You all know there are books where you can find out more about the cryptozoological part of his life. Today, let's explore a segment of the Yankee-Cowboy Texan's adventures that are a bit more covert, the cryptopolitics of Tom Slick.
Tom Slick had an interesting circle of friends.
Another man mentioned in the correspondence between Prescott Bush, Neil Mallon and Allen Dulles has also been linked to U.S. intelligence. Tom B. Slick of San Antonio, an oil heir and mutual friend of Mallon and Prescott Bush, Slick was entered in [George] de Mohrenschildt's address book in 1954-55.
The correspondence touts Slick as a potential government or political appointee in late 1952 and early 1953. In a reply to Bush to Allen Dulles, before the founding of Zapata, Dulles wrote Prescott Bush, Dec. 10, 1952: "If Slick should be interested in our line of
work here, I will be glad to talk with him."
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Slick was a world traveler and adventurer and was also a member of Dresser's board of directors. Like John Mecom, Slick was known to sell his specially-bred cattle to Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma. Democrat Senator Kerr, as a favor to his Republican Senator colleague Prescott Bush, asked W.C. "Jim" Savage to give George a tour of Kerr-McGee's offshore oil rigs. ~ Bruce Campbell Adamson
George de Mohrenschildt (April 17, 1911 – March 29, 1977) was a petroleum geologist and professor who befriended Lee Harvey Oswald in the summer of 1962 and maintained that friendship until Oswald's death two days after the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. He had personal acquaintance with the Bush family, including George H. W. Bush, with whose nephew, Edward G. Hooker, he had been roommates at Phillips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts. He also had personal acquaintance with the Bouvier family, including Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, the president's wife, when she was still a child. His testimony before the Warren Commission investigating the assassination was one of the longest of any witness.
Dresser Industries was a multinational corporation headquartered in Dallas, Texas, United States, which provided a wide range of technology, products, and services used for developing energy and natural resources. In 1928 the Wall Street investment-banking firm of W. A. Harriman and Company, Inc., converted the firm into a public company by issuing 300,000 shares of stock. H. Neil Mallon was selected as president and chief executive officer; holding that position until his retirement in 1962.
George H. W. Bush got his start in the Texas oil business through his father's friend Henry Neil Mallon, the president of Dresser Industries. Mallon offered George his first job at Dresser subsidiary International Derrick and Equipment Company (Ideco), in Odessa, Texas. Brown Brothers Harriman had underwritten Dresser’s transition from a private company to a publicly traded one. Years later, George named a son after Mallon (Neil Mallon Bush).
In 1953, Bush got money from Brown Brothers Harriman and, with partners Hugh and Bill Liedtke, formed Zapata Petroleum. By the late 1950s they were millionaires. Bush bought subsidiary Zapata Off-Shore from his partners and went into business on his own in 1954. By 1958, the new company was drilling on the Cay Sal Bank in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. These islands had been leased to Nixon supporter and CIA contractor Howard Hughes the previous year and were later used as a base for CIA raids on Cuba. Tom Slick and Howard Hughes became such close friends that they had adjoining cottages at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Slick was Director on the Board for Dresser, until his death on October 6, 1962.
The CIA was using companies like Zapata to stage and supply secret missions attacking Fidel Castro’s Cuban government in advance of the Bay of Pigs invasion. The CIA’s codename for that invasion was “Operation Zapata.” In 1981, all Securities and Exchange Commission filings for Zapata Off-Shore between 1960 and 1966 were destroyed. In other words, the year Bush became vice president, important records detailing his years at his drilling company disappeared. In 1969, Zapata bought the United Fruit Company of Boston, another company with strong CIA connections. The history of Dresser is an intriguing one.
In 1998, Dresser merged with its main rival Halliburton. (Dick Cheney was chairman and CEO of Halliburton Company from 1995 to 2000, and later served as the 46th Vice President of the United States, 2001–2009, under George W. Bush.)
Tragedies haunted Cord Meyer. One of Meyer's sons died in an automobile accident. Then there's the story of his former wife, Mary Pinchot Meyer, JFK's last lover. Mary Meyer was killed by an unknown assailant on October 12, 1964 on a C&O towpath in Washington D.C.
Meyer continued to try and get out of the CIA by joining a publishing firm. He had made some good contacts in this field during Operation Mockingbird. On 18th December, 1956, Cord's nine-year-old son, Michael, was hit by a car on the curve of highway near their house and killed. It was the same spot where the family's golden retriever had been killed two years earlier. Meyer got the message and he stopped applying for other jobs. This incident also made Mary Pinchot Meyer extremely hostile to the CIA. ~ John Simkin, The Education Forum
Slick established a number of research organizations, beginning in 1941 with the Foundation of Applied Research (now the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research; see also Argyle Hotel). He also founded the Institute of Inventive Research (1944; liquidated 1953), designed to develop and promote the ideas of independent inventors; the Southwest Research Institute (1947); the Southwest Agricultural Institute (1957); the Mind Science Foundation (1958), which investigates the human mind; and the Human Progress Foundation (1960), was intended to promote better conditions through science, education, and the advancement of peace. The first three of these-the SFRE, IIR, and SR-became units of the Southwest Research Center, which Slick endowed with 3,800 acres of land and $2 million. Slick helped to develop Brangus cattle, and his herd of registered Anguses was one of the three largest in the country. His oil activities included the discovery in 1947 of the Benedum Field in West Texas, one of the most significant oil finds in the United States after World War II. Slick was co-inventor of the lift-slab method of building construction. He wrote The Last Great Hope (1951) and Permanent Peace: A Check and Balance Plan (1958). He was a collector of modern art and sculpture. As an avid adventurer and world traveler, he spent two weeks with a Waiwai tribe in the jungles of British Guiana in 1956, after his plane made a forced landing during a diamond-hunting trip. He also organized several expeditions to search for the "Abominable Snowmen" in the Himalayan Mountains and led one of the expeditions himself, in 1957. Later his attention shifted to the Pacific Northwest, where there were reports of Bigfoot/Sasquatch, and Giant Salamanders.
Slick was a trustee and governor of the Texas Research Foundation, the Worchester Foundation for Experimental Biology (Massachusetts), the Stanford Research Institute (Palo Alto), Trinity University, and the San Antonio Medical Foundation. He was a member of numerous organizations, including the United World Federalists, the National Planning Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Explorers Club. He also served on the board of directors of a number of companies, including Slick Airways (associated with the CIA) and Dresser Industries (sponsored by Preston Bush and Neil Mallon for membership), and was a founder of the TexStar Corporation. In 1953, he received an honorary doctor of science degree from Trinity University. Slick was married and divorced twice and had four children. He died in a private airplane crash (an air explosion) on October 6, 1962, near Dell, Montana, and was buried in Mission Burial Park, San Antonio.
Sources: Loren Coleman, Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti (Boston: Faber and Faber, 1989). Loren Coleman. Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology (Fresno: Craven Street Books, 2002). Robert Lubar, "The Adventures of Tom Slick," Fortune, July 1960. San Antonio Express, October 8, 1962. San Antonio Express-News, December 24, 1989. Harold Vagtborg, The Story of Southwest Research Center (San Antonio: Southwest Research Institute, 1973). Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.