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Why Do The USFS & DFFM Continue To Cowardly Hide Behind Lies & Deceit Re: PNF June 30, 2013, Videos?

Fred J. Schoeffler primary author, Joy A. Collura, and Wants To Know The Truth (WTKTT) as contributing authors


This preferred Title replaces the Wix website size constraints version - Why Do The USFS and The AZ Department of Forestry and Fire Management (DFFM) continue To Cowardly Hide Behind Deceit, Lies, and Omissions Regarding the Prescott NF June 30, 2013, Videos?

 

In addition to the DFFM Prescott NF June 30, 2013, Videos Public Records, the authors include numerous mentions and documentations of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Aerial Firefighting Utilization and Effectiveness (AFUE) Study videos (and lack thereof) 'mystery' as well within this post; because it complements and corroborates the ongoing, shameful machinations surrounding this epic wildland fire tragedy.

 

Views expressed to "the public at large” and "of public concern"


DISCLAIMER: Please fully read the front page of the website (link below) before reading any of the posts ( www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com )


The authors and the blog are not responsible for misuse, reuse, recycled, and cited, and/or uncited copies of content within this blog by others. The content even though we are presenting it public if being reused must get written permission in doing so due to copyrighted material. Thank you.


Abbreviations used below: Wildland Firefighters (WFs) - Firefighters (FFs).

 


These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. Proverbs 6:16-19 (KJV)


"Our difficulties and our dangers will not be removed by closing our eyes to them." Winston Churchill


Figure 1. Screenshot image of Prescott NF (PNF) overhead J. Clawson, K.C. Yowell, and A. Hulburd vehicles heading East on Hays Ranch Rd. (towards Yarnell) at + eight (8) seconds into the USFS AFUE Panebaker video on June 30, 2013, at 4:12:57 PM (16:12:57) Source: USFS AFUE, YouTube, WTKTT


WTKTT video (PNF-employees-at-YHF) introduction: "Various photos from the public evidence record of Prescott National Forest ( PNF ) employees Jason Clawson, Aaron Hulburd, and KC 'Bucky' Yowell working at the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013. Includes photos of the vehicles each one was driving that day. PNF employee Aaron Hulburd is the one who actually filmed all of the 'Helmet Cam' videos that were eventually released. Clawson, Hulburd, and Yowell also actively participated in the 'ground rescue' mission following the deployment, even though they were actually just 'freelancing' that afternoon and had no 'official' fire command assignments."


Figure 2. Screenshot image YouTube video (Prescott NF (PNF) overhead J. Clawson, K.C. Yowell, and A. Hulburd vehicles heading East on Hays Ranch Rd. (towards Yarnell) at + eight (8) seconds into the USFS AFUE Panebaker video on June 30, 2013, at 4:12:57 PM (16:12:57) Source: USFS AFUE, YouTube, WTKTT

 

A lie is a lie. A white lie is a lie. A half-truth is a lie. A hidden truth is a lie. A lie by omission is a lie. A lie is a lie. (QuotesGram - Anonymous)

 

Consider now an email thread between the author and Wendi Goen, with the AZ State Library Archives and Public Records regarding archived Prescott National Forest (PNF) recordings that were supposed to be archived there in their archive library. However, they are no longer available on their website as you will see below. You will only see this "Video unavailable. This video is private" error message from the links below in Figure 3. (all emphasis added unless otherwise noted)


Figure 3. AZ State Forestry (DFFM) Archive Records error message. Source: AZ Forestry

These videos (below) have ALL been pre-edited and allegedly truncated at the front side and backside to exclude additional footage and audio that Hulburd recorded that day. Unfortunately, that will be unlikely for the time being because they were censored by the AZ State Archives Group.


"Wendi Goen

Sep 15 2021, 04:14pm via System

"Hello Fred, "If these are records held by the US Forest Service, you need to contact either the US Forest Service or the National Archives. The State Archives does not maintain US Forest Service records. Any documents received as part of a FOIA request [Freedom of Infomation Request] would be under the custody of the Federal Government. Please contact either the US Forest Service or the National Archives. The Federal government is the custodian of those records so you must contact them for access. "Best- Wendi Goen"


Original Question (from the author)

Sep 15 2021, 03:47pm via System

"Yarnell Hill Fire (YHF) videos

"The AZ State Forestry (DFFM) YHF video links state that these videos are "Video unavailable. This video is private." These videos were publicly available on the DFFM website about two months ago, and they came from this website. ( https://dffm.az.gov/new-video-clips )

"They stated that their YHF videos were transferred to the AZ State Archives Library website because of a 'five-year retention.' I called the AZ Archive Library and they (Dan) said they have no such videos on file and to go to the 'ask a question' tab." "Here are the text and video links on the AFFM website: "Newly Acquired Yarnell Hill Video - On November 7, 2014, the following video clips were received by Arizona State Forestry through a Freedom of Information Act request to the US Forest Service. To be transparent with the public, the videos are presented exactly as they have been received. The redactions were done before these videos came into the possession of Arizona State Forestry." (emphasis added)

"File Links:

"0630131532 (link is external) [embedded links provided in each of these]

0630131533 (link is external)

0630131534 (link is external)

M2U00261 (link is external)

M2U00262 (link is external)

M2U00263 (link is external)

M2U00264 (link is external)

M2U00265 (link is external) Previously Released

M2U00266R (link is external)

M2U00267 (link is external)

M2U00268 (link is external)

M2U00269 (link is external)

M2U00270 (link is external)

M2U00271 (link is external)

M2U00272 (link is external)

M2U00273R (link is external)

M2U00274 (link is external)

M2U0075 (link is external)

M2U0076R (link is external)

M2U0077R (link is external)

M2U0078 (link is external)""


"Arizona State Forestry has not received any identifying or clarifying information from the Forest Service. "These are PUBLIC RECORDS dealing with a historical wildfire fatality event where 19 GMHS were killed. Where are the videos being held? "Please provide me with these PUBLIC RECORDS. Thank you and best regards, Fred Schoeffler

"From: doug fir

To: Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records

Cc: XXXXX

Bcc: XXXX

Wed, Sep 15 at 5:45 PM


"Good afternoon Wendi,


"Thank you for your prompt response. Some clarification is in order initially.


"The AZ State Forestry (DFFM) website link ( https://dffm.az.gov/new-video-clips ) clearly states:


"On November 7, 2014, the following video clips were received by Arizona State Forestry through a Freedom of Information Act request to the US Forest Service. To be transparent with the public, the videos are presented exactly as they have been received. The redactions were done before these videos came into the possession of Arizona State Forestry." (emphasis added)


"I contacted Tiffany at the DFFM and was directed to the AZ State Archive where Dan told me to contact your AZ Archive Library office through the 'Ask a Question' option. My question is below.


"These videos at the above DFFM link were available publically two months ago. ( https://dffm.az.gov/new-video-clips ) See the attached Snippet for these video clips.


"When we seek these now, all we get are these error messages (below) stating they are 'unavailable' and 'private.' Check each link for yourself. These are to be PUBLIC RECORDS of a historically tragic wildfire event on Jun 30, 2013, with permanent retention status.


"Therefore, these are records held by the Arizona State Forestry (DFFM) and NOT the US Forest Service (USFS) as you stated. I am well aware that the State Archives [does] not maintain USFS records although you maintain somewhat of a Federal archive there. The DFFM YHF website states that the Arizona State Forestry (DFFM) filed and received 'as part of a FOIA request' these public records formerly in the custody of the Federal Government. I have contacted both the USFS and the National Archives for several years now with mixed results.


"The Federal government is alleged to no longer be the custodian of these records. I take issue with that assertion. According to the AZ State Forestry (DFFM), the AZ State Archives is the mandated custodian.


"The claim by some of your archivists is that the AZ State Archive Libray has no videos is debunked by this AZ Memory Project video within the Jewish history collection series - one of several: (https://vimeo.com/58414307)


"Thank you for your time and attention to my request. Please peruse our Yarnell Hill Fire (YHFR) and GMHS debacle website below to understand the sheer significance of your AZ Archive Library responsibilities to maintain these historical public records of this tragic historical event.


"Best regards, Fred Schoeffler


( http://www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com ) ( DFFM YHF videos.JPG

113.8kB )

 

This ends the author's examination of the missing YH Fire videos from the PNF employee(s) (Hulburd) records and recordings, and the associated discussions with Wendi Goen, the AZ State Archive Records custodian.


Consider now the eight images of the AZ State Library, Archives, and Public Records; [detailing the] General Records Retention Schedule Issued to: All State and Local Agencies Fire Fighting and Prevention Records (Schedule No. GS-1024 Rev. 1) (emphasis original)


"Record Series No. 10393 - Record Series Title (Wildfire Report Records - Historical)"


"If declared a 'disaster' then these records would qualify as historical records. Including but not limited to firefighter accounts / reports[,] homeowner / landowner notifications[,] implementation records and property treatment plans. Historical records have enduring value to the public body and meet the requirements found in the Guidance on Permanent and Historical Records at the following link"" (https://azlibrary.gov/arm/guidance-standards-and-statutes)


"Retention Period - Permanent

Retention Remark - Retain per Arizona Standards for Permanent Records or transfer to State Archives when administrative value has been served.

Legal Citation(s) - none listed

Approval Date - 12/29/2015"


These (above) Wildfire Report Records - Historical are included in the last image in Figure 4. (below).


Figure 4. Images 1-7. Arizona AZ State Library, Archives, and Public Records; General Records Retention Schedule Issued to All State and Local Agencies Fire Fighting and Prevention Records (Schedule No. GS-1024 Rev. 1) Source: AZ State Records



Consider now the AZ State Archives "Permanent and Historical Records - The Inherent Value of Government Records" that explicitly clarify what they are legally responsible for in Figure 4a. and Figure 4b. (below).


Figure 4a. Permanent and Historical Records - The Inherent Value of Government Records and Permanent Record (page 1 of 2) Source: AZ State Library, Archive, and Public Records


 

Please note this important Agency directive from Figure 4a. (above): "Permanent Record ... 2) Any public body ...that processes, retains, maintains and preserves their own Permanent Records, must strictly follow the Arizona Standards for Permanent Records. There are no exceptions." (emphasis original)

Figure 4b. Permanent and Historical Records - The Inherent Value of Government Records and Historical Records where "Wildfires" are clearly mentioned (page 2 of 2) Source: AZ State Library, Archive, and Public Records

 

Given what is included in the Permanent and Historical Records within the (above) Figure4b. referenced All State and Local Agencies Fire Fighting and Prevention Records (Schedule No. GS-1024 Rev. 1) it is patently clear that any and every public record deemed historical, related to the renowned June 30, 2013, YH Fire and GMHS debacle - even if they were originally US Forest Service Prescott NF records (videos) - they are still considered a statutory AZ State Library, Archive, and Public Records responsibility, and therefore must be maintained accordingly, (i.e "must strictly follow the Arizona Standards for Permanent Records. There are no exceptions.") (emphasis in original)

 

What follows now are attempts to retrieve USDA Forest Service Prescott NF (PNF) public records given to the DFFM. Also, consider the USDA USFS Aerial Firefighting Utilization and Effectiveness (AFUE), study records. These both indicate an alleged pattern of concealment, deceit, and lies of USFS PNF employee videos given to the DFFM and the USFS AFUE study records, Consider below the author's attempts to retrieve both the USFS Prescott NF employee video records, as well as the June 30, 2013, (AFUE), records through the legal system. The AFUE records pursuit went all the way through the USFS up to their Chief, and then the USDA Director up through the Federal District Court system to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals 1n 2019. Total legal fees for this endeavor were in excess of $80,000.

 

Consider this question from a YHFR post from October 15, 2018. Where are the US Forest Service, June 30, 2013, Yarnell Hill Fire AFUE transcript records really hidden? They are certainly not where attorney Bill Solomon of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) U.S. Attorney's Office (representing the USDA U.S. Forest Service) says they are, (i.e. AZ State Forestry).


Fred J Schoeffler, the USFS Aerial Firefighting Use and Effectiveness (AFUE) Study Was Utilized On The Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013, and recorded Air To Ground (A/G) radio transmissions that exist as audio and written transcripts. These recordings and transcripts (3-ring binder) are being withheld and denied that they even exist. I just came across a few "key" public records basically affirming they "do" in fact exist ... So then, how can the U.S. Forest Service ethically and legally continue to deny these Public Records exist?


( https://www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com/post/2018/10/12/fred-j-schoeffler-the-usfs-aerial-firefighting-use-and-effectiveness-afue-study-was-utili )


Consider how the USDA USFS perverted "the national State Secrets Privilege, originally intended for national security issues, that "allows government officials to evade their respective accountability for illegal acts and to conceal such acts from the public ... " Privilege is the modern term applied to those considerations which avoid liability where it might otherwise follow. This is a legal tool that started as a limited shield intended to protect legitimate and critical government national security secrets. A "state secret" refers to any information that, if disclosed publicly, would be reasonably likely to cause significant harm to the national defense or foreign relations of the United States. Few judges, reading this language, will be likely to challenge the government. Unfortunately, yet expectedly, the US Government has turned this shield into a sword to block truth-seeking Americans to enforce the law and the Constitution."


"The statute not only requires that the court let the case go forward on [the] public evidence, it also provides strong tools for the government to protect any sensitive evidence that the government needs to use to make its case but which cannot be made public, while still allowing a judicial determination." (emphasis added) Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation


"The ultimate lesson here is that secrecy is not an immunity trump card and no government agency should be above the law. There is no better example of this than the original state secrets case, US v. Reynolds. The government, at the time, claimed the evidence it was withholding would reveal critical national security secrets and the Court agreed. But in 2000, when the documents at issue were finally declassified, they contained no secrets at all. The only thing the documents contained was evidence of government negligence—which would have validated the plaintiff’s case." (emphasis added) Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation

( https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/state-secrets-privilege ) and Wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_secrets_privilege )"


( https://www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com/post/where-has-the-usda-usfs-hidden-the-june-30-2013-yarnell-hill-fire-afue-transcript-public-records )

 

Consider now some of WTKTT's detailed dissection of this entire morass of denial, deception, loss of evidence, where he minces no words while deftly wending his way through this convoluted area of concern.



So saith WTKTT:


"And the wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round... (all emphases added)


"Personally... I have never actually believed the bullshit that Arizona Forestry is/was slinging on that public web page where they first 'published' the edited/redacted copies of some of Aaron Hulburd's June 30, 2013 videos.


"I have never believed that they actually DID file a 'FOIA' request to obtain copies of those videos.

<

>

"There is actually solid evidence already that the SAIT ( AND Arizona Forestry ) had those Aaron Hulburd recordings in their OWN possession just a few weeks after the June 30, 2013 tragedy. See below.

"The whole BS about Arizona Forestry pretending to file a 'FOIA' request just to ( supposedly ) obtain the videos from USFS long after they ALREADY HAD THEM was, I believe, just more CYA on the part of Arizona Forestry. <

>

Figure 5. The three things that cannot be long hidden. Source: Mary Utsey, QuotesGram

Central Yavapai Fire District (CYFD) employee Todd Abel refers to the Prescott NF Aaron Hulburd videos just six weeks after the GMHS tragedy occurred. "On August 22, 2013, Yarnell OPS1 Todd Abel had his first ( and only ) interview with ADOSH investigators Bruce Hanna and Dave Larsen ( Rest in Peace ). Central Yavapai Fire District lawyer Nicolas Cornelius accompanied Todd Abel to the interview. "That was just a little more than 6 short weeks after the original tragedy of June 30, 2013, ... and still MONTHS away from ANY 'report' being published by the Arizona Forestry contracted SAIT team. "About halfway through that interview, when Dave Larsen was asking Todd Abel about hearing Eric Marsh say ( over the radio ) that their "Escape route had been cut off", Dave Larsen mentioned to Todd Abel that... (quote) 'Somebody recorded that.' "And ( on that day, August 22, 2013 ) Todd Abel acknowledged that he was already perfectly aware of that 'recording' by responding... (quote) 'Yep.'" Listening to the actual recording of the interview suggests that OPS Abel's 'Yep' acknowledgment back to Larsen about the existence of Hulburd's recording(s) was in no way a 'question' back to Larsen. It was just a definitive 'Yep' meaning 'Yes. I already know about that (recording)'." Consider now excerpts from "the official transcript of Yarnell 2013 OPS1 Todd Abel's August 22, 2013 interview with ADOSH investigators." ADOSH PDF page 54 ( of 73 pages ) from IM February 14, 2015 post. "Q1: ADOSH investigator Dave Larsen ( Rest In Peace ) A: Yarnell 2013 OPS1 Todd Abel ------------------------------------------------------------------- 2374 Q1: Okay. So when you’re hearing the, my escape route has been cut off, can you 2375 talk about that? 2376 2377 A: Mm-hm. 2378 2379 Q1: Somebody recorded that. 2380 2381 A: Yep. 2382 2383 Q1: Talk to me about what you think he was referring to? 2384 2385 A: I mean I can give you - I don’t know, but I can give you Todd’s - Todd Abel’s 2386 opinion. Knowing - knowing where they’re at now. 2387 2388 Q1: Okay. Right. 2389 2390 A: You know? When - when he was up here and saying my escape route’s been 2391 comprised, I’m thinking he’s up here. I’m in total confusion, I have no idea. 2392 Two hundred and fifty acres of black, they’re direct, all they gotta do is step 2393 into that. That - that’s where I thought they were at. That’s where everybody 2394 thought they were at. 2395 2396 Q1: When he had - when he had - when he talked to you about my escape route 2397 has, uh, been compromised… 2398 2399 A: They’re - they’re right here when he tells me that. 2400 2401 Q1: You think? You think they… 2402 2403 A: I… 2404 2405 Q1: Think so? 2406 2407 A: Yep, I do. Because they had - there was very little - between our escape 2408 route’s been comprised, we’re deploying fire shelters and no communications 2409 with them at all, was right on top of each other. Right - I mean I was trying to 2410 call them. Uh, air attack was trying to call them. Everybody’s trying to call 2411 them. You know air attack was trying to get in there to do buck work, when 2412 you hear the helicopter let me know, we’ll drop the water. You know that - 2413 there - you know that - all that stuff, no answer, no answer, no answer. ------------------------------------------------------------------- There are still a lot of unanswered questions here pertaining to this one moment in Todd Abel's one and only ADOSH interview. How is it that Abel, allegedly not involved with any of the investigations, was now fully aware of these Hulburd recordings? When did ADOSH become aware of these recordings? Were they stonewalled by SAIT Co-Team Leader Mike Dudley and the SAIT? Did ADOSH finally receive this 'evidence' already in the SAIT's possession? These were evidence that the SAIT was legally obligated to share with ADOSH. This interview is the first proof that ADOSH and OPS1 Abel were fully aware of the Hulburd recordings. So then, the question is: what and when was the moment both parties did become 'aware' of them? Was it, in fact, a few days after the tragedy? So then the question still remains: When did Hulburd actually notify someone that he had these recordings? Who worked with him to get them 'turned over' to the authorities?

 

The important fact of the matter is that NONE of the PNF Hulburd videos that have ever surfaced into the light of day are the actual ORIGINAL copies.


Figure 6. George Orwell's quote on political lies. Source: Pauline Wright, QuotesGram


Some may ask, how dare you use such an insensitive, harsh quote? It was certainly short of the requisite proof for murder. Notwithstanding the bogus self-proclaimed notion of "National Hero" status, the authors feel that Mr. Orwell's quote is rather appropriate because many experienced WFs, FFs, Truth Tellers, and legally knowledgeable, interested parties contend that Marsh's actions would have made him guilty of negligent homicide, misfeasance, and at a minimum, dereliction of duty.


Here are several InvestigativeMEDIA posts ( December 3, 2016, to January 4, 2017 ) specifically discussing and examining the issue of "negligent homicide" as it relates to Marsh amd the YH Fire and GMHS debacle.


( https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-yarnell-hill-fire-chapter-xxiv-here/#comment-420443 ) Gary Olson


( https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-yarnell-hill-fire-chapter-xxiv-here/#comment-420488 ) Chalie (Sonny)


( https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-yarnell-hill-fire-chapter-xxiv-here/#comment-469713 ) Gary Olson


( https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-yarnell-hill-fire-chapter-xxiv-here/#comment-469746 ) WantsToKnowTheTruth


( https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-yarnell-hill-fire-chapter-xxiv-here/#comment-469732 ) WantsToKnowTheTruth

 


Notwithstanding how important his evidence is, PNF WF Hulburd has (as far as was made public) NEVER BEEN INTERVIEWED by any investigator from either the SAIT or from ADOSH.

 

Consider now, the timeline of acquiring all the Hulburd videos (at least those that we know of ) and those that were eventually published. The Arizona Forestry contracted-SAIT first published its official report at 10:00 AM (Arizona Time) on Saturday, September 28, 2013. In the SAIT-SAIR, beginning on pages 27 and 28 - it is blatantly obvious to anyone reading the SAIT alleged "factual" report that the SAIT had always had some kind of RECORDING of the last radio transmissions coming from the GMHS. The details that the SAIT published, regarding those GMHS final radio transmissions made it perfectly clear that these were far from 'recollections' and instead were actual TRANSCRIPTS from some sort of 'recording' of those crucial moments.

 

Consider now SAIT-SAIR page 27 (of 122 pages) of the original document. (all emphasis is added) The following DIVS A statement immediately below was included in the SAIT-SAIR at the insistence of Bravo 33 / ASM2 (Aerial Supervision Module), who stated that he was the only one that admitted to hearing it, although this is only vaguely indicated on page 100 in the Serious Accident Investigation Team - Serious Accident Investigation Report (SAIT-SAIR) (September 23, 2013) (https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/800042-yarnell-hill-serious-accident-investigation-report.html ) -------------------------------------------------------------------

"At approximately 1600, ASM2 overhears a comment on the radio referencing a crew and safety zone. ASM1 calls OPS2 and clarifies, 'I heard a crew in a safety zone, do we need to call a time out?' OPS1 replies, 'No they're in a good place. They're safe and it's Granite Mountain.' They talk about flying over to go check on the crew, but for now, they think the crew is safe in the black."

"At 1637, ASM2 flies a drop path for a VLAT north of Yarnell west to east and apparently over DIVS A, turning northward to avoid high ground at the end of Yarnell. DIVS A [Eric Marsh], seeing the flight, calls and calmly says, '[ASM2], Division Alpha, That’s exactly what we’re looking for. That’s where we want the retardant.' ASM2 again circles the south end of the fire above Yarnell to line up a final flight path for a tanker drop. The aircraft crew is in the middle of a discussion with OPS1 on the air-to-ground frequency and the pilot is talking to the VLAT on the air-to-air frequency when an overmodulated and static-filled transmission comes over the air-to-ground frequency at 1639: (commentary continued below Figure 7.):


Figure 7. Former ASF Brian Lauber photo taken on June 30, 2013, about 1629 (4:29 PM) less than nine minutes from the GMHS radio transmission stating their Escape Route was cut off. The Google Earth overlay reveals the GMHS locations and travel routes, Deployment Zone, BSR, and very aggressive fire behavior. This photo was given to the alleged SAIT "Lead Investigator" Brad Mayhew but never used in the SAIT-SAIR. It was taken from near the Ranch House restaurant in Yarnell along Hwy. 89. Source: Lauber, Google Earth, WTKTT

 

“'Breaking in on Arizona 16, Granite Mountain Hotshots, we are in front of the flaming front.' "Following this is a very broken, with wind in the microphone, transmission: “'Air-to-ground 16, Granite Mountain, Air Attack, how do you read?' "Due to poor reception, ASM2 can only understand fragments of these communications. The fire’s rapid advance toward Yarnell is generating a lot of radio traffic about structure protection so ASM2 assumes the broken and unclear transmission is one of the structure protection units calling to request a retardant drop. He does not suspect it’s Granite Mountain since they were safe when he talked to them earlier. "OPS1 tries to reach Granite Mountain: “Granite Mountain, Operations on air-to-ground.” "Seconds later, Granite Mountain calls: 'Air Attack, Granite Mountain 7, how do you copy me?'” "Some of the firefighters near the highway overhear this radio traffic. Hearing chainsaws in the background and the Granite Mountain crewmember’s increasing urgency, they are confused—the last they had heard, Granite Mountain was in the black. Less than a minute later, they hear: “Air Attack, Granite Mountain 7!” [Footnote 10 - "Some interviewees believe this is a reference to the crew as a whole; it may come from their earlier designation as Crew 7 before they became an IHC)].

 

The authors and many others contend that the Crew 7 response is a reaction to stress, where one reverts back to what one is most familiar with. During the 1994 South Canyon Fire in CO, the IC was sharpening his chainsaw instead of managing the fire. He told a WF that offered to do that for him that it relaxed him. On the 2003 Thirty Mile Fire (WA) the Crew Boss / IC was using a hose and nozzle to mop up for the same reason. Below are two articles (among many) that support this well-known, psychological reaction to stress.


In Times of Stress, People Return to Familiar Habits - iLs Australia

Why the Stressed Brain Falls Back on Old Habits - In an effort to save energy and cognitive resources, the stressed brain prioritizes old habits and routines over purposeful, deliberative action. Why the Stressed Brain Falls Back on Old Habits. Markan Head (October 14, 2021)


 

At the same time, ASM2 is talking to OPS1 about how to use aircraft orbiting overhead to stop the fire heading for Yarnell. The Granite Mountain IHC transmissions are unclear to him. He tells the unit calling on air-to-ground frequency to stop yelling. OPS1 believes the unit may be in trouble, so he tells ASM2: “Okay, Granite Mountain 7 sounds like they got some trouble, uh, go ahead and get that, he’s trying to get you on the radio, let’s go ahead and see what we’ve got going on.” "ASM2: 'Okay copy that, uh, I’ll get with Granite Mountain 7 then.' "Just seconds later, a call from DIVS A (sounding calm): “'[ASM2], Division Alpha with Granite Mountain.' ASM2: “Okay uh Division Alpha, [ASM2].” DIVS A (now more urgent): “'Yeah, I’m here with Granite Mountain Hotshots, our escape route has been cut off. We are preparing a deployment site and we are burning out around ourselves in the brush and I’ll give you a call when we are under the sh— the shelters.' "ASM2: 'Okay copy that. So you’re on the south side of the fire then?' "At about 1642, DIVS A yells: “'Affirm!' "ASM2: 'K, we’re gonna bring you the VLAT okay. "ASM2 then tells the VLAT to orbit to the southeast until ASM2 locates the Granite Mountain crew. The VLAT Captain replies he will keep full eyes on ASM2 and be ready for an immediate drop. "Over the next four minutes, ASM2 makes seven attempts to reach the Granite Mountain IHC to determine their location but he is unable to establish contact. ------------------------------------------------------------------- To the many informed, knowledgeable, and skeptical readers, it was blatantly obvious in the SAIT-SAIR that the SAIT had ALWAYS had some kind of recording(s) in their possession. This is a permissible conclusion based on the fact that various NEWS outlets were immediately filing Arizona Open Public Records Requests (PRR) and FOIAs to obtain these recordings. Among those NEWS agencies filing requests for the recordings were: The Arizona Republic, Prescott Daily Courier, Wildfire Today (Bill Gabbert), and others. Once this flood of records requests came in, it became obvious to the powers-that-be that they were going to be unable to DENY they had at least that one recording of those final transmissions (since they published a transcript of it in their own public SAIT-SAIR report). It took three months for those initial records requests to be fulfilled, but even then, (and even though the FOIA requests were for ALL 'Yarnell related' recordings) Mike Dudley and others believed they could break the law and "get away" with only admitting to the one single Aaron Hulburd recording which contained the audio transcripts they, themselves, had published in the Arizona Forestry contracted SAIT report. On December 13, 2013, Wildfire Today published it's (sic) own copy of that one Hulburd video that captured the final GM radio transmissions.

The authors believe that Gabbert was actually the initial one to publish the video (and the accompanying transcript). However, within two hours it was fully 'picked up' by and re-published by ALL of the major news outlets. Consider now more about the Hullurd videos:

Once that single (and supposedly only) Hulburd video was publicly released, IM Marti Reed and WTKTT went to work and were able to prove that the firefighters seen in the video were, in fact, what's become known as the 'three Prescotteers' who were ALL employed by the Prescott National Forest (PNF) and were driving those PNF vehicles with trailers attached as seen in the video. (Aaron Hulburd, KC 'Bucky' Yowell, and Jason Clawson) PNF Vehicles at the Yarnell Fire ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-QOU1JgEag ) [Figure 1.] WTKTT and Marti Reed also proved that it was Hulburd himself who was doing the 'filming' that day, based on still frames from the already-released video which, at one point, captured his own face as he was filming. WTKTT and Reed also made it clear (on the IM forum) that it was next-to-impossible for that ONE video recording to have been the ONLY one that Hulburd would have filmed that day. In addition, John Dougherty (InvestigativeMEDIA) picked up on this and immediately filed his own FOIA request directly to the PNF for ALL VIDEO/AUDIO RECORDINGS made by PNF Hulburd on June 30, 2013. It is still unclear exactly what Agency gyrations John Dougherty's FOIA request was subjected to once it arrived at the Prescott NF, but it became clear to the 'powers-that-be' that they had now been caught in a coverup and they were NOT going to be able to deny that Hulburd had actually made many video/audio recordings that day and that they were in fact, 'in their possession."' So, that's when the surreptitious 'plans' were made (by someone like Mike Dudley maybe?) to try to "get ahead of the story" and make the SAIT look as good as possible and deny the 'coverup' that had been taking place. That's when they made 'plans' for Arizona Forestry to somehow 'pretend' they never had ALL of Hulburd's videos and that they, themselves, had obtained them with a FOIA request similar to John Dougherty's. They knew they had been caught and they knew they were going to have to fulfill Dougherty's FOIA request. But there was no way that they were going to give John Dougherty the satisfaction of getting a 'scoop' and being the first to obtain/publish ALL of Hulburd's videos. So that's when they fired up that bogus website and 'published' all of Hulburd's videos the day BEFORE John Dougherty actually received his own CD with the same recordings on it. The SAIT said (on their web page) that they had obtained them with their own 'FOIA' request (even though their own ASF-contracted-SAIT had ALL the whole time) just to be able to continue to deny they had ALWAYS been aware of them. As stated above, the authors and others still believe that if someone were to actually do a FOIA request for the actual 'FOIA' that Arizona Forestry SAYS that it made, then the eventual reply would most likely be the usual patent reply: "No records responsive to your request."

That was just a little more than six weeks after the original tragedy

of June 30, 2013, and still months away from any official 'report' being

published by the Arizona Forestry-contracted SAIT.


About halfway through that interview, when ADOSH Investigator Dave Larsen (RiP) was asking OPS Abel about hearing Eric Marsh say over the radio that their "Escape route had been cut off", Larsen mentioned to Todd Abel that (quote) "Somebody recorded that."


And on that interview day, August 22, 2013, OPS Abel acknowledged that he was already perfectly aware of that 'recording' by responding (quote) "Yep."


When you listen to the actual recording of the interview, OPS Abel's "Yep" acknowledgment back to Larsen about the existence of the PNF Hulburd recording(s) was not, in any way, a "question" back to Larsen with any kind of upward inflection.


In other words, there's no way his "Yep" response can be construed as something like "Oh, really?" - as if he was only hearing about this 'recording' for the very first time. It was just a definitive "Yep" meaning like, "Yes, I already know about that recording."

 

"He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions." Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr (Paris Aug. 19. 1785) Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

 

Figure 8. A real man vs. a coward quote about being honest. Source: Evie Reich, QuotesGram


 


Consider now the answer to the question posted in the title: Why Do The USFS and The AZ Department of Forestry and Fire Management (DFFM) continue To Cowardly Hide Behind Deceit, Lies, and Omissions Regarding the Prescott NF June 30, 2013, Videos?


Sometimes, it is difficult for some of us to criticize our alleged "public servants' for doing this. Some of those answers are to be found in this self-aggrandizing article in Firehouse.com (June 1, 2018) titled: "Learning from Yarnell Hill. Brad Mayhew offers training exercises for developing yourself and your crew for the future in the hopes of preventing another tragedy like the Yarnell Hill Fire that killed 19 hotshots." (emphasis in original)


That alleged and self-proclaimed "Lead Investigator" of the YH Fire - Brad Mayhew (Fireline Factors) - says: "In the fire service, we honor our fallen by learning from them. ... In the fire service, we learn from our accidents. ... Many believe we have not learned enough from this accident. One reason is we don’t fully understand the events of June 30, 2013. It can be hard to see what the lessons are, and how to improve for the future. ... If our learning has stalled for this event, we should try a different approach. But how can we learn for the future when there are gaps in our knowledge of the past? ... We can’t change the past or what happened to their crew. But if we respect the past, we can use it to develop our crew for the future. We may not know exactly how they chose their path, but we can see ourselves on a similar path, then learn from it. ... As firefighters, the best way to honor the fallen is to respect the past and learn for the future." (emphasis added)


Did you pick up on this comment by Mayhew? "... we can see ourselves on a similar path, ..." You need to ask yourself - can I really - honestly - see myself on a similar path? Mr. Mayhew allegedly is attempting to justify that what these men did could have happened to anyone, possibly supporting PFD Willis' statement during the July 2013 YHF and GMHS Fatality Site News Conference that it is "just one of those things that happened … you can call it an accident." Really? An accident? The photos and videos show otherwise. How is it possible to do everything right and kill 19 men in one fell swoop?


This quote by researchers Gleason and Robinson sums it up quite right. “If, as teachers of history will tell us, failing to learn the lessons of the past dooms us to reliving those lessons, then we must either impress indelibly into the minds of firefighters the lessons of the South Canyon Fire or we will again experience its tragic outcome.” (emphasis added) (1994) Source: Gleason, P. And D. Robinson (1994). After the Fire, a Still Small Voice. In R. Bartlette and K. Close (Eds), Fire Management Under Fire - Proceedings of the 1994 Interior West Fire Council Meeting and Program. Pp. 191 - 199.


To be sure, please make a point to visit the alleged self-appointed YH Fire "Lead Investigator" Brad Mayhew's Firehouse.com article for the several comments by this author and others in response to his article and to another alleged "Lead Investigator" for the alleged "historical fiction" author John MacLean. And please remember that Mayhew was given this (original photo minus Google Earth overlay) image in Figure 7a, (below) depicting the extreme fire behavior that the GMHS hiked right down into. This action resulted in their ultimate entrapment and deaths.


Mayhew chose instead to use an idealized image Figure 7b. (SAIT-SAIR p. 77) (below) rather than the actual event Lauber photo to fit what is clearly, disingenuously implied in the SAIT-SAIR narrative. PFD Wildland Battalion Chief Darrell Willis is attributed to making this statement in a Denver Post article (July 23, 2013) "... the fire hooked around the men, blocking their way out of the fire’s path and backing them up to the mountains." (emphasis added) And similarly, according to Willis when he "offered his theories" in F. Santos NYT July 27, 2013, article: "They had fire behind them, and they had fire ahead of "backing them up to the mountains" or "behind them and ahead of them." (emphasis added)


Therefore, it should be perfectly clear that there is NO indication where "the fire hooked around the men, blocking their way out of the fire’s path and backing them up to the mountains." And there should also be NO indication that They had fire behind them, and they had fire ahead of "backing them up to the mountains" or "behind them and ahead of them."


Figure 7a. (above) Former ASF Brian Lauber photo taken on June 30, 2013, about 1629 (4:29 PM) less than nine minutes from the GMHS radio transmission stating their Escape Route was cut off. The Google Earth overlay reveals the GMHS locations and travel routes, Deployment Zone, BSR, and very aggressive fire behavior. This photo was given to the alleged SAIT "Lead Investigator" Brad Mayhew but never used in the SAIT-SAIR. It was taken from near the Ranch House restaurant in Yarnell along Hwy. 89. Source: Lauber, Google Earth, WTKTT


Figure 7b. Idealized image created by SAIT (Figure 18.) to falsely depict fire above and fire below the GMHS Source: SAIT-SAIR (p. 77)

 

At first blush, it is pretty clear that there are no clear statutory AZ Archive Library responsibilities to maintain these June 30, 2013, YH Fire and GMHS debacle as true "historical public records" per the relevant Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS). HOWEVER, there is this Arizona State and Local Agencies Retention Schedule for "Firefighting and Prevention" Records GS-1024 Rev 1. which specifically details the necessary retention preservation requirements for these YH Fire records subsumed within the "Wildfire Report Records - Historical." Figure 4. Image 4 (bottom).


For a rather detailed look into AZ Public Records, please review Joy A. Collura's YHFR post titled: What Are We Missing Here? How Can It Possibly Be Only These Wildfires Ended Up Archived March 2013 In The Entire History Of Arizona State Forestry Division? Why Were These Specifically Chosen And What Made Them Archive-able? Do Any Of You Think Any Other Wildfires Should Belong In The Archives? What Makes It A Historical Event Or A Disaster?


( https://www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com/post/2020/01/28/what-are-we-missing-here-how-can-it-possibly-be-only-these-wildfires-ended-up-archived-ma )


Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records Established in the Office of the Secretary of State - Arizona Revised Statute Title 41 Articles and Statutes, Article 2.1., and Title 41-151. Definitions.


This is partly based on the Sept. 15, 2021, response from AZ State Library Archives and Public Records, Lead Reference Archivist, Wendi Goen's response above. In addition, there is also the fact that these were initially USFS Prescott NF records created by and recorded by a PNF employee.


 

And this Josh Turner song titled Long Black Train is for all of you that may have been drinking - or are planning to drink - or remotely even thinking about drinking the YH Fire and GMHS debacle Kool-Aid.


Figure 9. Josh Turner - Long Black Train Source: Josh Turner, YouTube


 

For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? 1 Corinthians 14:8 (NKJV)

 

UPGRADES - Clarified and corrected the following: In the SAIT-SAIR, beginning on pages 27 and 28 - it is blatantly obvious to anyone reading the SAIT alleged "factual" report that the SAIT had always had some kind of RECORDING of the last radio transmissions coming from the GMHS. <

>

 

Consider now SAIT-SAIR page 27 (of 122 pages) of the original document. (all emphasis is added) The following DIVS A statement immediately below was included in the SAIT-SAIR at the insistence of Bravo 33 / ASM2 (Aerial Supervision Module), who stated that he was the only one that admitted to hearing it, although this is only vaguely indicated on page 100 ... (10/31/21)

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