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Nags Head call / Raleigh call ... clarification
  • IDWIDW
    Posts: 2
    I'm a native of North Carolina and a portion of my JFK Assassination Chronology was published in Jim Fetzer's book, MURDER IN DEALEY PLAZA.

    I'd like to comment on Jim DeEugenio's statement on a recent show that Oswald made a call to Nags Head, North Carolina.

    In fact, Oswald placed the call to RALEIGH, North Carolina.  What has become known as "the Raleigh call" was explored in depth in a now defunct Raleigh magazine called THE SPECTATOR.  The story was well researched by Grover Proctor.  Bernie Reeves was the editor of THE SPECTATOR and is now the publisher of METRO MAGAZINE in Raleigh, NC.  (I recommend both men to you as interesting interviews for your show, Len.)

    Nags Head is about a three hour drive from Raleigh.  (I think Jim mentioned that Nags Head was close to Raleigh.  I suppose "close" is a matter of interpretation.

    I list this entry in my chronology:

    10:45 PM  (Nov. 22, 1963) Oswald, who has been placed in a cell on the fifth floor of the Dallas City Hall, places a long distance call to Raleigh, North Carolina.  According to one of the switchboard operators, Mrs. Troon, she and a coworker (Mrs. Swinney) have been alerted that law enforcement officers -- she believes they might be Secret Service men -- will be arriving to listen in on an Oswald telephone call.  Two men eventually arrive, show identification and are shown into a room next to the switchboard.  When Oswald places the call, at about 10:45 PM this evening, Mrs. Swinney manages the call with Mrs. Troon listening in.  Oswald is informed by Mrs. Swinney, as she has been instructed, that the number doesn’t answer.  The call is then disconnected without ever really having been placed.  Later, Mrs. Swinney tears the page off her notation pad and tosses it into the trash can.  Mrs. Troon later recovers the note and retains it as a souvenir.  (That slip of paper will turn up seven years from now in a Freedom of Information suit brought by Chicago researcher Sherman H. Skolnick (a civil action filed in Federal District Court in Chicago, April 6, 1970, No. 70C 790). It shows a collect call attempted from the jail by Lee Harvey Oswald to a John Hurt at 919-834-7430 and it gives an additional telephone number in the 919 Area Code, 833-1253.)  The call is made to Raleigh, North Carolina to a man named John Hurt.  The note lists two alternative numbers, which do appertain to published subscribers of that name.  One of the two John Hurts served in U.S. Military Intelligence during World War II.

    Professor Blakey, Chief Counsel of Congress’ Assassinations Committee, will eventually conclude:  “It was an outgoing call, and therefore I consider it very troublesome material.  The direction in which it went was deeply disturbing.”

    Victor Marchetti, author of THE CIA AND THE CULT OF INTELLIGENCE, alleges that Oswald’s attempted call to Raleigh is an effort to contact a “fake cutout.”  He explains that all intelligence agents work through “cutouts”, middlemen who are called if an agent is in a scrape.  Therefore, according to Marchetti, Oswald thought he was working for a spy agency, most probably the CIA.

    There were two John Hurts listed in the 1962 Southern Bell telephone directory for Raleigh, North Carolina.  John W. Hurt is listed as living on Old Wake Forest Road and has not been traced by researchers.  John David Hurt  is listed as living on New Bern Avenue.  This Mr. Hurt, who served as a U.S. Army Counterintelligence officer during World War II, was contacted by researchers but denied that he ever received or made a call to LHO in the Dallas jail.   John David Hurt is now deceased.

       AUTHOR’S NOTE:  Detailed information regarding the Raleigh telephone call was initially uncovered by Grover Proctor and Bernie Reeves and first reported in The Spectator, Raleigh, N.C.

    Secret Service agent Abraham Bolden was the duty officer for the Secret Service’s Chicago office on the weekend of the assassination.  He states that the Secret Service office in Dallas contacted him late on the evening of the 23rd and requested a report on any phonetic spelling of “Hurt” or “Heard.”

    Gerry Patrick Hemming states that the CIA had access to “call forwarding” during the 50s and 60s - well before the general public knew of it.  According to Hemming, “Call Forwarding,” at this time, was a secret service available to various intelligence agencies.  It is possible, therefore, that Oswald’s Raleigh call was forwarded once it was routed through Raleigh, N.C.  Hemming suggests that the call was possibly routed to either the Elizabeth City or Nags Head area of North Carolina.

    The Warren Commission Report merely states that:   “Between 4 and 4:30 p.m., Oswald made two telephone calls to Mrs. Ruth Paine at her home in Irving; at about 5:30 p.m. he was visited by the president of the Dallas Bar Association with whom he spoke for about 5 minutes. From 6 to 7:15 p.m. Oswald was interrogated once again in Captain Fritz’ office and then returned to his cell. At 8 p.m. he called the Paine residence again and asked to speak to his wife, but Mrs. Paine told him that his wife was no longer there.”    The telephone call to Raleigh, NC is not mentioned by the Warren Commission.  WC


    SO - it IS possible that the call was routed to Nags Head ... but we do have a CIA base in Elizabeth City.

    On a personal note, I know a lot of people on North Carolina's Outer Banks where Nags Head is located.  There were, of course, cottages along the beach during the time Oswald could've received his training as a defector there - but the population was small enough so that the influx of even a dozen or so military personnel would've been noted.  This, as I discovered, is the case.  People I've talked to there remember around a dozen men who were sent to the Coast Guard station on the Outer Banks.  The "word" was that they were recovering alcoholics involved in a program to rehabilitate them.  Oswald could very well have been among them.  So, Marchetti may be correct in asserting that Oswald quite probably received some of his training as a defector at or near Nags Head, North Carolina.

    Merely wanted to pass this information along as a clarification.

    Best regards,

    Ira David Wood III
  • MinMMinM
    Posts: 444
    Thanks, IDW. I wondered about that myself. Here's that part of Jim's review:

    JFK and the Unspeakable

    ...in his first introduction of Oswald Douglass mentions the Nags Head, North Carolina military program which launched American soldiers into Russia as infiltrators. Near the end of the book (p. 365), with Oswald in jail about to be killed by Jack Ruby, Douglass returns to that military program with Oswald's famous thwarted phone call to Raleigh, North Carolina: the spy left out in the cold attempting to contact his handlers for information as how to proceed. But not realizing that his attempted call will now guarantee his execution...
    http://www.ctka.net/2008/jfk_unspeakable.html