New Film, ‘Fallen Angel Call Sign: Extortion 17,’Released Before Violence Erupted in Afghanistan

The Truth Behind the Tragic Loss of 30 Members of SEALTeam 6

August 24, 2021

ATLANTA — With the media condemning President Biden’s actions in the failed troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Americans are now questioning the arbitrary addition of 6,000 troops deployed to assist with evacuations. But for some, the tenuous situation is personal.

Billy and Karen Vaughn, parents of Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn, lost their son when government missteps led to the largest loss of life incident in the Afghanistan war. On August 6, 2011, 30 Americans, including seventeen U.S Navy SEALs, most from the storied SEAL Team Six, along with five Navy support personnel, three Air Force Pararescue Operators, and the five-man U.S. Army flight crew, made the ultimate sacrifice for their country when their U.S. Army helicopter exploded over the Tangi Valley in Afghanistan, killing all onboard. 

Even a decade later, both the mission and the aftermath are shrouded in mystery and coverup. What really happened that fateful night to SEAL Team Six?

On August 2nd, 2021, RPM Films and Triple Horse Studios released “Fallen Angel Call Sign: Extortion 17,” the dramatic new documentary that reveals the shocking story of the greatest single-incident loss of life in the history of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, the Navy SEALs, and U.S. Special Operations. “Fallen Angel” debuted on SalemNOW, the streaming platform of Salem Media.

The film is available to rent or buy via SalemNOW at this link.

Don Brown is the author of “Call Sign Extortion 17: The Shoot-Down of SEAL Team Six,” the 2015 nonfiction military exposé on which the project is based. Brown says of “Fallen Angel,” “The film reveals the truth behind what happened to SEAL Team Six and the other brave Americans on-board Extortion 17 that August night in 2011. We had the rare opportunity, along the lines of ‘Lone Survivor’ and ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ of complete access to tell the story of the heroism and sacrifice of an elite SEAL Team.”

On Aug. 6, 2011, a U.S. Army helicopter carried SEAL Team Six members into the skies of Afghanistan. The elite fighting team was ready to exit the Chinook—call sign Extortion 17—for its vital mission to help capture or kill Taliban leader Qari Tahir. But Extortion 17 and its personnel would never reach their destination. Instead, 30 Americans and one American military working dog were tragically killed.

For years, Billy and Karen Vaughn—and many others—have wondered: Why was the black box missing from the crash site after a Taliban-controlled rocket shot the U.S. Army helicopter out of the sky? Why did it take 17 minutes to fly a 10-minute mission? Why was the fire control officer of the AC-130 Gunship flying above denied permission to engage the enemy? Now, as military personnel finally come forward, so do revealing answers. The explosive truth is that government missteps put our dedicated troops in harm’s way.

Says Brown of “Fallen Angel,” “The film is supplemented by the official military record of the mission, which has discrepancies—showing the possibility of negligence or the concealment of key facts.” 

As Fox News’ Sean Hannity noted of this story, “Every American, every kid in school, should be taught what happened with Extortion 17.”

The dramatic trailer for “Fallen Angel” can be seen at this link.

Don Brown is a former U.S. Navy JAG officer and the author of 15 books on the U.S. military, including the national best-sellers “Last Fighter Pilot,” “Treason,” and “Call Sign Extortion 17.” Brown is also an attorney, perhaps best known for representing Lt. Clint Lorance, the U.S. Army paratrooper sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by the Obama administration stemming from a firefight on an Afghanistan battlefield. Brown has been a featured speaker at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, and has appeared nationally on Fox News, One America News, “The Larry Elder Show,” “The David Webb Show,” “On Point with Tomi Lahren,” and many other media outlets.

Billy Vaughn is the Gold Star father of Special Operations Chief (SEAL) Aaron Carson Vaughn (DEVGRU), one of America’s most elite warriors—one of the 300. As Billy Vaughn and his wife, Karen, began searching for answers, their eyes were opened to vile atrocities being played out on America’s military. They came face-to-face with their worst nightmare: American heroes shouldn’t have died that night. The downing of Extortion 17 was at best unnecessary and at worst a negligent, reckless loss of life. Political games, criminal Rules of Engagement, and Washington’s wanton lack of regard for the battles our fearless warriors face on a nightly basis finally culminated in the greatest one-day loss of life in the history of Naval Special Warfare. Though Billy Vaughn cannot be engaged in this war kinetically as his son was, he feels the urgent need to be engaged culturally.

Karen Vaughn, the Gold Star mother of Aaron Vaughn, has been outspoken on behalf of her son. The day her son’s life ended, hers began again. She is a powerful spokesperson for not only our defenders still on foreign soil as they attempt to secure peace around the globe, but also as an advocate for a better, stronger, and more resilient America. Karen Vaughn has gone through the halls of Congress, appeared in national press conferences, and been featured on multiple television and radio programs. She has also taken to large stages across the country as a keynote speaker and was a guest speaker position on the opening night of the 2016 Republican National Convention. Karen and Billy Vaughn have been married for nearly 37 years and believe that their greatest accomplishment on this earth was raising their three children: Aaron, Tara, and Ana.

For more information about the new film “Fallen Angel,” produced by RPM Films and Triple Horse Studios and currently streaming on SalemNOW, visit its website at


To interview Don Brown or Karen Vaughn, contact Hamilton Strategies,, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.