Rick Bauer, a reader in Florida, writes to tell of his personal experience in 1965-66 with David Ferrie, the New Orleans pilot who has been the target of JFK conspiracy speculation for decades.
“I am a graduate of Tulane University in 1966. In the fall of 1965 I commenced flight training paid for by the Department of Defense for students enrolled in various ROTC programs. I was a USN scholarship student at Tulane. My instructor was David Ferrie …. I knew Dave from Sept. 1965 until May of 1966. I passed my Private Pilot’s check ride on March 27, 1966.”
His name was Clay Shaw. He was a wealthy, discreetly gay, businessman in New Orleans. He was indicted by District Attorney Jim Garrison for conspiring to kill JFK. When his case came to trial in 1969, Shaw was swiftly acquitted. He died in 1974. In Oliver Stone’s “JFK”, Shaw was played by Tommie Lee Jones.
In my view, there is no compelling evidence that Clay Shaw was involved in a conspiracy to kill the President Kennedy. Nonetheless, is is true that a CIA official later described Shaw as “a highly paid contract source” for the agency in the 1950s — something the agency stoutly denied when Shaw was on trial.
Jim Garrison, New Orleans DA, and object of CIA attention. (Credit: LYNN PELHAM/TIMEPIX )
The CIA retains two secret files on New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, the crusading prosecutor who inspired Oliver Stone’s hit movie “JFK.”
The files–whose existence was first reported by JFK Facts- are among the 3,600 secret U.S. government records related to JFK’s assassination that are scheduled to be released in October 2017. Earlier this week, Politico and NOLA,com reported on the existence of the 3,600 records, which was first disclosed on May 12 by JFK Facts.
In this balanced, if breathless, 1998 History Channel video entitled “Missing Files,” we learn what the government sought to hide from public view. The approach is skeptical without crazy conspiracy mongering.
At the Duquesne JFK conference, Joan Mellen, a professor at Temple University and author of “Farewell to Justice,” sings the praises of the New Orleans District Attorney as depicted in Oliver Stone’s “JFK.”
“If it hadn’t been for Jim Garrison there would have been no Oliver Stone or ‘JFK,’ and if there was no ‘JFK,’ there would be no JFK Assassination Records Act,” Mellen said. “And if there was no JFK Records Collection at the National Archives, none of the books written about the Kennedy presidency in the past 20 years could have been written,” Mellen said.
“The five months that Oswald spent in New Orleans during the spring and summer of ’63 played a critical role in the assassination,” explains historian Michael L. Kurtz in the October issue of New Orleans Magazine.