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Mary Carter Paint has hidden its tracks

SEATTLE, Washington - I said in a previous post that I wanted to take a look at a 1976 Rolling Stone article that discussed the Mary Carter Paint company, to see if it had any new information or better-documented sources compared to what I have already read on the topic. Not only did the article contain some factual errors that I easily spotted, but the portion of the article that I cared about was retracted by Rolling Stone in 1977.

I was hoping for detailed source documentation, but instead I just got references to "CIA sources" when discussing the evolution of Mary Carter Paint:

Mary Carter Paint, according to CIA sources, was a CIA front group. It had been set up by Thomas Dewey and Allen Dulles. In 1958 Dewey and some friends bought controlling interest in the Crosby Miller Corporation with $2 million in CIA money from Dulles, who was still CIA director. A year later the Crosby Miller Corporation merged with the paint company. During the Bay of Pigs operation in 1960 and 1961, according to CIA sources, Mary Carter laundered CIA payments to the Cuban exile army.

I'm always skeptical when a relatively low-level detail like this (setting up a front company) is credited to the top guys in an organization. It reeks of name-dropping - like Bill Cooper's writings on the alien-government alliance in Behold a Pale Horse.

The article goes on to discuss how the CIA morphed Mary Carter Paint into Resorts International and it became a "conduit for hiding money it sends to counterinsurgency groups in Central in South America."

After suffering through reading this at the library on microfiche (in negative, of course), I find out that Rolling Stone retracted this portion of their story in 1977 after being sued by Resorts International:

Rolling Stone in 1977, after being legally challenged by Resorts, retracted a story that CIA Director Allen Dulles was majorly involved in the buyout. Quoting CIA sources, Kohn wrote that in 1958 Dulles gave Dewey and Thomas $2 million in CIA money to set up a front company. With it they supposedly bought Crosby-Miller Corp, which merged with Mary Carter a year later. In its retraction, Rolling Stone noted that while it respected Kohn as a researcher, Resorts International had shown the magazine persuasive evidence that Kohn had been wrong or been misled by his sources.
During the early 70s, Resort International/Mary Carter's activities were occasionally cited in the left-wing press as evidence that it had been carrying out CIA business. When similar allegations appeared in a Las Vegas newspaper, Resorts --- as in the case of Rolling Stone --- threatened suit and won a full retraction. (source)

In addition to this retraction, I saw some very simple factual errors regarding Howard Hughes that anyone who has read 9 books about Hughes would spot immediately. The photo-reconnaissance plane Hughes was developing during WWII for the government (and in a prototype of which Hughes had his disastrous 1946 crash) was the XF-11, not the F-11 as the article states. The article calls Hughes's medical charity the "Hughes Medical Foundation"; its correct name is the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, that's what it was called when it was formed in 1953 and it still exists and it's still called the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Perhaps Rolling Stone retracted these things too, but I don't want to pore over microfiche to find out.

While I'm on the topic of microfiche - perhaps the library, instead of shelling out for misused flat-screen TVs, should find some technology that lets the user view a negative microfiche in positive form. Viewing a negative is only useful when looking at pictures of the Shroud of Turin.


Christine said...

When are you going to spend days at the library researching Roswell???

JMR said...

That turf has been covered many times by people far more fanatical than me.

Anonymous said...

I had an old friend that told me a Mary Carter Pint store was the place to check into to report. I was amazed and know he'd never lie to me. He did the Nicaragan thing.