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Kenneth A. Rahn


John Simkin
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Kenneth A. Rahn is Professor Emeritus of Oceanography Center for Atmospheric Chemistry Studies at the University of Rhode Island. He is also interested in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and is the author of Academic JFK Assassination Site.

Rahn claims his site "attempts to approach the assassination in a way that is as scholarly, dignified, and rigorous as possible". According to Rahn his website: "shows that the proper investigative techniques lead inevitably to the strong conclusions that JFK was almost certainly killed by a lone gunman firing from the Texas School Book Depository, that he was almost certainly acting alone, and that he was almost certainly Lee Harvey Oswald."

http://karws.gso.uri.edu/JFK/JFK.html

I have invited Kenneth Rahn several time to join our forum. He has refused claiming that the forum is not "educational". Like John McAdams, Gary Mack, Dave Perry, Gerald Posner (he has promised to join us after he has finished his latest book), and David Reitzes, Rahn refuses to join our discussions. Like most university teachers, Rahn prefers the lecture approach to teaching. However, he is very good at getting publicity for his views on the assassination. Here for example is an article that appeared in yesterday’s Newswise:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/507674/

Newswise — There are many conspiracy theories about who assassinated President John F. Kennedy. So many, in fact, the suspect assassinators would have to be standing shoulder to shoulder on the grassy knoll or perched on each other’s shoulders in the Texas School Book Depository. According to a 2001 Gallup poll, 81 percent of Americans believe the assassination was a conspiracy, while only 13 percent subscribe to the Warren Commission’s “lone nut” theory.

“It’s preposterous on the face of it to believe that a mousy little guy with a $12.95 rifle could bring down the leader of the free world,” says Kenneth Rahn, a professor emeritus at the University of Rhode Island. “Yet,” says Rahn, “that’s exactly what Lee Harvey Oswald did 41 years ago this November 22.”

Relying on science, in particular neutron activation analyses and ballistic evidence, instead of speculation, Rahn, a retired oceanographer and atmospheric chemist, and Larry Sturdivan, a retired wound ballistics specialist at the Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, argue that the president and Texas Governor John Connally were hit by two and only two bullets, both fired from Lee Harvey Oswald’s rifle. They base their results on a review of ballistic and chemical analysis of the recovered bullet fragments. Furthermore, they prove statistically that the odds of additional successful gunmen are 2 to 3 percent at best and one in a million at worst. Results of their research were published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry.

According to the Warren Report, three shots were fired on that fateful day in November. Since Oswald’s bolt-action rifle required 2.3 seconds per shot and the shots were fired within 4.8 seconds, conspiracy theorists, assuming that Kennedy was hit by the first shot, claim that it would have been difficult, if not impossible, for Oswald to act alone.

Rahn and Sturdivan show that a three-hit scenario is ruled out by the neutron activation data. They further argue that Oswald’s first shot most likely missed the president’s car completely. This provides at least 4.8 seconds between the two shots that hit, making it an easy feat.

Oswald’s second shot hit the president in the neck/upper back area, exited through the throat, and continued through Connally’s body, exiting out of the governor’s thigh. The third and fatal shot hit the president in the back of the head. “The sequence is the bullet entered, exited, and its energy created an explosion in the president’s head, creating massive damage. Fragments from the bullet cracked the windshield,” says Rahn, a founding member of Nonconspiracists United, a newly formed group with its own e-mail discussion list. He has recently established a website, http://kenrahn.com/noncons .

Five bullet fragments, two large ones, and three small ones were recovered from the limousine, Connally’s stretcher in Parkland Hospital and from the men’s bodies. The fragments were examined twice by neutron activation analyses, first by the FBI in 1964 and then by Vincent Guinn, a professor of chemistry at the University of California at Irvine in 1977.

The first large bullet fragment, found on the stretcher, had a deformed, but complete shell with jacket markings on the jacket. It was a perfect match to Oswald’s rifle. The second large fragment, which had bounced onto the front seat contained lead, and some jacketing with some markings and brain tissue. It, too, was a perfect match to Oswald’s rifle.

The three smaller fragments had no jackets and so couldn’t be matched ballistically, but they could be matched chemically since this particular ammunition had unusual chemical properties. The ammunition manufacturer had combined scrap lead containing antimony, a hardening additive with virgin lead, but had not mixed the vats completely.

Both the FBI and Guinn appeared to group the fragments into a body shot and head shot. However, the FBI set contained a systematic error and Guinn’s results had potential problems. The core of the fragments was heterogeneous so that critics charge that different results could be obtained. Guinn overcame the FBI’s systematic error, and Rahn and Sturdivan overcame the heterogeneity problem by showing that it was a non-issue. The heterogeneity actually proved to be critical to grouping the fragments into the remains of the two and only two bullets.

The benefits of nuclear activation analyses extend beyond limiting the hits to two bullets, by providing the only way to prove that Oswald’s rifle was fired that day, and thereby quash the rumors that it had been planted to frame Oswald. They also render the details of the headshot and back wound irrelevant. They lead to the best-documented shooting scenario to date, namely an early miss, a single bullet through both men’s bodies, and the killing hit to JFK’s head five seconds later. Most importantly, nuclear activation analyses ties much of the physical evidence together and brings Oswald much closer to the crime by proving that his rifle did it all.

So the mob, Castro, the CIA, the Russians, Vice President Lyndon Johnson or the countless other supposed conspirators aren’t the bad guys. Although society seems to need to feel that only great plots can take down great men, the two scientists argue that Oswald, alone, took his shot at history. A shot that forever changed the course of our nation and gave birth to America’s skepticism.

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Kenneth A. Rahn is Professor Emeritus of Oceanography Center for Atmospheric Chemistry Studies at the University of Rhode Island. He is also interested in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and is the author of Academic JFK Assassination Site.

Rahn claims his site "attempts to approach the assassination in a way that is as scholarly, dignified, and rigorous as possible". According to Rahn his website: "shows that the proper investigative techniques lead inevitably to the strong conclusions that JFK was almost certainly killed by a lone gunman firing from the Texas School Book Depository, that he was almost certainly acting alone, and that he was almost certainly Lee Harvey Oswald."

http://karws.gso.uri.edu/JFK/JFK.html

I have invited Kenneth Rahn several time to join our forum. He has refused claiming that the forum is not "educational". Like John McAdams, Gary Mack, Dave Perry, Gerald Posner (he has promised to join us after he has finished his latest book), and David Reitzes, Rahn refuses to join our discussions. Like most university teachers, Rahn prefers the lecture approach to teaching. However, he is very good at getting publicity for his views on the assassination. Here for example is an article that appeared in yesterday’s Newswise:........

Rahn briefly joined the DellaRosa JFK forum but couldn't stand the heat so

he got out of the kitchen. He soon found himself with many questions he

could not answer.

Jack ;)

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I emailed Posner recently, he appears to be very busy with the book so hopefuly he may join soon. its always good to have a good debate on the topic.

Perhaps John Simkin could include an online debate during the online seminar where there are two teams each with 5 members?

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I emailed Posner recently, he appears to be very busy with the book so hopefuly he may join soon. its always good to have a good debate on the topic.

Perhaps John Simkin could include an online debate during the online seminar where there are two teams each with 5 members?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Posner a Wall Street lawyer, by trade?

I agree, it would be interesting to have him aboard.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I emailed Posner recently, he appears to be very busy with the book so hopefuly he may join soon. its always good to have a good debate on the topic.

Perhaps John Simkin could include an online debate during the online seminar where there are two teams each with 5 members?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Posner a Wall Street lawyer, by trade?

I agree, it would be interesting to have him aboard.

Hello

Am brand new to this forum stuff, so please forgive me if I am posting in the wrong place. I cannot imagine why anyone would want the likes of Posner in here. Or Rahn either for that matter. Last year, on the 40th anniversary, Rahn's LN nonsense was featured on the front page of our local paper, The Austin American Statesman. It was sickening. I wrote a lettert to ed. but it did not get published.

There was a post earlier I read from someone who called herself a newcomer to JFk research and she was not convinced that the media is paid off, or more specifically the Posner types. Of course he is, why would he be on all the tv shows when this subject is covered? I do not for one minute beleives he truly believes his own Cased Closed foolishness. He comes out of nowhere and Case Closed is a best seller and he's now this big expert, please. He's a "CIA prostitute" to employ an old Jim Garrison phrase for people like him.

Her other comment concerned the infighting in the research community. Having known many members of this group for now over 30 years I can attest that this is all too real. SOmetimes it is ego, the old "I was right first" angle. I saw this in David Lifton when Best Evidence first came out. And that book certainly had some powerful evidence that took him many years to amass, so I do give him credit.

Other people come into the case to cause it to fit their preconceived agenda, like Blakey and his mob did it conclusion. If the Mob did it then who killed all those boys in 75?? And why? The mob had no power to tell the secret service to "stand down" . Or to remove JFK's body from Dallas for an autopsy.

(Just two txamples, there are tons)

As for the establishment media:Life, CBS etc. has been pushing the coverup since the start. When Life reversed the Z frames to hide the backward headshot that ws a purposeful action, not some little accident. Of course they are on someone's payroll. And no one further down in these media outlets can publish anything contrary to the WC lies. Last year I wrote Peter Jennings a long email begging him to educate himself on this subject and not be part of that "proof of the MBT" garbage. Of course I got no reply. Wrote Cronkite too, same result. I could only watch 20 minutes of that sorry piece of very clever disinformation. It made me sooo angry.

Even The History Channel, the one place you could get serious research, via Nigel Turner's work, caved into cencorship by removing "The Guilty Men". Can't even buy it from them now. Very sad, it was a great segment.

Dawn Meredith

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I cannot imagine why anyone would want the likes of Posner in here. Or Rahn either for that matter.

Welcome to the forum. As administrator of the JFK Forum I should make it clear it is our policy to allow all researchers to join and post their opinions on the JFK assassination. I personally disagree with the views of Poster and Rahn. However, I think the best way to deal with their false views is to debate them openly. In fact I have invited all the main “lone nut” theorists to join the forum. They have all declined the offer. I wonder why? Rahn said it was because it was not an educational website. I suggested to him that maybe it was too educational for his tastes.

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I cannot imagine why anyone would want the likes of Posner in here. Or Rahn either for that matter.

Welcome to the forum. As administrator of the JFK Forum I should make it clear it is our policy to allow all researchers to join and post their opinions on the JFK assassination.... In fact I have invited all the main “lone nut” theorists to join the forum.

John,

Let's not get carried away. Pleeeease do not invite David Von Pein or Jim Harwood over from Lancer.

Tim

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But John

Sometimes I think you have invited all the lone nuts themselves. Just kidding, actually this forum is very respectable, and Dawn's skeptical attitude will fit right in.

Welcome, post often and keep us "honest"

Shanet

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Let's not get carried away.  Pleeeease do not invite David Von Pein or Jim Harwood over from Lancer.

I only invite the lone nut theorists, not the lone nuts.

In fact, Jim Harwood has applied to join. However, he has refused to provide a biography and so was not accepted.

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John,

Sad to say, you have not asked the eminent scholar and professional historian David Wrone to participate in your discussions. As he has published a dazzling book on the subject of the Zapruder film, chock full of incredible insights and utterly remarkable comments on the attempts of other less distinguished authors to make sense of the assassination, and as he believes there is a certain definite body of conclusions that can be drawn from a careful study of the assassination (I've forgotten his exact phraseology), and as he did not bother to explain or go into exactly what this body of evidence suggests, I think it would be a good idea to invite him here and explain his ideas in more detail.

If memory serves, a scholar with the curious name of Kerry Edwards (!) has suggested in a posting on this forum that the Wrone book is one of the best books ever written on the assassination, and went into spasms of ecstacy describing Wrone's phenomenal achievement.

If Posner and Rahn, why not Wrone? :rolleyes:

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John,

Sad to say, you have not asked the eminent scholar and professional historian David Wrone to participate in your discussions. As he has published a dazzling book on the subject of the Zapruder film, chock full of incredible insights and utterly remarkable comments on the attempts of other less distinguished authors to make sense of the assassination, and as he believes there is a certain definite body of conclusions that can be drawn from a careful study of the assassination (I've forgotten his exact phraseology), and as he did not bother to explain or go into exactly what this body of evidence suggests, I think it would be a good idea to invite him here and explain his ideas in more detail.

If memory serves, a scholar with the curious name of Kerry Edwards (!) has suggested in a posting on this forum that the Wrone book is one of the best books ever written on the assassination, and went into spasms of ecstacy describing Wrone's phenomenal achievement.

If Posner and Rahn, why not Wrone? :rolleyes:

Wrone believes the Z film is genuine. His book has been

discredited by Jim Fetzer, I believe.

Jack ;)

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Wrone believes the Z film is genuine. His book has been

discredited by Jim Fetzer, I believe.

Jack :rolleyes:

Jack - this may appear to be a zinger and maybe it is, but Fetzer's book didn't do anything but make Wrone's book look good despite Wrone making some silly suppositions like it maybe being Oswald in the doorway of the TSBD in Altgens number 6 photograph. And as far as DelleRosa's site and it being too hot - CT's also got the hell off it because it was getting to be a rabid photo and film alteration site. Just like the train window post you put on this site ... had that of been made on the DelleRosa site, then there would have been a handful of half-wits joined in and started harping about someone being a disinformationist who disagreed with your observation without ever looking to see if what was being said was true or not. On this forum - someone like Tim who has leaned towards the classic gunman figure at least considered the scaling and foreshortening effect between the Murry photo and the Nix film before being so quick to think there was some alteration at play.

As far as Rahn goes - there is an argument that he, nor any LN's can make in their favor and that is over the avulsed bones on the back of Kennedy's head. It's a simple rule of physics that says that when applied force is given to an object that it will avulse the exiting surface in the direction the penetrating force was moving. If we stick our finger through a piece of paper - the paper avulses/pushes outward in the direction that the penetrating force is being applied. The bones on the back of JFK's head were avulsed to the rear, thus the bullet was traveling front to back. The Government dealt with this by ignoring the large hole on the back of JFK's head altogether. Doctor after Doctor mentioned this avulsion to Arlen Specter and Specter quickly moved on as if he had no interest in talking about this wound. The reason was quite simple - the more detail that is given to it - the more one has top address why such a wound is not seen on the autopsy photographs. When the HSCA took up their investigation - they were given a falsified report saying that no Bethesda personnel claimed to have seen this large hole in the back of the President's head. It was only after the HSCA had finished their work that it was discovered that in fact each and every person at Bethesda who saw Kennedy's head wound had described the large hole as being there. Tanenbaum talked about this on one of the most recent MWKK series. By someone offering that falsified report to the HSCA - they were able to make it appear as if all the Dallas medical personnel and witnesses had merely been mistaken about this large avulsed wound on the back of JFK's head. That sentiment of everyone being mistaken about the wound still lives on today even though the mortician who prepared Kennedy's body said that he had to place a rubber pad over the large hole in the back of Kennedy's skull so the head would look right as it laid on the coffin's pillow. Most LNr's don't even know these things and some do, but have an agenda for pretending they don't know them or dismissing them altogether. People can argue most of the evidence on the JFK assassination and come up with some kind of spin in their favor, but the one area that takes nothing but faith to make the lone assassin scenario look plausible is over the ignoring the large avulsed wound to the back of JFK's head. Now to do this they have to assume that all those at JFK's autopsy and the mortician that prepared the body for burial were also mistaken. Mass mistakeness is what they must call it. Taken such a position only makes them look foolish to about everyone but themselves.

Edited by Bill Miller
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