The Cambridge Call

Below is the text of page two of a CIA cable (NARA Document No. 104-10015-10121), dated 23 November 1963, from London to the CIA director, indicating that someone in Cambridge, England, may have had foreknowledge of the John F. Kennedy assassination. The three-page document was released in 1976, and again (in a batch of documents released under the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act) in 1996. (Sources: Joseph Backes, "The 11th Batch," Fair Play, 20th issue [1996]; page two of the document is reproduced in Michael Eddowes's The Oswald File [New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1977], p. 228.) The original text of the cable is in all caps. Brackets in the text indicate deletions or omissions and subsequent handwritten insertions. (It is important to note that the telephone call did not come from Grimsby, England--the hometown of Albert Alexander Osborne, who had contact two months before with accused JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald (or someone posing as Oswald), and who had recently visited Grimsby--as was reported following the document's first release.)

2. Expressions of sorrow and sympathy received from Top Command [British] as well as working level. Effect in U.K. is one of profound shock and public reaction here similar to death of Franklin Roosevelt.

3. Due to background man charged with assassination, [British] reported morning 23 Nov following some similar phone calls of strangely coincidental nature persons received in this country over past year, particularly in connection with Dr. Ward case. [British] reported that at 1805 GMT 22 Nov an anonymous call was made in Cambridge, England to the senior reporter of the Cambridge News rpt Cambridge News. The caller said only that the reporter should call the American embassy in London for some big news and then rang off. Last night after word of the President's death was received the reporter informed the Cambridge police of the above call and the police informed [British]. Important thing is that call was made, according [British] calculations, about twenty five minutes before President was shot. Cambridge reporter has never received call of this kind before and [British] say he is known to them as sound and loyal person with no security record. [British] wanted above reported particularly in view reported Sov background Oswald. Depending on circumstances, HQS may wish pass above to [FBI] as [British] could not reach [FBI] rep this morning. [British] stand ready assist in any way possible on investigations here.

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