Military investigators are working to uncover information on how a young, black, male got into the wheel well of a C-130 cargo plane, presumably in Africa as an apparent stowaway. His body was found in Germany at Ramstein Air Force base when the plane landed there following an eight-day mission.
The plane is said to have left Germany July 19, making stops in several countries including Italy, Senegal, Chad, Nigeria, and Tunisia. Authorities would not release information on the exact itinerary of the plane; however Mali was thought to be the last stop.
Serious security issues remain about how the teen was able to get onto a base and worse still, get into the wheel compartment of the cargo plane. Military officials admit that security is hard to maintain in most African countries.
Germany is cooperating with the U.S. Department of Defense with the investigation. Officials in that country are performing the autopsy.
The nationality of the young man, thought to be in his teens, may never be known. While authorities did not mention if they were going to perform DNA genetic-testing, they have already performed some blood work. “John Doe Stowaway” tested negative for contagious diseases, including Ebola.
The World Health Organization had confirmed more than 800 Ebola cases in West Africa, including at least two of the countries this cargo plane is thought to have visited. One American has died of the disease.
C-130 turboprops are the long-time workhorses of the Air Force for cargo transport and tactical airlift for other nations around the world. The four-engine planes are able to land on unprepared air strips, often the only available sites in underdeveloped nations.
One U.S.A.F spokesperson indicated the plane was "supporting Africa Command operations" during its various stops on the continent.
Additional information and CNN video here.