Valkyrie at Dealey Plaza Revisited
VALKYRIE AT DEALEY PLAZA REVISITED
– By William Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“We now know what happened at Dealey Plaza to a fairly good degree of certainty. The motives were piling up – the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, the two-track backchannel to Cuba – the motives were piling up to the point they had to assassinate him. I think it’s now pretty obvious, with the information we have today, that the mechanism of it came out of the allegiance between the CIA and the Mafia. They already had an assassination apparatus set up for killing Castro, and they just switched targets and they killed JFK instead."
- Former FBI agent William W. Turner at Dallas COPA 2003
Keeping the CIA plots to kill Castro from the Warren Commission was one of the major deficits in their report and calls into question the primary conclusion that the assassination of President Kennedy was the work of a lone deranged gunman Lee Harvey Oswald.
It doesn’t matter whether the Cuban-connected Oswald was a lone shooter or a patsy as he claimed to be since the CIA plots to kill Castro throw a major wrench into a deranged lone nut scenario, and provides the much needed political motive to the murder.
While the CIA-Mafia plots that began during the Eisenhower administration get most of the attention, there were other CIA plans to kill Castro that came later in the game and have a much more serious bearing on what happened at Dealey Plaza.
In his new and important book "The Devil's. Chessboard" David Talbot mentions the role Allen Dulles and his agent-mistress Mary Bancroft played in the July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler - code named Valkyrie. 
As Talbot points out, and Dulles suspected would become fodder for conspiracy theorists, Mary Bancroft was a close personal friend of the mother of Michael Paine, the chief patron and sponsor of Oswald and his family.
Besides that two degree of separation between Oswald and Dulles and Bancroft, the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler is mentioned a half-dozen times in the course of the assassination narrative, and while the significance of this has yet to be fully drawn out, the recurring Valkyrie theme that runs through the JFK assassination story certainly merits further scrutiny.
As mentioned in my review of "Devil's Chessboard"  when it comes to killing Castro the CIA-Mafia plots get the most attention while the Valkyrie plot has been ignored - despite its numerous direct ties to what happened at Dealey Plaza, beginning with Lee Harvey Oswald and Volkmar Schmidt.
OSWALD AND VOLKMAR SCHMIDT
Phillip Shenon devotes a whole book “A Cruel and Terrible Act”  to the subject of a Mexico City Twist Party where Oswald was supposedly encouraged to kill JFK by some Cuban Communist diplomats. It's a party that Oswald could not have possibly attended as I have talked with two other Americans who were also reported present at the party and write about in my review of Shenon’s book – "A Cruel and Terrible Twist." 
But there was another party that was attended by Oswald where he was encouraged to commit political assassination - that of General Walker, which he is also accused of attempting to do.
It was at a February 1963 gathering at Volkmar Schmidt's Dallas home, a party that George deMohrenschildts set up specifically for Oswald to meet Michael Paine. While Paine wasn’t there, his wife Ruth was and she met Marina and they became famously friends up until the assassination. It was at that party when Schmidt says he talked privately with Oswald for over two hours and first brought up the subject of the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler.
In a phone conversation with Schmidt  he told me that while talking with Oswald he used a reverse psychology technique he learned from a German doctor who knew some of those involved in the Valkyrie coup when Schmidt mentioned the plot to kill Hitler to Oswald.
While discussing right-wing general Walker, Schmidt said he compared Walker to Hitler and asked if Hitler had been assassinated how different the world would be? Schmidt implied Walker should be killed before he became another Hitler.
Born in Germany and raised in his formative years by the German doctor, Schmidt was an oil geologist, as was his friend George deMohrenschilts. Schmidt was recruited in Germany by Magnolia Oil company of Dallas - the company that used the red Pegasus sign as its logo and later merged with major conglomerates. 
Schmidt told me that when he learned that Oswald had been accused of taking a shot at Walker and killing JFK he felt terribly guilty, especially every time he drove through Dealey Plaza, as he believed he was responsible for planting the assassination seed in Oswald's mind.
Schmidt told me that, "naturally it was a terrible responsibility, and for years when I drove past the underpass I literally had to cry because, you know.... But I exonerate myself completely because I had the best intent, embarrass Kennedy...I may have triggered it. Actually, a few days after I talked with him, he bought his weapons."
OSWALDS TO NEW ORLEANS
Shortly after the Walker incident Oswald packed up all his family belongings and was about to suddenly and unexpectedly move his family to his home town of New Orleans. But Mrs. Paine, who was driving them to the bus station, suggested Marina and the daughter should stay with her in Texas while Oswald went on alone to New Orleans, find a job and apartment and then she would drive them there when he was settled in.
And that he did, getting a job at the Reily Coffee company and an apartment on Magazine Street while reconnecting with his mother's sister, his aunt Muriel and uncle Dutz Murret.
Ruth Paine then drove Marina, the daughter and the Oswald's belongings, including the rifle, to New Orleans, where they settled in. 
After an interesting and eventful summer in the Crescent City, the Oswalds considered returning to Texas when Ruth Paine wrote to the pregnant Marina and invited her to come and live with her in Texas until she had the baby. If she agreed, Ruth Paine wrote, Marina should write her a letter “in care of Arthur Young, Paoli, Pennsylvania,” where she would be visiting her husband's mother Ruth Forbes Paine Young. 
RUTH FORBES PAINE YOUNG – MARY BANCROFT AND ALLEN DULLES
Ruth Paine was on a summer station wagon vacation with her kids driving to Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. and Ohio visiting friends and family. Before driving to the suburban Philadelphia farm of her husband's mother, another one of the places Ruth Paine visited was the Forbes family Naushon Island off Massachusetts.
As described by yachtsman Walter Cronkite, “Just off Woods Hole is Hadley Harbor on Naushon Island, a favorite anchorage or cruising boats. At the end of a narrow twisting passage through huge rocks, it is a scene of bucolic bliss. The Forbes family (of whom publisher-adventurer-balloonist-sailor Malcolm Forbes is one) owns the island, and great mansions grace its hilltops like castles on a Scottish moor.”
“The harbor shore itself, besides the grassy shelf on which horses, cows, and sheep graze, is lined with the support mechanism for an island population – a slip from which the Forbes’ small private ferry runs over to Woods Hole, and a boatyard which cares for the fleet of pleasure craft. The gracious Forbes not only permit anchorage in their harbor, but they even have set aside one of their small islands on which visiting yachtsmen are invited to stretch their legs. Hadley’s quiet a welcome refuge on those many days when strong winds whip up the comparatively shallow waters of Buzzard’s Bay and justify its notoriety as perhaps the Atlantic Coast’s roughest sailing round.” 
An eccentric heiress and humanitarian member of Cord Meyer's World Federalists, Ruth Forbes Paine had married the equally eccentric Arthur Young, genius inventor of the Bell Helicopter 47A - the MASH helicopter with glass bubble and girders. [10 ]
Michael Paine and Ruth Hyde had met and were married in Philadelphia, and after apprenticing as a helicopter designer with his step-father-in-law, Arthur Young arranged for Michael Paine to get a job at Bell Helicopter in Texas. So it was in care of Arthur Young that Marina wrote to Ruth Hyde Paine agreeing to the new arrangements - Marina would go to Texas to have the baby and wait for Ruth Paine to pick her up in New Orleans.
Most significant however is Michael's mom Ruth Forbes Paine Young and her close association with Mary Bancroft, Allen Dulles's agent and mistress who was intimately involved in the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler. 
In the late 1930s Ruth Forbes Paine traveled with Mary Bancroft on a steamship to Europe when Bancroft met a Swiss businessman who she would marry, putting her in position, when the Second World War broke out, to meet and work in the OSS with Allen Dulles.
While with Dulles, the top OSS chef in Europe, Bancroft met Hans Bernd Gisevius, a Nazi officer who was deeply involved in the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler.
THE VALKYRIE PLOT TO KILL HITLER
Years in the making the Valkyrie assassination and coup plan stemmed mainly from disgruntled military officers and fell to Claus Von Stauffenberg to carry out on July 20, 1944, leaving a briefcase bomb under a map table next to Hitler in the Wolfsschanze Wolf's Lair bunker in Bavaria.
In drawing up the Valkyrie plan Von Stauffenberg broke it into two parts - Phase One would be the order to have the home national army seize all key government and communication buildings in response to a revolt by the foreign slave labor, the part of the plan that would be approved by Hitler himself. Phase Two, the secret part, was the assassination of Hitler.
The control of the radio and media centers was an instrumental part of the plan, as Von Stauffenberg put it, "the conspiracy alone must speak."
A third part of the plan was a psychological warfare twist to blame the assassination on the SS and Gestapo, whose leaders would be rounded up by the real coup planners, the military generals.
Dulles and Gisevius had opposed the use of a bomb, preferring a pistol up close or a sniper in a motorcade ambush as more likely to succeed and their fears proved true. Gisevius supported the coup but was against the bomb plot, as he told Von Stauffenberg: "I just I have the feeling we'll never succeed. I'm not speaking through fear. But I have a feeling very few of us will be alive this time next year, regardless of what happens with your bomb."
The bomb failed to kill Hitler and hundreds, some say thousands were subsequently rounded up and executed, but Gisevius escaped with the assistance of Bancroft and Dulles, who provided him with fake credentials.
After the war Bancroft translated Gisevius' account of the Third Reich and following Gisevius’ testimony against the Nazi leadership at Nuremberg, which sent them to the gallows, Dulles brought Gisevius to Washington as a CIA consultant. In Washington Dulles arranged for the ex-Nazi officer to stay with his deputy Tom Braden, who lived with his wife and their eight children in a big house next to RFK's Hickory Hill. Braden would write a book "Eight Is Enough" that would be made into a popular family TV show and pattern for The Brady Bunch. An episode on the ex-Nazi living with all those kids would certainly be entertaining. And as Talbot notes, Braden also interviewed Allen Dulles for the Kennedy Presidential Library. 
So after visiting Michael's mother, Mary Bancroft's good friend in Philadelphia, where she got Marina's letter, Ruth Paine drove to DC and visited her sister, who worked at the CIA, and then went on to Ohio to see her father before picking up Marina in New Orleans. 
Arriving in New Orleans in late September Ruth Paine stayed the night and the next day took Marina, the daughter and the Oswald's belongings, including the rifle, and drove them to Texas. Early the following morning Oswald slipped out of New Orleans and went to Mexico City to visit the Cuban and Soviet embassies.
THE JOINT CHIEFS ARE BRIEFED ON THE VALKYRIE PLAN
The same September 25th day in Washington DC CIA officer Desmond Fitzgerald briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were temporarily chaired by Air Force Chief Gen. Curtis LeMay while Gen. Taylor was on a special mission to Vietnam.
Fitzgerald reported to the Joint Chiefs on the CIA's Cuban covert operations with emphasis on how the military could support them, an assignment given USMC Gen. Victor H. "Brute" Krulak, Special Assistant for Counter Insurgency Activities, whose aide Colonel Walter M. Higgins, Jr. was in attendance. Higgins' memo of the meeting, released under the JFK Act, includes the bullet point that Fitzgerald mentioned the CIA was studying the Valkyrie plot and adapting it to use against Castro. 
As Higgins wrote in his memo on FitzGerald’s briefing: “He commented that there was nothing new in the propaganda field. However, he felt that there had been great success in getting closer to the military personnel who might break with Castro, and stated that there were at least ten high-level military personnel who are talking with CIA but as yet are not talking to each other, since that degree of confidence has not yet developed. He considers it as a parallel in history; i.e., the plot to kill Hitler; and this plot is being studied in detail to develop an approach.”
September 23-25, 1963 was a busy time on the Devil's Chessboard as there were many moves by key players besides Ruth Paine moving Marina and the rifle to Texas, Oswald leaving for Mexico and Fitzgerald briefing the Joint Chiefs.
On September 23, JFK signed National Security Action Memo 261 approving "Project Four Leaves," assigning the "highest national priority category for development and production" a military communications "in response to a recommendation from the Secretary of Defense," an order that remains classified. 
THE CONSERVATION TOUR
JFK then he left September 25 on a "Conservation Tour" with his Secretary of Interior, the first stop in northeast Pennsylvania to visit Mary Pinchot Meyer's mother in Milford, Pennsylvania. Mary Pinchot had met JFK thru his schoolmate William Attwood, who would later become an intermediary between JFK and Castro. Mary had married Cord Meyer, an ex-Marine who founded the World Federalists – an international organization in support of a strong United Nations, one that included Philadelphia college student Priscilla Johnson, Michael's mom Ruth Forbes Paine Young and Walter Cronkite. Cord Meyer joined the CIA in 1951 and became one of Dulles' top assistants, replacing Tom Braden as chief of the International Organizations Division. 
While Mary Meyer had separated from Cord Meyer, she maintained her friendship with JFK and she accompanied him on the first leg of the Conservation Tour that took JFK to her mother's house in Pennsylvania. JFK then moved on to Wisconsin and the Mid-West during which the details of the president's November trip to Texas were officially announced to the press. 
D. H. BYRD’S TSBD AND AFRICAN SAFARI
When Oswald returned to Texas from Mexico in early October he stayed at the YMCA before taking out a room at the Beckley Street rooming house, at both places using the same O. H. Lee alias he used to sign in at the hotel in Mexico City.
By mid-October Ruth Paine had made a phone call and helped arrange for Oswald to get a job at the Texas School Book Depository, a building owned by D.H. Byrd, a founder of the Civil Air Patrol in Texas, an organization Oswald was affiliated with in New Orleans. Byrd was a Texas oil man who was on the board of directors of LTV and good friends with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Curtis LeMay. 
At the time of the assassination, when Oswald was allegedly shooting at Kennedy from his building, Byrd was on an African Safari with a German Barron Werner von Alvensleben, who used a high powered Mannlicher rifle to hunt. 
His father was an assassination expert and an avid supporter of the Valkyrie plot. The father was sentenced to prison and concentration camps with those who were arrested for their participation in the plot. He also wrote a manifesto supporting the plot after it failed. 
So besides Volkmar Schmidt using the Valkyrie plot to instigate Oswald to shoot Walker, Michael Paine’s mother was a close personal friend of a key participant in the Valkyrie plot – Mary Bancroft, Allen Dulles’ mistress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were briefed on the CIA’s adaption of the Valkyrie plot to use against Castro, and the owner of the TSBD building from which shots were fired was at the time on a safari in Africa with a German Barron who used a Mannlicher rifle to hunt with and was the son of an assassination expert who wrote a manifesto in support of the Valkyrie plot and served time in prison with some of its participants.
VALKYRIE IN CUBA
Based mainly on the Higgins Memo reference of the Desmond Fitzgerald briefing the JCS Washington attorney Jim Lesar, director of the Assassinations Archive and Research Center, filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the CIA documents related to the CIA study of the Valkyrie plot that was to be used against Castro. 
But we don’t have to wait until we get those records as we can see for ourselves from other records how the CIA tried to adapt the Valkyrie plan to be used against Castro, as they did try to recruit some disenchanted Cuban military officers who were close to Castro including Rolando Cubella (AMLASH) and Gen. Almeida, both of whom have been reviewed and analyzed elsewhere. 
Among the differences in the Valkyrie plan and the post-Mafia CIA plans to kill Castro we find that the idea of using a bomb was discarded in favor of a sniper attack on Castro while he was riding in an open Jeep, a common situation.
Other aspects of the Valkyrie plan that were adopted to be used against Castro, besides using the military, the murder of Castro and the takeover of the Cuban government in a coup was the control of the media and the Northwoods style psych-war media campaign to blame the assassination on communists. 
When news of the CIA's plans to kill Castro were made public it was at first suggested that Castro retaliated and killed JFK before the CIA could kill him, and some like John Rosselli even claimed that one of the teams sent in by the CIA by boat was captured by the Cubans and turned and sent back to kill JFK. 
But others like Bill Turner claim it was more likely that one of the CIA plans to kill Castro was redirected to kill JFK instead, and that’s what former CIA officer David Atlee Phillips privately surmised. 
If that was the case then it must have been a CIA plan that utilized a sniper attack on an open car motorcade, one of a number the CIA had on the shelf ready to go, waiting for the right situation to present itself.
Among the CIA plans to kill Castro that utilized snipers attacking an open car in a motorcade were the Hemingway House affair  - discussions after the fact, and the Pathfinder plan to shoot Castro when he visited a north shore resort he was known to frequent. 
Both required accurate high powered rifles with scopes, similar to the ones they offered to Cubela and attempted to infiltrate into Cuba on October 31, 1963 when the CIA raider ship The Rex deposited anti-Castro commandos with high powered rifles with scopes who were captured and paraded on Cuban TV the next day. The story made the front page of the November 1, 1963 New York Times, and the names of the captured commandos are mentioned in "Red Friday," the book written by Carlos Bringuier, the DRE Cuban Oswald was arrested with in New Orleans. 
One important aspect of the Valkyrie plan was a psych war operation to blame the assassination of Hitler on the SS and Gestapo, and monitor and control the media so "only the conspiracy speaks," just as the Dealey Plaza operation included blaming the assassination on Castro and a psych war campaign using CIA media assets that continues today.
Besides the assassination and psych-war aspects of the Valkyrie plot that could have been adapted to use against Castro and may have been redirected to JFK at Dealey Plaza, there was one other important part of the Valkyrie plan that could have been used - getting the victim to sign off on the operation.
Von Stauffenberg drew up the Valkyrie plan as a response to a possible revolt by slave laborers by mobilizing the home guard to quell the revolt and seize key government buildings and communications facilities. Hitler approved and signed off on the plan without knowing the secret Phase that required his elimination. 
If this part of the Valkyrie plan was adapted for use against Castro it should be noted that the National Security Council and JFK did approve a number of violent covert operations against targets in Cuba, but JFK rejected the assassination plans. RFK however, did pressure Des Fitzgerald and others to step up their Cuban ops against Castro and RFK was personally introduced to some of the anti-Castro commandos who were being sent to Cuba to attack strategic installations and infiltrate rifle teams. 
The National Security Action memo authorizing a special military communications project Four Leaves could also be revealing once it is declassified.
The use of Phase One and Phase Two parts of the plan is another interesting parallel between Valkyrie and Dealey Plaza as they are the same terms used by Von Stauffenberg for Valkyrie and Peter Dale Scott to describe the official response to the assassination of JFK.
According to Scott's analysis the original Phase One is the disinformation cover story to blame the assassination of JFK on Castro, that could have instigated a full scale US military attack on Cuba, which was subsequently superseded by the Phase Two promotion of the deranged lone assassin being responsible for the act. 
DES FITZGERALD BETS AGAINST CASTRO
As the CIA officer responsible for covert operations against Cuba, Des FitzGerald was the person who briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the CIA's "detailed" study of the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler. FitzGerald was also the case officer for Rolando Cubela (AMLASH), one of the military officers they were recruiting to kill Castro. So it is interesting that FitzGerald, like the military officers in the fictional "Seven Days in May" used a bet and a gamble on the Preakness stakes as a way of communicating their willingness to go along with the coup plans.
In “The Very Best Men” – Four Who Dared: The Early Years of the CIA" Evan Thomas writes: “….Halpern, FitzGerald’s assistant, regarded him (Cubela) as an assassin and claims that FitzGerald did as well.”
Sam Halpern: “Des was really more interested in starting a coup, and he hoped that Cubela could organize other army officers. But in coups, he understood, people die. The way to start a coup is to knock off the top man. Des felt it was a long shot, but it might work. We were desperate. Des was willing to try anything.”
Evan Thomas writes: “FitzGerald did not think it was such a long shot that he was unwilling to make a small bet, giving reasonable odds. Just six days before he formally signed off on a high-powered rifle for AMLASH (Cubela), he accepted a little wager from Michael Forrestal, an official on the National Security Council staff who was a member of the Georgetown crowd (his father, James V. Forrestal, had been the first secretary of defense). A memo in FitzGerald’s personal files records a $50 bet with Forrestal on ‘the fate of Fidel Castro during the period 1 August 1964 and 1 October 1964. (Apparently, Fitzgerald saw a window of vulnerability for the Cuban leader that was roughly coincidental with the 1964 U.S. presidential election campaign.)”
“Mr. Forrestal offers two-to-one odds ($100 to $50) against Fidel’s falling (or being pushed) between the dates 1 August and 1 October 1964. In the event that such a thing should occur prior to 1 August 1964 the wager herein cancelled. Mr. FitzGerald accepts the wager on the above terms.”
Memo is dated November 13, 1963, “One day after FitzGerald briefed Kennedy on the progress of the Cuban operation and one day before the Special Group approved his plan of continued covert operations against the Castro Regime.”
Thomas: “Nine days later the assassination of John F. Kennedy dramatically increased the odds that FitzGerald would lose his bet.”
According to Thomas,“On November 22, 1963, Des FitzGerald had just finished hosting a lunch for an old friend of the CIA, a foreign diplomat, at the City Tavern Club in Georgetown, when he was summoned from the private dining room by the maître d’. FitzGerald returned ‘as white as a host,’ recalled Sam Halpern. Normally erect and purposeful, FitzGerald was walking slowly, with his head down. ‘The President has been shot,’ he said.”
“The lunch immediately broke up. On the way out the door Halpern anxiously said, ‘I hope this has nothing to do with Cubans.’ FitzGerald mumbled, ‘Yea, well, we’ll see.’ In the fifteen minute car ride back to Langley, FitzGerald just stared straight ahead. He was well aware that in Paris, at almost the moment Kennedy was shot in Dallas, one of his case officers had been handing a poison pen to a Cuban agent to kill Castro. It was at the very least a grim coincidence. FitzGerald knew that, in September, Castro threatened to retaliate against attempts to kill him. ‘United States leaders should think that if they are aiding in terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders, they themselves will not be safe,’ the Cuban leader had publicly declared.”
“The warning that Cubela might be a ‘dangle,’ that he might be secretly working for Castro, took on an ominous new meaning. Now FitzGerald had to wonder: Had Castro killed Kennedy before Kennedy could kill him?” 
Or, as WillIam Turner suggested, was one of the plans to kill Castro turned on Kennedy at Dealey Plaza?
In conclusion, if the CIA plans to kill Fidel Castro had anything to do with the assassination of JFK at Dealey Plaza then the CIA's detailed study and proposed adaption of the Valkyrie plot to be used against Castro is one that should be given close examination.
For notes and footnotes see: