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U.S. Government Negotiating with Portugal for Return of Mysterious B-17 from Azores

The U.S. Government is still negotiating with the Portuguese Government for the return of the B-17 being held in Santa Maria airport, in the Azores, by Portuguese officials, a State Department spokesman said today. The U.S. has asked that the nine-man crew, allegedly bound for Israel, be returned to this country.

The plane, which was impounded by Canadian authorities, took off from Halifax last week with instructions to return directly to the United States, Instead, its Pilot, Capt. Irwin Schindler, braved the flight to the Azores. The State Department spokesman said that a press report that the plane was carrying 18 persons and a load of bombs had been officially denied by dispatches from the American consul at Ponta Del Geda.