February 14, 2007: The Mystery Stories of the I-40 Bridge Incident Continue
Decommissioning of the Sequoyah Fuels Corp. site near Gore, Oklahoma licensed: from Federal Register, June 9, 1999 (Vol. 64, No. 110) p. 31023. The license authorizes SFC to possess up to 20 million metric tons of source material in any form. The contaminated material at the Gore site is in the form of uranium, uranium oxides, uranium fluorides, thorium, radium, and decay-chain products in process equipment and buildings, soil, sludge, and groundwater." (see: http://www.wise-uranium.org/edusa.html#GORE). During the week of February 5, 2007, most of the approximately one million tons of depleted uranium, stored in 55 pound drums on the SFC Gore, OK site was removed by trucks and transported to the Nevada Nuclear Test Site north of Las Vegas, NV. Much more work to clean-up and secure the site needs to be done give the information provided in the decommissioning licensing document.
One Million Pounds of Depleted Uranium Sitting Near Mysterious I-40 Bridge Collapse Being Removed...And More
By Jerry Pippin
Our hunch, reflected in stories we did several years ago and still posted below, was looked upon by many as a nutty conspiracy theory when it happened. The terrible incident of a bridge collapsing on I-40 over the Arkansas River near a decommissioned radioactive material processing facility site, filled with barrels rotting and rusting, yellow cake (uranium fluoride), depleted uranium and other forms of radioactive waste, is recalled again, almost five years after its occurrence.
The story stunk then, and it still stinks now. Somehow an experienced tug boat pilot fell asleep around 7:30 in the morning and allowed his barge to crash into pillars of a bridge, just at the time that a US Army Captain was driving over it. The deceased soldier had a briefcase, a mysterious one, because no one was allowed to see its contents, or did they?
First, let's look at the vindication of our hunch. Officials scoffed at our reports of a million pounds of material that could be used for "dirty bombs" lying unsecured in an Oklahoma field on the edge of a mighty river, but alas, in a TV report overnight, the truth has been set free.
"They’re removing roughly one million pounds of depleted uranium from the Sequoyah Fuels Corporation." Company spokesperson John Ellis was quoted in an article by Tulsa TV station KOTV. One truck went off the road (I-40) near the Texas border, but no uranium leaked. The facility in Gore also has a checkered past. It used to be owned by Kerr-McGee Corporation, and was connected to the mysterious death of Karen Silkwood in 1974. The 1983 movie “Silkwood” was based on her experiences and subsequent death. Ellis said that several more trucks will be making the 1270 mile trip to the Nevada Test Site, but the majority of the material has already made it to Nevada.
Now, back to the events still unfolding. Roberta Scott, one of our producers is in the Gore area today with her camera looking for evidence and witnesses. We have had witnesses come forward, several of whom have worked at the radioactively contaminated Sequoyah facility, and they all say the same thing, "Little or no security." And, all report having either first hand knowledge or reports from trusted friends of strange events occurring at the Sequoyah facility at the same time as the disaster and subsequent havoc at the I-40 bridge collapse site, which was only a few miles to the south.
Then, there is the case of the fake Army Captain, William J. Clark. He was painted as a con-man by the Feds and convicted of crimes, including impersonating an Army officer. Producer Jane Swartley has been in contact with Clark at his minimum security prison home in the desert of Southern California. Clark has agreed to talk to us, and it is now up to the Federal Prison officials to allow us a visit.
Clark told Swartley in a letter, "I want to change my story, because I have been screwed by the Federal Government." We know it was next to impossible to get to him before he was hauled off to Federal Prison. We tried, his appointed lawyer who lives on the Federal dole was very uncooperative. I was told by friends (officers) at the jail that I "should let this one go by, because there was some heavy stuff going on here."
Clark also told Swartley in the letter, "I have a video tape of the accident itself." This makes it even more puzzling. I had always wondered why and how Clark knew to show up and retrieve the mystery brief case, and now evidently he has a video tape of the accident itself. We can hardly wait for the Federal officials to approve our interview, if they do. Clark is indeed a man with strange behavior, and he is still a key figure in what happened that early Sunday morning in May 2002.
Visions of conspiracies race through my head like sugar plums in a Christmas dream. Terrorists? Well, probably not anyone from a foreign land, but as our upcoming 9/11 series will reveal, terrorists are indeed among us, and you will be shocked at who they really are.
Other references on Depleted Uranium and nuclear accidents:
The latest local news stories on the Sequoyah Fuels site cleanup:
1. 2/15/07 - Leak or Breach? Where did it happen? The completion of shipments of the depleted uranium storage drums is on hold: http://www.muskogeephoenix.com/local/local_story_046001229.html?keyword=secondarystory.
Billy Clark's Final Plea and Over the Top Sentencing
August 27, 2003
Officially, the story of the I-40 Bridge Imposter, William J. "Billy" Clark may be over as far as the Federal Government is concerned. Unfortunately, there still seems to be as many unanswered questions as answered. How did he happen on the scene and decide to impersonate an Army Officer is just one of them. The most nagging in my mind is why this happened where it did, next to a nuclear waste holding area with a barge out of control and no one knowing exactly why?
As in many of these cases, conspiracy is the unaddressed subject by the government. We will continue to investigate and keep our eyes and ears open in hopes of some day uncovering the real story here. Maybe we got the real story, but it just seems like there are lots of loose ends that have never been addressed.
Is truth really stranger than fiction? Maybe so, maybe not; hopefully more of this story will unravel due to up coming civil suits, etc. We will keep you posted on latest developments. Read the Muskogee Phoenix story below about the sentencing of Clark.
Note that in our prior article, it was noted that Billy plead not guilty to the impersonating an officer charge, completely surprising his defense attorney and the court judge. Now, after apparently sitting in jail for almost two months and "reconsidering" his plea, a "guilty of all charges" plea was made by his court appointed defense attorney and sentencing, far in excess of Federal guidelines was quickly dispensed.
Jerry Pippin had requested access to Billy for an interview before any trial and sentencing. This request was conveniently forgotten. Although the local media was notified of the sentencing, were they or any other members of the public actually in attendance, or was this carried out behind closed doors? Will the story of the end of this bizarre component of the I-40 Bridge incident be noticed by anyone, but some of the residents of Muskogee, OK and readers of this page?
Jerry's Exclusive Interview with Billy Clark's Uncle
Note: the current whereabouts and status of William J. (Billy) Clark is unknown. His last official appearance was at a hearing before a Federal Judge in Muskogee, Oklahoma, where he plead not guilty to the charge of impersonating an officer of the US Armed Forces, contrary to his pre-hearing statement to his federal government provided Defense Attorney.
Jerry Pippin: We have Don Clark with us via email. Don is related to the I-40 bridge imposter, William J. Clark. Don and most of Clark's family and friends refer to him as Billy.
Don Clark: I am Billy's Uncle. I do not follow up with him since his stunt in
Jerry: Can you tell me a little about him?
Don: What I know about him, his past with other brushes with the Law?
Jerry: Yea, I think our visitors are interested in the man and his past.
Don: For instance, the time he faked his death after writing a check to pay for a car. He received the car in Arnold, MO. Then, he went to Canada trying to escape the Law. This is what he did, after he got to Canada, he had a friend to phone the Sheriff of New Madrid, MO and tell him that Billy was killed in a military training exercise, So the Sheriff went and told Billy's Grandmother he was killed and his grandmother was very upset and crying. When she wanted to know how to bring his body back to the US for burial, the Sheriff went back to the station and tracked the call from a phone card purchased in Missouri. Billy was caught writing bad checks in Canada, and was brought back to serve 3 years for writing a bad check for the car. What kind of person would fake his death after writing a bad check for several thousand dollars? Millions of dollars maybe? The judge should of requested a family member to question about his history, good sides and bad sides, and where he had been, before trial. Maybe a local correctional facility would have straightened his path, and not sent to a prison with real criminals. Don't get me wrong, there should be a stiff penalty for writing bad checks but not next to murderers.
Jerry: I guess this is fairly difficult for you and the family, reading about Billy on my web site and in the newspapers...
Don: Yes, but I want to say thanks for the feedback, I will be keeping his
Jerry: Lets get back to that Sunday morning in Webbers Falls; when he was impersonating an Army Officer.
Don: Was he really impersonating a military officer? The fact is he was not wearing rank. The only thing he lied about was being in the military. He has always done that from childhood. Not everyone is as gullible as those embarrassed officials in Oklahoma City that want him kept behind bars and the key thrown away.
Jerry: Don, can you explain how everyone thought he was a Captain, if he did not have any insignia on his uniform fatigues?
Don: Jerry, Billy is very good at making people believe what he is talking about. He did say to the people at the site that he was a Captain in Special Forces, and that he was home on leave from Afghanistan. What can I say, the people bought it.
Jerry: Do you know where he was headed when the he came upon the bridge collapse?
Don: I believe he was headed home to Missouri to Grandmothers.
Jerry: Is it possible that he is actually working for the government in some form or another as an undercover agent with this story of his impersonating Army officers as a cover?
Don: He is not that good! If so, the government would not let him take the heat for his actions, the government would have backed him up. The government would have their own disciplinary actions. I would like to see him be able to run a 1/2 mile. He is out of shape.
Jerry: That is one of the things that bothers me. He was shown on TV here with his fatigue shirt open and a pot gut, and he looked rather out of shape. I find it hard to believe that anyone would have believed him to be Special Forces. If they did, I suggest the Army do some PR work, because he did not look like a regular Army guy to me, little alone a member of some elite unit. I mean, think about it, if he were not in some sort of official capacity, how do you explain all the events surrounding him, including his being able to delay a press conference by then Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating? Keating was an FBI guy and a US Attorney. You would think that he would have known that Billy was not really an Army Captain. Then, I am told he arranged for the use of the truck from the car dealer, and they were to bill the government? You would think they would have checked about getting paid before letting him drive off?
Don: Fact! The truck he borrowed was used in the recovery for a short time. Did he really steal the truck? Did the truck salesman tell him not to drive the truck to Canada? I doubt it. And again, national publicity didn't hurt business any.
Jerry: Being accepted as an official person by members of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the National Guard and local police is mind boggling to me. Billy must be one hell of a salesman!
Don: Under the situation everyone was in shock and disbelief of how the bridge being hit by a barge and people died. It was a nightmare even for us far away. It must of been terrible for those watching and thinking about many people still under water trapped in their cars. People were numb all over and would of believe anything.
Jerry: Maybe so...do you think there could have been two William J. Clark's there that morning? As far fetched as it seems on the surface, I am at a loss on how he could convince everyone he was an official person in the investigation? I have witnesses from California who say there is another Captain William Clark in the Army, who is now stationed somewhere in Arkansas...Do you have an explanation?
Don: The time was right, and he is a smart looking & convincing young man and he is believable when talking to him. Don't think there was two William Clarks.
Jerry: Do you have any idea where he is being held at this time? I think he is still in Muskogee in jail. But, I have not been able to get much information on him recently.
Don: I have not been in touch with him nor do I know his whereabouts.
Jerry: By the way, how did the Muskogee Phoenix find you when this story first broke last year, or was that some other relative. I believe they quoted you or someone in the family with similar statements about Billy. Are you sure this is not a cover story for him? It seems like a strange coincidence that the family was in the newspaper explaining Billy's problem, and now you are here with me telling me similar things.
Don: Oh! This is the first time I have spoken to anyone, my brothers live down close to my mother at Tallapoosa, MO. No one interviewed me, and I do not wish to be on TV.
Jerry: You have to admit this is all very strange.
Don: If he had not been there, who would of lead or begun the recovery? I think Oklahoma should be grateful he was there. The professionals had time to wake up and take over when he left off.
Jerry: I guess you might be right on that count. Makes me wonder though about how he came to be in control of the situation, and how he knew about the other Army Captain (who died in the disaster) with the secret papers and the laptop.
Don: Another thing, think about this, the motel he ran up a bill at has profited more from this with tourist and spectators. I think the motel he run up a bill at should thank him for the national publicity and future tourism that will stop there just to see were the imposter stayed. The only thing he should be charged with is having possession of a firearm while on parole, and where did he get it? The one who sold or gave it to him sounds like the criminal. Oh and he was only 29 years old when the Oklahoma thing happened.
Jerry: Like I say, I think there is more to this story; but 29 years old is old enough to know better, if he indeed just happened along and decided to have some fun with all the stuff that was happening. How do you explain the dead Army Captain and Billy asking for his personal computer and papers?
Don: I do not believe he knew any of the deceased, He just happened to hear a name that of a Military person drowned and the public servants thought, "Oh, lets give the personal belongings to this guy who is wearing Army clothes." Billy did not damage any of the soldiers belongings, He did dry them out on a table says witnesses, did the camera have film in it that he pretended to take pictures with? I doubt it. Someone should thank him for drying out the papers. Billy lost his half brother to a brain tumor when Billy was only about 9 years old, they were close and good friends with the same mother and then his parents divorced. I think this was devastating to his childhood. That does not excuse his not telling the truth, but the judges should of Investigated Billy's bringing up before setting another prison sentence.
Jerry: Don, thanks for coming forward with your side of the story, the story from the family's point of view. This entire thing does not add up in my opinion, but perhaps, it is just as simple as what you say. A misguided fellow happens to be in the right place at the right time, and he decides to take charge. If and when I find out more about where he is and anything on him at all, I will let you and the family know. Thanks for being with us and telling us about Billy.
COPYRIGHTED 2003 by Jerry Pippin Productions
June 6, 2003
The case of William I. Clark is a puzzling one. TV tape and newspaper photos shows a Clark as being out of shape and in a pair of fatigues that were not neat, clean or even up to date US Army regulation uniforms; yet by all accounts he ordered everyone around at the scene of the bridge collapse. We are going to lay out a case that there might have been two Captain Clark's there that Sunday morning. A fact hard to accept, yet; certainly not a new ploy by intelligence people. The question is why? Coincidence that a crazy man would show up as the bridge fell into the river killing an Army Captain who had been going to a US Army school in Monterey, Ca. where intelligence issues are taught on a regular basis? Maybe so, but it is hard to believe.
We have tips that Clark was a member of a military intelligence organization, though this can't be confirmed. Nor, have we been able to narrow it down to which Captain Clark my informer is really talking about... You will have to admit that it is strange coincidence that this barge accident occurred, and the Army Captain, who died as a result of the incident, would be found, within walking distance of a nuclear waste dump where radioactive materials are stored with very little security.
We are focusing on Clark because he seems to be the key figure; the one who should not be in this story about a bridge accident, but there he is. Sometimes just a little to obvious for comfort that we are getting the entire truth from anyone about this incident.
Most of the photos are missing or gone from this incident, but a visitor to our web site saw our photo and wrote this about Clark: "The man I know had a home in Tulare, California with his wife. He was often gone for long periods of time. Sometimes doing "mercy" work. I moved to Arkansas about three years ago, and I was told that he moved to somewhere near Texarkana about that same time. I was trying to find him when I ran across the name related to the bridge collapse." Richard Stanley; Maness
Could this be a case of doubles here. Captain Clements, a real Army Officer, was driving across the bridge at the time it caves and the the real Captain Clark is following him? Immediately tells the rescuers to get the brief case and lap top computer out of the dead Army officers car. Then our "so called crazy "Captain Clark takes over doing everything in his power to call attention to himself. Strangely we have no real pictures of the Clark being held in custody. This pattern of calling attention to himself followed him all the way to Canada and finally when he was arrested; there was no face picture released only a shot of his back in handcuffs. There was an MSNBC picture of Clark during the first few hours of the recovery operation in an army cap, tee-shirt, fatigue pants and boots showing a pot belly, but I did not save a copy. It is probably no where to be found now. This story is just to pat. Billy Clark had been arrested before impersonating an Army officer and he had been institutionalized in a mental ward because of this little hang up of his.
The special operations Captain Clark the email refers to above lived in Tulare, not all that far from where Captain Clements, the dead officer was in school in Monterey, CA. Another strange twist, the two men were within a hundred miles or so of each other in his story and then on that Sunday morning, they were in a mile or so of each other before Clements died.
Then there is the story that the imposter called Clements widow to tell her of her husband's death; yet, Fort Smith newspaper accounts say the OHP called family "that night" to notify them of death and finding belongings which apparently no one ever received from the Army. Where did the laptop go?
Another interesting angle is that Clark's lawyer told me last year that he was being held for mental observation and that he doubted he would ever face trial; then suddenly a year after the incident, Clark is back in court in Muskogee pleading not guilty which according to news reports upset both the US Attorney and Clark's federal public defender.
Then there is the case of the Mustang that Clark drove into Webbers Falls; Clark claimed he was from Ft. Carson, CO. and his car had New Mexico plates. But is this the Billy Clark who is in jail? Was that his car? If he lived in Missouri as the Feds point out in several news stories, then why would he have a NM car, unless he stole it? No one seems to be charging him with auto theft. And Arkansas seems to have lost any ability to press charges on "stealing" the red pickup truck he conned out of a car dealer saying he needed it for top secret official business and a check would be in the mail.
A Year Later: Memories of and Updates on the Story
The mysteries of this tragedy remain unsolved. Why did the barge crash into the bridge in the first place? What were the important papers that an Army Captain was carrying when he was killed at the I-40 Bridge on his way to a reassignment in Virginia. Who was the mysterious imposter Army Captain, Billy Clark, who showed up on the scene, immediately after the collapse and retrieved the papers that the real Captain was carrying in his car, and what was his purpose as he fled the scene and was later found by the FBI in Canada and returned to Oklahoma? Where is Billy Clark today and what does he know? What was the connection of this tragedy to the nearby mothballed nuclear fuel processing facility and its buried storehouse of materials that could be used by terrorists to make "dirty" bombs?
Coincidentally (?), The Muskogee Phoenix Newspaper published this 5/16/03 story on Billy Clark's hearing and impending trial on Federal charges of impersonating a military officer and impeding disaster rescue efforts. He was held somewhere in the Muskogee area for almost a year before receiving a hearing recently.
Jerry Pippin intends to conduct further research in an attempt to get answers to these and other questions surrounding this bizarre incident. Other bridges have collapsed in the past, but the strange events reported in this disaster are indeed without precedent. If you have input to provide for this case, please feel free to contact Jerry at email@example.com.
CLICK HERE for an extensive compendium of written and video reports on the I-40 Bridge since the disaster occurred to today provided by the Daily Oklahoman/News 9 web site. You must register (free) the first time you visit the site to view the articles and videos. In all of this news, unfortunately, you will not find any picture of Billy Clark on the scene of the event. Believe us, these pictures did exist on many web sites on the first day of the event. Subsequently, they disappeared.
CLICK HERE to read the account sent to us on 5/15/03 from Arlen Davidian, a Winslow AR resident. Arlen recounts the encounter of he and his wife with National Guard personnel directing detour traffic over the Webbers Falls Bridge following the I-40 Bridge collapse, and their encounter with a couple in a convenience store who were camping under the Webbers Falls Bridge when it was hit by the barge at 1:30 AM, hours before the I-40 Bridge collision.
The Official End of this Story
A damage suit filed by the State of Oklahoma against the barge operating company, but our investigation continues at the Jerry Pippin Show
By Bob Doucette
A Mississippi judge has ruled legal proceedings surrounding the
Interstate 40 bridge collapse over the Arkansas River in eastern Oklahoma should
be heard in Muskogee and not Mississippi.
"I think the Oklahoma court will understand the issues better," said John Merritt, an attorney representing one of the families involved in the bridge collapse lawsuits. "This will be good for the families of those who were injured and killed."
Attorneys representing the families of the 14 people killed in the May 26 disaster near Webbers Falls wanted the proceedings moved to Muskogee, saying it would be easier for victims' families and witnesses to appear there instead of in Mississippi.
The state of Oklahoma, which is suing Magnolia Marine Transport, the company that operated the towboat involved in the crash, also wanted court actions moved to Muskogee.
Attorneys representing Magnolia Marine sought to have its request for limited damages heard in Mississippi federal court.
U.S. District Judge David Bramlette ruled that the arguments for moving the proceedings to Oklahoma outweighed those for keeping them in Mississippi.
"Since the accident occurred in Oklahoma, and since the state of Oklahoma is a party to the litigation in Oklahoma federal court, the court ... favors transfer to the Eastern District of Oklahoma," Bramlette wrote in his ruling Thursday.
Attorneys for Magnolia Marine didn't return telephone calls Monday. They earlier said the case belonged in Mississippi, where the company is based.
The lawsuit against Magnolia Marine was filed shortly after the towboat Robert Y. Love, which was pushing two barges up the Arkansas River, veered out of the navigation channel and pushed one or both barges into the I-40 bridge. That caused a 580-foot section of the span to collapse, sending 14 people to their deaths.
Also being sued are Ergon Inc., the parent company of Magnolia Marine, and towboat pilot William Joe Dedmon, 61. Dedmon, who claimed to have blacked out just before the crash, since has surrendered his boat pilot's license.
The bridge was reopened in July. The state is seeking damages that would cover $30 million in costs for rebuilding the damaged portion of the bridge. Part of those costs are related to detouring traffic around the bridge while it was being repaired.
Magnolia Marine is seeking to have its liability limited to $1.2 million, based on 19th- century maritime law.
By Jerry Pippin
The Federal Government has a way of putting on "ice" those charged with unusual crimes that might bring unwanted questions from the press. Billy Clark, 36, of Tallapoosa, Missouri was moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma last week to face charges of impersonating an "Army Officer." This seemingly minor charge has costs the Feds loads of money and time. First there was the apprehension in another country and then "Billy Boy" was given the scenic route back to the states by way of Buffalo, New York.
Mike Able, the Federal Lawyer assigned to protect Clark told me on the phone this morning that the Judge had ordered a competency hearing which might take up to 45 days. Able his public defender said that a Court date had not been set by the Feds and would not be until the results of the competency hearing is made known. It is not clear where Clark is and who is testing him.
We plan to do an extensive investigation of this entire case over the next few weeks to see if there is more than meets the eye here. The government's case is evidently the following: Clark shows up within a couple of hours of the bridge collapse in a fake uniform with the idea of having some fun and pretending to be the man in charge. The locals including the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and even the local National guard units bought his pretense. He somehow finds out that an Army Captain with some files, a lap top, and locked brief case have fallen into the river. He gets the information hand delivered to him from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and he calls the widow to break the news.
He goes out of his way to let everyone know where he lives and his identity. He leaves a phone number of an Uncle who is only too glad to tell about previous incidents of Clark impersonating an Army Officer. Meanwhile no one seems to notice that there is a nuclear waste dump only several hundred yards away from the bridge collapse and no one can explain how an experienced tub boat captain can pass out just when no one else on the barge is paying attention and knocks a busy interstate passageway out of action.
Now conveniently, a Federal Judge in Muskogee orders the only man who knows why he was there impersonating an Army Officer and taking secret files away to be put in a mental ward away from any one who might want to ask questions.
Could there have been two Clarks? One early on giving out personal information and then the imposter? Is there any nuclear material missing from General Atomics Sequoyah Fuels Plant across from the collapsed bridge? How did the accident really happen? No one knows or is talking, but we intend to find out. Listen to our radio show often and check this part of our web site regularly. If there is a terrorist action hidden in these events or a cover up of secret action by the government. we hope to find out. If you know anything about this indecent, regardless of how trivial, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 918-682-2630.
Want more information on General Atomics and the Sequoyah Fuels Plant? Check the following links:
General Atomics Corporate Site. They are into more than nuclear fuel. How about the now famous instrument of the War on Terrorism, the Predator. And, they are still the owners of the Sequoyah Fuels plant property and were responsible for the decommissioning operation as well as the "waste disposal."
UF6 Processing was done at Sequoyah Fuels until the plant was decommissioned. Uranium Fluoride and depleted Uranium (used in anti-tank artillery shells) were the two products of the Sequoyah Fuels plant, along with large quantities of long half-life radioactive waste byproducts.
The current status of the waste disposal operation is unknown. It was last reviewed in a Nuclear Regulatory Commission hearing in 2000. The final results of the hearing are not currently available.
A resident who lives near the Sequoyah Fuels waste disposal site reports the location of the disposal area, it's lack of security, and its water table and river water contamination potential raise questions of the sanity of the NRC and General Atomics. Reports from the plant site indicate that waste disposal, product container cleanup and plant area cleanup are far from complete. Looks like an ideal place to pick up nuclear materials for uses for which they were not intended.
OPP nab disaster fugitive
An American fugitive who two weeks ago pretended to be a Green Beret captain and took charge of a rescue operation after a highway bridge collapsed in Oklahoma was captured in Tobermory yesterday.
The man was caught by Bruce Peninsula OPP at 7 a.m. while waiting for the ferry to Manitoulin Island, Sgt. Mario Bartens said.
Tobermory is on the Bruce Peninsula (red star). There is a ferry to Manitoulin Island which is located offshore from Tobermory in Lake Huron In the Fathom Five National Marine Conservation Area. A very isolated place to be going to after your Oklahoma Disaster caper. And, he was tracked down so quickly by Canadian Police after getting INTERPOL alert. Was this guy that important? If so, why? (JPS Editor)
OPP found a .30-30 rifle in a pickup truck allegedly stolen in
Searcy, Ark., by a man pretending to be a U.S. Special Forces captain who needed
to commandeer the vehicle to move supplies to the collapsed bridge.
Billy Clark, the purported Mystery Captain, who took control of the I-40 bridge collapse disaster scene, arrested in Canada. More questions than answers. Strange indeed. Looks like he could spend time in prison for "crimes" he may not have committed. He could have done the what he is accused of while being a knowing or unknowing diversion for other activities surrounding this tragic accident. Photo's below are the arrest photo (no face revealed) and a file photo of Clark.
Still no Nationwide News Coverage of this story but here is the latest in local coverage from the Las Vegas Sun:
Man Poses As Boss in Bridge Collapse
TULSA, Okla.- The man wearing a green beret and camouflage fatigues called himself Capt. William Clark from the Army's Special Forces. He arrived two hours after an interstate bridge collapsed and said he was in charge. Some emergency workers listened to him for a few days until he disappeared from the site. Authorities said Friday that the man is an ex-convict from Missouri who impersonated an officer to get free food, lodging and a pickup truck.
"It's just a big ego trip," said Lt. Brent Grill, lead police investigator in Van Buren, Ark., where the man is accused of renting rooms and not paying. "It's a fantasy of his, which becomes a reality when he gets to play the part."
Authorities identified the man as Billy Clark, 36, of Tallapoosa, Mo. Clark allegedly arrived in Webbers Falls just two hours after the May 26 bridge collapse and told Mayor Jewell Horne that he was in charge. He took charge at the launch site that sent rescue boats to where the section of the bridge collapsed into the Arkansas River, killing 14 people.
He already knew about one victim - Army Capt. Andrew Clements - before any bodies had been pulled from the river and asked to look through the victim's briefcase and laptop computer, the mayor said.
"He kept trying to say that he was in charge," Horne said. "I finally looked at him and said, 'No, you're not. Until the governor declares martial law, you are not in charge in this town.'"
Crawford County, Ark., authorities issued an arrest warrant for Clark Thursday on one charge of felony theft of services, alleging he didn't pay the $900 bill for eight rooms he rented at a motel May 28. Clark told the motel clerk the rooms were for other rescuers and Clements' father and put "Do Not Disturb" signs on seven of the rooms, which were never occupied, Grill said.
Clark allegedly told Van Buren police he was a Special Forces captain from Fort Carson, Colo., on leave from Pakistan.
Police in Searcy, Ark., about 230 miles from Webbers Falls, said a man who identified himself as a Special Forces captain went to a dealership and said he needed a truck to transport supplies to the bridge site. Clark left with a red pickup worth $10,600, employee Mike Milligan said. The man's manner was very convincing, Milligan said. "He knew what he was doing," he said.
Clark was released from the Central Missouri Correctional Center on Dec. 11 after serving three years for stealing, said Tim Kniest, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Corrections. Clark also served two years of probation in 1999 for passing bad checks, Kniest said. It's just the latest in a string of alleged impostors who have bluffed their way into restricted areas after national disasters. A man who posed as a volunteer firefighter to gain access to the collapsed World Trade Center was sentenced in March to one to three years in prison. Another man was sentenced to six months in jail in 1996 for impersonating a doctor at the TWA Flight 800 crash site.
Jean's comments on the article:
Hello! I am to believe tha this guy found out that an army guy who had a brief case and computer got his disguise together and drove to this town in under 2 hours. Not in a NY second.
Larry's comments on this article:
As you can see this story is already changing as time passes. The person referenced, Billy, really exists and has a criminal record, but is the man who showed up on the scene really Billy. And he never had a record of doing impersonations, just criminal theft and bad checks. No one seems to be able to find this guy.
Notice that there is no mention of what happened to the briefcase or the laptop. Billy is going to go to all this trouble to get a dead man's possessions, a free motel room to sleep in and a cheap pickup truck? For what purpose? And, how did he, as Jean says, hatch this plan and get to Webbers Falls two hours after the accident, knowing the real Captain's name, the fact that he was dead and had a briefcase and a laptop in his possession.
The media did not even have the story until several hours after the event took place. So, how would he know where to go to do his impersonation.
An aside: What ever happened to the barge captain and the crew? There actions have been written off as negligent, but with reason. The Captain had an undiagnosed medical condition. So his piloting days are presumably over, although initial reports stated he had at least one prior incident of passing out while in command. And, why did the Captain refuse to answer questions about his whereabouts and activities for the three days prior to the accident? Silence on this aspect of the case.
More Follow-up on the I-40 Bridge Collapse
The purported US Army Special Forces Captain, William Clark, with 2 apparent accomplices, one a FBI imposter and on an NTSB imposter, showed up on the disaster scene only 2 hours after it happened and "took charge of the scene." The Captain immediately stated that a Captain Andrew Clements, traveling east from somewhere in California, where he was presumably assigned to duty, along with his German Shepherd dog, to his new home in Alexandria, Virginia, had drowned in the disaster and asked about the whereabouts of his body and possessions. When it was determined by rescue workers on the scene that he had indeed drowned in the river, his possessions, which included his dog tags, a brief case, three files and a laptop computer, were recovered and given to the imposter Captain by a Webbers Falls police officer.
The National Guard was subsequently called in to secure the whole area that included, not only the bridge and it's approaches, but the decommissioned, General Atomics owned Sequoyah Fuels plant , previously one of the two active nuclear plant fuel processing centers in the US and its waste disposal area (buried radioactive material). Oklahoma Governor Keating issued a statement, out of the blue, without being asked, that the disaster was not a terrorist act.
Subsequently an officer arrived from Ft. Sill to retrieve the brief case. The imposter FBI agent took back the brief case saying it was classified and returned it to the imposter Captain. The "Captain" took all the recovered materials to the Webbers Falls, Oklahoma town hall and, behind closed doors, examined all of them in great detail. He was particularly interested in the dog tags and appeared to be reading many of the wet papers from the brief case with great intensity. He then made a number of calls to "officials in Washington." The activities of the Captain while he was examining the recovered possessions were visible to town officials as the door to the room had a glass panel. The local phone company refused to immediately provide the Mayor of Webbers Falls with call records for the phone used by the "Captain" to call Washington. Ft. Sill, Oklahoma is also an active disposal site for radioactive contaminated materials.
The "Captain" then proceeded to a small motel in nearby Van Buren, Arkansas, rented eight rooms and slept overnight in one of them. The owners of the motel were told that everyone was to stay away from the rooms, as government basis was being conducted. The next morning all rooms were searched an there was no sign of the "Captain" or his accomplices.
The whole story is more than it seems. Not just a tragic accident, but some weird goings on that sounds like an X-Files episode. What was really going on in the Heartland at 7AM that fateful and disastrous morning? Were 14 more American lives sacrificed in the War on Terrorism, or was something even more sinister going on?
The Muskogee Phoenix Newspaper is still pursuing this story even though the other State media have dropped it. The National media does not have a clue as to what is going on near Webbers Falls. Or, maybe they do, but are to "patriotic" to follow up.
FBI investigates Army impostor2002-06-05
By The Associated Press
The FBI is investigating a man who called himself an Army captain and looked through a briefcase and laptop computer belonging to a victim of last month's deadly interstate bridge collapse.
The man, wearing fatigues and a beret, showed up within two hours of the Interstate 40 collapse and told the mayor he was in charge. He identified himself as Capt. William Clark.
Mayor Jewell Horne said Wednesday that the man told her Army Capt. Andrew Clements had died in the river and that his briefcase and laptop were in the water. A fisherman found the items the day of the collapse and gave them to a Webbers Falls police officer.
The officer gave the items to Clark, who took them and went through them, the mayor said. He brought the briefcase and computer to city hall later that day and asked the mayor to lock them in a safe.
He wanted the key, but Horne said she refused to give it to him.
"He kept trying to say that he was in charge," Horne said. "I finally looked at him and said, 'No, you're not. Until the governor declares martial law, you are not in charge in this town.'"
The mysterious man left Webbers Falls on Monday night, she said.
The mayor said it was eerie that the man knew Clements was among the victims even before his body was recovered.
"But he was correct," she said. "There was a Capt. Clements. There was a briefcase and there was a computer."
Clements, 35, of Woodbridge, Va., was among 14 people killed May 26 when a barge hit the Interstate 40 bridge, causing it to topple into the Arkansas River.
Horne said she was so busy answering phones and directing rescuers that she "didn't have time to think a lot" or check the man's credentials. Two volunteers from the Tulsa medical examiner's office eventually called authorities to check on him, she said.
The FBI, the Army and police in Van Buren and Fort Smith, Ark., are looking for the man, said FBI spokesman Gary Johnson. He said the man obtained goods and services by impersonated a rescue worker.
"It's certainly a very intense investigation," Johnson said.
Authorities are looking into whether the man stayed at a hotel in Van Buren, Ark., free under the auspices of taking part in the rescue operation.
The man also told an Associated Press reporter his name was Capt. William Clark and that he was from Fort Carson, Colo. The fort has no record of the man, said spokeswoman Kim Tisor.
For another story on this strange case check out the Militarycorruption.com site.