Sunday, July 22, 2012

Shenanigans at the Dallas State Fairgrounds




JFK Assassination Shenanigans at the Dallas Texas State Fairgrounds
By William Kelly

The first time I ever heard about the State Fairgrounds in Dallas was during Larry Meyers’ Warren Commission testimony when he told about coming to Dallas a few weeks before the assassination, possibly for the grand opening of the Dallas Cabana, where he also stayed over the weekend of the assassination.

Meyers described how he was a salesman from Chicago who had met Jack Ruby sometime previous, and since Ruby was from Chicago too, they developed an affinity, so whenever he came to Dallas he would stop and visit Ruby at the Carousel Club.

This particular time, a few weeks before the assassination, Ruby took him over to the Dallas State Fairgrounds to meet some friends who had a failing carousel act – a tent where they showed a film called “How Hollywood Made Movies.”

Meyers said he wrote out a $500 check for Ruby to cash and share with his friends who ran the enterprise. Two of those involved, Joyce McDonald and Larry Crafard, went to work for Ruby in the following weeks, McDonald at the Carousel Club and Crafard as a handyman who became Ruby’s right-hand man, living at the Carousel Club, doing some of the duties Ruby usually did, and then helping to manage Ruby’s other club, which never gets as much attention as the Carousel. Unlike the Carousel, Ruby’s other club didn’t have the dancers, but featured music instead, usually a rock and roll band.

Crafard also bore a remarkable physical resemblance to Lee Harvey Oswald, so much so that more than once, it was later alleged that Ruby and Oswald were seen together, when it later turned out that it was actually Ruby and Crafard who were together.

Crafard may have also intentionally impersonated Oswald in one of the many instances where the accused assassin was blatantly and intentionally impersonated by others, possibly as part of the effort to frame him.



[Larry Crafard is a living witness]

Then there’s Joyce McDonald. She worked at the Fair and then worked for Ruby. When Larry Meyers returned to Dallas over the assassination weekend, he brought a young lady with him, Jean Aase (aka West), and Jean and Joyce went shopping together.

Just as a people confused Crafard and Oswald, Ruby employed two women named McDonald, and they too are often confused. As Ian Griggs notes in his book “No Case to Answer” ( JFK Lancer, 2005, p. 224) that, “Betty McDonald (Nancy Jane Mooney) This former Ruby stripper, who often appears to be confused with others of a similar name, provided an alias for Darrell Wayne Gardner when he was accused of shooting Warren Reynolds, a witness close to the murder of Officer J.D. Tippit. This occurred on 5th February 1964. Just eight days later, she was arrested in Dallas and charged with a minor public order offence. She was locked up in the City Jail and later found dead in her cell, apparently having committed suicide by hanging herself with her toreador pants. Her name inevitably appears on the list of suspicious deaths…”


According to Griggs (p. 227), then there’s “Joy Dale (Joyce Lee Witherspoon McDonald, now Joyce Gordon), who is probably the women recruited by Ruby from the State Fair and who met Larry Meyers. Griggs describes her as “One of the ‘Five exotics’ who were due to perform on 22 November 1963, she had worked for Ruby since August 1963. She is the girl on the left in a series of five photographs taken in Ruby’s office (Armstrong Exhibit Nos. 5301-A to E). She was interviewed extensively in the video Jack Ruby on Trial.”


[This may not be the Armstrong Exhibit but Joyce McDonald Gordon is a living witness]

That Ruby would recruit two employees from the Dallas State Fair was all quite coincidental, and I took it that way until a researcher sent me some Deep Background on early organized gambling in Dallas that indicated such gambling was centered around the Fairground until the Chicago mob moved in, a move that apparently included Jack Ruby. Then the Dallas organized criminal underworld shifted to Joe Civello, the Campisis and company, who were associated with Carlos Marcello in New Orleans.

“At San Antonio On March 6, 1964, Reverend Wayman Whitney, age 47, 716 College Street, Belton, Texas, furnished the following information and requested that his identity as the source of the information not be disclosed. He explained that on June 30, 1942, he left Kelly Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, where he had served as a cadet and went to work for KTBC, a radio station at Austin, Texas, owned by Lady Bird JohnsonHe said he was a staff member under a Civil Service organization for this radio station. Reverend Whitney said that while connected with this radio station in Dallas about twenty years ago, he had observed a gambling syndicate situation in existence at Dallas with a local leader named Denny Pugh. Denny Pugh operated out of a small electrical shop across the street from the fair grounds. This shop was owned by Carroll Sands and was known as the Sands Electrical Shop. During that time, Mr. Hinkle was commissioner at Dallas and had his office in the same building with Denny Pugh. Reverend Whitney added that he did not know who succeeded Denny Pugh after Pugh's death, but it would seem to him, Whitney, that if this method of operation has not stopped and if there is a line of succession that would reach Ruby, then Ruby may be the man in control of the gambling syndicate at Dallas.” 

That still didn’t peak my interest in the Dallas State Fairgrounds too much, but what caught my attention was another reference in Ian Griggs book “No Case to Answer” (p. 3) in which he describes the operations of the Dallas Police Department’s Special Services Bureau. Griggs: “This was the first of the specialized departments. It operated under the command of Captain W. P. (‘Pat”) Gannaway who was supported by six Lieutenants, 34 regular Detectives, 14 Patrolmen who were temporarily assigned to the Bureau and four female civilians (one stenographer an three clerk typists)….Captain Gannaway (at that time known as ‘Mr. Narcotics’) had been in charge of the notorious 1957 undercover operation and raid that culminated in stripper Candy Barr being arrested for possession of half and ounce of marijuana. For this offense, she was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, actually serving less than three years before being paroled.”

Griggs on The Special Services Bureau: “Initially, I had some difficulty in working out what the Special Services Bureau actually did….It was basically a covert surveillance and intelligence-gathering unit which, as well as the Criminal Intelligence Squad (CIS), included the Vice Squad and the Narcotics Squad, etc. Its regular officers were plain clothes detectives…The Warren Commission testimony of Lieutenant Jack Revill (who became Assistant Chief in 1982) is very revealing…He stated: ‘I am currently in charge of the criminal intelligence section…Our primary responsibility is to investigate crimes of an organized nature, subversive activities, racial matters, labor racketeering, and to do anything that the chief might desire. We work for the chief of police. I report to a captain who is in charge of the bureau – Captain Gannaway.’”

Revill was assigned to investigate how Jack Ruby had gained access to the City Hall basement when he shot Oswald.

Griggs also cites a reference to Phillip H. Melanson’s article Dallas Mosaic” published in the Third Decade (Vol. 1, no. 3, March 1985, pages 12-15), where Melanson mentions that “the spooky little unit was physically removed from the rest of the DPD and was headquartered in a building on the state fairgrounds.” (Vol. IV HSCA 597).

That the DPD SSB, who ran undercover informants, would be headquartered away from the regular Police Department makes sense, since undercover informants would not like to be seen around the Police Department and expose the fact that they were snitches.

Thanks to Robert Howard, who sent this: Dallas Morning News, page 3 September 28, 1960. “Police to Get Substation at Fair Park ....... the former South and East Dallas Chamber of Commerce Building, owned by the Park Department, is being converted for permanent use by police at the State Fair of Texas .....”

As Ian Fleming said, “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, but three times is enemy action,” so after my attention was drawn to the Dallas State Fairground for the fourth time – first by Ruby taking Larry Meyers there, second by Ruby’s recruitment of two carneys – Crafard and McDonald, third by the history of gambling at the Fairgrounds and fourth by the location of the Dallas PD SSU HQ there, I now suspect something interesting is going on there.

Then the clincher is the fact that the Dallas Civil Defense Emergency Bunker, an underground nuclear bomb proof cellar with special communications equipment, was located under the Health and Science Museum, located at the Dallas State Fairgrounds.

Was this emergency bunker in use on November 22nd, 1963? And if so, did they tape record all of the emergency radio communications? Russ Baker asks the same question and notes that Jack Crichton, who worked with some of those DPD officers in the Pilot Car in the motorcade and assisted in obtaining the interpreter for Marina Oswald on the day of the assassination, was also in charge of this shelter.

Russ Baker wrote: 

“It was in 1956 that the bayou-bred Crichton started up his own spy unit, the 488th Military Intelligence Detachment. He would serve as the intelligence unit’s only commander through November 22, 1963, continuing until he retired from the 488th in 1967, at which time he was awarded the Legion of Merit and cited for ‘exceptionally outstanding service.” 

“Besides his oil work and his spy work, the disarmingly folksy Crichton wore a third hat. He was an early and central figure in an important Dallas institution that is virtually forgotten today: the city’s Civil Defense organization. Launched in the early 1950s as cold war hysteria grew, it was a centerpiece of a kind of officially sanctioned panic response that, like the response to September 11, 2001, had a potential to serve other agendas….”

“On April 1, 1962, Dallas Civil Defense, with Crichton heading its intelligence component, opened an elaborate underground command post under the patio of the Dallas Health and Science Museum. 5 Because it was intended for ‘continuity-of-government’ operations during an attack, it was fully equipped with communications equipment. With this shelter in operation on November 22, 1963, it was possible for someone based there to communicate with police and other emergency services. There is no indication that the Warren Commission or any other investigative body or even JFK assassination researchers looked into this facility or the police and Army Intelligence figures associated with it.”



NOTES:

Dallas Morning News 03-17-1960  Dallas Center Approved by Civil Defense

The Office of Civil Defense Mobilization announced Wednesday the approval of a $120,000 emergency underground operating center for the Dallas City-County Civil Defense and Disaster Commission. Under Plans formulated last year, OCDM and Dallas County will match contributions of $60,000 for the center. The building will be constructed at Fair Park adjacent to the Health and Science Museum.

John W. Mayo, commission chairman, said final plans for the thickly-walled structure will be completed soon and construction is expected to begin within a year. Largely a communications center it will be tied to state, regional and national civil defense headquarters. It will contain enough food and air conditioning to maintain the 20 persons working there for two weeks without outside supplies. After the center is completed, it will be open to the public as a display of an operating disaster control office.

Dallas Morning News Staff Photo caption: Officials of the Dallas City-County Civil Defense Disaster Commission look at a model of an underground shelter as they announce government approval of a $120,000 underground communications center for Fair Park. (See Photo)  From left, front row, H.F. Boss of the Health and Science Museum, Country Judge Lew Sterrett and John W. Mayo, commission head.

Shelter History
The old Dallas Civil Defense Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is located under the playground in front of the Science Place Planetarium Building at Fair Park in Dallas Tx. This EOC was to function as a relocation shelter for Dallas govt. officials in the event of a nuclear attack. It was from this shelter that officials would have tried to coordinate recovery efforts involving community shelters, radiological monitors, police, fire, sanitation and other services. Construction of the EOC lasted from 1960 to 1961 at a cost of $120,000. The City of Dallas paid $60,000 and the Federal govt. paid the additional $60,000. This shelter is a blast shelter in the true sense of the term. It is equipped with large concrete and steel blast doors which bolt shut when closed for sealing purposes. The exterior blast door is plainly visible next to the sidewalk on the southeast side of the building. The EOC also is equipped with air ventilators containing "anti-blast valves" which would close to prevent blast pressure from entering the shelter. The air circulation system was built with a separate air filtration room complete with a wall of air filters to remove fallout contaminants from the incoming air. According to a March 27, 1962 Dallas Times Herald article the shelter was officially opened on April 1st, 1962 at 3pm. The shelter is now closed to any public access and is only used for storage purposes by the Science Place.

In 2003 some people were allowed to tour and take photos of the shelter and reported that, “The Operations Room was the central operations area of the EOC. This is the largest room in the shelter. During my last trip in 2003 the walls still had all of the maps and chalk boards that were originally installed when the shelter was built. The city maps were so old they didn't have neighborhoods built after the early 60's…”




It appears that they left many things intact, including the Emergancy Log board. There were still entries written on it from a practice excercise. Some of the entries are "Naval Air Station Dallas, Carswell Air Force Base, General Dynamics, Texas Instruments and Power Plant."

Naval Air Station Dallas – Grand Prarie – from where Z-film was flown to DC by jet
Carswell Air Force Base – Fort Worth from where AF1 departed on 11/22/63 to Dallas
General Dynamics – Major Ft. Worth defense contractor where Oswald associates worked
Texas Instruments – Major Dallas industry connected to H. Byrd, owner of TSBD

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Swearing In Aboard AF1 - A New Perspective






                                          The Swearing In aboard AF1 - A New Perspective 

                                         Public Relations Ploy or Holding off a Military Coup?

"Officials at the Pentagon were calling the White House switchboard at the Dallas-Sheraton Hotel asking who was now in command. An Officer grabbed the phone and assured the Pentagon that Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara and the Joint Chief of Staff ' are now the President.”
                                                                           – Jim Bishop – “The Day the President Was Shot”


From all accounts the first decision LBJ made as president was to go immediately to Air Force One, because of its security and advanced communications equipment, and the second decision was to hold the swearing in ceremony immediately before they took off.

The first decision was made at Parkland Hospital before the official announcement was made that JFK was dead, while the second decision was made aboard Air Force One after LBJ made a series of telephone calls, one to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to obtain the wording of the oath of office.

Other calls were made from Air Force One as well, by LBJ himself, such as the call to his personal tax attorney J. Waddy Bullion, during which they discussed his Haliburton stock. LBJ’s close aides, such as Bill Moyers and Cliff Carter also made telephone calls.

The secure telephone lines set up for Air Force One at Love Field were special trunk lines that had to be detached from the plane before take off, after which all the communications were made through radio patches over three or four sideband radios in the communications room behind the cockpit.

All of the president’s communications were controlled by the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), then led by Col. George McNally (code name “Star”), who was having lunch at the airport terminal when the assassination occurred and returned to Air Force One to ensure that the new president could communicate with anyone in the world.

The trunk line at Love Field aboard Air Force One was only one of a dozen such secure land lines that were connected by the WHCA – others being at locations where ever the President was or would be – the hotel in Fort Worth where JFK spent his last night, at the Dallas Trade Mart where he was scheduled to give a luncheon speech, and other locations in Texas where he was scheduled to be.

The WHCA Command Center and base station for the Dallas portion of the Texas trip was set up in a room or suite of rooms at the Dallas Sheraton Hotel,

According to William Manchester, it was McNally’s duty to ensure that the president was always within five minutes of a secure telephone. “Colonel McNally had a corps of advance men. By dawn of that Thursday morning temporary switchboards had been installed in trailers and hotel rooms in San Antonio, Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin and at the LBJ Ranch. Each had its own unlisted phone number. The Dallas White House, for example, was in the Sheraton-Dallas Hotel. It could be reached through RIverside 1-3421, RIverside 1-3422, and RIverside 1-3423, though anyone who dialed one of them and lacked a code name of his own would find the conversation awkward.”

Jim Bishop's book “The Day Kennedy Was Shot” contains a revealing incident:
"Officials at the Pentagon were calling the White House switchboard at the Dallas-Sheraton Hotel asking who was now in command. An Officer grabbed the phone and assured the Pentagon that Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara and the Joint Chief of Staff are now the President."

While there is no documented or officially archived evidence that LBJ, as the new president, communicated directly with the Pentagon or any of his generals, except those who were aboard Air Force One, it is possible that LBJ learned of the report(s) that “the Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara and the Joint Chiefs of Staff are now the President.”

If that is the case, the decision to hold the swearing in ceremony immediately may have been a reaction to these reports that the Joint Chiefs “were now the President,” rather than merely a public relations ploy to sooth the doubts of a nation as to continuity of government and the proper line of succession.

T.H. White, in “The Making of the President 1964” wrote:

“Of all the things Kennedy did for Johnson, none, however, was perhaps more instantly important on the weekend of Nov. 22 than a minor decision Kennedy made months before. He had decided that, in the secret and emergency planning for continuity of American government in the happenstance of a nuclear attack, Johnson should be given a major role. Through Major General Chester V. Clifton, who acted as White House liaison with the Department of Defense, all emergency operational planning was made available to the Vice President in duplicate. These plans, envisioning all things – from the destruction of all major cities to the bodily transfer of governing officers to an underground capital – included, of course, detailed forethought of the event of the sudden death of a President.”

“Because he had participated in all these plans, both panic and ignorance were already preauthorized in the vice President; on the night of Nov. 22, 1963, he knew exactly all the intricate resources of command and communications at his disposal. Beneath this lay the experience of a man who had spent 30 years observing the work of the federal government, while beneath that lay the instincts of a Texas country boy. Now it was him to act.”

So the first two decisions LBJ made – to go immediately to Air Force One because of its superior communications equipment and take the oath of office before taking off, were both moves that were engrained into the special continuity of government plans that JFK had made LBJ privy to.

That LBJ took the oath of office, not to convince the American public who was president, but to head off a full blown military coup, is supported by LBJ’s opinions of the Joint Chiefs, as he himself expressed to them in a meeting in the Oval Office a year later, and as recounted by Lt. Gen. Charles Cooper, USMC (Ret), in "Cheers and Tears: A Marine's Story of Combat in Peace and War" (2002.  “….Seemingly deep in thought, President Johnson turned his back on them for a minute or so, then suddenly discarding the calm, patient demeanor he had maintained throughout the meeting, whirled to face them and exploded. I almost dropped the map. He screamed obscenities, he cursed them personally, he ridiculed them for coming to his office with their ‘military advice.’ Noting that it was he who was carrying the weight of the free world on his shoulders, he called them filthy names - shitheads, dumb shits, pompous assholes - and used ‘the F-word’ as an adjective more freely than a Marine in boot camp would use it. He then accused them of trying to pass the buck for World War III to him. It was unnerving, degrading. After the tantrum, he resumed the calm, relaxed manner he had displayed earlier and again folded his arms. It was as though he had punished them, cowed them, and would now control them. Using soft-spoken profanities, he said something to the effect that they all knew now that he did not care about their military advice. After disparaging their abilities, he added that he did expect their help…”  [For the complete article on this meeting see: http://jfkcountercoup2.blogspot.com/2012/07/lbj-joint-chiefs-day-it-became-longest.html ]

If LBJ held the same feelings for the military at the time of the assassination, the early reports immediately after the assassination that MacNamara and the Joint Chiefs “were now the President,” which came from the WHCA base station at the Dallas Sheraton, could have stimulated LBJ to hold the swearing in ceremony immediately aboard Air Force One so that the whole nation and the world, as well as the brass at the Pentagon, knew who was President.

William Kelly (Bkjfk3@yahoo.com)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Letter to NARA Legal Counsel


Gary M. Stern
General Counsel NARA
Suite 3110, College Park, MD

Dear Mr. Stern,

Other than the prosecution of  Leslie Charles Waffen, the former NARA official for stealing and selling records, JFKcountercoup: Ex-NARA Offical Arrested for theft can you tell me if any legal action has ever been taken against any of those who have committed similar crimes - stealing JFK records, deliberately destroying JFK assassination records, or wrongfully withholding JFK assassination records?
Among those items I am aware of, the Andrews Air Force Log Book JFKcountercoup: The Andrews AFB Log Book 11/22/63 was reported salvaged from the trash. Was their an inquiry into who ordered such an historical record destroyed or trashed?

RFK’s appointment book for an entire year is missing. Was there an investigation into what became of it?

            The negative of this photo is missing from the LBJ Library, which is administered by the NARA 

JFK’s Catholic missile and the “wink” negative from LBJ’s swearing in and the unedited Air Force One radio transmissions all disappeared from the inventory of official records. The photo negative must have disappeared from a NARA vault.

The Secret Service destroyed relevant records after the AARB decided to seek them. Who was responsible for that destruction and were they prosecuted for breaking the law? JFKcountercoup: Secret Service Records Previously Thought Destroyed Turned Over to NARA

Other pertinent records, such as the entire office files of Admiral Rufus Taylor, the Director of Naval Intelligence were declared missing and not included in the JFK Collection. JFKcountercoup: Rear Admiral Rufus Taylor ONI Records Missing? Has there been any investigation into the possible theft or illegal destruction of these historic public records? Isn’t the Navy and NARA concerned that the missing office files of the director of ONI will fall into the hands of the Russians or a Wiki Leaks sympathizer? Has any attempt been made by NARA to restore DNI Taylor’s assassination related records from the files of other agencies with whom these documents were shared? JFKcountercoup: Rufus Taylor & Dallas ONI SA J. Mason Lankford, Jr.


Agency directors had to sign a sworn statement under penalty of perjury that all of the relevant records were turned over to the JFK Collection. Since there have been such blatant violations in the destruction, theft and wrongful withholding of JFK records, have any of these crimes been investigated or anyone charged with perjury? 

Many agencies intentionally stalled their response, knowing the ARRB was a temporary agency. If the NARA is responsible for carrying on the work of the ARRB, shouldn’t those individuals who destroyed, lost/stole or wrongfully withheld records be held accountable for their crimes?

Thank you for your time and interest in these matters,
William E. Kelly, Jr.
20 Columbine Ave.
Browns Mills, N.J. 08015









Sunday, July 15, 2012

Are More Records Out there?



ARE MORE RECORDS OUT THERE?

Discovering and Recovering Missing JFK Assassination Records

The Great JFK Scavenger Hunt is On!

What gems of the missing and secret Family Jewels are still out there, in a basement file, in a box in a garage or attic or suitcase under a bed or in a closet? Maybe its owner has died and it has been passed on to unknowing relatives who don’t even know its there? Not real gems, but historical documents, records and artifacts related to the assassination of President Kennedy.

It is quite apparent that with the discovery of the previously unknown Clifton copy of the Air Force One transmission tapes and the acknowledgement by former Secret Service agent Gerald Blaine that he had copies of the Tampa advance reports that were said to have been destroyed, some historical records have escaped destruction and there are still significant government records related to the assassination of President Kennedy that are still “out there.”

While there are many allegedly destroyed and missing records and artifacts, I would like to concentrate on three specific cases.

MISSING RECORDS – THREE CASE STUDIES – Sprague HSCA, Taylor ONI, Unedited AF1 Tapes

It is my contention that there are still official JFK assassination records among the personal files of the first Chief Counsel to the HSCA Richard A. Sprague, the missing office files of Admiral Rufus Taylor can be located and an unedited tape of Air Force Radio communications still exists today but has yet to be located.

ASSASSINATION FILES OF RICHARD A. SPRAGUE, ESQ. (HSCA)

When G. Robert Blakey, the second chief counsel to the HSCA contacted me about an official local police arrest report that I had obtained, I told Blakey that I had given a copy to Richard Sprague, the first chief counsel, having hand delivered it to Sprague’s law office in Philadelphia. Blakey claimed that Sprague didn’t turn over all of his assassination files to him when he left and I think that’s true. Getting fired was not a pleasant experience for Sprague, we know he didn’t cooperate with Blakey, his successor, and that he wasn’t in a good mood when he left Washington. I told Blakey I was glad Sprague didn’t turn over all his records because he had them locked away for 50 years.

Nor do I think Sprague turned over his records to NARA or cooperated with the ARRB as I searched and requested an inventory of the records of the first HSCA chief counsel Richard Sprague in the JFK Collection at NARA, but instead was referred to the records of Richard B. Sprague, an independent researcher associated with the New Orleans investigation of Jim Garrison.

I don’t believe that the first chief counsel to the HSCA - Richard A. Sprague, Esq. turned over all of his records to the HSCA or the NARA and some remain in his personal possession, just as Clifton and Blaine kept their own records.

OFFICE FILES OF ADMIRAL RUFUS TAYLOR – DIRECTOR ONI 1959-1964

In addition, I refuse to believe that the entire office records of the Director of Naval Intelligence (ONI) for the years 1959-1964 are completely missing and have not been located by either the Navy or the NARA. Admiral Rufus Taylor, the first officer with an intelligence background to be appointed DNI, personally wrote letters and official memos regarding the assassination of President Kennedy, some of which have been found among the records of other agencies, whose records are not missing or weren’t intentionally destroyed.

I think the Navy knows exactly where the office files of Admiral Rufus Taylor are located, and rather than turn them over to the NARA to be included in the JFK Collection, which would be open to the public, they intentionally committed perjury when signing off on the ARRB voucher saying that all the known Navy records on the assassination were transmitted to NARA. They know exactly where they are, other wise they would have conducted a major investigation to make sure those records didn’t fall into the hands of the Russians, the Chinese or Wiki Leaks. But as far as is known, there has not been any such investigation by the Navy or NASA, so one must assume that they are not overly concerned with the records falling into the wrong hands, especially the American public.

STILL MISSING – AN ORIGINAL UNEDITED AIR FORCE ONE RADIO TAPE  

Most significant would be the discovery of a complete, unedited tape of the Air Force One radio transmission from November 22, 1963. We know such a tape or tapes once existed because President Kennedy ordered all of the radio transmissions to and from Air Force One to be recorded and the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) complied.

We have two edited versions, the LBJ Library tape and the longer version found among the effects of Gen. Chester Clifton, the President’s Military Aide, both of which are edited and about half of what it is estimated should exist.

Two identical copies of the Clifton tape were discovered together, which means that they both must have been second generation tapes made from another, first generation tape, one that was not edited.

In addition, we know that a number of writers who were promised cooperation in the writing of their books – T. H. White, William Manchester and Pierre Salinger, were given a transcript to read and quote from, but not to keep. That transcript has disappeared, as well as the original, unedited tapes. White and Manchester, while visiting the White House, were shown the transcript, while the WHCA sent Salinger a copy that he said he turned over to the JFK Library, but they claim the transcript is not among Salinger’s papers.

Despite the complete disappearance of the original, unedited WHCA tapes of the Air Force One radio communications, I believe that the originals, other copies similar to the Clifton tapes or completely unknown tapes made by another party do exist and can be located.

I don’t think the WHCA were the only ones monitoring and taping the Air Force One radio communications that day.

For a fact, I know there was a civilian, amateur HAM radio group based in Colorado who routinely monitored and most likely taped the “Star” network, as it was then called.

It was because these radio transmissions were broadcast over open frequencies, anyone with the proper radio receiver could listen in if they knew what frequency to listen to, or had a scanner that automatically monitored the 150 or so frequencies that were available for the Star Group to use.

We know that Air Force One, the Special Air Mission (SAM) and Strategic Air Command (SAC) networks were all assigned their frequencies by the Liberty Station at the Collins Radio headquarters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It has been suggested that if the WHCA no longer had copies of the Air Force One tapes in its Archives, then the next logical place to look would be the Collins Radio Archives in Cedar Rapids.

Besides the amateur HAMS and Collins Radio, the signal corps of other governments most certainly targeted the Air Force One radio transmissions.

The recently published book on Castro and the CIA (by Latell) reports that Castro himself ordered his specialists to target the President’s radio communications in Texas while he was there.

Dave Emory, a radio buff who wrote a history of the Lourdes facility in Cuba acknowledged the Russians and Cubans probably targeted, listened in and tape recorded the conversations, either from Lourdes or the radio listening post set up in the Soviet Embassy in Washington, but they would never acknowledge it. He also said that other, friendly governments, such as Canada, the British, Australians and Israelis probably targeted those communications, monitored them and taped them, but would never publicly acknowledge that fact.

Emory: “While I know that I unlikely, I’ve considered the possibly that the Cubans/Russians picked it up and may have intercepted the traffic. Whether this was done from Cuba at Lourdes or from the Soviet Embassy in Washington (or both) is less clear. Frankly considering what sometimes was said over Mystic Star in the clear in that era, it seems beyond doubt that the Soviets would have found it worthwhile to assign operators to routinely monitor the traffic and almost certainly record what they intercepted on tape for later translation, playing for leadership and whatever. The recent Mitroysin Archive book specifically mentions Soviet monitoring of VIP communications from aircraft, including such monitoring from the Soviet diplomatic facilities in the DC and NY areas. And whilst the Russians were sometimes slow on the uptake and the Mitrokhin stuff mentions the Kissinger era, I find it rather hard to believe that they didn’t know about and follow Mysitc Star practically from its inception.”

[See: The Sword & the Shield – (Basic Books, 1999 Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin), specifically p. 344-345, 349]

Not only the Cubans and Russians, as well as friendly governments, besides WHCA and Andrews, other US government agencies, such as the NSA, assigned to monitor foreign radio communications abroad, certainly had the ability to monitor the Air Fore One radio communications.

As Emory notes, “I find it rather surprising, even amazing, that the NSA would admit to having ever had a copy of that traffic. I believe they no doubt did, but there is quite a bit of sensitivity to a US government agency intercepting high level US traffic, and it is not clear to me under what operational directive they ran such a Mystic Star monitoring operation.”

“One supposes that once the news of the assassination became known within NSA (ASA/AFSS/NSG etc.) monitoring facilities some of the operators looked for the Mystic Star traffic and listened to it (military discipline aside, I am sure there were people curious enough to break the rules under the circumstances). And given that the intercept positions had tape gear, probably there were tapes made on the QT. But for anyone to admit to their existence is quite another matter.”

Not only could a number of different foreign and domestic government facilities monitor and record the Air Force One radio transmissions, there were dozens if not hundreds of official and military radio bases assigned the designated frequencies and ordered to monitor these communications. It is quite hard for me to believe that with all of these people listening in, and having the capability of recording the transmissions, that the sensational news and historic nature of the assassination didn’t trigger an automatic response to turn on the tape recorder. I’m now quite confident that there were many recordings of these radio transmissions made, and not all of them suffered the same fate as the WHCA version.

So far I have identified 35 known radios that were officially looped into the S-Star Network on 11/22/63, including eight motorcade cars, ten airplanes, and nearly thirty base stations, each with the capability of recording the radio transmissions.

Dave Emory, the author of the Lourdes report and a military radio communications specialist, said that technicians and personnel at all of the base stations who were listening in had the potential of recording the Star radio transmissions, and once they learned of the assassination, and recognized the historical importance of the occasion, probably turned on their tape recorders.
Emory: “I do know that continuous Crown patches on the AF-1 primary and secondary hi frequencies were almost certainly recorded by WHCA at the White House com center and probably also at Andrews com center Mystic Star operators. It seems inconceivable that these tapes weren’t carefully saved and probably played over by insiders many times. Of course considering the various conspiracy theories (and the remotely possible presence of a real conspiracy) it follows that these tapes may have been edited or deliberately destroyed, or locked up under seal for another 50 years or whatever. I have almost total certainty that WHCA and or the (7)89th SAM com operators had such tapes from the actual radios used to communicate with the plane – I would not consider it even remotely conceivable they weren’t routinely taping the lines.”

What became of these tapes is not known, but even though they came under the jurisdiction of the SAM-SAC-WHCA nexus, some of them could still exist, possibly in private hands, just as the Clifton tape survived.

Toward that end - discovering a possible, previously unknown tape recording or copy of the original unedited WHCA tapes, I have compiled a list of all known Star Group Network base and mobile stations that we know were officially connected to the network.

MYSTIC STAR GROUP NETWORK

The MYST1C STAR System is officially described as: “a worldwide communications system, operated and maintained by elements of the United States Army, United States Navy, and United States Air Force under the control of the DISA Operations Center. Its network provides worldwide communications by directly controlling radio equipment located at Global HF system stations. It consists of ultra high frequency satellite and HF networks supporting Presidential, special air, commanders-in-chief, Joint Staff, very important persons, and command airborne missions.”

Star Group Network – (Later Mystic Star) was the Special Air Mission Communications (SAMCOM) radio network, which operated for many years, and at the time of the assassination under the command of Col. George McNally (aka “Star”) – Commander – Star Group 1941 – 1965.

Col. George J. McNally was the first commanding officer of the White House Army Signal Agency, and its successor, the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) from 1941 until his retirement in 1965, who wrote an autobiography about his experiences, “A Million Miles of Presidents"  (1600 Communications Assoc. 1982).

[See: Profile of Col. George J. McNally ]

The U.S. Air Force 789th Communications Squadron is based at Andrews AFB,
(789 CS/SCP), 1558 Alabama Ave, Suite 67, Andrews AFB MD 20762-6116, while the  Headquarters for WHCA is at Anacostia Navy Yard, with a USMC Security Force from Marine Corps Barracks, 8th & I Sts. The 789th  Communications Squadron, Andrews AFB, Camp Springs, Maryland, also manages the GLOBAL radio network, which transmits Emergency Action Messages (EAM) from the National Command Authority (NCA)

McNally was at Love Field at the time of the assassination, possibly eating lunch at an airport restaurant, and should have returned to DC aboard Air Force One.

We know from the report of Secret Service Agent Art Godfrey, who returned to DC from Bergstrom AFB in a SAC KC135 and was in the air at the same time as Air Force One, that “the military had all their units on radio silence because of a Strategic Air Command order,” so the Air Force One radio transmission were certainly easy to find as practically the only chatter going on over the designated frequencies.

“The Mystic Star HF Network consists of a single master net control station (MNCS) located at Andrews AFB MD, interstation and intersite circuits, relay and auxiliary communications systems, and operates from the 789th Communications Squadron (789 CS/SCP), 1558 Alabama Ave, Suite 67, Andrews AFB MD 20762-6116.

Although it might not have been in service in 1963, a more primitive version of the system most certainly was, and functioned as described: “Control of the entire Mystic Star network is the function of the Net Control Station (NCS) at Andrews. This includes all HF radio and UHF SATCOM equipment and the associated voice and data circuits. The Mystic Star Communications Management System is a computer controlled electronic switching system. The MSCMS is comprised of 13 computer equipped consoles. Two computer data base/data communication (DB/DC) modules, primary and backup, are available to each operator. Two color graphics processors provide color graphics support. Two digital switching systems provide interconnectivity within the system. Communications Security (COMSEC) equipment, voice and data modems, and data terminals are available for providing secure communications support. A voice recorder/reproducer allows for the recording of all voice transmissions. A frequency management system, time generating and synchronizing unit, and a maintenance patching facility are the final subsystems that make up the MSCMS.”

SYSTEM CONFIGURATION

The Mystic Star system consists of eight primary and nine secondary HF radio stations located throughout the world. Each primary station provides four radio levels dedicated for Mystic Star use. Secondary stations provide at least one radio level dedicated for use by Mystic Star. A radio level consists of a transmitter, a receiver, and the associated equipment. A typical primary station consists of a Communications Relay Center (CRC), a transmitter site, and a receiver site. These are connected by transmission lines (buried cable) or microwave transmissions. The CRC consists of consoles, switches, and associated common control equipment.

The eight primary Mystic Star HF stations
Andrews
McClellan
Clark
Salinas
Croughton
Scott
Hickam
Yokota
The nine secondary Mystic Star HF stations and the number of dedicated radio levels each provides are:
Andersen 1
Lajes 1
Albrook 0
Loring 1
Ascension 1
MacDill 1
Elmendorf 1
Thule 0
Incirlik 2

All stations except for Andrews, MacDill, Loring, Salinas, and Scott are GCCS stations. GCCS stations have additional radio levels and operators available if required.

I. Known Base Stations - 25

1)      White House Situation Room (WHSR) – White House Basement
2)      Hotel Texas – Ft. Worth  (Temporary – Nov. 21)
3)      Dallas Sheraton  - (Riverside 1-3421/3422/3423) (Temp, Nov. 22)
4)      Dallas Trade Mart Command Post. Secret Service  (Temp, Nov. 22)
5)      26000 (Air Force One – on the ground) Col. George McNally senior officer.  
6)      Liberty Station, Collins Radio HQ, Cedar Rapids Iowa. (Frequency set & relay)  
7)      Collins Radio Hanger – Redbird Airport, Dallas (Possible)
8)      Collins Radio Hanger Cedar Rapids Airport, Iowa (Possible)
9)      SAM Command Post, Andrews AFB, Md.
10)  SAC Command Post, Offut AFB, Nebraska
11)  SAC Cheyenne Mountain Complex Command Post, Colorado Springs
12)  Dallas Civil Defense Bunker - Health & Science  Museum Fair Park
13)  State Department – Washington D.C. Bromley Smith (possibly Temp)
14)  Secret Service HQ – Ex Office Building (EOB) – Gerald Behn’s office (Temp)
15)  VP Suite EOB – LBJ’s office. ? (Temp)
16)  The Elms – VP’s Residence, (aka Valley – Temp)
17)  All SAC AF Bases, Carswell AFB, Ft. Worth;
18)  Parkland Hospital (Temp. Nov. 22) Established by Bales at 12:40PM CST
19)  Bethesda Naval Hosptial (Radio Room) 
20)  Doomsday Bunkers 1-8

Doomsday Bunkers - 8

a)      Brandywine, MD Receiver Site Brandywine. Carl Mather, J.D. Tippit’s friend worked at Collins Radio, personally installed communications equipment on the SAM VP plane (AF2) at “Brandywine,” near Andrews AFB in Maryland.
b)      Camp David (“Shangri-La”)
c)      Mount Weather EOC, Bluemont, VA,
d)      Fort Ritchie (aka Site E)
e)      Blue Ridge Summit, PA (aka Site R, The Rock) Alternative National Military Command Center (ANMCC) Raven Rock Mountain near the PA-MD border, east of Waynesboro, Pa, the Raven Rock Military Complex is aka Site R and designated the Alternate Joint Communications Center (AJCC) for senior military officials in a nuclear attack.
f)        Greenbrier Hotel, White Sulpher Springs, WV. (Congress)
g)      Alternative Joint Communications Center II (AJCC) Tysons Corner VA.
21)  Camp XCanada ? This was a communications base in 1963 that also housed a Soviet defector.

II - Known Mobil Units – 8

Dallas Motorcade
1)      Motorcade Pilot Car – Lumpkin, Whitmeyer, Peuterbaugh,
2)      Motorcade Lead Car – Chief Curry, Sheriff Decker, SS Agents Sorrels, Lawson
3)      Presidential Limo
4)      SS – Queen Mary
5)      VP Car (Youngblood)
6)      Communications Car (Cliff Carter)
7)      Press Car – Meriman Smith, UPI, AP.
8)      WHCA Car –Art Bales (aka “Sturdy”) SW Bell official.
S-Man –Warren Officer Ira D. Gearhart (“Shadow”) Last Car in Motorcade

III – Airborne – Network - 10

1)      SAM – 26000 - Air Force One – Dallas, Departs Love Field 3:47 PMEST
2)      SAM - VP Plane – Dallas, Love Field, Arrives Andrews 6:30 PMEST
3)      Press Plane (Dallas) [May not have been in the Star Loop.]
4)      SAM - 86972 (Cabinet Plane, over Pacific) Arrives Andrews 12:37 AMEST
5)      C-130 Cargo Plane for autos.
6)      KC135 – SAC – Departed Bergstrom AFB, Tx 3 PM to Andrews
7)      C-140 (LeMay) SAM xx497 PU LeMay at Wiarton, Canada 4:25 PMEST
8)      EC-135 - Silver Dollar (Command & Control) “Looking Glass” NEACP
9)      EC-135 Speckled Trout (LeMay’s usual C&C Plane)
10)  Other?

IV - Other Mobil Unites – 2

a)      Presidential Yacht Sequoia. Communications for the Presidential Yacht - Several AT&T Long Lines facilities housed equipment providing radio communications to the Presidential yacht Sequoia, as it cruised the waterways of the Washington, DC area.

b)      Presidential Train W3WTE (unused?) “The Meyer” WHCA Train Car (Ft. Holabird). Along with voice comms, the Myer could also handle code traffic, had a separate room for decoding and encoding with a Model 39 in it, with a code safe. The door to the crypto room was 4" thick and sound deadened, had a triple combination lock…. http://hamgallery.com/Tribute/W3WTE/w3wte.pdf


“The Sword & The Shield” (Basic Books, 1999, Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin)

Chapter Twenty-One – SIGNET in the Cold War (p. 337)

One of the largest caps in histories of Cold War intelligence operations and international relations in both East and West concerns the role of signals intelligence (SIGNIT). The role of ULTRA intelligence generated by British and American code breakers in hastening victory over Germany and Japan during World War II is now well known. Research on post-war SIGNIT, by contrast, has barely begun….

(p.344):
The KGB’s SIGNIT operations against the Main Adversary were greatly assisted by a series of agents and defectors – all of them walk-ins – with access to highly classified intelligence on American cryptanalysis and/or cipher systems. In 1960 two NSA (National Security Agency) employees, Bernon F. Mitchell and William H. Martin, who had made contact with the KGB a year earlier in Mexico City, were exfiltrated by the FCD to Moscow, where they continued being debriefed for several years. 37 In 1963 Staff Sergeant Jack E. Dunlap committed suicide after several years spent smuggling top secret documents out of NSA heaquarters at Fort Meade for the GRU. Shortly before Dunlap’s sucicide, another NSA defector, Victor Norris Hamilton, arrived in Moscow. In 1965 Robert Lipka, a young army clerk at NSA responsible for shredding of highly classified documents, began handing many of them over to the KGB. Lipka is the last KGB agent inside the nSA identified in the files seen by Mitrokhin. (A retired NSA employee, Ronald Pelton, was, however, to provide valuable intelligence to the Wshington residency in the early 1980s.) Shortly after Lipka left NSA in 1967, Chief Warrant Officer John Walker, a communications watch officer on the staff of the commander of submarine forces in the Atlantic (COMSUBLANT), began an eighteen-year career as a KGB agent, supplying detailed information on US naval ciphers. 38

(p. 349):
…The most important of the KGB’s foreign intercept posts targeted on the United States from outside, however, was located not in a residency but in the large SIGNET base set up by the GRU at Lourdes in Cuba in the mid-1960s to monitor US navy communications and other high-frequency transmissions. 64

…President Reagan declared in 1983: The Soviet intelligence collection facility less than 100 miles from our coast is the largest of its kind in the world. The acres and acres of antennae fields and intelligence monitors are targeted on key US military installations and sensitive activities. The installation, in Lourdes, Cuba, is manned by 1,500 Soviet technicians, and the satellite ground station allows instant communications with Moscow. This 28-square-mile facility has grown by more than 60 percent in size during the past decade. 

Robert Lipka (codenamed DAN), a leading Cold War Soviet agent in the United States arrested after Mitrokhin supplied the FBI with extracts from his KGB file. On being sentenced to 18 years imprisonment in 1997, almost 30 years after his work as an agent ended, Lipka ruefully commented, ‘I feel like Rip Van Spy’. Lipka’s arrest, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, 21/11/96.

(p. 205):
Thanks chiefly to two walk-insw, Line PR in Washington performed rather better than New York during the mid- and late 1960s. In September 1965 Robert Lipka, a twenty-year-old army clerk in NSA, caused great excitement in the Washington residency by presenting himself at the Soviet embassy on Sixteenth Street, a few blocks from the White House, and announced that he was responsible for shredding highly classified documents. Lipka (code-named DAN) was probably the youngest Soviet agent recruited in the United States with access to high-grade intelligence since the nineteen-year-old Ted Hall had offered his services to the New York residency while working on the MANHATTAN project in Los Alamos in 1944. Lipka’s file notes that he quickly mastered the intelligence tradecraft taught him by Line PR. Over the next two years he made contact with the residency about fifty times via dead letter boxes, brush contacts and meetings with a case officer.

The youthful head of Line PR, Oleg Danilovich Kalugin spent “countless hours” in his cramped office in the Washington residency sifting through the mass of material provided by Lipka and choosing the most important documents for cabling to Moscow. 12 Lipka’s motives were purely mercenary. During the two years after he walked into the Washington embassy, he received a total of 27,000 dollars, but regularly complained that he was not paid enough and threatened to break contact unless his remuneration was increased. Lipka eventually did break contact in August 1967, when he left NSA at the end of his military service to study at Millersville College in Pennsylvania and probably concluded that his loss of intelligence access made him no longer worth his while in maintaining contact with the Washington residency. To discourage the KGB from trying to renew contact, Lipka sent a final message claiming that he had been a double agent controlled by US intelligence. In view of the importance of the classified documents he had provided, however, the KGB had no doubt that he was lying. Attempts by both the residency and illegals to renew contact with LIpka continued intermittently, without success, for at least another eleven years. 13

BK NOTES: After Mitrokhin informed the FBI about Lipka’s work for the KGB in the 1990s, Lipka was arrested. A reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper was in the court room when Lipka was arranged and charged, during which Lipka mentioned the sensitivity of the NSA records he was ordered to destroy but instead turned over the Soviets, among them, Lipka said, was the identity of the real assassin of President Kennedy. After the formal proceedings, while Lipka was being led away, the Inquirer reporter asked Lipka the name on the NSA documents identifying the real assassin of the President. Lipka replied: “Luis Angel Castillo.” 

For more on Luis Angel Castillo see: JFKcountercoup: Luis Angel Castillo

How come these NSA JFK assassination records that Lipka says he was ordered to shred, but instead turned over to the Soviets - how come the NSA has not acknowledged them and turned them over to the NARA, as they should according to the JFK Act?  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Kelly on Corbett Report Radio


I recently appeared as a guest on the Corbett Report to talk about the state of the JFK Assassination Records. Jim Corbett is a very knowleable researcher based in Japan, but his show is worldwide andd he  has a good following. I will try to transcribe the interview and post it here ASAP.

The Corbett Report | Corbett Report Radio 173 – The JFK Records with Bill Kelly

Please sign and pass this petition on to others you know who support open records and government transparency or have a special interest in the JFK Assassination records. - BK

Petition: Office of Information Policy and Regulatory Affairs: Release the secret JFK Assassination Records | Change.org


Two years ago the National Archives promised the American public that it would release thousands of pages of still-secret JFK assassination records by the end of 2013. The National Archives, at the behest of the CIA, reneged on this promise. This is contrary to President Obama's pledge to have the most open administration in history and makes it impossible to have a full and open debate when the 50th anniversary of the assassination occurs in less than two years on November 22, 2013.
 A half-century of secrecy is enough.  Free the JFK assassination records now!
Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC) AARC - Assassination Archives and Research Center

We have set up an account to take donations for a full page ad that will include the petition and ask for Congressional oversight of the JFK Act.
http://committeeforopenarchives.webs.com/apps/donations/
Donations - COA

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Tampa Plot in Retrospect



                                            JFK at MacDill AFB, Florida, November 18, 1963

Former SS Agent Blaine said that he has kept some of the advance reports on the Tampa trip, reports that had previously been reported destroyed. 

The Tampa Plot in Retrospect - By William Kelly 

Four days before he was killed in Dallas President Kennedy visited Tampa, Florida, where he addressed the Steelworkers Union and then later in Miami the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) to whom he delivered a major speech on Cuba, part of which was said to have been designed to confirm his support for a coup in Cuba.

In the course of this trip, which included a long motorcade that began and ended at MacDill AFB, Kennedy met privately with the commander of MacDill, a base where a quick-strike unit was prepared to intervene in Cuba if called upon to do so. As Peter Dale Scott has pointed out, MacDill AFB was the recipient of the special message from Dallas PD officer Stringfellow informing the Quick-Strike unit that the accused assassin was a Cuban Communist, a possible instigation to mobilize. 

Also in the course of the visit to Tampa, the Secret Service and local authorities investigated a plot to kill the president, a conspiracy that included shooting the President with a high powered rifle while he rode in the motorcade, and a patsy, Gilberto Lopez, a Cuban affiliated with the FPCC who was trying to get back into Cuba, and eventually did so, via the same route Oswald allegedly tried to take via Texas and Mexico City.

News of the Tampa plot was confined to a single newspaper report, and picked up by the UPI, but Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann explore this plot further and in some detail in their books “Ultimate Sacrifice” (Carroll & Graf, 2005) and “Legacy of Secrecy” (Counterpoint, 2008).

While their view of the assassination is somewhat warped by the adherence to their theory that what happened at Dealey Plaza was planned by Mafia dons in league with some CIA officers and Cubans planning a “C-Day” coup and US invasion of Cuba, much of what they have uncovered is true and can be independently verified.

Laying the basic ground work in “Ultimate Sacrifice – John and Robert Kennedy, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba, and the Murder of JFK,” at first they intentionally neglected to name their primary suspect to lead the Coup in Cuba, a coup that the CIA was unmistakably plotting. Desmond Fitzgerald (on September 25, 1963) informed the Joint Chiefs of Staff of their “Valkyrie” plan, based on a failed plot to kill Hitler adapted to Cuba. This plan targeted disenchanted Cuban military officers and a few revolutionary figures close to Castro. 

That alone is a major research breakthrough, and if they would have stopped right there and entwined the details of how that Cuban coup planning was redirected to Dealey Plaza, it would have been enough, but they further developed their theory with the additional details - that the Kennedys had a approved a coup in Cuba to take place on C-Day (Dec. 1) and that this plot was hijacked by Mafia dons Santo Traficante and Carlos Marcello and used to kill Kennedy.

Although he is not named in the first edition of their book, Juan Almeida is identified in hastily published follow up edition after Almeida was named by others.

My primary problems with their work is centered on the fact that they made up the term “C-Day” for the date of their planned coup and invasion of Cuba, so it is not a term you will find in any government records, although the idea of a coup in Cuba was the subject of many discussions that are memorialized in memos and documents, especially the military records found among the Califano papers, released under the JFK Act [ and posted on-line at Mary Ferrell ]

It has also been brought to our attention that on the date of the supposed coup, it has been documented that Almeida was in an airplane on the way to Africa to lead Cuban forces in the Congo, so he was in no position to lead a coup in Cuba and in any case, he didn’t, and is still considered in the good graces of the Castro government in Cuba.

My other problem with the Waldron/Hartman theory is that the coup plan was known to, infiltrated and hijacked by Mafia dons, when in fact the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were in cahoots in the Valkyrie Plot, were quite capable of redirecting the Havana coup from Castro to Kennedy without any help from their Mafia friends, though they certainly could have been used in some of the tactical aspects (ie. silencing the Patsy).

Nor do I think that their extensive use of anonymous sources contributes to their credibility, though I believe their unidentified ONI source as having shadowed Oswald and destroying official government records related to Oswald immediately after he was arrested.

That said, Waldron and Hartmann have done extensive research into the Tampa plot, and reported what they knew in their books, some of which is quoted here.

In “Ultimate Sacrifice” (p. 145), they write: “Authorities had received credible reports of threats against JFK, and Tampa authorities had uncovered a plan to assassinate JFK during his long motorcade there...Long-secret Congressional reports confirm that ‘the threat on November 18, 1963 was posed by a mobile, unidentified rifleman shooting from a window in a tall building with a high power rifle fitted with a scope.’ One Secret Service agent told Congressional investigators that ‘there was an active threat against the President of which the Secret Service was aware in November 1963 in the period immediately prior to JFK’s trip to Miami made by ‘a group of people.’”

“The Tampa threat was confirmed to us by Chief of Police (J.P.) Mullins, who also confirmed that it wasn’t allowed to be published at the time. However, as with Chicago, JFK knew about the Tampa assassination threat. In the words of a high Florida law-enforcement official at the time, ‘JFK had been briefed he was in danger.’”

                                                JFK at MacDill - Mary Ferrell Photo Archives



“After JFK arrived in Tampa on November 18, 1963, newspapers say that he was first ‘closeted’ with ‘General Paul Adams, commanding officer of the Strike [Force] Command’ for a ‘secret session at MacDill.’ Joining General Adams were the commander of the Tactical Air Command headquartered at Langley AFB, Virginia, and the Commander of the Army Command based at Fort Monroe, Virginia…The Strike Force Command is known as Central Command, or CentCom, today. It was described in newspapers at the time as ‘the nation’s brushfire warfare force,’ designed for rapid deployment to trouble spots…Following his brief meeting with the military leaders, JFK continued a heavy schedule of speeches and public appearances. His main motorcade for the public lasted about forty minutes….”



                                              JFK at MacDill - Mary Ferrell Photo Archives


After the motorcade JFK addressed the United Steelworkers at the International Inn, where Waldron and Hartman say, “Just four days later, Trafficante would go to the site of JFK’s last speech in Tampa, the International Inn to publicly toast and celebrate JFK’s death in Dallas.”

After that Tampa speech, Kennedy went to Miami to address the media, and reportedly included in his speech, a special message for those who were contemplating a coup in Cuba.

“The Tampa Police Chief on November 18, 1963, J.P. Mullins, confirmed the existence of the plot to assassinate JFK in Tampa that day. While all news of the threat was suppressed at the time, two small articles appeared right after JFK’s death, but even then the story was quickly suppressed. Mullins was quoted in those 42-year old articles, and he didn’t speak for publication about the threat again until he spoke with us in 1996, confirming not just the articles but adding important new details.” (p. 254)

“The Tampa attempt is documented in full for the first time in any book later; but briefly, it involved at least two men, one of whom threatened to ‘use a gun’ and was described by the Secret Service as ‘white, male, 20, slender build,’ 28.….According to Congressional investigators, ‘Secret Service memos’ say ‘the threat on Nov. 18, 1963 was posed by a mobile, unidentified rifleman shooting from a window in a tall building with a high powered rifle fitted with a scope.’ 29. That was the same basic scene in Chicago and Dallas.”

“Chief Mullins confirmed that the police were told about the threat by the Secret Service prior to JFK’s motorcade through Tampa, which triggered even more security precautions. One motorcade participant still recalls commenting at the time that ‘at every overpass there were police officers with rifles on alert.”

“Secret Service agents in Tampa were probably subjected to the same pressure for secrecy as those in Chicago…It also explains why, in the mid-1990s, the Secret Service destroyed documents about JFK’s motorcades in the weeks before Dallas, rather than turn them over to the Assassinations Records Review Board as the law required. 36 As noted earlier, that destruction occurred just weeks after the authors had first informed the Review Board about the Tampa attempt.” 37 (p. 256)

“There is clear evidence that the Secret Service and other agencies handled the serious JFK assassination attempts in Chicago and Tampa far differently from earlier assassination attempts we’ve researched. Since just after JFK’s election, most attempts to kill him would briefly make the newspapers at the time of the incident. 38 That was even true for minor, routine threats to JFK in Chicago and Tampa in the fall of 1963,…”

“The Tampa attempt was kept completely out of the news media at the time of JFK’s visit, and for four days afterward. Only two small articles about the Tampa attempt finally appeared after JFK’s death, one in Tampa on Saturday, November 23. By the time the next article appeared in Miami on Sunday, the authorities had clammed up and were no longer talking. There were no follow-up articles in either paper. 40 The two articles went unnoticed by Congressional investigators and historians for decades…”

“What made the attempts to kill JFK in Chicago and Tampa (and later Dallas) different from all previous threats was the involvement of Cuban suspects – and a possible Cuban agent – in each area. In addition, these multi-person attempts were clearly not the work of the usual lone, mentally ill person, but were clearly the result of coordinated planning. The Chicago and Tampa assassination attempts took place… when US officials were making plans for dealing with the possible “assassination” of “American officials” in retaliation for US actions against Castro…”

“In both the Tampa and Dallas attempts, officials sought a young man in his early twenties, white with slender build, who had been in recent contact with a small pro-Castro group called the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). In Dallas that was Lee Harvey Oswald, but the Tampa person of interest was Gilberto Policarpo Lopez, who – like Oswald- was a former defector. 44 We later document eighteen parallels between Dallas suspect Lee Harvey Oswald and Gilberto Policarpo Lopez, but here are a few: Like Oswald, Lopez was also of interest to Navy Intelligence. Also similar to Oswald, Gilberto Lopez made a mysterious trip to Mexico City in the fall of 1963, attempting to get to Cuba. Lopez even used the same border crossing as Oswald, and government reports say both went one way by car, though neither man owned a car. Like Oswald, Lopez had recently separated from his wife and had gotten into a fistfight in the summer of  1963 over supposedly pro-Castro sympathies. 45 Declassified Warren Commission and CIA documents confirm that Lopez, whose movements parallel Oswald in so many ways in 1963, was on a secret ‘mission’ for the US involving Cuba, an ‘operation’ so secret that the CIA felt that protecting it was considered more important than thoroughly investigating the JFK assassination.” 46

 “Since the initial publication of Ultimate Sacrifice, a few additional references to Tampa have surfaced. On June 10, 2005, - five months before the first public revelation of the Tampa attempt in our book – the Secret Service’s advance agent for JFK’s trip to Tampa made an intriguing comment during an interview with researcher Vince Palamara. Retired agent Gerald Blaine said there were ‘more characters’ for the Secret Service to worry about ‘in Tampa’ than in Dallas. Blaine said ‘we were really concerned about that. We did a lot of work on that.’ Palamara writes that “Blaine added that he was riding in the lead car with the Chief of Police’ during JFK’s Tampa motorcade.” 36 (p. 718)

(36 Vince Michael Palamara Survivor’s Guilt: The Secret Service & the Failure to Protect the President (Pennsylvania, 2005, pp. 20, 21)

Also see:
2. “Threats on Kennedy Made Here,” Tampa Tribune 11/23/63; “Man Held In Threats to JFK,” Miami Herald 11-24-63 – it is bylined Tampa (UPI), so it may well have appeared in other newpapers.
3. Frank DeBenedictis, “Four Days before Dallas,Tampa Bay History Fall/Winter 1994

[BK Notes: If anyone can obtain the Tampa Tribute Article “Man Held in Threats to JFK” of 11/23/63, I’d like to have the text copy so I can post it, as well as Frank’s article.]





Military ready for action. Caption reads: Initial USAF deliveries to MacDill AFB, Florida, in November 1963, were 29 "borrowed" Navy F-4Bs (given USAF serial numbers, but eventually returned). These 12th and 15th Tactical Fighter Wing aircraft were soon joined by production F-4Cs. Both types appear in this photo.

Vince has posted the original news report on the Tampa threat here: (Thanks Vince!)
11/18/63 Tampa, FL threats | vincepalamara


Threats On Kennedy Made Here

Tampa police and Secret Service agents scanned crowds for a man who had vowed to assassinate the President here last Monday, Chief of Police J.P. Mullins said yesterday.

In issuing notice to all participating security police prior to the President’s motorcade tour in Tampa, Mullins had said: “I would like to advise all officers that threats against the President have been made from this area in the last few days.”

A memo from the White House Secret Service dated Nov. 8 reported:

“Subject made statement of a plan to assassinate the President in October 1963. Subject stated he will use a gun, and if he couldn’t get closer he would find another way. Subject is described as: White, male, 20, slender build,” etc.

Mullins said Secret Service had been advised of three persons in the area who reportedly had made threats on the President’s life. One of the three was – and still is – in jail here under heavy bond.

Mullins said he did not know if the other two may have followed the Presidential caravan to Dallas.

Sarasota County Sheriff Ross E. Boyer also said yesterday that officers who protected Kennedy in Tampa Monday were warned about “a young man” who had threatened to kill the President during that trip.”