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Dealey Plaza - No grand unified theory


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I was recently reading a forum post where a lone nut believer was teasing conspiracy believers that there was no grand unified conspiracy theory about what happened in Dealey Plaza.  It occurred to me that the lone nut side of the debate is just as split, but regarding when the so-called missed shot was fired.  Although most believe it was fired a few seconds (or more) before the single bullet theory shot circa Z220, they can't agree on exactly when.  Was it Z150, Z166, or even before Zapruder started his camera?  There is no consensus.  Even the Warren Commission back in 1964 didn't know when the missed shot was fired, and they correctly mentioned that various witnesses identified a shot being fired in more than one place other than the Z210 & Z313 shots:

  • Before Z210.
  • Between Z210 and Z313.
  • After Z313.

Overall I think most lone nut theories are wrong because I can find no persuasive evidence that there was a shot fired before Z170, and clear witness evidence of a late shot or shots after Z313 is disregarded without reason (cherry-picking!).  I also think most conspiracy theories about Dealey Plaza are wrong because they are far too complicated to be plausible.  Sadly, I cannot explain what really happened in Dealey Plaza so I conclude that the crime is unsolved and unexplained.  The best I have been able to do is reduce things down to a gunshot pattern that is consistent with the photos, films, and the majority of early witness statements:

  • There were 3 bursts of noisy gunfire (no witnesses heard a fourth burst, although some only heard two).
  • Burst 1 was fired Z180-Z230 and contained one or two audible shots.
  • Burst 2 was fired Z280-Z330 and contained one or two audible shots.
  • Burst 3 was fired Z360-Z400 and contained one or two audible shots.

My current thinking is that Z180-Z230 contained two shots because of the massive disturbance Z190-Z210 which blurs the Z-film (the first gunshot must have really startled Zapruder), but the victims don't react until Z225 and I don't think such serious wounds would have a 2 second delay before a reaction (unless they first reacted behind the sign?).

I'm quite interested to hear what forum members think in terms of the shot sequence they think happened in 1963, and what evidence they use to support their ideas (including how they debunk competing theories).

Lone nut believers - exactly when was the missed shot fired?  What really happened Z180-Z220 before the victims started reacting, and what red herring led me astray in my above scenario?

Conspiracy believers - how many shots were fired, and approximately when relative to the Z-film frame numbers?

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Based on everything I have read about the Big Event, I believe 8 shots were fired.  I can't relate the shots to the Zapruder film- it has been altered too much, in my opinion. I do believe the Zapruder fillm is very significant, though.  And, I don't believe you can use the sound track to determine the number of shots.  Again, I think the sound track is also very important, though. There are people who have said there were 2 or 3 shots in the windshield and other parts of the limo.  There was at least one shot that missed the limo completely. I believe JFK was hit 3 times and Connally twice (based on their wounds and each wound was caused by a unique bullet (there were no magic bullets)).

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2 hours ago, Chuck Schwartz said:

Based on everything I have read about the Big Event, I believe 8 shots were fired.

Coincidentally, one of the witnesses (AJ Millican), did refer to 8 shots being fired:

"Just after the President's car passed, I heard three shots come from up toward Houston and Elm right by the Book Depository Building, and then immediately I heard two more shots come from the Arcade between the Book Store and the Underpass, and then three more shots came from the same direction only sounded further back."

19H486 - https://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh19/html/WH_Vol19_0252b.htm

Millican was standing just to the west of a lamppost visible in the Z-film (wearing his shiny helmet, between the sprocket holes, just to the right of the lamppost):

z151.jpg

By Z186 the limo has just about passed this lamppost as shown by the Betzner photo and the synchronous Z-film frame:

Betzner_Large.jpg

z186.jpg

Therefore his testimony means that the first shot he heard must have come around here or later.  Other witnesses standing near him, such as Gloria Calvery and Karen Westbrook corroborate the limo position when the first shot was fired.  As I mentioned in the opening post, this eliminates the possibility of an early missed shot before Z170.

Another interesting feature of what Millican said was that he seems to bunch the shots into three separate parts.  Sadly he gave no timing information, but it's safe to assume the first burst of shots he heard resulted in JFK & Connally being hit, with JFK receiving the head shot in the second or third burst.

2 hours ago, Chuck Schwartz said:

I can't relate the shots to the Zapruder film- it has been altered too much, in my opinion. I do believe the Zapruder fillm is very significant, though.

What sort of modifications do you think occurred to the film, and what parts can be used as reliable evidence?  Or maybe it's so tainted you think it's useless as evidence?

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I think Bang .....Bang-Bang is so commonly reported that this pattern must lead to part of the truth. I believe silenced weapons (i.e weapons producing a restricted cone of sound) and echos have caused the conflicts. I am a firm believer in small film alteration. I think no more than 2 secs have been removed around Z309-Z350 and some masking around this time to JFK's head. Quick to make alterations. The turn has also likely been removed. (see Chris Davidson)

I think more work assuming silenced weapons and fitting testimony to the alleged sniper positions might lead to a stronger theory.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Eddy Bainbridge said:

I think Bang .....Bang-Bang is so commonly reported that this pattern must lead to part of the truth. 

I strongly agree EB.

Very commonly reported. Even by Kellerman I believe.

So, Harold Ray Norman ( who reportedly was just feet below the shooter in the 6th floor widow)  testified that he heard 3 shots. 

"Boom - click-click, BOOM - click click, BOOM - click-click."

3 shells were found on the floor just below the snipers perch window.

Pretty convincing evidence that three shots were fired.

And dozens if not hundreds of Dealey Plaza ear witnesses reported they heard three shots, with half or more of them describing their sequence with the "Bam...Bam Bam" imitation.

With the last two being so close together, there was no way a shooter could get a bolt action rifle to work that fast.

The WC concluded that only two shots hit JFK, Connally or any part of the limo.

Which means according to Norman and the three "hulls" found on the floor above him that one of the three shots missed not only JFK and Connolly, but the entire limo?

Some expert marksman that shooter...no?

Edited by Joe Bauer
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Mark , I believe the Zapruder is useful as evidence.  I just believe there were 2 head shots to JFK that were not fully revealed in the Zapruder film we have now.  I believe the 2 head shots to JFK were from the front and to the side (s) - I believe the grassy knoll.  I don't believe LHO killed JFK  and wounded Connally- in fact, I don't believe he shot anything on that day. He was just the patsy. 

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2 hours ago, Eddy Bainbridge said:

I think Bang .....Bang-Bang is so commonly reported that this pattern must lead to part of the truth. I believe silenced weapons (i.e weapons producing a restricted cone of sound) and echos have caused the conflicts. I am a firm believer in small film alteration. I think no more than 2 secs have been removed around Z309-Z350 and some masking around this time to JFK's head. Quick to make alterations. The turn has also likely been removed. (see Chris Davidson)

I agree Eddy, that pattern is so common in the witness statements it must feature somewhere in the shot sequence.  If just three audible shots were fired then the final gap needs to be shorter than the first gap due to the large number of witnesses mentioning it.  A few witnesses mentioned that the shots were equidistant, but I think they are a minority.  Using my burst theory earlier, audible shots at Z185, Z310, Z372 would qualify as the gaps would be 6.8 and 3.4 seconds.  As I recall several witnesses mentioned the first gap was roughly twice as long as the second, so this matches that pattern.  For example Arnold Rowland mentioned gaps of 5-8 seconds and 2-3 seconds.  He slightly changed his views on the timings between 1963 and 1964 (between his early statements and Warren Commission testimony), but the time ratio was close enough to 2:1 in both cases:

https://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh19/html/WH_Vol19_0256b.htm

https://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh2/html/WC_Vol2_0094a.htm

The other possibility with the Bang .....Bang-Bang pattern is that the witnesses who mentioned it only heard some of the shots.  For example Mary Moorman mentioned this pattern, but to her ears the head shot was the first shot which exactly matched the time she took here photo:

At about 9:25 in the video she says the three shots she heard went: POW....POW-POW, with the first POW being when she took her photo at Z315.  Interestingly she then said that the second shot caused JFK's hair to jump, so presumably this supports the double head shot theories.

2 hours ago, Eddy Bainbridge said:

I think more work assuming silenced weapons and fitting testimony to the alleged sniper positions might lead to a stronger theory.

A weapon that is silenced could well explain some of the witness contradictions, as some witnesses would be positioned in a way that they could hear something whereas others would miss it entirely.  The other form of silencing would be if two audible shots were fired in quick succession (e.g. within a second).  Some witnesses may have heard both shots distinctly, but others maybe thought that the second noise was merely an echo of the first.

Alternatively, lone nut believers have told me that the witnesses reporting multiple rapid shots were confused by echoes.

Discussions of film alterations are very popular on the forum lately!  In my work I've not discovered any obvious sign of tampering of the Z-film or any of the other films/photos, but then again I'm only using the lower quality versions available on the web so I'm not in a position to certify things either way.

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1 hour ago, James DiEugenio said:

Speaking of these frames, does anyone have a good digital copy of the Zapruder film?

 

Not sure what you mean by "digitized" since I thought anything online was essentially digitized. But new-fangled technology is not my forte. 

This is a frame-by-frame layout: 

https://www.assassinationresearch.com/v2n2/zfilm/zframe290.html

This takes you to Z-290, but scroll down and you have all the frames. 

 

Somewhere out on the internet-Youtube is a Z-film that has been stabilized with John Connally in the center.  I could kick myself for losing the link. If any readers know what I am referring to....

Watching this version of the Z-film, you see (more clearly) that Connally turns around and looks for JFK, after JFK appears to have been shot in the neck.  Connally certainly appears uninjured after the first shot hit JFK, which is course how Connally and his wife recounted the situation. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Mark Tyler said:

I was recently reading a forum post where a lone nut believer was teasing conspiracy believers that there was no grand unified conspiracy theory about what happened in Dealey Plaza.  It occurred to me that the lone nut side of the debate is just as split, but regarding when the so-called missed shot was fired.  Although most believe it was fired a few seconds (or more) before the single bullet theory shot circa Z220, they can't agree on exactly when.  Was it Z150, Z166, or even before Zapruder started his camera?  There is no consensus.  Even the Warren Commission back in 1964 didn't know when the missed shot was fired, and they correctly mentioned that various witnesses identified a shot being fired in more than one place other than the Z210 & Z313 shots:

  • Before Z210.
  • Between Z210 and Z313.
  • After Z313.

Overall I think most lone nut theories are wrong because I can find no persuasive evidence that there was a shot fired before Z170, and clear witness evidence of a late shot or shots after Z313 is disregarded without reason (cherry-picking!).  I also think most conspiracy theories about Dealey Plaza are wrong because they are far too complicated to be plausible.  Sadly, I cannot explain what really happened in Dealey Plaza so I conclude that the crime is unsolved and unexplained.  The best I have been able to do is reduce things down to a gunshot pattern that is consistent with the photos, films, and the majority of early witness statements:

  • There were 3 bursts of noisy gunfire (no witnesses heard a fourth burst, although some only heard two).
  • Burst 1 was fired Z180-Z230 and contained one or two audible shots.
  • Burst 2 was fired Z280-Z330 and contained one or two audible shots.
  • Burst 3 was fired Z360-Z400 and contained one or two audible shots.

My current thinking is that Z180-Z230 contained two shots because of the massive disturbance Z190-Z210 which blurs the Z-film (the first gunshot must have really startled Zapruder), but the victims don't react until Z225 and I don't think such serious wounds would have a 2 second delay before a reaction (unless they first reacted behind the sign?).

I'm quite interested to hear what forum members think in terms of the shot sequence they think happened in 1963, and what evidence they use to support their ideas (including how they debunk competing theories).

Lone nut believers - exactly when was the missed shot fired?  What really happened Z180-Z220 before the victims started reacting, and what red herring led me astray in my above scenario?

Conspiracy believers - how many shots were fired, and approximately when relative to the Z-film frame numbers?

As mentioned by others, you have some confusing possibilities.

1. A relatively quiet weapon. 

2. The speed of sound is ~1,125 feet per second. To state the obvious, if a witness is ~140 feet from one weapon, but ~280 feet from a second weapon,  and the first weapon is fired ~1/8th of second after the second weapon, the witness will honestly hear one shot. 

3. Echoes.

4. What is interesting is that some witnesses right outside the TSBD, standing side-by-side by others, heard shots from the Grassy Knoll area, while others thought the shots came from above. 

For me, the key has been that so many witnesses (including veterans and cops) smelled telltale gunsmoke in the Dealey Plaza, down by the Grassy Knoll, in the immediate aftermath of the JFKA. Ergo, there was gunfire in the immediate region. 

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Mark Tyler said:

A few witnesses mentioned that the shots were equidistant, but I think they are a minority.  Using my burst theory earlier, audible shots at Z185, Z310, Z372 would qualify as the gaps would be 6.8 and 3.4 seconds.  

Hickey regarding the last two shots: "such rapid succession that there seemed to be practically no time element between them"

Kellerman  regarding the flurry: "You have heard the sound barrier, of a plane breaking the sound barrier, bang, bang? That is it."

Landis actually heard the flurry (when the "President's head split open") as one shot, which gives us an idea how close together they were.

Bennett said the second shot of the flurry "followed immediately"

McIntyre said the last two shots were in "quick succession".

In other words, from the location of above SS agents, the sound-waves from two different weapons hit their eardrums almost simultaneously, or a single weapon that could rapid fire in very quick order. But since other earwitnesses from different parts of the plaza heard more of a gap in the flurry, the odds are that there were two different weapons in two different locations.

Both McIntyre and Landis said it was 5 seconds between the first sound they heard and the last sound they heard.

Edited by Tony Krome
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I can confirm that the delay in response to a noxious impact to the skin (not mentioning the  impact of a gunshot) of 2 seconds is an order longer than the electrophysiological data in healthy humans. A noxious stimulus impacting the skin will cause a brain response within 200 ms (actually the first cortical response can be seen as early as 140-160 ms) and an involuntary motor response to noxious impact occurs in about the same latency (around 200 ms or shorter). This early response is called the motor withdrawal reaction and it is mediated by the spinal cord. Thus, if there was an abrupt motion artefact in Zapruder film and a visible motor response occurred only 2 seconds later, we speak about two shots of which the first perhaps missed.

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