November 22, 1963
Dallas, Texas
In less than
a second,
America died.

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"If you shut up the truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way."

- French author Emile Zola

"Treason does never prosper.
What's the reason?
When it prospers,
None dare call it treason."

Sir John Harrington
click

JFK MURDER SOLVED - ROBERT "TOSH" PLUMLEE INTERVIEW

ROBERT "TOSH" PLUMLEE INTERVIEW

6/4/92 DALLAS

Q: Tosh, how do you make your living, what kind of occupation are you in?
A: I'm a pilot, commercial pilot.
Q: When did you first become a pilot?
A: I started in 1956. I was an aircraft mechanic prior to going in and getting my license.
Q: And, you've been flying for a living ever since?
A: Off and on and also doing other jobs in those lean, lean years so to speak.
Q: In your times as a pilot, have you ever been associated with or worked with the CIA?
A: Yes I have.
Q: What was the first time?
A: The first time was 1956 and the first time I became involved, connected with the CIA, through out of military intelligence, was the M-267 and that was a gun running supply operation to supply guns and ammunition to the students at the University of Havana inside Cuba. This was pro-Castro days. This was before Castro came into power. And, that was the beginning.
Q: Have you worked with the CIA since that time?
A: Yes, I've worked with the CIA.
Q: On just another occasion or many occasions?
A: On many occasions.
Q: Over a period of how many years?
A: Off and on, over a period of 30 years.
Q: Have you ever met, in your lifetime, a person named John Roselli?
A: Yes, I knew John Roselli rather well.
Q: When did you first meet him?
A: I met Roselli in about 1960, last part of '60, first part of '61. And, this was at Biscayne Park, we'd just came from a meeting place called Sloppy Joe's on Flagler Street in Miami. And, Johnny, John Farentello was there, the person that introduced me to John Roselli.
Q: Have you ever had an occasion to fly in an airplane or to fly John Roselli?
A: I've flown John Roselli, I would say, perhaps more than 6 or 7 different occasions. These were to islands, well not islands, but to the Marathon Key in Florida, Bimini, once to Havana, one other time from Houston to Galvezton to see about getting a raider ship which was going to O'Rourke's operation, and another time from Salt Lake City to Thunderbird Inn in Las Vegas, and then from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara, California. And, that particular transition of flights was 1963.
Q: On those occasions, did you get to know John Roselli personally?
A: Yes, I knew John Roselli personally.
Q: Where were you on November 22, 1963?
A: I was observing the attempt on Kennedy's life. I was at Dealey Plaza on the South Knoll.
Q: Did you have occasion on that day to see John Roselli?
A: Yes, I did. I saw John Roselli. John Roselli was on board the flight coming out of Houston. We had taken a flight out of Tampa, Florida and went through New Orleans, New Orleans to Houston and Roselli had boarded the flight at Tampa, Florida, and he was staying at the Congress Inn the night before he boarded the flight. Our team flew out of West Palm Beach, a place called Lantana, and to Tampa and then Roselli and a couple of other people got on board in Tampa. We flew to New Orleans where two people got off, three other people got on, Roselli stayed on board. We flew to Houston and then the next morning, we had some weather, and we left for Dallas, and we had to...we were heading for Thunderbird, I mean for Redbird Airport, and we had to make a stop a Dallas/Garland because of weather. We did not have an IFR flight plan filed at that point. We did not want to file a flight plan. The impression I was under at that time is we were flying a team into Dallas to abort the assassination and John Roselli was on board that flight as well as a couple of other Cubans and people that were connected with organized crime in New Orleans.
Q: Did this flight have any association with the CIA or do you know?
A: No, well, the CIA acted as support. Our flight was a military intelligence flight. How this flight originated was a few months prior to the Kennedy matter, there was a couple of Cubans that was CIA operations (Jim Wade) was to fire a bazooka on Castro in the Palace. That was aborted and then these same Cubans came back into Southern Florida, this was around the 15th/16th of November, and they were going to attempt to fire the bazooka on Air Force One which was parked at West Palm Beach at that particular time, November 17th, and as a result of that information coming out, that team, those Cubans, were picked up and from the interrogation of those Cubans that was the beginning of finding out about an attempt on Kennedy's life.
Q: On the morning of November 22, 1963, did the flight that arrived in Garland, Texas, just outside of Dallas, have anything to do with the CIA?
A: The CIA was....yes it did, the CIA was our support people. We were military intelligence. The CIA was running support and coordinating certain flights, making different arrangements, or necessary arrangements, for us.
Q: What happened when the flight arrived in Garland, did anyone get off or did anyone get on?
A: There was 3 people got off in Garland and they were picked up about 30 minutes after we arrived there, by car. Then we took the aircraft and jumped over to Redbird Airport after the weather had cleared for us to be able to get in there VFR.
Q: Then what happened at Redbird Airport in Dallas, Texas?
A: We went to the "safe" house over by Oak Cliff Country Club on Bar Harbor Drive, and that was just prior to going down to the Plaza.
Q: Who got off of the airplane at Redbird?
A: Everybody else got off at Redbird. John Roselli got off a t Redbird and everybody went their own way. Where they went, I have no idea, at that point and time I have no idea where they went.
Q: Do you know a person named Charles Nicoletti?
A: I've heard of Charles Nicoletti and I've seen Charles Nicoletti. Yes, I know of him. But, I don't know him personally.
Q: Was Charles Nicoletti on the flight?
A: Charles Nicoletti was not on that flight but Charles Nicoletti was in Dallas.
Q: Did you see Charles Nicoletti in Dallas or how do you know that he was in Dallas?
A: From back from the Church committee years ago. The picture of Nicoletti was shown to me by a member, by investigators of Senator Church, and prior to that I had already pulled Nicoletti's picture out of a lineup of 10 pictures. I did not know his name at that point. On another occasion I saw him at Sloppy Joe's with John Roselli, in Biscayne Park, when they were going over some maps.
Q: How do you know that Charles Nicoletti was in Dallas?
A: Well it's been....well, O.K.. It's been told to me, by Federal Investigators and private investigators, pictures and everything else, that he was there. In fact, it's been alleged that I actually flew him in with John Roselli. Roselli was on board the aircraft Nicoletti was not on board that aircraft. I'd already known pictures of Nicoletti, but I did not know him personally.
Q: After Nicoletti got off the aircraft do you know where he went?
A: I have no....he was not on the aircraft. After John Roselli got off the aircraft, I have no idea where John Roselli went.
Q: Where did you go after you got off the aircraft at Redbird?
A: I went...I was taken over to the "safe house" that was located in Oak Cliff right next to the Country Club on Bar Harbor Drive and that's where we congregated and then from there we went directly, in a car, down to the Plaza and was dropped off. Our objective there on the Plaza was to go in and be spotters, to try to stop cross-triangulation gunfire on an ambush. We had people that filtrated out into the Plaza and the object there was to get next to anyone that possibly could have been a shooter and take'em out. Now that doesn't mean go shoot'em and take'em out that means get next to'em, stop the timing, do anything you can to eliminate the actual assassination or impending assassination by creating a diversion, bumping shoulders, anything that you could do, if you thought that that was a shooter team. We were under the impression that on a shooter team there would be 3, there would be a spotter, a shooter, and a breakdown man.....So we were looking for 9 people on cross triangulation. We were looking for 3 on the South Knoll, 3 on the upper knoll, and some in the buildings.
The objective was to stop the ambush. We had prior knowledge that the attempt was going to be made. The information that came down earlier that the attempt was going to be made outside the Adolphus Hotel. And for whatever reasons, it was changed at the last minute to the Dealey Plaza. The Dealey Plaza would have been the most logical place to make an ambush style hit on cross-triangulation.
Q: Where you there just as a pilot or were you there as a participant in this operation?
A: I've said I was there as a pilot. I was there as a participant. I was a spotter. We were finding to find out if this was a legit operation, if it was going to be a "hit" and then we would take'em out.
Q: Where were you standing in Dealey Plaza when the shots were fired?
A: I was over on the South side, directly in line with the light posts. Sergio and I were attempting to evaluate where the most logical place to be to make the "hit". We had just got there to the Plaza and everything was all messed up, timing was off, people were not in....where they were supposed to be, the limited radio contacts that we had were not working. Whether the team that I flew in was a combination of the abort team or the shooter team, I have no way of knowing. It could have been a combination of both or it could have been a complete 100% abort team, I don't know.
Q: Tell me exactly where you were standing in Dealey Plaza.
A: I was standing on the South Knoll up from about 150 feet from, well, wait a minute, about a hundred yards from the triple underpass, somewhere along in there, up on the shoulder of the hill that goes up to the other side.
Q: Tell me exactly where you were standing in Dealey Plaza.
A: I was standing about 150 yards, which would have been east, I guess, of the triple underpass up on the south grassy knoll about 5 feet up on the side of the hill, in line with the light posts that were at the Plaza.
BQ: Excuse me Joe. Could you just have Tosh say that same thing again just including the question you answered? I was standing...
A: I was standing about 150 yards, I think its east of the triple underpass, on the south knoll, about 5 feet up the hill, in line with the light posts.
Q: Can you tell me exactly where you were standing in Dealey Plaza?
A: Yes, I can. We were standing approximately 150 feet east of the triple underpass on the south knoll up on the hill about 5 feet in line with the light posts.
Q: Could you tell how many shots were fired that day?
A: I recall myself, I'd say 4 or 5. That's what I recall. I've heard that there were more, I've heard that there were less.
Q: Could you tell the direction of those shots?
A: I couldn't tell the direction of the shots, but however, but my memory is that I feel a shot went over or head to the left of us. I'm familiar with gunfire. Also, when we left the area, we got a taste of gunpowder when we went over the railroad tracks which would have been south of the north grassy knoll.
Q: After the shots were fired, where did you go?
A: We went over the railroad tracks, slid down the hill, went down the hill, now I'm talking about the south knoll. We had transportation waiting for us which was a, I think it was, a '51 Ford, black '51 Ford. We got in that and we went back to...toward Oak Cliff to the "safe" house but we stopped off at Ed McLemore's Sportatorium and Sergio changed clothes because he'd gotten muddy when he slid down the railroad tracks.
Q: When was the next time...?
A: Let me interject something here. The reason that we left...if we were spotted in the Plaza that particular day, or our whole team was....it would have been a real problem for us because we had prior knowledge that an attempt was going to be made. It was imperative that we get out of the area.
Q: Did you then go back to Redbird Airport?
A: Went back to the "safe" house and then eventually to Redbird and we waited for two other people for about an hour maybe an hour and a half and then we left. And I was under the impression that another aircraft was to take two people to Sheppard Air Force Base just north of Dallas.
Q: Did John Roselli return to Redbird?
A: John Roselli did not return. In fact, he was one of the people that I thought we were waiting for.
Q: What kind of plane were you flying that day?
A: We were flying a DC-3.
Q: Do you remember what runway you landed on at the airport?
A: Well, no. The main runway which was the longest one. I think that is a north/south runway.
Q: Did you land that day to the North or to the South?
A: That day we landed to the North. We'd just...a front had just came through the night before and we had to come in on the backside of that front and wait for weather to clear otherwise if we tried to come in...we'd had to come into Dallas/Love Field if we were doing an IFR approach so we waited at Garland until the weather had broke out and hopped over to Redbird and landed Redbird BFR. I'm pretty sure we landed to the North because of the front that just came through.
Q: What part of the airport at Redbird did you park on?
A: I think there was two hangers there and we parked between those two hangers not far from the fuel dump that was located. There was two other aircraft there and we had to move one aircraft in order to get our DC-3 into this particular parking area. And, one of the ramp people helped us move that aircraft.
Q: Did you take on fuel at Redbird?
A: No, we did not take on fuel.
Q: What time of the day on November 22, 1963 did you land at Redbird?
A: About 9:30, 10:00, maybe right around 11:00 it could have been.
Q: What time did you leave Redbird that day?
A: We left there about...pretty close to 2 o'clock.
Q: And how many passengers were on the plane when you left Redbird?
A: There was Rojas, myself, Sergio, a person by the name of Gator, and two other individuals that I didn't know. I don't know who they were.
Q: Did you ever see John Roselli after that?
A: Ah, sometime..no, as a matter of fact I didn't see Roselli after that. Right after that flight I got back to West Palm Beach and then shortly after that I ended up in Denver, Colorado.
Q: Did you ever have an occasion after that to provide any information to the FBI about John Roselli?
A: Yes, through the Farentello Brothers and through a person by the name of Nick Nicholas. I was told that a hit was going, this was in 1976 a few months, that a friend of mine was gonna be...that a hit was made out on him because of his testimony. I immediately, because the FBI had asked me to do this, I immediately informed the FBI of the information that I had about a pending "hit" being made on John Roselli. Two weeks later John Roselli was found in Biscayne Bay and I immediately contacted the Fbi and said "hey this is the individual that we were talking about" and "why wasn't something done"?
Q: Are you aware of any FBI records that give this account of you informing them of the death of John Roselli?
A: Yes, I am. There are numerous...there's over 342 files...ah, pages, pertaining to John Roselli. The FBI 105 file from Phoenix Organized Crime Detail, which I think you have copies of, is one of the files...one of the pages, that I am making reference to.
Q: Who was the one to make the "hit" on John Roselli?
A: I have no idea who "hit" Roselli?
Q: Do you have any idea about any organization that might have been behind it?
A: Well, there's no doubt in my mind that the organized crime...let me put it this way...elements within the organized crimes, I think was responsible for the "hit" on Roselli. The organized crime, quote, quote, per se, I don't think had anything to do at all with killing Roselli.
Q: What kind of elements?
A: Well, as we say in CIA. "There's many, many rouges out there". You have just as many rouges in Mafia. In fact, Roselli himself was very, very keen on Kennedy, he loved that man. That's why I find it difficult to say Roselli was an actual hitter or a shooter. Roselli's liaison...contacts was with CIA, but mostly with military people, some here in the Dallas area...4th Army Reserve out of Love Field, 49th Armored Division, Capt. Edward G. Siwells outfit at 4th Army Reserve. He had known these people. As far as Roselli being connected with the CIA, he had a lot of friends in CIA, military intelligence, and also within the government. Mainly, when they had the party at the Fountainbleu Hotel, the opening of the Fountainbleu Hotel, Sam Giancana, John Roselli, and many, many military intelligence personnel was at that opening so that's the reason that I say these things. Roselli was connected with military intelligence.
Q: Do you remember what airport you landed in in Houston before you went to Dallas on that day?
A: Houston International which was the main airport there. And, I think it was a Hilton Hotel was were the people had stayed. We'd used that airport and the Hilton had just been built and the parking area where we used was on the Trans-Texas side and it was a National Guard. The National Guard was located right next to the Trans-Texas Airlines and they had just received a couple of AT6-Texans which we were training Cubans to fly in the back seat to make transitions to P-51's. That was the earlier stages, around the '60-'61 area.
BQ: This first question is a little strange. You're a very young looking man but you say you've been working since 1956. Do you mind saying how old you are to the camera?
A: I'm 55 years old. I joined the Army underage at 16 years old, or 15 actually. The Army found out about my age and then I was honorably discharged providing I would assign myself to the Texas 49th Armored Division until I turned 17 at which time I would go back into the active service, that did happen, and then I was immediately attached to the 4th Army Reserve Military Intelligence out of Dallas, Texas.
BQ: On these various flights that you mention taking, are there flight logs that exist?
A: There has been a report of a flight plan that was uncovered in 1976 by Thomas Downing and Rick Feeney, I believe, where they allege that they had found the actual flight plan of the Dallas flight. I take exception to this because there was no flight plan filled out or filed on the Dallas flight, from Houston to Dallas. There was no flight plan filed from Tampa to New Orleans. We went open water across ADIZ zone. Then from New Orleans to Houston there was no flight plan. The flight plan that they're making reference to was the flight plan for 6393 Echo out of Thompson Flying Service, Salt Lake City, which was a 172 Cessena which had Roselli's name on it, and also had some other player's names on it, some of them military intelligence, some coded operations that were written. But, this was random writing on the back of a flight plan at that particular time. It was just making notes. I saw that. One investigator tried to tell me that that was the actual flight plan and I said absolutely not.
BQ: You said that you were familiar with gunfire.
A: Yes.
BQ: Why would that be?
A: Well, I've been in a lot of operations. I was in Cuba. I worked with Column 9, Frank Perez's outfit. I worked as a "military advisor" in the early stages of anti-Castro movements with operations like, well, independent operations like Alpha 66 and Omega 7 and others and then I was in Southeast Asia. I'm extremely familiar with gunfire. Lot's of it.
BQ: The people who were on the flight grouping and the people you were on the flight that you left Dallas with, what was the difference in the grouping there?
A: The time that we left Dallas, I felt something was drastically wrong. My pilot, I felt, and still feel all these years, had known more about that operation than what I had known. The flight out of Dallas was one of the strangest flights I've ever been on in my life. It was not a.....it was a team that was in total dejection. I mean we were...we'd...we'd actually, by our own disorganization, we had fouled...we had fouled up. Whether the information and intelligence that we'd got had been tampered with prior to that flight, or on that day, I have no way of knowing. The people that were on flight was very quiet. It was, for everybody that was on board, it seemed to be an extremely sad day. That's why I take issue, if these had been shooters or assassins themselves, I think they would have been very excited because they had carried it off. That's why I take issue with the fact that I....CIA had anything to do with flying an attack team in.
BQ: So, why do you think Roselli didn't go back on the plane with you?
A: I have no idea why he didn't come back. It may have been already plan, everybody had their own agenda. I wouldn't be at that level to know what the actual planning was if it was a military style abort team.
BQ: So, Tosh, you were not the pilot of this plane?
A: I was the co-pilot. Rojas was my pilot and Rojas, Emmanuel Rojas had been active in the Cuban, he'd worked for Cugana Airlines and also Rejana Airlines earlier back in the late 50's and early 60's. He was the son of the Rojas that was with Battista's Secret Police that was executed two days after Castro came into power.
BQ: Who was Sergio?
A: Sergio was a friend of mind. We had been on many missions together. We were on the William Polly raid to remove Eddie Bayou out of Cuba and also Huesto Carillio and Barkeen, ransom release prisoners that were a friend of Sylvia Odeo's grandfather or father. We were sent into Cuba on two separate occasions, one, to remove missile technicians, the defectors out of Cuba, the other one to remove a Cuban prisoner that had been released from the Isles of Pine; on the second occasion an aircraft was supposed to be inside Cuba to fly these people out and it wasn't available or it was pretty well shot up so we were taken out by rubber raft to a boat then eventually back to Marathon key.
BQ: You mentioned the spotter, the shooter, and a breakdown man. Could you explain to us what those functions are?
A: O.K. In Locksahatchie, where we were being briefed and after we had received the information on what we were going to do, we discussed where to go, how to abort, and what to look for. In doing that, that's where we came up with we would probably be looking for a minimum of 19 or 20 people that would be in that Plaza. This was military operation and if we had reacted to abort this with violence, there would have the damndest massacre you ever saw in Dealey Plaza. Some it was our instructions to take them out quietly.
BQ: The shooter is obvious, what is the spotter and the breakdown man?
A: The spotter is to make sure the perimeter is secure so the shooter can do his job. The breakdown man is, the shooter will leave immediately, the spotter will make sure the perimeter is secure so that he can get out without being seen, and the breakdown man will immediately break the rifle down and stash it and take it to wherever he was going to take it. This was supposition on our part at that particular time. Crossfire Triangulation is the mark of an ambush. The light poles that I make reference to would be the most logical place to do your sighting and lineup. If anybody knows any Vietnam people here or Vet guys know that a sniper does not move his scope with a moving target.He waits until something comes into the field of view. That was the reason for the lineup of the light posts. If you look at all the shots, exactly where Kennedy was "hit" is directly in triangulation with those light posts. So my feelings at that point, and Sergio's also, was that they needed a reference point to make the "hit". And, the most logical place would be in line with those light posts that go down the Plaza both ways.
BQ: You were standing in line with those light posts?
A: Yeah, just maybe a little bit to the left.
BQ: Tosh, if you could, I'd like for you to take us back to the sequence of events that occurred from the time you arrived in Dealey Plaza until the time you got into the car, everything you can remember, seeing anyone in particular that you know was there, if you could just tell us that story.
A: After we left the "safe" house on Bar Harbor drive near the Oak Cliff Country Club, we proceeded down to the Plaza area and, I think its Industrial and where the triple underpass, anyway that's where we were let out and we walked from there underneath the triple underpass to the South grassy knoll. We had other people in the area that were supposed to be securing the South knoll and the other buildings up behind, what's that, the Del-Tex building or something like that. Sergio and I went to the South knoll and Sergio was looking for the most logical place for a shooter to be which would have been behind the South grassy knoll fence. There was absolutely nothing in that parking lot other than a couple of cars parked. We came on and angled across and down to the area where I make reference to the light posts and that's where we stood, and that's where I personally saw Kennedy's head shatter. I mean, just went. At that point, Sergio turns to me and he says "We f---ed up, let's get the hell out of here", and then so we turned and started up, a little bit on an angle, up that hill toward the fence on the South grassy, yeah, South grassy knoll, stayed along the fence perimeter and went across the railroad tracks, slipped down in the backside of the hill there near the railroad tracks, and our man was out in that, at that point I think there was a vacant field like a parking lot out there which was right next to Industrial Blvd., is that the name, I can't remember the name of the street, and that's where we were picked up and then we made a, I think we made a U-turn 'cause there was traffic backed up there, and we went back out Katy's or toward Ed McLemore's Sportatorium where we stopped in the parking lot at Ed McLemore's and the driver had an extra change of clothes for both of us. I did not change clothes but Sergio did change clothes 'cause he was pretty muddy; in other words he hit the railroad tracks, tripped over the railroad tracks, fell down the backside of the hill and rolled a little bit and he was pretty much of a muddy mess. So then we got out that way. Went back to the Bar Harbor "safe" house and then was transported over to Redbird for the flight out.
BQ: Thank you. Did you see Roselli in Dealey Plaza that day?
A: No, I did not.
BQ: Did you see anything from the 6th floor window?
A: Nothing that would look suspicious to me, however, the most significant thing that I remember, we were looking for a diversion. It would be logical for a team to set up a diversion to focus in that direction while something was going on in this direction. I remember an incident where people congregated right out in front of the Texas School Book Depository and I'd heard the sound of ambulances and this so we thought that that could be the first sign of a diversion so instead of going toward the sound and going toward the people, Sergio and I went back up to the knoll there to check the parking lot. We thought at that point if a shooter was getting in place, he would be getting in place now because we were probably, at that point, 5-10 minutes before the motorcade would be coming down.
BQ: Did you see any smoke or anything coming from the grassy knoll?
A: No, I didn't see any smoke or anything like that. I smelt smoke as we went over the railroads, just prior to the railroad tracks.
BQ: How many people were in that car that picked you up?
A: There were just one driver.
BQ: Just you and Sergio got in?
A: Sergio, myself, and the driver.
BQ: Why do you think they picked a '51 Ford?
A: I don't know if they picked a '51 Ford or if it was a car that was available. There was an older car but we've used a lot of older cars,. you know. My feeling is that it was someone local around there and that it was their automobile.
BQ: Do you have any feeling that Roselli was involved in the shooting?
A: Well, I've got mixed feelings on that. Personally, from my background, going back to the '60's with Roselli, the things we were involved with in Cuba and gun running operations out of LaBarr Ranch in Louisiana and Bayou Boeuf and Morgan City, the times we went into Havana and the people he knew in Havana, my feelings is that Roselli was gathering intelligence for military operations. I do not feel that Roselli was the assassin.
BQ: Why do think he was killed?
A: Mainly, because he was getting ready to testify and we have to understand that the Kennedy assassination was one of many, many black-op operations that was going on at that particular time and Roselli was up to his neck in making liaison with the members of organized crime for, not necessarily, well for elements within CIA and military Intelligence. The whole Castro assassination plot, from the Jim Wave, and mongoose, and all that, Roselli was aware of what was going on on those particular things because in some cases the shooters and people that were involved in those things, particularly Truillio, came out of organized crime. I don't say that families of organized crime conspired and sent these people in. These people had tremendous contacts with military intelligence even to the point to where, in some cases, that operatives would be referring to some people as "Colonels" and things like that, that were actually organized crime. Charlie, "the blade", had good liaison, in the early days of Cuba, of setting up a gun operation, the LaBarr training camp, the Morgan City operation, the West Coast Thunderbird Inn operation, the Farentello Brothers. All these people were not military intelligence but they had tremendous contact with CIA personnel and military intelligence people. It would be, at that point and time, to our benefit to have these people feeding us information about what organized crime members were doing. In the early stages of the Kennedy assassination, there were many, many, many reports that Kennedy was going to be "hit" and many, many reports that Kennedy was going to be "hit" by organized crime so this was all investigated. That's why I don't feel that any direct involvement on a high level from our government was involved in the Kennedy assassination but I certainly believe that there were certainly rouges within CIA, rouges within military intelligence, rouges within Mafia, and rouges within high-ups in the National Security Council that was certainly aware that an attempt was gonna be made. The mechanics of the attempt, I don't think that they were aware and I think that they launched an extensive intelligence gathering investigation to find out if the rumors that were circulating around Southern Florida were true, that Kennedy was going to be "hit", first in Austin, Texas, later in some other area, no, West Palm Beach and then Austin, Texas then it turned out to be Dallas.
BQ: Just gonna ask you two or three more questions. Could you explain to the layman, like myself, how the CIA would go about hiring a team like yours in this kind of situation?
A: Well, they would never do it direct for one thing. It would be done through intermediaries. And then it would be like what I call the "good ol' boy" network. One guy knows this guy, this guy knows this guy, eventually this guy's tied in with this guy and then he comes up and gets busted and then immediately hollers "I work for the CIA". Does that answer your question?
BQ: Ah, yeah, I guess what I'm saying is that I think it would be surprising to a layman that the CIA would, how can I put this, that the CIA would hire a group like yours knowing that there was an assassination attempt coming and that they would use a team like yours to thwart the assassination, can you explain the thinking behind that?
A: Well, number one, the CIA would have absolutely nothing to do with the actual planning because their position at that point was to gather intelligence and assimilate that to the proper people. In our particular case, that intelligence would be passed back to military intelligence operatives so CIA would be acting as a support level for our particular operations. As far as the CIA being involved in the planning stages as a upper level agency, I find that very difficult to believe because the method of operation on recruiting agents and operatives or recruiting operatives doesn't work that way., The CIA would gather this information, assimilate it, decipher it, and then pass it back to appropriate authorities, in this case, I would say it would be military intelligence even though some of the information had came from operatives in military ranks which were involved in Mafia.
BQ: Has it ever crossed your mind that there could have been, I don't know how to put this, let me rephrase it, has it crossed your mind that they could have told you you were there for one purpose but actually you might have been there for the opposite purpose?
A: Yes, that's crossed my mind many times, that when we say the anonymous "they", they could have told us anything, but the people that would be "they" would be special interest groups within the agency, in my opinion.
BQ: So, could you just take that scenario of what that might have been, you know, what you might have been thinking over the years as you look back on this for a possibility?
A: The possibility would be, I'd go back all the way back to William Bill Harvey, old Wild Bill, and his operations and coming out of the OSS and the beginning of the "good ol' boy" network and the formation of the CIA. The CIA at that point was pretty well closely related. Everybody sort of knew everybody. Everybody knew what teams that other members had been on, even back in Germany's days when Colby was with the OSS, so we had a family. And then when the Cuban matter came, because of intelligence gathering in the vast network of the Cuban community, it was imperative that the CIA recruit those people that knew something and knew how to make the contacts and the roadways into the Cuban community in order to, which these people could be used to implement a form of foreign policy. Am I answering your question or am I rambling?
BQ: No, but that's all right. This is difficult, but what I"m saying is that somewhere in this last 29 years, if it's crossed your mind maybe if they told you you were going in to thwart the assassination, but actually you were there to be part of the assassination, if you could articulate that....
A: Yes, this question has come up a lot. Maybe a part of the team could have been an actual "hit" team. But, if we go back to "they", when we say "they", CIA implemented that "hit" team, I say CIA as an agency did not implement that "hit" team" but perhaps as we call them now, rouges, or special interest groups within the agency because of the "good ol' boy" network could have certainly been involved in an operation to assassinate the President. Maybe I'm not making myself clear on this. For instance, like we all work for a particular company. Some of us are loyal and some of us aren't. It takes time to spot those people. If a guy's got a particular tremendous asset, then he'll be utilized.
As soon as he breaches that asset he'll be eliminated. I mean as soon as he no longer becomes an asset, he'll be eliminated. I guess what I'm saying in answer to your question that I believe that within the agency itself and the vast Cuban network that was recruited for covert operations at that time, that became the nuclei that led up to the Kennedy assassination and not from the White House, even though they may have had prior knowledge and may have had motives, and not from the CIA, and definitely not from the military intelligence community as a whole. But, people within that operation and those operations could certainly have conspired, aligned themselves, because of all the gun running that was going on, because of all the "dirty tricks" that were being pulled in many, many hot spots of the World, including the Dominican Republic at that time, I definitely believe that rouge operatives within the agency orchestrated the whole events that we are now getting into, in my opinion.
BQ: Is there anybody on your team that you think may have been shooters?
A: Perhaps the 3 people that I couldn't ever get a handle on exactly where they come from. When you're in an operation like that and you have a little bit of discussion, usually you can get a pretty good feeling from where individuals on a team come from. I mean you've either run across'em some place or you know of their particular operation even though you won't know the specifics of that operation. In this particular case there were three people on board that I could not get a handle on.
BQ: You said that you once saw Nicoletti and Roselli together looking over maps. Can you tell us what those maps where?
A: Those maps were pertaining to a gun running operation that was gonna be set up in the Bahamas on a place called Cat Cay, I believe it was, it was known as a staging area. The gentleman that Roselli was talking with had connections with the maritime arm of operations in Cuba which the old raider ship Rex, O'Rourke, some of these operations, Sullivan, I think it was Danny Sullivan, Jim Buchanan and all these. These were the ships, the raider ship known as the Rex, the Violent 3, the Windjammer and the Thor were all raider ships that were sent to carry out sabotage missions through the Florida Straits into Cuba and into other areas including the Dominican Republic.
BQ: The general "they" that we've been talking about, can you be specific as to who gave you your instructions for November 22, 1963?
A: Yes, my handler at that point was a person by the name of Bob Bennett. The people that would be CIA direct liaison aliases names, Bill Rogers, Rex Beardsley, Bob Bennett, and Larry Allen. And a guy by the name of Johnny Smith, which was actually John Roselli, those are found in the 105 files.
BQ: You said Roselli was one of the people you got your instructions from, correct?
A: Not on that particular day, not Roselli. That particular day my instructions came through Locksahatchie through Robert Bennett and also Rex Beardsley, I believe it was.
BQ: But Roselli was a key figure and someone you did get instructions from?
A: Well, Roselli's name was mentioned that day that he would be picked up at Tampa airport and he was staying at the Congress Inn so I guess as far as that particular mission the first time I heard Roselli's name was through Bob Bennett who instructed me and Sergio and Rojas. Rojas came from Miami to Lantana and we came from Locksahatchie to Lantana but I was already instructed through Bennett that we were to pick up John Roselli, and he was referred to as the Colonel, and I knew who that was because I had already had previous contact on many, many occasions with Johnny Roselli.
BQ: Did you find it odd at all that you had many, many contacts with him prior to November 22 and none after?
A: Well, after then we get into my personal story of what happened to me on the aftermath. As the record shows, I was in lockup shortly after that, two weeks before the Warren Commission convened, and I was released from lockup one month after the Warren Commission was over.
BQ: Can you say why you were in lockup?
A: Yes, I was extradited from Florida on a $50 no-account check in Denver, Colorado which had been dismissed. But that was agreed to. In other words, I was instructed to write it out. A lot of people say I was taken away for my own protection, some people say I was double crossed. I have no firm opinion on that.
VQ: Tosh, did any of your team which you flew in fire any questions at JFK?
A: Not to my knowledge. I doubt that very seriously. My team that I flew in, and I'm gonna stand behind the abort theory. Right now, I'm fully aware that it is a story but I do know that in time, a very short time, it will be confirmed.
VQ: Did they fire any shots at anybody?
A: They fired absolutely...well, I can't speak for the whole team. I can only speak for Sergio and myself and a couple of others that were there that I know did not fire any shots. Now, the people that left New Orleans and came up, the people that left Garland and went out, I'm not sure, they could have been getting set up, They could have fired. There was no doubt in my mind that it was an abort mission but the people that got off at Garland, the 3 people, could have been, I have to be fair with myself, they could have been shooters because I did not have a handle on those people.
BQ: Do you know the names of those people?
A: No...well, I know some operative names but that wouldn't, you know, these names have been batted around so much over the years since the Church Committee and the Jim Wave Amlash operations that I'm extremely confused on who's on first, and who's on second and who's on third. Names mean absolutely nothing and when you get into the research community, we con;t seem to get this through to the research community, that if you're gonna go on a military operation the first objective is to protect that operation so you're not going in with I.D. Even the tatoos that I have on that operation, I got myself in tremendous amount of trouble because I tattooed my arm so we go to great pains to make sure that we protect those operations.
Q: Tosh, did you know Lee Harvey Oswald?
A: Yes, I knew Lee Harvey Oswald.
Q: Where did you first meet him?
A: I first meet Lee Harvey Oswald at a secret base called Illusionary Warfare Training at Nagshead, North Carolina in 1959 prior to him going to language school and going to Russia.
Q; Did you just meet him or did you get to know him?
A: I got to...well, I just met him and remembered him....At the time that I met him in '59 he was a Marine, we were all in Illusionary Warfare Training, or something...propaganda stuff, and he was there and he was doing language study at that particular point. I didn't recognize him as anybody them other than just another black operative.
Q: Did you ever see him after that?
A: Yes, one time in Honolulu with another guy at a radar installation and that was about....oh I guess shortly after that...shortly after Nagshead... my dates may be wrong. It could have been '58 or '59 right around that area.
Q: Were there other occasions when you saw him?
A: Well, the one at the radar complex there on either Ohau or...I can't remember exactly where it was. But he was there at that time and I saw him briefly at Wheeler Air Force Base there at there at Oahu outside Honolulu and he was getting ready to leave an go to Dal...the whole group was getting ready to leave and we had been just completing jungle warfare training.
Q: Did you ever see him again after that?
A: Yes, in '62 when I came back into Dallas area, that, through the Dallas Cubans over on, not Harlendale Street, but there was a "safe" house here in Dallas, Oak Cliff, two of'em. There was a small two bedroom frame type house that was located in Oak Cliff not far from the zoo where the old inner urban track used to go through, I mean there's a highline down through there now, at that place and then I think it was Zang's Blvd. there used to be "safe" house there that was run by Hernandez out of Miami that had connections with Alpha 66 at one point that se up a "safe" house for Dallas Cubans that were filtrating out of the Miami area. Oswald, from those two "safe" houses, I went to another "safe" house and that "safe" house was directly behind where Oswald had rented a room, in the alley, and I carved my initials on the draining board up there at that time and that was a gun running operation and Oswald was renting the front house. I saw him there briefly but did not talk to him.
Q: Is that the house he lived in when the assassination occurred?
A: I'm not sure of the dates. Researchers would have to get the dates but this was just prior.. I had just came in from flying Roselli and John Martino from Houston to Galvezton and my next trip was from Houston back to Dallas so that would have been around June of '63, or no...before June...it would have been around April or May of '63.
Q: Did you know Roscoe White?
A: Roscoe White was at the radar complex and jungle warfare training in Honolulu and that's where I first met him. When I say met him...I would have never, never have picked Roscoe White and my feelings, it's a tragedy of what happened to Roscoe White's life. He was an operative. He was military intelligence. Basically, I think he was a good man. This other investigation a few years ago that came out...that however that went...the sensationalism of that was done very poorly because what it has done nowadays has totally discredited Roscoe White as being a military operative. The fact that Oswald and Roscoe White, the radar complex, and jungle warfare training, and Nagshead, North Carolina and all these things......
Q: When was the last time you saw Roscoe White?
A: The last time I saw Roscoe White was over in Honolulu and that was about '59. I had no liaison with White, you know, after that. I wasn't even aware that he was possibly in the Plaza until some researchers indicated that to me by pictures and I identified him as working at the radar complex from pictures that researchers had shown me stating he was in Dallas.
Q: Are you saying that you saw Roscoe White and Lee Harvey Oswald together?
A: Not together, at the same place and the same time. There was a ship that went over with White and a bunch of Marines and I can't remember the name of that particular ship, and I think that Oswald was on board that ship.
Q: Do you think or do you know?
A: Well, I've been told that he was and it confirmed a rumor that I had heard from Bernard Finsterwald some years later.
Q: Have you ever in your life time found out that a person was a desperate criminal when you thought maybe they would have been a deacon maybe in a Baptist Church? You were not correct in what you believed about them?
A: Yes, including myself. I'm a Mormon Elder in the Mormon Church, extremely active in the '70's. So the illusions that we set up on ourself, especially in view of the Kennedy assassination, I wouldn't be surprised... you could have been there, Joe, for all I know.
Q: Even though you believe that Roselli might not have been involved, is it possible that he could have been involved in the assassination?
A: Oh, it's possible. My feelings are I just don't believe that he was. But, the documents that are being accumulated in the last few years are starting to point in that direction, that he was more involved in the actual attempt then what's been reported. But documents are only as good as what someone...what you want someone to believe and there have been a tremendous amount of planted documents over the years.
BQ: Did you ever see Roselli and Oswald together?
A: No I never saw Roselli and Oswald together.
BQ: Did you ever see Roselli and White together?
A: Not, not, no...not together.
BQ: Sam Giancana?
A: Sam Giancana, Roselli, yes, I saw them together many times in fact one of them was when they opened the Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami. They had a big bash there and I think Frank Sinatra and portions of what they refer to in the circle as the "rat pack" was there. And then a tremendous amount of military were there, retired people, and a lot of CIA people were there for the opening.
ROBERT "TOSH" PLUMLEE 6/4/92 DEALEY PLAZA INTERVIEW
VQ: Tosh, In your own words, without me asking you any questions, where were you standing, what did you see, and what happened on November 22, 1963?
A: When we first got here, we were dropped off on the other side of the triple underpass here. We walked through this portal right here and we cut up this area here. The objective here was to check this parking lot, make sure it was secure, make sure that no team could be lingering back there around the cars and stuff and come up to the fence later. Sergio and I felt that this area was secure. We knew that we had other team members over here in this other area and we assumed that that area was also secure. We also had a team or team members that was supposed to be securing the Records Building rooftops and the County Jail rooftops. At that point and time, it didn't dawn on me or it didn't dawn on Sergio to even consider the Texas School Book Depository. Our objective was to try to find a military style type ambush which would have been cross triangulation for a shot. We, at this point, came down and at that time the motorcade was about turning or maybe halfway between the City Jail...or the County Jail...and the turnoff, right through there. Sergio and I came over here, looked at these light posts here and decided, o.k. if we had a shooter, more than likely he would be right along in here using the left or the right side of these posts as a reference point for timing or whatever. We felt this area was really secure. We walked down about right along in here and then we observed the rest of the motorcade as it came around. At this point, we noticed, I think I was standing about like this or maybe back a little bit, and we noticed a lot of commotion as it started coming into view and then the shots came out and that's when all hell broke loose. At this point right here, I remember seeing Kennedy's head going way back like that. Sergio turned to me and he said "Oh my gosh, we f---ed up, Let's get the hell out of here". So, at this point, I turned like this and then made a step to come up and around. Sergio was about right along here. We went up here. There was a gentleman down here in a parked car...a truck...as we got to about this area, he hollered something to Sergio...Sergio was maybe a little bit down..he says "It looks real bad". Then we continued to proceed up through this way just casually walking like we were going to go back over where the crowd... The crowd was congregating going to that section right there. There was a few congregation up there at the deal. I looked back once or twice in time to see the limousine go under the triple underpass which we were about, at that point, probably right along here. We continued on over here. This picket fence was up. There was a little opening right through here. We went through this area, across the railroad tracks, slid down the hill to our waiting automobile, which was in this lower parking lot at that particular time. We got in the car. This new freeway wasn't there at that point like that. And then went a u-turn, went up to that red light, went left down here to Ed McLemore's Sportatorium where Sergio changed clothes. I didn't change clothes and then from the Sportatorium we went to the "safe house" over by Redbird Airport in Oak Cliff, next to the Country Club and that's how we got out of the Plaza that day. We did not continue to even look back over this way. At that point and time we both felt that it was imperative that we get out of the area due to the fact that if we were picked up there we had absolutely no cover story of why we were in the area, and the fact that we had military and CIA contacts and liaison, coordination with them. It would have been a very hard one to explain why two operatives were caught on the south knoll if there was more than one shot fired. At that point, we thought there was a battery of shots coming from up here and on out. Now later, when we got back to Redbird, Sergio and I sort of debriefed ourself and we both felt....that back here in this area right through here, approximately right along in here...that a shooter probably shot through here because we were about 25-30 feet to the right and we both felt that a shot went to our left and up above our head. When we got to this point right here we did smell gunsmoke. We felt that maybe that gunsmoke had drifted, because of the North wind, across here from the time span it took us to get from the light post to this intersection right here, we definitely picked up a good solid smell of gunpowder. Now it could either have been a shooter standing here that we had missed that may have been in the parking lot concealed in a car, I don't rule out John Roselli could have been involved as a spotter...the theory of the "abort" end of it could have been a mixed jumble of communication or information to us so that we would happily go on this particular mission thinking we were aborting an attempt on the assassination. At that point, we decided that the best thing to do was to just stay quite about it and let the investigators do their work. Also in any operation, military or otherwise...CIA, the first thing to do is to protect the operation at all cost. At that point and time that was exactly what we felt that we were doing. We felt that we went in, Sergio and I at least felt, that we went in to abort or with a team to abort. However, with a view of the fact of the people that was on that aircraft, and the contact that I'd had with organized crime in Miami and Nevada, and the people that were on board that aircraft at that time, I don't rule out the possibility that we could have possibly flown the attack team in. Over the years, I've tried to sidestep that issue or haven't came forward and came out too public about that, and I thought I'd let the investigators which, obviously, nowadays they have done some fantastic work.
BQ: Again, I'd like to ask you, who was on the plane that you were a co-pilot on, that landed in Dallas?
A: O.K., the personnel on the plane was Sergio, who I'd been in other operations with back in the early 60's and late 50's; Rojas, Emmanuel Rojas, who was my pilot, I was acting as co-pilot; John Roselli, and we all had code names that we had assigned to ourself like eagle, raven, hawk, and this type thing. These were the people who were on the aircraft.
BQ: You're aware that there is one school of thought that placed Charles Nicoletti on that airplane?
A: Yes, I am aware that it's said that Charles Nicoletti was on board the aircraft. In the early stages of the investigation that I came in with, I had picked out a picture of Nicoletti when I was shown 10 pictures by a Senate investigator. Then later, the story came back to me that Nicoletti was in town because he picked up John Roselli at Redbird Airport and then at that point I lost contact with all of them.
BQ: Did you see Nicoletti pick up Roselli?
A: No, I didn't see Nicoletti pick up Roselli, but because of the liaison that we had had and the discussion that was on board the aircraft, there was no doubt in my mind that Nicoletti was the person that John Roselli was referring to to meet in Dallas on that particular morning.
BQ: Could you give us a little glimpse of that conversation, the propensity of that?
A: Well, it goes back to about April of '63, when Nicoletti, and the Thunderbird Inn in Vegas, and a money transaction to purchase aircraft.....
BQ: Let me ask you that question again. What did you hear on the airplane that convinced you that Nicoletti would be meeting Roselli in Dallas?
A: It was the things that John Roselli had said about people that he was going to be meeting in this town which immediately made me think of the individual that I had in mind which later turned out to be identified as Nicoletti. The pickup, the transportation mode, the fact that I knew of the liaison contact between John Roselli and Nicoletti because of the previous flights that we had made back in April with John Martino and it was my opinion that the party that John Roselli would be meeting in Dallas that day was Charles Nicoletti.
BQ: Was there a code that you had heard in the past that you heard that day?
A: There was a code name by the name of "Raven" which other investigators later tried to tell me was Lee Harvey Oswald, but I don't buy that. I'd buy that the code name given out as "Raven" was Nicoletti.
BQ: You knew in the past that Roselli had referred to Nicoletti as "Raven"?
A: Yes, in the past John Roselli had referred to Nicoletti as "Raven". One specific incident was a gun running operation out of Cat Cay, at Biscayne Bay, at Sloppy Joe's when maps were exchanged and Nicoletti was responsible for getting.....I'm sorry.....John Roselli was responsible for getting the maps to the place in Bimini which was a "safe haven" to Nicoletti. At that point in time, I was under the impression that there was a hit coming up someplace but I did not know, I was not at the level, to know that intimate planning. The meetings and the fact that Johnny Roselli had tremendous liaison with Charles Nicoletti dating all the way back to Arizona at the Caravan Inn, the Thunderbird Inn in Nevada, Burbank, California and Santa Barbara. These were people I had flown earlier. Roselli was one of them. Like I said, Nicoletti's picture was shown to me but I did not identify him as Nicoletti. I identified him under an operative name with the code name "Raven" at that point. It was only some years later that one of the investigators on the Senate staff come back and said "Nicoletti was on board your aircraft" and I made the statement to him at that point and time that "No, Nicoletti was in Dallas and picked Roselli up. I think you have your names transposed of Roselli and Nicoletti on who was on that flight."
BQ: So the modus operandi on the flight into Dallas matched the same m.o. every time that Roselli was to meet Nicoletti?
A: The M.O., the method of operation, was the same each time that John Roselli and Nicoletti met whether it be at Biscayne Bay, or whether Marathon Key, or whether it be at LeBarr Ranch in New Orleans or whether it be with the old gun running operation out of Midland...Menilothan, Texas, I think it was. So these were the areas where John Roselli and Charles Nicoletti had previous contact. At that time, my point of view, there was no doubt in my mind that Nicoletti was here to pick up Roselli and the others with the cartons that came on board the aircraft to go out to wherever they were going to go and then we came over to Redbird.
BQ: You were present all those other times that you just named?
A: Yes, the times that I just referred to, I was present because I was the pilot that had flown these people in to these particular meetings at Caravan Inn which the 105 documents make reference to.
BQ: So you would have no reason in the world to suspect that there would be a new "Raven" or that Roselli was not meeting Nicoletti based on the five or six separate times.
A: No, I would have no reason. In fact, with Charles...Roselli, the liaison that Roselli had with Nicoletti and other...like Charlie "The Blade" or Farentino, which was maybe Frank Sturgis or whoever, I would have no reason to doubt that Nicoletti was the pickup man. Now maybe, I'm getting into opinions now, I think that Roselii was carrying the instructions for Nicoletti. Now, whether Nicoletti was the shooter or a member of the abort team, I don't know. Over the years, it's hard for me to accept the fact that I was told "abort" and might have played a major, major role in actually bringing the team into Dallas on that day.
BQ: How would you feel about that personally if that turns out to be the case?
A: I would feel I've been double-crossed. If that was the case. All the evidence is pointing to the fact that, or pointing, not necessarily a fact, or pointing to that we flew the attack team in. The documents that are being uncovered nowadays is indicating more in that direction then the documents that we had 10 years ago that would indicate more into a military abort team.
BQ: How did you feel about JFK personally?
A: I loved the man. I never had any qualms with the administration. Back in those particular days when we were doing those "ops" it was a very honorable thing to be part of a "black" crew and a military intelligence because I guess we were young and impressionable, if you want to call it that.
BQ: So can you give me your thoughts when you do reflect on this and you figure the possibility that it was a double cross that you might have been, unwittingly, responsible for the assassination of JFK.
A: Unwittingly, yes, I would say that. It's beginning to appear to me that in the very early stages of the coming together of this team that we had infiltration into our intelligence network and I think that that's where the pickup and the transition and it would appear that higher-ups in the CIA and military intelligence out of the Pentagon planned the operation. I don't believe that's the case. I believe that our information had been intercepted and as a result of that it was definitely used a cover because of the contacts that these Mafioso's had with military intelligence and the CIA.
BQ: Do you think Sam Giancana enters into this?
A: I think Sam Giancana is a major, major player in this and in fact a bigger player than John Roselli. I think, In fact, I know Sam Giancana knew Charlie Nicoletti extremely well and I think Nicoletti was a hitman for Sam Giancana and others in the Mafia and others in the Mafia at that time, mainly located out of New Orleans, Louisiana, and the old gun running operations that dated back to the '50's.
BQ: What was the "Cuban Peso" operation you mentioned earlier?
A: That was another operation just prior to...we were transporting money for the purchase of...buying military hardware and aircraft and I was given $8,000 to transfer to John Martino in West Palm Beach, which was put into a Greyhound Bus locker. The Cuban Peso deal was s deal where we flew in a PBY, which belonged to Texaco, or registered to Texaco at that time, and we flew boxes of pesos into Cuba to be distributed inside Cuba to undermine the economy. This was not one of my operations, I was only a recruited pilot to fly that operations because the C-46 that they had could not get down into the mountains so we went to a Catalina PBY that was available through Texaco and we dropped the money off in rubber rafts and it was floated to shore.
BQ: Can you just tell me from your own personal experience why you've come to this conclusion why Nicoletti may have been the hitman for Giancana?
A: Well, I have to go back into some real touchy, touchy stuff. Let me see if I can explain it to you in this way. The operations that we were involved with were many, many operations. Assassination attempts, going all the way back to Orbenz in '54, Pinechot in Argentine, the Che Gueverra situation, the prior Cubans. All these things were operating without knowledge of any Federal entity. For instance, we can go into the Kennedy thing and the files are opened, that's not going to prove anything about Kennedy at all. What it will prove is that there were maybe 50-75 "black-ops" going on that involved assassinations all the way from Truillio down to Orbenz, dissension in the Caribbean, propaganda, dropping leaflets, everything we could do, dirty tricks, as a unit, for the sake of fighting Communism in the Cold War was what we did. So, when we get into the Kennedy documents everybody is looking for a document that is going to be a "smoking gun". The "smoking guns" are going to be the various operations that I played in, Charles Nicoletti played in, John Roselli played in, Sam Giancana played in, and some of the other people that was involved in the Cuban cause in the early days going back to Carlos Perawl, Sicarrez, and Myron Coley, I think it is. So, its a continuation of the early-late 50's with Wild Bill Harvey's group that continued to function all the way up to the '60's with many, many operations. The reason that I could circulate within those compartmentalized operations was, in some cases, that other pilots that could not fly those missions, or the plan would be down, or the plane was destroyed by snipers or whatever happened, well, they would go out on the block, recruit another aircraft which would be a completely independent crew of that operation, so therefore I could bounce around and see these people operating in their own environment for a particular mission. Then as a result of that, I began to have a good rapport with members of organized crime, that in return led to me knowing Nicoletti, John Roselli and Sam Giancana, the Fountainbleu Hotel and the military intelligence that operated out of the Fountainbleu and Sloppy Joe's and this type stuff with Roselli. Roselli was refereed to as the "Colonel" by more than one CIA, not operative, but agent. He did have carte blanche to Jim Wave headquarters out of Miami. It was not surprising to me know that we either sanctioned or otherwise was using Mafioso hitmen to carry out foreign policy. But in those days, it did not surprise me because that was the way you fought the cold war and communism. Nowadays it's a little bit different. You can't take today's standards and apply them back then and say why didn't you stop this because it was impossible. The other side of the coin is that I was in my mid-20's in those days and it was a great honor to be selected to go into a military operation to uphold the integrity and this constitution of the United States. Most of the gentlemen that I was connected with were about my age, in the operative level, and we were extremely patriotic. If that's a good word to use nowadays, I'm not sure if that's a good word to use. We felt that is was a tremendous honor to be selected. Just like Ollie North felt like it was tremendous to come out of the Pentagon and connected with the National Security Council. You have to remember that operative's first responsibility, at all costs, is to protect that operation. Now if that is an illegal operation, that doesn't matter, it's not our job to question. Even to the point of an assassination. Even to the point of an assassination of a sitting President. It's not our policy to question those things. Now that might seem hard and callous and unreal but if a particular operation was launched and then you balked that operation, blew that operation, because of your personal preference politically or morally then you're not going to be around very much longer to carry off another operation. And besides that, people and investigators have to remember that tremendous effort went into code names, aliases and covering up any type of paperwork that would elude to those operations. Now when I'm talking about "those operations", I'm talking about Kennedy, I'm talking about all those "black" operations that were implemented during that time span. It's not for us to question at that point. It's only came in the last five to ten years when I really began, with inside myself, to doubt what I really did. It's a very hard adjustment for me to come through to find out, when I mention double-cross earlier, to find out that maybe, inadvertently, people within my own military intelligence were perhaps on the take with Mafia, and used the intelligence that was gathered by good solid agents and manipulated that intelligence to plan a hit right here in this Plaza.
BQ: So you think it's quite possible that Roselli and Nicoletti could have been shooters?
A: Not Roselli. Roselli would not have been a shooter. Roselli would not even have been a spotter. But, Roselli, I believe, was the coordinator and I think his liaison was directly with Nicoletti and I think Nicoletti was probably your "finger man". Now whether Nicoletti was the shooter or was associating with the three shooters that was in this Plaza, one here, one over there, and one up there, which turned out to be the School Book Depository, which we did not even take into consideration because the most logical place to shot would be up on the City Record's Building, or up on this building, and right over there or right here.
BQ: Did Giancana always give the orders to Roselli and Nicoletti? Was that the M.O.?
A: That was the M.O. and that came from New Orleans, not from Chicago. I've heard a lot of researchers say that his liaison contact was Chicago, that's crap. That is New Orleans and Jacksonville, Florida. I also flew Sam Giancana's girlfriends from New Jersey to Miami two or three different times so I mean my liaison with Roselli and Sam Giancana, and I understand exactly what this could cause, going on open camera, but it's time to clear the air and it's time to get the truth out.
BQ: What do you think about at night?
A: Well, that's a tough question. Over the years it's like one of those things that, you see a good buddy get massacred or killed, you don't want to think about it. You don't pick up a book and study. You don't go read these books that come out over the last 10-15 years cause it tears your guts out. It's like living with a monkey on your back. You want to talk. You want to tell your story. There was a time when it was extremely derogatory to be even connected with the Kennedy assassination and immediately if you said anything "Oh, I know something about the Kennedy assassination", they say "Yeah, it's time for you to go to Bellevue and we're gonna lock you up" Just now, it's coming around that the new generation is demanding some answers and I think the new generation deserves those answers and I think the truth should come out and I think it's my responsibility, whether anybody believes this story or not, or wherever the confirmation has come and does come, it's immaterial to me what people think. If they're really sincere, let them do their own investigation and there's enough documentation out there to support this story as well as other stories about black-op operations. Our military was extremely active, pro and con.
BQ: Why did they go to the Mafioso in the first place to carry out this operation?
A: Because they're available and because they have the know how and they have the technique and there's not an operative or an agent that can actually work in the bureaucracy of government and keep those type of secrets so if a hitman was selected from the CIA or military and something went sour, that's a direct connection to the United States Government as a whole. It would only be feasible that the planners, which were not high level CIA planners, but it was mid-level and rouges. During that time, you got to remember, we come out of the Eisenhower administration with military operatives that was very loyal to the OSS back in the 40's and then we come into a new Kennedy breed that is gonna change all that up. As a result of that, information was gathered and we were actually fighting each other. We became similar to what DEA and people are doing now in the drug war, where agencies begin to fight with themselves. That's what we were facing in those days. And not to mention the propaganda that was being perpetrated and played by special interests within agencies that would throw our intelligence gathering off. We could go around the Caribbean for weeks. In fact, in one case with the Raider ship and O'Rourke, it was reported that we were landing commandos in Cuba, and were down in Port Everglades and we were cleaning the boat and painting it and going fishing for two weeks. But then we would read in the paper about the raids we were carrying out inside Cuba. So, there's a lot of propaganda out there about what we did and in some cases we used to laugh about it and think it was very cute.
BQ: What motivated you to come forward at this time?
A: My motivation to come forward at this time, I guess you would say because of the work that Oliver Stone did do. I think that's it's important that the younger generation know the truth behind the Kennedy assassination. I'm under the impression for myself, after all these years, it's time, if for no other reason, than to cleans my soul and to tell the public the truth about what role I played that day in the Kennedy assassination and put all this behind me and live a life and go into my autumn years and be done with it.
BQ: Do you have any personal regrets about that day?
A: The only personal regrets I have about that day that Sergio and I did not take the initiative to do more observation from other areas in this. We should have been a little more diligent in our approach to this particular operations than what we were.

The last seconds of life


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