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Air Force One Radio Transmissions


William Kelly
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Apparently he was hunting, not fishing.

From "Lemay - The Life and Wars of General Curtis Lemay" by Warren Kozak (Regnery,History, 2009, p. 356):

"On November 22, 1963, while on a hunting trip in Michigan, Curtis Lemay heard that President Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas. He immediately flew back to Washington."

"LeMay remembered a lot of people in Washington worrying that the entire series of events might be some type of attempted coup, a theory he never took seriously. LeMay was just too practical and knowing the military as he did, believed the United States was the least susceptible country in the world to a military takeover 'because the military profession is itself steeped in the tradition of civilian supremacy over the military....[and] the armed forces of the United States have repeatedly fostered and protected this principle.'"

Footnote cites American Is In Danger, Gen. Curtis E. LeMay and Maj. Gen. Dale O. Smith (N.Y. Funk & Wagnails, 1968)

In addition, the SAC base LeMay flew out of was in Wiarton, Canada.

http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2011/07/general-curtis-lemay-on-112263.html

For more links to these and other deep background items see:

http://jfkcountercoup2.blogspost.com/2013/07/air-force-one-radio-communications-links.html

BK

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Bill,

I accept what you are saying, but anyone who can access google maps can clearly see that Wiarton, Ontario ( which has never been known as a military base or a place with a large airport) is farther from where the general was "hunting" than several large Michigan cities with large airports or NORAD airfields. (eg. Detroit, Grand Rapids,Flint, Lansing, Kincheloe airforce base, etc.)

Keep up the good work!

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Bill, not to be picky but Wiarton was not a SAC base, not even sure that it was a Canadian Air Force installation. Its a commercial

airport with a 5,000 foot concrete runway.

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

As I recall it was the closest field to him that the small jet could get into...although for all that we really don't know exactly where he was hunting...or what

sort of transportation he had for that matter. Its probably also reasonable to note that he was in a staff position, not a command position as he had been

when head of SAC, which means he might not have been quite as much "on call" has he had once been when he had to be in instant contact at all times

with SAC. At that time he probably had a better comm network than the President, truthfully SAC was the only unit that truly function as if it were on a wartime

basis.

Which for that matter was realistic, the Command and Control book I'm reading points out that Soviet doctrine of the period was that preemption was their

operating strategy since they knew in any exchange the US had a truly overwhelming military status by 1962.

...if I have the wrong airport somebody please chime in... Larry

Edited by Larry Hancock
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I haven't really visited this area since July 2011, but this is what I wrote then:

http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2011/07/general-curtis-lemay-on-112263

If the link doesn't work you'll have to go to my blog posts of July 2011 but I'll try to get the link to work.

From what I understand, the family of Lemay's wife had a cabin in the lake area of Michigan.

Her family continues to run the Lemay Foundation, in California, that takes care of the families of Air men.

The source for some the info on Lemay's return to DC on 11/22/63 comes from the Andrews Log, that I think I quote relevant references to at the bottom of that article.

So we can forget about the SAC base in Canada, and I don't really think the references to Camp X fit into the picture either.

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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Bill, as you know, Michigan borders lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron, and contains within its borders numerous smaller lakes throughout the state. Michigan's "lake region " could be places as spread out as Sault Ste. Marie, Escanaba, Mackinaw City, Port Huron, Indiana City, Bay City, Cheboygan, Traverse City, Muskegon, etc., so the description provided by that relative is meaningless. ( I have been to each of these places, which extol their lake regions). There are many other hunting spots with small lakes, but I 'm to tired to name them all.

Sorry to sidetrack your great thread. If you come North, l would be pleased to buy you a drink of your choice!

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Bill, as you know, Michigan borders lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron, and contains within its borders numerous smaller lakes throughout the state. Michigan's "lake region " could be places as spread out as Sault Ste. Marie, Escanaba, Mackinaw City, Port Huron, Indiana City, Bay City, Cheboygan, Traverse City, Muskegon, etc., so the description provided by that relative is meaningless. ( I have been to each of these places, which extol their lake regions). There are many other hunting spots with small lakes, but I 'm to tired to name them all.

Sorry to sidetrack your great thread. If you come North, l would be pleased to buy you a drink of your choice!

Well we should be able to narrow it down. I wrote to the Lemay Foundation a few years ago asking them about the Michigan connection but no response. The Lemay Foundation is based I think in Southern California, so maybe somebody in that part of the woods can mosey on over there and ask a few questions.

There might be something I've missed in the other books written about Lemay or his oral history he did that's on line at the LBJ Library - I think.

If Larry is right about the meetings at the Pentagon Command Center - there should be records of those meetings - at least who was present.

And the article I did in 2011 - led to another article I'm trying to find - I think its titled "Was Lemay at Camp X?" as when I first searched for Wiarton I was directed to the Camp X site.

I apologize for repeating the false factoids that Lemay was on a fishing trip - it was a hunting trip - and that Wiarton is a SAC base - as Larry notes, that is something to be picky about.

BK

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Bill, as you know, Michigan borders lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron, and contains within its borders numerous smaller lakes throughout the state. Michigan's "lake region " could be places as spread out as Sault Ste. Marie, Escanaba, Mackinaw City, Port Huron, Indiana City, Bay City, Cheboygan, Traverse City, Muskegon, etc., so the description provided by that relative is meaningless. ( I have been to each of these places, which extol their lake regions). There are many other hunting spots with small lakes, but I 'm to tired to name them all.

Sorry to sidetrack your great thread. If you come North, l would be pleased to buy you a drink of your choice!

Agree with your observation Ken. "Lake Region" could be applied to large portions of the state. Lacking other informative details though, I would speculate that the Upper Portion of the lower peninsula is the most likely candidate for Lemay's cabin. The biggest lakes are found there, and the north woods surrounding the lakes are a prime hunting destination for hunters from the bigger cities in the southern portion of the state.

Regarding Wiarton, Ontario, it would be an odd choice for a departure site, because it is so remote on the other side of Lake Huron.

There were however, two SAC bases in Michigan in 1963.

Kincheloe Air Force Base was at the eastern tip of the upper peninsula, not far from the Mackinac bridge. It would have been reasonably close to a northern Michigan cabin.

If the cabin were farther south, Selfridge AFB, north of Detroit may have been closer.

Edited by Richard Hocking
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Here's a question you might win a bar bet on:

Who were the top two US Gov't officials on the ground in DC that afternoon?

George Ball and W. Averell Harriman, the #2 and #3 men at the State Department.

All the other top cabinet guys were in the air.

Now, there was one hell of a co-incidence at work the afternoon of 11/22/63 -- the two men most responsible for the sending of Cable 243 on August 24, which set in motion US support for the overthrow of Diem in Vietnam, were the top officials in DC the day Kennedy's Vietnam withdrawal policy was overthrown.

They got around, didn't they?

Harriman, Ball and Bundy met LBJ at the airport.

If I recall correctly, Ball and Bundy took the copter with LBJ to the White House, no doubt pooh-poohing any notions of conspiracy.

Harriman went to pick up Sen. J. William Fulbright -- top Democrat on Foreign Relations -- and then high tailed it to the White House to tell Lyndon that "the top Kremlinologists" didn't believe the Soviets had anything to do with it.

Lyndon was happy to go with the lone nut idea.

From Vincent Salandria's "Notes on Lunch with Arlen Specter" (emphasis added)

http://politicalassassinations.com/2012/11/1560/

...[T]he day after the Kennedy assassination I met with my then brother-in-law, Harold Feldman. We decided that if Oswald was the killer, and if the U.S. government were innocent of any complicity in the assassination, Oswald would live through the weekend. But if he was killed, then we would know that the assassination was a consequence of a high level U.S. government plot.

Harold Feldman and I also concluded that if Oswald was killed by a Jew, it would indicate a high level WASP plot. We further decided that the killing of Oswald would signal that no government investigation could upturn the truth...

In the movie "JFK" the Fletcher Prouty-based character "X" declares:

The cabinet was out of the country to get their perceptions out of the way.

I don't buy it.

Looks to me like the cabinet was out of the country so that the pinnacle of power in Washington DC was occupied by the capo di tutti capi of the WASPs, W. Averell Harriman, the "old Crocodile", sovereign "Wise Man".

And top Sponsor of the JFK assassination? (w/the Rockefellers' blessings, as always)?

Good questions, no doubt...

Edited by Cliff Varnell
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Bill, as you know, Michigan borders lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron, and contains within its borders numerous smaller lakes throughout the state. Michigan's "lake region " could be places as spread out as Sault Ste. Marie, Escanaba, Mackinaw City, Port Huron, Indiana City, Bay City, Cheboygan, Traverse City, Muskegon, etc., so the description provided by that relative is meaningless. ( I have been to each of these places, which extol their lake regions). There are many other hunting spots with small lakes, but I 'm to tired to name them all.

Sorry to sidetrack your great thread. If you come North, l would be pleased to buy you a drink of your choice!

Agree with your observation Ken. "Lake Region" could be applied to large portions of the state. Lacking other informative details though, I would speculate that the Upper Portion of the lower peninsula is the most likely candidate for Lemay's cabin. The biggest lakes are found there, and the north woods surrounding the lakes are a prime hunting destination for hunters from the bigger cities in the southern portion of the state.

Regarding Wiarton, Ontario, it would be an odd choice for a departure site, because it is so remote on the other side of Lake Huron.

There were however, two SAC bases in Michigan in 1963.

Kincheloe Air Force Base was at the eastern tip of the upper peninsula, not far from the Mackinac bridge. It would have been reasonably close to a northern Michigan cabin.

If the cabin were farther south, Selfridge AFB, north of Detroit may have been closer.

Would it be possible for someone with the graphics capability to post a map with Michigan and Wiarton and Toronto all on the same page?

Also, would like to see a still photo of the picture of the radio shack on "Speckled Trout," the Command and Control plane.

Thanks,

BK

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Jefferson Morley: What we still don’t know about JFK’s assassination

By JEFFERSON MORLEY

  • Published: October 25, 2013 5:12 PM

Updated: October 26, 2013 6:50 PM

Dallas Morning News

http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/sunday-commentary/20131025-jefferson-morley-what-we-still-dont-know-about-jfks-assassination.ece

These White House communications tapes were discovered in 2011, made in the immediate aftermath of President John F. Kennedy's assassination involving Air Force One in flight from Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.Joseph Kaczmarek / AP

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy endures as the pre-eminent mystery of American history. How a popular president came to be shot dead in broad daylight has never been explained by Washington in a way that the majority of the American people find credible. A new History Channel poll finds 71 percent of respondents reject the official story that one man alone killed JFK on Nov. 22, 1963.

The tragedy in Dallas has been the subject of six official inquiries over the past 50 years, hundreds of books and dozens of documentaries. By common consent, the release of 4 million pages of long-secret documents since Oliver Stone’s movie JFK has clarified some disputes about the events leading to Kennedy’s death.

Yet the new records also raise new questions.

Secret CIA files: The nature of the CIA’s interest in accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald before Kennedy was killed is still shrouded in official secrecy, even after 50 years.

The story the CIA gave to the Warren Commission in 1964 — that Oswald had attracted only routine and sporadic attention — is erroneous. Documents released by a civilian review panel in the 1990s revealed that senior CIA officers had monitored Oswald closely between 1959 and 1963.

The officers most knowledgeable about Oswald before JFK was killed reported to Jim Angleton, a legendary spymaster who headed the agency’s counterintelligence staff, and Deputy Director Richard Helms, who would become known as The Man Who Kept the Secrets.

Both are dead, yet their actions are not yet subject to full disclosure. Last year, a CIA official acknowledged in a sworn affidavit that the agency retains 1,100 records related to JFK’s assassination that have never been made public.

These files are “not believed relevant” to JFK’s death, according to the CIA.

The online database of the National Archives indicates these records concern the operations of six CIA employees involved in the JFK story who reported to Helms and Angleton.

The still-secret documents are found in files generated by:

William K. Harvey, a legendary operative who oversaw the CIA’s efforts to assassinate Fidel Castro. Harvey’s contempt for John and Robert Kennedy cost him a high-ranking position in mid-1963.

David Phillips and Anne Goodpasture, career officers who monitored Oswald’s movements in Mexico City weeks before JFK was killed. In the ’70s, they testified that they learned about Oswald’s recent contacts with suspected Soviet and Cuban intelligence officers in October 1963.

Howard Hunt and David Morales, two swashbuckling operatives who made statements late in life that seemed to implicate themselves in JFK’s assassination.

All of these officers knew each other in 1963. All are deceased.

In the affidavit filed in federal court, CIA information coordinator Michelle Meeks asserted that the 1,100 documents must remain secret until at least October 2017 for reasons of “national security.”

Air Force One tapes: New details about the Pentagon’s response to JFK’s assassination have emerged in recent years, but a significant portion of the story is missing.

In October 2011, a previously unknown recording of Nov. 22, 1963, radio communications to and from Air Force One, the presidential jet, surfaced at a Philadelphia auction house. The tape was found in the estate of Gen. Chester Clifton, an aide to JFK who died in 1991.

The recording, donated to the National Archives, revealed how the Air Force immediately sent a plane to pick up Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay in Canada. LeMay, a harsh critic of JFK’s foreign policy, returned to Washington, where he may have attended JFK’s autopsy.

The conversations about LeMay’s movements were edited out of the shorter version of the Air Force One tape released by the LBJ Library in the ’70s.

Both the LBJ tape and the Clifton tape were taken from a longer Air Force One recording, according to Primeau Forensics, an acoustic engineering firm that worked with JFK researcher Bill Kelley to clean up and transcribe the recordings.

The available tapes capture 88 minutes of conversation. Kelly notes that the flight from Dallas to take JFK’s body back to Washington took almost four hours, or 240 minutes.

So it is virtually certain that there were other conversations to and from Air Force One that fateful day that were recorded but have never been heard. Even after 50 years, the real-time response of the Pentagon to the violent death of a commander in chief is not part of the public record.

In a new book on JFK, University of Virginia Professor Larry Sabato writes that it is “irresponsible” to accuse an agency of the federal government of orchestrating the assassination. “At the same time,” he argues, “it is impossible to rule out the possibility that a … cabal of CIA hard-liners, angry about Kennedy’s handling of Cuba and sensing a leftward turn on negotiations with the Soviets … took matters into their own hands.”

What these unknown chapters from the JFK story might reveal about the perennial conspiracy question will only be known if — and when — the CIA and Pentagon produce the missing JFK records.

Jefferson Morley is moderator of JFKFacts.org and author of “Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA.” He wrote this for The Dallas Morning News. His email address is info@jfkfacts.org.

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Before Gary Mack gets all bent out of shape over this, I'll explain where the 240 minute figure comes from.

The time it took for AF1 to fly from Love Field, Dallas to Andrews AFB, Maryland was two hours seventeen minutes.

There were probably four short wave sideband radios on the plane, one used by the pilot, and three in the radio shack - on which Master Sgt. Trimble said "I had three phone patches going simultaneously most of the time."

Doug Horne, both in his ARRB memo and his book "Inside the ARRB" (Vol. V. p. 1662) says that conservatively using two hours times three is six, the number of hours that should be on the tape - when in fact we have less than two hours on the existing tapes - indicates that there are four hours of tape missing - and four times 60 minutes in each hour is 240 minutes.

Doug Horne: "It appears safe to say, then, that the amount of time edited out of the existing tapes is twice as long as the length of the information released by the LBJ Library. This is extremely troubling."

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This link may help ID some of that equipment. It's Navy "oriented" but I'm not sure that matters too much.

http://www.virhistory.com/navy/index.htm

Maybe the site admin may be some help?

The current issues of Esquire "Flight From Dallas" - and Washingtonian Magazine "Angel is Airborne," are generating considerable interest in the AF1 radio tapes, and I believe the author of the Esquire article interviewed radioman Trimble, whose After Action report is among these:

http://jfkcountercoup2.blogspot.com/2012/05/a6-radioman-whca-after-action-reports.html

I think they are some pretty riveting reports, as Trimble ends his, 'unbelievable.'

In today's world of cell phones, satellites and drones, its kind of hard to imagine them using short wave HAM radios to communicate over public airwaves, but they did, and anybody with the right equipment and the frequency could listen in, and did. There was a group of civilian amateur HAM radio buffs out of Colorado who made it a hobby of listening in to SAM - Special Air Mission radio communications - which went under the name "Mystic Star."

I believe that an amateur HAM radio buff may have tape recorded many of the radio communications that are missing from the existing AF1 radio tapes - and these recordings are just out there, their owners not realizing they have missing pieces to the big puzzle.

They were using a Collins Radio sideband radio equipment and using frequencies set by the Collins HQ radio station "Liberty" - aka "Fish Bowl."

I believe they make mention of a KW7 - ? and a TWX - ?

I have something on the KW7. Must be 1963 era.

http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2008/01/collins-radio-connections.html

I don't know if any of these links work, but will check them and correct them if necessary.

Over and out.

Edited by William Kelly
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