Helicopter Above Murrah at the Moment of the OKC Bombing

Patrick Briley
August 2, 2005



On the morning of April 19 1995 a helicopter hovered near and then over the Murrah building before and after it was bombed at 9:02 am. Several very reliable witnesses told me they saw this helicopter above the Murrah building.

At a time when the public was being asked in OKC to call the FBI with leads about the bombing, I called the FBI offices in OKC on April 21, 1995 and asked to speak with an FBI agent to tell him about the helicopter and the witnesses. FBI agent Dan Vogel took my call and I fully identified myself to him with my name. I spoke about one sentence to agent Vogel about the helicopter witnesses when Vogel ended the call by telling me that the FBI would NOT be pursuing the helicopter information and by abruptly hanging up the telephone.

The one sentence I did tell Vogel was that I knew of several reliable witnesses who had seen a helicopter near and above the Murrah building before and after the Murrah bombing. I was not given the opportunity by Vogel to describe the helicopter or tell him who the witnesses were by name before he abruptly hung up on me. And if I had been given the chance I would have suggested to Vogel that the FBI track down who was flying the helicopter to find out what they saw and who they were.

But Vogel and the FBI clearly did NOT want to know or investigate. And neither Vogel nor anyone else from the FBI ever called me back about the story. The FBI knew how to reach me and Vogel knew who I was. Vogel knew who I was not only because I gave him my name but also because his wife Dee Vogel had worked with my wife for over ten years and my wife had taught his son Adam Vogel at Deer Creek High School near OKC.

FBI agent Dan Vogel did not even want this information from me on April 21, 1995 and he NEVER called me back. Believe me, he knows me. I him gave my name when I called and I explained to him then that my wife worked with his wife for over 10 years and also taught his son in high school.

My helicopter witnesses included a 32-year veteran of Air Force intelligence and a lady with a commanding view in a corporate skyscraper, the Kerr McGee building in downtown OKC.

Another helicopter witness was OKC resident Debbie Burdick who went to the FBI on the morning of the OKC bombing and told them of seeing McVeigh and John Does in McVeigh’s yellow Mercury, a brown Chevy truck and a blue Cavalier parked in line north of the Murrah building. Burdick said the men were looking up at a helicopter over the Murrah building just moments before the Murrah building was bombed.

Debbie Burdick was also threatened by FBI agent Odom from Denver twice, during and after the federal bombing trials, not to go to the press or to attorneys with her story. Burdick was asked by Odom to the effect, “You do not want to harm America by revealing your story, do you? But as a result of Burdick’s information three Middle Eastern men, Anis and Asad Siddiqy and Mohammed Chafti in the blue cavalier also associated with the 1993 WTC bombing were arrested on the day of the OKC bombing and then later released by direct intervention of the FBI.

KFORTV reporter Brad Edwards told me in 1995 that he had a military veteran friend who served in Viet Nam that also observed the helicopter near and above the Murrah building.

OKCPD K-9 unit officer Don Browning investigated the helicopter story and has said that the FAA in OKC also knew of the helicopter’s presence. Browning has also said he believes from his investigation that the helicopter was used to track the bombing operation as it unfolded.

Former OK Governor Frank Keating did a taped interview with FOX news reporter Rita Cosby in 1995 in which Keating acknowledged but ridiculed and downplayed the helicopter story. This taped interview was played on Fox in other states but was blacked out in OKC. I have a copy of the interview.

General Benton Partin has said he viewed a photo taken from a helicopter above the Murrah building at the time of and just within seconds of the Murrah bombing. General Partin has also said the photo was shown to Partin by John Culbertson.

An OKC bombing victim family member had videotape showing a helicopter above the Murrah building at the time of the bombing. An OK sheriff filmed the videotape. The victim family member loaned the tape to John Culbertson who has never returned the tape. The family member also has said that they are unable to obtain another copy ot the videotape from the OK sheriff.

John Culbertson who took the family member tape is the same man who provided a photo Partin says was taken of the Murrah explosion from a helicopter. John Culbertson worked directly for former Congressman James Traficant for several years while Culbertson was collecting evidence from OKC bombing victims, investigators and witnesses that Culbertson has never returned.

Some may say that there are helicopters flying over major cities every day of the week and that this could explain the helicopter sighting on the morning of April 19, 1995.

But only one in a hundred trillion helicopters with a specific purpose in mind would ever hover above a building as it is blown up and then still hang around to take pictures like what happened on April 19, 1995 at the Murrah building in OKC. There was only ONE helicopter at the scene in OKC that morning doing this, not several that would have just been inadvertently flying nearby on a normal day and that would have fled the scene because of the force of the blast.

And why did the FBI refuse to investigate all the witness claims of the helicopter to learn something that might have been of value in the investigation of the OKC bombing? Many witnesses went to the FBI with these claims and were brusquely rebuffed and ignored by the FBI and the Oklahoma governor Frank Keating.

This helicopter story is another example among numerous other examples pointing to the intentional mishandling and cover up of OKC bombing investigation by the federal officials.

© 2005 Patrick Briley - All Rights Reserved


Patrick Briley is a Navy Viet Nam era veteran who served on a Polaris ballistic missile nuclear submarine patrol in the Pacific." My Polaris submarine patrol in the Pacific was in far East Asia near China but I can not elaborate any more than that other than to say it was very special, historically significant and exceptionally dangerous.

Briley was chosen to work under Admiral Rickover at Naval Reactors. He volunteered for Naval service from 1968 to 1976 during the Viet Nam era including being in Naval ROTC, a batallion commander of my ROTC unit and a Midshipman on board the ballistic missile submarine, SSBN 624, the Woodrow Wilson, as well as serving at Naval Reactors in DC for Admiral Rickover.

Patrick started research and investigation into terrorist attacks after the Oklahoma City bombing. Pat submitted his findings concerning the OKC bombing and the 9-11 attacks in briefings to high-level staff for the Senate Judiciary and Senate and House Intelligence committees, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, and the 9-11 Commission.

E-Mail: pbriley [at] yahoo [dot] com

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