Knife 13 and the Mayaguez, The Untold Story

Some light shines on the Mayaguez Incident

A Salvadorian merchant ship, under lease to an American.Company, SeaLand was sailing her way with a “secret mission” that included a special type of cargo. The SS Mayaguez and her cargo were secret because it was nuclear and US Citizens didn’t know just yet that Former President Nixon secured this little “deal” a few years prior. A US crew from Nakon Phanom Royal Thai Airbase (NKP) was assigned the Nuclear Security Mission. En route….a CH-53 Call sign Knife13 “crashed’ at Ban Donkoy, Tambol Sawang, Tambil Kamin. 
Thei following is their last communication with INVERT:

1410- Invert, Knife one dash three level at 9 thousand 
-Hello, Knife one dash three invert sixteen radar contact, radar monitor
-Knife one dash three, Roger

1422 – Ah this is one two. Can you give us an idea of how much in advance he was of us?
-Ah maybe five minuets
-Ah was he scheduled to fly out to these various points then straight down to U-Tapao
-Ah yes sir I think that is affirmative

(Knife 12 reporting spotting the “crashed” helo)
1425 -Ah we just passed a fire at 9 o’clock

Other helos in the air were scrambled to U-Tapoa. A SAR was initiated and an HH53 was sent to the scene with a medical team who stated no survivors. While on the ground they were notified by an orbiting helo of a crowed rushing to the scene with “torches flashlights, etc.” They picked up the medical crew and lifted off. The AF stated all 23 aboard perished in the “accident” and all bodies were recovered on site.


-Nuclear Security detail by USAF for the SS Mayaguez
-Knife 13 shot down enroute 
-Survivors of K 13 taken POW. 
-Scrambled HELOS and delayed Marine insertion allow time for George Bush Sr. CIA Liaison to China at the time, to secure the release of the SS Mayaguez crew and cargo
– J2 (intel) and J3(ops) passed a seven page Intel threat assessment for KOH TANG ISLAND to a J3 Ops LT Col to brief the air crews and marines. The LT Col said briefing SAC Tanker Crews were more essential. An incorrect enemy threat brief was given to the marines; Enemy Air Defense Artillery was omitted. 15-20 armed framers turned into 300+ Kuhmar Rouge troops heavily armed.

The threat assessment began by stating the old Cambodian navy garrison of 18-20 sailors and later about page 6 it said there could be 300+ Khymer Rouge troops fully armed. Likely no AAA capability beyond .30 cal to .50 cal machine guns. They also had RPG’s (rocket propelled grenades). One CH-53 actually had it’s tail badly damaged enough to prevent it taking off after landing marines on one beach LZ.
In essence the Mayaguez Incident was a staged event to cover both the nuclear weapons transport , the loss of a CH53 along with survivors being taken POW. Sadly that staged exercise was very real to those AF and Marines sent to Koh Tang. 
-POWS then held for 11 years 4/26…..?


By Jennifer Stelling

Jennifer Stelling is the niece of Sgt Jimmy Black.

Note from the Author, If you have knowledge of this horrific incident, please contact Jennifer Stelling  at

Chip Tatum

Gene "Chip" Tatum was a Vietnam Special Forces Air Combat Controller, Defense Intelligence Asset, and US Army special operations pilot flying classified missions during the US invasion of Grenada, Tatum was also involved in the Nixon Administrations relations with China, NASA's Apollo Program, the Iran Contra Affair, and several other classified intelligence operations dating through through 1992 . Tatum was a member of the ultra-secret, international G7 run Pegasus "Hit Team" working directly for the sitting President. From sensitive and highly secret - and hitherto largely unknown - Special Forces covert operations in Cambodia, to wandering CIA asset, through to "black ops" activities in Grenada and Oliver North's Iran-Contra "Enterprise," and on to membership in an international "hit team," Gene "Chip" Tatum has seen it all, done it all and is now telling it all. Tatum knows where the skeletons are buried. Above all he is aware that his testimony implicates serving and former US Presidents, plus a whole list of high government officials, and others, in a welter of nefarious activities - including assassination, blackmail, coercion, gun-running, money-laundering and Cocaine trafficking. Tatum, a lanky Floridian, turned whistle-blower following his arrest on a treason charge in 1995. The charge was both astonishing and patently ludicrous and resulted in a flurry of press interest with an article appearing in the Tampa Tribune