top of page
  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on David Ferrie and the CIA

Updated: Jan 7, 2023

Screen shot from JFK: Destiny Betrayed

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, erroneously claims that David Ferrie flew missions for the CIA. Here is an excerpt from a transcript: (10:14 of episode 4)

Whoopi Goldberg: In the spring of 1963, Oswald moved from Dallas back to his home town of New Orleans, where he began associating with men who, it would be revealed, had clear connections with these government efforts. One of these men, David Ferrie, had been with Oswald in the Civil Air Patrol back in 1955, and was known as an extreme anti-communist. He was also a trainer and a pilot for the CIA in its secret war against Cuba. Oswald was involved with these Cuban exile training activities with Ferrie.

While it is true that Oswald, for a very brief period, was in the Civil Air Patrol at the same time as David Ferrie, there is little evidence that they knew each other.

And David Ferrie was not a trainer for the CIA and he was not a pilot for them either.

James DiEugenio inferred from a December 1967 statement of Mr. Herbert Wagner, a man who had helped David Ferrie with his finances, that Ferrie was involved in Operation Mongoose.

Ferrie also bragged to Wagner about some of his activities.

The Wagner memo above references an Operation Mosquito, which DiEugenio believes is really Operation Mongoose: (page 115 in Destiny Betrayed)

When Operation Mongoose began, Ferrie let it slip that he was part of "Operation Mosquito." Clearly a miscommunication, Ferrie meant Mongoose.

But Wagner definitely heard 'mosquito' - he even made a joke about it. Furthermore, Operation Mongoose took place in 1962 which is after David Ferrie left his Cuban activities to focus on his problems with Eastern Airlines, and his legal problems regarding a morals charge. As mentioned above, Ferrie was ostracized by the Cubans after his August 1961 morals arrest.

New Orleans Times-Picayune, August 26, 1961

Another source for the allegations about David Ferrie was Eladio del Valle. Here is what DiEugenio wrote in Destiny Betrayed: (page 85)

Ferrie developed an obsession for the regime of Fidel Castro. This led him to become more intertwined with the Agency and its underground Cuban exile community in New Orleans. He bombed targets inside of Cuba at the request of former Cuban Congressman Eladio del Valle. Del Valle was linked to the CIA, Santo Trafficante, and Senator George Smathers.

The source for the del Valle claim? None other than the National Enquirer.

The author, Diego Gonzalez Tendedera, claimed to have inside information about Eladio del Valle:

There is no evidence to support any of this.

"I have spent many years examining the life of David Ferrie and his role in the New Orleans milieu. I have conducted numerous interviews with primary sources and obtained or read many thousands of pages of documents relating to these matters.
Ferrie's period of activity with the Cubans was very brief, beginning in late 1960 and abruptly ending in the fall of 1961 after his morals arrests. Throughout most of this period, his whereabouts are established by his employment and other records. He had very little opportunity to fly any missions."

Roy also added:

"Having looked very closely into the career of David Ferrie, while I cannot rule out the possibility that he may have made such flights at some juncture, I make the following observations:
1) Prior to September 1961, Ferrie was flying for Eastern Air Lines three times a week from New Orleans to Houston and other Texas cities, including two overnighters. There would not have been a great deal of opportunity for him to have made such flights from Florida. (And the flight log on his Stinson contains no indication of any such flights.)
2) Prior to April 1961, Ferrie was not fully accepted as an active participant by the anti-Castro Cubans.
3) After his August 1961 morals arrests, Ferrie was soon ostracized by the Cubans. Further, his Stinson soon entered a long period of inactivity.
Ferrie denied ever going to Cuba. However, he did tell a friend about one sojourn into Cuba in August 1960, which he said was for the CIA. He said he was wounded in the process, but his friends doubted this.
So the assertion that Ferrie made "flights" or extensive flights into Cuba is not strongly supported by the evidence."

The friend that Stephen Roy refers to is Al Cheramie who was also a member of CAP. Ramparts writer Bill Turner told Stephen Burton that Al Cheramie could provide more information about Ferrie's "Cuban adventures." Here is an excerpt of a memo that Stephen Burton sent to Jim Garrison:

Here is a transcription:

"I began by reading CHERAMIE the lead TURNER gave me. He said that the reference to FERRIE's gunshot wound was correct only in that FERRIE said that it was a gunshot wound. He saw FERRIE when he returned from Miami when FERRIE said he had been shot while flying for CASTRO in Cuba. However, Cheramie said that the scar looked like a burn. It was in the chest o the extreme right side but had no exit wound. He added that FERRIE was prone to making such false statements."

Another friend of David Ferrie's, Al Landry, told a similar story:

Landry was a fifteen year old kid when this supposedly happened. David Ferrie wanted a relationship with Landry and as Al Cheramie remarked, liked to make up stories. There is no evidence in the autopsy report of such a wound, nor do pictures of Ferrie on his death bed show such a scar.

Stephen Roy writes in his unpublished manuscript, Perfect Villain: David Ferrie and the JFK Mystery:

While the sources on Ferrie's anti-Castro activities from, at the earliest, summer 1959 to about October 1961 are many, detailed, mutually corroborative and reliable, there are no reliable sources for significant anti-Castro activities on his part after October 1961. This is an important point missed in most studies of Ferrie's life and career. The single thread of Al Landry's runaway, pulled by New Orleans area police, led to the virtual collapse of Ferrie's life: his job, his Falcon [CAP] group, his position in the anti-Castro group and his standing in the community. While he would have loved to have continued on in the fight against Castro, nobody would have him. What scattered reports there are of anti-Castro activities by Ferrie in 1962 and 1963, such as running training camps, all come from sources of questionable reliability and are impossible to corroborate. Ferrie had other battles to fight.

There is no evidence that David Ferrie worked for the CIA and no evidence that he flew missions for them. There is also no evidence that he was involved with any anti-Castro Cuban training activities with Lee Harvey Oswald.


Previous Relevant Blog Posts on JFK: Destiny Betrayed

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, makes it appear that Israel was about to use nuclear weapons in the 1973 Yom Kippur war. A key important fact was left out.

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, features Dr. Charles Crenshaw to bolster its claim that President Kennedy was shot from the front. Viewers are not informed of Dr. Crenshaw's credibility problems

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, misleads viewers into thinking the Harper fragment was occipital bone that came from the back of Kennedy's head

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, tries to make the case that because Parkland Hospital doctors saw cerebellum extruding from Kennedy's head wound, that it indicated an exit wound.

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series JFK: Destiny Betrayed uses a variety of supposed witnesses to allege that the wound in the back of Kennedy's head was one of exit. Audrey Bell is one such witness and she doesn't have much credibility.

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, misleads viewers on the motivations of Jack Ruby.

An essay on the intellectual monstrosity of JFK: Destiny Betrayed.

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, misleads viewers into believing that Otto Otepka uncovered evidence that Oswald was a fake defector.

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, alleges that Jack Ruby was signaled by car horns in the basement of the Dallas Police Department. The evidence clearly shows that there were many horns being sounded in the basement.

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, misleads viewers by intimating that that there was a through-and-through hole in the windshield. This is simply not true.

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, makes the erroneous claim that Lee Harvey Oswald was not paid for his last quarter of service in the U.S. Marines.

JFK: Destiny Betrayed needlessly, and unfairly, criticizes the Sixth Floor Museum.

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, alleges that an extra bullet was found in JFK's limousine the evening of the assassination. This is just not true.

JFK: Destiny Betrayed alleges the CIA was involved in an assassination plot against French President Charles de Gaulle. Scenes from a fictional film are used to buttress the allegation. The truth - the CIA had nothing to do with the supposed plot.

The evidence is clear - Robert Kennedy wanted Allen Dulles on the Warren Commission.

Jim Garrison is AWOL in Oliver Stone's so-called documentary JFK: Destiny Betrayed.

Previous Relevant Blog Posts on JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass

Oliver Stone is disappointed that no major movie or TV reviewers have commented on his so-called documentary.

Yes, Oliver Stone is an alterationist.

James Kirchick's terrific article on Oliver Stone and homosexuality.

Just when I thought conspiracy theorists couldn't get any crazier.

Tracy Parnell debunks a series about JFK Revisited on the WhoWhatWhy website, and Andrew Jackson debunks the film on Quora. Both articles are well worth your time.

Did Saundra Spencer really develop a completely different set of autopsy photographs?

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary tries to make the case that a White House photographer took photos at the autopsy. The only problem is that there is no evidence he was actually there.

Stone misspeaks on the Joe Rogan show about JFK's brain.

Stone misspeaks on the Joe Rogan show and I present a challenge to conspiracy theorists.

Tracy Parnell dissects Morley's article on JFK assassination documents and "JFK Revisited"

Did President Kennedy actually say that he was going to shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the wind?

David Talbot claims that JFK told the French Ambassador that he was not in full control of his entire government. There is no evidence he ever said that.

"JFK Revisited" Misleads on Supposed CIA Support of the 1961 Coup Attempt in France Oliver Stone's so-called documentary claims the CIA supported the 1961 coup attempt against French President Charles de Gaulle in 1961. The only thing missing is evidence.

Max Boot: Oliver Stone just can't stop spreading lies about JFK's assassination.

Did Gerald Ford really disclose to French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing that the JFK assassination was a conspiracy? Perhaps not.

Robert Kennedy, Jr. believes in a massive conspiracy regarding Covid and the intelligence agencies.

While Gerald Ford edited some language in the Warren Report, he did not change the location of the back wound. Autopsy photographs show exactly the location of the back wound.

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary alleges that Oswald was "moved" to Dallas and "placed" in the Texas School Book Depository. This is totally ridiculous.

The preponderance of the evidence indicates JFK's throat wound was one of exit.

"JFK Revisited" Misleads on the Supposed Chicago Plot There is no evidence that there was actually a plot against JFK in Chicago.

Gochenaur's writings don't back up his allegations in JFK Revisited.

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary claims that Guy Banister gave Oswald a room at 544 Camp Street. The evidence does not support the allegation.

Dr. Robert Kirschner's consultation with the ARRB explains a mystery in the documentary.

JFK Revisited makes a big deal about the weight of JFK's brain and ignores a non-conspiratorial explanation.

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary makes it sound like the autopsy photographer said that he did not take the photos of JFK's brain that are in the current inventory,

Oliver Stone took to Twitter last weekend to bemoan the fact that the mainstream press is ignoring his so-called documentary, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass.

There is something really obscene about Oliver Stone once again going after Clay Shaw.

You won't learn everything you need to know about Connally's position on the shots from Oliver Stone's so-called documentary.

Oliver Stone tries to make it seem like Marina Porter has denied taking the backyard photographs of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Oliver Stone once again raises the issue of the legitimacy of the backyard photographs of Lee Harvey Oswald.

This post debunks every witness that has ever claimed Shaw was Bertrand.

He cannot imagine any sort of non-conspiratorial explanations for any of the suspicious pieces of evidence in his film.

No, Clay Shaw was not a "contract agent."

Steve Roe Blog Posts on JFK Revisited & JFK: Destiny Betrayed

JFK: Destiny Betrayed doesn't tell the whole truth about Dr. Malcolm Perry.

Steve Roe finds additional evidence that debunks the allegation in JFK: Destiny Betrayed

that Oswald not paid by the Marines for the 3rd quarter of 1959.

Stone and DiEugenio falsely accuse the Sixth Floor Museum as openly promoting Oswald as the Assassin.

An exchange of letters between James DiEugenio and Jeremy Gunn of the ARRB.

Is This How Real Documentaries Are Made? There is some 'interesting' editing in Oliver Stone's so-called documentary.

JFK Revisited Screen Writer Crawfishes on Dallas to Chicago Airmail Overnight Delivery James DiEugenio changes his story on the Klein's money order.

Conspiracy theorist James DiEugenio doesn't understand the history of the mail deliver in the United States.

The truth about Jack Ruby and the FBI.

JFK Revisited: Again, Caught Creating False Mysteries "Stone/DiEugenio hatch another Bogus Mystery with Sinister Strap/Sling Mounts on Oswald's Rifle"

Oliver Stone claims that Oswald could not have been in the sniper's nest on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Steve Roe exposes Stone's mistakes.

In an interview on RT [Russia Today], Oliver Stone says that the throat wound might have been made by a flechette.

Steve Roe presents some examples of Oliver Stone's 'creative' abilities.

Oliver Stone distorts the testimony about Oswald's palmprint on the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page