Jump to content
The Education Forum
Sign in to follow this  
David Boylan

The Torriente Group

Recommended Posts

Some of this is familiar David, I wrote about Villoldo in Shadow Warfare and the documents are certainly consistent and correct as far as I can see about him.  In regard to the group mentioned, the episode with the ship is quite familiar and Artime did have some associates who left his particular program, especially in its last  year or so.  Gary Murr has extensive records on that and allowed me to use them in the chapter on Artime's program which is in Shadow Warfare.  In reality the CIA was dealing with so many exiles as individuals and so many others were claiming to be supported by the CIA but at best had some second or third party connection that I'm often amazed that the CIA officers could determine who was on the inside and who was on the outside. I suspect these documents were withheld primarily due to the use of real names and personal history info than anything else; expecially for Villoldo who was a very serious military asset and who did work with Morales on projects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎12‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 1:06 AM, Larry Hancock said:

Some of this is familiar David, I wrote about Villoldo in Shadow Warfare and the documents are certainly consistent and correct as far as I can see about him.  In regard to the group mentioned, the episode with the ship is quite familiar and Artime did have some associates who left his particular program, especially in its last  year or so.  Gary Murr has extensive records on that and allowed me to use them in the chapter on Artime's program which is in Shadow Warfare.  In reality the CIA was dealing with so many exiles as individuals and so many others were claiming to be supported by the CIA but at best had some second or third party connection that I'm often amazed that the CIA officers could determine who was on the inside and who was on the outside. I suspect these documents were withheld primarily due to the use of real names and personal history info than anything else; expecially for Villoldo who was a very serious military asset and who did work with Morales on projects.

Hi Larry. I have your book 'Shadow Warfare' and it was Gary Murr via a friend who triggered my interest in Artime.

I come at this subject from the very strange angle of offshore radio broadcasting and the life of Don Pierson of Eastland, Texas. This triggered all manner of other leads of a similar nature and although I lived next door to the grave of LHO and drove hundreds of times over the spoke where JFK had his brains blown away, I was not moved to get involved in the subject of the JFK assassination until my time and space studies overlapped November 22, 1963, and many of the same key characters such as McLendon, Robert Thompson and Clint Murchison Jr.

Recently my interest in these offshore radio ships has been directed towards the Bon Jour (Magda Maria, Mi Amigo), via Charles W. Weaver who I met and interviewed as part of my radio ship investigations during the 1970s. Before he died of an illness Weaver wrote a book, and I have created a separate thread to it because it relates to the assassination of JFK. I know from Gary Murr that the Olga Patricia was under the control of Bobby Kennedy's 'Special Group' and he also had an interest in the Mi Amigo. I also know that the Olga Patricia helped bring about the demise of Torriente, who acted as area manager for Collins Radio. In the end the Olga Patricia got involved with one raid too many on Cuba, and after Castro denounced the vessel as a CIA ship it was eventually grabbed by the US Justice Department and sold to a fishing fleet. It has now been decommissioned and scraped.

But back in 1959 McLendon had been working away in the British Isles until he got sidetracked into a venture involving the Mi Amigo in the Baltic. Weaver claims that it was a CIA listening post tuning into KGB transmissions - under the 'front' cover of a broadcasting station called Radio Nord which had the support of Robert F.Thompson on behalf of Clint Murchison Jr. Are you aware of any of this, and can you add anything to my ongoing research?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

McLendon's pop radio format was a real winner in the US in the early sixties and was transported overseas, especially to pirate ship stations broadcasting into Britain -  I'm sure you are familiar with all that and of course there are lots of historical articles on that for folks that may not remember those days.  https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120358447  

However in respect to your question, first off the radio equipment needed to intercept Russian and other NSA targeted transmissions would be considerably different than the pirate ship transmitters and related antennas.  More importantly, we now have a great deal of detail on actual NSA intercept sites, which were located (with large antenna farms) in Britain and in Scotland.  I write about the Kirknewton installation at some length in an appendix in Someone Would Have Talked.  Serious intercept work was done by highly trained Air Force specialists (Security Service) working for NSA and done under very controlled security given that they were working on a variety of military targets as well as other civilian and commercial traffic - all spelled out in watch lists compiled by NSA from request by various American agencies.

The CIA did intercept work, but as far as we know that was a matter of cable taps, telephone taps and short range radio intercepts made from CIA stations in American diplomatic facilities (the Russians routinely did the same thing).  I wish I could add something to your work but on the surface the claim that pirate radio ships were CIA intercept facilities just doesn't fit with what I know.  Certainly there were "pirate" radio stations broadcasting into the Soviet Union in earlier days, particularly during the 1950's but those were all as far east as they could be positioned, in order to provide maximum coverage into Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, which were their primary targets.  There is a great deal of historical information on the specifics of that now available.

I have not read Weaver's book but I did see  your review  on Amazon. The book appears to be a novel and is described as a work of fiction so my thought (having written a bit of docufiction myself) is that you find some facts in it but that Weaver has extended that into something more sensational...which with McClenden as a character (and he was a real character) would be pretty easy to do.  It appears  you met Weaver and perhaps he offered something more substantive but givem how much we have in real facts about the political broadcasting network in Europe, the NSA intercept program and real world CIA intercept activities I just can't see a fit for the Mi Amigo as an intercept platform off the Swedish coast without something more to go on.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Larry. I am just touching all bases. If you check out http://foundthreads.com and http://yesterdayneverhappened.com (and many other sites), you will note that I have been at this for a long time, and my approach is that of a cold case detective matching time and space events. I also have had over the years, personal deep personal contact with the subject matter and it has even brought me face to face with Bill Colby. Be that as it may, the Torriente lead is interesting because it loops back to the Olga Patricia and the Mi Amigo loops back to Bobby Kennedy. Yes I knew Bill Weaver and I am presently in contact with his family. As for his book it seems that it is the last quarter that is absolute fiction and it may been completed by someone else after Weaver died. I will get back to Garry Murr since he is the person who began to redirect our interests to the point that it overran November 22, 1963. As for the Baltic location, the entire radio ship venture was a commercial fiasco and it was certainly out of keeping with Murchison's and Thompson's interests. If Weaver is correct, then this would have been a numbers station transmitting somewhere in the vicinity of the Bon Jour (as it was then), during a narrow window of time in either late 1960 or the first half of 1961. Radio Nord existed for a very short period of time. As for the British story from 1964 to 1967, I know for a fact that the published stories to date are rubbish, because I now know most of the real story. I also know that CIA interests were laundering money to keep the biggest operations alive, because without that income they would never have survived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×