Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What was reburied with JFK when he was reintered in 1967?

A Wilbur Vault...It is what Kennedy's coffin has laid in since 1963. It has never been opened since then, or tampered with.

There has always been a question of what became of some of the materials dealing with the Kennedy assassination. The locker with all the important items had been under the control of several people. Mainly Evelyn Lincoln, JFK's very loyal secretary, and afterwards Robert Kennedy.

In February 1966 JFK's bronze casket that his body had been transported in from Dallas was dumped by the military into the Atlantic Ocean in 9,000 feet of water. This was done under the supervision of Robert Kennedy.

Many have wondered if indeed all the lab samples, blood samples and Brain Matter were also dumped into the sea. I would take a guess and say why not? RFK had already lied through his teeth about most of what had happened in the Kennedy White House and also the battles that took place in the background over the body, autopsy, and some of the organs removed from the body to hide evidence.
So I would guess that in that casket was placed things that would not last in an ocean environment. Makes sense.
Many people think that many of the items were buried again with Kennedy when his casket (enclosed in a vault) was moved to a new site. Here is some information, from the House Assassination Committee on the re interment, which the head of Arlington National Cemetery under oath tells what he recalled and did.

After failing to determine the fate of the missing
materials by tracing that chain of custody, the committee
investigated the possibility that someone had placed the missing
autopsy items all of which were physical specimens taken from the
body of President Kennedy, in the final grave on reinterment, on
March 14, 1967. The persons contacted who were present for the
ceremony could not recall any additional package or material being
placed in the grave. The Superintendent of Arlington National
Cemetery from 1951 to 1972 John Metzler, informed the committee
that he attended the burial of the President and the reinterment.
At the time of burial, the coffin was placed in a "Wilbur" vault,
which has a lid and vault that operate on a tongue and groove
system. Tar is placed on the points of contact of the grooves to
insure a tight fit and permanent seal. Metzler witnessed the
lowering of the lid and the sealing of the vault, and believed
that the only method to open the vault subsequently would be to
break the lid on the main portion of the vault.

Metzler supervised the reinterment in 1967 and was
present at all phases of the transfer: from the opening of the old
site through the transfer by crane of the vault to the closing of
the new site Metzler said there was no way anyone could have
placed anything in the coffin or vault during the transfer without
his seeing it. Metzler also said that nothing could have been
placed in the vault since 1963 because there was no indication of
damage to the vault indicating any disturbance. Metzler stated
further that no one placed anything in the new or old gravesite
besides the vault.

So my thoughts are that they were tossed into the sea...within a week there would be nothing left of the evidence, and it would be lost forever....I cannot prove it...But if I wanted to get rid of some real sensitive material, man that is the way to do it.
Of course Robert Kennedy was very keen to get rid of as much evidence as possible. I am sure he did, and by this action has robbed the future of evidence that would help us understand. But what he needed to hide was all the problems that the President had, and all the drugs he was on.

Robert Kennedy was not alone. He was joined by a totally incompetent autopsy crew, a totally messed follow up on most areas of evidence, and a ill informed investigation team, and the lack of security on items that were important to the investigation of a murder.
I am not of the feeling it was conspiracy as much as it was bungled by some really piss poor people who had no right or qualifications to do what they did.

By the poor actions by the President, the Warren Commission, and Robert Kennedy's illegal taking of government property, the case became a shame. That is why we are so confused today and can never let this case die. Because these people really screwed it all up for us.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

23 great car ads from the 1930's.....Some of those ads and cars were amazing...It was a great era for the cars and of course art deco

I have lots of ads for cars from much of the 20th century. I was doing some research on ships and kept finding great car ads. So I thought I would share a few with you. I guess I found around 50 ads from the 1930's. They are in magazines so many of them will be crooked as they part of the entire piece. I will add some more another time. But for now enjoy this artistic and commercial blast from the past....Happy motoring...

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Normandie...The wonder ship from France ... Some items from her maiden arrival and mementos of her short sailing life 1935-1939

The Normandie was news..She was the wonder ship from France. She was an art deco wonder. Her arrival was noted and heralded in the press. All kinds of ads had her picture on it.
Here is a massive ad for the maiden arrival in NYC for the Normandie.

Here are some drawings of her interiors as pictured in Fortune Magazine June 1935

Here is an original French line advertising picture of the liner. This was the standard picture used at French Line offices.

Another shot taken in New York Harbor and used for advertising.

The Normandie was an amazing vessel. Perhaps one of the greatest ships built in the 20th century. She was an art gallery afloat. She was the pride of France. Everything that France could do to make her a success was done. She was ever so popular. Always on the minds of people. But she never made money.

By the time she had all the bugs worked out and starting a career. Clouds of war covered Europe. She was brought to the United States and impounded there starting in 1939. By 1942 through stupidity, and possible terrorism she was destroyed by fire and sunk by New York City fire boats that poured so much water onto the ship that she capsized and was a total loss.

I will write more about her end later. For now we look at the living ship and her maiden voyage. She took the Blue Ribbon as the fastest ship on the Atlantic. I have been on a ship kick here over the last few days, and it has been a pleasure adding some of these stories and pictures of rare artifacts dealing with these many vessels.

The two great German Ocean liner companies that worked out of the Hoboken, New Jersey piers...A few mementos of their time there

When you sailed out of Hoboken on one of the ocean greyhounds of either the Hamburg-American line or the North German Lloyd company you would get a book that explained the ships, the companies, the rules of seaboard travel, a little saber rattling against other companies, and some good old fashioned press puffery. The red book is from around 1907, while the blue book is from around 1899. In fact it was the height of success for these companies.
For before WWI these companies had some of the fastest ocean liners on earth. The German vessels were among the few to carry more lifeboats than the American or British ships. Also they were well known for their expert service.
Enrico Caruso, the famous operatic tenor usually took German vessels to Europe. The great composer Victor Herbert did as well.
They were very fashionable. Even when the British Lusitania came out in 1907, she did not take away a great deal of the loyal following the German vessels had.

Also in Hoboken which was like walking into Germany at times at the turn of the century. The crews of these ships always had loyal friends who enjoyed their company and language. So these were always mementos cherished from a voyage.

Here you will see the inside of the Red book from the Hamburg American Line. It shows its mighty vessel of the time, the Deutschland of 1900. Which was a 4 funneled vessel that held the blue ribbon for a while.

Here you see the inside of the blue book from the North German Lloyd Company and its flagship for the time, which was the Kaiser Willhelm Der Grosse of 1897.

Here is an excellent way to show the size of these vessels. Here you see the Kaiser Willhelm Der Grosse compared to other structures on earth. Showing how long she was by standing her on end. One thing you will notice is the 4 funnels that the German vessels had. They were in pairs, two and two. This style started with this vessel. She was the first of the famous 4 stackers. The style would be copied by all the major shipping companies like Hamburg American, Cunard, and lastly White Star.

On June 30, 1900 there was a massive blaze at the Hoboken piers. In fact it not only destroyed the piers but there is a tragic part to this story that would affect ocean liners from then on. One of the 3 vessels burned that day was a ship called the Saale. On the other vessels the crews were able to escape. However, on the Saale the crew was trapped below while the top of the vessel was engulfed in flames. The flames were slowly working their way down into the vessel. There was no point of escape for the crew, as the portholes were too small to let a man through. So the area all around the piers was stricken by the howls and screams of the the burning men. It was horrid scene. The burning of that ship in 1900, and the needless loss of those crewmen led to the changing of all ships from that point, and the changing of those in service already. That every vessel that carries passengers and crew must have portholes large enough to allow a man to crawl through.
This very large (3 feet wide) original framed advertising photo was made in late 1913 by the Hamburg-American Line. It was their newest super ship called Imperator. It was larger by far than what was then the largest ships in the world, the Olympic and the now sunk Titanic. It was a massive vessel with an ugly creature on its bow to extend it's length. A wave did the world an honor and broke the ugly thing from the bow. She made her maiden voyage in 1913 and within a trip or two it was found that she was terribly top heavy. There was a massive amount of cement poured into the keel and the 3 massive funnels were shortened 15 feet.By late 1913 she looked like this picture you see here. This is a most unusal photograph of the vessel. With in months she would be interned and never sail again as a German vessel. She would in time become the Cunard Berengaria. So this view of her is most rare indeed.

By 1905 new steel piers were constructed on the Hoboken waterfront. Some of them are still partially there.

Now we can see in this large advertising portrait what they wanted the Imperator to look like. Several things in this painting show themselves. 1.The nasty looking monster on the bow is there. 2. There are more lifeboats than Carter's had liver pills, as the Titanic had just sunk and all the lifeboats were painted a darker color, so you could see them. 3. Not easy to see but there were search lights on the front of the vessel to spot icebergs. Which in light of the Titanic disaster, which when this was painted had been only months ago was a very important feature. 4. 3 massive funnels, not four like before, they were setting a new trend and they knew it. 5. Sheer size, nothing like this had ever existed before. These where the first of the massive super liners. While Cunard's Lusitania class and White Star's Olympic class were large, they were not of this league. The 3 Imperator class vessels of Hamburg-American were of a class all to themselves. I will admit they were not as pretty as the British vessels, but they were truly super liners of a new and frighteningly massive scale.

This is a photo of one of the German vessels in the pier. The Hoboken piers were very busy with shipping and ocean travel from the 1880's till 1914. When WWI started in Europe, although neutral the United States impounded most of the German fleet in Hoboken. It was like a holiday in Hoboken in those innocent days of 1914 and 1915. The bands from the vessels would give concerts. The Captains would find themselves guests at all the major dinner parties. The war was not seen or felt in the United States.
But by 1915 with the sinking of the Lusitania and a lot of really good propaganda by the British, the Germans were demonized. They were not worse than the British. Just like them in many ways. Their leaders were related by blood. But by 1916 the crews were confined to their ships and some were returned to Germany. Many saw the writing on the wall. They knew the United States was going to come to the side of England. So many of the crews began to destroy the inner workings of many of their vessels. Making sure they would not work. War brings out mush of the worst of us.

When the United States entered the war in 1917, it had a harbor of unusable ships. There was several months involved in getting the vessels operational. Soon Hoboken became a spot where many soldiers left to go to battle on vessels that knew the port well, but were flying another flag and bringing soldiers to fight the people who had built the very vessels themselves.

RMS Titanic's sister ship. The RMS Olympic. A postcard written on board the great vessel in the late 1920's

They write "At Sea" The card says they are nearing the coast of France. I guess this card was bought on board and then posted at the ships post office. The days of ships like the Olympic and her unfortunate sisters Titanic and Britannic are long since gone.
One rarely takes a voyage to get somewhere..Today it is the cruise. I know we have so much today in the way of technology. But I often wonder do we really have it better?
In our world of high speed and rush, rush...I often think the idea of a 6 days ocean voyage just to get somewhere seems like a gift from the gods.

Well as the person who sailed on The Olympic wrote "This voyage has been perfect. Sunny skies and calm seas and a salt breeze that has blown all the cobwebs out of my brain." I think we could all use a trip on that grand ship if she was still with us. But sadly she like her sisters are from another time and are long gone....The last of the Olympic was torn apart 70 years ago this year.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The last of the major 4 stacked liners to go into atlanic ferry service. Cunard's RMS Aquatania 1914-1950. The last of a breed..

Here you see the original advertising print put out by Cunard on their latest ship. The Aquatania. The great vessel served in 2 world wars. Carried more passengers than one could ever imagine. Sailed over a million miles. She was lovingly called the ship beautiful. She was in this her first design. In later years they added a wheel house to the front of the ship forever destroying her beautiful lines...

But this is how Cunard wanted the world to see their newest ship in 1914. The great Aquatania.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Smoking cigarettes in the 1930's ...Everyone did ...Here are some ads that prove that smoking is good for you. :)

They calm your nerves
They don't get your wind...says big Bill Tilden the champion tennis player.
You get a lift says "Cliff" Montgomery ..Football player.
Yankees iron man Lou Gehrig says they do not get your wind and give you strength. So mild that athletes smoke as many as they please.
Gives you a lift and energy so you can build better buildings.

Today we know better...Perhaps they knew better then too. But everyone smoked. I remember as a boy going into my doctors office. He was smoking, so was his nurse. Jackie Kennedy smoked, Franklin D. Roosevelt smoked, teachers smoked. Every store, every supermarket, had cigarette butts all over the floor. It was natural.
TV stars smoked, newscasters smoked, and so many people died from the effects of them.

Yes, it did not get your wind...It removed your ability to create it..It gave you heart decease, lung cancer, high blood pressure, and breath not unlike that of an ash tray. So it is good that the habit and practice is slowly vanishing from our world. It will not happen tomorrow or maybe in 25 years. But in time it mainly go. But there will always be some who will never give it up. I wish them well and no ill will. But I would like to wish them that at a distance :)

The end of the line....The last voyage of the RMS Aquatania in Feb. 1950

The ship beautiful as she was called was on her way to scrap yard. After 35 years under one house flag. She did what few ships would ever do. In the story on this blog before this, you see the first pictures of the ship when she was being introduced to the world. Here is as she looked as she said goodbye.

But she was not the graceful ship she was in 1914. The bridge was an after thought and certainly looked it. The grace that was the Aquatania was from another era. The ship that came out before radio was introduced, left the world when TV would broadcast her fate.
She was also the only 4 stacked liner to be filmed in color. Sadly that color footage would be of her trip to the bone yard. But none the less we have some. She was the last survivor of the old four stacked liners. After her it was all over. But what an era it was.