Arrest of Robert Hansen: Bob Goes Flying

Sometimes you come across something so good, you couldn’t possibly make it up. Like when Robert Hansen went flying with his son. And Stewart Felberg of Alaska Fish and Wildlife followed them.

10-16-83: HANSEN flys to Montague Island surveilled by Stew Felberg.

Source: Sequence of Events Leading to Arrest of Robert C. Hansen, 1/31/84, Sgt. Glenn Flothe (“Ruff Copy”)

Montague Island (map courtesy Apple Maps, illustration Leland E. Hale)

Montague Island (aerial)

“When Hansen and his son took to the air at seven that morning, Officer Stewart Felberg of Fish and Wildlife was right behind them in his own plane. It was a hairy flight, by Felberg’s description. The winds were so fierce the officer turned back, but not before he observed Hansen fly to Montague Island, just southeast of Seward in Prince William Sound, and land on its southeast corner. In Felberg’s opinion Hansen was not only quite familiar with the route he took but was also a crackerjack pilot. He showed himself an ace pilot under very trying conditions.

Felberg returned to Anchorage and stationed himself next to a plane with a “For Sale” sign conveniently parked next to Hansen’s stall. When Hansen returned to Merrill Field, Felberg struck up a conversation on the general topic of planes…

“So where do you fly around here?” Felberg asked.

“Oh, there’s some nice flying up by the Knik River. I go up there and practice ‘touch and goes’ on the gravel bars. And just for scenery, maybe Lake George or around there somewhere near Knik Glacier.”

As Hansen busied himself with cleaning out the plane, Felberg watched him remove a portable rear seat from the plane. He also saw a small camera, maybe a 35-millimeter. Felberg took the opportunity to ask Johnny Hansen a question.

“This you dad’s first airplane?”

“No. This is his third airplane,” the boy said proudly. Soon he was in the car with his father, and Felberg watched them drive away.

Excerpt From: Walter Gilmour & Leland E. Hale. “Butcher, Baker.”

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