Sometime during 2012, when the late 9/11 researcher, author, and veteran Boeing 757 and 767 pilot Philip Marshall was contacted by a few of his old CIA colleagues from his days as a contract pilot for “the Company,” little did he realize what secrets would await him at an isolated aerodrome in the Arizona desert known as the Pinal Air Park.
If it were not for the fact that sprouting like Arizona cacti from the desert base of Pinal Air Park are the large fuselages and tails of hundreds of passenger jumbo jets, passers-by on Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson would miss the site that has hosted the CIA’s fleet of private planes and proprietary airline companies over some six decades.
Not always a magnet for curious tourists, Marana was once a training field for U.S. Army Air Force, U.S. Air Force, and Nationalist Chinese pilots during World War II and immediately afterward. During the Korean War, Darr Aviation trained student pilots for the U.S. Air Force. In the 1950s, Marana was used by the CIA’s Special Activities Division to test the Fulton Skyhook, a surface-to-air harness recovery system used to extract agents from hostile locations.
Popularly known as the “boneyard” for civilian aircraft, Pinal or Marana also figures prominently in the events of 9/11. When this author attended Phil Marshall’s funeral in Mandeville, Louisiana in March 2013, a member of his family pulled me aside and confided, “If you want to know what Phil was working on before he died, the answers will be found in Marana, Arizona.”
Delta Airlines officially denies that its old planes are stored at Pinal.
The Calaveras County, California Sheriff contended that Marshall, in a bipolar rage influenced by pain killers and alcohol, of shooting to death his teenage son and daughter, the family dog, and himself in their family home in Murphys, California at the end of January 2013.
An FBI agent also confided to WMR that Marshall was peering into the pre-9/11 activities surrounding Pinal Air Park and its major CIA proprietary operator at the time, Evergreen Aviation.
A special investigation by WMR resulted in a different conclusion than that arrived at by a hasty Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department. Marshall, during a trip to Marana in 2012, met some old CIA pilot friends from the early 1980s. In those days, Marshall flew CIA drug running pilot-turned-Drug Enforcement Administration informant Barry Seal to places like Central America and Mena, Arkansas. Marshall was said by his friends and family to have been given some “smoking gun” information on the role that Marana played in the 9/11 attacks.
Marshall, a veteran United Airlines pilot with 15,000 hours in the cockpits of Boeing 757s and Boeing 767s, the two aircraft types allegedly involved in destroying the World Trade Center twin towers, the west side of the Pentagon, and plunging into a field in Pennsylvania, wrote two books — False Flag 911: How Bush, Cheney and the Saudis Created the Post-911 World and The Big Bamboozle: 9/11 and the War on Terror — doubting the official 9/11 Commission report that claimed that 19 Arab flight students, with only rudimentary training, were able to maneuver heavy jet planes in a manner that even seasoned pilots like Marshall said was virtually impossible. Impossible, perhaps, for human pilots but possibly not for special hybrid aircraft, fabricated to resemble commercial planes, painted with United and American logos and colors, and topped off with drone technology.
But where could such aircraft be produced without anyone’s suspicions being raised? Ever since 1948, when the U.S. Government turned the Marana field back to Pinal County, the CIA has maintained a presence there. Originally built by Sun City developer; Poston, Arizona Japanese-American relocation center builder; and former New York Yankees owner Del Webb in 1942, the airfield trained 10,000 pilots during World War II. Dinah Shore entertained the trainee pilots during a USO tour.
After the war, Pinal County leased Marana back to Sonoran Flight Services, which was contracted to the U.S. Forest Service to fight forest fires. However, the airfield soon gained the attention of the newly-inaugurated CIA, which piggybacked on the Forest Service contract to begin operating CIA proprietary airline companies from the location much prized for its remoteness. A fairly old massive pile of dirt located outside the main gate of Pinal Air Park is said to be the soil excavated for a massive tunnel system installed under the base by the CIA.
George Doole, the CIA’s guru on establishing proprietary aviation companies, decided that Marana was the best place to center the operations of a number of famous and infamous spook airline outfits, including Civil Air Transport, Atlantic General Enterprise, Air America, Southern Air Transport, Intermountain Aviation (for which Phil Marshall flew in the early 1980s), Continental Air Services (part of Continental Airlines that supported CIA and U.S. military operations in Southeast Asia), and, finally, Evergreen Trade. The latter is a diversified company started by Del Smith that is involved in everything from chemical spraying for weather modification to growing Christmas trees and operating a vineyard. Its aviation arm, Evergreen Aviation, for years operated Pinal Air Park for the CIA as a major center for maintaining and refurbishing aircraft for special operations.
The telltale sign of underground excavation and tunnels at Pinal: a huge mound of soil outside the main entrance.
Those “special operations,” as Phil Marshall was undoubtedly aware from his days as a pilot for DEA-informant Barry Seal, included narcotics smuggling, for which Air America and Southern Air Transport were the most infamous. To this day, incoming planes at Pinal are subjected to rigorous inspections by U.S. Customs and Agriculture Department agents for contraband and invasive plant, insect, and animal species.
In the 1990s, Pinal Air Park was used by the Department of the Treasury as a Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) to train special agents, including Secret Service agents, in motor vehicle protective driving techniques and firearms use.
According to Pinal Air Park sources, in the months before and just after 9/11, the facility was the home to over 200 commercial aircraft, the highest number than during any other recent time. While many airlines send their aircraft to Pinal for quick maintenance, other companies either send planes to the facility for long term storage or pull planes from long term storage for extensive overhaul and a return to service. Planes stored at Pinal are either destined for the scrap yard or storage for future use. A number of Delta Airlines planes are currently parked at Pinal with a number destined for the scrap yard after their parts are cannibalized. A Turkmenistan Airlines Boeing 717 was at Pinal long enough for some quick maintenance before it was returned to active service. Currently, an Air Jamaica Boeing 757 is at Pinal undergoing similar maintenance. Not so fortunate is a EuroAtlantic Airways Boeing 747 charter plane that is so weathered, its final destination will be a scrap yard.
Interspersed with U.S. commercial aircraft are foreign planes like the one above from China Eastern Airlines.
A similar boneyard and maintenance-to-storage, storage-to-scrap, and storage-to-maintenance/full operations facility for military aircraft exists at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base to the wets of Tucson. WMR discovered that there is a degree of coordination between the military boneyard at Davis-Monthan and the civilian one at Pinal Air Park.
One is never certain what they’ll find at the military boneyard next to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, on the other side of Tucson from the Pinal Air Park.
Pinal not only has the capability to maintain aircraft but, according to a source familiar with the operations at the facility, it can manufacture aircraft from the cannibalized parts from other planes. In addition, the facility can fabricate new parts for special purposes. WMR learned that Pinal has the capability to enable large planes to be remotely operated. WMR can report that it was this capability at Pinal that attracted airline captain Marshall’s attention and was to be a central part of this third book on 9/11. After his death, the computer hard disk containing the manuscript for Marshall’s third book was removed from his residence in Murphys and was reportedly sent to the technical lab of the California Department of Justice in Sacramento for “analysis.” Neither it nor the manuscript contained on it have ever surfaced.
The intrigue does not stop there. In 2012, when Marshall visited Pinal and spoke to his contacts, Evergreen was in negotiations to sell its facility as part of the Pinal Air Park was slated for return to county control and development as a general aviation airport. Eventually, a company based in Rosslyn, in Arlington County, Virginia, Relativity, LLC, negotiated with Evergreen for the sale of the maintenance and storage facility at Pinal. Relativity then changed the name of the facility at Pinal from Evergreen to Marana Aerospace Solutions. Marana Aerospace dropped the armed guards at the main entrance to Pinal but an ominous “U.S. Government Property-Restricted Area” sign greets anyone trying to enter the area of the facility controlled by the company.
After visiting the Flightline Grill Restaurant, which is open to the public and where Marana Aerospace employees dine for meals, a white Marana Aerospace security pickup truck followed this editor’s vehicle to the main entrance of the facility. Only after the editor’s vehicle passed through the unmanned gate did the security vehicle make a U-turn.
One of Relativity’s principal officers is Leslie Armitage, who is also a co-founder of The Carlyle Group-Europe. Carlyle is a major investment company on whose board at the time of 9/11 was George H. W. Bush and whose major investors included the Bin Laden family of Saudi Arabia. Carlyle is no stranger to the aviation business, having invested in partnerships with Northrop Grumman and United Defense Industries.
The combination of the Carlyle Group, the CIA, drone aircraft capabilities, civilian jet aircraft, and the fact that 9/11 author and pilot Phil Marshall may have paid with his and his family’s lives for having this and possibly additional information about these connections certainly calls for a re-examination of the circumstances behind the 9/11 attacks and a new investigation by the state of California and the FBI into the death of Marshall and his two children in January 2013.
Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist who consistently exposes cover-ups from deep within the government. Want to be the first to learn the latest scandal? Go to WayneMadsenReport.com subscribe today!