• 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

  • News

    First Alaskans hope changes to ballot will increase Native voter turnout

    by Dave Leval on Oct 19, 19:18

    Tomorrow, the annual Elders and Youth Conference, put on by the First Alaskans Institute, kicks off. Held at the Dena’ina Convention and Civic Center in Anchorage, this year’s event will feature an extra message. “Get out that Native vote,” said Liz Medicine Crow, who leads First Alaskans Institute. Medicine Crow is also helping to attract […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Oct. 19

    by KTVA Weather on Oct 19, 18:38

    Could tonight be the night we see our first official snowfall in Anchorage? The moisture is available, but the big question lies in whether temperatures will get cold enough. We may see some flurries flying across the Anchorage Bowl but not in the way of significant accumulation. Temperatures will bump up by Monday afternoon, allowing us […]

  • News

    Ketchikan officials to consider prayer at meetings

    by Associated Press on Oct 19, 17:54

    The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly is set to consider whether to begin its meetings with a prayer. A public hearing and vote are scheduled for Monday. The Ketchikan Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1whLulU) that there was disagreement at an earlier meeting about whether non-religious speakers would be allowed to deliver invocations and how much time would […]

  • News

    Parnell has closed meeting at JBER with Guard members

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 19, 15:49

    Gov. Sean Parnell met with Alaska National Guard members today. Parnell, who is commander-in-chief of the Alaska National Guard, held the meeting to addressing changes that are being implemented within the Guard. This comes after the Guard’s administration has withstood harsh criticism for allegations of sexual assault, fraud and other misconduct. An investigation into the Guard resulted […]

  • News

    Restoration plan taking longer than expected

    by Associated Press on Oct 19, 14:08

    Government attorneys say a restoration plan for addressing lingering effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill is taking longer than expected to complete. The six-step plan includes testing of possible bioremediation technologies. The attorneys, in a recent court filing, said it will be necessary to apply what was learned from the testing to all known […]

  • News

    Record number registers for White Mountains ultra race

    by Associated Press on Oct 19, 12:54

    A record number of people have signed up for the White Mountains 100-mile ultra race north of Fairbanks. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://bit.ly/11S3k5v) 155 people signed up for 65 slots in the race, scheduled for March. A lottery determines the roster and wait list. There are three divisions: biking, running and Nordic skiing. Ninety-six […]

  • News

    Fraternal organization covers the doctor’s bill for children in Alaska

    by Sierra Starks on Oct 19, 12:00

    Free, state-of-the-art healthcare can be hard to come by for any family. But a local fraternal organization has made it a mission that Alaskan children get the treatment they need, no matter the cost. This weekend, dozens of children were flown into Anchorage from all over the state. Some of the families came from places […]

  • News

    Thanksgiving Blessing in Mountain View needs contributions now

    by Lauren Maxwell on Oct 19, 10:46

    Those who organize one of Anchorage’s biggest food drives for the holidays are gearing up to feed more needy families than ever. At the Thanksgiving Blessing project on Nov. 24, families can pick out food at six different sites to make their own meals on Thanksgiving Day. Organizers are asking for the public’s help to […]