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# Who is Abe Greenbaum?

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This thread is an attempt to answer one aspect, one half if you will, of James DiEugenio's question, "Who is Abe Greenbaum?" There are two levels to the Richard C. Nagell letter under discussion, and there may be, and very likely are, two “Abe Greenbaums”:

(1) Abe Greenbaum number one is the mystery character in Richard C. Nagell’s October 8, 1967 letter to his friend Arturo Verdestein. On this first level, Richard’s letter appears to be a literary puzzle, an allegorical farce maybe, and is probably analyzable by folks good at that sort of thing. While figuring out the real identity of the allegorical characters may be an interesting and fruitful endeavor, this is not my task.

(2) Abe Greenbaum number two is not necessarily a person, he/it is a 12-letter coded puzzle. Apart from the literary content, there is this second level to Richard’s letter to Arturo, and the letter appears to be a treasure trove of Richard’s letter/number anagram puzzles, puzzles that can be solved using the same methods needed for solving his assassination era puzzle collection, puzzles created to tell us about Nagell and his crew’s participation in, and attempted sabotaging of, the assassination.

My task, then, is solving Abe Greenbaum number two, and he/it may have little or no relation to Abe Greenbaum number one.

Richard C. Nagell’s puzzle system fits the definition of “Steganography”, a special category of cryptography.

A short statement of my general hypothesis is in footnote #1.

A transcription of the Richard C. Nagell/Abe Greenbaum letter can be read at the link below:

Richard Nagell’s anagram puzzles use both letters and numbers (“Gematria”), and Richard chose the simplest and most complete method for translating letters to numbers and vice versa:

(A=0)(B=1)(C=2)(D=3)(E=4)(F=5)(G=6)(H=7)(I=8)(J=9)(K=10)(L=11)(M=12)(N=13)(O=14)(P=15)(Q=16)(R=17)(S=18)(T=19)(U=20)(V=21)(W=22)(X=23)(Y=24)(Z=25)

There appear to be two topics in the “Abe Greenbaum” letter/number puzzle, “W Guy Banister”, and the “Irving Nixie package label”. As we will see, the two topics are related, as the address line of the label, “601 West Nassaus St”, will rather easily puzzle out to:

“E: W.G. BANISTER ASSASSINATE”.

“E” is the puzzle symbol for the assassination. Now that you know the ending, I’ll start at the beginning so those so inclined can follow along.

“Abe Greenbaum” is 12 letters, and the first step is to look at the initials of  the name and the initials of the three syllables, The name initials are:

“A G”

The initials of the three syllables are:

“A GB”

Here is our first indication that Guy Banister might be a topic. When we translate the three letters, “A GB”, to numbers, they can anagram to this:

“601”

The label on the Irving Nixie package reads:

For Lee Oswald

601 West Nassaus St

Dallas Texas

Irving Texas

A photo of the Irving Nixie label is at the bottom of the post, and there is a quality problem with the extant Nixie photos that I discuss in footnote #2.

We can notice that the address line, “601 West Nassaus St”, contains 16 characters, and there is a total 44 characters in the complete address, 33 on the label itself, and 11 letters written below the label.

Next we’ll make our first anagram of “Abe Greenbaum”:

“e.g. A ABE NUMBER”

Since Abe Lincoln was the 16th President of the US, an obvious possible meaning for “Abe Number” might be “16”. Nagell’s puzzles are full of double entendres, and we’ve noticed that the “601” address line on the label is “16” characters, but we should also consider that the puzzle maker now wants us to make a 16-letter version of Abe Greenbaum:

“ABRAHAM GREENBAUM”

This new 16-letter version anagrams to:

“AH! A ABE NUMBERGRAM”

And “Abraham Greenbaum” anagrams to:

“ABE, ANAGRAMMER HUB”

Once we’ve received this information from the 16-letter version of the name, the final anagram of “Abraham Greenbaum” is going to tell us to go back and use the short version:

“Re: ABE HUB, ANAGRAM 12”

Returning to the 12-letter “Abe Greenbaum”, the next anagram is:

“A G.B. NUMBER: A 44”

In Richard Nagell’s puzzle system, the name for the Irving Nixie package label is the “44”, but it’s sometimes called the “Sew”, or the “601”. I’ve always regarded the label as the Rosetta Stone of Nagell’s puzzle methods. Here are some pertinent anagrams of “Abe Greenbaum”:

“44 NUMBER: A 601”

"A 601-44 NUMBER"

“A 44 NUMBER, A G.B.”

Before continuing with W.G. Banister and the address line of the “44” Irving Nixie package label, I’ll briefly mention a couple of related items on the label.

As we saw with the syllable initials of “Abe Greenbaum, “A G.B.”, the beginning of a Nagell/Vaganov puzzle usually gives the puzzle solver an important hint to the puzzle’s solution. Again, here’s how the 44 letters of the Nixie package label read:

For Lee Oswald

601 West Nassaus St

Dallas Texas

Irving Texas

The first word on the label is “FOR”, and this is a hint. The letters in the word “FOR” translate to “5”, “14”, and, “17”. The 5th letter on the label is “E”, the 14th is “A”, and the 17th is “E”. Translating two of the letters to numbers, we have this anagram:

“A 44”

Related topic: “Irving Texas” is written below the label, and many have thought that the Post Office must have written this in. But I submit that these 11 letters are a part of the originally designed Nagell/Vaganov puzzle, and the puzzle is worthless without “Irving Texas” being included.

Now for an anagram of those 11 letters, “Irving Texas”:

“IV’S ART NIXES G”

This is apparently a double entendre, as Igor Vaganov’s art is intended to nix Guy. Another meaning of the anagram above, would be for us to get rid of the “G” in this puzzle temporarily, and make the following anagram of “Irving Texas”:

“V’S NIXIE ART”

Okay, with that out of the way, we can get back to the address line, “601 West Nassaus St”, and when the “601” is translated to letters, our address line looks like this:

“GAB WEST NASSAUS ST”

We don’t have a good photo of the package label, and I will talk about this in footnote #1. But as you can see, there appear to be many extra letters embedded in the Nixie label. Notice the “Delta” symbol in the upper left corner, the strange collection of “Os” in “Oswald”, and the very odd “W” in the word “West”.

Sticking with the address line, the “W” in “West” has four additional letters in it: a large lowercase “n” attached to the left wing of the “W”, a lowercase “r” penned over the top of that large “n”, a lowercase “i” forming the middle of the “W” and set off slightly with erasures, and this “i” is dotted with a tiny lowercase “e”.

Next, the “U” in “Nassaus” can easily be regarded as the letters “i e”, and notice that the “i” is even dotted.

The “t” in “St” at the end of the address line has a small capital “A” perched horizontally across its vertical portion.

So to sum up so far, in this puzzle we have the “W” with some tag-along letters: “NRIE”, a “T” with a tag-along “A”, and a “U” which is really an “IE”, and our original 16-letter puzzle wants to be turned into a 22-letter puzzle. Here are a batch of instructional anagrams of the original 16 letters, “GAB West Nassaus St”:

“A 22 Stunt: Assess a 16”

“W/T tags, assess/ban U”

“A 22’s Tags, best sans U”

“‘St’ saga 22 best, sans ‘U’”

“Assess W/T tags, ban U”

There are other instructional anagrams of “GAB West Nassaus St” - try your hand.

We will anagram our new and improved collection of 22 letters in a minute, but first let’s look at the letters we just added. They are, “R, N, I, E, I, E, A”, and all by themselves, these translate and anagram to”:

“A RN 44 88”

“Historic Diary”, as you may recall, anagrams to “Richard’s ’88’ Toy”, and there are “88” puzzles in Oswald’s Historic Diary, “44” bracketed in quotation marks, and “44” bracketed in parentheses. The complete list of “88” can be found in my June 25, 2014 post at the link below:

Now then, when we add these extra embedded letters, “RNIEIEA” to the original address line, sans the “U”, we can make the intended final 22-letter anagram:

“E: W.G. BANISTER ASSASSINATE”

And as pointed out earlier, the letter “E” is the puzzle designation for the assassination.

I’ve tried to make this post as simple and painless as possible, but in the process I’ve ignored other interesting puzzle side trips. I’m putting one small side trip in footnote #3.

In my next post, we’ll try to figure out who “Dirty Dick” is.

Tom

Footnote #1:

ICO" stands for "Igor", "Case", and, "Oswald", and my hypothesis is that Richard Case Nagell, first working for Army Intelligence, and later the CIA, appears to have spent as long as six years running a pair of under-cover low-level look-alikes in a secret CIA operation. They were Lee Harvey Oswald and a man who went by the name of "Igor Vladimirs Vaganov" (I believe this name was cut from whole cloth, a puzzle creation of Richard Nagell's). All three men eventually got tangled up in the assassination plans of Ferrie/Banister/Phillips/Hoover/Dulles, and it's my belief that Nagell became ethically appalled at what he saw on the horizon for his crew, himself, his president, and his country. So while pretending and appearing to follow orders to the letter, the ICO group both tried to prevent the assassination, and intentionally sabotaged the framing of Oswald as the patsy. To further their ends, ICO created a huge system of letter/number anagram puzzles to chronicle their activities and their enigmatic sabotaging stunts. ICO had two civilian recruits, Buell Wesley Frazier, and Jerry B Belknap. In part, Wesley appears to have been chosen because of his name's anagram possibilities, and where his sister lived. Richard Nagell and Igor Vaganov were the genius puzzle makers, and their work appears to have been at least partially created for our benefit.

Footnote #2:

Back in 2010, several of us on the forum had a long discussion about the Irving Nixie package and its label. At the time, we were using an okay copy of a closeup of the label, one of two photographs that Fred Newcomb and Perry Adams had taken at the National Archives around 1970. Gary Murr had posted the closeup and a short article on a web page entitled, “The Undeliverable Package”.

Several of us on the forum noticed the many extra letters and other fine details were embedded in label and decided that the label was probably a work of photographic craftsmanship, that the detail work had been created in large scale and then reduced to look like an ordinary and carelessly handwritten package label. We went looking for a better copy of the label. Lee Farley contacted the archives and was told that the package was either misplaced or lost altogether. I contacted Fred Newcomb’s son, Tyler, and had some pleasant email exchanges, but he was unable to locate his father’s original photo, even though he’d recently published his father’s book, “Murder from Within”, which included a marginal copy of the Nixie package label and Newcomb’s take on the meaning of the package.

Since I was studying the photo that was posted by Gary Murr, I usually linked to it in my posts, and took screenshots of the details I wanted to discuss. Then months later, I looked back and not only had all of my posted photos disappeared, so had Gary’s web page photo. The bottom line is, the label photo I posted today is shadow of its former self, and if anyone knows of a better version of the closeup of the label, I for one would like to know about it.

And yes I know there are good photos of the package itself, but that photo was apparently taken with high contrast film and the fine details were washed away.

Footnote #3:

Richard C. Nagell and Igor Vladimirs Vaganov made anagram puzzles, but they also made good use of “Isograms”. An isogram removes all of the multiple letters in a piece of discourse, and ICO often called this the “Onion”. The word “onion” turned into an isogram would become, “ONI”, for example. Here’s an isogram instruction inside of at totally fictitous name, “IGOR VLADIMIRS VAGANOV”, which anagrams to:

“A GRAND ISOGRAM: IVOVLIV”

And when we remove the multiple letters from the end as indicated, we are left with:

“A GRAND ISOGRAM: LO IV”

The ICO twins, Lee Oswald and Igor Vaganov.

Recall that “Irving Texas” in the post above anagrammed to “V’S NIXIE ART” once the “G” temporarily removed, “Igor Vladimirs Vaganov” also anagrams to:

“MR. VV, A GOOD IRVING ALIAS”

Here are some bonus anagrams of “Igor Vladimirs Vaganov”:

“MR VV RAN SILVIA ODIO GAG”

“A LO DRIVING ORGASM, A IVV” (Red Mercury Comet anyone?)

“R’S VIVID ANAGRAM LOGO: IV”

“IV” is the Roman Number “4”, which translates to “E”, ICO’s symbol for the assassination - as in “E: W.G. BANISTER ASSASSINATE”.

This post asks, and attempts to answer, the question, “Who is Abe Greenbaum?” “ABE GREENBAUM” turned into an isogram is:

“A 12/16 RUNE”

Recall that the puzzle started with the 12-letter “Abe Greenbaum”, but then temporarily changed to a 16-letter puzzle. One dictionary definition of “RUNE” is, “A letter of mysterious or magic significance”.

Our final answer in the post above was, “E: W.G. BANISTER ASSASSINATE”. Turned into an isogram, that final answer becomes:

“W.G. BANISTER”

Edited by Tom Hume
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A lot of the disguised content of Nagell's 1967 letter to Arthur Greenstein is easily decipherable, if not immediately by Greenstein, then by a posterity of assassination researchers.  However, the backstory given to "Abe Greenbaum" is esoteric, and didn't later emerge to the public view, as did "Dirty Dick" Helms* and David Ferrie, whom Nagell references in the letter.  Can anyone puzzle out this tale from the arcana of espionage, quoted below?

[Nagell:] "Here's a more up-to-date lead on Abe Greenbaum: 'Informant F-HC reports subject handed suspected courier forty pieces of silver on 10/21/62 at Laredo, Mexico, for delivery to nuclear physicist residing in house on 92nd Street, New York City. S/A B. O. Schernnn, Washington, D.C. Field Office, reports subject seen 11/28/62 walking east on Beacon Street, constantly checking for tail, suddenly dashing into parked limousine sporting U.S.S.R. Embassy license plates, which speeds away, runs red light, terminating surveillance as Agent Schernnn forced to brake bicycle to avoid breaking the law. Informant F-111-B reports subject and suspected courier observed at King's Tavern, Wilmington, Del. on 12/6/62, paying for drinks with strange-looking silver dollars taken from bulging briefcase carried by subject. Subject now suspected of being Mr. Big in Communist plot to disrupt U.S. economy by flooding country with hard cash. /s/ I.M. NEVERWRONG, SAIC, D.C. LAIR.'"

Some clues: name of FBI SAIC in DC during October-December 1962 (or is "I. M. NEVERWRONG" code for J. Edgar Hoover?); real name of Special Agent B. O. Schernn ("B[ody] O[dor]"?), when he's not appearing in satire; non-satirical meaning of informant names F-HC and F-111-B.

The various streets and cities may have peculiar contextual meanings.  (For instance: in what city could Greenbaum access a Russian embassy car on "Beacon Street"?)

The "house on 92nd Street" may or may not refer to the famous 1941 Nazi spy ring case immortalized in the movie of the same name.  For those interested, there are other mentions of Nazism in this letter defining the assassination.

"Strange-looking silver dollars" = JFK's anti-Fed silver certificates?  The context is a "Communist plot to disrupt [the] U.S. economy by flooding [the] country with hard cash."

Nagell cites "Abe Greenbaum" specifically as a "long suspected leftist [who] is actually [a] confirmed rightist, in deep cover," working for CIA.  He also says that Greenbaum is one of only two persons on Nagell's prison-approved correspondents list, and, unless Nagell is joking, maintaining contact with Greenbaum is important to his future.  It would be good to establish exactly what this person meant to Nagell.

So, who is "Abe Greenbaum"?

Guy Banister died in 1964, three years before this letter.  Nagell's cynical humor may be inverting things, but was Banister then really a "long suspected rightist [who] is actually [a] confirmed leftist, in deep cover"?  Was there really a Banister-Dick Helms contact as the letter suggests, or is this figurative comedy?

*Helms was known as "Dirty Dick" at CIA for years before the Nagell letter.

Edited by David Andrews
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Hi David,

As I indicated in my introduction, Nagell’s letter to Arturo, to me at least, is a puzzle on two levels. It’s a literary puzzle and an anagram/number puzzle. And I’m not sure at this point if the two levels of this puzzle are necessarily related, in fact I suspect they are not. You’re both a writer and a researcher and I’ll defer to you, and others with those talents and abilities, on the literary aspects.

In addition to the Abe Greenbaum puzzle, other anagram puzzles in the letter appear to be calling attention to some of Nagell’s big stunts surrounding the assassination. And by 1967, many of those stunts had gone unnoticed or fallen down the memory hole altogether. The Irving Nixie package, for example, was not generally known about until 1967 when Sylvia Meagher found a reference to it buried in the Warren Report. It would be several more years before anyone finally saw a photo of the package and its label.

In Nagell’s literary puzzle, “Dirty Dick” may well be indicating Dick Helms, but in Nagell’s letter/number play, Dirty Dick is someone else entirely. Richard Nagell, in my view, was a master at “Steganography”, and the advantage of this puzzle/art form is that the intended secret message does not attract attention to itself as an object of scrutiny - the message is disguised as ordinary discourse, a letter, or a diary, or a package label, or a shopping list, etc.

If you are able to decipher the identities of Abe Greenbaum, Dirty Dick, and others in Nagell’s alegory, I am pleased to hear and consider your views. But the identities of those same individuals in the steganographic/puzzle sense may be entirely different. We may have apples and oranges.

Tom

Edited by Tom Hume
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Tom - it's a toss-up as to whether Nagell's hermeneutics are literary or numerical.  I vote that, beleaguered in prison, he wanted to be more easily understood/concealed through wordplay.  It's also difficult to dismiss the Kennedy-era tag of Helms as "Dirty Dick," well-reported in the halls at Langley and the foyers of Georgetown.

Edited by David Andrews
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Hi David,

You wrote: “Tom - it’s a toss-up as to whether Nagell’s hermeneutics are literary of numerical.”

In my view they’re probably both, but I have only concerned myself with the steganographic number/letter puzzles embedded in the letter, and ignored the letter’s possibly discoverable allegorical meaning.

I’ve read Oswald’s Historic maybe a couple of dozen times, and the story it tells is of very little interest to me. My current opinion is that the diary was designed to be a warehouse for “88” puzzles that could be used to validate a puzzle solver’s work. For example, if one got the hypothetical puzzle answer “A HOOVER HIT”. HD-71”, one is being sent to puzzle #71 in the Historic Diary for validation or further information. Diary puzzle #71 might be a couple of benign looking words that anagram to, “YES, J.E.H. CEO”. I made that up so I wouldn’t have to document anything, but my point is that I’m approaching Nagell’s “Dear Arturo” letter as a warehouse of carefully crafted anagram puzzles, and the allegorical story these puzzles are embedded in doesn’t necessarily have to be tied to the puzzles the story is hiding. Strategy wise on Nagell’s part, it would probably be best if story and the puzzles were totally unrelated.

And you wrote: “It’s also difficult to dismiss the Kennedy-era tag of Helms as ‘Dirty Dick,’ well-reported in the halls at Langley and the foyers of Georgetown.”

I’m sure you’re right, and once again, “Dirty Dick the literary character is not necessarily “Dirty Dick” the letter/number anagram puzzle.

Thank you, David, for bringing up this seeming contradiction I had not paid enough attention to. I have edited my introduction on the first post to reflect my narrowed focus on Abe Greenbaum.

Below is the transcription of Richard C. Nagell's October 8, 1967 letter to Arturo Verdestein. I added the bracketed numbers to the 32 sections for easy referencing if needed.

[1] October 8, 1967

[2] Dear Arturo:

[3] I've received both of your letters, dated 9/26 and 10/4, respectively. Still haven't seen hide nor hair of the Equipment Times, though. Does it really advertise the likes of machines that nibble steel at the rate of three feet per minute? Now I know why E. T. wasn't delivered. Should have thought of the reason sooner, last week, when a recent issue of a popular magazine was withdrawn from circulation because it featured a bar-stretching device. Looks like the meticulous inspection-for-microdots-and-sophisticated-cable-arrangement theory will have to be shelved in favor of a more logical premise. Can you imagine the possibilities that E.T.'s next issue might provide to some innate-genius with a penchant for slapping together a facsimile of the Steel Eater, merely by studying the specifications set forth in E.T.? Wow! I can see it now. Built on the Q.T. in the prison library, cranked up and let loose after its christening, like some weird science-fiction monster, easily smashing past 20,000 volumes of Zane Grey, bursting out through the side of the library building, rumbling slowly across the west yard toward the nearest gun tower, bullets bouncing off its impenetrable armor, tear-gas bombs exploding all around it, sirens wailing, bedlam - National Guard called out, still rumbling onward, onward, not to be stopped, finally reaching THE WALL, angry now - completely out of control - spitting gooey blobs of black molten tar at the N.G. Commander running along the top of the wall, now rearing a gigantic head, flashing a single mamouth [sic], keenly-polished incisor, hesitating, momentarily, then suddenly lunging forward, chomping at the wall, bricks and chunks of concrete flying every which way . . . once . . . twice . . and . . through! Daylight on the other side! A gaping hole, 20' x 20', appears out of nowhere . . . . two thousand cons stampeding through, on their way to Sacramento.

[4] After perusing your comments about the First Day's reporting of the Great Bank Robbery - random shots, 27 centavos, gambling activities, etc. - I am more convinced than ever that you should see the transcripts of the first and second trial record. As for myself, I've never read either transcript, though I would bet that I could give a fair account of both without much error. I wrote sis again, this time asking her to send everything.

[5] Here's a more up-to-date lead on Abe Greenbaum: "Informant F-HC reports subject handed suspected courier forty pieces of silver on 10/21/62 at Laredo, Mexico, for delivery to nuclear physicist residing in house on 92nd Street, New York City. S/A B. O. Schernnn, Washington, D.C. Field Office, reports subject seen 11/28/62 walking east on Beacon Street, constantly checking for tail, suddenly dashing into parked limousine sporting U.S.S.R. Embassy license plates, which speeds away, runs red light, terminating surveillance as Agent Schernnn forced to brake bicycle to avoid breaking the law. Informant F-111-B reports subject and suspected courier observed at King's Tavern, Wilmington, Del. on 12/6/62, paying for drinks with strange-looking silver dollars taken from bulging briefcase carried by subject. Subject now suspected of being Mr. Big in Communist plot to disrupt U.S. economy by flooding country with hard cash. /s/ I.M. NEVERWRONG, SAIC, D.C. LAIR."

[6] Or, we could furnish Mr. Xerox an even more up-to-date lead, of somewhat different vintage:

[8] Of course, this lead is utter fiction too, a figment of the imagination . . . still, it may make interesting reading for somebody.

[9] Are you aware that a Duesseldorf record company has come out with just the thing for any German who wants to relive the heady days of Nazi victory? It is two long-playing phonograph records called, "From the Fuehrer's Headquarters (Aus dem Fuehrerhauptquartier)." Billed as documentary records, they are comprised of victory announcements and special bulletins from the Nazi high command, military music and soldier's songs, Nazi songs and speeches. A booming voice discloses the Nazis are fighting for the German nation and the security of Europe "against the . . . plot of the Jewish-Anglo Saxon warmongers . . . and against the . . . Jewish rulers of the Bolshevik central in Moscow."

[10] (Now where did he get that? What does all this gobbledygook mean, anyway? Could this be an important lead? . . . I mean there is this thing about doing business with the Military-Industrial Complex, you know.)

[11] Seriously, Arturo, I had better give with a plausible lead on this Abe Greenbaum fella, in spite of this business about plausible denial, or "they" are liable to drop his name from my approved correspondents list. That would be catastrophic, considering that he is the only other person besides sis who is so approved. And the lead had best not sound too cryptic either, or "they" might ship #83286 [Nagell's prisoner number] back to the Funny Farm . . . you know, for more "treatment."

[12] So let's try again:

[13] Young Regent of Yanquis Land is visiting "Little D" to plug for assistant who is fast losing popularity amongst ultra-conservative proletariat of Friendship Province. Date is well-remembered date in fall of '63. Young Regent is hated by proponents of Secret War (and by director of large pharmaceutical combine specializing in manufacture of cyanide capsules) because word is out he intends to decree   of clandestine operations of various Yanquis Land spook outfits, citing as reasons that regime's continued reliance on covert methods of achieving political goals widens faith-in-government gap, is corrosive to principles of democracy, etc., especially when spooks get caught in the act. Young Regent feels one spook outfit in particular is exceeding bounds of propriety, has expanded narrow function delegated it by International Security Act of '47 . . . is becoming TOO POWERFUL . . is unduly influencing both foreign and DOMESTIC policy by its shenanigans . . . thus, must have nefarious activities at home and abroad throttled, or at least have them restricted to endeavors which cannot be accomplished by other, more acceptable means. BANG! BANG! BANG! Young Regent no longer Regent of Yanquis land. Clandestine operations of spook outfits not curtailed. Cyanide capsule market flourishing. Too Powerful One getting MORE POWERFUL . . .

[14] What has all this got to do with Abe Greenbaum? ANSWER: Nothing. Is it a plausible lead? ANSWER: Not very.

[15] Wait!

[16] Before visit to Little D, Young Regent also thinking of effecting rapprochement with Isle of Cuber, establishing nicer rapport with Isle of Cuber's Big Mother Busher. Strange! . . . Young Regent of Isle of Cuber also thinking of effecting rapprochement with Yanquis Land, establishing nicer rapport with Yanquis Land's Big Doctrine, Monroe.

[17] How nice!

[18] Feelers put out by both Young Regents through "private" channels in July '63, then quasi-official channels in August '63, through "official" channels in September '63.

[19] Meanwhile, anti-Castor Oilers known as Bravo Club gets wind of feelers . . . doesn't like smell . . . nohow! There is huddle. There is chant: "Remember Cochina Bay! - Remember Cochina Bay! Soon there is talk (louder than '62 talk) of giving Young Regent of Yanquis Land Xmas present . . . yo! . . . gonna brow that out to keep situation status quo (at worst) . . . to change status quo for worse (at best).

[20] Patsy is needed! She is pro-Castor Oiler well-known to Bravo Club. Two Bravo members speak to Patsy, convince her they are boyfriends, buy her Cuber Liber Cocktail (minus rum), get her drunk on glory, tell her they are special emissaries to Yanquis Land personally by Young Regent of Isle of Cuber to give Xmas present to Young Regent of Yanquis Land . . . have "chosen" Patsy to help deliver Xmas present. Will be furnished Safe Conduct Pass to Isle of Cuber by Embassy in Mexico City. Will be given proper treatment on arrival. Oh, joy! Will live happily ever after. Can Patsy join Xmas Present Committee now?

[21] Uh-uh! Not yet. First must prove self deserving of great honor. Must set up Chapter of Foul Ploy for Isle of Cuber, must stand on street corner . . . pass out pro-Castor Oil tracts, must appear on TV . . . root for Castor Oil products, must rumble with anti-Castor Oil salesman. Above all, must not mention Xmas Present Caper to anybody, not even husband, Ivan.

[22] Meanwhile, Single-Man named "Snerd" gets wind of Xmas Present Caper and going-on at Bravo Club. Snerd is Isle of Cuber's Big Mother Busher's illegitimate son. Snerd gets in touch with Double-Man Abe Greenbaum, working in deep cover at BPR, Division of Dirty Tricks, as Rightist. Actually, Abe is Leftist-turned Middlist. Middlist Abe contacts Triple-Man Zero, sitting on ice because has burned butt. Triple-Man Zero instructed to join Delta Club, which is affiliate of Bravo Club, find out if things real. Zero does just that, craftily, in guise of crossbow expert. Discovers Patsy undergoing hypnotherapy by ex-ferry pilot named Hairy De Fairy. Reports to Abe things are for real, yes siree! Abe passes info on to Dirty Dick (and Snerd). Snerd passes info on to Big Mother Busher. Somebody flashes word back for Zero to let go with well-aimed arrow in Patsy's rump . . . leave Yanquis Land, hubba hubba! Zero chickens out day he is to arrow Patsy, six days before Xmas present to be delivered. Pens Abe nasty note. Pens Snerd nastier note. Pens Dirty Dick even nastier note. Also pens note to Boss of Yanquis Land's Main Secret Police Bureau, tattles on Xmas Present Caper, tattles on Patsy, etc. Burns butt again. Searches in vain for cake of ice to sit on. Winds up in Friendship Province Halfway House.

[23] End of lead? Not hardly.

[24] Apparently something amiss. Xmas Present Caper does not come off per schedule. Delta Club disintegrates. Bravo Club Xmas Present Committee disintegrates. Abe drops out of sight. Dirty Dick is mum. Snerd crawls back inside Big Mother Busher's womb, dies. De Fairy puts on falseface, hides at 3330 Clubhouse, gets whipped. Director of large pharmaceutical combine gives order for increased production of cyanide capsules. Boss of Main Secret Police Bureau sits in office, drums fingers on desk, waits. Zero is still in Friendship Province Halfway House, getting older . . . if not wiser.

[25] End of lead? . . . Not hardly.

[26] Day of Infamy arrives! Patsy crouched at open window, armed with second-hand crossbow, quiver filled with curare-tipped arrows slung across shoulder. ZIP! ZIP! ZIP! BANG! ZIP! BANG! ZIP! BANG!

[27] End of lead? . . . Not hardly.

[28] Patsy awakens from hypnotic trance. Says, "What am I doing here?" Wonders what cyanide capsule is doing clenched between teeth? Wonders what cloak and dagger is doing on window sill? Wonders why floor of room is lettered with pro-Castor Oil pamphlets? Wonders how chicken bones got in lunch pail? Memory returns. Patsy flees. Refuses ride by former Bravo boyfriend driving by in utility truck bearing Bell Telephone Company markings. Catches bus instead.

[29] End of lead? . . . Not hardly.

[30] Patsy has gone her way. De Fairy has gone his way. One former Bravo boyfriend now living vicinity M. Cyanide capsule market still flourishing. Dirty Dick promoted within superstructure of BPR . . . is still mum. Snerd reborn as "Terd". Abe Greenbaum has changed name, retired, resides in mansion protected by pack of snarling German Shepherds, disappears for one hour each night in vault to count huge pile of American silver dollars. Boss of Yanquis Land Main Secret Police Bureau has four-year old secret . . . but is relaxed. Zero out of Friendship Province Halfway House . . . is now in Old Triple-Man's Home for Aged. More Powerful One now MOST POWERFUL (evidently). End of lead? . . . Not hardly. End of letter? . . . yes.

[31] Most sincerely yours,

[32] Richard C Nagell

Edited by Tom Hume
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Idea deleted pending further research.

Edited by David Andrews
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Hi David,

Thanks again for your feedback, you've helped me clear something up. I've edited my introduction on my first post as follows:

"This thread is an attempt to answer one aspect, one half if you will, of James DiEugenio's question, "Who is Abe Greenbaum?" There are two levels to the Richard C. Nagell letter under discussion, and there may be, and very likely are, two “Abe Greenbaums”:

(1) Abe Greenbaum number one is the mystery character in Richard C. Nagell’s October 8, 1967 letter to his friend Arturo Verdestein. On this first level, Richard’s letter appears to be a literary puzzle, an allegorical farce maybe, and is probably analyzable by folks good at that sort of thing. While figuring out the real identity of the allegorical characters may be an interesting and fruitful endeavor, this is not my task.

(2) Abe Greenbaum number two is not necessarily a person, he/it is a 12-letter coded puzzle. Apart from the literary content, there is this second level to Richard’s letter to Arturo, and the letter appears to be a treasure trove of Richard’s letter/number anagram puzzles, puzzles that can be solved using the same methods needed for solving his assassination era puzzle collection, puzzles created to tell us about Nagell and his crew’s participation in, and attempted sabotaging of, the assassination.

My task, then, is solving Abe Greenbaum number two, and he/it may have little or no relation to Abe Greenbaum number one."

Later,

Tom

Edited by Tom Hume
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OK - so anybody out there have any clues to Abe Greenbaum Number One?

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• 3 years later...

Tom, this image came from a website that claimed to decode Nagell's letter:

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I don't mean to distract from a serious subject but draw attention to it.

I wonder, given the later 60's, is Abe Greenbaum related to Norman Greenbaum?

Note the electric guitar in 1970 with no cord.  Still a classic.

Edited by Ron Bulman
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On 1/10/2018 at 8:21 AM, David Andrews said:

OK - so anybody out there have any clues to Abe Greenbaum Number One?

"Actually, Abe is Leftist-turned Middlist."

Based solely on that description, Cord Meyer fits the role.

I am less-than-convinced that Cord Meyer was involved in the JFKA ... having said that, Cord Meyer fits.

There probably aren't too many figures at CIA in this time period who were leftists or former leftists, so the roster should be relatively small. My attention would go towards Meyer and perhaps others who were in Wisner's OPC who were accused of being Communists or having Communist sympathies in the late 50s.

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Cord Meyer is a very interesting suggestion.

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21 minutes ago, Matt Allison said:

Cord Meyer is a very interesting suggestion.

Matt, Howard Hunt stated in his deathbed confession that Cord Meyer, William Harvey, David Morales, and others were involved in the assassination

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2 hours ago, Matt Allison said:

Cord Meyer is a very interesting suggestion.

If I recall, the candidate suggested most often is Tracy Barnes. I don't know anything about Barnes' political affinities.

Meyer on the other hand had a well known history as a leftist in his youth, to the extent that the FBI refused to give him a security clearance and Allen Dulles had to jump to his defense. If anyone at CIA is to be identified as a "long suspected leftist" it's Meyer. What's more, the stuff he was involved in at the time could lead one to conclude he was a "confirmed rightist"

It fits Nagell's descriptions, but that could just be coincidence.

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Richard- yes, it's a really excellent observation. I hadn't thought very much about Nagell's letters in a while, but these threads on the subject make me realize that it's worth the time to try and decipher them.