Monday, 15 August 2011 19:53

JFK and the Majestic Papers: The History of a Hoax, Part 6

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Explores why the JFK community ignored the MJ-12 palaver, but more importantly why ‘truth seekers’ and ‘crank busters’ like Russo and others avoided the JFK-MJ-12 issue altogether, giving an outline of one of the potential targets of this disinformation.

Part 6: Gus Russo “Phone Home”

“Fly me to moon let me play among the stars.”

~ Frank Sinatra, 1964; ‘It Might as Well Be Swing’

I agree with Robert Hastings that ‘Reality Uncovered’ (a well-known moderate UFO site) and its co-founder, Ryan Dube, deserve accolades for exposing some of the shenanigans of Collins and his crew. In particular with regards to Angleton and more recently with regard to Doty’s backing of the utterly asinine Project SERPO, not to mention their toughness concerning hoaxers and cheats. I also like their line, which appears to be that ‘yes there may well be extra-terrestrials but there’s too much garbage in the way to see it clearly at the moment’.

But I also agree with Hastings: they have picked up some rather nasty fugazys along the way. One ‘fugazy’ is Gus Russo, who seemed to have charmed his way into their midst back in 2007. It’s hugely ironic that a poster by the name of Mike Jamieson, whose moniker is ‘Clearly Discerns Reality’ makes the following comment about Russo’s upcoming appearance on the site:

Isn't this GR an investigative reporter with fringe theories on JFK's death, etc?

In his rather uniquely misguided way, our dear Mr. Jamieson is correct. Gus Russo is indeed an advocate of ‘fringe theories’. Like the magic bullet for starters. That Oswald was an agent of Castro for two, and the utterly unproven ‘theory’ that Castro had JFK killed because of his brother Robert’s against Fidel.

That Ryan Dube (co-founder of the site with Steve Broadbent, and a sensible guy) bought into the Russo charm offensive and his ‘zany’ theories, enough to promote them in his follow up post to Jamieson, this is a prime example of what happens to even the most discerning in ufology circles. Their scope is simply too big. The broader one’s scope in any research becomes, the more one opens themselves up to all manner of untruths in some other sphere like the Kennedy assassination. (Or perhaps myself in venturing into the UFO one.)

With a bit of delving prior to Russo’s appearance, Dube (whom we shall return to in a bit) would have seen that Gus Russo is a man who had been so badly discredited in the JFK fold by groups like CTKA, that he had to find a new home chasing ubiquitous false leads (or endorsing them for his nefarious purposes) like the Aviary. Hence, I advise, any Russo cynic to have a read of these excellent articles by Jim DiEugenio ‘Who is Gus Russo’() and ‘Inside the Target Car: Part Three() which will give the reader some important background as to Russo’s dabbling in and around the Kennedy assassination up to 2003.

Russo’s debut turn in the ET arena began with an interesting article about government assets currently circulating around the UFO field. This paid some attention to Richard Doty and his ongoing contacts in US intelligence circles. However, his version of the modern day ‘Aviary’ made no mention of Cooper and only gave a small mention to Collins as Doty’s co-author. In so doing, Russo, who made his bones in the ‘JFK’ delta, inexplicably avoided any mention of the fake JFK-MJ-12 documents, an area one would think a researcher like himself would have tried to unravel, or at least should have while they were in their heyday.

Instead, Russo dismissively calls them the “MJ-12 documents of old” without a second glance. Okay, Russo may well have been moving forward from his embarrassing foray into JFK, and his article on Doty does hit the target (not very hard when considering the bloated and slow moving blimp that Bob Hastings, Don Ecker, Greg Bishop, Pilkington, Greenwood, Dube and others helped make Doty into), and he did let slip an inkling of a CIA link to Doty. But if Russo had truly moved on from JFK, why then did he suddenly use Doty in comparison to Jim Garrison. When Garrison’s investigations had nothing at all to do with UFO’S, and Garrison was anythign but an intelligence asset:

Nonetheless, much the same way that reporters speculated about the fraudulent New Orleans DA Jim Garrison forty years ago, there remains a group of UFO bloggers who continue to opine about Doty: “He must have something.”

I mean, considering the ET zone Russo is delving into wouldn’t he have been better off comparing Doty to people like Bill Ryan, Richard Dolan, David Wilcock, Dick Hoagland, David Icke or our dear George Adamski and their followers in the naïve ‘He must have something’ stakes? Speaking of George, well Gus, there’s a very high possibility that Allen Dulles thought he had something at least. What’s also extremely dishonest is that Russo also failed to mention in his article that Garrison’s case, while far from being perfect (a case Garrison and his advocates have never denied), was fed all manner of ‘disinformation’ from numerous people very similar to the ‘unhinged’ Doty, Cooper and Collins. Namely Fred Crisman, Bernardo De Torres, Bill Boxley and Gordon Novel.

Russo also ignored the famous and very real document concerning CIA use of its media assets in wake of the Garrison trial. This isn’t Nexus Magazine buffoonery, nor MJ-12 type musings: this is the ‘real deal’. If you want to find out more about Operation Mockingbird (which this document was part of) I suggest you check out what Bill Kelly wrote().

Hypocrisy and Dishonesty

Thus Russo’s article was not only guilty of ignorance, it was a piece of hypocrisy. By 2007 he was now more than prepared to discuss government sponsored individuals floating around spreading chaos in the UFO field. But heartily deny their very existence in the Kennedy field. It’s also indicative of Russo’s messiah complex, that while he’s now allowed to speculate about all manner of space related ‘funkiness’, he once derided well known Warren Commission and HSCA medical evidence critic, Dr. Cyril Wecht’s appearance on the infamous Ray Santilli ‘Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction’ special in 1995 on FOX. Russo’s comment (seen below) was inspired by Wecht unleashing a well-deserved tirade upon Russo at the 1993 ASK conference in Dallas. Russo, in his extremely lame and dishonest reply to DiEugenio’s original article on him ‘Who is Jim DiEugenio’ described Wecht’s passion for aliens under the heading ‘Close encounters of the foulest kind’:

What made the event even more surreal was the fact that while he was screaming, my escalator had reached the second floor, so those below only saw the good doctor screaming at the ceiling. He was eventually coaxed outdoors, where it was thought by some he was on the verge of a stroke. If he indeed suffered permanent damage, it would explain why, four years later, Wecht was seen on TV calling the most ludicrous rubber dummy a possible space alien (“Alien Autopsy” on Fox.)

Well, as we have seen, it was actually two years later not ‘four’ but considering Russo’s penchant for inaccuracy, well who knows? The funny thing is that Wecht never called it a possible ‘Space Alien’ in the show. Fearing I had missed something I asked Dr. Wecht himself about his comments on the show. His first reply back to me would make Shakespeare himself blush:

Gus Russo is a cowardly, vicious, dishonest, unethical, opportunistic piece of shit.

Wecht in a subsequent email described how he was asked by a Fox Producer to do the show and how he was instructed to focus on the ‘purported’ autopsy. In regards to this he made the following comment:

I recall saying that – “the body shown and subjected to dissection was quite different from any human body I have ever seen or autopsied”. I stated that the Fox investigative reporter should attempt to learn more about the film – who made it? where? when?  etc. – Where did the “body” come from?

Now I’ve watched the show and I can confirm Wecht’s comments, as I’m sure you, the reader, can. Indeed, even Wikipedia, which grinned at the (proven) fraudulent cases brought against him by pro-Bush Republicans in his had to comment:

Noted forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, who considered the autopsy procedures in the film to be authentic but stopped short of declaring the being an alien.

Wecht himself was once again not shy in coming forward:

I never stated that I believed it was an “alien”, or that I believe in “aliens”. 

It also appears that Wecht, like myself and the majority of other people, believes that the abundance of galaxies in the universe make the chances of other life forms exceptionally high. As to his belief in whether or not Aliens have visited Earth his answer was as non-committal as mine back in the Introduction:

At the same time, inasmuch as there are billions of galaxies in outer space, I do think it is supreme intellectual arrogance for someone to categorically deny the possibility of some form(s) of life existing in one of those galaxies. How can we possibly know that?

So Russo, in misrepresenting Wecht, has, like his forbear Ed Epstein, tried to lump a well-known figure in the JFK nexus into the ‘UFO’s are real’ community without their say so. You may recall that previously Gus Russo’s friend John McAdams had implied Prouty’s insanity with a mere statement on the issue. There’s certainly a pattern here, indeed a fine tradition likely started by James Angleton (Dulles heir apparent in the UFO stakes). And Russo and others are certainly keen on continuing it in a big way. We can clearly see that he’s also guilty of conjoining Garrison and his advocates with a paid government disinformationist Richard Doty and his cabal of UFO train wrecks. When was Garrison ever a paid disinformation spreader Gus? What agency was he hooked up to? Surely you don’t believe the ludicrous idea of Novel’s that Garrison was a stooge of the FBI wanting to destroy Lyndon Johnson and the CIA (well at least that’s one version of his silly tale). To think Russo still has the nerve to call someone like myself or Jim Garrison ‘nuts’, after what we will see below, is delusional.

Gus Calling Orson – Come in Orson

Now, Russo’s article was inspired by his friend Dan Smith. Smith was/is close friends with a confirmed CIA scientist, Dr Ron Pandolfi. Pandolfi has been floating around the UFO scene since the mid-nineties and been an influential figure in spreading all manner of UFO disinformation. Yet Smith still boasts that he feeds him some information occasionally (). Mr. Smith is also very caught up in a sort of Christianity meets UFO sort of delirium (another all too common occurrence in UFO circles). In fact he’s gone one better than Tim Cooper and claims he is the second coming of the Messiah. Because he was apparently in touch with ‘Pandolfi’ whom Reality Uncovered once called ‘one of the few true government insiders’ Dube and Broadbent once entertained the notions of Smith (). Yet to their credit, Reality Uncovered has since fully discarded Russo’s hero Smith as a reliable source (showing a level of humbleness and introspection seldom seen in UFO circles). They also have come across the fact that Ron Pandolfi had been buddies with Novel (an individual they have rather stubbornly denied has had any genuine intelligence connections for a long time). In the midst of all this Pandolfi apparently attacked Dube and his site for asking direct questions of Novel’s credentials. ().

If Reality Uncovered’s turnaround on Smith and Pandolfi wasn’t bad enough for Russo, he really crossed the Rubicon in 2008. According to Gary S. Bekkum, a longtime advocate of the absurd Serpo hoax, Russo (who appears to have been a friend of his) really is searching for that ‘mind altering close encounter’:

Furthermore, according to Russo's source, not only is NSA currently involved in fringe science involving mind-bending psychic intelligence collection, but their psychics have run into a mental firewall. Specifically Russo mentioned "an unknown extra-terrestrial source.

Now wait a minute: hadn’t Russo, some years earlier, tried to falsely accuse Cyril Wecht as some kind of ‘UFO nut’? And wasn’t Russo now hanging out with a staunch protagonist of the very ‘Serpo’ hoax that Reality Uncovered had effectively decimated and that he himself had congratulated them for uncovering? Indeed, Reality Uncovered has done a number of pieces in critique of Bekkum Russo’s article. So Gus Russo, as we can see, is clearly an unrepentant conspirahypocrite. While criticising numerous figures in the JFK cavalcade for their implicating ‘unhinged’ individuals like Gordon Novel and Dave Ferrie in the Garrison case, he’d been playing ‘hide the sausage’ with a bunch of people no respectable ufologist in their right minds would go near and whom RU have since disowned. In fact RU has since distanced themselves from Russo as Dube explained to myself:

About Russo - I have to be honest, I've never trusted the guy. He interviewed me for the piece that he wrote for Dan Smith, but his association with the likes of Gary Bekkum, who is essentially insane, always causes me pause. I remember looking over his work on JFK, but never followed it closely enough to know what his part was or where he fell within the field of JFK researchers ... .

Unbeknown to Dube it appears that Gus Russo (who makes jest of this oh so simple meeting in ‘Who is Jim DiEugenio’) was indeed part of a very real non-flake JFK ‘Aviary’ and in 1994 wined and dined with no lesser CIA luminaries than ex head of the agency Bill Colby (the real Bill Colby not some invention of Cooper’s), Ted Shackley, chief of the notorious Miami Station at the time of the assassination and well known media asset Joe Goulden, a close friend of the deceased David Phillips (). These are serious guys that make the supposed higher-ups in the Aviary nexus (depending on whom one reads) look like kittens. One of Russo’s old school friends, Dave Perry, was behind a dubious hit piece on Jim Marrs in 2001 in Dallas Observer. () And it’s here we encounter a rather troubling question and one which goes to the very heart of the fake JFK-MJ-12 documents. 

Grand Master Perry & The Art of Encirclement

Not many people who read the Robert Wilonsky piece in Dallas Observer on Marrs knew that Wilonsky and Dave Perry went back some ways. And Perry, of course, was never a fan of Marrs work. Nor did they realize that Perry isn’t considered a member of the ‘real’ research community. Or that Perry’s mission since he moved to Dallas seemed to be to discredit the local faction of writer/researchers on the JFK case there. I also doubt that people know how low the ‘lone nut’ side is prepared to stoop.

For it appears that Perry, Wilonsky and Gary Mack (of the Sixth Floor Museum) were prepared to use Wilonsky’s mother as bait in an attempt to confuse the medical accounts at Parkland Hospital. And also make use of her associations with Jack Ruby’s old synagogue as a lure so they could conflate JFK researchers with charges of anti-Semitism (). Now, did this have nothing to do with the fact that fringe conspiracy books, one by Jim Fetzer (who has been accused by David Lifton of having anti-Semitic tendencies ) and Mark Piper (the Jews run the world) had been prevously been published?

People reading Gus Russo’s article on Reality Uncovered wouldn’t know that while Perry (who is also exceptionally close friends with the CIA/FBI affiliated Hugh Aynesworth) was out there heckling Marrs over his views on remote viewing as espoused in his book Alien Agenda. At around the same time Gus Russo, his best buddy, was likely dabbling around in the very same fields Marrs had looked into (and perhaps doing it with aliens to boot). Now talk about a classic Dulles type of encirclement operation. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Dave Perry reveled in publishing updates on the bogus Cyril Wecht civil trial on his website, but then deleted them without a trace after the trial was deemed null and void.

Dave Perry is a quite clever guy. And many believe a key strategist in Kennedy related disinformation. And considering his more hardened approach to new (and poor) research in the JFK sphere, the work he has done, makes the likes of ufology’s bogey men like Doty, Collins and Cooper look utterly primitive.

At the time the first JFK-MJ-12 documents broke in 1992 many established JFK researchers were far too busy in the wake of renewed interest in the case to pay much attention to rumours, in particular those emitting from the crank ridden UFO crowd. There was good (and bad) research to be done, organizations to be formed, websites built, earth-based disinformation to fight (often resulting from the aforementioned bad research), people like Russo to be ousted, and findings of the ARRB to observe. Individuals running the gamut from Bob Groden, Steve Gerlach, Dan Ratcliffe, Len Osanic, Mike Griffiths, John Judge, Walt Brown Jim DiEugenio, Deborah Conway, Charles Drago, Lisa Pease, John Kelin and Rex Bradford are just but a sampling of the web presences we have who were all part of the maelstrom of the nineties.

Despite the bad blood in some spheres of ‘Kennedy space’, stemming from this phase, the majority of researchers mentioned above would have agreed with the study under discussion some 15 years ago. Had Marrs seen more critical activity concerning the JFK-MJ-12 documents there’s every chance he may not have touched them with a barge pole, or been more openly critical of them. But being critical of the research community at the time was rather awkward. Individuals like Perry, Russo and McAdams effectively owned the critique and discourse surrounding many of the dubious claims being made, and respected figures like Marrs weren’t criticized for their inanity with MJ-12 because of a fear of being associated with the likes of Perry, Russo and McAdams. This is the beauty of a counter-intelligence operation in its classic form. One in which people disguised as sincerely seraching for the truth are actually not.

‘Ask The Question Dammit!’

This is where Gus Russo’s and Dave Perry’s actions become ever more suspicious.
Wilonsky’s (Perry-inspired) jibes at Marrs for advocating the Monroe-JFK-MJ-12 document in the Dallas Observer masked something deeper. And to borrow from Oliver Stone, ‘uglier’. Perry, like all of his lone nut brethren-- McAdams, Dave Reitzes, David Von Pein and others--when he’s not distorting and smearing more complex and credible individuals like Mark Lane, Wecht and Prouty, these people built up their score cards by cracking onto easy ‘Doty’ like ‘crank’ targets e.g. Judyth Baker, Madeliene Brown. Yet not once did they ask the most valid question concerning Marrs’ delving into the ‘crank’ ridden JFK-MJ-12 milieiu………

Jim, how on earth could you trust anything coming from guys like Doty, Collins and Cooper, considering the involvement of Doty and Collins with US intelligence disinformation campaigns in the mid-eighties, not to mention after Bill Moore openly discussed his role in the infamous MJ-12 campaign at the 1989 MUFON conference in Las Vegas which caused a huge stir?

This question, or more to the point, the lone nut fraternity’s unwillingness to answer it, is where, for me, the charade collapses. Because in asking this question they would have readily acknowledged that people with verifiable links to US intelligence were wittingly spreading disinformation linking UFO’s with the JFK assassination. This denial is the very thing their careers in the Kennedy disinformation game has been based upon.

By not askign this, were they actually encouraging the propagation of the phony Majestic Papers? I hasten to add that there is no evidence of this as yet and I’m not holding my breath, though it would certainly be within the scope of Russo’s CIA chums he dined with.

To my knowledge what you are reading here is one of the first in-depth looks into the scam surrounding the JFK-MJ-12 memos anywhere, and it will be interesting to see if anything floats to the surface as a result. But if Coppen's article ‘The Alien Overlords’ is anything to go by, one gets the feeling it’s a hell of a lot bigger than the likes of Dave Perry, Gus Russo and John McAdams. The CIA may have started the whole thing back in the forties. And I have no doubt were involved in the nineties; but if Greg Bishop’s detailing of Benewitz is anything to go by, numerous agencies were likely involved in the dissemination and propagation of the JFK MJ-12 lie. There are so many facets to the campaign that was run they Russoo and Perry may been involved anywhere.

But whatever their location, I strongly suspect Russo and Perry were indeed involved.

Last modified on Sunday, 23 October 2016 18:04
Seamus Coogan

Seamus Coogan is one of a number of JFK assassination researchers hailing from New Zealand and Australia.  He has devoted considerable effort to ferreting out and exposing unfounded and sensationalistic or far-fetched conspiratorial hypotheses.  His most notable contributions include those on John Hankey's JFK II, on Alex Jones, and on the Majestic Papers.  He  has also reviewed numerous books for this site.

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