Sunday, April 27, 2008

Time Line - Work in Progress

Note: I had to make some edits to accommodate the table spacing in different browsers.

I've been trying to nail down a tighter Time Line of Events surrounding the disappearance of Kirk von Ackermann on October 9, 2003. In fact, some of the information I sought in the rejected FOIA request to the CID was related to constructing a time line.

I'll share with you what I have so far, which isn't very much.

Bay Area civilian vanishes in Iraq
By Colin Freeman

"It is a real mystery," one source close to the investigation said. "Kirk was on a day trip from Kirkuk to Tikrit that day and was coming back when he rang one of the company's Iraqi employees around 3 p.m. to say he had a flat tire and couldn't get it fixed with the jack he had. He was stopped right on top of a road that runs over a small range of hills ... at the time.

"The employee took about 45 minutes to get to him, and when he got there, Kirk had just vanished into the desert. There was no blood on the road or sign of a fight, no bullet cases fired anywhere, nothing. It was as if he had been abducted by aliens."
The 'source' quoted above was Ryan Manelick.

Von Ackermann may have purchased his Nissan Patrol on the morning of October 9. He had a meeting that morning at FOB Pacesetter. It's about 140 miles driving distance between FOB Pacesetter and the Jabal Hamrin where his vehicle was later found abandonned. A conservative estimate is 3.5 hours drive time, averaging 40 miles an hour. That should allow enough time for some highway driving, road blocks, detours, etc.

The Iraqi employee was Safa Shukir; he received the call for assistance from von Ackermann's satellite phone. Shukir tried calling Kirk von Ackermann as he drove towards where the Nissan Patrol was stranded but no one answered. Shukir arrived about 45 minutes after he received the call.

A passing patrol reported an abandoned vehicle at a nearby check point about 5 minutes after the call was placed to Shukir. No information on what time US military arrived or when/how the vehicle was taken away.

I've included Sun/Moon data, for sunrise, noon, sunset, and curfew.

Backing in to a Time Line of Events based on a phone call at approximately 15:00 PM...


Time

04:00
05:37
06:02
unknown
unknown
unknown
unknown
11:30
11:50
15:00
15:05
15:45
17:27
17:37
18:02
24:00



AM
AM
AM
AM
AM
AM
AM
AM
AM
PM
PM
PM
PM
PM
PM
PM

Event

Curfew Lifts
Twilight
Sunrise
Leaves guest quarters
Purchase Nissan Patrol SUV
Arrive FOB Pacesetter
Leaves meeting
Leaves Balad Area
Solar Noon
Safa Shukir receives phone call
Passing Patrol
Safa Shukir arrives
Moonrise (99% full moon)
Sunset
Twilight
Curfew Starts
Obviously, subject to change.

There's only 5.5 hours between sunrise and the Nissan Patrol SUV leaving the Balad area. In my opinion, those are the most critical hours of the entire day, and warrant as close to a minute by minute reconstruction as is possible.

But then, that's because I believe von Ackermann was abducted near Balad, not where his car was found. (See: Missing Contractor: US Military Mechanics May Hold the Keys)

Questions...
  1. Where did Kirk von Ackermann stay the night before - assuming he purchased his vehicle that morning - prior to his meeting at FOB Pacesetter?
  2. Location, date and time Kirk von Ackermann purchased his vehicle?
  3. Did the Nissan Patrol have a full tank of gas at time of purchase?
  4. What time did he arrive at FOB Pacesetter for his meeting?
  5. Last sighting at FOB Pacesetter?
  6. Where did he eat lunch? It's close to noon when the Nissan Patrol leaves Balad, logic says he'd have something to eat before getting on the road. I also wonder if they found a water bottle in his car. No water bottle in a desert environment would certainly raise some questions...
  7. Records indicating he tried to fix his tire at other area bases?
  8. Exact time Safa Shukir received the phone call about the flat tire?
  9. Last incoming call logged on von Ackermann's satellite phone?
  10. Times Shukir's cell service recorded outgoing calls to von Ackermann's phone?
  11. What time did the Passing Patrol report an abandoned vehicle?
  12. What time did Safa Shukir arrive at vehicle?
  13. Did von Ackermann have any meetings scheduled in Kirkuk for later that day?
Additional Reading:

Sun, Moon, Weather Data
April 18, 2008