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Albert Alexander Osborne


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Ron:

An excellent and scholarly recitation of data on a most peculiar individual. A few intersecting points of interest regarding Osborne:

Dope Inc. and Torbitt both make a variety of assertions about Osborne [though usually either unsourced, incorrectly sourced, etc.] Both books also dwell at length upon Permindex, the purported assassination bureau that allegedly chose to target Charles deGaulle.

I spent years of research looking into both Osborne and Louis Mortimer Bloomfield, the demonstrable co-founder of Permindex, because the latter was Canadian and the former pretended to be. As a Canadian, I thought this [and other Canadian aspects to the assassination that have yet to be plumbed to my satisfaction] might yield some results. Which is where the tale gets interesting...

The YMCA address given by Osborne as his Montreal residence is a few doors away from the private residence of Bloomfield, as cited in his Who's Who listing. Hence, we have two individuals, both accused/suspected of operating assassination cabals for US intelligence interests, within a few doors of each other on the same street in Montreal. Osborne demonstrably intersected with Oswald; Bloomfield demonstrably intersected with Clay Shaw, who sat on the board of Permindex' sister company, the CMC. Just another coincidence, one assumes.

Moreover, the last time I visited NARA to check on Osborne documents pertinent to his purported Canadian background, I noted that all such papers were still withheld in full. That may have changed, as I've not checked back recently.

Nor had NARA yet declassified a variety of documents pertaining to the allegation that Oswald was in Montreal, dressed in a US naval uniform, handing out pro-Castro literature in the late summer of 1963. It's a long and convoluted tale, but the upshot is that a US Customs inspector posted in Montreal alerted the US Embassy about the pro-Castro agitator and the RCMP then took photos of this US naval agitator at FBI's behest. Any and all attempts to procure these photos have been stonewalled by both US and Canadian authorities. RCMP refer inquiries to the Canadian intelligence operation known as CSIS [who took over domestic intelligence responsibilities from the Mounties a few decades back], which refers inquiries to the FBI, which claims that, under "second country" rules, it cannot release these documents [and/or photos, should they exist] without authorization from the RCMP. It's one long vicious tale-chase trying to find a way to unplug this bureaucratic logjam.

If the US naval man handing out pro-Castro pamphlets in Montreal in late summer of 1963 wasn't Oswald, one finds it hard to understand why any and all documents/photos are so closely held, notwithstanding the bogus "sources and methods" rationales usually invoked. If that man was Oswald, then the entire extant history of the accused assassin is demonstrably wrong and must be re-written from scratch.

In any event, I think this is an under-researched area that may yet yield some clues.

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Charles,

Thanks for the comments and info. In your research on Osborne, did you find any reason to believe that he could have been a Soviet agent?

Hugh McDonald and Robin Moore based their 1978 novel "LBJ and the JFK Assassination" on the premise that the Russians were behind the assassination with the cooperation of Johnson. Their evidence is purported “affidavits” (reproduced in the book’s appendix as long-hand Russian statements written on legal pads) by Anatoli Cherenkov, allegedly the recording secretary at Kremlin meetings about killing JFK. He saw a written death warrant exchange hands in a meeting in December 1961. According to this book, Osborne had “operated for years as an agent for the KGB,” and was directed by Vladimir Semischastny, Chairman of the KGB, and Mikhail Tsymbal, Deputy Director, to hire the assassin (“Saul” of McDonald’s book "Appointment in Dallas") and work with Oswald, primarily in New Orleans, replacing de Mohrenschildt.

I don’t believe the Russians had anything to do with the assassination, but would appreciate your comments on any evidence that Osborne was in fact a Russian agent. In the first edition of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (oddly all references to Osborne are deleted in the second edition), Russell states in a footnote (p. 777), “Reverend Walter Hluchan, who knew Osborne and Bowen” (Russell believes they were actually two people), “told me in a 1978 telephone interview: ‘I heard somebody say that they thought he (Osborne) was a Communist.’”

On the subject of Saul, I have never taken McDonald’s story of this assassin seriously. (JFK, after all, was fatally shot by someone in front, not by any of the folks firing from behind), and there is a statement by Saul in "Appointment in Dallas" (p. 175) that I think may sink the whole Saul story. Perhaps this has previously been commented on, but I would appreciate comment from anyone on this matter, which has to do with sirens in the motorcade.

Saul, lying in wait at his firing position, says, “The sirens were coming closer, and I knew the caravan was near.” Were sirens blaring in the motorcade before the shooting? Were they routinely used in motorcades? For what purpose other than to make noise? This directly bears on the acoustical evidence, as there are no sirens on the tape until after the shooting, and the way they are heard has a bearing on whose vehicle had the stuck mike.

If the DPD tape actually includes sounds of the motorcade, then the answer is no, there were no sirens before the shooting and Saul's story is BS. If there were indeed sirens before Dealey Plaza, Saul may know what he's talking about, and the DPD tape is a recordng of sounds nowhere near the Dallas motorcade. I would appreciate any comments on the question.

Ron

Edited by Ron Ecker
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Thanks to Gary Mack for the following:

"There were NO sirens leading the motorcade, as is clear from KRLD radio tapes of two live reports along the route. The Saul story was a fraud, just like so many others. From that window, one could not have seen JFK due to the monument objects and trees. Dallas Times Herald reporter Hugh Aynesworth interviewed McDonald on his book tour and learned that he had never bothered to actually look out of that window! The story, which I do not have handy, included a picture taken from the window and it does, indeed, show that such a shot was impossible."

Ron

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Thanks to Gary Mack for the following:

"There were NO sirens leading the motorcade, as is clear from KRLD radio tapes of two live reports along the route. The Saul story was a fraud, just like so many others. From that window, one could not have seen JFK due to the monument objects and trees. Dallas Times Herald reporter Hugh Aynesworth interviewed McDonald on his book tour and learned that he had never bothered to actually look out of that window! The story, which I do not have handy, included a picture taken from the window and it does, indeed, show that such a shot was impossible."

Ron

The McDonald story cannot be dismiised entirely. While Saul may have lied to him, and while McDonald may have made up some stuff (a lot of stuff) to fill out his story, the HSCA, amazingly, confirmed that McDonald did a number of interviews to research his book, and that these interviews rattled a lot of cages. In the HSCA report on De Mohrenschildt it reports that McDonald tried to interview Irving Davidson, who was the Washington rep for Marcello, Murchison, Trujillo, and Duvalier, I believe, about his relationship with De Mohrenschildt. The report notes futher that Davidson immediately contacted Clyde Tolson and thought that Clyde should tell Hoover and Johnson. Think about that.

I believe Robin Moore is still alive. Someone should contact him and/or McDonald's family to see if there are any notes left over from their interviews. Could be interesting.

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Here's something weird that I just came across, in Michael Eddowes's book The Oswald File. Eddowes being British, he may have gotten this info from Osborne's sister Emily in Grimsby, I don't know.

The FBI interviewed Osborne's sister Ada Amos in Gary, Indiana, on February 27, 1964. Eddowes writes, "Shortly after the interview, Ada visited her sister Emily and Emily's daughter in Grimsby, and told them about the interview. She said that from the line of questioning she had concluded that the FBI suspected that Albert had been a spy. She was told by the agent that he had died but she did not know when, where or why" (p. 67).

Why would the FBI tell his sister that Osborne was dead?

Ron

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Charles,

Thanks for the comments and info. In your research on Osborne, did you find any reason to believe that he could have been a Soviet agent?

Can't say that I found out anything more than is included in your wonderful overview of the man and his odd activities, Ron.  [Except, perhaps, the geographical proximity to Bloomfield's Montreal home address.] 

However, attempts to paint Osborne as a Soviet proxy seem suspiciously like the efforts to depict both Oswald and Ruby as Soviet proxies.  With Oswald, there was some basis for such assertions, given his defection and purported appearance at the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City.  The blind reports that Ruby had been involved with Czechs, for example, smell a bit more desperate.

Given Osborne's proximity to Oswald on the bus, headed to the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City, it doesn't surprise me that he'd be painted with the same big red brush.

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As a Canadian, I thought this [and other Canadian aspects to the assassination that have yet to be plumbed to my satisfaction] might yield some results.

Robert,

I've also been intrigued by the Canadian aspects. (Sorry for the goof above in getting your names switched and addressing you as Charles instead of Robert. I hope it's not a sign of mental decline.) In particular there's the case of Arturo Espaillat, formerly of the Trujillo regime, who was based in Canada for fundraising before heading for Dallas the week of the assassination, according to Hemming. And of course there's the mysterious Bloomfield. As for the proximity of the Montreal YMCA to Bloomfield's residence, I suppose it could be coincidence, given that Osborne was known to stay at YMCAs and I guess he couldn't help where the one in Montreal was located. Who knows.

Ron

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As a Canadian, I thought this [and other Canadian aspects to the assassination that have yet to be plumbed to my satisfaction] might yield some results.

Robert,

I've also been intrigued by the Canadian aspects. (Sorry for the goof above in getting your names switched and addressing you as Charles instead of Robert. I hope it's not a sign of mental decline.) In particular there's the case of Arturo Espaillat, formerly of the Trujillo regime, who was based in Canada for fundraising before heading for Dallas the week of the assassination, according to Hemming. And of course there's the mysterious Bloomfield. As for the proximity of the Montreal YMCA to Bloomfield's residence, I suppose it could be coincidence, given that Osborne was known to stay at YMCAs and I guess he couldn't help where the one in Montreal was located. Who knows.

Ron

Intriguingly, Robert Maheu was fluent in French, and he'd previously worked with Espaillat. Then there's that whole Jean Soutre thing. This could be leading somewhere.

Could Maheu have been the cut-out in yet another top-secret CIA operation?

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Pat,

I wrote this in a thread back in December regarding the Canadian/French connection:

Gerry Patrick Hemming was at the 1996 Dallas in November conference. In his summary of what Hemming had to say while in Dallas, Charles Drago wrote, "In Montreal, Arturo Espaillat gathered funds from Canada and Europe and sent them to Dallas in order to fund a French team" ("Hemming Does Dallas," Kennedy Assn Chronicles, Winter 1996-97, p. 47).

In his HSCA deposition, Hemming said, "I had been in touch in Ottawa with Arturo Espaillat, who at one time had been part of the triumvirate that took over when Trujillo was assassinated. One of my people, (Ed) Kolby, had been in Canada with Espaillat . . . Kolby had disappeared, let us say, from the Miami scene and busied himself up in New York and Canada . . . And, now, I had gotten the information that Espaillat and this American had traveled to Dallas and were in Dallas that week (of the assassination). Now, this perturbed me considerably that behind my back everybody I knew was going to meet the Texans" (p. 171-172). (What Hemming was supposedly perturbed about was that all these people - he named Cuesta, Hall, Sturgis, Vidal, Espaillat, and Aguilar - were going to Dallas to "burn" his financial contacts, "the Texans" such as Lester Logue; but he also said he tried to find Vidal in Miami on 11/21 to warn him "to stay the hell out of Dallas while the president was there") (p. 167).

Hemming identified "the American" who traveled with Espaillat from Canada to Dallas as Robert Johnson, who Hemming believed (according to Noel Twyman) was "Raoul" in the MLK assassination (Hancock, Someone Would Have Talked, p. 277). Hemming told Dick Russell in a 1975 Argosy interview, "There was an American, an ex-Marine, who worked for Arturo Espaillat, Trujillo's chief of intelligence . . . Espaillat tried to take over after the (Trujillo) hit went down. He died in an accident in Lisbon a few years ago. His American friend (Johnson) went to work for a private CIA operation in Baltimore called International Services of Information."

It is also worth noting that U.S. Army Pfc. Eugene Dinkin, who claimed to have advance knowledge of the JFK assassination (he was diagnosed by the Army as having a mental condition called "schizo-assassination prognostication") presumably learned of the JFK plot through his work as a military code breaker in France.

Ron

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If Osborne was indeed an intelligence agent, surely his being on the same bus as Oswald to Mexico City had to be more than coincidental: i.e., one would think he must have been a conspirator.

If one could determine for whom Osborne was working, one could then presumably reach some fairly definitive conclusions about the nature of the conspiracy. Am I correct about this conclusion?

The question is: does Oswald's association with Osborne also make Oswald a part of the plot?

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If Osborne was an intelligence agent, he was presumably one of long standing, since his behavior never demonstrably changed over decades, that of being, to all appearances, an itinerant preacher (with dual identity) in the southern U.S. and Mexico, with the exception of suddenly taking off to Europe after 50 years, taking him out of the country, using unknown funding, at the time of the JFK assassination.

It seems unlikely that some intelligence agency would hire an itinerant preacher for the one-time job of helping set up Oswald (how exactly?) for some nefarious purpose (or perhaps the job of just tailing him), then let the preacher go on back to his preaching. So perhaps it would be helpful to consider, how would an intelligence agency benefit over the years from this man's travels while based at a Laredo hotel, and an agency of whose government moreso than others?

Ron

Edited by Ron Ecker
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BTW here's some photos that I found that I've added to the article. The first one is Osborne's October 1963 passport photo. The other two are photos taken of him by the FBI in Alabama in February, 1964.

He looks like a nice enough fellow, doesn't he?

passport.jpg

osbornefbi_Small.jpg

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