Curious death of CIA officer Monte Overacre

ISGP section: Suspicious deaths index

This compilation of articles is part of ISGP's suspicious deaths list (see column on the left), featuring hundreds of names.

Monte Overacre was an experienced CIA officer who died in a plane crash in 1995. He was a critic of the CIA at the time and in contact with so-called left-leaning journalist Robert Dreyfuss, who wrote an extensive article about him.

Problem is, Dreyfuss' name showed up in a 1996 list of Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) members. This private group has been set up and ran by Ted Shackley's clique, the group that ran the operation to kill JFK and killed off many, if not the vast majority, of people listed in ISGP's death list. The fact that Dreyfuss is among a tiny handful of reporters accepted by these people, in the eyes of ISGP makes him a spook. He also used to work for the controversial Lyndon Larouche in the 1970s and 1980s.

Columbia Journalism Review, Robert Dreyfuss biography (2004): "Dreyfuss got his start with Ralph Nader's Public Citizen, making the break to become a free-lancer in 1992. Now that he's on the mastheads of Mother Jones, The Nation, and American Prospect, and a regular contributor to half-a-dozen magazines, he has more work than he can easily handle. ... Four articles [of Dreyfuss] in Mother Jones, American Prospect, The Nation, and Rolling Stone that contributed to the downfall of NRA director Neal Knox, 1995-1996. ... Dreyfuss backgrounded himself on the CIA by attending meetings and conferences for intelligence types, and by hanging out online at a CompuServe forum dedicated to intelligence issues. One day, a man posted a message saying he'd just resigned from the CIA. He was angry, he said, and he'd like to tell his story to a journalist. It took several weeks for Dreyfuss to gain his trust, but eventually Monte Overacre, who had been recruiting for the CIA's economic espionage program, began to send Dreyfuss detailed memos on the program. Just before the two were scheduled to meet, Overacre was killed in a plane crash in Guatemala. Dreyfuss contacted Overacre's family in Idaho, who gave him permission to examine detailed files the agent had left behind. Dreyfuss's story for Mother Jones made a strong case that Overacre had secretly returned to spy work and was once again on CIA business when he died."

So Dreyfuss draws the convenient conclusion that Overacre was most likely killed in an accident. The article below gives the details, as well as replies from family members of Overacre and another person who died in the crash, two of them very skeptical about the event.

Left Out In The Cold

Monte Overacre left the CIA. But he could never leave the Cold War.


| January/February 1998 Issue, Mother Jones

Flying 12,000 feet above the jungle-covered Sierra de Chúacus mountain range north of Guatemala City, the Cessna's single engine faltered and died. The control tower recorded the American pilot's urgent mayday call, followed by his anguished explanation: "No gasolina." Seconds later came his final words: "We are going down. We are in the mountains."

It was April 5, 1995. The next day, a search team recovered the bodies, including that of the pilot, Monte Overacre, 39, a 10-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency's covert operations unit, who had resigned from the CIA six months before.

I knew Overacre during those last months, though it was a uniquely '90s acquaintance. I first encountered him on a CompuServe military forum shortly after he had resigned from the CIA in disgust. He was a wry participant, slinging sarcastic barbs about the agency and once posting a message to a former colleague in January 1995 that read: "When I piss them off someday (perhaps by providing insight to some journalist), and I plan to, all they will have is their indignation to vent."

Intrigued, I sent him an e-mail introducing myself as a journalist with experience reporting on the CIA. He wrote back, but at first remained guarded. "Just don't be surprised if I set some limits that may frustrate you a bit," he responded. "I don't want to become famous just yet." Gradually, a cautious trust developed between us. It didn't take long before he began to tell provocative stories about the CIA's changing new role—and to explain the frustration that ended his career as a spy.


THE GUATEMALAN GOVERNMENT DID little investigating into the crash. Nor has the U.S. government pursued its own investigation: The embassy in Guatemala City did not look into the crash—Marilyn McAfee, the ambassador at that time, says the issue never came to her desk.

Overacre had two passengers who died with him that day: an American businessman named Wayne Eggleston and a Mexican field hand from the oil field named Rigoberto Castro Ramirez. According to the transcript of Overacre's conversation with the flight control tower, there was no indication of any trouble—no engine breakdowns, no weather disturbances, no fuel problems—until the sudden announcement that they were out of fuel.

All that is known is that in the last month of Overacre's life, he was scared. "He started running into people he knew from the old days, people in the Guatemalan army, from the air force, people who knew him from his days with the CIA," says his brother Dave, to whom Monte sent a copy of his last will and testament. And, says Lora Dillon, Overacre "started doing some countersurveillance" to try to make it harder for anyone to tail him.

Like many who knew him, Overacre's family simply cannot believe that his death was an accident. How, they ask, could a veteran Army flier and 10-year air operations specialist for the CIA, with 4,500 hours at the controls of a wide variety of aircraft, simply run out of gas?



Sam Overacre 7 years ago:

First, the Sam Overacre in this article is my grandfather, i am the son of Montie's brother Ed.

This is a subject that is never talked about in my family, I would just like to thank Mr. Dryfuss for giving me some insight to what really happened to my uncle.

Every time their is a family gathering Montie's picture in the second to last paragraph is proudly displayed.


mary jo overacre 6 years ago

I am Monte Overacre's daughter. This article gave me a lot of information on parts of my father's life that I didn't know anything about. Many thanks to Mr Dryfuss for giving me valuable information concerning my dad that I can pass on to my own children someday.


Chase, Overacre 5 years ago

My father, My doubt!
I am the only son of Monte Overacre. I do and always will believe that "they"(C.I.A) killed my father!! not a doubt in my mind on that!! My father served his country well and in the end i feel they turned there backs. thanks Mr. Dreyfuss! thanks for nothing, for this article changes nothing!!


Anonymous 4 years ago

Wayne Eggleston
I am one of Wayne Eggleston's daughters. It was a horrible day when we found out that our father had been killed in a plane crash. We always thought that his death sounded a little suspicious. No one could tell us anything. We talked to someone at the American Embassy, but at that time they had not recovered the bodies. It's been 15 years this month since our father was killed in the plane crash. We realize now that we will never get all the answers to his death. It's awful that Mr. Overacre was killed, along with Mr. Ramirez and my father, but what is even worse is that someone would kill innocent people to get to Mr. Overacre! It seems like both governments should have done more to investigate the cause of the plane crash.