Flight Light and Spin
Jonathan Ainsley Bain
No Easy Day

Mark Owen

Chapter XXV
Bin Laden Helicopter Crash - No Easy Nights

It has been six months since I thought I had ‘completed’ this treatise. A second book had initially been planned with a number of other chapters, including this issue of the helicopter crash during the attempt to capture Usama Bin Laden. When I first saw footage of the crashed chopper called ‘Chalk 1’, I believed that I knew precisely why it crashed. After watching zero-dark-thirty, I was less sure of myself. Then this great piece of literature jumped off the shelf at the bookshop and landed in my hands.

No Easy Day

Expecting a drawn out account of the mission, I was surprised at the artistic merit of the work. I greedily devoured the entire book in less than 36 hours. But my theory on the helicopter crash seemed wholly at odds with the account in the book. At roughly the half-way point of reading it, I started seeing a different picture. Reading between the lines, it seems that there was something quite weird as to what went down that night.

Of course my take on matters may be incorrect. And I humbly apologize for any inconvenience caused if this analysis fails further examination. My only intent is the most accurate truth I can find. But, if I believed that I was wrong, I would be writing one of the other chapters in my mind that remain unwritten. They itch at my brain badly, but not as bad as this chapter does. For I have found at least a dozen reasons to back up my initial analysis of the helicopter crash and its cause. The only references for this chapter, are the movie, Zero-Dark-Thirty, the book, No easy Day, my own analysis of aerodynamics - already documented in the first half of this treatise, and a conversation with a person who I shall call ‘Alan’; though I have changed his name for reasons that will become apparent later.

This is an image of the crashed helicopter called ‘Chalk 1’.

The next diagrams are my description of the air flowing in the shape known as a tube-torus. The conventionally understood down-flow is in red, and my logical completion of the fluid-structure is in blue. (See earlier chapters for more details). Enter (from right), Usama’s wall. The wall alters the natural air-flow, by causing the air represented by the purple arrow to change direction and flow backwards. The green arrow will then be a proportionally much greater force.


Bin Laden Helicopter Crash

The net result, of course is that the front of the chopper will dip suddenly, even though there is quite a large gap between the bottom of Chalk 1 and the wall. In order to clear the wall, Chalk 1 would need to be considerably higher than it to avoid having the air-cushion swept away from beneath. The air-flow represented by the green arrow will throw the front of the chopper downwards. Think of a hovercraft trying to hover over a wall at some speed. Remember Newton’s law that for every action there is an opposite reaction? That reaction has been displaced by the wall.

So far it seems like an easy situation to understand, except that both the movie and the book give a completely different account of the chopper’s approach.

Helicopter Crash

At this point, my initial analysis seems wrong as it simply does not fit with any of the ‘official’ descriptions of the accident. Chalk 1, supposedly experienced a spinning problem at the point (1) on the diagram. This was the point where they were supposed to use the X-tactic, which is an extra-ordinarily brave move. X-tactic means inserting the team right on top of the target by using a rope! The U.S. Navy Seals had abandoned this tactic previously as it was treacherous, but it did give a greater element of surprise. They had not used the X-tactic for quite some time. But it was plan ‘A’. They all hated the idea. The book explicitly states that they would rather have landed in the courtyard. My intuition is that they were ordered to use the X-tactic, but did not do it, and crashed coming over the wall. The pilot must have felt he had cleared it by a large enough margin.

What follows is the Seal’s first hand description of the accident.

Crash Helicopter Bin Laden Mission

One has to read the book to really experience the entire operation. Before continuing I have to point out that I only have respect for the U.S. military in general, and these guys in particular. My late grandfather was bailed out of Nazi concentration camps during World War 2 by the American military on two separate occasions after being captured at Tobruk. I owe the U.S. Military my existence, ostensibly, so the last thing I want to do is make their incredibly brave deeds seem less than what they are. It pains me to even suggest that they covered up for a pilot error. I almost threw this chapter out many times.

But I kept finding more and more reasons to uphold my original point of view. Least of all, that if the Seals really did have the accident the way they describe, and I am wrong, then this is still a valid warning to other helicopter pilots, as the physics I describe is nonetheless correct.

But, also consider the helicopter engineers who now perhaps shoulder the blame; and their careers are just as important as the Seals. Also, after nearly losing an eye, whilst experimenting with the Entothopter, I can assure the reader, that while engineering may not be as glamorous as soldiering, it is probably more dangerous. (Unless you support Al Queda and the Seals are about).

Helicopter Crash

The statement in green and the statement in purple are contradictory. This is not just a publishing or writing error as the contradiction is repeated in three different places.

Unluckily the Chopper was destroyed as a safety precaution so there is no way to examine the electronics and the motors. Why was that needed if Pakistan is an ally? Surely they do not mind Americans catching the ‘evil one’ and thereby reducing a source of much organized aggression in that part of the world?

I am not trying to point fingers, just looking at the glaring inconsistencies in the story. I have total empathy for the poor guys who serviced the choppers. They must be full of unanswerable anxiety. And I understand how green team felt beyond reproach considering their immense sacrifice.


The red highlight above clearly states that Chalk 2 saw Chalk 1 crashing; which is why Chalk 2 used the tried and tested tactic of landing in the open, and then breaching the perimeter, rather than the X-tactic.

Now it is certainly feasible that the tube-torus of air flow, that surrounds a chopper could have been deflected by anomalies in the wind patterns, and the building shapes. But they had done this ‘thousands of times’. Did Chalk 2 see Chalk 1 crash? Or not? They cannot have it both ways!

Nonetheless, just before Chalk 1 crashes it is somehow moving sideways. (I’d like to see that replicated.) Also, how does the chopper not tip over sideways on impact? The rotors were still turning and most of the crew leapt from the chopper onto the ground after the aircraft was grounded. Coming in sideways should have thrown the chopper sideways and the blades should have caught the ground or the wall. Landing straight, means it must have flown in straight.

Another curious notion is the sheer coincidence that allowed the chopper to suddenly experience problems just at the worst moment. If you have ever studied this topic, you’ll know that the Black Hawk Navy helicopters concerned have two engines, so that if one engine experiences problems, then the other can take over. This is quite standard in the U.S. Navy as they are a bit concerned about flying over the sea with just one single engine. This is probably the most important mission that a U.S. Navy helicopter has ever undertaken. So much so that it beggars belief to think that the engineers had been sloppy. And the likelihood of such a weird problem only manifesting just at the most inopportune moment is about as likely as the entire crew being called Murphy.

Now, before the reader dismisses this analysis as being unverifiable, there is another vital point that was missed much earlier in the whole mission. And that is why and how it took the Americans longer to catch one crazy fool of a man, than it took to defeat the entire might of the Axis powers of World War 2?

I can remember an American on the internet some time ago. He was begging, pleading and praying for information on how to catch Bin Laden. It was his designated task, and he was losing badly. ‘Just Anything, anything’, he pleaded. He was so sincere, and desperately and honestly praying. I could sense the tears in his typing. The exact date, I do not recall, but probably it was during 2007. And it was me who replied that I was disappointed that the all-important clue of the 20th hijacker had been missed or glossed over. I had already pointed this out on another internet forum sometime around 2004-5. I forget which internet forums, as I have been to so many.

On another occasion I had stated that my ideal job would be to Red Team the U.S. military. So when I encountered an American called ‘Alan’, showing me the many unpublished collages made up of photos of Bin Laden’s corpse during the second half of 2011, I suddenly realized that my advice had actually been adhered to.

Incidentally, ‘Alan’ also witnessed the six-inch spoke snap, and fly off my Entothopter at high velocity and luckily miss my forehead by a hair’s breadth. So I’m still in sympathy with the Engineers and their thankless task.

In Zero-Dark-Thirty, there is the part where America is desperately unable to catch UBL. The one guy then says ‘See what that Red Team guy has to say’. Well then, after hearing that bit I was smirking like the proverbial Cheshire Cat. 19 divided by 4, means that one terrorist did not pitch up. One of the hijacked aircraft had only four guys on it. Mohamed Al-Qahtani was pulling a sicky. The 20th hijacker had to be only one or two degrees of separation from the director of 9/11. The nature of human ego says that he would eventually be drawn back to the drama. By 2007 Al-Qahtani had presumed enough time had elapsed. Not! He turned on his cell phone again…

Now it seems to this psychologist that if you crash your chopper on such a challenging mission, the adrenalin is going to be higher than if you do not. And it is certain that UBL’s mindset is also going to be on edge due to all the commotion, even if the Seals themselves are as cool as Coldplay.

If the operation had not encountered the armed bodyguard, Bin Laden would have been captured along with all that ‘intelligence’. That was the intention. But the crash of Chalk 1 must have pumped up the stakes and the emotions. Had green team used the X-tactic, Bin Laden would more than likely been captured as the Seals would not have encountered the noisy sound of unsuppressed fire. The capture could even have occurred without a single shot going off.

But, somehow it is probably better that he was double-tapped. It’s made life much easier. I certainly would not relish having to interrogate him. Sometimes mistakes make it better in the long run.

Nonetheless I am at least certain of one thing. Those photographs of UBL that Alan showed me were certainly for real. I have been a computer graphics artist for over a decade. That was no photoshop. That was a corpse of UBL from dozens and dozens of angles. No doubts there at all. Those collages were passionately and lovingly constructed. And the reason Alan showed them to me was not a coincidence either.

However there is still the nasty question of who masterminded Bin Laden? Who worked with him? Those answers died with him. Or did they? His behavior was just not sophisticated enough to organize 9/11. He was the director, but not the producer. He was too stupid, but he did have the ego to convince the others to do it. By the time he got popped, he was an absolute nobody with nothing, not even any ammo in his weapons… and one bodyguard? Who paid all those people for so long? Who was the REAL brain behind it all? I do not know all those answers, but there is one enormous elephant still standing in the compound.

Several weeks after 9/11 the South African Rand lost half its value against the U.S. dollar. As I went through exchange rates at the time, I am certain of this, and I have posted the same comment on the internet with the appropriate graphs on several occasions. A local enquiry into why the South African Rand did the high jump during late 2001, returned the obnoxiously fudged answer that it was ‘international speculators’. Nothing more was ever said about it. It is clear to me this was just one coincidence too many, and that a considerable amount of money was sloshing around in the South African currency at the most ‘coincidental’ time imaginable, for no clear reason at all. Just two words to explain all that? Perhaps the name of the speculator was Murphy as well?

Oh, and by the way, South Africa is falling apart at the seams, in every respect. And our alleged president, Jacob Zuma, cares nothing to have his debts ‘written off’. He is just as much of a misogynist and liar as UBL, and it was recently discovered that Gaddafi’s loot is sitting in four South African banks. The Gaddafi story was on the front page of the South African Sunday Times just a few weeks ago.

The local burglar alarms go off incessantly. People drive through the streets holding automatic weapons out the window, laughing crazily. Crime is rife. Rape is normal. Counterfeit and fraud are everywhere. The police are just another gang. The private security personnel outnumber the police 3 to 1 at least, and they do not bother to deactivate the alarms with regularity. People just plug in the old i-pod while the alarms ring for days on end. The call centers are paid to answer ‘there is nothing we can do’.

On three occasions I have had burglar alarms nearby ring for five days. On the fifth day, I always lose my cool, break into the house and smash the alarm. The water is cut off frequently and is no longer safe to drink; though it should be the cleanest in the world. The electricity is cut off just as often as the water is. Getting any official documentation is impossible for someone like me, who refuses to pay a bribe. There is no capacity to plan anything in advance.

On one occasion I had my water, electricity, bank account, and my I.D. switched off at the same time. I have a nasty attitude that others do not have to aid them in times like that. Beggars line the streets in thicker and greater and drunker numbers; and hustlers try to intimidate people into violence. Inflation is escalating with the cynicism and the sarcasm. Violent strikes are rife. Most people do not even try to read the newspapers. I live in the safer, gentler part of the country.

I played the third most significant role in eradicating the previous Nationalist government in February 1989. I am not boasting when I say that only F.W. De Klerk and another unnamed person played a bigger role than me in defeating those fascists. That is not something I want to admit. The Afrikaners let me know that I am to blame for this current mess. They threaten me regularly for this. It’s not my fault. But I shoulder the responsibility. For, if I don’t, then nobody else will. 1989 taught me that. The manner in which the old regime was pushed is another story.

I am probably the only person who still walks the streets on my own at night – when the going seems easy. I dodged a knife attack a few nights ago, that was ironically June 16, youth day. But with the endless gunshots and burglar alarms a full night’s sleep is rare. That is why I have named this chapter ‘no easy nights’. There is nothing easy about this place, and it is getting worse and worse incrementally, particularly in the last year. The roads are crumbling. Fast food joints serve rotten meat of dubious origin and species. Hostility of all types is palpable. Anti-white racism today is as bad as the reverse action of twenty years ago. The pacification of white people has made us look like easy targets. Time is running out.

But it’s not all bad.

South Africa does have the nicest weather in the world.

Today is the winter solstice and I was sweating through my baggies as I kicked a football with my bare feet on a dilapidated football field. This field used to be a great field to play on many years ago when I faced conscription into the previous fascist regime. I really do not want my actions from 1989 to be regrettable.

Tobruk was not a defeat. It was a plan. Rommel over-extended himself thinking he had overwhelmed the allies and walked straight into a trap. Gramps and his compatriots deliberately surrendered to the Nazi’s in what appeared to be a rout, so that Americans and British could defeat the desert fox. I just thought I’d mention that. The history books missed the subtlety of the tactical sacrifice that stopped the Nazi’s gaining access to the middle-eastern oil fields. Here is: Grampa's Life Story.

It is essential to read this chapter: genealogy and exponents. Or else one will not understand just why this mission remains so vital.



Alternatively, a more stable helicopter design
would make such accidents impossible.
Click this link for
Flight Principle of Helicopter

FRES: Future Rapid Effects System



Grahamstown Publishers




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