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David Von Pein

DEBUNKING CONSPIRACY MYTHS -- Lt. J.C. Day And The Print On The Rifle

96 posts in this topic

DEBUNKING CONSPIRACY MYTHS:

DPD Lieutenant J.C. Day And The Print Found On The Carcano Rifle....

The FBI document shown below is one I became aware of in late 2013. And I'm just wondering how conspiracy theorists can continue to endorse the following theory in light of the existence of the Nat Pinkston/FBI document pictured below? The theory that this document debunks is this theory:

Lieutenant J.C. Day of the Dallas Police Department never said anything to anybody about finding ANY fingerprints or palmprints on the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle (No. C2766) until AFTER the rifle had been returned to the DPD by the FBI on November 24, 1963.

The document below, however, completely destroys the oft-heard conspiracy myth about how Lieutenant Day lied through his teeth when he said he found Lee Harvey Oswald's palmprint (or at the very least, SOME print) on the Carcano rifle ON THE DAY OF THE ASSASSINATION ITSELF (11/22/63).

This document, which has a stamp on it marked "NOV. 22, 1963; FBI--Dallas", clearly indicates that J.C. Day told Nat A. Pinkston of the FBI on November 22, 1963, that he (Day) "...had processed a rifle recovered on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository...for fingerprints or palm prints, and had been successful in raising a partial latent print."

Memo-Dated-11-23-63-Regarding-Lt-Day-Fin

Larger View -----> http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-D72AQDuJ86U/UpqjV-JlWWI/AAAAAAAAxSg/FZTf3zwBgcc/s1600/Memo-Dated-11-23-63-Regarding-Lt-Day-Finding-Print-On-Rifle.jpg

Also see the NBC-TV video clip on the webpage below, which is a clip that aired on the night of the assassination, in which NBC reporter Robert MacNeil talks about a "print" being found on the rifle:

http://jfk-archives.blogspot.com/2014/07/jfk-assassination-arguments-part-740.html

----------------------

ADDITIONAL DISCUSSION....

JOHN McADAMS SAID:

The image [linked below] was found by Jean Davison.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-D72AQDuJ86U/UpqjV-JlWWI/AAAAAAAAxSg/FZTf3zwBgcc/s1600/Memo-Dated-11-23-63-Regarding-Lt-Day-Finding-Print-On-Rifle.jpg

It shows that, on 11/22/63, J.C. Day told an FBI agent that he "had been successful in raising a latent print" which he was going to "both photograph and raise."

Apparently the Dallas FBI office failed to tell the people in Washington about this.

This appears to be the palm print that conspiracists have claimed never existed until the rifle was pressed into Oswald's dead hand on Monday.

JEAN DAVISON SAID:

Thanks for posting that document for me, John. Using some of the words in it as search terms, I've found a shorter version on the Mary Ferrell site:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=693594

Like the first document it says that on 11/22 Day had found (raised) a latent print and that he planned to "photograph and lift" it. The only print Day "lifted" (with a piece of tape) was the palm print.

DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

Thanks, Jean and John.

The key item in that memo regarding Lt. Day finding the latent print on the rifle is the DATE of the memorandum -- 11/23/63 -- which is a day when Oswald was still alive and well in Dallas Police custody.

And the memorandum also states that "Lt. Carl Day...advised on 11/22/63" .... which tells us that Lt. Day did, in fact, find the print on the rifle ON THE DAY OF THE ASSASSINATION ITSELF -- which (obviously) had to have been PRIOR to the Dallas Police Department turning over the rifle to the FBI at about 11:45 PM CST on the night of November 22nd.

This memo totally destroys the theory that Lieutenant J.C. Day of the DPD did not find any prints on Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano rifle PRIOR to the rifle going to the FBI on the night of 11/22/63.

Or maybe some conspiracists will now contend that this memorandum is a "fake" too:

Memo Dated 11/23/63 Regarding Lt. Day Finding Print On Rifle

DVP

November 30, 2013

https://groups.google.com/d/msg/alt.conspiracy.jfk/LdZ9zBal7vo/u5tIiObGvIwJ

Edited by David Von Pein

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Many CT-ers focus on the FBI examination of the rifle, which began on November 23. The FBI found no conclusive prints.

Sure, the argument goes, Day's examination eliminated the FBI's ability to detect a print.

But come on, DVP, was there any official determination of how old was the print found allegedly by Day?

DVP, you aim to persuade lurkers. I hope for your sake you do.

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But come on, DVP, was there any official determination of how old was the print found allegedly by Day?

That is totally irrelevant to the point I was making in my thread-starting post. That point once again is....

This memo totally destroys the theory that Lieutenant J.C. Day of the DPD did not find any prints on Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano rifle PRIOR to the rifle going to the FBI on the night of 11/22/63.

What difference does it make "how old" the print was, Jon? The point is that CTers have been pushing a PROVABLY WRONG myth for decades about how Lieutenant Carl Day never found ANY kind of a print on Carcano Rifle #C2766 on 11/22/63. And the document above should forever silence any conspiracy theorist who has ever made such a false claim.

Edited by David Von Pein

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We've been through this before. There is nothing in the Pinkston memo to suggest this was the palm print, as opposed to the trigger guard print. We should suspect, moreover, that it was the trigger guard print. (While one might object to this by claiming it was trigger guard prints--plural--and that Day would have told Pinkston he'd raised prints--plural--one can only say this if one has never viewed the trigger guard photos--which feature one clear print and a few other partials.)

1. Day raised the trigger guard print.

2. He photographed the print.

3. His accounts of the evening have him focusing most of his energy on the trigger guard prints, and only stumbling on the barrel print towards the end of the evening, just before being told to stop his examination of the rifle.

4. He did not photograph the palm print, and never made plans to photograph the print, as far as is known.

5. IF Day had, in fact, told Pinkston about a palm print on the barrel, it would have been strange, to say the least, for him to omit, or for Pinkston to omit, any mention of the trigger guard print (s), which had not only been photographed repeatedly, but taped off so it couldn't be smeared.

Edited by Pat Speer

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DVP,

I can argue the print found by Day was not found by the FBI. I can argue the print was found under a hand guard.

David, you want to find one thing: Oswald's culpability.

I argue what are the uncertainties.

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Pat,

Yes, you could be right. The document could conceivably be talking about the trigger guard prints. But it could very well be referring to the only print Lt. Day LIFTED -- and that was CE637, Oswald's palmprint.

I think the Pinkston document is referring to the palmprint. But I stipulate that I could be wrong.

It's too bad Pinkston didn't add just a few more details to his report to indicate what KIND of "latent print" it was -- Finger vs. Palm. (Or what part of the gun it came off of.)

Edited by David Von Pein

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Related discussion about Lt. J.C. Day....

JAMES DiEUGENIO SAID:

In an actual court proceeding, [Dallas Police Lieutenant J.C.] Day would have been impeached by Drain and LaTona [sic] to the point that he would [have] been laughable.

DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

And just exactly HOW would Vince Drain and Sebastian Latona have "impeached" Lt. Carl Day of the DPD?

You actually think something Drain and Latona said means that Day couldn't possibly have lifted Oswald's palmprint from the rifle on November 22?

If you DO really believe that, you've taken a trip deeper into Rod Serling's T-Zone than even I had figured.

I'll also add this:

Anyone who thinks that J.C. Day was a xxxx regarding the palmprint matter needs to read "Reclaiming History", starting on Page 799.

A key excerpt:

"Warren Commission assistant counsel Wesley Liebeler told the HSCA that in "late August or September" of 1964, he suggested questioning [DPD Lieutenant J.C.] Day further in an attempt to resolve the multitude of questions that remained surrounding the discovery of the palm print.

It had occurred to Liebeler and a few other assistant counsels, as it would later to Mark Lane, that perhaps the palm print didn't come from the rifle at all. The Commission, at that time, only had Day's word for it. It wanted something stronger. But when Liebeler approached Chief Counsel J. Lee Rankin about it, he objected. "Mr. Rankin was not terribly enthusiastic about having a couple of Commission lawyers go down to Dallas and start questioning the Dallas Police Department," Liebeler told the HSCA in 1978. "Quite frankly . . . it would have raised all kinds of questions at that time as to what in the hell was going on, what are we doing going down and taking depositions from the Dallas Police Department two months after the report was supposed to be out?"

But Liebeler said they realized the problem could be resolved "in another way." Several Commission assistant counsels subsequently met with FBI inspector James R. Malley, the bureau's liaison with the Commission, and FBI fingerprint expert Sebastian Latona. Liebeler asked Latona whether there was a way to prove that the lift came from the rifle. Latona reexamined the lift submitted by Lieutenant Day and noticed pits, marks, and rust spots on it that corresponded to identical areas on the underside of the rifle barrel--the very spot from which Day said the print had been lifted.

J. Edgar Hoover sent a letter by courier to the Commission on September 4 to confirm this finding, along with a photograph showing the corresponding marks on the barrel and the lift. Liebeler was satisfied. Now, there was no doubt whatsoever--the palm print Day had lifted had come from Oswald's rifle."

-- Vincent Bugliosi; Page 803 of "Reclaiming History"

[Also See: 11 HSCA 254-255.]

JAMES DiEUGENIO SAID:

In fact, I seriously doubt if the judge would have allowed him to testify. And when you brought in the Groody testimony, I mean, please.

DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

Jimbo thinks Paul Groody is MORE reliable than Lt. Day.

To repeat what Jimbo just said -- I mean, please! (And remember my weak bladder, will ya?!)

[...]

JAMES DiEUGENIO SAID:

What's next: Oswald was a good shot?

DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

He was a good shot by ordinary CIVILIAN standards, yes. And he was certainly (at one time at least, in 1956) an average shot by Marine standards.

Or do you think the United States Marine Corps dishes out "sharpshooter" rankings to really, really lousy riflemen?

[...]

PAT SPEER SAID:

Ah, yes, the Hoover letter. Note that Hoover's letter was just that, a letter. It was NOT sworn testimony. Note also that the exhibit itself is nearly impossible to make out, and that NO corresponding photo was taken showing where the heck this lift came from on the rifle.

Note also that Hoover had no problem lying even when under oath, as proved by his testimony, where he claimed the FBI had no reason to put Oswald on the watch list, months after he'd ordered an internal witch-hunt in which those failing to put him on the watch list had been persecuted.

And then there's this... The rifle was returned to the DPD on the 24th. The FBI didn't find out about the lift until the 26th. It remains possible, therefore, that the print was somehow added to the rifle, and THEN lifted.

As stated, I never came to a conclusion as to this possibility...but the evidence presented by Hoover and Bugliosi in support of the print's authenticity, is weak, weak, weak...

DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

Let's leave Hoover and Bugliosi out of this for a moment and talk about the people who actually set the ball in motion for re-examining the palmprint that Lt. Day lifted off of the rifle -- namely Wesley Liebeler and (most importantly) fingerprint expert Sebastian Latona:

It was LATONA, not Hoover or Bugliosi, who said the palmprint contained the rust spots and other marks that EXACTLY matched the place on the rifle where Lt. Day said he lifted the print. Or do you think Mr. Liebeler was telling a big fat lie in the HSCA testimony shown below? (I would guess that some conspiracy theorists will rake Liebeler over the coals for using the word "happily" in this testimony, even if those CTers don't have the nerve to come out and call him an outright xxxx regarding this palmprint issue.) ....

"Latona went back and looked at the lift [CE637; Oswald's palmprint]. He found that there were indications in the lift itself of pits and scores and marks and rust spots that had been on the surface from which the print had been lifted, and happily they conformed precisely to a portion of the underside of the rifle barrel and the FBI so reported to us. As far as I was concerned that conclusively established the proposition that that lift had come from that rifle." -- Wesley J. Liebeler; HSCA Testimony [11 HSCA 254]

So what we have here, folks, is a situation where the Warren Commission and its staff (namely Wesley J. Liebeler) weren't totally satisfied with something associated with their investigation into President Kennedy's death (the palmprint of Oswald's lifted by DPD Lieutenant Carl Day), and so Liebeler did something about it. He had Latona re-examine the print to see if further information could be obtained in order to find out whether or not it could be proven that that print had, indeed, been taken off of Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.

And even when such proof and corroboration is discovered, the conspiracy theorists (such as Pat Speer) are still not satisfied at all. The theorists will still cry foul and say that the print COULD have possibly been lifted on November 24 after the rifle was returned to Dallas (to use Pat Speer's exact words, he speculated that it was certainly possible that "the print was somehow added to the rifle, and THEN lifted").

In response to that speculation brought forth by Mr. Speer which I just quoted above, let me offer up the following excerpt from Vincent Bugliosi's book:

"Apart from the absurd notion that for some reason Lieutenant Day would decide to frame Lee Harvey Oswald for Kennedy's assassination, as he told me in 2002, "I don't even think such a thing [transferring Oswald's prints on the finger and palm print samples, or exemplars, he gave to the Dallas Police Department, onto the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle] could be done. In this day and age they might be able to figure out some way to transfer the ink print on the card to the weapon, but I wouldn't know how to do it myself. Sounds like an impossible task to me."" -- Page 802 of "Reclaiming History"

Conspiracists are quite good at offering up a wide variety of convenient excuses in order to avoid the obvious truth. With that truth being:

Lee Harvey Oswald's palmprint was lifted off of Oswald's OWN RIFLE just hours after that same rifle was found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building in Dallas, Texas.

Pat Speer says the evidence is "weak, weak, weak". But in my opinion, it's simply a case of a conspiracy theorist offering up more "excuses, excuses, excuses".

David Von Pein

March 2013

jfk-archives.blogspot.com/2013/03/dvp-vs-dieugenio-part-85.html

----------

Edited by David Von Pein

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5. IF Day had, in fact, told Pinkston about a palm print on the barrel, it would have been strange, to say the least, for him to omit, or for Pinkston to omit, any mention of the trigger guard print (s), which had not only been photographed repeatedly, but taped off so it couldn't be smeared.

Yes, I see your point, Pat. And it makes sense too.

However, based on Lieutenant Day's Warren Commission testimony, it's pretty clear that he had noticed TWO PRINTS (plural) on the trigger housing of the rifle before he ever took the gun out of the Book Depository:

J.C. DAY -- "After ejecting the live round, then I gave my attention to the rifle. I put fingerprint powder on the side of the rifle over the magazine housing. I noticed it was rather rough. I also noticed there were traces of two prints visible. I told Captain Fritz it was too rough to do there, it should go to the office where I would have better facilities for trying to work with the fingerprints. .... I took it to the office and tried to bring out the two prints I had seen on the side of the gun at the bookstore. They still were rather unclear. Due to the roughness of the metal, I photographed them rather than try to lift them. I could also see a trace of a print on the side of the barrel that extended under the woodstock. I started to take the woodstock off and noted traces of a palmprint near the firing end of the barrel about 3 inches under the woodstock when I took the woodstock loose." (DVP's emphasis.)

But the Pinkston document specifically indicates just a SINGLE "latent print" having been observed by Lieutenant Day, which would seem to be more indicative of the SINGLE palmprint Day lifted off of the under side of the rifle (IMHO).

But I do agree with you about your #5 item on your list above, Pat. It seems odd that Day wouldn't have mentioned to Pinkston about seeing the TWO trigger guard prints too, particularly since he had seen those two prints while the gun was still being examined in the TSBD. But we're left with just a reference in Pinkston's report to only one "latent print".

~shrug~

Edited by David Von Pein

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ADDENDUM (after reading some more of Lieutenant J.C. Day's Warren Commission testimony):

There is nothing in the Pinkston memo to suggest this was the palm print, as opposed to the trigger guard print. We should suspect, moreover, that it was the trigger guard print. (While one might object to this by claiming it was trigger guard prints--plural--and that Day would have told Pinkston he'd raised prints--plural--one can only say this if one has never viewed the trigger guard photos--which feature one clear print and a few other partials.)

Not true, Pat. See my last post. Lieutenant Day specifically said he had noticed TWO prints on the trigger housing while Day was still looking at the rifle inside the Book Depository Building. So Day obviously would have had MULTIPLE prints in his mind when he talked to FBI agent Nat Pinkston if Day had been referring to the trigger guard prints in the Pinkston memo.

He [Lieutenant Day] did not photograph the palm print, and never made plans to photograph the print, as far as is known.

Not true. Lieutenant Day specifically mentioned in his WC testimony that he wanted to "try to use photography to bring off or bring out a better print".

And, btw, Day said this about wanting to use "photography" on the palmprint even AFTER he had already used Scotch tape to lift most of the palmprint off of the gun already! He said he wanted to then photograph the remaining "traces" of the print which he said he could still see on the gun after he lifted the majority of the print off the barrel....

J.C. DAY -- "On the bottom side of the barrel which was covered by the wood, I found traces of a palmprint. I dusted these and tried lifting them, the prints, with scotch tape in the usual manner. A faint palmprint came off. I could still see traces of the print under the barrel and was going to try to use photography to bring off or bring out a better print. About this time I received instructions from the chief's office to go no further with the processing, it was to be released to the FBI for them to complete. I did not process the underside of the barrel under the scopic sight, did not get to this area of the gun." {DVP's emphasis.)

So, based on the sum total of things Lieutenant J.C. Day told Nat Pinkston on 11/22/63, I think the Pinkston memo is referring to the palmprint and not the trigger guard prints.

Let's re-examine what's in the Pinkston document:

1.) "[Lt. Day] had been successful in raising a partial latent print."

(Sounds like he's talking about the palmprint here, from the SINGULAR nature of the wording.)

2.) "He had not had time to photograph or lift this print."

(Again, we have the use of the SINGULAR, "print".)

3.) "...intended to return immediately and endeavor to both photograph and lift this latent print."

(Once again, the singular--"print"--is used here. And this is, IMO, perfectly consistent with what Lieutenant Day told the Warren Commission in the testimony I cited above. I.E., Day did, indeed, have it in his mind to both photograph and lift the palmprint. And he undoubtedly would have photographed the leftover remnants of the print if he had not been told to stop working on the rifle late on November 22nd in order to hand it over to the FBI.)

Now, I'll admit that I'm perplexed about one part of Lt. Day's WC testimony concerning his work on the palmprint....and that is:

Why on Earth wouldn't he have photographed the complete palmprint BEFORE he lifted it with the tape? It seems odd that he only considered "photography" AFTER he had already lifted most of the print off the rifle. But since I'm not an expert on how to best get prints off of a firearm, I'm in no position to say that Lt. Day blew it. But it does seem odd that he wouldn't take a picture of the print before he tried to lift it. But the record indicates that he did not.

~additional shrug~

Final Conclusion....

It's my opinion (FWIW) that the Nat Pinkston FBI document of 11/23/63 is referring to the palmprint and not the multiple trigger guard prints found on the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle by Lieutenant Day.

Edited by David Von Pein

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By pure coincidence, David, I've been reading through books on fingerprinting for the last several hours. One of these books was prepared by the FBI. One is based on the FBI's book. One is by the British Government. And the fourth is a very detailed book from 1950. These books are in agreement that one should always photograph a print before attempting a lift. One book points out that there are times when this can't be done, however, such as when a print is on the inside of a small jewelry box. It stresses that in such cases the lift should be photographed as soon as it is lifted.

There's just no getting around it, David. Either something is fishy about the DPD's evidence, or they were a bunch of incompetent boobs--the worst. I mean, just look at the official record of their actions on 11-22. This is not what I think happened. It is what the WC thought happened.

1. They found a rifle in the school book depository. It was examined at the scene and at the crime lab. This rifle supposedly had trace evidence on its butt plate that could be linked to Oswald. They failed to notice it, however.

2. They did, however, find a palm print on the barrel of this rifle. They forgot to put this in writing, however. They also forgot to take a picture of the print in situ, or even of the lift of this print. They also failed to perform a thorough comparison of the lift of this print to Oswald's prints. They received a report from the FBI on 11-24, noting that no prints were found on the rifle. And yet they failed to call them and tell them, "Hey, what about the print on the barrel?" Simply incredible.

3. They also found a paper bag in the corner by the sniper's nest. They claimed they dusted it--which goes against standard protocol for paper--and found a print on it. The FBI said no prints were found on it, however, until they found two prints using silver nitrate. And guess what, the DPD not only failed to take a photo of the bag when and where they found it in the building, but failed to take ANY photos of the bag before sending it to the FBI. Hubba wha?

4. They also found a palm print on a box found in the sniper's nest. They claimed they matched this up to Oswald's prints on the night of the shooting. But, guess what, they forgot to take a photo of the box before tearing the corner of the box with the palm print from the box. There is no photo, moreover, showing this box in the sniper's nest that was taken before the boxes were all moved around. And, oh yeah, they forgot to put this in writing. Oops!

5. And, there's also this. Three days after the shooting, they re-arranged the boxes in the sniper's nest to show how it supposedly looked when they first arrived on the scene. Now, all of a sudden, they thought they should take some pictures. The problem was, however, that they still hadn't tested the boxes using iodine or silver nitrate--standard for cardboard. As a result, the top window box, the one supposedly used as a gun rest, was subsequently found by the FBI to have two of Oswald's prints--that were barely legible under the dozen or so prints left by Det. Studebaker! Duh!

And that's not even to mention all the minor stuff--like their supposedly dusting the lunch bag and pop bottle found in the building and finding NO prints, even though the man supposedly handling this bag and drinking from this bottle had been eating FRIED CHICKEN--the favorite food of print examiners everywhere...

Edited by Pat Speer

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In the FBI memo posted above by DVP, it shows it as being written on 11.23.63. Anybody know why it shows a file stamp of 11.22.63 , the day before, at the bottom?

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Good points, Pat.

Oswald is still guilty as O.J., and all the "Oswald Did It" evidence IS still there on the table here in 2015 (even though it was collected by "a bunch of incompetent boobs", to quote Patrick J. Speer).

But you make valid points regarding the DPD's weaknesses.

If only life (and the DPD) were perfect and flawless. What a grand existence it would be.

Edited by David Von Pein

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In the FBI memo posted above by DVP, it shows it as being written on 11.23.63. Anybody know why it shows a file stamp of 11.22.63 , the day before, at the bottom?

That was commonplace for FBI reports, Ray. The date in the upper-right corner (which I assume is the date the report was typed up and put in the files) is almost always one or two days AFTER the information in the body of the report is collected. Here's an example where the dates are four days apart -----> http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10408#relPageId=295

(And, btw. that document I just linked to above is one that more CTers should probably take notice of, because it proves (IMO) that FBI Special Agent Elmer L. Todd definitely DID scratch his initials into the stretcher bullet on 11/22/63. Many CTers will argue that it proves no such thing and that Todd must have marked some bullet OTHER than CE399. I would beg to differ, however.)

Edited by David Von Pein

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If it was typed up on the 23rd, how could it have a 22nd file stamp on it?

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The 11/22 stamp is meant to reflect the date of the interview. (I guess.)

~shrug~

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