Any Assassination film festival should include the Parallax View and The Odessa File, two major feature films developed from popular fictional novels, though they come more close to actual reality than government reports, especially as they reflect on the assassination of President Kennedy.
Both of these films were recently aired together, back to back on a movie channel, and both feature movie stars who portray third rate reporters (like me), who take on stories that are bigger than themselves.
In The Odessa File John Voight plays a German journalist who made his mark by reporting on the Beatles in Hamburg, before they were famous, and on the early evening of November 22, 1963, pulls his sports car to the side of the road to hear the news reports of President Kennedy’s assassination. He credits that to fate, as he then chases an ambulance to the scene of the suicide of a concentration camp survivor who killed himself after seeing his former Nazi camp commandant living the high life.
In a manuscript he left behind he describes the horrors of the holocaust, and Voight takes on the challenge of locating the Nazi officer who avoided capture and the trials of Nuremberg thanks to a shadowy secret society known as ODESSA, and the story has a surprising twist at the end.
While ODESSA was real, so was Project PAPERCLIP, the code name for the American intelligence operation that brought hundreds of captured Nazi intelligence officers and scientists to the United States.
Among them were Nazi General Reinhard Gehlen, the head of German army intelligence on the Eastern Front, who initiated Operation Wringer to obtain intelligence from refugees fleeing communist countries in Europe, and later became head of the East German intelligence agency, though it was compromised by the Soviets.
Then there was W. Von Braun, the Nazi rocket scientist who developed the Saturn V for NASA and increased the capability of the Air Force ICBMs, and his assistant General Dornberger, who went to work for Bell Helicopter with Michael Paine, the chief benefactor of the family of the accused assassin of the president Lee Harvey Oswald.
The Nazi scientist who invented the jet engine came to America to work for Collins Radio, the company that controlled the Air Force One and Strategic Air Command air plane radios.
Most significant is Hans Bernd Gisivious, one of German agents Allen Dulles controlled among those who plotted the unsuccessful attempt on the life of Hilter, who Dulles and his assistant Mary Bancroft helped escape from Germany, and who came to America to work for LTV, one of the companies that can name among its founders as D. H. Byrd, the owner of the Texas School Book Depository at the time of the assassination.
The Parallax View on the other hand, is a movie that features Warren Beatty as an intrepid reporter recruited by the Parallax Corporation, a human engineering company that provides security personnel to major industrial manufacturers, as well as assassins and stool pigeons who serve as patsies.
Beaty is given a test in strapped on chair in which he is forced to watch a collage of a film that incorporates family values with extreme violence, much like that described by Lt. Commander Narut to the London Sunday Times reporter at a NATO conference in Norway.
Narut: According to Narut, “...combat readiness units…include men for commando-type operations and...for insertion into U.S. embassies under cover,…ready to kill in those countries should the need arise….U.S. Navy psychologists specially selected men for these commando tasks, from submarine crews, paratroops, and some were convicted murderers from military prisons...Research on those given awards for valor in battle [ie. Audie Murphy] has shown….that the best killers are men with ‘passive-aggressive’ personalities...Among the tests used is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. This consists of hundreds of questions, and rates personality on many traits including such things as hostility, depression, psychopathy...” The Times reported that, “The men selected were brought either to the Navy’s neuropsychiatric laboratory in San Diego, California (which also trains spies in techniques to counter interrogation), or to the laboratory where Narut works in the U.S. Naval Medical Center in Naples.”
“The method, according to Dr Narut, was to show films specially designed to show people being killed and injured in violent ways. By being acclimatised through these films, the men eventually became able to dissociate any feelings from such a situation.”
Narut also said that the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory test they used looked for candidates with a very specific “Passive-Aggressive” behavioral pattern, as exhibited by Oswald according to Dr. Herzog, who gave the test to Oswald as a delinquent in New York City.
The novel The Parallax View was written by Loren Singer – a former OSS intelligence officer during World War II who was interviewed by Len Osanic for Black Op Radio, during which he acknowledged not being pleased with the Hollywood version of his book. But Singer also said that the test sequence in the story was based on the tests he was given in the course of his OSS training.
One of the major differences between the novel and the Hollywood movie is the end, where in the film the Warren Beaty character is set up as the patsy in the assassination of a Senator at Dallas Trade Mart luncheon situation similar to the one that President Kennedy was on his way to before being killed at Dealey Plaza.
In the book the protagonist is run off the road by a professional Parallax killer in a car that is especially built as a demolition derby type vehicle, at a very peculiar place – the salt marsh area between the New Jersey shore resort town of Wildwood and Cape May.
When I read the book I just happened to be living in Cape May and got in my car and went for a drive to that spot where I discovered there was a high barbed wire fence surrounding a very large but secluded are with a sign: US Navy Electronic Engineering Test Center. So I drove a mile to the nearby Wildwood Crest Tavern where I talked to the bartender and a few guys who worked on the base, who explained that it was a Top Secret and high priority nuclear target because of its mission was to communicate with nuclear submarines throughout the world.
Now I had already had a list of such submarine connections to the assassination of President Kennedy, and just added it to the list, that included the facts that Clay Shaw, accused of conspiracy in the assassination by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, had written a play about a submarine crew that was stuck under the sea, and the accused assassin’s good friend George deMornschildts had lived with a submarine commander in Washington during World War II.
Then there’s the peculiar story of how deMohrenschildts tried to get a Oswald a job at Collins Radio over lunch with Collins executive and former Navy Admiral Chester Brouton, whose job at Collins was to develop radio communications with Navy submarines.
Can you imagine the world we would be living in if Oswald, the accused assassin of the President, got a job with Collins Radio rather than at the Texas School Book Depository, where he was put in a position to have the opportunity to kill the President, though he still lacked a means and motive?
Then, in the course of reading the yearly Collins Radio reports to stock holders for 1962-64 I read where Collins was asked by the military to study the “parallax” phenomena, which is described as “the effect whereby the position or direction of an object appears to differ when viewed from different positions,” and considered responsible for many pilot error plane crashes, including that of John F. Kennedy, Jr.