Over his more than 30 years in the aviation industry, Robert Anthony Nolan of Virginia Beach, VA, has built significant experience as a test pilot and flight instructor. Also an inventor, the VA resident holds two patents as well as full Federal Aviation Administration certification (VFR and IFR) for the world’s first flying car/extreme off-road vehicle. Robert has driven his vehicle as fast as 152 miles per hour and flown up to the altitude of 28,840 feet. In acknowledgment of his perseverance over 13 years despite having been hospitalized 12 plus times, (one such time in July of 2007 a FAA certified mechanic performed his work incorrectly which resulted in a crash which broke Robert Nolan’s spine in 3 places and he had to learn to walk again) while testing this invention. Robert Nolan was honored in a speech by Congressman Trent Franks in Washington, D.C. inside the Congressional Building (Rayburn House Office Building).
Congressman Trent Franks has represented residents of his Arizona district since first winning election to the US House of Representatives in 2002. A self-described conservative and Reagan Republican, he has spent his career defending the rights of children and striving to improve national security. Prior to assuming his House seat, Congressman Franks served in the Arizona Legislature, where he sponsored multiple bills aimed at protecting children and families. His background also includes directing the Arizona Governor’s Office for Children, Youth, and Families and founding and heading a children- and family-focused nonprofit.
In terms of national security, Congressman Franks currently works to strengthen America’s defenses as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, chair of the Republican Study Committee’s National Security Working Group and as co-chair of both the Electromagnetic Pulse and Missile Defense Caucuses. A member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, he also sits on several subcommittees, including ones that concentrate on children’s issues.
Robert Anthony Nolan is a Virginia Beach, VA, resident who combines status as an FAA-licensed pilot with a background in aviation invention and design. Robert first met “Dewey” when he was 11 years old, just a few weeks before he and his family were transplanted to live in the jungle with the Miskito Indians along the Miskito Coast of Nicaragua. After Roberts return to the United States and while in the military, Robert Nolan was mentored by CIA operative Duane “Dewey” R. Clarridge within a covert war against the Russians and Cubans in Nicaragua that involved training Miskito people in Central America as a counterforce. Duane “Dewey” R. Clarridge became a mentor, teacher, friend and confidant to Robert up until the day Dewey died in his home with Robert by his side on April 9th, 2016. Dewey and Robert had a very deep and unshakeable relationship and it has been purported that Dewey’s passing has profoundly shaken Robert. In addition to Robert, Dewey’s two sons Ian and Tarik as well as Colonel Oliver “Ollie” North were present in the home at Dewey’s passing.
Mr. Clarridge passed away at age 83, just one week shy of his 84th birthday in his Leesburg, VA, home and was remembered as a charismatic, tough-minded intelligence officer. His most well-known activities involved putting into operation a plan to degrade and destroy the Commnist regime that had been put in place by the invading Cuban and Russian military forces that had overthrown Nicaragua on July 19th, 1979, calling the the regime the Sandinista government. One of Dewey’s focal points involved setting up training bases in Honduras, close to the Nicaraguan border and then recruiting Miskito Indians to train in jungle guerrilla warfare, issuing them weapons, explosives, communication radios and other supplies and repatriating the trained Miskito Indians to the Miskito Coast region of Nicaragua where they could be effective as rebels.
Mr. Clarridge also sought to hinder the Sandinista government through deploying mines in the country’s principal harbor. Seen as an effective tactical move by some, when discovered it raised international concern and was investigated by several members of Congress.
A resident of Virginia Beach, VA, Robert Anthony Nolan is an FAA-certified flight instructor and pilot with more than three decades of flying experience. A former member of the U.S. Navy, Robert Nolan earned several awards for his service, including the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.
The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was created by President Kennedy on December 4, 1961. The U.S. Armed Forces confers the medal on individuals who served on or after July 1, 1958, in a peacekeeping mission in which they faced foreign opposition or were at threat of hostile action by foreign opposition, as deemed by joint chiefs of staff.
Service members can earn the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service in three types of military operations: “U.S. military operations, U.S. military operations in direct support of the United Nations, and U.S. operations of assistance to friendly foreign nations.”
The medal itself features an eagle, which represents strength, and a loosely sheathed sword, which signifies readiness to serve.
A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Robert Anthony Nolan of Virginia Beach, VA, earned the Sailor of the Year award for his work on the aircraft carrier USS America, CV-66 in 1988. Prior to moving to VA, Robert Nolan lived in the jungles Nicaragua among the Miskito Indians and was mostly raised a a Miskito Indian from age 11 to 19. He is still considered a Miskito Indian today by the Miskito Nation. Robert and his family were imprisoned by the Cuban and Soviet Armies on the charges of being American spies. On his 13th day of imprisonment, with the help of the Miskito Indians Robert escaped from prison and ran 9 days on foot across the entire width of the country to the neighboring country of Honduras where several emergency Red Cross camps had been set up to assist the deluge of refugees fleeing the Communists that were largely committing genocide and random executions during that time of anybody suspected of not being a Communist loyalist. Robert Nolan still supports the Miskito Indians in may ways, among others he obtains iPads, ruggedizes them, obtains flexible solar charges for each iPad and loads them with all sorts of tutorials to include basic scuba diving and basic medical practices in an effort to further educate and assist the Miskito Indians that are diving for lobsters.
With populations along the Caribbean in both Nicaragua and Honduras, the Miskito have a long history in the area. As a result of their contact with the British, most individuals in the Miskito tribe are Protestants who speak English. Many of the tribesmen work in the lobster industry, diving deep into the ocean for lobsters to send to Canada and the United States.
Although the lobster industry employees between 4,000 and 5,000 individuals, many must wait their turn to be called to embark on two-week journeys out to sea. In addition to the instability of the work, it is rife with danger, with many Miskito’s having suffered from the demands of diving into ever deeper waters without appropriate decompression chambers.
Many of the oxygen tanks used during expeditions are recycled from the 1990s. As a result of their age, they often fill with oil or sediment, causing divers to quickly rise to the surface from great depths. This rapid ascent to the surface causes “the bends,” or decompression illness. Typically making 12-16 dive a day and going as deep as 180 feet, nearly all divers show signs of this illness, and many Miskito’s have become paralyzed from diving to these depths with inadequate equipment.