ISO missing Air Force One tape from 11/22/63

Appearing in Washington during Sunshine Week 2014, audio expert Ed Primeau explained his forensic analysis of a recently discovered audio recording from November 22, 1963.

Primeau’s comments point to the existence of audio recording from the day of JFK’s assassination that was never shared with the public  for unknown reasons.

The recording, discovered by a Philadelphia auction house in 2011, captures unreleased communications to and from Air Force One, the presidential jet as it carried President Kennedy’s body back from Dallas to Washington on that fateful day.

The reel to reel tape was found in the effects of Gen. Chester Clifton, a military aide to JFK in 1963.

Forensic science

Primeau’s detective work shows that the Clifton tape was heavily edited, “At least 15 times,” he says.

Primeau says he has “no doubt” the Clifton tape was extracted from a longer recording that has never been heard publicly. The original tape, if it still exists and becomes public, would be a revelatory and possibly game-changing document about the still controversial question of who killed JFK.

The original tape would constitute a real-time record of the reaction of the U.S. armed forces to the assassination of a sitting president. (Emphasis added.)

The whereabouts of the recording, if it still exists, are unknown.

An even more heavily edited version of the Air Force One tape was released by the Lyndon B. Johnson presidential library in 1979.

The analyst

Primeau, nationally known for his analysis of sound recordings in the George Zimmerman murder trial, serves as an expert witness in litigation involving audio and video evidence.

If you want to help Ed and I in the search for missing Air Force One tape, drop us a line here.



  1. Jonathan says:


    Bravo for giving highlight to Ed Primeau’s analysis.

    This is a great site, and you do a great job.

    You are a pioneer. As a journalist.

  2. Otus Chambers says:

    This still developing story is a blockbuster, Jeff Morley. At this stage I am as curious about the questions raised by your other readers in other threads as they are, particularly if noted JFK author William Manchester heard any of the edited out portions of the AF-1 tapes & left what he heard out of his book ‘Death Of A President’. He certainly had the opportunity to blow the lid off the kettle if he heard talk about JFK’s body being transported to Andrews in another aircraft or his touring car was shot through the windshield plus any other improprieties that his ears heard. It would be good to know if the AF-1 tapes were hacked up before or after Manchester had access to them. I suspect big time TV media types are watching your progress on this story very closely & may be quietly pursuing their own leads to persons who heard the tapes first hand or were involved in some way with the aircraft that transported JFK, JBJ & entourage from Dallas to Washington.
    Some people stand to gain a lot of money quickly if they have a story to tell on this. As more information is developed it will be historical & your devoted readers will know the fruit of all the work invested grew from seeds planted here at JFK Facts by Jefferson Morley. KUTGW

  3. Melvin Fromme says:

    I’m expecting someone like Fox News, fueled with big budgets & huge expense accounts, to want a piece of this story fast. Stay by your phone & check your email often, Jeff. You just may go from being sporadically interviewed to being offered full or freelance TV investigative journalism employment in the blink of an eye. This story is hot. You deserve all the good things your hard work brings you.

  4. Photon says:

    He also said that he had no doubt that Zimmerman said something that he didn’t say on the 911 tape.
    Who certifies him as an expert besides a body run by his colleague Owen and his wife?
    Take the blinders off and ask the questions before swallowing claims about expertise.

    • Paul Turner says:

      Photon, I see that YOUR blinders are off, but I’m not sure your strategy of demanding backgrounds left and right are helping your argument that the assassination wasn’t a conspiracy.

  5. Bill Kelly says:

    It isn’t Ed Primeau whose credentials are questionable it is the quack called Photon who has no credibility. How is it that someone can post idiotic statements under a fake name and get away with it?

    For those interested in a real study of acoustic evidence in criminal court cases the Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law is considering a symposium on the subject.

    And in response to David Von Paine’s web site comment about conspiracy theorists being wrong about suspicions of the AF1 tape, it is the fact that it is heavily edited and many conversations missing that fuels the suspicions.

    Bill Kelly

    • Photon says:

      If you go to Ed’s audio expert website he has 3 certificates posted.One is for ” American College of Forensic Examiners Institute” wich can be purchased by ANYONE for $165.00
      This institute is housed at a weight loss clinic located at 2750 E. Sunshine Road in Springfield, Missouri .
      There are 5 other ” colleges” and “associations” at the same address. They all have the same website picture and committee members with no biographies. It is what is colloquially referred to as a “diploma mill”.
      The ” International Association for Identification” certificate can be purchased for $70.00. As an “associate member” there are no requirements aside from paying the fee to get the certificate.
      The other certificate of for a 2 day course at the C.U. Denver campus- not the main campus at Boulder.
      Now why would anybody post such junk on their website as evidence of certification? Obviously he never thought that anybody would ever check. I think that this says volumes about Mr. Primeau’s qualifications.

      • Dave says:

        Photon, what are YOUR expert qualifications, while you’re busy slagging those of others doing important original research? Besides a CPR certificate that is …
        If you took the time to read what ACFEI actually is, and is not, then you wouldn’t try to lump them in with “diploma mills”. Dr. Cyril Wecht is the Chair of the ACFEI Executive Advisory Board, and a member of several of its Advisory Boards. AECFI provides information and continuing education for professionals including various US boards, associations and councils. They do not endorse, guarantee, warrant, certify or license their members. But you got one thing right: their annual membership fee is $165. And no, I’m not a member, nor personally acquainted with one.

        • Photon says:

          I never claimed to be an expert in acoustic evidence but the claim is that Mr. Primeau is one. Documentation is the issue.
          Frontline: The Real CSI April 17,2012. This program clearly exposes ACFEI for what it is. They even show a CFC certificate obtained by a graduate student with no background in forensic studies. The most amusing part is the ACFEI response to the program admitting that their certification is meaningless !

      • JSA says:

        So, unless someone’s credentials are sterling, NOTHING THEY SAY IS RELEVANT….ever??

        That’s balderdash. If you go by those kinds of standards, you should take what John McAdams says with a shaker of skeptical salt, because he thinks that anthropogenic global warming is a myth, despite the overwhelming published, peer-reviewed, expert scientific evidence to the contrary!

        • John McAdams says:

          So, unless someone’s credentials are sterling, NOTHING THEY SAY IS RELEVANT….ever??

          If they lack expert credentials, they are not due the deference that people might give a bona fide expert.

          In other words, they are just somebody asserting something.

          • Eddy says:

            “If they lack expert credentials, they are not due the deference that people might give a bona fide expert.

            In other words, they are just somebody asserting something.”

            Probably also important is academic honesty, an open mind, carrying oneself so as to maintain respect for the academic profession, and a genuine search for the truth, agreed Professor?

  6. Preston Newe says:

    Bill Kelly,

    Some comments from retired military folks I know & interact with that hopefully will help you & others in searching for an unedited original or copy of the AF-1 audio:

    The edited portions may have been scrambled transmissions that were omitted & not replaced with its subsequent ‘unscrambling’. The Pentagon & Signal Corps should have been ‘in the loop’ in regards to receiving these transmissions in real time & not relayed through intermediates. The connection between Gen Clifton & the Kennedys needs to be looked at closely (was Clifton providing Robert Kennedy the tapes & did William Manchester play a part in working on a book authorized by Jackie & Robert; was the tape channeled to Manchester to help him write his 1967 book?). Decision making Gen Clifton may have been involved in needs to be looked at. How many other Generals had a copy of the transmissions? Were the transmissions shared with NSA, CIA, FBI, Secretary Of State, Pentagon, LBJ, etc.)
    As of now speculation is growing as to what the transmissions contained: instructions to & from the Pentagon, different arrangements to transport JFK’s body to an approved hospital for autopsy, flying safety concerns over the condition of JFK’s damaged touring car are leading the pack with the to & from by the Pentagon being considered the area where national security concerns may have been the justification for butchering the tapes. Speculation will inevitably grow. Transcripts of the edited portions would surely help researchers while the quest for unedited tapes progresses. Hats off to you, Ed Primeau & Jeff Morley, good sirs, on the breathtaking discovery you have brought to the global public’s attention.

    • Charles Beyer says:

      What leaps out at me & others following this story on the AF-1 edited tapes is there is no interaction between either the White House Situation Room, AF-1 or JFK’s Cabinet plane with the Pentagon. Knowing now that the Pentagon had Presidential approved contingency plans entitled ‘Furtherance’ that called for an immediate nuclear strike against the Soviet Union & China in the event the President was killed or became missing, where is the instructions to the SAC commanders not to deploy their aircraft to carry out the missions called for in the plans? What’s was holding them back? Is it possible commanders were instructed in advance to stand down if JFK didn’t return to the White House alive? The to & from the Pentagon should be on the AF-1 tapes & it’s not.

  7. John Kirsch says:

    “It isn’t Ed Primeau whose credentials are questionable it is the quack called Photon who has no credibility. How is it that someone can post idiotic statements under a fake name and get away with it?”
    You, sir, have asked a very important question.

  8. Robert Paul says:

    Photon makes a good point – we should refrain from calling people experts based solely on purchased or easily acquired credentials. That does nothing to aid creditable JFK research.

    • Eddy says:

      People become experts by extensive study and testing their arguments with their peers. Its got nothing to do with certification. Fans of the Warren Commission are repeatedly arguing that the people making statements lack the expertise to make them. The most ludicrous example is the attempt to portray the Parkland Doctors as not being qualified to recognise a massive rear head-wound. I have a certificate in “Massive rear head-hound identification”. Everyone can take it from me, the President had a massive rear head-wound.

      • Robert Paul says:

        Eddy – Apparently, you missed the word “solely” (see above). Other than that, I agree with you.
        The hard evidence (to me) are the autopsy pictures of the back of JFK’s head. It’s covered with, what must be, a hair piece. The pictured hair is far longer than JFK’s actual hair length. There is no disputing what is clearly seen in the pictures. Obviously, they were covering up what numerous creditable witnesses described – a massive wound to the back of his head. Why else would they attach a hair piece for the official autopsy pictures?

        • Photon says:

          So now you have to invent a hairpiece placed at autopsy because you can’t believe your lyin’ eyes?
          There was no “massive wound to the back of the head”- the autopsy, the photos, the Zapruder film and the x-rays prove that. The claim is as false as Bob’s pneumothorax claim.The claim is based only on eye witness statements, often misinterpreted and misquoted.Even Jenkins stated that at Parkland none of the other doctors got a good look at the head wound- to the point that they were going to proceed with open cardiac would appear that Clark and Jenkins were the only Parkland doctors who actually examined the head, if only superficially.And yet the CT community continues to claim in the face of ALL physical, medical and radiographic evidence that rushed interpretations by traumatized individuals and incomplete physical exams should be the basis for what injuries JFK had.
          It is this inability to understand what actually goes on in an ER and the total ignorance of how the autopsy is the final authority as to cause of death (and associated medical conditions) that seem to drive so many conspiracy viewpoints.
          Instead of confronting the medical evidence, CTers have to claim that it is made up,altered,forged, hidden,or what have you. As there has been absolutely no real evidence to prove that the evidence is false, or even how it could have been altered to appear false these claims belong in the dustbin of history.
          Robert above as fallen into the same trap- if the autopsy photo shows what it shows the whole concept of a back of the head wound goes down the drain-and with it probably 90% of conspiracy theories that don’t implicate Oswald as the lone shooter.
          Since everything is faked, how can you prove that JFK was even killed?

          • Eddy says:

            Nope ,there you go again, to quote a famous American. If I was to say ’50 years ago I saw a massive elephant on my lawn’ Arguments about memory, my brief view of the elephant, my inability to identify an elephant, and my lack of elephant identification certificates would not be taken very seriously.
            I believe beyond reasonable doubt that medical staff, with no apparent reason to lie, when faced with a massive rear headwound in the most powerful man on the planet remembered what they saw for the rest of their lives

      • Photon says:

        No Eddy, real experts are certified by other experts-in law by passage of the Bar, in medicine by licensing and board certification, in education and academics by degree granting programs.
        “Experts” without certification can claim to be anything without a shred of evidence to prove it. Certain disciplines are not regulated or have any real certification process; acoustics experts fall into that category. The real accuracy of the claims made by these “experts” rarely are actually tested or confirmed by any standardized testing procedures. We have seen just this week how the FBI crime lab technicians made fundamental errors in handling of evidence and interpretation of that evidence.
        The individual mentioned in this story as an expert used to post on his website pictures of 3 certificates that you so disdain. After I posted information on how easy it was to get the certificates he took the pictures down. However, it was still important enough for him to leave a picture of one of his certificates on his website. A graduate student with no forensic background was able to purchase a similar certificate from the same institution, as demonstrated on PBS years ago. Do you understand what that means?

        • Eddy says:

          Rubbish. You are conflating expertise with accreditation and attempting to use this conflation to bolster a viewpoint. Do you understand what that means?

        • ed connor says:

          Photon, I am not sure that passing a bar exam qualifies one as an expert in law. Passing a specialty board exam in medicine is much more reliable, IMO. Would you care to inform us of your board certification(s)?
          And, BTW, I do not use laminated anatomy sheets at trial. I have a set of German poly anatomical models from Souso Modelle. They tell me the German craftsmen make the models from casts obtained from human cadavers. So very efficient, those Germans.

          • Photon says:

            If passing a board exam in medicine is a reliable standard of expertise, why do you reject the Board Certfied ( actually double Borded) forensic pathologists who have reviewed the case and with the exception of Cyril Wecht all endorse the conclusions of the Bethesda team-who were also Board Certified?

          • Going along to get along is fine until you get to where they are taking you. By the time you get there and realize you have abandoned your moral code along the way, it’s too late to admit it.
            But your still a member of their club, that is the vile consolation prize for those who obey illegitimate authority. Who have become “well adjusted” to the pathological society.

          • ed connor says:

            The Bethesda pathologists were not forensic pathologists. That’s why their autopsy was such a disaster.
            Dr. Wecht is a board certified pathologist. His conclusions fit the medical evidence better than the WC / HSCA pathologists.
            Are you board certified? in what field of medicine?

          • Photon says:

            If the autopsy was such a disaster why has every board certified forensic pathologist who has reviewed and publically commented on the autopsy agreed with the Bethesda team’s conclusions-except Wecht, who has his own dog in this fight?
            Any Board-certified pathologist should be able to determine the cause of death and associated medical conditions.Had the Bethesda team had 3 forensic pathologists instead of one the questions brought up by critics would never have happened. The testimony of the overwhelming number of forensic pathologists who reviewed the case, including the pathologist who would have done the autopsy had the body stayed in Dallas also show that the conclusions of the Bethesda team would not have been contradicted.
            Since I am referring to the opinions of genuine experts, whose qualifications are beyond reproach, my background in this matter is immaterial.

          • ed connor says:

            Let me make it simple for you, Photon.
            ALL the Parkland docs reported a grapefruit sized exit wound in the right lower occiput. Paul O’Connor, a lab tech at Bethesda, saw the same thing. Gawler’s Funeral Home reported using a large quantity of plaster of Paris to repair the occipital defect. The Bethesda autopsy photographer contended that his photos had been altered to remove the occipital damage.
            The consulting pathologists base their opinions on the photos provided by the Naval Hospital. Those who SAW the wound rely on their own physical observations.
            Watch Dr. McClelland and Dr. Crenshaw’s interviews on this site from last month.

            This was not simple incompetence by the Bethesda doctors; this was an active cover up of the occipital wound. If you have an occipital wound you have a shooter from the front, and a conspiracy.
            The Bethesda photos simply do not jibe with the eyewitness accounts. That is why I believe Wecht and not the hand-picked HSCA pathologists.

          • David Regan says:

            On March 16th 1964, almost four months after the autopsy and without having ever seen the autopsy photographs, Dr. Humes, Dr. Boswell and Dr. Finck were called to testify before the Warren Commission. In preparation for their testimony, and at the urging of Warren Commission counsel Arlen Specter, Dr. Humes and Dr. Boswell met with medical illustrator Skip Rydberg and created three drawings depicting the President’s wounds. The doctors were not allowed access to the autopsy photos, or even the face sheet that marked the location of the President’s wounds, during the creation of these drawings, they were forced to rely purely on their memories. — nah, nothing to see here folks!

          • David Regan says:

            Once-secret documents, made public in the 1990s, show that the House Select Committee on Assassinations misrepresented what the autopsy witnesses had said. Rather than contradicting Parkland witnesses that there was a rear defect in JFK’s skull, the suppressed interviews reveal that the Bethesda witnesses not only described a rear defect, they also drew diagrams.

          • Photon says:

            “ALL of the doctors at Parkland reported a a grapefruit sized exit wound in the right lower occiput”. A little hyperbole there,Ed. First off, if that was true why did all of the Parkland doctors who reviewed the autopsy photos on NOVA’s 25th JFK Assassination report agree that the photos gave an accurate representation of what the wounds appeared like? It is on film.Obviously they didn’t think the photos were faked. If they could accept the Bethesda photos, why can’t you? Paul Connor had his 15 minutes of fame but he was wrong about so many things-the most absurd claimi was that no brain was in JFK’s head when it was examined. How close he actually was to the action is questionable.
            All of the doctors at Parkland save one could never have seen a wound in the occiput-because once on the gurney he was never turned over; during that entire time the head rested on the gurney on the EOP obscuring the occipital area. Even Jenkins admitted that none of the other doctors save Clark even looked at the head with any detail.Proving this was the attempt at open cardiac massage that was only aborted when Jenkins mentioned the gravity of the head wound. The one Parkland doctor who clearly saw the head wound before the body was place on the gurney clearly contradicts your claim.
            Are you now claiming that eye witness claims about gunshot wounds trump autopsy findings and are more reliable in a court of law than medical examiner testimony?

          • “Had the Bethesda team had 3 forensic pathologists instead of one the questions brought up by critics would never have happened.” ~Photon

            That is partially correct Photon. Although Finck was not officially head of any portion of the autopsy.

            Your point here begs the question; WHY?

            Why was not the President of the United States given the best and most thorough post mortem and autopsy by top forensic pathologists?

            The answer to that question is so obvious that it is what makes you dance your disingenuous rhetorical hoochicoo every time this topic comes up.

            Of course that answer is; The perpetrators, the military, needed to control the autopsy to avoid the results that would obtain in a real expert forensic examination of the body.

          • ed connor says:

            “What did the Doctor who Examined JFK’s Head Wound Say?”, jfkfacts, 2/13/15.

            Note also that Dr. Crenshaw placed JFK in the coffin, and took a long look before closing the lid.
            Note also Dr. McClelland’s observation that “the cerebellum was falling on the table.”
            Where is the cerebellum located, doctor?

          • Photon says:

            Ed, did you actually listen to what Dr.McClelland said? He stated that after resuscitative efforts concluded,THEY ALL left the ER and returned to the surgical department. He stated that the physicians that attended to JFK were not present when the casket arrived.
            Crenshaw was McClelland’s resident. He went with him to the ER to treat JFK. He left with him after JFK was declared dead. He would stay as close to McClelland as possible except to attend to H&P or pre-op evaluations.
            How could he have possibly put JFK in the coffin when he was with McClelland and McClelland has stated multiple times that he immediately left the ER after resuscitation stopped?
            Jenkins had stated on the record that he didn’t think that anybody actually had a good look at the head wound-precisely because they agreed to open the chest and begin cardiac massage, a desperation move that would not even be contemplated on a patient with the severe head wound that JFK had-had anybody actually examined the head.

  9. In reply to Photon’s: “If the autopsy was such a disaster why has every board certified forensic pathologist who has reviewed and publically commented on the autopsy agreed with the Bethesda team’s conclusions-except Wecht, who has his own dog in this fight?”

    There is a very simple reason for this. The 1968 Clark Panel x-rays were utterly faked by the government, aka the murderers of John Kennedy. Josiah Thompson’s book “Six Seconds in Dallas” had come out and it emphasized a large exit wound in JFK’s head. The perps in government had to counter with some potent propaganda and the solution was sticking utterly forged x-rays, showing absolutely no large blowout wound in the back of JFK’s head, and sticking it under the noses of generations of medical experts.

    Faking the JFK head x-rays was a big part of prolonging the cover up of the JFK assassination. Read Doug Horne’s 5 volumes of books:

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