Tag Archives: Sixth Floor

From A Ham

The question posed by Val from Romania was a common one: If it wasn’t Oswald on the sixth floor, then how did the person who was up there escape?

What was uncommon about his inquiry was the method he used to send it.

Most of the correspondence I receive from readers comes predominately by email, occasionally by telephone, and only rarely by postal carrier. Val’s arrived by way of the 15-meter band, specifically 21.270 MHz at 16:10 hours Zulu.

Wait! It gets better.

As an avid amateur radio operator (aka ham radio), I enjoy dialing through the various HF (high frequency) bands. When I heard his CQ DX transmission (meaning he was searching for long-distance stations), I responded. The normal procedure for each operator is to then check an online call-sign database (every operator world-wide must be licensed) to get details about who it is who answered the CQ. Val was surprised to read my bio, since he had only recently finished my book while sitting in his villa outside Bucharest.

We had a rather nice QSO (conversation), even though there was a lot of QRM (atmospheric interference) between our QTHs (station locations). In the end, Antennahis name and other radio-related information joined the list of contacts penciled into my logbook.

Oh yeah. Back to his question. Not wanting to keep the frequency tied up (and risk possible FCC sanctions), my answer to Val’s question about a fleeing assassin was succinct. But in general, my response was this:

Those who dispute the idea that someone other than Lee Oswald was on the sixth floor often cite for support a collection of statements made by Depository employees saying that no strangers were observed in the building on the morning of the assassination. These statements, amassed by the FBI from 73 men and women who were at work there on November 22, can be found in Commission Exhibit 1381.

Each employee was asked the same handful of rudimentary questions such as, What is your name and age?; Where were you when the shots were fired?; What did you see and do?; and a self-revealing query, Did you see Lee Oswald at the time of the shooting? A final question asked whether the employee had noticed any strangers in the building that day.

All who responded to that last one replied, no.

We must first assume those employees, working away in their enclosed offices or work spaces on multiple floors, were capable of noticing such trespassers, not to mention separating them from the normal business traffic that routinely entered the Depository on any given day.

It also seems obvious from an objective reading of the statements that the overall intent of the FBI agents was not to conduct further investigation, but simply to complete a routine assignment given them by J. Edgar Hoover, who was in turn responding to a request for such information made earlier by the Warren Commission. To Hoover, the ho-hum effort was like everything else in this regard since, in the director’s eyes, the case already had been solved by his agency.

In contrast to the implication that the Depository was secure and immune from interlopers, we have manager William Shelley saying in 1964, “Any one of a thousand different people could have entered or left the building and nobody would have known it.”

We have employee James Jarman telling the HSCA that a stranger could “very easily” have entered the rear of the Depository and made his way to the sixth floor because “…that day the dock door was up and the side door was open.” This same easy access was observed by the Secret Service when an agent arrived there nearly a half hour after the shooting.

It is clear, then, that an unauthorized individual had the means to enter the building unnoticed and make his way to a higher floor. Let’s say someone did. How then could he have escaped?

Defenders of the Warren Report are quick to point out that if Vicki Adams didn’t hear Oswald on the stairs, then why didn’t she hear the assassin who replaced him?

The error in their logic is glaringly obvious, for the question presupposes that any other shooter would have made his escape down the stairs at the exact same time Oswald was to have done so. But this person would not necessarily have had to come down the stairs when Oswald supposedly did.

The timing of Oswald’s escape from the sixth floor was based on a speed that would get him to the second-floor lunchroom in advance of when Marrion Baker and Roy Truly saw him there. That time frame was established at under 90 seconds, a figure resulting from on-site tests duplicating the actions of an Oswald stand-in, and both Baker and Truly. Oswald had to get to the lunchroom before they did, which therefore put him on the stairs at a specific time.

The fact Victoria Adams was on those stairs at the same time was the thorn in the Commission’s side.

But if someone other than Oswald was on the sixth floor, his escape would not have been governed by any such time constraints. He could have come down later, since the sixth floor remained vacant and was not searched for some 35 minutes after the assassination. (This, oddly enough, even though that floor was pointed out almost immediately as the source of the shots.)

Uniformed cops, plain-clothes cops, the news media, workers and others were swarming throughout the Depository in the meantime. The delay in searching the sixth floor would have provided plenty of opportunity for someone to depart in the confusion. Unlikely as it sounds, this person might even have remained on the sixth floor and then blended in with those who eventually arrived there.

The point is, alternatives exist and should not be readily dismissed.

73 (best regards)!

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About Face!

There was a time when the name Victoria Adams was only associated with the goings-on of a lead singer for the Spice Girls. But much like the theory of two Oswalds, we are now witnessing the emergence of a second Victoria Adams. She is the girl of “The Girl on the Stairs” and it’s reassuring to see that finally, after all these years, her truthfulness is getting the recognition it deserves. Researchers are citing her; radio shows discuss her; other book authors write about her.

It is also interesting to see the turnaround taking place by those—usually Warren Commission supporters—who are now trying to explain away why, coming down the stairs when she said she did, Miss Adams failed to see or hear Lee Oswald.

To set the stage, the Commission determined that Oswald fired three shots from the Depository’s sixth floor, then quickly descended the back stairway to a second-floor lunchroom. There, he was confronted by Dallas policeman Marrion Baker and building manager Roy Truly, who had run up from the first floor. The encounter took place within 90 seconds of the final shot. Moments afterward, Baker and Truly continued up the stairs to the roof while Oswald walked out the front door.

Victoria Adams testified she came down those same stairs from the fourth floor to the first floor immediately after the shooting. Most will agree that under those circumstances, her actions were critical and the timing of those actions deserved further investigation. In fact, that was the initial reaction of the Commission, which is on record as saying the story of Miss Adams was important and needed to be resolved. Yet without further exploration, the Commission concluded in 1964 that Miss Adams was simply wrong and had come down the stairs later than she thought.

Commission attorney David Belin, interrogator of Miss Adams, used the exact same logic in dismissing Miss Adams, this time in his book written 10 years after the Warren Report was released. The Gerald Posners and the Vincent Bugliosis have reinforced that conclusion in their own volumes, the latter going so far as to make the witty suggestion that Miss Adams was perhaps an assassin. Thinking this childish smear to not be enough, other authors have arbitrarily increased the amount of time it took Miss Adams to either leave her office, go down the stairs, or both without a shred of evidence other than their own opinion to bolster such bloating.

Incontrovertible proof now exists that Miss Adams did go down the stairs as quickly as she said she did. What has been the response of those Commission supporters? Well, here are a few samples I’ve pulled from emails dripping with sarcasm or derision:

“I guess all that means now is that she came down the stairs ahead of Oswald, doesn’t it, huh?” Or this one, “She was obviously much faster than Oswald, right on!” Or how about, “She was so fast she beat him in the race. Good girl!” Or the fitness reasoning, “She was obviously young and therefore in such good health it doesn’t surprise me she could run faster than the assassin. Maybe she should have been in the Olympics.”

First, she was said to have been too slow and came down later. Now, she has suddenly become a world-class sprinter, her three-inch heels on old, not-well-lighted stairs notwithstanding. Neglected through all of this has been the Commission’s own words: “If her estimate of time is correct, she reached the bottom of the stairs before Truly and Baker started up, and she must have run down the stairs ahead of Oswald and would probably have seen or heard him.”

Her estimate of time has been shown to be correct.

Ignored too is most current analysis is Dorothy Garner. In a position to see exactly when Vicki went down those stairs, Mrs. Garner told me she definitely did not see Oswald on those stairs after Vicki started her descent. Perhaps that is why she was never officially questioned by the Warren Commission and why the document containing her observations was suppressed for 35 years.

What seems clear is that the Warren Commission never wanted to examine much less verify Vicki’s statements. It simply brushed her aside. Therefore, the question still remains: if Victoria Adams did not see or hear Lee Oswald when she went down the stairs, and Dorothy Garner did not observe Oswald coming down the stairs after Vicki left, how did he get to the second floor lunchroom?

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The Sixth Floor Escape

Let’s kick this blog off with the most common question I’m asked:

“The theory you advocate says that because Victoria Adams saw and heard no one when she came down the stairway, then Oswald was not on the sixth floor and therefore did not shoot the president. But how do you explain her not seeing the other assassin or assassins, since it is obvious someone was up there?”

First, I do not advocate any theory in the book. The conclusion I draw regarding this point is that Miss Adams told the truth and therefore, that truth now adds a critical element to what we have been fed regarding Oswald’s movements in the two minutes following the assassination.

As background, and in contrast to the implication that the Depository was secure and immune from interlopers, we have manager William Shelley saying in 1964, “Any one of a thousand different people could have entered or left the building and nobody would have known it.”

We have employee James Jarman telling the HSCA that a stranger could “very easily” have entered the rear of the Depository and made his way to the sixth floor because “…that day the dock door was up and the side door was open.” This ease of access or escape was also observed by the Secret Service when an agent arrived and noticed the same open doors — nearly a half hour after the shooting.

Consider as well the testimony of Deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney who stated that only minutes after the shooting, he was climbing the back stairs and, “I met some other officers coming down, plainclothes, and I believe they were deputy sheriffs.” Moments later, on the way down the stairs from the seventh floor, Mooney said he saw “…some news reporter, or press, I don’t know who he was…” coming up.

It is clear, then, that security was lax at the Depository and an unauthorized individual had the means to enter the building unnoticed and make his way to a higher floor. Let’s say someone did. How then could he have escaped?

The Stairs

Defenders of the Warren Report are quick to point out that if Vicki Adams didn’t hear Oswald on the stairs, then why didn’t she hear the assassin(s) who replaced him?

The error in their logic is glaringly obvious, for the question presupposes that any other shooter would have made his escape down the stairs at the exact same time Oswald was to have done so. But this person would not necessarily have had to come down the stairs when Oswald supposedly did.

The timing of Oswald’s escape from the sixth floor was based on a speed that would get him to the second-floor lunchroom in advance of when Marrion Baker and Roy Truly saw him there. That time frame was established at under 90 seconds, a figure resulting from on-site tests duplicating the actions of both Baker and Truly. Oswald had to get to the lunchroom before they did, which therefore put him on the stairs at a specific time.

The fact Victoria Adams would have been on those stairs at the same moment is what posed the problem.

But if someone other than Oswald was on the sixth floor, his escape would not have been governed by any such time constraints. He could have come down later, since the sixth floor remained vacant and was not discovered as the sniper’s “man cave” for some 35 minutes after the assassination. (This, oddly enough, even though that floor was pointed out almost immediately as the source of the shots.)

By then, uniformed cops, plain-clothes cops, the news media, workers and others were swarming throughout the Depository. The delay in searching the sixth floor would have provided plenty of opportunity for someone to depart in the confusion. This person might even have remained on the sixth floor and then blended in with those who eventually arrived there.

In other words, alternatives exist. What are your thoughts?

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