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The Thresher Incident

Wade Rhodes

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Wade, the documents and mention of the film are brand new to me - the only link I can think of is that this would relate to a story which was circulated that the assassination was carried out as a revenge for the crew of the Thresher submarine. I think the JFCOTT stands for Justice For the Crew of the Thresher.

Just a guess, a google search on that subject should get you some further detail.

Its hard to belive such a film was ever shown anywhere, anytime without any rumor of it.... perhaps someone else can help on this.

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Strange court correspondence. The only Edward F. Bray I found was an officer in the CCIA, the Connecticut Contractors Industrial Association. The man Bray claimed to have film of the assassination taken from the TSBD and a film of a practice ambush staged at Denison Dam, Wyoming.

Anyone else heard of this anomalous film, or films? He claims to have offered it to LIFE magazine, and that is stimulated an ONI investigation. Bray also claims to have warned Connally in a letter in August of 1963. Strange....

[the court documents refer to CIVIL ACTION 27451, 7th District Court Wyoming, 1965 "Bendix Corporation vs. Bray"]

Addition to post:

Larry Hancock was right. I googled BENDIX BRAY and found this in FAIRPLAY online magazine.

Excerpt of long article [red text copyright Richard Bartholomew 1994] :

Bill Kelly made a fascinating connection regarding the June 7, 1963 Life magazine (see my appendix). I looked through it in vain for anything as obviously JFK connected as in the Esquires. Bill called on May 14, 1994 and said it is obvious if you are familiar with a little-known story among the Kennedy assassination lore. In the magazine is a small story about dredging the underwater debris field of a nuclear sub that sank the previous April, the Thresher.

As I have recently learned, only a handful of researchers -- Bill Turner, Kenneth Formet and Larry Haapanen among them -- know anything about this aspect of the assassination. According to Kelly and Haapanen, no one has ever published a word about it; a fact that is most intriguing with regard to Wing's back seat magazines. It is the Bray-Thresher story. I first read about it in Bill Kelly's excellent unpublished manuscript.

In brief, Edward F. Bray sent Governor Connally a warning letter on August 12, 1963. It said that, "a plot is underway to assassinate you." Bray, who worked for the Bendix Corporation, claimed he had been visited by some men who said they were investigating the sinking of the Thresher. They said they were members of an organization known as Justice for the Crew of the Thresher (JFCOTT).

The men claimed its members were planning to assassinate John B. Connally and another former Secretary of the Navy, Fred Korth. Bray reported this to the authorities three months before the assassination. He also predicted, based on what he had learned from the men, that Connally would be shot by a disgruntled ex-serviceman with a high powered rifle while riding in an open car during a parade in Dallas.

The men later returned, according to Bray, and left him an 8mm film of the assassination, taken from the vantage point of the alleged assassin's lair on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Bray claimed that stills from the film were received by Chief Justice Earl Warren.

The Bendix Corp. was the plaintiff and Bray was the defendant in a trial that took place in Natrona County, Wyoming in March, 1965. Court documents obtained by researcher Kenneth Forment indicate that Bray tried, unsuccessfully, to have the film entered into evidence.

Bray claimed he later showed the film to former Presidential assistant Theodore Sorensen, at a banquet in Portland, Oregon in 1966. when contacted by Formet, however, Sorensen's office, declined to comment on anything involving the assassination of President Kennedy.

Bill Kelly speculates that alternative motives were being set up for Oswald in case the `lone-nut' scenario did not hold up. The JFCOTT motive, according to Kelly, "was predicated upon Oswald's dissatisfaction with his `undesirable' military discharge."

Kelly also points out that during World War II, George DeMohrenschildt lived in Washington D.C. with two men, one a British MI6 agent, and the other a U.S. Naval officer named Hall, who was later a skipper of the Thresher, but not at the time of its accident.

Kelly also notes that "DeMohrenschildt also went out of his way to introduce Oswald to retired Admiral Chester `Henri' Bruton, a former nuclear sub commander who was a senior executive at Collins Radio. Burton's [sic] last job for the Navy was to redesign the Navy's communications systems with its nuclear submarine fleet."

On May 21, I talked with David Gage, whom I've known for several years through local politics. He joined the Navy in 1970, was in underwater demolitions, attended Marine sniper school, and spent most of his Navy career serving submarine duty. For many years he's been involved in high-level sonar research at the University of Texas.

When I mentioned the June 7, 1963 Life pictorial about the dredging operations, he surprised me by saying, "Yeah, the one showing the O-rings." I asked how he knew that. He said everyone in the submarine fraternity knows about the Thresher. He had never heard of JFCOTT or the Bray incident, however -- a fact also intriguing with regard to Wing.

According to Gage, the common opinion among submarine crews is that the official story is wrong. Thresher, he said, could not have been crushed due to a failure of its pressure gauges. Subs have several backup systems and the engineers even have non-technical means of sensing depth.

Gage's theory, shared by other submarine crewmen, is that Thresher was involved in an unauthorized search and destroy bluff of a Soviet sub. It is a game he admitted being involved in often. They would carry the bluff as far as opening the torpedo doors -- which can be heard by the enemy sub. When I asked if they always stopped short of firing, he said, "If they fired, no one ever admitted it."

He described a tricky maneuver that Hunter class subs use in this game to position themselves behind the enemy. It causes a period of blindness of the surrounding terrain. He suspects Thresher clipped a mountain during one of these maneuvers. A coverup could have simply been to keep the Soviets from making political hay out of it. But David said those who knew anything could have kept it from ONI investigators without all that much difficulty.

I asked him about Collins Radio equipment on board and he said he didn't know of any used for navigation, which is what he did. He added that they could have been used in communications but subs never transmitted, they only received. He encouraged me to keep digging and said if he comes across anyone with knowledge of the Thresher he would put me in touch with them. I also intend to contact a former next door neighbor, Eric Copt, who is now an executive with Chevron Oil in Denver, Colorado. He was serving on a sub in 1963 which was later in the Tonkin Gulf during the "attack" on the Maddox.

I also need to see if another fellow I know, Gerrell Moore, can shed any light on this. He's currently the comptroller of the Pflugerville Independent School District. He was the chief intelligence officer (NSA) aboard the Maddox during the Tonkin Gulf incidents. He's been telling what he knows about that period for years but none of the "authors" who have interviewed him, including one from U.S. News and World Report, have every published his more incriminating observations. He may at least know someone equally willing to talk about the Thresher. The fundamental question, though, is: What, if any, was George Wing's interest in the subject?

{End excerpt of the long FAIRPLAY online article by R. Bartholomew]

..............Well, that makes it all clear as mud................

This would indicate that BENDIX had some naval contracts and they sued Mr. Bray over these accusations about BENDIX employees planning an assassination (Connally's) ....... this all may lead somewhere. It is possible Mr. Bray stumbled onto the planning of an assassination ...

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From Mary Ferrell Database:


2606 N.E. 12th Ave., Portland, OR

CD 913 (67-9); CD 1484 (8-10); National Enquirer 8/23/64

DOB: 4/9/07 POB: Bokoshe, Okla. Formerly employed by Bendix Co. at Navy Torpedo Station, Keypost, WA. In April 1963, allegedly warned Connally that persons connected with Thresher (nuclear submarine that sank 4/10/63) might try to assassinate him.


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The fact that George Wing had the magazine in the back seat of his 1959 Rambler which carried the Threscher story is a mind bender all on its own.  :ph34r:


The Bartholomew makes a number of cryptic (to me) references to George Wing and these signals he was sending. What is the deal with George Wing and the Rambler. Was Eladio Del Valle the driver who took Oswald away from the TSBD?

Here's the link to the article, it concerns UT Austin, Dulles, Forrestal, Dillon-Read, and a number of covert ops. Its about twenty pages long. It is a real interesting conspiracy article, but skips around from topic to topic and has many inside references: (I printed it out and read it hardcopy)


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The Bartholomew makes a number of cryptic (to me) references to George Wing and these signals he was sending. What is the deal with George Wing and the Rambler. Was Eladio Del Valle the driver who took Oswald away from the TSBD? (Shanet Clark)

Hi Shanet,

I think the driver of the Rambler was described as having a dark or swarthy complexion where del Valle was lighter skinned.

The Wing/Rambler thing is just incredible. It seems that Wing's Rambler was the one so often cited in JFK literature and he left a series of clues including magazines in the back seat.

Amazing story.


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One possible strategy of the conspirators would be to suggest that JFK was killed by accident. That the real target was John Connally. This seems to me to have all the signs of a disinformation campaign.


Well, for some reason the software is not allowing me to upload this, but if you go to Box 1, Folder# 3, Item# 26 of the DPD Archives:


There is a memo there from Detective B.M. Waters to Deputy Chief Lunday concerning a 1966 phone call from a guy named James Hacker in Los Angeles. He said that Oswald was paid by Jack Ruby to kill Connally.

What was interesting to me is the amount of time he spent on the phone with two Detectives and FBI Agent Bob Gemberling.

I spent some time on this subject a shile back. Coincidentally, the Thresher went down on the same day that someone took a potshot at General Edwin Walker.

I tried to determine if the initials JFCOTT were an acronym for something. I didn't come up with anything.

Steve Thomas

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