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What could Lee Bower see from his tower?


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Working on reexamining witness testimony in Dealey Plaza I came across Lee Bower.  Earlier I had looked at his statements and did not see anything I considered important about the presidential motorcade.  Roughly, he said he did not see the p. limo during the assassination.

On reexamination I had to ask why.  Here is what I think Lee Bower could see from his railroad tower:

the-view-of-dallas-and-the-book-deposito

Is this basically correct?  He might have been able to see the motorcade as it turned onto Houston.  But IMO, it would have been impossible to see where the red lines are indicating.

Edited by John Butler
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IMO, It would have been hard for Bower to see the limo after it had started down the free way, approach due to the fall of the lay of the land below the grassy knoll.

He may have been able to get a glance at the limo as it turned from Houston street into Elm St, but it would have been very fleeting.

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This is a photo that  I got from the internet from I think it was Mark Oakes, not sure.   Someone actually went inside the tower and this is the photo he took. Hope it helps.

bowers.jpg

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1 hour ago, Kathy Beckett said:

This is a photo that  I got from the internet from I think it was Mark Oakes, not sure.   Someone actually went inside the tower and this is the photo he took. Hope it helps.

bowers.jpg

Thanks Ray, Thanks Kathy,

What Lee Bower could see and not see?  This is made fairly clear in Bower’s April 2, 1964 WC testimony:

…“Mr. BALL - Were you in a position where you could see the corner of Elm and Houston from the tower?
Mr. BOWERS - No; I could not see the corner of Elm and Houston. I could see the corner of Main and Houston as they came down and turned on, then I couldn't see it for about half a block, and after they passed the corner of Elm and Houston the car came in sight again.
Mr. BALL - You saw the President's car coming out the Houston Street from Main, did you?
Mr. BOWERS - Yes; I saw that.
Mr. BALL - Then you lost sight of it?
Mr. BOWERS - Right. For a moment.
Mr. BALL - Then you saw it again where?
Mr. BOWERS - It came in sight after it had turned the corner of Elm and Houston.
Mr. BALL - Did you hear anything?
Mr. BOWERS - I heard three shots. One, then a slight pause, then two very close together. Also reverberation from the shots.
Mr. BELIN - And were you able to form an opinion as to the source of the sound or what direction it came from, I mean?
Mr. BOWERS - The sounds came either from up against the School Depository Building or near the mouth of the triple underpass.
Mr. BALL - Were you able to tell which?
Mr. BOWERS - No; I could not.”...

And,

…”Mr. BALL - When you heard the sound, which way were you looking?
Mr. BOWERS - At the moment I heard the sound, I was looking directly towards the area---at the moment of the first shot, as close as my recollection serves, the car was out of sight behind this decorative masonry wall in the area.
Mr. BALL - And when you heard the second and third shot, could you see the car?
Mr. BOWERS - No; at the moment of the shots, I could---I do not think that it was in sight. It came in sight immediately following the last shot.”

Based on what Lee Bowers said I drew these lines to indicate what he could see.  From Lee Bower’s tower one cannot see in front of the TSBD.  And, it is difficult to see vehicles on Houston Street due to the decorative, retaining wall of the Arcade.  From what Lee Bower said in his WC testimony then the p. limo was on Houston Street hidden behind the decorative, retaining wall of the Arcade for the first shot.  The next two shots occurred when the limousine was behind the TSBD and out of sight.  The p. limo must have come out from behind the TSBD after the last two shots.  My drawing is incorrect as deduced by Ray Mitcham.

the-view-of-dallas-and-the-book-deposito

Kathy’s photo is pretty vague.  I think I can see the Federal Annex, the white building on the left.  Ray’s comment on not being able to see Elm Street seems to be good. 

Here's a better copy perhaps:

lee-bowers-view-from-tower.jpg

There's a very narrow window which he perhaps could have seen Elm Street where the arrow points.  Ray's right you can't see anything on Elm Street pass that point.

So, if Bowers saw the p. limo just after the shooting it must have been over to the left just as the p. limo left the cover of the TSBD. 

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6 hours ago, John Butler said:

Thanks Ray, Thanks Kathy,

What Lee Bower could see and not see?  This is made fairly clear in Bower’s April 2, 1964 WC testimony:

…“Mr. BALL - Were you in a position where you could see the corner of Elm and Houston from the tower?
Mr. BOWERS - No; I could not see the corner of Elm and Houston. I could see the corner of Main and Houston as they came down and turned on, then I couldn't see it for about half a block, and after they passed the corner of Elm and Houston the car came in sight again.
Mr. BALL - You saw the President's car coming out the Houston Street from Main, did you?
Mr. BOWERS - Yes; I saw that.
Mr. BALL - Then you lost sight of it?
Mr. BOWERS - Right. For a moment.
Mr. BALL - Then you saw it again where?
Mr. BOWERS - It came in sight after it had turned the corner of Elm and Houston.
Mr. BALL - Did you hear anything?
Mr. BOWERS - I heard three shots. One, then a slight pause, then two very close together. Also reverberation from the shots.
Mr. BELIN - And were you able to form an opinion as to the source of the sound or what direction it came from, I mean?
Mr. BOWERS - The sounds came either from up against the School Depository Building or near the mouth of the triple underpass.
Mr. BALL - Were you able to tell which?
Mr. BOWERS - No; I could not.”...

And,

…”Mr. BALL - When you heard the sound, which way were you looking?
Mr. BOWERS - At the moment I heard the sound, I was looking directly towards the area---at the moment of the first shot, as close as my recollection serves, the car was out of sight behind this decorative masonry wall in the area.
Mr. BALL - And when you heard the second and third shot, could you see the car?
Mr. BOWERS - No; at the moment of the shots, I could---I do not think that it was in sight. It came in sight immediately following the last shot.”

Based on what Lee Bowers said I drew these lines to indicate what he could see.  From Lee Bower’s tower one cannot see in front of the TSBD.  And, it is difficult to see vehicles on Houston Street due to the decorative, retaining wall of the Arcade.  From what Lee Bower said in his WC testimony then the p. limo was on Houston Street hidden behind the decorative, retaining wall of the Arcade for the first shot.  The next two shots occurred when the limousine was behind the TSBD and out of sight.  The p. limo must have come out from behind the TSBD after the last two shots.  My drawing is incorrect as deduced by Ray Mitcham.

the-view-of-dallas-and-the-book-deposito

Kathy’s photo is pretty vague.  I think I can see the Federal Annex, the white building on the left.  Ray’s comment on not being able to see Elm Street seems to be good. 

Here's a better copy perhaps:

lee-bowers-view-from-tower.jpg

There's a very narrow window which he perhaps could have seen Elm Street where the arrow points.  Ray's right you can't see anything on Elm Street pass that point.

So, if Bowers saw the p. limo just after the shooting it must have been over to the left just as the p. limo left the cover of the TSBD. 

This last picture is deceptive in the clarity of what Lee Bowers saw Behind the fence.  His view was much clearer than this.  Stood beneath it and looked, took pictures myself.  What he saw of the limo turning onto Houston from Main, onto Elm and of the effects of any shots would have been fleeting.  What he could see behind the fence at the time and before is important.  What he might have seen afterwards in the parking lot and along the fence line as well as in the rail yard and the overpass are too.  The lack of proper questions of him are a classic example of why Walt Brown called it the Warren Omission.   

He had a cup of coffee at a café mid morning so he should have been alert.  After he ran off the road into the culvert his wife said "they told him to quit talking".

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I seem to have heard a story somewhere that the train car that the infamous "...three tramps..." were captured in was filled with shipping boxes of DuPont manufactured trinitrotoluene (TNT).

The trains go over the parade route.

I have often wondered if, by some miracle, President Kennedy survived the volley-fire from the independent shooter teams, was there a contingency to blow up the Triple Underpass?  

Certainly, if Orlando Bosch “Dr. Death” Ávila or his friend Luis “El Bambi” Clemente Faustino Posada Carriles “AMCLEVE-15” were present anywhere near the kill zone of Elm Street, they were not there as observers.

Those men were revolutionary experts in the art of demolitions, trained by the United States Army Rangers and Special Forces in assassination tactics involving bombs.

Just a thought, but William Averell Harriman owned a sizable amount of Union Pacific Railroad's physical liquid assets, did he not?

And W. Averell Harriman drafted "DEPTEL 243", which authorized the assassinations of Ngô Đình Diem and Ngô Đình Nhu just twenty days before President Kennedy is murdered?

And President Kennedy is murdered right under some Union Pacific Railroad cars?

And United States Army Reserve Major General Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. and United States Navy Reserve Commander Richard Milhous Nixon are both in close proximity to both events and network with the bulk of the major suspects in both murders?

Two men firmly in the pockets of United Fruit Company's investors and both men lost to Senator Kennedy during the 1960 election.

Small world and Lee Edward Bowers Jr.'s brief glimpse into it cost him his life...  

 

Edited by Robert Montenegro
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16 hours ago, John Butler said:

Working on reexamining witness testimony in Dealey Plaza I came across Lee Bower.  Earlier I had looked at his statements and did not see anything I considered important about the presidential motorcade.  Roughly, he said he did not see the p. limo during the assassination.

I agree John, during the shooting he did not see the Presidential limo, but he did give some very interesting information in his Warren Commission testimony as you quoted and also in the film "Rush to Judgment":

The "decorative masonry" he is describing seems to block his view of the limo for about 8 seconds.  If you draw a line from his position in the tower onto Elm Street we see that the limo disappeared from his view circa Z254, and then reappeared at around Z400.  The first shot Bowers heard was after it had disappeared so this point in time must have been after Z254 (i.e. he missed any shots fired earlier).  As a visual aid here is where I place this in my animation using a purple area:

mc63-2-1-bowers1.png

Finally he mentioned that the last two shots occurred on top of each other when the limo re-appeared, which is about Z400 judging from the animation:

mc63-2-1-bowers2.png

By missing the first shot(s), he might be indicating that the first shot was either quieter or was obscured by crowd noise or some other distraction from his slightly distant position?  A few other witnesses also missed the earlier shot(s), including Robert Hughes and Mary Moorman.  Understanding that many witnesses missed the first or last shot is crucial to properly understanding the disagreements between witnesses regarding the shots and their timing.  Crack that, and the witness accounts start to become much clearer and have fewer discrepancies.

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The most important aspect of Bowers' testimony is the sighting of these three vehicles driving around the area.  If they were innocent surely you would expect one or more to have come forward to give some innocent explanation of their presence.  As that has never happened this gives further weight to nefarious activity behind the knoll.

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9 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

This last picture is deceptive in the clarity of what Lee Bowers saw Behind the fence.  His view was much clearer than this.  Stood beneath it and looked, took pictures myself.  What he saw of the limo turning onto Houston from Main, onto Elm and of the effects of any shots would have been fleeting.  What he could see behind the fence at the time and before is important.  What he might have seen afterwards in the parking lot and along the fence line as well as in the rail yard and the overpass are too.  The lack of proper questions of him are a classic example of why Walt Brown called it the Warren Omission.   

He had a cup of coffee at a café mid morning so he should have been alert.  After he ran off the road into the culvert his wife said "they told him to quit talking".

Thanks Ron,

You make good points. 

20 hours ago, John Butler said:

Earlier I had looked at his statements and did not see anything I considered important about the presidential motorcade. 

I understand what he saw in the parking lot is very important.  It is unfortunate that nothing came of it.  That story has been gone over several times and that was not the thing I was looking for when I first read Lee Bower's testimony.  I was interested in if he saw where the p. limo was when he heard shooting.  I missed it entirely. 

His Warren Commission testimony is a bit suspicious in not mentioning Houston Street, Elm Street, and the intersection in any clear way. 

9 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

…”Mr. BALL - When you heard the sound, which way were you looking?
Mr. BOWERS - At the moment I heard the sound, I was looking directly towards the area---at the moment of the first shot, as close as my recollection serves, the car was out of sight behind this decorative masonry wall in the area.
Mr. BALL - And when you heard the second and third shot, could you see the car?
Mr. BOWERS - No; at the moment of the shots, I could---I do not think that it was in sight. It came in sight immediately following the last shot.”

I am assembling a list of witnesses who saw the p. limo in the intersection and in front of the TSBD when they heard shooting.  He will become number 57 on the list based on this testimony.  Ray Mitcham hit on a good point that Mark Tyler is now pointing to.  Here's a new photo suggesting this is what Lee Bower could see of the TSBD, the intersection, and Elm Street.

  lee-bowers-viewing-area-of-assassination 

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1 hour ago, Pete Mellor said:

The most important aspect of Bowers' testimony is the sighting of these three vehicles driving around the area.  If they were innocent surely you would expect one or more to have come forward to give some innocent explanation of their presence.  As that has never happened this gives further weight to nefarious activity behind the knoll.

Thanks Pete,

I agree.  But, it is also important to know what he knew of the presidential motorcade at the moment of the assassination.

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Yes Pete, agree.

Incredibly detailed physical descriptions of the vehicles and the men driving them.

Including what sounds like ear pieces, radio or walkie talkie type devices with at least one driver talking into one while driving through the lot directly in front of Bowers.

Goldwater bumper sticker on at least one of the unusual acting vehicles which sparks at least a tinge of suspicion that whoever owned this vehicle was a right wing political person and we all know what the right wing types thought of JFK.

And no government agency ever came forward to claim ownership of these vehicles doing obvious surveillance of the lot.

And one must also remember Lee Bower's fairly clear description of the two men milling next to the picket fence in his WC testimony.

Mr. BALL - Now, were there any people standing on the high side---high ground between your tower and where Elm Street goes down under the underpass toward the mouth of the underpass?
Mr. BOWERS - Directly in line, towards the mouth of the underpass, there were two men. One man, middle-aged, or slightly older, fairly heavy-set, in a white shirt, fairly dark trousers. Another younger man, about mid-twenties, in either a PLAID SHIRT or plaid coat or jacket.


Bower's clothing description of this mid-twenties man coincidently matches in one very specific way Julian Ann Mercer's description of the clothing worn by the "younger" twentyish man she witnessed leaving the stalled air conditioning truck below the grassy knoll two hours earlier and carrying what looked to Mercer to be a "gun case" up to the top of the knoll where she didn't see this younger man return before she was finally able to move on in traffic.

Mercer stated in her truth sworn Dallas County Sheriff's affidavit taken the afternoon of 11,22,1963 that the young man she saw leave the stalled Elm Street truck and carry a gun bag or case up to the knoll top was wearing a "PLAID SHIRT."

So we have "two" sworn eyewitness's stating they both saw a "younger man" wearing a "plaid shirt" ( or "jacket" as Bowers also described) in the area above the grassy knoll.

Mercer's plaid shirt wearing younger man toting a "gun case" was seen by her ascending up to the same exact area where Lee Bowers saw another plaid shirt wearing younger man an hour or two later.

Coincidence?  Scanning all the Dealey Plaza crowd photo's and film before and up to JFK's motorcade arrival, I'll guess not "one" of the hundreds of people in all the pictures was wearing a distinct checkered or plaid shirt or jacket.

A plaid top would stand out because it's a quite uncommon clothing item.

It's something I would expect an outdoorsman type would wear on a fishing or hunting trip. Kind of an L.L. Bean or Pendleton shirt affair.

Oh, and another thing. This photo looking out the train tower room Bower's sat in is clearly taken many years later than 1963. Notice the vehicles in the lot? Much newer models. Mini-pickups included. When did small pick up trucks first come out?

And the trees along the picket fence are much more grown out than they were in 1963.

They obscure the fence much more than 1963 when they weren't so full in leaf and canopy growth.

Bowers could see the entire bodies of the men he described standing next to the picket fence much more clearly than if they were standing there when this later photo from Bower's tower was taken.

 

 

Edited by Joe Bauer
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4 hours ago, Mark Tyler said:

I agree John, during the shooting he did not see the Presidential limo, but he did give some very interesting information in his Warren Commission testimony as you quoted and also in the film "Rush to Judgment":

Mark,

I agree with your first graphic, but not so much with the second.  If you read his WC testimony he mentions not being able to see the p. limo behind a decorative, masonary wall directly after mentioning being able to see the p. limo after the turn onto Houston Street from Main. 

16 hours ago, John Butler said:

…“Mr. BALL - Were you in a position where you could see the corner of Elm and Houston from the tower?
Mr. BOWERS - No; I could not see the corner of Elm and Houston. I could see the corner of Main and Houston as they came down and turned on, then I couldn't see it for about half a block, and after they passed the corner of Elm and Houston the car came in sight again.
Mr. BALL - You saw the President's car coming out the Houston Street from Main, did you?
Mr. BOWERS - Yes; I saw that.
Mr. BALL - Then you lost sight of it?
Mr. BOWERS - Right. For a moment.
Mr. BALL - Then you saw it again where?
Mr. BOWERS - It came in sight after it had turned the corner of Elm and Houston.
Mr. BALL - Did you hear anything?
Mr. BOWERS - I heard three shots. One, then a slight pause, then two very close together. Also reverberation from the shots.

This testimony and other testimony puts the action on Houston Street, the intersection, and in front of the TSBD.  The next part of his testimony is fairly clear even though I feel he is trying to obfuscate what he is saying.

16 hours ago, John Butler said:

Mr. BALL - When you heard the sound, which way were you looking?
Mr. BOWERS - At the moment I heard the sound, I was looking directly towards the area---at the moment of the first shot, as close as my recollection serves, the car was out of sight behind this decorative masonry wall in the area.
Mr. BALL - And when you heard the second and third shot, could you see the car?
Mr. BOWERS - No; at the moment of the shots, I could---I do not think that it was in sight. It came in sight immediately following the last shot.”

Ron Bulman had a great comment:

9 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

He had a cup of coffee at a café mid morning so he should have been alert.  After he ran off the road into the culvert his wife said "they told him to quit talking".

 

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8 hours ago, Robert Montenegro said:

I seem to have heard a story somewhere that the train car that the infamous "...three tramps..." were captured in was filled with shipping boxes of DuPont manufactured trinitrotoluene (TNT).

The trains go over the parade route.

I have often wondered if, by some miracle, President Kennedy survived the volley-fire from the independent shooter teams, was there a contingency to blow up the Triple Underpass?  

Certainly, if Orlando Bosch “Dr. Death” Ávila or his friend Luis “El Bambi” Clemente Faustino Posada Carriles “AMCLEVE-15” were present anywhere near the kill zone of Elm Street, they were not there as observers.

Those men were revolutionary experts in the art of demolitions, trained by the United States Army Rangers and Special Forces in assassination tactics involving bombs.

Just a thought, but William Averell Harriman owned a sizable amount of Union Pacific Railroad's physical liquid assets, did he not?

And W. Averell Harriman drafted "DEPTEL 243", which authorized the assassinations of Ngô Đình Diem and Ngô Đình Nhu just twenty days before President Kennedy is murdered?

And President Kennedy is murdered right under some Union Pacific Railroad cars?

And United States Army Reserve Major General Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. and United States Navy Reserve Commander Richard Milhous Nixon are both in close proximity to both events and network with the bulk of the major suspects in both murders?

Two men firmly in the pockets of United Fruit Company's investors and both men lost to Senator Kennedy during the 1960 election.

Small world and Lee Edward Bowers Jr.'s brief glimpse into it cost him his life...  

 

Thanks Robert,

You make many good points on a train in Dealey Plaza.

"And President Kennedy is murdered right under some Union Pacific Railroad cars?"

This is a bitter argument that is called the Train Game.  I call it the Ghost Train of Dealey Plaza.  Most people deny that there was a train on the tracks during the assassination.  The two policemen on the tracks eventually said there was a train there.  Officer White first off and Officer Foster said so later after denying a train was there.  I have no reason to not believe what they said.

This comes from a Chauncy Holt video.  Chauncey Holt said he was ordered onto the train in a box car after the shooting.  (I think he was there from the beginning)  He knew there was explosives in the car and he was praying they, the unknown they, would not blow it up and make a patsy of him and two others in his team.  There's a photo of Chauncy Holt, Bill Shelley, and Oswald in New Orleans.  I call it the 3 patsy photo because of this.

This video came just before Holt died and he knew he was dying of cancer, I believe.  I got the impression he was confessing to being in that boxcar on the train that was on the Triple Underpass during the assassination.  I got the impression he was one of the shooters.  He didn't say it or vaguely imply it.  But, Holt was a career criminal who would never make an admission of guilt for a chargeable offense.  He did imply that early on he was an assassin for the crime bosses. 

 

Edited by John Butler
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31 minutes ago, Joe Bauer said:

Coincidence?  Scanning all the Dealey Plaza crowd photo's and film before and up to JFK's motorcade arrival, I'll guess not "one" of the hundreds of people in all the pictures was wearing a distinct checkered or plaid shirt or jacket.

A plaid top would stand out because it's a quite uncommon clothing item.

One possible red plaid shirt could be the chap standing by Emmett Hudson, visible in the Muchmore film:

Hudson-Mudd.jpg

Maybe he was wearing something like this:

red-plaid-shirt.jpg

@Pat Speer did some good work on this a while back and suggests that this was F Lee Mudd:

It is written up in detail here:

http://www.patspeer.com/chapter7:morepiecesofthepuzzle

Pat helpfully quotes the original interview from Rush to Judgment where Bowers gives some more details:

1966 interview with Mark Lane, from a transcript of the interview found in the papers of Rush to Judgment director Emilo de Antonio at the Wisconsin Historical Archives, and published online by Dale Myers, 2004)) (When asked if there were any pedestrians between his location and Elm Street) "Directly in line - uh - there - of course is - uh - there leading toward the Triple Underpass there is a curved decorative wall - I guess you'd call it - it's not a solid wall but it is part of the - uh - park....And to the west of that there were - uh - at the time of the shooting in my vision only two men. Uh - these two men were - uh - standing back from the street somewhat at the top of the incline and were very near - er - two trees which were in the area...And one of them, from time to time as he walked back and forth, uh - disappeared behind a wooden fence which is also slightly to the west of that. Uh - these two men to the best of my knowledge were standing there - uh - at the time - of the shooting...Ah - one of them, as I recall, was a middle-aged man, fairly heavy-set with - what looked like a white shirt. Uh - he remained in sight practically all of the time. The other individual was uh - slighter build and had either a plaid jacket or a plaid shirt on and he - uh -is walking back and forth was in and out of sight, so that I could not state for sure whether he was standing there at the time of the shots or not..."

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35 minutes ago, John Butler said:

I agree with your first graphic, but not so much with the second.  If you read his WC testimony he mentions not being able to see the p. limo behind a decorative, masonary wall directly after mentioning being able to see the p. limo after the turn onto Houston Street from Main. 

There are several pieces of decorative masonry around Dealey Plaza so you are right to dig for more info.  Helpfully Bowers goes into more detail in the original transcript I quoted in my previous post where he mentions:

2 minutes ago, Mark Tyler said:

"Directly in line - uh - there - of course is - uh - there leading toward the Triple Underpass there is a curved decorative wall - I guess you'd call it - it's not a solid wall but it is part of the - uh - park....And to the west of that there were - uh - at the time of the shooting in my vision only two men.

This places the men he is describing just to the west of the curved wall (also called a pergola, arcade, or colonnade by others), and also means that the limo emerged at this point.  This is a bit tricky to be certain from a verbal account but I think this is what he means (let me know if you disagree).

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