In Memorium: Homer H. Craven Jr. died July 21, 1991

Craven, Jim jcraven at
Mon Jul 21 18:29:52 MDT 2003

This was first sent to Dateline in 1995. Reprinted on the anniversary of the
death of my father and also in tribute to my mother.

Jim C.

 ------- Forwarded Message Follows -------

Received: from MAILQUEUE by OOI (Mercury 1.11); Thu, 29 Jun 95 17:06:24 +800
From:          "James Michael Craven" <CRAVJM at>
Organization:  Clark College, Vancouver WA, USA
To:            dateline at,
              cravjm at
Date:          Thu, 29 Jun 1995 17:06:16 PST8PDT
Subject:       Sanctioned terrorism at Northwest Airlines
Priority: normal
X-mailer:     Pegasus Mail v3.1 (R1a)

Dear Dateline,

I commend you for your thorough report on the tragic terror faced by
and death of Susan Tosakawiecz(?) at Northwest Airlines. If it turns
out that she was murdered by someone at NWA and that her death can be
partially blamed on complacency and inaction by NWA management, then
her death will  not be the first that can be traced partially back to
the postures and inaction of NWA management; you can also add the
name of my mother Mary Kathleen Big Bear Craven who committed suicide
on February 23, 1985 partly as a result of a seven-year campaign of terror
directed and conducted by some members of ALPA (Airline Pilot's
Association) against my father, mother and the whole family.

In late 1979, the NWA pilots went out on strike for 112 days. My
father, a NWA pilot who retired after 33 years on NWA as a 747
captain, remained out on strike for 102 of the 112 days; he didn't
believe in crossing picket lines. There were however, some pilots who
crossed the line. At one union meeting at which over 400 pilots were
in attendance, the leadership announced that they would go after not
only "scabs"--non-striking pilots--but their families as well. They
said that they would go after the "weak links" in the families and
would even "produce suicides". They suggested a "mistress list" where
wives of "scabs" would be called by friendly stewardesses and told
their husbands were having affairs. They suggested that with enough
stress, "scabs" would bust their physicals and checkrides and even
they might get a suicide or two.

My father, Homer Henry Craven Jr. stood up and protested this saying
that pilots have no place conducting terrorism against anyone and
especially against women and children. Immediately following that
meeting my mother who had just suffered a heart attack began to
receive phone calls at 3 O' Clock in the morning calling her a "scab
bitch" and saying "how does it feel to fuck a scab?"--eventhough my
father had not even crossed the picket line and in fact had implored
some junior co-pilot's not to cross the picketline. A new "scab list"
was produced with my father's name on it--top of the list--eventhough
he had not crossed the picket line; his crime, to dare to speak out
against corruption and terrorism.

My father spoke with me and told me that he had to commit an act of
conscience. He told me that "it is just like Germany 1933, those who
remain silent about evil or cut Faustian deals with evil become part
of it." He told me that he had always told me to work within the
system to make change and that I had answered him that sometimes some
systems are so corrupt and rotten that to step inside or remain
inside them, even for good purposes, will result in someone being
corrupted long before the good ends are attained. He said, "I guess
you were right."

As an act of protest against ALPA terrorism, my father crossed the
picket line. He asked the Company to donate any salary or pention
beneifits to Disabled American Veterans as he did not want to gain
materially in any way from crossing the picketline; it was clear that
he was not crossing for economic reasons but rather as a protest and
he was therefore regarded as particularly dangerous by ALPA. The
company wanted to fly him in to SEATAC around the picket lines from
Bellevue airport- - as they had done with other non-striking pilots--
 but my father refused; he called the union and told them he was
crossing their picketline as an act of protest against corruption
and terrorism against innocents by ALPA members.

During that strike some of the following acts of terror were
conducted by ALPA members (some photographed in the act) and known by
management at NWA who did nothing to sanction or fire those members
even when they were caught committing terrorist acts: 1) tires on
numerous cars of non-striking pilots were repeatedly slashed; one
pilot and Naval Reserve Officer photographed in the act was not
dismissed by NWA management eventhough they had ample grounds for his
removal and suspension of license as Federal regulations require that
an Airline Transport Pilot be "of good moral character"; 2) a
"Mistress List" was passed around and wives of non-striking pilots
were called by women purporting to be the "mistresses" of non- striking
pilots; 3) cars, boats and private aircraft were sabotaged in subtle ways
so as to cause accidents and fatalities; in one case, mud was put in the
pitot tube of a private aircraft with the result that the 16-year-old
of one of the pilots found herself in the air solo with no airspeed
4) current and vital revisions to aeronautical charts were lifted out of
mailboxes of non- striking pilots with the results that some crews were
without current charts; 5) the wife of one of the non-striking pilots was
driven off the road at 70 miles-an-hour in Minneapolis; 6) a pipe- bomb was
placed under the car of one of the non-striking pilots; this
bomb was found and played with by two small children; 7) my parents
suffered firebomb attempts, a large tree chopped down to fall on the
house of my parents, tires repeatedly slashed and death threats
against the whole family.

My father retired on January 30, 1985. My mother thought that the
terror campaign would stop. Instead it eascalated and continued 8+
years after the 1979 strike was over--hatred builds phony unity. On
Feb. 21, 1985 my mother told my sister to "get the silver and
valuables out of the house, they are going to burn us out." "I guess
that I am the weak link"--my mother had suffered another heart attack
after the continued harassment. On Feb. 23, 1985 my mother committed
suicide; she walked into Lake Washington and held her breath under
water (Indian way) and the autopsy showed no water in her lungs.
Some people she met just prior to her suicide said she walked up to
them (they were boarding a seaplane) and told them "my husband is a
pilot, he just retired, but they will never leave us alone."

 My father called up the union and told them "well, you got
your suicide". While we were at my mother's funeral, they came and
poured ash into the engine of the father's car as an act of contempt
that only the lowest kind of scum could do--imagine, these creatures
are not just loading aircraft, they are flying them. I was forced to
leave my jobs in Canada and Puerto Rico and move back to Seattle where
I slept with a gun next to me as the campaign of terror continued for
another two years.

During all this time, my father repeatedly asked for help and
sanctions against union members who had been identified with terror
activities; NWA management did nothing to help to protect our family
or the families of others who were being terrorized. My father was a
personal friend of Mr. Donald Nyrop former president of NWA and my
father was also a leading aerodynamicist in the United States and his
aerodynamic research and innovation benefited NWA; yet
even his standing did not get him any help from the management at NWA.

I can well feel the pain of the family of the lady who was brutalized
at Northwest Airlinesk while the management (bent on cutting deals
with compliant union leadership) failed to fire or sanction those
union members who were obviously protected by union leadership that
had done a few favors to get a few favors.

Again, I thank you for your report although it was very painful to
watch. There are more and equally or even more dramatic stories beyond
what you reported on the machinations at NWA.


                                 James M. Craven
*  James Craven             * "All things have inner meaning and     *
*  Dept of Economics        *  form and power." (Hopi)               *
*  Clark College            *  "In this world the unseen has power." *
*  1800 E. McLoughlin Blvd. *  (Apache)                              *
*  Vancouver, Wa. 98663     *  "Be satisfied with needs instead of   *
*  (360) 992-2283           *   wants." (Tenton Lakota)              *
*  cravjm at     *  "The Great Spirit is always angry     *
*                           *  with men who shed innocent blood."    *
*                           *  (Iowa)                                *
*                           *  "It is no longer good enough to cry   *
*                           *  peace, we must act peace, live peace, *
*                           *  and live in peace."(Shenandoah)       *
*                           *  "A people without a history is like   *
*                              the wind over buffalo grass."(Lakota) *
*                                                                    *
* "There are many paths to a meaningful sense of the natural world." *
* (Blackfeet);  "A shady lane breeds mud." (Hopi);                   *
* "Strive to be a person who is never absent from an important act." *
* (Osage);  "Men in search of a myth will usually find one."(Pueblo) *
* "Life is not separate from death. It only looks that way."         *
*  (Blackfeet); "Some are smart but they are not wise."(Shoshone);   *
*  "The one who tells the stories rules the world." (Hopi);          *
* "Force, no matter how concealed, begets resistance." (Lakota);     *
* "The only things that need the protection of men are the things of *
*  men, not the things of the spirit." (Crow);  "When the legends    *
*  die, the dreams end; there is no more greatness."( Shawnee );     *
*  "I love a people who do not live for the love of money."(Dwamish) *
*  "Stolen food never satisfies hunger." (Omaha); "Man's law changes *
*  with his understanding of man. Only the laws of the spirit always *
*  remain the same." (Crow); "It takes a whole village to raise a    *
*  child." (Omaha); "Everything the Power does, it does in a circle."*
*  (Lakota); "Man has responsibility, not power."(Tuscarora)         *
*  "With all things and in all things, we are relatives." (Lakota)   *

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