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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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Tue, 03/22/2011 - 07:38 | 1085242 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 07:50 | 1085261 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:43 | 1085594 Mr Lennon Hendrix
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.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:03 | 1085293 cranky-old-geezer
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".

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:56 | 1085422 EscapeKey
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"?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:55 | 1085627 Bastiat
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.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:03 | 1086368 dondonsurvelo
dondonsurvelo's picture

Especially since our leader is Barack Obama.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:37 | 1085553 Tail Dogging The Wag
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.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:12 | 1085309 Doode
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!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:42 | 1085581 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture

you're an idiot

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:23 | 1085736 Doode
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.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:18 | 1085961 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:27 | 1087280 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Maybe clog SoH, put ULCC on the bottom.  vs. more modern Aegis???

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 07:39 | 1085245 MonsterBox
MonsterBox's picture

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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 07:47 | 1085260 Harlequin001
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.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 07:40 | 1085246 HamyWanger
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. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 07:58 | 1085282 prophet
prophet's picture

C-17 Globemaster III, perhaps from Qatar.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:11 | 1085308 fredquimby
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"

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:42 | 1085803 decon
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!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 07:41 | 1085247 AUD
AUD's picture

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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 07:44 | 1085255 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

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

Can really cause a few malfunctions you know...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 07:54 | 1085272 Cash_is_Trash
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?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:01 | 1085289 johnQpublic
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?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:04 | 1085294 Cash_is_Trash
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?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:08 | 1085303 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture

... surely beyond $1 billion.

... each week.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:12 | 1085311 Cash_is_Trash
Cash_is_Trash's picture

More material for the POMO kids.

Gotta get that work experience.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:29 | 1085345 Harlequin001
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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...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:15 | 1085316 cbaba
cbaba's picture

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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:22 | 1085502 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture


What's your point?



Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:31 | 1086046 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:56 | 1086336 barkster
barkster's picture

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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:03 | 1085296 Mr. Mandelbrot
Mr. Mandelbrot's picture

$1.5 million now per tomahawk (inflation) ;)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:07 | 1085301 Cash_is_Trash
Cash_is_Trash's picture

Not even wikipedia is keeping up with inflation.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:16 | 1085321 youngman
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..

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:03 | 1085292 reader2010
reader2010's picture

another stimulus spending is on the way. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:30 | 1085349 Thorlyx
Thorlyx's picture


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:39 | 1085573 Tail Dogging The Wag
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.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 07:43 | 1085251 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 07:46 | 1085257 Miss Expectations
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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.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:15 | 1085317 cossack55
cossack55's picture

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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 07:46 | 1085258 Husk-Erzulie
Husk-Erzulie's picture

Robbin' and a Stobbin'

Lootin' and a Shootin'

Johnny you're too bad

Oh oh oh

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 07:53 | 1085269 Captain Benny
Captain Benny's picture

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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:54 | 1085618 gdogus erectus
gdogus erectus's picture

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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 07:55 | 1085271 HubbleBubbleBen...
HubbleBubbleBenLovesTrouble's picture

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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:07 | 1085304 Cash_is_Trash
Cash_is_Trash's picture

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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:43 | 1085804 earnyermoney
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.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 07:57 | 1085281 Doode
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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:14 | 1085475 The Third Man
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:18 | 1085716 Doode
Doode's picture

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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:06 | 1085299 Blano
Blano's picture

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

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:42 | 1085589 Tail Dogging The Wag
Tail Dogging The Wag's picture

Agreed. Anyone who believes in ETF's and so called paper metals needs to have their heads examined.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:19 | 1085326 John McCloy
John McCloy's picture

How about this video of Gen. Wesley Clark stating that along with the plan to invade Iraq that Libya was also pre-planned with an additional 5 nations to follow.

In 2007 as Senator Obama said, "The executive office does not have constitutional authority to launch military action against a foreign nation unless there is a direct threat to American security" 

   4 years later he is just following the CIA playbook.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:30 | 1085350 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

US Foreign Policy seems to be best explained by the phrase - "Insanity is the definition of doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results."  But what the hell, why not try it, there is no penalty, you can write a book about it and make a small fortune on the speaking engagements, will be sought after by the MSM as a commentor and expert, and you still will be invited to the cool cocktail parties...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:38 | 1085375 paulypaul
paulypaul's picture

So, this is just a bear raid on a country...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:38 | 1085376 Jalaluddin
Jalaluddin's picture

Maybe the opposition needs to ask itself whether NATO is helping it or simply intends to help itself to the oil. If the opposition takes NATO as helper then it leads itself open to being labeled "kafir", if NATO grabs the oil perhaps "fakir" as well - poverty is close to kufr.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:32 | 1085537 Tail Dogging The Wag
Tail Dogging The Wag'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.

Gold is money. Everything else is credit.

Why would Col. Gaddafi want to change gold for fiat money. Only if he's stupid would he do that. He can pay his army with gold which is money. I wonder if he has silver stashes as well.

Good wake up call for everyone in the region. Dump your dollars and your fiat.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:51 | 1085613 gdogus erectus
gdogus erectus's picture


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:05 | 1085676 AldoHux_IV
AldoHux_IV's picture

Never trust an institution these days to the right thing for the right reason.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:59 | 1085869 Idiot Savant
Idiot Savant's picture

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

Goebbels smiles, nods in agreement....

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:26 | 1086008 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

as Bernays pats him on the shoulder.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:59 | 1085875 vh070
vh070's picture

Assets frozen; potential charges of crimes against humanity;
abandoned by his Arab brothers; a heavy pile of gold at home...
where could Gaddafi go? The only hope of ending this is if
a few other countries - Arab probably - put their troops on
the ground protected by the "No Fly Zone."

"Dear Sir,

My client is a prominent Libyan banker with a couple of billion
he would like to transfer out of the country because of the war.
If you could provide an intermediary service via your bank
account, you could earn a commission of two percent...."

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:10 | 1085925 AugmentedFourth
AugmentedFourth's picture

I'm just waiting for the media to start using Gaddafi to demonize gold. Just'll be subtle. But, I've already heard him referred to as a 'gold bug'.

I'm just glad he's not holding silver ;-)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:23 | 1086000 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

Well Gaddaffi won't go hungry with all those edible carrot Bars...9999 bars

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:08 | 1086181 user2011
user2011's picture

Still using the F-15 and B2...... the rumor may be true about the F-22 and F-35.  They are not practical to be used in the battle. 

It has been 10 years since the introduction of F-22.  It has yet been used in the battle for once.   The work horses are the old F-16, F15's.   

F-22 and F-35 are just poster children.




Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:31 | 1087290 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

F-35 years away from IOC. - Ned

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:51 | 1086315 Threeggg
Threeggg's picture

From the FT article:

"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"

Ran this threw my trusty Gooble banker-IMF speak translator and this is what came out:

How-ever will we (bankers-IMF) pay for this daunting humanitarian effort, as it will take months to ramp back up oil production and get money "quickly" too help save these poor er' I mean Lybian citizens. ????????

I would imagine at that point, the bankers looked at each other and exchanged "shit" grins.................................

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:26 | 1087510 suckerfishzilla
suckerfishzilla's picture

Qadafi is obviously not shorting copper and lead.  Now Western powers are being relegated to the status of Gold bandits.  There is precedent for this.  That is the sobering part. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 18:18 | 1087640 Clapham Junction
Clapham Junction's picture

Obama's Eagle Claw?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 18:39 | 1087688 Pseudo Anonym
Pseudo Anonym's picture

the country's 140+ ton gold stash, in conjunction with the country's oil be the explanation for the UN's eagerness to liberate the country.

Tyler, correct me if I am wrong, did you not mean to say hofjuden instead of UN?  That's what I want to know.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:04 | 1087705 Pseudo Anonym
Pseudo Anonym's picture

We wonder what other middle eastern country is sitting on lots and lots of oil,

forget oil, let's examine gold stash.  The real (as opposed to under-reported) amount of gold.  That's what the hofjuden want.  The shit that nobody can eat.  Except hofjuden.  The hofjuden eat gold.  Hofjuden confetti for gold. The next war war will be where gold is.   And it will be called liberation and introduction to democracy - the hofjuden way.  Via zionist Ameerika.

Thu, 03/24/2011 - 08:17 | 1094471 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

I like the way this article contains no references to the 6 civilians, including a child who were shot by US helicopter gunship and bombed by harriers when friendly villagers came to help the downed pilot.

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