A previously unknown recording of radio communications to and from Air Force One on November 22,1963, is among the most important new pieces of JFK evidence to emerge in recent years,
The tape, an edited excerpt from a longer recording, captures some of the communications of the leaders of U.S. national security agencies as they learned about the assassination of a sitting president.
I wrote about the importance of the Air Force One tape last fall:
“Audio engineer on the trail of a long-lost JFK tape” (JFK Facts, Nov. 6, 2013)
“Enhanced Air Force One tape captures top general’s response to JFK’s murder” (JFK Facts, Oct. 19, 2013)
You can listen to it here.
Where was the Air Force One tape found?
This old-fashioned reel of analog tape surfaced at Philadelphia auction house in 2011. The recording was found the estate of the family of Gen. Chester Clifton, a military aide to JFK. Clifton died in 1991. His children put the estate up for auction.
Bill Kelly, a JFK researcher, enlisted Primeau Forensics, a Michigan audio engineering firm, to produce a cleaned-up version of the tape.
When was the tape first made public?
Kelly’s presentation about the Air Force One tapes at the recent trailblazing JFK conference at Duquesne University convinced me of its importance.
I write about the significance of the Air Force One tapes in piece published in the Oct. 27, 2013, print edition of the Dallas Morning News.
The Detroit Free Press, USA Today, and CNN also covered the story of the tapes.
Why is the Air Force One tape important?
“The government created these recordings,” audio engineer Ed Primeau told JFK Facts. “The editing shows that somebody made decisions about what they wanted the public to know and hear and what they didn’t want the public to know and hear.”
The tapes capture a fascinating and tragic moment in American history.
Listen to the tape (parts 1,2 3, and 4) as cleaned up and transcribed by Bill Kelly and Ed Primeau with a running transcript and visuals from Primeau Productions.
Read Kelly’s summary of what we know about the missing portions of Air Force One tapes.