An American pilot on a covert anti-Castro mission for the CIA vanishes in Latin America.

A black and white headshot of Geoffrey Sullivan, he has short hair and is wearing a suit and tie.

Geoffrey Sullivan


Gender: Male
DOB: 1935
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 180 lbs.


On September 23 rd , 1963, in Waterbury, Connecticut, 28-year-old Geoffrey Sullivan, a former Air Force pilot, prepared to depart on a secret mission. Sherry Sullivan is his daughter:

“The way my mom relates it, my father was supposed to come back in five days. I don’t know if he was nervous, but he gave her his St. Christopher medal which he wore all the time. He explained to her that this would be his last trip. And not because he wasn’t coming back, but because he didn’t want to be involved in this type of operation anymore. He took off that morning, and that was the last time she ever saw him. He never came back.”

A small plane making a landing in a small airfield.

Why did he fly over the airstrip and not land?

Four days later, Geoffrey disappeared somewhere over the Caribbean. Sherry was only seven years old when she lost her father. Years later, she became a private investigator. She said that one of her toughest cases has been uncovering the truth about her father’s disappearance:

“No one wanted to say he wasn’t coming back. As it rolled into the years, it was the kind of thing that just wasn’t talked about. No one knew what to say. None of us were ever allowed to go through a grieving process because as far as we were concerned, he wasn’t dead.”

Geoffrey had earned his Air Force wings in 1957. After receiving an honorable discharge in 1959, he became a freelance commercial pilot. At about that time, Fidel Castro’s revolution swept through Cuba. The communist threat was now only 90 miles from American shores.

A small plane in flight over water.

Both the plane and Sullivan disappeared

Once Castro took power, the United States government and several Cuban exile groups launched campaigns to overthrow his regime. It was the shadowy world of these covert operations that may have cost Geoffrey his life.

In 1961, a suspected CIA operative named Alex Rorke hired Geoffrey as a pilot for secret missions against Cuba. Their covert actions ranged from distributing anti-Castro leaflets to dropping homemade bombs.

At the Bay of Pigs that same year, US-backed Cuban exiles failed in their attempt to invade the island and overthrow Castro. Eighteen months later, Soviet missiles were discovered in Cuba. For seven days, the world was on the brink of nuclear war. According to author William Turner:

“After the missile crisis, operations against Cuba were still carried on by the U.S. government. But they were trying to be more discreet about it. They did shed some of the more loose cannon operations, and I think Alex Rorke’s could have been classified as such.”

A missing poster for two men with the text: $1000 reward , Offered for Two Missing Americans.

No trace of Rorke or Sullivan was ever found

The U.S. government issued a public warning aimed to stop men like Alexander Rorke and Geoffrey Sullivan in their operations against Cuba. Eight days after the warning was issued, Geoffrey left Connecticut. The next day, he was seen in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with Alex Rorke. There, Geoffrey and Rorke met with two men. One of them was Frank Sturgis, who would become well-known for his role in the Watergate scandal years later. Sturgis, who had also been named in the public warning, described their meeting:

“Rorke told me he did buy a B-25 bomber and that he wanted to take the B-25 to Nicaragua. He wanted to sit down and talk with General Samosa in order to have a base of operations in Nicaragua for bombing missions inside of Cuba.”

FBI documents on the case with several sentences blacked out.

Documents provided by the FBI were censored

Sturgis convinced Rorke to meet with Nicaraguan officials and clear the way. The four men rented an airplane and planned to leave for Nicaragua the following day. That morning, Rorke’s wife drove him to Opa-Locka Airport in Fort Lauderdale. On the way, they picked up another man. According to Geoffrey’s daughter, Sherry:

“Mrs. Rorke didn’t know who this gentleman was. He spoke broken English. But she drove the both of them to the airport where my father was, and dropped them off.”

The twin-engine plane took off from Ft. Lauderdale with Geoffrey, Rorke, and the mysterious stranger. Sturgis and his associate stayed behind. Geoffrey’s activities over the next 48 hours still cannot be fully explained. According to the FAA investigation, his flight activities were highly unusual. He returned to Ft. Lauderdale three times. For some reason, on his third trip to the airport, the plane’s landing gear remained up. After the control tower warned him not to land, Geoffrey did not attempt to return to Ft. Lauderdale again.

Geoffrey finally landed at North Perry Airport, a mere thirty miles away from Ft. Lauderdale. But he took a suspiciously long time getting there. What should have been a twenty-minute flight had taken nearly five hours. No one knows where the plane was during that time. After refueling, Geoffrey and his passengers took off again around 1:30 P.M. The flight plan listed Tegucigalpa, Honduras, as their final destination.

A little more than two hours later, Sullivan radioed the Tower at Miami International Airport. This time, he filed a new flight plan, with Tucuman, Panama, as his destination. Search party member Howard described the unusual radio calls:

“Sullivan attempted to file a flight plan for a destination that was some two hours beyond the normal range of his aircraft. When he was informed of this by the air traffic controller on duty, he then changed his destination. However, this destination was also well beyond the range of the aircraft he was flying.”

Seven more hours passed with no contact from the plane. Finally, at 10:22 P.M., Sullivan again radioed the Miami Tower. This time, he filed a flight plan for Belize, British Honduras. The FAA says that Sullivan refueled just after midnight in Cozumel, Mexico. This was the last sighting of the plane. Geoffrey and his companions were assumed lost at sea. Despite a massive search, no trace of the plane or its passengers was ever found.

More than two decades later, Sherry Sullivan and her attorney petitioned the government for information concerning her father. They have received over 5,000 pages of documentation from fourteen federal agencies, including the FBI and the CIA.

More than a third of the 800 pages received from the FBI were censored. According to Sherry, information found in these documents indicates that at least 400 more pages exist, but were withheld for National Security reasons. For Sherry, it was the confirmation she was looking for.

In the FBI documents, Sherry found the name Floyde Park. When she finally reached him by phone, Park told Sherry that he had seen her father two days after he supposedly disappeared. But Sherry explained that she had a hard time getting any further information from him:

“Floyde Park had indicated that he had seen my father and Alex and the Spanish fellow in Belize. We have not been able to verify the identity of Floyde Park, who he is and what he was involved in during the sixties, how my father would have known him, why they would have stopped to see him. We weren’t really able to get those answers from him.”

Sherry only talked to Park once and has not been able to reach him since. But Park did say that her father and Rorke might have been taken prisoner in Cuba. According to Sherry:

“Fidel Castro, from what I’ve heard, had a bounty out on my father and Alex because he knew what they were involved in. He knew they were going in and out of his country. So it’s a very good possibility that they could have ended up in Cuba.”

In 1986, during her investigation, Sherry spoke with journalist Marty Casey. Marty said that he was in Cuba two years after her father disappeared:

“I was with two Cuban exiles from Miami, and they met a fellow that they knew from the area. He was working in the compound. He recognized my American accent even though I was speaking Spanish, and he asked me, “You know Rorky?’ And I said, “What, do you mean O’Rourke?'”

According to Marty, he asked the man if he was talking about the pilot:

“He said, ‘No, no, the other guy was the pilot, Sullivan.’ And I said, “Well, how do you know them?’ And he said, ‘I was in jail here with them two years ago.'”

Another name Sherry found in the FBI documents was Enrique Molina Garcia. Garcia was supposedly a double agent for Castro’s government. Sherry believes Garcia was the mysterious third man on the plane and that he tricked her father and Rorke into flying to Cuba. Unconfirmed reports have placed Garcia in Havana years after Sherry’s father disappeared.

Today, Sherry believes that her father was most likely jailed in Cuba and either died there or was executed. On the 40th anniversary of Geoffrey Sullivan’s disappearance, a commemorative grave marker was unveiled in the Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Augusta, Maine. The Veterans Administration is the first and only government agency to officially recognize Geoffrey as “missing in action.”

Sherry Sullivan has not given up hope that she will some day discover her father’s fate.

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season three with Robert Stack and in season six with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.




  1. Abel Gregarious

    It looks like Cuba might be liberated soon; the US, in my opinion, will assist the island nation with discarding the awful nature of communism.

    When it goes, I’m hopeful the family and America will be able to obtain closure on this hero — along with others that have gone missing in the country fighting oppression.


  2. lydia s martin

    Hello Miss Sherry Sullivan. I might have some info concerning your father situation. Not sure it will mean anything.


  3. Anonymous

    Stumbled on this article. Not sure where the information is from but it’s interesting nonetheless.

    “Firstly, in 1965 he hired a Cuban, Rafael Anselmo Rodríguez Molina, to put dynamite on a plane bound for Cuba to carry out some of the activities we have mentioned here, and the U.S. pilot Alex Rourke died. The plane sets off for Cuba, makes a stop in Cozumel; Bosch or Frank Sturgis or Frank Fiorini, another Cuban-born terrorist get off there, the planes takes off and explodes in mid air.”


  4. Bill johnson

    Still looking under rocks


  5. Bill johnson

    Still running around look under rocks


  6. labrador

    Hi Sherrey.

    Did you ever visit Belize?


  7. Tiffany

    Hi Sherry my name is Tiffany my uncle Greg knew you some in Portland and would like to know how you are doing…if you don’t mind my email is


  8. Greg

    Did Geoffrey Sullivan really think he and a few other men could overthrow Castro? It’s absurd how he got himself mixed up with all that.


  9. A daddy’s girl myself

    Sherry, has there been any updates?


  10. Bill

    Where is Bill Johnson in this story????


  11. elizabeth chapman

    sherry I was your grandmothers niece by marriage. Aunt Mary told me this story on many occasions. She would stand at her front door and say I know he will return to me before I die. what a precious lady.


  12. belle

    Something is wrong with the accuracy of this story. Opa Locka Airport is not in Fort Lauderdale. It’s in Opa Locka. So, how could Rorke’s wife drive him to Opa-locka Airport in Fort Lauderdale? And since they cannot take off from two different airport locations, did the plane leave and land in Opa Locka or Fort Lauderdale? Opa Locka and Fort Lauderdale aren’t even in the same county; one in Dade, the other in Broward.


  13. Anonymous

    Sherry, you may want to consider asking the Pope to intervene.

    He was just there and it’s time for the truth to come out.



  14. Anonymous

    Sherry, I’m hoping you’ve discovered enough to at least put your own mind to rest. Obviously the solution to this involves much higher revelations – I wish Peace for you.



  15. NICKY