Thursday, December 13, 2018

Pathfinder Five

Summary - Analysis – Conclusion – Areas for Continued Research –

 By William E. Kelly

“Facts are not the truth, - they only indicate where truth may lie.” – H.W. Barron (as quoted by Mary Bancroft in “Autobiography of a Spy.”)

I am now convinced more than ever, that we – and I emphasize WE are able to resolve the assassination of President Kennedy to a legal and moral certainty within the next few years, if only the effort is taken.
This can be said with near certainty for a number of reasons that I will elaborate on, but most significantly because of the combination of a number of events. 

For starters we now have the computer and internet at our disposal, as well as a number of knowledgeable, independent researchers and writers who are working together, and their research is complimenting each other’s work and is panning out.

We also have the law on our side – the JFK Act of 1992 that requires the government to provide us with all of the official records on the assassination, many of which are posted on the internet and available on line so you don't have to travel to the Archives to read them. 

In addition, the new House of Representatives, controlled by democrats, should hold open public hearings on the JFK Act to determine who destroyed relevant records, why so many official documents are missing and what became of them.

There is also a new Dallas County District Attorney who appears to be open minded enough to consider the murders of President Kennedy and J.D. Tippit unresolved cold case homicides that can still be solved.


Joshia “Tink” Thompson, author of Six Seconds in Dallas and Gumshoe, the latter being the story of his 20 years working as a San Francisco private eye in the best Sam Spade tradition. Thompson once said that in all of the thousands of cases he worked on, there came a point in time when a key piece of evidence was discovered that led to the resolution of the case, EXCEPT for the assassination of President Kennedy.
Well my research, after nearly fifty years, is finally panning out, and complimenting the work of my compatriots even though we are working on different subject areas and on different levels.

I find that after running down dead end alleys and banging my head against walls for decades, by backing off and approaching Dealey Plaza from an entirely different direction, it has made all the difference.


Rather than the spontaneous act of a deranged madman, or a conspiracy by a bunch of rich oil men, mafia goons and renegade CIA types, neither of which fit all of the known facts, we can now look at the assassination for what it was – a covert intelligence operation designed to deceive and provide plausible denial to the actual assassins and their sponsors.

It was a PLAN, not a PLOT. A covert action plan. A contingency plan that was put into action in Dallas.

In the course of evaluating exactly what happened at Dealey Plaza, it is now clear that whatever you believe occurred it must be considered and classified as a covert intelligence operation.

One of the first hallmarks of any covert intelligence operation is secrecy, and every top secret plan is given a code name known only to those involved. 

When I first realized this I never believed we would ever really know what the  actual operators code named it, so I called it The Dealey Plaza Operation (DPO). But now we have Valkyrie and Plathfinder, two covert operational code names for covert plans that were designed to be used against Fidel Castro of Cuba but were re-directed to JFK at Dealey Plaza.

What happened in Dallas was a covert intelligence operational plan that was very close and similar to a number of CIA covert operations directed against Cuba – specifically the Valkyrie Plot to kill Hitler, that the CIA “studied in detail” in order to develop a plan to be used against Castro, and the Pathfinder plan, that was designed to shoot Castro with a high powered rifle as he drove by in an open jeep.

Valkyrie was the overall Strategic Plan to use deception to protect the assassins and take over the government, while Pathfinder was the Tactical Plan using snipers to kill Castro that was used to kill JFK. 

While Pathfinder was “disapproved by higher authority” (National Security Council Special Group Augumented, JFK and RFK), we have on good authority (a CIA case officer and his Cuban commandos) that the Pathfinder plan, or one very similar to it, was originally designed to kill Castro but redirected to JFK at Dealey Plaza. It was a well planned and expertly executed tactical operation that was part of an overall strategic plan based on the CIA’s detailed study of the German military’s plot to kill Hitler.


Valkyrie was the code name for the covert German military plan to kill Hitler and take over the German government that failed on July 20, 1944, when Hitler survived the bomb explosion in the Wolf’s Lair headquarters briefing room in Rastenburg.

That plot was “studied in detail” by the CIA to be used against Castro, but instead of using a bomb as the mechanism of death, snipers with high powered rifle were believed to be more efficient and certain, and was the strategy employed by those who re-directed the operation designed to kill Castro to kill President Kennedy in Dallas. 

We first learned about the Valkyrie plan from the Higgins memo of the CIA’s Desmond FitzGerald’s briefing if the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 25, 1963, but we can suspect their “detailed study” of the Valkyrie plan was years in the making.


The U.S. Army Rangers are called Pathfinders, and two U.S. Army Ranger Captains - Bradley Ayers and Edward Roderick were assigned to the CIA by USMC General "Brut" Krulak to train the Cuban Commandos at JMWAVE. While Ayers trained the Cubans in small boat maneuvering at Pirate's Lair, Roderick trained the snipers at Point Mary, off Key Largo. 

The original anti-Castro Cuban Pathfinders were the best of the lot sent to Guatemala to train for the Bay of Pigs, and were commanded by US Marine Captain Carl Jenkins, whose specialty was infiltration and exfiltration of commandos while John "I.F" Harper trained the Cubans in explosives and sniper tactics. 

Some of the Cuban Pathfinders at the Bay of Pigs were captured, while some others (Felix Rodriguiz, "Chi Chi" Quintero) escaped and made their way back to Florida. There, they were rained at the remote JMWAVE bases for different missions that were proposed to the National Security Council for consideration. 

William Harvey, head of Task Force W, that oversaw JMWAVE, was considered "America's James Bond," as he was introduced to President Kennedy in the Oval Office. 

Harvey was the case officer for mobster John Rosselli, known as "Colonel Rawlston" around JMWAVE bases, as he was the consultant for "strategy" in the on-going plans developed to kill Fidel Castro and he helped finance and had Harvey supply weapons to the Cuban commando team trained there.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, in October 1962, Harvey anticipated a full fledged invasion of Cuba, as the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended, and sent in the Pathfinder teams. When RFK learned of this, he considered it an unauthorized mission and ordered the Pathfinders called back. So after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and being called back by RFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Pathfinder Cubans were none to happy to learn that the "Pathfinder" operation that they had been training for months - shooting Castro with a high powered rifle as he rode by in an open jeep - had been "Disapproved by higher authority," as the documents put it.

When Harvey was fired by RFK for sending in the Pathfinders, and sent to Italy as CIA Chief of Station, but continued his association with Rosselli.

William Harvey was replaced with Desmond FitzGerald, a Kennedy insider who convinced the Kennedys to approve the CIA covert operations against Cuba and Castro, including terrorist attacks against industrial targets, and personally handled the AMLASH (Cubela) project that included shooting Castro with a high powered rifle. FitzGerald also was the CIA officer responsible for covert operations against Cuba who briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 25, 1963, when he tells them about the CIA's "detailed study" of the July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler to use against Castro. Colonel Higgins, who wrote the memo, was the adjunct for Gen. Krulak, who was responsible for military support for CIA covert ops. 

We should have first learned of the Pathfinder plan in 1975, when eight technicians employed by the CIA’s National Photo Interpretation Center (NPIC) reported to their boss (Dino Brugioni) that they were involved with the Pathfinder plan at JMWAVE station in Florida, providing photos and maps of the target areas – DuPont’s Xandau estate in Varadaro, on the north shore of Cuba. But the CIA kept a lid on it by keeping the Pathfinder story from the Church Committee and miss-filing it a Frank Sturgis file. 

While the CIA seems to have lost or misplaced their “detailed study” of the Valkyrie plan, as well as any documented trace of Pathfinder, other than what the NPIC technicians told them – we can review the open source material on the July 20, 1944 event for ourselves and see how the CIA adapted it for use against Castro.

We also know a number of participants in the Valkyrie plan who survived and could have been used as sources for the CIA’s detailed study – including Allen Dulles, the OSS man in Swizerland, his assistant Mary Bancroft, and their co-conspirator in the heart of the plot – Hans Bernd Gisivious. Then there is Oswald’s friend Volkmar Schmidt, who brought up the subject of killing Hitler in his lengthly conversation with the accused assassin.

Now we have Otto Skorzeny, who was not a part of the Valkyrie conspiracy, but helped unravel it by rounding up some of the participates for prison or execution. From retired Air Force Maj. Ralph Ganis, who purchased the Skorzeny Papers at auction, we see the overlap of Sknorzeny’s intelligence network and those involved in the Dallas aspects of the assassination.

From the historical record of the plan to kill Hitler we can see some immediate parallels, including the assignment of a code names – Valkyrie – the Norse faries who fly above the battlefield and determine who lives and dies. And then there's Pathfinder - those who take the lead and escort those who come after them. They are also trained in calling in air strikes and as snipers, if a high profile target presents itself. 

There are five specific aspects of the Valkyrie plan to kill Hitler that fit like a glove over the Dealey Plaza Operation. Besides the application of a code name, there's four other aspects of the Valkyrie Plan that were applied to the Dealey Plaza Operation. 

One important aspect of the Valkyrie plan and the Dealey Plaza Operation is getting the victim to sign off on and actually approve the plan. Hitler actually did this as it was presented to him as a contingency plan to put into effect in case of an emergency - such as if the millions of foreign slave labors in Berlin revolted, or the sudden death of the Fuher.

While the CIA presented the National Security Council Special Group and JFK with some twenty covert operational plans against Cuba a month, and only half were approved, they did approve some of the violent, terrorist attacks against Cuban industrial targets designed to hurt the Cuban economy. Some of these plans included the use of high powered rifles, that were smuggled into Cuba in arms shipments. 

A third common attribute between Valkrie and Dealey Plaza was the use of the Home Guard in Germany and the American equilvant – the National Guard or Army Reserves in Dallas. 

The CIA, by its charter, is prohibited from operating domestically within the United States, but not so the Army, and it was the Army National Guard who were called out in Mississippi, at Kent State, Memphis and Chicago during the Democratic National Convention, and it was the Army Reservists who were all over the place, boots on the ground in Dallas. 

As many as half of the Dallas Police Special Services Unit were US Army Reserve officers as well. They were  led by Captain Pat Gannaway, US Army Reserves, and Deputy Chief George Lumkin, driver of the Pilot Car in the motorcade, were part of the Special Services Unit, which was headquartered not at City Hall with the rest of the department, but at the Dallas State Fairgrounds. This was the case so their undercover informants didn't have to be seen at City Hall, but also because the Fairgrounds is the location of Col. Jack Crichton's underground Emergency Communications bunker that could have intercepted the Secret Service channel of the motorcade and the Air Force One radio communications. 

And finally, a distinct part of the Valkyrie plan to kill Hitler that was to be adapted for use against Castro, and redirected to JFK at Dealey Plaza, was the deception part – to blame the assassination on communists.

The only aspect of the Valkyrie plan that wasn’t used in Dallas was the mechanism of death, and instead of a bomb that failed, a high powered rifle with a well trained sniper was used instead.

With the Valkyrie plan used as a basic strategy, and the Pathfinder tactical plan to kill Castro with a high powered rifle as he drove by in an open jeep - it was a plan already in place that was pulled off the shelf at JMWAVE and activated, not to kill Castro but rather JFK.

So starting from the basic assumption that whatever happened at Dealey Plaza was a covert intelligence operation, studying other, similar and related covert intelligence operation, we can outline what emerges as a web of intrigue.

We can overlay the various intelligence networks involved to see a new mosaic, - one that will allow us to perceive in exquisite detail, exactly what happened, what was operational in Dallas at the time, who the participants were, how it was carried out, and what their motivations were.

While we continue to review the official records on the assassination, many of which are still being withheld, and many are missing – including the Valkyrie study and Pathfinder documents, we also recognize that the most significant records are NOT among the records in the JFK Collection at the National Archives and open to the public.

In fact, some of the most significant assassination records are in private hands – Richard Sprague’s House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) records are not in the Archives but were retained by him and are still in his hands.

We also can see that Mrs. Lincoln’s artifacts – including the Oval Office tape recordings of JFK’s meetings and phone conversations, were kept by her, inherited by a private individual, and sold, some privately and some at auction, but they are not open to the public at the National Archives, as they should be.

And now we have The Skorzeny Papers, thanks to Major Ralph Ganis, who recognized their significance, purchased them at auction, analyzed them and wrote about them in his book – with the subtitle – Evidence For the Plot to Kill JFK.  He details how Skorzeny’s post World War II network extended into Dallas and included many of the direct participants in the assassination. (I met Maj.. Ganis in Dallas and my review of his book The Skorzeny Papers will be posted soon, as well as the transcript of an extended radio interview with him). 

Since we now have most of the pieces to the Dealey Plaza puzzle, and can clearly view the covert intelligence networks that carried out the assassination, we have to ask ourselves what Daniel Ellesberg asks – what are we going to do about it? 

As for room for further research, we will be filing new FOIA reqeusts for specific documents we know exist or did exist, try to track down the living witnesses, as we have with Carl Jenkins and John Harper, who we will try to get to talk about their experiences.

There are the eight NPIC techs who are named in the 1975 document, and an association of former NPIC employees and some of the eight may still be alive and could provide further info on Pathfinder. The ARRB should have gotten the CIA personal files of each of those eight NPIC employees, but didn't so we will have to file a FOIA request for them.

In addition, I am going to re-review Larry Hancock's 2018 Lancer presentation on the Wheaton Names, that is chock full of leads that need to be fully explored.

I am also going to footnote the five part Pathfinder series and add photos and links to documents that I will post again when finished.

And now, what are we going to do about it?


Brandon said...

Great stuff Bill! I've looking for this follow up for weeks and it did not disappoint.

Wild Ride said...

Great run down on the outlines of the operation. I have one suggestion for correction. You explain that you are viewing this now clearly as a covert intelligence operation. Thus, you should consider that in such a complex, heavily planned operation the method of execution hinted at for years and then months, and then even days before, and ever since, a sniper with a high-powered rifle, would be used as a distraction from the actual method of execution. The Valkyrie plotters wanted Stauffenberg to shoot Hitler in the head with a pistol to guarantee success but he chose the bomb. Importantly, the planners would have known this and made absolutely sure they shot JFK in the head from close range. Plus, you could not know the bubble was coming off, but most importantly, you could not hit Jackie. You cannot guarantee that on a windy day and again, the planners could not risk her getting shot in any crossfire. They shot him the head from very close range.

Wild Ride said...

Correction - in the head from very close range.