Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, November 21, 2002
Air Force to release Pecos, Monahans bombing report
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 21, 2002 -- A news conference has been scheduled on Friday
by U.S. Air Force officials at Holloman, AFB, where the results of
an investigation into the dropping of dummy bombs on Pecos, Monahans
and Maljamar, N.M. by an Air Force fighter jet in July will be announced.
The Commander-Directed Investigation has been looking into the mishap
for the past four months, and according to a press release sent out this
morning by the U.S. Air Force, commander of the 49th Fighter Wing
Brig. Gen. (Select) Jim Hunt will announce the findings of the investigation
on Friday afternoon at a site at Holloman, AFB, located near Alamogordo,
The dummy bombs were inadvertently released July 16 of this year off an
F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter.
The first dummy bomb was recovered after landing through a house in Monahans
belonging to Gloria Aker, while the second was recovered after landing in
the front yard of a house belonging to Evarista Mora, located at Fifth and
Hickory streets in Pecos. The third dummy bomb was recovered on the road
curb of U.S. 82 in Maljamar, N.M.
The search for the three dummy bombs began the afternoon of July 16 when
the stealth fighter returned to Holloman Air Force Base and found that three
dummy bombs were missing. At that point base authorities immediately notified
the police and fire departments of Monahans and Pecos and Maljamar, New Mexico.
The Monahans bomb was the first to be discovered, the day of the incident,
after it crashed through the roof of Aker's home and into her bathroom. The
25-pound dummy bomb then went through the wall of the bathroom and into a
bedroom, before going through the floor and damaging water pipes inside the
The bomb that fell outside the Moras' home, four blocks west Pecos City
Hall, was recovered by an ordinance crew from Holloman AFB, along with Town
of Pecos City employees the following day.
"My daughter called me at work and told me that there were cops here and
to get home," Evarista Mora said at the time the bomb was recovered. "I was
scared. I just heard the word `bomb'."
Mora said she had not noticed anything wrong with her front yard due to
the fact that when she gets home, she parks on the other end of the sidewalk.
"Yesterday afternoon my daughter said that she had heard a big thud at
about 3 or 3:30," Mora said. "However, she forgot to tell me when I got home
No one was injured in any of the three mishaps.
Jets from Holloman AFB use similar training flight paths in West Texas
as do B-1 and B-52 bombers operating out of Dyess and Barksdale AFBs in Abilene
and Shreveport, La. The flight path crosses West Texas and Southeastern New
Mexico and normally runs in a circle around the city of Pecos.
The bomb dummy unit (BDU) 33 is known for its size of 22.9-inches long
and four inches in diameter. The blue teardrop-shaped practice munition has
a metal, cone-shaped body with a cross-shaped type fin. It accurately simulates
the trajectory path of larger and heavier inert training or live bombs.
When placed on the stealth, it is loaded onto a Triple Ejector Racks or
Suspension Units and is locked in place by a spring-loaded catch.
If the BDU-33 is released from the aircraft, it fee falls until impact
at which point it drives a plunger-type firing pin against the primer of
the signal cartridge. The primer then ignites a stabilized red phosphorus
that provides the flash and puff of smoke out of the rear of the bomb tube
through the fin.
Most military fighter aircrafts use this low cost bomb dummy unit, which
costs $13.52 per an assembled unit, for training purposes to simulate trajectories
of larger scale bombs.
Though the excavation in Monahans took seven hours, retrieving the dummy
bomb in Pecos only took about one hour.
The press release stated that the investigation was ordered by Lt. Gen.
William T. Hobbins, 12th Air Force commander, whose headquarters
is at Davis-Monthan AFB, near Tucson, Ariz. Col. Mike Newell, vice commander
of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing Beale AFB, CA., was the investigating
Different-looking differential leads to cocaine bust
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 21, 2002 -- A traffic stop west of Pecos on Wednesday
morning resulted in the arrest of an Arizona man and the seizure of
over a pound of cocaine hidden in the SUV he was driving.
According to Trans-Pecos Drug Task Force Commander Gary Richards, the
arrest occurred following the traffic stop, at 9:37 a.m. Wednesday on Interstate
20 near mile marker 36, four miles west of Pecos. Interdiction officer Kevin
Roberts stopped a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee for a traffic violation, and after
a check of the vehicle found an area near the front of the vehicle's underside
that looked suspicious.
"The front differential had been all cleaned off, and there were scratches
on it," Richard said, while the department's drug-sniffing dog alerted while
near the front of the Jeep, though Richards said the dog was unable to pinpoint
the exact location.
Roberts was given consent to search the vehicle by the driver, and after
the suspected tampering was found, the Jeep was taken to Jim and I's Exxon
in Pecos, where the front differential was opened up and 2.5 kilograms of
cocaine were found inside. Richards said the cocaine was contained in four
bundles and wrapped in black tape, and had an estimated street value of $220,000.
"The driver told Kevin he was going from El Paso to Odessa, and then later
he told him he was going to Colorado," Richards said.
The driver was identified as Jesus M. Rodela, 47, of Queen Creek, Ariz.
After the cocaine was removed from the Jeep, he was transported to Reeves
County Jail, where he was charged with possession of a controlled substance,
a first-degree felony.
The Jeep was seized and taken to the task force's office in the 300 block
of South Cypress Street, while Rodela remained in jail this morning, awaiting
a bond hearing before a justice of the peace this afternoon.
Briskets, turkeys sold for holidays by Rotary Club
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 21, 2002 -- The Rotary Club of Pecos is offering smoked
briskets and smoked turkeys for the Christmas season.
Cost of the turkeys is $30 and the briskets are $34. The sale helps support
local projects like the Youth Leadership Program.
Each year, the Rotary Club selects two Pecos youths and pays their expenses
to the week-long leadership camp.
The turkeys and briskets will be delivered on Thursday, Dec. 19.
For more information or to place an order contact, Jim Ivy at 445-3306;
Don Love at 447-7201 or Trey Miller at 445-9000.
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 21, 2002 -- High Wed. 68. Low this morning 37. Forecast
for tonight: Clear. Lows 35 to 40. Light north winds. Fri.: Mostly
sunny. Highs around 70. Light and variable winds becoming SE 5 to 15
mph in the afternoon. Fri. night: Clear. Lows in the upper 30s. Sat.:
Mostly sunny. Highs around 75. Sun.: Sunny in the morning: Becoming
mostly cloudy and cooler in the afternoon. Lows 35 to 40. Highs around
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2002 by Pecos Enterprise