Friday, March 23, 2012

What happened to JFK's body? A cover-up "on the fly"

What happened to JFK's body? A cover-up "on the fly"

by Jim Fetzer (with Douglas Horne)

EDITOR'S NOTE: For this study, I interviewed Douglas Horne , who served as the Chief Analyst for Military Records for the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), a five-member civilian panel established by Congress to declassify documents and records held by the CIA, the FBI, the Secret Service, and other agencies related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Its creation was motivated by the resurgence of interest in the case that was brought about by Oliver Stone's "JFK". George H.W. Bush, who was president at the time, adamantly opposed this legislation and, when it passed in spite of his best efforts to defeat it, refused to appoint its members, leading to a fifteen-month delay before the incoming Clinton administration was able to do so.

Only the president had the authority to override the decisions of the panel, which did not occur even once during the activities of the ARRB, which is an endorsement of the integrity of Clinton in this matter as opposed to the lack thereof shown by Bush. Of course, there is no reason to believe that Clinton had anything to do with the assassination, where the same cannot be said of Bush. After the ARRB closed its doors and shut down its operations, which led to the release of more than 60,000 documents and records, which federal agencies had wanted to suppress, Doug Horne committed himself to composing a scrupulously documented record of its proceedings and its findings in the key areas of the medical evidence and the Zapruder film, which he has published in his five-volume study, INSIDE THE ASSASSINATION RECORDS REVIEW BOARD (2009), to which I shall refer as "IARRB".

Those of us who have committed ourselves to exposing the fantasy that is known as the "lone assassin" theory, including its incredible "magic bullet" hypothesis, 
are profoundly grateful to Doug for undertaking this Herculean task. Having published three collections of studies by experts on different aspects of the case--namely: ASSASSINATION SCIENCE (1998), MURDER IN DEALEY PLAZA (2000), and THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX (2003)--I am well-positioned to assert that, with IARRB, Doug Horne has produce a masterpiece of analysis, especially in relation to the medical evidence, that can only bear comparison with the very best work in the history of the assassination, such as Noel Twyman's BLOODY TREASON (1997) and David Lifton's BEST EVIDENCE (1980). And I regard it as a privilege to discuss his most recent work on this most peculiar aspect of the cover-up, which involves re-examining the evidence for multiple casket entries at the morgue of the Bethesda Naval Hospital, where the official autopsy was conducted.
The stimulus for our discussion of the multiple casket entries at the Bethesda Naval Hospital morgue on November 22, 1963 was the new, longer version of the Air Force One audiotapes from the day of the assassination, the version found in the personal effects of General Chester V. Clifton, U.S. Army, after his death. The new version of the Air Force One tapes, which is about 27 minutes longer than the previously released LBJ Library version from the 1970s, has been put on sale by the Raab Collection, which purchased it from Clifton’s heirs at an estate sale following the recent death of Clifton’s wife. General Chester (“Ted”) Clifton was the military aide to President Kennedy, and for a brief time, also for President Johnson. Clifton took professional papers and the reel of audiotape with him when he retired from military service and the public was unaware of its existence until the Associated Press, working with the Raab collection, broke the story in November of 2011.

The Raab Collection announced it was seeking $500,000.00 for the reel of audiotape, but also indicated it had professionally digitized the tape’s contents, and would soon donate this digital copy to the National Archives.  In mid-February, Doug focused his attention on the “Clifton version” of the Air Force One tapes---now available for free online from NARA, as a two-part MP3 digital download---to see whether he could find any new material that was not present on the LBJ Library version long-studied by JFK assassination researchers.  He did find new information in three subject areas, and Doug posted an article  to discuss this new evidence on his blogsite, insidethearrb.livejournal.com, on February 26, 2012.  He then set about transcribing key conversations from the “Clifton” tapes, a task that took about 50 hours from start to finish.  Performing this task caused Doug to re-examine the multiple casket entries at Bethesda and to restudy the key conversations on the Air Force One tapes, which help to illuminate the cover-up being put in place as John F. Kennedy’s body was being flown from Dallas, Texas to Andrews AFB near Washington, D.C., on the day of his death.




“The three casket entries at Bethesda Naval Hospital would make a good French farce comedy movie, if the subject were not such a serious one,” Doug told me.  “But of course, in reality there is nothing funny at all about a break in the chain-of-custody of President Kennedy’s body prior to his autopsy.  The three casket entries at Bethesda, which David Lifton told us about in Best Evidence, were confirmed in various ways by the activities of the ARRB staff.  They are now a documented fact, part of American history, just as much as the assassination itself or the attack on Pearl Harbor.  And they constitute a primary basis for impugning the JFK autopsy report and for disbelieving the medical conclusions of The Warren Report.”

Of course, there should
have been only ONE casket entry at Bethesda on November 22, 1963--but instead there were THREE.  Let’s therefore revisit the three casket entries below, along with the key evidence that documents each one:

Casket entry number 1:
  A black hearse delivered a cheap aluminum shipping casket to the morgue loading dock at 6:35 PM.  Men in suits got out of the hearse and turned the shipping casket over to a Navy working party assembled by Navy Petty Officer Dennis David.  David’s sailors carried the aluminum  casket (with JFK’s body inside) into the morgue anteroom, or chill room, and were told to depart.  Later that evening, after the autopsy, Dr. “J” Thornton Boswell, one of the two Navy pathologists, confirmed to David that the President had indeed been inside the shipping casket that arrived at 6:35 PM.  [Sources are Dennis David himself, Donald Rebentisch (a member of his working party), and the after action report of USMC Sergeant Roger Boyajian, who wrote on 11/26/63 that the president’s casket arrived at 1835 hours (or 6:35 PM civilian time).  Boyajian authenticated his report and provided a copy to the ARRB. (See below.)]

Casket entry number 2:
  The light-gray Navy ambulance from Andrews AFB, carrying the heavy, bronze ceremonial coffin from Dallas, arrived at the front of Bethesda at 6:55 PM and sat motionless for 12 minutes.  At 7:07 PM, it then followed the car the 2 FBI agents were in around to the morgue loading dock.  Four Federal agents--Secret Service agents William Greer and Roy Kellerman; and FBI agents James Sibert and Francis O’Neill--then offloaded the ceremonial bronze Dallas casket and took it into the morgue anteroom, using a wheeled conveyance (most likely a “church truck”).  The approximate time for this action was between 7:15-7:17 PM, based on oblique references in an FBI report from 1964.  Sibert and O’Neill were then barred from entering the morgue by the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Navy.  (Marines from Washington’s Marine Barracks were providing security at the morgue.)  [Newspaper reporters recorded the time of arrival of the Andrews motorcade, and the time the Navy ambulance drove away from the front of the hospital.  The two FBI agents related their involvement in the second casket entry to the HSCA and reconfirmed this event to the ARRB, under oath.  Their own FD-302 report, the so-called “Sibert and O’Neill report,” confirms in bureaucratic language that they were barred from the morgue for an unspecified time.  Dr. Humes, the Chief Prosector at JFK’s autopsy, exaggerated the amount of time they were kept out of the morgue by telling a neighbor that they were never present at the autopsy at all--that they were even kept in a different room.  We know this is an exaggeration, for Sibert and O’Neill took notes, once the Y-incision was made at 8:15 PM, and they wrote their own report of what they witnessed inside the morgue (after they were admitted shortly after 8 PM).]

Casket entry number 3:
  The “honor guard,” the Joint Service Casket Team, consisting of men in dress uniforms from the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, carried the bronze Dallas casket into the morgue at 8:00 PM, and set the casket down next to one of the two autopsy examining tables.  They then posted a ceremonial guard outside the morgue.  The Joint Service Casket Team had arrived by helicopter from Andrews AFB, but then spent much of the early evening chasing a “decoy ambulance” (a second light-gray Navy ambulance) around the grounds of the Bethesda complex in the dark, thinking that this vehicle had the Dallas casket inside.  It did not, and amazingly, the Casket Team had lost the body of the President (which they falsely believed had been inside the Dallas casket when it had been offloaded from Air Force One at Andrews AFB), and were in danger of profound embarrassment, until they eventually found the Dallas casket sitting alone, unattended, in a light-gray Navy Ambulance shortly before 8 PM.  [The formal entry of the Dallas casket into the morgue at 8 PM was documented in the official after-action report of the Military District of Washington; by the after-action report of the officer-in-charge, Lt. Bird, USA; and it was also written about by William Manchester in Death of a President , and extensively by David Lifton in Best Evidence.   Lt. Richard Lipsey confirmed to the HSCA that there was indeed a ‘decoy ambulance.’]

I asked Doug Horne what all of this meant. “What it means, in a nutshell, was that the public offloading of the Dallas casket from Air Force One was a charade, enacted on National TV, just as David Lifton said it was in his book in 1980.  THE DALLAS CASKET WAS EMPTY WHEN IT WAS OFFLOADED FROM THE AIRCRAFT.  This has to have been the case, since (1) JFK’s body actually arrived at Bethesda at 6:35 PM in a cheap aluminum shipping casket, delivered by a black hearse, and (2) the light-gray Navy ambulance from Andrews (with the Dallas casket inside) did not arrive at Bethesda until 6:55 PM, twenty minutes after the hearse.  This means that the four Federal agents took an empty Dallas casket out of the Navy ambulance at 7:15 PM (unbeknownst to the two FBI agents).  The bronze casket weighed over 400 pounds, and they moved it using a church truck, so there is no way the two FBI agents would have known it was empty at the time.”
                                

I asked Horne if the two Secret Service agents, Kellerman and Greer, knew the Dallas casket was empty at about 7:15 PM when it was offloaded.  “You’d better believe they did.  The Secret Service removed the body from the Dallas casket on the aircraft shortly after they took it onboard at 2:14 PM in Dallas.  Jackie Kennedy went onboard at 2:18 PM.  The swearing-in of LBJ did not occur until about 2:36 PM, and Air Force One took off at 2:47 PM, Dallas time.  We know that the casket was surrounded by loyalists in the Kennedy entourage (and by the widowed First Lady) during the flight
, so the body could not have been removed then.  It must have been removed sometime between 2:14 PM and the time the swearing-in took place, at 2:36 PM.  Immediately after boarding, the Kennedy entourage had not yet assembled around the casket for the Irish wake.  Jackie Kennedy was composing herself in private, and the Air Force Aide, General Godfrey McHugh, made several trips forward to the cockpit to demand that the plane take off and even spent time looking for Lyndon Johnson (before finding him hiding, crying in the loo).  The Secret Service must have removed JFK’s body from the casket during the initial process of “securing it to the deck” in the aft compartment of Air Force One.  So Kellerman and Greer would have known all about it.”  [EDITOR'S NOTE: William Greer drove the Presidential limousine in Dallas, and Roy Kellerman, who was responsible for all security on the ground during the Texas trip, occupied the front passenger seat of the limousine during the assassination.]

I asked Horne why the Secret Service or Lyndon Johnson would have wanted JFK’s body removed from the Dallas casket.  “Don’t forget,” Doug said, “that Roy Kellerman essentially had to steal the body from Parkland Hospital to prevent the coroner, Earl Rose, from performing an autopsy--an honest autopsy--as required under Texas law.  There was a loud, ugly altercation between Dr. Rose and Kellerman at Parkland, and the Secret Service agents eventually had to show their weapons in order to wrest President Kennedy’s body away from the hospital.  I believe the principal reason the body of JFK was removed from the Dallas Casket at Love Field was to prevent it from being taken by Texas law enforcement authorities in the event they appeared at the airport, still demanding to do the autopsy required under Texas law.  Lifton and I both believe that the body was probably removed from the aft compartment of Air Force One through the starboard aft galley door--immediately opposite the Dallas casket in the aft compartment--as soon as it was taken out of the casket. 
I agree with Lifton that it had to be spirited away in one of the airplane’s two luggage compartments during the trip to Washington, D.C.”

I asked Doug if there was any evidence supporting that this happened. “There are no eyewitnesses who have come forward, but there is indeed indirect evidence on the new Clifton tapes, as revealed in the transcript that I made.  Roy Kellerman is talking on the radio to Gerald Behn--the Head of the White House Detail of the Secret Service, back at “Crown,” the White House Situation Room--and Kellerman tells Behn that everyone is onboard; that they are waiting for the swearing-in to take place--waiting for a judge to arrive--and then Kellerman suddenly tells Behn, in so many words,”I’ll have to call you back, Jerry, after the, ah body.”  That is a significant statement. Something was happening with the body of the deceased President, something that interrupted Kellerman’s conversation and made him tell his boss he would have to call him back. 

“I believe that ‘something’ was the spiriting of the body out of the Dallas casket,” Doug said, “and the operation to hide it in one of the luggage holds of the airplane.  Remember, this did happen.  We know it happened because the early arrival of the President’s body at Bethesda meant that the Dallas casket offloaded at Andrews AFB had to be empty.  Since it was empty when offloaded, the body must have been removed almost immediately after the casket was taken onboard the aircraft.  Kellerman’s gaffe, recorded for history, tells us when it happened--before the swearing-in took place.”

I asked Doug what other nuggets of information he had found on the Clifton tapes.  “Well, there is provocative new
information on the Clifton tapes--a ‘hot mike’conversation in which unknown persons at “Crown” (the White House) can be overheard discussing a ‘black car,’ specifically a ‘black Cadillac.’  This comes in the midst of a long conversation in which General Clifton is requesting that a ‘mortuary type ambulance’ be provided to move the President’s body after arrival.  (Clifton uses this specific term twice.)   A mortuary-type ambulance, in the funeral trade, is called a ‘hearse.’  And a hearse in those days was always a ‘black Cadillac.’  What this means is that we now have corroboration on the Air Force One tapes of plans being made at the White House Situation Room to transport JFK’s body in a black Cadillac--a hearse.  The situation room was being run that day by Gerald Behn of the Secret Service, and by McGeorge Bundy, the President’s National Security Advisor.  But wait--there’s more!  Gawler’s funeral home was originally ordered to send a hearse to Andrews AFB, but that order was later rescinded.  I believe it was their hearse--their black, mortuary-type Cadillac ambulance--that delivered the shipping casket containing JFK’s body to the Bethesda loading dock at 6:35 PM.  The timeline fits.  Air Force One rolled to a stop at 6:04 PM.  The TV coverage was cut at 6:20 PM.  There was plenty of time for a helicopter (there were 5 available at Andrews, all arranged by Kellerman) to take JFK’s body to Bethesda, and rendezvous with the hearse, prior to 6:35 PM.”

“But what is most important to understand,” Horne continued, “is that a tug-of-war was taking place during the flight from Dallas to Washington over where JFK’s autopsy would be conducted, and how his body would be transported.  Onboard the airplane, three persons were lobbying, and lobbying hard, for JFK’s autopsy to be at Walter Reed Hospital (the Army site) in D.C.:  Roy Kellerman, Admiral Burkley (the President’s military physician), and General Ted Clifton.  All three of these people wanted ground transport--an ambulance--to take JFK’s body to Walter Reed. Opposing them was Jerry Behn at “Crown,” who not only said the autopsy was to be at Bethesda Naval Hospital, but that it would go by helicopter.  The tapes reveal that those onboard the aircraft seemingly lost the battle to go to Walter Reed, and that Gerald Behn prevailed.  Clifton then cautioned him to have a mortuary style ambulance available in case the Dallas casket was too heavy for the helicopter.  Throughout the flight there was a coordinated effort, begun by Jerry Behn at the White House and reinforced by Clifton on the airplane, to separate Jackie Kennedy from JFK’s body as soon as the aircraft landed, and to send her and all other passengers to the South Lawn of the White 
House, while the body went alone to the autopsy site.”



As most readers will already know, that is not what happened.  What occurred, in the harsh glare of the television Klieg lights at Andrews, was that Jackie Kennedy refused to leave the airplane in the darkness on the starboard side as General Clifton had wished and planned for, where she instead accompanied the Dallas casket to the tarmac.  She then decided that she and Robert Kennedy would travel to Bethesda with the Dallas casket in a light-gray Navy ambulance that had pulled up nearby the airplane.  So I asked Doug how this Navy ambulance fit into the story.  

“David Lifton reminded me recently that the Navy ambulance was NOT a hearse, a black Cadillac mortuary type ambulance.  It was a Pontiac; and it was a cardiac ambulance
sent to Andrews because of rumors that Lyndon Johnson had had a heart attack, per William Manchester’s book.  Jackie Kennedy simply ‘requisitioned it,’ on the spot, and no one could oppose the President’s widow.  In doing so, she foiled the cover-up plans so carefully constructed by the military and the Secret Service.  The helicopter that Behn had arranged to take the body away from the airplane taxied up in the dark to the starboard side, immediately after Air Force One rolled to a stop.  David Lifton interviewed the USMC pilot of ‘Nighthawk One’ in 1996, and he confirmed that his orders had been to take the body to Bethesda.  But when he saw the Dallas casket placed in the Navy ambulance and saw the former First Lady get in, he abandoned his mission and returned to base.”

I asked Doug why he thought the military and the Secret Service were so intent upon separating Jackie Kennedy from the casket, since this intent is so evident when one listens to the Clifton tapes or reads Doug’s transcript.  “David Lifton has proposed, and I agree, that the intent was to covertly fly the body to Walter Reed, reintroduce it to the Dallas casket at that location and then, when the Dallas casket was eventually delivered to Bethesda for the formal autopsy, there would be no noticeable chain-of-custody problem.  No one at Bethesda would ever have known that the casket offloaded at Andrews had been empty.  Strong corroboration for this plan is the fact that in her handwritten notes, LBJ’s secretary Marie Fehmer wrote an entry at 5:58 PM (just before landing at Andrews) that reads: ‘Body to Walter Reed.’  To Lifton--and to me--this means that everyone ‘in the know’ on AF1 (LBJ, Clifton, Kellerman, and Burkley) knew the body was not in the Dallas casket anymore and that it had to be reunited with the casket at Walter Reed.”

Horne continued, “And this is where I part company with David Lifton.  He believes JFK’s head wounds were tampered with prior to arrival at Bethesda Naval Hospital--and that this surgery was performed at Love Field.  I don’t. The throat wound may
have been tampered with prior to arrival in Washington, but the head wounds were altered after the body's arrival.  I am confident about this for two reasons: (1) Three witnesses--Dr. Ebersole, CAPT Canada, and Thomas Evan Robinson of Gawler’s, who would prepare the body for the formal state funeral on Monday--saw the same head wound on JFK after his body arrived that was seen at Parkland hospital in Dallas; and (2) the ARRB discovered  two witnesses to the post-mortem, wound altering surgery to JFK’s head wounds as they were being altered at Bethesda: Tom Robinson and Ed Reed (the Navy x-ray technician).  And Navy x-ray tech Ed Reed, under oath, named James J. Humes as the man who performed this surgery.  Why is this distinction relevant to the story of the three casket entries?  Well, David Lifton believes the body of JFK (with the wounds already altered, per his hypothesis) was simply to be reunited with the Dallas casket at Walter Reed and quickly taken to Bethesda with no manipulations having been performed at Walter Reed.  In contrast to David’s view, I believe that the original plan may have been to perform the illicit, clandestine cranial surgery on JFK’s head wounds (to remove all evidence of frontal shots) at Walter Reed, before the body was taken to Bethesda for the official autopsy.” 

The mortician's description of the wounds during his interview with Joe West,
which Roy Schaeffer obtained from him and transmitted to David W. Mantik, M.D., Ph.D
.  
“My reason for postulating this is the interview I conducted of Dr. Dick Davis of the AFIP while I was on the ARRB staff.  Dr. Davis was a neuropathologist--the acting Head of Neuropathology at AFIP at the time--and he told me that he had a complete kit prepared with which to perform a craniotomy on the President’s body (surgical tools, cameras, etc.) but that the body never came to Walter Reed, and he was not called upon to perform the function he expected to perform.  I believe that, if JFK’s body had been taken to Walter Reed to be reunited with the Dallas casket, then the post-mortem surgery on the cranium would have been performed at Walter Reed to “sanitize the crime scene” before the body was trans-shipped to Bethesda. But because Jackie Kennedy glued herself to the Dallas casket out of loyalty to her murdered husband, the casket could not go to Walter Reed.  Because the Dallas casket could not go to Walter Reed, JFK’s body did not go there, even though that had been the plan for over two hours.  The end result? As I see it, the immediate end result was the absurdity of three casket entries at Bethesda, when there should have been just one.  But there is more implied here.  If the post-mortem surgery to alter JFK’s skull wounds had taken place at Walter Reed, then Humes and Boswell (who were administrators and who were NOT forensic pathologists) would have been confronted with a fait accompli, with an enormous cranial defect that would have been represented to them as being ‘the damage caused by the bullet in Dallas.’  Instead, Humes was forced to conduct this obstruction of justice himself, and Boswell was required to assist him in selling the results of the surgery Humes performed as ‘damage from the bullet in Dallas.’  Boswell and Humes were placed in a most uncomfortable position that night and, unfortunately, they succumbed to the pressure. No doubt they were given a ‘World War III’ cover story like LBJ used on everyone else in the coming weeks.”

I asked Doug to clarify what happened at Bethesda between the time the body arrived at 6:35 PM and the time of the second Dallas casket entry at 8:00 PM.  “An initial inspection was performed by Humes, Boswell, Ebersole, Canada, and Admirals Galloway and Kenney,” said Horne.  “Humes and Boswell were given their orders, and they complied:  all evidence of frontal shots to the head were removed from the skull--entry wounds, and bullet fragments, and any brain tissue that showed obvious bullet tracks.  In order to do so, a modified craniotomy had to be performed, enlarging the original exit wound seen in Dallas to five times its original size.
  Following this procedure, the skull x-rays were taken and the initial series of autopsy photos were taken (with the head in a metal stirrup or brace, and a neat, clean Bethesda towel with a blue stripe displayed below the head to give the impression that the body had just arrived in that condition).  Afterwards, at about 7:40 or 7:45 PM, JFK’s body was placed back in the Dallas casket and it was allowed to be ‘found’ by the Joint Service Casket Team so that they could perform their ceremonial function, and take the Dallas casket into the morgue.            

“As soon as the Dallas casket was opened shortly after 8 PM, the two FBI agents were brought to the morgue, and they never knew that the Dallas casket had originally been empty.  They saw JFK lying inside it and removed from it and then placed on the examining table shortly after 8 PM.  The famous diagram Dr. Boswell made of the enormous damage to the top of the skull was a ‘con job,’ designed to fool history, and it worked for over three decades.  As Tom Robinson told the ARRB staff in 1996, the horrific damage to the top of JFK’s skull seen in the autopsy photos was ‘what the doctors did, not what the bullet did.’  So this was a cover-up on the fly.  Many mistakes were made, but they got away with it.  They got away with it because people were ordered to remain silent, were threatened with courts martial if they did not, and because the Warren Commission made damn sure the Dallas doctors never saw the autopsy photographs.  If the Dallas treatment staff had seen the so-called ‘autopsy’ photos, the medical cover-up would have been exposed.”

That concluded our discussion of this important topic.  I urge all of you who have read this article to continue on below, and to study the transcript Doug Horne recently made of the key conversations in the Clifton tapes.  In it you will find the tug-of-war over the autopsy and the transportation of the body that Doug mentioned above; the mention of the ‘black Cadillac;’ and Roy Kellerman’s mention of something going on with “the ah, body” after the Dallas casket was on-board the airplane and before the swearing-in ceremony.  And pay special attention to the repeated attempts by the Secret Service and General Clifton to separate Jackie Kennedy from her husband’s casket.  It’s all there, right in the transcript; thanks to Doug, we now know the proper context in which to evaluate all that information.  

It is all rather Shakespearean but, in this case, American-style. And yet there are those who continue to maintain that the US is an exception to the kinds of plots and conspiracies that have dominated Europe and the UK throughout their history. The US, alas, is no “exception” at all. That is one more myth that deserves to be tossed into the dustbin of false history, along with the “lone assassin" scenario and the “magic bullet” fantasy that accompanies it. The unwillingness of our own government to come clean about the assassination, when virtually every element of the case against Lee Oswald has been proven to be false, is a stunning indictment of its own complicity, where elements of the American government were instrumental in the removal of its own highest official in a blatant exercise of power and control that deprived the American people of their own elected leader--an act of brutality and corruption from which this nation has not yet and may never recover.



TRANSCRIPT OF KEY AIR FORCE ONE RADIO CONVERSATIONS FROM NOVEMBER 22, 1963


Prepared by Douglas P. Horne, Formerly Chief Analyst for Military Records, ARRB

[NOTE: Conversations not included in this transcript include communications chatter regarding setting up radio patches; weather reports; introductory conversations between SAM 86972 and “Crown” announcing JFK's wounding and death by reading wire service reports; and LBJ's evolving plans to meet with various officials upon arrival in Washington, D.C. The classic version of this transcript as a pdf without photographs may be found at The Mary Ferrell Foundation archives.]


(Completed March 3, 2012)

Introduction


In the decade of the 1970s, the LBJ Library released an edited and condensed recording of the Air Force One radio conversations with the ground on November 22, 1963, the day of President Kennedy's assassination. [The tape left the White House late in 1968 or early in 1969 with all of the other LBJ Presidential papers and recordings, and its accession card with the LBJ Library is dated 1975.] The oral preamble to that recording admitted that the tape had been “edited and condensed.” Since the principal subject discussed on the tape was the forthcoming autopsy on President Kennedy--where it was to be performed, and how the body was to be transported to that site--there was a considerable amount of interest in the recording. Researchers and historians all wondered if they would ever be able to listen to the unedited version of the recordings.  David Lifton published some of the key passages from the LBJ Library version of the Air Force One recordings in his 1981 book about the JFK medical evidence, Best Evidence
(1980).

I served on the staff of the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) from August of 1995 through September of 1998. It was a primary goal of the ARRB to locate the unedited, complete recording of the Air Force One conversations. In spite of our best efforts, we could not stimulate any interest in finding the original recordings in either the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), or the U.S. Air Force. The U.S. Air Force and WHCA claimed they could find no such recordings. Early in our search for the unedited tapes, I was assigned to review the LBJ Library Air Force One tapes at the National Archives. I wrote a 7-page staff memorandum (dated October 17, 1995) about the contents of the tapes; it can be accessed today in the JFK Records Collection at Archives II in College Park, Maryland. I also wrote about the Air Force One tapes in Volume V of my 2009 book, Inside the Assassination Records Review Board
(2009) on pages 1660-1664. Many other authors and researchers have written about the tapes in their own books, and on their own websites.

In November of 2011, the Raab Collection announced that it had purchased a longer version of the Air Force One recording from the estate of the late U.S. Army General Chester V. Clifton, who served as Military Aide to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Although the Raab Collection announced that it was intent upon selling the reel-to-reel tape recording purchased from the Clifton estate for $500,000.00, it also announced that its recording had already been professionally digitized, and promised it would soon donate this digitized recording to the National Archives. The digital recording of the new “Clifton” version of the Air Force One tapes is now available, for free, from a joint GPO-NARA website.

The new “Clifton” version of the Air Force One conversations is two hours and twenty-two minutes long, about twenty seven minutes longer than the LBJ Library version (which is approximately one hour and fifty-five minutes long). Generally speaking, the sound quality of the digital “Clifton” version is far superior to the LBJ Library recordings released on audiocassette years previously. [The deep bass rumble of the aircraft's jet engines, for example, has been significantly reduced, and is essentially “gone.”] The “Clifton” version can be downloaded from the GPO-NARA website in the form of two MP3 files, designated “side 1” and “side 2.” Side 1 is 70.1 MB in size, and side 2 is 66.3 MB in size. With one exception (discussed below), all of my transcript was derived from the longer, “Clifton” version, and the times listed in red next to the beginning (and end) of many passages refer to the location of those passages on either side 1, or side 2, of the “Clifton” version MP3 recordings released by NARA.

The only exception to this is the oral preamble, or introduction, to the LBJ Library version, presumably spoken by a member of the U.S. armed forces working for the White House Communications Agency. That LBJ Library preamble is reproduced verbatim below, for historical purposes. (Note: even though it is not present on the “Clifton” version of the Air Force One conversations, its absence is not conclusive evidence that the “Clifton” version is the complete, unedited, original version of the Air Force One conversations with the ground on November 22, 1963. See pages 1660-1664 of Inside the ARRB
for an explanation of why the pristine, original Air Force One tapes should be much longer than the 2 hours and 22 minutes present on the “Clifton” recording.) The LBJ Library introduction follows:

Unknown Speaker
The following recording has been reproduced from ground recorded non-high-  fidelity tape used to record [fax? patch?] communications between aircraft and air-ground facilities. This tape, although used to record radio traffic from the Presidential aircraft, also includes related traffic from jet aircraft 86972, carrying Secretary of State Rusk, then-Press Secretary Salinger, and other dignitaries en route between Honolulu and Japan. The following information relative to Presidential aircraft radio call signs is given for clarification due to interchangeable use: “Air Force One” and “Angel” are used when the President is aboard the aircraft; “Air Force 26000” is used at all other times. This tape has been edited and condensed to only contain pertinent communications relative to events during 22nd November, 1963. Only material available from radio circuits used is available.

The remainder of this transcript is taken from the longer, “Clifton” version of the recording.

BEGIN:  Side 1, “Clifton” Version


Crown
1 (32:21):  26000, ah, Duplex is on, go ahead.

[NOTE 1:   “Crown” was the WHCA codename for the White House Situation Room, in the West Wing of the White House.]


SAM 26000
: [garbled] Standby one.

Duplex
2: Hello?
[NOTE 2:  “Duplex” was the WHCA codename for SAIC Gerald Behn, Head of the Secret Service White House Detail.]

Digest3: OK. Jerry?

[NOTE 3:  “Digest” was the WHCA codename for ASAIC Roy Kellerman, who was the Secret Service agent in charge of physical security for the Texas trip. He was riding in the right front seat of the Presidential limousine during the assassination.]

Duplex: Hello?

Digest: [garbled]…in here now, ah, we're at the airport, 26000, everybody aboard.

Duplex: OK, go ahead.

Digest: We're waiting for the swearing-in at the plane before takeoff.

Duplex: Of the--that's of Volunteer4?

[NOTE 4:  “Volunteer” was the WHCA codename for Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson.]

Digest: Roger.

Duplex: Say again, Roy, say again.

Digest: We are waiting for judge to appear for swearing-in.

Duplex: That is for Volunteer, is that right?

Digest: Yes, we are having [garbled] before we take off, Jerry.

Duplex: That's affirmative. Do you have any idea yet what, ah, Lace5 wants to do and what Volunteer wants to do on their arrival here?

[NOTE 5:  “Lace” was the WHCA codename for First Lady Jacqueline B. Kennedy.]


Digest: 
No. I will call you back. Suggest--we have a 2 hour 15 flight into Andrews. We have a full plane of at least 40.

Duplex:
OK, go ahead.

Digest:
I'll have to call you again after the, ah, body. However, I'm sure the, ah, Volunteer boys will go over his car and so forth. We will need [garbled] and several others.

Duplex:  
All right, let me know what Volunteer wants to do when they, ah, land, if they want to come into Crown by, ah, helicopter.

Digest:
That's a roger, I'll call you again.

Duplex 
(33:12): OK.

AF1
(35:40): Ah, Command Post, Air Force One. How do you read?

Command Post
:  Roger sir, go ahead.

AF1:
[static] Dallas at 2047 Zulu and will call in a couple of minutes with, ah, block time for Andrews.6

[NOTE 6:  Air Force One appears to have just taken off from Love Field in Dallas, Texas, and is giving its actual takeoff time in “Zulu time,” or Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which was (and still is) the standard for all military communications. “Andrews,” of course, refers to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, south of Washington, D.C.  Andrews AFB was the permanent home of SAM 26000, the Presidential aircraft, and was the landing site whenever the destination was Washington, D.C. After an aircraft comes to a complete stop it is put “on the blocks”--blocks, or chocks, are literally placed around its tires, to prevent it from moving. In Air Force parlance, “block time” is the formal designation for the end of an aircraft’s journey. Because an aircraft has to taxi after landing until it reaches its assigned berth, the “block time” is usually a few minutes after “touchdown,” or time on the ground.]

Those revising the Zapruder film blacked out the blow-out at the back of the head
 in earlier frames, but missed the visible wound in late frame 374.

Command Post: Do you have your approximate block time, sir?


AF1:  I'd say that it'll be, ah, two plus one zero, Red.

Command Post:  
Two plus one zero, and do you have any passengers onboard?

AF1:
Roger, full load, 40 plus.

Command Post:  
And, and [is] Mrs. Kennedy onboard?

AF1:  
Affirmative.

Command Post:  
Pardon?

AF1:
I'll call you back, Command Post.

Command Post 
(36:36): Air Force One, SAM Command Post, go ahead.

AF1:
Ah, roger, roger--you called me, go ahead please.

Command Post:  
Sergeant, this is Colonel Hornbuckle in operations, we have request from, ah, Chief [of] Staffs office7 to know if you have, ah, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Kennedy's body aboard?

[NOTE 7:   The “Chief of Staff” clearly refers to Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay. General LeMay was in Canada on the day of the assassination, in or near Toronto, for reasons unknown. The evidence for this is the “Chuck Holmes Logbook” passed to the ARRB by an Air Force civil servant who said he rescued the logbook from the trash. The log records the content of conversations between the 1254th Air Transport Wing Command Post at Andrews AFB, and various aircraft on special air missions, and details how one special air mission was sent to Canada to pick up General LeMay on the day of the assassination. A recent biography of General LeMay, by Warren Kozak, incorrectly states on page 356 that LeMay was on a hunting trip in Michigan when he learned of JFK’s assassination.
LeMay: The Life and Wars of General Curtis LeMay, was published in 2009. The Chuck Holmes Logbook was released to the general public by the National Archives in the autumn of 1998.]

AF1:
Standby one. Ah, OK, ah, Air Force One, affirmative on, ah, all those questions, go ahead.

Command Post:  
Roger, thank you very much, out. (36:09)

Command Post (37:31): Ah, 26000, 26000, SAM8 Command Post.

[NOTE 8:  8 “SAM” is an Air Force acronym that stands for “special air mission.” It is normally used in conjunction with the tail number of an individual aircraft, such as “SAM 26000” or “SAM 86972.”]
 

AF1:
Ah, SAM Command, Air Force One, go ahead please.

Command Post:
Ah, roger, roger, Air Force One. Are you airborne at present, are you airborne at present?

AF1: 
Affirmative, airborne at 2047, twenty forty seven; estimated time on the blocks Andrews 2305, go ahead. 

Command Post: 
Ah, roger, roger, understand. Departed at 2047, estimated time of arrival Andrews 2305, is that Charlie?9

[NOTE 9:  The use of “repeat back procedures” was, and still is, common in military communications. It is a simple but effective way to confirm that the listener received the sender’s message accurately, and is particularly important in situations where the radio communications are tenuous and not “crystal clear,” which was the case on November 22, 1963. The quality of the radio communications between the various parties and Air Force One on 11/22/63 varied greatly throughout the 2 hour, 17 minute flight from Love Field to Andrews AFB. “Charlie” is military radio slang for “correct.”]


AF1:
That is Charlie.

Command Post 
(38:41): Air Force One, this is the Air Force Command Post. If possible, request
the names of the passengers onboard, please.

AF1:
Ah, we have 40 plus, go ahead.

Command Post: 
Forty people, is that affirmative?

AF1:  
Affirmative.

Command Post:  
Can you tell me, in regard to, ah, 1 and 2, or ah, the top people?

AF1:
Ah, roger, ah, the President is onboard; the body is onboard; and ah, Mrs. Kennedy is onboard.

Command Post: 
All right, can you tell--confirm once again your takeoff time and your estimated time of arrival Andrews?

AF1:
2047 takeoff time, Andrews 2305.

Command Post:  
Ah, roger, thank you. This is the Air Force Command Post, out.

AF1
(40:51): Ah, Crown, Air Force One.

Crown:
Ah, this is Crown, go ahead.

AF1:
Sir, we need a patch with, ah, Surgeon General of the Army Heaton, go ahead.

Crown:
Ah, please repeat the message, over.

AF1:
Ah, roger, we want a patch with General Heaton, ah, H-E-A-T-O-N, the, ah, Surgeon General, go ahead.

Crown:
Ah, roger, roger--General Heaton, the Surgeon General of the Army, over?

AF1:
Ah, that is correct.

Crown:
Ah, roger, roger--standby. Air Force One, Crown, ah, standby please, we are reaching the General now, over.

Crown
(43:17): Ah, Air Force One, this is Crown, ah, you were cut out. Ah, General Heaton is at Walter Reed Hospital; you'll have to standby just a moment or else let me call you back when I get him on the line--it'll take about a minute to reach him. Ah, Air Force One, Crown, do you roger,10 over?

[NOTE 10:  In military communications parlance, “roger” means “I understand,” or “I received your message clearly.”]


AF1: Ah, Crown, roger. If ah, ah, try to get General Heaton and in the meantime try to get the, ah, Deputy Surgeon General; we will talk to either one, go ahead.

Crown: 
Ah, this is Crown, roger. Ah, will you standby or have me call you back, over?

AF1:
Roger, this is very important.

Crown:
Ah, roger, I'll put an "emergency" on it, we'll get him as soon as possible. Stand by.

AF1:
Roger, roger.

Crown
(44:13):  Ah, Air Force One, Crown. Roger, standby for a message.

Burkley:
This is Dr. Burkley, [garbled].

Crown:
Ah, Dr. Burkley--

Burkley:
Did you hear?

Crown:
Ah, Dr. Burkley, this is Crown, ah, you're cutting out, you're cutting out, you'll have to repeat, over.

Burkley:
This [is] Dr. Burkley.11 I want to get in touch with General Heaton or General Heaton's deputy.

[NOTE 11:  Rear Admiral George G. Burkley, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy, was the Military Physician to President Kennedy. Early in the administration he did not hold a favored place at the White House, and was eclipsed by Dr. Janet Travell, JFK’s private physician. Eventually he rose somewhat in prominence, and Dr. Travell’s influence waned.   Burkley was convinced that Dr. Travell was administering too many procaine injections to JFK to combat his chronic back pain, and that as a result JFK’s back muscles were beginning to atrophy, and he was in danger of becoming a cripple who could not walk unaided. Burkley intervened in 1961 and insisted that President Kennedy be placed under the supervision of Dr. Hans Kraus, who placed JFK on a strict regimen of exercise to strengthen his back and abdominal muscles. Thereafter, Dr. Travell’s access to the President was limited.  By the spring of 1962, Burkley and Kraus considered his general health to be “excellent.” Burkley was well aware of President Kennedy’s Addison’s disease, and his many other ailments. RADM Burkley was the only physician who observed JFK’s wounds at both Parkland Hospital, in Dallas, and at his autopsy, conducted at Bethesda Naval Hospital. 
An agent got a bucket and sponge to clean-up the crime scene.  The limo was returned to Ford
 on Monday to be stripped down to bare metal and rebuilt, destroying its forensic value.
Burkley stayed on after the assassination to serve President Lyndon Baines Johnson for his entire time in office as President, and  was promoted by LBJ to Vice Admiral. Admiral Burkley told an oral historian that he had been in charge of JFK’s autopsy, and Dr. Boswell, one of the two Navy pathologists who conducted JFK’s autopsy, independently corroborated this when interviewed by the HSCA. Dr. James J. Humes, the chief prosector at the Bethesda autopsy (and Dr. Boswell’s superior in the chain-of-command), adamantly disagreed with this at his ARRB deposition.  One HSCA deponent, Navy photographer Robert Knudsen, testified in 1978 that Dr. Burkley had played a key supervisory role in the developing and processing of President Kennedy’s autopsy photographs. The ARRB medical witness depositions revealed that many of the photographs taken at JFK’s autopsy never made it into the official collection which now resides in the National Archives. Dr. Burkley was also the last known person to sign for, and handle, key skull bone fragments (the Harper fragment, and the Burros fragment) which were found in Dealey Plaza, and then flown to Washington, D.C.--bone fragments which are missing today.]

Crown:
Ah, Dr. Burkley, this is Crown. Ah, we're working as fast as possible trying to get the call through for you. He is at Walter Reed, we're unable to locate, we're still searching, over.

Burkley:
Ah, the Deputy must be at the General's office over in the main Navy building.

Crown:
Ah, roger, roger. If you'll stand by we'll try and reach him.

Crown:
Roger, this is Crown, ah, you rogered. Well try to reach each one of them if you'll stand by, please.12

[NOTE 12: This statement was made by a different person than the preceding Crown statement.]


Burkley:
All right, roger.

Crown
(47:12):  Ah, roger, roger, Duplex is on the line, go ahead.

Digest:
Digest, Duplex13 Ah…Jerry…Jerry, ah, arriving Andrews 8:05--6:05, rather.

[NOTE 13:  Roy Kellerman reversed the normal mode of radio speech here; he should have said, “Duplex, *this is+ Digest.”]


Crown: 
That's affirmative.  I receive, go ahead. [Much static]…helicopter for…Johnson's party…the South Lawn…[followed by communications problems.]

Duplex
(48:28): This is Duplex, this is Duplex.

Digest:  
Six, ah…arrival Andrews, 6:05, stand by…ah, Walter Reed is supplying the ambulance for body to take to Walter Reed, over?

Duplex:
Repeat please, repeat please.

Digest:
Walter Reed ambulance for body that will go to Walter Reed, over.

Duplex:
Say again, say again.

Digest:
An ambulance from Walter Reed furnished to transport body, over.

Duplex:  
Arrangements have been made for a helicopter for the Bethesda Naval Medical Center, over.

Digest:   
Standby, Jerry--ah, I'll have to get Burkley here.

Duplex:
OK. [Heavy static here, followed by many communications problems.]

Andrews
(51:28):  Air Force One, Andrews, Duplex is on, Duplex is on, sir.

Burkley:
Duplex is on, this is Dr. Burkley. What arrangements have been made [in] regards to the reception of the President?

Duplex:
The,  everybody aboard Air Force One, everyone aboard Air Force One, with the exception of the body, will be choppered into the South Grounds. The body will be choppered to the Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, over.

Burkley:
The body will be choppered or will go by ambulance to the Navy Medical Center?

Duplex:
Will be choppered, will be choppered.

Burkley:
I have called General Heaton and asked him to, ah, consult [with the], ah, Military District of Washington [with] regard to this. Will you call him and cancel the--supposed to have it go to Walter Reed, as, as we have spoken to him--I didnt know these arrangements were already made.

Duplex:
Say again, say again, doctor.

Burkley:
The body is in a casket, you know, and it will have to be taken by ambulance, and not by 'copter.

Duplex:
All right, I'll tell Captain Shepard that.

Burkley:
Would you take--Jerry, will you be sure and get in contact with [General] Heaton? [Much static, and communications problems follow.]

Crown
(54:20): Ah, roger, I have General Heaton standing by. I'll put him on the line, over.

Burkley:
Hello?

Crown:
Ah, Air Force One, Crown, Im putting General Heaton on the line, over.

Burkley:
General Heaton?

Crown:
Ah, Air Force One, Crown, go ahead--General Heaton on the line.

Heaton:
Hello?

Burkley:
Hello, General Heaton?

Heaton:
Yes? [garbled] General Heaton.

Burkley:
General Heaton, this is Admiral Burkley.

Heaton:
Yes, Burkley. [Communications problems follow.]

Burkley
(55:17): General Heaton, this is, ah, Dr. Burkley.

Heaton:
Yes, Burkley.

Burkley: 
[garbled]…use the Military District of Washington in regards to the taking care of the remains of the, ah, President Kennedy and we ah, plan on having the President taken directly to Walter Reed, and, ah, probably Mrs. Kennedy will also be going out there, but we will clarify that later.

Heaton:  
Oh, all right. [Communications problems follow.]14

[NOTE 14:  These two sections--beginning at times 54:20 and 55:17 on the Clifton tapes--are not present on the LBJ Library version of the Air Force One tapes. They appear as if they might be out of sequence here--that is, as if they should have preceded the segment of conversation between Burkley and Duplex beginning at time 51:28 on the Clifton tapes. In that segment of conversation, beginning at 51:28, Burkley tells Behn that he has called General Heaton (past tense) and says he has already asked Heaton to consult with the Military District of Washington about performing the JFK autopsy at Walter Reed. It makes no sense, therefore, when just a few minutes later on the Clifton recording, Burkley introduces himself to Heaton as if speaking for the first time that day, and asks him to do just that: to consult with the Military District of Washington about a Walter Reed autopsy. It is as if those who were editing together the Clifton recording screwed up--royally--and reversed the sequence of two conversations. This appears to be strong evidence that the Clifton recording is not an unbroken, linear recording--that is, proof that it is NOT the unedited, pristine original Air Force One recording that the media has portrayed it to be. This internal inconsistency is therefore quite damning--evidence that the Clifton tape was itself apparently constructed from a different “master.” But this should be no surprise, since AF1 radio operator MSGT John C. Trimble, USAF, wrote in his after action report that he was operating three patches simultaneously for virtually the entire flight. The true “master” recording should consist of three separate tracks, or tapes (each approximately two hours long) recorded at “Liberty,” the Collins Radio station at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. That facility was tasked with assisting, and recording, Presidential and government VIP in-flight communications. SAM 26000, the Presidential jet aircraft, became operational in 1962 with Collins Radio equipment installed, and at the same time in 1962, “Liberty” went online in Iowa, tasked with serving as a backup communications center, and with recording Presidential communications. *Researcher Bill Kelly is the source for information on “Liberty.”]


Heaton
(56:27):  I read you, Admiral Burkley.

Burkley:
Hold for a minute, please. [I have] General Clifton here.

Clifton:
Ah, this is General Clifton.

Heaton:
Yes, General Clifton.

Clifton:
[conversation appears to be missing here]…two: we do not want a helicopter for Bethesda Medical Center. We do want a [sic] ambulance and a ground return from Andrews to Walter Reed, and we want the regular, ah, post-mortem that has to be done by law, under guard, performed at Walter Reed. Is that clear, over?

Heaton:
That is clear, General Clifton. You want an ambulance, and another, ah, limousine, at Andrews, and you want the, ah, regular post-mortem by law done at Walter Reed.

Clifton:
That is correct. But not just…[garbled, fadeout]

Clifton
(58:25): General Heaton, this is Clifton, over.

Heaton:
Yes, General Clifton. [This is] General Heaton.

Clifton:
Hold on for a minute, over?

Heaton:
Well then, I'll hold on. [Communications problems; patch cut.]

Burkley 
(1:00:00): Hello, Jerry?15

[NOTE 15:  Burkley is asking for Gerald (or “Jerry”) Behn here--the Chief of the Secret Service White House Detail--and is not using his WHCA codename “Duplex,” as he should be. Instead, he gets General Heaton again.]


Heaton:
General Heaton.

Burkley:
What arrangements have you made?

Heaton:
We have made, we have, ah, made no arrangements, but will follow through on what you just told me: an ambulance and a limousine at Andrews, and in regards to the post-mortem studies.

Burkley:
Ah, would you--General Heaton, would you kindly hold--ah, [there have] been some arrangements already made--well have to clear that before we make any further.

Unknown voice:  
[apparent background chatter]…a limousine and an ambulance at Andrews…[fadeout, followed by communications problems]

Crown
(1:01:08): Hello Andrews, this is Crown.

Andrews:  
Crown, go ahead.

Crown:  
Ah, we have Captain Shepard16 here, who has also--I, evidently--who has made some arrangements on the ah, ah, funeral and so forth here in Washington and the, ah, bringing this body back and so forth. He, ah, would like to get on and talk to Air Force One when General Heaton is finished. It might be possible for us to put him up on a conference, ah, so that they could all make the arrangements together. I understand that, ah, Captain Shepard, the Naval Aide, has made some arrangements also. So, you might explain this to Air Force One and tell 'em that we'll try and put 'em on a conference if they'd like.

[NOTE 16:  Captain Tazewell Shepard, U.S. Navy, was the Naval Aide to President Kennedy.]


Andrews:
 OK, standby, well advise Admiral Burkley.

[Crown?] 
(1:02:20): [The following is back-chatter between unknown persons, picked up by a “hot mike” while Air Force One was not transmitting due to communications problems. The following snippets of conversation appear to be related to getting President Kennedy's body to the autopsy site as soon as possible, and to the mode of transportation.]…black car [fadeout, garbled]…that Cadillac is the…[garbled and faint conversation, fadeout]…black[?] [or “that”?] Cadillac…[garbled, fadeout]…I’d get him out there anyway, regardless! And then get him out there [?anyway?] regardless, then maybe, then maybe…[garbled, faint]…black Cadillac17…(1:03:13) [Use of a high quality set of headphones is strongly recommended here, at maximum volume. Only those words which I could identify with a high level of confidence have been transcribed here.]

[NOTE 17: This last mention of “Cadillac” during the “hot mike” conversation is definitely the phrase “BLACK CADILLAC." This is significant because HM1 Dennis David and the sailors he was supervising offloaded a cheap metal shipping casket from a hearse--a black Cadillac, mortuary-type ambulance--at the loading dock of the Bethesda morgue at 6:35 PM on November 22, 1963, thirty one minutes after Air Force One was “on the blocks” at Andrews, at 6:046:35 PM on November 22, 1963, thirty one minutes after Air Force One was “on the blocks” at Andrews, at 6:04 PM. Following the autopsy on JFK, Dr. Boswell confirmed to Dennis David that the casket he offloaded earlier that evening had indeed contained the body of President Kennedy. The official motorcade from Andrews AFB, in which a light-gray Navy ambulance carrying the bronze, ceremonial Dallas casket traveled, did not arrive at Bethesda Naval Hospital until 6:55 PM, twenty minutes after Dennis David’s working party delivered a shipping casket from the black Cadillac, mortuary-style ambulance (the hearse) to the morgue anteroom. A memorandum (his after action report about the performance of the Marine Barracks security detail), written by USMC Sergeant Roger Boyajian, on 11/26/1963, unambiguously and definitively records the time of arrival of the President’s casket: 1835 hours local (in military time), or 6:35 PM, EST. This clearly marks the precise time of the shipping casket’s arrival.  So we know the time of arrival of the President’s casket: 1835 hours local (in military time), or 6:35 PM:




Watchman (1:05:50): Ah, Duplex, Duplex, this is Watchman,18 over.

[NOTE 18:  This is General Ted Clifton, Military Aide to the President, speaking. He has suddenly stopped using his own name and has reverted to the correct communications procedures, and is now using his WHCA code-name.]


Duplex:  
Go ahead Watchman, this is Duplex, over.

Watchman:  
Ah, Duplex, this is Watchman.  I understand that [you] have arranged…[fadeout]…[mor]tuary-type of ambulance [garbled] take President Kennedy to Bethesda. Is this correct, over?

Duplex: 
 Watchman, ah, there's been arranged to helicopter, helicopter, the body to Bethesda, over.

Watchman:  
Ah, this is Watchman. That's, ah, OK if it isn't after dark. What about the First Lady, over?

Duplex:  
Everybody else aboard, everybody else aboard, arrangements have been made to helicopter into the South Grounds.

Watchman: 
[garbled and unclear]…a helicopter operation will work when we have a very heavy casket, over.

Duplex:  
According to, ah, Witness,19 yes.

[NOTE 19:   “Witness” was the WHCA code-name for Navy Captain Tazewell Shepard, Naval Aide to the President.]


Watchman:  
This is Watchman. Ah, don't take a chance on that. Also, have a mortuary-type ambulance stand by in case the helicopter doesn't work.

Duplex: 
 That's affirmative. [garbled] That's affirmative, I received.

Watchman:  
Now, some other instructions. Listen carefully. Ah, we need a ramp, a normal ramp put at, put at the front of the aircraft, on the right-hand side, just behind the pilots cabin, in the galley. We are going to take the First Lady off by that route, over. Do you understand?

Duplex:  
I receive, affirmative.

Watchman:  
All right. Also, at the right rear--no, no, the left rear, the left rear of the aircraft where we usually dismount, debark, we may need a forklift rather than a ramp [garbled] it's too awkward. We may need a platform to walk out on and a forklift to put it on. It that possible, over?

Duplex:  
Say again, say again, Watchman.

Watchman:  
Ah, I say again. The casket is in the rear compartment and when--suggest, because it is so heavy, that we have a forklift, forklift back there, ah, to remove the casket. But if this is too awkward, we can go along with a normal ramp and several men, over.

Duplex:  
Affirmative, we will try for the forklift.

Watchman:
  Rog. Next item, ah, Duplex, next item. The, ah, press [ac]cording to Mrs. Johnson, the press is to have its normal little fence at Andrews field and he is going there by helicopter to the White House, over.

Duplex:  
Say again, Watchman, say again, please.  [static] Watchman, this is Duplex, say again.

Watchman:  
The fence for the press, the normal little corral, itll have to be [at] the front of the aircraft, but thats where the, President Johnson will come off, OK?

Duplex:  
Watchman, this is Duplex, will you say that all over again, please? Youre breaking--

Watchman:  
Duplex, this is Watchman, I say again: at the right front, a ramp for Mrs. Ken[nedy]; at the left rear, if possible, a forklift for the casket; and on the left front, near the pilot, [a] normal ramp, [a] normal press arrangement [garbled], over? [communications problems, background chatter follow]

Watchman
(1:10:02):  Did everybody get that clear, over?

Duplex: 
That is affirmative.

Watchman:
Hold one, Roy Kellerman would like to talk to you, over?

End of Side One

The Altgens photograph, where JFK is
clutching his throat from a shot through the windshield.

CONTINUE:  Side 2, “Clifton” Version



Duplex (3:52): [After many communications problems]…Go ahead, Digest, this is Duplex.

Digest: 
Again, I repeat, three helicopters [to] transport people to the White House lawn, OK?

Duplex:  
That is affirmative.

Digest: 
Roger, OK, White House 102 and 405-x for transportation to, ah, Navy Hospital, OK?

Duplex:
That is affirmative.


Digest:  That's a roger. Ah, I am keeping, ah, I will join Hill and his party at the Navy Hospital, OK?

Duplex:  
Digest, this is Duplex. You accompany the body aboard the helicopter.

Digest:   
Roger…request--I was unable to, ah, get ahold of Payne and Bob Burke…

Duplex:
  Go ahead, I'm, a, receive.

Andrews:  
Air Force One, Andrews, go ahead, sir.

Digest:  
This is Digest again, Duplex.

Duplex:
  Go ahead, Digest, this is Duplex.

Digest:  
[faint]…Payne and Burke at the Ranch, OK?

Duplex:  
Say again, Digest.

Digest:  
[?still?] Payne [and] Burke were not notified.

Duplex:  
OK.

Andrews:  
Say again, sir.

Duplex:  
That is affirmative, Digest.

Digest:  
OK, ah, Jerry, one more, ah, standby. OK, one more--[?Hubbard's shift?] is on 6970.

Duplex: 
Right. Go ahead, Digest.

Andrews:  
Say again, sir.

Duplex:
  Go ahead, Digest.

Digest: 
Repeat [garbled--“Hubbard”?] 6970, OK?

Duplex:
   That's affirmative, I receive.

Digest:  
Ah, do you have any questions? [Is] this enough?

Duplex:  
Ah, not at the moment; if we do we'll call back.

Digest
(7:17): Ah, standby, ah, I don't have anything, but I think they want the line open here.

Crown:
  Ah, roger, Digest, this is Crown, I have Witness standing by.20

[NOTE 20:  On four or five occasions, “Witness” (Navy Captain Tazewell Shepard) attempted to speak to Air Force One. There is no evidence on the “Clifton” tapes that he got through. *Not all of those attempts are quoted in this transcript.]


Crown
(7:33): Digest, Digest, Digest, this is Crown, come in. Ah, Digest, Digest, this
is Crown, come in.

Andrews:  
Standby, Crown. Air Force, Air Force One, Andrews.

Dagger: 
Ah, Dagger to Crown; Dagger to Crown.

Andrews: 
Air Force One, Andrews--say again, go ahead, sir.

Crown:
  Ah, Air Force One, Air Force One, this is Crown, come in.

Dagger:  
Ah, this is Dagger21 to Crown; I have traffic for Behn.

[NOTE 21: “Dagger” was the WHCA codename for Secret Service agent Rufus Youngblood, who was reputed to be Lyndon Johnson’s favorite Secret Service agent. He was riding with Vice President Johnson during the assassination of President Kennedy in Dealey Plaza.]


The original showed the bullet
hole, but it was replaced by the Secret Service.
Command Post (8:34): [garbled] Air Force Command Post, Air Force Weather, we're still waiting to bring up Air Force One; we've been waitin' now for 15 minutes, what's up?

Andrews: 
Right, sir, we're running two patches at one time to the White House, and they're real busy, we can't get through to 'em. They're making, ah, arrangements to take the body off, and everything else.

Command Post: 
Let me patch you into Air Force Weather, so you'll know…he'll know…

Andrews:
Right, I already told him that earlier. Air Force Command Post: Go ahead, Dick.

Air Force Weather:  
Weather's on.

Andrews:   
Hello, sir.

Air Force Weather:  
Yes, sir.

Andrews: 
 Right, we're running, ah, two patches at one time to Air Force One right now from the White House, and they're makin' arrangements about taking the casket and stuff off, and we, ah, can't get through to you. As soon as we can we'll give you a call.

Air Force Weather: 
OK, ah, he needs that temperature before he get[s] there.

Andrews:  
Right, sir, we'll get…He should be done pretty soon. They've been at it quite awhile now.

Air Force Weather:  
OK, buddy. Thank you, sir.

Andrews:  
Right, right.

Air Force One:  
Ah, Andrews, Air Force One, ah, loud and clear.  OK, ah, ah, standby and, ah, we'll have, ah, General Heaton come on this line as soon as the other patch is complete.

Colonel Dorman 
(11:05):  [This is] Colonel Dorman, General LeMay's aide.

Andrews: 
Right.

Colonel Dorman:  
General LeMay is in a C-140; last three numbers are “497.”  SAM C-140.


Andrews:   “497”--last three numbers.

Colonel Dorman: 
 Right. He's inbound. His code name is "Grandson," and I want to talk to him.

Andrews: 
"Grandson." OK, sir, we'll see what we can do. Ah, we're real busy with Air Force One right now.

Colonel Dorman:  
OK, ah, you don't have the capability to work more than one, huh?

Andrews:  
Ah, well, we're running, ah, Air Force One on two different frequencies, we're giving 'em two different patches at one time, right now, and that's all we can do.

Colonel Dorman:  
I see.

Andrews: 
And what, what is your, ah, drop, sir? Are you off [a] drop off the Washington switch?

Colonel Dorman:  
Well, I am, yes--either drop 303 or 79225.

Andrews:  
79225.

Colonel Dorman: 
But if you can't work him now, it's gonna be too late because he'll be on the ground in a half hour.

Andrews: 
OK--and what is your name again, sir?

Colonel Dorman: 
Colonel Dorman, D-O-R-M-A-N.

Andrews:  
D-O-R-M-A-N. OK, Ill try to get back to you if we can get him right away, sir.

Colonel Dorman:
Thank you.

Andrews: 
Right.22 (12:04)

[NOTE 22:   Like the earlier “black Cadillac” segment, this exchange between Colonel Dorman, General LeMay’s aide, and Andrews AFB, is not on the LBJ Library version of the Air Force One tapes. Presumably, in the 1960s when the “edited and condensed” version was assembled *and presumably this was in late 1963 or early 1964+, someone in a position of authority did not want General LeMay’s name to surface in the recording. Was it because of the well-known animosity between JFK and LeMay? Was it because General LeMay was at JFK’s autopsy (as alleged by Navy corpsman Paul K. O’Connor)? Was it because of the disobedience LeMay exhibited toward the civilian leadership that day in refusing orders from the Air Force Secretary to land at Andrews, by landing instead at Washington D.C.’s National Airport? At this writing in 2012, we do not know, and are not likely to know why this exchange between LeMay’s aide and Andrews was excised from the first, “edited and condensed” version of the Air Force One conversations. Journalist and JFK researcher Bill Kelly has interviewed Colonel Dorman’s widow and his grown children; from them he learned that Colonel Dorman was literally ALWAYS with the Air Force Chief of Staff, and by his side, seemingly no matter what activity LeMay was engaged in. It is therefore most curious that LeMay was on a trip to Canada for unknown reasons on the day President Kennedy was assassinated, and that he was furthermore on that trip without his aide. 
[As mentioned earlier, LeMay’s biographer also wrote inaccurately, in his 2009 biography of LeMay, that the Air Force Chief of Staff was hunting in Michigan when JFK was assassinated. Did LeMay lie to his family (or others) about where he was that day? And if so, why?] A “special air mission,” tail number 24197 (according to the Chuck Holmes Andrews Logbook), took off at 2:46 PM local (the takeoff site was not specified in the log) and was directed to go to Toronto to pick up LeMay; while enroute it was diverted to Wairton, Canada, vice Toronto, for reasons unknown. The C-140 aircraft that was sent to Canada to pick up LeMay then departed Wairton at 4:04 PM local time (in Canada), and landed at National Airport, just outside Washington, D.C. at 5:12 PM. The Chuck Holmes Logbook records that LeMay’s aide and driver were scheduled to meet the aircraft at National Airport, so whatever urgent message Colonel Dorman had for LeMay was surely delivered about 5:15 or 5:20 PM, local time. Another unanswered question is this: If LeMay needed a special air mission to pick him up, just how did he get to Toronto in the first place? Why did he not have an official aircraft with him in Canada? Did LeMay secretly leave the U.S. for Canada while hiding behind a cover story that he was “hunting in Michigan?” Everything about LeMay’s trip to Canada, and about his return to the U.S. that day, seems most peculiar.]


Andrews (12:35):  Go ahead…go ahead, Liberty.

Liberty:  
You want 18 upper [sideband], I have “970” on 90?

Andrews:  
You have “970” on 90.

Liberty:  
He's “off” at 2115, copy that, he's “off” at 2115, estimating 2330, relay to Alpha Juliet Two.

Andrews:  
2330 for Andrews, and he was “off,” ah, OK, he was “off” at 2115, estimating Andrews 2330, Alpha Juliet Two.23

[NOTE 23:  According to researcher Bill Kelly, “Liberty” was the WHCA codename for the Collins Radio facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (which had just recently gone on-line in 1962), whose job it was to facilitate air-ground communications between Air Force One and other stations, and to record all such conversations. “Liberty” is therefore the source of the Air Force One conversations in this transcript. The tail number “970” in this conversation refers to SAM 86970, more commonly known as “Air Force Two” on November 22, 1963. SAM 86970 was the aircraft assigned to Vice-President Johnson for the Texas trip. Having his own aircraft allowed Johnson to arrive at each of JFK’s destinations before the President, ensure that the local welcoming party was ready to meet and greet the President, and to be present on the ground in his home state of Texas when President Kennedy deplaned at each destination. Air Force Two’s takeoff time from Dallas is confirmed in this message as “2115” [Zulu time], or 3:15 local time in Dallas. (This concurs with the takeoff time two Secret Service agents recorded in after action reports.) Its prospective ETA at Andrews AFB was stated as 2330 [Zulu time], or 1830 hours local, or 6:30 PM EST. (This was a highly accurate ETA, for the Chuck Holmes Logbook records that the actual landing time was 1830 hours.) This segment about Air Force Two’s ATD Dallas and ETA Andrews is not on the LBJ Library tapes.] 


Liberty: 
 That's affirmative, and we're going to copy his, ah, ah, passenger list on teletype [?and?] send it to you. (13:11)

Air Force One 
(23:21):  Ah, Crown, Air Force One. Ah, this is a message from Wing going to Slugger. Slugger is to meet, ah, aircraft as soon as possible. Ah, if he cannot do this, he is to see Wing as soon as possible, as soon as possible, go ahead.

Crown:  
Ah, roger, roger, "Wing to Slugger, meet aircraft as soon as possible; if this is impossible, see Wing as soon as possible," go ahead.

Air Force One:  
That is correct, or contact him by any way feasible.

Crown:
 Ah, roger, roger, Crown understand[s].  Any, ah, further, go ahead?

Air Force One:  
[garbled] perspective, ah, Slugger is back in Dallas.

Crown:
 Ah, roger, roger.24

[NOTE 24:  “Wing” was the WHCA codename for President Kennedy’s Air Force Aide, USAF Brigadier General Godfrey McHugh. “Slugger” was the WHCA codename for Air Force photographer Captain Cecil Stoughton. Wing’s urgent need to talk to Slugger is most interesting. Cecil Stoughton took the famous series of photographs of Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn in as President of the United States aboard Air Force One on the tarmac in Dallas, at Love Field. History informs us that he stayed behind in Dallas to develop the film and to ensure that some of those photos were released to the media. At the beginning of his conversation, Wing seems unaware that Slugger stayed in Dallas, for he asks Crown to tell Stoughton to “meet the aircraft” (Air Force One) when it lands at Andrews. By the end of the conversation, Air Force One has become aware that Stoughton remained in Dallas, and Crown is so informed. One of the swearing-in photos--a rather infamous one whose original negative has now gone missing from the LBJ Library--is the “wink” photo, showing a smiling Congressman Al Thomas (of Houston) winking at LBJ immediately after the swearing-in was completed.

I am speculating here, but I wonder if Wing’s message for Slugger was to order him NOT to publish that particular photograph? Congressman Thomas flew to Andrews on Air Force One, and may have discussed being photographed during “the wink” with the new President. If so, this could explain Wing’s urgent desire to speak to Slugger. [The Air Force photographer officially worked for the Air Force aide, just as Robert Knudsen, the Navy photographer at the White House, officially worked for the Naval aide.] Author Richard Trask, in his book Pictures of the Pain, revealed that the LBJ Library told him it could not locate the negative of that one particular image; the Library did have all of the other negatives from the swearing-in ceremony. Fortunately, the LBJ Library sent David Lifton a print of the infamous photo, and he published it in Best Evidence. It has been widely reproduced in other books since that time. Cecil Stoughton expressed surprise, hostility, and defensiveness when Lifton asked him about the photo prior to its publication in Best Evidence; in my view, this makes it highly likely that “the wink” was probably the subject of Wing’s urgent message for Slugger. Negatives do not disappear on their own--Stoughton’s defensive reaction about that photograph, prior to its publication by Lifton, suggests that he may have removed the original negative from the collection, on Wing’s orders. Trask reported in his book, Pictures of the Pain, that the LBJ Library possessed a print of that photo, but not the original negative. This in itself suggests a botched cover-up, something all too familiar to students of the JFK assassination.]

Warrior
(28:49):  Ah, Winner, Winner, this is Warrior, will you please advise press that, ah, normal press coverage, including live TV, will be allowed, ah, at the base. Volunteer, ah, repeat, ah, Volunteer will, ah, make statement on arrival, will make statement on arrival. Did you read that, over?25

[NOTE 25: “Warrior” was the WHCA codename for Assistant White House Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff.  Kilduff was in charge of public relations for the Texas trip because Press Secretary Pierre Salinger was enroute Tokyo (on SAM 86972, with several Cabinet members) on November 22, 1963, to help pave the way for JFK’s intended visit to Japan. “Winner” was the WHCA codename for White House staffer Andrew Hatcher.]


Winner:  
I read you clearly.  Ah, will you listen to my question--is Mrs. Kennedy aboard Air Force One?

Warrior:  
Ah, Winner, Winner, this is Warrior. That is a roger, that is a roger, over.

Winner: 
 Alright, the other thing is, ah, I'm setting up a press section on the South Lawn about, ah, 50 yards, ah, from, ah, from the position of helicopter number 1. Will that meet Mrs. Kennedy's and the President's approval?

Warrior:  
Ah, Winner, ah, they are not returning to the House, they are not returning to the House. Ah, for your own information, ah, they are going somewhere else; I don't want to go into the radio on this.

one. So, there will be an arrival there, but it will be Volunteer, it will be Volunteer, over.

Winner:  
Thank you, I will hold that information and, ah, we can say something after you arrive. Ah, let's see, hold it just a second, let me look through my list of questions. Is it true that the body of President Kennedy will go to Bethesda Naval Hospital?

Warrior:
 Ah, that is a roger, that is a roger, but we are not saying that yet, over.

Winner:  
Well, we've already, we've already said it. I should have checked with you before doing it, but I don't think it makes too much difference. It takes a lot of, you know, ah, we should know it, and it takes a lot, ah, off of us by doing it. I was in error, over.

Command Post 
(57:06):  [This is] Air Force Command Post.

AF1:  
Go ahead, Command Post, Air Force One.

Command Post: 
Ah, “373” departing at 2141 Zulu [interference, static, garbled].

AF1:  
Ah, roger, what is the, ah, complete plane number?

Command Post:  
Air Force One, did you copy?

AF1:  
Ah, roger, and ah, who does this information go to, go ahead?  [static, garbled]

Command Post:  
Ah, say again?

AF1:  
Roger, who is this information passed to, go ahead? [static, communications problems]

Command Post:  
Air Force One, Air Force One, [This is] Air Force Command Post, over.

AF1: 
 Command Post, Air Force One, I read you loud and clear. I understand “373” departed at 2141; who do you wish notified about this, go ahead?

Command Post:  
[garbled]…the one with the Presidential cars on board.26

[ NOTE 26:  The Presidential limousine (a stretched, customized Lincoln Continental) and the large  Secret Service follow-up car (a Cadillac convertible touring car with running boards, informally designated the "Queen Mary"), were being flown back to Andrews AFB on a C-130 cargo aircraft. This same aircraft was used to transport them earlier in the Texas trip, from stop to stop.  After arrival at Andrews AFB, they were driven to the White House garage, and inspected by both the Secret Service and the FBI.]


AF1:
 Ah, roger, we'll pass that--I know where it goes now, thank you.
The Bethesda right-lateral cranial X-ray (left), with the "patch" outlined (right),
 discovered by David W. Mantik, M.D.,Ph.D., applying the method of optical densitometry.

AF1 (58:13): OK, ah, would you call SAM Command Post, and have them, ah, to, ah, request, ah, two--correction--four Air Police meet the airplane? We want two in the front of the airplane and two in the rear, go ahead.

Andrews:  Ah, Air Force One, yes, understand you are requesting two staff cars, ah, two, ah, ah, staff cars with, ah, Air Police, ah, two in the front and two in the rear, is that correct?

AF1:
 Negative on the cars. Just the Air Police, we want, ah, security guards, we want four of them, ah, two at each door of the airplane, go ahead.

Andrews
(59:23):  AF1, AF1, AF1, Tanker on the line, go ahead, Tanker.

Tanker:
 Ah, hello, Angel, hello, Angel. May I speak with Watchman or Tiger? Watchman or Tiger, over?

AF1:  
Roger, Watchman is busy at the present time on another circuit; standby for Tiger.

Tanker:  
Standing by for Tiger.

Tiger:  
[This is] Tiger, how do you read, over?

Tanker:  
Ah, five-by-five, Tiger, five-by-five. I have been informed from Dallas that it was desired that the aircraft be parked in a [sic] isolated spot, ah, when you arrive here. Ah, however, Watchman had a long discussion with Behn and, ah, nothing about that was mentioned, and the present plan on the ground here is to spot you  at the regular place unless, ah, Watchman says now that this is not desired, over.

Tiger
27:  I believe they are parking [us] at the regular place. Ah, Tanker, where did you get that information from in Dallas, over?

[NOTE 27:  “Tiger” was the WHCA codename for Colonel James Swindal, the pilot of SAM 26000.]


Tanker: 
Ah, it was from the U.S. Air Force Command Post agent there, and I understood from him that you had told him to do this, over.

Tiger:  
Well, we told him to look into that, and then [garbled] up there, I guess [garbled] we were going to discuss it in flight.

Tanker:
  I see.

Tiger:  
Ah, please go ahead with the present plan and park [us] in the regular place. I asked Hornbuckle to get in touch with you and passed some instructions to him.  Ah, we need steps in the right front of the aircraft; the press box will be on the left front of the aircraft; and President Johnson will deplane at the, ah, front of the aircraft; and we need a forklift at the rear of the aircraft; and Lace will deplane on the right front, over.

Tanker:  
Ah, understand, ah, Tiger, understand those instructions and they have all been carried out. Ah, we will continue with the plan to spot you in the regular place; there will be a ramp left front, a ramp right front, a forklift left rear, the press area left front, over.

Tiger:  
Mighty fine, and, ah, we'll keep in touch.

Tanker:  
Roger, thank you, and out.

Crown
(1:01:41):  Ah, AF1, AF1, AF1, from Crown.

AF1:
  Ah, Crown, AF1, go ahead.

Crown:
  Ah, roger, roger. Could you pass this to Wing, pass this to Wing?  On his message to Slugger, his message to Slugger--Slugger was still in Dallas, still in Dallas, and has been advised to contact Wing as soon as he possibly can.

AF1:
  Ah,  roger, Air Force One copy, will pass.

Crown
(1:06:04):  Ah, roger, Air Force One, ah, standby; go ahead, ah…

Stoughton:  
[garbled, faint] Wing?

Air Force One:  
Standby, he's on the other--he's on the Charlie set right now.

Stoughton:  
It's very important.

Air Force One:  
Who's calling, please?

Stoughton:  
Captain Stoughton, in Dallas.

Air Force One:
 OK, standby one. [static]

AF1
(1:06:46):  This is Air Force One, Warrior advises unable to speak with you at the present time, and, ah, asks you to please call White House in about 30 minutes, go ahead.

Stoughton:
 That's a roger, out.

AF1
(1:07:20):  Ah, roger, do you have [an] ETA on the, ah, C-130 with the vehicles?

SAM Command Post:  
Ah, negative sir, haven't heard a thing [garbled].

AF1:
  OK, ah, right, thank you.

SAM Command Post:  
Ah, we'll check it out.

AF1
(1:07:55):  [?Hey?] Command Post, Air Force One, ah, landed [at] Andrews at two three zero zero.28

[NOTE 28: This equates to 2300 Zulu time, or 1800 hours local (in military time), or 6:00 PM, EST.]


SAM Command Post:  
Air Force One, Command Post, out.

AF1
(1:08:16):  Andrews, make it, ah, zero four, please.

Andrews:
 Air Force One, Andrews, roger, on the blocks, zero four. Good day, sir.

AF1:
  OK, thank you.29

[NOTE 29:  Time “on the blocks,” when chocks had been placed around the aircraft’s tires, was 2304 Zulu time, or 1804 hours local (in military time), or 6:04 PM EST. “Block time” was equated with actual time of arrival, or end of mission.  Zulu time (or Greenwich Mean Time) is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, when Daylight Savings Time is not in effect.]


END



Jim Fetzer,
a former Marine Corps officer, has edited three books and chaired or co-chaired four national conferences on the death of JFK.

Douglas Horne,
the former Chief Analyst for Military Records for the Assassination Records Review Board, recently published his five-volume study, INSIDE THE ARRB (2009).

20 comments:

  1. WTF cares any more? LBJ, the CIA, and others in the gov't got away with a coup. That was 50 years ago. The Kennedy assassinations are old, old news. They're like 911 only more so. Focus on what's current and give those who overturned the old order the same respect we've given Washington, Hamilton, Marshall, Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, and their successors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What an ass you are. Past is prologue. Don't you get it?

      Delete
    2. You suffer from myopia, my friend---the illusion that only what is happening RIGHT NOW is important. Remember what Santayana said about history? Oh, sorry, never mind...you wouldn't know what he said because you only care about what is going on TODAY.

      Delete
    3. One way to tell a person is not serious, especially when they claim that certain research is insignificant, is that they have BOTHERED TO REPLY. Rather like the claim that Lee Oswald was the "long assassin" while concurrently maintaining that the documents and records cannot be released for 75 years on the ground of "national security", if the official account were accurate, then would be NO "national security" aspect to the assassination. Here we have a nice case where, digging deeper and deeper, we get more and more confirmation of the elaborate cover-up to conceal the true causes of death of our 35th president. Jackson is not only wrong but posting what he has here discredits his sincerity and motivation. The man is, at the very least, a cad and would appear to be much worse at that.

      Delete
    4. Jackson, you obviously cared enough to read & post. Next time you don't want to know about old news (history)......Save yourself some time, don't read & then you won't waste time posting.

      Delete
  2. This article is a lot more than just interesting. It is a major accomplishment that rips back the curtain even further than Prof. Fetzer's previous three classics, best called the JFK Assassination Trilogy Series (Assassination Science, Murder In Dealey Plaza, and the Great Zapruder Film Hoax)which are must reads for anyone who wants the truth about the actual coup de etat behind the JFK Assassination. These three excellent well
    documented books are based on extensive,well documented scientific research by panels of independent experts and presented grand jury
    ready evidence strong enough for the indictment
    and successful convictions of many living govt
    officials for their part in the JFK Assassination and its coverup as accessories after the fact, which, by the way continues even today with millions of dollars budgeted to various intel agencies responsible for its continuance.

    This alone illustrates the importance of the JFK Assassination to the current nazification of the USA via the illicit, RICO criminal, unCostitutional stasi based Homeland Security.

    Finally after all these years of lies, deceit and treason, Dr. Fetzer's work has clearly and emphatically laid bare the evil machinations of the secret team which has included Bush, one of the main planners, perpetrators, and coverup agents of the JFK Assasination.

    Certainly this article and the monumental, highly respected supporting research by Doug Horne shows the depth of Bush and the other in the secret team's treason (as noted by Col. Fletcher Prouty) and those who have served as accessories after the fact to perpetrate this massive coverup, truly one of the greatest crimes of American history. Much of the recent conversion of the USA to a Fourth Reich, Nazi/Stasi police state can be credited to the treachery, sedition, treason and murder of key political figures such as JFK, MLK RFK, Gov. Carnahan, John Tower, Sen. Paul Wellstone and hundreds more who refused to become traitors, not to mention the thousand harassed by Govt bureaucrats and the hundreds of honest intel framed and thrown into such hell traps as vacaville. In fact, these perps who have been running the JFK Assassination and associated coverup op were directly responsible for the 50,000 American deaths and hundreds of thousands severely wounded in Vietnam,the over 1 million dead civilians there, and most of the future undeclared, illegal, unConstitutional,
    unprovoked wars the US has entered into since. They are also alleged to be associated with 95% of the illegal narcotic trafficking into the USA and massive money laundering through certain large key banks.

    Certainly, after examining all the now available evidence and testimony by eyewitnesses, it would not be much of a stretch to blame much of the growth of the illegal, unConstitutional shadow govt and the new national security state along with the Murrah bombing, the first twin towers attack, and the 911 attacks on the folks actually running the current JFK Assassination coverup.

    This extremely well done article finally establishes in history for all in the future to know that not only was the JFK Assasination coverup a monstrous conspiracy, but an extension and continuance of the same govt
    conspiracy that murdered him and numerous other political leaders.

    Now just stop for a minute and ask yourself this question, why is the USG still funding intel agencies millions to run an active coverup which to this day keeps all major mass media (6) from publishing any real truth about the JFK Assassination and assures that they keep publishing Govt authored misinformation,
    typically based around the obvious "Oswald did it lie" and the "magic Bullet" theory which no-one who is even remotel rational actually believes?

    After reading this superb article you should be
    able to emphatically answer that question.

    Preston James, Ph.D., Sociologist

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    1. Well said Preston. In my opinion, you have nicely demonstrated that there is a critical link between the conspiracy to murder JFK, the coverup and the full police state roll-out ccurrently underway in the USA.

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    2. Without doubt... One thing 40 years worth of investigation into the NWO, Luciferian folks have shown me that they wear many types and variations of guises... Sometime political, educational, religious, public service, politics, civil, et al.... Never fail to look back at history.... We all fail in our insight at the present, as Jackson says about living in the present... However, I can tell that with your uptight, anal retentive and myopic approach to the study of just who, what, when where and how of the evil conspirators and in the fashion of their design have been the f_____ to steal our lives, our children's future and their posterity beyond that... Basically, STFU.

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  3. Thanks for your sincere support.

    Doug Horne

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    1. Once again Doug, fantastic work. Do I understand that in light of this new information, you believe BRD that JFK's body was flown by helicopter to Bethesda inside the metal shipping crate and then placed in the black hearse in preparation for casket entry # 1?

      Would it be possible to find someone who could testify to the flight at this late stage or someone who could testify that they saw a metal shipping casket taken off a helicopter at Bethesda and be placed in a black herse?

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  4. Major kudos to investigators such as David Lifton, James Fetzer, and Doug Horne, who have done yeoman's work in this field!! I own one, three and five volumes, respectively of these gentlemen, incidentally.

    A few comments:

    Lifton (and Horne) seem to have accepted the idea that the body-switch was accomplished on AF1, and that the body was hidden in a baggage compartment (which was first presented to me in Craig Robert's "Kill Zone." This fellow evidently had solid experience in the aircraft industry, and with this particular aircraft). I find this argument compelling

    Mr.Fetzer: “Murder in Dealey Plaza” (First Chapter…Chronology by Ira David Wood) lists the arrival of AF1 AAFB as 5:05 (not 6 P.M.), and the first arrival at Bethesda at 5:45 (not 6:35). Please, how do you account for the contradiction? One reason I ask is that-with the 5:45 time-there may have been very ample time to make a "pit-stop" at Walter Reed, and still make it over to Bethesda (in the midst of the lunatic "musical chairs" of coffin arrivals). Consider also, that there has been testimony that some of the autopsy photos show walls that were not at Bethesda, and that the historical record mentions Walter Reed several times, as the body destination (though, yes, this may have been no more than "Plan A").

    If a couple of doctors viewed the original wounds at Bethesda (before Humes damaged the skull, to obliterate the evidence)-as you mention in the above article--how could the morticians still view the original wounds, AFTER the mischief had been done? This seems an important contradiction.

    My best,

    Dr. Halle

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  5. Yes there is a blow out in the back right side of John's head. But if you watch high speed film of ballistics there is always a back blast against the travel of a missle. sometimes almost as large as the explosive wound of exit. The doctors at Parkland were right in saying there was a wound behind John's ear in the back right side of his head. But not directly in the back of his head Because the doctors testified they never lifted his head and JFK was on his back the whole time while in the emergency room. And Jackie Kennedy testified that she was holding his head down at the top. While she held the exit wound together it stayed together and clotted. The doctors missed this because they only had from 12:40 pm to 1:00 pm with JFK. And most of this time was used to create airways, administer fluids and blood, CPR and so forth. The doctors also testified that after 1:00 pm they did not have the heart to examine JFK after that. I think it is time to believe the evidence and know that Lee ended John Kennedy's life. If anything is to be proven different than the findings of the Warren Commission it will not be by trying to disprove the found evidence or by conjecture but by solid evidence not found. But taken into account that so many years have gone by and no solid evidence has been produced to prove a conspiracy I think there never will be, no how many opinions, speculations or "I know who did it" are out there.

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    1. Mr. Ska…The "blow-out" was only in the right occipito-parietal part of the cranium (not in the front of the skull), and no one here has answered my question about the arrival of AF1 at Andrews AFB…which we happen to know, at this time, was NOT the usual AF1 Boeing 707, but another, similar plane with the ventral tail fin).

      I am appalled by the words of people like Ska, who may begin with a seemingly reasonable comment, then very quickly revert to the usual vapid, and lunatic, verbiage, insisting on Oswald’s guilt. All the evidence suggests he was the assigned "fall-guy," just as he claimed. Please, no more junk Warren Report apologetics. Millions of Americans have "had it up to here" with Looney-Tunes hypotheses, like the "Lone Bullet Theory," and Oswald as Lone Gunman. Give it a rest!!

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  6. Is there any significance to the lights being off on the tarmac at Andrews when the plane arrived? It was noted in the news coverage of the enent. I had assumed lights (television lights, I believe) had to be off for pilot safety reasons. The shroud of darkness, however, could have aided the effort to remove the body from the plane without being noticed. there is a YouTube video, about 9 minutes long, of the television coverage I refer to. Thanks.

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  8. This is an excellent and clear article..... i have a few questions: 1)Does the author believe that Gen Clifton in joining with Behn( Crown) in seeking to persuade JBK to proceed to the WH by helo was aware of the body switch?If so,did he develop this aim that afternoon or was it part of an existing plan......2)the author discounts a switch during the swearing-in but i believe considers that LBJ was highly "involved" in the coup d etat....has he altogether discounted the possibility that by insisting on a swearing-in on board AF1 and upon the attendance of the JFK party he did create an opportunity for a more measured switch...whilst for sure this does leave out McHughs role if any in whats going on...Has he any explanation for McHughs description of what happened outside the front entrance of Bethesda when he was discussing embalming with various top brass and "noticed nothing unusual-no decoy/no lost Casket Team".3)What if the SS hadnt been bothered by Rose?In such a case the Dallas casket would have arrived at Andrews with the body still inside.Was it the plan for the SS to override JBK and RFK if they insisted on remaining with the casket as in fact happened?.Was it the SS plan to risk strong-arming JBK in front of TV cameras to enforce her separation and that of the Chief Law Officer were there a problem?Is what happened on AFI -and its certain there was a switch-all ad hoc damage control,or was there a specific plan which took into account a series of possible responses by the widow having as its main aim,to find time and opportunity to sanitize the corpse? Was the switch a Kellerman panic attack or part of a more established plan?

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  9. has anyone here seen the nix film and the 2 images inside the pergola to the right of zapruder, and the smoke trail?

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  10. Nice work, Jim. However, may I assume that you know that the plane you pictured is NOT the plane which returned the LBJ and JFK parties (and presumably the body of JFK)?

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  11. Ah, I see that Prof. Fetzer does show the correct aircraft lower down on the page.

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  12. I firmly believe President Kennedy was the Victim of a coup d"etat by the "Powers that Be."I have Thought so,Ever since I saw that phony scene of Ruby shooting Oswald-I thought How phony&I was 13yrs.old.Also,Oswald asked for legal representation,multiple times&Never received it-How Come?

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