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Larry Belmont

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  1. To get us out of the Texas Theater on November 22 and back to Parkland (per the subject line) on November 24, does anyone know 1) who rode in the back of the O'Neal ambulance with Oswald, and 2) who helped unload him at the emergency room entrance? Unloading commences around the 20-sec mark of this film. The two attached stills show a man (from the back, wearing sunglasses) at the foot of cart containing Oswald. The man bears, at best, the most superficial resemblance to the "mystery man" in the photo included to begin this post. I am not sure if this man was riding in the ambulance (I don't think so) or "materialized" from the crowd to assist with the unloading. He could even be a reporter based on dress, pressed into helping (plenty of reporters must have rushed to Parkland post-shooting to capture all this). I have read that multiple "stakeholders" were hot to get a confession out of Oswald before he expired, mostly locals, but, barring deeper reading to find out for sure, I can imagine agents (SS, FBI, CIA) being on the ground as well. See p. 24 (of the PDF, not the page number of the exhibit) of https://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh21/pdf/WH21_Price_Ex_2-35.pdf for testimony regarding Oswald at Parkland.
  2. According to the caption on https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth185040/m1/1/ the photograph of the doctor, two uniformed police officers, and the man in suit and shades is dated November 24, 1963, and seems to be part of a series taken in the halls of Parkland that day, and not the day of the assassination, including several shots of Oswald's body (covered by a sheet on a gurney) being taken to the morgue. The pertinent part of one of two captions (depending on which view of the image you select) reads ".. [A doctor at Parkland Hospital speaking to Dallas Police officers], photograph, November 24, 1963; ..." (the inference would be that the man in suit and shades was a Dallas PD plainclothesman, but that might be an assumption by the caption writer, photog, etc.). and, expanded a bit: "Original black and white photographic negative taken by a Dallas Times Herald staff photographer. The image shows a doctor speaking with Dallas Police officers in a hallway at Parkland Hospital after the arrival of Lee Harvey Oswald on Sunday, November 24, 1963." I'll add that the man in suit and shades doesn't look like a DPD plainclothesman at all. Doesn't seem "Texas" to me either. Screams FBI or alphabet soup agency for sure. The zoom tool available to allow closer inspection of the image, https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth185040/m1/1/zoom/?resolution=0.5&lat=1560&lon=750 can't bring out details of police nameplates, etc. Or what suit n' shades in holding in his hand, though I almost think could be a rabbit's foot (keychain accessory?), with the fuzzy foot part mostly in his right hand and the (shiny) metal "cap" I recall those things having in his left. Total guess there, and par for the course in this case in which so many blow up images (a la David Hemmings in "Blow Up") looking for hidden trees in this forest (or maybe I mean the "wilderness of mirrors").
  3. I can't think of another reason to turn the bench over and measure (only) the bottom dimensions other than to verify that the space underneath was large enough for something the FBI might have already had the dimensions of that was an object of suspected concealment. Looks like you could put a bazooka AND Billy Barty in that space. As well as curtain rods. I suppose one would have to dig into the production of the booklet in detail to even get at what the FBI was trying to document by 1) performing the physical actions of pulling the bench away from the wall and measuring the dimensions, and 2) marking them on the photo as we see. Seems extremely specific even in the context of Oswald allegedly having ate his lunch their around noon on 11/22/63 and even considering the subsequent jacket discovery. Unless someone had the thought that Oswald (or others?) used the room as some sort of "drop." You don't have to be too paranoid to guess that weapons could be hidden under the bench. Rifles (two, I think) were known to be in the building just the day before. In http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/White Materials/JFK Assassination Photos Book/Pages 051-100.pdf there is reference to this pamphet as Commission Document 496 FBI booklet entitled "Texas School Book Depository, Dallas, Texas" with photographs of the floor plans and the parking lot. I am not familiar enough with the 26 volumes to know if there would be more info about the specific document somewhere therein. I imagine one would have to write the FBI and ask all the questions about the production of the pamphlet. And I surely don't know if every exhibit was discussed in any detail. I still say inclusion of that photograph with that useless caption - it's akin to a caption reading "Table" under a photo of a table - is odd. Of all those in the pamphlet,, that photo is the strangest of all. With the Domino Room coverage being slightly less strange as a whole. On whose word were the above actions taken (who ordered the bench toppled and measured, and why?) and who made the editorial call to over-cover (IMHO) the Domino Room in a photo tour of the TSBD? Those things are not random. This to me is tangible residue of events that occurred at someone's request, more interesting to me than trying to find human hairlines in pixelated images of TSBD windows. Makes me think there was more investigative interest in the Domino Room than we have been led to believe.
  4. Thanks for the 'welcome aboards'! I have seen stray pics and plans from this booklet used separately across the Web for years, but only recently did I run across what appears to be the whole booklet bound as a bureau-prepared photo guide to the depository. I don't know if the white rectangular shape (file folder label?) on upper right of front cover is either obscuring a CE number, for example, or the number appears on it but has been obscured. I have to think this is an official exhibit, right? The camera locations for all of the photos marked on the floor plans has proven quite helpful to orient oneself to the building. A baby step toward getting inside the building and "walking around" in a virtual sense as it pretty much looked on 11/22/63, seeing where things were in relation to other things, e.g., that electrical or phone panel in relation to a door, heights of those radiators in the entrance vestibule, etc. In re Plate 9, captioned "Mr. Truly's Office," I first wonder why that shot seems to be a xerox of a photo. It might more correctly be labeled "open part of the 1st floor" - is that the famous telephone that some reporters used? (Phone cord, owing to the contrast of a xerox or whatever kind of copy it is, leaps out.) If you consult the 1st floor floor plan a few pages earlier, you can see that camera position 9 was quite a ways from Truly's office. Looking in that general direction, to be sure, but somehow the orientation and the shot itself don't make sense to me in terms of captioning it that way. I have to stare at it some more and get acclimated to things. Truly's office, per the plan, would be along the left edge of the photo, furthest from the camera, toward the Elm St. side (front) of the building. The door visible in the photo looks to be Shelley's office door (office looks way larger than Truly's, which seems odd considering their job titles), with Truly's door beyond that, obscured by the column. Looks like Shelley's office had windows looking out onto floor (based on the floor plan drawing), but where they are on plan doesn't jibe with the photo. But, like I said, I am still trying to reconcile the direction of view one can glean from the drawing of the 1st floor with what is shown in that particular photo. I am not completely sure I am seeing things correctly. This also must be the portion of the floor that Baker and Truly (allegedly) crossed to reach the elevators and stairs in the northwest corner of the joint, so it's interesting to see at least part of the first leg of their route. (One might think photographs or a film devoted JUST to the route they took, maybe even a person with a movie camera acting as a "chase plane" to two men standing in for Baker and Truly - or why not those two themselves - would have been very valuable.) The Plate 9 photo seems to have gotten the same treatment as the floor plans (which are "line art" as opposed to grayscale or halftone images - not sure if my technical terms are correct) ... it's a xerox of a photo and has the same type of "binder" (forget the term for that type of binding) holes that the floor plans have, albeit on its top edge (the plans show the binder holes, which appear as narrow black rectangles along their left-hand edges). Production error when "pamphlet" was put together? Or when the PDF was made from scans? The Plate 9 photo seems to have been originally bound like the plans (90 degrees counterclockwise) and rotated to match the other photos. Why I started with the toppled bench photo: my curiosity was piqued by the fact that the Domino Room (DR) portion of the booklet almost seems to have a very specific context beyond just chronicling the depository at large - the photos devoted to the location of the jacket and the measurements of the "toppled" bench jumping out. Not counting the photo showing the entrance to the DR, there are SIX photos of its interior. Almost smells like "undue attention paid." An interesting exercise is to just ask, for each photo, "why was this specific view taken and put in the book?" Many make sense from that perspective. And also what is not contained in the book that seems like it should be there? The roof access? Up and down the elevator shafts? Counter area on 1st floor between vestibule and open area? The famous phone table itself? The phone switchboard? The plywood flooring on 6 in the process of being laid down (with any spaces beneath)? The "annex" just to the west with curved outer wall? How about putting a figure the height of Oswald behind the window in the 2nd floor lunchroom's pneumatic door? I mean if you're writing the measurements on the bottom of a toppled-over bench, why not those other things? Even include, in same white pen, the measurements of that rectangular window too. Seems germane to a key cornerstone of case. That one "see" what Baker "saw." In re the drawn floor plans, I like that the FBI has its own little graphic arts department "logo" - a draftsman at a drafting table. In the lower left-hand corner of the plans. Reads: "FBI __________ SECTION" I think ... cannot make out the 2nd word even enlarged. Would be nice to know the history of this pamphlet - who ordered it, who was involved in its creation, who wrote the captions (and made the wording choices to describe what is shown), who made editing decisions, etc. And the source of the PDF too (supposing a scanning config error might have led to the reproduction of Plate 9 as line art). This case never seems to cease generating questions, no matter how specific one's field of view.
  5. In the FBI booklet containing floor plans and photos of the TBSD, which I recently discovered (as a late arrival to the party, in a manner of speaking), I noted Plate 15 shows one of the benches in the Domino (Lunch) Room has been overturned, and dimensions of the space underneath the padded seat marked in what looks to be a white photo-marking pen (common in those days for annotating photos, marking areas for cropping, etc.). It is the only photo in the booklet that has such markings, measurements, etc. The caption explicitly mentions "dimensions of bottom construction," as if the dimensions were material to some aspect of the investigation. Kinda struck me as an answer to an unasked question. Does anyone in the Forum know if this was related to a suspicion that a rifle (either assembled or broken down) may have been concealed in the space under one of the benches? I have not yet located any material speaking to that possibility, either via testimony or from any FBI reports. The booklet can be perused here: https://archive.org/details/FBITSBD Attached is the plate in question. Thanks for any replies, Larry
  6. My interest is the JFK assassination. I was 6 and a half years old on November 22, 1963, but remember exactly where I was, as so many do, even as children: the parking lot of the Ramstein Air Force Base (Germany) movie theater. My parents and I had just stepped out into the evening after a late Friday afternoon showing of "Come Blow Your Horn," and were heading for the car when a woman approached us at a trot in the middle of the aisle, screaming that the President had been shot. It was a little past 7 pm, German time. The next thing I remember was the funeral on Monday, and three questions rattling in my head: 1) where we were going to get a new President from, 2) why there was no rider on that horse (and why were there empty boots backwards in the stirrups), and 3) when were the cartoons coming back? I didn't become interested (at the level of a "student") in the assassination until I read David Lifton's "Best Evidence" in 1981, and have kept abreast of developments in the case since. Cheers, Larry ---BIO --- Larry M. Belmont has worked on newspapers, magazines, and in scientific publishing in multiple capacities. Presently a work-from-home contract editor, he also devotes time to a World War II history web site (http://skylighters.org), is working on a new biography of expatriate American actress Jean Seberg, and is putting the final touches on a stage play about the voyage of writer John Steinbeck and marine biologist Ed Ricketts to the Sea of Cortez in 1940. Larry is a graduate of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, with a degree in Newswriting. He lives in New York's Lower Hudson Valley.
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