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John Ritchson

THE MAGIC BULLET TRIALS

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The Magic Bullet Trials

On Sunday the 22nd of May, the Learning channel aired a special program devoted to determining whether or not it would be possible to recreate the Warren Commission scenerio with respect to the ballistic behavior of CE-399.

Experts from a number of different diciplines collaborated in this effort, using state of the art equipment such as a 6.5mm rifle which while unidentified appeared to be a model 91 Mannlicher Carcano long rifle with a state of the art over the bore mounted scope as opposed to a side mounted scope. Also, it appeared that at least the cartridge extractor was modified to allow for individual insertion of a single round which normally does not easily lend itself to such loading.

A bucket lift was used to approximate to hight and angle of trajectory to the distance outlined in the Warren Report, and anatomically correct torsos were created out of ballistic geletin to represent the torsos of JFK and JBC. These torsos were placed in a vehicle but for the purpose of the test remained stationary.

There was no attempt to recreate any other aspect of the assassination scenerio other than an attempt to recreate the Magic Bullet.

The shooter loaded a single live cartridge and fired at the torso representing JFK with the impact point being just a few centimeters from the terminal impact point outlined in the autopsy report. The bullet passed through the torso representing JFK and through the torso representing JBC. However, when the projectile completed its terminal transit through the second torso it no longer had sufficient energy to penetrate the ballistic geletin representing JBC's wrist and simply bounced off the ballistic geletin and into the weeds.

Upon location of the projectile it plainly showed evidence of major deformation, being nearly completely doubled over, with the ramifications being that even with state of the art equipment including high-speed photography equipment, the experts were unable to accurately reproduce the CE-399 scenerio.

The experts then took the JFK autopsy report to a forensic pathologist for examination with all references to JFK removed from the report and replaced with a ficticous account and that pathologist made the determination that more than one shooter would have had to have made the shots that caused the wounding outlined in the WC Report.

It should be noted that this observer having reviewed the test came away with the strong impresion that the experts conducted the test with the forgone conclusion that the CE-399 scenerio was accurate and demonstrated disappointment at the failure to recreate the magic bullet after the manner outlined in the WC Report, and tends to vindicate what I have asserted all along that such ballistic behavior as outlined is an abject impossibility.

I encourage all readers to carefully view for themselves this test and form their own conclusions.

Respectfully:

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John, I saw the last half of the same program and had similar impressions. They really thought they were gonna prove the "magic bullet" and didn't know how to conclude the program when they couldn't, so they mis-represented their findings to the doctor. I do believe the bullet bounced off the thigh and not the wrist, however. Welcome back.

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This is very interesting, John, and I join Pat in welcoming you back,

Sorry, John Simkin, but the opportunity arose and I couldn't help myself!

When I was a teen-ager, there was a great song (doesn't seem quite so great now) by the Loving Spoonful called "Do You Believe in Magic?"

Perhaps a few members of the Forum believe in magic, but I strongly suspect none of us believe in the "Magic Bullet", so the results of the experiment do not surprise me. But the experiments appear to constitute new ammunition (sorry) for use against proponents of the LN scenario of the WC.

Brief comment: there is a theoretical distinction, is there not, between the "single bullet theory" and the "magic bullet"? They often seem to be used interchangeably.

Edited by Tim Gratz

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Brief comment:  there is a theoretical distinction, is there not, between the "single bullet theory" and the "magic bullet"?  They often seem to be used interchangeably.

As I understand it, the SBT applies to the theory that one bullet hit Kennedy in the back, exited his neck and created all the wounds on Connally. The "magic bullet" theory expands this into holding that this bullet was specifically CE 399, a bullet reflecting very little damage. While it's possible to have a single-bullet theory involving a different bullet, I'm not aware of any current scenarios. It should be noted, however, that two of the three autopsy doctors, Humes and Finck, as well as at least one of Connally's doctors, all testified they were all willing to go along with the single-bullet theory as long as it didn't include CE 399 as the bullet. Of course, by the time the SBT was touted as gospel by the Johnson Administration, they were all singing its praises.

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Excellent commentary, Pat. Just what I was getting at re the theoretical distinction between the SBT and the "magic bullet". Both, of course, seem rather improbable.

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Of course, all these tests were invalid because they didn't use a bent Manlicher Carcano. If they had, the MB theory would have been confirmed.

Right? :ice

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Great to see you back with us John and hope all is well with you. You have been in my family's prayers.

Have you noted that CE399 is consistent with the twisting found in an elongated rifled bullet such as the 6.5mm MC fired into a short ballistic tank (water and gauze filled)? The minimal extrusion out the base is also consistent with minimal resistance found within such a tank as opposed to striking a resistant object through penetration.

Al

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There was an odd observation made by the HSCA about Oswald's rifle and the acoustical evidence. I don't have the reference at hand so this is off the top of my head.

The acoustical evidence indicated that two of the shots were fired too rapidly for Oswald to have fired both with his MC. But the HSCA said that Oswald could have fired them that rapidly if he was shooting without the scope.

This raises a couple of questions. One (and this displays my ignorance), is it possible to easily and accurately shoot a rifle without using the scope even though a scope is on it? (The scope is not in the way?) If not, and Oswald didn't use a scope, this raises a question about Oswald's getaway. He not only had to have time to hide the rifle, he had to have time to reattach the scope to it first.

It seemed like rather questionable reasoning by the HSCA.

Ron

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There was an odd observation made by the HSCA about Oswald's rifle and the acoustical evidence. I don't have the reference at hand so this is off the top of my head.

Ron, the HSCA was a big pile of poop, as far as investigations go. They had Guinn telling them the magic bullet was real, they had Baden and the FPP and their trajectory analyst telling them all the shots came from the TSBD, and they had the acoustics experts telling them the shots took place at Z-160, 190, and 313 from the TSBD, with a shot from the grassy knoll at 285, as I remember. So they had to figure out how Oswald could pull off two shots in less than two seconds (as the Z-film ran at 18.3 frames per second), with the second one being the one that hit, or else disagree with one or more of their own experts. And so in March 79 they arranged for a test firing of the rifle to see if someone could get a shot off in that time. All the marksmen, who were used to actually aiming, FAILED. And so Chief Counsel Blakey and his assistant Cornwell took a couple of whacks at it themselves and succeeded, due to their NOT TAKING THE TIME TO AIM. They merely "point-aimed" in the general direction and fired as fast as possible. (You know, the way successful snipers always do.) Anyhow, Congressman (now Senator) Christopher Dodd exposed this horsecrap in his dissenting opinion of the Final Report of the HSCA, and the memo of this completely nonsensical "test" is now available online.

It just kills me. The mainstream media ignores the HSCA's acoustics tests, and ignores its ballistics tests, and yet accepts without question the results of its medical panel. They just refuse to do their job.

Edited by Pat Speer

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Pat,

I looked this up, and the way it's stated in the HSCA Report (p. 83) is that the acoustical evidence indicated that there were only 1.66 seconds between the first and second shots, whereas the average firing time between shots in the WC tests was 2.3 seconds. But the WC tests, the report says, "were based on an assumption that Oswald used the telescopic sight on the rifle." The HSCA therefore test fired an MC "using the open iron sights. It found that it was possible for two shots to be fired within 1.66 seconds."

While I realize that most of this business about how fast Oswald could fire all his shots is a bunch of LN nonsense, I was wondering what the HSCA was thinking when it suggested in this passage that Oswald fired his shots using the iron sights and not the scope. My question was, did this mean the scope was not on the rifle, in order for Oswald to use the iron sights? If so, Oswald would have to reattach the scope before hiding the rifle and getting down to the lunch room. I was wondering if the HSCA even thought about that problem or just expected people to swallow the idea without thinking.

http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk...eport_0057a.htm

Ron

Edited by Ron Ecker

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While I realize that most of this business about how fast Oswald could fire all his shots is a bunch of LN nonsense, I was wondering what the HSCA was thinking when it suggested in this passage that Oswald fired his shots using the iron sights and not the scope. My question was, did this mean the scope was not on the rifle, in order for  Oswald to use the iron sights? If so, Oswald would have to reattach the scope before hiding the rifle and getting down to the lunch room. I was wondering if the HSCA even thought about that problem or just expected people to swallow the idea without thinking.

http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk...eport_0057a.htm

Ron

While I'm not a shooter Ron I believe you're absolutely right that the scope would be in the way if one were to try and use the iron sights on a rifle equipped with a scope. The reason their theory doesn't make sense is because they are WRONG, While the CT's take to it because it trashes the WC, the HSCA report is much sloppier and makes even less sense. WC + HSCA = American nightmare.

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While I realize that most of this business about how fast Oswald could fire all his shots is a bunch of LN nonsense, I was wondering what the HSCA was thinking when it suggested in this passage that Oswald fired his shots using the iron sights and not the scope. My question was, did this mean the scope was not on the rifle, in order for  Oswald to use the iron sights? If so, Oswald would have to reattach the scope before hiding the rifle and getting down to the lunch room. I was wondering if the HSCA even thought about that problem or just expected people to swallow the idea without thinking.

http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk...eport_0057a.htm

Ron

While I'm not a shooter Ron I believe you're absolutely right that the scope would be in the way if one were to try and use the iron sights on a rifle equipped with a scope. The reason their theory doesn't make sense is because they are WRONG, While the CT's take to it because it trashes the WC, the HSCA report is much sloppier and makes even less sense. WC + HSCA = American nightmare.

Ron and Pat,

While most scope mountings are atop the upper receiver, the scope mounting on the MC found in the TSBD was an offset mounting. It was mounted alongside the upper receiver and allowed for the iron sights to be aligned.

The HSCA had to make a possible scenario for Oswald to have gotten off the shots in the allotted time. They did that by saying he used the iron sights, which would have allowed for quicker target acquisition than trying to find it in the scope. What they fail to get into is the issue of accuracy. Scope alignments can be preset to allow for a gravitational pull factor for shooting from an elevation such as the sixty foot height of the sniper's nest, but the iron sights on the Carcano (which I own) has a five preset range settings for the rear sight, and does not allow this luxury that the scope's azmuth and elevation settings would allow. For anyone who is a shooter, they would laugh at the idea at a headshot expectancy on a moving target from this varying range and elevation on this varying moving target.

What it comes down to is that Oswald either used the scope for greater accuracy or the iron sights to get the shots off within the time constraints. Either way it does not work. Additionally, Oswald has no background with scoped rifle precision shooting and would not even be aware of elevation shooting and presets for the scope to accommodate this.

Al

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A great post by Al! Thank you for the contribution of your expertise.

The question that baffles is: Why would anyone use this rifle in the assassination? And if it was not used, why would anyone use it in the frame? Both ideas seem nonsensical.

Anyone have any ideas about this?

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A great post by Al!  Thank you for the contribution of your expertise.

The question that baffles is:  Why would anyone use this rifle in the assassination?  And if it was not used, why would anyone use it in the frame?  Both ideas seem nonsensical.

Anyone have any ideas about this?

Tim,

I beleive the rifle was fired, but not as a primary weapon. It was fired to draw attention to the snipers nest and away from the other shot origins, and to connect Oswald to the shooting. If the Carcano initiated each volley, the other shooters would key off of these shots to fire their own in the volley which is very quickly followed as a startle reaction. This is called a "Canyon Shoot" which has been taught by the military for over sixty years. It draws attention to a less than ideal origin that would allow the shooter to flee and hides the higher percentage shot origins that are at greater risk of being engaged.

The shot impact into the windshield frame and the curb strike that wounded Tague is consistent with this shot origin where the gravitation pull factor would not have been realized. The shots would have went high as the gravity does not pull them downward. If the scope is aligned on a level plain and gravity is a subconscious factor when sighting the scope in.

The snipers nest IMHO was not utilized to succeed in assassinating JFK, only to allow the other shooters an oportunity to go undetected, and to give evidence as Oswald as one of the shooters.

Al

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