Wednesday, February 29, 2012

James Douglas & Wes Wise

From: JFK & The Unspeakable – Why He Died & Why It Matters by James Douglas (Orbis 2008, p. 292-294)

...Butch Burroughs, who witnessed Oswald’s arrest, startled me in his interview by saying he saw a second arrest occur in the Texas Theater only “three or four minutes later.” 449

He said the Dallas Police then arrested “an Oswald lookalike.” Burroughs said the second man “looked almost like Oswald, like he was his brother or something.” 450

When I questioned the comparison by asking, “Could you see the second man as well as you could see Oswald?” he said, “Yes, I could see both of them. They looked alike.” 451

After the officers half-carried and half-dragged Oswald to the police car in front of the theater, within a space of three or four minutes, Burroughs saw the second Oswald placed under arrest and handcuffed. The Oswald look-alike, however, was taken by police not out the front but out the back of the theater.” 452

What happened next we can earn from another neglected witnesses, Bernard Haire. 453

Bernard J. Haire was the owner of Bernie’s Hobby House, just two doors east of the Texas Theater. Haire went outside his store when he saw police cars congregating in front of the theater. 454 When he couldn’t see what was happening because of the crowd, he went back through his store into the alley out back. It, too, was full of police cars, but there were fewer spectators. Haire walked up the alley. When he stopped opposite the rear door of the theater, he witnessed what he would think for decades was the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald.

“Police brought a young white man out,” Haire told an interviewer. “The man was dressed in a pullover shirt and sacks. He seemed to be flushed, as if he’d been in a struggle. Police put the man in a police car and drove off.” 455

When Haire was told in 1987 that Lee Harvey Oswald had been brought out the front of the theater by police, he was shocked.

“I don’t know who I saw arrested,” he said in bewilderment. 456

Buctch Burroughs and Bernard Haire are complimentary witnesses. From their perspectives both inside and outside the Texas Theater, they saw an Oswald double arrested and taken to a police car in the back alley only minutes after the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald. Burroughs’ and Haire’s independent, converging testimonies provide critical insight into the mechanics of the plot. In a comprehensive intelligence scenario for Kennedy’s and Tippit’s murders, the plan culminated in Oswald’s Friday arrest and Sunday’s murder (probably a fall back from his being set up to be killed in the Texas Theater by the police).

There is a hint of the second Oswald’s arrest in the Dallas police records.

According to the Dallas Police Department’s official Homicide Report on J.D. Tippit, “Suspect was later arrested in the balcony of the Texas Theater at 231 W. Jefferson.” 457

Dallas Police detective L.D. Springfellow also reported to Captain W. P. Gannaway, “Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested in the balconyh of the Texas Theater.” 458

To whom are the Homicide Report and Detective Springfellow referring? Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested in the orchestra, not balcony. Are these documents referring to the Dallas Police Department’s second arrest in the Texas Theater that afternoon? Was Butch Burroughs witnessing an arrest of the Oswald look-alike that actually began in the balcony? That would have likely been the double’s hiding place, after he entered the theater without paying, thereby drawing attention to himself and leading the police to the apprehension of his likeness, Lee Harvey Oswald (who was already inside). As Butch Burroughs pointed out, anyone coming in the front of the theater could head immediately up the stairs to the balcony without being seen from the concession stand.

The Oswald double, after having been put in the police car in the alley, must have been driven a short distance and released on higher intelligence orders. Unfortunately for the plotters, he was seen again soon. With the scapegoat, Lee Harvey Oswald, now safely in custody, we can presume that the double was not supposed to be seen again in Dallas – or anywhere else. Had he not been seen, the CIA’s double-Oswald strategy in an Oak Cliff shell game might have eluded independent investigators forever. But thanks to other key witnesses who have emerged, we now have detailed evidence that the double was seen again – not just once but twice.

[BK Notes: I don't believe, as JD apparently does, that the man who resembled Oswald and was taken into custody by the Dallas PD out the back of the Texas Theater is the same person who resembled Oswald and seen by T. H. White in a 57 Plymouth with Texas License plate PP 4537, as there apparently were more than two individuals who resembled Oswald in Oak Cliff at that time.]

JFK & The Unspeakable (p. 294-298)

...Also at about 2:00 P.M., a man identified as Oswald was seen in a car eight blocks away from the Texas Theater, still very much at large and keeping a low profile. 460 A sharp-eyed auto mechanic spotted him.

T.F. White was a sixty-year-old, longtime employee of Mack Pate’s Garage in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. While White worked on an automobile the afternoon of the assassination, he could hear police sirens screaming up and down Davis street only a block away. He also heard radio reports describing a suspect then thought to be in Oak Cliff. 461 The mechanic looked out the open doors of the garage. He watched as a red 1961 Falcon drove into the parking lot of the El Chico restaurant across the street. The Falcon parked in an odd position after going a few feet into the lot. The driver remained seated in the car. 462. White said later, “The man in the car appeared to be hiding.’ 643 White kept his eyes on the man in the Falcon.

[BK Notes: According to Wise's first report to the FBI and in his interview with me, T.F. White first told him the car was a 57 Plymouth, not a Ford Falcon, and the car turned out to be a 57 Plymouth. It is also unlikely that a 60 year old mechanic would misidentify a Plymouth and a Ford. While Wise did mention the color red, according to the FBI report, the first mention of a Ford Falcon is when the FBI agent returned from Mather's home after eyeballing the 57 Plymouth in the Mather driveway, and he interviews T.F. White after White requested Wise not to involve him. So the "red" and the "Falcon" discrepancy only appear in the FBI reports and not in White's original statements to Wise. Those interested in following a suspicious red Ford in Oak Cliff that afternoon are referred to the long Esquire Magazine article that develops information on Igor Vaganov. As for White, his original statement that it was a 57 Plymouth and the note with the license plate number he gave to Wise, which Wise still maintains, is the evidence that implicates Mather's car in the murder of his good friend, J.D. Tippit. See original FBI reports reproduced below in earlier thread and view the originals at Greg Parker's web site ReopenJFKcase.]

When Mack Pate returned from his lunch break a few minutes later, T.F. White pointed out to his boss the oddly parked Falcon with its waiting driver who seemed to be hiding. Pate told White to watch the car carefully, reminding him of earlier news reports they had heard about a possible assassination attempt against President Kennedy in Houston the day before involving a red Falcon. 464

T. F. White walked across the street to investigate. He halted about ten to fifteen yards from the car. He could see the driver was wearing a white t-shirt. 465 The man turned towards White and looked at him full face. White stared back at him. Not wanting to provoke a possible assassin, White began to retreat to the garage. However, he paused, took a scrap of paper from his coveralls pocket, and wrote down the Texas license plate of the car: PP4537. 466

That night, while T. F. White was watching television with his wife, he recognized the Dallas Police Department’s prisoner, Lee Harvey Oswald, as the man he had seen in the red Falcon in El Chico’s parking lot. White was unfazed by what he had not yet known – that at the same time he had seen one Oswald sitting feely in the Falcon, the other Oswald was sitting handcuffed in a Dallas police car on his way to jail. Mrs. White, fearing the encompassing arms of a conspiracy, talked her husband out of reporting his information to the authorities. 467 Thus, the Oswald sighted in the parking lot might have escaped history, but for the fact White was confronted by an alert reporter.

On December 4, 1963, Wes Wise, a Dallas newscaster whose specialty was sports, gave a luncheon talk to the Oak Cliff Exchange Club, at El Chico’s restaurant. At the urging of his listeners, he exchanged his topic from sports to the president’s assassination, which Wise had covered. He described to his luncheon audience how he, as a reporter, had become a part of Jack Ruby’s story. Wise’s encounter with the man he knew as a news groupie came on the grassy knoll, the day before Ruby shot Oswald. Wise had just completed a somber, day-after-the-assassination radio newscast from the site banked with wreaths.

While he sat in his car in silent reflection beside the Texas School Book Depository, he heard a familiar voice calling out, “Hey, West!”

As Wise told the story, “I turned to see the portly figure of a man in a dark suit, half-waddling, half-trotting, as he came toward me. He was wearing a fedora-style hat which would later become familiar and famous.” Jack Ruby was making his way along the grassy knoll “from the direction of the railroad tracks,” precisely where the day before, as Ed Hoffman watched, another man in a suit had fired a rifle at the president – an hour and a half after Julia Ann Mercer saw a man, dropped off by Jack Ruby, carry a rifle up the same site.

Ruby leaned into Wise’s car window and said, his voice breaking and with tears in his eyes, “I just hope they don’t make Jackie come to Dallas for the trial. That would be terrible for that little lady.” 468

In retrospect, Wise wondered if Ruby was trying to set him up for a radio interview – to go on record the day before with his famous “motive” for murdering Oswald. Although Wise had no interest then in interviewing Jack Ruby, he had already just been told enough for him to be called as a witness in Ruby’s trial. He would be subpoenaed as a Ruby witness by both the prosecution and the defense. 469 His testimony at the trial, quoting what Ruby said to him the day before. Ruby murdered Oswald, would then be cited in Life magazine. 470

At the end of Wise’s talk to his absorbed audience at the Oak Cliff Exchange Club, Mack Pate, who had walked across the street from his garage to listen, gave the newscaster a new lead. He told Wise about his mechanic having seen Oswald. Wise asked to go immediately with Pate to speak with his employee. 471

As Wise told me in an interview four decades later, he then “put a little selling job on Mr. White” to reveal what he had seen. Wise said to the reluctant auto mechanic, “Well, you know, we’re talking about the assassination of the President of the United States here.” 472

Convinced of his duty, T. F. White took Wise into El Chico’s parking lot and walked him step by step through his “full face” encounter with Oswald. Wise realized the car had been parked at the center of Oswald’s activity in Oak Cliff that afternoon: one block from where Oswald got out of the taxi, six blocks south of his rooming house, eight blocks north of his arrest at the Texas Theater, and only five blocks from Tippit’s murder on a route in between. 473

Taking notes on his luncheon invitation, Wise said, “I just wish you had gotten the license number.”

White reached into his pocket and took out a scrap of paper with writing on it. He handed it to Wise.

“This is it,” he said. 474

Newscaster Wes Wise notified the FBI of White’s identification of Oswald in the car parked in the El Chico lot, and cited the license plate number. FBI agent Charles T. Brown, Jr. reported from an interview with Milton Love, Dallas County Tax Office: “1963 Texas License Plate PP4537 was issued for a 1957 Plymouth automobile in possession of Carl Amos Mather, 4309 Colgate, Street, Garland, Texas.” 475 Agent Brown then drove to that address. He reported that the 1957 Plymouth bearing license plate PP 4537 was parked in the driveway of Mather’s home in Garland, a suburb of Dallas. 476 Thus arose the question of how a license plate for Carl Mather’s Plymouth came to be seen on the Falcon in El Chico’s parking lot, with a man in it who looked like Oswald.

The FBI had also discovered that Carl Amos Mather did high-security communications work for Collins Radio, a major contractor with the Central Intelligence Agency. Three weeks before Kennedy’s assassination, Collins Radio had been identified on the front page of the New York Times as having just deployed a CIA raider ship on an espionage and sabotage mission against Cuba. 477 Collins also held the government contract for installing communications towers in Vietnam. 478 In 1971, Collins Radio would merge with another giant military contractor, Rockwell International. 479 In November 1963, Collins was at the heart of the CIA-military-contracting business for state-of-the-art communications systems.

Carl Mather had represented Collins at Andrews Air Force Base by putting special electronics equipment in Vice President Lyndon Johnson’s Air Force Two plane. 480 Given the authority of his CIA-linked security clearance, Carl Mather refused to speak to the FBI. 481 The FBI instead questioned his wife, Barbara Mather, who stunned them. Her husband, she said, was a good friend of J.D. Tippit. In fact, the Mathers were such close friends of Tippit and his wife that when J.D. was murdered, Marie Tippit phoned them. According to his wife, Carl Mather left work that afternoon at 3:30 and returned home. 482 Carl and Barbara Mather then drove to the Tippit home, where they consoled Marie Tippit on the death of her husband (killed by a man identical to the one seen a few minutes later five blocks away in a car bearing Mathers’ license plate number).

Fifteen years after the assassination, Carl Mather did finally consent to an interview for the first time – with the House Select Committee on Assassinations, but on condition that he be granted immunity from prosecution. 483 The electronics specialist could not explain how his car’s license number could have been seen on the Falcon with its Oswald-like driver in the El Chico lot. 484

The HSCA dismissed the incident as “the Wise allegation,” 485 in which a confused auto mechanic had jotted down a coincidentally connected license plate, as “alleged” by a reporter. The odds against White having come up with the exact license plate of a CIA-connected friend of J.D. Tippit were too astronomical for comment, and were given none.

What kept “the Wise allegation” from sinking into total oblivion over the years was the persistent conscience of Wes Wise, who in 1971 was elected mayor of Dallas. During his two terms as mayor (1971-76), Wise guided Dallas out from under the cloud of the assassination and at the same time saved the Texas School Book Depository from imminent destruction, preserving it for further research into the president’s murder. 486

In the fall of 2005, I interviewed Wes Wise, who recalled vividly T. F. White’s description of his confrontation with a man looking like Oswald in the El Chico parking lot. Wise said he was so struck by the incident that he returned to the El Chico lot on a November 22 afternoon years later to reenact the scene with similar lighting and a friend sitting in an identically parked car. Standing on the spot where T. F. White had and with the same degree of afternoon sunlight, Wise confirmed that one could easily recognize a driver’s features from a “full face’ look at that distance, irrespective of whether the car’s window was up or down. 487

The possible significance of what he had learned stayed with Wise during his years as a reporter and as Dallas mayor, in spite of its repeated dismissal by federal agencies. Knowing the value of evidence, Mayor Wise preserved not only the Texas School Book Depository but also the December 4, 1963, luncheon invitation on which he had immediately written down T.F. White’s identification of the license plate on the Oswald car. Producing it from his files during our interview, Wise read to me over the phone T.F. White’s exact identification of the license plate, as the auto mechanic had shown it to the reporter on the scrap of paper taken from his coveralls pocket, and as Wise had then copied it down on his luncheon invitation: “PP 4537.” 488

At the end of our conversation, Mayor Wise reflected for a moment on the question posed by Lee Harvey Oswald’s presence elsewhere at the same time as T.F. White saw him in El Chico’s parking lot (in a car whose license plate could not be traced, thanks to the scrupulous note-taking of White and Wise, to the employee of a major CIA contractor).

“Well,” he said, ‘You’re aware of the idea of two Oswalds, I guess?” 489

NOTES 433-458

433 – Warren H. “Butch” Burroughs interview. The Men Who Killed Kennedy, Part 5.
434 – WCH, vol. 7 p. 15
435 – Butch Burroughs tried to explain to the Warren Commission why Lee Harvey Oswald, on entering the theater, must have gone directly up the stairs to the balcony. If so, it was impossible for Burroughs to see his entry from the concession stand. Burroughs said he was in the process of counting stock candy and putting it in his candy case: “if he had come around in front of the concession out there, I would have seen him, even though I was bent down, I would have seen him, but otherwise I think he sneaked up the [balcony] stairs real fast.” Burroughs knew that, if he had not seen Oswald come in, he must have gone immediately up the balcony stairs on entering the theater. Ibid. Julia Postal, the ticket-seller for the Texas Theater, also tried to explain this logistical fact in her Warren Commission testimony: “You can go up in the balcony and right straight down, those steps come back down, and that would bring you into [the orchestra seating]. He wouldn’t have to go by Butch at all.” WCH, vol. 7, p. 13.
436 – Author’s interview of Warren H. “Butch” Burroughs, July 16, 2007.
437 – Warren Report, pp. 6-7
438 – Jack Davis interview by Jim Marrs, fall 1988, Crossfire, p. 353. Author’s interview of Burroughs, July 16, 2007.
439 – Jack Davis interview by John Armstrong, Harvey & Lee, p. 841.
440 – Warren H. “Butch” Burroughs interview by Jim Marrs, summer 1987, Crossfire, p. 353. Author’s interview of Jim Marrs, January 14, 2006.
441 – Burroughs interview by Jim Marrs, Crossfire, p. 353. Author’s interview with Burroughs, July 16, 2007.
442 – Ibid. It is possible the pregnant women gave Oswald the sign he seemed to need, confirming that she was the contact he was seeking. He apparently sat by her longer than he did by anyone else. It was she, not he, who got up and left. Burroughs said of her, “I don’t know what happened to that women. I don’t know how she got out of the theater. I never saw her again.” Marrs, ibid.
443 – Davis interview by Marrs, Crossfire, p. 353.
444 – WCH, vol. 3, pp. 298-99.
445 – Myers, With Malice, pp. 172-73.
446 – WCH, vol. 3, pp. 299
447 – Warren Commission member Senator John Sherman Cooper was especially puzzled by Officer McDonald’s circuitous way of approaching the suspected murderer and questioned him closely about it. WCH, vol. 3, p. 303.
448- Ibid., p. 300. Also WCH, vol. 7, pp. 32, 39.
449 – Author’s interview of Burroughs, July 16, 2007. Butch Burroughs is a man of few words. When asked a question, he answers exactly what he is asked. Burroughs told me no one had ever asked him before about a second arrest in the Texas Theater. In response to my question, “Now you didn’t see anybody else [besides Oswald] get arrested that day, did you?” he answered, “Yes, there was a lookalike – an Oswald lookalike.” In response to further questions, he described the second arrest, that of the “Oswald lookalike.” Ibid. Because Butch Burroughs saw neither Oswald nor his lookalike enter the Texas Theater, each must have gone directly up the balcony stairs on entering. Oswald crossed the balcony and came down the stars on the far side of the lobby. There he entered the orchestra seats and began his seat-hopping, in apparent search of a contact. His lookalike sneaked into the theater at 1:45 P.M. and, like Oswald, went immediately up the balcony stairs. By the time Burroughs witnessed the Oswald double’s arrest, he had als come down the balcony stairs on the far side of the lobby, either on his own or already accompanied by police who had been checking the balcony.
450 – Ibid.
451 – Ibid.
452 – Ibid.
453 – In the data base on the JFK Records Act at the National Archives, there is no record of Bernard Haire. Archivist Martin E. McGann to James Douglas, July 20, 2007.
454 – In a photo taken about 1:50 P.M., November 22, 1963, that shows people gathering around the police cars in front of the Texas Theater, Bernard Haire can be seen at the edge of the crowd, leaning on a parking meter and trying to see. Photo by Stuart. L. Reed; on p. 68, Myers, With Malice.
455 – Beranrd J. Haire interview by Jim Marrs, summer 1987, Crossfire, p. 354.
456 – Ibid.
457 – Dallas Police Department Homicide Report on J.D. Tippit, Novemer 22, 1963. Reproduced in With Malice, p. 447 (emphasis added).
458 – Letter from Detective L.D. Springfellow to Captain W. P. Ganaway, Novemver 23, 1963, Dallas City Archives. Cited in Harvey & Lee, p. 871 (emphasis added)
459 – Reporter Seth Kantor jotted down in his notebook Oswald’s November 22 remark, “I’m just a patsy,” and the time he made it: 7:55 P.M. Kantor Exhibit 3, WCH, vol. 20, p. 366.

NOTES 460-489

460 - Memorandum by Dallas Special Agent Charles T. Brown, December 14, 1963. Warren Commission Document 205, JFK Record Number 180-10108-10231.
461 - Author’s interviews with Wes Wise, October 31 and November 13, 2005.
462 – Bill Pulte interview with Mack Pate, October 1989. Notes and map from Bill Pulte/Gary Shaw interview with Mack Pate, October 10, 1989. I am grateful to Bill Pulte for alerting met to these interviews and Gary Shaw for sharing with me his records of them.
463 – Wes Wise citing mechanic T. F. White, “The Wise Allgation,” in “Oswald-Tippit Associates, “ Staff Report of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (March, 1979), Appendix to Hearings, p. 38.
464 – Ibid. Mack Pate identified the vehicle T. F. White had spotted I the El Chico parking lot as a 1961 red Falcon in his October 10, 1989 interview with Gary Shaw and Bill Pulte.
465 – HSCA Memorandum from Andy Purdy to Bob Tanenbaum, February 19, 1977, p. 3 JFK Record Number 180-10108-10134.
466 – Wise interviews, October 31 and November 13, 2005
467 – Wise interview, November 13, 2005
468 – Wes Wise retold the story of his encounter with Jack Ruby in a book he published in 2004, co-authored with three other Dallas newscasters who also covered the Kennedy assassination, Bob Huffaker, Bill Mercert, Geroge Phenix, and Wes Wise, When the News Went Live: Dallas, 1963. (New York: Taylor Trade Publishgin, 2004), pp. 125-26.
469 – Ibid., p. 126
470 – Ibid.
471 – Wise interviews, October 31 and November 13, 2005
472 – Wise interview, October 31, 2005
473 – Wise interviews.
474 – Ibid.
475 – Report by FBI Special Agent Charles T. Brown, Jr., December 14, 1963. JFK Record Number 180-10108-10237.
476 – Report by FBI Special Agent Charles T. Brown, Jr. December 14, 1963, JFK Record Number 180-10108-10235
477 – “Castro Says C.I.A. Uses Raider Ship,” New York Times (November 1, 1963), p. 1
478 – Harvey & Lee, p. 872
479 – “Rockwell Collins, Inc. Company Timeline,” At the Rockwell Collins merger in 1971, Art Collins, the founder of Collins Radio, was named president and board chairman of Rockwell International. Ibid.
480 – HSCA interview with Carl Amos Mather, March 20, 1978, p. 4. JFK Records Number 180-10087-10360.
481 – Wise interview, October 31, 2005
482 – HSCA Memorandum from Purdy to Tanenbaum, February 19, 1977, p. 3.
483 – In a May 31,1978 letter to the HSCA chief counsel G. Robert Blakey, the U.S. Attorney General’s Ofice extended a grant of immunity to Carl Amos Mather. Reproduced in CD-ROM for Harvey & Lee, Tippit-33.
484 – Mather interview, p. 3
485 – “Wise Allegation,” pp. 37-44. Given T.F. White’s identification of the license plate and his and Mack Pate’s identification of the red Falcon driven by the Oswald double, a question arises concerning the government’s “counter evidence.” The disassociation of license plate PP 4537 and the Falcon arose from the FBI’s and the Dallas County Tax Office’s “official verification” that PP4537 was issued instead for a 1957 Plymouth owned by Carl Mather. However, we have reached a point in this story where the FBI, and other sources subject to FBI pressures (such as a county tax office), cannot simply be assumed to be telling the truth in anything relating to President Kennedy’s assassination. As we shall soon see, the FBI lied and even destroyed vital evidence, when it cam to Oswald’s note to FBI agent James Hosty. Given the FBI’s consistent record in covering up, falsifying, and destroying evidence that might incriminate the government in the assassination, it is reasonable to ask if that may be going on again here. After the Oswald double’s quick release following his Texas Theater arrest by the Dallas Police, he may have been given a Mather car to use that had a state-of-the-art Collins Radio for effective communications. The Oswald double keeping a low profile in the El Chico parking lot was apparently waiting to receive an order. Thanks to T.H White’s jotting down the license plate that was on the double’s car, the government then had to disassociate that license as much as possible from Mather. But fortunately it was done clumsily, and White’s documentation of the license plate provided a trail that led back to the CIA.
486 – Huffaker, Mercer, Phenix, and Wise, When the News Wnet Live, pp. 129-139.
487 – Wise interview, October 31, 2005.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wes Wise and Carl Mather

Wes Wise, former TV sports reporter and mayor of Dallas.


Greg Parker is posting the scan of these original documents at his blog: (Thanks Greg)

Wes Wise Invite IMG 0010

American Bank and Trust Company letterhead
October 31, 1963
Mr. Wes Wise
Station KRLD –TV
Herald Square
Dallas, Texas

Dear Mr. Wise:

The Oak Cliff Exchange Club would like to have you present a program on sports on December 4, 1963 at the El Chico Restaurant, located at the corner of Zangs and Davis in Oak Cliff.

The Club meets at Noon, and there will be several boys present from the Dallas County Boys Home at Hutchins.

Your help would certainly be appreciated.

Terry C. Dickens, Jr.
Vice President and
Program Chairman
Oak Cliff Exchange Club

TCD: fjb

Hand written as notes on this page are

Mack Pate
Clydees Body Shop (n center?)
2 to 3 blocks
Tippit Shot
2-3 block
Patton St.
Beckley & Davis
5 blocks to apt.
5 blocks back
Davis & Patton & x
Then back to theater
25-30 blocks
On top right hand side of this document is hand written:
57’ Plymouth Ford x
4309 Colgate
2515 W. 5th St.
Mrs. Paine

December 4, 1963
Mr. WES WISE, Sports Department, KRLD-TV, was interviewed at which time he furnished the following information. Mr. Wise said on December 4, 1963 he made a a talk before the Oak Cliff Exchange Club at a luncheon meeting at the El Chico Restaurant in Oak Cliff. Wise said although his specialty is sports, eventually the conversation at the meeting got around to the assassination of the President sicne persons present knew WISE was associated with KRLD-TV, the CBS outlet in Dallas, Texas.

WISE continued that at the conclusion of the meeting, one of the guests came forward and reluctantly volunteered information that on November 22, 1963 just after news had been broadcast of the President’s assassination, he observed a red 1957 Plymouth four-door sedan proceeding west at a rapid rate of speed on Davis Street in Oak Cliff. WISE said his source stated after a short period of time, this car returned to the parking lot at the El Chico Restaurant where the car parked beside the restaurant and the occupant remained in the car. The source told WISE because of the mysterious maneuverings of this car, he walked close to the car and determined the license number was PP 4537. The source told WISE at the luncheon meeting that evening while observing TV, a picture of OSWALD was shown and the source recognized OSWALD as being the individual he observed in the red 1957 Plymouth on that afternoon.

WISE said as he recalled, this occurred on the same corner where Oswald reportedly left a taxicab following his trip from downtown Dallas.

WISE said he had checked the license PP 4537 through the License Bureau and it was ascertained this license was issued to CARL AMOS MATHER, 4309 Colgate Lane, Garland, Texas.

WISE stated at this time he desired not to furnish the identity of his source of information, but added if investigation indicated this individual might be involved in the OSWALD case, WISE would reveal the identity of the source.

Dallas, Texas
File # DL 89-43
By Special Agent CHARLES T. BROWN

IMG 0008
December 14, 1963
Mr. WES WISE, Sports Department, KRLD-TV, advised Mr. T.F. WHITE, a Mechanic at the Mack Pate Garage, 114 7th Street, Dallas, is the individual who furnished WISE information on December 4, 1963. WISE stated on December 4, 1963 WHITE had told WISE he (WHITE) observed a 1957 red Plymouth automobile on the parking lot adjacent to the El Chico Restaurant in Dallas, and WHITE believed the individual driving the car at the time was LEE HARVEY OSWALD.

WISE stated although he did not desire to furnish the identity of his source of this information at first, it would be permissible for an FBI Agent to interview WHITE at this time to further check out WHITE”s story.

Dallas, Texas
Special Agent CHARLES T. BROWN
File # DL 100-10461

IMG 0002
December 14, 1963
Mr. MILTON LOVE, Dallas County Tax Office, Dallas, Texas, advised 1963 Texas License Plate PP 4537 was issued for a 1957 Plymouth automobile in possession of CARL AMOS MATHER, 4309 Colgate Street, Garland Texas.

File # 100-10461
By Special Agent CHARLES T. BROWN, Jr.

December 14, 1963
Mrs. JUDY BACHMAN, Merchant’s Retail Credit Association, Garland, Texas, advised CARL AMOS MATHER, 4309 Colgate Street, Garland, Texas, has been known to MRCA records since April, 1957. His file was last checked June, 1958. MATHER was born October 22, 1927. The file indicates MATHER formerly resided in Tulsa, Oklahmoa in 1957 and he is a former resident of Grand Prarie, Texas in 1958. He formerly resided at 1020 Hines Boulevard, Dallas, Texas. A report from Merchant’s Retail Credit Association at Tulsa, Oklahoma indicates MATHER was formerly employed by the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Company in Tulsa. At the present time, MATHER is employed by Collins Radio Company, Richardson, Texas. These records indicate MATHR has an account at the First National Bank, Grand Prarie, Texas. Relatives are shown as A.L. or U.L. Mather, Rogers, Arkansas, and his wife has a relative, WAYNE RILEY, at Kansas City, Missouri.

Garland, Texas
File # DL 100-10461
Special Agent CHARLES T. BROWN, Jr.

December 14, 1963
SA CHARLES T. BROWN, Jr., observed a 1957 Plymouth, four-door automobile parked in the driveway at 4309 Colgate Street, Garland, Texas, which car had a 1963 Texas License PP 4537. It was observed that this car is a light blue over medium blue color.

Garland, Texas
File # DL 100-10461

December 14, 1963
Mrs. CARL A. MATHER, 4309 Colgate Street, Garland, Texas, stated that she and her husband own the light blue over medium blue 1957 Plymouth automobile bearing 1963 license PP 4537 which was parked in the driveway at this address.

Mrs. MATHER stated she and her husband also own a 1954 Ford station wagon which is white over light blue in color.

Mrs. MATHER stated on November 22, 1963, her husband left is work at Collins Radio Company in Richardson, Texas at approximately 2:00 or 2:30 P.M. in the afternoon at which time he came to their home at 4309 Colgate Street, Garland, Texas. Mrs. MATHER stated she and her husband were friends with former Dallas Policeman J.D. TIIPPIT who was hsot on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. Mrs. MATHER said shortly after her husband arrived home, they took their two children with them in their 1954 Ford station wagon at which time they proceeded to Dallas, Texas to the TIPPIT home to express their condolences to Mrs. TIPPIT, and to assist her in any way possible. Mrs. MATHER said she and her husband and their children remained at the TIPPIT home together until around 5 P.M. They arrived at the TIPPIT home at approximately 3:30 P.M. that afternoon. Around 5:00 P.M., Mr. MATHER left the TIPPIT home with the two MATHER children and drove to the MATHER home in Garland where he fed the two children and put them to bed.

Mrs. MATHER was questioned as to knowledge of her husband or anyone else driving a red late model automobile in the vicinity of the Le Chico Restaurant on the afternoon of November 22, 1963 at which time Mrs. MATHER stated she was at a loss to understand any connection between the red automobile reportedly bearing Texas License PP 4537 and her family.

Mrs. MATHER said as best she could recall, her husband was at the TIPPIT home constantly on the afternoon of November 22, 1963 following their arrival there at about 3:30 P.M.

Garland, Texas
File # DL 100-10461

December 14, 1963
Mr. T.F. WHITE, Mechanic, Mack Pate’s Garage, 114 West 7th Street, Dallas, Texas, was interviewed regarding a red 1957 Plymouth reportedly seen by him in the parking lot of the El Chico Restaurant on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. Mr. WHITE was advised Mr. WES WISE, Sports Department, KRLD-TV, Dallas, has furnished information which Mr. WISE obtained from Mr. WHITE reflecting the individual driving the red 1957 Plymouth was believed to be LEE HARVEY OSWALD.

Mr. WHITE stated he saw the red car at approximately 2:00 P.M. on the parking lot of the El Chico Restaurant. He stated he now believes the car to have been a red 1961 Falcon and he believed the automobile had 1963 Texas License PP 4537. WHITE said he observed the man driving the car from the side of his face, and when he saw the televions pictures of LEE HARVEY OSWALD on the night of November 22, 1963, he believed the man he saw at the El Chico Restaurant parking lot was identical with OSWALD. He said the man sat in the car for a short period of time and then left at a high rate of speed, going west on Davis.

Mr. WHITE was advised that the license number furnished by him had been checked and ascertained to be assigned to the 1957 Plymouth automobile which had been observed by an FBI agent and determined to be a light blue over medium blue in color. Mr. WHITE was also advised that LEE HARVEY OSWALD had been captured at the Texas Theater in Dallas at approximately 2:00 P.M., after having shot Dallas Police Officer J.D. TIPPIT at approximately 1:18 P.M. Mr. WHITE was further advised witnesses have stated they observed OSWALD fleeing from the scene of the TIPPIT shooting on foot and he was observed by other witnesses to enter the Texas Theater shortly after the shooting.

Mr. WHITE said he thought he had obtained the correct license number on the car, and, upon seeing OSWALD on television on the night of November 22, 1963, he thought OSWALD was possibly identical with the man he had seen driving the red automobile on the afternoon of November 22, 1963.

Dallas, Texas
DL 100-10462

Mather Subpoena
IMG 0014

In the Matter of the Application of
MISC. No. 78


Main Justice Building
10th and Constitution Aveenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that on or after the 30th day of May 1978 in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, United States Courthouse, Third and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington , D.C., Counsel for the Select Committee on Assassinations, acting on behalf of the Select Committee on Assassinations of the United States House of Represntatives, will apply to the Court, pursuant to the provisions of Title 18, United States Code, Section 6002, et. seq., for an order conferring immunity upon Carl Amos Mather
And compelling him to testify and provide other information in an inquiry being conducted by the Subcommittee on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy of the Select Committee on Assassinations.

Dated 5-19-78
G. Robert Blakey Sig
Chief Counsel and Director
Select Committee on Assassinations
U.S. House of Representatives

IMG 0015

J. D. Tippit Investigative Status

A. Witnesses: Helen Markham – pedestrian - Jack Tatum – motorist
B. Family: Marie (Tippit) Thomas – widow
C. Friends: Carl Mather – erstwhile neighbor
D. Co-Workers – Calvin Owens – supervisor
William Mentzell – fellow worker
Basil Robinson – fellow worker
Morris Brumley – fellow worker
Bill Anglin – best friend
E. Employer – Austin Cook (part-time at restaurant)
F. Ambulance Driver : Jasper Butler

Examine and compare all available photos
Canvass entire area to reinterview witnesses and/or discover others.
Measure time and distance (from LHO rooming house).
Search for significant point(s) BEYOND 10th and Patton.
Escape route unremarkable with possible exception of jacket discovered in parking lot. (Arrested with revolver and identification intact.)

Complete background on LHO and J.D. Tippit.
Trace origin of firearm (revolver)
Analyze autopsy findings (Compare recovered slugs and verify trajectory).


Witnesses not interviewed:
Bob K. Carrol
Gerald L. Hill
Paul Bentley

[Note: Page 2 is missiong]

IMG 0017
Oswald and Tippit - page 3

Areas requiring further research and investigation:
1) Tippit medal evidence/interviewing of the two physicians and the FBI agents involved.
2) Tippit ballistics evidence/ a determination of the exact number of shots fired and the revolver that was used.
3) Development of basic information regarding Tippit/ was there any relationship between Tippit and LHO? (SEE Purdy Memo of February 19, 1977: A Mr. Wise, Mayor of Dallas, was told by Pate (sic) who owns a garage in Oak Cliff along the route which LHO is said to have taken after the assassination. Pate (Sic - Pate's employee Mr. White) believes he saw LHO sitting in a car in the restaurant parking lot across the street from the garage. Pate took the license number of the car. Pate has gone to the FBI with this information. The authorities traced the license to a car belonging to good friends of the Tippits. Has this lead been checked?)

Does anyone have or can anyone find the "Purdy Memo of February 19, 1977?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Carl Mather & Collins Radio

Carl Mather and Collins Radio

MATHER, CARL, AMOS – Former neighbor of J.D. Tippit; employed at Collins Radio Co., in Richardson, T; question re: his auto (1957 Plymouth license pp 4537) at El Chico, (re Wes Wise) then same car at Tippit’s home 11/22/63.


BK NOTES: Jack Morarity - Investigator for HSCA in 1978, interviewed Carl Mather and his wife, and conducted a telephone interview with James Pickford, Mather's former boss at Collins Radio. These are Morarity's reports. I have previously talked with Morarity on the phone, and while he refused to discuss his investigations because of his security oath, he was a good and honest investigator who filed detailed and accurate reports. He said that the only person who knew everything that went on at HSCA was chief counsel G. Robert Blakey.

Blakey signed an issued a subpoena for Carl Mather to testify under oath before the HSCA under penalty of perjury, Mather never testified.

Previously, in 1963 and 1964, FBI agents had visited the Mather home and questioned Mrs. Mather on two occasions, but Mather himself was not questioned by the FBI. I have the FBI reports and will post them after I scan them in.

“Postponed in Full” Box 254

Carl Amos Mather
Route 2, Box 228
Piano, Texas


Have known the J.D. Tippit family since they were neighbors in 1958 on the 1900-2000 block of Glendfield, in Dallas.

Before the Mathers moved to Garland, Texas, in 11/61, they had become good friends with the Tippits. Each family had three children and the ages were similar. Carl and Barbara would double date on occasion, usually visiting a “family-type Club” involving an inexpensive evening. Never any trouble between anyone in either family, nor were they aware of any the Tippits had with anyone else.

Their impression of J.D. was that of a hard working man determined to provide for his family in spite of the lack of potential for advancement. Knew he took various odd jobs to augment his income and seemed to spend what little free time he had with his family. Marie helped out by babysitting for 5 to 7 children on somewhat of a regular basis. On occasion, the Mather kids would be included.

Hard put to recall other Tippit friends or associates in the neighborhood; they do recall “Frank and Angie” living next door to J.D. and Marie, but can’t recall their surname.

Wes Wise, the ex-mayor, was a sports announcer at that time and it seems he had a speaking engagement at “some restaurant in Dallas a short time after the assassination.”

He (Wise) was told by “a man” who had in his employ a mechanic who was also a part-time deputy of some nature, that this employee, on the day of the assassination, had observed a suspicious “red ford car” spinning it’s wheels and throwing gravel behind a parked bus. The mechanic utilized his “deputy training” and jotted down the tag number and now “this man” was giving it to Wise.

So Wise was calling him, advising him of these developments and inviting him to dinner inasmuch as there was another person from the news media in New York, now in Dallas with Wise to do a documentary on the entire assassination and any interesting asides.

He and his wife met Wise and Dana Bartell, “from the N.Y., wire service” in the Old Warsaw Restaurant located in Oak Lawn. Dinner and discussion of these curious events didn’t seem to accomplish much, as they came away without understanding how that mechanic could have written down the tag listed to “Carl’s ’57 Plymouth.”

(Barbara was driving an old Ford station wagon, early ‘50’s, white over faded blue at the time).

Several months later saw the documentary on TV with her name listed in the credits, but no mention of the tag number episode.

Although they don’t recall the exact date of this dinner, it was so long after the incident, the new tags had since been issued and the old ones discarded. Moreover, it hadn’t impressed him as being important enough to ask someone to check for him. After all, the F.B.I. had apparently dropped the matter.

Asked to describe the F.B.I.’s efforts, Barbara said that one day an agent came to the house. This was at 4309 Colgate Lane, the Garland address they moved from 2018 Garland in 11/61, and he inquired about their tags. She pointed out her tags on the old Ford station wagon and advised Carl had the ’57 Plymouth at work.

No, they never owned a red auto of any type. Again she doesn’t recall the date, but it was when the newer tags were in effect anyway. She didn’t hear from the agent again and Carl didn’t hear at all.

What seemed like six weeks later, a second agent came to the same house and interviewed Barbara – again at home alone during the day – and he, too, was interested in the fact that a tag listed to Carl was observed on a different type of vehicle in a different part of town.

When she indicted the first agent didn’t understand it, either, he seemed surprised another agent had been ahead of him. This seemed to cause his interest in the matter to wane and he left. Like the first agent, he didn’t return, nor did he interview Carl.

Not that Carl isn’t used to being interviewed by government agents; he has a security clearance – and he has had since he started traveling with his company – he’s been with them for 21 years now. Has traveled overseas. His specific function deals with the installation of special electronics gear in aircraft. One such assignment caused him to be quartered in Brandywine, Maryland as he worked for some period of time at Andrews Air Force Base working on “Air Force Two” – Vice President Johnson’s plane at the time.

He adds he does recall the date of 11-22-63. He worked all day at Richardson, Texas, Collins Radio Shop. Although the (then) boss, J.A. Pickford, has since retired, he thinks he’s still in the area.

RIF: 180-10113-10265
BOX 256

Telephone contact

Summary: I made contact with Mr. Pickford on this date and received the following information, after I identified myself and told of our interest in developing a list of all witnesses in the JFK assassination. He recalls that he represented management with Collins Radio and had lunch inside with union representatives on 11/22/63 in view of the ongoing discussions. After lunch, word came of the assassination and was initially regarded as a course joke. Later verification brought about general dismay and all employees were excused. He stated, “It was plain to see that no one was going to do any work. It only remained to determine the pay status.” A few employees hung around, but most of them left.

With regard to Carl Mather, Pickford can’t recall where he was at the time of the assassination. He knows he didn’t have lunch with him. His job at the time concerned electro-mechanical assembly, which is the mechanical portion of working with electronic equipment. They worked in a shop atmosphere but it was not an assembly-line type function. There was more moving around then in an assembly-line production.

However, assigning people outside the complex was seldom done. This entailed union involvement and was an unusual occurrence. Pickford is certain that no such assignment existed on 11/22/63. That day is still vivid in his mind.

Asked if anyone might be assigned to the Oak Cliff area at any time, Pickford answered that they had no subsidiaries there, but prior to 1959 they did have such a location at Red Bird Airport. Oak Cliff is between Richardson and Red Bird.

Pickford was unable to say whether Mather even worked that particular day. He suggested contacting Collins personnel but doubts if records from 1963 would still be available.

Pickford says he retired from Collins Radio in 1972 and has since become associated with another firm.

Pickford’s impression of Mather is that he was the most competent, dependable man deserving of the highest trust. He considered him outstanding.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mystic Star Communications Network

Carl Mather, Brandywine & Mystic Star

Carl Amos Mather 3/20/78
Interview: Carl A. Mather & wife Mrs. Barbara Mather
Jack Morarity HSCA Interview Report:

“…Not that Carl isn’t used to being interviewed by government agents; he has a security clearance – and he has had since he started traveling with his company – he’s been with them for 21 years now. Has traveled overseas. His specific function deals with the installation of special electronics gear in aircraft. One such assignment caused him to be quartered in Brandywine, Maryland as he worked for some period of time at Andrews Air Force Base working on ‘Air Force Two’ – Vice President Johnson’s plane at the time.”

Mystic Star

The Mystic Star high-frequency single-side-band [SSB] communications system is installed at about 10-15 Air Force bases around the world, with remote transceivers controlled via telephone voice channels from Andrews AFB. This system is used for telephone traffic when Air Force One is out of range of other UHF links, but at least two SSB voice frequencies (and a full duplex 75 baud secure teletype channel called "India Oscar" which use a special anti-multipath modem) are maintained continuously and used for coordination of other communications links. Frequencies are chosen from a list of about 150 scattered throughout the available HF spectrum and are designated by "fox" code numbers which change from time to time.

Satellite communications are provided through Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Remote Switching Units (RSUs). The RSU is a UHF radio satellite ground entry point (GEP) station for the MSCMS. There are four RSU sites that provide the Mystic Star system with global UHF satellite coverage.

The four dedicated UHF stations: Brandywine, MD, San Vito, IT, Clark, RP, Wahiawa, HI. Each of these stations, except for Brandywine, has four dedicated radio levels; two wideband channels and two narrowband channels. The Brandywine station has six dedicated radio levels; four wideband channels and four narrowband channels for Mystic Star support. Satellite communications are under the control of the Master Control Center (MCC) at Offutt AFB, NE. The MCC has delegated its controlling authority to several Primary Control Centers (PCCs). Working within the Mystic Star system, and coordinated with the PCCs located at Brandywine, March AFB, CA; and Kadena AB, Japan. Brandywine is the PCC for the 23-degree west and Lincoln Experimental Satellite (LES). Brandywine 23W/100W…
Mystic Star
Mystic Star Network

This is 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 Defense Information Systems Agency (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, Vice President, cabinet members and other senior government officials, Joint Staff, VIP (very important persons) and command airborne missions.

The Mystic Star HF network consists of: a single master net control station (MNCS) located at Andrews AFB Maryland, interstation and intersite circuits, and relay and auxiliary communications subsystems. (Source Air Force Instruction 33-106)

Mystic Star Freqs

The mission of the Mystic Star system is to provide high quality voice and data communications support. You might think that this is no different from the support provided by any other communications system, but it is. The Mystic Star system supports the communications needs of the President, Vice President, Cabinet Members, Foreign Heads of State, and other senior government and military officials while aboard Special Air Mission (SAM), VIP, or Command aircraft. These aircraft are assigned an access priority based on the type of mission and agency supported. There are four access priorities used with priority one missions having the highest priority.

This designation is afforded to the President of the United States during all Air Force One flights. It is also afforded to the Vice President during Air Force Two flights if the President is not flying. Requests for circuit activation are received from the White House Communications Agency (WHCA).

This designation is afforded to those missions activated in support of high government officials requiring continuous uninterrupted access to their departmental headquarters. It is normally limited to support of the Vice President (if the President is being supported at the same time), Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (OJCS). Requests for circuit activation are received from the Department of the Air Force or WHCA.

The President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are the "TOP FIVE."

This designation is afforded to those missions activated for routine activities involving the National Emergency Airborne Command Post (NEACP) and other special missions as directed by OJCS. Requests for circuit activation are received from OJCS.

This designation is afforded to high government or military officials aboard SAM or other special air mission aircraft, call sign SPAR. These individuals do not require continuous, uninterrupted access to their departmental headquarters. Missions supporting Cabinet Staff members, Congress, and DOD personnel are assigned this priority. Requests for circuit activation are received from the 89th Military Airlift Wing (MAW) at Andrews AFB. The NCS at Andrews will directly support all missions. Priority four missions may be referred to Global Command and Control System (GCCS) stations. This is only if the traffic load is such that Andrews cannot provide effective support. The shift supervisor will make this decision. The operator performing coordinator duties will contact the desired GCCS station to be sure the proper support is available.

The Mystic Star high-frequency single-side-band [SSB] communications system is installed at about 10-15 Air Force bases around the world, with remote transceivers controlled via telephone voice channels from Andrews AFB. This system is used for telephone traffic when Air Force One is out of range of other UHF links, but at least two SSB voice frequencies (and a full duplex 75 baud secure teletype channel called "India Oscar" which uses a special anti-multipath modem) are maintained continuously and used for coordination of other communications links. Frequencies are chosen from a list of about 150 scattered throughout the available HF spectrum and are designated by "fox" code numbers which change from time to time.

While its importance has greatly diminished due to various satellite communication networks, the mission of the Mystic Star network still exists. MS comms aren't really heard in the clear very often, due to both encryption as well as anti-jam technology used, but every once in a while, people do hear non-secure Mystic Star comms (even if they don't know that's what they're hearing).

In the good old days it was non-secure, analog single-channel HF voice.

As a high-school kid, I was lucky enough to have all the Mystic Star freqs & associated 'Foxtrot' channel numbers. The 'Foxtrot' identifiers were supposed to be switched around every 6 months for security reasons, but the reality was it didn't happen too often, and when it did, there was actually a pattern to it, so if you had all the freqs & heard the new Foxtrot ID's for at least two of them, it was easy to figure out the pattern.

3. MYST1C STAR System. This is 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.
3.1. The MYSTIC STAR HF Network consists of:
3.1.1. A single master net control station (MNCS) located at Andrews AFB MD.
3.1.2. Interstation and intersite circuits.
3.1.3. Relay and auxiliary communications subsystems.
3.2.1. Oversees the life-cycle management of the MYSTIC STAR Network.
3.2.2. Develops system architecture, network policy, and guidelines in conjunction with DISA.
3.2.3. Oversees the activities of the MYSTIC STAR Ops-Tech Manager’s Office.
3.2.4. Manages the life cycle, future planning, programming, and budgeting of MYSTIC STAR elements from a system perspective.
3.3. The MYSTIC STAR Operations Technical Manager:
3.3.1. Operates from the 789th Communications Squadron (789 CS/SCP), 1558 Alabama Ave, Suite 67, Andrews AFB MD 20762-6116.
3.3.2. Directly interfaces with the MYSTIC STAR users.
3.3.3. Evaluates system facilities.
3.3.4. Assesses network performance.
3.3.5. Compares performance trends to established standards.
3.3.6. Recommends improvements to criteria, documentation, or performance.
3.3.7. Works with personnel on all plans for operating, maintaining, managing, controlling, and configuring the network.
3.3.8. Recommends budgets for network operations.
3.3.9. Reports the operational status, performance status, or limitations of the network to AFNIC/ENAH.
3.3.10. Implements plans and special system configurations.
3.4. The Commander, 89th Communications Group:
3.4.1. Manages, operates, and evaluates the MNCS according to DISA Circular 310-70-79.
3.4.2. Gives network status updates to the MYSTIC STAR system manager through the operations technical manager.
3.4.3. Provides facility, administrative, and logistical support for the MNCS.


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.

The equipment subsystems that make up the MSCMS are configured for secure or non-secure operations through a Local Area Network (LAN). The LAN connects all of the equipment within the station. You cannot see the LAN working, but you use it for the distribution of command and control processing functions.


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

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. The stations at Albrook and Thule are secondary stations when they are activated. They have no dedicated connectivity to the NCS at Andrews. Coordination by telephone with these stations is required to obtain the radio levels you require. The Incirlik station has yet to be brought on-line and is not available at this time.

Satellite communications are provided through Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Remote Switching Units (RSUs). The RSU is a UHF radio satellite ground entry point (GEP) station for the MSCMS. There are four RSU sites that provide the Mystic Star system with global UHF satellite coverage.
Mystic Star Network

This is 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 Defense Information Systems Agency (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, Vice President, cabinet members and other senior government officials, Joint Staff, VIP (very important persons) and command airborne missions. The Mystic Star HF network consists of: a single master net control station (MNCS) located at Andrews AFB Maryland, interstation and intersite circuits, and relay and auxiliary communications subsystems. (Source Air Force Instruction 33-106)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Air Force One Radio Timeline 11/22/63

There are a number of different time references on the Air Force One Radio Transmission Tapes and the Andrews Log.

Events as they happened in Dallas are in Central Standard Time (CST), which is one hour difference from Washington, D.C., which is on Eastern Standard Time (EST), while the pilots, military personnel and radio operators used 24 hour military style and Zulu time, which is Grenwich Mean Time (GMT) in England, five hours earlier than EST.

Zulu Time

What is "Zulu" time?
"Zulu" time is that which is more commonly know as "GMT" (Greenwich Mean Time). Our natural concept of time is linked to the rotation of the earth and we define the length of the day as the 24 hours it takes (on average) the earth to spin once on its axis.

As time pieces became more accurate and communication became global, there needed to be a point from which all other world times were based. Since Great Britain was the world's foremost maritime power when the concept of latitude and longitude came to be, the starting point for designating longitude was the "prime meridian" which is zero degrees and runs through the Royal Greenwich Observatory, in Greenwich, England. When the concept of time zones was introduced, the "starting" point for calculating the different time zones was agreed to be the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
Unfortunately the Earth does not rotate at exactly a constant rate. Due to various scientific reasons and increased accuracy in measuring the earth's rotation, a new timescale, called Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), has been adopted and replaces the term GMT.

The Navy, as well as civil aviation, uses the letter "Z" (phonetically "Zulu") to refer to the time at the prime meridian. NOAA satellites use Zulu Time or Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) as their time reference. The satellite images that appear on NOAA's Web sites are stamped in Zulu time. The Department of the Navy serves as the United States official timekeeper, with the Master Clock facility at the U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C.

Greenwich, England has been the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) since 1884. GMT is sometimes called Greenwich Meridian Time because it is measured from the Greenwich Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. Greenwich is the place from where all time zones are measured.
Check out the GMT timestamp to see how accurate your computer time is.
The Greenwich Meridian (Prime Meridian or Longitude Zero degrees) marks the starting point of every time zone in the World. GMT is Greenwich Mean (or Meridian) Time is the mean (average) time that the earth takes to rotate from noon-to-noon.

GMT is World Time and the basis of every world time zone which sets the time of day and is at the center of the time zone map. GMT sets current time or official time around the globe. Most time changes are measured by GMT. Although GMT has been replaced by atomic time (UTC) it is still widely regarded as the correct time for every international time zone.
Where is Greenwich, England?

Longitude 0° 0' 0"
Latitude 51° 28' 38"N (North of the Equator)

Greenwich Mean Time is international time, the basis of the world time clock. GMT marks precision time and military time (sometimes called Zulu Time). Defines date and time and the exact time. The atomic time clock is adjusted by leap seconds to maintain synchronicity with GMT.

Love Field, Dallas – 86972 – 26000 – AF1 – Andrews – Chronology

12:34 PM CST First UPI "A" wire transmission: Dallas, Nov. 22 (UPI) –Three shots were fired at President Kennedy’s motorcade today in downtown Dallas. JT1234PCS - 1234PCS means 12:34 Central Standard time. David Lifton: “The first transmission (above) was the result of Merriman Smith excitedly talking to someone at the UPI Dallas office, who then typed it onto the actual teletype machine, and then pressed "send".

12:39 PM CST UPI A8N DA URGENT 1st Add Shots, Dallas (A7N) XXX Downtown Dallas. No casualties were reported. The incident occurred near the country sheriff’s office on main street, just east of an underpass leading toward the Trade Mart where the President was to MA FLASH FLASH KENNEDY SERIOUSLY WOUNDED PERHAPS SERIOUSLY PERHAPS FATALLY BY ASSASSINS BULLET JT 1239PCS

David Lifton: “The AP wire starts with its very first transmission at 12:40 CST (from AP photographer James W. Altgens who said he saw blood on the President’s head. Altgens said he heard two shots but thought someone was shooting fireworks until he saw the blood on the President. Altgents said he saw no one with a gun.”

12:40 PM CST BULLETIN Dallas. Nov. 22 (AP) President Kennedy was shot today just his motorcade left downtown Dallas. Mrs. Kennedy jumped up and grabbed Mr. Kennedy. She cried, “Oh, No!” The motorcade sped [on?] D 1240 PCS NM ƒ K


David Lifton: “Then Smith commandeered a phone at Parkland, called New York UPI, and some of his next transmissions were sent from New York City.”

Dallas CST Andrews EST – Military Time – Andrews Log

1:00 PM CST (2:00 PM EST) –1400 - Col. Hornbuckle Puts Andrews Wing on Alert

1:20 PM CST (2:20 PM EST) - 1420 Andrews ordered to P/U LeMay at Toronto

1:46 PM CST (2:46 PM EST) - 1446 LeMay’s C-140 Departs Andrews for Toronto

1:46 PM CST (2:46 PM EST) – 1446 Cabinet Plane 86972 Turns Around

1:50 PM CST (2:50 PM EST) P/U for LeMay changed from Toronto to Wairton, Canada.

2:00 PM CST (3:00 PM EST) - 1500 Flight Plan filed for AF1.

(but not yet making definitive connection with JFK assn)

2:35 CST AP Dallas, Tex., Nov. 22 (AP) -- The Dallas Police Department today arrested a 24 year-old man, Lee H. Oswald, in connection with the slaying of a Dallas policeman shortly after President Kennedy was assassinated. He was also being interrogated to see if he had any connection with the slaying of the President. Oswald was pulled screaming and yelling from the Texas Theater in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas.

2:43 CST - WFAA and WBAP radio named Oswald. WBAP's David Daniel interrupts for word from Dallas Police of the arrest of "a 24-year-old man, Lee H. Oswald" in connection with the shooting of Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit. He's being questioned to see if he has any connection with JFK assassination. "Oswald was pulled screaming and yelling" from the Texas Theater in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. After a pistol is taken from him during a scuffle, he's quoted as saying, "It's all over now."

2:47 PM CST (3:47 PM EST) 1545 – 26000 departs Dallas as AF1 ETA Andrews 6:05

3:09 PM CST (4:09 PM EST) 1609 – 86972 Departs Hickam ETA Andrews 12:24

3:22 PM CST SECOND AP STORY NAMING OSWALD w/ more definite link between LHO & JFK slaying.

3:22 AP CST - 1st AP mention of LHO

3:08 PM (CST) UPI’s completely false version of the theater arrest—but with no mention of Oswald (just a “suspect”) and with Tippit being located inside theater, shot there, and suspect being arrested there.

3:22 PM CST Second AP Story Naming Oswald with more definite link between LHO & JFK slaying.

Dallas, Nov. 22 (AP) - A 24-year-old man who said two years ago he wanted Russian citizenship was questioned today to see whether he had any connection with the assassination of President Kennedy. He was identified as Lee Harvey Oswald of Forth Worth. He was pulled screaming and yelling from the Texas Theater in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas shortly after a Dallas policeman was shot to death. On Nov. 1, 1959, Oswald told the U.S. Embassy in Moscow he had applied for Soviet citizenship. He said he had been a tourist in Russia since October 13, that year. Oswald was reported to have a Russian wife. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram confirmed that the man held in Dallas was the same Oswald and said his mother was being taken to Dallas Police headquarters to see him.

3:23 CST - NBC television network coverage mentioned Oswald's name
First AP Story Naming Oswald (2:35 PM CST)

3:25 PM CST (4:25 PM EST) 1625 – LeMay dep Wairton ETA Andrews 5:15 EST

3:46 PM CST First UPI mention of LHO now portrayed as JFK’s assassin, and linked to FPCC. Lifton Notes: “This is designated UPI A 104/Bulletin. Although this dispatch is the first UPI mention of Oswald, it is not the first UPI mention of an arrest in the JFK case. This UPI dispatch is critical because it identifies LHO as “the prime suspect” in the JFK assassination and links him to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Dallas, Nov. 22 (UPI)--Police today seized Lee H. Oswald, identified as chairman of a "Fair Play for Cuba Committee," as the prime suspect in the assassination of President Kennedy. (more) Police said Oswald, 24, was accused in the slaying of a Dallas policeman shortly after the shooting of the President. Police Capt. Pat Gannaway said the suspect was an employee in the building where a rifle was found. Gannaway said the suspect had visited Russia and was married to a Russian. This was not immediately confirmed. First UPI mention of LHO (3:46 PM CST) now portrayed as JFK's assassin, and linked to FPCC.

3:50 PM CST (4:50 PM EST) 1650 26000 AF1 requests Steps, Lift Truck.

4:00 PM CST (5:00 PM EST) 1700 – LeMay destination DCA not ADW/Andrews

4:00 PM CST (5:00 PM EST) 1700 – AF1 Requests Ramps & Press Fence

4:12 PM CST (5:12 PM EST) 1712 – LeMay lands at DCA

4::41 PM CST (5: 41 PM EST) 1740 – AF1 4 A.P. Cars, Ramp Confirmed.

5:04 PM CST (6:04 P.M. EST) 1800 – AF1 Lands at Andrews 2300 – 2304 Zulu (GMT)

5:30 PM CST (6:30 PM EST) 1830 – AF2 (LBJ’s Plane) Lands at Andrews

11:37 PM CST (12:37 AM EST) 0937 – Andrews Log: 86972 Arrives Andrews

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Col. George Stanton Dorman

George Stanton Dorman, West Point Cadet

Colonel Dorman’s Family Recall Assassination – By William Kelly

When Mary Dorman of Lambertville, New Jersey answered the telephone, at first she said, “No,” she wasn’t the Mary Dorman who had worked at the White House, but after a brief pause, and a flood of memories, she said, “wait, yes, I did work at the White House at one time.”

And then confirming that she was the widow of Air Force Colonel George S. Dorman, General’s LeMay’s aide, she was told that Col. Dorman can be heard on the recently discovered Air Force One radio tapes that were found among the effects of General Clifton. As General LeMay’s chief aide, he was trying to get in touch with him to give him a message before his plane landed in Washington D.C., but the radio traffic was too busy with Air Force One that the probably didn’t get through.

Does she remember what happened on November 22, 1963?

“Of course, how could I forget that day?” she said.

At the time she worked at the White House Historical Office, responsible for the renovations of the building that were overseen by the President’s wife and first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, while her husband was the aide to Air Force General Curtis LeMay, the chief of staff of the Air Force.

On the day of the assassination, Mary Dorman recalled that with news of the assassination of the President, “My husband called me at the White House and told me to get home immediately. I was at the White House Historical Association office. There were only three of us and the man in charge, his name was Mr. Castro, he pulled he shades and we all knelt and prayed.”

“We lived at Fort Myer on General’s Row, so going past Arlington National cemetery, I stopped at the Chapel to pray. The news was so fresh nobody knew, so I knelt and prayed and didn’t know whether to tell them.”

“I went home and I remember sitting around crying,” she relates. “I went down to the White House when they brought the body there, and it was a mob scene. Everything was in chaos. Everybody was devastated.”

Did she did discuss the assassination with her husband?

Although Colonel Dorman was very busy that weekend, she said, “I did talk to my husband about it, but I can’t remember what he said. We talked about it, and I think there was a sense of fear, is this the beginning of something, of what?”

“For the most part we watched the stupid tube and cried. I was in the kitchen cooking, but maybe he told my sons, George Jr., William, and Robert and they remember what he had to say about it.”

In a segment of the Piers Morgan TV show, Morgan interviewed Nathan Raab of the Raab Collection, and professor Douglas Brinkley, who recognized their historical significance. Raab now owns and is trying to sell the recently discovered copy of the Air Force One radio tapes for $500,000.

On the Piers Morgan web site, it was noted that: “Last night Piers Morgan sat down with Nathan Raab, Vice-President of the Raab Collection and acclaimed author and professor Douglas Brinkley to talk about the newly revealed original and unedited (sic) White House version of the Kennedy Assassination Air Force One tape. Raab told Piers that the tape is historically significant because ‘this is how we know what the Federal government did immediately after the assassination.’"

Although this report refers to the recently discovered tapes as “unedited,” they are indeed edited. The original, complete and unedited tapes have never been released to the public and there whereabouts are unknown.

Professor Brinkley remarked that one of the most fascinating aspects of the recently discovered tape relates to General Curtis LeMay, who Raab describes “one of Kennedy's major adversaries.” It is noted that all references to LeMay were removed in the Johnson Library version, an edited version of the original tape, which sparked Brinkley to say, "People have always wanted to know where was Curtis LeMay on the day Kennedy was shot and there have been mixed messages about it. This tape provides exactly where he was."

Raab notes, LeMay’s “aide wanted to reach him badly and immediately, and was trying to interrupt Air Force One transmissions to do so.”

The Clifton tape includes the excerpt: “This is Colonel Dorman, General LeMay’s aide. General LeMay is in a C140. Last three numbers are 497, SAM C140. His code name is Grandson. And I want to talk to him.”

LeMay Reference on Clifton copy of AF1 Radio tape:

- Andrews Sideband. Sir?
- This is Colonel Dorman, General LeMay’s aide.
- Right.
- General LeMay is in a C-140
- The last three numbers are 497 SAM 497
- 497 last three numbers.
- Right. He is in bound. His code name is Grandson, and I want to talk to him.
- Grandson. Okay sir, we'll see what we can do. We’re really busy with Air Force One right now.
- Okay. You don’t have the capability to work more than one?
- We're running Air Force One with two different frequencies.
- We're running two patches at once and that's all we can do.
- I see.
- What is your drop sir? Are you on the drop off the Washington switch?
- Yes. Either or seven, nine, two, two five.
- Seven Nine two two five.
- But if you can’t do it now it will be too late because he will be on the ground in a half hour.
- Okay, and what is your name again sir?
- Colonel Dorman. D-O-R-M-A-N
- Okay, I’ll get back to you...if we can get him right away sir…..

They also speculate about the nature of the message Dorman had for LeMay, and its possible conspiratorial connotations.

In response to the conversation on the Morgan show, on their web site, Col. Dorman’s son George Dorman, Jr. wrote: “Col Dorman was the aide -de-camp to General LeMay, and my father. Your boy Brinkley totally misinterpreted the message that was sent to AF 1 - and you obviously misinterpreted it also and fed his ignorance. I would like to know how I can obtain a copy of that portion of the tape, By the way, my mother was working at the White House at that time also - and Col Dorman was KIA in Vietnam 6 years later.”

In a telephone conversation, George Dorman, Jr. said, “They were making something out of nothing,” and putting conspiratorial connotations on what they were saying is, “totally uncalled for and untrue.”

While George Dorman, Jr. said that he didn’t know what the message was, “it probably had something to do with the changing of the alert levels, their initial response in preparation for the funeral, or where LeMay had to go next.”

Where would that be? I asked.

“Back to work,” said Dorman, “the office at the Pentagon,” or where ever LeMay went. Dorman said wherever LeMay went his father usually went with him, and the fact that he wasn’t with LeMay at the time of the assassination is itself something.

George Dorman, Jr. also noters that the C-140 was a brand new plane at the time, and it was rare for LeMay to use that plane when he had a 707 – code named “Speckled Trout,” that he more frequently used.

According to George’s brother Robert their dad probably needed to get in touch with LeMay to tell him JFK was killed. But that can’t be right because LeMay was returning to Washington because of the assassination, so he must have known about it. The important message must have been something else.

Robert was just 12 or 13 at the time, and he too remembers the day distinctly, but notes, “that was a busy week and I don’t remember seeing him very much.”

Robert agrees with his brother that, “My dad wasn’t a big talker, especially about work matters.” Robert does remember his dad being in the funeral procession with Gen. LeMay, “but he wasn’t a talkative guy about what happened at work. He was a great guy, but kept quiet.”

George, Jr., Robert and their younger brother William grew up at Fort Meyers, next to Arlington National Cemetery, so the historic military grave yard was their backyard playground. And the other boys they played with were sons of other military officers, all of whom were officially involved in the funeral ceremonies, including Mike Rogers, son of Gen. Bernard Rogers, Executive Officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and John Converse, whose father, Lt. Col. Stanley Converse of the Old Guard, has many unpublished photos of the funeral.

The young boys were at the grave site early and watched the arrival of the funeral procession and burial of the President from atop a nearby tree they climbed in order to be able to better observe the proceedings.

In a memorial article published in Jul '91 it is mentioned that:

George Stanton Dorman NO. 15725 CLASS OF 1946 Died 4 August 1969 near Chu Lai, South Vietnam, aged 45 years. Interment: West Point Cemetery, West Point, New York.

GEORGE STANTON DORMAN was born 23 May 1924 in Portland, Oregon. The youngest of three boys, George was always competing, usually unsuccessfully, with his two older brothers. George enjoyed being a Boy Scout and attained the rank of Life Scout. In high school, he played baseball. His brother Bob remembers the young George as energetic with an excellent sense of humor, having a love of animals, a quick wit and being very loyal to his family. He graduated from Ulysses S. Grant High School in Portland.

George's father was a Reserve officer who served in both World Wars. His counsel, together with his oldest brothers joining the Army Air Corps, shaped George's decision to enter West Point He spent a year at Oregon State College, Corvallis, Oregon, before he received an appointment to enter West Point on I July 1943.

George's cadet life almost ended right after it started. In August 1943, his brother Ted's plane disappeared. This tragic event almost precipitated George's leaving the Corps. However, he was prevailed upon to continue and had a relatively uneventful cadet life. Save for a brush with chemistry, he had no great problems with academics. However, his tremendous leadership potential was sublimated until he entered active duty. When the Air Cadet option was presented to the class, George took it and received his wings together with his second lieutenant's bars at graduation.

George took multi engine transition training at Enid, Oklahoma. Upon completion of his training at Enid, George was married to Mary B. (Petie) Procurat in Orange, New Jersey on 2 November 1946.

His first operational assignment was to the 63rd Bombardment Squadron, 43rd Bombardment Wing at Davis Monthan AFB, Tucson, Arizona where he flew B29's. George's superb flying skills and leadership qualities were soon recognized, and in 1948 he was selected to be the aircraft commander of the KB29 tanker flying out of the Azores that refueled the B50 Lucky Lady in her historic nonstop flight around the world. In February 1955 George was assigned to Goose Bay, Labrador. In August of that year, he moved to the RCAF Station, Frobisher Bay, Canada, where he remained until April 1956. His next assignment was to Eighth Air Force Headquarters at Westover Field, Massachusetts where he served as executive officer to the chief of staff. July 1959 saw George and Petie move to Pease AFB, New Hampshire as a B47 squadron commander with the 100th Bombardment Wing. Later he became organizational maintenance squadron commander with the wing.

In August 1961, he was transferred to Headquarters USAF with duty in the Strategic Division of Operations. George had received "below the zone" promotions ever since his duty in Arizona, and the evidence of his growing reputation in the Air Force was very clear when he was made aide de camp to the Air Force Chief of Staff General Curtis E. LeMay in 1962. He served in this position until 1965 when he was selected to attend the National War College. From there he assumed command of the 7272 and Support Group at Wheelus Air Base, Tripoli, Libya. Prior to leaving for Tripoli, George and a classmate attended an annual instrument school refresher course. The classmate recalls that George told him then that he was looking for the toughest jobs he could find.

That George was marked for bigger and better things became more evident in July 1967, when he assumed duties as vice wing commander, 81st Tactical Fighter Wing, RAF Bentwaters, Woolridge, England. This, after nothing but bomber experience! Shortly after George joined the 81st, a classmate, Phil Safford, joined as Assistant Deputy Chief of Operations. Phil recalls that George had an exceptionally keen mind and could get to the heart of a problem before anyone else. His communication skills were superb and he never lost his poise or objectivity, despite many opportunities to do so. George's goal was to command a wing in combat. To that end, he volunteered for an assignment in Seventh Air Force in Vietnam, not so much for a staff job, but as he told Phil, "I am going to be in line on the spot when the next wing commander job is available."

George received his assignment to the Seventh AF Headquarters in Vietnam. His immediate superior was then Major General David C. Jones. George's orders from England to Vietnam were to report immediately, so Petie and their three boys were left to return to the States alone. In a tape to his mother on 8 June, 1969, George told her how worried he was about Petie and the boys having to make the move back from England on their own. He mentioned that in his latest communication from Petie, she had told him of a visit she had from the mayor of Ipswich, England and his wife. He told his mother that this man had been anti US, but thanks to George and Petie he had become a great admirer and friend of Americans. George was very articulate and in that tape expounded on his concern with the media comments on the conduct of war. He mentioned that he was happy in his job and how proud he was to be serving his country.

On another tape (30 June), George told his mother how pleased he was to have heard from Petie that made the move successfully and was safely ensconced in a house in Charleston, South Carolina. His big news, in this tape was that General George Brown, commanding general of the Seventh Air Force, had selected George to be the next commander of the 366th Tac Fighter Wing in Da Nang. Colonel John Roberts (now a retired general) was the commander and had been selected to be promoted to brigadier general. George was slated to go to Da Nang by 10 July 1969 to be vice to Colonel Roberts for about 30 days before he departed. George felt that he had reached the culmination of his career-- a fighter wing command in combat and was extremely happy with this opportunity.

George became vice of the 366th in July 1969. General John Roberts recalls that on 4 August George was flying a low altitude mission near Chu Lai. Upon return to Da Nang, George's wingman reported that when George came off the target, there was an explosion and fire in his F4. This had been an early morning mission; and about 1300 hours General Robert's exec, Bob Kelly (retired as lieutenant general), told him that there was a CIA agent to see him. It seems the CIA man had been in a helicopter near Chu Lai and had witnessed the action in which George had been shot down. He had seen the plane pull off the target, level off for about a mile --one chute out then the plane crashed. He gave General Roberts the coordinates of the crash. General Roberts called the Army for site security and was told he could have it for only one hour. A call was put out for volunteers from the 366th and six were selected, from the many who volunteered, to investigate the crash. This team located the aircraft and was able to recover George's body. They discovered that George had been killed in the plane and that one engine had been knocked out. The man in the back seat had tried to get the plane under control but waited too long to eject. George was survived by his wife Petie, three sons, George, Jr., Robert and William, his mother and brother.

There is no doubt that George Dorman was destined to rise to the highest levels in the Air Force. One of the brightest stars in the Air Force firmament was dimmed on that fateful day in August 1969 near Chu Lai, South Vietnam. General Roberts said, "George was very sharp-- he would have been a hell of a wing commander." His Air Force classmates appreciated his outstanding qualities as an officer and valued him as a friend. He was a professional to the nth degree.

George, in addition to being an outstanding professional airman, was a loving and caring husband and father. All three of his sons are serving their country in one of the Armed Forces. Petie recalls that after 20 years George is still a viable presence in their sons' lives.

George Stanton Dorman always lived by "Duty, Honor, Country." He believed that a man's word was his bond. He was dedicated to the service of his country. At George's funeral at West Point, one of the pallbearers was then Lieutenant General David C. Jones, later to become chief of staff of the Air Force and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In recognition of George's service with the 81st TFW, Phil Safford was asked to represent the wing at George's funeral. Phil recalls that he was honored to serve as a pallbearer at Petie's request. Phil's words, recalling that time, echo the feelings of all George's classmates and are a fitting tribute to one of West Point's own:
"As I stood in the bright sunshine in that beautiful setting, I thought of how well George Dorman exemplified the kind of leader West Point produces for the service of our country; and for the first time, I truly understood the meaning of [Well Done!]."

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Collins Radio Connections

Collins Radio by Bill Kelly
Back Channels Magazine,
Volume 1, No. 4. Summer, 1992 p. 1-2.
Edited By Peter Kross

According to the former chief counsel to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), “the principal impetus for the overwhelming support…establishing the HSCA…came from another source – the … Senate Committee on Government Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. In this report, dated April, 1976, the Senate committee published revelations that raised in the minds of many, serious possibilities of government complicity in the assassination.”

“Two astonishing facts had been developed by the Senate investigations,” the counsel noted, “- the CIA, as part of an assassination of foreign leaders (executive action) program, had enlisted the cooperation of top underworld figures in the United States in an effort to assassinate Fidel Castro of Cuba. In addition, word of the CIA/Mafia plots had been withheld by the Agency from the Warren Commission.”

In a sense, at least one member of the Warren Commission, former CIA director Allen Dulles, knew of the plots to kill Castro, but did not inform the other commissioners. Instead, he provided them all with a book about American assassins, and how they are, historically, mentally deranged loners.

The final report of the HSCA concluded that, “in the judgment of this committee, the CIA/Mafia plots, like the AM/LASH plots, should have been aggressively explored as part of the 1963-64 investigations.”

Both the CIA/Mafia and the AM/LASH plots to kill Castro were extensively evaluated by the Congressional committees, and the CIA eventually admitted to partaking in at least six different plots to kill Castro.

But three respected researchers – Gaeton Fonzi, Timothy Crouse and Paul Hoch, separately questioned why the CIA would admit to its attempts to kill Castro with flashy shellfish toxins, exploding cigars and dart gun pens, yet fail to mention the October 1961 and the November 1971 plots involving Antonio Veciana.

Yet another plot, the Rex raid of October 31, 1963, which is on the public record, is another example of the government’s failure to affirm secret operations to kill Castro that are directly entwined with the assassination of President Kennedy.

The Rex episode first came to light on October 31, 1963 when Fidel Castro announced that a team of assassins were arrested on a beach in Cuba. They had high powered rifles and other assassination weapons and confessed that the CIA had organized arm shipments to Cuban insurgents and had trained them to kill Cuban leaders.

According to Castro, the men arrived in Cuba aboard two small motor launches, marked with the name “the Rex.” A New York Times reporter in Florida confirmed that the Rex, a ship docked at Palm Beach, Florida, was indeed missing two of its launches. It was later written, “President Kennedy had expressed his great annoyance to the CIA at the fact that the Rex, one of the CIA’s boats used in raids on Cuba, docked at Palm Beach while he was there on vacation.”

This raid also took place against the clearly stated policy of the U.S. government that, “no raid against Cuba were to originate from U.S. shores.” The CIA even launched the Bay of Pigs invasion from bases in Nicaragua and Guatemala.

The New York Times published a photo of the Rex in its November 1, 1963 edition, and identified the 174 foot vessel as registered out of Bluefields, Nicaragua, “but in fact operating out of West Palm Beach, Florida.”

A decommissioned U.S. Navy sub-chaser, the Rex, captained by Aiejandro Brooks, was the flagship of the CIA’s operation JM/WAVE fleet. It was outfitted with searchlights, a crane for lifting its speedboats aft, elaborate electronic gear amidships, and had an arsenal that consisted of two 40 mm cannon, a 57 cal. Recoilless rifle, two 20 mm cannon and two 50 caliber machine guns.

The Belcher Oil Company of Miami, had bought the Rex from Paragon, a company owned by Luis Somoza of Nicaragua. The New York Times reported that, “dockage for the ship was said to be paid by Sea Shipping Co. from a post office box.”

In November, 1963, the ship was being leased to the International Division of the Collins Radio Company of Richardson, Texas, to be used for possible ELENT (electronic intelligence) gathering activity.

What is significant about the Rex and its mission to deposit assassins in Cuba on October 31, 1963, is that Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy, once visited the home of retired Admiral Chester Brouton, then an executive of Collins Radio, the company that leased the Rex. So someone associated with accused assassin of JFK worked for a company that was actively engaged in an assassination attempt against Castro just three weeks before the President was killed.

Oswald’s association with Brouton is cited in a HSCA report, specifically in the document, “I’m a Patsy,” written by George DeMohrenschildt, who knew Brouton personally and took Oswald and his wife to Brouton’s home in suburban Dallas where they had lunch by the pool.

Brouton’s position with Collins is also mentioned in Legend: The Secret Life of Lee Harvey Oswald by Edward J. Epstein, but the Rex incident is ignored by the HSCA as well as by Epstein.

Although the associations between Oswald and Brouton, Brouton and Collins and Collins and the Rex should have been enough to warrant an investigation of the corporate structure of Collins Radio, Inc. yet another Collins Radio employee was investigated immediately after the murder of Dallas policeman J.D. Tippit on November 22, 1963.

Tippit was killed in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas within an hour of the President’s death and his murder was also attributed to the President’s alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. The final report of the HSCA claims that, “…the committee’s investigation uncovered no direct evidence of a relationship between Oswald and Tippit, nor did it attribute any activity or association to Officer Tippit that could be deemed suspicious…”

But the items listed under the Committee’s report Section 11, Volume XII – Oswald-Tippit Associates, are indeed suspicious. This is a serious discrepancy between the stated conclusions of the HSCA and the evidence it developed and published as part of the public record.

As former Warren Commission counsel David Belin put it, “the Tippit murder is the Rosetta Stone of the Kennedy assassination,” and although he meant it to convict Oswald as the lone assassin, it may assist in the unraveling of the covert conspiracy.

Under Section XI – Austin’s Barbecue, it is revealed that besides being a Dallas policeman, Tippit also held a job moonlighting as a bouncer at Austin’s Drive-In restaurant. The owner of Austin’s was a partner with Bert Bowman, who owned money to and lived with Ralph Paul, Jack Ruby’s financial backer.

Ruby also owed money to Paul – an estimated $15,000, and the $3,000 Ruby had with him when he shot Oswald was reportedly Paul’s cash. Although Ruby might not have known officer Tippit, both men worked for the same Bowman/Paul combine.

Both Oswald and Tippit also frequented the same Dobb’s House restaurant in Oak Cliff, and both sat at the same counter for breakfast together on the morning of the day before the assassination. Although they weren’t seen conversing together, Oswald complained loudly about his eggs being too well done, and the waitress said that Tippit “shot him a glace.”

The HSCA reports also show that shortly after Tippit’s murder, Oswald was seen sitting in a parked car that belonged to Tippit’s best friend, Carl Mather, who worked for Collins Radio.

Listed in the HSCA reports as “The Wise Allegation,” because it originated with former Dallas newsman and mayor Wes Wise, the report reads: “Wise…had received information that a car near the scene of the Tippit shooting was traced to Carl Mather, a close friend of Tippit’s….A mechanic who worked across the street had observed a car in a parking lot of the El Chico restaurant on the afternoon of November 22, after radio reports were being broadcast about the shooting in Dealey Plaza. The mechanic told Wise that after the assassination there were sirens blaring and police cars all over the area near the garage.

“He noticed,” the report continues, “a man sitting in an irregularly parked car in the restaurant parking lot; the car was slightly hidden by a billboard. The man in the car appeared to be hiding, all the circumstances seemed so suspicious that the mechanic went across the street to get a better look.”

“When the mechanic saw news accounts of the assassination on television, he saw Lee Harvey Oswald and recognized him as being the man he had seen in the car that afternoon.”

So on the afternoon of JFK’s murder, the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald is seen sitting in a car belonging to a close friend of Dallas policeman J.D. Tippit, who Oswald is also accused of killing. That friend, Carl Mather, worked for Collins Radio, a company that was actively engaged in at least one plot to assassinate Fidel Castro three weeks earlier.

According to Professor Peter Dale Scott, the Rex mission of October 31, 1963 was sponsored by the anti-Castro Cuban group known as the MDC – the Movement Democrato Christiano, which also ran a commando training camp near Lake Ponchartrain in Louisiana that Oswald had previously tried to infiltrate. The FBI raided that camp, and made some arrests and stirred up some publicity.

Scott also says that the Rex mission may have included Watergate burglar Rolando Martinez.

Like may other unsolved mysteries surrounding the Kennedy assassination, the secret mission of the Rex is yet to be fully explained.

William Kelly, Jr. is the Co-Founder of the Committee for an Open Archives (COA), P.O. Box 6008, Washington, D.C., 20005-0708. His research on the assassination of President Kennedy is supported in part by a grant from the Fund for Constitutional Government, Investigative Journalism Project.

From Crime & Cover-up by Peter Dale Scott:

“An MDC-Somoza anti-Castro mission of October 1963 fro a Florida-based ship the Somozas called the Rex, involved both Martinez as skipper (according to Sturgis) and very probably Sturgis himself as well. This Florida based raid violated President Kennedy’s publicly announced prohibition of Cuban exile raids ‘launched, manned, or equipped from U.S. territory.’ It came only one month after Sturgis himself had been publicly warned by U.S. government officials to desist from such activities.” (Note NYT Sept. 16, 1963, p. 39)

In Harpers Magazine, R. Crile and Taylor Branch interviewed Martinez:

“Although Rolando Martinez was in many ways typical of the Agency’s Cuban volunteers, he was more accomplished and experienced than most. When he surfaced in 1972 as one of the Cuban-Americans captured at the Watergate break-in, Martinez was still on the CIA payroll an had 354 missions to Cuba recorded in Agency files. As a boat captain in the clandestine navy of JM/WAVE, he completed fifty missions before the Bay of Pigs and would complete some seventy-five more during the first four years of the secret war.” (Harpers, p. 56)

Rolando Martinez: “….I took a lot of weapons to Cuba. Some were very special weapons for very special purposes. They were powerful rifles with sophisticated scopes – Springfields with bolt action, rifles used only by snipers. They were not sent to shoot pigeons or kill rabbits. Everyone in the underground was plotting to kill Castro, and the CIA was helping the underground. I was with the underground as well as the CIA, so you could say I was involved in the plots too, but that is all so obvious.” (Harpers, p. 83)

Collins Radio & the JFK Assassination 1994

In October 1994 I gave a talk at the national conference of the Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA) in Washington D.C. on the Collins Radio Connections to the assassination of President Kennedy.

Unlike the main speakers – Dr. Cyril Wecht, John Newman, Fletcher Prouty, Michael Parenti, Mark Lane and Judge John Tunheim who were the featured speakers, my talk was in a side-room big enough for only a hundred or so people, but the room was full, and I was glad to see that Peter Dale Scott, Bill Turner and others I respected went out of their way to listen to my short, 20 minute presentation.

While most of what I talked about took place in the 1960s, thirty years previous, Washington was in the middle of a major big time government scandal which dominated the front pages of the Washington Post concerning the emergence, over the previous three years, of a huge $310 million federal building on a 68 acre site near Dulles Airport.

The official cover story was that this was the new national headquarters of the Collins Radio Division of Rockwell International, but eventually it was discovered that it would be the new headquarters for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), jointly operated by the Air Force and the CIA.

The very existence of the NRO was not officially acknowledged until 1992, and former CIA director R. James Woolsley testified that he was concerned that he had committed a serious security breather by uttering the initials “N.R.O.”

On August 10, 1994, NRO director Jeffrey Harris and deputy director Jimmy Hill “nervously and reluctantly joined in the first public testimony in the agency’s 34-year history,” the New York Times reported on page one the next day.

“For four years, the reconnaissance office, the agency that builds and maintains the nation’s multibillion dollar fleet of spy satellites, concealed the money for the headquarters by breaking it up into different accounts in its operating budget, its leaders testified….This was normal, they testified. Building the new headquarters….was in effect, a covert operation.”

“We have been negligent, clearly negligent, for not showing the budget breakdown for this project,” Roger Marsh, project manager for the new headquarters said.

John M. Broder, of the Los Angeles Times (Aug. 10, 1994) wrote that even former budget director Leon E. Panetta, who became White House Chief of Staff (and is now Sec. of Defense), “had no idea the four mid-rise office towers belonged to the government.”

Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D. Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said that committee members knew the building was being constructed but “budget estimates and details were given to the committee piecemeal and buried in larger intelligence accounts.”

When DeConcini told Clinton, Panetta and national security advisor Anthony Lake, after they read about it in the news papers, DeConcini said the three “were caught by surprise.”

The President ordered the building project declassified, released construction costs, but when DeConcini “urged Clinton to name independent auditors to conduct an inquiry into the project,” the President instead “put the review in the hands of the CIA and Pentagon, who were responsible for hiding the project’s spending in their budgets.”

DeConcini, still fuming at the betrayal by the intelligence agencies, said he had no idea whether the investigation would uncover other multi-million-dollar clandestine operations. “For all we know, they might have a battleship floating around out in the Pacific with a bunch of communications on it that we don’t know about.”

Then it got even better, when the 3rd Anniversary issue of John F. Kennedy Jr.’s George Magazine (Oct. 1998) included an article called “The Spys Who Lost $4 Billion,” by David Wise, who had previously co-authored groundbreaking book “The Invisible Government.”

“The NRO is a top secret spy organization whose satellites…can photograph a license plate from outer space,….so how did it lose billions of dollars from its own budget?, Wise asked.

According to Wise, “With some 3,000 employees and an annual budget of around $6.2 billion,….the NRO spends far more money than any of the government’s 13 primary intelligence agencies. It’s budget is twice that of the CIA….and has played a key role in virtually every major foreign policy event of the last 35 years.”

“Yes, Virginia, there is a NRO.”

And 35 years after its cover was blown by a front page story in the New York Times for fronting for the CIA in the operation of the Rex, the NRO pulled Collins Radio off the shelf to cover for the NRO’s new headquarters, which they thought they could just build out in the Virginia suburbs without anybody knowing or asking what they were doing. And they tired to do it without the knowledge of the President, the head of the federal budget, the national security advisors or the head of the Congressional oversight committees.

Frank B. Strickland, Jr., deputy program manager of NRO’s Support Office said, “Our adversaries will change tactics, and the adversaries themselves have changed. Now we have terrorists, rogue nations, nuclear proliferation. The NRO has to keep pace.”

Collins Radio Connections

THE COLLINS RADIO CONNECTIONS to the Assassination of President Kennedy
By William E. Kelly – Revised from report originally published in Backchannels magazine and presented at the national conference of the Coalition On Political Assassination (COPA), October 10, 1994.

If the assassination of President Kennedy was the result of not only a conspiracy, but a covert action and coup d’etat, as many people believe, there should be evidence of this from both the scene of the crime(s) as well as from the highest echelons of power among those who took over the government. This would be especially so if the assassination was not the actions of a lone-nut or a foreign attack by Cuban or Soviet intelligence service sponsors, but an internal manipulation of policy and control, an inside job.

As Edward Luttwack describes in his "How-To" book Coup d’etat – A Practical Handbook(Alfred A. Knopf, 1968, p. 117), "Control over the flow of information emanating from the political center will be our most important weapon in establishing… authority after the coup. The seizure of the main means of mass communication will thus be a task of crucial importance."

At the scene(s) of the crime, eyewitness testimony is always suspect. Homicide detectives prefer more solid leads that provide documented evidence that can be introduced in court, such as fingerprints, telephone and automobile license records.

There are a number of automobile license records of significance in regards to the assassination of President Kennedy, including the tampered photo among the possessions of Lee Harvey Oswald of the license on 1957 Chevy in General Walker’s driveway, plus the license numbers of cars seen in Dealey Plaza photos immediately before and after the assassination.

Most significant however, is the Texas plate PP4537. This number was jotted down on a piece of paper by an elderly Oak Cliff mechanic T. F. White, who noticed a man acting suspiciously behind the wheel of a 1958 two tone Plymouth sedan shortly after the murder of Dallas Policeman J.D. Tippitt in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas. The car was parked behind a billboard in the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant, with the driver, like White, watching the flurry of Dallas police cars racing down the street with sirens blaring, called to the nearby scene of the shooting of Tippit.

White walked across the street to get closer and exchanged glances with the man, who quickly drove away. White wrote down the license tag PP4537 on a piece of paper and forgot about it until later that day when he saw Lee Harvey Oswald on television and recognized him as the man he saw acting suspiciously in the Plymouth earlier that afternoon.

A few weeks later, when Dallas radio reporter and later mayor of Dallas Wes Wise gave a talk at the Oak Cliff restaurant, the owner of the garage where Mr. White worked mentioned the suspicious Plymouth to Wise, who then met White. White reluctantly told his story, but was reluctant to get involved, and Wise had to use all his powers of persuasion to convince White to share the information with him. Wise promised White he would not be brought into the investigation, but tat he, Wise, would handle it. "Do you have the piece of paper with the license number on it?" Wise asked, and sure enough, White had it right there in his pocket and gave it to Wise. It read: PP4537.

White told Wise that nobody knew who or what was really behind the assassination of President Kennedy and he really didn’t want to get involved, but he handed over the paper to Wise, who passed it on to the police and FBI.

A quick check of the Texas plate #PP4537 indicated that it was assigned to Carl Mather, of Garland, Texas. When the FBI went out to the listed Garland address they found the two tone 1958 Plymouth right there in the driveway and knocked on the door. Mrs. Mather answered, acknowledged the car belonged to her husband, who was then away at work at Collins Radio, in nearby Richardson, Texas. When asked where her husband and the car was on Friday, November 22, 1963, she said that the car was in the parking lot at Collins Radio until sometime in the afternoon when her husband returned home and picked up the family to go to the Tippit residence to pay their respects to the widow and family of their good friend, who was murdered that day.

Instead of going out to Collins Radio to interview Mather however, the FBI went first to Mr. White, who Wes Wise had promised wouldn’t be involved, and took additional statements from him, changing his story for the official reports and exchanging the two tone Plymouth to a red Ford Falcon. CBS News made a polite inquiry years later, leaving Carl Mather out of the documentary program they aired but listed Mrs. Mather in the programs credits. The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) briefly looked into the affair, granted Mather immunity from prosecution to testify and then failed to question him under oath. The HSCA published a short report they titled "The Wise Allegation," when in fact Wes Wise made no allegations, and merely followed up on his reporter’s instincts. He came up with an automobile license plate number that was scene near the murder of a Dallas policeman that was traced to one of the victim’s best friends, Carl Mather, whose alibi is that he was at work at the time, at Collins Radio.

Documents later released under the JFK Act indicate that Mather was questioned by HSCA investigators and claimed that he worked on electronics at Collins, his specific job being the installation of the radio equipment aboard Air Force Two – the Vice President’s plane.

That this lead was not properly investigated, and remains uninvestigated today, is because such an inquiry actually does lead to the heart of the plot to murder not only Dallas policeman J.D. Tippit, but as many believe, is tied directly to the assassination of President Kennedy. If the Tippit murder is connected to the assassination of the President, as the official stories alleges, then the Tippit murder may be the "Rosetta Stone" that could explain the mysteries of both murders.

The significance of the Collins Radio connections becomes apparent with a quick review of the published record, and that:

1. On November 1, 1963 the New York Times published a photograph of the ship the Rex, which Fidel Castro identified as the boat that dropped off a team of assassins in Cuba a few nights previous. The Rex was docked at Palm Beach, Florida, near the JFK family compound, and the Rex’s Halloween eve mission was in clear violation of President Kennedy’s March 1963 edict that no para-military raids against Cuba were to originate from U.S. shores. According to the article in the NYTs, the Rex had been sold by the Somoza regime in Nicaragua to the Belcher Oil Company, its dock fees paid by the CIA front company Sea Ship Inc., with the Rex then being leased to the Collins Radio Company of Richardson, Texas, "for scientific research."

2. Founded by Arthur Collins, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Collins Radio first made news headlines when young Collins was an amateur radio buff with the only (home made) radio receiver who could pick up the radio transmissions of Navy Commander Richard E. Byrd from his polar exploration expedition. [Richard Byrd is the cousin of the founder of the Civil Air Patrol and owner of the Texas School Book Depository building].

3. Collins Radio became a major defense contractor during World War II, and following the war, participated in Operation Paperclip, hiring Dr. Alex Lipisch, the former Nazi scientist who developed the Delta I glider and ME 163 Komet jet fighter. For Collins, Lipisch was assigned to the boat development program that worked with General Dynamics in attempting to build and refine a sleek, swift speedboat – the V20 - that could be used for Cuban infiltration missions like the Rex mission. It was later used in Vietnam.

4. David Ferrie’s telephone records reflect that in the weeks before the assassination he made frequent calls from the New Orleans law office of G. Ray Gill to the Belcher Oil Company of Dallas, Texas, the company that was the listed owner of the Rex.

5. In the week before the assassination, a reservation was made at Jack Ruby’s Carousel Club for a large party of Collins Radio employees.

6. The Dallas P.D. Intelligence Division maintained a paid informant who worked at Collins Radio and reported on fellow employees who appeared suspicious or subversive, including one who was reported to subscribe to the leftist I.F. Stone Weekly.

7. When Lee Harvey Oswald returned to Texas from Soviet Russia, George DeMohrenschildt introduced him to retired Navy Admiral Chester Bruton, an executive at Collins Radio, with the idea of Oswald getting a job there, as he had worked in a radio factory in Minsk, USSR. Oswald and Marina visited Bruton with DeMohrenschilt.

8. At the time of the assassination Adml. Bruton was working on a top-secret nuclear submarine communications project for Collins, with the Navy’s nuclear sub radar and communications HQ being based at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, close neighbors of Michael Paine’s family island.

9. In 1963 Collins Radio began receiving large military contracts including one for the construction of a microwave communications network in Southeast Asia, specifically Vietnam.
10. After Oswald was murdered while in Dallas police custody by Jack Ruby, his widow Marina P. Oswald married former Collins Radio employee Kenneth Porter.

11. In Miami, Florida, a Cuban exile, and former executive of Collins Radio, was murdered, assassinated in a still unsolved homicide.

12. Collins Radio supplied and maintained the equipment used by the Voice of America, all manned NASA space flights, the Strategic Air Command (SAC), as well as all equipment used for the CIA’s Guatemalan and Cuban operations. Most significantly, Collins Radio was responsible for installing and maintaining all radio equipment aboard Air Force One, Air Force Two and the Cabinet’s plane.

13. According to the Collins Radio Annual Report to stockholders for 1963-64, Collins Radio not only installed and maintained the radios aboard most military and executive branch planes, they also operated the station known as "Liberty" at their Cedar Rapids, Iowa headquarters, which served as a relay station for all radio communications between the White House, the Pentagon, Air Force One, Air Force Two, the Cabinet plane and Andrews AFB in Washington.

[This "Liberty" station is misidentified on most transcripts of the edited version of the radio transmissions from Air Force One on 11/22/63. "Air Force One, the Presidential airplane, was placed in service in 1962 using communications equipment developed and manufactured by Collins. The aircraft…was modified to meet special requirements…In 1962, the station many remember as "Liberty" was opened and operated from the new communications building….(in Cedar Rapids, Iowa)…Collins had a contract with the Air Force to serve as either the primary communications station or as a backup whenever Air Force One, the presidential aircraft, and other aircraft in the VIP fleet carried cabinet members or high ranking military officers. Over the airwaves the station’s call word was ‘Liberty.’" – From Collins Radio – the First 50 Years.]

In his book The Making of a President – 1964, Theodore H. White wrote: "There is a tape recording in the archives o the government which best recaptures the sound of the hours as it waited for leadership. It is a recording of all the conversations in the air, monitored by the Signal Corps Midwestern center ‘Liberty,’ between Air Force One in Dallas, the Cabinet plane over the Pacific, and the Joint Chiefs’ Communications Center in Washington….On the flight the party learned that there was no conspiracy, learned the identity of Oswald and his arrest; and the President’s mind turned to the duties of consoling the stricken and guiding the quick."

According to the analysis of E. Martin Schotz and Vincent Salandria (in History Will Not Absolve Us, 1996), "And yet the White House had informed President Johnson and the other occupants of Air Force One, all of them witnesses to the hail of bullets which had poured down on Dealey Plaza, that as of the afternoon of the assassination there was to be no conspiracy and that Oswald was to be the lone assassin. If White’s report were correct this would mean that federal officials in Washington were marrying the government to the cover-up of Oswald as the lone assassin virtually instantaneously. This could have occurred only if those federal authorities had had foreknowledge that the evidence would implicate Oswald and that he would have ‘no confederates.’ An innocent government could not have reacted in such a fashion internally."

Unfortunately, there is no longer "a tape recording in the archives of the government," as the original, unedited, multiple tape recordings of the AF1 radio transmissions cannot be located despite an Act of Congress, the request of the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB) and numerous Freedom of Information Act requests. Our government seems to have simply lost the recordings, with no records being kept of their whereabouts or destruction, if in fact they were destroyed.

The Final Report of the ARRB (p. 116) notes: "6. White House Communications Agency. "WHCA was, and is, responsible for maintaining both secure (encrypted) and unsecured (open) telephone, radio and telex communications between the President and the government of the United States. Most of the personnel that constitute this elite agency are U.S. military communications specialists; many, in 1963, were from the Army Signal Corps. On November 22, 1963, WHCA was responsible for communications between and among Air Force One and Two, the White House Situation Room, the mobile White House, and with the Secret Service in the motorcade."

"The Review Board sought to locate any audio recordings of voice communications to or from Air Force One on the day of the assassination, including communications between Air Force one and Andrews Air Force Base during the return flight from Dallas to Washington D.C. As many people are now aware of, in the 1970s, the LBJ Presidential Library released edited audio cassettes of the unsecured, or open voice conversations with Air Force One, Andrews AFB, the White House Situation Room, and the Cabinet Aircraft carrying the Secretary of State and other officials on November 22, 1`963. The LBJ Library version of these tapes consists of about 110 minutes of voice transmissions, but the tapes are edited and condensed, so the Review Board staff sought access to unedited, uncondensed versions. Since the edited versions of the tapes contain considerable talk about both the forthcoming autopsy on the President, as well as the reaction of a government in crisis, the tapes are of considerable interest to assassination researchers and historians."

"Given that the LBJ Library released the tapes in the 1970s, the paper trail is now sketch and quite cold. The LBJ Library staff is fairly confident that the tapes originated with the White House Communications Agency (WHCA). The LBJ Library staff told the Review Board staff that it received the tapes from the White House as part of the original shipment of President Johnson’s papers in 1968 or 1969. According to the LBJ Library’s documentation, the accession card reads: "WHCA?" and is dated 1975. The Review Board staff could not locate any records indicating who performed the editing, or when, or where."

"The Review Board’s repeated written and oral inquiries of the White House Communications Agency did not bear fruit. The WHCA could not produce any records that illuminated the provenance of the edited tapes."

At the time I delivered my report on "The Collins Radio Connections" to the National COPA Conference in Washington in October, 1994, the Washington Post had just then exposed the true occupant of a new, mammoth, suburban Virginia building. It was not the headquarters for Collins Radio/Rockwell International as had been previously reported, but they had just been the cooperating cover company for the super secret National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), just as Collins Radio had served as a cover for the CIA in the operation of the Rex in Cuba in1963.

Also, in the October, 1998 issue of John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s George Magazine, - David Wise reported on how the NRO had "lost" $6 billion in U.S. taxpayer’s money, and specifically mentioned the fiasco surrounding the construction of the HQ building, or which Collins/Rockwell served as a cover company.

[William E. Kelly is a freelance journalist whose research into the assassination of President Kennedy is partially sponsored by the Fund For Constitutional Government Investigative Journalism Project. He can be reached at:]