Prettiest town I ever seen.
Folks down there don't treat you mean
In Abilene, my Abilene.
For a quiet, private and secretive individual, Lee Harvey Oswald was surprisingly adept at letter writing and telephone communication. In his short lifetime there is a large volume of correspondence to left wing organizations and government agencies, both foreign and domestic. The CIA illegally opened Oswald's mail while he was in the Soviet Union as part of it's HTLINGUAL program. This likely continued when he returned to the U.S., particularly his correspondence with the Soviet Embassy. The FBI joined in the fun as well. Their designation for the HTLINGUAL program was HUNTER.
In an era when communication was extremely limited, there was not much choice. Email, cell phones and the internet were years in the future. You either sent a letter or telegram or you phoned someone. The telephone could prove expensive if the call was not a local one. Oswald kept a note pad on which names, addresses, telephone numbers and short phrases were abundant. Hosty's license plate number is an example of information Oswald kept track of.
On the last evening of Oswald's life between 10:15 and 11:00pm he asked to make a phone call from the Dallas jail. There were two switchboard operators on duty at the time. Louise Swinney, handled the call. Alveeta Cave Treon listened in from her station. Swinney had been told that Oswald was going to make the call and was instructed to let two men in suits listen in. As she recalled it they were Homicide Detectives but she wasn't clear on that. They could have been CIA, Secret Service or FBI. Essentially, to her they were just “men in black.” Oswald gave Swinney two phone numbers for a man named John Hurt with a 919 area code, that of Raleigh, North Carolina. One number was that of John William Hurt and the second was that of John David Hurt. At the behest of the two men in suits, Swinney did not make the calls and lied to Oswald that there was no answer. Lee had earlier tried to call Attorney John Abt without success. Treon overheard the conversation and filled out a call slip listing the numbers, names and addresses.
Treon kept the LD slip for years and never tried to capitalize on what would have been a big story. Eventually, the HSCA learned of it.
The HSCA investigated and quickly ruled out the significance of the first number. It belonged to a John William Hurt, a rather drab individual that had never done anything interesting and in fact had never left Raleigh in his life. However, the second individual, John David Hurt, was more interesting. He had been a Special Agent in U.S., Army Counterintelligence during WWII. Author and ex-CIA agent, Victor Marchetti, believes this man was Oswald's intelligence cut-out.
Former CIA pilot 'Tosh' Plumlee testified in 2004 as follows: "When I later learned that Oswald had been arrested as the lone assassin, I remembered having met him on a number of previous occasions which were connected with intelligence training matters, first at Illusionary Warfare Training in Nagshead [sic], North Carolina." Illusionary Warfare?
An unsubstantiated link to a North Carolina connection involves Oswald's contact while in the Soviet Union with an Air-Force doctor at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Prior to leaving Russia in 1962, Marina was given a physical examination by Dr. Alexis Davison. Davison was an agent of the CIA who provided passive communication support for an intelligence operation involving an agent-in-place named Oleg Penkovsy. Penkovsky was deputy chief of the Soviet State Committee on Coordination of Scientific Research for the General Staff in Moscow and had offered to defect during a visit to London as part of a Soviet trade delegation. A GRU official, he proved to be a goldmine of information on Soviet military intelligence and proved extremely valuable during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Penkovsky was arrested in May 1963 and later shot as a traitor. Davison, a U.S. diplomat, was ordered out of the country.
Davison became friendly with the Oswald's and gave them the address of his mother, Natasha Alekseevna Davison, who lived in Atlanta, Georgia. He suggested that they should get in touch with her if they ever visited that city. Davison's mother's address was found in Oswald's address book after the assassination. What happened on the Oswald's return home is a matter of conjecture. According to Robert Oswald, when the Oswald's left Russia they had five suitcases and when they arrived in Texas they had two. In “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” Dick Russell says that the Oswald's took a flight from New York to Dallas that made a brief stopover in Atlanta. Another version of the story, which I have been unable to substantiate, has the Oswald's flying with two suitcases from New York to Dallas while the rest of their luggage went to North Carolina. Using Oswald as a courier seems to be a dangerous option. But if he was involved in an operation out of Raleigh or Nags Head, this as well as his “last call,” could be evidence of it. Davison's files remain classified. Could it be he was a full-time agent and not a one time CIA operative as he told the Warren Commission?
Mrs. Davison listed in Oswald's address book
Don't Call Us, We'll Call You
The Raleigh call is fairly well known. But there was another call that, although less familiar, is perhaps more important. It could provide a trail to the manipulators of Lee Harvey Oswald.
A June 6, 1979 article in the Dallas Morning News revealed the story of a photographer named Harold Reynolds. In the early 60's, Reynolds had been friends with a Cuban exile leader named Pedro Valeriano Gonzalez (or Gonzales). The two men were neighbors and residents of Abilene, Texas. Gonzalez was president of the local anti-Castro group called The Cuban Liberation Committee. In addition, Gonzalez was friends with Manuel De (Tony) Varona . Varona, former Cuban prime minister under Carlos Prio Socarras was involved in the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro. Varona also was coordinator of the CRC.
Reynolds story is that five days before Kennedy's assassination, on Sunday, November 17, 1963, he visitied Gonzalez to show him some baby pictures. During the visit, Gonzalez's landlady knocked at the door of his apartment. Reynolds answered the door and the woman handed him a note she said had noticed under the door of Gonzalez's apartment. She believed it had been there for two or three days. Reynolds read the note before giving it to Gonzalez.
Reynolds said that the handwritten message read; “Call me immediately. Urgent.” On the note were two phone numbers and the name Lee Oswald.
When asked who Oswald was, Gonzalez said something like, “Some attorney in Dallas.”
Reynolds thought that Gonzalez looked nervous and appeared to be sweating. Soon, Reynolds left to go up the street to deliver some photos. When he returned, he noticed Gonzalez car parked a few blocks from his house and saw him standing in a pay phone booth.
Reynolds said that it was unusual for Gonzalez to be using a pay phone at the time since he had a phone in his apartment. Reynolds wondered; “Who was this Lee Oswald” anyway? Whether this was the real LHO or someone pretending to be him is not clear. After the assassination, Reynolds contacted the FBI. They seemed to have no interest in what he had to say.
But there is more to the story. After the assassination, Reynolds wife said Gonzalez came to her home and demanded all photos and negatives that Reynolds may have taken of him and his friends. Reynolds said that when he saw Oswald's photo in the media after the assassination, he recognized him as resembling a man he had previously seen attending a meeting at Gonzalez's apartment along with a second and older American from New Orleans. His recollection was that Gonzalez was known for extreme anti-Kennedy sentiments as well as his friendship with Antonio de Varona, leader of the CIA-backed Cuban Revolutionary Council. Gonzalez had once said of JFK; “Somebody is going to kill him.” Leaving Abilene soon after the assassination, Gonzalez was last heard of in Venezuela.
Who was the older American from New Orleans seen by Reynolds entering Gonzalez apartment? Could it have been Clay Shaw or possibly Guy Banister? If so, this explains why Gonzalez was desperate to get the photographs and negatives back after the assassination.
Is it possible for Oswald to have been in Abilene at this time? It turns out his whereabouts the weekend before the assassination are a mystery. Ruth Paine told the Warren Commission that Marina had told him not to come to Ruth's house that weekend. The Warren Commission was unable to determine his whereabouts on the 15th, 16th or 17th of November,1963. Why Marina did not want Lee to visit that weekend is unclear. The WC never bothered to ask her. As for the dates when Oswald visited Gonzalez with an older American from New Orleans, they are unknown. That makes tracing Oswald's whereabouts at those times impossible.
If this was, in fact Oswald, it links him to a Cuban group with ties to the CIA/Mafia plots to kill Castro. Gonzalez's very powerful friend was Manuel de Varona and he had been Cuba’s Prime Minister under former President Carlos Prio Socarras. Socarras, a violent anti-Castro millionaire, worked with the CIA in it's Cuban invasion plans. He died of a gunshot wound in 1977 within weeks of the same fate befalling George de Mohrenschildt. Both were sought by the HSCA for questioning. Both were ruled suicide. It is known from research done over the years that Prio had been involved in the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro. Was he involved in the murder of JFK?
John Martino, an anti-Castro leader, told Texas businessman, Fred Claasen, that he had been a CIA contract agent. According to Martino, “The anti-Castro people put Oswald together. Oswald didn't know who he was working for—he was just ignorant of who was really putting him together. Oswald was to meet his contact at the Texas Theater. They were to meet Oswald in the theater, and get him out of the country, then eliminate him. Oswald made a mistake...There was no way we could get to him. They had Ruby kill him.”
As for Varona, on the same weekend of the Abilene encounter, and one week before the assassination, he attended a Cuban Revolutionary Council meeting in New Orleans. During this time he stayed at the home of Agustin Guitart, the uncle of Silvia Odio. It was Odio who was visited in September 1963 by men claiming to be anti-Castro fighters. One of their number looked exactly like LHO and was introduced as "Leon Oswald." One of the party later called Odio and made comments apparently designed to ensure that she remembered "Oswald." The caller said that Oswald thought the President should have been shot.
All this links Lee Oswald, and/or Leon Oswald to Gonzalez, Varona, Prio and Odio and her uncle. Either LHO was involved in the conspiracy or was set up to look like he was before the assassination occurred.
What was Oswald's Role?
When asked if Cuba had played a role in the assassination Oswald said; “Will Cuba be better off with the President dead? Someone will take his place, Lyndon Johnson, no doubt, and he will probably follow the same policy.”
In the summer of 1963, Oswald was either working for Guy Banister's or organization in New Orleans, or infiltrating it. Banister's projects included training anti-Castro Cubans for raids and possible invasion of Cuba as well as surveillance of pro integration groups like CORE and the ACLU. In addition Banister was involved in the CIA's efforts to discredit the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Oswald's role seems to have been to set up a phony branch of this organization and flush out pro-Castro sympathizers who tried to join his group. As an Agent Provocateur, he also attempted to expose left-wing students and possibly even instructors at Tulane University for Banister. It is possible that Oswald attended some of the meetings where JFK's assassination was discussed. At that point, Oswald may have contacted the FBI or possibly they contacted him. Likely, he had already been an informant since 1962.
It is conceivable that his instructions were to infiltrate Banister's group of anti-Castro exiles. It was possibly his exposing of the camps that led to the July, 31st, 1963 Pontchartrain raid.
At some point during that summer and fall, the exiles caught on to Oswald and decided to set him up as the patsy in the murder. Oswald was then impersonated and sheep dipped to look like a pro-Castro Communist radical.
A link to Castro was manifested by his Mexico City charade. Oswald was manipulated into incriminating himself. Evidence was being planted to be used later against him.
Evidence that Oswald was an informant can be seen in his request to see an FBI agent when he was arrested in a New Orleans street fight over his handing out pro-Castro leaflets in August, 1963. On August 10, 1963, while passing out pamphlets on Canal Street in New Orleans for the Fair play for Cuba Committee, he was arrested for “disturbing the peace by creating a scene." Oswald was questioned by Lieutenant Francis Martello, formerly of New Orleans police intelligence. Oswald handed Martello a note on a piece of paper torn from his notebook. He pointed to a number at the top of the note and told Martello “just call the FBI. Tell them you have Lee Oswald in custody. When they arrive, hand them this note.” Oswald asked to be visited by Warren de Brueys. Instead agent John Quigley showed up. The specific reason for Oswald requesting to speak with an FBI agent is something we can only speculate about now. Was it an opportunity to report as an informant? What we know is that from his jail cell, Oswald told a New Orleans police intelligence officer that he “was desirous of seeing an agent [of the FBI] and supplying to him information with regard to his activities with the FPCC in New Orleans,” according to an FBI report suppressed from the public until 1977. Agent John Quigley talked to Oswald in his cell for about 90 minutes, then left with some of his FPCC literature. The address, “FPCC, 544 Camp Street, New Orleans, La.,” was stamped on the last page of one of the pamphlets that Quigley was given. A few days later, an FBI informant sent him a second copy with the same rubber-stamped address. Is it possible that the 544 Camp Street stamp was a message to the FBI that Banister's group, with CIA approval, was behind the Pontchartrain camps and raids being planned on Cuba? Moreover, in connection with this incident, a New Orleans FBI security clerk, William S. Walter, told the HSCA that he had been on duty the day of the interview. When Quigley requested a file check on Oswald, Walters turned up a security file as well as an informant file on him.
Another possible event hinting Oswald was an informant for the Bureau, was the note Oswald wrote and personally delivered to the FBI in Dallas a week or so before the assassination. Was he attempting to warn the local FBI office of the impending assassination? Since Hosty was ordered to flush the note down the toilet, we will never know for sure what it really said.
Whether LHO was an informer or not, Reynold's story relating to Gonzalez and his involvement with a “Lee Oswald,” is evidence of conspiracy. Can it be just a coincidence that Gonzalez left Abilene and was not seen again shortly after the JFK murder?
Proofs of Conspiracy
We may never know what role Oswald truly played in the assassination, but can prove that there was a conspiracy and that he definitely was not a lone nut.
The first proof is that Oswald was impersonated in Mexico City in late September, 1963. Whether LHO was there or not doesn't matter. Whether he was in on the conspiracy or not, those behind his duplication knew ahead of time that he would be blamed on November 22nd, 1963. He, Castro and the Soviets were being framed. Foreknowledge.
The second proof is the Odio incident. Once again, whether the “Leon Oswald” that visited Sylvia Odio was the real Oswald or an imposter, the incident proves foreknowledge of the events to come. If Leon was the real Lee then he was part of a conspiracy with these Cubans. If he was an Oswald impersonator, the real Oswald was being framed to take the blame.
Finally, the Abilene incident is yet another argument indicitive of foreknowledge. Whether or not the individual in contact with Gonzalez was really Oswald, this Cuban exile group knew he would be the killer or patsy ahead of time.
In honorable mention we can add Rose Cheramie's foreknowledge to this list as well.
“In retrospect, so much had been held back it was surprising that the commission was still able to find Oswald guilty, or Kennedy dead. ...evasions proved ill advised, the cover-up causing more damage than the truth. The Warren Commission would be scorned and dismissed. The intelligence services disgraced. Secrets, when they came to be exposed, would serve only to confuse and complicate. The more people knew, the less they believed. History had been thrown to the wolves.”
Lee Server-Handsome Johnny