JFK 101
An excerpt from
"Harvey & Lee: How the CIA Framed Oswald"

by John Armstrong


"Americans are apt to scoff at the idea that a military coup in the U.S.....could ever replace our government.
But that is an idea that has grounds for consideration....."

-- Lee Harvey Oswald1


Few people knew of Lee Harvey Oswald when he wrote those words but four months later, on November 22, 1963, the news media quickly labeled him the assassin of President John F. Kennedy. Oswald was instantly the most hated man in America and, thanks to the news media, scorned by nearly everyone and presumed guilty. Within hours certain members of the news media told the public of his interest in communism, his defection to Russia, his Russian wife, and his support of Cuba. Much of their information, within hours of the assassination, came from anonymous sources.

Two days later, when Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald, many people were overjoyed while others began to ask questions. A teacher from my school asked me what I thought about Ruby killing Oswald. I quickly said, "I'm glad he's dead," but noticed that she was sitting quietly next to me in deep thought. A few moments later I asked, "Well.....what do you think?" She thought about my question, choose her words carefully, and slowly said, "I think he (Oswald) would have had a lot to say." I never forgot her words.

As a young boy I didn't comprehend the meaning of her answer, but over the years came to understand the wisdom of her statement. If Oswald lived he would have had a lot to say--perhaps enough to answer the question of who killed President Kennedy. But Oswald died and the question of who killed President Kennedy nearly died with him.

Before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy the majority of Americans had faith in our government, faith in the FBI, and trusted the news media. But when Oswald was arrested, had identification for two people in his wallet, allegedly told Captain Will Fritz the assassination had been a conspiracy, said he was a "patsy," and was killed two days later in front of dozens of police, many Americans suspected that other people had been involved.

The FBI quickly tried to convince the public that Oswald was guilty with an overwhelming amount of circumstantial evidence. Anyone who questioned their conclusion was ridiculed and not taken seriously. But the American public never knew that within hours of the assassination top FBI and government officials had indications of a widespread conspiracy, but said nothing. Instead of conducting an honest investigation various government agencies joined together, suppressed most indications of a conspiracy, and focused their attention and effort on gathering evidence and testimony to "prove" that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin. Like it or not, the government had to convince the public that Oswald was the lone assassin.

****************************

As I grew up, finished school, and began my business career, I gave little thought to who killed President Kennedy, although I always wondered. Over the years I paid little attention to the critics who called President Kennedy's assassination a conspiracy, until in the late 1980's I read "Mafia Kingfish," by John Davis. After reading Davis' book I thought I finally knew who had killed Kennedy-the mafia. A few months later I read another book with a different conclusion and, after reading more books on the assassination, realized that each book presented the author's own theory as to who had killed President Kennedy.

In 1990 I bought "Crossfire" by Jim Marrs. This was the most complete work to date on the assassination and presented not one, but many theories as to who could have been behind the assassination. When I learned that Jim was teaching a "JFK" class at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), I decided to attend.

When I walked into Jim's classroom, there were some thirty "students" of all ages and backgrounds. Jim and his friend, Jack White, discussed the assassination while students and guests were invited to give presentations. I soon noticed two middle-aged men sitting at the back of the classroom and became annoyed when they began talking loudly, mocked nearly every speaker, and were very disruptive. These two men were self- proclaimed "experts" in the Kennedy assassination and questioned and criticized most of the speakers. Week after week they argued continuously with Jim Marrs, Jack White, guest speakers, and students.

Dr. Charles Crenshaw was one of the physicians who attended President Kennedy at Parkland Hospital on November 22, 1963. He visited one of the classes and gave a presentation about his recollections of that fateful day. Dr. Crenshaw told the class that he received a telephone call from President Lyndon Johnson shortly after Oswald was brought into Parkland Hospital on the morning of November 24, 1963. The two middle-aged men responded by arguing with Crenshaw in a loud and obnoxious manner, and then told him that he could not have received a call from Johnson. Their behavior and attitude offended everyone, and became so intolerable that I later asked Jim Marrs why he didn't ask them to leave. Jim, in mild-mannered Texas tradition, said they had paid to attend the class and therefore he could not ask them to leave. Jim said that if their disruptive behavior continued, he would probably close the class.

Several months later I read Warren Commission exhibit #1386, in Volume XXII of the Warren Volumes, which was an FBI report of an interview of Palmer E. McBride on November 22, 1963.

On the day of the assassination McBride was serving in the US Air Force and was stationed at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. That evening, when McBride saw and recognized Lee Harvey Oswald from his picture on television, he immediately contacted Air Force security officers. The officers spoke with McBride, notified the FBI, and SA John R. Palmer was dispatched from Washington, DC to interview McBride.

McBride began the interview by telling Palmer and the security officers that he had worked with Oswald at the Pfisterer Dental Lab in New Orleans in 1957 and 1958. McBride explained that his and Oswald's duties were to deliver dental products produced by the lab to local dentists. During breaks from their work the boys discussed astronomy, politics, and communism. On one occasion Oswald told McBride that he would like to kill President Eisenhower. McBride told Palmer that Oswald had visited his home on several occasions where they listened to classical music. McBride visited Oswald at his apartment, at the Hotel Senator, which was directly across the street from the dental lab on Dauphine Street.

McBride told Palmer that on one occasion he was introduced to Oswald's mother as she was leaving the apartment. In early 1958 Oswald accompanied McBride to a meeting of the New Orleans Amateur Astronomy Association (NOAAA) where he was introduced to some of the members. McBride and Oswald worked together every day for seven months until Oswald quit in May 1958, and moved to Fort Worth.

When I read the Warren Commission's final report on the assassination I was surprised to learn that they determined Oswald had been in Japan serving in the Marine Corps in 1957 and 1958 and was not in New Orleans.

I was confused and searched the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission hearings to locate McBride's testimony, but was surprised to find that he had never been interviewed by the Commission.


The Beginning of My Project


I decided to give a presentation in Jim's class based on the FBI's interview of Palmer McBride. I provided students with copies of the interview (WC Exhibit 1386) and Oswald's Marine records, which are both published in the Warren Volumes. The Marine records clearly show that when McBride claimed to have worked with Oswald, from October, 1957 thru May, 1958 at the Pfisterer Dental Laboratory in New Orleans, Oswald was in Japan.

With these documents in hand, I wondered aloud how Oswald could have been in Japan and New Orleans at the same time. I reminded the students about Jack White's video, "The Many Faces of Lee Harvey Oswald," in which White claimed that various photos of Lee Harvey Oswald were of two different people. I ended my presentation by suggesting that more work needed to be done relating to the life and background of Lee Harvey Oswald. Who was Lee Harvey Oswald? Why did the Commission ignore Palmer McBride's statement? Why was McBride never interviewed? Were their additional documents that conflicted with Oswald's background and indicated that he was in two places at the same time?

At the end of each class most of the students gathered at a nearby restaurant, separated into small groups, and discussed the assassination. Following my presentation I joined other students at the restaurant and sat at one of the tables with one of the two obnoxious, self-proclaimed, JFK "experts." I asked one of the men, "What do you think about McBride working with Oswald in New Orleans in 1957 and 1958 when Marine Corps records show that he was in Japan." The "expert" said, "He (McBride) is obviously wrong."

I stared at this man for a moment and wondered how anyone, let alone a "self-proclaimed JFK expert," could make such a statement without further study and research. How could anyone dismiss the statement of a man who insisted that he had worked with Oswald daily and befriended him for 7 months? What kind of person passes judgment without even questioning McBride or taking the time to investigate his story? I concluded that this man was not a JFK "expert," but rather a cynical and narrow-minded individual who thought he had all the answers.

I later discussed this man's comments with Jim Marrs who said, "He hasn't done anything constructive in the JFK assassination in years-all he does is sit around and criticize and nit-pick other people's work. I'm glad I won't have to listen to his nonsense and cynicism much longer because I've decided to close down the class." I said, "Because of him you're closing down the class?" Jim said, "Yes, because of him and the other guy." I thought how sad it was to close down the class because of two disruptive, cynical, and hypercritical people.

From this experience I realized that in order to challenge the Warren Commission's conclusions, my work would have to be thoroughly documented. If the two hypercritical men in Jim's class would argue with Dr. Crenshaw over a mere telephone call received at Parkland Hospital on November 22nd, and dismiss Palmer McBride by saying "he's wrong," then I had a good indication of what to expect in the future. Supporters of the Warren Commission, and their conclusion that Oswald had assassinated the President, would look for any opportunity and spare no argument in an attempt to nit-pick and discredit anyone who challenged the government's position. With those thoughts in mind, I began to study the life and background of Lee Harvey Oswald in an attempt to learn whether McBride or the Warren Commission was correct as to Oswald's whereabouts in 1957 and 1958.


Curious about Oswald

I read and re-read McBride's FBI interview and was intrigued. I wanted to talk to McBride and see if he could pinpoint the dates of working with Oswald in New Orleans, but didn't know how to contact him. One of the people mentioned in McBride's FBI interview was William E. Wulf, Jr., his friend from New Orleans who met Oswald during a meeting of the New Orleans Amateur Astronomy Association (NOAAA).

In 1993 I located and telephoned Wulf, who was living in a small town outside of New Orleans. When I asked him if he remembered the year he met Oswald, Wulf thought for a minute and said, "Either late 1957 or early 1958." After discussing his recollections of the NOAAA meeting, I was satisfied that his memory of the date was accurate. Now there were two people who said Oswald was in New Orleans in 1957 and 1958, when Marine Corps records showed that he was in Japan.

As I continued to read books about the JFK assassination, not a single book or news article mentioned Palmer McBride or his interview with the FBI interview. A few of the books commented on the significant differences in Oswald's height, weight and physical discrepancies, as recorded on numerous documents. Other books questioned how Oswald was able to speak the Russian language with near perfection, yet failed to determine how or where he learned the language. Still other books referred to documents which, if accurate, showed that Oswald had been in two places at the same time, but did not elaborate and drew no conclusions.

One book, Richard Popkin's "The Second Oswald," proposed there was an Oswald "double." Another book, Edward Epstein's "Legend of Lee Harvey Oswald," postulated that the Russians substituted a look-alike for the real Lee Harvey Oswald during his "defection" to the Soviet Union. Yet another book, "Alias Oswald" by Robert Cutler, claimed that a Russian-speaking person had been substituted for the American-born Lee Harvey Oswald while in the Marines. The Russian-speaking "Oswald," working for the CIA, then "defected" to Russia, married Marina, returned to the US, and was the person accused of assassinating President Kennedy. Obviously, no book had all the answers, but it did seem that nearly every book contained unanswered questions-many of which dealt with Oswald. I began to wonder if the secrets to who killed President Kennedy could be found in Oswald's background.


Russian-speaking Oswald

One of the unexplained curiosities that arose from my studies, which perplexed and intrigued me, was Oswald's near perfect command of the Russian language, which was allegedly self-taught and perfected in a matter of months. I studied the German language for two years in high school, had a German-speaking neighbor for a tutor, and became somewhat proficient in elementary German. After two years, I could understand and speak simple sentences, but was completely lost during a normal conversation. I wondered how and where Oswald, with a 9th grade education, could have mastered the Russian language without the aid of a teacher, tutor, or language school.

I studied Oswald's Marine Corps records to see if there was a time period during which he could have received language training, possibly at the Army Language School in Monterrey, CA. I began by listing the dates of his Marine Corps training, assignments, transfers, and duty stations on 1956, 1957, 1958 and 1959 calendars. I soon realized there was no time for Oswald to have taken Russian classes in boot camp (1956), ITR training (early 1957), aviation training in Jacksonville, Florida (March-April, 1957), or radar school in Biloxi (May-June, 1957). In August 1957, Oswald boarded the USS Bexar to Japan and no one saw him reading or studying Russian during the voyage.

When Oswald arrived in Atsugi, Japan, in September 1957 he met Zack Stout, a fellow Marine, and his photo was taken in front of his locker.

I asked Zack if Oswald studied Russian during that time and he said "Most of the time we were with a mobile radar unit. Shortly after he arrived we left Japan and traveled constantly from location to location in the South China Sea (beginning in November 1957). I know Oswald didn't attend any Russian classes or read any Russian books or listen to any Russian records. He didn't have anywhere to get such materials and if he had them we (Stout and fellow Marines) would have known about it. We slept in the same bunkhouse and most of the time worked on the same radar crew. The idea that Oswald studied Russian in Japan is ridiculous-it just didn't happen."2

After speaking with Zack, I gathered FBI, Warren Commission, and HSCA interviews of Marines who had known and served with Oswald in Japan. I wanted to see if any of the Marines who knew Oswald in Japan saw him with a Russian book, Russian records, or Russian reading materials. Not surprisingly, no one remembered seeing Oswald study the Russian language in Japan, where he was stationed until November 1958.

According to the Warren Commission, Oswald reported for duty at the Marine Corps Air Facility in Santa Ana, California, in December 1958. A month later he took, and passed, a military language exam in the Russian language. How was this possible? Where and how had Oswald studied and learned Russian? Fellow Marines who served with Oswald in Santa Ana remembered that he read Russian newspapers, listened to Russian records, and was interested in everything Russian.


In the spring of 1959, Oswald had a date with Roslyn Quinn, the aunt of a fellow Marine who had studied the Russian language for the past year using the Berlitz method. She and Oswald conversed in Russian for over two hours and she was very impressed with his command of the language. Oswald's proficiency in Russian, and his interest in Russia, first surfaced at the Marine base in California, in 1959-only 9 months before his "defection" to the Soviet Union. But no one, including the Warren Commission, determined how or where he learned Russian.

Oswald in Japan - Oswald in New Orleans

Zack Stout, Bobby Warren, George Wilkins, and fellow Marines knew and worked with "Lee Harvey Oswald" on a daily basis from September 1957 thru May 1958. They remembered him as a regular guy from Texas who got drunk on occasions, liked Japanese women, never discussed political issues, never spoke a word of Russian, got into a number of fights, and occasionally talked about his family. Half way around the world, in New Orleans, Palmer McBride knew and worked with a "Lee Harvey Oswald" from October 1957 thru May 1958. But this Oswald did not drink, continuously talked about communism, said he wanted to kill President Eisenhower, never talked about his family or background, and never got into a fight. After talking with Zack Stout, I was determined to locate and talk with Palmer McBride.


Palmer Edwin McBride

I finally located McBride in Sun Valley, California and spoke with him at length. He is a very friendly, loquacious, and nice individual-the type of person you'd like to have as a neighbor or friend. It didn't take long to realize that McBride was very intelligent and possessed a superb memory. He remembered dates, times and places from the 1950's and 1960's better than I could remember events from last year.

In response to my questions about Oswald, McBride carefully reconstructed his life in the mid-1950's, his work at the Pfisterer Dental Laboratory, and his association with Oswald. McBride was absolutely certain that he met Oswald shortly after the Russians launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite on October 4, 1957. He said they worked together every day for 7 months, went on dates with girls, went to the movies together, visited his (McBride's) friends, attended meetings of the NOAAA, and frequently discussed communism-a topic the Warren Commission said interested Oswald throughout his life.

On one occasion McBride met Oswald's mother, who he described as a short, heavy-set woman, in Oswald's apartment on the second floor of the Hotel Senator, which was directly across the street from Pfisterer's on Dauphine Street. Oswald showed McBride a copy of his book "Das Kapital," and remained in the apartment for several hours. He remembered that Oswald went home every day during lunch, and sometimes McBride went with him.

NOTE: After locating a photograph of Marguerite Oswald taken in 1945

(on the day of her marriage to Edwin Ekdahl), and another photograph of Marguerite in 1957

(a group photo of employees at Paul's Shoe store in Fort Worth at Christmas) McBride's description of Oswald's mother in 1957-1958 as "short and heavy-set," was not consistent with the tall, thin woman who appeared these photographs. When I showed these photographs to McBride, he said the woman in these photographs was not the woman he met at the Hotel Senator. He also pointed out that in December 1957, Marguerite Oswald was living in New Orleans at the Hotel Senator, and not in Fort Worth.

When I showed McBride a photograph taken in 1954 of a heavy set, dour looking Marguerite Oswald, sitting on a chair in her apartment at 126 Exchange Place, McBride said, "That's her. That's the woman I met."


McBride remembered that Oswald quit the dental lab in April or May, 1958 and told co-workers that he was moving to Fort Worth with his mother. In August McBride received a letter from Oswald, who was living in Fort Worth, and shortly thereafter he quit Pfisterer's and joined the Air Force reserves.According to McBride's information and Marine Corps records it appeared that from October, 1957 thru August, 1958 there was a "Lee Harvey Oswald" living with his "mother" in either New Orleans or Fort Worth while a second "Lee Harvey Oswald" was stationed in Japan and his "mother" was working at Paul's Shoe store in Fort Worth. At first this sounded ridiculous, even though I had documents, photographs, and statements from people who were with Oswald in different locations at the same time. Later, I also realized that if there were two "Lee Harvey Oswalds" at age 17 (and younger), then each of these boys had to have a parent or guardian ("Marguerite Oswald") to care for them.


Two Oswalds, but why?

After many hours of talking to Palmer McBride and Zack Stout, I was convinced that both of these men were honest, sincere, and accurate as to the dates they knew Oswald. Palmer knew and worked with a Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans, while Zack knew and worked with a Lee Harvey Oswald in the Marines in Japan at the same time. The probability that two individuals had used the name "Lee Harvey Oswald" seemed more and more likely, but why.....and for what purpose? Those two questions were to consume my thoughts and research for many years.

From conversations with Zack, I knew the Oswald who served in the Marines in Japan never discussed politics, never threatened to kill President Eisenhower, never spoke Russian, never read Russian books, and never listened to Russian records. From conversations with Palmer, I knew that the Oswald who lived in New Orleans constantly talked about politics and did threaten to kill President Eisenhower. I thought about Robert Cutler's book, "Alias Oswald," and began to consider the possibility that a Russian speaking person had been substituted for the real Lee Harvey Oswald in the Marine Corps.

Could the Oswald who worked with McBride in New Orleans have quit the Pfisterer Dental Lab in May 1958, arrived at the Marine base (MACS 9) in California in October where he assumed the identity of the real Lee Harvey Oswald who had been in Japan, and then "defected" to Russia? As improbable as it seemed, the Oswald who served at the Marine base in California during the first half of 1959 constantly discussed politics, supported Castro, favored communism, read Russian literature, was suddenly able to speak fluent Russian, and "defected" to the USSR in October, 1959. This person was very different from the young Marine who had been in Japan only a month earlier, and appears to be a different individual.

As I read the Warren Commission testimony of people who knew Oswald in Dallas in 1962/63, I learned that this person's command of the Russian language was superb. One witness said that Oswald preferred speaking Russian, and remembered discussed classical Russian literature with him in the Russian language. Discussing classical Russian literature in the Russian language.....with no indication of any formal training in the language? I soon realized that it far easier to believe that the man accused of assassinating President Kennedy was a native speaking Russian, than it was to believe that he taught himself to speak Russian fluently while in the Marines (as reported by the Warren Commission).

I realized that if a "Lee Harvey Oswald" was in New Orleans and Japan at the same time, in 1957 and 1958, then both of these young men had lives and backgrounds both before and after the Marine Corps. The focus of my attention, therefore, was directed toward locating documents relating to "Lee Harvey Oswald" during the 1950's and early 1960's. Specifically, I began looking for documentation that placed "Lee Harvey Oswald" in different locations at the same time, documentation that recorded different physical descriptions and mannerisms, photographs of "Lee Harvey Oswald," and interviews with people who knew Oswald and his family. After speaking with Zack Stout and Palmer McBride, all of my effort and attention was focused exclusively on the life and background of "Lee Harvey Oswald" and, to a lesser degree, his "mother."


Collecting documents

The Dallas Public Library, as might be expected, has a large number of items related to the JFK assassination. One of the items in their collection is a set of 33 rolls of microfilm, which contain thousands of FBI documents relating to the assassination. These documents were released in 1978 through a freedom of information request, copied onto microfilm by UMI of Ann Arbor, MI, and are available to the public. Most of these documents were not published in the Warren Volumes and may never have been seen by the Commission. Over the years they have provided very important information and leads. One of these documents, an FBI interview of Mrs. Jack Tippit, provided a clue as to the nationality and childhood of the person who worked with McBride in New Orleans in 1957-the "Oswald" who continually discussed and supported communism and was accused of assassinating President Kennedy.

The day after the assassination the FBI's New York office received a telephone call from Mrs. Jack Tippit, of Westport, Connecticut. Mrs. Tippit told FBI Agent James McCarthy about a telephone call she had just received from a woman with a foreign accent. The woman had read an article in the newspaper that identified her husband, Jack Tippit, as a relative of slain Dallas Police Officer J. D. Tippit. After reading the article she decided to call the Tippits.

The woman told Mrs. Tippit that she was from New York and had come to Westport, CN to make the telephone call, so that the call could not be traced back to her as she was in fear of her life. The woman refused to identify herself and asked Mrs. Tippit not to say anything to the press, as "they" would know who she was and would kill her. The woman said, "She knew Oswald's father and uncle who were Hungarians and Communists." The woman continued, "Oswald's father and uncle had lived at 77th and 2nd Avenue in Yorkville, New York City, that while living there they both were unemployed, got their money from the Communists, and spent all their time on Communist activities."3


The information provided by the unidentified woman may or may not be accurate, but it does provide possible answers to many unanswered questions relating to New York City, as we shall soon see. If the Russian-speaking Oswald lived in New York City as a youth, as I believe he did, then he was groomed and trained by the Central Intelligence Agency over a 7-year period for the purpose of impersonating the American born Lee Harvey Oswald and then "defecting" to the Soviet Union.

The real Lee Harvey Oswald lived with his older brother (half-brother), John Edward Pic, for a few weeks in the fall of 1952 in New York City. When Pic testified before the Warren Commission he was asked to identify several photographs of "Lee Harvey Oswald," one of which was allegedly taken in 1953 at the Bronx Zoo. Pic testified, "Sir, from that photo I could not recognize that is Lee Harvey Oswald." Commission attorney Albert Jenner responded to Pic's answer by restating his question, "That young fellow is shown there, he doesn't look like you recall Lee looked in 1952 and 1953 when you saw him in New York City?" John Pic replied, "No, sir." 4 A comparison of Oswald's 6th grade class photo

with the "Bronx Zoo" photo

shown to Pic for identification shows that they are not the same boy.

NOTE: "Second Oswald" documents began appearing as early as 1953, when Oswald was just 13 years old.

The library at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) has a small collection of JFK related material that includes many original newspaper clippings from 1963 and 1964. One of the clippings was from the November 1, 1959 issue of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and concerned Oswald's "defection" to Russia.

What intrigued, and startled me, was the photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald-it didn't look anything like the Lee Harvey Oswald who was killed four years later by Jack Ruby nor did it look anything like most of the Oswald photographs published in the Warren Volumes. It did, however, look similar to a few of the photographs in Jack White's videotape, "The Many Faces of Lee Harvey Oswald." I then realized that the photographs in Jack White's video did indeed show the faces of two different "Lee Harvey Oswalds."


After leaving UTA, I drove to the office of the Fort Worth Star Telegram to see if I could locate an original of the photo that appeared in their 1959 article. To my surprise the photo was still in their files, but it was only 4" wide and 10" long, having been cut from an original 8 x 10 black and white photograph. Whoever or whatever had appeared to the right and left of Oswald had been "cropped" (cut) out. When I asked if I could purchase a copy of the photo I was told it was copyrighted and I would have to contact World Wide Photos in New York.


I contacted World Wide Photos and ordered an 8" x 10" black and white photo of "Oswald," at a cost of $65. This photograph is so different from the many photos I have seen of Lee Harvey Oswald that it was worth the cost.

The Oswald in this photograph looks like a football player, with a large, "bull neck," and a "large, wide nose." It looks nothing like the small, thin, frail-looking man accused of assassinating the President, and reminded me again of Jack White's video, "The Many Faces of Lee Harvey Oswald."

I telephoned Jack, in Fort Worth, and suggested that we gather all of our photos of Lee Harvey Oswald and put them together, chronologically, in a poster. Jack thought it was a good idea and the result was a poster that contains 77 photographs of "Lee Harvey Oswald."


As I continued to gather documents from the Dallas Public Library, the JFK collections at UTA and TCU, the Warren Volumes, the 33 rolls of microfilm, the New Orleans Historic Collection, the National Archives in Washington, DC, and other locations, I arranged them in chronological order in 3-ring notebook binders (today, after 10 years of gathering documents, I have over 100 binders). I placed the "official" (Warren Commission, FBI, Dallas Police, Secret Service, etc.) documents relating to Oswald's whereabouts in one set of binders and documents relating to a 2nd "Oswald" in a different set.

I soon had many documents that placed Oswald in two different locations at the same time, for each year from 1952 to 1963, and realized that two "Lee Harvey Oswalds" had been involved in some sort of intelligence operation from a very early age. I then visited the local library and sought out books on espionage in order to see if there was any indication that intelligence agencies (both foreign and domestic) were involved in the training of adolescents for use as future spies.

Intelligence Operations

I knew very little, if anything, about the world of spies, doubles and intelligence gathering. At the local library there was one book, "The History of Espionage," caught my attention. The book described various techniques used by spies throughout history. Of interest to me was the fact that identical twins and doubles were often recruited by intelligence agencies and trained as spies. One book, "Castro's Final Hour," had photographs of Cuba's top spies in the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's-Antonio and Patricio DeLaGuardia, identical twin brothers.

From these and other books I began to understand how twins or "look-alikes" could be used by intelligence agencies.

The physical similarities of twins allowed intelligence agencies to place an individual in different places at the same time. The first twin could be involved in an illegal or clandestine operation, while the second twin was in a different location among people who could provide an alibi. If the first twin was identified by witnesses as having committed a crime, then he/she could be apprehended by authorities. When questioned, the first twin would simply provide the names of witnesses who were with his twin in a different location when the crime was committed. When authorities interviewed those witnesses, and verified the story, the first twin would be released. Unless the authorities knew about the second twin, it would be very difficult to charge the first twin with a crime. In a professional and carefully planned covert operation no one would realize what had happened, and both twins would walk away.

A similar "covert operation" could involve one of the twins, "C" (criminal), committing a crime while the second twin, "P" (the Patsy), was in a different location and knew nothing about what has happening. Twin "C" would commit the crime in the presence of witnesses, but twin "P" would be identified as the culprit and subsequently arrested. "P" would adamantly deny any involvement in the crime, but with numerous witnesses he would not be believed. If the crime was serious, and twin "P" was killed before having a chance to tell authorities about his twin, then the truth about the crime might never be known.

An operation involving twins or look-alikes, if carefully planned, is almost sure to succeed and the use of twins has provided intelligence agencies with "plausible deniability" for years, which allowed them to deny any involvement. "Plausible deniability" became an integral part of CIA operations, and was also a term used often by CIA Director Allen Dulles to explain away troubling situations.

According to reference books at the local library, intelligence agencies in Russia, the US, Britain, Germany, Japan, and other countries have at one time or another placed undercover agents in every major country of the world. They exercise great care in selecting candidates for infiltration and undercover missions and one of the requirements is an intimate knowledge of the local language. It is also necessary that the agents meet the target nation's ethnic or racial characteristics.

There is little point in sending a blue-eyed, blonde agent to infiltrate China, Korea, Iraq, or an African country even if the agent could speak the language perfectly, because the physical characteristics are so different. And there is little point in sending an American person, taught in the United States to speak a Slavic, Oriental, or African language to infiltrate these countries because they would most likely speak with an accent. One way to avoid the problems of physical appearance and accent is to recruit local residents or former residents living abroad. This method is often quite tenuous and, for current and former residents of the target country, potentially dangerous-if caught they could be charged with treason and shot.

One day I was watching a television program that dealt with the history of spies and espionage. One segment of the program was devoted to Mata Hari, a young French woman who was a professional dancer in the early 1900's. She had been recruited by French intelligence to spy on the Germans, but while on tour in Germany was recruited by German intelligence to spy on the French-a classic "double agent." When the Germans sent her to Berlin for espionage training, they provided a "double" or "look-alike" to take her place on her dancing tours throughout Europe-but no one noticed that Mata Hari had been impersonated. While spying on the French Mata Hari was arrested and charged with espionage. The French court found her guilty and she was executed. The significance of Mata Hari is that intelligence agencies used doubles over 100 years ago.

Another segment of the television program dealt with a spy operating in Britain in the early 1960's. He was born Konan Trofimovich Molodi, in Moscow in 1922, and was the son of a Soviet science writer. In 1929, at the age of 7, he was sent to Berkeley, California to live with his aunt, who posed as his mother. While in the US he mastered the English language and became quite familiar with American culture, customs, and history.

In 1939, at the age of 17, Molodi returned to the Soviet Union where he received a commission in the Soviet Navy and was trained in espionage. In 1954, at the age of 32, he was provided with fake documents and given the identity of a deceased Canadian citizen named Gordon Arnold Lonsdale. Molodi/Lonsdale soon boarded a Soviet grain ship for Vancouver, Canada where, upon arrival, his fake documents allowed him to enter the country where he lived for a year.

In February 1955, Gordon Lonsdale journeyed to England where enrolled in the School of Oriental and African Studies and remained for the next two years. While at the school he started a business that rented jukeboxes and manufactured bubble-gum machines. This business eventually provided him with access to a British Naval base, but his real purpose was spying out British defense secrets at the Royal Navy's underwater weapons facility.

In 1961 Lonsdale and four of his colleagues were arrested and charged with violating the "British Official Secrets Act." After checking immigration records the British authorities learned that Lonsdale had emigrated from Canada to Britain in 1955. They asked Canadian authorities to conduct a background search on Lonsdale and learned that he was born near the small town of Cobalt, Ontario, near the Quebec-Ontario border. The town was populated by less than 1000 inhabitants that consisted of itinerant miners, prospectors, ranchers, and local farmers.

Gordon Lonsdale was the son of a Canadian father, Emanuel Lonsdale, and a Finnish mother, Olga. In the 1920's it was common practice to register the birth of a child at the local church, provided the parents were attendees. If the parents were not attendees, then the birth of a child may not have been registered anywhere. This made people born in remote Canadian regions, such as Lonsdale in Cobalt, Ontario, prime candidates for imposture.

When the Canadian authorities arrived in Cobalt, they found that Emanuel Lonsdale still lived at Kirkland Lake. Mr. Lonsdale told the authorities that his former wife, Olga, left Canada in 1932 and returned to Finland with young Gordon, who died while en route. Had it not been for Mr. Lonsdale, the Canadian authorities would probably never have known that the real Gordon Lonsdale died as an infant, since it occurred outside of Canada. The Soviet police (KGB), upon learning of Lonsdale's death, created fake documents using his name that they provided to Konan Molodi.

The information provided by Canadian authorities helped to convict Molodi/Lonsdale and four members of his spy ring of espionage. Molodi/Lonsdale was sentenced to 25 years in prison but, in 1964, was exchanged for British agent Greville Wynne. When Lonsdale died several years later in Moscow, from natural causes, he was acknowledged as a "Hero of the Soviet Union."

The story of Molodi/Lonsdale provided an opportunity to follow the life of a spy whose recruitment and grooming began at an early age. His relocation to the US for nine years, intelligence training in Russia, emigration to Canada and Britain, his vending machine business, his arrest and imprisonment-every aspect of Molodi/Lonsdale's life revolved around his work as a spy. I realized that if Russian intelligence agencies began grooming people at such a young age, then our own intelligence agencies were certainly capable of running similar operations.

I began to wonder if the "Lee Harvey Oswald" who was accused of assassinating President Kennedy had a background similar to Molodi/Lonsdale. Was this Russian speaking man brought to the US after the end of WWII, along with tens of thousands of other refugees, and re-settled in New York City with his father and uncle? Was he given the name "Lee Harvey Oswald" and did he live in the same cities and attend the same schools as the real Lee Harvey Oswald in order to assume his identity 7 years later prior to "defecting" to the Soviet Union? If the real Lee Harvey Oswald and a foreign born "look-alike" were recruited by the CIA at a very young age, there should be indications of two Oswalds from the early 1950's to the death of the Russian-speaking Oswald on November 24, 1963.

The following chapters begin with a chronological history of the Oswald family background and the birth of Lee Harvey Oswald. From Lee Harvey Oswald's birth in 1939 until the death of the Russian-speaking Oswald on November 24, 1963, I have attempted to reconstruct the lives of both individuals from evidence, interviews and testimony of people who knew them, and photographs. The reader should keep in mind that if there were two people named Lee Harvey Oswald, and they were involved in an intelligence operation in which the President of the United States was assassinated, then we should expect that most of the truly compelling data related to this impersonation has already been destroyed. The remaining evidence, however, provides a glimpse into the life of one of the most misunderstood people, and one of the most tragic events, in the history of this country.