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Report from Charles Batchelor to Chief J. E. Curry, November 30, 1963] Page: 21 of 70

Report entry from November 21, 1963

https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth338584/m1/21/?q=Lumpkin

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Purdue Lawrence testimony to the WC:

I had been told was going to be ahead of this motorcade. I got in my car... I was in uniform, but I was driving a plain car which I drive,… I could hear Chief Curry on channel 2,... . Although I was not given this assignment--I proceeded on this route, and I followed it on down to the Trade Mart.

 

I don't know of Lawrence was driving his own car, or a car he was given by the DPD, but it was a plain one..

He said he could hear Curry on Channel 2, but I don't see a whip antenna. Could he hear Curry on some kind of transistor radio tuned to the proper frequency?

Steve Thomas

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21 hours ago, Mark Tyler said:

 

I understand why people are keen to have an audio recording as that would immediately resolve the issue of how many shots were fired and in what sequence, to a very high level of scientific certainty.  One of the largest controversies about this case would be immediately resolved.  Sadly I don't believe there is any audio recording of the events in Dealey Plaza so we must revert to old school crime scene investigation with a focus on the witnesses and physical evidence.

Hi Mark,

I would really urge you to avoid discounting the Dictabelt recording too easily. In terms of supporting evidence I would go as far as to say it is a much more robust starting point than the Zapruder film. If you look into the methods used to test the recording used around the HSCA and consider the Statistical Significance of the data it is astonishing. I believe any unbiased scientist would be forced to changed the burden of proof question from ; 'Is this an audio recording of the assassination?' to 'How can this audio recording be seriously challenged?' . You can read essays by Don Thomas on the Mary Ferrell website or get his book 'Hear no evil' for the full story of the significance of the data. He has published rebuttals to attempts to rubbish his conclusions. I cannot effectively rebut your assessment that there is a siren missing, but suggest two possible reasons : There is strong evidence that there are 'jumps' in the dicatabelt recording, probably where the stylus 'jumped'. The other possibility is the directionality of the sound, so that the siren may not have been in a location to be picked up by the microphone.

I am very interested in your take on witnesses to shots. Have you considered that the reason witnesses heard different shot sequences was due to their location? Can you see any correlation with this. It is a reasonable supposition that some shots may have been fired from silenced weapons, the effect being to 'narrow' the cone of sound caused by the shot. I have considered that it may be possible to judge where shots came from by the comparing witness testimony with that thought in mind. For example; if we theorize silenced shots came from the knoll,  then were there witnesses within the cone of such a sound wave who heard them, and witnesses outside the cone that did not?

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5 hours ago, Steve Thomas said:

https://i.postimg.cc/NjQYms4G/amipa-adance-car-and-pilot-car-1.jpg

 

Report from Charles Batchelor to Chief J. E. Curry, November 30, 1963] Page: 21 of 70

Report entry from November 21, 1963

https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth338584/m1/21/?q=Lumpkin

image.png.11d398b8c91ac90bd07356924afc7524.png

Purdue Lawrence testimony to the WC:

I had been told was going to be ahead of this motorcade. I got in my car... I was in uniform, but I was driving a plain car which I drive,… I could hear Chief Curry on channel 2,... . Although I was not given this assignment--I proceeded on this route, and I followed it on down to the Trade Mart.

 

I don't know of Lawrence was driving his own car, or a car he was given by the DPD, but it was a plain one..

He said he could hear Curry on Channel 2, but I don't see a whip antenna. Could he hear Curry on some kind of transistor radio tuned to the proper frequency?

Steve Thomas

Steve,

He was driving a DPD vehicle.  This is in Todd Vaughan's Presidential Motorcade Schematic Listing.  This is probably one of the best for information on the motorcade.  It doesn't go into the detail that I would like, but provides good, basic information.  I use it constantly when dealing with the motorcade events.  I don't agree with Mark on certain things, but overall he is making a tremendous effort to put a visual motorcade presentation together.

Sorry, I can't upload the file.  This is a place where you can see the .pdf and download it.

http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg Subject Index Files/M Disk/Motorcade Route/Item 15.pdf

 

 

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1 hour ago, John Butler said:

Steve,

He was driving a DPD vehicle.

Sorry, I can't upload the file.  This is a place where you can see the .pdf and download it.

http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg Subject Index Files/M Disk/Motorcade Route/Item 15.pdf

 

 

john,

Thanks.

It would be interesting, I think, to learn if the DPD used fleet vehicles, and to learn what make of car they were.

I noticed in Batchelor's report cited above that all the press cars were issued Chevrolets.

I wonder what kind of cars the DPD used. Can you tell from pictures what kind of car Tippit was driving.

I'm wondering if they used Fords, and if there was a connection to the Lincoln Ford dealership that seemed to factor in to so much of the surrounding events.

Steve Thomas

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Steve, all DPD vehicles I've seen (to the best of my recollection) are Ford.  The car Tippit was driving was as well.  I live in GA and can only say that in my area the police & most of the time municipalities as a whole sign agreements with one manufacturer/dealer for all their vehicles in any given purchase cycle.  Over more than one cycle the agreements can be with different manufacturers/dealers, but they tend to go in cycles longer 1 year.

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3 hours ago, Steve Thomas said:

john,

Thanks.

It would be interesting, I think, to learn if the DPD used fleet vehicles, and to learn what make of car they were.

I noticed in Batchelor's report cited above that all the press cars were issued Chevrolets.

I wonder what kind of cars the DPD used. Can you tell from pictures what kind of car Tippit was driving.

I'm wondering if they used Fords, and if there was a connection to the Lincoln Ford dealership that seemed to factor in to so much of the surrounding events.

Steve Thomas

There was at least one Mercury Monterey.  It was the Vice-Presidential security vehicle.  They were mostly Chevies and Fords.  The motorcade listing gives details on each vehicle as to which make they were.

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There is a difference in vehicles used in the "parade" and official DPD daily use vehicles.  The parade used many volunteered vehicles to carry dignitaries/officials.  The actual vehicles owned or leased by the city tended to be from the same source and if my experience is correct, usually more "base" vehicles with few if/any options.  Aftermarket equipment was then installed to equip the vehicle for the specific purpose it was assigned.  Cadillac's were seldom (if ever) stripped down to serve as daily use city vehicles but were more likely to be used as hearses or limousines for the higher level government officials.  This might include as vehicles within the parade, but I don't think it would have been volunteered for a role which had it so far outside the parade that most if not all would not even have recognized it as being part of the parade. 

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23 hours ago, Eddy Bainbridge said:

I would really urge you to avoid discounting the Dictabelt recording too easily. In terms of supporting evidence I would go as far as to say it is a much more robust starting point than the Zapruder film. If you look into the methods used to test the recording used around the HSCA and consider the Statistical Significance of the data it is astonishing. I believe any unbiased scientist would be forced to changed the burden of proof question from ; 'Is this an audio recording of the assassination?' to 'How can this audio recording be seriously challenged?' . You can read essays by Don Thomas on the Mary Ferrell website or get his book 'Hear no evil' for the full story of the significance of the data. He has published rebuttals to attempts to rubbish his conclusions. I cannot effectively rebut your assessment that there is a siren missing, but suggest two possible reasons : There is strong evidence that there are 'jumps' in the dicatabelt recording, probably where the stylus 'jumped'. The other possibility is the directionality of the sound, so that the siren may not have been in a location to be picked up by the microphone.

The dictabelt is very important evidence in this case and should be studied and explained, whichever side of the debate somebody is on.  The 95% probability of a shot from the grassy knoll was entirely dependent on:

  1. The microphone turning the corner onto Elm Street at 11 MPH.
  2. The microphone turning the corner onto Elm Street during the shooting Z160-Z313, and being close to specific points on the map.

Sadly there is no complete film of this sequence to prove point 2 either way, so this is where my animation can help!  I plotted a circle where this microphone needs to be, but for most of the time Z160-Z313 it is pointing to a space not occupied by a car or bike.  Moreover the nearest bike is some considerable distance away (over 100 feet).

Point 1 is also very suspect as the cars and bikes turning that corner average below 10 MPH, especially a bike like McLain's turning the tight inside line which forces the bike down to around 5 MPH.  With no empirical evidence supporting 1 & 2 above the 95% claim ceases to be relevant.  Abstract discussions of sound waves, echo patterns, and probabilities are great, but without concrete data connecting them to Dealey Plaza I have to regard this as a theory unsupported by the known facts.

You rightly say the dictabelt is not a pristine recording and may have momentary glitches, but assessing the audio as a whole, it's very hard to concoct a scenario where the shots were recorded but the sirens were mysteriously absent until 12:33, i.e. over 3 minutes after the shooting stopped.  Having said all of that, my ideas are not set in stone so if a plausible explanation can be found for my objections I'm happy to reconsider things.

On 7/19/2020 at 11:19 AM, Eddy Bainbridge said:

I am very interested in your take on witnesses to shots. Have you considered that the reason witnesses heard different shot sequences was due to their location? Can you see any correlation with this. It is a reasonable supposition that some shots may have been fired from silenced weapons, the effect being to 'narrow' the cone of sound caused by the shot. I have considered that it may be possible to judge where shots came from by the comparing witness testimony with that thought in mind. For example; if we theorize silenced shots came from the knoll,  then were there witnesses within the cone of such a sound wave who heard them, and witnesses outside the cone that did not?

I agree Eddy, the position of the witnesses is crucial to how they interpreted the sounds.  For example Pierce Allman and Tina Towner were standing directly in front of the TSBD and heard three well spaced shots which suggests that those noises came from the sixth floor window (a noisy rifle could not be missed at such close range).  By contrast those people further away from the TSBD seem to have missed some of the shots (perhaps understandably with a noisy motorcade and the siren).  For example James Altgens, Robert Hughes, and Lee Bowers all seemed to miss either the first or last of the bursts of gunfire and they were some distance away from the TSBD.

A silenced rifle, or one fired from within a building would indeed attract far less attention, and as you say only be audible to those within a fairly narrow area around the bullet path.  Interestingly several witnesses mentioned that the rifle on the sixth floor of the TSBD was poking out of the window so those sound waves would have travelled widely around Dealey Plaza, including echoes and reverberations.

I'm skeptical of a concealed gunman on the knoll because there is a lack of positive support for this theory by those witnesses who were closest such as Abraham Zapruder, Marilyn Sitzman, Emmett Hudson, and Charles/Beatrice Hester (and F Lee Mudd assuming he was on the steps with Hudson).

For the sake of balance I should say I'm not completely against all conspiracy theories.  While compiling my witness survey I was intrigued by the several dozen reliable witnesses that insist a shot was fired about a second or two before the head shot.  Not only is this supported by a wide variety of different witnesses in different locations, the Zapruder film exactly matches what the limo driver William Greer said he did in his Warren Commission testimony when he described two shots being fired at and before the head shot (3 seconds after the first shot he heard, which was presumably circa Z220).  Taken at face value these witnesses are the strongest evidence of a second gunman I have so far found as a bolt action gun couldn't be operated three times in those 5 seconds (Z220-Z310) and be expected to hit a moving target twice.  Dismissing this extra shot as echoes doesn't make sense because it occurs before the head shot, not after.

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8 hours ago, Mark Tyler said:

The 95% probability of a shot from the grassy knoll was entirely dependent on:

  1. The microphone turning the corner onto Elm Street at 11 MPH.
  2. The microphone turning the corner onto Elm Street during the shooting Z160-Z313, and being close to specific points on the map.

 

Hi Mark. Thankyou for your extensive reply. I was trying to make a point about the Dictabelt that is more general than the shot location on the knoll. I haven't read about the following information for a long time so please correct errors.

 

1. Shots from a rifle were test fired from the snipers nest.

2. The wave form created by the shots was recorded by microphones along DP.

3. The wave form created by these test shots matched with a high level of significance the wave forms recorded on the dictabelt . A complex form caused by the acoustics of DP.

4. The microphones to which the shots matched were in a sequence that matched the direction of movement of the motorcade ( suggesting the assassination microphone was in the motorcade) and the timing of these matchings significantly indicated the assassination microphone was travelling at the speed of the motorcade.

There is an astonishing correlation between the Dictabelt recording and the assassination. It has received many rubbishings since the HSCA but so far none convincing in my estimation.

Edited by Eddy Bainbridge
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15 hours ago, Eddy Bainbridge said:

Hi Mark. Thankyou for your extensive reply. I was trying to make a point about the Dictabelt that is more general than the shot location on the knoll. I haven't read about the following information for a long time so please correct errors.

 

1. Shots from a rifle were test fired from the snipers nest.

2. The wave form created by the shots was recorded by microphones along DP.

3. The wave form created by these test shots matched with a high level of significance the wave forms recorded on the dictabelt . A complex form caused by the acoustics of DP.

4. The microphones to which the shots matched were in a sequence that matched the direction of movement of the motorcade ( suggesting the assassination microphone was in the motorcade) and the timing of these matchings significantly indicated the assassination microphone was travelling at the speed of the motorcade.

There is an astonishing correlation between the Dictabelt recording and the assassination. It has received many rubbishings since the HSCA but so far none convincing in my estimation.

This is a fair summary of what I have read regarding the dictabelt analysis.  I agree that there is a similar correlation between the timings of the shots on the dictabelt and the events during the assassination, and this is part of why people find it persuasive.

However, the correlation isn't quite perfect relative to the Zapruder film such as:

  • The impulse pattern at around Z157-Z175 (depending on whether you use the shot sequence from the HSCA or Don Thomas) doesn't seem to stimulate a response from the secret service agents or the police on the bikes which is somewhat suspicious.  I would expect them to react in a similar fashion to how they are depicted in the Altgens 6 photo circa Z253-Z255 where they all start looking to the rear to see what is going on after the shot:

Altgens6_Corbis_half_size.jpg

  • The HSCA place the knoll impulse pattern at Z295-Z296.  As I have found, many witnesses did indeed report a shot just before the head shot.  However, William Greer reported that he turned his head immediately after this shot and his initial head turn towards the rear is visible around Z280-Z286 in the Zapruder film which suggests a shot was fired around Z270-Z280 which is 1-1.5 seconds out of sync with the impulse pattern.  The Don Thomas sequence has this impulse event a bit later as he matches it to the Z312 gunshot, so there is no match with this possible event.
  • Don Thomas has an impulse at Z224 which is a closer match to the reactions in the victims Z225-Z230 than the HSCA version at Z188-Z191.  The delay from Z190 to the reaction at Z225-Z230 seems abnormally long considering the seriousness of the victims wounds.  On this basis the Thomas interpretation is more plausible.

Based on these points I would say that the correlation is close, but not quite right.  Coupled with the other problems I've mentioned I feel it means that the microphone wasn't located in Dealey Plaza.

Overall, rather like with the witness evidence, we must either embrace or discard the information from the dictabelt studies (separating the wheat from the chaff you could say).  Nobody wants to throw away useful information, but also nobody wants to be led astray by a seductively plausible red herring.

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  • 4 months later...

I've just published version 2.2 of Motorcade 63, the reference handbook, and the witness survey (which now lists over 400 witnesses):

https://www.marktyler.org/mc63.html

https://www.marktyler.org/mc63/mc63_handbook.pdf

https://www.marktyler.org/mc63/mc63_dpws.csv

I added Virgie Baker to the animation as she gave evidence regarding the first shot hitting the road (corroborated by Royce Skelton).  The animation proves this could only have occurred during Z175-Z215 as the cars blocked her view of the bullet impact zone outside those two seconds (full details are in the handbook appendix E.5).  This matches the cluster of evidence that the first shot was fired near Z185, such as John Connally who heard a shot fired two seconds before he was hit around Z225.  This timing is corroborated by several witnesses such as Gloria Calvery, Karen Westbrook, Phil Willis, and A.J. Millican who were all very close to the Presidential limo when the first shot was fired.

After nearly two years of sitting on the fence regarding this case I have concluded that there were probably two gunman firing shots that day.  It's the only way to properly explain all of the evidence without leaving loose ends.  Especially notable are the pair of shots fired between Z185 and Z225 which could not have both been fired from the gun found in the TSBD in that short space of time.

If you try to shoehorn the evidence into a single gunman firing just three shots then too many corroborated witnesses statements have to be discarded.  Witnesses in this case do make mistakes but typically they are due to a lack of awareness (such as not hearing a shot due to being distracted) or errors of misinterpretation (like Jean Hill thinking she saw a white dog in the limo rather than white flowers).  By contrast, when so many witnesses independently corroborate each other with detailed statements given very soon after the assassination, I accept what they say as having some basis in fact.

If anyone spots errors or omissions feel free to let me know as I'm always happy to improve and fix things!

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