Sunday, April 2, 2017

Wynne Johnson

For those who haven't heard, Wynne Johnson came forward in 2014 to say that he and a girlfriend saw Lee Harvey Oswald, Antonio Veciana and David Phillips together at the Southland Center in Dallas in 1963. Johnson has several videos describing the alleged encounter:

Johnson Video 1

Johnson Video 2

Johnson Video 3

I have some thoughts on the Johnson story and a few questions as well.

Johnson says in the first video that he determined the date of the meeting was Saturday, September 7, 1963 because:

· It had to be a weekend since he and the girl were students.

· Veciana said it was toward the end of the first week in September.

· The busses were running on Saturday.

The key information allowing Johnson to determine the date appears to come not from his own memory or any other evidence he might have, but from Veciana. But as explained here, nowhere in the three March, 1976 interviews of Veciana, which are cited by HSCA investigator Gaeton Fonzi as the source of the information, are “late August” or “September” (in any form) mentioned and those characterizations are clearly Fonzi inventions. This first documentation of the Veciana story by Fonzi should be given considerable weight over statements he may have made years later. Similarly, in Dick Russell’s summer of 1976 interview of Veciana he said the meeting was in August. Additionally, in his 1978 HSCA testimony, Veciana stated the meeting occurred on a week day rather than Saturday as Johnson maintains.

Johnson has availed himself of the literature on the JFK assassination and has become a conspiracy theorist in the past decade. During the course of the video, he offers several theories that are inspired by his studies. Johnson states that the “oldest man” in the group, Maurice Bishop, "turns out to be" David Atlee Phillips “beyond any doubt.” Note the language used by Johnson-he is not saying he recognized Phillips, but rather that according to books he has read Bishop was Phillips. Johnson also flatly accuses Phillips of perjury in his HSCA testimony since he is conveniently deceased. Johnson goes on to quote several conspiracy book allegations and admits reading Fonzi’s The Last Investigation in 2014. It is clear that he has been heavily influenced by Fonzi’s CIA-did-it ideas.

Johnson recounts the story of an email from Shawn Phillips who is the nephew of David Phillips. The email tells the story of an alleged phone call from Phillips to his brother James. In the call, Phillips admitted he was in Dallas "that day" which could logically mean November 22, 1963. But in an attempt to add legitimacy to his story, Johnson incredibly believes that Phillips was referring to the alleged Southland meeting.

Johnson also makes statements such as Veciana’s knowledge of the alleged Bishop/Oswald/Veciana meeting “was enough to get him shot in 1979” when, in fact, we don’t know who shot him or why. The incident may have been related to drug activities such as those that put him in federal prison or it may have been related to his years of anti-Castro work.

After reading Fonzi’s book, Johnson noted two details that seemed significant to him. The first was that the meeting took place at the Southland Center. But this “fact” is another Fonzi invention. Fonzi thought it was the Southland Center and said this in his book and it has been repeated by others. But Veciana never said this at least not in the 1976 interviews with Fonzi and Dick Russell or in his HSCA testimony. In these early sources, Veciana only says that the meeting was at a bank or insurance company. The second detail was that after seeing LHO, Bishop and Veciana went to a coffee shop which could mean it happened at any of a thousand places in Dallas. These details as recorded by Fonzi caused Johnson to “remember” the alleged incident from 51 years before.

Johnson has communicated with his former girlfriend's husband and he admits the girl will not confirm his allegations saying she "remembers nothing at all." Nevertheless, Johnson believes that is possible the girl will "recover her memory" perhaps in the miraculous way that his own memory returned. The girl's husband also told Johnson that he "hoped they would not be hearing from [him] again." Amazingly, Johnson says he can't understand why the husband told him that. He offers the theory that it is because the husband was in the military where "conformity of political opinion is expected." I can think of a few other reasons.

My questions for Johnson are these:

You state that “Oswald never got a real trial” as if this fact proves his innocence. Do you understand that a dead man can’t be tried for murder? Another person that made a similar argument was Marguerite Oswald and her mental stability was questionable.

Given the facts I have provided about the date of the meeting, does this change your opinion of when the meeting was? And what other evidence do you have concerning the date of the meeting?

I have provided facts that indicate the “Southland Center” was a Fonzi invention. Does this change your perception of the event?

You say you were “afraid” to come forward with this story. But why have you now become absolutely fearless since the institutional forces that perpetrated the conspiracy are still presumably on the loose?

Would your going public have anything to do with the fact that you attended a JFK conference and have received attention there and on the Internet?

You say that the girl you were with on that day will not now confirm the story. If she or anyone thought they had seen LHO in 1963 in an incriminating situation, what on earth would stop them from saying so now? Perhaps she is not as convinced of what you claim the two of you saw as you are.

You admit that “Phillips” would not want to be seen in public with LHO and Veciana and seem to understand why. But did it ever occur to you that “Phillips” could have simply avoided all of this by having a private meeting where such “accidents” could not happen? You quote Harold Weisberg in your second video and seem to respect his opinion. Did you know that Weisberg said that a CIA case officer would never bring together two of his clandestine contacts? As a former OSS officer, he would know.

You sensibly point out that the meeting was “just an interruption and easily forgotten at the time.” You also say that the girl’s mother instructed you to forget the event and you put it into your subconscious memory out of fear for the girl’s life. But how do you completely forget such an event on command only to “remember” it again over 50 years later and then only after reading conspiracy books? And if you were so sure you had seen LHO, why did you say nothing or think nothing about the incident until you spoke to the Girl's mother?

Don't you find it significant that your own father didn't believe you?

How does a person recall a chance encounter in such excruciating detail? After all, the significance of the event would not be apparent until after the assassination. Are you saying you have a photographic memory for mundane events?

You state in the video that "lately I have remembered that Oswald arrived at the Southland center by taxi." Doesn't the fact that you keep "remembering" more and more detail diminish your credibility?

You mention Judyth Baker as someone who can confirm parts of your story. Are you aware that Baker is another individual who has no way to prove her story and askes us to just trust her?

Are you aware that David Phillips successfully sued two authors who made claims similar to yours?

Why did you not mention your alleged "second encounter" with Phillips until your fourth video? Aren't you just expanding your tale as you go along ala Judyth Baker?

Do you think the books and the opinions you came to as a result of reading them may have affected your perception of the alleged event? It is a scientific fact that memory can be adversely affected by ensuing events as Elizabeth Loftus and others have shown. Do you have any evidence that reading a book can trigger a flood of accurate memories as you claim or that a person can forget things “on command”?

You state that you have "sought attention for the story, not for myself." But your videos state your numerous opinions regarding the JFK case resulting from the conspiracy books you have read. Would you agree that coming forward with your revelations makes it possible for you to heard by the conspiracy community rather than being just another face in the crowd? And wouldn't that give you a motive for speaking out?

You state that you wish you could have been called by the HSCA in order to support Veciana's allegations. Have you ever asked yourself if your "evidence" would stand up ? I assure you it would not and you would have been laughed out of the hearing. And the report would have said the same thing it said about James Wilcott, namely "his allegations are not worthy of belief."

Finally, Marie Fonzi said she has reservations about "late occurring" memories. If she doesn’t believe you, why should we?

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