Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Death of JFK: The New Orleans Connection

Colonel Fletcher Prouty, who was deeply involved in US operations concerning Cube believed that the assassination was the work of “That gang down there,” Guy Banister, David Ferrie, Barry Seal and others. Later District Attorney Jim Garrison explored the same theory.

The late Jim Garrison had much to say about Oswald’s connection to New Orleans. Whether he was right about Clay Shaw being Oswald’s controller will never be known. Oswald had a small office in the office suite of detective Guy Bannister (d 1964). Bannister owned the building that housed Division Five of the F.B.I. and the Free Cuba Committee. He was involved in virtually every anti-Communist organization and was a Minutemen coordinator. A former F.B.I. special agent, he had done many things including telexing a number of reports on UFO sightings to the bureau’s Security Matter-X file—perhaps the origin of the term “X Files?” Oswald knew Bannister well, but the Warren Commission never interviewed him. Bannister was a former F.B.I. agent and an ONI operative and a member of the John Birch Society. Oddly enough, C.I.A. scientist Michael Riconosciuto had built some listening devices for the detective agency. Riconosciuto and Bannister had a mutual interest in cancer research, and David Ferrie said he thougfht Judyth Baker would soon coolaberate with Bannister in his anti-cancer efforts. Bannister’s Bannister’s widow said their basement had a n supply of “Hands Off Cuba” literature.

There are so many loose ends and contradictory evidence involving the role of New Orleans that a clear picture likely will not emerge. One of the first puzzles is that so many people in gangsterland and among Cuban exiles predicted the assass ination in advance. During a conversation in Homer Echevarria predicted there would be an assassination. He had worked for CJ Simpson de Cuba. The Secret Service in Chicago pursued the matter and tried prepared to place someone in the Cuban group connected to Echevarria. That effort was almost immediately shut down when the F.B.I. took control of the assassination investigation. Had a mole been successful, there would have been information about the cabal's ties to a paramilitary camp near Lake Pontchartrain and to Oswald's ties to it.

Some of the evidence tangles seem to have been placed there to discourage careful investigation. Two of them involved the four Bowens who seem to have been connected and all the information about the strange David Ferrie, a key New Orleans figure.. A former Eastern Airlines pilot, he once built two miniature submarines used to infiltrate people into Cuba. He spoke fluent Italian and Greek and had been an agent since the Second Waorld War, sometimes working for front Southern Air Transport and an oil company in South America. He flew weapons to support Castro before the Castro took over, as did other C.I.A. contract pilots, and then assisted the opposition after the take-over.

Ferrie and other C.I.A. contract pilots had moved arms to Castro and then to Castro’s opponents, and mob people helped them and were doing the same. There is an F.B.I. document on C.I.A. pilot William Robert Plumlee that proves that the C.I.A. was assisting Castro. The operation was known as M-26-7. Earl Smith, US ambassador to Cuba then and a Batista friend, was to write that the C.I.A. and the State Department helped bring Castro to power. John F. Kennedy had an extended affair with the ambassador’s wife, Florence Prichett, and even visited Cuba six times to be with her. It continued into his presidency.

For reasons that are very unclear, C.I.A. pilots and mob people were assisting Castro for a time in 1957 and 1958. Castro was getting money from former Cuban President Carlos Prio , who in turn got funds from the C.I.A. and Meyer Lansky.All this changed when Castro took power. In 1956, 1957, and 1958, the C.I.A. and the mob was moving weapons to Castro. One center of operations was the CL Simpson de Cuba Drilling Company, which had three rigs in Cuba. The Americans eventually concluded they were wrong to bet on Castro. In March, 1959, the State Department clamped an arms embargo on Cuba, which deprived Batista of weapons coming through legitimate channels.

Mob guys like Jack Ruby were moving weapons into Cuba to assist the anti-Castro people. It is clear that the mob people and the C.I.A. contract operators knew each other; they were all in the same business. Ferrie was involved in the arms trade, and was involved in raiding a munitions depot at the Schlumberger plant in Houma , Louisiana in 1961. When Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested on November 22, 1962, they found Ferrie library card on Oswald. Oswald and Ferrie were often together in 1963, and six witnesses saw them together with Clay Shaw in Clinton, Louisiana.

Ferrie was a Captain in the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol, where Barry Seal and Lee Harvey Oswald had served under him. He was a brilliant man with a photographic memory and many interests, including boys. Ferrie spoke fluent Italian and Greek and was involved in arms dealing. In 1942, at age 23, he went to Latin America to work in oil drilling. He was most likely an OSS agent gathering intelligence upon oil resources and the Germans' interest in tapping into them. A former NSA agent said Ferrie worked for the C.I.A. in Latin America after it was formed. Ferrie experimented with cancer cures, injecting cancer into mice, and was an accomplished hypnotist. Some find significance in the fact that Ferrie, a successful hypnotist, was in the company of Jack Ruby near the time of the assassination. For that matter, hypnotist Billie Del Mar was performing at the club then.

There was a great effort to claim that the three men did not know one another, but now there are photographs and other evidence to establish their ties, Seal quickly followed Ferrie into intelligence work. By the time he was 18, he owned two airplanes. He was first fly weapons into Cuba for Castro and then flew weapons to opponents of Castro. In both capacities, he was working for the C.I.A., which played both sides of the street in the beginning. There have also been many efforts to claim Oswald had no ties to intelligence work, but Senator Richard Schweiker, a Republican, had it right when he said, “Oswald had intelligence connections. Everywhere you look with him, there are fingerprints of intelligence.” Edward Voebel, another member of the the patrol group trained by Ferrie spent 1963 in Mexico City. Seal, Ferrie, and Oswald were also there at times. Voebel was to die at age 31 in 1971.

David Ferrie and Guy Banister's names continually turn up in any discussion of efforts to aid the anti-Castro rebels. Gerald Patrick Hemmings, a sometime C.I.A. contact operative or agent, said that Banister asked him to assassinate John F. Jennedy. Ferrie and cigar chomping Banister were probably being paid then by the US government, which wanted the arms sent to two French colonies in the Carribean, where they would be used to frustrate rebellions. At about that time, he told the New Orleans chapter of Military Order of World Wars that someone should shoot Kennedy.

Banister is another key figure in New Orleans. Aa former ONI man, he had been a major force in assembling people and supplies for the Bay of Pigs invasion and what there was of the Provisional Government of Cuba operated out of his 544 Camp Street office in New Orleans. He worked closely with Mannie Gambino, newpew of Carl Gambino and Murray Kessler, a Gambino family member. He was also a major force in the right-wing minute men, and he employed at one time or, a number of men who were active in fighting Castro. E. Howard Hunt also established his Cuban Revolutionary Council office in that building.

Kessler had quite a rap sheet including interstate theft, conspiracy to possess heroin, and bookmaking. He was often a guest at Richmond Harper’s ranch. Harper had toes to Herman Beebe, a Carlos Marcello operative, who had close ties to the Nixon White House. Beebe ran Palmer National Bank in Washington, and had many connections to people in the White House. Later, in the 1980s, Beebe was Associated with “burning out” 13 Texas savings and loans.

In 1967, according to Victor Marchetti, Richard Helms told other C.I.A. agents that Clay Shaw and Ferrie should be protected against the investigation of New Orleans DA Jim Garrison. According to Robert Morrow, he gave Ferrie two 6.5 mm. Mannlicher-Carcano rifles before the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Morrow probably thought the guns would be used in some way in the effort to off Castro. A Chicago mail order firm said it sold Oswald the weapon.

Garry Patrick Hemming had handled the rifle the week before and told Oswald he wanted to purchase it. He offered twice its value. Oswald brought the disassembled weapon to work and stashed it on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Those who do not believe Oswald fired any of the shots hypothesize that Hemming could have asked him to bring the gun to work to be picked up. It has been established that Hemmings was in Miami that day.

Richard E. Sprague theorizes that the planning for the assassination of John F. Kennedy began in New Orleans among Cuban exiles and people who were C.I.A. assets. They were angry that Kennedy was not planning another invasion of Cuba. The discussions soon shifted to Mexico City in the apartment of Guy Gabaldin who was either a C.I.A. agent, or more likely an asset. Lee Harvey Oswald attended these meetings, probably as an F.B.I. informer. He had been working for the F.B.I. since mid-1962. Through Gabaldin, contact was made with the agency. It is believed that E. Howard Hunt was acting station chief there, though he testified that he was not in Mexico City at the time. However, there is evidence that he was at least from time to time and stayed in an anti-Castro safe house. Central to the operation were William Seymout, David Ferrie, and Clay Shaw, all of whom were tied to the agency’s directorate for plans. Those who take this approach assume that the assassination did not have the support of the entire agency. We know that James Jesus Angleton had George De Mohrenschildt’s mail intercepted after the assassination and that the latter was certain he was being watched. This might suggest that the assassination could have had rogue C.I.A. involvement.

David Ferrie was a C.I.A. contract pilot and private investigator who was also involved in moving drugs and guns, perhaps sometimes on his own. At one time Barry Adler Seal was on his payroll, but Seal eventually became a major figure in moving drugs for the Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s. In the period before the Bay of Pigs, Ferrie was being paid by Double-Check Corp. of Miami, a C.I.A. front. He also trained pilots for Castro's opponents, the Cuban Revolutionary Front. Ferrie also knew Lee Harvey Oswald. In the fall of 1963, Ferrie flew Clay Shaw to Montreal and to Cuba. On an April 8, 1963 flight plan, dug out by by the House Select Assassinations Committee, for a trip to Garland Texas, his passengers bore known aliases for Oswald ( Hidell) and Shaw (Lambert) In 1965, he was managing a small fleet of planes out of the C.I.A.'s FBO (fixed base of operations) at the New Orleans airport. .

In 1969, a judge forbade Jim Garrison from revealing evidence that Oswald and Ferrie knew each other. In 1978, the House Select Committee on Assassinations showed that they were in contact in 1963. In 1993 Gerald Posner insisted they did not know each others when Oswald was in the Civil Air Patrol, but PBS Front Line later found photographs of them together at that time. So much was done to discredit Garrison and shutr down his investigation, that one is compelled to wonder if he had some of it right. On September 26, 19699 a plane crashed on take-off outside Clinton, Louisiana. It was piloted by Jerry Sylvester, who had just spoken with Garrison investigators. He and his passenger were killed. Sylvester would have been able to shed light on many things, including the possible involvement of the Louisiana teamsters.
Ferrie grew up in Cleveland, attended St. Ignatius High School, studied for the priesthood in Carthegena, Ohio, and then attended Baldwin- Wallace College. He taught aviation at St. Benedict High School, before being fired for taking boys to a house of ill fame. He met Lee Harvey Oswald in 1955, when Oswald joined his Cadet Squadron in New Orleans. In August, 1961, he lost two squadrons because of his problems with ephebophilia. He worked as a private investigator trying to gather evidence to block the deportation of Carlos Marcello, a Mafia leader and he was also an of detective Guy Banister.

The role of David Ferrie is unclear in all this. David Ferrie had known Oswald from their Civil Air Patrol Days, and the House Select Committee on Assassinations established that Oswald contacted Ferrie in New Orleans. Another was Barry Seal, later of C.I.A. drug trafficking fame. David lost most of his hair and wore false eyebrows and a red toupe. He flew bombing runs over Cuba in 1961 and took great chances to land and evacuate freedom fighters. He turned into a Kennedy hater after the Bay of Pigs disaster.

Jack Martin, a Ferrie friend, speculated that Ferrie could have hypnotized Oswald in some way. Ferrie had a substantial library on hypnotism, and the C.I.A. later admitted that it had experimented with mind control, MKUltra. Ferrie was seen with Jack Ruby before the assassination, and a hypnotist was performing at the clum at the time.

Ferrie was also connected to private investigator Guy Banister, who was in the Office of Naval Intelligence and had long been an F.B.I. agent and police official . When a SAC on the West Coast, he was one of the fewofficials to seriously look into Flying Saucer stories. Banister had also been cleared for the C.I.A.’s project QK/Enchant—whatever that was. Banister’s Camp Street office in New Orleans was at least a mail drop for Oswald, and some say Oswald worked for Banister Jack Martin, a drunk with severe mental problems, was an investigator for Banister. Thomas Jude Baumler, a lawyer and admitted fascist, worked there briefly and later worked briefly for District Attorney Jim Garrison. A Thomas Beckham and Carl Stanley also hung out there. Beckham was bishop of the Universal Life Church and Stanley, who had a long rap sheet for many things including mailing pornography and was a bishop of a schismatic Old Catholic sect.

Ferrie was in contact with an old Catholic bishop in Toronto, who denies any ties to Ferrie or New Orleans. However, Toronto police provered he was in New Orleans in 1963. Martin’s real name was Edward Stewart Suggs and worked as a back alley abortionist in Houston. He liked to pass himself off as an F.B.I. or C.I.A. agent. Whatever he was, he was able to get F.B.I. files on candidates for the old catholic priesthood long after November 22, 1963. Martin and Ferrie were both into medical experimentation (especially for cancer), hypnosis, chiropracticm, and homeopathy. Ferrie maintained a cancer laboratory on Louisiana Avenue. After the assassination, Stanley went to the F.B.I. and said that Ferrie and Jack Martin were involved. At that time, Martin told authorities that Ferrie was involved. Martin thought Ferrie hypnotized Oswald into acting against Kennedy. Later, in 1966 when DA Jim Garrison began looking into the matter, Ferrie and Baumler joined in the mutual finger-pointing. Oddly, Ferrie, Martin, Beckham, Broshears ( a hanger-on) and Baumler were all ordeained into the American Orthodox Catholic Church, of which Carl Stanley had become a bishop

Ferrie clearly knew Oswald, but his role in the assassination is unclear. With he and his associates pointing fingers at one another, it could all be an elaborate disinformation effort. Or Perhaps they were. Ferrie had been introduced at a civic club meeting as one of the Bay of Pigs pilots. One investigator claimed Ferrie drove to Texas to serve as a get-away pilot. Ferrie admitted the trip to Texas but said he went ice skating in Houston. Eladio del Valle, a former Cuban Congressman, who had funded anti-Castro activities soon turned up dead, tortured with an axe and shot in the head. Ferrie claimed to he a hypnotist and psychotherapist, and there are reports that he weas indeed a capable hypnotist.

David Ferrie, a Garrison target, admitted he was a C.I.A. agent and implicated Clay Shaw. He died one day before Shaw was arrested. Carl Stanley died of an apparent heart attack and subsequently became’ “saint Christopher Maria” in their strange church.. Ferrie’s Cuban friend, Eladio del Valle was murdered the same day that Ferrie died. Seven days after the arrest.


Clay Shaw ran the New Orleans International Trade Mart which was started by local investors. He was involved as a director of Centro Mondiale Commer C.I.A.le (CMC) which was formed in Montreal and moved to Rome. It was supposed to be a trading organization, and was comprised of former Italian fascists, right wing elements, C.I.A. and Defense Department people , and representatives of the European paramilitary right. Ferenc Nagy, a former Hungarian premier and Nazi puppet, was a director and was tied to the C.I.A. and the Miami Cuban colony. He was also the asset of famed agent Frank Wisner. At one time he was president of Permindex, an entioty backed by the CIA. Nagy also provided money for the Secret Army Organization, which was to attempt the assassination of Charles De Gaulle. Giorgio Mantello was Nagy’s partner in Permindex. Mantello used the name “George Mandel’ because he was a war criminal, having traded in Jewish refugees.

This organization funneled money into European elections. Nagy was seen on the grassy knoll in Dallas on November 22, 1963, closing his umbrella as John Kennedy’s limousine went by.Delphine Roberts said in New Orleans that she say Nagy in Guy Banister’s office.

CMC was closely tied to Permindex, a Swiss trading corporation. And was essentially a union of fierce anti-Communist elements. A major stockholder was Geneva’s Banque De Credit International , whose founder by Tibor Rosenbaum. The bank was a Mossad front, and Rosenbaumpurchased arms on behalf o f the Mossad. This bank was the chief launderer for Meyer Lansky, an American gangster. Joseph Bonano, another gangster was also tied to Permindex. Tied to Permindex were the Free Cuba Committee, H.L. Hunt and the American Council of Christian Churches, and east European Solidarists. Major Louis Bloomfield of Montreal, who was also involved in CMC, was a leading figure. He was a highly decorated a former OSS officer and leading Zionist, one time Haganah soldier. From 1947 to 1970, he did contract work for the C.I.A. and State Department and was tied to Division Five of the F.B.I. He was a friend of J. Edgar Hoover. He was also closely tied to the very wealthy Bronfmans, allegedly Canada’s leading crime family.

Using Permindex, he managed the business affairs for members of a Corsican assassin ring. Max Hagerman, editor of a West German Neo-Nazi magazine, does administrative work for Permindex.

Permindex was mainly financed by oil companies and Halliburton. The petrolium firms had reason dislike Kennedy because he supported, but had not sponsored, legislation to reduce the oil depletion allowance. Texas oil men, like Hunt, could not have been happy with Kennedy’s effort to bring Texas off shore leases under federal control. One of the oil companies was owned by H.L. Hunt. George and Herman Brown of Brown and Root also invested in Permindex. Also involved were attorney Roy Cohn and former German General Walter Dohrnberger.

Cohn was a close friend of J. Edgar Hoover and H.L. Hunt and Cohn and Hoover seemed to defer to Lewis Rosenstiel, head of the Schinley conglomerate and a major right wing leader. Schinley contributed to Permindex. It was also tied to NASA security division in Columbus Ohio and Muscle Shoales, Alabama. Permindex and CMC most likely enjoyed profits from bringing heroin from the Golden Triangle to Europe, and it is likely that they worked with a number of intelligence services in this activity. British Far Eastern shipping and drug magnates were also involved. It was also involved in casinos and hotels in the Carribean and Europe . It worked closely with New Orleans mafia boss Carlos Marcello, whose fleet of planes shared mechanics and pilots with Peermindex. David Ferrie was one shared employee. Marcello probably handled the sabotaging of the plane of Italian oil minister, Enrico Mattei. But the case officer for the project was Charles “Lucky” Lu C.I.A.no, who had long worked with Bloomfield and the British Secret Intelligence Service. After the death of John F. Kennedy, Marcello gave Ferrie a large Gulf gas station on Airline Highway, which was used as a C.I.A. cover. During the two weeks before the Kennedy assasination, Ferrie stayed at Churchill Farms, Marcello 's countryside estate. It was said he was there as part of Marcello's legal defense team. Perhaps that was because he had a phenomenal memory.

Contractors tied to the Defense Industrial Security Comman also contributed. The Defense Industrial Security Command was the creature of Division Five of the F.B.I. and the Defense Intelligence agency, but it also had ties to NASA and the AEC. The DISC was directly commanded by J. Edgar Hoover’s deputy, William Sullivan.Its nominal head was Lt. General Joseph Carroll, a former F.B.I. officer. Carroll’s liason to Robert F. Kennedy was Walter Sheridan, who later was employed by NBC to investigate Jim Garrison. Sheridan had headed the Kennedy Justice Department’s squad entrusted with nailing Jimmy Hoffa. The New Orleans DA believed the plot to kill JFK was run by the military industrial complex, not Texas oil men.

Some believe that the DISC created Permindex and that some of the entities connected to it, like the American Council of Christian Churches, the Solidarists, and the Free Cuba Committee were created by DISC. Former MI6 agent John Coleman has theorized that Permindex orchestrated the assassination, claiming they used an international squad that is used when all else fails.

Shaw was a director Permindex and Prince Gutierez de Spadafora was head of firm and a former subcabinet minister under Mussolini . On March 4, 1967 Paesa Sera reported that CMC was a C.I.A. creation. There is evidence that in gave information to the C.I.A. from 1948 to 1956 and that the C.I.A. paid for one of hjis trips in 1955. The Italian government in 1962 had expelled the Centro Mondiale Commer C.I.A.le and Permidex for engaging in subversive intelligence activity. Switzerland expelled them at the same time. Permidex financed the Secret ARMY organization, which opposed Charles De Gaulle’s efforts to give Algeria independence and attempted to assassinate the French president. After the attempt on De Gaulle’s life, CMC moved to South Africa to make it more difficult to be investigated. Some believe that its parent company was Permidex. In any event, the two were intertwined..The French president’s intelligence people traced the financing of the assassination to Permindex and CMC. De Gaulle thought Mossad was also involved, and it had to move its operations to the Netherlands and Belgium. Some believe Permindex has ties to the old Nazi spy network of Otto Skorzeny. He was Hitler’s bodyguard and the son-in-law of Hjalmar Schacht, the Fuehrer’s financial genius. Skorzeny also helped run ODESSA (Organization der Ehemalige SS. Angehorige) which spirited SS people out of Europe and estgablished “Internationale Fascista” in Madrid. It was in the same building that housed the Spanish Intelligence and the C.I.A.’s Madrid section.

Shaw was deeply involved in anti-Castro activities and gave one anti-Castro group free space in the International Trade Mart. In 1967, Shaw still had a secret clearance for Operation Qk/Enchant, but we know nothing about it other than that agent E. Howard Hunt was involved. At the time of Kennedy’s death, Shaw was visiting Monroe Sullivan, another person cleared for the mysterious Qk/Enchant. Newly released documents show he was involved in a secret project known as ZRCLIFF or ZR/Rifle, which was run byWilliam Harvey. Harvey also ran Staff D, which did secret assassinations. Jonathan Blackmer , an HSAC staffer wrote in a Septemner, 1977 memo, “ We have reason to believe Shaw was heavily involved in the anti-Castro efforts in New Orleans in the 1960s and possibly one of the high-level planners or 'cut out' to the planners of the assassination."

Shaw’s connections to Nazis and neo-Nazis iw fascinating. Helene van Damme , Reagan’s appointments secretary at the time, had ties to an intelligence network of former Nazis in the US. Garrison believed that businessman/intelligence operative Clay Shaw masterminded the assassination. Shaw’s address book had the names of pro-Nazi European royalty and people in the Bildberg Group. Garrison seems to have been correct on many of the details, and Shaw clearly new some of the people who had involvement. There is no evidence that he masterminded the event. His exact role is unclear to this writer, who suspects he may have been involved in arranging a back-up escape route for the shooters. But this is only an educated conjecture.

The importation of former Nazis into the United states has received some attention insofar as it involved scientists, mind control experimenters, and intelligence agents. However, other former Nazis were admitted who seemed to play small roles in assisting in intelligence operations and in elections. Between 1948 and 1950, the Displaced Persons Commission arranged for almost half a million Europeans to come to the United States. At first Nazis and their collaborators were barred, but in 1950 members of the Baltic Legion ( or Baltic Waffen SS) were taken off the barred list. This was the beginning of the process of admitting many former Nazis who possessed no scientific or military talents. The C.I.A. subsidized the migration of many of these people in order to build a strong anti-communist bloc to offset the American left. The Republican Party formed an Ethnic Division , which became the Heritage Groups Council in 1969, to harvest this support.

This Council focused on the far right ethnic groups rather than mainstream white ethnics. After a Reagan rally, Nicholas Nazarenko, an SS Cossack officer who later worked for US Army Military Intelligence, showed people many Nazi mementos and told how former colleagues in the US , members of “Nazi organizations,”often greeted him with a “Heil Hitler.” Many of the eastern European groups in the Heritage Groups Council have roots that go back to entities and militias established by the SS during World War II. In 1988, these groups rounded up 86,000 aging volunteers for the George H.W. Bush campaign. Some of their leaders had to leave the campaign when their sordid backgrounds were revealed. One was Father Florian Galdau , formerly of the Iron Guard, who claimed he helped the C.I.A. bring 15,000 pro-Nazi Romanians to the US. Some of these exchange programs still exist, and, as is well known, terrorist Mohammed Atta came to the US through a program the State Department and the German Ministry of Cooperation and Dcevelopment operate. Atta, as the Research of Daniel Hopsicker shows, was very close to the Germans who were connected to the Venice, Florida aviation scene. The small airport there had been the secne of C.I.A. activities since 1959. Atta, as a German student was shy and timid, and uncomfortable around women. His friends refrained from sw2earing around him. He reported his passport stolen in 1999. In America, he was out-going, profane, a drinkier, and a ladies man. Amanda Keller, a stripper and sometime girlfriend of Atta, said he referred to them as his “brothers.” One was Wolfgang Bohringer, a member of a neo-Nazi group called the Flying Club of Munich.

It is known that Clay Bertrand ( Shaw ) contacted New Orleans attorney Dean Andrews on November 23, 1963 in an effort to obtain legal representation for Lee Harvey Oswald. Earlier, Clay Bertrand asked Andrews to help Oswald with some of his wife’s citizenship problems. According to Andrews’s Warren Commission testimony, Oswald once brought two gay Mexican young men to him, seeking legal help with immogration issues. Andrews avoided saying Bertrand was Shaw and gave different estimates of the man’s height. It was later established that Betrand was most likely Shaw. Andrews evidence is useful because he said Shaw talked to him about Oswald. However, some think that the Oswald he actually met was William Seymour, who many have been going about impersonating Oswald. Seymour is found in the famous photograph of the 40 Committee that was taken in a Mexico City night club. For example it could have been Seymour using Oswald’s name at a target range. This Seymour was seen running from the assassination scene and getting into a car driven by another man. Hew was well known as an employee of Guy Banister and as a recruiter of C.I.A. pilots in New Orleans.

The Warren Commission Report noted that Lee Harvey Oswald entered Mexico on a Red Arrow bus at Laredo, Texas on September 26, 1963. Sitting next to Oswald on the bus was Albert Osborne, alias John Howard Bowen. Six witnesses said he and Oswald were companions that day. On October 10, 1963 he was seen in both the offices of Clay Shaw and Guy Bannister. He was next seen in Mexico City on September 17 or 18.

Since 1934, this man , Albert Bowen-Osborne, a missionary for the American Council of Christian Churches ( of which he was a charter member), had been running a school for marksmen or assassins in his orphanage in Oaxaca, Mexico. Born in Grimsby, England or Chester , PA (?), he was ordained a minister in Trenton in 1916. He was in Knoxville working for a boys club for a number of years and was fired for homosexual activities with his charges. He then became a “ a missionary” in Mexico and elsewhere. F.B.I. kept reports on him going back to 1942, when he organized a Nazi group called the Campfire Council in Tennessee. He claimed to travel the world as a missionary, but there are no records of his travels and his means of making a living are not known. He opposed the US going to war with Nazi Germany, and his young people were taught to stomp on the American flag. At any one time, there were about twenty riflemen at his Oaxaca mission. Division Five of the F.B.I. had funneled money to Oaxaca through the American Council of Christian Churches. That organization was formed in 1941 by Rev. Dr. Carl Mc Intyre, an F.B.I. asset and friend of J. Edgar Hoover. In 1952, two of his men, Mario (El Turko) Sapet and Alfredo Cervantes, accepted a private contract to kill Judge Jake Floyd in Alice, Texas. They mistakenly killed the judge’s 19 year-old son Buddy. One of the killers told Texas law enforcement that their colleagues had carried out murders all over North and South America as well as in Russia and Eastern Europe.

It was later shown that this Bowen had ties to Clay Shaw’s CMC and to division 5 of the F.B.I.. . Shaw was a former Army Major who fronted as a major businessman and has been clearly tied to the C.I.A.’s Directorate of Operations. During the war he spent time in Army Counter Intelligence. Shaw was probably also Colonel René Bertrand and Colonel Beaumont in the secret espionage organization (SDECE) of the Free French. In that capacity he would have known the Corsican Assassin, Christian David.

Richard Sprague, a well placed assassination investigator, thinks that one of the hit men was called “Frenchy” and that this man was also the Raoul that was seem with James Eararl Ray and who was seen with Ray.

There were three other Bowens possibly involved in the assassination. One was John Caesar Brossi, aka Jack Leslie Bowen. Grossi/Bowen did time and worked for a firm that provided maps for the Defense Department. Since 1961 he was in Fort Worth and knew Oswald, who wrote his name and address on his library card. This man disappeared after the assassination. The third was Martin Grassi, Fred Lee Crisman, Jr. or , Jack Bowen. Garrison received letters accusing this man of being involved. Later a Texas attorney connected this John Bowen to the mission assassin training academy and claimed that J. Edgar Hoover acquired assassins there. A Syrian immigrant, he had been tied to Osborne since the 1920 and he also claimed to be a missionary. He had been seen traveling with Osborne in 1963.

In the late 1970s the HSAC paid photo analysts to look over photographs from the assassination. They found Crisman posing as a tramp. Crisman had Associated with gypsies and may have been one. He was also a business partner of Thomas Beckham, an ordained Old Catholic priest , ordained by Jack Martin of Guy Banister’s Detective agency. The fourth possibility was Dave Ferrie. The F.B.I. picked him up after November 22 because they thought he might have been the Bowen on Oswald’s library card. The Old Catholic bishop in Toronto used that name and had ties with the circle on Camp Street. Some think Ferrie and the Toronto Bowen were the same person but that seems doubtful. The JFK assassination is riddled with dozens of confusing evidence tangles like this. It is as though someone wanted confusion to reign supreme.

Ferrie would accuse Clay Shaw of being involved in the Kennedy Assassination. Shaw, a bisexual went by the name “Clay Bertrand” in the New Orleans gay community. Victor Marchetti, former assistant director of the C.I.A., acknowledged that Shaw was Bertrand. Richard Helms testified under oath that Shaw was sometimes a source for the C.I.A.’s Domestic Contacts Division. In 1978, the House and Senate Committee on Assasinations established that Ferrie were seen together in New Orleans bars, at an airport, and at Jackson and Clinton, Louisiana. Ferrie had talked to people about killing Kennedy and blaming it on Fidel Castro. Garrison believed Ferrie could have been the get-away pilot in the plot.

Ferrie told his roommate Broshears that he thought Oswald was a patsy who thought he was working for Castro but was really being manipulated by anti-Castro people. Ferrie said there would be four shooters, aiming from different angles. In 1964 he added that one fired from a manhole cover, another from the grassy knoll, and another from behind the motorcade. Marcello funded the plot and Clay Shaw knew some of the details. Ferrie was in Houston on November 22, waiting to hear from one of the shooters. Witnesses thought the last shot sounded different, as though it was echoing in a tunnel or sewer. Kennedy rose up after that shot and the way his head was hit was consistent with the idea that he was hit from front and below.

David Ferrie died of a brain hemorrhage. While under protective custody before he could testify. On the same day, Eladio Cerefine de Valle, a Ferrie and Oswald , died of a split skull and gunshot wound. Then Dr. Mary Stults Sherman was found burned and stabbed in her apartment. She had worked with Ferrie on cancer research. Officer Paul Dyer died of a sudden case of cancer one month after interviewing Ferrie.

Garrison’s claim that there was someone impersonating Oswald seemed far-fetched at the time, but some have now gathered information to support the claim. Perhaps someone who was the second Oswald demonstrated expert marksman skills and drove a car at 80 miles, while there is evidence the real Oswald could not drive. There is a great deal of speculation on all this, with many loose ends and unanswered questions. The only thing that is clear is that another man claiming to be Oswald appeared in Mexico City before Oswald was there. They had tapes of the second Oswald calling Russian embassy and telling someone that he had talked to a man named Valeriy Kostilov, who was a consul and KGB. There wre subsequent claims that he called the Russian Embassy from the Cuban Embassy. An Oswald sent a letter from Irving Texas on November 12 to the Soviet Embassy in Washington about his meeting with Kostilov. Of course, all mail that went there was read first by US intelligence people. The Soviets said it was a forgery and noted it was typed, unlike other Oswald letters. Ruth Paine conveniently produced a handwritten draft of the letter attributed to the real Oswald. Six words spelled correctly in the draft are misspelled in the typed version. Maybe someone was trying to link Oswald to the KGB. Mrs. Paine was the daughter of a Trotskyite leader who hated soviet communists, and she shared his views. Marina Oswald lived with Paine for a time and Lee Oswald sometimes stayed there. Paine would not have let a communist in her home, and said someone told her Oswald was ok. Her sister was a C.I.A. employee, and the agency had considered using her father.

The white Russians, many of whom were US intelligence operatives, likewise would not have welcomed Oswald into their ranks if they thought he was a communist. Somehow they were sure they could trust him.

There are also mysterious claims that an Oswald visited the Soviet Embassy on September 28, but it was closed that day. It was also said that this man spoke very poor Russian, but Oswald was reasonably fluent. This same person visited the Cuban Embassy around that time. This matter deserves to be mentioned, but is so muddled that only the Oct 1 contact and tape will be discussed.

People at the F.B.I. station in Mexico City suspected this was a second person but had problems obtaining a picture of Oswald through Washington authorities from the Navy. A day after the assassination, the C.I.A. in Mexico City had the tapes flown to where F.B.I. agents listened to the tape and knew it was not Oswald. After that some were denying that the tape ever existed and others were saying it had been erased. In the official story the two Oswald became one even though it became clear days after the assassination that they were different people. Its just another of those coincidences Associated with the case . In April, 1964 two Warren Commission staffers listened to the tape in Mexico City of the man supposed to be Oswald. They were not told about the mix-up. Fourteen years later, the House Select Committee on Assassinations reported that the Warren Commission had never heard or received the tape.

Winston Scott was C.I.A. station chief in Mexico City then. He retired in 1969 and started a memoir about his days in the OSS, F.B.I. and C.I.A.. He died April 26, 1971, four days before he was to discuss the book with Richard Helms. According to his son, Michael, James Jesus Angleton took the manuscript as well as three cartons of files, including a copy of the tapes of Oswald’s voice. One C.I.A. source told him his father was murdered. The manuscript was eventually returned, with 150 pages missing. There was nothing about Winston’s life after 1947. The contents of Scott’s wife’s safe were destroyed in January 1986.

The C.I.A. told the Warren Commission that it had no interest in nor knowledge of Oswald before November 22 and that it did not know of Oswald’s visit to Mexico City until after Kennedy’s death. Both statements were lies. Scott revealed in his memoir that the C.I.A. knew of the visit and was interested in what Oswald was doing there. An agency loyalist, he did not add that other parts of the agency were also interested in Oswald and had not been very honest with Scott when he asked for information about Oswald, and received an answer on October 10, 1963. The cable demonstrated that there was a lot of interest in Oswald and that he had been kept out of the loop. The cable to Scott was edited by six different C.I.A. offices before it was sent.

Among those keeping trach of Oswald were James Jesus Angleton, head of counter-intelligence; David Atlee Phillips, who ran anti-Castro operations in this hemisphere; and deputy director for covert operations Tom Karamessines. George Joannides , who worked for Phillips, could have been involved. At the time he was working with anti-Castro Cubans. He was brought out of retirement to coordinate C.I.A. interaction with the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and the agency has refused to reveal anything about his activities in 1963. Phillips was operating out of Mexico City at the time. Later in life, Phillips said that rogue C.I.A. agents probably killed JFK and Scott’s son agrees.

1 comment:

Andres Pope said...

Really liked this essay it was well written & reesurched