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Ferrie's Plane Found


William Kelly
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Local man's airplane figures in JFK Assassination

By Rebecca L. Sandlin/ \n rsandlin@noblesvilledailytimes.com

From Noblesville (Indiana) Daily Times.

Noblesville resident Don Roberts had no idea what was sitting out in the shed next door to his eastside home, located at the Noblesville airport on Promise Road. He knew it was a Stinson Voyager single-engine airplane manufactured in 1946. More significantly, it turned out to be a piece of American history.

Known around these parts as a local historian, Roberts said a call came out of the blue Jan. 3 from a man in Brockton, Mass., he'd never met, named Steve Roy.

"He said, 'Would the numbers on your airplane be 8293K?' and I said, 'Yes,'" Roberts recalled. "He said, 'Well you've got a famous airplane.'"

Roy said Roberts seemed startled to hear the news about his plane, which he's owned since 2001. "When he indicated to me that he was a history buff, he got kind of excited about it that he owned a little piece of history," Roy said. "He helped me by giving me a current picture of the aircraft."

Roy went on to tell Roberts that the Stinson figures in heavily with the death of President John F. Kennedy. The man who owned the plane, David W. Ferrie, was a figure investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and alleged by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison to be involved in Kennedy's assassination plot. Moreover, Roy told Roberts accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had learned how to fly in the plane.

Roy, who is writing a book about Ferrie's life, found Roberts' name after he did a Google search of the plane's "N" aircraft number. That number remains the same for the life of the aircraft.

Roberts, 69, a former Noblesville High School teacher, set out to verify Roy's claims for himself. He contacted the Federal Aviation Administration for the plane's history and scoured historical texts about the JFK assassination.

It turns out that Ferrie owned the plane from 1947 until shortly before his death in 1967. Among other things, Ferrie was an aeronautics teacher at a Catholic high school, a pilot for Eastern Air Lines and was involved in several roles with the Civil Air Patrol. It was in New Orleans in 1955 that a 15-year-old Oswald joined as a cadet in the CAP of which Ferrie was a leader.

Roy sent Roberts several pictures, including one of his airplane when it was nearly new with Ferrie standing in front of the craft, and another of Ferrie and Oswald at a CAP function in 1955.

"He became anti-Castro and he got involved with Cuban freedom fighters in New Orleans, and it is alleged that my airplane made several trips from Florida into Cuba hauling arms and ammunition, and flying out Cuban freedom fighters," Roberts said, adding that Ferrie had an intense hatred of JFK because of his actions during the Bay of Pigs conflict.

Ferrie was subsequently arrested on "morals" charges for inappropriate relations with teenaged boys and lost his job at the airline, was dropped from the CAP and disconnected with the Cuban exile group.

"Through a weird series of events, he ended up working on the legal defense team of the Louisiana crime boss, Carlos Marcello," Roy said, giving him a connection to the Mafia.

Ferrie died of a stroke before Jim Garrison could indict him in connection with the assassination conspiracy. The plane then passed through a number of hands before ending up in Roberts' hangar at the Noblesville airport.

"You can't pick up an assassination book without seeing something about David Ferrie," Roy said. "He's like the key link, if you will, between the hapless lone assassin, Oswald, and Conspiracy Central.

"The people who believe that the CIA had something to do with the assassination use Ferrie as a link. The people who think the anti-Castro Cubans had something to do with it use Ferrie as a link. The people who think the Mafia had something to do with it use Ferrie as a link."

When Roberts told his friend, Noblesville High School history teacher Bruce Hitchcock about the revelation, Hitchcock, himself a JFK historical researcher, was astounded.

"It was quite interesting. You just never know what you're going to come up with," Hitchcock said. "It's been so long and so many people associated with it … It's just one of those things that comes up ever so often that keeps this story alive and of interest to people."

In another coincidental twist, Roberts himself was present at the Bay of Pigs during the same time Ferrie was allegedly involved, when Roberts served in the Navy.

"When I called Steve Roy back in Massachusetts after receiving that big letter from him, I said, 'You might be interested in knowing that I was on the Bay of Pigs invasion,'" he said. "And (there was a) long silence. He said, 'Do you have any pictures?' and I said, 'No, but I have a diary,' and he wanted to know if he could come out here, if I'd take him for a ride in the airplane and he wanted to interview me."

-Thanks to Tom Blackwell for the heads up on this story.

Edited by William Kelly
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Local man's airplane figures in JFK Assassination

By Rebecca L. Sandlin/ \n rsandlin@noblesvilledailytimes.com

From Noblesville (Indiana) Daily Times.

Noblesville resident Don Roberts had no idea what was sitting out in the shed next door to his eastside home, located at the Noblesville airport on Promise Road. He knew it was a Stinson Voyager single-engine airplane manufactured in 1946. More significantly, it turned out to be a piece of American history.

Known around these parts as a local historian, Roberts said a call came out of the blue Jan. 3 from a man in Brockton, Mass., he'd never met, named Steve Roy.

"He said, 'Would the numbers on your airplane be 8293K?' and I said, 'Yes,'" Roberts recalled. "He said, 'Well you've got a famous airplane.'"

Roy said Roberts seemed startled to hear the news about his plane, which he's owned since 2001. "When he indicated to me that he was a history buff, he got kind of excited about it that he owned a little piece of history," Roy said. "He helped me by giving me a current picture of the aircraft."

Roy went on to tell Roberts that the Stinson figures in heavily with the death of President John F. Kennedy. The man who owned the plane, David W. Ferrie, was a figure investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and alleged by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison to be involved in Kennedy's assassination plot. Moreover, Roy told Roberts accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had learned how to fly in the plane.

Roy, who is writing a book about Ferrie's life, found Roberts' name after he did a Google search of the plane's "N" aircraft number. That number remains the same for the life of the aircraft.

Roberts, 69, a former Noblesville High School teacher, set out to verify Roy's claims for himself. He contacted the Federal Aviation Administration for the plane's history and scoured historical texts about the JFK assassination.

It turns out that Ferrie owned the plane from 1947 until shortly before his death in 1967. Among other things, Ferrie was an aeronautics teacher at a Catholic high school, a pilot for Eastern Air Lines and was involved in several roles with the Civil Air Patrol. It was in New Orleans in 1955 that a 15-year-old Oswald joined as a cadet in the CAP of which Ferrie was a leader.

Roy sent Roberts several pictures, including one of his airplane when it was nearly new with Ferrie standing in front of the craft, and another of Ferrie and Oswald at a CAP function in 1955.

"He became anti-Castro and he got involved with Cuban freedom fighters in New Orleans, and it is alleged that my airplane made several trips from Florida into Cuba hauling arms and ammunition, and flying out Cuban freedom fighters," Roberts said, adding that Ferrie had an intense hatred of JFK because of his actions during the Bay of Pigs conflict.

Ferrie was subsequently arrested on "morals" charges for inappropriate relations with teenaged boys and lost his job at the airline, was dropped from the CAP and disconnected with the Cuban exile group.

"Through a weird series of events, he ended up working on the legal defense team of the Louisiana crime boss, Carlos Marcello," Roy said, giving him a connection to the Mafia.

Ferrie died of a stroke before Jim Garrison could indict him in connection with the assassination conspiracy. The plane then passed through a number of hands before ending up in Roberts' hangar at the Noblesville airport.

"You can't pick up an assassination book without seeing something about David Ferrie," Roy said. "He's like the key link, if you will, between the hapless lone assassin, Oswald, and Conspiracy Central.

"The people who believe that the CIA had something to do with the assassination use Ferrie as a link. The people who think the anti-Castro Cubans had something to do with it use Ferrie as a link. The people who think the Mafia had something to do with it use Ferrie as a link."

When Roberts told his friend, Noblesville High School history teacher Bruce Hitchcock about the revelation, Hitchcock, himself a JFK historical researcher, was astounded.

"It was quite interesting. You just never know what you're going to come up with," Hitchcock said. "It's been so long and so many people associated with it … It's just one of those things that comes up ever so often that keeps this story alive and of interest to people."

In another coincidental twist, Roberts himself was present at the Bay of Pigs during the same time Ferrie was allegedly involved, when Roberts served in the Navy.

"When I called Steve Roy back in Massachusetts after receiving that big letter from him, I said, 'You might be interested in knowing that I was on the Bay of Pigs invasion,'" he said. "And (there was a) long silence. He said, 'Do you have any pictures?' and I said, 'No, but I have a diary,' and he wanted to know if he could come out here, if I'd take him for a ride in the airplane and he wanted to interview me."

-Thanks to Tom Blackwell for the heads up on this story.

Great find. I'm surprised because I've consistently read that Ferrie rented the plane to fly in thugs for the CIA hit.

In fact I'm not sure what to believe.

"Arrested by Jim Garrison, Clay Shaw denied he knew David Ferrie, no matter that the whole town saw them together – he counted on the CIA to protect him. Yet I was able to find a witness to a loan document Ferrie had taken out so that he could rent an airplane to fly to Dallas the week before the assassination. Ferrie later told both the FBI and the Secret Service that he hadn't been in Dallas for eight to ten years, clearly a lie. The co-signer of that note was…Clay Shaw! Jim Garrison, defamed over the years, was prescient and right and is owed a posthumous apology."

http://www.joanmellen.net/truth-3.html

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Local man's airplane figures in JFK Assassination

By Rebecca L. Sandlin

From Noblesville (Indiana) Daily Times.

[...] Moreover, Roy told Roberts accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had learned how to fly in the plane.[...]

__________________________________

Interesting post, William.

I wonder if Ferrie was also giving LHO driving lessons. (LOL)

I would imagine that patsies are easier to manipulate when they are forced to depend on certain "friends," "associates," and "coworkers" for getting around...

I do wonder what prevented LHO from ever getting a driver's license. Simple lack of motivation due to his realizing that he would probably never have enough money to buy a car coupled with the fact that you have to somehow provide your own (i.e., a friend's/relative's) car for the behind-the-wheel part of the test? Inability to drive a manual-transmission car due to lack of coordination? (I doubt it. He successfully completed Marine Corps basic training, didn't he?) Dyslexia? What? Why? Has this issue been addressed?

Thanks,

--Thomas

__________________________________

Edited by Thomas Graves
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I've been answering questions about this for two days..!

The guy who owns the plane, Don Roberts, MISUNDERSTOOD what I said. He asked if Oswald was associated with the plane, or if I had any pictures of Oswald and the plane. I said no, there is no evidence connecting Oswald with the plane. Then I added that Oswald had told his family that he had ridden on A plane while at a CAP function. Roberts asked if it could have been the Stinson. I said it might or might not have been the Stinson. (Ferrie was always taking CAP boys for rides in his plane.) I guess this got garbled between Roberts and I, or between Roberts and the reporter.

In response to Robert Howard, Ferrie sold the plane on February 13, 1967 to Tom Brister, one of his flight students.

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Guest John Gillespie

"I would imagine that patsies are easier to manipulate when they are forced to depend on certain "friends," "associates," and "coworkers" for getting around..."

_______________________

Excellent point, among others, Tom. His Texas Handlers - the DeMohrenschildts and Paines, had him right from the time his boots were on the ground in Dallas. As for LHO getting a drivers license, they probably convinced him otherwise as a priority factor to enhance his control and manipulation, as you've pointed out.

Thanks,

JG

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"I would imagine that patsies are easier to manipulate when they are forced to depend on certain "friends," "associates," and "coworkers" for getting around..."

_______________________

Excellent point, among others, Tom. His Texas Handlers - the DeMohrenschildts and Paines, had him right from the time his boots were on the ground in Dallas. As for LHO getting a drivers license, they probably convinced him otherwise as a priority factor to enhance his control and manipulation, as you've pointed out.

Thanks,

JG

It has been reported that LHO did have a drivers license. The license, and any records associated with it, such as a picture and signature, has since disappeared.

Sorry for not having the source handy. It is information which can be found fairly simply with a google search.

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I've been answering questions about this for two days..!

The guy who owns the plane, Don Roberts, MISUNDERSTOOD what I said. He asked if Oswald was associated with the plane, or if I had any pictures of Oswald and the plane. I said no, there is no evidence connecting Oswald with the plane. Then I added that Oswald had told his family that he had ridden on A plane while at a CAP function. Roberts asked if it could have been the Stinson. I said it might or might not have been the Stinson. (Ferrie was always taking CAP boys for rides in his plane.) I guess this got garbled between Roberts and I, or between Roberts and the reporter.

In response to Robert Howard, Ferrie sold the plane on February 13, 1967 to Tom Brister, one of his flight students.

Steve, that's understood. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't.

Excellent work nontheless. What kind of plane is it again? How many passengers?

Is there a flight log?

As for LHO driving. He did know how to drive, and did drive, Mrs. Paine's car, and probably Michael Paine's car, and others.

Mrs. Paine testified to the Warren Commission that she gave Oswald driving lessons at a local parking lot, and that he knew where she kept the keys to the car, and took them without asking on at least one occassion. At the time of the assassination Michael Paine owned two cars, one of which I believe, was for Oswald, who had inquired about car insurance and may have even had a license, the records of which were seen by more than one person but have since disapeared.

There are numerous times in Irving - Barber shop, furniture store incidents, in which LHO is seen driving, and one of the two Wisconsin incidents and the Texas radio station incidents as well as the Mather affair in Oak Cliff, in which Oswald is identified as a driver.

I'd like to learn more about the plane, because like automobiles, they do provide a paper trail that's difficult but not impossible to follow.

Kuddos to Steven Roy,

BK

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Excellent work nontheless. What kind of plane is it again?

Stinson Voyager 108-1

How many passengers?

Four seats

Is there a flight log?

The FAA has only recnt flight logs. From another source, I have the 1960-1962 flight and engine logs. (There is no 1963 log as the plane was not airworthy.)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hope you don't mind me quoting you here Stephen.

Stephen Roy from another Forum:

Stephen,

Do you know if Ferrie also rented airplanes on occasion?

Rarely, but yes, on occasion.
I'm asking because I have read that he rented a plane for his planned trip to Dallas.

I'm not asking you to speak for this author, but here's an example:

"Arrested by Jim Garrison, Clay Shaw denied he knew David Ferrie, no matter that the whole town saw them together –

he counted on the CIA to protect him. Yet I was able to find a witness to a loan document Ferrie had taken out so that he

could rent an airplane to fly to Dallas the week before the assassination. Ferrie later told both the FBI and the

Secret Service that he hadn't been in Dallas for eight to ten years, clearly a lie. The co-signer of that note was…Clay Shaw!

Jim Garrison, defamed over the years, was prescient and right and is owed a posthumous apology."

http://www.joanmellen.net/truth-3.html

...

Myra and others:

I am in receipt of David Ferrie's file with Herb Wagner Finance, some 40 pages of it, covering the period 1961-1966. It details a $602.52 loan Ferrie took out in August 1961 to pay off another finance company. Unable to pay steadily after he was arrested on morals charges, Ferrie refinanced the loan in December 1962 and again in February 1964. On all of these occasions, there was no co-signer, and Ferrie listed all of his property and liabilities.

There is no trace of a $400. loan in November 1963 to rent an airplane, and no co-signature by Clay Shaw or anyone else. I think Mellen's source was mistaken.

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  • 4 weeks later...

In response to Robert Howard, Ferrie sold the plane on February 13, 1967 to Tom Brister, one of his flight students.

Stephen, I wanted to thank you for that piece of information. But I also wanted to follow-up with another question.

There is on the record Ferrie's statement to the FBI that his Stinson had not been airworthy since the spring of 1962; [FBI Interview of David Ferrie 11-27-63]

In the HSCA Report, Volume X Sec VII - David Ferrie, in the section regarding David Ferrie, credited to Gaeton Fonzi & Patricia Orr, among the footnotes it mentions an FBI interview of Melvin Coffey, in which Coffey stated that he thought the aircraft had been used last in February of 1963...., adding to the confusion somewhat in the same footnote it states "an FAA document indicated that Jack Martin believed Ferrie's Stinson was airworthy as of July 1963, or, at least, that a Stinson aircraft was available to Ferrie at that time."

See

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...p;relPageId=118

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...p;relPageId=119

[Pardon my pointing this out, but who the hell cares what Jack Martin believed? The issue is simply did the damn plane fly or not.....]

Anyway... I wanted to know

What side of the argument, if any do you take, Stephen

I think the problem regarding the verification issue re Ferrie's Stinson, and the hypothesizing over when was the last time it was used, partially has to do with the fact that it is hard to take the FBI at its word on various interviews which are critical regarding adequate investigation into areas of concern for many of us, given the documented areas not investigated, leads not pursued elsewhere in the Warren Report.

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In response to Robert Howard, Ferrie sold the plane on February 13, 1967 to Tom Brister, one of his flight students.

Stephen, I wanted to thank you for that piece of information. But I also wanted to follow-up with another question.

There is on the record Ferrie's statement to the FBI that his Stinson had not been airworthy since the spring of 1962; [FBI Interview of David Ferrie 11-27-63]

In the HSCA Report, Volume X Sec VII - David Ferrie, in the section regarding David Ferrie, credited to Gaeton Fonzi & Patricia Orr, among the footnotes it mentions an FBI interview of Melvin Coffey, in which Coffey stated that he thought the aircraft had been used last in February of 1963...., adding to the confusion somewhat in the same footnote it states "an FAA document indicated that Jack Martin believed Ferrie's Stinson was airworthy as of July 1963, or, at least, that a Stinson aircraft was available to Ferrie at that time."

See

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...p;relPageId=118

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...p;relPageId=119

[Pardon my pointing this out, but who the hell cares what Jack Martin believed? The issue is simply did the damn plane fly or not.....]

Anyway... I wanted to know

What side of the argument, if any do you take, Stephen

I think the problem regarding the verification issue re Ferrie's Stinson, and the hypothesizing over when was the last time it was used, partially has to do with the fact that it is hard to take the FBI at its word on various interviews which are critical regarding adequate investigation into areas of concern for many of us, given the documented areas not investigated, leads not pursued elsewhere in the Warren Report.

Sure, I can only give my take on it. But it's actually a moot point: Ferrie owned another plane, he could have borrowed one of several, and he could have rented one. Short answer: I think the FBI's quotation of Ferrie's comment is probably accurate.

The Stinson log books (which I have) show that he used the plane quite a bit in 1961 up until mid-October. Now a little bit of context: Ferrie was arrested on morals charges in August 1961, and he was in the middle of a big beef with the police in both parishes (Jefferson and Orleans) and the Jeff Parish DA's office. As the cops saw it, Ferrie was a bad hombre, diddling underage boys; As Ferrie saw it, the cops were intruding in his private life and shaking him down for money.

On October 22, he went to the Stinson at Lakefront Airport and found that "about a handful of an abrasive compond had been placed in each wing tank [and] short plastic strips [had been put into] the crankcase of the engine." Ferrie thought this was police harrassment, and one might be tempted to write it off as vandalism by the kids who hung out there, but not in view of what Ferrie found after further inspection. Someone had removed the nuts from the wing-attach bolts, and concealed this by replacing the fairings over them. I asked a Stinson expert about this, and he said that this was the work of someone who knew planes and was hoping to either scare or kill Ferrie by making the plane stall or lose a wing in flight. Ferrie added: "From this moment on I have lived in terror and with the fear that nothing could save me from these people." This corresponds with the log book.

A friend who met Ferrie in February 1962 said that he never knew the Stinson to be flyable, that it was later towed to a gas staion to be rebuilt but ended up being sold (to Brister). Others have told me basically the same thing.

In light of this, I am inclined to believe that the plane became unflyable in October 1961, that its Airworthiness Certificate expired in April 1962, and that Ferrie never flew it again.

Mel Coffey had been Ferrie's friend in the 50s, but went off to other endeavors for a few years, and rekindled his friendship with Ferrie in early 1963, so he may not have known when the plane stopped flying. Martin, as you indicate, was prone to mixing things up a bit. In a July letter to the FAA, suggested that Ferrie "MAY BE flying to Kankakee Il in a Stinson" for an upcoming ordination." Martin was estranged from Ferrie at that point and trying to torpedo him at every turn. Ferrie himself was fairly close in what he told the FBI. He may have been thinking of when the Airworthiness Certificate expired.

And it is fair to say that a long FBI interview is not verbatim. Important evidenciary statements are often taken verbatim, but peripheral matters are often paraphrased.

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Guest John Gillespie

Local man's airplane figures in JFK Assassination

By Rebecca L. Sandlin/ \n rsandlin@noblesvilledailytimes.com

_______________________________________________________

Great to get these posts, including that of Mr. Roy, of course.

Thanks,

JG

Edited by John Gillespie
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