LUIS ANGEL CASTILLO
COMMISSION ON CIA ACTIVITIES WITHIN THE UNITED STATES
Washington, DC 20500
May 19, 1975
May 19, 1975
To: David W. Belin
From: Mason Cargil – MC
Subject: LUIS ANGEL CASTILLO
In the afternoon of May 12, 1975, I talked with Scott Breckenridge of the Inspector General’s office. He told me that the Agency’s files concerning Castillo were finally located in the East-Asia Division of the DDO. Those files dealing with Castillo are files of the “201” type. However, these files were not filed with normal 201 files. Breckenridge could give no explanation for this anomaly.
He gave me a brief overview of what he said the documents in the file demonstrated.
According to him, Castillo left the United States, probably Chicago, in late 1966 or early 1967 for the Philippines. He was traveling under a Philippine passport which he borrowed from a Philippine national illegally in the U.S. Apparently he did so to make the U.S. authorities believe that the illegal Filipino had left the country and therefore to assure that he would not be deported.
In the Philippines he was arrested by the security service and interrogated extensively. At first he claimed to be a Castro agent whose purpose was to establish contact with the Huk guerrillas in the Philippines. Later he said that he had been part of an effort by Cuban Premier Castro to assassinate President Kennedy. He stated that he was one of fourteen Cuban agents stationed at various points at Kennedy’s parade route in Dallas. Breckenridge also said that the documents indicate that during his interrogation Castillo would occasionally go into some type of hypnotic trance. Further, the Philippine interrogators administered truth serum to him during his interrogation.
DECLASSIFIED with portions redacted
JFK Assass. Rec. Collection Act of 1992
FAI, NSC, CIA Concurrence
NARA date 2/2/00 By KBH
PHOTO COPY FROM GERALD R. FORD LIBRARY
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In the opinion of Breckenridge, Castillo’s story as documented in these files, probably cannot be dismissed out of hand as inherently incredible. Breckenridge still has no present memory of how the team preparing the 1967 IG report on assassinations came to be aware of Castillo or what follow-up action, if any, was taken on the basis of these documents. He suggests that another person who worked on the 1967 report, Ken Greer, may have worked on this Castillo angle and would be the person to contact for such information. He stated that Greer is now retired and living in Wisconsin. Breckenrigdge also stated that these files do not indicate whether or not Castillo was ever actually deported to theUnited States and if so whether the FBI ever interrogated him. (But see item 12 below, which indicates Castillo returned to Chicago on February 10, 1968, and evaded authorities.) Apparently the Agency has no knowledge of Castillo’s present location.
The Agency’s documents on Castillo are contained in two manila-type folders, legal size. The first is entitled “Luis Angel Castillo, 201-817248, thru April 1967.” The second bears the identical title except for the date, which is May 67 - .”
The first file, though April 1967, contained the following items of interest:
1. Filed immediately after a cable, dated March 3, 1967, from [Redacted] to Headquarters, is a copy of an interrogation of Luis Castillo by a Philippine agent of the National Bureau of Investigation. This document is about 20 pages long and in it Castillo outlines his story.
His parents were Cuban nationals. He left Puerto Rico to attend school inCuba in about 1960. He states he was trained for several years as a Cuban intelligence agent. In late 1966, he changed identities with a Filipino living in Chicago named Antonio Reyes Eloriaga, at the direction of the Cuban Intelligence Service, for the purpose of using Eloriaga’s Philippine passport to go to the Philippines, where he was supposed to contact the Huk guerrillas.
Castillo stated that on July 2, 1962, during a speech, Fidel Castro threatened to retaliate against President Kennedy. He said Castro said Kennedy had made two attempt on
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his life and he was prepared to order that Kennedy himself be assassinated by Cuban intelligence agents. Castillo also claims to have been in Dallas at the time of the assassination of President Kennedy, although he is unclear as to exactly what he was doing. He claims he was taking pictures of buildings and people in Dallas. There is one other reference to the assassination of President Kennedy in this long transcript. On the last page of the transcript, below a large blacked-out area, is the question, “What other information do you have in connection with the assassination of President Kennedy?” Castillo answered that all he knew was that Fidel Castro had made these threats against Kennedy in his speech of July 7, 1962. It appears that the blacked-out portion of the transcript may contain certain questions and answers dealing with the Kennedy assassination.
My personal impression from this transcript is that Castillo was not in control of his faculties. He is at times quite rambling, incoherent, and sometimes inherently incredible. He states that in the Philippines he wrote a letter to the President of the Philippines offering to assassinate the leader of the Huk guerrillas.
2. A cable, dated March 8, 1967, from [Redacted] to Headquarters. In this cable the [Redacted] gives headquarters a brief outline of the transcribed testimony of Castillo described in paragraph one. Essentially the [Redacted] is giving certain details of what Castillo claims was his history, for the purpose of allowing headquarters to attempt to independently corroborate these details, in order to establish Castillo’s credibility. The cable states that Castillo is in effect telling a “pretty wild story.”
3. An FBI report, dated April 13, 1967, Subject: Luis Angel Castillo. This report contains factual statements made by Castillo in the Philippines, and reports on the FBI’s attempts to corroborate these events, which Castillo alleged to have taken place primarily in the Chicago area. With some exceptions, the FBI could not corroborate these events. They concerned basically hospital and employment records which Castillo claimed would show that he had been treated by a certain hospital or employed by certain organizations.
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4. An FBI Report, dated April 13, 1967, on Luis Angel Castillo. This report summarizes a Newark, New Jersey arrest report on Luis Castillo. He was arrested for robbery and given a sentence in a reformatory [Bordentown, N.J. – BK], from which he was paroled. One statement in the report was: “There were strong indications of homosexual tendencies on the part of Castillo, and he was described as being of low average intelligence with an unstable personality.”
5. Cable, dated April 19, 1967, from [Redacted] to Headquarters. Paragraph one of this cable reads as follows:
During first two weeks of April, subject underwent consecutively truth serum, truth serum-hypnotism, and hypnotism during interrogations at [Redacted].* While confirming some earlier points in his sworn statement, subject consistently maintained he among 14 other Cuban intel agents who deployed along street in Dallas on the day President Kennedy was assassinated. He stated that after assassination accomplished by people other than Oswald, he and a companion flew to Chicago. He said pilot and operation were directed by Russian looking women named Jean Dole of Two Chipawa Court, Madison, Wisconsin. [Redacted] cannot vouch for professionalism of [Redacted] interrogators and above seems patently spurious.”
Paragraph two reads in part: “LNYMA** representatives indicated he would eventually have to effect subject’s travel to the U.S. since he deported by error and according to LNERGO ***
subject is wanted by Bureau of Parole, Trenton, New Jersey, for violation of parole.”
· [Redacted] appears to stand for the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation.
· ** “LNYMA” probably stands for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
· *** “LNERGO” probably stands for the U.S. FBI
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6. Cable, dated April 21, 1967, from Headquarters to [Redacted] (signed by William E. Colby, Chief, Far-East Division) Paragraph one reads:
“Par 1 [Redacted] 9456 [Cable referred to in paragraph five above] has created strong reaction here. Although inclined to agree [Redacted] evaluation Castillo aka Eloriaga Reyes case, there are disturbing verifications of story and lines to other individuals. Believe we cannot allow case to idle along. Case primarily LNERGO LNYUMA responsibility here, but we want [Redacted] actively and directly involved so long as locus remains Phils.”
Paragraph three reads: “Unless LNYUMA plans effect travel to U.S. in near future, headquarters still prepared send qualified officer assist [Redacted] investigation.”
7. Cable dated April 24, 1967, from [Redacted] to Headquarters. This cable transmits a verbatim transcript of two interrogations of Castillo by the Philippine NBI. This interrogation contains Castillo’s recitation of the details of his activities on the day President Kennedy was killed. He claims to have been working for one Jean Dolf who placed him under hypnosis in Chicago. He was on the second floor of a building with a rifle when Kennedy was shot by someone else. The rifle had been given to him by a man who had taken its pieces from a bowling bag and assembled it.
8. Newspaper articles of April 1967 from the Philippines indicate that Castillo’s story of participation in the Kennedy assassination received wide publicity. For instance, an article dated April 22, 1967, in the Saturday Chroniclegives practically all the details that Castillo gave to the Philippine NBI during his interrogation. An even more detailed account of Castillo’s story is contained in an article in the April 22, 19676 edition of the Philippines Herald. These newspapers contain the statement that NBI psychiatrists had examined Castillo and found him to be sane. An article on Castillo and his story appeared in the Washington Poston April 22, 1967.
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9. One press item of interest was published by the AP on April 23, 1967, from Washington. One paragraph of the report reads as follows:
“A spokesman for Representative Gerald R. Ford, Republican-Michigan, a member of the Warren Commission, said the congressman would not comment until he had more information. He said Ford might have a statement if the reported confession of Luis Angel Castillo, described as a communist agent for Cuba, was made officially.”
10. Cable, dated April 25, 1967, from the American Embassy in Manila to the Secretary of State in Washingtonclearly indicates the State Department considered Castillo to be unbalanced. Paragraph three of this cable reads:
“Apart from question of delicacy and prudence, one reason why embassy has not sought to offer good offices to alleged American citizen is that he appears, in some respects, be irrational, and has created most of his own problems here. Shortly after arrival he telephoned Chief of Staff MATA with offer to establish contact with Huks in order to assassinate prominent Huk leaders. (When asked how he would recognize leaders, he replied that they could supply him with description). MATA referred him to one of army intelligence agencies which after two interviews concluded he was both unbalanced and semi-illiterate before turning him over to NBI.”
11. FBI report on Castillo, dated April 24, 1967, forwarded to the CIA on April 25, 1967. This contains a complete FBI report on Castillo (i.e., his background, U.S. criminal record, etc. ) Only the last paragraph of the FBI report deals with Castillo’s allegation that he was involved in a plot to assassinate President Kennedy. This paragraph reads:
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“With reference to subject’s allegations concerning the assassination of President Kennedy, it is to be noted that the extensive investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald and the assassination developed no indications that anyone other than Oswald was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.”
The second file, beginning with documents of May 1967, contain the follow items of note:
12. Memorandum, dated May 3, 1967, for the record,
Subject: Luis Angel Castillo by [Redacted] , FE/PMI/P.
This gives the CIA’s version of the events beginning with the arrest of Castillo. It substantially agrees with all of the documents discussed above.
13. Cable, dated June 20, 1967, from [Redacted], to Chief, Far-East Division, Subject:: Current status of Illegal Immigrant Luis Castillo. This cable states that the Philippine NBI was still holding Castillo incommunicado in a hospital in the Philippines. The cable indicates that the Philippine officers strongly suspect “subject could have been conditioned by someone to attempt assassination of President Marcos.” Paragraph three of this cable reads as follows:
[Redacted] officer who mentioned that a Russian hypnotism expert Libidev or Libibed,
visited Manila while on World Health Organization business in February 1967 when subject had just come to Philippinesand was still at large before his arrest. [Redacted] suspected this Russian might have contacted subject to “maintain hypnotic control” which allegedly subject has been placed under before leaving WOLADY.”
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Paragraph five of this cable reads: “While we are minimizing time devoted to this case, [Redacted] will keep in close touch with [Redacted] and report further developments.”
14. Cable dated June 26, 1967, from [Redacted] to Headquarters. This indicates that a [Redacted] within Philippine NBI had reported indicated that Castillo had signed a new statement on June 26, 1967, identifying himself as one Manuel Angelo Ramirez. In this statement Castillo claimed to have been a WOFACT (Probably referring to the CIA) employee who participated first in Bay of Pigs invasion, then in the assassination of President Kennedy. He also indicated that he had been sent to the Philippines to attempt to assassinate President Marcos. Cable indicated that the NBI did not believe Castillo’s claim about his CIAstatus and its involvement in assassinations, but needed to “clear up” the subject’s claims. Paragraph three contains the statement that, “We briefed minister and will brief FBI and INS on FYI only basis, at first opportunity.”
Paragraph four of this cable reads;
“Subject’s story getting more absurd and we frequently point this out to [Redacted]. Nonetheless, Par 1 [referring to assassination allegations referring to CIA] is a leak to local press, no matter how far fetched the story, it could be embarrassing.”
15. FBI report dated February 15, 1968, indicates that Castillo had arrived at Chicago O’Hare International Airport from Manila at approximately 11 p.m., February 10, 1968. On February 14 officers from the Sheriff’s Department of Cook County, Illinois, visited Castillo’s mother’s home in an effort to arrest him with a warrant charging him with parole violation. They were advised that on February 13 Castillo left his mother’s home in an automobile with a number of unidentified male individuals. His mother added that she did not expect to see her son again.
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16. FBI report, dated December 30, 1967, on Luis Angel Castillo. This report contains the text of a letter which Castillo sent to his mother inChicago on December 4, 1967, while he was still under interrogation by the NBI in Manila. In the letter he claims that all of his confessions were the result of NBI torture and none of them were true. He explains that since the NBI recently got a new director who is anti-American, he was then being tortured to force him to claim that he is a CIA spy who was sent to the Philippines for the purpose of assassinating President Marcos. His mother turned the letter over to the FBI as soon as she received it.
17. Memorandum for the record, dated June 18, 1969, by J.F. Devanon of the Los Angeles Field Office, Subject: Victor Arcega, Hermosa Beach,California. This memorandum describes contact the Los Angeles field office had with Arcega. Arcega, on May 26, 1969, telephoned the Los Angeles field office of the CIA on the listed telephone number. He claimed that he had information on a Cuban Communist in thePhilippines and he agreed to mail the particulars to the CIA’s P.O. Box. The letter he subsequently wrote is attached to this memorandum. In it Arcega claims to have been the hypnotist used by the NBI in its interrogation of Castillo in 1967. He claims that he used the name Vicente Sanchez.
Arcega, in 1969, was a proofreader for the Los Angeles Times, who was about to be deported to the Philippines because his visa was expiring. He claims that Castillo had been subject to prior hypnosis and he had been programmed to undertake certain actions when certain key words were said to him. One key word dealt with the assassination of President Marcos of the Philippines. The letter does not state why Arcega is providing this information to the CIA at this time. The file does not indicate what follow-up if any CIA undertook as a result of this letter.
It should be noted that the summary of the interrogation cabled to headquarters on April 24, 1967, discussed above, included a report on Castillo, signed by one “Vicente Sanchez, Hypnotist.” It is not clear how Arcega would have known the name used by the hypnotist in 1967 had he not either been the hypnotist or been associated with the NBI in some other capacity.
GERALD R. FORD LIBRARY
GERALD R. FORD LIBRARY