74 zombie redactions bite the dust

If this title perplexes you, read this note first.

The curse of the zombie redactions revisited

Did you read the note? If not, don’t complain that you’re lost. Anyway, as I observed last week, “A zombie redaction is a redaction in copy X of a document which has already been released in copy Y of the same document, tucked away in some other file or folder or microfilm reel.”

Based on this fairly obvious definition, I was able to spot 14 zombie redactions in the ARC releases from 2018. These zombies started life as real redactions in AMMUG-1 Debriefing Report #278, but were zombified in 1999.

The name they were created to protect was Ben Stotts, Chief of WH/C/RR/OS, but they were transformed into empty shells when Ben’s name was released in one record at an early date. Based on virtually identical context and dates, I also suggested that another 60 redactions in 60 more records were protecting Ben’s name as well.

The curse begins to lift

As the latest releases from NARA show, all 74 redactions that I listed did indeed protect the name of Ben Stotts. Happily, the latest release of redactions in the JFKARC has expelled the zombies, at least in this corner of the archive, and restored Ben’s name to the record, where he has every right to be, as an efficient administrator of a complicated debriefing. The curse of 74 zombie redactions has been lifted. I doff my hat to the zombie slayers of the archives. Don’t rest on your laurels too long though. There are lots more where those 74 came from.