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Jim Root

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  1. On June 22, 1960 Whitney Shepardson (who was in charge of Secrete Intelligence, SI during WWII) wrote the following in a letter to a source that will, for now, remain un-named: "When I got back to New York last week after seeing many of our wartime colleagues in England and in France, I found your letter of May 4--which is a long, long time ago. With respect to your letter from "Ti", I think that when you told A.W. D. (Dulles) about this you did not only the right thing, of course, but the only thing. Schluss! We have recently had rough going under the tilt of the U-2 in which great confusion resulted because many, many people knew something, and then chipped in. I am all for communication with one responsible person only! Affectionately, W.H.S." Some thoughts: The "Ti" mentioned here is Wilho Tikander who was the OSS Station Chief in Stockholm, Sweden during WWII. Richard Helms was also assigned to the OSS Stockholm Station during WWII and was a member of Shepardson's SI Team. Helms remained in regular communication with this group during this time period. Tikander, in a previous memo had informed the un-named source that he had received intelligence from a former Eastern European source that this group might find interesting that was for sale for $800.00. The letter shows that the person Tikander informed was close enough to Dulles to pass the information on to the CIA. What I find more interesting is that he also found it important enough to let Shepardson know about it as well and wanted to confirm that he had done the right thing with the information. Does this reflect a subservient roll? I have previously shared information that I uncovered about Whitney Shepardson who was working with Richard Helms in mid 1959 seeking information about former intelligence connection in both Sweden and Finland. This Shepardson directed communication led Wilho Tikander to suggest that an "off the record" intelligence mission would soon be conducted via Helsinki, Finland. Within a few weeks Lee Harvey Oswald would enter the Soviet Union via Helsinki. Could this be the mission Tikander was speaking about? Prior to the US entry into WWII John J, McCloy was tasked by Sec.of War Stimson to establish a modernized intelligence agency, which he did (the OSS). McCloy and Shepardson remained in close contact throughout the rest of their lives with Shepardson being the head of Council on Foreign Relations and even naming McCloy to head the World Bank. During WWII McCloy would be instrumental in making Shepardson the head of SI. Is it possible that SI was still in operation after WWII and into the 1960's? Lastly, I find it interesting in this letter that Shepardson talks about the U-2 incident in a way that suggests that he was in a position to have to deal with the "confusion" that "resulted because many, many people knew something..." Just what might they have know that would concern the head of SI? Thoughts, Jim Root
  2. I Paul,

    I will be in Austin in early/mid June....hoping to dig deeper into the Walker papers.  Perhaps we can get together for lunch.

    Jim Root


    1. Paul Trejo

      Paul Trejo


      I'd be delighted.   If it's on a workday, I work at the UT Austin campus (in ITS) and there are some nice places near campus -- and a few near the Briscoe Center for American History, where the Walker papers are cataloged.

      You may already know that there are 90 boxes, and most of them are kept in local storage, and they appreciate 48 hours notice to deliver a few boxes.

      The biggest problem is that the Briscoe Center has very poor cataloging of the 90 boxes.

      To solve that problem, I had to rush like mad to see all 90  for myself -- over about 20 visits at 4 to 5 boxes each time.   It took me two full semesters to do that, but I did it.   I took over 1,000 photographs, but that's a tiny fraction of what they have. 

      Gary Mack got all my photos, somehow -- I guess he had some great hackers.

      All best,

  3. Joannides

    From a post I did back in 2005: "Very interesting topic. In the past I have had contact with several of the persons who have signed this letter in regards to this subject. Both Joannides and Karamessines are of unique interest to this case because in the months proceeding the assassination they were following the movements of Oswald. But their past is also of interest. In 1948 the British, because of financial reasons, requested that the US take over operations surrounding the Greek Civil War. Joannides and Karamessines were, I understand, two of the 44 members of a US team operating in Greece at that time. Put in charge of that team, operating the Greek Desk at the Pentagon, was none other than Edwin Anderson Walker. It seems to be a small world that was operating around this Oswald guy. Coincidence? Jim Root"
  4. JFK's American University Speech

    Re Helms monitoring Oswald: In the article titled, What Jane Roman Said by Jefferson Morely, we find that FBI agents monitoring Oswald's moves prior to the assassination of JFK had copies of their messages sent directly to the staff of Richard Helms. A problem with that is that a third note written by Agent Hosty (identifying exactly where Lee Harvey Oswald was working prior to the assassination) never became an official part of the Warren Commission report and has seemingly disappeared from the records. But that is a different subject. Paul, I will differ with you as to Helms' OSS Station assignment during WWII (which is of particular interest to me). Richard "Dick" Helms was assigned to the Stockholm OSS station and worked directly under a station chief named Wilho Tikander (sometimes spelled with a "Y"). Helms himself while at that station working under Timander was also part of "Special Intelligence" working under Whitney Shepardson. There was a person directly above Tikander in the OSS for Northern Europe who was named Calvin Bryce Hoover. Together, this group was collectively involved and played key rolls in Operation Stella Polaris which led to the Venona Project. It is this connection which so intrigues me. Frank Roulett and Meredith Gardner would spend years in charge of the Venona Project but would, during the assassination investigation, be tasked with investigating Lee Harvey Oswald for intelligence connections. Why is this strange? Part of the intelligence that led to the Stella Polaris operation came through a man named John Hurt, whom both Rowlett and Gardner had worked with during WWII. Jim Root
  5. JFK's American University Speech

    Can I get any new observations on information I posted here? Jim Root
  6. Whitney H. Shepardson

    Just found some new letters written by Whitney Shepardson that I find interesting. Anyone else still looking into this man? He did play a very important role in US Intelligence during his lifetime. My question becomes did it continue into the 1960's.....I believe it did. Jim Root
  7. Out of curiosity

    Several years ago Gary Mack helped arrange an opportunity for me to view the Walker papers. I had not expected that and at the time only had a few hours of time available. I was first told that there was only one box of Walker material.....then found out that there was only one box that had been cataloged and was available at that time. Paul has assured me that he has had access to more material than I ever saw. For that I envy him! A couple of things that popped out at me in the brief time I had were the letters Walker wrote and received that were written at the time of the Overseas Weekly/Congressional controversy. I got the feeling that Walker was clearly confused about what was happening but seemed convinced that he was being set up in an intelligence operation for some reason and that he was blindsided it. Secondly were some notes, as I recall written by his secretary, that documented pages from the volumes of the Warren Commission documents. When I later followed up on that information I found that it almost all had to do with information about Silvia Odio and the investigation into that incident. I found that interesting. In reality I do hope to get to have an additional opportunity to pick my way further into the Walker papers at some time in the near future. Pretty sure my search would be productive in some way. To use a quote about a Nepoleonic era spy, Edwin Walker, "A Very Slippery Fellow" Jim Root
  8. Out of curiosity

    When the Movie JFK came out I had many students asking me about the assassination. While I remembered that day vividly and had read/seen information about the assassination during my lifetime, I knew i was not particularly well read on the topic. I went to a used book store and bought a copy of the Warren Commission Report. Within just the first few pages I realized that Oswald was also accused of attempting the assassination of Major General Edwin Anderson Walker. I was hooked on searching for a reason why Oswald would want to assassinate Walker. Without getting into a debate about that assassination attempt let me just say that I have uncovered several historical facts which have led to a few thoughts and ideas that I share on this forum occasionally. In No particular order these are some things that peak my interest still to this day. General Walker was traveling by plane in Europe at the same time as Oswald was in the process of defecting to Europe. My research shows how they could have been on the same plane at the same time.....but no passenger lists were presented of that travel in the WC Report One day before Oswald arrived in Helsinki the US Ambassador provided information to the State Dept. describing how a US citizen could obtain a VISA into the Soviet Union....Oswald followed those direction exactly which begs the question.....how did Oswald know how to do that? That same Ambassador was directly involved with a unit that Walker was part of and ultimately commanded during WWII A connection between Walker and John Hurt of the NSA can first be made in the 1930's The two men who researched Oswald from the NSA for the Warren Commission were both associated with John Hurt, Frank Rowlett and Meridith Gardner. (I have a picture with Hurt and Frank Rowlett together). Walker can be associated with Operation Stella Polaris (as can Richard Helms, John Hurt, Frank Rowlett and Meridith Gardner). In the first note (as reported by in the Warren Commission Report) that Oswald writes to the State Dept. to begin his attempt to return to the USA from Russia, Oswald mentions another note that he had written long before the one reported in the WC Report. WC Rport plays this off because "they" found no other "first" note. If Oswald did write a first note as he said then that note was written prior to the Overseas Weekly investigation of General Walker began. That investigation framed Walker as a "Right Wing" nut job and led to his resignation from the military despite his very distinguished career prior to that time. Oswald referred to Walker as a man who did not want to see peace between the Soviet Union and the United States and and as a leader of a bad organization. Why that description? The Raleigh Call never made it into the WC Report. Why? The phone operator present makes it clear the the Secrete Service was listening in on all calls. Walker has a military career that is very interesting to say the least. It suggest both bold fighter but also a man who was regularly involved in intelligence operation. It suggests when and from where Gerry P. Hemming was recruited into intelligence work by Edwin Walker (While Hemming never admitted that to be true to me he did become very forth coming while providing me with answers to other assassination connected information after i first asked him to verify that information. Walker was involved in several WWII military operations of direct importance to Asst. Sec. of War John J. McCloy during WWII. I do have a copy of a letter written by McCloy to Walker several months before the assassination and have found copies of that letter in three different places that make it easily available. The timing of Walkers phone call from a German Newspaper (Walker received the call while at the Captain Shreve Hotel in Shreveport, LA at 7:00a.m.) the morning after the assassination is interesting to say the least. How did the reporter know where and when to locate Walker and then report the story of Oswald's assassination attempt on Walker before the FBI began investigating that link. Walker's close connection to General Maxwell Taylor that goes back to Walker's cadet days at West Point and continues throughout his career is remarkable in many ways. The beat goes on but my time today is limited......so much more. Jim Root
  9. Yuri Nosenko

    If one goes back to the beginnings of the CIA mail opening operations in New York (1950's) two names that come up in this story as well as the assassination, Angelton and Helms. This is the same time that Oswald is writing letters to the Socialist Workers Party but as is pointed out in "Oswald and the CIA" no case file is opened on Oswald (that we are aware of). I suggest that it is possible that both Helms and Angelton became aware of Oswald at that time. If that were to be true....it is Helm's that seems to have continuously followed Oswald, especially after he returned from Russia before the assassination and I suggest that it is Angelton that wanted to know why. Nosenko is just one more key to unlocking the assassination story. Jim Root P.S. John J. McCloy missed a Warren Commission meeting to be at the Nuclear Arms meeting when Nosenko defected.
  10. Yuri Nosenko

    On June 1, 1962 Lee and Marina Oswald receive a repat loan to return to the United States. That same month Nosenko first makes contact with the CIA. Coincidence ? Shortly after the assassination of JFK Nosenko defects. Another coincidence? Jim Root
  11. Yuri Nosenko and the Warren Report

    Hi Michael I do not get over here as much as I used to but am still committed to research on the subject. My interest in Abt is twofold, one obvious and the second much more obscure. First is Oswald's sophistication in knowing who Abt was. I find this interesting on many levels but in my post above my interest in Abt is only to present Oswald obsession with getting in touch with the man as opposed to his lack of determination to get a hold of John Hurt. (Paul, on one of my visits to the 6th floor museum, Gary Mack queued up a news reporter relaying a story on Oswald's attempt at making a phone call Saturday night. This led both Mack and myself to believe that the "Raleigh Call" was an outgoing call.) Secondly ( and more importantly for my point on this thread ) is the number of people Oswald tried to help him get him touch with Jonathan Abt vs his one and only attempt to call John Hurt. I speculate that the operators felt that after the failed attempt to contact Hurt, Oswald would want them to make additional efforts to find John Hurt just as he had done with Abt....that did not happen. More importantly the information about that call never made it into the Warren Commission Report! WHY? Michael, if you research my past posts you will find a great deal about a real John Hurt who was very much involved in NSA spy craft. You will also find that Frank Rowlette and Meredith Gardner (Venona Project fame) both knew and worked with John Hurt while in the NSA. They would also be tasked with writing a report on Oswald at the request of the CIA. I speculate that the Hurt call was to a "cut-out" and that Oswald knew the name was all he needed to pass on. Jim Root
  12. Yuri Nosenko and the Warren Report

    Hi Paul Was aware that Oswald repeatedly tried to get in touch with Johnathon Abt and had several others attempt to contact him. Two of my questions have always been connected to the attempts to contact ABT. 1). "Why and how was Oswald aware of Abt?" 2). "With the many attempts by Oswald to contact Abt, why was there only one attempt to contact John Hurt (which was left completely out of the Warren Commission Report)?" Jim Root
  13. Yuri Nosenko and the Warren Report

    In reading John"s excellent post I found it interesting to see the name John Abt. Anyone else find this interesting? Jim Root
  14. Can we possibly AGREE....

    Ron Not sure why MacNamara or Taylor's son would write something that was not true. But from both I do believe that MacNamara was in a Budget meeting and that there was a meeting of the Chiefs of Staff. Two points which they both agree upon. Of course I like the Taylor account because it fits with Max's protocol approach to things.....George Marshall was alone when the Japanese attacked (which he had pre-Knowledge of) and I find it interesting that Taylor would find a way to be sequestered alone when the assassination occurred ( if he had pre-knowledge of the potential for an assassination attempt). Jim Root
  15. Can we possibly AGREE....

    According to a November 22, 2013 article, Bryan Bender and Neil Swindey, Globe staff writers seems to contradict McNamara's memory. First it seems that Bobby Kennedy only called McNamara long after McNamara should have already been aware of Kennedy's death and second that Bobby Kennedy called McNamara to arrange transportation to Dallas not to inform him of the Presidents death. "...(Bobby) Kennedy glanced at his watch. It was 1:45 p.m. “We’d better hurry and get back to that meeting,” he told his guests. Just then his wife, Ethel, called over to him, holding the patio phone extension. “It’s J. Edgar Hoover,” she said, a look of worry playing over her face. They both knew the FBI director never called Bobby at home....(Robert) Morgenthau, in a recent interview, recalled watching Kennedy drop his sandwich, race over to the phone, and then quickly cup his hand over his mouth as he heard the devastating news. “Jack’s been shot in Dallas,” Bobby said with a gasp. “It may be fatal.”..... Walking the grounds of Hickory Hill just an hour after receiving confirmation of his brother’s death, Bobby confided in an aide something truly unsettling. That aide, Edwin Guthman, would later recount it in his book “We Band of Brothers.” “I thought they would get one of us,” Bobby said, adding, “I thought it would be me.” In his second-floor library, Bobby tried to displace his grief with action, changing his clothes and then working the phones, according to previously published interviews with some of the people he interacted with in those initial hours. Reaching a Secret Service agent at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Bobby told him to make sure there was a priest at his brother’s side. The actions the attorney general took in these first crucial hours underscored the various, critical roles he played as the nation’s top law enforcement official, as his brother’s chief protector, and as the Kennedy clan’s chief executive after his father suffered a debilitating stroke less than a year into JFK’s presidency. Bobby called Defense Secretary Robert McNamara to arrange transport for him to Dallas, figuring he would head there. He took a call from John McCone, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and asked him, “Jack, can you come over?” He called family members, handing out assignments based on their individual strengths. His sister Jean, who was closest to the first lady, would fly to Washington to be with Jackie when she returned, while sister Eunice, who was closest to their mother, would fly to the family compound in Hyannis Port to be with Rose, according to William Manchester’s book “Death of a President.” Meanwhile, he decided his younger brother Teddy would also fly to Hyannis Port, giving him the toughest task: breaking the news to their father. That, Joseph Kennedy’s personal nurse, Rita Dallas, said in an interview, would require some elaborate choreography. While awaiting Teddy’s arrival, the household staff had to pretend that the patriarch’s TV set was broken, a ruse to prevent him from learning the devastating news about his son from newsman Walter Cronkite. Bobby called National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy, and, according to Manchester, instructed him to have the locks changed on his brother’s files, knowing that a new president, a man he did not trust, would soon be in charge. As for that new president in waiting, Bobby took a call from Lyndon Johnson as he sat aboard Air Force One, phoning to get from the attorney general the precise wording for the oath of office he would soon take. The conversation between RFK and LBJ, like their relationship itself, was strained, with their mutual disrespect barely concealed. Even in his grief, Bobby had to recognize this: He may have been the second most powerful man in government, but the assassin’s bullet that killed the president had also gravely weakened his brother. It would usher into the Oval Office the man he had aggressively tried to keep off the ticket in 1960, and then had belittled and ostracized for the three years that followed. There would be payback. When McCone arrived from CIA headquarters, Bobby paced the lawn of his estate with him. As Bobby later told historian and aide Arthur Schlesinger, he asked McCone point blank if the CIA “had killed my brother, and I asked him in a way that he couldn’t lie to me, and they hadn’t.” McCone was a devout Catholic, leading many to believe that their shared faith was behind Bobby’s confidence in the CIA director’s candor." It was a confusing time, I am sure, but whose account carries the most weight, Taylor's son or McNamara's which seems to be contradicted in some ways by those with Kennedy at the time? I don't have that answer but appreciate how you are looking deeper into Maxwell Taylor's potential involvement in the assassination story Ron.....something I have been looking at for years. Jim Root