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JFK's "SHALLOW" BACK WOUND REVISITED (FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME)


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Also, IMO, the damage at the apex of the lung is associated ONLY with the throat wound, NOT the back wound. What is your position on this?

Bob, given your belief that the back entry is at T3, and I agree, do you agree with my above statement from a previous post? I think you do, but I want to be certain before I move on...

The main point is that Humes never reported seeing a collection of blood in the pleural cavity between the parietal (outer) pleura and the visceral (inner) pleura that envelops the lung.

Perry and Baxter reported blood and air in the mediastinum which Perry interpreted as indicative of blood in the pleural cavity. Although they didn't see blood between the inner and outer pleura, working only through the trachea incision they could NOT see the entire lung.

As you may recall, I believe the bullet that inflicted the back injury at T3 fragmented, and spread dust-like particles into the right lung. Depending how deeply the bullet penetrated prior to fragmenting, a bullet-sized hole in the lung is certainly a possibility. At some point it obviously fragmented, or it certainly would have exited through his chest. This damage, independent of the injury at the apex of the lung certainly could cause all the symptoms you describe.

Do you believe that the missile that bruised the lung (as described by Humes) produced ALL of the blood/air as described by Perry and Baxter (as seen through the trach incision)? IMO, it would NOT have produced enough blood to create what was seen by Perry and Baxter. If true, then lung damage MUST exist elsewhere. The only candidate for that is the entry wound at T3. I *think* you agree. Can you confirm or deny?

Edited by Tom Neal
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Also, IMO, the damage at the apex of the lung is associated ONLY with the throat wound, NOT the back wound. What is your position on this?

Bob, given your belief that the back entry is at T3, and I agree, do you agree with my above statement from a previous post? I think you do, but I want to be certain before I move on...

The main point is that Humes never reported seeing a collection of blood in the pleural cavity between the parietal (outer) pleura and the visceral (inner) pleura that envelops the lung.

Perry and Baxter reported blood and air in the mediastinum which Perry interpreted as indicative of blood in the pleural cavity. Although they didn't see blood between the inner and outer pleura, working only through the trachea incision they could NOT see the entire lung.

As you may recall, I believe the bullet that inflicted the back injury at T3 fragmented, and spread dust-like particles into the right lung. Depending how deeply the bullet penetrated prior to fragmenting, a bullet-sized hole in the lung is certainly a possibility. At some point it obviously fragmented, or it certainly would have exited through his chest. This damage, independent of the injury at the apex of the lung certainly could cause all the symptoms you describe.

Do you believe that the missile that bruised the lung (as described by Humes) produced ALL of the blood/air as described by Perry and Baxter (as seen through the trach incision)? IMO, it would NOT have produced enough blood to create what was seen by Perry and Baxter. If true, then lung damage MUST exist elsewhere. The only candidate for that is the entry wound at T3. I *think* you agree. Can you confirm or deny?

Hi Tom

I'm a bit on the fence with the throat wound, as I find it far more baffling than the back wound. But I agree with you. The apex of the right lung, as the diagrams show, is extremely close to the throat wound. It is not uncommon for the shock wave of a bullet passing through tissue to bruise tissue adjacent to the bullet path. Then again, the bruise at the apex of the right lung reported by Humes may be a total fabrication, or a downplaying and moving of much more extensive lung damage.

"Do you believe that the missile that bruised the lung (as described by Humes) produced ALL of the blood/air as described by Perry and Baxter (as seen through the trach incision)? "

No I do not, for three reasons.

1. Humes reported ONLY a small bruise to an otherwise intact lung.

2. Humes reported no collection of blood in the pleural cavity. In order to reach the mediastinum, the blood would have to pass from the pleural cavity, through the hilum of the lung, and OUTSIDE of the right bronchus.

3. Despite 1 & 2, there simply was not enough blood lost into the bruise at the apex of the right lung.

Once again, it is evidence vs. evidence, Bethesda vs. Parkland. Only one can be true.

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Just to throw another monkey wrench into the works, it is interesting to return to Lt. Richard Lipsey's deposition to the HSCA.

While he was relating how the autopsists spent so much time dissecting lower organs in search of a bullet of bullet fragments, he also discussed the head wound and the throat wound. I can only assume he was relating what he overheard Humes, Finck and Boswell discussing, as Lipsey had no medical training himself, and was only an observer, and took no active part in the autopsy.

Lipsey related to the HSCA that the consensus was that one bullet struck JFK's just to the right of the external occipital protuberance while another bullet struck JFK's head in (you won't believe this) the cowlick area.

4194715_orig.jpg?441

Look at this x-ray with the arrow pointing toward the external occipital protuberance (EOP) and imagine JFK leaning slightly forward, following the back shot, much like the figure in the x-ray is leaning forward. Now imagine a bullet travelling at a 23° angle downward (Dal-Tex Building?) striking JFK just to the right of the EOP.

Would the bullet enter the skull. or slide under the skull and impact the cervical (neck) vertebrae? According to Lipsey, the consensus at the autopsy, at least while he was listening, was that the throat woundwas caused by a bullet fragment from the shot that struck at the EOP, and that the bullet passed under the skull, grazing it as it passed.

We find additional clues to this matter in the HSCA deposition of Jerrol Custer, the x-ray technician who took all of the x-rays of JFK on 22/11/63. He claimed the x-rays he saw of JFK's neck are not the ones he was shown by the HSCA, and that the x-rays he recalled showed many bullet fragments in the vicinity of cervical vertebrae C3/C4.

If we allow for JFK's forward lean, plus the 3% downhill slope of Elm St., is it possible to line up a bullet path that passes through the right of the EOP (under the base of the skull), right side of cervical vertebrae C3/C4 and the right side of JFK's trachea at about the 2nd tracheal ring? I believe JFK was first shot, in the back, when behind the Stemmons sign, and this theoretical shot that passed under his skull may be the "lunge" forward we can see JFK making just as he appears from behind the sign; the one many people have interpreted as JFK "coughing up" a bullet. A bullet impact this high on the torso would account for the "lunge" forward.

If I am correct in this theory, and the Z film is authentic, we would know the exact moment a bullet struck and grazed the lower rear of JFK's skull. Not only that, we know the almost exact location of the entrance and exit wound, assuming the fragment continued on in a straight path. If we could determine the exact position JFK was in at this moment, it should be possible to determine exactly which window of the Dal-Tex Building th shot came from.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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I'm a bit on the fence with the throat wound, as I find it far more baffling than the back wound. But I agree with you. The apex of the right lung, as the diagrams show, is extremely close to the throat wound. It is not uncommon for the shock wave of a bullet passing through tissue to bruise tissue adjacent to the bullet path. Then again, the bruise at the apex of the right lung reported by Humes may be a total fabrication, or a downplaying and moving of much more extensive lung damage.

"Do you believe that the missile that bruised the lung (as described by Humes) produced ALL of the blood/air as described by Perry and Baxter (as seen through the trach incision)? "

No I do not, for three reasons.

1. Humes reported ONLY a small bruise to an otherwise intact lung.

2. Humes reported no collection of blood in the pleural cavity. In order to reach the mediastinum, the blood would have to pass from the pleural cavity, through the hilum of the lung, and OUTSIDE of the right bronchus.

3. Despite 1 & 2, there simply was not enough blood lost into the bruise at the apex of the right lung.

So we are in agreement. Good.

What is it that you "are on the fence" about regarding the throat wound? I made some interesting discoveries regarding the throat a few months back, but haven't posted them due to a lack of interest here on the forum. Maybe they can help you decide...

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I'm a bit on the fence with the throat wound, as I find it far more baffling than the back wound. But I agree with you. The apex of the right lung, as the diagrams show, is extremely close to the throat wound. It is not uncommon for the shock wave of a bullet passing through tissue to bruise tissue adjacent to the bullet path. Then again, the bruise at the apex of the right lung reported by Humes may be a total fabrication, or a downplaying and moving of much more extensive lung damage.

"Do you believe that the missile that bruised the lung (as described by Humes) produced ALL of the blood/air as described by Perry and Baxter (as seen through the trach incision)? "

No I do not, for three reasons.

1. Humes reported ONLY a small bruise to an otherwise intact lung.

2. Humes reported no collection of blood in the pleural cavity. In order to reach the mediastinum, the blood would have to pass from the pleural cavity, through the hilum of the lung, and OUTSIDE of the right bronchus.

3. Despite 1 & 2, there simply was not enough blood lost into the bruise at the apex of the right lung.

So we are in agreement. Good.

What is it that you "are on the fence" about regarding the throat wound? I made some interesting discoveries regarding the throat a few months back, but haven't posted them due to a lack of interest here on the forum. Maybe they can help you decide...

Hi Tom

My post, # 78, explains what I believe to be another distinct possibility for the throat wound.

What did you discover about the throat wound? Not sure about anyone else but I'm always interested in hearing new information.

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Now imagine a bullet travelling at a 23° angle downward (Dal-Tex Building?) striking JFK just to the right of the EOP.

Would the bullet enter the skull. or slide under the skull and impact the cervical (neck) vertebrae?

That would depend upon the velocity of the bullet and the strength of the skull at the impact point. A trajectory that is perpendicular to a line that is tangent to the impact point would certainly penetrate the skull. As the trajectory angle relative to the tangent line decreases from this 90-degree angle, the bullet becomes increasing LESS likely to penetrate the skull. Only experimentation could determine the angle at which the bullet no longer penetrates the skull.

IMO, the inward curve of the skull could not be followed by a bullet or fragment to create a new trajectory that is sufficiently "downward" to exit at the throat wound. i.e. The fragment would impact the cervical vertebra at a point where no damage is known and exit the neck considerably higher that the throat wound.

According to Lipsey, the consensus at the autopsy, at least while he was listening, was that the throat wound was caused by a bullet fragment from the shot that struck at the EOP, and that the bullet passed under the skull, grazing it as it passed.

To cause the throat wound, a bullet that grazed the EOP would at some point have to pass through the spinal column. The only damage on the *extant* x-rays is at the cervical vertebra on the same level as the throat wound. A fragment that grazed the skull and followed a path to the throat wound would only do so if its trajectory (23-degrees for example) was altered significantly downward or it would exit the neck ABOVE the throat wound. However, according to Perry and Baxter the line from the tracheal injury to the wound was horizontal. This would require a second large alteration of the trajectory.

Assuming this degree of deflection at the EOP is even possible (a BIG if) the vast majority of the fragments velocity would be lost. Again assuming that the slight damage depicted on the x-ray COULD deflect the trajectory to horizontal (an even BIGGER if), a further reduction in velocity would occur. Would adequate velocity remain to tear the tough tracheal cartilage, pass through subcutaneous tissue and 7 layers of skin?

IMO, neither of the two trajectory deflections to the degree required is a reasonable assumption: so what are the odds that BOTH deflections actually occurred? IMO, the fragment would have inadequate velocity to tear the trachea and exit the throat.

Edited by Tom Neal
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My post, # 78, explains what I believe to be another distinct possibility for the throat wound.

Bob, my post #90 is a response to your #78. LMK what you think about that...

What did you discover about the throat wound? Not sure about anyone else but I'm always interested in hearing new information.

At the moment, I don't want to get side-tracked from the EOP entrance as a cause of the throat wound, and the new info isn't relevant to the EOP entrance theory anyway.

BTW, germaine to the EOP theory do you believe the throat wound is located at the site of the shirt slits?

Edited by Tom Neal
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Things have been pretty dull around here lately so, I thought it might be a good time to take another look at JFK's "shallow" back wound; observed by many witnesses to be almost six inches below JFK's collar line (about the level of thoracic vertebra T3) and about 1.5-2 inches to the right of JFK's spinal midline.

First, let's see whereabouts on JFK's back that entrance wound would have been, and how it relates to the location of bones and organs in the upper thorax.

posterior_lungs1341270126571.jpg

ribcage-posterior.png?t=1414771634491

As seen in the top diagram, a bullet entering the back at the level of T3 and 1.5-2 inches to the right of the spine would have nowhere to go but into the Right Upper Lung (RUL). As the skeletal diagram shows, this bullet would miss both the vertebrae and the scapula (shoulder blade) and would have an excellent chance of passing between two ribs, without touching either of them.

As I have pointed out many times, it has long been held as fact that the bullet that hit JFK's back only penetrated the flesh of his back a mere inch; not far enough to enter JFK's right pleural cavity. This shallow penetration, supposedly probed by Commander Humes' finger, is credited to a phenomenon known as a "short shot", in which a rifle cartridge is either loaded with an insufficent gunpowder charge or the entirety of the gunpowder charge in the cartridge does not ignite, drastically reducing the muzzle velocity of the bullet.

In order to reduce the penetrating power of a 6.5mm Carcano bullet, at a 50 yard range, to the point where this bullet will not penetrate more than an inch in soft tissue, its normal muzzle velocity of 2200 feet per second would have to be reduced to less than about 400 feet per second (fps). This presents all kinds of problems in a) accurately hitting within 20 feet of your target and B) actually getting the bullet to its target.

If you have a rifle that is properly sighted in at a range of, for argument sake, 100 yards, and you chamber a good round into the breech, hitting a target at 50-100 yards is a simple matter of aiming and squeezing the trigger. However, bullets begin to drop as soon as they leave the barrel, and if that bullet leaves the barrel travelling at 1/5th the expected velocity, and the shooter is aiming in a normal fashion and expecting his bullet to be travelling 2200 fps, that bullet will end up impacting the ground (or pavement) far short of the aim point. In the case of JFK, I would not even expect it to hit the back of the limo. This is why it is called a "short shot", as the bullet impacts far "short" of the point of aim.

The next problem you would have with such a slow moving bullet is stability in flight. While the rifling grooves in the rifle's barrel that impart a gyroscopic spin to the bullet in flight account for most of the bullet's stability, the velocity that bullet is travelling at also plays a big part in whether the bullet remains stable in flight, or whether it begins to yaw and tumble on its way to its target. I have seen this problem when handloading rifle cartridges and experimenting with different types of gunpowder, different loads of gunpowder and different weights and styles of bullets. Just by changing the velocity of the bullet slightly, by adding more or less gunpowder, it is possible to over- or under-stabilize a bullet, with the resulting "keyhole" effect on a paper target. A "keyhole" is when a tumbling bullet goes through a paper target side on, leaving the inevitable "keyhole" in the target instead of a round hole. If a bullet still travelling in excess of 2000 fps can be under-stabilized by a reduction in velocity, imagine the lack of stability in the typical 2200 fps bullet reduced in velocity to only 400 fps.

Quite frankly, I don't believe such a slow bullet could have ever made it to JFK's back, making the shallow back wound a myth; at least in my eyes anyways.

Bob, I realize this thread is now examining the medical evidence, and I do not want to go OT, but your original post touched on something I have considered and suggested many times in the past.

In my research I have come to conclusion that, where Oswald's rifle was concerned, the problem was not so much with the firearm itself but with the ammunition it chambered. When the FBI visited Klein's in Chicago, (I believe this was in early 1964), a rifle identical to Oswald's was test fired for them by the same employee who claimed to have mounted Oswald's scope. During this test firing the shop employee recalled that the rifle experienced several "hang-fires" which he believed the FBI may not have even noticed.

I'm sure you are aware Bob what a hang-fire is, but for those reading this post who may not be... a hang-fire is a delay between the pulling of the trigger and the moment at which the round discharges. This can be caused by either a faulty primer, (the small round chamber visible at the base of the cartridge which is struck by the firing pin causing the powder within the casing to ignite), or by the introduction of moisture into the powder within the casing itself. Here is a quote from the same time period in which the MC's ammunition was initially manufactured...

"A paper from 1885 laments that "Gunpowder is such a nervous and sensitive spirit, that in almost every process of manufacture it changes under our hands as the weather changes." Pressing times to the desired density could vary by a factor of three depending on the atmospheric humidity.[89]"

My point is this Bob, if Oswald experienced a hang fire, or a combination of perhaps two related malfunctions during his first shot, could this not have caused the shallow back wound? As someone who has a moderate degree of experience with firearms I can tell you that a hang fire would certainly effect the striking point of a projectile on a moving target.

At any rate, this is quite an interesting subject in particular.

Regards,

Craig C.

P.S. Another interesting point to be considered in this theory is that a majority of eye-witnesses stated that there was a marked difference in the report/sound regarding the first shot fired, and those that followed.

Edited by Craig Carvalho
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Things have been pretty dull around here lately so, I thought it might be a good time to take another look at JFK's "shallow" back wound; observed by many witnesses to be almost six inches below JFK's collar line (about the level of thoracic vertebra T3) and about 1.5-2 inches to the right of JFK's spinal midline.

First, let's see whereabouts on JFK's back that entrance wound would have been, and how it relates to the location of bones and organs in the upper thorax.

posterior_lungs1341270126571.jpg

ribcage-posterior.png?t=1414771634491

As seen in the top diagram, a bullet entering the back at the level of T3 and 1.5-2 inches to the right of the spine would have nowhere to go but into the Right Upper Lung (RUL). As the skeletal diagram shows, this bullet would miss both the vertebrae and the scapula (shoulder blade) and would have an excellent chance of passing between two ribs, without touching either of them.

As I have pointed out many times, it has long been held as fact that the bullet that hit JFK's back only penetrated the flesh of his back a mere inch; not far enough to enter JFK's right pleural cavity. This shallow penetration, supposedly probed by Commander Humes' finger, is credited to a phenomenon known as a "short shot", in which a rifle cartridge is either loaded with an insufficent gunpowder charge or the entirety of the gunpowder charge in the cartridge does not ignite, drastically reducing the muzzle velocity of the bullet.

In order to reduce the penetrating power of a 6.5mm Carcano bullet, at a 50 yard range, to the point where this bullet will not penetrate more than an inch in soft tissue, its normal muzzle velocity of 2200 feet per second would have to be reduced to less than about 400 feet per second (fps). This presents all kinds of problems in a) accurately hitting within 20 feet of your target and B) actually getting the bullet to its target.

If you have a rifle that is properly sighted in at a range of, for argument sake, 100 yards, and you chamber a good round into the breech, hitting a target at 50-100 yards is a simple matter of aiming and squeezing the trigger. However, bullets begin to drop as soon as they leave the barrel, and if that bullet leaves the barrel travelling at 1/5th the expected velocity, and the shooter is aiming in a normal fashion and expecting his bullet to be travelling 2200 fps, that bullet will end up impacting the ground (or pavement) far short of the aim point. In the case of JFK, I would not even expect it to hit the back of the limo. This is why it is called a "short shot", as the bullet impacts far "short" of the point of aim.

The next problem you would have with such a slow moving bullet is stability in flight. While the rifling grooves in the rifle's barrel that impart a gyroscopic spin to the bullet in flight account for most of the bullet's stability, the velocity that bullet is travelling at also plays a big part in whether the bullet remains stable in flight, or whether it begins to yaw and tumble on its way to its target. I have seen this problem when handloading rifle cartridges and experimenting with different types of gunpowder, different loads of gunpowder and different weights and styles of bullets. Just by changing the velocity of the bullet slightly, by adding more or less gunpowder, it is possible to over- or under-stabilize a bullet, with the resulting "keyhole" effect on a paper target. A "keyhole" is when a tumbling bullet goes through a paper target side on, leaving the inevitable "keyhole" in the target instead of a round hole. If a bullet still travelling in excess of 2000 fps can be under-stabilized by a reduction in velocity, imagine the lack of stability in the typical 2200 fps bullet reduced in velocity to only 400 fps.

Quite frankly, I don't believe such a slow bullet could have ever made it to JFK's back, making the shallow back wound a myth; at least in my eyes anyways.

Bob, I realize this thread is now examining the medical evidence, and I do not want to go OT, but your original post touched on something I have considered and suggested many times in the past.

In my research I have come to conclusion that, where Oswald's rifle was concerned, the problem was not so much with the firearm itself but with the ammunition it chambered. When the FBI visited Klein's in Chicago, (I believe this was in early 1964), a rifle identical to Oswald's was test fired for them by the same employee who claimed to have mounted Oswald's scope. During this test firing the shop employee recalled that the rifle experienced several "hang-fires" which he believed the FBI may not have even noticed.

I'm sure you are aware Bob what a hang-fire is, but for those reading this post who may not be... a hang-fire is a delay between the pulling of the trigger and the moment at which the round discharges. This can be caused by either a faulty primer, (the small round chamber visible at the base of the cartridge which is struck by the firing pin causing the powder within the casing to ignite), or by the introduction of moisture into the powder within the casing itself. Here is a quote from the same time period in which the MC's ammunition was initially manufactured...

"A paper from 1885 laments that "Gunpowder is such a nervous and sensitive spirit, that in almost every process of manufacture it changes under our hands as the weather changes." Pressing times to the desired density could vary by a factor of three depending on the atmospheric humidity.[89]"

My point is this Bob, if Oswald experienced a hang fire, or a combination of perhaps two related malfunctions during his first shot, could this not have caused the shallow back wound? As someone who has a moderate degree of experience with firearms I can tell you that a hang fire would certainly effect the striking point of a projectile on a moving target.

At any rate, this is quite an interesting subject in particular.

Regards,

Craig C.

Spot on Craig! This is - I believe - the topic of Gary Murr's yet unpublished book on the guns and the ammunition used in the early 1960's. Gary has shared much of his research with me but he has been reluctant to share his work on this book. I believe he has broken new ground that no one is remotely aware of and would shed tremendous light of the wounds JFK sustained including the origin and nature of the back wound.

Next to David Lifton's new book, “Forgotten” is the book I am most eager to read.

James.

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Things have been pretty dull around here lately so, I thought it might be a good time to take another look at JFK's "shallow" back wound; observed by many witnesses to be almost six inches below JFK's collar line (about the level of thoracic vertebra T3) and about 1.5-2 inches to the right of JFK's spinal midline.

First, let's see whereabouts on JFK's back that entrance wound would have been, and how it relates to the location of bones and organs in the upper thorax.

posterior_lungs1341270126571.jpg

ribcage-posterior.png?t=1414771634491

As seen in the top diagram, a bullet entering the back at the level of T3 and 1.5-2 inches to the right of the spine would have nowhere to go but into the Right Upper Lung (RUL). As the skeletal diagram shows, this bullet would miss both the vertebrae and the scapula (shoulder blade) and would have an excellent chance of passing between two ribs, without touching either of them.

As I have pointed out many times, it has long been held as fact that the bullet that hit JFK's back only penetrated the flesh of his back a mere inch; not far enough to enter JFK's right pleural cavity. This shallow penetration, supposedly probed by Commander Humes' finger, is credited to a phenomenon known as a "short shot", in which a rifle cartridge is either loaded with an insufficent gunpowder charge or the entirety of the gunpowder charge in the cartridge does not ignite, drastically reducing the muzzle velocity of the bullet.

In order to reduce the penetrating power of a 6.5mm Carcano bullet, at a 50 yard range, to the point where this bullet will not penetrate more than an inch in soft tissue, its normal muzzle velocity of 2200 feet per second would have to be reduced to less than about 400 feet per second (fps). This presents all kinds of problems in a) accurately hitting within 20 feet of your target and B) actually getting the bullet to its target.

If you have a rifle that is properly sighted in at a range of, for argument sake, 100 yards, and you chamber a good round into the breech, hitting a target at 50-100 yards is a simple matter of aiming and squeezing the trigger. However, bullets begin to drop as soon as they leave the barrel, and if that bullet leaves the barrel travelling at 1/5th the expected velocity, and the shooter is aiming in a normal fashion and expecting his bullet to be travelling 2200 fps, that bullet will end up impacting the ground (or pavement) far short of the aim point. In the case of JFK, I would not even expect it to hit the back of the limo. This is why it is called a "short shot", as the bullet impacts far "short" of the point of aim.

The next problem you would have with such a slow moving bullet is stability in flight. While the rifling grooves in the rifle's barrel that impart a gyroscopic spin to the bullet in flight account for most of the bullet's stability, the velocity that bullet is travelling at also plays a big part in whether the bullet remains stable in flight, or whether it begins to yaw and tumble on its way to its target. I have seen this problem when handloading rifle cartridges and experimenting with different types of gunpowder, different loads of gunpowder and different weights and styles of bullets. Just by changing the velocity of the bullet slightly, by adding more or less gunpowder, it is possible to over- or under-stabilize a bullet, with the resulting "keyhole" effect on a paper target. A "keyhole" is when a tumbling bullet goes through a paper target side on, leaving the inevitable "keyhole" in the target instead of a round hole. If a bullet still travelling in excess of 2000 fps can be under-stabilized by a reduction in velocity, imagine the lack of stability in the typical 2200 fps bullet reduced in velocity to only 400 fps.

Quite frankly, I don't believe such a slow bullet could have ever made it to JFK's back, making the shallow back wound a myth; at least in my eyes anyways.

Bob, I realize this thread is now examining the medical evidence, and I do not want to go OT, but your original post touched on something I have considered and suggested many times in the past.

In my research I have come to conclusion that, where Oswald's rifle was concerned, the problem was not so much with the firearm itself but with the ammunition it chambered. When the FBI visited Klein's in Chicago, (I believe this was in early 1964), a rifle identical to Oswald's was test fired for them by the same employee who claimed to have mounted Oswald's scope. During this test firing the shop employee recalled that the rifle experienced several "hang-fires" which he believed the FBI may not have even noticed.

I'm sure you are aware Bob what a hang-fire is, but for those reading this post who may not be... a hang-fire is a delay between the pulling of the trigger and the moment at which the round discharges. This can be caused by either a faulty primer, (the small round chamber visible at the base of the cartridge which is struck by the firing pin causing the powder within the casing to ignite), or by the introduction of moisture into the powder within the casing itself. Here is a quote from the same time period in which the MC's ammunition was initially manufactured...

"A paper from 1885 laments that "Gunpowder is such a nervous and sensitive spirit, that in almost every process of manufacture it changes under our hands as the weather changes." Pressing times to the desired density could vary by a factor of three depending on the atmospheric humidity.[89]"

My point is this Bob, if Oswald experienced a hang fire, or a combination of perhaps two related malfunctions during his first shot, could this not have caused the shallow back wound? As someone who has a moderate degree of experience with firearms I can tell you that a hang fire would certainly effect the striking point of a projectile on a moving target.

At any rate, this is quite an interesting subject in particular.

Regards,

Craig C.

Spot on Craig! This is - I believe - the topic of Gary Murr's yet unpublished book on the guns and the ammunition used in the early 1960's. Gary has shared much of his research with me but he has been reluctant to share his work on this book. I believe he has broken new ground that no one is remotely aware of and would shed tremendous light of the wounds JFK sustained including the origin and nature of the back wound.

Next to David Lifton's new book, “Forgotten” is the book I am most eager to read.

James.

Thanks James, not only for your support, but for the heads-up on some new literature concerning this case that I would also enjoy reading.

Regards,

Craig C.

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As I have pointed out many times, it has long been held as fact that the bullet that hit JFK's back only penetrated the flesh of his back a mere inch; not far enough to enter JFK's right pleural cavity. This shallow penetration, supposedly probed by Commander Humes' finger, is credited to a phenomenon known as a "short shot", in which a rifle cartridge is either loaded with an insufficent gunpowder charge or the entirety of the gunpowder charge in the cartridge does not ignite, drastically reducing the muzzle velocity of the bullet.

In order to reduce the penetrating power of a 6.5mm Carcano bullet, at a 50 yard range, to the point where this bullet will not penetrate more than an inch in soft tissue, its normal muzzle velocity of 2200 feet per second would have to be reduced to less than about 400 feet per second (fps). This presents all kinds of problems in a) accurately hitting within 20 feet of your target and B) actually getting the bullet to its target.

If you have a rifle that is properly sighted in at a range of, for argument sake, 100 yards, and you chamber a good round into the breech, hitting a target at 50-100 yards is a simple matter of aiming and squeezing the trigger. However, bullets begin to drop as soon as they leave the barrel, and if that bullet leaves the barrel travelling at 1/5th the expected velocity, and the shooter is aiming in a normal fashion and expecting his bullet to be travelling 2200 fps, that bullet will end up impacting the ground (or pavement) far short of the aim point. In the case of JFK, I would not even expect it to hit the back of the limo. This is why it is called a "short shot", as the bullet impacts far "short" of the point of aim.

The next problem you would have with such a slow moving bullet is stability in flight. While the rifling grooves in the rifle's barrel that impart a gyroscopic spin to the bullet in flight account for most of the bullet's stability, the velocity that bullet is travelling at also plays a big part in whether the bullet remains stable in flight, or whether it begins to yaw and tumble on its way to its target. I have seen this problem when handloading rifle cartridges and experimenting with different types of gunpowder, different loads of gunpowder and different weights and styles of bullets. Just by changing the velocity of the bullet slightly, by adding more or less gunpowder, it is possible to over- or under-stabilize a bullet, with the resulting "keyhole" effect on a paper target. A "keyhole" is when a tumbling bullet goes through a paper target side on, leaving the inevitable "keyhole" in the target instead of a round hole. If a bullet still travelling in excess of 2000 fps can be under-stabilized by a reduction in velocity, imagine the lack of stability in the typical 2200 fps bullet reduced in velocity to only 400 fps.

Quite frankly, I don't believe such a slow bullet could have ever made it to JFK's back, making the shallow back wound a myth; at least in my eyes anyways.

My point is this Bob, if Oswald experienced a hang fire, or a combination of perhaps two related malfunctions during his first shot, could this not have caused the shallow back wound? As someone who has a moderate degree of experience with firearms I can tell you that a hang fire would certainly effect the striking point of a projectile on a moving target.

Craig,

It's good to hear such enthusiasm for this subject, but you need to re-read the paragraphs I have copied above from Bob.

This subject has already been covered in depth in an earlier thread on the back wound, and Bob is absolutely correct. To restate it briefly, it's not a simple matter of reducing the velocity of the bullet so that it penetrates the body only an inch or so. Remember this: the shooter doesn't know he's going to get a low energy shot, so he is aiming at the head or the back. The low energy bullet won't even reach the street.

Plot the trajectory and you will see for yourself.

Tom

Edited by Tom Neal
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Things have been pretty dull around here lately so, I thought it might be a good time to take another look at JFK's "shallow" back wound; observed by many witnesses to be almost six inches below JFK's collar line (about the level of thoracic vertebra T3) and about 1.5-2 inches to the right of JFK's spinal midline.

First, let's see whereabouts on JFK's back that entrance wound would have been, and how it relates to the location of bones and organs in the upper thorax.

posterior_lungs1341270126571.jpg

ribcage-posterior.png?t=1414771634491

As seen in the top diagram, a bullet entering the back at the level of T3 and 1.5-2 inches to the right of the spine would have nowhere to go but into the Right Upper Lung (RUL). As the skeletal diagram shows, this bullet would miss both the vertebrae and the scapula (shoulder blade) and would have an excellent chance of passing between two ribs, without touching either of them.

As I have pointed out many times, it has long been held as fact that the bullet that hit JFK's back only penetrated the flesh of his back a mere inch; not far enough to enter JFK's right pleural cavity. This shallow penetration, supposedly probed by Commander Humes' finger, is credited to a phenomenon known as a "short shot", in which a rifle cartridge is either loaded with an insufficent gunpowder charge or the entirety of the gunpowder charge in the cartridge does not ignite, drastically reducing the muzzle velocity of the bullet.

In order to reduce the penetrating power of a 6.5mm Carcano bullet, at a 50 yard range, to the point where this bullet will not penetrate more than an inch in soft tissue, its normal muzzle velocity of 2200 feet per second would have to be reduced to less than about 400 feet per second (fps). This presents all kinds of problems in a) accurately hitting within 20 feet of your target and B) actually getting the bullet to its target.

If you have a rifle that is properly sighted in at a range of, for argument sake, 100 yards, and you chamber a good round into the breech, hitting a target at 50-100 yards is a simple matter of aiming and squeezing the trigger. However, bullets begin to drop as soon as they leave the barrel, and if that bullet leaves the barrel travelling at 1/5th the expected velocity, and the shooter is aiming in a normal fashion and expecting his bullet to be travelling 2200 fps, that bullet will end up impacting the ground (or pavement) far short of the aim point. In the case of JFK, I would not even expect it to hit the back of the limo. This is why it is called a "short shot", as the bullet impacts far "short" of the point of aim.

The next problem you would have with such a slow moving bullet is stability in flight. While the rifling grooves in the rifle's barrel that impart a gyroscopic spin to the bullet in flight account for most of the bullet's stability, the velocity that bullet is travelling at also plays a big part in whether the bullet remains stable in flight, or whether it begins to yaw and tumble on its way to its target. I have seen this problem when handloading rifle cartridges and experimenting with different types of gunpowder, different loads of gunpowder and different weights and styles of bullets. Just by changing the velocity of the bullet slightly, by adding more or less gunpowder, it is possible to over- or under-stabilize a bullet, with the resulting "keyhole" effect on a paper target. A "keyhole" is when a tumbling bullet goes through a paper target side on, leaving the inevitable "keyhole" in the target instead of a round hole. If a bullet still travelling in excess of 2000 fps can be under-stabilized by a reduction in velocity, imagine the lack of stability in the typical 2200 fps bullet reduced in velocity to only 400 fps.

Quite frankly, I don't believe such a slow bullet could have ever made it to JFK's back, making the shallow back wound a myth; at least in my eyes anyways.

Bob, I realize this thread is now examining the medical evidence, and I do not want to go OT, but your original post touched on something I have considered and suggested many times in the past.

In my research I have come to conclusion that, where Oswald's rifle was concerned, the problem was not so much with the firearm itself but with the ammunition it chambered. When the FBI visited Klein's in Chicago, (I believe this was in early 1964), a rifle identical to Oswald's was test fired for them by the same employee who claimed to have mounted Oswald's scope. During this test firing the shop employee recalled that the rifle experienced several "hang-fires" which he believed the FBI may not have even noticed.

I'm sure you are aware Bob what a hang-fire is, but for those reading this post who may not be... a hang-fire is a delay between the pulling of the trigger and the moment at which the round discharges. This can be caused by either a faulty primer, (the small round chamber visible at the base of the cartridge which is struck by the firing pin causing the powder within the casing to ignite), or by the introduction of moisture into the powder within the casing itself. Here is a quote from the same time period in which the MC's ammunition was initially manufactured...

"A paper from 1885 laments that "Gunpowder is such a nervous and sensitive spirit, that in almost every process of manufacture it changes under our hands as the weather changes." Pressing times to the desired density could vary by a factor of three depending on the atmospheric humidity.[89]"

My point is this Bob, if Oswald experienced a hang fire, or a combination of perhaps two related malfunctions during his first shot, could this not have caused the shallow back wound? As someone who has a moderate degree of experience with firearms I can tell you that a hang fire would certainly effect the striking point of a projectile on a moving target.

At any rate, this is quite an interesting subject in particular.

Regards,

Craig C.

P.S. Another interesting point to be considered in this theory is that a majority of eye-witnesses stated that there was a marked difference in the report/sound regarding the first shot fired, and those that followed.

Hi Craig

Klein's was indeed marketing ammunition for the 6.5mm Carcano that was subject to misfires and hangfires. However, this was not the same ammunition reputedly fired at JFK in Dealey Plaza.

The 6.5mm Carcano ammo being marketed by Klein's was exclusively Italian military surplus ammo, and this ammo has been well known for decades for hangfires and misfires. The problem with this ammo is mainly in the corrosive compound used in the primers in these cartridges, compounded by poorly sealed crimps holding the neck of the cartridge to the bullet. This problem is so bad, military surplus websites have advised against shooting these cartridges for years.

OTOH, the ammo reputedly owned by LHO and fired at JFK on 22/11/63 was also 6.5mm Carcano ammo, but manufactured by the Western Cartridge Company of the USA. No corrosive primers were to be found in this ammo, and the crimps were sealed to the bu;lets much better. Consequently, hangfires and misfires are virtually unheard of in this ammo, even today with this ammo being 60+ years old.

The odds of one of these cartridges being fired at JFK and being defective are, to say the least, astronomical. Quoting an article on gunpowder from 1885 is hardly supportive of your argument. You do realize that black powder was still quite prevalent at this time, and that the manufacturing process of gunpowder in 1885 was vastly inferior to modern processes in 2016, don't you?

Now, EVEN IF the bullet fired at JFK's back was fired from a defective cartridge, you seem to be missing the point of my argument. Look at the diagram below.

zero%20trajectory.png

If the barrel of a rifle is pointing straight at a target, as in the top drawing, gravity will pull the bullet earthward as it travels through the air, and it will fall short of the target. It is necessary to elevate the barrel, in relation to the sights (scope) in order to make the bullet follow a high parabolic curve or "trajectory" on its way to the target. Adjusting the height of that parabolic curve at, let's say, 100 yards to make the bullet hit a bullseye is known as "sighting in" or "zeroing" a rifle.

Let's say, for argument's sake, that Oswald had sighted his rifle in for 100 yards and, from experience, knew that he had to shoot a couple of inches low at 50 yards, due the the high point of the parabola, in order to accurately hit a target.

The muzzle velocity of a WCC 6.5mm cartridge's bullet, fired from Oswald's M91/38 6.5mm Carcano short rifle, is just under 2200 feet per second. At 50 yards (the approximate range of the back shot) this bullet would likely still be moving at just over 2100 feet per second. At this velocity, and with the weight and design of this bullet, I would expect a shot impacting JFK's back to go right through JFK's chest, right through John Connally and possibly through the seat in front of Connally, with the potential of injuring Roy Kellerman.

In order for this bullet to merely penetrate the flesh of JFK's back a mere inch, the velocity of this bullet would have to be reduced to the absolute minimum and, just as a guess, I would say it could not have been over 300 feet per second. Look again at the diagram above, and imagine the bullet dropping to earth while the bullet travelled at only 1/7th of its expected velocity. Not knowing he had a defective cartridge, Oswald would be aiming right at JFK, and the bullet would hit the pavement short of the limo, if it made it out of the rifle barrel at all, and did not begin tumbling halfway to where it hit.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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As I have pointed out many times, it has long been held as fact that the bullet that hit JFK's back only penetrated the flesh of his back a mere inch; not far enough to enter JFK's right pleural cavity. This shallow penetration, supposedly probed by Commander Humes' finger, is credited to a phenomenon known as a "short shot", in which a rifle cartridge is either loaded with an insufficent gunpowder charge or the entirety of the gunpowder charge in the cartridge does not ignite, drastically reducing the muzzle velocity of the bullet.

In order to reduce the penetrating power of a 6.5mm Carcano bullet, at a 50 yard range, to the point where this bullet will not penetrate more than an inch in soft tissue, its normal muzzle velocity of 2200 feet per second would have to be reduced to less than about 400 feet per second (fps). This presents all kinds of problems in a) accurately hitting within 20 feet of your target and B) actually getting the bullet to its target.

If you have a rifle that is properly sighted in at a range of, for argument sake, 100 yards, and you chamber a good round into the breech, hitting a target at 50-100 yards is a simple matter of aiming and squeezing the trigger. However, bullets begin to drop as soon as they leave the barrel, and if that bullet leaves the barrel travelling at 1/5th the expected velocity, and the shooter is aiming in a normal fashion and expecting his bullet to be travelling 2200 fps, that bullet will end up impacting the ground (or pavement) far short of the aim point. In the case of JFK, I would not even expect it to hit the back of the limo. This is why it is called a "short shot", as the bullet impacts far "short" of the point of aim.

The next problem you would have with such a slow moving bullet is stability in flight. While the rifling grooves in the rifle's barrel that impart a gyroscopic spin to the bullet in flight account for most of the bullet's stability, the velocity that bullet is travelling at also plays a big part in whether the bullet remains stable in flight, or whether it begins to yaw and tumble on its way to its target. I have seen this problem when handloading rifle cartridges and experimenting with different types of gunpowder, different loads of gunpowder and different weights and styles of bullets. Just by changing the velocity of the bullet slightly, by adding more or less gunpowder, it is possible to over- or under-stabilize a bullet, with the resulting "keyhole" effect on a paper target. A "keyhole" is when a tumbling bullet goes through a paper target side on, leaving the inevitable "keyhole" in the target instead of a round hole. If a bullet still travelling in excess of 2000 fps can be under-stabilized by a reduction in velocity, imagine the lack of stability in the typical 2200 fps bullet reduced in velocity to only 400 fps.

Quite frankly, I don't believe such a slow bullet could have ever made it to JFK's back, making the shallow back wound a myth; at least in my eyes anyways.

My point is this Bob, if Oswald experienced a hang fire, or a combination of perhaps two related malfunctions during his first shot, could this not have caused the shallow back wound? As someone who has a moderate degree of experience with firearms I can tell you that a hang fire would certainly effect the striking point of a projectile on a moving target.

Craig,

It's good to hear such enthusiasm for this subject, but you need to re-read the paragraphs I have copied above from Bob.

This subject has already been covered in depth in an earlier thread on the back wound, and Bob is absolutely correct. To restate it briefly, it's not a simple matter of reducing the velocity of the bullet so that it penetrates the body only an inch or so. Remember this: the shooter doesn't know he's going to get a low energy shot, so he is aiming at the head or the back. The low energy bullet won't even reach the street.

Plot the trajectory and you will see for yourself.

Tom

Hi Tom

I did not see your post before I posted my long reply to Craig. Thanks for the support. It amazes me that you see this so clearly while the more obtuse amongst us have such difficulty grasping the concept.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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Hi Craig

The difference in volume between the first shot and the following shots is likely due to the first shot being fired from a rifle fitted with a suppressor (silencer). I have gone into the evidence supporting this extensively on other threads but would be glad to repeat it here for you.

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Hi Tom

I did not see your post before I posted my long reply to Craig. Thanks for the support.

Glad to help out. No offense intended toward Craig who in his obvious enthusiasm to relate info regarding the ammo, may have skipped your explanation of a "short shot" and/or missed the connection to the bad ammo.

Considering how many times you've expended the effort to plot this out in excruciating detail, I'm *once again* surprised that this scenario is all but totally ignored by the membership here. I'm no longer shocked by the denial of new evidence in support of a new theory - but surprise still remains... Considering the fact that anyone here on this site obviously disputes the gov't dogma, it is rather ironic that they accept and defend the dogma from CTs that has been refuted by new info and new ideas.

It amazes me that you see this so clearly while the more obtuse amongst us have such difficulty grasping the concept.

I bask in the praise of the first half of the sentence, and take the 5th on the second half...

T

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