Hock Hochheim's Combat Talk Forum

General Category => Knife Combat => Topic started by: FM451 on April 23, 2011, 08:21:45 AM

Title: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: FM451 on April 23, 2011, 08:21:45 AM
Just noticed yesterday, Paladin Press is releasing a new book on Mike Echanis. Runs about 500 pages, costs $29.95.  This may or may not be a different version of the Echanis book released by Black Belt Magazine. Just giving a heads up, as Echanis has been discussed on this board before.


http://www.paladin-press.com/product/Complete_Michael_D_Echanis_Collection/Military_Hand-to-Hand_Combat
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on April 23, 2011, 08:53:41 AM
Same Book as put out by Black Belt.
A BS story of a fake Military Career.
A BS story on his hwarangdo study and skills level.
Just a way to repackage Mike's old booklets and resell his material.

Here are posts from people in Hwarangdo before Echanis,and the story as they KNOW it ,not the BS concocted by the Lee's.

http://forum.kungfumagazine.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-5976.html
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Benjamin Liu on April 23, 2011, 08:55:50 AM
It it the same book published by Black Belt Publications.  Paladin Press is just carrying it in their catalog.

It is not unusual for Paladin Press to carry books they don't publish in the catalogs.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: FM451 on April 23, 2011, 10:09:24 AM
I headslap myself for not being more observant! I looked at the number of pages and price, but not who the publisher was - just assumed it was Paladin.  :-[
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: arnold on April 27, 2011, 03:48:21 AM
Book published in 1977, dies in 1978. Becomes a legend in less that a year! Holy Shit somebody tell Kent Bob that he didn't need to spend nearly as much time becoming a Super Hero!
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: FM451 on April 27, 2011, 07:41:01 AM
All the posts here on Mike Echanis have been fascinating to me. Just a quick google search brings a variety of Echanis discussions on various forums. One gives a different slant to how he died. The consistent story that I've encountered is that Echanis died as a result of an assasination - a bomb on board the plane. Either Echanis or someone else on the plane was the target. The plane took off without any pre-flight inspection, which might have located the bomb and prevented the explosion.

But, from a 2003 post from Blade Forums, is an account of Echanis' death that I'd never heard of.

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/95448-Michael.D.Echanis/page10

See the post titled "Cast A Giant Shadow" by Greg Walker. According to Mr. Walker,

"In the end Echanis and Company took a flight on a private aircraft where they elected to drop hand grenades from the plane on suspected Sandinista positions...apparently for fun. It is presumed they lost control of one of the grenades and it exploded inside the plane, causing it to crash into Lake NIC. SOF did a story on Echanis' demise with sidebar offering the eye witness account of a NIC lieutenant sent out to recover the bodies from the crash site.

In actuality, Gary O' Neal and his team assisted in the dive to the crashed aircraft. O' Neal recovered Echanis' body and identified it from a religious medal Echanis wore around his neck. He confirmed the wounds in the body were consistent with grenade shrapnel. His team would have likewise did an assessment of the damage done to the plane and determined whether it was an assassination or accident. As I recall there was no discussion of assassination..."

If true, what a hit on the "American Ninja" persona of Mike Echanis! No death in battle, not even an assasination, but to go out like Wile E Coyote. Say it ain't so!   :o

(http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/7221/wileecoyotee.th.jpg) (http://img717.imageshack.us/i/wileecoyotee.jpg/)


Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: patwxdaddy on May 25, 2012, 05:39:28 AM
Hock,
I don’t know where this JimH gets his info from? Please let me shed some light on this issue because these guys have been the subject of research and interviews for my upcoming book. Mike Echanis and Chuck Sanders were legendary talking with SF guys at Fort Bragg back in the day! They were all in the most famous and desired team in all of SF of CSM. John Jackivinko. Echanis WAS a Ranger in Vietnam but was shot in the leg so badly that he was never supposed to walk again but did that and much more.

Yes the movie ,"The Men Who Stare At Goats" plot bastardized several Psychic operations in the SF. Think about it, do you think the very liberal New Earth Battalion would had anything to do with the killing goats aspect. That misnomer is the reason I put out the original footage on Youtube to tell the real story because apart from the movie title from the factual book into a mangled fiction. The separate experiments of New Earth Battalion, the Trojan Warrior Project, The Jeti Knight Program, the Remote Viewers and the teachings of the actual goat killers Mike Echanis and THEN Guy Savelli.

I told Jon Ronson the author of the book that he missed some of the story but he was not interested after he got his movie deal. Big name actors alternate between a big selling movies and offbeat art films. In Hollywood’s desperate attempt to find new material they bought the books historical story and altered it for their own pop art needs. Trust me, unlike most peoples posted vids, my military videos were given to me directly from the makers.

Sanders and Echanis were in Nicaragua on a bodyguard gig for their president when he was assassinated. My roommate MSGT. J Gonzales was their close friend and teammate and til this day will only get drunk that day Sept 8th every year to remember  them. But truthfully Gonzi tells me actually Echanis was a mean sadistic bastard and Chuck Sanders was the real Spiritual Warrior but not the showman as Mike. They actually started a school and performed many exhibitions within SF but the school broke 7 legs the first day and only lasted  only that one course.

Funny story, Echanis partner Chuck Sanders had been doing Aikido since he was about eight years old. He is the tall lanky blond guy in the Echanis books, his fighting balance was as a part of him as walking. He would even watch cats for hours because he said the wasted no movement. He even lead his A-Team in meditation and used healing energies on a teammate who bent his knee 90 deg sideways, 30 min later the man stood up and rejoined the H2H training! So the movie Pink Panther was a real chuckle of the team guys in the 70s with his sidekick Kato. Kato was instructed to attack the inspector without notice, any time day or night to keep him sharp. Well a guy in 5th Group  SSGT.Green who had a Thai kick boxer for a wife, figured ol' Sprite Warrior Master Sanders deserved his own Kato, and Green volunteers himself! So Gonzi  tells me for a period of about a year. Everywhere that their A-Team went (Yes Mr.JimH they were on a real A-Team), Sergeant Green would drop out of a tree or come running out of the woods like a banshee and try to attack Sanders! Chuck would simply side step him sending him flipping down a hill or hip toss him and give him a little bitch slap. But those were the real colorful things team guys did. Where was Echanis was rather mean and would start fake fights down at the bar to beat the shit out of drunk soldiers for practice or really hurt people in training.

Echanis and Sanders would put on exhibitions where Echanis would hit Sanders and send him flying 15 feet through the air into a chair (well sometimes almost into the chair). As seen in SOF, their A-Team would get drunk and run jeeps over each other. It was Echanis who killed the first goat a few years before Col. Rowe sent SFC Len Rogers out to find Savelli. But Savelli actually scared the shit out of me the first time I was introduced to him by his student, SFC. Pavletic. But I was shown the original classified dead goat autopsy performed in the SF “Goat Lab” from the Camp McCall test.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on May 25, 2012, 09:11:19 AM
Patwxdaddy,
Here are  a couple quick questions to solve YOUR mistaken information:
What was this super famous SF Team run by CSM Jackivinko ?
(Probably super secret undocumented,lol)
What was Mikes job on this super secret Team,H2H instructor ?
When did Mike Echanis go to Ranger School ?
(he joined in late 69 and was in Vietnam in early 1970)
When did Mike attend Jump school?
How long was Mike in the US Army before being sent to Vietnam?
(a couple months total ,NO ?)
What unit was Mike assigned to in Vietnam ?
Was he with the 75th Ranger Bat ?(LOL)
How long was Mike in Vietnam ?

Savelli was the Stare at Goats Guy ,not Echanis.
Savelli stared at goats and ONE of a Group went down to the floor,supposedly an old goat ,(It did not die),supposedly Savelli also had killed small rodents with his mond,Mike Killed Nothing,never dropped any animal and NEVER claimed mental Powers,Only Savelli)
Savelli had a long contract with the US Army,Mike never had any contract.

How long did Echanis ACTUALLY study Hwarangdo under Jo Bong Lee ?
(He started training in 1975,was given a school and he taught 75-76 and he was in Bragg,visiting a friend on the SCUBA Team,and started teaching to live,make money,not at the invite of the US Army)

Mike did exhibitions of supposed skill,which all martial artists know are not super natural powers but are explained by science.

Mike WAS NOT a MEMBER OF ANY SF UNIT.
Not a Ranger School Graduate
MAYBE airborne ,but that is not verified.

Do you have friends of Mike and or DOCUMENTAION from officila sources about Mike, OFFICIALLY,training UDT and SEALs ? (LOL)

Please stop the BS Hear Say from Mikes Family ,Friends  and those using hi name to claim crap associated with Hwarangdo.
(Hwarangdo a made up art ,with roots in Hapkido,but since Hapkido didn't sell to well a trip back to Korea and a quick return suddenly Hwarangdo lives,lol.)

As a reasearcher please produce documented evidence and NOT HEAR SAY from friends.
SHOW OFFICAL Documents from the US military
Full Offical DD214 to start.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on May 25, 2012, 03:03:52 PM
Patwxdaddy,
quote:
"Yes Mr.JimH they were on a real A-Team"
LOl
What A Team ?
Where?
Not a Special Forces Green Beret A Team.
Not an A Team that included a non trained Mike Echanis.
Maybe an SF A Team,created by Mr Brown of Soldiers of Fortune (SF).
LOL

You say Mike was on one of the Greatest SF A Teams,but then you say he  was a Ranger.
Which is it SF A Team member or Ranger or both,lol.?

You do know SF is a Green Beret,called Special Forces.
Rangers were not and ARE NOT Special Forces,though now part of Special Operations.

Quote Patwxdaddy:
"Echanis was a mean sadistic bastard and Chuck Sanders was the real Spiritual Warrior but not the showman as Mike. They actually started a school and performed many exhibitions within SF but the school broke 7 legs the first day and only lasted  only that one course."
What course?
A course at Bragg ?
They broke 7 legs of whom,SF Soldiers ?
Mike was Sadistic as well as Masochistic.

You have military film,direct from the makers and those films show what ?
Mike Echanis doing what ?
If Mike Echanis killed a Goat with a thought,then why was it not until Savelli said he killed rodents with thought did they bring him,Savelli, in ?
Savelli was brought in to try and teach SF Soldiers to be more in tune with their bodies,mind,spirit and to control themselves and be aware of their capabilities  and have better awareness in the field.
Mind and mental projection were tried and trained and NO ONE duplicated what Savelli had done,not even Savelli.
It was a one time happening .

When did Mike develop this skill as being able to kill by thought ?
Was it when he was praised as onre of the Greatest practitioners of Hwarangdo of the highest ability ? LOL.
Mike was hated by the Lee brothers,until they thought he had opened a door in the US Military for them and he was welcomed back into the fold.

You sure you have a Camp McCall autopsy report on the dead goat ?
Dead Goat killed by who ?
Echanis or Savelli or both ?
It is also Camp McKall,not Camp McCall.
So maybe you do have a camp McCall report,lol.

You are repeating the LEGEND of Echanis stories,not truth.

Show me proof  of documentation of all this BS.

I know people who know the real story .
Mike was Black Belt in TKD given rank in Hwarangdo and he was a show man.
Never a Ranger,Never a Green Beret.
A writer for Soldier of fortune Magazine,working for and going to places under the direction of Robert Brown.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on May 25, 2012, 04:09:33 PM
I forgot
The CSM you say Echanis served in Nam with on an SF Team is Vladimir
Jakovenko,who was serving with the 6th Special Forces 69-71.
He was on the Son Tay Raid  in November 1970,had been training in Florida for the raid for several MONTHS prior to the raid.

What month and year was Echanis injured in Vietnam ?

Are you still sure Mike served in the greatest SF unit under SM Jakovenko ?
Maybe Mike was on the Son Tay Raid ?
They just left his name off the list of members on the raid as listed in the manifests and book,lol.

CSM Jakovenko met Echanis when CSM Jakovenko was assigned to 5th Group at Bragg,(not Vietnam)

Oh by the way Mike was wounded in May 1970 ,while riding in a truck along the An Khe Pass,Vietnam with only several weeks in country.
He was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze star with V.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on May 26, 2012, 10:35:35 AM
Patwxdaddy,
I see on other boards  you seem to like MACV,SOG,Red Cell and the First Earth Batallion to name a few.
You say that Col Nick Rowe was the basic founder of the First Earth Battalion but in Reality he was not.
The man who truly started the First Earth Battalion was James Channon.
Nick Rowe was a Believer and a true proponent of the ability of the human mind ,adaptation and ability to develop a better awareness of surroundings,much like a return to animal methods of survival.
(smell,hearing and an over all feeling of what was around you)
This was one of the stated goals of the First Earth Battalion as well as working and developing methods of warfare and survival that were out of the box.

Mr Ronsons book and movie were a conglomeration of stories of mystic adventures of the US Government and military in ralation to works and trials of the same things in regard to Russia and their military.
All things were not included in nor a result of the first Earth Battalion
and its directives

I also see many who claim that Mike Echanis was a LRRP and that seems to automatically make him a member of the 75th Ranger Battalion as what was called a Roll In.
Mike was Never a Graduate of the LRRP or MACV Recondo school.
Mike was never a graduate of the Ranger Course.
Mike Never Attended nor did he graduate SFQC.
Mike Never recieved a Silver Star

Before compalints about Military.Com allowing persons to see abreviated DOD Records,Mike was listed on there and NEVER had an MOS listed/assigned to him,not 11B/11C,nothing no less any more advanced training MOS ???

From reading writings by Mike,he NEVER Claimed anything in relation to  being in the LRRPs,Rangers,SF or anything.
These claims are made by SOF and Black Belt magazine  and then the Hwarangdo people .

Mike was not a remote Viewer,and the only claim to Mike having Killed a Goat by thought is made by Mr Wheaton who said that an old goat was dragged into the woods,brought into a pit,in the cold and the snow and died after Mike starred at it.
They supposedly buried the Goat in the bottom of the pit,so any autopsy must not have been done on that goat,lol.
If it did die,it was probably by poison to make the mystical BS happen.
Even other followers dismiss claims Mike had any power aside from his feats of self mutilation through self training,Taekwondo and Hwarangdo/Hapkido.

If you are writing a book I think it best you get real facts over stories of a legend,created by people selling magic tricks,mystical skills,(Never duplicated by them or anyone else again), and a martial arts style or falsifying a persons past to be more than they are/were  to sell writings by them in SOF mags.

Mike was a Soldier who served his country,got wounded in doing so,rehabilitated himself ,persued martial arts,found an Instructor who thought he could do something with Mike,gave him some basic skills ,put him in a school and Mike walked away to just hang out with a friend on an Army Base in North Carolina,a to earn his keep he started to teach the abreviated art he knew and being a Great showman sold it and the Mystical crap that went with it and developed a following,became a writer and was used by the owner of the mag to persue working,training and writing first hand accounts of civil and military unrest and actions,Mike died doing those things.
(Whether used by Brown alone or through Brown by the Government)

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Kentbob on May 26, 2012, 01:47:27 PM
Jim, I think you done ran him off!
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: TLE on May 28, 2012, 09:56:46 AM
I should be immune to this stuff by now, but I an still flabbergasted by the BS that abounds in ma/sd business. Probably it's the same in all business. And the sad part is the number of people who don't care. They will still buy products, attend seminars, etc...
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Benjamin Liu on May 28, 2012, 11:25:04 AM
You can find products sold in TRS-type ads for almost anything, as well as ads for courses on how to make money selling all those products, and even courses on how to make money selling courses on how to sell such products.  It's everywhere.

I don't think Echanis is a big deal.  Few people today even know about him.  Unlike Bruce Lee there is no system he set up with many current practitioners.  He is just discussed on some combatives and martial arts forums and few people outside combatives discussion forums or Hwa Rang Do even know who he was, and  Hwa Rang Do isn't all that popular. 

I also doubt many seriously train with his books.  I suspect that most who bought them in recent years collect them along with other old combatives or martial arts books just to have for their libraries.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Kentbob on June 09, 2012, 07:27:53 AM
I thought about buying one of his knife fighting books, many moons ago.  There's a good reason why I never did, though. 

The cover picture on this book just looked to Hollywood/fake/cheesy.  http://www.amazon.com/Fighting-Throwing-Combat-Special-Ranger-Udt/dp/089750058X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339248328&sr=1-2

And that's saying something, considering I was in my early 20s at the time and I was still goggle-eyed at all the cool stuff in the MA world.  After learning more about the guy, I'm glad.  I don't like to support frauds in any way.

Kent
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: TLE on June 09, 2012, 10:49:22 AM
Good God- the price for the knife throwing book starts at $82. And I threw mine in the garbage years ago.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Hock on June 19, 2012, 09:10:59 AM
Did it land in the can on the first throw?

Hock
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: ghostrider on July 20, 2012, 02:09:18 PM
I remember when I picked a copy of Micheal Enchanis' green book. I was in my late teens at the time. Of course it was very thin and only for a few bucks. It was really something seeing such defenses against a knife, must say I was really an admirer of Mr. Enchanis. Picked up his red book on stick fighting, and again was amazed. Both books gave me some insight on weapons which later on got me into Arnis training with Mr. Lynn. Even though the all of this info is coming out about Enchanis, and its a darn shame if that is the truth about him, which would not surprise me in this day and age. It did help me to know that there was more out there than just sport karate.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on July 20, 2012, 03:40:30 PM
The new Black Belt Magazine has a full two pages dedicated to the REVERSE Grip use of a knife and tells us that Mike Echanis is the one who really brought the Reverse Grip into Public View and made people think of it as a Real Fighting Method.They also tell us that all of Mike's original Books show cased the Reverse grip knife usage  and to buy Black Belts Book on Mike Echanis Methods.

I guess Black Belt Magazine has forgot their past issues and the writings and depictions of Samurai using the Tanto in Reverse Grip.
(I think they were pre Echanis,lol)

I am sure  that reverse grip was used in all cultures, through all ages since the development of the Blade.

I do not see Mike Echanis,even though pictured on the cover of his knife book with a reverse grip,as being the catalyst for the growth of reverse grip usage and fighting,lol.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Hock on July 20, 2012, 04:03:18 PM
You know Jim...I think you and I just need to go and retire somewhere. All this stuff can drive us crazy.

We'll take up a new hobby. See you at McDonald's tomorrow morning. Coffee is on me.

Hock
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 22, 2012, 12:15:57 PM
Hello, Hock - good to be on your forum - interesting thread - as you know I've researched and written on Michael Echanis for a number of years now - with the introduction of the new Spyderco Warrior and a recent Black Belt article on Echanis as well as the booklet that comes with Spyderco's evolution of the AMK and REKAT Warriors - I dusted off my research data and have edited in great depth the Wikipedia page for Echanis - I think the folks on this thread with find it interesting and it will be a work in progress - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Echanis
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 22, 2012, 12:47:33 PM
Regarding Echanis as being a "mean bastard" this is my understanding, as well.  The training he was conducting in Nicaragua ended up injuring so many of the students in the program that concerns were voiced by the appropriate NIC chain of command.  Randy Wanner, in one of several interviews with me, shared a number of insights as to Echanis' disregard for civilian casualties during firefights in NIC as well as during the 1978 National Palace take-over.  Chuck Sanders, again according to Wanner, was as described on this thread.  Very nice fellow, very well trained and experienced, an actual SFQC graduate who'd been with 5th Group and was part of the Special Warfare Studies Group at Bragg.  Wanner considered Sanders far more dangerous than Echanis in terms of being a professional soldier and SOF operator.  Another key player in all of this is Chief Warrant Officer Gary O'Neil whose association with Echanis I've detailed on the Wikipedia link.  Gary is in the process of completing his life's story with co-author David Fisher (one of the best in the business).  The book will be out after the first of the year.  I've encouraged Gary to include material on his relationship beginning in Vietnam with Echanis (Gary was his squad leader in C Company, 75th Ranger Infantry) and ending with Gary's A-Team in NIC conducting the body recovery mission of the downed aircraft and its occupants...then returning Echanis to Ontario, Oregon, for burial with full military honors.  I've talked with Gary several times regarding Echanis and have the utmost respect for him as one of the truly superb SOF operators in our community.  Finally, Jon Ford at Paladin Press had been for years asking me to consider doing a book on Echanis.  I've always declined and for one simple reason.  I'd write the whole story and it would be properly referenced / researched.  As with all of us there are parts to our lives that are less than inspiring.  Echanis was no different.  Years ago I'd spoken with his mom by phone and I came away from that wonderful conversation knowing the Echanis family continues to grieve the loss of their son and no good would come of causing them more pain than to "tell it like it was" regarding Echanis' darker side and mis-adventures.  He is a historical figure with a foot in the often crazy worlds of commercial martial arts/"soldiers of fortune" and international history (the war in Nicaragua, specifically the National Palace takeover as detailed on the WikiPedia link.  It's the balance of telling the story without causing undue discomfort / harm to the Echanis family that is the historian's objective. 
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 22, 2012, 01:43:45 PM
Have ordered the re-package of the first three Echanis/Wanner books from Amazon.  Early reviews on Amazon offer the quality of the project publishing wise is far less than wished for.  However there are new forwards which should be interesting.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 22, 2012, 03:14:25 PM
In absolute agreement with JimH ref the following -

No where have I ever found where Echanis claimed to be graduate of Airborne School, Ranger School or SFQC.  No where have I ever seen both published and unpublished photos of Echanis where he was wearing any nation's jump wings or a Ranger tab.  Nor have I seen where he was awarded a Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) which would require 11 Bravo (Infantry) or Special Forces designator (old "S" designator) or current "18 Series".  Vietnam era LRRP/RECON/Ranger companies often - as has been mentioned elsewhere - were manned by non-Ranger School graduate personnel. For years now private sector proponents of seeing the Ranger Tab awarded to acknowledged members of these units under specific criteria have petitioned for this and to date, to my knowledge, have been politely rebuked by the Army.  Echanis was assigned to Company C, 75th Infantry, according to Chief Warrant Officer Gary O'Neal.  In past conversations with Gary he has chosen never to comment on Echanis' "tab" credentials one way or the other.  He has confirmed his Bronze Star with "V" and Purple Heart.  He has and continues to offer his professional opinion that Echanis was a good soldier when he knew him.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on July 22, 2012, 04:36:37 PM
Hello Mr Walker.
Thank you for your service,your book ,articles and research/work on THE Resister,Mr Barry and Others.

Mr Echanis served his country,was wounded in doing so,served as a Contractor/SOF under Mr Brown and or who ever was running him, and Mr Echanis paid the price with his life.

To me I have NEVER Read Mr Echanis making claims to being anything other than a Basic Soldier who was wounded ,the stories are exagerated by those who sought to make money from him,SOF Mag,Mr Brown,Black Belt Magazine,Mr Jo Bong Lee and his Hwarangdo association .

The book to write would be one on Mr Brown,Soldier of Fortune and the handlers there,lol.

Jim
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 22, 2012, 05:34:37 PM
Hi, Jim -

Thank you for the kind words.

Again, I am in total agreement with you.  I just updated the Wikipedia thread for the final time although I will revisit it now and then to see what others may be encouraged to add with - hopefully - references to support their editorial.

That entire time period (the 1970s) was incredibly kinetic for the martial arts world, high risk contracting (or whatever else one wishes to call it these days), and our Special Operations Forces. 

Echanis was, as I note on Wikipedia, an enigma and very successful one.

He was more than anything else, however, a beloved son and brother to his family.

He was a Vietnam veteran assigned to a ranger company and shortly thereafter combat wounded and cited for his Valor under fire.  He achieved a remarkable physical recovery while in hospital and became a Wounded Warrior.  He was ultimately honorably discharged as a disabled veteran with all due benefits and the honor due our Wounded, Injured and Ill.     

Lao-Tzu wrote, "Even after death, those who are remembered will remain."

Certainly this can be said of Michael D. Echanis.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 22, 2012, 05:44:35 PM
As for the assignment given me as a Special Forces soldier by then Major General Kenneth R. Bowra, at the time the USASFC Commander, regarding the Special Forces Underground/Resister...

Once the mission was completed on behalf of the Command and with the "green light" given by the Command to tell the story you refer to I was honored to do so.

http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/1999/summer/a-defector-in-place?page=0,0

There is no place in the Special Operations Community for what Mr. Barry represented under the color of both an Army uniform and our most honored and bled for "Green Beret".

De Oppresso Liber -
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Benjamin Liu on July 22, 2012, 06:11:31 PM
In some of John LaTourrette's (the guy with the "Speed Hitting" ads in Black Belt) writings he mentions training Echanis and discussed him as if they were close.  Was his training a significant influence on Echanis? 
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 22, 2012, 07:56:16 PM
LaTourrette lived for many years in Idaho which is Echanis' birth state.  "Dr. John" offered many years ago that he provided training to Echanis and went as far as to grow an Echanis style mustache and adopt, for a period of time, an eerie likeness to Echanis. 

Both shared a strong interest in the subject of remote viewing and profound psychological powers for use in combatives.

Whether they actually knew each other much less trained together would have to be properly documented / supported by photos, neither form of evidence that I can recall ever seeing.

The current website for LaTourrette kinda says it all for me...

http://www.johnlatourrette.com/
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on July 23, 2012, 08:55:45 AM
I would doubt that Mr John La Tourrette ever met or trained with Mike Echanis.
Mr La Tourrette opened his Kenpo school in Idaho in 1974.
Mr Echanis was already in California and should have started his training in Hwarangdo.
Mr Echanis had said he had trained in Judo or Jujitsu as a Kid and then he trained in Taekwondo earning his Black Belt,Supposedly when stationed in Korea in the Military,( I do not think he was ever actually stationed in Korea),I believe he trained in Taekwondo after his discharge.

I knew that Mr Echanis was into the Mental Aspects of Training and Stress AWARENESS and the ability to use the mind/Mind Set to create feelings needed for combat,but I never heard that Mike was into remote viewing.

My knowledge of remote Viewing is kind of limited,but I have some Knowledge.
I know that it was believed the Russians had developed Mentalists who were able to remote View and that the US had wanted to find out if it were possible and they conducted testing and a search for those who had any skills in that area. At the Height of the program they had 22 people who worked in the program,only 7 people supposedly had real skill as Remote Viewers.
The Program ,which was depicted in Men who Stare at Goats Movie, was discussed at BRAGG but the Program was actually at Ft Meade under the name STARGATE Project.( the people in the program were interviewed on 60 minutes or 20/20 at the end of the program)

Mr Savalli,who dropped a Goat ,supposedly with mind control at Bragg,was not ,as far as I know,a Remote Viewer and I do not believe he ever claimed to be.
Mr Savelli,as Mike Echanis,Col Rowe and others did want training into the power of the mind in relation to Battelfield application but the program at Bragg and the Program at Ft Meade eventually produced small returns  and met their financial end.
(No one ,even after many years,accomplished what Mr Savelli did,ONE TIME, all that was gained was the ability to remain calm and more sensitivity in relation to that which was around you,animalistic sensitivity.)
I have met  one of the Remote viewers from Ft Meade and there is a List of those who actually had the skill and were there till the end of the program and Mr Echanis and Mr La Tourrette were never part of the program.
Again I think the truth is being stretched in regards to the powers of these men due to the fact they were Martial artists.
Jo Bong Lee even claimed such skills were able to be developed by dedicated training in hwarangdo. Well if this is so where are the remote viewers or those able to kill with mind control ? Did Dr  Lee have such skills at his level ? NO
Hapkido with a new name to be different than the rest.
Scientology of the Martial arts world,lol.

Mike Echanis was a Man who trained in Martial arts and did STUNTS  to make people believe in Mystical Powers.
Tony Robbins just did the same with his Training and his  recent end of training fire walking got a load of people got burned this time.
Stunts are stunts ,not mind control.
Fire walking is a trick ,as are breaking demos ,as is being run over by a duece and a half,(when you dig a hole and lay in it and make it look like the truck is running you over,lol.Gulible public believes Mystical crap.)
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 23, 2012, 10:15:35 AM
On second cup of coffee :).

Echanis did do stunts.  Several pictures taken of him landing breath-taking full force kicks to the chest of a student were achieved by Echanis running down a long table that had been set up and launching himself from it.

Great stuff once you know this.

He did have jeeps and trucks navigate over his body and he did have needles of pierced through his skin and have heavy weights attached / pull heavy loads.  This is not new stuff - I watched Robert Taylor do the same at a long past Soldier of Fortune convention. 

Chief Gary O'Neil has done likewise and has video on YouTube of him teaching blood flow and pain control to this day. 

I was at DLI in Monterey, California, when SERE began recruiting instructors in 1981.  My packet was accepted by Nick Rowe and SGM Carlson.  However my orders to the 7th in Panama overrode SERE (SF was ramping up the 3/7th for training and combat operations "Down South"). 

To this day I regret having missed out on the SERE assignment.

I met Rowe at Bragg in 1985.  A very unique individual.  Dan said of him "If Nick wasn't anything else he was tenacious...It was both his strongest and weakest trait.  Even in the camps he wouldn't back off."

I met and became very close to former POW and
Rowe's constant companion in the cages, Dan Pitzer.  Dan became a mentor and second father to me.  I stayed with he and his wife, Gail, many times. When Dan passed away from cancer he left me his silver Special Forces ring which I wear in his memory to this day.

Later, Major General Kenneth R. Bowra, USASFC Commander at the time, asked me to work with Gail and the SF Command Historian at the time (Dr. Richard Stewart) to create the CSM Dan Pitzer Memorial Conference Room at USASFC.  I was honored to be a part of that project.

Dan, who had retired from the Army and was teaching SERE for the Navy out on the West Coast, was coaxed back to Bragg by Rowe to serve as the new SERE program's senior civilian instructor.  I still have Dan's personal instructor notes / cards from this period of time.

Upon Colonel Rowe's assassination in the PI in 1989, I asked his wife Susan, Dan Pitzer, SWC senior librarian and confidant Fred Fuller if I could write Nick's story.  They agreed and I was given enormous support and provided with extra ordinary materials and background never before made public. 

I went to Fort Bragg and lived with Dan and Gail while interviewing and collecting information for the piece.

In the November 1989 issue of International Combat Arms "Fallen Soldier" was published.  It is 6 1/2 pages long with photos - unheard of in magazine publishing then and now.  The story not only covered Rowe's life but revealed the circumstances of his assassination, his fears, thoughts and preparations to avoid it and how the NPA guerrillas finally got to him.  All of this supported by documentation to include private letters written by Rowe to his close friend and comrade in arms CSM Pitzer.

Susan Rowe reviewed the article before it was published, provided one of a kind pictures of she and Nick and gave it her blessing for publication.  My copy of Nick's book, "Five Years to Freedom" is signed by both she and Dan.

There SERE Committee at Fort Bragg was so pleased with the article and its presentation of Rowe's philosophy that for some time it printed and distributed copies of the article to incoming SERE students.

All this to say to my knowledge Colonel Rowe and Mike Echanis never met.  Rowe resigned his commission in 1974 to run for state office in Texas.  He was not elected.  He reaffilated with Special Forces by joining the 20th SFG(A).  When Special Operations began to shift gears swiftly in 1981 (clandestine wars in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, for example) Rowe returned to active duty specifically to develop what would become the SERE program.

Mike Echanis had long before come and gone, dying in 1978.

Rowe's interest in the power of the human mind (as well and more importantly his belief in possessing and practicing Spirituality) was developed while a POW and would be reflected in his still available book "Five Years to Freedom".  Colonel Rowe vocalized this belief on one of a series of video taped programs made for SERE - which I watched with Dan Pitzer one evening at his home.

This belief is also noted in "Fallen Soldier" -

"An exceptional faith in God had blossomed inside of Nick Rowe, a faith hammered and tempered over the coals of isolation, starvation, cruelty and depression.  Says Pitzer of his and Rowe's religious beliefs, "If a man is going to survive the kinds of horrors we did, he needs three things that can't be taken away from him.  The first is faith in a Higer Being.  If you're an atheist, you'd better study up on some form of religion because in many countries, those who have no god to worship are considered souless, and are treated as less than common animals.

"Second, you need an unshakable faith in your country.  POWs are only useful if they can be used for propaganda purposes, or as bargaining chips...

"Last, you must have the ultimate faith and trust in your fellow POW.  Nick and I became closer than family when we were in Vietnam.  We relied on eachother for everything.  If you don't have faith in the man occupying the cage next to you, you're in a world of hurt."

I make it a point to visit Dan's final resting place in Fayetteville whenever I can get back there - and I last visited Colonel Rowe's gravesite at Arlington this last December. 

Respect.

Note:  Hock/JimH - if you would like a  copy of the ICA article mentioned let me know and I'll send two out to the office address.



Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 23, 2012, 02:06:46 PM
Little research - it does indeed appear Mike Echanis was awarded a CIB along with his BSM w "V" Device and Purple Heart.  More to follow.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 23, 2012, 02:54:33 PM
Link to picture of Chief Warrant Officer Gary O'Neil conducting blood flow / pain control demonstration many years ago now.  Gary's autobiography with noted author David Fisher is projected for publication after the first of the year.

http://www.dvidshub.net/image/298866/fort-bragg-warrior-inducted-into-army-ranger-hall-fame#.UA25VvmCnCY
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 23, 2012, 07:52:01 PM
Former Echo and Charlie Companies (LRP/75th Ranger Infantry) member Steven Dick posted the following on a past BladeForums thread about Echanis.

"I don't remember Mike while I was with the unit but he is carried on the "deceased" list of the E/20 Long Range Patrol-C/75 Ranger Association. If he was wounded and sent home after only three weeks with C/75, none of us in the unit would had much chance to get to know him. Look on the deceased list."

Dick, the editor in chief of the highly successful cutlery magazine Tactical Knives, served with Echo/Charlie companies in Vietnam in 1969/70.


Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on July 24, 2012, 11:40:02 AM
Echanis was at Bragg 75-76,he believed in the power of the human mind.
 
Nick Rowe was brought back and was running SERE,1981.
Nick also believed in the power of the mind as a result of being a
POW.
(I met Col.Rowe  and then Major Howard at Bragg in 1981)
 
Guy Savelli was brought to Bragg by Nick Rowe,due to Col. Rowe and Savelli's belief in the possibilities of the human mind and abilty to enable people to be more aware and force themselves to go beyond pain.
 
You can see some of the SERE instructors who trained with Savelli on youtube under Kuntao.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zKGx-HWIvU
 
These men are among the few who realized the human body is capable of much more,and it can be pushed further if trained right.

All of these people believed in the possibilities of the human mind and body.
...
Nice Picture of CWO O'Neil.
i Remember the pictures of Mr Echanis doing his piercing tricks.
It is not really control of Blood flow though is it ?
It is just to amaze those who do not understand that there are no mystical powers crap.
 
I remember as a teen watching a TV show where a Karate  guy stuck needels through his arms and carried buckets of water,maybe Takayuki Kubota ?
Not really stopping blood flow to do it,but selecting certain areas of the body to pierce,(like those today on TV shows using hooks through their backs)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g0fpeFYFV8
Like piercing a kids ears,a pinch,maybe some ice and go for it.
Not magic,just knowledge .

If someone can pierce the side of their neck behind the artery and pick up a bucket of sand that would be a good trick.
Or better yet.
if they can control blood flow then slash their wrists or stomach open  and see if they can stop the bleeding with out direct pressure.

All this crap of remote viewing and pain and blood flow are just to sell a product and make out that Martial artists are capable of extreme mystical crap,which is a load.
(not for nothing but if Mr Echanis could remote view then he should have seen the enemy setting up the roadside attack.)
Oh yeah he had not studied his 6 months of Hwarangdo yet.

...Now because someone says Mike Echanis maybe listed on the E/22-C /75 Rangers Association,are we now saying that Mike was a LRRP ?

No one remembers him because he was there a short time before being wounded.

Some one needs to get his DD214 and see what he REALLY was.
We know he did not go to jumps school,he did not go to Ranger school and he was not a Green Beret.
He may have been assigned as a leg to C /75  but that does not make him a LRRP or a Ranger
...
To much Hwarangdo BS to get to the truth.
DD214 would tell all,but no one wants to see it as then the bubble bursts on all the sales of materials around stories made up by Martial artists,magazines,articles  and book sales along with SOF reputation die off.

Hwarangdo is just repackaged Hapkido with some historical changes added in.
What were the Lee brothers selling before the revilation of training in ancient ways?
Hapkido
If they knew Hwarangdo why go study and teach an art like Hapkido ??
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 24, 2012, 02:03:12 PM
JimH,

I feel my earlier post regarding Rowe's belief in the power of the human mind was clear.  He believed in the power of the soul to comfort and strengthen the mind through faith.

Personally I don't get hung up on the magical mystery tour stuff.  Been around for centuries.  "My Dim Mak is better than yours" argument :)

CWO O'Neil was recently inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame.  If Gary chooses to include material on Echanis in his book it'll be very interesting as he is the best person, in my mind, to tell the story from a First Person role.

Steven Dick, editor of Tactical Knives Magazine and former LRP/C Company 75th Ranger (Vietnam) states Echanis is on the deceased roster of the Echo/Charlie Company Ranger Association.  Echo Company (LRP) became C Company 75th Ranger Infantry.  Tranistion and redesignation.  Hock knows Steve and can call / email him to confirm this.  Dick was there and is well respected by his fraternal association.

Quik question, my new friend.  Why haven't you requested a copy of Echanis' DD214?  Just wondering aloud.

I don't get to worked up about HWD.  Historically it is well documented today that TaeKwonDo and Tang Soo Do and Hapkido are actually the root arts of HWD.  However, HWD is a martial art and an effective one depending upon what one wants from it.  I agree with the Bruce Lee maxim regarding "the classical mess".  Datu Kelly Worden founded Renegade JKD and his art was blessed by both the late Jesse Glover and Taky Kimura, two of Lee's senior students in Lee's JKD.  Whose Kung-Fu is "better", more "real", more "effective"?

Again, I don't het up over this stuff anymore. 

Interesting final note to this post.  Echanis, Chuck Sanders and Nugyen "Bobby" Nugyen were all returned to the United States by CWO O'Neil's ODA.  All three are buried in Ontario, Oregon.  Sanders buried in his family plot - Echanis and Bobby buried next to eachother.  The latter occurred as no one claimed Bobby's remains and the Echanis family, when informed, requested he be buried next to their son.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on July 24, 2012, 04:02:06 PM
Hi Mr Walker,
The discussion is about Mr Mike Echanis,and for YEARS those in Hwarangdo,(after  Mike taught down at Bragg),promoted him,called him one of the Greatest practitioners of the Art and blew him up as some super hero under Hwarangdo.They forgot that when Mike walked away to head down to Bragg he was called all the names in the world and was not to be spoken of.
Black Belt Magazine used Mike to make him a Martial arts super Hero,who taught SF,and claimed him to be the Special Forces Airborne Ranger,and Hwarangdo Practitioner.
SOF used Mike and used his history as created for Black Belt,one that Mike himself never wrote about being entitled to.

Now after Mr Echanis died they make claims of supernatural powers ,that he never claimed either,(may have been interested in,but never claimed to do),the stunts he did were just that,same as many other martial artists did and do to attract people.
When you read the forward of the book ,which this thread is based on,if you were around the martial arts then and know some of the truth you have to shake your head at the claims made as to his Hwarangdo training and special skills.
AGAIN none that Mike ever claimed.

If you think my comments on hwarangdo or any other made by me are towards you,they are not,they are directed to those who USED Mr Echanis for their own goals.
You apparently are dedicated to Hwarangdo and those in it,but since you know some who have been ousted from their organization for no real reasons then you can understand my point of Hwarangdo's use of people for the good of those who are at the top of the pyramid.

Why do I not get Mr Echanis DD214 ?
I am just a regular guy,with nothing to gain from Mr Echanis name or material.Since I know what I know and I am familiar with what Mr Echanis IS NOT,though others claim him to be  ,I do not feel the need to get his DD214 and have no clue as to go about doing so,as a non family member. Others though can apparently get it and others who know what Mike was not can get this information,especially those who use his name to make a buck. A Buck I am sure his family does not get much if anything from.

Mr Steven Dick may be right that Mr Echanis name is on their deceased list, but that does not make anything official does it.The Association says anyone who served in the unit C/75 ,even if one day,may be listed.Though E/22 was about LRRPS/LRPS. Also who listed Mike on there ? (someone who read he had served maybe ?)
(I went on the E/22-C/75  sites and Ranger sites and never found the deceased listing of Mr Echanis) Again his name on a list does not mean he actually served,just that someone thought he should be mentioned there.
Mr Steven Dicks also served in E/22-C/75 at the time Mr Echanis was there and Does Not/Did Not know him. No one on any Ranger or SF site when this question of Mr Echanis claiming to be in one of these units ever knew him.They know his name through books and some from his classes at Bragg,of which I know people who trained with Mike there and were certified by Him there and I am told he NEVER claimed to be a LRRP,Ranger or SF.He was Just a Good Martial artist with  skills some people wanted to learn.

Again,Mr Echanis served in the Military,was wounded in Vietnam,got into Martial arts,got into writng and working for SOF and died doing work in a far off land  that he and SOF believed right.
Why does he have to be a Green Beret Airborne Ranger who taught Special Forces and SEALs and have magical powers ?

Again just a discussion nothing toward anyone reading this.

If it maters why I have not gotten Mr Echanis DD214,then tell me how to get a copy of it and I will. I will then send a copy to you and Hock.
I think I would need Mike's birth date ,Social Security number and dates of service.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 24, 2012, 04:40:52 PM
JimH -

I certainly don't think anything you have to say about HWD or the subject of Echanis is in any manner, way, shape or form directed toward me.

As you point out this is simply a discussion.

Actually I have no favored art and have trained in many over the years.  I found HWD to be very interesting and I enjoyed every Black Belt instructor and student I was able to meet while researching and doing some training in it.  But then as the founding editor of Full Contact Magazine "back in the day" I was blessed to meet, interview, train and spar with some of the very best in the "unconventional" as well as conventional martial arts arena.

Actually Echanis' name being on the LRP/Ranger Association webpage does acknowledge by his peers that he was indeed assigned to their unit/company and that inclusion was vetted by their folks. 

Also, CWO Gary O'Neil - as has been mentioned many times in the past and to whom I spoke with specifically about this - was Echanis' squad leader at C Co 75th RGR in Vietnam at the time he (Echanis) was wounded.

End of that particular story where I am concerned.

The whole Airborne/Ranger/Special Forces "thing" is also clearly - at this point in time - sorted out and back-stopped with hard references (See Wikipedia link and read carefully).  Echanis never claimed any formal qualifications along these lines and this, too, has been made clear.  Therefore it's really not an issue any longer unless we want to gnaw over the bone until we break our teeth doing so.

As for the D214 - as I'm a professionally trained and experienced researcher and investigator (a handy combination) I'd encourage you to do the homework and find out how to obtain a DD214 - then fill out the paperwork to do so after doing the research to locate the information required - and send it off.  Won't mean anything to you unless you invest your time, energy and effort - kinda like training in the Arts.

All of that info is out there.  One just needs to spend a bit of time running it down and putting it together.  Actually kinda fun.  Of course it's what you do with the information afterward and how you present it that makes all the difference in the world. 

I've followed the legend and memory of Mike Echanis for many, many years now.  Know more about him than most, less about him than those who actually knew him for any period of time.  The older I grow and the more I learn about life, about people, about me the more kindly and understanding I become.  Echanis was far, far more than just a Vietnam veteran, Wounded Warrior, decorated hero and martial artist.  He was a very interesting human being well outside those "boxes".

Although I've wanted to for years I haven't yet visited the graves of he, Chuck Sanders and Bobby Nuygen.  However, I am doing so this September 8th, the day they died in Nicaragua and I'm looking forward to it. 

For me, now preparing to enter my sixth decade in life, it is yet one more wonderful adventure to experience.

Mike, today, would be 61 years old.  He passed on at age 27. 

I love the following article by SiGung Art Gitlin, sadly now deceased, too.

www.kajukenbo.com/cafe/index.php?topic=5304.0

Words to grow by.

Respect.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on July 24, 2012, 07:43:28 PM
Mr Walker,
I have no need to gnaw on bones,just a need to stop the stories.
The ones gnawing on bones are the ones who made coin and are still making coin off Mr Echanis, his story as they tell it and his skills.
I make nothing,but I open people's eyes to what is.
Your addition to wikipedia does the same.

Truth, that is all the buying public need.

In your reply before last you mentioned at least three times that You do not get hung up on this stuff any more in regard to hwarangdo. That is why I mentioned that my references to Hwarangdo  were not directed to you.
Glad you did not take them as such.

I would love to read Mr O'Neil's book when it comes out.

Thank you for the dialogue,much appreciated.

Jim
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Hock on July 24, 2012, 08:25:48 PM
So, was he a Ranger or not? Did he actually graduate "the school?"
Something like might be easier to find out?

Hock
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 24, 2012, 08:37:22 PM
Jim,

Chief O'Neil's book will be an incredible addition to the growing library of extra ordinary autobiographies and biographies coming from our SOF community.  We need the "Old Warriors" of the level of achievement they have attained to share their stories and their wisdom.  We have so many great SOF warriors from OIF/OEF now who are likewise bringing their experiences to us, as well.

It is my strong sense the recent "surge" of dialogue that is not focused on further exploiting Echanis for profit is occurring for a good reason.  His "other story" has much to offer - and that story is relevant today as it is the story of how seriously wounded, injured or ill Warriors have and continue to overcome enormous challenges to attain a "New Normal", if you will.

The oft overlooked (and I am certainly guilty of being uneducated and hence unaware of this, too) period of Mike's life was that between his return to the states and an Army hospital - and his re-appearance in rehabilitated form roughly two or so years later.

This is the all important snapshot in time where Echanis embraced healing and recovery and new mobility and accomplishment over becoming an angry, beaten down, non-productive veteran collecting a disability check back home in Ontario.

It could have gone that way?  How and why didn't it?

There are answers already out there and these can be expanded and built upon to help us understand how rehabilitation and reintegration can and does occur.

Our OIF/OEF veterans are doing it every day.  Echanis, as only one but a very well known One, did it over 30+ years ago when things medically and otherwise were quite, quite different.

And he, in part, used the martial arts to help him find his path.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 24, 2012, 08:45:57 PM
Hock,

He never claimed to be a Ranger School graduate.

All sources tell me he did not attend Ranger School.

He never claimed to have attended SFQC.

All sources tell me he never did.

I am doubtful he went to Airborne School but am waiting on solid sourcing before saying otherwise.  As I have pointed out there's not a picture of him I've seen during his "public face" days wearing U.S. jump wings.  Being so closely tied to Soldier of Fortune it would be almost mandatory he wear them on something for "street creds" in the mag ... and he never did.

Yes, I have submitted for a public record copy of his DD214.  All schools, awards, overseas tours are considered public information and will be reflected in the document.  Information covered by the Privacy Act will not.

It'll take some time for them to process the request but I'll be sure to update the forum when I have something.  Pretty routine practice for journalists/historians.  They get and process these all the time.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 24, 2012, 09:00:43 PM
Postscript -

In the strictest of sense Michael Echanis was indeed a Ranger.

He was assigned to a Ranger unit; served in combat with the unit; was wounded in the unit and was decorated for valor by the unit.

We have three current Ranger Battalions.  The core of the battalions are the E2s, E3s and E4s who are the war fighters.  It has always been this way.  The overwhelming majority of these are not "tabbed".  Based on a current briefing I was privileged to attend the average Ranger war fighter from this population has over 300 combat missions under his rucksack and has deployed multiple times.  I would not tell one to his face that he is not a Ranger nor would I tell anyone who served in Vietnam with the Ranger companies as a "grunt" that he wasn't a Ranger ... unless I was suicidal and had a good dentist.

Those who attend Ranger School are selected under a grueling process.  They used to call it RIP.  Now they call it RASP.  You cannot make E5 Sergeant unless you have attended and graduated Ranger School.  The average tabbed E6 Staff Sergeant has over 600 combat missions to his credit.

Ranger School is and always has been a small unit leadership course.  Not a qualifier to serve in a Ranger company or battalion.  This dates back to the school's inception in, I believe, 1952.

In today's Ranger Speak they refer to themselves as "Scroll House" or "School House" Rangers. 

Scroll House means you've got a battalion right sleeve combat patch which announces you having served in combat as a Ranger and which battalion you served with.  A Combat Infantryman Badge is most often in attendance if you were a shooter.

School House means you have attended and graduated Ranger School.  The tab is only worn on the left sleeve side and above your unit patch.

Echanis would be a Scroll House Ranger and that's pretty damn impressive by anyone's standards who has served in in the Rangers and in combat.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Hock on July 25, 2012, 06:22:36 AM
So any soldier can be assigned to a Ranger Battalion, and upon that assignment and with a firefight, is automatically a Ranger, or a Scroll House Ranger? Interesting.

Hock
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on July 25, 2012, 07:00:21 AM
From Wikipedia...

Quote
There is some dispute over the use of the word "Ranger." According to John Lock,
The problems of the Ranger Tab and indeed Ranger history is in large part caused by the lack of a clear-cut definition of who is a Ranger. The Ranger Department, the Infantry School, and Department of the Army have in the past carelessly accepted the definition of a Ranger unit to include the use of terms 'Ranger-type' and 'Units like Rangers,' and 'Special Mission Units.' In his book Raiders or Elite Infantry, David Hogan of the Center for Military History writes that 'By the time of the formation of LRRP units..., Ranger had become a term of legendary connotations but no precise meaning.' For the want of a definition of who and what is a Ranger, integrity was lost. As a result of Grenada, circumstances have changed. Since 1983, men have had the opportunity to earn and wear an authorized Ranger unit scroll or an authorized Ranger Tab or both. But there is a need for a firm definition of who and what constitutes a RANGER. Without that definition, we face the likelihood of future controversy.[32]
Organizations define the term "Ranger" in different ways. For example, the annual "Best Ranger Competition", hosted by the Ranger Training Brigade, can be won by pairs of participants from the 75th Ranger Regiment, or by Ranger qualified entrants from other units in the US military. For an individual to be inducted into the U.S. Army Ranger Association's "Ranger Hall of Fame" he "must have served in a Ranger unit in combat or be a successful graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School." The Ranger Association further clarifies the type of unit: "A Ranger unit is defined as those Army units recognized in Ranger lineage or history."[33] Acceptance into the US Army Ranger Association is limited to "Rangers that have earned the U.S. Army Ranger tab, WWII Rangers, Korean War Rangers, Vietnam War Rangers, all Rangers that participated in Operations Urgent Fury, Just Cause, Desert Storm, Restore Hope, Enduring Freedom, and all Rangers who have served honorably for at least one year in a recognized Ranger unit."[34]

Very interesting. So one way a soldier can be considered a Ranger based on lineage rather than a type of training.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on July 25, 2012, 08:15:20 AM
Just when you think you are out they pull you back in,LOL

Mr Walker,
I did do some homework,LOL.

i would agree if Mike Echanis served in and or were wounded in a Ranger unit then he would be called a Ranger.
When you get the DD214 you will know if he was assigned as a Ranger or if he maybe was a LRRP swallowed up when the Ranger companies,C in this case took over the LRRP units.

Here is some info that may be of interest.
Hopefully Helpful.
Also some info on being tabbed and or scrolled in from the E/22-C/75 Historians.
If he served in Combat as a Ranger then scroll or tab missing he is still entitled to be called a Ranger.(that is to be established as to were he was assigned when wounded,as that was his one and only Combat encounter)

All the Best
Jim
De Oppresso Liber

During March 1969, Lt. Gen. Charles A. Corcoran assumed command of I Field Force and an enhancement of ranger capability was begun. Company C constructed a basic and refresher training facility at Ahn Khe and conducted a three-week course for all non-recondo-graduate individuals during April. The company then used the course for new volunteers before going to the MACV Recondo school. In late April, Company C shifted support to the 173rd Airborne Brigade's Operation WASHINGTON GREEN in northern Binh Dinh Province. Company C assisted Company N by conducting surveillance of enemy infiltration routes that passed through the western mountains of the province toward the heavily populated coastline

****** Question:
Was the Recondo prep school closed when the unit moved to Bihn Dinh ,or kept in use ?

***** Timeline of C/75 around the time Mr Echanis would have been there:

On 1 February 1970 the company was split when two platoons moved into Tuyen Duc Province and then rejoined on 6 March. Numerous team sightings in the Binh Thuan area led to operation HANCOCK MACE.

Company C was moved to Pleiku city on 29 March 1970, and placed under operational control of the aerial 7th Squadron of the 7th Cavalry where they conducted thirty-two patrols in the far western border areas of the Central Highlands.

***** On 19 April the company was attached to the separate 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry and relocated to Ahn Khe, where it was targeted against the 95th NVA Regiment in the Mang Yang Pass area of Binh Dinh Province.

The rapid deployments into Pleiku and Ahn Khe provided insufficient time for teams to gain sufficient information about new terrain and enemy situations prior to insertion and they sometimes lacked current charts and aerial photographs. Company C effectiveness was hindered by poor logistical response, supply and equipment shortages, and transient relations with multiple commands. These difficulties were worsened by commanders who were unfamiliar with ranger employment. Thus, the rangers performed routine pathfinder work and guarded unit flanks as well as performing recon missions.

On 4 May 1970 the company was opconned to the 4th Infantry Division. The following day Operation BINH TAY I, the invasion of Cambodia's Ratanaktri Province, was initiated. Although ranger fighting episodes in the BINH TAY I operation were often fierce and sometimes adverse, the operation left Company C with thirty patrol observations of enemy personnel, five NVA killed, and fifteen weapons captured. On 24 May 1970 Company C was pulled out of Cambodia and released from 4th Infantry Division control.

Four days later they were rushed to Dalat to recon an NVA thrust toward the city. Their recon produced only seven sightings but an enemy cache was discovered containing 2,350 pounds of hospital supplies, and 50 pounds of equipment. They remained in Dalat less than a month before being sent back to rejoin Task Force South at Phan Thiet.

***** Note:

Mike Echanis was wounded At Ahn Khe in May XX,1970.
Was he at Ahn Khe for the Recondo prep school or was he there to assist  3rd Batt 506 Inf ?

Here is the historic perspective of scrolled/tabbed:
this is from the E/22-C/75 association pages.
http://www.armyparatrooper.org/dropzone/showthread.php/20974-The-True-story-of-the-LRRP-LRP-RGR-amp-BDQ-in-Vietnam
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on July 25, 2012, 08:34:20 AM
The problem with the definition of Rangers ,as said in the Wiki piece is what about overlap.
Let us take Vietnam for example.
LRRP's,LRP's were operational teams ,trained in the US or Vietnam,some untrained who were assigned to units like the 173rd or 101st or others.
They operated as LRRP's,LRP's until around 1969 I believe when the Army Command wanted them under a singel structure and men of the units above and others were swallowed up by the Ranger's.
So one day you were a LRRP for 173rd,for example,and the next day you were under a Ranger unit command.
Do you suddenly go from the 173rd  as a LRRP,LRP to being called a Ranger ,doing basically the same job ?
That is the problem,are you still part of your original unit,on loan so to speak to the Ranger's or are you a RANGER from that point on.
Even many of the men who served in these units are not sure.

Here is a link that speaks to this situation.Men who are Historians of the LRRP's,LRP's that were suddenly Rangers.
It is a good read if interested in the hiistory of these men and their units.
http://www.armyparatrooper.org/dropzone/showthread.php/20974-The-True-story-of-the-LRRP-LRP-RGR-amp-BDQ-in-Vietnam
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 25, 2012, 11:10:48 AM
Coffee break -

Few quik thoughts on the above -

For the sake of setting a discussion standard we might agree that - Vietnam War to Present - if one graduates from Ranger School one is rightfully referred to as a Ranger.  If one is assigned to a designated Ranger unit or the current Ranger Regiment but does not attend/graduate Ranger School, one is more accurately referred to as a "ranger".

Big "R", little "r" just for the purpose of creating a baseline we can all work from.

If so, I would revise my reply to Hock by offering Echanis was indeed a (r)anger on the basis of unit designation by the Army and assignment.

This baseline could also then be applied to WW2 and Korean era Rangers/rangers although Ranger School was not stood up until 1952, if I recall correctly and the WWII veterans were actually first trained by the Brits in commando operations which our Army then designated as ranger operations. 

All very esoteric.

Otherwise there's no reason to further dismantle a dead man's military service simply for the sake of doing so.  JimH is spot on when he says it was the money makers who created the Image to begin with - and they still are - witness the reissue of the O'Hara books as well as the 2010 booklet written by Mike Janich that hinges on the Echanis legend (although Mike is quick to point out per former REKAT Knives founder Bob Taylor that Echanis had nothing to do with the Warrior Knife other than suggesting a serration feature be included.)

The booklet is a marketing tool and not a bad one.  However if it all hinged on Bob Taylor and Randy Wanner I don't know if they would be "sexy" enough if you know what I mean.

And, no disrespct to Mike, the material he drew from is essentially rehashed with little new introduced by Mike that I can see.  There are inaccuracies in it such as offering Echanis was assigned to the 75th Ranger Battalion in Vietnam - which did not exist.  I pointed this out to Mike and he graciously offered it was an editing error on his part.

Ah, well. Whadda gonna do? :)

I can see now why Gary O'Neil has maintained the position he has over the years regarding Echanis.  And that is, and I paraphrase, "he was a good soldier when I knew him and he did what he had to when he had to [Vietnam firefight when Echanis was wounded].

If I am fortunate enough to get an appropriate response back on my DD214 request I'll share upon receiving.  The only thing I'm interested in is if he indeed attended Airborne School prior to Vietnam and if he indeed, as implied in several past articles to include Janich's writings, served in Korea.

Otherwise, on the eve of the annversary of his death, may he rest in peace and may his family be comforted.

Respect.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on July 25, 2012, 11:48:20 AM
Quote
I can see now why Gary O'Neil has maintained the position he has over the years regarding Echanis.  And that is, and I paraphrase, "he was a good soldier when I knew him and he did what he had to when he had to [Vietnam firefight when Echanis was wounded].

That says a lot.

BTW, Here's a non-Echanis story that shows some of the grey areas of the time and place.
http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-6909.html

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 25, 2012, 01:55:43 PM
Baez was former 3/7 SFGA member.  Was of NIC decent.  Was given rank of CPT in Sandinista Army after defection and return to NIC.  Reported as captured then killed in battle of Lolo Valley in Hondo by Honduran Special Forces. 

He was advising a column of Sandinista sponsored Honduran guerrillas infiltrating from NIC back into Hondo to attack a U.S./Honduran base.

Haney's account has been challenged for some time now and he has gone moot on the issue since.  I was surprised when I read his book. 

Carney was radical Jesuit priest and was with column, as well.

There is quite a bit of information/speculation on this event but bottom line is that the Marxist Honduran revolutionary movement never gained a toe hold in Hondo thanks to the aggressive campaign conducted by the then Honduran government and its military and supported by the US. 

That's both history and public record.
 

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 25, 2012, 02:45:28 PM
Jim,

We don't know each other, I believe.  You signed off last post or so with DOL.  What Groups?  Retired? 
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on July 25, 2012, 04:17:33 PM
Yup, that's the story that I pretty much believe about Baez. And that's what I mean by grey. Lot's of folks running around doing covert things that it muddies things up, so I can see where Haney was coming from where you can't believe that a good guy went rogue or became a merc or worse. I learned long ago to take history and the public record of that time and place with a grain of salt.

FWIW My wife and I both have family and friends from down in that neck of the woods and the stories they tell about both sides in all the civil wars they had back then just make you shake your head. The "good guys" sucked but the "revolutionaries" were worse, and Lord help you if you were a merchant or business man with any amount of success stuck in the middle. I still have people try to convince me that the Sandies, Chavez and FMLN were good guys who just wanted to help the poor. I've walked out of more than one Mass when a visiting priest from SA or CA tried from the pulpit to sell me on Liberation Theology. Then again I know folks with kin who were disappeared.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 25, 2012, 04:27:39 PM
It was both a crazy time and the "Wild Wild West".  Met several "former" FMLN guerrillas while attending Portland State University a few years ago.  Interesting discussions with them.  Yes, they were just "helping" and none ever offered having done anything "bad" during the war. 

Echanis got down there in the late 1970s and was only able to remain alive for a very few months.  The region really caught fire in '80 after NIC was taken over by the Sandinos - after that all hell broke loose. 

Crazy...
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on July 25, 2012, 04:56:50 PM
And of course The War on Drugs added yet another layer to what was going on. The history of that time will be fascinating reading one day.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on July 25, 2012, 05:17:33 PM
BTW Greg, any thoughts on Bob Duggan's idea that Echanis may have been part of a planned coup?
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 25, 2012, 09:38:32 PM
Check out the Wikipedia link on Echanis as the National Palace take-over and the immediate three weeks afterward resulting in Echanis' death is very detailed and referenced to more than Soldier of Fortune :)

I think very highly of Bob D in all respects and we have communicated in the past in the most positive of manners.  It is my strong sense when Bob remarked on this aspect of the story he was, in part relying on what SOF published.  That story soon became accepted as the truth which is unfortunate.

IMHO, I believe as is offered by Somoza in his 1980 book and in other accounts afterward that many in his senior officer corps were very angry at his resolution of the National Palace take over.  It was a matter of honor as well as a matter of hating the FSLN to such a great degree that retaking the palace by force regardless of the loss of innocent lives was of no concern.  Somoza, in his own words, did not feel this way and would not take responsibility for the 300-400 deaths that Echanis himself advised Somoza would likely occur.

Was there likely a great degree of disgruntled and threatening talk afterward at all levels of the NIC military?  Absolutely.  Did Somoza, as SOF offers, hear of a plot by General Allegrett and Echanis to replace him, as brought to his attention by the mysterious "Big Bob" of the CIA? 

There is no hard evidence of this other than rumor/speculation coming from inside the NIC military itself.

But it makes a better story than Allegrett/Echanis dive bombing some little FSLN encampment on Lake Nicaragua from a private plane with Echanis throwing hand grenades from the co-pilot's seat out an open window and losing control of one with the expected results.

I mean, Barry Sadler is now believed to have simply mis-handled his .380 while intoxicated in a GUAT taxi cab.  I believe SOF spun up the assassination angle with him, as well.  Stupid ways of dying playing with guns and explosives are not new and no one is immune from carelessness / bad judgement.

The National Palace take-over was one of those pivotal moments in a war where the tide turns from one side to the other and the other wins because of it.  Somoza could not win either way - storm the palace and all international support for his government would evaporate because of the casualties - to include the country's entire congressional body being murdered.  Resolve it as he did and the FSLN claims a major victory and international support starts to rethink its support of Somoza.

The latter is exactly what occurred with Somoza stepping down and out in '79.  By 1980, he was dead thanks to a Sandinista hit team.

Respect.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on July 25, 2012, 10:18:57 PM
Mr Walker,
I was 3 years USMC and 8 years on an ODA with 11th SFGA.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on July 26, 2012, 06:02:03 AM
Thanks Greg.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 26, 2012, 09:57:03 AM
Jim,

Our two youngest sons are Marines and GWOT veterans.  We are a Marine Family and proud of it.  "Semper Fi" and thank you for your service.

I was with 10th and 7th while on active duty.  Old 12th which when they deactivated the Group our company went to the 19th up in Washington State.  Deployed to Kuwait and then into Iraq with the 19th for OIF and retired in '05.  Spent some DIMA time with 3rd which I enjoyed quite a bit.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on July 26, 2012, 12:07:29 PM
Mr Walker,
I worked a lot with the 10th.
Had a good few from the 10th in the 11th.
I was in 1980-1988,so if you were at Devons around then we shared the same ground.
We did a lot of training and exercises in Europe,so we probably shared the same ground at the same time there as well.

Our unit had a good few guys from all over the Ranger,LRRP's and SF community,most Vietnam vets who had Great First hand operational knowledge.
It was a Great unit.
Got to work with other Great US and International units.

I know a few people from the 7th,that were prior Rangers,that you probably know from work down south.

A good number of our guys went to the 19th in R.I. and the 20th in Mass. when they deactivated the 11th,many still in working around the world,many well over 30-35 years in.

All the best to your sons,Tell them Stay Safe and Semper Fi from an old Marine.Thank Them for their service ,for me.

Six degrees of seperation.
There is always someone we know who connects us to each other.
I am sure we share a good few of these.

All the Best
Jim
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 26, 2012, 12:28:26 PM
Jim,

Coffee break :)

Was at 10th in 1980, Charlie Company, 3rd BN (ODA 333).  We did some great, great training on all fronts based on Cold War mission at that time :).  Went to DLI then to 3/7th in Panama. 

Yes.  At 12th we were on same ODA for years.  When we moved over to the 19th most of us stayed onboard.  By the time we went to KU/IQ we had 82 fully qualified operators with years in SF/Rangers prior to coming to the 19th. 

Of course both the 19th and 20th have since distinguished themselves in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.  We've taken our losses, too.

DOL!
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 27, 2012, 10:46:53 AM
Had good talk with Bob Taylor last night.

Been many years.

As always, very interesting and with some good laughs along the way.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on July 27, 2012, 10:51:14 AM
And? ;D

C'mon Greg, you going to keep this idiot (aka me) in suspense?
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 27, 2012, 12:24:40 PM
Bob offers he had no meaningful input regarding section in Sypderco Warrior booklet regarding Echanis.  His primary input is in next section regarding the development of the knife under Wanner, Wanner/Taylor, Wanner/Taylor/Al Mar, Taylor/REKAT.

Randy Wanner became very frustrated with all the business haggling and politics (knife industry abounds with this as almost a pasttime) and left REKAT to pursue his own life.  Little more on that subject known / available.

Bob offers the Spyderco model is definitely re-design coming from Guy Rafaeli, Israeli martial artist, one of the founders of Israel Combat Systems.

So there is distinct and substantial differences in design intent from the original Warrior through those other evolutions mentioned leading up to Sypderco's knife.  These are fairly well described in the booklet in the appropriate latter section.

As I mentioned before Bob T was wise to interact with Spyderco and arrange for the WHOLE history of the knife beginning with Wanner and then Wanner/Taylor to be documented.  Makes for a nice product insert and keeps the stories straight, for the most part.

Bob has read the Wikipedia page and to date finds it accurate in those areas he has direct knowledge of.

One new note I recently confirmed after reading a very interesting post on BladeForums last weekend.

Mike Echanis, Chuck Sanders and Nuygen "Bobby" Nuygen are all buried in Ontario, Oregon.  Echanis and Sanders were indeed childhood friends.  Echanis is buried in Sunset Cemetery and Sanders in Evergreen in his family's space. 

Bobby Nuygen's body was unclaimed.  The Echanis family requested he be buried with their son.  His final resting place is actually the row in front of Echanis', directly in line with Mike's grave. 

Says everything about the Echanis family, I think.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 27, 2012, 04:03:49 PM
Just got my copy of "The Complete Michael D. Echanis Collection" from Black Belt Books.

This is merging of all three original books into one (paperback) volume.

There is no editing of the original books' contents that I have found.  The one historical inaccuracy that still remains in the original forward that attributes "The man in the arena" quote to President John F. Kennedy when it was actually said by President Theodore Roosevelt.

In one of the new Forwards introducing "Collection" Cam Echanis, Mike's younger brother, likewise uses this quote but he correctly assigns it to Roosevelt.

In short, there was little to no proof reading done to cross reference important details such as this and, in my professional opinion as a published author and writer, it detracts from what should be an error free new product.

The back cover of the book ascribes Echanis as dying "in an unexplained helicopter crash in Nicaragua".  Again, from the beginning of the reports on the aviation crash it has been factually documented Echanis and Company were killed in a private aircraft, not a helicopter.  Again, no excuse for not getting this right in "Collection" at this late stage of the game.

The photo reproduction is good but was much better in the original books.  I would have preferred high quality clean photo reproduction in what is promoted as being a commemorative product.  You can clearly see hundreds of little "dots" in each photo and initially this is distracting if you are familiar with the original books.  Again, a bit larger budget for this project would have made all the difference in the world production wise.

There are three Fowards to "Collection".

The shortest and most relevant is from Cam Echanis, Mike's youngest brother.  This is the first time a member of the Echanis family has agreed to author anything coming out about MDE.  It is objective, to the point and clearly states the family's feelings about MDE, Chuck Sanders and Bobby Nuygen's deaths as being in the defense of our country. 

One statement that caught my attention is as follows:

"Some have speculated that Mike and his colleague, Chuck Sanders, were mercenaries, while others claim they had their own agenda in Nicaragua.  This may be true, but our family believes they are fallen soldiers and were there to make a difference for the safety of our country."

Very objective.

The next Forward is by Grandmaster Taejoon Lee and was likewise written in 2010.  A bit more lengthy with GM Lee offering Echanis trained under Joo Bang Lee for 3 1/2 years beginning in the spring of '75.  What caught my attention was the following quote from GM Lee describing his recollection of how Echanis came to know/train in HWD -

"My father then tried to give Echanis some training in teaching the art by placing him in charge of our school in La Habra, California.  The students were constantly getting injured and sent to hospitals.  Echanis was also famous for crashing open tournaments and challenging the current and past champions to full-contact matches and wiping them out.  This type of behavior clearly demonstrated to my father that Echanis could not exist in the civilian sector so he encouraged him to re-enlist."

Of course Echanis could not re-enlist due to the severity of his war wounds and clearly Joo Bang Lee, according to his son, couldn't afford to have him around in "the civilian sector" where HWD was concerned. 

It appears Echanis was likely asked nicely to move on which makes an interesting tie-in to ESI founder and former HWD Black Belt Bob Duggan's published recollection (quoted by Janich in the Spyderco Warrior booklet).

This that Echanis stole money from the La Habra school to finance his trip to Fort Bragg ... an act which Duggan describes as breaking Joo Bang Lee's heart when it was discovered.

The third and last Forward is from Michael Janich.  Also written in 2010 it is interesting to note this is the same year the SpyderCo Warrior project was released with Janich working for Spyderco at the time and writing his own segment in their product insert on Echanis.

MJ shared with me years ago that he was in the Army at one time and I would have like to have seen him reflect his service in the Forward to add to its credibility.  MJ also refers to formal martial arts training he was studying and, again, I would have liked to have known what art or arts these were to better frame his observations.  Finally, MJ offers having talked with former students of Echanis who were/are in the SOF community.  I'd have liked to have seen at least one named to add substance to the claim (i.e. CPT Chuck Karwan, Retired/Deceased, who I'm sure MJ must have known before Chuck passed away).

Otherwise it's a nice little bit of writing.

I believe "Collection" is a good package in one volume if only for the nuggets of information in both Cam Echanis and GM Lee's recollections.  Black Belt Books could have done a better job of proof-reading to catch the errors noted and they could have invested a bit more in photography reproduction.  But - it is what it is.

I don't believe we'll ever see a publication reflecting the 3000 other reported photos of that three-day shoot at O'Hara.  Too many obstacles involved to include Randy Wanner stately clearly that he was the only one who could correctly place them in proper sequence and write the content for such a book(s).

I got my copy of "Collections" on Amazon for $20.91.  That's a fair price for the product.





 
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on July 27, 2012, 08:43:48 PM
Sierra912?
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 27, 2012, 09:32:55 PM
Affirm / and Kasik.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on July 27, 2012, 09:59:26 PM
From the consolidated Mike Echanis Book:

To me Taejoon Lee has no clue of what he is speaking of in relation to Mr Echanis and Hwarangdo.

(From the new book as posted by Mr Walker ,above )

The next Forward is by Grandmaster Taejoon Lee and was likewise written in 2010.  A bit more lengthy with GM Lee offering Echanis trained under Joo Bang Lee for 3 1/2 years beginning in the spring of '75.  What caught my attention was the following quote from GM Lee describing his recollection of how Echanis came to know/train in HWD -

The following is from the Hwarangdo historical timeline:
http://www.hwarangdo.com/timeline.htm

March 10, 1975 :
U.S. Army Special Forces Training Program begins Hand-to-Hand Combat School conducted
by Michael Echanis. (Ft. Bragg,


To me:
How does one train for 31/2 years starting in the spring of 1975,when Mike was already at Ft Bragg teaching his methods and aspects of Hwarangdo in the March of 1975 ??

Mike had minimal time in training in Hwarangdo,months not years.
(stated by those who knew and trained with him to prepare him to teach at the La Habra,Ca. school)

Mr Echanis died in Sept 1978,so how did he train under Dr Lee for those  supposed 3 1/2 years ?
I doubt Mr Echanis trained with Dr Lee much at all ,and probably not at all from 1975 when he left for Ft Bragg,though they got together for pictures to enhance Dr Lee and hwarangdo possible entry into Military training.
(Would have been a better alternative to GBJJ)

The forward of the book ,is an Expanded truth by Taejoon Lee for sure,to make Mike Echanis talent all creditable to the Lee's and Hwarangdo.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on July 28, 2012, 05:54:41 AM
Jim,
You may want to read some of this as it has posts by some that we're close to what was going on. Personally I pretty much ignore anything Henry Lee has to say.

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/95448-Michael-D-Echanis/page5
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on July 28, 2012, 08:59:12 AM
Noload,
Thank you for the link.
I am sure others interested in Mr Echanis will like the info contained there.

I have been interested in Mr Echanis since his articles started to appear in Black Belt,Soldier of Fortune and other places.
I have his books and most of the Mags still.
Because of Mike's writings I even bought the several volumes of the Lee Brothers Hwarangdo books.

I have read the forums over the years,and I know many do not like what Mr Duggan has written,but his writtings seem to give a picture of what was going on,and it is very different from what the Lee Brothers and Taejoon Lee have written.
Mr Taylor's small outline also seems to show a Big difference between truth and fiction.
The Lee brother's ,as many Martial artists from Korea at that time,made people who became students and were given rank more like life long indentured servants ,there to serve the Master of the school.
ERRRR wrong country for that. Men who were given rank and training rebelledand they were expelled,lol.
How do you take away a man's knowledge and skill ?
Maybe say he no longer represents our group,but  to threaten people that if they teach the materials after they are expeled is a joke.
Mr Echanis provided a possible new avenue for the Lee's and Hwarangdo,so he was welcomed back and honored ,while others unable to provide a similar growth road were disavowed and shunned.

Today the field is more open.When the Master goes to far,you can leave and teach on your own,open a school under a different entity and or if so inclined find another MASTER,lol.
Most go it alone. Back then they did not,loyalty ,to a degree ,to the end.

How much did Mr Echanis Make from his so called fame from these people ?
Probably not much.
How much did his family get after his death from these people who called him friend after his death and before for money,the magazines and book writers and publishers using his name and works to line their pockets ?
Probably very little to nothing.
Mike was a showman,a with a self belief/chip,a sellable quality and SKILL and people made a bundle from him and are still doing so through today,34 years after his death.
(Just like Bruce Lee,these men will never die and be distant memories,as they are a money making product)

This renewed interest in Mr Echanis is to cash in on the release of the new condensed book,so now people that were too young and or didn't know the potential of Mr Echanis can cash in or back in with books ,magazine articles and products.

I know I will upset some,but what else is new.

Could the release of the New Spyderco Warrior have been done some other time ?
Like years ago ?
No
Could the work to make sure Mr Echanis was connected to the C/75 have happened sooner or later ?
Sure but the need is NOW.

Let's get real 3% of a 400 + dollar knife given to Special Operations Warrior Fund,a whole 12 dollars per knife,WOW.
I bet 25% to the SOWF would still leave room for a NICE profit.
Influenced by Mike Echanis,Bob Taylor,Randy Wanner and Hwarangdo.
Are those guys or their families getting anything from it,as they should ?

Keep Mike,his past and his memory alive,not to enjoy what was when he was alive but to cash in on what was and the money to be made since his death.
Ka Ching,Ka Ching
Not a martial art or skill but the cash register taking in the money.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 28, 2012, 11:37:18 AM
JimH,

Spot on!

I presented Henry Lee's comment ref the alleged 3.5 years for the sake of doing so.  That is their story and it has to remain their story for all the reasons and more you have mentioned.

No where have I found where MDE actually trained in HWD for longer than 15 to perhaps 20 hours.  Lee does, in the "Collection" forward confirm Echanis did not attain his rank "the old fashioned way".  I also found his observation about the reason JBL sent him down the road to be new information coming from this source.  That, I think, makes it valuable historically as pieces are properly fitted together.

For the record MDE made only what SOF may have paid him for the martial arts articles published between '74 and '76.  He got nothing from the HWD folks other than free training (an investment for them as we've seen) and free room and board, at times, at the La Habra school.  According to my interview with Wanner many years ago now - all royalties for the first three books were signed over to JBL by Echanis et al.  I imagine they continue to receive some form of income from the books, to include the new "Collection", to this day.

Bob Duggan offers great insight about Echanis and the HWD period.  Witnessed first hand and carefully considered/presented when he has chosen.  Between he and Wanner a fair picture is presented as to Mike Echanis during the last six years of his life from those that were there.

As for the current royalty status for the SpyderCo knife -

I have it on good authority an agreement was reached that no royalty was wanted or would be accepted by anyone involved with the old AMK/REKAT projects.  Instead any royalties generated by knife sales were to go to, initially, the Wounded Warrior Project.  However, Mike Janich discovered the Special Operations Wounded Warrior Foundation and his suggestion to shift donations to this fine organization was agreed upon and continues to this day. 

Spyderco is to be commended for their support of SOF's Wounded Warriors in this manner - they didn't have to do or contribute anything.  I am not surprised as I've known Sal G at SpyderCo for years - he is this kind of guy which is why Al Mar thought so highly of him.  Good on Janich for doing a bit more research and arriving at the SOWF - that organization provides great assistance to our SOF wounded, injured and ill.  I know this firsthand.

Finally, any new or corrected information about Echanis (i.e. the C Co, 75th Infantry correction) is not due to making any money for HWD, SpyderCo or anyone else.

I began correcting the record shortly after reading a review (not four weeks ago now) on the Spyderco Knife on the SpyderCo Forums page.  The truth is out there and it is too easy to properly locate, confirm and then present. 

Several of us are correcting the record and are thereby, at this time, putting Mike Echanis as a human being, man, soldier, wounded warrior, martial artist, family member, brother and son into proper and long overdue perspective.

That's how exploitation is brought up short.  That's how a man's memory and contributions are properly honored. 

I thank Hock for allowing this thread to be one of a select few where we can discuss and present old facts anew, and do away with unsupported myth and gross exploitation.

Respect. 
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 28, 2012, 12:15:19 PM
Interesting facts for the weekend -

-  Echanis' middle name was Dick.  While in high school there were actually two students named "Michael Echanis".  Michael L Echanis and Michael D Echanis.  Michael L was the all American high school success.  Football co-captain, Homecoming King, Boy of the Month.  Michael D was a thin, slightly built and essentially average member of the student body who lived his high school experience in the shadow of Michael L.  So much so that Michael L was nicknamed "Big Mike" and Michael D was called "Little Mike".  It is as of yet unknown if the two were related in some manner - Ontario is a very small community and the Echanis family is quite large and well rooted there. 

-  Chuck Sanders was married in Nicaragua just two days before his death.  His wife was a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina (Obit, Charles "Chuck" Sanders, Argus - Observer, Ontario, Oregon).

- Sanders, born on May 21, 1948, in Ontario was the son of a prominent family.  He graduated Ontario High School in 1967, two years before Echanis graduated.  Chuck Sanders was a star athlete in high school.  He was awarded the "Unsurpassed Award" for his skills on the football field.  (Obit, Charles "Chuck" Sanders, Argus-Observer, Ontario, Oregon)

-  Sanders trained in Judo as a child/young man and then excelled in the art/sport while attending the University of Oregon prior to enlisting in the Army. After his death his family suggested anyone wishing to make memorial contributions could do so by contributing "to the Ore-Ida Judo club in care of Bertelson-Lienkaemper Funeral Chapel" (Obit, Charles "Chuck" Sanders, Argus-Observer, Ontario, Oregon).

- While serving with Special Forces SGT Sanders was awarded the Army's Soldier's Medal, its highest non combat award for heroism.  This for saving the life of a fellow Soldier during a high angle climbing exercise during which the Soldier fell.

-  MDE excelled at track and basketball while at Ontario High School, which he graduated from in 1969.  He played basketball for the Ontario Tigers (#21) and was on the track team's high jump squad.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 28, 2012, 12:19:37 PM
Postscript -

"Big Mike" Echanis also played basketball for the Tigers during the same time "Little Mike" did.  He was #33.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 28, 2012, 07:02:02 PM
Update to Wikipeda page made - last one for a good while and offers documented/referenced information regarding unit of assignment when wounded (circa 1971, public information source), extraction from BSM w V narrative (Army, public source, 1971) and public source information regarding Chuck Sanders.

Bad info and marketing hype just that - the result of lazy a** writers and advertising sharks -

But MDE invited and encouraged much of this so there's enough to go around, I suppose.

Thanks for enduring me, guys :)

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on July 28, 2012, 09:46:03 PM
Been a pleasure Greg!

Jim,
I've just been thinking about all the HRD books and videos I have, and outside of the original late 70's HRD book most of the videos seem to be from the late 90's to pre-9/11. Dr. Bang's Century videos, Wanner/Taylor, Jesse Lechuga and one fellow whose tapes I've lost. Seems like there was a good opportunity that it could have caught on if not for wacked politics from the HQ as it was one of the better traditional arts in way of documentation of techniques.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on July 29, 2012, 03:29:09 PM
What I forgot to ask last night, does Echanis even matter to anyone under 45, and if so how? He's interesting to me in a way, but to a guy training today how does he show up in their radar?

The books aren't that good compared to material available today, we have more SEALS willing to teach their training, we really have more of everything now than we hoped to get out of those books. So why is Black Belt still pushing MDE?
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 29, 2012, 04:28:08 PM
Ha!

No, likely not (does Echanis matter?) :)

Why is Black Belt / the World Hwa Rang Do Association still milking his name for whatever it may still be worth?

JimH may agree with me -

$$, my friend.  $$.

They own the already published material and it costs them almost nothing to reproduce it / republish it. 

As with any business they have already forecast what they need to make to show the profit they want to show.  If they make more than the forecast, great, if not ... the worst that happens is they break even.

If they lose $$, which likely they won't, they can still write the losses off tax wise.  I believe the publishing industry remains the only one where for every $1.00 you invest, $2.00 can be written off.

It's a no lose situation for them.

And unless they are donating a percentage of the profit to a charity that perhaps the Echanis / Sanders families would approve of ... well, don't hold your breath :)

It's all about the bottom line.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on July 29, 2012, 05:25:24 PM
I didn't think publishing had a bottom line anymore. ;D

It still is amazing to me that the HRD people think there's still some marketing magic in his name. I've met or trained with SF guys who did a hell of a lot more than ME in the field and have never really seen any of them held up by their respective arts in the same way. But I guess part of that is the way HRD seems unique in the degree of how it promotes itself, which is one reason it's interesting for me.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 29, 2012, 09:52:22 PM
Ha! :).  Good observation on publishing.

I'd offer the only reason MDE continues to have the public venue it does is because of Black Belt / O'Hara Publications.  They have the horsepower to keep it going as long as it is profitable.

My copy of "Basic Stick Fighting, 2003" is the 21st print run!

So there's a strong following that continues to be regenerated via BB/O'Hara and that following is profitable.

The WHRDA has enjoyed strong ties for decades with BB/O'Hara.  However, I think it's fair to say that without BB/O'Hara and these fraternal ties the Lee Family the Echanis legend would have drifted quietly into the night long ago.

I've long appreciated the art (HWD) and have heard all sides of the politics - which are really, in my mind, no more or less than the politics of Jeet Kune Do  :).

Quick note regarding the question of whether Echanis was a ranger or not ...

From "Shadow Warriors - The History of the 75th Ranger Regiment" - which is a superb history of the Regiment dating back to WW2 -

The 75th Infantry was reorganized and activated on June 1, 1969, under the Army's Combat Regiment System.  15 Ranger companies were activated, 13 of these saw combat in Vietnam.

Company C (Ranger), 75th Infantry, 1st Field Force (Vietnam) was activated on February 1, 1969.  It's core unit personnel, as with the other companies in Vietnam, was made up of seasoned LRP veterans.  The company was deactivated on October 25, 1971.

Michael D Echanis was assigned as a replacement to this company and was by all objective and official parameters a ranger.  He accorded himself as a ranger, per Chief Gary O'Neil who was his squad leader at the time, and was wounded/decorated for valor as a Charlie Company ranger.

Those are the facts.  Period.

With this in mind two things are also true.

There can no longer be any doubt as to why Echanis was so proud of his status as a ranger.

The reason it is important for us to ensure the facts, regardless of what they may be, are preserved is to honor his sacrifices for our Nation as well as to ensure the recorded recollections of his memory are not further marred by what is not true or accurate.

He's a very interesting part of the military and martial arts worlds -
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Benjamin Liu on July 30, 2012, 01:41:59 PM
From my observations, in the MA world (and probably many other activities as well) earlier books/videos/instructors that become popular tend to stay popular even if much better books/videos/instructors are available.

If an instructor read the Echanis books in the 1970s and told his students to read them in the 1980s and their students read them in the 1990s, today, unless they are actively looking for new knife ansd stick books, they'd likely recommend these books to their students.

That's also one reason why authors like Grossman and DeBecker are so popular even though better books are available and why Hick's law and all the adrenaline nonsense is still considered "cutting edge" these days regardless of current research.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 30, 2012, 03:55:38 PM
TogetherWeServed web page on Echanis just updated to include the Wikipedia page - nice - the Internet is a wonderful thing.

http://army.togetherweserved.com/army/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=EventExt&ID=25950
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on July 30, 2012, 04:10:15 PM
Interesting observation Benjamin. In my day job tech & methodologies come and go, too much really, but in regards to martial arts things move much slower until there is an event big enough to shake everyone up.

Echanis' status is interesting as he was really a relative non-player in the larger martial arts world even when he was alive outside of the small SF community.
Speaking of which, how many US SF did he actually train?

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 30, 2012, 05:17:07 PM
I don't know that anyone really knows / has a record.

He did train operators at SEAL Team II in San Diego for about 4 months, according to a post from Tom Sutherland, former SEAL, who offers Echanis stayed at his home for this period of time. 

At Bragg, very hard to say.  Again, if there's a record that's valid I haven't seen it.  We do know he ranked the people noted to belong to the Special Warfare Studies Group (i.e. Sanders and O'Neil).  There is a photo of him likewise giving graduation certificate to Keith Idema at Fort Bragg.  Idema, like Echanis, is very controversial subject.

It is my best guess he (Echanis) discovered he could not make a living doing short contracts for the military.  In his interview with Tom Fenton at AP, just before his death, he stated he was only in Nicargua "for the money" and because he hated communists.

SOF's column by column checks would have been simply beer money.

Having to eat and have a roof over his head my guess is he ran out of options at Bragg, got offered a contract in NIC, and went for it.

One reason why there is so few who can legitimately say they were trained to any degree by MDE - coming from the SOF community at the time.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on July 30, 2012, 05:27:25 PM
Mr Echanis was not contracted to go down to Ft Bragg to teach Special Forces.
Mr Echanis went down to Ft Bragg to hang out with Mr Sanders of 5th Group.
Mike began teaching Members of 5th SF.
Mike also Volunteered to work with members  Special Forces, the 82nd Airborne, and 18th Airborne Corps at the Fort Bragg a couple of days a week for then Commanding General Hank Emerson's“Fit-To-Fight Program”.

According to Keith Idema,11 Men only were certified by Mr Echanis as qualified Instructors of his version of Hwarangdo instruction.
A picture on Keiths Old site shows him getting his certificate from Mr Echanis.
Others in the background of that picture were others awarded their certificates that day
There were not that many courses run by Mike at Bragg.
I have no clue as to other military units.
I have seen a list of a couple of Navy guys qualified and one US Marine,supposedly of 2nd Force Recon.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 30, 2012, 07:37:24 PM
Jim, great info.  Forgive my use of the term "contract".  Simply what I'm used to using in general.  My error.  Yes, saw the pic of Idema last week. 
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on July 30, 2012, 08:53:53 PM
After looking around the net it seems that there are a lot of people who confuse Wanner with ME in regards to Hwarangdo history and who trained who. Also it would seem ME invented most of the techniques used by the Special forces. ;D
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on July 30, 2012, 09:06:11 PM
Mr Walker,
i had written my response to Noloads question,and your response was there already.
My use of the word contract was not in reference to your post but to what a lot of people believe,which is, Mr Echanis had a contract to teach Special Forces at Fort Bragg and that is why he left teaching Hwarangdo.
He left  to go to Fort Bragg to be with Mr Sanders.
Teaching guys from 5th Group and other teaching that he did just happened.Unplanned events which made him a sort of legend to the martial arts fans and some one to seek out for certain military types.

Mr Echanis,I believe ,could have been one of the people who could have gotten his style of hwarangdo into the Military,much like GBJJ /MMA is today.
He had the personality ,skills and belief in himself which could have sold it. J.B.Lee did not have such ability to sell hwarangdo to the Military.(My opinion)

I knew Keith,he was driven,maybe similarly to Mr Echanis,but I only know Mr Echanis through stories,so similarly may not be correct,but both men were driven for sure.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 31, 2012, 04:34:49 PM
After looking around the net it seems that there are a lot of people who confuse Wanner with ME in regards to Hwarangdo history and who trained who. Also it would seem ME invented most of the techniques used by the Special forces. ;D

I have it on very good authority MDE did indeed evolve his HWD training under both Wanner and JBL into, essentially, a hybrid system of military close quarters combatives and killing that was unique to him.

Pretty interesting as from the early 90s to the present this approach has been repeated whether it was Paul Vunak (PFS), the lads at SCARS, the Gracie JJ instructors who received military contracts with the SOF community, Kelly Worden (Natural Spirit, with a long history training - for example - the 1st Special Forces Group at Ft. Lewis) and so on.

What Echanis did would later become a trend although many years down the road after his death.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on July 31, 2012, 06:26:43 PM
How so Greg? What kind of techniques did he use that were unique to him? Where did he gain the knowledge and experience to do so? Where did JBL and Wanner get their knowledge and experience?
I'm not saying it isn't so but there are some jumps in ME's training that I'm trying to understand.  8)
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 31, 2012, 07:37:05 PM
Same question I have - and my strong sense is that the missing years of MDE's development beginning January 1971 after his medical discharge from the Army and return home ... to (roughly) 1976 when he left SOF Magazine as its martial arts editor.

This is a five year span that we have little to no information about training / personal development wise. 

We do know, from a 2009 story in the Ontario Argus - Observer recalling Echanis' story that Ben Plaza, a childhood friend interviewed for the piece, offered MDE once home from the Army began working out (weight lifting) and "bulking up".

This in continuation of his rehabilitation/recovery process post the MIL hospital in San Francisco.  Mr. Plaza also offers this is when Echanis began studying Carlos Castenda's precepts regarding shamanism, among other subjects.

Not at all unusual at that point in our cultural history.

Retired Special Forces major, Vietnam veteran, writer/author/editor Jim Morris ("War Story" - the classic SF book of SF in Vietnam) has studied Carlos Castenda for years now and today teaches veterans how to successfully attain meaningful recovery on the basis of his understanding of shamanic healing.

Another up and coming martial artist during this period was Bruce Lee.  His work began being studied in any form it could be starting in 1971 as his movies caught on.  Lee would pass on in 1974. 

Lee's art, Jeet Kune Do, originated in 1967 and it can be presumed with some aclarity that Echanis would be aware of Lee, JKD, and may indeed have begun reading / watching Lee's interviews and published work as did a huge audience of martial arts instructors and students back then.

Lee was a modern pioneer in the refinement of movement and the power of the human mind to overcome adversity.  We might remember Lee's 1970 near crippling back injury.  Lee was told he'd never practice the arts again.  For months while suspended near immobile during his recovery he did nothing but read and study - he overcame his injury and exploded as a martial artist and philosopher.

It is an interesting irony that both men were severely injured in 1970...both proved their doctors wrong...both sought out of the box rehabilitation and training to excel and both studied the powers of the mind as an integral aspect of their martial development.

Lee easily could have been someone's story who Echanis, as a severely wounded veteran, would be more than interested in.

All this to say I think MDE evolved tremendously in his thinking, training and personal direction from 1971 to 1976. 

I do know from interviewing SiGung Art Gitlin that he found Echanis gifted, intense and willing any time to get on the mat and go all out.  Gitlin signed off on Echanis to Brown at SOF regarding the martial arts editor position.  Art is/was very respected in both his character and art so his opinion cannot be underscored.

In short, based on what I know and am discovering now, by the time Echanis got to HWD he was well along in a multitude of ways and on many levels. 

JBL's experience is rooted in his seniormost role as the founder of HWD as we know it.  Wanner was his senior instructor and scribe for many years.  As noted, Wanner received permission to train Echanis in anything Echanis wanted - which was primarily the killing techniques in HWD and the esoteric aspects of the art.

Datu Kelly Worden, who is close friend and brother of mine, did exactly the same when he began training SOF personnel/operators many years ago now.  He took all of what he'd been taught, what he was still in the process of learning, what he'd created when he founded Natural Spirit International and evolved a purely SOF centric training program.

Someone else who did the same is Chief Gary O'Neil.

And yet another is retired Special Forces martial arts instructor/ legend Jim West.

This is the era and generation of Special Operations soldiers that Echanis belongs to.

Fascinating stuff.  As Bruce Lee offered us "You must first open your mind!"



Anyhow, if we're going to truly understand how Echanis developed I believe we need to learn about the years 1971 through 1976 in this aspect.



Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on July 31, 2012, 08:28:40 PM
Together We Served link / Echanis / copy of 2009 Argus=Observer story quoting Ben Plaza -

http://army.togetherweserved.com/army/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=EventExt&ID=25950
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Hock on July 31, 2012, 09:09:06 PM
Who here remembers Carlos Castaneda and Don Juan? Raise you hand?
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8088.Carlos_Castaneda

Hock
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on July 31, 2012, 10:30:49 PM
This may explain some of Mr Echanis time and who he trained with.

Mike Echanis had known Shihan Toshiro Nagato ,from Ontario ,Oregon.
Shihan had benn sent there by the Kodokan.
Shihan was also into kick boxing.
Upon his return to Japan he tried his hand at kick boxing to earn money but it did not work,as he was too tall and heavy and needed to drop too much weight to fight well.
Shihan had wanted to study with Hatsumi.
Shihan was invited back to the US By Mike Echanis,who wanted to study with Shihan in hopes of teaching H2H to Special Forces.
Shihan trained Mike Echanis in Judo,Combat Judo and Kick Boxing.
Mike wanted Shihan to come with him down South ,but Shihan did not go,instead he returned to Japan and began his studies with Hatsumi.
Shihan is now a 9th degree under Hatsumi.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Kentbob on August 01, 2012, 03:37:28 AM
Who here remembers Carlos Castaneda and Don Juan? Raise you hand?
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8088.Carlos_Castaneda

Hock

I sorta do.  I mean, my dad had some books lying around, and now and then I see the titles pop up.  From what I understand, it was pretty much new age tripe.

Kent
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 01, 2012, 06:01:15 AM
JimH, that is really interesting information and a great find about Nagato, where did you come across that?

Greg,
I'm really surprised that more folks weren't coming out of the woodwork during the ME peak talking about how he trained with them. Also, what H2H skills did Chuck Sanders have and pass on to ME?

BTW did Jim West serve with Chief O'Neil? You wouldn't think West could kick and move like he does by looking at him.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 01, 2012, 08:43:00 AM
Jim - that's good, good stuff.  Can you source it for us?  I haven't been in touch with Stephen Hayes for years but I could reach out that way if you think it might help.  Are you in touch with the Hatsumi folks?

I remember the CC craze but did not read any of them.  Knew friends that were really interested at the time.

NL, as you may know and it sounds like you do, there are folks still who shake and shiver when they hear Jim's name.  Mainly those he has a dislike for.  When I last saw him a Bragg he was in fighting shape and had his school.  I talked with him some time after that and he was training fighters for UFC kinda matches.  He's a good man.  I don't know if they served together - I can't help but believe they know each other, though.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 01, 2012, 10:39:05 AM
He's been located close by a couple of times but I've always missed the opportunity to train with him. The guys who know him have a lot of respect for him. The late 70's and the 80's hold a special interest to me in regards to SF H2H as most of the guys had traditional MA backgrounds and they've often filled in some blanks in my training.

Next question, in one of his videos West makes what seems to be a passing reference to the Hwarang, did he train with Echanis or any HRD people?


Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 01, 2012, 12:06:35 PM
Here is a similar synopsis,not sure if this one mentions that Mike Knew Nagato from when Nagato taught at the University in Ontario,Oregon.

http://www.usadojo.com/biographies/nagato.htm

Shihan Nagato was also a believer in use of contolled psychic power for use in H2H / Self Defense.

Here are some people who knew Mike,trained and worked with him in the Fit to Fight program at Bragg.
http://www.hawkinstaekwondo.com/about.html
This one is retired SF:
http://www.bendellkarate.com/Bendell-Don.htm

Mr Walker,
Here is a potential point of contact,in bujinkai,who might help you if you seek to get in touch with Shihan Nagato.

He is a former Navy Pilot,and retired Sheriff.

Robert Johnson - Shihan Jugodan (15th Degree Black Belt) MWTK Host 2010
Indianapolis Bujinkan Dojo - Indianapolis, IN

Website: http://www.bujinkanindy.com/index.php

Bio:  The founding instructor of Bujinkan Indianapolis Dojo, Shihan Robert F. Johnson is a retired Marion County Deputy Sheriff with 30 years of law enforcement experience. He was the first in Indianapolis to be awarded black belt in Togakure Ryu. Shihan Johnson is the highest ranking Tagukure Ryu Ninpo practitioner in Indiana at Jugodan (15th degree black belt), and was a personal student of the first westerner to be awarded a teaching license in Takure, Steven K. Hayes. Shihan Johnson now trains directly under Soke Hatsumi, and has trained with master instructors Maj. Fumio Manaka and Toshiro Nagato. In addition to Shihan Johnson's rank in the nine schools of the Bujinkan system, he also holds a second degree black belt in Isshinryu Karate, awarded by his personal instructor, Mr. Clarence S. Ewing, seventh Dan. Shihan Johnson is a P.K.C. certified judge, and referee. Shihan Johnson is a decorated U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War. He was assigned to Fighter Squadron 121 Naval Air Station Miramar, California. He's also provided personal protection services for visiting celebraties Sammy Davis Jr., Jayne Kennedy, Michael (Bobby Hill) Warren and others.


...

Just for Clarity:
The Jim West spoken of By Mr Walker is Jim West,former member of 7th group,Special forces Retired,not  Jim West Hapkido,under kuk sool,Correct ?

Also

The Choi I spoke of in Earlier posts was Choi Yong Sool of Hapkido,
Not Choi Hong Hi of Shotokan  and then Taekwondo ,General in the North Korean Military.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 01, 2012, 12:39:31 PM
Mr Walker here is another person with close contact with Mr Echanis,when Mike was working with Navy SEAL's.

The following is taken from Bullshido pages.

Tom Sutherland a former Navy SEAL wrote:

Mike Echanis did in fact instruct Navy SEALs and Underwater Demolition Personal in the early 70's up to the time of his death in 1978. I was one of a small group of individuals that worked out with Mike during this time frame. Most of the UDT/ SEAL Team guys were very proficient with our taught discipline Korean Tae Kwon Do. Most, if not all the guys in this group had attained the rank of 1st to 3 rd degree Black Belt. Many of the Team guys had all attended the airforce Judo school.

Mike had brought to the Teams a new effective discipline of un shin bup or ninjutsu. He basically taught us effective killing techniques in the hand to hand combat arts. I heard the name Jo Bang Lee mentioned several times but nothing ever came out of those conversations. Although, I personally got the idea that there was a conflict between Mike and Jo Bang Lee. Mike was a very effective teacher, extremely demanding, and very tough on the troops. He lived with me as a guest in my home for several months, traveling back and forth from Va Beach and Ft. Bragg N.C.
                   ............................................................................       
Here is a short Bio of Tom to show he is not BSing anyone:
(Not found on Bullshido,seperate verification.)
Tom’s Life, (Short Version)… Served in the Military, U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne Division, USAPT Golden Knights, (1960-1963). Recruited into the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Community in 1963. Proudly served with Naval Special Warfare Group 2, Underwater - Demolition Team -21 (The Frogmen). Later was selected to serve with SEAL TEAM 2 as a Naval SEAL Special Warfare Operative (SEAL) until 1973 (active Duty) Combat Veteran, Decorated! Retired 0-4 USNR.

Lives/lived at CHX's Beach,Ca.



Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 01, 2012, 03:31:16 PM
Great finds Jim!
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 01, 2012, 10:26:34 PM
Yes, Jim West 7th SFGA.

Great links!

Will indeed follow up regarding Nagato.

This appears to be that all important once missing connection for the 1971 - 1974 time period in MDE's training/studies.  Great stuff.

Sanders was long time student of Judo in Ontario and very accomplished.  Continued studies at U of Oregon and was in their Judo Club.  It will be interesting to see if he studied with Nagato, as well, in Ontario should connecton be solid.

T. Sutherland is independently confirmed.  MDE was contracted to teach as described for ST-2 and Program of Instruction matches what was later taught in NIC.

Soon to be added to Wiki link:

-  MDE worked in NIC for roughly 8 months before his death.  He did not work for President Somoza but was hired/managed by his son, Tacho II.  The belief MDE was directly employed/commanded by President Somoza, or "Tacho I", is most common error in past coverage of this relationship with the Somozas.

-  He was lead for 8-10 man training team, hand-picked by him, to include Sanders and Nuygen.  He would not work with anyone whom he did not 100% trust.  He had complete authority to select whomever he chose and had access to "the best".  None on his team were active duty military.  His employment was not a U.S. GOV contract but solely NIC GOV/MIL (this supported by MDE in his AP interview with Tom Fenton).

-  Echanis was initially identified after recovery of his body by matching tattoos on inner forearms (HWD symbol) and tattoo on shoulder.

-  Hand grenades being thrown from the aircraft were unpinned / placed in glass jars - meant to break on impact with spoons released after the glass shattered.  Belief is a jar was mishandled in the aircraft and broke with the resulting explosion.

-  Echanis described by confirmed Party who knew/worked with him in NIC as "a commando's Commando...exceptionally gifted and talented in his specialty which was killing people...role in NIC at time was training elite Commando in counter-insurgency tactics and techniques, urban warfare, H2H (MDE's program) to include exceptionally close in fighting / sentry removal (stalking, tracking, "invisibility").

MDE also confirmed as extremely patriotic, unflinching and vocal in his hatred of communists, reserved when in NIC other than when he elected to put on a show for visitors (such as Bob Brown at SOF when he visited the country), always shoulder to shoulder with the enlisted troops he was training to include eating with them rather than in the officer's mess and not afraid of getting dirty with them when training / in the field.

Echanis was expressive among close friends at the time regarding his Basque heritage and culture and believed it was a major factor in his ability to endure hardship, suffering and pain.

-  Echanis expressed great sadness and disappointment his military career had been cut short by his wounding.  He felt he'd finally found his calling after entering the Army.  However he did not lament about it but rather sought and created new manner of pursuing his path.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 01, 2012, 10:43:39 PM
Postscript -

"University of Ontario, Oregon" is incorrect.

It is properly known as Eastern Oregon University in Ontario, Oregon.

It is co-located with the community college Chuck Sanders attended before transferring to the University of Oregon and which MDE was planning on attending after high school ... and for which he'd gotten a college grant from the Ontario Basque Club.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 02, 2012, 07:44:08 AM
We are where we are supposed to be due to our parents,friends,likes,dislikes,choices we make and places we find ourselves due to those choices.
Mr Echanis ended up where he was supposed to be.
Had he not been injured,not sought to rebuild himself to be stronger,tougher,and not sought out Martial arts and beliefs that set him up for what he ended up doing and the place he ended up,NO ONE may ever even have known who Micheal D Echanis Was.

Being assigned to a Ranger unit is not what made Mike Echanis.
Mike Echanis was a self created,maybe born, warrior,a man who apparently had good physical skill growing up and maybe even some martial training prior to the Military. His Being in that place,at that time and BEING WOUNDED made the Mike Echanis we know of .
His self recreation ,due to his injury, made the Warrior/Man those of us who read of him wanted to encompass,be like,and maybe become.
Ranger,LRRP ,what ever makes no difference,the event of being wounded drove him to become the man in the Magazines and books.

Had he not been wounded  and become who he did NO ONE would be even speaking of him 34 years after his death.

Every second of every day we make choices,each choice moves us to where we will end up,like Checkers or Chess,choose right and you may make it to the very end and win,choose wrong and get taken out early.

Warhol said that "In the future everyone will have 15 minutes of fame",Mike has had 34 years so far and still going.(Like Bruce Lee he has help in the mags,but he is still thought of and spoken of outside of that) He accomplished much and influenced many,especially the multitudes who read of him whom head never met.
He didn't see his influences but those of us who read his works were influenced.
Go to SOCNET or other Sites for Rangers,Special Forces and Martial arts and if there is a blog on him see how many say they didn't know him but they read his works.
That is INFLUENCE.
That is what Mike did AFTER he Got wounded,After the Military,not while serving.

We should all be so lucky to be remembered 34 years after our deaths,even within our own down line generations of family,lol.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 02, 2012, 08:10:43 AM
Well said Jim. 8)
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 02, 2012, 09:36:03 AM
Ageed.  Well said and spot on, Jim.

Great to hear Warhol quoted :)

Again, "If he is immortal it is because we want him to be".

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 04, 2012, 09:53:47 AM
JimH,

Were you in the 11th when Keith Idema was?

You mentioned knowing him.

My friend, Jim Morris, wrote a number of pieces on Keith and was great defender of him some years ago when he got into the s**t in Afghanistan.  You may have read some of Jim's work on this.

Just ask'in.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 04, 2012, 07:56:58 PM
Yes ,I knew Keith.
I read a lot of the stuff written about Keith and also defended him.
that was why Keith created his own site to show the truth to the Nay sayers who said he was a wanna be.

As with Mr Echanis,when Keith saw stuff that annoyed him if he thought he could make a difference he jumped on a plane and went.
In regards to Afghanistan,911 happened,Keith was on a plane and in Country working with Northern Allience,working with friendlies as well as  operating in his own world.

Keith's drive caused him problems,but he had the guts to get on a plane and go into the hot spots and do his thing.
(Similarly ,I think ,to mr Echanis)
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 04, 2012, 08:12:59 PM
The InterNet is a wonderful thing -

Link will take you to a site featuring two photos of Eden Pastora, in black beret, after the National Palace stand-off and leaving on VENZ C-130 (August 25, 1978) with his folks and released prisoners.

Regarding the documentation Pastora's team dressed itself as "Black Berets" of the Guardia Nationale - the right picture is worth 1000 words.

http://beretandboina.blogspot.com/2010/08/eden-pastora.html
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 05, 2012, 02:08:14 PM
Chatted with Jim Morris this morning.

He agrees.  He really liked the photo of Idema with Echanis.  "Another thing Jack didn't lie about," he told me :)

Please accept my condolences for the loss of your friend and brother.  I never met him but I learned a great deal about him over the years from folks like Jim.  I knew and met Gary, the producer who was wounded in Afghanistan when Keith was escorting him around the Northern Alliance.  As you know he saved Gary's life using his combat lifesaving skills and experience.

"Six degrees of separation", indeed.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 05, 2012, 08:01:10 PM
Mr Walker,
Thank You ,Mr Morris and Mr Scurka for the condolences and words in support of Mr Idema.

Here is Keith with his "Counter Terrorist Group" early 1980's at Keith's Compound in upstate NY,an early ,smaller version of other groups which came later,like HSS,Executive Outcomes and Blackwater to mention a few names.

http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?88707-Counter-Terrorist-Group-US

Several pictures of Gary in there ,and the ones of Keith working on him in Afghanistan.

The group was featured on TV a few times.
Keith, and the others he had in the group, had the skills and were ahead of their time.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 06, 2012, 05:22:49 PM
Per the OBIT for Nuygen "Bobby" Van Nuygen, Daily Argus Observer, Ontario, Oregon -

Nuygen Van Nuygen was 32 when he died; he was born in 1946 in Vietnam; he joined Vietnamese Army at age 11 and served 15 years; he immigrated to the US in 1975 and settled in Fayetteville, NC; he soon after became head chef at the Fayetteville Sheraton Hotel; he was one of the highest decorated soldiers in the VIET Army; he was Black Belt rated in Karate.

It can be presumed at this point that he met Echanis/Sanders in probably 1977 and from there was selected by Echanis to join the training team in NIC which deployed in either JAN/FEB of 1978.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 07, 2012, 09:52:58 AM
Interesting that Idema and Echanis are somewhat associated. I have to wonder if  both made it as far as they did as a result of the rebuilding process SF was going through at the time?
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 07, 2012, 10:57:56 AM
It is interesting.

Really just two more characters in an organization filled with characters beginning in earnest during Vietnam  :)

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 07, 2012, 12:08:32 PM
I imagine that was the best time to be involved in SF at Bragg as many were Vietnam Vets and had been out there as LRRPS,MACV,SOG,they had run A camps,trained Indigenous populace,some operational under CIA,they did it all,Recon,Direct Action,Snatch and Grab.
(stuff now dedicated to US Navy SEAL's ,as if they are the only ones capable,lol)

Many of these guys with vietnam experiences left or retired around the mid to late 70's to work in other places of US interest,(or Not). Merc's or early contractors,they went were the combat was.

People like Col Rowe Running SERE with real experiences as a POW.
People Like then Major Howard with experiences all across the board of Elite units leading and Teaching men the realities of combat.
Loads of Great experiences with many returning to teach such as Men from the Son Tay raid,like Sgt/Major Lupiak.

These are the types of men Mr Echanis and Mr Idema encountered,trained under/with and worked with later in their lives.
All kinds of men willing to hang their guts out there for what they thought,or were told,was right.

The men of those times,early Vietnam and later carried out the true traditions of the OSS as defined and taught under Great men Like Col Banks and others.

Mr Echanis and Mr Sanders,along with Mr Brown of SOF and others had experiences and brought those experiences to Nic. (and other crap holes of the world)

Mr Idema found his way to Afghanistan after 9/11 worked with the Northern  Alliance ,trained them,worked with them and did his thing there.

Many of these men had type A personalities and did not work well when back in units state side with rules and conditions,they were rebels with a self defined code  and fit the saying "Break here in case of war",these were those men.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 07, 2012, 02:42:04 PM
It may have been the opposite Jim. From my understanding of what I've read and heard from guys who were in during the late 70's early 80's, that there had been a reduction in the size of SF after Vietnam and a lot of experienced senior guys left. The late 70's was really when SF started to come back up to strength and I believe why there were a few SF babies around that time.
From what I understand when it came to training everything was on the table which resulted in everything from the practical to the strange being allowed to at least demonstrate.

I wasn't there so Greg feel free to correct any inaccuracies.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 07, 2012, 04:04:10 PM
When Mr Echanis and Mr Idema were there,at Bragg, 1975-1976,roughly, you had loads of Vietnam Vets.
I came into the community in 1980,from the US Marine Corps,(where we also had  a lot of Vietnam Vets) and SF was full of guys who had been there done that on the Teams ,as well as at SFQC both at the Instructional Level and as assets who returned to train,work with and tell you what had been done,prior to our arrival.

The mid to late 70's had the creation of Blue Light then Delta .
A little Later on,early to mid 80's,(after Mr Echanis Death) things were happening as the US wanted to keep up with what was believed to be Russia's development of super soldiers through Meditation and psycic enhanced capabilities.
So portions of that were attempted at Bragg.
The 80's also had SF working with Afghan Freedom Fighters.

This time ,in which Mr Echanis and Mr Idema were at Bragg, was also the time the US Government wanted Anti Terror capabilities and 5th Group at Bragg was designated the task.
5th group was where Mr Echanis and Mr idema were hanging out.

While many active SF from Vietnam left,and many went to work as Contractors (?),there were MANY Left in SF finishing their time to retirement,and Luckily many had great experience to share.

Again,I worked with MANY who had been LRRPS,MACV,SOG,Rangers and SF in Vietnam.

These were Great times to be in .

My opinion
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 07, 2012, 05:52:53 PM
I got to a Group/team in '80.

Many SF VN era veterans still onboard.

A significant number of such veterans, many with SOG experience, began being assigned to 3/7 in Panama.  When I got there in '82 it was like walking into the "Who's Who" of MACV-SOG / the MIKE Forces and so on.  Us young pups were very much blessed, as you can imagine. 

That was the 80s, for the most part, in Latin America along with equally talented VN SF veterans in 2/7 operating out of Bragg.  They had HONDO/NIC and 3/7 had ES, in general.

Overall I think we enjoyed the broad spectrum of talent during a very challenging period of history.  Certainly that is an understatement :)

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 07, 2012, 07:12:19 PM
Interesting. Thanks guys for the info.

The next question is with so many experienced veterans around to train and lead the new guys why did Echanis get any work at all? What did he bring to the table that the guys with more field experience didn't? Something about Echanis as the commando's commando doesn't seem to fit. Was there a gap in sentry removal techniques, or moving though a jungle or H2H? I'm trying to see how this puzzle fits together.
I'm just a civilian so maybe I'm just not seeing this in the right perspective.


Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 07, 2012, 09:43:57 PM
It was what it was and it is what it is :)

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 07, 2012, 10:33:01 PM
Mr Echanis was not contracted to teach at Ft Bragg.
He went there to hang out with his friend Mr Sanders who was with 5th Group.
While at Bragg Mr Echanis started teaching his version of H2H to some members of 5th Group. He then started a class teaching his version of H2H,the class was open to any and all. After several days the only students left were SF members. Mike was proud of that fact.
But there is not much money to be made running a class for a few weeks ,when most of the originals dropped out and only 11 stayed around to get certificates of completion.(at Bragg)

I do not think that Mr Echanis had a Contract with the SEALs in Virginia,I think they were also just a group he taught.Again not much money there.

He worked for SOF as the Martial Arts director under Mr Brown ,a contract job came up to work in Nicaraqua as a Teacher/Instructor/Contractor/Advisor,he took the job.
Mr Sanders also went with Mike .Mr Echanis also asked his old friend and Judo teacher Nogato to go with them,Nagato declined.Mr Nuygen,a Viet soldier with much experience and some one who had worked with SF in Vietnam also went.

The H2H at the time for SF  and Rangers,(and US Marines), was Combat Judo,with much similarity to WWII combatives,as was taught to the OSS when Col Banks went through.
Needed materials were already being taught.
Many men in Spec Ops train in various martial arts and are always looking for something new. Mr Echanis was a showman,he had an intensity of style and persona that drew people in ,at least those who wanted to do what he could do.
(similarly to those who read his articles and books)

His actual length of time teaching at Bragg,what ended up being a group of SF and a group of SEAL members in Virginia is very limited.
(remember the Group at Bragg started out as an open class to any and all,it ended up with just SF Members,it WAS NOT set up to be a SF course and was NOT part of SF Training)

I do not think Mr Echanis brought anything to the table in relation to field work with SF or the SEALs,but he did bring an attitude and his variation of H2H,which attracted people to it and him.
Again not in overwhelming numbers to make a living.
There was Money though at that time in being a paid Military Advisor,and that is what SOF was selling at the time so work potential and money was there doing something Mr Echanis and his friends believed they were Good At.
It also provided good reading for buyers of SOF magazine.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 08, 2012, 10:49:28 AM
Jim,

Am on vacation so I've had a bit of time to really enjoy myself doing some in-depth research late at night :)

Echanis was under contract to SEAL Team 2 at Little Creek.  That's confirmed.  Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) - his attitude and manner of instruction became so disruptive that the program soon went away and so did he.

This is the never-ending thread present in every formal instruction opportunity he developed or was offered to him.  A combination of the "little man" syndrome he grew up with as a child and teenager carried over and exacerbated by events in his life as a young adult male.

Even Joo Bang Lee, according to Henry Lee in his surprising admission in the new forward he authored for the combo book, came to the conclusion Echanis could not function as an instructor in the civilian sector and sent him away. 

Same thing the TKD instructor who wrote the letter to JBL in the first place had offered.  "We can't handle him - maybe you can...please?"

As you've pointed out and has been confirmed he flamed out at 18th ABN Corps for same reason and was indeed left with a handful of students, mostly from the SF community.

The offer he got from "Tacho II" at Bragg was providential for him.  He really had no where else to go.

And when he got there his attitude and other negatives soon created a rift at EEBI.  This rift became so bad that he was, just before the National Palace take-over, escorted off the base and told not to return (La EEBI y Michael Echanis", Monimbo "Nueva Nicaragua", Edicion 569 and 570).  This story, written by Oscar Mendieta, is an extraordinary document.

Mendieta graduated from the Military Academy of Nicaragua, Class of 1973-1977.  He was a primary founder of EEBI and served as an official instructor and gradually was given more responsibilities in other areas as EEBI grew.  He met, knew and worked around Echanis the entire time MDE was at EEBI.

He is the officer who, according to his account, aimed his Browning Hi Power at Echanis at EEBI after Echanis, in a rage over one of his Nicaraguan non-commissioned officers (a Sergeant Cano) being pulled from training to do admin work, confronted a "Captain Rivera" in the office, jerking him to his feet while threatening him.

Mendieta recalls aiming his pistol at Echanis and ordering him to let loose of Rivera.  He described Echanis apparently deciding Mendieta would indeed shoot him and leaving the office.

Mendieta left as well and found Captain Justiniano Perez Salas outside on the street next to the office building.  He told Salas what had just occurred.  Together Salas and Mendieta located Echanis and Salas is described as ordering him to leave the compound.  Echanis did so and that was the end of his relationship with EEBI.

On the day of the National Palace take-over Echanis was persona non grata at EEBI.  He maintained his presence with the 46 man commando unit meant primarily as a bodyguard detail to the Somoza family but no longer was welcome at the EEBI grounds.

Mendieta goes on to describe how during the heavy fighting roughly three weeks later he and Captain Juan Francisco Rivera were at a hospital/morgue checking on EEBI sick, wounded and dead.  He describes the morgue as overflowing with some of the dead too large to fit into the cadaver "caskets".  There were many bodies laid on the floor of the morgue as a result, two of these being Echanis and Chuck Sanders.

He recounts they'd been brought in from the crash site which had been located by an EEBI patrol just after the plane went down.  The area is described as "los Pochotes".  This fits with all other credible information regarding where the plane was at the time. 

Mendieta describes talking with a cargo official having knowledge of what was loaded on the plane prior to takeoff and being told there were fragmentation grenades onboard (these would be the frags placed in jars with their pins pulled as described by a military member of the US Embassy to me).

The cause of the accident was attributed to one of the grenades exploding inside the cabin.

Mendieta offers his recollection that an officer of the commandos informed Comadante Colonel Anastasio Somoza Portocarrero of what had occurred.  Somoza Portocarrero immediately ordered the US Embassy contacted as well as the families of those killed (Sanders/Echanis, there was no one to claim Nuygen).  This was done and the process of sending the bodies back to the States began.

Mendieta states this was the last time he saw Echanis and Sanders ... on the floor at the morgue.

According to the US source I spoke with who identified Echanis' body later on it had been moved to a warehouse at Managua International Airport.  Neither Sanders or Nugyen's bodies were seen at that time for whatever reason.

Note:  They were possibly being cleaned locally before being sent back to Oregon.  I saw this happen myself while in El Salvador.  A Salvo friend of mine, a door gunner, was KIA during a short recon flight in a Huey in Usulutan.  We'd just had lunch together.  When the bird came back, shot to hell, I helped off load his body.  It was taken downtown for cleaning and placement in a casket with clean uniform provided by the Sals, returned to the quartel and flown back to San Salvador.

This is a well written, illustrated article and worth reading or having correctly translated.

In short, Echanis' boorish and arrogant behavior again crossed the lines in Nicaragua and the result was his being banned from the EEBI.  Mendieta goes on to give other details meant to set the record straight from the EEBI's point of view - which is very interesting and makes good sense to those of us who trained/worked with Latin America militaries and their professional officers corps - which the US created/funded/trained/supplied and advised was.

Finally, Chuck Sanders was an SF medic with 5th Group and was, in 1977, still on active duty as shown by his award of the Soldier's Medal.

Jim - does any of this rings bells with what you may have heard back in the day or over the years?

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 08, 2012, 03:33:23 PM
Mr Walker,
That is some great first hand accounts of things happening with Mr Echanis,Mr Sanders and their Counter parts in Nicaragua.

Now I have read ,and was told that Mr Brown of SOF had flown down and or sent an air craft down to bring down Mr Echanis Family and to bring Mr Echanis body ,family and others back.
Has Mr O'Neil ever said how the body/bodies were returned to the US ?

I have also heard that Mr Echanis had been in regular contact with State department and Defense department officials,as well as Mr Brown of SOF,and they had warned him to watch himself.
I also heard that there was money going to Nicaragua from the US Government ,but that prior to Mr Echanis death funds were drying up,supplies,medical and weapons were also not coming,and that this also threw up red flags for Mr Echanis and his men to be on guard.

I had heard that Mr Echanis was tough,or that most thought he was very tough,which was more the rule than the exception through many martial arts systems and schools at the time, but some were happy with Mike and what he taught and many of those found  a home with him and that while they had a good few people leave the Courses put together by General Emerson,it was also thought that the people who stayed with Mr Echanis ,mostly SF ,seemed to have developed an allegiance to him,and would as they say "Follow him any where" and many did just that,in and around Bragg.
It was said that General Emerson disliked this crazy group and that was also factored in as a reason to terminate the course.
Many of the other instructors brought in to teach some of the courses by General Emerson supposedly liked Mike and even trained with him,others said he had a good solid practical program.

Mr Echanis was no different than many who knew what they wanted in life,knew what their course was in life ,did what they thought ,doing it their way/the right way,to them, and they would fight anyone who disagreed ,challenged or interferred with what they wanted being done the way they wanted.

Again ,not the type of guy who got along well when stateside,or under control,just the kind you might want next to you when the crap hits the fan. (Break glass in case of war)

Some of what I heard which sort of relates to your posting.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 08, 2012, 03:40:26 PM
Interesting side note - A friend of MDE's but more so of Chuck Sanders shared that Echanis, while in Ontario, enjoyed catching rattlesnakes and putting them, alive, in glass jars.  He offered the "grenade in a jar" story made perfect sense to him given the "rattlesnake in a jar" history  :o

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 08, 2012, 04:01:03 PM
Jim -

The whole "bigger picture" of what was taking place in NIC during 1977 - 1979 is so exceptionally well documented at this time - and makes for fascinating reading/study - that it puts the "moment in time" where Echanis was in-country into fine perspective.

Agreed.  The martial arts community oozes "We who are about to die salute you" loyalty to this or that art/instructor/master.  No doubt same existed and still exists in the SpecOp community's martial arts world.  I don't think that will ever change ... "my master can beat your master up!"  :)

It is my understanding a number of people, to include his friends in the NIC NG, urged MDE to use caution.  However, he is best described by someone who knew him post wounding and pre NIC as being both "reckless and dangerous".  A bad combination whether stateside or OCONUS.

Interesting question regarding how the bodies were returned.  Don't know the answer. 

MDE had a good, solid H2H program for that time.  Even those at the EEBI who were most critical of him otherwise offered he was very good as a martial artist, specifically Judo/TKD and HWD. 

But the same could be said of Paul Vunak, too, who has always had a great many challenges outside of his otherwise superb martial arts talent and abilities.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 08, 2012, 04:12:30 PM
The grenade in a mason jar was a delayed explosive device method used by Helo crews in Vietnam.
You could drop the readied grenade ,in the jar ,from ANY height and it will not explode until the glass jar breaks,releasing the spoon,letting the grenade explode.
Mr Echanis ,and crew,had them loaded in the aircraft before they took off,I would make a guess as to what they were going to do with them,lol. Something happened to break or crack the jar which allowed the spoon enough room to allow the grenade to explode,which would cause a chain reaction of the other grenade explosions,end of story for those on board.
My opinion.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 08, 2012, 04:33:47 PM
Yep.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 08, 2012, 04:58:20 PM
What I'm enjoying about this thread is it's a great start to putting some context around the MDE legend and bringing about a more realistic picture of the guy. Great job guys!
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Hock on August 08, 2012, 05:11:07 PM
Imagine the poor guy in the beginning of this thread going to write a book on Enchanis....or the myth that was Enchanis.

Hock
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 08, 2012, 05:17:45 PM
In my post regarding people who would follow Mr Echanis:
In conversations with Keith Idema,he was a fanatic over Mr Echanis,his skill,his teachings and the whole Echanis Persona.
He claimed that Mr Echanis after a short time in Nicaragua had called him,Keith,and others from the course at Bragg and asked them to come down to Nicaragua.Supposedly a group,including Keith, were set to go down and join Mike and the others when they got word Mike and the others died.

Apparently Keith and others that graduated the course were believers in Mike,his teachings and his anti communist concerns.
Mr Echanis had these guys ready to join him,to train,to fight,ready to perhaps die to help him and the Cause against communism.

Again this was from talking to Keith,Early 1980's ,when he had a Military,Police equipment business  and his Counter Terror group and facility,before he was Paid by some one, to come down to outside of Bragg and open a training facility for Spec Ops,that down the road turned into a paint ball equipment facility  ??

Is the call from Mr Echanis to come to Nicaragua True/False,Right/Wrong,Actual/Factual ??

What is absolutely true is that Keith admired Mr Echanis and was more than willing to answer the call.

Perhaps General Emerson had the right hop,saw the dedication to Mr Echanis,in a very short time,by a small group of trained dedicated followers and had reason to worry,lol.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 08, 2012, 05:32:58 PM
And Echanis was a problem that fixed itself.

If Sanders was active duty at the time what did his team mates think of him hanging with Echanis? Was he on leave while in Nicaragua, stationed down there or down there for some other reason my little civilian mind can't think of?
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 08, 2012, 07:12:38 PM
Imagine the poor guy in the beginning of this thread going to write a book on Enchanis....or the myth that was Enchanis.

Hock

"This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend". ;D

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 08, 2012, 07:40:52 PM
Good point, Hock :)

Sanders and Echanis were best of friends and co-conspirators in all manner of mischief and crazy antics while growing up in Ontario, Oregon.

Friends of Sanders while he was at the University of Oregon offer he was fearless and an exceptional athlete.  Those that knew both he and MDE during that period confirm Sanders was content to play #2 to Echanis, a trait that occurred again in NIC.

Sanders, according to Randy Wanner, was the more exceptional and aggressive martial artist.  Very big, very accomplished, very calculating and cold where Echanis was a blitzer and reckless.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 09, 2012, 05:08:26 PM
There are several excellent books on NIC during the time period where MDE was down there.  The best, IMHO, is "SOMOZA - and the Legacy of Involvement in Central America" by Bernard Diederlich.

The chapter on the National Palace operation is the best I've read to date.  Also, the author quotes far more from the Echanis-Fenton interviews (3 in roughly one week at the Intercontinental Hotel in Managua) to include Echanis offering if he'd been born a poor Nicaraguan he'd be fighting with the guerrillas.

That statement, along with others equally as provocative, did not go over well with either the Somoza government / National Guard or the U.S. State Department.

Perhaps the clearest and most salient point is this -

Somoza and his crew were on their way out of power.  The Sandinistas were pushing hard and after the National Palace take - over the world's attention was riveted on NIC.  The regional governments wanted Somoza gone and US State was brokering for best deal to see him leave and a government of broad spectrum representation brought into being.

For Echanis and his group of advisers/trainers their days were already numbered in terms of continued employment.  Even if MDE / Sanders had lived the combination of MDE being thrown off the EEBI base and his post persona non grata comments to the international press would have seen him sent home sooner rather than later.

After the aircraft accident the remaining team members bailed from NIC as soon as possible.  EEBI didn't want or need them there and they'd fallen out of favor due to Echanis' less than prudent observations and boasts. 

Even in death the confusion about Echanis and what he was and was not remains blurred.

On his headstone there is an engraved beret featuring the Special Forces Crest despite MDE never having been qualified or served in Special Forces -

And on his footplate his rank is given as PFC - when he was actually a rank higher, SP4, as stated in his BSM w V citation and narrative of 1970.

Such was the confusion and the myth at the time.

Neither Nuygen Van Nuygen's headstone or that of Charles W Sanders offers anything more than their names and date of birth/passing.

Even in death these two remain "Quiet Professionals".

Respect.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: whitewolf on August 09, 2012, 10:02:57 PM
Thought i  would just throw this in. I have been following the posts from the start-I never met Mr Echanis but wish I  did-I come in contact  with a  lot of retired 5th group guys in Clarksville-(outside Ft Campbell)-I
imagine that a   lot of them  could add to his life  story. Every retired and active 5th group guy i meet are "Quiet Professionals"-One friend of  mine
made a 500 Ft jump at  night in a south American combat  zone-my hat is off to  him and all the soldiers that wear the SF insignia.-R/S -WW
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 10, 2012, 09:18:05 AM
Interesting note, historically -

In 1974 the FSLN conducted similar take-over in Managua but of private residence.  Political prisoners released to the guerrillas + money.  Some of those held hostage were members of Somoza's family as seen again in 1978.

Daniel Ortega was one of those released in '74, as was Tomas Borga in '78.

Clearly the FSLN had found Somoza's weak spot - his family - and the '78 National Palace take-over was repeating success of the '74 operation although far more sophisticated and productive for the FSLN.

History - the bigger picture - where everyone plays the role allotted to him/her.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 10, 2012, 12:05:11 PM
Greg,
Do you think Somoza and company would have survived the FSLN if Jimmy Carter had let Israel supply Somoza with weapons, or was the die already cast for the fall?
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 10, 2012, 12:51:07 PM
IMHO - it is impossible to say.  History does tell us the National Guard was, using the tactics they were and combined Air/Artillery/Ground Forces destroying FSLN strongholds in each of the six major cities and were set to recapture additional.  The "final offensive" which began in earnest on September 9th, the day after MDE's death.

Additional arms/munitions were coming in from GUAT and other sources to replace those Israel was directed by the US to turn back.  That was only one ship.  One ship's worth of bullets isn't going to make a long term difference anywhere.

In the end, by the summer of 79, the OAS had mediated Somoza leaving power with the National Guard remaining in place and a shared government structure standing by in Costa Rica.

If Somoza had thought his situation was defensible I think he would have stayed and fought it out.  Instead, he bartered a deal and in a series of missteps internal to NIC the deal went south (no pun intended) and he was denied asylum in the US and ended up in Paraguay soon to be assassinated.

He is buried in Florida at the Somoza family crypt.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 10, 2012, 09:02:08 PM
What was the Real connection  between T.Clines,R. Quinteros and the supposed counter subversion program,early 78, Mr Somoza and maybe Mr Echanis ?

Mr Felix I Rodriguez ,(CIA/SAD),should be looked at for his role/assignment by Mr Clines,early 78, in Nicaragua with Somoza and possibly Mr Echanis.
(These guys and their "Friends" were Real Deal Bad People,lol.)

Early 1978 Carter cut Aid and weapons to Somoza, Clines and his "FRIENDS" supplied the Aid ,Weapons  and TRAINING of the National Guard,against Carter Admin Policy banning such aid.

Somoza survived Sept 78,Thanks to Mr Wilson,Mr Clines and Mr Rodriguez.
Wilson funded the shipment of Israeli weapons to Clines,then to Somoza's National Guard,against Carter Admin Policy.

So the CIA ,active and former, were supplying Aid ,weapons and training in early 1978 to Somoza.(when Echanis came on board)
Carter had ALREADY discontinued funding,training and aid.
...
Carter,basically, wanted Somoza out.

Here is a brief chronology of events:
http://www.eleggua.com/Objects/Cox-CokeChrono.html

Excerpts follow:

1976                  George Bush becomes Director of CIA. He inherits Manuel Noriega as a primary contact in Central America. It is reported Noriega was paid upwards of $100,000 a year of American tax dollars to provide info for the CIA. National Security Archives document Noriega's extensive involvement with the CIA, back into the Sixties. His involvement with drug trafficking was frequently overlooked.
1976                  In a Presidential campaign speech, Ronald Reagan declares that the "Panama canal zone is sovereign U.S. territory, just as much as Alaska is, as well as the States carved from the Louisiana purchase. We bought it, we paid for it, and General Torrijos should be told we're going to keep it."

1976                  Bill Clinton elected Attorney General in Arkansas

Jan 28, 1978     President Anastasio Somoza DeBayle evokes emergency powers in an attempt to deal with disturbances protesting the slaying of a prominent newspaper editor who was critical of his regime. The slaying of Pedro Joaquin Chamorro Cardenal, Editor of La Prensa, was following by rioting in Managua and a nationwide strike organized by government critics demanding the resignation of Somoza. Relying on the emergency powers, Somoza prohibited radio and TV stations from mentioning the strike and threatened fines against businesses that refused to open. In a speech Somoza states he has no intention of leaving office until his term expired.

Apr 18, 1978    President Jimmy Carter and Panamanian President Omar Torrijos sign treaty which nullifies the treaty of 1903 which gave control of the Panama Canal to the U.S., and establishes the date of December 31, 1999 as the date complete control of the canal will return to Panama.

Aug   , 1978    Leftist guerrillas seeking the overthrow of President Anastasio Somoza Debayle seized Nicaragua's National Palace taking hundreds of government officials as hostages. The raid into the heart of the capitol by the guerrilla force known as the Sandinista National Liberation Front (SNLF) confronts Somoza with the most serious challenge yet. Somoza resolves the crisis by acceding the the guerrillas demands. This was probably a turning point for Somoza's regime. Several groups have been putting pressure on Somoza to resign.

Sept  ,  1978    Somoza is besieged by the SNLF. Fighting has erupted in a half a dozen Nicaraguan cities. The SNLF is gaining momentum and support. Somoza is urged by President Carter to allow outside mediation from other Central American States. There is speculation that the CArter Administration was urging Somoza to resign.

Feb 8, 1979    The United States cuts off military ties with Nicaragua after President Anastasio Somoza Debayle rejects a three-nation proposal that he resign and end the violence occurring in his country.

July 25, 1979  Under pressure from guerrillas at home and the United States abroad, General Anastasio Somoza Debayle resigns as President of Nicaragua, and flies away into exile. Civil war still ravages his country, while the Sandanista's battle the remnants of the National Guard. His family had ruled Nicaragua since 1933.

Sept    , 1980   Sandinistas suspend elections, take control of media.

Sept 17, 1980    Deposed Nicaraguan President, Anastasio Somoza Debayle, is slain when his car was ambush in the residential section of Ascuncion, Paraguay. A spokesman in Nicaragua said the Sandanistas had "nothing to do directly with the death of Somoza", but expressed "joy at the death of an evil man".

Nov 4, 1980    Ronald Wilson Reagan is elected the 40th President of the United States.



Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 13, 2012, 01:30:52 PM
Greg,
Were they banking the plane so the wings were almost vertical? From what I can tell given the stock makeup of the plane the four must have been incredibly stupid to even attempt what they allegedly did. It was almost suicide and I'd been surprised if they didn't blow themselves up.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39860650@N02/6872748146/in/pool-aerocommander

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39860650@N02/7631913362/in/pool-aerocommander

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39860650@N02/6945417402/in/pool-aerocommander

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 13, 2012, 06:06:57 PM
Yes, I 'd say they were banking (starboard side).  Only way you could hope to clear the fuselage by doing something that incredibly stupid.

However, there is record of a Sandinista light aircraft doing the same kind of thing earlier on - dropping grenades into a suburban area. 

Seems this may have been one of those stupid things both sides did with no concern whatsoever for themselves or anyone on the ground, good guy-bad guy-little kid playing in the street.

It is as likely one of the jar devices broke inside the aircraft and, if the accounts are read closely, they'd gotten "a few" out of the plane before the interior explosion.

It should be remembered both Echanis and Sanders had a long history (in both Ontario and Eugene, Oregon) of concocting and doing absolutely stupid things.  This both prior to each entering the service and after Echanis was medically discharged and would visit Sanders at the U of O prior to Sanders getting the "Jail or Army" option from a court (for the same kind of absurd behavior).

As for Echanis being "hooked up" with/by the Agency - personally I doubt it.  He was unmanagable and far, far to public.  In intelligence work you can either be an Asset or a Dupe - and in MDE's case it is more likely he played the latter role.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 13, 2012, 06:44:32 PM
Good grief, these guys were a disaster waiting to happen.
And people followed him why?
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 13, 2012, 07:41:55 PM
Because they got paid to and he was the paymaster at that moment in space and time.

We need but turn to Echanis' own words in his AP interview with Tom Fenton - he states he's only in NIC "for the money".

Not a new story, at all.

Began re-reading my good friend Strozzi Heckler's outstanding book "In Search of the Warrior Spirit" - which is centered on the Trojan Warrior Progam (Special Forces) back in the early 80s in which Strozzi helped develop and instruct.

Of the many good things and thoughts he shares I found this one, in relation to Echanis/Sanders, particularly noteworthy -

"The macho icon that our culture has made out of the Green Beret soldier is in many cases true, it is also true that he may be an individual who has simply acquired the qualities of durability, selflessness and resilience.

"There straightforward qualities [also have] their shadow side. To a man they are your average American, through and through, the flaws and the virtues.  In this ambiguity lies the potential for both the moral hero as well as the insensitive killer."

Both Echanis and Sanders are quoted on more than one occasion regarding their zeal to learn only "killing techniques" and their behavior dating back years reveals a complete disregard for anyone other than themselves.  Sanders is described as once offering when hunting (which he and Echanis did regularly while growing up in Oregon) he aimed to wound, not kill, the animal he was after.

"He (MDE) followed a vegetarian routine and seemed to believe he was immortal.  Where kids back home practiced karate as a sport - perhaps daydreaming about someday smashing a mugger's windpipe -- Mike practiced what he preached.  Chuck never said much.  He was a great one for shaking hands and grinning but his flat gray eyes never smiled.  When he went hunting, he said, he never shot to kill.  He preferred wounding ("Somoza - and the Legacy of US Involvement in Central America, page 187).

Heckler, in "Warrior Spirit", also offers "The mercenary is never a true warrior - and pays the price in measure of heart."

A one-dimensional warrior is just that.  MDE and Sanders were all about domination and power, as was their employer Somoza. 

Again, from Heckler - "If he's [a Special Forces soldier/operator] thought of as having denied his personal needs it's because he's a professional and doesn't expect special acknowledgement.  He's trained to kill but also has a genuine instinct to preserve and protect."

These last two instincts were greatly lacking where MDE and CS were concerned.

Respect.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 13, 2012, 08:06:22 PM
Greg,
Your last post reads as if I were hearing the guy who trained me talk about those very things.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 13, 2012, 10:13:25 PM
I would offer we both got trained by the right people :)

Reference the long held rumor/myth that MDE was on payroll of the OGA -

Not so. 

He was a source of information and volunteered information to the U.S. Embassy/MilGrp which is not surprising nor unusual.  He was, after all, an American and not a Nicaraguan and the best interests of the United States trumped all else.

His information was useful as he was close to the seat of power (the Somoza Family, specifically Tacho II) and could be expected to offer different angles/perspective in many different areas.

He was unpaid and did not request to be paid for sharing what he heard/knew.

Again, MDE was seen as extremely skilled and disciplined in what he taught.  He was also seen as un-managable and hence not a "company man".  He was rogue by nature and viewed that way - so it is fair to make the distinction he was as Asset (knowing what he was doing and for whom) as opposed to a Dupe (unknowing).

MDE's contract with the NIC government at the time was solely a business opportunity / invitation between MDE/his training staff and the Somoza National Guard / Family.  It is historical fact their presence raised great ire with the US Government and a stern rebuke directed at  Echanis by then Secretary of State Cyrus Vance (Echanis himself describes receiving a formal letter from Vance which was less than complimentery).

But US law did not prevent - and has never prevented - Americans working privately as security/military/paramilitary contractors (as is the current term) for foreign governments/powers.  This is the primary reason Soldier of Fortune Magazine, for example and which Echanis pursued as part of his career path post wounding/recovery - was able to create the market and audience it did in the mid-1970s and through the 80's and 90s.

Respect.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 14, 2012, 07:34:09 PM
Greg, just got the Somoza book in the mail ($10, 1981 hard cover), and have been browsing around it, thanks for recommending it.
I quickly read the Echanis sections first and really surprised that I had not heard those stories before or in that way. They really don't paint any of the four that were killed in the plane in a good light or as professionals. To me the Echanis plan for storming the building seemed nuts unless him and his commandos were training for roof top insertions and hostage rescue. The MED story is really more interesting than usually presented.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 14, 2012, 08:14:55 PM
It's a good read.

Yes, agreed.  The entire "plan" was purely driven by emotion with no thought as to "little picture-big picture" consequences. 

A friend who was down there at the time offered Somoza made the hard but right decision to mediate the situation.  Pastora held the entire Nicaraguan congress and could have easily wounded/killed a huge number of them within a minute or two of an assault effort of any kind.  Internationally Somoza would have been done in '78 as opposed to a year later when he was able to exile peacefully.

And the rooftop plan was absurd even then - and certainly more so by today's exacting standards for such ops. 

What was "spot on" was Echanis' expressed desire to assault after almost immediately arriving at the palace.  All indications I've seen are that the EEBI force did make entry onto the first floor - they were driven back initially - but could have if allowed re-assaulted and essentially gone for broke.  Pastora's team was halved at that point trying to gain/maintain control of the congressional chamber and over 1000 other people throughout the building.

EEBI had greater numbers and far greater firepower/discipline and experience.

Certainly would have been casualties but Pastora's folks were off balance and the timing favored Echanis and the EEBI for that few critical minutes.  By the time Alegrett and Echanis had to go to Somoza personally Pastora's team was in full control.

We'll never know, of course, what might have been.

The same tactic occurred in 1974 when FSLN guerrillas took a private residence in Managua plus hostages, to include relatives / friends of the Somoza family.  He paid the ransom and let the "Gs" go with the money - and released prisoners - to include Daniel Ortega.

Short lesson - if you got to Somoza's family you could likely cut a deal and get away clean.  Pastora learned that from the '74 success and welded the knowledge to his long held desire to take and hold the National Palace as a political statement.

His timing was good, very good, historically.

Extraordinary story on the EEBI and Echanis. Google "La EEBI y Michael Echanis".  It is in Spanish and is two part (Edition 569 and 570).  Written by former EEBI founder/NIC National Guard officer (Class of '77) in "Nueva Nicaragua".  Reading in Spanish is the best, of course, as the online English translation is muddy. 

I checked out some key events mentioned in the story and they ring true - EEBI cadre setting the record straight.  Another interesting piece in the puzzle.

Respect.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 14, 2012, 08:57:28 PM
I'll look it up Greg. My wife is a Spanish speaker so I'll ask her for help with the hard parts.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 14, 2012, 09:24:27 PM
Perfect.  I'm interested in your take on what the author shares.  Section on aircraft location and body recovery/transport to temp morgue is opined to be accurate - with bodies moved from temp morgue to warehouse/hanger at Managua International after ID'd by the author and CPT Rivera and Tacho II notified, who in turn had the US Embassy notified.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 15, 2012, 06:58:47 AM
Greg,
I'm looking over the following items returned from the search and comparing them to what's in the book, Somosa. Translations are rough but give a good idea of what the author is saying. I'll be back. :)

Article one:

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.estrelladenicaragua.com/362-EDICION/362-fotohistorica.htm&prev=/search%3Fq%3DLa%2BEEBI%2By%2BMichael%2BEchanis%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26hs%3DUxI%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26prmd%3Dimvnsob&sa=X&ei=AZErUK34DsqN6QHzpoE4&ved=0CFsQ7gEwBA

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 15, 2012, 06:59:47 AM
Article two:
Quote
Page 1
Mic
Mic
hael Ec
hael Ec
Hanis
Hanis
THE EEBI Y
CONTINUED ...
Operation Rescue
National Palace.
It was planned and executed
by officers of the basic training camp. It was
several weeks if not months,
we had run the
Mike EEBI Echanis. Echanis
or participate, or had nothing to
see in the plan that had been done to attack the Palace. In
participaríamos only official plan, or a soldier,
or a class had been chosen
for it, let alone
Echanis, who was no longer welcome in the basic training camp. Therefore, days
later in 1978 I was surprised to read the newspaper La Prensa an alleged letter from Mike
Echanis revealed to the Press
which he spoke of his plan
attack the Palace. That was a
probably lonely and individual plan. In EEBI and
National Guard one, not
sent alone, there was a boss,
a chain of command and had to follow, obey,
respect, nothing was capricious.
If the top leaders of
Sandinistas are alive today was because of that obedience,
discipline and respect for
orders from higher command.
We obeyed orders
and even attacked the Palace
when it was easy for us.
The basic training camp was practically
at the Palace when the Sandinista command to its input
thereto, the Command were
for the Estate of Tarpon
to practice shooting when
ran into the attack
Sandinista deshabilitaron
a bedpan Israel and the Commander, Colonel Porto Somoza
carter them back. He said the
Commands leader Colonel Somoza Portocarrero by
radio, which was easier to get
who returned to the Palace, I
repeated three times before
access returned.
Mike Echanis was a man of medium height, say
I, white Anglo Saxon
yellow hair / blonde and about a 28 to 29
years of age. There is no doubt
who was an expert in the arts
martial, well able to cope with any situation
combat and his favorite, the
martial arts. He was an energetic, he was above all
Special Forces soldier,
Paratrooper. On several occasions I had to lower orders
operations officer to
EEBI Commands command,
and we had one down
Mike Echanis Jeep, who
wanted to join the convoy, but
Colonel. Somoza Portocarrero
ordered him to get off, so
immediately, was a problem,
always wanted to participate in the
actions but was not allowed.
COL. Somoza Portocarrero was always very careful with them, knew what to
and would not be involved in
what does not competing, avoiding
problems for the GN and General
Somoza Debayle. Echanis was
valiant and impulsive man, had to stop as
say in good Nicaragua.
We knew he had been hired to train the custo-
Day of General Anastasio Somoza
Debayle, by then assistant to the president, apparently
Gen. Somoza did not seem
the idea and having nothing more than
do and to give them occupation
They were sent to basic training camp where he began training with
we the official arts
martial
HAND TO HAND COMBAT, BODY COMBAT CUERPOA.
This was part of
training of every soldier,
Promotion XXXII Nicaragua Military Academy. Class 1973-1977. The graduation day on 4
July 1977.
Monimbó "New Nicaragua"
Issue 570 • Year 23
Page 2
something already known to us.
Mike Echanis participated
officials attending
group of commands, then left that role and I knew
participated in the production of military intelligence in the area
Sapoa Southern Front. My boss
I immediately asked him to provide a soldier Mike
Echanis and to make regulatory proceedings. You
I assigned Sgt. Cano who was under my command. Later we were very busy in the recruiting office and needed more staff, so I asked the
Cptn. Juan Francisco Rivera
more personal. He told me I
bring Sgt. Cano back
the basic training camp, which turned. A
day later, appreciated Mike
Echanis's office EEBI command, made a fierce,
while we work normally. Echanis went to
Captain Rivera, shouting that
why he had taken from the Sgt.
Cano, who had valuable
information and promptly put
grabbed his shirt and lifted him
of your desk chair. Of
I got up immediately
from my desk to see the rapture and my service revolver in hand, I shouted to let go Echanis Captain Rivera,
Echanis who had his back to me, turned around and said
lieutenant, I see you out
without that gun, I was not asked
Captain closer to drop
Rivera, and to leave the office. He was eyeing my
regulation weapon, a 9mm Browning mounted and uninsured
ready to shoot if I
approached, although aware of
the possible consequences.
Echanis is stormed out shouting offensive words in English, I handed my gun regulation Captain Rivera, who
I said calm, not fifteen, not
I commit myself, I kept
to Echanis and found to
Cptn. Justiniano Perez Salas
the way out of the barracks,
I told him what happened and together
escorted to outside Echanis
the basic training camp. I remember Captain
Perez ordering "GET OUT" GET OUT ", and that was
the end of the relationship Micha
Echanis-EEBI. Never again
end of the link Michael
Echanis-EEBI. Never again
facilities would step Echanis
the EEBI. For when he
the National Palace Echanis
was no longer welcome in the
EEBI.
We would not have
EEBI allowed in the mandate or foreign training,
We were very careful, professional, in the same Guard
Were National frowned;
because we demanded our
rights, were competent
and we were able to resolve and confront our own and
it created unrest within the institution. We evaluated internally, something not practiced
National Guard and no
was exempt from being assessed
and penalized if that was the case.
The size was not was simply transferred.
Media
are sometimes fanciful, make
drama to get attention
public and sell the news. A
I think, maybe he said something
and Soldier of Fortune Magazine
published it in his own way, perhaps
Echanis at some point say that, but that in reality, we, the officers and soldiers of the basic training camp, we did not use that slogan, were much less marked in the
heel as we have been stigmatized.
I want to add that it is normal and common marching and running in routine exercises in
which songs are sung,
sometimes marching, sometimes his own compositions to accompany and encourage exercise
the morale of the participants,
standard operating procedure to have all military unit.
The downside is the significance of
malicious inventions.
The story has been written by
Sandinistas, who were and are
been our adversaries, we did not have the opportunity to respond to the
truth. I can assure you that
if a lie is repeated often, it happens to be deemed credible. It is a fable
more smear against us.
I do not think EEBI foreign instructors needed for our training. We were soldiers
were able to become the number one Training School, as
military training in Latin America, for 1978 and
According to data provided by the Southern Command
Army of the United States of America in Panama.
We had the basic training camp with
varied specialties soldiers trained in Command and Staff, Advanced
Infantry, Rangers and Special Forces graduates
U.S. Kaibiles graduates in Guatemala, Lancers, graduates in Colombia
Command Corvos graduates
Chile, Panama and Command graduates Argentina, Parachute Jump and Teachers
graduates in the United States
Chile and El Salvador, these specialties has made us capable
creating a diversified training, a mixture of
specialties made very effective training for our soldiers
the fight, all adjusted to our needs. The basic training camp was
the National Guard unit that put a halt to the military victory of the Sandinistas.
We checked into exile when
and we had no ammunition, no
fuel to continue, we lost a war policy
which we were never prepared. The EEBI was born, raised
and step into exile with his officers,
classes and Nicaraguan soldiers, it was never necessary
presence of Michael Echanis
among us. If it was very good
soldier and specialist in
martial arts.
TAE KWON
DO, DO and JUDO HWA RAN.
Monimbó "New Nicaragua"
Issue 570 • Year 23
Sub. Lieut. Oscar Mendieta., Course
Management of Instruction.
U.S. ARMY SCHOOL. 1978.
THE EEBI Y. ..
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 15, 2012, 09:08:58 AM
Good copy - excellent of you to post this - :)

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 15, 2012, 10:44:13 AM
Regarding "The Teachings of Don Juan" ref earlier comments on this aspect of MDE's studies after being discharged -

"...Don Juan informs Castaneda that to become a man of knowledge one must be a warrior.  Yet he does not define warrior in the classical sense of someone who goes to war.  Throughout this book, and the five that followed over the next thirteen years, Castaneda clarified what it means to be a warrior..he redefined the warrior as an internal seeker playing in a complex outer world of nature rather than a Hollywood version of a Mongol general or Indian Chief...."

"Along the way his books became seminal inspiration for a generation of Americans seeking spiritual insight through a life of impeccable action and wholehearted living."

From "In Search of the Warrior Spirit, Richard Strozzi Heckler".

What MDE took away from "The Teachings of Don Juan" is unknown but Heckler's interpretation of the writings bears thought.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 15, 2012, 10:55:43 AM
One more...
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.manfut.org%2Fcronologia%2Ftachofinal.html
Quote
LP: Is not it a betrayal to his own purposes as commander of the basic training camp, not only mercenaries have brought the likes of Mike Echanis, but have established a character guide as one in which an officer shouted in front of the troops: What should a soldier?. - "Kill, kill." What are you?. "Soldiers". What are they really? - "Tigers". What do tigers eat?. "Blood Red". Is the blood from whom?. "The people".

ASP: "What, what, Who said that?"

LP: The basic training camp.

ASP: "According to whom?"

LP: As Echanis himself, who confirmed in an article in the journal "Soldiers Fortune" and because I lived a block away from the Military Hospital and at times could be heard from the street training.

ASP: "If you listened, then I would think. I'll explain: I did not bring Mike Echanis to Echanis put us Americans. Let them hear the Embassy!.

A lieutenant colonel arrived Cubans who had been caught after the Bay of Pigs and suddenly appears to Nicaragua Mike Echanis, I send for me and I have to assist me in training. There was a tremendous disappointment among the officers because the officers said that what he needed us. In the end what was achieved as a compromise, because we had the order to have Echanis there was no putting it in the general training but training towards one type SWAT Team.

Echanis was devoted to training a smaller group and we lay above the recriminations of the Cuban official who wanted to Echanis train all recruits. Echanis was a guy trained in the U.S. Delta Force which had been low in the U.S. Army and that is why the officers were reluctant because they did not like dealing with people to pay, because they considered themselves professionals.

For training to political pressure ended this small group of people, until he came to cause tremendous discord in the officers of the basic training camp because Echanis opinions were the opinions of an American who thought he was in Viet Nam and then was sidelined in that 45 men trained for such situations requiring rescue of people captured or used in the SWAT Team in the United States today.

It so happens that Echanis maintained contact with the U.S. Delta Force and spent tremendous amount of information the U.S. government did not want us, but that the army gave us through Echanis, but for the same feature Echanis of type have been discharged from the United States Army we gave him credibility and after the Revolution rechequeando and remembering, we realized that Echanis was giving us quite some military intelligence.

It wasted a lot of information. Echanis have reached us that he was directing the entire logistics operation of the Sandinistas was Manuel Pineiro, "Barba Roja" and told us where he was and where we could capture in Costa Rica, and we believed him because he was discharged from the army United States, thus we were disciplined.

So all that training is part of the training Echanis soldiers do, not something that is the philosophy of the soldiers, that blood from people and that, but part of the exercise in all courses, in any army is that. "

LP: So despite these purposes, the basic training camp ended up being quite the opposite.

ASP: "The poor image of the school ended up being the devil, but I think it is natural and normal that the image of the school has been that because soldiers came late in the day caused a tremendous problem for those who wanted to knock out National Guard in a month. not meet the same middle-aged people, accustomed to police actions, to meet with young well-trained. "

MAKING MEMORIES ON THE PALACE

LP: Echanis wrote a letter announcing that he would be killed and made particular reference to reactions, internal unrest in the ranks of the basic training camp at the siege of the Palace. What happened when the Sandinistas take the Palace?

ASP: "Let's start at the beginning. When Hugo Torres and Dora Maria Tellez was taken to Eden Pastora Palace front, because there were those who gave the orders and Dora Maria Tellez Hugo Torres, it happens that the unit had been trained Guard officers with the advice of Echanis, went through the other door, on their way to the rifle Portezuelo and when they hear the shots they get off the trucks and they get to the second floor of the Palace.

Were 45 highly trained soldiers putting on gas masks, to dig into the group lead by Hugo Torres and Dora Maria Tellez who had made the hall of Congress. They were ready to enter, just had to run runners were already on the roof, obviously asked permission and at that point in the chain of command passed General Somoza and the general said "No". I remember that my reaction was: How?. "No," replied the general.

We're talking seconds, the answer was no, get off there, retract their trucks and the officers and soldiers were to stamp their feet, because they had trained for that type of situation and were watching the situation. The order comes not in what we are replicating kill one of the boys, bravest, and when they get to the barracks I had to get down to the road to see their faces and those guys were belching.

Initially I was also upset, but when I got the reason why not, I was the first to defend the president's policy decision and a soldier had to fulfill, there was nothing to discuss. The general had already made his census and had more than three thousand people at the Palace.

The first thing was my turn to calm the boys, sharing with them the frustration and explain why. After a while he calmed down, we had killed one of us, bit his lip and Echanis went crazy. "

LP: Echanis suggested that this rebellion is purged to create a domestic situation ...

ASP "screaming and jumping Echanis hit was a Rambo style, went to fit the building to see how he Cerna. Spent about six hours watching stormed the palace and found an ally in an officer of great activity, a warmed his head to another, most of the soldiers were reliving the making of the House of Chema Castillo, watching that show at the Palace.

The Sandinistas made a brilliant move for a guerrilla, I assure you practice it every day if someone makes them today.

Then there was tremendous unrest and that afternoon we had a very delicate situation: A few Armoured Battalion officers who were so upset that some tanks rolled, not against the general, but went to the palace and heard the rumor when we received clear instructions and precise that any vehicle not pass the corner of Columbus and Roosevelt. It is difficult to control warriors hurt, but the National Guard as a unit would not suffer internal problems by a man who was called Echaniz ".

LP: O that was called Alegrett.

ASP, "Totie?. No, Totie was a man who had much spirit and energy, but ever more Americans tried many times, one Colonel McCoy tried to flip or to make Alegrett was unfair and the first thing he did was going to tell the story.

But these American gentlemen, as typical of the U.S. who use people and then thrown away, knew well Alegrette because it was the person who for years had served as a liaison in Miami in the illegal operations that made the Americans against Cuba, then knew him very well and tried to appeal to the fickle nature that had Totie, but did not realize that Totie was a loyal man, that every time they came to fill the head of things that Americans are experts at making, Alegrett came to tell the tale.

I always wondered rather that he had to do with the death of Echanis, should go on the road south to ask who were those who did. "

Somoza insurrection surprised

"I would say that the first trumpet that really this was something beyond the traditional Sandinistas was September 78," says Anastasio Somoza Portocarrero, "The Chigiiin"
Until 1978, the Somoza dynasty, led by Anastasio Somoza D. Somoza and his son P., "The Chigiiin" did not look threatened. After the Sandinistas proliferated like mushrooms

The biggest Anastasio Somoza p., "The Chigiiin" standing in the back, with his elite troops of the basic training camp.

Xiomara Chamorro
Special Envoy GUATEMALA
xiomara.chamorro @ laprensa.com.ni
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 15, 2012, 07:43:38 PM
Greg,
After reading the Mendieta articles along with the Diederich book, the La Estrella article and having been told some ME stories by someone who trained with him there is a clear picture forming.
Echanis was a man of action and from most accounts an accomplished killer, but he also seemed to be someone nobody wanted around. He also seemed to have a knack for inserting himself where he wasn't needed. I do get the feeling that going in fast during the National Palace takeover may have been a good option if done correctly but I don't think Echanis & Sanders were the guys for the job with their lack of hostage rescue experience. I also think that the Sandis were running a pretty good operation/suicide mission given their uniforms allowed them to move through the Palace quickly and even had a lot of military and guards thinking the long expected coup was under way. The body count would have been high with the Sandis gaining a PR win and Somosa losing support of anyone with a loved one killed in the assault.

At this point I can even accept the assassination theory as much as the death by stupidity theory given the number of people whom he pissed off along with the enemies his associate Alegrett had made. The biggest problem with the assassination theory is the assassins would have been tripping over each other to do the job.

But I've been wrong before and there are large gaps in the information that I have.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 16, 2012, 05:50:06 PM
We have people saying they did not want the Americans/Mercenaries/Echanis.

We have Echanis telling these people he was Special Forces and had been a member of Delta Force and was teaching them tactics based on information sent to him by his friends in Delta Force.
Was he getting information from Mr O'Neil who was a member of Blue Light ?

Echanis teaching rescue/SWAT team tactics ?

Where did this supposed knowledge in SWAT/Rescue/Delta come from ?
Was he teaching from writings being sent to him by Mr O'Neil ?
Or
Was Echanis making this stuff up on the fly ?

So any plans for an assault were more assumption of success based on a Warrior Ethos of being willing to die in the attempt,than an actual trained for potential outcome.(not a logical choice and maybe that was why Echanis and his men were not given the green light.)

Noload,I would agree with your post:
" but he also seemed to be someone nobody wanted around. He also seemed to have a knack for inserting himself where he wasn't needed. "
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 18, 2012, 11:48:00 AM
May they all rest in peace -

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: whitewolf on August 18, 2012, 10:39:55 PM
I agree with Greg-it appears that their is a million thoughts on what is the truth-its all over with-so be it-R/S WW
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: arnold on August 19, 2012, 07:19:47 AM
Update! Mike is still dead! Just thought I'd throw in that tidbit of new info
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 19, 2012, 07:34:36 AM
Don't tell Black Belt! ;D
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 19, 2012, 02:48:57 PM
Just like Bruce Lee,Mike Echanis is dead ,in body only it appears,as his life's story lives on ,(As with Bruce),due to tales of Super Natural abilities skills ,(and titles),beyond that which were truly possessed by either man.

Like in the Movie,sort of Bio, called I am Bruce Lee.
All these people tell unbelievable stories of Bruce Lee's abilities and skill,then you have Gene Lebell throw in his true perspectives of Bruce and his abilities,what a contrast,reality versus fiction,lol.

Yes,May they Rest In Peace,but that will never happen as long as they are dug up every so often to put money in someone's pocket/s.
The stories will continue and falsities will continue to be spread ,as making someone larger than life ,(and larger than they were in real life),sells stuff for someone.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 19, 2012, 06:33:29 PM
Agreed Jim, and we might as well get as much of the story straight as is possible, which I think you and Greg have done. Echanis has also stepped into actual history in regards to El Salvador so it's not like he wasn't a player in that theater, even if just a minor one. So talking about him isn't that off base for history buffs.
At this point though I don't know if there is anything else that could shed new light on the man.

BTW, I had found the original BB article. I'd almost forgotten that BB used to have actual articles and not just multi-page advertisements.
 
http://thestandingpost.tumblr.com/post/229111041/michaelechaniseverwhere
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 19, 2012, 07:25:13 PM
Noload,
I agree,as I have said Mr Echanis was a soldier,a combat Veteran who ,(even though for the pay,with an underlying attempt to fight communism),put his butt on transport and ended up in Nicaragua.
He set out to do a job,put himself in harms way to do the job and lost his life doing it.
He was driven,willing to punish himself to excel and he accomplished that in his short life.
He is a part of history for sure,both for his time in Nicaragua and in his style of Martial teachings.
But sadly he will never be allowed to Rest In Peace,as he has a price on his head and will be dug up when others have need or want to cash in on it.

There are many who have been in places that made,caused or helped change a situation in the world,which is what puts people in as part of history.
Many like Mr Walker ,who will never have the acclaim given Mr Echanis,because he,Mr Walker and others like him ,did his/their time and came home,but are definately a part of history,more so than Mr Echanis,but few will ever know it ,as they did a job and never became  celebrities/Icons.

Remembering people is one thing,constantly cashing in on them is not acceptable, in My Opinion.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: whitewolf on August 20, 2012, 06:27:53 AM
Noload-i wish  BB  went  back to that type articles-but-its 2012 and its a different world-WW
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: arnold on August 20, 2012, 06:29:29 AM
Checked again today, yep, still dead...
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 20, 2012, 10:26:18 AM
Jim,
I just can't fully share that view of Echanis. While I agree with your assessment of what he did, and it is amazing, I have my doubts as to his motivations and have a hard time putting him on the side of the angels. And while I find him interesting martially, to me he was a bad guy in the making and an early death may have saved his memory. I guess that's why I also find the Cult of Echanis (made up of Black Belt, HRD, etc) interesting and the selective history they use for him, which gives just a flat description of the guy. But like you said, he has a price on his head and it's worth it for them to dig up his memory and likeness to make some more cash.
Just my thoughts on a dead guy.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 20, 2012, 02:25:33 PM
Noload,
I am in agreement with your last post,completely.

He was a man with demons,he went to war as a US Soldier,was wounded,got into martial arts,took the little he learned and turned it into his style,it did not produce much in the way of a living for him so he took his guts and skills,became a Mercenary/Contractor and died.

He developed a following of people who will not let him be dead and who need his SELECTED past to make cash from his old skills.

Nothing new has come from Mr Echanis since September 1978,and his style was not ahead of its time ,just presented in a different manner,Echanis style.

To me he should be left as dead ,and just left alone to truly RIP.

That will never happen as long as someone who claims to have ever known him,or met him,or holds the rights to something he wrote and or pictures of him is alive and looking to cash in.
(Again similar to Bruce Lee.)
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on August 20, 2012, 06:05:13 PM
You nailed it Jim! Well put.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 23, 2012, 05:31:22 PM
Agreed.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on September 07, 2012, 08:13:45 PM
Postscript -

Per the National Personnel Records Center, Michael Dick Echanis received the following awards and decorations during his military service to the Nation:

Bronze Star with "V" Device for Valor

Purple Heart

Good Conduct Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Parachute Badge

Vietnam Service Medal w 2 Bronze Service Stars

Combat Infantryman Badge

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal w Device (1960)

The Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross w Palm Device

Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Medal

Marksmanship Badge, Army (Rifle)

Echanis' Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) in the Army was 11B1P, or Infantryman/Parachutist.

He entered the Army on May 12, 1969.

He attended Basic Training at Fort Ord, California; Airborne Advanced Individual Training (INF) at Fort Gordon, GA; Airborne School at Fort Benning, GA.

He did not attend Ranger School.

He did attend Phase 1, Special Forces Training, at Fort Bragg, NC with a start date of 25 October 1969.  He was removed from training, reasons not given, on 21 January 1970.

On March 23, 1970, MDE was assigned to Company C, 75th Ranger Infantry, I Field Force Vietnam USARPAC.  His assigned Principle Duty was as a Scout - Observer.

On May 6, 1970, then Specialist 4 Michael D Echanis participated in a combat action with his unit that resulted in his being wounded no fewer than four times. 

His first wound was to his left foot, the second was a head wound resulting from bullet fragmentation.  This wound partially blinded him.  The third wound occurred when a bullet struck him in his right foot and embedded itself in his right calf.  Despite now being wounded three times Echanis, now firing from inside the truck he'd been a passenger in, "drew a hail of enemy fire" because of his continued resistance and was wounded a fourth time.

His citation reads "Specialist Echanis continued to fight until the beleagured truck was relieved."

He was awarded the U.S. Bronze Star with "V" Device (Valor) for this action.  As well as the accompanying Vietnamese valor awards noted earlier.

Echanis was medically retired from the Army on December 18, 1970. 

His retiring rank was that of Private First Class. 

Apparently he got into a bit of trouble during his recovery/rehabilitation phase at Letterman Army Hospital, San Francisco, California :).

On September 8, 1978, Michael D Echanis died while engaged in combat operations as a trainer/security contractor to the then government of Nicaragua.  He is buried in Ontario, Oregon.

Rest in Peace, Mike.

Respect.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on September 10, 2012, 08:14:45 AM
Mr Walker,
Thank you for the up date on Mr Echanis Service record.

I know that this information is just basic information.
I wonder what unit or units Mike was assigned to before airborne,after airborne,prior to SFQC and after SFQC,before C/75.

Also I have read quotes from newspaper accounts,Daily Argus, about Mike's Bronze Star Citation,but when they wrote about the citation they never say what unit the CITATION says Mike was assigned to during the action that won him the Bronze Star.


Also before anyone thinks Mike did 3 months at SFQC actually training  to be a Green Beret,one needs to know that at that time in 1969 there was a monetary cut back for SF and training for SFQC during that time was sporadic at best,and rushed through when done.

Here is a brief story on SF training during that time, 1969:
http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?56560-Special-Forces-Training-in-1969

There are a lot of things being associated with Mr Echanis that are slim truths in reality and being painted with a broad brush to be more than what he was.

Why can't he be left to be what he was ,an Airborne qualified infantry soldier ASSIGNED to C/75 when wounded in an attack while riding in a truck convoy in which he took actions and won a Bronze Star.
That is all he was when in a fire fight for he which his bravery was rewarded.
Why must he be said to be and built up to be more than what he actually was ?
Airborne qualified ?
Yes
Ranger ?
Not in a Technical Sense,(Not Ranger Qualified/schooled) but assigned to a Ranger unit when wounded.
SF/Green Beret ?
NO

His Martial arts skills,books and magazine articles were after his Military Service and have no bearing on what he was or where assigned.
Though his wounding in combat focused his desire on combative skills and training/teaching.
As an Airborne Infantry man assigned to C/75 when wounded and awarded a Bronze Star  for Bravery,it is still an accomplishment that would have gotten attention.

Let the man be what he was,and Let him be what he is ,DEAD.
May he Rest in Peace.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on September 10, 2012, 12:55:56 PM
Jim,

When this discussion began I offered I'd do what apparently no one else had done...obtain MDE's service record under the appropriate circumstances.

And that I would share this to set the record straight historically.

To answer your questions -

His service time was very brief.  May 12, 1969 to December 18, 1970.

He attended Basic Training, AIT (INF), Jump School, Phase I SFQC and then was sent to Vietnam. 

There were no other units, no other assignments, no posting to Korea and then Vietnam.  His trajectory in the Army was straightforward.

On March 23, 1970, he was formally assigned as a Scout-Observer (Principle Duty description in his 2-1) with C Company, 75th Ranger Infantry, I Field Force Vietnam.  His MOS was 11B1P, Infantryman/Parachutist.

The Bronze Star with "V" was awarded on July 15, 1970.  Issuing Headquarters was Headquarters 173D Airborne Brigade, APO San Francisco.  General Order #1810.

Award made to Specialist 4 Michael D Echanis, Date of Service ref the action/award is May 6, 1970.  Unit to which the Service Member was assigned and performing duty at was C Company (Ranger), 75th Ranger Infantry (W-G74-AA-A).  Theater - Republic of Vietnam.

That's the official and correct record.

After his wounding he was sent to the 249th GEN Hospital in Japan and then to Letterman GEN Hospital in San Francisco where he medically retired on December 18, 1970.

Point being - for years no one checked the facts and the myth, the legend and the outright BS just stacked up until now.

Bottom Line Up Front -

Mike Echanis served the country honorably and performed above and beyond in combat and was appropriately recognized by both our government and the Republic of Vietnam for his gallantry.

He was, by the standards of the time (as well as the same service standards for the Rangers in WWII and Korea, a United States Army Ranger at the time of his wounding and heroism, period.

That's the official record.

SFQC wise it's important to know he qualified for the course (after passing the SF exams given at Fort Gordon); and attempted it.  Why he was not successful is neither here nor there - many aren't and I think it's fair to say if he'd had another opportunity to give it another go he would have.

The program (as has Ranger School and BUDS) has seen candidates attempt the program until successful for now decades.

Everything after 1974 is fairly well documented and today much more understandable.  He was and remains a product and personality of his times.  I will say I've to date found no one who actually knew him and lived/gone to school/served with him or trained under him having anything other to say about MDE but positive things. 

And the fact he was absolutely fearless as well as the best of friends if he liked or loved you, and a prankster without equal from childhood on.

Richard Zimmerman of Black Belt Magazine, in 1978, wrote what I believe is the finest story about Mike Echanis that anyone had done then or since.  It is on the web and is entitled "The Echanis Enigma".  Intelligent, articulate and objective from someone who knew and talked/met with MDE for over a year before his death. 

Well worth the read.

At my end I'm well satisfied with putting the record more firmly in place - and moving on.  The Wikipedia page on MDE is now updated, well referenced and as accurate a bio on the man as appropriate.

Thank you, Hock, for providing this great forum for us and for MDE's story.

Out here, brother.



Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on September 10, 2012, 02:51:37 PM
Mr Walker,
As said I greatly appreciate the fact that you were able to get information and close out the speculation of what was  beleieved to be Mikes Military experiences,with some real facts about Mr Echanis Service.

Thanks to you the Facts are there,hopefully those who read it will understand it and finally,at some point, allow Mr Echanis to Really Rest in Peace.

My questions and points were :
To see if Mike had been in some other unit ,Like 173rd Airborne or another Airborne unit,as there is empty time between entry,basic,AIT,Airborne and ending up with C/75.

My point about SFQC was not that Mike did not make it,but that there was a lot going on around SFQC during 1969 which caused many to drop out or get dropped from the course as  budget and training problems limited trainining and qualification in the course.
I have no doubt that Mr Echanis was more than physically and mentally capable of making the course and getting qualified,had the course been running normally at that time.(but it was not)
Had the course been running properly,Mike would have been in SF,not with C/75 and his life would have been on another Track,and who knows ,had that happened ,we may never have heard of Mike Echanis,as life situations and desires would have been different for him.
(Mike seems the type to be set to get things done in his time frame ,and delays just lend themselves to problems or redirected efforts
which may have caused him to rethink and alter his direction  away from SFQC  to Vietnam)

Thanks for the Heads up on the article,"The Echanis Enigma"

Thanks again for putting out the record, and straight scoop on Mr Echanis service.

All the Best
Jim
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Hock on September 10, 2012, 05:33:59 PM
(Guys, for the sake of forum "book keeping," I think I am going to shift this thread over to Military Combatives at some point...just a heads up)
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on September 15, 2012, 10:54:01 AM
Jim,

Good point and I'd thought the same but forgot to include it in last post.

MDE was put on Casual Leave from 1 July 1969 (after Basic Training) until his report date for AIT which was 28 July of the same year.

He was assigned to Company D, USASFTNGGRP(ABN) at Fort Bragg on 25 October 1969.  On 21 January 1970 he was - no explanation provided - reassigned to the replacement company at USASFTNGGRP/Bragg.

Here orders were cut for USARPAC (Vietnam) and on 3 Februrary 1970 MDE again went on Casual Leave prior to OCONUS assignment/deployment.

He reported to C Company (Ranger), 75th Ranger Infantry, IFFV, USARPAC on 23 March 1970.

While home on this last leave a close friend of the family, just a boy at the time but whose father was very close to MDE's father, remembers seeing a family photograph of MDE preparing to board a plane to begin his journey to VN. 

He describes MDE in dress greens and wearing a black beret which would have been the correct uniform at the time and for someone assigned to a Ranger company.

And worn by a very young man who was proud of himself, what he'd accomplished, his family, his country and where he was going. 

In essence, the missing 2 +/- months are months taken in leave time.

MDE's departure from the "Q" Course is simply "what it was".  It is just as likely, given his propensity for getting himself and others into trouble (pre service, while in service, and post service the latter according to childhood friends and fraternity brothers of Chuck Sanders) saw him removed for training at the "Q".

This same pattern manifested itself later in southern California and again, with deadly results, in Managua, Nicaragua, at EEBI. There, according to published accounts, MDE was declared persona non grata on the EEBI compound for assaulting a NIC officer.  His circle of influence then became solely that of the small bodyguard unit he advised, the 10-man MTT team and Somoza's elder son.

Several weeks later he and the others perished in the air crash so often mentioned.

Tragically enough, Chuck Sanders had just married his fiancee from the Fayetteville area in a ceremony held in Managua.  Two days later the plane went down.  Extremely close contacts with MDE have shared that Echanis had planned to leave Nicaragua within two weeks' time of the fatal crash.  It was said "Mike had had enough" and he, too, was planning on marriage upon his return to the States. 

The young woman mentioned was a niece of President Somoza.

It is my strong sense MDE burned his bridges in Nicaragua after about a year and, with the ejection from EEBI and the debacle of the National Palace take-over, he had "had enough".  He maintained a very positive and aggressive public face (i.e. the AP interviews) but in reality he was preparing to move on, explore contracts possibilities elsewhere (Brazil, Rhodesia) and likely get married.

That's my take, anyhow, based on what I've seen and heard to date.

Respect.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on September 15, 2012, 11:05:52 AM
This link is active and since the discussions opened up has been updated nicely by the webmaster for this site.  Rank, awards/decorations, photos and so on have been corrected / updated as the information has become available.  I was lucky to find the folks running the site and they are great. 

A future memorial page for Chuck Sanders is planned.

http://army.togetherweserved.com/army/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=Person&ID=264369

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on September 15, 2012, 01:14:36 PM
Nice to have a day off to fix up the place, walk the dog and read.

Check this excellent article out on Bruce Lee, same issue of BB as the "Enigma" article on Echanis.

Such different martial arts personalities, pursuits and backgrounds on the same stage at the same time and with such short career spans that have ended up becoming, in the best sense of the term, immortal.

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=QNQDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA66&lpg=PA4&output=html

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on September 15, 2012, 04:53:34 PM
While editing/writing for Fighting Knives and Full Contact magazines I was blessed to interact with Stephen K Hayes, whose book "NINJUTSU - The Art of the Invisible Warrior" remains a classic.  The book was published in 1984.

I found this rather oblique but also very direct quote from Hayes (Page 150) both insightful and appropriate coming from a master of the art as well as teacher regarding living one's warrior life.

"...one must not explore the ways of taking a life without guidance as to when such action is or is not appropriate.  The lack of such guidance and wisdom in the lives of some self-styled warrior masters has led to their untimely deaths at a young age even in modern times."

Respect.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on September 24, 2012, 05:09:23 PM
Great respect and thanks to John E Padgett for honoring his Vietnamese friend, interpreter and comrade in arms "Nguyen van Nguyen" with the story "May Buddha Bless Bobby", SOF, October 1982.

I found a copy online and as with all things and people associated with MDE ... there is an element of sadness.

"Nguyen" is described by John as an exceptional Soldier who fought with Special Forces in Vietnam and rose through the ranks to  - with the fall of South Vietnam - command a gallant last stand at Ton Son Nhut airport before leading his company out to Vung Tau and "liberating" a fishing boat which he and his paratroopers then sailed out "to meet the Seventh Fleet".

Padgett describes memorable experiences with his friend in Vietnam and then, 8 years later, in Managua, NIC, where they ran into each other at the airport.

It is a wonderful tribute told by someone whose credentials and ability as a writer are without dispute.

Profound in his story is this -

Like Chuck Sanders, "Bobby Ngugen" was very involved with a young woman from Fort Bragg/Fayetteville.  She visited Managua where Padgett met her when Bobby introduced them.    There is no record given of who she was or whatever may have happened to her.

But it was the following that I found very sad but also very important whenever Michael Echanis is discussed - and that is how he impacted on other people's lives either for good or for naught.

From John Padgett  -

"There are two postscripts to this story.  One is that Bobby's name was not really Nguyen van Nguyen.  Wherever he is, he's having the last laugh on us.  When we were together in the Qui Nhon Mike Force days, we were amazed as hot many of our VN recruits' names began with "Nguyen van"  The name was 10 times more common than Smith is to Americans.  We got to calling the Vietnamese troops "Nguyens" and our version of Sad Sack we called Nguyen van Nguyen.  Bobby must have bit his tongue to keep from laughing when he filled that out on his immigration papers.

"The second postscript is personal.  I did not want my old friend to pass into the next life wihout sustenance so, as I had too often seen the Vietnamese do for their honored dead, I set a table for him.  I lit two candles, and between them I arranged fruit, cheese and a glass of the best wine I had in stock.  I unsheathed my Buck knife and placed that near the food, so that my warrior friend would not cross over unarmed."

On September 8, 1978, the Echanis family buried both Michael D Echanis and Bobby Nguyen.  Because there was no one to claim his remains and because he was a friend of their son's the family ensured he would be properly cared for in death.

His simple tombstone at Sunset Cemetery in Ontario, Oregon, reads  "Bobby - Nigoyen Van Ngoyen - 1946-1978".

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Bryan on September 26, 2012, 02:31:00 AM
People have been chatting up Echanis since the 70s, nothing new about that. I guess I'm getting old enough to be bored by the subject. Tonight I rode my bicycle by a Special Forces instructor out on a run, that don't make me SF but I'm around the subject enough, been around it, in support of, that kind of nonsense, maybe I know a few things.

My first thought is why would anyone (Greg Walker) give a Retirement Date with no start date? no rank? then give obscure mission time periods versus action dates? Maybe somebody is popping smoke, blowing smoke, or dealing off the bottom of the deck. I don't care, just thought I would point out a couple things.

It is weird Jim H would kinda agree with a SF poster and not call him out on simple details.



Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Bryan on September 26, 2012, 01:50:09 PM


Many of these men had type A personalities and did not work well when back in units state side with rules and conditions,they were rebels with a self defined code  and fit the saying "Break here in case of war",these were those men.

I want to point out that when it is convenient Jim likes the idea of the "Type A" then at times pretends that kind of soldier does not exist. I have been one of the main defenders of Idema to the point it caused a major rift with POW Network and others. Its a damn shame some trailer trash in Missouri gets to use the internet to call Idema a pussy, to make money off him, now making money off his corpse too, the world we live in.

Most of the problems with Echanis are based on the fact the man is dead and others decided to make money of him, to cash in his corpse. We have the same thing in Rock Music, a Jimi Hendrix Mind Hump. To this day I meet people who claim they were discovered by or played with Jimi, try to associate themselves with Jimi, all for money.

I could go much further with the comparisons in Rock Music and Martial Arts but why bother. For the most part people do not care, only a handful of people are even interested in Echanis as a real person, the reality, the rest want a character who stars in Black Belt and Paladin. They want to read comic books and go to movies, could care less about the reality of anything but ordering a pizza on game day, getting that right.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Bryan on September 26, 2012, 02:54:09 PM
OK, I have gone back and read the entire thread. The smartest thing written here is Greg Walker admitting its the lower enlisted ranks E2, E3, E4, that are the "War Fighters" something JimH has refused to admit for years, at least in every argument I have ever had with him.

Micheal Echanis entered the Army on May 12, 1969 and was wounded days short of one year of service on May 6, 1970. Soon after this he would have been assigned to a "MHC" the same as I was till his retirement as a PFC December 18, 1970. This is standard SOP or whatever you want to call it. Anyone that has ever gotten themselves inside the "Grinder" knows all about the process to get out of it. So far none on this forum have ever experienced that or at least have not referenced it. Maybe nobody here knows about it?

It is doubtful that Echanis got in trouble at Special Forces Training because of the fact he was E4 when he was wounded with less than twelve months service. If he did get in trouble it was no big deal, more likely he was injured and dropped. This scenario would explain some of the missing time too, sent home to heal up, cracked ribs, badly sprained ankle, lots of possibilities.

Conclusion, and the only thing that matters. Michael Echanis was a US Army Retired E3 PFC who served his country with Honor.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on September 27, 2012, 11:35:19 AM
It was good of you to admit you hadn't read the entire thread and went back to do so.

Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on October 01, 2012, 11:34:17 AM
MDE in focus and so with Bobby Ngyuen.

Now working up hard facts regarding Chuck Sanders.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on October 17, 2012, 05:12:14 PM
On December 17, 1975, Headquarters for John F Kennedy Center for Military Assistance issued its Letter of Instruction (LOI) for "USJFKCENMA Hwarang Do/Tae Kwon Do Program".

Objectives were:

- To provide instruction in individual close-combat techniques

- To provide individual athletic participation, develop esprit de corps and furnish spectator entertainment

- To provide an alternative to routine training and running in the existing "Fit to Fight" program

- To provide a basis for selecting a HD/TKD team to represent USAJFKCENMA in the Fort Bragg TKD tournament

***

With specific reference to the "USAJFKCENMA Hwarang Do School for Hand to Hand Combat and Special Weapons" in a separate Memorandum for Record -

"Mr. Michael D. Echanis has been appointed Senior Instructor and Advisor to the USAJFKCENMA Hand to Hand Combat/Special Weapons School for Instructors.  This program calls for training a total of 144 instructors for Special Forces units."

Six classes of two weeks in duration were scheduled.  These numbered from 76-1 to 76-6.  Start date for Class 1 was 19-30 January 76.  The last scheduled class was to occur from 29 March to 9 April 1976.  Only three classes were conducted, however.

Those units sending students include 1st Bn, 5th Special Forces Group and 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group; 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group and HQ/Service Company, 7th Special Forces Group; HHC/Signal Companies, 5th Special Forces Group, 801st Military Intelligence Detachment and 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on October 21, 2012, 02:24:20 PM
Postscript regarding Bobby Nyugen -

An American friend who served with Bobby Nyugen in Vietnam offers he (Bobby) was also, at one point in his career, a member of MACV-SOG and ran recon with teams from Combat and Control North (CCN).

He offers Nguyen was a fierce fighter and that he'd killed his first enemy soldier at age 11.

Bobby Nguyen was personally recruited in Fayetteville, North Carolina, for the Echanis training team because of his immense combat experience and numerous individual skills as well as proven loyalty.  His loss on September 8, 1978, was felt by a select group of Special Forces/Ranger Vietnam veterans who knew him and had fought beside him during the war.

Before Bobby was buried in Ontario, Oregon, alongside Michael D Echanis - an American flag was placed with him by one of his closest comrades-in-arms.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on October 23, 2012, 07:53:14 AM
Charles Wilfred Sanders ("Chuck") - 1948 to 1978

Charles W Sanders grew up in Ontario, Oregon.  He was the eldest of two brothers and one sister.  His father, Dr. Wilfred Sanders, was both the train company's on-call physician and the sports teams' doctor for Ontario High School.  Chuck grew up "tough" according to those who knew him.  He was immensely well liked and respected.  The 1967 yearbook for Ontario High School, the year Chuck Sanders graduated, is a tribute to Sanders' wide range of accomplishments and skills.  He literally could and did everything and was voted "Unsurpassed on the Football Field" for his accomplishments in that sport.

Sanders was also an exceptional student of JiuJitsu/Judo and trained extensively at the Ontario Judo Club.  As a street fighter there are numerous stories from both his Ontario based friends and those he went to college at the U of O (Eugene) with.

Chuck Sanders could handle himself in a fight.

Some have offered whether on the playing field or off it seemed Sanders simply did not experience pain like most others did.  One close friend offered this came from how his father brought him up, always sending Chuck back out after a scratch or cut or injury with the admonition that he wasn't really all that hurt.

Sanders was also an outstanding hunter and fisherman.

Sanders left the U of O without graduating and ended up in Phoenix, Arizona.  Down on his luck the young man became the suspect in two tavern robberies but was never tried or convicted.  On September 10, 1973, he enlisted in the United States Army.  His place of entry was Phoenix, Arizona.

After basic training and jump school Sanders attended USAAHS MEDCORPS for 8 weeks in 1974.  From there he went on to attend USAAHS MEDSPEC training (Combat Medic), a 19 week course.  He completed his combat medic training in late 1974 by attending and graduating the Special Forces Medic's Course at USAJFCIMA, a 19-week course.

Sanders then attended and successfully completed the Special Forces Qualification Course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  His MOS was annotated with the "S" qualifier for "Special Forces Qualfied".

His next military school of note occurred in 1975 when he successfully completed the Special Forces Underwater Operations Course (5 weeks).  He was already Airborne Qualified (1973) and had also graduated successfully from USATC SLPP, a two week course (1973).

Sanders was assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina from November 5, 1974 until his discharge on September 9, 1977.

His awards and decorations are listed as the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Ribbon, Parachute Badge, SCUBA Badge, Marksmanship Badge with Rifle Bar and the Soldier's Medal for Heroism.

In the case of the latter award then Sergeant Charles Sanders, on May 12, 1977, at 1100H while participating in a 1500 foot high free climb with his teammates did save the life of Master Sergeant Nail.  Nail began sliding downward from 1200 feet and an effort by Master Sergeant Jakovenko to get a rope to him failed.  With no concern for his own safety Sergeant Sanders crossed 15 feet of steep slope to intersect with the falling man.  Balancing himself on his toes on a 1-inch granite ledge Sanders managed to both stop and then support MSG Nail for a full 7 minutes until ropes could be lowered to get both men off the rock face.

This with 800 feet of empty space below the two men.

Even so, Sanders refused to leave his perch until Nail was successfully brought to the top of the mountain.  The final sentence of the citation for heroism reads "The heroic manner in which Sergeant Sanders risked his life to save Master Sergeant Nail from sure death, with utter disregard for his own safety, makes him truly deserving of the award of the Soldier's Medal."

Chuck Sanders discharged from the Army on September 9, 1977.  Between his heroic performance on the mountain slope and his final day in the Army he apparently suffered a disciplinary action that resulted in his being discharged as a Specialist rather than Sergeant.

Chuck Sanders was one of handful of professional Soldiers to work with Michael Echanis at Fort Bragg in the development of the Hwa Rang do H2H and Special Weapons Program noted earlier.  Others included Master Sergeant Jakovenko and then SSG Gary O'Neil.  Sanders and O'Neil are known to have been Black Sash ranked in Hwa Rang Do along with MDE.

Chuck Sanders would join MDE in Nicaragua in late 1977 and would be killed along side him on September 8, 1978, in a tragic aircraft accident / explosion.

He'd been married just two days before in Managua to a gal he'd met in Fayetteville, NC, while in the service.  The young Mrs. Sanders did attend her husband's funeral in Oregon.

Charles W. Sanders was cremated upon his return to Ontario, Oregon.  His ashes were spread, at his request, over his favortie mountain range in Oregon.  A simple stone marker in the Sanders' family plot at Evergreen Cemetery shows he, his mother and his father now together again.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on October 30, 2012, 09:39:40 AM
Further -

The long held belief that MDE was given an option to either go to jail for his childhood antics or join the Army is false. 

Although Echanis was a hell raiser no such mandate occurred.

He chose to graduate early and join the Army as it had long been his desire to do so.  His father and uncles all served in WWII and one of his elder friends served in the 101st, jumping into Normandy and then Holland.  In addition, a cousin of MDE's was shot down over Laos (Major Echanis) and was MIA in 1969, the same year MDE graduated/enlisted.

MDE hoped to get to Vietnam where he might learn something more about his missing family member - http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=24338117

On the other hand Chuck Sanders did have a significant run-in with the law in Phoenix, Arizona, and was given the option of jail or enlistment in a plea agreement.  He chose the Army and his career path was presented earlier.  Interesting note - MDE, upon hearing of his best friend's problem in Arizona, sold his Datsun 240Z - one of his favorite cars - and sent the proceeds of the sale to Chuck so he could retain a good attorney.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on October 31, 2012, 09:47:09 AM
For those who have been reading this thread (and there's an enormous number recorded as of having done so) it could literally go on forever.

A huge "Thank you!" to Hoch for providing the forum.  Michael D Echanis is a very complicated and very human story - and so much that has been written or rumored to date is - upon quality research - simply in error or flat out nonsense.

We now know what the actual substance and authority was regarding the Hwa Rang Do and Special Weapons courses at Bragg in '76 - to include a two-page story with photos published by VERITAS - The World of Foreign Affairs Officers in its January/February 1976 issue.

We now know MDE did attend and graduate Airborne School (Student #534) when so many have offered he had not.

That he moved easily and with great hospitality throughout the then Special Operations Community is also true.  He was invited and did provide H2H training for Charlie Beckwith's newly formed DELTA and he did the same for SEAL Team 2 at the invitation of its commander at the time, Dick Marcinko.

The training and skill sets he provided resulted in the following Letter of Appreciation from Command Sergeant Major William E. Edge, then the CSM of the John F Kennedy Center for Military Assistance, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  Dated 22 June 1976 it reads:

"Dear Mike,

"I would like to take this opportunity to express my personal thanks to you for what you have tried to do for us.

"Your undying spirit is rare indeed.  In these self complacent times, it is most unusual to discover a truly dedicated person such as yourself.  There will again come a time when people like you will be eagerly sought after to both teach and lead our young and inexperienced soldiers in a battle they can win.  Your skills in unarmed and hand to hand combat are sorely needed in today's forces.  Hopefully they will return in the future.

"I hope our paths cross again, in the meantime, if I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to call."

There is perhaps no tribute to Mike Echanis better said and having greater authority to offer such praise and admiration.

As for his tragic death and all the mystery and conjecture that surrounds it even to this day - and despite the thorn he had become in the U.S. Government/State Department's side by being where he was and training who he was in a continued fight against Communism/Marxism in Latin America - in early January of 1979 then President Jimmy Carter signed and sent the following to his family less than 4 1/2 months after MDE's death.

"The United States of America honors the memory of Michael D Echanis.  This certificate is awarded by a grateful nation in recognition of devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces of the United States."

Again, thanks Hock - time to move forward - keep training!

Respect.



Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on November 03, 2012, 03:32:13 PM
Updated - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Echanis
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on November 18, 2012, 06:01:56 PM
Also wounded from C Company, 75th Rangers, with Echanis were SSG Eddie Roberts, SP4 Alfred Carr, SP4 Robert Ladeaux and PFC Mark Laughton (General Orders #104, Department of the Army, HQ, 17th Field Hospital, Vietnam - dated May 7, 1970.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on November 24, 2012, 06:17:08 PM
Check Wiki page for Michael Echanis ref 5th Special Forces Group/JFK Center endorsement of Echanis system of H2H for Special Operations Forces, both U.S. and friendly foreign militaries, in forma letter dated February 1, 1977.

Respect.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on November 25, 2012, 10:51:12 AM
Mr Walker,
You have done a Great deal of work on behalf of the Legacy of Mr Echanis and others associated with him and their operational work as contractors/mercenaries.

The True Synopsis of it all is as we have agreed to before

Mr Echanis Served and was wounded in an action in Vietnam.
He attended Jump School and served 3 weeks in a Ranger unit before he was wounded.

He studied Hwarangdo after his Military service ,for a very brief time and was going to be given a school,he decided instead to go to Ft Bragg ,NC to visit his friend,Mr Sanders.
While at Bragg he taught his version of Martial arts.
Through friends he was allowed to teach Military members on base,some to include SF/Green Beret Members.
He was given letters of appreciation and Thank You as well as letters commending his training.
(Same type letters others like Jim Wagner,Blaise Loong,Jim Webb.Tank Todd and others present)

He went to work for SOF magazine and became a Contractor/Mercenary.
He died as a Mercenary/Contractor.

End of story

WE know that GM J B Lee and the Hwarangdo black balled Mr Echanis  untill GM Lee learned Mr Echanis was teaching the Military.
J B LEE then stood for Pictures with Mr Echanis Giving him a Black Belt Ranking and wanting part of Military training work.
Mr Echanis was not promoted to Sulsa till after his death.

J B Lee names does NOT appear on the Ceremonial diplomas issued to the few who made it through Mr Echanis H2H course.
I have seen the Certificate,and one can be seen on Keith Idema's website.
http://theydontfoolme.com/1317/pictures-and-documented-evidence-of-jack-idemas-history-with-special-forces/
Only two of six courses were run.
The course was not SF members only.

If as written on Mr Echanis wiki page ,JB Lee signed the certificates and made these people Black Belts were on the Hwarangdo sites do their names appear with ranking ?? LOL.

Mr Echanis trained MEMBERS OF/INDIVIDUALS OF the Army,SF,SEALs and Marine Recon,not UNITS of or TEAMS of.
Non of his Instruction was military contracted ,they were just jobs for him for pay.
He taught his Fit to Fight class for a short time.
He taught his JFKCENMA for a short time.
Basicaly the classes he taught were stopped by those in charge.

To write his name and refer to him as a Major,because he wore a Green Beret with a Major Rank playing an OPFOR at Robins Sage is a joke.
For him to refer to himself as a Major is also a joke.

Again a lot of work to create a legend has been done on behalf of MR Echanis and Mr Sanders,but much of the info for Mr Echanis is just supportive info ,based on friends of friends writing letters and BS claims by J B Lee about the true relationship with he and Mr Echanis.

Mr Echanis was:
A regular Guy who entered the Military,got wounded ,studied Martial arts,taught his version of a Martial art,becomes a Mercenary ,Dies ,and is made into some sort of story book  Legend.

Why the Need to make him out to be things he DEFINATELY was not ?

Sorry Hock for taking up more space on this thread.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Bryan on November 25, 2012, 06:56:20 PM
Mr Walker,
You have done a Great deal of work on behalf of the Legacy of Mr Echanis and others associated with him and their operational work as contractors/mercenaries.

The True Synopsis of it all is as we have agreed to before

Mr Echanis Served and was wounded in an action in Vietnam.
He attended Jump School and served 3 weeks in a Ranger unit before he was wounded.

He studied Hwarangdo after his Military service ,for a very brief time and was going to be given a school,he decided instead to go to Ft Bragg ,NC to visit his friend,Mr Sanders.
While at Bragg he taught his version of Martial arts.
Through friends he was allowed to teach Military members on base,some to include SF/Green Beret Members.
He was given letters of appreciation and Thank You as well as letters commending his training.
(Same type letters others like Jim Wagner,Blaise Loong,Jim Webb.Tank Todd and others present)

He went to work for SOF magazine and became a Contractor/Mercenary.
He died as a Mercenary/Contractor.

End of story

WE know that GM J B Lee and the Hwarangdo black balled Mr Echanis  untill GM Lee learned Mr Echanis was teaching the Military.
J B LEE then stood for Pictures with Mr Echanis Giving him a Black Belt Ranking and wanting part of Military training work.
Mr Echanis was not promoted to Sulsa till after his death.

J B Lee names does NOT appear on the Ceremonial diplomas issued to the few who made it through Mr Echanis H2H course.
I have seen the Certificate,and one can be seen on Keith Idema's website.
http://theydontfoolme.com/1317/pictures-and-documented-evidence-of-jack-idemas-history-with-special-forces/
Only two of six courses were run.
The course was not SF members only.

If as written on Mr Echanis wiki page ,JB Lee signed the certificates and made these people Black Belts were on the Hwarangdo sites do their names appear with ranking ?? LOL.

Mr Echanis trained MEMBERS OF/INDIVIDUALS OF the Army,SF,SEALs and Marine Recon,not UNITS of or TEAMS of.
Non of his Instruction was military contracted ,they were just jobs for him for pay.
He taught his Fit to Fight class for a short time.
He taught his JFKCENMA for a short time.
Basicaly the classes he taught were stopped by those in charge.

To write his name and refer to him as a Major,because he wore a Green Beret with a Major Rank playing an OPFOR at Robins Sage is a joke.
For him to refer to himself as a Major is also a joke.

Again a lot of work to create a legend has been done on behalf of MR Echanis and Mr Sanders,but much of the info for Mr Echanis is just supportive info ,based on friends of friends writing letters and BS claims by J B Lee about the true relationship with he and Mr Echanis.

Mr Echanis was:
A regular Guy who entered the Military,got wounded ,studied Martial arts,taught his version of a Martial art,becomes a Mercenary ,Dies ,and is made into some sort of story book  Legend.

Why the Need to make him out to be things he DEFINATELY was not ?

Sorry Hock for taking up more space on this thread.

He was just a guy with big ideas and bad luck, the cards were not with him. If you were around back in the 70s Im sure he was great to work out with. The only reason anyone is still talking about him is a bunch of fake ass losers were/are making money of his corpse. Outside of that nobody would be talking about him. I'm one of maybe 10 people on the earth that were even interested in the facts around this guy and I already know to much, nobody else cares, not about facts/truth anyway. Especially not the morons that think they are some kind of badass because they read his little book or paid someone for certificates.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Bryan on November 26, 2012, 06:56:41 AM
would somebody let this poor bastard just stay dead?

You've got Black Belt Magazine and Paladin Press to thank for this zombie. Just when we thought the guy was dead they reanimate him for a couple more bucks.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: arnold on November 26, 2012, 03:01:09 PM
Just like Elvis. Made more money after he died then he did when he was alive
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Bryan on November 26, 2012, 04:23:43 PM
Just like Elvis. Made more money after he died then he did when he was alive

You got it,
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on November 26, 2012, 05:59:24 PM
Agreed.

I would offer it's no longer necessary, interesting or fun to "blog" him to death (pardon the pun) any longer as - more or less - the documented facts are now out there for anyone having enough intelligence to pull up the Wiki page or this thread and read.

It's all there.  What he did, what he didn't, what he was, what he wasn't, the true impact he had in some areas that intrigue us 34 years later, and what he had little to no impact on whatsoever.

So the next time someone writes some silly "Hwa Rang Do Mercenary" article for Black Belt...or some marketing filler for a booklet promoting a knife Echanis had zero to do with other than offer a comment about a design feture...or anyone else looking to make a buck or take a cheap shot pipes up...we'll know they didn't do their homework and likely didn't care to.

As Chief Gary O'Neal told me a few weeks ago "He trained hard and he died hard.  Let him be remembered for that."

Respect.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on January 27, 2013, 05:31:16 PM
http://army.togetherweserved.com/army/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=Person&ID=264369

http://army.togetherweserved.com/army/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=Person&ID=333554
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on January 27, 2013, 08:43:02 PM
Why is mike Echanis wearing what looks like a Black Beret in the picture ?
The story is that he volunteered to go to Vietnam and shortly after he got there he was supposedly picked up by C Company 75th Rangers.
So why was he wearing what looks like a Black Beret PRIOR to going to Vietnam ?
Is there a way to tell what the unit insignia on the Beret is ?
What is the unit insignia on the backing behind the jump wings?
In the original picture can the unit patch on the shoulder be seen more clearly than in the photo used  ?

The picture does not fit the supposed Story line .
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on February 02, 2013, 09:29:55 PM
Jim - for goodness sakes - let it go, brother.

Photo is one the Echanis Family shared with me during a recent visit...

Mike was on 30 days leave prior to shipping over to Vietnam...

He'd been assigned to Special Forces after jump school and arriving at Fort Bragg where he went to Training Group...

He, per his 2-1 which I have per FOIA, had trouble in Phase 1 and in lieu of whatever that was he volunteered for duty in Vietnam...

He was traveling in the prescribed uniform of his duty assignment...

Insignia on beret is Special Forces crest, per the reg at the time...

He was not full flash qualified...

Backing on jump wings is appropriate for Special Forces...

When he arrived in Vietnam Gary O'Neal ran into him and got him assigned to C Company, (Ranger), 75th Infantry.  This per Gary in message traffic with me.

Out of the great kindness of the Echanis Family I am now the caretaker of MDE's "green beret".

I also have copies of Mike's POI for both SF and ST-2; official Letters of Assignment and Recognition from JFKCENMA regarding Mike's role and responsibilities; Letters of Appreciation from JFKCENMA to MDE; and so on.

I've interviewed/visited with the people closest to him at Bragg, in Virginia Beach and in Managua as well as interviewing the U.S. Ambassador to NIC at the time of his death.

And I've read/reviewed the official NIC and U.S. Embassy post death documentation to include the autopsy reports on Mike, Chuck and Bobby.

Let it go, Jim - and let him rest in peace as he deserves.  There's far, far more to what Mike did, who he did it with and why he still has such a fierce loyalty among those still living who knew him, worked with him and called him both brother and friend.

Respect.



 
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on February 03, 2013, 02:49:39 PM
Mr Walker ,you ask me to let it go,but you keep updating stories on Mr Echanis  and then put up pictures of Mr Echanis portraying him as something he WAS NOT,a Green Beret.

Green Beret as per Regs at the time ?

If I remember the STORY Right ,Mike either left and or was asked to leave the Q course before he was SF Qualified.So according to that he would have been wearing the insignia of his old unit/mother unit,the unit he would have returned to before going to Vietnam,since he did not go to Vietnam as part of an SF Unit.

Also at the time if one were in Special Forces and was not QUALIFIED one wore a Crest and a candy bar stripe underneath of unit assigned to,as per the Backing on his jump wings.

He traveled from SF phase one to Vietnam,assigned to NO UNIT ,where he met Mr O'Neil who got him assigned to C co 75th Rangers ??

You ask to have it left alone ?
You are the Caretaker of Mike's Green Beret ?
Mike was not a Green Beret.
So you are the caretaker of a Piece of Green Cloth.
He was not qualified to be and or wear a Green Beret and was never assigned an SF Unit.
If he were assigned to work in an SF Unit,Without being Qualified he would have been authorized the Beret with the GROUP Flash Colors as a Candy Stripe.
You don't wear a Green Beret because you made it through Phase One.
Now we stretched the Ranger Qualifications ,let us not stretch the SF qualifications of which Mr Echanis had NONE.
(Do you rate being a Ranger if you make through phase one /Benning phase ??  NO and you sure didn't wear a Black Beret around or do not wear a Tan Beret around now,because you are seen to be UNQUALIFIED )
Sorry,you cannot just let something go that is false and enough of Mr Echanis story is made up without pictures of him as an UNQUALIFIED Green Beret,being put up and touted as legit.

You either EARNED a Green Beret or you did not and Mr ECHANIS did not.
He had to have a Mother unit sometime. One does not just enter the Army,go to basic,go to jump school,go to SF training ,leave  before you graduate and wear a Green Beret being supposedly under orders to Vietnam from a unit,SF,that you are not assigned to as you Failed,left or were asked to leave the COURSE of Training.
The Q course is a SCHOOL ,not a UNIT assignment,unless you are an instructor at the Course and Mr Echanis WAS NOT that.

Sorry Mr Walker but as a Former Green Beret how can you back up this set of lies.

Michael Echanis Joined the Army,went to Jump school,went to Vietnam and was wounded in a fire fight. He left the Army due to wounds sustained and that is the ENTIRE Military Story with out the few weeks here and there  fluff that means nothing as he WAS NOT a GREEN BERET and seems to be given Ranger status by some due to Maybe being assigned to C company 75th Rangers,heck he could have been a company clerk ambushed on the way to his assigned unit.
Most of the Hwarangdo story in the books are lies.
Mr Echanis then became a Mercenary and died as such.
End of story
It should have been let go as that.

To say there is no need to blog Mr Echanis to death as the truth is out there is kind of a misdirection,because like the SF Picture much of the story is still smoke and mirrors story telling to make a person Larger/Greater than they were.

Sorry Mr Walker,I respect you and your service ,but I do not have to respect and keep quiet ,or let it go, when stories and pictues,like Mr Echanis as a Green Beret, are untrue.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on February 03, 2013, 03:20:15 PM
I trust you find help for your problem, Jim. 
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on February 03, 2013, 09:47:40 PM
Thank You for the Kind Words Mr Walker.

Getting help to get the TRUTH out is a problem ,but I am sure I will accomplish my objective.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Bryan on February 05, 2013, 07:56:43 PM
Jim is right, if he is not Green Beret he is not Green Beret. All the other nonsense is just that, nonsense.

There are bad asses, and there are guys with bad ass marketing skills, rarely are they one in the same.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on May 16, 2013, 12:21:56 PM
I just finished reading reading a Great book by Warrant Officer Gary O'Neil,former LRRP,Ranger.Special Forces and Blue Light member.
A True patriot and Hero

Interesting as much of what we are told in the past pages on this thread are that Mr O Neil said Mike Echanis served with C company Rangers when he was shot and wounded.

Seems Mr O'Neil has a different version of events:
Here are some portions of the book by Gary O'Neil:
 
This site has portions of the book:
http://www.commandposts.com/2013/05/portrait-of-a-ranger-as-a-young-lrrp-warrior-in-vietnam/
 
Here is a portion on Gary Meeting Mike Echanis.
E Company was based out of An Khe and Pleiku, but we went wherever Special Forces needed us. This was where I finally found the opportunity to put all my knowledge and all my ability to good use. While officially I was assigned to Double Deuce, the truth was Charlie Rangers was pretty informal, so I’d go out with any team that needed me.
 
When replacements joined the team, we had to take time training with them before we would take them out on a mission. We were only as safe as our weakest member. I remember when Mike Echanis joined my team. Mike was a martial arts expert, and eventually we would live and work and almost die together in Nicaragua. Mike was my friend. He was one of the toughest men I have ever known and a black sash in Hwa Rang Do. Mike also was his own man who wanted to prove himself. On the first recon mission we took him out on, we got into contact with a superior enemy force. The NVA strategy was to occupy your attention from the front and attempt to flank you so you would be surrounded. That meant when we were in a firefight with a superior force we had to keep moving. If we stayed in one position too long, eventually they were going to surround us. So during this firefight I decided it was time to break contact and high-tail it to our exfil point, but Mike decided to stay there and fight them. Mike was always wanting to try out his hand-to-hand Hong Kong Fooey, to see if his kicks and punches worked, so he starts going at it with this NVA. I looked at him and thought, Are you shitting me? So I just shot the fucker and told Mike, “Come on, Mike, let’s get the fuck out of here. We got to go, amigo.” He didn’t want to leave. We had to go back and get him, which put the whole team in jeopardy. When we got back in the rear I fired his ass off my team; we couldn’t allow one person to function independently. Instead he got put on convoy security, and as his convoy was going through the An Khe Pass sometime in 1970, they were ambushed. Mike got his leg shot up bad and lost the use of his foot, although he managed to overcome that. I liked Mike, liked him a lot, but when he showed that he couldn’t be part of a team there was no place for him. He was in country for less than a month before he was wounded.
(pg 56)

Seems to me Mike did one patrol with Mr O'Neil and then ,due to not being a team player,Mike was reassigned as convoy security.
Not a LRRP job and if not a LRRP then not a designated member of C Company  as Only LRRPs of Echo Company 22 LRRPs were designated / Fell under the cross over distinction of LRRP being called Charlie  Rangers.

Mr O'Neil just hapens to have been a Convoy escort upon his reenlisted return to Vietnam.
Mr O'Neil details how Convoy security could have you engage with the enemy and if you were not an 11B you would not be entitled to a CIB,(Combat Infantry Badge)
His command created a 2 week course which allowed a Convoy security memebr to get the 11B MOS,so they could get a CIB if in conflict with the enemy.
I Believe Mr Echanis got a CIB for his truck Convoy Security conflict at An Khe.

The knife also claimed to be made by Mike Echanis from his time in the LRRPs seems to have been made by Mr O'Neil,one year prior to Mr Echanis ever arriving for his 1 Patrol with Mr O'Neil during his 3 weeks in Vietnam,before being wounded in a truck convoy.

Read page 61 of the book and see where Mr O'Neil used a Fairbairn Knife to kill an enemy sentry and the knife went through the enemies neck and into Mr O'Neils arm,causing him to fabricate the model for the so called Echanis LRRP knife.

Here is what Mr O'Neil had to say about Mike Echanis:
pg 148
"Mike was a unique individual.He was dreaming that he would be the next Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee and was doing everything possible to get publicity,writing stories for Black Belt and Soldier of Fortune magazines"
"hhhe kept hinting to people that he was some kind of superspook,making all these claims about his military background that weren't precisely true. Mike actually hadn't been in the that long before he'd been wounded and discharged,and while he was excellent in hand to hand combat,he certainly didn't have all the experiences that he liked to talk about."

Through out the book anything that involved Mr Echanis showed him doing what he wanted,when he wanted and he would not listen to anyone,not Gary ,Chuck or anyone.
As Mr O'Neil said in the book Muke Thought he was invincible.

pg 255
Regarding the Green Beret and Steven Seagal:
" The Green Beret ie a hard-won award,not a fashion statement,and he hadn't earned it."
"it bothered me greatly that he was trading on the sacrifices people had nade to give that beret its meaning.You do not wear that beret with a long ponytail,walking down the streets in New York trying desperately to look tough."

Sounds the same as what I wrote on this thread about Mr Echanis wearing his Phase one beret  after leaving the course and people claiming him to be a Green Beret.

Again those who want to believe Mike is something he WAS NOT can go ahead and do so.
Here we have the words of MR O'Neil,a man who was with Mike in Vietnam during the time that Mikes claims to fame come from,(on the Military side),and he tells us Mike was not cut out to be a LRRP,that he was assigned convoy security at the time he was wounded in a firefight,so the Ranger claim is shown to be a story which was supposed to be based on Mike being a member of Charlie Rangers,and the claim of a Green Beret is shown to also be a story.
 
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on May 16, 2013, 07:52:02 PM
I'll have to get the book Jim, O'Neil seems like an interesting guy.

In regards to Echanis it really is pretty clear to what kind of guy he was at least from what has been published, at least articles that weren't written to puff him up.

Quote
After reading the Mendieta articles along with the Diederich book, the La Estrella article and having been told some ME stories by someone who trained with him there is a clear picture forming.
Echanis was a man of action and from most accounts an accomplished killer, but he also seemed to be someone nobody wanted around. He also seemed to have a knack for inserting himself where he wasn't needed. I do get the feeling that going in fast during the National Palace takeover may have been a good option if done correctly but I don't think Echanis & Sanders were the guys for the job with their lack of hostage rescue experience.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: arnold on May 17, 2013, 09:13:32 PM
UPDATE!
He's still dead. That is all...
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on May 18, 2013, 08:01:24 AM
I agree and as I have said ,Mike is dead.
He was wounded in a firefight in Vietnam and he was awarded medals for his action. He was a martial artist who sought fame and fortune as a Merc and died as such.

People tried SO HARD to grasp things to make money off his name selling knives and remakes of old books all based on false claims.

Now that man the claims were based on says Mike WAS NOT with C / &% when he was in the Fire Fight and wounded ay An Khe Vietnam,so the last grasp of he was in the unit when wounded so he is a RANGER is now debunked.

Mike was wounded as a Member of a Convoy Security unit,not as a Ranger.

So he is not a Ranger,should not be called one and was not SF and should not be called one.

He is what he was ,and as I always said,just a man/soldier doing his job in Vietnam.

I hope those who wrote his WIKI page will correct his profile
that they will correct his Military.com Page and remove his anme from the C/75 wall of those wounded in Vietnam.

And to those selling a knife under Mikes name,it is also false as the creatorof what they are selling is apparently Mr O'Neil a True Military Hero,who is the actual inventor,creator and fabricator of the knife being sold as mike Echanis LRRP knife or what ever knife.

Leave the dead alone and stop using them for profit.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on May 19, 2013, 04:45:12 PM
Quote
Leave the dead alone and stop using them for profit.

You're asking a lot Jim. After all this is the world of martial arts where many a career and reputation is built on the myths of many a dead "master". ;)
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: arnold on May 20, 2013, 03:47:08 PM
UPDATE!
Checked again today, yep, he's still dead!
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on May 21, 2013, 07:56:56 PM
How about Bruce Lee? ;)
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: arnold on May 22, 2013, 04:12:27 AM
Yep, dead too!
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Benjamin Liu on May 28, 2013, 11:27:03 AM
How about Bruce Lee? ;)

His Ohara books have also been compiled into one big book by Black Belt.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on June 13, 2013, 08:08:55 AM
Any pulse yet?
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: arnold on June 26, 2013, 05:23:34 PM
Sorry, been out of town working.
He's still dead...
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 09, 2013, 08:02:24 AM
Mr Walker
You have now written an article in Black Belt Magazine in which you mislead people reading it about Mr Echanis and C / 75 and 22 LRRP.
You say Mike was a Member and participated in multiple actions with this unit.
You mention Mr O'Neil's book,yet seem to have skimmed over these parts,which contradict the Echanis was a LRRP or part of C /75 or 22 LRRP.

This site has portions of the book:
http://www.commandposts.com/2013/05/portrait-of-a-ranger-as-a-young-lrrp-warrior-in-vietnam/

Here is a portion on Gary Meeting Mike Echanis.
E Company was based out of An Khe and Pleiku, but we went wherever Special Forces needed us. This was where I finally found the opportunity to put all my knowledge and all my ability to good use. While officially I was assigned to Double Deuce, the truth was Charlie Rangers was pretty informal, so I’d go out with any team that needed me.

When replacements joined the team, we had to take time training with them before we would take them out on a mission. We were only as safe as our weakest member. I remember when Mike Echanis joined my team. Mike was a martial arts expert, and eventually we would live and work and almost die together in Nicaragua. Mike was my friend. He was one of the toughest men I have ever known and a black sash in Hwa Rang Do. Mike also was his own man who wanted to prove himself. On the first recon mission we took him out on, we got into contact with a superior enemy force. The NVA strategy was to occupy your attention from the front and attempt to flank you so you would be surrounded. That meant when we were in a firefight with a superior force we had to keep moving. If we stayed in one position too long, eventually they were going to surround us. So during this firefight I decided it was time to break contact and high-tail it to our exfil point, but Mike decided to stay there and fight them. Mike was always wanting to try out his hand-to-hand Hong Kong Fooey, to see if his kicks and punches worked, so he starts going at it with this NVA. I looked at him and thought, Are you shitting me? So I just shot the fucker and told Mike, “Come on, Mike, let’s get the fuck out of here. We got to go, amigo.” He didn’t want to leave. We had to go back and get him, which put the whole team in jeopardy. When we got back in the rear I fired his ass off my team; we couldn’t allow one person to function independently. Instead he got put on convoy security, and as his convoy was going through the An Khe Pass sometime in 1970, they were ambushed. Mike got his leg shot up bad and lost the use of his foot, although he managed to overcome that. I liked Mike, liked him a lot, but when he showed that he couldn’t be part of a team there was no place for him. He was in country for less than a month before he was wounded.
(pg 56)


Here is what Mr O'Neil had to say about Mike Echanis:
pg 148
"Mike was a unique individual.He was dreaming that he would be the next Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee and was doing everything possible to get publicity,writing stories for Black Belt and Soldier of Fortune magazines"
"hhhe kept hinting to people that he was some kind of superspook,making all these claims about his military background that weren't precisely true. Mike actually hadn't been in the that long before he'd been wounded and discharged,and while he was excellent in hand to hand combat,he certainly didn't have all the experiences that he liked to talk about."

Mr Echanis was one day out with 22 LRRP and was fired and sent packing.
He ended up on CONVOY SECURITY ,not as a member of C / 75 or as a member of 22 LRRP.

Over at Spyderco you wrote the following:
http://www.spyderco.com/forums/showthread.php?43076-Article-by-Janich-on-Spyderco-Warrior-in-quot-SWAT-magazine-quot/page3

Gary's book is an autobiography. I was stunned in the most positive sense of the term when I learned he had chosen to write it (his co-author is David Fished - one of the best in the business). O'Neil is one of the finest SOF operators in the world. His is no manufactured "legend".

If Gary elects to comment on Echanis it'll happen within the content of the much bigger story that is Gary O'Neil's. Again, I hope he does and how ever he does so it'll be the final word coming from the only person truly qualified to put it on the record.

DOL!
Greg Walker (Retired)
United States Army Special Forces

Apparently Mr O'Neil has spoken and it appears not to be what has been claimed but goes along with what I have said,yet the BS story is the one still written of.

I also like how over on Spyderco you have lifted much of what I have written on this thread and even used some of it in your Black Belt Article.

I will be sending the editor of Black Belt the story as written by Mr O'Neil and see what they do.
As with other subjects I am sure they will do nothing  as they have reprinted Echanis materials into that big book,which got a full page ad  along with your article.

The use of Mr Echanis name and claims which misrepresent his military background and training to make money seems to fall under the Stolen Valor Act,Does it not.
I wonder if the law about making money from Stolen Valor applies to only the person named or others who use a DEAD Man and make known false claims to sell things under the DEAD Mans name ?

I Feel Sorry for his family as they seem not to have known anything about their son, read stories about him ,written by others who claim to have KNOWN and these stories are false.

Here is Mike Echanis military Career in a nut shell:
He was an Airborne soldier,assigned to convoy security wounded in a fire fight in Vietnam,awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.
He never finished Phase one SF and Never served more than a training exercise with C/ 75 ,22 LRRP.
An ordinary soldier of NO special military training,who AFTER his service studied martial arts and went on to try and teach HIS VERSION of that.


Yes Arnold Mike Echanis is still Dead but the Falsities of his Military Career,though short,still continue on ,to allow people to sell products under his name.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 24, 2013, 08:26:01 PM
Dear Jim,

Wow. 

First, to save time and space, please go to this link regarding my professional thoughts on Gary O'Neal's recollections of Mike Echanis - http://www.amazon.com/review/R1FMHRS6L5YQQR/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R1FMHRS6L5YQQR

Now, to preface this post for ALCON -

"Hwa Rang Do's Immortal Warrior - The Untold Story of Michael D Echanis" is indeed in the August/September issue of Black Belt Magazine.

Let's use this opportunity on this forum to set the record straight.

Gary O'Neal never presented a verifiable source for his more "colorful" recollections of Mike.  In other words...what Gary offers might as well have begun with the words "There I was, and this is no shit...".

Per my FOIA Request in 2012 for the service records of Michael D Echanis and Charles Wilford Sanders -

Michael D Echanis, per NA Form 13164, was awarded not only the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and Purple Heart, but Combat Infantryman Badge as well as the Republic of Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm Device as well as the Vietamese Civil Actions Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal w/ 2 Bronze Stars and the Vietnamese Campaign Medal w/ Device (1960).

Echanis was indeed assigned to Company C, 75th Ranger Infantry upon his arrival in Vietnam, at the time of his wounding, and upon being medically evacuated to the 249th General Hospital in Japan.  Source for this information is the Service Member's Military Personnel File, Form 2-1.

Date of Arrival Vietnam and Assignment to C Company, 75th Rangers is 23 March 1970, Principle Duty is Scout-Observer, per the 2-1.

Echanis was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor Device on 15 July 1970.  General Orders Number is 1810.  Issuing Authority is Department of the Army, Headquarters 173rd Airborne Brigade, APO San Francisco 96250.  Unit of Assignment at the time of award is Company C (Ranger), 75th Infantry (W-G74-AA-A).

Echanis was awarded the Purple Heart on 7 May 1970, the day after the combat action he was involved in.  Unit of Assignment during the action he was wounded in is Company C, 75th Rangers, APO 96262.  General Orders Number is 104, Issuing Authority is Department of the Army, Headquarters, 17th Field Hospital, APO San Francisco 96294.

Also awarded the Purple Heart and named for the first time in the Black Belt article are Echanis' co-rangers, Alfred Carr/Robert Ladequx, Mark Laughton and SSG Eddie Black (2nd Award).

Gary O'Neal knew of this action and the resulting awards.  He also knew Mike was assigned to the same company as he was.  Whether Gary's account of "firing" Mike is accurate it is presently not supported by anyone other than O'Neal.  What is true is that Gary chose, for his own reasons, not to acknowledge Mike's heroism as a ranger.

If you've read the Black Belt article correctly you'd know the unit activities for the month of May 1970 were presented as background.  These were taken from the offical "Operational Report - Lessens (sic) Learned, Company C (Ranger) 75th Infantry, Peried (sic) Ending 31 July 1970.

The report is dated 5 August 1970 and was classified CONFIDENTIAL until being declassified per NND 984007, 12/20/2012.

Please note Echanis was assigned to C Company 23 March 1970.  He was wounded on 6 May 1970.  To date I have found no one who will/can confirm Mike was assigned to Gary O'Neal's recon team.  And I mean on paper, formally, not heresay. 

Per the unit Operational Report the company provided a "Ranger School" at An Khe.  It's mission was "to train all incoming personnel assigned to this company...The duration of the course is ten days and approximates the RECONDO school."

It is more likely than not Mike attended and graduated this 10-day program for the simple reason no "cherry" would be allowed to go operational unless so trained/qualified.

I'd point out that O'Neal himself, in his book, states he was not "Ranger Qualified" while at Company C.  This was not unusual but it does mean Gary was no more or no less a "ranger" than Mike Echanis.

Per the Operational Report for May 1970 - Page 1, Operations: Significant Activities, Section a:

"Company C (Ranger) 75th Infantry continued to conduct Ranger Operations in II Corps Tactical Zone, RVN, under operational control of Task Force Pursuit (1-5 May), 1st Brigade, 4th Division (5-27 May), Task Force South (27 May to 26 July) and 173rd Airborne Brigade (26 July - present).

Echanis was a member of the unit and operational under Task Force Pursuit, 1-5 May when he was wounded in action.  Further, per the official report in Section (b), "During the month of May, the company conducted 73 operations in twenty-three operational days resulting in 27 contacts, 32 enemy sightings, 34 enemy KIA and 14 weapons captured in action.

"Friendly losses were 2 US KIA and 14 US WIA.  The high casualty figure was MAINLY DUE (emphasis mine) to a convoy ambush in the An Khe Pass on 6 May."

In short, the highest unit casualty producing event in May 1970 was the one Mike Echanis was directly involved in, wounded in, decorated for and per the award narrative "Specialist Echanis' aggressive spirit and undaunted courage were DECISIVE (emphsis mine) in preventing the anhilation (sic) of the truck and its personnel."

Why no acknowledgement or mention of this action by O'Neal on behalf of his "friend" Mike Echanis?  You'd have to ask Gary.

With respect to your statement regarding Mike's military assignment in Vietnam with C Company, 75th Ranger Infantry, the offical documentation and evidence proves you are in error.

Your reference to the Stolen Valor Act is simply bizzare.

The Black Belt story is, as stated in the story, the only family authorized account of Mike's service and wounding/recovery/rehabilitation and career afterward.  The author fee that would normally be paid to me as its author was donated by Black Belt to the Green Beret Foundation, per my wishes as well as the family's.  This is stated in the article.

During my research I discovered what all good researchers call "The Holy Grail" documentation wise.

While visiting/interviewing with Master Chief Bob Nissley in Tampa, Florida in December of last year I came across the official Nicaraguan and U.S. Embassy records post crash.  These include the death certificates for Echanis, Sanders and Bobby; the autopsy reports for all three; the U.S. Consular Mortuary Certificate for all three; the Nicaraguan Report of Death for all three (signed by Colonel Alejandro Lara, Medical Director, Cuartel General General, Guardia Nacional De Nicaragua on September 9th, 1970); the offical affidavit from the Embassy of  the United States, Republic of Nicaragua, City of Managua formally confirming the identify of the remains of Michael D Echanis, Charles W Sanders and of "Viet Van Nguyen" and signed by Mary M. Daniel, Consul of the United States of America on September 13, 1970.

The most impressive document (read: evidence) is the offical letter signed and dated "Septiembre 12, 1978" from the Jefatura Suprema De Las Fuerzas Armadas, Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua, Managua, D.N., Nicaragua.

It is a directive from then President Somoza to Senor Armando Saballos of Lineas Aereas de Nicaragua at Aeropuerto Las Mercedes to ensure the following -

At the direction of the President of the Republic the National Airlines, (TACA, owned by Somoza), was to provide air transportation for the following U.S. civilians designated to escort the prepared remains of Mike Echanis, Chuck Sanders and Bobby Nguyen to the United States PER (emphasis mine) the following route:

Managua-Miami-Fayetteville-Ontario (Oregon) - Fayetteville - Miami - Managua.

Those U.S. citizens were:

1.  Sra. Kemberly Kennedy O'Neal (Gary's wife)
2.  Sr. Gary O'Neal
3.  Sr. Charles W. Evans
4.  Sr. Paul Glasser

So that part of Gary's recollections are accurate based upon heretofore undiscovered offical documenation.

In his book O'Neal offers (Page 178) the "...Nicaraguan military flight landed in Tampa, Florida.  The bodies were transferred onto a civilian aircraft and flown to Boise, Idaho, and from there up to Oregon.  I was with them the whole trip...".

Not according to the official documentation regarding the flight route authorized by President Somoza nor with the personal account of Master Chief Bob Nissley who, along with the family in Ontario, Oregon tracked the flight / remains from Managua to their final destination in Ontario, Oregon (collaborated by notes taken by both Master Chief Nissley and Pat Echanis and other family members.

The remains were flown aboard a TACA civilian airliner - not military - from Managua to the United States.  The first destination in the US was Miama, not Tampa.  The FAA control tower in Miami refused landing privileges because no formal flight plan was filed in Managua by TACA.  The pilot then diverted to Fort Lauderdale International.  When he requested landing privileges he was told by the FAA controller on duty that he would have to wait until formal approval was given.  The pilot replied he was low on fuel and would land either on I-95 or at the airport...but he was landing.

He put the aircraft down at Fort Lauderdale.  The caskets were off-loaded and placed in quarantine for three days as the US State Department, US Customs and Somoza's government dickered over formalities.

This delay affected the memorial services and funerals planned in Ontario and caused enormous grief for the families and friends already gathered.

When arrangements were finally concluded it was a TACA flight that flew the caskets directly to Boise, Idaho.  Fayetteville, where Bobby's casket was to have been unloaded and turned over to friends for burial, was now out.

TACA landed in Boise, Idaho as Ontario had no - and still does not have - an airport that can accept airliners.  The funeral director for Bertelson Lien Kaempter Memorial Chapel, a close friend of the Echanis/Sanders families, in Ontario, Oregon, drove up from Ontario and took control of all three sets of remains.  This per arrangements made with the U.S. Embassy in Managua and with Dr. Manuel Morales Perez, Ministry of Health, Managua, Nicaragua on September 13, 1970 (Transit Label).  A copy of this document was attached to the US Consular Mortuary Certificate.

The caskets were transported by ground, not air as O'Neal claims, from Boise to Ontario and to the memorial chapel.  There is no record of any of the four escorts named arriving with nor escorting the remains from Boise to Ontario.

According to Master Chief Nissley O'Neal offered he and Paul Glasser were looking to head for New Mexico for awhile.  They showed up with Gary's wife, Kim, in Ontario several days after the call.

In the meantime the caskets had arrived in Ontario and Frank Echanis, Mike's dad, asked Bob Nissley who was already in town and coordinating funeral arrangments with the family, to go to the chapel and identify the bodies and their condition.  Bob did so.  None of those escorts assigned to travel with the remains were present to Bob's knowledge either in Boise or Ontario that night.

I have asked Gary in private correspondence about this discrepancy in his book - to date he has not replied.

When he and Kim and Paul Glasser did arrive in Ontario they were provided comfortable lodging by the Echanis Family.  Gary and Kim stayed in a private home belonging to a friend of the family's.

Personally, based on what I've learned reference the above, and in lieu of O'Neal's account in his book, I don't believe he was with the caskets/remains "all the way" as described.

O'Neal also offers he delayed the funeral of Bobby Nguyen until he (O'Neal) could drive to Boise, Idaho some 60 miles away and purchase an American flag for "...my friend's coffin."  In his book he states (Page 179) "When I got back we folded it in the correct triangular fashion, opened up his coffin, and laid it on top.  Only then would we allow them to put him in the ground."

This account is flatly objected to and denied to have taken place by the Echanis Family as well as Master Chief Nissley.

Where there was objection to placing a flag on or in Bobby's coffin this came from the active duty military personnel from the 5th Group funeral detail (MSG Jakovenko's team).  This because technically Bobby was not a U.S. citizen at the time of his death (he was a political refugee and had no other documenation other than this at the time of his death).

The Echanis Family knew nothing of Bobby.  His casket simply arrived with Mike and Chuck's.  Chief Nissley knew who Bobby was from their association at Fort Bragg.  Pat Echanis told me the family elected to have Bobby buried with Mike in the Catholic cemetery because they felt their son would have wanted this.  To accomplish this they gave up one of several family burial plots for Bobby.  Frank Echanis had to sign a document stating that Bobby was Catholic in order for the burial to be approved by the Church.  He conferred with Master Chief Nissley who told him many Vietnamese were Catholic...and Frank told me "That was good enough for me" and he signed the document.

Gary's account of stopping Bobby's funeral and the placement of an American flag by himself did not happen.  Pat Echanis is specific about this.  I'd not want to be Gary and come face to face with Pat on this and other issues having to do with O'Neal. 

The official documentation from the U.S. Embassy and Nicaraguan Government beginnng on September 9, 1978 with the admission of Mike, Chuck and Bobby's bodies at the Military Morgue at the Hospital in Managua at 1100 Hours (Solicitud De Engtrega De Cadaver) as signed by 2nd LT Andrew Lopez M of the Hospital General De La Guardia Nacional De Nicaragua ... through the embalming process that followed (all three were embalmed and their caskets made to order by President Somoza's personal embalmer) ... to the order given by Somoza on September 12th for TACA to fly the remains to the States ... to the U.S. Consul, Mary Daniels, approval for said return as signed on 13 September ... shows Somoza and the U.S. Embassy moved heaven and earth to take care of business.

Gary O'Neal was of little to no influence whatsoever despite his recollection otherwise.

This is further demonstated by who acted as casket bearers at the funerals.  Casket bearers for Chuck Sanders, per the formal announcement (of which I have a copy) were:

Michael Flynn / Michael Flanagan / John Easly / James O'Kief / John Echanis / Tom Phillips.

Honorary Bearers included Master Sergeant Valdimer Jakovenko / Staff Sergeant James Lally / Staff Sergeant Roger Bascomb / Sergeant First Class Thomas Powell.

For Mike' funeral the casket bearers were:

Master Sergeant and former VN POW James Jackson / Mike Yarborough / Master Sergeant Valdimer Jakovenko / SSG James Lally / SSG Roger Bascomb / SFC Thomas Powell.

Honorary Bearers included "Big Mike" Echanis, "Little Mike's" cousin (whom I have interviewed) / then Major Juan Montes and Hwa Rang Do Grandmaster Joo Bang Lee.

Neither Gary O'Neal, Paul Glasser nor C.W. Evans were asked to assist in any manner with the funerals other than to attend as guests. 

And brother, I could go on but you get the gist.

In closing, an American flag does fly at Bobby's grave today.  I placed it there last year as well as one at Chuck's.  I sent a photo to Gary as a kindness and out of respect.  I also placed a 2/75 RGR BN coin I'd gotten at the battalion for Bobby, this a specific request from Gary.

Only Master Chief Bob Nissley has made the journey back in recent times to remember his friends.

De Oppresso Liber - "No Fallen Comrade Left Behind"

Greg Walker (Ret)
United States Army Special Forces

 









Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 24, 2013, 10:04:41 PM
Postscript -

Jim - I have no idea why you have the "hard on" for Mike Echanis that you do.

And I have no idea why Gary O'Neal wrote the many questionable / unsupportable things he did about Echanis despite having access to information / documentation that would have, at best, "refreshed" his memory.

This to include stating that Chuck Sanders' wife was snubbed at the funeral (untrue - the Sanders family knew Susie and Chuck were getting married four weeks before Chuck's death - she was welcomed  by both the Echanis/Sanders families - duly acknowledged in Chuck's obituary as his wife - remained in touch with the Sanders' family, specifically Chuck's mother - for many years until offering she had to move on with her life).  It is unknown whether Bobby indeed married his gal from Fayetteville (as described in John Padgett's article in SOF in the early 80s.  I am in communication with John - founder of Refugee Relief - and he had no idea Bobby's body had been recovered and properly buried until I made contact and sent him photos.  If anyone truly knew Bobby it is John.

Had Bobby's girlfriend / wife been at the funeral - and the Echanis' simply do not recall her - she would have been afforded the same care, concern and consideration as Chuck's wife.  O'Neal's bizzare statement that the families considered the two women as "gold diggers" is nonsense.  As is his statement the US Government would not provide them with benefits because the marriages occurred outside the United States.

Chuck was no longer a serving member of the military so there were no survivor benefits to be had - and Bobby was a political refugee - with absolutely no benefits whatsoever regardless.  I'm still puzzled as to O'Neal's line of thinking and fault finding on this one.

Finally, there is no evidence or proof of any sort that Mike Echanis ever claimed a military qualification he did not have.  None, period.  O'Neal's claim that Mike got the H2H position at JFK by relying on a forged DD214 belonging to Gary - alleging Echanis to be both Ranger and SF qualified - is shameful. 

Echanis worked closely with such notables as Colonel Charlie Beckwith, Commander Dick Marcinko, Master Chief Bob Nissley, MSG "Ivan" Jakovenko and then Major Juan Montes among others.  This is documented - and supported by the above with the exception of Beckwith who passed away some years ago.  They would have sniffed out a fraud claiming Ranger School and the "Q" Course and sent him packing - Chuck Sanders would not have stood for it, either - being SF qualified himself.  This claim fails the Common Sense Test from the get-go.  Mike Echanis had all the qualifications he needed both militarily and martial arts wise.

IMHO, and having been in contact with both Gary during the writing of his book with no other agenda than to be of service, that Gary simply believed that 35 years later and after the fact who would know or care what he said - or bother to check - regarding his relationship and recollections of Mike Echanis, Chuck Sanders and Bobby Nguyen.

As Mike's mom told me a few weeks ago - Karma is funny that way.

GW
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 25, 2013, 07:19:27 AM
Post-Post Script -

Additional documention / NVA Ambush of C Company, 75th Rangers, 6 May 1970 during which SP4 Michael Dick Echanis was wounded in action.

Organization or Installaton:  Company C (Ranger) 75th Inf.
APO San Francisco 96294

Location:  Engineer Hill, Pleiku

From: 0001, 6 May 70 to 2400, 6 May 70

Daily Staff Journal or Duty Officer's Log / Page 1 of 1:

Entries begin at 0001 - Journal Opened

0800 - 2ond(sic) advance party departs today for Pleiku

1900 - Company had one truck ambushed today at An Khe Pass.  Suffered 7 friendly WIA's. Got four confirmed KIA's.  Negative Operations.

2400 - Journal Closed

Typed name and grade of officer or official on duty:

Gerald F. Colvin, CPT. OPNS OFFICER

This document is GROUP-4 Classification.  Classification downgraded at 3 year intervals.  Declassified after 12 years.

Declassified NND 873541 ib 12/20/12

Copy from National Archives, Record Group No. 472

***

The only decisive and accurate story about Nguyen "Bobby" Van Nguyen, KIA with Mike Echanis and Chuck Sanders on September 8, 1978 is -

"May Buddha Bless Bobby", by John E. Padgett.

Soldier of Fortune Magazine, October 1982.

Padgett was extremely close to Bobby Nguyen beginning in Vietnam beginning in mid-1967 "at the B-Team headquarters in Qui Nhon.  After the Tet Offensive John joined the newly formed Mike Force (Mobile Strike Force) as cadre and Bobby as an interpreter.  Later, in 1977, Padgett would see Bobby again although briefly when Padgett was at MACV SOG (CCC) in Kontum.

Bobby would join the Vietnamese Airborne where he worked his way up from NCO to warrant officer to lieutenant.  He was commanding a company that "held out as long as possible at Ton Son Nhut Airport" during the fall of Saigon.  Bobby then led his company in a breakout, fighting their way to Vung Tau and liberating a fishing boat which "they sailed out to meet the 7th Fleet".

John describes Bobby's journey as a refugee to the United States via New York then Fayetteville.  He then describes meeting Bobby some years later in the airport in Managua where John was on contract providing health services to the NIC people.  This was when Bobby was part of the Echanis led para military team working for the Somoza Government.

They met several times in Managua, once when Bobby introduced John to his American girl friend visiting from Fayetteville.

John learned of the air crash and up until last year believed Bobby, Mike and Chuck were at the bottom of Lake Nicaragua.  After I'd run down an issue of SOF on Ebay I then located John.  Photos of Bobby's grave in Ontario were sent as well as the story of how Bobby came to be buried there.

John was most appreciative.  He is the founder of  Refugee International Relief and has for many years worked around the world improving the lives of refugees.  His most recent travels took him to the refugee camps on the Jordan/Syrian border.

Upon learning of Bobby's affilation and commissoning as on officer in the Vietnamese Airborne I located and placed, with the Echanis Family's permission, a pair of Vietnamese jump wings at Bobby's gravesite.  Today his grave is cared for by both the Echanis Family and the small Vietnamese community that lives in Ontario.

I presented a copy of John's story about Bobby to the Echanis Family last year during a visit.  It was the first time they'd learned anything of substance about the young man they buried alongside their son in 1978...and the first time they'd ever seen a photo of Bobby taken by John in Vietnam.  "Now I know what he looked like!" exclaimed Frank Echanis afterward.

***

Of the Echanis team in Nicaragua the team dynamics broke down as follows according to Master Chief Bob Nissley, then the senior Naval Special Warfare Advisor to the JFK Center, Smoke Bomb Hill, Fort Bragg, North Carolina - Master Chief Nissley worked closely with Colonel Charles Beckwith then at the JFK Center as well as with Commander Richard Marcinko, then CO of SEAL Team 2 at Little Creek, Virgina.

If ever a book should be written about a legendary Navy Special Warfare operator it should be Master Chief Nissley's, IMHO. 

Chief Nissley is close friends with MSG "Jake" Jakovenko and has been an honored and respected Life Member of the Special Operations Association (SOA) for over 30 years now.

Team breakdown in Nicaragua:

Echanis/Sanders/Bobby Nguyen. 

Echanis, according to retired SEAL Skip Crane, then the Naval Attache at the U.S. Embassy in Managua, was the team leader and its paymaster.  Crane was close to Echanis and relayed information Echanis provided on events and activities taking place within the Somoza government and military through Crane, who then passed it to Chief Nissley at Fort Bragg for analysis, vetting and appropriate distribution.  Crane was the first official embassy officer to identify the remains of Mike Echanis at a staging hanger at Las Mercedes Airport in Managua.

Joe Camp, SEAL (Ret), Intelligence Officer for the team. Camp, hired by Echanis (I have read Mike's personal letters to Joe Camp) conducted Intelligence gathering and surveillance/counter surveillance for the team and its employer, then Major Somoza, the president's son and founder of the EEBI.  Camp disappeared under mysterious circumstances and after an NCIS investigation assisted by the NIC Government was determined missing, likely dead.  His body has never been recovered.  Echanis and Camp worked closely together.

Gary O'Neal/Paul Glasser/C.W. Evans (former 5th Group). 

C.W. Evans was nearly killed in a 1984 Blackhawk crash in Honduras near the NIC border.  Two of my friends, CPT Gil Nelson and MSG Johnny Santoro, were KIA (3/7th SFGA) in the same crash.  Evans was not recovered from the crash site for nearly 17 hours.  He was flown to Gorgas Army Hospital in the Republic of Panama where he remained in a coma for nearly a week. 

In 1990, C.W. wrote Pat Echanis, sending copies of his medical notes post crash and a copy of  his Hwa Rang Do black belt / Instructor certificate as presented to him by her son, as proof of his friendship with Mike.  Evans voiced his sadness at Mike's passing and expressed his continued sadness at the loss of his friend and HWD instructor.

His Hwa Rang Do certificate is dated 3-30-77, Instructor Course 76-5 and was awarded by Mike Echanis ... as was Gary O' Neal's HWD ranking in the military program taught at Bragg.

I have copies of the letter, medical notes and Mr. Evans HWD certificate as well as a copy of  a receipt dated 12-15-77 signed by "Charles W. Evans" where Mike Echanis bought an SKS from C.W. for $50, the check drawn from Mike's account at the National Bank of Oregon.  Master Chief Bob Nissley witnessed the transaction.

Mr. Randy Wanner, Team Logistics Stateside, Los Angeles, HWA RANG DO Headquarters.  Upon receiving a call from the embassy in Managua that Mike, Chuck and Bobby were dead under unclear circumstances Randy - at the advice of the caller -armed himself went into hiding for a period of time.  This information related to me by Randy Wanner over the period of two days' interviews in Coronado, California.

Randy Wanner was Mike Echanis' assigned HWD instructor per Joo Bang Lee.  Randy is also responsible for co-writing Mike's first three books for O'Hara Publications, arranging for the photo shoot for the books' illustrations, ensuring all the techniques shown were performed accurately and providing Mike and Chuck with logistical needs for their venture in Nicaragua on an on-call basis.

While interviewing Randy, who became a friend as time went on, I learned he was at one time Joo Bang Lee's most gifted American student.  When asked, Randy offered that between Mike and Chuck it was Chuck who was the more fearsome fighter, in his professional opinion, and a stone cold killer.

On October 22, 2012 I recieved the results of my FOIA request regarding Charles Wilford Sanders.

Chuck entered the Army on 8-29-74 as a "Student Med Spec" at the (SFQC), MOS 91 Bravo.  Graduating SFQC he became a Special Forces Medic and was assigned in late 1974 to Company B, 3rd BN, 5th Special Forces Group.  He graduated the Special Forces Underwater Ops Course (SCUBA), a 5 week course, in 1975 and was assigned to MSG "Jake" Jakovenko's SCUBA team.  He was also Airborne Qualified.

While assigned to ODA 594 SGT Sanders saved the life of MSG Nails during a high angle climbing exercise held in Utah.  For this actions that day he received the Army's Soldier's Medal for Heroism, the highest non-combat award a Soldier can receive during peacetime.

Sanders was instrumental in the recovery, rehabilitation and introduction to the 5th Special Forces Group/JFK Center of his childhood and closest friend, Mike Echanis.

Chuck applied for employment with the CIA prior to his discharge from the Army on September 9, 1977.  A copy of the Agency's letter thanking him but offering there were no current positions for someone with his background and qualifications is in the Echanis Family Archives.

Note:  Mike Echanis was not connected or did he ever work in any capacity for the CIA.  In a personal letter home, which I have read, he explained why he had no inclination for such employment.  Echanis was pressured by a CIA recruiter at Fort Bragg within the SF community - Luke Thompson (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1755&dat=19811210&id=YJ0cAAAAIBAJ&sjid=F2gEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6102,5472900) but threatend to "stomp" Thompson's ass if he continued to pester him.  Echanis was friendly with the CIA advisors at the JFK Center at the time, particularly T. Hewett, whom he visited whenever he came through Bragg on business.  Otherwise Echanis had no warm and fuzzy feelings for the Agency, for reasons expressed in his letter.

Sanders, a Journalism major at the University of Oregon prior to joining the Army, wrote two emergency medical books which were to be part of the 9-volume O'Hara Hwa Rang Do Series authored by he, Randy Wanner and Mike.  The books were co-written with former POW and close friend, MSG James Jackson, himself a VN era Special Forces Medic.

Chuck's manuscripts, as well as Mike's finished manuscripts for the completed series, were reported missing/stolen from their Managua homes after their deaths were reported.

***

All the surviving members of the Echanis para military team were warned by U.S. Embassy officials to include Mary Daniels and Colonel McCoy, the MILGRP CDR at the time, that their lives were in potential danger by unidentified forces and to take the appropriate precautions.

The earlier disappearance and alleged murder of SEAL Joe Camp loomed heavy on everyone's minds.

None of this information appears in Mr. O'Neal's book as presented here in detail.

Additional and updated information regarding Michael D Echanis can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Echanis

This is a living document, updated when new and verifiable information is located, sourced and vetted.

De Oppreso Liber -

Greg Walker
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 25, 2013, 08:59:25 AM
Mr Walker,
You originally said,Mr O'Neil was the final word.
His words are posted in the page I posted above in earlier posts and in his book with pages also referenced by me in above posts.
Now what Mr O'Neil doesn't know ?
I think Mr O'Neil Made it very clear.

If Mr Echanis was assigned to C/75 then would not have Mr O'Neil have known that after their one LRRP training / OJT mission ?

Mr O'Neil says Mr Echanis was assigned to Convoy Security,that was a separate stationing,not as part of a LRRP Team as many reported ,and as you elude to in your Black Belt magazine,when you mentioned Mr Echanis name and then list Ranger missions and operations into Cambodia and the number of enemy contacts,while you know that Mr Echanis was never on ANY of those missions as a LRRP.
(If you have Mr Echanis military records,record book and personel file you would know what teams he was on and if deployed in cross border ops)
You correctly state that Mike was wounded while in a convoy ,but we DO NOT know what his job was ,was he working as an observer ?
Mr O'Neil would have known that,and Mr O'Neil said Mr Echanis Convoy Security ?

Why do I have a Hard On for / about Mr Echanis ?

Well for years Everyone made out Mike  Echanis was this super soldier.
I have been countering those claims for years on this site and others as I knew people who knew Mr Echanis.
Airborne,Ranger,Special Forces,LRRP ,wounded in combat.
Which is all half Crap BS.
Mr Echanis was:
A member of the US Army.
Was apparently Airborne qualified.
Was wounded in a truck convoy ambush.
Was awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
End of Military experience.

Mr Echanis was:
NOT Special Forces Qualified
NOT A Ranger Qualified
NOT A LRRP with C / 75 which would have put him under a Ranger designation.
NOT the man who starred at Goats
NOT a member of the First Earth Battalion
As Said before by me  in earlier pages of this thread,Mr Echanis could have been a Cook,Administration,Convoy Security within C/75 that does not put him in a capacity to be called a LRRP Ranger with C / 75.
A Play on words and assignments to make the uninformed believe something that is not true.
(This is like Jim Wagner being assigned to the TOC on a SWAT Team  and then claiming he is a SWAT Team member and expecting the uninformed to believe he was a door kicker member of SWAT)

You mentioned Mr O'Neil never attended Ranger school,but Mr O'Neil was assigned to a Ranger Unit and Was on a LRRP team 22 /Double Deuce. Now if you are calling Mr O'Neil's record into question as him being called a LRRP Ranger and comparing his designation to that of Mr Echanis I think that is a GREAT Error.

Any other connection of Mr Echanis to the Military was as a civilian who taught HIS Version of martial arts JUST AS Many others did at the time.
I have posted their names and their seniority to Mr Echanis at Fort Bragg,and how it was a BASE Martial arts program,which has been turned into a Special Forces only program.

Mr Echanis work as a Mercenary is that of Hand to Hand Instructor which also became much more.
Again refer to Mr O'Neil words and pages which I have posted in other threads above,where Mr O'Neil says Mr Echanis was NOT what he portrayed and was NOT what stories seem to tell.

I am not concerned over Mr Echanis claims and ranks in Martial arts or in Hawrangdo,though most of what is written about that is also phony BS.
I am not concerned over who,Military,Police,Civilians ,Mr Echanis taught as it means nothing as MANY have taught Military Units and Special Military Units,this does not make them members of those units,lol.
It is the BS claims of his military which form the background for this super heroe status legend,with most of those Military claims being false.

People with a Hard On for Immortalizing Mr Echanis and Making Money from his BS credentials should check themselves and just have left a Dead ,wounded Veteran alone .

I appreciate your service and you are a true Heroe,as is Mr O'Neil.
Do you believe that Mr Echanis was more than you,or Mr O'Neil or Colonel Howard or Colonel Rowe or any other Ranger,LRRP or Green Beret / Special Forces member who NO ONE knows about or has never heard of ?

I do not appreciate a phony being made to be more than he was in the Military to sell products, be they books or knives or anything else .
( I like how the knife is Mr Echanis Knife when Mr O'Neil describes how he and why he first made the knife Mr Echanis is now credited with,*For his LRRP Missions).

Mr Echanis is a wounded Veteran,for that he is a Heroe,the rest need to have never been made up to create a fake legend.
Then again a soldier wounded in an ambush on a truck convoy,who became a martial artist and a Mercenary would not have sold much copy ,would it ?

To raise a man who completed Army Basic training and was apparently Airborne qualified to Legend status for really only completeing and doing those two things is a slap in the face to those who ACTUALLY earned the Tabs as Rangers,LRRP's,Special Forces.

Your loyalty to Mr Echanis and trying to keep his story alive is commedable,(for what ever reason),but please just let him be what he is a Dead Veteran,period.

Semper Fi
De Oppresso Liber

JimH
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on August 25, 2013, 05:37:34 PM
With all due respect, Jim, bugger off :).

Walker, out.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on August 25, 2013, 06:38:27 PM
Mr Walker,
Again I appreciate the dialogue and exchange.
All the Best
JimH
I am well and truly Buggered Off.(lol)
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on November 28, 2013, 12:02:30 PM
Upon submission of a formal recommendation packet presenting never before seen or available official documentation and photography from the John F. Kennedy Center, SEAL Team 2 and the Echanis Family archives - Black Belt Magazine has named Michael D. Echanis its 2013 Weapons Instructor of the Year.  His induction into the Black Belt Hall of Fame appears in the December 2013 / January 2014 issue of Black Belt. 
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on November 28, 2013, 05:28:42 PM
Pretty good for a dead guy. All those living instructors who didn't make the grade better up their game or get into some hi jinks to win that award.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on November 29, 2013, 03:15:50 PM
Quote
"Upon submission of a formal recommendation packet presenting never before seen or available official documentation and photography from the John F. Kennedy Center, SEAL Team 2 and the Echanis Family archives - Black Belt Magazine has named Michael D. Echanis its 2013 Weapons Instructor of the Year.  His induction into the Black Belt Hall of Fame appears in the December 2013 / January 2014 issue of Black Belt. "

If I may.
The supposed never before seen documentation ,is that which Mr Walker posted on the pages of this forum.

All ambiguous statements of half truths.

Mike was NEVER a Ranger,this was verified by the statements made in
Mr O'Neils book in which he staes Mike tried for the LRRPs and Mr O'Neil himself sent him packing as Mike was not cut out to do that job. Mike was then sent to convoy security.not a LRRP or Ranger Job.

Mike was Never in Special Forces.He went to Phase one and then was asked to leave and never attended the rest of SF qualifications,though Mr Walker,Black Belt and now Soldier of Fortune Magazine show Mike in a Green Beret with the SF Crest,which was not authorized wear once out of the SF training program.

Mikes teachings at Ft Bragg were not for Special Forces only it was a Base wide,Ft Bragg wide course taught by many as well as Mr Echanis and Mr Echanis never filled his contracted  instruction period.

So much for newly released documentation.
Mike was either not cut out for SF / LRRP Rangers due to physical or mental issues or he was a quiter

Mike did teach SOME members of SEAL Team 2 but not under any Official Navy contract.(He was brought in as they, ST2, believed the stories that Mike had taught H2H to SF at Bragg,which was again a half truth.

Mr Echanis knife design was stolen from Mr O'Neil as Mr O'Neil speaks to this in his book as well as describes the design and why he,Mr O'Neil, designed it as such.

In his book Mr O'neil,(The man Mr Walker said was the ultimate authority on Mr Echanis) says not to believe the Hype Mike created about himself.

Many will swollow the load as truth ,especially when sold by those trying to cash in on Mr Echanis  supposed claims to fame.
Black Belt ran Mr Walkers BS story as it helps sell their book on Mr Echanis re released weapons books.
Soldier of Fortune had Mike working for them as a writer and was influential in Mike ending up where he did  when he died.
Mr Walker is a fan of Mr Echanis and has interest in Mikes supposed knife designs with intent to reproduce them for sale.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on November 29, 2013, 03:32:03 PM
Nice user name Sabre Actual
You with 7th SFG ??
Do you know Mr Walker ?
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Greg Walker on November 30, 2013, 11:34:21 PM
Jim -

Please note the following for the record -

Your statement regarding my having any commercial interest in Mike Echanis, specifically your claim regarding any form of cutlery project, is false.  Who in the world did you hear that from?

Continuing -

You clearly have not availed yourself of the Wiki page regarding Echanis.  Nor have you apparently read either my article in the August/September 2013 issue nor the current issue regarding MDE's induction into the Black Belt Hall of Fame.

If you had you'd know Mike's military record is accurately presented and properly sourced.

The recommendation packet submitted by myself to Black Belt's editorial staff consisted of official JFK Center / SEAL Team 2 Memorandum for Record, official photographs of training in progress and cadre graduations.

Additional background information was provided by Colonel (Retired) Juan Montes and Master Chief Bob Nissley, both who worked closely with Mike and Chuck at 5th Group / the JFK Center at the time.  Mr. O'Neal will recognize both names, I'm sure.

He will also recognize SGM Ivan "Jake" Jakovenko's name.  Jake was his and Chuck's team sergeant at 5th Group.  SGM Jakovenko was one of Mike's pall bearers as were several other members of his ODA and remains close to the Echanis Family.

The Sergeant-Major's opinion of MDE is much higher than his opinion of Mr. O'Neal.

Black Belt has their own criteria for Hall of Fame consideration and applied it. 

Mr. O'Neal made the cover of Soldier of Fortune recently (which Mike had already done twice, by the way).  Both David Fisher (Mr. O'Neal's co-author) and Bob Brown can attest to the fact that it was me who introduced everyone via E-mail to arrange for Mr. O'Neal's book to be reviewed by RKB.

On the other hand Mike Echanis has since been inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame. 

Perhaps 35 years from now someone will take the time and make the effort to see Mr. O'Neal given the same consideration.

Regarding Mr. O'Neal's description of the knife he claims to have handmade. 

What he describes is essentially the same design as the old mountain man's Green River Skinner although O'Neal offers it looks like an Alaskan whaling knife in his book.

Echanis "stole" no knife design from Mr. O'Neal or anyone else as you claim.  MDE was content with the Gerber MK I and II he is forever associated with.

You (and Mr. O'Neal?) may be confusing the Warrior combat knife designed by Master Randy Wanner now many, many years ago with O'Neal's Green River Skinner/whaling knife.  It has been public knowledge since 1993 when I wrote "Battle Blades" for Paladin Press that Echanis had no design input on Wanner's Hwa Rang Do knife project.  According to Randy, the only thought Mike offered when asked was perhaps the knife should have a serration feature.  Otherwise he couldn't have cared less.

Wanner teamed up with Bob Taylor (who Mr. O'Neal will recall from when they approached the Echanis Family about doing a commemorative knife project bearing Mike's name) and the Warrior design was further enhanced then taken to Al Mar at Al Mar Knives.

Mar produced it for a short time.  When AMK dropped the project Bob Taylor picked it up and produced it through his new knife company at the time, REKAT.

REKAT went out of business and so did the Wanner/Taylor Warrior.

Guy Rafeeli (sp?), an Israeli H2H instructor and family friend of Sal Glesser at Spyderco Knives did a spin off of the Warrior which Spyderco began producing in 2010.  Mike Janich at Spyderco wrote a multi page booklet that goes out with every knife about the Warrior's history - to include that Mike Echanis had no design role in it.

The Warrior bears no design resembalance to what Mr. O'Neal offers he made for himself...other than perhaps a curved blade.  In fact, O'Neal offers his design's knife was not meant for "sticking" and was poor in this regard.  The Wanner Warrior is designed for both thrusts and slashes, impact strikes and "scaling" with the aggressive sawtooth pattern seen on the original Wanner, Al Mar and then Wanner/REKAT models.

Otherwise, as usual, your opinion / information as posted on this thread remains incomplete, inaccurate, undocumented and - as in the case of my having any interest in a knife project either associated or not associated with Mike Echanis' name - false.

Dude, you really really hate this poor fellow, don't you?

Also for the record and as appears in Black Belt -

I have no commercial interest in Mr. Echanis. My writer fee for the August/September article on Mike was donated directly from the magazine to the Green Beret Foundation for which I am its ambassador.  The Echanis Family and friends close to Mike from his time at Bragg, Virginia Beach and Nicaragua have long considered setting the record straight about their son, brother and comrade in arms - I have been blessed to assist them in doing that.

They have not always been happy or agreed with what I've learned and shared with them over the past 15 months.  But they are honest, real and truly knew Mike Echanis, warts and all.

They have allowed for me to "tell it like it was" on Wiki, in Black Belt and most recently on the Spyderco Knives Forums pages that discuss the Spyderco Warrior.

In that realm I've petitioned Spyderco to correct Mr. Janich's error-filled "history" of MDE in the booklet, specifically to consider dropping it entirely as Mike - as Janich claims in the booklet - has absolutely no design input at all with the Wanner knife.

You run along now, Jim.  Class is over. 



   
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on December 01, 2013, 06:25:42 PM
Quote
"You run along now, Jim.  Class is over. "

Funny how you use information you took form this forum and these pages and write them as yours on other sites when they are clearly almost word for word mine,lol.

I have read the black belt mag induction and it was due to your story revivng Mr Echanis a few months back,with same crap of his serving with C/75 and the picture of him in a BS Green Beret and Crest with no flash.

Mr Echanis knew people in 5th group through Mr Sanders.
I am the one who pointed to the classes that Mr Echanis taught at Ft Bragg and the people to contact to get more info.
I have more accurate details about Mr Echanis on this forum than any of the supposed record sources you posted.

You continue to push that Mike was a Ranger / LRRP in Vietnam assigned to C/75 when he was wounded and it is not true.
(Mr O'Neal clarifies that)
You continue to insinuate Mr Echanis was a Green Beret,posting BS pictures of him wearing one .
(supposedly made it through pase 1 and left,that does not make a Green Beret)

I am the one who directed you to the ST2 person who said they had Echanis teach them.

Mr O'Neal was the person YOU said was the authority on Mr Echanis in Vietnam and with C/75 and in his book Mr O'Neal tells the truth about Mr Echanis and you don't like what was said so now it is a competition for who else knew Mr Echanis and how many times he has been on Magazine covers compared to Mr O'Neal.

It is a joke to basically give a shorthanded dismisal to a Real Heroe like Mr O'Neal for some one who made their living through BS stories they told or allowed to be told about themselves with out correction like Mr Echanis.


Quote Mr Walker:
"Jim -

Please note the following for the record -

Your statement regarding my having any commercial interest in Mike Echanis, specifically your claim regarding any form of cutlery project, is false.  Who in the world did you hear that from?"

Who did I get that info from ?
You Sir.
http://www.warriortalk.com/archive/index.php/t-56230.html

Greg Walker 10/15/2012
(section of post)
"I also dug out all my old Echanis stuff, including original Black Belt and SOF magazines going back to the mid 1970's and compiled a thorough bio of Echanis for inclusion in the book. We're in the final phases of laying out the book now and it should go to print in a couple of weeks. In addition to being included with every Warrior sold, it should be available for individual purchase."

The part that says:
"In addition to being included with every Warrior sold, it should be available for individual purchase."

Looks like an interest in Spyderco Warrior CUTLERY to me,LOL.
(if Spyderco WARRIOR Blade has nothing to do with Echanis,as I ,Mr O'Neal and many others must mistakenly believe,according to your post above,then why include Echanis information,in a book to go with the Knife ?)

I also like how you went on to Amazon and wrote a review of Mr O'Neals Book in which you go on and on about Mike Echanis and how Mr O'Neal didn't give him the credit he,Mike Echanis,was due.

Such infatuation with Mr Echanis to call out a true Hero and what he did not do for Mr Echanis in a Book about him,Mr O'Neal ??
Unbelievable to me.

Mr Echanis was GIVEN this Title  Black Belt Weapons Instructor of the Year for the purpose of pushing their expanded book on him and his weapons instruction and for NO Other reason.
Why else nominate him and make him the weapons instructor of the year after 35 friggin years,lol.
Christmas time book sales ,so use the magazine that comes out just before the Holiday season begins and push a book .

I also like the part in Black Belt in which it is stated that Mr Echanis is the only Civilian to go operational with a Special Forces unit,or in this case a supposed story of Mike being the only Non Active Duty person ,(should read CIVILIAN),going with 5th Group to Puerto Rico.
(Story sounds like Frank Dux stuff)

I wonder how then Special Forces has,uses and employs civilian assets,
if not to work in conjunction with SF and or other US Military Type Agencies ?


Also in 1977 didn't then Major Montes  write  a letter to Rainbow Press about Mike Echanis book  saying it should be used to train Foriegn troops in H2H ?
So it is possible that if then Major Montes had opportunity to test his thoughts he might send Echanis to Puerto Rico to work with the 5th group in training the National Guard of Puerto Rico.
But it sure as crap was not a clandestine mission,as Special Forces were being deployed around the world to train Militaries and Police.

Then again how long could Echanis have been there training the PR NG ?
He was not there as long as the 5th group Team was he ?

If Echanis and or Hwarangdo were such a Great art,needed by Militaries around the world,why then was it not made part of the training program for JFK Warfare Center and or the Ranger's while Mike Echanis was alive or even to shortly after his death ?
Why not bring in GM Lee ?,(he would have loved that).
Why Not Bring in Mr Warner and the others who taught Mike and who created the Warrior Blade ?
They didn;t use Mr Echanis,nor anyone else in Hwarangdo.

Then Major Montes is said to have said Mike Echanis Materials would be a breath of Fresh Air ,as the Rangers and Special Forces were still using the O'Neil Methods of H2H established  in the 1940's.
They still used the O'Neil Method of H2H up until the late 80 early 90's when they also included/combined the O'Neil methods with  Larsen's GBJJ / MMA.

Class is not over for me,I am the one teaching the facts and the one producing the leads which have lead you to sources you did not have  during your investigative research.
Read the pages of this forum for the information written well before you came on board and since you came on board.

Now Class is over,lol.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: noload on December 01, 2013, 07:45:06 PM
I'm just laughing that Black Belt gave an Instructor of the Year award to a guy who has been dead almost 40 years, and who while living was a mixed bag at best as an instructor. Can that rag insult any living, working instructor or those buying ad space anymore than that?

What's with martial artists and dead guys anyway?
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on December 02, 2013, 01:38:18 PM
Noload,
I also find it funny,and or sad depending,that Mike Echanis,who created no system of weapons usage,but who taught and or demonstarted that which he learned from the art of Hwarangdo,is the Weapons Instructor of the year for 2013.LOL.
Since Echanis died,how many Weapons Instructors of the year has Black Belt magazine featured who were Hwarangdo people ?
None
It is a joke , an insult to living weapons masters and is done to sell books for Black Belt .
In the Story which goes with the naming of Mr Echanis as Weapons instructor of the YEAR,Mr Walker reminds us that Black Belt has re released the old Echanis books as One large Volume book.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on December 02, 2013, 02:38:23 PM
Class is back in session.
Today history.
Mike Echanis:
Studies some self defense
Leaves High School Early to join US Army
Completes Basic
Goes to Jump school and graduates.
Goes to JFK Warfare Center to be Green Beret
Completes phase 1,Basic infantry type training.
Leaves training ,is asked to leave or leaves on his own.
NOT a Green Beret
Goes to Vietnam
Tries for LRRP with C/75 ,found to not fit in asked to leave.
Not a LRRP,not a Ranger school Grad,(No scroll),therefore not a RANGER with C/75
Is Assigned to Convoy Security
Convoy is attacked
Mr Echanis gets bronze star and purple heart
Mr Echanis goes home to heal and rehab
Mr Echanis ends up in Caifornia
Meets GM Lee ,says he is Black Belt
GM lee sends MR Echanis to Mr Warner to learn Hwarangdo
Mr Echanis takes money from school and heads for Ft Bragg
(Not a Black Belt or Black Sash in Hwarangdo)
Mr Echanis reunites with his old friend Mr Sanders who is in 5th Special Forces at Ft Bragg
Echanis hangs out ,has no job,has what ever he got in service related disability.
Starts teaching his version of Hwarangdo to members of 5th SF,friends of Mr Sanders,Unofficially.
General at Ft Bragg starts a martial arts program on BASE,open to civilians and military,features different martial arts programs,Mr Echanis gets a slot to teach Hwarangdo course.
(names of other who taught courses are listed in early posts on this thread by me)
People injured on first day,many leave remainder mostly SF
3 week martial art course ,16 people get certificate from Echanis.
Mr Echanis teaches a 2nd 3 week course,small turnout ,get a certificate.
Letters of appreciation  to Mr Echanis
Mr Sanders wants to be in CIA
CIA says no
Mr Sanders says he will work as asset/civilian for CIA
Mr Echanis tags along
Mr Echanis asks to join agency he too is denied
Echanis writes as Martial arts expert for Soldier of Fortune and is featured in Black Belt magazine.
Mr Sanders and Mr Echanis go to Nicaraqua as contractors .
Mr Echanis is H2H Instructor for Nicaraquan National Guard.
Echanis and Sanders die in Nicaraqua as mercenaries,now would be called contractors.1978

Mr Echanis Awarded Weapons Instructor of the year,2013

History lesson is complete and accurate.

Class dismissed
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on February 12, 2014, 08:37:21 PM
Summer school for you, Jim :)

Unless you, as I have done, can back stop your commentary it remains just that...commentary... and as such personal, unsupported and undocumented - opinion.

I marvel at the fact you can't get over the documented fact that Echanis was assigned to, wounded with and then decorated by C-Co (RGR), 75th Infantry prior to his medical evacuation to Japan and then Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco.

This denial of the historical record, per Army documentation and FOIA, simply assures me you've no objective interest in this discussion.

By the by, where I first believed Gary O'Neal was at the aviation crash site in Nicaragua and did indeed witness the recovery of remains of those killed ...

And which I went on record in Black Belt Magazine (August/September 2013) as saying O'Neal's claim was likely true ...

Upon further research and interviews I now have no reason to believe O'Neal or any other living American was at the crash site or participated in the body recovery of all four who perished.

Strictly a NIC Guardia National operation.

This, in part, supported by a U.S. State Department telegram provided to me by the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and heretofore not available.  It is from then AMB Solaun to the then SECSTATE WASHDC titled "Alleged U.S. CIT MERCENARIES REPORTEDLY DEAD".

In the telegram AMB Solaun, who I have interviewed, tells the SECSTATE "President Somoza informed Ambassador this afternoon (SEPT 8) and we have heard same reports from other Sources in the GN [Guardia National], that an aircraft piloted by GN General Alegrett with three US citizens aboard crashed in Lake Nicaragua south of Rivas and that all aboard are dead."

I located and spoke with Randy Wanner about a month ago.
Randy's recollections of O'Neal are pretty interesting.  He (Wanner) met O'Neal on more than one occasion when Echanis/Sanders would come to the La Habra dojang to visit and train.  Wanner scoffs at O'Neal's claims of self-importance when it comes to anything having to do with Echanis - which is pretty much the common theme when you likewise talk with Ivan Jakovenko, Bob Nissley, Juan Montes, Ray Molina...all the "Old Guys" who truly were close to and respected by MDE and Chuck...and the real movers and shakers at Bragg and in NIC where Echanis is involved.

O'Neal was such a non-entity there is not one letter from Echanis to his family mentioning a "Gary O'Neal" nor had they ever heard of him until he showed up briefly in Ontario for the funerals.

Bear in mind Charles W. Evans, or "CW", as O'Neal knows him, is otherwise remembered by MDE.  Evans was both at Bragg with Echanis/Sanders and then in Nicaragua as part of the EEBI advisor team.

"CW" was very close to Mike and Chuck...and O'Neal.  "CW" was a graduate of the HWD/TKD Instructor Program at Bragg (I have a copy of his graduation certificate) and was also the "Silent Sentry" in the SOF H2H columns Mike authored.

CW wrote a very kind letter to the Echanis family in 1990.  He was clearly someone MDE respected and the feeling was mutual.  He'd suffered severe injury in a 1984 Blackhawk crash on the NIC/Hondo border and after regaining conciousness at Gorgas Army Hospital in Panama, he managed to recover and touch base with folks like the Echanis. 

Evans and Echanis were on such fraternal terms that on 12-15-1977, on official stationary that happened to be on hand at the JFK Center, "CW" wrote a receipt for "one aKs 7.62 rifle, Ser. 13065992 Chicom in exchange for check No. 204 in the amount of $50...checking account of Michael D. Echanis".  This for a rifle he'd sold to Mike while the two were at Fort Bragg.

Point being, among many, unless you can document your claims to the degree I have and can regarding Mike Echanis you're simply at the back of the class, my friend.

I'll drop by this thread in another six months or so just to see how riled up I got you this time :).







Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on February 14, 2014, 01:50:25 PM
Mr Walker,
you are the one who cannot get over that Mike Echanis was NOT as important ,nor did he do the things attached to him all these years.
Other than saying he was with C Co  75th Infantry.
What was his actual job with C 75 then ?
He was not a LRRP /LRP so what did he do ?

All your post over at C 75 pages and NO ONE serving as a LRRP at that time knew or knows Echanis ,except for his books and or articles.
NO C/75  or LRRP Historical documents such as rosters and or LRRP memoirs and diaries has ever used the Echanis name.

All the other crap:
O'Neil,who now according to you was not important,though before his book you claimed him the most important and most knowledgable.LOL
(read back through the sialogue on these pages in this thread)

The other names newly meantioned mean nothing as no one is disputing Echanis was in Nic as a merc teaching H2H to Nic NG.
That was what he was contracted for,nothing else.

Your writings throw out names and people and places that prove nothing as to the Military claims of Echanis,which still stand that he was not
SF qualified,so no Green Beret
He was Not a LRRP so technically he was NOT a Ranger,unless he did the school, which he did not.

if you want to say he was some how assigned to C 75 as a HQ element ,or convoy security, again that does not make him a Ranger unless he did patrols as a LRRP or as Ranger.
Since you have his Service Records:
what patrols and or operations was he on ?
What other conflicts or missions was he ever on?
What was his  SPECIFIC job with C 75 ?
if I remember correctly most awards  have the unit and job titile /mos or what the person was doing mentioned in the award,but as I have said before any published account of Mr Echanis award leaves off who assigned to and what capacity he served.(Conveniently)

He was no black belt level in Hwarangdo when he left Ca to go to Bragg.

So what was he:
A soldier wounded in Vietnam who rehabilitated himself,studied a little Hapkido/hwarangdo,took his limited knowledge,started teaching his version of it and became a cult figure thanks to SOF,Black Belt and other followers/believers.
He became a Mercenary and was killed in that capacity.
He was nothing more than that ,with no other military trained speciality ,other than airborne qualified and wounded in action.

If he had some other military speciality schools and quals ,please post them.
But then again if he did you would have posted them already I am sure ,lol. as you have posted schools started but not completed and fabrications of events to make him a LRRP/Ranger ,which does not fly.

If you,Mr Walker believe Mr Echanis was better than,you as a fully qualified Green Beret, then believe that.
I know he was not better than me.
I know he was not better than Mr O'Neal.
He was not better than Col Rowe,nor better than Col Howard or any other true hero from SF or any other branch.
He was unqualified as a Green Beret,Unqualified as a LRRP,not a Ranger as designated by the school and or activities a LRRP.
So how he is better,held in higher esteem, than those who have completed the Q course and are fully tabbed and with more school and training than Mr Echanis ever had is deyond me.

Please try to stop inflating Mr Echanis BS reputation and just leave him as a soldier wounded in Vietnam who died as a Mercenary as that is all he was.
He was not a great martial artist,just a martial artist with no rank at the time ,who got to teach the little he knew to people at Bragg,civilians ,other soldiers and to include a few Green Berets.

Mr Echanis was a showman and that causes some to wet their pants seeing a guy dig a shallow hole lay in it ,push his stomach out and let a truck run over him as he pulls his stomach in and the crowd is in awe.
Or the blood flow control tricks of pushing a knitting needle through the skin at certain points and pulling it out with no blood.
Lets us see that trick with the knitting needle behid the artery of the neck or better yet,lets see a blood flow control master take a slash to the lower abdominal and stop the blood and intestines from coming out,lol.

Yep you took me to school again,lol.
All of this schooling and facts you keep getting out there,oh man,wonder why it does not change my mind,?? LOL

Get some real Facts for  follow up posts,since having his service record should answer the military questions,I wonder why the constant need to find people to say what Echanis did ?
Oh yeah I know why:
If the facts do not support the points being made and do not answer the questions being asked baffle them with BS.
So much BS being tossed out there.

See you in September,lol.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on April 12, 2014, 09:49:04 AM
Good morning!

Nice post.

However I've previously posted / listed the official references to any and all of your questions now months ago.

To include his 2-1 assignment to C, 75th Infantry, duty title Scout-Observer.

And if you'll go to this website, the official C Co, 75th RGR website, and do a search for "Echanis" you'll find some of those he served with offer up a few good memories.

As for O'Neal - it isn't the first time Gary has told a camp fire tale that's come back to haunt him.  He didn't do too well at this last year's SOA board elections, in part for this habit pattern to include his claims regarding Echanis.

However, the endstate of what was a carefully researched, documented, warts and all (I believe I'm the only one to have confirmed and published MDE did not volunteer for nor attend Ranger School...and the first to confirm and publish he was dropped from Phase 1 at SFQC...and the first to confirm and publish he did attend and graduate Airborne school) the most factual and back-stopped account of both Mike and Chuck's lives.

Guess I got tired of seeing someone unable to defend himself, and a family that didn't know how to go about setting the record straight, get pot-shoted without recourse by hacks like Mike Janich, whacks  like Gary O, and those who simply have an axe to grind and never got their chatter boxes successfully challenged with the documented facts.

I note that Mike J has made an effort to apologize...Gary O has elected to get very, very quiet regarding his book's undocumented, untruthful writings about MDE (and Bobby Nguyen) that do harm to their person and/or reputation by bringing about hatred, scorn or contempt by a public audience...(by the by it's called "libel" in formal circles and libel can be very, very embarassing as well as expensive, I hear).

And there's a handful of others who have likewise scuttled back into their "bash Echanis" holes for The Good of the Order.

As for "better than you" or "not better than me"...

I was nothing more and nothing less than a good Soldier.

I was blessed to meet, serve with and be introduced to truly incredible warriors like Roger Donolan (MOH), Mike Kim, Bruce Hazelwood, Bob Nissley, Juan Montes, Ivan Jakovenko, Ken Bowra, Eldon Bargewell, David Kraske, Mike Brown, Kenny Walker, Barry Enoch, Leroy Petry (MOH) and the list goes on.

None of them would ever say "I was better than...".

Especially of another Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airmen or Coastguardsman who served honorably, was wounded in combat and cited thereafter for Valor as was Mr. Echanis.

I know it's only April - perhaps you can find additional fault with me for being a few months early in responding, old hoss.


Good morning!

Nice post.

However I've previously posted / listed the official references to any and all of your questions now months ago.

To include his 2-1 assignment to C, 75th Infantry, duty title Scout-Observer.

And if you'll go to this website, the official C Co, 75th RGR website, and do a search for "Echanis" you'll find some of those he served with offer up a few good memories.

As for O'Neal - it isn't the first time Gary has told a camp fire tale that's come back to haunt him.  He didn't do too well at this last year's SOA board elections, in part for this habit pattern to include his claims regarding Echanis.

However, the endstate of what was a carefully researched, documented, warts and all (I believe I'm the only one to have confirmed and published MDE did not volunteer for nor attend Ranger School...and the first to confirm and publish he was dropped from Phase 1 at SFQC...and the first to confirm and publish he did attend and graduate Airborne school) the most factual and back-stopped account of both Mike and Chuck's lives.

Guess I got tired of seeing someone unable to defend himself, and a family that didn't know how to go about setting the record straight, get pot-shoted without recourse by hacks like Mike Janich, whacks  like Gary O, and those who simply have an axe to grind and never got their chatter boxes successfully challenged with the documented facts.

I note that Mike J has made an effort to apologize...Gary O has elected to get very, very quiet regarding his book's undocumented, untruthful writings about MDE (and Bobby Nguyen) that do harm to their person and/or reputation by bringing about hatred, scorn or contempt by a public audience...(by the by it's called "libel" in formal circles and libel can be very, very embarassing as well as expensive, I hear).

And there's a handful of others who have likewise scuttled back into their "bash Echanis" holes for The Good of the Order.

As for "better than you" or "not better than me"...

I was nothing more and nothing less than a good Soldier.

I was blessed to meet, serve with and be introduced to truly incredible warriors like Roger Donolan (MOH), Mike Kim, Bruce Hazelwood, Bob Nissley, Juan Montes, Ivan Jakovenko, Ken Bowra, Eldon Bargewell, David Kraske, Mike Brown, Kenny Walker, Barry Enoch, Leroy Petry (MOH) and the list goes on.

None of them would ever say "I was better than...".

Especially of another Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airmen or Coastguardsman who served honorably, was wounded in combat and cited thereafter for Valor as was Mr. Echanis.

I know it's only April - perhaps you can find additional fault with me for being a few months early in responding, old hoss.









Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on April 12, 2014, 02:49:21 PM
Postscript - Gary O'Neal - Not Credible

In his book "American Warrior" Mr. O'Neal offers he personally intervened in the burial of Nguyen "Bobby" Nguyen after he, Echanis and Chuck Sanders died in Nicaragua.

In specific while giving his account of Bobby's funeral the author writes:

"...some people objected to Bobby being  buried with an American flag because he wasn't officially an American citizen.  That made me furious...I would not let them start the funeral until we got that situation settled.  I got in my car and I drove sixty miles to Boise, where I bought an American flag for my friend's coffin.  When I got back we folded it in the correct triangular fashion, opened up his coffin, and laid it on top.  Only then would we allow them to put him in the ground."

The above account is a lie and a horrible one at that.  It is disputed by the Echanis Family and by Master Chief Bob Nissley, the latter who O'Neal knows all too well and keeps his distance from.

And I've shared that with both O'Neal and in public on Amazon in reviewing his book.

When the Echanis Family, which along with the Sanders family arranged for the funeral services for all three, discovered Bobby had been sent back with Mike and Chuck, they immediately chose to have him buried with Mike.

I have copies of the official U.S. and Nicaraguan documentation regarding the discovery, preparations and return of all three from Managua to Boise, Idaho, as does the family and Chief Nissley.

A memorial service was held to honor Chuck Sanders.  He was not "buried in his family's place" as O'Neal says in his book (Page 179).  Chuck was cremated and his ashes spread, per his request, over his favorite mountain range near Ontario.  His parents' grave marker at a Protestant cemetery in Ontario reflects Chuck's name, as well.

Mike was buried at the Catholic cemetery in Ontario in the Echanis Family plot.

When his casket was placed into the ground the Special Forces honor guard, led by then MSG Ivan Jakovenko, each stepped forward and dropped their berets into the grave atop Mike's casket.  Ivan Jakovenko shared this with me himself.  Chuck was a member of his A-team before leaving the Army and Mike was a welcome guest of the team and MSG Jakovenko whenever he was at Fort Bragg.

O'Neal knows this.  He, too, had been on Jakovenko's team at the time.  It is my understanding when O'Neal went to his former team sergeant seeking his recommendation for the Ranger Hall of Fame, Ivan not only told him "No" but Hell, NO!  He also advised O'Neal to never use his name in conjunction with anything associated with Gary. 

Bobby Nguyen was buried the day after Mike and Chuck's services.  The Echanis Family, through Frank Echanis, Mike's dad, arranged through the Catholic Church in Ontario for Bobby to be interred in the same cemetery as Mike.  Frank did not know if Bobby was Buddhist or Christian (Catholic).  He told me when the priest asked about this he offered many Vietnamese were Catholics...and Bobby certainly could have been one of these.

The Church signed off and gave its permission.

Bobby's marker was created from Pat Echanis' mother's first marble marker (Pat was Mike's mom).  They re-polished it and had it properly engraved for Bobby.  His services / funeral was announced in the local Ontario paper, the Argus-Observer.

Chief Nissley, who knew Bobby quite well, raised the issue of an American flag being provided for Bobby as he was not a citizen of the United States.  Bob is old school and as professional and legendary as they come.  It pained him to raise the issue but it was the right thing to do at the time.

Bobby was not buried with an American flag.  There was no disruption or delay of his funeral by Gary O'Neal.  There was no sixty mile drive to Boise...no purchase of such a flag...no folding of it...no opening of the coffin (At graveside?  In broad daylight?  With all those attending witnessing?  Only an idiot would believe this occurred)...and no placement of the flag in Bobby's coffin.

The Echanis Family and Bob Nissley, among others, flat out call this a lie and a disgrace.

In fact, Gary O'Neal was an unknown to the famiy.  He was only in Ontario for the shortest of time and then left with his wife at the time, Kim O'Neal.  Although the official documentation from the U.S. embassy in Managua lists O'Neal and his wife, along with Paul Glasser as the assigned escorts for all three caskets from Nicaragua to Boise, all three abandoned the coffins and their remains in Florida when the TACA airliner they were on landed and U.S. Customs / the State Department held up further travel for three days.

An American flag was placed at Bobby's grave and Gary notified of it and a photo sent him...by me.  I placed the flag roughly 14 months ago when I still believed Gary O'Neal's stories.

I do not any longer where they refer to Mike Echanis, Chuck Sanders and Bobby Nguyen.

Further, although I stated in my Black Belt article last year that I still felt O'Neal had been at the body recovery of all four men, as he has said multiple times in the past and then offered in his book, I do not believe he was anywhere close at this time.

O'Neal states "I was up near El Salvador taking peeks across the border when they were killed.  The Sandinistas were firing mortars on the border, and I went up there with my people to check it out (Page 176)."

There is no border between Nicaragua and El Salvador.  There is the Gulf of Fonseca but no mortar I know of could be fired successfully over it into El Salvador from Nicargua. 

Further, the U.S. ambassador at the time sent a telegram to the then Secretary of State from Managua less than an hour after being notified by President Somoza that all four had died and where.  AMB Solaun, whom I have interviewed, stated in this telegram the plane went down at 1300...additional official documentation states the first autopsies began at 1700 in Managua under Somoza's personal instruction to his Department of Health. 

The bodies were recovered by a Nicaraguan military patrol in the area from the EEBI.  They were trucked to Managua and left in the military morgue until discovered by two Nicaraguan officers who knew them.  From there they went to the Department of Health and then to a staging hanger used by the U.S. at the international airport.  Retired Navy SEAL Skip Crain, whom I interviewed, identified Mike's remains.

The descriptions of the bodies by O'Neal in his book, which are gruesome, are contradicted by Chief Nissley.  Bob was asked by the Echanis Family to view all three remains at the funeral home in Ontario the evening they arrived from Boise.  He did so.  He offers he saw no evidence of the amount of damage O'Neal given in his book (Page 177).  Chuck's brother, Jim Sanders, also viewed the remains on behalf of the Sanders family.

As for the Basque medallion Mike Echanis wore and O'Neal offers he recognized during his alleged presence at the crash site -

The medallion was given to Mike by his mother, Pat.  She'd bought it for him during a trip to Spain.  He'd worn it ever since and there are pictures in possession of the family, myself and Chief Nissley of this.

When I first began researching the true and accurate story of Mike Echanis I spoke with Gary O'Neal.  He told me he'd recovered Mike's medallion and had returned it to Pat Echanis personally when he met her in Ontario during the services.

I thought that to be highly commendable at the time.

Then, when I met Pat and asked her about the medallion, she told me she'd never seen it again after Mike left for Nicaragua.  When I offered Gary's story about returning it to her she scoffed and said that was untrue.  Mike's dad, two brothers and sister concurred with Pat.

Gary O'Neal is a very sore subject with them for these and other reasons.  And he knows it and knows why.

My trust and faith in Gary was compromised by the evidence and by the first hand accounts provided to me by those who were truly there, truly knew all the deceased and truly participated in the recovery of the remains, their transport back to the States and their services/funerals.

I have shared this personally with O'Neal.  He denies nothing and chooses to remain now quiet, ever so quiet on the subject.






Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: JimH on April 14, 2014, 03:29:17 PM
Mr Walker,
You mentioned the  C Co,75 RGR site ,that has people,who served with Echanis, posting nice recounts of him.
Could you please cut and paste these sites ?
I have read many of the Ranger sites and only find you and or some one on the site asking,on your behalf, the members if they know of,knew of,served with Mr Echanis,and or if they knew if he qaulified for more medals  / awards.

I have not seen any one who remembers serving with Him,or who heard of him in the unit ,though they say they were in the unit at the time.(??)
Some remember his books and writings nothing of him.

I have said for years that Mr Echanis was not a Ranger or SF,had not attended the schools,but I would agree you are the first to have sent off and gotten his records and since these schools are not in there  he is documented .
I guess it was good when you asked me why don't I get his records and I said I didn't know how to and you sent for them instead,or I would be the one claiming the DOCUMENTED PROOF,LOL.
(justifying my claims over the years,lol)

One need not really need documents to tell that he could not have attended and graduated from any school as his time from enlistment to Vietnam was way too short to have accomplished much training. Certainly not enough for Ranger or SFQC.

I have also said he could have been a LRRP,and that would allow some to say he was a Ranger,but in truth there is NOTHING saying he served as a LRRP.
You say he is designated as a scout observer,correct ?
Was he a LRRP ?
Does he have a V designator as being a Ranger / LRRP who is parachute qualified ?

Please tell me where his record book says he falls in the following Facts on who is designated a Ranger?
I believe it also says those not LRRP / Rngers will wear the 75th Infantry patch and have a P for Parachute qualified,not a V disignator and NO SCROLL.
So please clarify which his record book DOCUMENTS says he was according to the following Feb 1970 rules of chage / re designation. (he was wounded in  May 1970 correct ?)
The re designation of LRRP to Ranger actually began in 1969.

FACT SHEET

SUBJECT: Ranger Companies LTC Sutton/72736 6 February 1970

PURPOSE. To provide information on the change in designation of the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) Companies to Ranger Companies and the Activation of the 75th Infantry.

FACTS

1. The Army Chief of Staff directed that Ranger replace the term Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) when referring to units of this type. The term Ranger traces its origin to the French and Indian War (Seven Years War) when natives of New Hampshire were recruited by Robert Rogers into nine companies. These Rangers, later to be known as Rogers Rangers, were used as "the chief scouting arm of the British" to procure Intelligence by scouting enemy forces and positions and taking prisoners. It was not until later when the Rangers were used in more offensive roles that the term Ranger took on another meaning. Ranger, therefore, has been returned to the role it was initially intended to signify intelligence gathering.

2. In order to provide a parent regiment for the redesigned Ranger Companies of the Active Army the 75th Infantry (Merrill's Marauders) was activated on 1 January 1969. The 75th Infantry which traces its origin to the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) was considered the most appropriate regiment with which to identify the Ranger Companies.

3. In approving the re-designation of the LRRP units to Ranger units and the activation of the 75th Infantry, the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army stipulated the following:

a. Only personnel who have been awarded the Ranger Tab through successful completion of the USAIS Ranger Course will be authorized the Tab.

b. Personnel of the 75th Infantry will wear the patch of the Corps/ Field Force or Field Army to which they are assigned. In the case of separate companies in Vietnam attached to divisions and separate brigades, the division or brigade patch will be worn.

c. There will be no change in the unit designation of National Guard units other than to change LRRP to Ranger.

d. The Ranger Department, USAIS, Fort Benning, Georgia will be designated the custodian of the regimental colors and trophies of the 75th Infantry.

4. The following significant actions have taken place since the redesignation.

a. TOE 7157E and G changed to reflect that all personnel will be parachute and ranger qualified.

b. Approval of a new coat of arms, distinctive insignia and traditional designation for the 75th Infantry.

c. Approval of Special Qualifications Identifier "V" to identify parachute/ranger qualified personnel and the placement of SQI "V" in second priority behind SQI "S" (Special Forces).

d. Approval of a Ranger Enlistment Option whereby qualified applicants may enlist specifically for the 75th Infantry and be assured of training as "an Infantryman or Radio Operator, a parachutist and a Ranger and initial assignment to a Ranger Company upon successful completion of training."

You keep saying Echanis was with C/75.
what did he do there ?
His records must say what he did.
Did he do Scout Observer work ?
Was her a Lrrp ?
Was he on a LRRP Team ?

If not a LRRP and Not Ranger school tabbed ,is he considered a Ranger ?
(or are we stretching it to make him fit )
I think it is pretty clear what the requirements for being called a LRRP Ranger and or Ranger were/ are.
How does Mike Echanis meet those qualifications,as written in his record book.

Stay tuned as I have several inquiries out there  and if these people respond we will know exactly what Mike was doing during his time in country and on the truck at Ahn Khe Pass.
I wonder if it will be seen as proof or called un documented,hear say ??

Like Mr O'Neal was guy to  hang it all on,but when he didn't say what was expected he was wrong and attacked.
I wonder if he would be so discredited if he said Mike was a LRRP,served on his team and was a killing machine ??
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on April 15, 2014, 09:35:50 AM
Just found this on YouTube - couldn't find any other thread that was closer than this  one to military knife combativess.

UK War Museum interview with WW2 Brit commando regarding the FS fighting knife.  In under three minutes this old fella puts out some pretty interesting information.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDGHKyB3T_U
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on April 17, 2014, 09:54:18 AM
From Pg 12 on this thread reference Echanis' militay history per FOIA.  No sense to repeat what is already posted to respond to your question, JH.

Postscript -

Per the National Personnel Records Center, Michael Dick Echanis received the following awards and decorations during his military service to the Nation:

Bronze Star with "V" Device for Valor

Purple Heart

Good Conduct Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Parachute Badge

Vietnam Service Medal w 2 Bronze Service Stars

Combat Infantryman Badge

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal w Device (1960)

The Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross w Palm Device

Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Medal

Marksmanship Badge, Army (Rifle)

Echanis' Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) in the Army was 11B1P, or Infantryman/Parachutist.

He entered the Army on May 12, 1969.

He attended Basic Training at Fort Ord, California; Airborne Advanced Individual Training (INF) at Fort Gordon, GA; Airborne School at Fort Benning, GA.

He did not attend Ranger School.

He did attend Phase 1, Special Forces Training, at Fort Bragg, NC with a start date of 25 October 1969.  He was removed from training, reasons not given, on 21 January 1970.

On March 23, 1970, MDE was assigned to Company C, 75th Ranger Infantry, I Field Force Vietnam USARPAC.  His assigned Principle Duty was as a Scout - Observer.

On May 6, 1970, then Specialist 4 Michael D Echanis participated in a combat action with his unit that resulted in his being wounded no fewer than four times. 

His first wound was to his left foot, the second was a head wound resulting from bullet fragmentation.  This wound partially blinded him.  The third wound occurred when a bullet struck him in his right foot and embedded itself in his right calf.  Despite now being wounded three times Echanis, now firing from inside the truck he'd been a passenger in, "drew a hail of enemy fire" because of his continued resistance and was wounded a fourth time.

His citation reads "Specialist Echanis continued to fight until the beleagured truck was relieved."

He was awarded the U.S. Bronze Star with "V" Device (Valor) for this action.  As well as the accompanying Vietnamese valor awards noted earlier.

Echanis was medically retired from the Army on December 18, 1970. 

His retiring rank was that of Private First Class. 

Apparently he got into a bit of trouble during his recovery/rehabilitation phase at Letterman Army Hospital, San Francisco, California .

On September 8, 1978, Michael D Echanis died while engaged in combat operations as a trainer/security contractor to the then government of Nicaragua.  He is buried in Ontario, Oregon.

With that - this link will take you to the website I referred to.  This is the same association Tactical Knives editor belongs to as he served in Vietnam as LRP/ranger with E Co/Charlie Ranger.  The site is restricted to members at this time - contact the Administrator or Steve Dick - and ask for the specific posts made reference Mike.  These are memories about Mike's antics at the in-country field hospital when some of his fellow rangers came to visit him before he was shipped on to Japan - http://e20-c75th-rangers-association.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=10

Also wounded from C Company, 75th Rangers, with Echanis were SSG Eddie Roberts, SP4 Alfred Carr, SP4 Robert Ladeaux and PFC Mark Laughton (General Orders #104, Department of the Army, HQ, 17th Field Hospital, Vietnam - dated May 7, 1970.

Until my research no one knew of the other 6 Soldiers' names, ranks, units of assignment or SSNs until the Echanis Family provided me with a copy of the Purple Heart orders on which all are listed.

  All four were, like Echanis, assigned to the unit.  For SSG Eddie Roberts it was his second Purple Heart.  Both the truck driver and assistant driver were likewise wounded.  I have their names, as well, and unit of assignment at the time of the ambush.

And I have the daily log for C-75 on the date the ambush occurred with entry, as I have posted before.  That came from an independent source other than the Echanis Family.

I note in referencing Gary O's book (Pg 55) that he, at the time of his final assignment to E Co/Charlie Ranger was rank wise a PFC.  "When my lieutenant found that out, he immediately put me in for corporal, and I finally made E-5, but most of the time I was there I was a private (Page 55, American Warrior).

When Mike Echanis arrived in Vietnam and was assigned to Charlie Ranger he was a Specialist 4th Class. He out-ranked O'Neal, apparenlty.  O'Neal by his own account (Page 96) states he had been promoted to Specialist 4 by the time he recieved his alleged Silver Star on 10 August 1970. 

In short, by Army standards, Mike Echanis out-ranked Gary O'Neal while the two of them were assigned to C Company (Ranger) prior to Mike's wounding and evac to the states.  I'm sure O'Neal didn't dig that at all.

As for all this "ranger/Ranger" stuff -

Again, from Gary O in his book as he describes himself while assigned to C Co, 75th Infantry (Ranger).

Page 98:  "Although I'd been designated a Ranger (note upper case "R") while I was in country, I was not officially Ranger qualified.  I couldn't wear the black and gold tab, although I was permitted to wear the Charlie Company 75th Rangers patch."

Historically this was the case for many, many LRPs and VN Ranger company members.  They were not school trained / qualified, or "short tabbed".  It has been a bone of contention for many of  them since to be considered non-Rangers despite their service as such in the VN Ranger companies.

Mike Echanis, likewise, was - as with O'Neal - a volunteer for Charlie Rangers and assigned (as a Scout-Observer on his 2-1) to the unit.  If Gary's observation hold true for him (...I'd been designated a Ranger while in-county", then it holds true for any and all who were so assigned to include Mike Echanis.

Again, this is from O'Neal's own book and mouth.

Further, on Page 100, O'Neal describes how he volunteered to attend Ranger School at Ft Benning after he left Vietnam in December 1970.  One of his RIs, who had served with him in C Co (RGR) in Vietnam asked him "What the hell are you doing here?"

O'Neal responds, "I'm going through Ranger School because I'm sick and tired of these shake and bakes telling me I'm not Ranger qualified, even though I got more than two years of Rangers in Vietnam.  That bullshit ends right here."

In essence, JimH, Gary O'Neal, by his own account, considered himself to be a Ranger in Vietnam although he was not school qualified.  When he did volunteer for Ranger School, after his return from Vietnam, he still considered himself as such but knew he wanted/needed to get "tabbed".

By O'Neal's own standards as stated in his book he would have to consider any LRP/Ranger assigned to Charlie Company in Vietnam as being a "Ranger".  This would include Echanis.

I note that when O'Neal left VN in December 1970, Mike Echanis was at Letterman Hospital in San Francicso, in-patient, recovering from his wounds while received with Charlie Company, 75th Ranger Infantry.  He would remain in-patient for several more months, the  go out-patient until medically retired at 100% disability in early 1971, per his records.

Check the book and Page references noted - it's there in black and white ;)

Next up - Why didn't Gary O provide in-country security for Mike's mom and dad when they visited Managua several weeks after their son's death and met him there?






Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on April 19, 2014, 12:27:42 PM
Keeping the record straight -

Recently blackbeltmag.com featured a brief on-line piece exerpted by Mike Echanis' Collection edition.

The e-article is an adaptation from the Echanis Family authorized 2010
"The Complete Michael D. Echanis Collection" from Black Belt Books.

Also offered was a free download of an e-book titled "Michael D. Echanis - The Life and Times of the Army Ranger Training Expert and Hwa Rang Do Ambassador".

Michael Janich was given as the e-book's byline.

I contacted MJ and then Bob Young, editor at Black Belt Magazine as the article was a re-write of Mike's 2010 Black  Belt article, an article  out of date as to new and documented / properly attributed information about Echanis.

MJ sent a note offering he hadn't seen the e-book and knew nothing about it nor that it had been put online in this form with his byline.

Bob Young sent a note sharing "in the digital age, "free e-book" and "free guide" = repurposed magazine article." 

Apparenly someone in the marketing department converted the 2010 article into a "repurposed" article, added a few new pictures (non-credited) and put it on the website.

As it was a marketing gig when you down-loaded the "free" e-book you began receiving marketing information about Black Belt and its products.  I guess nothing is truly free after all ;D

As of this note Black Belt has removed the e-book from the webpage (http://www.blackbeltmag.com/daily/martial-arts-techniques/weapon-techniques/counter-knife-fighting-techniques-with-3-self-defense-moves-from-michael-echanis/).

A big "Thank you" to Bob Young for cleaning this up. 8)
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on April 26, 2014, 10:07:57 AM
Ah, Saturday morning in the park with a good cup of hot, hot coffee ;D

As a professional courtesy and because of Mike Janich's heartfelt effort to have the best recent research on MDE available -

I have sent him a concise document packet for his reference file on the subject.

Always better not to have to rely on a .com for one's material when writing :'(

Finally, sincere thanks to Kelly Worden yesterday who provided me with a copy of the Full Contact article "Blending - An Interview with Gary O'Neal" as written by Datu Worden.

I'd forgotten all about that one :o

Conducted at the 1993 Soldier of Fortune convention.  Great interview on Kelly's part with great sequence photos of O'Neal, Randy Wanner and Bob Taylor doing all the exhibition stuff Echanis used to do at Bragg and Little Creek.

I believe this is the only time in print and photography all three are together given their mutual associations and relationships dating now back many years.

 8)
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on April 27, 2014, 11:33:12 AM
One brave woman -

The below account is based on my conversations with Mike's mom, Mrs. Pat Echanis, and her letter to a "Mr. Kozac" upon her return from Managua, Nicaragua, in late October 1978.

You will not find this encounter with MDE's parents in Mr. O'Neal's book "American Warrior" in which he offers he never left a fallen comrade behind per the Ranger Creed in direct reference to Mike, Chuck or Bobby (Page 178).

The creed also includes a fallen comrade's family.

According to Pat, Susie Sanders (Chuck Sanders' widow) and the Echanis Family had become close in a very short period of time after MDE and Chuck's deaths.

Susie called Pat and shared that Gary O'Neal had spoken to her (Gary and Chuck were friends and had served on the same SCUBA team at 5th Group together prior to both joining Mike in Nicaragua).  O'Neal offered he was returning to Nicaragua to assume "Mike's contracts" and would also try to recover the insurance money rumored to be due the families of all three Americans killed on General Alegrett's Aero Commander 114-A.

Susie offered O'Neal asked her not to share this information with the Echanis'.  However, Susie did.  She remained in touch with both the Echanis and Sanders families for some years until letting them know she needed to move on with her life.  They understood.

At about the same time as Susie's call Mrs. Alegrett contacted Pat from Managua.  Pat later wrote "We have been to Nicaragua by request of Mrs. Alegrett.  She asked that we come and settle our son's affairs.  The insurance on the plane, also."

The call from Mrs. Alegrett was made on October 26, 1978.

The U.S. State Department approved their visit almost immediately and visas were issued.

Pat, Mike's dad (Frank) and their family attorney arrived in Managua on October 30th.

Mrs. Alegrett did not meet them at the airport as originally planned.  The city was in chaos as fighting between Somoza's forces and the Sandinistas was fierce.  The three would later meet with Mrs. Alegrett's attorney, Dr. Teojer (sp?), at the U.S. Embassy to discuss the insurance money issue.  Two meetings were held.  No insurance payment was ever made to the family.

They did have the opportunity to meet with then President Somoza.  Again, according to Pat's letter to Mr. Kozac, "Pres Somoza asked to see us which we did - very nice...no assistance".

It was when they visited with Somoza they ran into O'Neal at the Presidential Offices.  "We saw Gary O'Neal as he came out of a room," Pat told me.  "He looked at us and was clearly shocked.  I know he never expected to see us again after the funerals."

Pat recounts O'Neal talking briefly with them.  He offered to take them up to where Mike had lived but they were due to meet Somoza.  They declined.  "That's the last we saw of O'Neal while we were there."

With reservations orginally made at the Intercontential Hotel in Managua the party was directed by a well-wisher at the airport to another hotel in town.  That person felt the original hotel was too dangerous a place to be staying for three Americans at that time.  He provided them with his car and they were taken to a less visible hotel in the city.

"I was never afraid while we were there, not once!" Pat told me.

One can see where, in part, MDE got his fearlessness  :)

The party registered under their attorney's name.  It would prove a very wise move.

The Echanis' remained in Managua until November 2nd.  During that time they visited a woman who Mike had told them about, a Dutch gal, who warned them to leave Nicaragua immediately given the danger they were in.

They also visited the national bank where they believed MDE may have kept an account.  They were given the "royal run-around".  Again, nothing came of their efforts.

"The embassy was sure [the Nicaraguans] would help us with our son's affairs - I believe they had all helped themselves to everything belonging to to our son personal and financial" she wrote later.

Indeed, Mike's personal effects were rummaged through at the trailer he lived in by persons unknown. Frank Jr, one of Mike's two brothers, told me he recognized items of Mike's clothing being worn by some of those Expat Americans who'd come to Ontario from Managua for the funeral services.  It infuriated him.

All of MDE's vehicles disappeared as well as his weapons.  The trailer was essentially looted.

When the Echanis' left for the airport they were handed a box of what was claimed to be Mike's personal effects. 

Most of what was in the box belonged to Joe Camp, a retired Navy SEAL working for Mike who disappeared on the streets of Managua several months earlier.  Frank gave the box to their taxi driver and told him he could have whatever was in it.  He was furious at the insult to their intelligence by whomever had put the box together.

Note:  Items of Mike's later ended up in Texas with Joe Camp's widow.  They were sent to her and offered to be her husband's.  She had a letter from Mike to Joe when Mike recruited him and sent all she had back to the family.  I have read the letter.  Mrs. Camp was likewise angry at the insult to her and her husband's memory.

The overall lack of help was dismaying.

"The embassy was most surprised we did not receive more assistance.  But what can you do?," Pat wrote.  "You don't demand when you are in another country - they can do as they wish, and you have no recourse."

As it turned out the Sandinistas were looking for the trio.

Again, according to Pat after they'd returned safely home.

"In yesterday's mail I received a letter and news clipping from the embassy in Managua.  The opposition was looking for us at all the hotels, but could not find us registered.  We did not use our name but the name of our attorney.  The paper came out the afternoon we left, November 2nd.  We were happy to be home."

Mike's parents had been traveling throughout Managua with no security presence provided by either the U.S. embassy, Gary O'Neal or President Somoza via his executive assistant Colonel Adonis Porras.

Truly God was watching over them.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on May 14, 2014, 09:56:14 AM
Interesting note -

In recent information exchange with Dr. Joo Bang Lee, founder of Hwa Rang Do, I learned the following.

There are only two American instructors ever to be awarded a full Hwa Rang Do black belt, meaning they were deemed fully qualified in the Art of Hwa Rang Do.  These were Michael D. Echanis and Charles "Chuck" Sanders.  Both were awarded their ranking in 1975 by Dr. Lee personally.

These same two instructors were then authorized by Dr. Lee to create and train a military sub-set program for the Army's Special Forces at Fort Bragg, and later SEAL Team 2 at Little Creek, Virginia.

Per a copy of the USAJFKCENMA Certificate of Participation issued to each Special Forces or other military member who successfully graduated the "HWARANG DO/HAND TO HAND COMBAT SCHOOL - INSTRUCTOR COURSE" - a two week program taught by Mr. Echanis - the graduate was certified as at a black belt ranking in the military sub-set program.

Each certificate was stamped with Dr. Joo Bang Lee's personal seal as well as signed by Robert C. Kingston, Major General, Commanding and his Chief of Staff, Timothy G. Gannon, Colonel.

Mr. Echanis' signature is not present on these certificates of which I have a copy as issued to Mr. Charles W. Evans, Instructor Course 76-5.

Mr. Evans was a close friend of Mr. Echanis' and Mr. Sanders and was the "silent sentry" in the Echanis Soldier of Fortune H2H articles.

Dr. Lee is clear that NO graduate of the military sub-set program was or is considered a full master in Hwa Rang Do.

Claims otherwise are "crazy".

Dr. and Grand Master Lee have been provided with copies of the official military sub-set program as developed and taught by Mike Echanis and Chuck Sanders at the Special Forces HWD Instructor Program and at ST2 for its instructor program.

And the official SF and Navy SEAL documentation identifying Michael D Echanis as the senior H2H instructor for their programs.

This to ensure proper safe-keeping and the formal record of these courses within Echanis' chosen Art.

The same documentation packet was provided to Sensei Toshiro Nagato, one of Echanis / Sanders close friends in Ontario when they were studying Judo together.  Nagato Sensei is today a 15th Degree Black Belt in the Art of Ninjitsu and lives / teaches in Japan.

Two of the proposed six instructor courses for Special Forces were completed with three two week instructor courses for ST2 also taught before Echanis and Sanders moved to Nicaragua.

Dr. Lee was an honorary pall bearer at both Mike's and Chuck's funerals and hosted a traditional Buddhist ceremony in their honor in Downing, California, roughly a week later.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Echanis attended.

My sincere thanks to Dr. Lee for his assistance and recollections.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on June 04, 2014, 06:18:19 AM
The official and never before seen Special Forces / SEAL Team 2 documentation regarding those courses and specific classes taught by Mike Echanis has been provided to Dr. Joo Bang Lee and the Hwa Rang Do organization.

This will complete their archives regarding Echanis' military program and the Art.

Dr. Lee and Grand Master Taijoon Lee are having a web page created to present the material on the official HRD website.

Hwa Rang Do is a registered / trademarked martial art.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on June 12, 2014, 08:30:03 PM
Michael Janich / Spyderco Knives has rewritten the Spyderco Warrior Knife brochure with the new edition soon to come out with every Warrior Knife evolution to include the new Pygmy Warrior.

Janich has corrected his initial editorial regarding Echanis and the section is now concise, brief and far more accurate for the venue in which it appears.

The Echanis Family has been so notified as has Dr. Joo Bang Lee and Hwa Rang Do Grandmaster Taijoon Lee.

For the record regarding Randy Wanner - about whom a thread briefly appeared on this forum (now discontinued) -

Master Wanner refused to be interviewed for the original brochure as stated then and again in the new brochure version.

He did so because he wants nothing to do with not only the original Warrior project (initially titled the "Echanis Warrior Knife") but with the design created by Guy Rafaeli and presented for consideration to Spyderco for production.

Mr. Wanner, at the time of my last discussion with him in 2013, likewise has nothing to do with - nor wants anything to do with - Bob Taylor although he continues to feel very kindly toward Bob.

Wanner would not accept a royalty for the Spyderco version as to do so would be seen as an endorsement of the knife - which Wanner will not do.

Wanner still possesses the first rough prototype of the "Echanis Warrior".

Wanner re-confirms it was Mike Echanis who approved his (Wanner's) final drawing of the Warrior in Los Angeles in the spring of 1977 when he, Chuck Sanders and Randy Wanner were story-boarding Mike's O'Hara Books series at O'Hara Publications.

Wanner also re-confirmed for me that Echanis was every bit as skilled, tough and accomplished as a martial artist as he demonstrated - to include sparring full force with Wanner at the La Habra dojang at the request of Joo Bang Lee.

Echanis did likewise with former Soldier of Fortune martial arts editor Sigung Art Gitlin in San Francisco, at the request of SOF editor Robert K Brown (Fighting Knives Magazine, January 1996, "Si Gung Art Gitlin Haak Lung Chuan" by Grand Master Mike DeAlba.

"I was working for Soldier of Fortune and was asked to smoke him out before we published any of his writings.  Lots of martial artists were trying to make a name for themselves at the time. 

He [Echanis] not only earned my respect but we hit it off at our first meeting and ended up spending alot of time together.  I have found memories of him.  He was warm and a wonderful human being, but he WAS a warrior, and he lived a warrior's life.  Mike was a great friend."



Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on July 11, 2014, 06:19:38 PM
Just learned Dr. Joo Bang Lee and Grandmaster Taijoon Lee will be presenting several seminars in the LA area the end of August.  This to include promoting GM Lee's new book and the Complete Michael D Echanis Collection from Black Belt Books.

Work on incorporating Echanis' documented official programs of instruction for Special Forces / SEAL Team 2 into the HRD formal history continues and should be available on the HRD website by end of August.

Setting the record straight.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on September 14, 2014, 03:00:24 PM
Just returned from Little Creek/Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Confirmed MDE was 5th Degree TKD (trained and ranked in Oregon/California).

Also trained/sparred in VB at Chuck Norris' studios (Primarily the old Hill Top studio) from late '75 til mid '77.  MDE only did so in the evening, after hours, and with the schools' Black Belts (Yep, saw and have copies of the photos).

His friends and training partners included Aaron Norris and Rick Preato who started and ran the schools and are still closely involved with Chuck Norris to this day.

It was during this period he learned aspects, techniques and the philosphy of Norris' martial arts style, Chun Kuk Do.

New MDE handwritten and typed documentation shared while there include rough draft of SEAL Team 2 H2H Program of Instruction, article on Hwa Rang Do Acupressure, course outline for machete fighting (which MDE taught in Panama in early '77 for Special Forces), and "Motions of the Blade during Combat/Cutting and Breaking Movements".

MDE self-identified as a "Tiger Man" Stylist". He hand-wrote a dynamic description of this imagery and manner of the mental, emotional and physical attributes of attack as such a stylist.

Hence, in part, the Asian Tiger tattoo he wore on his right forearm (as did Chuck Sanders).

Echanis was significantly skilled and/or ranked in 5 martial arts.  Boxing (Boise, Idaho - amatuer heavyweight under Al Barros), Judo (Oregon-Idaho Judo Club and follow on training by Judo black belt Chuck Sanders), TKD (5th Degree), Hwa Rang Do (2nd Degree) and Chun Kuk Do.

Setting the record straight.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: Vrkah on September 22, 2014, 02:26:38 PM
Ok, so you are a Echanis shill - good for you. make some money with it. about the rest of what you have written:
http://youtu.be/JUBIU0gkWfs
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on September 27, 2014, 09:30:32 AM
Not a "shill" - a friend of the family.

Haven't made a cent and don't plan on it.

Unlike some others who have written essentially inaccurate, incorrect and self-serving articles/books (i.e. Mike Janich / Gary O'Neal).

Thanks for your note ::)
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on September 27, 2014, 09:43:22 AM
Chill out - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcsUYu0PVxY
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on September 27, 2014, 01:11:28 PM
Setting the record straight -

From Mr. O'Neal's book "Legendary Ranger", page 130.

"...he [Mike Echanis] was a civilian who was not Ranger qualified or Special Forces qualified - although he had served in combat with the 75th Rangers...So while he didn't have the qualifications the military demanded to teach, he did did have the knowledge we needed.  What I did was take my 201 file and white out my name and Social Security number, then write in his name and number.  Just like that Mike became a Ranger and SF qualified."

Blatantly false with respect to the 201 "recollection". And as false as the author's claim to have stopped Bobby Nguyen's funeral in Ontario as likewise offered in the book.

Echanis, per the official documentation possessed by his family and by myself, would not have claimed qualifications he did not have.  More importantly, he lived and trained and worked with some of the most seasoned and respected Ranger qualified/SF qualified people in the Army.  This to include legendary Son Tay Raider Ivan "Jake" Jakovenko who I've communicated with now numerous times.

Any one of these could have and would have smoked Echanis out as to his qualification status in a heartbeat.

Didn't occur because Mike never did what was described in "Legendary Ranger".

However, he was immensely well thought of as this Letter of Appreciation written on 22 June 1976 by then Command Sergeant Major William E. Edge, then the CSM for the JFK Center for Military Assistance at Fort Bragg, attests to.

For CSM Edge's bio see this link - http://www.sflistteamhouse.com/scrapbook/Edge/obit.htm

"Dear Mike,

"I would like to take this opportunity to express my personal thanks to you for what you have tried to do for us.

"Your undying spirit is rare indeed.  In these self-complacent times, it is most unusual to discover a truly dedicated person such as yourself.  There will again come a time when people like you will be eagerly sought after to both teach and lead our young and inexperienced soldiers in a battle they can win.

"Your skills in unarmed and hand to hand combat are sorely needed in today's forces.  Hopefully they will return in the future.

"I hope our paths cross again, in the meantime, if there is anything I can be of assistance to you in any way, please to not hesitate to call."

Warriors such as CSM Edge and Jake Jakovenko would hardly been taken in or put up with someone who they could easily determine was either SF/Ranger qualified or not.



Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on September 28, 2014, 10:36:45 AM
Much has been said/written or simply speculated on regarding the severity of Echanis' wounding in Vietnam.

For example, on Page 130 of Gary O'Neal's book "Legendary Ranger" he writes of MDE's wound damage to his right foot and calf "While his foot was still attached to his leg, it was pretty much useless unless he was wearing a special boot, but he'd overcome that to earn his black belt in several martial arts disciplines."

Echanis was wounded (4 times in the same engagement) in 1970.  It required nearly five years for him to - essentially on his own - overcome the wounds he received with the wounding to the right lower leg and foot an amputation consideration when he was med-evaced to Japan from Vietnam.

In specific, Echanis' right lower calf was both shot away and then surgically removed.  The majority of the attending muscle, tissue, ligaments and veins/arteries were severly compromised.

His right foot, on its outside was shot away and likewise removed later by surgery. 

As the Army and then VA physcians treating him stated privately and in the official medical record there was no way in their minds he would  ever walk again without, at minimum, the use of a cane.  Running, martial arts or any other activity of this level was out of the question.

The imbalance and lack of strength, blood flow and coordination in the right leg was compounded by the portion of his left heel which had been likewise shot off.

Mike did not, as O'Neal states, wear a "special boot".  He wore a variety of soft shoes / bata boots as are seen in the photos taken of him at Bragg, home, Little Creek and elsewhere.  What he did sometimes use was a soft, flexible brace for the right calf.  This brace was recovered in NIC when his parents went there 3 weeks after his death.

Echanis had to wear vascular socks on both feet/lower legs to maintain an appropriate blood flow and pressure.

In his right shoe or bata boot he would place either a specially made insert or, most often, a pair of rolled up socks where the right side portion of his foot was missing.  In his left shoe he would place a similar device where the missing part of his left heel was.

Without these forms of artificial support and the soft shoes he was indeed extremely limited mobility wise - and had trouble with daily activities such as bathing standing up and unaided movement.

However to offer he was "useless" is inaccurate.

One wonders if O'Neal would say the same of Army Ranger (3rd Battalion) who lost his entire lower right leg and foot in combat and through his own recovery efforts aided by 21st Century medical technology returned to active duty and the combat zone - http://www.amazon.com/Back-Fight-Explosive-Special-Operator-ebook/dp/B009LRWGZU

I hardly think Kapacziewski sees himself as "useless" without his prostetic limb.

That Echanis recovered and resumed the high degree of mobility and accomplishment he did after his wounding - to include boxing as a heavyweight in Boise, Idaho, in several local "smokers", is both the true record and an accurate account of this Wounded Warrior's will to never give up.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on September 30, 2014, 12:13:18 PM
Over the years some have claimed Mike Echanis did not instruct on behalf of Dr. Joo Bang Lee (the Founder, Hwa Rang Do) prior to his creating the military combatives program at Fort Bragg.

From "The Complete Michael D. Echanis Collection", published in 2010 per authorization of the Echanis Family and in a forward written by now Grand Master Tai Joon Lee -

"My father then tried to give Echanis some training in teaching the art by placing him in charge of our school in La Habra, California."

The La Habra HWD school was overseen / managed originally by Master Randy Wanner.  It was Wanner who Lee sent Echanis to in order to "smoke him out".  Once MDE's capabilities were affirmed by Wanner and training by both Dr. Lee and Wanner took place Mike was indeed placed "in charge" of the La Habra school.

This is confirmed with the recent discovery of one of Echanis' business cards from that time period.

It reads:

International Hwa-Rang-Do Association
Joo Bang Lee - Grand Master - 8th Dan Black Belt

Chief Instructor, Michael Echanis


The address is given as 380 N. Harbor Blvd, La Habra, Calif, 213-697-6630.

The main dojang's address is given as 13912 E. Imperial Hwy, La Mirada, Calif, 213 921 3055.

Echanis was far too tough on civilian students, per GM Lee, and was replaced  -- recommended to consider teaching military and/or law enforcement personnel.

However, as the record shows, he was appointed as a chief instructor in HWD in southern California prior to going to Fort Bragg.

Setting the record straight.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on October 06, 2014, 02:55:51 PM
For many years now and in many forums the claim has been made that Dr. Joo Bang Lee "cured" Mike Echanis' very severe leg wound (right lower leg).  This by using acupuncture.

The most recent such affirmation was made in 2010 by Grand Master Taijoon Lee in the forward he wrote for the Echanis Collection released by Black Belt Books.

Where acupuncture can relieve pain and promote healthy relaxation as well as other attributes if done under the correct circumstances and with the patient's understanding of the overall process, it cannot re-grow lost tissue, muscle, ligament, blood pathways or nerves.

Hence the claim of "curing" Mike's severe wound using acupuncture is incorrect as this is the nature and degree of damage done by those AK 47 rounds that struck Echanis in not only the right but left foot, with severe calf damage done also to the right lower leg.

Temporary relief from chronic pain, which Echanis did suffer from to include headaches, may well have been achieved under Joo Bang Lee while Echanis was in LA. However Mike was in a constant state of discomfort and pain up until the time of his passing due to the degree of wound damage he suffered in Vietnam.

Setting the record straight.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on November 16, 2014, 12:24:30 PM
Final -

Michael D. Echanis was recruited through the U.S. embassy in Managua, Nicaragua, via the U.S. Military Group Army attache at the time (Major Juan Montes).

The recruitment offer to act as an intelligence asset was routed through the JFK Institute for Military Assistance on Smoke Bomb Hill at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Echanis was also being vetted for two other para-military training operations.  The first was in Libya and was a CIA operation requiring 46 advisors at $55,000 a year with $10,000 bonus upon completion.

The second was 90-day 4 man training team for Saudi Arabia.  This MTT paid $150,000 for 90 days' work.

Vetting officers for the Libya contract were Colonel Dick Bratten, formally of INTERPOL, and Colonel Tennis Carter.  Both Bratten and Carter were former "company men".

The opportunity in Nicaragua was not a CIA operation.  Rather, it was internal to Special Forces/Special Operations on Fort Bragg itself.  Echanis rated it as the fall-back mission if the Middle East prospects were not productive.

It was a contract job.

Departure date for the mission was October 1, 1977.

Echanis and his selected team included himself, Chuck Sanders, Joe Camp (retired Navy SEAL) and Bobby Nguyen.

A second team made up of Paul Glasser, C.W. Evans and Gary O'Neil were seconded to work for the EEBI in Managua.  This team was recruited from the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg with Echanis appointed both the team leader and paymaster for all involved.

However, Echanis and his intelligence cell worked specifically for Mr. Ray Molina, advisor to then President Somoza, whereas the second team trained NIC troops at the Infantry Center (EEBI).

Echanis and his intelligence effort carried out a number of taskings to include the successful infiltration of the American student community at the university in Managa.  Echanis, in specific, also discovered, confirmed and provided evidence of how Cuban sent small arms and ammunition were entering NIC from Cuba/Panama.

With the death of Joe Camp, attempting to re-infiltrate the American student community in Managa as Echanis had done earler, and then a few months later Mike Echanis, Chuck Sanders and Bobby Nguyen killed along with General Ivan Alegrett in an aviation crash, the Fort Bragg run intelligence operation came to an abrupt end.

Colonel Charlie Beckwith, in 1982 and on the public record, confirmed Mike Echanis reported direclty to him regarding the intelligence efforts in Nicaragua when he (Echanis) visited Fort Bragg from NIC.

CIA officers at Fort Bragg attempted to recruit Echanis/Sanders after they were operational in NIC.  Echanis rebuked their interest several times and reported the contacts to then AMB Solaun at the U.S. embassy in NIC after one trip and such contact. 

For roughly a year after the deaths of all four men a clean-up operation took place which included visits to the Camp and Echanis Family by the FBI and the tapping of their home phone lines for roughly a year.

What occurred in NIC was an initially successful intelligence operation that, with the deaths of half its operators, was swiftly closed down and cleaned up after.

The country fell to the communists less than a year afterward.

The record is set straight.

Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on July 28, 2015, 06:17:08 PM
Retired Navy SEAL Joseph H. Camp, part of the team recruited by Echanis, was KIA on June 10, 1978, by FSLN urban commandos.

This while seeking to develop a human intelligence network with the FSLN.

Camp was a highly decorated and well respected SEAL operator, to include being an advisor with the Provisional Reconnaissance project where he earned his 2nd Bronze Star with Valor device.

Setting the record straight.
Title: Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
Post by: SabreActual on August 24, 2015, 06:41:54 PM
Tribute to Navy SEAL Joe Camp to be published in December 2015 issue of the UDT SEAL Association magazine, "The Blast".
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