A multinational group of intelligence and military operatives are preparing men and supplies in the area of Liberia, Costa Rica for a possible operation in Panama, according to intelligence sources.

While investigating the mysterious Jan.15 plane crash that occurred in San Jose, Costa Rica, WorldNetDaily was led to intelligence sources who provided some details of the operation on the condition of anonymity — revealing an even bigger mystery.

Former CIA director Stansfield Turner was nearly killed when the private plane he was in crashed. His wife Karen, along with Sigifred and Therese Richert, and Antonio Sanchez Diaz were killed in the crash. The pilot, Cleto Miranda Luna, died of his injuries on February 2. There were 12 others who were injured on board the plane and one on the ground.

The Czechoslovakian-built Taxi Aereo Centroamericano LET 410 was a small charter plane available for hire at the Tobias Bolanos airport in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Plane crash in Costa Rica allegedly carried CIA and multinational intelligence agents.

The CIA refused to confirm or deny press reports of the crash at the time. An intelligence source told WorldNetDaily that the CIA could not admit any knowledge of the crash because all the passengers were intelligence operatives.

Turner and his group were in Costa Rica as part of a secret intelligence operation, according to an informed source, who says the plane crash brought press attention to their presence, possibly forcing the operation to be moved. Whether the operation is still under way in a new location and the specific involvement of Turner could not be determined, but the source would only say the plans involved possible deployment to Panama.

The flight plan showed that Turner’s plane was headed for the Tortuguero National Park on Costa Rica’s Atlantic sea shore, which is said to be near the area where the military forces and supplies were being accumulated.

The plane was only a short distance from the airport when it exploded and fell like a rock from the sky, according to witnesses. It crashed into a house with three people inside, all of whom survived.

“I was coming up the street when suddenly I saw the plane start to fishtail,” said eyewitness, Pedro Chinchilla, as reported in La Republica. “It fell, and then I heard a loud noise, like a hurricane. When I reached the site I could hear screams coming from inside the house,” he said.

The intelligence source was able to help WorldNetDaily talk to another eyewitness of the crash. The witness worked for the airport and went immediately to the site after the crash. He said he has worked with CIA agents before and recognized several going through luggage at the crash site. He insisted that his identity remain anonymous out of fear that he would face reprisals in his job.

Rescue personnel were delayed slightly while CIA agents were going through the plane, which remained mostly intact. All luggage and carry-on items were removed from the plane while the rescue crew evacuated survivors and casualties, according to the source.

A Nicaraguan housekeeper was in the house with two other people when the plane crashed through the roof. She suffered only minor injuries.

“It was like a bomb. Pieces of cement, wood and even a wall fell on top of us,” the housekeeper, Yamileth Saenz, told La Nacion.

Information released by the International Red Cross showed that there were nine Spaniards, two French, one Salvadoran, and three Costa Ricans on board when the plane crashed.

Asked the cause of the crash, the intelligence source said, “Well, let’s just say it wasn’t an accident,” but he declined to give any details. He helped WorldNetDaily contact sources who were at the airline office and at the crash site during the rescue after the crash, saying it would help prevent future problems if word of the nature of the crash became public.

The airline source confirmed that Juan Carlos was the scheduled pilot, but he “was released against his will” just before the flight was to take off. The source said there was a heated debate over the replacement pilot. Carlos objected, but then he “suddenly stopped complaining and walked away,” apparently because he was offered compensation to make up for lost pay for not flying the plane.

The source would not provide information about Luna, the substitute pilot, who later died of his injuries. He told WorldNetDaily he was frightened and shouldn’t have said anything at all.

Press accounts at the time of the crash stated that Turner, his wife, and everyone on board were tourists. One of the passengers was listed as a tour guide, and the airline is often used for tourist flights. The intelligence source said everyone on board the plane had “intelligence ties.”

Turner was eventually transferred to an intensive care unit in a Texas hospital.

Turner had an exemplary career in the Navy, having served in the Navy’s office of politico-military affairs, in Secretary of Defense McNamara’s office of systems analysis, and as executive assistant and naval aide to the Secretaries of the Navy Paul Ignatius and John Chafee.

Turner became a rear admiral in 1970 and commanded a carrier task group of the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. He then became director of the Navy’s office of systems analysis, and commander of the Second Fleet. Later he served as president of the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island.

He was promoted to admiral in 1975 and became commander-in-chief of NATO’s Southern Flank, with headquarters in Naples, Italy.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter nominated Turner to be director of Central Intelligence, a position he held until 1981.

Since then, Turner has taught at Yale University, the U.S. Military Academy and the University of Maryland. In 1995 he was awarded a senior research fellowship at the Norwegian Nobel Peace Institute in Oslo.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.