Pentagon admits airport arrival ceremonies of remains of our soldiers are fake

My heart is just sick over this.

The Pentagon just admitted that those heart-rending “arrival ceremonies” at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii, wherein an honor guard carries off a cargo plane the flag-draped coffins supposedly containing the remains of soldiers killed in battle ARE ALL STAGED.

The coffins are empty. Even the cargo planes are fake — they don’t fly.


phony arrival ceremonyJust phony theater: An honor detail comprised of joint military members prepares to escort the remains of fallen servicemembers who died during World War II and the Vietnam War during an arrival ceremony April 26, 2013, hosted by the U.S. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command. (Photo by Sean Furey/U.S. Navy)

From Stars and Stripes, Oct. 10, 2013:

The Department of Defense unit charged with recovering servicemembers’ remains abroad has been holding phony “arrival ceremonies” for seven years, with an honor guard carrying flag-draped coffins off of a cargo plane as though they held the remains returning that day from old battlefields.

The Pentagon acknowledged Wednesday that no honored dead were in fact arriving, and that the planes used in the ceremonies often couldn’t even fly, and were towed into position. The story was first reported on

The ceremonies at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii are held up as a sign of the nation’s commitment to its fallen warriors. They have been attended by veterans and families of MIAs, led to believe that they were witnessing the return of Americans killed in World War II, Vietnam and Korea.

In a statement sent to NBC News, the Pentagon wrote:

“Part of the ceremony involves symbolically transferring the recovered remains from an aircraft to a vehicle for follow-on transportation to the lab. Many times, static aircraft are used for the ceremonies, as operational requirements dictate flight schedules and aircraft availability. This transfer symbolizes the arrival of our fallen servicemembers.

“It is important to note that recovered remains ceremoniously transferred from the aircraft to the [bus] have been in the lab undergoing forensic analysis to determine identity. When remains first arrive in Hawaii, JPAC cannot confirm if the remains are those of an American servicemember.”

NBC writes that the ceremonies have been known among some of the military and civilian staff at the base as The Big Lie.

The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, or JPAC, has come under intense scrutiny in recent months after two scathing reports were released this summer.

In July, The Associated Press ran a story exposing a 2012 internal JPAC report that found the agency to be “acutely dysfunctional” with some missions that amounted to little more than paid vacations for staffers.

A second investigation released weeks later by the Government Accountability Office found that Pentagon efforts to account for fallen troops missing overseas were inefficient and in need of overhaul, according to congressional sources.

In 2010, lawmakers mandated JPAC to reach an annual goal of recovering at least 200 fallen troops from overseas battlefields by 2015, but it had failed to build the capacity to do so, the GAO found. Currently the Hawaii-based command averages less than 70 individuals per year.

Much of the inefficiency found by the GAO researchers comes down to a turf war between JPAC and the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, which shares some of the same responsibilities, Congressional sources said.

The show

According to the NBC report, here’s what the audience was shown:

A C-17 military transport aircraft was parked, its ramp down, outside a hangar at the base. After generals and dignitaries were introduced, a military chaplain said a prayer, the audience sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and “Taps” was played. Then an honor guard carried flag-draped transfer cases, which look like coffins, down the ramp and placed them in the back of blue buses, which were driven away.

The emcee thanked the audience for “welcoming them home.” The script continued, “After removal from the aircraft, the remains will be taken to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command’s Central Identification Laboratory. There, JPAC scientists will begin the identification process.”

Citing eyewitnesses and photographs taken behind the scenes, NBC wrote that what actually happened is very different:

Before 6 a.m., the honor guard assembled behind the JPAC headquarters on the base. They loaded transfer cases onto the buses and drove to the hangar.

The honor guard loaded the transfer cases into the pre-positioned C-17, then rehearsed for the ceremony. They then returned to the plane, and waited.

The public was allowed in for the 9 a.m. ceremony: invited politicians, media, families of the missing and veterans. Employees from JPAC were bused over to fill out the crowd.

Then the show began, with tears and salutes as the remains were marched to the buses, then driven off to the lab to “begin the identification process.”

Jesse Baker, an 81-year-old Air Force veteran of World War II and Korea living in Honolulu, told NBC News that he has been to more than 50 of these ceremonies. He said he’s always been under the impression that the plane had just arrived carrying recovered remains.

Baker tried to make sense of why the DOD would work so hard to trick him and other veterans. “That’s disturbing. I don’t know when they stopped being honest and switched over to this Mickey Mouse, but whoever did it, I hope they find him a new job somewhere.”

John Molloy, Chairman of the National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition, whom I am honored to call my friend, wrote this email:


Phony ceremonies for 7 years.

That means that both Obama and Bush administrations are complicit.

The Secretaries of Defense Panetta and Gates are complicit. And DASD’s [Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense] Newberry, Ray and General Tom are too.

So they have all followed in the footsteps of liars Kissinger, GHW Bush, Powell, Cheney, Carter, Clinton, Armitage, et al.

Someone needs to break out the rope. It’s time.

John Molloy
National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition

Dr. Eowyn is the Editor of Fellowship of the Minds.

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21 Responses to Pentagon admits airport arrival ceremonies of remains of our soldiers are fake

  1. Pingback: Veterans’ bodies left to rot in L.A. morgue |

  2. I think this has been going on a long time. When my son was killed in Pohong, South Korea, March 20, 1989, at the funeral at Riverside Memorial Cemetary, I felt that the casket was empty. I just had that feeling. The powers that be probably take all the dead bodies and dump them in a ditch and cover them all up. That way, money is not spent on caskets.

  3. Pingback: A shutdown that isn’t a shutdown over a rollout that isn’t a rollout, a debt ceiling that isn’t a ceiling… | pundit from another planet

  4. H.K. says:

    I performed in military funeral honor guards as a live bugler. I know that now the majority of funerals are using a fake digital bugle held up by a non-musician.

    • John M says:

      I was extremely upset learning this after my father’s honors. So what if a wrong tone is heard, better than total BS.

    • ken says:

      My grandfather was a Navy C-bee, when he passed away all we got at his funeral was a flag and an honor guard that showed up with a fucking cassette player to play taps and a recorded gun salute…. PATHETIC ! ! I am also a vet and when I die… our government can keep their fucking bullshit… my friends, family and fellow vets and oath keepers will send me off right… FUCK THE GOVERNMENT ! !

  5. Pingback: Pentagon admits airport arrival ceremonies of remains of our soldiers are fake | | wwlee4411

  6. bradtrump says:

    static aircraft, nice.

  7. Dennis Habern says:

    Dr. Eowyn, can you use your celebrity to confront the Black Turd that

    currently takes up space in the White House and explain in laymen’s terms,

    why he has authorized the staging of this abomination in Hawaii, and to also

    explain his connections to George Soros and the Rothschilds, as a member of

    “THE NEW WORLD ORDER, AND, to explain his full-fledged membership in the


  8. Our sorry ass government lies about everything. Time for a major change in this once fine country of ours!!! Can you say WOLVERINES (RED DAWN)?!?

  9. Ron says:

    This once great country has become nothing but a 3rd rate festering, steaming pile of manure and no one in Washington could care less! Makes me almost glad that I’m in my senior years with just a short time left! So very, very sad!

  10. BILL TIMMINS says:

    What a bunch of crap , people need to be fired! ! !

  11. Marilyn Z says:

    Should that surprise us….we are being deceived every time we turn around. This country is of the bureaucrats, by the bureaucrats and for the bureaucrats. They string the peons along so they won’t revolt.

    • David says:

      This was a stupid idea from the start. How could they invite next of kin to a ceremony when they are returning bone fragments. The remains have to go the lab to determine if they are even human. The military/gov has always been about pomp and ceremony, no surprise here, just a huge waste of $$$ and peoples time (the ceremony, not the recovery efforts)

      • cindy says:

        As far as I was told , all service men and government officials who have been kill over seas are flown into Dover Air Force Base.

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