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Gordon Campbell


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Little seems to have been written about Gordon Campbell. According to Hinckle and Turner's 'Deadly Secrets', he was deputy station chief at JM/WAVE, overseeing CIA naval operations in the Carribbean. He lived on a yacht with his wife at Dinner Key Marina in South Miami.

Do we have any information on him before or after JM-WAVE? Did he continue to work with Shackley and Morales? Where was he on November 22nd? Is he still alive and are there any photographs of him?

Thanks

Shane O'Sullivan

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  • 2 years later...
Little seems to have been written about Gordon Campbell. According to Hinckle and Turner's 'Deadly Secrets', he was deputy station chief at JM/WAVE, overseeing CIA naval operations in the Carribbean. He lived on a yacht with his wife at Dinner Key Marina in South Miami.

Do we have any information on him before or after JM-WAVE? Did he continue to work with Shackley and Morales? Where was he on November 22nd? Is he still alive and are there any photographs of him?

Thanks Shane O'Sullivan

I just found this post from SOS from two years ago.

It seems that we've gone pretty far since then, but do we have any answers to these questions?

BK

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  • 3 weeks later...
John Simkin Posted Yesterday, 05:34 PM

There is a photograph here:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKcampbellG.htm

No one has come forward after the showing of the BBC documentary to say that the photograph was not of Campbell.

A more detailed debate on Campbell caqn be found here:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=6895

John,

There is no photo (that I could see) on the Spartacus site, (Gordon Campbell), however, there is one on the forum, topic 6895, like you quoted.

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  • 3 months later...

I just got David Talbot's new book Brothers, in which he gives a recap of the situation, but says that Gordon Campbell died in 1962.

Obviously, if that is the case, the photo attached is not Campbell.

Can anyone provide an obituary of Gordon Campbell?

Thanks,

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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I just got David Talbot's new book Brothers, in which he gives a recap of the situation, but says that Gordon Campbell died in 1962.

Obviously, if that is the case, the photo attached is not Campbell.

Can anyone provide an obituary of Gordon Campbell?

Thanks,

BK

This is Shane's take on this issue:

David Talbot concludes that "the real Gordon Campbell turned out to be an Army Colonel attached to the JM/WAVE station, and he died in 1962, making it impossible for him to be filmed at the Ambassador Hotel in 1968".

This, as I told Talbot, is missing the point.

A Colonel Gordon S. Campbell died in September, 1962 in Miami at the age of 57. According to a JMWAVE colleague, he was attached to the station and died of a massive heart attack. However, Bradley Ayers worked closely with a man who introduced himself as "Gordon Campbell" the following year, as meticulously detailed in his book, "The Zenith Secret". This man was in his forties and could not have been 57 years old, according to Brad. He was known around the station as "Gordon Campbell". Brad has identified the "Gordon Campbell" he knew in 1963 as the man at the Ambassador.

Perhaps the man Brad knew used the dead man's name as an alias - who knows? But I find it strange that Tom Clines was at JM/WAVE in 1962 and never mentioned Campbell having a heart attack. Clines told me that after JM/WAVE, they sent Campbell to Canada to act as the Agency liaison there and he hasn't heard anything about him since.

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HERE'S WHAT BRAD AYERS HAS TO SAY ABOUT GORDON CAMPBELL –

(From Bradley Ayers, The Zenith Secret)

p.38:

"On Monday I went to the station early, hoping to get a good start on my after-action report. I was beginning to organize my thoughts about the mission….Ted Shackley wanted as few people as possible to know about my trip to Cuba. I asked his secretary Maggy, who else might see my after-action report. I was most concerned about David Morales' reaction to my critical observations…. 'Dave is away in Mexico. Possibly Gordon will see it.'"

"I knew she was referring to Gordon Campbell, the deputy chief of station, who I had not met yet."

p. 45:

"Before leaving for the Keys, I stopped by the station to pick up a few supplies. There was a note on my desk. I was to see Gordon Campbell, the deputy chief of station before leaving. I'd never met him. What the hell? I thought. Campbell's office was in the building next to Ted Shackley's. But when I got there, Maggy told me to go to the second floor of the old barracks, a floor above my own office in the training branch. I'd never been in that area of the building."

"I walked back to my building and went upstairs. Campbell's office was well-decorated, with all sorts of Zenith Technical Enterprises corporate plaques, alleged product displays, photos and mementoes. His secretary buzzed him on my arrival and I was escorted into his plush office."

"Campbell came around his desk, introduced himself, and shook my hand. I judged his age to be around 40 and he appeared in robust physical condition. Dressed as if he had just come off the golf course, tanned, clean shaven, with a trim build, balding blond hair, and penetrating blue eyes, he greeted me cordially. I liked him immediately."

" 'I've been wanting to meet you and welcome you to the station. I'm sorry it's taken so long. I want to tell you we appreciate what you're working on. I also read your after action report and I think you know what needs to be done.'"

"I told him I'd do my best and we exchanged a few thoughts about the exile training program. As I left his office, he told me to be careful and that he would be seeing me again."

p. 56:

"I attended both briefings. All the branch chiefs were there aw well as Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. Harvey from Washington accompanied by Ted Shackley and Campbell. David Morales introduced Mr. David Phillips who was identified as a coordinator for the new initiatives with the exile organizations."

p. 80 :

"On the way down US 1, I stopped at the Green Turtle Inn in Islamorada for a bowl of soup. It was early afternoon and most of the lunch crowd had left. But near the back of the restaurant, seated at a large circular table, were Dave Morales, Mr. Harvey, Gordon Campbell, Mr. Phillips, and another man, possibly Rosselli, whose back was turned on me. They apparently had stopped for lunch and drinks. I don't know if they recognized me or not. As was the practice in such situations, within the agency, there was no acknowledgement, either way. Discretely, I got my soup to go and quickly left. It was the first time I had ever seen the station hierarchy in the Keys and out of their air-conditioned offices. It was encouraging., maybe something big was in the offing. I thought."

p. 86:

"…We were going to a meeting place in the Everglades….We pulled into a truck stop at the junction of Tamiami Trail and Hightway 27, and another man – a Cuban who I had never seen before – checked the license of the car and climbed in. No one spoke as we drove down the long, slightly traveled highway and eventually turned onto a dirt road bordered by canal. After about a mile, the driver pulled over. An airboat was waiting in the canal, and in moments we were noisily skimming across the saw grass as dusk settled over the glades…..After nearly 30 minutes of travel across open swampland and deep canals, we turned under some overhanging trees and pulled up to a small dock behind another airboat. A sign on the rotting timbers read 'Waloos Glades Hunting Camp – No Tresspassing.' It was nearly dark, but I could see two small Quonsets with lights burning in the windows. Some men were standing around a campfire in the middle of the clearing, and in its flickering light I could see two helicopter parked in the shadows. One was a military Bell H-13 with the identification numbers taped over, and the other was a civilian chopper with the name West Palm Beach air service on the tail rotor boom."

"We walked to the fire and a young man handed us cups of coffee. I had never seen the men before. Soon the door to one of the Quonsets swung open and four men emerged. As they moved into the circle of firelight I recognized Gordon Campbell. I had seen him only a few times since my brief meeting with him, but had been impressed with his polished, slightly flamboyant executive manner. I caught my breath at the appearance of the second man. It was the attorney general, Robert Kennedy."

"The four men talked in low voices for a few minutes, and then the attorney general came over and shook hands with each of us, wishing us good luck and God's speed on our mission."

"Hell, I didn't even know what my mission was. His white teeth flashed and sparkled, and I felt a strange sense of strength and resolve when he grasped my hand. Then he and one of the Cubans went to the civilian helicopter, an din minutes it took off. Now I understood the need for extra secrecy. If the president felt strongly enough to send his brother, something very big was being planned." J

"When the helicopter was gone, the deputy chief of station came over….he said, 'The reason we've got you here and the reason for all the secrecy is that we just got the green light from upstairs to go ahead on some missions we've been planning for some time.'"

"We entered the Quonset….Campbell closed the door behind us and turned to face me. 'We're very pleased with the way you've handled the training setup for the station so far, and we've made that known to your people at the Pentagon. We know it hasn't been easy for you and your family….You'll be happy to know that the Special Group has finally given us permission to use two-man submarines to strike Castro's ships in the harbors. Some of your UDT people will be involved in that. And next week Rip's boys are going to Elgin for parachute training, so an airborne commando raid may not be far off. But right now we've got the go-ahead to hit one of the major oil refineries from on the island. All we've got to do is get a commando force in shape to do the job."

" 'We want you to take a commando force of 12 men and give them six weeks of the toughest, most realistic training you can. We want you to teach them survival and get them physically toughened up. Then we want you to run some exercises for them, and finally, wet up a rehearsal for the actual raid, and do it over and over until they have it down blindfolded. During this six weeks we want you to eat, sleep, and live this mission with the Cubans, 24 hours a day. We want them ready to go by mid-December."

"….We've got a house on the south end of Elliot Key that's never been used…you can run the training from there…..You'll have to keep up with your regular duties in addition to working with this commando group. Again, no one is to know that. David is sometimes a little bit difficult, so you'll deal directly with me on anything you need. Use the telephone, and we'll meet away from the station. After you get set, I'll give you a complete scenario for the mission and as much data as we have on the target itself."

"…. 'My outside man, Karl, will help you with logistics. Take the deliveries and carry the items to the island yourself. Order as little as you have to from logistics, and buy all your own food….Here's the safehouse key and $1,000 to get things moving….'"

"Campbell introduced me to Tony Sforza, the commando team contact man, and Karl…."

p. 92:

"I felt an urgency to discuss the leadership aspect of the mission early on with Mr. Campbell....So I decided to talk to Karl about the problem…Campbell had placed no restrictions on what I might discuss with his right-hand man."

"My trip across the bay was faster than usual, and I arrived at the restaurant near the Coral Castle ahead of our scheduled meeting. I saw Karl, Dave Morales, Rosselli, and Mr. Phillips sitting at a table near the back of the room. When I saw all but Karl leave, three to the same car, I went back to meet him. Over a beer, I told him of my observations with Campbell. Karl was pretty savvy and agreed. On the way back to Black Point I pondered Karl's apparent familiarity with the principal staff at JM/WAVE as I had observed it. I was impressed. Karl was obviously something more than the typical logistics gofer."

p. 93 :

"I stole a few hours extra sleep the next morning, then went out to Coconut Grove, where I was to meet Gordon Campbell. He and his wife lived on a yacht moored at the Dinner Key marina. I walked down a long concrete pier, past sleek, expensive cruisers, and finally found Gordon's boat. Both he and his wife – an attractive bikini-clad silver-haired women – were well into their Sunday afternoon martinis."

"As he mixed me a drink, he asked, 'What do you think of the men? How do they look – morale, interest - you know, guts for the job?'"

"'They look very good so far,' I replied, 'but there's one big problem, the commandos have no real leader. The team is split into two distinct, separate groups of five and six men each…and they seem to want to stay that way. As long as I give orders, there's no problem, but when they're on their own, the so-called leader makes suggestions and the other two follow only if they feel like it. It's too loose to be effective under pressure.'"

" 'Goddamnit, if a leader is a problem, then you find one! The case officer for these boys will be down from Washington in a few weeks. He's been with the Cuban desk studying the situation and he's well-read. Porter is young but he knows his stuff. I've assured him you'd have the team ready to go.'"

"Had I heard right? Somebody who worked behind a desk at Langley was suddenly going to appear on the scene and take over where I left off? Just like that? I'd train them and someone else would step in and simply 'assume' control? I started to say something, but caught myself. This was something totally beyond my control, and no good would come from an argument with Campbell at this point. I took a big swallow of my drink. 'I'll continue to do my best on the leadership situation. Gordon, I can assure you that having a leader would make my own work easier. More importantly, these are good men, and they deserve a good leader."

"The anger passed from his face and he mixed us both another drink. 'All right, let's go below. I have the charts and photos and we'll go over the mission from beginning to end."

"For the better part of the next two hours we pored over refinery blueprints and incredibly detailed U-2 photos and recently smuggled-out snapshots of the target. The time schedule was set in the familiar D-day, H-hour military terminology, and Campbell would not tell me when the raid would be conducted. We had to be ready to go anytime after the first of December. He wanted at least two rehearsals competed by then, and there was little time left."

"Our discussion terminated when Mrs. Campbell came down to the gallery carrying drinks for all of us. She chided us for spending the 'glorious Sunday afternoon' talking business, and threw her heavily oiled, deeply tanned body into her husband's lap. Her obvious attention seeking embarrassed me, so I drank quickly, thanked Gordon, and said I'd contact him."

"It wasn't until I'd left the yacht that I realized Campbell hadn't given me the exact location of the refinery; he's said only that it was on the south central coast of Cuba. It probably had been intentional, I concluded, but I had enough data to get well into advanced training and preliminary rehearsals anyway."

"The mission was a big one, all right, and tough. In a very complex, precisely timed raid, the commandos would destroy the fuel storage tanks, dock, and ship-to-shore product-transfer pipelines of the refinery. As I drove home, I reviewed the details Gordon had given me. Two fishing trawlers would be used as mother ships for three V-20s. At a shallow water point about a mile from the target, one boat would land and the team would go ashore, under cover of darkness. The other two boats would wait offshore, among the mangroves, for completion of the first phase of the mission."

"The landed commando team would move down the shore to the pier that supported the pipeline. They would kill the guards on the pier, and then eliminate the watchman in the small tin shack at the end of the pier. This accomplished, they would signal the other two V-20s to come to the end of the pier, where the boats would be tied until the mission was completed."

"The landed commando team would move down the shore to the pier and around the refinery yard fence to a position behind a low hill that was about eleven hundred yards from the brightly illuminated crackling towers and processing facilities. Two 81mm mortars would be set up; from an observation position on high ground; their fire would be guided into the refinery proper. White phosphorous ordinance would be used, in the hope that the cracking towers would catch fire immediately and the surrounding fuel storage tanks would explode. Approximately twenty mortar round would be fired into the refinery."

"Meanwhile, time-activated demolition charges would be fastened to the pipeline pier, and 'clams' (round TNT charges with magnetic devices to hold them to metal objects) would be attached to the transfer pipeline. By the time the entire commando force withdrew, the refinery would be engulfed in flames."

"As the two V-20s pulled away, the timer would activate, and the pier and the pipeline would explode behind them. The commandos would return to the trawlers waiting several miles offshore. Another time-activated explosive would destroy the beached V-20."

p. 99:

"Communications between Elliott Key and the mainland had been a problem from the beginning….The only way I could maintain secure contact with Gordon Campbell, Karl, and Tony was to go ashore to the pay phone at Black Point…..Sometimes I'd go for days without contact…On other occasions I'd get word that Campbell and Karl were out of the area and was given no idea when they might return my call…."

p. 102:

"….I immediately recognized the plane as the single-engine Cessna based at the CIA headquarters in Miami. As it flew overhead, a white object was released directly over the old house. It was a roll of toilet tissue, streaming as it fell. It landed only a few feet away….The center tube of the tissue role had been closed with masking tape, and the word 'OPEN' had been scrawled on the side with black marking pencil. Hastily, I opened up the tube and pulled out the paper inside. It was Campbell's printing:

NOVEMBER 22 1963

PRESIDENT KENNEDY HAS BEEN SHOT BY AN ASSASSIN. SUSPEND ALL ACTIIVTY. KEEP MEN ON ISLAND. COME ASHORE WITHOUT DELAY.

GORDON

p. 104 :

"More than a month after the assassination that I spoke with Mr. Campbell about the Elliot Key commandos. He directed me to hold off any additional rehearsals but to go on training at a reduced pace."

p. 105:

"Gordon Campbell and Karl had all but disappeared during this period and the Elliot Key operation, for which I had been responsible, was placed under control of the training branch. Cal had departed for anew assignment in Washington at the CIA 'farm' in Virginia. Rudy temporarily assumed duties as chief of training….Eventually, and old CIA training officer, Ernie Sparks, arrived and took over as chief of branch….Ernie dressed in Western style, with cowboy boots, jeans and open collared riding shirt. Often he would have a big revolver holstered at his side. He was about 50, with gray hair, a droopy mustache, ruddy complexion, and piercing blue eyes. He was portly but muscular. He could have been a Wild West movie character. He had been nicknamed 'Sitting Bull' while serving as a training officer in Guatemala, preparing Cuban exile Brigade 2506 for the Bay of Pigs invasion. As the time went by I learned he had a penchant for booze, women and sports cars….."

p. 181 :

"…The cover office, staffed with full-time secretaries and decorated to appear as a typical business headquarters. Shackley would never be there, but either Clines or Campbell would when it was useful to present Zenith Technical Enterprise's face to the world. The Maritime Branch was located in the same building, and for that reason, it was most convenient for Campbell, who was running that branch, to man the cover office….and I found it interesting in Fonzi's book there was no mention of Campbell. Campbell was identified in Deadly Secrets, however. This would become a matter of significance in my future work."

Edited by William Kelly
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Does anyone know the name and exact location of the oil facility on the South Cuba shore that the commando mission BEA was training for?

Also, there's a lot of people here who knew and worked with Gordon Campbell at JM/WAVE, and they all can't be dead.

What happend to Maggy, Shackley's secretary?

Why not just ask Porter Goss about Gordon Campbell?

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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HERE'S

Thanks for that! Does anyone out the have an email address of BEA. If so could they either send it to me privately [not put in on the Forum, or alternatively send to him and give him mine [contact me for it] and tell him I have need to contact him. I was in contact with him some years ago and will know my name without hesitation. Thanks. Peter

Peter,

Brad is holed up in a cabin with his dogs somewhere in the wilds of his origins, Minnesotta, I think. He does not have computer or email access, but does get mail every once in awhile when he goes to town and makes some pay phone calls. He says he's only talking through his New York attorney and will not cooperate with his publishers to promote the book. My last phone conversation with him he said was our last, though he encouraged my research and gave me additional leads. He said he can't trust anyone, especially so-called JFK assassination researchers. He's just trying to cover his xxx.

And I think its probably best for everybody to leave the situation as it is at this point.

But if you Email me I'll give you his mailing address.

And I've been thinking, there's got to be dozens of living witnesses to JMWAVE other than BEA, who can provide additional details, and I think their stock is rising, and they too, are in hiding.

BK

Edited language.

Edited by Antti Hynonen
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There are plenty of lines of inquiry here:

-JM/WAVE Cessna - Get Serial Numbers, flight logs, pilots names, etc.

-Waloos Glades Hunting Camp - Who owned this in 62-63?

- Bell H-13 - West Palm Beach Air Service - Who owned company, pilots, flight records?

- Dinner Key Marina - Gordon Campbell lived on a boat there with his gray haired wife. What's the name of th boat? What kind was it? What's the numbers? Do neighbors remember them?

- Oil refinery on the South Coast of Cuba targeted by Campbell & Company for a commando raid. Where is it exactly, what compay owned it (Mobil?) before Castro?

- Maggy - Shackley's secretary should be sill alive.

- Porter Bledsoe is defianately alive.

- Tony Sforza - is he alive?

- "Karl" - There should be Air Force accident records regarding his accidental death at the base.

Has anyone looked into these things, or inclination to do so?

Thanks,

BK

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Bill,

Porter Bledsoe was murdered in April of 2005.

Tony Sforza died in 1978 and then again in 1985. :ph34r:

The commando raid on the south coast of Cuba was most likely the one from August 18, 1963. It was at Casilda where 24 railway tank cars loaded with Soviet Oil were destroyed.

Before Castro, Texaco had operations running in this area but I don't know if their old production facilities were the ones hit.

FWIW.

James

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Bill,

Porter Bledsoe was murdered in April of 2005.

Tony Sforza died in 1978 and then again in 1985. :ph34r:

The commando raid on the south coast of Cuba was most likely the one from August 18, 1963. It was at Casilda where 24 railway tank cars loaded with Soviet Oil were destroyed.

Before Castro, Texaco had operations running in this area but I don't know if their old production facilities were the ones hit.

FWIW.

James

James,

Thanks for the info.

I meant to say Porter Goss, not Porter Bledsoe, but I didn't know Bledsoe was murdered. The last I heard he was a night clerk at a Dallas motel and haning out at the Green Glass bar.

Porter Goss is who Brad Ayers belives is the "Porter" case officer sent down from CIA HQ to run the refinery raid that was the target for the commandos BEA was training.

I don't think it is the same raid you mention that hit the Soviet train tankers.

They had a Very Specific refinary target that was on the South coast that had a pipeline to the water and docking facilities for boats.

BK

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Bill,

Porter Bledsoe was murdered by his room mate James Moseley who was a disabled Vietnam veteran. Moseley bludgeoned Bledsoe to death with an axe.

As to the refinery you speak of, it might indeed be one at Casilda as there was plenty of activity raider wise going on as several refineries were located there. Casilda was one of the ports the Soviets brought their missiles through pre October 1962.

Rip Robertson led a team that hit a Texaco refinery (not sure of an exact date but it was in 1963) and he also led Tony Izquierdo and Ramon Orozco on a successful raid against a diesel plant at Casilda (also 1963).

FWIW.

James

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  • 2 weeks later...

There must be some public records of Gordon Cambell, and his "silver-haired," martini mixing wife, who Bradley Ayers met on their yacht at Dinner Key Marina in Florida in 1963.

If he's dead, there should be an obituary.

There should also be some records of the yacht and the marina.

Does anyone know the name of Gordon Campbell's boat?

BK

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There must be some public records of Gordon Cambell, and his "silver-haired," martini mixing wife, who Bradley Ayers met on their yacht at Dinner Key Marina in Florida in 1963.

If he's dead, there should be an obituary.

There should also be some records of the yacht and the marina.

Does anyone know the name of Gordon Campbell's boat?

BK

Has anyone asked Gordon Winlsow? He might know.

Dave

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