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Why Humes Thought the Back Missile Hit at a Sharp Angle -- a Hypothesis


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Why Humes Thought the Back Missile Hit at a Sharp Angle -- a Hypothesis

Dr. Humes was reported to have said during the autopsy that the bullet entered JFK's back at a 45 to 60 degree angle. For example, FBI agent Francis O'Neill reported this in his 1978 HSCA affidavit. How could a bullet have entered at such a steep angle?

The first thing to ask is, what made Humes think the bullet entered at that angle. Given that Humes apparently found no missile track other than the wound running through JFK's flesh (skin and shallow muscle), I would think that at some point during the autopsy he probed the wound. Probably not with his finger -- it being too large to fit -- but probably with a metal probe. At which time Humes found the angle of that track to be 45 to 60 degrees... quite a steep angle that cannot easily be explained.

Groundwork

Before presenting my hypothesis, I need to lay a little groundwork. (Please be patient. If you don't want to read the groundwork, jump ahead to the hypothesis.)

Many of you know that I -- having studied Robert Prudhomme's case for a frangible bullet being the explanation for this disappearing bullet -- am quite convinced that a frangible bullet was used on the back shot. Since reading Robert's descriptions of these bullets, I've done some reading about them on my own. Here are a few things I've learned from Robert and elsewhere:

  • Due to the fact that frangible bullets break up into numerous particles upon hitting a substance of sufficient hardness and resistance, each particle will contain just a small fraction of the whole bullet's kinetic energy.
  • The energy per unit surface area will decrease greatly upon fragmentation. This means the penetration depth will be greatly diminished.
  • The finer the powder comprising the bullet, the more diminished the penetration will be, and the broader the spread.
  • Frangible bullets can be designed to fragment more or less easily. Even so, there can be great variation from bullet-to-bullet as to what it takes to fragment the bullet.

One thing I set out to find for this presentation was how a bone would react to being hit be an already-fragmented frangible bullet. Unfortunately I couldn't find anything specific to that topic. I did, however find some related materials that I feel confirmed what I already thought about this. It is my contention that a fragmented bullet would be much less likely to shatter a bone than would be a whole bullet of the same mass.

I will give an analogy to demonstrate this.

Suppose we have a pane of glass, and that this represents a bone. A one pound rock represents a whole bullet. A pound of pebbles represents a fragmented frangible bullet. And a pound of sand represents a fragmented ultra-frangible bullet.

First we "shoot the bone" by throwing the rock at the glass with all our might. The glass breaks. Just like a whole bullet would break a bone.

Next we throw the pebbles at the glass. (A new pane of glass.) The glass flexes and gets pitted, but does not break... this time. Maybe it will break next time.

Finally we throw the sand at the window. Very little happens to the glass. The grains of sand merely bounce off. Despite the fact that they carried the same amount of energy as the rock did.

I hope you will now agree with me that a bone will be far less affected by a fragmented frangible bullet than by a whole bullet.

But before leaving this analogy, let's try one more thing. Let's throw the sand at the glass, but this time at a slight angle. What will the sand do? Analyzing this situation can be very daunting, as several factors would need to be taken into account. For example, the fact that early reflected particles could collide with later oncoming ones, depending upon the diameter of the spray. Also, the degree to which each of the many collisions are elastic. ("Elastic" and "inelastic" are technical terms used in physics to classify and describe collisions.) After studying this for some time, I decided that another approach was necessary.

Suppose we dropped a rock on a sidewalk. Would it bounce, or would it stay on the sidwalk upon impact? If the collision were a perfectly elastic one, the rock would bounce up to the same height from which it was dropped. If it were perfectly inelastic, the rock would drop to the ground without bouncing.

I can tell you one thing from experience... a rock won't bounce very high. And it's not just because of gravity. If you've ever played with a Super Ball, you know what a good elastic collision is. And a rock landing on concrete ain't one of them. (Wikipedia describes a Super Ball as "an extremely elastic ball made of Zechron.) But a rock does bounce a little. The reason a rock doesn't bounce high like a Super Ball is because it loses a lot of its kinetic energy when impacting the concrete.

Now, suppose you threw the rock at the concrete at a slight angle. What would it do? It would bounce a little, as before. But this time it would travel in the direction you threw it, till its kinetic energy was depleted. If it were thrown at a smooth surface it would travel quite far. Ever skipped a rock on calm water?

Okay, having gone through that thought experiment, I want to determine what would happen if you threw sand instead of a rock at concrete, again at a small angle. I can't remember every throwing sand at a sidewalk, but I imagine it would behave in a way similar to a single rock. I am confident it wouldn't bounce much at all.... I think even less so than a rock. I'm equally confident that it would move across the surface in the direction thrown, especially if the surface is smooth.

Okay, now it's time to translate this back to bullets and bone. One major difference between the two is that bone is more flexible than concrete, is less rigid, and is surrounded by muscle. The effect of these factors is that the bone would absorb a lot more energy than concrete does. So any collision with bone would be a lot less elastic than with concrete. That is to say, the projectile would bounce much less.

I readily admit that I haven't proven what I'm about to say. But I contend that if a fragmented frangible bullet hits a bone at an angle, the particles will tend to skim along the surface of the bone. The particles won't all be in contact with the bone, but will travel near the surface of the bone, perpendicular to its surface.

Hypothesis

Here is what I envision happened:

The frangible bullet hit Kennedy's back and began to fragment immediately after hitting the surface of the skin. That it fragmented so near the surface may have been by design, or may have been a fluke.

The angle of the shot was, of course, downward... on the order of 20 degrees. The bulk of the particles hit the bottom portion of a rib and skimmed along its surface toward Kennedy's butt. But the bottom portion of the particle spray passed below the rib and punctured the lung.

The particles that were deflected downward, and those that passed below the rib, created a channel that Humes found with a probe. The angle of the channel was estimated by Humes to be 45 to 60 degrees.

You can see this in the following illustrations.

bullet_path_zpso6uf17am.jpg

probe_angle_zpsiz1g54ti.jpg

Related Images

Following are photos, x-rays, and CT scans of a pig's hind leg that has been shot with a frangible bullet. Note that this bullet fragmented immediately after striking the skin. The bullet used was a so-call "hyper-frangible." Due to its small particle size and low velocity (~500 fps), penetration was very shallow.

It would have been useful for this presentation had the bullet been aimed at the bone and been of greater velocity.

5.png

6.png

This is a CT scan of the leg. It is a cross-sectional view. The white circle is the bone.

(Source for images: Forensic and clinical issues in the use of frangible projectilea.)

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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I've done a lot of thinking of my own on the 45 degree measurement. Here's something I came up with.

45degr.jpg

45 Degrees of Coincidence?

Sometime after coming to the suspicion the head wound entrance and throat wound were connected, I noticed a strange convergence of 45 degree angles. Consider:

1. The 2 AM 11/23/63 FBI teletype in which the results of Kennedy's autopsy were first forwarded to headquarters relates "One bullet hole located just below shoulders to right of spinal column and hand probing indicated trajectory angle of forty-five to sixty degrees downward and hole of short depth with no point of exit."

2. The 11/26/63 FBI report of FBI Agents Sibert and O'Neill on the autopsy confirms "During the latter stages of the autopsy, Dr. Humes located an opening which appeared to be a bullet hole which was below the shoulders and two inches to the right of the middle line of the spinal column. This opening was probed by Dr. Humes with the finger, at which time it was determined that the trajectory of the missile entering at this point had entered at a downward position of 45 to 60 degrees. (Further probing determined that the distance traveled by this missile was a short distance inasmuch as the end of the opening could be felt with the finger.)"

3. On March 16, 1964, Dr. Humes testified before the Warren Commission and the magic number 45 re-surfaced. Mr. Specter. Dr. Humes, can you compare the angles of declination on 385, point "C" to "D", with 388 "A" to "B"? Commander Humes. You will note, and again I must apologize for the schematic nature of these diagrams drawn to a certain extent from memory and to a certain extent from the written record, it would appear that the angle of declination is somewhat sharper in the head wound, 388, than it is in 385.The reason for this, we feel, by the pattern of the entrance wound at 388 "A" causes us to feel that the President's head was bent forward, and we feel this accounts for the difference in the angle, plus undoubtedly the wounds were not received absolutely simultaneously, so that the vehicle in which the President was traveling moved during this period of time, which would account for a difference in the line of flight, sir. Mr. Specter. Aside from the slight differences which are notable by observing those two exhibits, are they roughly comparable to the angle of decline? Commander Humes. I believe them to be roughly comparable, sir. Mr. Specter. Could you state for the record an approximation of the angle of decline. Commander Humes. Mathematics is not my forte. Approximately 45 degrees from the horizontal.

4. This 45 degree angle was then confirmed by Dr. Finck.
Mr. Specter. And do you concur in Dr. Humes' statements and opinions regarding the point of entry C, point of exit D, and general angle on the flight of the missile?
Colonel Finck. I certainly do.

5 The angle of descent from the entrance near the EOP to the presumed exit on the throat is 45 degrees.

This seems way too great a coincidence. I mean, think about it. The angle of descent in the drawing created for Humes was nowhere near 45 degrees. Dr. Humes was an educated man. Could he really have been this bad with numbers? Or was the 45 degrees something he remembered measuring at the autopsy? Since he mentioned 45 degrees to the FBI at the autopsy, in relation to the back wound, this sounds reasonable. That the FBI report says the back wound was discovered in the "later stages of the autopsy", moreover, suggests the possibility the doctors had already discussed the head wounds and throat wound prior to their discussion of the back wound. Perhaps, then, they measured a 45 degree descent between the head wound entrance and throat wound before discussing the back wound in detail, and had noted that the descent within the shallow back wound seemed to match this trajectory. Since Humes admitted burning his notes and the first draft of his report, we may never know.

On the other hand, it's possible the 45 degrees mentioned in Humes' testimony was not so innocent, and that, knowing full well that the FBI report reflected he'd said the bullet creating the back wound descended at 45 degrees, he was deliberately pretending that the 45 degree or greater descent approximated at the autopsy was consistent with the drawing he'd had created for the Warren Commission. If so, his volunteering that he was bad with math could have been his way of deflecting the criticisms he knew would come once people saw the FBI's report, and the actual wound locations. Humes certainly should have known that his night-of-the-autopsy approximation of a 45 degree descent was totally inconsistent with his day-after conclusion that the bullet exited from Kennedy's throat, on the same level as the entrance. If he was deliberately clouding the issue, as proposed in this scenario, then it seems possible as well that Arlen Specter, who'd met with FBI agents Sibert and O'Neill while preparing Humes' testimony, was well aware of Humes' deception, and had even coached him on it. There's something else to consider. An 11-23-63 AP news story on the assassination credited to Frank Cormier (found in the Sumter Daily Item) makes the bizarre claim that the assassin's bullets "traveled about 100 yards at a 45 degree angle." Well, where did this come from? If this was something Cormier had heard on the radio the evening before, or had seen in an earlier paper, well, perhaps Humes had heard this same broadcast, or had read this same article. If so, then perhaps this influenced his statements during the autopsy, and in turn his subsequent testimony. To be clear, he may have been under the belief the sniper's nest in the book depository really was 45 degrees above Kennedy at the time of the shooting. Perhaps he was simply too ignorant to realize a bullet traveling 100 yards at a 45 degree angle would have to have been fired from a building twice as tall as the book depository. Perhaps he fudged his numbers, and had relied on someone as clueless as himself.

There is no easy answer on this one. It's either a total coincidence that a bullet descending from the head wound entrance to the throat wound would be descending at 45 degrees and Dr. Humes said the angle of descent within the body of the bullet exiting the throat was 45 degrees OR Dr. Humes was not nearly as bad at math as he claimed but was instead trying to cover up the true nature of Kennedy's wounds. No, hold it. On second thought, there's a third option, where Dr. Humes was helping to cover up the bullet's actual trajectory, but knew this to be wrong, and was pretending to be bad at math in order to get the actual bullet trajectory--a descent within the body at 45 degrees-- on the record. I kinda like that one. Something to think about. Not that there's not already more than enough to think about.

Edited by Pat Speer
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Sandy,

It is a common belief to feel that shots fired from the 6th floor of the TSBD came from the Oswald window.

When I was working on my Connally project I became aware that the 6th floor west windows were both open during the Assassination.

For the Connally wound I needed a steep decline in order to travel down the 5th rib. The only window that allowed that was the 6th floor west windows.

One example of what I mean is were Connally wounded at 230 then the angle of the shot - at that point - I estimate was around 65º Yes that is outside your parameters but if the back wound occurred earlier then you would achieve a different result. Whatever the position of JFK, the Oswald window will always give you a smaller degree and could well be outside your parameters.

One thing I was very curious about was exactly what was the south wall of the 6th floor like. Thanks to Gary Murr I acquired an image taken on the afternoon of the 22nd. Behind the south wall of the 6th floor was a clear corridor allowing movement and coordination.

Do with this as you please. But if the angle of the back wound is legitimate then one source for it could well be the west window on the 6th floor.

See images.

James

post-1083-0-19730900-1470853636_thumb.jp

post-1083-0-26355300-1470853647_thumb.jp

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James,

Thus far I've only assumed that Humes's 45 degree estimate is too steep for the bullet to have originated from the TSBD. And it probably is, if the shot came from the "Oswald" window. I've assumed it because it is what others have said.

Now, because of your post, I know that 65 degrees is the approximate angle from the west windows at z230. That means there may be some hope for the Humes 45 to 60 degree estimate after all. I had no idea that the angle could be so different between the east and west windows.

Now, I believe that the back shot occurred when the limo was behind the Stemmons sign in the Z film. That would place the car closer to the TSBD than it was at your z230. And that would mean the angle was steeper than Humes's range of 45 to 60 degrees.

Of course, Humes may have been wrong in his estimate. Or, for that matter, Pat could be right... Humes could have simply decided that the back wound angle should be roughly the same as the EOP-to-throat angle. (He may have been instructed that there can be only one shooter.)

My hypothesis fits in well with a scenario I have been building... a scenario that attempts to fit all the known testimony regarding the back wound together.

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Sandy,

There is a couple of points I ought to make,

a) the Connally wound was down the outside of his rib. From what I remember the direction of the bullet traveled down the right side of his body in a straight line. The position of Connally - at that moment - as well as the position of the car at Z 230 made that possible.

B) Whereas Connally's wound entered just under his arm pit, the Kennedy wound is a few centimetres right of his spine. A missile entering that point from the west window will be moving in a right to left direction. That may have an impact on your calculations.

c) Moving the car up to the position of the Stemmons sign will certainly affect to what degree any shooter could hit that point on Kennedy's back. Down at Z 230 the car is forward of the west window. At Z 220 - or thereabouts - the car is still forward of the East window, but I am not sure what it's location would be with regard to the West window.

Just some thoughts for you.

James.

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Pat, your illustration misrepresents the "actual" location of the back wound.

You're incorrigible on this issue.

"T1 is well down the back." -- Pat Speer.

You should stop, at long last.

Cliff is absolutely correct.

Everything above T1 is Cervical, aka "Neck". T1 is where the back BEGINS. If T1 is "well down the back" then the 'back' begins at a point "well down the back."

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Sandy,

There is a couple of points I ought to make,

a) the Connally wound was down the outside of his rib. From what I remember the direction of the bullet traveled down the right side of his body in a straight line. The position of Connally - at that moment - as well as the position of the car at Z 230 made that possible.

( b ) Whereas Connally's wound entered just under his arm pit, the Kennedy wound is a few centimetres right of his spine. A missile entering that point from the west window will be moving in a right to left direction. That may have an impact on your calculations.

c) Moving the car up to the position of the Stemmons sign will certainly affect to what degree any shooter could hit that point on Kennedy's back. Down at Z 230 the car is forward of the west window. At Z 220 - or thereabouts - the car is still forward of the East window, but I am not sure what it's location would be with regard to the West window.

Just some thoughts for you.

James.

Thanks James.

Your point ( b ) makes me realize that a shot from the west TSBD window may well have missed the right lung altogether. That is to say, particles from the frangible bullet may have missed. They may have gone into the mediastinum.

I've long doubted that any shots were taken from the "Oswald" window. But that's just a hunch of mine. The shot may have taken place from there. Or from the Dal-Tex building.

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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Sandy,

Because I am so preoccupied with another task, I have not been able to return back to my JFK work. But when I was focused on JFK my approach was always based on trajectory analysis. When I looked at a wound my first question was where that wound came from.

The Car at Z 223/4:-

Singlelinecopy_zps6677781d.jpg

I did numerous trajectory analysis and the three options - aside from the Oswald window - was the TSBD West Window the Daltex building and The Records building. One thing I learnt was that there was not just one source of the shots - the view point of Warren Commission Apologists. My work made clear there were numerous sources. The question was always how reliable they were and that was always a judgement call.

Looking at the image above which has the car at Z 223/4 it is clear a shot to JFK's back would be troublesome to validate. If the shot to JFK's back was fired at this point you can see the effect of decline on where such a shot - if it ever did penetrate the chest - would end up.

An area of research that always troubled me was not whether we can have a shot from point A impact at point B. The point is should there have been a shot from point A that did impact at point B where would the angle of trajectory suggest it would end up in the body: point C That is why the SBT is complete nonsense. Yes you have a wound on JFK's back - though I argue it may not be as low as T3. And yes there is a wound just right of centre on JFK's throat. However there is no way to link these two points without doing considerable damage to the lung and chest area as well as severely damage the cervical spine and the nerve cord. That may not be part of the traditional SBT but it is fundamentals of human physiology.

James.

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The frangible bullet hit Kennedy's back and began to defragment immediately after hitting the surface of the skin. That it defragmented so near the surface may have been by design, or may have been a fluke.

You may want to change the word "defragment" to "fragment."

[From your illustration showing that a bullet can break up just beneath the skin:] The bullet used was a so-call "hyper-frangible." Due to its small particle size and low velocity (~500 fps), penetration was very shallow.

These two factors (small particle size, low 500 fps velocity) are required to achieve this break-up just beneath the skin:

1. Is there any evidence that "hyper-frangible" bullets were in use in 1963?

2. What type of weapon are you suggesting was used that fired such a low velocity round? A shooter would have to be quite close to JFK, and behind him, yet unseen by any bystanders. Is there a location that fulfills these requirements?

A bullet that fragments that quickly isn't at all likely to cause the required fatal injury. Why would it have been used by those who were *determined* to murder JFK, not merely injure him?

Assuming this early fragmentation of a non-hyper frangible bullet is even possible; if it occurred due to a "fluke," then you are vastly increasing the odds that this theory is viable.

The angle of the shot was, of course, downward... on the order of 20 degrees. The bulk of the particles hit the bottom portion of a rib and skimmed along its surface toward Kennedy's butt. But the bottom portion of the particle spray passed below the rib and punctured the lung.

The particles that were deflected downward, and those that passed below the rib, created a channel that Humes found with a probe. The angle of the channel was estimated by Humes to be 45 to 60 degrees.

Particles small enough and traveling slowly enough to deflect off a rib without embedding in the rib itself, would pepper the tissue immediately below the rib. The amount of drag created depends upon the size and shape of each fragment. Thus, as depicted in your following illustrations they spread out and terminate quickly in a 'cloud' of particles. Do you have any evidence that they would create a coherent 1/4" diameter channel at least 2" deep (IIRC to his "2nd knuckle") as described by Humes?

Isn't it much more likely that the 1/4" diameter (the size of a Carcano slug) channel was created by a bullet that did *not* fragment until reaching a depth of 2"?

Any fragments small enough and traveling slowly enough to deflect off a rib, assuming that they *could* penetrate to the depth required, would more likely embed themselves in the lung tissue without causing a puncture. How likely are they to cause a puncture large enough to produce the symptoms described by Perry?

Where's the 'cloud' of metal fragments in JFK's lung x-ray that should be prominently displayed (as in your illustrations) just below the rib?

Edited by Tom Neal
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Tom Neal wrote (emphasis in the original)


A bullet that fragments that quickly isn't at all likely to cause the required fatal injury. Why would it have been used by those who were *determined* to murder JFK, not merely injure him?



...

Where's the 'cloud' of metal fragments in JFK's lung x-ray that should be prominently displayed (as in your illustrations) just below the rib?

A discussion of the actual murder!

Refreshing!

Tom, these are crucial questions.

According to the JFK Autopsists' Scenario -- speculation with the body in front of them, according to Sibert & O'Neill -- he was hit with a round which wouldn't show up in autopsy, nowhere on x-ray. Maybe so, maybe so. The FBI guys took it seriously, called the FBI Lab and got bum rushed by the Magic Bullet. (Few JFK Assassination Big Cheeses take it seriously, unless the discussion veers into Umbrellaman, then they're all over it in order to fry Louie Witt. But I digress)

Expanding on that right-there-in-the-historical-record Scenario I can buy the first shot to the throat as a paralytic, the shot to the back a toxin.

The shot to the throat wasn't a kill shot -- the second hit, to the back, had to be a kill shot. IMO.

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Why did Humes think the back wound hit at a sharp angle?

-- He was incapable of doing a gunshot autopsy, had never done one before.

-- Someone who was REALLY in charge TOLD him that the ONLY gunman was in a sixth floor window, behind JFK. And Humes assumed that's like a New York skyscraper. 45 to 60 degrees???!!! That's right on top of Kennedy, as if he never got more than 40-50 feet from the base of TSBD.

-- We have to remember that there was no communication between Parkland and Bethesda. Humes didn't know about the throat shot until the next day. Then he had to change the whole report. The autopsy, officially, didn't start until 8 PM, SIX HOURS for the two locations to communicate. But no, that's too much to accomplish, someone making a phone call.

-- He was scared and pushed around.

-- Humes was American. Let's face it, we're dumb as rocks. In maybe the most chucklehead move at an autopsy EVER, he probed this back would with his little finger!! Though by doing that, we can be certain that the back wound was substantially larger than the original throat wound. For, surely even an American wouldn't force his digit, at least 5/8" wide, into a 1/4" hole.

-- Humes was American military, effectively dumber than rocks. Admit it. Vietnam and Iraq were something other than bad luck.

Edited by Roy Wieselquist
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The frangible bullet hit Kennedy's back and began to defragment immediately after hitting the surface of the skin. That it defragmented so near the surface may have been by design, or may have been a fluke.

You may want to change the word "defragment" to "fragment."

[From your illustration showing that a bullet can break up just beneath the skin:] The bullet used was a so-call "hyper-frangible." Due to its small particle size and low velocity (~500 fps), penetration was very shallow.

These two factors (small particle size, low 500 fps velocity) are required to achieve this break-up just beneath the skin:

1. Is there any evidence that "hyper-frangible" bullets were in use in 1963?

2. What type of weapon are you suggesting was used that fired such a low velocity round? A shooter would have to be quite close to JFK, and behind him, yet unseen by any bystanders. Is there a location that fulfills these requirements?

A bullet that fragments that quickly isn't at all likely to cause the required fatal injury. Why would it have been used by those who were *determined* to murder JFK, not merely injure him?

Assuming this early fragmentation of a non-hyper frangible bullet is even possible; if it occurred due to a "fluke," then you are vastly increasing the odds that this theory is viable.

The angle of the shot was, of course, downward... on the order of 20 degrees. The bulk of the particles hit the bottom portion of a rib and skimmed along its surface toward Kennedy's butt. But the bottom portion of the particle spray passed below the rib and punctured the lung.

The particles that were deflected downward, and those that passed below the rib, created a channel that Humes found with a probe. The angle of the channel was estimated by Humes to be 45 to 60 degrees.

Particles small enough and traveling slowly enough to deflect off a rib without embedding in the rib itself, would pepper the tissue immediately below the rib. The amount of drag created depends upon the size and shape of each fragment. Thus, as depicted in your following illustrations they spread out and terminate quickly in a 'cloud' of particles. Do you have any evidence that they would create a coherent 1/4" diameter channel at least 2" deep (IIRC to his "2nd knuckle") as described by Humes?

Isn't it much more likely that the 1/4" diameter (the size of a Carcano slug) channel was created by a bullet that did *not* fragment until reaching a depth of 2"?

Any fragments small enough and traveling slowly enough to deflect off a rib, assuming that they *could* penetrate to the depth required, would more likely embed themselves in the lung tissue without causing a puncture. How likely are they to cause a puncture large enough to produce the symptoms described by Perry?

Where's the 'cloud' of metal fragments in JFK's lung x-ray that should be prominently displayed (as in your illustrations) just below the rib?

Tom,

I don't believe that the velocity of the bullet hitting JFK's back was anywhere near the 500 fps bullet used to shoot the pig's leg. I believe it was a much faster bullet. That's the reason I wrote "It would have been useful for this presentation had the bullet been aimed at the [pig's] bone and been of greater velocity."

I have just renamed the title of that section from "Supporting Images" to "Related Images," as that is a much more accurate description. I posted the pig images to give the reader an idea as to what a real frangible bullet wound looks like. Before seeing these images, I'd seen only damage done to gel-like materials..

You ask if I have evidence that "hyper-frangible" bullets were available in 1963. The term "hyper-frangible" was used by the authors of the paper from which I borrowed the pig images. The authors added the prefix "hyper" just to indicate that they were referring to a bullet with a greater number of smaller particles.

But as to whether frangible bullets made of fine particles were available in 1963, I could only guess what the military and intelligence agencies had developed.

You said:

Particles small enough and traveling slowly enough to deflect off a rib without embedding in the rib itself, would pepper the tissue immediately below the rib. The amount of drag created depends upon the size and shape of each fragment. Thus, as depicted in your following illustrations they spread out and terminate quickly in a 'cloud' of particles. Do you have any evidence that they would create a coherent 1/4" diameter channel at least 2" deep (IIRC to his "2nd knuckle") as described by Humes?

Now that you know that I believe the bullet was traveling much greater than 500 fps, your comment and question would likely be different. But I will say that at one point it occurred to me that maybe the spreading out of particles might explain how Humes could have fit his finger into the wound. It then occurred to me that, even with the spreading of particles, the entrance of the wound would still be too small for Hume's finger. He would have had to rip the flesh open with quite some force, I imagine.

I didn't mention this possibility in my presentation because whether or not Hume's used his finger as a probe is less important to me than how it is he thought the path of the wound was such a steep angle. And also, I didn't think Humes *would* tear the skin in order to probe the wound. But who knows... I do believe he did worse things, so maybe he would do this as well.

Then you asked:

Isn't it much more likely that the 1/4" diameter (the size of a Carcano slug) channel was created by a bullet that did *not* fragment until reaching a depth of 2"?

You mentioned Hume's 2nd knuckle in the prior sentence. So I got the impression you were making comments and asking questions that relate to Hume's supposedly using his finger to probe the wound. If so, then it seems to me that an early-fragmenting bullet would be a better explanation than a whole bullet penetrating two inches before fragmentation occurred. Because, as I understand it, a man's finger cannot fit into a 1/4" channel made by a whole bullet.

You said:

Any fragments small enough and traveling slowly enough to deflect off a rib, assuming that they *could* penetrate to the depth required, would more likely embed themselves in the lung tissue without causing a puncture. How likely are they to cause a puncture large enough to produce the symptoms described by Perry?

Is it possible for a fragment to embed itself into the lung without creating a puncture?

You said:

Where's the 'cloud' of metal fragments in JFK's lung x-ray that should be prominently displayed (as in your illustrations) just below the rib?

I'm no radiologist, but looking at the frontal x-ray there does appear to be cloudiness close to the vertebrae in the T2/T3 area on the anatomical right side (our left side).

Interestingly, his whole spinal column appears to have been moved to the anatomical left centered around that location.

X_AUT_9.JPG

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Why did Humes think the back wound hit at a sharp angle?

-- He was incapable of doing a gunshot autopsy, had never done one before.

-- Someone who was REALLY in charge TOLD him that the ONLY gunman was in a sixth floor window, behind JFK. And Humes assumed that's like a New York skyscraper. 45 to 60 degrees???!!! That's right on top of Kennedy, as if he never got more than 40-50 feet from the base of TSBD.

-- We have to remember that there was no communication between Parkland and Bethesda. Humes didn't know about the throat shot until the next day. Then he had to change the whole report. The autopsy, officially, didn't start until 8 PM, SIX HOURS for the two locations to communicate. But no, that's too much to accomplish, someone making a phone call.

-- He was scared and pushed around.

-- Humes was American. Let's face it, we're dumb as rocks. In maybe the most chucklehead move at an autopsy EVER, he probed this back would with his little finger!! Though by doing that, we can be certain that the back wound was substantially larger than the original throat wound. For, surely even an American wouldn't force his digit, at least 5/8" wide, into a 1/4" hole.

-- Humes was American military, effectively dumber than rocks. Admit it. Vietnam and Iraq were something other than bad luck.

Roy,

FWIW, I believe that what I have highlighted in red is factually incorrect. Please see this post.

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