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David Ferrie


John Simkin
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I have started a new thread on David Ferrie as there was a danger of it being lost in another debate.

Stephen: Like I said in my other post, welcome aboard. Its good to hear both sides of the story and am glad you have joined this forum and maybe help shed some light on who David Ferrie really was as there are so many stories about him.

The Ferrie CAP story is annoying.

If I'm reading this right, was Jesse Curry in CAP too in the 1940's?

Mr. HUBERT - Were you in service during the war, sir?

Mr. CURRY - I was in what was called the CPA, Civilian Pilot Training. It was a program that was open to people who were over combat age in the Air Force.

Steve: I'm not sure. I haven't run into that acronym before. And there are a zillion similar sounding ones.

A CAP member like Joe Biles may correct me, but I understand that the Civil Air Patrol frowned on real flight training being given to cadets, even though many of the "seniors" did train cadets to fly.

(FYI, Dave Ferrie trained MANY people, including CAP cadets, to fly between 1945 and 1965, but he never actually got his instructor's ticket until 1965!!!)

I presume Curry was too old to have been in CAP (14-18) in the 40s. I don't have an answer.

Stephen: Can you share any info on Ferrie and the Lake Ponchatrain camp and his presence at Banisters office?

Oh yeah I forgot to add, I look forward to reading your book when it is released.

Wow, a complicated one, and I'm on the run. Let me take a quick stab at it.

There is a substantial body of evidence that has David Ferrie actively involved in anti-Castro activities from November 1960 until shortly after his morals arrests, the September 1961 Houma heist being something of his "last gasp" as the Cubans ostracized him over the pederasty charges. (During 1961, Ferrie probably WAS involved in certain training north of the lake, but it is unclear if it involved Cubans or his CAP "IMSUs". One of the interesting things is that when Ferrie had his IMSU training at Belle Chasse, CIA admittedly was training UDT teams there.)

There is a report from a questionable source (Thomas Beckham) that Ferrie was involved with a group called UCMF in the fall of 1962.

The notion that he was involved in the 1963 Ponchartrain camp is a bit "iffy", too, coming mostly from Delphine Roberts. She was in a position to know what Banister was up to, but she was also a piece of work. Everybody associated with the camp said Ferrie had nothing to do with it. So who do we believe?

Just a speculation, but I wonder if people have conflated Ferrie's 1961 documented activities with the 1963 camp.

As for Banister, Ferrie was NOT an employee there. He had a fulltime job at Gill, Bernstein, Schreiber and Gill law firm. He was NOT always at Banister's office. But it's academic, because by 1963, he and Banister were very close, and Ferrie was a visitor to Banister's office.

Incidentally, did you know that there was/were one or two break-ins into Banister's office from the adjacent Mancuso's restaurant in, as I recall, the fall of 1963?

Stephen: Excellent stuff, I believe on AJ Webermans site when talking with Hemming, Hemming mentions Ferrie as a main figure at this camp, and Ferrie wanted nothing to do with Hemming.

I think with Ferrie being a visitor at Banisters office in 63 and numerous people seeing anti cubans at this same address at that time, one has to wonder if Ferrie was still connected to these folks in some manner.

I have never heard of the break in at Banisters office, Could this have been the reason why he was thinking people were stealing his files?

Hi Stephen. Sorry to jump in here; I'm sure you feel like you are being swamped.

I was wondering if you have any details regarding the relationship between Ferrie and Larry DeJoseph?

BTW, welcome to the forum.

I think we can make a good case that Ferrie was still involved as of 1962 with the attempt to set up the CRC sponsored camp that involved Hemming and associates.  I say that because I have seen photos from that period showing Ferrie with Larry DeJoseph - and with him in planes, cars etc in New Orleans. Hemming says that Ferrie was helping them with his plane and that certainly appears to be true.

However I've seen no sign that he was involved with the "camps" of 1963 which were something totally different - and one of which was not really a camp but rather a U-Haul with explosives for bombs...but that's another story.   Anyway,  I think he was in action there as related to anti-Castro affairs until that time - he may have dropped out about the time Arcacha Smith started having his problems and eventually left town.

James: Thanks for the welcome! I've seen your pictures in other forums. In time, I'll be making available some interesting Ferrie pix: Some brand new, some improvements over old versions.

Also, I note that we are WAY off topic from Baker's original thread. I wonder if we should move this to a new thread.

I don't recognize the name you mentioned, Larry DeJoseph. Any details to jog my memory?

Larry:

I think I remember you from the now-notorious NID2000, a fascinating presentation on John Martino, as I recall.

I had just finished posting to James, when I saw you fill in details on Larry DeJoseph. I admit that this is an area I know little about.

Clearly, Hemming was involved in many activities, and CIA docs specifically link him to the LaBorde/Bartes activites in late 62. But for all the interesting stuff Hemming has offered, I still find it necessary to use a fine filter on his claims. But I'd love to know about the picture you saw.

As I noted, there is a lot of internally corroborative stuff on Ferrie's tenure with the New Orleans FRD/CRC Nov60 to about Sept61, where his Cuban activities seem to drop off considerably. And live interviews have suggested that the pederasty charges seriously tainted him in many circles. (And even Garrison suggested that Arcacha's activities slacked off in early 1962.) But there are hints through 1962, such as the Beckham thing and some correspondence between Ferrie and postal authorities.

It is widely believed, based largely on Bill Turner, that Banister's office was a hotbed of anti-castro activity in 1963. That was probably true in 1961, but I can't find much support for a high level of activity in 1963 (as regards Banister and Ferrie.) On the July 1963 camp(s), we really have only Delphine Roberts (not a bad source, but not a great one) and Tannenbaum's film recollection. I would have to see the film before making up my mind. And everyone connected with the known camp seems to suggest that Ferrie was not involved. Again, I wonder if Garrison's staff chronologically glommed the 1961 activities with the 1963 camp, and Turner simply repeated it.

But this is by no means a final verdict. A Ferrie friend said to me (paraphrase) "Look, I don't think Dave was involved in all this stuff when I knew him. I spent thousands of hours with him, and he never gave a hint of it. But even having said that, with Dave, I'll never know if he might have fooled me." When one of his best friends says "you never know...", who knows what might pop up someday? I've turned up a few tantalizing leads, but that's for the book!

But you, James and others have looked into areas I may have missed. Anything you want to add for a serious and objective representation of Ferrie would be much appreciated!

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To all:

Regarding Stephen quote about the training camp:

I was not aware of Dave going out to any training camp personally, but I know he was involved later in a minor incident with a couple of the people who were out there.

I am not saying this amounts to any overt anti-Castro acticity, as such, by Dave in July and August of 1963. I saw no indication that it was overt.

Stephen Roy has written: "On the July 1963 camp(s), we really have only Delphine Roberts (not a bad source, but not a great one) and Tannenbaum's film recollection."

Tanenbaum (one n, is it not?) stated unequivocally that he saw the film, that it came from Georgetown.

The statements that come to mind were that many respondents were asked if Dave Ferrie RAN the camp. They were not asked if he were involved in any other way. One remarked that he couldn;t keep his mind on any one thing long enough to RUN a training camp.

I make a distinction between running a camp and having ANY involvement whatsoever, and I hope that Mr. Roy will publish the quotations that are behind the statements he just made of the interviews that centered on whetrher or not Dave was running the camp.

That is not what I claim or some others have claimed. I know that Dave was obviously aware of the camp's existence because I saw a portion of the training film.

I previously stated to Stephen in an email sent to him and a number of others that I saw a portion of that same training film, as it was being spliced in Dave Ferrie's apartment. I cannot state that Dave Ferrie was at the training camp. I did not see him in the film. But he was handling this rather poorly lit or underexosed film. I remember telling Stephen that Dave had some porn films and a Donald Duck film called "Moving Day"(no sound, black and white) that I noticed as some stacked reels in his apartment. It seems to me that though Stephen has not remembered or did not wish to mention my additional voice in this matter, that even if it means he adds a qualifier to my name, as he has done in the case of Delphine Roberts, such as "alleges she has seen" that it would reveal the true situation concerning witnesses.

The quotations to back up what Stephen has said should be given to members here so they can decide for themselves if Dave Ferrie, simply because he was described as not RUNNING the camp, was thereby disqualified from ever BEING at the camp. I do not know anything except that he had to have contact with some of those people because he did have access to the training film at its earliest stage of creation.

Best Regards,

Judyth Vary Baker

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To all:

The quotations to back up what Stephen has said should be given to members here so they can decide for themselves if Dave Ferrie, simply because he was described as not RUNNING the camp, was thereby disqualified from ever BEING at the camp. I do not know anything except that he had to have contact with some of those people because he did have access to the training film at its earliest stage of creation.

Judyth is defining a valuable point here IMO, in regards to Ferrie's participation in the camp and other issues as well. There needs to be some way for statements and sources to be compared, as objectively as possible. Judyth and Stephen are not going to have the same thinking -- their experiences are different, for one thing. It will also be helpful for the community to have the actual issues defined, so that those of us who are getting up to speed on LHO/NO can be better oriented to why these differences are significant.

So, it seems that the issue here is to add definition to what Ferrie's involvement at the camp was and to what extent he was or was not present at -- or seen at -- the camp?

Pamela

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Posted on another thread but this might help here:

FEBRUARY 5, 1967

TO: JIM GARRSION, DISTRICT ATTORNEY

FROM: JIM ALCOCK, ASSISTANT DISCTRICT ATTORNEY

RE: ANGEL VEGA

At 10:00 PM on January 31, 1967, CHARLES JONAU and I spoke to

ANGEL VEGA. This meeting, arranged by LAUREANO BATISTA,

Took place at the headquarters of the Christian Democratic Movement

located at 1732 N.W. 7th Street, Miami, Florida….

ANGEL VEGA is a slightly built Cuban male appearing to be in his

late twenties. He was one of the twenty Cubans who trained at a camp

in the New Orleans area. VEGA arrived at eth camp sometime near

the middle or end of June, 1963. When he arrived, there were only

four or five others at the camp site. The house and grounds where they

stayed were completely run down, giving the appearance they had not

been inhabited for quite a while. Their first task was to refurbish the

house and its conveniences.

All personnel stayed in the house which consisted of three rooms, a

kitchen and two baths. In addition to this, there was a screened porch

on the front and back of the house. The grounds had a swimming pool

which was constantly fed by an underground spring. Also, there was a

stream or bayou running through the property. Within sight of the property

was another house. The camp was served by a dirt road which VEGA recalls

was never used by vehicular traffic during his entire stay at the camp. ANGEL VEGA is positive he could find this camp site today, and would be willing to come to

New Orleans on a weekend for that purpose.

Training at the camp was principally limited to a physical fitness program. Daily exercises were taken along with swimming lessons. The men at the camp also practiced fording the stream that ran through the property. At no time did the men stray farther than about 200 yards from the house. No shooting whatsoever took place at the camp. They had two or three old Springfield rifles and M-1 carbine. These weapons were never fired. The M-1 carbine was used to show the men how to disassemble and assemble the weapon. During the course of many of the exercises, the men would carry small logs to simulate the weight of a weapon. Also, these logs were used in mock hand-to-hand combat training.

About two days before the cache of explosives was found at the other camp, ANGEL VEGA and two other camp members left for Miami with the Castro agent, FERNANDO FERNANDEZ. Shortly thereafter all Cubans at the camp returned to Miami. This was about August 1, 1963. Therefore, the camp was in operation for about five or six weeks.

While at the camp, ANGEL heard rifle shots and explosions from the direction of the other camp. However, at no time did VEGA and his fellow Cubans know of the existence of the other camp. This came to their knowledge only after the explosives were found.

As ANGEL recalls, the camp site was owned by two American males in their fifties or sixties. He feels they were in the insurance business. All contacts with them were made by RICARDO (DICKEY) DAVIS. They came to the camp occasionally to see if the men needed any food. DAVIS came to the camp about 8 to 10 time, mostly bringing food when he came. On one occasion, he brought his wife and he did some target shooting with a 22 caliber pistol.

ANGEL VEGA never heard the name of SERGIO ARCACHA SMITH or LINDBERGH mentioned and never saw any other Americans at the camp with the exception of the two previously mentioned. Angel remembers the following men to have been at the camp with him:

VICTOR PANEQUE 2ND in Command

FIDEL ZALDIVAR 1st in Command

……PERIU VICTORIA

MIGUEL CARBALLIDO

HENRY INFANTE

RAUL FANTONE

FERNANDO FERNANDEZ

SERGIO (NOT ARCACHA SMITH)

As you can see, ANGEL could only remember the first name of one man and only the last name of another. LAUREANO BATISTA, however, is still trying to locate a complete camp roster for us. He is also trying to locate the names if the Americans who owned the camp. If he is successful, he has promised to mail the information to me in New Orleans.

I feel that ANGEL VEGA was completely candid and cooperative throughout the interview. However, as far as the movement and its key personnel are concerned, we should expect some hedging.

JIM ALCOCK

..............----

This is the Slidell camp that was financed by "a group of very wealthy Texans and Louisianeans (Oil men) who had a lot of money and were willing to back any anti-Castro plan that would give them land were they could have a camp to train."

Most of the men were recruited by Victor "Diego" Panique who was then in New Jersey. They were to train for Somoza's "Nicaraguan Operation." Somoza had actually gone to Miami to do some personal recruiting.

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Hi Stephen,

Larry DeJoseph is a pretty interesting character. Not a lot is known about him but he was associated with Gerry Hemming and Frank Sturgis in the early 1960's. The photo below shows him at Paul Poppenhager's flight school. That is him in the black shirt. Hemming is on the far right and Sturgis is in the center of frame (white shirt partially obscured by the pedestrian).

The photos of he and Ferrie show them scouting a location for the Louisiana camp. I believe the relationship between the two and how it came to be might just prove significant.

James

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OK, so I'm going to jump in with some observations about what we do know about camps circa 1963. Virtually all of this comes from i) the FBI bust of a U-Haul full of explosives at the McClaney farm and ii) investigations by Garrison staff including Harold Weisberg - who were obviously eager to place any of Garrison's suspects ranging from Ferrie and some misc. Cuban exiles to Oswald himself at "camps" in the summer of 1963. Here's what we have on camps; these are completely separate from pre-Bay of Pigs training at Belle Chase and the abortive CRC sponsored summer/fall CRC/Hemming/Sturgis/DeJoseph/Ferrie camp that never actually jelled.

1) The McClaney farm bust was not a training camp, it was a holding area for a parked U-haul and the FBI had full details on what was in it from an informant in Miami before they made the bust, even an inventory list. However this is often written up in early JFK works as a full fledged training camp - the local media coverage may have created that impression?

2) A ""target range" which was apparently used by local Minuteman and possibly other right wing groups and which might have been loaned out to virtually any anti-communist folks for target practice. Firing was heard coming from that location by the Cuban exiles who were at the camp described below...

3) A camp organized by Ricardo Davis, purportedly to be funded by wealthy Texans (per Davis) and sponsored with personnel from the Christian Democratic Movement out of Miami. The funding Davis promised never emerged and when the FBI busted the McClaney farm U-haul these folks were taken off and sent immediately back to Miami. David Boylan's memo discusses this and there is much other documentation on it as well. Again, in early JFK material this is sometimes discussed as an Artime/SNAFE/CIA camp but that appears to be totally untrue and would be in direct conflict with the CIA's deal with Artime to do all his training and preparations outside the U.S.

On a side note, in regard to the Tannenbaum film, I need to point out that a host of good researchers have spent much time looking for that including the archivist where Tannenbouam says it went - with zero results. For myself I find it pretty incredible that anyone associated with the HSCA could have concrete evidence of Oswald associating with potential conspiracy suspects only months before the assassination and i) never write an internal memo on it, ii) apparently never show it to any other staff, iii) not make a copy of it or blow up any frames as momentos and iv) of course not do anything to get it into the HSCA report. Also given that Garrison himself was in frequent communication with HSCA staff you might supsect they would mention it to him as they did a variety of other leads relevant to his supects including Thomas Beckham. And I don't think anybody has been able to get a straight answer from Tannenbaum on why he did nothing with such a smoking gun piece of evidence...if it really existed.

PPS...it's also worth noting that Arcacha Smith was long gone from New Orleans by the summer of 1963 and that Ferrie's exile related activities seem to have significantly tapered off with his departure - although as Russo documents in his book, they had been intense proior to the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

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James, Bishop did say that when in New Orleans, Bishop had seen Oswald in a training film, apparently Oswald had simply been in a group at the camp where Bishop felt he was trying to "get in" with Anti-Castro exiles.

The problem is, that while some of Bishop's stuff can be corroborated and hangs together a good deal does not; one person known to me was with Bishop during a group of polygraph tests and said Bishop would come across totally truthful for

about 3 minutes out of ever 10 or 15 but would consistently just start going off apparently just generating stories. Obviously it made him difficult to use as a source.

Oh, and on another note, in early JFL literature there was often speculation that it was Oswald, in his infiltrator role, who exposed the supposed camp that was busted in the McClaney raid. Perhaps he did but now that we have the full FBI documentation on it we also have their sources - in reports written in the summer of 1963 - and their informants were exiles and not Oswald. They go into considerable detail into how the informants came to them and who they were, probably because they had to evaluate bringing charges. In the end their was no prosecution because no individuals were at the scene when the bust was carried out.

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Thanks, Larry.

I'm actually surprised that Bishop sat for polygraph tests in the first place. I do remember that some of his information seemed to back up what Richard Nagell was saying.

Interesting information regarding the McClaney raid. Did the documents actually name the Cuban informants?

James

Edited by James Richards
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James, that's correct....but then he said a great deal about a bunch of stuff...the polygraphs were during a period when he was trying for some serious media coverage and possibly book deals...

Probably the safest core to what we can belive about him is from his notebook and the addresses and phone numbers in his possession. From that we can pretty clearly say that he did have intel connections going back to the OSS, he did have connections to certain exiles including those associated with Alpha 66 and its very likely he had connections to some of the Op 40 people and may have been used in that program even after the Bay of Pigs when it assumed a life of its own independent of any official Agency sanction. His notebook also confirms he knew and was in contact with both Vidal and Hargraves. And based on some of his activities in Florida post assassination its clear that he was tuned into the Florida National Guard and Reserve military structure and had some sort of undefined political clout in the Miami area.

On your other question, yes the FBI reports do give the source and also the informant by name. That should be in the documents on the book CD if memory serves; I think its also corroborated in Carlos Hernandez HSCA testimony but that may be incorrect. I don't know if I put the names in the book or not, might be in a footnote?

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Larry,

The whole Bishop deal has me scratching my head a bit. I think we agree that Bishop was actually John Adrian O'Hare. We also have Hargraves saying that the photograph supposedly showing a uniformed Col. Bishop (Dick Russell's 'The Man Who Knew Too Much') was not actually him. :o

That aside, we have the connection between Bishop and Rolando Masferrer which is about as interesting as things get. We also have Bishop claiming he was flown to Dallas via military aircraft and was present at Parkland Hospital when JFK's body was there. Talk about being in the thick of it.

Regarding the FBI reports, I'll have to have a hunt around on your CD as I don't have your book on hand at the moment. You'll be pleased to know it is being passed around amongst some Australian military personnel in Indonesia at the moment. I know you would be even happier if they all purchased a copy for themselves but they don't make that much money. :D

James

Edited by James Richards
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  And I don't think anybody has been able to get a straight answer from Tannenbaum on why he did nothing with such a smoking gun piece of evidence...if it really existed.

Larry:

Though PURELY hypothetical, I wonder what we would find if we compared the time-frame of Tanenbaum's tenure with the HSCA with the date on which CIA's Regis Blahut was busted for rifling through [and pilfering from?] HSCA's evidence locker.

It always seemed to me that whatever Blahut was after must have been of the highest significance, in order to justify taking so great a risk. I've never been able to figure out what that might have been; certainly his claim of 'personal curiosity' [if memory serves] doesn't seem like much of a rationale.

It seems to me that CIA might wish to make disappear photographic evidence that the lone nut, about whom they evidenced so casual an indifference, was demonstrably connected with a camp under their nominal control. Since Blahut lied about having rifled through that evidence locker, and only admitted to this violation when it was proved his fingerprints were found on photographs therein, we know that he seemed particularly interested in photographic evidence.

If the time-frames match [i'll try to check on that], perhaps we can speculate our way to solving several minor mysteries.

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James, I admire them for being in Indonesia - I hope the book provides some

diversion.

I think Bishop was in the thick of the things that we are interested in alright

but I suspect he represents the off the books side of things. If there were any

records on him before the BOP I suspect its in some files we won't see. Just

as Victor Hernandez was officially booted out of the New Orleans area training

camp (as far as the records on him go) but according to his own testimony went on to go on several missions into Cuba. If Bishop/O'hare was really working with

Op 40 in its darkest political action/elimination side I don't expecteto find any

memos...

Larry,

The whole Bishop deal has me scratching my head a bit. I think we agree that Bishop was actually John Adrian O'Hare. We also have Hargraves saying that the photograph supposedly showing a uniformed Col. Bishop (Dick Russell's 'The Man Who Knew Too Much') was not actually him.  :o

That aside, we have the connection between Bishop and Rolando Masferrer which is about as interesting as things get. We also have Bishop claiming he was flown to Dallas via military aircraft and was present at Parkland Hospital when JFK's body was there. Talk about being in the thick of it.

Regarding the FBI reports, I'll have to have a hunt around on your CD as I don't have your book on hand at the moment. You'll be pleased to know it is being passed around amongst some Australian military personnel in Indonesia at the moment. I know you would be even happier if they all purchased a copy for themselves but they don't make that much money.  :D

James

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Robert, that's a very interesting point. What bothers me though is why wouldn't Tannenbaum (not your bashful type) raise a stink. Even if it had been taken all he would have to do is give a legal deposition that he had viewed it and enter that in the record. Just think how much of an impetus that would have given to the Committee?

The other thing that's always bothered me is why he never discussed where he/they got it? Even if it were stolen the implications are so immense that its hard to see nothing happening with it - and if some powers that be had totally shut down discussion about it why would he have ever mentioned it?

....I'd sure like to see him interviewed about that one subject...

P.S. It reminds me of the other HACA wild card story about a staffer who talked about a plane found out in West Texas with Oswald's prints in it. Seems like that never made it into any memos either...

  And I don't think anybody has been able to get a straight answer from Tannenbaum on why he did nothing with such a smoking gun piece of evidence...if it really existed.

Larry:

Though PURELY hypothetical, I wonder what we would find if we compared the time-frame of Tanenbaum's tenure with the HSCA with the date on which CIA's Regis Blahut was busted for rifling through [and pilfering from?] HSCA's evidence locker.

It always seemed to me that whatever Blahut was after must have been of the highest significance, in order to justify taking so great a risk. I've never been able to figure out what that might have been; certainly his claim of 'personal curiosity' [if memory serves] doesn't seem like much of a rationale.

It seems to me that CIA might wish to make disappear photographic evidence that the lone nut, about whom they evidenced so casual an indifference, was demonstrably connected with a camp under their nominal control. Since Blahut lied about having rifled through that evidence locker, and only admitted to this violation when it was proved his fingerprints were found on photographs therein, we know that he seemed particularly interested in photographic evidence.

If the time-frames match [i'll try to check on that], perhaps we can speculate our way to solving several minor mysteries.

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I think Bishop was in the thick of the things that we are interested in alright but I suspect he represents the off the books side of things. If there were any records on him before the BOP I suspect its in some files we won't see. Just as Victor Hernandez was officially booted out of the New Orleans area training camp (as far as the records on him go) but according to his own testimony went on to go on several missions into Cuba. If Bishop/O'hare was really working with Op 40 in its darkest political action/elimination side I don't expecteto find any memos... (Larry Hancock)

I think you are right, Larry. As far as rogue operations go, he may have been the 'go to' man for Morales. I have always suspected that Bishop/O'Hare was the man Morales used to recruit Vidal and Hargraves for Dallas.

As you say, I won't waste any energy looking for documents to back that up.

James

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