Sydney Australia 1985
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"THE SUN" Australia, Friday March 8, 1985

N-SHIP "BOMBED"
"KITE" MAN HELD IN HARBOUR DRAMA

By PETER O'DONNELL and JOHN BILIC

IN AN astonishing breach of security an anti-nuclear demonstrator flying a motorized hang-glider was able to aim a series of dye-bombs at the American warship USS Buchanan today. The ultra-light plane had followed the nuclear warship as she steamed out of Sydney Harbour. The Police said that shortly before 10AM the 26-year-old pilot flew over and dropped a number of yellow dye bombs. None hit the target. After the attempt to hit the ship the man landed his aircraft in the water near Watsons Bay before he leapt into a black sedan. But he was dramatically arrested by a policeman who leapt from a launch, swam ashore, commandeered a passing utility and then gave chase through eastern suburbs. The incident is embarrassing to the government. Security for the ship was tight - but only at water level. Navy, customs and maritime services board craft and kept dozens of protest craft at by. The Buchanan and the USS John Young had been anchored at Garden Island since Monday. When they pulled out of the dock this morning a number of demonstrators chanting slogans gathered at Mrs. Macquarie's Chair. As they steamed towards the Heads waterborne-protestors began to shadow the giant warships.Then the hang glider appeared, first at about 100 meters. After today's flying assault, one officer said it appeared the plane was bought only yesterday especially for the protest. "It definitely looks like it was set up," he said.

Senior Constable Glenn Johns, a member of the Police Diving Section, was the officer aboard the launch Shell Cove who chased the protestor when he saw the modorised hang glider land in water at Watsons Bay. Snr Cons Johns jumped out of the boat and swam ashore before chasing the man on foot A young woman was driving the black sedan which was waiting for him. The car drove off at high rate of speed through the streets of Watsons Bay. Snr Cons Johns stopped a young man in a passing utility vehicle and started chasing the protester  When he noticed a Maritime Services Board vehicle he got into the MSB car and was able to call for other officers. The chase continued until the black sedan was stopped at the cliff tops at South Head. The arrested protester was taken to the HMAS Watson navel base at Watsons Bay. He is now being questioned by police, The Federal Department of Aviation has also launched an investigation into the incident. They are concerned with any possible violations of air zone regulations.


The American destroyers have been the subject of protests by various disarmament parties in Sydney this week. American authorities still have not said whether the ships are loaded with nuclear weapons or not. The Buchanan and the USS John Young left Sydney to take part in exercises off the NSW coast with the Australian and Canadian Navies.

 

Buchanan in Sidney Harbor 1985 Photo Thanks to Jeff Koon

Allies are attaching the US

Guest Column/Randy Hertzman

Since the beginning of February, a major issue has been haunting US foreign policy makers: our reaction to New Zealand's position banning port calls by nuclear armed or propelled ships.

The ramifications are far deeper than a military realignment in the Pacific; portents of a major shift in international attitudes toward military power are rising above the superpower horizon. Will the United States be ready for radically new attitudes on the part of our allies regarding world security?

The events that are bringing forth such a frightened reaction from Washington are at first sight not very earthshaking.

In July of 1984, Prime Minister David Lange's Labor party was swept into power in New Zealand on a platform promising a nuclear-free New Zealand. The United States government received private reassurances from Labor Party officials, however, that New Zealand would not look too closely at any US ship that paid a port call.

Washington waited six months, until January of 1985, to request permission for a port call by a US Navy ship. The visit was viewed as a test case by Washington; the Navy deliberately assigned the USS Buchanan, a conventionally-powered destroyer, to the mission.

The Buchanan was, however, nuclear-capable. In keeping with standard US policy, the State Department declined to disclose whether the ship was in fact armed with nuclear weapons.

On February 1, New Zealand denied the Buchanan permission to visit. Reagan administration officials immediately cancelled the "Sea Eagle" naval exercises, one of a series (twenty-two in 1985) of joint Australian-New Zealand-United States naval exercise planned by the Pacific Council, set up by the ANZUS treaty of 1951.

Australian Prime Minister Robert Hawke, in Washington by coincidence, agreed to hold joint US-Australian naval exercises as a substitute for the cancelled "Sea Eagle," but stated that his government would retain cordial relationships and a military alliance with New Zealand, the latter's anti-nuclear policy notwithstanding.

Washington took New Zealand's action very seriously. Congress discussed political or economic sanctions; the State Department considered expelling New Zealand from the ANZUS alliance. It announced after some consideration that it would defer such a drastic move until the Pacific Council's annual meeting in Canberra, Australia in July.

New Zealand continuously reiterated its earnest desire to maintain friendly relationships, economically, politically, and militarily. Two weeks ago, however, Washington categorically rejected the Wellington government's proposed compromise, in which Lange would decide in each case whether a US ship carried nuclear arms, without asking the US Navy. Last Saturday, Washington gave the ultimatum to New Zealand: accept nuclear weapons or be expelled from ANZUS.

New Zealand refused to budge. "If the ANZUS treaty requires us to accept nuclear weapons, then it is the treaty which is the obstacle to the maintenance of good relations between New Zealand and the United States," Lange explained in a speech in Christchurch.

What so frightens Washington that it is willing to alienate one of the United States' closest and most loyal friends? Militarily, New Zealand would be hurt much more than the United States by the breaking of ANZUS. The New Zealand armed forces, in their entirety, are composed of 12,700 men, 4 frigates, 6 patrol boats, and seven Navy helicopters, little augmenting the US forces in the Pacific.

New Zealand is not important to the United States as a military base; Australia and our Pacific possessions are quite sufficient. Furthermore, the Soviet Union has shown little interest in the South Pacific.

The rationale behind the Administration's brutal reaction to this small sign of independent-mindedness from New Zealand becomes clearer when one considers the political repercussions of New Zealand's actions.

Washington has been increasingly worried about the anti-nuclear, anti-US public opinion growing in Western Europe. If other nations were to follow New Zealand's precedent, US military interests could be seriously harmed.

For example, Japan has had a long-standing policy prohibiting nuclear weapons in its territory. In the past, it has never questioned whether US ships carried nuclear weapons. The Administration is greatly worried that Japan might begin enforcement of this policy if New Zealand succeeds in thwarting the desires of the US.

More importantly, anti-nuclear movements in Western European countries such as Belgium, West Germany, and Great Britain have been gaining power and recognition. With the West German government seriously weakened by the repercussions from the recent wave of defections to East Germany, the West German Social Democratic party, much more amenable than the current Bonn government to anti-nuclear public protest, might well gain power. The US defense policy is entirely dependent on a cooperative West Germany.

The Administration feels, perhaps justly, that the New Zealand movement could be the start of a wave of betrayals which could leave the United States isolated on the world scene. This explains the harsh attempts to crush the New Zealand stance before other allies follow New Zealand's example.

Unfortunately for the current state of affairs, the United States has few options, short of an invasion of New Zealand, which will reverse that island's position. New Zealand has already stated that the breaking of ANZUS will not sway its position.

The effects of economic sanctions, such as ending preferential treatment of lamb and wool imports from New Zealand, or releasing onto the world market government surpluses of dairy products to compete with New Zealand's principal exports, are uncertain at best. There is, likely, no action that will cause New Zealand to reverse its position.

So what can the United States do to prevent the serious weakening of its defense that would follow the "defection" of more countries to the peaceniks? The answer: absolutely nothing. We must, instead, address the cause of the peace movement, restructuring our foreign policy so that we no longer appear so threatening to our allies.

Specifically, we must begin to cooperate with our allies in international policy, instead of dominating them. We must also begin to negotiate with the Soviet Union in good faith, as we promised in the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Only in such a manner can we regain the trust of our allies and prevent the crumbling of our defense establishment.

Last Saturday the Soviets issued a proposal offering nuclear arms cuts of up to 50 percent. This provides a heaven-sent opportunity to begin a shift of attitude towards our allies. The United States's botching of this chance would greatly strain our credibilty with our allies, and further hasten the day when New Zealand's rejection of United States military policy is propagated across the capitals of Europe.

More than weapons cuts, then, is riding on the United States' reaction to the Soviet initiative. The governments and peoples of Western Europe are watching us very closely; we disappoint them at our own peril.

Options: Look at other stories in this issue, send us a comment, or return to our home page.

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Copyright 1985 by The Tech. All rights reserved.
This story was published on  Tuesday,  October 1, 1985.
Volume 105, Number 38
The story was printed on page  5.
This article may be freely distributed electronically,
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DAILY MIRROR, Australia Friday March 8, 1985

 

PLANE "BOMBS" U.S. SHIP Sydney Harbor protest drama

Pilot arrested – An anti-nuclear protest plane "bombed" the USS Buchanan as she left Sydney Harbor today.

The ultra-light plane swooped on the destroyer and dropped a container of yellow paint from an altitude of 35 meters - and missed.

The Buchanan was one of 13 warships leaving for Exorcise Flying Fish off Jervis Bay.

She was second in line behind the Royal Australian Navy guided missile destroyer Bisbane, followed by another American destroyer, The John Young.

The plane almost collided with a channel nine news helicopter as it began its bombing run.

The pilot then flew to Camp Cove where he landed a few meters from the beach.

In dramatic scenes the pilot wearing an orange jump suit and red helmet leapt into the water and waded ashore, hotly pursued by a policeman from a water police launch.

RACE

In a scene resembling an iron man race the pilot sprinted up the beach followed by the policeman.

A getaway car was waiting but the pilot was later intercepted by police who took him for questioning to Rose Bay police station.

The Mirror found two men hastily dismantling the aircraft about 20 minutes after the attack on Buchanan.

"The pilot’s gone – but you can make him an offer for his story if you like" one of them said.

" The worst they can get the pilot for is vandalism and trying to paint the warship yellow" he said.

The 4547-tonne Buchanan and the 8100-tonne The John Young have been the targets for protests since they sailed in Sydney Harbor on Monday.

Protesters claimed the Buchanan was carrying nuclear weapons.

Sydney, Australia Newspaper Date Late April 1985

 

Protesters fail to stop

U.S. warship in Sydney

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) – Anti-nuclear protesters in a dozen small boats tried to surround and halt two arriving U.S. warships Monday, but they were driven off by police who rammed their vessels and then pushed them away with grappling hooks.

The protesters yelled obscenities at sailors aboard the guided missile destroyer Buchanan and the destroyer John Young as they drew alongside the warships in their small boats.

Several nuclear protest groups had vowed to prevent the U.S. ships from entering the harbor at Sydney, and Australian authorities were prepared for them.

The ships arrived about 20 minutes apart, and marine police guided them through the protesters, using long hooks to shove away boats that got too close. They are due to remain in Sydney until Friday, and then leave with Australian warships to take part in a navel exercise code named "Flying Fish".

Two members of the Greenpeace environmental group wee arrested by police after they cut across the bow of Buchanan, police said. The Nuclear Disarmament Party and People for Nuclear Disarmament also took part in the protest.

About 100 more anti-nuclear protesters with banners and flags greeted the ships when they arrived at the Garden Island navy dockyard. The protesters say they will maintain a constant vigil until the warships leave.

The anti-nuclear groups said the warships should be banned because they are capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Both ships are conventionally powered.

"It is really horrifying to think that our government permits this. They actually welcome these ships into our harbor," said Gillian Fisher, a spokeswoman for the protesters.

Capt. Stephen Jones, commanding officer of the Buchanan, conformed to U.S. policy by refusing to say if the two destroyers were carrying nuclear weapons. The protest did not sause any problems, he said.

"The reception in the harbor was interesting," he said. "They (the protesters) were generally peaceful for the most part".

DAILY TELEGRAGH, Australia Saturday, March 9, 1085

 

Paint bomber has no regrets

By CAMBELL REID

THE dare-devil pilot who bombed the American destroyer USS Buchanan with paint missiles from an ultra-light aircraft had no regrets, he declared last night.

Dean Jeffreys, 27, declares: " I only wish I had three bombs instead of two.

Jeffreys flew over the guided missile destroyer as it steamed out of Sydney Harbor in convoy with Austrailian warships early yesterday.

He said he had been planning the bomb flight since he heard the nuclear-capable US ships were visiting Sydney.

Jeffreys could face as many as nine charges in the wake of his dramatic stunt.

Last night, Sydney police had charged him with flying an aircraft in a restricted airspace and dropping objects from the craft.

Jeffreys, a farmer from Nambucca Heads on the NSW north coast was released on bail to appear in Waverly Court Monday.

Yellow fountain

Onlookers watched in astonishment yesterday as the pilot made two diving sweeps over the warship and dropped canisters towards its deck.

Both bombs missed the target.

But the second sent up a fountain of yellow paint as it hit the water only centimeters from the ships side.

The pilot was arrested by police divers at Camp Cove after he had abandoned his plane and attempted to make a getaway by car.

He was taken to Rose Bay police station where he was interviewed for several hours before being taken to Waverly station and charged.

Jeffreys bought the aircraft less than 24 hours before the bomb stunt from a cameraman employed by the new ABC current Affairs program, The National.

Police yesterday questioned the man who sold the kite to Jeffreys.

Last night the detective investigating the incident, Det-Sgt Tom Sanford said he would take legal steps to obtain ABC footage on the flight if necessary.

But the editor of The National, Mr. Ian Carroll, said last night no arrangement had been made between the pilot and his program.

He said Jeffreys had negotiated to buy the aircraft for some time but only agreed on the price on Thursday night.

Mr. Carroll said a freelance photographer had taken footage of Jeffreys before the flight began and film had been offered by someone other than Jeffreys for quite a large sum of money to several television stations.

"We refused to pay for it" Mr. Carroll said.

When The Daily Telegraph spoke to Jeffreys before police charged him he said he had given his story exclusively to The National.

 

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