for carrying on such a charade?

Because the pilots were extremely busy trying handle failure of multiple aircraft systems whilst maintaining control. Radio transmissions were sent indicating that they were in some distress; failure of the pilots to pronounce the word “mayday” is irrelevant, IMO.

If the aircraft hit the water at high speed (which, IIRC, was apparently the case), there would be little of appreciable size to recover. Or, if you choose to believe one of the severeal theories spun by the cited article, perhaps the Soviets did recover significant amounts of wreckage (and perhaps bodies or parts of bodies) from the crash site.

See above.

Mistake, wishful thinking, who the hell knows? Japanese radar would have been tracking the aircraft from a great distance, and I doubt it could have presented accurate, unambiguous information about the speed, altitude and condition of the aircraft down to surface level.

Really, I read the Bircher’s article, which apparently was written around 1990, and I’m not impressed. I see nothing that definitively refutes the story as we know it; that the plane was struck, on one side near the engines, by at least one missile fired from a trailing fighter, that no serious attempt was made to contact the airliner before firing, and that sufficient damage was done to the aircraft by the missile strike to cause it to crash into the sea.

There is also the tape which was played at the UN by Jeanne Kirkpatrick of the Russian pilot talking with his ground crew in which he clearly says, in Russian of course, “I am behind the target. (The 747) The target is locked on. Missle away. The target is destroyed.”

There was a huge effort to try and recover the black box, which was ultimately unsuccessful.

Also, Senator Jesse Helms ® north Carolina, made a number of statements in which he said that he was supposed to have been on flight 007, and that the Soviets were deliberately trying to kill him, which was the real reason that they shot the plane down.

Which might have been true and it’s too bad they didn’t succeed.

I think the OP made be confusing the KAL flight 007 with the movie White Nights in which Mikhael Barishnikov plays a Soviet defector whose 747 is forced into a crash landing in the USSR.

The only ones that know why no mayday was sent is the crew, and there are any number of reasons why they didn’t. The fact that they didn’t does not offer any support to the theory that the plane landed safely.

The CVR transcript is available here:



After reading some of the accounts, it is quite possible that even though radar tracked the plane for another 12 minutes or so after the missile hit, the plane could have still hit the water very quickly. Even though the pilots could have maybe controlled the altitude of the plane, they may not have had much throttle or yaw control. Also, the cabin was breached by the explosion – perhaps the luggage and many of the passengers were sucked out and dispersed over a large area. In 12 minutes, a plane going 500 km/h travels 100 km. That’s a huge area for any kind of search and recovery.

Payton’s Servant, please see this thread.

This one, too.

And for heaven’s sake, don’t post in this thread, or you may shatter their conviction that it is only those nasty ol’ conservatives who wish death on those with whom they disagree.


I well remember the night KAL 007 was shot down- and no one here has mentioned this- earliest news reports claimed the plane landed on an island and the passengers were being detained by Russian gov’t officials. Now I don’t know what the source of that was, but that was what US TV news reported.

Re the Birch Society- JBS director Larry P. McDonald (US Rep-Dem of NC) was on the flight; obviously the JBS picked up the initial report & never fully gave up on it. I was in the JBS at the time & we speculated about it for a while but most of us, myself included, thought that report was faulty & the plane was destroyed & all killed. It wasn;t until the USSR collapsed that I heard Helms & Accuracy In Media’s Reed Irvine raise the KAL 007 survival theory again.

Alas, I am sure that Larry & Co are long departed. I gave up most of my Birchism for regular Christian right-libertarianism long ago, tho I do keep a healthy distrust for CFR & Trilateral types (even while voting for Bush Dad & Son).