August 2, 2009, - 7:35 pm

What Happened to Scott Speicher: Mystery Finally Solved; Sadly, He is Dead

By Debbie Schlussel

Over the years,  we’ve heard various media speculation about what happened to Navy pilot Capt. Michael “Scott” Speicher, who went missing during the first Gulf War in 1991.


USN Capt. Michael “Scott” Speicher, RIP

There was speculation that he was dead, a prisoner of war, or even, possibly left in Iraq to save face, according to a lying CIA agent who claimed he saw Speicher between 1993 and 1995.  A Pulitzer Prize nominee, Amy Waters Yarsinske, wrote a whole book based on this claim and others that have now proven to be pure baloney.  And she was nominated for this very fiction book–yet more evidence what bunk that award is.  Her book claimed Bedouin Arabs found Speicher after he escaped his plane, nursed him back to health, and that the Clinton Administration refused to pay the $1,800 to ransom him.  The liars at WorldNutDaily ran several articles pimping this completely false claim.

Well, now, the mystery has been solved, and sadly, it’s not the ending we’d hoped for.   Scott Speicher died, apparently when his plane crashed in the Iraqi desert.  At least, his family now has closure and some finality to the mystery, even though I’m sure they hoped for a different outcome.  Though it’s little comfort Speicher died in service to our country, the ultimate sacrifice.

With the help of an Iraqi citizen, in early July, Marines stationed in Al Anbar Province went to a location in the desert believed to be the crash site of Speicher’s jet, the Navy said. The Iraqi said he knew of two other Iraqi citizens who remembered an American jet crashing in the desert and the remains of the pilot being buried there too.

The Marines recovered the remains over the past week and then flew them to Dover Air Force Base for identification by a medical examiner. Bones and multiple skeletal fragments were among the recovered remains, but positive identification was made by comparing the jawbone recovered at the site with Speicher’s dental records.

After decades hoping for resolution, Speicher’s family learned Saturday that his remains had been found. He is survived by his wife, who has since remarried, and two children, who are now college-age.

The family’s proud of the way the Defense Department continued on with their request “to not abandon the search,” said family spokeswoman Cindy Laquidara. “We will be bringing him home.”

Captain Michael Scott Speicher, Rest In Peace.

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17 Responses

R.I.P., sir.

Joe on August 2, 2009 at 8:51 pm

It was the best outcome one could reasonably hope for. At least he did not suffer years of detention and torture. I am glad that his family now has a definitive answer. He served his country, and now deserves his rest and our gratitude.

sorrow01 on August 2, 2009 at 9:13 pm


What are we all to do? I mean when the president is an admitted marxist and everyone still thinks he is just a nice person. A friend of mine evan just this weekend said that he thinks Huessein is not as left as everyone thinks….

These comments scare me.


karen on August 2, 2009 at 9:41 pm

I’ve worn Captain Spiecher Memorial Bracelet with honor for over 12 years and would like to respectfully return it to his family. Is there someone I can contact.

Dave on August 2, 2009 at 11:40 pm

Dave, check out google for clues where to begin in returning the bracelet.

Joe on August 2, 2009 at 11:47 pm

RIP and thanks 🙁

mindy abraham on August 3, 2009 at 5:33 am

Was his F-18 shot down? By a surface-to-air-missile? Did the aircraft suffer a malfunction?

rastamanila on August 3, 2009 at 6:09 am

You seem to forget that the BUSH ADMINISTRATION declared him dead and refused to rescue him?

EminemsRevenge on August 3, 2009 at 8:36 am

He can rest with his brothers and sisters in Arlington now…not forgotten in the sandbox.

cirrus1701 on August 3, 2009 at 8:37 am

I am glad his family finally knows the truth after years of lies and conspiracies about what happened too him. The military said he was shot down by a SAM (Surface to Air Missile); however, some of the other pilots who flew with him claim a MIG shot him down. In the long run it does not matter, just he can now be laid to rest, and the conspiracy nut jobs can move on to something new.

time wave on August 3, 2009 at 10:25 am

May you rest in peace American Warrior. Thank you for your service and sacrfice.


retiredlawman on August 3, 2009 at 11:39 am

Rest in Peace, Hero and Captain (he has been steadily promoted during his missing years, class.)

You’ve always been on my mind. I am grateful to have closure and your sacred bones returned.

goldenmike4393 on August 3, 2009 at 12:06 pm

This is not a time for anything except to remember that a grateful nation owes Capt. Speicher an eternal debt of gratitude.

@EminemsRevenge – What a waste of time to put a nonsensical music link in place of a respectful comment. Obviously, you have neither facts nor wisdom. Hat tip: Bush, as the Commander in Chief, agreed to the military keeping this case open all these years, always remembering and looking for an answer. There are real disagreements you could have, but not anything to do with this case. IOW: Get real/get a life.

Smile on August 3, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Now his family can get some closure. There has to be some sense of relief that he isn’t being tortured or held captive. Very sad ending.

CaliforniaScreaming on August 3, 2009 at 9:55 pm

I have a feeling that this guy was alive when he hit the ground and murdered. Sadham’s Irag was a very totalitarian and well organized police state. Scott apparently was shot down over the Sunni triangle. If the Iraqis had recovered his body, they could have used it as massive propaganda material. Why didn’t that happen?
Vietnam was a more backward and more rural nation and yet in most cases when an American was shot down and found either dead or alive, he was quickly taken away by the local communist armed guards. Iraq was more urbanized especially the well pampered Sunni Triangle. Why didn’t his body fall to the Iraqi authorities? Most probably because the local vigilantes murdered and buried him hurriedly. The lying deceptive genes are so well embeded in the Arab blood system that it probably took more than 20 years for the truth to seep out. Sadly, the Arabs impart this lying genes to others when they impart their religion to the later.

Rex on August 3, 2009 at 11:06 pm

I find it interesting that Ms. Schlussel so quickly dismissed and generalized the events and details surrounding Capt. Speicher’s actual ejection. Many have concluded (including the government) that Capt. Speicher survived the ejection with at least some injuries and did not die in the crash. Trajectory analysis of the crash itself plus the canopy discovered over a mile away from the wreak site all lead to a successful ejection. It is also understood that any possible injuries Capt. Speicher may have endured would not have caused his death. Again this is due to the detailed analysis of the wreak in 1995 . The aircraft was struck from behind causing the entire airplane to pancake on the desert floor leaving ample time for the ejection. Satellite photos of the wreak site also show an attempt to signal overhead assets as to his location. Look up the crash coordinates on Google Earth, it is in the middle of nowhere, literally. Again all of this is accepted fact not opinion from several government agencies. The real problem here is the constant generalization by the media and our government regarding this case. Ironically it is that mindset that was applied to many downed airmen in prior wars especially Vietnam. Why did we leave Capt. Speicher in the desert? Was it to save face after announcing his death on CNN by our high ranking members of government? Did he literally get dropped thru the cracks between administrations and then time only compound possible embarrassment that may have occurred if he was discovered? With the findings of his remains recently we now may never know.

The very last pilot shot down in the Vietnam war was also a Naval Aviator and former Lead Pilot of the Blue Angles. He too had ejected, know alive on the ground. Mounds of evidence conclude that he in fact was alive and in the custody of the Vietnamese thru the late 80’s. Like Capt. Spiecher, when the remains were sent to his family the government officially considered the case closed. The evidence, which included copied of intercepted radio communications from the Vietnamese stating they had a “Big Blue Angle” as a POW was just swept under the carpet. A private autopsy carried out by the family confirmed that he lived in captivity many years beyond his shoot down date. One can only imagine that as relations between the US and Vietnam sped toward normalization and Vietnam raced to embrace capitalism, cases like CMDR Harley Hall needed to be resolved thru generalization and closed. Ironically In CMDRS Hall’s case, at the time of his shoot down our country and presidential administration were in a state of flux and looking to end an unpopular war and notch positive victory for a presidency in a bad time. Can we realistically say this case too was dropped thru the cracks as was Capt. Speichers?

After reading many articles, books and opinions on Capt. Spiechers fate I have one overwhelming question that continues to swirl around in my head; did we leave Capt. Speicher out there? Are some things easier to just forget for the sake of national image? Did we knowingly announce we were coming for him knowing that Sadam Huesin would execute him rather than be held accountable for keeping him all these years. It is widely known that Iraq kept Iranian pilots for over twenty years from Iran-Iraq conflict. I guess we will never know.

Scatman on December 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Thank you, Kevin. Well done.

Steve Heffernan on April 7, 2018 at 12:29 pm

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