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There was a Royal Commission into the Nugan Hand Bank scandal in Australia in the early 80's, with a final report over 1000 pages long and a second volume of interview transcripts also provided for the record. Neither is available online, but both are available upon request here in Australia through various University and State Library services. At some point down the track I'm thinking of borrowing the documents, taking photos of every page with my iPhone and making a PDF of both to upload online. I'm sure I'll have to be in the mood though. The Nugan Hand scandal gets little public discussion here in Australia these days and I'm sure most people down here have never heard of it. Equally, I'm sure it still covers some deep, deep secrets.

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Guest Tom Scully

Anthony, the author of this thesis covers some of the information in the studies you've described.:

Relevant table of contents is located on page 5.:


This is an excerpt from the thesis.:

The Stewart Royal Commission into Nugan Chapter 27:


Page 217

Justice Donald Stewart — ‘crime fighter extraordinaire’ as the

Sydney Morning Herald

billed him in 1998 — was the man selected by the conservative Fraser government to chair the royal commission into the can of worms that was NuganHand. A former policeman turned barrister, Stewart became a judge in 1979, andspent four years in the early eighties chairing royal commissions into the


tapes,into the Mr Asia syndicate and the activities of the Nugan Hand Group. He left theSupreme Court in 1986 to become the first head of the National Crimes Authority(NCA); an appointment criticised by Australia’s foremost investigative journalist,Brian Toohey, who described Stewart as ‘gullible’.Many investigators regard Stewart’s report on the affairs of Nugan Hand as awhitewash, not so much of Nugan and Hand (who Stewart conveniently blamed for everything), but of the US government. According to Stewart, it is ‘the good soldier’Hand who was the presiding genius of Nugan Hand, who — Stewart asks us to believe — issued the orders to General Black, General Manor, General Cocke,Admiral Yates, ex-CIA director William Colby and his old boss, Ted Shackley. Notsurprisingly, Wilkinson, Toohey, Kwitny, Bacon and McCoy felt that Stewartinverted Nugan Hand’s real chain of command.Marian Wilkinson commented that she felt Stewart set out to provide an analysisof Nugan Hand that he was comfortable with, and ignored or dismissed evidence or material that did not fit that analysis. Wilkinson wrote:

Stewart’s analysis - as far as it goes - is quite valid. In short, he finds that the Nugan Hand group was a classic fraud run by two corporate crooks whoinflated their accounts, rewrote their books, used paper money transfers todisguise their deficiencies and simple ‘Ponzi’ financial schemes to rob clientsin order to bankroll their activities and pay off other clients.But this had all been disclosed two years ago by the NSW Corporate AffairsCommission. What is extraordinary about Stewart’s report is that after twoyears of investigations and hearings, he has produced not one new significantinsight or piece of evidence about Nugan Hand.



The Crimes of Patriots

, US author Jonathon Kwitny described Stewart’s failureto solve the Nugan Hand mystery as ‘predictable’, given that Stewart rejected thehelp of investigators like Geoffrey Nicholson of the Corporate Affairs Commissionand Clive Small of the Joint Task Force ‘who had carried the ball halfway downfieldand knew the yardage still to be covered. Stewart preferred his own neophyte staff’wrote Kwitny:

Even so, the thoroughness of the failure was astonishing. There was analmost total lack of investigative effort to resolve major issues raised byprevious investigations ... Stewart’s report was full of elementary errors. MikeHand was credited with a degree from Syracuse University he never got. EdWilson, the merchant of death, was identified as an U.S. Congressman.General Black, who had been dead two years, was described as “currentlyengaged as a consultant.” ... More important was the whitewashing of various....

Page 220

....(iv) Mr Ken Nugan was involved as ‘he had the necessary connections’.It must be to Lowe’s credit that all seemed to be true, though without BrianAlexander any case against Doug Anthony was simply hearsay. Yet Stewart’s viewof Lowe’s evidence was that it was ‘improbable’ and unbelievable.


However, no such fate befell Admiral Yates or William Colby and one has to ask how Stewart could regard Admiral Yates as a witness with any credit at all. AsMarian Wilkinson wrote:

This was the same Admiral Yates who for over three years was associatedwith an organisation that Stewart’s report had found utterly fraudulent from itsconception. This is the same Yates who, according to court evidence, waspresent when the Nugan Hand documents were destroyed or removed fromthe group’s office after Frank Nugan’s death in January 1980. This is thesame Admiral Yates who ... Stewart admits signed false accounting recordsfor the bank in the Cayman Islands.


Stewart’s conclusion that there was no evidence of links with the CIA washeadlined in Murdoch’s


as ‘CIA Link Disproved’. As Brian Toohey commented in the

National Times

: ‘Far from being disproved, the extent of the linkswas not even investigated by Justice Stewart in any normal sense of the world.’Toohey commented:

Although it cost $3.5 million and took more than 1,200 pages to make its finaltwo-volume report, the Stewart royal commission has provided remarkablylittle new material about the collapsed banking group.


Stewart’s main investigation was to travel to the US to interview seven Americansincluding Admiral Yates, William Colby and General Black. To a man, all of themdenied CIA involvement in Nugan Hand, claiming it would be foolish for the CIA toget involved with such a shonky group as Nugan Hand. In his report, Stewartrepeated these arguments. Ironically, all of these men had worked for Nugan Hand.It never occurred to Stewart to ask them why, if Nugan Hand was such a transparentfraud, they became so intimately involved with the group....

Chapter 27

The Stewart Royal Commissioninto Nugan Hand

In the years following the death of Frank Nugan, the pressure for a royal commissionof inquiry into Nugan Hand built. There was considerable media interest in the story:It was the heyday of investigative journalism, and Nugan Hand was a politicalmystery whose trail led into a murky underworld of drugs and criminals and USspies. On both sides of the Pacific, an impressive team of journalists was on the trail:Marian Wilkinson, Brian Toohey and Wendy Bacon amongst the Australians, andJonathon Kwitny from the US. Their burrowings unearthed many links between Nugan Hand, the CIA and a campaign of clandestine destabilisation of the Whitlamgovernment in 1975. Their articles, along with the revelations of investigators fromthe NSW Corporate Affairs Commission and the Commonwealth-New South WalesJoint Task Force, played a key role in the formation of the Stewart royalcommission.In November 1982, the Joint Task Force report concluded that two of the principals of Nugan Hand — Michael Hand and Bernie Houghton — wereassociated with US intelligence, and that Nugan Hand ‘was well established in drugactivity’, and had ‘dabbled in the sales of military arms’. It noted that when NuganHand ‘exploded’ on the international scene in 1977, ‘retired U.S. armed service personnel and former U.S. government advisers dominated the positions created byexpansion’.1

The NSW Corporate Affairs Commission Report on Nugan Hand was just assensational. A chapter of this report was repressed when the report was tabled. The suppressed chapter consisted of interviews with Narcotics Bureau members aboutthe Bureau’s investigation of Nugan Hand and why that investigation was closeddown in March 1978. On oath, several former officers of the Narcotics Bureau madeallegations of political interference in the Bureau’s Nugan Hand investigation by theLeader of the Country Party, Doug Anthony. The Nugan Hand issue exploded in theAustralian Parliament on 18 March 1982 when ALP leader Bill Hayden repeatedthese allegations that Anthony had intervened on behalf of the Nugans, an allegationthe Deputy Prime Minister denied. A royal commission was now inevitable.2

In looking over Nugan Hand bank for the first time with more than a passing glance, it seemed to me this man had not received enough attention, and so I recently started a thread about him.:

A marriage made in heaven? What a windfall for Mr. O'Malley, longtime director of a Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary to have Mr. Nelson as his son-in-law for the last ten years of O'Malley's career and life. Is the emergence of Nugan Hand Bank under Mr. Nelson's watch, also coincidental?



William E. Nelson CIA Official

The Washington Post Apr 29, 1995

William E. Nelson, 74, who served with the Central Intelligence Agency for 28 years before retiring in 1976 as its deputy director of operations, died April 1 in a nursing home in Newport Beach, Calif. He had Parkinson's disease.

Mr. Nelson was a Buffalo native and Army veteran. A graduate of Columbia Univesity, he received a master's degree in China studies from Harvard University. He began his CIA career in 1948 as an operations office and specialized in the Far East. He was chief of the Far East division of the Operations Directorate from 1968 until becoming deputy director for operations in 1973.

He was a recipient of the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.

Mr. Nelson, who lived in Newport Beach, moved to California in 1977, where he was a vice president of the Fluor Corp., until retiring a second time in 1986.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Patricia O'Malley Nelson of Newport Beach; four sons.....and four grandchildren.

Background for this excerpt in my opening post in the William Earl Nelson thread is that Philip Fendig was an usher in Nelson's late 1940's wedding and Nelson was best man in Fendig's wedding. Featherstone was an usher in Fendig's wedding and also was Nelson's best man.:


Robert D. Featherstone, a retired General Electric executive who pursued a passion in genealogy in his spare time, died on November 9, 2010.

...He interrupted his studies at Syracuse University to serve in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1946 and completed his studies after his honorable discharge and graduated from Syracuse University. Upon graduation, he received an offer to work with General Electric Company where he worked for thirty-nine years in several capacities. On a trip to Bogota, Colombia as an international auditor, he met his future wife,....

I think it is quite possible Featherstone was in deeper cover than even his two close friends were. What are the odds it is coincidental that

Featherstone was simply a GE executive when GE was known for providing NOC cover and two of Featherstone's closest friends were career,

NOCs....non-official cover agents?

CIA Who's Where in Europe



Ted Shackley introduces Philip F. Fendig to the HSCA :



Chapter V: Ronald Lister

....A. Background of Lister

Lister told the OIG that he was aware that Bill Nelson had previously worked for the CIA, but that he was retired and had his own security company. The CIA OIG confirmed that an individual named William Nelson was at one time the Deputy Director for operations at the CIA....


.....The FBI documents, five heavily censored pages released in response to the Weekly's 1997 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the CIA, concern Lister and William Earl Nelson, a vice president for security with the Irvine-based construction giant Fluor Corp. Nelson's previous job: deputy director of operations for the CIA. Nelson retired from the CIA in 1976 amid heated controversy over its ill-fated forays into Chile and Angola—clandestine operations that Nelson supervised from his office at the CIA's Langley, Virginia, headquarters.

Lister's relationship with the Fluor executive began in 1978. How they met isn't clear, thanks to government censors. But the documents do show that Nelson told FBI agents he met with Lister three to four times per year until 1985 and discussed various business ventures, including one in Central America.....

....In 1979, a year before Lister quit the Laguna Beach force and just months after he first met Nelson, he launched Pyramid to carry out private security work. ...

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Guest Tom Scully

.....Frank Nugan's inquest took place in April, 1980. Testimony from Michael Hand revealed that Nugan Hand was insolvent, owing at least $50 million. Hand then promptly fled Australia under a false identity on a flight to Fiji in June 1980. Bernie Houghton also disappeared at this time and it is believed both men eventually reached the United States.

According to one witness, Thomas G. Clines helped Bernie Houghton escape. Michael Hand also left the country accompanied by James Oswald Spencer, a man who served with Ted Shackley in Laos. The two men traveled to America via Fiji and Vancouver. One report published in November, 1980, suggested that Michael Hand was living in South America. It claimed that he had managed to escape with the help of "former CIA employees". .....


Interpol Joins Search For Banker .

The Age - Jul 4, 1980

... Michael Hand have called oil Interpol to make inquiries in; the United States. ... detective have interviewed Mr Hand's estranged wife, Helen, but she was not ...

Conspiracy encyclopedia - Page 117

books.google.com Thom Burnett - 2006 - 320 pages - Preview

....The evidence It has been established that Hand was helped when he fled Australia in 1980 by a figure known as "Charlie" and later identified as James Oswald Spencer - a former special services operative and CIA agent.

In 1991, Australian journalist Brian Toohey found a letterbox for Hand in Bellevue, a town in the Cascades mountain range, near Puget Sound and the Canadian border in Washington state, where he was believed to be living with his equally fugitive wife, Helen....

Kwinty, Jonathan. Nugan Hand Aided U.S. Covert Acts. Wall Street Journal. S2:p. 36. (8/16/83).

(Also see 8/26/83 WSJ; p.1 by Kwinty.)



Posted: Wednesday, Jan 5th, 2011

Spencer,-James.jpg James Spencer

James Oswald Spencer, 70, of Newport, Ore. and Fountain Hills, Ariz., died on Dec. 28, 2010 in a traffic accident near Williams, Calif., while en route to his Arizona home.

He was born James Spencer Oswald on Sept. 22, 1940 to James Stuart Oswald and Lorraine Long Oswald in Arizona. He attended Van Nuys High School in Van Nuys, Calif. and Santa Monica City College in Santa Monica, Calif., where he majored in photography, a lifelong passion and career.

At 17, he managed Van Nuys Car Wash and was also a skilled carpenter who did work making room additions to houses, some for celebrity clients. He was in the Army Special Forces from 1962-64. He changed his name to James Spencer when he was briefly a model and actor. Among his roles was an appearance in Tomorrow is Yesterday, a 1967 episode of the original Star Trek, where he played an air policeman, and he played Astronaut Ryan on Gilligan’s Island in the Splashdown episode.

For more than 48 years, he provided innovative and imaginative photography for clients around the world with his company Creative Directions (www.creative-directions.net). Motorola, Texaco and AT&T were among his countless clients. He also specialized in corporate and personal portraits. His photos of the Oregon coast, Yaquina Lighthouses (www.yaquinalights.org) and White Sands National Monument, N.M. remain popular among visitors. He also taught several workshops in photography in White Sands.

In 2006, he married Ingrid Lila Fili in Las Vegas, Nev.

He enjoyed working on and riding motorcycles. He spent a great deal of time renovating his homes and doting on his dog, Mischa. His great sense of humor, contagious laughter and love of life made him many devoted friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Lorraine Oswald.

He is survived by his wife, Ingrid Lila Fili, of Newport and Fountain Hills; six children, Jessant (Bonny) Spencer of Spokane, Wash.; Melissa (Kevin) Davis of Sand Point, Idaho, Matthew (Trinity) Spencer of Spokane, Tate Spencer of Hillsboro, Morgan Spencer of Phoenix, Ariz. and Kendall Spencer of Phoenix; brother, William Clark Oswald of California City, Calif.; half brother, Stuart Grant Oswald of California; two stepdaughters; and eight grandchildren.

His wife, Ingrid, suffered serious injuries in the accident and is being treated at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. His funeral arrangements will be made pending her recovery.

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