Film: 1663

Newsreels + Film Magazines | 1970 | Sound | Colour


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Italian Marine Hijacks plane back to Italy 1970's

He is annoyed about back payments for Vietnam fighting. Dawson's Field - three aircraft blown up - talks with PLO.
Procedures for security at airports.

A jet landing at a commercial airport. Airliners taxi to a halt. Passengers walk from an Air France aeroplane. Officials check baggage inside the airport terminal. Long queues wait for luggage and service. Another commercial jet aeroplane takes off in dusky conditions. Shot from behind of this jet plane disappearing, billowing smoke from the rear. A man and a woman inside an airport walk with bags through an X-ray detector. Shot of the dial and needle indicator on a "FRISK EM" machine. Men and women leave the airport as the voice-over mentions hijacking.

A caribinieri moves through a dry field in Italy with two Carabinieri walking in front. They walk to a farmhouse, one handling a sniffer dog. Police leave the house with a captured suspect who had hijacked a plane from the U.S.A. to his native Italy because of a personal grudge against the U.S. Government.

Crowds throng outside a courtroom. Press men holding notebooks. The 20 year old suspect walks by in a T-shirt or tee shirt. Name: Rafael Miniciello. He smiles casually at the crowd, who seem very friendly towards him. A cache of weapons which Miniciello had taken on board the aircraft in Los Angeles is shown.

The next scene is a courtroom. A much more serious and subdues Miniciello in dark suit is escorted to the dock by police. (The Italian government had refused to extradite him to America and so he was tried in Rome.) Shot of three judges in black robes. Close-up of Miniciello in thick pinstriped suit and white polo neck sweater. A barrister pleads to the courts gesticulating vehemently. A middle aged woman in black, presumably the accused's mother, gently weeps. Miniciello is seen consulting with lawyers as the voice-over says he was sentenced to seven and a half years imprisonment. Then he is led away from the court by police. Outside he is surrounded by reporters calling out questions. They jostle round him until he is shown into the passenger seat of an orange/yellow Alfa Romeo sports car, which then drives away.

The scene moves to another hijacking incident. Two men and a woman of Arab looks speak to a news conference. These were Palestinian guerrilla supporters who used hijacking for political motives. (Voice-over).The woman may be called Leila Khaled. Three international airliners stand on a desert strip, hijacked there by this Arab group. The place is Dawson's Field in Jordan. One airliner is Swissair, another is TWA, the third is not shown. An American airline official perhaps the captain of the TWA airliner answers press questions at Dawson's Field about the behaviour of the hijackers. He is fairly relaxed and smokes. An American girl, sitting on the ground with passengers or hostages and aircrew answers media questions through a loudhailer. A Palestinian man answers a question about the release of women and children through a loudhailer. He is surrounded by sympathisers. More questions and answers about United States and Israeli politics, sanitary conditions in the planes etc. The group of passengers / hostages get up from the ground. People mill around the airfield, some are forced back into a plane. The same Palestinian man, now seated, gives a statement to the media admitting the involvement of the PFLP (People's front for the Liberation of Palestine) in the hijackings. Still picture of the three planes standing on the dusty airfield. Suddenly the plane most to the left explodes with tremendous plumes of swirling dark smoke. The next shot shows all three aeroplanes together with masses of dark filthy oily smoke.

Couples and families hug each other at an airport. Obviously they are comforting each other in grief and shock. A young couple with a small daughter are approached by a media man with microphone. The husband / father, visibly shocked, explains how they fared as hostages. They had seemingly been released on the ground only just before the planes exploded. The camera tracks across horrible tangled wreckage of the planes, bits still smouldering. A jet fin says "BOAC", evidently the third plane involved. A pair of men clamber sadly on the ruins Farther along several people walk amid the wreckage. The closing shot with credits shows flames still fanning in part of this mess.

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