Sunday, April 20, 2014

John Judge RIP - Dec. 14 1948 - April 15 2014

JOHN JUDGE RIP   December 14 1948 - April 15 2014

By Bill Kelly

I met John Judge in the fall of 1969 outside the University of Dayton Cafeteria at the Kennedy Union where he was manning a table and passing out literature for Conscious Objectors next to a US Marine Corps recruiting table. One of the papers on his table was a copy of Jim Garrison’s interview in Playboy, which I began to read and he told me to keep it, beginning our great life-long adventure together.

When we first met I was a freshman and he had just graduated, but he stuck around campus as a political agitator. My class was the first freshman class that didn’t have mandatory ROTC for men, a requirement that was lifted after Judge and others protested the forced military commitment, and won.

John Judge was born in Washington DC on December 14, 1948. John attended a special school in Washington where his exceptional intellect and high IQ were recognized early and cultivated, though John’s sense of rebellion must have started early, as he seemed to shun the suit and tie and Ivy League business models and attended the out of the way and less academically recognized University of Dayton, Ohio, a Catholic college run by the Marinast order, and where the Dayton Flyers basketball the biggest sport in the region.

While more liberal and less strict than say the Jesuits, the Marinasts had been running a tight ship since 1850, really do have ivy covered walls, and were quite reluctant to change the way things were done, especially in their Engineering Research and Development, which received many millions of dollars in research grants from the military, and Wright-Pat Air Force Base had a big presence on campus.

Once John got me interested in the assassination of President Kennedy, he took me over to the UD library, the newest and largest building on campus, which housed a complete copy of the Warren Commission volumes of testimony and exhibits, which I began to read, taking special interest in the Cuban connections.

It was at Dayton when I first began to identify, locate and attempt to interview witnesses. The first was Mrs. Margrete Hoover, of Martinsburgh, Pa., a small town off the Pennsylvania Turnpike where Cuban exile Julio Fernandez had taken up residence and taught Spanish at the local high school. Mrs. Hoover had discovered some burnt trash that she suspected was from her estranged husband, as she thought the names “Ruby” and “Lee Oswald” were women he was seeing, but her daughter determined that the burnt trash had blown over from the neighbor’s yard, where it was apparent Fernandez had been burning his trash and papers.

When Mrs. Hoover told her brother that on the night of the assassination her neighbor was awake all night and burning papers in his backyard – some of which mentioned the names of “Ruby” and “Lee Oswald,” he notified the Pennsylvania State Police who investigated, as did the FBI. Knocking on the door of the neighbor, Julio Fernandez, admitted burning papers in his backyard, but denied knowing Ruby or Oswald and proclaimed himself an anti-Communist patriot, one who then quickly quit his job and disappeared from Martinsburg to an undisclosed location.

I found Mrs. Hoover’s name in the public phone directory and John Judge said we should call her, so he took me over to the offices of the student body president in Kennedy Union, where he said we could use the phone to make the long distance and at the time, otherwise a prohibitively expensive phone call.

Mrs. Hoover confirmed most of what was in the Warren Commission documents, and that word on the streets of Martinsburg was that Fernandez had fled to Rye, New York. And she also mentioned that I wasn’t the only person still interested in the incident and Fernandez – two men in black suits came by knocking on her door asking about it.

One of John’s radical and revolutionary friends – Kevin Keefe – was a six for six Icabod Crain type character who was elected student body president. Kevin went around campus in bare feet and a robe, like Jesus Christ, and used his office to bring in a series of special guests – Paul Krasner, the editor and publisher of the satirical Realist magazine, radical educationalist Michael Hoffman and at the urging of Judge – Mae Brussel, who brought up the assassination of President Kennedy as a subject worthy of our interest.

After Mae’s well attended lecture, I assisted by carrying her bag of books to the parking lot, about a block away. Once there, we were approached by a man who called out to Mae and sheepishly said hello, and then asking Mae, “Don’t you know who I am?”

Under the street light in the parking lot Mae looked and squinted and said, “You look like Lee Harvey Oswald.”

“A lot of people say that,” the guy responded. “I’m Don Norton.”

“Oh, Don!” Mae said, “thank you so much for your letters and support. I put your money to good use.”
“That’s my conscience money,” Norton said.

John then invited Norton to accompany us back to his house where Mae was spending the night, and since I was a young, seventeen year old college freshman with a heavy date on the other side of campus, I left them at the parking lot while they went back to John’s living room to talk some more.

While I now wish I had accompanied them, I did find out a lot more about Don Norton, and the fact that there are two Don Nortons – Don P. Norton and Don O. Norton, and then yet another Don Norton who wrote a defense industry history. Don O. Norton was a supposed Oswald look-a-like and East Coast fisherman, while Don P. Norton was a homosexual piano playing private at a officers club when he was recruited by military intelligence to report on gay military officers. Don P. Norton said he met the real Oswald in Mexico and obtained documents and money from him that he delivered to Canada. He later became a subject in the Garrison investigation.

John Judge also had me accompany him to nearby Yellow Springs, Ohio, home of Antioch College, Glen Helen park, Ruth Paine’s brother, Dr. Paine and a documented Oswald sighting investigated by the Dayton Police intelligence squad.

Founded by Horace Mann - the Father of American Education, Antioch was a rural, radical college that was light years ahead of education reform at the time – no grades, co-ed dorms, important internships and a non-violent Quaker-like tradition whose graduates include the Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling, Mrs. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ruth Hyde Paine, whose brother lives in Yellow Springs today.

John took me to Antioch for a nighttime seminar being given on the history of Vietnam by a recently returned CIA station chief – or so he was described, and it was a fascinating lecture, as he explained that this was a nationalistic revolution not a communist one, and that we had backed the wrong regime – we had trained and educated Ho Chi Min and when he asked for it, we should have supported him rather than the corrupt Catholic Diems. I later attended graduate school at the Antioch College Baltimore satellite campus – Center for Strategic Policy and Action, where we were once again lectured by former CIA officers and analysts. But in 1970 I didn’t know any of this and was just a confused teenager, eyes wide open, who was being led around by John Judge.

A few years later, in the spring of 1972, school was out except for a few special programs, so John and I were pretty much alone in the cafeteria eating lunch when John looked up from his newspaper and said, “Get a load of this!”

He then began reading the short, one column three inch news report on the Watergate burglary.
“These are the same guys who killed Kennedy!” John said on the spot.

Back to the library where before the day was out we had put together good profiles of the Watergate burglars, and called Mae, probably from Kevin Keefe’s office.

While Keven Keefe was long gone, John Judge’s Dayton sweetheart Kathy was also politically active and was elected student body president, possibly the first women to do so. After graduation Kathy moved to New York City where she lived in an apartment overlooking Central Park and across the street from the Dakota, where John Lennon was killed. Kathy saw Lennon moments before he was shot, was an ear witness to the murder and was an important source for the cover-story news article I wrote for the Atlantic City Sun the next day. Even after they broke up, John and Kathy stayed close and John visited her every Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday for many years.

At some point, I don’t even remember if it was in the late 70s, John took me to my first JFK conference at the NYU Law School where we met with Mae, and John introduced me to Penn Jones, the scrappy editor and publisher of the Midlothian, Texas Mirror news. We also hooked up with Kevin Keefe, who was now an assistant to Sri Chinmoy, the spiritual advisor to the United Nations. “It’s going to be a good year for all of us,” Kevin said optimistically. Actually Kevin says that every time I see him, sometimes decades apart.
Walking around the NYU law school class rooms I sat in on one lecture by Fletcher Prouty, who was making caulk diagrams on a blackboard on the nature of covert operations – how and why they work, how there are multi-levels of connections and communications and how they are designed to protect the identity of their actual sponsors.

Near the end a press conference was called where Ralph Schoeman held up copies of some official FBI documents that he said proved conspiracy – records that tie one of the Cubans arrested with Oswald in New Orleans to Teamster Union officials in Puerto Rico. I took a copy of the documents and got Schoeman’s address near Princeton and wrote up an FOIA request for some more records.

This was not my first request for JFK Assassination records from the National Archives, I had previously written and asked about a film that George deMohrenschildt had made on a walking trip through Central America, where he arrived in Guatemala when the Cuban brigade was preparing to invade Cuba, but I received a letter from Mr. Marion Johnson that the film was never entered into evidence or the archives.
This time, I received a number of documents that clearly indicated that person arrested with Oswald in New Orleans was only 17 years old at the time, and was not the same person of the same name mentioned in the FBI Teamster Union documents from Puerto Rico, a much older man. So I called Ralph Schoeman on the phone and arranged to visit him near Princeton from my Ocean City home and drove up to see him.

Ralph and John Judge went back a long way, and John gave me some deep background on him, as he did with everybody.  Although he was married to Temple University professor Joan Mellen at the time, she wasn’t there and I wouldn’t meet her for many years, but Schoeman was very polite to receive me and review the documents I had, and agreed that he had been mistaken and there were indeed two different men with the same name.

While John Judge knew and associated with Carl Oglesby, Bob Katz and those involved in the Assassination Information Bureau (AIB 1322 18th Street, NW) – I only visited their DC office with John on one occasion, and we found it open but no one there, so I never got to meet them, but knew how they had helped spark Congress to form the HSCA – an amazing achievement.

From Dayton I knew John Moore, a Congressional aide from Colorado who knew Gary Hart and saw to it that I met with a lawyer from the Schweiker-Hart subcommittee, that looked into some of the intelligence connections to the assassination of President Kennedy, and I had shared records with Richard Sprague, the first chief counsel to the HSCA, but for the most part, I stood back and observed these committees work.
When the HSCA issued its report, then locked its records away for 50 years, I sat down with John and we discussed how much new stuff was in the reports, but the real evidence was being locked away, and that was a wrong that had to be righted.

So John and I went to the National Archives building for the first time – and read the engraving on the wall outside: “The Past Is Prologue,” and went in and asked the man at the desk about the JFK assassination records, and he got on the phone and in a few minutes a man appeared – Marion Johnson, who was responsible for the JFK assassination records.

I only had a few questions for Mr. Johnson, the first being – why are the records locked away for 50 years – and not say 20 or 100? Why 50?

And is response was that 50 years is the amount of time it is estimated that the people mentioned in the documents are dead.

Well to me that was an anachronism – which means “against time,”  since if they were dead, they couldn’t answer any questions or correct the official records if it was wrong.

My second question to Mr. Johnson was how do we change that requirement and get them released.
The answer – an Act of Congress.

Well while that seemed impossible at the time, we sat down again and went over everything and decided to form a not for profit lobby organization to work towards the release of the HSCA records – which we called the Committee for an Open Archives (COA). We officially applied for non-profit status, opened a post office box and had a in stamp made with the name and address to put on envelops, and began making the rounds of Congress, without much success. Nobody was interested.

Then when Mae Brussell died, John said that he had promised her he would use her extensive archive and library as the foundation for a West Coast research center in Santa Cruz, near Carmel, where Mae lived. John recruited me to drive a U-Haul truck full of his books and belongings from DC to Santa Cruz. Our last stop in DC was a office of radical Guatemalan activists who were opposing the dictatorship there. John was helping them raise funds. 

It was a wonderful cross-country trip, we met many interesting people and when we got to Santa Cruz, set up the Mae Brussel Research Center in a small three bedroom rancher a few blocks from the beach, where you could hear the seals bark from the backyard. While on the West Coast we hooked up with Paul Krasner, who Larry Flint had named editor and publisher of the radical color glossy Rebel Magazine, which included an article by Mae on the Nazis at Dealey Plaza. Eventually Mae's daughter took over the MBRC and John moved back east after a short West Coast hiatus. 

After the NYU conference the next important conference on the JFK assassination was the ASK conference in Dallas – where a panel was formed on freeing the records and to form a more permanent organization based in Washington. While the ASK conference(s) were well organized and attended, they were put together by a for-profit group who really weren’t interested in the assassination and just wanted to make a profit. We wanted to form our own organization and organize our own conferences, not to make money, but to further the research, free the files and determine the truth.

There were two meetings to plan the new organization in Dallas, and John Judge arranged for us to use the main room of the Capitol Hill Quaker Meeting House for two consecutive days, over which the foundations of COPA were laid out. A larger general organization meeting was held at a DC hotel in Chinatown, and the Coalition on Political Assassinations became a reality.

But it wasn’t until the early 1990s when interest in the assassination began to increase, mainly because of the mainstream media preoccupation with the making of Oliver Stone’s film “JFK,” even before the film was finished. After Stone gave a luncheon speech at the National Press Club, John Judge and I met with him privately at his hotel room, where he asked us what he could do to help us, other than give us money.

We had discussed this among ourselves and decided that Stone could do one thing to help release the JFK assassination records. We recalled for Stone how at the end of the movie Executive Action – they ran a little trailer listing the mysterious deaths, a very controversial subject. We told Stone that if he – at the end of his moive, make mention of the fact that the JFK files were sealed from the public for 50 years, that alone would call attention to the issue. And indeed it did, much more than anyone anticipated.

The movie motivated enough citizens to contact their Congressman to complain about the secret JFK assassination files that Congress was inspired to pass the JFK Act of 1992, which came about just as COPA was expanding and holding national conferences in Washington.

For many of these years John lived in Philadelphia, where he worked for various Quaker Peace groups, mainly as a consular for conscious objectors. Though not a lawyer, John was an expert in military law and the draft, and counsel those who wanted to legally avoid the draft and Vietnam because of their personal beliefs.

While most people would think of John Judge as a radical revolutionary who distained the government, he was a non-violent activist who worked through the system – always applying for permits for protests and demonstrations, filling out the tax forms and doing the right thing by law.

Others who I met through John – Dick Gregory for instance, were not so formally inclined, and had no qualms about demonstrating without a permit, handcuffing themselves to the CIA’s front gate or getting arrested for a good cause.  A few years after Judge introduced me to Dick Gregory I ran into him at Union station, both of us on the way to catch a train. He asked me how Judge was doing and when I asked him, he agreed to attend the next conference in Dallas. 


Washington, DC - John Patrick Judge passed away at the age of 66, just as he had lived – with courage in the midst of pain. An internationally acclaimed researcher, writer and speaker, as well as a lifelong anti-militarist anti-racist activist, and community organizer, Judge died on April 15 due to complications from a stroke suffered in early March.

Judge’s primary areas of research were the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as totally unique research which he conducted on-the-ground about the massacre in Jonestown, Guyana. He is a co-founder of the Coalition On Political Assassinations (COPA), and organized COPA's annual conference in Dallas. The 2013 COPA conference drew more than 300 researchers and activists to Dallas on the 50th anniversary of John Kennedy’s death. Amid the national furor when the feature film "JFK" came out in 1992, Judge was one of the key public proponents behind the creation of the Assassination Records Review Board. One of his last efforts was to press for release of some of the thousands of Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination records still kept classified by the CIA and the FBI.

As co-founder of 9/11 Citizens Watch, Judge also did investigative research on the background and details of the attacks of September 11, 2001. He worked with family members of the victims to push for a federal investigation and closely monitored the work of the 9/11 Commission.

Judge was also a co-founder of CHOICES, an organization engaged since 1985 in countering military recruitment in DC area high schools and educating young people about their options with regard to the military. Beginning with the war in Viet Nam, Judge was a life-long anti-war activist and supporter of active-duty soldiers and veterans.

From 2005 to 2007, Judge served as Special Projects Assistant to Representative Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. One of his many undertakings in Congress was to advocate on behalf of active-duty soldiers who received harsh sentences for declaring themselves conscientious objectors and others who claimed to have been tortured in military brigs. He helped write the Articles of Impeachment against President George W. Bush which Representative McKinney introduced in December 2006, before leaving office.

At the time of his death, John Judge was working on creation of a Hidden History Museum and Research Center in Washington, DC, to educate a new generation about covert operations, and to support the work of investigative journalists and researchers looking into the National Security State and the rise of secrecy, government plans for extra-Constitutional jurisdiction during emergencies, and threats to civil liberties and international relations. Some of his writings can be found at

Acclaimed nationally and internationally for his vast store of historical knowledge, Judge wrote: "Under the evil genius of Allen Dulles, whose espionage attacks on the Soviet Union date back to the 1920's, $200 million in Rockefeller and Mellon funds was directed into the hands of Hitler's spymaster Reinhard Gehlen and his 350 Nazi spies, who formed and founded our Central Intelligence Agency in 1947."

An avid public speaker, Judge never spoke about himself but rather, humbly retained a tireless devotion to the search for truth beyond the official government or mainstream media record. Until his final days, Judge was a seeker of truth and justice of the first order. He is irreplaceable in the annals of serious research and documentation.

John Judge is survived by his long-time companion and life partner, Marilyn Tenenoff, and thousands of friends and admirers across the country and around the world. A celebration of his life will be held in late May. 

In lieu of flowers, tax-deductible donations can be made to support the preservation of Judge's books and archives in a new Museum of Hidden History, P.O. Box 772, Washington, DC, 20044.

There's usually a nasty plot behind what seems so decent.
It's often greed or selfish hate, in ancient times and recent.
John Judge's aim is just to find the truth and then to show it.
So we can change the world by letting all the people know it."
(from a poem by Susan McLucas)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dear David Ferriero AOTUS Re: JFK Act

An Open Letter to David Ferriero AOTUS

                        David Ferriero - Archivist of the United States - with historic records

Dear David Ferriero,

As the Archivist of the United States - "the Collector in Chief," you are responsible for the protection and maintenance of America's historic records, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the evidence and official records of the assassination of President Kennedy.

As a fellow blogger, Archives researcher and Walt Whitman fan I was struck by your blog post -"Calling all Whitman Fans," [] as I found it hard to believe that over 3,000 previously unknown Whitman records could have secretly existed among the stacks at the Archives I also wrote about it.[ Whitman Treasure Trove Discovered at Archives | KellysCafe and JFKcountercoup: JFK Research At An Impass]

Their discovery gives me hope that more such historic records exist and await being found, especially among the many lost, missing and still with held records of the assassination of President Kennedy, the subject of much of my research.

As you are a former Navy corpsman - thank you for your service in Vietnam, you say you have an
interest in Navy records, so you should be interested to know of the sorry status of the ONI  records of the assassination - many lost, missing and wrongfully withheld today.

The Archives II where the Whitman  documents were found, is also where the JFK Records Collection is located, and the building was financed by the overwhelming  Congressional support for the JFK Act. Yet Congress has not held an oversight hearing on the JFK Act in 17 years.

As the AOTUS you are responsible for the implementing of the law - 44 U. S. C. 2107 [FKCountercoup2: 44 U.S.C. 2107 - JFK Act] which states: "The remaining provisions of this Act shall continue in effect until such a time as the Archivist certifies to the President and the Congress that all assassination records have been made available to the public in accordance with this Act."

So the law remains in effect until such a time when you have determined all the records are released, an event that should have already happened.

Therefore I have started this petition to request that you fulfill your responsibility as Archivist and ensure that the law of the land - the JFK Act of 1992 and see that Congress does its duty and holds oversight hearings to determine what became of the missing evidence and records [JFKCountercoup2: The Last Congressional Hearing on the JFK Act - 17 Years Ago].

 And that you, and not some unknown successor, will at such a time, and in our life time, inform the President, Congress and the American people that the last withheld JFK assassination record has been released.

William E. Kelly, Jr. 

Petition | Please carry out your duty as AOTUS and ensure the JFK Act of 1992 is fully implemented. |

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What is Past is Prologue

What is Past is Prologue 

What is Past is Prologue

In a postscript to his film “JFK” Oliver Stone quoted a line from Shakespere - “What is past is prologue,” which is also inscribed on the base of the statue Future (1935, Robert Alken) at the side of the front steps to the National Archives building in downtown Washington D.C.

The quote is generally thought to mean that the past is a prologue of what's to come in the future, that history influences and sets the context for the present, much like those who are ignorant of the past are doomed to relive it. Or as Peter Pan put it, “This has all happened before and it will happen again.”
It was in the news when Joe Biden said it in the 2008 vice presidential debate to justify his referring to the failures of the Bush administration. 

But as the phrase was originally used by Shakespere in The Tempest, Act 2, Scene I, it means that all that has happened before that time, the "past," has led Antonio and Sebastian to commit murder.

From The Tempest, Act II Scene I:

“…..We all were sea-swallow'd, though some cast again,
And by that destiny to perform an act
Whereof what's past is prologue, what to come
In yours and my discharge.”

Antonio is rationalizing that he is fated to act by all that has led up to that moment, so the past has set the stage for their next act.

Thus it means that everything that has happened before that time has led Antonio and Sebastian to commit murder, so everything that has happened in the past has led up to the moment of the murder – and gives it reason and meaning.

In this context, the government’s records give reason and meaning to the murder of President Kennedy, especially if he was killed in a covert operation by his enemies in Washington rather than in a senseless, meaningless act by a deranged madman.

If President Kennedy was indeed killed by a deranged lone nut then there would be no reason, fifty years later, to keep so many records secret for reasons of national security, so many that they can’t count even them all.

Monday, March 17, 2014

JFK Research At An Impass

At An Impass – the JFK Assassination at the Crossroads –

Walt Whitman – JFK and the Known Universe of Assassination Records

By William Kelly

Since the present model of assassination research has failed to determine even the basic facts of the assassination of President Kennedy, the espousing of various possible theories as to what happened and then debunking them simply does not work, new and different approaches are needed if we are to determine how JFK was killed, by who and for what reasons.

In “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” which Douglas Horne calls attention to in his book “Inside the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB),” and mentions how Thomas Kuhn looks closely at the history of science and how great scientific and technological advances were made, often in times of crisis.

In viewing the history of science as episodes that occur in cycles, after years of attacking questions and problems from the same angle, different and radical approaches are also often successful after traditional means have been exhausted.

Not long ago scientists didn’t know of any planet revolving around a sun within our own Milky Way galaxy, but after a relatively simple means was discovered, thousands of planets have been found and more are being discovered every day.

For many years it had been assumed that the entire work of America’s Poet Laurient Walt Whitman were known and had been completely studied and analyzed by students and scholars, but then, Dr. Ken Price, armed only with an intimate knowledge of Whitman’s handwriting, visited the National Archives II in Maryland, where the JFK Assassination Records Collection is also kept, and requested the records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Attorney General (1860-1866), where Whitman was known to have worked as a clerk. Price expected to find one or two or maybe even a few letters written in Whitman’s unique hand, but instead found over 3,000!

JFK Assassination researchers should take notice of how these planetary and archival discoveries were made, and apply them to the JFK records that the various agencies of government claim were destroyed, are lost, missing or are being wrongfully withheld, and at least make the attempt to see if they can be found and included in the public record so there can be a more complete understanding of the assassination.
For starters, just as we don’t know how many planets there are in the galaxy, we don’t know how many records and documents are missing, were destroyed or are still being with held, numbers that we should be able to determine and know as they are contained in the universe of records at the NARA.

Just as Dr. Price knew what Walt Whitman’s handwriting looked like, and knew where in the government Whitman worked, he took those two facts and when he put them together he discovered the mother lode of Whitman gems that went unnoticed by others who lacked a knowledge of Whitman’s handwriting or didn’t bother to check the location of the records in question even though anyone can go to the NARA and request any open public record they want. Many scholars knew Whitman worked as a clerk for the government, but no one bothered to look where they knew they should be located.

Even though I know for a fact that the government’s official version of Dealey Plaza events is wrong, rather than espouse a conspiracy theory I long ago elected to approach the case from a radical and different direction – that of an unsolved homicide that should be pumped through the legal system – beginning with the evidence and testimony being evaluated by a grand jury.

In addition, from reading the official reports, I developed a unique research technique, a subject index filing system that begins a file on a new subject if it appears more than twice in apparently unrelated parts of the story – as I did with Collins Radio, the Pan Am Bank of Miami and the office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ACSI), U.S. Army Reserve Branch, an obscure office in the Pentagon, where a lot of assassination related activities occurred.

After I read where George deMohrenschildt tried to get Oswald a job at Collins Radio, after all he did work at a radio factory in USSR, I thought it significant that Collins also supplied the cover for the CIA Cuban raider ship “Rex,” and made and serviced the radios used by the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and Special Air Missions (SAM), including Air Force One, I began a subject file on Collins Radio, which is now very thick.

In reading the House Select Committee on Assassination Records (HSCA) the Pan Am Bank is mentioned as the place where “Maurice Bishop” had Antonio Veciana sign his security oath, where Jack Ruby deposited money for his Havana casino friends, the Fox Brothers, and I took special interest in the bank when testimony revealed that Cuban gun runners were paid in cash with Pan Am Bank wrappers.

I took interest in the ASCI office when it was revealed that George deMohrenschildt, after visiting Oswald for the last time in April 1963, and joking with him about shooting General Walker, he visited ASCI officers at the Knickerbocker Club in New York. He then went to Washington DC and met with ASCI officers again before leaving for Haiti. These ASCI officers (Col. Sam Kail and Dorothe Matlack) are the same contacts Antonio Veciana knew from the US Embassy in Havana. The Colonel who directed ASCI was also the case officer for Col. Frank Brandstetter, the former head of the Havana Hilton where Castro made his first headquarters when he took over Cuba who was in the same US Army Reserve Intelligence detachment in Dallas headed by Col. Jack Crichton and included the Colonel in the pilot car of the motorcade.

Besides my Three-Time-Hits research technique, that calls attention to ubiquitous subjects of interest, like Collins Radio, the Pan Am Bank and ASCI, I think there are other different approaches that can be used to determine exactly what happened at Dealey Plaza. These different approaches require new and unique perspectives, including the perspective of the Level One sniper, forensic experts and especially any surviving witness who have not been properly questioned. 

As Peter Dale Scott has shown us in proposing the “Negative Template” research technique, if we focus on exactly those records that are deemed destroyed, missing or otherwise no longer in existence, the records being with held and the records they wanted withheld but we now have, and see where that leads us, especially in regards to the CIA, the Secret Service, the National Security Agency and the White House Communications Agency.

How many records do they have that were requested but were designated “Not Believed Relevant”?
How many records are known to have been destroyed?
How many records were known to exist but are missing?
How many records are being legally withheld on grounds of national security?

These are questions that can be answered and numbers that can and should be known.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Oswald Got Very, Very Lucky - Gunsmith

Oswald Got Very, Very Lucky 

"Oswald Got Very, Very Lucky" Says the Gunsmith who mounted the rifle scope. 

William Sharp was given this 6.5 mm Carcano when he left his post as gunsmith at Klein's Sporting Goods in 1968. It is reported to be the same type of rifle that killed John F. Kennedy 50 years ago.

Oswald got ‘very, very lucky,’ says Chicago gunsmith who mounted the scope on the rifle

NOV 26, 2013

Cinder blocks smashed the windows and death threats for employees were left on the door.

This was what greeted William H. Sharp, now 82, when he went to work in the weeks following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago. Sharp worked at Klein’s Sporting Goods and the West Madison Avevue business, now closed, had sold the mail order rifle Lee Harvey Oswald reportedly used to kill the president.

“When they held the rifle up [on the news], I about fell through the floor,” Sharp recalls of the night of Nov. 22, 1963. "An $11 rifle?"

The rifle Oswald had reportedly chosen to use and bought under an alias was a cheap Italian model, Sharp said. The 6.5 mm Carcano, a military-grade rifle, was not expensive to make and therefore, very popular among consumers.

“It was a piece of junk,” Sharp said. Knowing that the warehouse on West Madison in Chicago sold much higher quality guns, Sharp was shocked at Oswald’s choice and at his success. “If you want good optics, you don’t buy them for three dollars [an estimate].”

“The Italians, they are lovers,” Sharp said as he explained that the warehouse also sold better-quality British sniper rifles. "I just couldn't understand it," he said.

Oswald’s choice of weapon aside, there was something else to haunt him. At work the next day, Sharp relayed concerns to his boss about the gun he had seen on television.

“It’s my rifle, I put the scope on it,” Sharp told him. His boss replied, "'No No No, don't say that!'"  Sharp said his boss was afraid of the consequences.  

Later that day, the FBI arrived at the warehouse and confirmed Sharp's suspicions. "There were more FBI agents there than you could shake a stick at," Sharp recalls.

Klein’s Sporting Goods had an extensive and very profitable mail order business, Sharp said. The warehouse in Chicago was used as a mid-point between manufacturers and their consumers countrywide. The mail order catalog was so profitable that when the United States banned interstate firearm sales as part of the Gun Control Act in 1968, the company was sold and Sharp left to find work elsewhere.

Because he enjoyed hunting, Sharp had a lifelong interest in firearms. He had no prior experience as a gunsmith before beginning his apprenticeship at Klein's Sporting Goods at age 28, but took quickly to the job and enjoyed his work.

As the only gunsmith in the warehouse at the time of Kennedy’s assassination, Sharp’s job, at age 32, was to add components, like optics scopes, to rifles if customers requested them. Oswald's rifle had a scope put on it.  

Weeks later, the Warren Commission – the team of investigators researching the death of the president – sent Sharp a copy of the receipt with the alias Oswald had used to purchase the weapon: A. Hidell.  

When the FBI arrived at the warehouse on Nov. 23. Sharp said an agent asked him to demonstrate the use of the Italian rifle in the basement.

"I said, 'But I don't want to shoot that rifle," Sharp remembers. He did a demonstration at their insistence and what Sharp noticed when he shot the rifle still haunts him today.

Sharp used 6.5x52 Carcano ammunition that the warehouse sold together with the Italian rifles. That type of ammunition was not sold many places. As far as Sharp knew at the time, the Chicago warehouse was one of the only places that sold that type of ammunition, he said. If Oswald used ammunition he bought from the warehouse, Sharp demonstrated the use of the rifle for the FBI with the same ammunition Oswald would have used, he said. 

Before the shot rang out in the basement of the warehouse when Sharp pulled the trigger, he heard a click and felt a delay in the response of the firearm. This is called hang fire. Hang fire occurs when there is drag in release of the bullet from a rifle after the shooter pulls the trigger. 

"I don't know what he bought" for ammunition, Sharp said. However, Sharp believes if the rifle and ammunition were the same as those he had shown the FBI, Oswald’s rifle likely would have hang fired as well, he said.  

A delay in the response of the rifle would make shooting at a moving object very difficult because that delay in the release of the bullet would not have been accounted for when the person aimed if the shooter was unaware that the rifle would hang fire. 

Sharp said the FBI agent did not seem to notice the hang fire and later the Warren Commission did not understand the significance of his hang fire hypothesis. “Everything I said to them was Greek,” Sharp said of his phone conversation with the Warren Commission. "They were very intelligent people, but they didn't know anything about firearms."

"I was very skeptical of the hang fire of the ammunition," Sharp said. “If Oswald did do it, I would say he was just very, very lucky.”

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dealey Plaza - View from the Sniper's Nest

Embedded w/ Snipers

By William Kelly

                                          The Sniper's Perspective of Dealey Plaza  

“In a free society, counter-espionage is based on the practice most useful for hunting rabbits. Rather than look for the rabbit, one posts oneself in a spot where the rabbit is likely to pass by.” 
                                          - Alexander Hamilton (as attributed by Allen Dulles)

The lead Humvee in the convoy suddenly comes to a halt as it slips under a tree on the edge of town, an empty tin can, hanging from a branch by a thread, dangles in the breeze.

To the untrained eye it is an empty tin can hanging from a tree, but to the trained eye it’s a sure sign of danger – a makeshift wind gauge, a sniper’s wind gauge, indicating a Level 2 or Level 3 sniper is operating in the area and they were about to enter the sniper’s kill zone.

When Uncle Sam contacted me for a special mission recently, I answered the call and spent a few weeks in the field helping to train American soldiers, including expert snipers, from whom I learned some things that can be applied to a better understanding of the mechanics of what happened at Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.

Before trying to figure out who the Sixth Floor Sniper was and why he did the things he did, a few things must be understood about the nature of the sniper profession.

Not a new idea, the historical development of the sniper as a key surgeon in the course of battle has only been perfected in the last half of the twentieth century.

During the Revolutionary War, at the Battle of Brandywine, near Philadelphia, a British sniper had General George Washington in his sights, but decided not to shoot him in the back as he thought it ungentlemanly to do so, thus sparing the life of the man who would be the first president of the American republic.

At Saratoga, a few months later, an American sniper with a Kentucky long rifle shot and killed a British general, decisively altering the outcome of not only that battle but the war.

On eighteen and nineteenth century war ships, the marines were issued long barrel rifles and placed in high mast nests from where they would shoot select targets during battles, so friendly forces were forced to wear identifying marks on their hats so not to be accidentally hit by the marine marksmen.

As European gunsmiths refined the rifle and ammo, the abilities of marksmen increased, though applying the weapon for assassination purposes didn’t become effective until World War II, and increased steadily through the Korean War and Vietnam, when the sniper came into his own.

Snipers played pivotal roles on the Russian front during World War II, and refined their abilities in Korea, but it wasn’t until Vietnam (1965-1973) when the Level One sniper came into his own, especially recruited, trained, equipped and sent into the field on specific missions.

Historically snipers were responsible for killing mobster Bugsy Siegel, civil rights activist Medgar Evers, and the Texas Tower murders, as well as failed attempts to kill Charles deGaul and Fidel Castro.

Traditionally snipers have been measured by the ultimate yardstick – confirmed kills, as well as the longest shot, most difficult shot and high target value. 

As for confirmed kills, there is Simo Hayha on top, and no one else really close. Although relatively unknown outside of his native Finnland, where he is a national hero, you can thank Hayha for popularizing the Olympic sport that combines cross country skiing and accurate shooting, as that’s the way he attacked and killed over seven hundred invading Russians in 1939.

A lone wolf with no military chain of command, Hayha used his intimate knowledge of the terrain to attack and evade the Soviets, who kept track and confirmed his kills and sent Level 1 sniper teams and eventually a hole brigade to stop him.

Following Hayha, there’s a Fyodor Okhlopkova, a World War II Russian sniper with 423 kills, and Francis Pegahmagabow, a Canadian native American Indian scout and sniper credited with 378 kills during World War I.

A World War II German, Matthaus Hetzenauer comes in at number four with 345 kills, while his Russian front antagonists Lyudmila Pavlichenko (309 kills) a women, is fifth on the all time snipers list.

Vasikly Zaytsev, who shared Lee Harvey Oswald's nickname – “the Rabbit,” (242 kills) is sixth, and probably one of the best known snipers thanks to the movie “Enemy at the Gate,” which depicted the personal battle between the best German and Russian snipers during World War II. Zaytsev went on to instruct snipers at a special school he established and his students were known as "little rabbits" and accounted for another 3,000 confirmed kills. 

Red Chinese sniper Zhang Tyaofang (214 kills) fought in Korea, is number seven.

The Americans don’t rank until number 8 with Chris Kyle, a US Navy SEAL whose 160 confirmed kills during the Iraq war just outrank Australian Billy Sing, whose 150 kills during World War I and American Adelbert F. Waldron II, whose 109 kills in Vietnam round out the top ten snipers of all time.

Two other American Marines deserve notice however, as Chuck Mawhinney (103 kills) and Carlos Hathcock (93 kills) in Vietnam are almost celebrities, as the USMC has an award named after Hathcock, while Mawhinney is known for being humble about his achievements, as not even his wife, family or friends knew of his Vietnam exploits until they were revealed in a book over twenty years later.

Top Twelve Snipers of All Time - Based on Confirmed Kills 

1-      Simo Hayha – 705 kills (505 w/ rifle) Finnland 1939 WWII
2-      Fyodor Okhlopkov – 423 kills – Russian WWII
3-      Francis Pegahmagabow – 378 kills - Canadian WWI
4-      Matthaus Hetzenauer – 345 kills – German WWII
5-      Lyudmila Pavlichenko – 309 kills - Ukraine WWII
6-      Vasikly Zaytsev – the rabbit - German 242 kills WWII
7-      Zhang TYaofang – 214 kills Chinese - Korea
8-      Chris Kyle – 160 kills – US Navy SEAL – Iraq War
9-      Billy Sing – 150 + Australian during WWI
10-  Adelbert F. Waldron III – 109 kills US Navy/Army 1968 Vietnam
11-  Chuck Mawhinney – 103 kills USMC 1968
12-  Carlos Hathcock – 93 kills USMC 1968

Longest Shot

As for the longest shot, the long standing record once held by Canadian Corporal Rob Furlong – 2,430 meter (1.51 miles) was recently eclipsed by Craig Harrison, of the Royal Marines at 2,475 meters.
Carlos Hathcock is said to have taken the most difficult shot ever, killing an enemy sniper by shooting him through his scope as he was aiming at Hathcock. Waldron once shot an enemy sniper in a tree from a moving boat, and an American in Iraq made a successful shot through a brick wall.

According to the snipers, Oswald is a Level Three sniper who is officially credited with making the most difficult shot of all time at the highest priority target, and that's why they don't believe it. 

Before the Dealey Plaza analysis begins however, for starters, you must understand that there are three categories of snipers. From the Sniper’s Manual (Based on the Canadian Army TTP – Training, Techniques and Procedures.

Level One – the Specially Trained Sniper

The most dangerous sniper is the one who is individually selected, trained and equipped with an accurate sniper rifle outfitted with a modern scope, night vision device and thermal imager, an expert trained to select key personnel as their target and can hit the bull’s eye accurately at great ranges (1,000+ meters).

These snipers are accompanied by a spotter-security aide and are skilled in avoiding detection. This sniper is the most difficult to effectively counter.

The Level One sniper doesn't take multiple shots at a target when one shot is all that’s needed. As they say, “One shot one kill,” is their motto.

This level sniper is portrayed in the Hollywood movie “The Shooter," which exemplifies the training, discipline, pride and professionalism exhibited by expert snipers at this level.

Level Two Snipers

Level Two Snipers are trained marksmen, often found in the national armies of the world and commonly utilized in urban combat, equipped with a standard issue weapon and with fair to good field craft skills, he is difficult to detect. May be deployed alone or in teams, with women snipers effective against the Nazis on the Russian front during World War II.

The Level Three Sniper

The Level Three sniper is the armed irregular, with little or no formal military training, who may or may not wear a distinguishing uniform, and may or may not carry his weapon openly. He will go to great lengths to avoid identification as a sniper.

The 6.5 mm Manlicher Carcano with cheap Japanese scope and custom US Air Force holster sling 
(Where did Oswald get the sling?) 

The gunsmith at Klines Sporting Goods in Chicago who mounted the scope on the rifle recently came out and acknowledged that Oswald got "very, very lucky," if in fact he used that gun to kill Kennedy.[]

The Sixth Floor Sniper, whether it was Lee Harvey Oswald or someone else, would be classified a Level Three Sniper by his weapon – the Mannlicher Carcano, a standard issue Italian weapon, and if Oswald, by his limited US Marine Corps training.

                                                   Winchester Model 70 - Circa 1963 

As explained to me, a Level One sniper wouldn’t use that weapon and wouldn’t need or take more than one shot. In 1963, a Level One sniper would probably use a state of the art custom weapon and scope, or a prized Winchester Model 70  [http://en.wikipedia.og/wiki/Winchester_Model_70][ or Remington Model 700 rifle [], top of the line models.

                                                     Remington Model 700 - Circa 1963 

Since the weapon and MO – modus operandi – identifies the Sixth Floor Sniper as a Level Three Sniper, Level One snipers say the Sixth Floor Sniper probably didn’t take the fatal head shot that killed President Kennedy.

There are also indications that the bullet that struck JFK in the head was a different type of bullet than those fired from the Mannlicher Carcano, and that shot was probably taken by a Level One sniper with a different style of weapon, different type of bullet from a different location.

From the Sixth Floor sniper’s nest, the best shot was when the target was approaching the window on Houston Street, as it slowed down for the turn onto Elm Street, and from then on the shots get harder, as the target moves from left to right on a downward slope and interference by a tree.

The U.S. Army Sniper’s Manual says under Engaging Moving Targets that: “Engaging moving targets not only requires the Sniper to determine the target distance and wind effects on the round, but must also consider the lateral and speed angle of the target, the rounds time of flight, and the placement of a proper level to compensate for both. These added variables increase the chance of a miss. Therefore, the Sniper should engage a moving target when it is the only option.” []

To calculate leads, you take the Time of Flight (in seconds) x (times) target speed (in feet per seconds) which equals = lead (in feet) x (times) .3048 = meters x 1000 = mil. lead divided by range.

Of course familiarity with the weapon and practice shooting at moving targets increases the ability and skill of the shooter, but if Oswald was the Sixth Floor Sniper there is no indication that he ever shot that rifle before, didn’t practice or even purchase ammo for it.

As Lee Harvey Oswald’s brother Robert, who was familiar with his shooting abilities said, “If Lee did not spend a considerable amount of time practicing with that rifle in the weeks and months before the assassination, then I would say that Lee did not fire the shots that killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally.” (p. 208, “Lee – A Portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald by his Brother, Coward-McCann, Inc., NY, 1967)

For the Fiftieth anniversary of the assassination, the gunsmith at Kline’s in Chicago who placed the scope on Oswald’s rifle was interviewed and quoted in a news article saying that if Oswald used that rifle and scope he was “very lucky,” and the snipers agree.

All of the snipers agree that whoever fired those shots with that rifle from the Sixth Floor window he did not use the scope, which was not properly aligned and not necessary at that distance, where the manual sight would be sufficient.

While the Sixth Floor sniper didn’t take the best shot from that location, as the nearly stationary target came towards him, the head shot was most probably taken by a Level One Sniper from either in front or behind so there was no lateral movement as the target came towards or was going away from him.

From what the Level One snipers tell me, the purpose of the Sixth Floor Sniper was to provide diversion and deception, put ballistic evidence incriminating Oswald into the car while the Level One sniper did what such snipers are trained to do – kill the high priority target (HPT) with one shot.

They say the Sixth Floor Sniper, whoever he was, was a Level Three sniper and his standard issue weapon, while capable of firing three shots in the allotted time and get out of three hits on target, was incapable of taking the fatal head shot from that position with that weapon. Not a “lucky” shot, it couldn’t happen. So there must have been a Level One sniper who took the fatal head shot from another location, using a different type of weapon and ammo, and stationed in front of or behind the target.

Integral aspects of the Level One sniper attack, the diversion and deception not only ensures the escape of the sniper and his spotter, but also protects the actual sponsors, as one of the reasons for using a sniper to commit an assassination is permit the escape of the shooter and to protect the sponsor.

The diversion and deception were needed because there would be limited suspects if a Level One sniper killed the President with only one shot, incriminating those few military and intelligence agencies capable of putting a Level One sniper in the field and taking out the highest priority target in the world without getting caught. The Level Three sniper firing openly at the same time diverted attention from the Level One sniper, expanded the suspect pool in general and incriminated Oswald in particular.

In the Marines Oswald’s nickname was “Ozzie Rabbit,” which they said was based on a cartoon character popular at that time, and like Alice goes Through the Looking Glass and into the Rabbit’s Hole to begin her adventure, those who devised the Dealey Plaza operation incorporated Oswald, not as the real assassin or the Sixth Floor sniper, but as the patsy and rabbit that would be set loose to set a false trail and keep the official investigators from the real perpetrators of the crime.

In his book, “A Sniper Looks at Dealey Plaza,” Craig Roberts concurs saying, “I analyzed the scene as a sniper,….(and concluded)…it would take a minimum of two people shooting. There was little hope that I alone, even if equipped with precision equipment, would be able to duplicate the feat described by the Warren Commission,” so neither could Lee Harvey Oswald, or any Level Three sniper.

“I would have never put anyone in the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) with so many locations that were much more advantageous,” Roberts said, “unless I needed a diversion. If I did, it would be a good place for red herrings to be observed by witnesses.”

As seen from the street below, the Sixth Floor Sniper, according to all witnesses who saw him, wore a white shirt (Oswald wore brown), and according to one witness (Amos Eunis) who got a clear view of him, the sniper in the window had a very distinctive bald spot on the top of his head, not a physical characteristic shared by Oswald. Like Oswald, the Sixth Floor Sniper probably had good reason to be there, possibly worked in the building or as a subcontractor or delivery person familiar with the area, one who it wouldn’t seem suspicious for other employees to see him there.

Nor did he leave immediately, as the Warren Commission Report has Oswald running down four flights of stairs to get to the Second Floor lunchroom in time to be seen there by Dallas Police officer Marion Baker ninety seconds after the last shot. The Sixth Floor Sniper took his time, did not run, and instead, as the photo evidence proves, he moved boxes around, putting one on the window sill that was mistakenly believed to have been used as a gun rest. He was still in the window nearly four to five minutes after the shooting when seen by a secretary from across the street. If not a TSBD employee or contractor, the Sixth Floor Sniper was possibly a police or sheriff’s officer who just stayed nearby and blended in with the other investigators when they began a search of the building. 

The sniper’s analysis is that the Sixth Floor, Level Three sniper’s job was to divert and deceive, not to kill, and he did not take the fatal head shot, which was probably taken by a Level One sniper from a location in front of or behind the target, with a different style weapon and type of bullet, one that shattered on impact.

This sniper’s analysis is supported by the 1998 report by U.S. Attorney John Orr that indicates the bullet that hit JFK in the head was a different type of bullet than CE399 and other bullets fired from the Mannlicher Carcano rifle found in the TSBD. Orr’s important report convinced the Department of Justice, the FBI, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) to conduct further tests of CE567, bullet fragments from the limo, no mean feat.[]

Like the snipers, when a veteran deer hunter visited Dealey Plaza he was immediately drawn to the area behind the picket fence on the Grassy Knoll and said that’s where he would set up his deer stand.

But a Level One sniper could take that fatal head shot from hundreds of yards away, tucked back in a room away from the window so that no one could see him. Level One snipers are the most difficult to detect and to counter.

According to the Canadian Army Sniper Manual, the best way to stop a sniper is for another sniper to kill him. The manual says: “The best way to stop the sniper is to kill the sniper. Let them escape and they will attack someone else, somewhere else.”

Counter-snipers are instructed to “Have a plan and rehears it. Do Not fixate on casualties! Kill the sniper, then attend to casualties.”

When under fire the response policy is to keep moving, get out of the Kill Zone as quickly as possible and move in a swerving S or Z pattern, identify the sniper’s location, return fire, maneuver, attack and kill them. “Do not fixate on casualties, kill the sniper!”

Although Will Greer, the Secret Service driver was trained in these same procedures he inexplicably slowed down after the first shot and came to almost a complete stop precisely at the moment the head shot was taken. A Protestant Irishman from Northern Ireland, Agent Greer was an Orangeman who belonged to the secret order that fought the IRA and worked closely with the British MI5 and MI6 intelligence agencies.

Ian Fleming, in the short story “The Living Daylights,” has 007 assigned to kill a sniper expected to try to shoot a defector running across the no-man’s land at the Berlin Wall, and James Bond is surprised to see through his scope a beautiful women sniper, and he is reprimanded when he only wounds and doesn’t kill her.

The President’s security sometimes included counter-sniper snipers. Such precautions were taken a few weeks before Dallas when the President visited Tampa and traveled through the city in a similar motorcade, and over a dozen Tampa Sheriff’s deputies were deployed with rifles on roofs along the motorcade route. But no such precautions were taken in Dallas.

It has been alleged (by Penn Jones), that Dallas Deputy Sheriff Weatherford was on the Records Building roof overlooking Dealey Plaza with a rifle at the time of the assassination, and there are published reports he returned fire. But Weatherford’s official statement reflects that he was on the Houston Street sidewalk with other deputies. Weatherford said that he was with Deputy Allan Sweatt, whose statement confirms Weatherford’s story that they ran to the Grassy Knoll before entering the back of the TSBD and searched the building.

Weatherford assisted in the search of the sixth floor that discovered the shells and the rifle, but failed to find Oswald’s clipboard, and he also participated in the search of the Paine’s house and garage when the backyard photos were found depicting Oswald holding the murder weapons and communist publications, which was part of the cover-story, a failed black propaganda operation that attempted to blame the assassination on Fidel Castro. 

                                                            Fidel Castro with sniper rifle 

Just as the dangling tin can was sign indicating there was a sniper operating in the area, there were similar signs of danger before JFK entered Dealey Plaza, but they went unheeded or were intentionally ignored.

Of the Dealey Plaza danger signs, a few stand out, especially those who expressed foreknowledge of the assassination, the Walker shooting, the recorded Alpha 66 threat, the Stevenson incident and Umbrella Man.

While each of these danger signs should be reviewed in depth, the Umbrella Man was right there at Dealey Plaza, and he admits that his umbrella was intended to be a sign – a silent protest, a signal and message that President Kennedy would recognize and understand – a sign that referred to his father’s isolationist stand at the beginning of World War II, the image of Chamberlain’s umbrella at Munich that represented the failed policy of “appeasement” with the Nazis, which the Umbrella Man implied was JFK’s policy towards communists.  

Louie Steven Witt, a Dallas insurance office worker who claimed to be the Umbrella Man, told the HSCA that the umbrella was a visual protest of JFK’s father’s policies of appeasement of Hitler at Munich when he was ambassador to the UK (1938-39), with the umbrella being a reference to Nevelle Chamberlain. Witt told the HSCA that it was someone in his insurance office - the Rio Grande National Insurance Co., told him that the Kennedys were sore about the umbrella being used as protest sign. “I was going to use the umbrella to heckle the president’s motorcade….I just knew it was a sore sport with the Kennedys. I just knew the vague generalities of it. It had something to do with something that happened years ago with the father Joe Kennedy when he was the Ambassador to England.”

                                                    The Umbrella Man at Dealey Plaza 

Who planted the seed in Witt’s mind to heckle the president? Perhaps it was someone who also shared an office in the Rio Grande building, - which included the Secret Service, Army Intelligence and the Emigration and Naturalization Service, where Oswald visited numerous times. Witt’s references to Chamberlain’s umbrella and appeasement at Munich are echoed exactly by General LeMay at the White House a year earlier.

                                                   Chamberlain - Appeasement at Munich 

At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, on October 19, 1962, President Kennedy met in the Oval Office with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when Air Force Chief Gen. Curtis LeMay was recorded as saying, “…I don’t see any other solution for it [other than direct military action].….This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich.(Pause)...”   Sheldon Stern: “The general had gone well beyond merely giving advice or even disagreeing with his Commander-in-chief. He had taken his generation’s ultimate metaphor for shortsightedness and cowardice, the 1938 appeasement of Hitler at Munich, and flung it in the President’s face. President Kennedy, in a remarkable display of sang froid, refused to take the bait; he said absolutely nothing.”

A few minutes later JFK did reply to LeMay’s remark that, “…In other words, you’re in a pretty bad fix at the present time.”

“What did you say?” Kennedy asked.

“You’re in a pretty bad fix,” LeMay repeated. And in a response that the Miller Center’s transcriptionists got wrong, JFK told LeMay that, “You’re in it with me.”

And the pretty bad fix that JFK and LeMay were in together then was not about Munich but Cuba.

Then, as JFK entered Dealey Plaza and the sniper’s Kill Zone, the Umbrella Man's sign may have been the last thing Kennedy saw before his head was shattered by a bullet fired by a Level One sniper who was not Lee Harvey Oswald. 

           Ambassador Joe Kennedy - Approved Chamberlain's Appeasement Policy at Munich