1) 1963: November 22
Reporting from phone within TSBD, just a few minutes after assassination.
2) 1963: November 22, circa 1350hrs & shortly after (with edit between his narratives?), CST
Interviewed just after the arrest of Oswald
3) 1963: November 23
Interviewed by Secret Servicemen (see below, 5: “My memory was so vivid that during the interview with the Secret Service the next day, they asked me to recall the timed sequence, and I came out to six and a half seconds.”)
4) 1964: January 29
Interviewed by Secret Servicemen, CD 354, SS Rowley memorandum of 5 February 1964:
5) 1998: November
The Witnesses: What they saw then. Who they are now.
by Joe Nick Patoski
Partial transcript here:
TM: Next we have here Mr. Pierce Allman.... What was your position at WFAA radio?
Pierce: I was manager of programming and production.
TM: Could you tell me where you were November 22, 1963?
Pierce: Early in the morning I was back at the studio, watching the landing, and I was so struck by the natural political mastery of Mr. Kennedy and watching him as he arrived, how he worked the crowds, just had an innate sense to work them. I decided at the last minute to go over during the noon hour and catch the end of the parade. I asked a sales associate there at the station if he wanted to walk over. So, we walked over, ended up standing on the corner, directly opposite the School book depository building, and I'm standing right next to Mr. Brennan, the retired pipefitter or something who ended up giving a lot of testimony to the Warren Commission. It was a pretty good view of everything that happened. One unfortunate, ironic observation I made on the way over, I remember looking at all of the buildings and rooftops and windows, and thinking there's no way the Secret Service, or intelligence, or whoever it is, could cover all these parapets, and all of the openings, and as we neared the corner there, I remember turning over my shoulder to Terry walking with me and saying, 'If anyone were ever going to attempt an assassination, it seems like this would be the likely spot,' glancing up at all the open windows on the depository building and all of the open rooftops.... The only time I was really nervous during the weekend, was during the funeral cortege: very, very nervous, because had there been a conspiracy, that was the one time most of the leadership of the free world had been at one place at one time. And our early warning system was at best 90% efficient. All it would have taken was one airplane. That was...very much on my mind right after the incident. I was quite struck by the persona of Jackie and Jack. Mr. Kennedy had a wave...it wasn't a wave, it was sort of an acknowledgment, the guy looked great, just looked great. And so did Jackie. I don't remember John and Nellie that much. And the first shot, that loud explosion -- it wasn't a sharp, flat crack sound at all, the first shot. It didn't enter my mind at all that it was a shot. I thought, 'Now that was poor taste, this is firecrackers...' Then bam! the second one. And you realized indeed that it was shooting, then the third shot. My memory was so vivid that during the interview with the Secret Service the next day, they asked me to recall the timed sequence, and I came out to six and a half seconds. But on the second shot, I glanced up, my gaze stopped one floor below on the depository building, I saw the three guys looking out of the window, looking up. And I went back to the scene on the street and it was pretty obvious Kennedy had been hit. And, as the car drove off, a uniformed policeman came over and said, 'Everybody down.' On about the second shot, we all got down and of course popped back up as the car sped off. As the car sped off, that's when the Secret Service man from the back had vaulted over and pushed Jackie back in the seat, she was trying to come up, and that's when the body assumed that grotesque position we saw on the way to Parkland. Then I ran across the street, spoke to the Newmans and said, 'Stop!' And why we were running that direction, I couldn't tell you. It was just sort of a flow. I stopped and said, 'Are you ok?' He said, 'Yeah, but they got the president. They blew the side of his head in.' I remember thinking, 'I've got to get to a telephone.' But we continued up the little hill there -- I won't say 'knoll' -- the little hill...
Bill: That's all right.
Pierce Allman: And Bob Jackson from the Times-Herald was running behind me. And why we went up there, I don't know, except there was just sort of a movement up there. And then I turned around, ran back down the hill, ran up the sidewalk, went into the depository building, asked the guy where the phone was, went inside, got on the phone, called the station, and had trouble getting through. By the time I got through, said here's what happened, I was more concerned about the implications of what to say. I was fairly sure that...first of all, he was hit. You can't go on air and say the president's been killed. You don't know that. So you can't do that. And I realized you just can't do this. You can't go on the air and say the leader of the free world has just been cut down, you know, in Dallas, during the noonday parade. So I [don't] remember exactly. I heard the tape later, saying that he was hit. Witnesses reported he was hit, slumped forward, you know, and more later. Put the phone down, ran upstairs, then realized, whoop, need the phone, went back down, actually hung up one time, and then realized what I had done, and called back and said, 'Just leave the line open, strap on a tape.' A little later, they did bring, they brought Oswald...they brought the rifle down. A distinct impression: and that was, while I was on the phone, no one ever challenged me. No one ever said, 'Who are you? Who are you calling?' And no one took charge. See, at the time, what you really had was a local homicide. It wasn't against federal law to kill a president. But no one took charge. Lot of uniforms milling around, a lot of plainclothesmen milling around. No one ever said, 'Stop! Hit the wall!,' you know.... Nobody. So it was just this constant milling around. Finally, sometime later, you got back to the station before I did (nodding towards the Newmans) because it was sometime later when a gray-haired guy in a gray suit said [he wanted] to know who I was and what I was doing. And I identified myself and he suggested I wrap it up. I identified him later as Army intelligence. They said that was inaccurate, he might have been CIA or Secret Service, more likely. And when I tried to leave the building I couldn't because it was cordoned off. So I had to stay inside for a while. And when I went outside, [I saw] clusters of people around transistor radios, and I realized what was happening. And sure enough, by that time, what was it, 98% of the [television] sets in the United States were on. So it was birth, the advent of electronic journalism, for better or for worse.
TM: It sounds like once you saw what you saw, you were in newsman mode.
Pierce: Very much. I was really concerned, he was not pronounced dead until after.... In fact I didn't know he had been pronounced dead until I got back to the station, walked into the door, and I've forgotten who I talked to, Jay Watson, I think it was, was temporary PD [program director] on the TV side, and he said, 'Get into the studio.' I said, 'What's happened? How's the president?' He said, 'He's been declared dead.' I said, 'okay, that doesn't surprise me.' But I could not say that...the other thing that goes through your mind very honestly is, 'okay, you realize the president's been shot. Is that merely, if you'll allow that term, an assassination? Is it a coup? Is it a conspiracy?' And if you go on the air and say the president's been shot, who's listening, and what does that trigger?
TM: Are you thinking of all these things?
Pierce: Yeah, yeah, yes. This is going through [my] mind, the whole time I was writing and looking for a phone, and I'm thinking I need to call in. No. You can't say the president's dead, even though your emotions are saying, your eyes are saying, that it was a bad hit. You can't say that. You don't know it for a fact and the implications of saying that are staggering. So you really have to hold off of that. I don't think the conspiracy thing, it was prevalent in everyone's mind, especially after the, uh, you know, the Oswald incident [when he was killed]. The Secret Service when they came to see us a couple days later, they wanted to talk. They went through the timing, the sequence, where did you go, what did you say, what did you do, and they kept going through that. They wanted to know about hand gestures, the whole thing. And they said, 'Are you familiar with the testimony of Lee Harvey Oswald?' They said, 'He states that as he was leaving the depository building, a young man with a crew cut rushed up, identified himself as a newsman and asked him where the phone was.' And they said, 'Your sequence, your gestures, your...everything you've said corroborates exactly what he has said. Can you give us an identification?' I said, 'No.' And we went through this time after time. I said, 'Guys, this is going to be power of suggestion. All I can remember is White Male, and about this height, and the whole thing, not the dark hair, the gestures, and whatever.' At one time, somebody, I think it was the House Select Committee wanted to see if I would undergo hypnosis. I said, 'Sure, I'd do that.' I was fascinated. Anyway, I said, 'Are you saying that I asked Oswald where the phone was?' And they said, 'Yes,' and they wanted an identification. And I couldn't ID him, even after looking at the pictures, you know, later on.
TM: What do you think when you look back at all this? You're an eyewitness to history, this terrible event. Do you feel like time has given you any greater perspective on what you saw then, today? Or was it just coincidence?
Pierce: I think it was coincidence. But insofar as an event that you remember, an event that no one is ever prepared for, cataclysmic, traumatic in the classic sense of the term, changing a lot of things, very much a milestone for electronic journalism, probably for laws -- at that time, as I say, it was not against a federal law to kill a president -- made people think afresh, I think, about the mortality of the office, the line of succession. I think it brought some profound changes in Dallas. And it was something Dallas did not deal with until the 25th Anniversary and the creation of the Sixth Floor Museum. One of the interesting overriding impressions, one of the vivid memories I had is the guys from the BBC. By the time I got back to the station that night, Germans were there, Japanese, BBC, and you realize how small the world really is, and how fast communications were at that time, and of course, that pales beside now. The BBC asked me to assemble a crew for a special broadcast and I got together some folks, and afterwards, this is after the Oswald thing, they said [assumes Brit voice], 'You know, we were terribly shocked about Mr. Kennedy, but we weren't at all surprised you did away with Oswald.' I said, 'Beg your pardon?' They said, 'Oh, no no. We never expected him to come to trial.' I said, 'Why?' They said, 'You Texans are a violent lot. You carry guns, you don't discuss, you go shoot it out. We see it all the time on the telly at home. Wyatt Earp. Bat Masterson.' And I thought, wow, what represents us overseas, what is the image? After you travel for a while, I think even today, there is an association. There's no association with Tennessee and with Newman Luther King, or L.A. and Bobby Kennedy, but Dallas and JFK, I think, are inextricably intertwined forever, for eternity. And why it has bred the industry that it has is not totally beyond thinking since political assassinations seem to fascinate everyone. I'm rather convinced that Oswald did act alone. I think physically it can be done. The adrenaline is flowing, the motivation, I don't think we'll ever know. Unfortunately it may have died with Oswald.
Transcript here, page 2:
BBC tape - The Day the President Died
Pierce Allman, a Dallas television executive (WFAA?) "sxxxxxed over to the curb on Elm Street which is just at the intersection of Elm and Houston, right across from the Texas School Book Depository."
On tape at 250': Pierce Allman, who was standing outside the Texas School Book Depository recalls a few hours later those few dramatic seconds.
"Then came this big, shiny Lincoln car with the resident and Mrs. Kennedy and I remarked again how different I thought she looked than the photographs which I had seen of her - I had never seen her in person. She was wearing a lovely pink suit. Well, she was on the left hand side of the car, the President was on the right. He was having trouble keeping his hair out of his eyes because of the breeze, travelling slowly, I'd say about 12 to 15 miles an hour, (this.is difficult to judge), and they turned the corner and as they came by me I broke into applause.
"And just after they went by me there was a big loud BOOM. It was a reverberating explosion. It was not a sharp, flat crack that one normally associates with a rifle and this is why it didn't even enter my mind at the time that it could be a shot. It was just a BOOM, a big, dull sounding explosion, rather like a shotgun fired in a concrete chamber that reverberates: No one sprang into action, there were mixed reactions, everyone was sort of looking around like I was, and then another very deliberate BOOM! And I looked and the President had slumped•- I thought at the time he was ducking - but now I know of course that he was slumping. He had slumped forward, his left arm was thrown up, Mrs. Kennedy's left hand was on his left arm. The Governor and Mrs. Connally were in the jump seats, the little seats behind the front seat, and the Governor was half-turned and it was the second shot that got him. The President - then there was another dull, one of these booms. These were deliberately spaced things, there was no haste, no panic, no automatic rapidity to them at all, just a Boom. Boom - BOOM!
A very dramatic thing, I can't forget, it at all, I keep hearing the shots. And on the third one the President then - instead of slumping forward it looked like he was, he - he jerked back or was thrown back a little bit. And Mrs. Kennedy then was halfway out of the seat and a Secret Service man - I presume he was - a Secret Service man was then over Mrs. Kennedy. And the car had stopped only momentarily and then immediately sped away at top speed. "And there was a couple on the other side of the street who were on the ground, and immediately after this happened a policeman came towards me, drawing his gun. It was after the third shot that everything erupted, and guns appeared from all directions but they were afraid to fire, naturally, because of the crowd and they didn't know where to fire, quite frankly. And a policeman threw me to the ground, said, 'Hit the dirt', and I got up, immediately, ran across the street because I thought this young couple had been hit, and I said, 'Are you all right?' And he was beating the ground with his fist, saying, 'My God, they shot him! They shot him!'"