Joseph Rice - The Shrouded CompanyJun 292015
THE SHROUDED COMPANY
In Australia in 2008 there was an engineer and pilot named Jason Schellaars. He had invented a new kind of water tank that attaches to the bottom of a helicopter easily. He built a company called Helitak to make and sell them.Jason Schellaars and a co-inventor, Donald Blanch had filed for a patent on the innovative tank in 2005.
Here is a video of him showing his invention on television:
Joseph Rice set up an LLC in Oregon called Helitak USA LLC.
Apparently, he took the same name because he expected to get a deal to sell these tanks into the US. However, no deal was apparently agreed to by the Australian inventor. Joseph's Helitak USA LLC was formed as a business, but appears to have never been used.
Instead Joseph Rice and his associates hatched a plan to form a new company under a new name, Recoil Suppression Systems LLC, for the purpose of making the tanks. This company was kept secret until its Federal earmark for millions of dollars was published, and Recoil was thus revealed as its recipient.
The earmark was put in by Senator Jeff Merkley to get $4,160,000 for Recoil Suppression Systems LLC to make a helicopter water tank. The earmark Joseph Rice was actually trying for was much more: $50,648,000. (This is particularly ironic given Joseph Rice's public position on the Josephine County Public Safety Levy.)
The public comments for the earmark state that the design is plagiarized from the Australian Helitak system. The comments also point out that there were already two companies in Oregon making tanks, and that these companies already have an established record of saving lives with their water tanks. The size of the award was also noted as outrageous for the task. (See comments at https://washingtonwatch.com/bills/show/ED_39230.html )
Instead the earmark went to a secretive company with NO track record, no experience at manufacturing, and that had only legally existed for slightly over a year.
"At the time, Commissioner Dave Toler said the manufacturer's name was not being released to protect the "intellectual assets value" of the project, such as trade secrets and physical descriptions of the product. The secret's out since Oregon Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced last week that $30 million for Oregon projects will be heading to the floor of the U.S. Senate as part of the fiscal year 2010 Defense Department appropriations bill. Among the funding requests is $4.16 million for limited liability corporation Recoil Suppressions Systems - the previously unnamed business."
Recoil not only got the huge Federal funding; it also received $25K from SOREDI, $25K from Josephine County, and $25K from the Oregon Governor’s fund, thus receiving $75K before the earmark even arrived.
So who is Recoil Suppression Systems LLC that had so much cash from both the county, state, and the Federal government?
"The company has 3 principals on record. The principals are Garry Mahoney from Singapore , John Forsyth from Ashland OR, and Joseph Rice from Grants Pass OR."
Where is Recoil Suppression Systems today? It does not seem to have an internet presence, which is strange for a company that was supposed to be selling its tanks for the last 6 years. An industry magazine (Fire Aviation) sought to investigate:
"Messages we left with Recoil Suppression Systems asking for information were not immediately returned, and we were not able to find a web site for the company. Dunn and Bradstreet says the company has annual sales of $950,000 and has 17 employees. But we have no confirmation that any of the tanks were ever produced and sold." Note that Dunn and Bradstreet rely to a great extent on the self reporting from the company, and do not have any way to independently confirm the numbers.
Later Fire Aviation reported that Recoil said that it had given all marketing rights to an Israeli company called SHG. It is odd that the marketing company would be in a foreign company on the other side of the world. http://fireaviation.com/2013/05/01/collapsible-belly-tank-for-a-blackhawk The language at the SHG website is Hebrew, but they have button for English.
Even odder, a check of that company’s website does not show any helicopter tanks among their products for sale.
Joseph Rice himself demonstrated some sort of a tank working at a press conference with the Daily Courier
But, none may have actually been sold. For all we know it was the only one ever made. It was not demonstrated apparently in the field on a helicopter - just inside a warehouse.
Even more interesting is that the only other members of the LLC were not American residents. They were instead two residents of Malaysia when the company was formed in 2008:
Ironically, the formation papers were recorded for Recoil Suppression Systems LLC only 15 days after the Firefighters Iron 44 Carson Helicopters crash near Weaverville. The crash occurred on the 5th of August 2008, and Recoil Suppression Systems was formed on the 20th of that month. The earmark disclosing a grant of over 4 million was posted at the federal site before Sept 23rd, 2009, about one year later.
It is amazing that a company that apparently had been "in business" only about a year with no apparent website, and no apparent sales or experience, and two of the three principles being residents of foreign countries, would be earmarked for over 4 million in Federal cash in less than a year. Who has the power to make that sort of thing happen in spite of the obvious and overwhelmingly large red flags?
Although the company was dissolved and reinstated 3 times, http://egov.sos.state.or.us/br/pkg_web_name_srch_inq.show_detl?p_be_rsn=1343123&p_srce=BR_INQ&p_print=FALSE it attempted to get green cards for an Operations Manager from outside the US.
Using their Visa application information, one can finally find their website - http://www.recoil-usa.com . The following was found there on June 10th, 2015:
This is the same logo seen on the wall in the photo with Senator Wyden and Joseph Rice. Even after 7 years they still do not have a website! How very interesting that such a flimsy excuse for a business is supposed to exist, and is so very well funded by the Federal government, and is so internationally tied. Furthermore, its only reported sales outlet is a company in Israel, which doesn't even carry the product.
But it gets much more interesting when we examine that visa request record and see the name of the "president" there is David Rath.
Who is David Rath?
David Benjamin Rath was at that time the President of Evergreen Helicopters, which was receiving Federal contracts for over a hundred million dollars. Based in McMinnville Oregon, just southwest of Portland, he had tremendous financial and political pull with Senator Merkley. Furthermore, he was the one who was filing for a Visa to try to bring an Operations Manager into the US for Recoil. He was the one behind the scenes pulling the strings to make it happen or he wouldn’t have been the one filing out the visa request forms.
Furthermore, his company Evergreen Helicopters had for years been providing transport services to the CIA and the Department of Defense in Afghanistan and Central America, among others.
Evergreen also attempted to insert itself into the voting process in Oregon.
"In October 2008, Evergreen [the parent company of Evergreen Helicopters, of which David Rath was president] president Tom Wiggins emailed Oregon county clerks, offering his firm's services on Election Day. "During this crucial election Evergreen Defense and Security Services has recognized the potential conflict that could occur on November 4," the email stated. "Never has there been a more heated battle in the race for president and voters seem more involved and determined to achieve their respective goals. EDSS proposes to post sentries at each voting center on November 4 to assure that disputes among citizens do not get out of control. All guards will be unarmed but capable of stopping any violence that may occur, and detaining troublemakers until law enforcement help arrives." 
The offer "baffled county clerks and the Elections Division, who did not solicit the security help" and didn't anticipate security problems, according to PolitickerOR.com.  Moreover, the state has "no actual polling places, since Oregon went to vote by mail several years ago," noted the News-Review of Roseburg, Oregon.  Counties do set up areas where voters can drop off their ballots. EDSS "didn't get any bites from the counties," reported The Oregonian. "
Apparently Evergreen had a standing army ready to step forward, trained in martial arts, and ready to use force in the polls if deemed necessary.
Perhaps most interesting is that Evergreen Helicopters was providing firefighting helicopters in many places, where they would have become aware of the new tank design. Joseph Rice was apparently his willing assistant with an Oregon address that was needed to set up the company, without it being connected to Evergreen.
The other two owners of Rapid Recoil Suppression Systems, Forsyth and Mahoney, set up a company at the same address as David Rath shortly after the earmark was granted.
The Newberg address is not far from the McMinnville offices of Evergreen.
Apparently they had been covertly working with Rath all along.
Why all the secrecy? We can speculate as to possible reasons why Rath, as the current president of a company dealing in billions of dollars, would be involved but hidden:
1) As president of Evergreen Helicopters, it could be a world-wide scandal and a serious legal liability if it were known he had attempted to steal the tank design from a publicly popular inventor with a patent potentially filed. It would be proof that the company Evergreen Helicopters had connived to steal the invention and the financial damages could be considerable if a known agent of Evergreen had signed a standard NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) to see their trade secrets.
2) It may also have been an attempt to get a large amount of money from the Federal government under a cover story of a helicopter tank business. Perhaps it was a payment for more covert services that were too hot for Evergreen Helicopters to handle, so it had to be rendered secretly by Rath and his people.
3) An additional reason may have involved the tanks themselves. Let's assume for the moment that the tanks were actually made and somehow sold without any website or any public evidence of it. If the tanks were not sold through public channels and kept secret (as seems to be the case), then if they were sold at all, it would have been exclusively through private channels such as to the Evergreen linked CIA.
Why would the CIA have to secretly have tanks to drop water from helicopters? There is nothing secret about dropping water. Maybe the liquid was not water. What if instead it was for dropping liquid chemicals of some sort in a CIA operation? Other things that could conceivably be dropped include dyes, pepper spray, and biologically active chemical agents. That would call for a very high level of secrecy. It is also perhaps the sort of thing the inventor of the Helitak would not have approved of, killing the deal that was being worked on when Helitak USA was formed by Joseph Rice.
Thus there are at least 3 possible reasons why it would be very important to keep the connection between Evergreen/Rath and Recoil secret.
While David Rath apparently knew Forsyth and Mahoney well, he may not have known Joseph Rice. Perhaps they heard about him when he was pushing Warthog Aviation to facilitate covert sales etc. to China et al., or perhaps from Joseph Rice’s Blackwater employment. In any case, one would expect that David Rath would want to meet with his agent, Joseph, at some point to size him up and/or discuss things that were to be kept secret about the deal. There may also have been a cash delivery there. We can only speculate as to the multiple possible reasons for a clandestine meeting.
Consider the possibility that David Rath and Joseph Rice needed to meet unobserved. How would they meet and not be seen? Probably as pilots with helicopters, they would meet by helicopter in a quiet and remote location with an easy accessible landing area. Where would Joseph most likely suggest they meet?
Burl Brim and Joseph had been training the Chinese pilots at Hyatt Lake, not very far from Brim’s facilities on Dead Indian Memorial Road. The training had been done there because it was both convenient and quiet, with few onlookers to get in the way, and a convenient place to land.
Consider this speculation: What if they did have that meeting there? Dave Lewis was an observant local resident. What if he had seen them meeting? Even from a distance, he could have seen the N-number on the side of the helicopters. What if, being a curious fellow, he wrote down the N-numbers so he could easily look up who it was that was landing at his lake?
What if they saw him observe their meeting? If Dave then left the scene what would they do? Just how important was the operational security of this whole deal, and just how much would Rath and/or Rice do to keep it secret?
Dave Lewis was murdered on September 4th 2008. One of the mysteries surrounding the murder of Dave Lewis was the fact that he had been burned in his own cabin, and that a second cabin was also burned.
The cabins were reduced to cinders and it was difficult to even get Dave’s DNA for identification.
Any scrap of paper or computer device with N-numbers on it would have been destroyed, no matter where in the cabin it could have been hidden. That would be a reason for not just a simple murder, but the conflagration.
"Investigators suspect someone ventured up the long driveway to his secluded mountaintop cabin, then had come inside and killed him. Detectives aren't disclosing how Lewis died. They also note that the total destruction of the cabin has eliminated much evidence."
A friend of Dave Lewis who has resolutely sought for clues started a website to generate leads. There was a lot of information on Joseph Rice posted there, often in conjunction with Burl Brim:
This new information about the secrecy of the Recoil Suppression Systems apparent deal between Joseph Rice, Evergreen's president David Rath, and his associates Forsyth and Mahoney, may provide a possible motive and opportunity, although it is still just speculation that it could have resulted in the unsolved murder and incineration of Dave Lewis.
Even after the earmark had arrived there were more companies formed by Rath’s covert associates. In 2009 Forsyth and Mahoney formed Nomad Aviation LLC ( http://egov.sos.state.or.us/br/pkg_web_name_srch_inq.show_detl?p_be_rsn=1422741&p_srce=BR_INQ&p_print=FALSE ) in the same address as a company Rath formed Precision Support Services LLC in 2011.
Both Nomad and Precision were in the same sort of business as Evergreen and this was done before Evergreen Helicopters went out of business.
In what may be an attempt to evade the FAA $50,000 fine, Joseph Rice formed Warthog Lift LLC as a new company to do business. Checks written to Warthog could likely be deposited into a bank account with such a similar name.
Joseph Rice used his home address as its business address.
After just a month, Forsyth substituted himself for Joseph as the Registered Agent.
... but kept the business address at Joseph’s house. Rath’s most recent listed location is at the same physical location as John Forsyth at 66 Scenic Drive in Ashland Oregon, not far from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival venue.
Why would Rath, Forsyth, Mahoney and Rice be involved in businesses that duplicated Evergreen Helicopters while Evergreen Helicopters was still in business? Perhaps Rath foresaw the demise of Evergreen and planned ahead. When Evergreen went belly up in bankruptcy in 2013, there were already businesses in place created by Rath’s associates and potentially able to pick up some of the business lost by Evergreen. Perhaps also these new companies were involved in things that even the CIA linked Evergreen could not do. Even though Evergreen went out of business, the activity could continue.
Rath joined the Precision Helicopters LLC as a member in 2012, before the demise of Evergreen Helicopters.
As recently as Easter 2015 Rath was publicly associated with Precision Helicopters in which he is a partner. On the first of July, 2015 there was a crash of a Precision Helicopter killing two. David Rath was revealed in the news as the General Manager of Precision Helicopters, even though their About page at their website doesn't mention him.
Meanwhile, partner Garry Mahoney still remains in the Far East, having moved from Penang Malaysia to Singapore, and he was there as recently as August of 2014.
It was 2013 that Evergreen Helicopters went out of business, which was about the same time the Oath Keepers of Josephine County was formed by Joseph Rice.