I’ve posted here previously on Red Bird and recently Jim DiEugenio invited me to prepare a short summary paper on certain of the leads and issues pertaining to events reported there. Debra Conway was nice enough to add some illustrations for those who may not easily visualize the airport’s location. I won’t repeat anything from it here but if you wish to take a look you can find it on the CTKA web site.
I also want to note credit to all of Matthew Smith’s primary work on Red Bird issues, with Wayne January. Fortunately I’ve had a number of occasions to discuss it with Matthew, both in Dallas at Lancer conferences and by phone and email. He has always been most generous in sharing information.
It’s been brought to my attention that I left something out of the article that certainly deserves mention so I’ll note it here. I do mention that the FBI learned about Ray January from a local source, he did not go to them with his story (either one of them). They became aware of it because after mentioning a visit by people wishing to rent an air plane for a flight to Mexico to some friends, the story was actually picked up in a news item on UPI. The FBI became aware of January from that. The issue with the UPI article is that it gives the date of the visit to the airport as summer, not immediately before the assassination. That is the same date that shows up in the FBI report on January. January himself, when shown his report, stated that the visit had been only days before the assassination, not months before – which puts him at odds with both the UPI story and the date in the FBI report and that disconnect raises issues about his credibility as a witness. Unfortunately, it is not FBI practice to collect first hand written statements from witnesses nor to have them review and sign off on the FBI reports themselves (which are sometimes a consolidation of various information). So did the FBI get it wrong? Did January get it wrong (and why would he introduce an issue which would hurt his own credibility he he was not sincere about getting the story right?). Did the FBI change the date on purpose? Or could it be something as simple as they writing a report which used the date from their initial information, the UPI story? Problem is we will never know for sure – but it is important to have all elements of the story in place for everyone to reach their own conclusions. Thanks to Greg Parker for keeping me straight.. Larry