Tom Forcade came to New York City from Arizona to work for the Underground Press Syndicate (UPS) formed by six of the largest underground newspapers in 1966, a list that included John Wilcock’s East Village Other. When Tom arrived, the UPS offices and archives were located in Jim Fouratt’s apartment, but soon moved into Tom’s after he took over.
Tom was suspicious of Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, and questioned their qualifications to lead the movement, so rather than join the Yippies, he created his own counter-revolutionary movement, and to make sure everyone knew where he was coming from, he named it the Zippies, implying it was the peppy alternative to last year’s revolutionaries. Tom would have been the public face, except he was also a pot smuggler and dealer, which forced him to stay in the background, which may have contributed to his jealousy concerning Abbie who was always on the mic. Tom eventually built a speakeasy in Manhattan that sold pot by the pound to dealers, a place where suitcases were stacked to the ceiling.
According to a major pot dealer of the period, Tom began working with a Mossad agent on some big projects shortly after arriving in New York. Apparently, this agent eventually committed suicide. Tom used to tell this dealer if the Feds ever came after him, he had information that would embarrass them. But soon Tom committed suicide as well.
A.J. Weberman was one of the biggest weed dealers in New York at the time, and he became Tom’s co-conspirator in creating the Zippies after he discovered Tom had a better, cheaper connection than he did. Weberman also ran a weapons training camp in the Catskills for volunteers wishing to help defend Israel from Arab annihilation. After outing Bob Dylan as a dabbler in heroin, Weberman wrote a book on the JFK assassination stating Watergate burglar Frank Sturgis was one of the tramps and also a shooter, a view he holds to this day.
While Sturgis was up-to-his-neck in the plot, and may have even driven the murder weapons from Florida to Texas as he claims, he is neither one of the tramps from the famous photos nor a likely shooter for JFK. However, a new book by Roger Stone claims Stugis was enlisted a few years after the JFK hit to assassinate President Richard Nixon.
According to Stone, the CIA feared Nixon was going dovish on Vietnam, and they also greatly resented his detente move with China. Sturgis was told to procure weapons and make preparations for staging a confrontation between Yippies versus Zippies that would erupt in gunfire, and during this melee, Sturgis was to make sure Nixon got fatally shot.
Sturgis went ahead and got the guns, but when it was finally revealed who the target was, he backed out. Later on the CIA employed the Watergate burglary as a lever with which to unseat Nixon.
Last year, Stone released a book claiming Lyndon Johnson engineered the Kennedy assassination, and while I’m sure Johnson was aware of the plot, it’s unlikely his power extended to the top of the Pentagon and CIA. So even though Stone is a beltway insider once close to Nixon, I don’t fully trust his judgment on some key issues. But he does bring interesting information to the table.
Some say Nixon bought his detente move with China by returning one of hundreds of funds created from black market gold stolen during WWII and then disappeared. Much of that gold originated in China and had been buried in the Philippines for years before being washed by Opus Dei working with some Bonesmen. At least that’s the story I’ve been able to piece together.
But now I’m wondering more about the possible double agents planted inside the Zippies and Yippies who were going to instigate the melee so Nixon might be killed. It seems fascinating the Yippie-Zippie split was well-known at the highest levels of the CIA, almost as if they had a hand in instigating it, but as someone who once had access to Tom’s correspondence and private writings, I have to say I don’t believe he was a spook, although he may have been surrounded by them, some of whom have yet to be identified.
Marita Lorenz was 19 when she first met Fidel Castro, having just arrived in Cuba from her homeland in Germany. She soon became Castro’s lover and met an American named Frank Forini who was working with Castro. Forini’s comrade-in-arms E. Howard Hunt wrote an espionage book detailing Forini’s true life exploits as a spook using “Sturgis” as his cover name. Within a few years, Forini legally changed his name to Sturgis.
Sturgis had an interesting life, having been a Marine and served in Army intelligence, been a policeman, then become a pilot, and he’d also run some bars and nightclubs in his hometown in Virginia. Eventually, Sturgis became a full-time spook working with the CIA and claimed to have helped trained Fidel and Che’s 400 initial troops, but later turned against them after they went Communistic. Pretty soon Sturgis and Lorenz were plotting how to poison or blow up Castro with a cigar filled with TNT.
Sturgis was involved in Operation 40, a CIA assassination squad, and certainly knew some details of the Kennedy assassination, as did Lorenz. However, both were played by the CIA and used as counterintelligence tools to seed rabbit holes and misdirections. Although Sturgis was initially identified as one of the three tramps, along with Hunt, this turned out to me an immense rabbit hole. Decades would pass before researchers began to fathom the truth. Hunt and Sturgis were used as backstops.
But after Sturgis was caught at the Watergate complex and convicted, he sued the Committee to Re-elect President and the case was settled out-of-court. Sturgis believed he was acting on orders from the White House in a matter of deep national security, looking for evidence involving the JFK assassination supposedly held in a safe by the heads of the Democratic Party. According to Sturgis, this evidence had been collected by Cuban spooks investigating the case for Castro.
One of the major misdirections employed with the JFK operation had been to blame the assassination on Castro, which is why the designated patsy was sheep-dipped as a Castro supporter who’d just recently visited the Cuban embassy in Mexico. Sturgis was part of the plan leaking info pointing towards Castro, but he also became a major suspect in the case himself.
Thanks to Lee Bowers, an alert railroad employee with an unobstructed view of the parking lot next to Dealey Plaza during the JFK assassination, three men fleeing the scene and hiding in a boxcar in the train yards were picked up and escorted to the nearest police facility, where they were apparently released without being photographed or fingerprinted, an unexplained oversight that should have raised numerous red flags immediately. Bowers would later testify that he heard three shots, one coming from the grassy knoll and two from the mouth of the triple underpass. Bowers died a few years later, before public awareness of the three suspicious men emerged. The men are not mentioned anywhere in the Warren Commission Report, although seven pictures were taken of them by three different photographers. (Similarly, the 9/11 Commission ignored the bizarre collapse of Building 7.)
Anyone with knowledge of law enforcement procedures recognizes something is amiss with these policemen, who seem little interested in the men they are escorting, one of whom carries a large paper sack, and all of whom must be considered suspects in just having murdered the President of the United States. Although known today as “The Tramps,” they were clean-shaven, wore nice clothes and expensive shoes.
This shot clearly shows the three faces. Notice the woman in the background holds her hand over her mouth. Apparently, she believes JFK’s killers are being paraded before her, while one of them smiles with satisfaction. It is hard to imagine under what circumstances someone in custody would be allowed to carry a paper bag or why such important suspects would not be handcuffed as they were found hiding immediately after the assassination.
In the late sixties, Richard Sprague and Bernard Fensterwald formed the Committee to Investigate Assassinations (CITA). Sprague was a photographic buff who’d assembled the largest private collection of JFK photos and became attached to just about every investigation, from Garrison to Congress. One of his more bizarre theories was that a dart had been fired out of an umbrella, and that was the source of Kennedy’s neck wound and real cause of death.
In Illinois, where I grew up, the most brilliant conspiracy researcher was Sherman Skolnick, who’d brought down a federal judge in Chicago before becoming immersed and entangled in the JFK psyops. Although his research remains impeccable, Sherman had a bit of a blind eye on Mossad elements, tending to blame most drug trafficking on the Queen of England. In reality, presidents and heads of state are largely ceremonial and not typically involved in planning or executing the complex war plans, operations that begin with the beating of a psyop drum. Study all the characters who came out of the woodwork to collect and control information on the JFK assassination, because most of them turn out to be spooks, and in hindsight Sherman appears to be one of the few that wasn’t.
CITA held their conference on the anniversary of the JFK assassination in 1973, and upon arrival Skolnick began verbally attacking Fensterwald, accusing him of being a CIA stooge and holding these conferences to find out what real researchers like him were uncovering. At the time, Fensterwald was defending Watergate burglar James McCord, the suspected CIA mole inside CREEP’s plumbers, and Skolnick demanded an independent panel. He got it. But when Skolnick’s panel began, a kook named Amos Hickock began raving about assassination links to the KGB and also announced the Three Tramps were Hunt, Barker and Sturgis of recent Watergate fame. The links from the Kennedy assassination to Watergate were just surfacing, and this was certainly an explosive allegation that tore through the research community like a tornado!
Here’s a little-known factoid: Four pictures of the Three Tramps were first published in Computers and Automation in an article by Richard Sprague on the same day the Watergate burglary appeared in print in the Washington Post.
Also attending that conference in 1973 was A.J. Weberman, who would soon team up with a former McGovern staffer to write a book called Coup d’etat In America. Weberman was a real character. One of the original Zippies, he was also a huge pot dealer on New York’s Lower East Side, and used some profits to help fund a military training camp for potential Mossad agents in the Catskills. Weberman operated with near-impunity for decades before he got ratted out by a former associate who turned State’s evidence and gave up the info on his secret Dutch bank account. After serving his time, Weberman wanted to immigrate to Israel, but couldn’t take the theocracy and quickly moved back to New York, where he seems to be a dirty tricks operative for the Democratic Party these days. When asked about Mossad connections to 9/11, Weberman explodes and orders me to leave the country while accusing me of being “a self-hating Jew.” Real independent research does not seem to be in the forefront of his activity list these days.
Chip Berlet is a close associate of Weberman. And when Weberman was researching his book on the JFK assassination in Washington DC, he often stayed at Berlet’s apartment. His real name, by the way, is John Foster Berlet, son of Reserve Army Lt. Col. George Numa Berlet. Berlet mostly spent the late sixties and early seventies photographing tens of thousands of demonstrators at peace and/or pot rallies, something that surely would have been a valuable resource for intel.
And suspiciously enough, Berlet was on the staff for the CIA-infested and controlled National Student Association, while his mentor, David Ifshin would go on to become general counsel for the American Israel Public Affairs Council (AIPAC). Meanwhile, Berlet evolved into the primary mainstream source for debunking conspiracy theories involving the Federal Reserve.
Berlet invented the word “conspiracism,” a fake disease that one day may be enough to get us all locked up on psyche wards for not believing the official stories handed down by the major media to explain events like JFK assassination or 9/11. Berlet has helped construct the future modern inquisition, where independent researchers become excommunicated agents of the devil just for holding heretical beliefs.
The upshot of Weberman’s book was that two of the Three Tramps were Hunt and Sturgis.
Thus the Three Tramps photos became an opening salvo of disinfo on the CIA’s Watergate misdirection operations. Watergate was actually a CIA-sponsored coup against Nixon, who had little clue of the forces rallied against him, just as JFK had little clue of the CIA-sponsored trap he drove into in Dealey Plaza that day.
Weberman claims to have solved the case in 1975, and in a way, he did, for the book speculated that the head of counterintelligence of the CIA headed the assassination, and it was run through an executive action program initially set-up with mostly Cuban exiles, and the reason they killed Kennedy was because he was working towards peace instead of war. Weberman didn’t mention anyone by name (except Hunt and Sturgis), which seems odd, especially since the head of counterintelligence was well-known at the time: James Angleton. However, Weberman’s basic outline of the facts in 1975 was completely correct and later in life he would target Angleton as an instigator. But by insisting Hunt and Sturgis were the shooters, and that the Tramps photo proved this, Weberman, in fact, created a rabbit hole that sucked up most of the research community. It would take years for the real Tramps identity to emerge.
The tall tramp turned out to be Charles Harrelson, while the old man tramp turned out to be a forger for Meyer Lansky. Meanwhile, the Silvia Odio incident (which proved a conspiracy beyond Oswald) was documented in the book, but never really picked up on and run with until Anthony Summers came along many years later.
If anything, Hunt and Sturgis were used to deflect attention away from the real killers. They were fixers and experts in propaganda and disinfo. Sturgis was probably to the JFK assassination as Lt. Vreeland was to 9/11.