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Cryptonym: LILYRIC

Definition:
One of three photo surveillance sites under the LIEMPTY umbrella project, the only one of the three that photographed license plates of all vehicles entering the compound. LILYRIC was a 3rd story apartment across the street from the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City, south of the LIMITED installation. The other two photo sites were LIMITED and LICALLA.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
LILYRIC would have been a better site to obtain a photo of Oswald than LIMITED. Its focus was to take photos of visitors - the focus of LIMITED was to take photos of employees. When reviewing the LIOVAL-1 records, notice that HQ suggests checking the LICALLA and LIENVOY records for events surrounding the Oswald visit - this seems to be an indication veering the researcher away from asking for the LILYRIC records for the Soviet embassy photosurveillance. What was sensitive about the LILYRIC records? This photosurveillance site was the best place to have photographed Oswald entering or exiting the Soviet consulate. This seems to indicate that the LILYRIC records were a hot topic even then. Note that the final entry (6/24/64 cable from Mexico City to Director) refers to LILYRIC on 9/30 and 10/1 but not on 9/27, even though the photos would be useful to determine if Yatskov was there that day. The MC office seems to be trying to avoid a discussion if Oswald appears or does not appear on the 9/27 LILYRIC photos!! Oswald allegedly came to the Sov consulate on 9/27 and 9/28 - there was no LILYRIC coverage on 9/28 because it was a Saturday. The CIA states that it destroyed the original photos from LILYRIC during May-June 1967 - this was the very time period that the Garrison probe was causing an enormous flap within the Agency. The CIA has never definitively addressed whether the LILYRIC negatives still exist - the HSCA requested these records several times without success.
Sources:

104-10414-10124: MEXICO CITY STATION HISTORY

The LILYRIC base was maintained by LIEMPTY-14, formerly LIJERSEY-12. She was recruited by Raymond H. Gerende. She became the best source among the photographic assets. Her daily logs and reports are detailed and complete. The photographs were sharp and clear...there was no question that LIEMPTY-14 was the best observer of the group.

104-10413-10128: MEMO:BACKGROUND ON MEXICO STATION SUPPORT ASSETS (COVERAGE OF SOVIET AND CUBAN EMBASSIES)

10 Feb 77, Source: Notes made by A. Goodpasture for John Leader, IG Staff: "LILYRIC was planned as an alternate base to LIMITED. It was in an upper story...on the same side of the street as LIMITED but in the middle of the block South. It had a slanted view of the front gate of the Soviet Embassy."

Lopez Report, p. 45: Oswald, the CIA, and Mexico City (aka "Lopez Report")

Map showing LILYRIC in relation to LIMITED and the Cuban Embassy. LILYRIC was run for the second story of its building. Notice how the locations of LIMITED and LILYRIC had switched by 1967: https://maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=39230#relPageId=3&tab=page

Bill Simpich, State Secret, Chapter 4: Mexico City Intrigue – The World of Surveillance http://maryferrell.org/pages/State_Secret_Chapter4.html

LILYRIC provided the best vantage point for photos of visitors, as it was aimed at the Soviet embassy front gate. We have no access to virtually any of these photos – as we will see, the negatives may still exist...Goodpasture testified to the HSCA that LILYRIC photographs were destroyed for space considerations, but she believed that the negatives were still in existence. A review of the Mexico City records indicates that the June-Dec 1963 LILYRIC photos were destroyed in 1967. A couple of LILYRIC photos from October 2, 1963 did survive due, apparently due to FOIA requests made promptly after the Act went into effect in 1967. It looks like Goodpasture is correct - although the logs and contact prints from LILYRIC are “missing”, the negatives of the LILYRIC photos appear to be on file with the CIA.

104-10052-10101: PROJECT RENEWAL

This late 1960 memo on LIEMPTY refers to LILYRIC as the basehouse that provides "clandestine photographs particularly of visitors to, as well as employees of, the LIMERICK (Soviet) installation, prepares weekly reports on LIMERICK employees and their wives, and reports on all license numbers of all cars visiting the installation".

104-10088-10328: Project Liempty (Renewal).

Late 1960 review from field case officer Quintin Ousler to W Curtis (COS Win Scott): Liempty-14 prepares weekly written reports on Sov officers and their wives. LILYRIC focuses on visitors rather than employees. It also photos the visitors' license plates.

180-10143-10144: SUMMARY OF FILE REVIEW

File review shows that LILYRIC was generally operating from 900 to 1400 or 1500 on weekdays. If that was the case on Friday, Sept. 27, it should have picked up Oswald's first visit to the Soviet consulate. (page 7 of 7). "The LILYRIC folder which would have contained photographs and logs for the period 23 July through 30 November 1963 had been re-used to store LICALLA photographs and logs for the period 2 May through 30 June 1967." (page 2 of 7). The document showing the destruction of the LILYRIC file is here: http://maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=4656&relPageId=5&search=licalla

Oleg Nechiporenko, Passport to Assassination, p. 66

At 12:30 pm on 9/27/63 Oswald range the buzzer at the Soviet embassy. The sentry alerted Kostikov, who met Oswald inside, and then turned him over to Nechiporenko. Nechiporenko explained to him that it would take four months to provide him with a Soviet visa.

John Newman, Oswald and the CIA, pp. 356-357 (2008 edition)

Newman provides a table of "sequence of Mexico City Oswald-related events. The table illustrates that Oswald's only visit to the Soviet embassy on 9/27/63 was from approximately 12:30-1:30 pm that day. Newman relies on the above account from Nechiporenko, Duran's testimony that she directed Oswald to the Soviet consulate in the early afternoon, and discussions about Oswald's visit to the consulate in phone calls between Silvia Duran and an officer in the Soviet embassy later that day.

Bill Simpich, State Secret, Chapter 4 - The World of Surveillance (2014)

"Goodpasture testified to the HSCA that LILYRIC photographs were destroyed for space considerations, but she believed that the negatives were still in existence.[ 39 ] A review of the Mexico City records indicates that the June-Dec 1963 LILYRIC photos were destroyed in 1967.[ 40 ] A couple of LILYRIC photos from October 2, 1963 did survive due, apparently due to FOIA requests made promptly after the Act went into effect in 1967.[ 41 ] It looks like Goodpasture is correct - although the logs and contact prints from LILYRIC are “missing”, the negatives of the LILYRIC photos appear to be on file with the CIA.[ 42 ] The HSCA believed that a CIA memo provided additional evidence that Headquarters had custody of the LILYRIC negatives.[ 43 ] Records of these negatives, as well as other photos, tapes, and transcripts, can be found in this CIA chronology.[ 44 ] Despite numerous HSCA requests, the LILYRIC negatives were never produced – it appears that this kind of ambiguity makes certain people very happy. Lopez’s team was frustrated by the realization that this missing evidence made it impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of the Soviet photographic overage."

104-10118-10334: RENEWAL OF PROJECT LIEMPTY

During 1960-61: A dispatch states that "LILYRIC also are concentrated on visitors to the target, as opposed to employees." Back then, LILYRIC operated from "daylight to 1400 hours each day of the week except Sunday", while LIMITED operated from "1400 hours to darkness each day except Sunday."

104-10118-10334: RENEWAL OF PROJECT LIEMPTY

During 1959-60: The LILYRIC base performs the best photography of persons visiting the front gate, perhaps because the vantage point for taking the pictures is from the second floor and above the street traffic which partially blocks LIMITED photographs."

Contributors:
Jerry Ennis • Bill Simpich

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