October 20, 2020 - West Chester, PA – The American Helicopter Museum and Education Center (AHMEC) will host author and speaker Kurt Muse on Saturday, November 14, from 7 until 8 p.m., as he recounts his harrowing tale of imprisonment in Panama and daring rescue by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) in 1989. He will speak adjacent AHMEC’s Hughes MH-6J helicopter, which was recreated from parts of the “Little Bird” that rescued him. The Museum will stream the event live over Zoom, and a limited number of VIP tickets are available to attend in person, meet Muse, and receive a signed copy of his book, Six Minutes to Freedom.
Muse, an American businessman and former Army officer, lived in Panama at the height of General Manuel Noriega’s regime during the 1980s. Noriega used his Panamanian Defense Forces to squash the country’s democracy and engage in drug trafficking, arms smuggling, violence and other atrocities. Muse, who loved his adopted homeland, formed an underground resistance movement in 1987 to oust Noriega. But, in 1989, he was captured and delivered to the infamous Carcel Modelo prison, where he languished for nine months.
President George H.W. Bush authorized the overthrow of Noriega and the rescue of Muse during Operation “Just Cause.” On December 20, 1989, the 160th Army SOAR, known as the Night Stalkers, deployed four MH-6J “Little Bird” helicopters to extract Muse from Modelo. His rescue, code-named Acid Gambit, was fraught with danger, but the Night Stalkers’ courage and dedication returned a grateful Muse home.
Attendees are asked to make a $20 donation to AHMEC to participate via Zoom. VIP ticket holders are required to donate a minimum of $1000, and abide by the Museum’s safety precautions, including mask-wearing and social distancing. Attendance onsite will not exceed 30 people and will be subject to cancellation if required by state or local public health mandates.
Contact AHMEC at 610-436-9600 or visit www.americanhelicopter.museum for more information.
The American Helicopter Museum and Education Center, located at 1220 American Boulevard, West Chester, is the nation’s premier aviation museum devoted exclusively to helicopters. Established in 1996, the nonprofit organization collects, restores and displays rotary-wing aircraft, including over 35 civilian and military helicopters, autogiros and convertiplanes.