Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Flight 224

Air India Flight 224.

25 November 1981.

I tried to tell this story a few times a long time ago but, I could just tell no one believed a single word I was saying. This was before Google so there was never any proof just my story.

PP sat next to me in class throughout high school, he lived about 500 meters down the road and we were pretty good friends. He had an older brother JP and a younger sister. His dad Jerry sold second hand cars in Durban and was French. We all knew he was a soldier of fortune and was one of “Mad Mike Hoares” right hand men. We had heard the stories of the revolution in the Belgian Congo and how romantic and adventurous it all sounded, but we often heard battle stories at school. There was always some one`s older brother, cousin, or friend who was on the “Border” and every now and then we would see a few secretly taken photos of the guys up in Angola. The photos of a contact were by far the most eagerly shown around. The photos of bloated dead bodies of the “Terrs” were the most prized.

The news spread though the school like wildfire, a commercial airliner had been high jacked and was going to land at Louis Botha, Durban International Airport. Our school was close to the airport and right under the flight path of any landing airplane when the south wind blew.

Within hours we heard the news on the radio, PP`s father was somehow involved.

Date (coup attempt): 25 November 1981
Place: Mahé International Airport on Mahé Island (Seychelles)

Objective of the coup was to bring down the Seychelles government of President France-Albert
René and to re-install the former President James Mancham.

President France-Albert René: he ousted the former President Mancham in the 1977 coup
[SE:167]. Mancham had been 'enthusiastically wooed by former information Secretary Eschel
Rhoodie as a politically ally' and SA was unhappy with the rule of René. After the overthrow of
Mancham, SA aircraft landing rights were withdrawn and SA'n economic overtures collapsed.
[S.Tribune 29/11/81]

Hoare and his 43 mercenaries (Notes*1) were disguised as tourists: rugbyplayers and members of
a beer-drinking group called the "Ancient Order of Frothblowers." They arrived in a Royal Swazi jet on Mahé, carrying their own weapons. Nine mercs (members of Hoare's advance guard) were already on the island on the evening of Wednesday, 25 November 1981.

-In 1978 Seychelles exiles in SA, acting on behalf of ex-president James Mancham, began
discussions with officials concerning a coup attempt to be launched in Seychelles.[SE:172] Gérard
Hoareau, Seychelle dissident, was one of the authors of the 1981 coup attempt. Later expelled from
SA. -As coup plans developed, the operation became en object of struggle between the Military
Intelligence service (MI) and the civilian one (NIS). The SA Government allocated the coup
operation to MI, but appointed Martin Dolinchek as a liaison officer on behalf of the NIS. [SE:173]
- Operation entrusted to Mike Hoare ('Mad Mike' Hoare), an Irish mercenary soldier (ex-Congo)
living in SA as a civilian. Among the 53 people selected to carry out the coup: some members of the
SA special forces (Recces), several former Rhodesian soldiers and ex-Congo mercs [SE:173;

Coup attempt. The coup attempt was unexpectedly triggered off when an alert customs official
spotted an AK-47 assault rifle in the luggage of one of the mercs [RDMail 13/4/82].The invaders fought a brief gun-battle at the airport and 45 live mercenaries escaped aboard an Air
India jet (Air India Boeing aircraft Flight 224) which happened to be on the tarmac and which they
hijacked. One merc had died during the skirmish. Five soldiers, a female accomplice and also
Martin Dolinchek (alias Anton Lubic) were left behind.[Mockler:311]
The mecs took some hostages, who were later freed unharmed.
A police sergeant was wounded and an army 2nd lieutenant David Antat was killed

dont be mean

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