On Oct. 19, I reported on the first public airing of restored and enhanced recordings of communciations to and from Air Force One on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. My story, “Enhanced Air Force One tapes capture a top general’s response to JFK’s murder,” was soon picked up by other national news sites.
The story was one of three scoops scored by JFK Facts in 2013.
Here’s how the story spread.
In a post on October 27, I called the recordings, enhanced by JFK resarcher Bill Kelly and audio engineer Ed Primeau, “the most important piece of new JFK evidence of the past 5 years?” On Nov. 7, I highlighted one of Primeau’s comments about the tapes.
My reporting caught the eye of Detroit Free Press reporter Julia Hinds who reported on the Air Force One tapes in her Nov. 10 story, “JFK’s last day: Rochester Hills audio experts care, tapes reveal info, hint at more.”
In that story, Kelly received full credit for his groundbreaking work and I was quoted about its significance.
From Hinds’ story:
“It’s not the tape itself. It’s what the tape tells us. And what the tape tells us is that there was a longer recording of the Air Force One communications on Nov. 22. That was never known before. What the tape tells us is there could be, somewhere, a recording of the reaction of the U.S. national security agencies to the president’s death,” said Morley, who’s written about the new recording for the site he moderates, JFKFacts.org.
“An original source tape with several more hours of content would be a big historical discovery. ‘It would be the record of the government’s response to the assassination itself,’ Morley said.”
A version of Hinds’ story also appeared in USA Today under the headline, “Echoes of history heard in JFK Air Force One tapes.”
A week later CNN’s Jake Tapper then picked up on the story in a November 15 report that focused on Primeau and failed to credit Kelly or JFK Facts.
Nonetheless, there is no dispute JFK Facts broke the Air Force One tapes story.
The complete Air Force One tape, if it still exists, is a historical document of prime importance. As I told Hinds, it would be the real-time record of the U.S. government’s response to JFK’s assassination. I suspect that the complete tape, if it is ever found, will shed new light on the U.S. miltiary and arrangements for JFK’s autopsy.
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