FILE - In this Dec. 8, 1960 file photo, President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy pose at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington with their son, John F. Kennedy Jr., following a baptism for the infant. The younger Kennedy was born Nov. 25. A documentary film on John Kennedy Jr.'s life opens Friday, July 22, 2016, in select theaters. (AP Photo, File)

Who Called a British Newspaper Minutes Before JFK Was Assassinated?

Nothing conjures up more conspiracy talk than the Kennedy assassination. Regardless of what the endless investigations have concluded, you can poll a hundred people and get a hundred different opinions on what happened.

Now that the Trump administration has released tons of files on the assassination, one document in particular is garnering more than its share of attention. An FBI memo declares that an anonymous caller informed the Cambridge News in the United Kingdom that big news was coming from the United States a full 25 minutes before the assassination took place.

A tipster called a Cambridge News reporter at 6:05 p.m. local time – 12:05 in Dallas – and told him to “call the American Embassy in London for some big news” before hanging up. The assassination occurred at 12:30 p.m. Dallas time.

Here are some excerpts from the transcript of the memo:

The British Security Service (MI-5) has reported that at 1805 GMY on 22 November an anonymous telephone call was made in Cambridge, England, to the senior reporter of the Cambridge News. The caller said only that the Cambridge News reporter should call the American Embassy in London for some big news and then hung up.

After the word of the President’s death was received the reporter informed the Cambridge police of the anonymous call and the police informed MI-5. The important point is that the call was made, according to MI-5 calculations, about 25 minutes before the President was shot. The Cambridge reporter had never received a call of this kind before and MI-5 state that he is known to them as a sound and loyal person with no security record.

MI-5 noted that similar anonymous phone calls of a strangely coincidental nature have been received by persons in the U.K. over the past year…

Crazy, isn’t it? But what could it mean? Who would have known what was going on, and who would have called a British newspaper less than half an hour before the shooting took place?

Honestly, I don’t think it means anything. The memo references other coincidental anonymous calls to British nationals around the same time, so the call most likely had fortuitous timing. Other documents suggest that Lee Harvey Oswald had spoken with a KGB assassin shortly before the Kennedy assassination, so it’s possible that other Communists knew what Oswald had planned. But I think that the memo doesn’t suggest anything of substance.

Everything I’ve seen, read, and heard points to the conclusion that Oswald acted alone in killing John F. Kennedy, and even with the mystery and weirdness surrounding documents like this one, I don’t think there’s anything in the release that will prove otherwise.

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Chris Queen

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