Interviews with Bobby Fluegel and Lt. Col. Charles Ancilla
Bobby Fluegel was contacted by Gus Fortan directly by telephone and questioned at some length. It was immediately evident from the conversation that Bobby Fluegel had recovered completely from his aphasia. The conversation did not reveal any information about the whereabouts of Ed Fluegel. As this except shows, Bobby Fluegel denied having met Ed Fluegel in the park, just as Cecil Fluegel had earlier reported:
Gus Fortan: Bobby, you know we're trying to help, to find your brother. When was the last time you saw your brother?
Bobby Fluegel: It was ... in New York.
GF: When was that?
BF: Um, wintertime. Before he left on his trip.
GF: You didn't talk to your brother at all after that?
BF: I talked to him on the phone, when he got back.
GF: Yeah, we got that, we know, OK, besides that, did you talk to him at all? Think hard.
BF: No, that's it.
GF: You didn't see him in San Francisco?
BF: Here? No! He lives in New York, he hasn't come to visit.
GF: Are you sure?
GF: What did he tell you about his trip?
BF: He said 'business trip.'
GF: That's all?
GF: Look, let me ask you about something, it's important because we're really trying to help you and your brother and we just need your help on this, let me ask, did you go to the park with your dad one day at the beginning of summer?
BF: Sure, the fair was there. Yep. I remember it.
GF: And did somebody come up to you then? When your dad was away?
BF: Do you want to know if someone's been touching me the wrong way, or what?
GF: Look, kid, if, I'm trying to, I'm just trying to help you and your brother out. Did someone talk to you or give you anything?
BF: No, I was with my dad the whole time.
GF: The whole time?
BF: Except for little whiles. I think ... well I went to the restroom one time but no, no one one came up to me or touched me or anything and I went to get a drink of water one time and my Dad went to get some cotton candy one time. That's it.
GF: And nothing happened, you didn't meet anyone any of those times?
GF: Not the time when your dad went to get cotton candy?
GF: Who did you meet when your dad went to get cotton candy?
BF: Mister, you are a silly head.
Shortly after concluding his conversation with Bobby Fluegel, Gus Fortan was assigned to another operation being revived by CIA LA Division and transported to the host country. Almost all staff had been pulled from this operation, but in light of a changing political situation the LA Division chief thought it critical to restaff the operation and carry it out immediately. Fortan was provided with the same military contingent as in Operation SHIFT LOCK. The operation team, which included one additional CIA staff member, was sleeping in a barn when attacked by rebel forces armed with missile launchers.
The sole survivor was Lt. Col. Charles Ancilla, who had left the barn to urinate. Lt. Col. Ancilla was recovered by helicopter. He returned to the states and retired from the military. FBI interviewed Lt. Col. Ancilla regarding the matter of Ed Fluegel upon his return to the states. The interview was not transcribed. The report of the interviewing agent reads, in relevant part:
"Ancilla was careful to protect details of the most recent operation when he spoke to me. I informed him that we knew about Fortan's death and the failure of that operation, and that we didn't need any details about that. I said we were only interested in information he might have that would be relevant to finding Fluegel. After recounting Fluegel's role in the previous operation to me, Ancilla began to speak about Fortan's role in that operation. He said that Fortan had been much more adept in heading the recent operation than he was the last time. Ancilla said he now realized that while Fortan was experienced in working with CIA operatives and the military, he had difficulties dealing with the civilians. Although he was careful not to disparage Fortan, it was clear that he thought Fortan might have done a better job of directing Fluegel during the earlier operation, and that Fortan might be to blame, in part, for Fluegel's disappearance. He said Fluegel had told him nothing during the earlier operation that might lead us to him. He said he had no contact with Fluegel since departure from Colombia. He said Fortan mentioned that he was investigating Fluegel's disappearance at one point but did not provide any other information about it. He said he had entertained the idea that Fortan might have 'taken care of' Fluegel 'himself,' but he said he later thought this idea was far-fetched."
Four months after the beginning of Operation Shift Lock, Lt. Col. Charles Ancilla drowned while attempting to rescue a girl who had fallen into a large artificial pond in Des Moines, Iowa.
FBI also contacted Bruce Springsteen and Hope Hearst by telephone to ask them if they had been contacted by Ed Fluegel or had heard any news of him. Neither of the former civilian code-talkers had been appraised of Fluegel's disappearance. They both said they had not heard from or about him. In further conversation they said that they had heard nothing from or about anyone else involved in Operation Shift Lock.
Almost six months after the beginning of Operation Shift Lock, FBI received an anonymous call on their toll-free line. The call was made from a San Francisco pay phone at the intersection of Kearny and Clay. The identity of the caller was never firmly established because the recording of the call was heavily distorted, but FBI agents, by examining the tape of the call and by working with the agent who took the call, determined that the caller may have been Bobby Fluegel. The caller gave specific information indicating the current residence of Ed Fluegel.