Paul Hoven, the son of was born in Rochester in 1944. His father worked for an insurance company before enlisting in the US Army just before Pearl Harbor. He served as an officer in England in the 303rd Bomb Group.
Hoven graduated from flight school in 1968 and 10 days later took part in a combat assault on the Y Bridge in Saigon. During the Vietnam War he flew 1392 hours. These were mainly combat assault and combat support missions. He also served in Laos and according to Leslie Cockburn (Out of Control) Hoven "had an enormous range of contacts in the murky world of special - i.e., clandestine - operations." It is believed that some of the people he worked with included Ted Shackley, Tom Clines and Richard Secord. One source claims that he was a CIA handler.
Hoven was discharged from the US Army in 1970 and returned to college and after a couple of years graduated in Political Analysis. Hoven then worked for simulation company that did some work for Army War College. In late 1970s he formed a Simulation company to train militaries for armored warfare. Hoven also wrote articles about latest developments in weapons for Armor Magazine.
According to Hoven "I was incensed when I found out the US Army had waited until after the war to install self sealing fuel cells even though the technology was around before the start of the war. Many a helicopter crew had ended up as 'Crispy Critters' and died needlessly when their bird went down. I spoke at a forum in DC about the problem and how the military never reported the real numbers when it came to helicopter loses."
In January 1981 Hoven moved to Washington where he worked for the group called the Project on Military Procurement. The main objective was to expose the Pentagon's slipshod approach to developing and buying weapons.
In January 1981 Hoven met Daniel Sheehan, a left-wing lawyer, who was head of the Christic Institute. The Project on Military Procurement was funded by the Charles Stewart Motts Foundation and Sheehan was on the board of that organization.
Hoven later admitted that he provided information to "over 300 newspapers, magazines and TV programs (20/20, 60 Minutes etc.). We supplied documents and assisted reporters with information about things military... Our offices on Capital Hill where broken into a number of times. My apartment was broken into a number of times and nothing was ever taken but the items on my desk would be rearranged and the front door dead bolt would be unlocked and the door would be opened a quarter of an inch. Much of our information was supplied by the infamous Pentagon Underground. The underground was made up of a loose confederation of Military Officers and Pentagon civilians, who believed two basic points that weapon systems where not tested fully before purchase and that the Pentagon was not responsible with it’s money."
Hoven was involved in the campaign against the M247 Sergeant York DIVAD [Division Air Defense (gun) 40mm Bofors Cannon on an old M-48 tank body]. He recently admitted: "The Congressional office of Congressman Denny Smith R Oregon who I worked with had all six of the tests on the DIVAD (supplied by the Underground) showing how it could not hit it’s targets (one test the guns where aimed at a car but instead with a gallery of Generals in attendance the DIVAD attacked an outhouse’s ventilation fan on its roof). Remember this is during the 1980’s big military build up and was the first time that a weapon system in production was canceled because it did not work."
According to David Corn (Blonde Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA Crusade) in 1985 Carl Jenkins introduced Hoven to Gene Wheaton. Jenkins and Wheaton were at this time involved in trying to "win federal contracts to transport humanitarian supplies to anticommunist rebels, including the Mujahedeen of Afghanistan and the Contras". They failed in this venture and then complained to the State Department about the activities of Richard Secord, Oliver North, Ted Shackley, Edwin Wilson and Tom Clines.
Hoven arranged for Gene Wheaton to meet with Daniel Sheehan. Wheaton told him that Tom Clines and Ted Shackley had been running a top-secret assassination unit since the early 1960s. According to Wheaton, it had begun with an assassination training program for Cuban exiles and the original target had been Fidel Castro.
Paul Hoven also put Wheaton into contact with Newt Royce and Mike Acoca, two journalists based in Washington. The first article on this scandal appeared in the San Francisco Examiner on 27th July, 1986. As a result of this story, Congressman Dante Fascell wrote a letter to the Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger, asking him if it "true that foreign money, kickback money on programs, was being used to fund foreign covert operations." Two months later, Weinberger denied that the government knew about this illegal operation.
According to Paul Hoven an attempt was made on his life: "When I started having chest pains after having some orange juice, I assumed it was a muscle cramp. Finally my roommate Joe Burniece called 911... We pulled into the building and 16 Doctors, Nurses and techs were there to great me. They saved my life. After 3 days I was transferred to my HMO hospital in DC. (Heart function is measured in ejection function. 55 to 60 is normal, after the heart attack mine was 32. At 20 you become eligible for a heart transplant and around 10 you die.)"
a few months later Hoven was in a bar with Carl Jenkins when he met "an ex-special forces turned doctor who Carl knew that was on his way to Afghanistan to doctor the rebels fighting the Soviets. My heart attack came up in conversation. He then asked if I had drank something cold before the attack. I mentioned that I had some orange juice. He said that there was a substance that caused heart attack and was delivered in a cold beverage (milk orange etc.). The doctor... indicated that the poison metabolized into two compounds that where normally found in the body." Hoven added that Daniel Sheehan "told me that there 9 or ten of us that had heart attacks and I was the only one that did not die."
Hoven was also visited by Ted Shackley. "The pay off came a week later when Ted Shackley showed up on my doorstep with a shaved headed gorilla about six foot four that looked like someone out of a terminator movies and wanted to talk about Sheehan’s suit." According to David Corn (Blonde Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA Crusade) Shackley offered Hoven a job with a foreign manufacturer of armed personnel carriers as a bribe.
On 5th October, 1986, a Sandinista patrol in Nicaragua shot down a C-123K cargo plane that was supplying the Contras. Eugene Hasenfus, an Air America veteran, survived the crash and told his captors that he thought the CIA was behind the operation. He also provided information on two Cuban-Americans running the operation in El Salvador. This resulted in journalists being able to identify Rafael 'Chi Chi' Quintero and Felix Rodriguez as the two Cuban-Americans mentioned by Hasenfus. It gradually emerged that Clines, Oliver North, Edwin Wilson and Richard Secord were also involved in this conspiracy to provide arms to the Contras.
On 12th December, 1986, Daniel Sheehan submitted to the court an affidavit detailing the Irangate scandal. He also claimed that Tom Clines and Ted Shackley were running a private assassination program that had evolved from projects they ran while working for the CIA. Others named as being part of this assassination team included Rafael 'Chi Chi' Quintero, Richard Secord, Felix Rodriguez and Albert Hakim. It later emerged that Gene Wheaton and Carl Jenkins were the two main sources for this affidavit.
David Corn (Blonde Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA Crusade) quotes Hoven as saying that "I was set up to pass information to Sheehan. But they f***ed it up because Sheehan was not playing it close to the script."
It was eventually discovered that President Ronald Reagan had sold arms to Iran. The money gained from these sales was used to provide support for the Contras, a group of guerrillas engaged in an insurgency against the elected socialist Sandinista government of Nicaragua. Both the sale of these weapons and the funding of the Contras violated administration policy as well as legislation passed by Congress.
On 23rd June, 1988, Judge James L. King ruled that Sheehan's allegations were "based on unsubstantiated rumor and speculation from unidentified sources with no firsthand knowledge". In February, 1989, Judge King ruled that Sheenan had brought a frivolous lawsuit and ordered his Christic Institute to pay the defendants $955,000. This was one of the highest sanction orders in history and represented four times the total assets of the Christic Institute.
In 1995 Gene Wheaton approached the Assassination Records Review Board with information on the death of John F. Kennedy. Anne Buttimer, Chief Investigator of the ARRB, recorded that: " Wheaton told me that from 1984 to 1987 he spent a lot of time in the Washington DC area and that starting in 1985 he was "recruited into Ollie North's network" by the CIA officer he has information about. He got to know this man and his wife, a "'super grade high level CIA officer" and kept a bedroom in their Virginia home. His friend was a Marine Corps liaison in New Orleans and was the CIA contact with Carlos Marcello. He had been responsible for "running people into Cuba before the Bay of Pigs." His friend is now 68 or 69 years of age... Over the course of a year or a year and one-half his friend told him about his activities with training Cuban insurgency groups. Wheaton said he also got to know many of the Cubans who had been his friend's soldiers/operatives when the Cubans visited in Virginia from their homes in Miami. His friend and the Cubans confirmed to Wheaton they assassinated JFK. Wheaton's friend said he trained the Cubans who pulled the triggers. Wheaton said the street level Cubans felt JFK was a traitor after the Bay of Pigs and wanted to kill him. People "above the Cubans" wanted JFK killed for other reasons." It was later revealed that Wheaton's friend was Carl Jenkins.
Worked for simulation company that did some work for Army War College. In late 1970s formed a Simulation company to train militaries for armored warfare. When we were updating our system for the US Army’s new weapons (M-1, M-2 DIVAD etc.) We found that we cold not make them work in the game the way the Military said they would. We started writing articles in professional journals about or findings ( Armor Magazine ). I was incensed when I found out the US Army had waited until after the war to install self sealing fuel cells even though the technology was around before the start of the war. Many a helicopter crew had ended up as “Crispy Critters” and died needlessly when their bird went down. I spoke at a forum in DC about the problem and how the military never reported the real numbers when it came to helicopter loses. I was offered a job at the Project on Military Procurement and moved to DC in January of 1981.