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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Possible Hijack Collaborator -- Jack Leslie Bowen

This article is the third in a series.

The first article was Lee Harvey Oswald's Activities During the Housemans' Vacation.

The second article was The Oswalds' Plan to Hijack an Airplane.


From about August 9 to September 10, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald planned to hijack an airplane in order to fly himself, his wife Marina and his daughter June to Cuba. Marina tried to talk him out of the plan but reluctantly agreed to go along with him.

Lee did not have the money to buy the necessary airplane tickets. He took some ineffective actions to obtain money from family friend Ruth Paine, from his aunt's Murret family and from Marxist political parties.

At one point during this period, Lee told Marina that some other man -- Lee did not name the man to Marina -- had offered to help Lee take over the airplane. Lee considered the man's offer but ultimately rejected it. Lee explained to Marina that, "your accomplice is your enemy for life".

(Lee said those words in Russian, but I don't know the Russian words. The English words were stated in the book Marina and Lee, a biography of Marina Oswald written by Priscilla Johnson McMillan.)


I think that it really did happen that another man did offer to help Lee hijack an airplane. Furthermore, I think that two different men might have offered separately. In this article here, I will that such an offer might have been made by a man named Jack Leslie Bowen.


Oswald and his family moved from the Soviet Union to Fort Worth, Texas, in June 1962. Lee soon got a job at the local Leslie Welding Company. He quit that job, without explanation, on October 8, 1962.

On the following day, Lee began renting a post-office box under two names -- Lee Harvey Oswald and A. J. Hidell.

Three days later, on October 12, 1962, Oswald was hired by a local company called Jaggars-Chiles-Stoval in Dallas. The company's main business made graphic artworks for billboards, posters and advertisements, and Oswald's job was to process photographs.

One of Oswald's associates at his new employer was Jack Leslie Bowen. When Oswald applied for a library card, he named Bowen as a personal reference. After the assassination of President John Kennedy, the FBI wanted to question Bowen, but he had disappeared in January 1964, right when the FBI began trying to contact him. He remains disappeared to the present day.

I think that when Oswald was in New Orleans and trying to get money for airplane tickets during August and September 1963, he contacted Bowen, who probably still was living in Texas. Perhaps Bowen even traveled to New Orleans to discuss Oswald's hijack plan with him. Bowen even offered to board the airplane with Oswald's family and to help do the hijacking. Bowen's offer raised Oswald's suspicions about him, however, and so Oswald rejected the offer and broke off contact with Bowen.

Lee told Marina about Bowen's offer, but she would not have known who Bowen was even if Lee had named him to Marina.


Oswald's switching his employment from the Leslie Welding Company to Jaggars-Chiles-Stoval in October 1962 seems to have something to do with Bowen, with Cuba, and with intelligence collection.

Bowen's middle name is Leslie, so he might have had some familial relationship with the owners of the Leslie Welding Company. At Jaggars-Chiles-Stoval, Bowen's position was "assistant art director", so he might have supervised Oswald.

Jaggars-Chiles-Stoval is said to have done some graphic-arts work for intelligence agencies. In particular, the company is said to have done some work involving aerial photographs of Cuba.

Two days before Oswald began working there, he began renting that post-office box under that false name Hidell. Marina explained later that Lee chose the name Hidell because it rhymed with the first name of Fidel Castro. That rental of that post-office box is Oswald's first known use of that false name.

In light of such considerations, I speculate that Bowen arranged for Jaggars-Chiles-Stoval to hire Oswald and that Bowen intended to use Oswald in some intelligence-collection work involving Cuba. Perhaps Bowen figured that Oswald's defection to Russia and his Russian wife might enable Oswald to befriend Communist sympathizers among Cuban exiles.

At the company, Bowen was able to train Oswald how to take, edit and process photographs -- skills useful in intelligence collection. In January 1963, Oswald enrolled in a typing class, and perhaps that too was part of Bowen's training of Oswald.

Marina said that during this period Oswald often stayed late at work, was gone three evenings a week for his typing class, and spent time at home studying at maps and bus schedules.

When Oswald had worked six months at Jaggars-Chiles-Stoval, he was fired. That was when he moved to New Orleans and ended (as far as we known) his regular association with Bowen.

In August or September 1963, when Oswald was trying to get money for airplane tickets, he contacted Bowen, because Oswald's previous association with Bowen caused Oswald to think initially that he could trust Bowen to keep secret his plan to hijack an airplane to Cuba. However, Bowen's offer to collaborate in the actual hijacking caused Oswald to distrust him.


I do not think that Bowen worked for a government intelligence agency such as the CIA or FBI. Rather, I think that he worked for a non-governmental, Masonic organization.

I am not going to write here a long description of the Masonic Order. Suffice it to say here that the organization is ancient, is secret, is based in Scotland but operates world-wide, and involves itself in the business of collecting intelligence. Bowen was one of this organization's intelligence collectors, and he tried to groom Oswald as a secret agent.

Bowen did not have anything to do with the assassination, but his Masonic intelligence organization told him to disappear and gave him a new identity.


The person known to Oswald as Jack Leslie Bowen was born with the name John Caesar Grossi in Paterson, New Jersey. He spent time in several penitentiaries before moving to Ft. Worth in about August 1961 and becoming an assistant art director at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall in Dallas.

Bowen was married, but his wife, Patricia Gervan Bowen, lived in Ontario, Canada, with her mother, Mable Gervan, and near her sister, Edna (née Gervan) Elliott. Despite this distance, Bowen maintained frequent contact with his in-laws, the Elliott family.


After Oswald gave up his hijack plan, he traveled to Mexico City to apply for a visa at the Cuban embassy there. On his bus ride to Mexico City in September 1963, Oswald sat next to a man who was named John (Jack) Howard Bowen.

This second Jack Bowen in Oswald's mysterious adventures had been born with the name Albert Osborne in 1888 in Grimsby, England. He immigrated to the United States in 1914 and later claimed that he was ordained that year as a minister in Trenton, New Jersey. In 1916, he moved to Canada, where he served as a soldier until about 1920.

He subsequently returned to the United States and settled in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1929. He lived there for the next 14 years and said that one of his closest friends there was a social worker named Mary Elliott (the same family name as that of the first Bowen's in-laws).

Still named Osborne, he  managed a boys club in Knoxville for a while, but was fired for encouraging homosexual and anti-American activities among the boys. In 1943, he left Knoxville and began to travel as a minister throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. By 1956, he had assumed two aliases -- John Howard Bowen and John H. Owen -- and was operating an orphanage in Mexico.

Albert Osborne, aka Jack Bowen,
Oswald's seatmate on the bus ride
to Mexico City in September 1963 
I suspect that both of those Jack Bowens worked for a Masonic intelligence service but misled Oswald into thinking that they were associated with the Cuban intelligence service.


The Bowens might have helped Oswald to make secret trips. For example, Oswald's trip to Mexico City was a secret trip, and the second Jack Bowen sat next to him the whole way.

Below are a series of allegations about Oswald's whereabouts and about false evidence being planted about his whereabouts.

On March 29, 1963, Oswald was seen in a barber shop in Sparta, Wisconsin (a little east of La Crosse). He might have visited Sparta to meet some of the Bowen associates based in Ontario, which shares a border with Wisconsin. As Oswald's supervisor at Jaggars-Chiles-Stoval, the first Bowen might have been able to facilitate Oswald's absence from work without the knowledge of the company's other personnel.

On March 31, two days after Oswald was seen in Sparta, Wisconsin, he began his involvement with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee by writing a letter from his home in Dallas to the organization's president. Less than two weeks later, on April 10 Oswald tried to murder retired General Edwin Walker in Dallas. Perhaps this incident was the Bowens' test to verify whether Oswald would commit murder for them.

On July 26 someone signed the register of the Atomic Energy Museum in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, with the words "Lee H. Oswald, USSR, Dallas Road, Dallas Texas." The FBI later determined that this entry was not made in Oswald's handwriting.

In some paperwork for unemployment benefits he wrote that he had applied for jobs with a series of employers from July 29 to August 3, but all those employers later denied that he had indeed applied. On July 31 the New Orleans library recorded that he had returned two books and checked out two others, but other witnesses claimed he visited the Selective Service office in Austin, Texas, on that day to ask about changing his undesirable discharge from the Marines. The library transactions may have been performed for the specific purpose of documenting Oswald's presence in New Orleans on days when he was not in fact there.

On September 5, the Oswald family was seen at the airport in San Antonio, Texas, according to the statements of two women, Martha Doyle and Joanne Dunsmore, who worked for car-rental companies there. Doyle remembered the date precisely because the incident happened on her birthday. The two women described the family and said that Lee Harvey Oswald tried to rent a car from them. During the course of the conversation, he mentioned that his family had come to the airport "in a friend's car" and that he worked in a "publishing business" involving schoolbooks. These two women tell a story that is detailed and compelling.

At another time -- estimated to be the "late summer of 1963" -- Oswald was seen near Brady, Texas, which is on a fairly direct highway route from Ft. Worth to San Antonio (via U.S. Highways 67, 77, 87). This report was provided by a gun dealer named Robert Ray McKeown, who claimed that Oswald and someone named "Hernandez" visited him near Brady "in the late summer of 1963." There, Oswald asked McKeown whether he was interested in a deal to supply weapons to an unidentified group that intended to take over [El] Salvador. McKeown turned the offer down. Hernandez and Oswald departed and then returned about a half hour later. This time, Oswald more specifically offered $10,000 for four .300 Savage semi-automatic rifles with telescopic sights. McKeown turned down that offer too. McKeown's story is detailed and compelling.


I speculate that after Oswald was fired from Jaggars-Chiles-Stoval in Dallas and moved to New Orleans, he and that first Jack Bowen continued occasional secret contacts. Bowen sometimes enabled Oswald to make secret trips and planted false evidence about Oswald's whereabouts.

 Therefore, when Oswald decided in August 1963 to hijack an airliner, he contacted that Jack Bowen to discuss the plan and to ask for money. Bowen did not want Oswald to commit such a stupid crime, and so he gradually manipulated Oswald into giving up that plan and traveling instead to Mexico City to apply for a visa in the Cuban embassy there. On that bus trip, Oswald was accompanied by the second Jack Bowen.


I don't think that this Masonic intelligence service ever intended that Oswald would assassinate President Kennedy or expected him to do so. Oswald was an occasionally employed asset who might be useful in the future. Oswald wanted to work as a spy, and so maybe he might be used as a spy in some situations.

The Masonic Order has its own agenda, its own activities, its own goals. Sometimes the Masonic Order wants to collect information and accomplish actions secretly. Therefore the Masonic Order develops a network of secret operatives. Oswald was being developed.

When Oswald unexpectedly (for them) assassinated Kennedy, they did not want to be questioned in the subsequent investigation. The first Jack Bowen evaded questioning completely, and the second Jack Bowen evaded and lied.

I have written much more elsewhere about the Masonic Order and about the false name Jack Bowen, but I will limit myself to the above information in this blog about the movie Dirty Dancing.

My main here is that during the Kellerman's vacation, Lee Harvey Oswald was planning to hijack an airplane to Cuba with his wife Marina's reluctant agreement. During that period, Oswald might have discussed his plan with the Jack Bowen whom he knew from his earlier employment at Jaggars-Chiles-Stoval in Dallas.


My next article in this series will be titled "Possible Hijack Collaborator -- Richard Case Nagell".


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Oswalds' Plan to Hijack an Airplane

This article is the second in a series of three articles. The first article was Lee Harvey Oswald's Activities During the Housemans' Vacation.


A major reason why I am so interested in the movie Dirty Dancing is that the story takes place about three months before the assassination of President John Kennedy. Although I was only 11 years old when the assassination happened, I know a lot about the events of 1963, because I have read and written a lot about that assassination. For example, this webpage shows part of a long work that I wrote about Jack Ruby.

I have written another long work (which I never have published) titled "The Oswalds' Plans to Hijack an Airplane". From about August 9 through September 10, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald was plotting to hijack an airliner to Cuba. That period of time overlaps closely the Housemans' stay at Kellerman's from August 10 through September 2. (I wrote my hijack work long before I began writing this blog.)

My hijack work is about 25 single-spaced pages, with many footnotes, written for people who are very knowledgeable about the assassination. My work is too long and complicated to post as an article in this blog, so I have shortened and simplified it to cover just the days of the Dirty Dancing story for my readers here.


After Oswald was fired from his job in New Orleans on July 18, 1963, he began to think seriously about moving to Cuba. Already in 1959 he had thought about moving to Cuba, but he moved instead to the Soviet Union. In June 1962 he had returned to the United States with his wife Marina and their baby daughter June.

Marina and Lee Oswald with their daughter June.
The photo was taken in 1962.
His desire to move to Cuba grew after July 25, 1963, when he received a letter from the US Marine Corps rejecting his request that his dishonorable discharge be upgraded to an honorable discharge.

He was qualified to receive unemployment benefits for 13 weeks – until about October 10. These benefits are his only known income during that period. Marina was due to give birth to their second child in October.

On August 5 and 8, 1963, there were two attempts to hijack airplanes from the USA to Cuba. These were the only hijackings that happened anywhere in the world during the year 1963.
* On August 5, a man named Roy Siller unsuccessfully attempted to hijack a small private airplane, which was flying entirely within the Miami area, to Cuba.

* On August 8, a man named Robert A. Michelena successfully hijacked a Beech T-34 private airplane to Cuba.
The hijackings apparently gave Lee his initial idea to hijack an airplane flying from New Orleans. He figured that his employment prospects and his family's medical would be better in Cuba. He could not simply emigrate to Cuba, because the US Government had imposed an economic embargo on Cuba.


Lee Oswald's hijack plans are known because he discussed them with his wife Marina and persuaded her to participate. She, however, kept the plan secret until she revealed it through a 1977 book titled Marina and Lee. The book was written by Priscilla Johnson McMillan based on her exclusive interviews with Marina.

Because Marina felt culpable for the hijack plan, she did not mention it during the investigation of the JFK assassination. Only after more than a decade had passed did she feel secure enough to tell her biographer, McMillan about it.

Although Marina tried to talk Lee out of the plan, she eventually did agree to help him hijack an airplane. McMillan's book called Marina an "emotional accomplice" and explained her agreement as follows::
At this stage in their marriage, Lee was confiding to Marina, making her his touchstone, his lightning rod to reality. And Marina understood what he was asking of her. Even though she wondered, as he unfolded his hijacking scheme, whether or not he was crazy, she drew funny word pictures for him to show how his plan looked in the clear light of day....

She perceived that Lee needed her. With what appears to be an inborn sympathy for anyone who is lost or in trouble, or on the outs with the world, she reached out and responded to his need.

"Do you know why I loved Lee?" she once said. "I loved him because I felt he was in search of himself. I was in search of myself, too. I couldn't show him the way, but I wanted to help him and give him support while he was searching." ...

As the one person whom Lee trusted, and feeling responsible for his actions, as she did, Marina was painfully at odds with herself and her surroundings. She, too, had been a rebel. In part, it was this that had drawn her to Lee, and this that still helped her to understand him ....

Marina tried, not always successfully, to resist complicity in Lee's deceptions. She refused to approve such of his schemes as she knew about. But she now insists that he had a stronger character than she, "because he brought me low and made me cover up his 'black deeds,' when it was against my morality to do so. I felt too much pity for him. If only I had been a stronger person, maybe it would have helped." ...

The truth is that there is no such thing as being married to a man like Lee Oswald and not becoming his emotional accomplice.

Lee began scheming right after the hijackings of August 5 and 8, but he did not inform Marina until the last half of August. On August 11, before he informed her, he asked Marina to write a letter to a friend, Ruth Paine. Much later, after the assassination, Marina feared that the letter might be used as evidence of her participation in the hijack plan. This fear caused Marina to say nothing about that plan for many years.


Ruth Paine was a 31-year-old woman who had learned some Russian and had befriended Lee and Marina in Irving, Texas, soon after they had come there from the Soviet Union. In April 1963, Lee decided to move from Irving back to his home town, New Orleans. He went alone to New Orleans to find a job and an apartment, and Marina and June moved into Paine's home.

In May, Lee found a job and apartment there, and so Ruth drove Marina and June from Irving to New Orleans. Paine stayed in the Oswalds' apartment for a few days and then drove on to the East Coast for a vacation. Paine gave Marina a mailing address in Paoli, Pennsylvania, in case Marina needed to contact her.

On August 11, when Lee told Marina to write the letter, Paine still was traveling around on the East Coast.

By that time, Lee's thinking about hijacking an airliner had evolved. His first idea had been to hijack an airliner that was scheduled to fly from Dallas to Miami. He worried, however, that an airliner doing such a flight might not have enough fuel to fly the additional distance to Cuba.

Because Paine was traveling in or near Pennsylvania, Lee figured that such a fuel problem would be eliminated if he hijacked an airliner that was fueled to fly from Dallas to (for example) Philadelphia. With this consideration in mind, he told Marina to send a letter to the Paoli address, informing Paine that Lee was unemployed and that their family had no money.

Lee apparently hoped that Marina eventually might persuade Paine to buy airplane tickets for the Oswald family to fly to Pennsylvania. When Marina wrote the letter on August 11, she still did not know anything about Lee's hijack plan, but later she realized that this plan was his motivation for her writing the letter.

Because Paine was traveling, she did not receive the letter in Paoli until about August 25. On that date, she wrote a letter back to Marina. Since that date was a Sunday, the Paoli post office would not have begun to move the letter until Monday, August 26. I estimate that the Oswalds received Paine's letter in New Orleans on about Saturday, August 31.

Paine's letter lacked any hint that she might arrange for the Oswalds to join her on the East Coast. Paine did not even send any money. Rather she said that she would return home through New Orleans in late September and, if necessary, would drive Marina and June back to Irving.  When Lee read the letter, he understood that his family would not fly to the East Coast with tickets purchased by Paine.


Marina mailed her letter (August 11?) close to the day when the Houseman family arrived at Kellerman's Mountain House (August 10), and Marina received Paine's letter (August 31?) close to the day when the Houseman family departed from Kellerman's (September 2?).

So, while the Houseman family was at Kellerman's, Lee Harvey Oswald's was thinking that he and Marina might hijack a Dallas-Philadelphia flight to Cuba.


Marina told her biographer McMillan that she was informed about Lee's hijack plan in the third week of August -- a few days after she mailed her letter to Paine.

Lee explained to Marina that she and June would sit in the airliner's back end, whereas he would sit in the front end, near the pilots' cabin. During the flight, Lee would pull out a pistol to demand control of the plane, and Marina would stand up and persuade the passengers to not resist the hijacking. Marina rejected this proposal, because she spoke English too poorly to persuade the passengers.

After arguing about Marina's objection for a few days, Lee altered his plan so that Marina would not have to say much on the airplane. He would buy her a small pistol, which she would use to silently threaten the passengers into submission. Lee informed Maria that he was shopping for a pistol that she could use.

Of course, Marina rejected this second plan too. Lee and Marina continued to argue about his plan for several days. Eventually and reluctantly, however, she did agree to go along with the hijacking.

Eventually Lee modified his plan yet again. Now he planned to hijack a smaller plane from a smaller town (smaller than New Orleans). He reasoned that a smaller plane would carry fewer passengers who would have to be controlled. To develop this new plan, he went to some unknown airport and returned with a new set of airline schedules.

I think that Lee redirected his plans toward smaller airports after Marina received Paine's disappointing letter (disappointing to Lee) at about the end of August. In this article here, I will not discuss Lee's subsequent hijack plans, which evolved mostly during September. I will discuss them in my next article.


On August 31 -- about the same date when Paine's letter was received -- Lee wrote a letter to the editor of The Worker newspaper in New York City applying for a job as a photographer, explaining that he and his family intended to move to New York "in a few weeks." On the next day, September 1, he wrote two more letters – to the Socialist Workers' Party and to the Communist Party – indicating that he and his family intended to move to the Baltimore-Washington area in October. He apparently hoped one of these organizations might offer him a job and advance him the money for the airplane tickets that would enable him and Marina to hijack an airplane to Cuba.

September 1 was the day of the talent show at Kellerman's.


On the same day, September 1, Lee also called the family of his aunt -- of his mother's sister -- and proposed that he and Marina visit on Labor Day, September 2. Lee might have intended to probe his aunt's family -- the family name was Murret -- to loan him the money for the airplane tickets. Lee and Marina did visit the Murret family on Labor Day, but the conversations there did not get around effectively to any loan being given to Lee.

At that Labor's Day party, Lee did talk with his cousin, Marilyn Murret. She had traveled abroad a lot during the previous several years and had just returned from a two-month bus trip through Mexico and Central America. According to McMillan's book, Lee said nothing to the Murrets that day about traveling to Cuba or even Mexico. However, Marilyn Murret's stories about her low-cost travels might have prompted Lee to consider the possibilities of buying tickets for a small airplane flying from a small airport instead of tickets for a major airline flying from the New Orleans airport.


At about the beginning of September, figured that he would not be able to hijack an airliner, but he continued to think about hijacking a smaller airplane. He eventually gave up on all hijack plans -- probably around September 10. Subsequently he began developing a different plan to emigrate to Cuba by obtaining a visa in Mexico City.

At some point in his arguments with Marina about his hijack plan, he mentioned to her that he had found another man who had agreed to use a gun to help him take over an airplane. Lee told Marina that he had considered using this other man (Lee did not name him to Marina), but ultimately decided not to do so. Lee's explanation to Marina about his decision to reject this other man's help was "your accomplice is your enemy for life".

I think that Oswald's discussions with this other man about the hijacking began during August. I will speculate about this in this series' next article, titled "Oswald's Possible Accomplice in the Hijack Plan".


Sie steht auf Dirty Dancing

Since I have found and translated the lyrics, I have bumped this post forward.


Jay Khan was born in 1982 in London. His ancestors are British and Pakistani. When he was four years old, his family moved to Berlin. When he was 16 years old, he joined a German boy-band called Overground. After he graduated from a gymnasium in Berlin, he moved back to London to study journalism. Soon, however, he returned to Germany to continue his music career.


The German lyrics:
Seit einem Jahr
Lebt sie allein.
Der richtige Mann
Schien nie dabei zusein.

Sie weiss was sie will.
Denn er ist ihr Typ --
Der sampfte Rebell
Der nur die eine liebt

Und am Abend wenn
Die leisen Studen ruhen,
Fluechtet sie sich dann
In ihrem lieblings Film.

Sie steht auf "Dirty Dancing".
Und Liebe, die noch zaehlt.

Und mit ein,
Zwei Wein,
Taucht sie hinein,
In die heile Welt.

Sie steht auf "Dirty Dancing".
Mit einem anderen Gesicht.
Sie steht auf "Dirty Dancing" --
Doch nur Johnny hat sie nicht.

Sie kennt jeden Satz
Sie singt jedes Lied
Kein einziger Blick
Denn sie uebersieht

Und sie traeumt
Von dieser uebergrossen Liebe
Und dass einer sagt,
"Mein Baby gehoert zu mir".

Sie traeumt
Von wahrer Liebe,
Die niemals
Mehr zerbricht.
My translation:
For one year,
She has been living alone.
The right man never has come.

She knows what she wants.
Her type is the gentle rebel
Who loves only one woman.

In the evening's quiet hours
She escapes into her favorite film.

She relies on Dirty Dancing,
Where love still counts.

With a glass or two of wine,
She submerges
Into a sacred world.

She relies on Dirty Dancing
With its fresh outlook.

But she does not have a Johnny.

She knows every sentence
And sings every song.
She doesn't miss a single moment.

She dreams of such an enormous love,
Where the man says:
"My Baby belongs to me".

She dreams of a true love,
That never will fall apart.