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James R Gordon

Inside the ARRB Vol 4

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I am wondering if others have yet had time to read “Inside the ARRB Vol 4.”and what their views are? I admit that I have fairly quickly read through chapter 13, in volume 4 of Inside the ARRB. I will return to it later for a more detailed read. I have found this work to be both a fascinating work as well as a disturbing one. William Kelly mentioned, in another thread that the book is “an easy read though it does get testy at times.” In a way Doug is very easy to read and, at the same time, very difficult to follow. To signal that he is moving onto a new sub-topic he uses subtitles in bold. The problem I found was that there was not always linkage between one sub-topic and another. I would have found it much easier to read had there been linkage to indicate he is moving onto a further aspect of the topic. The most glaring example is on page 1102. Chapter 13 is entitled “What happened in at the Bethesda Morgue (and in Dealey Plaza)?” So this chapter moves from what happened in Bethesda, then onto the Single Bullet theory, then onto the Vanishing Mauser, then onto Roger Craig witnesses the discovery of a .45 Caliber slug, then onto photos of Missed shots in Dealey Plaza and so on. I went back to the title of the chapter, because I though this one was about Bethesda and realized I had not appreciated that the chapter dealt with both. If there had been better linkage between the subsections I would have found it easier to read.

For me the most impressive aspect of Doug’s work is his ability to criss-cross references to support a point he wishes to make. This aspect of his work makes it very clear we are following a person who is utterly in command with the intricate details of his subject matter. I bought the full set, though the other volumes have yet to arrive. And I am glad I did because this criss-crossing applies to the chapters in other volumes. On a number of occasions Doug said that this point he had already introduced in chapter X and Y and would not complete the point. So I am awaiting the other volumes because there is a lot of reference to other chapters.

I preface what I have to say with the comment that this work demands a closer read than I have so far given it. But even though I have given this chapter a cursory read, there are aspects of what Doug has to say that I have some difficulty with.

First the central role of Commander Humes to carry out the pre-autopsy in Bethesda from around 6:30 and then the main autopsy from around 8:00. This is similar to the point that Lifton made, though in his case the pre-autopsy was at Walter Reid. Throughout the chapter Doug details where Humes either lied or deliberately misled. I have no trouble with that I have always mistrusted Humes veracity. To be fair, I need to give this a much closer read as well as study the documents he refers to which are not in volume 4. It does give reason for Humes statement about surgery of the head area, in this case he is covering his own back. I always found Lifton’s two coffin’s theory a difficult one to follow. And the idea that it was Humes who went digging for the bullets is something I am having difficulty with.

Second in this description Roy Kellerman plays a very significant part in the deliberate coverup of what happened. I always saw Kellerman as someone who was not involved with the assassination or its coverup. In this version it is he who ensures that the pre-autopsy is not witnessed or discovered. That puts a colour on Kellerman that I had not considered.

Third in this version the damage to the Dallas coffin happened in Bethesda and not on Air Force 1. I always thought that it had been demonstrated and proved that the coffin was damaged getting it onto the plane.

Fourth. One observation that Doug makes through a witness [and I think it was O’Connor] is that the damage to the to the head was so extensive that it seemed impossible that one bullet could cause that damage. That is something I felt had merit. I have always been curious how one bullet could cause that amount of damage. Doug’s answer is that three bullets caused the head wound. One from the back followed by two from the front. He even suggests that there could have been a fourth fired by Bill Greer. My jaw dropped when I read that. Anyone who reads this work will soon acknowledge they are following a master who is totally in control of their subject matter, and yet he introduces an idea that has been rubbished by the JFK research community for years.

I acknowledge that he has raised a serious point when he questions how on earth a single bullet could cause the kind of damage seen at the top of the head. Part of the damage is explained by Humes and the pre-autopsy but the rest is the result of 3 to 4 bullets hitting JFK. I have questions that more than one bullet hit Kennedy in the head, even though I have no idea how it could cause all that damage.

I accept that I have not given this work a detailed study. I acknowledge that if this was written by a lesser writer I would quickly dismiss this work.

I have difficulty in believing all this, but the quality and quantity of referencing is such that I leave this chapter not knowing what to think.

If others have read this chapter, what are their views?

James Gordon

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three more of doug's books are available now at amazon for any interested...jack on what you say how very true...such as Armstrong Weisberg, JONES, .. Maegher for now.. :rolleyes:

from the mary ferrell site b

Thirteen years in the making, Douglas Horne's five-volume magnum opus is soon to be published, and will be available for sale here at the Mary Ferrell Foundation website.

Doug Horne served as Chief Analyst for Military Records on the staff of the Assassination Records Review Board during the 1990s; the ARRB was responsible for the declassification of a great many of the files on this website. Horne played a major role in the Review Board's work on the medical evidence in the JFK assassination, preparing questions for depositions and helping elicit some stunning testimony from medical witnesses and writing several important internal research memos on the issues raised.

much more re doug horne's information and from where and whom...links...www.maryferrell.org/

Edited by Bernice Moore

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Hi James,

While I haven't given Chapter 13 a full read yet, and am concentrating on Chapter 14, The Z-Film Mystery, from what I gather, Chapter 13 is unique in that it is Doug Horne's personal opinion, after all the work he's done, of what really happened, based on the details of the other Chapters.

This is not going to be easy, reading through five volumes, and not everybody will bother, but those who do will get a lot out of it.

In re-reading the review I did ten years ago of Murder In Dealey Plaza, it seems like very little has changed since that book was published, and it has, as former ARRB member Kermit Hall mused, taken ten years to understand the full impact of the board's work.

It just shouldn't take another ten years to read this stuff, identify the records destroyed, missing and still withheld, identify those who destoryed them and who had them last, and get the Congresional Overisght Committee to require their sworn testimony, something the ARRB didn't do except for a few players.

Ten years from now, when they finaly get around to giving JFK a proper forensic autopsy, and find an entrance wound to the front right forehead, and acknowledge that there was another gunman and a conspiracy, will anybody really care?

BK

Edited by William Kelly

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three more of doug's books are available now at amazoN for any interested...jack on what you say how very true...such as Armstrong Weisberg, JONES, WRONE.. Maegher for now.. :rolleyes:

from the mary ferrell site b

Thirteen years in the making, Douglas Horne's five-volume magnum opus is soon to be published, and will be available for sale here at the Mary Ferrell Foundation website.

Doug Horne served as Chief Analyst for Military Records on the staff of the Assassination Records Review Board during the 1990s; the ARRB was responsible for the declassification of a great many of the files on this website. Horne played a major role in the Review Board's work on the medical evidence in the JFK assassination, preparing questions for depositions and helping elicit some stunning testimony from medical witnesses and writing several important internal research memos on the issues raised.

much more re doug horne's information and from where and whom...links...www.maryferrell.org/

I think Doug Horne pretty well establishes the facts - two different caskets were delivered to Bethesda, one a bronze casket the president's body was placed in at Parkland, wrapped in sheets, and another, plain, shipping casket with a screw top, not hinges.

The bronze casket was delivered to the front door in a grey Navy Ambulance, while the shipping casket was delivered a half hour or so earlier at the back loading dock in a black funeral car.

Two different caskets, two different automobiles, and unloaded by two different groups of men.

Horne also establishes that there were two different brain exams, one a few days after the autopsy, the other over a week later, with Dr. Finck only present at the second exam, which examined a totally different brain that was not JFK's brain.

In Chapter 14 of Volume IV Horne also establishes the facts that the NPIC enlarged frames of two different films of the assassination, two different types of film, at two different times, both being "original" films, according to the lab techs who worked on them.

As an analysist, Horne does this in a very logical, procedural and repetative manner, so if you disagree with him you can go to the place where he goes wrong and you can point to that and say why.

Until someone does that, Horne's analysis that there were two different caskets, two different ambulances, two different brain exams, two different brains, and two different enlargement sessions at NPIC using two different films.

What's going on here?

Horne concludes that these were different covert actions designed to control the autopsy and records of the assassination in order to prevent the fact that there was a shooter from the front and a shot to the head from the front.

Now if someone who disagrees with any of these facts, firmly established by the Senior Analyist for Military Records of the Assassination Records Review Board, let them point to the place in the analysis where he is wrong.

Thanks,

BK

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Ten years from now, when they finaly get around to giving JFK a proper forensic autopsy, and find an entrance wound to the front right forehead, and acknowledge that there was another gunman and a conspiracy, will anybody really care?

When the HSCA concluded 30 years ago that there was probably a conspiracy, did anybody really care?

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I think Doug Horne pretty well establishes the facts - two different caskets were delivered to Bethesda, one a bronze casket the president's body was placed in at Parkland, wrapped in sheets, and another, plain, shipping casket with a screw top, not hinges.

I always knew David Lifton was right, from the moment I finished Best Evidence back in 1988

I have read Best Evidence to many times to count

I consider it my comfort book, when im bored or need to use the bathroom I almost always grab my paperback edition to read (My hardcover has been read once by my grandpa and once by me, it is in stunning condition and I want it to stay that way)

I would have to say that my heroes in order are

1. Harold Weisberg

2. Penn Jones Jr.

3. David Lifton

Not to mention that Pig on a Leash in TGZFH was just a great read, I loved all the history behind the films/pictures and Liftons relationships with other researchers

I hope that Doug Hornes volumes will not only cement Liftons 2 casket/body alteration theory (as well as Fetzer, White, Mantik, Healy, Dellarosa, Bernice, myself and other alterationists theories) but bring his book back out in the open for the newer researchers who have never read Best Evidence

Only four more days until I get Dougs books from my wife for X-mas

I dont think I can wait that long, I may need to tear apart the closet use a razor to cut the gifts open, read chapter 14, put the book back and re-tape it :rolleyes:

Edited by Dean Hagerman

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I think Doug Horne pretty well establishes the facts - two different caskets were delivered to Bethesda, one a bronze casket the president's body was placed in at Parkland, wrapped in sheets, and another, plain, shipping casket with a screw top, not hinges.

I always knew David Lifton was right, from the moment I finished Best Evidence back in 1988

I have read Best Evidence to many times to count

I consider it my comfort book, when im bored or need to use the bathroom I almost always grab my paperback edition to read (My hardcover has been read once by my grandpa and once by me, it is in stunning condition and I want it to stay that way)

I would have to say that my heroes in order are

1. Harold Weisberg

2. Penn Jones Jr.

3. David Lifton

Not to mention that Pig on a Leash in TGZFH was just a great read, I loved all the history behind the films/pictures and Liftons relationships with other researchers

I hope that Doug Hornes volumes will not only cement Liftons 2 casket/body alteration theory (as well as Fetzer, White, Mantik, Healy, Dellarosa, Bernice, myself and other alterationists theories) but bring his book back out in the open for the newer researchers who have never read Best Evidence

Only four more days until I get Dougs books from my wife for X-mas

I dont think I can wait that long, I may need to tear apart the closet use a razor to cut the gifts open, read chapter 14, put the book back and re-tape it B)

I DARE YOU... :rolleyes: ..and we shall not hear from dean till after the first of the New Year..he will recover he is resting comfortably but not quietly...but he shall return... with doug horne's books beside hm...b B)

imo do not leave sylvia meagher out... B)

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I think Doug Horne pretty well establishes the facts - two different caskets were delivered to Bethesda, one a bronze casket the president's body was placed in at Parkland, wrapped in sheets, and another, plain, shipping casket with a screw top, not hinges.

I always knew David Lifton was right, from the moment I finished Best Evidence back in 1988

I have read Best Evidence to many times to count

I consider it my comfort book, when im bored or need to use the bathroom I almost always grab my paperback edition to read (My hardcover has been read once by my grandpa and once by me, it is in stunning condition and I want it to stay that way)

I would have to say that my heroes in order are

1. Harold Weisberg

2. Penn Jones Jr.

3. David Lifton

Not to mention that Pig on a Leash in TGZFH was just a great read, I loved all the history behind the films/pictures and Liftons relationships with other researchers

I hope that Doug Hornes volumes will not only cement Liftons 2 casket/body alteration theory (as well as Fetzer, White, Mantik, Healy, Dellarosa, Bernice, myself and other alterationists theories) but bring his book back out in the open for the newer researchers who have never read Best Evidence

Only four more days until I get Dougs books from my wife for X-mas

I dont think I can wait that long, I may need to tear apart the closet use a razor to cut the gifts open, read chapter 14, put the book back and re-tape it B)

I DARE YOU... B) ..and we shall not hear from dean till after the first of the New Year..he will recover he is resting comfortably but not quietly...but he shall return... with doug horne's books beside hm...b :o

imo do not leave sylvia meagher out... B)

:lol:

Your right Bernice, I better just leave them as my wife might hurt me if I get caught :rolleyes:

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Doug Horne

Volume IV Chapter 13

Josiah Thompson Sums It All Up in 1988 — And A New Research Paradigm Takes Over in the Mid-1990s

In 1967, when his book Six Seconds in Dallas was published, Josiah Thompson, a former Navy

'frogman' who had spent two years in the Navy (and had commanded the UDT detachment charged with beach reconnaissance when U.S. Marines landed in Lebanon in 1958), was an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. His book was the first attempt at a scientific overview of all of the principal forensic and crime scene evidence in the Kennedy assassination, and its publication was preceded by a dramatic Saturday Evening Post condensation of the major points in his book which was published under the bold declaration on that issue's cover: "Three Assassins Killed Kennedy." His book still holds a special fascination for me because its approach—a no-nonsense, empirical study of the entire universe of physical evidence—is the one which is still the proper model to emulate today, in my view: it does not begin with a theory of "who killed the President," but instead focuses on what the wounds on the body, the ballistics and firearms evidence, the eyewitness and earwitness testimony, and the film evidence from Dealey Plaza all tell us about the crime. In short, Thompson was an empiricist who was willing to follow the evidence wherever it lead him in his search for a compelling explanation for how the President was killed.

In subsequent years he became a private investigator, such was his passion for crime-solving, and

for examining the story told by physical evidence after the commission of a crime. If he focused

much more on the crime scene evidence in 1967 than on the medical evidence, that is

understandable, since the autopsy photographs and x-rays had not yet been seen by any members of the general public; his primary focus was on Dealey Plaza, but so was that of the American public.

Thompson was still one of the most respected voices in the research community in 1988 when

former CBS employee Robert Richter assembled his independent documentary "Who Shot President Kennedy?", which was to be narrated by Walter Cronkite and would air on the PBS NOVA weekly documentary slot, in prime time. The documentary film—written, produced, and directed by Richter—was laudable in that it raised the most contentious issues within the universe of physical evidence which challenged the Warren Commission's findings, and which pointed toward a possible conspiracy to kill the President. However, it was extremely frustrating to watch, and ultimately an exercise in futility, because its final editorial conclusions (read by narrator Walter Cronkite) seemed to suggest that the ultimate answers to what happened in Dealey Plaza were essentially 'unknowable.' It presented several plausible arguments for conspiracy offered up by both the critical research community and the HSCA, and then attempted to dash cold water on each one of them. The film featured Robert Blakey discussing the HSCA's acoustic evidence of a shot from the grassy knoll, and then attempted to debunk it using an unsophisticated argument that ignored all of the scientific methodology that had gone into the HSCA's acoustic analysis. David Lifton was shown discussing his hypothesis in Best Evidence that the wounds inflicted on President Kennedy's body by gunfire in Dallas had been altered by post mortem surgery prior to his autopsy; and was followed by a nervous group of four equivocating Parkland treatment physicians who sketched their best recollections of the head wound seen on the President in Dallas—sketches not shown on the air—before viewing the autopsy photographs and x-rays in the National Archives (which also could not be shown on the air, because of the proscriptions of the Kennedy family deed-of-gift), and whose remarks after viewing the autopsy photographs in private had been carefully edited afterwards so that they appeared to disagree with Lifton. An eloquent Cyril Wecht debunked the single bullet 1133 theory by comparing the lack of any serious damage to CE 399 with the wide range of damage and deformity inflicted upon various test bullets by the U.S. Army's wound ballistics tests; this was followed by the apparent, but inconclusive support offered to the single bullet theory by Dr. Vincent Guinn's neutron activation analysis experiments for the HSCA, and by the strange and unlikely explanations offered up by the HSCA's resident contortionist, Michael Baden, in his attempt to explain how the trajectory necessary for the single bullet theory could have occurred, if only the President and the Governor had been positioned in the car in unlikely and unnatural postures (which dispositive photographic evidence shows was not the case). Richter actually commenced his documentary about the conflicts in the evidence in the Kennedy assassination by featuring Josiah Thompson discussing the timing problem that study of the Zapruder film presented to the Warren Commission—the apparent wounding of Kennedy and Connally by two separate bullets in less time than Oswald's rifle could be mechanically fired a second time—but failed to directly address how this timing problem resulted in the Warren Commission's adoption of a very unlikely hypothesis (i.e., the single bullet theory) to solve a political problem: the need to salvage the lone assassin conclusion, at any cost, to please its political master, the new President.

As the 50 minute documentary prepared on the 25th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination wound up, Josiah Thompson summarized the frustrating state of the evidence in the JFK case on the 25th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination, and his words apply equally well today, over 45 years after the assassination, as they did some 20 years ago:

In a homicide case, you get a convergence of the evidence after a while. There may be

discrepancies in detail; but on the whole, things come together. With this case—it's now 25

years—things haven't gotten any simpler. They haven't come together. If anything, they've

become more problematical, more and more mysterious. That just isn't the way a homicide

case develops.

I agree with what Thompson said in 1988: the evidence hasn't "come together" in the Kennedy

assassination, and has become "more and more problematical." I believe that is the case because

there has been significant suppression of evidence in the Kennedy assassination, and because

immediately after the assassination, massive fraud was introduced into the evidence wherever

something was suppressed. After reading Best Evidence, I certainly realized on a logical plane that this was the likely explanation for why so much of the evidence in the JFK assassination didn't

present a coherent picture of what had happened; but I did not really believe it, on an emotional level in my gut, until I went to work for the ARRB in 1995 and swam in that sea of conflicting evidence for three full years. And it was Josiah Thompson who gave me much of the inspiration to attempt that journey in a keynote address he gave to the attendees at an awards dinner, at the conclusion of the Chicago Midwest Symposium on the JFK assassination, early in 1993.

Josiah Thompson announced in a rather perplexing way at the beginning of his speech that he was

there to speak about the agnosticism of which he had been accused, and to which he was now openly confessing. He also announced a rather sobering disclaimer, saying at the beginning of his remarks that people usually expect to hear inspirational remarks at the end of such conferences, but that he was not going to be able to offer any. Instead, he shared with us his profound sense of frustration and disquiet about the Kennedy assassination, just prior to the 30th anniversary of the event. He 1134 began as follows:

I submit that we know less now about what happened in those six seconds than we thought

we did a quarter of a century ago [referring to the 1966-67 time period when the first spate

of critical books had been published]. The profile of what happened has not gotten any

clearer in the intervening years, but more confused. Why? Because the evidence itself has

grown more confused, and confusing.

In 1966, he said, "I tried to put together all the evidence into a plausible account as to what

happened. It made sense to try that in 1966—I'm not sure it does now. The contradictions in the

evidence are so many and so profound that any attempt to offer a single convincing account of what happened may be impossible."

Thompson then launched into a detailed listing of the many improbabilities in the U.S. government's

single bullet theory, and explained that that theory was born not out of good science, or out of an

honest attempt to employ Occam's Razor in an attempt to provide a logical and likely explanation

for what happened in Dallas (my phraseology, not his), but rather out of political necessity—as the

only way to salvage the U.S. government's desired lone assassin conclusion in 1964. Calling the

single bullet theory the reductio ad absurdum of the government's attempts to sell a lone assassin

to the American people, Thompson discussed in detail the disturbing improbability of the HSCA's

desperate attempts to resuscitate a moribund patient, namely:

• Michael Baden's explanation on television that although the hypothetical bullet

which supposedly transited JFK's body from back to front had an 11 degree upward

trajectory anatomically speaking, that it could still have hit Governor Connally,

providing President Kennedy had been leaning forward significantly in the limousine,

and providing Connally had moved well to his left in the bucket seat in which he was

sitting.

• The fact that HSCA General Counsel Robert Blakey hired four District of Columbia

policemen while the HSCA was in session to test fire a Mannlicher Carcano in an

attempt to demonstrate that it could be fired in less than the minimum mechanical

firing time (i.e., without aiming) of 2.3 seconds, which had been determined by the

FBI shortly after the assassination; and that when all four policemen abjectly failed

to beat the FBI's minimum mechanical firing time of 2.3 seconds, two lawyers—G.

Robert Blakey himself, and his deputy, Gary Cornwell—blithely claimed to have

accomplished the feat of firing the rifle in 1.6 seconds all by themselves. Apparently

they had to literally 'shoot from the hip' to accomplish this, a technique they termed

'point aiming,' in an Orwellian use of the English language.

• The fact that the HSCA re-endorsed the single bullet theory of Arlen Specter, even

though its acoustic analysis of the dictabelt tape led the Committee to adopt a shot

scenario which claimed that the first two shots came from the Book Depository, and

were fired within 1.66 seconds of each other. The HSCA concluded that the first

shot missed (since no human reactions to being hit could be seen in the Zapruder film between frames 157-161), and improbably decided that not only could Oswald fire

the next shot only 1.66 seconds later (in spite of the FBI's minimum mechanical

firing time of 2.3 seconds), but that he was able to do so between Zapruder frames

188-191 by firing through a tree which would have blocked his view between frames

160-210—and that in doing so, Oswald miraculously plugged both John Kennedy

and John Connally with that 'blind shot.'

After the audience finished laughing, Thompson soberly reminded everyone: "It's much easier to

destroy the single bullet theory than it is to come up with a plausible alternative." For example, he

reminded the audience, if CE 399 is a planted bullet, then what happened to the real bullet which

caused JFK's back wound? He concluded his remarks as follows:

From the beginning, critics of the official story have been faced with a conundrum. Since

nearly all the evidence in the case has been in governmental possession from the beginning,

except for such notable exceptions as the Zapruder film and the Dallas police dictabelt tape

we have had to accept the authenticity of all the evidence, or abandon the attempt to try to

deduce from it what happened. Was the magic bullet the result of a switch made after 'a

bullet' came into government possession? Are the Connally wrist fragments authentic? Has

the autopsy and medical evidence been falsified and rigged? As soon as we even begin

asking such questions we abandon the attempt to solve the mystery, since we lack a criterion

for determining what evidence is genuine and what is not. To put it another way, you can't

begin solving a puzzle if you keep doubting whether a particular piece belongs in the puzzle!

But it should not escape our attention how extraordinary the present situation is. Thompson wrapped up his remarks by admitting that when he wrote Six Seconds in Dallas he was a college philosophy professor who "knew literally nothing" about the investigation of homicides.

Since that time, he said, he had changed careers and had become a private investigator, and in this

capacity had investigated "several hundred" homicides since 1976. He concluded: I know, for example, the more a case is investigated, the more coherent becomes the evidence; I know that doubts may remain as to who did it, or why they did it, but hardly ever about what actually happened. Yet here, in the most thoroughly investigated homicide in human history, the evidence falls into deeper and deeper contradiction, so riven by contradiction [that] the fact pattern of the case—what happened, when, and how?—begins to unravel.

There was only one thing I disagreed with in his speech, and that was his assertion that if we do not

accept the authenticity of all of the government's evidence at face value, that we must abandon our

attempts to deduce what happened. Surely, accepting the possibility that some (or even much)

evidence was 'tainted' would make reconstructing what had really happened in Dealey Plaza much

more difficult, but I refused to throw my hands up in despair and simply give up on my attempts to

understand the 'mystery of the century' just because it was proving difficult.

This speech really lit a fire under my ass. [i didn't attend that conference, but I obtained his dinner[/font]

speech on videotape and watched it over and over again, and found I was as frustrated as he was about the state of the evidence.] I viewed Josiah Thompson's comments as a clarion call for

someone to "do something" about what seemed to him an 'unspeakable problem'—namely, how

does one go about honestly separating 'tainted' evidence from 'trustworthy' evidence? I didn't have any magic answers, any epistemological 'silver bullets' to throw at the problem, but one year later I did hear Jack Tunheim speak to the COPA conference organized by John Judge in Washington, D.C. about the new Assassination Records Review Board. I saw possibilities here—and unknown to me, Congressman Stokes of Ohio, former Chair of the HSCA, had told the Board Members the same thing in private—for attempting to clarify the medical evidence, for attempting to separate the 'wheat' from the 'chaff,' particularly in regard to the autopsy photos and x-rays, and in understanding what really happened at the President's autopsy.

Like Thompson, I did not want to see American citizens sitting around at research conferences twenty years hence, endlessly debating the same, seemingly insoluble conflicts in the evidence. The thought of the same frustrating and inconclusive series of debates about the evidence in the JFK assassination continuing ad nauseum and ad infinitum reminded me too much of an overly excited dog chasing its tail in the summer heat—not a pleasant mental image, I can assure you. If David Lifton's research had gotten me 'hooked' on the assassination, then Josiah Thompson's discussion of the larger problem, the state of the evidence, and why it didn't come together, served as my continuing inspiration to do something.

Figuring out what had happened to President Kennedy in Dallas was not a parlor game to me, a trivial pursuit or a hobby—it went to the very root of what seemed to have gone wrong with our country since 1963. The American people had been robbed of a democratically elected leader in this country when power had changed hands through violence in 1963.

Following the death of Jack Kennedy, America's optimism and spirit of renewal, which had been on the rise, had seemed to dissipate, and to have been replaced with a sense that our best days as a society were perhaps behind us. The American people had been lied to—repeatedly—about what had happened in Dallas, and about a host of other national issues since that time, and had been fighting one war after another overseas, ever since. Had all of our governments since that time been illegitimate? This was a serious question for a people who truly loved and believed in democracy, and it was unsatisfactory to me that these questions should remain unanswered. For me, the whole question of whether or not I could trust the nation state in which I lived—whether I could have faith in the institutions of government—was at stake here. I knew I had been lied to about the Kennedy assassination, but I didn't know what had really happened in 1963, and why—and that remained unsatisfactory to me.

Two Bone Fragments Found in Dealey Plaza Are Consistent with a Fatal Shot from the Right Front

The first of these two fragments was found by Seymour Weitzman on the afternoon of the

assassination. As Thompson explains in Six Seconds in Dallas, It was found some 8 to 12 inches from the south curb of Elm Street, a location some 10-15 feet left of the car's path (7H107). This was probably what both Charles Brehm and Clint Hill saw driven over the left rear of the Presidential car.

I disagree slightly here. I believe Clint Hill saw exit debris bouncing across the trunk lid, with Jackie

chasing after it, as revealed in the Nix film. What Charles Brehm saw was a piece of airborne debris flying through the air for quite a distance, and landing near the curb. Therefore, I believe Weitzman probably found the piece of bone seen by Charles Brehm flying to the left and rear of the limousine after the fatal shot(s). We can never be sure, because Weitzman never marked the location on the street where he found it. This bone fragment, like all others found, is missing today.

The second and much more famous of the two fragments I mention here is the 'Harper' fragment,

which was found by pre-med student Billy Harper in the grass of Dealey Plaza on Saturday,

November 23rd. (Clint Hill was incorrect in his testimony—it was not found in the street.) The

Harper fragment was discussed previously in this book, and I explained at that time that in 1977 the HSCA staff had interviewed Dr. A.B. Cairns, who had been chief pathologist at Methodist hospital in 1963 when he identified it as occipital bone. (See Figures 41 and 42.) FBI agent A. Raymond Switzer interviewed both Billy Harper's uncle, Dr. Jack Harper, and Dr. Cairns, on July 10, 1964, and a typewritten report was completed on July 13, 1964. In the report it states that the chief medical photographer at Methodist hospital, Wayne Bolleter, is the individual who took two 35 mm color slides of the Harper Fragment next to a ruler for purposes of scale.

[We should all be thankful for the professionalism of this individual, and for the foresight of Dr. Jack Harper in asking him to photograph it. The two slides of the Harper fragment are everything that good medical macrophotography should be, unlike the autopsy photographs of the 35th President: they are in perfect focus, are perfectly illuminated, and the ruler placed in the images for scale is in focus also, and can be read.] Dr. Harper had first been interviewed by the FBI in 1963 when he had voluntarily turned the fragment over to Hoover's men; the FBI apparently recontacted him in July of 1964 to obtain the photographs that had been taken—which of course were not published by the Warren Commission.

The FBI faithfully retained the two 35 mm slides, and also x-rayed the bone fragment after it came

into their possession the week following the assassination. The slides and the x-rays of the Harper

fragment are in the JFK Collection in the National Archives today, but the bone fragment, like

another called the 'Burros' fragment (found in unknown circumstances by David Burros), is missing today. (The last person to sign a receipt for the two bone fragments was George G. Burkley.) The HSCA interview of Cairns in 1977 did not reveal any information that conflicted with that reported by the FBI in 1964, only a bit more detail about how Dr. Cairns decided the bone was occipital; he told the HSCA that he came to that conclusion based primarily upon the imprint of the blood vessels on the inside surface of the bone.

The identification of the Harper fragment as occipital bone was cavalierly ignored by the HSCA

Forensic Pathology Panel, even though Drs. Harper and Cairns both held it in their hands and both

concurred, in 1963, that it was definitely from the occipital region of the skull. Finding occipital

bone from President Kennedy's skull in the grass on the south side of Elm Street is consistent with

the major pattern of impact debris discussed in this section—namely, exit debris from the rear of

the President's head....

What It All Means

Summing up, the importance of our impact debris study is clear and incontrovertible: HSCA Staff

Director and General Counsel G. Robert Blakey was wrong when he concluded that the shot from the grassy knoll, revealed by the HSCA acoustical study, had missed the occupants of the limousine, and that the fatal shot that killed President Kennedy was fired from the Texas School Book Depository. Not only was Blakey wrong, but I submit to you that since he had most of the impact debris information cited above available to him—except for the Willis family interview and the Floyd Boring revelation—he knew he was likely wrong, and proceeded to knowingly trumpet the wrong conclusion anyway. Why? Because to accept that the grassy knoll shot had killed the President, based upon a study of the impact debris and the motion of President Kennedy's head and upper body in the Zapruder film (violently back and to the left), would have meant that he had no faith in the medical evidence from the autopsy. [The autopsy report and the photos and x-rays, remember, provide no clear evidence of a shot from the front, and only support shots from behind.] To have admitted this, after all the investigating and interviewing done by the HSCA staff and its Forensic Pathology Panel, would have been to publicly admit failure.

Formally concluding that the grassy knoll shot killed President Kennedy would have meant, essentially, that the HSCA not only had no faith in the autopsy medical evidence, but that it could also not explain exactly what was wrong with that evidence. Rather than do this, Blakey 'buried' as much of the medical evidence that conflicted with the autopsy report as he could—namely, the Ebersole, Finck, and Knudsen depositions; and the staff interviews of the 'little people' at the autopsy—by sequestering (sealing) this material for 50 years; and then he lied about the extent to which the autopsy witnesses agreed with the autopsy photographs on page 37 of volume VII of his report. Thanks to the JFK Records Act, which opened up the HSCA files, the chicanery of Blakey and Baden has been exposed. It was this 'big lie' about the autopsy photographs—the brazen, dishonest statement that none of the autopsy witnesses disagreed with the location of the wounds in the autopsy images—that will forever damn the HSCA's conclusions as intellectually dishonest and morally bankrupt. Rather than admit to the American public that the Committee had an insoluble puzzle where the evidence refused to some together — and explain why it did not come together and either continue the investigation until the matter was resolved, or turn it over to the Justice Department—Blakey and Baden cynically chose to endorse suspect medical evidence from the autopsy, and ignore and discount:

• the Parkland hospital medical witnesses to a blowout in the back of the head;

• the testimony of Secret Service agent Clint Hill that verified the Parkland observations; and

• the clear pattern of the preponderance of the impact debris evidence (Hill, Hargis,

Martin, and the Harper fragment) pointing to a fatal shot from the right front.

Apparently, it was politically much easier for Blakey and his gang to announce the unpalatable

conclusion that the Warren Commission had come to the right conclusion about Lee Harvey Oswald after all—that he had really and truly killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally all by himself—than to admit that there were irreconcilable conflicts in the evidence that could not be resolved. To do that would have taken considerable courage, and integrity.

The HSCA's fence-sitting provided the American people with a 'modified limited hangout' which satisfied no one: it gave us a 'probable' conspiracy supported only by an acoustics study, and yet the same unlikely murderer offered up by the Warren Commission; a presumed conspiracy with no names named, or motives explained; and a conclusion that all of the shots that struck Kennedy and Connally were fired from behind by Oswald, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary in the Zapruder film, in eyewitness testimony from Dealey Plaza and Parkland hospital, and in the ballistics evidence from the Edgewood Arsenal Firing Tests, published by the Army in 1965.

If the HSCA had possessed any cajones it would have stated up front that the irreconcilable conflicts within the forensic and crime scene evidence suggested that a major coverup had taken place in 1963, and that it suspected much of the evidence in the case may have been 'tainted' in ways not yet detected, meriting further investigation by the Justice Department. Instead, Blakey and Baden took the easier road of arrogantly pronouncing that they had solved the case, and bailed out of their burning airplane as quickly as possible. Blakey's golden parachute landed him a lifetime job as Professor of Law at Notre Dame. I'm not impressed. "For what hath a man gained, if he loses his own soul?"

Equally important as the conclusion that the 35th President was killed by a conspiracy, is the

knowledge that the U.S. government attempted to cover up that fact, and that the coverup was

implemented immediately after his assassination. The immediate implementation of this coverup

in both Dealey Plaza (the theft of the .45 caliber slug by a Federal agent), and at Parkland hospital

(the theft of the body by the Secret Service in order to prevent an honest autopsy), was followed by radio conversations onboard Air Force One which reveal an attempt to separate the President's widow from the Dallas casket upon arrival in Washington. (This failed, resulting in an absurd shell game at the Bethesda morgue designed to conceal the fact that the President's body had been stolen and his throat and back wounds had been tampered with enroute Washington.) The performance of clandestine, post mortem surgery on the President's skull at the Bethesda morgue, prior to the formal commencement of the autopsy, permitted: (1) the removal of evidence of shots from the front, andthe suppression of the fact that there was a crossfire in Dealey Plaza; (2) the alteration of JFK's head wounds so that they more closely resembled damage caused by shots from behind; and (3) the creation of a dishonest and intentionally deceptive photographic and x-ray record of his skull 'wounds.' This brazen attempt to manipulate American history, and hide the fact that a duly elected democratic head of state had been 'fired' by the secret vote of a national security 'star chamber,' should concern us as much as the murder itself. In the case of the Kennedy assassination, those who designed and managed the coverup were clearly among the cabal who murdered Jack Kennedy; their guilt is revealed by the speed with which they acted. The coverup was implemented with ruthless determination, if not efficiency, and was executed immediately by elements of the national security establishment (i.e., the Secret Service, the U.S. Navy, and unidentified civilians at Bethesda NNMC).

This basic fact is the biggest clue to the identity of the cabal that planned the assassination. The

likely membership of the cabal, and its motivations, will be the subject of Chapter 16.

THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL COVERUP

This book has proven—conclusively—that there was a medical coverup of the true facts in President Kennedy's death. Let's take a step back from the trees, and look at the forest one more time.

In my view the medical coverup could not have been uncovered without the evidence provided by

the following six key people: James J. Humes, Edward F. Reed, Tom Robinson, Robert Knudsen,

Roger Boyajian, and Dr. David W. Mantik. A nervous Dr. Humes, with his own big mouth, attracted attention to the fact that surgery had been performed on the President's skull. We can be very thankful today that FBI agents Sibert and O'Neill wrote that quotation down in their notes, and that an alert David Lifton realized the true significance of that statement in 1966, and spent almost 15 years pursuing its meaning before publishing Best Evidence in 1981. Dr. Mantik, in nine visits to the National Archives, used optical densitometry to gather empirical data proving that the 3 existing skull x-rays of President Kennedy are altered copy films that display dishonest, inaccurate images of the condition of the President's skull at the Bethesda morgue on November 22, 1963. Without this proof that the skull x-rays have been altered, they could have been used in perpetuity by Warren Commission and HSCA apologists to 'prove' that the autopsy photos showing the back of the head intact are 'authentic;' but now that we know for a fact that an occipital-parietal blowout was masked by an optical patch in the two lateral skull films, this evidence focuses our attention on the fact that the autopsy photos of the seemingly intact back of the head show something that cannot be. (In other words, the Dallas witnesses who have insisted for decades that there was a large exit defect in the right rear of President Kennedy's head were right all along.) Robert Knudsen's consistent, lifelong claim that he photographed the President's autopsy has provided an answer to the "who" and "when" questions regarding how the misleading autopsy photos were created, and also accounts for their generally substandard quality—as noted by both the HSCA and professionally trained medical photographer Earl McDonald—for Knudsen was not trained to engage in macro-photography of cadavers, and was normally a social photographer, at the White House, of ceremonies and public events. Marine sergeant Roger Boyajian made a contemporaneous record of the fact that the President's body arrived at the Bethesda morgue prior to the Andrews AFB motorcade containing the Dallas casket, thus documenting, in an indisputable way, the broken chain-of-custody for the President's body, and proving that there was sufficient time to conduct the clandestine craniotomy witnessed by Reed and Robinson. (Boyajian's report stating that the President's casket arrived at 6:35 PM means that we have every reason to believe all of the shipping casket and body bag witnesses, because his report proves that the bronze Dallas casket driven to Bethesda from Andrews AFB in a gray Navy ambulance, and delivered to the morgue anteroom by the FBI and Secret Service just prior to 7:17 PM, had to be empty.) Finally, the priceless recollections of Ed Reed and Tom Robinson have revealed to us the exact nature of the "surgery of the head area" that Dr. Humes alluded to in his oral utterance; their testimony is the 'clincher,' the true basis of our new understanding of the monstrous and brazen coverup perpetrated inside the Bethesda morgue the night President Kennedy was assassinated. The meaning of the activity witnessed by Robinson and Reed is indisputably clear, and is so important that it is worth revisiting one last time.

Robinson and Reed Provide Proof That A Clandestine, Modified Craniotomy Was Performed at the Bethesda Morgue Prior to the Autopsy on President Kennedy

Tom Robinson's recollections were dealt with in depth in Chapter 6 of this book, and are

unambiguous. He told both the HSCA and the ARRB, respectively, during his 1977 and 1996

interviews, that he had a clear recollection of a pathologist sawing open President Kennedy's skull

in order to remove the brain. The diagram of the damage to the back of President Kennedy's head

that he executed for the ARRB (Figure 28) makes clear just how extensive this post mortem surgery was—a large portion of the back of the skull was removed in order to gain access to the brain.

Furthermore, his comment to his ARRB interviewers that the extensive trauma seen in the autopsy

images of the top of the skull (see Figure 61) "was what the doctors did," and was not caused by a bullet, is a damning indictment of those photographs, and of the false testimony of Humes and

Boswell, who clearly committed perjury before both the Warren Commission, and the ARRB, when they described their ability to remove the brain without first performing a craniotomy.

Ed Reed's gift to history required a bit more sifting—more detective work—than did Tom Robinson's revelation, but it is equally persuasive, in my view, and equally important.

First, both Ed Reed and Jerrol Custer stated that the skull x-rays were the first ones taken; it was one of the few things about the duties they performed the night of the autopsy where their recollections were in agreement. Second, both Jerrol Custer and Ed Reed testified to the ARRB in 1997 that they were required to leave the morgue shortly after President Kennedy's body was placed on the examining table. Jerrol Custer testified as follows on page 75 of his deposition transcript:

Custer: ...they took the body out of this casket, and we put it on the table. Then I left. I

came back later—came back later, took the first set of films...[Author's emphasis]

And then on page 78, he continued:

Custer: ...I did not see the second casket until after the first set of films...I saw the first

casket. I left for at least an hour. When I come back, I come in, took films. After

I took the films, I left again. This is when I saw the second casket.

This means Custer saw the Dallas casket only after he took the skull x-rays, which means that he

started taking the head films before the bronze viewing coffin was brought to the morgue anteroom by Sibert, O'Neill, Kellerman, and Greer (at about 7:17 PM), and that he must have departed with the five skull x-rays in his arms after 7:17 PM. His memory of only seeing the 'second casket' after he had completed taking the first set of x-rays confirms that he started taking those x-rays before the Dallas casket was brought into the morgue anteroom. We know with a fair amount of precision when Sibert and O'Neill were barred from the morgue—7:17 PM. This also serves as a marker for the time the Dallas casket was set down on the floor in the anteroom.

Gunn: Were you present at the time of the first incision?

Reed: Yes.

Gunn: What was the first incision?

Reed: The cranium. The scalp, right here [gesturing to a wide area high up at the top of his forehead, from left to right]. [author's emphasis]

Gunn: And can you describe how that procedure—

Reed: Commander Humes made an incision. After we brought all the x-rays back, we

were allowed to sit in the podium and observe. And Commander Humes made an

incision—that I could see from my vantage point—an incision in the forehead, and

brought back the scalp. [author's emphasis]

Gunn: Okay. [Jeremy and I were quite tense at this moment, and made a point of not

looking at each other; our focus was riveted on the witness.]

Reed: Like this [gesturing].

Gunn: And you were making a line first across the top of your forehead, roughly along

the hairline—[author's emphasis]

Reed: With a scalpel.

Gunn: —and then pulling the scalp back.

Reed: That's correct. Just like this.

Gunn: And were you able to see the size of the wound when the scalp—

Reed: Not from my—not from where I was, no. The podium [sic] was a good 20 feet away.

Gunn: What else did you observe from where you were with regard to any incisions or

operations on the head?

Reed: Well, after about 20 minutes, Commander Humes took out a saw, and started to cut

the forehead with the bone—with the saw. Mechanical saw. Circular, small,

mechanical—almost like a cast saw, but it's made—[author's emphasis]

Gunn: Sure—

Reed: —specifically for bone.

Gunn: And what did you see next?

Reed: We were asked to leave at that time. Jerry Custer and myself were asked to leave.

[author's emphasis]

Although Reed recalled this post mortem surgery on the skull as occurring after he and Custer had

exposed all of the x-rays taken that night, this cannot be true. He provided his testimony about

cranial surgery in response to the question, "what was the first incision?" The first incision recorded

by Sibert and O'Neill in their report was the Y-incision on the thorax at 8:15 PM; and yet, Reed

never recalled seeing a Y-incision on the body. This is strongly suggestive that the cranial surgery

he witnessed was prior to the Y-incision. Reed witnessed the arrival of a shipping casket, which

verifies that he witnessed the 6:35 PM casket arrival; 15 minutes after that casket arrived, there had not been any Y-incision, and there would still not be one for another hour and twenty-five minutes.

Additionally, Reed's testimony that he and Custer were asked to leave as soon as Humes commenced cranial surgery sounds exactly like what he had said earlier (on pages 32-33) about he and Custer being asked to sit in the podium, and then being asked to leave the morgue; Reed's first mention of being asked to sit in the 'podium' (gallery) was given in response to the question about what he did immediately after placing the President's body on the examining table. Therefore, I believe, it is reasonable to infer that the surgery to the head area that Reed recalled witnessing from the gallery really occurred right after the body arrived, when Reed and Custer sat briefly in the gallery before being sent upstairs for 15 minutes, and well before the Y-incision had been made.

Analyzing the testimony of Reed and Custer is a cautionary tale about how memories, particularly

memories about the duration of specific events, and sometimes about the sequencing of different

events, are clouded by the passage of time. My experience with the morticians, and with the x-ray

technicians, taught me that memories of what wounds looked like, or about where an incision was

made on the body, seemed much more reliable than memories about the duration of a given event,

or the sequencing of multiple events. Having said that, I believe I have made a persuasive case that

Reed and Custer witnessed the commencement of illicit, post mortem cranial surgery very soon after the President's body arrived; were then sent upstairs for about a quarter of an hour; and were then recalled to the morgue by Dr. Ebersole to take the skull x-rays. Witnesses to the same events often remember different aspects of that event, with one witness not recalling part of an event that another witness remembers clearly—and different witnesses to the same event may recall identical aspects of the event with varying precision. Reed remembered the details of the cranial surgery, and Custer did not. Custer accurately remembered taking five skull x-rays in one series, at the same time, and Reed inaccurately remembered taking only two skull x-rays, and taking them one at a time, and not in a series. Custer accurately remembered taking each series of x-rays upstairs accompanied by Reed and a Federal agent; Reed inaccurately recalled running each individual x-ray taken at the autopsy upstairs all by himself, to be developed one at a time, without any security escort.

Reed's recollection of cranial surgery in the frontal bone just behind the hairline, above the top of

the forehead, is highly credible to me because that is exactly where the scalp looks incised and bone is seen to be missing from the skull cap in the autopsy photos (see Figures 61 and 62), and where part of the cranium is missing in the 3 surviving skull x-rays. Professional interpretation of the three cranial x-rays by Dr. Fitzpatrick, Dr. Kirschner, Dr. Mantik, and even by the HSCA Forensic Pathology Panel, reveals that much of the frontal bone is missing just behind the hairline, especially on the right side of the skull. It is not just "unlikely" that Reed would have seen Humes perform this surgery late in the autopsy, after the brain had already been removed—it is a reductio ad absurdum to suggest that a pathologist—even Dr. Humes—would perform surgery on an area of the cranium where the bone is already missing! It is nonsense, therefore, to suggest that Reed's recollection that he witnessed this cranial surgery after all of the x-rays had been taken that night is worthy of belief.

He recalled the cranial surgery when asked where on the body the first incision was made—thus

satisfying me as to when he saw it that night.

The surgery recalled by both Ed Reed and Tom Robinson, when considered as a whole, could best be described as a modified craniotomy, because it removed skull cap from the rear, top, and right side of the skull, and created a defect large enough to gain ready access to the brain. I say 'modified' because the entire skull cap was not sawed off symmetrically and removed in one piece, all the way around the skull; rather, an existing exit wound in the rear of the skull was radically expanded from a surface area of about 35 square centimeters, to a defect about five times larger, of about 170 square centimeters. Ed Reed's graphic description of watching Humes making a transverse incision in the scalp above the forehead with a scalpel, cutting the frontal bone directly below that incision with a circular saw, and then pulling the scalp forward, is exactly what happens during a craniotomy.

The context that makes the observation of clandestine cranial surgery at Bethesda shortly after the

body arrived so important, is the fact that Dr. Humes did not have to perform a craniotomy when he removed the brain from the cranium sometime after 8:00 PM (when the Dallas casket was opened) and prior to 8:30 PM (when Finck arrived and noticed that the brain had been removed from the cranium). As Dr. Finck wrote in the Blumberg report (see page 5 of Appendix 29), "Cdr. Humes told me that he only had to prolong the lacerations of the scalp before removing the brain. No sawing of the skull was necessary. The opening of the large head wound, in the right frontoparieto- occipital region, is 130 millimeters in diameter." [Author's emphasis added] James J. Humes is revealed here as the great prevaricator that Jeremy Gunn and I also found him to be. He had just been observed 90 minutes earlier by Ed Reed and Tom Robinson performing major post mortem surgery on the President's skull, yet when Dr. Finck arrived at the Bethesda morgue at 8:30 PM, Humes blithely told him that "no sawing of the skull" had been necessary to remove the brain.

No doubt what Humes meant was that no sawing of the skull had been necessary after 8:00 PM when the brain was publicly removed before the morgue audience, and James Jenkins. Clearly, when Humes said this to Finck, he was engaging in obfuscation, and concealing the fact that he did indeed have to saw off major portions of the skull earlier that evening; but since that had been clandestine activity, part of a covert operation to alter the President's wounds and remove evidence from the cranium, Humes could not reveal it to Dr. Finck. Humes was speaking to Finck at about 8:30 PM in front of the morgue audience, the same audience that had seen Humes remove the brain so effortlessly just moments before. It is obvious from what Humes told Finck, as recorded by Dr. Finck in the Blumberg report, that Lt.Col. Pierre A. Finck, an Army outsider in a Navy setting, hadnot yet been 'read in' on any coverup when he arrived at the Bethesda morgue, and that even long after the fact, in early 1965, he remained unaware that Humes had performed post mortem surgery on the cranium before he arrived at the morgue.

I have taken great pains to revisit how I arrived at my conclusion that illicit cranial surgery was

performed at Bethesda Naval hospital before President Kennedy's autopsy began, because it is such an essential finding to my hypothesis about the medical coverup. The post mortem surgery on the skull witnessed and independently remembered by Tom Robinson and Ed Reed is the key to

explaining when the skull x-rays were taken and why they show damage to the temporal, parietal,

and frontal bone that was not seen at Parkland hospital by the highly trained medical staff; and

likewise, explains when many of the autopsy photographs (Figures 59-62) were taken, and why they also show so much more damage to the head than was seen at Parkland hospital. [The surgery described by Robinson and Reed also allows us to place Dr. Boswell's autopsy sketch (Figure 11) in its proper context, and to understand it for what it really is: a 'con-job' designed to sell the results of clandestine surgery by Dr. Humes—a modified craniotomy—as the damage caused by an assassin's bullet.

…It is my contention that President Kennedy's assassination was the result of a domestic conspiracy, and that the conspirators implemented an immediate, effective, and wide-ranging coverup as soon as he was killed.

The medical coverup was just a part of this effort, but it had to go into effect immediately, and did. An honest autopsy was prevented from taking place by the Secret Service's removal of the body from Dallas, and a dishonest autopsy was performed by persons who knowingly participated in that charade because they had been "gaslighted"—they had fallen for the World War III cover story, and with that justification in the forefront of their minds, they could all comfort themselves with the knowledge that they were 'just following orders' in a time of national crisis.

And it was a time of national crisis: fear and uncertainty ruled, and just 13 months after the Cuban

Missile Crisis, the fear of nuclear war was palpable because of the 'legend' carefully constructed

around the accused assassin…..

…No one ever came forward to officially acknowledge the coverup of the JFK assassination because of shame, as much as fear. The shame on the part of major players in the medical coverup—Burkley and Galloway, for example—was probably driven by suspicion that they had been hoodwinked by the World War III cover story in 1963, and literally suckered into aiding and abetting obstruction of justice. Mid-level players in the medical coverup such as Humes, Boswell, Finck, and Knudsen were not about to admit to covering up the true facts in JFK's death because it would have destroyed their professional credibility, and with it, their careers. Low-level participants like Dennis David and the duty sailors who carried in the shipping casket at 6:35 PM, the two x-ray technicians (Custer and Reed), the two autopsy technologists (O'Connor and Jenkins), and the two official photographers (Stringer and Riebe); outsiders like the guards from the Marine Barracks and the Joint Service Casket Team; and innocent witnesses like the two FBI agents (Sibert and O'Neill) and the morticians (Robinson and VanHoesen), were true victims of the coverup who were simply exposed to many strange things the night of the President's death, and who were really and truly 'in the dark,' and just innocently following the orders they had been given, without knowing a coverup was underway.

Neither Dennis David, Custer, Reed, O'Connor, Jenkins, Stringer, Riebe, Robinson, VanHoesen,

the U.S. Marine guards from Marine Barracks, the Joint Service Casket Team working for Lt. Bird,General Wehle, nor his aide, Richard Lipsey, fully understood what was going on around them because of compartmentalization and the suppression of evidence.

By now, those who gave the cynical and deceitful orders to carry out the medical coverup are all deceased, and many of the midlevel participants have died or are close to death. And the American people are left today with a fraudulent visual record of the autopsy (which is still being suppressed); a dishonest, third-generation autopsy report; and the long-delayed, but reasonably accurate accounts of low-level participants to the strange events surrounding the autopsy—people like Tom Robinson and John VanHoesen, Jerrol Custer and Ed Reed, John Stringer and Floyd Riebe, Paul O'Connor and James Jenkins, Jim Sibert and Frank O'Neill, and Dennis David and Roger Boyajian — who have provided us with enough of the truth to allow us to ascertain that we have been lied to about a seminal event in our nation's history.

Studying the assassination and the coverup is a journey through darkness, and that journey will only lead into bright, sunlit uplands if the student of the assassination gains a proper overview of the deep politics, and the macro forces behind the crime, because with that knowledge comes a full and proper understanding of what a uniquely special politician and leader John F. Kennedy truly was.....

Edited by William Kelly

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Wow,

Amazing stuff if true.I`m talking about the pre autopsy allegation made by Horne.Doesn`t seem so far fetched knowing that Dr.Humes & Boswell were under the order of silence.

This news,if true,just blows me away.

Edited by Michael Crane

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Wow,

Amazing stuff if true.I`m talking about the pre autopsy allegation made by Horne.Doesn`t seem so far fetched knowing that Dr.Humes & Boswell were under the order of silence.

This news,if true,just blows me away.

Michael, it is amazing stuff, if true, but it is based on the military records, documents and the statements and testimony of those who were there.

In Chapter 13, Horne publishes a new Chronology that will replace Rich DelaRosa's Chronology as the one to refer to if interested in what happened when and where.

I thought I'd post a little teaser of what Doug has written not only to give people an idea of Doug's easy going writing style, but also give those who don't have the book an idea of what we're talking about once everybody is on the same page.

Paul Hoch first noted the statement attributed to Dr. Hume when he first got started, before the Y-incision, that there was "surgery to the head," which Hoch left out of his reports on the Sibert & O'Neil report to see if anybody else noticed those four words. Horne did, and also got S & O to willingly testify under oath, and got statements from the funeral makeup guys who actually saw Hume conduct the pre-autopsy surgery to the head that he later stated as a matter of fact before beginning the regular autopsy.

Meanwhile, Sibert & O'Neill, the FBI agents from Baltimore who were ordered to immediately attend to the body and obtain all bullet fragments for evidence, were kept by Kellerman in a waiting room with two other funderal guys, while the brain surgery was being performed by Hume.

Finck comes in a half hour later, and is shown the head wounds, minus the brain, and is told by Humes where the entrance and exit was, back to front, while Finck is the gunshot specialist and is suppose to know that by looking at himself. And he later reports that he never actually saw the entrance wound to the head.

So Kellerman and Hume kept Sibert & O'Neil and Finck in the dark about any frontal head wound, and Hume and Boswell conducted a brain exam two days later, complete with photos that have disapeared (though the photographer lived to testify), and then conducted a second brain exam two weeks later and invited Finck to observe, though he was a bit skeptical it was the same brain from the autopsy because it was a complete and fully weighed brain. A doctor who saw photos of this brain said that it had been in formadalyde for more than two weeks, or before JFK was killed so it wasn't his brain.

Then after Horne and the ARRB staff recognize there were two brain reviews, and that S & O were kept secreted while Kellerman and Horne made the head like spagattee, they were not permitted to recall Humes and Boswell because they had already been deposed and questioned!

It is amazing!

I will try to get Doug Horne's permission to post some excerpts from each of his chapters, like I did for this one, and hope some people get something out of it. Let me know if you do.

BK

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Oh,I have gotten what I needed.I have always been intrigued by the medical evidence.The biggest question that I have ever faced was.... where could the alterations have occurred at & by whom?I had my suspicions that they might have occurred at Walter Reed,but this fits nicely into the puzzle.

There is no question that Doug`s books will be in my possession as soon as I am able to buy them.

Thank you for enlightening me with the information before I can obtain the set.

Edited by Michael Crane

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<br />Oh,I have gotten what I needed.I have always been intrigued by the medical evidence.The biggest question that I have ever faced was.... where could the alterations have occurred at & by whom?I had my suspicions that they might have occurred at Walter Reed,but this fits nicely into the puzzle.<br /><br />There is no question that Doug`s books will be in my possession as soon as I am able to buy them.<br /><br />Thank you for enlightening me with the information.<br />
<br /><br /><br />

Here you go Michael. A little more of Doug Horne from Vol. IV.

At least one person is interested in what Doug Horne actually has to say rather than what others have suggested he says.

Doug Horne

Chapter 14: The Zapruder Film Mystery

I find myself in the rather ironic position of writing about the likely alteration of the Zapruder film, even though I was the point man for the ARRB in its commissioning of an authenticity study which concluded that the film exhibits many features consistent with authenticity. As stated previously many times in this book, there is uncertainty and conflict within virtually all of the evidence in the Kennedy assassination, and the Zapruder film, the pre-eminent home movie taken of the assassination in Dealey Plaza, is no exception to this general rule. In fact, the uncertainties about its provenance—once deemed unquestionable—are now more problematic than ever, and are not mere hairsplitting arguments over minutiae. There are substantial and responsible reasons to doubt the authenticity of the film because of: (1) serious irregularities in its chain of custody; (2) irregularities in its appearance inconsistent with its processing; (3) photographic inconsistencies between the extant film (the presumed 'original') and 'control' films shot during the authenticity study; and (4) major inconsistencies between eyewitness recollections of both the head wound(s) and events in the motorcade, and the image content seen in the extant film.

There is also probably more emotion, more Sturm und Drang, associated with arguments about the Zapruder film's authenticity than with any other evidentiary issue currently under debate within the research community.1 The first generation of JFK researchers assumed without question that the film was authentic; and that it was furthermore purchased, and then suppressed, by LIFE magazine (acting on behalf of the CIA) for that very reason—to withhold from the public the actual events of the assassination that took place in Dealey Plaza, because the film would have contradicted the lone assassin conclusion sponsored by the Warren Commission. Researchers who are convinced the film is authentic believe it to be 'ground truth' for the actual events in Dealey Plaza, a virtual 'time clock' of the assassination. While they acknowledge that interpretation of the events depicted in the film is subjective, they firmly believe that the Zapruder film is the baseline from which any true understanding of the assassination must proceed. To them, questioning the film's authenticity is the equivalent of heresy within the critical research community, and those who do so are viewed as before I can obtain the set

Page 1185

1 There is now a widespread consensus within the critical research community that there is something wrong with the autopsy photos. The current debate is simply over how this dishonest collection was created—namely, were the dishonest autopsy photos of the back of President Kennedy's head created by photographic forgery, or are they authentic images taken inside the camera which captured a temporary manipulation of reflected scalp after the conclusion of the autopsy? Similarly, since Dr. Humes admitted under oath in 1996 that he burned both his autopsy notes, and the first draft of the autopsy report, it is difficult to have any trust in the conclusions of CE 387, the extant version of the autopsy report. This lack of faith is compounded when one considers Robert F. Kennedy's apparent destruction of an earlier version of the report between April 1965 and October 1966, and the robust evidence of a series of content changes as the autopsy report evolved during subsequent rewritings. The Zapruder film is a different matter, however. The preponderance of opinion within the research community, at least among the 'old guard,' is that the film is authentic, and those who are persuaded (or suspect) otherwise are, as of this writing, in the minority.apostates. Gary Mack is a researcher who once openly espoused a conspiracy in JFK's assassination,v but who now works for the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, which officially proclaims Oswald's guilt.

The strongest epithet that Gary Mack (who was hired as the museum's archivist, and who is commonly referred to today as its 'curator') can use to describe a researcher who is persuaded that the autopsy photos and x-rays are in some way dishonest, or that the Zapruder film in the Archives is not the camera original, is to call them 'alterationists.' As used by him (and others), the term 'alterationist' connotes someone who is beyond the pale, who has discredited himself by adhering to and sponsoring heretical beliefs. The reason for all of this emotion is readily apparent: for if the extant film has truly been tampered with, if it is really a re-creation—a film with altered image content assembled in an optics lab to mimic a camera-original movie and thereby deceive history—then it means that the first generation researchers who have assumed the film is authentic have wasted literally decades of research studying the 'timing of the shots' in Dealey Plaza (or rather, the subjective and debatable reactions of the limousine's occupants to being impacted by bullets). No one would greet with equanimity being told that his approach to researching a subject has been incorrect—based on a false foundation—and that his life's work has essentially been a waste of time. This characterizes all fields of scientific and historical research, and explains the virulent passions aroused within academia whenever a new paradigm is introduced which calls into question the accepted research methodology for a given discipline. The more central the subject matter, the more those emotions are on display whenever the fundamental bases for a given approach are challenged. Thomas Kuhn's seminal 1962 work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, readily reveals this, as discussed previously in the Preface to this book.

I championed, and welcomed, the ARRB's sponsorship of an authenticity study of the Zapruder film by Kodak, because like all other researchers, I recognized its centrality to our present-day understanding of what happened in Dealey Plaza; indeed, study of the film has framed 4 decades of debate about what really did or did not happen during the assassination. My whole objective in going to work for the ARRB was to gain a better understanding of what had really happened during the assassination, and assessing the authenticity (or inauthenticity) of the Zapruder film was central to this goal—as important as studying the autopsy photographs and x-rays.

In late September of 1998, when the authenticity study was completed, I was simply grateful that Kodak had agreed to perform this task for the ARRB, and that we had been successful in getting them to do it on a pro bono basis. Physically and intellectually exhausted at the end of my frenetic three-year ARRB experience, I placed my copy of the report on the shelf, and didn't even begin to study it in any detail until May of 1999.2 What I began to find then, and continue to find today, is evidence within the report itself that casts doubt upon the film's authenticity. The author of the report, Roland Zavada, began with an obvious bias—he presumed that the film was authentic. I began my interaction with him with my own bias—I had nagging doubts about the film's

2 The report's author, Roland Zavada (hereafter r 2 eferred to as 'Rollie'), provided me in

1998 with an off-the-radar, unofficial copy of his report, mailed to my home address. Kodak officially printed eight copies; my understanding is that the ARRB clerical staff distributed six to the National Archives, one to Board Chair Jack Tunheim, and one to the Justice Department.

1186

authenticity. Neither of us, however, was firm enough in our own biases to call them beliefs; we both considered ourselves empiricists who were willing to go wherever the data led us. This situation was actually beneficial to the whole process, since the purpose of the study was to examine the film's authenticity in light of the doubts expressed by some in the research community. I played the constructive role of devil's advocate with Rollie throughout the period of his authenticity study.

Although there was no final conclusion in the report which summarized Zavada's findings in one paragraph, he noted throughout his study numerous ways in which the film's characteristics were consistent with authenticity. Since beginning to study Zavada's report, I have noted significant caveats to some of his conclusions which seriously weaken them, and other evidence that he published in his own report which I find dispositive in nature—which implies that the extant film in the National Archives—the purported 'original'—cannot be a camera original film.

The arguments for and against authenticity, based upon the contents of Zavada's report, will be covered later in this chapter. Today, when interviewed and asked whether he believes the Zapruder film is authentic or not, Rollie unambiguously says "it is." But he was more cautious in his report and never made any simplistic or outright declaration to that effect in its text. At one time in 1998, as the report was nearing completion, and as I was receiving frequent status reports from Rollie about his progress, he almost had me convinced that it was authentic. But since I began to study his report in detail in May of 1999, I have modified my position and now firmly suspect the extant film in the National Archives is a forgery, created from the true original in a sophisticated CIA photo lab at the Kodak main industrial plant in Rochester, New York. That's right: I just said that I believe that the presumed 'original' of the Zapruder film in the National Archives today was not exposed inside Abe Zapruder's Bell and Howell movie camera, but rather was created in a photo lab run for the CIA by Kodak, at its main industrial site and corporate headquarters, in Rochester, New York (using Abe Zapruder's camera-original film, of course, as the baseline). Astronomer Carl Sagan once said: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Fair enough. I intend to provide that evidence in this chapter. Before I proceed I wish to make one thing perfectly clear: during the period 1996-1998, I had the highest respect and admiration for Rollie Zavada, and I did not believe, at that time, that he was part of any attempt by Kodak to 'cover up the truth.' The Rollie Zavada with whom I worked so closely for over two years, from 1996-1998, was in my judgment at that time a man of sterling integrity, and an honest actor in all respects. We just happened to disagree about whether or not the Zapruder film was likely authentic, I reasoned, because each of us honestly and independently imbued selected aspects of the evidence with differing levels of importance.

However, new revelations in 2009 about the handling of the Zapruder film at the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) the very weekend of the assassination—which will be discussed extensively later in this chapter—have caused me, in retrospect, to reevaluate the possible role of Kodak in preparing an authenticity study of the Zapruder film for the ARRB. As will be revealed later in this chapter, in June of 1997 the ARRB staff became aware of evidence that pointed toward the possible creation of a modified version of the Zapruder film the weekend of the assassination at Kodak's main industrial plant in Rochester, New York. Beginning in June of 1997, and throughout that summer, I became painfully aware that asking Kodak to perform an authenticity study of the Zapruder film for the ARRB (and the fact that Kodak agreed to do so on a pro bono basis, free of charge!) constituted a potential conflict of interest of major proportions. I knew that Jeremy Gunn, our General Counsel, was similarly not unaware of this potential or apparent conflict

1187

of interest. Was Kodak, as an institution, helping the Review Board study the Zapruder film's authenticity out of a genuine public-spirited desire to help better explain an important episode in American history, and because to do so would help Kodak's image and improve its troubled business profile? Or was Kodak merely pretending to play the role of an altruistic, neutral arbiter and judge, while actually covering up its involvement in helping the CIA create an altered film which has been misrepresented, both in 1963, and for decades, as the 'camera-original' film? Whether it was right or wrong, wise or foolish, Jeremy Gunn and I decided not to inform Rollie Zavada, the individual called out of retirement and selected by Kodak to perform the authenticity study, about the allegation we were privy to that the 16 mm wide unslit double 8 film handled and analyzed by Homer McMahon at NPIC the weekend of the assassination had actually been developed at Rochester, and not in Dallas, as the known paper trail indicated. David Marwell, the Executive Director, concurred.

We decided to let Rollie Zavada's authenticity study proceed on its own merits, based solely upon the basis of the film's contents, without prejudicing him or his company with knowledge of the allegation to which we were privy. After all, the allegation was based upon one man's memory of what the film he worked with at NPIC had looked like, and upon what another man had said to him about its provenance, and was not (at that time) supported by any other testimony or corroborating physical evidence. The film's authenticity, we hoped, was something that would be easily proven or disproved by scientific evidence, in an unambiguous manner, by Zavada's technical study. If there was strong scientific evidence that it was not authentic, or that even cast doubt upon its authenticity, we reasoned, we could then pursue the allegation that the film in the Archives today was developed in Rochester (instead of Dallas) with both the CIA and with Kodak, at a future date, if merited. To do so prematurely, we reasoned, would probably be perceived as an insult by the corporation that was providing us with free goods and services, and would, at the very least, create mutual suspicion and distrust. Furthermore, the cash-strapped ARRB did not want to 'kill the goose that was about to lay the golden eggs.'

There were two problems with this strategy, however, that were not readily apparent to us at the time. First, Rollie would not finish his report until September 25, 1998, five days before the ARRB ceased operations, which allowed us no time to pursue any further evidentiary leads when the report was received in Washington on or about September 28, 1998, the same day as our 'sunset' press conference at the National Archives. Second, the technical report did not contain any clearly stated conclusions that the film was authentic or not authentic. And although it listed several overt and easily identifiable characteristics that were consistent with authenticity, buried in the report's technical language and its exhibits was evidence that (in my opinion) actually cast doubt upon its authenticity. This was based upon differences between test film exposed in the same make and model home movie cameras in 1997 and 1998, and reproduced in 1963-era contact printers, and what is seen in the extant film, and the purported 'first generation' copies, today. Because the report was received and opened at the ARRB offices just two full days prior to shutdown, there was no time for me or anyone else on the staff to read it and carefully scrutinize its contents until months later, well after there was no longer an ARRB to take any follow-up action with either the CIA, or Kodak.

In 2009 an elaborate deception operation (explained in the Epilogue) was carried out against me by an intelligence operative who was obviously working for the U.S. government. Its sole purpose was to contaminate and discredit the contents of this book. In retrospect, therefore, I now look quite differently at the effort Kodak put into the creation of the Zavada report, and at the decisions that

1188

were made along the way that affected how some of the report's research was conducted (and not conducted). It is not entirely clear, at this stage, whether or not Kodak was the disinterested party in 1996-1998 that we had hoped, in regard to its analysis of the Zapruder film. I will explain in detail what I mean by this later in this chapter, and shall let each reader judge for himself.

Edited by William Kelly

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<br />Oh,I have gotten what I needed.I have always been intrigued by the medical evidence.The biggest question that I have ever faced was.... where could the alterations have occurred at & by whom?I had my suspicions that they might have occurred at Walter Reed,but this fits nicely into the puzzle.<br /><br />There is no question that Doug`s books will be in my possession as soon as I am able to buy them.<br /><br />Thank you for enlightening me with the information.<br />
<br /><br /><br />

Here you go Michael. A little more of Doug Horne from Vol. IV.

At least one person is interested in what Doug Horne actually has to say rather than what others have suggested he says.

Doug Horne

Chapter 14: The Zapruder Film Mystery

I find myself in the rather ironic position of writing about the likely alteration of the Zapruder film, even though I was the point man for the ARRB in its commissioning of an authenticity study which concluded that the film exhibits many features consistent with authenticity. As stated previously many times in this book, there is uncertainty and conflict within virtually all of the evidence in the Kennedy assassination, and the Zapruder film, the pre-eminent home movie taken of the assassination in Dealey Plaza, is no exception to this general rule. In fact, the uncertainties about its provenance—once deemed unquestionable—are now more problematic than ever, and are not mere hairsplitting arguments over minutiae. There are substantial and responsible reasons to doubt the authenticity of the film because of: (1) serious irregularities in its chain of custody; (2) irregularities in its appearance inconsistent with its processing; (3) photographic inconsistencies between the extant film (the presumed 'original') and 'control' films shot during the authenticity study; and (4) major inconsistencies between eyewitness recollections of both the head wound(s) and events in the motorcade, and the image content seen in the extant film.

There is also probably more emotion, more Sturm und Drang, associated with arguments about the Zapruder film's authenticity than with any other evidentiary issue currently under debate within the research community.1 The first generation of JFK researchers assumed without question that the film was authentic; and that it was furthermore purchased, and then suppressed, by LIFE magazine (acting on behalf of the CIA) for that very reason—to withhold from the public the actual events of the assassination that took place in Dealey Plaza, because the film would have contradicted the lone assassin conclusion sponsored by the Warren Commission. Researchers who are convinced the film is authentic believe it to be 'ground truth' for the actual events in Dealey Plaza, a virtual 'time clock' of the assassination. While they acknowledge that interpretation of the events depicted in the film is subjective, they firmly believe that the Zapruder film is the baseline from which any true understanding of the assassination must proceed. To them, questioning the film's authenticity is the equivalent of heresy within the critical research community, and those who do so are viewed as before I can obtain the set

Page 1185

1 There is now a widespread consensus within the critical research community that there is something wrong with the autopsy photos. The current debate is simply over how this dishonest collection was created—namely, were the dishonest autopsy photos of the back of President Kennedy's head created by photographic forgery, or are they authentic images taken inside the camera which captured a temporary manipulation of reflected scalp after the conclusion of the autopsy? Similarly, since Dr. Humes admitted under oath in 1996 that he burned both his autopsy notes, and the first draft of the autopsy report, it is difficult to have any trust in the conclusions of CE 387, the extant version of the autopsy report. This lack of faith is compounded when one considers Robert F. Kennedy's apparent destruction of an earlier version of the report between April 1965 and October 1966, and the robust evidence of a series of content changes as the autopsy report evolved during subsequent rewritings. The Zapruder film is a different matter, however. The preponderance of opinion within the research community, at least among the 'old guard,' is that the film is authentic, and those who are persuaded (or suspect) otherwise are, as of this writing, in the minority.apostates. Gary Mack is a researcher who once openly espoused a conspiracy in JFK's assassination,v but who now works for the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, which officially proclaims Oswald's guilt.

The strongest epithet that Gary Mack (who was hired as the museum's archivist, and who is commonly referred to today as its 'curator') can use to describe a researcher who is persuaded that the autopsy photos and x-rays are in some way dishonest, or that the Zapruder film in the Archives is not the camera original, is to call them 'alterationists.' As used by him (and others), the term 'alterationist' connotes someone who is beyond the pale, who has discredited himself by adhering to and sponsoring heretical beliefs. The reason for all of this emotion is readily apparent: for if the extant film has truly been tampered with, if it is really a re-creation—a film with altered image content assembled in an optics lab to mimic a camera-original movie and thereby deceive history—then it means that the first generation researchers who have assumed the film is authentic have wasted literally decades of research studying the 'timing of the shots' in Dealey Plaza (or rather, the subjective and debatable reactions of the limousine's occupants to being impacted by bullets). No one would greet with equanimity being told that his approach to researching a subject has been incorrect—based on a false foundation—and that his life's work has essentially been a waste of time. This characterizes all fields of scientific and historical research, and explains the virulent passions aroused within academia whenever a new paradigm is introduced which calls into question the accepted research methodology for a given discipline. The more central the subject matter, the more those emotions are on display whenever the fundamental bases for a given approach are challenged. Thomas Kuhn's seminal 1962 work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, readily reveals this, as discussed previously in the Preface to this book.

I championed, and welcomed, the ARRB's sponsorship of an authenticity study of the Zapruder film by Kodak, because like all other researchers, I recognized its centrality to our present-day understanding of what happened in Dealey Plaza; indeed, study of the film has framed 4 decades of debate about what really did or did not happen during the assassination. My whole objective in going to work for the ARRB was to gain a better understanding of what had really happened during the assassination, and assessing the authenticity (or inauthenticity) of the Zapruder film was central to this goal—as important as studying the autopsy photographs and x-rays.

In late September of 1998, when the authenticity study was completed, I was simply grateful that Kodak had agreed to perform this task for the ARRB, and that we had been successful in getting them to do it on a pro bono basis. Physically and intellectually exhausted at the end of my frenetic three-year ARRB experience, I placed my copy of the report on the shelf, and didn't even begin to study it in any detail until May of 1999.2 What I began to find then, and continue to find today, is evidence within the report itself that casts doubt upon the film's authenticity. The author of the report, Roland Zavada, began with an obvious bias—he presumed that the film was authentic. I began my interaction with him with my own bias—I had nagging doubts about the film's

2 The report's author, Roland Zavada (hereafter r 2 eferred to as 'Rollie'), provided me in

1998 with an off-the-radar, unofficial copy of his report, mailed to my home address. Kodak officially printed eight copies; my understanding is that the ARRB clerical staff distributed six to the National Archives, one to Board Chair Jack Tunheim, and one to the Justice Department.

1186

authenticity. Neither of us, however, was firm enough in our own biases to call them beliefs; we both considered ourselves empiricists who were willing to go wherever the data led us. This situation was actually beneficial to the whole process, since the purpose of the study was to examine the film's authenticity in light of the doubts expressed by some in the research community. I played the constructive role of devil's advocate with Rollie throughout the period of his authenticity study.

Although there was no final conclusion in the report which summarized Zavada's findings in one paragraph, he noted throughout his study numerous ways in which the film's characteristics were consistent with authenticity. Since beginning to study Zavada's report, I have noted significant caveats to some of his conclusions which seriously weaken them, and other evidence that he published in his own report which I find dispositive in nature—which implies that the extant film in the National Archives—the purported 'original'—cannot be a camera original film.

The arguments for and against authenticity, based upon the contents of Zavada's report, will be covered later in this chapter. Today, when interviewed and asked whether he believes the Zapruder film is authentic or not, Rollie unambiguously says "it is." But he was more cautious in his report and never made any simplistic or outright declaration to that effect in its text. At one time in 1998, as the report was nearing completion, and as I was receiving frequent status reports from Rollie about his progress, he almost had me convinced that it was authentic. But since I began to study his report in detail in May of 1999, I have modified my position and now firmly suspect the extant film in the National Archives is a forgery, created from the true original in a sophisticated CIA photo lab at the Kodak main industrial plant in Rochester, New York. That's right: I just said that I believe that the presumed 'original' of the Zapruder film in the National Archives today was not exposed inside Abe Zapruder's Bell and Howell movie camera, but rather was created in a photo lab run for the CIA by Kodak, at its main industrial site and corporate headquarters, in Rochester, New York (using Abe Zapruder's camera-original film, of course, as the baseline). Astronomer Carl Sagan once said: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Fair enough. I intend to provide that evidence in this chapter. Before I proceed I wish to make one thing perfectly clear: during the period 1996-1998, I had the highest respect and admiration for Rollie Zavada, and I did not believe, at that time, that he was part of any attempt by Kodak to 'cover up the truth.' The Rollie Zavada with whom I worked so closely for over two years, from 1996-1998, was in my judgment at that time a man of sterling integrity, and an honest actor in all respects. We just happened to disagree about whether or not the Zapruder film was likely authentic, I reasoned, because each of us honestly and independently imbued selected aspects of the evidence with differing levels of importance.

However, new revelations in 2009 about the handling of the Zapruder film at the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) the very weekend of the assassination—which will be discussed extensively later in this chapter—have caused me, in retrospect, to reevaluate the possible role of Kodak in preparing an authenticity study of the Zapruder film for the ARRB. As will be revealed later in this chapter, in June of 1997 the ARRB staff became aware of evidence that pointed toward the possible creation of a modified version of the Zapruder film the weekend of the assassination at Kodak's main industrial plant in Rochester, New York. Beginning in June of 1997, and throughout that summer, I became painfully aware that asking Kodak to perform an authenticity study of the Zapruder film for the ARRB (and the fact that Kodak agreed to do so on a pro bono basis, free of charge!) constituted a potential conflict of interest of major proportions. I knew that Jeremy Gunn, our General Counsel, was similarly not unaware of this potential or apparent conflict

1187

of interest. Was Kodak, as an institution, helping the Review Board study the Zapruder film's authenticity out of a genuine public-spirited desire to help better explain an important episode in American history, and because to do so would help Kodak's image and improve its troubled business profile? Or was Kodak merely pretending to play the role of an altruistic, neutral arbiter and judge, while actually covering up its involvement in helping the CIA create an altered film which has been misrepresented, both in 1963, and for decades, as the 'camera-original' film? Whether it was right or wrong, wise or foolish, Jeremy Gunn and I decided not to inform Rollie Zavada, the individual called out of retirement and selected by Kodak to perform the authenticity study, about the allegation we were privy to that the 16 mm wide unslit double 8 film handled and analyzed by Homer McMahon at NPIC the weekend of the assassination had actually been developed at Rochester, and not in Dallas, as the known paper trail indicated. David Marwell, the Executive Director, concurred.

We decided to let Rollie Zavada's authenticity study proceed on its own merits, based solely upon the basis of the film's contents, without prejudicing him or his company with knowledge of the allegation to which we were privy. After all, the allegation was based upon one man's memory of what the film he worked with at NPIC had looked like, and upon what another man had said to him about its provenance, and was not (at that time) supported by any other testimony or corroborating physical evidence. The film's authenticity, we hoped, was something that would be easily proven or disproved by scientific evidence, in an unambiguous manner, by Zavada's technical study. If there was strong scientific evidence that it was not authentic, or that even cast doubt upon its authenticity, we reasoned, we could then pursue the allegation that the film in the Archives today was developed in Rochester (instead of Dallas) with both the CIA and with Kodak, at a future date, if merited. To do so prematurely, we reasoned, would probably be perceived as an insult by the corporation that was providing us with free goods and services, and would, at the very least, create mutual suspicion and distrust. Furthermore, the cash-strapped ARRB did not want to 'kill the goose that was about to lay the golden eggs.'

There were two problems with this strategy, however, that were not readily apparent to us at the time. First, Rollie would not finish his report until September 25, 1998, five days before the ARRB ceased operations, which allowed us no time to pursue any further evidentiary leads when the report was received in Washington on or about September 28, 1998, the same day as our 'sunset' press conference at the National Archives. Second, the technical report did not contain any clearly stated conclusions that the film was authentic or not authentic. And although it listed several overt and easily identifiable characteristics that were consistent with authenticity, buried in the report's technical language and its exhibits was evidence that (in my opinion) actually cast doubt upon its authenticity. This was based upon differences between test film exposed in the same make and model home movie cameras in 1997 and 1998, and reproduced in 1963-era contact printers, and what is seen in the extant film, and the purported 'first generation' copies, today. Because the report was received and opened at the ARRB offices just two full days prior to shutdown, there was no time for me or anyone else on the staff to read it and carefully scrutinize its contents until months later, well after there was no longer an ARRB to take any follow-up action with either the CIA, or Kodak.

In 2009 an elaborate deception operation (explained in the Epilogue) was carried out against me by an intelligence operative who was obviously working for the U.S. government. Its sole purpose was to contaminate and discredit the contents of this book. In retrospect, therefore, I now look quite differently at the effort Kodak put into the creation of the Zavada report, and at the decisions that

1188

were made along the way that affected how some of the report's research was conducted (and not conducted). It is not entirely clear, at this stage, whether or not Kodak was the disinterested party in 1996-1998 that we had hoped, in regard to its analysis of the Zapruder film. I will explain in detail what I mean by this later in this chapter, and shall let each reader judge for himself.

thanks Bill for posting the above.... explosive stuff indeed! Said I wouldn't buy another book concerning JFK's assassination, looks like that is out the window...

Thanks again!

David

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