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Washington archives NARA

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Washington archives NARA

Post by Frankie Vegas on Wed 16 Jul 2014, 6:08 pm

Hi all, I am after some documents from the archives in College Park and I am just wondering if anyone is going to the archives soon?
I can put in gas money, postage costs and copying costs if you could grab me these documents and post them over to me?
Big thanks!

Frankie Vegas

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Re: Washington archives NARA

Post by Guest on Thu 17 Jul 2014, 2:40 am

Interesting. Well, I'm in California so probably can't help - but, may I ask - you specifically want originals? Paper versions? Digital copies aren't good enough? Or they're not available? Or why the paper? (n00b question, just curious - I'm trying to load a web site with evidence right now and discovering that some of it IS missing, either hasn't yet been digitized or perhaps won't be because there's no budget for it, that kind of thing).

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Re: Washington archives NARA

Post by Frankie Vegas on Fri 18 Jul 2014, 11:51 am

Some of it is online and some of it is declassified and kept in boxes there. I'm not sure why they haven't scanned them online but I'm sure it's to do with lack of resources and finances.
If you look up what you want in the archives you can order it through the NARA website and they will charge you to make a copy and post it or you can go in person.
I think it's easier to go in person and get them and cuts the wait time down.
I'm also not sure that they will take my visa debit card as payment for the copies.
I would be happy with a digital copy but the documents I want aren't online and will need to be copied from the originals in the box.
Your website is awesome. I'm looking forward to using it and I will be sure to pass on to you any documents I get that aren't available online.

I also wanted to mention to you at some point (and I hope no-one gets offended at this) but your target market for people who are likely to use your site the most are also people who have trouble using Facebook and the like. I am hoping you take that into account when you write out the instructions Smile

Frankie Vegas

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Re: Washington archives NARA

Post by Guest on Fri 18 Jul 2014, 2:00 pm

Frankie Vegas wrote:Some of it is online and some of it is declassified and kept in boxes there. I'm not sure why they haven't scanned them online but I'm sure it's to do with lack of resources and finances.
If you look up what you want in the archives you can order it through the NARA website and they will charge you to make a copy and post it or you can go in person.
I think it's easier to go in person and get them and cuts the wait time down.
I'm also not sure that they will take my visa debit card as payment for the copies.
I would be happy with a digital copy but the documents I want aren't online and will need to be copied from the originals in the box.
Your website is awesome. I'm looking forward to using it and I will be sure to pass on to you any documents I get that aren't available online.

I also wanted to mention to you at some point (and I hope no-one gets offended at this) but your target market for people who are likely to use your site the most are also people who have trouble using Facebook and the like. I am hoping you take that into account when you write out the instructions Smile

Thanks Frankie - yes, the Help pages are going to need a thorough scrubbing. Way too much fluff and bluster there right now. Needs to focus on the actuals, definitely. (You may have noticed some vital links going in in the meantime though - like there's one after you edit a record that says "Edit The Same Record Again"... so like, here's me, and I've just entered 4,228 Event records from a list, and that went fine (took a while, but came out okay), but none of them have any cross-references, so if the Event says "Jack Ruby called Eva", I have to click on a button that takes me someplace where I can find Jack's name and Eva's (that's what a "Bucket" is, it's just a bunch of names in a list ("the following people participated in this event")... so anyway, I discovered by doing that the addition of the one link saves me 12 mouse clicks per record, which is a big win if you're trying to use the Wi-Fi at Starbuck's or something). Smile

I dunno what to do about "Documents" yet. Still struggling with that concept. Yes, the ultimate prize is to be able to search the text and position the cursor right on the keyword, and I'm not sure how valuable that is yet. It's a "nice to have", is kinda the way I'm seeing it right now, but not a "must have". The purpose of Evidence records on the site is to seed the Confidence Levels. So, you don't really have to have the actual evidence there, all you need is the database record that says "this evidence is worth 20 confidence points", or whatever it may be.

The real value-add that I can see so far, is when you're ENTERING the events, because that's when you have to build the data structures. For instance, we were just talking about Karen Carlin's five bucks - well, that story is actually a whole series of events, and there's a TON of evidence around each one, and most of it contradicts itself because there is an "alibi" in play which involves multiple players. So, to understand the event, you have to understand the alibi, and the TIMING of the alibi relative to the various testimonies.

In my case, the realization happened while I was entering the Events and cross-linking them to the people, because I found something about Colony Club, then I read a bit about that so I could enter the record into the database ('cause it was missing - same thing for the Jack Ruby story, I entered the missing people as I found 'em), then that took me to something else and then something else, where I finally started to understand the alibi - and the immediately at that point I wanted to DOCUMENT it, which is what I'm talking about.

Right here, at this moment, is where the "literal text Evidence in place" would really help. And, in that context, it's a pretty big bang for the buck ("the buck" is maybe a small increase in hosting fees because of the increase in database size). However there are several sites that already have all this, like there's Rex Bradford's site which has most of the publicly available online documents, and there's a German site that has a lot of the Warren Commission stuff in text form.... so like, I don't want to re-invent the wheel, but before I go to any of those people with an offer to collaborate I'd like to have enough in place to be able to bring some value-add to the table myself. Something to give back in exchange for all those wonderful documents. So far it looks like what I'm going to end up with that no one else will have is the automated cross-references. You can literally "surf" through the timeline database, and that's a big deal. If you're reading about Jack Ruby and all of a sudden you come across the name Ray Rushing and you have no idea who that person is, you can click a button or a link and Ray Rushing will appear before you in living color. In most cases you don't even have to type in the name, you just click a button or a link. That's pretty good, that's a decent value-add, and if those two capabilities could be married then we'd really have something!

Anyway, Help Pages are in the queue, they're on the high priority list. Smile The Person records will be unlocked next week, we just needed them stable for the first event entry experiments, and now that we kinda-sorta know what we're doing we can open them up again. The first fairly complete set of cross-references will be the Jack Ruby timeline, there's two versions already there (labeled First Effort and Second Effort), and the third one will be ready by tomorrow morning, which will be the "Almost Ready For Prime Time" version, containing every single event we could scrape from any official document (and a few unofficial ones too). There's over 1200 events pertaining to Jack Ruby, some "just" him, some phone calls to or from the Carousel that were "most likely" him, sightings, all kindsa stuff. Lotsa history, who his business partners were and in what order, how many taxes he paid and in what years, what his vig payments were (500 bucks a month, apparently, all the time he owned the Sovereign Club - that's probably why the club didn't do too good... yuk Smile ).

When all this is done, the computer actually points you to stuff. It's already doing that. The Westbrook thing I posted on this site was one of its early results, at that point I was testing the method on a "testbed" database... anyway, I'll tell you more about the Integrated Searches later (I'm still working on it, they're going to be really good when they work). Anyway, the computer has discovered that the Jones thing in 1948 was actually a narcotics investigation - which directly implicates Eva Grant (not Jack - EVA!) in the narcotics business! Guess what business Eva Grant was in when she was in Los Angeles? "Import-Export".  Go for it! The data's been suggesting to me in many different ways that Eva is more important in this story than we've been led to believe. She was recruiting others to run sugar stamps between Chicago and Dallas in the late 40's and early 50's, and what else do you know that can be conveniently carried in small packages by unsuspecting tourists? Cash and.... narcotics. Back in the 50's they didn't have any dope sniffing dogs, all they had was ignorant cops. The DPD narcotics squad was all of four people big at one point, and they all knew Jack Ruby. It's starting to look like maybe Jack and Eva had them wrapped up somehow (which is to say, not "Jack and Eva", but someone a little higher).

Anyway, I digress again - you're going to the archives, and you're after something specific. Are they still releasing stuff, to your knowledge, or has that trickle dried up because of the ongoing Morley/CIA thing? (Did you know the Justice Department has a full-time person on that? Yeah man - even now, fifty years later, they can still justify allocating a full-time person to try to keep covering up their bullshit, it's amazing it truly is). Smile

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Re: Washington archives NARA

Post by Frankie Vegas on Fri 18 Jul 2014, 7:45 pm

Isn't it? Amazing that is. I can't believe they would rather spend all that time and money fighting Morley through the courts rather than just release those records. Which makes you wonder, just what is in them!
I am in New Zealand so I am hoping to beg someone else to go for me to the archives.
with your site, I was just thinking (and forgive me because I have no idea what I am talking about) but couldn't you just have any thing that relates to a specific document link back to it at Rex's site? It could save you heaps of space and time.
The documents I am after are declassified and held at the archives but not online and only exist in paper form in a box in a room somewhere there.

Your site honestly sounds like something that is going to change the way we research. It's going to save a lot of people a lot of time and hassle and even money. I LOVE it! I also briefly helped Steven Duffy with his index and I am wrapt you included it in your work. Thanks!

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Re: Washington archives NARA

Post by Guest on Sat 19 Jul 2014, 8:26 am

Frankie Vegas wrote:Isn't it? Amazing that is. I can't believe they would rather spend all that time and money fighting Morley through the courts rather than just release those records. Which makes you wonder, just what is in them!
I am in New Zealand so I am hoping to beg someone else to go for me to the archives.
with your site, I was just thinking (and forgive me because I have no idea what I am talking about) but couldn't you just have any thing that relates to a specific document link back to it at Rex's site? It could save you heaps of space and time.
The documents I am after are declassified and held at the archives but not online and only exist in paper form in a box in a room somewhere there.

Your site honestly sounds like something that is going to change the way we research. It's going to save a lot of people a lot of time and hassle and even money. I LOVE it! I also briefly helped Steven Duffy with his index and I am wrapt you included it in your work. Thanks!

Thanks to you and Steve! That person index was in great shape, there were very few missing people (and most of them have been entered). The only thing remaining I'm aware of, is a few of the aliases need to be converted over to the new structure (things like the strippers, and there's a guy named Balbuena who turns out to be an alias.... like that).

The surprising thing is that there was nothing comparable in the way of Events. Lots of people have made "lists of Events" but I couldn't find anything comprehensive like Steve's and your index. The work is in the cross-referencing, that's where the pedal hits the metal. Already right now it would be completely possible to "surf" endlessly through the database, the only reason we haven't done that yet is because of the window handling on the return side - we inherited a web shell from a music company and their data structures weren't as complex as ours. I'm pretty sure we're going to replace that whole structure with a page stack, that way you can surf endlessly and always return to the right place.

Thanks for your encouragement Frankie, it's very helpful! Smile

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Re: Washington archives NARA

Post by Frankie Vegas on Sat 19 Jul 2014, 9:34 am

Oh, the index was Steve's baby. I really only helped very slightly. I think I did two letters and then Steve had to go through and fix them up because I had done them backwards! lol.

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Re: Washington archives NARA

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