The JFK Assassination: New Link between the Civil Air Patrol and Wandering Bishops

James Day
4 min readJan 5, 2024

A new link sheds further light on the role of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and the cabal of “bishops” who manipulated Lee Oswald as the Texas School Book Depository patsy on November 22, 1963.

Needless to say, oil magnate D.H. Byrd factors in every JFK assassination narrative: at the time of the president’s murder, he was the owner of the actual building at 411 Elm St., where the Texas School Book Depository leased space.

Moreover, students of the assassination know of Byrd’s high-ranking association with CAP. This is of interest since Oswald joined a Louisiana CAP squadron as a teenager in the 1950s. On the surface, it appears only a coincidence that this ex-cadet would spend his final days working in a building owned by a significant figure in CAP history.

But a newly uncovered connection suggests it is not out of the realm of possibility CAP doubled as a recruitment front for suspected assassination plotters like David Ferrie, Oswald’s squadron leader in 1955.

On July 1, 1946, CAP was incorporated by an act of Congress; D. Harold Byrd is named Texas wing commander. The Illinois wing commander is one Gordon A. DaCosta. Within a few short years, DaCosta would face charges of allegedly misusing $50,000 of CAP federal funds. Deposed from his rank in CAP, DaCosta reconstituted himself as a pseudo-academic. DaCosta created the unaccredited Indiana Northern University on a former dairy farm in Gas City, IN, halfway between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. He named himself president and chancellor.

DaCosta, right, ousted Illinois Wing Commander of CAP, president of fake Indiana Northern University, and future bishop in pseudo-church that included David Ferrie, Jack Martin, and Guy Banister

In other words, DaCosta entered the idiosyncratic world of the diploma mills, fake schools that distributed diplomas and degrees for a price. Indiana Northern University affiliated itself with a similar outfit, Philathea Bible College of London, Ontario. Philathea’s president was Benjamin C. Eckardt. It was not uncommon for con artists in the fake pseudo-academic racket to dabble as quasi-religious figures in obscure micro-churches. Such a title as “the Most Reverend” or “Archbishop” coupled with “Doctor” or “Professor” could only enhance the prestige of the “school” that was their livelihood.

Eckardt, for instance, was deemed the archbishop of Ontario in the Free Protestant Episcopal Church. DaCosta, too, saw value in such a racket. In 1971, DaCosta himself became a bishop in the same church as Eckardt.

If one drills down further, these strange worlds provide cover for such nefarious dealings as smuggling contraband, selling counterfeit securities, traveling under phony passports as fake missionaries or ambassadors. Still more troubling, one could hide in plain sight as a cleric or academic while harboring criminals, assassins, and conspirators of coup d’etats.

What all this boils down to is this: DaCosta affiliated himself in the same church synod as Oswald’s mentor, David Ferrie. The bridge, ultimately, is Christopher Maria C.J. Stanley, archbishop in the American Orthodox Catholic Church who consecrated Ferrie, Jack Martin, Guy Banister and others in Banister’s office into his church in 1961.

This strand of the clerical network, then, goes from a disgraced former CAP Illinois Wing Commander (DaCosta), who was a co-CAP incorporator with Texas commander D.H. Byrd, through a very small and esoteric strand of the Old Roman Catholic Church to David Ferrie and the CAP Louisiana squadron at Moisant Airport, of which Oswald was a cadet under Ferrie, and finally to the Texas School Book Depository, owned by Byrd.

It should be noted that this vast network that involved DaCosta, Stanley and Ferrie, leads to affiliations under the umbrella of the radical right wing: white Russians (Zhurawetsky), anti-communists (Propheta), right-wing generals (Willoughby) and colonels (Fuge), John Birch Society members (F.C. King), occult practitioners (de Witow), and hypnotherapists — DaCosta and Ferrie, included. It is no secret, of course, that hypnotism hovers over the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK.

Moreover, on April 1, 1959, General McElroy became the National Commander of the Civil Air Patrol. In January 1960, Ferrie was appointed aide to McElroy. At this very time, Byrd is the Chairman of the CAP National Executive Board, from April 1959-April 1960. That Ferrie, as McElroy’s aide, interacted with Byrd during this time seems a foregone conclusion. Also during this time, Oswald defects to Russia. In 1961, Ferrie is arrested on his morals charge; in November of 1961, Ferrie is consecrated bishop by Stanley. After JFK’s assassination, Stanley will tell authorities Ferrie and Martin told him of a plan to assassinate Kennedy, a full two years before the ambush in Dealey Plaza.

Ferrie, right, was aide to National Commander of the Civil Air Patrol, General McElroy, left, at the time D.H. Byrd is Chairman of the CAP National Executive Board

There is, of course, more to unpack and probe in this regard, but given the research into this world of faux-bishops who aligned politically with the radical right, I am confident that the DaCosta-Byrd association as high commanders in the Civil Air Patrol, the same outfit that attracted the likes of Ferrie, Oswald, Barry Seal, and other adventurers, will only reveal in due time that bad actors in the Civil Air Patrol utilized its function to recruit young American patriots willing to preserve their white Christian country against the onslaught of godless communists.

Top photo: David Ferrie, with helmet, oversees a squadron of cadets which included Lee Oswald, far right. Below, left, Texas Wing Commander of CAP, D.H. Byrd, owner of the Texas School Book Depository, right, where ex-CAP cadet Oswald worked for five weeks until November 22, 1963.



James Day

James Day is the author of The Mad Bishops: The Hunt for Earl Anglin James and His Assassin Brethren (Nov. 2023, TrineDay Press)