Re: How Nashville has changed since Jim Reeves' day
Posted by Larry Jordan on December 12, 2014, 11:31 am, in reply to "Re: How Nashville has changed since Jim Reeves' day"
The crash site is just off a main north/south roadway -- Franklin Road -- and this was rush hour when the plane crossed that highway, made a turn and then an even steeper turn and flew momentarily parallel to the high voltage power lines, before the right wing went down, the left wing went up, the plane lost its lift, and went nose down into the woods, all in a matter of seconds. |
A man who lived just south of the woods heard the sound of the engine as it began revving and saw the plane as the above maneuvers took place and witnessed the crash. He did not call authorities because he felt he didn't need to do so; people were turning onto his street, flinging their car doors open and even leaving their engines running to dash on foot across his lawn, trample down his fence, and cross Baxter Lane to the woods WITHIN MOMENTS OF THE PLANE GOING DOWN.
Why did authorities NEVER INTERVIEW THIS MAN? He gave his first-ever interview for my book (on videotape). For that matter, why did the Nashville press state that the plane went down behind the home of A.L. Jerden, who was away at the time -- when the fact is, this guy didn't even own the woods. That property actually belonged to the house to the east and that woman was at home at the time of the crash, but was never interviewed by reporters. Nor were neighbors across the street to the south, OR the house with the dormers that was to the west of the crash (that can be briefly glimpsed near the end of the crash scene video as the camera pans from right to left and then looks at the woods).
Now does it still sound plausible to you nobody knew where the plane was?
Even the Nashville media reported that a teenage girl had told her mother Saturday morning of having felt a huge vibration, as if something had hit her house, and heard a loud crash late on the afternoon of July 31st. She lived to the east of the woods and had walked in that direction and saw a little smoke but nothing else. But her mother notified authorities of this Saturday morning -- ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY for them to search those woods!
Why was the search party assembled at the corner of Franklin and Baxter on Friday night, and why did Civil Defense workers meet at a house a very short distance away? This was attested to by Bob Newton, who worked with U.S. military intelligence in Southeast Asia but was in Nashville at the time and in fact described for my book how he got caught in the intense downpour. He supposedly did not find the plane until Sunday, but he was in the vicinity of the downed aircraft within minutes of its disappearance from radar.
There is yet another reason why the federal government would have known about that plane crash (aside from the fact that the Nashville airport tower supervisor, Halmond Atkins, called FAA headquarters in Atlanta). An extremely important eyewitness was in the neighborhood -- which I have not yet revealed and probably will not discuss until the next edition of my book. But it will blow your mind.
That street was sealed off right after the crash, I believe to keep people from going into that woods because authorities wanted an opportunity to search it first.
Why was secrecy so important, and as Bill Larson pointed out, the emphasis was NOT on rescuing accident victims who may have still been alive? Unless authorities knew right away the crash had been fatal.
John Hornaday, the FAA man who was on duty that weekend, is the one who can be seen in the crash scene video I posted on YouTube, standing amidst the carnage with body parts laying all around, granting TV interviews -- including to a reporter standing there with a microphone in hand. Truly sacrilege. Meanwhile, Hornaday let scores of people mill about (though the public at large was kept back by police). The man who shot the video, who was the bus driver for Marty Robbins, was first told by a cop he couldn't enter the woods but he walked on past him anyway with his camera.
So Hornaday stood around while all sorts of people who should NOT have been there, milled about, thus contaminating the crash scene and compromising the investigation. Does that make sense? Either he was grossly incompetent or he knew the site had already been searched, so it didn't matter by that point. They HAD to recover the human remains, and men with plastic bags and gloves combed the area picking up pieces of flesh, etc. This can be seen in the video.
As for what was in the all-important briefcase, we can only speculate. I don't think "divorce papers" would be a compelling reason for officials to behave the way they did and divert the search efforts.
While the plane crash *may* have been an accident, what happened afterward is what raised suspicions.
Jim had a relationship with the U.S. State Dept. About this there can be no doubt. He had done many military shows, including on foreign military bases. He also was able to get band members like Leo and Bud out on unscheduled furloughs whenever he wanted, during the time these guys were in the service. Who has that kind of clout? He also landed his plane at military airports besides commercial airports. General aviation pilots DON'T ordinarily do this.
As an entertainer Reeves had access to areas the lay public did not. It was not uncommon during the Cold War era for the federal government to recruit celebrities to help. After all, testimony now establishes the CIA had enlisted members of organized crime to try to kill Cuban president Fidel Castro.
It is also very peculiar that Jim flew to Arkansas to ostensibly view property that was basically marsh land and even to this day has no practical usefulness. And even stranger is that the man he met with WAS OUT ON BAIL FOR HAVING MURDERED A HUSBAND AND WIFE IN COLD BLOOD BY SHOOTING THEM TO DEATH. Clyde Griffin was in the process of trying to burn the dismembered remains of the woman -- one of her legs -- when a Batesville, AR police officer whom I interviewed came upon the scene. Despite the horrific thing he had done, this man ended up walking free due to hung juries!
Is this the sort of individual that Jim Reeves would normally have associated with? I was also told Griffin was a criminal figure.
It surely is noteworthy that Jim Reeves and the Blue Boys played Dewey Groom's nightclub in Dallas the night before the Kennedy assassination and that club had been co-owned by Jack Ruby, the killer of Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of JFK. Jim -- who was notorious for having a photographic memory for names and faces -- said "I would never forget that face" when he saw a picture of Oswald on TV the night of Nov. 22, 1963, and recognized him as having come to his dances, the implication being he may have even seen him the night of Nov. 21st!
The official account of Oswald's movements the night before the JFK murder do not mention a stop at Groom's nightclub, but then no one can account for every minute of Oswald's life or movements. It was certainly theoretically possible he stopped by the club, however briefly. But even if he didn't, the fact that Jim had seen this man is significant. Because it also does not fit the Warren Commission's profile of Lee Oswald as an anti-social recluse. Although even members of Jack Ruby's staff claim to have seen Mr. Oswald and Mr. Ruby together at his club, and other witnesses have claimed to have seen them together.
Jim also stayed at a hotel that was frequented by Jack Ruby (who used to stop by the coffee shop) and Blue Boys told me they and Jim would go to Ruby's strip clubs.
As outlined in my book, the young woman who was the last to see Jim and Dean alive in Batesville, and who worked at the small general store that was adjacent to the landing strip or "airport" south of town -- and who was called by the FAA the night of July 31, 1964 and asked to check the "N" numbers of any aircraft sitting there to make sure Jim's plane was not among them, died shortly thereafter in what was clearly a hit-and-run accident (because parts from another vehicle were found at the car crash scene). Her family believes she was murdered.
IF someone wanted to sabotage the Reeves plane it would be easy to do and Bill Larson has explained to me how. And it would have been undetectable during Jim's pre-flight inspection. Also remember he was in a hurry to get home that day as some bad weather was approaching, and he called the weather service station TWICE -- once before leaving the home of Dean Manuel's aunt and uncle -- and again after he arrived at the small Batesville airport a few minutes later. The two men left in such a hurry, Dean accidentally left his shaving kit behind.
There is much more in my book, "Jim Reeves: His Untold Story," than what I have outlined here. There are many lingering mysteries surrounding the tragedy that took the lives of two fine entertainers.
Click below to order my book.
Link: JIM REEVES: HIS UNTOLD STORY