5371: United Daily News Interview

UPDATE: 5/21 17:51: Here is the link to the online article. Please visit this link so the newspaper can know how important this story is. [hat tip Tim Maddog]


Here is Michael Turton’s account of the interview.

We’ve made yahoo: http://tw.news.yahoo.com/article/url/d/a/070519/2/el4p.html

The correct designation of the aircraft is 5371 (the article transposed the 3 and 7)
My Chinese name is not a transliteration. It was given to me by my family.

Our friends at The Solemn Observer have provided us with an English language translation of the article which you will find at the bottom. Thank you so much!

Yesterday evening Hui-chen and I met with Ms. Mimi Wang, and her associate Mr. Huang, for an interview. As everyone knows I was a witness to the final moments before the crash.

Ms. Wang and Mr. Huang are consummate professionals, putting up with my sometimes emotional reactions to their questions. I want to thank them for the opportunity to tell my story to the press. Here is a scan of the article, which appears on page C2:

In the photo, I’m using my notebook computer to show an enlarged view of 5371 (using Gwenview under openSUSE) to the United Daily News reporters.

English Translation:

Last 13 Seconds of F5F Captured by American Businessman

“Even for just 13 seconds, I now feel responsible for them,” says MJ Klein, a Hukou resident who captured on camera the last 13 seconds of the ROCAF F-5F, designated 5371, on May 11th. Every time he looked at the pictures, “it felt like the pilots were looking at me, hoping for me to do something for them.” Klein has great admiration for the bravery of the two pilots, who sacrificed themselves in order to prevent the crashing of their doomed fighter in a densely populated area. He will soon publish this “Last 13 seconds” in his blog.

51-year old Klein is an amateur photographer whose home is a mere one kilometer away from the Hukou airbase. The F-5F photographs released by the ROC air force a few days ago were taken by Klein.

Klein says he heard the sounds of helicopters and jet fighters on the morning of May 11th, and promptly rushed to the roof with his camera, awe-struck by the number of assets exercising in the airspace.

As he paid close attention to one such fighter that approached the eastern side of the Hukou airbase from the Taiwan Strait and then left from the same vector, there was a sudden loud noise from his rear left, and he turned his head to find another jet flying past his left in close proximity; it felt as though he could almost touch it.

He immediately switched the camera to manual, and locked onto the direction of the fighter, taking burst shots. Through his viewfinder, he saw the fighter climb, bank right, bank left, pitch down, and then suddenly took a nosedive; he followed it until his view was blocked by the building in front of him; he took 23 photos in 13 seconds. [Note: I kept my lens in manual focus mode because autofocus is too slow for aircraft – MJ]

He silently exclaimed, “My god, it crashed,” but he never heard the expected loud bang, and he relaxed, thinking that he had just witnessed a highly-trained pilot performing sophisticated aerobatics manoeuvre. But after an hour, he heard the news that a plane had indeed crashed, and he desperately wondered if it had been the one he witnessed. Worried about the lives of the pilots, he continually sought for any evidence that would link what he’d witnessed to the reports, and when his wife informed him of the designation number of the crashed plane and it matched the one he caught on camera, his face went white and he took a deep breath, his mood sank to rock bottom. [Note: I used the term “my blood went cold” but that isn’t well understood in the Chinese language. – MJ]

Now, whenever he looked at the photographs, he’d feel that in one of the photos, the pilots were looking at him, and he’d feel some sort of responsibility to them and the need to do something for these two brave souls.

He has posted his experience and records during these 13 seconds on his blog, “The New Hampshire Bushman in Taiwan”. The web address is http://thenhbushman.blogspot.com/

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  1. Hi Mr. Klein, did you want someone to translate the article to English or to Simplified Chinese?

    If it’s to English, then I’d love to help. If it’s to Simplified Chinese, then if you have the original article on computer, then you can simply go to:

    where you can paste the text into the space provided and then click on ‘Traditional to Simplified”, and it will convert it for you.

    Lastly, while I’m sure many people have told you this already, but Taiwan does appreciate all that you’ve done regarding the crash investigation.

    Best of luck!

    P.S. I have linked your blog on my own blog: The Solemn Observer in Canada (from Taiwan)


    Hope you don’t mind!

    The Solemn Observer

  2. The SO:

    yes, go ahead and do an English translation if you have the time. our English readers would appreciate a good translation of the article, thanks. and thanks also for your kind comments. link all you want.

  3. randolph, thanks for your kind words, but….

    nothing i did was brave. my life was never in danger by taking those photos or giving them to the military authorities. all i did was what was necessary. thanks for reading.

  4. Mr. Klein,

    Do you feel your life have changed in anyway after this incident?
    We appreciate your effort in this matter!


    –Tony Huang

  5. yes Tony. i will write about that when i publish my complete story in a few days. thanks for viewing and for your comments.

  6. Dear Mr. Klein
    Today I see the article from Yahoo website, and it describes that you took key & continuously(the last 14 seconds) figures when military aircraft crashed. Thank you so much. It’s very important for the ministry of the Taiwan’s defense to verify the truth. Maybe official investage detail information from black box, the photos also have great profit.
    I’m sorry, my English is so poor, and thanks to provide this space for me to read & try to write my opinions.

  7. yc, thanks for your comments. i hope that the photos can help other pilots in the future.

  8. Well…what should I say? I still remenbered that morning.. I turned on the TV to check the final about the Yankees vs Rangers beccause of the Yankees pitcher Chien Ming Wang but suddenly I saw the news. A familiar name of the front pilot…oh~ my~ yes, he was my senior-high-school classmate. We were the members of the brass band; he was the best trumpet; his fravorite solo is the theme of Godfather. We used to play basketbll. He used to mock me that I have the beautiful playing position but not scoring. Gosh..so many memories…
    Thank you for the photos….

  9. ??? ??? 2?????? ?????
    don’t be sorry ,they are doing there duty.
    let us treasure and honor.

  10. I am a Taiwanese in NYC,We respect ur braveness to reveal these pictures. Truth can never be replaced.

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