Jump to content
The Education Forum

The Kirknewton Incident


Recommended Posts

I never knew about this before a friend of mine, Al Rossi, told me about it.

I think Scott spoke at some conference, and Al told me about his speech.

If this is true, then the JFK murder was one of the most presaged and well known in advance of any high profile case I know of.

 

https://www.kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/the-kirknewton-incident

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gosh Jim, you mean  you missed my lengthy study of the Kirknewton incident in SWHT, I'm disappointed. 

I mean I even talked to David Christensen myself back then - a brief conversation perhaps but he was working as a greeter at Walmart at the time, said he was very busy and was not interested in a lengthy interview.  He also claimed to have had one or more brain operations over the years, which had pretty well wiped most of his memories. Strangely his wife had not mentioned that during our first call,  I had the sense he just might have been putting me off a bit...grin.

A couple of very excellent research articles were written by DPUK members following my exploration of the incident and and have appeared in their Journal over the years.

I also communicated with Scott prior to his presentation on his paper at last fall's JFK Lancer Conference; the new documents he had found relating to its original investigation were quite interesting.

In SWHT I offer my own speculation as to who was making the call, and to whom...you will find that in the appendices.  If anyone is interested I can be a bit more specific.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

Mark Bridger is one of the DPUK folks who researched and wrote on Kirknewton, you can find his article here:

https://www.maryferrell.org/pages/Featured_Dealey_Plaza_Echo_-_Volume_11_Issue_3.html

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=141150#relPageId=26

Larry,

    Do you know offhand if anyone ever talked to David Christensen's ex-wife and kids?  Also, if they haven't been shredded by now, there are probably some interesting records about his experiences at Kirknewton from the psychiatric ward at the Sheriden VA-- especially if he attributed his psychiatric problems to his October 1963 intelligence work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No I don't and honestly in looking at his correspondence my impression was that he was literally trying to leverage the incident to bump his government payments...but then again I'm possibly overly harsh and that may have been a carryover from our discussion in which he certainly sounded like a smarta....   My take is that he heard a bit of the gossip about people  going after JFK that was floating around the Miami to New Orleans circuits, in the drug trade, from the godfathers and for that matter in some of the Cuban exile groups.   I explore that in an appendix in SWHT.

As far as I know the most recent research has been the HSCA document related work that Scott did...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Bridger article does go further than Scott's getting into Dinkin, and, interesting to me the contacts and responses of others from Kirknewton.  It seems most thought it unlikely, that it would have gotten out among them, that Christensen made it up.  Though one was adamant that he would find nothing and shouldn't waste his time, that if nothing had came out yet maybe there was a reason.

Dinkin didn't trust his superiors, he tried to go elsewhere with his info.  Christensen didn't.  I'm not familiar with the military chain of command even though my dad was a Sargent at the end of WWII and stateside during Korea.  These guy's, with Top Secret clearances weren't privates were they?  One in the letter made Master Sargent years later.  One hearing such "hot" information would report it immediately, confidentially to his immediate superior maybe.  Is that how it works?  Due to the sensitivity he wouldn't discuss it with his peers?  His superior would report it to his, before it was sent to the NSA?  If an order to quash the information came back down it would have included Christensen, right?  IDK.  Larry, you were in the Air Force, maybe not in intelligence per se and you've done a hell of a lot of research.  Does any of the latter sound reasonable?  Though I realize it can only be speculation at this time.

It is interesting that both Christensen and Dinkins Intercept's came from Europe, and that, like Nagell though for different reasons they were all labeled "nuts" and ended up in government mental institutions.

I have to wonder too, if it might have gotten to the NSA, does that guarantee it would have gotten to the President?

Edited by Ron Bulman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If indeed a #4 OC type was mentioned, how would Christensen know this at the time?  One possibility is that this ranking was stated by a (foreign?) intelligence source that originated the message Christensen picked up.  Assuming Christensen filed that name away for decades due to trauma, #4 would have had to be notorious by 1977 for the civilian Christensen to recognize his name.  How would he then have known to upgrade his rank to #2?  JFKA-related Mob press coverage?

Could this be two incidents conflated?  Christiansen picking up a message about international OC and a planned JFKA, plus Christensen later pulling a name out of the cast of Mob characters linked to the JKA by the press c. 1975, and bandying it about to get better VA benefits?  Who would contradict him?  In his letter he seems to hope Stevenson recognizes enough context to assume that a notorious name was involved.  A bluff like that would be at par for a dischargee writing a serving, career non-com to ask for benefits support using as leverage a current hot-button issue such as the assassination, and not expecting the letter to be turned over to military intel.

Christenson suggests that Stevenson knew, at the time, that Christenson cracked up after the assassination, and because of the intercept.  Yet Stevenson denies knowledge of the intercept, and so do three sources Mark Bridger interviewed (including the otherwise voluble "John Wayne").

Edited by David Andrews
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ron, in regard to  your question, the personnel assigned to those posts and duties were Air Force actually supporting NSA collections.  Communications is one field in which extremely low ranking personnel are required to get relatively high classifications just to do their regular job - based on what they might see or hear in their work.  These intercept personnel would be required to have TS at a minimum and are strict orders not to discuss anything about what they are monitoring much less what they hear.  In fact all aspects of what frequencies, circuits and tasking lists are NSA level classified - and Kirknewton has special, non-military tasking which I discuss in SWHT.  By that I mean commercial circuits where there might well be talk of drugs, major commercial shipments - not military but economic and political.

And they have special names of individuals and topics that are on their watch list - that is what they report on, and nothing else.  The HSCA investigation Scott reports on  highlights just how seriously all that is taken. Christensen's chain of command would have faced a real problem in even how to report something (that would not go to NSA, the threat would have to go though Air Force HQ to DOD and on to Secret Service I suspect if not to the White House itself) that was not tasked - and clearly would have needed something solid to start though the authorizations.  I trace though that logic in my writing on the incident in SWHT and speculate as to where talk of a threat to JFK would have come up.

I tend to concur with David's last paragraph and to me Christensen seems  to be trying to play the system without thinking about how much he was exposing himself with that letter - even relating that he had discussed details of an intercept with anyone other than the superior in charge of his activities and reports.  A major, chargeable security violation right there - not that is not done, but putting it on paper is not smart at all.

Edited by Larry Hancock
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

I tend to concur with David's last paragraph and to me Christensen seems  to be trying to play the system without thinking about how much he was exposing himself with that letter - even relating that he had discussed details of an intercept with anyone other than the superior in charge of his activities and reports.  A major, chargeable security violation right there - not that is not done, but putting it on paper is not smart at all.

It's possible Stevenson had him pegged for the bughouse before November 1963.

Edited by David Andrews
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Christensen had any known or suspected history of talking about his intercepts he would definitely been a potential security concern, those in his career field were much like air crews in SAC, if not worse - virtually any concern about your reliability would get your supervisor's attention, potentially get into your personnel file and at minimum get you moved into another career area.  That would be especially true for personnel tasked with highly sensitive criminal, economic and political watch lists - which would come from CIA, FBI, DEA etc. 

This sort of thing is no game, a handful of intercept operators did actually defect to the Soviets during the Cold War and created serious political and diplomatic flaps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...