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New JFK assassination tapes
January 30, 2012 8:56 AM   Subscribe

US National Archives releases newly discovered JFK assassination tapes, of the communications of Air Force One personnel following the assassination. The digitized recording was uploaded to Wikimedia Commons at the same time as it was revealed on archives.gov
posted by stbalbach (18 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
There are more tapes from that day here.
posted by empath at 9:01 AM on January 30, 2012


How on earth did these go undiscovered before now? Even if Clifton yoinked them as "memoribilia" surely someone knew that Air Force One made tapes and would go looking for them and there'd be a brouhaha if they were found missing. Or are they only now being released to the public?
posted by DU at 9:04 AM on January 30, 2012


Pilot: "yeah, we got the body... whats that? Secretly dump it in the sea? Two problems: There is a plane load of people back there, and we aren't flying over any sea."

This should contain the conversation where they are trying to establish if Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes, who Johnson wanted to swear him in, was of high enough rank to do so.
posted by marienbad at 9:14 AM on January 30, 2012


The Raab Collection recently discovered two ¼” open-reel audiotapes containing identical excerpts from the Air Force One flight on November 22, 1963, among the papers and other memorabilia of Army General Chester "Ted" Clifton, Jr. General Clifton served as senior military aide to President John F. Kennedy and had received the tapes from the White House Communications Agency (WHCA). The original audiotape recording is described as "Radio Traffic involving AF-1 in flight from Dallas, Texas, to Andrews AFB on November 22, 1963."

The conversations were captured by the WHCA, which routed all phone calls and radio traffic. The tape also includes communication between the WHCA and a second aircraft of the Presidential fleet, known as 86972 (by its tail number), which was en route to Tokyo at the time of the assassination with members of the President's cabinet.

The recording includes references to new code names and incidents. Among them are a private conversation by head of the Secret Service Jerry Behn about the disposition of the President's body; an expanded conversation about how to remove the body from the plane and where to take it; an urgent effort by an aide to Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay to reach General Clifton; and attempts to locate various Congressmen from Texas.
The answer is that they were improperly in someone else's personal papers, not the National Archives as they should have been.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:16 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, I read that. My question was why wasn't there a big to-do when the tapes were discovered missing? Clifton can't have been the only person who knew AFO made recordings.
posted by DU at 9:20 AM on January 30, 2012


At this point I don't care if JFK died of jock itch. If the conspiracy theorists out there want to have impact of the world as it is now, how about tracking down corrupt and colluding bankers and politicians?
posted by gwint at 9:23 AM on January 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


an urgent effort by an aide to Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay to reach General Clifton

"Gerneral LeMay wishes to speak to General Clifton."
"About what?"
"LeMay wants to nuke the Soviets."
"Fuck. Seriously."
"Yep. You wanna give me a reason this conversation can't happen right now? I need to take something back to the boss."
"Yeah, so. Let's just say Clifton can't come to the phone right now. Tell him the widow Kennedy won't let go of him."
"You got it."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:28 AM on January 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


At this point I don't care if JFK died of jock itch. If the conspiracy theorists out there want to have impact of the world as it is now, how about tracking down corrupt and colluding bankers and politicians?

gwint, while I favorited your comment, it reminds me of the plot of Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbings. In it, the body of Jesus is snatched from a vault in the Vatican. The idea of the protagonist who does it is that revealing the two-millenia-long knowing lie of the Catholic Church (which was originally just the Xian Church, of course) would pull the foundation out from under them. Others argue it would have no effect.

Anyway, I'm of two minds here. If a genuine conspiracy were discovered, would it demonstrably affect our government? Maybe.

And, of course, as long as people attribute importance to it, it is important.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:34 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Tom Robbins", not "Robbings".
posted by IAmBroom at 9:41 AM on January 30, 2012


an urgent effort by an aide to Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay to reach General Clifton

This was back in the days of pay phones and LeMay wasn't the sort of man to go into combat with loose change in his pockets.
posted by three blind mice at 9:55 AM on January 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Years ago I did some research on the Cuban Missile Crisis at the National Archives, which included working with a lot of FOIA-requested original documents from LeMay's files.

I kid you not, that man doodled so many bomb-dropping airplanes in the margins of his papers, they were practically graphic novels.
posted by argonauta at 10:11 AM on January 30, 2012 [13 favorites]


LeMay wasn't the sort of man to go into combat with loose change in his pockets.

I'd be more concerned about the loose screws in his head.
posted by grounded at 10:14 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


LeMay wasn't the sort of man to go into combat with loose change in his pockets.

Or piss off the Coca Cola company.
posted by codswallop at 10:36 AM on January 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thought Oliver Stone sorted this out for us years ago.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:40 AM on January 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, I read that. My question was why wasn't there a big to-do when the tapes were discovered missing? Clifton can't have been the only person who knew AFO made recordings.

I can only speculate they just figured they were lost. I mean seriously there's no "Yes sir, Oswald said he's working for the Soviets/Castro/the Five Families/LBJ/the CIA/Oliver Stone/Jackie" quotes on there. I suspect there's a lot more that has gone missing for every event.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:03 PM on January 30, 2012


I kid you not, that man doodled so many bomb-dropping airplanes in the margins of his papers, they were practically graphic novels.

Awesome.

One of my college professors got to interview LeMay. Said LeMay wasn't crazy, per se. Rather, he just firmly believed that Some People Need Killing.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:11 PM on January 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Transcript? I checked the links, maybe I missed it.
posted by m@f at 1:06 PM on January 30, 2012


I am chilled by this. And I've only heard empath's links so far. (Software troubles with the other link.)

Taking me right back to that day and week, so vividly burned into my very young memory. The first time I was aware of places and events outside my family and little town. Hell of an intro to The Greater World, huh?

Oh, we are shaped by the times we grow up in. And that was just the start of the 60s/ early 70s.
posted by NorthernLite at 3:35 PM on January 30, 2012


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