NM NM - Harvey 'Gene' Whitacre, 20, Albuquerque, 30 June 1947

Discussion in 'Pre-1960's Missing' started by AstroKitty, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. AstroKitty

    AstroKitty Former Member

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    I hope I'm starting this thread correctly. Harvey is my maternal Uncle, and he has been missing since 1947. My mother and I have reopened his case with the FBI in hopes to bring his body home - provided we can find him.

    Here is the backstory:

    Harvey Eugene Whitacre, disappeared from a bowling alley on the outskirts of Albuquerque, N. Mexico on the evening of June 30th, 1947. He did not return to Sandia Base New Mexico and was listed as AWOL on July 1st. The day after his disappearance, police found an army cap, a pair of thick lensed glasses, a necktie, and a blood stained shirt with two slashes in the back. He was 20 years old at the time of his disappearance. There is an article in the Indianapolis Star dated January 16, 1954 that tells the story. The last communication anyone had from 'Gene' was to his sister, Rose Whitacre in a letter written June 23, 1947.


    In 1954 he was declared dead.

    At this point we have him listed with NAMUS but from what I can tell it's not up yet. My mother has called everyone possible; from the ME in new mexico to the FBI. So far we are just getting more phone #'s to more people. We just want to find his remains and bring him home.

    Harvey has 1 sibling alive who is 92 years of age. We have sent off for a kit to get her DNA for testing. We are also attempting to get fingerprints from the FBI. I'm starting this thread in hopes that someone can point my mother and I to more ways of aide and to help me comb through John Doe databases. I will do my best to answer any and all questions regarding this.

    There are MSM links (all seem to be archived) and I do have copies of the article that was once ran in our local paper.

    His NAMUS case file is: 23362

    Photo is below and it's the only one we know of existing. I apologize for how grainy it is. Also attached is the article we have the photo from.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Also, I need to get verified for this so I need an email to do so.

    PS: we do not think the CIA or FBI are involved in his disappearance, despite what he was doing and things he knew of. The amount of trouble both agencies went through to attempt to find him is insane. The wired phones and spent 7 years interviewing his family, because they thought he was AWOL rather than dead. I do think his items found in an alley were staged, as they did too.
     
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  3. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    Is there any theory as to why he would be taken away and his shirt left behind? He would be 86-87 now so he could still be alive but it certainly does look like he was most likely murdered. If it was about robbery, you would expect that the culprits would just have left him at the site of the attack so it is quite puzzling.
     
  4. AstroKitty

    AstroKitty Former Member

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    I find it really odd that his shirt was there and so was his tie. How on earth does a necktie come off during a robbery, or better yet - how does a shirt and necktie come off?

    He had money on him because he was in charge of the funds for his team. I'll have to ask my mom what the specific amount was, but I think it was a bit over 400$.

    We are trying to narrow down which bowling alley it was, but there are 2 that we think it could have been. We do not think Eugene is alive, just based on age and the fact he was pretty close to his family. His last correspondence was with my grandmother, she received the letter from him 2 days after he went missing. The FBI visited with her and the others because they felt he was AWOL and would make contact.

    He was a kind and loving man with his entire future ahead of him. He was involved with the A-Bomb, which is why the FBI took interest in his case. He knew a lot - things that would make a great deal of trouble for the US military if he had went awol and decided to talk.

    I've went through as many john doe's as I can without going cross eyed. I haven't found any remains that *might be him. I was hoping others could be of some help with it.
     
  5. Stella

    Stella Member

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    The cap, glasses, shirt and tie left behind seems like an amateur bit of staging. Also, $400.00 back then would be the equivalent of about $4500.00 today. Could he have staged his own disappearance? Is there any reason your family can think of why he might have done so? Pregnant girlfriend, gambling debts, fear of something or someone? For him to just disappear, he would've needed access to transportation. Did he have his own car or was there a bus station near the bowling alley? Did he have an extra set of eyeglasses? Were any of his possessions missing?
     
  6. Archangel85

    Archangel85 Active Member

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    Were the any witness who saw him leave? Any sightings? did he have a car?
     
  7. AstroKitty

    AstroKitty Former Member

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    To answer some of your questions:

    It was with definite authority with both the FBI and internal affairs (as well as family) - Eugene did not stage his disappearance.

    He did not have a pregnant girlfriend, he was not married or seeing anyone at the time. He had been corresponding with a lady back home in Indiana via snail mail. She passed away a month or so prior to him going missing.

    Not sure if a bus station is near the bowling alley.

    Not sure if he owned a car or use a car from the base.

    Unclear if he had a 2nd pair of glasses but we were led to believe he didn't.

    From what we know, nothing was missing from his bunk (possession wise).
     
  8. AstroKitty

    AstroKitty Former Member

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    Unsure about a car. He lived on base in the barracks I think, but family was never informed about a car.

    We are trying to get the files from the FBI on the case to know if there were any witnesses, but as far as we know - there wasn't.
     
  9. PHB

    PHB New Member

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    Hi Astro,

    Do you know what his MOS was?

    After ww2, the Soviets were scrambling to get their nuke program off the ground. Their 1st successful test was aug of '49, iirc (can you tell i'm a history buff?). It wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility that they kidnapped and murdered him for whatever he knew. The KGB did similar things in Europe in the 50's, I think.

    Did he have any odd beliefs? Maybe he was a Communist and defected? (I know it sounds stupid, but it has happened before)

    What do you know about the girlfriend back in Indiana who died a month before his disapearnce? That's one hell of a coincidence.



    If he had a car, the base would probably have had the year/make/model/tag# on file for security purposes. I don't know how long they'd keep that kind of info, though.
     
  10. AstroKitty

    AstroKitty Former Member

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    I will have to ask family, but remember - there's only 1 surviving sibling now as my grandmother passed in July. She (my grandmother) was his last correspondence. I do not think he had any odd beliefs and by no means could I see anyone in my family being a communist. However, given that you're a history buff ... you may be able to help us! If you get a chance please PM me :)
     
  11. PHB

    PHB New Member

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    Hi Astro, I'll PM you in a sec.

    Maybe try finding any surviving buddies of his:

    http://togetherweserved.com

    You may have trouble obtaining his service records.

    Unfortunately, the was a big fire at the .mil's main record storage facility in the Midwest back in the 70's, ALOT of service records from the first half of the century were lost, incl. my grandfather's. A duplicate of his may be included in the investigator's case files, though.


    ETA: here's the wiki about the fire:

    National Personnel Records Center fire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  12. AstroKitty

    AstroKitty Former Member

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    The FBI was heavily involved in trying to locate him, I'm hoping they have files - but I haven't asked my mom for an update recently (other things going on). I really appreciate that link!
     
  13. sayd

    sayd Say-D

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    You have to remember New Mexico was still the wild, wild west in 1947 compared to somewhere like Chicago. (My parents moved to New Mexico from Chicago in 1944. ) I think your best bet would be to try to find some of his buddies, if any are still alive. Sounds like he was probably killed for the money. Which would mean someone had to know he had it. If they still have those bones in the desert, it would be interesting to see if they could do any kind of DNA on them.
     
  14. PHB

    PHB New Member

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    Bumping for Astro, anyone with any thoughts, feel free to weigh in.
     
  15. AstroKitty

    AstroKitty Former Member

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    <3 PHB thank you thank you for caring about Eugene and bumping this :)

    I told my mom about the link you shared, she is going to look into it tonight :)
     
  16. PFF

    PFF New Member

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  17. AstroKitty

    AstroKitty Former Member

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    When we contacted NAMUS we also contacted doe network and charley project. It's not been easy to get things listed or people to email us back.

    I really am interested in finding ariel photographs of Sandia base as well as the area with the bowling alley's which were there in 1947. so far everything costs money in which I do not have to spend.
     
  18. DD Byrd

    DD Byrd Member

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    I agree that its interesting his girlfriend/ penpal died a month prior. Could he have been suicidal but not want his family to have the stigma of suicide...especially for that time?
     
  19. AstroKitty

    AstroKitty Former Member

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    He was not suicidal. He was totally unaware the lady had even passed until later on, right before he wrote my grandmother. Apparently she had fallen ill.

    There's literally no indication this was a suicide. I highly doubt he would worry his family or stage a crime scene.

    I feel like I have to keep repeating this: The FBI was very very involved. They tapped phone lines, went to Indiana, Ohio etc. They left no stone unturned to find Eugene because he was considered AWOL (given the nature of his work with our GOV, he held secrets). He is considered a murder victim.

    I am not here to solve a crime, I just want help in finding his body if it has been discovered at any point.
     
  20. Archangel85

    Archangel85 Active Member

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    It's strange that not even the FBI was able to find anything.
     
  21. AstroKitty

    AstroKitty Former Member

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    Agreed. Not too sure if they were looking for him only as alive or what. For awhile they believed he had ran off, apparently with top secret things (given the project he worked on) however later he was declared dead - a victim of violence.

    If we could have opened this 25 years ago we would want to solve it, but given how long ago this was - we just want to bring him home before his last sibling passes away, she's 95
     

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