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Lance Payette

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About Lance Payette

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  • Birthday 03/03/1950

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    Fitness, camping, motorcycles, golf, theology, cats, all areas of the paranormal.

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  1. As I read the story, the NE (which has broken some legitimate news in the UFO field from time to time) is now "revealing" the contents of an interview of Marina by "the finest legal minds in the country" that Russell arranged with an eye toward "reopening the investigation" of the assassination. So it sounds to me that the interview may have been some time ago, perhaps when the NE published its previous cover story a few years ago when Marina was 72. It would be a hoot to know who comprise "the finest legal minds in the country" according to the NE - was Johnnie Cochran still alive? Maybe Judge Judy? Ruth Bader Ginsburg, perhaps? If an interview by the finest legal minds in the country generated nothing but another NE cover story, I think that tells us something. Poor old Marina. I have great empathy for her. I have to believe that her brains (such as they were to start with) are pretty well scrambled after all she's been through. I tend to believe the truth is substantially as she revealed it in the period immediately after the assassination, including her work with Priscilla Johnson McMillan (who pretty much lived in her hip pocket for months). But if she has now evolved to a position that Oswald was as innocent as Snow White, I find that completely understandable. (Yes, I know: "They" got to Marina and made her say what "they" wanted her to say back in the day. Priscilla Johnson McMillan was a CIA stooge. Oswald actually was Snow White, or vice versa, or something. Save your breath.)
  2. Lance Payette

    Anatomy Of Lee Harvey Oswald's Interrogations

    You've probably seen this, but it's all I could find (apart from a couple of irrelevant criminal appellate decisions from the 1950s): https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth338851/m1/ The spelling and grammar don't say much for his intellect ("Ruby was know to be a queer for women" - ?). So Fritz conspired with Ruby to have Oswald shot? Sure, I like it! God knows what axe he may have had to grind with Fritz.
  3. It’s seemingly my role to be the roving contrarian, but I just don’t believe this is a thesis that will withstand scrutiny. As far as I can discern, the “Posthumous [or Second] Assassination of JFK” by the “Main Stream Media” is a meme unique to the conspiracy community and conspiracy-oriented sites. I thought the most telling statement in the essay (which I’m not disparaging in any way) was this at the very end: “One is left to imagine what America would be like today if President Kennedy had lived, ….” I’ve mentioned before that it seems to me that an extremely idealized image of JFK and a strong dissatisfaction with the America of today is at the root of much conspiracy thinking, particularly within the Deep Politics segment of the conspiracy community at which this essay is aimed. This psychological underpinning seems to me to lead those within the Deep Politics segment to engage in speculation, draw inferences, connect dots and accept evidence that those with a less-worshipful view of JFK don’t find convincing. The state of America today, and what we've learned about agencies like the CIA and FBI in the years since the assassination, are too-readily “read back” into the assassination via such speculation, inferences and dot-connecting. To those for whom JFK is almost an object of worship, Deep Politics thinking also makes the assassination far more meaningful and emotionally satisfying than does the Lone Nut explanation. Like most people, I have at least a somewhat exalted view of JFK as a visionary who might have accomplished great things if he had lived (but also as an extremely flawed individual whose Presidency might have been disastrous for the country if he had lived). Like many people, I regard America as having declined precipitously in the years since the assassination (but mostly over the past 25 years). However, I don’t attribute the decline of America to the assassination of JFK or to any dark and powerful forces that “must have” been responsible for the assassination and still “must be” at work today. I don’t do this because I don’t believe the evidence supports it. The speculation, inferences, dot-connecting and evidence of the Deep Politics segment just aren’t convincing to me, at least so far. I don’t believe that my view of JFK or the current state of America influences my view of the assassination in the slightest. This is from the 50th anniversary JFK assassination issue of The Atlantic, not a notably conservative publication: John F. Kennedy was a good president but not a great one, most scholars concur. A poll of historians in 1982 ranked him 13th out of the 36 presidents included in the survey. Thirteen such polls from 1982 to 2011 put him, on average, 12th. Richard Neustadt, the prominent presidential scholar, revered Kennedy during his lifetime and was revered by Kennedy in turn. Yet in the 1970s, he remarked: “He will be just a flicker, forever clouded by the record of his successors. I don’t think history will have much space for John Kennedy.” https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/08/the-legacy-of-john-f-kennedy/309499/ On civil rights, the historical consensus seems to be: Good, not great. The record is what it is. Nevertheless, the same sorts of polls consistently show that the public regards JFK as one of the two or three greatest Presidents, if not the greatest. Scholars recognize that this is due largely to his extraordinary personal charisma, his tragic death at a young age, his unfulfilled potential, and the chaotic years that followed the assassination. As one historian quoted in the above article stated, the JFK of today is an "optical illusion." It’s almost inevitable that we “imagine what America would be like today if President Kennedy had lived.” In short, we have a broad scholarly consensus that JFK was a solid President but not an extraordinary one. We have a broad public consensus that he was far greater than this. So where does the thesis of a “Posthumous Assassination” by the “Main Stream Media” fit? I don’t believe it does. I’ve certainly been around since the nineties, and I have absolutely no sense of any such media conspiracy. Quite the contrary – my sense has always been that the media to a large degree feeds the overly exalted public perception. Sure, some authors like those the essay criticizes may have their own agenda or do sloppy research – or they may simply have a different perspective on JFK's good-but-not-great civil rights record than do those who worship the memory of JFK and envision a far better America if he had lived. If there is an increase in less-than-worshipful pieces, this is probably simply part of the inevitable pendulum-swinging that occurs as a historical figure is appraised and reappraised and finally settles into his rightful place in history. But I just don’t believe that the thesis of a “Posthumous Assassination” by the “Main Stream Media” can be sustained. It is (I believe) simply a conspiracy community meme, which is why it appears on Deep Politics conspiracy blogs rather than in mainstream scholarly journals or magazines.
  4. Lance Payette

    A question to David Lifton

    I removed my unnecessarily snarky comment from my own post, although I obviously can't remove it from yours. The non-snarky points that I think are legitimate are that: (1) The same points do get made, over and over, to the point that they become pointless. In a perfect world (i.e., if I were king), there would be a single "tracheotomy incision" thread that anyone could easily find and learn from or contribute to. It would serve as its own little reference library on that topic and would not be allowed to go off track or descend into mud-slinging. Your initial question here as to how Francois explains the "butchery" was not really a question (it seems to me) in the sense that you expected Francois to provide an answer that would be meaningful to you or that you would even care about. You had already participated as recently as 2016 on the incision thread I cited. It was (it seems to me) the classic "Oh, yeah, well about THIS?" diversionary tactic in which conspiracy enthusiasts seem to specialize. When I attempted to provide a substantive answer, which Francois then endorsed, this was of no interest to you because you had decided long ago that there was indeed sinister "butchery." You are (it seems to me) a fundamentalist conspiracy theorist and a fundamentalist tracheotomy butcherist. It is impossible to have any sort of meaningful discussion with a fundamentalist of any ilk. (2) Fundamentalists - and this certainly includes Lone Nut fundamentalists - cannot concede any gray areas. As a non-fundamentalist, I can see how the tracheotomy incision might fuel speculation that something sinister occurred. When the evidence is viewed as a whole, however, this is one area where I don't believe that a sinister explanation is either mandated or even plausible. This is one area where I really don't believe the case is close. A sinister explanation becomes plausible only if one has previously bought into something like Lifton's theory, which to me seems so utterly speculative and implausible as to be comical. There are sane and reasonable conspiracy theorists (some of whom approach the level of fundamentalists) and then there are Harvey and Lee, Best Evidence and Me and Lee fundamentalists. When weaknesses in their positions are exposed, fundamentalists of the latter sort do indeed tend to resort to second-level defenses such as "Dr. Perry only testified that way because They got to him" or even "That was an imposter." I don't believe any plausible conspiracy theory hinges on the tracheotomy incision being the result of sinister doings. More to the point, we will never know exactly why the incision looks the way it does in the death stare photo. Common sense and logic tell me that if the tracheotomy incision were evidence of something sinister, it would have been tidied up and the death stare photo would never have seen the light of day. FWIW, this completely conspiracy-oriented 2003 summary of the confusion in the medical evidence has always seemed to me to be a nice summary of the way that the various investigative panels managed only to generate more confusion: https://www.historymatters.com/essays/jfkmed/How5Investigations/How5InvestigationsGotItWrong.htm As a non-fundamentalist, I can certainly see how someone looks at this and says "Oh, come on, there is no way that this all has an innocent explanation!" I agree - I don't believe it's plausible that all this can be attributed to confusion, chaos and incompetence (although much of it can). Nevertheless, it does not equate to "A conspiracy to assassinate JFK." I don't believe you can work backwards from the confusion, chaos and incompetence after the assassination to a conspiracy before the assassination. As someone who still tries to maintain an open mind, I continue to believe the Lone Nut explanation is, by a considerable margin, the best explanation for the assassination. I stumbled on an old thread the other day where Jim D. mentioned in sort of a blasé way that Oswald had listed Ruby as a reference on a job application in New Orleans. My reaction was, of course, WHAT??????????? When Jim D. was pressed by someone with a similar reaction, the response (as I recall) was of course that someone had seen this and told a reputable researcher but the document had since disappeared. Show me ONE PIECE of irrefutable evidence such as the original of a job application in which LHO listed Ruby as a reference, with a solid provenance, the age of the ink and paper established beyond reasonable doubt, and LHO's handwriting verified beyond reasonable doubt, and this ONE PIECE of evidence will have me screeching "THIS IS A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME!" The problem is, after more than 50 years there is no such piece of evidence. There is Prayer Man and Sandy's Expert Molar Analysis and Cliff's Irrefutable Solution and all variety of similar goofiness, but there is (at least in my reasonably informed opinion) no piece of flat-out solid evidence that casts serious doubt on any aspect of the Lone Nut explanation.
  5. Well, thanks, Paul. I realize I have gone "somewhat" over the top on this thread, but there is SO much of this stuff across all the subject matters in which I am interested, and it distracts SO much from intelligent discussion and analysis, that I am simply fed up to the gills. My posts here are not because I am anti-conspiracy but because I am anti this sort of stuff.
  6. Lance Payette

    A question to David Lifton

    Here is one of the threads that I had in mind concerning the tracheotomy incision: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/topic/17203-the-trach-incision/ All of the usual suspects weigh in. It's interesting reading for the first seven pages or so, then it predictably shifts to a discussion of the head wound and even more predictably descends into the usual mud-slinging. Enough is presented, including testimony such as that below from Dr. Perry, to make clear that the size of the trach incision as seen in the autopsy photos is neither unusual nor mysterious for an ER procedure such as Dr. Perry performed (unless, of course, one is in the grip of Conspiracy Logic - but there is always that caveat). The thread seems to make clear that only Ebersole described the incision as having been "sutured." The consensus seems to be that he was intentionally being misleading. From Dr. Perry's testimony to the ARRB (and page 3 of the above thread). As someone points out on the above thread, this was more than a trach incision and should probably be referred to by something more like the "anterior neck procedure." MR. GUNN: could you describe about how big the tracheostomy wound was that you cut? DR. PERRY: I've been asked this a lot. Of course, some of them said it was too big for a surgeon but my reply to that was that it was big enough. There are only two medical emergencies, airway & bleeding. Everything else can wait. This just couldn't wait, and I had no idea how big it was. I made it big enough. At that time we used old metal flange tracheotomy tubes and quite large [sic] with a cuff on them. And when I made the incision through the wound , I made it big enough that I could look to either side of the trachea. There was blood in the trachea through the end - when I looked through the pharyngoscope and attempted to put in the tracheal tube with blood inside the trachea. There was hair [sic = "air"] in the mediastinum, and I didn't know whether I was going to encounter carotid arteries or whatever. But the path of the bullet clearly put those vessels at risk as well as the trachea, so I made the wound big enough to do that. How big it was, I don't know. I'm sure Dr. Humes measured it to see when they got there. When he found out it was a tracheostomy, he measured. But since I made the transverse incision, went right through it, I made it big enough to control an underlying bleeding blood vessel if necessary and big enough to do a trach. How big it was, who knows. Ron might know, but I don't know. Big enough. DR. JONES: I was busy putting in the left chest tube and doing a cut down on the left arm and I was not paying a lot of attention to that. DR. PERRY: We were all - DR. JONES: I thought it was about an average size incision. I didn't see anything abnormally large or abnormal length of the incision. DR. PERRY: It was bigger than I would make for an elective situation. In a patient that's not in extremis where you're doing an elective tracheostomy you make a nice tiny skin line incision in order to minimize the subsequent scarring. In an emergency situation, you make an incision adequate to accomplish the job, and in this case it was going to take more. After I'd made the incision, Dr. McClelland arrived and his hands came in to help me with the tracheostomy, but I'd made the incision at that time but Bob may recall how big it was because he held the retractors for it. It was big enough for me to control the trachea, and if necessary, to do a little more.
  7. Lance Payette

    A question to David Lifton

    What, they neatly stitched up the tracheotomy incision on a corpse with the top of its head missing? Does Conspiracy Logic extend that far? Even if that were true (which I find inconceivable, but I'm flexible), would not the incision have been reopened as part of the autopsy? Of course it would. Again and again, we see that Conspiracy Logic absolutely insists on finding sinister motives and conduct in circumstances where those who aren't in the grip of Conspiracy Logic see nothing out of the ordinary. Perhaps we need a Conspiracy Corollary to Ockham's Razor. According to William of Ockham, whom I feel sure would have been a pretty firmly committed Lone Nutter, the simplest solution tends to be the correct one. When presented with competing hypotheses to solve a problem, one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions. Perhaps we could reformulate this as Ray Razor's, which has a nice ring to it: Ray's Razor: In the analysis of any historical event, the conspiracy enthusiast should carefully select that combination of facts, suppositions, inferences and speculation that will support the hypothesis of conspiracy, without regard to controverting facts, more reasonable inferences, common sense or logic. The most convoluted, facially absurd solution tends to be the correct one.
  8. I did gain one useful nugget of information from this discussion. I truly had no idea that authors and publishers could submit their own books for consideration for the Pulitzer Prize. But I have learned on the PP website that this is indeed the case. Ergo, when we see prominently featured on the author's site that The Inheritance has been submitted for the Pulitzer Prize for its history changing narrative,this is meaningless. This is apparently a fairly common, albeit deceptive, practice, especially among the self-publishing crowd. See "The Pulitzer Scam," https://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-lehto/the-pulitzer-scam_b_897320.html . Does this not strike you as at least slightly dishonest, sort of in the vein of having other authors from the publisher's own stable post "Fantastic!" reviews without disclosing the connection? Oh, it doesn't? Then you're precisely the sort of sophisticated and discerning reader at which the book is aimed. FYI, the process is: If your dear Aunt Harriet pays $50 and mails in her self-published Aunt Hattie's Favorite Recipes, her book has been SUBMITTED for a PP, which means only that she paid $50 and sent it in … if one of the PP juries includes her book in its three nominations (don't hold your breath, Aunt Hattie), her book has been NOMINATED for a PP, which is indeed an honor and means that someone other than Hattie thinks the book has special merit … if the PP board picks her book from among the nominees (or otherwise), the book is a PP WINNER, which is indeed a big deal (interested in co-authoring a book about the JFK assassination, Aunt Hattie?). To say that a book has been submitted FOR ITS HISTORY CHANGING NARRATIVE is pretty misleading. Books aren't submitted "for" anything other than $50. Here's the entry form - https://www.pulitzer.org/files/entryforms/lentform08.pdf. In an unrelated development, I am pleased and flattered to announce that three of my humble posts from these very forums have been submitted for the Pulitzer Prize IN JOURNALISM FOR THEIR SIGNIFICANT ADVANCEMENT OF THE EXERCISE OF CRITICAL-THINKING SKILLS IN THE ANALYSIS OF HISTORICAL EVENTS. Please hold your applause, I am unworthy. I had to loan my Cousin Vern $150 to get this done, which shows you how serious we are about our chances.
  9. Lance Payette

    A question to David Lifton

    I truly don't care enough about the tracheotomy issue to even pretend to be knowledgeable, but this is from an article on Jim D's own site, https://kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/ricochet-of-a-lie-and-kennedy-s-throat-wound. It does at least suggest that my assumption about the Parkland incision is not completely misguided. How do emergency room doctors respond to a penetrating wound in the neck, regardless of whether the patient has wounds elsewhere in the body? Doctors must quickly find and repair any life-threatening damage that has been done—and that means creating a fairly wide incision, one large enough to visualize the carotid arteries, for example. (These arteries are not in the middle of the throat; they are off to either side of the neck.) From Perry’s and Humes’s descriptions, it sounds like Kennedy had a “collar incision,” similar to the one shown below from the Journal of Trauma 1978; 18 (1) : 2-77 (see the Addendum at the end of this article for more extensive documentation). In Kennedy’s case, it was already clear that he was having trouble breathing, and one doctor placed an endotracheal tube which proved to be inadequate. So when Perry arrived, he performed a tracheotomy. And, he said, he “made an incision right through this wound which was present in the neck.”9 But that was not all that Perry did. He made an incision large enough to allow him to inspect the carotid arteries, the mediastinum, and other structures. “Once the transverse incision through the skin and subcutaneous tissues was made, it was necessary to separate the strap muscles covering the anterior muscles of the windpipe and thyroid. At that point, the trachea was noted to be deviated slightly to the left and I found it necessary to sever the exterior strap muscles on the other side to reach the trachea.”10 (His testimony on another day is similar.11) “I also made it big enough that I could look to either side of the trachea ... I didn’t know whether I was going to encounter carotid arteries or whatever. But the path of the bullet clearly put those vessels at risk as well as the trachea, so I made the wound big enough to do that ... How big it [the incision] was, I don’t know ... . I made it big enough to control an underlying bleeding blood vessel if necessary.”12
  10. Lance Payette

    A question to David Lifton

    Hello? That's why I said "probably," because it isn't my assumption that the death stare photo represents the condition of the incision when the body left Parkland. At least some of those at Parkland indeed said that the condition of the incision in the death stare photo was consistent with what they had observed at Parkland, which is why I said "probably." Perhaps "possibly" would have made you happier. I would indeed assume, under the circumstances as I have described them, that the incision at Parkland would have differed, possibly quite substantially, from a garden-variety tracheotomy incision in which there was no preexisting bullet hole and the ER physicians weren't frantically trying to save a President with a large portion of his head missing. This seems to me an entirely reasonable assumption. My other assumption, however, which I believe squares with common sense and logic, is that the incision would not have been precisely the same following the autopsy as when the body left Parkland. How great the difference may have been, I have no idea and neither do you. Possibly there was a very substantial difference, which would not inevitably suggest anything sinister to me because I am not in the grip of Conspiracy Logic.
  11. Ask John Lear, I'm sure he'll have a lot to say about Bob Lazar. 🤣 No, I'm not going there. Suffice it to say that when Lazar was first being promoted by KLAS-TV reporter George Knapp (who had not yet established himself as a self-promoting clown of the first magnitude) way back in 1988 or so, I (who was then the city attorney in a nearby city) offered to Knapp both by letter and voice mail to fund a serious background investigation of Lazar by a serious background-research firm. I explained who I was, what my interest was, and what resources were available to me as a lawyer that might not have occurred to Knapp. I was after what I am after here - WHO THE HELL IS THIS GUY, REALLY? I never received so much as a response from Knapp, who had no interest whatsoever in learning the truth about his meal ticket. My own minor league investigation satisfied me that Lazar was the classic hoaxer who had just enough kernels of truth associated with his tale to give it the ring of superficial plausibility. These days I really don't know anyone this side of the UFO lunatic fringe who takes Lazar (or Knapp for that matter) any more seriously than they take John Lear or David Icke - but the UFO community does have a sizable lunatic fringe and they are indeed enthusiastic world-class loons. I'm sure Lazar, Knapp and Lear would all be fascinating guys to have a beer with, just as are other high-profile prophets of the UFO lunatic fringe with whom I actually have had a beer, but in my informed opinion they are all just tellers of tall tales. I won't try to convince you otherwise. God knows there is enough about Lazar on the Internet for anyone with a sincere interest to form his or her own opinion.
  12. Oh, I do too. I just like the foundation for any new grasp of reality to based in reality itself. That's the problem I'm having here. You must have a different version of Google than I do, because your check-check-check was my nothing-nothing-nothing. And I do mean NOTHING. Mr. Fulton has achieved a level of Google invisibility that I frankly envy and find remarkable for someone who has done all that he has supposedly done. I also like any new grasp of reality to square with common sense and logical thinking. I haven't read the book, but that's another problem I'm having here. "Mercury on the head shot bullet" sounds to me frankly nonsensical. "The blood on the watch and watchband was the key to the mystery" when there was blood from the head shot everywhere sounds to me frankly nonsensical. "The author was imprisoned because he knew too much" but now he's writing this book and promoting himself like Madonna sounds to me frankly nonsensical. Perhaps the blogger I quoted, who claimed to have read the book and to deeply hope it was all true, completely misunderstood what it was saying. I appreciate that independent publishing has become a very challenging enterprise in the era of rampant self-publishing. I appreciate your need to promote and stand by the books you publish. I don't fault you for this. I just have a strong suspicion that you've been had and weren't especially careful about being had. Do let us know how that whole Pulitzer Prize thing works out. I won't beat this to death, but hopefully careful readers will have noticed that Mr. Millegan's impassioned response DOES NOT ADDRESS ANY OF THE CONCERNS I HAVE RAISED. As I said, I know the game. I don't expect any of my concerns to be addressed. Ever. The true believers - and you know who you are - will not be fazed.
  13. Lance Payette

    A question to David Lifton

    Perhaps those who insist there was "butchery" can explain themselves. Was it a big ugly gash by the time the death stare photo was taken (and probably before the body left Parkland)? Sure. Is the explanation inevitably sinister when one considers (1) the type of incision associated with any tracheotomy, which is scarcely a neat and tidy hole; (2) the preexistence of what the Parkland doctors thought was a bullet entry wound and that may have caused them not to proceed as though this were a garden-variety tracheotomy; (3) the utterly chaotic ER circumstances of trying to somehow keep alive a President who was missing a substantial portion of his head; (4) the necessary handling of the body that occurred after the death at Parkland and upon the arrival at Bethesda, which may not have been as reverential as we might imagine; (5) an autopsy that began (apparently) without knowledge that a tracheotomy had been performed at Parkland; and (6) whatever additional probing there may have been at the autopsy, especially since the exit for the back wound was in doubt. One can certainly hypothesize something sinister, but I see no reason that a sinister explanation is mandated or more plausible than a mundane one. Under the circumstances, I'd hardly expect an incision as clean as might occur in a routine tracheotomy. I don't see that Francois or DVP or Little Old Me needs to "explain" anything in this regard. If we do, I have now explained why I decline to engage in conspiracy-oriented hypothesizing about the tracheotomy incision. There has been extensive discussion of this topic on past threads. You'd have to have something pretty startling and new not to be beating a dead horse.
  14. Lance Payette

    A question to David Lifton

    I don't claim to have any surgical expertise, although I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express in El Paso last month, but do you find it unthinkable that in the utter chaos at Parkland, with an apparent bullet hole in the precise location where the incision would typically be made, the net result when all was said and done might have been somewhat more ghastly than a neat little hole? Are you suggesting that the surgeons should have thought "Wait, wait, we need to preserve this little bullet hole intact because whether it's an entrance wound or exit wound could be critical evidence?" FWIW, this is a photo of "tracheal access" from what seems to be a reputable medical site: https://www.webop.com/general-and-visceral-surgery/implantations/Open-tracheostomy There's even a video that you'll want to be sure to watch immediately before breakfast.
  15. Lance Payette

    A question to David Lifton

    Hi, Francois, I just noticed that you mentioned me. I'm flattered. I think I've mentioned previously that Lifton's original book was one that fired me up when I was a newbie gee-whiz conspiracy theorist many years ago. I now look at the entire body of his work as a species of insanity, to such a degree that I'm disappointed in myself for ever having bought into it. Of course, that was so long ago that I was still a writer of advertising copy and humor and had none of the critical-thinking skills that come with three years of law school and 35 years of being a lawyer. As DVP said, I too have come to appreciate that many seeming indicia of conspiracy could indeed have non-conspiratorial explanations. I'm thinking in particular of the chaotic scrambling after the assassination to hide any association with LHO and any failure to monitor him, which could give the appearance of a cover-up conspiracy but could also simply be predictable cover-our-butts scrambling by multiple agencies in the wake of a tragedy as monumental as the JFK assassination. Thinking way (WAY) outside the box, I wonder if this could be a wrinkle on your theory: Since it theoretically was a violation of Texas law not to have an autopsy in Texas, there had been the unpleasant confrontation at Parkland, and Admiral Burkley was right there, I wonder if someone with legal training might have suggested "Look, let's at least create a plausible defense by opening the casket and having Burkley do a cursory inspection before the plane takes off. It obviously won't be a real autopsy, but it will show good faith and probably be enough to defeat any charges under Texas law if the redneck Texas officials decide to push this silly issue. If they don't push the issue, it never needs to be mentioned." This is indeed a far-fetched scenario - but as a retired lawyer I can tell you it isn't far-fetched in terms of the way lawyers think.