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Anthony Mugan

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  1. Hello all hope you don’t mind me going back to an earlier discussion strand from August…? There was some discussion around the extent to which Oswald’s move back to Dallas in October 63 and getting a job at the TBSD could be seen as evidence of a higher level of control than would have been possible from officers at JM/WAVE… Leaving the debate as to if this was or was not Oswald acting under orders or not to one side, could I ask if it would be reasonable to suggest that WAVE was leading operations across a wide geographical area (certainly including New Orleans and Mexico as well as Florida and Cuba). There were known connections from various anti-Castro groups to Dallas and several indications of activity in the area (e.g fund raising, possible presence of one or more groups etc). Would it therefore be reasonable to suggest officers involved in both CI and propaganda work at WAVE may have had a legitimate interest in activity in Dallas? if so do we see any examples in the records of operations in the USA outside the Florida-Louisiana area run out of Miami? thanks
  2. Thanks for your thought’s Ben. It’s very interesting to me as I have been very puzzled as to why there is still such a lack of consensus on the physical events of the day and your reply helps inform my thinking as to why that is the case. We could engage in a conversation on some of the specifics, but I’ll leave that for now. My background has probably influenced me to approach the problem in a particular way, methodologically and philosophically (Putting a lot of weight on the hard data and favouring a critical rationalist philosophical approach). That is probably why I like Thomas’ whole approach to the problem but I accept that probably reflects similarities in our training and is definitely not the majority approach… Thanks and bye for now.
  3. Hi Ben I can see where you are coming from. I’m not remotely convinced by Thompson’s idea of the final shot hitting JFK in the back of the head either. Many years ago Cyril Wecht argued that the fracture pattern in the skull was evidence for two severe impacts, with the impact at the rear preceding the impact at the front and that seems very credible (I’m using ‘impact’ deliberately as the hit at the back of the head gets more complicated). That last shot also seems like the most likely candidate for the miss that hit the curb, with a fragment injuring Tague. You are quite right that the data and the debate around it can seem opaque at first sight, but there are lots of things we need equipment to detect like atoms or distant galaxies, but these can be explained to non-specialists. The HSCA did us all no favours in fudging the correlation to the Zapruder film to fit their preferred shooting sequence, which naturally introduced contradictions with other data (particularly McLain’s location) and made it an easy target…. The best synthesis of all the physical evidence I’ve ever come across is Dr D B Thomas’ 2014 ‘Hear No Evil’, which is actually the only scenario I’ve seen which seems totally consistent with all known data. I keep mentioning it at the risk of sounding like a broken record but it doesn’t seem to have achieved the level of spread within the research community that it should have. I get the impression we could potentially achieve much more of a consensus on the sequence of events than we actually have and help focus our time on those issues that remain unclear. As an example your conclusion that the shots are too close together to come from the same Mannlicher-Carcano is very valid….I might have a minor debate with you on exactly what shot(s) did which injuries but this overall points to three shooters, one on the knoll and two behind the president…pinning down the location of that third shooter is to my mind a current question, just to give an example…
  4. I’d encourage anyone who would like to understand the objective historical reality of what actually happened on that day to make a serious effort to understand the scientific evidence that is now available. Within that the acoustic evidence is actually relatively easy to follow if you put your mind to it. The data in it can not be detected by the human ear but has been extensively studied and it is critical to a coherent model of the assassination. I agree that the time intervals between shots from the rear are too tight to all have come from the Mannlicher-Carcano….beyond that would take a book….and it’s already been done.
  5. Again I can see where you are coming from around Mexico City and the ‘coincidence’ of Oswald coming into contact with Azcue and Duran. My worry about that as the underlying reason for the Mexico City incident is partially that LHO’s behaviour (or whoever it was) hardly seems designed to win friends and influence people, but rather seems provocative, slightly ‘nutty’ and more likely to make Azcue etc avoid further contact with him and quite possibly formally report the matter to protect his back. A second worry is that if I’ve remembered correctly, the people involved in the ‘double punch’ approach on Azcue are identified in the available documents (or with likely candidates)? Very interesting though and if I could get my head around how Oswald’s actions might have contributed to such a plan it would be a very neat scenario, and simpler than my currently preferred scenario of a CI op to identify the leak associated with Bakulin and LAROB that I’ve argued in favour of before.
  6. Thanks...looks like it will be useful for me give TP a second reading...I hadn’t entirely grasped that connection first time round and the level of detail required now to keep up is such that I suspect that, just like SWHT, it will be useful to periodically re-refer to it as my own understanding gradually moves along...
  7. David... That is very interesting and I think I can see where you are going with this in terms of a short path for information to move between New Orleans and Miami involving operational level people who knew each other very well and trusted each other. Is that understanding correct? There is also the resistance to releasing the Joannides files which may (or may not) be relevant...but they would relate more to the formal lines of communication between the DRE and JMWAVE...still I’d very interested to see what is in them. This is certainly an area where there is more to learn and I’m glad we have people expert enough to keep moving forward.
  8. Tipping Point, like all Larry Hancock’s books, is exceptionally well researched and I’d suggest the best analysis of what might be termed the ‘minimalist conspiracy’ school of thought, at least in terms of the who and why of the assassination. I would cordially disagree with the author on some elements of the physical events during the shooting, but that is not the main focus of the work and does not alter my opinion that this is essential reading for anyone seriously interested in understanding these events in terms of historical reality. Any more complex conspiracy scenario will need to include this scenario within itself to be consistent with the evidence, barring some major new development. well done on yet another first class book
  9. Hello I agree that there is a very convincing body of evidence for one of the first two shots hitting the road surface in the manner described. In addition to the eyewitness testimony the acoustic evidence indicates five shots in total and the most persuasive alignment of that evidence with the Zapruder film and medical evidence suggests the main injuries were caused by shots 3 and 4, with the later the head shot from the knoll. It’s been argued that the high positioned wound at the back of JFK’s head that the HSCA took for an entry wound, combined with the fracture pattern in the skull argues for a severe blow to the rear of JFK’s skull prior to the Z312/3 impact. A ricochet fragment from this early ‘miss’ is quite plausible as the likely cause of that injury. we need to keep shot five hitting the kerb further down Elm to get the fragment that injured Tague. That leaves the remaining shot from the first pair going into the grass. By the way the spacing of shots 1-3 are too close together to all have come from the Mannlicher-Carcano yet all three correlate better with the sniper’s nest location than the knoll (the only locations tested acoustically, unfortunately). That implies three shooters, one on the knoll and two behind the president...
  10. In a sense both studies, but it’s the Weiss and Ashkenazy paper that went into much deeper detail on that particular shot that provides the key data for that specific calculation. The original work by Barger et. al. at BBN covered the whole shooting sequence and provides essential data for the overall shooting sequence of course.
  11. Could I raise a second concern? In the article there is a suggestion that a shockwave could not have been detected at Officer McLain’s location at the time of the Z312/3 headshot from the knoll. That assertion rests on using a 60 degree internal angle for the shockwave, which is described as the ‘rule of 60’ for a bullet at Mach 2. If the bullet was travelling at Mach 2 (around 2245 ft/sec at 65 deg. F and in a ‘standard atmosphere’ that would be correct. the internal angle of the shockwave, and therefore the area in which it could be detected varies with velocity and the local speed of sound. This is usually calculated in terms of the critical angle whic is half of the full internal angle (I.e. the angle from the bullet trajectory to the shockwave). In the Mach 2 scenario 30 degrees, or half of the 60 degrees critical angle = arcsin(1/M) where M is the Mach number or v/c where v is the bullet velocity and c is the local speed of sound. At M = 2 this does give a critical angle of 30 degrees and an internal angle of 60 degrees. The key question is what was the actual velocity of the bullet at the closest point of it’s path to McLain’s position? That point is just before impact in this case. The velocity would drop from it’s initial value due to air resistance so the critical angle would vary and be at it’s largest just before impact when v was lowest but still supersonic. if we take a counter scenario and estimate back the likely velocity of the bullet from the difference in timing of the shockwave and blast waves in the acoustic data we get an estimate of average velocity of 2202ft/sec +/- 104ft/sec. using HSCA test shot data to estimate the deceleration across the flight path we get an initial muzzle velocity of 2455 ft/sec and a final velocity closer to 2000ft /sec...both with similar error margins (yet again I find myself referencing Dr Thomas’s work!). Using a mid-range estimate of 2000ft/sec would give a critical angle of 34.16 degrees and an internal angle of 68.3 degrees +/- 4 degrees in round terms (for the internal angle) when the margins of error are considered. I would need to be a cartographer to draw the necessary maps accurately but this does seem to me to rather alter the interpretation of if the shockwave could have been detected or not. So my question is would readers agree or are there other factors I have not considered? thanks
  12. James I’d have to check through all the forensic information to be sure....In the source I was referencing it is described as being over half a centimetre in size and located 10cm above the occipital protuberance (just below the high positioned wound at the back of the head the HSCA proposed as their entry wound. Sorry not to be definitive...the medical side of this very complicated at least for my little brain.
  13. Thanks James Perhaps the best overview of the evidence around the fragment at the back of the skull is in the same book I referenced above, Thomas, D., 2014, ‘Hear no Evil’ Chp 8 (the subsection titled ‘the radio-opaque lump). It can be seen in one of the X rays (fig 8.8a in the above ref). It originally gets a mention in the FBI report from the autopsy but doesn’t get discussed in the original autopsy report. The HSCA Forensic Pathology panel discuss it (but go off record due to concern of one member around discussing it on the record) and the HSCA interpret it as a fragment that broke off a bullet on entry, as part of their problematic overall scenario. I quite like scenarios where there are no discrepancies between different lines of evidence, which is why I wanted to ask what the readership here thinks about this in general terms...it seems to fit together well but there could be other evidence I haven’t come across. I’ll come back with a second question in a day or two around the interpretation of the acoustic shockwave discussed in the articles.
  14. Thanks for posting such an interesting discussion on your site... I’d be interested in if there is any sort of ‘majority view’ on several of the points discussed. For reasons if space, time and focus I’ll raise these questions one a time if that’s OK, with initially some discussion of the reasons for each question. Dr Robertson makes a point that the pattern of fractures in JFK’s skull strongly supports the idea that he received a severe blow to the back of the head shortly before the fatal headshot at Z312/3 hit at the front right (if memory serves, which in may not, Cyril Wecht originated that idea). That point strikes me as very persuasive but as critics have pointed out the acoustic evidence precludes the idea that this impact occurred 0.1 seconds prior to the grassy knoll shot. Logically the impact on the rear of the skull does not have to have occurred so close to the grassy knoll shot. The evidence presented for that timing is the forward movement of JFK in that time frame but others have pointed out that the car was decelerating at time, leading to a natural forward motion (see Thomas, 2014, ‘’Hear no Evil’ Chp 10 for a review and references). There was a bullet fragment recovered pancaked onto the outer surface of the skull, under the skin just below the high positioned wound at the back of JFK’s skull. As others have pointed out that suggests a fragment from a ricochet from one of the earlier shots hit JFK causing the initial fracture pattern. This might be consistent with Kellerman’s recollection that Kennedy exclaimed he had been hit, which would be unlikely to have occurred after the shot through the throat. So...would people agree that both papers make valuable points in this regard and that evidence suggests JFK received a severe impact to the back of his head prior to the Z312/3 grassy knoll shot, but from one of the acoustically determined earlier shots that missed initially with a fragment then hitting Kennedy? thanks
  15. Hi I would argue that it's extremely unlikely that Corso's book was part of any disinformation operation. My reasons for suggesting that are that when you look back at the history of all this, pretty much all the 'perception management' efforts by the US government and its close allies have been in the opposite direction, towards downplaying the issue and reducing attention on it. Some examples of that include the policies that evolved around press releases in the early period (with much trial and error) but settling by the mid 50's on an approach of only putting out any detail on cases with a reasonable solution. By the second half of the 1950's NICAP was pushing hard for Congressional investigations, and there was a lot of effort put into managing perceptions of important Congressional figures to again downplay the issue and so on. The reasons for that are fairly clear. a) No politician wants to ever admit they don't know everything about everything. Admitting something is going on that we don't really understand is not good optics. b) No official ever wants to tell a politician there is something going on they can't explain in their area of responsibility. It's distinctly career limiting. c) Once the initial worries that this could be something Soviet faded, there remained a real concern that the phenomena could be used to create panic or to swamp 1950's era air defence systems with false targets. That theme runs through the Robertson Panel recommendations and the prior discussions within the CIA. Encouraging a degree of ridicule and making people look a bit stupid for misidentifications, and so discouraging reports, made a lot of sense in reducing 'noise' in the air defense system I could go on... there are some interesting differences in approach once you move away from the English speaking world, but... In that context putting out a sensationalist set of claims by someone like Corso (former Military Secretary to the 5412 Committee, if memory serves) was the exact opposite of downplaying the issue, so it just doesn't fit. I really don't want to speculate as to his true motives, but as the content of the book is largely garbage and he must have known that it doesn't leave too many options. To be honest the intelligence community don't really need to do much to manage the situation....there are enough nutcases and charlatans out there to create quite enough confusion all by themselves.
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