Thomas Hale Boggs

Thomas Hale Boggs

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Thomas Hale Boggs was born in Long Beach, Mississippi, on 15th February, 1914. He graduated from the law department of Tulane University in 1935 and soon afterwards started work as a lawyer in New Orleans.

A member of the Democratic Party he was elected to Congress and served from January 1941 to January 1943. He left politics in 1943 to enlist in the United States Naval Reserve and served in the Potomac River Naval Command during the rest of the Second World War.

After the war Boggs returned to politics and in January 1946 was once again elected to the Senate. He held several posts including majority whip, chairman of the Special Committee on Campaign Expenditures and majority leader.

On the death of John F. Kennedy in 1963 his deputy, Lyndon B. Johnson, was appointed president. He immediately set up a commission to "ascertain, evaluate and report upon the facts relating to the assassination of the late President John F. Kennedy." Boggs was invited to join the commission under the chairmanship of Earl Warren. Other members of the commission included Richard B. Russell, Gerald Ford, Allen W. Dulles, John J. McCloy and John S. Cooper.

The Warren Commission reported to President Johnson ten months later. It reached the following conclusions:

(1) The shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally were fired from the sixth floor window at the southeast corner of the Texas School Book Depository.

(2) The weight of the evidence indicates that there were three shots fired.

(3) Although it is not necessary to any essential findings of the Commission to determine just which shot hit Governor Connally, there is very persuasive evidence from the experts to indicate that the same bullet which pierced the President's throat also caused Governor Connally's wounds. However, Governor Connally's testimony and certain other factors have given rise to some difference of opinion as to this probability but there is no question in the mind of any member of the Commission that all the shots which caused the President's and Governor Connally's wounds were fired from the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository.

(4) The shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally were fired by Lee Harvey Oswald.

(5) Oswald killed Dallas Police Patrolman J. D. Tippit approximately 45 minutes after the assassination.

(6) Within 80 minutes of the assassination and 35 minutes of the Tippit killing Oswald resisted arrest at the theater by attempting to shoot another Dallas police officer.

(7) The Commission has found no evidence that either Lee Harvey Oswald or Jack Ruby was part of any conspiracy, domestic or foreign, to assassinate President Kennedy.

(8) In its entire investigation the Commission has found no evidence of conspiracy, subversion, or disloyalty to the US Government by any Federal, State, or local official.

(9) On the basis of the evidence before the Commission it concludes that, Oswald acted alone.

Boggs had doubts that John F. Kennedy and J. Tippit had been killed by Lee Harvey Oswald and that Jack Ruby was not part of any conspiracy." According to Bernard Fensterwald: "Almost from the beginning, Congressman Boggs had been suspicious over the FBI and CIA's reluctance to provide hard information when the Commission's probe turned to certain areas, such as allegations that Oswald may have been an undercover operative of some sort. When the Commission sought to disprove the growing suspicion that Oswald had once worked for the FBI, Boggs was outraged that the only proof of denial that the FBI offered was a brief statement of disclaimer by J. Edgar Hoover. It was Hale Boggs who drew an admission from Allen Dulles that the CIA's record of employing someone like Oswald might be so heavily coded that the verification of his service would be almost impossible for outside investigators to establish."

It has been claimed by John Judge that when Alan Dulles was asked by Hale Boggs about releasing the evidence, he replied, "Go ahead and print it, nobody will read it anyway."

According to one of his friends: "Hale felt very, very torn during his work (on the Commission) ... he wished he had never been on it and wished he'd never signed it (the Warren Report)." Another former aide argued that, "Hale always returned to one thing: Hoover lied his eyes out to the Commission - on Oswald, on Ruby, on their friends, the bullets, the gun, you name it."

Thomas Hale Boggs disappeared while on a campaign flight from Anchorage to Juneau, Alaska, on 16th October, 1972. Also killed in the accident was Nick Begich, a member of the House of Representatives. No bodies were ever found and in 1973 his wife, Lindy Boggs, was elected in her husband's place.

The Los Angeles Star, on November 22, 1973, reported that before his death Boggs claimed he had "startling revelations" on Watergate and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

In May 1964, about the midway point in the Warren Commission's investigation, Director J. Edgar Hoover appeared before the commissioners to provide them with his special insights into the Kennedy assassination and the benefit of his forty years as head of the nation's most prestigious and revered law enforcement agency. Hoover was probably America's most renowned and best-recognized public figure, and the Commission wanted to trade on his eclat.

Hoover was scheduled to give his testimony when the Commission was still working under Warren and Rankin's initial time frame and expected to finish up its work by the end of June. Ford and Dulles did most of the early questioning. What they wanted from America's iconic hero was his assurance that the assassination had been the act of a lone nut. Hoover was quick to oblige, assuring the commissioners that there was not "a scintilla of evidence showing any foreign conspiracy or domestic conspiracy that culminated in the assassination of President Kennedy." Hoover told the commissioners they could expect to be second-guessed and violently disagreed with, whatever their ultimate findings were. He pointed out that the FBI was already inundated with crank letters and calls from kooks, weirdos, crazies, and self-anointed psychics, all alleging a monstrous conspiracy behind Kennedy's violent death. Whether orchestrated or not, his testimony before the Commission provided the director an opportunity to launch a preemptive strike against future dissenters and critics of the Warren Commission and, by extension, Hoover's FBI, the Commission's investigative arm.

Whatever the merits, if any, of Hoover's profiling of future Commission dissenters and critics, its first test was a hands-down failure. The Commission's first dissenter was Senator Richard Brevard Russell, Jr., one of the most conservative as well as respected and admired members of the U.S. Senate. Russell wielded great power in the upper chamber and had earned the title "dean of the Senate." During 1963-1964, when the Warren Commission was conducting its business, no U.S. legislator was at the White House as frequently as the senior senator from Georgia.

On September 18, 1964, a Friday evening, President Johnson phoned Russell, his old political mentor and longtime friend, to find out what was in the Commission's report scheduled for release within the week. Johnson was surprised that Russell had suddenly bolted from Washington for a weekend retreat to his Winder, Georgia, home. Russell was quick to clear up the mystery as to why he needed to get out of the nation's capital. For the past nine months the Georgia lawmaker had been trying to balance his heavy senatorial duties with his responsibilities as a member of the Warren Commission, a perfect drudgery that Johnson had imposed upon him despite Russell's strenuous objections. No longer a young man and suffering from debilitating emphysema, Russell was simply played out. But it was the Warren Commission's last piece of business that had prompted his sudden Friday decision to escape Washington.

That Friday, September 18, Russell forced a special executive session of the Commission. It was not a placid meeting. In brief, Russell intended to use this session to explain to his Commission colleagues why he could not sign a report stating that the same bullet had struck both President Kennedy and Governor Connally. Russell was convinced that the missile that had struck Connally was a separate bullet. Senator Cooper was in strong agreement with Russell, and Boggs, to a lesser extent, had his own serious reservations about the single-bullet explanation. The Commission's findings were already in page proofs and ready for printing when Russell balked at signing the report. Commissioners Ford, Dulles, and McCloy were satisfied that the one-bullet scenario was the most reasonable explanation because it was essential to the report's single-assassin conclusion. With the Commission divided almost down the middle, Chairman Warren insisted on nothing less than a unanimous report. The stalemate was resolved, superficially at least, when Commissioner McCloy fashioned some compromise language that satisfied both camps.'

The tension-ridden Friday-morning executive session had worn Russell out. He told Johnson that the "damn Commission business whupped me down." Russell was in such haste to get away that he had forgotten to pack his toothbrush, extra shirts, and the medicine he used to ease his respiratory illness. Although Russell had support from Cooper and Boggs, he was the only one who actively dug in his heels against Rankin and the staff's contention that Kennedy and Connally had been hit by the same nonfatal bullet. Because of Russell's chronic Commission absenteeism he never fully comprehended that the final report's no-conspiracy conclusion was inextricably tied to the validity of what would later be referred to as the "single-bullet" theory. But he had read most of the testimony and was convinced that the staff's contention that the same missile had hit Kennedy and Connally was, at best, "credible" but not persuasive. "I don't believe it," he frankly told the president. Johnson's response -whether patronizing or genuine remains guesswork - was "I don't either." In summing up their Friday-night exchange, Russell and Johnson agreed that the question of the Connally bullet did not jeopardize the credibility of the report. Neither questioned the official version that Oswald had shot President Kennedy.

"You have got to do everything on earth to establish the facts one way or the other. And without doing that, why everything concerned, including every one of us is doing a very grave disservice. Thus House Majority Leader Hale Boggs delivered an admonishment of sorts to his Warren Commission colleagues on January 27, 1964. Along with Senator Richard Russell, and to a lesser degree, Senator John Sherman Cooper, Congressman Boggs served as a beacon of skepticism and probity in trying to fend off the FBI and CIA's efforts to "shade" and indeed manipulate the findings of the Warren Commission.

Like Russell, Boggs was, very simply, a strong doubter. Several years after his death in 1972, a colleague of his wife Lindy (who was elected to fill her late husband's seat in the Congress) recalled Mrs. Boggs remarking, "Hale felt very, very torn during his work [on the Commission] ... he wished he had never been on it and wished he'd never signed it [the Warren Report]." A former aide to the late House Majority Leader has recently recalled, "Hale always returned to one thing: Hoover lied his eyes out to the Commission - on Oswald, on Ruby, on their friends, the bullets, the gun, you name it... "

Almost from the beginning, Congressman Boggs had been suspicious over the FBI and CIA's reluctance to provide hard information when the Commission's probe turned to certain areas, such as allegations that Oswald may have been an undercover operative of some sort. It was Hale Boggs who drew an admission from Allen Dulles that the CIA's record of employing someone like Oswald might be so heavily coded that the verification of his service would be almost impossible for outside investigators to establish...

Congressman Boggs had been the Commission's leading proponent for devoting more investigative resources to probing the connections of Jack Ruby. With an early recognition that "the most difficult aspect of this is the Ruby aspect," Boggs had wanted an increased effort made to investigate the accused assassin's murderer.

Boggs was perhaps the first person to recognize something which numerous Warren Commission critics would write about in future years: the strange variations and dissimilarities to be found in Lee Harvey Oswald's correspondence during 1960 to 1963. Some critics have advanced the theory that some of Oswald's letters - particularly correspondence to the American Embassy in Moscow, and later, to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee - may have been "planted" documents written by someone else. In 1975 and 1976, the investigations of the Senate Intelligence Committee and other Congressional groups disclosed that such uses of fabricated correspondence had been a recurring tool of the FBI's secret domestic COINTELPRO [Counter Intelligence] program as well as other intelligence operations. In any event, Warren Commission member Boggs and Commission General Counsel Lee Rankin had early on discussed such an idea:

"Rankin: They [the Fair Play For Cuba Committee] denied he was a member and also he wrote to them and tried to establish as one of the letters indicate, a new branch there in New Orleans, the Fair Play For Cuba.

Boggs: That letter has caused me a lot of trouble. It is a much more literate and polished communication than any of his other writing."

It is also known Boggs felt that because of the lack of adequate material from the FBI and CIA the Commission members were poorly prepared for the examination of witnesses. According to a former Boggs staffer, the Congressman felt that lack of adequate file preparation and the sometimes erratic scheduling of Commission sessions served to prevent those same sessions from being adequately substantive. Consequently, Boggs cut down his participation in these sessions as the investigation stretched on through 1964...

On April 5, 1971, House Majority Leader Hale Boggs took the floor of the House to deliver a speech that created a major stir in Washington for several weeks. Declaring that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was incompetent and senile, and charging that the FBI had, under Hoover's most recent years adopted "the tactics of the Soviet Union and Hitler's Gestapo"; Boggs demanded Hoover's immediate resignation. Boggs also charged that he had discovered that certain FBI agents had tapped his own telephone as well as the phones of certain other members of the House and Senate. In his emotional House speech, Boggs went on to say Attorney General Mitchell says he is a law and order man. If law and order means the suppression of the Bill of Rights . then I say "God help us." As the Washington Post noted, "The Louisiana Democrat's speech was the harshest criticism of Hoover ever heard in the House . It was the first attack on Hoover by any member of the House leadership."

At the time, Boggs' startling speech created a sensation in Washington. Observers were uncertain as to his exact motivations in demanding Hoover's resignation, and there was an immediate critical reaction from Hoover's various defenders. It has been reported that sources within the FBI and the Attorney General's office began spreading stories that Boggs was a hopeless alcoholic. However, it was not until almost four years later that the motivation behind Boggs' outburst came into clearer focus.

The Senate investigators finally established that FBI Director Hoover not only had prepared secret "derogatory dossiers" on the critics of the Warren Commission over the years, but had even ordered the preparation of similar "damaging" reports about staff members of the Warren Commission. Whether FBI Director Hoover intended to use these dossiers for purposes of blackmail has never been determined.

Although it was not until eleven years after the murder of John F. Kennedy that the FBI's crude harassment and surveillance of various assassination researchers and investigators became officially documented, other information about it had previously surfaced.

Mark Lane, the long time critic of the Warren Report has often spoken of FBI harassment and surveillance directed against him. While many observers were at first skeptical about Lane's characteristically vocal allegations against the FBI, the list of classified Warren Commission documents that was later released substantiated Lane's charges, as it contained several FBI files about him. Lane had earlier uncovered a February 24, 1964 Warren Commission memorandum from staff counsel Harold Willens to General Counsel J. Lee Rankin. The memorandum revealed that FBI agents had Lane's movements and lectures under surveillance, and were forwarding their reports to the Warren Commission.

In March, 1967, the official list of secret Commission documents then being held in a National Archives vault included at least seven FBI files on Lane, which were classified on supposed grounds of "national security." Among these secret Bureau reports were the following: Warren Commission Document 489, "Mark Lane, Buffalo appearances;" Warren Commission Document 694, "Various Mark Lane appearances;" Warren Commission Document 763, "Mark Lane appearances;" and Warren Commission Document 1457, "Mark Lane and his trip to Europe."

In at least one documented instance, the CIA had been equally avid in "compiling" information on another critic, the noted European writer Joachim Joesten, who had written an early "conspiracy theory" book, titled Oswald: Assassin or Fall Guy (Marzani and Munsell Publishers, Inc., 1964, West Germany). A Warren Commission file (Document 1532), declassified years later, revealed that the CIA had turned to an unusual source in their effort to investigate Joesten. According to the document, which consists of a CIA memorandum of October 1, 1964, written by Richard Helms' staff, the CIA conducted a search of some of Adolph Hitler's Gestapo files for information on Joesten.

Joachim Joesten, an opponent of the Hitler regime in Germany, was a survivor of one of the more infamous concentration camps. The Helms memorandum reveals that Helms' CIA aides had compiled information on Joesten's alleged political instability - information taken from Gestapo security files of the Third Reich, dated 1936 and 1937. In one instance, Helms' aides had used data on Joesten which had been gathered by Hitler's Chief of S.S. on November 8, 1937. While the CIA memorandum did not mention it, there was good reason for the Third Reich's efforts to compile a dossier on Joesten. Three days earlier, on November 5, 1937, at the infamous "Hossbach Conference," Adolph Hitler had informed Hermann Goering and his other top lieutenants of his plan to launch a world war by invading Europe."

In late 1975, during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that featured the questioning of top FBI officials, Senator Richard Schweiker disclosed other secret FBI surveillance of Warren Commission critics. Senator Schweiker disclosed new information from a November 8, 1966 memorandum by J. Edgar Hoover, relating to other dossiers on the critics. According to Schweiker, "Seven individuals [were] listed, some of their files... not only included derogatory information, but sex pictures to boot.

During the Senate Committee session, Schweiker also disclosed that "we came across another FBI letter several months later on another of the critic's personal files. I think it is January 30, 1967. Here, almost three months apart, is an ongoing campaign to personally derogate people who differed politically. In this case it was the Warren Commission [critics].

As will be seen in the chapter on "Links to Watergate," copies - of the FBI's "derogatory dossier" on another leading Warren Commission critic, associated with Mark Lane, were later distributed through the Nixon White House by secret Nixon investigator John Caulfield, John Dean, and H. R. Haldeman's top aides.

Still further information relating to FBI-CIA surveillance of the Warren Commission critics was disclosed in January, 1975 by Senator Howard Baker and the New York Times. On January 17, 1975, the Times disclosed that Senator Baker had come across an extensive CIA dossier on Bernard Fensterwald, Jr., the Director of the Committee to Investigate Assassinations, during the course of Baker's service on the Senate Watergate Committee. Senator Baker was then probing various areas of CIA involvement in the Watergate conspiracy. The New York Times reported that Baker believed the dossier on Fensterwald indicated that the Agency was conducting domestic activities or surveillances - prohibited by the Agency charter's ban on domestic involvement.

Among the items contained in the CIA dossier on Fensterwald was an Agency report of May 12, 1972 titled "#553 989." The CIA report indicated that this detailed surveillance was conducted under the joint auspices of the CIA and the Washington, D. C. Metropolitan Police Intelligence Unit. Police involvement with the CIA, which in some cases was illegal, subsequently erupted into a scandal which resulted in an internal police investigation in 1975 and 1976, as well as a Congressional investigation.

The May 12, 1972 CIA report on Fensterwald states:

"On 10 May 1972, a check was made at the Metropolitan Police Department Intelligence , Unit concerning an organization called The Committee To Investigate Assassinations located at 927 15th Street, N.W., Washington, D. .

On 10 May 1972, a check was made (DELETION)

On 11 May 1972, a physical check was made of 927 15th Street .... to verify the location of the above-mentioned organization. This check disclosed that the Committee To Investigate Assassinations is located in room 409 and 414 of the Carry Building."

After setting forth a room by room analysis of the offices and businesses located on the same floor as the Committee, the report went on:

"A discreet inquiry was made with (DELETION) of this building showing no government interest concerning the Committee To Investigate Assassinations. This source stated that on a daily basis that traffic coming and going from this office is very busy. This source stated that on a daily basis the office is operated by two individuals one of whose name is Jim."

Former Warren Commission member Hale Boggs would no doubt have been pleased that these activities of the FBI and CIA were finally brought to light. As his son has pointed out, Boggs' denunciation of J. Edgar Hoover in April of 1971 was based in part on his knowledge of the FBI's murky surveillance of Warren Commission critics. Whether Boggs believed the FBI's surveillance of him was based on the fact that he himself had privately become a fierce critic of Commission's conclusions is not known.

On October 16, 1972, Hale Boggs vanished during a flight in Alaska from Anchorage to Juneau. Despite a thirty-nine-day search by the Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard, no trace of the twin-engine plane on which Boggs was traveling has ever been found.

Had he been alive today, Boggs would probably have become Speaker of the House, having held the number two leadership post in the Congress at the time of his disappearance. There is no doubt Boggs would have been a singularly important figure in any re-opening of the Kennedy case.

The son of the late House Majority Leader Boggs has told The Post that the FBI leaked to his father damaging material on the personal lives of critics of its investigation into John F. Kennedy's assassination. Thomas Hale Boggs, Jr. said his father, who was a member of the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination and its handling by the FBI, was given the material in an apparent attempt to discredit the critics (of the Warren Commission).

The material, which Thomas Boggs made available, includes photographs of sexual activity and reports on alleged communist affiliations of some authors of articles and books on the assassination.

Boggs, a Washington lawyer, said the experience played a large role in his father's decision to publicly charge the FBI with Gestapo tactics in a 1971 speech alleging the Bureau had wiretapped his telephone and that of other Congressmen.

In May 1964, about the midway point in the Warren Commission's investigation, Director J. Neither questioned the official version that Oswald had shot President Kennedy.

Russell enjoyed a deserved reputation for devotion to his senatorial responsibilities and mastery of the legislative details of the business that came before the Senate. Consequently, he was sensitive and apologetic about the fact that time constraints had limited him to being only a part-time member of the Commission. As he told Johnson, "This staff business always scares me. I like to put my own views down." When he left Friday afternoon for his Georgia home, he was not at ease in his own mind about McCloy's compromise language. He told Johnson, "I tried my best to get in a dissent. But they came around and traded me out of it by giving me a little ole thread of it." Russell was referring to his less-than-enthusiastic acceptance of McCloy's compromise language. What Russell was not aware of at the time was that wholesale perfidy, not mere pressure for consensus, would stigmatize the Commission's September 18 executive session as one of the most disgraceful episodes in the history of the Kennedy assassination investigation. Rankin suppressed the entire record of the divisions among the commissioners over the single-bullet construction to leave the false impression that the commissioners were in universal agreement on this crucial point. The unreported record revealed that Russell, and by extension the American people, were misled by Rankin's unprecedented deception, whose sole purpose was to hide the fact that unanimous Commission support for the single-bullet "solution" was a fraud.

Russell was more outspoken than any of his colleagues in his displeasure about both the quality of the FBI investigation and the information the FBI and CIA fed to the Commission. He suspected that both agencies were not giving the Commission everything they knew about the assassination. For instance, during the January 27, 1964, executive session the commissioners were wrestling with how to approach FBI director Hoover to help them disprove the rumors and allegations that Oswald had been an FBI source or informant. They discussed the unlikeliness of any possibility that the FBI or CIA, investigating themselves, could be counted upon to be forthcoming with whatever information they had, especially if the allegations were true. Russell was certain that the FBI "would have denied that he was an agent." The Georgia senator was certain the CIA would take the same tack. When he turned to Allen Dulles, the former CIA director agreed with him. Russell, expressing the hopelessness of their quandary, remarked to Dulles, "They (CIA) would be the first to deny it. Your agents would have done exactly the same thing."

Thomas Hale Boggs - History

In the Hale and Lindy Boggs Papers, 1941-1991.

Interviews conducted with Hale Boggs by T. H. Baker on March 13 and 27, 1969. The transcripts are available in the library and online.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC

In the Katie Louchheim Papers, ca. 1906-1991, 34.5 linear feet.

Correspondents include Hale Boggs. A finding aid is available in the library.

A signed typescript of Hale Boggs's speech relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and describing the arrival in Washington, D.C. of Air Force 1 with the President's body. Also described are senior members of Congress who met Air Force 1 and Hale Boggs's first meeting with President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Correspondence consists of letters from United States diplomatic personnel and Latin American political figures concerning a report made by DeLesseps S. Morrison about the Louisiana Trade and Good Will Mission to Latin America. Letters express condolences on the death of DeLesseps Morrison.

10 Famous People Who Mysteriously Disappeared

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people disappear. Some do get found and are lucky enough to return to their loved ones. Others just simply fall off the face of the Earth leaving behind no trace. Years of effort and elaborate search parameters fail to yield any positive outcomes. Left behind now are some wild conspiracy theories, speculations, and an empty vacuum. Here is a list of 10 famous people who went missing and were never found.

1. Senator Hale Boggs, a Democrat and the only dissenting member of the Warren Commission, was on his way to attend a campaign fundraiser in Begich when his flight vanished in Alaska on 16th October 1972.

Hale Boggs. Image credits: History.House.Gov

Thomas Hale Boggs Sr.. otherwise famously known as Senator Hale Boggs. was a fiery American Democratic politician and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Orleans, Louisiana. Boggs first became a member of Congress in 1940 at the age of 26. He was. at the time. the youngest member of Congress.

He joined the army and served as an ensign during World War II. After his return in 1946, Boggs again won that election and was re-elected to Congress a record 13 times. Boggs also served as the House Majority Leader and was a member of the Warren Commission that investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Boggs gained popularity for being the only member to not agree with the Commission’s report.

In 1972, Boggs was campaigning in his authority as the Majority Leader, for Rep. Nick Begich of Alaska. On the fateful day of 16th October, he, along with Rep. Begich were on their way to Juneau from Anchorage in their twin-engine Cessna 310 and vanished into thin air. Their disappearance sparked one of the biggest search-and-rescue operations in US history.

The operation went on for over 3,600 hours and included US Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, Army, Civil Air Patrol, and more. However, the operation was unsuccessful and neither the wreckage of the plane nor the four people it carried were ever found. After 39 days of rigorous effort, the search was suspended. (source)

2. The enigmatic guitarist and lyricist Richey Edwards of Manic Street Preachers disappeared 25 years ago on the 1st of February 1995. He has not been seen or heard from since.

Richey Edwards. Image credits:

Richard James Edwards, aka Richey Edwards, was a Welsh musician. He was a lyricist and guitarist of the British indie rock group called Richey gained prominence due to his dark and politically motivated songs.

He is widely considered to be the brains behind the band’s first three albums, which set them apart from others in their generation. Richey was caught in a spiral of self-harm, alcohol abuse, and more by the time their third album, “The Holy Bible,”was released. It was around this time that he began obsessing with the idea of perfect disappearance.

Then, on the morning of February 1st, 1995, Edward left his hotel at 7 a.m. He left all his belongings behind and drove to Wales. Since that day, no one has seen or heard from Richey Edwards. Although there have been several inconclusive sightings of Edwards at various places around the world, Richey Edwards was declared dead in November 2008. (source)

3. Sean Flynn, a highly acclaimed war photojournalist and the son of Hollywood actor Errol Flynn, disappeared in 1970 in Cambodia while covering the Vietnam War.

Sean Flynn. Image credits:

Sean Flynn, born on May 31, 1941, was the only son of Hollywood superstar Errol Flynn. For a brief period, Sean followed in his father’s footsteps and tried his hand at acting. He appeared in George Hamilton’s Where The Boys Areand starred in The Son of Captain BloodHowever, Sean found his true calling in photojournalism.

Sean traveled to war zones along with the troops in search of intriguing and extra-ordinary photos. He took pictures for the Time, United Press Internationaland Paris MatchSean went to cover the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Vietnam war, and more. Sean went to Cambodia for an assignment with Timeto cover the movement of North Vietnamese troops.

It was there on April 6, 1970, Sean and his fellow photojournalist Dana Stone got a tip about a Viet Cong checkpoint on the highway. Both of them decided to travel on their motorcycle up to the checkpoint to see for themselves.

They were never seen or heard from again. According to an unverified report by Time, Sean and Dana were captured by the guerrilla fighters of the Viet Cong army. Lili Damita, Sean’s mother, spent a fortune trying to find her son, but to no avail. Sean was declared dead in 1984 on the behest of his mother Lili. (source)

4. Jimmy Hoffa, the inspiration behind Martin Scorcese’s movie The Irishman, disappeared in 1975. His disappearance is a mystery that is still waiting to be solved.

Jimmy Hoffa. Image credits: Tammy Spina/Detroit Free Press via USA

James Riddle Hoffa, aka Jimmy Hoffa, was the president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) for 14 years from 1957 to 1971. Ever since he was young, Hoffa showed the acumen required for being a leader. He became a union activist early on and rose to become an important figure in the regional arm of IBT by his mid-twenties.

Hoffa was instrumental in the passing of the first National Freight-Hauling Agreement. During his tenure, IBT grew exponentially across America to become the largest union by membership with over 2.3 million members. Apart from his huge success with the Teamsters, Hoffa had a close connection with the organized crime syndicates of the time. Hoffa was given a prison term of 13 years for tampering with a jury, conspiracy, and fraud.

His sentence was reduced by President Nixon on the condition that Hoffa would not engage in any kind of union-related activity until 1980. However, on 30th July 1975, Hoffa disappeared from a restaurant in Detroit under suspicious circumstances.

Hoffa was never seen again. In 1982, Jimmy Hoffa was legally “presumed dead.” During the investigation and in the years since, several conspiracy theories have popped about Hoffa’s disappearance and alleged murder. None of them, however, have been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt. (1, 2)

5. Joseph Pichler, the child actor from the 3rd and 4th part of the Beethoven movie series, went missing in 2006. To date, there has been no clue about his whereabouts or what happened to him.

Joseph Pichler. Image credits: Northern Lights Entertainment

Joseph David Wolfgang Pichler, or Joe Pichler as he was famously known, was born in 1987. He was fourth of the five children. Joe moved to Los Angeles with his family at the tender age of six, to kick-start his acting career. He worked in several commercials and movies. His most famous role was that of Brennan Newton in the third and fourth installments of the Beethoven movie series.

Joe returned to his hometown of Bremerton in Washington upon his family’s request. He completed his high school in 2005 and was planning to head back to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career further. While in his hometown, Pichler got a full-time job at TeleTech as a telephone technician.

He was last heard from at 4:15 am on 5 January 2005, the day he disappeared, when he called up a friend. Pichler’s Toyota was discovered four days later behind a restaurant. His family filed a missing person’s report on the 16th of January. Although police did suspect the case to be a suicide, Pichler’s body has never been found. (1, 2)

Thomas Hale Boggs Sr.

Boggs, a Democrat, was the House Majority Leader in 1972. He was educated at Tulane University he has degrees in journalism and law. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1941 at twenty-six years old, he was the youngest member of Congress at the time.

Boggs lost an attempt at reelection and served in the Navy during World War II before making a political comeback, returning to Congress in 1946. He was reelected thirteen times before his disappearance.

Boggs and his fellow Congressman Nicholas Begich were on a campaign fund-raising tour when they took a twin-engine Cessna 310 plane with the FAA registration number N1812H on a flight from Anchorage, Alaska to Juneau, Alaska. They were accompanied by the pilot, Don Jones, and Begich's aide, Russell L. Brown. Photographs and vital statistics for Brown are unavailable.

Weather conditions along the route were not conducive to flying, and the plane disappeared near the Chugach mountain range somewhere in southeast Alaska. Despite a massive search lasting over a month, the men and the plane were never located. Although the circumstances indicate that Boggs, Begich, Brown and Jones perished in an accidental crash, their disappearances have been the subject of many conspiracy theories due to their positions. Rumors that the two Congressmen were assassinated have never been substantiated and their cases remain unsolved.

Investigating Agency

Source Information

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 10, 2017 picture, height and weight added, distinguishing characteristics and details of disappearance updated.

Top 10 People Who Vanished in Airplanes

On September 29, 2008, a hiker found Steve Fossett&rsquos identification cards in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in California, and the crash site was discovered a few days later, 65 miles due south from Flying M Ranch, where he took off. On November 3, 2008, tests conducted on two bones recovered from the site of the crash produced a match to Fossett&rsquos DNA. He had been found.

Had Fossett not been found he would certainly have made this list. It is hard to believe that something as big as an airplane can simply vanish, leaving behind no traces of where it went down. Yet, even over land, airplanes go missing and are never discovered. Or only discovered decades later. Here are ten tales of people who took off in airplanes and vanished, never to be seen again.

Charles Eugène Jules Marie Nungesser was a French ace pilot and adventurer, best remembered as a rival of Charles Lindbergh. Nungesser was a renowned ace in France, rating third highest in the country for air combat victories during World War I. After the war, he came to the United States where he flew airplanes in such movies as Dawn Patrol. It was during the time he flew airplanes for movies that he got the idea to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Eventually Nungesser made good on his idea and set off on an attempt to make the first non-stop transatlantic flight, from Paris to New York. He was flying with wartime comrade François Coli, in their plane The White Bird (L&rsquoOiseau Blanc), a Levasseur PL.8 biplane. Coli was already known for making historic flights across the Mediterranean, and had been planning a transatlantic flight since 1923, with his wartime comrade Paul Tarascon, another World War I ace. When Tarascon had to drop out because of an injury from a crash, Nungesser came in as a replacement.

Nungesser and Coli took off from Paris on May 8, 1927. Their plane was sighted once more over Ireland, and then was never seen again. The disappearance of Nungesser is considered one of the great mysteries in the history of aviation, and modern speculation is that the aircraft was either lost over the Atlantic or crashed in Newfoundland or Maine. Two weeks after Nungesser and Coli&rsquos attempt, Charles Lindbergh successfully made the journey, flying solo from New York to Paris in Spirit of St. Louis.

Sigizmund Levanevsky was born to a Polish family, in St. Petersburg, Russia. He took part in the October Revolution on the Bolshevik side, and later took part in the civil war in Russia, serving in the Red Army. In 1925, he graduated from the Sevastopol Naval Aviation School and became a military pilot. As a pilot he accomplished several long distance flights. One of them took place on July 13, 1933, when Levanevsky rescued the American pilot James Mattern, who had been forced to land near Anadyr during his attempt at a flight around the world.

In April 1934, Levanevsky took off from an improvised airfield on the Arctic ice of the Chukchi Sea, taking part in the successful aerial rescue operation saving people from the sunken steamship Cheliuskin. He was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union for this deed. In August 1935, Levenevsky completed his first flight over the North Pole, a journey from Moscow to San Francisco. A contemporary of Charles Lindbergh, Levanevsky was celebrated as a hero of the new age of aviation. In early 1936, he flew back from Los Angeles, USA to Moscow, USSR.

On August 12, 1937, a type Bolkhovitinov DB-A aircraft with 6-man crew, under captaincy of Levanevsky, started its long distance flight from Moscow to the USA, via the North Pole. The radio communications with the crew broke off the next day, on the 13th of August, when the aircraft encountered adverse weather conditions. After the unsuccessful search attempts, all the members of the crew were presumed dead. In March 1999, Dennis Thurston of the Minerals Management Service in Anchorage, located what appeared to be wreckage in the shallows of Camden Bay, between Prudhoe Bay and Kaktovik. There was conjecture in the media that it was Levanevsky&rsquos aircraft, but a subsequent attempt to locate the object again proved unsuccessful.

Sir Charles Edward Kingsford Smith was a well-known early Australian aviator. In 1928, he made the first trans-Pacific flight, from the United States to Australia. He almost didn&rsquot live to set world records in aviation. As a boy, living in Australia, young Charlie Smith was rescued from certain drowning at Sydney&rsquos famous Bondi Beach, by bathers who, just seven weeks later, were responsible for founding the world&rsquos first official surf life saving group, at Bondi Beach. During WWI he served in Gallipoli and eventually earned his wings. He was shot down and had part of his foot amputated as a result. Yet he continued to fly in the US as a barnstormer, and then back in Australia as a pilot and aviator.

On May 31, 1928, Kingsford Smith and his crew left Oakland, California, to make the first trans-Pacific flight to Australia. The flight was in three stages. The first (from Oakland to Hawaii) was 2,400 miles, took 27 hours 25 minutes and was uneventful. They then flew to Suva, Fiji, 3,100 miles away, taking 34 hours 30 minutes. This was the toughest part of the journey as they flew through a massive lightning storm near the equator. They then flew on to Brisbane in 20 hours, where they landed on June 9, 1928, after approximately 7,400 miles total flight. On arrival, Kingsford Smith was met by a huge crowd of 25,000 at Eagle Farm Airport, and was feted as a hero.

He also made the first non-stop crossing of the Australian mainland, the first flights between Australia and New Zealand, and the first eastward Pacific crossing from Australia to the United States. He also made a flight from Australia to London, and set a new record of 10.5 days. Kingsford Smith and co-pilot Tommy Pethybridge were flying the Lady Southern Cross overnight from Allahabad, India, to Singapore, as part of their attempt to break the England-Australia speed record held by C. W. A. Scott and Tom Campbell Black, when they disappeared over the Andaman Sea, in the early hours of November 8, 1935.

Eighteen months later, Burmese fishermen found an undercarriage leg and wheel which had been washed ashore at Aye Island in the Gulf of Martaban, off the southeast coastline of Burma. Lockheed confirmed the undercarriage leg to be from the Lady Southern Cross. The undercarriage leg is now on public display at the Powerhouse Museum, in Sydney, Australia. In 2009, a Sydney film crew claimed they were certain they had found the Lady Southern Cross where the landing gear had been found in 1937, at Aye Island.

Sir Ian Mackintosh was a British novelist and writer who is best remembered for creating the television series The Sandbaggers and Warship. On July 7, 1979, Mackintosh, along with Susan Insole, the daughter of an English cricket player, and the pilot, departed Anchorage, Alaska, on route to Kodiak. Their plane developed engine problems and was believed to have ditched in the ocean about 45 miles from the Kodiak shore. Two US Coast Guard rescue helicopters and a Coast Guard cutter were immediately dispatched to the area where the plane ditched. No sign of the plane was ever found. The search continued for three days. Sir Ian Mackintosh was rumored to have been a British spy, and some believe his disappearance was somehow related to his clandestine work, but there is no proof of this. In all likelihood, the plane ditched and either sank, taking all three to the bottom, or the three survived and then drowned or succumbed to the cold.

George Cogar was a pioneer in the field of computers. A member of the UNIVAC 1004 electronic design team, Cogar would eventually invent the data recorder, which did away with the need for computer punch cards. His company later invented an early type of personal computer. On September 2, 1983, George Cogar, five others and the pilot were on board a plane headed from Vancouver Island to a hunting lodge in Smithers, Canada. The plane disappeared, presumably over British Columbia, Canada. A one-week search effort covered nearly 40,000 square miles, but no trace of the plane or its occupants was ever found. At the time, it was the largest coordinated search in Canadian history and cost nearly $1 million. The families of the lost men, all millionaires, decided to continue the search on their own. So far, no trace has been found.

Sir Arthur Coningham was an RAF Air Marshal who served Britain in WWII, as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Flying Training Command. Coningham is chiefly remembered as the person most responsible for the development of forward air control parties directing close air support, which he developed as commander of the Western Desert Air Force between 1941 and 1943, and as commander of the tactical air forces in the Normandy campaign, in 1944.

In the film Patton, Coningham is played by actor John Barrie. During his scene, in which General George S Patton is complaining about the lack of air cover for American troops, Sir Arthur confirms to Patton that he will see no more German planes. As he has completed his sentence, German planes strafe the compound. Coningham had recently retired from the RAF when the plane he was in disappeared over the western Atlantic. He was one of 25 passengers aboard an Avro Tudor IV G-AHNP Star Tiger together with 6 crew, who were lost when their flight from Santa Maria Airport, in the Azores, failed to reach its destination of Kindley Field, Bermuda. The plane was attempting to locate Bermuda airspace when the Radio Officer, Robert Tuck aboard Star Tiger, requested a radio bearing from Bermuda, but the signal was not strong enough to obtain an accurate reading. Tuck repeated the request eleven minutes later, and this time the Bermuda radio operator was able to obtain a bearing of 72 degrees, accurate to within 2 degrees. The Bermuda operator transmitted this information, and Tuck acknowledged receipt. This was the last communication with the aircraft.

The Bermuda radio operator tried several times to contact the Star Tiger again, without success. He then declared a state of emergency. He had heard no distress message, and neither had anyone else, even though many receiving stations were listening on Star Tiger&rsquos frequency. The USAAF personnel operating the airfield immediately organized a rescue effort that lasted for 5 days. Twenty-six aircraft flew 882 hours in total, and surface craft also conducted a search, but no signs of Star Tiger or her 29 passengers and crew were ever found. The disappearance of the Star Tiger baffled the official British investigation, which could offer no explanations for why the plane had disappeared. The disappearance of the Star Tiger is one of the founding mysteries that led to the development of the concept of the Bermuda Triangle.

Andrew Whitfield was the nephew of wealthy steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. Whitfield was a graduate of Princeton University and had been employed as a business executive. An amateur pilot, Whitfield owned a small red and silver Taylor club monoplane which he occasionally flew (mostly for recreation). At the time of his disappearance, he had accumulated 200 hours of flying experience. He departed from Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York, on the morning of April 17, 1938, in his Taylor Cub monoplane. He had planned to land at an airfield in Brentwood, New York (approximately 22 miles away). He was only supposed to be in the air for fifteen minutes, but he never arrived as scheduled. One source reported that Whitfield&rsquos plane had been flying steadily&mdashbut then Whitfield &ldquonosed his plane into a mild easterly wind, [and] disappeared from sight.&rdquo

His plane had enough fuel for a 150-mile flight. Neither Whitfield nor his plane has ever been recovered. After his disappearance an investigation discovered that (on the same day he vanished) he had checked into a hotel in Garden City, on Long Island, under an alias he occasionally employed: &ldquoAlbert C. White.&rdquo Hotel records indicated that Whitfield/White had paid $4 in advance for the room and never checked out. When the hotel room was searched, it was discovered that his personal belongings (including his passport), clothing, cuff links engraved with his initials, two life insurance policies (in his name listing his wife, Elizabeth Halsey Whitfield, as the beneficiary), and several stock and bond certificates made out in Andrew&rsquos and Elizabeth&rsquos names, were all left behind in the hotel room. Phone records also indicated that he had called his home, while his family was out looking for him, and a telephone operator reported that she heard him say over the phone, &ldquoWell, I am going to carry out my plan.&rdquo

After this information was uncovered, police theorized that Whitfield had committed suicide by deliberately flying his plane into the Atlantic Ocean&ndashalthough no evidence to verify this theory has been found. A thorough search of the ocean surrounding Long Island was conducted it turned up no signs of plane wreckage. At the time of Whitfield&rsquos disappearance, there was no evidence that he was having personal or business problems. Whitfield had married (the former Elizabeth Halsey) earlier that year, and had been planning to move to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, (with his new wife) the same month that he disappeared.

Thomas Hale Boggs, Sr. was a member of the United States House of Representatives, for Louisiana. He was the House Majority Leader. During his tenure in Congress, Boggs was an influential player in the government. He served as Majority Whip from 1961 to 1970, and as majority leader, from January 1971 until his disappearance. As majority whip, he ushered much of President Johnson&rsquos Great Society legislation through Congress. In April 1971, he made a speech on the floor of the House, strongly attacking FBI Director J Edgar Hoover, and the whole of the FBI. This led to a conversation on April 6, 1971, between then President Richard Nixon and the Republican Minority Leader, Gerald Ford, in which Nixon said that he could no longer take counsel from Boggs as a senior member of Congress. In the recording of this call, Nixon is heard to ask Ford to arrange for the House delegation to include an alternative to Boggs. Ford speculates that Boggs is on pills as well as alcohol.

As Majority Leader, Boggs often campaigned for others. On October 16, 1972, he was aboard a twin engine Cessna 310 with Representative Nick Begich of Alaska, who was facing a possible tight race in the November 1972 general election against the Republican candidate, Don Young. Boggs and Begich disappeared during a flight from Anchorage to Juneau. The only others on board the plane were Begich&rsquos aide, Russell Brown, and the pilot. They were heading to a campaign fundraiser for Begich. (Begich won the 1972 election posthumously with 56 percent to Young&rsquos 44 percent, though Young would win the special election to replace Begich and won every election, up to and including 2010.)

Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force planes searched for the party. On November 24, 1972, after 39 days, the search was abandoned. Neither the wreckage of the plane, nor the pilot&rsquos and passengers&rsquo remains were ever found. The accident prompted Congress to pass a law mandating Emergency Locator Transmitters in all U.S. civil aircraft. The events surrounding Boggs&rsquos death have been the subject of much speculation, suspicion and numerous conspiracy theories. These theories often center on his membership on the Warren Commission. Boggs dissented from the Warren Commission&rsquos majority, who supported the single bullet theory. Regarding the single bullet theory, Boggs commented, &ldquoI had strong doubts about it.&rdquo Some conspiracy theorists believe Boggs was killed to stop his investigation of the Kennedy assassination. In the 1970&rsquos, it was also a bad idea to publicly take on J Edger Hoover and piss off Richard Nixon. Whether he was rubbed out, or his plane simply crashed in the Alaskan wilderness, Boggs and the plane have never been found.

First Lieutenant Felix Moncla, pilot, and Second Lieutenant Robert Wilson, radar operator, disappeared when their United States Air Force F-89 Scorpion was scrambled from Kinross Air Force Base, and subsequently went missing over Lake Superior while intercepting an unknown aircraft in Canadian airspace, close to the Canada &ndash United States border. The USAF identified the second aircraft as Royal Canadian Air Force C-47 Dakota VC-912, crossing Northern Lake Superior from west to east at 7,000 feet, en route from Winnipeg to Sudbury, Canada. Some ufologists have associated the disappearance with alleged &ldquoflying saucer&rdquo activity and refer to it as the &ldquoKinross Incident&rdquo

On the evening of November 23, 1953, Air Defense Command Ground Intercept radar operators at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, identified an unusual target near the Soo Locks. An F-89C Scorpion jet from Kinross Air Force Base was scrambled to investigate the radar return the Scorpion was piloted by First Lieutenant Moncla, with Second Lieutenant Robert L. Wilson acting as the Scorpion&rsquos radar operator. Wilson had problems tracking the object on the Scorpion&rsquos radar, so ground radar operators gave Moncla directions towards the object as he flew. Flying at some 500 miles per hour, Moncla eventually closed in on the object at about 8000 feet in altitude.

Ground Control tracked the Scorpion and the unidentified object as two &ldquoblips&rdquo on the radar screen. The two blips on the radar screen grew closer and closer, until they seemed to merge as one (return). The single blip disappeared from the radar screen, then there was no return at all. Attempts were made to contact Moncla via radio, but this was unsuccessful. A search and rescue operation was quickly mounted, but found not a trace of the plane or the pilots.

The official USAF Accident Investigation Report states the F-89 was sent to investigate an RCAF C-47 Skytrain which was traveling off course. No explanation for the planes disappearance was offered, but the Air Force investigators speculated that Moncla may have experienced vertigo and crashed into the lake. Others believe the plane made contact and perhaps even collided with a UFO.

Frederick Valentich was a 20-year old pilot of a Cessna 182L light aircraft who, on October 21, 1978, was on his way to King Island, in Australia, to pick up three or four friends and return to Moorabbin Airport, from which he had departed. During the 127 Nautical mile flight, Valentich advised Melbourne air traffic control he was being accompanied by an aircraft about 1,000 feet above him. He described unusual actions and features of the aircraft, reported that his engine had begun running roughly, and finally reported before disappearing from radar that &ldquoThat strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again. It is hovering and it&rsquos not an aircraft&rdquo.

No trace of Valentich or his aircraft was ever found, and a Department of Transport investigation concluded that the reason for the disappearance could not be determined. The report of a UFO sighting in Australia attracted significant press attention, in part due to the number of sightings reported by the public on the night of Valentich&rsquos disappearance. Valentich was an experienced pilot with a Class Four instrument rating and 150 hours of flight experience, and he had filed a flight plan from Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne, to King Island in Bass Strait. Visibility was good and winds were light. He departed Moorabbin at 18:19 local time, contacted the Melbourne Flight Service Unit to inform them of his presence, and reported reaching Cape Otway at 19:00.

At 19:06, Valentich asked Melbourne Flight Service Officer Steve Robey for information on other aircraft at his altitude, and was told there was no known traffic at that level. Valentich said he could see a large unknown aircraft which appeared to be illuminated by four bright landing lights. He was unable to confirm its type, but said it had passed about 1,000 feet overhead and was moving at high speed. Valentich then reported that the aircraft was approaching him from the east and said the other pilot might be purposely toying with him.

At 19:09 Robey asked Valentich to confirm his altitude and that he was unable to identify the aircraft. Valentich confirmed his height and began to describe the aircraft, saying that it was &ldquolong&rdquo, but that it was traveling too fast for him to describe it in more detail. Valentich stopped transmitting for about 30 seconds, during which time Robey asked for an estimate of the aircraft&rsquos size. Valentich replied that the aircraft was &ldquoorbiting&rdquo above him and that it had a shiny metal surface and a green light on it. This was followed by 28 seconds silence before Valentich reported that the aircraft had vanished. There was a further 25-second break in communications before Valentich reported that it was now approaching from the southwest. Twenty-nine seconds later, at 19:12:09 Valentich reported that he was experiencing engine problems and was going to proceed to King Island. There was brief silence until he said &ldquoit is hovering and it&rsquos not an aircraft&rdquo. This was followed by 17 seconds of unidentified noise, described as being &ldquometallic, scraping sounds&rdquo, then all contact was lost. A Search and Rescue alert was given and two RAAF P-3 Orion aircraft searched over a seven-day period. No trace of the aircraft was found.

The transcript of the final conversation between Valentich and the air traffic controller is very disturbing to read. As the tape of the conversation between Valentich and the air traffic control comes to an end, there are several seconds of silence, but odd metallic-like sounds can be heard in the background. Either, as some have speculated, Valentich was creating an elaborate ruse to cover up his intended self-disappearance, or he actually encountered something very strange just before he disappeared. The transcript can be found here.

No list of people who have disappeared in airplanes would be complete without a mention of the already well-known Amelia Earhart. A renowned aviator, in 1937 Earhart was attempting an around the world flight with her copilot Fred Noonan, in a Lockheed Model 10 Electra. Earhart disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. Apparently lost, and possibly unable to hear radio transmissions trying to direct her to the airfield on tiny Howland Island, it is assumed Earhart and Noonan ran out of fuel and either crashed or ditched in the Pacific Ocean.

Fascination with her life, career and disappearance continues to this day, with multiple theories surrounding her disappearance and possible survival of the airplane crash. Some believe she was taken prisoner by the Japanese. Others believe she and/or Noonan managed to make it to one of several tiny atolls where they later died of thirst, hunger and exposure. A recent search for her remains found what appeared to be small fragments of human bone on a tiny island. Also found were what appeared to be women&rsquos cosmetics and other indications that perhaps Earhart had survived the airplane crash and made it to land. But the bone had decayed to such an extent that DNA analysis was unable to determine if the bone were human, let alone the bones of Earhart. Amelia Earhart remains the most well known of the people who have disappeared in airplanes.

2550 M St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20037


Founded: 1962 as Barco, Cook and Patton
Employees: 400
Sales: $202.1 million (2004)
NAIC: 541110 Offices of Lawyers

Company Perspectives:
At Patton Boggs, we see opportunities where others see problems. Our ability to see things differently, viewing issues in light of a broader range of possibilities, allows us to translate client ideas and problems into creative results and solutions.

Key Dates:
1962: Barco, Cook and Patton is formed.
1963: George Blow joins firm.
1966: Thomas Hale Boggs, Jr., joins firm.
1973: Firm adopts Patton, Boggs and Blow name.
1993: Blow retires.
1997: Stuart Pape is named managing partner.

Patton Boggs LLP is a Washington, D.C.-based full-service law firm best known for its lobbying prowess. The firm employs about 400 attorneys and maintains offices in Anchorage, Dallas, Denver, northern Virginia, and Doha, Qatar. Patton Boggs takes a generalist approach, bringing together teams with diverse expertise to serve client needs. Rather than organizing the firm by departments, Patton Boggs relies on what it calls "relatively porous practice groups." These include Antitrust Appropriations Bankruptcy and Restructuring Business Defense and National Security Energy Environmental, Health and Safety Food and Drug Health Care Intellectual Property International Trade and Transactions Litigation and Dispute Resolution Mergers and Acquisitions Municipal Representation Political Law Public Policy and Lobbying Tax Telecommunications and Technology and Transportation and Infrastructure. Patton Boggs is headed by Chairman Thomas Hale Boggs, Jr., regarded as one of Washington's foremost lobbyists and one of the nation's top lawyers. Well into his 70s, founder James Richard Patton, Jr., remains active in the firm.

Firm Foundation: Early 1960s

James Patton was born in Durham, North Carolina, in 1928. After receiving an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina, he earned a law degree from Harvard University in 1951. He then became an embassy attaché and special assistant assigned to Indochina, although it is now widely known that he was actually working for the Central Intelligence Agency. Patton relocated to Washington in 1954, and was employed by the Office of National Estimates for two years before joining the prestigious Washington, D.C., law firm of Covington & Burling where he became well versed in the practice of international law. In 1962 he decided to strike out on his own, creating a partnership with a pair of attorneys, Charles D. Cook & J.W. "Jim" Barco, to form a general practice focusing on international law called Barco, Cook and Patton. Patton and Barco had known each other from their days at Harvard Law School and had later worked together on a treaty between India and Pakistan. Barco had also served as the deputy to Henry Cabot Lodge, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and had worked with Cook, who was counselor to the U.N. mission. While Patton set up shop in Washington at 1717 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Barco and Cook elected to remain in New York City to practice.

Within a few years the New York and Washington division of the partnership proved unwieldy, leading to the departure of Barco and Cook, but in the meantime Patton recruited other attorneys who became key partners of the firm. In October 1963 he hired George Blow, a friend from his days at Covington & Burling. Blow had made a name for himself by successfully arguing in 1957 the Double Jeopardy case ( Green v the United States ) before the United States Supreme Court, in which a man accused of murder was tried for the same crime twice in violation of the Fifth Amendment. The addition of Blow necessitated a further name change to the firm, which now became Barco, Cook, Patton and Blow.

"Tommy" Boggs Joins Firm in 1966

Attorney Chuck Verrill joined the firm as an associate, then in April 1966 Patton added two more young attorneys to the small firm: Joseph L. Brand and "Tommy" Boggs. Along with his sister, radio and television political correspondent Corinne "Cokie" Roberts, and Barbara Sigmund who became mayor of Princeton, New Jersey, Boggs grew up immersed in politics. His father, Thomas Hale Boggs, Sr., had become a Democratic congressman from Louisiana at the age of 26 in 1940 and rose through the ranks of House leadership and the Democratic party, becoming chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 1958. As a result, the Boggs' home was often frequented by Washington's elite and the Boggs' children were not surprised to have such dinner guests as Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy, and longtime Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn. The younger Boggs earned his undergraduate and law degrees at Georgetown University. In 1961 he took a position as an economist for the Joint Economic Committee for the U.S. Congress, then in 1965 became special assistant to the director of the Office of Emergency Planning. In 1966 Boggs decided to begin practicing law and interviewed with a large number of Washington-area firms. One of the largest, Hogan and Hartson, offered him a job, but Boggs turned it down in favor of going to work for the much smaller firm of Barco, Cook, Patton and Blow. Less than two years later Barco and Cook departed and the young guns became partners, leading to yet another name change for the firm: Patton, Blow, Verrill, Brand and Boggs.

In these early years, the firm's international clients included Pakistan, Turkey, Uganda, Ireland, and Norway. It was because many of these international clients required advocates in Washington in order to achieve their ends that the firm became involved in lobbying. Boggs was well suited to the task. Not only did he know many leading politicians through his father, his mentor during his tenure on Capital Hill had been Clark Clifford, one of the most famous capital insiders, adept at backroom machinations and cutting deals over drinks and cigars. The old boy network would give way to the era of the super lobbyist, as epitomized by Tommy Boggs. But first he would try his hand at running for office. In 1970 he ran as a Democrat in Maryland for the U.S. House of Representatives but lost. His father, in the meantime, continued to win reelection in Louisiana. He was so well entrenched that he ran unopposed in 1972 and was on the verge of becoming the House speaker. Campaigning for a fellow Democratic congressman in Alaska, the senior Boggs was flying from Anchorage to Juneau when his plane disappeared. It was never found, he was presumed dead, and his wife, Lindy, was elected to replace him--a seat she held until her resignation in 1991.

The firm steadily picked up clients in the late 1960s and early 1970s and added to its roster of attorneys. Timothy May, who would become managing partner, joined in March 1969 and two years later made partner, necessitating yet another name change. But the firm name of Patton, Boggs, Blow, Verrill, Brand & May was clearly too cumbersome, and in 1973 the partners agreed to shorten the name, retaining only the most senior partners. The result was Patton, Boggs and Blow, a name the firm kept for the next quarter-century. The small firm also attempted to expand beyond Washington, D.C., during this period, launching one-man operations in Mexico City and Tehran, but both closed down within a year.

A major project during the early 1970s that solidified Patton Boggs's public policy lobbying practice was the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, for which it represented both oil companies and construction companies. The election of Democrat Jimmy Carter to the White House in 1976 was also a boon to Patton Boggs's lobbying efforts, as Tommy Boggs forged his reputation as a Democratic rainmaker. A major success in the second half of the 1970s was the firm's work on behalf of a struggling Chrysler, for which Patton Boggs played a key role in arranging a government bailout. During the late 1970s the firm also participated in high-profile, and highly partisan, tax bills.

By 1980 Patton Boggs employed 38 attorneys. In that year Carter was defeated for the presidency by Ronald Reagan, and for a brief time it appeared that lobbyists would have a difficult time finding corporate clients. The prevailing assumption was that a Reagan administration would be so friendly toward business interests that lobbyists would be unnecessary. But control of the Congress remained contentious and those who believed that lobbyists no longer had a role to play were quickly disabused of that notion. Patton Boggs steadily added to its lobbying business and as it became involved in different public policy areas it identified talented government attorneys working in specific fields and began hiring them to assemble a roster of experts, an approach that proved key to the firm's long-term growth. In little more than a year Patton Boggs employed 72 attorneys. Also during the early 1980s, Patton Boggs again attempted to expand geographically. It opened an office in London, but it closed within four years. The firm also established an office in Saudi Arabia to serve a client building a hospital in the country, but once the project was successfully launched, the office was closed in the mid-1980s. Later in the 1980s Patton Boggs opened an office in Baltimore, Maryland, to accommodate a partner who needed to work close to home for personal reasons, but because Baltimore was so close to Washington the new office added nothing to the firm's prospects. A more legitimate attempt at regional expansion was the 1988 acquisition of a Greensboro, North Carolina-based law firm: Foster, Conner, Robson & Gumbiner. Some of the partners were prominent in Republican politics, helping to mitigate the sense that Patton Boggs was a Democratic shop. Once again, however, the attempt to establish a foothold outside of the Beltway failed and the Greensboro and Raleigh, North Carolina offices were eventually closed in the 1990s.

Helping Defeat 1990s Healthcare Reforms

The 1990s saw another Democrat, Bill Clinton, take the presidency but, while the White House may have been in the hands of the Democrats, control of the Congress was swinging to the Republicans. Thus, Patton Boggs made a concerted effort to bring in more Republican-connected attorneys to bolster its lobbying business. Democratic ties not withstanding, Patton Boggs played a major role in thwarting Clinton's effort to implement healthcare reforms, a defeat that crippled his presidency and led to the Democrats losing the House to Republicans in 1994. Patton Boggs's clients in this fight included the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, opposed to the concept of limiting the amount a victim could collect in a malpractice lawsuit, and The National Association of Life Underwriters and the National Association of Health Underwriters, threatened by the idea of mandatory alliances, which would eliminate their lucrative middleman role because consumers would now be able to negotiate directly with purchasing alliances. Despite overwhelming public support for the proposals, all of the reforms were successfully bottled up in committee and no bills were ever passed. According to a 1995 Washington Monthly article, "Not only did [Patton Boggs's] victory confirm their reputation, but the total defeat of all health reform also means that the issue will come around again, and with it, another rush of clients paying top prices to have Patton Boggs on their side. Healthcare reform took good care of Patton Boggs. The firm's total revenue shot up 25 percent in two years, from $49 million to $61 million."

Other major work for Patton Boggs during the 1990s was a private sector effort to eliminate the 20-year-ban on the export of Alaska North Slope crude oil retailers' efforts to block quotas on textile imports the advertising industry's fight to ward off tax increases and efforts related to the passage of major international trade agreements, GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). The 1990s also saw organizational changes at Patton Boggs. In 1992 the firm hired Dallas-area attorneys with financial service expertise and opened a Dallas office. Blow retired in 1993 later in the decade the firm assumed the name of Patton Boggs LLP. In 1997 the firm's current managing partner, Stuart Pape, took charge he had joined Patton Boggs in 1980 after working for the Food and Drug Administration, an example of the firm luring away attorneys who possessed inside knowledge about specific subjects. In addition to Dallas, Patton Boggs opened offices in Anchorage and Denver.

In 2000 Patton Boggs opened an office in northern Virginia to become involved in the high-tech boom the area was enjoying. The timing proved unfortunate, however, as the bottom fell out of the industry. Nevertheless, the firm retained the office and added the intellectual property lawyers required by the practice. By now Patton Boggs had effectively shed its reputation as a Democratic-leaning firm, with at least as many Republican public policy lawyers as Democrats. During the contentious 2000 presidential election, in fact, Patton Boggs was on the Supreme Court brief for George W. Bush. Even Tommy Boggs, a lifelong Democrat, admitted to the Denver Business Journal in 2001 that "When the Republicans take over the White House, the business community basically thinks they can get a lot done. . So we've always done better as a law firm . when the Republicans control the White House."

Patton Boggs continued to hire high-profile, politically connected attorneys in the new century, including Clinton confidant Lanny Davis, national counsel to the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign Ben Ginsberg, and former Democratic Senator John Breaux. Entering 2005 Patton Boggs employed 400 attorneys and generated revenues in excess of $200 million a year. Of that amount $65.8 million came from lobbying-related fees, making Patton Boggs the highest grossing lobbying firm according to an annual survey conducted by ALM's Influence newsletter.

Principal Competitors: Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP Cassidy & Associates Hogan & Hartson Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • Abramson, Jill, "Acquisition by Prominent Washington Law Firm Shows Building Political Links Is a Subtle Craft," Wall Street Journal, June 22, 1988, p. 1.
  • Fletcher, Amy, "Q&A with Patton Boggs' Partner," Denver Business Journal, May 18, 2001, p. A3.
  • Franklin, Daniel, "Tommy Boggs and the Death of Health Care Reform," Washington Monthly, April 1995, p. 31.
  • Reilly, Ann M., "Washington's Super Lobbyists," Dun's Business Month, August 1983, p. 30.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories , Vol. 71. St. James Press, 2005.

Doug Boggs, son of trailblazing lobbyist Tommy Boggs, looks to lead another firm to prominence

Doug and Hale Boggs, sons of the late trailblazing Washington lobbyist Thomas H. Boggs Jr., are back under one roof — sort of.

Both of the younger Boggs, Doug, 49, and Hale, 54, have long built their careers in the legal world, with Doug at Patton Boggs in Northern Virginia and Hale at Manatt Phelps & Phillips in Los Angeles and Palo Alto, Calif. But last year, after Doug left his father’s namesake firm to join Manatt’s Washington office, the two were reunited professionally.

This month, Doug was named managing partner of Manatt’s D.C. office, bringing them another step closer Hale is a senior partner and part of the firm’s executive committee.

“We always talked, but we talk more often than we ever did before,” said Doug Boggs.

Most of it is over email and texting. And they’ve teamed up to structure some corporate deals — Doug is a corporate attorney and Hale is an entertainment and media lawyer.

In his new role, Doug Boggs oversees recruiting and hiring for the D.C. office and is pushing to elevate Manatt’s profile in the nation’s capital by expanding the firm’s lobbying and political footprint. The firm, which is based in Los Angeles and known for its entertainment and health care regulatory work, has about 40 lobbyists and public policy professionals across its 10 offices, but only about ten in D.C. Doug Boggs said he’d like to double that in the near future.

“Having come from Patton Boggs, which had high visibility in the city, to here, which is a smaller office, and not the home office, it’s a little more difficult to get on the radar screen sometimes,” Doug Boggs said. “Part of what I want to do is get out there and get the firm’s name out there, especially on the political side.”

For the last half century, the legacy firm Patton Boggs was arguably the best known lobbying brand in Washington. Tommy Boggs Jr., a charismatic and colorful strategist, joined the firm in 1966 and pioneered a new model for the influence industry, helping transform what used to be a one-or-two-man shop led by former agency heads into a lucrative business that was integrated into a major law firm, staffed with attorneys well-versed in the areas of law that lobbyists were looking to change. The firm was acquired by the law firm Squire Sanders in 2014 and is now known as Squire Patton Boggs. Boggs died in 2014.

Manatt was founded by Chuck Manatt, a California lawyer who guided the Democratic National Committee to financial prosperity in the 1980s. He died in 2011.

“He was a man about town,” Doug Boggs said. “I’d like to get some of that visibility back. Recruiting and getting some well-known people with interesting practices would help in that goal.”

Thomas Hale BOGGS, Sr., Congress, LA (1914-1972)

BOGGS Thomas Hale, Sr. , a Representative from Louisiana born in Long Beach, Harrison County, Miss., February 15, 1914 attended the public and parochial schools of Jefferson Parish, La. was graduated from Tulane University, New Orleans, La., in 1935 and from the law department of the same university in 1937 was admitted to the bar in 1937 and commenced practice in New Orleans, La. elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-seventh Congress (January 3, 1941-January 3, 1943) unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1942 resumed the practice of law in New Orleans, La. enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve in November 1943 was commissioned an ensign and attached to the Potomac River Naval Command and the United States Maritime Service until separated in January 1946 again elected as a Democrat to the Eightieth and to the thirteen succeeding Congresses chairman, Special Committee on Campaign Expenditures (Eighty-second Congress) majority whip (Eighty-seventh through Ninety-first Congresses), majority leader (Ninety-second Congress) disappeared while on a campaign flight from Anchorage to Juneau, Alaska, October 16, 1972 served from January 3, 1947, until January 3, 1973, when he was presumed dead pursuant to House Resolution 1, Ninety-third Congress.

Political career

A strong liberal Democrat and originally a declared segregationist who signed the Southern Manifesto, [5] Boggs was elected to the U.S. House for Louisiana's 2nd congressional district in 1940. [6] Because of his service from 1943 to 1946 as a United States Navy ensign and later a lieutenant commander during World War II, Boggs' tenure in the House spanned nonconsecutive stints, 1941 to 1943 and 1947 until his death in 1972. [3] He voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 though he supported the Voting Rights Act of 1965 the following year. [7]

In 1952, Boggs launched an unsuccessful gubernatorial race in which a minor opponent, Lucille May Grace, the Register of State Lands, claimed that Boggs was either a communist or had been a communist in his youth. Boggs considered the allegations a "smear." [8] [9] Boggs ran third in the crowded primary field, in which other candidates included Bill Dodd, James M. McLemore, and the winner, Robert F. Kennon of Minden in Webster Parish. [10] Boggs' successful selection for lieutenant governor, C. E. "Cap" Barham, a state senator from Ruston, was frequently at odds with Governor Kennon. Barham lost his reelection bid in 1956, whe he ran on the Chep Morrison ticket. [11]

Speaker Sam Rayburn of Texas appointed Boggs to the key tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee and the Joint House and Senate Economic Committee. He was the chairman of the Subcommittee on Foreign Economic Policy. From 1962 to 1970, he was the assistant majority leader, or "whip," serving under Speaker John William McCormack (1891–1980) of Massachusetts. [3]

In 1962, [12] 1964, [13] and again in 1968, [14] Boggs was challenged for reelection by the Republican David Connor "Dave" Treen, an attorney then from suburban Jefferson Parish, who ran strongly in the latter race and was elected in 1972, two weeks after Boggs' death, as the representative for the neighboring 3rd congressional district. In 1979, Treen defeated Democrats Louis Lambert, Jimmy Fitzmorris, Paul Hardy, and E. L. "Bubba" Henry in a heated race for governor, a post he filled from 1980 to 1984 in the interregnum of four-term Democrat Edwin Edwards. [15]

In 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Boggs, along with then U.S. Senators Richard Russell, Jr. of Georgia and John Sherman Cooper, a Moderate Republican from Kentucky and mentor of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, to the Warren Commission, which was the vehicle for the investigation of the JFK assassination. Boggs, Russell, and Cooper dissented from the commission's claim of the "single bullet theory" that was advanced by Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, then a staff member. [16]

Alan “Gunner” Lindbloom

Commissioning Editor & Contributor

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