THE WATERGATE ARTIFACT EXHIBIT INCLUDING WHAT'S RUMORED TO BE THE WATERGATE BUG
Now With Key Video Presentations
Of The Watergate Story And Actual
Audio Presentations Of What Was On The Tapes
Watergate Bug, 1970's
And The Watergate Audio Tapes
Note: There are several hours of online video and audio coverage on
The hardware material comes from the collection of James Greenwold owner
Surveillance Inc of Chippewa Falls, WI. Through several sources,
he has verified that this is the type of bug (rumored to be one of three
actual units) used by the Watergate burglars in their planting of bugs
in the Democratic National Headquarters. It has been acquired by Ralph
Thomas and the Spy And Private-Eye Museum as a historical relic. Although
the bug is in nonworking condition, it's quite interesting.
If you can recall, the burglars went back in because the bugs where
not working (so the story goes). Anyway, the top photo is close ups
of the actual unit, (The transceiver and control shell) and the below
is a photo of all of the receiver and tone control module positioned
at the listening post. The “on” button was pushed on the
tone control to activate the bug. The “off” button was used
to shut it down to save battery and avoid sweep detection. It's hard
to believe, but the planting of this type of equipment brought down
the Nixon administration.
Aside from the actual bug, President Nixon was covertly recording conversations
in the oval office with his staff and others. The recordings were secret
and very few people knew about them. The Nixon secret recordings were
revealed by Alexander
Porter Butterfield who was a White House staff member when he gave
testimony about the secret taping system during the televised US
Senate Watergate hearings. The senate hearings mesmerized the nation
and they were covered by television gavel to gavel. By happenstance
Ralph Thomas, owner and developer of the Spy And Private-Eye Museum,
was setting in the audience of the hearing room the day Butterfield
testified that there was a secret tape recording system in the White
House. At the time, Thomas was in his 20's. The tapes were of course,
subpoenaed and Nixon quickly refused to release them. The Nixon administration
fought a legal battle on the release of the tapes recordings and it
went all the way to the US Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court ruled
that Nixon must release the tapes. The tapes revealed Nixon's knowledge
and cover up of Watergate and brought down his Presidency. You can listen
to key Nixon Watergate Tapes by clicking on the links below.
Audio Links From The Spy And Private-Eye Museum
Discussion Of Bugs Tape
Friday, September 15, 1972
White House Oval Office
President Nixon, H.R.Haldeman, John W. Dean III
About 34 Minutes Click Here
To Play The Wave Recording
A discussion of press treatment of the break-in and lawsuits;
discovery of another bug in the DNC; bugs in other political campaigns;
DNC lawsuits; Edward Bennett Williams; RNC countersuits; election
law violations; Congress; the burglars' civil rights; the Washington
Post's TV & Radio licenses; depositions on sex-lives of DNC
Friday, June 23, 1972
White House Oval Office
President Nixon And H. R. Haleman
About Eight Minutes Click Here
To Play Wave File of Recording
"The Smoking Gun" conversation: Haldeman and Nixon discuss
the progress of the FBI's investigation especially the tracing
of the source of money found on the burglars. They propose having
the CIA ask the FBI to halt their investigation of the Watergate
break-in by claiming that the break-in was a national security
operation. This was the final tape release in the final days of
the Nixon Presidency that triggered his resignation speech. After
this type was released, almost all support for Nixon for an impeachment
in the US Senate was gone.
on the Presidency" Tape
Wednesday, March 21, 1973
White House Oval Office
President Nixon. H.R.Haldeman. John W. Dean
About 37 Minutes Click Here
To Play Wave File Of Recording
The "Cancer on the Presidency" conversation: Dean recaps
the history of the Watergate break-in and subsequent cover-up
for the President. They guess at who was responsible for setting
the break-in in motion. Dean tells the President that the cover-up
is "a cancer on the Presidency" that must be excised
or his Presidency would be in danger. Also discussed: references
to blackmail, perjury; discussion of paying the burglars off with
one million dollars. This tape has John Dean talking about hush
money paid to the Watergate burglars to keep them quite. Dean
tells Nixon that there is a "cancer" growing around
the his Presidency and that these people are going to want a lot
more money to remain quite. Nixon asks how much Dean thinks it
would cost and dean states that it could cost a million dollars.
Nixon is recorded stating that he knew where a million dollars
could be obtained.
Resignation Speech Listen
to a complete Real Audio tape of Nixon's resignation speech.
Sony TC-800B Audio Recorder
The secret White House taping system used a Sony TC-800B audio recording
machine like the one on the right. It was a simple machine that
was not expensive and cheap tiny Lavalier mics were used that were
hidden throughout the Oval office and Nixon's hideout office in
the OEB. The recordings were made on thin 0.5-mm tape running at
the unusual speed of 15é16 inch per second - half the speed
of a cassette recorder. The slow tape speed degrades the recording's
already poor signal-to-noise ratio.This accounts for the poor quality
of the tapes.
Uher 5000 Tape Recorder
And The 18.5 Minute Gap
While the recordings were recorded on the Sony TC-800B, Nixon played
them back and reviewed them on a Uher 5000. The famous 18.5 minute
gap was determined to be caused, not by Rosemary Woods in a transcribing
accident, but caused by eight separate erasers.
When the Watergate Story broke, it appeared to be contained.
Nixon won his second election to the Presidency by a landslide. Then
on July 16th after his election, everything changed. Alexander Butterfield,
a White House aid; revealed the existence of a secret White House taping
system before the Senate Committee.
Other Watergate/Nixon Related Exhibits
Government Exhibit: Security
Officer's Log of the Watergate Office Building Showing Entry for June
Below is a close up of the 1:47 AM log about calling the police from
the above book.
Government Exhibit: Address
Book of Watergate Burglar Bernard Barker,
Discovered in a Room at the Watergate Hotel, June 18, 1972
In fighting to keep from
releasing the tapes, Nixon first released a transcript of the tapes
and went on national TV to explain that. It didn't work.
To The Left Is NIxon's Official
Resignation Letter Addressed To The Secretary Of State
On The Right Is The Gerald Ford Pardon Of Richard Nixon Click Here To See Larger
Images Of These Documents
President Nixon meeting with
Vice President Ford in the Oval Office informing him
that he was resigning as President the following day.
Almost every newspaper in
the country ran huge headlines about Nixon resigning the day of his
television speech and the day after when Ford became President. These
newspapers pictured above
are on display in the Spy And Private-eye Museum along with the Watergate
bug which you can
see in person in Austin, Texas.
Nixon giving his farewell
speech to his staff from the East room of the
White House before leaving the last time as President.
Government Exhibit: The Watergate
Note: The building on the other side of the street was the Howard Johnson's
Hotel at the time.
A copy of the original court
file charging key members of the Nixon administration with conspiracy,
false statements to a governmental agency, and obstruction of justice.
Aside from the
original Watergate Burglars, the top staff of Nixon went to jail. Nixon
resigned and Gerald Ford became President. President Ford quickly found
that he was spending way to much time on Watergate and Nixon after he
took office. There was much talk of bringing criminal charges upon President
Nixon. Ford determined that it was best for the nation to issue a full
pardon for President Nixon. Below is a photo of President Ford announcing
the Pardon to the public on nationwide television.
Photo, Nixon Inaugural Invitation and Presidential Seal. Materials given
Ralph Thomas, the developer of the Spy and Private-Eye Museum; in the
1960's after his position
as youth chairman for the Nixon For President Campaign in Central Florida.
Thomas was still in high
school at the time. The signed photo was signed in the Oval office.
The Invitation is the original invitation
that was mailed to him.
An Ashtray From The
This ashtray was in
use at the Watergate Hotel during the time period of the Watergate
Affair. No one knows who's cigarettes were put out in it!
All The President's Men, the book and the movie by
Bob Woodward And Carl
Bernstein is about these Washington Post investigative reporter
story of how they cracked the case of the Watergate Affair. The above
book is a photo of a book once owned by Washington DC private Investigator
Beltrante who was called in to debug the offices of the Democratic
National Headquarters in the Watergate Building after the burglars where
caught. The book is signed by Bob Woodward. The photo on the right is
Woodward And Carl Bernstein taken during the time
that they had Watergate under investigation for the Washington Post.
The photo is hand signed by Bob Woodward. These were two very young
reporters at the time!
A rather rare
collection of Richard Nixon campaign buttons in the Ralph Thomas
collection and part of the Spy And Private-Eye Museum.
Card While President.
Gordon Liddy signed photo and a copy of his book, Will G. Gordon
Liddy was one of those indicted
and served a prison term for his part in the Watergate Break-in. Today,
he has a highly popular
Nixon The Movie
Nixon was played by Anthony Hopkins in the movie which you can still
obtain on video and DVD.
Nixon Elvis Photo-The Most
Requested Photograph from The Federal Government
While Nixon was President, Elvis Presley went to the White House, handed
a guard at the
gate a hand written letter and then got in to see the President. What
Elvis was after was a DEA agent
badge as he was a collector of police badges and generally got them
issued with his name on it.
During the meeting Nixon commented, "Why do you dress like that?"
Elvis's answer was, "Mr. President,
you have your show and I have mine." Despite the bizarreness of
the meeting between the two, the
above photograph quickly became the most requested official governmental
photograph from citizens ever.
(Many call the meeting the meeting between Mr. Cool And Mr. Square.)
Nixon, by executive order, had Elvis Presley made an honorary DEA agent
and his badge was issued to him. You can read more about this and see
copies of Elvis's hand-written letters to Nixon as well as a lot of
other photos by clicking
Upon the opening of the Richard
Nixon Presidential Library, this photo was taken
of four presidents with their signature and sent to various supporters.
was mailed to Ralph Thomas.
YouTube Video Presentation
By Alexander Butterfield
Alexander Butterfield was The White House assistant That Revealed The
Existence Of The White House Taping System To The Senate Committee
Gives A Presentation On His Events While Working For Nixon
Reels Of The Watergate Affair
Source: The film reels are drawn from contemporary television
network news coverage of the events. From The Gerald R, Ford Library
Post Achieves Of Published Watergate Stories
If it was not for Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward and the Washington
Post, Watergate and it's cover up might not have come to attention.
At first, no one paid much attention to the Watergate Stories
than ran in the Washington Post. Slowly, people started paying
attention as the rookie new reporters developed more and more
facts. In the end, it brought down the Nixon Presidency.
Richard Nixon Library And Birthplace
The Richard Nixon Library And Birthplace is the presidential library
of President Nixon. His birthplace home is also on the grounds
as well as his final resting place. Be sure to take the museum
tour. Although the Watergate Affair was a scandal in it's time
that brought down the President, Nixon did a lot of good during
The Ralph D. Thomas PI Vintage Collection
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