JUNE 27, 1996


FEBRUARY 24, 1996

339 368 431 468 469 470 482 483 484 514 515


Once you're seated, would you please state your full name and spell your last name for the record?

THE WITNESS: My name is Jeffrey Houlihan, H-o-u-1-i-h-a-n.

JUDGE POPE: Thank you.


Q. Mr. Houlihan, by whom are you employed?

A. The U.S. Customs Service.

Q. And what do you do for the U.S. Customs Service?

A. I'm a Senior Detection Systems Specialist at March Air Force Base, California.

Q. What does a Senior Detection Systems Specialist do?

A. My primary job is to sort out drug smugglers from amongst the general aviation traffic entering the United States.

Q. What are you terms of hierarchy there, are you a supervisor?

A. I'm something in between.

Q. Describe that, if you will?

A. My original function was a floor supervisor,


the radar supervisor for the entire Operations Section. Now, due to the Governmental reorganization, my title has been changed to Senior Detection Systems Specialist, as opposed to supervisory. The job is really the same. My job is to oversee all of the radar controllers operating -watching, basically the area from the Atlantic Ocean of Florida, the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, the Southwest border with Mexico and the Pacific Ocean area.

Q. And what is the DAICC?

A. It's the Domestic Air Interdiction Coordination Center.

Q. Is that where you work?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. And how many people are employed out there?

A. I don't have an exact total of the number of people employed. We have approximately thirty-five controllers.

Q. And what does a controller do out there?

A. Our primary job is basically, to sort through the thousands of aviation aircraft that come into the United States and into the area that I mentioned before every day.


Q. What did you do there?

A. I was -- I worked specifically for NORAD at the 26th Air Division at March Air Force Base. it was a facility designed as an Air Defense Facility, covering the entire border with Mexico in the Pacific.

Q. When you say NORAD, is that an acronym?

A. Yes, sir. North American Air Defense Command.

Q. What did you do there?

A. I was a radar controller for them.

Q. What, specifically, did you do as a radar controller?

A. My job, I was assigned to the weapons section. My job was twofold. The first part of it was, I was a radar controller.

I intercepted -- used fighter aircraft to perform intercepts on unknown aircraft coming into the United States. I was the one who directed them into trail of the unknown aircraft.

My second part was as a weapons assignment officer, which meant that I was the supervisor of the radar control section on the operations floor.

Q. What types of radar did you operate over there?

A. In the 26th Air Division, I operated on the


Hughes System, the HMD22 radar console. Mostly what we used were long range radar as part of the joint surveillance site system that the FAA and the Military use.

Q. When you said HMD22, what does that mean, do you know?

A. It's the nomenclature for the specific console itself.

Q. Okay. Could you describe what mobil radar is?

A. Mobil radar is pretty much as it sounds. It's a radar that you can simply pack up, move somewhere else, set it up again.

Q. As part of -- out at NORAD, did you ever operate any of those?

A. Those radars were not assigned specifically to NORAD. When I did operate on mobil radars, they were assigned to the tactical air command in those days.

Q. Okay. So you didn't do it at NORAD. Okay. Well, then, continue with your employment.

A. I specifically, as far as the mobil radars go, that's simply designed to be able to take a radar system anywhere in the world where there are no radars, set it up and be able to provide air intercept


control to U.S. or Allied fighters.

Q. And in layman's terms, would that be like AWAC?

A. It's a ground AWAC, I would suppose you'd call it. It's simply -- an AWAC simply is an airborne platform -- the mobil system was a ground system.

Q. What other types of radar did you operate have you operated?

Well, first of all, let me back up. How long have you been -- how many years experience have you had in radar?

A. I was first assigned to radar control duties in January of 1982.

Q. And what did you do there?

A. That's when I first attended basic radar control school at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

Q. Okay, let's back off from the courses, let's stick with employment.

Your first employment with respect to radar, where was that?

A. The first one was at the 407L, which would be the mobil radar school at Luke Air Force Base. I was there temporarily.

After that, with regards to radar, I was


assigned to the 26th Air Division.

Q. Okay. What did you do there?

A. That was a NORAD facility and my job there was to assist with the interception of unknown aircraft entering the South -- Southwestern United States.

Q. Okay. And where did you go from there?

A. From there I got a job with the Customs Service and began operating out of March Air Force Base, actually in the same facility, just doing a different job.

Q. Have you ever operated static radar?

A. Yes, I have.

Q. What is static radar?

A. Simply a radar that's permanently placed in a single location. In fact, my experience with what different types of radar I've operated with, I have used in special operations and in assignments, most of the radars that the Military operates on.

I've used FAA approach control radars. I've operated out of enroute centers. I've operated on maintenance consoles at radar sites. Practically everything that's out there, with the exception of an AWAC aircraft.

Q. Have you used ground based radar?


A. Yes, I have.

Q. What is ground based radar?

A. Ground based radar is simply is any radar that is placed either permanent or mobil in any ground location.

Q. What about automated radar as opposed to semi-automated radar?

A. Automated radar is simply radar that's been processed through a computer and displayed on a console.

When I worked for the 26th Air Division, I was operating on automated radar and now, since I've been working for the Custom Service, I've also been using automated radar.

Q. What is, essentially, the difference between your -- the purpose of your work now with Customs, as opposed to the purpose of what you were doing with the Air Force? Could you describe the differences? How's that?

A. The major difference between what I do now and what I did when I worked for the Air Force is the Air Force was specifically concerned with high flying aircraft, fast moving targets heading into the United States, a threat to the national defense.


My job for them was to assist in the interception of those targets and to assist in turning them outside the U.S. Since then -

Q. Describe -- yeah, but before you go on, could you describe a typical interception with the Air Force?

A. A typical interception with the Air Force would be any time we picked up any target that we didn't know who it was, generally that target would be between 250 and 500 knots in speed, heading into the United States.

We would launch interceptor aircraft out of one of the alert bases in the Southwest United States. I would take control of those aircraft and direct them to a stern intercept, meaning coming up behind the target aircraft.

They would pull in close, do a visual identification of the aircraft and then we'd take whatever action is necessary after that.

Q. Okay. And now move on to Customs. What you were doing was describing the differences.

A. Correct.

The major difference between what I do for the Custom Service and what I did for Air Defense is the types of targets and the process that we go



Right now, my job is to be able to sort out general aviation aircraft that may possibly be involved in narcotic smuggling from all the thousands that are out there flying every day.

And what I'll do, is watch the radar consoles and, in fact, for most of my duties now is supervising those who do watch the consoles, looking for these targets.

When we find one we consider to be suspicious, I'll launch an airplane out from one of the Customs alert bases.

We'll direct that aircraft into a stern intercept, Pull them up as close as possible to the aircraft, get its registration number, run it in the computer systems, find out who they are and whether they're wanted for anything, find out whether they're suspicious, or not.

Back off, if necessary. Follow that aircraft to wherever it's going, including, of course, bringing up other aircraft in support, bust crews, meaning arrest crews, in a Blackhawk Helicopter.

My job is to put them all in the proper position. my job is to see to it that we coordinate through all airspaces that we cross, to make sure that


we don't interfere with any other traffic and that we don't ever lose these targets.

And the most important part is, of course, that as these targets attempt to, evade, as they try to run away from us, it's my job to make sure that we don't lose them.

And then, of course, we follow them to wherever they land. It's also my job to make sure that we have enough local law enforcement support to help make the arrest when they do land.

And be able to keep enough documentation that when we go to Court on this, we have enough information and enough accurate information to be able to convict whatever it is we have apprehended and put them in jail.

Q. Well, can you give us an example? Let's just describe a typical intercept maybe?

A. Typically, what would happen is we go through a great deal of a process. We'd have a primary target say, 150 knots heading up towards the United States.

We'd attempt to go through Flight Service Station, through the Military, through any other organization that might have information on who that airplane is.


But normally in a narcotics case, what I'll do is I'll print a screen every time I see something that I think is important, so that I can keep a complete record of exactly what happened.

Q. And did you do it in this case?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. And how many screens did you print?

A. I printed fourteen.

Q. And that would be (a) through (n)?

A. Yes.

Q. Why did you print the screens in this case?

A. Well, initially, we printed the screens because it was a request from the FAA. They asked -they know what our radar coverage is like down there.

They know about our ability to print screens, so they had requested that we take a picture or two of the Brothers To The Rescue as they flew that day.

As the incident progressed -- normally, I simply would have taken one or two, but as the incident progressed and I saw what was going on, I felt that it was going to be extremely important later, so I just started taking prints every time I saw something change.

Q. How do you print something? Take the Judge



Q. Describe what you mean by that?

A. As far as the details as to how the maintenance works, specifically on the Aerostat, that's a Department of Defense function.

If they notice any problems with the Aerostat at the site, which they should, they would immediately stop sending data, so it would not show up at all. That's generally how we know something has gone wrong, all the data just quits.

Now, if I notice that there was a problem, say I picked up double registration, I would simply go to my console, take a switch action that turns that antenna off in my system.

It doesn't turn it off at the site, but I removes it from my system. Then, immediately report it to our own communications section. They'd call Air Force and find out what was wrong.

Q. What about if there was something wrong with your system?

A. Generally, if there's something malfunctioning in my own system, it's readily apparent. It's a very reliable system. In fact, most reliable system that I've ever worked on.

It's a rare occurrence that anything goes


wrong. Generally if it does, it reboots itself.

Q. Has anyone ever challenged the accuracy of the system?

MR. GOLDSTEIN: well, to his knowledge. BY MR. MOULIS:

Q. To your knowledge, has anyone ever challenged the accuracy of it?

A. Yes.

Q. When was that?

A. It's been questioned before in Court, briefly.

Q. And what was the outcome?

A. The accuracy was upheld.

Q. Who else uses it? I'm talking about -- I'm moving to the Aerostat system. I mean I'm talking about where the radar comes from. Who else uses that system regularly?

A. You're speaking specifically of the Cudjoe Key Aerostat?

Q. Yes.

A. The Cudjoe Key Aerostat is used by our facility. It's used by the Southeast Air Defense Sector at Tyndall, Tyndall Air Force Base at Panama City, Florida, and it's used by CARIBROC. They're located -- and I don't recall whether they're located


at Key Largo or Key West.

JUDGE POPE: Are those a bunch of acronyms? I think for the record, I think you'll have to say that they are.

It's used by two Air Force operations?

THE WITNESS: Actually, your Honor, the Southeast Air Defense Sector is a NORAD facility, North American Air Defense Command facility. They're located at Panama City in Florida. Their job specifically is an air defense role.

CARIBROC is the Caribbean Radar -- I wish I could come up with the exact acronym. I believe it's Caribbean Radar Operations Center.

They're a joint facility, meaning that they have representatives from all the different Agencies of the Department of Defense. I believe they also have Coast Guard members there, and their responsibility lies in the Caribbean.

JUDGE POPE: Proceed.


Q. Do you know how the -- I'm still talking about the Aerostat balloon and that radar. Do you know how it works?

A. Let me -- you looked at me. Let me try to rephrase it a little bit better.


so you're not allowed to really use anything that's guess work, it has to be precise.

Q. Let's turn our attention away.

MR. MOULIS: If you're clear on that, your Honor, I'm going to another area, so if you have any questions?

JUDGE POPE: Just proceed.



Q. I'm going to turn our attention away from that for a minute to other logs you made. Not the screen print, but did you make any other logs, for example, written logs on the date February 24th?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you do?

A. We have what's called a track log. It's written compilation of everything that we saw that day.

MR. MOULIS: Your Honor, I'm going to approach the witness.

JUDGE POPE: Have you showed it to Mr. Goldstein?

(Whereupon, Mr. Moulis shows a document to Mr. Goldstein.)


(Whereupon, the document above referred to was marked for identification as Administrator's Exhibit Number A-12.)

MR. MOULIS: For the record, I'm handing the witness a copy of what has been premarked as Exhibit A-12.

(Whereupon, Mr. Moulis hands a document to the witness.)


Q. Mr. Houlihan, do you recognize that?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. What is it?

A. It's a copy of the track log that we used on the incident of the 24th of February.

Q. And if you could, describe the document, some of the features of it?

A. Basically, if you look at the top part, I has a header that indicates which aircraft were involved in the incident and in this case, we've only got two listed, the two airplanes that were shot down.

It gives the aircraft type as Cessna 337s. It tells us where they started, Opa Locka, Florida.

The end location shows north of the Cuban ADIZ.

On the other side it would say case number.


In this case, of course, there is no case number, so it's not listed.

Under text number, you'll see the initials TJS. Those are the initials of Mr. Tracy Stebbins, who was the controller working this particular incident in South Florida. And under completion, it's listed as interest.

And normally in a narcotics case, that would be listed as captured. In this, because of the type of incident, it's listed purely as interest.

Q. What -- is it substantially -- it's a copy, but is the copy in substantially the same condition that it was when it was printed out on 2/24/96?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. There are some written stuff in there. In fact, I'm reading the bottom right hand corner. Houlihan Deposition Exhibit 1. Was that on there?

A. No

Q. Is it a true and accurate copy though with the exception of some of those handwritten -

A. With the exception of the handwritten entries that are on it, yes, it is a copy of the original track log.

MR. MOULIS: Your Honor, I move to admit Exhibit A-12.


JUDGE POPE: Questions on the exhibit or objections to it?

MR. GOLDSTEIN: No objection.

JUDGE POPE: A-12 is admitted without objection.

(Whereupon, the document previously marked for identification as Administrator's Exhibit Number A-12 was received in evidence.)

JUDGE POPE: Proceed.


Q. Why was this log -- why was A-12 created?

A. It was created to keep a specific record of everything that we saw and everything that we did in regards to this particular incident on the 24th of February.

Q. And why did you do that?

A. We wanted to have a record. My concern at the time was not so much having a record for Court. We never thought it would end up in anything like that.

My concern at the time was to have some proof of what I saw as cold blooded murder. I wanted to be able to put down exactly what I saw.


Q. How did you do it?

A. We typed it into the screen just after the incident. Some of the records that you see here were typed as it was going on. The majority were typed immediately after it was all done.

JUDGE POPE: I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that. These are entries that were manually typed by the operator or you or whoever did it?

THE WITNESS: Yes, your Honor.

JUDGE POPE: Into the computer?

THE WITNESS: Yes. Actually, what the computer does on our Operations Intel screen, it provides this format of a screen and we fill the information in and when we enter the information, it stamps it with a date and a time as when we entered the information.

So all of these entries that you see that have time stamped on them, they're specifically to that particular time.

There are two ways.- Until this track log is completed, you can insert entries with specific times. Many of Mr. Stebbins' entries that are here, were created and typed into the log at the time they were going on.

The vast majority of entries that you see


that have my initials on them, JSH or -- well, all of mine are listed under JSH. All the ones that you see that are done like that, or the majority of them, were typed immediately after the incident was over.

Once Mr. Basulto's aircraft made it back to Opa Locka, I sat down with the screen prints and typed in the specifics of each screen print to show exactly what they were and to give an explanation of what you're looking at when you see these prints.

JUDGE POPE: Why did you not include the aircraft ID for the third aircraft?

THE WITNESS: It only has enough room for two. There's only enough space in that particular block for two and the incident itself -- well, this explains, really, why this log was created in and of itself.

The two aircraft that were shot down were Our concern wasn't really November 2506, aircraft that Mr. Basulto was flying.

What caught my attention, what made me caused me to create this log, to put and make these screen prints was the fact that these aircraft were shot down. They were the ones I was interested in.

JUDGE POPE: If you were to go back to your


A. At the time that the track log is open, anyone else using, in this case, the eastern part of the computer data base, could go ahead and enter any information into that log. It would, however come up with their initials on it, showing us exactly who entered what and what entry.

Q. Do you know how many people entered information on this, on Exhibit A-12?

A. There are actually four people that entered information.

Q. And who are they?

A. The first person, myself, of course, listed under JSH, any of the entries that you see there. TJS, is Tracy Stebbins. He's the other -- he was a Customs radar controller that was working the South Florida area that day.

The first entry that you see here under TJS was typed on the console of Mr. -

MR. GOLDSTEIN: Well, objection. It's not responsive. The question was who else made entries.

MR. MOULIS: He's explaining it.

MR. GOLDSTEIN: The question was who else made entries. It's an easy question.

JUDGE POPE: Well, the question was asked and has been answered. If you want him to explain


it, ask him to do that.


Q. Could you explain how you know other people made entries?

MR. MOULIS: First of all, he said four and he was explaining how he knew there were f our. He only got two. There was an objection -

JUDGE POPE: All right. Who were the four people who made entries on this record?

THE WITNESS: Myself, Tracy Stebbins, Ronald Bechtold and John Robinson.

JUDGE POPE: And they're all Customs radar operators?

THE WITNESS: With the exception of John Robinson. He's a National Guard Major who's a trainee at the Domestic Air Interdiction Coordination Center.

JUDGE POPE: Well, I don't know whether he's relevant to our inquiry or not, but how did he get involved in this?

THE WITNESS: Due to the large size of the area that we cover, we've asked for augmentation from the Military, the Department of Defense.

They sent us a certain number of National Guard people, radar controllers and Major Robinson is one of them. He was operating that day as a trainee


under the supervision of Mr. Stebbins.

JUDGE POPE: I have one question about this on the front page. There's a list of times and 1929, 1929, 1932, 1937, 1939, then a text entry.

what do those -- that list of times indicate? And then there's numbers following them across the page.

THE WITNESS: Those lists of times are all positional reports supposedly on the aircraft. Now, what we're looking at here are -- the best way that I can come up with to put this is that it's an engineer's attempt to be able to do a radar controller's job.

When they first designed the system, one of the things we asked for was a way that the system itself would keep the position of each target aircraft we were interested in.

It would put down its altitude, it would put down its speed, its heading and its Lat Long, and automatically keep that system in a log, so that we wouldn't have to do it manually.

Because of the parameters of the types of targets that we follow where they're in and out of radar coverage ail the time, they were unable to do that.


commodity, arguing about this sort of thing.

MR. MAY: Yes, your Honor, and we'd be glad to just borrow them and copy them across the hall or something like that or however you want to do it.

Thank you, your Honor.

JUDGE POPE: All right. Be seated, please, sir.

Mr. Moulis, would you continue with your examination, please.

MR. MOULIS: Yes, your Honor. Whereupon,

JEFFREY HOULIHAN, was recalled as a witness by and on behalf of the Administrator and, having been previously duly sworn, was examined and testified further on his oath, as follows:


Q. Mr. Houlihan, before we went to lunch, we went over your background and the system itself. Now let's turn to the incident in question. were you working on February 24th, 1996?

A. Yes, I was.

Q. What position were you working?


A. Working as a Senior Detection System


Specialist at the DAICC at March Air Force Base.

Q. Did you have any subordinates working for you?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. And who was that?

A. I had -- I don't recall the exact number, approximately eight detection systems specialists working for me that day, including Mr. Stebbins who was working South Florida.

Q. And what were you two doing?

A. At the time in question, we were monitoring South Florida, watching a flight of three BTTR aircraft proceed southbound towards Cuba.

Q. What systems were you using?

A. Initially, we were using long range radar sites out of Opa Locka and Key West -- excuse me -Tamiami and Key West, and then the Aerostat at Cudjoe Key.

Q. Explain what happened generally?

A. In very general terms, what we saw was three general aviation aircraft with squawks that were assigned to the BTTR head southbound from Florida, go down towards the Cuban Air Defense Identification Zone.

Prior to them getting in real close to the


Cuban ADIZ, I saw a Cuban -- what I thought were Cuban MiGs appear off the coast of Cuba. I watched one of the BTTR aircraft penetrate the Cuban ADIZ, initially by about one nautical mile and then up to three nautical miles. He headed eastbound.

At that time, the other BTTR aircraft stayed outside the Cuban ADIZ. I then saw the Cuban MiGs shoot down one of the BTTR aircraft about three nautical miles outside the Cuban ADIZ.

The first BTTR aircraft that penetrated the Cuban ADIZ, then exited the ADIZ, headed northbound. I then saw another Cuban MIG shoot down the second BTTR aircraft approximately between ten and twelve nautical miles north of the Cuban ADIZ.

And then saw the surviving Brothers To The Rescue aircraft continue on to Opa Locka.

Q. When did you first become aware of the BTTR aircraft?

A. Visually or the first that I had heard of them?

Q. The first that you had heard of them.

A. I had been told approximately a week, I can't remember the exact date, about a week before, that they had intended to fly down towards Cuba in an attempt to make a political statement against the


Communist Government in Cuba, and we were requested, by the FAA, to watch for that.

Q. When did you first visually see them on you screen?

A. I first saw them about 1855 Zulu on that day as they were heading southbound from Key West, which would have been around -- 1855 would have been about, just a little bit before 2:00 o'clock, I guess.

Q. 2:00 o'clock Eastern time?

A. That's correct.

Q. And how many were there?

A. Three.

Q. Did you know their altitude?

A. We had altitude readouts on one. It varied between about 1,000 and 1,400 feet. It went up and down considerably.

Q. What was their speed?

A. It varied between 120 and 145 to 50 knots.

Q. In what direction were they traveling?

A. Initially, they were traveling westbound. Then they turned southbound.

Q. And did you have their N numbers, registration numbers?

A. Yes, we did.

Q. Do you know what they are now?


with the aircraft's symbology.

Q. Okay. Why did you monitor them? I know you answered this earlier, but I didn't ask the question, but why did you specifically monitor these aircraft?

A. We had received a request and when I say we, I mean our facility, the DAICC had received a request to monitor them from the Federal Aviation Administration.

My understanding was, according to what was briefed to me, is that the Brothers To The Rescue had intended to fly towards Cuba in an attempt to make some sort of political statement against the Government in Cuba.

The FAA had requested that we watch them do that and take a picture for as close as they got to Cuba and then forward that to them after the flight was completed.

Q. Notwithstanding the call from the FAA, did the BTTR aircraft get your attention?

A. Yes.

Q. Why?

A. Well, they were operating, as they generally operate, in an area that's a very high threat smuggling route so we're always watching whoever is in those areas.


Q. What -- when you say they were operating like they generally do, describe what they generally do?

A. In my experience in the past, what I've seen is that they'll come down from the Florida Keys area, from Opa Locka is where they originate, and start search grid patterns just north of the Cuban coast looking for rafters, for people attempting to escape Cuba, is my understanding.

Q. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but did you mis-speak when you said just north of the Cuban coast?

A. Just was not a specific reference term. Just north would mean well north of the Cuban coast, if you want to put it that way, outside the ADIZ, south of the 24th parallel, but definitely outside the ADIZ.

Q. Did anything else get your attention?

A. As they proceeded southbound, I saw what I thought was a Cuban MIG take off out of the Havana area. That caught my attention immediately.

Q. Okay. Explain what happened then, if you could? I'll go by times and if you could follow along on A-11.

What happened at 1855?


A. Okay, I - -

Q. I'm sorry, I'm saying the screen prints. if you could -

A. That's A-11.

Q. Right. I'm talking about A-11 and A-12.

A . Okay.

Q. If you could kind of describe what happens as it unfolds so everybody can follow along and see Customs log, A-12, and also the screen prints, A-11(a) through (n).

At 1855, what happened?

A. 1855 is an entry indicating that Mr. Stebbins had radar contact on the three BTTR aircraft as they headed southbound.

I walked into the operations floor at that time and Mr. Stebbins told me that we had radar contact on the BTTR aircraft and they were heading southbound.

I went over to my console, of f set it and expanded up on the area covering where the three aircraft were and started monitoring them.

Q. Did you take a picture of that?

A. Not at 1855, no.

Q. Okay. Well, what happened next? What would be the next relevant time?


A The next relevant time was when I took the first picture, which would have been -- Zulu time it's 1920, 1 believe, is what we have. 20 or 22. it appears to be 20 to me. It's sometimes difficult to read the print.

Q. Well, I'm talking about the next relevant time, about 2007. Do you have anything on either exhibit?

A. Yes.

Q. okay, what happened at 2007?

A. On A-11(b), -- excuse me, it's A-11(c), if you'll look at the screen print, you'll see the three BTTR aircraft heading southbound.

You'll also see, just south of them, north of the Cuban coast and outside the Cuban ADIZ by about a nautical mile and a half, you'll see an X, that white X is what I believe to be a Cuban MIG heading eastbound.

MR. MOULIS: I'm sorry, your Honor, I apologize, I got ahead.


Q. Let's start with the first screen print then.

A. Okay.

Q I didn't want to -- I'm not doing this


what's going on in the first screen print and what time.

JUDGE POPE: Well, wait a minute. I mean he said what he said, so let him finish what he was saying about (c)

In (c) it shows the three BTTR aircraft heading south?

THE WITNESS: Yes. If you'll look at the three BTTR aircraft, you'll see a box with a line through it and two pound signs. Those are the three BTTR aircraft, as they head south.

Just below that, you’ll see a white X. That white X is what I believe to be a Cuban MIG. Speaking from my Air Force experience in NORAD, it appears as a Cuban MIG on an air patrol, basically waiting for -- my assumption is they were waiting for the BTTR aircraft to approach.

You'll also note too, just to clarify, your Honor, the pluses off to the northwest, these are what I was explaining to you earlier during the testimony as the manual tracks that the computer generates.

Those are the ones that show the latitudes and longitudes that were listed on the track log that don't have anything to do with the actual aircraft.

JUDGE POPE: You'll have to explain that to


what you saw here?

A. A-11(d) shows the screen print that I took. It shows the three BTTR aircraft still heading southbound towards the Cuban ADIZ. It also shows two Cuban interceptor aircraft.

It shows one Cuban interceptor aircraft directly overhead all three of the BTTR aircraft. it appears to be, in my experience of fighter tactics and such, that what he appears to be doing is making a high pass in an attempt to identify the aircraft.

JUDGE POPE: There are how many Cuban aircraft depicted here?

THE WITNESS: I see two. One aircraft is directly over top of the three BTTR aircraft. You'll see a white X in there with the three orange X's and the second Cuban aircraft is to the southwest, just on the south side of the Cuban ADIZ. It's another white X.


Q. Can you tell the speed -

JUDGE POPE: Wait a minute.


JUDGE POPE: How far from the Cuban ADIZ are the three Brothers To The Rescue aircraft at that time?


THE WITNESS: Approximately twelve miles. I'd say the furthest one in trail is twelve miles. The closest is approximately ten.

JUDGE POPE: Proceed.


Q. What are the BTTR aircraft doing here with respect to speed, altitude, direction of travel?

A. On this particular screen print, I don't show an altitude for them. I am picking up the targets purely on the Aerostat, indicating that they are relatively low.

They're tracking southbound at approximately -- I'll round these figures off -approximately 130 knots.

Q. Why did you take this picture?

A. I took the picture because of the Cuban MiGs. I was concerned. I had never seen Cuban MiGs out there flying before and to see this, it struck my attention, I was worried about what was going on. I had certainly never seen them come outside their ADIZ.

In fact, I'd flat never seen them out flying before. They generally have a lot of problems providing fuel, from what I've been told, and I've never, in the two years we've been watching that area, seen them fly at all.


To see two up at the same time, to see them coming directly at the BTTR aircraft and by that, northbound towards the United States, concerned me.

Q. Okay. If you could turn your attention to A-11(e)?

JUDGE POPE: Well, wait a minute. Do you know which direction the Cuban MIG to the southwest of the BTTR aircraft was heading and how fast it was going?

THE WITNESS: Yes, your Honor. I can tell by the dots that are behind it. I can give an approximate speed. In this case, it's approximately 400 knots, in excess of that.

The direction of the dots trail out behind it? That shows me the direction that the aircraft is going. In this case, he's going to the northwest.

He wasn't the one that concerned me quite as much. It was the one that was directly over the BTTR that was inside international airspace heading for the United States. He was on a northwest-bound also.

And if you'll look at the data block that is off to the west, to the southwest, it shows a heading of 304 for the Cuban MIG.

JUDGE POPE: How fast was he going?

THE WITNESS: 516 knots.


MR. MOULIS: Your Honor, he's already testified that for fourteen years he's put aircraft together that are attempting to flee his radar. He's watched on radar for years and years. He's experienced in describing when aircraft flees.

The leap is that the aircraft didn't flee.

JUDGE POPE: Well, then ask him that. Did he see anything indicating that the three BTTR aircraft did anything.


Q. Did the three BTTR aircraft do anything other than what they were doing prior to the aircraft -- the MIG flying over?

A. They gave me no indication from the way that they were performing that they had seen anything. The made no deviation off of their normal heading for that time and no change in their speeds.

Q. When did they do anything? At what point did they do anything that would have been a change?

MR. GOLDSTEIN: objection. A change in what?

JUDGE POPE: I beg your pardon, sir?

MR. GOLDSTEIN: I said objection, a change in what?

JUDGE POPE: Sustained.


JUDGE POPE: So according to this picture, the aircraft squawking 1222 was one mile south of the

Cuban ADIZ heading east?

THE WITNESS: Yes, your Honor.

JUDGE POPE: Is that right?

THE WITNESS: That's correct.

JUDGE POPE: Proceed.


Q. Why did you take A-11(f)? Why did you print it, I should say?

A. I printed it for the same reason I printed the rest of them. I printed it specifically because it was showing information that I thought was going t be important.

My major concern with this particular print was the fact that there's a Cuban MIG directly in between Mr. Basulto's aircraft and the aircraft squawking 1223 just north of it.

Q. okay. You can move on to -

JUDGE POPE: Wait. Wait, wait, wait.

I hate to keep interfering with your -

MR. MOULIS: That's all right. I know you take notes, Judge. And I'm trying to get him -- he talks quite quickly and -

JUDGE POPE: The -- going up from south to


to pick up something that small, but we certainly don't have it as a surveillance antenna.

JUDGE POPE: Where was the Cuban MIG at this point?

THE WITNESS: At this point, you see the pound sign. If you look just to the right of the pound sign, you can see a white X.

JUDGE POPE: How far away would you say that was from 1223?

THE WITNESS: From 1223? 1223 is in this -in my opinion, in this picture, is gone. He has just overflown where the aircraft was and is continuing the -- the MIG itself is continuing a left turn.

Also, as far as relevance in this, it's my opinion, that as he did so, he crossed directly over the top of where the aircraft squawking 1224 was.

That gave him his visual reference to the target. That allowed him to be able to come back around and shoot him down.

JUDGE POPE: You're saying the same MIG shot down both airplanes?

THE WITNESS: In my opinion, from what I saw, I believe the same MIG shot both aircraft down.

JUDGE POPE: All right. Proceed, please.

Well, I was hasty. I see 1222 is still down


THE WITNESS: They had completely disappeared from my radar console. I had no idea where they were at that -- at the time I took this screen print.

JUDGE POPE: What does that indicate to you, if it indicated anything, as a radar operator?

THE WITNESS: That they're either at exceptionally low altitudes or they're rapidly maneuvering. The radar's not capable of keeping up with them.

I should specifically say the computer program in our automated system is not -- was not capable of keeping up with them.

JUDGE POPE: Although it's not specifically significant to this case, I guess, why do you think that the same MIG shot down both airplanes?

THE WITNESS: Tactically after having read the transcript, and I have read the transcript of what the Cuban pilots were saying, and from watching what happened, I think he was the only one that had any opportunity.

They appeared to be incredibly incompetent in the way that they were handling the entire thing. Beyond the fact that they were murdering innocent people in international airspace, their tactics stink.


Q. Yeah, we'll just go through them as quickly and briefly as you can and tell which ones you did and why you entered those.

A. Okay. The entry that's marked 2007. You'll note that any of the log entries that I made will have the initials JSH associated with them.

And that simply is an explanation of the screen print that's marked 2007.

Q. Okay. Next?

A. 2016, also marked JSH. It's a screen print. It's an explanation of the screen print that's marked 2016. Generally, of course, that just covers as they're southbound.

On the next page, 2017. That is a log entry that indicates where I contacted the southeast air defense sector in reference to what I believed were Cuban MiGs.

Q. 2018?

A. It's 2017.

Q. Okay, the next one, 2018?

A. 2018 is an explanation of the screen print timed 2018.

2021 is an explanation of the screen print timed 2021.

2022 is an explanation of the screen print


Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Houlihan.

A. Good afternoon.

Q. How are you doing today.

A. Wearing out.

Q. Are you able to continue today?

A. Yes, I am.

Q. Okay. You came on duty what time on February 24th?

A. 8:00 o'clock in the morning, Pacific time.

Q. What time did Mr. Stebbins come on?

A. At the same time.

Q. But it's -- your facility is manned twenty

four hours a day, is it not?

A. That's correct.

Q. And is this area that we've been talking about surveilled twenty-four hours a day?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. And so it was being surveilled earlier in the day on February 24th?

A. Yes, it was. -

Q. And would your radars have picked up MIG activity earlier in the day in this area if they were on?

A. If the Aerostat was operating and the MiGs were operating the same area that we're talking about,



Q . well, do you have any reason to believe the Aerostat wasn't operating earlier in the day?

A. Prior to me coming on duty, I don't really know what it was doing.

Q. The question is, do you have any reason to believe it wasn't operating earlier in the day?

A. No, I don't.

Q Did anyone tell you it wasn't operating earlier in the day?

A. No, they did not.

Q. So then it would be fair to say that if a MIG operated earlier in the day, that it would have been picked up on your radar?

A. Yes.

Q. You have land line communications with what facilities?

A. Could you be more specific as far as what you mean by land line communications?

Q. I mean phone link up

A. . Direct phone lines?

Q. Yes.

A. We don't operate with direct phone lines. We use FTS lines to make all of our contact calls.

Q. You actually dial the phone?


A. That's correct. We do have speed dials set up that make it considerably faster, but we don't have what in FAA terminology would be a ring down line or direct -- direct line to any facility.

Q. Do you have direct dial buttons or speed dial buttons to the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center?

A. We have a speed dial, a four digit speed dial that we can dial in that will give us the Miami Enroute Center.

Q. And how long does it take to connect up with them, if you use the speed dial function?

A. I couldn't give you an exact estimate on time. As long as it takes to hit the four buttons, four numbers and then it rings.

Q. So just a second or so?

A. Seconds.

Q. And do you have a speed dial function with the Miami Flight Service Station?

A. Yes.

Q. Same amount of time?

A. Yes.

Q. And do you have a speed dial function with the Brothers To The Rescue hanger?

A. No.


Q. You have called the Brothers To The Rescue hanger, is that correct?

A. Yes, I have.

Q. And you have to dial the number?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know the number?

A. Not by heart, no.

Q. Do you have it handy at your console?

A. It's in our data base.

Q. So you could call it up pretty quickly then?

A. Yes.

Q. How long would it take you to call it up?

A. A matter of a minute to a minute and a half.

Q. A minute and a half?

A. Depending upon what route I took to go into the data base to get it.

Q. What's the fastest?

A. The fastest would be to type in Brothers To The Rescue, although I couldn't tell you sitting here, whether that's exactly what it's listed under.

More than likely, what I would do, is call up Opa Locka Airport and pull the information off of that.

Q. That wasn't the question. The question was, what was the fastest method you could use to bring up


their phone number.

A. Within a minute.

Q. And you've called their hanger before, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know if anyone at your facility called the Brothers To The Rescue hanger earlier in the day when the MiGs operated earlier in the day?

A. I have no knowledge whether they did or they didn' t.

Q. No one told you that they did or didn't?

A. That's correct.

Q. Did anyone tell you that a MIG operated earlier in the day in that general area?

A. No.

Q. Have you subsequently learned that a MIG earlier in the day in that area?

A. Yes

Q. How did you learn that?

A. I learned it from Sergeant Campbell, the Ai Force representative from the 84th RADES.

Q. And did you learn that it operated in that general area?

A. He specifically said in that area. He didn't say specifically that it was the exact same


area that we dealt with later in the day. He did say south of Key West.



Q All right. You -- do you have a specific area that you usually, for lack of a better term, control?

A. Could you be more specific, please?

Q. Well, do you generally work with a particular geographic area or not?

A. My responsibility as a Senior Detection System specialist is 'to monitor all of the areas.

Q. So you don't generally, in the course of your normal day, sit at a scope and work a particular area?

A. I do not.

Q. Okay. Do other people in your facility do that?

A. Yes.

Q. - And is Mr. Sibbins one., of the people that '-,does that?

A. Yes, he is.

Q. Okay. How of ten would you say in the two months preceding February 24th,. you worked a scope .With that area?

A Me personally?

Q. Yes, you personally.


you can use it to exactly align your radar so that you're sure it's reading correctly.

JUDGE POPE: All right. I recall that. Proceed.


Q. And do you know when the last time the Aerostat was checked with regard to the parrot, to see that it was aligned correctly? That is the last time prior to February 24, 1996?

A. I'm not -- I'm not at liberty to answer any questions specifically on the operations, the maintenance schedules or anything about the Aerostats. They belong to the Department of Defense and I've been instructed to refer any questions to them.

Q. All I asked you is if you know when the Cudjoe Key Aerostat was checked last before February 24, 1996 with the parrot, to determine if it was lined up properly.

A. I can answer yes.

Q. You do know?

A. Yes.

Q But you're not going to tell us?

A. Right.

Q. You'd have to kill us if you told us?

A. It might not be that drastic, Mr. Goldstein,


but somewhat close.


Q. Who told you that you couldn't tell us?

A. Those are instructions from Washington, D.C., the Director of our aviation program.

Q. And who's that?

A. Harve Pothier.

Q. And what's his title?

A. His title changes weekly. The last time I checked it was Deputy Commissioner for Aviation, office of Enforcement, and -- although we're office of Investigations now.

Q. You testified that there were a couple of ways that you could determine distance between two objects or between an object and a geographical point, do you recall that?

A. Yes.

Q. And you said there's a quick bearing and range function and I think you said a range and bearing line.

A. Yes.

Q. You did not perform any range and bearing line functions, did you, on February 24, 1996?

A. I did not.

Q. Did Mr. Stebbins, to your knowledge?


Q. Mr. Houlihan, would you look, please, at A-12? That's the track log.

A. Yes

Q. I think you had testified earlier that you created this log, but in fact it was created by Mr. Stebbins, wasn't it, or it was started by Mr. Stebbins?

A. I testified earlier that it was created by Mr. Stebbins

Q. Okay. And it was created because of this telephone conference that's listed at 1840?

A. No. It was created specifically because we had gotten radar contact on the Brothers To The Rescue aircraft as they headed down by the Florida Keys. That's when the log was created.

Q. Well, did you always create a log when you see Brothers To The Aircraft headed southbound from Florida?

A. Brothers To The Rescue aircraft?

Q. Yeah. What did I say?

A. No.

Q. Have you ever created a log in the past when seen Brothers To The Rescue -- and by you, I mean your facility -- Brothers To The Rescue aircraft headed southbound?


A.Prior to this incident?


A. No.

Q. Have you since this incident?


Q. Every time?

A. No.

Q. Why did you create one then for the first time on February 24, 1996?

A. We did it in response to a request from the FAA.

Q. And what was the request and when was it made?

A. Well, to the best of my recollection, it was made a week prior. It was simply, as I testified to before, that the Brothers To The Rescue were going to fly down towards Cuba.

They asked us to maintain a record of that flight and forward it to them after the flight was completed.

Q. And when you say they, who do you mean?

A. They, as in the FAA

Q. Who in the FAA?

A. I couldn't tell you specifically where the request came from.


Q - It's true, is it not, that your facility had

been notified by the FAA that Brothers To The Rescue intended to make some sort of political statement by flying down the coast to the Cuban ADIZ?

A. I was briefed. Everything that you said there is accurate, with the exception of they didn't specifically say the Cuban ADIZ.

What I was briefed was that they intended to make a political statement by flying down towards Cuba.

Q. Do you remember I took your deposition last week, Mr. Houlihan?

A. Yes, I remember.

Q. Okay. Have you reviewed the transcript of your deposition?

A. I have.

Q. Let me refer you to Page 45 and read you two questions and two answers and ask you if those were accurate answers to those questions. Again, 45 beginning at Line 16.

"Question: And do you have any knowledge as to why that would have, assuming that's correct, why that would have occurred on February 24th and not before?

"Answer: Yes.


"Question: And why is that?

"Answer: Specifically, we had been notified by the FAA that the Brothers To The Rescue intended to make some sort of political statement by flying down close to the Cuban ADIZ."

Do you recall that answer, sir?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. Was that an accurate answer when you gave it?

A. Yes, it was.

Q Are you saying now, it's not an accurate answer?

A. I'm saying now that to the best of my recollection, I can't specifically state that they did say ADIZ at the time.

Q. What occurred between last Tuesday and today that caused you to doubt your testimony?

A. Nothing occurred specifically that caused me to doubt it. I just can't have it -- it's not clear in my mind at this moment that they specifically said ADIZ.

Q. Nothing occurred, no knowledge came to you between last Tuesday and today and yet you doubt your sworn testimony of a week ago?

MR. MOULIS: Asked and answered.


And that the reason it was issued and delivered on that day was to prevent that particular flight. It was issued on that day to prevent that flight for political reasons and not because there was a question of Mr. Basulto's qualifications.

JUDGE POPE: What day are you -

MR. GOLDSTEIN: May 16th. That's the day the Emergency Order of Revocation was issued and served.

JUDGE POPE: And you want to know if that on that day, they were notified to do something?

MR. GOLDSTEIN: Yes. If there was a Brothers To The Rescue flight impending.

JUDGE POPE: Do you know whether or not there was such a flight pending on that date?

THE WITNESS: I was not notified.


Q. was your facility notified?

A. According to procedure, it should have been notified, but I couldn't tell you if it was notified.

Q. Now,

JUDGE POPE: Let me ask you one question. If you had not been asked to monitor the February 24, 1996 activities of the Brothers To The Rescue, would what you saw on that screen have, in your judgment,


been observed by your people?

Would they have taken notice of that?


JUDGE POPE: What was there about it that would have caused them to take notice of that?

THE WITNESS: The second that I saw that Cuban MIG I would have taken notice of it. Mr. Stebbins was monitoring the area.

I have no doubts, according to the way he s been trained, that the minute he saw the Cuban MIG, he would have notified me and that would have caught our attention more than anything else.

JUDGE POPE: And what was there about that,

again, that would have told you that was a MIG?

THE WITNESS: It's speed, the fact that it was a primary only target, meaning no transponder code and that it was traveling in excess of 500 knots.

It's difficult to tell from the screen print because it is a frozen piece of time, but we were watching it maneuver. It was turning very quickly and flying back and forth along the Cuban ADIZ.

That, in and of itself, would have notified me that there was something going on that demanded attention.

JUDGE POPE: The mere fact that you saw a


few Cuban MiGs flying there, regardless of the Brothers To The Rescue, that would have attracted your facility's attention, you think? THE WITNESS: specifically because To The Rescue heading What really

No, your Honor. It was in conjunction with the Brothers down into that area. keyed me and I'm sure would have keyed me otherwise, it's speculative in the way that I'm doing it, but had that aircraft turned northbound outside of the Cuban ADIZ, headed out towards the United States, that would have immediately keyed me to take an action.

JUDGE POPE: No, what I wanted to know was if you had not been asked to monitor the Brothers To The Rescue, was there anything that occurred on February 24, which you think would have caused one of your controllers in the normal performance of his duties to take notice of it and follow it?


JUDGE POPE: And what would that have been?

THE WITNESS: That would have been the interaction between the Cuban MIG and the Brothers To The Rescue aircraft.

JUDGE POPE: You told me that the BTTR designation was put on there by the operator himself?


THE WITNESS: That's correct, your Honor.

JUDGE POPE: And if he hadn't done that, how would you know that that was a BTTR aircraft?

THE WITNESS: We monitor that area constantly, simply because it is a very high threat drug smuggling route, so no aircraft operate out there within our radar coverage, that we're not watching.

So the fact that he would have come up on those 1222, 1223 and 1224 codes, we would have identified them through Miami Flight Service as Brothers To The Rescue aircraft and then made the assumption, of course, that there was no big deal there, they were simply going out looking for people escaping from Cuba.

But having identified them, because they are operating in a high threat drug smuggling area, the conjunction of a MIG and the Brothers To The Rescue aircraft, would have keyed me that there was a major problem here and it demanded further attention.

JUDGE POPE: All right. Proceed.

MR. GOLDSTEIN: Thank you.


Q. At 2007, you typed some text into your Ops Intel screen, is that correct?

A. That's not specifically correct. There is


an entry logged as 2007. It would have been typed later.

Q. And by later, you testified earlier, that would have been after the incident?

A. That's correct.

Q. And by after the incident, you testified earlier, that that was after Mr. Basulto landed?

A. That's correct.

Q. And do you know what time Mr. Basulto landed?

A. I can't recall directly offhand.

Q. Would you remember how long after the other two aircraft were shot down that he landed?

A. I type -- I sat down to type all this out approximately forty-five minutes to one hour after -after we had seen the last aircraft shot down.

Q. And how do you know that?

A. I just recall it.

Q. Is there any record that would verify your recollection?

A. My recollection is largely keyed by the fact of the last -

Q. Sir, the question is, is there any record that would verify your recollection?

A. No.


MR. MOULIS: Your Honor, I object. He was trying to answer the question as asked and Mr. Goldstein interrupted.

JUDGE POPE: Well, he answered it. He said there was no record. That was the question. That was the answer. Let's move on.


Q. So the entry with regard to the screen print on 2007, was made approximately, by your recollection, forty-five minutes to an hour after Mr. Basulto landed?

A. That's correct. Excuse me, I may have misstated that. It's forty-five minutes to an hour after the last BTTR aircraft was shot down, not after Mr. Basulto landed.

Q. All right. And you believe he landed forty-five minutes to an hour after that? A guess. I know you're guessing.

A. It's -- it's an estimation. My attention was not completely focused on Mr. Basulto's aircraft at that time.

Q. And it took you about two minutes, did it not, to type in the text that starts screen print time 2007 shows, etcetera?

A. That would be a reasonable estimate. I am a


if you're not finished reviewing it, I'll wait.

A. Go ahead.

Q. You see thirteen as well?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. And based upon your testimony a moment ago and last week, is it fair to conclude that it would have taken you, in just typing time, approximately twenty-six minutes just to type those entries?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. And sometime in between to type, some amount in between each entry?

A. Yes.


of time

Q. So is it fair to say it took you over a half hour to type these entries?

A. Yes.

Q. So that the last entry would have been made sometime approximately an hour and fifteen minutes after the last Brothers To The Rescue aircraft was shot down?

A. Yes.

Q. And if you would point to me on the log, what time I can reference when the second Brothers To Rescue aircraft was shot down?

A. The entry marked 2031, which would have been 3:31, that shows when the last Brothers To The Rescue


aircraft was shot down.

Q. How long after the incident ended did you make the first text entry? That is the one at 2007.

A. It would have been -- after the incident, do you mean after the aircraft was -- the last aircraft was shot down?

Q. The way you described it, yes.

A. Okay. I can -


Q - No, no, no.

A. I can reference it specifically to the -

Q. No, no, no, that I s not what you said earlier. After the incident and after Mr. Basulto's aircraft landed.

A. I would say that it was approximately a half

an hour afterwards

Q. After he landed?

-- that I started.

Q. Okay.

A. Yes.

Q. All right. So let's just take your numbers for a moment and say that Mr. Basulto landed at forty-five minutes after 2031, which would be 2115, approximately, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. 2115. And then you would have begun your


Q. okay. A-11(c)?

A. (c) shows 2007 and I believe that's zero zero.

Q. Okay. That's the one you would have typed at about 2100 Z?

A. That's correct.

Q. In other words, fifty-three minutes after the screen print was made?

A. That is correct.

Q. Okay. (d)?

A. 2016.13.

Q. (e)? A. 2018.20.

Q. I notice that there's a text input for 2017. Did you - -

A. 2017 is an input specifically on a telephone call I made to the Southeast Air Defense people. It's related to a screen print.

Q. Just one second. When you made that call, who did you speak with?

A. I speaked -- excuse me. I spoke to the Senior Director Technician at the Air Defense facility.

Q. And what did you tell him?


A. I told him that I saw a high speed primary only aircraft coming out of the Cuban ADIZ. That I suspected it was a Cuban MIG and that it was going directly over the Brothers To The Rescue.

I can recall almost specifically the words I used, if you prefer to hear those.

Q . Yeah, I think we're old enough.

A. I did keep it relatively clean. What I told him was do you see the Brothers To The Rescue aircraft? The Senior Director Technician replied yes, that he did.

I said do you know what I s going on with then today and he said yes, we've been briefed. And then said do you see that primary aircraft, 500 knot primary and he said yes, we see it.

I said well, it looks like a MIG-23 to me heading directly towards the United States. I think that's important. And he responded yes, we're handling it, don't worry.

Q. And did you come to learn what he did to handle it or what was done to handle it?

A. I have no specific knowledge as to exactly what he did.

Q. Well, you seem to be qualifying your answer with the word specific.


Have you come to learn what action, if any, was taken

A. I have my own opinion as to what action was taken? I don't have any specific knowledge as to what they did once they received my information.

Q. Do you have any knowledge that anything was done as a result of your information?

A. I have specific knowledge from watching the area at the time that no interceptor aircraft showed up.

Q. You mean American interceptors?

A. No American interceptor aircraft showed up.

Q. Okay, sir.

JUDGE POPE: How long would it have taken an American interceptor to get there, if you know where it would have come from?

THE WITNESS: They had two choices as to where they could bring them out of. They could have come out of Homestead or they could have come out of Key West.

Depending on the alert status of the aircraft at either location, they could have been there within -out of Key West, they could have been in there within five minutes.

Out of Homestead it would have taken them


slightly longer, depending upon their alert status.


Q. And when you say five minutes, you mean five minutes from the time they were alerted?

A. If they were on battle stations, meaning they were sitting at the end of the runway with their engines, they should have been off the ground in less than two minutes.

Out of Key West, off the ground in less than two minutes, they should have been in the area in less than five.

If they came out of Homestead, if they were sitting on battle stations there, depending upon the speed they chose to approach the area, they could have been there inside of -- my estimate, having been out of the air defense game for ten years, is they could have been there in ten minutes.

JUDGE POPE: And if they weren't on battle stations?

THE WITNESS: If they weren't on battle stations, they should have been in the air inside of  eight minutes and then add on whatever it would take flight time to get to the area.


Q. Okay, sir, I think the next screen print is


A. It depicts a line that runs roughly along parallel. No, it does not depict the 24th.

the 24th

Q. How do you know that?

A. By having done Lat Longs queries in the computer system in that area in the past.

Q. But that reference line is what you all have as the 24th parallel, isn't it?

A. It runs roughly along the 24th parallel.

Q. How rough is roughly?

A. I couldn't give you a specific location as to just north or south of it. It's actually lines indicating specific warning areas that the Military use in that area.

Q. You can't say how accurate it is with regard real 24th parallel?

A. No.

JUDGE POPE: Which line are you talking about?

MR. GOLDSTEIN: All right.


Q. Would you show the Judge, please, Mr. Houlihan?

A. This line across the center of the center of the screen.

JUDGE POPE: All right, thank you.


JUDGE POPE: Above that is a line that looks like it's multi colored to me in segments, yellow, red, purple, maybe orange.

That is the Cuban ADIZ?

THE WITNESS: Yes, your Honor.

JUDGE POPE: All right. There's a dotted line that's north of that line at one point and south of that line at another point and then turns into more or less a dotted line and it makes a right turn. I guess that would be to the southeast.

What is that?

THE WITNESS: That, I take it you're indicating the purple line?

JUDGE POPE: Well, it starts out north of the ADIZ slightly, not far. It's straight and it's dotted or dashes and it progresses over to the right side and then makes a straight -- I mean left hand turn and proceeds straight off the screen to the southeast.

THE WITNESS: That, your Honor, is a Military -- U.S. Military designated area which, should any targets appear in that position heading towards the United States, they United States Military has told me specifically that anything that appears in that area heading towards the U.S., they're going to


launch on immediately without waiting the normal identification process.

It's, if I might use a colloquialism, in my own facility, we refer to it as the Southeast Air Defense's Cone of Paranoia.

You'll note that it's blocked -

JUDGE POPE: You're talking about once aircraft -- aircraft to the north of it or to the south of it?

THE WITNESS: that block, they intend JUDGE POPE: To the south of it?

THE WITNESS: It's a little difficult to see from this particular picture. There may be -

JUDGE POPE: well, maybe you're not looking at the same thing

Gentlemen, if you want to come up here, I'll just point to it.

Anything that appears within

THE WITNESS: about, your Honor?


THE WITNESS: Okay. Now, if you look at a different picture where it comes up a little clearer, you'll see that it's actually part of a box and that box comes up in this direction and cuts

Is this what you're talking

across and INC.


comes up through here.

Through that entire area, the Southeast Air Defense has made it very clear to me in briefings at the Southeast Air Defense, that anything that pops up inside that area, they will launch their interceptor aircraft on immediately.

Their assumption being that anything that pops up in that area, heading towards the United States, is coming out of Cuba.

JUDGE POPE: Would it be fair to say that the MiGs you saw were in that area?


JUDGE POPE: And that's why you made the phone call?


JUDGE POPE: And as far as you determined, from what you saw, no interceptors were launched?

THE WITNESS: That's correct, your Honor.

JUDGE POPE: All right. Proceed.

MR. GOLDSTEIN: Those were my next three questions.


Q. Now, looking at your log, again, Mr. Houlihan, Exhibit A-12, and looking at the entry at the bottom of the page, the text entry that says


Q. There's no contemporaneous record of it?

A. No.

Q. And it was hectic at this time, wasn't it?

A. Definitely.

Q. And you were talking with Mr. Stebbins somewhere over here, weren't you?

A. Yes.

Q He was talking to you

A. Yes

Q. And there was a lot going on?

A. Yes, there was.

Q. So your testimony earlier in the day, when you said that Mr. Basulto's aircraft was three nautical miles inside the ADIZ was not a completely accurate statement, isn't that correct?

A. I believe that I testified he was approximately three nautical miles. If I didn't, that's what my intent would have been.

Q. How inaccurate were you during this hectic period when you were talking to other people and they were talking to you and rolling this cross hair on the screen and making a bearing and range function doing a bearing and range function?

A. The cross hairs were on Mr. Basulto's aircraft, but they may not have been centered directly


JUDGE POPE: All right, let her put the stamp on it. That will make everybody happy.

MR. GOLDSTEIN: All right. (Whereupon, the document above referred to was marked for identification as Respondent's Exhibit Number R-12.)


Q. Okay. Sir, I'm going to have to stand up here when I ask you these questions, but sir, is that a document that you're familiar with?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. And it's directed to a Mr. Maher, M-a-h-e-r is that correct?

A. The original document was, yes.

Q. And then Mr. Maher's name is scratched out and then Major Knowles, name is written in?

A. That's correct.

Q. Who is Mr. Maher, if you know?

A. Mr. Maher is -- I don't remember specifically his job title, but he's a -


A. He's an operative of the CIA, whatever his job is.

MR. MOULIS: Your Honor, if counsel's trying


to set a foundation for the admissibility, we stipulate to the admissibility.

MR. GOLDSTEIN: All right. Well, I would offer then at this time, Respondent's Exhibit 12.

JUDGE POPE: As what?

MR. GOLDSTEIN: What do you mean as what?

JUDGE POPE: Well, I mean as what? It's a piece of paper with some numbers written on it. I mean do you offer it as position reports on N2506, N2456S and N5485S on February 24, 1996, as stated in the title?

MR. GOLDSTEIN: It's a document that was given to me by the FAA pursuant to discovery, along with the print screens and the log, only the FAA didn't put it in evidence and I want to ask some questions about it.

JUDGE POPE: All right. Then it's simply authenticated as a document that was given to you.

MR. GOLDSTEIN: Well, let me -- I'll ask some questions about it.


Q. Are you familiar with the document?

A. Yes, I am.

Q. What is it?

A.It's a document that I prepared for the


Central Intelligence Agency so that they 'could create a briefing chart.

Q. And when did you prepare it?

A. The date is on it. I don't recall the specific. However, it's been stamped over, so sometime after the incident, a few days.

Q. February 27, 1996?

A. That appears to be it, yes.

Q. And you created this in the normal course of your employment?

A. Yes.

Q. And did you provide a copy of this to the Government -- to the FAA?

A. Yes, I did.

MR. GOLDSTEIN: Your Honor, I would move the admission of this document.

JUDGE POPE: No objection?

MR. MOULIS: I don't have an objection as long as it's not taken as the exact position report.


JUDGE POPE: Well, I don't know what it's going to be taken as. He's offered it based upon the foundation that he just showed.

If you have any questions on the exhibit, then you can ask.

MR. MOULIS: I was just trying to speed


question him about it, I'll admit it as such because, apparently, there is no dispute as to that, is that correct?

MR. MAY: That's correct, your Honor.

JUDGE POPE: All right. Then it's admitted and you may question the witness on it.

MR. GOLDSTEIN: Thank you. (whereupon, the document previously marked for identification as Respondent's Exhibit Number R-12 was received in evidence.)

Q. Mr. Houlihan, this was prepared for the CIA and for the CIA to give a briefing on it, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And was it prepared by you believing it to be an accurate document?

A. Could you rephrase that again? Did you say accurate or inaccurate document?

Q. Accurate.

A. No.

Q. You prepared it believing it to be inaccurate?

A. I prepared it believing it to be an


approximation for their charts.

Q. For the CIA's charts? What do you mean by that?

A. The CIA requested that I give them approximate position reports of where these aircraft were so that they could drop a briefing chart.

Q. Well, this document is the only reference, isn't it correct, for latitudes and longitudes for Mr. Basulto's aircraft at the times referenced in the document?

A. No, it's not.

Q. What other document show his latitudes and longitudes?

A. The 84th RADES information on the radar.

Q. I'm sorry, let me rephrase the question.

I mean that came out of your facility.

A. With the exception of the screen prints that do not show latitudes and longitudes, you are correct That document shows latitudes and longitudes.

It specifically relates to this incident, but it was never intended as a -- as the be all and end all and exactly accurate position report of Mr. Basulto's aircraft or his companions.

Q. Is there anywhere -- when you wrote to the CIA, did you say don't rely on this, it's inaccurate?


A. It wasn't necessary. It was agreed as far as when they requested the information in the first place, I told them that all I could give them was an approximation of the latitudes and longitudes.

They said that was more than enough for their briefing chart.

Q. You did this from memory?

A. I did this from sitting down and using the screen prints to approximate their positions.

Q. How did you do that?

A. I simply offset my console to the exact same area, put the same information on it, used the same expansion and then estimated.

Q. You guessed?

A. Professionals prefer to call it estimating.

Q. You guessed, didn't you?

JUDGE POPE: What is one man's guess is another man's estimate. It's like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.Unless the two of you can agree on the terminology, he says he estimated, you say he guessed, and you can make that argument. But he isn't going to agree that he guessed and you're not going to agree that he estimated, so let's move on.


A. Yes.

Q. You're saying it was orbiting for two minutes?

A. I don't recall the specific time he was orbiting. I do recall that he was in an orbit.

Q. Do you mean to say that he was flying in circles?

A. Yes.

Q. There's no document to verify that, is there?

A. The -

Q. There's no print screen to verify it?

A. There's no print screen to verify that, that's correct.

Q. So the only -

A. The 84th RADES data will probably tell you specifically.

JUDGE POPE: Well, don't speculate. His question was -


Q. So you're relying again on your memory and your eyeballing it?

A. That's correct. There's no document from our facility that will specify it was orbiting.

MR. MOULIS: Your Honor, I'm going to object


to this, keep relying on your memory and eyeball it. That's an argumentative question. He took an oath.

JUDGE POPE: I know what he means. And the witness is handling himself find. I don't think that he is being harassed certainly and I don't think he's intimidated and he's able to answer the questions.

Let's proceed.

If you disagree, say so.


Q. Sir, you testified that Brothers To The Rescue had -- I'm sorry, that you -- you, and I believe you meant your facility and maybe you even said your facility, had a very good relationship with Brothers To The Rescue, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And they had been very cooperative with your Agency?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you tell me why you-say that? What do you base that on?

A. What do I base it on?

Q. Yeah. I'm not challenging it, I just want to know why you're saying that.

A. Our previous relationship over the last


several years. In fact, that they've been very cooperative in letting us know.

They seem to be very attentive to the fact that they know we're watching the areas they operate in and that the aircraft that they're flying and the flights that they fly, meet the profile of narcotics smugglers, so they've been very forward in assisting us in identifying them.

Q. And would you say, based upon your experience with them, that they're cognizant of where the Cuban ADIZ is?

A. I have no way of saying that.

Q. Would you say, based on your experience with them, that they were conscious of the well, why do you have no way of saying that? Because you've never spoken with them?

A. I have never seen them approach the Cuban ADIZ to anywhere near as close as I saw on the 24th of February.

Q. But that doesn't mean that others in your facility have.

A. That's true. Others in my facility may have, but I have not, and I have no specific knowledge on

Now, you said that when you saw the MIG, you


called NORAD the Southeast -- I'm sorry. What is it, the -- Southeast Air Defense Sector of NORAD?

A. Yes.

Q. And do you remember when you called them?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. When was that? A. It would have been 3 -- I started to call at 3:16. They picked up the line at 3:17. Q. 2016? No. 3:16.

A. I'm converting it to Eastern time.

Q. 1816. 1816 local?

A. No, no. Local time it would have been 15.

Q. 1516 local

A. Yes.

Q. And when was that in relationship to when aircraft was shot down?

A. It was -- I don't recall offhand. I can look it up. My memory tells me it was four or –

JUDGE POPE: Don't speculate. Look.

THE WITNESS: Southeast Air Defense Sector at 2017. That's when the call was completed.

And I show the BTTR aircraft squawking 1223 as being shot down between 2022 and 2023.




Q. So five or six minutes -- you completed the call five or six minutes before the first shoot down?

A. That's correct.

Q. Now, you testified that you examined the data from Tyndall Air Force Base?

A. I had seen the data from the 84th RADES, that's correct.

Q. When you say RADES, is that an acronym?

A. Radar Evaluation Squadron.

Q Is that Sergeant Campbell?

A. Yes.

Q Okay. When did you see the data?

A. The first I saw it was less than a week ago. I can' t recall the specific day. It was faxed to me prior to me coming out here Monday. I believe it was Friday.

Q And who faxed it to you?

A. Sergeant Campbell did

Q Could it have been on Thursday of last week?

A. It's possible it was on Thursday. I don't recall specifically.

Q Could it have been Wednesday?

A. No

Q. So either Thursday or Friday.

A. I believe that it was Friday.


Q. K. You weren't testifying that Mr. Basulto's aircraft, as shown there, is going south, were you?

A. As he entered the ADIZ he was progressing south and then he turned to the eastbound, but there was a long arcing turn, is what we're looking at here, with some travel to the east.

Q. Okay. Now, in your facility, do you have the capability of hearing the communications between the Cuban MiGs and their controllers?

A. No.

Q. Did you have the capability of hearing communications between the Military and Cuban controllers? U.S. Military and Cuban controllers, if any?

A. No.

Q. In your-analysis, Mr. Houlihan, or at least as far as it went on that day, how far north did the MiGs go?

A. I haven't looked at it to see how far north the MiGs progressed.

Q. Well, just from looking at A-11, the farthest most north position that you can determine?


JUDGE POPE: Well, there are two MiGs apparently, at least depicted, and they're not close together, so I think you need to -- you want to know whichever one of them went the furthest north?

MR. GOLDSTEIN: Yes, sir.

THE WITNESS: I'd give an estimate simply from looking at these screen prints without sitting down at the console, of approximately ten ,nautical miles.


Q. And which -- just tell me which print you're looking at?

A. At -- actually, if you look between print (d) and (e), as the Cuban MiGs over fly the three BTTR aircraft and then continue on to the west and then turns back down, at its furthest point there. I'd estimate that about ten nautical miles.

JUDGE POPE: That's (d), did you say?

THE WITNESS: E would be the best one for showing the maximum distance.


Q. And how many MiGs did you see?

A. On that particular picture or -


Q No, on that -

A I believe that there were two.

Q. Because there are some other depictions on here that look similar. That's why I'm asking. For example, on (d), over to the left, the purple line, there's an X and then below the Cuban ADIZ, there's another one.

A. Yeah. Those are -- would you like me to try to identify those? Is that what you're asking?

Q. I'm asking you, did you believe that they were MiGs?

A. No, I did not.

JUDGE POPE: All right. So there was one X, which is hard to see because it's right where the BTTR two aircraft are, is that right?

THE WITNESS: Yes, your Honor, you can see the white dots and the white X on the side of the BTTR aircraft. That's the Cuban MIG.

If you'll look on the next screen print of (e), off to the west, a pound sign. If you follow its data block, it shows a 440 knot speed.

You'll also notice that it's a pound sign, which means that the radar's lost contact on him. So from that, I'm estimating and I believe


the question was how far north of the ADIZ. I'm estimating in that at about ten nautical miles.

JUDGE POPE: Where's the data block?

THE WITNESS: The data block is off to the left and down

JUDGE POPE: on (e) ?


JUDGE POPE: And this is the data block of a MIG?

THE WITNESS: That's correct. And keep in mind that it's projection as to where he's going. So he's going to have a long curving turn as he comes in.

As he does that turn, the estimate is ten nautical miles north of the ADIZ.

JUDGE POPE: okay. That's the one that says 350/440?

THE WITNESS Yes, your Honor, that's correct.

JUDGE POPE: And where's the other MIG?

MS. YODICE: on (e), we don't show the other MIG.

JUDGE POPE: And what are these other X's? For example, there's what looks to be sort


THE WITNESS: Oh, that would be another aircraft on the air route. If the radar's lost contact on it, more than likely, in that case, the aircraft is switching its transponder code, so there will be an interruption in our radar contact on him until his new code comes up.

JUDGE POPE: Do commercial airliners get that close to the ADIZ?

THE WITNESS: Commercial airlines fly directly over Cuba. They have clearance corridors that they're allowed to go through. So normal flights directly over Cuba, they happen all the time, every day.

JUDGE POPE: All right. Proceed, Mr. Goldstein.


Q. The expanded prints that you referred to Judge Pope a moment ago, (k) and (1), which have a sixty-four mile range, those are the ones we went over yesterday where you had mis-guessed or misestimated the differences of the BTTR aircraft, is that correct?

MR. MOULIS: Objection, mischaracterization. Mis-guessed.

MR. GOLDSTEIN: or mis-estimated, I



JUDGE POPE: Well, find another way of saying that.


Q. Estimated it incorrectly.

A. Actually, Mr. Goldstein, you asked me if I would be surprised if it was a different range and I said yes, I would.

We haven't yet proved that it is a different range.

Q. Okay. But it's those prints, in any event?

A. That's the print.

Q. Okay. Now, you testified yesterday that as far as you were -- as long as you were on the scope or participating in this event, you saw no U.S. interceptor aircraft, is that correct?

A. That's correct.

Q. Do you know from any other source whether the U.S. sent interceptor aircraft to the area?

A. No.

Q. Do you know from any other source whether the U.S. did not send interceptor aircraft to the area?


A. I know from no direct source, any information concerning whether or not they did. I know from my own having watched it myself, that they did not send any interceptors to that area.

Q. Okay. Do you have any information, Mr. Houlihan, as to why Mr. Basulto's airplane was not shot down?

A. I can give you a theory as to why, based on my experience and expertise in the air defense and in radar.

Q. Go ahead.

A. I don't believe that the Cuban MiGs found him. I think they were so grossly incompetent in the way that they were handling this intercept that they missed him.

Q. Do you know -

JUDGE POPE: Let me ask one question here. I'm not sure I would have except for the last one.

Do you know whether or not the Cuban MiGs would have likely been operating on their own internal radar to locate whatever it was they decided to target, or would they have been controlled by radar on the ground from somewhere and being vectored like you do with your



THE WITNESS: I have additional information on that and having read the transcripts from the Cuban pilots and the Government.

I can answer that specifically on what I was trained, according to Soviet tactics, that the Cubans do follow and it is confirmed by what the transcript says.

Soviet pilots are generally trained to be very carefully controlled from the ground. Ground controlled intercepts are the basis of any Soviet air defense system.

They would have been controlled from the ground as long as possible. They would have kept their fire control system turned off as long as possible, to avoid detention by any U.S. interceptors in the area.

I can only speak towards what used to be. I've obviously been out of air defense for over ten years now, so I can't give you specific information.

But it's a common tactic to keep your fire control system turned off as long as possible, simply because U.S. interceptors can get


an indication of that fire control system.

And in the old days, when I was in air defense, being actively swept by a fire control system under the rules of engagement, meant you could go ahead and shoot that aircraft down.

So by keeping their fire control systems off, they avoided any difficulty with any U.S. interceptors that might have been in the area.

I do know from the transcript that once they had difficulty finding the aircraft, and once they were ready, they had visually identified those three aircraft, they then turned on their fire control system so they could use their missiles. I

JUDGE POPE: And do you think they missed the third airplane? I mean didn't find it?

THE WITNESS: Initially, according to what I the transcript, that is accurate.

They saw three aircraft to begin with and then as they began their assault, they did what, in the air defense world as what is known as they lost their situational awareness.

They got tunnel vision, locked in on the targets they could see and completely forgot about the other target.


I think Mr. Basulto was extremely lucky that they were so incredibly bad at their job. Had they been better trained and competent in what they were doing, in a Cessna 337 he would have had no chance for survival.

JUDGE POPE: All right. Proceed.


Q. Did you see any other MiGs activity that day than what you described for us?

A. The only other activity I saw, I've already described. After the incident had taken place, I saw high speed aircraft that appeared to be a MIG over the area of the shoot down.

Q. And that's in one of these prints also?

A. Yes, it is. It's in the last print.

Q. Last one.

JUDGE POPE: Did you at some point say that it was uncommon to see and maybe you say you never saw MiGs in this particular area?

THE WITNESS: I, personally, have never seen MiGs in that particular area. I'm not saying that it never has happened, but I have never seen any.

JUDGE POPE: When we say MiGs, I guess that's probably what most of the fighters that the


Cubans have are, but what I mean are high performance fighter type aircraft.

THE WITNESS: That's the term that -that's the way I'm using the term, your Honor, high performance interceptor Aircraft.

I haven't seen any Cuban interceptors of any type in that area before. That doesn't, of course, mean that there couldn't have been some

there at other times but I didn't see it.


I'm sure there may have,

Do you have any reason why -- do you know of any reason why, from your experience, it was uncommon for them to be where they were on that particular day?

THE WITNESS: In my experience and from what I was trained as far as that area, -- as a small bit of background, if I may, we've only been watching the area in Florida *~., for the last two years when our facilities consolidated in Riverside, California.

Prior to that, I controlled out in the western part of the United States. In the two years that I've been operating in the South Florida area and with the experience of the people that taught us how to operate in that area from


it comes up to follow that contour and then goes over. It rounds it out.

JUDGE POPE: Proceed.


Q. It does what it does.

In any event, Mr. Houlihan, does your -does the Aerostat at Cudjoe Key, if you know, contain listening apparatus?

A. Once again, as I mentioned yesterday, I'm precluded from answering any information on the Aerostat. That's a Department of Defense asset and I've been instructed to refer any questions directly to a Department of Defense representative.

MR. GOLDSTEIN: I suppose I have a problem with that, your Honor, because we know we have an Air Force witness coming who's going to testify about the Aerostat.

JUDGE POPE: Well, you haven't asked him yet.

MR. GOLDSTEIN: If he's asked any


JUDGE POPE: Specifically, what do you want me to do at this point?

MR. GOLDSTEIN: Well, I'm just noting


it, so we'll remember that I noted it when I make

an objection later. That's really the only reason I'm mentioning it now.

JUDGE POPE: Well, let me see counsel off to the side over here for a minute.

we'll go off the record for just a moment.

(Whereupon, there was a discussion off the record.)

JUDGE POPE: on the record.


Q. Mr. Houlihan, is the reason you can't answer that last question I asked because the information is classified?

A. I don't know whether the information is classified or not, but the reason I can't answer the question is because I've been instructed not to answer any questions specifically regarding the Aerostat, it's -- the way that it's constructed or its capabilities or maintenance schedules or anything of that line.

I construed that to mean that if there's any additional equipment installed beyond the radar itself, I shouldn't answer it.

JUDGE POPE: Let me ask you one