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May 08, 1980 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1980-05-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Michigan Daily-Thursday, May 8. 198p-Page 9
ABC reports 2d rescue plan

(Continued from Page 8)
A WELL-INFORMED White House
official, who asked not to be identified,
said after the network's report, "I don't
know of any such rescue plans." He ad-
ded that he would not discuss such
plans if he knew about them.
White House press secretary Jody
Powell has said several times that all
U.S. options remain open in the Iranian
crisis.
The network reported that while there
was no denial of such contingency plans
by administration officials, they made
it clear they hoped the need for such a
mission will be eliminated by the
release of the 53 Americans held in Iran
since Nov. 4.
MEANWHILE, morticians worked to
connect the human remains contained
in nine coffins to eight names of
American commandos known to have
perished in the aborted hostage rescue
attempt in Iran.
Defense Department spokesmen
refused to comment on reports that the
remains in the ninth coffin could be
those of an Iranian civilian.
"The Iranians returned nine caskets.
We have nine caskets and our mission is
to identify our eight servicemen," Maj.
Sam Floca said tersely.
The State Department says eight
Americans died when a helicopter and
transport plane collided in a ball of
flame in the Iranian desert almost two
weeks ago after U.S. forces aborted an
attempt to rescue the American
hostages in Iran.
THE IRANIANS insist nine or 10

bodies were recovered, and sent nine
coffins back to the United States.
A special civilian Defense Depar-
tment team was trying to identify the
remains. Air base officials said they.
had no idea when the identifications
would be completed.
"We're not speculting on how long the
identifications will take or when the
bodies will leave. We're not even
speculating on any number of bodies,"
said Sgt. Ed Hainey, a base spokesman.
Meanwhile, a Smithsonian Institute
anthropologist who offered to help in
the identification said he'd had no
response from the Defense Depar-
tment.
DR. J.L. ANGEL, curator of physical
anthropology at the Smithsonian, said
he and his staffers are among the
nation's top experts in identifying
skeletons.
"Ordinarily we determine sex, age,
race. In this case, there's the question
of cremation. It changes bones and
distorts them," said Angel, who was
sometimes called to Dover Air Force
Base during the Vietnam War to iden-
tify bodies of servicemen.
Angel said he had been turned down
in 1978 when he offered to help identify
the 913 victims of the Peoples Temple
mass murder-suicide at the base.
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT officials
had no comment when asked about
Angel's offer.
By presidential order, American
flags will fly at half-staff through sun-
set tomorrow, in mourning for the
commandos. A national memorial ser-

vice also will be held in Washington
tomorrow.
The bodies were brought to the
Delaware air base because its mor-
tuary, built to handle Vietnam War
casualties, is among the largest and
best equipped in the world. It can
process 100 bodies a day.
IN OTHER developments:
e A gunman ambushed the 24-year-

old son of Iran's Anglican bishop and
shot him dead, reports reaching London
said. The victim, Bahram Deghani Taf-
tik, an Oxford student, had worked as
an interpreter for foreign reporters in
Tehran.
e Informed sources said an uniden-
tified American women, arrested
earlier this week on spy charges, was
transferred to the custody of the
Iranian Foreign Ministry.

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