Was Dorothy Wetzel Hunt, the late wife of convicted Watergate conspirator, E. Howard Hunt, murdered? Was the plane on which she was traveling--along with other key Watergate characters--sabotaged? If so, why? And by whom?
These questions have troubled researchers for more than twenty years. Along with the unanswered questions about Hunt and how he relates to the forces that brought down the Nixon presidency, also too is the question about what more the Hunts knew about Nixon; what it was that made Nixon so paranoid; that made him so willing to come up with hush money ("...a million dollars? we could get that."). Could it be that Hunt and/or Nixon were complicit in the death of JFK?
About a month after Krogh's new assignment, Nixon's appointments secretary, Dwight Chapin, was made an executive in the Chicago office of United Airlines [op. cit.; p429], where he threatened the media to steer clear of speculation about sabotage in the crash. On December 19th--eleven days after the crash--Nixon appointed ex-CIA officer, Alexander Butterfield, as head of the FAA. Students of Watergate will remember Butterfield as the Whitehouse official who supervised Nixon's secret taping system and who exposed the existence of the infamous tapes that ultimately would force Nixon to resign.
Ostensibly traveling with Mrs. Hunt on flight 553 was CBS news corespondent Michelle Clark who, rumor had it, had learned from her sources that the Hunts were about to spill the proverbial beans regarding the Nixon whitehouse and its involvement in the Watergate burglary; Clark also died in the crash.
A large sum of money (between $10,000 and $100,000) was found amid the wreckage in the possession of Mrs. Hunt. It was during this time that Dorothy Hunt was traveling around the country paying off operatives and witnesses in the Watergate operation with money her husband had extorted from Nixon via his counsel, John Dean. Hunt had threatened Nixon and Dean with exposing the nature of all the sordid deeds he had done.
Could it be that the fuel for Hunt's blackmail of the president had little to do with the so-called "third-rate burglary" of the Democratic headquarters? Could it have had more to do with the fate of John F. Kennedy and of Nixon's awareness of who was really behind the planning and deployment of his demise? In the Watergate tapes, Nixon displays a malignant paranoia to his chief-of-staff, H. R. Haldeman, concerning E. Howard Hunt and the Bay of Pigs operation. He decides to use this paranoia to force the CIA to help cover up the Watergate affair:
In his memoir, The Ends of Power (1978), Haldeman claims that all the references in the tapes to "The Bay of Pigs thing", were coded references by Nixon:
"...just say (unintelligible) very bad to have this fellow Hunt, ah, he knows too damned much, if he was involved -- you happen to know that? If it gets out that this is all involved, the Cuba thing, it would be a fiasco. It would make the CIA look bad, it's going to make Hunt look bad, and it is likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs thing which we think would be very unfortunate - both for the CIA and for the country..."
In those Nixon references to the Bay of Pigs [in the White House tapes] he [Nixon] was actually referring to the Kennedy assassination...After Kennedy was killed, the CIA launched a fantastic cover-up...The CIA literally erased any connection between Kennedy's assassination and the CIA...in fact, Counter Intelligence Chief James Angleton of the CIA called Bill Sullivan of the FBI (Number Three man under J. Edgar Hoover, who later died of a gunshot would) and rehearsed the questions and answers they would give to the Warren Commission investigators."In The Haldeman Diaries (1994), editor Stephen Ambrose wrote that Haldeman, in the latter years of his life, attributed the above revelations to his ghost writer, Joseph Di Mona; by 1990, Haldeman was repudiating the entire book. One must remember that from the time Nixon fired Haldeman (1973) until December 1978, the two men were not on speaking terms; it was during this time--coincident with his prison term--that Haldeman released his book.
In the latest issue of Steam Shovel Press [Steam Shovel Press #11, p13] in an article by photo analyst Jack White, L. Fletcher Prouty describes one of several known Tramp photos. This particular photo shows the tramps being escorted along a service entrance to the TSBD wall comprised of two high chain-link gates with large diamond-shapes in the center of each [Photo designated as "P1" in Weberman and Canfield's Coup D' Etat in America (1992, Quick Trading)]. The tramps are facing the camera and a man is seen walking in the opposite direction, back to the camera. Prouty believes that the man walking away from the camera is Edward Lansdale. Lansdale, a planner with the Air Force Directorate and then the CIA-affiliated Office of Special Operations, worked closely with E. Howard Hunt. Lansdale's specialty, according to Prouty, who claims to have also worked closely with him, was staging real-time covers, diversions, and the general "smoke screens" under which assassinations took place. When asked to explain, Prouty alleges that it was Lansdale's job to provide "actors", and "screenplays" for certain black operations deployed by the covert operatives.
One must remember that E. Howard Hunt is a prolific author, having written over seventy books, virtually all of them spy novels; novels that some have speculated were designed by Hunt's superiors at the CIA to be Cold War disinformation tools. Hunt has also written screenplays, the most notable being Bimini Run.
Lane posed the question to Hunt that if he was with his family that day, than why did he have to pursue the lawsuit to square himself with his children who, Hunt contended, had to endure for years the nagging question of whether or not their father had in some way been involved in the assassination. Hunt's reaction to the query--a stunned, head-snapping recoil, followed by a 30-second pause, pretty much answered the question for the jury. His case was overturned [Plausible Denial (1991, Thunder's Mouth Press); Mark Lane; p 283].
Admitted as part of the evidence was a sworn deposition of CIA operative and one-time Castro love-interest, Marita Lorenz, testimony which places Hunt--along with CIA contract agent Frank Sturgis, supermercanary Gerry Patrick Hemming and Jack Ruby--in a Dallas motel room, with Hunt doling out cash from his famous attache case ostensibly for the procurement and transportation of two carloads of firearms moved from Florida to Dallas the day before the assassination.
In Agenda, Hougan describes an engineer, Michael Stevens, proprietor of the Chicago-based Stevens Research Laboratories, as being visited in early May, 1972 by Watergate wireman James McCord who had come to place orders for ten highly-sophisticated eavesdropping devices---much more sophisticated units than the cheap, commercial-grade bugs supposedly found in the DNC the next month in June.
Stevens claims that Dorothy Hunt was traveling to see him in Chicago when her plane went down and that the $10,000 or more she possessed was intended for him as an installment for his silence. Stevens says he told the FBI that his own life had been threatened anonymously and that Hunt's death was a homicide.
According to Hougan, the high-performance bugs were not used at the DNC but rather in various hotel rooms setup by Hunt and McCord as combination "dens of compromise" and psychological data-gathering field laboratories; rooms in which high-priced call girls helped stage episodes with political figures that were worthy of blackmail. Hougan makes a very good case for this including a statement by landlady, Miriam Furbershaw, who claims that she rented her basement apartment to James McCord [Secret Agenda; James Hougan; p19] two or three years before the Watergate scandal. McCord is known to have had considerable bugging equipment in this apartment which appears to have been some sort of safehouse. Mrs. Furbershaw also told the FBI that McCord had several male visitors, including E. Howard Hunt. Intriguingly, Hunt claims to have never met McCord until introduced to him in 1972 by G. Gordon Liddy. There is ample evidence that Hunt and McCord knew each other by 1963 if not earlier [op. cit.; pp17-18] having worked extensively in the CIA's Bay of Pigs operation.
Mrs. Furbershaw says she ultimately evicted McCord because he had "...more than one occasion on [sic] which 'young girls' visited during the night." In a confrontation in the presence of a young woman said to have been crying hysterically on the bed, she ordered McCord leave. Hougan claims that McCord's blackmailing activities were illegal CIA-sanctioned operations the purposes of which were to collect personality information for use in personality predicting-models by CIA psychiatrists. He further claims that McCord was engaging in similar if not identical operations at the Watergate; that McCord compromised the DNC "cover" operation to protect the CIA-sponsored callgirl operations or other operations known only to McCord and or Hunt.
Dorothy Wetzel Hunt was also an employee for the CIA in the late forties, stationed in Shanghai, China, where she met her future husband. E Howard Hunt lives in southern Florida with his second wife where he continues to write. One of his latest novels (1992) is Body Count.
Click here for a copy of Dorothy Hunt's Death Certificate
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