Weather appears clear; 'Ear-witnesses' heard on tape describing sounds leading to crash
UPDATE: Audio interview with OH attorney who recently deposed Connell, asked for his protection from AG, in election fraud case...
By Brad Friedman on 12/23/2008, 10:34am PT  

I'm not sure what, if any, light this video --- as shot by local eye and ear-witnesses in Akron, OH --- sheds on the plane crash and death of high-ranking GOP IT operative Mike Connell. But, as it may reveal something, to somebody, in the still-unexplained, and surprisingly-timed crash, I suppose it may useful to put it on the record here.

For example, despite scattered reports that bad weather may have contributed to the cause of the crash, the weather seems to have been clear, at least on the ground, at least by the time the witnesses arrived, as seen in the video. Reports of "mist" seem to be belied in the early part of the video, shot through the front window of the car which does not appear to have its windshield wipers on. [UPDATE: RAW STORY also reports weather data during the hour of the crash, noting visibility was clear, and temperatures just above freezing.] Also, several descriptions of what was heard by the "ear-witnesses" as the crash occurred, may be of value as well.

The video, and an audio interview with OH attorney Cliff Arnebeck, who had sought Connell's protection after reported threats from Karl Rove, follow below...


VelvetRevolution.us' Emily Levy, who pointed the footage out to me, wrote: "This is disturbing for a couple of reasons at least. One is just that it shows ten minutes of the fire, in which we now know Connell's body was burning up. The second is that there's no concern expressed for the pilot or any passengers by the guys doing the filming. Near the beginning they refer to it as 'awesome.'"

Of course, as the folks who were video-taping drove to the scene and described the noise as "awesome," they didn't necessarily know what they were going to find when they got there, which was burning wreckage, eventually attended to by the fire department, as also seen in the video. Connell, as the pilot of the small single engine plane, was the only passenger on board.

[UPDATE: A number of readers have noted that the voice on the video says "that was awful," as opposed to "awesome." After several close listens, they do seem to be saying "awful." But it's a tough call. Decide for yourself. It's right at the beginning of the tape.]

Our original story on the crash is here. Our followup post, an exclusive interview with Cliff Arnebeck, the attorney who had subpoenaed Connell as part of a federal election fraud conspiracy case in OH (and had asked for protection for Connell from both the U.S. and OH Attorneys General after tipsters reported threats to Connell by Karl Rove) is here. Both stories offer links to previous BRAD BLOG coverage of the case involving Connell.

NOTE: Arnebeck, whom we also interviewed on last night's Peter B. Collins Show (I'll try to post the audio shortly) is also scheduled to be on this evening's Lou Dobbs' Tonight on CNN to discuss the crash and the Connell case.

UPDATE: Here's the audio from last night's PBC Show. I've broken it into two halves to make it easier to download/listen. Of most note, at least to me, were the comments from Arnebeck (which RAW STORY's Larisa Alexandrovna, who joined us in the first part of the hour, also referred to when she was on) about Connell's attorneys being unwilling to confirm or deny the reports of threats to Connell by Karl Rove, but their insistence on any questions about such threats being sealed in the deposition that he was compelled by a federal judge to give on 11/3/08. I tried to press Arnbeck on that point as much as I could, and on the possibilities of unsealing that portion of the depo, now that Connell is dead, near the end of the interview...

Brad w/ Peter B. and RAW STORY's Larisa Alexandrovna. Download MP3 or listen online (appx 19 mins)...

Brad w/ Peter B. and attorney Cliff Arnebeck. Download MP3 or listen online (appx :23 mins)...