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.