Mystery Helicopter Disrupted Memphis Police Helicopters’ Efforts to Prevent Rioting in Memphis
A Gary Revel Commentary
On March 28, 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. was leading a protest march on Main Street in Memphis Tennessee when all hell broke loose. He had come to Memphis to help the garbage collection employees of the city of Memphis in their strike for better wages and safer working conditions.
Garbage collectors had been seriously hurt and some killed due to the lack of training and dangerous trucks they worked on. They were paid meagerly by the city and most of them were black. Martin Luther King Jr. was asked to come and help them and he did. Few people realized that the danger wasn’t just for the garbage workers but within a week of this day that started out as a march and ended up in rioting and mayhem King himself would be shot down and killed in Memphis.
Now April 4, 1968 lives in infamy but the day that really set the framework for the coming tragedy was this day, March 28, 1968, when gunshots began ringing out in Memphis in the mid-morning and continued until late in the evening.
Below is a partial reprinting of the police call log for that day and some notes by Special Investigator Gary Revel.
11:17 am: Memphis Police Helicopter 201 reports a 3rd helicopter interfering with police helicopters “came within 100 feet of us.”.
This indicates that the 2nd police helicopter was in the air by the time this 3rd mystery helicopter interfered with the Memphis police.
11:21 Peace and order continue to decline with ‘marchers’ “breaking out windows, “tearing up everything” at Second and Beale and Main and Gayoso. “They’re running in all directions.”
11:22 Frank Holloman places call to Chief of Tennessee Highway Patrol, Greg O’Rear.
Things continue to deteriorate.
11:24 March held up and 15 to 20 persons attacking a car at Front south of Beale. Helicopter order motorcycle officers to clear everyone off streets in front of march.
11:25 Helicopter 421 reports group breaking windows at Main and McCall.
11:27 ‘Mobs’ reported breaking windows and looting York Arms Co. at 162 South Main. Then Asst. Chief Lux reports that “march seems to have no leader at his point.”
(In an operational scenario this would be evidence that the mission had been successful and now ended. Later we would learn that at least 2 rifles had been stolen at this time. They happened to be the same make and model as the rifle James Earl Ray had recently purchased in Alabama. A week later James Earl Ray would go to this same store and purchase some items at the request of ‘Raoul’.)
It is reported that Martin Luther King Jr. and the Reverend Lawson requested a police car to take them from the area.
11:28 Memphis Police Chief Mcdonald orders march broken up at the request of officers on the scene.
11:30 Officers ask assistance at Main and Beale. Looting of stores at Third and Beale.
11:32 And now city of Memphis Director of the Police and Fire Departments, Frank Holloman ‘tells’ Mayor Henry Loeb, “You call the Governor and I’ll call in the guard.”
(The fact that an appointed city department head could usurp the legal authority vested in the Governor of any state in these United States to call in the National Guard at his word is disturbing and significant in many different scenarios. There is much to learn from the call logs of that day and the following days of MLK’s murder and the so-called ‘investigations’ that followed. The call logs are evidence of multiplicity in a conspiracy to kill Martin Luther King Jr. and derail the following investigation with the singular purpose of putting James Earl Ray in prison for the crime. Frank Holloman is the man who oversaw the operation and the only man who could have done it and gotten away with it due to his unique appointed position of ‘Director of the Police and Fire Department’. It just so happens that he also was a close friend of then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and had worked closely with him on other assignments.)