Home/ Resources / Projects / CIA Cryptonyms / cryptonym: PATHFINDER

Cryptonym: PATHFINDER

Definition:
A plan to assassinate Castro that might have been turned to other purposes, such as killing JFK.
Status:
Documented
Sources:

1993.08.05.14:42:12:750028: SECURITY FILE ON FRANK STURGIS

Early 1960s: Re 3/21/75 Memorandum for the Record by Edward S. Cates, Chief, Imagery Exploitation Group, NPIC: "...A folder, stored in the Photo interpretation area at JMWAVE contained materials relating to a plan to assassinate Castro in the Bay of Pigs resort where he maintained a yacht and was known to vacation. This plan, possibly with the codeword PATHFINDER, apparently had been disapproved and was not under active consideration at the time. Our people did not participate actively in the plan in any regard. "While assigned to the Imagery Analysis Service, a number of our photo interpreters supported Carl Jenkins of the DD/P concerning a plan to assassinate Castro at the Dupont Varadero beach estate, east of Havana. Castro was known to frequent the estate and the plan was to use a high-powered rifle in the attempt."

Bill Kelly, JFKcountercoup: PATHFINDER - Parts 1 - 5 The Plan to Kill Castro -http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2018/12/pathfinder-parts-1-5-plan-to-kill.html

"...We first learned about the Pathfinder files from the Congressional records released under the JFK Act of 1992, when it was recorded on the official record that in 1975 Dino Brugioni of the NPIC informed the CIA top brass that three NPIC technicians who were assigned to the Miami, anti-Castro Cuban JMWAVE station recalled working on the PATHFINDER program that was an assassination plan to kill Castro. ...these NPIC technicians...came forward to make their superiors aware of two CIA contingency plans to kill Castro and one to kill his brother Raoul. ...(The Raoul plot was) a “drive by” maritime speed boat attack on a Cuban North Shore estate where Fidel Castro’s brother Raoul ostensibly lived, hoping he was in residence, and that mission may have even taken place...“Rip Robertson,” one of only two Americans to go ashore at the Bay of Pigs, was connected to this operation. The other two contingency plans are much more relevant to the assassination of President Kennedy, and... given the code name PATHFINDER. The NPIC technicians said that they not only assisted in the contingency plan for “PATHFINDER,” supplying photos and maps of the target areas, but the PATHINDER files were kept in the NPIC section of the JMWAVE station, rather than in the station’s Operational Files, where they would normally be kept. ...PATHFINDER was a contingency plan to kill Castro with high powered rifles when he drove by in an open jeep near the Bay of Pigs, which apparently became somewhat of a tourist attraction and resort area after the failed invasion in April 1961. It was reported that Castro kept a boat docked there." While the PATHFINDER plan was, according to the NPIC techs, ““disapproved” by “higher authority” (aka JFK and RFK), another, similar plan was devised to kill Castro in a sniper attack when he drove by in an open jeep to Xandau, the former North Shore Dupont estate, once owned by the Delaware Dupont family, but frequented by Castro.

Larry Hancock, Somebody Would Have Talked: http://jfkcountercoup2.blogspot.com/2012/09/larry-hancock-someone-would-have-talked.html

Gene Wheaton, Carl Jenkins & the ARRB: (p. 481): “In October, 1995 Gene Wheaton faxed a communications to John Tunheim, Chairman of the newly organized Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB). Wheaton simply informed Tunheim that he might have some relevant information regarding the Board’s inquiry. Wheaton included a four page personal biography as background, as well as a letter of commendation from the White House, signed by President Nixon, in recognition of Wheaton’s work in the global war against heroin (awarded for his activities while working in Iran).” “….John Tunheim responded to Wheaton‘s offer of information with a brief letter on October 25, 1995, thanking him for his interest and informing him that a Review Board staff member would be in touch with him. It appears that no further communication was directed to Wheaton until a blanket ARRB notice went out to individuals who had contacted the Board. In response, Wheaton faxed the Board a one page CV he’d prepared for a retired CIA officer whom he describes as a ‘very close friend’ in the 1980’s (February 15, 1996).” From Wheaton’s CV, it is apparent to Larry Hancock that, among other things, Wheaton’s CIA officer friend “As a full time CIA officer, he served as Chief of Base in Florida and later Guatemala in 1960-61. He was responsible for selection and training of cadres for the (Cuba) Exile brigade as well as for selection and management of small teams and agents used in maritime infiltration prior to the Bay of Pig. Following this assignment he served as special warfare advisor to 1 Corps in DaNang, Vietnam prior to returning to become Senior Operations Officer for a still-sensitive project.”

Larry Hancock, Somebody Would Have Talked: http://jfkcountercoup2.blogspot.com/2012/09/larry-hancock-someone-would-have-talked.html

Gene Wheaton, Carl Jenkins & the ARRB (continued): “Recent document releases and research strongly suggests this sensitive duty was the (Manuel) Artime-associated AM/WORLD project, which was heavily compartmentalized within the CIA and which had its own staff independent of JM/WAVE... After service on the special Cuban project, Wheaton’s friend was assigned as senior advisor to the Dominican National Police, then as Senior Advisor on Security and Training in Nicaragua, and eventually as Chief of Base, South Laos in 1971-73…” “After receipt of Wheaton’s second communication, Tom Samoluk of the ARRB wrote to Jeremy Gunn in regard to the Wheaton letters. Samoluk pointed out that the Board would need to decide whether or not it should assign an investigator to respond to such correspondence, to evaluate the person’s credibility and value in the Board’s search for documents. He also noted that he would be available to discuss the correspondence and any larger relevant issues.” “Apparently as a result, ARRB staff member Anne Buttimer was assigned to contact Wheaton. There are records of contact with Wheaton in an April telephone call (Buttimer recorded as a ‘outside contact report’ for that call). Wheaton informed Buttimer that he had no specific documents that would offer information about the conspiracy but that he could produce documents which would substantiate the nature and general activities of the people through he had obtained information about the assassination conspiracy. He cited his sources on the assassination as Cuban exiles who had confirmed that exiles originally trained for attacks on Castro had killed JFK, considering him to have been a traitor. He also stated that ‘people above the Cubans wanted JFK killed for other reasons.’ Wheaton concluded with the cryptic remark, ‘the matter is not complex, but it is convoluted.’”

http://www.publicrecordmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/whea/WHEA_pd_GW26005.pdf

Carl E. Jenkins, Consultant Resume-December 1985 Box 2640, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042 U.S.A. SUMMARY OF U.S. GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE Feb-Nov 85 Consultant, DOD/ISA/Africa, designed Coastal Security Program 1984-85 Consultant (pro bono public) Central American Specialist with Undersecretary of State for Security Assistance, Science, & Technology. 1973 – Requested early retirement from CIA at conclusion of hostilities in SE Asia. 1971-73 Chief of Base, South Laos. Command responsibility for 50 U.S. & 600 local and third country national employees, annual budget @ $15 million; operational guidance, training and support for 10,000+ regular & guerrilla forces; liaison among U.S., Lao, & third country units & officials. 1969-70 Plans/Programs/Budget Officer for Laos Country Program 1966-68 Senior Advisor, Internal Security Operations & Training, Republic of Nicaragua 1965-66 Senior Advisor, Dominican Republic National Police for counterinsurgency program design & training. 1964-65 Senior Operations Advisor for a still-sensitive Cuban project (Handwritten notation – Castro assassination program) 1961-1963 Special Warfare Advisor to I Corps Commander, Danag, SVN; Chief of Hoa Cam training cetnr; responsible for counterinsurgency program design & operational activities of 1 “B” & 11 “A” Detachments, U.S. Army Special Forces. 1960-61 Chief of Base for Cuban project, first in Florida, then in Guatemala; responsible for selection & training of cadre, assignment of officers for invasion brigade, maritime infiltration & operational management of small teams and individual agents 1958-59 Training & Operations Officer for maritime infiltration of small teams in SE Asia project involving Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines 1955-58 Far East Training Station – Instructor in paramilitary tactics & resistance organizations; Station Plans & Operations Officer; trained cadres for Thai Border Police and Chinese Nationalist Special Forces (Goes back to 1944)

Contributors:
Bill Kelly • Bill Simpich

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