Accident description
Last updated: 23 November 2014
Status:
Date:Friday 23 November 1973
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47
Operator:Aeronautica Militare Italiana - AMI
Registration: MM61832
C/n / msn:
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Maghera (   Italy) show on map
Phase: Unknown (UNK)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:?
Destination airport:?
Narrative:
A Douglas C-47 operated by the Italian Air Force crashed at Maghera, Italy, killing all four crew members.
The airplane, call sign 'Argo 16' was used by the Italian Secret Service and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in covert operations. Officially, those operations were limited to electronic surveillance over the Adriatic Sea and interference with the Yugoslavian radar network. The C-47 was also said to have been used for the repatriation of terrorists and transport of secret service agents.
There are different theories as to the cause of the accident. It was widely believed the plane was sabotaged by Mossad, the Israeli national intelligence agency, in retaliation for the pro-Libyan Italian government's decision to expel, rather than try, five Arabs who had tried to blow up an Israeli airliner.
In 1990 General Geraldo Serraville, head of Gladio from 1971 to 1974, told a television programme that he thought the plane was probably sabotaged by the gladiatori who were refusing to hand over their clandestine arms. Gladio was a clandestine NATO anti-communist paramilitary organization.


Sources:
» Argo 16 (Wikipedia)


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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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