Mexico City - Pandora's Box
Following is the full text, with footnotes, of the
Mexico City chapter from John Armstrongs Harvey and Lee: How the
CIA framed Oswald (ISBN 0-9745097-0-1, Quasar Press, Arlington,
Texas, 1022 pages). This
chapter appears on pages 614-706 of the bound book. It is copyright Ó
2003 by John Armstrong and is posted here with the expressed permission of
Following is the full text, with footnotes, of the Mexico City chapter from John Armstrongs Harvey and Lee: How the CIA framed Oswald (ISBN 0-9745097-0-1, Quasar Press, Arlington, Texas, 1022 pages). This chapter appears on pages 614-706 of the bound book. It is copyright Ó 2003 by John Armstrong and is posted here with the expressed permission of the author.
On Thursday, September 26, 1963 the White House announced that President Kennedy would visit major cities in Texas on November 21 and 22nd. A Presidential visit to Dallas, like most other major metropolitan cities, was to include a drive through the downtown area.
September 26, 1:20 pm - Lee Oswald arrives in Laredo, Texas
Continental Trailways bus #5133 departed Houston at 2:35 am on September 26 with a stop in Corpus Christi before arriving in Laredo, Texas at 1:20 pm in the afternoon. The bus averaged 27 mph for the 349 mile trip from Houston to Laredo.
The FBI interviewed employees of Continental Trailways in Laredo to see if they remembered selling Oswald a ticket to Mexico City, with negative results. The FBI then asked Claude A. Piatt and R. H. Thomas, the drivers of bus #5133, if they remembered Oswald as a passenger en route to Nuevo Laredo, also with negative results.
NOTE: The FBI also interviewed employees of Continental Trailways and Greyhound in New Orleans, Lake Charles, Beaumont, Houston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Laredo in an attempt to determine where Oswald purchased the Continental Trailways bus ticket from Laredo, Texas to Mexico City, with negative results.
September 26 - Laredo, Texas to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
Eugene Pugh, in charge of the US Customs office at Laredo, Texas, said that Oswald was checked by American Immigration upon entering and leaving Mexico. Pugh said, "This was not the usual procedure, but US Immigration (INS) had a folder on Oswald's trip."
NOTE: This information was published in the Herald Tribune on November 26, 1963. In 1997, former FBI SA James Hosty said that Oswald's visit to the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City was reported to the FBI by INS, who undoubtedly received this information from the CIA station in Mexico City.
The travel document with which Oswald allegedly entered Mexico was form FM-8, which was good for one visit to the interior of Mexico for up to 15 days. Another travel document which was not used by Oswald, was form FM-5, which was valid for 180 days. These documents were commonly referred to as a tourist visas or tourist cards, were individually numbered, and consisted of an original and a carbon copy duplicate.
Tourist card No. 24085 shows that "Lee, Harvey Oswald" entered Mexico at Nuevo Laredo between the hours of 6:00 am and 2:00 pm on Thursday, September 26. Oswald allegedly gave the carbon copy duplicate of form FM-8 to Mexican Immigration Inspector Helio Tuexi Maydon. The original card, allegedly retained by Oswald, was to be surrendered to Mexican Immigration upon leaving the country.
The FM-8, issued at the Mexican Consulate in New Orleans, recorded that Oswald was 23 years old, married, a photographer, resided in New Orleans, and listed his destination as Mexico City. Maydon's supervisor, Raul Luebano, advised, "Our inspector said that his best recollection was that Oswald was traveling with two women and a man in an automobile. Oswald was dressed in a sailor's uniform and said he was a photographer."
NOTE: The FBI learned the young couple driving the automobile were Bill Steve Allen and Elaine Esterman Allen, from Miami, Florida, but determined they were not traveling with Oswald. Curiously, their names appear as Stephen Alan Brill and Elaine Esterman Brill on the FM-8 tourist cards.
Normally, a visitors means of travel into Mexico was recorded on their FM-8 form with a stamped, typed, or handwritten notation. However, the means of travel allegedly used by Oswald for entry into Mexico did not appear on his FM-8 form, No. 24085. At the end of each day the tourist cards (FM-5 and FM-8) were collected and delivered to the Mexican Immigration Office in Nuevo Laredo. Clerical personnel then typed the name of each tourist on Mexican Immigration form FM-11.
The FBI fails to locate records of Oswald's entry or departure
Shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy two men in their mid-30's, in uniform, showed up at Flecha Roja bus lines in Mexico City. They confiscated the original manifest for bus No. 516, which Oswald allegedly rode from Nuevo Laredo to Mexico City. They then confiscated the duplicate copy of the bus manifest from the Flecha Roja terminal in Nuevo Laredo. These bus manifests disappeared weeks before the FBI knew how Oswald entered Mexico. When the FBI tried to locate the bus manifests they learned that both had been confiscated by the Mexican Federal Judicial Police.
On December 2, 1963 the American Consul at Nuevo Laredo, Harvey Cash, was given a list of the names of tourists who entered Mexico at Nuevo Laredo on September 26 and departed Mexico at Nuevo Laredo on October 3 (Oswald's alleged date of departure). The lists were derived from Mexican tourist forms FM-8 and FM-5, but Oswald's name was not on the list. As of December 2, 1963 the FBI did not know by what means of transportation Oswald had entered Mexico.
On December 5, 1963 the SAC in San Antonio sent a teletype to the FBI Director and the SAC in Dallas which stated, "Investigation to date has failed to establish subject returned to US on October 3 last or entered Mexico on September 26 last."
The following day, however, a baggage list turned up in the hands of FBI SA Robert Chapman, the resident FBI agent in Laredo. This list was allegedly obtained from Flecha Roja by Galdino Sanchez Martinez, a Mexican Customs Inspector, private detective, and FBI informant (SA 599-C). On December 6, 1963 Chapman reviewed the list, re-typed it, and wrote "Lee H. Oswalt" next to the entry for seat number 14 (later changed to "Lee H. Oswalj)." This baggage list was the only written "evidence" which the FBI had to show that Oswald was aboard Flecha Roja bus No. 516 en route to Mexico City. The obvious question? Was the baggage list fabricated?
This baggage list contained only the names of passengers who had luggage stored in the baggage compartment. Oswald, as we shall see, had only one bag which was stored in the rack above his feet. Therefore, Oswald's name should not have appeared on this baggage list and the authenticity of this document is doubtful. The only document which shows that Oswald entered Mexico is the FM-5 tourist card.
Nuevo Laredo to Monterrey, Mexico
After Oswald cleared Mexican Immigration he proceeded to Mexican Customs to have his one bag inspected before reboarding the bus to Monterrey at 2:30 pm. The first four seats on the bus were reserved for English speaking passengers. The two front seats were occupied by Dr. John Bryan McFarland and his wife Maryl, a middle aged couple from Liverpool, England. Oswald took a seat behind the McFarlands and sat next to an elderly Englishman named John Bowen, with whom he conversed during much of the trip.
Two hours after departing Nuevo Laredo the bus made a 10-minute rest stop at Sabinas Hidalgo before continuing on to Monterrey.
NOTE: On December 2, 1963 Harvey Cash, the American Consul at Nuevo Laredo, furnished a list of persons who entered Mexico at Nuevo Laredo on September 26, 1963 to the FBI. The list was obtained from Gilberto Cazares Garza, Chief of Mexican Immigration, and Roberto Morales, Chief of Mexican Customs. The list contained the names of Dr. John McFarland, Maryl McFarland, and John H. Bowen, but not the name of Lee Harvey Oswald, H.O. Lee, or any variation thereof.
According to John Bowen, aka Albert Osborne, there was a roster of bus passengers and it was signed by each passenger.
September 26, 6:00 pm - Lee Oswald arrives in Monterrey
Pamela Lillian Mumford, 21 years old, and Patricia Clare Rashleigh Winston, 22 years old, were born in the Fiji Islands and raised in Australia where their families were friends. In 1963 Mumford was working in New York City and residing with Winston at 222 West 23rd St.
On August 24, 1963 the two young women were issued Mexican tourist cards in New York City. After purchasing bus tickets at Continental Trailways, which allowed them unlimited travel within the US for 90 days, they left New York and traveled to Washington, DC, Miami, New Orleans, and continued through Texas to Laredo. On Wednesday, September 25, 1963 they purchased bus tickets to Mexico City at the Continental Trailways terminal in Laredo, Texas.
NOTE: Continental Trailways was affiliated with the Flecha Roja bus line in Mexico (Greyhound was affiliated with Transportes del Norte bus line). The assistant manager of Continental Trailways in Laredo, Mr. Luis Mora, told the FBI that a ticket issued in the US for travel to Mexico could be utilized in Mexico at any of the various autobus lines.
The girls departed Laredo at 10:00 am on September 25 and crossed into Mexico at 11:00 am. They arrived in Monterrey, Mexico at 6:00 pm where they spent the night, toured the city the following day, and departed for Mexico City in the evening. Mumford told the Warren Commission, "We left Monterrey, I know, on the night of September 26 at 7:30 pm.....it was a bus company called Transportes del Norte."
NOTE: The Warren Commission disagreed with Mumford and said that Oswald and the two girls were aboard the "Flecha Roja" bus line and departed Monterrey at 6:30 pm. Neither the McFarlands nor John Bowen were asked the name of the bus line.
The two girls walked past Dr. & Mrs. McFarland, who were sitting in the front row, Lee Oswald and John Bowen, who were sitting in the second row, and took seats toward the rear of the bus. Mumford told the Commission that during the trip, "They were talking quite a lot, the four of them.....And we could hear them talking a lot, and laughing, when we were sitting in the back, wondering what was going on."
When Oswald heard Mumford and Winston talking, in English, he left his seat and walked to the back of the bus. Without introducing himself he began talking to the girls, said he was from Fort Worth, and asked where they were from. Oswald showed them a 1959 passport with HIS PHOTO, and cancellation stamps that showed travel to the Soviet Union. He told the girls that he had studied in Moscow, had an apartment, and lived there for two years (not true).
NOTE: Harvey Oswald entered the US in June 1962 with his 1959 passport, which was valid thru 1966. For unexplained reasons Harvey applied for a new passport in June 1963, which invalidated his 1959 passport.
The passport which Lee Oswald showed to the Australian girls in September 1963 was Harvey Oswald's 1959 passport. When the Dallas Police confiscated Harvey's possessions from 1026 N. Beckley on 11/22/63, they did not find this passport. The only passport they found was Oswald's new passport issued in June 1963 (Turner Ex. No 1).
The FBI had custody of Oswald's possessions from November 23 to November 26. When the Bureau returned Harvey Oswald's possessions to the Dallas Police on November 26, two passports were listed on the joint DPD/FBI inventory (CE 2113)-item 446 (the 1963 passport) and item 449 (the 1959 passport). The 1959 passport, which was not initialed by Dallas Police detectives, listed on their inventory, or photographed on November 22/23, was added to the inventory between November 23 to November 26 by the FBI in Washington, DC.
Oswald also told the girls that he had been to Japan while in the Marines and had previously made several trips to Mexico (see Donald Norton, the Luma Hotel, Richard Case Nagell, Shasteen). He said that on several previous trips he had stayed at the Hotel Cuba, in Mexico City, and recommended it as clean and inexpensive.
Mumford remembered that Oswald wore a dark, charcoal gray colored wool sweater, and remembered that he had one piece of luggage, a small zipper bag, which he stored in the rack above his feet. During the trip, Oswald was very talkative yet said nothing about communism, Castro, Cuba, or political issues. Mumford recalled that Oswald had thinning, curly, wiry hair. Harvey had thinning, straight hair-not wiry!
NOTE: On December 15, 1963 Hoover sent a teletype to the SAC in New York and advised that Patricia Clare Rashleigh Winston and Pamela Lillian Mumford were passengers on the Flecha Roja bus from Monterrey to Mexico City. Curiously, neither of their names appear on the bus manifest from Monterrey to Mexico City.
Winston was very important to the Warren Commission, as she was the only witness who said that Lee Harvey Oswald was on Flecha Roja bus #516 from Monterrey to Mexico City.
During the trip, the girls approached the elderly English gentlemen, John Bowen, and asked about the weather in Mexico. Bowen told the girls "The young man traveling beside me has traveled to Mexico also. Why don't you talk to him?"
NOTE: After the assassination, the McFarland's, Mumford, and Winston identified the young man they talked to on the bus as "Lee Harvey Oswald," and photographs of John Bowen as the man who sat next to Oswald.
History of Albert Alexander Osborne, aka John Howard Bowen
The man who sat behind the McFarland's and next to Lee Oswald was an elderly Englishman who used two names-Albert Alexander Osborne and John Howard Bowen. MEX, 63-01 The FBI had considerable difficulty in locating this man and an even more difficult time getting truthful answers from him.
The FBI knew from Mexican Immigration records that "John Howard Bowen" entered Mexico at Nuevo Laredo on September 26 and listed his address as Houston, Texas. They determined that a John Howard Bowen, born January 14, 1887 in Chester, Pennsylvania, had once resided in Houston, Texas. After they were unable to locate Bowen in Houston, the Bureau interviewed, Dr. and Mrs. McFarland, who sat in the seats directly in front of Bowen and Oswald en route to Mexico City. The McFarlands said the man who sat behind them claimed to be an 80-year-old schoolteacher who said he lived in Tennessee and Cuernavaca, Mexico. When the FBI searched for Bowen in Tennessee, they located several news articles about him in the Knoxville Journal.
The first article, which appeared on December 5, 1953, reported that John Bowen, of Box 308, Laredo, Texas had established the first protestant missionary, a Baptist Church, in the land of the Mixteca Indians. The source of this information was a letter written by Bowen himself to the Knoxville Journal.
NOTE: On 12/26/63 FBI agent Arthur Carter interviewed Ivan D. Maricle, Associate Registrar of the Baptist Annuity Board, who advised they had no record of John Howard Bowen and doubted he was a Baptist minister.
The FBI learned that at 5:05 am on December 11, 1953 John Howard Bowen was arrested at the Woods Hotel, 412 Travis in Houston, and held for "investigation in connection with a mattress fire." Bowen was fingerprinted and his prints matched those of Albert Osborne who was interviewed by the FBI in 1964.
Records of the social security administration show that someone, either John Howard Bowen, born 1/14/80 in Chester, PA, or Albert Osborne using Bowens social security number (ss #449-36-9745), worked 3-4 months per year at the Chronicle Building in Houston, Texas from 1952-1955. In 1955 social security records show that someone, using ss #449-36-9745, worked at the YMCA and the Panoram Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
NOTE: In 1944 social security records show that someone using ss #449-36-9745 worked at the Jung Hotel in New Orleans and the Terminal Cafe in Laredo, TX. In 1948 someone using ss #449-36-9745 worked for Spur Distributing Company in Nashville, TN. and in 1951 and 1952 worked at the Woods Hotel in Houston, TX.
On April 5, 1958 records of the Mexican Ministry of the Interior show that Albert Osborne, who was also known in Mexico as John H. Bowen and John H. Owen, was deported as an undesirable alien from Mexico at Nuevo Laredo. He was accused of selling an automobile in Oaxaca without paying import duties and did not have proper immigration papers. Mexican Immigration contacted the Canadian Royal Mounted Police for information on Osborne and found the address he had given in Canada was non-existent.
A second article appeared in the Knoxville Journal on April 12, 1958 and reported that Bowen saved two schoolchildren in Oaxaca, Mexico from being struck by a truck when he dashed in front of the truck and swept the children to safety. The author of the letter, allegedly a "Dr. Martin Hidalgo" (probably Bowen) said that Bowen had also saved three children from a burning building eight years earlier. The Knoxville Journal had two photographs of Bowen, taken in 1954, which they allowed the FBI to copy.
A third article appeared in the Knoxville Journal on September 15, 1961 and reported that Bowen, who claimed to have been a missionary in Mexico since he left Knoxville in 1943, was injured when he fell on a bus between Mexico City and Puebla. The source of this information was a letter from Albert Osborne (aka Bowen), mailed to the Knoxville Journal from Texmelucan, Mexico. Osborne wrote that Bowen was 82 years old but could pass for a man in his middle 50's.
On September 26, 1963 John Howard Bowen obtained a Mexican tourist form FM-5 in Laredo, Texas. He listed his age as 60, his residence as Houston, Texas, and used a birth certificate for identification (born 1/14/80 in Chester, PA). Bowen entered Mexico at Nuevo Laredo the same day, boarded a Flecha Roja bus, sat next to Lee Harvey Oswald, and talked with him at length. After arriving in Mexico City, Bowen told the FBI that he boarded another bus and departed for Puebla, Mexico and stayed at the Teresa Hotel. The following day he allegedly boarded a train for Jesus Caranzas, Mexico, stayed at the Railroad Hotel, and returned to the US on October 2 at Laredo (Oswald allegedly returned to the US at Laredo on October 3).
Bowen told the FBI that after returning to the US he resided temporarily at the St. Anthony Hotel in Laredo and then departed for Houston, Memphis, Charlette, Columbia, and back to Laredo prior to Christmas, 1963. Bowen, however, failed to tell the FBI he obtained a Canadian passport in New Orleans on October 10, using the name Albert Alexander Osborne, and was in Europe from November 13 to December 5 (during the assassination of President Kennedy).
On October 10, 1963 "Reverend" Albert Alexander Osborne (aka John Howard Bowen) appeared at the office of the Canadian Consul in New Orleans. Osborne told clerk Percy Whatmough that he just arrived in New Orleans from his residence in Montreal and that he was on his way to Mexico City as part of his vacation (he just arrived in the US from Mexico a week earlier). He gave his address as 1441 Drummond Street, Montreal, and said this had been his permanent address since 1917. Osborne's passport application contained a recent photograph and listed his birth as November 12, 1888 at Linco, England. He claimed to be a naturalized Canadian citizen because of his service in the Canadian Armed Forces. Osborne presented Canadian passport #4-347367, issued on June 1, 1963, to Mr. Whatmough. After canceling this valid passport, Whatmough issued Canadian passport #5-605377 to Osborne. There is no explanation as to why Osborne exchanged a 4-month-old passport for a new one, unless he was worried that immigration stamps from foreign countries would allow authorities to track his whereabouts.
In November a fourth article appeared in the Knoxville Journal and reported that John Bowen was planning a trip to England, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. Before leaving Mexico, Bowen requested that mail addressed to him at the American Express office in Mexico City be sent to him at the American Express office in New York City, at 649 5th Avenue.
On November 13 Albert Osborne, carrying a Canadian passport, left New York and shortly thereafter arrived in Grimsby, England, where he visited his brother (Walter Osborne) and sister (Lillie Featherstone) for the first time in 40 years. Albert told his siblings that he was with a group of scientists who were going to Iceland to photograph a volcano. After staying with his sister for 5 days Osborne left for London and said he was going to Spain. His whereabouts on November 22, 1963 remain unknown.
On December 5 Osborne boarded Icelandic Airlines Flight 621 in Luxembourg and flew to New York. After arriving in the US, he immediately returned to Mexico. During the last week of December, 1963 he once again returned to the US and stayed at the St. Anthony Hotel in Laredo, and then returned to Mexico in early 1964.
On January 7, 1964 Albert Osborne was interviewed in Texmelucan, Mexico (close to Mexico City) by FBI confidential informant "T-4" (Clark Anderson, Legal Attache in Mexico City). Osborne displayed his Canadian passport for identification and told Anderson he resided at 4114 Drummond Street in Montreal, Canada. This address was the YMCA, but Osborne was unknown to them.
Osborne told "T-4" he was an ordained Baptist Minister, said he had not seen John Bowen since October 1963, but believed he could be located at the Hotel Jung in New Orleans. To further establish his identity as Albert Osborne, he displayed a letter addressed to him from his brother, Walter Osborne, who lived at the Old Folks Home in Grimsby, England.
Following the interview, Osborne quickly left Mexico and began to travel around the southern United States. Within a few weeks he provided acquaintances with the following forwarding addresses:
¥ Jan. 29, 1964-he left instructions at the post office in Hot Springs, AR. to forward mail addressed to him in Hot Springs to General Delivery, Russellville, AL.
¥ Feb. 13-he left instructions to at the post office in Russellville, AL Post Office to forward mail addressed to him in Russellville to General Delivery, Corpus Christi, TX.
On January 21, while Osborne was traveling around the US, "T-4" interviewed a servant who worked at Osborne's residence in Texmelucan and also interviewed a local Mexican minister. After showing them two photographs of John Bowen taken in 1954, obtained from the Knoxville Journal, both advised the photographs were identical with Albert Osborne. A check at the American Express office in Mexico City, where Osborne received mail, revealed that Albert Osborne was known there as John H. Bowen. The senior cashier advised that he had cashed numerous US Postal Money Orders for Bowen in amounts of $25-$30 each.
On January 31, 1964 the FBI interviewed Mrs. Lola Loving in Forest Grove, Oregon. Mrs. Loving advised that she and her husband (deceased) were acquainted with Albert Osborne from the early 1950's until 1958 in Texmelucan, Mexico. Mrs. Loving said they knew that Osborne had also used the name John Howard Bowen for a long time. When shown the two photographs of John Bowen from the Knoxville Journal, and one of Albert Osborne from his Canadian passport application, she identified both photos as the person she knew.
On February 8, 1964 FBI agents interviewed Bowen in Florence, Alabama. Bowen advised that he was born at Chester, Pennsylvania on January 12, 1885 and all of his relatives were deceased. For identification he presented a social security card, #449-36-9745, a Texaco credit card, a Gold Star Insurance card, and a card from the Laredo National Bank. Curiously, he did not provide the birth certificate which he had used to obtain a Mexican immigration visa on September 26, 1963. Bowen said that he was ordained as a minister by the Plymouth Brethren Church in Trenton, New Jersey about 50 years ago, and was recognized as a minister by the Missionary Baptist Convention. He said the only foreign country he ever visited was Bermuda, in 1939 (the FBI agents should have checked his Canadian passport for immigration stamps).
Bowen explained that in 1958 he was residing at the Reece Hotel in Oaxaco, Mexico with Albert Osborne. He told the FBI agents that during a census in 1958, he misplaced his identification papers and had to "borrow" Osborne's papers temporarily. He said the next time he saw Osborne was at the Railway Express Office in Mexico City in 1961 or 1962.
Bowen discussed his trip to Mexico City on September 26-27, 1963 with the FBI agents. He told them he boarded the Flecha Roja bus in Nuevo Laredo and signed his name, John Howard Bowen, to the roster of passengers. He then sat behind a man (McFarland) who was about 60 years of age and retired from the Bermuda Police Department.
Bowen said that he sat next to a young man who was about 29 years old, 5'8" tall, 150 lbs., with thin, blond hair, a dark complexion, who appeared to be of Mexican or Puerto Rican decent. He said the man carried a small zipper bag which he placed in the rack above his feet, slept the entire trip, and did not speak with him. When the agents showed Bowen photographs of Lee Harvey Oswald, he was unable to identify him as the man who sat next to him on the bus.
Near the end of the interview Bowen was shown photographs of Albert Osborne, taken in 1954, and identified the man as Osborne. When asked if he (Bowen) had been interviewed in Texmelucan by an FBI representative, he said that he had not. Bowen was then photographed from the left, right, and front sides for comparison with the two photographs of Bowen from 1954 (Knoxville Journal), and the photograph of Albert Osborne taken in October 1963 which he used for his Canadian passport application.
The FBI next contacted Detective Sergeant J. Standish of the Grimsby Police (England) and arranged to have the photographs taken of Bowen shown to Walter Osborne and Lillie Featherstone, Osborne's siblings. On February 15, 1964, they identified all of the photos of Bowen as their brother, Albert Alexander Osborne. They also advised they had written letters to their brother in care of John Bowen at Box 308 in Laredo, Texas.
On February 16, 1964 John Howard Bowen was interviewed at the St. Anthony Hotel in Laredo, Texas. Bowen made available ticket stub #0921 from the "Flecha Roja" bus on which he traveled from Nuevo Laredo to Mexico City on September 26-27. He said there were no other Americans or English speaking persons on the bus, and the man who sat next to him appeared to be Mexican, with dark brown hair, 39 years old, and was shabbily dressed.
Bowen advised that he had never resided in Texmelucan, Mexico and had never used the name Albert Osborne. He said that he and Osborne looked very much alike and were often mistaken for each other. When SA Leopoldo Armijo pressed Bowen for specific details regarding his activities since September 1, 1963, he became very indignant and said he did not want to make any further statements.
On February 19, 1964 Reverend James Timmons told the FBI that Albert Osborne frequently visited Reverend Joe Amarine, Mission Secretary at the Southern Baptist Convention, in Alice, Texas. When interviewed by the FBI Timmons described Osborne as a mysterious person who acted mysteriously and secretively and to his knowledge had never attended any ministerial school. By now it is clear that the man under investigation had used the name Albert Osborne in Mexico and John Howard Bowen in the United States.
On February 22 the FBI contacted Jim Johns with the Southern Baptist Radio & Television in Fort Worth, publishers of "The Beam," a monthly religious publication. Johns advised that his organization mailed copies of "The Beam" to Mrs. John H. Bowen, 335 West Earle Street, Greenville, South Carolina, and Mrs. John Bowen, 75 Neron Place, New Orleans, Louisiana. There is no record the FBI interviewed either of these women.
On March 3, 1964 the man with dual identities was re-interviewed by FBI agents at Nashville, Tennessee. At first he claimed to be John H. Bowen, but later admitted his true name was Albert Alexander Osborne. He also admitted that he had been untruthful in three previous interviews and said it was because he became caught up in his own web of furnishing false information. He then told the agents that he adopted the name "John Bowen" because it sounded more Americanized than his English name of Albert Osborne. He failed to tell the agents he had a birth certificate in the name of John Bowen or that he had used this name since the early 1940's.
He continued to insist the man who sat next to him on the Flecha Roja bus to Mexico City was a young Mexican or Spanish-appearing person who spoke no English. He also said that after the bus stopped at Sabinas Hidalgo, the young man took a seat at the rear of the bus and slept.
Osborne's statements about Oswald's appearance and his refusal to admit that he talked a length with Oswald were contradicted by Dr. and Mrs. McFarland, Pamela Mumford, and Patricia Winston. The Bureau, however, did not question Osborne further. For unexplained reasons they suddenly discontinued their investigation of Bowen/Osborne after March of 1964.
Two years later, on August 29, 1966, John Howard Bowen advised Reverend Lyman Erickson of the Christian Serviceman's Center, at 212 N. Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, that he was very ill as the result of uremic poisoning (food poisoning). He was admitted to the Medical Arts Hospital where he died two days later, on August 31, 1966. Bowen/Osborne's death, and the FBI's incomplete investigation, left the following questions unanswered:
¥ What happened to John Howard Bowen, the man born in Chester, PA on January 14, 1880 ?
¥ Why did Albert Osborne continue to insist there were no English speaking people on the bus to Mexico City?
¥ Why did he continually describe Oswald as a Puerto Rican or Mexican-looking man?
¥ Why was Albert Osborne not charged with giving false information to the FBI?
NOTE: Protestant missionaries, funded in part by US intelligence, have been living and working with native peoples in Latin America since the 1930's. Indications that Osborne/Bowen was connected to US intelligence are numerous:
¥ "Reverend" Osborne (Bowen) sitting next to Oswald on the bus in September 1963
¥ "Reverend" Osborne (Bowen) returning to the US at Laredo the day before Oswald
¥ Concealing his visit to New Orleans in October 1963 from the FBI
¥ Concealing his visit to Europe during the assassination of President Kennedy
¥ Using dual identities
¥ Applying for a new passport, when his current passport was only 4 months old
¥ Using American Express for mail forwarding
¥ Use of false addresses
¥ Unknown source of income which allowed him to travel worldwide
¥ Failure of the FBI to prosecute him for providing false information
September 26 - Harvey Oswald visits Sylvia Odio in Dallas
During the evening of September 26, 1963, while Lee Oswald was talking with the two young Australian women while enroute to Mexico City, Harvey Oswald was in Dallas and visited the apartment of Sylvia Odio.
Sylvia was the oldest of 10 children born to Amador and Sarah Odio, a wealthy Cuban who owned the largest trucking firm in Cuba prior to Castro's revolution. Sylvia attended a private girls school in Philadelphia and later returned to Cuba where she attended 3 years of law school and lived the life of an aristocrat. In 1957, at age 20, she married Guillermo Herrera in Havana, Cuba, and by age 24 had four children. When her husband was sent by his company to Germany, he deserted her and his children. Sylvia left Cuba and resided in Ponce, Puerto Rico for several years before moving to Dallas in March 1963.
During the last week of September, Sylvia was living in apartment "A" at the Crestwood Apartments, 1084 Magellan, and preparing to move. Annie, her 17-year-old sister, was helping her pack in preparation for her move to the Cliffwood Apartments at 1816-A West Davis on October 1. Around 9:00 pm two Cubans and an American arrived at the apartment and knocked on the door.
When Annie opened the door one of the men asked if "Sarita Odio" (a sister) was there. Annie then called her sister, Sylvia, who spoke with the men. One of the Cuban men told Sylvia, in Spanish, "We are members of JURE" and introduced himself as, "Leopoldo." She recalled that "Leopoldo," who did most of the talking, was about 5' 10" tall, weighed about 165 lbs, wore glasses, and was about 40 years old. He told Sylvia, "We have just come from New Orleans and we have been trying to get this organized, this movement organized down there.....We wanted you to meet this American. His name is 'Leon Oswald.'"
NOTE: If these men just came from New Orleans, as related by "Leopoldo," it would explain Harvey Oswald's method of transportation from New Orleans to Dallas (with the Cubans by car).
Sylvia shook Leon's hand and remembered that he wore a green or blue long sleeve shirt with the cuffs rolled up, was about 4 inches taller than her (she was 5'6"), and was skinny. Annie was standing near the door and heard the Cubans tell Sylvia that Oswald was an American who was very much interested in the Cuban cause. Sylvia asked Oswald if he had ever been to Cuba and he said he had not. She then asked him if he were interested in their movement and he said that he was.
"Leopoldo," the tall Cuban who wore glasses, told Sylvia they knew her father, an anti-Castro activist, who had been in prison in Cuba since 1961. They asked Sylvia to help them draft a fund-raising letter for the anti-Castro group, Junta Revolucionario (JURE), to which her father belonged.
The second Cuban, "Angelo," handed Sylvia a letter written in Spanish and asked her to translate the letter to English. Sylvia described Angelo as 5' 7" tall, 170 lbs, about 34 years old, and said that he was very Mexican looking with lots of thick hair and a lot of hair on his chest. Angelo said, "Sylvia, let's write letters to different industries to see if we can raise some money." Sylvia told the men she was very busy and didn't have time to get involved. The two Cubans said it was almost 9:00 pm and they were getting ready to leave on a trip, and repeated their request two or three times before leaving.
After talking to the men for 15-20 minutes, Sylvia decided that she didn't trust them and asked them to leave. She watched through her apartment window as the men got into a red car, with "Angelo" sitting on the passenger side, and drove away.
The following day "Leopoldo" telephoned Sylvia and said, "What do you think of the American?" Sylvia replied, "I don't think anything." Leopoldo said, "You know our idea is to introduce him to the underground in Cuba, because he is great, he is kind of nuts." Leopoldo told her that Oswald was an ex-Marine, an excellent shot, but said that Cubans didn't have any guts and should have killed President Kennedy for not supporting the Bay of Pigs. When Leopoldo said, "It is so easy to do it (kill President Kennedy)," Sylvia became upset with the conversation. Leopoldo then said, "We probably won't have anything to do with him. He is kind of loco." Before the conversation ended, Leopoldo told Sylvia they were leaving on a trip and would like to see her when they returned to Dallas.
NOTE: 1. Oswald hands out FPCC literature in support of Castro
2. Oswald tries to buy rifles from Castro's gunrunner
3. Oswald is "kind of nuts.....an excellent shot, and said that said that should have killed President Kennedy for not supporting the Bay of Pigs."
4. The framing of Lee Harvey Oswald continues in Dallas....
Sylvia wrote a letter to her father, who was in a Cuban prison, and told him about the visit of the three men who claimed to know him. Her father wrote back and said, "Tell me who this is who says he is my friend, be careful; I do not have any friend who might be here, through Dallas, so reject his friendship until you give me his name." Her father's letter, confirming that Sylvia told him about the visit of the three men, was published in the Warren Volumes (Vol XX, p 689-90).
NOTE: It appears the two Cubans neither knew Amador Odio nor were connected to JURE. Manolo Ray, the founder and leader of JURE, told the HSCA he knew of no members of JURE traveling through Dallas in September 1963 in search of money or arms. Furthermore, Ray did not recall anyone by the name of "Leopoldo" or "Angelo" associated with JURE.
A short time later Sylvia visited Dr. Einspruch, of the Southwest Medical School in Dallas, and told him about the visit by the three men. When interviewed by the FBI after the assassination Dr. Einspruch confirmed that he had discussed the matter with Sylvia prior to the assassination. He recalled that Sylvia told him that two of the visitors were "Cubans" or "Latins" and that the third man was an "Anglo" (American). Dr. Einspruch said that when he telephoned Sylvia on the day of the assassination, she connected the visit of the three men to the Kennedy assassination. The doctor also told the agents that Sylvia was perfectly reliable.
Following the assassination Sylvia and her sister saw "Lee Harvey Oswald" on television and recognized him as the "Leon Oswald" who visited their apartment. The Warren Commission knew that when Sylvia claimed Oswald was at her apartment, Oswald was supposed to be aboard a Flecha Rojo bus en route from Monterrey to Mexico City. When they questioned her about the date of the men's visit Sylvia explained, "The 30th (Monday) was the day I moved. The 26th (Thur.), 27th (Fri.), and 28th (Sat), it could have been either of those 3 days. It was not on a Sunday (October 29)." Sylvia then eliminated Saturday because she had worked the day and told the Commission, "Yes; it would be the 26th (Thur.) or the 27th (Fri.) for sure."
NOTE: FBI agents interviewed the manager of the Crestwood Apartments (Mrs. Betty Woods) and the manager of the Cliffwood Apartments (Mrs. James Munsell) who verified the dates of Sylvia's move.
In a subsequent FBI interview, Sylvia told the agents that after discussing the date of the men's visit with her sister, she felt sure they had arrived on the evening of September 26 (when Lee Oswald was aboard a Flecha Roja bus enroute from Monterrey to Mexico City).
The Warren Commission did not understand how Oswald could have been en route to Mexico City and in Dallas at the same time. They reported, "While the FBI had not yet completed its investigation into this matter at the time the report went to press, the Commission has concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was not at Mrs. Odio's apartment in September of 1963." The Commission dismissed Sylvia Odio's testimony and said that she was "mistaken."
NOTE: It now seems clear that Harvey Oswald traveled from New Orleans to Dallas during the evening of September 25, with "Leopoldo" and "Angelo" in a red car. He was seen on the morning of September 26 at the TEC in Dallas by Henry McCluskey and 9:00 pm on the evening of September 26 in Oak Cliff (Dallas) by Sylvia and Annie Odio. This, of course, created a serious problem for the FBI, because Oswald was supposed to be in Mexico at this time-not in Dallas.
On September 16, 1964 Loran Eugene Hall MEX, 63-02 allegedly told FBI agent Harry H. Whidbee that he, Lawrence Howard, and William Seymour MEX, 63-03 met Sylvia Odio during a visit to Dallas in September, 1963 while soliciting aide in the anti-Castro movement. MEX, 63-04 On September 18 the FBI interviewed William Seymour, who said that Sylvia Odio was unknown to him. Seymour said that he was not in Dallas in September and employment records from Beach Welding & Supply Company confirmed that he was in Miami from September 5 thru October 10. MEX, 63-05 The FBI, ignoring William Seymour, wrote the Commission on September 21, 1964, only days before the Warren Report was issued, and suggested that Odio may have mistook Seymour for Oswald (CE 3146).
September 27, 10:00 am - Lee Oswald arrives in Mexico City
At 3:20 am the Flecha Roja bus stopped for 10 minutes at San Luis Potosi and then made another 10 minute stop at San Juan del Rio around 6:30 am, while most passengers sleeping. About 8:00 am, two hours before arriving in Mexico City, Lee Oswald talked to Pamela Mumford and Patricia Winston for the second and last time.
After the bus arrived in Mexico City, about 10:00 am, Friday, September 27, Oswald did not speak with either Mumford or Winston. The two women departed the bus station by taxi and never saw Oswald again. The bus averaged 39 mph for the 574 mile trip from Monterrey to Mexico City.
Oswald walked to the Hotel del Comercio, a small 4-story red brick hotel with 30 rooms, which was four blocks from the bus station at Calle Sahagun 19. MEX, 63-06 The owner of the hotel, Guillermo Garcia Luna, checked Oswald in and gave him room 18, with a private bath, for $1.28 per day.
Garcia recalled that Oswald arrived with a medium size brown bag, which had a zipper, and was made of either naugahyde or canvas material. Garcia's assistant, Sebastian Perez Hernandez, recalled that Oswald arrived with one small valise, and was the only American registered at the hotel. The chambermaid, Matilde Garnica, cleaned Oswald's room and said that he had one small, brown, zippered bag, made either of canvas or imitation leather. The morning after Oswald's arrival, on Saturday, he said "good morning" to her in English.
NOTE: The statements of Garcia, Hernandez, and Garnica-that Oswald had only one small brown bag-suggest that the Flecha Roja baggage list, which indicated that Oswald had checked one of two bags, was probably fabricated. This baggage list was the only document that placed Oswald aboard the Flecha Roja bus from Nuevo Laredo to Mexico City. Following the assassination the Dallas Police found one cloth zipper bag, blue in color, in Ruth Paine's garage. Later, a "Sea 4" canvas bag was turned over to the police. Photographs of these items were shown to Garcia Luna and Hernandez, who said they did not recognize either bag.
Harvey left NO with TWO bags; Lee traveled to Mexico with ONE
On the evening of September 24 Harvey Oswald's neighbor on Magazine Street, Eric Rogers, saw him leave his apartment in New Orleans with two bags and board a city bus.
Following the assassination the Dallas Police found a cloth zipper bag (CE 126), blue with black handles, in Ruth Paine's garage. They found nothing that indicated Oswald had ever been in Mexico.
Several weeks after the Dallas Police searched her home, Ruth Paine gave the Police an olive colored canvas "B-4" bag (Rogers Exhibit No. 1), which allegedly belonged to Oswald. This bag, conveniently, had remnants of Continental Trailways bus tags and a chalk mark on the side of the bag which read "9/26." The remnants of Continental Trailways bus tags allegedly identified the bus line. The chalk mark "9/26," was written on the outside of the olive colored bag to identify Oswald's alleged date of entry into Mexico.
The Warren Commission wanted to prove the two bags found in Ruth Paine's garage were the same bags that Eric Rogers saw Oswald carry to the bus after leaving his apartment on September 24. Warren Commission attorney Liebeler showed Rogers photographs of a zippered bag (CE 126; Vol XVI, p 494) and a thin, canvas, bag with the chalk marking "9/26" on the side (Rogers Ex. No. 1; Vol XXI, p 313).
Liebeler: "I show you a picture of a bag that has been marked as 'Commission Exhibit No. 126, and ask you if that looks like the bag."
Rogers: "That's it. That's it."
Liebeler: "Does that look like one of the bags?"
Rogers: "That looks to me like it was."
Liebeler: "Now I show you a picture which we will mark Rogers Exhibit No. 1, showing two views of a bag. Does it look like the one Oswald had?"
Rogers: "You mean-he had two of them."
Liebeler: "How many did he have?"
Rogers: "He had two of them in my estimation, each one in one hand. They looked like these here to me, to my knowledge. I mean, yes. I don't think it was this type. I would say this type."
Liebeler: "And you are pointing to No. A-1, which is a picture of Commission Exhibit No 126 and do you think he had two bags that looked like 'Commission Exhibit No. 126?' Did he carry both in one hand?
Rogers: "One in each hand."
Liebeler: "As far as you can tell, he did not have a bag similar to Rogers Exhibit No. 1?"
Rogers: "No, No."
NOTE: Rogers said the bag with the remnants of the Continental Trailways bus tags and a chalk mark on the side which read "9/26," was not the bag he saw Oswald carry away from 4905 Magazine Street.
After Eric Rogers' testimony the Warren Commission was faced with three problems:
1) (Harvey) Oswald left New Orleans with two bags but only one bag was seen on the bus to Mexico City. What happened to the 2nd bag?
2) (Lee) Oswald arrived at the Hotel Comercio with a brown zippered bag, but the Dallas Police found a blue cloth zipper bag among Harvey Oswald's possessions in Ruth Paine's garage.
3) Eric Rogers failed to identify the larger canvas bag as one of the bags Harvey Oswald was carrying when he left New Orleans. This canvas bag was not found in the Paine's garage by the Dallas Police but was turned over by Mrs. Paine to police weeks after the assassination-complete with portions of Continental Trailways bus stickers and a chalk mark "9/26," allegedly made by Mexican Customs officers.
The canvas bag is yet another incriminating piece of evidence that Ruth Paine "found" in her home after it was thoroughly searched by the Dallas Police.
The Commission tried to resolve the first problem (1) by reporting, "He carried the smaller bag with him throughout the trip, but, at least from Nuevo Laredo to Mexico City, checked the larger one through to his destination." The Commission could never prove that Oswald carried two bags to Mexico and could only assume that he checked the second piece of luggage. Without two bags, Oswald's name would never have appeared on the baggage list, the only document which placed Oswald on the bus.
The FBI tried to resolve the second problem (2) by presenting black and white photos (instead of color photos) of the blue cloth zipper bag to Guillermo Garcia Luna (owner of the Hotel Del Comercio), Sebastian Perez Hernandez (desk clerk), Pedro Rodriguez Ledesma (night watchman), Eric Rogers (Oswald's neighbor), and Matilde Garnica (hotel maid). Three of the witnesses (Luna, Hernandez, Rodriguez), who remembered that Oswald carried a brown bag, failed to identify the blue bag in the black and white photograph.
When Matilde Garnica (hotel maid) was interviewed on March 3, 1964, she said that Oswald carried his personal effects, "In a small, brown, zippered handbag," which was either canvas or leather. But when Garnica was interviewed two months later, on May 8, 1964, and shown black and white photographs by an unidentified FBI source, she allegedly said Oswald's bag was "blue." Eric Rogers identified the bag, without knowing the color, even though he had seen Oswald carry the bag from some distance in the evening.
The Commission never resolved the third problem (3), created by the sudden appearance of the olive colored canvas bag "found" by Ruth Paine weeks after the assassination. No one on the bus from Laredo to Mexico City saw Lee Oswald with an olive colored canvas bag. No one at the Hotel Del Comercio saw Lee Oswald with an olive colored canvas bag (Guillermo Garcia Luna, Sebastian Perez Hernandez, Matilde Garnica, Pedro Rodriguez Ledesma). When Oswald allegedly departed Mexico aboard a Transportes del Norte bus on October 2, 1963, no one saw an olive colored canvas bag. The only thing that linked this olive colored bag to Oswald were the chalk marks written on the side of the bag, "9/26," and portions of Continental Trailways bus stickers. But this bag was not found by the Dallas Police Detectives who searched the Paines home; it was turned over to the police several weeks later by Ruth Paine.
The Warren Commission, disregarding the statements of Eric Rogers, bus passengers, and the Hotel del Comercio employees, concluded that Oswald had taken two pieces of luggage with him to Mexico, "A small, blue, zipper bag and a large, olive-colored bag, both made of cloth."
Hotel del Comercio registration book
The Hotel del Comercio registration book was a bound volume consisting of over a hundred pages, one page for each day, and one line for each room in the hotel (30 numbered lines to a page). When guests checked in they signed their name on the line which corresponded to the room number. On the page marked "27 de September, 1963" the signature of "Lee, Harvey Oswald" appears on line 18, the number of his room. MEX, 63-07 According to the hotel's owner, Mr. Garcia, the name of the guest was transferred (handwritten) by the manager or his assistant to the subsequent pages until the guest checked out.
The name "Lee, Harvey Oswald" was supposed to have been written on line 18 for September 28, 29, and 30, 1963 by Garcia Luna or his assistant. But only the name "Lee Harvey" was written and does not appear to have been written by the same person who wrote the names of other guests. While Garcia or his assistant wrote the names of all hotel guests in "longhand," the name "Lee Harvey" was printed in small capital letters. The last entry for "Lee Harvey" appears on the page marked "1 de Octobre, 1963."
Following the assassination the FBI obtained "photographs" of 5 pages from the hotel registration book and determined, not surprisingly, the signature on the page marked "27 de September, 1963," was written by Lee Harvey Oswald.
Lee Oswald telephones the Soviet compound
After checking into the hotel Oswald put the one bag in his room, probably showered and changed clothes after his long bus ride, and then left. At 10:30 am (Friday, September 27), a half hour after Oswald arrived in Mexico City, an unidentified man telephoned the Soviet Military Attach and asked about a visa to Odessa, Russia. He was told to contact the Soviet Consulate and then given directions to their office. This conversation was intercepted by the CIA, recorded, and later transcribed in Spanish, which indicated the call had taken place in the Spanish language.
At 10:37 am the same man telephoned the Soviet Consulate and asked to speak with the Consul. When told the Consul was not available the man stressed that it was necessary for him to get a visa to Odessa, Russia and was told to call back at 11:30 am. This conversation, also intercepted and recorded by the CIA, was also transcribed in Spanish, indicating the call had taken place in the Spanish language.
NOTE: These phone calls were not made from the Hotel del Comercio because the Hotel's only phone, which Oswald never used, was at the front desk. Where would "Oswald" get the phone number for the Soviet Military Attach? How could the conversation have been conducted in Spanish when Harvey Oswald spoke only English and Russian? (Answer: Lee Oswald spoke Spanish)
Forty minutes after arriving in Mexico City Oswald had walked 4 blocks to the Hotel de Comercio, checked into room #18, probably changed clothes, probably telephoned the Soviet Military Attach at 10:30 am, and probably telephoned the Soviet Consulate at 10:37 am. Twenty minutes later (11:00 am) he appeared at the Cuban Consulate, 3 miles from the Hotel del Comercio, at Calle Fransicso Marques 160. Lee Oswald conducted these activities so efficiently, and in such a short period of time, that his schedule appears to have been pre-planned or pre-directed.
The Cuban Consulate and Cuban Embassy
The Cuban Consulate was located at Calle Francisco Marques 160, in one of several small buildings used by the Cuban government. It was a two-story building which housed the Consulate on the first floor and the trade delegation on the second floor. The main entrance door opened into a waiting room which provided access to both the first and second floors. The Consulate, which had been opened to the public only a few days prior to Oswald's alleged visit on September 27, 1963, was open from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Monday thru Friday and was closed on the weekends. The Embassy was in a different building, separated from the Consulate by a courtyard, and was open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday thru Friday, and was closed on weekends.
The Cuban General Consul was Eusebio Azcue Lopez who, in September, was in the process of training his replacement, Alfredo Mirabar Y Diaz (Azcue returned to Cuba on November 18, 1963). Azcue was assisted by secretaries Maricarmen Olavarri, who was related to Azcue, and Sylvia Tirado de Duran, a Mexican citizen who had been Azcue's secretary for only a few weeks. Duran worked from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily. Maria Teresa Proenza and Luis Alveru were Cultural Attaches and worked in an office adjacent to Azcue.
Inside the Cuban Embassy the CIA had recruited two human intelligence sources (HUMINT), a fact which was discovered in the late 1970's by HSCA investigators Edwin Lopez and Dan Hardway. Across the street from the Cuban compound, on the 3rd floor of Calle Francisco Marques 149-1, the CIA conducted photographic and eavesdropping surveillance operations, supervised by career CIA officer David Atlee Phillips. Mexican Nationals employed by the DFS (Mexican Secret Police) manned the equipment and were assisted by American technicians.
The purpose of photographic surveillance was to obtain photographs of all individuals who visited the Cuban diplomatic compound for identification. Visitors to the Cuban Embassy were photographed by technicians with a manually operated Exacta camera, while visitors to the Cuban Consulate were photographed automatically with a Robot Star "pulse camera."
The Robot Star camera was equipped with a 500 mm lens, a 30-power telescope, and a photosensitive switch (a VLS-2 Trigger Device) which operated the camera automatically when the light density was changed in the cameras field of vision. The camera, mounted on a tripod, was aimed at the top half of the entrance door to the Consulate. Whenever an object appeared at the entrance door the switch automatically triggered the camera and a picture was recorded on 16 mm film. MEX, 63-08
CIA technicians in the apartment, known as a "photographic base," serviced the cameras, developed the film, made prints, and maintained logs of visitors at both the Consulate and the Embassy. Photographs were kept in chronological order at the Mexico City station and routinely shown to the human intelligence sources (HUMINT) inside the Embassy for identification. According to CIA personnel who worked in the Mexico City station, Ann Goodpasture controlled the photographic production very tightly. MEX, 63-09 She received the transcriptions, logs, and surveillance photographs and then routed materials to either Robert Shaw or DAVID ATLEE PHILLIPS, and sent a copy to CIA Headquarters where they were received by Elsie Scaleti (real name Charlotte Bustos), who was in charge of the Mexico City desk. MEX, 63-10
NOTE: Goodpasture in most cases was the only point of contact with other agencies of the US Government. In addition to her duties for Chief of Station, Winston Scott, she ran all of David Phillips' operations.
From 7:00 am to 11:00 pm conversations within the Consulate and Embassy were picked up by numerous battery powered microphones hidden in the furniture, window frames, and walls and transmitted to CIA receivers and tape recorders in the apartment less than 50 yards away. An ingenious device known as an "infinity transmitter" was placed in designated telephones inside the Consulate, which allowed the CIA to monitor all conversations within 20 feet of the telephone-even when the telephone was not in use. A call would be placed to the number of a designated telephone and, before the phone rang at the Consulate, a special tone was used to activate the transmitter. The telephone's mouthpiece then became a microphone, and transmitted room conversations over the phone line to the listening post and a tape recorder.
Four telephone lines in the Embassy and Consulate were wiretapped and calls were monitored by technicians from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm daily. Thirty recording machines were available to record the calls and were automatically activated whenever a telephone was used. Conversations in Spanish were turned over to CIA employees for translation into English. The translations were then typed and the transcripts turned over to CIA officer Anne Goodpasture, who distributed them to the appropriate case officer. The original tape recordings were retained for approximately 30 days before re-use, but if an officer thought they were important or if they were "flagged" they could be held indefinitely.
According to Philip Agee, a former CIA officer who wrote Inside the Company, A CIA Diary, the wiretap operation was a "joint telephone-tapping operation between Mexico City station and Mexican security service." The station provided the equipment and the technical assistance, couriers and transcribers, while the Mexicans (DFS) made the connections in the phone exchanges and maintained the listening posts.
NOTE: In 1964 the Cubans discovered their consulates, embassies, and diplomatic installations in Mexico and many other countries had been bugged with numerous eavesdropping devices, and removed them. These small devices, with the exception of the phone taps, were powered by tiny batteries which had to be replaced every few days. The Cubans should have realized that someone within their Consulate was either replacing the batteries or allowing CIA personnel access to the Consulate in order to replace the batteries every few days. It would be interesting to know if the Cubans learned which of their employees was responsible. If the employee was a Cuban citizen, they could be returned to Cuba and tried for treason, but if the employee were a Mexican, they could only lose their job.
The Soviet Embassy and Consulate
The Soviet Embassy and Consulate, which was staffed by five consular officers and diplomatic personnel, were housed in a single building located at Calle Colzada Tacubaya 204 and open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm daily. A twenty-four hour guard was posted at the entrance to the compound, which also housed 16 Soviet families. Offices within the compound were not open to the public and could only be visited by appointment. Valeriy Vladimirovich Kostikov was the senior Consular officer and handled matters relating to the issuance of visas.
The CIA maintained three photographic surveillance sites around the Soviet compound from 9:00 am and 6:00 pm on weekdays and from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday. Two of the sites covered the entrance to the Soviet compound (code named LIMITED and LILYRIC) while the third site overlooked the "backyard" area of the Embassy. MEX, 63-11 The objective was to obtain photographs of all Soviet officials, their families, foreigners, and the license plate numbers of all cars who visited the facility. A report by the Inspector General concluded, "At a minimum they attempted to collect as much information as possible on all Americans in contact with the Embassies (Cuban and Soviet). This was routine....." Surveillance photographs and logs were given to Anne Goodpasture at the Mexico City station two or three times a week.
Five telephone lines within the Soviet diplomatic compound were wiretapped, monitored, and automatically tape-recorded. Tapes were removed daily and given to Boris Tarasoff, a Russian-speaking CIA employee, who translated the tapes into English. The translations were then given to Tarasoff's wife, Anna, who prepared typewritten transcripts which she gave to CIA officer Anne Goodpasture at the Mexico City station. The original tape recordings were retained for approximately 30 days before re-use, but if an officer thought they were important or if they were "flagged" they could be held indefinitely.
CIA officer Anne Goodpasture received and processed materials from the surveillance sites at the Soviet diplomatic compound. Typewritten transcripts, surveillance photographs, and logs which identified the visitors were routed to the Soviet desk at the Mexico City station, while copies were sent to the Mexico City desk at CIA Headquarters. MEX, 63-10
NOTE: According to assistant station chief Alan White, Ann Goodpasture was Win Scott's "right hand man" and often the only point of contact with other government agencies. Goodpasture ran all of David Phillips' operations, was a member of the infamous Staff D, and was close to William Harvey prior to his transfer to Rome.
The CIA Station in Mexico City
The CIA station in Mexico City oversaw the largest CIA intercept operation in the world, primarily because they were monitoring the largest KGB post in the western hemisphere. The station was located in the US Embassy, where Ambassador Thomas Mann and FBI Legal Attach Clark Anderson worked.
Winston Scott (code name: CURTIS) was head of operations from 1956 to 1969 and was assisted by Alan White. MEX, 63-12 Career officer David Atlee Phillips handled the Cuban desk and was Chief of Cuban Operations (beginning in October, 1963), Chief of Psychological Operations (propaganda), and also supervised the surveillance posts. MEX, 63-13 Phillips was also involved with the Special Affairs Staff which, in 1963, coordinated all covert operations and assassination attempts against Castro.
Jane Roman was another CIA officer who worked at the Mexico City station. She was the wife of Howard E. Roman, who helped former CIA Director Allen Dulles write his book, The Craft of Intelligence, in 1962 following his forced resignation from the Agency by President Kennedy.
NOTE: Two anti-Castro Cuban assets linked to David Atlee Phillips in 1963 were Isidro Borja and Bernardo de Torres.
Isidro Borja was the military chief of the Cuban exile group DRE and brought the group to Dallas in 1963. The group received arms from the army base at Fort Hood, which maintained an intelligence file on Lee Harvey Oswald and A.J. Hidell.
Bernardo de Torres had a close relationship with the DFS (Mexican Secret Police) and was a close contact of CIA officer David Sanchez Morales, who was often referred to as the Agency's top assassin in Latin America.
David Morales and Phillips were together on numerous assignments in the 1950's and in 1963 Morales traveled frequently between the Mexico City station and the JM/WAVE station in Miami. In 1973 Morales, accompanied by friends Ruben Carbajal and Bob Walton, got together for a night of drinking and story telling. When President Kennedy's name was mentioned, Morales flew into a rage as he stomped around the room and berated Kennedy. Suddenly he stopped, sat down, remained silent for a moment, and said solemnly, "Well, we took care of that some of a bitch, didn't we?"
In addition to the Soviet and Cuban compounds the Mexico City station also conducted operations against the Polish and Czechoslovakian diplomatic compounds. Telephone monitors had standing instructions, "To alert the Station immediately if a US citizen or English speaking person tried to contact any of the target installations." The HSCA noted, "An examination of the project files shows that Americans in contact with Communist diplomatic institutions were routinely reported to Headquarters for name traces and dissemination to the intelligence community."
Anne Goodpasture. Surveillance materials from all locations, including photographs, logs, and transcripts, were delivered to career officer Anne Goodpasture for review, filing, copying, and distribution to the appropriate case officer, the Chief of Station, and to CIA headquarters. MEX, 63-14 In special situations she summarized details of a particular telephone intercept and prepared a cablegram for dissemination. In 1963 Goodpasture's annual fitness report stated that she "supervises work of three photo bases operating against the Soviet Embassy; processes take; identifies Soviets and intelligence function." She acted as an alternate Case Officer and reviewed photographs of the Cuban and Soviet compounds to insure the maintenance and quality of the equipment used in the operation.
Goodpasture was also responsible for liaison functions with the FBI (Legal Attach), Army, Navy, and Air Force on routine cases. Joseph Burkholder Smith, a retired CIA officer, said, "Annie knew everything." Assistant Chief of Station Alan White described her as a "Special Assistant" to Winston Scott. By all accounts Goodpasture was meticulous in detail and always made sure the previous days work was on Winston Scott's desk by 9:00 am.
David Atlee Phillips. While Anne Goodpasture handled the surveillance materials, career officer David Atlee Phillips supervised the surveillance sites, along with George Munroe and Robert Shaw. Munroe, an ex-FBI agent, was the CIA's surveillance man who was supposedly responsible for the electronic bugging of the Soviet and Cuban embassies. Phillips was stationed at the Mexico City station from 1961 thru 1966 and split his time between Mexico City and the JM/WAVE station in Miami. His close associate of many years, and colleague in the Bay of Pigs operation, was master spy E. Howard Hunt, who was temporary Chief of Station in Mexico City during Oswald's alleged visit in September 1963.MEX, 63-15
E. Howard Hunt
Career CIA officer E. Howard Hunt was a veteran of the OSS in WWII, as were his close friends Allen Dulles and Richard Helms. In the late 1950's and the early 1960's nearly all of Hunt's efforts and activities were directed at Fidel Castro and overthrow of his government. Hunt was said to be the mastermind behind the Bay of Pigs operation and hand-picked Cuba's "government in exile" which was to take over after Castro's defeat. After his Cuban friends suffered a humiliating defeat at the Bay of Pigs, Hunt spent several years organizing and deploying anti-Castro exiles in hundreds of clandestine raids against Cuba.
In 1963, E. Howard Hunt was deputy chief of the CIA's Domestic Operations Division (DOD) under Tracy Barnes, and was also Chief of Covert Operations. Former CIA officer Victor Marchetti (executive assistant to former CIA Director Richard Helms) explained the DOD's function,
"The DOD.....It was one of the most secret divisions within the Clandestine Services.....they were getting into some pretty risky areas. And this is what E. Howard Hunt was working for at the time," as Chief of Covert Operations.
According to Marchetti, Clay Shaw (director of the Trade Mart in New Orleans) was also working with the Domestic Operations Division. In April 1975 Marchetti told True Magazine that Shaw's connection with the CIA was top secret. The agency did not want "even a remote connection with Shaw" to leak out. Hunt was seen in Guy Banister's office in the summer of 1963 and may have been directing Oswald's activities in New Orleans through Banister, Shaw, or both.
CIA agent William Gaudet knew Banister, Shaw, Ferrie and fellow intelligence agents in New Orleans and had been debriefed by Hunt, Bernard Barker, and Frank Sturgis (all career CIA officers) on numerous occasions. Each of these men (along with David Atlee Phillips) had worked together in CIA operations for many years and had participated in numerous clandestine activities:
¥ Allen Dulles was CIA Director when Hunt and Vice-President Richard Nixon organized and directed the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 1954. After Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi replaced Mossadegh, the west had access to Iranian oil for nearly 40 years. When the Shaw was overthrown and fled Iran, he resided in Nixon's home in San Clemente, California.
¥ Allen Dulles was CIA Director when Hunt and Phillips organized and directed the overthrow of President Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954.
¥ Allen Dulles was CIA Director when Hunt, Barker, Sturgis, and Phillips were involved in organizing and planning of the Bay of Pigs invasion in April, 1961.
¥ Hunt was a visitor to Guy Banister's office in the summer of 1963.
¥ Phillips was seen with Lee Harvey Oswald at the Southland Building in Dallas in September 1963.
¥ Hunt was temporary Chief of Station and Phillips was Chief of Psychological Operations (propaganda) and Chief of Cuban Operations (October 1963), when they worked together in the in Mexico City station in the fall of 1963.
In late September, when "Lee Harvey Oswald" allegedly visited the Cuban and Soviet embassies, E. Howard Hunt and his close friend and colleague David Atlee Phillips were running the Mexico City station in Winston Scott's absence. Phillips would soon be appointed Chief of Cuban Operations and report directly to the Special Affairs Staff (which directed assassinations). With these disinformation/assassination experts running the Mexico City station, details of Oswald's alleged visit could be expected to be clouded with "smoke and mirrors."
NOTE: According to David Atlee Phillips, Hunt was in Mexico between 1961 and 1970. Hunt, however, disagreed and provided an affidavit to the Rockefeller Commission which stated, in part, "I was not in Mexico in 1963. In fact, I was not in Mexico between the years 1961 and 1970....." Years later, in December 2000, Hunt admitted to being temporary Chief of Station in August and September of 1963. MEX, 63-16
Whoever arranged for Hunt's assignment as temporary Station Chief (Deputy Director Richard Helms, James Angleton?) may have had foreknowledge of Oswald's visit and prior knowledge of the conspiracy.
Hunt's reputation as a "master of deception" and "master of disguises" was earned during his years of work with the CIA. Some researchers speculate that he may have used these techniques on November 22, 1963 to disguise himself as the oldest of 3 tramps who were taken from a train car and arrested by Dallas Police.
Reporter Joseph Trento saw a CIA memo from 1966 which was initialed by Counterintelligence Chief James Angleton and CIA Director Helms. The memo emphasized the importance of keeping Hunt's presence in Dallas a secret and suggested a cover story be developed to provide Hunt with an alibi. Trento told JFK researcher Dick Russell, "My guess is, it was Angleton himself who sent Hunt to Dallas because he didn't want to use anybody from his own shop. Hunt was still considered a hand-holder for the Cuban exiles, sort of Helms' unbroken pet."
In the years following the assassination of President Kennedy, Hunt continued to be involved in a myriad of clandestine activities, many linked to the former President.
¥ Hunt was hired by the Nixon White House to discredit the Kennedy's, both living and dead. While working for Nixon, Hunt fabricated State Department cables which were intended to implicate President Kennedy in the assassination of President Diem of South Vietnam.
¥ Hunt, Bernard Barker, and G. Gordon Liddy broke into the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist on September 3, 1971.
¥ Hunt, Bernard Barker, Frank Fiorini/Sturgis, James McCord, Eugenio Martinez, Virgillio Gonzalez, and G. Gordon Liddy were indicted for the June 17, 1972, Watergate break-in. Hunt said they were trying to find out what information Democratic National Chairman (DNC) Larry O'Brien had on the Kennedy assassination.
NOTE: Some historians have speculated that President Nixon was behind the Watergate break-in trying to find out what secrets, if any, DNC Chairman Larry O-Brien had about the Kennedy assassination.
But it is far more likely that the expert CIA burglars, who had performed similar operations for years without incident, allowed themselves to be discovered and arrested in order to politically cripple the Nixon administration. Prior to the Watergate break-in President Nixon was trying to end the war in Vietnam, which angered the CIA and the military who wanted to continue the war. But when the burglars were caught breaking into the Democratic National Headquarters, and it was discovered they worked for the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP), Nixon's removal from office was assured. The person known as "Deep Throat," who provided reporters Woodward and Burnstein with inside information on the Nixon White House, was probably working for the CIA.
¥ Nixon instructed his Chief of Staff, H.R. Haldeman, to contact CIA Director Richard Helms and ask him to "suggest" to FBI Director L. Patrick Gray that the FBI limit their investigation into Watergate, not realizing that Helms may have known all about the Watergate break-in. Nixon also told Haldeman to remind Helms that this involved the "Bay of Pigs" thing (probably a reference to E. Howard Hunt, who was one of the burglars). When Haldeman conveyed Nixon's "Bay of Pigs" message to Helms, he angrily replied, "This has nothing to do with the Bay of Pigs." (Helms may have been reacting to Nixon's not-so-subtle inference that some or all of the Watergate burglars had been involved in JFK's murder).
¥ Nixon (White House Tapes) said ".....this Hunt, that will uncover a lot of things. You open a scab, there's a hell of a lot of things.....This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky.....Just say.....very bad to have this fellow Hunt, ah, he knows too damned much, if he was involved.....If it gets out that this is all involved, the Cuba thing, it would be a fiasco. It would make the CIA look bad, it's going to make Hunt look bad, and it's going to blow the whole Bay of Pigs thing which we think would be very unfortunate-both for the CIA and the country....."
NOTE: It is clear that Nixon is very worried about Hunt and the Cubans involvement in the "Bay of Pigs" thing. H. R. Haldeman wrote, in the Ends of Power, that whenever Nixon referred to the "Bay of Pigs thing" he was referring to the assassination of President Kennedy.
¥ After his arrest for participating in the Watergate break-in, Hunt tried to blackmail President Nixon. In December, 1972 Hunt's wife, Dorothy, boarded United Airlines flight 553 in Washington DC carrying $50,000 in Watergate payoff funds and $2,000,000 in cash destined for foreign banks. The flight crashed just prior to landing at Chicago's Midway airport killing Dorothy Hunt and many on board. MEX, 63-17 After the crash Hunt quickly dropped all demands on the White House and agreed to plead guilty. Lawrence O'Connor, who had flown UAL flight 553 to Chicago on Friday night for years, was warned by a White House source not to take this flight.
NOTE: Charles Colson, Nixon's special council and Hunt's boss, told Time Magazine in 1974, "I think they (the CIA) killed Dorothy Hunt."
CIA agent William Gaudet knew Hunt well and said, "The man who probably knows as much as anybody alive on all of this.....is.....I still think is Howard Hunt." He also told the HSCA, "Another vital person is Sergio Arcacha Smith. I know he knew Oswald and knows more about the Kennedy affair than he ever admitted."
Bernard Barker. On the day of the assassination, Dallas Deputy Sheriff Seymour Weitzman confronted a man in Dealey Plaza minutes after the shooting. After the unidentified man showed Secret Service credentials to Weitzman, he disappeared. Deputy Sheriff Weitzman told JFK researcher Michael Canfield (author of Coup d'etat in America) that man was Bernard Barker.
Frank Fiorini Sturgis. Frank Sturgis was a long time friend of Hunt, Phillips, Barker and many of the CIA officers in Florida. Following the assassination of President Kennedy, Fiorini/Sturgis was a major source of fabricated stories that linked Oswald with Castro.
Direccion Federal de Investigaciones - the Mexican Secret Police
The Mexican Ministry of the Interior (Gobernacion) was headed by Luis Echeverria Alvarez, a CIA asset who served as the main contact between the DFS and the CIA. Echeverria became President of Mexico from 1970-1976 while his brother-in-law, Ruben Zuno Arce, became Mexico's top drug trafficker and was later imprisoned for the murder of a DEA agent.
The DFS (Direccion Federal de Investigaciones) was a part of the Gobernacion and headed by Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, a CIA asset who also became President of Mexico (1964-1970) and was a personal friend of Lyndon Johnson.
NOTE: On November 12, 1964, following the issuance of the Warren Report, President & Mrs. Gustavo Ordaz attended a barbeque at the LBJ ranch.
Ordaz was a close personal friend of Mexico City Station Chief Winston Scott (he was best man at Scott's third wedding), Ambassador Thomas Mann, and Lyndon Johnson. The assistant Chief of the DFS, Miguel Nazar Haro, was another CIA asset and close friend of Winston Scott to whom he gave a Cadillac automobile. In the 1960's he was responsible for the torture and disappearance of hundreds of "leftist students," and was later a major figure in a $30 million stolen car ring and drug trafficking between the US and Mexico.
NOTE: 40 years ago the CIA's assets included 2 high level officials in the Mexican Government who later became Presidents of Mexico. We can only wonder how many other high level officials of Mexico and other 2nd and 3rd world countries are today on CIA payrolls, at taxpayer expense.
When staff members of the Warren Commission visited Mexico City in April 1964 they tried unsuccessfully to interview Silvia Duran, who waited on the man who identified himself as Oswald at the Cuban Consulate. When HSCA staff members visited Mexico City in 1978 they were also refused permission to interview a number of Mexican citizens, due to the efforts of DFS Director Miguel Nazar Haro. There is little doubt that Haro received instructions either from his boss, who was a CIA asset, or directly from the Mexico City station.
Members of the HSCA saw through the smokescreen and wrote, "The Committee (HSCA) believes that there is a possibility that a US Government agency requested the Mexican government (the DFS) to refrain from aiding the Committee with this aspect of its work." There is no doubt the Committee was referring to the CIA, and little doubt the CIA was also behind the Mexican government's refusal to allow the Warren Commission to interview Mexican citizens in 1964.
NOTE: Miguel Nazar Haro, CIA asset and DFS Chief in 1978, was indicted in California in the early 1980's for his involvement in a $30 million stolen car ring. When Associate US Attorney General Lowell Jensen blocked Haro's indictment, the US Attorney in San Diego, William Kennedy, exposed the CIA's role in obstructing justice. For exposing the CIA, William Kennedy was fired.
In 1985 the DFS was closed in the midst of drug scandals. The last two DFS Chiefs were indicted for smuggling and murder. Jose Antonio Zorrilla, who was arrested and indicted in 1989, was the private secretary in 1963 to Fernando Gutierrez Barrios. Barrios was the DFS agent who signed one of Silvia Duran's statements after her interrogation.
Two DFS officers, who were also CIA agents, were named by the New York Times in connection with the assassination of Mexican Presidential candidate Luir Donaldo Colosio in 1994. One of the gunmen, Jorge Antonio Sanchez, was an agent of the Center of Investigations and National Security, the successor organization to the DFS. Corruption, drugs, murder, and political assassinations were and are the stock and trade of both the Mexican Secret Police and the CIA.
September 27 - "Lee Oswald's" 3 visits to the Cuban Consulate
On Thursday, September 26, CIA technicians tested the Robot Star "pulse camera" and the Exacta camera in the apartment across the street from the Cuban compound and found them to be in good working order. These cameras were routinely tested every four days.
1st visit. The following day, September 27, at 11:00 am, a man was automatically photographed by the Robot Star "pulse camera" as he entered the Cuban consulate.
NOTE: In 1971 retired Chief of Station Winston Scott was writing a manuscript ("The Foul Foe") for Reader's Digest about his tenure as Chief of Station during Oswald's visit when he suddenly and unexpectedly died. Scott wrote that Oswald was under constant surveillance during his visit to Mexico City and said, "Persons watching these embassies photographed Oswald as he entered and left each one; and clocked the time he spent on each visit."
On October 27, 1978 investigator Dan Hardaway wrote a memo to the Chairman of the HSCA, Louis Stokes. He noted that ten feet of film was taken from one of the CIA cameras on September 27, 1963 and developed. Four days later film from the second camera was removed and developed. Photographs of the man who entered the Cuban Consulate were on this film, which disappeared.
After entering the consulate, the American approached Maria Teresa Proenza and began to speak, in English. Since Proenza did not speak English she turned the man over to Sylvia Tirado de Duran, an English-speaking Mexican citizen who worked in the consulate as a secretary to Consul Eusebio Azcue. Duran, who spoke English, was 26 years old, married to Horacio Duran Navarro since 1958, and the mother of a 3 1/2 year old daughter.
The American identified himself as Lee Harvey Oswald and told Duran that he wanted to obtain a transit visa to Cuba. Oswald said that he wanted to go to Cuba on September 30, remain there for 2 weeks or longer if possible, and then go on to Russia. For identification, he showed Duran an American Communist Party membership card, a Soviet work permit, a Soviet marriage certificate, and a US passport. When Duran advised Oswald that photographs of himself were needed to accompany his visa application he left, apparently to get photographs. As Lee Oswald departed the Cuban consulate he was photographed for a second time by the Robot Star "pulse camera."
Sylvia Duran thought that Oswald's display of a Communist Party membership card was unusual and said, ".....if you are a Communist and you're coming from a country where the Communist Party is not very well seen, and in Mexico City the Communist Party was not legal.....it was strange, traveling with all of his documents just to prove one thing.....He said that he was a Communist."
NOTE: A Communist Party membership card was not found among Harvey Oswald's possessions following the assassination. When asked by Dallas Police Captain Will Fritz if he belonged to the Communist Party, Harvey Oswald said he never had a card, but did belong to the FPCC. Oswald never told anyone he was a Communist but did, however, claim to be a Marxist.
Following the assassination, telephone numbers of the Cuban Consulate were found in Oswald's address book, yet a man identifying himself as "Oswald" never telephoned the consulate.
1:00 pm - Lee Oswald's 2nd visit to the Cuban Consulate
2nd visit. When Lee Oswald returned to the Cuban Consulate at 1:00 pm he was photographed, for the third time, by the Robot Star "pulse camera." Once inside the Consulate he gave four photos of himself to Silvia Duran and waited as she typed his application, in duplicate, for a transit visa. Duran stapled a photograph to the top of each document, and then asked Oswald to sign the documents in her presence.
NOTE: The FBI failed to locate an establishment where Oswald could have been photographed. An FBI summary report noted, "A street to street canvas in the vicinity of the Hotel Del Comercio, Bernardino de Sahagun No. 19, Mexico City, failed to disclose the existence of any photographic studios in the area. The personnel at the photographic studios located in the vicinities of the Cuban and Soviet Embassies in Mexico City were interviewed concerning the possibility that a photograph of Oswald had been taken." The results of the FBI investigation suggest that it is likely the man who identified himself as Lee Harvey Oswald already had photographs when he first arrived at the Consulate.
Sylvia Duran told Oswald that he must obtain a visa to the Soviet Union before he would be given a transit visa to Cuba. Oswald, unsatisfied with her answer, asked to see the Cuban Consul. Duran took Oswald to an office where consuls Azcue and Mirabal looked over his application, including a membership card for the American Communist Party. Mirabal recalled,
"I noticed that he presented a card or credentials as belonging to the Communist Party of the United States.....I was surprised by the fact that the card seemed to be a new card. I must say that I have also been a Communist for a number of years and that generally we do not use credentials or a card to identify ourselves as members of the party."
Azcue and Mirabal told Oswald what Duran had previously explained-that he would need a visa to the Soviet Union before they would give him a visa to Cuba. After spending 15 minutes at the Consulate, Oswald left and gave Azcue and Duran the impression that he was going directly to the Soviet Consulate, less than two blocks away. As Oswald left the Cuban Consulate he was photographed, for the fourth time, by the Robot Star "pulse camera."
Silvia Duran prepared a written memo concerning Oswald's visit for Consul Alfredo Mirabal and wrote:
"The applicant states that he is a member of the American Communist Party and Secretary in New Orleans of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. He displayed in proof of his membership in the two aforementioned organizations and a marriage certificate."
At 1:25 pm an unidentified man telephoned the Soviet Consulate, asked for the Consul, and was told he was not available. The man asked, "When tomorrow?" and was told the Consul was normally in his office between 4 and 5 pm on Mondays and Fridays. This conversation was transcribed in Spanish, indicating the call had taken place in the Spanish language (Harvey Oswald did not speak Spanish).
NOTE: This was the second call, in Spanish, to the Soviet Consulate on Friday (the first was at 10:37 am)
Lee Oswald's alleged visit to the Soviet Embassy
The Soviet Embassy was open officially to the public, but a 24-hour guard assured that only individuals with prior appointments were admitted. On Friday afternoon, September 27, an unidentified man walked to the Soviet Embassy at Calle Calzada Tabcubaya 204, which was two blocks from the Cuban Consulate, and allegedly spoke to an unidentified Soviet official about a visa. There are no CIA transcripts which reflect that Oswald made an appointment at the Soviet Embassy at any time, and without an appointment it is doubtful that he would have been allowed to enter.
The man's arrival at the Soviet Embassy would have been photographed by the LIMITED and/or LILYRIC surveillance sites across the street, which would have resulted in one or two photographs, yet there are no photographs of Oswald's arrival.
The alleged meeting between the unidentified man and the unidentified Soviet official, if it occurred at all, was very brief and there is no indication he filled out or asked for a Soviet visa application. When the unidentified man departed the Soviet Embassy he would have been photographed for the second time by the LIMITED and/or LILYRIC surveillance sites, yet there are no photographs of Oswald's departure.
NOTE: With no appointment and no photographs the clear indication is that neither Oswald nor anyone else visited the Soviet Embassy on Friday, September 27. If an American did visit the Soviet Embassy it is almost certain his presence would have been remembered, photographed, and his identity memorialized in a Soviet memo.
According to typewritten CIA TRANSCRIPTS, the unidentified man displayed papers from the Soviet Consulate in Washington and had a letter stating that he was a member of an organization that favored Cuba. There is no proof, other than the CIA TRANSCRIPTS, that an American visited the Soviet Embassy. If an American citizen displayed papers from the Soviet Consulate in Washington then his identity would have been known to the Soviets in Mexico City and would have been included in the Soviet file given to the US State Department following the assassination.
Lee Harvey Oswald lived and worked in the Soviet Union for 2 1/2 years, was married a to Soviet woman, and was known to Soviet intelligence. If Oswald had identified himself at the Embassy, showed his US passport with Soviet entrance and departure stamps, showed papers from the Soviet Consulate in Washington, advised that he was a former resident of the Soviet Union, and requested a Soviet visa, then the Soviet official would undoubtedly have notified Moscow of his visit. But there is no proof that Oswald or any American visited the Soviet Embassy on Friday, September 27 and, therefore, is the reason that no reports were sent to Moscow.
NOTE: Following the assassination, the telephone numbers of the Soviet Consulate and the Soviet Military Attach in Mexico City were found in Oswald's address book.
Where are the CIA Surveillance Photographs?
From the CIA's two photographic sites across the street, the man who visited the Soviet Embassy should have been photographed as he arrived and departed on September 27. During the months of August, September, and October 1963 the CIA took between 2 and 39 photographs each day at the Soviet compound, but none of these photographs were given to the FBI or Warren Commission. MEX, 63-18/19
NOTE: The Mexico City station advised they took 16 photographs of a person or persons entering or leaving the Soviet compound on September 27, 1963 between 10:18 am and 11:46 am. They advised, without explanation, that no photographs were taken after 11:46 am ("Oswald" allegedly arrived at the Embassy in the early afternoon) and also advised the surveillance camera was not working on Saturday, September 28 (during Oswald's alleged visit).
In 1971 retired CIA Chief of Station Winston Scott wrote, "Persons watching these embassies (Cuban and Soviet) photographed Oswald as he entered and left each one; and clocked the time he spent on each visit."
In 1978, HSCA investigators asked to review photographs from the three surveillance sites at the Soviet compound, but were given photographs from only one of the sites (the LIMITED site). When they found no photographs of Oswald's arrival or departure on Friday, September 27, they requested photographs from the other two sites. The CIA responded by saying the photographs and logs "may have been destroyed in a purge of Mexico City Station files."
HSCA investigators then questioned former CIA employees, reviewed logs, and studied maintenance reports in an attempt to determine if photographs were taken during the time of Oswald's alleged visit. The Committee concluded the CIA cameras were probably working on September 27 and spoke with former CIA employees who claimed to have seen photographs of Oswald. The Committee wrote, "The existence of an Agency photograph of Oswald has been further corroborated by CIA personnel both in Mexico City and at Agency headquarters who claim to have seen this material." MEX, 63-20
The CIA refused to show the HSCA photographs from two of their photographic sites at the Soviet compound. CIA officer Anne Goodpasture, who handled all materials from the Soviet surveillance site and had a "perfect memory" and was "meticulous in detail," must have known what happened to the photographs, despite her testimony to the contrary.
4:05 pm - Oswald's 3rd visit to the Cuban Consulate
3rd visit. When the man who identified himself as "Oswald" returned to the Cuban Consulate around 4:00 pm he was photographed, for the fifth time by the Robot Star "pulse camera." Even though the Cuban Consulate was then closed (at 2:00 pm daily), the man entered and told Silvia Duran that he had the Soviet visa, but was unable to produce the document.
Duran did not believe that Oswald obtained a Soviet visa and allegedly telephoned the Soviet Embassy around 4:05 pm. She spoke with a Soviet official and advised that an American citizen (she did not identify Oswald by name) was at the Cuban Consulate and claimed that he had received a Soviet visa. She said the American wanted to know the name of the official he had dealt with at the Embassy because he was assured there would be no problem in obtaining the document.
NOTE: The unidentified man who called the Soviet Military Attach at 10:30 am was told to call the Soviet Consulate for a visa-NOT THE EMBASSY. The same man called the Soviet Consulate at 10:37 am and again at 1:25 pm. If this man (allegedly "Oswald") was serious about getting a Soviet visa, he would have visited the Soviet Consulate as he was instructed, just as he had visited the Cuban Consulate to get a Cuban visa. The fact that he visited the Soviet Embassy instead of the Consulate, indicates that he was not serious about obtaining a Soviet visa.
Silvia was told that she would have to speak with another official who was not available (probably from the Soviet Consulate), and was asked to leave her name and phone number. This conversation was transcribed in Spanish, indicating the call had taken place in the Spanish language.
According to CIA TRANSCRIPTS a Soviet official telephoned Silvia at 4:26 pm and asked if the American citizen had been to the Cuban Consulate. According to CIA TRANSCRIPTS Duran told the official that the American was in the office at that time. According to CIA TRANSCRIPTS the Soviet official then told Duran they had not received an answer from Washington to the American's problem and also told her the American displayed papers from the Soviet Consulate in Washington. However, there is nothing, other than CIA TRANSCRIPTS, to corroborate either of these allegations.
The Soviet official told Duran the visa would take four or five months because permission had to be obtained from Moscow. But the typewritten transcripts of this conversation state the Soviet official said, "We have to await the approval of Washington." This conflict, and many others, suggest the CIA TRANSCRIPTS of this conversation were fabricated.
The Soviet official added that they could not give the American a letter of recommendation because they did not know him.
NOTE: How could the Soviet official say they did not know the man if, in fact, he possessed papers from the Soviet Consulate in Washington?
There are additional indications that the CIA TRANSCRIPT of the 4:26 pm is a fabrication. Cuban Consul Azcue remembered receiving a phone call from an official at the Soviet Consulate, who explained that the man's documents were legitimate but he could not be issued a visa until they received authorization from Moscow. If a conversation between Azcue and a Soviet official did occur then the CIA TRANSCRIPTS of the 4:26 pm conversation were fabricated, because Azcue's name is not even mentioned in the transcripts!
Another reason to suspect this particular CIA TRANSCRIPT was fabricated is the portion that reads, "The Soviet official had not yet received an answer from Washington to the American's problem." This allegation gives the impression that Oswald was receiving help from the Soviets or working with them. But according to Duran these statements were not part of her conversation with the Soviet official. The conversation between Duran and the Soviet official was transcribed in Spanish, indicating the call had taken place in the Spanish language.
As of Friday, September 27 there is no proof that Oswald or any American visited the Soviet Embassy, other than the typewritten CIA TRANSCRIPTS. When Chief of Station Winston Scott received transcripts of the alleged telephone call he wrote at the top of the page, "Is it possible to identify?" These notes show that Scott had a definite interest in the unidentified American who contacted the Soviet Embassy, but knew the man was not Oswald because he was under constant surveillance, as Scott wrote in his manuscript "The Foul Foe."
NOTE: A brief conversation probably occurred between Duran and an official at the Soviet Embassy at 4:26 pm, but involved nothing more than a short discussion about Oswald's request for a Soviet visa. The original tape recording of this conversation was destroyed and replaced with a fabricated CIA TRANSCRIPT, that cannot be verified, which said that Oswald had been in contact with the Soviet Consulate in Washington, DC.
An argument between "Oswald" and Cuban Consulate employees
After ending the conversation with the Soviet official, Silvia Duran again told Oswald that he would be unable to get a Cuban transit visa until he first obtained a Soviet visa. Oswald said he could not wait as his Mexican visa expired in 3 days (on October 2, 1963) and he had an urgent need to go to Russia. He told Duran that his wife, a Russian national, was waiting for him in New York City and would follow him to Russia. But Marina, who was 8 months pregnant, was living at Ruth Paine's house in Irving, Texas.
Oswald insisted that he was entitled to a visa because of his background, partisanship, and personal activities in favor of the Cuban movement. When Duran suggested to Oswald that he change his route to the Soviet Union and avoid traveling through Cuba, he became angry. As he became more and more angry, Azcue and Mirabal overheard the commotion and interceded.
After a few minutes Oswald began shouting at the Cuban consuls. He called them a "bunch of bureaucrats" and said they were causing him to cancel his trip. Guillermo Ruiz Perez, who had an office on the second floor in the trade delegation, entered the Consulate as Oswald was arguing with Azcue. Azcue asked Ruiz, who spoke better English, to explain to Oswald that he could not give him a transit visa to Cuba until Oswald first obtained a visa to the Soviet Union.
As Oswald continued to rave Azcue decided to end the conversation, and told him that he would not give a visa to a person like him. He told Oswald that as far as he was concerned, instead of aiding the Cuban Revolution, Oswald was doing it harm. Azcue went to the door, opened it and asked Oswald to leave. As Oswald left the Cuban Consulate, around 4:30 pm, he was photographed for the sixth and last time by the Robot Star "pulse camera." He was never seen again at the Consulate.
NOTE: Mirabal later reflected on Oswald's visit and said the argument between Oswald and Azcue was so loud that he thought Oswald's visits were a case of provocation.
In summary of Oswald's activities for Friday, September 27, we realize that his visits to the Cuban Consulate were probably pre-planned. The people directing the man who identified himself as Lee Harvey Oswald must have known that he would need photographs for a Cuban visa application. They must have known that he would need a Soviet visa before the Cubans would issue him a transit visa to Cuba. They also must have known he would have to visit the Soviet Consulate, and not the Soviet EMBASSY, in order to obtain a visa. It appears, therefore, that Oswald's visits to the Cuban Consulate followed a pre-planned script:
¥ A 1st visit in which he would be asked to get photographs.
¥ A 2nd visit in which he was told about the need for a Soviet visa.
¥ A 3rd visit to complain loudly to the Cuban Consul about the unnecessary "bureaucracy."
Three visits to the Cuban Consulate in a single day, along with a heated argument, would cause "Lee Harvey Oswald's" activities and his name to be remembered by Cuban Consulate employees. In fact Oswald's actions were so memorable that Consul Alfredo Mirabal thought his activities were a "provocation."
NOTE: Silvia Duran submitted Oswald's visa application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Two weeks later the application was approved, subject to Oswald obtaining a Soviet visa. Following the assassination the Cuban government conducted an investigation into Oswald's visit to their Consulate and provided a written summary to the Warren Commission through the Swiss Embassy. They wrote, "The Revolutionary Government of Cuba agrees to send to Chief Justice Earl Warren, whatever information it has concerning the visit to the Cuban Consulate at Mexico City of Lee Harvey Oswald....."
None of the people who saw Oswald at the Consulate (Duran, Azcue, Mirabal, Ruiz), including two CIA informants who worked inside the Consulate, said he was the same man accused of killing President Kennedy. In fact Azcue told the HSCA (Vol III, pp. 136, 139), emphatically, that the man accused of killing the President was not the man who visited the Cuban Consulate.
CIA Surveillance of the Cuban Consulate on Sept 27
Oswald's 3 arrivals and 3 departures at the Cuban Consulate on September 27 were logged and automatically photographed by the Robot Star "pulse camera," which resulted in at least 6 photographs. Anne Goodpasture, the CIA officer who had a "perfect memory" and was "meticulous in detail," would have been the person who received the photographs. She routed them to David Atlee Phillips and probably knows what happened to them, despite her testimony to the contrary.
In 1978 the HSCA asked the CIA for surveillance photographs of both the Cuban Consulate and the Cuban Embassy. They were provided with photographs taken of the entrance to the Cuban Embassy by the Exact camera, which were maintained in a chronological file at the Mexico City station. But Oswald had not visited the Cuban Embassy; he had visited the Cuban Consulate where visitors were photographed automatically by the Robot Star "pulse camera."
When the HSCA asked the CIA for surveillance photographs of the Cuban Consulate, David Phillips said the "pulse camera" had not been installed until December 1963. This was the reason, according to Phillips, that no photographs were taken during Oswald's visit to the Cuban Consulate on Friday, September 27. The HSCA, however, soon discovered that Phillips' response disagreed with a CIA dispatch from the Mexico City station of September 26, 1963, which said the "pulse camera" was tested and found to be in good working order. The HSCA also discovered that 10 feet of film had been removed from one of the rolls of film used in the CIA surveillance camera on September 27, 1963.
NOTE: Investigator Dan Hardway wrote a memo to HSCA Chairman Louis Stokes on October 27, 1978. He advised Stokes that 10 feet of film had been removed from one of the surveillance cameras on September 27, 1963 and that film from the second camera had been removed after four days of operation and sent to the Mexico City station. In June 1964 the Mexico City station forwarded all negatives from the pulse camera coverage of the Cuban Consulate and 5 packages of undeveloped film to CIA Headquarters. When the HSCA asked to review this material the CIA said it could not locate the photographs because they had been sent to Headquarters by a 'transmittal manifest.' The CIA explained that a transmittal manifest was 'unaccountable' as the document and material it transmitted were not made a part of the permanent record and, therefore, were not retrievable.
Phillips' response also disagreed with CIA document #104-10015-10107, released by the ARRB in 1995. This document said that surveillance photographs were taken of an unidentified American outside of the Cuban Embassy on October 15, 1963-two weeks after Oswald departed Mexico, and two months before the "pulse camera" was supposed to have been installed in December, 1963.
After reviewing CIA documents and interviewing CIA personnel HSCA investigators wrote, "The Committee believes that it is probable that the 'pulse camera' was in operation on the days that Lee Harvey Oswald visited the Cuban Consulate.....Such a camera would have automatically been triggered to photograph any person entering." MEX, 63-19 They also wrote, "This committee did not find any indication that photographs from this camera were sent to Headquarters prior to 6/19/64." In other words, the HSCA determined that the Mexico City station (Goodpasture and Phillips) retained all surveillance photos from the Cuban compound during and after Oswald's visit.
Daniel Stanley Watson, a retired CIA employee who was Deputy Chief Station in Mexico City from 1967 to 1969, told the HSCA that he saw a file on Oswald in Mexico City which contained one or two intercept transcripts and surveillance photographs. One of the photos was a 3/4 shot of Oswald from behind. Watson said that Winston Scott kept the items in a private personal safe in which he stored especially sensitive materials. Scott took the files with him when he retired and stored them in a safe in his home.
Joseph Piccolo, Jr., a former CIA operations officer at the Mexico City station, also saw two photographs of a man the CIA identified as Oswald (the man, who was not Oswald, became known as the "mystery man") taken by surveillance cameras. One of the photos was a left profile of Oswald as he looked down, while the second was the back of Oswald's head.
NOTE: When Piccolo was shown the "mystery man" photographs, he said this was definitely not the man that he saw in the photographs.
In his manuscript, "The Foul Foe," Winston Scott appeared to be open and candid about Oswald's activities in Mexico City, but his version of events was almost completely at odds with the CIA's official story. Scott wrote, "Oswald was under constant surveillance during his visit to Mexico City.....persons watching these embassies photographed Oswald as he entered and left each one; and clocked the time he spent on each visit," which Anne Goodpasture and David Phillips consistently denied.
When Winston Scott died Counterintelligence Chief James Angleton immediately flew to Mexico City and removed the contents of his safe-prior to his funeral. How Angleton knew the contents of Scott's safe remains a mystery.
Following the assassination the CIA gave photographs of an unidentified man to the FBI, allegedly taken outside the Soviet Embassy on Tuesday, October 1. These were later given to the Warren Commission and became known as the "mystery man" photographs.
CIA hidden microphones within the Cuban Consulate automatically picked up and recorded the following conversations involving the man who identified himself as "Oswald" on September 27, 1963 (the CIA has never provided tape recordings or transcripts of any of these conversations):
¥ "Oswald" talking, in English, with Sylvia Duran, circa 11:00 am.
¥ "Oswald" talking, in English, with Duran, Azcue, and Mirabal circa, 1:00 pm.
¥ "Oswald" talking, in English, with Duran, Azcue, Mirabal, and Ruiz, circa 4:30 pm.
CIA telephone taps on telephone lines at the Cuban Consulate picked up and recorded the following conversations, if they occurred, in which an unidentified man asked about obtaining a visa to the Soviet Union on September 27, 1963:
¥ An unidentified man, speaking Spanish, talking with the Soviet Military Attach, circa 10:33 am
¥ An unidentified man, speaking Spanish, talking with the Soviet Consulate, circa 10:37 am
¥ An unidentified man, speaking Spanish, talking with the Soviet Consulate, circa 12:35 pm
¥ Sylvia Duran's telephone conversation, in Spanish, with the Soviet Embassy, circa 4:05 pm
¥ Sylvia Duran's telephone conversation, in Spanish, with a Soviet official, circa 4:26 pm
Typewritten transcripts of these conversations, if they ever occurred, were given to Anne Goodpasture who routed them to David Phillips. But the Mexico City station (Goodpasture and Phillips) never sent any of these transcripts to CIA headquarters. The Mexico City station never admitted to recording or transcribing any conversation that mentioned Oswald, by name, within the Cuban Consulate.
The Warren Commission interviewed CIA Director John McCone and Richard Helms in 1964, yet neither official told the Commission about CIA audio and photographic surveillance of the Cuban and Soviet compounds in Mexico City. Former CIA Director Allen Dulles said nothing to fellow Commission members about CIA audio and photographic surveillance, perhaps because he knew that the surveillance material would show that Harvey Oswald was never in Mexico City.
In 1978 HSCA investigators asked the CIA for transcripts of phone conversations at the Cuban Consulate and were told there were none. They wrote, "The CIA has supplied us with transcripts from the Soviet Embassy alone; intercepts of Oswald from the Cuban Embassy phones have for some unexplained reason never been released." David Phillips tried to tell the HSCA the telephone lines at the Cuban Consulate were not tapped until 1964, which was another of Phillips' lies. Investigators found that 4 telephone lines at the Cuban Consulate (phone numbers 14-42-37, 14-92-14, 25-07-95, and 14-13-26) had been electronically intercepted in September and October 1963.
The HSCA apparently never knew about the numerous hidden microphones placed throughout the Cuban compound which picked up conversations inside the building, and neither David Phillips, Anne Goodpasture, nor anyone else told them. Routine conversations among Embassy and Consulate employees would have generated far more tape recordings and typewritten transcripts than conversations over the telephone.
Surveillance materials were withheld because they did not exist
Lee Oswald's visit to the Cuban Consulate was yet another attempt to link Harvey Oswald to Cuba, as were the FPCC activities in New Orleans and the attempt to purchase rifles from Robert McKeown (Castro's gun runner). But unlike Oswald's public display of passing out FPCC literature, it was essential that his alleged visits to the Cuban Consulate and Soviet Embassy not be discovered by other government agencies prior to the assassination. If discovered various agencies may have closely monitored Harvey Oswald, and the opportunity for setting him up as a "patsy" could have been lost.
The Cuban's description of Oswald
Oswald's visit to the Cuban Consulate, and his physical description, were described by Silvia Duran during her interrogation by the DFS on November 23, the day after the assassination. A 10-page statement was signed jointly by Duran and the DFS and was given to the Warren Commission in May 1964, but only after several revisions. The original version of this report, which was given to the CIA station in Mexico City, described Oswald as "blonde, short, dressed unelegently (sic), and whose face turned red when angry." These descriptions were removed before the report was given to the Warren Commission.
NOTE: Harvey Oswald was neither blonde nor short, but he did dress "unelegently." Oswald's "unelegent dress" was clearly remembered by Duran, but the photographs attached to his visa application show that he looked like a "college student" with a dress shirt, tie, and pullover sweater. Duran's memory of Oswald's "unelegent dress" suggests the visa photographs were not taken on the day of his visit.
The fact that the DFS gave Sylvia Duran's signed statement to the CIA instead of to the FBI, the US Ambassador, or Legal Attach Clark Anderson, is indicative of the close relationship that existed between these two organizations.
Cuban consul Eusebio Azcue and Sylvia Duran remembered the Oswald who visited their consulate had thin, blond hair, stood about 5'6" tall, and was over 30 years old. Azcue saw "Lee Harvey Oswald" on television after the assassination and said he "did not even resemble" the man who visited their consulate.
NOTE: On April 1, 1978 Azcue was interviewed by the HSCA and said that he would never have identified Lee Harvey Oswald as the man who visited the Cuban Consulate in September 1963.
On Thursday, August 3, 1978 Eusebio Azcue was interviewed on television by CBS evening news reporter Ed Rable. Azcue produced photographs, taken in the Cuban consulate, of the man who identified himself as Lee Harvey Oswald. One photograph showed a man in a light colored sweater walking toward the lower left of the picture. MEX, 63-22 The second photograph was of the same man walking toward the right. MEX, 63-23 Neither of these photos looked anything like the man accused of assassinating President Kennedy nor, curiously, did they look like Lee Oswald.
Silvia Duran told JFK researcher Anthony Summers that after the assassination she identified Oswald by reading his name in the newspaper and assuming he was the same person. When Summers sent her a film of Oswald handing out FPCC literature in New Orleans she said, "Oh, that was not the same man I saw. The man I saw at the consulate was weak and feeble character and this man was more of a powerful person." In interviews with the DFS Duran described Oswald as having blond hair and blue eyes.
In 1978 HSCA investigator Edwin Lopez located and interviewed two CIA assets who worked inside the Cuban Consulate during Oswald's visit. Both people said the person who visited the consulate was not the man accused of assassinating President Kennedy and both told Lopez that they reported this to the CIA station in Mexico City.
September 28 (Saturday) - Mexico City
At 11:51 am on Saturday morning, September 28, Silvia Duran called the Soviet Consulate, ACCORDING TO CIA TRANSCRIPTS! She allegedly told a Soviet official there was an American citizen at the Cuban Consulate who had previously visited the Soviet compound. Without identifying the man, Silvia handed the phone to the American who then spoke, in broken Russian, with the official. The typewritten CIA TRANSCRIPTS read:
Russian: "What else do you want?"
American: "I was just now at your Embassy and they took my address."
Russian: "I know that."
American: (speaks terrible, hardly recognizable Russian) "I did not know it then. I went to the Cuban Embassy to ask them for my address, because they have it."
Russian: "Why don't you come again and leave your address with us; it is not far from the Cuban Embassy."
American: "Well, I'll be there right away."
NOTE: The conversation supposedly began with Duran and "Oswald" speaking English. "Oswald" and a Soviet employee continued the conversation in Russian and the translator noted that the American spoke "terrible, hardly recognizable Russian." Harvey Oswald's command of the Russian language was extremely good and there was no reason for him to have spoken "broken Russian" at any time.
The portion of the transcript that reads, "I went to the Cuban Embassy to ask them for my address, because they have it," implied that the Cuban Embassy furnished Oswald a place to stay in Mexico City, but he did not know the address. When Sylvia Duran was interrogated by the DFS following the assassination, David Phillips prepared the list of questions to ask Duran. Positive answers to these questions would have implicated Duran, Oswald, and the Cubans in a plot to assassinate the President. One of Phillip's questions was, "Did the Cuban Embassy furnish him a place to stay in Mexico City?"
On November 25, 1963 the Mexican newspaper "Excelsior" wrote that Oswald, the apparent murderer of President Kennedy, became angry and repeated the same scene which he had made the day before at the Cuban Embassy, arguing with the Soviet Consul and departing highly disgusted from his office. (CE 2121 pp. 6-7) It remains unknown where the "Excelsior" obtained this information, but it likely came from CIA officers at the Mexico City station.
The circumstances surrounding this alleged visit are nearly identical with Sylvia Duran's account of events that occurred the previous day (Friday, September 27). In both cases an unidentified American (supposedly Oswald) visited the Soviet Embassy and then returned to the Cuban Consulate. In both cases Silvia Duran placed a call to the Soviet Embassy and talked to a Soviet official.
Once again Oswald was supposedly allowed access to the Soviet Embassy without a prior appointment. A telephone call for an appointment, in which a visitor gave his name, would have been routinely intercepted and recorded by personnel at the CIA listening post. But there are no CIA transcripts at any time which reflect that Oswald made an appointment at the Soviet Embassy, because he was never there.
Did Silvia Duran call the Soviet Consulate on Saturday morning?
Silvia Duran has always maintained the only phone calls between herself and the Soviet compound regarding Oswald occurred on Friday afternoon, September 27. According to Duran, Azcue, and Mirabal the Cuban Consulate was closed on Saturdays and Duran could not have telephoned or met with anyone.
Valeriy Kostikov, the man with whom Oswald allegedly met, was playing volleyball on Saturday morning and was not at the Soviet Consulate. If anyone had arrived at the Soviet compound on Saturday, September 28 between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm, CIA photographers at two surveillance sites would have photographed the visitor as he arrived and departed the Embassy-yet there are no photographs.
If Kostikov was playing volleyball, the Cuban Consulate was closed, and there are no photographs of an unidentified American at the Soviet Consulate on Saturday, September 28, then the CIA TRANSCRIPT of the conversation on Saturday (11:51 am) is a fabrication. The importance of the fabricated transcript was that it showed both the Cubans and the Soviets had Oswald's address and both knew him. The purpose of the transcript was to link the unidentified American (allegedly "Oswald") to both the Cubans and Soviets.
In summary, an unidentified man may have briefly visited the Soviet Consulate on Friday afternoon, but did not visit the Soviet Consulate on Saturday. At this point, according to the CIA TRANSCRIPTS, the American had still not identified himself by name to the Soviets.
NOTE: In 1993 former KGB Colonel Oleg Nechiporenko wrote a book in which he claimed Oswald visited the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City, but denied strenuously the visit was on Saturday. He claimed that Oswald displayed a pistol (illegal in Mexico), which he carried as protection because he was afraid of the FBI. If this statement were true and the ex-defector had visited the Soviet Embassy and displayed a pistol it is reasonable to conclude he would have been immediately escorted out of the Embassy by a Soviet guard and a report of his bizarre and provocative behavior sent to Moscow.
September 29 (Sunday) - Mexico City
There are no records of Oswald's activities on Sunday, September 29. Marina told the Warren Commission that Oswald said he had attended a bullfight while in Mexico City, which was probably a lie. To attend a bullfight in Mexico people were required to be formally dressed in a coat and tie. There was, however, a section set aside for people who were not formally dressed, but there was no evidence that Oswald attended.
September 30 (Monday) - Mexico City
On Monday, September 30, Oswald allegedly appeared at the Agencia de Viajes, Transportes Chinuahuenses, and purchased international exchange orders in the amount of $7.50 and $12.80. The travel agency representative, Mr. Roland Barrios, allegedly reserved seat No. 12 for "H.O. Lee" on Transportes del Norte bus No. 332 which was scheduled to depart Mexico City for Laredo at 8:30 am on October 2, and charged him $7.50. The agency also allegedly made reservations on a Greyhound bus from Laredo to Dallas and charged $12.80. Following the assassination, Mr. Barrios had no recollection of dealing with Oswald.
NOTE: Following the assassination two men showed up at the Transportes Frontera bus line (NOT THE TRANSPORTES DEL NORTE) in Mexico City and said they were members of the Mexican Presidential Staff. One of the men identified himself as Lieutenant Arturo Bosch and asked to look at bus manifests for October 2, 1963. In front of Transportes Frontera employees, Bosch altered one of the manifests to show that Oswald departed Mexico City on October 2, and also wrote the name "SAUCEDO" at the bottom (Manuel SAUCEDO was the owner of Flecha Roja bus No. 516). The Mexican Police, with documentation in hand, then claimed that Oswald departed Mexico City on October 2 aboard a Transportes Frontera bus.
In March 1964 the FBI determined that if Oswald rode Transportes Frontera bus No. 516 he could not have arrived in Dallas prior to 4:30 pm on October 3rd in time for a meeting at the TEC. A subsequent investigation, using "confidential FBI informants and sources," determined that Oswald traveled from Mexico City to Laredo on Transportes del Norte bus line. Curiously, the surname of "SAUCEDO," written by Arturo Bosch on the Transportes Frontera bus manifest, also appears on the purchase order for the Transportes del Norte bus line.
October 1 - New Orleans
On October 1, 1963 FBI agents interviewed Mrs. Charles F. Murret (Oswald's aunt) in New Orleans. Mrs. Murret told the agents that Oswald never resided at her residence when he moved from Dallas to New Orleans in May 1963, but did request permission to use her address while he sought employment. She also said that Marina and her child arrived a few days later in a brown station wagon driven by a woman from Texas. Mrs. Murret said she thought that Marina was living with this woman while Lee Harvey Oswald was seeking employment in New Orleans.
NOTE: According to former SA James Hosty the INS reported Oswald's visit to the Soviet Embassy (Sept 27) to the FBI. The INS report may have prompted the FBI to interview Mrs. Murret a few days later.
October 1 (Tuesday) - Mexico City
On October 1, 1963 CIA headquarters sent a cable to the Mexico City station advising that David Atlee Phillips had been appointed Chief of anti-Cuban operations.
At 10:31 am an unidentified man telephoned the Soviet Military Attache (not the Soviet Consulate) and spoke, in broken Russian, with a Soviet employee. The man allegedly asked if the Soviets had received an answer from Washington. The employee gave the man the phone number of the Soviet Consulate and asked him to call there. This conversation was transcribed in English, indicating the conversation was either in Russian or English.
The unknown man identifies himself as "Lee Oswald" on Oct. 1
CIA listening posts in Mexico City had standing instructions "to alert the Station immediately if a US citizen or English speaking person tried to contact any of the target installations (Soviet, Cuban, Polish, or Czechoslovak)." But the telephone calls on Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday were all in either Spanish or Russian and, therefore, the Station was not alerted.
Boris Tarasoff, a Russian-speaking CIA employee who translated telephone conversations at the Soviet Consulate (and then gave them to his wife, Anna, for transcription), remembered getting an unusual call from the Station:
"We got a request from the station to see if we can pick up the name of this person because sometimes we had a so-called 'defector' from the United States that wanted to go to Russia and we had to keep an eye on them.....They said, 'If you can get the name, rush it over immediately.'"
Unfortunately, the HSCA failed to ask Mr. Tarasoff to identify the CIA employee at the Mexico City station who gave him these instructions. Mr. Tarasoff did say that he did not know how a "defector's" had come to the Station's attention prior to this conversation or what led to the request to get his name. We know that "Oswald" did not identify himself over the telephone by name until October 1, but thanks to Boris Tarasoff we now know that someone at the Mexico City station knew about the so-called "defector's" presence prior to October 1.
At 10:45 am on October 1 the unidentified man who had been calling the Soviet compound for the past 4 days asking about a Soviet visa telephoned the Soviet Consulate. The man identified himself as "Lee Oswald" and spoke in English, while the CIA monitored and recorded the phone call at a nearby listening post. This man, who spoke with a Soviet employee, obviously did not speak Russian.
After the call ended, the monitor notified an American technician who listened to the tape recording. The technician, following instructions to notify the station if a US citizen or English speaking person contacted a target installation, marked the tape "URGENT" and had it delivered to Anne Goodpasture within 15 minutes.
Goodpasture turned the tape over to Boris Tarasoff who allegedly recognized the caller as the same person who spoke with the Soviet Consulate three days earlier, on Saturday, September 28. But Tarasoff, significantly, told the HSCA that he remembered only one telephone call which involved "Lee Oswald."
Anna Tarasoff transcribed the 10:45 am telephone conversation, which was in English, and gave the typewritten transcripts to Anne Goodpasture the same day. The original tape recording, marked "URGENT" by the American technician at the listening post, was probably retained indefinitely and kept by Winston Scott in his safe.
NOTE: The Mexico City station identified the man on the tape recording as "Lee Oswald," marked the tape "URGENT," yet they took a week to notify CIA headquarters about his visit to the Soviet Consulate.
The FBI and Warren Commission listen to the tape
Following the assassination of President Kennedy two FBI agents sat in on the interrogation of Lee Harvey Oswald at DPD headquarters, and later listened to the CIA tape recording of a telephone call between "Oswald" and the Soviet employee. FBI agents Clements, Bookhout, and Hosty sat in on Oswald's interrogations. After listening to the tape recording, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was notified and soon spoke with President Johnson.
The conversation between Hoover and Johnson occurred at 10:01 am on November 23, 1963 and was recorded as the two men discussed Oswald's visit to Mexico City:
Johnson: "Have you established any more about the visit to the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City in September?"
Hoover: "No, that's one angle that's very confusing for this reason. We have up here the tape and the photograph of the man who was at the Soviet Embassy, using Oswald's name. That picture and the tape do not correspond to this man's voice, nor to his appearance. In other words, it appears that there is a second person who was at the Soviet Embassy down there." MEX, 63-24
Hoover followed this conversation with a 5-page memo to the President in which he said that FBI agents reviewed the tape and concluded that the voice was not Oswald's. He then sent a similar memo to Clyde Tolson and another memo to James J. Rowley of the Secret Service which said:
".....Special Agents of this Bureau, who have conversed with Oswald in Dallas, Texas, have observed photographs of the individual referred to above and have listened to a recording of his voice. These Special Agents are of the opinion that the above-referred-to individual was not Lee Harvey Oswald."
On November 23 both the FBI and the CIA station in Mexico City realized the existence of a tape recording with the voice of an Oswald "imposter" was a serious issue. This tape was proof that someone impersonated Oswald in Mexico City, was proof of a conspiracy, and could never be made public. If the tape recording was the voice of Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy, it would have been broadcast on national television within hours.
CIA headquarters instructed the Mexico City station to send the transcripts of Oswald's conversations and "original tapes if available" to Headquarters as soon as possible, by courier. This created a serious issue which had to be resolved as soon as possible. There is no indication that CIA Headquarters knew that an original tape recording existed, but CIA agents at the Mexico City station and FBI agents in Dallas knew because they had listened to the tape.
The Mexico City station and the FBI tried to resolve the problem by claiming the tape had been destroyed prior to the assassination, which was a lie as both Hoover and Johnson had listened to the tape after the assassination. On November 23 SA Eldon Rudd wrote a memo to the SAC in Dallas which read, "With regard to the tapes (deletion) referred to herein, CIA has advised that these tapes have been erased and are not available for review." The SAC in Dallas then notified the Director of the FBI ".....the actual tape from which this transcript was made has been destroyed."
On November 24 the Mexico City station advised CIA Headquarters "Regret complete recheck shows tapes for this period already erased." The station then provided the FBI's Clark Anderson with CIA TRANSCRIPTS of the conversation and a letter stating that the original tapes had been destroyed. Anderson then advised FBI headquarters that the CIA's tape recording of Oswald's voice had been erased prior to the assassination.
After November 24, the Government's position was that no tape recording of a conversation between Oswald and the Soviet Consulate existed but that CIA TRANSCRIPTS of the conversation did exist.
On November 25 Burt Turner, an FBI supervisor in Washington, DC, sent a cable to Clark Anderson in Mexico City which stated, "If tapes covering any contact subject (Oswald) with Soviet or Cuban embassies available forward to Bureau for laboratory examination. Include tapes previous reviewed Dallas if they were returned to you." (NARA #157-10014-10168)
NOTE: Despite assurances by the FBI and the Mexico City station, the tape recording of the Oswald imposter's voice on October 1, 1963 was not destroyed, and both the FBI Director Hoover and President Johnson knew it was not destroyed. The original recording was probably kept by Winston Scott in his private safe at the Mexico City station.
Within days of the assassination of President Kennedy the CIA did their best to suppress and hide the tape recording and other evidence of the Oswald imposter, while at the same time fabricating evidence to create the illusion that "Lee Harvey Oswald" was in Mexico City. At first CIA Headquarters decided to not to tell the Warren Commission that any telephone calls had been intercepted or recorded. On December 21, 1963 CIA Headquarters sent a message to the Mexico City station which read, "Our present plan in passing info to the Warren Commission is to eliminate mention of telephone taps, in order protect your continuing ops." CIA Headquarters said the Commission would have to rely on the statement of Silvia Duran and the Soviet Consular files given to the State Department for information about Oswald's visit to Mexico City.
In April 1964, Warren Commission attorneys David Slawson, William Coleman, and Howard Willens visited Mexico City and learned for the first time the CIA had intercepted and recorded telephone calls at the Soviet compound. They were allowed to listen to the same recording of the voice of an Oswald imposter that FBI agents listened to following the assassination. But they were not shown the CIA TRANSCRIPTS of the conversation made available to the HSCA, probably because the transcripts were different from the tape-recorded conversation. The Commission did not report the tape recording to the public, which was tangible evidence that someone had impersonated Oswald in Mexico City.
On April 26, 1971 former Mexico City Chief of Station Winston Scott died before completing "The Foul Foe," a manuscript in which he detailed accounts of Oswald's visit to Mexico City. Family members, including Scott's widow, Janet, said that CIA Counterintelligence Chief James Angleton arrived at their home prior to the funeral and removed the contents of Scott's safe. He removed Scott's manuscript, photographs, a vinyl tape recording, a file on Oswald, other items, and took them to CIA headquarters. Before he died Scott told his wife the vinyl tape recording was of Oswald, and was most probably the same recording overheard by the FBI agents and Warren Commission staff members. Scott, perhaps all too familiar with the CIA's dirty tricks, left a copy of "The Foul Foe" with his wife for safekeeping. It is unfortunate that he did not leave a copy of the tape recording and copies of the photographs.
NOTE: According to Anne Goodpasture, Scott was so close to David Atlee Phillips that he recommended Phillips as his deputy at the Mexico City station while waiting for his next deputy, Allen White, to arrive. Their close friendship may explain why Scott kept the vinyl recording and photographs of Oswald in his safe rather than surrender them to CIA headquarters or to the Warren Commission.
In 1978 the Chief of the Section responsible for Mexico City at CIA Headquarters was asked if the tapes existed at the time of the assassination and said, "I think so.....Yes. Tapes were probably still in existence." He also said, "I had the impression that after the assassination they did a lot of transcribing."
When the HSCA asked Anne Goodpasture if she knew what happened to the tapes she replied, "I do not know." They should have asked her if the Mexico City station did a "lot of transcribing" after the assassination, which were probably when the fabricated CIA TRANSCRIPTS of Oswald's alleged phone calls to the Soviet Embassy were created.
NOTE: In 1978, after completing a report on Oswald's trip to Mexico City, the HSCA wrote, "In view of what is now known about the standard operating procedures and about the Station's actions prior to the assassination, the Station's confusing and somewhat contradictory reporting (the alleged erasure of tape recordings) after the assassination is strange."
Robert Blakey, the Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the HSCA, dealt with the problem as only a lawyer could. He reported that no recording of Oswald's voice was ever received or listened to in the United States. This carefully worded statement is yet another of example of how Blakey used his legal training in an attempt to trick the public. While no recording of Oswald's voice was received or listened to in the United States, the voice of an Oswald imposter was most certainly heard by FBI agents and Warren Commission staff members in Mexico City. Did the HSCA report this to the public? Of course not.
NOTE: ARRB Counsel Jeremy Gunn spoke with two former Warren Commission members who confirmed they had listened to the tape recording of the Oswald imposter in Mexico City in April 1964. When Gunn questioned Anne Goodpasture in 1995 he told her, "I have spoken with two Warren Commission staff members who went to Mexico City and who both told me that they heard the tape, after the assassination obviously."
David Phillips was a good friend of Washington, DC Attorney Evan Migdail, who interviewed Phillips on several occasions and discussed the tapes. According to Migdail, Phillips wanted him to know that he (Phillips) had heard either directly, or by recording, Oswald's voice in Mexico City when Oswald visited the Cuban and Russian embassies. Phillip tried to convince Migdail that he heard the voice of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man arrested by Dallas Police, on the tape. Phillip's claim, of course, conflicts with FBI agents who heard the tape recording and said that it was not Oswald's voice.
The fabricated CIA TRANSCRIPT of October 1, 10:45 am
In 1978 the HSCA showed Anna Tarasoff the CIA TRANSCRIPTS of phone conversations allegedly made by Oswald to the Soviet Consulate on Saturday, September 28 (1:51 am) and Tuesday, October 1 (10:31 am & 10:45 am). According to notations on these transcripts they were made by a man who spoke broken Russian, which was not Harvey Oswald because he spoke fluent Russian.
Ms. Tarasoff reviewed these transcripts but remembered that a different conversation had taken place in which the man identified himself as "Lee Oswald" and spoke English during the entire conversation. Anna told the HSCA:
"I myself, have made a transcript, an English transcript, of Lee Oswald talking to the Russian Consulate or whoever he was at that time, asking for financial aid.....He was persistent in asking for financial aid in order to leave the country.....Now, that particular transcript does not appear here and whatever happened to it, I do not know, but it was a lengthy transcript and I personally did that transcript.....This particular piece of work that I am talking about is something that came in and it was marked as urgent."
Ms. Tarasoff remembered clearly that the man on the tape spoke only English, repeatedly identified himself as "Lee Oswald," and asked for financial aid from the Soviets (just as Harvey Oswald had requested financial aid from the State Department when he returned to the US in June 1962). After reviewing the CIA TRANSCRIPT of the call at 10:45 am, Anna said the conversation that she transcribed was much longer. When shown the other CIA TRANSCRIPTS of calls allegedly made by "Lee Oswald" to the Soviet Consulate, Anna pointed that the calls were in either Russian or Spanish but said nothing about financial aid.
Winston Scott also remembered that Oswald made requests for assistance from two Embassies in trying to get to the Crimea with his wife and baby, and wrote of his desperation in "The Foul Foe."
In the late 1970's David Atlee Phillips, in what has to be considered a classic blunder, advised the Washington Post that Oswald told the Soviets, "I know you can pay my way to Russia." When interviewed by the HSCA Phillips said that Oswald had gone to the Cuban Embassy looking for monetary assistance in order to return to the Soviet Union. The only way Phillips could have known about Oswald's request for financial assistance is if he knew the contents of the original tape recording.
Thanks to Anna Tarasoff, we are now almost certain that a call was placed to the Soviet Consulate at 10:45 am on October 1 by an English-speaking man who identified himself as "Lee Oswald." We are also certain that the tape recording of the call was marked "URGENT" by the American technician at the listening post, and given to Anne Goodpasture and then to Anna Tarasoff for transcribing. Following the assassination of President Kennedy the original transcript disappeared and was replaced by the fabricated CIA TRANSCRIPT shown to Anna by the HSCA in 1978. Who was the most likely person to have fabricated this transcript? David Atlee Phillips, who may have been assisted by Anne Goodpasture.
The original tape recording was probably retained by Chief of Station Winston Scott, as there is little doubt the tape would have survived had it been in the hands of David Phillips or Ann Goodpasture. This was the recording overheard by FBI agents on November 23, by Warren Commission staff members in April, 1964, and was probably the "vinyl tape" that Winston Scott kept in his private safe, which was removed by Counterintelligence Chief James Angleton following Scott's untimely death.
More indications of deception
On October 3, at 3:39 pm, a man who identified himself as "Lee Harvey Oswald" placed a call to the Soviet Military Attach, spoke broken Spanish and English, and asked about a Soviet visa. This call was not publicized by either the Warren Commission or the HSCA because Oswald departed Mexico City the day before (October 2) at 8:30 am, and arrived in Dallas on October 3 at 2:20 pm. This call was clearly made by someone impersonating Harvey Oswald.
NOTE: Following the assassination a hotel receipt was found by Dallas constables Billy Preston and Robie Love in a box of papers that was turned over to Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade. Two other constables, Mike Callahan and Ben Cash, also examined the box of papers. Cash and Preston saw a receipt for a motel near New Orleans with Oswald's and Ruby's name on it. The receipt also showed several telephone calls to numbers in Mexico City, which were found to be those of the Cuban and Russian embassies (Dallas Morning News, March 28, 1976). This suggests that calls to the Soviet compound after October 2nd by a man who identified himself as "Lee Oswald" may have been made by Lee Oswald from a motel near New Orleans.
Another fabrication relating to the Soviet Embassy occurred five weeks after Oswald's alleged visit to Mexico City. On November 9, 1963, someone (allegedly Oswald) wrote a letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington, DC on Ruth Paine's typewriter. The letter read, ".....had I been able to reach the Soviet Embassy in Havana, as planned, the embassy there would have had time to complete our business." If this letter and the CIA TRANSCRIPTS were fabrications, which they almost certainly were, then CIA officials in the Mexico City station (Goodpasture and Phillips) and Ruth Paine were guilty of fabricating evidence to create the illusion that Oswald was working with the Soviets and the Cubans.
In the final analysis we realize that all of the existing CIA TRANSCRIPTS of "Oswald's" alleged conversations in Mexico City are questionable. They were partially or wholly fabricated in an attempt to create the illusion that Oswald was working with the Cubans and the Soviets.
CIA photographs of a "Mystery Man"
The CIA's three surveillance sites around the Soviet diplomatic compound photographically recorded the arrival and departure of Soviet officials, their families, foreign visitors, and the license plates of cars. A report by the Inspector General on the CIA's operations concluded, "At a minimum they attempted to collect as much information as possible on Americans in contact with the embassies (Cuban and Russian). This was routine....."
Surveillance photographs were given to the Mexico City station two or three times per week. Anne Goodpasture had the duty of "processing for operational leads all Station photosurveillance info pertaining to the Soviet target," a position she held since 1960. In practice she received typewritten transcripts of phone conversations (daily), surveillance photographs, logs which identified the photographs, and passed them along to Winston Scott and/or case officers.
On October 1, 1963 the CIA claimed to have taken photographs of a man they identified as "Lee Oswald" outside of the Soviet Embassy. The photographs were reviewed at the Mexico City station by Anne Goodpasture, who determined the photos had been taken on October 1, 1963, a claim that went unchallenged for the next 13 years (the photos were actually taken on October 2, after Oswald had already boarded a bus en route to Dallas).
On October 4, 1963 the CIA surveillance cameras photographed the same man as he entered the Soviet Embassy, according to a CIA cable from R.L. Easby to Director John McCone (11/23/63; Doc #104-10015-10289) and an FBI memo from SA Eldon Rudd to the SAC in Dallas (11/23/63).
On October 15, 1963, CIA surveillance cameras photographed the same man as he entered the Cuban Embassy, according to CIA document #104-10015-10107.
NOTE: Harvey Oswald was in Dallas when the photographs on October 4 and October 15 were taken. At least 13 photographs were taken of the "mystery man" at both the Cuban and Soviet compounds.
The man in these photographs was approximately 35 years old, with an athletic build, about six feet tall, and had a receding hairline. He is pictured wearing a short-sleeved white shirt in some photos and a black long-sleeved shirt in others, and is clearly not Oswald. This man has never been positively identified and has become known as the "mystery man." MEX, 63-25/26
NOTE: According to the "Lopez Report" the man could have been Yuriy Ivanovich Moskalev, a Soviet KGB officer. According to a "The Men on The Sixth Floor," a book by Glen Sample and Mark Collom, the man was US Air Force serviceman Ralph Geb, a high school friend of LBJ aide Mac Wallace who's brother (Fred Geb) was a career Army Intelligence/CIA officer.
Whoever this man was, when CIA Headquarters received the photos from Mexico City they should have known the photos were not Lee Harvey Oswald. Their pre-assassination file on Oswald contained 4 newspaper clippings and two photographs concerning his "defection" to the Soviet Union in 1959. A simple comparison of these photos would have alerted CIA personnel at Langley that the photographs from Mexico City were not Lee Harvey.
Chief of Station Winston Scott also knew the photographs were not Lee Harvey Oswald, which he admitted in a letter to J.C. King, Chief of the CIA's Western Hemisphere Division, on November 22, 1963:
Reference is made to our conversation of November 22 in which I requested permission to give the Legal Attach copies of photographs of a certain person who is known to you (RIF #104-10400-10302).
NOTE: If the Chief of the CIA's Western Hemisphere Division knew the identify of the "mystery man," then he had knowledge of the events in Mexico City concerning Oswald's alleged visit.
The "Mystery Man" photos are given to the FBI
On the afternoon of November 22, 1963 the US Ambassador to Mexico, Thomas Mann, told the FBI's Legal Attach in Mexico City (Clark Anderson) he thought there was more to the assassination that simply a "nut" shooting the President. Mann told Anderson the CIA had photographs of a man outside the Soviet embassy who they said was Oswald, and he had ordered the CIA to give the photos to the FBI.
At 7:16 pm Anderson telephoned FBI official Wallace R. Heitman and advised the CIA photographs were "deep snow stuff" and requested they not be made available outside of the Bureau. ASAC Kyle Clark then notified the SAC in Dallas, "CIA photographed Oswald coming out of the Russian Embassy, Mexico City, 10/2/63."
NOTE: The dates of October 1 and October 2 are significant. Oswald was allegedly in Mexico City on October 1, but departed Mexico City at 8:30 am on October 2. Following the assassination CIA officer Ann Goodpasture claimed for many years the "mystery man" photographs were taken on October 1, before Oswald departed Mexico City. Her lie was exposed in 1978 when confronted by the HSCA.
Several of the "mystery man" photographs were turned over to FBI SA Eldon Rudd who then advised the SAC in Dallas, "Attached are a series of photographs taken on 10/1/63 and 10/4/63....." Rudd took some of the photos and soon boarded a Naval Attach plane in Mexico City for Dallas.
NOTE: The FBI knew on November 22, 1963 the photos were not Oswald. According to SA Rudd, some of the photos were taken on October 4; two days after Oswald departed Mexico City.
At 10:30 am on November 23rd CIA Deputy Director Richard Helms sent a memo to the Secret Service and advised, "The subject of the photographs mentioned in these reports is not Lee Harvey Oswald." CIA headquarters then contacted the Mexico City station (MEXI) and advised:
"(FBI) says that photos of man entering Soviet Embassy which MEXI sent to Dallas were not of Oswald. Presume MEXI has double-checked dates of these photos."
Anne Goodpasture was the CIA employee responsible for re-checking the dates of the photos. From surveillance logs she knew the correct date of the photo was October 2, but that was the day that Oswald departed Mexico City at 8:30 am. Therefore, Goodpasture logged the photos as "October 1, 1963," when Oswald was still in Mexico City, and her intentional misrepresentation went unnoticed for the next 15 years. Neither Goodpasture nor anyone from the Mexico City station was interviewed by the Warren Commission.
On November 23, 1963 the Mexico City station asked CIA headquarters for a photograph of Oswald to compare with the unidentified American who visited the Soviet and Cuban Embassies.
NOTE: This request from the Mexico City station proves they conducted photographic surveillance of the Cuban compound in October 1963, and proves that David Phillips lied under oath when he told the HSCA that photographic surveillance of the Cuban compound did not begin until December, 1963.
On the evening of November 23 one of the "mystery man" photographs was shown to "Marguerite Oswald" for identification by FBI SA Bardwell Odum, but she was unable to identify the man in the photo. After Jack Ruby shot Oswald on November 24, and his photograph was widely published by the news media, "Marguerite" claimed the man in the CIA surveillance photo was Ruby. "Mrs. Oswald's" allegations were widely reported by the media and may be the only reason the "mystery man" photograph was published by the Warren Commission-to prove it was not Ruby.
On March 24, 1964 CIA Deputy Director Richard Helms notified the Warren Commission by letter, that one of the "mystery man" photographs was taken in mid-October, 1963 and most certainly could not have been Oswald.
NOTE: In 1995 the ARRB released CIA documents which confirmed Helm's letter to the Commission. According to CIA document #104-10015-10107, surveillance cameras photographed an unidentified American entering the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City on October 15, 1963.
In April 1964 Warren Commission staff members flew to Mexico City and met with CIA Chief of Station Winston Scott. They were allowed to listen to a conversation between a man who identified himself as "Lee Oswald" and an alleged employee of the Soviet Consulate, but kept this conversation secret from the public. When Commission staff members asked Winston Scott if surveillance photographs of Oswald were available, he allegedly replied they were not. He allegedly explained that photographic coverage was limited to daylight hours on weekdays and, because of inadequate funding, the technical means for taking photographs at night from long distance had not been developed.
The Warren Commission staff members must have realized the Soviet Embassy was open only during daylight hours. But instead of interviewing the people who operated the surveillance cameras, or Anne Goodpasture, or other CIA personnel in Mexico City, they readily accepted Scott's explanation.....or did they?
NOTE: We don't know if Winston Scott actually made these statements or if these are the words of Commission staff members. We know that Scott allowed staff members to listen to a tape of the Oswald imposter, and he may have allowed them to view photographs of the Oswald imposter which he kept in his safe. The retired Deputy Chief of Station in Mexico City, Daniel Stanley Watson, said that Scott kept a file on Oswald in his private personal safe at his office. Watson said the file contained one or two intercept transcripts, a vinyl recording, and surveillance photographs of Oswald. One of the photos was a 3/4 shot taken of Oswald from behind.
If Warren Commission staff members saw these photographs then they realized that someone had impersonated Oswald in Mexico City and knew this was suggestive of a conspiracy. If the photos had been Harvey Oswald, the man accused of assassinating the President, the Warren Commission would have immediately made them public.
But an impersonation of Oswald, especially at the Soviet and Cuban Consulates in Mexico City, was a clear indication of a conspiracy and could never be made public. This explains why the Commission never admitted that their staff members listened to a tape recording of an Oswald imposter in April, 1964 and why they never tried to explain or investigate the "mystery man" photographs. It is also one of the best indications that the Warren Commission knew that the assassination of President Kennedy was a conspiracy.
In the author's opinion, Winston Scott's willingness to share his information (tape recording and photographs of an Oswald imposter) with Warren Commission staff members, and later with Readers Digest, probably means that he was not part of the conspiracy.
On July 23, 1964 Richard Helms provided an affidavit to Warren Commission counsel J. Lee. Rankin which hinted the CIA knew the identity of the "mystery man." Helms advised the Commission to downplay the importance of the photos and pointed out, "It could be embarrassing to the individual involved who, as far as this Agency is aware, had no connection with Lee Harvey Oswald or the assassination of President Kennedy." How would Helms know this unless, of course, he knew the identity of the man?
There is a strong indication that Winston Scott and J.C. King also knew the identity of the "mystery man." Scott wrote in a memo to King, "Reference is made to our conversation of November 22 in which I requested permission to give the Legal Attach copies of photographs of a certain person who is known to you (RIF #104-10400-10302)."
NOTE: WIth surveillance photos, logs, and CIA memos there is little doubt that high-level CIA officials knew the identity of the "mystery man," and could easily have located him anywhere in the world.
Winston Scott died on April 26, 1971 and the contents of his safe were removed by James Angleton. According to Deputy Chief of Station Daniel Stanley Watson, Scott's safe contained a file on Oswald, one or two intercept transcripts, a vinyl recording, and surveillance photographs of Oswald.
On June 1, 1972 the FBI sent a memo from LEGAT to the Acting Director which reported that copies of the "mystery man" photos were kept at the Mexico City station until May 26, 1972.
In 1978 HSCA investigators, like the Warren Commission, were troubled by the CIA's identification of the "mystery man" as Oswald, because he looked nothing like "Lee Harvey Oswald." They also could not understand why the CIA said the man in the photographs was the same man who telephoned the Soviet Consulate from a remote location. There is simply no connection!
When the HSCA learned there were actually 3 cameras monitoring the Soviet compound they asked to review the photographs taken by the other two cameras, but the CIA denied their request. Investigators then interviewed CIA officer Anne Goodpasture, who had been in charge of photosurveillance materials at the Mexico City station since 1960. Access to these materials, according to "CIA-1" and "CIA-2," (unnamed CIA employees) was tightly controlled by Goodpasture.
In 1963 CIA headquarters advised the Mexico City station that the "mystery man" was not Oswald and wrote, "Presume MEXI has double-checked dates of these photos." Goodpasture was the CIA employee who would have "double-checked" the dates of the photos. In 1978 she told the HSCA that during the four or five day period of Oswald's visit, the "mystery man" was "the only non-Latin appearing person's photograph that we found that we could not identify as somebody else." The Committee, who knew about the 1963 memo, found Goodpasture's answer "implausible" and decided to investigate further.
HSCA investigators reviewed the log sheets which identified surveillance photographs by date and sometimes identified the individual in the photo. Goodpasture's supervisor, deputy chief of station Alan White, said, "She had a marvelous memory. She was meticulous in detail." But when investigators compared the "mystery man" photographs with the dates on the log sheets, they discovered that Goodpasture had incorrectly dated the "mystery man" photographs. Thanks to the HSCA investigators efforts we finally learned, fifteen years after the assassination, the "mystery man" photographs were not taken on October 1, as identified by Goodpasture, they were taken on October 2. In 1963 Goodpasture had intentionally mis-stated the October 2 date for two reasons:
1) on October 1, 1963, Oswald was still in Mexico City, but on October 2 he allegedly departed Mexico City at 8:30 am for Dallas.
2) on October 1, 1963, the CIA had transcripts of a telephone conversation in which a man identified himself as "Lee Oswald," which they linked with the "mystery man" photographs. But on October 2 there were no similar transcripts.
Summary of Oswald's alleged visit to Mexico City
In summation of Oswald's alleged visit to Mexico City we have learned that a CIA agent named William Gaudet, who officed in the New Orleans Trade Mart, obtained visa No. 24084 from the Mexican Consulate in New Orleans. The next visa, No. 24085 was issued to a man who identified himself as "Lee Harvey Oswald."
A man who identified himself as "Lee Harvey Oswald" was aboard a bus to Mexico City when he sat next to John Howard Bowen, aka Albert Osborne, a man with a strange and unexplained background. A man who entered Mexico with Oswald, departed one day earlier, and was out of the country when President Kennedy was assassinated. During the trip Lee Oswald showed a 1959 passport to Pamela Mumford and Patricia Winston which contained his photograph and Soviet immigration stamps.
According to Winston Scott, "Lee Harvey Oswald" was under constant surveillance during his visit to Mexico City and the CIA had as many as 13 photographs of his visits to the Cuban and Soviet Embassies.
A short man with blond hair showed up at the Cuban Consulate and identified himself as Oswald, yet there are no CIA photographs or tape recordings that identify the man. None of the Consulate employees or the two CIA assets inside the Cuban compound identified the man as Lee Harvey Oswald.
A man posing as "Lee Harvey Oswald" allegedly visited the Soviet Embassy, yet there are no CIA photographs or tape recordings to identify this man. "Oswald's" brief visit was so uneventful the Soviets had no reason to record the event, yet the INS (Immigration & Naturalization Service) reported Oswald's visit to the FBI (probably from information received by the CIA).
The Cuban government cooperated with the Warren Commission and HSCA by providing documentation to investigators and allowing them to question members of the Cuban Consulate. Fidel Castro personally met with HSCA staff members and assured them Cuba had no involvement in the assassination, and told them he thought Oswald's visit was a provocation. The CIA refused to provide information to both the Commission and HSCA, their officers lied, and we now know they fabricated documents and photographs in an attempt to create the illusion that Oswald was in Mexico City.
In November, 1963 Soviet Ambassador Anastas Mikoyan arrived for President Kennedy's funeral and provided photostats of their file on Oswald to the US government. The file contained no telegrams regarding Oswald's alleged contact with the Soviet Embassy in Washington, no correspondence between the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City and Moscow regarding Oswald or his alleged visit, and nothing that indicated Oswald had any contact the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City on September 27 or 28, or on October 1 or 3, 1963. As previously noted, Oswald's visit to the Soviet Embassy, if it ever occurred, attracted little attention.
The Warren Commission had very little documentation which placed Oswald in Mexico City and credible reports that actually placed him in Dallas at that time. The Commission knew that photographs and a tape recording strongly suggested that someone impersonated Oswald in Mexico City, but kept that information from the public because it suggested a conspiracy. The Commission investigated Oswald's possible connections with Cuba and received information from anonymous sources, CIA-paid informants, fictitious letters, and researched dozens of alleged contacts between Oswald and agents of the Cuban Government, but found nothing that connected him to Cuba.
The Commission undoubtedly knew that someone was trying to link Oswald to Cuba, but appeared unconcerned and disinterested. Had they conducted a proper investigation they might have learned about the phony CIA transcripts, and might have learned who fabricated them. They might have learned that David Phillips sent Gilberto Alvarado to the US Embassy with a story that linked Oswald with Sylvia Duran and a communist conspiracy, which proved to be false. They also may have learned that CIA assets were behind many of the post assassination attempts to link Oswald to Cuba. But if the Commission had conducted a thorough investigation, they would have discovered who was really behind the assassination.
The man who identified himself as "Lee Harvey Oswald" on October 1, 1963 left footprints in Mexico City that others could follow, but not too closely. When the Warren Commission and HSCA tried to examine these footprints in detail, their efforts were blocked by CIA officers in the Mexico City station and CIA Headquarters, who didn't want anyone to learn the truth. The individual at the center of the controversy, "Lee Harvey Oswald," knew the truth. He told Dallas Police Captain Will Fritz he had never been in Mexico City, but few people listened.
After retiring from the CIA David Phillips spoke to a group of CIA Intelligence Officers. JFK researcher Mark Lane attended the meeting and heard Phillips say, "We may come to learn that Lee Harvey Oswald was never in Mexico City."
October 2 - Oswald's departure from Mexico
We have now learned that Harvey Oswald was never in Mexico City, and we have also learned that the activities of the individual(s) who impersonated him were wrapped in "smoke and mirrors." The CIA's attempt to create the illusion that Oswald visited the Cuban and Soviet compounds became obvious when the Mexican Police and FBI tried to track his departure from Mexico City.
The Warren Commission issued it's report in September, 1964 and reported Oswald's departure from Mexico as simple and straightforward. They said Oswald left Mexico City aboard Transportes del Norte bus #332 at 8:30 am on October 2, crossed the US/Mexican border at 1:35 am, October 3, and arrived by Greyhound bus in Dallas at 2:20 pm.
But the original story of Oswald's departure, as told by the Mexican Government nearly a year earlier, and leaked to the press on November 25, 1963, was very different. The Mexican Police pieced together their story of Oswald's departure from fabricated documents which showed that he departed Mexico City aboard a Transportes Frontera bus on October 2.
Oswald's departure from Mexico according to Mexican Police
On November 23, 1963 men in uniform appeared at the Transportes Frontera bus terminal in Mexico City. They identified themselves as members of Mexican Presidential Staff and spoke with manager Gilberto Lozano Guizar, ticket salesman Francisco Alvarado, and his assistant, Lucio Lopez Medina. Lozano told the investigators that in order for Oswald to have arrived in Nuevo Laredo between the hours of 12:00 am and 8:00 am on October 3 (Oswald's departure according to Mexican Immigration records), he must have been aboard Transportes Frontera bus No. 340, which departed Mexico City at 1:00 pm on October 2, 1963.
Lozano located the bus manifests and gave them to one of the investigators who identified himself as Lieutenant Arturo Bosch. While Lozano looked on Bosch wrote the time, destination, trip number, bus number, and date at the top of the manifest. At the bottom of the manifest he wrote the name of the bus driver and then crossed out the original date of "November 1" and replaced it with "October 2, 1963."
When Lieutenant Bosch gave the altered bus manifest to his supervisor the name "Oswld" and "Lared" were written opposite seat number 4, but the space provided for the bus ticket number was left blank, because a ticket had never been issued!!
The investigators next visited Alejandro Saucedo, manager of the Flecha Roja bus terminal in Mexico City in order to locate records of Oswald's arrival. They confiscated the original bus manifest of September 26-27, 1963 and later confiscated the duplicate copy of the bus manifest from the Flecha Roja terminal in Nuevo Laredo. When Saucedo asked the investigators if they were interested in locating records of Oswald's departure, the investigators said they had already located the departure record. These fabricated documents formed the basis by which the Mexican Government determined the dates of Oswald's arrival in and departure from Mexico City.
On December 3, 1963 an article written by Peter Kihss appeared in the New York Times which read, "The Mexican Ministry of the Interior disclosed that the results of it's intensive police investigation had indicated that Oswald was alone here. The Ministry's findings have been transmitted to United States authorities. Indeed few mysteries remained as to Oswald's trip here, following painstaking inquiry....." The article went on to say that Oswald left Mexico City on a Transportes Frontera bus at 1:00 pm and arrived in Nuevo Laredo at 6:30 am on Thursday, Oct 3. Kihss allegedly received information about Oswald's departure from the Mexican Ministry of the Interior, headed by CIA-asset Luis Echeverria (future President of Mexico).
In March 1964 the FBI learned the Flecha Roja and Transportes Frontera bus manifests had been confiscated shortly after the assassination. On March 24 Captain Fernando Gutierrez Barrios, Assistant Director of the Mexican Federal Security Police (DFS), advised the Bureau that his agency conducted no investigation in connection with Oswald's travels in Mexico. Gutierrez said that no members of the DFS were involved in confiscating the bus manifests. So, who were the "investigators" who confiscated the bus manifests on November 23, 1963?
On April 14, 1964 the acting Minister of Government, CIA-asset Luis Echeverria, issued instructions to the Chief of the Inspection Department of the Immigration Service to make every effort to locate the missing manifests. But neither the Flecha Roja or Transportes Frontera bus manifests were ever located, probably because both Barrios and Echeverria were on the CIA payroll, and the CIA didn't want the manifests to be found. In 1970 Luis Echeverria became the President of Mexico, a position he held until 1976.
Thru March of 1964 the Mexican Government's claim that Oswald departed Mexico City aboard Transportes Frontera bus #340 was accepted by the FBI and Warren Commission. But when FBI agents began reviewing bus schedules for Transportes Frontera bus #340, and connections with the Greyhound bus schedules in Laredo, Texas, they soon discovered a problem. According to the Greyhound schedules Oswald could not have ridden bus #340 to Laredo, Texas, changed to a Greyhound bus, and arrived in Dallas by 4:30 pm for a meeting with the Texas Employment Commission. After a lengthy follow-up investigation, in which the FBI relied almost exclusively on "confidential informants" and "unidentified sources," they "concluded" that Oswald used a different bus line to depart Mexico City.
CIA messages from Mexico City
On October 8, six days after Lee Oswald departed Mexico City, the CIA station advised CIA Headquarters that Oswald visited the Soviet Embassy on September 28 and telephoned the Soviet Consulate on October 1. The limited amount of information contained in this transmission was designed to attract little attention, yet gave the appearance the Mexico City station had done it's job by identifying Oswald and reporting his visit.
NOTE: In reviewing the CIA transmissions, which consists of 3 cables, a teletype, and a memo, it is important to remember that nothing was mentioned about Oswalds 3 visits to the Cuban Consulate on September 27, his request for a Cuban transit visa, his visit to the Soviet Embassy on Sept. 27, or his request for a Soviet visa.
1st message. Oswald allegedly visited the Soviet Embassy on Friday afternoon, September 27 and telephoned the Embassy at 10:45 am on October 1, 1963. But the Mexico City station delayed notifying CIA headquarters of these contacts until October 8, 1963. The classified message sent to the Director of the CIA on October 8 read:
"ACC (DELETED) 1 OCT 63, AMERICAN MALE WHO SPOKE BROKEN RUSSIAN SAID HIS NAME LEE OSWALD, STATED HE AT SOVEMB ON 28 SEPT WHEN SPOKE WITH CONSUL WHOM HE BELIEVED RE VALERIY VLADIMIROVICH KOSTIKOV. SUBJ ASKED SOV GUARD IVAN OBYEDKOV IF THERE ANYTHING NEW RE TELEGRAM TO WASHINGTON. OBYEDKOV UPON CHECKING SAID NOTHING RECEIVED YET, BUT REQUEST HAD BEEN SENT.
HAVE PHOTOS MALE APPEARS BE AMERICAN ENTERING SOVEMB 1216 HOURS, LEAVING 1222 ON 1 OCT. APPARENT AGE 35, ATHLETIC BUILD, CIRCA 6 FEET, RECEDING HAIRLINE, BALDING TOP, WORE KHAKIS AND SPORT SHIRT."
NOTE: In 1976 David Phillips told the Washington Post that he authored the first paragraph of the Mexico City cable. The last paragraph was added by Anne Goodpasture after she reviewed the "mystery man" photos. She wrote on the surveillance log sheet, "This person had not been identified by 10/8/63."
If "Oswald" ever visited the Soviet Embassy, it was on Friday afternoon, September 27. However, there is no indication that "Oswald" identified himself to the Soviets or that they knew his name. The only time "Oswald" identified himself was during a phone call the following Tuesday, October 1, at 10:45 am.
NOTE: There is good evidence the CIA knew Lee Oswald's identity by the time he arrived in Mexico City (see William Gaudet, Albert Osborne, Winston Scott, James Hosty, Joseph Piccolo, Jr., Daniel Stanley Watson, etc).
The CIA cable stated that Oswald "SPOKE BROKEN RUSSIAN" but, as we have seen Anna Tarasoff said the conversation was in English, and the FBI agents and Warren Commission staff members who listed to the tape also knew it was in English.
The cable reads, "STATED HE AT SOVEMB ON 28 SEPT WHEN SPOKE WITH CONSUL WHOM HE BELIEVED RE VALERIY VLADIMIROVICH KOSTIKOV." But Kostikov was not at work on Saturday, September 28, and could not possibly have met with Oswald.
The Mexico City station (David Phillips) failed to advise headquarters that both the Soviets and Cubans had Oswald's address, according to their transcripts. They also failed to advise headquarters that Oswald had visited the Cuban Consulate (see CIA transcript of 9/28/63-11:51 am). These glaring omissions may have prevented CIA Headquarters from passing this information along to other agencies.
CIA officer Ann Egerter told the HSCA that Oswald's contact with Kostikov "caused a lot of excitement" at Langley and that Oswald "had to be up to something bad." But there was no indication that Oswald's contact with KOSTIKOV caused any excitement at headquarters. If CIA headquarters really thought that Oswald were "up to something bad," or if his contact with the Soviet Embassy was a concern, then why did headquarters fail to notify the FBI so they could interview him upon his return to the US?
The last paragraph in the cable stated, "AGE 35, ATHLETIC BUILD, CIRCA 6 FEET, RECEDING HAIRLINE, BALDING TOP" which Anne Goodpasture wrote after reviewing the "mystery man" photos. But Harvey Oswald was neither 35 years old, 6 foot tall, nor did he have an athletic build.
This cable was not sent until 7 days after Oswald's phone call to the Soviets (on October 1), and was then sent only to CIA headquarters. One possible reason for the delay in sending the cable was that David Atlee Phillips was on a temporary assignment in Washington, DC and Miami and did not return until October 8th or 9th.
2nd message. Two days, on October 10, 1963, CIA headquarters replied to the Mexico City station's cable and advised:
"LEE OSWALD WHO CONTACTED SOVEMB 1 OCT PROBABLY IDENTICAL LEE HENRY OSWALD (201-289248) BORN 18 OCT 1939, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, FORMER RADAR OPERATOR IN UNITED STATES MARINES WHO DEFECTED TO USSR IN OCT 1959. OSWALD IS FIVE FEET TEN INCHES, ONE HUNDRED SIXTY FIVE POUNDS, LIGHT BROWN WAVY HAIR, BLUE EYES.
LATEST HDQS INFOR WAS REPORT DATED MAY 1962 SAYING HAD DETERMINED OSWALD IS STILL US CITIZEN AND BOTH HE AND HIS SOVIET WIFE HAVE EXIT PERMITS AND DEPT STATE HAD GIVEN APPROVAL FOR THEIR TRAVEL WITH THEIR INFANT CHILD TO USA."
CIA headquarters, apparently ignoring the physical description and the age of the "Lee Oswald" as described in the cable from Mexico City, suggested that the man could be "LEE HENRY OSWALD" (not Lee HARVEY Oswald). This cable was sent only to the Mexico City station-no other government agencies!
NOTE: CIA counterintelligence officer Ann Egerter allegedly invented the name "Lee HENRY Oswald" in November, 1960, when information about Lee HARVEY Oswald was collected in response to a State Department request following his "defection" to Russia (Otto Otepka). This may have been the CIA's way of distinguishing "Harvey Oswald," who defected to Russia, from "Lee Oswald," who remained in the US.
The notation, "LATEST HDQS INFOR WAS REPORT DATED MAY 1962," created the false impression that the latest information about Oswald in CIA files was from May 1962. But on September 7, 1962 FBI Director Hoover sent a letter to CIA Deputy Director Richard Helms (CIA Director in 1966) and included SA John Fain's August 30, 1962 report on Lee Harvey Oswald's recent activities. Ann Egerter, at CIA Headquarters, knew there was more recent information in the file about Oswald, yet the October 10 cable said nothing.
NOTE: When the CIA submitted Oswald's 201 file to the Warren Commission (CD 692), they failed to include the May 1962 report, and many other documents.
The CIA had a secret agreement with the FBI to inform them if American citizens made contact with communist bloc embassies. The FBI sent a 7-page report to CIA headquarters on Oswald's FPCC activities in New Orleans, which was reviewed by Ann Egerter on October 4, 1963. CIA headquarters should have responded by notifying either FBI headquarters or the FBI's Clark Anderson (Legal Attach in Mexico City) of Oswald's contacts with the Soviet and Cuban compounds.
3rd message. On October 10 CIA Headquarters also sent a classified message to the Department of State, the FBI, the INS, and the Department of the Navy which read:
"ON 1 OCTOBER 1963 A RELIABLE AND SENSITIVE SOURCE IN MEXICO REPORTED THAT AN AMERICAN MALE, WHO IDENTIFIED HIMSELF AS LEE OSWALD, CONTACTED THE SOVIET EMBASSY IN MEXICO CITY INQUIRING WHETHER THE EMBASSY HAD RECEIVED ANY NEWS CONCERNING A TELEGRAM WHICH HAD BEEN SENT TO WASHINGTON. THE AMERICAN WAS DESCRIBED AS APPROXIMATELY 35 YEARS OLD, WITH AN ATHLETIC BUILD, ABOUT SIX FEET TALL, WITH A RECEDING HAIRLINE. IT IS BELIEVED THAT OSWALD MAY BE IDENTICAL TO LEE HENRY OSWALD, BORN ON 18 OCTOBER 1939 IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, A FORMER US MARINE WHO DEFECTED TO THE SOVIET UNION IN OCTOBER 1959....."
This was the first and only message sent by CIA headquarters to outside agencies regarding Oswald's contact with the Soviet Embassy (except CIA's request for photos of LHO from the Navy). It is very significant that CIA headquarters sent the correct description of Oswald to their Mexico City station but a "phony" description of Oswald to other government agencies. When these agencies read the "phony" description of Oswald, they were probably confused as to the identity of the man who visited the Soviet Embassy. Their cable says that Oswald is 35 years old, yet says he may be identical with a 23 year old man born in 1939. The cable identifies the man as "Lee Oswald," yet says he may be identical with "Lee HENRY Oswald." It appears as though CIA headquarters intentionally provided disinformation about Oswald's physical description to other government agencies, but why?
If any government agency had concerns about Oswald's identity or his activities they could contact the CIA station in Mexico City. Anne Goodpasture had many photographs of the 35-year-old, well-built, "Lee Oswald" in her files, which matched the description of the man in the classified message. With the "mystery man" photos in hand, the Mexico City station could convince any inquisitive government agency that the man who visited the Soviet Consulate was probably not the ex-Russian defector.
4th message. On October 16, 1963 Anne Goodpasture drafted the following memorandum which was sent to the Ambassador, the Minister, the Counselor for Political Affairs, the Regional Security Officer, the Naval Attach, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Lee Henry Oswald's file, and the Legal Attach (FBI):
"ON 1 OCTOBER 1963, AN AMERICAN MALE CONTACTED THE SOVIET EMBASSY AND IDENTIFIED HIMSELF AS LEE OSWALD. THIS OFFICE DETERMINED THAT OSWALD HAD BEEN AT THE SOVIET EMBASSY ON 28 SEPTEMBER 1963 AND HAD TALKED WITH VALERIY VLADIMIROVICH KOSTIKOV, A MEMBER OF THE CONSULAR SECTION, IN ORDER TO LEARN IF THE SOVIET EMBASSY HAD RECEIVED A REPLY FROM WASHINGTON CONCERNING HIS REQUEST. WE HAVE NO CLARIFYING INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO THIS REQUEST. OUR HEADQUARTERS HAS INFORMED US THAT THE OSWALD ABOVE IS PROBABLY IDENTICAL WITH LEE HENRY OSWALD, BORN ON 18 OCTOBER 1939 IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, A FORMER RADAR OPERATOR IN THE US MARINE CORPS WHO DEFECTED TO THE SOVIET UNION IN OCTOBER 1959. THIS OFFICE WILL ADVISE YOU IF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS MATTER IS RECEIVED."
This was the first and only message sent by the Mexico City station to outside agencies regarding Oswald's contact with the Soviet Embassy. Goodpasture wrote, "This office determined that OSWALD had been at the Soviet Embassy on 28 September 1963" and "no clarifying information" with regard to Oswald's visit. NO CLARIFYING INFORMATION?
¥ The Mexico City station had transcripts which allegedly showed that the Soviets and Cubans had Oswald's address and that Oswald had visited the Soviet Embassy and Cuban Consulate (9/28/63-11:51 am).
¥ The Mexico City station allegedly had transcripts of a telephone conversation between Silvia Duran and a Soviet employee in which Duran said there was an American citizen seeking a visa at the Cuban Consulate, but his acquiring a Cuban visa was contingent upon his first acquiring a Soviet visa (9/27/63-4:05 pm).
¥ The Mexico City station allegedly had another transcript which said American's wife could get a visa in Washington and he felt the American would not get a visa soon (9/27/63-4:26 pm).
¥ The Mexico City station allegedly had several other transcripts in which an unidentified man called the Soviet compound and asked for a Soviet visa.
¥ The Mexico City station had two "sources" inside the Cuban compound, telephone taps on both the Cuban and Soviet compounds, and hidden microphones inside the Cuban Consulate which could have provided any information needed.
The Mexico City station knew perfectly well that Oswald was trying to get Cuban and Soviet visas, but they didn't want anyone else to know. When Anne Goodpasture was asked by the HSCA why she wrote "no clarifying information" on the memo, she replied, "They had no need to know all these other details." In other words this officer decided that CIA headquarters had no need to know that Oswald, the ex-Russian "defector," was trying to obtain a visa to the Soviet Union!
NOTE: Goodpasture's statement "no clarifying information" is understandable and may be accurate if, in fact, there was no additional information on October 16, 1963. The CIA TRANSCRIPTS may have been created after Goodpasture's memo was written and may, in fact, have been created after the assassination (see comments made by the Chief of the Section responsible for Mexico City at CIA Headquarters).
The Assassination Records Review Board located an attachment ("D") to the October 16 cable which referenced Oswald's conversation at the Cuban Consulate. When Ann Goodpasture testified before the ARRB she was shown this document, and reluctantly admitted the Mexico City station did have pre-assassination knowledge of Oswald's visit to the Cuban Consulate.
NOTE: Winston Scott wrote that the Warren Commission was wrong when they reported the CIA hadn't learned of Oswald's visit to the Cuban Consulate before the assassination.
The October 16 memo identified VALERIY VLADIMIROVICH KOSTIKOV as a member of the Consular Section. But the day after the assassination, the CIA identified KOSTIKOV as a KGB assassin (a claim which was later retracted), in an obvious attempt to link Oswald with the Soviet KGB.
Anne Goodpasture ended the October 16 memo by reassuring readers, "Will advise you if additional information on this matter is received." The Mexico City station had no intention of providing additional information about Oswald's visit, but the reader didn't know that.
5th message. Two weeks later, on October 24, 1963, CIA Headquarters sent a classified message to the Department of the Navy which read:
REFERENCE IS MADE TO CIA OUT TELETYPE NO. 74673, DATED 10 OCTOBER 1963, REGARDING POSSIBLE PRESENCE OF SUBJECT IN MEXICO CITY. IT IS REQUESTED THAT YOU FORWARD TO THIS OFFICE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TWO COPIES OF THE MOST RECENT PHOTOGRAPH YOU HAVE OF SUBJECT. WE WILL FORWARD THEM TO OUR REPRESENTATIVE IN MEXICO, WHO WILL ATTEMPT TO DETERMINE IF THE LEE OSWALD IN MEXICO CITY AND SUBJECT ARE THE SAME INDIVIDUAL.
CIA Headquarters was asking the NAVY for photographs of Oswald even though they had photos (newspaper clippings) of him in their file. With this memo CIA Headquarters was able to claim that as of October 24th they were still uncertain about the identity of the man who contacted the Soviet Embassy.
Why the Mexico City station failed to tell CIA Headquarters about Oswald's visit to the Cuban Consulate.
On September 24, 1963 FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover notified CIA Headquarters about Lee Harvey Oswald's recent arrest for FPCC activities in New Orleans. A visit by "Lee Harvey Oswald" to the Cuban Consulate in Mexico City three days later (9/27/63) would certainly have been of interest to both the Bureau and CIA Headquarters. In 1963 they were in the middle of an ongoing investigation of the FPCC, of which Oswald was a member. Oswald's visit to the Cuban Consulate would also have been of interest to other government agencies including the FBI, ONI, Department of State and INS.
The Mexico City station most certainly knew about Oswald's visit to the Cuban Consulate, from both their human assets and hidden microphones. Chief of Station Winston Scott wrote in his manuscript "Foul Foe" that reports were made on all his (Oswald's) contacts with both the Cuban Consulate and the Soviets. Scott's claims were corroborated by Counterintelligence Chief James Angleton's deputy Ray Rocca in testimony before the HSCA on July 17,1978 (pp 82-83).
But even though the Mexico City station knew about Oswald's contact with the Cuban Consulate, certain officers within the station made sure the information was not shared with other government agencies. They probably feared that one or more of these agencies would monitor Oswald's activities and thus ruin their chance to set him up as a "patsy" prior to November 22. Following the assassination Oswald's contacts at the Cuban Consulate, the Soviet Embassy, and an alleged meeting with Kostikov were known immediately !
Why was Oswald's attempt to obtain visas not mentioned?
CIA TRANSCRIPTS of alleged phone conversations which occurred on September 27 (4:05 pm; 4:26 pm) and September 28 (11:51 am) clearly establish that "Oswald" was trying to get Cuban and Soviet visas, yet CIA officer Anne Goodpasture advised there was "no clarifying information" about "Oswald's" request in her October 16 memo.
When Goodpasture was questioned about the memo, she said that she had re-checked the CIA TRANSCRIPTS before preparing the memo. Her claim seems ridiculous unless there were no transcripts or the transcripts she checked were different from those reviewed by the HSCA. The CIA transcripts given to the HSCA could easily have been created after Goodpasture wrote the memo or later. If Goodpasture had any doubt about the transcripts when she wrote the October 16 memo, she could have listened to the original tape recordings, which were retained by the Mexico City station for at least two weeks before reuse.
When Goodpasture wrote "no clarifying information" on the October 16 memo, it was either negligent or intentional. Either way it kept other government agencies from knowing about Oswald's efforts to obtain visas to Cuba and the Soviet Union, which may have caused his activities to be closely monitored and jeopardize the opportunity to set him up as a "patsy."
Rogue CIA officers at the Mexico City station
In December 2000 E. Howard Hunt told Cigar Aficionado that he was temporary Chief of Station in Mexico City during Oswald's visit in September 1963, while David Atlee Phillips was in charge of Cuban Operations. These two career CIA officers developed a close friendship after working together on numerous clandestine projects, including the Bay of Pigs, for years.
Hunt appears to have been in close contact with Guy Banister in New Orleans, where the illusion was created that Oswald was linked to Castro thru the FPCC. Phillips, who was seen with Lee Oswald in Dallas in September by Alpha-66 leader Antonio Veciana, was probably the mastermind who used Lee in numerous situations around Dallas for the purpose of setting up Harvey Oswald as the "patsy."
In Mexico City, with Hunt and Phillips in charge, they could have easily have created the illusion that Lee Harvey Oswald visited the Cuban and Soviet compounds. Phillips would have routinely received the photographs and voice recordings of the man who identified himself as "Lee Oswald" at the Soviet and Cuban compounds. He could have destroyed the photographs of the man who visited the Soviet Embassy and the Cuban Consulate and substituted the "mystery man" photos. Phillips could have destroyed the original transcripts and created the typewritten CIA TRANSCRIPTS which were later shown to the Warren Commission and the HSCA. After destroying the original photographs and transcripts, it would be difficult for anyone to remember the identity of the man who visited the Soviet or Cuban Consulates, and nearly impossible to challenge the typewritten transcripts.
NOTE: In 1970 Winston Scott wrote a letter to John Barron of Readers Digest in which he said ".....I know of his activities from the moment he arrived in Mexico, his contacts by telephone and his visits to both the Soviet and Cuban Embassies....."  If Scott knew about Oswald's visits to both Embassies, then so did the people who handled the surveillance materials, notably Dave Phillips and Ann Goodpasture, and other CIA personnel at the Mexico City station.
Winston Scott appears to have been honest and candid in his manuscript "The Foul Foe," but probably received misleading information from Phillips and Hunt. According to CIA employees and Scott's wife, Janet, he kept two surveillance photos, a vinyl recording, and a file on Oswald in his private safe at home. These items were removed from his safe by CIA Counterintelligence Chief James Angleton following Scott's death on April 26, 1971. Fortunately, Scott gave his wife a copy of the manuscript.
Thanks to HSCA investigators Edwin Lopez and Dan Hardway we learned, fifteen years after the assassination, that there was little that happened within the Cuban and Soviet compounds that escaped the Mexico City station's blanket of penetration and surveillance. They knew when "Oswald" entered Mexico and knew from hidden microphones, intercepted telephone calls, 5 photographic surveillance sites, and well-placed informants, the times and purpose of his visits.
Before "Oswald" left Mexico City surveillance materials passed through the hands of photographic technicians, telephone monitors, intercept technicians, couriers, translators, transcribers, and onto the desks of Anne Goodpasture and David Phillips. But a week after "Oswald" left Mexico City it was Goodpasture and Phillips who prepared and sent misleading transmissions regarding his visit.
Phillips and/or Goodpasture's willingness to withhold information about Oswald prior to the assassination shows the importance they placed on keeping knowledge of "Oswald's" intentions suppressed. Their willingness to withhold information after the assassination and repeatedly lie to investigative agencies shows that they were trying to keep their knowledge and probable participation in the conspiracy and the cover-up, or both, from being discovered.
NOTE: Had the Warren Commission known that career CIA officer E. Howard Hunt visited Guy Banister's office in the summer of 1963, had they known Oswald's FPCC activities were a staged event, had they known that career CIA officer David Atlee Phillips met with Lee Oswald in Dallas, had they known Lee Oswald tried to purchase rifles from Castro's gun runner (Robert McKeown), had they known the person who visited the Cuban Consulate and the Soviet Embassy was not Oswald, had they known the CIA transcripts were fabricated, had they known the CIA withheld or destroyed the surveillance photographs, had they known "Oswald" was under surveillance in Mexico City, and had they known the extent of the CIA's efforts to link Oswald with the Cubans and Soviets, then they may have realized that rogue CIA officers were responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy and setting Oswald up as a "patsy."
Assistance from CIA headquarters
On October 1, the Special Affairs Staff authorized David Atlee Phillips to travel from Mexico City to Washington, DC and then to Miami. The same day that Phillips departed Mexico City, CIA Headquarters received a request from the Mexico City station to retain a diplomatic pouch that had been sent on October 1 to "Michael C. Choaden" (aka David Phillips).
Prior to Phillips' visit to Washington, DC all documentation relating to Oswald was routed to the SR/CI (Soviet Russia/Counterintelligence) desk at CIA Headquarters. But after Phillips' visit all documentation was re-routed to "Austin Horn" of the SAS/CI (Special Affairs Staff/Counterintelligence), to which Phillips reported. The identity of "Austin Horn" is unknown, but was most likely another alias for David Phillips. This meant that all documentation routinely sent from the Mexico City station to CIA Headquarters relating to Oswald would be re-routed directly back to David Phillips. This provided Phillips with the original material on Oswald (from the Mexico City station) as well as copies of the material which were sent to "Austin Horn" at CIA headquarters. This meant that Phillips had custody of all material on Oswald which originated at the Mexico City station and gave him the opportunity to fabricate any or all documentation relating to Oswald.
Manipulating incoming documentation at CIA headquarters
When the Phillips/Goodpasture cables from the Mexico City station arrived at CIA Headquarters they were sent to the Mexico City desk, reviewed by Elsie Scaleti (Charlotte Bustos), placed in Oswald's 201 file, and routed to the SR (Soviet Russia) and CI (Counterintelligence) divisions. The SR division was headed by David Murphy while the CI division was headed by James Angleton. MEX, 63-27 CI employed over 200 people and included a small group known as the Special Investigations Group (SIG) which consisted of 4 or 5 of Angleton's most trusted colleagues. The alleged purpose of CI was to locate and identify moles within the Agency and government, but in reality their activities remain a closely guarded secret. The supervisor of the SR and CI divisions was Deputy Director Richard Helms.
NOTE: Ann Ergeter, a member of SIG, was asked by the HSCA if Oswald's 201 file would indicate he was an active agent or asset. Ergeter replied, "I very much doubt it.....it is so controlled that a normal person running a name trace would not pick up that information. Everything would be held by the case officer." So, who was Oswald's case officer?
Ex-CIA official Phillip Agee said 201 files are divided into two parts which are stored separately for maximum security. One part (secret) contained "true name documents" while the other file (given to investigators) contained operational information.
After reviewing a CIA 201 file Miami news reporter Jefferson Morley asked a CIA representative a sensitive question about the agent. The representative simply said, "We think the records speak for themselves." (Morley, Miami New Times, 4/12/01). Selected and sanitized records, such as those described by Phillip Agee, are the only records made available to investigators and should always be considered suspect and incomplete.
Counterintelligence Chief James Angleton was one of the officers at CIA headquarters who received the Mexico City station cable of October 8, advising that Oswald had met with Kostikov. The other CIA officer to receive the October 8 cable was Tennant Bagley, who waited until the day after the assassination (November 23) to identify Kostikov as a KGB officer working in KGB Department 13 (sabotage and assassination). The fact that Bagley withheld this explosive information until the day after the assassination appears to be intentional. The fact that Kostikov was later found to be merely a consulate officer, and not a member of Division 13, appears to have been an intentional act of provocation in an attempt to link Oswald to the Soviets. The one missing piece of information is who told Bagley to identify Kostikov as a KGB assassin. It may have been the Chief of Counterintelligence, James Angleton, his deputy Ray Rocca, or their boss, Richard Helms.
On November 8, 1963 the FBI again notified the CIA about Oswald's Cuban activities in a report prepared by SA Milton Kaack (10/31/63). When CIA Headquarters received the report someone took an FBI transmittal form marked "DBA-52355," from an FBI memo of September 24 (Oswald's FPCC activities), and placed it over the FBI report of November 8. This made it appear as though the CIA was not informed about Oswald's FPCC activities in New Orleans until November 8. This was very devious because it allowed CIA Headquarters to claim they received the FBI report of September 24 on November 8, which allowed them to say in their cable of October 10, 1963 that they had no information on Oswald since MAY 1962. The CIA employee who relocated the FBI transmittal letter knew the importance of suppressing the CIA's knowledge of Oswald's Cuban activities and may have had knowledge of the plot.
Mexico City - November 22, 1963
Shortly after President Kennedy was assassinated, on November 22, 1963 the head of the FBI office in Mexico City, Clark Anderson (Legat, Mexico), sent an Airtel to FBI Director Hoover which was "in reference to a cable sent by Anderson on October 18, 1963." Anderson wrote,
"Investigation Mexico has failed to determine any information concerning subject's entry into or departure from Mexico. Last known information, as set out in recab, CIA advised in SECRET communication subject in contact Soviet Embassy, Mexico City, 9/28/63 and 10/1/63. Investigation continuing."
On November 22, 1963 Anderson spoke first with the US Ambassador to Mexico, Thomas Mann, and then with FBI official Wallace R. Heitman. Anderson told Heitman the Ambassador thought there was more to the assassination that simply a "nut" shooting the President. The Ambassador knew about CIA photographs taken of a man outside the Soviet Embassy, who they said was Oswald, and ordered the CIA to immediately make the photos available to the FBI. Anderson described the photographs to Heitman as "deep snow stuff" and requested they not be made available outside of the FBI.
The photographs were turned over to FBI SA Eldon Rudd in Mexico City, who then boarded a Naval Attach plane for Dallas.
NOTE: When the HSCA sought to question Rudd, who was then a Congressman, he refused.
On November 23 Birch D. O'Neal, who worked for James Angleton's CI/SIG sent a cable (CIA 194) to Mexico City and said, "It is important that you review all envoy tapes and transcripts from 27 September." He requested that all materials pertaining to "Lee Harvey Oswald" since September 27, 1963 (the date of Oswald's visits to the Cuban Consulate and Soviet Embassy) be sent to headquarters. There is no record, prior to the assassination, that indicates CIA Headquarters was informed of Oswald's visits to the Cuban Consulate on September 27. Therefore, by requesting the tapes and transcripts be reviewed from September 27, it appears that Birch D. O'Neal may have had prior knowledge of Oswald's visits to the Cuban Consulate, despite the CIA's consistent denials.
The Mexico City station responded by reporting Oswald's contacts with the Soviet Embassy on September 28 and October 1, 1963, but not his contacts with the Cuban Consulate and the Soviet Embassy on September 27. In a subsequent cable the Mexico City station reported, "Other than Info already sent re Oswald's connection with the Sov and Cuban Embs, no other info available."
The Mexico City station finally complied with headquarters request and allegedly sent transcribed reports of Oswald's conversations on September 28, October 1, and a transcript of an unidentified caller on October 3 (Oswald was in Dallas on October 3). The Mexico City station also advised it was "probable" that the Oswald tapes had been erased, even though FBI agents listened to the tapes the same day this cable was sent (November 23, 1963), and Commission staff members listened to the tape in April, 1964.
The arrest of Silvia Turado de Duran
Following the assassination David Atlee Phillips concocted one of his many stories which attempted to link Oswald with Cuba. In this story Phillips teamed up with Gilberto Alvarado Ugarte, a 23-year-old Nicaraguan who had been used by the CIA to penetrate communist guerrilla groups. Phillips told Alvarado to say that he saw Lee Harvey Oswald receive money inside the Cuban Consulate to kill President Kennedy. He also told Alvarado to say that he saw Cuban Consulate employee Silvia Duran give Oswald her home phone number and embrace him inside the consulate.
NOTE: An FBI memo of November 12, 1963, 10 days before the assassination, referred to Alvarado as a "CIA source."
The Alvarado story was intended to show that Oswald and Duran had a close relationship and both were involved in a communist conspiracy to kill President Kennedy. There were, however, two fatal problems which exposed the story as a hoax. The first occurred during the interrogation of Silvia Duran.
On November 23, without the knowledge or authorization of CIA Headquarters, someone in the Mexico City station (probably David Phillips) sent a note to Luis Echeverria, a CIA-asset and head of the Gobernacion (Ministry of the Interior). The note contained Silvia Duran's address, her mother's address, her brother's address, her license plate number, her home phone number, her place of work, and a request that she be arrested immediately and held incommunicado. David Phillips then contacted the DFS (Mexican Security Police) and ordered them to have Duran "confess" to an affair with Oswald.
NOTE: Late in the afternoon of November 23 the CIA's John Scelso (aka John Whitten) personally telephoned Winston Scott and asked that Duran not be arrested. Scott told Scelso that he was unable to recind the order and should already have received a cable regarding her arrest. After receiving Scelso's call, Scott telephoned Luis Echeverria and requested that all information received from Duran be forwarded immediately to the Mexico City station.
On the afternoon of November 23 Silvia Turado de Duran and her husband were arrested and questioned by Federal Security Police (DFS). During her interrogation Duran provided answers to questions that could only have originated with David Phillips-questions about a sexual relationship with Oswald and her alleged involvement with communists. This information was unknown until HSCA investigators questioned Duran in 1978.
HSCA: "Did the officers from the Securidad Department (DFS) ever suggest to you during the questioning that they had information that you and Oswald had been lovers?"
Duran: "Yes, and also that we were Communists and that we were planning the Revolution and uh, a lot of false things."
The only way the DFS knew to ask Duran if she had sexual relations with Oswald was from the man who created the story, David Atlee Phillips. Details of Duran's interrogation were contained in a 10-page statement and in later interviews with Duran herself. They show the DFS tried to pressure her into admitting that she had a sexual affair with Oswald and confess her involvement in a communist conspiracy-as directed by David Phillips.
NOTE: David Phillips' story was supported by Salvador Diaz Verson, a Cuban exile and CIA agent, who claimed to have heard in the office of the Mexican newspaper "Excelsior" that Oswald had stayed in Duran's home in Mexico City.
Duran's original statement was transmitted to CIA Headquarters on November 24 and read by John Scelso (John Whitten). The summarized report stated that according to Duran, Oswald said he was "a communist and an admirer of Castro." Two days later, on November 26, this statement was removed from a second 10 page statement that was signed by Duran.
After the DFS and CIA made additional changes to Duran's statements, a final 10-page statement was prepared, signed, and submitted to the Warren Commission on May 18, 1964, six months after her interrogation.
NOTE: It remains unknown whether the CIA or DFS prepared the 10-page statement. It is known that the name "Harvey Lee Oswald, as reported by Duran's friends, occurs five times in the Spanish language version.
Duran's interrogators reported that she, "handed to Oswald a piece of paper.....in which she recorded her name, 'SILVIA DURAN,' and the telephone number of the Consulate, which is '11-28-47,'....." Duran was then told to write out her name and address on pieces of paper exactly as she had written them for Oswald. Duran told the HSCA,
"They asked me I don't know how many times, the way that I used to give my name and telephone number and they made me write and they take the paper out and then again, they ask me, how do you do this, and I write it down, and I give the paper. I think I do this five or six times."
From what we know about the CIA's efforts to link Silvia Duran to Oswald, through their DFS stooges, it is surprising that one of Duran's 5 or 6 notes was not "found" among Oswald's possessions. Duran's phone number, however, was listed in Oswald's address book found by Dallas Police after the assassination.
Following her interrogation (which included beating and torture) Silvia Duran suffered a nervous breakdown and was prohibited by her husband, and allegedly by her physician, from discussing the Oswald matter. She was probably under threat from the DFS (Mexican Security Police), via the CIA, not to discuss the matter with anyone. Under these conditions Duran's identification of Lee Harvey Oswald as the visitor to the Cuban Consulate has to be considered invalid.
On November 25 David Phillips' associate Gilberto Alvarado Ugarte walked into the US Embassy in Mexico City and claimed he had been in the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City on September 18, 1963. He told officials that he witnessed Oswald receive $6500 in cash from a "negro with red hair" inside the Cuban consulate to kill President Kennedy. Alvarado said that Oswald appeared to be "completely at home" in the Cuban Consulate.
NOTE: Oswald allegedly visited the Cuban Consulate (not the Cuban Embassy) on September 27 (not on September 18 because he was in New Orleans)
Embassy employees turned Alvarado over to CIA officer David Atlee Phillips for questioning. Alvarado allegedly told Phillips about a pretty girl at the consulate (an obvious reference to Silvia Duran) whose manners reminded him of a prostitute. He said the girl embraced Oswald and gave him her home address where she could be reached.
NOTE: Readers should keep in mind the DFS questioned Duran about a sexual relationship with Oswald two days before Alvarado made this allegation to the US Embassy. The only way the DFS could have known to ask these questions was from David Phillips, who told Alvarado what to say. Alvarado was a Nicaraguan double agent who the Warren Commission later identified as FBI informant "T-32."
After completing his first interview, Phillips (using the pseudonym "M.C. Choaden") sent a cable to CIA headquarters in which he described Alvarado as, "A well known Nicaraguan Communist underground member." In a second cable Phillips (using the pseudonym "L.F. Barker") wrote that Alvarado, "Admitted he was on a penetration mission for the Nicaraguan Secret Service" and described him as, "A quiet, very serious person, who speaks with conviction."
NOTE: The Nicaraguan Secret Service, like other Mexican and Central American intelligence agencies, was involved in drug trafficking and worked closely with the CIA. Alvarado reported to Intelligence Chief General Gustavo Montiel, who was later described in CIA cables as "the kingpin of narcotics traffickers in Nicaragua." He was also involved in a massive car theft ring in the 1970's which was run by Norwin Meneses Canterero, who later became a key figure in the Nicaraguan Contra-drug connection and was able to enter and leave the US with impunity as a result of CIA protection.
In a third cable Phillips called Alvarado "completely cooperative." In a fourth cable Ambassador Thomas Mann reported, "This officer (Phillips) was impressed by Alvarado.....the wealth of detail Alvarado gives was striking." In a fifth cable Phillips described Alvarado as "very intelligent" and said, "Alvarado telling truth in general outline." The Alvarado story, as reported by propaganda expert David Atlee Phillips, received the full support of Mexican Ambassador Thomas Mann, FBI Legal Attach Clark Anderson, and Station Chief Winston Scott, who were probably unaware that Phillips had fabricated the entire story.
On November 26 the CIA intercepted and recorded a conversation between Cuban Ambassador Joaquin Hernandez Armas (Mexico City) and Cuban President Osvaldo Dorticos Torrado. The Ambassador, who had recently spoken with Silvia Duran, told the Cuban President, "The DFS asked her if she had personal relations and even if she had intimate relations with him." Armas also told the Cuban President about the bruises inflicted on Duran by the DFS.
This phone conversation proves that Duran was questioned about sexual relations with Oswald during her FIRST interrogation, which occurred on November 23-two days before Alvarado made the allegation about Duran having relations with Oswald. Duran's second interrogation did not occur until the day after the Armas and Dorticos conversation occurred.
NOTE: The first problem with the Alvarado story was when the DFS questioned Duran about a sexual relationship before Alvarado made the allegation. The second problem was that Alvarado said Oswald visited the Cuban Consulate on September 18, 1963, when Oswald was known to be in New Orleans.
Prior to Duran's second interrogation someone, probably David Phillips, prepared a list of questions to be asked of her. The tone of the questions seems to anticipate that Duran, under extreme pressure from the DFS, would confirm the allegations of Gilberto Alvarado and admit that she and Oswald were involved in an international communist conspiracy:
¥ Was the assassination of President Kennedy planned by Fidel Castro Ruiz, and were the final details worked out inside the Cuban Embassy in Mexico?
¥ If Castro planned for Oswald to assassinate President Kennedy, did the Soviets have any knowledge of these plans?
¥ Did the Cuban Embassy furnish him a place to stay in Mexico City? It is reliably reported that Oswald did not know his address in Mexico City, but the Cuban Embassy did know his address in Mexico City.
On November 27 Silvia Duran was re-arrested when the Mexican government alleged that she was attempting to leave Mexico and travel to Havana. The truth behind her re-arrest lies in a Flash Cable sent to CIA headquarters by Ambassador Mann, Clark Anderson, and Winston Scott. These well intentioned people knew about Alvarado's allegation that Oswald and Duran were lovers and may have been part of a communist conspiracy. Their cable reads, in part:
"We suggest that the Nicaraguan (Alvarado) be put at the disposition of President Lopez Mateos on condition that Lopez Mateos will agree to order re-arrest and interrogate again Silvia Tirado de Duran along the following lines:
A) Confront Silvia Duran again with Nicaraguan and have Nicaraguan inform her of details of his statement to us.
B) Tell Silvia Duran that she is only living non-Cuban who knows full story and hence she is in same position as Oswald was prior to his assassination; her only chance for survival is to come clean with whole story and to cooperate completely.
Given apparent character of Silvia Duran there would appear to be good chance of her cracking when confronted with details of reported deal between Oswald, Azcue, Mirabal, and Duran and the unknown Cuban negro. If she did break under interrogation-and we suggest Mexicans should be asked to go all out in seeking that she does-we and Mexicans would have needed corroboration of statement of the Nicaraguan."
NOTE: This cable shows the CIA threatened the life of Sylvia Duran through the DFS. It also shows the degree of control the CIA maintained over the DFS, through their relationship with the Mexican Minister of the Interior (Luis Echeverria), the Chief of the DFS (Gustavo Diaz Ordaz), and the assistant Chief of the DFS (Miguel Nazar Haro)-all of these people were CIA-assets.
The following day, November 28, Winston Scott tried to suppress the fact that his office not only instructed the DFS to re-arrest Silvia Duran, but provided direction on how to interrogate her. Scott stated in a cable to CIA Headquarters (MEXI 7118) that the second arrest of Sylvia Duran was made by the Mexican Government "without prior consultation with Station."
Duran's statements from her second interrogation show how she was pressured by the DFS into "confessing" her involvement in a communist conspiracy. She told the HSCA,
".....all the time they tell me that I was a Communist.....and they insisted that I was a very important person for.....the Cuban Government and that I was the link for the International Communists-the Cuban Communists, the Mexican Communists and the American Communists, and that we were going to kill Kennedy, and I was the link. For them I was very important."
The following day CIA headquarters sent a cable to the Mexico City station warning Winston Scott that Ambassador Mann was pushing the Duran case too hard and that his proposals could lead to an international "flap" with the Cubans.
Another cable showed even more concern by CIA headquarters and instructed the Mexico City station to make sure that neither Silvia Duran nor the Cubans would have any basis for believing the Americans were behind her arrest. The cable stated, "We want the Mexican authorities to take the responsibility for the whole affair."
On November 30, 1963 Gilberto Alvarado Ugarte was given a polygraph examination. After the test indicated that he was lying, Alvarado said he would not refute the results of the polygraph and retracted his story completely. The DFS advised the CIA, "Alvarado has signed a statement saying that his story of seeing Oswald inside the Cuban Embassy is completely false."
NOTE: It is worth noting that even after Alvarado retracted his story, and David Phillips admitted his involvement in the fabrication, Phillips was not reprimanded in any way. In fact, he was later promoted to Chief of the Western Hemisphere.
On December 2, 1963 another informant, Pedro Gutierrez, repeated the story of seeing Oswald receive money from a "Negroid type" with kinky hair at the Cuban Consulate. This story took on little significance, as Alvarado had admitted earlier that he had fabricated the story.
December 13, 1963 the Chief of the Western Hemisphere Division (J.C. King) sent a dispatch to the Chief of Station in Mexico City (Winston Scott):
"We would like to take time out in our investigation of the President's assassination to appraise the role of the Mexico City Station in the whole affair. Since the early afternoon of 22 November 1963, Mexico City has been the only major overseas reporter in the case. While this is partly dictated by the facts of Lee OSWALD'S life, we have not overlooked the really outstanding performance of Mexico City's major assets and the speed, precision, and perception with which the date was forwarded. Here it was relayed within minutes to the White House, ODACID, and ODENVY.....You have had good support from your liaison, but as usual the really outstanding features were Mexico Station's famous generalship and the skill and devotion of its personnel....."
While career CIA officers were busy congratulating each other, the Warren Commission was apparently unsatisfied with Silvia Duran's statement and wrote:
"We then discussed.....the problem of (interviewing) Silvia Duran. She had been interviewed by the Mexican Police and we considered that inadequate (It is only on details such as Oswald's physical appearance, side comments or remarks he may have made, etc., that we would like to interrogate Mrs. Duran further)."
Unknown to the Commission, the CIA had deleted her description of Oswald as "blonde and short." They also deleted her statement, "The only aid she could give Oswald was advising that he see Soviet Consul, and calling the person in charge of that office." They also changed Duran's original statement, "He never called her back" to, "She does not recall whether or not Oswald later telephoned her at the Consulate number that she gave him."
In April 1964 members of the Warren Commission visited Mexico City and tried to interview Duran, without success. There is little doubt the Mexico City station could have arranged for such an interview through Interior Minister Luis Echeverria or DFS Chief Gustavo Diaz Ordaz (both CIA-assets), but instead told Commission staff members the Mexican Government who would not allow Duran to be interviewed.
Though the Commission was unable to interview Duran they noted in their report, "The Commission has been advised by the CIA and FBI that secret and reliable sources corroborate the statements of Senora Duran in all material respects." Those "secret and reliable sources" were undoubtedly members of the Mexican Security Police (DFS) on the CIA's payroll.
Silvia Duran was not interviewed by anyone from the United States until 1976, when two reporters from the Washington Post finally tracked her down and interviewed her. Two years later, in 1978, representatives of the HSCA interviewed Duran in Mexico City. She denied that she had been tortured, probably fearing reprisal by the Mexican Security Police. However, off the record she told HSCA investigator Edwin Lopez that she had been tortured, and tortured very badly. The purpose of torturing Duran was to get her to admit that she, Oswald, and the Cuban Government were part of an international conspiracy to murder President Kennedy.
Oswald's departure from Mexico
On November 23, 1963 FBI confidential informant "T-1" (Gilberto Cazares Garza, Chief of Mexican Immigration) advised the Bureau, "Official records of the Mexican Government (tourist visa-form FM-8) show that Lee Harvey Oswald entered Mexico on September 26, 1963 at Nuevo Laredo, with no means of transportation noted, and departed the same location on October 3, with his method of transportation identified as "auto." The following day confidential informant "T-3" advised the FBI that Oswald departed Mexico on October 3, between the hours of 12:01 am and 8:00 am, and was checked through by Immigration Officer Alberto Arzamendi Chapa.
On November 24, 1963 the American Consul at Nuevo Laredo, Harvey Cash, advised the FBI, "Lee Harvey Oswald entered Mexico on September 26, 1963.....Oswald departed Mexico at Nuevo Laredo on October 3, 1963." Cash obtained this information from "Mexican Immigration records." Cash advised the FBI that the list furnished to him was "a complete list of entries and departures on those dates."
The "Mexican Immigration records" which recorded Oswald's entrance and departure consisted of two items:
¥ The first item was the original and duplicate of tourist visa form FM-8, which were confiscated by Mexican Police on November 24, 1963. If the tourist visas given to the Warren Commission are genuine, they show that Oswald departed Nuevo Laredo and entered the US on October 3, 1963, between midnight and 8:00 am (the work hours of Alberto Chapa, the Immigration official who cancelled Oswald's FM-8 tourist visa).
¥ The second item consisted of two sets of form FM-11, which was a typewritten list of visitors on a daily basis who entered Mexico at Nuevo Laredo.
Indications that Oswald departed Mexico by Auto
On November 23, 1963 Gilberto Cazares Garza, Chief of Mexican Immigration, advised the FBI that tourist visa-form FM-8 showed that Lee Harvey Oswald departed Mexico at Nuevo Laredo on October 3 with his method of transportation identified as "auto."
On November 25 Laymon L. Stewart, General Manager and Vice President of radio station KOPY in Alice, Texas (100 miles north of Laredo), told the FBI that Oswald stopped at his radio station on either September 28 or October 4, 1963 to inquire about a job. He said that Oswald was driving an old Chevrolet sedan (possibly a 1953 model), accompanied by his wife and 2-year-old child, and said he had just come from Mexico.
NOTE: On September 28, 1963, a man who identified himself as "Lee Oswald" allegedly visited the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City. On October 4, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald was in Dallas. On both dates Marina Oswald was in Irving, Texas and was 8 months pregnant.
On November 27 an article appeared in the Houston Press which stated that Oswald left Mexico and entered the US by private car. The same day ASAC J.T. Sylvester, Jr. wrote a memorandum to the SAC in New Orleans titled "Travel of Lee Harvey Oswald" which reported:
"At 2:05 pm, 11/27/63, while talking to Inspector Don Moore of Division 5.....I read to him an article from The Houston Press, dated 11/27/63, which was telephonically furnished to this office.....in which article stated Oswald left the US by private car, ownership unknown, and returned on 10/3/63, through Laredo, Texas. He advised that Oswald did travel by car and did return to the US through Laredo, Texas on 10/3/63."
NOTE: The FBI realized that if Oswald departed Mexico by car then he may have had accomplices. They clearly wanted to rely on the report of the Mexican Ministry of the Interior, that said Oswald departed Mexico by bus and was alone, and ignore the statements of Laymon Stewart and the article in The Houston Press.
On December 2, 1963 Gilberto Cazares Garza, Chief of Mexican Immigration, provided US Consul Harvey Cash with a list of persons departing Mexico at Nuevo Laredo on October 3, but the list did not contain the name Lee Harvey Oswald or any of his known alias. The list was compiled from Mexican tourist forms FM-8 and FM-5, but Oswald's name was not on the list.
This FM-11 shows that Oswald's destination was New Orleans, not Dallas, and that his method of transportation was by "auto." The chief of Mexican Immigration said the Spanish word for bus is "autobus" and was not normally abbreviated as "auto." The FBI agent in Mexico City, Clark Anderson (Legal Attache), also advised that Oswald's departure from Mexico was by private car.
Four months later the FBI still did not know how Oswald departed Mexico. On March 12, 1964 FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent a cable to the LEGAT, Mexico City which read in part, "The mode of travel on FM-11 was shown as 'auto.' As you know it has not been established how Oswald left Mexico on October 3, 1963. Until we can prove Oswald was on a bus, this possibility will always exist that he left by automobile as indicated in Mexican Immigration records." This created yet another problem for the FBI and Warren Commission, because Oswald did not know how to drive.
The FBI and Warren Commission "resolved" this problem by ignoring the FM-11 and concluding that Mexican Immigration officials had "made a mistake" when they recorded Oswald's method of departure as "Auto" instead of "Bus." A review of Mexican form FM-11, for October 3, 1963, at Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, showed that 79 persons departed Mexico with tourist cards:
Method of Travel Number of Persons
Data unavailable 12
The FBI, not surprisingly, failed to obtain the names of the owners of the 25 automobiles listed on form FM-11 from Mexican Customs. They simply explained the names were unnecessary because Oswald could not have driven a car into and out of Mexico without registering the car with Mexican Customs. But if Oswald were a passenger in a car then his name would not be listed on Mexican Customs records, but would have been listed on Mexican Immigration records as departing Mexico by "auto."
Fabricated records show that Oswald departed Mexico via Transportes Frontera Bus Lines
The FBI did not want to conduct an investigation into Oswald's activities in Mexico, and hoped to rely on the Mexican Governments report of Oswald's activities prepared by the CIA-controlled Mexican Security Police (DFS).
On November 25, only three days after President Kennedy's assassination, the DFS completed its investigation after a "painstaking inquiry" and an "intensive investigation." Luis Farias, a press officer for the Ministry of the Interior, reported that Oswald "was alone" during his visit to Mexico City and departed Mexico aboard a Transportes Frontera bus.
NOTE: The head of the DFS, Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, was a CIA-asset was President of Mexico from 1964-1970. The DFS probably received most of their information about Oswald from the CIA's Mexico City station.
On November 25 the "Excelsior" newspaper (Mexico City) published an article on page 1-A which provided intricate details of Oswald's trip to Mexico and his visits to the Cuban Consulate and Soviet Embassy. A similar article, written by Peter Kihss, appeared in the New York Times and stated, "The Mexican Ministry of the Interior disclosed that the results of its 'intensive' police investigation had indicated that Oswald was 'alone' here."
The "intensive" investigation disclosed that Oswald traveled to and from Mexico City aboard the Transportes Frontera bus lines, whose records were immediately confiscated by Mexican Police following the assassination and altered. The article in the "Excelsior" also reported, "Oswald left Mexico City on Wednesday, Oct. 2, on a Frontera bus that was scheduled to depart at 1 pm."
NOTE: The FBI's Clark Anderson was unable to determine Oswald's method of entry or departure from Mexico for several weeks, yet the "Excelsior" had the information only two days after the assassination. The only place they could have obtained this information was from either the Mexican Government or the CIA.
In 1978 the HSCA asked representatives of the Mexican government if the "Excelsior" newspaper could be persuaded to reveal the sources of their stories about Oswald and Silvia Duran. Mexican officials said they could not.
On November 28, 1963 the FBI was advised by a "confidential source" there was clear evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald had departed from Mexico City aboard a Transportes Frontera bus at 1:00 pm.
On November 29 the FBI's official report on the assassination was scheduled to be released (it was actually released on December 5). The FBI report relied on the Mexican Government's report as to Oswald's activities in Mexico City. It is worth noting that both the FBI and DFS reports on Oswald were completed within days of the assassination following "intensive investigations," and both found Oswald to have been "alone."
The Transportes Frontera story begins to fall apart
On December 3, 1963 FBI agents interviewed Harry Sanderson, a clerk with the Texas Employment Commission (TEC) at 2210 Main Street in Dallas. Sanderson said that according to their records Oswald visited the TEC office on October 3, 1963 prior to closing at 4:30 pm. A subsequent investigation established that Oswald checked into the Dallas YMCA between 4:00 and 4:30 pm on October 3, 1963, where he spent the evening. This report caused two problems for the FBI:
1) If Oswald was in Dallas at 4:30 pm, then he could not have departed Mexico aboard the Transportes Frontera bus line on October 2 at 1:00 pm and, therefore, the report of the Mexican Ministry of the Interior was flawed and unreliable.
2) If Oswald was in Dallas at 4:30 pm, he could not have applied for a job and talked with Laymon Stewart at KOPY radio in Alice, Texas the same day.
On December 16, 1963 Clark Anderson notified FBI headquarters that Transportes Frontera bus company listed a passenger named "Oswld" on a trip from Mexico City to Laredo on October 2-3, 1963. Anderson said the bus departed Mexico City at 9:00 am, October 2, and arrived in Nuevo Laredo at 7:00 am the following day, October 3.
NOTE: These were the bus manifests confiscated on November 23 by the two men who identified themselves as members of the Mexican Presidential staff. These are the records that were altered by Lt. Arturo Bosch in front of Transportes Frontera station manager Gilberto Lozano Guizar. They were probably turned over to the CIA station in Mexico City who then gave them to Clark Anderson who worked in the same building.
Clark Anderson was probably unaware at the time he wrote his report that the Transportes Frontera bus manifest had been altered, but he immediately sent the manifest (passenger list) to the FBI laboratory for handwriting analysis. On December 17, 1963 the FBI lab reported that the name of the passenger and the destination were not written by Oswald.
FBI agents then reviewed Transportes Frontera bus schedules from Mexico City to Laredo and Greyhound bus schedules from Laredo to Dallas. They soon found that if Oswald had departed Mexico City aboard Transportes Frontera bus No. 340, as stated in the Mexican report, he could not have connected with a Greyhound bus in Laredo in time to arrive in Dallas prior to 4:30 pm on October 3. An FBI memorandum dealt with this problem and concluded:
".....if bus on which Oswald traveled was on schedule, he would have left Mexico City 9:00 am, 10/2/63, and arrived at Nuevo Laredo, 7:00 am., 10/3/63.....It appears from the above information highly improbable that Oswald could have traveled from Laredo, Texas, to Dallas, Texas, on 10/3/63, in time to appear personally at TEC, Dallas....."
NOTE: The FBI memo was correct. If Oswald had arrived in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico at 7:00 am he could not possibly have boarded Greyhound bus No. 1265, which departed Laredo, Texas 4 hours earlier at 3:00 am. This was the only bus which departed Laredo on October 3 and arrived in Dallas prior to 4:30 pm.
By the end of 1963 it the FBI was still hoping to rely on the Mexican Government's report of Oswald's activities in Mexico. By doing so they would avoid dealing with allegations from Mexico City that linked Oswald with Castro and a communist conspiracy to kill the President. They could avoid dealing with evidence that someone had impersonated Oswald in Mexico City (photographs and a tape recording). They could also avoid allegations that Oswald had accomplices by relying on the Mexican report which said that Oswald was "alone." But after the Bureau learned that Oswald could not have ridden the Transportes Frontera bus from Mexico City to Laredo, they may have had doubts about the accuracy of the entire Mexican report. Senior FBI officials may also have begun to suspect that a plot to kill the President somehow involved Mexico City, based on mysterious photographs and a tape recording which showed that someone had indeed impersonated Oswald.
By January, 1964 Hoover's FBI had conducted only a cursory investigation into Oswald's activities in Mexico. But with the flawed report of the Mexican Government, no physical evidence that indicated Oswald had been in Mexico, and continued allegations that he departed Mexico by automobile, they reluctantly began to conduct their own investigation.
NOTE: The Warren Commission seemed unconcerned over the FBI's 3-month delay in investigating Mexico City. They should have asked Hoover and the head of the FBI office in Mexico City, Clark Anderson, the reason for the delay.
March 3, 1964 - the FBI interviews Hotel del Comercio employees
The FBI learned on November 26 that Oswald stayed at the Hotel del Comercio in Mexico City from September 26 to October 1. After receiving photographs of the hotel's registration book, they sent the photographs to the FBI laboratory for handwriting analysis (December 11, 1963). But for reasons known only to the FBI they failed to interview any of the hotel's employees during the next three months.
Finally, on March 3, 1964, confidential informant "T-1" interviewed the owner of the Hotel del Comercio, Guillermo Garcia Luna, and the maid, Matilde Garnica. Garcia said that Oswald arrived with one leather suitcase, about two feet long, and always wore short-sleeved shirts.
On March 4, 1964 the FBI interviewed Dolores Ramirez de Barrerio, a widow and owner of the "La Esperanza," a small restaurant adjacent to the hotel. When first interviewed Mrs. Ramirez said that Oswald ate at her restaurant on only one occasion and that his Spanish was hard to understand. She later said that Oswald ate at her restaurant daily at 2:00 pm, after the noon hour rush, and usually spent 5-6 pesos ($.40) for each meal.
On March 10 desk clerk Sebastian Perez Hernandez was interviewed and said that he remembered Oswald only because he was one of very few Americans who stayed at the hotel. He said that Oswald left the hotel each morning and did not return until late in the evening.
NOTE: If Oswald left the hotel and did not return until late in the evening, then it is doubtful that he ate lunch daily at the "Le Esperanza" which was adjacent to the Hotel del Comercio.
On April 18, 1964 night watchman Pedro Rodriguez Ledesma was interviewed. Rodriguez said that Oswald did not leave the hotel before 8:00 each morning and returned around midnight. He recalled summoning a taxi for Oswald upon his departure from the hotel, just as it was getting light, at about 6:30 or 7 am, October 2, 1963.
NOTE: Why Oswald would need a taxi at 6:30 or 7:00 am? The bus station was only three blocks from the Hotel and the bus did not leave until 8:30 am.
"Confidential sources" tell the FBI how LHO departed Mexico
The FBI provided the Warren Commission with both copies of Oswald's 15 day tourist visa which showed that he entered Mexico on September 26 and departed Mexico on October 3. They also provided the Commission with a complete list of persons departing Mexico on those dates.
On February 12, 1964 J. Lee Rankin wrote a letter to Hoover which read, ".....although Mexican Immigration Service records both show that he entered Mexico at Nuevo Laredo on September 26 and left Mexico on October 3, neither the list of persons entering Mexico on September 26th (FM-11) nor the list of persons departing Mexico on October 3rd shows Oswald's name. Yet both lists are purportedly complete."
Two days later, on February 14, the FBI office in San Antonio reported, "San Antonio has now determined through Cash, the Consul, that the list of persons departing Mexico 10-3-63 was not, in fact, complete as it listed only those traveling by bus or by unknown means and that in addition, there are approximately 55 individuals who left Mexico 10-3-63 by automobile." So Oswald's name was not on the list because he did not travel by bus?
NOTE: All tourists entering and departing Mexico surrendered either the original or copy of their tourist visa (FM-5 or FM-8). Names of all tourists, regardless of their method of transportation, were taken from these forms at each Mexican port of entry and listed on form FM-11. This form should have been a complete list of tourists.
On February 27, 1964 Hoover sent an Airtel to the SAC in San Antonio and advised, "The forms (FM-11's) covering entries show that 106 people entered Nuevo Laredo 9-26-63 instead of the 90 which you previously reported as a complete list."
On March 6, 1964 one of the FBI's "confidential sources" advised there was clear evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald had departed from Mexico City on a Transportes Frontera bus at 1:00 pm." By this time, the FBI knew better than to rely on this "confidential source" and realized they had to establish another route of departure for Oswald.
On March 12, 1964 Hoover sent a cable to the LEGAT, Mexico City, which read, "The mode of travel on FM-11 was shown as 'auto.' Oswald's tourist card did not support this. As you know it has not been established how Oswald left Mexico on October 3, 1963. Until we can prove Oswald was on a bus, this possibility will always exist that he left by automobile as indicated in Mexican Immigration records." As of March 12, 1964 the FBI was determined to "prove" that Oswald departed Mexico by bus.
FBI headquarters soon received a "revised" FM-11 list from Harvey Cash and another FM-11 list from an unidentified source. Both lists contained the names of tourists who departed Mexico at Nuevo Laredo on October 3 and now each included Oswald's name. Each list should have been identical, listing the names of all persons who departed Mexico at Nuevo Laredo on October 3, 1963, but they were not identical.
On March 16, 1964 the LEGAT in Mexico City sent an Airtel to the Director with 122 copies to various FBI offices throughout the country. The Airtel contained the list obtained by Harvey Cash and the list obtained from the confidential source. For the list supplied by Harvey Cash the LEGAT wrote:
"A comparison of the above two lists reflects that the following names on the list supplied by Cash do not appear on the FM-11 list supplied by (marked "DELETED," but from the San Antonio office)."
NOTE: 26 names appear on the list supplied by Harvey Cash that do not appear on the list supplied by the confidential source.
On the third page of the Airtel, with 122 copies sent to various FBI offices throughout the country, the LEGAT wrote:
"It is noted also that the following names which appear on the FM-11 list furnished by (DELETED) do not appear on the list submitted by Cash....."
NOTE: 42 names appear on the list supplied by (DELETED) that do not appear on the list supplied by Harvey Cash.
These two lists, which should have matched name for name, are not even close, were never reconciled by the FBI or Warren Commission, and demonstrate the complete lack of credibility of all Mexican records related to Oswald's visit (no doubt with CIA assistance). The FBI was now satisfied that Oswald's name was on each list and let the matter drop. Now that they were able to show that Oswald departed Mexico by bus, all that remained was to find the bus on which he departed.
NOTE: Hoover wrote the cable to the LEGAT in Mexico City on March 12 which read, "Until we can prove Oswald was on a bus, this possibility will always exist that he left by automobile as indicated." Oswald's name appeared on a revised list of passengers departing Mexico by bus only 4 days later.
Oswald departs Mexico via Transportes del Norte bus lines
On March 30, 1964 confidential informant "T-13" interviewed Ricardo Medina Beltran, the manager of the Mexico City terminal of the Transportes del Norte bus line. Medina said that his company had two direct trips daily to Nuevo Laredo. One bus departed at 8:30 am, arrived at "Kilometer 26" about 1:00 am, and arrived in Nuevo Laredo at 2:00 am. Medina said that the lists of bus passengers were maintained only for a short period of time following their use. However, Medina allegedly said that he "set aside the lists for early October, 1963, in the event their (sic) should be any further need for them." How convenient !!
Within a short time Medina allegedly located the passenger reservation list for bus No. 332, which departed Mexico City at 8:30 am, October 2, for Monterrey. The list contained the names of passengers, seat assignments, destination, and ticket numbers. The list was complete except for the names of the passengers assigned to seat numbers 12 and 15. Seat number 15 was assigned to "A. Viajos," with ticket No. 13619, and seat number 12 was assigned to "Chihuaahuenses," with ticket No. 13688.
The same day, without any further investigation, confidential informant "T-13" determined through "confidential witnesses" and "unidentified sources" that Oswald departed Mexico City on October 2 at 8:30 am aboard Transportes del Norte bus No. 332. Oswald then changed to a Greyhound bus in Laredo, Texas and arrived in Dallas at 2:20 pm. How "T-13" arrived at this conclusion remains unknown.
NOTE: "T-13" allegedly told the FBI that Oswald departed Mexico City on Oct. 2 at 8:30 pm aboard the Transportes del Norte bus. But according to informant "T-11," confidential informant "T-13" was not the individual who located this information. "T-11" located this information on April 2, 1964.
On March 31, 1964 confidential informant "T-13" contacted Miss Rosa Maria Oroeco at the Auto Viajes Internacionales travel agency. Miss Maria allegedly advised "T-13" that her agency ("A. Viajes") reserved seat number 15 on Transportes del Norte bus No. 332 for Anastacio Ruiz Meza, and sold him ticket #13619.
On April 1, 1964 confidential informant "T-11" contacted the manager of the Chihuaahuenses travel agency, Miss Teresa Schaeffer Bequerisse. "T-11" asked Miss Schaeffer if her agency ("Chihuaahuenses") sold ticket No. 13688. Miss Schaeffer located a "reservation and purchase order #13688 (not a bus ticket)," but found that it was "in blank, never having been utilized." She then insisted that her travel agency had not handled the reservation noted on the Transportes del Norte passenger list for October 2, 1963.
"T-11" then asked if he could review all reservations and purchase orders for October 1963. Within a few minutes "T-11" located a carbon copy of purchase order No. 14618 (actually a Reservation Request), issued on September 30, 1963 in the name of "H.O. Lee" for seat number 12 on Transportes del Norte bus No. 332 which departed Mexico City for Laredo, Texas at 8:30 am.
The Reservation Request/Purchase order No. 14618, in the amount of $7.50 (93.75 pesos), was allegedly given to Transportes del Norte ticket agent Angel Cubriel in exchange for bus ticket No. 13688 from Mexico City to Laredo, Texas via Monterrey.
An employee who worked in the front office of the travel agency, Margarita Labastiba, said she remembered the American who purchased the ticket. She described the man as tall and with a great deal of hair.
NOTE: The American who purchased this ticket was neither the short man with "thin, blond hair" who visited the Cuban Consulate and could not possibly have been Harvey Oswald who was 5'9" and had thinning, brown hair.
On April 1, 1964 yet another confidential informant, "T-12," allegedly advised that Miss Schaeffer made available a copy of the Greyhound International Exchange Order No. 43599 in the amount of $12.80 (160 pesos). This order was allegedly exchanged at the Greyhound Terminal in Laredo, Texas for Greyhound bus ticket No. 8256009 from Laredo to Dallas.
The sale of purchase orders to the tall American "with a great deal of hair" was made by Rolando Barrios Ramirez, who was no longer employed by the agency. On April 2, 1964 confidential informant "T-13" located Barrios and showed him the purchase orders. Barrios allegedly advised that he had collected 253.75 pesos ($20.30 US) from "Mr. Lee" and gave him two purchase orders which were to be exchanged for bus tickets. However, Barrios then said that he was unable to recall "Mr. H.O. Lee" or the transaction.
On April 2, 1964 one day after "T-11" located the reservation and purchase order at the Chihuaahuenses travel agency, confidential informant "T-18" advised that Ramon Trevino Quezada, the Vice-President and General Manager of Transportes del Norte, located an envelope which contained the bus tickets which had been surrendered to bus drivers for Transportes del Norte bus #332 on October 2, 1963 from Mexico City to Monterrey. He claimed to have "found" an envelope containing the used bus tickets in a back room among spare tires and parts. It is nearly impossible to believe that a small company like Transportes del Norte kept used bus tickets for 6 months !
One of the tickets found among the spare tires and parts by "T-11" was No. 13688. This ticket was marked with a handwritten "12" which allegedly was the seat number assigned to "H.O. Lee." The only thing that links ticket No. 13688 to "H.O. Lee" is the handwritten notation "12."
NOTE: The bus ticket from Mexico City to Monterrey and the bus ticket from Monterrey to Laredo, Texas each contain a unique handwritten "2" which has been written by an unknown FBI official. The style of this particular handwritten "2" is unique, is easily identifiable, and can be found on numerous questionable documents which were obtained by Bureau agents.
On April 3, 1964 confidential informant "T-13" advised that Rogelio Cuevas and Ramon Gonzales were the drivers of Transportes del Norte bus No. 332 between Mexico City and Monterrey on October 2, 1963. The drivers, after viewing photographs of Lee Harvey Oswald, were unable to recall him as a passenger on the bus. (The bus averaged 42 mph on the 574 mile trip from Mexico City to Monterrey).
On June 11, 1964 the FBI interviewed Eulalio Rodriguez-Chavez, an unemployed Mexican citizen, 62 years old, living in Los Angeles, California. At 8:30 am on October 2 Rodriguez boarded Transportes del Norte bus No. 332 in Mexico City and sat next to a young woman on his left. The bus, which carried Rodriguez and allegedly carried "H.O. Lee," stopped at San Luis Potosi at 1:00 pm for a half hour. Rodriguez changed seats and sat next to 37-year-old Paula Rusconi for the duration of her trip which ended in Houston. According to Paula, Rodriguez-Chavez made numerous pencil sketches during the trip and made friendly overtures toward her, which she did not appreciate, throughout the trip. The bus arrived in Monterrey around 9:15 pm where passengers disembarked for a brief rest.
Monterrey to Laredo, Texas with unreliable witnesses
Ramon Trevino Quezada, the Vice-President and General Manager of Transportes del Norte, advised the FBI that all passengers destined for Nuevo Laredo or points beyond were transferred in Monterrey to Transportes del Norte bus No. 373, driven by Alvaro Ibarra, which departed for Nuevo Laredo at 9:50 pm, October 2, 1963.
NOTE: The travel document from Monterrey to Laredo lists the hour of departure at "21," or 11:00 pm.
After the bus departed Monterrey Eulalio Rodriguez-Chavez said that he tried to sleep, but was annoyed by another passenger who kept the overhead reading light on. Rodriguez referred to the man as "desgraciado" (disgraceful man) and remembered that he rudely continued to read either a book, magazine, or newspaper while others were trying to sleep. According to Rodriguez-Chavez the rude passenger was Oswald.
The passenger who sat next to Rodriguez-Chavez, 37-year-old Paula Rusconi, did not recall any incident involving a passenger leaving a reading light on. She said that many of the passengers left lights on and talked throughout the night and did not recall seeing Lee Harvey Oswald on the bus. After interviewing Rusconi, SA Edwin Dalrymple wrote "It would appear that Rodriguez was either somewhat confused or embellished his recollection of Oswald." The Warren Commission relied on Rodriguez-Chavez and wrote, "One of the passengers testified that Oswald annoyed him by keeping his overhead light on to read after 10 pm."
On April 5, 1964 confidential informant "T-19" interviewed Anastasio Ruiz Meza, the person who allegedly purchased the ticket for seat 15 (from the "A. Viajos" travel agency) and rode the same buses as Oswald from Mexico City to Dallas via Monterrey and Laredo. Ruiz, who worked for the Mexican Ministry of the Treasury and Public Credit, allegedly told "T-19" that he first noticed a young American seated alone at a table in the bus terminal restaurant in Monterrey. He next noticed the American at the "Kilometer 26" checkpoint before reaching Nuevo Laredo when the man was taken off the bus by a Mexican Immigration official. He saw the man for the last time when passengers disembarked in Nuevo Laredo prior to crossing the border into the US. This Mexican Ministry employee positively identified two profile photographs of Lee Harvey Oswald as the young American on the bus.
The FBI received information from another "unidentified informant" that an American citizen named Herbert Robert Voorhees departed Mexico at Nuevo Laredo on the same day as Oswald (October 3, 1963). On March 26, 1964 Voorhees was interviewed by FBI confidential informant "T-11." Voorhees said he was a 73-year-old widower and had purchased a bus ticket from Transportes del Norte for transportation from San Luis Potosi to San Antonio, Texas on October 2, 1963. He boarded Transportes del Norte bus #332 at San Luis Potosi at 2:40 pm on October 2. According to the Warren Commission, Oswald was already on the bus when Voorhees boarded at San Luis Potosi. The bus stopped in Monterrey, where passengers changed to bus No. 373, and later arrived at the Mexican Immigration station near Nuevo Laredo about 1:00 am on October 3.
Voorhees said that a few miles before reaching Nuevo Laredo (at Kilometer "26") a Mexican Immigration official boarded the bus to check each passenger's identification and travel documents. Voorhees noticed when a young American, about 20 years old, 5'9" tall, medium build, bareheaded, and carrying one small bag, was taken off the bus.
NOTE: When Warren Commission staff members Willens, Coleman, and Slawson visited Mexico City in April 1964, they discussed the "two suitcase problem" with the FBI's Clark Anderson. They knew Oswald had two bags when he left his apartment on Magazine Street in New Orleans, but their evidence showed he entered Mexico with only one bag, checked into the Hotel del Comercio with only one bag, and returned to the US with only one bag. The Commission, however, was determined to find Oswald's second bag. They finally reported that he took two bags to Mexico-one bag kept with him inside the bus and second bag in the baggage compartment. The appearance of the second bag also justified Oswald's name appearing on the Flecha Roja baggage list, which was the only document that placed Oswald on the bus.
When the young man returned to the bus Voorhees heard him mumble, "My papers were in order before and I don't know why they bother me now-they took my pass before." A fellow passenger told Voorhees the young man had some irregularity with his Mexican tourist papers. Voorhees recalled seeing the young man again at the US customs station in Laredo, Texas a half hour later. When shown a photograph of Oswald, Voorhees said he was unable to definitely say the young American aboard the bus was Oswald. He could not be positive, but said the American was "the same general type as Oswald." Voorhees said, "The young man was about the same size, the same type, and it seems to be him."
NOTE: Voorhees was 74 years of age, hard of hearing, and said he would have to stop to refresh his recollection before he could be positive about anything which took place in the past, since he had difficulty remembering the exact details of his travels.
In April, 1964 another unidentified "confidential source" advised the FBI that the passenger and reservation list for the Transportes del Norte bus No. 332 (Mexico City to Monterrey) recorded that seat No. 11, allegedly the seat next to Oswald's, was occupied by Augusto Aguilar. Aguilar was contacted through the Bible Society of Mexico and advised that he entered the US at Laredo, Texas on October 3, 1963. He also remembered that an American youth was taken from the bus by Mexican Immigration officials and thought he was questioned about his documents.
Passenger Eulalio Rodriguez-Chavez also remembered that two men were taken from the bus by Mexican Immigration officers for questioning. Rodriguez said that one of the men was about 50 years old, black hair, heavy set, with a fair complexion. The second man was much younger, wore a coffee colored gabardine type jacket, had fair complexion, and tried to speak in Spanish to the Mexican Immigration officer.
After the two men returned to the bus, shortly after 1:00 am on October 3, the bus proceeded to Nuevo Laredo where another Mexican Immigration officer boarded the bus and hurriedly checked the travel documents of passengers at 1:35 am. H.O. Lee allegedly surrendered the copy of his FM-8 tourist visa to Immigration Officer Alberto Arzamendi Chapa before departing Mexico. (The bus averaged 44 mph on the 134 mile trip from Monterrey to Nuevo Laredo).
Transportes del Norte bus No. 373 crossed the Rio Grande River and arrived in Laredo, Texas about 2:30 am on October 3, 1963. All of the passengers got off the bus and were processed through US Immigration (identity documents), US Department of Public Health (small pox vaccination), and US Customs (luggage).
NOTE: The FBI waited 3 months to investigate Oswald's departure from Mexico and then relied almost entirely on "confidential informants," "confidential sources," and "people who have provided reliable information in the past" for their information.
At this point it is worth remembering that Immigration Officer Alberto Arzamendi Chapa noted that Oswald departed Mexico by "Auto." Mexican border records show that Oswald's destination was New Orleans, not Dallas, and his method of transportation was by "auto." Clark Anderson, the FBI's Legal Attach in Mexico City, also advised that Oswald's departure from Mexico was by private car, and obtained his information from Mexican Immigration form FM-11.
The FBI, as previously noted, failed to obtain the names of the owners of the 25 vehicles that departed Mexico at Nuevo Laredo on October 3, 1963 and were listed on form FM-11 (they obtained only 4 names). They explained that Oswald could not have driven a car into and out of Mexico because automobiles were required to be registered with Mexican Customs, and a vehicle was not registered to Oswald. But if Oswald were a passenger in a car then his name would not have been listed on Mexican Customs records, but would have been listed on Mexican Immigration records as departing Mexico by "auto."
Laredo to Dallas
Eugene Pugh, the US Customs officer in charge at Laredo, said that Oswald was checked by American Immigration (INS) upon entering and leaving Mexico. Pugh said, "This was not the usual procedure, but US Immigration had a folder on Oswald's trip."
NOTE: This information was published in the Herald Tribune on November 26, 1963. In 1997, former FBI SA James Hosty said that Oswald's visit to the Soviet Embassy was reported to the FBI by INS.
In Laredo, Oswald allegedly exchanged International Exchange Order No. 43599, purchased in Mexico for $12.80, for Greyhound bus ticket No. 8256009. Ticket agent Raul Tijerina, who was on duty from 12:00 midnight to 8:00 am on October 3, handled the transaction but did not remember Oswald. Shortly before 3:00 am Oswald allegedly boarded Greyhound bus #1265, driven by J.C. Robinson, which departed Laredo for San Antonio.
NOTE: The FBI processed the exchange order and bus ticket for latent fingerprints, but determined that "no latent impressions of value for identification purposes were developed on them," according to a memo from Hoover to the CIA.
Eulalio Rodriguez-Chavez, one of 20 passengers aboard Greyhound bus #1265, noticed that the young man who had been escorted from the Transportes del Norte bus by Mexican Immigration officials was still on the bus when it arrived in San Antonio. Rodriguez last saw the young man at 6:20 am on October 3 when he got off the bus in San Antonio in order to board a different bus to Houston. (The bus averaged 45 mph on the 150 mile trip from Laredo to San Antonio).
NOTE: The bus driver from Laredo to San Antonio, J.C. Robinson, was shown photographs of Oswald but failed to recognize him as a passenger.
At 7:10 am Oswald boarded Greyhound bus #1265, driven by Ben Julian, which departed San Antonio with 30 passengers en route to Dallas, a distance of 277 miles. The Warren Commission concluded that Oswald arrived at the Greyhound bus terminal in Dallas at 2:20 pm on the afternoon of October 3, in plenty of time to visit the Texas Employment Commission prior to closing at 4:30 pm (The bus averaged 39 mph on the 277 mile trip from San Antonio to Dallas).
NOTE: The bus driver from San Antonio to Dallas, Ben Julian, was shown photographs of Oswald but failed to recognize him as a passenger.
Summary of Oswald's alleged travels in Mexico
The FBI withheld the name of the individual who obtained Mexican tourist visa No. 24084, prior to Oswald obtaining visa No. 24085, because he was New Orleans based CIA agent William Gaudet.
From November 22, 1963 thru May 1964, the FBI had failed to locate a bus ticket issued to Oswald from Houston to Laredo or from Laredo to Mexico City. They had only one document-a copy of tourist visa No. 24085 from the Mexican Government-which indicated that "Harvey Oswald Lee" entered Mexico on September 26 at Nuevo Laredo. But for reasons never explained Oswald's name was not included on a Mexican Immigration form (FM-11 on September 26, 1963) which included the names of all persons entering Mexico at Nuevo Laredo .
The day after the assassination Mexican Police confiscated Flecha Roja bus manifests from Nuevo Laredo to Mexico City which left no record of Oswald's alleged travel to Mexico City. The only document which indicated Oswald was on a Flecha Roja bus was a baggage list, which meant that one or more of his bags was stored in the baggage compartment. But according to witnesses Oswald had only one bag, which he placed in the rack above his feet.
When Oswald was supposedly en route to Mexico City, the FBI learned that he was in Dallas, Texas visiting Sylvia and Annie Odio at their apartment. Both the FBI and Warren Commission decided the Odio sisters were "mistaken."
According to witnesses, Oswald talked a great deal to an elderly Englishman who sat next to him on the trip to Mexico City (Bowen/Osborne). But after the FBI determined that this man had no visible means of income, repeatedly lied to Bureau agents, traveled extensively, and used dual identities, they stopped their investigation.
Oswald allegedly visited the Cuban Consulate and the Soviet Embassy which were completely covered by CIA electronic, telephonic, and photographic surveillance, yet the CIA failed to provide photographs or tape recordings to prove that he was at either location. In fact, the transcripts of telephone conversations the CIA did provide were fabrications. The CIA had photographs of a man who visited the Soviet Embassy, but this man was clearly not Oswald. The CIA allow FBI agents to listen to a recording of an intercepted telephone call between Oswald and a Soviet official, but the FBI agents said the man on the tape was not Oswald.
Cuban Consulate employee Silvia Duran was beaten and tortured by the Mexican Police, at the request of the CIA, to extract testimony from her that linked Oswald to the Cubans to an alleged communist conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. CIA career officer David Atlee Phillips had a known FBI informant and CIA asset lie to the American Embassy and tell them that he saw Oswald receive $6500 from a "negro with red hair" inside of the Cuban Consulate to kill the President. Phillips was also the source of numerous stories before, during, and after Oswald's alleged visit to Mexico City that attempted to link Oswald to Cuba and communists.
By May 1964 the FBI had obtained a copy of tourist visa No. 24085 from the Mexican Government which indicated that a man identified as "Harvey Oswald Lee" departed Mexico on October 3 at Nuevo Laredo. The FBI's Clark Anderson advised that Oswald departed Mexico by car, not by bus, and listed his destination as New Orleans, instead of Dallas. But for reasons never explained Oswald's name was not included on a Mexican Immigration form (FM-11 on October 3, 1963) which included the names of all persons departing Mexico at Nuevo Laredo .
Oswald's alleged departure from Mexico City aboard a Transportes Frontera bus, as reported by the Mexican Government, was based on documents that had been altered by the Mexican Security Police. After the FBI determined that Oswald could not have ridden the Transportes Frontera bus, they pieced together statements from "confidential" and "unidentified" sources that placed Oswald aboard a Transportes del Norte bus from Mexico City to Laredo on October 2-3.
While Oswald was allegedly riding the Greyhound Bus from San Antonio to Dallas on October 3, someone returned 3 books to the New Orleans public library that had been checked out by Lee Harvey Oswald in September.
As the FBI wrote their summary of Oswald's visit to Mexico in May of 1964, they had only a Mexican Immigration entry and exit form with Oswald's name to show that he was in Mexico. They had no photographs, no tape recordings, no latent fingerprints and no other documents which proved that he was ever in Mexico. In August, 1964, as the Warren Commission was preparing to print their final report, CIA asset Priscilla Johnson "found" literature from Mexico City at Marina Oswald's house which supported the FBI's investigation.
The FBI had descriptions of "Oswald" as a short man, with thin blond hair, another description of him as a tall man, approximately 35 years old, with an athletic build and yet another description of him as a tall man with a lot of hair. The FBI also knew that the names H.O. Lee, Harvey Oswald Lee, Lee Oswald, and Lee Harvey Oswald had been used by someone in Mexico City during the last week of September. Based on the results of their investigation, and virtually no evidence, they wrote:
"Lee Harvey Oswald, traveling as H.O. Lee, is believed to have departed from Mexico City at 8:30 am, October 2, 1963, arrived at Monterrey, Mexico, at 9:15 pm on the same day. At Monterrey, Oswald and passengers for Laredo transferred to bus number 373."
James Angleton and the Warren Commission
After the Warren Commission was formed Counterintelligence Chief James Angleton used Oswalds alleged contact with the alleged KGB assassin Kostikov to have his department act as liaison with the Warren Commission.
NOTE: The allegation was made, and soon retracted, by CIA officer Tennant Bagley.
Angleton and Richard Helms (Deputy Director) then chose Ray Rocca Angleton's deputy, to be the CIA's contact with the Commission. As Chief of Research and Analysis Rocca knew exactly which documents to withhold from the Commission in order to protect the agencies interests. Should he have any doubts he need only ask Angleton, Helms, or former CIA Director Allen Dulles, who was his contact with the Warren Commission. It was Dulles who decided which intelligence data Commission members would be allowed to review. Another member of Angleton's staff, Birch D. O'Neal (CI/SIG), was appointed by Richard Helms to act as liaison with the FBI during their investigation of the assassination.
Thanks to Richard Helms, Angleton and members of SIG were solely responsible for all CIA documents, correspondence, and information given (or withheld) to the FBI and Warren Commission. After receiving numerous requests for information from the Commission Angleton became annoyed at what he considered unnecessary Government interference and later commented, "It is inconceivable that a secret intelligence arm of the Government has to comply with all the overt orders of the Government."
REMEMBER: It was James Angleton's small, closely-knit Special Investigations Group that held Lee Oswald's 201 file prior to the assassination and after the assassination acted as liaison with the Warren Commission. This strongly suggests that if Oswald worked for the Agency, then he was associated with a project supervised by Angleton and his Special Investigations Group (the Oswald project that involved dual identities?). By choosing Angleton's group as the sole contact with the Warren Commission, the CIA's involvement and contacts with Oswald were certain to remain secret.
On January 31 1964 Raymond Rocca, probably at the direction of Angleton, sent a memo to the Warren Commission which read, "Kostikov is believed to work for Department Thirteen.....The Thirteenth Department headquarters, according to very reliable information, conducts interviews or, as appropriate, file reviews on every foreign military defector to the USSR (a clear reference to Oswald) to study and to determine the possibility of using the defector in his country of origin."
NOTE: Angleton's deputy is suggesting to the Warren Commission that Oswald may have been working for the Soviets. Angleton's close friend, author Edward Epstein, would later suggest in his book, "Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald," that Oswald worked for the Soviets.
Thru early 1964 Angleton and Rocca continued with their efforts to show Soviet involvement in the assassination while David Atlee Phillips (Mexico City) continued with his efforts to show Cuban involvement. Neither Angleton, Rocca, O'Neal nor Phillips testified before the Warren Commission and Allen Dulles, who decided which intelligence data was shown to Commission members, even managed to keep the CIA's name and initials out of the Commission's index. Fourteen years later, in 1978, Ray Rocca told the HSCA that Angleton's strategy when dealing with the Commission was to "wait out them out" rather than turn over sensitive documents.
NOTE: Angleton's efforts were successful and resulted in thousands of CIA documents relating to Oswald and the assassination being withheld from the public.
James Angleton and Richard Helms were both very close to Allen Dulles, the Director of the CIA since 1953, who they considered their mentor and friend. When President Kennedy forced Dulles, Deputy Director Charles Cabell, and DDP Richard Bissell to resign following the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and then refused to allow either the military or the Cuban exiles to invade Cuba, the Agency and the exiles had the motive and the means to assassinate the President. Their opportunity came when the President and Vice-President agreed to visit Texas in the late summer of 1963.
After his resignation Allen Dulles became one of President Kennedy's most powerful political enemies, yet a week before the assassination he visited Vice-President Lyndon Johnson at his ranch in Texas and two weeks later was appointed by Johnson to the Warren Commission to investigate Kennedy's assassination. Coincidence or conspiracy?
In 1964 the Warren Commission wanted to depose CIA Director John McCone and Deputy Director Richard Helms. Before they testified Allen Dulles met secretly with Angleton and gave him a list of questions that he thought the Commission might ask McCone and Helms. MEX, 63-28
NOTE: Angleton also called FBI Assistant Director William Sullivan and rehearsed the questions and answers that McCone and Helms would give to the Warren Commission.
On May 14, 1964 Richard M. Helms and CIA Director John A. McCone testified before the Warren Commission, with Allen Dulles in attendance. Commission members would have done well to recall Dulles' answer when they asked him if a CIA agent would tell the truth about the agency under oath. Dulles said:
"I wouldn't think he would tell under oath, no.....He ought not tell it under oath."
Commission members may have forgotten Dulles' answer, but McCone and Helms followed the advice of their former boss and mentor.
Mr. Rankin: "Have you (Mr. McCone) determined whether or not Lee Harvey Oswald, the suspect in connection with the assassination of President Kennedy, had any connection with the Central Intelligence Agency, informer or indirectly as an employee, or any other capacity?"
Mr. McCone: "Yes; I have determined to my satisfaction that he had no such connection....."
Mr. Rankin: "Mr. Helms, did you have anything to do on behalf of your Agency with determining whether or not Lee Harvey Oswald was acting in any of the capacities I have described in my questions to Mr. McCone?"
Mr. Helms: "Yes; I did.....On Mr. McCone's behalf, I had all of our records searched to see if there had been any contacts at any time prior to President Kennedy's assassination by anyone in the Central Intelligence Agency with Lee Harvey Oswald.....Now, this check turned out to be negative."
Representative Gerald Ford: "Has a member of the Commission staff had full access to your files on Lee Harvey Oswald?"
Mr. Helms: "He has, sir."
Representative Gerald Ford: "They have had the opportunity to personally look at the entire file?"
Mr. Helms: "We invited them to come out to our building in Langley and actually put the file on the table so that they could examine it."
Representative Gerald Ford: "Mr. McCone, do you have full authority from higher authority to make full disclosure to this Commission of any information in the files of the Central Intelligence Agency."
Mr. Helms: "That is right. It is my understanding that it is the desire of higher authority that this Commission shall have access to all information of every nature in our files or in the minds of employees of Central Intelligence Agency."
Representative Gerald Ford: "On the basis of that authority, you or the Agency have made a full disclosure?"
Mr. Helms: "That is correct."
NOTE: If the CIA had allowed "all of our records searched"....."full access to our files"....."look at the entire file," then there would have been no need for the HSCA and ARRB. Richard Helms' brief testimony contains some of the most significant lies told by anyone to the Warren Commission.
In 1977 Helms was questioned under oath by Senator William Fullbright and asked about CIA involvement in a coup in Chile. Helms lied under oath and said there was no CIA involvement, but was later charged and convicted of perjury. When he told Judge Barrington D. Parker that his oath of secrecy to the CIA permitted him to lie to Congress the judge strongly disagreed and berated him, but then gave Helms a two-year sentence and a $2,000 fine.
Judge Parker, a Republican appointed to the federal bench by President Nixon, was a man with an established reputation for politically partisan decisions. When Edwin Reinecke, Lieutenant Governor of California under Governor Reagan, was convicted of lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Parker gave him an 18-month suspended sentence and one month of unsupervised probation. When Orlando Letelier, an influential opponent of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, was assassinated in 1976 in broad daylight in Washington, DC, Judge Parker presided over the trial and refused to allow the defense to present any testimony concerning the widely suspected involvement of the CIA. Thereafter, Parker was known as "the CIA's judge."
It was Judge Parker who presided over the trial of John W. Hinckley, accused of attempting to assassinate President Ronald Regan in 1981, which nearly landed former CIA Director George H.W. Bush in the White house. For his continued efforts Judge Parker was one of the first eleven nominees for appointment to the federal appeals court in May 2001 by President George W. Bush.
In 1978 the HSCA reviewed Richard Helm's testimony and concluded, "Though the main contact with the Commission, apparently he did not inform it of the CIA plots to assassinate Castro." They also said, "His testimony before the Commission was misleading." The HSCA could have made similar, but much stronger statements, about Commission member Allen Dulles.
Through the combined efforts of Angleton and Helms at CIA headquarters and Allen Dulles on the Warren Commission, many of the CIA's most closely guarded secrets about Lee Harvey Oswald, Cuba, and the assassination remained hidden. If the CIA had turned over all documents relating to the assassination, the Commission would have learned about the CIA's efforts to eliminate Castro, first proposed to Allen Dulles in 1959, and later supervised by Richard Helms, David Atlee Phillips, and E. Howard Hunt. They would have learned about the CIA's interest in the FPCC, the CIA's control of the Mexican Police and Mexican politicians, the CIA's photographic and audio surveillance of the Cuban and Soviet compounds in Mexico City, the CIA's human assets within the Cuban Consulate and, perhaps, the CIA's secret documents on Lee Harvey Oswald.
The Commission realized, as we do today, that the high level positions held by these CIA officers in near total anonymity, with virtually unlimited government funding, provided them and certain people within the Agency the opportunity to control the outcome of the investigation. In 1975 Warren Commission co-counsel Burt W. Griffin said, "All of the records were in the hands of the two agencies (FBI and CIA) and, if they so desired, any information or files could have been destroyed or laundered prior to the time the Commission could get them."
By "waiting out the Commission," lying under oath, and failing to discuss CIA operations, Angleton, Helms, Dulles, and others managed to keep the Commission from learning the truth about the CIA's involvement with the two Oswald's, the assassination of President Kennedy, and their participation in the cover-up. They also kept the Commission from learning about Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko.
Yuri Nosenko was a high-ranking KGB intelligence officer who was first approached by the CIA in 1962. Following the assassination of President Kennedy, Nosenko defected to the United States and was enthusiastically received by Tenant Bagley of the CIA's Soviet Russia (SR) division.
Nosenko told the CIA that as a high-ranking KGB officer he had personally reviewed the entire file on Oswald. He said there had been no contact or interest in Oswald, but the KGB suspected him of being a CIA agent. When Nosekno made these statements he had no reason to suspect that anyone within the CIA would be threatened by his knowledge. But when CI Chief James Angleton heard that the KGB suspected Oswald of being a CIA agent, he was very concerned and feared that the KGB and Nosenko may have learned the truth about Harvey Oswald's background and dual identity.
Angleton soon challenged Nosenko and accused him of being a "false defector," sent by the Soviets to show that they were not involved in the President's assassination. Angleton had Nosenko transferred to a newly built prison-like facility where he was held incommunicado. For the next two years Nosenko was needled, prodded, starved, drugged, exposed to all kinds of horrors, and not even allowed to brush his teeth in an attempt to break him down and learn his innermost secrets. After spending years in isolation Richard Helms finally allowed a full and non-threatening debriefing of Nosenko, which lasted for 9 months. After a third polygraph examination indicated that he was telling the truth, Nosenko was released over the heated objections of Angleton and his staff.
For years Angleton and Helms claimed that Nosenko was not allowed to testify before the Warren Commission because they did not believe he was telling the truth. The truth is that Nosenko was held in seclusion because they feared the Soviet KGB may have learned the truth about Oswald's background and sent Nosenko to expose Oswald and the CIA's connection with Oswald.
Following the assassination the CIA provided no evidence to the FBI which showed that Oswald had been in Mexico City, but did provide a considerable amount of evidence which indicated that he was impersonated.
On November 30, 1963, one week after the Dallas Police thoroughly searched her home and found nothing from Mexico, Ruth Paine turned over items to the Irving, Texas Police Department which she said belonged to Oswald. These items, which Mrs. Paine claimed to have found in her house, were used to "prove" that Lee Harvey Oswald visited Mexico City and included:
¥ A folded card titled "Rules for Betting," published by Hipodromo de las Americas, SA, Mexico, D.F. Mrs. Paine claimed to have found the card in the chest of drawers located in the bedroom formerly occupied by Marina Oswald (and Lee Harvey Oswald on most weekends). On March 19, 1964 FBI confidential informant "T-13" interviewed Daniel Galindo, the assistant manager of the Hipodromo de las Americas, SA. Mr. Galindo managed the thoroughbred racetrack and was familiar with the betting card. He said the card was published by the race track and was widely distributed through numerous locations in Mexico City. The FBI found no evidence that Oswald visited the racetrack.
¥ A Spanish-American dictionary in which there was a notation that read, "watch Jai-lai game." However, the Warren Commission learned that such games were strictly reserved for people who were properly attired (suit coat and tie) and therefore concluded that Oswald could not have attended. In addition, the ticket-taker at the gate was a professional informer for the Mexico City Police and emphatically said that Oswald never attended the games.
¥ A paper edition of the University of Chicago Spanish-English, English-Spanish Dictionary, Book No. 6188, Pocket Books, Inc. On the flyleaf on the back are written in pencil the following:
"Get bus tickets"
"Watch Jai-Lai Game"
"Buy Silver Bracelet"
¥ Six picture post cards on which nothing was written and there were no stamps.
The above items were all "found" by Ruth Paine and turned over to the Irving Police Department a week after Dallas Police Detectives thoroughly searched her home and her garage.
NOTE: In the weeks and months following the assassination evidence which helped frame Oswald as the lone assassin, and which placed him in Mexico, flowed from Ruth Paine's residence like a waterfall.
More Planted Evidence
By the summer of 1964 the Bureau had an assortment of phony witnesses, phony photographs, phony bus manifests, fabricated stories, and a myriad of "confidential sources" on which to rely, but they had no solid evidence which placed Oswald in Mexico City.
In August 1964 CIA asset Priscilla Johnson was living with Marina Oswald as a house guest and helping to write a book. Johnson was not only friends with Marina, she had previously met and interviewed Lee Harvey Oswald for several hours in Moscow in 1959 following his "defection." The book she was helping Marina write was titled "Marina and Lee," which proved to be a very one-sided account of her life with the lone-nut assassin.
On August 27, nine months after the assassination and only one month before the Warren Report was issued, Priscilla Johnson "found" three items of evidence in Marina's home which helped the FBI and Warren Commission "prove" that Oswald was in Mexico City:
¥ A paperback pamphlet entitled "This Week-Esta Semana." The pamphlet was published for the week of September 28-October 4, 1963. The FBI determined the pamphlet, which was printed weekly, was widely distributed in Mexico and US cities along the border. Check marks appear by the names of five movie theaters on page 31, yet photographs of Oswald were shown to employees of the movie theaters with negative results.
¥ Two Transportes del Norte bus tickets (No. 13688) in pristine condition were "found" inside the pamphlet. One was for travel from Mexico City to Monterrey and the other was for travel from Monterrey to Laredo, Texas.
¥ A guide map of Mexico City with an enlarged portion of the downtown area. Ink and check marks were placed on the map beside the National Palace, National Tourist Department, National History Museum, Anthropology Museum, Natural History Museum, Olimpia Theater, Fronton (Jai Alai) Mexico, Alameda Central Park, and Constitutional Square. Photographs of Oswald were shown to employees of the museums and other businesses with negative results. 
In 1978 the HSCA questioned Priscilla Johnson about the circumstances surrounding the finding of these items in the summer of 1964:
HSCA: "Were you with Marina when, at the time the Mexico City bus tickets were found?"
Johnson: "Oh, yes, I was with her when I found them, or I don't know which of us found them. Maybe she found them, maybe....." MEX, 63-29
These items were used by the Warren Commission to help "prove" that Oswald was in Mexico City, but what they really prove is the CIA's determination (thru Priscilla Johnson) to plant evidence to incriminate and frame Lee Harvey Oswald.
Conclusions of the Warren Commission
After the FBI completed it's investigation in the late spring of 1964 the Mexican Police (DFS) needed to make changes to Sylvia Duran's 10-page statement so that her statement did not conflict with other information about Oswald. The name "Harvey Lee Oswald" was changed to "Lee Harvey Oswald." Duran's description of Oswald as, "Blond, short, and poorly dressed," was removed. Duran's statement, "Oswald said he Communist," was changed to, "She does not remember whether or not he said that he was a member of the Communist Party" (This is the most significant change since both Duran, Azcue, and Mirabal claimed to have seen Oswald's American Communist Party membership card). Duran's statement, "Oswald never called again," was changed to, "She does not recall whether Oswald subsequently called her or not" (This change was necessary to allow for Oswald's alleged telephone call to the Cuban Consulate on Saturday morning, which Duran says could not have happened because the consulate was closed). The document, after many revisions, was finally sent to the FBI and to the Warren Commission on May 18, 1964.
The Warren Commission accepted the paperback pamphlet, the Transportes del Norte bus tickets, and the guide map of Mexico City into evidence. They also accepted the results of the FBI's investigation but concluded the Transportes Frontera manifest, cited in the original FBI report, had been falsified. They wrote, "The manifest for Transportes Frontera bus No. 340, leaving Mexico City for Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, October 2, 1963, contains the name 'Oswld,' which was apparently added to the manifest after the trip; in any event Oswald did not take the bus."
NOTE: The Warren Commission dared not ask why this manifest had been fabricated or by whom, especially when they knew the report came from the Mexican government.
"The Foul Foe" by Winston Scott (writing as Ian Maxwell)
Many years after the assassination Winston Scott, the former Chief of Station in Mexico City, was contacted by Readers Digest and asked to write a manuscript about the events surrounding Oswald's visit. In a letter to John Barron, of Readers Digest, Scott wrote,
"During my thirteen years in Mexico, I had many experiences, some of which I can write in detail. One of these pertains to Lee Harvey Oswald and what I know of his activities from the moment he arrived in Mexico, his contacts by telephone and visits to both the Soviet and Cuban Embassies....."
Scott titled his manuscript, "The Foul Foe," and wrote with some degree of detail his knowledge of Oswald's activities in Mexico City. On pages 268-269 he wrote:
"On page 777 of (the Warren) report the erroneous statement was made that it was not known that Oswald had visited the Cuban Embassy until after the assassination. Every piece of information concerning Lee Harvey Oswald was reported immediately after it was received to: US Ambassador Thomas C. Mann, by memorandum; the FBI Chief in Mexico, by memorandum; and to my headquarters by cable; and included in each and every one of these reports was the conversation Oswald had, so far as it was known. These reports were made on all his contacts with both the Cuban Consulate and with the Soviets."
NOTE: Scott may be correct. Original reports of Oswald's contacts and conversation could have been sent to CIA Headquarters. But if sent to Michael C. Choaden or Austin Horn (alias' used by David Atlee Phillips) they would have been routed back to Phillips in Mexico City and altered.
Scott wrote that Oswald was photographed coming and going from both the Soviet Embassy and the Cuban Consulate and also that he was under surveillance during his visit. Scott's writing, of course, conflicts with the official CIA story, but after extensive investigation HSCA investigators wrote:
"In general, Mr. Scott's manuscript appears to be honest and reliable in light of the other evidence available to the staff" (Dan Hardaway's memo to Louis Stokes, October 27, 1978).
Before Scott could complete his manuscript he died unexpectedly, on April 26, 1971. Scott left his partially completed manuscript, two photographs of Oswald, a vinyl tape recording of the man who identified himself as Oswald, and files in his private safe at home. The day of Scott's death Counterintelligence Chief James Jesus Angleton flew to Mexico City, but was in such a hurry that he forgot his passport. When Angleton arrived at Scott's home, he removed the contents of his safe and took them back to CIA Headquarters in Langley.
Scott had the wisdom and foresight to leave a copy of his unfinished manuscript with his wife, Janet. From his manuscript we now know that much of the CIA's official version of Oswald's activities in Mexico City were fabricated. If Scott's manuscript is historically accurate, then one or more people at the Mexico City station lied about Oswald's activities, fabricated CIA transcripts, suppressed surveillance photographs, and participated in a cover-up. The most likely candidates are Phillips, Hunt, and Goodpasture.
NOTE: As the Chief of Station, Winston Scott knew much of the truth surrounding Oswald's visit to Mexico City. How fortunate for the CIA that Scott died before his manuscript was complete and his knowledge of events made public through Readers Digest. How fortunate for the CIA that counterintelligence Chief James Angleton removed the contents of Scott's safe prior to his funeral. How fortunate for the CIA that these materials disappeared.
Winston Scott sent a memo to the FBI's Clark Anderson on November 27, 1963 and advised the final telephone call by a man who identified himself as "Lee Harvey Oswald" was made to the Soviet Embassy at 1539 hours on October 3, 1963. If Scott had been involved in the framing of Oswald he never would have sent this memo, because on October 3, at 3:39 pm, Oswald was in Dallas. From all indications, Scott was not part of the conspiracy, though he apparently retained surveillance photographs and a tape recording of Oswald-perhaps as life insurance.
Marina's confusing and contradictory statements about Mexico
According to former FBI agent James Hosty the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) informed the FBI of Oswald's visit. The Bureau also learned about "Oswald's" visit when they intercepted and read a typewritten letter sent from Irving, Texas to the Soviet Embassy on November 12. This information was relayed to Hoover on November 19, 1963, and a handwritten "rough draft" of the same letter was given to SA James Hosty by Ruth Paine on November 23, 1963.
NOTE: This was the first item, which allegedly belonged to the Oswald's, that was "found" by Ruth Paine after DPD detectives searched her residence on November 22d and 23. This item was used by the Warren Commission to show that Oswald had visited the Cuban and Soviet Embassies in Mexico City. During the next 8 months, Mrs. Paine continued to "find" numerous items of evidence which she said belonged to Oswald. Nearly every one of the items she "found" was instrumental in helping to frame Oswald.
¥ Michael Paine was asked by Warren Commission attorney Liebeler if he knew of Oswald's trip to Mexico City. Michael replied, "There was no conversation among any one at that time about Oswald having been in Mexico.....No; it was a complete surprise to Ruth and myself."
¥ Following the assassination, Marina resided briefly at the Six Flags Inn in Arlington, Texas, where she was interviewed by the Secret Service. When asked if Lee came back with her (from New Orleans), Marina said, "No, he did not come back with me. He remained in New Orleans for another two weeks in hopes that he would find another job, and then he came to Dallas."
¥ On November 29, 1963, Marina told FBI agents (Heitman & Boguslav) that Oswald was going to remain in New Orleans to find work and if he could not find work, he would return to Dallas. During the same interview, Marina said she did not know anything about any trip that Oswald may have made to Mexico City. Marina volunteered that to her knowledge Oswald had never been in Mexico. When asked by the agents why she said that, Marina told the agents (Heitman & Boguslav) that she figured they were interested in that because it was on TV.
¥ On December 5, 1963 Marina said that Oswald never mentioned that he was making plans to go to Cuba, nor did he mention that he had made application for a visa to go to Cuba. When Marina left New Orleans with Ruth Paine in September, Oswald said nothing about going to Mexico or Cuba.
¥ On December 10, Marina was interviewed by SS agent Leon Gopadze who wrote, "Concerning Lee Oswald's being in Mexico City and his visits to the Cuban and Russian Embassies, Marina Oswald stated that she had no prior knowledge of him going to Mexico City....."
¥ On December 11, 1963 Marina Oswald was again interviewed by the Secret Service, and advised that she had no prior knowledge of Oswald going to Mexico City.
¥ On January 16, 1964, Marina said Oswald did not tell her where he had bought a silver bracelet, which he gave her as a gift, and that she definitely did not know that he had been to Mexico prior to his return to Dallas.
NOTE: More than 300 silver shops in Mexico City were shown photographs of the bracelet and none said that they sold bracelets of this kind.
¥ On January 17, 1964, Marina said that Oswald had not told her anything whatsoever about his intentions to go to Mexico. She said that he had not told her upon his return to Dallas in early October 1963, that he had been to Mexico.
¥ On January 22, 1964, Marina allegedly told FBI agents that she recalled seeing an English-Spanish dictionary and Mexican post cards at Ruth Paine's home in Irving, but still said she did not know that Oswald had been to Mexico. When shown a handwritten "rough draft" of a typewritten letter that Oswald had allegedly written to the Soviet Embassy (informing them of his trip to Mexico) Marina said, curiously, that Mrs. Paine had not discussed the letter or it's contents with her.
On February 3, 1964, Marina was interviewed by the Warren Commission and her story changed completely. She told the Warren Commission that Oswald was very interested in going to Cuba. She said, "He was even interested in the airplane schedules, with the idea of kidnapping a plan. But I talked him out of it." During her testimony the following discussion occurred:
Mr. Rankin: "Had he discussed with you the idea of going to Mexico City?"
Mr. Rankin: "When did he first discuss that?"
Marina "I think it was in August."
Mr. Rankin: "Did he tell you why he wanted to go to Mexico City?"
Marina: "From Mexico City he wanted to go to Cuba-perhaps through the Russian Embassy in Mexico somehow he would be able to get to Cuba."
Mr. Rankin noticed that Marina's testimony contradicted a portion of the letter that Oswald allegedly wrote to the Soviet Embassy in Washington.
Mr. Rankin: "You noticed where he said in this letter, 'I had not planned to contact the Soviet Embassy in Mexico,' did you not?"
Marina: "Why hadn't he planned that?"
Mr. Rankin: "That is what I am trying to find out from you. Did he ever tell you that he didn't plan to visit the Soviet Embassy?"
Marina: "This (Oswald's alleged letter to the Soviet Embassy) is not the truth. He did want to contact the Embassy."
Mr. Rankin. "And he told you before he went to Mexico that he planned to visit the Soviet Embassy, did he?"
Once again, Marina's testimony contradicted other information known to the Warren Commission. When Rankin challenged her testimony, she implied that the letter was "not the truth." With Oswald dead there was no one to dispute Marina's testimony.
Marina was asked about another portion of the letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington:
Mr. Rankin: ".....he goes on to say that this agent, James P. Hosty, 'warned me that if I engaged in FPCC activities in Texas the FBI will again take an interest in me.' Do you remember anything about anything like that?"
Marina: "I don't know why he said that in there, because if he has in mind the man who visited us, that man (Hosty) never met Lee."
NOTE: The information about FBI agent Hosty's contacts with Marina prior to November 14, 1963 were known only to Oswald, Marina, and Ruth Paine.
Mr. Rankin, a very skilled attorney, may have had doubts that Oswald was the author of the letter to the Soviet Embassy.
¥ The FBI became aware of Oswald's alleged trip to Mexico City prior to the assassination-after intercepting and reading the typewritten letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington, DC dated November 9.
¥ When questioned by Dallas Police, Lee Harvey Oswald denied that he had ever been to Mexico City.
¥ When questioned by FBI agents and the Secret Service Marina Oswald denied any prior knowledge of Oswald's trip to Mexico City.
¥ Three months after the assassination, on February 18, 1964, Marina told FBI agents (Heitman & Boguslav) that she had known about Oswald's trip to Mexico about a week before he had taken the trip. She also said that Oswald had purchased some scenic postcards in Mexico and had brought these postcards back with him to Dallas and had shown them to her.
¥ On February 24, 1964 Marina told FBI agents that Oswald was making plans to hijack an airplane and force the pilot to take him to Cuba.....His plans at first were for him to hijack the plane by himself.....Oswald subsequently revised his plans to the extent that he included Marina as part of the plan. He told Marina that he would sit at the front of the airplane with the pistol which he owned and Marina would sit at the back of the plane with a pistol which he would buy for her.....Oswald told Marina that she was to stand up at the back of the airplane at the appointed time and yell out "hands up" in English.....During the time he was planning to hijack this plane Oswald began taking physical exercises at home for the purpose of increasing his physical strength.....Marina urged Oswald to give up his schemes of hijacking an airplane and suggested he try to get to Cuba in a legal way. Oswald then gave up his scheme to hijack an airplane. For about a week prior to the time she left New Orleans for Dallas with Mrs. Paine, Oswald made plans to go to Mexico for the purpose of obtaining permission to enter Cuba legally.
¥ On February 25, 1964, Marina told the FBI that for about a week prior to the time she left New Orleans for Dallas with Mrs. Paine, Oswald made plans to go to Mexico for the purpose of obtaining permission to enter Cuba legally.
As can be seen, Marina's ever-changing stories about Oswald in Mexico read like a night-mare. It was from these, and may other contradictory statements, that caused several Warren Commission staff members to say that she was just a liar.
In 1967, Marina Oswald Porter was questioned by the New Orleans Grand Jury in connection with the Garrison investigation into President Kennedy's assassination:
Question: "How soon before you left New Orleans did Lee tell you he was going to Mexico City?"
Marina: "How soon? He told me before I left New Orleans he was going to Mexico, he was talking about going to Mexico City before I went to New Orleans to Irving."
Question: "How long before you went from New Orleans to Irving?"
Marina: "One month, I don't remember."
In 1978 Marina was questioned by the HSCA and asked why her story about Oswald's visit to Mexico City changed:
(HSCA): "Why did you not give the FBI this information when they interviewed you back on November 29, 1963, approximately a week after the assassination?"
Marina: "At that time I did not really have the country to go to.....I thought if I tell them that I knew about Mexico, I would be responsible just as well for what he did."
(HSCA): "As late as January 22, 1964 you were still denying that you knew Lee was going to Mexico when you lived in New Orleans, but about 10 days after that you testified before the Warren Commission that you did know of the trip."
Marina: "I tried to protect myself sir."
(HSCA): "Were you pressured by anyone to change your testimony between those dates? That is just a 10 day period there. Did the FBI or the Secret Service or anyone suggest to you to change your testimony there?"
Marina (unbelievably): "Well, I don't remember.....I did not want to talk about the FBI, but do believe that one of the FBI agents, he brought something that looks like it came from Mexico and, little by little, in the questioning, I had to confess that I did know."
(HSCA): "When did you first learn of his planned trip to Mexico City? When did you first know about that."
Marina "Shortly before I left for Dallas with Ruth Paine.....He told me about his plans to go to Mexico City and to visit the Cuban Embassy over there."
On March 30, 1978 Chairman Louis Stokes, Congressman Christopher Dodd, G. Robert Blakey, Gary Cornwell, and Ed Lopez of the House Select Committee on Assassinations arrived in Havana, Cuba. The following day they were joined by Congressman Richard Preyer.
On April 3, at 6:00 pm, the Committee staff met with Fidel Castro. Castro freely answered questions concerning the assassination of President Kennedy and assured the Committee that neither he nor his government had any involvement.
On August 25, 1978, Congressman Richard Preyer and HSCA staff members G. Robert Blakey, and Ed Lopez returned to Cuba and met with Captain Felipe Villa. After talking at length with his guests, Captain Villa requested that the committee provide the Cuban government with: 1) copies of Lee Harvey Oswald's signatures so the Cuban government could perform its own handwriting comparisons, and 2) the aliases used by E. Howard Hunt.
 Dallas Morning News, 9/26/63.
 FBI Airtel from SAC San Antonio to FBI Director, 12/6/63; FBI Airtel from SAC Dallas to SAC New Orleans and SAC Houston, 12/10/63.
 Herald Tribune, 11/26/63, p. 8.
 Interview of James Hosty by ARRB members David Marwell, Laura Denk, Phil Golrick and Doug Horne in the presence of Mrs. Janet Hosty and son Robert "Bob" Hosty, 11/18/97, 3:25 pm.
 FBI memo titled "Lee Harvey Oswald," March 19, 1964; Marshall Peck and Martin J. Steadman, Herald Tribune, 11/26/63.
 WC Document 6, p. 319; WC Exhibit 2119, p. 12-13.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 95.
 FBI Airtel from SAC, San Antonio to Director, 12/3/63; WC Exhibit 2121, p. 15-26.
 WC Exhibit 2482; FBI Airtel from San Antonio to Director, 5/15/64.
 WC Exhibit 2129, p. 17-20; WC Exhibit 2482.
 FBI teletype from SAC Los Angeles to FBI Director, 12/17/63.
 WC testimony of Pamela Mumford, 11 H 221; FBI teletype from SAC Los Angeles to FBI Director, 12/17/63.
 WC Document 1013; Sworn deposition of John Bryan and Meryl McFarland, 5/28/64.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 10.
 FBI Cablegram from Director to LEGAT Ottawa, 2/6/64.
 WC Exhibit 2195; WC Exhibit 2121; WC Exhibit 2443; FBI Cablegram from LEGAT, London to Director, 2/17/64; FBI interview of Jim Johns by SA Earle Haley, 2/18/64; National Archives, HSCA 180-10109-10167, Numbered Files 013848 (Folder 1), FBI Cablegram from LEGAT, London to Director, 4/7/64; FBI memo titled "Lee Harvey Oswald, Internal Security, Russia-Cuba," 9/23/66.
 WC testimony of Sylvia Odio, 11 H 386.
 WC Odio Exhibit No 1, Vol 20, pp. 689-90.
 HSCA interview of Manolo Ray, 6/28/78.
 WC testimony of Sylvia Odio, 11 H 386.
 WC Exhibit 2942.
 WC Exhibit 3147.
 WC Report, p. 324.
 WC testimony of Pamela Mumford, 11 H 218.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 55.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 119.
 WC Report, p. 731.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 55.
 WC Exhibit 2532, p. 13.
 WC Report, p. 731.
 WC Exhibit 2120, Volume 24, pp. 666-668.
 WC Exhibit 2123.
 Lopez Report, p. 73; record number 180-10110-10484.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 57.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 36-37; WC Exhibit 2123, p. 2.
 HSCA testimony of David Atlee Phillips, p. 386.
 HSCA Lopez Report, pp. 12-13; record number 180-10110-10484.
 Ibid. at 30.
 HSCA Lopez Report, pp. 70-71, 113.
 Ibid. at 58.
 Transcript of inteview of Cuban officials, Nassau Beach Hotel, Dec 7-9, 1995, p. 57.
 Transcript of interview of retired Cuban State Security official Arturo Rodriguez, Nassau, Dec 7-9, 1995 p. 58.
 WC Exhibit 2568; Memorandum for J. Lee Rankin, 9/17/64, FOIA No.
 HSCA Lopez Report, pp. 31-33; record number 180-10110-10484.
 Ibid. at 124.
 Ibid. at 73.
 HSCA Lopez Report, p. 56; record number 180-10110-10484.
 Ibid. at 47.
 Ibid. at 73.
 Ibid. at 58.
 Washington Sunday News Journal, 8/20/78.
 Bill Davy interview of Victor Marchetti, 4/26/95.
 Mark Lane, "Plausible Denial" (New York) 1991, p. 273.
 Ibid. at 272-273.
 Tad Szulc, ÒCompulsive Spy: The Strange Career of E. Howard Hunt;Ó David Giammarco interview of E. Howard Hunt, Cigar Aficionado,
December 2000, p.100.
 Washington Sunday News Journal, 8/20/78.
 Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall, "Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America" (University of California Press Berkley) 1991, p. 34-36.
 HSCA Lopez Report, p. 232.
 Elaine Shannon, "Desperados" (New York) 1989, pp. 181-183; Scott and Marshall, p. 36.
 Andrew Reding, "Narco-Politics in Mexico;" The National, 7/10/95,
p. 53-54, 7/10/95, pp. 53-54.
 HSCA Lopez Report, p. 18.
 Winston Scott, The Foul Foe, p. 273; HSCA Lopez Report, p. 23.
 WC Exhibit 2464, p. 35.
 Ibid.; WC Report, p. 734; WC Exhibit 2445, p. 2; 3 AH pp. 33, 34, 35.
 Lopez Report, p. 192.
 WC Exhibit 2449, p. 1-3.
 3 AH 176
 WC Exhibit 2568.
 Winston Scott, The Foul Foe, p. 273; Lopez Report, p. 23.
 Lopez Report, p. 44.
 Ibid at 23.
 WC Exhibit 2464, p. 40.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 39.
 WC Exhibit 2464, p. 46.
 Lopez Report p. 194; record number 180-10110-10484.
 Ibid. at 205.
 WC Exhibit 2445.
 Lopez Report, p. 18.
 Ibid. at 22-24.
 Ibid. at 109.
 Ibid. at 102-103.
 Winston Scott, The Foul Foe, p. 273; Lopez Report, p. 23.
 Lopez Report, p. 81.
 HSCA Report on Lee Harvey Oswald's trip to Mexico City (Lopez Report), p. 58; record number 180-10110-10484.
 Lopez Report, p. 186.
 WC Exhibit 2120, Volume 24, p. 565; Lopez Report, p. 190.
 Lopez Report, p. 194; 3 AH, p. 69-70; 3 AH, p. 136.
 Lopez Report, pp. 202, 205.
 Fonzi, pp. 293-294.
 Lopez Report, pp. 76-77.
 WC Exhibit 2568.
 3 AH pp. 50-51; 3 AH p 133; 3 AH 173-174.
 WC testimony of Marina Oswald, 1 H 27.
 WC Exhibit 2537.
 WC Exhibit 2530.
 WC Exhibit 2531.
 WC Exhibit 2639.
 FBI teletype from San Antonio to Director, 5/15/64.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 107.
 WC Exhibit 2530.
 Interview with James Hosty by ARRB members David Marwell, Laura Denk, Phil Golrick and Doug Horne, November 18, 1997, 3:25 pm.
 Lopez Report, p 85.
 Lopez Report, p. 126.
 Ibid. at 77.
 Ibid at 79.
 National Archives, FBI 124-10018-10369 HQ 62-109060-433; LHM from Hoover to President Johnson, 11/23/63.
 FBI memorandum from J. Edgar Hoover to James J. Rowley,11/23/63; FBI 62-109060-1123.
 Lopez Report, p. 164.
 105-82555-338, 371, 967; 62-116395-1468.
 Fonzi, pp. 286-287.
 Peter Dale Scott, "Deep Politics 2: The New Revelations in U.S.
Government Files, 1994-1995: Essays on Oswald, Mexico, and Cuba"
(1996), p. 12.
 Lopez Report, pp. 167-169.
 Ibid. at 184.
 Ibid. at 82-85.
 Ibid. at 83-85.
 Ibid. at 31-33.
 Ibid. at 124.
 Ibid. at 73.
 Ibid. at 140.
 Ibid. at 179.
 WC Document 692; CIA document 590-252.
 FBI memo from SA WR Heitman to SAC Dallas, 11/22/63.
 Lopez Report, pp. 139-41.
 National Archives, CIA 104-10011-10097, JFK 201-289248, p. 25.
 Lopez Report, pp. 139-41.
 National Archives HSCA 180-10131-10339, Security Classified Testimony 014739; HSCA testimony of Ann Goodpasture, 4/13/78; Lopez report, p. 138.
 Lopez Report, pp. 139-141.
 Ibid. at 49.
 Ibid. at 139, footnote 555.
 WC testimony of Captain Will Fritz, 4 H 210.
 Mark Lane, "Plausible Denial," p. 82.
 WC Exhibit 2122, pp. 99-101.
 Ibid. at 104.
 Ibid. at 30-34.
 Ibid. at 108.
 Lopez Report, p. 143.
 Ibid. at 128.
 CIA classified message from Director to Mexico City, 10/11/63.
 4 AH 206.
 Letter from Hoover to CIA, 9/7/62.
 Lopez report, pp. 170-171; Memorandum for The Ambassador from (blank), 10/16/63.
 National Archives, SSCIA 157-10007-10242; CIA classified message from CIA to Department of the Navy, 10/24/63.
 Lopez Report, p. 88.
 Fonzi, pp. 292-293.
 Lopez Report, pp. 182-183.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 35-44.
 3 AH 86.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 40.
 3 AH 102.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 122.
 WC Exhibit 2121, pp. 154-156.
 WCD 1000A.
 WCD 1000B, p. 4.
 WCD 1000C, p. 2.
 National Archives, SSCIA 157-10004-10180, Cable p-8593 CITE MEXI 7104.
 CIA document #260-670; MEXI 7156.
 3 AH 86; Lopez Report, p. 254.
 WC Report, p. 308.
 CIA document #128-590; cable from Mexico City to Headquarters, 11/26/63.
 3 AH 86, 91.
 Lopez report, p. 187.
 National Archives, HSCA 180-10108-10328, Numbered Files 002960; Memorandum by Coleman-Slawson, 4/2/64.
 WC Exhibit 2121, Volume 24, p. 634.
 CIA dispatch from Chief, WHD, to Chief of Station, 12/13/63.
 Lopez Report 190-191.
 WC Report, p. 309.
 "The Three Oswald Deceoptions: The Operation, The Cover-Up and the Conspiracy," by Peter Dale Scott, April, 1994, p. 7.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 1-2.
 Ibid. at 7.
 WC Document 6, p. 318; FBI interview of Harvey Cash by SA Robert Chapman, 11/24/63.
 FBI memorandum from ASAS J.T. Sylvester, Jr., to SAC New Orleans, 11/27/63.
 FBI Airtel from SAC San Antonio to Director, 12/3/63.
 FBI Airtel from SAC San Antonio to Director, 12/3/63; WC Exhibit 2121, pp. 15-26; Letter from J. Lee Rankin to J. Edgar Hoover, 2/12/64.
 FBI teletype from Director to SAC San Antonio, 2/15/64.
 FBI memo "Assassination of President John F. Kennedy," 11/25/63.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 42.
 Herald Tribune, Lake City edition, 11/26/63, p. 8.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 31.
 Lopez Report, p. 269.
 WC Exhibit 2122.
 FBI Airtel from SAC Dallas to FBI Director, 12/3/63.
 FBI laboratory report D-438119; FBI file No. 62-109060.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 46.
 Ibid at 33.
 Ibid at 56; Peter Kihss, New York Times-Western Edition, 12/3/63, pp. 1, 2.
 Ibid; WC Exhibit 1166, p. 5; WC Exhibit 2121, p. 57.
 WC Exhibit 2121, pp. 53-56.
 National Archives, SSCIA 157-10006-10286; WC Report, p. 736.; WC Exhibit 2121, p. 57.
 WC Exhibit 2122.
 Ibid. at 64.
 Ibid. at 65-68.
 WC Exhibit 2530.
 WC Exhibit 2121, pp. 68-69.
 WC Exhibit 2121, pp. 69-71.
 WC Exhibit 2129; Volume 24, p. 707.
 WC Exhibit 2536.
 WC Report, p. 736; WC Exhibit 2456.
 WC Exhibit 2121, p. 73-78.
 Ibid. at 61.
 WC Exhibit 2460.
 National Archives, CIA 104-10011-10097, JFK 201-289248.
 WC Exhibit 2460, pp. 2-3.
 WC Exhibit 2532, pp. 6-11.
 WC Exhibit 2129, Volume 24, pp. 707, 711.
 WC Report, p. 736.
 FBI teletype from Director to SAC San Antonio, 2/15/64.
 FBI memo "Assassination of President John F. Kennedy," 11/25/63.
 WC Exhibit 2129, p. 5; WC Exhibit 2130.
 WC Exhibit 2460.
 WC Exhibit 2129, p. 5.
 WC Exhibit 2130.
 WC Report, p. 736.
 WC Exhibit 2457.
 11 AH, pp. 47, 477-479.
 4 AH p. 215; 11 AH, pp. 476, 479, 491.
 11 AH, pp. 476, 485.
 Seymour Hersh, "Old Boys," New York Times Magazine, 6/25/78.
 4 AH, pp. 215, 232.
 4 AH pp. 232-235.
 "E. Howard Hunt, the World's Most Famous Spy," Cigar Aficionado,
 Warren Commission testimony of John A. McCone and Richard M. Helms, 5 H 120-122.
 11 AH 58.
 Ibid. at 125.
 National Archives, CIA 104-10011-10097, JFK 201-289248.
 WC Document 6, p. 161; FBI interview of Ruth Paine by SA Bardwell Odum, 12/4/63.
 WC Exhibit 3073.
 WC Report, p. 736; WC Exhibit 2460.
 CIA memorandum for the record, 10/7/78; Manuscript of Former COS, Mexico City.
 WC testimony of Michael Paine, 2 H 405.
 WC Document 344, p. 18; Secret Service Report of Marina Oswald.
 WC Exhibit 1781.
 Ibid; Memo to SAC Shanklin, 11/29/63.
 WC Exhibit 1401.
 SS report of Leon Gopadze, 12/10/63.
 WC Exhibit 1820.
 CIA 104-10011-10097, JFK 201-289248.
 WC Exhibit 1821.
 WC Exhibit 1823.
 WC testimony of Marina Oswald, 1 H 23.
 Ibid. at pp. 46-47.
 WC Exhibit 1156.
 WC Exhibit 1404.
 Testimony of Marina Oswald Porter, HSCA Volume 2, pp. 276-277.
 Ibid. at 257.
 Lopez Report, pp. 261-264.