US F-15 Crashes Over Benghazi, Two Crewmen Rescued By Libyan Rebels As Attention Switches To Gaddafi's Gold

Tyler Durden's picture

The first confirmed US military asset lost over Libya is an F-15E jet, following confirmation from The Telegraph that the plane crashed, supposedly as a result of a mechanical error, not due to being shot down. From Reuter: "A U.S. Air Force F-15E fighter jet crashed in
Libya overnight after apparent mechanical failure but its crew were
safe, a spokesman for the U.S. military Africa Command said on Tuesday. Libyan rebels rescued the pilot after he ejected from the warplane
which came down near the eastern city of Benghazi, Britain's Daily
Telegraph newspaper reported on its website. "Just found a crashed US warplane in a field. believe a mechanical
failure brought it down," Telegraph correspondent Rob Crilly said on the
Twitter micro-blogging site." Well, at least it isn't one of those brand spanking new F-35s.

More from Reuters:

U.S. spokesman Vince Crawley declined to give the location of the crash and also would not say how the rescued crewman was picked up or where he was taken.

Another spokesman for the Stuttgart-based Africa Command said later that the second crewman had also been safely rescued, and that both crewmembers had suffered only minor injuries after ejecting from the aircraft.

The crash was likely caused by mechanical failure and not hostile fire, Crawley added.

The Telegraph web site showed local Libyans inspecting the charred wreckage of the plane.

"Came down late last night. Crew believed safe," Crilly added in subsequent tweets.

Western forces carried out a third night of air raids overnight aimed at protecting civilians from forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

At the same time, the FT is hypothesizing that the one saving grace for Gaddafi may at this point be the country's 140+ ton gold stash, which is worth $6.5 billion at today's fixing. Just as the gold may be the reason for why Gaddafi has so far not been backed into a corner following all the recent asset freezes, it may, in conjunction with the country's oil be the explanation for the UN's eagerness to liberate the country. Because last time we checked Ivory Coast had a deposed dictator who was killing his people in the midst of a civil war and nobody really seemed to rush to establish a no fly zone. Looks like that edible cocoa just is not as valuable as yellow and black gold after all...

From the FT:

The Libyan central bank – which is under Colonel Gaddafi’s control – holds 143.8 tonnes of gold, according to the latest data from the International Monetary Fund, although some suspect the true amount could be several tonnes higher.

Those reserves, among the top 25 in the world, are worth more than $6.5bn at current prices, enough to pay a small army of mercenaries for months or even years.

While many central banks hold their gold reserves in international vaults in London, New York or Switzerland, Libya’s bullion is in the country, said people familiar with the country’s activities in the gold market.

US and European governments have frozen billions of dollars in Libyan assets, as sanctions have hit the central bank, sovereign wealth fund and state oil company.

But Libya’s gold reserves may provide Col Gaddafi with a lifeline – if he can sell them. To raise large amounts of money, bankers said, Col Gaddafi would have to transport the bullion out of Libya.

We wonder what other middle eastern country is sitting on lots and lots of oil, and according to recent disclosures, has double the gold of Libya... And whether this combination will be the pretext for another "humaniatrian intervention."

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EscapeKey's picture

The one thing holding Iran back from being a "done deal" is China's $200bn oil investment.

Harlequin001's picture

Not to mention their 340 odd tonnes of gold...

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

[I]t may, in conjunction with the country's oil be the explanation for the UN's eagerness to liberate the country.

It is.

cranky-old-geezer's picture

The one thing holding Iran back from being a "done deal" is China's $200bn oil investment.

... meaning Iran supplies oil to China

... meaning US govt isn't gonna fuck with Iran

... because doing so would make China + Russia + India gang up on the little (by comparison) US bully. 

Banksters aint stupid.  They know who not to fuck with.

So no, Iran will never be a "done deal".

EscapeKey's picture

But can the banksters control Israel? What if Israel were to lob a few missiles across the border, and the US went in to re-establish control on "humanitarian grounds"?

Bastiat's picture

What if Israel were to lob a few missiles across the border


It should be clear to Israel, and maybe it is, that if they do this they are on their own.

dondonsurvelo's picture

Especially since our leader is Barack Obama.

Tail Dogging The Wag's picture

Having lived in the PRC for many years, I can share this much: The Chinese will press the red button without a blink. The US understands this. They may not bark, but they will bite when you least expect it and they won't let go.

Doode's picture

Pretty sure Iran is wiring/flying/shipping a cool $ billion to the North Korea asap to buy a couple of nuclear bombs and/or fission material to make sure they have it. After Libya situation they have to assume it is inevitable they are next. No Chinese investment would alter that - the Allies would just be careful about the oil fields and assure the Chinese that their contracts would be intact - for the next 3-5 years till the new government would do the rebidding calling previous one rigged (no pun intended).

If Iran gets the nukes then they got the world by the jugular - they just need to nuke Saudi and Iraqi oil fields to irradiate them for decades to come putting 40% of oil production offline instantly. It would be the end game for them as well, but no one will even think of attacking Iran knowing it could happen. Behind the nuclear shield, Iran will ramp up terrorist funding of Hezballah, Hamas, various jihhadi outfits and Israel will be drenched in blood. So good job Frenchies!

Doode's picture

Since you cannot think 2 steps ahead let me spell it out for you - $500 oil and parabolically rising defense budget to counter all the wave of violence in the middle east and defense spending by other nations for decades to come. Russia on Friday announced a new $700 billion in new arms purchases. Others will do the same. Libian invasion is the most moronic action undertaken in years - under the reasons given EVERY country in the world can be now invaded. Britain oppressed and invaded Ireland for decades, basks in Spain, French had their own, even Canada had it beef with separatists. Certainly China and Russia are qualified.

So think before you write.

Abitdodgie's picture

America will never attack Iran because of one word "sunburst"

MonsterBox's picture

gotta love gold.  good or bad, it makes no judgements.  keep stacking.

Harlequin001's picture

It looks like Gaddafi is about to lose his. Should have stashed it in Venezuela before hand.

Alternatively he could of course buy an unallocated gold fund at HSBC...

But then again I can think of better grids to stuff your money down.

HamyWanger's picture

Moving 143 tonnes of gold will be hard, but far from impossible. Just hidden in a ship going to Venezuela, and hop. 

prophet's picture

C-17 Globemaster III, perhaps from Qatar.

fredquimby's picture

Da gold already left the building IMO....

"It is a BD-700-1A10 serial 9092 registered to Wells Fargo Bank Northwest NA, a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company.
The same subsidiary is the trustee for the aircraft with the tail number N168BF, a Raytheon Hawker 800XP with Serial # 258373 that allegedly has been used for extraordinary rendition flights.
And it got clearance for Tripoli on the eve of the UN Resolution... and they say only Russia has a double agenda"

decon's picture

With a payload of about a ton doesn't seem like the model dispatched to be carrrying a big stash.  Makes me think it was transporting some spooks.  Pilot was uncertain of Libyan airspace clearance until near the end, sounds like a last minute, plans are in the works flight.  Very interesting though Fred!

AUD's picture

It seems a lot of US war machines fall out of the sky due to mechanical failure.

Harlequin001's picture

Yep, a bullet or two up the jet pipe is a real pisser.

Can really cause a few malfunctions you know...

Cash_is_Trash's picture

There goes 30+ million dollars for the plane.

Plus all the tomahawks fired @ 500,000 a piece...

Fuck, why am I not selling munitions?

johnQpublic's picture

Tomahawks are 3,202,857.10 dollars each actually


and what happened to no boots on the ground, or are they wearing sandals?

Cash_is_Trash's picture

The cost of this war will rapidly grow, surely beyond $1 billion.

Once, again, what is the fucking purpose in Libya?

cranky-old-geezer's picture

... surely beyond $1 billion.

... each week.

Cash_is_Trash's picture

More material for the POMO kids.

Gotta get that work experience.

Harlequin001's picture

I would not be surprised to discover that our arsenals of weapons will be considerably lower after this little venture.

How are they going to pay for all these new replacement missiles when we have stagflation in the UK and bullshit in the US, Europe without a clue and Asia busily trying to sell cars that no one wants to people who can't afford them?

but then I suppose we have to keep BAe and Carlisle group busy don't we...

cbaba's picture

There is only one purpose for this war, its OIL or Black Gold..

Sudden Debt's picture


What's your point?



Abitdodgie's picture

The purpose of Libya is to spend lots of money to keep the Dollar ponzi scam going

barkster's picture

and to destroy missiles and planes in order to justify sending more money to the military industrial comples for replacements....

Mr. Mandelbrot's picture

$1.5 million now per tomahawk (inflation) ;)

Cash_is_Trash's picture

Not even wikipedia is keeping up with inflation.

youngman's picture

Obama´s war will be a war on words.......if it was Bush´s war..that plane was "shot down"...bad guys won....bad war..Bush in that its Obama´s war the plane went down because of a "malfunction"...means Air Force is bad...Obama teh headlines and words used....this will be a "soft" war on the annointed one..Obama...the press will see to that..

reader2010's picture

another stimulus spending is on the way. 

Tail Dogging The Wag's picture

Heaps of mechanical failures...  I figure they're running out of jet fuel too, and guess who provides the sweetest crude in the world right now... aha, Libya.

Harlequin001's picture

If sovereign leaders can't hold onto it, how will Jo Sixpack?

Miss Expectations's picture

But Libya’s gold reserves may provide Col Gaddafi with a lifeline – if he can sell them. To raise large amounts of money, bankers said, Col Gaddafi would have to transport the bullion out of Libya.

Here we go again.  Bankers still think that you have to exchange gold to raise money when the opposiite is true.

Also, all the Ivory coast has to do is wrap their chocolate in real gold foil and (like the song says) I'll be There.

cossack55's picture

I'm pretty certain both China and India have submarines that can handle that much gold as balast.

Husk-Erzulie's picture

Robbin' and a Stobbin'

Lootin' and a Shootin'

Johnny you're too bad

Oh oh oh

Captain Benny's picture

Wonder how much silver is used in an F15....

gdogus erectus's picture

I don't know but everyone is quoting that over 30 pounds of silver is used per Tomahawk...

HubbleBubbleBenLovesTrouble's picture

With commodity prices skyrocketing (due to The Bernank) we will soon have a no-fly zone above all commodity-rich countries

Cash_is_Trash's picture

This begs the question; will it rain F-15's or F-22's?

earnyermoney's picture

Yeah, the U.S. is literally stealing these resources. I'm waiting for these countries to refuse the dollar as a medium of exchange.


Looks like the U.S. is planing a documentary on "Kelly's Heros" with the setting in Northern Africa.

Doode's picture

French get almost 20% of their oil from Libya and Quadaffi is the largest source of oil for them (Saudi's are barely at 11%)( and Quadaffi on March 13th came out with a proposition to sell all of its oil rights without bidding to China, India, etc and explicitly kick Western oil companies out ( I am sure things like that are announced in private much much earlier. Libian oil is the best oil in the world - so that explains why the French are so adamant to take sides in this civil wa

Doode's picture

Yeap, there is so much BS about this invasion the country should be ashamed.

Blano's picture

Whether you like Gaddafi or not, score 1 for taking delivery.