UPF Founders In Helicopter Incident: “Fine And In Good Health”
July 19, 2008
Universal Peace Federation Nederland
UPF founders in helicopter “incident”, but “fine and in good health”
It has been widely reported in the media that on Saturday, in Korea, the founders of the Universal Peace Federation, Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, were in a helicopter that was variously reported as having being forced to land or to have crashed, because of bad weather.
Whatever the details of the incident, the chairman of UPF-USA, Rev. Michael Jenkins, in an email to members of the US chapter of the associated Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), of which he is President, reassured FFWPU members that “True Parents are confirmed to be fine and in good health”. Rev. and Mrs. Moon are referred to by FFWPU members as True Parents. Increasing numbers of UPF Ambassadors for Peace refer to them as Father and Mother Moon.
Rev. Jenkins also include a note from Julian Gray, an Englishman working as an editor for a FFWPU publication in Korea, which stated, “I have heard here in Korea — including by direct telephone communication from world missions staff, my church leader’s text message, and the Korean TV news services — that no one was badly injured. The question is whether this information is complete. We did hear that True Mother was among those slightly injured. I still don’t know how slight the injuries of the injured are, but the 9:00 pm news report less than two hours ago said that no one was seriously hurt, seemingly making less of the accident than earlier reports (the accident happened around 5 pm local time). The helicopter was apparently destroyed by fire, but seemingly after everyone had gotten out (in case you see worrying images of the crash site). Here we have no option but to wait for word through official channels because only that will bring proper clarification. Julian”
Undoubtedly more news will be forthcoming from Korea, but, contrary to the impression given by many in the media, while Rev. and Mrs. Moon hold a very special place in the hearts of FFWPU members, many UPF Ambassadors for Peace and others, Rev. Moon himself discourages people from being too preoccupied with him and his family, and has asked on more than one occasion that they refrain from always wanting to know where he is and what he is doing; and his youngest son, Hyung Jin Moon, the newly appointed President of FFWPU-International and FFWPU-Korea, in a recent sermon said that his father had been very ill in the early 1990s, but he had not wanted it publicized since he did not want people to be worried about him.
Incidentally, some of the articles have factual mistakes and at least one carries a photo that is presumably meant to be Rev. Moon, but is in fact Rev. Kwak, a close associate and co-chairman of UPF-International.
Unification Church founder Moon hurt in crash
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A helicopter carrying the Rev. Sun Myung Moon crashed Saturday into a mountain in South Korea, injuring the founder of the Unification Church and 13 others, officials said.
In this June 25, 2005 file photo, Unification Church leader Rev. Sun Myung Moon speaks during his “Now is God’s Time” rally in New York.
Moon was slightly injured, a hospital official said. Members of Moon’s family, including his wife, were also hurt, and one person suffered a serious back injury, fire official Kim Wu-jong said.
The helicopter was carrying 16 people when it crashed and burst into flames, Kim said. Moon and the others were treated at the nearby church-affiliated Chungshim Hospital in GaPyung, about 37 miles northeast of Seoul, hospital official Park Sung-kwon said. Moon received an X-ray and his condition was not serious, Park said.
No details of his injury were given, but the church said in a brief statement on its Web site that Moon and the others were “safe.”
Police and fire officials said the cause of the crash was under investigation.
Church official Kim Dae-yeol said the helicopter was flying to Chungshim Hospital from southern Seoul. The GaPyung area has several church-affiliated facilities including a museum and schools.
Moon founded the Seoul-based Unification Church in the 1950s and the conservative Washington Times newspaper in 1982. His church owns hundreds of companies around the world.
The church’s doctrine is a mixture of Christian, Confucian and traditional Korean values, and Moon’s followers believe he came into the world to complete the work of Jesus Christ.
In 2004, Moon was the center of a coronation ceremony in Washington at which he declared himself the Messiah. He also became widely known for performing mass weddings of followers.
Moonies founder ‘hurt in crash’
Rev Sun Myung Moon’s helicopter reportedly hit bad weather The founder of the controversial Unification Church, better known as the Moonies, has been hurt in a helicopter crash in South Korea, reports say.
Rev Sun Myung Moon, 88, was among several people on the aircraft when it made an emergency landing at GaPyung, 40km (25 miles) east of Seoul.
News agencies quoted officials as saying Rev Moon’s injuries were slight.
The casualties were taken to Chungshim Hospital, which is affiliated to the Church, a hospital official said.
A police spokesman said that the helicopter had been carrying Rev Moon, his wife Han Hak-Ja, 11 relatives and three crew members when it ran into difficulties in heavy rain and came down on a hillside at GaPyung, AFP news agency reported.
The helicopter burst into flames after the crash landing
A 38-year-old woman on board was seriously injured as the helicopter burst into flames on landing, AFP said.
Police and witnesses said the crash happened in a mountainous area near the hospital at about 1710 (0810 GMT), the agency said.
South Korea’s CBS radio said Rev Moon and his wife were given MRI scans for possible back injuries and moved to a VIP room.
A spokesman for the South Korean transport ministry said that the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter had made the landing after encountering bad weather.
The Church, which is officially called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, was founded in Seoul in 1954.
It has followers in about 200 countries, its officials say.
In April, Rev Moon’s son, Hyung Jin Moon, 28, succeeded his father as the Church’s most senior leader.
The “Moonies” are widely known for their mass weddings involving thousands of couples.
Unification Church founder injured in SKorea air crash: police
SEOUL (AFP) – The founder of the Unification Church Sun-Myung Moon and his wife were among several people slightly injured when a helicopter made an emergency landing in South Korea Saturday, police said.
The National Police Agency said the helicopter was carrying Moon, his wife, 11 relatives and three crew when it got into difficulties in heavy rain and came down on a hillside at GaPyung, 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Seoul.
A police spokesman told reporters Moon, his wife Han Hak-Ja and 13 others were slightly hurt while one woman aged 38 was seriously injured as the helicopter caught fire after landing.
They were taken to Chungshim Hospital at GaPyung, where the church has several facilities including the hospital.
The church, whose official name is the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, posted a notice on its website describing the accident as minor. It said Moon, 88, and his wife are safe.
“The two parents are safe so family members should not be worried,” it said, referring to Moon and his wife and the church’s followers.
South Korea’s CBS radio said Moon, his wife and five others needed hospital treatment. It said the church founder and his wife were given MRI scans for suspected back injuries and moved to a VIP room.
The transport ministry said in a statement the Sikorsky S-92 made the landing after encountering bad weather.
The church, one of the world’s most controversial religious organizations, was founded in Seoul in 1954. It evangelizes in some 200 countries, church officials say.
In April Moon’s 28-year-old son Hyung Jin Moon succeeded his father as its top leader.