Full Story - the real facts - time to right a historical wrong!
In the morning of 9/22/1975, my then wife, Nita and I drove to San Francisco to visit Fisherman's Wharf. We parked and took the cable car at Powell/Market. As we were passing Union Square, and nearing Post Street, I could see a crowd off to my right, and remembered that the President was in San Francisco. On a whim, we got off the cable car and headed down Post Street towards the crowd. We stopped and stood just across the street from the St. Francis hotel. I remember joking about the security person standing in front of me, that his green badge was Macy's security. Just then, President Ford emarged from the hotel. I remember commenting how healthy and tanned he looked.Then, to my right, a metalic glint - I turned and saw a woman holdong a gun, with both hands, in a shooting position. She was aiming directly at the President! I lunged, hitting her sholder, knocking her slightly back - the gun went off, almost in my face. I ducked behind her and pinned her arms. I heard someone shout "Gun, gun"!
Suddenly, many guns were lunging forward - Nita pulled me back towards the sidewalk, urging me to leave. As we walked away she commented that I likely looked more like a perpetrator than the lady with the gun.
We walked on Powell for a few minutes before I made a decision to go back and let the police know what I had witnessed. We were first interviewed by the local police (or security). The first interviwer was the man with the green badge (#2 in above photo). He said "You saved the President's life"! We were detained to be questioned by the FBI and the Secret Service - both refusing our prior interviews arguing jurisdiction. When we were cleared to go, we were instructed to leave via a side door and not to talk to the media. It would seem that Mr. Sipple did otherwise.
The next day I felt obigated to tell the manager of my department that I had taken a day off without notice. I also told him, as well as my coworkers and friends, what had happened on Monday.
For a few days after, I was dazed and just quietly went to work, came home, and not much else. Then came the news reports declaring Oliver Sipple a hero. I was stunned, and began to question my sanity. Some at work began taunting me. I sought to find someone at DeAnza college that would be willing to hypnotise me. I went to the local FBI office. I was left sitting in sort of a waiting room and had a strong feeling that II was being observed. Evetually a person came out and told me that the had no record of my being anywhere near the Ford incident. I wrote the United States Attorney assigned to the case, and finally got a letter from him (click to view) and the photo shown at the top of this page. Why the FBI seemed invested in the Oliver Sipple story is a question that I suppose will never be answered!
After showing the documents at work, my relationship with the department manager went south - he had been very vocal as to my participation in saving the President, and this now effectively made him eat his words. I soon took a position at another company and life went on.
From time to time, friends have prodded me to get the truth out, but I did not know how, and it didn't seem important. Now, as I find myself far into the winter of my life, I do find it important! I want the truth be exposed. I am amazed at the misinformation that has been perpetuated. Some of it is a clear fabrication, yet it has up to now prevailed. There was only one shot! It was Oliver Sipple that grabbed her hand and shouted "Gun, gun!", but, he did so after I had pinned her arms after the gun went off as a result of my hitting her shoulder!
I am aware that the San Fransico news media knows the truth, as when Sipple passed, a major news anchor stated "...alleged to have saved President Ford". Recently, I heard a repeat of a report, by Vic Lee of ABC7, regarding Sarah Jane Moore, in which he stated that President Ford was saved by a "bystander" - the bystander not being named. I am that bystander!