In the first Red Bird post I mentioned that there are actually other incidents which seem to corroborate the Cuban pilot’s remarks to Ray January…..assuming that the pilot and AF Col. were picking up aircraft to be used in the new autonomous group (off shore) Artime project. The include Gene Wheaton’s totally independent story of hearing Chi Chi Quintero (Artime’s second in command) talk about exiles he knew being involved in the Dallas attack and RFK’s call to Harry Williams (who was working on the autonomous group project). There is also at least one exile source close to the Kennedy’s who has talked about having warned RFK about exiles plotting against his brother.
But beyond all that there is a more nebulous, but fascinating lead that comes from remarks made by an extremely experienced and well connected weapons and arms trade specialist, Garrett Underhill. I go into considerable detail on Underhill and his remarks (and death in 1964) in SWHT so I’m not going to repeat that here – but the point is that as of 1963 there were two manor sets of covert weapons deals that would have been on Underhill’s radar – one being shipments into Laos (although those were still relatively minor) and a new round of major weapons and equipment purchases (including not just weapons and ammo but airplanes, ships etc) being conducted by Artime. If you dig into it you find at least one document describing a single $328,000 purchase through Interarms (operated by Underhill’s long time friend Sam Cummings). Now that’s a lot of money circa 1963 – estimates are that some $6 million went to Artime over three years and that at least $2 million remained unaccounted for – actually one of the major objections to the project was that it had to be so deniable it had virtually no government accountability, unlike operations such as the missions run out of JMWAVE.
Underhill’s immediate take following the JFK assassination was that it might well have been done by certain CIA connected folks that were well prepared to make their own money off weapons and drug deals, who had been doing business in SE Asia and were just coming into new activities relating to Cuba and Central America. Whatever Underhill heard, it scared him badly and it also convinced him that there were CIA associated individuals who were into making their own money, were perfectly willing to protect themselves and who feared that probes by RFK and JFK were going to expose them.
I’m not claiming that Underhill was correct but its pretty interesting that his fears do indeed seem to relate to the same network of individuals linked to the other leads.
On a side note, for those willing to do some deep thinking about it and who have read SWHT, think about the rumors, gossip and leaks about the Kennedy conspiracy and divide that into those who simply heard something about JFK being at risk, something going to happen to him etc – and those whose remarks suggest they had heard names or even knew people who had actually gone to Dallas.
— jot down a list and think about it… I’ll go into another type of read in a follow on post.