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David Atlee Phillips: The Mastermind?


John Simkin
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An email sent by Shawn Phillips to Gary Buell in January, 2003.

The "Confession", you refer to was not in so many words as such. I cannot remember the time frames involved, but this was what was told to me by my father, James Atlee Phillips, who is deceased. He said that David had called him with reference to his (Davids), invitation to a dinner, by a man who was purportedly writing a book on the CIA. At this dinner, was also present a man who was identified only as the "Driver". David told Jim that he knew the man was there to identify him as Raul Salcedo, whose name you should be familiar with, if your research is accurate in this matter. David then told Jim that he had written a letter to the various media, as a "Preemptive Strike" , against any and all allegations about his involvement in the JFK assassination. Jim knew that David was the head of the "Retired Intelligence Officers of the CIA", or some such organization, and that he was extremely critical of JFK, and his policies. Jim knew at that point, that David was in some way, seriously involved in this matter and he and David argued rather vehemently, resulting in a silent hiatus between them that lasted almost six years according to Jim. Finally, as David was dying of irreversible lung cancer, he called Jim and there was apparently no reconciliation between them, as Jim asked David pointedly, "Were you in Dallas on that day"? David said, "Yes", and Jim hung the phone up.

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I recently read that after DAP said he was in Dallas he broke down in tears. This prompted me to think that perhaps Phillips was involved in a fake assassination attempt (a scenario first suggested by Pat Speer) that was somehow hijacked by the actual conspirators. This scenario could explain a lot, including the presence of CIA opertaives in Dallas. It certainly explains the CIA's cover-up. My gosh, what would the American public have thought had the CIA admitted it had planned a fake assassination attempt that went bad. The scenario would be too bizarre to be believed but for the somewhat similar scenarios suggested in "Operation Northwoods".

See Pat's thread "Thinking Black Thoughts" and my thread "Scenario".

Edited by Tim Gratz
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[quote=John Simkin,Sep 21 2005, 11:09 AM]

An email sent by Shawn Phillips to Gary Buell in January, 2003.

The novel left behind may be a big clue, but what do we know of James Phillips? If he believes his son is involved to the point where they do not even speak is it possible this "confession" to being in Dallas is a "fib" on James' part? Phillips has never struck me as one who'd "bare his soul", even on his deathbed, to his dad.

Dawn

Great email tho!

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[quote=John Simkin,Sep 21 2005, 11:09 AM]

An email sent by Shawn Phillips to Gary Buell in January, 2003.

The novel left behind may be  a big clue, but what do we know of James Phillips?  If he believes his son is involved to the point where they do not even speak is it possible this "confession" to being in Dallas is a "fib" on James' part? Phillips has never struck me as one who'd "bare his soul", even on his deathbed, to his dad.

Dawn

Great email tho!

James Phillips was his brother not his son.

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  • 1 month later...
This is the police artit's sketch of Maurice Bishop, the CIA operative who was seen with Lee Harvey Oswald. It was drawn from details provided by Alpha 66's Antonio Veciana, whom Bishop controlled. When Senator Richard Schweiker saw the sketch, he immediately recognized its close resemblance to David Atlee Philips.

Hi John,

When I compare the sketch with the photograph, I too am immediately struck by the many similarities between Phillips' photo and the man depicted in the sketch (similar hairline, shape of face, proportional distances between and different shapes of facial components, the shape of ears, the fact that both have a heavily-wrinkled brow, etc). What REALLY "clinches" it for me, though, are all of the warts(?) on Phillips' photographed face and the fact that Veciana evidently remembered that "Maurice Bishop" had lots of marks on his face and therefore told the police artist to include several blotches(?)/warts(?) in the sketch. IMHO, the sketch IS of D.A.P.

FWIW, Thomas

Edited by Thomas Graves
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I picked up a few interesting tidbits on Phillips over the years.

During the HSCA investigation, Gaeton Fonzi developed the interest in "Maurice Bishop" and while in Texas, some HSCA investigators visited James Phillips, who was then 77-78' working in I believe state law enformcement - ie attorney geneal's office or something like that.

Tall and more thin than David, James Phillips was photogrphed in his office, the pix of which was later published in the Washingtonian Magazine article by Fonzi, which is extremely long and led to a libel case.

Some of the James Phillips story is in Fonzi's "The Last Investigation" as well.

Shortly after the Washingtonian article came out, but before TLI, I discovered that Phillips was living in Maryland, I got his phone number from information and called him up. He answered the phone, I identified myself as a freelance journalist from Atlantic City, N.J., and he seemed to enjoy talking about some of his books, including "The Carlos Contract," which is fiction, but based on fact.

As with Ian Fleming's characters, All of the characters in TCC are based on real people who DAP worked with in the CIA or came across in his work - including Glenn Gebhard, of Long Island, New York, one of my old University of Dayton, Ohio class mates. He was a film student who told me about how his passport was stolen from a French hotel room, and how hard it was for him to get home and get another one. From then on, whenever he went through a border crossing, he was given the treatment, as Carlos the Jacklel ended up with his old passport and used his name as an alias. Glenn is probably the only person in the book whose real name is used, but the others are very thinly disquised - David "El Indigo" Morrales, Skip - and a few Bay of Pigs people using their cover names.

Phillis said they were going to make a movie out of the The Carlos Contract, but it never happened.

The Nightwatch is what gives DAP away as Maurice Bishop.

But Phillips also wrote three other books that I am aware of, one on "Careers in Intelligence," which my local library has, a book on a famous Texas Justice murder case, and another one on his Cuban operations, which is very rare, and I haven't been able to get, though Last Hurrah had one copy for awhile.

In our telephone converstation, Phillips said he couldn't talk about Fonzi, the Washingtonian or the court case, but he denied being "Maurice Bishop" or knowing LHO, which I asked him directly.

He did say however, that at the time the Washingtonian published Fonzi's article, he was working at the Washingtonian Magazine as some sort of part time editor, and didn't understand why or how Fonzi could work out of an office down the hall from him and not bother to say hello or question him in advance of the publication.

He also elaborated on his friendship with Gordon McLendon at length, which I thought significant.

Phillips invited me to visit with him in DC sometime, but he died of cancer a few months later.

Bill Kelly

bkjfk3@yahoo.com

Edited by William Kelly
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Most interesting, Mr. Kelley. I have enjoyed all of your posts.

Are you aware that Gerry Hemming states that it was Jake Esterline who was seen in Dallas with Oswald?

No, I wasn't aware of Gerry saying Jake Esterline was in Dallas with Oswald, but Esterline is most certainly a pivitol character in The Carlos Contract, and DAP most certainy was "Maurice Bishop" who met with Oswald in Dallas. Like DeMohrenschildt, DAP is the kind of guy who could entice Oswald to do anything.

BK

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Mr Kelly, what is your assessment of the role (if any) Oswald played in the assassination?

Thanks!

Hi Tim,

I guess that cuts to the chase.

The jury is still out on Oswald.

Innocent bystander? no; patsy? probably; covert operative? definately; shooter? hardly.

Because I was dissatisfied with the Secret Service research study on profiling potential assassins, with its emphasis on psychos rather than programed or operative assassins, I developed one of my own - the Operational Profile.

While I am not qualified to profile the psycho-programed assassins, being from New Jersey, where racial profiling prolifierated and profiling is a popular past time, anybody can profile the covert op guys, so I did.

Attached is my Operational Profile, which Oswald fits.

Now identifying LHO as a covert operative is one thing, identifying who is running him is quite another.

Now if that's your next question, I tell you ONI, the oldest, most influencial, most secret and least known official US intelligence agency.

Bill Kelly

bkjfk3@yahoo.com

Edited by William Kelly
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Now identifying LHO as a covert operative is one thing, identifying who is running him is quite another. Now if that's your next question, I tell you ONI, the oldest, most powerful, most secret and least known official US intelligence agency.

Once ONI, always ONI. The role of military intelligence has largely been obscured by a singular focus on the CIA.

Tim Carroll

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Mr Kelly, what is your assessment of the role (if any) Oswald played in the assassination?

Thanks!

Hi Tim,

I guess that cuts to the chase.

The jury is still out on Oswald.

Innocent bystander? no; patsy? probably; covert operative? definately; shooter? hardly.

Because I was dissatisfied with the Secret Service research study on profiling potential assassins, with its emphasis on psychos rather than programed or operative assassins, I developed one of my own - the Operational Profile.

While I am not qualified to profile the psycho-programed assassins, being from New Jersey, where profing is a popular past time, anybody can profile the op guys, so I did.

Attached is my Operational Profile, which Oswald fits.

Now identifying LHO as a covert operative is one thing, identifying who is running him is quite another.

Now if that's your next question, I tell you ONI, the oldest, most powerful, most secret and least known official US intelligence agency.

Bill Kelly

bkjfk3@yahoo.com

Please Note:

This claim re 'oldest inteligance agency' has been made before.

The oldest intelligence gathering department of the US dates to 4 years prior to the declaration of independence : The Postal Inspection Service. This body and its agents have been gathering and disseminating intelligence since before the civil war. ONI was formed in 1882.

There is a very blinkered attitude to the postal inspection service amongst the research community. This is very strange as one of the most significant and least researched individuals who uncovered 'evidence', lied to the WC, was a confidant of Fritz, was present at Oswalds last interview (which was delayed due to long winded questioning by the Postal Inspector, had this not happened Oswald would probably have left the DPD alive) was the US Postal Inspector Harry D. Holmes. His duties as gopher (or 'butler' :tomatoes and FBI informer amounts to nothing less than an officil intelligence agent.

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Please Note:

This claim re 'oldest inteligance agency' has been made before.

The oldest intelligence gathering department of the US dates to 4 years prior to the declaration of independence : The Postal Inspection Service. This body and its agents have been gathering and disseminating intelligence since before the civil war. ONI was formed in 1882.

Hi John,

I stand corrected. Postal Inspector Holmes delayed Oswald's transfer until Ruby got into position, and the USPS is most certainly a federal intelligence agency.

Attached is an article I wrote about ONI and the JFK assassination.

Also enjoyed Western Australia when I was there in 87-88' - and I read your report on Freemantle, a true seaman's port.

BK

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