By MALIN RISING, Associated Press Writer Thu Sep 11, 9:13 AM ET
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Swedish broadcaster SVT on Thursday released a previously unseen film clip purportedly showing the release of presidential candidate John McCain to the U.S. military in Hanoi in 1973.
former SVT reporter, Erik Eriksson, said he found the video in the network’s archives when he was looking for footage for a book he was writing about his experiences as a war correspondent in Vietnam.
SVT posted the edited 39-second clip on its Web site on Thursday. It shows McCain stepping off a bus with other prisoners. He has a pronounced limp but is not using crutches.
It then shows McCain standing in a lineup when his name is called. He walks up to salute and shake hands with U.S. military officers. The last part of the clip shows a U.S. Air Force jet taxiing on a runway.
Eriksson said the footage was filmed in Hanoi on March 14, 1973, by a Vietnamese photographer whom he had contracted to film the release of U.S. prisoners.
“I don’t know if there is another film from his release. I haven’t seen all the films in the world, but as far as I know there are no others,” Eriksson told The Associated Press.
Tina Wolter, an archive sales executive at SVT, said it was not possible to determine the exact date of the McCain sequence. However, she said other clips from the same material were used in a TV news report on March 24, 1973. Those clips showed other U.S. prisoners being released, but not McCain.
Eriksson said the clip was included on a DVD that he released with his book.
“This summer when I was preparing the release of my book we were putting together a DVD with some of my reports from Vietnam and then I thought, ‘I wonder if we have McCain here?'” Eriksson said.
Per Yng, head of SVT’s national news, confirmed that Eriksson found the film in the network’s archives.
“It’s our material. So we can confirm its authenticity,” Yng said. He could not confirm the date and location of the film, but he said he had no reason to doubt Eriksson’s information.
Eriksson said he was covering the Vietnam war for SVT as well as U.S. networks CBS and NBC.
Eriksson could not recall the name of the Vietnamese cameraman and said he had not been in contact with him after finding the clip.