MCPL director to discuss KAL007 shootdown

Christy Howell-Hoots - [email protected]

A memorial presentation for the 35th year of the Korean Airlines Lines 007 shoot down will be held on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The presentation is being held at the Mason County Public Library and is open to the public, according to MCPL Director Steve Parrott.

The KAL007 was a South Korean Boeing 747 that was headed to Seoul from the United States on Sept. 1, 1983. The flight strayed from the path and into Soviet airspace. As it left the airspace, a Soviet fighter shot down the plane.

“All 269 personnel on board were killed,” Parrott said. “Speculation as to what really happened to the plane and passengers has been discussed in books and movies ever since. I was a Russian linguist stationed in northern Japan, near the event, when it occurred.”

Parrott said the presentation is something he did 10 years ago at a previous library and wanted to do the same in this area to bring awareness to the event.

“I’m doing the program due to my involvement as a US Air Force Russian linguist with the intelligence collection of the event,” he said.

According to Parrott, there will be a PowerPoint presentation on the shoot down of the KAL007, a short film clip and a discussion of behind-the-scenes intelligence activities.

“Included will be a brief discussion of the heightened state of Cold War friction between the Soviet Union and the USA at that time,” he said. “Since history repeats itself, the need for world leaders to pursue detente is an especially important lesson in our world today. The more recent activities between the US and North Korea are a good example. And, discussions about Russia-United States relations continue to be a hot topic.”

Some of the questions discussed during the topic may include: How should the average citizen react to such situations? What should a nation’s response be? Should an incident such as this lead us to World War III?

“Most importantly, this presentation should provide an opportunity for us to remember that the world is “getting smaller” and that we must make every effort to seek peace in our ‘neighborhood,’” he said.

Christy Howell-Hoots

[email protected]