Wednesday, February 27, 2019

House Oversight Committee

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform, responsible for oversight of the JFK Act, is currently holding its first public hearing of the new congress with its first witness - President Trump's former personal attorney. With Chairman Elijah Cummings (D. Md.) leading the way, we can get some good insight into how these oversight committee hearings are held, and how the players conduct themselves. 

House Committee on Oversight and Reform

Office Location
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5051
Fax: (202) 225-4784

Members, 116th Congress


Elijah Cummings, Maryland, Chairman.
Carolyn Maloney, New York.
Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Columbia.
Lacy Clay, Missouri.
Stephen F. Lynch, Massachusetts.
Jim Cooper, Tennessee.
Gerry Connolly, Virginia.
Raja Krishnamoorthi, Illinois.
Jamie Raskin  Maryland (08)
Harley Rouda  California (48)
Katie Hill California (25)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz Florida (23)
John Sarbanes Maryland (03)
Peter Welch  Vermont (00)
Jackie Speier California (14)
Robin Kelly Illinois (02)
Mark DeSaulnier California (11)
Brenda Lawrence Michigan (14)
Stacey Plaskett Virgin Islands (00)
Ro Khanna California (17)
Jimmy Gomez California (34)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez New York (14)
Ayanna Pressley Massachusetts (07)
Rashida Tlaib Michigan (13)


Jim Jordan  Ohio (04) Minority Leader
Justin Amash Michigan (03)
Paul Gosar Arizona (04)
W. Steube Florida (17)
Kelly Armstrong North Dakota (00)
Mark Green Tennessee (07)
Carol Miller West Virginia (03)
Chip Roy Texas (21)
Clay Higgin Louisiana (03)
Ralph Norman South Carolina (05)
Bob Gibbs Ohio (07)
Michael Cloud Texas (27)
James Comer Kentucky (01)
Glenn Grothman Wisconsin (06)
Jody Hice Georgia (10)
Mark Meadows North Carolina (11)
Thomas Massie Kentucky (04)
Virginia Foxx North Carolina (05)
Paul Gosar Arizona (04)

Justin Amash Michigan (03)

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Witnesses I've Interviewed (Corrected)


As I have decided to devote much of my time of this year (2019) to completing my life long study of the assassination of President Kennedy, I thought it would be prudent to outline some of the things I have done, as I specialize in tracking down and interviewing obscure witnesses and even a few suspects in the case.

So I’ve compiled a list of those I have talked to, and links to some of the articles I wrote about them before setting my sights on what needs to be done to wrap this case up to a legal and moral certainty, as we can if only the effort is made.

As a Research Committee Coordinator for CAPA – Citizens Against Political Assassinations, and a member of the Steering Committee for the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC), I am in the unique position of being able to put the necessary information together and will attempt to do so.

I remember that Friday in November, the day of the assassination, being told of it by the principle - a nun over the St. Joseph’s grammar school intercom and being left out of school early. The weather was mild so I was at home in my backyard swinging on the mimosa tree when the phone rang and I ran in the house to answer the kitchen wall phone. It was my father, a Camden, NJ policeman who instructed me to stay in the yard and not go out, as the president was shot “and we don’t know what this is all about.” I just couldn’t understand how the death of the president could affect me.

Six years later, as a freshman at the University of Dayton in Ohio, I met John Judge. He gave me a copy of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s interview in Playboy magazine, which inspired me to read a few books and then, I discovered, there in our school library was a copy of the encyclopedia sized 24 volumes of Warren Commission supporting testimony and documents that I began to read through.

After you read books, and research documents, the next step is to contact and interview witnesses, though it is often difficult to get them to talk, especially about a subject as sensitive as the President’s murder.
Anthony Summers once told me the Irish word for being able to obtain the confidence of strangers, and while I can’t remember the Irish word, I know there is a very fine line between those who can get people to believe and open up, and disbelieve and clam up.

The following is a list of some of the most important witnesses – and a few suspects – I have tracked down and talked to, and most of them I believe confided in me honestly.


As I was taking a class in Latin American history with Dr. Bruce Taylor, and doing a paper on the Bay of Pigs, I immediately noticed the numerous Cuban connections to the assassination and began to focus on those documents, one of which concerned a Mrs. Margaret Hoover of Martinsburg, Pa., who was investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police and FBI because she claimed to have seen a paper with the names of Lee Oswald and Ruby before the assassination.

She said she found the papers in her backyard, and thinking Lee and Ruby were women her recently separated husband was seeing, showed them to her daughter who confirmed the names. Then she said, she realized the papers came from her neighbor’s yard, where he was burning his trash, and some of the papers blew over to Hoover’s yard.

With that, the investigation led to the neighbor –  Julio Fernandez, a Cuban refuge and former Cuban newspaper publisher who was teaching Spanish at the local high school. Fernandez said he was burning his trash, but was not a communist and had nothing to do with the assassination.

There are various levels of people who study the assassination – those who read about it in books and magazines, those researchers who read the original records at the Archives, and investigators - those who reach out to phone or knock on the door of witnesses to ask them questions.

It was in late 1969 or early 1970 when I obtained the phone number of Mrs. Hoover and called her on the phone from Dayton. She acknowledged everything in the reports I had read, and added a few interesting details – shortly after the assassination and the police inquiry he left town suddenly, some say to Rye, New York. In addition, Fernandez had a wife and son, the son an art student at Penn State University. The police report noted that an AMTRACK train ticket, that Mrs. Hoover had found and kept, indicated someone had traveled from Philadelphia to Miami in the summer of 1963. Fernandez said that was his son, who attended a conference of exiled Cuban journalists at the University of Miami (JMWAVE). Mrs. Hoover also said that a few years after the assassination and the departure of Fernandez, two men in black suits came knocking at her door asking if she knew anything else about Fernandez, so others were on this trail too.

It was years later when I learned about Clare Booth Luce and her support for some JMWAVE Cuban commandos – including Julio Fernandez, who called her on the night of the assassination saying he had an audio tape and documents concerning Oswald, the accused assassin. And then US Ranger Capt. Bradley Ayers wrote about training the Cubans – including Julio Fernandez, a team leader.

When the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) requested CIA records on Julio Fernandez, they supplied a list of over a dozen Cubans named Julio Fernandez they had files on, but neither the journalist, his son or the JMWAVE Cuban team leader were among them. I believe Julio Fernandez, Jr. is still alive in Florida.


The University of Dayton Student Council had a significant budget, which the radical Student president Kevin Keefe used to bring in some top level guest speakers – including Mae Brussell, Margaret Meade and Ken Kesey. As the head of the Merry Pranksters Kesey had experimented with LSD before it was made illegal, and after writing “One Flew Over the Cookoos Nest” and another well received novel, bought a bus – named “Further,” and traveled cross-country to meet Timothy Leary, another LSD advocate, as documented in Tom Wolf’s “Electric Koolaide Acid Tesst.” After his talk before a few hundred interested students, Kesey went to John Judge’s apartment where we talked for hours. He told me how Kurt Douglas gave him $10,000 for the film rights to “Kookoos Nest,” a deal written out on a bar napkin, but then when the movie was such a big hit with Jack Nicholson in the lead role, he had to sue Douglas to get the writer’s royalities, and indeed the movie would not have been so good if it wasn’t for the great story. Kesey also told me that he was first turned on to LSD by a CIA backed professor during a collegiate “study” that paid him to be a guinea pig. And besides students, they also hired prisoners and soldiers to be part of the LSD tests, the results of which we will probably never know.


Around 1970 John Judge arranged for Mae Brussell of Carmel, California to visit Dayton and give a lecture on her research on the assassination. After her well attended talk in the main ballroom of the John F. Kennedy Student Union, I helped carry her books to John’s car in the parking lot. As we approached the car in the dark lot a man stepped out of the darkness and said hello to Mae, startling us a little. He said hi to Mae, and said “I’m Don Norton.”

Mae smiled and shook his hand and thanked him for the checks he had sent her to support her research – “That’s my conscience money,” he said.

While I didn’t go with Mae, John and Don back to John’s apartment, I later learned that Norton had met Oswald, and was considered one of his doubles, or impersonators. I read some records that said he was a former gay soldier who played piano in an officer’s club and was recruited by military intelligence to inform them if any military officers were gay. Norton got involved in the Garrison investigation and in Canada, gave an interview that was published about his experiences.

There are two others named Don Norton – one a fisherman also suspected of being an Oswald impersonator, and another Don Norton who wrote a book on the history of a major defense contractor.


Mae was one of the first housewife to pay attention to the assassination of President Kennedy, and became one of the most knowledgeable of researchers who had a weekly radio talk show out of her hometown of Carmel, California. She accumulated a large collection of books, newspaper articles and documents that she wanted to form the basis of the Mae Brussel Research Center. Before she passed away she instructed John Judge to set up such a center, and I drove Judge’s U-haul truck to Carmel where we rented a house and began to assemble the research center. Not long afterwards however, Mae’s daughter took over and put all of her mother’s work in storage, where I believe it remains today.


In the mid to late 1970s the New York University Law School held a major conference on the Kennedy assassination that featured all of the major critics – including Sylvia Meagher, Mae Brussell, Penn Jones, Fletcher Prouty and Ralph Schoeman, all of whom I met through John Judge. Penn Jones was then the publisher of the Midlothian, Texas Mirror newspaper, which chronicled all of the JFK assassination witnesses who died suspiciously. While I admire Penn, and his work, there are enough witnesses who were victims of certifiable homicides to work on rather than debating whether or not someone was murdered or not. I also recall John Judge saying that Penn had separated from his wife, and she sold off his 24 volumes of Warren Commission exhibits and testimony one at a time at a garage sale. John said he didn’t want that to happen to his research collection, but it did.


At the NYU conference Ralph held up a number of documents he obtained from the archives and said they were proof that one of the Cuban guys Oswald was arrested with in New Orleans was a Puerto Rican union organizer and mob connected gangster. I asked him and he gave me copies of his documents, and when I got home I wrote one of  my first requests for JFK assassination records from Marion Johnson – the curator of the JFK records at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The records I obtained on the Cuban arrested with Oswald – Minguel Cruz – indicated that he was only 17 years old in 1963, while the documents on the Union organizer with the same name indicated he was much older, and therefore a different person. I called Schoeman on the phone and he asked me to come visit him so I drove from my Ocean City, NJ home to Princeton where I shared my new documents with him and he acknowledged he was wrong about Minguel Cruz. But more recently Donald Trump accused Texas Senator Cruz’s father of being involved with Oswald in New Orleans. While Minguel Cruz is not related to Senator Cruz, he is probably still alive and is an important witness. And it was decades later when I met and began to work with Ralph Schoeman’s wife Joan Mellen.


It was at the NYU conference where I entered a large class room and sat at a desk with a few dozen others as Col. Fletcher Prouty stood at a podium in front of a blackboard where he had written some basic covert intelligence procedures – use of codes, ciphers, cut-outs, etc., saying that you will never understand what happened at Dealey Plaza until you learn the crafts and techniques of intelligence, as the assassination was a covert intelligence operation. John Judge was a close friend of Prouty, so when Prouty was identified as the mysterious “Mr. X” portrayed by Donald Sutherland in Oliver Stone’s film “JFK,” Judge arranged for Prouty to be interviewed live on the Diane Ream show over the NPR station at American University. Judge used to say that where he started his research on the Kennedy assassination at the bottom, Prouty started at the top at the Pentagon, and they met at the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


Another good friend of Prouty was Ralph Cox, a former US Navy pilot during WWII who after the war purchased a dozen Air Force Cargo planes as surplus and started the US Overseas Airlines out of Wildwood, NJ. A major player in the air cargo business for over a decade, active during the Berlin airlift and in the creation of the state of Isreal, US Overseas airlines suddenly lost all of the government contracts to a number of new airlines that Cox later learned were wholly owned subsidiaries of the CIA, and he sued the CIA over it.


I always had the highest respect for Gaeton Fonzi and followed his career closely and became friends before the end, though I was disappointed he never tried to interview David Atlee Phillips outside of his Congressional inquiry. One day on a whim I looked up Phillips’ phone number and found it listed in Bethesda, Md. I called him off the cuff and he talked to me for about a half hour, denying he was “Maurice Bishop” or that he knew Oswald. This conversation took place shortly after the publication of a long article in Washingtonian Magazine by Fonzi, that instigated a libel suit by Phillips. “Do you know where I worked at the time?” Philllips asked. At Washingtonian, where he had an office just down the hall from Fonzi, who never bothered to try to talk to him. In any case I believe Phillips knew Oswald, but like Oswald, Phillips was also hung out to dry by the CIA and Veciana, while the real truth remains buried, though we are still digging.


While Anthony Summers was in Florida interviewing John Martino’s widow and son, establishing Martino’s foreknowledge of the assassination, I was at an old house on the beachblock of Ventnor, NJ, interviewing Martino’s elderly sister and brother. They gave me a 33/1/3 RPM record of John Martino reading portions of his book – “I Was Castro’s Prisoner,” that he wrote with Nathanial Wheil.


I eventually got Weyl’s phone number and called him up cold, and was surprised at how open he was and willing to talk, as he did later with John Simkin. Weyl was the ghost writer for Martino’s book and while having a high opinion of Martino, he said they had a falling out after the book was published and Martino took a book signing tour sponsored by the John Birch Society. That was a tour that took Martino to Dallas in the fall of 1963, allowing him to share a stage with Loretta Odio and Father Walter Machann, who catered to the needs of the Cuban exiles in Dallas. But before the month was out, Machann would leave the priesthood and retreat to New Orleans where he would hook up with a friend of Odios, who happened to also be a friend of Carlos Bringuier and was one of those who attended the court hearing that resulted from the altercation between Oswald and Bringuier (and Minguel Cruz)


It was in the summer of 1976 when I first read about the Catherwood Foundation – a CIA philanthropic front that backed the anti-Castro Cuban group Cuban Aide Relief (CAR). Catherwood was described as a Philadelphia millionaire who started his charity foundation by buying a boat – The Vigilant – and using it for exploration and research purposes – one voyage including James Bond – an American ornithologist (Bird specialist) whose book “Birds of the West Indies” inspired Ian Fleming to appropriate Bond’s name for his special agent 007. I met Bond and talked to him a number of times, along with his wife Mary Wickham Bond. Bond, it turns out, was at what would become known as the Bay of Pigs – a few months before the invasion, scouting for birds.


Former classical music critic for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, husband of Virginia Pleasants for Cello player for the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pleasants enlisted in the OSS during the war and served as a translator and debriefer, his most famous debriefing was former Nazi General Reinhard Gehlen, who would become chief of the West German Intelligence Service, as the behest of Allen Dulles and the CIA. Like Cummings Catherwood and James Bond, Pleasants was also character Ian Fleming made fun of by casting him as Felix Leiter, 007’s recurring CIA sidekick.


German oil geologist, who was working in Canada when I talked with him at length over the phone, was one of the hosts of a Dallas house party set up for Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife to meet Michael Paine and his wife Ruth. While Michael Paine didn’t make the party, Oswald talked for hours with Schmidt, who acknowledge to me that he used a “reverse psychology” technique on Oswald taught to him by a German psychologist. Schmidt said he talked to Oswald about General Walker, and suggested that Walker was a fascist who should be assassinated before he got too powerful, much like Hitler should have been killed, specifically mentioning the July 20, 1944 failed attempt to kill Hilter. Schmidt said he felt guilty for planting the seed in Oswald to shoot Walker, and he felt bad every time he drove through Dealey Plaza.


I met Beverly Oliver in Dallas on the set of Oliver Stone “JFK” when he was filming the final scene – an old black man and young black boy visiting JFK’s grave, which they were able to film in Dallas because of a duplicate of the building behind JFK’s grave, another faked film sequence. I also read her book, and was impressed, not because she is the Babuska Lady, or how Gary Shaw came to find her, but because of her story of being with Jack Ruby on Thursday night – the night before the assassination. With Ruby she visited the Cabana Lounge to meet Larry Meyer and then went to dinner at Campisi’s Egyptian Lounge. Oliver also had a boyfriend who worked for Kodak at their booth at the State Fairgrounds, who is an interesting character worth investigating further.


Wes was a former TV reporter and mayor of Dallas (who drove a Volkswagon Bug), who was given one of the most important leads in the Tippit murder. Wise was told about a man who resembled Oswald who at the time of Tippit’s murder was driving around Oak Cliff in a 1957 Plymouth, with a Texas license tag that was traced to Carl Mather – a close friend and former neighbor of Tippit. Mather’s alibi was that he was at work at Collins Radio – a major defense contractor who provided the radios for Air Force One, Two and SAC bombers, and also provided the cover for the CIA raider ship the Rex. The Rex was exposed by a New York Times page one story on November 1, 1963, after some Pathfinder commandos were captured after they attempted to infiltrate Cuba with high powered rifles – “that weren’t going to be used to hunt rabbits.” I recorded a two hour plus audio interview with Wes Wise as he drove me around the assassination hot spots in Dallas.


I met Holt during my cross-country train trip at his home in San Diego, high in the hills where he too talked at length as I audio recorded him, and later posted a transcript on line. While many of the leads he gave me panned out, and I confirmed, I don’t believe he was one of the tramps, as he is a self-acknowledge con artist. He’s also a very fine artist – and took me to his studio and gave me a copy of a drawing he did of Oswald’s execution. Holt told me that Warren Commission attorney Joe Ball – was a close associate of a northern California lawyer named Twombly, who directed him – Holt in many of his covert activities.


After reading her story in the Third Decade Magazine – that she wrote under an alias, I checked out her allegation that she first met Dr./Col. Jose Rivera (USAR) at an Atlantic City medical convention, and confirmed that convention did indeed take place at AC Convention Hall, where the JFK statute is now located on the boardwalk. From there I confirmed almost everything she said, and through Dick Russell, even got a picture of Rivera at Fort Ditrick, Md. I also confirmed that Rivera’s military unit – ASCI – Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence was engaged in early MKULTRA research at Ditrick, Not Cuban, Rivera was born in Lima, Peru. His longest military assignment was in New Orleans, where he taught at Loyola. The only thing I couldn’t confirm was Edisen’s call to Oswald at his New Orleans residence the first week he arrived there in April 1963. Edisen said Rivera gave her the phone number weeks before Oswald himself knew he would be living there, so how did Rivera know that number? I came to know Adele personally over the years, met her in Dallas, believe her, and was sorry to hear she passed away.


Wayne Smith was a senior state department diplomat stationed at the US Embassy in Havana when Castro took over in 1959. Smith said that he worked closely with David Morales and knew Colonel Samuel Kail, the Army attaché, as well as David Atlee Phillips, who while not working out of the embassy, was in Smith’s amateur theater group who produced plays. I met Smith at one of the first COPA conferences in Washington, and he asked me to attend the summit in Rio between JFK researchers and the Cuban intelligence officers. Though I didn’t make that meeting, my associates John Judge and Antony Summers did. Smith was later used to falsely identify Morales and another JMWAVE officer Gordon Campbell, as the persons in a film from the Ambassador Hotel on the day RFK was killed. I believe Wayne Smith is still alive.


After reading his book “The War that Never Was” many years ago, I finally got to talk to former US. Army Ranger Captain Ayers a number of times on the telephone. Ayers also wrote “The Zenith Secret,” about his time training anti-Castro Cuban commandos at JMWAVE. Ayers and Captain Edward Roderick were assigned by General Brute Krulak to train the Cubans under CIA operational control. The leader of the team Ayers trained was Julio Fernandez, the same name as the Cuban I was originally searching for. Ayers’ first book was published by Bobbs-Merrell, an company from Indiana that had an office in the Texas School Book Depository and hired William Harvey after Harvey left the CIA. And while the CIA didn’t vet Ayers’ book, Harvey did, excising the name of Gordon Campbell as well as making other editings. Like Wayne Smith, Ayers was show the video of the Ambassador Hotel on the night RFK was killed and he too falsely identified two of the men as David Morales and Gordon Campbell. Ayers recently died, but his books say a lot. Ayers was talking with the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) when they were interviewing Gene Wheaton, and Ayers warned the ARRB that Wheaton was going to give them disinformation – though Wheaton himself didn’t know it.


The late Bill Turner, former FBI agent and original JFK assassination investigator, was in Dallas on the day after the assassination, and continued his inquiry until he died. His articles in Ramparts and books – “The Fish is Red” and “Rearview Mirror” documents his work on the case, especially the New Orleans angles and JMWAVE, where he was the first to mention the name of Gordon Campbell – the JMWAVE maritime operations chief. It was Turner, at a COPA conference in Dallas who said, “We now have a good idea as to what happened at Dealey Plaza. The motives were piling up – Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, backchannel negations with Castro, and there was already a mechanism in place to kill Castro that was turned around and redirected to JFK in Dallas.” Thus focusing on the JMWAVE commandos who were paid by the CIA and trained to kill Castro – the Pathfinders.


After reading two of his books – one on the history of the Bell Helicopter and the other on his philosophy of process, I visited Arthur Young at his home in Brandywine, just outside Philadelphia. The inventor of the Bell Helicopter is a very interesting guy, who did my horoscope as we talked – on the record as I recorded it on an audio cassette. As a genius inventor who argued with Einstein at Princeton, Young set about to solve the problems of vertical flight, and after nearly two decades, succeeded in developing the first commercially approved helicopter -–the Bell 47B – the MASH helicopter with glass cockpit and girders – that is now hanging in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. As an eccentric muse who dabbled in astrology, ESP and Remote Viewing, Young hooked up with an equally eccentric women – Ruth Forbes Paine – an independently wealthy Forbes family heiress who was previously married to Lyman Paine – a founder of the American Trotskyite Party and father of Michael Paine – the chief benefactor of Lee Harvey Oswald the accused assassin. It was Arthur Young who arranged for his stepson Michael to work at the Bell Helicopter factory in Dallas, where he moved with his Quaker wife Ruth Hyde Paine, who he met at a Philadelphia folk dance. It isn’t Arthur Young who is the real key to this case – but rather his wife, Michael’s mom.


Ruth Forbes Paine Young was present when I met Arthur Young at their colonial era farmhouse in Brandywine, and I did meet her, but she was suffering from an advanced case of altimizers disease, so I didn’t ask her any questions, and she just sat there and smiled. As a Forbes, she has a cottage on the Forbes family island off Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and stressed her eccentricity by marrying Lyman Paine, who was not just a communist but a Trotyskite – follower of Trotsky, who was exiled by the Soviet Communists to Mexico City where he was assassinated by a Soviet agent – as described in the book by Issac Don Levine. The thing about Ruth Forbes is her close association with Mary Bancroft – the equally eccentric granddaughter of the founder of Barrons and the New York Stock Exchange. While on a steamship to Europe with Ruth Forbes, Mary Bancroft met a Swiss businessman who she married, which put her in a position to meet Allen Dulles in Berne, where she became Dulles’ secretary and principle agent in developing Nazi officer Hans Bernd Gisivious. Gisivious was a main participant in the July 20, 1944 Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler that failed. With the assistance of Dulles and Bancroft Gisivious escaped Berlin to Berne, and after the war relocated to Dallas where he worked for a major defense contractor.


When the Clifton copy of the Air Force One radio transmission recordings from 11/22/63 were released, I immediately compared it to the copy I had transcribed, and noticed some important aspects that were edited out of the copy of the tape I had received from the LBJ Library years earlier and transcribed. On the new tape, a man identifies himself as “Colonel Dorman – General LeMay’s aid” who wanted to get an important message to LeMay, who was flying back to DC from Canada, where he was said to be on a fishing vacation. While we don’t know what the message was, I identified Dorman and found he was from near Trenton, where I also was living at the time, and found a phone number for him. While Dorman had died in combat in Vietnam, his widow answered the phone and acknowledged that she was the wife of Colonel Dorman, General LeMay’s aide. She said that on the day JFK was killed she was working in the White House on the historic restoration project begun by Mrs. Kennnedy. She worked for a man named “Castro,” who when informed of JFK’s death, closed all the curtains and told them to leave. Mrs. Dorman said she went to a chapel to pray, and then went home. She said she lived on General’s Row alongside Arlington Cemetery.


I also talked on the phone with Mrs. Dorman’s son, who was about ten years old at the time of the assassination who recalls climbing a tree in Arlington Cemetery and watching the burial of JFK from a high perch. He also said that his father once took him on a tour of General LeMay’s private command and control plane – nicknamed “Speckled Trout,” that was an airborne command post.


Also on the Clifton tape is an excerpt edited out of the LBJ Library version of the tape, in which Pierre Salinger – the President’s Press Secretary – aboard the Cabinet Plane over the Pacific, receives a radio call from the Situation Room in the White House to return to DC immediately. Salinger took the message to Secretary of State Dean Rusk, the senior officer aboard, who wanted to know who was giving this instruction. Salinger said it was from an officer who identified himself as “STRANGER” in the White House Situation Room. Rusk said they couldn’t take orders from someone named “STRANGER” and wanted to know who it was. Salinger went to the pilot and requested the code book, but when the pilot opened the plane’s safe, the code book was missing! So Salinger went back on the radio to the Situation Room and requested the full identify of “STRANGER.” After a little while, the Situation Room responded saying “STRANGER” was Major Patterson, who Salinger knew and could vouch for. As I now had his name, I looked Patterson up and found him in Virginia and called him on the phone. He acknowledged being in the Situation Room at the time of the assassination, working for the White House Communications Agency (WHCA). He also acknowledged talking with Salinger and the fact that the code book aboard the Cabinet Plane was missing. We talked for a little while and he was quite honest and open with me, but when Jefferson Morley called him a few days later he clammed up, and wouldn’t talk, as someone must have got to him.


Former USMC Richard Bullock was stationed at Atsugi, Japan with Oswald and knew him well. I met Bullock at an Elks barbeque, and talked with him on other occasions as well. Bullock said he often played football with Oswald in their “skivvies” when off duty. Oswald he said, while officially a radar operator, usually worked out of the communications shack. Bullock also didn’t recognize the guy killed by Jack Ruby as the same guy he served with. Bullock is still alive.


When Anthony Summers interviewed a Mexican attorney who told him about meeting Oswald at Sanborn’s Restaurant in Mexico City in 1963, he said Oswald took off for the Cuban consulate on the back of a motorcycle with another American, a Philadelphia college student.  After searching for this man on the motorcycle for years with others, we gave up, but I posted an article about it on line and received an email from “Mony” – a German girl whose mother met Steve Kenan, a Philadelphia college student who rode a motorcycle. With her additional information, we located Kenan in the Southwest, and notified Anthony Summers, who contacted Kenan and talked with him on the phone. I also found Kenan’s articles about visiting Cuba in the Temple University student newspaper – which included a photo of Kenan and Castro together! Kenan said that he was indeed in Mexico City, and wrote an article about his adventures in Motorcycle Magazine (that I acquired). But – he believed he left before September 1963, so he wasn’t there when Oswald was there, and didn’t remember giving him a ride from Sanborn’s restaurant, although he was there too. It is also suspected that Kenan could be the mysterious LICOZY-3 – a student from Philadelphia and CIA asset.


When Phil Shenon’s book came out that focuses on Oswald’s presence at a “Twist Party” in Mexico City hosted by Sylvia Duran – the Cuban embassy receptionist Oswald dealt with, he tries to make the case for Cuban embassy personal encouraging Oswald to kill JFK at that party. He also says that there were two other American “gringos” at the party – who Duran would not identify because one was a famous American film actor who was still alive and she wanted to protect him. Well records recently released under the JFK Act include a CIA report of a telephone conversation between an American – Richard Beymer, and the Cubans, asking about Duran. Beymer was an American film actor who starred in West Side Story and The Longest Day, and was in Mexico at the time to attend a film festival. I tracked Beymer down and talked with him on the phone, and he acknowledged being there at the time and trying to get a visa to Cuba. He didn’t recall any Twist Party, though that was something he would have done being a footloose American below the border. With him he said, was Bradley Pierce, a former New York City bar owner, now a Catholic priest.


Father Bradley is now at a seminary in New England, and acknowledged in a phone conversation, that he was indeed with Richard Beymer in Mexico, but he too does not recall a “Twist Party,” or meeting Oswald. They were there however, at the time of the assassination, as Father Bradley recalls learning about the assassination as they got off an elevator in a hotel lobby in Mexico. Since they were there for only a few weeks, and were there on the day of the assassination, they were not there when Oswald was there in late September – early October.

Just goes to show that we have to move on interviewing the remaining living witnesses because they won’t live forever.


When JFK’s personal secretary Evelyn Lincoln passed away, she left in her will two trunks of effects that she ordered sent to her cousin – a Nebraska attorney who became a judge. The attorney informed the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB) that he gave the trunks to Polk County Sheriff Cherry for safe keeping, but the ARRB never followed up on this and the contents of the trunks remain unknown and out of the JFK Collection at the NARA, where they belong. I contacted the current Polk County, Nebraska attorney and he said that he checked the evidence locker and the two trunks are no longer there. I then obtained the email and phone number of former Polk County Sheriff Cherry – who acknowledge recalling the trunks and knowing their disposition, but refused to tell me what became of them, unless I get a subpoena and he has a witness present. With the TRC – it has been suggested that RFK, Jr., the rightful heir to the trunks, should request to know what became of them.


Friday, February 22, 2019

Father Bradley Pierce RIP

Information and photo via North Haven Funeral Home

For many years Bradley Pierce owned a New York City bar and nightclub where some of the best bands played. In November 1963 Pierce accompanied a friend actor Richard Beymer, to Mexico to attend a film festival in Acapulco. They stopped in Mexico City where they tried to get a visa to Cuba, and where Beymer became friends with Sylvia Duran, the Mexican national who worked at the Cuban embassy and handled requests for visas to Cuba, including requests by Lee Harvey Oswald and Beymer. 

According to Phil Shenon, there were two American "Gringos" at the "Twist Party" Duran hosted at which Lee Harvey Oswald was encouraged to kill President Kennedy. The morning after the party Oswald was seen walking down the street with the two Americans, and according to Duran, one of them was a famous film actor who she wouldn't identify because he was still alive. 

A CIA report released under the JFK Act says that the film actor Richard Beymer called the Cuban embassy after the assassination requesting information on Duran, who was arrested and tortured by the Mexican police. I tracked down Beymer and Pierce and talked with them on the phone, and they acknowledged being in Mexico for about two weeks, and were there at the time of the assassination, so they weren't there when Oswald was ostensibly there a few weeks earlier. 

When I talked with Pierce I mentioned how odd it was for him to go from being a nightclub owner to being a priest, and he said he had a good life, and a good life I'm sure it was. 


Reverend Bradley Pierce, M.S.A., 82, of Cromwell, formerly of North Haven, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 5, 2019 at the Autumn Lake Healthcare at Cromwell. He was born in New Haven on September 6, 1936 and was the son of the late David and Marguerite (Fultz) Pierce. Predeceased by a sister Nancy Black, he is survived by a nephew Kurt Black.

In his younger life Father Pierce started a few night clubs in New York and after having a spiritual conversion to the Church in 1974 at age 38, he had the opportunity to volunteer with (Saint) Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and he joined the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles. He was ordained to the priesthood on September 8th, 1983, serving for many years as Formation Director of Holy Apostles College and Seminary and Spiritual Director of the Mary Heart Crusaders in Meriden, Ct.

Viewing will be from 3:00 to 5:00 pm on Friday, January 11, at the Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Queen of the Apostles Chapel, 33 Prospect Hill Road, Cromwell, CT 06416 with a prayer service to follow.A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the chapel at 11:00 Saturday morning. Interment will be private at a later date. Memorial donations in honor of Father Pierce made be sent to: Missionaries of the Holy Apostles Scholarship Fund, 22 Prospect Hill Road, Cromwell, CT 06416.

For more information and to leave online condolences, visit North Haven Funeral Home here.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

How a national conspiracy museum wound up in the 'boondocks'

We take a break from our research to think about John Judge for a moment. Yes, how did the Hidden History Museum get hidden away in the boondocks? An intrepid local reporter finds out. - It was hijacked by an internet date troll. - BK 

How a national conspiracy theory museum wound up in the 'boondocks'

Mike Argento, York Daily Record Published 1:58 p.m. ET Jan. 16, 2019 | Updated 11:19 a.m. ET Jan. 17, 2019

The Hidden History Research Center is dedicated to educating the public on less-known, hidden and alternative perspectives of history. Cameron Clark, York Daily Record

Marilyn Tenenoff met John Judge four years before his death, finding him on the internet dating site Plenty of Fish. She had been married for 30 years and was recently widowed – and she was seeking a new relationship.  
When she first got in touch with Judge, she had no idea what he did. They corresponded over the internet for a while. She met him in person when he made the two-hour drive to York to attend one of her poetry readings at a now-defunct Borders bookstore. Friends asked her whether she had checked the guy out before meeting him. “Do you know who this guy is?” they asked.  
She didn't.
She looked him up on Google, and her first impression wasn’t the best. Judge might not have been the king of the conspiracy theory community – actually, he preferred to be called an alternative historian – but he was certainly among its royal family.
“I thought he was a conspiracy theorist nut,” said Tenenoff, 72, a poet and part-time bookkeeper. “Then I met his friends, and they didn’t treat him like that. They treated him like a revered professor. The more he told me about why he did what he did, I started to understand.” 
Why did he do what he did? 
He sought the truth, Tenenoff said. He sought to change the world.
Judge and Tenenoff were together until his death, on April 15, 2015 – Tax Day, Tenenoff points out – at age 66. His collection of books, papers, videotapes, audiotapes and assorted materials fell into her possession.
And she had to find something to do with the mountain of material.
That's how the Museum of Hidden History and the Hidden History Center wound up in a nondescript strip of office suites in the suburbs of York, Pa.

How 'alternative historian' John Judge got started

This wasn’t exactly how John Patrick Judge saw his afterlife playing out. 
He had envisioned, at one time, a $40 million museum in the heart of the nation’s capital, serving to house exhibits that would expose tourists to his vision of American history. It would contain his voluminous collection of books and papers, making it available to researchers from around the globe for whom the truth was out there, somewhere. 
He had amassed an impressive collection of books and papers over the years, his home in Washington jammed with materials that revealed an alternative vision of American history. 
After his death, Tenenoff sought a proper repository for the boxes and boxes of materials, a place where the collection could be inventoried and cataloged into a library that would serve the needs of like-minded researchers, something that would truly reflect the mind of the man who made the collection his life’s work.
After John Judge's death, Marilyn Tenenoff was given her companion's massive collection of books and papers. She decided to move the Hidden History Museum and Research Center from Washington D.C. to York, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Cameron Clark, York Daily Record)
Initially, she housed the materials in a storage unit in northern Virginia. It became too much, driving back and forth from her home in York Haven – a small town in south-central Pennsylvania, about a two-hour drive away – so she began looking for a suitable place to keep the collection closer to home.  
And so the museum came to be housed in Suite 2 of Hayshire Plaza, a one-story strip of office suites at 2915 N. George St., wedged between a temp service and an orthodontist's office. 
Tenenhoff selected the location for one simple reason: “I didn’t want to move (to northern Virginia),” she said. “This is five minutes from my house.” 
Some within what’s generously called the alternative history community – people who support the museum with their donations – were upset with her for moving Judge’s repository two hours away from the capital. “They wanted it to stay in D.C.,” she said. “They said, ‘You moved it to the boondocks.’” 
Certainly, the alt-historians might have other ideas about why the center of their universe moved to a small office suite in York County, Pa. Maybe they’ll look into it. 

Who is historian John Judge and what did he believe? 

First off, despite the fact that Judge devoted a great amount of time and energy into investigating the assassination of the 35th president of the United States, and the Jonestown massacre, and the CIA's experiments in mind control, and 9/11, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Tupac, and the impeachment of the nation’s 42nd president, and the United States government’s various forays into meddling in the affairs of countries that practiced a form of self-governing frowned upon by the moneyed powers that profited greatly from autocratic control, he really despised being labeled as a “conspiracy theorist.” 
He didn’t market in conspiracy theories, Tenenoff asserts. He preferred the label "alternative history." As Judge himself was famous for saying, “You can call me a conspiracy theorist if you call everyone else a coincidence theorist.” 
Tenenoff puts it this way: “He believed he was shifting the paradigm, that he was asking the questions that other people didn’t ask – and by doing so could wake people up to what was really happening.” 
The boxes and boxes of materials stacked along the walls of the office suite might contain some of the answers to those unasked questions.  

John Judge and the Kennedy assassination

The Hidden History Museum and Research Center is filled with materials that John Judge dedicated his life to researching, January 12, 2019. (Photo: Cameron Clark, York Daily Record)

It began in earnest with the Kennedy assassination. But it really began before that.  
Judge’s parents worked for the Pentagon, and he grew up playing in the courtyard of the massive building. His parents would take him along to gatherings of co-workers, parties in which adult beverages loosened lips and spilled some notions that the general public knew nothing about. 
He had always been skeptical, Tenenoff said. When he was in elementary school, she said, he refused to participate in civil defense drills in which students, in case of nuclear attack, were instructed to cower under their desks. “That’s not going to save me,” he reasoned.  
Then, on Nov. 22, 1963, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy visited Dallas.  
Judge's life changed that day. 
Independent researcher, writer and speaker John Patrick Judge was the founder of the Museum of Hidden History and Research Center. After he passed away, he left his life's work to his girlfriend, Marilyn Tenenoff, of York Haven. (Photo: Cameron Clark, York Daily Record)
Like a lot of people, he didn’t believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. He thought it wasn’t coincidence that Oswald’s assassin, strip-club impresario Jack Ruby, had connections to the CIA and organized crime. He thought nothing could explain the trajectory of Bullet 399, the so-called Magic Bullet. From his study and analysis, he came to believe that the fatal shot came not from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, or from the infamous grassy knoll, as others theorized, but from a storm drain that, as researchers who worked with him found, led to the Dallas jail. 
“He was more interested in who had control of the shooter, who ordered it,” Tenenoff said. “His theory was it was the joint chiefs of staff, that it was a military coup.” 
The reasoning was that Kennedy wasn’t as excited about this country’s involvement in Vietnam as the generals were and that, according to Tenenoff, “there was a lot of money to made in that war.” 
Every year, Judge and his Coalition on Political Assassinations would gather on the grassy knoll on the anniversary of Kennedy’s death. He would speak through a bullhorn, saying “they killed my president” and sharing his notions about the assassination and who he believed was behind it. On the 50th anniversary of the assassination, those organizing a traditional memorial in Dealey Plaza asked him to move to a different location so as to not interfere with the event. After contentious discussions, he moved to a nearby parking lot. 
Marilyn Tenenoff has an intern from York College to help her log and organize all of the mounds of materials that John Judge left behind at the Hidden History Museum and Research Center, January 12, 2019. (Photo: Cameron Clark, York Daily Record)

He believed JFK’s assassination was connected to those of Robert Kennedy, and of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. They were preaching about hope and change, she said, and “the powers that be didn’t want that," the same reasoning that led him to believe that the government ordered the assassination of John Lennon in 1980.  
The Kennedy assassination, of course, is the wellspring of conspiracy theories. And as such, the Hidden History Center has, in some of the numerous boxes that line the walls of the office suite, two complete copies of the Warren Commission Report.  
There is also a box that is labeled “Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe.”  
Did the actress’ April 1962 death, ascribed to a barbiturate overdose, have anything to do with JFK being murdered in Dealey Plaza? 
Judge was just asking the question. 

What's in all those boxes at the Hidden History Center?

The boxes that line the walls of the center contain material about the country’s worst moments – Watergate, Iran-Contra, the CIA’s meddling in Central and South America and the Middle East, the Jonestown massacre. Some of the boxes bear cryptic descriptions. One is labeled "CIA psyops," another, "Nazis." Dozens of boxes contain books and papers Judge acquired from a disgruntled CIA agent named McGehee.  
It is a mountain of books, magazine and newspaper articles, transcripts of hearings, cassette tapes of radio shows, VHS tapes of television appearances and speeches, correspondence with like-minded researchers and journalists and more. Organizing it is a huge task, one in which Tenenoff is assisted by an intern from York College, a young woman who, on a recent Saturday, was tasked with cataloging a box of cassette tapes of radio shows by a theorist named Mae Brussell.
Tenenoff uses the back room of the office suite as her office. Inside, the shelves on a bookcase contain some of Judge’s favorite things – a clown doll, a duck, rubber fish, figurines of a marching band, a Winnie the Pooh collection. He loved Winnie the Pooh and often sought solace in the gentle world inhabited by the honey-loving bear, a respite from the dark corners of human existence that he often probed. The boxes lining the walls contain his personal library, the books he kept shelved in his bedroom. Among them is a box of vintage Golden Books.
“He never threw anything out,” Tenenoff said. 

John Judge tried to impeach Bush 

This office houses John Judge's personal collection of books, magazines and other materials that he held dear to him, January 12, 2019. (Photo: Cameron Clark, York Daily Record)

Judge’s life's work was his research. But he did hold some day jobs, most notably as an aide to former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, a Georgia Democrat best remembered for striking a Capitol Police officer when she was asked for identification once. (In 2008, she ran for president on the Green Party ticket and received 0.12 percent of the vote.)  
It was a perfect match. McKinney was a 9/11 truther and had called for new investigations into the assassination of Martin Luther King and the murder of Tupac Shakur. Like Judge, she was anti-war. (Judge, during the Vietnam War, worked for an organization that assisted draftees in obtaining conscientious objector status and was a life-long peace activist.) 
As part of his job, Judge drafted articles of impeachment, introduced by McKinney in the House, against President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  
The legislation went nowhere. 

John Judge and Rep. Dennis Kucinich 

Former Ohio congressman and failed Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich was a friend of Judge’s and spoke at his funeral. In Judge’s obituary in the Washington Post, Kucinich was quoted as describing Judge as “brilliant” and “an original, independent thinker and someone who immersed himself in hidden history.” 
He added, “I may not have agreed with him on everything.” 

John Judge: 9/11 was not an inside job

The Hidden History Research Center and Library is dedicated to educating the public on less-known, hidden and alternative perspectives of local, national and international history. (Photo: Cameron Clark, York Daily Record)

Judge wasn’t a 9/11 truther, though. Tenenoff said, “He thought those people were fanatics."   
He formed a 9/11 Citizens Watch to counter the 9/11 Commission, asking the questions that weren’t asked. He didn’t believe, as some truthers do, that the twin towers were brought down by a controlled demolition. He thought that was preposterous, Tenenoff said. How would they get the explosives in the buildings? Were the explosives built into the buildings’ steel frames? He didn’t buy that. Nor did he buy the notion that the Pentagon attack was staged and that a plane did not crash into it. He lived close enough that he felt it.  
No, all of that was distraction, he believed. He did have some questions. Were the suspected terrorists identified as being on the planes really on them? Did George W. Bush know about the attacks and let them happen to give him a pretext to invade Iraq?  
He was more interested in the aftermath, Tenenoff said, the loss of civil liberties, the constant state of war, the amount of power shifted to the government. 
“He just wanted to know what really happened,” she said. 
The truth, it seems, is out there, contained somewhere in the 270 boxes and 8,000 books and hundreds of audio and video tapes housed in a small, nondescript office suite in the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania. 
Photos: York's Hidden History Center has much more than just conspiracies20 Photos

To visit the Hidden History Museum 

The Hidden History Museum and Research Center is at 2915 N. George St. in Manchester Township and is open by appointment only. For more information or to make an appointment, call executive director Marilyn Tenenoff at 717-379-0597 or visit