Men in Suits

Weekly story brings past to life for ex-CIA pilot

A former neighbor of Plumlee who asked not to be identified by name claims she saw the fire from her house. "We thought it was a forest fire," she says. "It wasn't a small fire. It was fast, and there were men in suits running around. They split before the fire truck came." On another occasion, the woman adds, men in suits parked near her house. "I think there were four guys, and a guy in front picked up a pair of binoculars and scoped our house out . . . There was an odd feeling in the air back then."

Brad Lien, Lisa's brother, who now runs the family's restaurant, also remembers the day of the fire. "I remember Tosh coming back from the bar all beat up, and then we heard about the fire," he says. "We all knew about it because everyone and their brother had police scanners. It was pretty suspicious." He adds that, because Plumlee used the restaurant as his home address, he'd often see strange visitors looking for Plumlee. "A couple of times people would come in looking for him," he says. "We always said we didn't know where he was. Guys in suits and ties. I'm a biker, these guys were clean. Any kind of fed or someone clean-shaven and smelling pretty you can spot right off the bat."

Plumlee later considered writing another book, but when his publisher told him he'd have to send it to the CIA to be reviewed and possibly censored, he backed down and kept quiet. When the Weekly first contacted him 10 years ago, shortly after his television appearance, to ask him about his covert flights to El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, Plumlee refused. After his most recent visit from the two men in suits, he could be forgiven for wishing he had remained quiet a bit longer. "I live in a quaint little town and am active in community affairs," he says. "I'm 69 years old and I'm not trying to start anything. Stuff like this just goes with the territory."

Plumlee in his military days. Photo courtesy Tosh Plumlee
Plumlee in his military days. Photo courtesy Tosh Plumlee

NSCHOU@OCWEEKLY.COM

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