MIA Facts Site

Statement by the Honorable

Duane P. Andrews

Assistant Secretary of Defense

  Summary.   Statement by the Honorable Duane P. Andrews Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence) before the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs United States Senate October 15, 1992, regarding the question of "evader symbols" or "distress symbols" allegedly constructed by US POWs in Vietnam and supposedly observed on satellite and other imagery.

 Statement by the Honorable Duane P. Andrews Assistant Secretary of Defense Statement by the Honorable Duane P. Andrews Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence) before the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs United States Senate October 15, 1992

Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee. While I am pleased to support your hearing which is examining markings on buildings and terrain in Southeast Asia that may relate to American POW/MIAs and to have this opportunity to set the record straight on a lot of incorrect information that is in circulation, I have great apprehension in discussing in an open hearing topics that relate to the capabilities and practices of our Nation's Intelligence activities. I believe that it is a poor security practice to "talk around" classified operations iniformation that was recently widely disclosed in the TV and print media. It seems that we and officials that have served before us have been indicted in the court of public opinion for ignoring signs that Americans were left behind based on an inaccurate bill of particulars that was drawn up using incomplete, selectively leaked intelligence.

 I understand the frustration with classification expressed by many in the general public and in particular by the families and Veteran's organizations that are so concerned with the POW/MIA issue. They appear to believe that we are unnecessarily keeping this intelligence material behind a veil of secrecy - that as it relates to events from decades ago it therefore no longer required classified protection. This is not the case. Much of what we have discussed in closed meetings is based on current intelligence sources and methods. This is not, as some have charged, an attempt to hide a perceived government failure to liberate our POWs. Rather, it is the fulfillment of our obligation to protect those intelligence means and methods vital to our global responsibilities in the defense of the Nation.

 Notwithstanding his reservations about public discussion of intelligence matters, Secretary Cheney has authorized me to present an unclassified statement describing certain of our intelligence activities and other related activities that were understaken in response to certain symbols that have been purported to indicate the possible presence of American prisoners of war in Vietnam and Laos. These symbols have been referred to in the press as the USA and K, the 1973 or 1573 TH, the Morse Code K, the 52 or B52, the "arrow and P, and what were believed to be a series of escape and evasion identity numbers that were seen by Joint Services Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape Agency, or JSSA, personnel on some photographs of Laos.

 To the extent that I can in an open session, and to the best of my knowledge based on what I have pulled from the reports of actions that were undertaken by the Defense Intelligence Agency and by the JSSA, I will review our current understanding of these symbols. Following my statement Mr. William Gadoury of the Joint Task Force-Full Accounting will present his statement concerning certain activities related to the search for Americans and the USA symbol. Colonel Bob Bonn, Commander of the JSSA, Mr. Bob Dussault, Colonel Bonn's deputy, and Mr. Al Erickson, a SERE instructor and evasion and escape expert, and Mr. Sheetz, Mr. Santora, and Mr. Knapper from the Defense Intelligence Agency are present. These individuals are prepared to independently confirm the accuracy of what I relate.

 However, I must caution that in open session we will be unable to present the full range of information available to us on these matters -- information that we have previously presented to the Select Committee in closed meetings. Any questions that require getting into classified information in order to provide a complete answer will have to be answered in a closed hearing. Please do not take this as an indication that we are not willing to answer your questions fully. We have willingly made all of our documents available to the Select Committee and we will willingly answer all of your questions. We just have to do so in a responsible manner when dealing with sensitive intelligence or escape and evasion matters. If we divulge the tradecraft used in either area it may cost American lives in future conflicts.

 Before I review the specific symbols of interest I would like to make a few comments concerning imagery. I believe that a short general description of this topic will help you understand the complexity of the issue and the technical photographs we probably think of the snapshots we get back from the drug store or the one hour film processor or the portraits we have taken on special occasions. When we talk of imagery we are talking about quite a different thing. Although some of our imagery is produced by light directly falling on a wide strip of film, most is produced by very high technology processes involving devices which transform the varying light signals into digital signals. These digital signals can be read out on very high resolution workstations -- a kind of film negative. Such imagery can be made up of a single view of the area or it can be made up of two images taken slightly apart in time or from two slightly different angles. This allows us to view the image as if it were in three dimensions.

 We examine such film on a light table under very powerful optics. In effect we put it under a microscope. Interpreting the information contained in a film positive or negative is not a skill you can pick up quickly. I was an imagery analyst in my earlier years in the Air Force. It took me six months of basic schooling and another six months of on-the-job training before I was considered qualified to sign my name to an imagery interpretation report. Today, we send our analysts to an additional three months of advanced schooling after they have had this basic qualification training. When viewing an image it is often easy to "see" things in nature that appear to be man-made but which on closer examination are shadows and foliage.

 When an intelligence analyst has a question about an area or a specific point target he submits an imagery request. This request is given an appropriate priority and will be imaged. This image does not go directly to the intelligence analyst that requested that it be taken. Rather, a skilled imagery interpreter examines the image and prepares an imagery interpretation report. This written report, and occasionally a print or photograph of the target, is forwarded to the analyst. Some times when an imagery interpreter examines an image he or she will see something that was not mentioned in the original analyst's request. An example is the USA seen by a CIA imagery interpreter who was examining imagery of Laos for another purpose. In such a case the imagery interpretation report is forwarded to the analytic section responsible for the unexpected sighting.

 I also should address why we are showing line drawings of the symbols we are here today to discuss. A fair question is "You are very open about what these symbols are or appear to be so why not show photographs of them?" The reason is straightforward. If a camera scientist can get his hands on an image he canb determine many characteries of the camera that took the picture. Its location, its focal length, the camera's stability, its sensitivity to the varying intensity of light, and a host of other technical parameters. We do not want the scientists of other countries to obtain such knowledge of our technical capabilities. Such knowledge would help them hide things from us that we need to see to support our military forces and for national security.

 Now I will turn to the symbols that have been the subject of so much discussion. I will review each of the images of interest in turn. I believe this will support our conclusion that of all the millions of square kilometers of territory in Southeast Asia that we have examined over the years we really only have two unexplained sets of symbols which were clearly intended to communicate something to an observer from above.

 The first symbol of interest is a 1973 TH. This symbol was imaged on May 20, 1973 and again on July 10, 1973 on the Plain of Jars in Laos. The Plain of Jars was a hotly contested area during the war in Indochina. Lao General Vang Pao and his Hmong soldiers fought valiantly for control of this vital area which contains within its borders the key lines of communication for central Laos. Control of the Plain of Jars shifted back and forth between Royal Lao Army and Pathet Lao and Vietnamese forces during the war.

 The imagery, now unclassified, which contains this set of symbols was obtained using an unmanned airborne reconnaissance system. It has been interpreted as either a 1573 or 1973 and either TA or TH. None of the four possible combinations of these symbols correlate to a classic distress symbol or to the escape and evasion symbols that our crews were trained to use. Another explanation is that the four numbers resemble a personal authenticator number but we have been unable to correlate them with any individual. Although it is not what we would expect to be used by an unaccounted for U.S. military person, the symbols remains of interest to the Defense Department because they have not been explained.

 Possible explanations for the appearance of these symbols are many, though none seem particularly convincing. For instance, the U.S. Government provided aid to General Vang Pao through CIA-operated Air America assets. Some Air America crews were downed in action. One such U.S. Aviator, Emmet Kay, went down on May 7, 1973 approximately 8 kilometers from the area where this symbol was either tramped, cut, cleared or etched into the elephant grass. (Emmet Kay returned to the U.S. in September 1974.) Some have surmised the Emmet Kay's Hmong crew might have made the symbol during the few hours they were free before capture. The leader of the Hmong was a Major Thao. We can speculate that he may have been trying to signal their location by abbreviating his name. We may never know the answer to this as Major Thao died in captivity.

 Others have surmised that the symbol could have been placed on the ground by a group of Thai personnel that were also captured during this period by the Pathet Lao. TH, of course, is the two character U.S. country code for Thailand. We know that these three Thai individuals were held in captivity with Emmet Kay and his Hmong crew members. Many attempts have been made over the years to follow this lead. Only recently, a new lead has surfaced indicating that one of the Hmong may now be available for interview in Thailand. If we are successful in our attempt to interview this individual we may learn more. But at this point, we have no way of knowing if the symbol was or was not made by either the Thai individuals or the Hmong.

 Another, and less likely, theory for the symbol relates to the downing of an AC-130 gunship in December 1972, some 300 miles away in southern Laos just across the Lao/Thai border. While only two crew members were known to have survived, one of the crew members that stayed with the plane down to its impact on the jungle floor was Captain Thomas Hart. Captain Hart is the only downed aviator whose initials and loss circumstances could possible correlate with the initials TH. While Captain Hart's remains were recovered in 1985 by the JCRC, even if Captain Hart had survived, it is unlikely that he would have chosen to evade for over 300 miles through some of the roughest territory in Laos. He would more likely have gone a relatively short distance due West toward Thailand and freedom.

 All we know for sure at this point in time in 1992 is that the symbol remains unexplained despite having been analyzed in depth on at least four separate occasions: by the Pacific Command in 1973: by the JCRC and DIA in 1976: by DIA in 1986/87: and by the DIA, CIA and JSSA in 1992. Neither the DIA, JSSA, or the JTF-FA have been able to make a correlation to any individual. While positive results may have been hoped for in 1973-75, it is not likely that 19 years later we will be able to pick up the trail in Laos. In short, the origin and meaning of this symbol is unexplained and probably will remain so.

 I will now turn to the USA & possible K symbols. This symbol was imaged on January 22, 1988 in a narrow rice paddy Valley in Northeast Laos near Sam Neua, Laos. This imagery was taken for a project unrelated to POW/MIAs and was not looked at by an imagery analyst until early December 1988. While the actual imagery remains classified, the line drawing we have with us today is unclassified. As you can see, the letters USA are clearly distinguishable, and each letter is estimated to be more than twice the height of a normal sized man. On the imagery, below the USA letters some additional markings can be seen. Some have speculated that these markins are in the pattern of the number 34 or even the letter K, or perhaps even a so-called walking K distress symbol. This symbol was only imaged once. By the time it was discovered in December 1988 by the Central Intelligence Agency and immediately brought to DIA's attention, it was no longer observable on the ground.

 Once this symbol was made known to DIA, investigative steps were promptly taken. The full range of follow-up steps taken by the U.S. Government have been briefed to the Committee in a closed meeting. What I can say here in open session is that all appropriate means of information collection, including the full range of intelligence assets avialable to the U.S. Government have been brought to bear to no avail. Like the prior symbol discussed that appeared on the Plain of Jars in 1973, this USA symbol remains unexplained.

 There is still disagreement as to whether or not the markings and shadings seen below the USA letters are in actuality some type of evader symbol. It is clear to DIA and CIA imagery analysts that the USA letters were constructed by scraping away the rice stubble from a harvested rice paddy in dry season. One likely explanation for what appears to some as a 34 or possible K is the dumping of extractred rice stubble in several piles at random. Clearly, the supposed K is not in any fashion comparable to the USA letters -- not in size, not in means of construction, not in spatial orientation, and certainly not in clarity. When this image was further examined through the application of sophisticated computer-enhanced analysis, including the use of so-called false color analysis to differentiate between grey scales, this alleged K symbol appears even more likely to be the mounding of rice stubble and thus even less convincing as a possible K.

 So what do we have here? No one, not DIA, not CIA and not JSSA, can correlate the USA and possible K symbols with an unaccounted for individual. While the Lao government has admitted that prior to 1973 prisoners were kept in Pathet Lao headquarters caves located in the Sam Neua area, prisoners were not known to be held there after the war ended. These caves have been visited many times in recent years by Americans and other Westerners, and it was clear by the late 1980's that the caves are no longer in use. Other facilities that would likely be used for hiding American POWs are not known to exist anywhere else in Sam Neua.

 I acknowledge that there have been isolated reports of POWs being held in some areas of Laos, including Sam Neua. But after giving these reports, most of which come from refugee sources, a full and complete evaluation, the Department has been unable to develop convincing evidence that U.S. POWs are being held in Sam Neua today, nor do we have any evidence they were being held there in 1988.

 Mr. Bill Gadoury, an investigator who covers Laos for the Joint Task Force - Full Accounting, has an interesting story to tell that may relate to the USA symbol. As I indicated earlier, Bill will tell this story at the conclusion of my statement.

 Where we are now with regard to the USA symbol can be summarized as follows: 1). The USA and possible K remains unexplained, despite having tasked every means of information collection available through the intelligence Community. Many collection capabilities have been exercised multiple times to no avail. 2). No correlation to a known unaccounted-for individual can be made by DIA, JSSA, or the JTF-FA. And 3). Until an unexpected lead develops, there is little more that can be done other than continuing to monitor the situation. We have discussed in our closed meeting how we are accomplishing this monitoring.

 I will now address the possible K symbol in Morse Code on the roof of a building. This possible symbol was seen on July 30, 1975 when DIA and CIA imagery analysts noticed several light spots on the roof of one building within a known prison compound in Vietnam Northeast of Haiphong. The photography remains classified, so DIA has prepared line drawings for our discussions in open session.

 Noticing a distinct color difference -- some roof sections were much brighter than the remainder of the roof on one barracks type building -- CIA imagery analysts attempted to discern a possible pattern. They made a tenuous call that the pattern could be a dash - dot - dash in Morse code, which could be the letter K or the letters N and T. Although this was an admittedly tenuous imagery analytic call, an intenst all-source analysis was mounted by DIA.

 What they learned can be summarized at the unclassified level as follows. First, the prison compound was formerly a French detention facility, used later during the Vietnam war years as a provincial jail. We know that it was used to house captured South Vietnamese commando infiltrators, several of whom were ultimately interviewed after emigrating from Vietnam after the war. These former inmates stated that no U.S. prisoners were even known to be incarcerated there during wartime.

 Other sources provided postwar information. This prison, known to us now as the Dong Vai Reeducation Camp, was used from late 1975 to late 1978 by the North to house former Army of Vietnam (ARVN) officers and other South Vietnamese officials who underwent "reeducation" to prepare them for "proper functioning" in the new socialist/communist unified Vietnam. Thus, from late 1975 Dong Vai became part of a much larger reeducation camp system in Vietnam that has been described to us in great detail by many of the thousands of South Vietnamese refugees that have been interviewed by DIA's investigative personnel. Taken as a whole, the body of reporting from Dong Vai paints a consistent picture -- this camp was used for reeducation and not for housing U.S. prisoners.

 A closer look at the photography of July 30, 1975 reveals some very interesting details. The front gate is wide open and no special security measures are apparent. The roofs of a number of buildings inside and just outside the compound are off, indicating probably rehabilitation of the jail facility, no doubt preparing it for its subsequent use as a reeducation camp.

 Fusing all this information, we see a very consistent picture. First, after the fall of Saigon, Dong Vai was renovated and subsequently used as part of the reeducation camp system. Second, the replacement of roof tiles accounts for the color difference seen on July 30, 1975. In fact, the photography shows that one section of the roof of the building in question is open, indicating that tile replacement was still in progress. Further, photography of the compound taken in January 1975 before this reconstruction process started failed to show any roof tile color variations. And photography of December 1975 after the roof reconstruction was complete, shows weathering of the sections replaced in July; no color variations are observable.

 The Dong Vai reeducation camp had a rather short lifetime. By late 1978, most of the reeducates had either been released or were moved to other re-education camps further south. For Vietnam and China, the late 1970's were punctuated by recurring security threats and border crises. We can speculate that because this facility was so far north, the Vietnamese decided to close it for security reasons, or perhaps it was no longer needed as part of the reeducation camp system. What is known through recent photography is that the camp is no longer in use, many of the buildings have been torn down and much of the former prison/camp area has reverted to agriculture.

 In short, the fused, all-source analytic view of DIA and CIA is that Dong Vai was not a facility that housed American prisoners; that roof reconstruction accounted for the roof tile color differences seen only on July 30, 1975; and, that it highly unlikely that symbols were consciously placed on the roof structure as a signal. JSSA fully agrees with this assessment. We consider this possible symbol closed and are no longer pursuing it.

 I will now address the 52 or B52 symbol. Based upon source reporting in 1979 and 1980 that American prisoners might be held in a detention facility in southern Laos, imagery analysts began to review the area for the presence of a detention facility. In doing so, the numbers 52, believed to be a possible symbol were observed five times between December 1980 and March 1981 in a facility located in the area southeast of the city of Nhommarath, Laos. The photography, which remains classified, shows a possible 52 in an agricultural area within the camp. The possible symbol was first observed on December 4, 1980, with subsequent observations on December 30, 1980, January 2, 1981, February 6, 1981 and March 8, 1981. Slight changes in the structure of the symbol were noted from sighting to sighting and as late as March 8, 1981, the symbol was still in place, however, the top portion of the 5 could no longer be seen.

 The symbol was located within a row crop area between the walls of an inner compound and the perimeter fence. Although imagery analysts have arrived at different conclusions as to whether there was actually a 52 symbol or not. Because of the variations in the size and structure of the possible numbers from observation to observation there was strong suspicion that what the imagery analysts were reporting as possible 52, might be nothing more than shadowing within the row crop area. During continued analysis of the possible numbers, some imagery analysts reported that there might even be a "B" associated with the symbol, however, the possible B appeared to be another instance of shadowing within the area under observation.

 The source reporting which was the basis for requesting the imagery analysis came to DIA from the CIA which stated that the reporting should be read with caution since there was some question as to the reliability of the sources involved. As noted earlier, the facility in question was located near the Lao city of Nhommarath, which is situated in Khammouane Province; the city of Nhommarath is within 50 kilometers of the Mekong River and the border of Thailand. The proximity of this facility to Thailand raised doubts that the Lao Communists would actually hold American prisoners in an area so close to Thailand.

 In 1980 and 1981 there was not a large number of sources as yet available who had visited the area or been within the facility near Nhommarath. Nevertheless, photographs of the interior of the facility in question were turned over to U.S. Government representatives. The photographs, taken in early 1981, indicated that Western prisoners were not present within the facility. The exact measures undertaken by the U.S. Government to inspect the facility and to determine whether American prisoners were being held or not remains classified. In addition, the body of reporting from human sources who had detailed knowledge of the interior and purpose of the facility does not support the notion that American prisoners had ever been held within the facility.

 There was not then and there has never been proof that American prisoners were held in the facility near Nhommarath. As a matter of fact, continued analysis since 1980, photographs of this facility and human sources support our best judegement that Americans were not held in the facility. The facility is now known to have been a reeducation camp used by the Communist government that took power in 1975 to educate former Royal Lao Army officers and certain officials from the Royal Lao government. This camp has been described to us in detail by former inmates that have been interviewed outside of Laos. There is even more reason to believe now that what was interpreted as a possible 52 symbol was nothing more than the irregular furrows of many individual garden plots.

 I will now turn to the symbols referred to as an arrow and a "p." In mid-1992, during a routine review and analysts of central Laos, analysts discovered a possible symbols which included a large arrow and the possible letter "p." These symbols were on the ground in December 1987. Further review of these possible symbols revealed that although one symbol has the overall shape of an arrow, the stem does not join the arrow head. The stem of the arrow may be up to 100' in length. The possible "p" symbol appears to be nothing more than a scarred area on the ground with vegetation, perhaps a bush or two, growing in the center.

 There is no evidence that this possible symbol has any association with Americans, whether living freely or in captivity. Explanations for the possible arrow include natural limestone outcroppings or logs. An imagery search was conducted in both directions of the axis of the possible arrow with negative results. When imaged this area was undergoing the slash and burn process associated with clearing jungle for agricultural use. When next imaged this area was under cultivation. While we are attempting to identify refugees in Thailand who came from the area where the symbol was observed, we have little hope of gaining further information on these five year old possible symbols.

 This gets us to the bottom line of the various symbols which we believe were intended by their makers to be detected from above. To date, we have two unexplained sets of symbols. One was imaged in 1973 and one was imaged in 1988. A full range of follow up actions were undertaken. None of these symbols can be tied to a U.S. POW but neither can we absolutely disprove that "possibility."

 I would now like to turn to some apparent evader symbols that have been cited as recent evidence of POWs in Laos. These supposed symbols were seen by members of the JSSA on a poor quality positive print of an image. For context, the JSSA is a 65 person organizatino located in three states and headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. As commander, Colonel Bonn reports to the Air Force Director of Operations. The Air Force and JSSA are executive agents for the Department of Defense for two major areas: Joint operational evasion and escape matters, and Code of Conduct and SERE training. They have a third, more recent charter as an executive agent for the purpose of drafting, in coordination with the Services and other DoD agencies, a Department of Defense Directive on POW/MIA matters. The latter project is in progress.

 Under the JSSA E&E charter, they are responsible for working E&E operational matters with command planners and operators to ensure tactics, procedures, equipment, and training are adequate and consistent with JCS policy. The JSSA also acts as executive agent for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management and Personnel with respect to Code of Conduct and SERE training. To accomplish this they have a special training unit with 19 people responsible for providing advanced instruction and exercises for selected high risk-of-capture personnel from all the military services. This unit trains these personnel in Code of Conduct, SERE, and hostage survival courses, both in residence and using mobile training teams.

 The JSSA has also been charged by DoD to conduct periodic inspections of five SERE certified training schools operated by the Army, Navy, and Air Force; to research and analyze prisoner of war and actual SERE experiences for lessons learned to improve training; and to maintain a Code of Conduct-related research library.

 That then, in a nutshell, is the JSSA. The JSSA does not have an never has had MIA accountability as a functional responsibility. They are not cognizant of all-source intelligence related to MIAs and have never been tasked by anyone to conduct a comprehensive review of reports of downed, missing, or captured personnel in Southeast Asia. However, in 1978 the JSSA did do a survey of Operation Homecoming POW debriefs and compiled a data base of all references to sightings of non-returnees. The only POW analytical role the JSSA now performs is to review POW and peacetime hostage debriefs for lessons we can apply to the training programs we oversee.

 The JSSA has never been asked to review DIA's MIA efforts. The JSSA is not an inspector general and has no one qualified in intelligence analysis or photographic interpretation to perform such a function.

 Aside from the project to draft a DoD Directive, the JSSA's current involement in POW/MIA matters was solely due to requests by the Select Committee that they review poor quality, poor resolution copies of photography for evaluation with respect to evasion and escape techniques of ground signal communication. This they did with some degree of discomfort at being asked to be photographic interpreters, a technical skill they do not possess and which was called to the Committee's attention by the DoD POW/MIA Central Documentation Office -- this is the organization that I established to declassify POW/MIA documents and to support the Select Committee.

 On June 22, the Chief Counsel of the Select Committee requested that the JSSA evaluate the photograph containing the USA symbol discussed earlier. The letter of request asked the JSSA to provide an independent evaluation of the symbol's probably origins, meaning, and if they are consistent with accepted SERE training and procedures. The JSSA was also asked to evaluate a photograph of a second larger area some distance to the southwest.

 In forwarding the JSSA's response on July 10, the Director of the DoD Central Documentation Office cautioned Mr.Codhina, Chief Counsel of the Select Committee, that the JSSA does not maintain a capability to perform imagery analysis and that imagery was only one source used in the intelligence process and that to fully comprehend the significance of a photo, information from multiple sources must be considered and examined by analysts from an appropriate intelligence organization.

 I regret that I was not personally aware of the Committee's request to the JSSA and our response in July. I believe we could have avoided the resulting misunderstandings if we had been aware that the JSSA was attempting in good faith to perform a function that was well outside their area of expertise. Basically, the JSSA personnel viewed a very poor quality print with a magnifying glass and saw a lot of numbers and letters. They then matched these symbols against their authenticator lists of missing airmen. Where these matches occurred they indicated that these might be possible "evader" symbols. I do not want to get more specific on these symbols as much of the escape and evasion tradescraft is classified and may well be used again. I am concerned that all of the media attention to these symbols has probably compromised any attempts by any possible surviving American POWs to use the symbols that were taught to them in Southeast Asia.

 Viewing a poor quality print with a magnifying glass is just now how imagery exploitation should be done. This ignores the basic principles of imagery interpretation which considers the pattern, shape, size, shadow, surroundings, tone and texture of each artifact. When the JSSA personnel viewed the original quality imagery of the printed photograph on a light table using high resolution optics the nature of all the supposed evader symbols became clear. They were simply vegetation, shadows or artifacts of the photographic production process. Some possible symbols were even in the tops of 200 foot tall trees, an unlikely place for an evading POW to leave a signal. When shown photographs of other locations including Africa and Utah, the JSSA personnel also "saw" the same kinds of symbols -- symbols which again disappeared on the light table. Each and every apparent evader symbol was reviewed by JSSA on the light table and none were found to be real. Now I don't want to give the impression they were imagining things. Often when you look at a photographic print you can see numbers and letters in the shadows. That is why we do not normally interpret such prints for intelligence purposes and that is why it takes a long time to train imagery interpreters; it is easy to be misled. In this case it is unfortunate that untrained personnel were used to support an unwarranted conclusiong concerning evader symbols in Laos.

 Mr. Chairman that concludes my statement. I respectfully request that Mr. Gadoury of the Joint Task Force Full-Accounting present his statement before we entertain questions. I make this request as I believe his statement is relevant to the questions that may remain concerning the USA and possible K symbols.