Boeing Whistleblower ‘Made Powerful Enemies’ Before Supposed Suicide

A former Boeing employee who blew the whistle on the company’s shocking disregard for passenger safety during the production process was found dead supposedly of a “self-inflicted wound” earlier this month — and now a new report has revealed that the man had “made powerful enemies” during his career.

John Barnett, 62, was found dead on March 9 after he did not show up for a planned meeting with lawyers to answer follow-up questions regarding his litigation against the company. Officials grew concerned and ordered a welfare check at Barnett’s hotel, where he was found dead in his vehicle of a supposed “self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

Many commentators are expressing skepticism about the alleged suicide, arguing that it isn’t unheard of for massive companies, especially those that are part of the military-industrial complex like Boeing, to try to silence whistleblowers through various means.

Now, a new report from the New York Post has revealed that Barnett, who retired from Boeing in 2017 for health reasons after a 32-year career, had “made powerful enemies.”

His former colleagues at Boeing told the outlet that they were skeptical about the true cause of the deceased former quality control engineer’s death.

Speaking to the New York Post on the condition of anonymity, one employee stated that the news “actually gives me a pit in my stomach because of what he’s been saying, and he’s dead now.”

“Maybe he killed himself,” the source said, adding: “I don’t know what to believe. We don’t really talk about it on the [assembly] line. We’re on camera from the minute we get on the property. They can hear us. So no one wants to talk about it at work.”

“A lot of people are skeptical, because he made some pretty powerful enemies,” the Boeing employee continued.

Another employee told the outlet, “Nothing surprises me when it comes to Boeing. It’s a good job but you’ve got to stay in line. If you don’t, you won’t work there anymore.”

Meanwhile, a close friend of Barnett’s told ABC News 4 in a phone interview that he had predicted he could be murdered and his death would be framed as a suicide.

“He wasn’t concerned about safety because I asked him, I said, ‘Aren’t you scared?’” Barnett’s friend, identified as Jennifer, told ABC News 4 in the interview aired Thursday, according to the outlet’s video report.

“And his voice, the way he would talk, ‘Nah, I ain’t scared,’ he said, ‘but if anything happens to me, it’s not suicide.’ I know that he did not commit suicide — there’s no way. He loved life too much, he loved his family too much, he loved his brothers too much to put them through what they’re going through right now,” she added.

Boeing refused to address the rumors about Barnett’s death, but did release a statement claiming: “We are saddened by Mr. Barnett’s passing, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Barnett’s death comes after a long line of high-profile incidents involving Boeing airplanes. Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said a six-week audit of the company had found “multiple instances where the company allegedly failed to comply with manufacturing quality control requirements.”

One such incident involved a Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft’s door plug blowing out mid-air — causing depressurization of the cabin on the less than two-month-old plane. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have since reported that this blowout happened because the door plug’s four bolts were missing.

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