Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dueling DC Warren Report Conferences

Dueling DC Conferences

Two Warren Commission Conferences in DC this September – so far – more are expected.

By William E. Kelly, Jr. 



Sept.  24, 1964 - Earl Warren presents the Commission's Report to LBJ, who said,  "It's heavy." 

         Friday, September 26 - Saturday, September 27 - Sunday, September 28 2014

Just when we thought that the 50th anniversary of the JFK Assassination would put an end to the public interest in the subject, along comes the September 2014 anniversary of the release of the Warren Commission Report, which will surely drum up more media attention and revive the debates once again.

With the apparent end to JFK Lancer November in Dallas [http://www.jfklancer.com/] and annual COPA Dallas regional conferences [http://politicalassassination.com], but here we go again with two conferences on the Warren Report – 50 years later. 

Only the location has changed from Dallas to D.C. and rather than the assassination itself, the new focus will be on the continuing cover-up, which should make things relevant today and not just stale history.

The two conferences announced so far, and there may be more, were organized separately by different people without apparent knowledge of each other – the JFK Historical Group (JFKHG) and the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC).

These two conferences will be held at the same time in the same city a few miles apart by different people, but are joined at the hip by the distinguished Pittsburgh forensic examiner Dr. Cyril Wecht, who will serve as a keynote speaker at the JFKHG conference and a primary speaker at the other.  

                                                     JFK Historical Group Conference 

The first conference announced is being organized by the JFK Historical Group,  led by David Denton and Ed Tatro and called: “The Warren Report 50 Years Later: A Critical Examination - What we know now, that we didn’t know then,” and will be held at the Crowne Plaza East Hotel, Alexandria, VA. Their web site is at: http://changehistjfk.blogspot.com/.

[Conference fee is $115 before August 1 - $125 thereafter and rooms are $119 single - $129 double per night plus Banquet and Keynote $53. David Denton, JFK Historical Group, 1305 Hall St., Olney, Il 62450]
David Denton is an Olney, Illinois history teacher who gave a 2013 JFK LANCER conference presentation [http://changehistjfk.blogspot.com] on the topic of the significance of the 50th Anniversary of the assassination, and he organized an academic conference on the assassination at Olney Central (Illinois) College last fall.

Denton works closely with Ed F. Tatro, a long time Boston high school teacher and respected JFK researcher who testified before the ARRB  [ARRB Testimony of Edgar Tatro: http://jfkassassination.net/arrb/index9.htmand served as a consultant to Nigel Turner’s TV documentaries “The Truth Shall Set You Free” and “The Men Who Killed Kennedy.”

Other than Dr. Wecht [http://www.cyrilwecht.com/about.php], there seems to be only a few overlapping speakers - Russ Baker and Bill Simpich, so each conference should be pretty unique and appeal to a different audience, and if presentations at both conferences are properly streamed live over the internet, recorded and archived on line, as they should be, people can pick and chose which conference to attend and catch the online taped video of anything they missed.

Among those confirmed for the JFK Historical Group conference are a number of people I have worked closely with - Doug Horne, the Chief Analyst for Military Records for the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) and author of the five volume “Inside the ARRB,”  [http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Assassination-Records-Review-Board/dp/0984314431 /  http://insidethearrb.livejournal.com/] and Russ Baker, a detail oriented researcher, journalist and Bush family biographer who is always digging and working on some significant newsworthy angle on history. [Russ Baker’s web site: http://whowhatwhy.com/author/russ-baker/]

Phil Nelson, author of “LBJ – Mastermind of JFK’s Assassination” [http://www.lbjmastermind.com/] is part of the continuing drumbeat of conspiracy theorists biased enough to believe LBJ was capable of “masterminding” the Dealey Plaza operation (See: Joe Green’s review at www.CTKA.com ). They nonetheless have a place at the JFKHG conference and I’m sure there will be others along shortly.

More important than those who espouse a conspiracy theory are the witness to history. A number of important witnesses are also on the JFKHG agenda including Gary Powers, Jr., the son of the U2 pilot [http://www.coldwar.org/education/powers_testimony.html], James Wagenvoord - former Life Mag editor and whistleblower [http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKwagenvoord.htm], and Peter Janney, the son of a CIA officer who wrote a recent book on the murder of JFK paramour Mary Pinchot Meyer.[http://www.marysmosaic.net/bio.htm]. 

The JFKHG conference will also include Brian Edwards, who will talk about the 26 Volumes of Warren Commission Testimony and Exhibits that were published with the report, Russ Baker, who will talk about evidence of cover-up, Richard Bartholomew on the conflicts in the official accounts, Patrick Nelson, who will give his presentation on James Jesus Angleton, David Scheim on the Mob connections, and I am particularly looking forward to Casey Quinlan's talk on the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time of the assassination. 

There’s also Rick Russo [http://johndelanewilliams.blogspot.com/2010/12/interview-with-dennis-david-regarding.html], who was also a key consultant on the Nigel Turner documentary, and not to be confused with Gus Russo, the CIA-Disinformation asset, who continues to promote the original cover-story that Castro was behind the assassination , which will certainly be propagated by Frank Wisner’s Wurlitzer over this upcoming 50th anniversary Warren Commission media blitz. [Gus Russo’s Disinformation can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/Live-By-The-Sword-Against/dp/1890862010]

Although confirmed to give a presentation, it’s sad to learn that former FBI agent Don Adams recently passed away, so he definitely won’t be there, but we should pay renewed attention to his book “From An Office Building With A High-Powered Rife” – A Report to the Public from an FBI Agent Involved in the Official JFK Assassination Investigation.” (Trinday 2013 http://www.amazon.com/From-Office-Building-High-Powered-Rifle/dp/1936296861).

Professor Gerald McKnight, who helped save Harold Weisberg’s papers and wrote one of the best retrospective books on the Warren Commission  “Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why” [http://www.amazon.com/Breach-Trust-Warren-Commission-Failed/dp/0700613900], is temporarily tentative, and we hope he can make both conferences, as any symposium on the Warren Report would be remiss without him.

                                  Assassination Archives and Research Center Conference 

While the JFKHG conference is underway at the Crown Plaza in Alexandra, Virginia, the AARC conference will be getting underway on the other side of the river at the Bethesda Hyatt Hotel in Northwest Washington, not far from the Bethesda Naval Hospital where President Kennedy’s controversial autopsy was conducted.

THE WARREN REPORT 50 YEARS LATER is a major conference being organized by Jerry Policoff, the Executive Director of the Assassination Archives and Research Center – AARC  [www.aarclibrary.org 962 Wayne Ave. Suite 910 Silver Spring, Md. 20910  (717) 295-0237 jpolicoff@comcast.net].

Among those confirmed for AARC Conference are the lead FOIA attorney on the JFK case - AARC Director Jim Lesar, Mary Ferrell Archivist Rex Bradford 
[http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page], medical evidence specialist Dr. Gary Aguilar,  widow of reporter and congressional investigator Gaeton Fonzi - Marie Fonzi,[https://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Featured_Gaeton_Fonzi_1935-2012], HSCA attorney Dan Hardway, and the Unsinkable Molly Brown of the JFK Assassination Joan Mellen [http://joanmellen.com/wordpress/].

Highly anticipated are updates on the continuing work of DC journalist Jefferson Morley [“Our Man in Mexico” / http://jfkfacts.org/] and former Army intelligence analyst John Newman, author of “Oswald and the CIA” and “JFK and Vietnam” [http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKnewmanJ.htm], who has been working diligently on some more extremely reveling details of intelligence related aspects of the assassination that will knock our collective socks off.

South Carolina teacher Mel Hyman may give a talk on the media and the assassination, which is also a favorite topic of conference organizer Jerry Policoff.  

Andrew Kreig, author of “Presidential Puppety” will focus on Operation Northwoods and Dr. Randy Robertson, MD, a Tennessee radiologist looks at the medical evidence.  

Also confirmed is David Wrone, professor of history and author of  “The FOIA and Political Assassinations – Legal Proceedings of Harold Weisberg v. General Services Administration" (1978) and “The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy – A Comprehensive Historical and Legal Bibliography," 1963-1979 (1980); “The HSCA, The Zapruder Film, and the Single-Bullet Theory” (1993) and “The Zapruder Film: Reframing the JFK Assassination" (U. Kansas, 2003).

Dr. Ernest Titovets, M.D. [ http://www.etitovets.com/Titovets_dream.html], Ph.D. Professor (1953-1963 Minsk State Medical Institute, Minsk, Belarus, recorded Oswald reading literature when they were socializing together, which can be heard here: http://politicalassassinations.com/2013/08/recorded-voices-of-lee-oswald-and-ernst-titovets/.

Author of “Oswald: Russian Episode” Titovets  had trouble getting a visa to make a presentation at the last Dallas COPA, was probably Oswald’s oldest and closest friends behind the Iron Curtain, portrays Oswald as a human, rather than demonizing him as others try to.

One highlight of the AARC conference should be the message of Nancy Soderberg the chair of the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) who recently spoke out on the release of the still secret CIA assassination records. [Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) [http://www.archives.gov/declassification/pidb/members.html]

John Newman has a lot of new information on Oswald and the CIA, Joan Mellen will talk about her recent research and trilogy of books and Dan Hardway will discuss his HSCA work, which received a lot of attention at the Wecht Conference in Pittsburgh last October.

My presentation will be an update on the latest developments in the on-going forensic analysis of the Air Force One tapes, and the release to the public a new high-fidelity FM broadcast quality recording in which dead air was removed so that the entire tape contains useful information and is edited down to just under 2 hours and sectioned into fifteen minute parts for broadcast purposes.

Jerry Policoff, who has monitored the media’s reporting on the assassination, is the primary point man in the coordination of the AARC conference and he promises to keep the presentations at a high level and provide some newsworthy revelations. His specialty is the mainstream media coverage of the assassination and will make a presentation on that subject, which is not history but ongoing today.

Among those who are said to have been invited but have yet to confirm are “Six Seconds in Dallas” author Josiah Thompson, Deep Political thinker Peter Dale Scott and Bill Simpich, whose recent and remarkable work “State Secret” is posted at the Mary Ferrell Archives site.[https://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Featured_State_Secret_Preface ]

Also invited are Larry Hancock, author of “Someone Would Have Talked” and more recently a book on the MLK assassination with Stu Wexler [http://larry-hancock.com/someone_would_have_talked.html]
Longtime assassination researcher and photo specialist Robert Groden, as well as Robert Kennedy, Jr., son of the Senator slain in 1968, wowed the world when he announced on a TV special that his father believed the President was slain by more than one gunman and the mob and CIA were somehow involved. [http://jfkfacts.org/assassination/rfk-jr-on-his-uncles-legacy/]

Philadelphia attorney Vince Salandria, whose landmark speech at the 2003 Dallas COPA conference [http://spot.acorn.net/jfkplace/09/fp.back_issues/27th_issue/vs_text.html'] still rings true today.
Former HSCA Chief Counsel Richard Sprague was also invited to the Wecht Conference in Pittsburgh but couldn’t make it, but it would certainly make big waves if he puts in an appearance here.

“Who Killed JFK and Why It Matters” author James Douglas, also gave a landmark Dallas COPA speech [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwECsq459d4] and his book, promoted by Oliver Stone and RFK, Jr., is the first conspiracy book to resonate with the common man and not just history buffs

Tony Summers, author of the definitive “Not In Your Lifetime,” [http://www.anthonysummers.com/portfolio.html], has moved on to other projects but keeps an eye on whatever new information comes out about the JFK case and may show up to promote his popular book. 

Original whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers, and inspired others to do the same is also invited, along with former Senators Gary Hart and Richard Schweiker, whose Church Committte Subcommitte investigated some aspects of the JFK assassination and sparked the House Select Committee on Assassinations. They have both spoken out publicly about the assassination, denouncing the official investigations as inadequate and compromised.

One of their most trusted investigators, Gaeton Fonzi, was also hired by the HSCA and his widow,  Marie Fonzi will undoubtedly speak about her husband’s work and she may be accompanied by two of Fonzi’s prized and trusted sources Sylvia Odio [http://www.jfk-online.com/odiohsca.html ] and Antonio Veciana [http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKveciana.htm / http://jfkfacts.org/tag/antonio-veciana/ ], who were persuaded to testify before Congress in 1977 but were prevented from doing so.

Former Cuban G2 chief Fabian Escalante [http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKescalante.htm], who had access to the Cuban files on the assassination, and wrote a number of books on the subject, participated in the two conferences between researchers and Cuban intelligence officials may also be there, if the State Department lets him in. 

Also invited is Wayne Smith [ http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKsmithW.htm], the former State Department attaché assigned to the Havana embassy at the time of the Cuban revolution, personally knew and worked with both David Atlee Phillips and David Moralles, and organized the two conferences with the Cubans.

Citizens for the Truth on JFK Assassination (CTKA http://www.ctka.net/) founder and publisher of Probe Jim DiEugenio and renowned researcher Lisa Peasae [ http://realhistoryarchives.blogspot.com/] should each make passionate and convincing presentations, as they did in Pittsburgh.

If they all accept the invitation to speak, Hollywood will be well represented with actor Ed Asner, Z – director Costa Gavras [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z_(1969_film)], Oliver Stone of JFK fame, his researcher Jane Rusconi and former Minnisotta Governor, Navy SEAL and wrestler Jesse Ventura and his Mexican bar pal Dick Russell, author of The Man Who Knew Too Much and On the Trail of the JFK Asssassins. [ http://www.dickrussell.org/man.htm ].

Also invited are FOIA attorney Dan Alcorn, researcher Brenda Brody, Pamela Brown, who has done extensive research into the history of the limo, Walt Brown, author of a number of JFK books and the mammoth JFK Chronology, along with Barry Ernest, author of “The Girl On The Stairs”  [http://www.amazon.com/The-Girl-Stairs-Missing-Assassination/dp/1460979370 ], and Sherry Feister – professional forensic crime scene investigator whose blood splatter analysis precludes the fatal head shot from originating from the TSBD [http://www.sherryfiester.com/].

Longtime researcher Larry Happenen, who adds a clear head to the proceedings, Gail Nix Jackson, grand -daughter and author of “Orvil Nix: The Missing JFK Assassination Film,” David Kaiser, former Naval War College professor and author of  “The Road To Dallas,” HSCA attorney Ed Lopez, Dr. Grover Proctor, former University Dean who is best known for his investigation of the phone call Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly made from the Dallas jail to Raleigh, North Carolina, should all be there. 

Also invited are Nina Rhodes-Hughes, witness to RFK assassination and Ben Rogers, W.R. Poage Legislative Library Director at Baylor University Dallas Baylor University || Poage Library, where many of the assassination records of chief researchers are ending up.

To be fair and balanced, and to present the official side of the cover story will be Warren Commission defenders and apologists John McAdams [JFK / The Kennedy Assassination Home Pageand Max Holland and [Washington Decoded: RFK OK’d Sabotage Against Cuba in November 1963; Overruled by JFK  ]  possibly Warren Commission attorney Burt Griffith.

The AARC Conference in Bethesda is expected to have a pricing scheme similar to the JFKHG Conference, and will soon have a dedicated web site with much more information at: AARC - Assassination Archives and Research Center.

Hopefully both conferences will be different, and not just present the same old, stale information, and be live streamed over the internet, filmed, recorded and archived on line so people can view the presentations at their convenience, as I suspect these conferences and this anniversary will have a more important impact on the legal status of the case and significant ramifications on the disposition of the remaining sealed government records on the assassination.

BK 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Flight From McGuire

The Man Named Oswald - Flight from McGuire
By William Kelly

In October 1959  Mrs. Louise Steenbarger and her eight year old son David boarded a Military Air Transport (MATS) plane at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey bound for Phalsbourg, France, where her husband was a civilian auditor with the Auditor General, so the military issued their travel orders.

As a Congressional Committee report described:

On the airplane her son sat in the window seat and she sat in the middle. The man sitting in the aisle seat said his name was Lee Oswald; she doesn’t remember him using a middle name. He seemed tense and didn’t say much; he gripped the arms of the seat so tightly that his knuckles were white. She thought he was merely afraid of flying. He was quite taciturn and actually seemed hostile when she tried to talk to him.

The young man relaxed after they had a meal. He seemed to her like he had a lot of pent-up emotion. He said he had served in Japan and the Philippines. He was wearing a Marine Corps uniform. He said he had fallen in love with a Japanese girl and had been imprisoned in either Japan or the Philippines because he wanted to marry her. He said he was being shipped to Germany by the military; the departure had been so hastily arranged that he had not even been able to see his mother.

Mrs. Steenbarger described the man as having light to sand hair, light eyes, with sharpshooter medals on his uniform, a name plate saying “Lee Oswald” and a slight Southern accent.

He said his father was named Robert E. Lee Oswald. He talked about putting down the American system. He said he was being shipped to Germany because they needed him right away and that he had a skill he could use there, but she doesn’t recall if he specified what skill.

The plane landed in Preswick in Scotland. Mrs. Steenbarger and her son deplaned to use the restroom. Oswald said he was ill. He stood at a distance and seemed to be watching her coldly and suspiciously. After that, he didn’t speak to her any more.

When they got back on the plane the man named Oswald sat across the isle from her and her son and a couple of rows up. Another man in nice civilian clothing sat next to her. He let a cigarette dangle on the armrest but appeared distracted and did not smoke it. There may have been other civilians on the plane, but she is not sure.

The man named Oswald told her that he was still under surveillance from his trouble with the military police. The man sitting next to her after Oswald moved behaved oddly that she wondered if he was in fact the person who was watching Oswald.

Their plane landed….That was the last time she saw the man named Oswald.

It is not yet known if the HSCA investigators followed up on this report and actually checked the MATS flight manifests out of McGuire to Germany in October 1959, to see if the names of Louise and David Steenbarger and Lee Oswald are on there, but I intend to follow up on this and check to see if such records still exist, and if the names are on there, and if so, what does it all mean?

On October 15, 1959 Lee Harvey Oswald entered the Soviet Union, renounced his American citizenship, offered the Soviets sensitive information and defected. As a man named Oswald who was born in the South, spoke with a southern accent, had a father named Robert E. Lee, was an ex-Marine who had been stationed in Japan and the Philippines, fallen in love with a Japanese girl and spent time in the brig, and specially trained in radar, communications and the Russian language, it seems like our boy Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy.

The problem is that the historic Lee Harvey Oswald did not hastily depart for the Soviet Union but planned it out many months in advance, did stop and see his mother before leaving as a registered passenger on a tramp steamer out of New Orleans for France.

According to the Warren Report (p. 614) “…Oswald went directly home after his discharge, and arrived in Fort Worth by September 14. He told his mother that he intended to get a job on a ship or possibly in the ‘export-inport business.’ …..Three days after his arrival in Fort Worth, he left for New Orleans. While he was in Fort Worth he had registered his dependency discharge and entry into the Marine Reserve at the Fort Worth Selective Service Board, and visited his brother Robert and his family. He also gave his mother $100.”

“On September 17, Oswald spoke with a representative of Travel Consultants, Inc. a New Orleans travel bureau; he filled out a “Passenger Immigration Questionnaire,” on which he gave his occupation as a ‘shipping export agent’ and aaid that he would be abroad for 2 months on a pleasure trip. He booked passage from new Orleans to Le Havre, France, on a freighter, the SS Marion Lykes, scheduled to sail on September 18, for which he paid $220.75. On the evening of September 17, he registered at the Liberty Hotel. The Marion Lykes did not sail until the early morning of September 20. Before its departure, Oswald wrote his mother a letter, which was her last news of him until she read stories of his defection in Fort Worth newspaper….The Marion Lykes carried only four passengers. Oswald shared his cabin with Billy Joe Lord, a young man who had just graduated from  high school and was going to France to continue his education….The other two passengers were Lt. Col. And Mrs. George B. Church, Jr., who also found Oswald unfriendly and had little contact with him. Oswald told them he had not liked the Marine Corps and that he planned to study in Switzerland; they observed some ‘bitterness’ about his mother’s difficulties, but did not discuss this with him. No one on board suspected that he intended to defect to Russia.”

“Oswald disembarked at La havre on October 8. He left for England that same day, and arrived on October 9. He told English customs officials in Southampton that he had S700 and planned to reamin in the United Kingdom for 1 week before proceeding to a school in Switzerland. But on the same day, he flew to Helsinki, Finland, where he registered at the Torni Hotel; on the following day, he moved to the Klaus Kurki Hotel. Oswald probably applied for a visa at the Russian consulate on October 12, his first business day in Helsinki. The visa was issued on October 14. It was valid until October 20….He left Helssinki by train on the following day, crossed the Finnish-Russian border at Vainikkala, and arrived in Moscow on October 16.”

According to Mrs. Steenbarger, she sat next to a young man who had many of the same attributes as the accused assassin of President Kennedy:

1)      In USMC uniform with
2)      Nameplate Lee Oswald
3)      Sharpshooter medal on uniform
4)      Light sandy hair
5)      Light eyes
6)      Slight southern accent
7)      Appeared ill, cold and suspicious
8)      Said his father Robert E. Lee Oswald
9)      Talked about putting down the American system
10)  He said he had served in Japan and Philippines
11)  Fallen in love with Japanese girl
12)  Spent time in prison
13)  Being sent to Germany by the military
14)  Departure so hastily arranged he didn’t see mother
15)  Needed right away in Germany because he had special skill
16)   Under surveillance by military police

The historic Lee Harvey Oswald was a US Marine, he was an average sharpshooter in the Marines, had light sandy hair, light eyes, spoke with a slight southern accent, was often standoffish, had a father named Robert Edward Lee Oswald, he talked about putting down the American system, he served in Japan and the Philippines, he dated a Japanese hostess, he spent time in prison for minor infractions, but there the parallels end, as his departure wasn’t hastily arranged and he did see his mother, spent three days with her and his brother Robert, who had also served in the Marines.

From his U.S. Air Force base in Texas, Billy Joe Lord reported his shipmate association with Oswald, as did U.S. Army Col. George B. Church, Jr. and his wife who filed affidavits as to their associations with Oswald and all give the same impression of Oswald, an ex-Marine upset about his mother’s situation, who didn’t enjoy being a Marine and was going to school in Switzerland.

Did Oswald take the freighter out of New Orleans or did he fly the MATS flight out of McGuire?

Were there two Oswalds? Or was Oswald being impersonated?

Or did Mrs. Steenbarger, in 1976, seventeen years later, misremember the entire incident and entwined aspects of the real Oswald’s life that she had read about or seen on TV or learned through the media?

The most plausible explanation is that there was a US Marine who flew to Germany on the MATS plane whose name was very similar to Lee Oswald, who was from the south and whose father was named Robert E. Lee, who had served in Japan and the Philippines and got in trouble and was being sent to Germany on a mission because of his special skills, as there were probably many Marines who fit that category.

The recommended follow up in the HSCA report was to “Request from Air Force travel manifest for flight taken by Mrs. Steenbarger to see if Oswald’s name appears,” but there doesn’t seem to be any records of any official follow up, and I have contacted the McGuire AFB historian and sent a FOIA request to see if the passenger manifest records for MATS flights out of McGuire for Germany in October 1959 still exist.

There is a reference to Mrs. Steenbarger among the records of John Armstrong, whose book “Harvey and Lee” clearly demonstrates that there were many instances of the historic Oswald being intentionally impersonated, and Armstrong may have followed up on this line of inquiry. [Will check]

Since David Steenbarger was only eight years old in 1959, I considered that he may still be alive, and found him teaching math at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, and also learned that as of a few years ago, Mrs. Lola Louise Steenbarge – age 91, was living in Indiana, but the contact phone numbers listed to them no longer work. [Sinclair CC might have a contact number for him, will check]

An officer in the JBMDL (Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst) is checking to see if they still have the passenger manifest records for MATS flights from McGuire to Germany in October 1959.






APPENDIX and NOTES:

Henry Hurt mentions that Billy Joe Lord also mentioned that there was someone in France who took a particular interest in Oswald.


 (Affidavit of George B. , Jr. Church)

1. I am a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army and am now n Junior High School teacher in Tampa. I am attending the University of Florida this summer.
2. My wife and I travelled to Europe on the S.S. Marion Lykes which departed New Orleans, Louisiana for LeHavre, France, on or about September 20, 1959. This vessel was a freighter with accommodations for 12 passengers assigned two to a room. On this particular trip, there were but four passengers aboard. One of them was Lee Harvey Oswald, who shared a state room with an individual named Billy Joe Lord. The trip from New Orleans, Louisiana, terminated at LeHavre, France. The entire trip was approximately 16 days.
3. Before this trip, I had never before see. n nor heard of Lee Harvey Oswald.
4. All of the passengers ate at one table; however, Lee Harvey Oswald missed quite a few meals because he was seasick much of the time. Furthermore, there was no fixed schedule for meals. When we did have meals with Oswald, he sat cater-cornered from me. However, Oswald was rather withdrawn, and thus I did not converse with him a great deal. Oswald did state during our discussion of our destinations, that he was going to attend a university in Switzerland. Oswald did not give the name of the university and did not indicate that he had a clear cut schedule as to his course of study.
5. I recall having discussed with Oswald the Depression of the 1930's. Oswald appeared quite bitter as to the hard time his mother had suffered during this period. I tried to point out to Oswald that I had lived through and survived the Depression and that millions of people in the United States also had suffered during those years. This, however, made no impression on Oswald.
6. Oswald spent much of the time by himself. He did not participate in any of the social activities, nor in any conversation. He did mention his service in the Marine Corps, and he stated that he did not like the military service. Generally Oswald was not friendly, and he did not make much of an impression on me since I was not particularly interested in him.
7. The ship had a receiver in the ward room which was off and on during the voyage. I did listen to it occasionally, and I did understand German. I do not know if Oswald listened to the receiver or not, and I have no idea as to his knowledge of any foreign language.
8. Oswald did not indicate that he was going to go to Russia.
9. After the trip I never saw nor heard from Lee Harvey Oswald again. Signed this 27th day of June 1964.

(S) George B. Church, Jr.,
GEORGE B. CHURCH, Jr.
Mrs. George B. Church, Jr.
Affidavit of Mrs. George B. , Jr. Church

The following affidavit was executed by Mrs. George B. Church, Jr., on June 27, 1964.

PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION
ON THE ASSASSINATION OF AFFIDAVIT
PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY
STATE OF FLORIDA,
County of Hillsborough, ss:

I, Mrs. George B. Church, Jr, being duly sworn say:

1. I live at 2427 Sunset Drive, Tampa 9, Florida. I travelled to Europe on the S.S. Marion Lykes which departed New Orleans, Louisiana for LeHavre, France, on or about September 20, 1959.
2. I recall that besides my husband, there were two other passengers: Lee Harvey Oswald and Bill Lord. My husband and I sat at the same table with Oswald for meals, but outside of meals, we did not have much contact with him. While I had endeavored to get acquainted with Lee Harvey Oswald, he did not enter into friendly conversation. He stayed to himself, and I considered him peculiar.
3. Oswald indicated that the purpose of the trip was to attend a university in Switzerland, but he evaded giving the name of the university and, he did not indicate any clear cut or positive courses of study other than a statement to the effect that he might study philosophy or psychology. His attitude seemed to be one of resentment. His roommate, Bill Lord, was going to attend a university in France and was studying French during the trip. Lord was quite exuberant about his course of study and purpose of life, in contrast to the attitude of Lee Harvey Oswald.
4. I do not recall Oswald doing any reading. However, I gave him a book which he never returned.
5. Upon completion of the voyage aboard the S.S. Marion Lykes, I obtained the address of Bill Lord for the purpose of perhaps later writing him or sending him Christmas cards. I also requested Oswald's address and he questioned the purpose of my request. He later reluctantly furnished his home address as, C/O Mrs. M. Oswald, 3124 West Fifth Street, Fort Worth, Texas. I wrote this in my address book.
6. At no time did Lee Harvey Oswald indicate that he was actually planning or attempting to defect or go to Russia. There was no indication that Oswald had any Communist leanings. I did notice that Oswald spoke with the Chief Engineer who was then aboard the S.S. Marion Lykes. The Chief Engineer indicated to me that he felt that Oswald was a smart boy.
7. This was the last I ever saw or heard from Lee Harvey Oswald. Signed this 27th day of June 1964.
(S) Mrs. George B. Church, Jr.,
Mrs. George.
B. CHURCH, Jr.

-----------

Billy Joe Lord
Affidavit of Billy Joe Lord

The following affidavit was executed by Billy Joe Lord on June 26, 1964.

PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION
ON THE ASSASSINATION OF AFFIDAVIT
PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY
STATE OF TEXAS,
County of Travis, ss:

I, Billy Joe Lord, ,being duly sworn say:
1. I am an Airman Third Class in the United States Air Force, and I am in the 340th Bomb Wing, Combat Defense Squadron at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas. I am 22 years old and .my parents live at Midland, Tens.
2. After graduating from Midland High School in 1959, with the financial assistance of my parents, I made plans to continue my education in France. During August, 1959, I made an application for a passport, and on or about September 15, 1959, I departed Midland, Texas via train for New Orleans, Louisiana, arriving there about September 17, 1959. I spent the next three days touring the city of New Orleans and making several trips to the ticket office of the Lykes Lines. The cost of passage aboard the ship S.S. Marion Lykes amounted to slightly more than $200. I registered and stayed in the LaSalle Hotel on Canal Street, which was near the city library. I visited the library several ,times during this stay in the city. During this period I did not know Lee Harvey Oswald.
3. On September 20, 1959, I boarded the freighter S.S. Marion Lykes at New Orleans. Upon ,boarding the ship, I was shown to my room, and when I got there, Lee Harvey Oswald was already there and moving in. We were to share this room. I had never before seen nor heard of Lee Harvey Oswald. Lee Harvey Oswald and I shared this cabin for the duration of the trip to France which was fourteen days.
4. In our first conversation, Oswald said that he was recently discharged from the Marines and that he had worked in some technical field while in the Marines. He indicated that he was somewhat bitter about the fact that his mother had to work in a drugstore in Fort Worth, Texas, and was having a difficult time. He also said that he would probably return to the United States to work. He gave no indication of this ultimate destination, although he said he was going to travel around in Europe and possibly attend school in Switzerland if he hurl sufficient funds. Also in this first conversation, we discussed religion. I do not know why we discussed religion except that possibly he noticed that I had a bible. Oswald maintained that he could not see how I could believe in God in view of the fact that science had disproved the existence of God, and that there was only matter.
5. After the first day, I hardly conversed with Oswald at all. Oswald was not outgoing and neither was I. We just were not very friendly.
6. Besides Oswald and myself, there were two other passengers aboard the ship. They were a retired U.S. Army Colonel and his wife, Colonel and Mrs. George B. Church, Jr. All four of the passengers generally ate their meals together in the ships officer's mess. Oswald ate most of his meals with us. I do not recall Colonel Church and his wife associating very much with Lee Harvey Oswald.
7. I shared a closet with Oswald, but I did not notice anything out of .the ordinary among Oswald's possessions. He did show me either his military identification card or his passport.
8. Oswald did not indicate that he might defect to Russia. To the best of my knowledge, Oswald did not receive any correspondence or communications while aboard the ship, nor did he associate with any of the ship's crew. Oswald never mentioned any contacts or friends in Europe.
9. Lee Harvey Oswald appeared to be a normal, healthy individual, mentally alert, but extremely cynical -in his general attitude.
On October 5, 1959, our ship arrived in France, and I disembarked from the ship. I never saw or heard from him again. It is my recollection that he departed from the ship subsequent to my departure. I had written my mother about all the passengers. When Oswald defected, she sent me a newspaper clipping about it.
10. Oswald spent a great deal of his time during ,the trip on the deck. I do not recall him doing any reading. I do recall, however, that there was a radio speaker which received programs from Europe and that Oswald and Colonel Church seemed to understand a little bit of the foreign language that came over on the speaker. I thought it was German, but I am not sure.
11. I attended the Institute of French Studies at the City of Tours, Province of Touraine, France, from October, 1959 to February, 1962 intermittently while auditing courses at the University of Poitires, Tours, France, and at the Sorbonne, University of Paris, France. I returned to the United States aboard the French ship, Liberty, in June, 1960. I went to France again in February of 1961 .for further education, and returned to the United States in February of 1962.

Signed this 26th day of June 1964.

( S ) Billy Joe Lord,
BILLY JOE LORD.




Friday, June 13, 2014

Oswald takes MATs Flight to Defect?

MACS flight from McGuire to Germany – October 1959 w/ Lee Oswald, USMC

In September 1978, a chief investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) had an assistant contact Louisea Steenbarger – of Peru, Indiana, to see what information she wanted to relay in regards to their investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The assistant made the phone call and talked to Louise Steenbarger and wrote this report:

KENNEDY
OUTSIDE CONTACT REPORT
DATE 9-26-78 TIME

I.                    Identifying Information: Name Louise Steenbarger Telphone 317-172-1771Address 128 East Sixth Street, Peru, Indiana Type of Contact – x Telephone ___ Person

II.                 Summary of   Contact:
Pursuant to Cliff Fenton’s request, I called Mrs. Steenbarger because she contacted the Committee to give information.

Mrs. Steenbarger related the following:

In Mid-October 1959 her husband, Maurice Eugene Steenbarger, was stationed with the Air Force in Phalsbourg France. He husband was a civilian auditor with the Auditor General. At that time she left her home in Marion, Indiana with her eight year old son, David (dob 11/29/51) to join her husband in France. Her travel was arranged through the military and she was issued travel orders. She left from Bunker Hill Base (now called Garisson) in Indiana and flew to MacGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. MacGuire was the point of departure for military transport flights were called MATS.

On the airplane her son sat in the window seat and she sat in the middle. The man sitting in the aisle seat said his name was Lee Oswald; she doesn’t remember him using a middle name. He seemed tense and didn’t say much; he gripped the arms of the seat so tightly that his knuckles were white. She thought he was merely afraid of flying. He was quite taciturn and actually seemed hostile when she tried to talk to him.

The young man relaxed after they had a meal. He seemed to her like he had a lot of pent-up emotion. He said he had served in Japan and the Philippines. He was wearing a Marine Corps uniform. He said he had fallen in love with a Japanese girl and had been imprisoned in either Japan or the Philippines because he wanted to marry her. He said he was being shipped to Germany by the military; the departure had been so hastily arranged that he had not even been able to see his mother.

Mrs. Steenbarger described the man as having light to sand hair, light eyes, with sharpshooter medals on his uniform, a name plate saying “Lee Oswald” and a slight Southern accent.

He said his father was named Robert E. Lee Oswald. He talked about putting down the American system. He said he was being shipped to Germany because they needed him right away and that he had a skill he could use there, but she doesn’t recall if he specified what skill.

The plane landed in Preswick in Scotland. Mrs. Steenbarger and her son deplaned to use the restroom. Oswald said he was ill. He stood at a distance and seemed to be watching her coldly and suspiciously. After that, he didn’t speak to her any more.

When they got back on the plane the man named Oswald sat across the isle from her and her son and a couple of rows up. Another man in nice civilian clothing sat next to her. He let a cigarette dangle on the armrest but appeared distracted and did not smoke it. There may have been other civilians on the plane, but she is not sure.

The man named Oswald told her that he was still under surveillance from his trouble with the military police. The man sitting next to her after Oswald moved behaved oddly that she wondered if he was in fact the person who was watching Oswald.

Their plane landed at either Rhine/Maine or Frnakfurt.  That was the last time she saw the man named Oswald. She did not notice how he left the airfield.

Mrs. Steenbarger offered that her travel arrangements and possibly a manifest of that flight could be gotten from the Air Force. She provided the following vital statistics on her and her husband:

Lola Louise Steenbarger
Dob 3/19/23
SS#

Maurice Eugene Steenbarger
Dob 10/5/16
S$#
Civil Service Retirement #CSA 1718774
Began work with Auditor General in 1955

III.               Recommended Follow-up (If any):
Request from Air Force travel manifest for flight taken by Mrs. Steenbarger to see if Oswald’s name appears.


Signature Surell Brady Surell Brady

OSWALD CHRONOLOGY – 1958-1959

October 24, 1956 – Oswald enters the USMC

Feb '58 Oswald rotated back to U.S. and assigned to MAC 9 in Santa Ana Ca        

June 20,  '58 - Oswald into brig for 45 days for barroom altercation with Sgt.

November 19, 1958 to December 22, 1958 LHO gets 30 days leave

December 1958 – September 1959 – While LHO stationed in California, he has one date with “Rose” – ex-airline hostess who speaks Russian and who is Henry J. (“Beezer”) Rouseeelle’s aunt. Rousselle is in USMC and from coastal Louisiana town. (CD 129:1-3)

December 1958 – Oswald has one month leave from USMC (16:337; CD 6:455)

December 28 1958 until September 1959 – LHO stationed at El Toro, Sana Anna (MACS 9 – radar team of 10)

1959 - DPD Lt. George Butler says a Marine buddy tells of Oswald making mysterious trips while stationed in California in 1959.

Feb   '59 Oswald takes proficiency test in Russian from Marines
                                  
Mar  '59 Oswald applies to Albert Schwitzer College...claims Russian proficiency.

April – June 1959 – Oswald becomes acquainted with a fellow Marine named Kerry W. Thornley at the California base. Thornley’s father is a Whittier, California, photoengraver. Thornley is a New Orleans writer (in 1963) whose unpublished novel has an Oswald-like central character. Thornley says he was a ‘leftist’ in 1959 and a ‘rightest’ in 1963. He knew nothing of Schewitzer College. Thornley goes to California from New Orleans in May 1963 and  returns to New Orleans through Mexico in September 1963.

June 6, 1959 – Saturday – Oswald writes to his brother Robert that he knows what he’s going to do when he gets out of USMC. (16:824) USMC friend of LHO recalls he had Russian language records and mentions going to Schweitzer College between 12/58 and  9/59.  Oswald tells mother of his plans to attend Albert Schweitzer College.

June 19, 1959 – Oswald sends $25 deposit to Schewitzer College for future enrollment (Spring 1960)

July 1959 – Oswald is told of his mother’s injury.
               
Aug ’59 Gladys Davis will later report to FBI that her husband and a Cuban known to her as “Mexicano” introduced Oswald to her at her home in Miami

August 1959 – 17 (Monday) – Oswald requests a dependency discharge from the USMC because of  his mother’s injury. Robert says that Oswald is due to be discharged on December 8, 1959 on his regular tour. LHO on 30 days leave from LUMC, El Toro from 11./19/58 until – LHO was in Fort Worth when mother injured!!)  letter of  8/17 a fraud.

September 1959 – Oswald stationed at El Toro Naval Air Station, San Diego since Dec. 28, 1958

Sept 4 '59 Oswald passport application references DOD card issued on Sept 11!! and carries same officers signature, who does not recall sighing either.

September 4 1959 (Friday) Oswald gets letter from the USMC saying that he is to be discharged on September 11, 1959. He takes this letter and applies for a passport in Los Angeles. He states o this application that he is  in the export business and that he is planning a four-month trip to attend A. Schweitzer (sic) College in Switzerland and the University of Turku in Finland, with tourist trips to Switzerland, Finland, Cuba, Dominican Republic, England, France, Germany and Russia. He plans to leave from New Orleans about September 21, 1959. This application was received in Washington on September 9, and granted on September 10.

Sept 11 ' 59 Oswald receives DOD ID card with same photo as later seen on phony "Alek Hidell" Selective Service card....card sometimes issued to civilians requiring ID overseas; same as issued to Gary Powers by CIA
Sept 11 '59 Oswald given hardship discharge based on Mothers injury.....this is clearly a case of misrepresentation on his part as he already plans to go overseas.

September 10 1959 (Thursday) Oswald receives passport #1733242 in Los Angeles.

September 11, 1959 (Friday) Oswald is released by the USMC at El Toro, California, so that he can care for his injured mother in Fort Worth. Oswald receives $219.20 severance and travel pay. He is obligated to serve in the USMCR until December 8, 1962.

September 11, 1959 LHO issued Dept. of Defense “Unifovored Services Identificaiton and Privileges Card #4271617, DD form 1173, 1 January 57. Oswald’s photo from this card used on Hidell’s fake Sel. Serv. Reg. card.

September 12, 13, 14 -1959 (Sat-Mon) Oswald stays with his mother in Fort Worth. He mentions that he may go to Cuba. He goes hunting with Robert.

September 14, 1959 (Monday) Oswald registers with his Fort Worth draft board. Address: 3124 W. 5th, Ft. Worth Why?

September 14, 1959 Oswald withdraws $203 balance from Fort Worth Bank.

Oswald give mother $100. She believes Oswald saved $1600 from USMC pay.

September 16, 1959 – Oswald is at the Liberty Hotel, New Orleans. Signs passenger immigration D-32 questionnaire in New Orleans.

September 16, 1959 – (Thursday) Oswald books passage on “Marion Lykes” through Travel Consultants, International Trade Mart

September 19, 1959 – (Saturday) Oswald writes to Mother telling her that their ways are different.

September 20, 1959 – (Sunday) Ship leaves New Orleans

October 5, 1959 – (Monday)  - Marion Lykes – arrives at LaRochelle, France.

October 1959 – this is the first month on a calendar handwritten in Oswald’s notebook.

October 8, 1959 (Thursday) Oswald’s passport is stamped as entered at LeHarve.

October 9, 1959 (Friday) Oswald’s passport is stamped as embarked at London airport.

October 10, 1959 – Oswald arrives in Helsinki – Torni Hotel.

October 11, 1959 (Sunday) – Oswald moves to Klaus Kurki Hotel, Helsinki.

October 14, 1959 (Wednesday) Oswald gets USSR visa.

October 15, 1959 (Thursday) Oswald arrives in USSR via Finland