Missing records, found and still lost

NARA is still looking for some records that they have in their index, but can’t find on the shelves. This is a subject I last visited in this note. Refer there if you need more details. There were 79 of these docs in 2018, but by 2021 NARA had found or otherwise accounted for 46 of them, leaving 33 still missing. Here is the latest on these missing docs.

28 lost

I originally had high hopes for this release when I saw files listed under the record numbers for most of the missing docs. Alas, it wasn’t so. Most of these “files” were just the identification form for the missing doc and a note from NARA saying “Nope, haven’t found this yet.”

28 records posted online all consist of this same note. They are as follows:

# record number
1 111-10001-10090
2 111-10001-10092
3 111-10001-10094
4 111-10001-10095
5 111-10001-10096
6 111-10001-10097
7 111-10001-10098
8 111-10001-10100
9 111-10001-10101
10 119-10001-10336
11 119-10001-10337
12 119-10001-10400
13 119-10001-10402
14 119-10001-10494
15 157-10014-10049
16 173-10011-10178
17 181-10002-10058
18 181-10002-10059
19 181-10002-10108
20 181-10002-10123
21 181-10002-10139
22 181-10002-10140
23 181-10002-10208
24 181-10002-10251
25 181-10002-10252
26 181-10002-10274
27 181-10002-10275
28 198-10001-10007

These are the still missing records.

5 found

NARA did make a few discoveries this time around, a couple of them very interesting. Recovered or accounted for docs include the following:

# record number
1 124-10179-10240
2 124-10241-10494
3 157-10014-10090
4 181-10002-10296
5 198-10001-10012

Not all of these are recovered. The two FBI files (124-#) were not recovered. In the files on line the FBI simply supplies file inventories for the missing docs. The inventories were not lost, so they can give us an idea of what was in the missing files, but the docs themselves are still AWOL.

A much more interesting doc is a Church Committee interview of Bronson Tweedy (157-10014-10090). This is mostly unrelated to the JFK assassination, except for the last couple of pages. It is quite interesting history, though.

The big deal here is a NARA file (181-10002-10296). This startling discovery is an unredacted copy of the CIA IG report on the CIA plots to kill Fidel Castro.1It is missing page 77 and has a couple of other docs in it as well. There are other copies of this document in the ARC, several of which were also released in full this time around, so it is not unique, but how it wound up here may be worth some research further down the line. Or maybe someone who specializes in this field can just tell me what this is doing here. It seems to be from the Carter White House papers and has a note from Karl (“Rick”) Inderfurth saying that this paper was left to him by John Matheny, an NSC staffer under President Ford.

The final recovery is a set of briefing notes found in the papers of the Office of the Secretary of the Army (198-10001-10012). NARA’s note here suggests that these were actually an erroneous duplication in the JFK database of another document. This sort of bibliographical ghost is what you get when you have a couple of dozen agencies trying to key in hundreds of thousands of entries into a collective database. Nothing in this dupe to get excited about.

An oddball

There is also a doc which is labeled as the missing Church Committee doc (157-10014-10049), but which has an identification aid on top that identifies it as 194-10013-10328, a doc from the ACSI (Army G-2) collection. It is a contact report between a case officer and his Cuban sources, dating from 1968. Don’t know what this is all about.

??? 157-10014-10049

My two cents

Why has NARA filed 28 identical notes about the still missing files under their respective identification numbers? I gather the idea is that NARA is not requesting any more postponements for these docs. The notes serve notice to all and sundry that if NARA ever finds these papers, it will release toot sweet, no more messing around with reviews or referrals.