Monday, November 21, 2011

"JFK: THE LOST BULLET"

November 21, 2011


"JFK: THE LOST BULLET"


Knoxville, Tennessee (JFKASSASSINATION) Last night the National Geographic Channel aired a new documentary titled "JFK: The Lost Bullet".


FoxNews.com says that in the program "historians claim new research shows Oswald acted alone in (the) JFK assassination."


Fox adds that "a team of historians & retired secret service officers (have) used new technology on old evidence to solidify the judgment that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone."


Having watched most every documentary on the JFK assassination, supporting both "lone gunman" & "conspiracy" viewpoints, I am always interested in the latest one.


I watched this documentary last night with an open mind & will attempt in this post to give it a fair critique.


I do want to say that I found the program very well done & very interesting.  While I do not agree with all the conclusions, I recommend it highly.


I. THESIS


First, the focus of the program is on the work of historian Max Holland who says that the Zapruder film "did not capture the whole thing."


Holland argues that Zapruder stopped filming before the 1st shot was fired & started filming again before the 2nd & 3rd shots were fired.


Holland then uses other films which were made, according to him, at the time of the 1st shot.


All these home movies, Zapruder's included, have been digitally enhanced to HD quality by Image Trends of Austin, Texas.




              Abraham Zapruder's
                     Bell & Howell 
       "Zoomatic" Movie Camera
FBI Exhibit, National Archives Images


Holland concludes the 1st shot which was fired at the motorcade & missed (according to the Warren Report) came before Zapruder restarted filming & since the Warren Commission based their conclusions only on the Zapruder film's time sequence, wrongly claimed the 1st shot came later than it actually did.


The documentary's groundbreaking conclusion is that the 1st shot hit a traffic light & was deflected then hitting the curb down by the overpass which caused a splattering of concrete some of which hit James Tague & left a cut on his face.


That traffic light has long since been replaced & no mention was made in the program about what happened to it, but Holland says there is a  "white spot" or "defect" visible on the traffic light as seen on the secret service reenactment film made shortly after the assassination.


Thus, according to Holland, Oswald had more than 11 seconds to fire 3 shots rather than 6 seconds as previously thought. 


THREE SHOTS


Holland identifies the "3 shots" (Warren Commission conclusion) as "A", "B" & "C" & the program covers these shots in reverse order.


I. SHOT "C"


Shot "C" is the 3rd or fatal shot to JFK's head.  


The HD quality Zapruder film is shown.  It debunks the "wild" theory that the limo driver fired the fatal shot.  He is, however, clearly seen turning to look toward the back after JFK was hit.


Another theory, "not so easily dismissed" according to the narrator, is that the 3rd shot came from the right front or "Grassy Knoll".  


They show a view from the picket fence on the knoll & say that if a shot came from there it would also have hit Mrs. Kennedy.


I found it very interesting that from the camera angle at that point is was easy to see that a shot from that location, fired at JFK, would have acutally missed Mrs. Kennedy.


Then, Holland says something that, in my opinion, is completely ridiculous.


He says that witnesses "ran up the knoll (after the shots) because it was the closest area" to the motorcade.


While the reasons each witness chose to run up there could well vary, the evidence shows that most of the witnesses who were in the area away from the Texas School Book Depository thought the shots came from the grassy knoll.


That's why many of them "raced up there" not because it was closest (sorry to say, but that's an absurd statement, Max.)




AMOS EUINS


An excellent part of the program is the inclusion of eyewitness Amos Euins who was the same age as me in 1963 (15).


Euins was standing across from the Depository & saw a rifle in the 6th floor SE corner window.

The program says although Euins was interviewed for television at the time, since then he has not made appearances until now. (I have not seen Euins in later days on any previous documentary).



Euins told Holland that the 1st shot came when JFK's limo was in line with a highway sign, which again would put the 1st shot coming before previously thought.


Euins believed,& still does, that all 3 shots came from the TSBD.


Evidence, not included in this documentary, shows that most eyewitnesses who were located in the area of the Depository thought the shots came from there.*


*Opinion:  Since witnesses closest to the Depository thought that's where the shots were fired & witnesses closest to the Grassy Knoll thought that's where they were fired, one could, I think, assume that shots were fired from both locations by two different shooters.




                        Dealey Plaza
                       Dallas, Texas
        Photo by Brodie319 (2003)


THE BELL FILM


Then, the enhanced version of the "Bell Film" is shown & Holland says that as Bell is panning the knoll (after the motorcade has left the scene) "there's nobody there".


Well, Max, did you expect a shooter firing from behind the picket fence would just stand there & look after firing the shot?**


**The documentary does not give any evidence regarding shooters on the knoll such as the facts that there were footprints & cigarette butts left in an area behind the picket fence & that witnesses on the overpass saw smoke rising from the line of trees on the grassy knoll. 


They also omitted Bill Newman, who standing at the curbside with the grassy knoll behind him, said in a live TV interview made within minutes of the shooting that the shots "came from behind us" & that JFK "was hit in the (right) temple."


II. SHOT "B"


The 2nd shot, the program says, is the one dubbed "the magic bullet" by "conspiracy theorists".


This shot, according to the Warren Report, entered at the base of the back of JFK's neck, passed downward through his throat, exited the front of his throat then entered Governor Connally's right back, passed through his chest breaking a rib, exited near the nipple, continued downward striking his right wrist & then deflected lodging in his left thigh.


This sequence of events is known as the "single or magic bullet theory".


Holland reminds us that this idea was considered after the realization was made that a single shooter firing the bolt-action rifle later found on the 6th floor of the Depository could not be fired twice in the time span that JFK & Governor Connally were hit.*


*The Zapruder film shows JFK & Connally hit within 1.6 seconds of one another but the Manlicher-Carcano bolt action rifle required a minimum of 2.3 seconds to fire between shots. (the bolt-action ejects an empty shell & pushes in a new live round during that time period).




          Arlen Specter Demonstrates
            The Single Bullet Theory*
          Warren Commission Report
                    Volume 18 (1964)


*Mr. Specter was a consul for the Warren Commission. He later became a
  United States Senator from Pennsylvania.


The program does not mention that the FBI Report, issued before the Warren Report was completed & used as a primary source of information for the Warren Commission, found JFK & Connally were hit by different shots.


To make a case that the single bullet theory is true, Holland has a "shooter" located at the 6th floor window of the TSBD fire a laser at the JFK car.


The stand-in for JFK then is shown to have a small green mark in the upper back.  Holland then has "JFK" move out of the way & "wa-la" the same green dot appears at Connally's right shoulder.


I will give credit here to the program when the narrator says that this shows both men "COULD (have been) hit by a single bullet."*


*The program does not mention that at JFK's autopsy an entry wound was found in JFK's back about 5 inches below the neck line or "at the level of the 3rd thoracic vertebrae" & that in attempting to "track" this bullet, no exit & no bullet was found.  


Also, if the "magic bullet" was fired from the 6th floor, coming at a downward trajectory & entered JFK's back 5 inches below the neck, it could not exit the throat from the front unless it changed direction from downward to upward inside the body.


III. SHOT "A"


The 1st shot fired, according to the Warren Commission, missed the car & hit a curb down by the overpass. 


Holland says that since that 1st shot did not hit anyone, the Warren Commission did not think it necessary to give it more than passing consideration.


Holland claims, however, that the timing of the 1st shot is critical to showing that a single shooter had more time to fire 3 shots than previously thought.


Using an enhanced secret service reenactment film made shortly after the assassination, Holland claims that a white mark on a traffic light indicates that the 1st shot hit the traffic light & then continued on down toward the overpass.




        Elm Street toward the overpass
                   Dallas, Texas (2009)
           Photo by M. Denise Costello*


*by permission from Ms. Costello
          mdenisec.blogspot.com


Again, Holland says that this 1st shot came when Zapruder's camera was not rolling & thus the 1st shot came several seconds before the Warren Report said it did.


Holland argues that it wasn't "Six Seconds in Dallas" but "Eleven Plus Seconds in Dallas" giving Oswald, in his opinion, plenty of time to fire the 3 shots.*


*I honestly think Holland has brought up an interesting question on this 1st shot.  In my personal reading & research, I too have concentrated on the 2nd & 3rd shots.  To be fair to Max Holland, I need to revisit the 1st shot & will give my conclusions in a future post.


CONCLUSION


"JFK: The Lost Bullet" is well worth your time.  It is an interesting documentary which has something that previous programs do not in that it gives the viewer who has an HDTV a look at various films made on November 22, 1963, including the Zapruder Film, in high definition.


The program also gives the viewer his due.  It does not make you feel like a total loser if you don't happen to agree with their conclusions.  By saying things like a shot from the grassy knoll "cannot be so easily dismissed" or that both JFK & Connally "COULD" have been both hit by one bullet, they leave room for an alternate view.  I, for one, appreciate that approach.

































16 comments:

  1. Thanks, Anonymous, the storm drain theory is also one that deserves mention...a shooter firing from a storm drain at street level. I also did not mention that all witnesses at Parkland & Bethesda (autopsy) said the BACK of JFK's head (on the right side) was "blasted out" again supporting a shot from the front.

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  2. Just watched it here tonight in the UK - I dont believe the program has contributed very much to whats known already. Why didnt they spend time scanning the plaza with sophisticated metal detection equipment to try to find the missing bullet? Some remnants could still be embedded in the grass? But for me, the most important missing bullet is the one in Connolys thigh. The Parkland Doctors first press conference said the bullet was still in his thigh (not loose on a stretcher) - where did this thigh bullet go after its surgical removal?
    Regards
    Mike ONeill

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  3. We appreciate your thoughtful comment, Mike. You have raised some very good questions. Obviously if there was a fragment in Connally's thigh it could not have been from the so-called "magic" or "pristine" bullet found on a stretcher at Parkland because that bullet does not have much material, if any, missing from it. Thanks, John.

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  4. Hi John
    I was 9 years old when the news of the assassination reached the UK on that Friday. It was early evening here. Ive been dedicated to its research and understanding ever since. I alternate between holding the view that Oswald truly did it alone to and there was a conspiracy!
    But for me - there is one very significant issue which makes me believe he didnt do it - and this is - he DIDNT admit to doing it. He was paraded along the Police Dept corridors a number of times with the press bombarding him with questions and each time he denied involvement (I am a patsy etc).
    I'm convinced if he did do it he would have used these press opportunities to "claim" his 15 minutes of fame. Surely if he was guilty - wouldnt he have said something like "Yes i did it, and the reason why i did it is ..........."
    Why would he deny it when he had the chance to fully explain his motives and reasons to the entire world?
    Regards
    Mike O'Neill

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  5. Excellent point on Oswald refusing to claim responsibility. Along with that is the fact he was seen 90 seconds after the shooting on the 2nd floor of the TSBD by Officer Marion Baker & Oswald was not out of breath or a subject of suspicion other than the fact he was seen moving away from the window in the door. While I believe LHO had to be involved in some way, I do not believe he was the shooter whose bullet killed JFK.* I appreciate your interest & your dedication to the study of the JFK assassination.
    John

    *He may have been assigned to bring in the rifle & plant the evidence or he might have even fired at the motorcade, but I just don't believe a bullet from the Manlicher-Carcano caused the explosion & damage to JFK's head.

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  6. Something i find very significant is in one of the corridoor statements LHO says "No i havent been charged with that YET". "Yet" is a strange word to add onto his sentence. Perhaps me and you would simply have said "No i havent been charged with that" Period. The word "Yet" suggests he was awaiting that to happen -- all part of the Pre - Plan perhaps??

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  7. Interesting? Certainly. Truthful? Absolutely. By the 100th anniversary of JFK's death, the "conspiracy" angle will be an idea long since debunked... just like everything else CTs have raised since '64.

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    1. Thanks for your reply but if you are so certain of your support of the "lone gunman" theory, perhaps you should identify yourself. The "conspiracy angle" will never be debunked as long as there are questions that remain unanswered...& there are plenty of those 50 years after the fact.

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  8. Thanks for the comment. It would be wonderful if in 2063, or even before, the "truth & nothing but the truth" of the JFK assassination could be made known to the general public. The question I would ask, however, is what evidence is there left to come out which would "debunk" the conspiracy angle completely or prove conclusively no one but LHO was involved?

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  9. Well, I just watched "JFK: The Lost Bullet" for the first time and I'm disappointed with it.

    Sure to give credit where credit's due I think the work done on the Zapruder film and other film's were great, and there's no doubt that more work, time and effort needs to be done on them. But from reading many articles about this documentary before watching I was given the impression there would be little doubt that we could at the very least be able to see a figure in the 6th floor window, especially from the Hughes film but nope, not even slightly close. All we could see was a brown blob which we could pretty much see before the work on the film was done. Hardly conclusive of anything really, just a confirmation that "something", whether it be a person or boxes, was there - and that's coming from someone who believes a figure was in fact there and shooting from that location, but nope, it's certainly not conclusive from this documentary.

    It was also very annoying how they kept referring to it as Oswald, not even bothering to try and take a neutral position. The impression I for one got was they, particularly Max Holland, the one making this documentary, was that they believed Oswald was the shooter and that was that. Nothing else was possible. The mere possibility of someone else being involved was not even considered for a second. A frustrating approach most definitely.

    One thing I also wasn't too keen on and thought was perhaps a little bit patronizing was how they kept referring to people who may believe anything other than the warren commission's final conclusions as "The Conspiracy Theorists", but I guess that's to be expected with these kind's of documentaries. I actually almost felt like I was watching JFK: The Ruby Connection all over again in fact.

    All in all, and like I said, I'm pretty disappinted with this documentary. They were waaaayy too quick to claim something has been debunked when it certainly was not, this much more frustrating when they went onto say "of course this will never satisfy the conspiracy theorists" and they also provided nowhere near enough information when needed. They also left out lots of information which, quite conveniently perhaps, makes their theories that little bit harder to believe. Take what I said in one last posts he did for example:



    It would however be interesting to see if they mention Officer Baker, Caroline Arnold or any of the other sightings from the witnesses on the ground though, but I doubt they will.



    Yep, I called it alright. There was NOT a single mention of Police officer Baker and when he saw Oswald in the building, nor is there a mention of anyone else who saw him such as Caroline Arnold for example before the assassination, and of course they failed to mention any of the witnesses who reported seeing more than 1 figure also. This among other key information coming from figures such as Lee Bowers for example, and the length of time between shots, particularly the last 2, that has to be considered yet was not.

    The most surprising part of the documentary, for me anyway, was near the ending where Max Holland tried to claim that the first shot hit a traffic light above hundreds of witnesses, this being which caused the extreme miss that went onto strike James Tague near the underpass.. but how on earth can a bullet from a high powered rifle hit a traffic light, which was meters away from hundreds of witnesses remember, and have none of them notice it? It's very far-fetched and I don't see how it can have any truth to it in all honesty. He doesn't even address this issue.

    All in all I'm not impressed and I felt they were patronizing and left gaping holes, but maybe I'm just being too skeptical here, I'm not sure. I'd be interested to hear what others thought on this documentary..

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  10. I am also from the UK and I like millions of others have had a great interest in the worlds most famous murder. I have viewed this documentary along with countless others and read numerous books and articles too. It's fair to say that this documentary put's up some interesting theories but I am scepticle they are truely diffinitive. To use modern techniques on such old evidence is hard to believe can result in any great unravelling of this tragic story. We can image enhance all the film we want but the fact of the matter is that the technology used to shoot film and take pictures back then was extremly poor. I have looked an hundreds of images taken that day and find it hard to see anything definate either in the window of the book depository or on the grassy knoll. That doesn't mean to say I don't believe they were people there, I just mean the technology then was so poor we will never get definitive proof from those images. I have a couple of questions and comments.
    1. Zepruder shot his images from the top of a concrete post only yards away from the grassy knoll, if shots were fired from there he surely would have heard them why does he not pan across to that area ?
    2. Witness just down the verge from the grassy knoll are seen to be laying on the ground having thrown themselves there when the shoots rang out, however images suggest the two parents having theirildren in front of them directly in front of the grassy knoll, these witnesses later say that shots were fired from that direction, why would you have your children in the line of fire ?
    3. "The bullet hitting the light theory", is an interesting one but one of pure fiction I believe. I'm pretty sure if a bullet had struck that light then it would have made such a loud noise everyone's attention would have been drawn to it and no doubt cause a spark but no eye witnesses comment on hearing it striking or seeing a flash.
    4. For me the true evidence that something came from the grassy knoll were the images of a police officer running towards that area. Having seen such attrosities as september 11 and viewed American's sheer bravery in such tragic moments in history I can only conclude that he was heading into the line of fire and that he viewed something happen from that direction, however I have not yet heard any evidence or questioning of that officer as to why he reacted in that way. Was he silenced ?

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    1. Thanks for your comments & questions, Lee. You have some good ones here. If a shot or shots came from the picket fence area of the grassy knoll, that would have been just to the right & rear of where Zapruder was filming. He was focusing on the limo so maybe this would explain why he would not have panned his camera. As far as the children, the Newmans did push them down & cover them...but it took them more than 6 seconds to react in realization that shots were being fired & that they were coming from behind them. I agree with #3. As far as the officer & many other witnesses who saw or heard something contrary to the single-shooter scenario, they were just ignored...not silenced (except perhaps in the case of Jean Hill who said she was told to 'keep her mouth shut' about what she saw). The witnesses were either not called to testify before the Warren Commission (i.e. the Newmans) or their testimony was simply recorded & ignored.

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  11. My overview of it all is this:
    Clearly JFK was murdered by more than one person, the injuries sustained by both men tell us all that they was more than one gunman. What LHO's role was we will never know for sure. The chances of us ever getting to the absolute bottom of it all is extremly slim certainly in my lifetime anyways. If all the documents were declassified and the CIA, FBI and the US government came forward to proclaim there roles in the assassanation then democracy alone in the US would crumble, along with the shame the family members of those who participated in the worlds most famous murder would have to bear is unfair on them and unfair on the American people. There are too many strange deaths that followed that faithful day for the conspiracy theory to ever disappear. We have to accept the fact that during this time the US government was threatened by the Kennedy's idea's. They feared them to the point they needed to make a radical change. The CIA has a lot to answer for and for the life of me I to this day wonder why this organisation is still operating, I am convinced they were involved and I'm certain they have alot to do with events across the middle east such as in Egypt, Syria and Libya. The image of JFK's protection agent being ushered away from the presidents car when leaving the airfield say's it all to me, there was a concerted attempt to put Kennedy out in the open and only the intelligence community could possibly do that. I believe there was five shots that tragic day, I believe the first shot was fired from the building next to the book depository I believe this shot missed kennedy, punctured through the windshield and slammed into the wall of the underpass. I believe the second was also fired from this position lower down than the sixth floor of the depository this one being the one which went through Kennedy's neck and throat. I believe the third was fired from the book depository, I'm not convinced LHO fired it but I do believe this is the one which enters Kennedy's back. I am convinced number four came from their also this one causing the injuries to Connolly. Then the final and fifth shot which ended the life of the the president the dramtically filmed head shot which in my mind came from the grassy knoll. These are just my opinions and uneducated ones at that they are too. However my final thought is if so many are concerned/interested in this faithful time in history why haven't any recent American presidents said "I want the answers, the people deserve to know the truth" or is the secret service still picking who gets elected to the whitehouse and if they are then stop wasting you vote each election because it won't matter.

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  12. Thanks again Lee for your thoughtful comments & opinions. I agree that the complete truth of the JFK assassination may never be known & I think your arguments about the source & sequence of shots are plausible based on the evidence & eyewitness reports.

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  13. Maybe this has been mentioned or theorized before but what if the first shot was meant for Mrs Kennedy.

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  14. Every idea is certainly worthy of consideration but I have seen no discussion of Mrs. Kennedy being a target. It would be a stretch to assume a would-be assassin would target the First Lady. Thanks for your comment.

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