Oswald returned from the Soviet Union speaking Russian with a Polish accent
When Oswald and his family returned to the Dallas-Fort Worth area
from the Soviet Union, they knew that they had make contacts if they
were going to put food on the table. Oswald sought
out Peter Gregory shortly after his arrival.
Peter Gregory described himself as an "oil consultant" who came from
in 1923. He was also a translator who had his son
Paul take Russian
lessons from Oswald's wife Marina. Gregory provided Oswald with a letter certifying Oswald's ability to serve as a translator. Gregory commented on Oswald's pronounced Polish accent, which was a result of
Oswald's extended time with Legend Maker
#8 Alexander Ziger and the entire Ziger family.
Both Peter Gregory and Max Clark displayed furtiveness and unclean
hands after JFK was killed. On 11/28/63, Gregory assisted the Secret
Service in translating a lengthy interrogation of Marina Oswald. On
11/29/63, both Gregory and Clark told FBI agent Earle Haley that Oswald
had obtained their names from the
Worth Public Library, where Gregory worked. When Clark testified before
the Warren panel, he changed his story to say that Oswald was referred
to his wife by the Texas Employment Commission (TEC). Clearly,
both men had initially tried to keep their TEC contacts away from
view. The TEC - better known as the state unemployment agency - kept
extensive records on Oswald that are now available and open up all sorts
of questions. After a complaint by the Warren Commission staff that
these earlier reports contradicted the Warren Commission testimony,
Hoover ordered Legend Maker #6 FBI supervisor Marvin Gheesling to confront them on these contradictions.
When Gheesling re-assigned the case to the Dallas FBI office, agent Earle Haley went back and re-interviewed Clark and Gregory. Haley was a personal acquaintance of Max Clark, who used to work with "Earle". Gregory wouldn't change his story and blamed it on Oswald, while Clark said he heard about the whole issue second-hand from his wife, who always knew Oswald got her name from the Texas Employment Commission. Max's wife Gali Clark was treated with kid gloves. There's no indication that Haley or anyone else ever followed up with her.
Oswald had legend makers precisely because he and his wife presented a perceived threat to national security
Moore visited the De Mohrenschildts' home in late 1961 to see a movie of their "walking tour" from Mexico to Panama.
HSCA Report, Volume 12, p. 54. Although the de Mohrenschildts said
that they were tracking the mining trails of the old Spanish
conquistadors, they found themselves with hundreds of Cuban exiles in
Guatemala City, a staging area for the Bay of Pigs invasion that was
about to begin. De Mohrenschildt revealed a few hours before his death
that Moore took him to lunch in late 1961, and described to him an
ex-Marine in Minsk in whom the CIA had "interest". In the summer of
1962, an associate of Moore suggested that de Mohrenschildt might want
to meet Oswald. De Mohrenschildt then called Moore, suggesting that
suitable payback would be a little help by the State Department with an
oil exploration deal in Haiti.
After the assassination, R.S. Travis at the
Domestic Contact Division identified ten separate domestic
contact reports prepared by de Mohrenschildt, and tipped off the staff of Legend Maker #1 Jim Angleton at the counterintelligence office. Travis referred to De
Mohrenschildt as Moore's "source," and asked Moore to provide his
personal evaluation of George for the CI Staff. Moore
wrote an intriguing evaluation that admitted that he had sought out de
Mohrenschildt as "the result of a source lead from Headquarters" in 1957, but
scrambled to avoid any direct admissions of the role he played in bringing de
Mohrenschildt and Oswald together. Moore's evaluation was so carefully prepared that the file includes what appears to be a far-different rough draft.
Moore's poor memory triggered internal scrutiny by the CIA's Reinvestigation Program. Moore went so far as to tell the CI staffer for Angleton "there is no White Russian 'community' in Dallas. He knows of only a couple of Russian linguists who are used by the Socony labs for translation. Jim feels the word 'community' is inapplicable. In any event he has had no contact with any such group". This memo is one of several indications that the task for Angleton's staff was to sanitize de Mohrenschildt's checkered history. Moore was a former FBI agent and college roommate of Wallace Heitman, a Soviet language specialist who played the lead role for the FBI in controlling the first-day evidence.
Although US intelligence records on de Mohrenschildt go back to at least World War II, CIA Director
Richard Helms said that the agency's "initial interest" in George de
Mohrenschildt was because he had been a petrochemical consultant with the
International Cooperation Administration (ICA). De Mohrenschildt was appointed by the State Department as
the "petroleum adviser" for the independent communist Yugoslavian government in 1957, and
to the Warren Commission that ICA was
the only US
government agency that ever paid him. The ICA became part of the Agency
for International Development (AID) in 1961. The AID has been cited by
its former director John Gilligan as being filled with CIA agents "from
top to bottom...the idea was to plant operatives in every kind of
activity we had overseas, government, volunteer, religious, every
In early 1963, de Mohrenschildt passed on his "babysitting duties" for the Oswald family to Ruth and Legend Maker #12 Michael Paine. Ruth's father Bill Hyde was regional director of the Nationwide Insurance Company, part of the International Cooperative Alliance founded in 1922 and still active today. This similiarity between these two ICAs is not accidental - the contracts for both groups were coordinated through AID and the State Department. Both de Mohrenschildt and Hyde were business consultants that traveled abroad working on cooperative ventures and provided reports used by the CIA.
The covert action division of Legend Maker #2 Cord Meyer sought to use Hyde as a security consultant in Vietnam back in
1957, but CI-SIG's information on Hyde resulted in the denial of any
security clearance. Hyde's problem, like Legend Maker #3 Priscilla Johnson, was that he was active with progressive causes and had family members involved with the United
World Federalists. Meyer, the CIA
action chief in 1963, had got into trouble with the FBI during the 1950s
for his former role as president of the United World Federalists.
Keep in mind that the CIA was not supposed to have officers handling domestic agents tracking US citizens inside the country. That job was the FBI's turf. Routing slips show that interactions between Oswald and the FBI after his return were carefully scrutinized. The rivalry between the CIA and the FBI led to CIA officers trying to work around the system. In this setting Ideal babysitters for the Oswald family were trusted people that were denied security clearances - such as de Mohrenschildt or Ruth's father. Whether or not the babysitter knew that they were being monitored by intelligence, the operation could be kept in an officer's vest pocket and never reduced to writing.
Ruth Paine met the Oswalds and George de Mohrenschildt at the party of Everett Glover on February 22, 1963. This is known as the "Magnolia party". Glover was a chemist with Magnolia Labs, a geology lab for Socony Mobil Oil -- the same "Socony labs" that Moore referred to when he argued that there was no White Russian community in Dallas. Glover and four other Magnolia employees approached Oswald and got him to talk for several hours about life in the Soviet Union. One of these employees, Norman Fredericksen, was the son of the former director of Radio Free Europe. As discussed in the previous chapter, de Mohrenschildt had many close ties with Radio Free Europe.
Paines have been described by researcher Greg Parker as pragmatic pacifists. In an amazing
coincidence, they moved from Pennsylvania to Oswald's mother's community
of Irving, Texas during the second week of September 1959, the very
week that Oswald
abruptly left his mother and went off to defect to the USSR. They had
made the move so that Michael could take a job with the military
contractor Bell Helicopter. Michael said that Bell manufactured 40% of
all of the helicopters used in the Vietnam War. Bell Helicopter was
begun and run by Michael's stepfather, Arthur Young, the most recent
husband of Michael's mother Ruth Forbes Paine.
Helicopters on the attack by none
Paines probably had a handler within the intelligence community in
1959, whether they knew it or not. Based on their background with the
World Federalists and Ruth's work with the Quakers and Soviet-American
friendship committees, Cord Meyer is the logical candidate. By 1963,
Meyer was the chief of the covert action division.
Frederick Merrill at the State Department put his stamp of approval on the East-West Contact Committee program organized by the Quakers that Ruth had worked on - the following year, Merrill worked on the Robert Webster defector case that was linked to the Oswald defector case. Did some combination of Meyer, AID and the State Department somehow persuade the Paines to keep an eye on this defector family, or were they simply manipulated into position? Ruth had other intelligence operatives in her family - such as her sister Sylvia Hoke and her brother-in-law John Hoke - who could play a role in helping to convince her. Michael Paine's family also had access to talent in the intelligence arena. Michael's mother had a close friend named Mary Bancroft who was an OSS spy that slept with Allen Dulles.
After the Magnolia party, Ruth asked Marina Oswald if she would like to live with her so that she could improve her Russian. Lee was about to leave Marina for awhile while he went to his home town of New Orleans and looked for more steady work. Michael and Ruth had ostensibly split up, and were living in different houses.