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Mark Knight

Who Had "The Football" on 11/22/63?

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A question which occurred to me recently is, exactly who had custody of the briefcase referred to as "the football", the one containing the confidential codes to begin/control a nuclear attack, on November 22, 1963, between 12:30 and the time of LBJ's swearing-in aboard AF1?

I tried to do a Google search, but came up empty...and I know that Alexander Haig wasn't there to claim "I'm in charge"...so who was, as it were, "holding the bag?"

A recent report in the newspaper on the history of "the football"--so named, according to this article, because of the code name "dropkick" once associated with the nuclear defense plan--said that "the football" has existed since at least the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis. So...who had the football when the QB got sacked, and before the second-stringer got suited up?

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A question which occurred to me recently is, exactly who had custody of the briefcase referred to as "the football", the one containing the confidential codes to begin/control a nuclear attack, on November 22, 1963, between 12:30 and the time of LBJ's swearing-in aboard AF1?

I tried to do a Google search, but came up empty...and I know that Alexander Haig wasn't there to claim "I'm in charge"...so who was, as it were, "holding the bag?"

A recent report in the newspaper on the history of "the football"--so named, according to this article, because of the code name "dropkick" once associated with the nuclear defense plan--said that "the football" has existed since at least the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  So...who had the football when the QB got sacked, and before the second-stringer got suited up?

Hi Mark-

If I'm not mistaken, I believe it was Kennedy's military attache, General Godfrey McHugh. I cannot immediately recall where I read this, so (anyone) please correct me if I'm misinformed here.

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A question which occurred to me recently is, exactly who had custody of the briefcase referred to as "the football", the one containing the confidential codes to begin/control a nuclear attack, on November 22, 1963, between 12:30 and the time of LBJ's swearing-in aboard AF1?

I tried to do a Google search, but came up empty...and I know that Alexander Haig wasn't there to claim "I'm in charge"...so who was, as it were, "holding the bag?"

A recent report in the newspaper on the history of "the football"--so named, according to this article, because of the code name "dropkick" once associated with the nuclear defense plan--said that "the football" has existed since at least the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  So...who had the football when the QB got sacked, and before the second-stringer got suited up?

Hi Mark-

If I'm not mistaken, I believe it was Kennedy's military attache, General Godfrey McHugh. I cannot immediately recall where I read this, so (anyone) please correct me if I'm misinformed here.

-----------------------

The Colonel G. McHughe was the Command Pilot [PIC] of Air Force One that day. The football [as it is today] was carried by an NSA Officer given the "simulated" rank of Army Warrant Officer, and an alias name & ID.

The Halliburton [bullet/blast resiatant] casse contains an always "ON" beeper transponder so that "Looking Glass" [RC-135 / Boeing 707 then] can insure that its repeaters will forward all nuke codes via VHF/UHF to NORAD and Omaha.

Should the "Football" malfunction, the VP's QB passes it to the Prez's W/O !!

GPH

______________________

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I believe William Manchester's The Death of The President gets into the whole football thing. I'm pretty sure one of the book's big revelations was that the football got left behind when LBJ took off for Love Field. I can research it further if nobody else remembers.

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A question which occurred to me recently is, exactly who had custody of the briefcase referred to as "the football", the one containing the confidential codes to begin/control a nuclear attack, on November 22, 1963, between 12:30 and the time of LBJ's swearing-in aboard AF1?

I tried to do a Google search, but came up empty...and I know that Alexander Haig wasn't there to claim "I'm in charge"...so who was, as it were, "holding the bag?"

A recent report in the newspaper on the history of "the football"--so named, according to this article, because of the code name "dropkick" once associated with the nuclear defense plan--said that "the football" has existed since at least the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  So...who had the football when the QB got sacked, and before the second-stringer got suited up?

Hi Mark-

If I'm not mistaken, I believe it was Kennedy's military attache, General Godfrey McHugh. I cannot immediately recall where I read this, so (anyone) please correct me if I'm misinformed here.

-----------------------

The Colonel G. McHughe was the Command Pilot [PIC] of Air Force One that day. The football [as it is today] was carried by an NSA Officer given the "simulated" rank of Army Warrant Officer, and an alias name & ID.

The Halliburton [bullet/blast resiatant] casse contains an always "ON" beeper transponder so that "Looking Glass" [RC-135 / Boeing 707 then] can insure that its repeaters will forward all nuke codes via VHF/UHF to NORAD and Omaha.

Should the "Football" malfunction, the VP's QB passes it to the Prez's W/O !!

GPH

______________________

Gerry-

Thanks for the correction. I was stating what I had read "somewhere". I'm glad you caught it and got it right.

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A question which occurred to me recently is, exactly who had custody of the briefcase referred to as "the football", the one containing the confidential codes to begin/control a nuclear attack, on November 22, 1963, between 12:30 and the time of LBJ's swearing-in aboard AF1?

Warrant Officer Ira Gearhart.  FWIW...

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*****

Even today, NSA refuses to release the "Looking Glass" [11/22/63] tapes that recored these latered proven to be false broadcasts. "Looking Glass" also recorded that the beeper signal from the nuke code football had been disrupted just before Dealey Plaza, and notified NORAD of same.

'Nuff for now.

GPH

*****

Mr. Hemming, I'm almost sorry I brought this topic up now...I was just curious who was supposed to be in charge of the football, as somewhere in the dim recesses of my mind I had a faint recollection that, sometime on 11/22/63, the football had been left behind by someone, somewhere...and I was looking for corroborating evidence from someone more knowledgeable here on the forum. It appears I got more than I bargained for.

Since I still have an idea that the JFK assassination was part of an attempt to get the US involved in a nuclear war with the Soviet Union--pre-emptive or otherwise--the disrupting of the beeper signal from the football would then become an event of some degree of significance. And with the presence in Dealy Plaza of what appear to be both "hit" and "prevent" teams, I'm beginning to wonder just how dangerous this territory might become to explore...

...to quote a local black reverend who, when confronted by a white mob after a nighttime tent-revival session, was asked if he believed HE was going to get into Heaven: "Yessir...but I'm in no hurry!"

BTW...very little info available in a Google search for Ira Gearhart.

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*****

Since I still have an idea that the JFK assassination was part of an attempt to get the US involved in a nuclear war with the Soviet Union--pre-emptive or otherwise--the disrupting of the beeper signal from the football would then become an event of some degree of significance.

Mark, I think you're correct that the assassination was intended to lead to a military conflict, though my own suspicion is that by tying the prospective patsy Oswald to Castro via the FPCC charade, Cuba was the intended target.  Peter Dale Scott outlines several provocative elements, including false information about Oswald being forwarded by DPD's Lt. Stringfellow to MIG in San Antonio, which was then forwarded to the Strike Command at McDill AFB. 

In any event, Gearhart may have carried the football, but almost certainly didn't know the codes necessary to activate it [which would make it TOO easy for a mere grunt to initiate a nuclear strike.]  This, from Jim Bishop's "The Day Kennedy Was Shot," suggests a second man was critical, but he, too, was "lost" in Dallas.

QUOTE ON:

"Somehow, in the flight from the hospital, the new President had overlooked the Bagman and the Major General Chester V. Clifton, who understood the coded types of retaliation.  If, at this time, the Soviet Union had launched a missile attack, referred to in the Department of Defense as a "Thirty Minute War," it would have required a half hour for the Bagman and General Clifton to get to Johnson's side.  If there was a time when the United States could not retaliate instantaneously to a nuclear attack, these were the minutes."

QUOTE OFF

BTW...very little info available in a Google search for Ira Gearhart.

If Gerry Hemming is correct in asserting that the Bagman was issued false ID and military grade, this may not be too surprising.

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This thread ties in with the disposition of the Cabinet that day,

ie. on a plane to Asia.

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Shanet,

You're exactly in line with the direction I was headed with this thread. Let's recap, shall we?

At the approximate moment that JFK gets "capped," the beeper signal from the football ceases, for some reason. Then LBJ goes off from Parkland to Love Field, and the football gets left behind. Meanwhile, the entire cabinet--except the attorney general--is out of the country, their return time measured in hours.

So...with LBJ cowering in the back of a car headed toward Love Field...off the top of your head...

WHO'S IN CHARGE?

(a) LBJ;

(:ph34r: the cabinet;

© the military;

(d) none of the above.

Could one reason that the Washington DC phone system shut down that day have been to prevent the transmission of an order to fire one or more missiles? If so, why? If not, why not?

Something to think about....since the football contains the launch codes, was the fact that it was left behind really an accident? In the interim, who had access to it?

WHOA, NELLIE!!! FUMMMMM...BLE!

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Dirty Business Down in Dallas

All this shows me a co-ordinated JOINT OPERATION with the witting co-operation of the MILITARY INTELLIGENCE and NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY.

What possible other conclusion can we draw from this state of affairs?

Shanet,

You're exactly in line with the direction I was headed with this thread.  Let's recap, shall we?

At the approximate moment that JFK gets "capped," the beeper signal from the football ceases, for some reason.  Then LBJ goes off from Parkland to Love Field, and the football gets left behind.  Meanwhile, the entire cabinet--except the attorney general--is out of the country, their return time measured in hours.

So...with LBJ cowering in the back of a car headed toward Love Field...off the top of your head...

WHO'S IN CHARGE?

(a) LBJ;

(:) the cabinet;

© the military;

(d) none of the above.

Could one reason that the Washington DC phone system shut down that day have been to prevent the transmission of an order to fire one or more missiles?  If so, why?  If not, why not?

Something to think about....since the football contains the launch codes, was the fact that it was left behind really an accident?  In the interim, who had access to it?

WHOA, NELLIE!!! FUMMMMM...BLE!

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A question which occurred to me recently is, exactly who had custody of the briefcase referred to as "the football", the one containing the confidential codes to begin/control a nuclear attack, on November 22, 1963, between 12:30 and the time of LBJ's swearing-in aboard AF1?

Warrant Officer Ira Gearhart.  FWIW...

Hi, Robert. According to the SSDI, Ira D. Gearhart was issued his SS number in Washington D.C. He was born on 4-5-10, and died in Florida on 10-10-93.

Take care,

Roy Bierma

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So...was It Warrant Officer Ira Gearhart who had custody of the football, or was it CWO Robert M. Powell, as John Ritchson mentioned on another thread yesterday?

AND...if there actually IS confusion as to who had custody, WHY ? It would appear to MY feeble mind that there should be a straightforward, unequivocal answer to the question of who had possession of the football on 11/22/1963.

Or was Ira Gearhart the "alias name and ID" referred to by Mr. Hemming?

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Something strange is happening on this forum...the post I made yesterday isn't being registered as having been made, and therefore the topic isn't being "flagged" or "pinned" or whatever the correct term is for that sort of thing.

But the question remains: Powell or Gearhart? Or were they one and the same?

I tried to Google "Robert Powell" in combination with "JFK", "football", "bagman", and both with and without "CWO" and "warrant officer", and NONE of these combinations came up with anything at all. Using "Robert Powell" alone was too generic, as it brought up FAR too many Civil War veterans and genealogical entires to wade thru in a short period of time.

So...anyone have more on Powell? Or Gearhart?

Edited by Mark Knight

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According to Manchester, Gearhart had the football, and he was not left behind at Parkland. Johnson and his men paid no attention to him (I'm sure Johnson knew exactly what was going on and that the Russians had nothing to do with it), but Gearhart took it upon himself to sit on a policeman's lap from Parkland to Love Field.

Manchester says that eyeglasses seen reflecting light from the rear in the photo of Johnson being sworn in are Gearhart's glasses.

Ron

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