Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mary Bancroft "Autobiography of a Spy"

Mary Bancroft “Autobiography of a Spy” – Debutante, Writer, Confidante, Secret Agent. The True Story of Her Extraordinary Life. (William Morrow, NY, 1983)

Allen Dulles kept two things he knew from the Warren Commission that could have changed the nature of their work as well as their conclusion that the President was killed by a lone assassin and not the result of a conspiracy. The first was Dulles’ knowledge of the CIA plots to kill Cuba Premier Fidel Castro, and the second was the close association between Mary Bancroft - one of his intimate agents and Michael and Ruth Paine, the patrons of the accused assassin and his family.

If Ruth Paine was treated in the same fashion as the landlady of Lincoln’s assassin, she would have been hanged, and if the assassin happened today, or Kennedy had survived the attack, Ruth and Michael Paine would have been treated as cohorts that enabled the crime to happen and harbored the responsible terrorist.

It wasn’t until after Allen Dulles died that, with the assistance of many of her wartime OSS reports, Mary Bancroft wrote her book documenting her relationships with her stepfather – Clarence W. Barron aka “CW,” the founding publisher of the Wall Street Journal, Ruth Forbes Paine (Michael’s mom), OSS agent and CIA boss Allen Dulles, the reluctant Nazi Hans B. Insidious and her role in the Valkyrie Plot – the July 20, 1944 assassination attempt on Hitler.

Although she opens with book as a young girl in 1919 holding her father’s hand while watching a parade march down Fifth Avenue in New York City, led by Col. William J. “Wild Bill” Donovan and his regiment, C.W. Barron probably had more influence on her than anyone else, giving her an early interest in “the news” and teaching her how to keep files on index cards and to write reports.

It was C.W. who also always told her to “Write it up,…but remember that the facts are not the truth. They only indicate where the truth my lie!”

She also notes that CW expressed foreknowledge of the death of President Harding, suggesting that it wasn’t such an accidental death after all.

“I was present myself on one occasion when CW’s ‘nose’ was at work. We were playing bridge at his home in Cohasset. CW was an excellent bridge player, but on this particular evening he revoked several times and, finally flinging down his cards, said he couldn’t continue. Important news was about to break. Every ten minutes or so he sent one of his secretaries to phone the office to see what was coming in over the wires. For over an hour the secretary would report that there was nothing. Finally he returned to say there was still nothing – except that President Warren G. Harding, on a visit to California, had had crabs for dinner and was suffering from an upset stomach. ‘That’s it!’ CW exclaimed, ‘Get me the Vice President!’ Calvin Coolidge, the Vice President and a good friend of CW’s, was visiting his father at his home in Vermont. CW finally got in touch with him, told him about Harding, and added that Coolidge should stay where he was and be sworn in as President of the Untied States by his father – a notary public – preferably by candlelight as that might be more picturesque.”

Her first husband, Sherwin Badger, a Harvard grad, worked at first for United Fruit in Cuba, where they lived, and from where she dutifully sent situation reports to CW. “The only connection between the Cuba I knew and Fidel Castro,” she wrote, “was that sometimes…I rode out to those mountains in which Castro holed up with his first small band of followers before he swept over the island with his revolutionaries and threw out of office the same Batista who in our day was supposed to ‘save’ Cuba from the corruption of Machado’s government.”

As for Bancroft’s relationship with Michael Paine’s mother, she wrote (p. 54):

“Two of our Boston friends, Ruth and Lyman Paine, had moved to New York and gave wonderful parties in their West Side apartment. We met a lot of their friends, mostly in the arts. Ruth was a painter. Lyman, an architect, was interested in what he termed ‘the ultimate reality,’ which I interpreted as my old friend, Truth. Lyman and I had endless discussions about this ultimate reality while sipping highballs of bathtub gin and ginger ale that would have taken the varnish off a table if they had happened to spill. Usually one of the guests played the piano while others argued or danced. Some couples occasionally disappeared for protracted periods of time.”

“Those were the days of Judge Ben Landsey of Colorado proclaiming his theories of companionate or trial marriage and of Bertrand Russell trumpeting the joys of free love. There was plenty of experimenting with different partners and a general feeling that to suppress one’s desires could well be responsible for the alarming increase in cancer. Certainly none of us wanted to risk getting cancer. Many years later when the so-called sexual revolution hit this country and there was such lamenting over the habits and customs of the young, I couldn’t understand why everyone was so excited. With the sole exception of the use of hard drugs, particularly heroin, I couldn’t see that the young were behaving any differently from my generation.”

“In the meantime, among the people we had met at the Paines’ parties were Marya Mannes, a talented writer, and her brother Leopold, a pianist and composer then working with Leopold Godowsky on a process of color photography that eventually became known as Kodachrome. Leopold’s wife, Edie, was also a painter. Through them we met Marya and Leopold’s parents. Clara Mannes, a formidable lady and fine painter, was the sister of Walter Damrosch, for many years conductor of the New York Philharmonic. David Mannes, an excellent violinist, was at the time conducting free concerts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Together they ran the Mannes School…”

“Toward the end of the summer of 1930 I went up to spend a few days with Ruth Paine at her family’s summer home on Naushon Island off the coast of Massachusetts. One afternoon we sailed over to see Leopold and Edie Mannes at their home on Martha’s Vineyard…I never really lost touch with Leopold until his death at a comparatively early age. By then he had completed the invention of Kodachrome and paid off his backers. His last years were consumed largely by the problems of his family’s music school and by the obligations of his second marriage to a women of whom his mother thoroughly approved.”

“Although my relationship with Leopold had not worked out as I had hoped, my marriage to Sherwin was defiantly over. I got a divorce in Reno and in the summer of 1933…went abroad with Ruth Paine. We planned to spend the entire time at St. Jean-de-Luz in France, near the Spanish frontier, for neither of us could envisage a summer that didn’t encompass being by the sea.”

“Early in July we sailed on one of the ships of the French Line bound for Bordeaux…”

It was on this cruise that Bancroft met her future husband Jean Rufenacht, a French-Swiss businessman based in Zurich.

“Ever since the Reichstag fire of February 27, 1933, and the subsequent Enabling Act of March 23, giving the German government complete freedom of action without regard to parliamentary or constitutional limitations, the Swiss had watched with growing apprehension the antics of their powerful northern neighbor. What was happening in Germany was a constant preoccupation of everyone we met…During the night of June 30, 1934 – known as the ‘Night of the Long Knives’ – the Nazis murdered several hundred people, including former Chancellor General Kurt von Schleicher and his wife, and also Hitler’s close personal friend Ernst Roehm, head of the SA, the notorious Nazi storm troops…”

“On the eve of their departure, King Alexander of Yugoslavia and Louis Barthou, the French Foreign Minister, were assassinated in Marsilles…I was amazed there was no mention of the assassination of King Alexander and Barthou in the local press…The way everyone we met – and we met a great many people from all walks of life – had apparently obliterated from their consciousness anything that might have touched on unpleasant reality convinced me that the Germans who later claimed they knew nothing about the concentration camps were not necessarily lying. The real reason they had not known what was happening was quite simply that they hadn’t wanted to know.”

“It was certainly lucky that I had developed a much more sophisticated point of view, without losing sight of the basic moral values and ideals I had been raised to believe in, by the time Allen Dulles crossed the Swiss frontier and enlisted my services in his wartime intelligence activities. For if there was one thing my work during the war convinced me of, it was essential to have a very clear-cut idea of your own moral values, so that if you were forced by necessity to break them, you were fully conscious of what you were doing and why.”

“I realized quite early in my work for the Office of Strategic Services that I must never have any dealings with an enemy of whatever nationality whom I could not imagine liking as an individual if there had not been a war on. If I didn’t like a contact, it might mean, at least in my case, that my judgment of the information I was receiving might be clouded by my personal dislike of the person providing it. An example of this was when a deserter from the German Army, a nasty little man with shifty eyes and a sleazy manner, showed up one day at our apartment with the maps of a dozen German airfield that he wanted to sell to the Americans. My distaste for him was such that I didn’t feel able to evaluate objectively either the plans or his motive in trying to sell them to me. Yet, realizing the value of the maps if authentic, I told him I had no idea about such things and gave him the name of an OSS man at the American consulate whom I felt would be far better equipped than I to deal with him.”

“The first thing I did after our return from Germany…to catch up on the news of the assassination of King Alexander and Louis Barthou in the newspapers and magazines that had accumulated during our absence. By the time I had finished reading all the political commentaries, biographical sketches, and dire predictions of various pendants....I had developed an interest in Yugoslavia, which was to continue all during the war, until my file on Yugoslavia actually became second in size only to my file on Germany….”

In Switzerland, Bancroft also developed an interest in Carl Gustav Jung, read his books, attended his lectures and became a closely affiliated student.

“In 1936 Jung had published an article entitled ‘Wotan,’ which had caused a great deal of controversy. But I felt that his thesis, namely that the archetypes of the old, primitive, Teutonic gods had broken loose and were affecting the behavior of the entire German nation, was valid. In other words, a whole country had been seized by madness in very much the same way an individual goes insane. This seemed to me then - and still seems to me today – the only possible explanation of such an otherwise incomprehensible and tragic phenomenon.”

“On Tuesday evening, September 27, there was a blackout in Switzerland and the Swiss Air Force droned incessantly overhead. Neville Chamberlain, on BCC, said in a tired voice that things looked hopeless, although he found it inconceivable that Europe should be plunged into war merely because a small country was threatened by a big and powerful neighbor. He then proceeded to outline the largest principle for which England would fight: to prevent any country from imposing it’s will on another by threat of force.”

“Through Don Bigelow, the First Secretary of the American legation in Bern, and Gerald Mayer, a representative of the Office of Coordinator of Information, Bancroft met Allen Dulles, the newly arrived head of the American intelligence service in Switzerland.”

“I still had difficulty believing that this cheery, extroverted man was actually engaged in intelligence work. I thought of spies as grim-faced gimlet-eyed characters wearing gray felt hats with flipped-down brims and belted raincoats with turned-up collars. However the idea intrigued me. Maybe my childhood dreams of excitement and adventure were about to come true. I remembered the motto on a set of children’s books I had once peddled from door to door in New Jersey:

What the child admired
The youth endeavored.
And the man acquired.”

“Was I actually to become a spy at last?”

“I took an afternoon train over to Bern, reaching there about six o’clock. By that time I had unearthed some further facts about Allen Dulles. He was a Princeton graduate, a Republican, the son of Presbyterian clergyman from upstate New York. He and his bother, John Foster, were partners in the prestigious Wall Street law firm, Sullivan and Cromwell. He had held various positions in the State Department and had actually worked on Woodrow Wilson’s famous Fourteen Points at the peace conference after World War I – his uncle, Robert Lansing, having been Secretary of State in Wilson’s cabinet. He had begun his career as a teacher in India, but that seemed to be the only exotic touch in an otherwise conventional curriculum vitae.”

 “In Bern I went….out and walked along under the arcades, past the tower with its clock and the fountain with its Kinderfresser, the monster who devoured children, to Allen’s ground-floor apartment in one of the beautiful old houses that lined the Herrengasse.”

Bancroft is greeted by Dulles’ butler, Pierre, a French-Swiss, who later “was to confide in me that as far as the war effort was concerned, ‘Mr. Dulles has his role. I have mine. You see, madame, he is a gentleman. He understands nothing.”

“Allen, appearing from a nearby room, ushered me into a study with wood-paneled walls and dark red draperies framing the windows that looked out over the terraced garden that extended down to the river Aar. Two comfortable armchairs were drawn up in front of the fireplace which a fire was burning – a luxury that only diplomats could afford in those days. Against the wall opposite the fireplace was a sofa that matched the armchairs and above the sofa, a vitrine in which the most conspicuous object was a large, white porcelain fish. If that fish had been able to talk, he certainly would have told some of the most interesting anecdotes of World War II….”

“We had recently learned that there was a homosexual underground operating among the Foreign Offices of England, Switzerland, Greece and our own State Department, and through which information traveled more rapidly than by the channels of the Catholic Church an various Jewish organizations….”

“In my innocence, I imagined that my new job would be just an extension of the work I had been doing for Gerry plus copies of my personal journal entries and anything I learned talking with people coming from Germany or the occupied countries, or anything of significance I spotted in the large number of foreign publications available in Switzerland. I could see how I might be useful in meeting people that he might not have time for or consider of sufficient interest to meet personally. I never dreamed of the kind of activity I would eventually become involved in, nor what a leap forward I would take in my education as a result.”

“…my feeling for Allen was much deeper than my feeling for Leopold had been, partly because I was older and had spent so much time working with Professor Jung to learn about myself, but more importantly because of how perfectly Allen and I could work together. The speed with which he could think, the ingenuity with which he could find solutions to even the most complicated problems, were thrilling to me. I had never before found anyone who reacted as quickly to everything, and this was tremendously exhilarating to me.”

“Throughout the war Allen called me every morning at exactly 9:20 and in very few words indicated what he wanted me to do, where I should go, whom I should see. Anyone listening in on our conversations wouldn’t have had the least idea of what we were talking about, for they were a combination of American slang and ridiculous names for people and places. If during the day I had to call him because there had been some new development or someone I was supposed to meet had failed to show up at the expected rendezvous, I never ceased to be amazed at the speed with which he caught the drift of what I was trying to convey and how quickly he could exercise judgment about the best way to handle even the most ticklish situations. In short, I had perfect confidence in him and an overwhelming admiration for his abilities.”

Among her colleagues in Switzerland were journalists Francois Bondy and Bob Jungk, as well as socialist Anna Siemsen, of whom Bancroft wrote: “It may seem to those nourished on the exploits of James Bond, the spy novels of John Le Carre and Graham Greene, to say nothing of the factual postwar memoirs of feats of derring-do, that the journalistic activities of Bob and Francois and the views of Anna Sienmsen have little to do with intelligence work. But intelligence is a mosaic. General material about background and people’s interrelationships can be both illuminating and important. Quite often missing pieces of the mosaic emerge that make a previously incomprehensible picture unexpectedly clear.”

“I very quickly learned the importance of personal relationships, how important it was to win people’s trust and confidence. Once this trust and confidence had been established, their own contacts would be opened up to me….”

“On my weekly visits to Bern, our evenings together usually followed the same general pattern: drinks, dinner, then a discussion of my reports and the preparation of his nightly phone call to the States. When all the business was out of the way, we’d engage in a bit of dalliance before I made my way back in the blackout to the hotel. On those occasions I was impressed by how we were never disturbed. No phone calls. No visitors. He might not have been a good administrator, but he obviously knew how to protect his privacy. But one evening just as we had finished with business and had begun to thoroughly enjoy ourselves, the doorbell rang. Allen put his left hand over my mouth, reaching for a pad and pencil on the night table at the head of the bed, he scrawled, DON”T MOVE, DON’T MAKE A SOUND. The doorbell rang again. Then there was a pause, then another ring…More minutes passed until there was banging on the door…Another ten minutes passed and there was the faint sound of the outside door o the vestibule closing…”

While Bancroft suspects the visitor was someone she knew at the embassy, Dulles himself later told the story to a group of new CIA recruits, and noted that he later learned the visitor was Leon Trotsky, who was searching out for Dulles to give some extremely valuable information. Lesson learned.

Then one day Dulles told Bancroft, “He puffed on his pipe for a few moments, then said, ‘There’s this German….I’ve known an awful lot of people in my life, but never anyone quite like him. He’s a member of the Canaris organization – the intelligence service of the German Army known as the Abwehr. He’s brought me a fantastic story. My office is piled high with denunciations of him as a double agent. But he can’t get anything out of me, I don’t know what’s being planned at Allied headquarters…I’m inclined to believe his story, but you can never be sure. He’s not the kind of person to whom you can offer money; money doesn’t interest him. But he does have one weakness. He has written a book about his experiences in the Third Reich. He wants this book translated so that it will be ready for publication the minute the war ends. I want you to translate it.”

                                                              Hans Bernard Gisevius

“The manuscript was bound in three thick volumes, clearly labeled in the best German tradition: The Burning of the Reichstag, the Thirteenth of June, The Fritsch-Blombert Crisis….a fourth volume was listed: Reinhard Heydrich: the Story of a Futile Terror.”

“Gradually, I became familiar with contents of Gisevius’s book. In 1933, after passing his bar examination and planning to make a career in government service, he ha applied for a position in the Prussian Ministry of the Interior and had been recommended by Undersecretary Grauert, whom he knew slightly, to Rudolph Diels, the newly appointed chief of the Prussian Geheime Staatspolizei. It had not taken Gisevius long to discover that extraordinary things were happening in this department, and he had set about getting himself transferred out of it as quickly as possible. In the meantime, he had become friends with Arthur Nebe, his immediate superior and noted criminologist, whom the Nazis had retained when they had discovered that their own thugs were incapable of professional police work.”

“Eventually, they uncovered enough evidence indicating that the Nazis themselves, not the Communists as the Nazis had proclaimed, had set fire to the Reichstag…Gisevius’s detailed account of the way in which General von Fritsch had been removed as Commander-in-Chief of the Army on a trumped-up charge of homosexuality was a first….But what made Gisevius’s manuscript such dynamite was his description of the many attempts by various generals and highly placed civilians to organize a coup d’etat. Initially, these conspirators planned their putsch to take over the government simply by removing Hitler from office. Later they realized hat they would have to kill him if anything as complicated as a coup d’etat were to succeed.”

“Within the group of conspirators were such men as Dr. Hjalmar Schacht, president of the Reichsbank; Ulrich von Hassell, the German ambassador to Rome; Carl Goerdeler, the former mayor of Leipzig; clergymen like Dietrich Bonhoeffer; lawyers; labor leaders; professors; a group of young idealists known as the Kreisau Circle gathered around Count Helmuth von Moltke and various military men like Field Marshal Erwin von Witzeleben, General Ludwig Beck, and General Franz Halder, chief of the German General Staff. The conspiracy had the blessings of Admiral Canaris, head of the Abwehr, although his subordinate, Colonel Hans Oster, acted as the coordinator of the activities of the conspirators. A small number of Abwehr members actively served as couriers This Abwehr connections was absolutely essential. The Gestapo did not dare touch the intelligence service of the German Army and Abwehr members could travel freely.”

“After Heinrich Himmler had coordinated the police of the Reich, Nebe was made an SS general and played an extremely important role in the conspiracy. He was able to warn the conspirators of the activities of the Gestapo and to prevent anything that might arouse suspicions being brought to Himmler’s attention.”

“By the time I finished reading Gisevius’s book, had to gotten to know him better, and had realized that there was actually an active opposition at work within Germany itself, I could understand what he was doing in Switzerland. I told Allen it all made sense to me. Difficult as it might be to believe, the conspirators actually hoped that if they got rid of Hitler, they would be able to take over the whole country and to negotiate peace with the Anglo-Americans. Their hopes went even further: They envisaged the western Allies joining them in a crusade against Russia – and communism. Gisevius had been sent to Switzerland to get in touch with the western allies. Other emissaries were making similar contacts in Sweden and elsewhere.”

“Gisevius was very anxious to meet Jung and have Jung read his book....I told Jung that whenever I wanted Gisevius to phone, all I had to do was to think about him for about ten minutes. Then the phone would ring and he would ask, ‘Yes? What is it? I just got your message to call!’ Jung was very interested in this phenomenon and asked me to keep close track of it for him. Allen, of course, thought it crazy…”

“Stauffenberg insisted that after the assassination the question of purges must be handled with extreme care. He ha no objection to punishing the Nazi and Gestapo killers, but he would not permit any of the field marshals to be condemned because of their spineless attitude toward Hitler’s invasions….Gisevius said that only a broad purge would convince the Allies that there had been a fundamental change rather than merely a tactical shift….”

“Hitler’s conferences were often held in an underground bunker. The explosive force of the bomb had been calculated with that in mind. But on July 20 Hitler, with his deadly intuition probably at work, had ordered the conference held in a wooden-reinforced conference barracks. When Stauffenberg had arrived at headquarters, he had placed the briefcase containing the bomb under the table over which Hitler was learning. At an auspicious moment, through a prearranged signal with Von Haeften, Stauffenberg had had himself called to the phone. With a quick movement of the foot, he had set the bomb mechanism and left the room. He and Von Haeften were not more than a hundred yards away when there was a thunderous explosion. They saw flames and several bodies, as well as part of the barracks, shoot into the air. They raced for their car and in the general confusion, were able to reach the airport and take off for Berlin. In the meantime, Olbricht had been given the code word over the telephone. In the few seconds between the time Stauffenberg had left the room and the bomb exploded, someone had moved the briefcase containing the bomb far enough away from where Hitler was standing so that he was protected from the full force of the explosion by the massive structure of the oak table over which he had been leaning.”

“When Olbricht had received the code word, Valkyrie, he had stormed into Fromm’s office and told him he had just received word that the Fuhrer had been the victim of an assassination. Fromm’s duty was to immediately issue the code word for internal disorder to the various deputy headquarters indicating that the power of the state had passed into the hands of the army.”
“While Gisevius was still being filled in by Beck, Stauffenberg, accompanied by Olbricht, had gone to Fromm’s office an told him that Hitler was dead and that he, Stauffenberg, was able to confirm this Nevertheless, Fromm chose to believe Keitel’s report and tried to place Stauffenberg and Olbricht under arrest. Olbricht protested, ‘You can’t arrest us. You don’t seem to realize who has the power now. We arrest you!’”

“A radio statement about the failure of the assassination had been made, Olbricht said. No details, not a word about who the assassin had been, were given. Olbricht now had no doubts that Hitler was still alive. Furthermore, he had learned that Hitler was having tea with Mussolini, who, in another one of those incredible coincidences of that fantastic day, had chosen that particular moment to pay a call on the Fuhrer.”

“…The Grossdeutschland Guards Battalion and its Commander, Major Otto Remer, had been alerted and ordered to arrest Goebbels. At that very moment, however, Remer was marching instead on the Bendlerstrasse to arrest the conspirators….Actually, at this moment, Gisevius pointed out, the thirty-year-old Major Remer was probably the single most important army officer in Germany. The minute Remer arrived in Goebbels’s office, Goebbels put through a cal to the Fuhrer’s headquarters and handed the phone to Remer. Hitler himself was on the other end. Countless young majors had never spoken to Hitler. But just a few weeks before Remer had talked with Hitler personally when the latter had conferred on him an oak-leaf cluster to the Iron Cross. Here was no doubt in Remer’s mind that he was talking to Hitler. When the Fuhrer charged him with the responsibility of crushing the putsch, that was all that Remer needed.”

“That evening the Struencks and Gisevius sat around the radio. For an hour there were announcements that Hitler would speak to the people, but the broadcast was repeatedly postponed. Then, in the early-morning hours, the music stopped abruptly and the announcer declared. ‘The Fuhrer will speak!”

“With the first words it was obvious that he voice was Hitler’s. The putsch was over. The problem for Gisevius and the Struencks was what to do next.”

                                      Gisevius testifying at Nuremberg - Sent Goering to the Gallows

“After the war, Schacht called Gisevius as a witness for him at Nuremberg…Wilhelm Frick, the Minister of Interior, also called Gisevius as a witness, and apparently never noticed that Gisevius’s testimony only helped to hang him. However, Gisevius’s testimony against Goering was the most devastating he gave. Goering realized that almost at once, but his lawyer didn’t, and he continued to question Gisevius until Goering passed him a note. Later, Gisevius was able to get that piece of paper. On it was written Schluss Machen! (‘Knock it off!’).”

“Gisevius married his Fraulein Braut, spent some time in Texas, then returned to Germany where he published several more books, he finally settled on the lake of Geneva near Vevey. We kept in touch until his death in 1974. In his very last letter to me, he enclosed, at my request, a copy of the official floor plan of the Ministry of  War on the Bendlerstrasse so that I could figure out to my own satisfaction who had been where during the horrendous events of the twentieth of July. In that letter he observed sarcastically that he could not see just what practical use this floor plan would be to me now.”

“It would seem that every generation has to have its war. World War II was certainly mine. It changed me, my life, my whole outlook on the world. I have never been able to see anything in the same way since.”

“As I come to the end of this story about the first fifty years of my life, I can’t help wondering what….CW…would have to say about it all. CW…would advise, ‘Write it up, Mary! Write it all up!. Then he would add his usual admonition, ‘But remember that facts are not the truth. They only indicate where the truth may lie!’”


  1. OK, different person than Anne Bancroft. I am still trying to find out when Allen Dulles started wearing his special shoe. He gave my dad orders like he is described here around 47 at our house in Cleveland and now I see how he could speak French a bit because He told my dad he was a Communist from France, AKA Jack Leblanc and told me, “Jim, never forget this" as my dad tossed CPUSA documents into the basement furnace.

    He than limped up the stairs and just outside the side door as he reloaded his pipe, he gave Dad orders on who to go see next and Dad took me with him to see some people I did not know. He sure was a "master spy" but he must have wanted me to figure it out who he was in the future because the special black shoe was “Hiding in plain site” like his famous quote about secrecy. The right special shoe is still hiding from most photos and comments but I know what I saw and it lead to more including being set up as an extra Patsy in case Oswald would have lived. the FBI hid in plain site the fact that it was determined that Oswald’s supposed rifle was not even fired due to rust in the barrel which would have been blown out with the first shot.