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Good, Robert.

Bear with me: JFK wants to secure communications with loyal flag officers, etc. And not just for the superficial reason, but also to run so-called barium tests through the system. There's no way he can hide the effort, and he knows it. So he floods the system with feints.

This line of thinking likely is open to the charge of being overly novelistic. But since the assassination was a dramatic construct, how better to understand it than by being sensitive to its elements?

Edited by Charles Drago
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Good, Robert.

Bear with me: JFK wants to secure communications with loyal flag officers, etc. And not just for the superficial reason, but also to run so-called barium tests through the system. There's no way he can hide the effort, and he knows it. So he floods the system with feints.

This line of thinking likely is open to the charge of being overly novelistic. But since the assassination was a dramatic construct, how better to understand it than by being sensitive to its elements?

Sounds reasonable to me, unless I find the document I am probably going to lay off posting because I don't want to seem like I am taking over the thread.

But this secure communications issue led me to this Postponed in Full document.

AGENCY : OMB

RECORD NUMBER : 179-10002-10012

RECORDS SERIES : 61.1B

DOCUMENT INFORMATION

ORIGINATOR : OMB

FROM : GORDON, KERMIT

TO : BUNDY, MCGEORGE

TITLE : DRAFT NSAM ON A COMMUNICATIONS SECURITY SURVEY

DATE : 10/27/1964

PAGES : 2

DOCUMENT TYPE : PAPER, TEXTUAL DOCUMENT

SUBJECTS : COMMUNICATION SECURITY

CLASSIFICATION : SECRET

RESTRICTIONS : REFERRED

CURRENT STATUS : POSTPONED IN FULL

DATE OF LAST REVIEW : 05/03/1993

COMMENTS : Attached is a memo from Bundy.Box: 31

OMB = Office of Management and Budget

FWIW.....

PS. My guess on this document is that it is buried in one of those bulky 45 to 75 page Califano Papers documents, but that is a stab in the dark.

And I did search specifically under Higgins, Wyman, Riley and Ingelido as well without any luck......

But I agree with Bill that it appears to be a very important document.

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Guest Tom Scully

William,

Aside from this thread, this seems to be the only other poster on the net talking about this subject:

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread186215/pg1%27

reply posted on 10-12-2005 @ 03:23 PM by rand

....I'd really love to know for certain, since the agency's actual role would answer many more questions. NASA was listed in the need-to-know lists of many National Security Directives from that time (like NSAM 261: Project Four Leaves, which has never been declassified), so it's reasonable to think that they would have observers on the

recovery teams. ...

The discussion was in the context of a recent, "Roswell like" cover up in Pennsylvania

That poster was active on that forum, at least as recently as in June, 2008....

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread191852/pg7

Slim lead, but it isn't as if there are other, obvious ones....

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JFK, in recognition of the treason around him at the highest levels, sets up a ... what's the word ... private executive communications system and restricts access (which is to say, acknowledges it for tactical reasons)???

Excerpt from 1990 manuscript/book, YROJ Connection to JFK Assassination,page 12.

1963 President Kennedy stated, "the very system of government is in dire peril and

may not survive my term in office." Kennedy was describing the severe threat posed

by extremely powerful cooperative civil and military sedition at work.

H. Dean

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JFK, in recognition of the treason around him at the highest levels, sets up a ... what's the word ... private executive communications system and restricts access (which is to say, acknowledges it for tactical reasons)???

Excerpt from 1990 manuscript/book, YROJ Connection to JFK Assassination,page 12.

1963 President Kennedy stated, "the very system of government is in dire peril and

may not survive my term in office." Kennedy was describing the severe threat posed

by extremely powerful cooperative civil and military sedition at work.

H. Dean

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Indeed William, but the Shamrock plus the 'mythical' fourth leaf is the Irish lucky clover: "Oxalis deppei '(Iron Cross'), or Good Luck Shamrock, is a perennial Oxalis that grows from a scaly tuber. ... They are hardy in the landscape in USDA zones 8-10." Zones 8 - 10 encompasses most of the southern states.

____________

Others

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/coldwarcomms/messages/7102

Project Four Leaves > "High Rock" near Camp David?

......................

http://www.antiwar.com/orig/stockbauer1.html the texan webmaster may have something?

Edited by John Dolva
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Indeed William, but the Shamrock plus the 'mythical' fourth leaf is the Irish lucky clover: "Oxalis deppei '(Iron Cross'), or Good Luck Shamrock, is a perennial Oxalis that grows from a scaly tuber. ... They are hardy in the landscape in USDA zones 8-10." Zones 8 - 10 encompasses most of the southern states.

____________

Others

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/coldwarcomms/messages/7102

Project Four Leaves > "High Rock" near Camp David?

......................

http://www.antiwar.com/orig/stockbauer1.html the texan webmaster may have something?

some more on the sham rock Oxalis Deppei (iron cross) four leaves faux clover (southern USofA plant):

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_pden/is_/ai_135948437

"The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently selected two consortia to develop advanced networking research testbeds as part of the Next Generation Internet (NGI) SuperNet Program. The NGI initiative is a multi-agency, Federal research and development program that will enable a new wave of revolutionary applications through advances in networking technologies and deployment of the SuperNet research testbed. The two projects chosen are Optical Networking for Regional Access with Multiple Protocols (ONRAMP) and National Transparent Optical Networks (NTON).

The ONRAMP Consortium consists of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.; MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Cambridge, Mass.; Ascend Communications, Westford, Mass.; Cabletron, Andover, Mass.; AT&T Local, Staten Island, N.Y.; AT&T Research Laboratories, Florham Park, N.J.; and JDS-Fitel, Nepean, Ontario."

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

Project Shamrock - http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005...ct_shamroc.html

Project Shamrock began in the 1950s, and ran for about twenty years. It too had a massive program to eavesdrop on all international telegram communications, including communications to and from American citizens. It too was to counter a terrorist threat inside the United States. It too was secret, and illegal.

Project SHAMROCK...was an espionage exercise that involved the accumulation of all telegraphic data entering into or exiting from the United States. The Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA) and its successor NSA were given direct access to daily microfilm copies of all incoming, outgoing, and transiting telegraphs via the Western Union and its associates RCA and ITT. Operation Shamrock lasted well into the 1960s when computerized operations (HARVEST) made it possible to search for keywords rather than read through all communications.

Project SHAMROCK became so successful that in 1966 the NSA and CIA set up a front company in lower Manhattan (where the offices of the telegraph companies were located) under the codename LPMEDLEY. At the height of Project SHAMROCK, 150,000 messages a month were printed and analyzed by NSA agents. In May 1975 however, congressional critics began to investigate and expose the program. As a result, NSA director Lew Allen terminated it. The testimony of both the representatives from the cable companies and of director Allen at the hearings prompted Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Sen. Frank Church to conclude that Project SHAMROCK was "probably the largest government interception program affecting Americans ever undertaken."

Wiki

"Project SHAMROCK, considered to be the sister project for Project MINARET, was an espionage exercise that involved the accumulation of all telegraphic data entering into or exiting from the United States. The Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA) and its successor NSA were given direct access to daily microfilm copies of all incoming, outgoing, and transiting telegraphs via the Western Union and its associates RCA and ITT. NSA did the operational interception, and, if information that would be of interest to other intelligence agencies was found, the material was passed to them.[1] "Intercepted messages were disseminated to the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), and the Department of Defense." No court authorized the operation and there were no warrants."

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/038549908...449612?n=507846

"Even more worrisome is another revelation, from the Kennedy years: "The Joint Chiefs of Staff drew up and approved plans for what may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government. In the name of anticommunism, they proposed launching a secret and bloody war of terrorism against their own country in order to trick the American public into supporting an ill-conceived war they intended to launch against Cuba."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...3100808_pf.html

"NSA Gave Other U.S. Agencies Information From Surveillance

Fruit of Eavesdropping Was Processed and Cross-Checked With Databases"

"In the 1960s and 1970s, the military used NSA intercepts to maintain files on U.S. peace activists, revelations of which prompted Congress to restrict the NSA from intercepting communications of Americans"

Edited by John Dolva
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In checking out some other NSAMs, I came across NSAM 191 - Assignment of Hightest National Security Priority to Project Defender, and another (207) called Centaur, both of which are worded similar to 261 (Four Leaves). Some of these, including 191, mention Carl Kaysen.

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resou...+Desk/NSAMs.htm

Carl Kaysen was McGeorge Bundy's deputy, also from Harvard. And he apparently is still be alive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Kaysen

He did two oral history interviews for the Kennedy Library. In one interview he mentions that while JFK wouldn't listen to Gen. LeMay about policy, he wanted LeMay to run the Air Force, and felt confident with him there, which was news to me. Every other report I had read said that the two men hated each other, much like JFK and JEH.

Maybe its true, since LeMay stayed on after others (Lemmitizer, Lansdale, Harvey et al) were gone.

I'm going to have to call him and ask him what Four Leaves was all about.

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resou...Carl+Kaysen.htm

http://web.mit.edu/sts/faculty/info/Kaysen_Carl-css.html

Carl Kaysen

Room

E38-603

Phone

617-253-4054

Professor Kaysen received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania (1940) and his Ph.D. from Harvard University (Economics, 1954). Before joining the MIT faculty in 1976, he was on the faculty of the Economics Department at Harvard; from 1964 to 1966, he was Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs to President Kennedy; and he served as Director of the Institute for Advanced Study from 1966 to 1976. He has been a Junior Fellow at Harvard University and a Guggenheim Fellow, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He was Vice Chairman and Director of Research for the Sloan Commission on Higher Education from 1978 to 1980.

His scholarly work has ranged widely in the areas where economics, sociology, politics and law overlap. His current research centers on arms control and international politics. He is a co-author (with George Rathjens) of Peace Operations by the United Nations: The Case for a Volunteer Military Force (1996) and co-editor (with Michael Schaif and Sarah Sewall) of The United States and the Fundamental Criminal Court: National Security and Fundamental Law (2000). He is also editor of and contributor to a volume of essays, The American Corporation Today

Edited by William Kelly
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Hey Tom,

Got your message re: lack of info on Four Leaves on the internet.

I have a feeling that it has something to do with satellites, though I'm not positive.

There's this interesting article about the termination of the Byeman control system of code names from this Security Newsletter

I think Four Leaves is a Byeman control name. Can anyone confirm or refute this idea?

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB225/doc06.pdf

and another article on satellite security with some cool documents at National Security Archives.

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB225/index.htm

And links to docs like :

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB225/doc13.pdf

from January, 1962, from the NPIC, the same people who got to view the Zapruder film in DC on the night of the assassination, who argue that the secrecy regarding satellite photos and recon is too much, and ought to be relaxed so those in the government and military who need it the most can use it.

And here's one on a similar note from our good friend Roswell Gilpatrick, the former General Dynamics attorney who becomes undersecretary of Defense and helps Gen Dyn get the F-111 contract, against the recomendation of every committee that looked into it. Gilpatrick also hand delivered the Sept. 24, 1963 letter from National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy that was orally read to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, concerning Cuban operational security (and PENDELUM, another Byeman code?)

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB225/doc14.pdf

BK

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Quote from "Making of the President 1964" by Theodore White, pp. 42-43:

"Of all the things Kennedy did for Johnson, none, however, was perhaps more instantly important on the weekend of November 22 than a minor decision Kennedy had made months before. He had decided that in the secret and emergency planning for continuity of American government in the happenstance of nuclear attack, Johnson should be given a major role. Through Clifton, who acted as White House liaison with the Department of Defense, all emergency and operational planning was made available to the Vice-President in duplicate. These plans, envisioning all things from the destruction of all major cities to the bodily transfer of governing officers to an underground capital, included, of course, detailed forethought of the event of the sudden death of a President."

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could this name four leaves be related to cryptology or substitution?

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=3

OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL ASSISTANT FOR COUNTERINSURGENCY AND SPECIAL ACTIVITIES

8 November 1963

MORANDUM FFOR THE DIRECTOR, JOINT STAFF

Subject: Plan for Military Protection for CIA Raids

Enclosures:

a. SACSA-M 575-63 (Red Tab A)

b. CINCLANT OPLAN 401-63 (Red Tab B)

c. Draft memo to CINCLANT (Red Tab C)

1. Planning guidance for military protection for CIA covert raids against Cuba has been approved by the Director (Red Tab A). The Joint Chiefs of Staff have been briefed on this procedure.

2. CINCLANT has prepared draft plans for support of three raids thus far. Military protection has not been requested.

3. CINCLANT has now submitted a formal plan (Red Tab B.) for review and approval, which will be available on the shelf for timely presentation to the JCS in the event that military protection is directed for a specific CIA covert raid. This plan is a smooth version of the previously prepared CINCLANT draft plans and is responsive to JCS guidance.

4. a. CINCLANT recommends that this plan be distributed to CINCONAD (General Gerhart) and to COMTAC (General Sweeney), since CONAD and TAC fighters in the Key West area can be scrambled from the Joint Air Reconnaissance Coordination Center, Key West for air defense missions. COMKWESTFOR normally will exercise operational control of Naval and Air Force support forces operating north of 22 degrees north latitude.

b. The CINCLANT project officer, Captain Kurtz, is prepared to deliver one copy of this plan to General Gerhart and to General Sweeney and brief each of these commanders on the details of the plan.

5 Recommend:

a. That CINCLANT OPLAN 401-63 be approved for planning.

b. Your approval and signature of memorandum to CINCLANT at Red Tab C.

V. H. KRULAK, Major General, USMC

Ed “Tree Frog” Re: OPLAN 312 :

Regarding this particular review, I can corroborate the existence of OPLAN-312, Contingency Plan to invade Cuba by a U.S. Joint Task Force Headquartered at Homestead AFB, Florida, November 1962 where I was stationed temporarily in the U.S. Army. I do not recall seeing anything about a “C-Day”, in the entire plan.

Since I was the temporary custodian of all 48 copies of the telephone book sized & numbered War Plans for two weeks, where I was TDY from Ft. Monroe, VA, Headquarters USCONARC, I knew the subject matter of OPLAN-312 quite well, having typed many of the revisions and addendums to the original plan.

It was a balmy November day in Miami when I arrived with a Spanish speaking Staff Sergeant on a Delta civilian flight from Norfolk VA, where we had received our “further orders” via sealed envelope on the tarmac, from a Major attached to an unknown base nearby. In Miami, we were met by a driver with a deuce and a half truck, where I sat in the back, with the duffel bags, while the Sgt. Rode up front with the driver. We were given jungle scarves at the Miami airport, and were told nothing about where we were going.

Once we arrived at Homestead AFB, (Postal Code “ Detachment 99”) the Sergeant was dropped off at one facility, and I was taken to the G2 office, where I was assigned to monitor OPLAN-312 for the next 2 weeks, from 7AM when I had to open the two door oversized safe and count all the copies, until 7PM, when I had to count all of the working copies once more, after they were returned, many by General Staff Officers. Never saw the Sergeant Again.

Regarding the visit to Homestead AFB by John F. Kennedy near the end of November 1962, all personnel except Field Grade Officers were allowed to take the day off, which allowed many of us to photograph the President as he drove up to the Operations Center building in his open limousine.

Since I had typed the briefing for JFK the night before, I was aware that he was being told in detail how we planned to execute OPLAN-312, and that the only thing missing from the document was the suggested DATE of the invasion, since he had to approve the plan before it could be executed.

After he left the facility, and visited a few other bases around South Florida, which was then an armed camp, he flew back to Washington. Approximately 10 days later, at the beginning of December, we got the classified code word (in the clear) to CANCEL the plans for OPLAN-312 and return to our units. He had negotiated a deal with Kruchev, and kept his word that we would not invade CUBA.

I can not speak of OPLAN-316, since I was deployed to Northern Germany in February 1963, and only learned of it’s existence when I visited the JFK Library years later when Dave Powers was running it.

Needless to say, there were a lot of unhappy officers when JFK decided to cancel OPLAN-312.

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http://www.jfklibrary.org/White+House+Diar...;m=9&y=1963

September 23, 1963

President Kennedy assigns the highest national priority to Project FOUR LEAVES to develop and produce a military communications system.

Could Project FOUR LEAVES be related to Operation Falling Leaves?

The Limits of Safety By Scott Douglas Sagan (p. 4)

….The safety record seems quite extraordinary, however, with the most hazardous technology of all: nuclear weapons. There has never been an accidental, unauthorized detonation of a nuclear weapon, much less escalation to accidental nuclear war.

Why? How have imperfect humans, working in imperfect organizations and operating imperfect machines, been so successful? Have the military organizations that maintain custody and control over U.S. nuclear weapons done something extremely intelligent to avoid accidents? Have they been designed in such a way to produce reliable safety? Or have they merely been extremely lucky?

The first step toward solving this puzzle was to arm myself with major scholarly theories that exist about the causes of safety and accidents in complex organizations. Two competing schools of thought – what I call normal accidents theory and high reliability theory – are analyzed in chapter 1. Such theories are always necessary to understand complex social phenomena; they are the conceptual tools we use to pull disparate events together and understand what caused them.

The point is especially obvious for anyone who tries to do historic research with records kept at massive collections like the National Archives: theories are absolutely necessary to tell you where to look for evidence. (The final scene of the movies Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which the ark of the covenant is slowly wheeled into a mammoth government warehouse, conveys a sense of how effective historical objects are hidden in the recesses of the archives.) Using the theories discussed in chapter 1 as guides, I was able to explore the historical records of the U.S. military, searching for clues.

Let me give just one example of how the process worked. (See chapter 3 for the substantive details about this particular case study.) The literature on the Cuban missile crisis is immense, but no scholar has previously studies the emergency radar warning system, which the United States deployed on a crash basis in October 1962 after the Soviet missiles were discovered. A study of the activities at the three radars used in this Operation Falling Leaves appeared to me, however, to be a very useful way of comparing the strengths of the two theoretical perspectives outlined in chapter 1, since these theories provide contrasting expectations about the warning system’s reliability.

Normal accidents theory would predict that Falling Leaves would be a very accident-prone operation: the warning system displayed al the signs of high interactive complexity and tight coupling, the two structural factors that the theory suggests lead to dangerous accidents in other high technology systems. High reliability theory would predict that Falling Leaves would be a relatively safe operation, since the factors that the theory suggests produced safety in other hazardous systems also existed here: significant decentralization decision-making authority was given to operators in the field, redundant radars were used to provide more accurate warning information, and officers’ caution heightened by the crisis environment. I therefore visited the Air Force archives, found a number of relevant declassified documents, and then used the Freedom of Information Act to request that additional related documents be declassified and sent to me.

These historical records confirmed the more optimistic view of the high reliability theorists. They reported on no serious false warning incidents occurring during the crisis. Indeed, the Falling Leaves after-action report recommended that the emergency radar system be set up again if there were ever another superpower crisis.

This success story was puzzling from a normal accidents perspective. That theory, however, also reminds us to be skeptical of documents that are written by organization actors who are interested in promoting their own…. (P.5)

Normal False Warnings? (p. 122)

From a normal accidents theory perspective, such confidence would not be warranted. As discussed in the two previous chapters, this more pessimistic perspective on organizations points to a number of reasons to suspect the risk of accidents will always be significant in highly complex and tightly coupled systems. Senior decision makers may generally desire high reliability and safety, but others within the organization may have other priorities.

Redundancies may be added to the system, but this can inadvertently reduce safety by making the system more complex and therefore more prone to hidden interactions and mysterious failures. All potential problems cannot be anticipated and cannot therefore be fixed ahead of time. Flexibility in decision making authority and “man-in-the-loop” rules can reduce the danger of excessive reliance on fallible machines, but can also produce higher level human failures.

Did such problems occur in the U.S. warning system during the Cuban missile crisis? Clearly there was no false warning that produced a mistaken “retaliation” against the Soviet Union. Yet the following three case studies of incidents in U.S. warning and intelligence systems in October 1962 demonstrate that a number of serious command and control problems did develop during the crisis.

The first case is a study of a series of false warnings emanating from the emergency ballistic missile warning system that were activated in October 1962 to detect missile launches from Cuba. The second case study focuses on the potential for dangerous interactions that developed during an accidental U.S. Air Force U-2 over flight of the Soviet Union on October 27, perhaps the most tense day of the crisis. The third case concerns a bizarre false warning incident that occurred in Moscow, after Colonel Oleg Penkovsky, a Soviet military officer who was a spy for the United States, was arrested during the crisis. None of these false warning incidents led to further escalation; each of them had the potential to do so.

THE CUBAN MISSILE EARLY WARNING SYSTEM

How reliable was the U.S. missile warning system during the Cuban missile crisis? In October 1962, two of the three scheduled BMEWS stations (at Thule and Clear) were in operation, and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara testified to Congress in early 1963 that “it is reasonable to assume that the BMEWS would be able to provide adequate warning.” 11

Yet, when the Soviet missiles in Cuba were discovered by the United States, a serious deficiency became immediately obvious: despite the enormous sums spent on the BMEWS radars facing north, the United States had absolutely no capability in place to detect a missile launched from the south, from Cuba.

Washington policymakers had simply never anticipated that the Soviets would outflank the BMEWS radars in this manner. The seriousness of this gap in missile warning coverage was immediately recognized by the Strategic Air Command, which required warning in order to launch vulnerable bombers into the air to avoid destruction, and by the Executive Committee (ExComm) of the National Security Council, which was also informed of the problem. 12

In response, the air force quickly initiated an emergency Cuban Missile Early Warning System (CMEWS) program, code-named Falling Leaves, to provide tactical warning in the event that the Soviet missiles in Cuba were launched. 13.

Three radars in the United States were utilized in the Falling Leaves emergency warning program (see figure 3.1).

11. Department of Defense Appropriations for 1964, Hearings before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, 88th Congress, 1st sess., part 1, p. 124.

12. According to CINCSAC General Power, the missiles in Cuba “could for example, knockout all the command and control, Washington and SAC Headquarters, and time that with a missile attack over BMEWS, and maybe catch the whole thing (SAC strategic forces) on the ground.” Thomas Power Interview, Strategic Air Command, FOIA, p. 4, Also see Raymond Garthoff’s October 27, 1962, memorandum for the ExComm, reprinted in Raymond L. Garthoff, Reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 2nd ed. (Washington, Brookings Institution, 1989, pp. 202-203.

13. Unless otherwise noted, this section is based on Headquarters 9th Aerospace Division, Memorandum for the Record, Subject: Falling Leaves, January 11, 1963 (henceforth Falling Leaves Memorandum) NSA-CMCC.

(p. 125)

…Despite these difficulties, the final report on Moorestown radar operations informed air force headquarters that the “facility did provide an acceptable detection capability against the Cuban missile threat.” 20

What about the other sides? To provide independent and redundant sensors, the Air Defense Command also immediately proceeded to alter two other radars and turned them to face Cuba. At Laredo, Texas, an air force MPS-14 space-tracking radar was shifted to the ballistic missile warning mission after real time radar display equipment was sent from the Sheyma, Alaska, sensor site. The Laredo radar became operational on the night of October 28-9, and was considered to be a backup system for the more capable Moorestown radar. It too had to overcome significant operational problems. Several outages were caused by lack of spare parts and a failure to send the maintenance instructions for the display equipment sent from Sheyma. Inadequately trained contractor crews manned the radar control center throughout the crisis. Most importantly, there was no capability for a rapid and accurate test of the Laredo system. After the crisis it was therefore acknowledged by the commanding officers that, “system degradation could have been present without [the] knowledge of the operating crew.” Nevertheless, the after-action report noted that “the Laredo sensor site performed its ‘Falling Leaves’ mission in a satisfactory manner.” 21

The third Falling Leaves site was in Thomasville, Alabama, where an Air Defense Command Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system FPS-35 radar (a radar normally used for aircraft detection and identification) was modified to provide a backup ballistic missile warning capability. Numerous outages occurred at Thomasville, however, due to lack of spare parts and maintenance instructions for the modified equipment, and the radar was therefore not operating for over 16 percent of the emergency period. Inadequate secure communications capability between Thomasville and higher headquarters also existed for the first days of operation. Although the telephone “hotline” between the site and NORAD Command Control and Display Facility (CC&DF) enabled instantaneous verbal reports, all classified messages had to be sent over a jerry-rigged network, which took over two hours to deliver messages between Air Defense Command Headquarters and Thomasville. 22

(p. 127)

…These log books entries, supplemented by air force unit histories and interviews with the key participants in the Falling Leaves operations, paint a much more alarming picture of the CMEWS project than that which exists in the official after-action reports. 25 Indeed, these documents demonstrate that at least three false warning incidents occurred during the Cuban crisis.

Spoofing Ourselves

The first incident was a relatively minor “scare” at the Moorestown radar site, the cause of which was quickly discovered and soon fixed. In 1962, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy regularly flight-tested ICBMs, IRBMs (intermediate range ballistic missiles) into the Atlantic Ocean out of Patrick Air Force Base on Cape Canaveral and adjacent ocean areas off Florida. NASA also regularly launched space vehicles and satellites from Cape Canaveral.

A small number of these launches went directly over the island of Cuba and officials at the Department of Defense quickly recognized the potential for such missile launches to be misinterpreted by the Cubans or Russians in Cuba. It was possible, for example, that Soviet or Cuban warning systems might misidentify a test missile as an attack. An errant or malfunctioning rocket could be particularly provocative if it hit Cub during the crisis. In fact, as recently as November 1960, portions of a Thor missile that malfunctioned in flight during a satellite launch, had impacted in Cuba, reportedly killing a cow and causing strong diplomatic protests from the Castro government. 26.

The Pentagon therefore ordered that any missile launches whose trajectory went over Cuba would be postponed, a decision that fortunately stopped a scheduled Thor missile launch that would have passed over the island on October 24. 27

The postponement of this potentially provocative missile launch demonstrates that the Pentagon officials were cognizant of the danger that these missile launch operations in Florida might create a false warning for Soviet and Cuban forces in Cuba. They treated the danger seriously and took immediate action to solve the problem. In the haste to deploy an emergency U.S. missile warning system against the Soviet missiles in Cuba, however, no one apparently thought about the possibility that a U.S. missile launch might be misidentified by the U.S. Falling Leaves radars. No one had arranged for the CMEWS radars to receive timely advance notification of all U.S. missile launches from Florida, most of which (like the ICBM tested at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California discussed in chapter 2) continued according to a schedule during the crisis. 28

The danger of a false warning was greater than anticipated during the first days of the Cuban missile crisis because the redundant sensors, which had been designed into the system to provide overlap and confirmation capabilities, did not become operational simultaneously. It was considered critical to get at least some warning system in place as soon as possible. The Moorestown radar was the first of the Falling Leaves sites to become operational, achieving initial capability against Cuba on October 24. 29

The second sensor site, at Laredo, did not become operational until October 28. 30 On the afternoon of October 26, however, before the second sensor site was available to provide redundant warning information, a Titan II ICBM was fired on a test launch toward the south Atlantic. 31

The Moorestown radar operators had not been anticipating this missile launch when, suddenly, it appeared on their display screens. Because of the extremely close range of Soviet missiles in Cuba to the United States, the Falling Leaves operators expected to receive only five minutes of warning and perhaps less, between detection of a medium-range ballistic in flight and its impact in the southern United States. 32 The radar operators recall in interviews that they were, quite naturally, shocked when a missile suddenly appeared on their radar screens. It took a few tense minutes, in the crisis control room at Moorestown, for air force duty officers and contract civilian personnel to recognize, as their radar began to show the missile heading southeast, that this was “a friendly” missile with no impact point predicted inside the United States.

The Air Defense Command immediately acknowledged the potential for serious false warnings here. Colonel William Watts, of the 9th Aerospace Division, flew down to Patrick Air Force Base to explain the problem to officials there and to ensure that advance notification of U.S. missile launches would be sent to the CMEWS radar sites. 33

On October 27, the commander of the Air Force Missile Test Center further informed the higher headquarters that “the test schedule would continue, with the prelaunch announcement policy changed so as to avoid international misunderstanding or ‘inadvertent action.’” 34

After that procedural change, there were apparently no further alarms caused by U.S. ICBM launches. The Moorestown operators were sufficiently concerned to recommend that in the future “a procedure be established to allow an immediate ‘on call’ reaction for launch and final count-down information, (to) be provided (to) all sensors.” 35

There is both good news and bad news in the history of this brief incident. The good news is that the system worked even without redundancy: the Moorestown radar by itself was able to discriminate between a hostile missile launch toward the U.S. and a friendly launch toward the Eastern Test Range impact area. Moreover, rapid organizational learning took place: a potential for false warning problems was recognized and the operational procedures for integrating U.S. missile launches with the Falling Leaves sites were adjusted immediately. Imagination also helped; all missile test launches over Cuba were canceled.

32. Message BMEWS ESD to RCA Moorestown, n.d., supporting document 61, Electronic Systems Division Historical Report on “Cracker Jack.” The five-minute estimate is given for a hypothetical attack from Cuba against Savannah, Georgia, and warning time for any target south of that area would be even less. Also see James Daniel and John G. Hubbell, Strike in the West: The Complete Story of the Cuban Missile Crisis (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963), p. 118

33. William C. Watts, interview with the author, September 8, 1989.

34. History of the Air Force Systems Command, July 1-December 31, 1962, vol. 1, p. 11-82, FOIA.

33 Falling Leaves Memorandum, pp. 6-7. The AFSC history states that after November 1, “to avoid mistaking the missile warning network covering Cuba, the Center also arranged to notify the North American Air Defense Command of any planned Cape Canaveral test launches which would rise above 70,000 feet.” History of the Air Force Systems Command, July 1-December 31, 1962, vol. 1, p.11-87.

(p. 198)

…What is disturbing is to look at the evidence on how little the Strategic Air Command learned from the experience at all; and, indeed, how creatively it reconstructed the events after this and other accidents.

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''NORAD command building at Ent could be immobilized by a well-aimed bazooka shot, much less by a nuclear blast. To address the problem, architects designed a secure center to be set within man-made caverns in Cheyenne Mountain south of Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Corps of Engineers Omaha District oversaw the massive effort to dig out the caverns. On May 2, 1961, Utah Construction won the bid for the excavation work of the granite mountain. Workers blasted and removed one million tons of granite from inside the mountain. In February 1963, another bid opening placed interior construction work in the hands of Continental Consolidated Corporation. Eleven underground steel buildings were constructed to provide 170,000 square feet of space. To absorb shock waves, each building was mounted on giant steel springs. By February 1966, the "rock" was completed and NORAD began to shift operations from Ent AFB. 60''

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http://www.uspoliticsonline.net/military-t...on-radar-3.html

''NORAD command building at Ent could be immobilized by a well-aimed bazooka shot, much less by a nuclear blast. To address the problem, architects designed a secure center to be set within man-made caverns in Cheyenne Mountain south of Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Corps of Engineers Omaha District oversaw the massive effort to dig out the caverns. On May 2, 1961, Utah Construction won the bid for the excavation work of the granite mountain. Workers blasted and removed one million tons of granite from inside the mountain. In February 1963, another bid opening placed interior construction work in the hands of Continental Consolidated Corporation. Eleven underground steel buildings were constructed to provide 170,000 square feet of space. To absorb shock waves, each building was mounted on giant steel springs. By February 1966, the "rock" was completed and NORAD began to shift operations from Ent AFB. 60''

John,

How do you connect this with Project FOUR LEAVES or Operation Falling Leaves?

Also, can someone tell me the difference between a Project and an Operation?

And why some crypts are capitalized and others not?

Thanks

BK

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