The FBI and the Lone Ranger

Last week, I got a letter from the FBI in the mail. This is a fairly frequent occurrence, as I tend to file a lot of FOIA requests with them. I was a bit taken back, though, when I opened the letter, because I didn’t immediately recognize the name of the subject of the FOIA request.

When you think of The Lone Ranger, you think of Clayton Moore, right? Well, Moore is only the iconic, best-known actor behind the famous mask; it turns out that in 1952, a little-known actor named John Hart took up the role for two seasons of the show.

Hart passed away in September 2009, at the age of 91.

According to the FBI:

Records which may be responsive to your Freedom of Information-Privacy Acts (FOIPA) request were destroyed June 14, 1990 through September 8, 2003. Since this material could not be reviewed, it is not known if it was responsive to your request. The retention and disposal of records is governed by statute and regulation under the supervision of the National Archives and Records Administration…

Additionally, a search of the Central Records System maintained at FBI Headquarters indicated that potentially responsive records have been sent to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Since these records were not reviewed, it is not known if they are actually responsive to your request.

If you wish to review these potentially responsive records, send your request to NARA at the following address using file numbers 91-9371, 173-6375, 44-38346 as a reference:

National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001

It sounds like, potentially, there’s a lot we don’t know about the “other Lone Ranger”, waiting to be unearthed at the National Archives in Maryland. The three files involve bank burglary or robbery (91-9371), violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (173-6375), and election laws or voting rights violations (44-38346). What’s in them? Your guess is as good as any.

If you wanted to request these files from NARA, it could potentially be a pretty big “scoop”. Feel free – I’m not going to ask for them, because I can’t afford NARA’s extortionate fees just at the moment ($0.75/page duplication, no freebies or exemptions.)

I can’t guarantee the contents of the files contain anything earth-shattering or exciting, but that’s the gamble you take, isn’t it? Now go, fledgling entertainment reporter, and file your FOIA requests to discover just who that masked man really was…

Published in: Geekiness, General, History | on January 12th, 2010| Comments Off on The FBI and the Lone Ranger

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