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X marks the "JFK Files"

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
"Forgive My Grief" was the book Texas publisher Penn Jones released after his private investigation into the assassination of Pres. John F. Kennedy.
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I heard it was a lone gunman.” – Mr. X in the 1997 X-Files episode “Unusual Suspects”

OKLAHOMA CITY – So, President Trump tweeted a few days ago that he intends to allow the release of the “long blocked and classified JFK FILES” on the approved date of October 26, 2017 – files that have been “kept classified for 54 years,” according to The Dallas Morning News.

Trump stated, via a White House press release, that in the “interests of full transparency,” the 3,100 remaining files at the National Archives should be made available, barring a “last-ditch push by the CIA or another agency,” the story, written by the News’s Washington bureau chief Todd Gillman.

What will be revealed in the files remains to be seen. Gillman notes that the “trove still unders seal” could include a CIA profile on “lone gunman” (aka “government patsy”) Lee Harvey Oswald, letters from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, files on various figures in the criminal underworld related to the JFK assassination conspiracy, and the Soviet KGB documents suspected to be in the files.

Also, Gillman writes: “The big prize about to be released may be material related to Oswald’s trip to Mexico City seven weeks before the assassination.”

Hey Lee, your library book is overdue! (National Archives)

And it was a little over two weeks before the assassination that Oswald “visited the branch of the Dallas Public Library in Oak Cliff, where he checked out a book called The Shark and The Sardines, written by former Guatemalan President Juan Jose Arévalo. The book, which has been reprinted (I write about it here) is one that is critical of the United States’ (the “shark”) meddling in the affairs of Latin America (the “sardines”) and imperialistic nature, something Oswald would have been interested in at that time.

At least that is the story according to Vincent Bugliosi’s 2007 book Reclaiming History: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy. The info about Oswald’s library book are on page 777, coincidentally …

Oh, and Oswald’s book remains overdue to this day. It was never returned.

Also, coincidentally, President Trump is scheduled to be in Dallas for a campaign fundraiser – “the day before the deadline.

Curiouser and curiouser.


So, while reading The Mothman Prophecies, I note that author John Keel makes mention of Penn Jones, the owner and publisher of The Midlothian Mirror newspaper in Midlothian, Texas. Jones spent hundreds of hours researching the JFK assassination, interviewing people and trying to get to the truth.

Jones also exposed the fact that many people – witnesses and investigators – mysteriously died in the months after the assassination. As Keel notes, he, like Jones, received strange, harassing phone calls in those years of the middle 1960’s, calls where recordings of their interviews over the phone were played back to them by mysterious callers – proving their lines were tapped.

In his book Forgive My Grief, Jones includes a copy of an editorial he featured in the Nov. 25, 1965 edition of The Midlothian Mirror, headlined “Was it a Mickey?” As an aside, my first newspaper gig was just down the road from Midlothian, Texas, at The Waxahachie Daily Light, one of the few newspapers to endorse Trump for president in 2016 and the newspaper I was working at in 1998 when I interviewed a former Dallas County sheriff's deputy who told me about allowing Jack Ruby into the courthouse basement, where he would shoot and kill Oswald.

Amyway, Penn Jones notes that famed columnist Dorothy Kilgallen (I reviewed a book about her and the mysterious circumstances around her death here) died that month – Nov. 8, 1965 – a day before the notorious power outage ("blackout") that struck large portions of the Northeastern United States and Canadian province of Ontario, one that at the time was considered very strange and inexplicable, although it was later said to have been due to a faulty “protective relay” at a a power station near Niagara Falls.

Jones also said the Time magazine of Nov. 19, 1965 said a person interviewed for a story about the power outage suggested the lights going out was done “in memory of Miss Kilgallen.” A rather odd thing to say.

Page from Penn Jones' book Forgive My Grief. (Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

Kilgallen’s death was chalked up to her consuming an overdose of alcohol and barbiturates at the Regency Hotel in New York – the same city that a day later – Nov. 9, 1965 (a sort of reverse, 13-hour 9/11, where crime was at a minimum) – was plunged into the dark.

As a United Airlines pilot told Time, one minute he saw the lights of Manhattan in the distance, and the next minute they were gone.

“The whole city of New York was missing,” said pilot Dale Chapman. “It looked like the end of the world.” (Synchromystically, right after finding that quote, I jumped in my car to run some errands and R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” was playing on the radio).

But in the months before her death, Kilgallen had received exclusive privilege by a Texas judge to sit in a room, alone, with Jack Ruby, the sleazy Carousel Club owner and Oswald’s assassin, for 30 minutes. While Kilgallen did report on most of what Ruby said, she likely didn’t report it all, and Jones suspected Kilgallen was targeted by those wanting to silence her and others searching for the truth.

Was someone afraid she knew more?” Jones asked in his column.

As I wrote in my review of Mark Shaw’s book about Kilgallen, The Reporter Who Knew Too Much, Kilgallen felt compelled to get to the bottom of the JFK assassination mystery, smelling a rat from the get-go. And speaking of "rats," it was Rat Packer Frank Sinatra who had it in for Kilgallen as well for "disrespecting" him in the past in her columns.

And then we know another Rat Packer, Peter Lawford, was the guy who owned the Santa Monica, California house where Marilyn Monroe was alleged to have had trysts with the Kennedy brothers. The author Donald Burleson suggests Monroe may have learned too much during these secret get-togethers and she was silenced.

But back to my review of the Kilgallen book. IX  wrote: “Perhaps naively, Kilgallen was convinced she was on to a big story, one that Ruby confessed would never be known. Nevertheless, Kilgallen marched forward, telling friends, “I’m going to break the real story and have the biggest scoop of the century.

Like Penn Jones decades earlier, author Mark Shaw suggests that Dorothy Kilgallen was slipped a "Mickey Finn." And this, not long after Kilgallen had said the Warren Commission report claiming Oswald acted alone - the "lone gunman," as the mysterious Mr. X tells the conspiratorial trio, who would call themselves "The Lone Gunmen," in a 1997 episode of The X-Files - was "laughable."

The Lone Gunmen and Special Agent Fox Mulder on The X-Files. (Ten Thirteen Productions / Fox)


I don't know about you, but lately I've been hyper-aware of electricity. Perhaps it is because I'm still coming off that Twin Peaks high, because, as fans of that series know, show co-creator David Lynch is utterly fascinated with the concept of electricity and has incorporated it into his work since before Eraserhead, way back in 1977. I do know that I've been having weird "power"-related incidents at home and elsewhere.

In fact, my fairly new turntable at home decided not to work anymore. The record on the turntable happened to be the recently re-issued vinyl version of the original Twin Peaks soundtrack.

Late last year, Lynch was asked by a fan, prior to a screening of Inland Empire, about his fascination with electricity. Here, in part, is what Lynch said:

“The fact that it controls us. I don’t know why all people aren’t fascinated with it. It makes beautiful sounds, and it makes a lot of times some incredible light. It runs many things in our world and it’s beautiful. It’s sometimes dangerous, but it’s magical. It’s such a power and it can make some beautiful images… and sounds.”

Lynch added:“[S]cientists don’t understand electricity. They say, “It’s moving electrons.” But there’s a certain point where they say, “We don’t know why that happens.” I’m not a scientist, and I haven’t talked to these guys that are into electricity, but it is a force.”

And it's well-documented that UFO's are attracted to power lines and so forth. In fact, an ABC News report in 2015 on states with the highest percentage of UFO sightings notes a March 2015 report in Everett, Washington, where the eyewitness said the "two massive crafts, solid black in color" were hovering right above "electrical power lines" outside. Everett is the same city where the home of Twin Peaks' Laura Palmer is located, and is where the last scene of the recently-rebooted series was shot.

And in The Mothman Prophecies film, released in January 2002, but filmed a year earlier, the director Mark Pellington - like Lynch - puts an emphasis on electrical power lines being a "draw" for the Mothman or whatever paranormal entities were plaguing the Point Pleasant, West Virginia area in 1966-67. And as John Keel notes in his book, the "Men in Black" indicate to him that an "EM" (major power outage) would strike the US Northeast, as it had two years earlier, and that it would be triggered when Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson (who many allege had a role in JFK's demise) lit the White House Christmas tree. Of course the power outage did not take place at that moment. But to Keel's shock, the Silver Bridge, over the Ohio River, collapsed, killing 46. That was at Point Pleasant, where the Mothman, MIB's and UFOs were haunting the citizens for so many months.

Back to the 1965 blackout ... in 2011, UFO Digest blogger Chris Holly notes that many people reported seeing UFOs during the blackout of November 9, 1965 and that "we were lied to" about what really happened that day. I tend to agree. But then we've been lied to about so many things, it's hard to keep track of them all.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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