Narrative collapse: There was NO FOG when Iranian president’s helicopter crashed
05/24/2024 // Ethan Huff // Views

In a May 21 interview that appeared on the Islamic of Iran News Network (IRINN), Gholam Hossein Esmaili, chief of staff of the late Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, described the final moments as he recalled them before the helicopter the leaders were in crashed. And according to his account, there was no fog as the Western media claimed.

There were three helicopters in the convoy – Esmaili was on one of the two that safely reached its destination – but the one Raisi, his foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and seven of their companions were on crashed near the Iranian border with Azerbaijan.

Esmaili revealed that after saying their noontime prayers, the convoy departed towards Tabriz. The weather was clear with "no weather condition to be worried about," he said.

"After half an hour of being in the air, prior to reaching the Sungun copper mine, there was a small patch of clouds," Esmaili continued.

"So there was no fog?" the interviewer asked in response.

"Not at all," Esmaili responded. "There was fog on the ground, but not up in the air where we were advancing with the helicopters. However, in one small compacted area, there was a small patch of clouds above a cliff. In terms of height, this cloud was at the same height as our flight's height."

The full interview is available below:

(Related: Check out our earlier report about Raisi's mysterious helicopter crash.)

What really happened?

Upon approaching the small patch of clouds, the helicopter pilot on Raisi's aircraft – he was also the commander of the entire fleet – told the others to ascend above the clouds.

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"We were third behind the president's helicopter," Esmaili explained. "We rose above the clouds and advanced for approximately 30 seconds. Our pilot suddenly realized that the main helicopter carrying the president was missing."

Esmaili explained that nothing out of the ordinary seemed to happen during this time. The two helicopters ascended as directed without issue. There was not even any turbulence, and after reaching the new height there were no more clouds to be seen.

"So beyond this, there were no weather forecasts mentioning any disturbances in the weather to make it unsafe?" the interviewer then asked.

"No, there wasn't any," Esmaili responded. "Shortly after, we were able to see beneath us, and there were no clouds anymore, and we had reached the area of the copper mine."

"We realized, however, that our pilot was making a U-turn suddenly, so I asked him why. He said that one of our helicopters was missing. We estimate that they made an emergency landing because we also have no radio contact with it anymore. So I asked him when was the last time contact was made? The pilot answered, 'A minute and 30 seconds ago when the pilot told us to ascend above the clouds.'"

After circling around a few times and not seeing anything except the cloud patch, it was decided that the best next course of action was simply to land. Numerous attempts at making radio contact failed, and within 30 seconds the other helicopters in the convoy were on the ground.

All during the flight, there were continuous calls taking place with the various passengers on the copters, including the president's bodyguard, Abdollahian, and the governor of East Azerbaijan, as well as the Friday imam of Tabriz.

"However," Esmaili said following the one copter's disappearance, "we tried calling all of them without luck."

Someone eventually picked up the cellphone of the captain accompanying the now-deceased president. He said he did not feel well and had no idea what happened, but that he was surrounded by trees and could not see any of the others.

More related news coverage can be found at

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