Air Force One

How much JFK assassination information is still secret?

A lot.

The JFK Facts report on Tuesday that the National Archives retains approximately 3,600 documents related to JFK’s assassination that have never been made public is the most specific accounting of still-secret JFK records yet.

Yet it is far from complete.

The 3,600 records include more than 1,100 CIA documents related to the assassination that have never been made public. These unseen documents include the operational files of CIA officers who figure in the assassination story such as David Phillips, Howard Hunt, Bill Harvey, and Ann Goodpasture.

The CIA says the the records are “Not Believed Relevant” to JFK’s death.

The 3,600 figure does not include JFK records that are known to have existed once but that have never surfaced.

The missing ONI files on Oswald

Office of Naval IntelligenceIn the 1990s, the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) sought to locate Marine Corps records on the defection of Lee Harvey Oswald to the Soviet Union in 1959. Fred Reeves, a former employees of the Office of Naval Intelligence, recalled compiling so-called “119 reports” (ONI’s equivalent of an FBI 302 investigative report) about Oswald. When the ARRB asked the Marine Corps for the records, they were told none could be found.

Reeves’ story is credible and logical and corroborated by other witnesses and evidence. Of course, the Marines would do a damage assessment when one of its former members defected to a foreign power or was accused of killing a president.

So what happened to the Marines Corps assessments? No one knows.

The complete Air Force One tape

Another JFK record that is known to exist but has never surfaced is the complete unedited recording of communications between the presidential jet, Air Force One, as it flew from Dallas to Washington with carrying President Kennedy’s body and the new President Lyndon Johnson.

Air Force One
Air Force One on the evening of November 22, 1963 (Mary Ferrell Foundation)

An edited version of the tape was first made public by the LBJ Library in 1979. A longer version of the tape emerged in the estate of JFK’s military aide Chester Clifton in 2011. When JFK Facts reported on the tape in October 2013, the Detroit Free Press, USA Today, and CNN picked up on the story.

Ed Primeau, nationally recognized audio expert, says that the Clifton tape has been edited in 5-10 places.

“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,” Primeau told JFK facts.

The complete Air Force One recording from November 22, 1963 has never surfaced.

Vanishing Church Committee depositions

Dozens of depositions of CIA taken by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities, chaired by Sen. Frank Church,  have never been made public according to Rex Bradford of

Four of the depositions are cited in a report by Sens. Gary Hart and Russell Schweiker in their report on the performance of U.S. intelligence agencies in the assassination of JFK. They include the testimony of

“Chief, JM/WAVE CIA station,” May 16, 1975

“Intelligence Officer,” May 10, 1976

“Thomas Karamessines, deputy to CIA director Richard Helms (April 18, 1976)

“Supervisor,” April 27, 1976

For the full list, see Bradford’s memo, Missing Church Committee Depositions.

Sealed CIA file on a JFK suspect

Eladio del Valle
Eladio del Valle, JFK suspect

Eladio del Valle was an anti-Castro militant who was murdered in February 1967.

Fabian Escalante, a senior Cuban intelligence officer, later said that he received information that del Valle was involved in JFK’s assassination.

“In 1962 Eladio Del Valle tried to infiltrate Cuba with a commando group of 22 men … ” Escalante said according to historian John Simkin. “One of our agents who was one of the people helping to bring this group to Cuba, was a man of very little education. They talked English on many occasions … Eladio Del Valle told this person, on many occasions, that Kennedy must be killed to solve the Cuban problem. After that we had another piece of information on Eladio Del Valle. This was offered to us by Tony Cuesta. He told us that Eladio Del Valle was one of the people involved in the assassination plot against Kennedy.”

The CIA created a personality file (known as a 201 file) for del Valle. The contents of the del Valle 201 file have never been made public, according to historian David Kaiser who sought to review the documents for his book, The Road to Dallas.


Do you know of other missing JFK records?

If so, send me <a href=””>an email now</a>.

For the purposes of this exercise–to call attention to JFK records that are withheld in full–I am not interested in hearing about documents that have been released in redacted form.

Nor am I interested hearing about JFK records that might have existed or should have existed or records known to have been destroyed.

I’m interested in hearing about specific documents/records that are known to have existed and are not known to have been destroyed and thus might still exist and be made public.


28 thoughts on “How much JFK assassination information is still secret?”

    1. Note Jean:

      “HSCA affidavit prepared for, and signed by, Dr. George Burkley”

      Dr Burkley simply signed what the committee prepared for him. That was all they wanted on the record.

      Meanwhile this matter was not addressed:

      TO: FILE
      March 18, 1977
      TO : FILE

      William F. Illig, an attorney from Erie, Pa., contacted me in Philadelphia this date, advising me that he represents Dr. George G. Burkley, Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy retired, who had been the personal physician for presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

      Mr. Illig stated that he had a luncheon meeting with his client, Dr. Burkley, this date to take up some tax matters. Dr. Burkley advised him that although he, Burkley, had signed the death certificate of President Kennedy in Dallas, he ha never been interviewed and that he has information in the Kennedy assassination indicating that others besides Oswald must have participated.

      Illig advised me that his client is a very quiet, unassuming person, not wanting any publicity whatsoever, but he, Illig, was calling me with his client’s consent and that his client would talk to me in Washington.

      (HSCA file # 000988. record # 180-10086-10295)
      Also note; in the Death Certificate, Burkley said the back wound was at the third thoracic level, and he refused to comment when asked if he agreed with the Warren Commission on how many bullets struck Kennedy.

      >>The 3rd thoracic level, Jean, should make it clear that the entry wound was lower by some 6 inches than you have previously argued.

      1. Willy,

        “Dr Burkley simply signed what the committee prepared for him. That was all they wanted on the record.”

        You know this how? Mind reading?

        “>>The 3rd thoracic level, Jean, should make it clear that the entry wound was lower by some 6 inches than you have previously argued.”

        I have “previously argued” that the back wound was where the autopsy photo shows it to be. You think it was 6 inches lower than that??

        1. “You know this how? Mind reading?”~Jean Davison

          It says right at the top of the page “HSCA affidavit prepared for”

          Jean you argued that the wound was in the back of the neck 6 inches below the Mastoid Process. You point to that “autopsy photo” where the skin has been pushed up to claim that this and the technical term are the same.
          I and others argued that the wound was exactly in the spot shown on Boswell’s face sheet from the autopsy; ie; the third thoracic vertebrae.

          Put another way you were arguing that the back wound was where Ford and Specter claimed: “C7/T1” (the base of the neck)
          That is about 6 inches higher than T3.

          Are you now revising your opinion?

          1. “Are you now revising your opinion?”

            No, Willy, you did. I have never in my life said the wound was “in the back of the neck.”

            “Put another way you were arguing that the back wound was where Ford and Specter claimed: “C7/T1″ (the base of the neck)”

            No again, I don’t care what Ford or Specter claimed. I can see the wound in the photo, and I agree with the HSCA medical panel, which put it at c. T1. If the wound had been as low as the worksheet has it, “it would probably have penetrated and collapsed the right lung”:


            There was also an apparent fracture at T1:



            “You point to that “autopsy photo” where the skin has been pushed up…”

            Those are normal folds at the back of the neck with smooth skin below:


          2. “No, Willy, you did. I have never in my life said the wound was “in the back of the neck.”~Jean Davison

            But T1 IS the back of the neck, it is right at the collar.

            So you are now saying that Burkley lied on the JFK Death certificate when he placed the back wound at T3?

            “Those are normal folds at the back of the neck with smooth skin below”~Jean

            Balderdash! Those are “normal folds” only if the head is pulled back (as in this shot) or if looking straight up while standing in life.

            You are not going to get this past this me Jean, as an artist I know anatomy in movement very well. Not only has the head been pulled back in that photograph, but the skin of the back has been pushed up towards the neck.
            Any but biased eyes can see that clearly.

            So the “experts” on the HSCA medical panel, know better than Dr. Burkley himself who had the body of John Kennedy right before him.

          3. HSCA Repoert Vol I pg. 196 – Testimony of Dr. Micheal Baden

            Dr. Baden: “This is the clothing worn by President Kennedy at the time of the assassination and does show various perforations in the fabric that were of importance to the medical panel to evaluate.

            Mr, Klein: “And with respect to the wounds to the President’s back, what did the panel learn from the clothing?

            Dr. Baden: “In the jacket and underlying shirt there is a perforation of the fabric that corresponds directly with the location of the perforation of the skin of the right upper back that the panel concluded was an entrance gunshot perforation that entered the back of the president. This is correspondingly seen in the shirt beneath.”
            At this point Mr Klein inexplicably drops the line of questioning, and rather than ask what the locations were of these perforations in fabric and the skin of the president, and changes course by introducing X-rays of the front of Kennedy’s throat and chest!
            The locations of these perforations in fabric and the skin of the president were five and three-eighths inches down from the collar line of the back of the President’s suit jacket. ( FBI’s Supplemental Report to the Warren Commission of January 13, 1964.)
            This corresponds with Dr. Burkley’s Death certificate notation of the back wound at T3, and Boswell’s face sheet showing the back wound at T3.

            I will note as well that all of the discussion that follows in Baden’s testimony involving T1, has to do with the throat wound – NOT the back wound. So whatever damage described in the X-rays to T1 are concerned with the throat wound. The medical panel may have decided this wound was an exit wound but they in fact never saw the throat wound in its original condition. Those who did described it as an entry wound.
            One will notice the way that even Dr. Baden expresses uncertainty, pointing out that “The Track wasn’t dissected out. We ave to speculate from other sources” … “It might have struck the transverse process of the first thoracic vertebra but we cannot prove this.”

          1. Poses, Posture, & Distance in Human Anatomy

            Q. How far away from the face is the human hand on a normal physique?

            The answer to this question is of course, dependent on the pose and posture of the human in consideration. On a male human standing some 5′ 10″ to 6′, the hand would be approximately 30 to 35 inches away from the face if the person were standing erect with the arms relaxed at the side.

            As the arms, neck, shoulders, and elbows are articulated; depending on the pose and posture, a hand can be any distance from the face as well as literally touching it.

            This may seem absurdly jejune to point out these most obvious facts, but in light of the photograph & drawing of President Kennedy’s back wound with the rubber gloved hands holding a ruler, it is apparently necessary to start from such a elementary discussion.

            It is obvious from viewing this picture, that the body is not in a pose that represents the one Kennedy was in while sitting in the limousine when the bullet hit him; his head was not leaning back as if he were looking into the clouds, his shoulders were not raised with his elbows above his head – as depicted in this post mortem photograph. Kenned was sitting straight up, his shoulders relaxed and his right elbow leaning on the door of the car when he was shot. Even after he was shot he never assumed a pose even remotely like the one in this “autopsy photo” his neck was extended forward, his hands grasping at his throat and his elbows slightly lower than has shoulders. His whole upper body was leaning slightly forward until he slumped to his left towards his wife.

            This is why it is disingenuous for Dr. Baden to casually answer “yes it does” to Mr Klein’s question about the autopsy drawing/photo. It in fact is NOT a fair and accurate representation of where the back wound was located, despite the fact that the drawing is true to a real and actual photograph.
            Dr Baden had to have been aware that this answer of his being unqualified as to the pose and posture was disingenuous, because later in his testimony he says that the wound on the back lined up with the holes in the jacket and the shirt – five and three-eighths inches below the collar line.
            The distance in the autopsy photo gives the impression of not more than an inch from the collar line.

            It is also disingenuous for Jean Davison, to claim that this image is a fair and accurate representation of where the back wound on these pages.

    2. Jean —

      Curious why you think Dr. Burkley would claim he had information regarding a conspiracy through his lawyer when Sprague was running the HSCA show? And why neither the WC or HSCA ever interviewed him in person.

      1. Bogman,

        I don’t know what Burkley claimed, only what his lawyer claimed, according to Sprague. Not that anyone lied — it’s just that a firsthand statement is more likely to be accurate.

        Burkley gave the WC a signed statement (CE1126) that describes the events of that day but says nothing about a conspiracy:

        The ARRB talked to several of his children. None knew of any papers Burkley had on the assassination. The daughter initially gave permission for them to look at his file in his lawyer’s office but later she changed her mind (no reason given): burkley

        1. “I don’t know what Burkley claimed, only what his lawyer claimed, according to Sprague. Not that anyone lied — it’s just that a firsthand statement is more likely to be accurate.”~Jean Davison

          So you are essentially claiming that this letter from Burkley’s own lawyer is on the level of “hearsay”?
          Are you serious Jean?!? You think that Burkley’s own lawyer could misrepresent Burkley to an official government body? Ridiculous!

  1. Chief of Station

    So they say Howard Hunt’s files are irrelevant after this idiot confessed to being involved?

  2. Ditto on Adm. George Burkley’s files. They were offered by Burkley and his lawyer to Richard Sprague & Co as they were leaving the HSCA in early 1977, but the new regime at HSCA chose not to pursue the information. Burkley’s daughter refused to provide them to the AARB in the 1990s.

    1. That is very interesting, I wonder what the explanation was given for why, and is there any merit in challenging this decision. Did Burkley specify in his will what was to be done with his files?

  3. Let’s see the IRS release Oswald’s tax returns in their entirety. There’s no personal privacy interest to protect after 50 years, but a big public interest in seeing them.

  4. Now why would Fabian Escalante lie?
    He said that Cuesta “signed a confession” -after having been blinded by a grenade and having his hand blown off. How could he sign something he couldn’t see with something he didn’t have?
    Use some common sense .

  5. Please can someone send Jef Morley information relating to the files of Louis Mortimer Bloomfield held by the Canadian public libraries and not released for years 1961-1963. They relate to Permindex and funders.

  6. Of course you refer to the same former Cuban Congressman violently murdered in Miami the same night as his acquaintance David Ferrie , of New Orleans. The first sought by Jim Garrison. The second arrested and released by him. Odd coincidence. Then again, not really in the big picture.

    1. The evidence for Ferrie knowing delValle – a single source regarded as a ‘fabricator’ – is far from solid.

  7. gerry campeau

    i would love to see the testimony of Artie Lazarus in front of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities. This would indicate the time period that E Howart Hunt visited Boris Pash’s PB-7 office and all so tell when Pash visited Japan in 50ies to take part in MKULTRA project on North Koreon POW.

  8. Ramon F Herrera


    “How to search the CIA files yourself

    “You can confirm the existence of the secret Phillips files by searching the National Archives online data base.

    “Enter the terms “David Phillips” on the first line and “NBR” (for Not Believed Relevant) on the second.

    Click “Display Search Results.”


    Frankly, I do not understand how it is possible that the National Archives has such an atrocious query system. Their IT Dept. should be ashamed.

    Instead of the workaround that Jeff discovered somehow (“NBR”), something that may work or not, they should have a specific field:

    “Current Status: Postponed in Full”

    Additionally, under “Originator” they should have a drop-down menu with all the agencies listed:

    By trial and error, I have been able to find only 3 possible values for that field:

    • CIA
    • FBI
    • ONI

    1. Ramon F Herrera

      I just discovered this. You may use the initials of the agencies in two fields:

      • Submitting Agency

      • Originator

      If you type “SS” in the first, you get zero hits, but if you type it in the second, you get two hits.

      “NSA” gets 0 and 30.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top