From ACIG Europe & Cold War Database for January 21, 2003:
"On this day two Drakens from Linz/Hörsching AB intercepted this Lockheed Hercules transporter with the US civilian registration N8183J, suspected of being underway on a non-military but also non-civilian mission. The Hercules took-off from the Rhein Main AFB, in Germany, and was operated by the Tepper Aviation Inc.
"Tepper Aviation Inc. is registered in Florida since 1989, and became known for a number of obscure incidents, which indicate the possibility of this being a CIA-set front company (in fact, Tepper Aviation Inc. was mentioned as 'owned' by the CIA in several different reports). Already on 27 November 1989 a Hercules registered on the name of this company crashed at Jamba airfield, in Angola, while underway from Kamina, in Papua/New Guinea - carrying a load of weapons for UNITA!
"In February 1998, a wife of one of Tepper Aviation Inc. pilot testified in front of a jurry on a court in Alabama, USA, about her knowledge regarding the drug-smuggling activities of the local businessmen; slightly later, she found a Sidewinder snake in her mailbox...
"The latest press-reports regarding the Tepper Aviation Inc. put the company in connection with the misterious disappearance of no less but 22 C-130 Hercules and six P-3 Orion aircraft, supposedly used for smuggling drugs...
"The investigations of Austrian reporters about the destination of the Hercules intercepted on 21 January 2003 revealed that the aircraft was underway to Baku, in Azerbaijan. The local Warlords are known for drug-smuggling: no less but 3.699kg of drugs were "exported" from Nagorny Karabach in the year 2002 alone, and it is likely that the aircraft was underway to pick up the next "shipment"...
"It is not yet entirely clear why was this Hercules not forced to land in Austria, but 'only' intercepted: officially, the Austrian Foreign Ministry considered the aircraft as civilian, and saw no reason to authorise the Ministry of Defence to force the aircraft to land." --09:58, 22 April 2007 Artificial Intelligence
- Hi AI, here is what I know about the status of the above:
- Beth Lyman (the supposed wife of the Tepper Aviation pilot). This is oft-repeated on the Internet. Over the last year or so I have dug as deep as I can to try to verify this story, and come up with nothing. All the information about her traces back to a single source: the MadCowMorningNews (http://www.madcowprod.com). Hardly the most reputable source. It's odd if she really did testify in Alabama, since not a single news organisation reported it, according to both LexisNexis and Google News Archive.
- The interception of N8183J over Austrian airspace. Verified fact, although much better and more credible sources are available than the one you give here.
- "The latest press-reports regarding the Tepper Aviation Inc. put the company in connection with the misterious disappearance of no less but 22 C-130 Hercules and six P-3 Orion aircraft, supposedly used for smuggling drugs...". Any reputable sources for this one? Have seen it around but haven't dug deep on this one.
- Cheers, --Neoconned 09:51, 23 April 2007 (EDT)