Jerry P. Shinley Archive:Subject: David Ferrie to EAL 10/30/1961
David Ferrie to EAL 10/30/1961
Date: 9/10/00 9:52 AM Eastern Daylight Time
AGENCY : HSCA
RECORD NUMBER : 180-10121-10093
RECORDS SERIES : NUMBERED FILES.
AGENCY FILE NUMBER : 014904
ORIGINATOR : FAA
FROM : FERRIS, D.W.
TO : GRIENER, G.E.
TITLE : [No Title]
DATE : 10/30/1961
PAGES : 1 [sic; should say 4]
DOCUMENT TYPE : LETTER.
SUBJECTS : FERRIE, DAVID.; EASTERN AIR LINES.
CLASSIFICATION : UNCLASSIFIED
RESTRICTIONS : OPEN IN FULL
CURRENT STATUS : OPEN
DATE OF LAST REVIEW : 07/06/1993
COMMENTS : Box 284.
[Note: this is a rather poor copy. I have indicated my interpolations.--JPS]
331 Atherton Drive
30 October 1961
Captain G.E. Grenier
Manager - Operations,
Eastern Airlines, Inc.,
New Orleans, La.
Dear Captain Grenier:
This letter is written in response to your letter, addressed to me, dated October 19. My attorney, Mr. Graffagnino, has not informed me of your request for a written report in addition to the verbal information given during the discussion between Mr. Graffagnino, Senor Arcacha, youself, and me.
You require "a plausible explanation of the incidents that lead to the filing of serious criminal charges" against me. Since I have no idea of what you consider "plausible" there is no way of evaluating this letter prior to its being forwarded. I will submit the facts as they are. We have in hand indisputable proof for the facts cited herein.
For the composition of this letter, reports of reputable detectives have been employed. Since your letter infers you require a chronological sequence, I shall list these events chronlogically.
I must add one caution, however. The very nature of some of the information contained herein has given me considerable pause in whether I should respond to your request for information. First of all, I know of no "crime", violation of working agreement, or company rule which is violated when one individual makes a charge against another. Proven charges are another thing. It is my opinion that it is not the business of Eastern Air Lines that someone should make charges against me. It is another thing if these charges are proven to be true in a court of law. In the second place, the revelation of this information to you contains a serious potential threat to my safety, as a subsequent paragraph will reveal. I shall, therefore, hold you personally responsible if some of this information is divulged since my personal safety is involved.
It is my belief that the chronology begins in 1959. During the summer of 1959 I received my first anonymous threatening telephone call. At this time positive information had come into my hands that Fidel Castro was a Communist, and that this was known in the State Department prior to the action of the U.S. Government forcing Batista out of office. Also at this time I was laboring to prevent the admission in the U.S. Air Force Academy of a candidate whose views, as well as those of his family, were anti-American, since he indicated he has no intention of supporting Amendment XIV, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution. From that day until the present
(at 2:15 P.M. this date) these telephone calls have continue.
In some of these telephone calls I have been addressed obscenely, on some occasions as a "[...]-lover", a "Radical", a "Communist", an "Atheist", a "Religious fanatic" and so on. On other occasions polite, well-modulated voices have try [sic] to dissuade me from my activities and in particular my speeches against those persons and forces I deem subversive. Though all of these telephone calls have been anonymous, the identity of one of the voices has been established. On other occasions I receive "silent" phone calls, that in, when we answer a call, no response is made by the caller who, after a short interval, hangs up, or otherwise breaks the connection.
It became apparent that acting as a lone individual I could accomplish little, whereas with affiliation with a similar-minded group I might accomplish much more. Therefore, I pursued several related problems:
(1) why did certain top officials deliberately cause
the April 17 invasion of Cuba to fail?
(2) who is permitting millions of pieces of Communist
literature to pass thru the New Orleans Post Office,
at government expense, the purpose of which literature
is prejudicial to the United States?
(3) who is permitting proscribed trade with Cuba
to continue, which aalso [sic] involves a further drain
on gold reserves?
(4) why are certain Communists, who enjoy high-level
positions in local government, permitted to continue
their activities against the United States?
(5) why are certain known communists allowed
to continue dictating the placing of subversive
textbooks in public and private schools?
(6) why are certain persons in sensitive jobs,
for example scheduled airlines, permitted to
continue subversive activities?
In a less generalized area, I have been concerned with the problem of Communist Cuba, and the ramifications. I have been assisting in bringing Cuban refugees to the United States, and in obtaining necessities including medical care for them. I have likewise, in activities approved of and encouraged by the President of the United States and his [?] Attorney General, helping to raise arms for the liberation of Cuba.Such is both the right and duty of every American, not to be gainsaid by anyone.
In the intensification of these Anti-Communist activities more talks have been given than heretofore, radio and T.V. shows, and propaganda [?] disseminated. Greater efforts have been expended to collect necessary funds to raise arms. In the course of this I was threatened with a lawsuit by a New Orleans attorney. This suit was dropped when he learned the nature of the proofs of his subversive activitities.
During the month of August three persons associated with this work were arrested by a particular New Orleans policeman. We have been unable to learn what they were charged with. They were held incommunicado for four days. During this time they were also maltreated. Their arrest and detention was illegal not only from the point of view of State Law but also Federal Law. In the course of the interrogations one police official tried to extract a commitment from these individuals that they would desist in their activities to assist the Cubans. One of the officers stated that his objective was "to put Arcacha and Ferrie in jail". In pusuance of this objective these three were interrogated to produce evidence against me of
(1) stealing an airplane;
(2) participating in acts treasonous to the United States;
(3) dealing in contraband;
(4) committing forgery;
(5) illegally dealing in arms.
Subsequent to this the New Orleans Police came to my home to search it, claiming they possessed a valid Search Warrant. They refused to produce this warrant and refused to divulge the quest of the search. These acts are in clear violation of the law. They returned a second time, and did not even claim to possess a warrant, but stated they were searching for narcotics. They returned a third time "to search" but did not search, but engaged in a day-long harassment of my mother, my guests and myself.
During this time interval I was taken to the East Bank Jail, Jefferson Parish, and interrogated relative to harboring a run-away New Orleans juvenile. Since it developed I had nothing to do with it I was released. Then I was arrested for a "crime against nature", allegedly committed with a New Orleans minor. I was held incommunicado until a friendly bondsman learned of my plight and bailed me out and summoned Mr. Graffagnino, whom I had not known prior to this time. At the time of the arrest the police refused to divulge the charge.
When I finally learned of the charge and the person allegedly making it, I took two witnesses and confronted the said New Orleans minor. He admitted that he made the charges. But, he insisted to myself and witnesses that he had been compelled to sign the charges or face a jail term. Thereafter, he signed a statement exonerating me, and indicating how he came to sign them. The following day he came, of his own volition, and signed a second statement. The New Orleans authorities were apprised of this.
Thereupon one of these same policemen returned to the New Orleans juvenile and compelled him to sign a second statement stating he had been "intimidated" by me, and these same police claimed to be able to "produce eight witnesses to the intimidation". The New Orleans minor has now apparently disappeared since the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's office has been unable to locate him.
During this time it was learned that my telephone was tapped. The telephone company and the government was notified. The tap wire was found, but it had been cut so that the source of the receiving apparatus could not be ascertained. Recently a second tap occurred.
On October 24, my brother, who lives and works in the North, had pressure applied to him. One of the officials of his company summoned [?] him and threatened his job unless it could be ascertained that our family had no further connection with any activity involving the liberation of Cuba, or other activities resisting Communist take-over in the Caribbean area.
Two other events occured which will not be discussed here, at this time.
All of the foregoing has been climaxed by an extortion attempt, the revelation of which is dangerous to my safety. I have been told "everything will be forgotten" if
(1) I pay a substantial sum of money;
(2) leave the state of Louisiana;
(3) keep this "offer" a secret "or else".
For obvious reasons this cannot be reported to local police, and WILL NOT be reported. However, it has been reported to Federal authorities for whatever action they can take.
At this time we do not know the chain-of-command of the Communists at the local level. However, my problems have been traced with certainty to a highly placed local official. We have positive evidence that this official is a Communist and has been in charge of some highly-important Communistic activities involving the protection of Communists in the area. Whether Communists within Eastern Air Lines are involved is not known at this time.
There are several points about which our curiosity is deepening. We are wondering about the legality of my suspension from flying. We are curious about your statement (to Mr. Graffagnino, Senor Arcacha and myself) that someone in authority over you has indicated that my activities regarding Cuba be stopped. We are curious about your implication that Eastern has piled up other things against me. (I understand from ALPA that it is an Eastern practice to try to accumulate a file to be used against an individual as it suits the company.) Likewise, we are wondering whether the public interest would be better served if we released names of Communists and Fellow- Travelers employed by Eastern Air Lines.
Beyond yourself, no one knows of the composition of this letter, including Mr. Graffagnino. I have prepare[d] only a file copy which is secured in a strong box with certain other pertinent documents. As indicted in paragraph 4, page 1, I shall hold you personally responsible if information is released by you to my harm. In particular I am referring to paragraph 3 of this page.
Be assured that civil suits are in preparation (and probably more will be prepared) against any and every individual, organization and/or group responsible in any way for any damages that have occured to me during this affair.
Captain David W. Ferrie
[end of letter]
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