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A question for Stephen Roy


James Richards
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Hi Stephen,

Do you know anything about the relationship between David Ferrie and Julian Buznedo? From what I can gather, Ferrie was acquainted with Buznedo during the Bay of Pigs and remained friends after that.

I ask as it relates to some things I am looking at regarding the Cuban exile community in New Orleans.

Ferrie and Buznedo below.

Cheers,

James

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When I get to my office on Mondy, I'll have more detail. it is based mainly on comments by Julian Buznedo Castellanos.

In a nutshell, Arcacha ran into BoP veteran Buznedo (Barbara J, as I recall) in Miami and learned that he had photos and other material fo a book, and that he was an aspiring pilot. He invited him to NO to meet a newspaperman (from the description, Jack S. Martin) and a pilot flight teacher (Ferrie) who "loves Cubans".

Buznedo came to NO with Carlos Lopez and Endrik Ceijas around May-June 1961, lived briefly with Arcacha, got flight training on Ferrie's plane (but mostly from Hugh Samuel Ward) and Ferrie used him as a dog and pony show at speeches, including the infamous Military Order of World Wars. Ferrie also tried to get him a gig as a cartoonist for the Picayune, and a few things were published, but not enough money to live on. Buznedo returned to Miami to job hunt, unsuccessfully, then back to NO where he got a job at a supermarket. Later in the year, he moved to Denver.

That's a quickie, but let me check my notes.

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James:

This is based largely on Buznedo's statement to NODA, on the transcript of his phone call with Aynesworth, on a more recent interview and on fragments from other sources. (A suspicious person might doubt Buznedo, but I tend to accept his account. And he is really the only source we have for chronology.)

"At the beginning of May Arcacha decided to take a trip to Miami to meet with the leaders of the FRD and to personally greet some of the survivors of the Bay of Pigs invasion. Ferrie was unavailable for the trip because of his regular flight schedule with Eastern, but he was willing to make his Stinson available to Hugh Ward. In Miami, Arcacha and Ward made the acquaintance of a young man named Julian Buznedo Castellanos. Formerly an amateur prizefighter in Cuba, Buznedo came to Miami in 1960 and was recruited for Brigade 2506. At the time of the invasion, he had been given a camera make a photographic record of the historic event. Buznedo was assigned to the vessel Barbara J and made it to the beach, where he took many photographs of the action, but was forced to retreat as the invasion collapsed.

Arcacha was very interested in Buznedo's pictures. "Boy, you mean you got pictures?...No pictures have been released about the invasion...You know, we can publish a book and we can put some of these pictures in it. It's going to be terrific. We can make a lot of money out of it." Arcacha told Buznedo that he knew a writer in New Orleans, who was formerly a religious man, who would take on the project. (Arcacha may have been referring to Jack S. Martin, who fancied himself a writer and had been ordained as part of an investigation of phony religious documents.) He asked Buznedo to come with him to New Orleans.

While still in Miami, Buznedo had mentioned to Hugh Ward that he was a civilian pilot in Cuba, but was about 90 hours short of flight time for his American license. Ward and Arcacha let him fly Ferrie's Stinson that day, and Arcacha offered to put Buznedo in contact with Ferrie. "Listen, if you go to New Orleans, you'll be able to get your license...This American boy [Ward] has been flying a lot and he's about to get his pilot's license, and it isn't costing him anything...You tell [David] Ferrie that you're a Cuban,..and boy, he's really going to help you. He really likes Cubans a lot, and he's also [very] sorry for what happened [at] the Bay of Pigs...So you make good friends with him. He's going to fly you...You'll be able to get your license." Buznedo replied "Well, hell, that sounds like it's pretty good, you know." The book concept was enticing enough, but the added lure of virtually free flying time was all it took to get Buznedo to decide to move to New Orleans. He convinced two other Bay of Pigs survivors, Carlos Lopez and Endrik Ceijas, to accompany him.

The three Cubans made their way to New Orleans in early May and moved in with Arcacha and his family at 112 Egret Street. Almost immediately Arcacha invited David Ferrie over to meet the men and, as Arcacha predicted, he was very impressed to meet actual Bay of Pigs survivors. Ferrie took a liking to young Buznedo and offered to let him fly his Stinson for the cost of the fuel, about $6.00 per hour, much lower than the standard hourly flight fee of $18.00. Buznedo also took a liking to the fascinating Ferrie, and began calling him "El Capi". While Buznedo did, in fact, fly several times with Ferrie, he could be seen more often with Hugh Ward in Ferrie's plane."

"Arcacha was right. Ferrie “really likes Cubans a lot, and…he’s really going to help you.” He certainly took a shine to young Julian Buznedo. When Buznedo’s Bay of Pigs book deal fell through because the writer (Jack S. Martin?) decided not to take the project, Ferrie went to great lengths to help him. Julian was a talented artist, and Ferrie took him to several places to try to obtain work as a draftsman, emphasizing the patriotic nature of hiring a veteran of the US-backed invasion. When that failed to materialize, he took Buznedo to the Times-Picayune/States-Item newspaper and actually had several of his cartoons published, at $5-10. each. But it was not enough for the young man to live on, so in early June, Buznedo and Endrik Ceijas moved back to Miami to seek employment there, leaving Carlos Lopez behind in New Orleans."

"David Ferrie was clearly out on an emotional and political limb by this time, with an overblown ego and sense of urgency. Still the speeches before community groups continued, with an increasing level of stridency. In early June, Julian Buznedo Castellanos returned to New Orleans from an unsuccessful job hunt in Miami, and Ferrie now had a powerful visual aid to enhance the drama of his speeches: A genuine Bay of Pigs veteran, a hero. At lunchtime on Monday, July 24, 1961, Ferrie spoke before the Young Men’s Business Club, with Buznedo in tow. One of the attendees was so impressed by the presentation that he invited Ferrie to speak that same evening at a meeting of another group, for which he was the meeting chairman.

That group was the Military Order of World Wars, and the meeting was at Lenfant’s Boulevard Room at 5236 Canal Boulevard, with seventy members in attendance."

I have established to a reasonable certainty that Ferrie also brought Buznedo and Lopez to one of his IMSU/Falcon training exercises at Abita Springs sometime between May and August.

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Thanks James.

The quotes are from my manuscript (unedited). Again, I caution readers that this will be more of a biography than a conspiracy book, although all the conspiracy stuff is covered and a lot of new stuff is introduced. Interested parties will find a lot of new material, in any case. A few Ferrie factoids proven and extended, a few open to question.

I was originally going to call this "The Ferrie File", as it was initially based on the voluminous NARA holdings on Ferrie. I was surprised that nobody had done this yet: acquired most, if not all the NARA stuff, chronologized it and pulled all the details together. It took me about 5 years of just absorbing it all to finally start to see how it fit together. There are answers there to many questions. Then I went off looking for other documentary sources and live interviews. (Interesting note: The interviews are great for added details and context, but most people have a devil of a time nailing down dates! And, unlike biographies from earlier time periods, many of those connected to these events are still alive and "interviewable".)

And, if anyone else is so inclined, there are enough materials at NARA for respectable biographies of Banister and DeMohrenschildt, among others.

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  • 10 years later...

James:

This is based largely on Buznedo's statement to NODA, on the transcript of his phone call with Aynesworth, on a more recent interview and on fragments from other sources. (A suspicious person might doubt Buznedo, but I tend to accept his account. And he is really the only source we have for chronology.)

"At the beginning of May Arcacha decided to take a trip to Miami to meet with the leaders of the FRD and to personally greet some of the survivors of the Bay of Pigs invasion. Ferrie was unavailable for the trip because of his regular flight schedule with Eastern, but he was willing to make his Stinson available to Hugh Ward. In Miami, Arcacha and Ward made the acquaintance of a young man named Julian Buznedo Castellanos. Formerly an amateur prizefighter in Cuba, Buznedo came to Miami in 1960 and was recruited for Brigade 2506. At the time of the invasion, he had been given a camera make a photographic record of the historic event. Buznedo was assigned to the vessel Barbara J and made it to the beach, where he took many photographs of the action, but was forced to retreat as the invasion collapsed.

Arcacha was very interested in Buznedo's pictures. "Boy, you mean you got pictures?...No pictures have been released about the invasion...You know, we can publish a book and we can put some of these pictures in it. It's going to be terrific. We can make a lot of money out of it." Arcacha told Buznedo that he knew a writer in New Orleans, who was formerly a religious man, who would take on the project. (Arcacha may have been referring to Jack S. Martin, who fancied himself a writer and had been ordained as part of an investigation of phony religious documents.) He asked Buznedo to come with him to New Orleans.

While still in Miami, Buznedo had mentioned to Hugh Ward that he was a civilian pilot in Cuba, but was about 90 hours short of flight time for his American license. Ward and Arcacha let him fly Ferrie's Stinson that day, and Arcacha offered to put Buznedo in contact with Ferrie. "Listen, if you go to New Orleans, you'll be able to get your license...This American boy [Ward] has been flying a lot and he's about to get his pilot's license, and it isn't costing him anything...You tell [David] Ferrie that you're a Cuban,..and boy, he's really going to help you. He really likes Cubans a lot, and he's also [very] sorry for what happened [at] the Bay of Pigs...So you make good friends with him. He's going to fly you...You'll be able to get your license." Buznedo replied "Well, hell, that sounds like it's pretty good, you know." The book concept was enticing enough, but the added lure of virtually free flying time was all it took to get Buznedo to decide to move to New Orleans. He convinced two other Bay of Pigs survivors, Carlos Lopez and Endrik Ceijas, to accompany him.

The three Cubans made their way to New Orleans in early May and moved in with Arcacha and his family at 112 Egret Street. Almost immediately Arcacha invited David Ferrie over to meet the men and, as Arcacha predicted, he was very impressed to meet actual Bay of Pigs survivors. Ferrie took a liking to young Buznedo and offered to let him fly his Stinson for the cost of the fuel, about $6.00 per hour, much lower than the standard hourly flight fee of $18.00. Buznedo also took a liking to the fascinating Ferrie, and began calling him "El Capi". While Buznedo did, in fact, fly several times with Ferrie, he could be seen more often with Hugh Ward in Ferrie's plane."

"Arcacha was right. Ferrie “really likes Cubans a lot, and…he’s really going to help you.” He certainly took a shine to young Julian Buznedo. When Buznedo’s Bay of Pigs book deal fell through because the writer (Jack S. Martin?) decided not to take the project, Ferrie went to great lengths to help him. Julian was a talented artist, and Ferrie took him to several places to try to obtain work as a draftsman, emphasizing the patriotic nature of hiring a veteran of the US-backed invasion. When that failed to materialize, he took Buznedo to the Times-Picayune/States-Item newspaper and actually had several of his cartoons published, at $5-10. each. But it was not enough for the young man to live on, so in early June, Buznedo and Endrik Ceijas moved back to Miami to seek employment there, leaving Carlos Lopez behind in New Orleans."

"David Ferrie was clearly out on an emotional and political limb by this time, with an overblown ego and sense of urgency. Still the speeches before community groups continued, with an increasing level of stridency. In early June, Julian Buznedo Castellanos returned to New Orleans from an unsuccessful job hunt in Miami, and Ferrie now had a powerful visual aid to enhance the drama of his speeches: A genuine Bay of Pigs veteran, a hero. At lunchtime on Monday, July 24, 1961, Ferrie spoke before the Young Men’s Business Club, with Buznedo in tow. One of the attendees was so impressed by the presentation that he invited Ferrie to speak that same evening at a meeting of another group, for which he was the meeting chairman.

That group was the Military Order of World Wars, and the meeting was at Lenfant’s Boulevard Room at 5236 Canal Boulevard, with seventy members in attendance."

I have established to a reasonable certainty that Ferrie also brought Buznedo and Lopez to one of his IMSU/Falcon training exercises at Abita Springs sometime between May and August.

Given that Julian Buznedo Castellanos had been a prizefighter in Cuba, and the fact that in his photograph with Ferrie he appears to be short and muscular, I wonder if he could have been the short Mexican-looking guy who accompanied Oswald to Dean Andrew's office and whom Andrews said looked like he could go "fist city"?

ferriecool.jpg

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves
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Garrison thought he might be, but I think he changed his mind.

I tend not to think of Buznedo as involved in anything substantive. I'm pretty sure that, by the time Andrews is supposed to have been approached by Oswald (May63), Buznedo had long since been living in Colorado.

Edited by Stephen Roy
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  • 5 years later...

Does anyone know where I can obtain a copy of Stephen's unpublished book about David Ferrie:  Perfect Villain: David Ferrie and the JFK Mystery.

 
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well, he's passed now, here's the obit:   https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/southofboston-enterprise/obituary.aspx?n=stephen-j-roy&pid=180013738&fhid=15237

 

ya might want to do a search or two under the name of David Blackburst, it was an alias Roy used for years, especially when he posted to John McAdams's alt.assassination.jfk USENET board (a board still active, btw). A search there may prove fruitful. Some of the AAJ academic old-timers will certainly remember Blackburst...

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