Here's Everything The Declassified JFK Files Reveal
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, is still one of the most hotly debated and controversial moments in American history. Unfortunately, those hoping the declassified JFK files – which began being made public in October 2017 –reveal the ultimate truth after all this time will be disappointed. The files aren’t any more conclusive than the official investigations that have been held, and they do nothing to dissuade those who continue to perpetuate conspiracy theories about “what really happened.” However, the files are chock full of all sorts of interesting government secrets and confidential documents, and there’s still plenty of wild, salacious stuff in them to feed Kennedy conspiracies and snag the curiosity of the amateur historian.
But what’s in the JFK files?
- Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-2004-1202-504 / CC-BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons
CIA Sources Claimed Hitler Was Alive And Living In Colombia
One of the most buzz-worthy JKF files reveals that Adolf Hitler may have survived World War II, instead of committing suicide in his Berlin bunker. It's hard to believe for some, but that’s exactly what one piece of declassified info in the JFK files claims, alleging that Hitler escaped to Colombia to live out his elderly years in “an idolatry of his Nazi past.”
According to the CIA source, who said he got the information from a former SS agent, Hitler (or a Hitler doppelganger) was living in a remote town under the name “Adolf Schritteimayor” and still insisted on being addressed as “der Führer” by other escaped ex-Nazis who populated his neighborhood.
There were definitely some Nazis who managed to smuggle themselves to South America in the wake of the German surrender in 1945, but this particular tale seems more than a little spurious.
- Photo: Marina Oswald/Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
Lee Harvey Oswald Was Apparently Well-Known To Cuban Operatives
There still seems to be more to Lee Harvey Oswald than even the released JFK files can illustrate. His past, which included meetings and some sort of collaboration with Cuban and Soviet officials, is still fairly murky, and one of the declassified reports hints that it may have more to do with the assassination than previously verified.
In the report, a Cuban intelligence officer mentions, in the wake of the assassination, he always knew Oswald was a “good shot.” When he was asked how he knew that, the intelligence officer responded with “I knew him.” The details of that relationship remain unclear.
According to The History Channel's analysis of the JKF files:
Speculation about Oswald’s activities on his Mexico trip have long fueled one of the most popular JFK-related conspiracy theories, which argues that Cuban dictator Fidel Castro plotted to assassinate Kennedy as revenge for the Bay of Pigs invasion. In the 1970s, revelations that the Kennedy administration made various attempts to assassinate Castro fueled the idea that Castro acted first against Kennedy.
- Photo: Abbie Rowe, National Park Service / Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
JFK May Have Had Wild Parties With The Rat Pack
Some of the recently declassified information is more about salacious and scandalous things going on in Kennedy’s personal life. One document in the files involves a report of an expensive female escort who had been approached by a private detective from Los Angeles.
The detective was trying to unearth dirt on Kennedy, attempting to get her to disclose details of supposed “sex parties” that Kennedy, then a senator, was allegedly hosting with members of the “Rat Pack,” including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and others. The investigator even asked the call girl to wear a wire to one of these parties. Instead, she refused, and went to the FBI who filed her report in 1960.
- Photo: Warren K. Leffler / Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
The CIA And The Mob Almost Conspired To Kill Fidel Castro
Some of the documents in the declassified JFK files are about the attempted assassination of an entirely different world leader, Fidel Castro. It has long been known that the CIA was strategizing how best to dispose of the Cuban revolutionary, but the JFK files have revealed a few of their specific plans, like one involving an exploding seashell and poisoned cigars.
However, by far the most scandalous of these suggestions was a plan to secretly partner with noted mobster Sam Giancana to murder Castro. Supposedly, Kennedy himself vetoed this plan, reasoning that it would make it extremely difficult to prosecute the mobsters in the future.
- Photo: Victor Hugo King / Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
An Anonymous Tipper In Britain Predicted JFK’s Assassination Minutes Before It Occurred
Although actually published under the radar by the National Archive, by far the eeriest detail illuminated by the release of the JFK files is a report about a mysterious phone call that seemed to predict the president's assassination minutes before it happened.
According to a declassified memo from the CIA's deputy director to the FBI director, an anonymous person called a reporter at the Cambridge News in England and told them to expect “some big news” from the United States shortly and suggested they call the US embassy in London for details. Then, the mysterious caller hung up, and the call was never traced.
The call was placed at 12:05 pm US Central Standard Time, approximately 25 minutes before Kennedy was shot in Dallas. The Cambridge News, however, had no record or recollection of such a call.
- Photo: Warren Report / Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
The CIA Hid Information About Lee Harvey Oswald Meeting With The Soviets In Mexico City
The JFK files do not portray the CIA in as positive a light as the organization would like. For one, certain documents seem to indicate that the CIA knowingly misled the Warren Commission, the official investigative committee established to investigate Kennedy’s assassination.
The CIA specifically hid details of Lee Harvey Oswald’s travels in Mexico with a man known as “El Mexicano,” along with his visits to Soviet and Cuban embassies in Mexico City. CIA Director Richard Helms is documented as justifying the ruse by stating, “if this had become public knowledge, it would have caused very bad feelings between Mexico and the United States.”