Captain Safford finally asked me if I would be willing to appear as a witness on his behalf at these hearings. And I answered in the affirmative. Before I had a chance to prepare myself for the anticipated call to attend the hearings on the Hill as a witness–a few days later, I think it was, I don’t recall exactly–I received a call from Captain John Harper, who was Commanding Officer of the station. He asked me to report to him at once, which I did. And the following took place:
He asked me to sit down. He stated that he understood I had been having some meetings with Captain Safford with reference to my being called as a witness. I replied, “Yes. He wanted to know why this had been done without his knowledge,…. why he had not been informed. I advised the Captain I didn’t know I was supposed to report to him about this matter in view that I had gotten the call from Captain Safford direct. He, in effect, advised me that I should know that he was the Commanding Officer of this Station, not Captain Safford. I agreed to that point. I said, “Yes, indeed, sir, but Captain Safford didn’t allude to the fact that you weren’t aware of my being with him. He dropped it at that point and went on to the point in question.
He seemed very serious and perturbed. He stated, in effect, that too much in all had been revealed by the hearings. That he couldn’t explain exactly at this point what was behind it. That some day perhaps I would understand, but at this point he couldn’t give me the information necessary to sustain what he was about to tell me. Then he delivered his coup de grace.
He said, “You are not to confer with Captain Safford any further.” He said, “You are specifically prohibited from meeting with him in his office, and if there are any further inquiries or any requests with reference to this matter, you will report to me at once.”
I acknowledged, sat down there for a while, then he said, “That is all,” so I left.
Some time later I felt that, at least, I owed Captain Safford an explanation–not knowing whether Captain Safford was aware that Captain Harper had stepped into the issue–so I called the Captain on the phone and, in short, revealed what had taken place.
He was stunned. He then said, “Well he didn’t say we couldn’t bump into each other or anything along that line.” He said, “I’ll call you back later.”
Some time later he asked me if I’d meet him in the breezeway between Buildings 18 and 19 which I did. This was some days later. At that time he revealed to me–I do not recall the complete conversation in detail, but the essence was simply this: He had determined that a particular counsel of the committee who—it had been Safford’s responsibility to organize his rebuttal in which he wished to use me as a witness–had apparently gotten wind that we were planning this because, of course, he had sent the information down he wanted to bring me in as a witness. And that, apparently from a higher authority by way of Captain Harper, I was directed not to report any further on this matter. I was not to appear.
To this day I can say unequivocally that I believe this was a definite effort to cover up the truth of the matter and put at rest what had happened to the missing winds execute message.
During our conversations—those times with Captain Safford–he revealed to me some other information I think is rather pertinent to the record. He told me at the time that when we sent it in by teletype, it was immediately picked up by the watch officer, who immediately contacted Kramer. Kramer, of course, took it to Captain Safford–who then a Commander–and both of them took it in to Rear Admiral Noyse who was then Director Naval Communications.