(ABC News, inset UPI)
Ross, then a correspondent for NBC News, was aboard a domestic flight in late April 1982 when the plane was stormed by four armed men who identified themselves as from the leftist group Lorenzo Zelaya Revolutionary Popular Forces.
For three days the kidnappers held the passengers on the plane until one morning Ross led an escape of several of the hostages, most of them Americans, by diving through a smashed window and making a run for it, according to contemporary news reports. The terrorists fired a shot at the hostages but missed. The rest of the hostages were released hours later.
In a black and white photo hanging in ABC News offices, a 33-year-old Ross is seen bleeding from the head but smiling shortly after he had made it to freedom.
Mike Vickers, currently the Under Secretary for Defense Intelligence, was on the ground with U.S. Army Special Forces at the time of the hijacking. Vickers’ Defense Department biography says he later served as an operations officer in the CIA for years before climbing the Pentagon ladder.
John Negroponte, the U.S. Ambassador to Honduras at the time, went on to serve as a career diplomatfor the U.S., twice earning the State Department’s Distinguished Service Medal before leaving the government in 2009. He now serves as vice-chairman at the D.C.-based international strategy firm McLarty Associates.
LINK to story with video.
Camera Crew: Dominic Frederico and Shannon Reed
Correspondent: Brian Ross
Producer: Carol McKinley