PIERCE, JOHN D.

Name: John D. Pierce
Rank/Branch: Civilian
Unit: Glomar Java Sea
Date of Birth:
Home City of Record:
Date of Loss: 25 October 1983
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates:
Status (in 1973):
Category:
Acft/Vehicle/Ground:
Refno:  5001

Personnel in Incident: Herman Arms; Jerald T. Battiste; Sebe M. Bracey;
Patrick B. Cates; Wei Chen; Xiong Chen; Shu Guo Cheng; Jacob K. J. Chong;
David P. Clifton; James F. Cusick; Thomas J. Dixon; Shao Jien Feng; Jerald
J. Flanagan; Nigel Furness; Leonard E. Ganzinotti; La Juan A. Gilmore; Henry
M. Gittings; James K. Gittings; Terance C. Green; Jun Tian Guan; David
Higgins, Jr.; Tyronne Higgins; Hong Xi Huang; Rui Wen Huang; Yong Liang
Huang; Timothy Jarvis; John W. Jennings Jr.; Thomas J. Kofahl; Fan Xiang
Kong; Guo Zhen Lai; John W. Lawrence; Tong L. T. Lee; Chong Chang Li; Xuan
Qiu Li; Zhan Jun Liang; Jie Feng Lin; Bing Guang Liu; Edgar S. Lim; Gary
Looke; Robert M. McCurry; Jerry L. Manfrida; Raymond D. Miller; Xie Yi Mo;
Tian Xue Mo; Kenneth W. Myers; Larry K. Myers; Donald J. Ouellet; John D.
Pierce; Peter Popiel; Clarence Reed; Jewell J. Reynolds; E.J. Russell
Reynolds; Walter T. Robinson; Kenneth B. Rogers; Lawrence M. Salzwedel;
William R. Schug; Richard E. Shoff; Christopher J. Sleeman; Delmar A.
Spencer; George G. Sullivan; Chong Jian Sun; Gustaf F. Swanson; Kevin C.
Swanson; Guo Dong Tang; Michael W. Thomas; Jiang Wang; Yu Fang Wang; Dong
Cai Wang; Guo Rong Wu; jing Sheng Xia; Xing Xing; Hui Xu; Ming Rui Xu; Mua
Guang Yuan; Xing Zhen Zhang; Yi Hua Zhang; Ji Chang Zhen; Shu Rong Zhou; Yao
Wu Zhou; Jie Fang Zhou; Da Huai Zhu.

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 10 December 1990 from one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.
Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998.

REMARKS:

SYNOPSIS: The 5,930-ton American drilling ship, "Glomar Java Sea" was owned
by Global Marine of Houston, Texas, and leased to Atlantic Richfield Company
(ARCO). In the fall of 1983, the vessel was on duty about 200 miles east of
the Vietnamese coast. The ship was drilling for oil in the South China Sea
in a joint venture of ARCO and China Naitonal Offshore Oil Corporation, a
state-owned concern.

The "Glomar Java Sea" is a sister ship of the "Glomar Explorer," which,
under the guise of being utilized by the late Howard Hughes in a deep sea
mining operation in the Paficic, was really being used by the CIA and Navy
in a $350 million project to retrieve a sunken Soviet Golf-class submarine.
A large part of the submarine was in fact recovered in 1974 before details
of the project were publicly revealed.

The Glomar Java Sea, with its crew of 81, began drilling operations on
January 9, 1983 and was the first American wildcat operaton off the Chinese
coast. On October 25, 1983, the vessel was sunk during Typhoon Lex.

Documents removed from the ship by a crewman before the disaster indicate
that the vessel was being shadowed by armed Vietnamese naval craft and that
there were submarine mines beneath the "Glomar Java Sea," placed there and
retrievable by its crew. Another document indicates that the ship was
damaged prior ot the typhoon when a Chinese supply boat rammed into its
side, causing some $320,000 damage to the vessel. The Glomar Java Sea did
not leave its post for repairs.

Communications between ARCO and Global Marine, as well as telegraphic and
radio communications of the U.S. Western Pacific Rescue Coordination Center
(WESTPAC) reveal information about the search for the crew of the Glomar
Java Sea.

The documents indicate that a number of survivors from the stricken vessel
were floundering in the water off the coast of Vietnam for hours after the
disaster. There is also indication that the men were picked up by Vietnamese
coastal patrols and are held captive of the Hanoi regime.

The crew of the Glomar Java Sea included 37 Americans, 35 Chinese, four
British, two Singaporeans, one Filipino, one Australian, and one Canadian.

From a transcript of a radio communicaton between WESTPAC and Global Marine
on October 28, three days after the sinking, WESTPAC was told:  "We are
informed that the SOS transmission could not have been transmitted except by
human operators..." There were two 64-man lifeboats aboard the drilling
ship, plus smaller lifeboats.

In an October 29 communicaton from WESTPAC to Global Marine, it is clearly
stated that five strobe lights were sighted by rescue aircraft in the
vicinity of 17-30 North 107-45 East. The aircraft were dispatched to the
area because strobe lights had been previously sighted. Lifejackets from the
Glomar Java Sea were equipped with strobe lights to signal rescuers.

Another October 29 communication between ARCO and Global Marine states that
ARCO's search aircraft had spotted survivors in the water at 17.27 North
107.54 East, and had attempted to divert surface vessels to this location.
The communication expressed the urgency to rescue the men before dark.

At 8:01 a.m. on October 29, ARCO had dropped a rescue raft to survivors.
Pickup would be delayed for several hours, but the "Salvanquish," a
Singapore-based salvage ship, was within one half-mile of the site.

At 8:38 a.m search aircraft reported pinpointing the survivors' positions by
dye markers released by the survivors into the water. Two survivors were
confirmed with a possible third some distance away. Plans were also made to
return to the downed vessell to offlift survivors.

Another document shows that on nine different occasions radio transmissions
were picked up from a lifeboat. They ranged from "very strong" to "weak"
with most being described as "strong."

Inexplicably, despite the successful search, no rescue was made of the
survivors. Later that day, the Chinese Navy picked up a Vietnamese broadcast
reporting that the Vietnamese had sighted a lifeboat near their coast. The
location of the lifeboat was not confirmed by friendly search parties.

ARCO-Global Marine determined that this sighting was in the vicinity of Hon
Gio Island, located about 80 miles up the Vietnamese coast from the old U.S.
base at Da Nang and about 14 miles offshore, which placed it in Vietnamese
territorial waters. It appears that rescue craft were hampered in fully
investigating the report due to its location and the hint of possible
interference by the Vietnamese military.

It is likely that survivors would have been picked up by the Vietnamese if
they had in fact drifted within Vietnam's territory.

In the years following the loss of the Glomar Java Sea, a number of reports,
all unconfirmed by the U.S., indicate that survivors were seen in captivity
in Vietnam. It is known that the Vietnamese had shown a hostile interest in
the vessel, and the Glomar Java Sea had standing orders to be alert for
Vietnamese vessels in the area. The Chinese Navy served as protection for
the vessel and stood ready to take action should Vietnamese craft wander too
close. The waters below the vessel were mined.

A month after the Glomar Java Sea went down, Chinese divers went down to the
wreckage and went through the ship with a video cameras.

In March 1984, American divers were able to retrieve 31 bodies from the
sunken vessel. Fifteen of the bodies were identified as Americans. In
addition, three British and one Singaporean were identified. The bodies of
another American and two Chinese were tentatively identified. Divers
photographed two bodies they were unable to retrieve. They also found one of
the Chinese divers that had explored the wreckage in November 1983, lashed
to the deck of the ship.

The American divers determined that one of the ship's large lifeboats was
launched and that an attempt had been made to launch another. Their film was
seen by the mother of one of the lost crewmen. She reported that the crack
in the hull of the ship at one point was a hole 48 inches across, which was
punctured inward, "as though the rig had been hit by something that
exploded." This fueled additional speculation that the vessel had, in fact,
been attacked rather that simply mortally damaged by the typhoon.

The National Transportaton Safety Board officially determined in November
1984 that an "unexplained crack" in the hull of the Glomar Java Sea was
responsible for its sinking during the typhoon. Apparently, the crack in the
hull allowed two storage tanks to fill with water, causing the vessel to
become off-balanced, making it vulnerable to the forces of the typhoon.
Officials believed it was possible that survivors may have been able to
abandon the ship before it sank. It was determined that the ship had been
improperly prepared for the storm.

During 1984, there were reports from Southeast Asia that between six and
twelve survivors of the Glomar Java Sea were being held in prisoner of war
camps in Vietnam. One of the survivors was identified by a Vietnamese
refugee as American crewman John Pierce.

Douglas F. Pierce, father of John Pierce, reported that the refugee had seen
his son, five other Americans and eight Chinese when they were brought into
a prison in Da Nang, where the refugee was being held. John Pierce gave the
refugee his father's business card and two sticks of gum.

Mr. Pierce gave the information to Defense Intelligence Agency who
determined that the refugee had not been in the camp at all, but had
received the business card by mail from a friend, not directly from Pierce.
DIA further determined that the incident had occurred in late October 1983
(shortly after the Glomar Java Sea went down). The refugee gave Mr. Pierce
the original letter, which contained the names and addresses of two mutual
Vietnamese friends.

No followup was conducted on the two names in the letter by DIA, and DIA
discounted the information provided by the refugee. It was not until 1990
that it became apparent that the Defense Department felt no responsibility
for the Americans lost on the Glomar Java Sea. At that time, DIA reported
that the responsibility for these civilians belonged to the U.S. State
Department.

Mr. Pierce did not stop there. He uncovered a U.S. State Department document
that revealed that Cheng Quihong, the secretary and wife of the Director of
China's Visa Office, was overheard telling her companion at a Hong Kong
dinner that survivors from the Glomar had been picked up and were held by
the Vietnamese.

Pierce also learned that a JCRC report sent to DIA dated November 6, 1984,
reported that a former prisoner from Pleiku prison had been held with a
Chinese man who claimed to have been off the Glomar. The man said he was one
of three men who were captured, and that the other two were Americans.

Pierce adds that to his knowledge, neither of these reports were followed up
by U.S. officials, and Pierce has received no reply to his queries regarding
them.

In 1989 a Japanese monk named Yoshida was released from prison after being
held for years by the Vietnamese. Yoshida was shown a photograph of John
Pierce and stated that Pierce looked very familiar, and that he had either
seen him or someone who looked very much like him.

In November, 1990, Vietamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach traveled to
the U.S. and spoke with U.S. officials on a variety of matters. At this
time, he announced that there was a black American named Walter T. Robinson
living illegally in Vietnam, and invited U.S. representatives to come and
help find him. Thach provided a social security number and two photographs.

The Pentagon told "The Washington Times" that the two photographs of
Robinson provided by Thach are of a black man. However, the Pentagon has
since admitted that the photos "are not very well developed" and appear to
be of either a black man or a dark Asian. Photocopies of old newspaper
articles concerning Robinson, obtained by Homecoming II, show a dark-haired
man of relatively dark complexion.

The Pentagon has not released the photographs to the press.

The Defense Department determined that Walter T. Robinson had never been
listed as missing in Vietnam. Thach had provided a social security number,
and according to DOD, this information correlated to a white American living
in the Midwest. They concluded that the Thach information, therefore, was in
error.

Later information indicated that a Walter T. Robinson was listed on the crew
roster of the Glomar Java Sea. When queried, the Defense Department reported
that they were aware of this Robinson, but that civilians were the
responsibility of the State Department.

It seems apparent that the U.S. is not vigorously looking for the men
missing from the Glomar Java Sea, and that like the missing and prisoners
who served in military and civilian capacities during the Vietnam war, they
have been abandoned.

---------------------------------------------
CREWMEN SURVIVED SINKING OF 'GLOMAR JAVA SEA CAPTURE AND IMPRISONMENT
IN VIETNAM COVERED UP

SPECIAL TO U.S. VETERAN - By Charles Baumgartner
1990

According to documents obtained by the U.S. VETERAN NEWS AND REPORT, there
were survivors when the American oil drilling ship, "Glomar Java Sea," sank
in the South China Sea, off the coast of Vietnam, seven years ago. There is
evidence that they were captured by the Vietnamese and are still held by
them.

The 5,930-ton vessel, owned by Global Marine of Houston, Tex., and leased to
Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), sank during a typhoon on October 25, 1983,
about 200 miles east of the Vietnamese coast. The ship was drilling for oil
in the South China Sea in a joint venture of ARCO and the communist
state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp. The ship began drilling
operations on January 9, 1983, and it was the first American wildcat
operation off the Red Chinese coast.

The U.S. VETERAN has obtained a variety of documents, including some internal
communications between ARCO and Global Marine, as well as telegraphic and
radio communications of the U.S. Western Pacific Rescue Coordination Center
(WESTPAC), which coordinated search operations. The documents indicate that a
number of survivors from the stricken vessel were floundering in the water
off the coast of Vietnam for hours after the disaster. There is also some
indication that the men were picked up by Vietnamese coastal patrols and are
held captives of the Hanoi regime.

The U.S. VETERAN has also obtained documents from the "Glomar Java Sea,"
removed by a crewman before the disaster, which indicate that the vessel was
being shadowed by armed Vietnamese naval craft and that there were submarine
mines beneath the "Glomar Java Sea," placed there and retrievable by its
crew. Repeat: Submarine mines, placed beneath a privately-owned oil drilling
ship searching for off-shore oil deposits. Another document from the vessel
indicates that the ship was damaged, prior to the typhoon, when a Red Chinese
supply boat rammed into its side.

In its investigation of the disaster, The U.S. VETERAN has determined from
the documents that radio transmissions were intercepted from a lifeboat,
which was capable of holding 64 survivors. The "Glomar Java Sea" had a crew
of 81 men, including the 37 Americans. The rest of the crew included 35 Red
Chinese, four British, two Singaporeans, one Filipino, one Australian, and
one Canadian.

SOS RECEIVED

From a transcript of a radio communication between WESTPAC and Global Marine
on October 28, three days after the sinking, WESTPAC was told: "We are
informed that the SOS transmission could not have been transmitted except by
human operators, that there was no automatic mechanism for that and therefore
the hypothesis runs that [it] did not come from the capsized [life]boat
[which was located by searchers] but hopefully from another one that does
have people in it . . ." There were two 64-man lifeboats aboard the drilling
ship, plus smaller lifeboats.

In a communication, dated October 29, from WESTPAC to Global Marine, it is
clearly stated: "The aircraft which launched late last night to investigate
the strobe light sightings has returned and we have debriefed the pilot. The
aircraft sighted five (5) strobe lights in the vicinity of the previous
strobe sighting. The exact position was 17-30 North 107-46 East." The
lifejackets from the stricken Global Marine vessel were equipped with strobe
lights to signal rescuers.

Then, there is an internal communication of 6:11 a.m., October 29, between
ARCO and Global Marine: "As of 0909 GMT [9:09 a.m., Greenwich Mean Time] one
of our aircraft involved in the search for the 'Glomar Java Sea' has spotted
survivors in the water at position 17.27N - 107.54E. They have attempted to
divert surface vessels to this location. It is urgent that the ships act
quickly to make a pick up before dark. Urgent that you inform those that can
assist. Please inform us of the intentions of vessels so that we can pass on
to the aircraft. Our aircraft can remain on station until 12:00 GMT . . ."

PLANE DROPPED RAFT

At 8:01 a.m., October 29, ARCO urgently notified Global Marine that it had
"Just talk[ed] to Kadena [WESTPAC headquarters on Okinawa] again. Plane has
dropped raft to survivors. 'Salvanquish' [salvage ship out of Singapore]
within one half mile of site. Apparently at least one survivor in water. Buoy
dropped with 172.75 MHZ [megahertz] signal. There will be lack of aircraft
for next hour and one half and then full coverage again. Special plane now
delayed for 6-8 hours. Present plane in direct contact with 'Salvanquish' . .
."

At 8:38 a.m., Global Marine in Houston received the following urgent message
from ARCO headquarters at Zhanjiang, located on the Luichow Peninsula in Red
China's Kuangtung Province: "We have had GD [ground] contact with the second
plane after it left its station. It reports the following: It found the
survivors because they have deployed their dye markers in the water. Plane
can only confirm two (2) survivors. Possible third in white ring [life
preserver] some distance away."

This seems to confirm a report uncovered by a relative of one of the
Americans aboard the drilling vessel, which we will cover in some detail
further in this article.The message from ARCO at Zhanjiang continues: "Plane
lead SELCO [apparently the Singaporean salvage ship] vessel to survivors was
being approached by ship. New plane is on target. Its call letters are SM288.
S61 [helicopter] is here in Zhanjiang. British pilots want to go back. They
are insisting they have enough hours available if they work tonight. They can
go out to the ship and offlift survivors. EFD will consider this offer after
he sees what is happening. We are not able to contact the new plane. It may
be the distance he is away. Height may be too bad for transmission. We picked
up the other plane when it was 90 minutes east of the site. Situation is
extremely fluid here. Will keep you up on numbers and situation. We are not
able to contact the ship picking up the survivors. So no direct . . ."

FURTHER SIGHTING

There is also a transcript of a radio-telephone conversation between ARCO and
Global Marine officials, in which an ARCO official states: "Plane lead
(unable to understand) two survivors. Plane had to leave just as first
survivors were being approached by ship. New plane is on target. Its call
letters SAREFM288. S-61 (helicopter) is here in Zhanjiang. British pilots
what to go back. They are insisting they have enough hours available if they
work (garbled word) tonight. They can go out to the ship and off-lift
survivors . . ."

Another document shows that on nine different occasions radio transmissions
were picked up from a lifeboat. They ranged from "very strong" to "weak,"
with most being described as "strong."

Further information at this point, as to why the survivors were not picked
up, is not available.

It was also reported that there was "an unconfirmed Vietnamese sighting of a
lifeboat near their coast . . . This unconfirmed sighting is reported by
Chinese Navy from Vietnamese broadcast."

ARCO-Global Marine determined that this sighting was in the vicinity of
probably Hon Gio Island, which is located about 80 miles up the Vietnamese
coast from the old U.S. base at DaNang and about 14 miles offshore, which
placed it in Vietnamese territorial waters. It appears that rescue craft were
hampered in fully investigating the report due to its location and the hint
of possible interference by the Vietnamese military.

It seems likely that the survivors would have been picked up by the
Vietnamese, if they had in fact drifted within Vietnam's territory.

U.S. GOVERNMENT MUM

There have been numerous reports, all unconfirmed according to U.S.
government officials, that survivors have been seen in captivity in Vietnam.

It is known that the Vietnamese had shown an interest in the "Glomar Java
Sea." A member of the ship's crew, who quit his job and left the vessel
before it went down and thus avoided the fate of the others, obtained a
warning message sent to the ship on April 19, 1983. The U.S. VETERAN has
obtained a copy of that message.

It states: "The following telephone to us by Mr. Liu of BSB quote: 'l. 9:05
AM discover that a Vietnamese armed fishing boat about 30 nautical miles away
from 'Glomar Java Sea:' 17 degrees 15 min east [sic]. 2.A Chinese Navy escort
vessel is there. 3. Advise 'Java Sea' by radio to watch the Vietnamese
fishing boat now and then. Not to let it or any fishing boats to come close
to the 'Java Sea.' In case the Vietnamese comes closer our divers should make
preparations to get rid of the submarine mine. 4.The Chinese Navy will take
action if the Vietnamese fishing boat comes nearer. Tell the 'Java Sea' not
to worry. 5.Advise the 'Java Sea' report to Zhanjiang by radio regularly,
especially if anything happens. Unquote."

Two important questions arise here: (1)Why was a privately-owned oil
drilling ship armed with an underwater mine? (2)Was the "Glomar Java Sea" on
some mission other that to just drill for oil?

SHIP DAMAGED

The same crewman also obtained a damage report on the "Glomar Java Sea,"
which indicated that the vessel had been damaged when hit by a Chinese supply
vessel on Aug. 23, 1983. The U.S. VETERAN had obtained a copy of that report,
too. The report stated:

"The supply vessel 'Nanhai 209,' owned and operated by the Peoples Republic
of China, had been maneuvering for approximately 45 minutes to come alongside
our port side. During the four attempts made by 'Nanhai 209' he set his
transom heavily against the 'Java Sea' twice. The last time at about 1145
hrs. and with 'Nanhai' port engine apparently going full astern bucking
square on into 'Java Sea' . . . Side shell plate set in approximately l" to
2" over an approximate 40 foot area between frames 124 and 142 port side.
Various side shell frames set in, tripped and buckled in way of of indent."

It does not appear that the "Glomar Java Sea" ever left the drilling site for
repairs, although the damage was obviously extensive, estimated at $320,000,
according to the report. The question arises as to whether the ship was in a
weakened condition, due to the accident damage, when the typhoon struck.

It should also be noted that the documents about the Vietnamese fishing
boats, submarine mine and accident with the Chinese supply boat apparently
did not surface during official inquiries into the ship's loss.

'UNEXPLAINED' CRACK

The National Transportation Safety Board determined in November, 1984, that
an "unexplained" crack in the hull of the "Glomar Java Sea" was responsible
for its sinking during the typhoon off the Vietnamese coast.

A former high-ranking official of the administration of President Ronald
Reagan, which closely monitored search and rescue efforts for possible
survivors and the subsequent investigation into the cause of the disaster,
told this reporter that it is possible that survivors may have been able to
abandon the vessel before it sank.

The Federal investigators determined that the crack in the hull allowed two
storage tanks to fill with water, causing the vessel to become off-balanced,
making it vulnerable to the forces of Typhoon Lex. The probe was unable to
determine what caused the fracture, but it did rule out corrosion or any
"pre-existing fracture or defect." Sabotage and metal fatigue were also ruled
out.

The board was concerned about the structural failures that led to the
flooding of the tanks and stated there was "a need to review the structural
design of similar drillships." There were at the time five other such vessels
operating around the world.

The board stated that the ship was not overloaded and would have been able to
withstand the effects of the typhoon had the tanks not flooded.

ANCHORED TO BOTTOM

They were critical of the fact that the ship had been anchored to the sea
bottom during the storm, pointing out that the vessel could have better
weathered the typhoon if it had been set free from all but two of its nine
anchors.

The board also said that the failure of the ship's owners and managers to
evacuate non-essential personnel contributed to the large loss of life.

Red Chinese officials pointed out during the probe that ARCO officials based
in Red China took lightly Chinese warnings to "move off the well location and
go to shelter." One Red Chinese company official explained that ARCO managers
of the vessels had not taken any "measures for the vessel to prepare for the
typhoon because it is no typhoon, it is only a gale."

In March, 1984, American divers were able to retrieve 31 bodies from the
sunken vessel. Fifteen of the bodies were identified as Americans. In
addition, three British and one Singaporean seaman were also identified. The
bodies of another American and ten Chinese were possibly identified. Divers
took photographs of two bodies that they were unable to retrieve.

A month after the ship sank, a Red Chinese diving company went down to the
wreckage. They went through the ship with a video camera. When American
divers went down the following March, it has been reported that they found
one of the Chinese divers lashed to the deck of the ill-fated ship.

The American divers did determine that one of the ship's large lifeboats was
launched for certain and that an attempt was made to launch another.

The American divers' film of the wreck was seen by the mother of one lost
crewman. She indicated that the crack in the hull of the ship at one point
was a hole 48 inches across, which was punctured inward, "as though the rig
had been hit by something that exploded."

The U.S. VETERAN has obtained a copy of the diving report, which indicates
that "an unidentified black substance [was] observed on the sideshell near
the fracture at Frame #91, below the original waterline. Global Marine has
possession of these samples."

REPORTS OF CAPTIVES

In 1984, there were reports from Southeast Asia that between six and twelve
survivors of the "Glomar Java Sea" were being held in prisoner of war camps
in Vietnam. One of the survivors was identified by a Vietnamese refugee in
the Philippines as crewman John Pierce.

Here is how Pierce's father, Douglas F. Pierce, describes that sighting:

"On June 4, 1984, I received a letter from Nguyen Hun Chanh, a Vietnamese
refugee in a refugee camp in the Philippines, stating that he had seen my son
and five other Americans and eight Chinese, when they were brought into a
prison in Da Nang, where he was being held. My son gave him my business card,
with my name and address, and two pieces of gum. My son and the others, he
said, were taken away to Hanoi.

"I gave this information to the DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency] and, from
their subsequent interview of this man, found that, while he (Chanh) had not
actually been in Da Nang prison and actually seen my son, his information had
come from a letter he had received from a trusted friend, who was in the Da
Nang prison, who had seen my son and the others brought there, and that this
had occurred in late October of 1983 (shortly after the 'Glomar' sinking)."

It should be noted at this point in Pierce's story that, as reported in
various radio messages previously noted, survivors were reported near Hon Gio
Island, near Da Nang, the site of the prison where Chanh reported that the
prisoners were taken by the Vietnamese.

Pierce continues: "Chanh gave those interviewing him a Xerox copy of the
friend's letter. The original he sent to me. The friend's letter contained
the addresses of two mutual friends, Vietnamese I presume, one in Canada,
plus my name and address as taken from the card my son had given him. Chanh
explained that his letter to me, in which he had said that he had seen my
son, was not written to deceive me, but was an effort to protect his friend,
who was a prisoner-at-large in Vietnam, a most understandable reason.

"No matter. Based on this, his story was completely discounted [by DIA], in
spite of his producing his friend's letter, and no follow-up was made of the
other two Vietnamese [by DIA], whose addresses were set forth in the letter,
including the one in Canada to whom the friend had also written about the
incident, and who had also written Chanh.

"I, and a friend of mine, met with Chanh, after he and his family were
finally allowed to come to the States. Immediately following the meeting, he
and his family disappeared, and I have not been able to locate him since."

NEVER FOLLOW-UPS

Pierce provides additional evidence:

"According to a State Department document, at a dinner in Hong Kong on
December 3, 1983, attended by two of our consulate members, Cheng Qihong, the
secretary and wife of the Director of China's Visa Office, was overheard
telling her companion, in Mandarin, that survivors from the 'Glomar' had been
picked up and were being held by the Vietnamese. From my own subsequent
investigation, I learned she was also high up in China's intelligence
community. To my knowledge, no one questioned her about her statement, nor
has there ever been any follow-up with China about this. During one of my
trips to China, seeking information about my son, I was told by the Deputy
Director of NAMHAI that the Vietnamese were holding survivors of the
'Glomar.' He did not tell me the source or basis of his information."

And Pierce has uncovered more:

"In a JCRC [Joint Casualty Resolution Center] report sent to, among others,
DIA, dated November 6, 1984, it was reported that a former prisoner from
Pleiku prison stated that, while in prison, he had been held with a Chinese
man who claimed to have been off the 'Glomar.' He said he was one of three
people from the ship who were captured, and that the other two were
Americans."

Again, it should be noted here, that the report cited by Pierce is of three
prisoners from the 'Glomar,' the same number as reported by the aircraft in
the previously mentioned radio messages from search and rescue craft.

Pierce continues:

"Again, to my knowledge, no follow-up of any kind was made on this, even
though, obviously, the names and addresses of the people involved were known
to the JCRC 'source.' Please note that the Chinese man did not say that the
two Americans, captured with him from off the ship, were with him in the
prison at Pleiku. I have requested information necessary for me to arrange to
conduct a discreet interview in the Pleiku area, if the DIA, or others, are
not doing so. To date, I have had no reply."

RECENT EVIDENCE

Another intriguing story involves a Japanese monk, held for years by the
Vietnamese and who was released in 1989 to relate having encountered American
POWs and MIAs while he was in captivity.

As usual, the DIA has pooh-poohed his story, too, writing him off as senile
and having lost his mental stability.

In any case, Pierce states: 

"Lastly, regarding the Japanese monk, Yoshida, I, originally, requested of
the State Department that he be shown a picture of my son. Unbelievable as it
may sound, the response was that a picture of my son would confuse him.
Through private channels, I arranged to get Yoshida's address and wrote to
him directly. His daughter explained my letter to him and showed him my son's
picture. On seeing the picture of my son, he said that, while he could not be
100 percent positive (most understandable), he looked very familiar, and that
he had seen him, or someone very much like him. Even though it is true that
he is ill, his daughter does not question what he said." Pierce has been
trying to get the House Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs,
chaired by Rep. Stephen Solarz (D-NY), to conduct an investigation of the
"Glomar Java Sea" episode.

Solarz, however, has shown no apparent interest in the case.