Those familiar with the full Nagell story will be well aware of the implications about his remarks on working in Mexico City, of the incident of his attempted “defection” at the US Embassy there, offering to provide intelligence information to foreign powers (and the lack of any response). More importantly you will be aware of his story of being recruited by a CIA officer he had known earlier in Japan, where he had also crossed paths with Lee Oswald.
Although Nagell would only designate the individual as “Bob”, research over the past several years by myself and Dick Russell has raised the very good possibility that the individual was career intelligence officer Henry Hecksher. One of the missing elements of that identification has been the ability to place Hecksher in the Cuba project prior to 1963 when was assigned to lead the Artime autonomous group project, and the CIA element of that project designated as AMWORLD (run out of LORKE at the Miami JMWAVE station).
Further study of Hecksher in project documents, aided and abetted by my buddy Bill Simpich, has resulted in the probable identification of Hecksher’s crypt as Nelson L. Raynock (he also used a couple of pseudo names but that’s a dicsucssion for another time).
The relevance of that identification is that taking that to the NARA quick search tool and to the MFF search engine shows that indeed Hecksher would have been involved in collection of Cuban intelligence as early as 1960, and continuing with a special interested in the MRR and Artime though the period before he was personally assigned to the Artime project. Nagell reported that “Bob” had assigned Artime as one of the primary targets for Nagell’s intelligence collection, in particular “Bob” was very concerned about Artime contacts with fringe exiles and with what information might be leaking from Artime. Given that AMWORLD documents show the same ongoing concern by Hecksher, it all seems very consistent – and Nagell’s lose of contact with “Bob” occured at approximately the same time that Hecksher went into his full time Artime project assignment, taking him out of a good deal of his covert travel and putting him a full time management position.
Hopefully this will turn into an ongoing story, perhaps one day we will learn as much about the mysterious Mr. Hecksher’s role in Cuban operations as we have dome to know about El Indio.