This interview was recorded on July 7 2021 at Malcolm Blunt’s residence. JFK assassination researcher Bart Kamp talked with Malcolm generically about his huge archive which he started to digitize in Feb 2019. This is the first episode of about 4 or 5 which will be recorded over the next six months.
Blunt is one of the JFK researchers who has spent the most time looking through the newly declassified JFK files that were released following the Oliver Stone JFK movie. This interview gives you a feel of this information and the lay of the land so to speak in the archives.
If you love Malcolm’s studies then order The Devil is in the Details: Alan Dale with Malcolm Blunt on the assassination of President Kennedy. Order it at Amazon by clicking here.
TRANSCRIPT OF TALK:
0:00:00.0 Bart Kamp: Good day, everybody. Today is the 7th of July, 2021. My name’s Bart Kamp. I’m sitting here with Malcolm Blunt and Peter Antill’s present as well. And we’re just going have a loose talk about Malcolm’s archive, where Malcolm has basically had a collection for 25 years worth of research, which I got into touch with. We’re going start from the very beginning, and this is going to be just a generic talk. There will be some episodes following in where we’re going go into finer details because of the incredible amount of documentation we’ve come across. And yeah, why don’t we just start? First of all, I’ve got to ask you, we met for the first time in 2016 at the DPUK seminar in Canterbury, where I did a presentation on, The Second Floor Lunch Room Encounter, the Interrogations of Oswald, the Texas School Book Depository and Prayer Man. It was two times in one hour, and you had to leave on a Sunday. And you gave a USB stick with documents and I went through them and it was a lot of varied stuff that contained documents on the Central Intelligence Agency, and especially what got my interest was the document on Oswald, and what the CIA was very good at is actually put Oswald’s movements together over four pages.
0:01:51.2 BK: That was a really good quality document because it was just summarized, very succinct and it took just the major elements and also the part of that document was that you could really compare it between employees of the Texas School Book Depository. So they’ve done an excellent job on that particular thing.
0:02:12.9 Malcom Blunt: They’re capable of doing really good analysis. They really are, yeah.
0:02:19.4 BK: Yeah. So that was it. I just wanted… My only question with regards to that introduction, because why did you give me that stick? And I’ve got a second question is also the original contact that we had that day that weekend in end of April of 2016 was that you asked me to get some digital copies of some of Harry Livingstone’s tapes, you asked me about. That was actually the first thing. So that would be the first question, you asked me about that. Little did I know how much it actually was, because you just went, “Oh, it’s only a handful of tapes.” And there proved to be about, altogether between 200 and 300 with yours mixed in, but especially the USB sticks with the documents. And I wonder if it had anything to do with that I had presented with a lot of documentation and so doing that. I don’t know if you remember.
0:03:19.6 MB: I think I was immediately struck by the fact that you presented well and that you were someone that was very interested in the case, deeply interested in the case, and wanted to learn more and wanted to analyze in depth. I think that’s what struck me from the presentations, the presentations, because that was the first time I actually saw you present. I thought it was excellent work.
0:03:50.3 BK: Thanks.
0:03:51.0 MB: And since then, you’ve done the interrogations and that’s really… I went back to that recently, ’cause it’s in one of my upstairs filing cabinets, and I thought, “Well, it’s about time I really had to dig through this.” And I really took a look at it and the analysis is excellent, really.
0:04:14.8 BK: Yeah, it was fun to do.
0:04:15.7 MB: I mean, you’re a wasted talent. You should give up photography.
0:04:21.1 BK: [laughter] As if. Yeah, well we personally is that… At that time, 2016 and the years before that, accessibility to documentation overall was scarce. The archives only put certain personnel files together of people from say, Jack Docherty and so forth. And a lot of these so called employee files were duplicates and very basic things as being invited to or summoned to talk for the Warren Commission, do the deposition and so forth, but it wasn’t enough. And I was a novice when it came to that. I knew I was aware of documentation. I looked in Armstrong’s archive because that was one of the few archives that was readily available for people to go through. Not the easiest to plow though, but it was there. And my first thing was like, “Well, first of all, all this stuff needs to come out,” and then you gave me that USB stick and I really needed to learn and to see how the documentation works. Every agency has its own little tidbits on those documents when it comes to headers, scribbles, stamps, and so forth. So that’s something to learn of and get acquainted with.
0:05:49.3 MB: Oh, sure. I mean, when we look at FBI documents, especially from the… Around the period that you’re interested in, the early days. The very early days, the first few days, always flip the documents over because you’ve got lots of time stamps, date stamps and signatures about when the information came in and who got it along the chain.
0:06:10.8 BK: Yeah, and you’ve actually gone through that because you know when Hoover signed something or Allen Dulles wrote something or… Is this just because you went through so many documents and then you basically got…
0:06:23.6 MB: I think so, because you get to learn the handwriting, get to recognize the handwriting. The most significant one really, one of the most significant finds I think was Cadigan’s, James Cadigan, the question document examiner, because what that did was blow a hole in the whole government chain of evidence because he said, he testified that. To… I think it was Eisenberg was in the staff for the Warren Commission staff with one person there, sat there. One person, and that was Allen Dulles, as that testimony was given. Mr. Dulles was a sharp dude. He knew there was a problem. And the problem is, of course, they grabbed the evidence early. Hundreds of items went in.
0:07:18.9 BK: Yeah, ’cause it’s common knowledge that certain Warren Commission members were barely there. They only came to specific meetings and such, but it’s known that Dulles and Rankin and Bellin and they were just…
0:07:35.7 MB: Dulles was really micro-managing a lot of the uncomfortable testimony. You know the famous story with Jesse Curry. He got to either 11:15 or 11:30 in the morning and when Jesse Curry was starting to talk about the pressures coming from Washington for the evidence, all the evidence to lead Dulles, this was on the night of the 22nd of November, and he’s starting to talk about the pressures and where this pressure was coming from, and immediately Dulles jumps in. Allen Dulles jumps in and says, “I think we’ll take a lunch break.” This is not the first time when you look through Dulles, he calls lunch breaks early. After lunch, whatever period of time we’re looking at, he restarts after lunch by saying to Jesse Curry, Chief Curry. He says, “Chief Curry, before lunch we were talking about Detective Revill.” So the whole conversation has been buried. And when you look at the transcripts of the testimony, the original testimony in the Warren Commission, find great big blanks and spaces, obviously doctored. Obviously doctored.
0:09:12.5 BK: So I’m gonna go back to the very beginning. Why did you create your own archive?
0:09:25.0 MB: I don’t think it was a creation of an archive so much, it was just the acquisition of stuff, stuff that… Because I looked at a… I tend to look at stuff that way instead of that way. Some people are very focused on their research and they don’t go outside of those lines. But right from the get-go, I wanted to look at lots of things. It’s a big case, and a lot of people were involved. A lot of organizations were involved. And you can’t, to my mind, I don’t think you can exclude things because you’ll find connections right on the periphery which connect to something in the center. So yeah, I think it was the acquisition of stuff that may come in useful in the future. I mean, some of the stuff, obviously, you know that I copied, was not stuff I was particularly interested in at the time. But as the years go on, you think, “Oh, thank goodness I copied that.”
0:10:46.3 BK: I’ve learned that when I started to digitize your collection.
0:10:53.8 MB: So it didn’t start as a meaningful archive. It was just the acquisition of stuff with the idea that some of this stuff could be useful in the future.
0:11:03.0 BK: Yeah, definitely. I mean, there are many facets that have been barely touched or if they have been, they just scraped off the surface and they ought to dig deeper by going through the documentation and such and that allows them to…
0:11:16.5 MB: I think it terrifies a lot of people, that the sheer volume of documents…
0:11:21.5 BK: Yeah, I know. That’s the thing as well. It’s terrified me.
0:11:23.3 MB: You have to wrestle with NARA. It’s just huge.
0:11:27.3 BK: Yeah. You’ve done the hard work. That’s the thing. But let’s just get back to the beginning. But Dallas was your first port of call when it comes to evidence?
0:11:36.4 MB: Sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
0:11:37.5 BK: So you went to the Dallas Municipal Archives, Cindy Smolovich who assisted you?
0:11:43.5 MB: Excellent, excellent person. Very supportive and couldn’t do enough really to help. I mean, later on, at NARA, I found a difference. Some people weren’t so helpful. But the first experience with the archive that I was working with in those records was excellent. It was really good.
0:12:09.8 BK: When did you start? Was it the middle of the ’90s, or?
0:12:13.5 MB: I think it was just about a year after I [0:12:16.7] ____ asked, so that would’ve been ’94.
0:12:23.3 BK: Right, right. So you obviously already partially answered the question about that you wanted to see the many facets and aspects of it as such, and that you therefore also branched out with the Cubans. But before I get to the Cubans actually, you worked together with John Armstrong in those years as well. How did that work? Did you just give him all the work that you had done? Did he have access to all of it? Because I…
0:12:57.3 MB: Totally open access. Totally. I was looking for… I mean, I was almost programmed to look for Oswald stuff through the FBI files, through the Oswald files, the 105 files, the 110 461 files, JFK investigation files, the 62 series file, the 89A series files. There’s just masses of stuff which contain information on Oswald and then related organizations like INS. Obviously CIA to a certain extent, but not too much. Really, the focus was on mainly the FBI files because there was so much stuff there.
0:13:45.8 BK: There is.
0:13:46.2 MB: So much material.
0:13:47.3 BK: There is an unbelievable amount of material and…
0:13:49.3 MB: And when you go into the field office files it gets even more, we’re talking, it’s huge. Hundreds and hundreds of boxes… Hundreds and hundreds of boxes of material. And You get to this stuff when the review board is looking at some of the FBI files. And what interested me, particularly when I got to the ARB looking at the FBI files, was the file destructions they had. The FBI were destroying files right into the mid-90s. They destroyed files on Sergio Arcacha-Smith with New Orleans interest. Masses and masses of stuff, they were destroying. Jack Ruby Files were destroyed.
0:14:44.4 BK: When you went for… So the collaboration with Armstrong… What was it till… I mean, from a research point of view and getting the stuff that he used for his book. What was that, till ’98 or something like that? And did you then decide to go into the Cuban thing or was it… Did it overflow or how did that actually…
0:15:03.8 MB: Yeah, I think there was a bit of mix and match because we’re still doing work… Working with John on the Oswald thing through ’98, ’99. But then I got to meet Gordon Winslow in Miami and got into the Cuban stuff as well, so…
0:15:23.9 BK: What fascinated you about the Cuban stuff?
0:15:28.4 MB: I thought there was… I think I saw a reverse engineer of that from the Watergate. I saw these characters that turned up in the Watergate. They were all Cuban exiles involved in the burglary, and that was… That interested me. And I thought, “What was the outgrowths of these? What organizations did they belong to? What Cuban exile groups did they belong to? And then Bernard Barker… Who was he, where did he come from?” And then you discover he’s a CIA asset. There’s lots, lots of interesting stuff in the Cuban collusion.
0:16:08.8 BK: Yep, I totally agree that it’s very interesting, but I also find it that it’s like a… It’s like a thick tree with many branches on it as such. I think Dallas isn’t…
0:16:26.8 MB: I would agree with that, definitely.
0:16:27.4 BK: Yeah, Dallas isn’t that branched out as much as the Cubans are because the Cubans, the Cryptonyms, for operations and people as such are just numerous and…
0:16:40.4 MB: Endless. [laughter]
0:16:41.8 BK: Yeah, and endless. Numerous and endless. The amount of it as well… Those people that listen… Are listening in, they should go to Mary Ferrell because Mary Ferrell has an incredible collection on the Cuban files. There’s a good amount in Malcolm’s archives, but in this case, it gets surpassed by Mary Ferrell because of the amount of material they basically plastered on the website and such.
0:17:08.1 MB: Although I have to say, some of the stuff on my Cuban research didn’t make it back to here. A lot of this stuff that I copied in ’98, ’99 actually went to Baylor via Ed Sherry.
0:17:30.8 BK: Okay.
0:17:31.2 MB: So that stuff is in… A lot of my Cuban stuff is at Poage Library at Baylor in Waco.
0:17:38.3 BK: That’s good to know.
0:17:40.6 MB: Yeah, so that’s the end of Ed Sherry’s connection.
0:17:45.7 BK: Right. Okay. So, you did this for about three years, roughly?
0:17:50.3 MB: Yeah, I would say so, yeah.
0:17:52.7 BK: So, the logical connection to the Agency is there, of course, because you see all the shenanigans in the background and all the documentation about this, and the involvement of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Cuban exiles, and so forth.
0:18:09.7 MB: Well, there’s much more, much more released during the tenure at the review board. John Newman really worked miracles with Oswald in the CIA because he was working from heavily redacted documents. Having managed to do what he did, it was a miracle, really. He did it very, very well.
0:18:31.0 BK: He Also has a very good perception of what’s written and what’s scribbled and what stamps mean, etcetera etcetera…
0:18:39.5 MB: Yeah, yeah. We’ve talked about that, at length.
0:18:43.7 BK: Yeah? [laughter]
0:18:45.4 MB: Yeah, I think he did well. But then later on, of course, when he was almost in reverse, that’s when lots of documentation came out with lots of extra material. And he really wasn’t… He had done his bit. He’d done his… He carried his load.
0:19:05.8 BK: He did the ground work, yeah.
0:19:07.8 MB: With that first… Was it 2 million documents, the first release?
0:19:13.7 BK: Yeah.
0:19:14.1 MB: In the early 90s, and he’d been through that with Peter Dale Scott. And I think they looked through a lot of this stuff. And then later, following the review board’s directive there was a lot of… A lot more meat on the bone. A really good CIA releases everything, not so heavily redacted. And they actually released… 2003 they released the CIA segregated files from microfilm, which a lot of the stuff was… Which was never even looked at by the heads of their committee. It was gathered, but they didn’t have time to look at it. So all that stuff was released as well.
0:20:04.9 BK: Speaking of the ARB, this was around the time that you were actually… Started to delve into documents first, Dallas then the Cubans, and then the agency as such. Did you have any involvement with the ARB? Chats, talks, pointers or did you…
0:20:28.0 MB: I used to write… I remember writing to Thomas Samoluk a few times, and I saw… I met Irene Sullivan at the ARB offices in Washington a few times. Some suggestions, ideas where they should look, what they should look at. But I mean, they were getting that from hundreds of people. I mean, they’re getting lots of… Where you should be looking.
0:20:57.0 BK: I know, but also at the same time, there was a lot of people that basically sent their thesis or their idea of what happened during…
0:21:05.2 MB: Absolutely.
0:21:06.0 BK: And wrote to the ARB and go, “Well, this is my piece, this is what I’m thinking,” and I’m thinking, “You’re wasting the ARB’s time with these so-called… ” Well, some of them, at least are.
0:21:18.4 MB: They were some people also who said that the ARB was sent on a wild goose chase with the Mexico City stuff. They really dug into the Mexico City and tried to work out what was going on with Oswald, and the rest of it is like… I’m always… With that stuff, I think it’s… In my opinion, I think it’s just a rabbit trail. You can never get it, you never get anywhere with it.
0:21:52.2 BK: You called it the swamp, before, the swamp.
0:21:56.1 MB: That was the conversation I had with John at the archives.
0:22:00.2 BK: I mean, from what I’ve read from the archive, I think there’s not much to support actually that Oswald was there, because the so-called fellow passages in Laredo, you’ve got a fair amount of work on that. Hardly anyone can substantiate that Oswald was on that bus. The way Duran was treated by the Mexican police.
0:22:24.0 MB: When we go back like you always do, you try and, with your material in Dallas, you’re trying to go back and see what really happened in the beginning. If you look at what happened in the beginning with Oswald’s entry into Mexico, boy, that is fascinating because it’s…
0:22:38.8 BK: Yeah, that is. It is very good.
0:22:41.0 MB: It’s all over the place. In those first few days, they just cannot get the story right. Can’t get it right.
0:22:48.3 BK: In this case, and it doesn’t matter with what I’m doing with the Second Floor Lunch Room Encounter or with the interrogations, the best way to find out is put it in the timeline manner and go… The documentation and the dating.
0:23:00.2 MB: Well, you’re very much like John Armstrong. That’s exactly how he works. Timelines, timelines, chronos. Really, he’s really into that.
0:23:07.3 BK: Who said what at what time.
0:23:08.3 MB: They always used to say that to me, “You gotta do… You gotta be disciplined about this. Look at the timelines, look at the chronos.” You two are so alike.
0:23:18.5 BK: Somebody’s laughing very hard right now. Or actually, a few people would be laughing very hard right now. But anyway, [laughter] You got me on that one. What I tell the crowd is this. So in 2018, I just had an operation, and I came out, and Malcolm… Because the thing with the offer to digitize the tapes from Harry Livingstone, Harrison Edward Livingstone, to digitize. And he said, “Oh, it’s a handful.” And I said, “Okay. So I’ll tell you what, I’ll come over, because I’ve been in the hospital for 10 days and I’ve had enough and I need some movement.” And my leg was wrapped up and it looked like a balloon, and I had it in one of these so-called boots you strap on. And the so-called handful of tapes became about 200… Between, around 250 cassette tapes, and… Which was really interesting. And then I got to Tetbury, and Tetbury is a place about 45 minutes and it’s in the middle of the Cotswolds, Cotswolds, and we went into a property that Malcolm had, and he stored his archives, but also Harry’s… Harry Livingstone’s archive. And there were about 35 plastic cases filled with folders neatly organized and cassette tapes, and the next thing I knew, I had a whole bag, a big shopping bag, filled with tapes to take home.
0:25:05.3 BK: And it’s a lot, it’s a fair amount of work, but the good thing about tapes is that you can just press the button and hit record on your computer and walk away, and afterwards you just edit it a little bit down, the tape flip, you edit that out and you have the recording digitized. So it’s not that difficult, it’s not that labor-intensive. You can do other things at the same time, but what then became obvious was that there was a load of material, obviously regarding the autopsy and the medical material. And Livingstone is, was a meticulous researcher as well, but the thing what he did and what a lot of people should praise him for, is the fact that he called everybody. He called everybody. When I say everybody, he called everybody, and he called them like… He called three, four people in a row, had just… Had the tape playing and just recorded it non-stop. Didn’t make it easier for me because I had to re-record things and stuff like that and edit, but it was quite daring. It was something that not many researchers dared to do by just risking it, and there were a few phone calls that are quite rude and that are quite funny, but on top of that, there came his work and Livingstone is different than you are in the sense that if he had…
0:26:32.4 BK: Two or three people involved in a certain chapter of a book, he would make three copies and he would make… Because all these files were aimed at the person itself, so if you had a fat file that was two inches thick and it just said Dr. Fink, then everything about Fink, in all these books, was in there, but at the same time, maybe Dr. Berkley was there, Admiral Berkley there, had a same involvement in something and such, then that passage or those pages from the book was in that particular file as well, which brings me to yours, you had no real system in place, because what I found out, for instance, was that it was all over the place.
0:27:09.5 MB: Correct.
0:27:10.5 BK: There is no… It’s devoid of organization in a normal sense.
0:27:16.2 MB: And I’m not excusing it because it’s chaotic and I sympathize with anybody just trying to put it in some sort of order. But what it does is it makes you look at your files. I know so many people, researchers, they have their files and they’re all nice, and they never look at them, they never look at them, very rarely.
0:27:40.0 BK: Yeah, they’ve put it all neatly away, but yeah, yeah, that’s quite an interesting point. But at the same time, it was incredibly frustrating for me to go through, because then a folder set like Marina Oswald, and you go open it and then you go, “But that’s DOJ, and that’s Robert Cooch, and that’s Hoover and that’s Dulles, and it’s got nothing to do with Marina.” And things got moved around and I ended up creating a system that just happened while I went through the whole thing, because… Let me get back to the story, is that the first few months, I worked on the Livingstone files for about three months, and then in Feb. 2019, Malcolm works from 9 till 5 roughly, but I go because I go and I’m in hog heaven because there’s documentation left, right and center, and then go, “This isn’t in the book. I don’t know about this, I don’t know about this.” So one evening, after dinner, we had dinner together and then I went back, “Are you going back in?” “Yeah, I’m going back in. I’m gonna just do another four hours.” And I go back in and then I started to look at Malcolm’s material because I was sitting in the front room and Malcolm sat in the back between his chest of drawers that he had, file drawers and I had a room where all the plastic cases were and with all the files from Harry, and then I started to…
0:29:08.1 BK: And I’m fairly familiar with what was available on Baylor and just in general, what has been posted on forums and such, but then I pick up an ATCA report on Will Fritz, for instance, and nobody knew about this, and I was like, “Well, this is gold.” And then I just went through it and I was like, “But I’ve got to do this and I’ve got to… ” There is so much stuff in here that no one knows about or has published, or it’s not available online, or people have been talking about it, and especially in the bit that I’m talking about, is Oswald’s last 48 hours roughly, that there was so much in there, and I was like, “But nobody will notice unless I put this out.” Because I was like… And that changed everything, because what was supposed to be a little job, then turned into a job that was gonna be for another four or five months because you were selling the property and such.
0:30:06.6 MB: Sure.
0:30:08.7 BK: But it just kept going on and on and on. And basically, due to that, the structure of the whole thing, because at first you only gave me the old files, which have certain perforations in the papers and such, three and two, and the color of the folders as well, because they were dark green instead of…
0:30:28.1 MB: They’re different.
0:30:28.9 BK: Forest green, yeah, and you said, “That’s the old stuff, if you find them, take them.” “Okay, fine.” So all of a sudden, my work, I wouldn’t say quadrupled, I’d say increased tenfold basically because of the amount of material you had, and it was just all just stuck in drawers. There are names on there, this, that and the other. But the funny thing was, and I’ll talk about what for me was just the biggest gold nugget I found was the Hosty document. And the funny thing was that I just opened the drawer and just picked one folder and just took it out and I was like, “Oh, this says Hosty, okay, let’s have a look.” And there was about 100 pages of notes in it, and some of them were quite bleached out, like third, fourth generation copy type of stuff, and I was just going, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.” And then I started reading and it’s the handwritten notes that get to me because the handwritten notes always mention something that’s not typed out, that’s my experience, and especially with the interrogations of Oswald, handwritten notes are different, and this happened to be a notation on… About four paragraphs of material on Oswald’s interrogation, and first of all, I was like, “Wow, I haven’t seen this before.”
0:31:49.1 BK: And of course the Prayer Man theme then comes in about Oswald standing outside and watching the parade, watching the presidential parade, and to me that was just like, such dynamite, that I was like, “Yeah, this is just absolutely amazing.” And the funny thing is that it happened at the beginning while I was doing it, just like the first week in February, so that meant for me right away like, “I’ve gotta go through this whole collection.” Because one piece of paper… And I just went, and there’s like 20 file cabinets and I’m going, “Umm, am I actually… ” And because it was that disorganized and such, it basically… There is stuff that doesn’t interest me. Personally, I don’t care much about…
0:32:38.5 BK: Talk about HSCA and CIA and stuff like that. I mean, there are certain people that come forward that, again, I have never heard of it before, that had acquired a lot of correspondence and such between each other during those times, especially Blakey and… What’s his name? His name eludes me, from the agency. I’ll get back to it in a sec. So you have all these patterns of people that are in correspondence with each other, which of course I had absolutely no knowledge of whatsoever, but that made me even more fanatical about wanting to go through the old files and especially look at the FBI stuff. And of course, you start to look at the Minox, you start to look at the evidence itself and I started reading your article and I’m going, “Well, he’s done his homework. He’s got… Well, there’s at least 8 inches of paperwork on just the evidence.” Of course, there’s duplicates, this, that, and the other, but at the same time, there’s a lot of depth about it, and you come, at the end of all that paperwork, you came out with six scenarios in that article and you said, “Either he did this, either he did that.” Or such and such because the dates don’t match up, there’s something really iffy going on, but they don’t… I don’t know whether they wanna throw… Deliberately on a confusing trail to confuse you, or whether they are… They were just so sloppy and departments just didn’t work properly.
0:34:12.3 MB: Well, that’s another huge…
0:34:14.0 BK: It’s an enigma.
0:34:15.3 MB: A huge set of materials to look at, which is the bulkies, and I gave you the index for the bulkies.
0:34:24.7 BK: Yeah.
0:34:25.1 MB: Which was many, many pages. And it’s just like loads and loads of material in there relating to the early stuff.
0:34:34.1 BK: Yeah.
0:34:35.0 MB: So that stuff’s really… Those are really essential files to look at.
0:34:39.8 BK: Scott Breckinridge, that was his name, who was whatever. Blakey and then Scott Breckinridge basically talking about files, this, that and the other, and always constant bickering about trying to get the files back or… And just things like that. But they are stories by itself.
0:34:53.9 MB: But the difficulty is, you see, you’re talking about the evidence and how it was handled the photographic evidence, how this stuff went backwards and forwards in that first few weeks, I think. And they were trying there both… But what the FBI were doing was… And John Hunt found this, that John found exactly what I found, there was constant renumbering by the FBI. And it was all done to obscure holes, bloody great big holes in what they were doing. The actual… The Dallas Police evidence film was just screwed around with, totally screwed around with. And I tried to make sense but you’ve got the paperwork on that, but you can see, you can see what they were trying to do. But further along the line, all that stuff was renumbered. All the evidence, the numbers are changed, and are changed again, and are changed again, and are changed again. And you kinda…
0:36:01.9 BK: This is the same with the…
0:36:03.4 MB: But that’s what John was doing. John Hunt was doing, was actually clarifying all that stuff. Actually pushing it back together so you could understand it. And then of course he died, suddenly, suddenly.
0:36:18.4 BK: Suddenly.
0:36:20.1 BK: Let’s not go there.
0:36:21.1 MB: You have a written…
0:36:21.6 BK: Suspicious.
0:36:22.8 MB: Yeah.
0:36:24.1 MB: Karate chop or something… Yeah.
0:36:26.7 BK: So that’s a really good example of what’s in your archive, because if I were to advise anyone who is interested in this subject, you can watch a documentary, but the issue with a documentary is that you have somebody basically summarizing the entire paperwork load into one sentence or two sentences, and that’s what you, exactly, that’s what you got to deal with. And whereas that’s a really… That’s a really bad thing because if you really wanna make sense of it, you have to go through the paperwork, and then, even once you’ve done that, you’d still need 20 minutes just to explain in a nutshell type of form and say like, “Well, this is actually what happened.” Now, I understand that documentaries wanna try and get as many different bits together to basically come to some story, but it couldn’t be further removed from the actual story as such, because the actual nuances and the actual people that are involved et cetera, et cetera, give you an entirely different picture of what actually people are saying and such. Now, this is what I found out with the interrogations for instance, because my opinion at first was that, of the four papers that I’m writing, I thought it was gonna be the easiest paper of all.
0:37:47.0 BK: And yet, it turned out to be the most difficult one because, and that’s another thing, I didn’t know there was that much of it actually written about the interrogations, whereas there was very little available online at that time, until I got… Well, I managed to get bits from an archive here and there, this, that and the other, and they had a pretty cool story together, but it was nothing until I got into your archive, because then I managed to basically… I got some kind of a lightning bolt in my head because I was like, “I need to put this in a timeline.” What I inadvertently did with the Second Floor Lunch Room Encounter paper was I did it in a timeline sense because I just said, “I’m gonna start and I’m going to use Baker and Truly’s route through the building.” That was the timeline without calling it a timeline.
0:38:41.2 BK: And when I wrote on the interrogations paper, the first two years… It was, it was cluttered and it was 450 pages almost, and then I decided to turn everything around because when I was watching two videos, I understood that the videos were from opposite angles, so it was one, it’s the bit where Oswald has been indicted for murdering Tippit at quarter past 7 on the 22nd, and there was a camera that basically was aiming at room 317. Fritz’s robbery and homicide bureau and coming out, and he said, “I’ve been given a hearing without legal representation,” and he said, “I think you should know, sir, I didn’t shoot any one blah, blah, blah, but… ” Then there was a camera, which is right next to the elevator entrance, which is only 20 feet away, but because everybody shoots in wide angle, it looks the longest corridor in the world, and he films basically like that.
0:39:39.4 BK: So, it’s like an L-shaped form with the long, short bit on the entrance and then the corridor shot, and it was the same sequence basically, but shot from different angles, and then I knew also from the paperwork, that there was another video where he came from the Davis Sisters line up, half an hour later, and that was roughly at twenty to eight, and that’s filmed as well. It’s the patsy sequence before he gets dragged back into the room as such. So, when I knew I could place those at the time, I went, you know what, that’s the answer to what you’re doing. You need to put it in timeline fashion, because then… So I ended up basically chucking out 140 pages of material which I dropped on my website, because a lot of it also had nothing to do with the actual interrogation.
0:40:33.8 MB: Should be a book. You know, because it’s very readable. It’s seamless.
0:40:39.4 BK: Yeah.
0:40:39.8 MB: You’ve done a good job with that. You know, that needs to be in a book, really.
0:40:45.0 MB: I don’t know. You know what? The things is, what I did in the PDF, was because I put the documents right there at that time. This Viceberg did similar, a similar method. Yeah but, I mean, it was also cluttered and all over the place, but, I was like, well, you know what, one pet egg of mine, with a book is that I have to go to the back of the book, because I’m like, “Oh yeah. What you base that on,” and then I have to go to the back of the book and find out and go, “Oh, warm the pork blah, blah, blah.” I’m going, don’t you have a book like JFK and the Unspeakable, this is 12 1300 page book. Your wrist is absolutely buggered at the end of it because you can’t hold it properly, it’s too big, and you keep going backwards and forward. It was actually that book.
0:41:33.4 BK: The fact that I’m in interactive technology has also got something to do. And I was like, I want everything right there. So if I say This is what happened, everything is linked, or it’s right there in front of you and you go, “Oh Yeah, it’s right there. Okay, I get it.” So if it were to have to be a book, it would be in this similar vein as such be good. I wouldn’t have, I’d have an index with mentionings, and so on but the actual source note as such would be the document or the link to an interactive thing. And that’s why I did that. That’s why I did PDFs. And the other thing is also PDFs, you can edit, so, I’ve done six versions now of the interrogation, of the Second Floor Lunch Room paper, and four, this is my 4th edit coming out in a few months on the interrogations and such, and I was just like…
0:42:20.6 MB: You can always just refine it and refine it. That’s good.
0:42:21.1 BK: Tweaking it and tweaking it. Yeah, just, you know. But that was for me at that point, so, back to the timeline matter, is also, it gave me a sense of completion and go on like, “Well, this bit is covered really well, I don’t have to add anything to this anymore. I don’t have to speculate,” which I hate anyway, and I just the documentation that’s the topic.
0:42:49.0 MB: It’s always a big danger. You know.
0:42:51.6 BK: Many writers do this.
0:42:53.7 MB: And it’s very tempting.
0:42:55.4 BK: It’s really like probably or maybe, I think that I believe…
0:43:00.8 MB: It might well be, it may well be, it’s possibly that, yeah…
0:43:04.3 BK: Exactly, so, but that was for me also the reason then I go, “No, I’m just gonna shove the evidence down your throat, and you can’t go against it, as such.” The only two criticisms I had was that I left inadvertently two pages out from a secret service report that I didn’t know that were there, so, when they pointed to me at it, I was like, cool, I can add them to it and just say, right, that it’s there. Other than that, nobody can… And that’s not to pat myself on the back, but it’s just like something like, “Well, if you wanna go against what’s written in this thing, you better show me the evidence and prove to me that I’m wrong instead of just coming in… “
0:43:48.6 MB: So, I talked to those people at Georgetown University and they said the guy I spoke to was a guy called Scott Tatum, and Scott said, yeah fine, come on over. I get over to Georgetown university, I was coming over anyway, from NARA, but I get over there. I go to Georgetown, I go to the special collections, and he says to me, “I’m sorry, mister, but you… It’s closed. Box three is closed for research.” I said, “Well, I’ve come all the way over, I mean, to look at this stuff,” and he said, I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll ring Mr. Oursler,” Fulton Oursler, the editor of Reader’s Digest at one time, and he got him in New York, and he was, although he was very ancient in years, he was traveling between Los Angelos and New York, he got him in New York, and he said, “There’s a guy here from England. He wants to look at box three. Is it possible he can look at it,” and he said, “No, he couldn’t look it.” So I thought, there we go.
0:45:02.5 MB: And then several years later, when I got to know Pete Bagley, I was talking to Pete about the difficulties of getting access to stuff in private collections, and mentioned Fulton Oursler. He said, “Oh, Tony, he’s friend of mine.” So he calls him up… And says, “this friend of mine, Malcolm Blunt, he wants to look at a particular file box in your collection.” And he said “Well, yeah, no problem.” So I confirmed that by email before he left a few months later, before he left the UK with Oursler, And he said “Yes, that’s okay.” So I get to Georgetown University several months later after the conversation with Pete Bagley, and again it’s “No, you can’t look at it.” I thought, “What about that email? I’ve got email you know… ” Anyway, I said, “Well, call him up,” so they did. They phoned up Oursler, and that’s… A very loud voice on the phone said, “Look at box number 3.” And so we… The box was retrieved from the back and brought out and everybody was gathered around and it was put onto a table.
0:46:41.8 BK: Full of dust?
0:46:43.6 MB: It was. It was covered in dust, all the tape on it. It was taped across the top which would imply it had never been tampered with. So I cut the tape off, opened up the box, no Marine Corps interviews in there at all. And Epstein, I think, got to around 100, his researchers. Whereas if you go to the Warren Commission, they got to 10. He knows the crucial people too, that Epstein I think… I think you’ve got the list, you must have the list. I got the Reader’s Digest list of marines.
0:47:26.2 BK: Let’s have a look. I’m surprised anyway about the amount of stuff there is around on the marines.
0:47:33.9 MB: They actually did, they actually gave all the names of these marines that they interviewed. And I say you could’ve compared that with the Warren Commission, it’s just a few people. 10 people I think, 10 marines. So those interviews disappeared. Again, we’ve… Stuff we’d lost.
0:48:00.4 BK: That’s one of your biggest moments when it comes to disappeared stuff. How much have you… Have you had other experiences as such like that? Where you’re just looking?
0:48:13.5 MB: Yeah, US Customs, and INS material, and the church files. They interviewed… It’s there, they refer to it in the drafts, the church committee drafts. You can see the dates they interviewed these people, the number of pages of testimony, but it’s not there, it’s gone. I can’t find it.
0:48:37.1 BK: But the church committee is probably the committee that exposes the most when it comes to agency and…
0:48:43.8 MB: They got to a lot of stuff, that’s true. They got to a lot of stuff. But I wrote, to NARA about that, and I think I said there were 50, at least 50 missing pieces of either interviews or testimony. And eventually, they got so much back to me and they said, “No, we found there were only 33.” Well, you know, 33 pieces of key testimony and interviews? 50? I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, but that’s still a lot of crucial material. Oswald’s interaction in New Orleans with customs and INS is essential to understand. It’s gone… It’s all gone.
0:49:27.5 BK: Yeah, there are…
0:49:28.7 MB: Yes, but don’t tell me these people…
0:49:29.4 BK: There are bits but…
0:49:30.2 MB: There’s all These people seem to think it’s all settled business. It’s not settled business at all. That stuff wouldn’t be gone if it didn’t mean something.
0:49:40.2 BK: Yeah. Yeah, it’s as simple as that.
0:49:42.2 MB: Yeah.
0:49:42.7 BK: Yeah, because… Yeah, if it…
0:49:44.9 MB: It would still be there for us to look at.
0:49:47.3 BK: Yeah, yeah. Because it just leads to things they don’t want us to know.
0:49:51.3 MB: Absolutely, absolutely.
0:49:54.4 BK: But NARA, how frustrating is it to be there?
0:50:00.9 MB: In the early days, it wasn’t so bad, although we used to complain about things.
0:50:06.2 BK: Such as?
0:50:09.3 MB: The fact that we could never gather enough material. We always wanted more. We were so like… It’s the JFK equivalent of dope addicts, we always wanted more. And I suppose the nitpicking at people, the way the system works, you’re gonna take… You can’t take more than one file out of a box. It’s just gotta be one file at a time, and then you gotta take the file up to be checked before you photocopy it, and then you have to get somebody to take out any staples and stuff like hoops. It was difficult. And FBI files were notoriously difficult because they were all in these binders, four-ring or three-ring binders. You could want… You could… The document you wanted to copy could be right at the bottom, so we had to take everything out.
0:51:09.4 BK: Yeah, I’ve seen some of those photocopies where it just looks really messed up on the top.
0:51:15.2 MB: And then sometimes if you try and… What you try and do is shortcut and have the file like that, and that’s where you get it messed up on the copier. And then you get a crusader that object to us doing that. Rightly so, rightly so. We should take everything apart, but it takes so long to take this… Take the files apart.
0:51:35.6 BK: Especially when you look at three other boxes of something and then you go “Pfff!”
0:51:39.5 MB: Yeah. So that was the difficulty.
0:51:41.5 BK: And then now, is it that you get less boxes and all that, and it’s more of…
0:51:44.5 MB: It’s all changed. Yeah it’s all changed. It’s changed to one cart, 16 boxes, and I think it looks like the rules… We used to be able to work together as teams and then you get more boxes and more carts with all… I think, but from what I heard from the guys that I work with at NARA, a paid researcher, he says it’s all changed. You know you can’t work as a team anymore. So that’s changed. But we had the good times. So we didn’t really recognize we had the good times. I mean, we were able to look at the original Oswald evidence. You can’t do that now.
0:52:29.7 BK: No, you’d need to have a really good reason if you wanna look at the gun or things like the artifacts as such. All 50 folders are an absolute nightmare as well.
0:52:39.8 MB: Well, she wrote a page that was archived that’s called Trudy…
0:52:43.6 BK: Peterson.
0:52:44.3 MB: Yeah, Trudy Huskamp Peterson. She’s not long retired, I don’t think. Maybe in the last three or four years, she’s retired, but she wrote a directive saying that you couldn’t look at the evidence anymore unless you had a really good reason to look at it.
0:53:03.1 BK: Yeah. People that were writing a book or something like that, that’s what it was. Not just…
0:53:07.7 MB: Even then, they would refuse. I saw them refuse people. I’ve read some of the material where they’ve rejected people that have asked to look at certain pieces of evidence or photographs of pieces of evidence. So they went through a period where they were photographing the evidence themselves, and then they would say to you, “Well, you don’t need to look at the evidence. You can look at the photographs.”
0:53:40.4 BK: Yeah.
0:53:41.6 MB: But the photographs don’t set you up for things like the notebook, Oswald’s little notebook. When you handle that, it’s like… You could see what they should be doing with that book, because it’s full of indentations. With a good person that’s qualified in ESDA, they could bring a lot of Oswald’s writing to the surface. Page by page, by page, by page, and there’s a lot of it in that notebook. It’s not done.
0:54:21.8 BK: That’s almost as good as glue in the Minox camera shot.
0:54:24.8 MB: Oh, Jesus.
0:54:25.7 BK: They must have used Gorilla Glue for the first time.
0:54:27.6 MB: I don’t know what they used in that, but you can’t move that. There’s no way. And it feels heavy. It feels heavy in your hand. Definitely heavier than the Minox’s that I’ve handled. I’ve handled two, the black one and the silver one. One was civilian-issued. I always get this wrong, but one was… Either the black was military or the silver was military. I can’t remember now, but one was civilian.
0:54:57.9 BK: Okay. I’m gonna call it a day. That’s a good first step talk between us. There will be more, and eventually go together with the archive as such. It’ll be a… It’s a great way of going through, and I will have to explain a few bits about it, how it works, but yeah, it’s been fun, and it’s gonna be fun still to plow through it. I was amazed by how much New Orleans stuff you have, for instance. It’s unbelievable. Garrison and even Jim DiEugenio went back to me and went, “I’ve never heard of this guy.” And I’m thinking you’re the number one guy on this, and so that was surprising. And on top of the whole thing with Shaw and Ferrie and… The documents of the Central Intelligence Agency about Shaw, where there’s connections and so forth. What’s his name? The FBI informant with this. It’s not Verona but it… Yeah, it is Verona, wasn’t it? It was the guy in New Orleans. I mentioned his name, but again, they lose me.
0:56:06.9 MB: Pena was…
0:56:07.9 BK: Pena. Orestes Pena.
0:56:10.4 MB: Well, that’s a story…
0:56:11.5 BK: On its own.
0:56:11.8 MB: There’s so many places you can go where there’s a story. If you go up to…
0:56:16.9 BK: Yeah, it’s unbelievable.
0:56:17.9 MB: The mid-’70s, you suddenly find there’s a mass destruction within… All over the place of Pena files.
0:56:27.7 BK: And there’s still a lot left.
0:56:28.2 MB: All of these have been destroyed.
0:56:29.9 BK: Yeah, yeah. So that’s another thing in your archive, you can really see how much file destruction has been going on as such.
0:56:41.0 MB: And I didn’t get to all of it. Just masses and masses…
0:56:42.1 BK: No, it’s really… But it’s a really good point to… Yeah, that shows how much destruction actually happened, and also just things that disappeared and all kinds of schmoozing and excuses coming up and go, “Yeah, it’s protocol that we get rid of these and… ” and I’m thinking…
0:57:00.2 MB: Well, even the people that came calling, like the HSCA went after the US Customs for their files on Cuban exiles, and they refused to give them. They refused to give the HSCA. And they said they were in Miami. They said they had to have authorization from Hope Borders. And the stuff, because they said they were too voluminous. They had too much stuff. They didn’t wanna give it. They didn’t wanna give the stuff. So what happened to all the US Customs stuff? Do you know how much US Customs stuff there is at the National Archives? One gray file box with three documents.
0:57:42.5 BK: Really?
0:57:43.7 MB: That’s how much we’ve lost there. And if you’ve ever seen… I mean, you’ve seen the FBI documents with copies of US Customs documents. They are like dense. The whole page is typefit and they’ve got so much stuff on the page. We’ve lost a lot. We’ve lost a huge amount.
0:58:07.7 BK: Well, that will be subject for another talk. I’m signing off. Thank you very much.
0:58:12.0 MB: No problem.
0:58:12.7 BK: And we’ll meet again.