Aerial Transport to Training Location
The four civilian code-talkers were escorted into the facility's dining room at 07:05 on Day 2 of the time period under consideration. Ed Fluegel, Bruce Springsteen, Hope Hearst, and Gordon Doe were provided a catered breakfast from a local bakery, with coffee. Agent Dot, who had escorted them to the dining room, left and the four ate in silence until Agent Virgule arrived.
Agent Virgule: Hi, everyone. We're ready to get this show on the road. Let's go on out to the van and we'll head to LaGuardia.
Bruce Springsteen: Can I take this? [Referring to his cup of coffee.]
AV: Ah, I'm not sure that regulations permit beverages in a motor pool vehicle, without a lid, but, ah, yes, we don't have lids so, if you handle that all right, I think I can authorize you to bring that along, if you like.
The audio record of conversation in the van is absent because of an improper computer file deletion. Agent Virgule reported that they conversed mainly about plane travel, relating amusing anecdotes from past travels. Hearst had apparently traveled extensively in Central and South America. Hearst and Fluegel also discussed the University of Texas, where Fluegel had studied and where Hearst had just begun teaching, for a short time. Gordon Doe contributed very little to the conversation but did speak some. Virgule reports Doe becoming more agitated as the van neared the airport. Agent Virgule said he was relieved to learn, during the conversation, that none of them had had experienced air sickness in the past.
The only specific conversational fragment Virgule was able to recall was Ed Fluegel's lewd story which ended with a female flight attendant running up the aisle to remind the captain that the intercom is still on, while a passenger tells her, "don't forget the coffee!" Ed Fluegel did relate this story as a joke. He did not, according to the agent, relate this as a true occurrence that had happened to him or to a friend or a friend of a friend. Agent Virgule reports that Springsteen alone appeared amused, and that Hope Hearst scowled.
The van, after some traffic delays due to an unwise choice of the Queens-Midtown tunnel, was waved through airport security and proceeded directly to the tarmac. The civilian code-talkers and the agent boarded a Gulfstream III in plain civilian paint and markings. The plane was cleared for takeoff as a civilian charter flight. ACARS show and the flight log confirms that the plane took off at 08:19.
Because of the fairly high level of ambient cabin noise during flight, only fragments of recorded conversation are available. Two independent interviews with the agent indicated that there was little outside these fragments of relevance to the investigation.
Gordon Doe: Pitch up. Pitch up!
Ed Fluegel (? Voice unclear - possibly Agent Virgule): Overall, it's not too bad for public transportation, huh?
Bruce Springsteen: It ain't coach class, that's for sure.
GD: Roll right. Feel it. Roll right and pitch up. Feel it feel it.
BS: Hey Gordon, it's OK.
GD: Level off.
EF: He's too sensitive to this stuff.
BS: You OK, Gordon?
[No speech recorded for several seconds.]
GD: OK OK. OK. Leveled off.
BS: Bésvu [Unintelligible] ... danattu [Unintelligible] sansvúkultu ... mannu?
BS: um ... ezúru!
EF: [Laughter] That's great!
EF: You made that up?
BS: Nah, this German classicist told it to me.
GD: Pitch down. Roll left yaw left roll left!
BS: We're just coming in to land, Gordon.
GD: Roll right. Pitch up!
EF (?): Sheesh.
The code-talkers landed at Andrews Air Force Base, touching down at 09:35. They were taken by van to intake, and were cleared through with civilian contractor badges. Fluegel sarcastically complained about his, Hope Hearst's, and Bruce Springsteen's badges being handwritten while Gordon Doe's had been computer-printed beforehand. The badges included bar codes and were printed on the standard bright yellow visitor form, indicating that an escort was required at all times.
The code-talkers were escorted to the George Bush Center for Intelligence. The bar codes on their badges were scanned in to log their entrance at 09:57. They arrived at the room assigned for briefing at approximately 10:00. CIA agent Hewlett Worthington (name disclosed since the agent is deceased) met to outline the training plan for the civilian code-talkers. The briefing is logged in full.
Hewlett Worthington: Good morning. I'm Hewlett Worthington and ... I see you are our code-talkers. Good to have you all here, and on time, for once. Was your trip down OK?
HW: I'm going to go over the plan for the next two days. We're not going to train you to be soldiers or operatives or anything like that. This here is just to get across a few basics, without wasting your time or straining our budget. First, we get together with a language scholar to go over the terms that will be critical to the operation and make sure everyone here is solid on that. We are not too concerned about perfect grammar, just that you have the vocabulary down and can communicate the basics that we need to get across. Then, this afternoon after lunch, we'll have a small arms class. You are likely not being issued weapons and we're not training you to use them or asking you to use them, but you'll be around weapons so we are going to make sure you know how to operate a gun - get the safety off, feel what the recoil is like - so you'll be comfortable in case an emergency should arise. No point in anybody getting a bullet in the ass by accident.
EF (?): Eh ...
HW: This evening we'll have a sort of practice run and do some code-talking exercises, here in the center. This will be your last time to work with the language scholar. Tomorrow, we're going to describe some basic English terminology and familiarize you with the Agency and the military as much as is justified by the situation of this particular operation. Then, in the afternoon, we have a field exercise in which you'll do code-talking with the rest of the team that you'll be working with - the soldiers, officers, and operatives. And finally, we wrap up with a pre-briefing in the evening about the operation itself. The details will come later, down in the theater. But we'll hear some about the general outline of what is going to happen, and then it's onto the plane for the trip out. So. Are there questions? That's what I'm here for. Otherwise we go on to the vocabulary session.
BS: Uh, you're going to send us out into a war with two days of training?
HW: Ah, the situation in the region is officially considered a low intensity conflict, and the people you are working with have successfully completed similar operations with civilian contractors before, getting the same amount of training and all. There is danger involved and I don't want to minimize that in any way, but we haven't had civilian contractor casualties in situations like this before.
EF: So, what is the field thing tomorrow going to be? We'll sit and translate what the soldiers are saying, back and forth?
HW: Not sit. Actually we are going to The Sticks for that field exercise, it is an actual field exercise and it will be outdoors, and there will be wooden targets to simulate opposition forces, and so forth.
HW: And, I suppose it's best to let you know now, it will be live fire.
HW: Live ammunition will be used.
[No speech was recorded for four seconds.]
HW: I guess that about wraps it up, yes? We'll head to the vocabulary session.