Captain Jet Johnson

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Al "Jet" Johnson "was the founder of Greenpeace USA in 1975. Al joined Captain Paul Watson's Greenpeace seal campaign in 1975 and was Paul's deputy leader for the Greenpeace seal expeditions of 1976 and 1977.

"Jet was one of Greenpeace's most colourful activists. Trained as a fighter pilot for the Royal Canadian Airforce, he later worked as a DC-10 Captain for American Airlines. Despite his status as a professional airline pilot, Jet courageously defended wildlife at both the risk to his life and his job security -- dropping parachutists into nuclear power plants, flying recon for Greenpeace seal and whale campaigns, and organizing the very first Greenpeace national office in San Francisco.

"Jet was the first to support Captain Paul Watson when he left Greenpeace and founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, both financially and actively. Captain Johnson joined Captain Watson in 1978 in an investigation of elephant poaching in East Africa, running dangerously close to an encounter with Ugandan president Idi Amin and ducking poacher's bullets in Kenya.

"Jet Johnson sailed on the first Sea Shepherd and was arrested on the Sea Shepherd II in 1983 for protecting baby harp seals. Over the years he has stood side by side with Captain Watson defending seals, whales, dolphins, and elephants.

"Whenever Sea Shepherd has needed a pilot, Jet Johnson has been ready. In 1982, Captain Johnson flew Paul Watson and Carroll Vogel on a successful paint-bombing mission of a Soviet spy vessel off Washington State. The flight was a campaign against illegal Russian whaling activities.

"Although retired from American Airlines, Jet still is active with Sea Shepherd and joined the crew to deliver the Ocean Warrior from Europe to North America.

"Jet Johnson is without a doubt the world's foremost conservationist pilot. In addition to his legendary exploits with Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd, Jet flew Chief Paiukan's plane for the Kaiyapo nation in the rainforests of Brazil in 1990.

"Jet Johnson is the father of three girls and the grandfather of one boy. He lives in British Columbia and is one of the most respected figures in the Canadian conservationist community." [1]

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  1. Scientific, Technical and Conservation Advisory Board, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, accessed October 20, 2009.