LONDON — Twenty-five minutes before John F. Kennedy was assassinated, a British newspaper received an anonymous tip about "some big news" in the United States., according to the trove of more than 2,800 documents released late Thursday by the National Archives.
The mystery call was made to a senior reporter at the Cambridge News, a paper that serves the East Anglia area of eastern England, on Nov. 22, 1963, at 6:05 p.m. local time. Kennedy was shot shortly afterward, as he rode in a presidential motorcade in Dallas, Texas, at 12:30 a.m. CST. Dallas is six hours behind Britain.
"The caller said only that the Cambridge News reporter should call the American Embassy in London for some big news and then hung up," the memo, from the FBI's deputy director James Angleton to J. Edgar Hoover, its director, said.
The memo, dated Nov. 26, 1963, says: "After the word of the President's death was received the reporter informed the Cambridge police of the anonymous call, and the police informed MI5. The important point is that the call was made, according to MI5 calculations, about 25 minutes before the President was shot. The Cambridge reporter had never received a call of this kind before, and MI5 state that he is known to them as a sound and loyal person with no security record."
The reporter's name was not mentioned in the memo.
The memo adds that Britain's MI5 security services had received "similar anonymous phone calls of a strangely coincidental nature."