MIA Facts Site

Ronald Reagans' Opinon of Bill Hendon:
". . . off his rocker."


First, some background.  In the summer of 2007, former Congressman Bill Hendon published a book titled An Enormous Crime.  In this book, Hendon uses official documents to "prove" that hundreds of American POWs were abandoned in SEAsia and that the US government has been covering up this abandonment.  As I have described in many places on this website, these claims are complete nonsense -- and Hendon is one of the primary purveyors of this crap, but that doesn't stop  him.

About the same time that Hendon's book was released, Ronald Reagan's White House diaries were released.  Reagan had this to say about Hendon's POW-MIA claims (quoted from the Raleigh, NC, News and Observer).

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Ronald Reagan wasn't impressed with a North Carolina representative's claims about MIAs.

According to the recently published "The Reagan Diaries," the president thought then Rep. Bill Hendon was "off his rocker" after a meeting in 1986.

Hendon, an Asheville Republican, and New Hampshire Rep. Bob Smith met with Reagan on Jan. 9, 1996, to talk about the possibility that Vietnam was still holding American prisoners of war.

Afterward, the Great Communicator wrote in his diary:

"Bill is way out yonder on the issue of M.I.A.'s. He claims Mil. Intelligence has all sorts of proof that Vietnam is holding live prisoners but the bureaucracy is covering it up from even the Sec. of Defense, etc."


Reagan then notes that he sent Vice President George Bush to check out some of the stories, one of which involved the president in a meeting that never took place.

"Geo. reported back after lunch. I'm afraid Bill is off his rocker—even Bob (who said nothing in our meeting) told Geo. he can't go along with Bill on his rantings."


A week later, Reagan met with staff about the issue again.

"The lady who heads the M.I.A.-P.O.W. family organization gave further evidence that Cong. man Bill Hendon is absolutely wrong in his wild charges that our govt. has info about the P.O.W.'s & is covering it up."


Hendon later became an M.I.A. activist, chaining himself to the gate of a U.S. office in Vietnam.

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More on Hendon at these links:

bulletBackground on Hendon's involvement in the MIA issue and his tactics.
bulletHow Hendon conspired with former USMC Private Bobby Garwood to produce phony "live sightings."
bulletAnd another phony story generated by Hendon.