The Tin Whistle

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Posts Tagged ‘Roger Craig

The Two Oswalds

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screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-8-56-09-amIntelligence operations follow patterns and the most complex ones deploy diversions. It’s what a stage magician does when needing to hide something. First, he attracts attention to the other hand.

On 9/11, for example, it appears nearly simultaneous to turning off the transponders, the hijacked planes crossed paths with other planes, which may have been done to swap the two out, or just to muddy their trail.

On September 28, when Lee Harvey Oswald was supposedly in Mexico applying to visit Cuba, another Oswald was going around Dallas attracting attention in a way a spook like Oswald would not have done unless he was seeding important details into his legend, like the fake fight in New Orleans with anti-Castro Cubans. Oswald was seen a few times at the Sports Drome Range with a Mauser-like carbine with a scope. He spoke of how someone should shoot JFK, something not all that unpopular in the deep south (a junior high school class in Dallas erupted in applause upon hearing the news). Five weeks after Oswald appeared on the range, an assassination attempt on JFK planned for November 2nd in Chicago was thwarted by an undercover FBI informant identified only as “Lee.”

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-10-06-11-amBizarrely, the suspect in the Chicago plot, Thomas Arthur Vallee, was an ex-Marine who’d been stationed at the two bases in Japan that housed U2 spy planes, same as Oswald, which is important because that’s where some of the weirdest MKULTRA mind control experiments were taken, likely to keep them off US soil. Vallee was a member of the John Birch Society and had trained with anti-Castro Cubans in Long Island. To make this digression even stranger, the same officers sent to arrest Vallee would later be accused of assassinating Black Panther Fred Hampton. In many respects Vallee was Oswald’s doppleganger, only he was extreme right-wing while Oswald was pretending to be extreme left-wing. Today it seems rather obvious that “Lee” could have been Oswald. Another factor to keep in mind is there is no definitive evidence the real Oswald went to Mexico. The receptionist at the Cuban embassy he allegedly had an affair with later claimed the Oswald she slept with was short and blonde, perhaps the man photographed as Oswald outside the Cuban embassy.

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Lee Oswald at the Cuban embassy in Mexico City?

It was a huge problem that no photo of Oswald entering the Cuban and/or Russian embassy could be found. And neither did a voice recording emerge. Hard evidence on anyone who walked into and/or called the Cuban or Russian embassies in Mexico should have been easy to relocate, and if it did exist, it mysteriously disappeared. Of course, having a tape of someone impersonating Oswald on the phone would have been irrefutable proof of a larger conspiracy.

Minutes after the assassination, Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig saw Oswald exit the Texas Schoolbook Depository and enter a light-green Rambler station wagon driven by a stocky Cuban (probably David Morales) before speeding off in the direction of Oak Cliff.

The CIA had a safe house in Oak Cliff stuffed with anti-Castro Cubans. Oswald had recently left his wife and child at Ruth Paine’s in Irving, while renting a room in Oak Cliff over 12 miles away, perhaps because operations were heating up and becoming dangerous and he wanted to distance himself from his family and shield them from potential blowback. He’d spent the previous night at Paine’s with Marina.

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-2-56-04-pmOfficer J.D. Tippit was involved somehow in this operation and was aware of the danger because he told his son that morning, “No matter what happens today, just remember I love you.” That was the last time his son saw his dad alive. It seems possible Tippit may have been one of the few policeman who knew Oswald’s true identity as a CIA/FBI undercover informant. He knew something big was happening that day, and he seems to have become panicked after he learned JFK was dead.

Tippit was driving frantically around Oak Cliff looking for someone, probably Oswald. A police car, perhaps Tippit’s, pulled up in front of Oswald’s rooming house right after he arrived home to retrieve his revolver. The car honked twice and then moved on, an obvious signal of some sort. Since two patrolmen had escorted the three tramps to anonymity earlier that day, however, I have to suspect those two cops (who could never be identified) were probably the same spooks who honked their horn, signally it was time to go to the next stage of operations.  I’ll always wonder if those fake cops circled the block and then picked Oswald up at some prearranged location to deposit him at the Texas Theater, and then rushed off to 10th Street to plant Oswald’s wallet at the Tippit murder scene.

Tippit was blocking an alley on East 10th Street seven blocks from the theater when he rolled down his passenger side window to speak to a pedestrian. It seems a police car may have already been in that alley nearby as police were on the scene almost immediately after the shooting. When Tippit exited his car and came around to talk further, or perhaps to take the pedestrian into custody, the pedestrian shot him four times, including two point-blank shots to the head. Obviously, the shooter wanted insurance Tippit would not survive. Some sort of conversation took place and escalated from there and Tippit apparently didn’t comprehend the danger he was in or he would not have left his vehicle without drawing his gun. It was a mob-style execution and not a gun fight.

Lee Harvey Oswald Military IDThe first cop on the scene picked up a wallet next to the spreading pool of Tippit’s blood, and it had Lee Harvey Oswald’s military ID. There were also four empty cartridges discovered at the scene as the shooter had emptied his revolver while walking away. How convenient! It’s not often a murderer leaves his ID and spent cartridges like a trail of breadcrumbs to the magic kingdom. At this point there were zero suspects in JFK’s assassination, but immediately after Tippit’s murder, the story went out Lee Harvey Oswald was a suspect and had just murdered a policeman possibly as part of his getaway. Officer down! The response was staggering and almost every patrol car in Dallas converged on Oak Cliff. The focus was instantly concentrated entirely on Oswald and that focus never wavered.

By the time Tippit was shot, Oswald was already inside the Texas Theater. He’d been directed there by someone and was likely supposed to make contact with someone he didn’t know. A theater is a logical location for a clandestine rendezvous because safe houses need to stay safe and we know there was a CIA safe house nearby. Oswald sat first in the balcony, but soon bought popcorn and moved down to the main floor, sitting for a few minutes right next to someone before moving on to another person. After he sat right next to a pregnant woman and had a brief conversation, she got up and moved to the balcony while Oswald moved again to sit next to another.

Whoever shot Tippit also came to the theater, but not before dumping a windbreaker under a vehicle behind a gas station. Suddenly, like those planes crossing as transponders go off, the two Oswalds came in close proximity for maybe the first time, and one of them had the entire Dallas police force on his tail. My best guess is the double came in a few minutes after Oswald, and he went unseen up into the balcony where the pregnant woman was now seated.

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-2-53-57-pmWhen the police arrived, they stopped the film, turned on the house lights and approached the audience from the stage and began inspecting everyone’s IDs. When they got to Oswald, he allegedly jumped up and shouted, “It’s all over now,” and punched the nearest officer, who fell into the seats. He then pulled out his revolver and pointed it at the ceiling, or perhaps the floor, or maybe at the officer. Eyewitness testimony conflicts from this point. Witnesses claim to have heard the gun click, but no shots were fired. The arresting officer later somewhat absurdly claimed he’d placed his thumb on the hammer to prevent it from going off. Perhaps the revolver had a bent firing pin or was unloaded. Perhaps the speech was part of a script fed to him by his handler. Oswald was pummeled by many officers, handcuffed and taken out the front entrance to be greeted by an immense mob that included some media. He was not assassinated in the theater as might have been expected from flourishing a revolver shouting, “It’s over.” But then later on, some witnesses would say Oswald uttered those words while being led out of the building in handcuffs, and that’s the problem: the most theatrical version possible often gets written in stone.

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-2-54-27-pmIt appears the police may have continued inspecting IDs after Oswald was removed from the theater and may have gone up into the balcony where a man who looked somewhat like Oswald was also taken into custody and also handcuffed, only this person was taken out the back door and never showed up at the police station. And I say this because we have many witnesses to an Oswald coming out the front and one witness to an Oswald coming out the back. One of the oddest points of this case is we only know the names of a few people who were in that theater out of more than two dozen who bought tickets that day.

It’s worth noting Oswald had a wallet on him when he was in the theater, leading to speculation about the mysterious wallet dropped at the scene of Tippit’s murder, the wallet that put Oswald on the map in the first place. Sorta like the passport found at the World Trade Center that was disappeared from the story later on.

But perhaps the most bizarre saga of the two Oswalds is the story told by a refrigerator mechanic to the FBI four days after the assassination.

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-2-35-19-pmOn November 20th, at 10:30 AM, Ralph Leon Yates was driving through Oak Cliff and stopped to pick up a hitchhiker near the Beckley Avenue, where Oswald lived. The hitchhiker carried a package wrapped in brown wrapping paper about 4 foot to 4½ feet long, saying it contained curtain rods. Yates mentioned the upcoming presidential visit and the hitchhiker responded by asking if he thought a person could assassinate the president and whether that might be best accomplished from the top of a building or out a window high up with a rifle. The man then asked about the President’s parade route and whether that might be changed in the next few days.

When Yates got to work, he told his coworker about this strange incident and later gave his story to the FBI on November 26, and again on December 10, January 3 and 4, concluding with a polygraph test, which he passed.

Strangely, Buell Frazier gave Oswald a ride from Ruth Paine’s in Irving on the day of the assassination. This was a much longer trip, and, as usual, Oswald said nothing except to respond when Frazier asked what was in the 2-foot long package in the back seat. “Curtain rods,” replied Oswald in his usual terse manner. “Remember, I told you about them?”

Since the packages were so different in size, yet had the same story, and since Oswald needed to arrive at work much earlier in the morning, one wonders if Yates drove the real Oswald to work, or his double. Was this a back-up plan for getting a rifle into the building? Or just a test run? Or just a way to salt the story of Oswald wanting to kill JFK? In any case, a paper bag the size Yates described was found inside the Texas School Book Depository the day of the assassination.

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Buel Frazier remains convinced that Oswald was framed.

According to JFK the Unspeakable, Yates was soon committed to Woodlawn Hospital for an evaluation and then moved to Terrell State Hospital for eight years, and then placed in two different hospitals for another three years. He never abandoned his story about giving Oswald a ride to work with the murder weapon, no matter how many electric shocks he got. The Warren Commission dismissed his story as a fantasy, probably because they had a better version for how the rifle got into the building from Frazier, although Frazier never believed the two-foot long package he saw on the back seat of his car was a 36-inch carbine, no matter how long they interrogated him, and Frazier was badgered for nearly 12 hours, and only released after he demanded (and passed) a lie detector test, which was pretty savy for a 19-year-old kid. To this day, Frazier believes Oswald was framed.

Yates, on the other hand, died in a psyche ward of congestive heart failure at age 39.

Since proof of Oswald cohorts prior to the event is proof of a larger conspiracy, it’s amazing that proof actually got published by the Warren Commission and somehow swept under the rug for decades.

A month before the assassination, the Odio sisters living in Dallas were visited by three men, two of whom claimed to be members of her father’s organization, the Junta Revolucionanria, a left-wing organization that was anti-capitalist but also anti-Castro. They claimed the white man with them, introduced as Leon Oswald, had just volunteered to go kill Castro. Having been warned by her father (who was in jail in Cuba) about strange men bearing tales of intrigue, Sylvia Odio refused to get involved with any illegal activities or even admit the men inside her apartment.

The next day, the tall leader of the group (who called himself Leopoldo), phoned to say: “Leon is a former Marine and an expert marksman. He says we Cubans don’t have guts because we should have killed Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs.”

A few weeks later, Odio saw Oswald on TV and instantly recognized him. She called the police and volunteered her story, and it became part of the public record. One of the more fascinating aspects of her testimony is it placed Oswald inside an infiltration operation cloaked as an assassination, which means obtaining a Mauser-like weapon with scope, and attracting attention to himself at the local firing range could have been staged as part of that operation, as well as his attempt to get a visa to Cuba. It should be obvious Oswald was a highly-trained spook, but he was certainly not part of any double zero crew (the guys who pull triggers). And he couldn’t have been at the firing range, and sitting inside the Cuban embassy sweet talking Silvia Duran at the same time, although he apparently was. And eerily, an antagonistic attitude towards JFK for a Bay of Pigs fiasco was part of the script according to Leopoldo, which might explain Oswald making similar hostile comments on the firing range.

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-1-59-06-pmMark Lane was one of the few skeptics allowed to testify at the Warren Commission, and could have easily shredded the official story had he brought attention to the Odio affidavit and a few others. Instead Lane launched into a bizarre attack on the backyard photo of Oswald as being a fake and also claimed the rifle in the photo was not the same as the rifle as found at the Texas School Book Depository because it had no scope. Lane had sought to examine the rifle in custody and complained bitterly about not being allowed to.

I find this fascinating because Lane was certainly aware of Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig’s testimony stating the rifle found on the sixth floor was a German Mauser. Why would he need to examine the highly inferior Carcano when obviously it was a swap-out? Before Lane appeared in Dallas, newspaperman Penn Jones was already on the scene, and highly suspicious of a military intelligence operation. Jones, however, was elbowed out of the spotlight and replaced by Lane. Apparently, seizing the center of gravity on a conspiracy is standard ops for counterintelligence, and they do it with every major conspiracy.

Even more suspicious is Oswald’s wife admitted taking the backyard photo, and a different take from same the photo shoot signed by Oswald had been presented to George de Mohrenschildt, a man who started out spooking for the Nazis. So why would Lane make this photo the crux of a conspiracy case, unless he was intentionally planting a rabbit hole with a time bomb?

And the rabbit holes just keep going deeper because in 2003, Robert Vinson came forward and signed an affidavit attesting to hearing an Air Force colonel on November 21 warning someone over the phone that JFK better not show up in Dallas the next day. Vinson claims to have boarded a military cargo flight to Denver the following day that detoured to pick up two men in Dallas, one of whom he later realized was a dead ringer for Oswald. Vinson also admitted to working for the CIA. He waited decades to come forward and only did so because a lawyer told him a new secrecy act released him from keeping silent.

And here’s the problem. The assassination was meticulously planned on so many levels and with so many layers that it is inconceivable a cargo plane would have been diverted at the last second for a crucial escape. In fact, the escape is always the most well-planned part of any covert operation. Just as the original JFK research field was dominated by spooks like Mark Lane and Mary Ferrell, both of whom failed to expose the plotters, a new generation has come forth spinning tales that sometime seem designed to muddy the waters or make someone rich and famous.

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-10-56-03-amOver the decades it’s been pretty well established that Leopoldo was the Intelligence Chief for Brigade 2506, the group massacred at the Bay of Pigs, a man really named Bernardo De Torres (note he is fourth from the right and the tallest in the photo at left). De Torres had been captured and jailed and just recently released and returned to the States when he met the Odios.

De Torres later told his daughter he was in Florida the day of the assassination and had launched his own private investigation into the incident but had to abruptly halt it after discovering the truth. He showed up and volunteered as an investigator for Jim Garrison after Garrison launched the only real government investigation. Yet every promising lead De Torres unveiled to Garrison led into a dead-end. De Torres’ primary aim seemed to be casting suspicion on Castro as Kennedy’s real killer. Eventually Garrison became convinced De Torres was secretly working with the CIA to disrupt the investigation.

After being dismissed from Garrison’s inner circle, De Torres immediately went to work for super spook Mitch Werbell as an arms dealer in Latin America, and, according to some, became a major player in the narcotics trade. Gaeton Fonzi would establish that De Torres was one of the 25-odd spooks in and around Dealey Plaza that day and was posing as a photographer during the event. Apparently, De Torres kept those photos in a safe deposit box as his own personal life insurance policy.

So as you roll the facts around in your mind, keep your options open, and stay on alert because the spooks are waiting at every turn to lead researchers down a rabbit hole.

Written by Steven Hager

December 14, 2016 at 3:07 pm

The disappearing Mauser is a key to the JFK assassination

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screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-11-26-03-amDeputy Sheriff Roger Craig is one of the greatest unsung heroes who sought justice after JFK’s murder in Dallas. Craig arrived at Dealy Plaza seconds after the shooting and raced to the picket fence at the top of the knoll, closely following the motorcycle cop who’d ditched his bike to run up the hill. The scene behind the fence was chaotic because a large number of people had already gathered. There were footprints and cigarette butts near where many witnesses saw a plume of smoke appear as the shots rang out.

Craig noticed a woman attempting to drive out of the parking lot and stopped her, taking her into custody for questioning. Deputy Sheriff Lewis appeared and took her off his hands.

Craig then crossed Elm Street and began interviewing witnesses. Arnold Rowland and his wife said they saw a man with a rifle in a Texas School Book Depository window overlooking the plaza before the presidential limo arrived. They hadn’t said anything because they assumed he was a secret service agent. Deputy Lewis appeared again and took the Rowlands off his hands.

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-12-42-59-pmSuddenly, a shrill whistle sounded and Craig noticed a man in his twenties run down the knoll from the direction of the depository. A green Rambler station wagon slowed and the man jumped inside. Craig wanted to detain this vehicle, but traffic was intense and he failed to cross in time. When he did make it across, Craig went to the depository steps and was greeted by a man claiming to be a Secret Service agent. Craig began talking about the suspicious Rambler, but the agent seemed little interested. Craig’s boss, Sheriff Decker appeared and told Craig the suspect had left the scene and someone should search inside the depository.

Upon arriving at the sixth floor, Craig quickly located three spent cartridges by the southeast corner window, all lined up as if carefully set in place, something he found highly suspicious. One cartridge had a strange crimp. A rifle was soon located stashed in a pile of cardboard boxes. Stamped on the barrel was “7.65 Mauser.” Captain Fritz, chief of homicide for Dallas, arrived and took possession. That night the murder weapon used to kill JFK was described on all three networks as a German Mauser.

By the way, the Mauser is a short-barrelled carbine invented for use by cavalry officers. Carbines are not typically a weapon of choice among professional snipers due to limited range and low bullet velocity. They are, however, slightly easier to conceal than long barrel rifles. The Italians made a cheap imitation of the Mauser, the 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano.

Problem is the cartridges on the floor were 6.5 Carcanos, which meant the rifle and cartridges didn’t match.

“I arrived at Capt. Fritz office shortly after 4:30 PM,” wrote Craig later. “I was met by Agent Bookhout from the F.B.I., who took my name and place of employment. The door to Capt. Fritz‘ personal office was open and the blinds on the windows were closed, so that one had to look through the doorway in order to see into the room. I looked through the open door at the request of Capt. Fritz and identified the man who I saw running down the grassy knoll and enter the Rambler station wagon—and it WAS Lee Harvey Oswald. Fritz and I entered his private office together. He told Oswald, this man (pointing to me) saw you leave. At which time the suspect replied, I told you people I did. Fritz, apparently trying to console Oswald, said, take it easy, son—we‘re just trying to find out what happened. Fritz then said, what about the car? Oswald replied, leaning forward on Fritz’ desk, that station wagon belongs to Mrs. Paine—don’t try to drag her into this. Sitting back in his chair, Oswald said very disgustedly and very low, everybody will know who I am now.”

Because he was a Dallas police officer, it was impossible for the Warren Commission to completely ignore Craig. However, when the Commission report was released significant changes were made to his testimony. Meanwhile, Craig was ordered never to talk about the case with anyone in the media. After being caught talking to someone, he was fired.

Like other important witnesses, Craig was shot at, driven off the road, and hounded at almost every twist and turn of his remaining short life. As a key witness to the assassination, he’d assumed he’d become famous someday, but instead was quickly flushed down a rabbit hole. Many early gatekeepers like Mary Ferrell worked hard to discredit him, which, in hindsight is probably the best indication of how important he really was. Mary Ferrell was a lawyer for Mobile who made the assassination her life’s obsession. She never really managed to connect the dots on the case, even though the most obvious trail led straight into JMWAVE, William Harvey, Ted Shackley and David Morales. Craig sadly died of a gunshot to the chest in 1975. Self-inflicted so they say and it could be true because he was a completely broken man whose autobiography had been universally rejected by the publishing world.

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E.E. Bradley

During the Garrison trial against the CIA, Craig was astounded to see images of the alleged Secret Service agent he ran into on the depository steps. His real name was Edgar Eugene Bradley, and he was a rightwing preacher from North Hollywood, California, and part-time assistant to Carl McIntire, the fundamentalist minister who had founded the American Counsel of Christian Churches.

Every so often additional information about the Mauser turns up.

Maybe you’re aware of the Oswald double that went around Dallas before the assassination (mostly while the real Oswald was in Mexico). This double was doing odd things and attracting attention to himself in ways a spook like Oswald never would.

Written by Steven Hager

December 12, 2016 at 1:18 pm

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