(with apologies to Dr. Hunter S. Thompson)
Although I knew it would somehow be inevitable, I have been very reluctant to commit what follows to hard copy for a number of reasons. Throughout years of uncovering all manner of lies, treachery, deceit and betrayal by criminal elements within the government of our country and its client regimes around the world, I have subscribed to an unspoken code of "honor among thieves" -- that is, to respect and protect the identity of sources who have finally chosen to "come clean," often at great peril to themselves or their families. What has been held reluctantly in confidence emerges now only after the repeated blatant and sniggering violation of that code by John Lear himself.
Despite Lear's cultivated image as a swashbuckling pilot and serious UFO researcher, he is, in my opinion, and others', an irresponsible, self-centered, loutish thrill-seeker who truly has no business in the latter field, and questionable competence in the former, given his record of hard-drinking and womanizing, at least during the time I associated with him from 1988-1990. Lest I be accused of self-righteousness in this regard, I have never pretended to sanctity, but have certainly interacted with Lear and the others mentioned herein with utmost integrity, while he has not hesitated to portray me publicly in a much different light. Because of the magnitude of the issues he has succeeded in forcing before the world's attention, I believe that it is long past the time when the public should know more of the truth about Lear which he has so desperately been attempting to conceal. I sincerely regret that I waited this long to bring it to their attention myself.
For someone who has made such an effort to "wake up the masses" to the looming peril of takeover by "grey aliens from Zeta Reticuli," which he has claimed are ensconced in underground havens in the Nevada desert, the man has accomplished an even more masterful cover-up of the looming peril of martial law under the fascist masters he has willingly served for over two decades.
The only reason I have reluctantly chosen not to publicize Lear's involvement in the activities I am about to disclose until now was that I had little doubt that his family would almost certainly suffer severe negative repercussions, particularly considering some of the principals involved.
As much as I detest melodrama, the revelations contained herein constitute a very real threat to the reputations, and the very lives of a number of innocent people as well as the participants. I realize also that exposure of some of the more sordid aspects will likely bring embarrassment and discomfort to others ensnared in the situation. I regret this probable turn of events tremendously, but after considerable soul-searching have concluded that the larger issues compel me to make these disclosures. I am truly sorry, but their boy has had numerous opportunities to rectify the errors and has deliberately chosen instead to magnify them. C'est la guerre.
I am not making these disclosures out of fear, or in a limp-wristed attempt to embarrass or "get back" at John Lear. I could have chosen any number of other less-public ways to do that long before now if that had been my desire. Rather, I believe that it is crucial that the American people be informed of these details in order to fully appreciate the magnitude of the sell-out of this once-great nation which has taken place at the hands of the weapons merchants and their willing operatives and transportation agents, such as Lear. While a few concerned citizens are still asking "Where was George?" on October 19 and 20, 1980 when a shameful deal was being made in Paris with the Iranians to keep the American hostages until the precise moment Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, I am compelled by conscience to inform them more fully on those who handled the actual payoff. This payoff has been estimated by those in the know to ultimately total upwards of $82 billion in illegal weapons transfers over a period of nearly a decade.
On a more personal level, I am also intent on making it clear to all concerned that I am aware of the threats Lear has been making -- including his obsession with having me killed, according to one mutual acquaintance.
Since I made his threats public, he has claimed that I am a "Walter Mitty" who would like to flatter myself that someone cared enough to feel threatened by my disclosures.
I believe, however, that Lear's fear has been genuine for some time that I will expose his complete fraudulence on the UFO issue, and his participation in such treasonous and criminal flight operations over a number of years.
In this regard, it is almost a given that Lear might already have quietly made calls to his cronies in the "trade" to whine and snivel about the numerous secrets he bragged about to me. Have no doubt whatsoever, that any of these people would kill unhesitatingly to continue covering up many of the things Lear bantered about openly to me, though he was fully aware of my professional and political orientation from the very outset of our contact with each other. After failing to receive so much as an acknowledgment from various media and law enforcement contacts to whom I made some of this information available over the last three years, I have been heartened recently to see the harsh light of scrutiny finally beginning to fall on such depredations by the few honest people in power, and the rats beginning to squirm. I have no illusions about the possible repercussions: As my fellow investigator John Judge has said many times, "You can either face this shit standing up or on your knees." And as Barbara Honegger and others have documented, George Bush's "kinder, gentler nation" has already entailed a large and growing number of mysterious fatalities.
Despite the sincerity of my investigative efforts throughout this period, my role and motivation have been repeatedly distorted by those with an axe to grind, or mayhem to conceal. I have found inspiration to continue from the old pilot's adage, "When you're receiving flak, it means you're probably over the target!" which my friend and mentor Lt. Col. James Bo Gritz is fond of using to exhort his audiences to valor in the face of increasing corruption and persecution by those in power at present. Even John Hancock had more fearless compatriots beside him than some of the wimps, wannabees, liars and backstabbers I have mistakenly chosen to associate with in the past, all of whom, like Lear and Cooper, claim allegiance to the truth and preserving our cherished constitutional freedoms -- before they "duck and cover." Nor do I have any illusions as to my "reward" for bearing such a message, but given the inherent risks in working on all my investigations, especially as I have with Gritz in publicizing high-level U.S. Government involvement in drug trafficking, political destabilizations and assassinations, such a consideration has obviously been secondary.
Although I have been following the UFO phenomenon for 25 years (and fairly intensely for the last three years), I do not pretend to be any kind of expert on the subject. My focus in this article will be primarily on more mundane issues related to personal credibility and provable criminal and/or treasonous actions on the part of the individuals named above. Those who are hoping to learn here whether or not Bill Cooper and John Lear and others are telling the truth about whether there really are UFOs and/or aliens at Area S-4 of the Nevada Test Site, as they and others have alleged, or whether MJ-12 really exists or is another elaborate fabrication of the intelligence agencies, will have to look elsewhere. I do not know for a fact that either or both of them are working in any capacity for any intelligence agency, but whether they are or not, they certainly deserve distinguished disinformation service medals. Whatever insights I may have acquired on the subject of UFOs over the last three years, it is not my purpose to discuss them in any great detail here. I have little doubt, however, that exposure of Lear's involvement in the operations I am about to describe will ultimately surface direct connections all the way into the highest levels of the U.S. Intelligence Community and beyond.
And I have little doubt, as well, that whatever the truth is about the reality of advanced-propulsion aircraft, the intelligence agencies are massively involved in spewing disinformation to confuse the issue as much as possible. John Judge has referred to UFOs as "Unrecognized Fascist Observatories," and if I had to place a bet, I'd say he's far closer to the mark than Lear or Cooper. In retrospect, as you will clearly see in what follows, I believe it is no coincidence at all that Lear emerged from the shadows to start beating the UFO drum in early 1987 just in time to distract public attention from the Iran/Contra scandal which was beginning to unravel and from Lt. Col. Bo Gritz's revelations about the complicity of high-level U.S. officials in the heroin trade -- the same officials who were responsible for the return of our POWs and MIAs from Southeast Asia.
It is also well worth noting that Robert Gates, the former Deputy Director of the CIA, whom Bush is again pushing for directorship after he was forced to withdraw in 1987 because of his unsavory connections with Casey and the diversion of Iranian funds to the contras, is the scion of Gates/Firestone, the company which bought out John's father's company, Lear-Siegler, at that time one of the largest defense contractors in the world. Washington insiders, however, have claimed Gates' nomination is serving merely as a stalking dog for the eventual appointment of Brent Scowcroft.
When Bill Colby, former CIA director who openly admitted the extermination of over 40,000 non-combatant Vietnamese by
the CIA's Phoenix Program, thanks Lear in a copy of his book,
Lost Victory, "for all your contributions," one
must ask just exactly what those contributions were, when they began and if they have ended. Lear admitted to me on
audiotape in the summer of 1990 that his own fellow pilots at Continental Air Services in Laos admitted flying opium,
and that it was common knowledge that Air America pilots carried it routinely, but insisted he was not aware of the
activity at the time he was there. Leslie Cockburn's outstanding
PBS FRONTLINE TV special "Guns, Drugs and
the CIA" provided extensive testimony from a variety of participants in CIA covert operations concerning the opium
flights which essentially paid for the "secret war" in Laos, and the parallel program of cocaine flights which were
set up in the western hemisphere to fund the contra war in Nicaragua, and other covert operations in Central America.
The excerpt from the Cutolo Affidavit included in the Appendix gives an excellent insight into the extent of the backing for such operations. Furthermore, I have myself heard direct testimony from veterans of the "secret war" in Laos who described their disgust and revulsion at being assigned to provide security for Air America planes while the "sticky bricks" [opium] were being loaded onboard, and how U.S. Marine squads on patrol in the jungle on a number of occasions -- without a word passing between them -- would open up with all their firepower on the arrogant Porter jockeys flying the loads over the treetops. Lear himself acknowledges in an article written about him that "Everyone got shot down over there eventually." He experienced such a shootdown when "Somebody hosed down the aircraft with gunfire," and he was forced to land. I wasn't aware of the frequency of aircraft casualties due to "friendly fire" in Laos during the time I was communicating with Lear; I can only wonder if he would admit it if he was aware of the actual source of hostile fire in Laos himself.
When I began this report, I had the singular intention of discussing only the primary issues between John Lear and me, and had no intention to "write a book." I want to emphasize that any such literary endeavor on my part would be far more readable, fast- paced and genuinely intriguing. In the course of setting forth these issues, however, many additional developments have taken place which have compelled me to present the chronology in far more detail than originally planned. Since I fully anticipate that legal action may arise as a result of my statements herein, it is presented as an affidavit, a declaration of facts, all of which pertaining directly to Lear and me I solemnly swear to be accurate to the very best of my knowledge. I offer no apology for what it lacks in entertainment value.
My overriding intention here is to leave no room for doubt or distortion as to any aspect of my dealings with Lear personally -- from the beginning to the end of our association -- or the larger ramifications of those issues in dispute between us. This recounting is, therefore, admittedly more personal than my usual work. I have not attempted to make it any more "literary" or less "subjective" precisely for the above reasons. I hope also that it may provide a graphic illustration for each of you as to how you may be "sucked into" such difficulties despite your entry into such an inquiry with the very best of personal and/or professional intentions. If this statement accomplishes at least that much, it will have been worth the effort. If it helps to bring some of these men to account for a number of extremely questionable -- if not criminally treasonous -- actions performed under the guise of "covert policy," so much the better.
I want to emphasize also at the outset that in the case of both John Lear and Bill Cooper, I alone have attempted to initiate dialogue and have provided numerous and sincere opportunities to resolve the issues between us, in a setting of their choice -- only to be met with more lies, threats and insinuations in each case. Cooper, in particular, has had no qualms about calling friends of mine to threaten their lives over the phone in the middle of the night. They will verify that this took place, and you can actually obtain an audiotape of 10 such calls he made to two individuals who were attempting to help promote him -- I've included the ad in this report. According to mutual acquaintances, Lear has forged threatening notes and my signature on my letter to him, placed several messages on his answering machine offering my phone messages to him for sale, and most recently has discussed his obsession with luring me back to Las Vegas to kill me.
As I have stated publicly many times -- in person, in print, in TV and radio broadcasts -- contrary to Cooper's lies,
I did not make the tape for either Col. Gritz or John Lear: I did not know and had never met either one of them until
a few months after it was made. Shortly after meeting him in late May 1988, I directed Lear to the studio where he
could obtain a copy of the videotape I had assembled, entitled
The Truth Betrayed: Dallas Revisited, after
making it clear to him that it was not for distribution, but was rushed into production from a poor-quality 4th or
5th-generation film copy. The resulting 7th-generation video was intended to serve only as a preliminary research tool
to spur potential investors to underwrite a thorough professional investigation into the theory that the driver of the
presidential limousine, William Greer, actually turned around and fired the fatal shot at JFK with a handgun.
As startling as this allegation might seem on first hearing, the two separate JFK researchers who first brought it
to my attention -- Perry Adams and David Evans -- had each spent over 15 years in attempts to prove the charge. Adams
and his research associate, Fred Newcomb, had actually written a 500-page manuscript entitled
Within, documenting the theory in exhaustive detail. Evans had combed the entire 26-volumes of the Warren
Commission and countless other sources to locate any potential references or supporting evidence, particularly
photographic, to prove Greer's culpability. Although I no longer agree with them, I have nothing but respect for their
selfless, dedicated and painstakingly thorough efforts to verify this crucial detail. Bill Cooper, on the other hand,
is a Johnny-come-lately to the debate with the investigation skills of a P.T. Barnum and the scruples of a Vidkun
I had hoped initially that Lear might be able to help finance the investigation I was quietly pursuing into the theory, aimed at acquiring the best copy of the film available and thoroughly analyzing the footage with state-of-the-art digital spectrographic equipment to verify if the reflection in question could possibly have been a weapon, or was, as all other researchers were convinced, merely the reflection off the top of Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman's head. There were several other aspects to the investigation as well, including (but not limited to): locating and interviewing key witnesses who had made statements indicating Greer had a weapon in his hand and that they had heard gunfire and smelled gunpowder in the presidential limousine, determining the exact source of the bullet hole in the limousine windshield witnessed by many at Parkland Hospital, and determining the exact source of the bullet slug photographed in the grass on the opposite side of Elm St. from the grassy knoll.
Securing the necessary financial backing to pursue the investigation had been the primary purpose of assembling the video, along with preserving the two copies of the Zapruder film Evans had acquired. It was never intended at any time to be considered a final statement on the issue, much less to be shown publicly and/or distributed as such.
Whatever thought I might have had about Lear's largesse quickly evaporated when I learned he had been cut out of his father's will, his father being Bill Lear, inventor of the Lear Jet and the 8- track stereo, the "Stormy Genius" who would perhaps have rivaled Howard Hughes himself, but for his own peculiar distractions. The reasons why Bill made and lost several fortunes, wives and girlfriends, and was later moved to cut John out of his will are the stuff of legend already, though I have my own suspicions. The bottom line was that, contrary to public opinion, John Lear was living from paycheck to paycheck at the time I met him in mid-1988 and was merely tooting the UFO horn for intellectual stimulation and to supplement his income slightly -- or so he claimed. After being shown the audiotapes of hundreds of hours of long- distance calls he had made, and the phenomenal amount of UFO- related literature he mailed out at his own expense across the country and the world, I began quickly to have serious doubts about where the money came from to pay for it all. But then so did everyone else who knew John Lear, particularly given his own admission that he had flown for the CIA in Laos and Cambodia.
Without my knowledge, however, and completely contrary to our agreement that it would be kept private, Lear showed the
tape numerous times publicly and gave a copy to Cooper, Nippon TV and God knows who else. I later learned from him and
Don Ecker, a writer for
UFO Magazine who attended the meeting, that when he had showed it (without permission,
of course) to a meeting of former intelligence officers in Las Vegas in November 1988, four of them raised their hands
when he asked if any of them would have killed John Kennedy if they had been so ordered!
As I can readily prove, I made it clear to both Lear and Gritz in November 1988 that I was pretty well convinced at that point that the theory was not valid, and even made arrangements for Lear to obtain a much clearer copy of the video in order for him to see why. Agent Greer obviously failed to immediately accelerate the limousine out of the line of fire -- in fact, he stepped on the brakes! -- and turned completely around twice to look at the President -- including at the moment of the fatal head shot. He and Agent Kellerman never left the President's body for 36 hours afterwards. For all of these reasons and others, I have absolutely no doubt that he was an active participant in the assassination plot, but I simply do not believe that William Greer fired anything at John Kennedy, nor do any of the other serious and genuine Kennedy researchers I have consulted with at length on this issue, not one of whom is an agent of any government, shadow or otherwise.
Along with Evans, Adams, Newcomb, and others, I would have been extremely gratified to be able to prove otherwise, for it would have served as a powerful lever in forcing a re-examination of the proven facts of a wider conspiracy involving very high-level USG officials and elements drawn from a number of other groups, including the Mafia, Texas oilmen, anti-Castro Cubans and "ex"- Nazis within the U.S. defense industries and intelligence community. Nevertheless, after a careful examination of a much better quality copy of the film and other evidence, I am in agreement with virtually all researchers into the Kennedy assassination that the reflection which appears to be a gun in his hands, is, in fact, merely the reflection off the top of Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman's head. I have not been frightened or threatened or bribed by anyone into reaching such a conclusion -- merely compelled by the facts.
I informed Lear of this conclusion at the time (and spent the next two years proving it to him), unaware that Cooper had already obtained the tape from Lear in October 1988 and had been showing it publicly for several months before I discovered the fact. As a matter of fact, it was not until ten months later, in August 1989, that I called him for the first time and shortly thereafter met with him and his wife at their home in Fullerton, California. At that time we discussed his alleged experiences in relation to the UFO phenomenon and I watched a videotape of his presentation at the Las Vegas MUFON convention the previous month and questioned him about his statements. At no time prior to, or during this meeting did we discuss the Kennedy assassination, nor did he inform me that he had the JFK video. I did not provide him a copy or tell him where he could acquire one, nor did he ask for, nor did I give him permission to show it or sell it.
Had I known that he was already doing all of this at that time, I would have ordered him to cease and desist, since I had made it clear to all my contacts, especially Lear, that I had given up on the theory nearly a year before. Several people will testify to this fact without hesitation, as will a number of Cooper's supporters who told me a couple of months after my visit to his home that Cooper had a copy of the tape and was showing it publicly.
At that time, in late October 1989, I confronted him over the phone about his dishonesty regarding his use and sale of
the videotape, and have since done so publicly in print, on television, and on the radio. When he chickened out of
appearing on the TV program
INSIDE REPORT, which was taped in April and aired in May 1990, after learning that
I would also be appearing to counter him, the producers deliberately left out half of my statement. I had made it
clear on their videotape that at the time I threw the rough video together I believed that there was sufficient
supporting evidence to warrant a complete investigation; however, after seeing a much clearer version of the Zapruder
film, discussing the issue with a number of other respected researchers, and combing through the evidence at hand more
closely, I had decided by November 1988 the theory was no longer tenable, though I had not formally proved or
disproved it either way. The net effect of the deception practiced by the show's producer, Rich Docherty, and his
wife, Janet Rose, was to make me appear to be actively supporting the driver theory, when, in fact, they had no
doubt whatsoever that the only reason I had agreed to go on the program was to repudiate it.
Cooper -- coward, plagiarist and liar that he is -- was the only one out of six investigators (using the term very loosely in his case) on both sides of the "driver theory" to back out of the program at the very last minute. Unbeknownst to him to this day, even though I no longer agreed with the original proponents of the theory, Adams, Newcomb, and Evans, I nevertheless made arrangements for them to be included in the program, specifically to demonstrate that it was not a frivolous pursuit on all of our parts, but that they, in fact, had spent fifteen years each attempting to prove the theory with exhaustive research, in direct contrast to Cooper.
After failing to produce the JFK videotape that he fraudulently claims I gave him when I challenged him to produce it at a radio program we did together in LA, Cooper has now resorted to having John Lear finger me as a CIA agent in his book, while he includes me with Lifton and "Grodin" [sic] as "agents of the secret government."
Whether or not Lear actually characterized me as such I don't know, but given Lear's macabre sense of humor, it's entirely possible. He routinely sent me letters on CIA stationery to SA (Special Agent) Lars Hansson as a sick joke, obviously produced on his typewriter. Such an asinine allegation by anyone, however -- especially Lear -- would be laughable if it weren't so utterly false and ridiculous, given my decade-long public effort to expose the Agency's depredations worldwide, while he publicly admits to having flown missions (i.e. weapons) for them for over 20 years.
Even Bill Colby, former director of the CIA, who thanked John in his autographed copy of Lost Victory, "for your contributions," may well have been referring to Lear's probable role in the transport of tons of opium out of Laos into Da Nang, South Vietnam. This was one of the major means by which the Thieu regime kept itself afloat through distribution deals with Mafia kingpin Santo Trafficante and CIA station chief Theodore Shackley to flood the U.S. with China White heroin in order to pay for the "secret war" in Laos and Cambodia. Or perhaps Colby was merely referring to Lear's role in the transport of unknown tonnages of weapons throughout the world for the Agency ever since. I've spent enough time in Las Vegas and around "spookery" to know that either guess is a very safe bet.
Colby, it must be remembered, was the director and implementor of the
Phoenix Program which served primarily to
liquidate popular opposition to the corrupt Thieu regime in South Vietnam, as our military efforts were failing and
Henry Kissinger was jockeying for advantage at the negotiating table in Paris. As Douglas Valentine describes in his
outstanding expose, The Phoenix Program, despite Colby's protestations to the contrary to Congress and media critics,
his own field managers, such as Charlie Yothers, chief of operations in I Corps in 1970, characterized the Phung Hoang
program in this way: "Sure we got involved in assassinations. That's what the PRU [Provincial Reconnaissance Units]
were set up for -- assassination. I'm sure the word never appeared in any outlines or policy directives, but what else
do you call a targeted kill?"
Valentine cites the article, "The CIA's Hired Killers," in which Georgie Anne Geyer called the PRU "the best killers in Vietnam." Comparing them to terrorists, she qualified that "our terror" was different from "their terror," in that there was no real political organization -- no political ideology -- behind our terror. Their boys did it for faith; our boys did it for money."
There is also little question about the lethal ramifications of the work I have chosen to pursue, but it is disgusting to think that some demented demagogue like Bill Cooper may actually succeed in inciting some fanatic with his inflammatory lies into eliminating me as an "agent of the secret government" when I have risked my life and liberty continuously for over a decade trying to expose it -- and entirely at my own expense, I might add. In Lear's case, he knows far better, and lacks the cojones, much less integrity, to say such a thing publicly, much less to address the other issues I have brought forth. Lear prefers to slink around on the phone, more at home in the shadow land of gossip and innuendo. There need be no mistaking my position now or my background which led to it -- other than my brief service in U.S. Customs at the Canadian Border in 1976 and 1978, and with a Sheriff's Office in Idaho before that, I have received no monies since from any government agency whatsoever, nor from any proprietary front. Rather, I have helped to expose a number of them, and will continue to do so.
Recently I was told by a mutual friend, Bob Lazar of Las Vegas, that John Lear is now apparently obsessed with seeing me killed, and is openly discussing means by which he could lure me to his home to provoke an incident. According to Lazar, with whom I spoke in mid-June 1991, "Lear is actually carving your name on his bullets. What did you do to make him so obsessed?" As much as he might wish he hadn't told me that at this point, I seriously doubt Lazar could deny it. We'll see. As ridiculous as this may sound, after finding out about his infidelity at their home during his absence in 1988, Lear's wife demanded that I tell her where "the other woman" lived and worked so that she could "shoot her feet off" with the .45 automatic she normally carries with her. I refused to tell her anything, particularly something which might have resulted in her going to prison, and stated that fact very plainly to her at the time.
I would frankly find any threat from Lear laughable, were it not for the fact that he has made his living for many years flying armament all over the globe; he has owned an automatic weapons business in Las Vegas; and he currently possesses a number of them -- Mac 10s, Uzis and a classic Thompson .45 -- several of which are equipped with silencers. His style, though, is to furnish them to others. After observing first-hand some other spectacular lapses in judgment by him in the past, I certainly would put it past him to carry out such a threat himself, but he is not at all above arranging to have it done. Given the far-reaching scope of these disclosures, the phenomenal amount of money involved, the number of covert players in the game, and the extent of the cover-up, he has little need to lure me to Las Vegas to get the job done -- all it would take is a phone call. Nevertheless, the issues involved here are far too serious at this point to allow such potential threats to deter me any further from making these disclosures. After losing half my immediate family in the last decade and literally dozens of my friends to "disappearances" or other peculiar deaths, many at the hands of the kind of people Cooper and Lear either have trained or equipped, I am well aware of exactly what "damage control" consists of, but to remain silent is to give one's approval to the madness.
Following my disclosure of a number of details regarding his involvement in these activities on Radio Free America on June 13, quite predictably, Lear has now resorted to leaving a message on his answering service offering an audiotape of my (supposedly) "coke-laced extortion" messages to him along with a "certified copy of Lars Hansson's conviction for prostitution in Seattle." Lear has claimed to radio host Tom Valentine that I was merely a "handyman" who worked for him, and that after finding out about my "conviction" he "had to throw me out" when I supposedly began "coming on" to his 14-year-old daughter.
First, I do not use cocaine, and rarely drink alcohol. I have never at any time attempted to extort money out of anyone. The allegation regarding his daughter is an absolute, bald-faced lie, and I seriously doubt he could force her even to repeat it, despite her parentage. It is precisely the type of sleazy, sophomoric response I have come to expect from the man, and anticipated it as a given when I notified him of my intentions to go public with this information. Predictably, like most good Republicans, when he cannot, or rather, dare not, respond to the facts supporting the real issue(s) at hand, he automatically resorts to personal smear tactics. Until this action on his part, I had chosen to leave his sordid personal activities out of this discussion, but feel no such constraint at this point.
For the record, it is true that I was arrested for "soliciting a prostitute" in 1982 in Seattle in a police "sting" operation -- I have told the story many times to friends with gusto. If I had been guilty, I would not shrink from the fact, since I have had a number of fairly wild girlfriends throughout the world in my travels, until AIDS reared its ugly head, and some of our escapades would make "purchased sex" tame by comparison. For a huge percentage of international travelers and businessmen, journalists, and covert operators, it is not at all uncommon to purchase the services of a female escort to "maintain appearances" when necessary. Lear is certainly intimately familiar with the practice, let me assure you. I do not claim to have been a choirboy, myself, nor do I claim to have been a gunrunner, much as I might have liked to help out the other side in many of the one- sided shooting matches I have witnessed in the third world. But I have been blessed with an appealing countenance and have never yet had to pay directly for the "services" of a female. I have certainly paid indirectly with materialistic wives and girlfriends -- no question of that.
The simple truth that Lear is leaving out -- in the same way that he leaves out his actual years-long involvement in gunrunning from the UFO discussion -- is that I had simply stopped to ask for directions from the spectacularly good- looking female (decoy) policewoman and was actually pulling away from the curb to leave when her undercover partners grabbed the wheel and forced me out of the car. Since I was driving my employer's Lincoln Continental, I at first thought I was being rolled. As I pointed out to them, and the property records at the police department showed, I had exactly $8 to my name in my wallet at the time (I had just returned from El Salvador) and could not have bought even a kiss for that price -- nor was I interested in doing so. I actually went to court to protest my innocence -- I was the only arrestee who did -- but made the serious mistake of expecting the legal aid attorney, who was "not available" to meet me until five minutes before the "trial," to tell my side of the story. She refused to present any defense at all, especially when the female officer -- who admitted to me later that she was pressured into it by her superiors -- repeatedly perjured herself. Had I had the financial resources to carry the case further, I would not have hesitated to prove the entrapment and malpractice, but under the circumstances I reluctantly decided to pay the reduced fine of $25 and simply add the experience to the "lessons learned" file.
The irony here is that Lear would try to trump up such an asinine issue when he, his entire family, and numerous witnesses know very well that the reason I left his home (where I had been invited as a guest and was helping him out as a friend with repairs for which I had to wait three weeks to be paid -- and then only half what I was owed!) was that he had the audacity to indulge in a drunken "afternoon delight" with a local news reporter in his guesthouse, and was discovered "en flagrante delicto" by his daughter, and me, while two other guests waited for him in his study. After the "interruption," he drove off to spend the night with his regular mistress, then left me alone with his daughter until his wife returned from New York with the younger daughter two days later.
Before leaving for Germany the next morning, he begged me not to tell his wife and to persuade his daughter not to tell, either, and called me repeatedly from Europe to find out what progress I had made in the latter regard. The only thing untoward which occurred during the interim was that the daughter repeatedly drove their car all over town without a license and without my permission until her mother returned. Try as hard as he might, I seriously doubt Lear can get anyone in his family to state otherwise convincingly -- unless, that is, they have been thoroughly bribed to do so. They would never pass a polygraph on the issue, and there are several others who know only too well what really happened.
I believe the main reason Lear has developed such an intense antagonism against me is because he is well aware that I am aware of, if not a witness to, at least three such episodes of adulterous behavior on his part, which continued for nearly a year in one case and probably cost him his job with American Trans Air. He claimed at the time that his firing was directly due to his activities related to UFOs, for which he has become quite well known internationally in the last four years. I suspect, as with much of his purported UFO revelations, that it has merely been the cover story for murkier realities.
One cannot help but be immediately impressed by Lear's beautiful two-story hacienda situated at the northeast edge of Las Vegas and almost adjacent to Nellis Air Force Base. The view from his front yard of the entire valley just before sunset is truly spectacular. Likewise, the visitor to the Lear household is almost equally overwhelmed, upon entering through the medieval-style arched door into a lighted hallway, to emerge in Lear's expansive inner sanctum, which he has appropriately dubbed, "the Shrine." Dark emerald-green carpeting sets the tone for a room whose walls are filled from floor to ceiling with photographic records of what must have been a singularly phenomenal career as a aeronautical soldier of fortune throughout the world.
Among the hundreds of such mementos are pictures of: Lear flying under the Golden Gate Bridge; Lear standing with G. Gordon Liddy, who inscribed the photo "To John, I told 'em fuckin' nothin'"; Lear with his father, his brother, Lear Co. test pilots, his flight crew in Egypt and Teheran, Iran; the CIA's secret base at Long Tien, Laos (a wide-angle panorama); and, of course, Learjets, Constellations and the SR-71 Blackbird. To complete the overall effect, the Shrine includes a large fireplace, his electric piano (which he plays masterfully), an impressive audio system, an extensive library of aeronautical, espionage/intelligence, and UFO-related books, and ammo boxes and belts which are seemingly carelessly strewn in the corner while his match-grade stainless-steel .45 automatic hangs in a holster from the audio rack behind his desk. All in all, it is truly an impressive -- albeit carefully contrived -- atmosphere that confronts even the most jaded visitor.
Once we had moved through the obligatory anecdotes behind the wall graphics, I was discussing the "October Surprise" weapons deals and the sleazebags who took part in that despicable scenario in late 1980, when, out of the blue, Lear began to brag to me about his participation as a pilot in the illegal weapons flights to Iran in early 1981 sanctioned by the Reagan/Bush Administration. These were conducted as part of the payoff for the Iranians' role in the Reagan/Bush Campaign team's secret deals with the Ayatollah Khomeini regime to delay the release of the 52 American hostages until after the 1980 elections in order to prevent Jimmy Carter from being re-elected. Very much to my surprise, since I knew that several of the "team players" in the operations had either died "mysteriously" or were currently under indictment for their role in those operations, he openly boasted about his participation in the flights.
Despite my obvious disgust with this revelation, Lear crowed that "Everybody knocks the Agency for not being able to keep any secrets. We kept that one secret for seven years!" He made a point of showing me numerous news clippings about them that he had collected from the Middle Eastern press, then made a rather grand display of showing me his beautiful oak map cabinet and taking out his navigation map of that area. The route flown by his flight crews from Tel Aviv over Turkey to Iran was clearly and distinctly marked on it. He explained that Turkey had insisted that in return for allowing the planes to overfly Turkish airspace, every other load of weapons had to be left there [other informed sources have since provided me the names of the other members of his crew and the name of the secret base -- Tintin -- in Turkey where the weapons were dropped]. He then pointed proudly to a picture of him and his cronies taken in Teheran in 1981 which was hanging on the wall.
I was frankly quite amazed that he would be so open to a virtual stranger about such operations for which numerous participants were still under federal indictment and/or the subject of continuing criminal investigations. Also, by 1988 a number of key participants in the affair had already succumbed to mysterious fatal ailments or other life-ending circumstances. When I admonished him that this was actually part of one of the biggest cover-ups of international criminality in American history and that he was obligated to come forth publicly on this issue, he sloughed it off as having been sanctioned by the Reagan Administration and insisted it was of minor importance in comparison to the growing threat of "occupation of the planet by extraterrestrials."
I couldn't believe my ears, despite the numerous reports I had already seen concerning thousands of UFO sightings and "encounters" with aliens. I suspected strongly that, given his acknowledged ties to the intelligence community, he had been "persuaded" to promote the UFO issue to distract public attention from being focused on the many crimes of Iran/Contra scandal's perpetrators. Despite my apprehension, I decided to maintain the contact with him in order to persuade him to disclose the participants in the flights publicly. I did manage to have him discuss it with Barbara Honegger nearly a year later, as you shall see.
As I compose this, the October Surprise issue is currently in the forefront of the news after nearly a decade of
deliberate suppression by the Reagan and Bush Administrations and the national media, thanks to the continuing
investigation mounted by Gary Sick, former National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter during that time
period. Though I have not seen the
NIGHTLINE program, I have heard that it has now been admitted by spokesmen
for the current Administration that perhaps the conveniently dead Bill Casey "might have actually had a hand" in the
October Surprise deals with the Khomeini regime in October 1981. Despite Bush's continuing limp denials, the evidence
is mounting not only of such a deal, but of his direct participation in it -- including a personal appearance in Paris
on October 20, 1980 to handle the initial payoff of $40 million -- and of the continued shipment of up to $82 billion
worth of military hardware to both Iran and Iraq by the United States throughout their war, all of which were not only
criminal activities, but treasonous as well.
Reports of Bush's presence in Paris and participation in those meetings by French intelligence have been almost
completely suppressed in this country, and rumors are currently abounding that the Israeli Mossad, furious about the
beating Israel was forced to endure during the Iraq War fiasco, are threatening to release photographs they have of
Bush in Paris at that time. According to an article in the Napa, California
Sentinel, Michael Ricconosuito, a
contract CIA operative who provided testimony to the House Judiciary Committee investigating the Pentagon's role in
stealing a $6 million software program (the INSLAW case), has recently claimed publicly that he arranged the transfer
of the $40 million from secret Republican Committee accounts in Mexico. He was arrested within a week after filing an
affidavit in which he warned of such a fate if he testified, and was whisked away to a Midwestern federal prison for
Although I have read and heard literally hundreds of reports concerning contact with aliens -- including those from
military sources -- I am by no means convinced of their veracity. I decided long ago to leave it to the self-anointed
experts to rule on that subject. However, my direct research concerning the weapons flights to Iran and subsequent
flight operations in support of the contra war and the Marcos family have yielded virtually indisputable evidence,
which continues to accumulate on a daily basis. As the attached brief article from a recent issue of
Magazine indicates, it is becoming almost a matter of certainty that Israel not only acted as middleman in those
early weapons flights, but as our surrogate in the Middle East for over two decades.
October Surprise, Barbara Honegger's watershed expose,
Witness, by Mansur Rhafizadeh, former head of the
Iranian SAVAK in the U.S., the new book by former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, and the October 1988 Playboy
An Election Held Hostage by Abbie Hoffman and Jonathan Silvers -- which probably cost Hoffman
his life -- all recount in tremendous detail the sequence of treasonous events which led to the delay of the hostages'
release and the flow of ultimately billions of dollars worth of U.S. weapons to Iran. According to Hoffman and
"As early as February 1981, Secretary of State Alexander Haig was briefed on Israeli arms sales to Iran. In November,
Defense Minister Ariel Sharon asked Haig to approve the sale of F-14 parts to Teheran. While the proposal was in
direct opposition to publicized Administration objectives, Sharon pitched it as a way of gaining favor with Iranian
"moderates." According to
The Washington Post, Haig was ambivalent but gave his tacit consent, with the
approval of top Administration officials, notably Robert McFarlane.
"Israeli ambassador Moshe Arens later told
The Boston Globe that Iranian arms sales had been discussed and
approved at "almost the highest levels" of U.S. Government in Spring 1981.
In fact, Reagan's Senior Interdepartmental Group agreed in July 1981 that the U.S. should tacitly encourage third-party arms sales to Iran as a way of "advancing U.S. interests in the Middle East." The initiative was such a significant reversal of U.S. policy that it's unlikely that Haig would have given his consent without the President's knowledge and approval. Haig refuses to comment.
"In November 1986, the Administration finally allowed that the Israelis had delivered U.S. military supplies to Iran
in the early Eighties. The State Department downplayed the sales, claiming that the amount of arms Iran received was
trivial, that only $10 million or $15 million worth of non-lethal aid had reached Iran. That figure was hotly
The New York Times estimated that before 1983, Iran received $2.8 billion in supplies from nine
countries, including the U.S. A West German newspaper placed the figure closer to $500 million. Bani-Sadr said that
his administration alone received $50 million worth of parts. Houshang Lavi [an Iranian arms dealer -- recently
deceased] believes Khomeini got at least $500 million in military supplies.
"Lavi is [was] in a position to know. In 1981, he and Israeli arms dealer Yacobi Nimrodi reportedly sold HAWK missiles and guidance systems to Iran. In April and October 1981, Western Dynamics International, a Long Island company run by Lavi's brother, contracted to sell the Iranian Air Force $16 million worth of bomb fuses and F-14 parts. Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, William Casey's Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, said that the CIA knew in 1981 that Israel and private arms dealers were making sizable deliveries to Iran. The Reagan White House raised no objections.
"Eighteen months after Reagan took office, Iran had received virtually all the spare parts and weapons that Carter had refused to include in his hostage accord."
As could be expected, when I attempted to encourage John Lear, who was so adamant about exposing the UFO cover-up, to concentrate his efforts upon these more provable depredations of which he had personal knowledge -- the early 1981 weapons flights to Iran -- he found one limp excuse after another for not doing so. His continuing line was that it hardly mattered in comparison to the alien threat.
When I asked him why the CIA would waste their time destabilizing countless third-world countries if we faced such a threat, he claimed, "It's a smokescreen." When I asked him why he would risk being silenced by the various agencies which were purportedly so intent in maintaining the UFO cover-up, he replied that "My day isn't complete unless I've stirred the shit up somewhere." When I then questioned why he was so immune from persecution after all that had supposedly befallen other pioneers in the UFO field, he chalked it up to his mother's being the "third-largest contributor to the Republican Party."
In retrospect after three years, John Lear has certainly succeeded mightily in the first regard -- he almost single-handedly turned UFOlogy inside out and provoked intense debate and confrontation which continues to rage among believers and non- believers alike to this day. Regarding his immunity, I have little doubt the high level of well-deserved respect accorded both his parents in government and military circles has indeed played a part. But I have suspected with increasing justification that his activities may well be directly in line with what certain intelligence agencies have directed or "encouraged" him to do -- through whatever inducement -- despite the much-ballyhooed claims by Lear and his clones to be exposing cover-up.
During the summer of 1988, following several meetings during which we discussed the UFO issue as well as the investigation I was attempting to pursue concerning the "driver theory" about the Kennedy assassination, Lear asked me to stay at his home and help him compile his various UFO and media video footage into a marketable format, and to prepare a series of articles concerning his UFO-related discoveries. Since he had, in fact, acquired a huge amount of fascinating videotaped and written material on the subject, I readily agreed. After helping them pour cement during my second visit, at his wife's request, I agreed to complete several carpentry projects for his her as well, since John's flying and research schedule had prevented him from doing so. Until he went "off the tracks" a couple weeks later, his wife was very pleased about this.
After spending at least half of the previous 18 years involved in large- scale commercial and residential construction, the work they requested was a breeze -- aside from the 120-degree heat. Prior to beginning, I made it very clear that I would have to charge them $15 per hour in addition to lodging, since I needed to buy a car to replace my ailing van. They readily agreed, very pleased with the reasonable rate, and over the next three weeks I worked over 100 hours building shutters, trimming out Lear's study, drywalling their upper bathroom, repairing their horse stable gates and window grilles and corral gate, pouring cement, clearing out their garage and building wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling shelving and a workbench, and retiling half their roof. The lowest bid Mrs. Lear was able to obtain from other contractors for the roof repair was $35 per hour, while I had to carry the tiles from the back of the estate in a wheelbarrow and up a flight of stairs and a ladder to the roof by myself in the 120-degree heat for less than half that price, while they sat by the pool drinking coffee.
I point all of this out only because I had agreed to do the work mainly to help out the Lears as friends, since I could have obtained a fulltime position as a carpenter anywhere in Las Vegas with little difficulty. I was forced to wait the entire three weeks to be paid, and then only $800 -- about half what I was owed. Lear actually had to borrow even that amount of money from his mother. By that point, however, I was happy to take whatever they could scrounge up and get away from them. To add insult to injury, Lear's wife attempted to plead poverty and induce me to accept even less than the $800 which his mother had sent specifically for me. I refused to do so. She then turned around a few days later and spent several hundred dollars on an air conditioner for the doghouse I had begun building for her before I gave up in disgust.
I almost automatically got in his face about it, once I realized he wasn't kidding, since I had been through my own particular hell along those lines with two former wives and a few girlfriends over the years. Though I barely knew the man, I had no hesitation about upbraiding him for being so foolish as to carelessly risk not only losing his family -- which was virtually a certainty -- but destroying whatever credibility he had managed to attain in the UFO field as a result of his obviously careless philandering. I also emphasized to him how much harm it would bring to the entire field of responsible UFO research to inject a personal scandal into the mix, particularly considering the built-in notoriety of his family name, as well as the potential for the woman in question to blackmail him at some point along the way.
He was drinking quite a bit at the time and merely sloughed it off and mumbled something about having "white-line fever." Whether that was a reference to cocaine or simply to the thrill of high- speed adventure, I don't know, but I must concede that I have never seen or heard of John Lear using any illicit drugs, at least during the time I have known him.
Since he had broken both legs in an aerobatic accident while in his teens, he was reduced to virtually hobbling around and confessed that he had faked his way through his flight physicals for some time and doubted he could do so much longer. Never appearing to have been very athletic in all the dozens of pictures that festoon the walls of his study from floor to ceiling, he was also beginning to sport a noticeable paunch. It was frankly with pity that I pictured him pursuing this woman and risking his marriage, family, spectacular home, and national reputation for the rather pathetic egotistical gratification of maintaining a mistress. I had a strong precognition that my predictions would be coming to pass in short order. I was not wrong.
During this same period, Lear had also expressed interest in helping me to track down and interview the two witnesses who had supposedly seen William Greer shoot Kennedy. I hung in at his place hoping that we could at least accomplish that before all hell broke loose. We actually came within a day of doing so, as you will see. As a matter of fact, while I was briefly back in Santa Barbara attempting to wrest the leads from Perry Adams, the UCSB librarian/researcher who had first brought the theory to my attention in November 1986, I learned that his partner, Fred Newcomb, had actually contacted Lear's wife in a similar attempt on their part. As anxious as I was to follow up on those leads as quickly as possible, between Lear's overseas flights and extracurricular escapades, and my efforts on Lt. Col. James "Bo" Gritz's congressional campaign, nothing was accomplished along these lines, and Fred Newcomb became impossible to reach all of a sudden.
By this time I had pretty well concluded that the window of opportunity had passed as far as securing the required
funding and undertaking the on-site investigation of the driver theory in time to complete a documentary for release
by late November, the 25th anniversary of JFK's death. After several discussions with a close friend who has been
involved in similar research for many years, I reluctantly decided that after 25 years, a few more months would not
necessarily be that long to wait. After becoming more familiar with Gritz's discoveries regarding drugs and POWs, I
decided that it was of far greater urgency to insure that the American public was aware of those realities before the
November elections, and had begun to dedicate myself fully to assisting in Gritz's congressional campaign and editing
A Nation Betrayed.
Also during this time, in late June 1988, I had made a point of returning to Los Angeles to attend the premiere of the film Cover- Up, produced by the Santa Monica-based Empowerment Project, at the Director's Guild Theater. Several months before, I had made a number of small public presentations in an attempt to help them raise additional funding to complete the editing, and felt a strong sense of concern and relief that they had finally completed the tremendously powerful expose of the Iran/Contra whitewash. Given the recent "bombing" of the airplane carrying John Tower, who had just before openly admitted conducting the Iran/Contra "whitewash" for George Bush, its importance cannot be overstated.
The premiere coincided with the summary dismissal of the Christic Institute lawsuit in Miami by former Meyer Lansky money-laundry director Judge Lawrence King only four days before it was scheduled to be heard. The lawsuit, filed in May 1986, was based on injuries suffered by ABC reporter Tony Avirgan at the bombing of a press conference in La Penca, Nicaragua on May 30, 1984. The perpetrators were intent on "taking out" not only recalcitrant contra leader Eden Pastora, but journalists as well, in order to provoke widespread outrage as a justification for a planned invasion by combined Panamanian and U.S. Forces. Avirgan and his wife Martha Honey joined their lawsuit with the Christic Institute's allegations under the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act which charged 29 members of the Contra-support network with over 25 years involvement in gun-running, drug trafficking, assassinations and political destabilizations. Frustrated and disgusted with this blatant travesty of justice, I decided to take the chance of advising Barbara Honegger, following the screening, that I had occasion to talk with an unnamed pilot who claimed to have made some of the early-1981 weapons flights to Iran. As expected, she was profoundly interested in this information and immediately clamored to know more.
I became a bit uneasy about her genuineness, however, when I mentioned that Mae Brussell had received several death threats after her World Watchers International programs began to air on KPFK Radio in LA which she apparently took seriously enough to cancel the programs. Barbara glibly replied that Mae had merely decided she was overextended and made up the story to get out of doing the programs since she needed a break. I had never met or spoken with Mae, but could not believe that she would have risked her already-strained credibility by making up such an outlandish story just to get out of a radio program after the years she had spent painstaking tying so many crucial political loose ends together in a genuinely conspiratorial web. Despite the fact that she was reviled and disparaged by any number of "mainstream" writers and government officials, her work was profoundly advanced and has served as the basis for a countless number of other researchers' published and now widely accepted conclusions.
Nevertheless, Honegger and I maintained contact intermittently throughout that summer and fall of 1988 as she was
working feverishly to prepare her manuscript of
October Surprise for printing. She was particularly interested
in verifying the exact routes of the flights and the timing, and, understandably, leaned very heavily on me to try and
obtain such additional information from my source. Since by this time I had come to know Lear as a personal
acquaintance, and shortly thereafter would become a guest in his home, and was well aware of the growing number of
Iran/Contra figures who had died "mysteriously" -- if not fortuitously for their cohorts -- I was genuinely concerned
as to the degree of risk to Lear's well-being if I identified him to Honegger.
Even though I felt throughout this time -- and brought it up to John repeatedly -- that he himself could be holding the "smoking gun" in the Iran/Contra affair, he was unwilling to go public, continually dismissing it as unimportant in relation to "the threat from outer space." Had he been a mere interviewee to whom I had no particular obligations, I might have gone ahead and disclosed his identity, but I felt that this was someone I had come to know, along with his family, and I was loathe to subject them to any serious threats. Nevertheless, when I received Honegger's most recent October Surprise Timeline in late July 1988, I was stunned to see that she had actually quoted me on page 49 regarding my interview with an unnamed pilot concerning the early 1981 weapons flights to Iran.
I was particularly disturbed about her decision to include this reference to me without either asking or advising me beforehand, because my statements to her, however well-motivated, were completely unsubstantiated at that point. Lear had already demonstrated on more than one occasion his lack of precision and accuracy on a variety of issues; although I believed he was telling the truth regarding his role in the 1981 weapons flights, I had obtained no further corroboration at that point. Of more concern to me then, frankly, was that the publication of my name almost certainly placed me on the "watchlist" of those who were in charge of the "October Surprise" damage-control team(s). I felt very strongly that Honegger should have at least warned me that she intended to include me in her timeline.
He indicated that he was counting heavily on Lear to secure the aircraft for the mission and told me to tell Lear that "Hank" was becoming irritated at the delay. I did not question Peoples any further, since my concern was simply to make sure to relay any such information as quickly as possible to Lear when he would call intermittently from his stopping points around the world. At one such point, after relaying the message(s) to John, he asked me quite anxiously to secure several documents and articles from different locations in his study and Federal Express them to another UFO researcher, Bob Oechsler, ASAP, and at my own expense.
Although Lear had given me free access to virtually all of the files in his study and his garage, I had been very scrupulous about examining only those he indicated concerned UFOs. At no time did I resort to "snooping" in order to see what he might have "squirreled away," since I considered it a point of honor to respect his privacy while I was entrusted with virtually free run of the "estate." Despite allegations he may be making to the contrary, I have honored that trust to this day, not so much out of respect for him as for my own code of ethics. Even so, I could not help but be amused, as I was viewing, at his insistence, a number of the videos Lear had acquired concerning UFOs, to come across two in particular -- "code-named" Star Virgin and Project Ginger -- which dealt with subjects of a much more "earthy" nature.
I was not amused, however, in the course of locating the documents he had requested I mail to Oechsler, to find a
one-page typed memo he had left lying on his desk beside his typewriter concerning the shipment of 106 tons of gold
from Guam to Zurich. I could not help but read the entire document at a single glance, and was immediately struck
by some of the names, which included Peoples, the man I had spoken to several times earlier, and a rather notorious
arms transporter, Henry E. "Hank" Warton, whom I had heard of a number of times in my previous research about covert
operations and illegal weapons deals. The
Air Progress magazine article Lear wanted me to locate and mail,
entitled "Soldier of Fortune," itself included a description of Lear's employment over a period of years as a
contract pilot for Warton in the Middle East and Africa.
The first reference I'd encountered about Hank Warton was in a
Newsweek article I had been referred to
concerning the role of "former" Nazis in the continuing weapons trade to the Third World. Warton was introduced as a
competitor in the transport of weapons ("relief") to Biafra in 1968 with none other than Otto Skorzeny, Hitler's
"favorite commando" who had plucked Mussolino from his mountaintop confinement in a daring raid, and had also
inflicted staggering losses on the Allies during the Battle of the Bulge. Since WWII, Skorzeny had been instrumental,
along with Klaus Barbie, Martin Bormann, Josef Mengele, and other Nazis the U.S. had helped to smuggle out of Europe
into South America, in setting up the early cocaine importation routes into the U.S. and the early heroin connection
through Paraguay. Otto Skorzeny, who was revered by U.S. Special Forces as their "role model in the rogues' gallery of
those who got away" according to Lt. Col. Bo Gritz, also ran a worldwide assassination bureau called Paladin, Inc. out
of Madrid, Spain for many years, which was soft-pedaled by the
Newsweek reporters as a "real-estate firm."
I knew that if Skorzeny and Warton were at loggerheads concerning weapons supply over 20 years later, Warton had to be one tough customer himself.
According to the 1968 articles, he was frequently described as a "pirate," and one competitor described him as "an unscrupulous type who wouldn't hesitate to knife you in the back."
On the other hand, after serving with distinction with the U.S. Marines at Guadalcanal following his parents' murder by the Nazis, his post-war exploits were viewed with "mingled fascination and amazement" in the corridors of the State Department, even after they revoked his U.S. passport.
Warton's Miami-based North American Trading Corp. was exclusively devoted in 1968 to running arms and supplies into
Biafra from Lisbon, Portugal, but he was pushed out of the operation after one of his aircraft, containing wings for
two French fighter planes the Biafran resistance was counting heavily on, mysteriously blew up in Portuguese Guinea.
The Biafrans later charged that he was in the secret pay of their enemies and trying to sabotage their war effort when
he repeatedly failed to deliver contracted arms shipments. Warton's exploits in this same time period are recounted in
tremendous detail, I recently learned, in the
Soldiers of Fortune volume of a special Time-Life series of
According to one source who has known Warton well for many years, "That's how you can tell that the 1981 weapons
flights to Iran were a Warton operation. Although he and his partner, Marshall Landy, are Mossad, he is known for
screwing things up like that Argentinian plane that went down." The Argentinian cargo plane returning to Tel Aviv from
a weapons delivery in Teheran on July 18, 1981 reportedly strayed into Soviet airspace and was shot down by a MiG-25
along the Soviet-Turkish border. According to the
London Sunday Times, the plane was chartered by a Swiss arms
broker, who intended to sell 360 tons of military hardware -- worth $30 million -- to the Iranian military. Three
shipments of American-made parts for M-48 tanks, which formed the bulk of Iranian land forces, had made it through
before the cargo plane was shot down. The Israeli Foreign Ministry denied any involvement, but several officials
quietly conceded that their agents had sold Iran parts and arms shortly after Reagan took office.
The May 1984
Air Progress article described Lear's employment with Warton in the late 70s or early 80s carrying
"cargo" to "African locations," which both Lear and Warton have described in person to me as CIA-sanctioned weapons-
supply flights to Somalia. The article also mentioned Lear flying for Warton's Air Sinai a short time later. Warton
had secured the contract for four flights a week between Egypt and Israel following the Camp David Accords. Call it a
hunch, but I would not be surprised at all if Warton (and possibly Lear) were also involved in some, if not a major
percentage, of the weapons-transport flights which were underway during that same time period in that region. Many of
the major figures in the Iran/Contra scandal -- Maj. Gen. Richard Secord, Deputy Director of CIA Worldwide Operations
Theodore Shackley and his flunkie Tom Clines, CIA entrepreneur Edwin Wilson, and Pentagon Weapons Czar Erich von
Marbod -- first came under the harsh light of public and Congressional scrutiny in the aftermath of the EATSCO
(Egyptian-American Transport Service Co.) scandal in that same time period.
Secord was "encouraged" to resign as State Department Adviser (i.e. arms broker) to the Middle East, and shortly thereafter resigned his commission in the Air Force, while Shackley and Clines were "encouraged" to "resign" from the CIA by Deputy Director Frank Carlucci, for whose company Von Marbod went to work at the same time in Geneva, Switzerland. Wilson, the only one who actually put up the $500,000 "seed money" for the operation, was convicted of transporting large amounts of military explosives to Libya, where he had recruited Green Beret instructors to train Libyan "freedom fighters." Wilson would then finger the "terrorists" for elimination by Agency "mechanics" when they arrived at their postings in Europe, relaying the intelligence to William F. Buckley, then-station chief in Beirut who was in charge of the Agency's world-wide Anti-terrorist (i.e. assassination) Bureau, until he was kidnapped and tortured to death in Teheran. Wilson has said in prison that "If I got 52 years for what I did, Oliver North and Richard Secord should get 300!"
There is no doubt that Lear and Warton, at least, knew each other very well and had worked closely. Warton recently admitted that Lear was most anxious to work with him during that period because he had pissed away a huge sum of money on an impotent race for the Nevada Senate seat, and flew every hour of overtime he could wrangle from Warton to recover the loss. The question was, just how closely were Lear and Warton involved in either the 1981 weapons flights to Iran, and the planned gold shipments to Zurich?
I was frankly stunned to read, in Lear's own typed wording, that he was supposed to secure the planes for the gold shipment for a company in Amsterdam called Kindrich International, and that 106 tons of gold were to be flown from Guam to Taiwan, where it was to be smelted down, and then to Zurich, Switzerland via Dubai or Abu Dhabi. According to his memo, there were several other people involved in the operation:
Juanita Hanson was the managing director of Kindrich International; Bob Kerkez was instrumental in some way from West Germany; Hank Warton of Miami, Florida was in charge of the operation; Vern Peoples in Las Vegas was in charge of coordinating with Lear, and Jack Taggert was to receive a "10% cut" for setting it up. I couldn't help but wonder what Lear's slice was to be for his participation in the deal.
My natural inclination was to bring my discovery of the memo to his attention and ask him directly about his involvement. However, I've been around enough "sensitive situations" to know that the people involved -- possibly including Lear, since I didn't know him that well at that point -- would be absolutely livid that I was aware of any aspect of the operation. Considering the amount of money involved, I had little doubt I would be readily expendable to keep the operation quiet. I had suspected Lear's motives behind his UFO "revelations" from the beginning -- stumbling across this information was a very strong indication that he was still heavily involved in covert operations and was very likely using the UFO bullshit to cover up past and present activities.
As another case in point: I had noticed also in the
Air Progress article that Lear had flown a 707 for Global
International Airways in 1983 out of Kansas City. I learned in 1990 from an article entitled "Ripoff Savings and
Loan of Colorado" by Bryan Abas in
Westword Magazine that its owner, Farhad Azima, had borrowed more than
$1 million from the Indian Springs State Bank in Kansas City, much of which went to Global, which was widely known to
be a CIA proprietary run by Azima. The bank had received more than $6 million in deposits arranged by convicted
scammer Mario Rends, a Mob-connected loan broker who helped cause the failure of several banks and S & Ls by
demanding loans and special treatment in return for deposits, according to charges by regulators which were reported
in the aftermath of the bank's collapse. According to statements from a former Justice Department prosecutor to the
Houston Post at that time, he was ordered to "back off" on his investigation into Indian Springs Bank
shareholder Azima because "Azima had CIA connections and a 'get-out-of-jail-free card.'" Global went bankrupt not
long after Lear came to work there, listing debts of $15 million, including $280,000 to Indian Springs. When I
questioned Lear about this, he dismissed it as lightly as he had the numerous reports about opium trafficking by Air
America and Continental in Laos and Cambodia, and the early weapons flights in 1981 to Iran.
As concerned as I was about respecting Lear's privacy, I knew only too well from witnessing the repression in Central America over a period of years just how much torment had been inflicted upon the Filipinos by the Marcos regime, and how determined many were, in cooperation with the few honest American authorities, to bring them to justice and restore the Philippine treasure to its government. I was compelled by conscience to send parts of the information to selected media and law enforcement contacts around the country, carefully leaving out any reference to Lear.
Using an alias, I personally handed the information to a well- known ABC reporter at the studio in LA in late 1988 when I was informed that he would be part of the press team accompanying U.S. Attorney Rudolf Giuliani to Hawaii to bring Imelda Marcos back for trial in New York. He promised that he would hand the information over to Giuliani himself, but I never received a reply from Giuliani, or anyone else.
Again in April 1990 during Imelda Marcos's trial I sent key elements of the information to selected media outlets and the prosecution team, but never received any response. Knowing what I do now about the full extent of Warton's operations over the years from his headquarters in Miami and London, and his high-level sanctions for patently illegal weapons transfers, as well as his methods of concealing those transfers, I can clearly understand why the prosecutors and the media have deliberately suppressed this information.
I looked in the garage, hoping that he might have been puttering in his new workshop, but somehow knew that I would find him in the guesthouse. When I entered and noticed the door to the master bedroom closed at the end of the long hallway, I had little doubt Lear had decided to "extend the farewell" with the lady reporter. I loudly declared that I hated to interrupt him, but his wife was on the phone and she demanded to speak to him "immediately."
He emerged from the bedroom a few seconds later, pulling his trousers on, barefoot, shirtless, drenched in sweat, and completely dazed by the large amount of alcohol he had consumed and whatever he was engaged in. I was thoroughly disgusted and simply informed him that his wife was waiting on the line to talk to him. I walked out and returned to his guests in the study, hoping he "finished up" quickly, and tried not to let on that anything was amiss. They smiled knowingly but nothing was said.
I hope it never becomes necessary to reveal their names or those of two of the three women involved with Lear -- I have resolutely avoided this -- but they would certainly have to corroborate all that I have said relative to them up to this point under oath if it were forced to come out. I don't think Lear can put his hands on enough money to bribe them all -- their integrity is too great to lie about this.
After about another half- hour to 45 minutes, the phone rang again and Lear's 14-year-old daughter rushed in to say that her mother was again demanding to speak to John. She directed me to look for him in the garage and she headed for the guest house before I could attempt to stop her. As I expected, she found her dad and his guest still somewhat "engaged" in the living room, and rushed back into the house extremely agitated.
When I heard the door slam, I headed out the back door toward the guesthouse to find Lear and the woman emerging in a state of confusion and heading out toward the front of the house. The woman tried to explain to me what had happened, but I told her it was none of my business and I preferred that she keep it to herself. She did seem to express some genuine concern about Lear's mental health, indicating that he seemed to be very upset and confused about all that he was dealing with concerning his UFO research. I thanked her for her concern and escorted her to her car. Despite my protestations, since he was obviously highly intoxicated, Lear jumped into his truck and drove off after her. His other guests left at this point and his daughter and I attempted to locate him in order to avoid his being arrested for drunken driving. We never located him, but a humble and contrite John Lear appeared the next morning to beg me to "handle the situation" for him until he got back from Europe.
Apparently he had spent the night at his other girlfriend's house rather than face his daughter. I thought very seriously about leaving right then myself, since I knew the situation would only get worse, but felt an obligation to Lear to look after his place at least until his wife arrived a couple of days later. Although I'm sure they had family friends who could have done so, given the delicate circumstances, I felt that the less attention drawn to their situation at that time, the better. I did feel quite awkward about being left alone there with their teen-age daughter, since I had not realized that was how their schedules were going to work out until it happened, but figured that she certainly should have a responsible adult standing by until the other parent returned. From my previous experience in police work, I knew full well that I was allowing myself to be placed in a very delicate situation, in the event Lear might have decided to have the daughter accuse me of some improper behavior to cover his own, at some point in the future.
I know only too well from professional experience how quickly families will close ranks behind a lie to cover for one of the clan. Nevertheless, I stayed on and hoped for the best until Mrs. Lear returned two days later. At no time during the entire period of my acquaintance with the Lears did I ever come within less than three feet of their daughter(s), however, just for that reason. It frankly has not surprised me following my disclosures here that he has attempted to so charge me, but I state for the record again that nothing in any way improper ever took place. In terms of guilt, however, one must also ask what kind of parents would leave their teenage daughter home alone with someone they had only known for a couple of months, even though I conducted myself completely honorably from the start to the finish of my dealings with John Lear. Since he is now alleging otherwise, one must ask why he would even consider authorizing me to act as his agent little more than a year later (see letter of November 1989), or would introduce me in very friendly terms to his mother after that -- I seriously doubt that she would lie about this.
During this time, July-August 1988, Lear seemed to have become entirely preoccupied with his drinking and his libido, and I had already begun to write him off in terms of reliability. For someone who was fully engrossed in attempting to get the truth out about a number of major government cover-ups regarding UFOs, Lear's asking me to "handle it" for him was an odious request. I knew that no matter what I did I would be damned as the scapegoat for his affair. I did try to reason with his daughter Alison not to tell her mother whatever she saw, since the results would cause her mother to go predictably nuclear, and that such a disclosure would almost certainly prove devastating for their family.
I encouraged Alison to at least wait and talk with her father before she brought it up to her mother, which apparently nearly happened. She certainly had no hesitation about taking advantage of the situation, and their absence, to repeatedly drive their Audi around town without a license or my permission. At that stage, I figured that it really wasn't my problem, and began packing to depart as soon as Mrs. Lear returned. Once she did, however, she was so insistent that we finish up his workbench in the garage that I stayed on for a few more days with a friend of mine who had come to deliver my new used car in order to try to help ease Lear through the difficulty. It was during this period that I re-tiled the roof myself, since my friend refused to work for free, and chastised me relentlessly about my stupidity for doing so.
Unfortunately, the night before his return, Mrs. Lear allowed Alison to get drunk, and in conversation with her mother and their boarder, a stewardess on Lear's airline, American Trans Air, she let the cat out of the bag. I awoke the next morning to hear Mrs. Lear pounding on my studio door, demanding that I tell her where the "other woman" lived or worked so that she could go over and "blow her feet off" with her .45. Since I was by now thoroughly disgusted with the entire situation and had already begun packing for departure, I got up and met with her in the kitchen, where I simply told her that I wasn't about to help her get herself imprisoned and that the problem was between her and her husband, not me.
Without belaboring the point, I certainly did become their whipping boy in short order, with all manner of false accusations tossed after me following my departure a couple of days later -- the very day John and I had planned to fly down to Dallas together to check out the leads concerning the witnesses to the Kennedy assassination. This all occurred in August 1988, and from that point on I decided to pretty much cut all contact with the Lear family, for obvious reasons.
In my haste to pack and relocate, I inadvertently tossed a cheap $9 phone into a box with my various other office
paraphernalia. Also, a few days earlier I had set a pair of cheap pink sunglasses I had borrowed from Lear in my open
toolbox, which fell down to the bottom. I brought the telephone back within a couple days when I discovered it, but
did not discover the glasses until months later when I cleaned out the toolbox, at which time I made a point of
returning them personally also. I had also borrowed -- with Lear's permission -- his copy of
America in Search of
Enemies by John Stockwell for Gritz to review while we were working on his book, leaving as "collateral" Bo's copy
The Crimes of Patriots by Jonathan Kwitny for Lear to look over. I mailed John's book back a few weeks
later, and do not know to this day whether he ever returned Gritz's book. Lear later accused me of stealing his
sunglasses and both he and his wife later insisted that the Gritzs claimed I had "given" Lear's book to Gritz. I am
still amazed at the degree of distortion and pettiness, when they all knew the true situation.
Lear also accused me of stealing his navigation map for the flights to Iran in early 1981, and the picture of himself and his cronies in Teheran. I first heard of these accusations through mutual acquaintances, and after calling Lear directly to have him repeat them, I was actually flabbergasted at their utter falsity, and his incredible pettiness and unbelievable audacity, considering the profound embarrassment I could easily have caused for him without having to resort to lies had I chosen to capitalize on his asinine behavior. Instead, out of concern for his family and the immense respect I hold for his mother, I said nothing at all. I did not take anything of theirs from the house deliberately, and most certainly did not take the map or photo. I have no doubt whatsoever that John conveniently "lost" them, knowing only too well how damaging such things could be as evidence now that I was "outside the tent pissing in." I have little doubt as well that this probably explains his newfound enthusiasm for promoting the JFK tape right at the same time, after six months of inattention to the issue while he was chasing his libidinal outlets around the world.
I then returned to Las Vegas and began to focus all efforts on transcribing Gritz's written and recorded notes for his
A Nation Betrayed, and in late October entered the video studio there to work two straight weeks (I never
set foot outside the entire time) in producing the final rushed, crudely edited but nevertheless powerful two-hour
documentary by the same title. It was during this time, while I was so engaged, that the two owners of the studio, who
specialized in filming stunts, came into the studio very excitedly one evening to thrust a copy of the NOVA Kennedy
special narrated by Walter Cronkite onto the big monitor and watch my reaction while the most startlingly clear
footage I had yet seen of the Zapruder film rolled by, in close-up on Bill Greer.
The NOVA footage showed extreme close-ups in astonishingly clear detail in which it could be clearly seen that Greer did not take his hands off the steering wheel at any time during the period that the fatal head shot was delivered to Kennedy. As I admitted to them afterward, unless the film had been altered it was beyond question that nothing crossed Greer's chest during this sequence and that the reflection that Evans and Adams argued was a handgun which extended past the back of the other agent, Roy Kellerman's, head, was, in fact, merely the reflection off the top of "Killerman's" head. Even at that point I was preoccupied with finishing Gritz's video and lamented the fact that I lacked the time or money even then to verify the authenticity of the JFK footage on the NOVA program.
Assuming the NOVA film was unaltered -- Robert Groden, who supplied it to the producers, swore to me later that it had not been -- it underscored what I had sensed all along: as much as we might have hoped that Greer had in fact been one of the gunman, thereby simplifying the proof of official complicity in the assassination, a far better copy of the film would reveal the factual source of the reflection in question was Kellerman's head. To this day, despite all that has transpired, Evans and Adams, and thousands of "Cooperoids" adhere to their cherished theory. I do not pretend to be infallible, much less the final authority on the Zapruder film or the Kennedy assassination, but I can only state what I truly believe, or know for a fact, if I have the luxury of possessing sufficient evidence. If I truly believed that Greer had a weapon in his hand and fired it, I would not hesitate to state then or now such a belief.
My statement to that effect on the videotape notwithstanding, everyone who knew me during this time knows very well that my primary concern in making the tape and all related efforts were directed toward trying to prove its truth or falsity. I was not convinced of anything at the outset, and as a former law enforcement officer, knew only too well the burden of proof that accompanies any such theory or allegation.
Lear's and Cooper's attempt to paint me into a corner in this regard are patently ill-informed, if not malicious, considering their complete lack of research and cheapness in avoiding purchase of their own film. I believe now as I did then that their efforts to promote the "theory" were primarily oriented at undermining my credibility, particularly because of my proximity to both Col. Gritz and the Christic Institute, and continuing to confuse and mislead the public. In addition, I seriously doubt Lear trusted Cooper well enough to tell him that I also knew of his infidelity and of the weapons and gold flights, but had no qualms in using him to further the discreditation ploy, until Cooper began attacking him also.
Nevertheless, the question remained then -- and still does to this day -- where did the .45 cal.
bullet slug found on the other side of Elm St. come from, and why has that slug never been officially addressed in any
of the subsequent investigations? Both Jim Garrison in his recent book
On the Trail of the Assassins, and John
Judge have addressed that issue at length. Judge claims that the fatal headshot attributed to William Greer by Adams,
Evans, Cooper and Lear actually came from the handgun of a gunman hidden in the manhole directly under the sidewalk in
front of Abraham Zapruder. Judge argues that this was the actual source of the .45 cal. slug found on the other side
of the street which was repeatedly photographed. The new movie,
JFK, being filmed by Oliver Stone is reportedly
based very heavily on Garrison's book, and employs some of the most knowledgeable and sincere people in the
assassination investigation field as consultants, I'm very pleased to report. While I was in Dallas in Feb. 1991 en
route to Florida, I was actually able to remove the manhole cover and crawl down inside the opening, which provides a
"pillbox" type of fortification for firing very effectively at close range at a motorcade through the opening in the
sidewalk curb. There was also a round tunnel leading down from the manhole, but I did not enter it to see if it was
actually possible to move very far through it.
By that point, in late November 1988, however, I was so mentally and physically exhausted, as well as impoverished after spending nearly a year with virtually no income tracking down all these loose ends (and after remaining awake for 72 hours straight trying to accommodate Gritz's urgency to complete his video and get it immediately into distribution), I decided to just drop the entire effort for a few months and concentrate on recovering my own personal lost ground. To this day I have never received a single penny from any of Gritz's books or videos, and as much as my creditors would have loved to see some royalties, I am only glad I had the opportunity to help make them happen, so great is the importance of their contents to Americans, despite the admittedly ragged quality that emerged from their rushed production. Considering that I was paid the whopping total of $45 for producing a two-hour documentary in two weeks, for which anyone else would have taken at least a couple of months and charged at least $45,000, I have an absolutely clear conscience about the professionalism and the sincerity I brought to bear in both efforts.
Although I did, in fact, contribute significantly to the text of both his books, and spent many weeks editing the balance, I have taken great pains in all instances to downplay my role. When one talk-show host attempted to characterize me as Gritz's "right-hand man" at the Center for Action, I hastened to point out that I barely qualified as his "left-hand man," since I had only helped with the books and tapes and several public events publicizing his trial. I made it clear that my contributions to his effort paled in comparison with those of any of his Operation Lazarus teammembers who had sacrificed years and risked their necks repeatedly in the POW recovery efforts they had mounted, suffering over a year in prison in one case, and various arrests, detention and threats in several others. I have made it very clear at all times that I am not a veteran, and only did what I could to help him get his story out in the most professional manner possible.
The simple truth is that I felt it was my absolute obligation and responsibility as an American citizen to render every assistance I possibly could to his courageous efforts. The truth is that this commitment on my part has actually cost me tremendously in credibility, and placed me many thousands of dollars behind in unpaid obligations, yet I am still glad to have done it. I learned long ago to trust in the truth winning out in the end, regardless of how unfair or grim things may look at the time. I have been equally resolute about squaring up overdue accounts, despite the exploitation of this issue by my detractors.
Shortly after I had completed Gritz's video in mid-November 1988, Lear called to invite me to his home to meet "some real special people." I was completely exhausted myself, as well as disgusted with him, but since I was planning on heading back to California the next day and definitely believed it would be the very last time I would ever set foot there, I agreed. This was to be my first encounter with the name Bill Cooper. Lear showed me several computer bulletin board printouts which I believe were from Jim Speiser's net, because John was chuckling about how Speiser had thrown him and Cooper off as a result of their "agitation." I read one "dispatch" from Cooper outlining his credentials and assuring John that he could vouch for at least 50% of Lear's claims. I questioned John as to whether he thought Cooper was for real or only trying to cozy up to him in order to make a name for himself in the field or to perhaps use an implied association with Lear to disinform others. Lear would later state on George Knapp's second UFO TV special that Bill Cooper was vouching for 150% of his claims.
John indicated that he thought Cooper was on the level, and appeared to be the genuine article in terms of his background and credibility. I recall thinking at the time that I could really care less, since I'd had a bellyful of all the UFO bullshit and would leave it to all the self-anointed experts to hash it out among themselves from there on out. I was reminded of a brief encounter with Linda Howe a few months earlier when she had come to meet with Lear and another former UFOlogist friend/associate of his who also had long-standing connections to the weapons industry and the intelligence community. While discussing the conviction (railroading) of respected UFO researcher, retired USAF Colonel Wendelle Stevens, Lear's friend disturbed Ms. Howe mightily with his own inspired discussion of pedophilia, convincing her not to share the information she had brought with her, and resulting in a serious blowout between them. I ended up taking her up to Lear's home where I was left to sit and wait for four hours while they met privately in his study.
Lear's wife refused to accompany us to dinner afterward, during which time Ms. Howe described her meetings with military intelligence agents a few years before during which the JFK assassination was discussed in some detail. After relating what they had imparted to her she was most emphatic about the wisdom of leaving that issue alone. We parted on respectful terms, but I resolved to do exactly that -- concentrate fully on important issues like Kennedy's murder, and let her and the others carry the UFO banner.
It was during our conversation that night in November that Lear became suddenly harsh with me about my remarks to a mutual acquaintance of ours about the "Marcos gold" shipments that he had been involved in arranging. Up to that point I didn't know for certain that it was, in fact, Marcos's hoard that was being moved. I tried unsuccessfully to pretend ignorance, but Lear emphasized that I was "playing around with something very serious," and I should not "breathe another word about it to anyone or we could all expect some heavy shit to come down. These guys don't fuck around, Lars."
Knowing only too well the extreme lengths the people involved would go to in order to keep the gold movement hushed up, I nodded solemnly, but since the cat was out of the bag and he knew I was at least partially aware of the operation, I questioned him as to why he would even consider being a part of that operation, considering that the gold had been stolen from the Philippine people. Not knowing that I had seen his entire memo on the matter, he insisted that the flights never came together and that he was out of it and did not want to talk about it any further.
I changed the subject to the clear Zapruder footage I had recently seen and pointed out to John that more and more information was coming to light which I believed discredited the driver theory. I pointed out specifically that nothing obstructed Greer's chest in the footage I saw, thereby eliminating the possibility that his left arm crossed over his chest and his right shoulder. This meant he was unable to have fired a weapon at Kennedy, as I had narrated on the video. Lear appeared to be genuinely concerned and interested and I directed him to the individuals who had the copied footage so he could also obtain a copy to review, which he did shortly afterward. I made it very clear that, even though I had not been able to undertake the thorough investigation I had originally planned, all the information and contacts I had developed at that point, which were substantial, strongly inclined me to believe that Greer did indeed turn around twice to look back at Kennedy, but did not fire anything at Kennedy.
I indicated to Lear that he was more than welcome to continue pursuing the issue if he chose to, but that I had seen enough evidence concerning Kennedy's assassination to convince me to apply my extremely limited resources to getting Gritz's story out to the public and simply keeping him out of prison. As important as it was to get the complete truth out about the hit team in Dallas in 1963, and who paid them to pull the triggers, I knew that people like Jack Anderson, Mark Lane and Walter Cronkite commanded the media on the issue. Achieving similar coverage for Gritz's story in that time frame could have proven extremely potent. I did encourage Lear strongly to contact Robert Groden regarding the issue and to arrange to see his much clearer copy of the original film, and provided Groden's number to him. [Finally, in late 1990, two years later, during a call to Groden to discuss some aspect of the assassination, he admitted his surprise that Lear had just called him moments before at his home in Pennsylvania, and was at that moment en route to visit with him. Friends report that Lear now states in his lectures that he has seen clear footage that indicates Greer was not firing a weapon, and that he was "misled" by another researcher into believing otherwise. If their reporting is accurate, it indicates again the extent of Lear's lying duplicity, as well as hypocrisy.]
Lear, of course, made no mention to me in November 1988 of meeting with Cooper, other than a phone call or two, and made no mention of having shared or given a copy of my JFK video to him, either. In fact, it would not be until almost exactly a year later that I would find out this had actually occurred shortly before this meeting I am now describing.
Later that same evening, I met Bob Lazar, Gene Huff, Ron Regehr and a friend of his when they arrived at Lear's home, and we all drove out to the edge of Nellis Air Force Base, looked around, then went back to the house and talked for awhile before leaving. I remember being mightily impressed by the bright young man who had given me his unique jet-car business card, which also advertised his expertise in other advanced scientific areas. I would not learn until almost exactly a year later that the person I met that night at Lear's was the same Bob Lazar who had appeared on Las Vegas TV in April 1989 under the cover-name of "Dennis" and claimed that he had worked on one of nine USG UFOs at Area S-4 at the Nevada Test Site.
While working fulltime, I also made several public presentations on his behalf and set up several others for him in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, most of which netted surprisingly decent media coverage. The event in LA on April 11, 1989, which yielded a front-page B- section story in the Herald-Examiner and for which I went several hundred more dollars in the hole -- not taking a single dime from any of these events -- was very successful. I returned to Santa Barbara the next day with an acquaintance from LA to prepare and FedEx Gritz's detailed video testimony along with a very strongly worded letter to 35 key senators and media heads.
In the letter, I exhorted them to perform their sworn duty and thoroughly investigate Richard Armitage, who was up for
confirmation as Secretary of the Army at that time. Anyone not familiar with his long-term role in heroin smuggling
and weapons sales to Iraq should consult Gritz's two books and videos. A copy of one of the letters is included with
this packet, and it should be obvious to anyone that "agents of the secret government" -- as Cooper falsely claims I
am -- rarely, if ever, take such an open stand against known agents of the secret government. It is worthy of special
note that Richard Armitage decided to withdraw from confirmation proceedings a few weeks after the Senators' receipt
of the videos. It was reported in a special to the
New York Times on May 26, 1989 that "Bush's Selection as
Secretary of Army Withdraws to Avoid Grilling." Midway through the article by Andrew Rosenthal, it was stated that
"It is not known whether new information had surfaced that would have changed Mr. Armitage's mind." I cannot help but
feel, over two years later that that statement is also a bald-faced lie, given Gritz's thoroughly suppressed but
nevertheless highly vocal charges regarding Armitage, and my own direct contact with the senators and heads of all
major national news media.
I'm surprised Cooper hasn't fingered H. Ross Perot, himself, along with Gritz and me, since he also lobbied intensively to keep Armitage out of that position, after confronting him two years before in person at the Pentagon and demanding that he resign on the spot for his involvement in large-scale heroin trafficking -- you can read about it in the May 4, 1987 issue of TIME. It must be noted also, whether Cooper is aware of it or not, that Perot put up the $2 million to try to buy William Buckley's way out of Beirut back in 1984. Buckley was the well-known CIA station chief stationed there who was also in charge of the Agency's worldwide assassination bureau. It has been known and reported for some time that it was the Iranians' threat to release to the American people the 14 hours of videotape of his confessions under torture which prompted Oliver North and Bud McFarlane to jet over to Teheran with the Bible, the cake and the missiles. In fact, I have just received information from a very reliable source who was the Shah's pilot at one time (after flying Mohammed Mossadegh, the elected leader of Iran deposed by the CIA with the help of the original Norman Schwarzkopf, out of the country), that William Buckley also revealed under torture those responsible for the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
As unlikely as this might seem on first hearing, it must be borne in mind that Buckley had, in fact, been the station
chief in Mexico City during the period that a special assassination bureau was being run under the cover of PEMEX Oil
Co. Rafael "Chi Chi" Quintero was one of the original members of the "shooter team" set up at the request of Richard
Nixon by Robert Maheu and Mafia capos Sam Giancana and Johnny Roselli in 1960 to eliminate Castro and continued as
part of the ongoing hit squad in Mexico working under Buckley. According to the
Torbitt Document (Nomenclature of
an Assassination Cabal) the FBI's Division Five (Domestic Counterintelligence) maintained a triangular-fire
training base at Oaxaca, Mexico, under the cover of a missionary school. It has now been established that it was his
references to this fact which had to be erased from Nixon's Watergate tapes. Dan Sheehan of the Christic Institute,
among others, has been very emphatic on numerous occasions about Buckley's actual role in Beirut at the time of his
capture, and the true reasons for the weapons deals which ensued.
Following the Reagan Administration's concerted attempt to shut Gritz up with the asinine passport charge, the half-dozen or so people involved in preparing the video testimony for the Senate Armed Services Committee ruling on Richard Armitage's confirmation as Secretary of the Army decided they would be taking too much of a risk themselves to sign the accompanying letter. That's why my signature is the only one at the bottom. I had literally driven the brakes off my car on Gritz's behalf and lacked the gas money to get over to his trial -- much less out of harm's way -- anyway, but I figured it was worth the effort regardless. Whether we hang together or hang separately, I'm hanging in until the end -- and so should you.
It is a matter of history now that the "weenie charge" of "Misuse of a Passport" against Gritz was thrown out on the third day of the trial, April 21, 1989. Both the judge, Philip Pro, and the U.S. Attorney, Bill Maddox, knew all along that it was invalid to begin with, particularly after the U.S. Atty. in California had already rejected the case when it was brought to him to prosecute initially. It seems that the passport in question was actually issued to a fictitious "Patrick Richard Clark" for the use of an undercover LAPD intelligence officer. Richard Patrick Clark, a staunch supporter of Gritz's POW- recovery efforts, had given him the passport to assist him in that undertaking. Following the exposure of this fact in a front-page B-section article in the LA Herald-Examiner (now defunct) following the successful public event for Gritz which I co-produced just days before his trial began, Maddox's case basically self-destructed in court when Clark, an extremely astute LAPD intelligence officer with a PhD and a rapier wit, answered Maddox's questions too honestly and adroitly. When Maddox snarled to Gritz's attorney as they entered the court, "Tell your Colonel he's in my jungle now!" he was in for a very rude surprise.
Clark admitted that he himself had obtained the passport and provided it to Gritz to assist him in his POW-recovery efforts, and that the passport, in fact belonged to no one, since "Patrick Richard Clark" does not exist, other than in State Department computer files. Maddox then had no case left to prosecute, since the charge read "Misuse of the passport of another," when, in fact, there was no "other," and Judge Philip Pro had no choice but to end the trial. As Gritz had candidly admitted on numerous occasions publicly around the country, "I have misused passports all of my adult life as a special-forces operative, just like Jane Fonda did when she went to North Vietnam and Ollie North and Robert McValium did when they went to Teheran in 1985 with the Bible, the cake and the TOW missiles. The only reason I'm being prosecuted on this 'weenie charge' is because I refused to 'play ball' with this crowd." He admitted that his own best friend, Joe Felter of Wedtech, had been used by the National Security aide handling Gritz's mission to Burma, Tome Harver (code-named "Tango") to attempt to persuade Gritz to "erase and forget" all that he had learned in Burma, and to attempt to bribe him to do so with the promise of a cushy job as a defense contractor in Washington, all to no avail. Gritz's testimony about the provision of those passports (he carried a total of four at one time) from the special Administrative Survey Branch of the National Security Agency was not permitted to be entered into open court testimony because of the restrictive provisions of CIPA (Classified Information and Procedures Act). In practice CIPA has become a thinly disguised tactical weapon wielded by the government to force the defense to disclose all of its evidence before excluding it from court proceedings.
After two years of prosecutorial delay, including forcing Gritz to assemble his witnesses in Las Vegas from around the world more than once, only to have the trial postponed, and hamstringing Gritz's overseas operations by prohibiting his travel, following the exposure of Maddox's blunder, Gritz was understandably furious when, following the judge's decalration of his acquittal, he could not present even a word of his defense, much less high-level intelligence authorization for his mission. Gritz had made these points very clear to news reporters covering his indictment and trial from the outset. Almost as if he was working in concert with Gritz to verify his claims, Maddox emerged from the courtroom to snarl at Clark that "your superiors at LAPD will hear about this!" (and, indeed, they did and put pressure on Clark in the aftermath to punish him for his candor).
In response to a news reporter's question in front of television cameras, Maddox shot back "George Bush called me and told me to 'Get Bo Gritz.'" When the reporter queried whether Maddox was being serious or sarcastic, "You're denying that. Is that what you're saying?" he responded in a flat-toned, deapan, but adamant manner, "No. What I'm saying is that George Bush called me and told me to "Get Bo Gritz!"
I had literally driven the brakes off my car on Gritz's behalf traveling back and forth between Nevada and California, and lacked the gas money even to get to Las Vegas for the trial. But when Gritz called the day after the acquittal to request my help in editing the trial coverage and Maddox's statements into a new videotape, I quickly rounded up a helper and drove all night to Nevada to obtain the raw footage, drove back all night to LA and stayed up the entire next evening assembling a hard-hitting 10 min. video for immediate distribution. I was not paid a cent for the effort, but found profound satisfaction in exposing the perfidy of the officials involved in that travesty of justice nationwide when the national news media deliberately ignored the story. I have derived considerable satisfaction since upon learning that not only was Maddox not reappointed as U.S. Attorney, but the State of Nevada was unable to find a suitable replacement over two years later.
When a Mr. Lutfy was finally formally nominated by Rep. Barbara Vucanovich with considerable fanfare, the next morning's news headlines trupeted that Lutfy was strongly implicated in several insurance fraud cases. This was only the latest in a series of fiascos befalling the vindictive U.S. Attorney's office after the first of Gritz's prosecutors, a Mr. Wulfson, resigned, to be replaced by a a Mr. O'Neill, who assumed the case with a vengeance. He left town not long after with his tail between his legs when someone leaked to the local press that Mr. O'Neill had actually served as a road manager for the acid-rock anti-war band from San Francisco, Country Joe and the Fish, who immortalized the "Gimme and F!" cheer in their classic anti-Vietnam anthem "Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag."
It is also worthy of note, on a more tragic vein, that one of Gritz's most respected friends and counterparts, USSF Colonel James "Nick" Rowe, who escaped from N. Vietnam after five years in captivity, was assassinated exactly one year to the day after the charge was dropped against Gritz in Las Vegas Federal Court. What few people know is that Rowe and three other SF Colonels were all killed or died under questionable circumstances; that Mossad agent Michael Harari was known to be at the place, at the time, in three of the four deaths; and that all four were strongly engaged in attempting to bring to public awareness the U.S. Government's massive involvement in large-scale drug trafficking. Rowe himself was directly in touch with 60 Minutes about the issue in 1987, but they passed on the story as they had passed on Gritz's story when he came back from Burma.
The day after Gritz's event in Los Angeles, I was profoundly disheartened to see the headlines about Abbie Hoffman's
supposed suicide. I found it particularly hard to accept since I knew from my earlier discussions with Barbara
Honegger that he had been very involved with her in the writing of his article about the October Surprise, entitled
"An Election Held Hostage," which appeared in
Playboy magazine, and had played a cameo role in Oliver Stone's
Born On The Fourth Of July. He had also been very active with Amy Carter in protesting CIA
agents on college campuses, and I just couldn't believe that he would give up so suddenly in the midst of all that
I called Honegger within seconds of reading the headline to ask her what she knew about his death and was again
quite startled to hear her say something to the effect that "Abbie really had been pretty depressed about his
injuries" following a recent car accident and had been in a great deal of physical pain. She more or less indicated
that the news reports were correct as far as she was concerned, which I found very hard to accept in light of the
growing number of people who were dying mysteriously who had anything to do with the October Surprise. Honegger had
indicated that she was making last-minute additions and corrections to the galley proofs of her book,
Surprise, before it went to the printers and again emphasized that if my "friend" was willing to talk about the
flights, now was the time.
In a mood of outrage and disgust with all the senseless deaths which had been brought upon the world by the Bush crime family and their minions, I finally decided to break down and put Honegger directly in touch with Lear, to put the sonofabitch on the spot on the issue once and for all. Out of continued concern for him, in light of Abbie's death, for his protection I had not given her his last name, and specified that she should identify herself, her connection to me, and the subject matter prior to entering a discussion with him. If he chose not to pursue it, she was to hang up and forget the number.
She called me back at home the next day to advise me that they had a very cordial and friendly extended conversation, but that Lear had denied any involvement in the actual weapons flights, admitting only that he had been "standing by" in Tel Aviv for several months to make them but actually never did because the operation had been blown after the Argentine plane had been shot down after supposedly straying over Soviet airspace. As I expected, Lear was apparently so flattered by her interest that he readily disclosed his entire name and after denying his role in any such flights, they ended up exchanging research material. I was not surprised, although I figured John was denying it for obvious safety's sake, since it had not actually occurred to me until I called him a few minutes later that he actually would have lied to me about making the flights in the first place.
Believe it or not, that's exactly what he told me when he picked up the phone. I immediately apologized for putting him on the spot with her, but emphasized that if he was really serious about exposing the "secret government," Honegger's book would be a great way to do it. Since I knew for a fact that he had two taps on his phone lines the previous summer, and that he always records all his phone calls as well, I at first adopted a cryptic style of speaking, not wanting necessarily to incriminate him any further if anyone else was listening in, still concerned about his safety.
Lear insisted that we talk openly, so I asked him point-blank: "Well, John, what are you telling me? Were you lying last summer when you said you made those flights and showed me the maps, and the photographs and the articles in the Middle East press, or are you lying now? Or both? If you're saying this now over the phone for the benefit of our listeners, we can continue this later in person."
Lear sounded genuinely sheepish when he replied that he had actually made up the story about his making the flights since he knew I was "into that stuff," and thought I "would be impressed." He did admit that he had gone to Egypt, and later Tel Aviv, Israel, to "stand by for orders to make the flights for three or four months," but insisted that the orders never came.
As much as I had come to mistrust and disrespect Lear, he can be a genuinely friendly and likable guy and does have an excellent sense of humor. It was very difficult to sort out how to deal with his statement. My first thought was that he had actually made the flights, since it was a matter of documented record that he had made any number of other similar ones, that he had actually owned an automatic-weapons business in Las Vegas a few years before, and that he had worked with Warton for years. I figured that he had to deny it not only in case anyone was listening in, but also because, if true, he could not possibly let it get out in Barbara Honegger's eagerly awaited book. On the other hand, he was so candid and open about the entire matter over the phone that I actually began to consider that he could have been so anxious to impress me at the time that he actually would have bragged about something he never did which could have easily gotten us both killed. He was not aware at that point that I had actually seen his typed notes regarding the Marcos gold shipments, but we both knew only too well all the other dirty laundry in his closet.
At this point he again brought up my supposed theft of his navigation map and the photograph in Teheran, and I could not help but feel he was covering up, and he had actually "lost" them himself to remove the evidence. Having already been through the previous accusations regarding his phone and sunglasses, I told him disgustedly that I had not taken anything from his house, and that if the map and photograph were actually missing, I was only sorry I hadn't taken them, since at least then we would both know where they were. To this day I have little doubt that he himself "relocated" them to remove the evidence of his flights to Iran.
Lear then asked my permission to show the Zapruder videotape on an upcoming interview with George Knapp on Las Vegas Channel 8 TV. He referred to "we" several times, but never mentioned the name Bill Cooper then. I declined at first, but then, owing to my disorientation over the previous revelations, very stupidly relented, stipulating strongly that he must make it very clear to Knapp and the audience that the person who produced the video -- I even gave him permission to use my name -- did not believe that the driver fired anything and that it was only a theory at best. I demanded that he emphasize to the audience that the copy of the tape being shown was an eighth-generation copy at best, and that no one should form an opinion on the theory either way without looking at a much better-quality version of the film. I made it very clear to Lear once again that all the evidence I had compiled thus far pointed away from the driver, and that he should make this very clear in his discussion. I had no idea whatsoever that he planned to appear with Bill Cooper, nor have I seen the entire interview to this day.
To this day I do not know whether John Lear actually made the flights with the weapons loads to Iran in early 1981 and/or the shipment of gold from Guam to Zurich in late 1988. I have no doubt whatsoever that he was in Tel Aviv at least standing by to make them under the direction of Hank Warton, as he has admitted to both Barbara Honegger and me on more than one occasion. My gut feeling is that he actually did in both cases. He was certainly very pinched financially at both times, as he was -- according to Warton's own account -- when he flew overtime on the weapons deliveries to Somalia. Given the other weapons flights that he has bragged about, and his "service" with Continental in Laos, he would certainly have had no qualms about doing so, especially for someone he had worked with previously. Whatever the case, given also the amount of information he had noted, and my additional discoveries, it is virtually certain that Warton and some of the other people mentioned absolutely do know who was in charge of the shipments and where they ended up. They should all be contacted by the authorities and the media and questioned relentlessly on the subject.
The two reasons that I elected to continue communication with Lear from mid-April 1989 to September 1990 were that I knew well his almost obsessive need to have an outlet for his "secret info" -- which I decided to simply make use of when possible -- and the compelling information he was absolutely intent on relaying about his "friend who worked out at the Nevada Test Site" -- Bob Lazar. According to Lear's statements beginning with that call in April 1989, Lazar had apparently claimed to have been hired to work on one of nine U.S. Government UFOs. As intriguing as that story was, it was not until seven months later, on Nov. 6, 1989, following his call to alert me that "Bob" was finally going to go public on Las Vegas Channel 8 TV with newsman George Knapp, that I even bothered to put two and two together to realize that "Bob" was the same Bob Lazar I had met at Lear's home a year earlier.
Throughout those intervening seven months, I was busy re-establishing myself in California, renovating my leased home and completely rebuilding the one next door, paying off long-overdue debts and continuing my own investigations. Lear either called me or mailed material to me about once a week on a regular basis, giving me the latest episode in the continuing saga of the young physicist from Area S-4, as well as his latest theory about who really created AIDS and why.
He called me up at one point to state with certainty that the U.S. Army did actually create AIDS at the Chemical-Biological Weapons Research & Development Laboratory at Ft. Dietrich, Maryland by 1972, as alleged by Dr. Strecker and others. He insisted that Bob Lazar saw the final report on the operational biological weapon we have come to know as AIDS signed by a Naval Officer named R.M. Donner during his extended security briefing prior to employment at Area 51. Lear then insisted they had done so "in a final all-out ultimatum to deprive the aliens of their food source by killing off all humanity." I told John he was completely full of shit, and had to be working for the Agency if they were putting him up to saying things like that publicly. Cooper has since alleged in print that Lear actually did make that statement on Las Vegas TV or radio (I don't remember which). After that time, I would routinely refer to his wilder suppositions as a "Lear Leap of Logic," my own euphemism for bullshit.
He also began to question me repeatedly about the driver theory during this period, seemingly obsessed with its validity by this time -- during which I patiently and methodically emphasized to him over and over all the various elements that simply did not stack up in its support. As I said earlier, I smelled a rat from the beginning, and had I known he was now in direct league with Cooper, or what they both apparently said on the Knapp program, I probably would have moved far more swiftly and firmly to shut them down.
Again, despite Cooper's false statements in his book, I was simply too preoccupied with straightening out my own personal affairs in California and too doubtful of Lear's honesty or intentions to bother too much with following up on his activities until the fall of 1989.
A case in point is that by July of 1989, Lear was quite anxious in his request that I help him out with preparations and logistics for the MUFON convention in Las Vegas. He claimed that he was fed up with the entire UFO field and wanted to make his wife happy and drop it all, but had obligated himself as state director into sponsoring the event and needed my help. As customary as it has always been for me to pitch in and help a friend, rarely asking or receiving any compensation, I simply declined that time. After careful consideration, I made it clear to Lear and another friend in Las Vegas whom he did recruit to help him that I had absolutely no desire to be associated with the UFO field. What I didn't say, but should have, was that I had no desire to do any more favors for him, either.
I think he got the message by my absence, but what I missed, only to discover it months later, was that he took advantage of my absence to once again show my JFK videotape to the crowd during his "bootleg" (unsanctioned by MUFON) program. I learned this many months later when I chanced to see a copy of the poor-quality video made of the event. Had he asked, I would certainly not have given him permission to show the video there. I honestly believe his decision to do so, after I had made it very clear to him nine months earlier my lack of belief in the theory and my desire that he not show the video to anyone else, was a deliberate effort to continue the discreditation ploy against me already well-underway. Whatever the case, had I known he had done so at that time, I would have made a special trip to Las Vegas to confront him about the blatant violation of trust. Given the growing number of such episodes concerning my material, and that of many others, both Lear and Cooper are long-overdue in that respect. I suspect in Lear's case several parental thrashings in his formative years might have prevented a great deal of the harm he has caused numerous others in the course of his coddled, self- centered life.
It was not until about a month later, in August 1989, that an acquaintance of mine in LA called in a highly excited state to advise me that conspiracy researcher John Judge had referred to me on KPFK Radio as "an FBI agent who had infiltrated the Christic Institute in LA" to disinform them with the bogus Kennedy videotape. He was absolutely adamant that I contact Judge immediately to counteract the statement. I had learned by that stage of our acquaintance to take all his inflamed reactions with a grain of salt, but figured I should at least check it out. When I asked him what Judge's comments were in reference to, he replied that the topic of the interview concerned UFOs and specifically concerned John Lear and Bill Cooper. Although it caught me out of the blue, he relayed also that somehow my Kennedy tape had become a major part of the issue as a result of Lear's activities, and he emphasized that I should check it out. I attempted to contact Judge a number of times, but he never bothered to accept my calls, much less return them.
My acquaintance indicated also that some other mutual friends had actually attended a presentation by Cooper in Long Beach, California, shortly before, including Barbara Honegger, and had come away considerably disturbed by his "everything-but-the-kitchen-sink" approach to worldwide-conspiracy theory. Since I was planning to be visiting those friends in the near future, I agreed to make a point of meeting with Cooper at that time. I also agreed to, and did make several attempts to reach Judge in Carmel by phone, but as with my earlier correspondence, he never chose to reply.
Since I had not been involved directly with Judge or Cooper, and had only been in sporadic contact with Lear at that point, I was quite unaware of what had been transpiring with the Kennedy tape in my absence. I contacted Lear first by phone, and asked him what he had to do with Cooper. He soft-pedaled their association for the most part, as I recall, essentially stating that Cooper seemed to be pretty much on the level, but became highly agitated and obnoxious when he was drunk. According to Lear, Cooper had made such a scene when he was at the Lear home the month before that he had to ask Cooper not to return. Whatever had actually transpired, it was very evident that Lear did not want to go into detail about it, and since I really didn't give much of a damn about his activities at that point, I didn't press further.
I found out a year later from several sources, two of whom were present at the meeting, that Lear, in a drunken state, had actually picked up his loaded .45 and apparently was threatening to blow his brains out when Cooper actually summoned up enough sobriety to knock the gun out of his hand and across the room. According to these same sources, as Cooper has alleged in his CAJI newsletter, Lear did, in fact, call a hooker up to his house at that time also. I shall address this issue at greater length later in this narrative.
At the instigation of my acquaintance in LA I called Cooper for the first time at his home in Fullerton, Calif., in August 1989, and received a friendly greeting. When I indicated that he might not know who I was (contrary to his claim in his book) Cooper made it quite clear that: " I know all about you. I've had you completely checked out. I've been expecting your call for some time, Lars." I learned long ago to beware of anyone who comes on too friendly too soon, and was a bit wary as I described my first encounter with his name at Lear's the previous November, the recent meeting of his attended by my friends, and their resulting concern that I check out his material.
Cooper was actually very cordial, and indicated that he would be more than willing to meet with me to go over his discoveries. Again, contrary to his claims in his book and in public, at no time during this phone call did we discuss the Kennedy assassination at all. He did not ask, and I did not agree to bring the Kennedy tape, or any other tape with me. I drove down to Fullerton in the afternoon and introduced myself to Cooper and his wife, Annie. At the outset of our meeting, Bill was quite adamant about his distaste for Gordon Novel, who apparently had been hovering around Las Vegas during the MUFON conference. He emphasized that he had no desire to have anything to do with the man, despite Novel's offer of $25,000 for Cooper's documentation. He claimed that he had gone out and bought several new guns, and that he had made it clear to Novel when he contacted him at home in California that he, Cooper, would not hesitate to use them on Novel if he came anywhere near him again.
I had learned a great deal about Gordon Novel over the years, beginning long ago. His name has popped up repeatedly throughout the Kennedy assassination investigation, Watergate, the John DeLorean Case, the Vicki Morgan sex tapes, the Larry Flynt shooting and the takeover of REBEL Magazine, the Cotton Club/Roy Radin murder scandal, and the deaths of Mae Brussell and Col. Mitchell WerBell. By no means do I mean to imply that Novel was involved in any or all of those scandals and/or deaths either directly or indirectly -- other than the ones he has openly admitted to -- but that his notoriety is extensive. Anyone who has done any serious work in researching the Kennedy murder quickly learns much about Mr. Novel, particularly regarding his resemblance to both Lee Harvey Oswald and the "Umbrella Man," as well as his openly admitted efforts to sabotage the Garrison investigation from the inside. It is also a matter of record which he has discussed openly that he was hired by Charles Colson to attempt to degauss the Watergate tapes, and according to Novel, he would have erased them all if he had been paid sufficiently. That Cooper at least appeared to have no great love for Novel was a small point in his favor.
He then played his videotaped segment of the "unsanctioned" Las Vegas MUFON program which lasted about an hour or so, after which I began to question him further about a number of details he mentioned or that I was aware of. Cooper and I did not discuss the Kennedy assassination at all that afternoon, but focused on his claims about the various UFO projects such as REDLIGHT and EXCALIBUR, his beliefs about who really runs the world, and the attempts he claimed had been made on his life to shut him up. I described, in turn, my own recent experiences with Gritz and naively offered, in appreciation for his hospitality, to give Cooper one of the two 10-min. videos I happened to have with me which we had recently completed about his trial a few months before in Las Vegas. I actually did pen some brief note of encouragement -- not authorization -- to him on the cover of that tape, but at no time did we discuss the JFK assassination during this meeting and I certainly did not give Cooper a copy of the JFK videotape.
There was no particular attempt to avoid discussion of Kennedy with Cooper -- it simply never happened, which is what is so damn ironic about Cooper's absolutely false claims that I agreed to bring a copy of the Kennedy tape to him , etc. during our previous phone call. Cooper lies blatantly when he writes that "Mr. Hansson informed me that he had made the video for Bo Gritz and John Lear and that both were using it in their lectures." Anyone who knows me knows that I did not even meet either one of them until at least three months after I made the tape, and I never authorized either one of them to show it publicly. At the time I met with Cooper, I didn't even have any copies on hand since I had completely passed on the theory nearly a year before. If I actually had given it to him, I would certainly have no problem admitting it, but I didn't, and would certainly not have at that time, after dispensing with the theory and advising both Lear and Gritz of my decision nearly a year before.
Even if I had still harbored some question about it, I would certainly not have entrusted something so sensitive to someone I had just met, with obvious claimed past ties to Naval Intelligence -- the very people who were instrumental in having Kennedy killed and faking his autopsy. Anyone who knows me well at all knows that that is simply not my style, pure and simple. For Cooper to claim otherwise only betrays his own fraudulence. Frankly, even after our first meeting, I already had an instinctive distaste for the man, but tried to give him the benefit of the doubt for his apparent commitment to getting the truth out about unconstitutional activities by the power elite. Had it come up at all, I would have certainly hastened to let him know, as I had with Lear, all the reasons why William Greer did not fire anything at Kennedy. Had I had any indication at that time that he was "pushing that line," I would have taken far more decisive steps to straighten him out on the spot long before our first confrontation on the matter which came about a couple of months later.
Following his video presentation, I was just beginning to press Cooper for some hard documentation for his many claims when the new female editor of the Whole Life Times arrived to begin an interview. I decided to cut the interview short, since I doubted he would go into such detail with her at the outset, if at all. I decided it would be great to be on time for a change at a previously planned dinner meeting with four friends in Santa Monica, and prepared to depart after a brief introduction to the woman and thanking Cooper for his time. As he was closing the door behind me he asked, "Have you spoken to Barbara Honegger recently?"
I answered, "No. I haven't talked to her since Abbie Hoffman was killed in April."
Cooper replied mysteriously, "Ask her what she found out about the UFO at Desert One."
Up to that point I felt that Cooper was at least fairly rational and coherent, but had a sinking feeling as I walked
away that he was another obsessed flake. I did put in several calls to her over the next few months whenever the
thought arose, but never received a reply. What I found amusing, though, was that when I mentioned it to Lear shortly
afterward, he indicated that he and Honegger had become quite chummy, as was also the case with Linda Howe, and that
she had actually already sent him a copy of the chapter she left out of her book,
October Surprise. I was quite
startled at that, to say the least. When I spoke with Barbara a couple of nights before beginning this report, she
indicated to me that she had mentioned to Cooper that some of the Iranian CIA/SAVAK agents at the site of Desert One
did report seeing some type of unusual hovering craft, but by no means indicated with any certainty that it was a
UFO/flying saucer. As with my videotape, Cooper seized on the statement to enlarge and embellish it for his own
Contrary to Cooper's statement in his book that I contacted him shortly after he had seen the video at Lear's in December 1988, Lear has stated on tape to me, and Cooper has written in his own computer bulletin board message that he received a package (which included the Kennedy tape) from John Lear in late October 1988. There are several witnesses who will vouch that I first met him at least ten months after that, in August 1989, and only at the insistence of my friends in LA after I had been referred to as an FBI agent by John Judge on KPFK Radio in LA while he was discussing Cooper and Lear and the involvement of the intelligence agencies in the alien/UFO conspiracy.
Although Bill Cooper became the object of a number of heated discussions with those friends in the weeks following, it was not until early October 1989, following several phone calls from his promotional group in LA requesting my help in promoting his Nov. 5 event, that I reluctantly decided to meet with them and lend what assistance I could in one evening to their efforts. Despite my misgivings about having anything to do with Cooper at that point, I found the group to be informed, intelligent people of remarkable character, and was pleased to have made the contact with them. Those I have spoken to in the year and a half since have all come to realize what a fraud Cooper is -- without exception -- and to repudiate their efforts on his behalf. In one case, the person who actually loaned Cooper $1000 to keep his family fed during that time, believing him to be sincere, admitted surprise and disgust when he pocketed the entire $10,000 he netted from the event and never even offered to repay anything, much less proffer thanks for the effort expended on his behalf. I have since come to know that person's sincerity and veracity quite well and seriously doubt there is any attempt to be dishonest regarding Cooper.
It was during the discussion following that meeting in late October 1989 that I learned Cooper was showing a JFK videotape which sounded very much like mine at his talks. Despite what Lear, Cooper or anyone else may be claiming, it was not until then that I realized why Judge and my friends had become so disturbed about Cooper, and why Gritz had arbitrarily begun making the tape available earlier in the summer without consulting me. My girlfriend at the time, who had known me for over a year before from other investigative efforts, will readily verify my shock upon finally learning what Cooper was up to with the tape.
I learned from Gritz and others later that Cooper had called in to a radio program Gritz was doing earlier that summer
and began to promote his "secret tape" of the Kennedy assassination. When one of the listeners (whom I have since come
to know very well) called in to request a copy, Cooper apparently became even more secretive about it. More out of
disgust than enthusiasm, since it had been gathering dust at his house for over a year, Gritz impulsively offered to
make it available himself, along with another Kennedy documentary, never anticipating the overwhelming number of
requests he would receive for it. I had informed Gritz of my conclusions regarding the driver theory also during the
time that I was completing his video documentary
A Nation Betrayed in Nov. 1988, but apparently he felt it
would do little harm to make the tape available anyway, if people wanted to see it that much. It was a colossal
blunder on his part, albeit well intentioned, which has caused me considerable grief in the aftermath, and could have
been easily averted if he had simply called me first. As soon as I discovered this was happening, however, I contacted
him immediately and he agreed to discontinue distribution of the
Dallas Revisited videotape. I am reasonably
certain he has honored that request to this day. Apparently, however, this was the sequence of events which led Cooper
to erroneously conclude that I "had made the tape for Gritz," when the fact is, as I've already pointed out, I did not
meet or speak with Gritz until about three months after I hastily assembled it.
After settling the issue with Gritz, I confronted Cooper about his fraudulence a few days prior to his public event and insisted that he cease and desist in showing and/or selling the tape. He refused flat out, insisting that he knew the truth about the driver theory even if I didn't or "didn't have the guts" to stand behind my own discovery. There are so many witnesses to my end of this entire scenario who, regardless of their feelings toward me at this time (a number of which have been severely damaged as a result of Cooper's lies, distortions and misrepresentations), would not hesitate to verify my statements as completely accurate.