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Thomas Graves

Robert D. Steel, ONI Special Agent who congratulated Paul Bentley for arresting Oswald

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Vanessa,

Everyone who is old enough can remember where they were and what they were doing, right?  Except, of course, the retired ONI special agent, Robert David Steel, who told me he had "very probably" done the investigation of Oswald at El Toro when Oswald defected to Russia, who was a good friend of Oswald's arrester, Paul Bentley, and whom I interviewed on tape a few years ago (and which tape I am still waiting for Bill Kelly to return to me). Steel could remember how long his small WW II ship (USS Sea Scout) was, where he was when he heard that Pearl Harbor had been attacked (Brownwood, Texas), but for the life of him he couldn't seem to remember where he was when he heard JFK had been shot.

But I digress.

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves

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Vanessa,

Everyone can remember where they were and what they were doing except, of course, the retired ONI special agent, Robert David Steel, who told me he had "very probably" done the investigation of Oswald at El Toro when Oswald defected to Russia, who was a good friend of Oswald's arrester, Paul Bentley, and whom I interviewed on tape a few years ago (and which tape I am still waiting for Bill Kelly to return to me). Steele could remember how long his small WW II ship (USS Sea Scout) was, where he was when he heard that Pearl Harbor had been attacked (Brownwood, Texas), but for the life of him he couldn't seem to remember where he was when he heard JFK had been shot.

But I digress.

--Tommy :sun

Vanessa Loney, on 06 Apr 2015 - 9:13 PM, said:snapback.png

Hi Tommy :)

Well, there's only two possible explanations for that. He was either 1) in Dealey Plaza doing the shooting; or 2) Prayer Man.

:)

Vanessa,

Good one!

Btw, when I asked him where the ONI office was situated in Dallas in 1963, he said, "It was across the street (from the TSBD?), it was in the Postal building (the Terminal Annex Building had a post office in it !), it was in the building Kennedy was killed from ("killed from" meaning where the command center / observation center was located? -- maybe even Harry Holmes' upper floor office?) "

But I digress, again.

--Tommy :sun

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moved here from another thread

Vanessa,

Everyone can remember where they were and what they were doing except, of course, the retired ONI special agent, Robert David Steel, who told me he had "very probably" done the investigation of Oswald at El Toro when Oswald defected to Russia, who was a good friend of Oswald's arrester, Paul Bentley, and whom I interviewed on tape a few years ago (and which tape I am still waiting for Bill Kelly to return to me). Steele could remember how long his small WW II ship (USS Sea Scout) was, where he was when he heard that Pearl Harbor had been attacked (Brownwood, Texas), but for the life of him he couldn't seem to remember where he was when he heard JFK had been shot.

But I digress.

--Tommy :sun

Vanessa Loney, on 06 Apr 2015 - 9:13 PM, said:snapback.png

Hi Tommy :)

Well, there's only two possible explanations for that. He was either 1) in Dealey Plaza doing the shooting; or 2) Prayer Man.

:)

Vanessa,

Good one!

Btw, when I asked him where the ONI office was situated in Dallas in 1963, he said, "It was across the street (from the TSBD?), it was in the Postal building (the Terminal Annex Building had a post office in it !), it was in the building Kennedy was killed from ("killed from" meaning where the command center / observation center was located? -- maybe even Harry Holmes' upper floor office?) "

But I digress, again.

--Tommy :sun

Oh - he probably really was in Dealey Plaza then! As you probably already know there was a large number of intelligence agencies all situated right near each other in the vicinity of Dealey Plaza.

Did he say where was he stationed at the time?

Vanessa,

To answer your question, he was living in San Diego at the time and was assigned to the old Eleventh Naval District.

He told me he was "the best investigator the ONI had" (bragging to me a few times that his IQ was 170), so he traveled a lot, investigating the really important stuff for the Navy. He was from Texas and knew a lot of the ONI and FBI and CIA people in Dallas and traveled there on business quite a bit. He was a native Texan, born in Brownwood.

From a Wikipedia article:

"The Eleventh Naval District, headquartered at the Lake Training Station in Lake Bluff, Illinois, was established on 7 May 1903 in accordance with General Order No. 128, signed by Acting Secretary of the Navy Charles H. Darling. The district was activated in 1911 as part of a larger administrative unit known as the "Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Naval Districts." In 1920 the Eleventh Naval District became a separate Naval District. In 1945 the district was headquartered at San Diego, California, and consisted of the following geographic areas:New Mexico; Arizona; Clark County, Nevada; southern part of California, including Counties of Santa Barbara, Kern, and San Bernardino, and all counties south thereof. The Eleventh Naval District was disestablished on 30 September 1980."

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves

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Vanessa,

Please note that Steel sent Paul Bentley the congratulatory letter on 11/24/63, so if Steel was in Dallas on 11/22/63, he had plenty of time to travel back to San Diego before sending it.

I think it's just amazing that he very quickly answered both of my "lead up" memory-testing questions from 1941 and WW II (see post #1, this thread), but for the life of him he just couldn't seem to remember where he was when he heard that JFK had been shot.

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves

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Vanessa,

Please note that Steel sent Paul Bentley the congratulatory letter on 11/24/63, so if Steel was in Dallas on 11/22/63, he had plenty of time to travel back to San Diego before sending it.

I think it's just amazing that he very quickly answered both of my "lead up" memory-testing questions from 1941 and WW II (see post #1, this thread), but for the life of him he just couldn't seem to remember where he was when he heard that JFK had been shot.

--Tommy :sun

Another post from the other thread:

Vanessa Loney, on 06 Apr 2015 - 9:39 PM, said:snapback.png

:)

Oh - he probably really was in Dealey Plaza then! As you probably already know there was a large number of intelligence agencies all situated right near each other in the vicinity of Dealey Plaza.

Did he say where was he stationed at the time?

Vanessa,

I didn't know that, actually, but I wouldn't be surprised.

I do know that the Terminal Annex Building was a federal building and had a lot of federal offices in it, including a Navy Recruiting Office in 1962 and perhaps later.

Are you sure you aren't confusing Dealey Plaza with Bannister's office in New Orleans, which was supposedly within walking distance of the offices where the "big boys" (CIA, ONI, FBI, etc) worked?

But I digress yet again.

--Tommy :sun

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Vanessa,

Please note that Steel sent Paul Bentley the congratulatory letter on 11/24/63, so if Steel was in Dallas on 11/22/63, he had plenty of time to travel back to San Diego before sending it.

I think it's just amazing that he very quickly answered both of my "lead up" memory-testing questions from 1941 and WW II (see post #1, this thread), but for the life of him he just couldn't seem to remember where he was when he heard that JFK had been shot.

--Tommy :sun

Another post from the other thread:

Vanessa Loney, on 06 Apr 2015 - 9:39 PM, said:snapback.png

:)

Oh - he probably really was in Dealey Plaza then! As you probably already know there was a large number of intelligence agencies all situated right near each other in the vicinity of Dealey Plaza.

Did he say where was he stationed at the time?

Vanessa,

I didn't know that, actually, but I wouldn't be surprised.

I do know that the Terminal Annex Building was a federal building and had a lot of federal offices in it, including a Navy Recruiting Office in 1962 and perhaps later.

Are you sure you aren't confusing Dealey Plaza with Bannister's office in New Orleans, which was supposedly within walking distance of the offices where the "big boys" (CIA, ONI, FBI, etc) worked?

But I digress yet again.

--Tommy :sun

And finally, here's the telegram letter Steel sent Bentley on 11/22/63 11/24/63. :

Vanessa Loney, on 06 Apr 2015 - 10:55 PM, said:snapback.png

Hi Tommy

Another one of those six degrees of separation that crops up constantly in this. Although in his case it sounds like only 2 degrees of separation between him and Oswald.

Were you able to find out where he sent the telegram from?

Vanessa,

Here it is, but now I'm not sure it was a telegram. Maybe a letter. Mailed / sent on 11/24, not 11/22. My bad.

Det. Paul Bentley

Dallas Police Dept.

Dallas, Texas

7960 June Lake Dr.

San Diego, 19, Calf.

24 Nov. 1963

Dear Paul,

Perhaps you are aware that ONI has quite a file on Oswald, which no

doubt has been made avbailable on the Washington level. If not I am

certain that this information can be obtained for you through our resident

special agent in charge of our Dallas office, A.C. Sullivan, who is a

wonderful agent, and whom I hope you know.

As a personal friend I congratulate you - wish you continued success -

and pray that your guardian angel will remain close at hand and

vigilant, always.

Respectifully,

Robert D. Steel

Commander USNR-R

Originally posted by the illustrious Bill Kelly. Spelling errors are Kelly's.

http://jfkcountercou...ul-bentley.html

--Tommy :sun

PS Bill Kelly still hasn't sent me back the tape of my Steel interview, even though he said about a month ago on this forum that he would do so. He told me in an e-mail or PM a couple of years ago that he would send the original back to me, or at least a good-quality, complete copy. I'm still waiting, Mr. Kelly.

Edited by Thomas Graves

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Tommy,

How did this letter come to light? Is it in the archives? DPD files? Obtained from Bentley by a private researcher?

Greg,

http://jfkcountercoup2.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-oni-letter.html

I don't remember how Bill Kelly came up with it.

I read the letter to Steel and he admitted writing it

I wish Kelly would return my tape of the interview to me, as he said he would do a couple of years ago and as recently as a month ago, but I still haven't received it.

Regarding the interview, the most important things Steel told me were: 1 ) He couldn't remember where he was when he heard JFK had been shot, 2 ) Paul Bentley was a personal friend of his, and 3 ) the Dallas ONI office was "Across the street. It was in the postal building, it was in the building that Kennedy was killed from."

Note: He didn't say it was in the Post Office building, he said it was in "the postal building," which I take to mean the Postal Annex Building, aka the Terminal Annex Building (which was "across the street").

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves

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the Dallas ONI office was "Across the street. It was in the Postal Building, it was in the building that Kennedy was killed from."

Tommy,

I'm sure he meant "across the street. It was in the Postal Building. It was [across the street from] the building that Kennedy was killed from."

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the Dallas ONI office was "Across the street. It was in the Postal Building, it was in the building that Kennedy was killed from."

Tommy,

I'm sure he meant "across the street. It was in the Postal Building. It was [across the street from] the building that Kennedy was killed from."

No, Greg.

He said, "It [the Dallas ONI office] was in the building that Kennedy was killed from."

Translation: The Dallas ONI office was in the Terminal Annex Building / the Postal Annex Building which was across the street from where JFK was killed, and it was in the same building that the JFK assassination command center was situated.

The upper floors of the Terminal Annex Building / Postal Annex Building offered a wonderful view of the killing zone and the buildings around it.

Respectfully,

--Tommy :sun

PS Don't you find it strange that Steel couldn't remember where he was when he heard that JFK had been shot, but he could remember how long his small ship was during WW II, and he could remember where he was when he heard that Pearl Harbor had been attacked??

Edited by Thomas Graves

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No, Greg.
He said, "It [the Dallas ONI office] was in the building that Kennedy was killed from."

I think you're reading too much into it, Tommy.

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No, Greg.
He said, "It [the Dallas ONI office] was in the building that Kennedy was killed from."

I think you're reading too much into it, Tommy.

You're entitled to your opinion, Greg.

That's what Steel said. Verbatim.

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves

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Interesting, Harry D. Holmes (4 faces) said that ''the agencies'' first thought the shots were fired from the Term,inal Annex, he got a phonecall asking him to check that out, as did prisoners across the street from it (cattywampus) as reported by a visitor a number of times (his name escapes me for now) before and after the WR. They didn't investagate for a year.

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Interesting, Harry D. Holmes (4 faces) said that ''the agencies'' first thought the shots were fired from the Terminal Annex, he got a phone call asking him to check that out, as did prisoners across the street from it (cattywampus) as reported by a visitor a number of times (his name escapes me for now) before and after the WR. They didn't investigate for a year.

Yes John.

In case some of our members and guests don't know, Harry Holmes was a postal inspector and his office was on an upper floor of the Terminal Annex Building and he watched the assassination through binoculars from his office window.

He had a wonderful view.

I don't think the shots came from there because Jackie would have been in the way, but I do think it would have been an ideal location for the command / observation center.

--Tommy :sun

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