4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

The Spruce Goose and Evergreen International's sad story

The big green plane at San Diego's Jimsair

When Evergreen bought the 218-foot-long Hughes Flying Boat, the plane was dismantled. - Image by Rick Geary
When Evergreen bought the 218-foot-long Hughes Flying Boat, the plane was dismantled.

Matthew Alice: There’s a big green jetliner, #N940F, parked near Jimsair (Pacific Highway and Palm) on the east edge of Lindbergh Field. Rumors are circulating. It apparently belongs to Evergreen International. This is the firm in McMinnville, Oregon, that purchased the Spruce Goose and supposedly took it north. If so, is it on display where the public can see it? What’s become of the Goose? Evergreen has in the past worked on (secret?) projects for the U.S. government. For the CIA, one rumor has Jimsair personnel say the big green plane sometimes leaves. Could you clear up this mystery — if there is one? — Downtown Sam, downtown

That’s an affirmative on Evergreen. They own the jet. The CIA rumors stem from accusations that the company, once a CIA contractor, participated in a baroque fraud to obtain planes by siphoning them from an intragovernment exchange involving the Air Force, Navy, CIA, Postal Service, and the Forest Service. (A former Evergreen board member was once chief of CIA air operations.) The investigations and lawsuits have been going on since the 1980s.

Those shenanigans aside, Evergreen’s up to its ailerons in financial troubles at the moment. The international freight line at one point snagged exclusive rights to the China market; but when the old P&L statement went sour, they sold those off to FedEx. Evergreen prez Del Smith’s son was in charge of the company’s Spruce Goose doings. He’s claimed — absolutely, definitely, no doubt about it — there will be a public Goose museum. Sometime. Eventually. Sooner or later. Trust them. When Evergreen bought the 218-foot-long, 300,000-pound HK-1 Hughes Flying Boat, the plane was dismantled and the parts shrink-wrapped and shipped by barge and truck to McMinnville. It’s still in pieces in a warehouse outside of town while Evergreen fries bigger and more pressing financial fish. Their China freight routes were worth a yen or two, but the Goose is a white elephant. So Evergreen’s likely stuck with it, and we’ll just have to trust that their dedication to flight history is as sincere as their dedication to the bottom line.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Video game music spawns new tribute genre

Gamer jazz groups, string quartets, mariachi bands
Next Article

Keeping Up With Commander Cody

“He poured a much-too-large line on my hand”
When Evergreen bought the 218-foot-long Hughes Flying Boat, the plane was dismantled. - Image by Rick Geary
When Evergreen bought the 218-foot-long Hughes Flying Boat, the plane was dismantled.

Matthew Alice: There’s a big green jetliner, #N940F, parked near Jimsair (Pacific Highway and Palm) on the east edge of Lindbergh Field. Rumors are circulating. It apparently belongs to Evergreen International. This is the firm in McMinnville, Oregon, that purchased the Spruce Goose and supposedly took it north. If so, is it on display where the public can see it? What’s become of the Goose? Evergreen has in the past worked on (secret?) projects for the U.S. government. For the CIA, one rumor has Jimsair personnel say the big green plane sometimes leaves. Could you clear up this mystery — if there is one? — Downtown Sam, downtown

That’s an affirmative on Evergreen. They own the jet. The CIA rumors stem from accusations that the company, once a CIA contractor, participated in a baroque fraud to obtain planes by siphoning them from an intragovernment exchange involving the Air Force, Navy, CIA, Postal Service, and the Forest Service. (A former Evergreen board member was once chief of CIA air operations.) The investigations and lawsuits have been going on since the 1980s.

Those shenanigans aside, Evergreen’s up to its ailerons in financial troubles at the moment. The international freight line at one point snagged exclusive rights to the China market; but when the old P&L statement went sour, they sold those off to FedEx. Evergreen prez Del Smith’s son was in charge of the company’s Spruce Goose doings. He’s claimed — absolutely, definitely, no doubt about it — there will be a public Goose museum. Sometime. Eventually. Sooner or later. Trust them. When Evergreen bought the 218-foot-long, 300,000-pound HK-1 Hughes Flying Boat, the plane was dismantled and the parts shrink-wrapped and shipped by barge and truck to McMinnville. It’s still in pieces in a warehouse outside of town while Evergreen fries bigger and more pressing financial fish. Their China freight routes were worth a yen or two, but the Goose is a white elephant. So Evergreen’s likely stuck with it, and we’ll just have to trust that their dedication to flight history is as sincere as their dedication to the bottom line.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Chi Chi’s Mexican Cantina: new name in Old Town

A reminder of what a concentrated collision of tastes a taco can be
Next Article

Robert Frost: cracker-barrel philosopher

One of America’s most celebrated poets
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close