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Scan Eagle surveillance video,
19 November 2005,
Haditha, Iraq

Watch the video, in Windows or AVI formats at the links, exclusively on Defend Our Marines.
The video is 43 minutes long  so will require patience in downloading. Alternatively, view individual
segments below.

Note: This narrative, and the Scan Eagle video itself presented here, were prepared for the
Article 32 hearing for Capt. Lucas McConnell, USMC. Charges were dropped before the hearing
took place.

Digital Video/Time Hack
Description of Event

Segment 1: Aftermath of the IED

1.  051119_0759/06:30-11:20 (See Segment 1: Windows or AVI formats.)

Intro footage to the aftermath of IED and suppression of occupants in the white sedan at the location of Chestnut & Viper. Footage is significant for several reasons. First, the footage of the white sedan clearly shows that the vehicle was not a "taxi." It did not display the required placards and in light of what is now known about the occupants, the vehicle was never intbended to act as a taxi.

Next, the status of the doors on the vehicle point to at least one occupant intending to conceal his actions. The passenger door behind the driver is closed. This points to an occupant sliding across the seat to exit from the side that would have provided the most cover.

Additionally, none of the occupants are located in the street and are all found in the vicinity of a dirt pile and a wall that would have provided cover.

Of additional note from this footage is the fact that much time is spent reviewing the remains of the HUMVEE after the IED. It is clear from the photos that the IED did not kill any civilians as there were no bodies around the vehicle. Whoever had the video feed from this scan, at the time it was occurring, would have known that the IED did not kill civilians. In light of the recently released mirChat transcriptions, the commands above the company knew the IED did not kill civilians.

Segment 2: Suspected trigger house

2.  051119_0814/06:00-06:30 (See Segment 2: Windows or AVI formats)

Possible trigger house seen by Regiment or Bn COC personnel as they look at the layout of the terrain.

ScanEagle then scans from that possible trigger house/OP to the IED blast site where the HMMWV wreckage is easily seen This also shows the heavily built up urban terrain in vicinity of the Routes Viper and Chestnut.

Segment 3: Suspicious individuals  / Route Chestnut

3.  051119_0829/01:25-02:15 (See Segment 3: Windows or AVI formats)

ScanEagle is observing overwatch position and then observes two figures in black moving throughout the town within 250m of the blast site.  This is unusual for this town, which at this point in the day had been paralyzed by kinetic activity. Most if not all civilians would be indoors, praying, etc; normal activity was suspended.


ScanEagle scans from OP house to the IED Blast site from North to South and then follows Route Chestnut West to the HMMWV wreckage.

Segment 4: Individuals in a palm grove

4.  051119_0844/08:35-09:05 (See Segment 4: Windows or AVI formats)

ScanEagle scans palm groves most likely in response to EOD teams reports of smalls arms fire and a far ambush while moving towards Routes Chestnut and Viper from the Hadithah Dam in order to conduct a post blast analysis. ScanEagle picks up at least three individuals running through the palm grove.  ScanEagle then loses the individuals in the foliage.


Scan Eagle is scanning the palm groves between River Road and the Euphrates River, North of the Hospital and well North of the Chestnut and Viper intersection (1.5-2.0km). ScanEagle observes enemy riding a motorcycle at speed from South to North along the rural route named Palm Grove Trail.  The rider comes to a halt and then turns around a drives back South a hundred meters or so before stopping.

Segment 5: Insurgents link up / safe house

5.  051119_0859/00:59-05:45 (See Segment 5: Windows or AVI formats)

ScanEagle tracks the movement insurgent messenger as he links up with what later becomes known as the "blue taxi" that is engaged by CAS at the insurgent safe house. Linking up with the insurgents in the blue taxi along Palm Grove Trail, both vehicles head North and link up with several insurgents operating out of the palm groves. Five insurgents are seen from the footage coming out of this part of the palm groves to re-supply, exchange weapons, etc.  After a short rally or exchange, the blue taxi moves South on Palm Grove Trail.



ScanEagle observes the taxi full of insurgents stopping and possibly linking up with other possible insurgent vehicles and personnel as they head South along Palm Grove Trail.  Euphrates River is on the East side as the blue taxi travels South.


ScanEagle follows the blue taxi what turns out to be the insurgent safe house at the intersection of River Road and Palm Grove Trail.  This location is approximately 700 meters from the Route Viper and Route Chestnut location.  Insurgents can be seen dismounting the blue taxi and insurgents/personnel can be seen coming to the vehicle from the house at this location. Notice how the insurgents “combat park” the vehicle in order to expedite a quick departure.

Segment 6: At the safe house

6.  051119_0914/01:51-02:16 (See Segment 6: Windows or AVI formats.)

Insurgents re-positioning themselves within the enclave of houses being used as a rally point or safe house.


Insurgent departs one of the houses and moves across the street and then seemingly blends back into the population of the town.  It looks like he meets up with a group of unidentifiable persons along River Road.  Then, one of the insurgents moves again from one house to another.


ScanEagle observes two more unidentifiable personnel (one dressed in black, one in brown; both likely insurgents) arrive foot mobile at the safe house from the West, possibly having come from the Route Chestnut/Route Viper area.


ScanEagle observes one more insurgent moving from River Road into the safe house.

Segment 7: At the safe house

7.  051119_0929/06:48-07:23 (See Segment 7: Windows or AVI formats)

ScanEagle observes another unidentified person moving from River Road into a house adjacent to the safe houses. This show either that their were multiple house being used by the insurgents or at a minimum that the insurgents did not have any regard for civilian risk involved by choosing houses in close proximity to occupied homes.


ScanEagle observes two probable insurgents dressed in black emerging from the westernmost safe house and egress to the West. If you follow the footage beyond 10:30 of the clip you will see the two individuals take a trail that heads Northwest towards Routes Viper/Chestnut.

Segment 8: Two Hellfire missiles

8.  051119_0944/03:15-03:55 (See Segment 8: Windows or AVI formats)

ScanEagle observes first Hellfire missile impact. At this point the safe house is cordoned off by elements of 4th Platoon (Weapons Platoon, Kilo, 3/1).


ScanEagle observes 2d Hellfire missile impacts.


Marines from 4th Platoon move to conduct battle assessment after the two Hellfire missiles impact apparently on target.

Segment 9: Insurgents on roof, 4th Platoon moves in

9.  051119_0959/04:59-05:15 (See Segment 9: Windows or AVI formats)

Insurgent movement on the rooftop of the house closest to River Road.  Door opening and closing.

Segment 10: Insurgents on both rooftops

10.  051119_1014/00:38-03:29 (See Segment 10: Windows or AVI formats)

Insurgent movement on both rooftops and the close quarters/direct fire fight intensifies.  Mid-way through the clip it looks like one insurgent on the rooftop is hit by direct fire and then probably killed by a hand grenade thrown by 4th Platoon Marines.  One insurgent can be seen maintaining cover behind the rock or concrete facade found on many of roof tops in Iraq. At the end of the clips it looks like my Marines have cleared the building closest to River Road, get on the roof, and then pursue the enemy on the other roof by fire but are not able to kill him. Just before that occurs, one insurgent looks to check on the dead insurgent in black. That dead insurgent and what looks like the outline of a weapon remain on the roof for the rest of the day until fixed-wing CAS delivers ordnance.


4th Platoon Marines continue to engage and suppress enemy activity on the rooftop of the safe house.

Segment 11: Insurgents on rooftops (cont.)

11.  051119_1029/02:28-03:01 (See Segment 11: Windows or AVI formats)

4th Platoon suppresses the safe house areas while some of the non-ambulatory wounded are carried out of the fight to a waiting gun truck.


4th Platoon Marines pull off of the tight inner cordon on one of the safe houses in order to extend the cordon and make safe for pending CAS.


ScanEagle picks up the "turkey peeking" around the corner of the roof top stair well despite being suppressed from the southern gun truck and dismounted Marines.  He then quickly ducks back inside for cover.


4th Platoons send an element back to the corner of the easternmost safe house apparently to move more casualties back to the forward gun truck.


Another insurgent (looks to be a different one because of the tan shirt) surfaces on the roof top and leaps off to escape just before being strafed by well-aimed 20mm from a AH-1 Cobra in over-watch can kill him.  He may have been hit by the Cobra, but it looks as though he finds cover below. It is difficult to locate the direction of flight of this insurgent due to the dust and impacts from the 20mm, but it looks like he was attempting to flee to the West.  Later in the clip as Marines suppress the target house, LCpl Pegues (from Cheraw, SC) throws a green smoke grenade on the roof and marks for CAS.


Rotary Wing CAS (Cobra 20mm,) impacts on the roof marked by green smoke.

Segment 12: Insurgents flee

12. 051119_1044/11:06-11:47 (See Segment 12: Windows or AVI format)

Two more insurgents jump off of the roof of the safe house and flee. Because the Marines are in a cordon- with greater standoff distance they may not have seen the two break contact.  (If you take this clip all the way to 12:15, you will see the two insurgents move towards the stand of palm trees SW of the target house.)

Segment 13: Dud

13. 051119_1059/10:51-11:17 (See Segment 13: Windows or AVI format)

First dud dropped by fixed wing CAS.

Segment 14: Palm tree stand

14. 051119_1114/02:30-03:00 (See Segment 14: Windows or AVI format)

SW Palm Tree Stand footage. Located blood trail after some insurgents fled the compound.

Segment 15: Hitting the safe house

15. 051119_1314/04:40-05:15 (See Segment 15: Windows or AVI format)

Insurgent safe house is hit by Fixed Wing CAS


Vic of insurgent safe house is hit by Fixed Wing CAS, but it appears to be a low order detonation or dud.

Segment 16: Hitting the safe house (cont.)

16.  051119_1329/02:40-03:50 (See Segment 16: Windows or AVI format)

Insurgent safe house is hit with ordnance delivered by Fixed Wing CAS.

Segment 17: Fleeing insurgent

17.  051119_1429/00:39-01:31 (See Segment 17: Windows or AVI format)

Fleeing insurgent is tracked from house to house West of the safe house, but in the same neighborhood and finally comes to the residence where Capt McConnell with a squad from 3d Platoon, a squad from 4th Platoon, a section of M1A1 tanks, and a squad of Iraqi soldiers finally detain him without a fight.

Segment 18: Capture

18.  051119_1514/06:45-08:38 (See Segment 18: Windows or AVI format)

The section of tanks and mounted and dismounted Marines cordon off the house. Once the house is surrounded by an outer cordon, a composite squad of Iraqi soldiers supervised by Marines enters the house to clear and detain the insurgent. There is not a fire fight at this house.

19.  051119_1544/05:40-06:10 (See Segment 19: Windows or AVI format)

The detainee, now zip-tied at the ankles and hands, as well as blind-folded, is slowly escorted to the high-back HMMWV where he will be moved back to the combat outpost vicinity of the 82 Northing along River Road for initial interrogation. From there, the detainee is forwarded to Sparta.


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