Summary of 81st Joint Field
Activity conducted 29 Oct-4
Nov, 2003 in the Lao
The search was conducted in the Boualapha District, Khammouan Province and was
assisted by three Vietnamese witnesses: Mr Hoang Van Loi, Mr Vu Van Tuyen and
Mr Nguyen Van Duoc
Mr.Loi was a cook who investigated the crash site out of curiosity. Mr.Tuyen was
involved in the burial of the two bodies found. Mr Douc also investigated the crash
site and was resting in a cave when the incident occurred.
Initially the team was brought to the area of original coordinates looking for the
karst and Mr Duoc's cave which was a significant land mark. It was felt that if they
could find the cave, they would be able to locate the crash site. After much
searching, the three Vietnamese witnesses unanimously agreed that this area was
not the correct area. Mr Duoc presented a sketch of his recollection of the crash
area. Comparing the sketch with a map, both the team and the witnesses determined
that the area in question was near a karst called Hill 685. Mr Duoc felt the cave was
in that Karst.
The team did try aerial reconnaissance of Hill 685 with no success of locating the
cave. Dense vegetation around Hill 685 also prohibited a foot search for the cave as
well. Still the witnesses felt positive that the crash site was in this area.
The witnesses guided the team down old Rt 20 ( 912) and identified a general area
east of the road and a 100 meter x 100 meter was searched. In the northwest corner
of the search area,
the team located several miscellaneous unidentified pieces of aircraft wreckage at
grid coordinates XE 22079 06177. The wreckage site was on flat ground about 10
meters from a footpath, in dense vegetation. All witnesses were confident that this
was the correct location.
The witness were not able to pinpoint the exact burial location but agreed that it was
meters south or north east of the crash site.
Mr Khamphan, a village chieftain of Nong Ma, stated that the Vietnamese had
scavenged and taken away most of the wreckage and that the Nong Ma residents did
not scavenge the wreckage. The team and the Vietnamese witnesses felt the Ban
Nong Ma officials were hampering the search by steering them away from certain
The minimal wreckage at the site was insufficient to determine whether this was the
impact point however all witnesses were confident that this area was the general
crash site area.
Note: It is the Webmaster s opinion that the Vietnamese witnesses confused Hill 685
with Phou Lo Lut and that the original crash coordinates are the correct one.
XE 220 079
XE 216 073
XE 22079 06177
Recorded crash site
EX 256 083