Was Lee Harvey Oswald in Oak Ridge?

Visitor register i

Copy of visitors register from old American Museum of Atomic Energy shows signature of Lee H. Oswald about two-thirds of the way down the page. There is a notation of USSR as his citizenship. (Click on photo to enlarge)

A copy of a 1963 visitors registration at the old American Museum of Atomic Energy appears to show Lee Harvey Oswald visited the Oak Ridge museum four months before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The museum register for July 26, 1963 shows Lee H. Owsald’s signature, with the notation of USSR as his citizenship and residence in Dallas. During this period, Oswald also was known to be living in New Orleans and engaged in pro-Cuba activities there.

The copy surfaced this morning – the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination — when Gerald Boyd, former manager of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge office, brought it to a meeting of the East Tennessee Economic Council and showed it around. It created a stir of interest and raised additional questions.

 In a telephone interview, Boyd said he’d been given a copy of the document about five years ago when he was still manager of DOE’s Oak Ridge office. He doesn’t remember who at DOE gave it to him. He said he found it interesting at the time, but didn’t do anything with it.

“It was not something that warranted DOE to pay it attention,” said Boyd, now retired from federal service and a vice president with S.M. Stoller, an environmental firm. “It didn’t indicate any reason for us to have any concern about it.”

Boyd said he put the copy of the visitor register away in a drawer and hadn’t thought of it again until a few days ago.

“It was in my office, but I’d forgotten about it,” Boyd said. “So I took it and showed it to folks at ETEC this morning. I wasn’t trying to make a big public thing out of it . . . It’s just an interesting factoid and a little chilling.”

Boyd said he doesn’t know where the original document is, but suggested it’s probably stored in the federal agency’s archives somewhere – possibly in Atlanta. He said there’s an assumption that the signature is authentic, but doesn’t know if that has been verified.

Other copies of the document have appeared online in recent years at various sites, especially those looking at various conspiracies and suggesting possible Oak Ridge links to the assassination.

The museum registration sheet would seem to suggest Oswald was in the presence of a number of other people from Texas. The old museum, which was owned by the Atomic Energy Commission and situated on the Oak Ridge Turnpike, has since been renamed the American Museum of Science and Energy and relocated to its current site on Tulane Avenue.

Tim Gawne, a librarian and special assistant at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, said he’d seen a copy of the document online, but didn’t know what – if any – meaning it may have regarding the JFK assassination.

“It’s definitely interesting,” Gawne said.

A new feature on Atomic City Underground allows readers to sign up for email updates and receive a notice each time new information is posted on the news blog. Just put your email address in the box on the lower right of the blog’s front page and follow instructions. Thanks to all loyal readers.

This entry was posted in History, Odd stuff, ORO on by .

About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.