Friday, April 19, 2019
TheCollins Radio Connections to the Assassination of JFK - Updated
THECOLLINS RADIO CONNECTIONS to the Assassination of President Kennedy

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CIARaider Ship Rex - leased to Collins Radio in Nov. 1963 when itdelivered anti-Castro Cuban commandos to Cuba from JMWAVE bases inFlorida.

ByWilliam E. Kelly

Revisedfrom an article originally published in Backchannels magazine and areport presented at the national conference of the Coalition onPolitical Assassinations (COPA) in Washington D.C. on October 10,1994.

Ifthe assassination of President Kennedy was the result of not only aconspiracy, but a covert action and coup d’etat, as many peoplebelieve, there should be evidence of this from both the scene of thecrime(s) as well as from the highest echelons of power among thosewho took over the government. This would be especially so if theassassination was not the actions of a lone-nut or a foreign attackby Cuban or Soviet intelligence service sponsors, but an internalmanipulation of policy and control, an inside job.

AsEdward Luttwack describes in his "How-To" book Coup d’etat– A Practical Handbook (Alfred A. Knopf, 1968, p. 117), "Controlover the flow of information emanating from the political center willbe our most important weapon in establishing… authority after thecoup. The seizure of the main means of mass communication will thusbe a task of crucial importance."

Atthe scene of the crime, eyewitness testimony is always suspect.Homicide detectives prefer more solid leads that provide documentedevidence that can be introduced in court, such as fingerprints,telephone and automobile license records.

Thereare a number of automobile license records of significance in regardsto the assassination of President Kennedy, including the tamperedphoto among the possessions of Lee Harvey Oswald obliterating thelicense plate on 1957 Chevy in General Walker’s driveway, plus thelicense numbers of cars seen in Dealey Plaza and parking lot inphotos taken immediately before and after the assassination.

Mostsignificant however, is the Texas plate PP4537. This number wasjotted down on a piece of paper by an elderly Oak Cliff mechanic T.F. White, who noticed a man acting suspiciously behind the wheel of a1958 two tone Plymouth sedan shortly after the murder of DallasPoliceman J.D. Tippitt in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas. Thecar was parked behind a billboard in the parking lot of a Mexicanrestaurant, with the driver, like White, watching the flurry ofDallas police cars racing down the street with sirens blaring, calledto the nearby scene of the shooting of Tippit.

Whitewalked across the alley and into the parking lot to get closer andexchanged glances with the man, who quickly drove away. White wrotedown the license tag PP4537 on a piece of paper and forgot about ituntil later that day when he saw Lee Harvey Oswald on television andrecognized him as the man he saw acting suspiciously in the Plymouthearlier that afternoon.

Aweek later, when Dallas radio reporter and later mayor of Dallas WesWise gave a talk at the Oak Cliff restaurant, the owner of the garagewhere Mr. White worked mentioned the suspicious Plymouth to Wise, whothen met White. White reluctantly told his story, but didn’t wantto get involved, and Wise had to use all his powers of persuasion toconvince White to share the information with him. Wise promised Whitehe would not be brought into the investigation, but that he, Wise,would handle it. "Do you have the piece of paper with thelicense number on it?" Wise asked, and sure enough, White had itright there in his pocket and gave it to Wise. It read: PP4537.

Mr.White told Wise that nobody knew who or what was really behind theassassination of President Kennedy and he really didn’t want to getinvolved, but he handed over the paper to Wise, who passed it on tothe police and FBI.

Aquick check of the Texas plate #PP4537 indicated that it belonged toone Carl Mather of Garland, Texas. When the FBI went out to thelisted Garland address they found the two-tone 1958 Plymouth rightthere in the driveway and knocked on the door. Mrs. Mather answered,acknowledged the car belonged to her husband, who was then away atwork at Collins Radio, in nearby Richardson, Texas. When asked whereher husband and the car was on Friday, November 22, 1963, she saidthat the car was in the parking lot at Collins Radio until sometimein the afternoon when her husband returned home and picked up thefamily to go to the Tippit residence to pay their respects to thewidow and family of their good friend, who was murdered that day.

Insteadof going out to Collins Radio to interview Mather however, the FBIwent first to Mr. White, who Wes Wise had promised wouldn’t beinvolved. They took additional statements from him, changing hisstory for the official reports and changed the two-tone Plymouth to ared Ford Falcon. Certainly a mechanic would know the differencebetween a Plymouth and a Ford.

CBSNews made a polite inquiry years later, leaving Carl Mather out ofthe documentary program they aired but listed Mrs. Mather in theprograms credits. The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA)briefly looked into the affair, granted Mather immunity fromprosecution to testify and then failed to question him under oath.The HSCA published a short report they titled "The WiseAllegation," when in fact Wes Wise made no allegations, andmerely followed up on his reporter’s instincts. He came up with anautomobile license plate number that was seen near the murder of aDallas policeman that was traced to one of the victim’s bestfriends, Carl Mather, whose alibi is that he was at work at the time,at Collins Radio.

Documentslater released under the JFK Act indicate that Mather and his bosswere questioned by HSCA investigator Jack Moriarity and theyexplained that Mather worked on electronics at Collins, his specificjob being the installation of the radio equipment aboard Air ForceTwo – then Vice President Johnson’s plane.

Thatthis lead was not properly investigated, and remains uninvestigatedtoday, is because such an inquiry actually does lead to the heart ofthe plot to murder not only Dallas policeman J.D. Tippit, but as manybelieve, it is tied directly to the assassination of PresidentKennedy. If the Tippit murder is connected to the assassination ofthe President, as the official stories alleges, then the Tippitmurder may be the "Rosetta Stone" that could explain themysteries of both murders.

Thesignificance of the Collins Radio connections becomes apparent with aquick review of the published record, and that:

1.On November 1, 1963 the New York Times published a front pagephotograph of the ship the Rex, which Fidel Castro identified as theboat that dropped off a team of assassins in Cuba a few nightsprevious. The Rex was docked at Palm Beach, Florida, near the JFKfamily compound, and the Rex’s Halloween eve mission was in clearviolation of President Kennedy’s March 1963 edict that nopara-military raids against Cuba were to originate from U.S. shores.According to the article in the NYTs, the Rex had been sold by theSomoza regime in Nicaragua to the Belcher Oil Company of Florida, itsdock fees paid by the CIA front company Sea Ship Inc., with the Rexthen being leased to the Collins Radio Company of Richardson, Texas,"for scientific research."

ArthurCollins - A Good Friend of General LeMay - a fellow HAM radio buff

2.Founded by Arthur Collins, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Collins Radio firstmade news headlines when young Collins was an amateur radio buff withthe only (home-made) radio receiver who could pick up the radiotransmissions of Navy Commander Richard E. Byrd from his polarexploration expedition. [Richard Byrd is the cousin of the founder ofthe Civil Air Patrol and owner of the Texas School Book Depositorybuilding].

3.Collins Radio became a major defense contractor during World War II,and following the war, participated in Operation Paperclip, hiringDr. Alex Lipisch, the former Nazi scientist who developed the Delta Iglider and ME 163 Komet jet fighter. For Collins, Lipisch wasassigned to the boat development program that worked with GeneralDynamics in attempting to build and refine a sleek, swift speedboat –like the V20 – a shallow water craft that could be used for Cubaninfiltration missions like the Rex mission, but was later used inVietnam.

4.David Ferrie’s telephone records reflect that in the weeks beforethe assassination he made frequent calls from the New Orleans lawoffice of G. Ray Gill to the Belcher Oil Company, the company thatwas the listed owner of the Rex.

5.In the week before the assassination, a reservation was made at JackRuby’s Carousel Club for a large party of Collins Radio employees.

6.The Dallas P.D. Intelligence Division maintained a paid informant whoworked at Collins Radio reported on fellow employees who appearedsuspicious or subversive, including one who subscribed to the leftistI.F. Stone Weekly.

7.When Lee Harvey Oswald returned to Texas from Soviet Russia, GeorgeDeMohrenschildt introduced him to retired Navy Admiral ChesterBruton, an executive at Collins Radio, with the idea of Oswaldgetting a job there, as he had worked in a radio factory in Minsk,USSR. Oswald and Marina visited Bruton with DeMohrenschilt and hadlunch with him.

8.At the time of the assassination Adml. Bruton was working on atop-secret nuclear submarine communications project for Collins, withthe Navy’s nuclear sub radar and communications HQ being based atWoods Hole, Massachusetts. The Woods Hole institute was responsiblefor locating the wreckage of the USS Thresher, that sunk on April 10,1963, the day Oswald is accused of shooting Gen. Walker. Woods Holeis close to Michael Paine’s Forbes family island that Allen Dulles’mistress and OSS operative Mary Bancroft had visited, and whereMichael’s wife Ruth Hyde Paine was in residence when she wrote toMarina Oswald to ask her to move in with her in Dallas.

9.In 1963 Collins Radio began receiving large military contractsincluding one for the construction of a microwave communicationsnetwork in Southeast Asia, specifically Vietnam.

10.After Oswald was murdered while in Dallas police custody by JackRuby, his widow Marina Oswald married former Collins Radio employeeKenneth Porter.

11.After the assassination in Miami, Florida, a Cuban exile, and CollinsRadio executive, was murdered, assassinated in a still unsolvedhomicide.

12.Collins Radio supplied and maintained the equipment used by the Voiceof America, all manned NASA space flights, the Strategic Air Command(SAC), as well as all equipment used for the CIA’s Guatemalan andCuban operations. Most significantly, Collins Radio was responsiblefor installing and maintaining all radio equipment aboard Air ForcTheAssassination Tapes.e One, Air Force Two and the Cabinet’s plane.

13.According to the Collins Radio Annual Report to stockholders for1963-64, Collins Radio not only installed and maintained the radiosaboard most military and executive branch planes, they also operatedthe relay station known as "Liberty" at their Cedar Rapids,Iowa headquarters, which served as the relay station for all radiocommunications between the White House, the Pentagon, Air Force One,Air Force Two, the Cabinet plane and Andrews AFB in Washington.

This"Liberty" station is misidentified on most transcripts ofthe edited version of the radio transmissions from Air Force One on11/22/63 and is not even mentioned in Max Holland's The AssassinationTapes.

Thebook Collins Radio – The First Fifty Years says: "Air ForceOne, the Presidential airplane, was placed in service in 1962 usingcommunications equipment developed and manufactured by Collins. Theaircraft…was modified to meet special requirements…In 1962, thestation many remember as 'Liberty' was opened and operated from thenew communications building….(in Cedar Rapids, Iowa)…Collins hada contract with the Air Force to serve as either the primarycommunications station or as a backup whenever Air Force One, thepresidential aircraft, and other aircraft in the VIP fleet carriedcabinet members or high ranking military officers. Over the airwavesthe station’s call word was ‘Liberty.’"

Inhis book The Making of a President – 1964, Theodore H. White wrote:"There is a tape recording in the archives of the governmentwhich best recaptures the sound of the hours as it waited forleadership. It is a recording of all the conversations in the air,monitored by the Signal Corps Midwestern center ‘Liberty,’between Air Force One in Dallas, the Cabinet plane over the Pacific,and the Joint Chiefs’ Communications Center in Washington….On theflight the party learned that there was no conspiracy, learned theidentity of Oswald and his arrest; and the President’s mind turnedto the duties of consoling the stricken and guiding the quick."

Accordingto the analysis of E. Martin Schotz and Vincent Salandria (in HistoryWill Not Absolve Us, 1996), "And yet the White House hadinformed President Johnson and the other occupants of Air Force One,all of them witnesses to the hail of bullets which had poured down onDealey Plaza, that as of the afternoon of the assassination there wasto be no conspiracy and that Oswald was to be the lone assassin. IfWhite’s report were correct this would mean that federal officialsin Washington were marrying the government to the cover-up of Oswaldas the lone assassin virtually instantaneously. This could haveoccurred only if those federal authorities had had foreknowledge thatthe evidence would implicate Oswald and that he would have ‘noconfederates.’ An innocent government could not have reacted insuch a fashion internally."

Unfortunately,there is no longer "a tape recording in the archives of thegovernment," as the original, unedited, multiple tape recordingsof the AF1 radio transmissions cannot be located despite an Act ofCongress, the request of the Assassinations Records Review Board(ARRB) and numerous Freedom of Information Act requests. Ourgovernment - specifically the military's White House CommunicationsAgency (WHCA) seems to have simply lost the recordings, with norecords being kept of their whereabouts or destruction, if in factthey were destroyed.

TheFinal Report of the ARRB (p. 116) notes: "6. White HouseCommunications Agency. WHCA was, and is, responsible for maintainingboth secure (encrypted) and unsecured (open) telephone, radio andtelex communications between the President and the government of theUnited States. Most of the personnel that constitute this eliteagency are U.S. military communications specialists; many, in 1963,were from the Army Signal Corps. On November 22, 1963, WHCA wasresponsible for communications between and among Air Force One andTwo, the White House Situation Room, the mobile White House, and withthe Secret Service in the motorcade."

"TheReview Board sought to locate any audio recordings of voicecommunications to or from Air Force One on the day of theassassination, including communications between Air Force one andAndrews Air Force Base during the return flight from Dallas toWashington D.C. As many people are now aware of, in the 1970s, theLBJ Presidential Library released edited audio cassettes of theunsecured, or open voice conversations with Air Force One, AndrewsAFB, the White House Situation Room, and the Cabinet Aircraftcarrying the Secretary of State and other officials on November 22,1`963. The LBJ Library version of these tapes consists of about 110minutes of voice transmissions, but the tapes are edited andcondensed, so the Review Board staff sought access to unedited,uncondensed versions. Since the edited versions of the tapes containconsiderable talk about both the forthcoming autopsy on thePresident, as well as the reaction of a government in crisis, thetapes are of considerable interest to assassination researchers andhistorians."

"Giventhat the LBJ Library released the tapes in the 1970s, the paper trailis now sketch and quite cold. The LBJ Library staff is fairlyconfident that the tapes originated with the White HouseCommunications Agency (WHCA). The LBJ Library staff told the ReviewBoard staff that it received the tapes from the White House as partof the original shipment of President Johnson’s papers in 1968 or1969. According to the LBJ Library’s documentation, the accessioncard reads: "WHCA?" and is dated 1975. The Review Boardstaff could not locate any records indicating who performed theediting, or when, or where."

"TheReview Board’s repeated written and oral inquiries of the WhiteHouse Communications Agency did not bear fruit. The WHCA could notproduce any records that illuminated the provenance of the editedtapes."

Atthe time I delivered my report on "The Collins RadioConnections" to the National COPA Conference in Washington inOctober, 1994, the Washington Post had just then exposed the trueoccupant of a new, mammoth, suburban Virginia building. It was notthe headquarters for Collins Radio/Rockwell International as had beenpreviously reported, but they had just been the cooperating covercompany for the super secret National Reconnaissance Office (NRO),just as Collins Radio had served as a cover for the CIA in theoperation of the Rex in Cuba in 1963. In addition, a night timesecurity guard was murdered during the construction of this building.

Also,in the October, 1998 issue of John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s GeorgeMagazine, - David Wise reported on how the NRO had "lost"$6 billion in U.S. taxpayer’s money, and specifically mentioned thefiasco surrounding the construction of the HQ building, or whichCollins/Rockwell served as a cover company.

Oneof the most important inside informants in the assassination GeneWheaton – worked as a security consultant in the Middle East forRockwell Collins International.

Soin conclusion – if control over the communications was a keyattribute of the conspiracy and coup – then Collins Radio is allover the playing board and is at the heart of the matter.