CNN picked up on JFK’s Facts’ story about the Air Force One tapes

Picking up on a story first reported in JFK Facts, CNN reporter Jake Tapper aired dramatic conversations from the reconstituted Air Force Once tapes from November 22, 1963, capturing the real-time reaction of U.S. government officials as the news spreads that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas.

Tapper says d the Air Force One tape is  “an unflinching look at history unfolding.” He highlights the role of audio expert Ed Primeau in making the recording audible. And he let Primeau explain one of the most important facts about the Air Force One tape: It has been edited out of a longer tape that has never been heard.

“Whoever created the tapes had certain parts of the conversation they didn’t want anyone to hear,” Primeau says.

The location of the complete Air Force One tape is one of those unsolved mysteries that haunt the JFK story 50 years later.

Unfortunately, Tapper avoided mentioning the central role of JFK researcher Bill Kelly in finding the story. It was Kelly, a dogged JFK researcher, who peddles no conspiracy theory, who gave Primeau a new version of the Air Force One that surfaced in 2011. Kelly was the first to write about the historical importance of the Air Force One tapes on his blog JFK Countercoup. He obtained a copy of the new recording and persuaded Primeau, a nationally known audio expert who analyzed recording in the Trayvon Martin murder trial, to apply his technical skills to enhance it.

I wrote about Kelly’s presentation on JFK Facts in October 2013, and then published an interview with Primeau. The story was picked up by Julie Hinds of the Detroit Free Press whose article was republished in USA Today. That’s where Tapper got the story.


















12 thoughts on “CNN picked up on JFK’s Facts’ story about the Air Force One tapes”

  1. I recently watched the November 22, 1963 Air Force One arrival at Andrews Air Force Base on youtube. The t.v. reporters commented that the President’s body was to be flown by helicopter to either Bethesda or to the White House. They were not sure which. Initially, they commented about one helicopter then shortly after mentioned helicopters in plural form. There is audio to the video and you can here the helicopters in the background. It would be interesting to find out if 2015 audio experts could detect the sound of a helicopter departing the area as the coffin with purportedly the President’s body is being loaded into the ambulance. This would give support to the speculation that the President’s body was transported by helicopter and never put in the ambulance. I remember hearing that Johnson later flew in a helicopter to the White House after making his brief address to assure the American people.

  2. Well Jeff, there is one way a “good reporter” would handle this: On his show at his earliest opportunity he would issue a >> correction of the omission << of the role Bill Kelly in getting Ed Primeau the tapes.

    Surely he has time on his show to admit when he has erred.

    I await the the "good reporter's" correction. He might be well advised to make a segment like this – a regular feature of his show.

  3. Thanks Jeff, I don’t want to be the story, but it is really annoying to spend months transcribing the tapes, convincing and commissioning Ed Primeau to combine and enhance them, presenting the new tape at the Wecht conference and then to be X-ed out of the story completely when it gets to CNN and be replaced by John McAdams. How come McAdams is dragged out to fill a quote when his colleague and fellow Lone Nutter who was at my Wecht presentation – Max Holland is more qualified?

    1. How patient are you for suggesting Holland instead of McAdams?!

      Great work with the tapes – hopefully more come our way.

  4. I’ve noticed recently in the mass media coverage of the 50th anniversary another old lie being resurrected: The lie that President Kennedy demanded that the secret service agents on the back of the limousine at Love Field get off the rear bumper (Clint Hill tells it this way)—which is entirely UNtrue. In fact, it was the head of the secret service, riding in the follow up car, who ordered the two agents to step down. You can see the confusion when that happened here:

  5. Answers to two questions have never been found by me.
    1. Who was empowered to revise the presidential cavalcade from the main road into the Dealy Plaza cul de sac where road speed slowed and he was a better target for assassination?
    2. JFK’s preserved skull was kept and put into a special vault for safekeeping, so I have read. At some point in time it disappeared from that location, never to have been recovered. Who had the authority and/or ability to access that vault, where entrants must have had to sign in?
    Only in Roger Mudd’s 4 hr series on History channel were such topics even hinted at.
    I would deeply appreciate your comments.

    1. Many people think the Robert Kennedy placed the preserved brain in JFK’s final resting place during the re-internment in 1967.

  6. This reporter’s treatment of Bill Kelly (ignoring his existence & the fact that the story would not be possible without Bill’s hard work & contribution) is distressingly pathetic & demonstrates to some that the ‘casting couch’ (usually defined as compromising one’s morals, ethics & scruples to ‘make it’ in Hollywood & the recording industry) now extends into TV journalism; indeed it also demonstrate how the integrity of TV journalism has taken a nosedive from the days of Walter Cronkite & his peers.

    Realizing there’s always another side of the story to everything in life, perhaps the reporter has to toe the line in order to stay employed & feed himself & family. If that’s the case, the employer is the villain here. A good job is a precious commodity these days.

    Bill Kelly can get around this apparent ‘blacklist’ by posting his own videos on YouTube. Probably more viewers will see them there than anything the network the reporter works for broadcasts anyway.

  7. I understand his concerns about being labeled pro-conspiracy, but if he is trying to avoid the truth or any controversy that would make himself look bad, he isn’t a good reporter, no?

    1. I just noticed Paulf’s comment and if was directing that at me then he should be corrected – because I don’t promote a conspiracy theory does not mean I am afraid of the truth or controversy since I don’t believe JFK was killed by one man alone and there fore it had to be a conspiracy.

      I believe Oswald was set up as the Patsy and didn’t kill anyone that day, and the MO -Modus Operandi was that of a covert intelligence operation with a Northwoods twist –

      As for looking bad and avoiding controversy – anyone who knows me knows that I am an instigator who has stirred up my share of controversy and stick around for the fight.


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