Naked on a boat

Kennedy on a boat

This is a beautiful story about John F. Kennedy and some ladies on a boat in the Mediterranean Sea, in the summer of 1956. The above photo could have changed history, according to TMZ, a website on entertainment news, who published it in September 2009.

by PERRY VERMEULEN

Kennedy enjoying a vacation
My second book starts with this narrative and I always begin my lectures with it: it says something about the image of the President. The photo shows two naked women jumping off the boat and two more naked women sunning on the top deck. Just below the top deck, a man appearing to be John F. Kennedy is lying on a deck, sunning himself. Multiple experts examined the photo and concluded it was authentic. There are numerous articles and books which mention a 2-week, Mediterranean boating trip that JFK, then a Senator,  took in August, 1956, with his brother Ted Kennedy and Senator George Smathers. They reportedly entertained a number of women on the yacht. Jackie Kennedy was pregnant at the time - daughter Arabella was stillborn on August 23.

From a drawer to global attention
For many years the photo was in the drawer of a man who owned a car dealership on the East coast. After his death, one of his sons inherited it. And in 2009, it was apparently time to share the image with the rest of the world. TMZ: “ Had the photo surfaced when John F. Kennedy ran for President in 1960, it could have torpedoed his run, and changed world history.” The press feasted: the photo was taken over by media around the world, without much research – a lot of free publicity for our friends at TMZ.

Pure deception
That same day, however, the whole story proved to be a hoax. Playboy Magazine used the picture in 1967, next to an article about exciting parties at sea: “Charter Yacht Party: How to Have a Ball on the Briny with an Able Bodied Complement of Ship’s Belles. As Andy sunned himself on deck, Elaine dove naked into the water while Roxanna provocatively shimmied up a ladder.” Not exactly a newsworthy picture, let alone a photo that could change world history could change.

FBI memo: Kennedy and several girls in the nude
But still… There is a memo from the FBI, written in 1960, which refers to a picture of a yacht, showing Kennedy, his friends and some “pictures in the nude”! Where did that picture go? JFK has never been known for its monogamic principles – the publication of that real photo would finally confirm a lot of the rumors. John F. Kennedy. He continues to fascinate the world, almost fifty years after his death…

Comments

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