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Jim Marrs: New study of JFK autopsy reveals falsification of x-ray


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BREAKING NEWS [posted on Facebook by Jim Marrs]
NEW STUDY OF JFK AUTOPSY REVEALS FALISIFICATION OF X-RAY
Recent find adds weight to conspiracy theories of government cover-up in the Kennedy assassination
By Jim Marrs
author of Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy
August 19, 2015

A bullet fragment depicted in an autopsy X-ray used to implicate Lee Harvey Oswald in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy recently has been found to be a faked artifact superimposed on the X-ray sometime after JFK’s autopsy.
Such tampering with official evidence could not have been accomplished without the knowledge of high-level federal officials and adds considerable weight to the claims of government cover-up in that tragic event
The X-ray fabrication was the topic of a 2015 paper by Dr. David Dr. Mantik published in issue three of Medical Research Archives, an international scientific peer-reviewed journal publishing articles in all disciplines of medicine, with a focus on new research.
Oswald, an ex-Marine who had attempted to defect to Russia in 1959, was identified in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s handpicked commission headed by Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren as the lone assassin of President Kennedy. The Warren Commission concluded that Oswald had used a 6.5 mm Italian WWII carbine to shoot Kennedy from the sixth-floor of a book depository building in downtown Dallas on November 22, 1963.
In 1968, amid controversy over the commission’s conclusion, the Justice Department selected four prominent medical experts to review the JFK autopsy evidence. This became known as the Clark Panel, named after then-Atty. General Ramsey Clark.
Although, the panels’ report was delayed until after the New Orleans JFK conspiracy trial led by Dist. Atty. Jim Garrison, in 1969 it concluded that the Warren Commission had been correct in its major findings though some issues remained in question, such as the location of the president’s head wound.
Interestingly, it was this Clark Panel report that first mentioned a fragment said to be from a 6.5 mm bullet found in the anterior-posterior (AP) X-ray of Kennedy’s skull. The image of this fragment became a critical piece of evidence, although it was not mentioned anywhere in the 26-volumes of the Warren Commission nor in the original autopsy report.
The fragment in question has been described as “the most curious—and unsolved—mystery in the history of diagnostic radiology.”
Larry Sturdivan, a ballistics consultant to the House Select Commission on Assassinations (HSCA), created by Congress in 1976 in the midst of continuing controversy over Kennedy’s death, studied this fragment and concluded the object could not be metal and that he had never seen the cross-section of a bullet deposited in such an odd fashion on a skull X-ray. “I’m not sure just what that 6.5 mm fragment is,” reported Sturdivan. “One thing I’m sure it is NOT is a cross-section from the interior of a bullet. I have seen literally thousands of bullets, deformed and un-deformed, after penetrating tissue and tissue simulants. Some were bent, some torn in two or more pieces, but to have a cross-section sheared out is physically impossible. That fragment has a lot of mystery associated with it.”
Mystery indeed, as the HSCA had relied on the authenticity of this fragment as key evidence in connecting the 6.5 mm bullet piece to Lee Harvey Oswald.
Furthermore, the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), formed by Congress in 1994 to study all government documents relating to the assassination, the three JFK autopsy doctors testified under oath that they had never seen such a fragment during the autopsy.
The mystery deepened in 2015 with the work of Dr. David Mantik, a California physician, who along with Dr. Cyril Wecht, a former president of the American Academy of Forensic Science, had studied the JFK X-rays and other material for nine days at the National Archives. “Hundreds of optical density measurements were made from the (supposed) original skull X-rays, with a specific focus on the 6.5 mm object that lies within JFK’s right orbit on the AP skull X-ray,” said Dr. Mantik.
After careful study, Dr. Mantik saw the fragment was strangely transparent. He realized this artifact had been added to the JFK X-ray in the darkroom. He explained it was accomplished by means of a double exposure of a 6.5 mm aperture, such as a 6.5 mm hole in a piece of cardboard. “[T]he first step was to imprint the image from the original X-ray onto a duplicate film (via a light box in the dark room). The second step was another exposure that imprinted the 6.5 mm image onto the duplicate film (i.e., superimposing it over the image of the original X-ray). This duplicate film was then developed to yield the image [as it appears in the X-ray]. This process inevitably produces a phantom effect, whereby objects (e.g., bullet fragments in this case) on the original film are seen separately [emphasis in the original] from the superimposed 6.5 mm image. On JFK’s AP skull X-ray, the original metal fragment (that lay at the back of the skull) can be seen separately through the 6.5 mm image.”
Dr. Mantik added that the double exposure was so unprofessional it produced a significant overexposure of the 6.5 mm image. He even found one tiny particle of bullet metal inside the 6.5 mm object, indicating the use of a well-known Hollywood technique using photographic double exposure.
Using studies of optical density, which differentiates the lightness or darkness of specific points on X-ray film, Dr. Mantik was able to determine that some time before the 1968 Clark Panel, someone in a darkroom had superimposed the fake bullet fragment onto Kennedy’s X-ray.
Following his extensive study of this issue, Dr. Mantik concluded, “This mysterious 6.5 mm image was (secretly) added to the original X- ray via a second exposure. The alteration of the AP X-ray was likely completed shortly after the autopsy. Its proximate purpose was to implicate Lee Harvey Oswald and his supposed 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Carcano carbine, to the exclusion of any other suspect, and thereby to rule out a possible conspiracy.”
Dr.Mantik said while the purpose of the X-ray alteration could only have been to “implicate the 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Carcano carbine (supposedly owned by Oswald) in the assassination. Its ultimate purpose, however, awaits resolution by professional historians, who have been remarkably reticent about accepting responsibility for their task.”
In his paper, Dr. Mantik identified Dr. John H. Ebersole, the assistant chief radiologist at Bethesda Naval Hospital, as the one person who had the means and opportunity to devise the X-ray forgery. Dr. Ebersole, aided by X-ray technicians Jerrol Custer and Edward Reed, took the X-rays of Kennedy’s head the night of the Autopsy. At that time no one saw any evidence of a bullet in the X-rays. Custer said the next day, contrary to protocol, he burned the page in the duty log concerning the taking of Kennedy’s X-rays on the order of Dr. Ebersole.
Custer also recalled that after the autopsy he was instructed by Dr. Ebersole to make X-rays of bullet fragments taped onto skull X-rays. However, no such X-rays were ever made public. Mantik opined that probably it was decided “alteration was easier to perform in the darkroom via a double exposure.”
Dr. Mantik also found that several weeks after the assassination, Dr. Ebersole was called to the Johnson White House ostensibly to assist in preparing a bust of Kennedy. “More likely, in my opinion, the reason for his summons to the White House was to see how he would react to the now-altered X-rays,” said Dr. Mantik. “Based on this episode then, the alteration must have occurred within several weeks (quite possibly immediately) after the assassination.”
He added that such actions might “explain why the radiologist, Dr. Ebersole, refused to discuss this artifact with me. After all, he was the single individual most likely to possess the required expertise and creativity to perform X–ray alteration.” Dr. Ebersole died in 1993, shortly after his conversation with Dr. Mantik.
JFK’S X-RAY VS. AUTOPSY PHOTOGRAPH --- The vertical arrow on the X-ray, left, of the anterior-posterior (AP) right side of Kennedy’s skull previously has been identified as a fragment of a 6.5 mm carbine bullet and used to link the wound to the rifle of Lee Harvey Oswald. Dr. David W. Mantik, after arduous study, found this evidence was a fabrication superimposed on the X-ray sometime after Kennedy’s autopsy. Also shown, at right, is an altered X-ray that Mantik prepared to demonstrate how objects could be superimposed on X-rays using techniques available in 1963.
In recent years, Custer has even questioned the validity of the X-rays themselves. In 1992, after studying the JFK X-rays in the National Archives, Custer decclared, “These are fake X-rays.”
Dr. Mantik’s conclusions have been supported by others, including Dr, Michael Chesser, an Arkansas neurologist, who noted, “I viewed the original autopsy skull X-rays at the archives this year [2015] and I confirmed his optical density readings of the lateral skull film, which support his conclusion that there was manipulation. Hopefully there will come a time when better copies of the autopsy x-rays and photographs will be made available for review by a wider audience and the evidence will speak for itself. I applaud Dr. David Mantik for his courage in reporting the truth.”
Douglas P. Horne, the ARRB’s chief analyst for military records including the Bethesda autopsy, commented. “The fact that Dr. Mantik's scientific paper on the forgery indicators present in the A-P skull x-ray has survived the rigorous gauntlet of scientific peer review is further indication that his arguments about the three surviving JFK skull x-rays are sound, and worthy of the most serious consideration. … t is no longer possible for others who are not radiologists, or MDs (like he is), or who do not hold PhDs in physics (like he does), to dismiss his work as that of a mere 'enthusiast.'”
n the mid-1990s, I recognized the scientific validity of his pioneering work on the JFK skull x-rays, and at my recommendation he was requested by Jeremy Gunn, the General Counsel for the ARRB, to prepare questions for the three JFK autopsy pathologists… The answers the three JFK pathologists provided to his questions, under oath, corroborated Mantik's assertions that the three skull x-rays in the official collection are indeed copy films (not originals), and are altered images,” said Horne.
He added, “The problem with the medical evidence has always been missing and tainted evidence---the destruction of some evidence, and the alteration of much of the evidence that remains in the record today --- [and] is representative of the fact that the U.S. government engaged in a massive cover-up of the way in which JFK died, and therefore intentionally engaged in selling the American people a false bill of goods in regard to how our government changed hands in November of 1963."
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The section of 6.5 Carcano bullet (or bullet jacket) from the middle of the bullet found in the x-ray of the skull is not all that hard to figure out. Look at this photo below:

65Italian.jpg

The two cartridges on the right do not interest us. They are multi-ball "guard" loads, bullet jackets loaded with multiple balls stacked one atop each other. The slit in the sides of the jacket encourages the rifling to tear up the jacket and, as the bullet leaves the barrel, the jacket is discarded and the balls are like shot from a shotgun.

The three cartridges on the left are frangible range bullets. Note the two piece bullet jacket, joined together just back from the nose, and the very obvious and very deep cannelure on the centre of these three bullets, at the point the bullet meets the cartridge mouth.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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So who did Dr. Ebersole answer to?

Pretty sure it was Osborne Chief of Surgery as well as Humes for this Autopsy and then anyone above them.

I did this a while back to better understand the scene at Bethesda. hope it helps.

DJ

edit - PS - reading Ebersole's HSCA interview sheds a great deal of light... then see what Custer and Reed and even O'Connor has to say about Ebersole's abilities. He was about as good at Xrays as Humes was at performing an autopsy

Bethesda%20players%20-%20DJ%20chart_zpsb

Edited by David Josephs
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I'm sick to death of arguing against Mantik's findings, which I consider unscientific, so I'll just make a couple of historical points.

There's nothing new about this study. The research and conclusions date back to the nineties.

Marrs fails to note that Doug Horne, while working for the ARRB, asked a forensic radiologist to comment on Dr. Mantik's findings, and that he dismissed them. And that Horne, a close associate of Mantik's, then sat on this report for a decade.

Marrs also fails to note that Jerrol Custer's oft-quoted comments regarding the x-rays being fake were made after he'd been shown photos of the cropped and computer-enhanced x-rays published by the HSCA, and that Custer told the ARRB the x-rays were authentic, once shown the original non-cropped non-computer-enhanced x-rays. (This is probably Mantik's fault. Mantik led off his 2009 JFK Lancer presentation with Custer's quote, while similarly failing to note Custer's ARRB testimony.)

Marrs also fails to offer an alternative to Mantik's belief Ebersole stopped talking to him because he grew scared when Mantik brought up the 6.5 mm fragment. Mantik was decent enough to publish the transcript. It reveals that Ebersole had no interest in talking to him, as he was terminally ill and had other things on his mind, and that Mantik dragged out the conversation way beyond where you or I would allow it to go if we weren't in the mood and thought the caller a bit pushy, even if we weren't terminally ill. In short, it seems quite possible Ebersole simply had no time for Mantik, and that he would have ended the call no matter what Mantik asked next.

Edited by Pat Speer
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I'm sick to death of arguing against Mantik's findings, which I consider unscientific, so I'll just make a couple of historical points.

There's nothing new about this study. The research and conclusions date back to the nineties.

...

In short, it seems quite possible Ebersole simply had no time for Mantik, and that he would have ended the call no matter what Mantik asked next.

So stop arguing! DMantik's latest published article is peer reviewed. Outside of that, is irrelevant, including Ebersole. It's the facts as best as they can be ascertained... Except, of course, the peers doing the reviewing.

Edited by David G. Healy
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Oh Pat, how you like to leave out bits of information. Custer also told the ARRB that the x-ray he recalled seeing of JFK's neck was not in the x-rays he viewed.

According to Custer, the x-ray of the neck he saw showed many small fragments in the vicinity of C3/C4 vertebrae.

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The extant x-rays, in particular the right lateral x-ray and the anterior x-ray showing the 6.5 mm metal piece, are frauds in my opinion.

The right lateral x-ray shows an absence of bone extending along the right and top sides of the skull and an absence of right front forehead bone. Jackie said that from the front, JFK didn't appear to be wounded. The Parkland docs did not describe damage corresponding to this x-ray. Autopsy photos do not correspond to this x-ray. That's all before I get to Mantik's analysis of the rear-skull depiction in this x-ray. I defer to Mantik; he's got a PhD in physics. Neither Randy Robertson nor any other medical expert who has examined this x-ray can lay claim to Mantik's knowledge of physics, which bears heavily on interpreting this x-ray. I go with Mantik.

As for the 6.5 mm metal piece depicted in the anterior x-ray, Humes said he never saw this item. Humes, who constructed a mighty fabrication, couldn't buy this lie; it was too far over the top for him. My understanding from Robert P. is that a frangible round wouldn't have deposited such a cross-section on the skull. My understanding from other writers is that a copper-jacketed round also wouldn't have deposited such a cross-section.

At the end of the day, neither of the two x-rays about which I write have any significance in the law. They are not evidence within the meaning of the law. They are mere films, asserted to have meaning.

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So who did Dr. Ebersole answer to?

Pretty sure it was Osborne Chief of Surgery as well as Humes for this Autopsy and then anyone above them.

I did this a while back to better understand the scene at Bethesda. hope it helps.

DJ

edit - PS - reading Ebersole's HSCA interview sheds a great deal of light... then see what Custer and Reed and even O'Connor has to say about Ebersole's abilities. He was about as good at Xrays as Humes was at performing an autopsy

Bethesda%20players%20-%20DJ%20chart_zpsb

if that's your idea of some kind of humor at an otherwise nationally sobering catastrophe, then i'm liking you more and more every time i read your stuff.

(oops - don't look now, Ken - it's a dreaded If Then statement!)

if it's not, then - God, that's funny.

yay

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BREAKING NEWS [posted on Facebook by Jim Marrs]

NEW STUDY OF JFK AUTOPSY REVEALS FALISIFICATION OF X-RAY

Recent find adds weight to conspiracy theories of government cover-up in the Kennedy assassination

By Jim Marrs

author of Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy

August 19, 2015

A bullet fragment depicted in an autopsy X-ray used to implicate Lee Harvey Oswald in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy recently has been found to be a faked artifact superimposed on the X-ray sometime after JFK’s autopsy.

Such tampering with official evidence could not have been accomplished without the knowledge of high-level federal officials and adds considerable weight to the claims of government cover-up in that tragic event

The X-ray fabrication was the topic of a 2015 paper by Dr. David Dr. Mantik published in issue three of Medical Research Archives, an international scientific peer-reviewed journal publishing articles in all disciplines of medicine, with a focus on new research.

Oswald, an ex-Marine who had attempted to defect to Russia in 1959, was identified in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s handpicked commission headed by Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren as the lone assassin of President Kennedy. The Warren Commission concluded that Oswald had used a 6.5 mm Italian WWII carbine to shoot Kennedy from the sixth-floor of a book depository building in downtown Dallas on November 22, 1963.

In 1968, amid controversy over the commission’s conclusion, the Justice Department selected four prominent medical experts to review the JFK autopsy evidence. This became known as the Clark Panel, named after then-Atty. General Ramsey Clark.

Although, the panels’ report was delayed until after the New Orleans JFK conspiracy trial led by Dist. Atty. Jim Garrison, in 1969 it concluded that the Warren Commission had been correct in its major findings though some issues remained in question, such as the location of the president’s head wound.

Interestingly, it was this Clark Panel report that first mentioned a fragment said to be from a 6.5 mm bullet found in the anterior-posterior (AP) X-ray of Kennedy’s skull. The image of this fragment became a critical piece of evidence, although it was not mentioned anywhere in the 26-volumes of the Warren Commission nor in the original autopsy report.

The fragment in question has been described as “the most curious—and unsolved—mystery in the history of diagnostic radiology.”

Larry Sturdivan, a ballistics consultant to the House Select Commission on Assassinations (HSCA), created by Congress in 1976 in the midst of continuing controversy over Kennedy’s death, studied this fragment and concluded the object could not be metal and that he had never seen the cross-section of a bullet deposited in such an odd fashion on a skull X-ray. “I’m not sure just what that 6.5 mm fragment is,” reported Sturdivan. “One thing I’m sure it is NOT is a cross-section from the interior of a bullet. I have seen literally thousands of bullets, deformed and un-deformed, after penetrating tissue and tissue simulants. Some were bent, some torn in two or more pieces, but to have a cross-section sheared out is physically impossible. That fragment has a lot of mystery associated with it.”

Mystery indeed, as the HSCA had relied on the authenticity of this fragment as key evidence in connecting the 6.5 mm bullet piece to Lee Harvey Oswald.

Furthermore, the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), formed by Congress in 1994 to study all government documents relating to the assassination, the three JFK autopsy doctors testified under oath that they had never seen such a fragment during the autopsy.

The mystery deepened in 2015 with the work of Dr. David Mantik, a California physician, who along with Dr. Cyril Wecht, a former president of the American Academy of Forensic Science, had studied the JFK X-rays and other material for nine days at the National Archives. “Hundreds of optical density measurements were made from the (supposed) original skull X-rays, with a specific focus on the 6.5 mm object that lies within JFK’s right orbit on the AP skull X-ray,” said Dr. Mantik.

After careful study, Dr. Mantik saw the fragment was strangely transparent. He realized this artifact had been added to the JFK X-ray in the darkroom. He explained it was accomplished by means of a double exposure of a 6.5 mm aperture, such as a 6.5 mm hole in a piece of cardboard. “[T]he first step was to imprint the image from the original X-ray onto a duplicate film (via a light box in the dark room). The second step was another exposure that imprinted the 6.5 mm image onto the duplicate film (i.e., superimposing it over the image of the original X-ray). This duplicate film was then developed to yield the image [as it appears in the X-ray]. This process inevitably produces a phantom effect, whereby objects (e.g., bullet fragments in this case) on the original film are seen separately [emphasis in the original] from the superimposed 6.5 mm image. On JFK’s AP skull X-ray, the original metal fragment (that lay at the back of the skull) can be seen separately through the 6.5 mm image.”

Dr. Mantik added that the double exposure was so unprofessional it produced a significant overexposure of the 6.5 mm image. He even found one tiny particle of bullet metal inside the 6.5 mm object, indicating the use of a well-known Hollywood technique using photographic double exposure.

Using studies of optical density, which differentiates the lightness or darkness of specific points on X-ray film, Dr. Mantik was able to determine that some time before the 1968 Clark Panel, someone in a darkroom had superimposed the fake bullet fragment onto Kennedy’s X-ray.

Following his extensive study of this issue, Dr. Mantik concluded, “This mysterious 6.5 mm image was (secretly) added to the original X- ray via a second exposure. The alteration of the AP X-ray was likely completed shortly after the autopsy. Its proximate purpose was to implicate Lee Harvey Oswald and his supposed 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Carcano carbine, to the exclusion of any other suspect, and thereby to rule out a possible conspiracy.”

Dr.Mantik said while the purpose of the X-ray alteration could only have been to “implicate the 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Carcano carbine (supposedly owned by Oswald) in the assassination. Its ultimate purpose, however, awaits resolution by professional historians, who have been remarkably reticent about accepting responsibility for their task.”

In his paper, Dr. Mantik identified Dr. John H. Ebersole, the assistant chief radiologist at Bethesda Naval Hospital, as the one person who had the means and opportunity to devise the X-ray forgery. Dr. Ebersole, aided by X-ray technicians Jerrol Custer and Edward Reed, took the X-rays of Kennedy’s head the night of the Autopsy. At that time no one saw any evidence of a bullet in the X-rays. Custer said the next day, contrary to protocol, he burned the page in the duty log concerning the taking of Kennedy’s X-rays on the order of Dr. Ebersole.

Custer also recalled that after the autopsy he was instructed by Dr. Ebersole to make X-rays of bullet fragments taped onto skull X-rays. However, no such X-rays were ever made public. Mantik opined that probably it was decided “alteration was easier to perform in the darkroom via a double exposure.”

Dr. Mantik also found that several weeks after the assassination, Dr. Ebersole was called to the Johnson White House ostensibly to assist in preparing a bust of Kennedy. “More likely, in my opinion, the reason for his summons to the White House was to see how he would react to the now-altered X-rays,” said Dr. Mantik. “Based on this episode then, the alteration must have occurred within several weeks (quite possibly immediately) after the assassination.”

He added that such actions might “explain why the radiologist, Dr. Ebersole, refused to discuss this artifact with me. After all, he was the single individual most likely to possess the required expertise and creativity to perform X–ray alteration.” Dr. Ebersole died in 1993, shortly after his conversation with Dr. Mantik.

JFK’S X-RAY VS. AUTOPSY PHOTOGRAPH --- The vertical arrow on the X-ray, left, of the anterior-posterior (AP) right side of Kennedy’s skull previously has been identified as a fragment of a 6.5 mm carbine bullet and used to link the wound to the rifle of Lee Harvey Oswald. Dr. David W. Mantik, after arduous study, found this evidence was a fabrication superimposed on the X-ray sometime after Kennedy’s autopsy. Also shown, at right, is an altered X-ray that Mantik prepared to demonstrate how objects could be superimposed on X-rays using techniques available in 1963.

In recent years, Custer has even questioned the validity of the X-rays themselves. In 1992, after studying the JFK X-rays in the National Archives, Custer decclared, “These are fake X-rays.”

Dr. Mantik’s conclusions have been supported by others, including Dr, Michael Chesser, an Arkansas neurologist, who noted, “I viewed the original autopsy skull X-rays at the archives this year [2015] and I confirmed his optical density readings of the lateral skull film, which support his conclusion that there was manipulation. Hopefully there will come a time when better copies of the autopsy x-rays and photographs will be made available for review by a wider audience and the evidence will speak for itself. I applaud Dr. David Mantik for his courage in reporting the truth.”

Douglas P. Horne, the ARRB’s chief analyst for military records including the Bethesda autopsy, commented. “The fact that Dr. Mantik's scientific paper on the forgery indicators present in the A-P skull x-ray has survived the rigorous gauntlet of scientific peer review is further indication that his arguments about the three surviving JFK skull x-rays are sound, and worthy of the most serious consideration. … t is no longer possible for others who are not radiologists, or MDs (like he is), or who do not hold PhDs in physics (like he does), to dismiss his work as that of a mere 'enthusiast.'”

n the mid-1990s, I recognized the scientific validity of his pioneering work on the JFK skull x-rays, and at my recommendation he was requested by Jeremy Gunn, the General Counsel for the ARRB, to prepare questions for the three JFK autopsy pathologists… The answers the three JFK pathologists provided to his questions, under oath, corroborated Mantik's assertions that the three skull x-rays in the official collection are indeed copy films (not originals), and are altered images,” said Horne.

He added, “The problem with the medical evidence has always been missing and tainted evidence---the destruction of some evidence, and the alteration of much of the evidence that remains in the record today --- [and] is representative of the fact that the U.S. government engaged in a massive cover-up of the way in which JFK died, and therefore intentionally engaged in selling the American people a false bill of goods in regard to how our government changed hands in November of 1963."

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this reads like a news release - is Marrs a journalist? is he a journalist with the backing of a legitimate publication?

i'm just curious - i have no opinion on his work, as i've read so little of it. I have no reason to doubt his wisdom; i'm just saying that it sounds official but without a byline. wondering why...

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Oh Pat, how you like to leave out bits of information. Custer also told the ARRB that the x-ray he recalled seeing of JFK's neck was not in the x-rays he viewed.

According to Custer, the x-ray of the neck he saw showed many small fragments in the vicinity of C3/C4 vertebrae.

Geez, Robert. Custer told the ARRB he thought he'd made a number of x-rays that either never existed or are no longer in the archives. The question raised by Mantik is on the authenticity of the x-rays currently in the archives. He thought Custer was with him on this. He started quoting Custer on this 20 years ago. The problem is that Mantik, and the other researchers dealing with Custer, only showed Custer the cropped and computer-enhanced x-rays published by the HSCA. When shown the non-cropped, non-computer-enhanced originals (or presumed originals, if you will), by the ARRB, however, Custer spotted his personal marker on the x-rays, and said that yessirree these were Kennedy's x-rays, and not only that, but the supposedly 6.5 mm fragment was behind the right eye, where it was retrieved during the autopsy. In other words, he rejected Mantik's key findings.

So how did Mantik respond to this? He continued quoting Custer's earliest statements, in which he questioned the authenticity of the x-rays.

If an LN did this kind of thing--quoting a witness in support of his theories, without noting that that witness subsequently gave sworn testimony in opposition to his theories--you'd flip out. I know David a little. I don't consider him an enemy by any means. But when he routinely deceives his readers on this and other points, it makes me feel like someone needs to set things straight.

Edited by Pat Speer
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BREAKING NEWS [posted on Facebook by Jim Marrs]

NEW STUDY OF JFK AUTOPSY REVEALS FALISIFICATION OF X-RAY

Recent find adds weight to conspiracy theories of government cover-up in the Kennedy assassination

By Jim Marrs

author of Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy

August 19, 2015

A bullet fragment depicted in an autopsy X-ray used to implicate Lee Harvey Oswald in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy recently has been found to be a faked artifact superimposed on the X-ray sometime after JFK’s autopsy.

Such tampering with official evidence could not have been accomplished without the knowledge of high-level federal officials and adds considerable weight to the claims of government cover-up in that tragic event

The X-ray fabrication was the topic of a 2015 paper by Dr. David Dr. Mantik published in issue three of Medical Research Archives, an international scientific peer-reviewed journal publishing articles in all disciplines of medicine, with a focus on new research.

Oswald, an ex-Marine who had attempted to defect to Russia in 1959, was identified in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s handpicked commission headed by Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren as the lone assassin of President Kennedy. The Warren Commission concluded that Oswald had used a 6.5 mm Italian WWII carbine to shoot Kennedy from the sixth-floor of a book depository building in downtown Dallas on November 22, 1963.

In 1968, amid controversy over the commission’s conclusion, the Justice Department selected four prominent medical experts to review the JFK autopsy evidence. This became known as the Clark Panel, named after then-Atty. General Ramsey Clark.

Although, the panels’ report was delayed until after the New Orleans JFK conspiracy trial led by Dist. Atty. Jim Garrison, in 1969 it concluded that the Warren Commission had been correct in its major findings though some issues remained in question, such as the location of the president’s head wound.

Interestingly, it was this Clark Panel report that first mentioned a fragment said to be from a 6.5 mm bullet found in the anterior-posterior (AP) X-ray of Kennedy’s skull. The image of this fragment became a critical piece of evidence, although it was not mentioned anywhere in the 26-volumes of the Warren Commission nor in the original autopsy report.

The fragment in question has been described as “the most curious—and unsolved—mystery in the history of diagnostic radiology.”

Larry Sturdivan, a ballistics consultant to the House Select Commission on Assassinations (HSCA), created by Congress in 1976 in the midst of continuing controversy over Kennedy’s death, studied this fragment and concluded the object could not be metal and that he had never seen the cross-section of a bullet deposited in such an odd fashion on a skull X-ray. “I’m not sure just what that 6.5 mm fragment is,” reported Sturdivan. “One thing I’m sure it is NOT is a cross-section from the interior of a bullet. I have seen literally thousands of bullets, deformed and un-deformed, after penetrating tissue and tissue simulants. Some were bent, some torn in two or more pieces, but to have a cross-section sheared out is physically impossible. That fragment has a lot of mystery associated with it.”

Mystery indeed, as the HSCA had relied on the authenticity of this fragment as key evidence in connecting the 6.5 mm bullet piece to Lee Harvey Oswald.

Furthermore, the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), formed by Congress in 1994 to study all government documents relating to the assassination, the three JFK autopsy doctors testified under oath that they had never seen such a fragment during the autopsy.

The mystery deepened in 2015 with the work of Dr. David Mantik, a California physician, who along with Dr. Cyril Wecht, a former president of the American Academy of Forensic Science, had studied the JFK X-rays and other material for nine days at the National Archives. “Hundreds of optical density measurements were made from the (supposed) original skull X-rays, with a specific focus on the 6.5 mm object that lies within JFK’s right orbit on the AP skull X-ray,” said Dr. Mantik.

After careful study, Dr. Mantik saw the fragment was strangely transparent. He realized this artifact had been added to the JFK X-ray in the darkroom. He explained it was accomplished by means of a double exposure of a 6.5 mm aperture, such as a 6.5 mm hole in a piece of cardboard. “[T]he first step was to imprint the image from the original X-ray onto a duplicate film (via a light box in the dark room). The second step was another exposure that imprinted the 6.5 mm image onto the duplicate film (i.e., superimposing it over the image of the original X-ray). This duplicate film was then developed to yield the image [as it appears in the X-ray]. This process inevitably produces a phantom effect, whereby objects (e.g., bullet fragments in this case) on the original film are seen separately [emphasis in the original] from the superimposed 6.5 mm image. On JFK’s AP skull X-ray, the original metal fragment (that lay at the back of the skull) can be seen separately through the 6.5 mm image.”

Dr. Mantik added that the double exposure was so unprofessional it produced a significant overexposure of the 6.5 mm image. He even found one tiny particle of bullet metal inside the 6.5 mm object, indicating the use of a well-known Hollywood technique using photographic double exposure.

Using studies of optical density, which differentiates the lightness or darkness of specific points on X-ray film, Dr. Mantik was able to determine that some time before the 1968 Clark Panel, someone in a darkroom had superimposed the fake bullet fragment onto Kennedy’s X-ray.

Following his extensive study of this issue, Dr. Mantik concluded, “This mysterious 6.5 mm image was (secretly) added to the original X- ray via a second exposure. The alteration of the AP X-ray was likely completed shortly after the autopsy. Its proximate purpose was to implicate Lee Harvey Oswald and his supposed 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Carcano carbine, to the exclusion of any other suspect, and thereby to rule out a possible conspiracy.”

Dr.Mantik said while the purpose of the X-ray alteration could only have been to “implicate the 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Carcano carbine (supposedly owned by Oswald) in the assassination. Its ultimate purpose, however, awaits resolution by professional historians, who have been remarkably reticent about accepting responsibility for their task.”

In his paper, Dr. Mantik identified Dr. John H. Ebersole, the assistant chief radiologist at Bethesda Naval Hospital, as the one person who had the means and opportunity to devise the X-ray forgery. Dr. Ebersole, aided by X-ray technicians Jerrol Custer and Edward Reed, took the X-rays of Kennedy’s head the night of the Autopsy. At that time no one saw any evidence of a bullet in the X-rays. Custer said the next day, contrary to protocol, he burned the page in the duty log concerning the taking of Kennedy’s X-rays on the order of Dr. Ebersole.

Custer also recalled that after the autopsy he was instructed by Dr. Ebersole to make X-rays of bullet fragments taped onto skull X-rays. However, no such X-rays were ever made public. Mantik opined that probably it was decided “alteration was easier to perform in the darkroom via a double exposure.”

Dr. Mantik also found that several weeks after the assassination, Dr. Ebersole was called to the Johnson White House ostensibly to assist in preparing a bust of Kennedy. “More likely, in my opinion, the reason for his summons to the White House was to see how he would react to the now-altered X-rays,” said Dr. Mantik. “Based on this episode then, the alteration must have occurred within several weeks (quite possibly immediately) after the assassination.”

He added that such actions might “explain why the radiologist, Dr. Ebersole, refused to discuss this artifact with me. After all, he was the single individual most likely to possess the required expertise and creativity to perform X–ray alteration.” Dr. Ebersole died in 1993, shortly after his conversation with Dr. Mantik.

JFK’S X-RAY VS. AUTOPSY PHOTOGRAPH --- The vertical arrow on the X-ray, left, of the anterior-posterior (AP) right side of Kennedy’s skull previously has been identified as a fragment of a 6.5 mm carbine bullet and used to link the wound to the rifle of Lee Harvey Oswald. Dr. David W. Mantik, after arduous study, found this evidence was a fabrication superimposed on the X-ray sometime after Kennedy’s autopsy. Also shown, at right, is an altered X-ray that Mantik prepared to demonstrate how objects could be superimposed on X-rays using techniques available in 1963.

In recent years, Custer has even questioned the validity of the X-rays themselves. In 1992, after studying the JFK X-rays in the National Archives, Custer decclared, “These are fake X-rays.”

Dr. Mantik’s conclusions have been supported by others, including Dr, Michael Chesser, an Arkansas neurologist, who noted, “I viewed the original autopsy skull X-rays at the archives this year [2015] and I confirmed his optical density readings of the lateral skull film, which support his conclusion that there was manipulation. Hopefully there will come a time when better copies of the autopsy x-rays and photographs will be made available for review by a wider audience and the evidence will speak for itself. I applaud Dr. David Mantik for his courage in reporting the truth.”

Douglas P. Horne, the ARRB’s chief analyst for military records including the Bethesda autopsy, commented. “The fact that Dr. Mantik's scientific paper on the forgery indicators present in the A-P skull x-ray has survived the rigorous gauntlet of scientific peer review is further indication that his arguments about the three surviving JFK skull x-rays are sound, and worthy of the most serious consideration. … t is no longer possible for others who are not radiologists, or MDs (like he is), or who do not hold PhDs in physics (like he does), to dismiss his work as that of a mere 'enthusiast.'”

n the mid-1990s, I recognized the scientific validity of his pioneering work on the JFK skull x-rays, and at my recommendation he was requested by Jeremy Gunn, the General Counsel for the ARRB, to prepare questions for the three JFK autopsy pathologists… The answers the three JFK pathologists provided to his questions, under oath, corroborated Mantik's assertions that the three skull x-rays in the official collection are indeed copy films (not originals), and are altered images,” said Horne.

He added, “The problem with the medical evidence has always been missing and tainted evidence---the destruction of some evidence, and the alteration of much of the evidence that remains in the record today --- [and] is representative of the fact that the U.S. government engaged in a massive cover-up of the way in which JFK died, and therefore intentionally engaged in selling the American people a false bill of goods in regard to how our government changed hands in November of 1963."

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this reads like a news release - is Marrs a journalist? is he a journalist with the backing of a legitimate publication?

i'm just curious - i have no opinion on his work, as i've read so little of it. I have no reason to doubt his wisdom; i'm just saying that it sounds official but without a byline. wondering why...

Marrs was a journalist. I suspect he put this together as a favor to Mantik, in hopes it will be placed in some news feeds. Nothing wrong with that, in and of itself. It's just that he misrepresents this new article on an old study as a new study, and leaves out a few important details, IMO.

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The extant x-rays, in particular the right lateral x-ray and the anterior x-ray showing the 6.5 mm metal piece, are frauds in my opinion.

The right lateral x-ray shows an absence of bone extending along the right and top sides of the skull and an absence of right front forehead bone. Jackie said that from the front, JFK didn't appear to be wounded. The Parkland docs did not describe damage corresponding to this x-ray. Autopsy photos do not correspond to this x-ray. That's all before I get to Mantik's analysis of the rear-skull depiction in this x-ray. I defer to Mantik; he's got a PhD in physics. Neither Randy Robertson nor any other medical expert who has examined this x-ray can lay claim to Mantik's knowledge of physics, which bears heavily on interpreting this x-ray. I go with Mantik.

As for the 6.5 mm metal piece depicted in the anterior x-ray, Humes said he never saw this item. Humes, who constructed a mighty fabrication, couldn't buy this lie; it was too far over the top for him. My understanding from Robert P. is that a frangible round wouldn't have deposited such a cross-section on the skull. My understanding from other writers is that a copper-jacketed round also wouldn't have deposited such a cross-section.

At the end of the day, neither of the two x-rays about which I write have any significance in the law. They are not evidence within the meaning of the law. They are mere films, asserted to have meaning.

Blackness on an x-ray does not necessarily denote an absence of bone. Mantik writes about this in his papers, and has even offered that the blackness on Kennedy's x-rays is more symptomatic of missing brain than missing bone.

I discovered this on the first day I decided to read up on this stuff, in the very first magazine. I present an image from that magazine in the bottom left corner on the slide below. Despite all the blackness on the x-ray, the face of that gunshot victim was entirely intact.

radiology.jpg

As far as Mantik v Robertson... Mantik is quite controversial in the inner circles of JFK assassination research. When I went head to head with him at the 2013 Wecht conference, I worried that some of the vets would look down on me for going up against Mantik. I found that that was far from the case, and that I actually had a lot of support. I gained more insight into this at the 2014 Bethesda conference, when Mantik went up against Robertson about the Z-film (if I remember) and at a subsequent gathering, in which Mantik went up against Tink Thompson (stepping in as a semi-surrogate for Don Thomas) on the dicta-belt evidence. Mantik says whatever he thinks without regard to how this situates him within the research community. In that way, at least, he and I are a lot alike.

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