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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 av