Department of State


TELEGRAM

SECRET

PAGE 01 COPENHAGEN 02840 231452

53
ACTION SS 70

INFO SSO 00,NSCE 00,USIE 00,CC0 00,MM 01./071 W

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0 231330Z JAN 68
FM AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1290
INFO OSD (OASD/PA)
AEC, GERMANTOWN, MARYLAND
USCINCEUR, VAIHINGEN, GERMANY
CINCUSAFE, WIESBADEN, GERMANY
COMMANDER, THULE AFB, THULE GREENLAND
USNMR SHAPE
USMISSION NATO 27

S E C R E T COPENHAGEN 2840

LIMDIS

REF: COPENHAGEN 2837 NOTAL

SUBJECT: THULE B-52 CRASH


PAGE 2 RUDKPN 2840 S E C R E T

1. THE PRESSURE FOR DANISH NEWS MEDIA TO VISIT THULE CRASH SITE AREA IS GROWING EVEN FASTER THAN ANTICIPATED.

2. UNDER SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DR. FISHER, (NO. 2 AT FONOFF) HAS INFORMED ME DANISH GOVT WOULD LIKE TO SEND FOUR SCIENTISTS AND A NUMBER OF NEWSPAPER MEN TO THULE. HE IS PRESENTLY CHAIRING A MEETING OF RESPONSIBLE DANISH OFFICIALS WHO ARE SURVEYING WAYS OF COPING WITH THE SITUATION BROUGHT ON BY CRASH. THEIR DELIBERATIONS FOCUSSINF PARTICULARLY ON PRESS PRESSURE.

3. I HAVE EMPHASIZED TO DR. FISHER ALMOST INSUPERABLE DIFFICULTIES OF RESCUE OPERATION AND SERIOUS PROBLEMS OF TRAVEL, HOUSING, WEATHER, ETC. OF OPERATIONS AT THULE. I ALSO EMPHASIZED THAT FROM MY PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS ON THREE TRIPS TO GREENLAND TRAVEL CONDITIONS ARE VERY RUGGED AND EVEN DANGEROUS AND LIVINGS ACCOMODATIONS ARE BOTH PRIMITIVE AND LIMITED. I EXPLAINED THAT EVEN THE PROVIDING OF ARCTIC CLOTHING FOR VISITORS POSES A BIG PROBLEM [DELETED].

PAGE 3 RUDKPN 2840 S E C R E T

4. THERE IS REGULARLY SCHEDULED SAS PLANE DEPARTING FOR THULE AT 12:40 JAN. 24. IT IS WELL KNOW THAT SEATS ARE AVAILABLE ON THIS PLANE, AND LATE RUMORS INDICATE SEATS HAVE BEEN BOOKED BY PRESS.

5. IN THE MEANTIME TODAY'S ELECTIONS, TOGETHER WITH THE TWO DOD RELEASES WHICH HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO PRESS, HAVE EFFECT OF EASING, FOR 24 HOURS AT LEAST, DIRECT PRESSURE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ACCIDENT. THIS WILL NOT LAST LONG. HOWEVER, AND WE ANTICIPATE NEW DEMANDS FOR DETAILS INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS:

A. ROUTES AND LANDING POINTS OF B-52 ALERT AIRCRAFT, TO INCLUDE EXACT INFO ON DESTINATION AND ROUTE OF THE AIRCRAFT WHICH CRASHED.

B. SAFETY DEVICES AND CONTROL SYSTEMS CONNECTED WITH SUCH AIRCRAFT AND WEAPONS ABOARD.

C. HAZARDS WHICH MIGHT RESULT FROM WEAPONS INVOLVED IN THE ACCIDENT IF THOSE WEAPONS BURNED, BURST OPEN, PARTIALLY EXPLODED OR SIMPLY SANK IN THE WATER.

D. THE ABOVE CIRCUMSTANCES AND HAZARDS AS THEY RELATE TO HUMANS, FISH, ANIMAL LIFE, OCEAN CURRENTS, ETC.

E. THE TECHNIQUES OF SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS IN GENERAL AND IN THIS CASE IN PARTICULAR.

5. WE ARE SEEKING IMMEDIATE AVAILABLE EXPERTS, BOTH DANISH AND AMERICAN, ON ARCTIC CONDITIONS AND RESCUE OPERATIONS IN ORDER TO GIVE BACKGROUND TO PRESS AND OTHERS [DELETED...]

[...DELETED] OUTSIDE ASSISTANCE EITHER FROM THULE OR US WOULD BE APPRECIATED.

8. IN ALL SUCH BRIEFINGS WE BELIEVE IT IS IVERATIVE [SIC] TO STRESS THAT CRASHED PLANE WAS "DIVERTED" TO THULE AND NOT ON "ROUTINE FLIGHT TO THULE" AS ALLEGED IN EARLIER PRESS STORY AND LATER PICKED UP BY VARIOUS POLITICAL PART COMMENTATORS. [DELETED]

9. IMMEDIATE GUIDANCE AS TO THE POSSIBILITIES OF DANISH VIST TO THULE WOULD BE APPRECIATED. WE BELIEVE THAT A PRESS POOL WITH ABOUT EIGHT REPRESENTATIVES WOULD ADEQUATELY MEET PRESS MEDIA REQUESTS. WHITE


SECRET
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Source: Message 2840 from Copenhagen Embassy to U.S. Secretary of State, "Subject: Thule B-52 Crash," 231330Z Jan 68. Secret. Partially declassified and released under the Freedom of Information Act.