• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 36s

Fairbanks man indicted in connection with 1978 pipeline bombing

By Hope Miller 6:29 PM May 23, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

A 61-year-old Fairbanks man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for making false statements to the FBI.

Phillip Martin Olson was indicted following a renewed investigation of a bombing attack on the trans-Alaska pipeline from mid-February of 1978, according to a statement from the district attorney’s office.

An indictment alleges that Olson told the FBI last year and earlier this year of his personal involvement in the pipeline attack. He also “falsely implicated another individual in carrying out the bombing with him,” prosecutors said.

Although assistant U.S. attorney Joe Bottini said prosecutors do believe Olson is responsible for the pipeline attack — and that he acted alone — they can’t charge him with that crime because of the statute of limitations.

On Feb. 15, 1978, a pilot flying over the pipeline, located north of Fairbanks, “spotted what appeared to be a large plume of crude oil jetting from the pipeline,” near Nordale Road and Chena Hot Springs Road, the statement said.

An investigation found that an explosive device had been put on the pipeline and detonated. Around 12,000 to 14,000 barrels of crude oil spewed from the pipeline and onto nearby terrain before the spill was stopped, the indictment says. Despite an investigation by state and federal law enforcement, no one was charged with the bombing.

In November 2013 — more than 35 years later — the FBI was told that Olson had been saying he was responsible for the bombing. At that point, a joint investigation between Alaska State Troopers and the FBI was renewed and involved interviews with Olson and others.

When interviewed three different times, Olson said he carried out the attack and implicated another person, the district attorney’s office said.

Olson’s accusations caused the FBI to waste time and resources looking into the claim, the indictment says.

Olson was arrested in Fairbanks Friday morning and arraigned in the afternoon. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Latest Stories

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Dec. 18

    by on Dec 18, 22:01

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound Mostly cloudy skies with some mountain snow and in the eastern Prince William Sound. Southeast Rain towards the south with rain and snow further north. Interior and North Slope Skies will be partly cloudy. On the North Slope skies will be cloudy with scattered snow showers. Mat-Su Valley Mostly […]

  • News

    Early homecoming brings Christmas surprise for Anchorage third grader

    by Heather Hintze on Dec 18, 22:00

    Sounds of Christmas cheer floated through the hallways at O’Malley Elementary School Thursday morning. The students from Renee Hughes’ third grade class, including 8-year-old Emory Fedd, thought the news cameras were there to hear them sing carols. Instead we were waiting for his mom, Capt. Katrina Fedd, home from deployment in Korea. “It’s the holidays. […]

  • News

    New fire station fills gaps in Mat-Su coverage

    by Shannon Ballard on Dec 18, 21:21

    There’s a brand new public safety building in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Central Mat-Su firefighters and EMS are packing up and moving in. Station 51 is the borough’s largest: It cost $8 million and has a lot of unique features, including a drive-in apparatus bay for ambulances and fire trucks, a central warehouse for stocking medical supplies and […]

  • News

    Camp grows on sidewalk by Anchorage shelter

    by Lauren Maxwell on Dec 18, 20:23

    The death of an Anchorage woman in a tent across the street from the Brother Francis Shelter is shedding light on a growing problem — the number of people who camp on the sidewalk directly across the street. Dorothy Kinzie, 47, was found unresponsive in her tent last Saturday. The tent was pitched on the […]

  • News

    TSA rules for smooth holiday travel

    by Bonney Bowman on Dec 18, 19:19

    People go through security at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport every day and every day, people get flagged at  the checkpoint. It slows everything down and during the busy holiday season, that’s something the Transportation Security Administration wants to avoid. When it comes to liquids in carry-ons, the TSA prohibits anything larger than 3.4 ounces. Other prohibited […]

  • News

    Laptop drive collects computers for foster kids

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 18, 18:38

    This holiday season, an Alaska group is stepping forward to help give local foster kids a leg up on their education. Facing Foster Care in Alaska — an organization comprised of youth and alumni of the state’s foster care system — recently launched its “Laptops 4 Foster Youth” drive, which aims to provide donated laptops […]

  • News

    Anchorage firefighters torch Christmas tree to prove a point

    by Rhonda McBride on Dec 18, 14:45

    It was Anchorage’s first Christmas tree fire of the year. And it was set on purpose by firefighters to prove a point: It only takes a minute for a Christmas tree to be engulfed in flames. “There are over 200 fires annually caused by Christmas trees. And unfortunately a lot of fatalities are involved with […]

  • Sports

    HS girls hockey: Dimond/West gets the win

    by KTVA Sports on Dec 18, 12:38

    Wednesday’s girls high school hockey game started quietly … but it didn’t finish that way. Dimond/West 7 South/Bartlett 4