It appears that I might be closing in on being able to routinely do some blogging once again. As mentioned earlier, I’ve been in the final sprint on two book projects for 2018.  Stu Wexler and I are finishing up the proof edits of a sequel to our MLK assassination research, titled Killing King.  It will be out next spring and fortunately Stu’s field research has allowed us to further flesh out a good number of the connections from James Earl Ray to the people that came up with the $100,000 dollar bounty he was pursuing. That includes more information on how connections were made to Ray – including an important new contact made prior to his prison escape, someone who ended up in LA for a time as did Ray – as well as a more definitive timeline for how Ray’s actual participation evolved.

Separately, I just sent off the draft of Creating Chaos to the publisher who is doing that book, in terms of scope and content (and size) I can safely say it will be a companion to Shadow Warfare – but in this case dealing with both American and Russian political warfare into the 21st Century. The research for Creating Chaos has been a real eye opener and I will be posting a bit of that here, especially in regard to contemporary Russian goals and activities.

In regard to the JFK assassination, I’m still doing a good deal of thinking and outreach on what is being done in regard to  professional studies of the medical evidence for conspiracy. Of course some aspects of that have been around for some time, including the utter nonsense related to the official story of CE399, but I’d like to see something much more focused and something including objective medical appraisals based on current knowledge from medical professionals, as compared to the official assessments in the Warren Commission report.

The truth is that much of the original autopsy report is highly questionable – of course since we now know there were three of those and two were destroyed perhaps the first one or even the second one was more credible than what ended up in the record. If you are new to this story I would encourage you to specifically read the ARRB interview with the autopsy doctor in which the doctor himself cannot locate the entry or exit wounds on the extant photographic and X-ray records. If that does not make  you cringe nothing will..Doug Horne covers that incident extremely well in one of his volumes.

Along those lines, take a look at the following link to see how a major item of the physical evidence offered in support of the Warren Report is no longer even acceptable in court.


Lots of subjects, lots of work to do…oh and if anyone has read Unidentified, drop me a note. I’d love to chat about it and I’ll be doing another interview on that book later this month. Three of them are already posted on my Web site at larry-hancock.com if you have not checked out my most recent work dealing with a long time challenge to the national intelligence community.



Its hard to convey the extent of the material that gets covered at the annual November in Dallas research conference. That’s partially because of the breadth of speakers but beyond that its the extent to which informal conversations and dialogs allow you to explore thoughts stimulated by those presentations.  Having been around the subject of President Kennedy’s assassination for some time I’m going to share a few of the points which intrigued me personally.

First, the extent to which Malcolm Blunt and John Newman have been able to map out so much of the CIA’s organizational structure and internal communications is amazing.  And while that might not seem of interest to all those who continually search for smoking guns – it should. As an example it appears not that they have traced out a routing request which directed that internal communications relating to Lee Oswald’s defection were to only be circulated to Counter Intelligence – before you yawn, the second point is that the request appears to have been placed before Oswald’s pseudo defection to Russia.

In another presentation, John Newman reviewed documents which showed that Henry Hecksher – a topic of previous posts here and a candidate for Richard Case Nagell’s “Bob” in Mexico City – had been stationed in Havana at the same time as David Phillips and was heavily involved in security activities for Phillips, who was under commercial cover in Cuba. When you add that to travel documents showing Hecksher going to Mexico City at the same time Nagell was there and the fact that Hecksher was later assigned to head the AM/WORLD project, things become even more interesting.

Finally, I have to say that for the first time in a great many years I am fairly well convinced – by Michael Chesser’s conference presentation on the enhanced HSCA skull X-rays – that there were two shots to JFK’s head and that one was most definitely from the front and into the hairline, impacting at exactly the same point the Parkland Doctor indicated in his television interview that afternoon as he pointed to his own head. The presentation also confirmed the degree of post Bethesda tampering with the medical evidence which have become so clear over the years.

I can’t even begin to detail the rest of the conferences, DVD’s will be available from Lancer early next year. I can say that after all these years it is encouraging to see that dedicated researchers are still surfacing important new information.

What Happened with the Record Release

Although it may not look like it from my lack of blog posts I am following the JFK document release as I prepare for the JFK Lancer conference in Dallas which begins this Friday – and as I continue to work on the new books which will be released next year (Killing King with Stu Wexler and Creating Chaos).

Contrary to popular impressions (and in contrast to many media articles which are surfacing things we have known for years and in some instances decades) some useful new information is showing up in the file releases – primarily from the CIA but also in the form of internal documents from early investigations and the work of the Assassinations Records Review Board. As has happened before, such documents can be vitally important in exposing areas in which even official committees were unsure of or questioned aspects of the lone nut story-line – but determined not to express such concerns in their official statements. They can also illustrate some rather egregious lack of objectivity and some questionable personal attitudes towards the subject – but that’s for another time.

We will be going into the new releases and all that in Dallas – if you are in the area remember you can walk into the Lancer conference at the Adolphus and simply register or a day or evening in the event you cannot attend the entire conference.

At the moment though, for those who are truly interesting in some details of the records release itself, I would seriously suggest that you review this very recent update from Rex Bradford at the Mary Ferrell Foundation. Its the most accurate picture of what we are getting – and not getting – that I am aware of as of this date:






Devils in the Details

As we continue to see JFK document releases one of the things that is quite obvious is that we are not going to get the level of information we want – and what Congress had mandated in the JFK act.  Yesterday’s batch demonstrates that even if key documents are released, especially CIA files and even more especially anything having to do with Lee Harvey Oswald, Congressional intent and public interest is being obfuscated through the use of extensive redactions – including numbers of literally blank pages. That is not only in conflict with the intent of the law but with statements that continue to be made by the White House.

The practical result of that is twofold, first the media is going to grab information and make sensational headlines off it that are simply tangential. Such headlines may seem new to them but in reality are old news based on previous releases and research. Today’s headlines about Hoover persecuting MLK are seriously old news, serving only as a  diversion for what is not being released due to the fact that the reading public will accept them as true news and generally does not have a historical background in these subjects.

The second result is that experienced and historically versed researchers are actually going to find new leads and new information in what is being released – just as they have for decades.  We have reached a point where a body of knowledge has developed on the events involved. We know the internal communications practices of agencies and even the identity of crypts, aliases and pseudos’ used in the documents as far as what offices, people and operations are being discussed. But you truly have to have that context to find the “devils in the details”. For example, in my last post I cited a document with a remark on Alpha 66 that came to my attention through the efforts of one of my friends who has that sort of expertise – Mick Doherty.

Those of us in the community tend to think of John Newman, Rex Bradford, Jeff Morley or Malcolm Blunt when we talk about document experts but the good news is that there is a much larger body of people well versed in these matters, with people like Mick, Bill Simpich, Debra Conway, Stu Wexler, Anna Marie Kuhns-Walko, Doug Campbell, Deb Galentine and a goodly number of others who have put in the sheer grunt work which allows them to scan documents and see what is new, and what may very well be significant. I can’t list all the names here but I know a number of those folks and these days what I learn about this subject area comes largely from them given that I’ve wondered away from a total focus on JFK.  Fortunately they remain focused and are indeed finding things.

To expound a bit on Mick’s find, with a deep enough read on these matters it’s clear that officially and operationally there was not only any direct tie between Mongoose (Lansdale) or for that matter CIA Task Force W (William Harvey) and Alpha 66.  If anything the CIA station in Miami (JM/WAVE) was supposed to be collecting intelligence through its Cuban intelligence group which would allow such independent/not Special Group approved military actions against Cuba to be stopped (how quickly this all goes deep into context and terminology).

In fact in SWHT I write about the fact that JM/WAVE was doing just that and through their sources was well aware of Alpha 66 missions in advance – that comes directly from David Morales, the JM/WAVE operations officer. And in 1962 it was Harvey who was making decisions on what missions would be sanctioned and which would be not, and Morales that was making it happen. And the strange thing is that during that same year, more successful missions were being run and more damage inflicted by Alpha 66 than the sanctioned missions under the Kennedy Administration. Indeed Alpha 66 had begun to focus on Russian shipping and even shore facilities, making attacks that could well have demanded a Russian response. And with prior intelligence and extensive resources, neither JM/WAVE nor anyone else was interdicting those attacks.

In my own writings I’ve gone further and explored this disconnect, suggesting that certain officers within the CIA were actually allowing those attacks, and possibly even covertly manipulating Alpha 66 in targeting them.  That’s a deep story and a long one. But if you have that full picture, as Mick does, and you look at the releases coming out and you see that Lansdale seems to feel he can issue an order which somehow automatically stops Alpha 66 in its tracks (and at the same time does not mention any of the known and actually sanctioned exile groups the CIA was supporting) you have something truly interesting and just possibly a smoking gun pointing towards either a deeply buried CIA project with Alpha 66 – or a total lack of situational knowledge on the part of the head of the nation’s unified anti-Castro effort, Mongoose.

It’s the sort of thing no NARA reviewer, no WH reviewer and actually no contemporary CIA reviewer could catch, but that Mick did…kudos.  And no doubt we will see more of this given the body of expertise that had developed. In short, this time we’re ready, no matter how hard they try.

Release Angst


Yes there was a JFK Records release, and it clearly was not what Congress had called for in the legislation passed back in 1992. Thanks to some very competent researchers we know that it was the release of only 52 previously withheld-in-full documents – some 2%, with more than 3,100 remaining on hold.  It was also the re-release of over 2,800 documents previously released with redactions – less than 10% of over 30,000 which were to be released with minimal redaction (as to that minimal redaction, well that certainly didn’t happen for much of what we have seen).

Of course we knew that the agencies involved would petition to withhold certain of those documents, and in truth we have no idea yet of how many they did petition and which ones those were. In a reasonable world the President would have had his staff conduct a review of those being protested and decisions would have been made on each. After all we are talking about documents which have been in this cycle for 25 years, seemingly that would have provided adequate time for such a review. Instead, President Trump simply placed a blanket hold at virtually the last minute. Based on his texts and statements we are led to believe that all documents not containing names of living individuals will be released within approximately six months.

At the risk of making myself unpopular I have to say that is not at all how national security is supposed to work. As the JFK act stated, documents could be withheld based on potential damage to foreign relations, law enforcement, or operational security (sources and methods). Does this imply that damaging information (as much as we want it) may well be released to us in six months simply because there are no names of living individuals in those documents?  Are all the national security challenges actually going to be waved simply on the basis of names in documents – and exactly who is going to examine those documents over the next six months (some 33,000 of them) to check names against the death registry.  I also have to point out that CIA documents and many FBI documents use pseudos’ and aliases for security purposes so there will be no true names in those documents anyway.

OK, so the forget about national security. If the release does follow the President’s apparent guidelines we might get a whole bunch of documents that will be really interesting – or will we?  President Trump’s statement said nothing about redactions and based on what we have seen in these new releases there are actually more redactions in some previously released documents than copies available prior to this latest release.  If what we get are 32,000 pages of highly redacted documents – well that’s probably not what Congress had in mind either.

So enough carping on my part.  Now for the good news, some of our best researchers are finding important information in what little has been released and that is coming out day by day; we will have the best synopsis available presented by our documents specialists at the upcoming JFK Lancer conference in Dallas.

As for myself, I’m following along and wanted to discuss one example at least briefly here.  It relates to a memo generated by Lansdale (head of Mongoose) early in the Cuban missile crisis.  The memo notes that a hold is ordered on Alpha 66 and the sabotage of Cuban shipping. Now if you have read any of my book you immediately go – “hey, Alpha 66 was going after Russian ships, they hated the CIA and were acting outside of CIA control and wanted nothing to do with the CIA – and their missions were already supposed to be blocked whenever possible”.  I’ve even written about documents from early 1963 containing recommendations from the Army that Alpha 66 be utilized in anti-Castro operations, a proposal totally rejected by the CIA.  But I’ve also written about the fact that Alpha 66 itself was helped to organize and promote itself by someone named Bishop, whom many suspect to have been CIA officer David Phillips. And that David Morales mentions in a memo that Alpha 66 would probably be surprised if they realized the CIA knew about all their operations and was letting them go ahead even when all non-agency missions were supposed to be blocked.

So here we have a document suggesting that either Lansdale was totally clueless about Alpha 66 or that the CIA did have some sort of highly cut-out operational control over them. Which tells us nothing about the JFK assassination per se but might tell us something very new about what would have been a deeply buried CIA operation, and possibly about a man named Bishop.  For those who have followed my work on that question, this might be interesting…for those who haven’t, not so much…but it’s fascinating to me.

One final word, there are a lot of media stories running on the document releases, written by people who have no idea of what is really new and what is not. Things that have been researched and addressed in details years ago are being touted as new and sensational. And some people appear to be entertaining themselves by circulating documents debunked repeatedly over the last two decades as new and exciting, part of the latest release.  About all I can say is – reader beware!

Update:  550 more records were released on Friday Nov. 3, all CIA. At first glance some are purely administrative in nature and deal with the process and guidelines pertaining to document security  – although these are never before seen records the redaction appears to be quite heavy with many pages totally blank.  Stay tuned for further assessment.

Congress releases JFK records

Just to clear matters up a bit, President Trump did not himself release the final collection of JFK related documents housed by the National Archives – Congress did, back in 1992.  In 1992, Congress passed a public law – “President John F. Kennedy Assassinations Records Collection Act of 1992” – directing the National Archives to establish a collection consisting of copies of all U.S. government records relating to the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy.  The record collection includes materials from Federal agencies as well as state and local law enforcement.

The Act also created the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), chartering it to collect relevant documents and to issue decisions on agency requests to withhold or postpone document release. At that point in time, 1992, 98% percent of all Warren Commission documents on the assassination had already been released. The ARRB released all the rest of the Warren Commissions documents to the general public – other than individual income tax returns. The ARRB also collected additional materials from federal agencies as well as from individuals, including testimony from individuals directly involved as eyewitnesses, participants in the investigation and the treatment and autopsy of the President following the shooting.

The 1992 law required that all documents be released to the public by October, 2017. The great majority (88%) had already been released by the late 1990s. As of 2017 only 35,000 documents remain to be released in full; some 3,600 have never been seen by the public. The final NARA releases actually began in July of 2017 and some 3,000 have already been released as of early October. For details on what that release involved and what is especially interesting in the first batch released readers should check the information on the Mary Ferrell site:


The 1992 act called for release of all documents, however it contained the provision that the President of the United States could act to postpone documents if they were continued to cause harm to military, intelligence, law enforcement or foreign relations activities of the United States and such harm is judged to be of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest. President Trump chose not to exercise that authority, simply allowing the general release to go forward.

It also needs to be pointed out that over the years dedicated researchers have located relevant documents which were not supplied to NARA as part of its JFK collection; some of those have been and continued to be pursued via FOIA and legal appeals related to agency refusals to release under FOIA.




False Flags and Provocations

The internet has become so rife with misinformation and conspiracy speculation that I thought it was time to at least get some terminology straight – if nothing else.  First off the term “false flag” did not originate in the intelligence community or during the Cold War.  It originated during the days of sailing ship warfare when navies identified themselves literally with flags.  War being war, and piracy being piracy, it was not long before the practice of individual ships flying false flags for deception began – primarily used by individual vessels.  Flying a “friendly flag” allowed the attacking vessel to approach as close as possible before hosting proper colors and carrying out the final attack honorably under the right flag. For pirates it added a shock factor, creating panic on final approach for attack.

As adopted by intelligence agencies, the use of “false flags” was primarily one of identification and intelligence collection. Individuals would represent themselves as part a group which matched the sympathies and interests of the threat being targeted and in more complex operations, actual false parties and groups would be built from scratch.  The idea was to flush out targeted individuals – communists, terrorists etc, The individuals would then be placed under surveillance to identify others or manipulated to see who else could be drown into the fake group.

All this was obviously low key and largely word of mouth – now it’s done on the internet. The basic premise is simply, wave a false flag and see who comes running to join. Basically not an “operational practice”, but rather an intelligence one. The U.S. did do false flag operations, but mostly on a modest scale. There is some reason to believe that in the early 1960’s the CIA may have helped create the Fair Play for Cuba as a false flag entity.  In contemporary times as far as I can tell its primary an FBI practice (a type of sting), on a pretty targeted level and intended to smoke out jihadi or other would be terrorists.

In contrast, the Russians have always been extremely false flag oriented, with much more complex, longer term and very subtle practices. Beginning before World War II they helped support the formation of a host of international peace, student, labor, academic, and media groups – all with lofty goals and all with international membership. However Russian political officers worked the groups very aggressively to identify sympathetic individuals (referred to within the very pragmatic Russian intelligence services as “useful idiots”).  Ultimately the tactic worked extremely well for generating academic and scientific contacts – which were turned into espionage assets who almost totally compromised the war time Manhattan atomic weapons project.

Recently Russian political operatives have used the internet in a great many creative ways for information warfare but some of their activities may also include efforts intended to flush out radicalized individuals that could be manipulated under the false flag concept.  A recent example relates to Facebook groups could have been used to collect some very specifically targeted contacts – the individuals responding would have thought they were joining in a movement that had goals ranging from anti-Sharia law to actual Texas succession:


Radical individuals of that sort could well be manipulated into some tragic acts of violence.

Obviously intelligence related false flag activities can be dangerous but it’s important to distinguish them from “provocations”. Provocations (carried out by your own forces with all the evidence pointing towards the targeted group) are normally part of a much larger operation.  Hitler used border provocations (violent acts by his own agents) to create a demand for German military intervention on his borders – and immediately responded with troops. Almost everyone reading this is probably familiar with the Northwoods contingency plans that were developed possible actions (with Cuba as the ostensible perpetrator) to provoke an American attack on Cuba. That planning never came to anything nor did an earlier request in December 1960 by President Eisenhower for the CIA to come up with an immediate provocation so that he could send in the Cuban Brigade and the Navy immediately.  In that instance they didn’t even manage to come up with any options for him.

The bottom line seems to be that if something is developed as a true operational provocation it needs to be designed with an immediate response in mind, and that response should be executed virtually automatically with no much time for people to ponder what’s going on. Otherwise it’s a waste of effort and highly dangerous in terms of possible blow back.  So if you see some sort of major, mindless violence followed by – nothing – either it was really poorly planned or perhaps it is only mindless violence. Interestingly virtually all terror attacks are in the mindless violence category since they have little other that psychological impact – which makes them psychological warfare, but that’s another story entirely.

Atomic Weapons in Korea

Atomic bombs were deployed, a weapons depot was configured and the Air Force conducted a series of probes and reconnaissance missions to collect the necessary targeting data for atomic strikes on North Korea.  One attack option included tactical strikes, intended to interdict the assets required for North Korean attacks; the other was far more strategic – targeting airfields, manufacturing, marshaling years, and transportation hubs.

On two separate occasions decisions were made at the highest levels not to carrying out atomic strikes, even with American forces in constant combat and under extreme pressure. And that should pretty well give away the point that the above is history, not contemporary news. Its a story I elaborated on in Surprise Attack.

However the reasons for the decisions not to use atomic weapons remain important today.  First in the face of fierce North Korean air defense – including the active participation of volunteer Russian pilots flying advanced MIG interceptors – the Strategic Air Command obliterated the all the strategic targets within North Korea in slightly more than three months.

Given the covert shipments of supplies from China and Russia, both happily willing to bleed America at minimal costs to themselves, the strategic air campaign simply did not stop the ongoing North Korean infantry campaigns, carried out by huge, fanatic formations of ground troops. In the end tactical air support for American ground forces and total control of the air space over the battle fields themselves proved to be far more telling.

However another major factor in the decision not to go Atomic was only revealed decades later. Joint Chief of Staff Studies contain considerable doubt that atomic weapons would be decisive in the Korean ground combat. And given that the American atomic advantage was being wielded as the only thing stopping Stalin from sending the Red Army across Western Europe, the possibility that atomic attacks might not be that effective against large infantry and tank formations was not something the Chiefs wanted to bet on.  Showing your hold card in advance is never recommended.

To some extent that same concern remains in play in the 21st Century – but with one major addition. Reportedly the President has ordered the interception of North Korean ballistic launches sent on various tracks and might be moving to add to that order, covering launches over Japan. There are a number of problems with such orders, including major asset deployment issues and the limitations of the various anti-missile systems in the US inventory. A number are outlined in the article at this link:


At the moment a limited number of tests have given some indication that those systems work – but the tests were in controlled environments and with assets deployed in the right place to match the types of missiles involved. To some extent anti-ballistic missile defense is as much a psychological deterrent as are atomic weapons, but if the U.S. actually attempted combat intercepts of both intermediate and long range North Koran ballistic missiles, and failed, that deterrent could be dramatically undermined. Hopefully the President’s military advisors have been able to communicate this as part of the decision mining calculus for upping the ante…hopefully.

Addendum:  In light of the President’s remarks about North Korea soon ceasing to exist, the US reconnaissance flights off the North Korean Coast north of the demilitarized zone and their response in regard to those flights – all occurring over this weekend – I thought I should  provide some historical context.  The following article describes an incident in 1969, and demonstrates that foolish or not, they do respond.





This is for those who visit here fairly routinely and are curious about the dearth of new research posts from me.  The answer is that there is a good deal of research – and writing – going on but it’s pretty focused at the moment.

Stu Wexler and I are in the final edit and review stages or the sequel to our book on the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.  That book will be out next spring and will have the new work done over the last three years on further connecting the dots as to exactly how the conspiracy evolved.

If you happen to have read The Awful Grace of God you are familiar with how complex this story is and we are making a real effort to straight line it and add in the new research that has been developed over the past three years. The sequel also gives us the chance to pursue the leads – and the FOIA requests – that were still in progress at the time The Awful Grace of God was published.

Beyond that I’m working on a new book, under contract for publication in 2018, which takes me back into the arena of covert and deniable action. While Shadow Warfare examined American covert and deniable warfare – much of carried out by surrogate forces or later by contractors – over some sixty years, this work will deal with deniable political warfare.

However it will go further, examining political warfare as carried out by both America and Russia through the Cold War into contemporary affairs in the 21st Century. In addition to examining and comparing the actual practices of each country, it will deal with what amounts to almost a total role reversal in how each nation approached political warfare following the collapse of the Soviet Union. It will also explore how the standard practices and tools have morphed in the age of the internet; opening a Pandora’s box containing little beyond chaos.

It’s a challenging subject and the new book is consuming most of my gray cells at the moment, possibly literally, but things are going well and there is certainly no dearth of material.

Beyond that I’m still doing some work promoting and responding to questions about Unidentified. Admittedly it is a pretty “deep” book covering a lot of history and requiring dealing with areas of the intelligence community not discussed in my other works. I’m beginning to hear from a few folks who have finished the book and I’m happy to take questions about it here or by email. So don’t hesitate to drop me a note either place – and of course if you like it, don’t hesitate to post a good review, either on Amazon or Goodreads – shameless author statement noted.

And then there is the work on the JFK Lancer November conference I need to do…so I best get back to it.

November in Dallas 2017


This November will see yet another JFK Lancer research conference in Dallas, Texas.  I’ll be there, as I have been since the 1990s and this year’s conference will feature what many people have been waiting for over a very long period of time – the final release of JFK documents being held by the National Archives.  Well at least the release of documents with redacted sections now made visible and the release of other documents formally restricted by government agencies up to this point, primarily pertaining to CIA related documents.

Of course agencies still have the right to challenge the elimination of certain redaction’s and to claim national security privilege over other documents but we certainly will see thousands of pages of new material which will be new to us all.

The November conference will pay considerable attention to the new documents with some of the best known names in document research – John Newman, Jeff Morley, Malcolm Blunt and Bill Simpich – attending to talk about what they are seeing and the assessments they are making as to what is really significant within the releases.

But beyond the document releases, the conference as a whole will be focusing on “disconnections” which have already surfaced between the official Warren Commission story line and what is subsequently become visible in released documents and the review of archival materials.  We will have a number of experienced researchers presenting on those disconnections and you can see the current list at this conference link:


In addition, I recently did a two hour interview with Chuck Ochelli and Carmine Savastano – both of whom will be presenting at the conference – dealing with document releases and an in depth exploration of the speakers and topics which will be part of the conference.  If you really want an extensive history of JFK Lancer and its work with these conferences, as well as an in depth view of what is going to go on (speaker by speaker) this year, check out the interview:


I hope you enjoy it, if you have questions just let me know here.