Jump to content


Photo

JFK and the Unspeakable by James Douglass .... My one reservation

witness Robert Vinson

  • Please log in to reply
49 replies to this topic

#1 Chuck Barlow

Chuck Barlow

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 180 posts
  • LocationFort Worth TX

Posted 05 October 2014 - 08:54 AM

I believe Douglass' book offers one of the best detailed explanations answering the "why" JFK  was marked for death question.  I loved the book up until I came to page 297 where Douglass recounts the story of Air Force sergeant Robert Vinson.  

 

Vinson's story says that he traveled from Ent  Air Force base in Colorado Springs CO to Washington DC a few days before the assassination in order to inquire about the reasons for not receiving a promotion. He said he met with a colonel Chapman in a basement office of the Capitol Building on  November 21st. Chapman was supposedly some type of liaison officer between the Pentagon and Congress. While in Chapman's office, Vinson claims he overheard Chapman on a telephone conversation recommending the Dallas portion of Kennedy's trip to Texas be cancelled because "there had been something reported".

 

Chapman after hearing Vinson's story, sent him to a Pentagon personnel officer, who said he'd look into Vinson's promotion matter. On Friday morning Vinson went to Andrews AFB to try to catch an Air Force hop flight back to Colorado. Vinson then was put aboard a C54 ( 4 engine military version of a Douglass DC-4) that had no Air Force markings or serial numbers, there was only a "rust brown graphic of an egg-shaped earth,crossed by white grid marks". 

 

During the flight, somewhere over Nebraska, Vinson said the pilot announced over the intercom that the President had been shot and shortly thereafter the plane made a 90 degree turn to the South. At around 3:30 pm Vinson recognized the skyline of Dallas, where the plane landed "in a rough sandy area alongside the Trinity river. Shortly after landing 2 men boarded the plane, one of which Vinson came to recognize as Lee Harvey Oswald. Vinson said the plane took off and landed at Roswell AFB, New Mexico , where he later caught a hop back to Colorado Springs.

 

There are so many implausible elements to this story that it boggles my mind how Douglass could believe it.

 

I'll preface my response by stating that I too am an Air Force veteran that was stationed at Ent AFB, in Colorado Springs.

 

Item 1.  It should not have been any mystery to Vinson about his promotion status. In the days before the rapid expansion of personnel for the Vietnam fiasco, promotions in the Air Force were notoriously slow. I entered the Air Force in August of 1968 and both of my drill instructors during my basic training, had been in the service for twelve years each and both were at the rank of Sergeant E-4. Vinson was already one rank higher at Staff Sergeant E-5, which was normal for someone who had 16 years service such as Vinson. Once Vietnam ramped up, promotions came much more quickly. I made Staff Sergeant E-5 in less than 4 years.

 

Item 2. Travelling to the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. to inquire about a promotion makes no sense at all. All records for promotions are or were kept at the Air Force's Military Personnel Center at Randolph AFB, San Antonio, Texas. Vinson would never have made it into any colonel's office. The colonel's gate keeper would have blown him off as a nut case. He would have never even made it in to the Pentagon building,

 

Item 3. I can't envision any circumstance that would have allowed Vinson to be placed aboard an unmarked CIA plane for a military hop, especially one that had its itinerary changed to perform one of the most covert missions of the 20th century.

 

Item 4. The C-54 aircraft was noted for having a weak nose gear assembly. Having that plane land on a sandy, under construction, dirt road along the Trinity river, would have been suicidal.

 

Item 5. Just check Google Earth. The Trinity river is within a few miles of downtown Dallas. (Oswald had to cross the Trinity to get to the Oak Cliff neighborhood) Thousands of people would have noticed such an unusual occurrence as a large 4 engine cargo plane landing along a riverbank in broad daylight instead of an airport. I can't recall  hearing of anyone reporting such an occurrence on November 22nd 1963.

 

Some people will say anything to get their 15 minutes of fame. Vinson's hallucination has no credibility at all. Unfortunately it calls into question Douglass' ability to vet his witnesses, therefore reduces the stature of this otherwise excellent book. 


  • Edwardcaum likes this

#2 Brian Kelshaw

Brian Kelshaw

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 190 posts
  • LocationWolverhampton, UK.

Posted 05 October 2014 - 11:02 AM

Or, he could be telling the truth. After all, wtf had he to gain by describing a far fetched story. The trouble with this assassination is of course the disinformation, but a close second is the absolute refusal of some to entertain anything that they think implausible. Implausible it may be, did it happen, I don't know, wasn't there, but owning and having read the book "flight from Dallas" I'm prepared to believe it did. I don't have your first hand knowledge and experience Chuck, but I want proof it didn't happen before I doubt the story.

#3 Chuck Barlow

Chuck Barlow

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 180 posts
  • LocationFort Worth TX

Posted 05 October 2014 - 11:28 AM

Or, he could be telling the truth. After all, wtf had he to gain by describing a far fetched story. The trouble with this assassination is of course the disinformation, but a close second is the absolute refusal of some to entertain anything that they think implausible. Implausible it may be, did it happen, I don't know, wasn't there, but owning and having read the book "flight from Dallas" I'm prepared to believe it did. I don't have your first hand knowledge and experience Chuck, but I want proof it didn't happen before I doubt the story.

 Just offering my 2 cents Brian. I wasn't there either. I think if I had ever shown up at the nation's capitol building to find out why I hadn't received a promotion, they would have probably  sent  me to a hospital for a mental evaluation.  All of my dealings with matters of promotion and assignments were with enlisted personnel specialists ... not officers, especially a colonel congressional liaison officer.

 

 

Cite for nose gear weakness

http://books.google....roblems&f=false



#4 Staffan H Westerberg

Staffan H Westerberg

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 178 posts
  • LocationStockholm, Sweden

Posted 05 October 2014 - 11:45 AM

Is Vinson still alive? If he is, why not give him a call. I suppose Chuck's questions are valid.

Why not do some real research on it, Chuck? If it doesnt smell right, maybe there is something to this story?

Always good to question... :)


  • Larry Trotter likes this

#5 Chuck Barlow

Chuck Barlow

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 180 posts
  • LocationFort Worth TX

Posted 05 October 2014 - 01:04 PM

Is Vinson still alive? If he is, why not give him a call. I suppose Chuck's questions are valid.

Why not do some real research on it, Chuck? If it doesnt smell right, maybe there is something to this story?

Always good to question... :)

I had an e-mail exchange with Lisa Pease about my concerns over Vinson's story a few years back. She appeared with James Douglass on one of his speaking engagements. Her e-mail address was presented but not Douglass', so I asked her if she knew why Douglass bought Vinson's story. She replied that she too didn't think Vinson's story was credible and told Douglass so, but didn't state to me Douglass' response.  


  • Staffan H Westerberg likes this

#6 Robert Harper

Robert Harper

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34 posts
  • LocationRotterdam & Los Angeles

Posted 05 October 2014 - 01:53 PM

I'm grateful for the discussion, since I assumed the Douglass book was well vetted.Maybe Mr Douglass  should have suggested the oddity of the event or the unlikely nature of the narrative.

This incident ,and the one with the repair of the windshield in Detroit, have always made me raise an eyebrow--beyond the normal

eye raising of the JFK killing. At one point I started accepting every story, since I was so disgusted by the deception and the perdition of the government story. But time adjusts vision. I'm now agnostic about the "2nd floor,coke encounter at the TSBD" whereas at one point I never questioned its veracity.


  • Staffan H Westerberg and Chuck Barlow like this

#7 Chuck Barlow

Chuck Barlow

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 180 posts
  • LocationFort Worth TX

Posted 05 October 2014 - 02:34 PM

I'm grateful for the discussion, since I assumed the Douglass book was well vetted.Maybe Mr Douglass  should have suggested the oddity of the event or the unlikely nature of the narrative.

This incident ,and the one with the repair of the windshield in Detroit, have always made me raise an eyebrow--beyond the normal

eye raising of the JFK killing. At one point I started accepting every story, since I was so disgusted by the deception and the perdition of the government story. But time adjusts vision. I'm now agnostic about the "2nd floor,coke encounter at the TSBD" whereas at one point I never questioned its veracity.

Thank you. I don't want to earn a mini-McAdams reputation with only a handful of posts. You won't find me trying to jab holes in scholarly research such as Doug Horne's. On the other hand in order to be credible , we have to weed out the misinformation and willful disinformation. I have no expertise in research, ballistics or medical issues, so you'll not likely see me weighing in on any of those topics.



#8 Brian Kelshaw

Brian Kelshaw

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 190 posts
  • LocationWolverhampton, UK.

Posted 06 October 2014 - 04:33 AM

Robert, by "raising an eyebrow beyond the normal" do you mean you tend to believe the two accounts or not? In both cases I believe, mainly because they were both relatively reluctant witnesses who both have a certain credibility, character wise. If forced to choose (for some arbitrary and unecessary reason) I'd say that the windshield story is stonewall truth.

#9 Staffan H Westerberg

Staffan H Westerberg

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 178 posts
  • LocationStockholm, Sweden

Posted 06 October 2014 - 11:32 AM

Chuck, about "You won't find me trying to jab holes in scholarly research such as Doug Horne's." I do think there are some things we always have to question (if it doesnt smell right) and there is some minor details that I can't figure out about Horne's Zapruder conclusions, namely that it was a rush job that weekend. If that is right, then "they" got awfully lucky with the result (including Muchmore, Nix etc). When everything points to a vast and well thought through plan to kill and cover up the murder of the President, why would they not plan with the film in advance, but just come up with the idea (of taking Zapruders film) on the afternoon of the 22nd? Nothing points to it being a rush job, IMO. However, they surely had to work fast during the weekend with the film, but Horne (nor we) have any idea what happend with the film(s) during the day on the 23rd, nor on the day the 24th, nor the day the 25th etc. We dont know that Dino Brugioni really saw the real camera original, we dont know how many films there were to begin with. There is information saying the limo stood still more than 10 seconds. If that is true then all the people that saw "another film" could not have seen a film that showed the real event. Perhaps they saw version #2 and that there is a Trophy Film in the bottom of it all?



#10 Robert Harper

Robert Harper

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34 posts
  • LocationRotterdam & Los Angeles

Posted 06 October 2014 - 11:59 AM

Brian--when my eyebrows raise in JFK readings, it generally indicates an agnostic stance, wanting something more.

Pamela Brown, an expert on the limo, suggested at the Lancer 50th, that the replacement in Detroit story didn't happen, if my memory serves me

 

.Harry Dean says he was on the south knoll as part of an abort team. Ferrie's friend said there was a drain shot;Oswald said the Neely St picture wasn't him; Office Baker said he encountered Oswald;Judyth Baker says she worked with Oswald, her lover; James Files says he shot JFK. There are lots of claims that raise my eyebrows; sometimes they lower when encountering corroboration. An example might be my experience of reading "Best Evidence" 30 years ago. It seemed like science fiction and my eyes would roll. Now, it strikes me as one of the key works of the genre.



#11 Phil Dragoo

Phil Dragoo

    Founding Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 581 posts

Posted 07 October 2014 - 04:51 AM

The section of Douglass Unspeakable on Vinson is at

 

http://www.ratical.o...woLHOs.html#RGV

 

Administrative supervisor of electronics division of NORAD

 

Regarding capability:

 

James Johnston found a C-54 expert to consult, retired Air Force Major William Hendrix, who flew the C-54 on over one hundred missions during the Berlin airlift. In response to Johnston’s query on what the C-54 could do, Hendrix wrote: “It is my personal opinion that a C-54 could easily have landed in the Trinity Flood Plain and have taken off therefrom, the depicted area.”[517]

 

At the link, Vinson is followed by Yates, Ralph Leon, electroshock forty-two times and a thorazine regimen for refusing to back off picking up hitchhiker headed for Depository with curtain rods Wednesday, November 20, 1963.

 

Outré.

 

Not in Kansas anymore.



#12 Robert Harper

Robert Harper

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34 posts
  • LocationRotterdam & Los Angeles

Posted 07 October 2014 - 09:35 AM

Mr Dragoo--I returned to the Douglas reference--thanks to your link- and see that it has been set in a corroborating context .

 

My initial eyebrow raise was likely in response to the chance hopalong on a secret mission, mixed with the term Roswell and his forced return to flying saucer work.

One has to be on guard for disinformation; or for a witness who fingerprints his daughter when she comes home.

 

My response to Mr Barlow should be seen as  support for any stop-and-thinks in this murder, since I've had so many myself.

LIke most things, a fresh look can clear away some fog.



#13 Greg Burnham

Greg Burnham

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 3,063 posts
  • LocationSan Diego, CA

Posted 07 October 2014 - 10:46 AM

There is information saying the limo stood still more than 10 seconds. If that is true then all the people that saw "another film" could not have seen a film that showed the real event. Perhaps they saw version #2 and that there is a Trophy Film in the bottom of it all?

 

Staffan,

 

What "information" says the limo stood still for more than 10 (ten) seconds? I have not heard of this before. 


  • Larry Trotter likes this

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 
Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

Website:

AssassinationOfJFK.net Main Page

 

Forum:

AssassinationOfJFK.net Research Forum

 
YouTube Channel:
 
GooglePlus:
 
Twitter:
 
Facebook:
 

#14 Chuck Barlow

Chuck Barlow

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 180 posts
  • LocationFort Worth TX

Posted 07 October 2014 - 02:45 PM

I would imagine all the members here have read a ton of books on the assassination. I've read at least a dozen. I can't recall of anyone mentioning a plane landing along the trinity river. It surely should have been an odd enough occurrence, especially on  November 22nd 1963, that someone would have noticed, questioned or commented upon it. The civilian version of a C-54 carried 62 passengers. It's a large four engine plane. Dallas was founded on the banks of the Trinity and grew up around it. The area where Vinson claims he landed, was in a highly populated area, even in 1963. With every detail of the assassination, including its cover up well planned in advance, The CIA would re-route a plane in mid-flight to do this whisk away mission? If it did... the first thing they would have done is push Vinson out the door at 15,000 feet. They're not  squeamish or hesitant when it comes to removing witnesses. Every Air Force base has a Colonel as the base commander.

No enlisted sergeant can just walk in off the street and shoot the breeze with a colonel about his personal whine about not being promoted.

The whole premise is ludicrous. 

 

You can't believe someone just because they relate a story that you would like to think is true. Their story has to be plausible and verifiable.

Just because a story is repeated over and over doesn't somehow give it credibility. Ask your distant relatives who have military experience if they would ever think of going to the nation's Capitol Building to whine about not being promoted... it's just nuts.



#15 Greg Burnham

Greg Burnham

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 3,063 posts
  • LocationSan Diego, CA

Posted 07 October 2014 - 03:00 PM

The only military (or former military) person--that I can think of--whose "Legend" is consistent with someone who would do such a thing is Lee Harvey Oswald.


_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 
Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

Website:

AssassinationOfJFK.net Main Page

 

Forum:

AssassinationOfJFK.net Research Forum

 
YouTube Channel:
 
GooglePlus:
 
Twitter:
 
Facebook:
 

#16 Brian Kelshaw

Brian Kelshaw

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 190 posts
  • LocationWolverhampton, UK.

Posted 07 October 2014 - 03:25 PM

Just because it is improbable doesn't make it untrue. Why do people stick to the insane idea that this thing was planned down to the last detail and went like clockwork? Why do people assume supreme judgement in all matters relating to the assassination? Precisely because we are so much in the dark and don't know what to believe means we have very few absolute certainties to base our mental "framework" on.

Vinson's story is incredible ("So implausible as to elicit disbelief") Like it or not, it is also perfectly possible. And until I see sound evidence to invalidate his account I currently have no reason to believe that it did not happen just as he said it did.

After all, it doesn't conveniently fill any gaps in our knowledge, something which would be a dead giveaway. It solves nothing, proves nothing and gains Robert Vinson absolutely nothing, except it seems, scorn. I don't think of Douglass as a fool.His book is one of the most highly praised on the subject.I have it, I've read it. It is deserving of all the praise heaped on it. On a personal level I found large sections uninteresting, only because, not being American, and not being particularly interested in American history I prefer books more 'on topic' as far as my assassination reading is concerned. Note, I said "prefer" which means I don't restrict the books I buy based upon the general topic they cover. No, I tend to buy a book for reference, it may have one chapter of information I need, and if so, and if it is cost effective, I'll buy it. I usually follow references from within other books.

That's how I came across Vinson's account (not through Douglass, though I can't remember where)

I'm new to this as many of you know. I therefore am open to all accounts that interest me. I'll only file something away as nonsense when given good reason to. In this case, the skepticism of others is not reason enough.

#17 Chuck Barlow

Chuck Barlow

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 180 posts
  • LocationFort Worth TX

Posted 07 October 2014 - 03:33 PM

The only military (or former military) person--that I can think of--whose "Legend" is consistent with someone who would do such a thing is Lee Harvey Oswald.

I saw the video where Vinson is recounting his story. When he came to the part when the plane turned south from somewhere in Nebraska, He said " The plane made a 180 degree turn".  Maybe he misspoke, but we know a 180 degree turn would point them back towards DC.

My impression is he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer. If it isn't willful disinformation, then it's just a lonely old guy wanting some attention.



#18 Phil Dragoo

Phil Dragoo

    Founding Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 581 posts

Posted 08 October 2014 - 02:07 AM

Robert Vinson was administrative supervisor of electronics division of NORAD.

 

He was not a pilot.

 

If he's on a plane and describes a course change in a manner inconsistent with a pilot's it is because he is not a pilot.

 

James Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, 2008, is four hundred pages of text and one hundred pages of endnotes.

 

Notes are sprinkled sourcing the Vinson section.

 

The description of the companion of Oswald fits David Morales associated with Phillips who was with Oswald in Dallas prior.

 

"sharpest knife in the drawer"?

 

NORAD had him in a position indicating otherwise.

 

"just a lonely old guy wanting some attention"?

 

E. Howard Hunt in Bond of Secrecy a genuflection to Langley and a deflection therefrom.

 

 



#19 Chuck Barlow

Chuck Barlow

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 180 posts
  • LocationFort Worth TX

Posted 08 October 2014 - 04:00 AM

Vinson was an administrative specialist. As a staff sergeant, the only people he would supervise, would be lower ranking administrative specialists. It is the Air Force's name for a clerk/typist, a  Radar O'reilly, like in MASH. He opened and distributed the mail, kept the forms room stocked, typed letters and kept the paperwork filed. 

 

The guy is a bullshitter, surely, sometime in your life you've had dealings with a bullshitter. One of the hallmarks of a bullshitter is that once they see you're buying it ... they have to keep upping the ante by adding more layers of bullshit. As an example, Vinson had to throw in the detail that he overheard Colonel Chapman on the phone, trying to warn someone to have Kennedy cancel his visit to Dallas because "he heard something" ... Wow!!!

 

Gee, I wonder how a Pentagon/Congressional Liaison officer, who I would assume, answers questions from congressmen about matters military, or oversees budgeting details, could be in a security/intelligence loop? Let's say I somehow  hear of a threat to the president. Who would I inform? The Secret Service? The FBI? Dallas PD? I got it !!! I'll call the Pentagon/Congressional Liaison Officer !!!!!!  .... nuts.



#20 Brian Kelshaw

Brian Kelshaw

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 190 posts
  • LocationWolverhampton, UK.

Posted 08 October 2014 - 05:31 AM

With every detail of the assassination, including its cover up well planned in advance, The CIA would re-route a plane in mid-flight to do this whisk away mission? If it did... the first thing they would have done is push Vinson out at 15000


Inside information, do go on. Every detail eh, good god this thing was a masterpiece. The frontal shot, planned, the struggle for the body at Parkland, planned, Ruby, planned. Boy, you have to hand it to those guys.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: witness, Robert Vinson

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Web Work by: XmasZen.com