Do you remember Victor Belenko?

If you are 30 or younger you may not have heard of him at all. He is a Russian defector. He flew a MIG 25 from southern Siberia to Japan in 1976.It was a great find for the US and NATO to get all that secret information from that plane. He was given asylum in the US. Most news stories stopped there. I read Belenko’s whole story back in the 80s. It was written by John Barron. The name if you might be interested is” MIG Pilot Final Escape of Victor Belenko”. It is still listed on Amazon. While the escape from Russia was a great part of the book, his life after he came to terms with what he did was final is very good reading.The parts I remember are that they let him fly smaller jets and gave him permission a few times to fly military Jets. But before that occurred they had to let him know that he was a free man. While being questioned by the CIA and the FBI they would take him grocery shopping or out to a movie. He thought they were giving his special treatment and that only the rich could go to a Safeway or the Malco. Finally after he got the interrogation out of the way they gave him a car and something like 10 thousand dollars and told him he could go any where he wanted. At first he was worried that he would be picked up for not having the right papers. But soon he started crossing state lines and visiting cities and places he had heard about but never thought he would ever see. It has been a long time since I have read the book but I think the place that made a difference in his life was Montana. Big, wide open and free. The book did say that before he made his tour of the US he did feel guilt. He left a wife and he thought about suicide, but the right people helped him over come those thoughts. He is retired after working as a space engineer for NASA.
Now then why did I want to bring this up. As you can tell the book made an impact on my life. It made me realize the freedoms I take for granted every day. I can get in my car and go where ever I want. No papers, no border crossings, no itinerary to give to any one but the ones I want. Wikepedia says he is still living. I would like to hear him speak or sit down with him and get his take of the US. Until next time. Happy St. Pat’s day. Ben. Comments are welcome.

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