Nov 13, 2021 I Nick Redfern

More on the Matter of Those JFK Assassination Links to the UFO Phenomenon

A man who had the dubious "honor" of appearing in numerous books on the assassination of JFK, Guy Banister entered the FBI in 1934 and made a name for himself in the Bureau in New York. He stayed in the Bureau until 1954. One year later, Banister moved to Louisiana and took on the position of Assistant Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department. Things were sure to go very wrong for Banister, however, all thanks to his hair-trigger temper. One night in New Orleans in 1957, Banister – who was known for getting into fiery rages when hard liquor took hold of him - threatened to pistol-whip a guy in a local bar. Also, he took out his rage on a waiter in the same bar. It was all but inevitable that Banister would lose his position in the NOPD. He did. Banister wasn’t done, though: he put together his very own organization, Guy Banister Associates, Inc., a private detective agency. That Banister was someone who had his hands in multiple pies is a matter of history.

In the summer of 1960, he decided to move his office in New Orleans from the Balter Building to 531 Lafayette Street. Notably, just around the corner of Lafayette was another entrance to the same building, but with the entry point being on 544 Camp Street. The very same address was discovered on papers – of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee – circulated by one of the most infamous characters in 20th century history: Lee Harvey Oswald. This was confirmed by the Warren Commission that investigated the death of JFK. Jim Garrison – the District Attorney of Orleans Parish, Louisiana from 1962 to 1973 – was also onto the Banister-Oswald links, and with a passion and an obsession. After Banister passed away, in June 1964, his widow discovered yet more Fair Play for Cuba Committee papers in his voluminous filing-cabinets. And Banister’s secretary admitted to the Warren Commission that Banister and Oswald had a connection. Cue yet another controversial player: David Ferrie, someone who also had ties to Banister and Oswald.

Judyth Vary Baker is an expert on David Ferrie – and on Banister, too. In 2014 she wrote a book titled David Ferrie: Mafia Pilot, Participant in Anti-Castro Bioweapon Plot, Friend of Lee Harvey Oswald and key to the JFK Assassination. That’s quite a title and subtitle combined! Baker’s publisher, Trine Day LLC, says of the story: “Of the all the people surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy, few are more mysterious and enigmatic than David William Ferrie of New Orleans. Author Judyth Vary Baker knew David Ferrie personally and worked with him in a covert project in New Orleans during the summer of 1963, and this book examines his strange and puzzling behavior both before and after the assassination." Baker, who I was able to meet in 2014, made a very persuasive case that all of the above figures were linked to the shooting of JFK. Now, let’s get to the UFO angle of all this.

It’s a rarely discussed fact that Guy Banister was one of the very first of the FBI’s Special- Agents to investigate UFOs in 1947 – the year in which the term “Flying Saucer” was created. Altogether, Banister investigated eleven UFO cases in that period. Certainly, the most controversial case that Banister looked into was highlighted in the pages of the Tacoma News Tribune of July 12, 1947. It reads: "FBI agent W. G. Banister said an object which appeared to be a ‘flying disk’ was found early today at Twin Falls, [Idaho] and turned over to federal authorities there. Banister, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Montana and Idaho, said the bureau had reported the discovery to the army at Fort Douglas, Utah. An FBI agent in Twin Falls, inspected the ‘saucer’ and described it as similar to the 'cymbals used by a drummer in a band, placed face to face.' The object measured 30 ½ inches in diameter, with a metal dome about 14 inches high on the opposite side, anchored in place by what appeared to be stove bolts. The gadget is gold plated on one side and silver (either stainless steel, aluminum or tin) on the other. It appeared to have been turned out by machine, reports from Twin Falls said. The FBI declined to elaborate further."

This case was shown to have been a prank and nothing more. Notably, though, and as a result of the exposure, Banister was given a...classified briefing on the UFO phenomenon by Army personnel at Fort Douglas, Utah. The extent to which Banister may have been exposed to UFO secrets as time went along is not at all clear. What we do know, however, is that Banister was one of the first people to be tied to both UFOs and the murder of JFK.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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