Jump to content
The Education Forum

Air Force One Radio Transmissions


William Kelly
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 168
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Thank you for your fine work, Bill. This is a big improvement over the cassette tapes that were sold in the 1980s!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Bill - The tapes pose more questions than they answer. Who decided to bring the body to Bethesda? It seems that Burkley thought the autopsy would be done at Walter Reed, but there is no evidence on the tapes that he put up much of a fight. And was it Secret Service agent Behn that made the Bethesda decision? Was this part of the tape from the LBJ version or Clifton or both?

The main question I have, and which will surely not be answered, is who edited the tapes? Why did Clifton have a longer yet still edited tape?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Bill - The tapes pose more questions than they answer. Who decided to bring the body to Bethesda? It seems that Burkley thought the autopsy would be done at Walter Reed, but there is no evidence on the tapes that he put up much of a fight. And was it Secret Service agent Behn that made the Bethesda decision? Was this part of the tape from the LBJ version or Clifton or both?

The main question I have, and which will surely not be answered, is who edited the tapes? Why did Clifton have a longer yet still edited tape?

Hey Paul,

I'm with you, I have the same questions as you do, and I think we can answer them all - but we are just getting started - we just combined them for the first time, and as Jeff Morley said, we are doing something Pro Bono - without pay - something that the government should be doing - and only now, that we have combined the tapes and cleaned them up a bit - can we examine them closely and determine exactly what is on them.

It has been said that the DPD dictabelt is the "black box" of the the JFK assassination, but I don't think so, as only scientists can decipher it - as to whether or not there are gunshots on the tape and what they mean - when the AF1 radio transmissions can easily be understood by anyone who knows English and the meaning of the codes they use. So the Air Force One Radio transmissions are one of the most important pieces of evidence in the case, and as Jeff Morley described it as giving us a clear picture of what was going on at the highest levels of government in the immediate hours after the assassination.

In answer to your questions, Maj. Patterson, who is heard on the tapes using his code name "Stranger," was the officer in charge of the White House Situation Room at the time of the assassination. After learning of his identity from the tapes, as i transcribed them, I off the cuff Googled his name and located him and called him on the telephone. I told him I was transcribing the AF1 radio communications and heard him on them, and asked him - my first question was who edited them - and he said the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), the office to which he was assigned, recorded everything, but didn't edit them. So it must have been, he suggested, the White House who edited them.

As to the length, the LBJ Library Tape has an official introduction that explains that they were edited, and they were released to the public as a series of cassette tapes in the late 1970s, while the Clifton tapes were two, exact duplicates of reel to reel tapes - obviously a generation closer to the original, yet still edited.

The Clifton tape, while a half hour - 30 minutes longer than the LBJ tape, begins about ten minutes into the officially released LBJ tapes, and some of what is on the longer version is not in the shorter version, so while the Clifton tape is longer, each tape contains unique information that is not on the other tape, so what we did was keep things in sequence and using the best of the two where they overlapped, combined them to one tape so its possible to hear the whole thing at one time and not have to go back and forth and listen to both without knowing what is or what is not on either of them.

After studying both for quite some time, I think that we have provided a unique service to those who want to seriously study these tapes, and I hope, as Dave Reitzes put it, study them in a sober and meaningful way.

Let the analysis begin!

BK

Edited by William Kelly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wecht Conference Program - AF1 Radio Tapes Synopsis -

http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2013/10/from-program-cyril-w.html

THE AIR FORCE ONE RADIO TRANSMISSION TAPES - A FORENSIC ANALYSIS

By William E. Kelly

There are a number of audio tapes of forensic value in high profile crime cases, including Kent State, the RFK assassination and the assassination of President Kennedy.

While the controversial Dallas Police tape has received the most attention because some acoustical experts say it contains evidence of a fourth shot from the Grassy Knoll, also of interest are the recordings of Air Force One radio transmissions from 11/22/63, including the LBJ Library cassette recordings released in the late 1970s and the more recently discovered reel to reel Air Force One tapes found among the personal effects of Gen. Clifton, the president’s military aide.

Dissatisfied with the official transcript of the LBJ Library version of the tapes I compiled my own transcript, and when the Clifton tape was released by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), I compiled a transcript of that as well, then compared the two. The Clifton tape is longer by about a half hour, but both contain unique information, so I put together a combined and annotated transcript that is still a work in progress.

Ed Primeau, an acoustical forensic specialist, studied the quality of the tapes and with the assistance of his staff created a combined copy, using the better quality of the two where they overlapped, and added the transcript to an audio visual recording so you can read along as you listen to the tapes. And we now have a high quality combined tape that will be used to conduct a complete forensic analysis. This will include a scientific, technical analysis that will try to determine how many frequencies were used, what frequencies they were, how many edits there are, as well as eliminate noise and enhance background conversations.

This forensic analysis will also include a review of the conversations – identify those who talk or are mentioned, translate all codes and technical language and compare it to what we know from other sources.

Since the Clifton tape is longer than the officially released LBJ version, it includes conversations that were edited out of the publicly released version, which allows us to try to determine why key elements were deleted from the public version and others not.

The newly released tapes also include new and possibly significant characters, including Major Harold Patterson and the widow of Col. Dorman, Air Force General LeMay’s aide, both of whom can be heard on the tapes.

Maj. Harold Patterson, also known on the tapes by his code name - “Stranger,” was in charge of the White House Situation Room at the time of the assassination. Shortly after the release of the tapes both Patterson and Mrs. Dorman were located and interviewed for the first time about what happened that day.

Major Patterson confirmed that he was the officer in charge of the White House situation room that day, but hasn’t yet heard the tapes and didn’t know he was on them. He did recall talking with Pierre Salinger on the cabinet plane, and the affirmed the fact that the plane’s code books were missing.

Gen. LeMay’s aide, Col. Dorman, is heard on the newly released tape in a section edited out of the publicly released version, with an urgent message for Gen. LeMay, who was flying back to Washington from Canada, where he was said to be on a fishing trip with his family.

Col. Dorman’s wife, who was working at the White House that day, recalled what happened at the White House when the president was shot.

There are also riveting conversations among White House aides and the military officers on such subjects as the autopsy, the living arrangements of the new President and plans for the autopsy and funeral, and much to be learned from a complete forensic analysis of the tapes.

The entire combined tape is over eighty minutes in length.

The most recent article on the subject, "Flight From Dallas" published in Esquire (Oct. 1963), acknowledges in the editors column, that while the author was aware of the Clifton tape and listened to it, it was not used in the article, so that article is not the most recent up to date research or information we have.

The value of the discovery of the new version of the Air Force One radio transmissions from Air Force One cannot be underestimated, as it not only gives us a fuller picture of what happened that day, it has quickly led to the identification of a number of new and important witnesses, and gives us reason to believe that somewhere on the shelf of an archives other, even more complete and unedited tapes still exist and will one day be discovered so we will have an even better understanding of what happened that day.

To listen to the new, refined and combined AF1 radio transmission tapes:

http://www.audioforensicexpert.com/blog/

Edited by William Kelly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great work Bill. This tape will provide much to chew on for some time I think. Hopefully we will get that fully uncut version at some point. (An archival TV researcher in Africa found a large cache of DR WHO episodes and other BBC shows that had been missing for 45 years earlier this year, the point being that you never know what is out there and it pays dividends to keep on looking).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that intuition is anything but evidence, but I think that the new info about Colonel Dorman trying to contact LeMay, edited out of the LBJ version, is the tip of the iceberg. Its reasonable to assume that LeMay was the cigar smoking general in the autopsy gallery. How he found out where the autopsy would occur is the question. Was Dorman trying to tell LeMay that Bethesda was to be the location, rather than Walter Reed? And further, did this come as a surprise to LeMay, or perhaps was he behind the scenes making sure the autopsy would be at Bethesda, and only receiving final confirmation from Dorman that the plotters had been successful in convincing JFK's AF1 aides to switch the location?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maj. Harold Patterson, also known on the tapes by his code name - “Stranger,” was in charge of the White House Situation Room at the time of the assassination. Shortly after the release of the tapes both Patterson and Mrs. Dorman were located and interviewed for the first time about what happened that day.

Major Patterson confirmed that he was the officer in charge of the White House situation room that day, but hasn’t yet heard the tapes and didn’t know he was on them. He did recall talking with Pierre Salinger on the cabinet plane, and the affirmed the fact that the plane’s code books were missing.

Bill,

When you say Patterson was "in charge" of the White House Situation Room, do we have reason to believe it was Patterson and not McGeorge Bundy who first radioed AF1 with news that the lone assassin had been captured?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maj. Harold Patterson, also known on the tapes by his code name - “Stranger,” was in charge of the White House Situation Room at the time of the assassination. Shortly after the release of the tapes both Patterson and Mrs. Dorman were located and interviewed for the first time about what happened that day.

Major Patterson confirmed that he was the officer in charge of the White House situation room that day, but hasn’t yet heard the tapes and didn’t know he was on them. He did recall talking with Pierre Salinger on the cabinet plane, and the affirmed the fact that the plane’s code books were missing.

Bill,

When you say Patterson was "in charge" of the White House Situation Room, do we have reason to believe it was Patterson and not McGeorge Bundy who first radioed AF1 with news that the lone assassin had been captured?

Cliff, Patterson was "in charge" of the WHSR in the sense that there was one officer assigned from each branch of the service - and I believe they rotated responsibility for being "in charge," and it was Patterson's turn that day. The Navy guy there - Oliver Hallett, knew Oswald from his previous assignment in Moscow, where he was Navy attache and his wife was Snyder's secretary when Oswald turned in his passport.

Listening to the tapes, we can tell when Bundy is talking as we know his voice, and we now know Patterson and Hallet. I haven't gone over the tapes in awhile and will resume soon, as I revise the transcripts based on the new, cleaned up and combined tape we have created.

But from memory, if you are referring to the Salandria "Tale of the Tapes" article in which he quotes T.H. White's book "Making of a President 1964" when White says Bundy radioed AF1 from the WHSR and informed them that Oswald captured and no conspiracy, well that is not on the existing tapes. White, along with William Manchester and Pierre Salinger, were given access to a transcript of the AF1 tapes that must have been from the complete unedited tapes, as all three quote sections of the transcript that are not on the existing tapes. So there were a lot of parts edited out, and the unedited tapes are missing, and the transcript of the unedited tapes is also now missing from the existing records.

I do believe however, that we will someday soon locate the unedited tapes, as I think they still exist and we have a good lead on where they could possibly be.

Thanks for your interest in this,

BK

Edited by William Kelly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But from memory, if you are referring to the Salandria "Tale of the Tapes" article in which he quotes T.H. White's book "Making of a President 1964" when White says Bundy radioed AF1 from the WHSR and informed them that Oswald captured and no conspiracy, well that is not on the existing tapes. White, along with William Manchester and Pierre Salinger, were given access to a transcript of the AF1 tapes that must have been from the complete unedited tapes, as all three quote sections of the transcript that are not on the existing tapes. So there were a lot of parts edited out, and the unedited tapes are missing, and the transcript of the unedited tapes is also now missing from the existing records.

I do believe however, that we will someday soon locate the unedited tapes, as I think they still exist and we have a good lead on where they could possibly be.

Thanks for your interest in this,

BK

Thank you for your great work on this.

The Bundy line we have on tape about "the Pentagon is taking its own steps" possibly refers to the actions of Gen LeMay and the preparation for a strike on Cuba.

But Bundy himself way-laid those preparations when he informed LBJ that the lone assassin was captured.

Dueling cover-ups!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We do know of some steps the Pentagon was taking, they were jumping the defcon level a stage and alerting various commands. CINCPAC even jumped the alert higher in his region. Also SAC was raising the interm alert levels at its missile sites. There are several states within each of the defense conditions that can be handled independently.

I also have to caution that LeMay's aide contacting him and calling him back would have been pretty SOP, the Chiefs had been taken by McNamara into the new national command center, at that point McNamara was the only national command authority and that was where he should have been.

Perhaps more interesting is Taylor's comment to Manchester that he had put a local Army unit on alert because his first thought was a coup - sure wish Manchester had asked him why and who he had in mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But from memory, if you are referring to the Salandria "Tale of the Tapes" article in which he quotes T.H. White's book "Making of a President 1964" when White says Bundy radioed AF1 from the WHSR and informed them that Oswald captured and no conspiracy, well that is not on the existing tapes. White, along with William Manchester and Pierre Salinger, were given access to a transcript of the AF1 tapes that must have been from the complete unedited tapes, as all three quote sections of the transcript that are not on the existing tapes. So there were a lot of parts edited out, and the unedited tapes are missing, and the transcript of the unedited tapes is also now missing from the existing records.

I do believe however, that we will someday soon locate the unedited tapes, as I think they still exist and we have a good lead on where they could possibly be.

Thanks for your interest in this,

BK

Thank you for your great work on this.

The Bundy line we have on tape about "the Pentagon is taking its own steps" possibly refers to the actions of Gen LeMay and the preparation for a strike on Cuba.

But Bundy himself way-laid those preparations when he informed LBJ that the lone assassin was captured.

Dueling cover-ups!

The lines attributed to Bundy - including "the Pentagon is taking its own steps" - are not on the existing tapes. Also missing are other the quotes White and Manchester attributed to a transcript they were permitted to read at the White House, but not take with them. Salinger was also sent a copy of the transcript which he quotes from in his book, and then passed on to the JFK Library in Boston. When Vince Salandria asked the LBJ library for the AF1 transcript that Salinger had and gave to them, they said they no longer had it. So the Dealey Plaza Clean Up Crew was hard at work.

Jim Bishop, who didn't have access to the tapes or the transcripts, wrote in his book that LBJ conversed with military commanders over the radio - this information apparently attained from an interview with one of the AF1 radio men, Air Force sergeants attached to the White House Communications Agency (WHCA).

A recent article in Esquire Magazine - Flight From Dallas - posted on another thread - also quotes this same radio man - and notes that he is still alive.

I agree with you that there were probably dueling cover-ups.

The original cover-story - that Castro Commies were behind the assassination, assumed that Oswald would be killed but that the assassination would be considered a conspiracy because there was more than one gunman, and the trail - rifle to Oswald - Oswald to FPCC/Mexico to Cuba - was clearly laid out, just as the evidence was linking Oswald to the crime - and the DPD Special Services Bureau cops who were also part of Army Reserves Intel #488 - Gannaway, Revel, Lumpkin, Stringfellow, et al., began to push for the Commie Conspiracy line - and Stringfellow sent the memo to the Florida Strike Force - alerting them to Oswald's Cuban Castro Commie background - they were pushing for the Cuban invasion backlash - the Northwoods twist to the Dealey Plaza operation. BUT

But LBJ took command, and the first decision he made as president was to go immediately to AF1 rather than the plane he flew in on, because as the Warren Commission tells us - it had better communications equipment. Once there, he makes a half dozen phone calls from the land line - run into AF1 that the WHCA claims was not recorded. JFK had only ordered the AF1 radio communications recorded when the plane was in the air. So LBJ calls Goldberg, the Dallas lawyer who tells him to have the swearing in right away, and have Judge Hughes do it. He then calls Judge Hughes' office and tells them to have her come to AF1 immediately. Then he calls RFK and asks for the words to the oath of office. Then he calls J.W. Bullion, his tax attorney and tells him he will now have to sell his Halliburton stock. RFK then calls him back and gives him the words to the oath.

In the meantime - we are told - by Bishop and Manchester and White, that he also talks to his generals about the Soviet threat, and by now - before they even take off - Oswald is captured and identified as FPCC, not by the White House Situation Room but by the news media - mainly the DRE - CIA assets - Hal Hendrix, et al., and the plane takes off. When they get back to Andrews, LBJ makes his speech and then he and his men - Valente, Cliff Carter, Bill Moyers, et al, take helicopters to the White House lawn. After looking into the Oval Office French Doors from the Rose Garden, LBJ decides to use his own VP office in the Executive Office Building next door, so they walk over there. If they had used the Oval Office we would have a tape of the calls he made, because LBJ kept JFK's recording system going for awhile. But in the EOB, the phones were not recorded, and a lot of important calls were made, including a number to Dallas - Barefoot Sanders, Dallas DA - Henry Wade - etc., trying to put a squelch on the rumor they had heard that Oswald was going to be charged with a the assassination as part of a commie conspiracy.

This rumor was being fueled by one Joseph Goulden, reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, who was talking directly to Dallas Asst. DA William Alexander, who had told Goulden he was indeed going to charge Oswald with being part of a communist conspiracy, but once LBJ heard that - and called three top Texas lawmen, all of whom called Wade, the DA went back to the office and asked about Oswald being charged with a conspiracy and Alexander denied it. Goulden, it turns out, was one of David Atlee Phillips top media assets, who later - with another CIA media asset Hugh Aynesworth - "made up" Oswald's FBI informant number - a trial balloon they sent up to see if it would fly. And while the commie conspiracy didn't fly, the FBI informant did, at least long enough to unnerve the Warren Commission.

So there were two alternative cover stories - the commie conspiracy and the lone nut, both untrue, but the latter more easier to swallow, at least for LBJ because he didn't have to go to war with Cuba and the Soviets, as the original cover story would have if they stuck to it. To placate the military, he told them he would give them their war but it would be in Vietnam instead - since Cuba was the reason JFK was killed, LBJ didn't want to have anything to do with it, and didn't.

That's my take on it, and it appears that the most important parts of the Air Force One tapes is what was once on it - and now isn't.

BK

Edited by William Kelly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We do know of some steps the Pentagon was taking, they were jumping the defcon level a stage and alerting various commands. CINCPAC even jumped the alert higher in his region. Also SAC was raising the interm alert levels at its missile sites. There are several states within each of the defense conditions that can be handled independently.

I also have to caution that LeMay's aide contacting him and calling him back would have been pretty SOP, the Chiefs had been taken by McNamara into the new national command center, at that point McNamara was the only national command authority and that was where he should have been.

Perhaps more interesting is Taylor's comment to Manchester that he had put a local Army unit on alert because his first thought was a coup - sure wish Manchester had asked him why and who he had in mind.

Thanks for that Larry.

Can you tell me where the new National Command Center was located? In the Pentagon? At Weather Mountain? Site R?

BK

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...