Willy Joseph Cancel Jr. in Ukraine in an undated photograph provided by his family.
Willy Joseph Cancel in Ukraine in an undated photograph. [Source: nytimes.com]

According to Plumlee, the operation to recruit mercenaries to fight the Russians in Ukraine is similar to an old 1983-86 Iran-Contra project run by Ollie North.

Willy Joseph Cancel, a native of Orange County, New York, became the first U.S. casualty of the Ukraine War last week.

The U.S. Marine veteran was killed fighting alongside Ukrainian forces while working for a private U.S. military contractor. He was ambushed by Russian forces during a night-time patrol—though his body has not yet been recovered.

Cancel served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2017 to 2021; he received a bad conduct discharge in November after serving time in the brig for an undisclosed criminal offense.

Willy Cancel was 22 years old when he died.
Willy Cancel [Source: nypost.com]

His mother, Rebecca Cabrera, said that her son went over to fight in Ukraine because “he believed in what Ukraine was fighting for and he wanted to be a part of it to contain it there so it didn’t come here, and that maybe our American soldiers wouldn’t have to be involved in it.”

Graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text message Description automatically generated
Mr. and Mrs. Cancel, on their wedding day. [Source: nypost.com]

William “Tosh” Plumlee, a CIA contract pilot who participated in arms and drug smuggling missions into Nicaragua during the 1980s, said that “there are many more American soldiers like Willy Joseph Cancel already in Ukraine.”[1]

Portrait of Tosh Plumlee] - The Portal to Texas History
Tosh Plumlee [Source: texashistory.unt.edu]

Indeed, The New York Times reported last week that, around the time of Cancel’s death, two other Americans, Paul K. Gray, 42, of Tyler, Texas, and Manus E. McCaffery, 20, of Parma, Ohio, both of whom had served in the U.S. Army, were injured when a Russian artillery shell hit their fighting position in Zolote in eastern Ukraine.

The two were waiting to launch an ambush on a Russian tank using Javelin anti-tank missiles when shrapnel hit Mr. McCaffery in the face and collapsed a concrete block wall onto Mr. Gray, injuring his leg, according to Twitter posts by American journalist Nolan Peterson. Video and photos recorded by Mr. Gray show the two camouflage-clad fighters receiving first aid and riding in a military ambulance a short time later, with Mr. McCaffery’s face and head covered in bloody bandages.

American volunteers Manus McCaffrey & Paul Gray have been wounded by  Russian artillery whilst working with Ukrainian forces. May the make a full  recovery. : r/ukraine
Manus McCaffery and Paul Gray, two American mercenaries who were wounded fighting the Russians. [Source: reddit.com]

The Times report gives substance to the claims of Plumlee who is clearly in the know. For multiple decades, the CIA contract pilot personally engaged in the CIA’s use of such programs beginning in the 1950s and, for the next five decades, continuing on part-time consulting work to the present day.

In January 2022, Newsweek published a revealing article about the large number of foreign fighters in Ukraine’s army, and how Ukraine had evolved into a mecca for white supremacists who wanted to spill Russian blood.

One of these white supremacists, Craig Lang, was even wanted for a double-murder of a Florida couple in the U.S.

PHOTO: Craig Lang is shown during an interview with ABC News.
Craig Lang in interview with ABC News. [Source: abcnews.go.com]

In line with a general blackout on the topic, the mainstream media predictably underplayed Cancel’s employment with a private military contractor which is what accounted for his death.

One must ask whether that might be a project that anyone, or any entity, in their right mind would take on merely because they favored one side or another in wartime conditions? The risk to a private corporation’s continued solvency would be in constant jeopardy given the potential costs of recruiting personnel, and losing them; I will leave it to the reader to work through what that might entail.

The obvious answer to this puzzle is that such a creation might only exist with the financial backing of one or more of the “Alphabet Agencies,” maybe the one located in Northern Virginia, across the Potomac River and the George Washington Parkway from Washington, D.C.

___________________________________________

The following information comes directly from William “Tosh” Plumlee and has been edited for proper context. Tosh explained how he had been contacted by a person, whom he wants to remain anonymous, who is currently employed within the Pentagon. The narrative below came from an email dated February 3, 2022, three weeks before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It was not due to anyone’s clairvoyance that a prediction was stated by this person who knew that the military and intelligence services were already taking many steps to ramp up calls for “soldiers of fortune.”

ANONYMOUS SOURCE: “Private contractors were currently hiring mercenaries and ex-U..S military S.O.F. [Soldier of Fortune] for Ukraine service; also, as I told you it would only be a matter of time before we lost an American citizen-fighter in a Ukraine-Russian war.”

TOSH PLUMLEE: “Yes, it was an old operation which had been used many times before.”

ANONYMOUS SOURCE: “Do you know of any American military personnel operating in Ukraine?”

TOSH PLUMLEE: Explaining that he hadn’t, he stated: “This operation is similar to an old 1983-86 Iran-contra project run by Ollie North, the White House, and the Pentagon: [Iran-Contra hearings. Senator John Kerry, Senator Gary Hart, Senate Arms Service Committee. Senate Foreign Relations Committee; documented]. These are cut-out companies financed by the U.S. Government, Pentagon, and U.S. State Department.  It is an old CIA, Pentagon, operation; a very hush-hush operation that has been in force for decades-  “Private armies-private contractors.”

A person standing next to a small airplane

Description automatically generated with medium confidence
Tosh Plumlee with plane that was used to supply Nicaraguan Contras, right-wing counter-revolutionaries who fought the left-wing Sandinistas. [Source: tpaak.com]
Iran-Contra Affair | Definition, History, Oliver North, Importance, & Facts  | Britannica
Oliver North testifies before Iran-Contra hearing. [Source: britannica.com]

ANONYMOUS SOURCE:Currently, there are 168 ex-U.S. servicemen in the Ukraine training and being active fighters on the front line. We, the U.S, are active and have U.S. citizens, ex-servicemen, participating in this Ukraine-Russian war.  These ex-servicemen are employed by private U.S. companies [‘Cut-Outs’] that have been awarded secret U.S. State Department contracts.

TOSH PLUMLEE: This procedure effectively extends the Pentagon’s reach into the middle of conflicts that the U. S. military has never been authorized to participate. Yet, through the privately run-publicly financed arrangement, can put their “boots on the ground.” This has been a decades-old  [covert-CIA-Pentagon] practice. These private [classified] contractsto private American companiestotal millions of taxpayer monies. It is a very hush-hush, ongoing, CIA/Pentagon, White House, operation.  Remember “Black-Water” and the “School of the Americas”? An example of this is illustrated in a 1987 CBS News broadcast with Connie Chung, then hosting the Eye to Eye news program, with Bernard Goldberg reporting on the suspected murder of Marine Colonel James E. Sabow (the video is shown below).

Col Jim Sabow, USMC
Colonel James E. Sabow [Source: salem-news.com]

A fellow whistleblower friend of Tosh’s, Gene Wheaton, a former military investigator retained by the Sabow family, was quoted in a 1994 Newsweek magazine article as to what happened:

Tribute for Milton Gene Wheaton
Gene Wheaton [Source: evans-brownmortuary.com]

Specifying that the Navy’s criminal-investigation service is notably less competent than those of other armed services, Wheaton said “They don’t think like copsthey think like bureaucrats. They want to go in and close the whole thing out.” Wheaton also claimed the Marine brass is concealing a pattern of covert arms smuggling that is “a continuation of Iran-Contra”—and implied that Sabow must have known something illegal was going on.

Someone evidently decided that Col. Sabow was getting too close to a major national scandal in his on-going investigation into the use of the El Toro Marine Air Base for the importation of massive amounts of drugs from Central America. Bernie Goldberg introduced the Sabow matter on Connie Chung’s program after interviewing Tosh and Gene Wheaton. 

Also, presented below is a video of Morley Safer interviewing Tosh Plumlee (circa 1986) on 60 Minutes about this very subject:

[Tosh]: “I believe the media [U.S. MSM] will be breaking this story very soon . . . until then you have it first, and it too is ‘before the fact.’”

As always, the White House, U.S. State Department and CIA will take issue and say they know nothing about those current operations. However, previous documentation and interviews state otherwise. The CBS 60 Minutes interview with Marine Col. James Sabow, and the 60 Minutes segment “Our Planes are Missing,” are but two references that support the ongoing operations.


  1. For more on Tosh’s legendary background as a swashbuckling pilot flying arms into Nicaragua, then returning the aircraft, now laden with drugs, back into U.S. military airbases, see HERE. Despite all of that, even as this was all playing out, he was making repeated efforts to testify to Congress as a “whistleblower” (wishing to report the crimes in which he was forced* (before the law recognizing their legal rightswhich is not always equitably followed-Ed.) to participate, and for many years his reputation was forever “blemished” by the gaslighting done by the CIA and FBI as a result. *through the circumstances of his contracted employment, forced to participate.


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