Skip to comments.Scientists Cast Doubt on Kennedy Bullet Analysis
Posted on 05/17/2007 8:06:33 AM PDT by mjp
Multiple Shooters Possible, Study Says
In a collision of 21st-century science and decades-old conspiracy theories, a research team that includes a former top FBI scientist is challenging the bullet analysis used by the government to conclude that Lee Harvey Oswald alone shot the two bullets that struck and killed President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The "evidence used to rule out a second assassin is fundamentally flawed," concludes a new article in the Annals of Applied Statistics written by former FBI lab metallurgist William A. Tobin and Texas A&M University researchers Cliff Spiegelman and William D. James.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Where is the “Oh no, not this shit” guy?
Sitting here, saying: Oh no, not this shit again
What about the two shooters at the Lincoln assassination? You never hear about that.
“If the assassination fragments are derived from three or more separate bullets, then a second assassin is likely,” the researchers said.
So - there might have been three bullets, but there’s no positive indication that there were three bullets.
Oh, he’s still wrapped up in Scottish law.....
It always cracked me up that we have 5, count em, 5 bullet fragments from a “pristine bullet” that Arlen Sphinkter, er Spector, says is the only bullet that killed Kennedy.
Oh, and went on to whack the crap out of Connelly too!
And end up in pristine condition, (as if it had been fired into a swimming pool) on Kenndy’s gurney, to be found by hospital staff hours later!
Wonder were those fragments came from?
You also have to wonder how one bullet goes through Kennedy and Connaly and is not damaged at all and the bullet that hit Kennedy in the head disintegrates completely. If the bullets were military FMJ’s there should have been two pristine bullets in the limo. And why didn’t the bullet that hit Kennedy in the head continue on to hit Jackie or the driver?
They just won’t allow him to stay dead :-)
So if we find out who really did it Kennedy comes back to life?
If you're going to wade into this decades-old debate, at least get the basic facts right. The so-called "magic" bullet was the second shot. It did not kill anyone, but wounded Kennedy and Connally. The third shot killed Kennedy, and fragmented when it exploded his skull.
The second shot was substantially deformed, not "pristine," and it was found on Conally's gurney, not Kennedy's. Other than that, you make good points.
Several people sat around a long, rectangular table. The “instructor” and all but one person seated at the table were confederates in the experiment. The instructor held up a sheet of paper with a line drawn exactly six inches long. He then handed the sheet to a seated confederate and said, “Guess the length of this line.”
President Bush speaks to unidentified surviving relatives of peace officers who died in line duty, during the annual Peace Officers’ Memorial Service on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) The man, as previously agreed, said, “About two inches.” The paper then went clockwise around the table until it reached the only person not in on the experiment. Until then, each person “guessed” anywhere from two to three-and-a-half inches, even though the line was obviously much, much longer.
When the paper was slid to the final person — the only one not in on the ruse — he, too, said, “About three inches.”...
COMMENT: In this day of Political Correctness, few individuals have the courage to question Conventional Wisdom.
Idiots. Media has demonstrated on film a number of times that even a fair shooter can get off three aimed shots from that Carcano rifle in the alloted time. In fact, in most demonstrations, shooter hits moving human head-sized target all three times, as opposed to Oswald’s two hits.
smoke, fedora and I have read far too many books on this subject.
The point is someone will be looking into this for the next hundred years.
JFK were he to come back would no doubt be a Republican.
Still; why did one FMJ military round go through two people hitting bone and wind up intact while the other FMJ militry round “explodes” after hitting far less in Kennedy’s head?
While studying psychology in college, I read about an experiment on the pressure to conform.
And one can see that here, too -- on Free Republic. In fact, it goes one step further, from "conforming" to being "attacked", actually... LOL... Several people sat around a long, rectangular table. The instructor and all but one person seated at the table were confederates in the experiment. The instructor held up a sheet of paper with a line drawn exactly six inches long. He then handed the sheet to a seated confederate and said, Guess the length of this line.
Several people sat around a long, rectangular table. The instructor and all but one person seated at the table were confederates in the experiment. The instructor held up a sheet of paper with a line drawn exactly six inches long. He then handed the sheet to a seated confederate and said, Guess the length of this line.
The man, as previously agreed, said, About two inches. The paper then went clockwise around the table until it reached the only person not in on the experiment. Until then, each person guessed anywhere from two to three-and-a-half inches, even though the line was obviously much, much longer.
When the paper was slid to the final person the only one not in on the ruse he, too, said, About three inches....
Actually, he was probably a European, who was trying to think in centimeters and just gave up and agreed with everyone, rather than looking stupid. Or else, it was the first class of the morning and he was still asleep. On the other hand, he could be an illegal alien and didn't know inches from miles...
But, really..., this sort of thing would depend upon the particular individual. I mean, there are "contrarians", too you know. I prefer to be a "significant realistic contrarian" (just made it up...). That would be that you are only a contrarian on something significant and only on the basis of realism. But, then, sometimes "contrarian" gets the better of you and everything else goes out the window... LOL...
To their credit, the researchers cited said only that the metallurgical analysis was flawed, and a new esamination should be performed. IF the fragments came from more than one bullet -- emphasis on IF -- then a second shooter is likely. The scientists do not conclude that was the case. They don't even conclude that the HSCA analysis was wrong, only that its method was flawed.
The first round to hit (second round fired) went through a good deal of soft tissue before it first struck bone, by which time it had lost most of its velocity. The second hit (third fired) struck the cranium at full speed. The cranium is a pretty hard surface (some harder than others) -- otherwise, none of us would have survived childhood in the days before bicycle helmets.
About twenty years ago, a couple of us did a little work on angles, speed, and lead time, and came to the conclusion that Oswald was probably seeing Connally in his sights when he hit Kennedy. Since he’d been in open conflict with Connally, we found that interesting.
A FMJ round will not explode on hitting such thin bone as the skull. It would mushroom but not explode.
I have fired many military rounds into all kinds of hard and soft material and none of them exploded.
I don’t believe I used the word exploded. Bullets certainly fragment and there were bullet fragments left behind in his head. The majority of the bullet exited the front of his head.
Then where is the majority of the bullet?
Post #16 said the bullet exploded in his head.
How long will it take for Waxman to hold hearings and blame Karl Rove?
At one time, I strongly believed in the existence of other possible shooter(s) besides or in addition to Oswald. But that was so 15 years ago. Today, none of the conspiracy theories seem to pass my smell test. Does anyone else feel this way?
The relevant sentence: "The third shot killed Kennedy, and fragmented when it exploded his skull." The bullet fragmented. The president's skull exploded.
Your conclusion that I meant to say that the bullet exploded is valid if you assume that I dropped a word from "when it exploded in his skull." I didn't drop a word (I'm not claiming that I never do, but I didn't this time).
Agreed. It is easy to raise questions, but hard to find answers. Most of the conspiracy theories contradict themselves. They exist only to attempt to raise doubt and not to provide answers.
In the National Archives. If memory serves, it was found on the floor of the limousine, but I couldn't confirm that with a quick Google.
That was the so called pristine bullet. There should be two bullets in the archive if the one that hit Kennedy’s head was mostly intact.
I agree with you...
years ago I thought there was more than one shooter
and the Mob and many others wanted JFK dead but after seeing the evidence, I now believe that Oswald just happened to get JFK before anyone else did...
wrong/right place at the wrong/right time...
I also believe Jack Ruby was just a head case “mafia wannabe” who happened to be in the garage at the time Oswald was being transported.
again right/wrong place right/wrong time...
I do have a problem with the JFK autopsy pictures.
Some have a small hole in the back of JFK’s head while other pictures show a HUGE hole in the back of his head.
Two bullet fragments were found on the floor of the limo from the shot that hit the President’s head. I believe there is a question as to if the bullet fragmented into those two pieces as a result of passing through the skull, or if was a result of it striking the limo.
I was pretty sure there was a conspiracy until I started looking at the evidence more seriously. Gerald Posner's "Case Closed," despite its ambitious title, wasn't the end of the road for me, but it definitely had an impact on my thinking.
The case for a conspiracy, by and large, hangs on a few alleged facts -- 1) that Oswald could not have fired three shots in the time allotted; 2) that the path of the "magic bullet" was physically impossible; 3) that the Warren Commission missed key facts, and therefore must have been covering them up.
1) the "time allotted" was based on a misreading of the Zapruder film and the acoustical analysis of a dictabelt recording that, come to find out, wasn't recorded ad Dealey Plaza at all. When you go from three shots in <5 seconds to three shots in >8 seconds, it becomes far more plausible. Not even that difficult, really.
2) The meandering path of the "magic bullet" is only valid if you assume that Kennedy and Connally were sitting bolt-upright with their hands in their laps. If Kennedy was leaning a few degreed forward and Connally a few degrees back -- which is not merely plausible, but supported by the Zapruder film -- the bullet's path is a straight line.
3) The Warren Commission was tasked with a large job on a tight deadline, and there are certainly gaps in its investigation. But the evidence that has since come to light tends to bolster rather than undermine its basic conclusion that Oswald was the lone shooter. Whether he was supported or encouraged by others is unknowable; that knowledge died with him.
I think a lot of people cling to conspiracy theories because the Kennedy assassination will be the last of its kind; since JFK, every presidential sneeze is covered by state-of-the-art TV cameras. Of course, that won't stop speculation -- the 9/11 attacks were the single most documented event in all human history, but that doesn't stop people from reading a sinister meaning into every shadow.
The conspiracy theories, if you look at them critically instead of accepting them on their face, are nearly incoherent; Kennedy was killed by the Mob because he was after them, by oil barons because he was a communist, by the communists because he tried to kill Castro, or by the Military-Industrial Complex because he wanted to pull out of Vietnam. Oh, and the CIA fits in there somewhere. None of these theories fits the Occam's razor test as well as does one loon, one rifle, three shots.
I actually think the autopsy photos were more a product of incompetence rather than anything sinister.
CE (commission exhibit) 399 is the "pristine" or "magic" bullet, which was recovered at Parkland Hospital. That one I know to be in the Archives; I know people who've handled it.
As I said, my recollection -- and I hasten to say that it's just that -- is that the fatal shot was recovered from inside the limousine. A quick Google didn't find anything to bolster or refute my memory, and this thread has already absorbed a chunk of my day, so I'll flag that to check up on later.
You are correct to say that if I'm right, there should be two bullets in the Archives. I can't prove that there are or aren't, but to the best of my memory there are. CE399 is the center of all the conspiracy theories, so it's a little difficult to get past it and find info on the kill shot.
I believe that Kennedy was wearing a back brace due to the effects of his Addison's Disease and his WWII injuries. His public image was so wrapped up in being healthy and robust that that fact was a deep, dark secret.
In fact, JFK was relatively frail -- and I don't mean relative to an NFL player, I mean relative to oh, say, me. He would have been 4-F in World War II had his father not pulled every available string to get him into the Navy.
A back brace would certainly change the drape of his suit, and would have been covered up to protect his image, not to hide an assassin.
I actually think the autopsy photos were more a product of incompetence rather than anything sinister.
That, and the product of ER docs whose mission is -- and rightly so -- to take every step to save a life, not to preserve evidence. The throat wound, believed to be an exit wound, was mangled by efforts at an emergency tracheotomy.
The problem is the conspiracy nuts can’t leave well enough alone. There are so many theories, so many suggested assassins, that one comes to realize they cannot all be true.
The books “Conspiracy of One” and “Best Evidence” turned the tide for good with me. The OJ trial had a strange relevance as well, for I saw first hand how someone can build a case on nitpicking, distortions, and innuendo. The techniques were exactly the same as those employed by the conspiracy nuts. In both cases there was not a single shred of evidence of another killer, just bogus doubts about the facts that pointed to the real killers.
Don’t forget that Connally sat in a jump seat that was lower, and off to one side relative to JFK. People like Oliver Stone always show diagrams with both men in identical seats perfectly aligned in a straight, level line.
Great response.....thanks for taking the time.
The back brace also explains why his body reacted the way it did before, during, and after the head shot.
‘Oh, and went on to whack the crap out of Connelly too!’
A scientific term from CSI?
Just kidding, its entirely accurate depiction of what happened to Connelly on that fateful day.
‘So if we find out who really did it Kennedy comes back to life?’
If that works, apply it to Monroe instead....
‘The second shot was substantially deformed, not “pristine,” and it was found on Conally’s gurney, not Kennedy’s. Other than that, you make good points.’
Not the tip. Yep some odd ‘damage’ to the base of the bullet...curiously found on the gurney, with no blood on it as I seem to recall reading.
I’ve never bought the insistence that was ‘the’ bullet. How often do you find a spent round thats claimed to do so much damange to two human beings, break a bone along the way, and not be the proverbial ‘mushroom shape’ if not worse?
Those of us that shoot know a heavy cardboard ‘backing’ to a paper target will ‘deform’ as in ‘flatten’ the tip of a round. If its a case of the bullet ‘tumbling’...well, that just raises even more questions about the ‘deformation’ or lack thereof.
Just my opinion.
You don't really think
Kennedy died, do you? That's
what they tell sheeple!
The "Death Of The King"
ritual was just a show
put on by Masons!
Right now Kennedy
is with Marilyn Monroe
living in Britain!