As an addendum to the discussion of Dulles being out of touch during the Bay of Pigs and Laos airstrikes, I thought I should bring up something else discussed in SWHT (in a book that size, even important data can fail to be noticed).  A few years ago English researcher Malcolm Blunt shared some very important documents which referred to what seems to have been a very serious plan to eliminate Fidel Castro shortly before the Bay of Pigs.  This isn’t a poison pill plan or anything of that ilk, it was a plan to send in a highly skilled Cuban exile shooter and to take out Castro, period.

The only reason we know about it at all is that employees at NPIC (the super secret imaging and photo-interpretation center) had responded to a call for any information about prior CIA assassination projects.  The employees had worked on a very detailed photo analysis and mapping project related to Castro’s retreat at Varadero Beach (a former DuPont resort area about 75 miles from Havana).  Apparently they were doing mapping, montages and other work to lay out some very specific plans for a sniper type attack.

And if NPIC was involved, such a project would have to have been authorized at the highest levels of the Agency (I mean this is a place so secure that the cover for working there was as a CIA employee!).  Somebody like J.C. King, Helms, etc. Possibly Bissell but probably not without approval.

Unfortunately research didn’t turn up much further on Pathfinder than a reference to a related file on Frank Sturgis (who we now know had indeed volunteered to try and set up an assassination attempt on Castro before he left Cuba; the CIA wasn’t interested at the time). But Sturgis certainly had personal experience with Castro and might well have provided some background information on the location, travel, etc.

Two additional documents provide insight in the mysterious assassination mission. One contains an interview with a former JMWAVE case officer (name redacted) who confirmed his personal knowledge of the mission, he mentioned the name “Felix” in regard to the effort, which supposedly aborted due to boat and infiltration problems during the insertion. Felix Rodriquez would write, in his own biography Shadow Warrior, of having volunteered for an assignment to shoot Fidel Castro. Rodriquez was to be inserted into Cuba at at Varadero Beach, carrying a rifle specially pre-sighted for the attack. He describes several failures in being inserted into Cuba which prevented the mission from being carried out. For reference, Felix Rodriquez is listed as being carried by Alberto Fernandez and the private CIA infiltration ship Tejana (which had suffered a number of engine problems during missions into Cuba in the months immediately before the Bay of Pigs landings.The document references for all of this are in SWHT but given the NPIC element, this seems like something of a far more serious nature and far higher level approvals than somebody just tossing a gun to a Cuban exile going in on a mission and suggesting he might want to use it on Fidel.   Then the question becomes, who knew?  Was it just Bissell, King perhaps but not Dulles. Or all of them.  And when it aborted, who made the decision to continue without such a key element?  Or was there another back up plan that didn’t work?   Does getting a poison pill into Castro’s food at the last minute really constitute such a backup?  Did they really risk the lives of the Brigade on just rolling the dice on that?

— Larry

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About Larry Hancock

Larry Hancock is a leading historian-researcher in the JFK assassination. Co-author with Connie Kritzberg of November Patriots and author of the 2003 research analysis publication titled also Someone Would Have Talked. In addition, Hancock has published several document collections addressing the 112th Army Intelligence Group, John Martino, and Richard Case Nagell. In 2000, Hancock received the prestigious Mary Ferrell New Frontier Award for the contribution of new evidence in the Kennedy assassination case. In 2001, he was also awarded the Mary Ferrell Legacy Award for his contributions of documents released under the JFK Act.

11 responses »

  1. Chris Bennett says:

    Very interesting!

    Not to get off-subject…but I’d say the NPIC angle makes the Zapruder Film alteration even more plausible since Pathfinder alludes to the fact that either: both were approved at (or near) the highest levels of the CIA; or that someone in the CIA had some trusted contacts inside of the NPIC and could get “sensitive work” done there.

    I’d be curious to know if the NPIC ever did any detailed work on Dallas…or Chicago.

    Thoughts?

    • Chris, actually NPIC did a variety of work with frames from the Z film. You will find considerable detail in Doug
      Horne’s volumes and I cover it at some length in the third, paperback edition of SWHT.

      Actually the work at NPIC suggests just the opposite i.e. that they were not asked to do what they should have done
      initially – which would be true analysis – but rather used very covertly just to make blow ups and frames for review
      by the CIA, very possibly the President and eventually for the WC….except what the WC got was a different set of
      pictures posters than the first round. Horne and the ARRB did do interviews and collect data relating to NPIC.

      There is also documentary evidence that some analysts at NPIC did continue to take a look at the movie and even
      some months later was studying various shooting angles including a shot from the front but there is not sign that work
      ever really went anywhere.

      — anyway, what they did do and what can be found now is in Horne and SWHT

  2. rjpolasek says:

    Good information…example how U.S. foreign policy for decades keep getting our country into trouble. We should end such foreign policy of forcing other nations to except American corporations into their country and let other countries alone to run it as they see fit. Cuba was, and would of been, a close and friendly allie of U.S. of we under President Eisnhower wouldn’t of insisted on American corporations continued taking advanage of Cuba and their people, as they had under the currupt Batestia rule who took bribes from countless foreign corporations and allowed those corporations to crimminally take advantage of the Cubian land and their citizens.

    The was no need to kill, or plan to assassinated Castro after he won the revelution because Catro as only Prime Minister when visiting Amercia for weeks, say the ideals of today’s Cuda is like the words printed on Abraham Lincoln’s Monument. It wasn’t until after the American backed Bay of Pigs did Castro turn to U.S.S.R. and go communissism for protection from America and what he thought at the time, a future U.S. invasion.

    For weeks Castro visited mostly the east coast towns and cities to thank those that finacially helped him and the Cubian Revolution when he was in America years eariler asking for donations for his Revolution; and with the U.S. State Deptment’s blessings.

    Castro was on Face the Nation, made dozens of speeches including at Princeston University… and visited the White House to speak with President Eisenhower. But on Castro’s arrival, Eisenhower had left, basiclly “snubbing” the “hero” to the Cubian and most American people for dethroning Cuba’s brutal Dictator Batistia. Castro met with Vice-President Nixon because Eisenhower was led away from the White House by capitalist and member of the David Rockefeller’s created “New World Order” group Senator Prescott Bush, known to all as not only his golfing partner and friend, but “handler” for the elitist and wealthist capitalists… Nixon was also under Prescott Bush’s control since Bush first recruited Nixon to go into politics in the mid-1940s, campaigned for Nixon and provided money for his campaigns through Zapata Off-Shore Oil Company which his son, George H.W. Bush started and owned from the money Prescott profitted from running Nazi backer and German Industrialist Fitz Tyseen’s Union Bank of New York; which was siezed by U.S. Government for “trading with the enemy” during World War II.

    So why did America first turn on Prime Minister Castro and Cuba? Simply, during all of Castro’s speeches he declared he was going to free the cubian citizens from the slavery type working conditions the foreign corporations had them working under and kickout all foreign companies from owning property in Cuba and return the land to the citizens of Cuba…

    Once this became known to many of the most powerful and wealthiest capitalists who had strong ties financial holdings in international corporations inclubing the Rothschild, Rockefeller, Bush and Herriman families, just to name a few, and used their influence to secretly deem Castro and the government of Cuba that was about to give back Cubian land to its citizens while throwing out all foreign corporations from Cuba, and costing the American elitists hundreds of millions in furture profits, ENEMIES OF THE UNITED STATES.

    Read Powers Behind JFK Assassination at: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/rjpolasek22

    Now sold WORLDWIDE in English, German and Spanish!

  3. Mark Groubert says:

    Larry: only you can settle this regarding Dulles. We know he spoke at a luncheon at the Baker Hotel on October 28, 1963 to the Dallas Council on World Affairs. The speech entitled: “The American Intelligence Service: It’s role in our national security. The debate is whether he visited LBJ at his ranch during this trip. LBJ we assume is already there. Dulles spoke at Harvard Dec 13th. We know he was on a book tour. Photo usually posted is the 1960 visit by Dulles. Can you clear this up Larry?

  4. Mark Groubert says:

    My other question is what was LBJ supposed to doing at his ranch for one month Larry? I mean, I can’t imagine Joe Biden saying I’m going home to Delaware if anyone needs me I’ll be there for a month. I can find no OFFICIAL EXPLANATION regarding LBJ’s trip/stay. Yes, we hear he was preparing for JFK’s visit, but a MONTH? WTF. I doesn’t make sense. Now, if he was drying out from booze and they wanted to be hush hush about that I could see it. Or if he was writing a book. Something. What gives, Larry? Any clue?

    • Mark, I’ll tackle both questions as best I can. As to why Johnson was at his ranch for that extended period, I have been
      through his daily diary for that period and his call log day by day. I talk a good bit about that period in SWHT – in
      Chapter 16. In fact I give a day by day analysis of his telephone calls. This was not a normal time for Johnson, he
      was deadly worried about the Congressional investigation into the Baker affair during October and wanted to avoid the press on that
      subject. You have only to look at the number of calls and the secret meeting with Fortas to get a sense for that. JFK called
      him at the ranch at 7:45 am on October 14 and no doubt raked him over the coals for almost a full hour on the Baker disaster and
      no doubt on the TFX thing as well – getting Johnson on the phone that early must have left him spitting nails and he never
      did talk about that call.. I suspect JFK actually wanted him as remote from the press as possible. And on November 1
      the Senate voted to fund an expanded investigation into the Baker scandal…Johnson, never good under pressure, was no doubt hiding
      out at the ranch.

      The suspicious part of the whole thing is that Johnson seems to have stopped contacting Fortas abruptly at the very end
      of October and does not do so again until after the assassination. Now if you want to get suspicious about something, you can
      speculate (as I did in the book) that somehow, from someone Johnson was passed the word that he didn’t need to worry about the
      whole thing any longer. Just shut up, sit still and its going to OK, just don’t panic. Maybe, maybe not…certainly it is a major
      pattern break and that always needs explanation.

      As to Dulles, all the research (and a bunch has been done) shows that he was only on the Johnson ranch once, back in 1960
      when those photos were taken (}’ve seen a lot more from that visit; they are in private hands and have never been
      published). The same fellow has a photo of Clay Shaw with he and his wife in New Orleans at a club, signed by Mr. Bertram, but
      that’s another story. In any event, I seen no real reason to think that Dulles did or would have visited Johnson the
      month before – heck, even if they were both in a conspiracy that would be immensely stupid, that sort of tradecraft could only
      be expected from somebody like Hunt…grin.

      — Larry

      • Mark Groubert says:

        Thanks Larry. Very nicely put. Reading book by St. John Hunt now. Ha.

      • Mark, it would have been good for you to have attended the Lancer conference a few years ago when we had a speaker who had actually worked with Hunt for years before his son got involved. It was very enlightening. Let’s just say that he and his partner (who is very well known in the movie industry) had guaranteed Howard a million dollars for his story if it could be in any way corroborated. Apparently Hunt was very much in need of funds at the time and their conclusion was that he really wanted them to get him a publisher for a sensational book that would make him some money. Having said that I do think Hunt was in position to hear some inside gossip…a number of people were….and I think its pretty darn fascinating that he threw David Morales into the mix. Hunt’s “chain of command” for the conspiracy doesn’t really work
        at all well but something tells me a number of people had reason to suspect that El Indio was somehow involved.

      • Mark Groubert says:

        I wish I was there. i assume you’re referring to Kevin Costner. LOL. How weird. Yeah, Hunt, Saint – admits he was a major Meth dealer and his brother David a huge cocaine dealer out of Miami – where the family has many Cuban connections. Hard to believe the father as he was clearly a Republican to his dying breath and arch Kennedy hater. So to blamer LBJ is not surprising. But the David Morales thing is the most interesting.

  5. Paul Harris says:

    Larry,

    Great work of yours as usual. I was intriqued by that one line that said Rodriguez was to be inserted into Cuba with a rifle pre-sighted for the attack. I think that suggests some very skilled, specialized technical work on that rifle. Is there any more information available about this rifle? Not to go off on a tangent, but I have often thought the rifle or rifles used by the ground crew in Dallas were highly sophisticated mechanically supressed rifles again suggesting skiiled, specialized techical work in putting them together.

    Thanks Larry, and keep up your great work!

    Paul

    • Thanks Paul, that remark is directly from Rodriquez in his book Shadow Warrior (who is still alive in Miami as I understand); he goes on at some length about the rifle being a very high quality weapon, of German make as I recall. Certainly it suggests that whoever was planning the attack had a very solid plan and that it was to be a sniper type of attack at a very specific spot were Castro was to be…either for something scheduled or at a place he frequented. That would certainly describe his retreat at Veradero Beach (which is where Rodriquez says he was to be inserted). I’m guessing it to be a long distance shot, making sighting more critical.

      As to the pre-sighting, that’s not a specially big deal itself as long as you have an accurate distance for the shooting, implying your spot and the target are relatively fixed but it certainly does imply that much. And of course doing that for a spot in Cuba is a bit challenging; but given NPIC’s specialty I imagine that came from detailed photo analysis of satellite or U2 photos and I bet somewhere there were some very high quality maps of the grounds. So yes, it suggests to me a very sophisticated
      sniper attack plan – and of course we have no way of knowing if it was the only such plan or Felix was the only shooter.

      As to Dallas, Martino talks about the motorcade route being a topic of concern and planning for the shooters in Dallas which has always led me to speculate that they were well trained rifle teams, most likely with multiple locations in play and perhaps some with weapons pre-sighted for each location (say the Trade Center). Of course at the short ranges in the Plaza, that’s such a major concern.

      The more I learn about it the more I feel that to some extent the whole Roselli/poison pill deal was a very long shot and not something any real planner would use as Plan A. I’d bet that Plan A was much more concrete and structured – involving people on the island, with weapons.

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