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Gene Wheaton and Carl Jenkins


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A few comments in response...    The way we understand it Wheaton was not really a participant in the conversations, as the senior business manager he was essentially the host and Jenkins was the sales guy, trying to loosen up his old trainees and get into position to get the air transport business. The conversations, likely after a good bit of drinking, were among those guys and more likely among Quintero and the Cubans...after all Jenkins had been a senior officer to them, training, dispatching missions. Its not even clear how much he participated since he had not really worked with them for several years at that point in time.  So I'm guessing its the Cubans doing most of the talking...   As I understand it both Jenkins and Qunitero were personally close to Wheaton at that point and and they trusted him (and worked for him) but he had not been on missions with them, in the field, etc. 

Also, since what was really going on was all about Nicaragua and about the Contras,  and the guys were deeply into that, I suspect that was most of the conversation.  Jenkins may only have heard enough to realize these guys all did know something real about the assassination.  And rather than questioning them, he went to them directly with an offer to go to a Congressman and broker immunity so they could officially go on the record - with his background in law enforcement I suspect he realized that was the only way to make a difference since anything they told him personally was meaningless and actually contaminated them as potential witnesses (my impression is that law enforcement is never thrilled about having civilians trying to investigate crimes).  Stu and others have done some work in this area and it seems that Wheaton tried to get at one Congress person involved, perhaps more than one but without cooperating sources he was just stuck...the outreach to the ARRB was really just one last long shot.

I think the other factor is that what was going on in real time about Nicaragua, and a variety of illegal weapons deals, political assassinations etc was more immediately important to him and he really got into the current affairs.  Once the guys pushed back on immunity on JFK and cut his legs out from under him in regard to investigating Iran Contra....the JFK thing faded into the background.  They made their position really clear.  Which is why the best he really could ever do was pass on a lead to them...maybe he hoped one of them (probably Quintero) would change his mind at some point and tell the real story?

As to Jenkins,  we and others have tried many times to talk to him, his daughter is a most effective gatekeeper for him. He has made it very clear through her and in other ways he wants nothing to do with this...its all lies...the last person I do know that got to talk to him briefly in the last couple of years got that story - but he also still seems to be pretty sharp, telling the caller he never even worked for JMWAVE (which is true, he worked for West Hemisphere and the Cuba Project, not Miami Station). 

Other people did talk to Quintero and my impression is he really did want to talk and personally was not bitter about Wheaton as Jenkins was....but in the end he didn't, perhaps the guys he knew then were gone but of course they had children that were still living.

Thanks for the good words, those of us involved do feel its the real deal - primarily because it has disclosed so much history in regard to those involved and covert actions against Cuba that we were unaware of up to now. Not to mention that all the background Wheaton did provide on Jenkins checks out - at this point we know a lot more about Jenkins and especially about Quintero than Wheaton ever did, which is sort of amazing. 

 

 

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One of the more interesting subjects that we turned up during our research was Robert Moore. Moore was Ted Shackley's Deputy Chief of Station at JMWAVE and was chief of maritime operations.Shackley had two DCOS - Moore and Jack Corris. Corris was tasked with Support Patterns. I have no idea what the heck are Support Patterns. Shackley had worked with Corris in Berlin. Moore was using the pseudonym of Frederick Inghurst at JMWAVE and stayed at JMWAVE as DCOS to John Dimmer (pseudonym of Philip Elmard) after Shackley went on to Laos in 1965.

 
Moore was an early recruit to the JMATE/Cuba Project and was Col. Jack Hawkins' deputy prior to the Cuban Invasion and during the Bay of Pigs. According to Grayston Lynch, Moore was Chief of Ops for the Invasion Force. He worked closely with Ed Stanulus, David Phillips, Ed Hinkle and Jake Esterline. As a major paramilitary officer he worked closely with Manuel Artime and Carl Jenkins would have reported to Moore.
 
Moore was also heavily involved in Operation Tilt along with Rip Robertson, Rudy Enders, Mickey Kappes and Tony Szorza. Robertson, Grayston Lynch, Enders and Kappes all reported to Moore. Enders later took over as Chief PM Maritime Ops in 1964. David Morales was also "hands on" for Operation Tilt and handled the air search for the "missing" Cuban exiles (Eddie Perez, et al).
 
While speculative, we believe that Moore was the man that Bradley Ayers knew as Gordon Campbell. There is still some question as to whether the "real" Gordon Campbell passed away in Sept 1962 as noted by Rudy Enders. 
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I think its really hard for us to get inside the heads of combat veterans who fought together and built hugely strong bonds,  passed or not their is loyalty to each others memories and for that matter loyalty to each others families. 

Not to mention having to admit having guilty knowledge and not acting to expose a murder - how many people really want to go public with the worst mistake of their life?  Their are just a lot of things wrapped together....I know from John Martino's son that John became very conflicted as time passed.  There was not doubt he thought he was doing the right thing at the time and being a patriot....later he came to feel he had probably been used.  But he still didn't want to face that and it troubled him.

I've been told all those who were involved were very proud of what they had done,  it was a strike against communism which they had seen take over their homes and nation...and many of them went on fighting communism over the globe for years.

I'm not giving any of that as an excuse but I very much doubt that it has ever been a simple matter of covering up for an agency, anymore simple than it was for the larger number of people who altered evidence, obfuscated the facts afterwards and consciously chose not to do a serious investigation of conspiracy - for a great many reasons, not all of them evil.

 

 

 

 

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That makes sense, I hadn't thought about the bond between "brothers" and whatever code of silence might be in effect. It seems strange though that 57 years later someone would still think that killing Kennedy was a good idea. That is just a brutal thought.

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Matt, it is hard to imagine - having lived and been a little politically conscious during JFK's Administration - and lived in what we would now call a dark Red state, its hard to convey the depth of personal hatred that did exist against JFK in certain circles.  He was considered a traitor to his race, either a full blown closet communist or naive to the point of treason.  It was not a period (as it is for some know) to think much about challenges as JFK did, or to be pragmatic, or to compromise....the folks I'm talking about considered themselves at war and you were reacted to everything automatically in knee jerk fashion or you were probably a threat or worse...I know people now who feel almost as strongly about anyone who does not fervently support Donald Trump....actually I hope its "almost", in some instances I'm not certain. 

Then multiply that for the Cuban exiles discussed in this thread, JFK was seen as not only been cowardly in refusing to confront Castro and Russia militarily but in the process of literally giving away their homeland, their families on the island, their heritage.  That's powerful stuff.

I have no first hand knowledge, but have been told by people from Miami that those involved were proud of what they had done to their death...most did not have second thoughts as Martino did. And they were respected for their life long struggles against communism and Castro.  What they did along the way didn't matter, it was their commitment that counted. 

What went on in the minds of those who enabled them or knew what they had done is impossible to imagine, maybe that changed over time, maybe not. I can't guess why Jenkins would be so bitter and Quintero apparently not.  But given that both men were socially quite close to Wheaton at the time, I get the impression that they felt he had betrayed their confidence and they certainly were not going to do that to men they had been much closer too years earlier.

 

 

 

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On 5/4/2020 at 5:33 AM, Larry Hancock said:

A few comments in response...    The way we understand it Wheaton was not really a participant in the conversations, as the senior business manager he was essentially the host and Jenkins was the sales guy, trying to loosen up his old trainees and get into position to get the air transport business. The conversations, likely after a good bit of drinking, were among those guys and more likely among Quintero and the Cubans...after all Jenkins had been a senior officer to them, training, dispatching missions. Its not even clear how much he participated since he had not really worked with them for several years at that point in time.  So I'm guessing its the Cubans doing most of the talking...   As I understand it both Jenkins and Qunitero were personally close to Wheaton at that point and and they trusted him (and worked for him) but he had not been on missions with them, in the field, etc. 

Also, since what was really going on was all about Nicaragua and about the Contras,  and the guys were deeply into that, I suspect that was most of the conversation.  Jenkins may only have heard enough to realize these guys all did know something real about the assassination.  And rather than questioning them, he went to them directly with an offer to go to a Congressman and broker immunity so they could officially go on the record - with his background in law enforcement I suspect he realized that was the only way to make a difference since anything they told him personally was meaningless and actually contaminated them as potential witnesses (my impression is that law enforcement is never thrilled about having civilians trying to investigate crimes).  Stu and others have done some work in this area and it seems that Wheaton tried to get at one Congress person involved, perhaps more than one but without cooperating sources he was just stuck...the outreach to the ARRB was really just one last long shot.

I think the other factor is that what was going on in real time about Nicaragua, and a variety of illegal weapons deals, political assassinations etc was more immediately important to him and he really got into the current affairs.  Once the guys pushed back on immunity on JFK and cut his legs out from under him in regard to investigating Iran Contra....the JFK thing faded into the background.  They made their position really clear.  Which is why the best he really could ever do was pass on a lead to them...maybe he hoped one of them (probably Quintero) would change his mind at some point and tell the real story?

As to Jenkins,  we and others have tried many times to talk to him, his daughter is a most effective gatekeeper for him. He has made it very clear through her and in other ways he wants nothing to do with this...its all lies...the last person I do know that got to talk to him briefly in the last couple of years got that story - but he also still seems to be pretty sharp, telling the caller he never even worked for JMWAVE (which is true, he worked for West Hemisphere and the Cuba Project, not Miami Station). 

Other people did talk to Quintero and my impression is he really did want to talk and personally was not bitter about Wheaton as Jenkins was....but in the end he didn't, perhaps the guys he knew then were gone but of course they had children that were still living.

Thanks for the good words, those of us involved do feel its the real deal - primarily because it has disclosed so much history in regard to those involved and covert actions against Cuba that we were unaware of up to now. Not to mention that all the background Wheaton did provide on Jenkins checks out - at this point we know a lot more about Jenkins and especially about Quintero than Wheaton ever did, which is sort of amazing. 

 

 

Thanks, Larry, for the additional info.

I suppose I shouldn't be accusing anyone of the crime who's still alive but if anyone saw what actually happened, it sure seems like Jenkins would be the guy.

 

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7 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

Matt, it is hard to imagine - having lived and been a little politically conscious during JFK's Administration - and lived in what we would now call a dark Red state, its hard to convey the depth of personal hatred that did exist against JFK in certain circles.  He was considered a traitor to his race, either a full blown closet communist or naive to the point of treason.  It was not a period (as it is for some know) to think much about challenges as JFK did, or to be pragmatic, or to compromise....the folks I'm talking about considered themselves at war and you were reacted to everything automatically in knee jerk fashion or you were probably a threat or worse...I know people now who feel almost as strongly about anyone who does not fervently support Donald Trump....actually I hope its "almost", in some instances I'm not certain. 

Then multiply that for the Cuban exiles discussed in this thread, JFK was seen as not only been cowardly in refusing to confront Castro and Russia militarily but in the process of literally giving away their homeland, their families on the island, their heritage.  That's powerful stuff.

I have no first hand knowledge, but have been told by people from Miami that those involved were proud of what they had done to their death...most did not have second thoughts as Martino did. And they were respected for their life long struggles against communism and Castro.  What they did along the way didn't matter, it was their commitment that counted. 

What went on in the minds of those who enabled them or knew what they had done is impossible to imagine, maybe that changed over time, maybe not. I can't guess why Jenkins would be so bitter and Quintero apparently not.  But given that both men were socially quite close to Wheaton at the time, I get the impression that they felt he had betrayed their confidence and they certainly were not going to do that to men they had been much closer too years earlier.

 

 

 

Yeah, who wants to be the guy who let's everyone know he was involved in the JFK assassination?  Broken codes with dead compatriots, humiliation and hatred for the family, historical legacy of infamy forever... There's no real upside.

The only guy who would publicly confess to rectify the historical record would, in the end, be a real man of courage.  But that's not ever going to be some chickensh!t who ambushes a guy riding in a car with his wife.

Edited by Michaleen Kilroy
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On 5/4/2020 at 6:14 PM, Larry Hancock said:

I think its really hard for us to get inside the heads of combat veterans who fought together and built hugely strong bonds,  passed or not their is loyalty to each others memories and for that matter loyalty to each others families. 

Not to mention having to admit having guilty knowledge and not acting to expose a murder - how many people really want to go public with the worst mistake of their life?  Their are just a lot of things wrapped together....I know from John Martino's son that John became very conflicted as time passed.  There was not doubt he thought he was doing the right thing at the time and being a patriot....later he came to feel he had probably been used.  But he still didn't want to face that and it troubled him.

I've been told all those who were involved were very proud of what they had done,  it was a strike against communism which they had seen take over their homes and nation...and many of them went on fighting communism over the globe for years.

I'm not giving any of that as an excuse but I very much doubt that it has ever been a simple matter of covering up for an agency, anymore simple than it was for the larger number of people who altered evidence, obfuscated the facts afterwards and consciously chose not to do a serious investigation of conspiracy - for a great many reasons, not all of them evil.

 

 

 

 

Excellent assessment Larry, you hit the nail on the head regarding the feelings, thoughts, and sense of duty/ patriotism that all military veterans experienced during their time of service.. People need to realize that the 1960's was a vastly  different different world than the one we see today.   One cannot look at that historical event through the lenses of today and expect to understand the Geo-political, social, and economic fabric that was the U.S., it's military personnel, and those of its allies , especially the Anti-Castro Cuban Resistance groups..

 

Bravo,

 

Greg Kooyman

USN

Active Duty: Feb 2 1986 - Feb 03 1992

Reserves: 1992 -1996

FC2-  Fire Controlman 2nd Class

Weapon System:  Phalanx / CIWS (Close in Weapons System)

Ship Command USS Vincennes CG-49

Captain:  Will Rogers

Persian Gulf 1988 - 1989

July 3rd 1988  Operation Earnest Will

Combat Action Ribbon

Sea Service Ribbon (3)

Good Conduct Medal

Armed Force Expeditionary Medal

Letter of Appreciation ( Captain Lynch)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Jenkins early history.

 

Apr. 16, 2011 The Miami Herald
Useppa: island with a Bay of Pigs pedigree:

By DON BOHNING

Shaded by ancient banyan trees, the old "pink path" links Useppa's Collier Inn with other parts of the 100-acre island.

As historians look back 50 years on the Bay of Pigs invasion, one often-ignored sidelight is the small but important role played by a tiny island off Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Useppa, a secluded, sun-dappled 100-acre plot of land west of Fort Myers, briefly became a jumping off point for the dreams of Cuban exiles yearning to take back their country. Here is the story of that role as told to the author by Carl Jenkins, a CIA officer who also served in the Marines.

Jenkins had been training an infiltration teams in Saipan, in the western Pacific, to help bring about the eventual downfall of Indonesian’s President Sukarno when he was recalled and sent to Miami for a somewhat similar assignment involving a dictatorial leader closer to home.

When he arrived, Jenkins said in the 2008 interview at his home in Texas, he joined forces with Manuel Artime, a disaffected one-time Castro revolutionary considered by the CIA to be the key to any effort by exiles to mount an invasion of their homeland. Artime had connections to the Agrupacion Catolica, a student group tied to Havana’s Villanova University. He also knew disaffected Cuban army troops.

“We came to an understanding that Artime would provide the students and he would establish contact with ex-Cuban Army people,’’ said Jenkins. “They knew each other, but they weren’t prepared to work together at that point.”

Meanwhile, the CIA was arranging cover and setting up a covert training facility on Useppa, located 15 to 20 minutes by boat off Florida’s Gulf Coast.

For centuries, the island had seen only occasional use by fisherman and adventurers. In 1894, it was acquired by John M. Roach, a Chicago street-car tycoon.

One of Roach’s guests was Baron G. Collier, a New York advertising executive and wealthy Florida land owner who developed much of Southwest Florida (Collier County is named for him) and built the Tamiami Trail between Miami and Tampa.

Now, it was to become the first covert CIA base in Florida.

Freddie Goudie, a well-to-do Cuban businessman of Scottish descent, along with a half dozen others, provided the cover, leasing the island under Goudie’s name. Jenkins was listed as the company manager.

THE WHITE CASTLE

“The idea,” said Jenkins, “was that Goudie and his group had contracted with a personnel company that would assess the abilities of all the people that they sent over there and try and assign them to jobs that they fitted…based on language abilities and so forth.”

President Eisenhower signed off March 17, 1960, on what was to become the Bay of Pigs. Jenkins and another CIA agent started ferrying recruits from Miami to Useppa a month later.

In two rental cars, he and a CIA colleague would pick up the exile recruits in the afternoon at a White Castle parking lot on Brickell Avenue in downtown Miami. They would then drive on the old Tamiami Trail through the Everglades to the departure point by boat for Useppa, returning the same night; a round trip of some 300 miles.

A SUBTERFUGE

Jenkins estimates it took a couple of months to ferry the 80 exile recruits to Useppa where he decided “we needed to have serial numbers if we were going to have a semi-military operation. We would start with 2,500…if they were picked up and asked for their serial numbers it would indicated there were 2,500, or more than there actually were…the first number went to Goudie, the front man.”

The arriving recruits were housed at the island’s Collier Inn, formerly known as the Tarpon Inn. As part of the vetting process, personnel assessments were prepared and lie-detector tests were given.

“Before we were finished, we knew more about these people than their parents did,” said Jenkins. It was the beginning of what eventually was to become Brigade 2506, although at the time there was no intention of a brigade or an invasion. “It was August, 1960, before that idea was ever sold…and I opposed it from the start,” said Jenkins.

ON TO PANAMA

In June, 1960, about 30 of the 80 or so recruits at Useppa were sent to Panama for further training in communications as radio operators, as well as intelligence gathering and propaganda. Most of the others went to a newly opened training base in Guatemala. Jenkins was to become the first commander there as well.

As for Useppa, it now is an exclusive home for the well-to-do, with, according to its website: “140 privately owned homesites, two marinas, two food and beverage facilities, a retail store, a wide array of island accommodations, a service department and a utility company.”

The island is administered by The Useppa Island Club.

You can’t just drop in. To get to the island as a visitor, advance permission is required.

The island’s boast: No Bridges, No Cars, No Crowds.

But it does have a history. And a Bay of Pigs pedigree that is unique.

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