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New Photographic Proof: Todd's Initials on 399!


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First, there is nothing suspicious about the NIST doing the scans of the cartridges. It is part of an effort to make the evidence more accessible. Cliff Spiegelman knew the people who ran this project and vouched for them. I have not yet read Steve's piece but prior experience has been that Roe and his other WC supporters tend use a different evidentiary standard when evaluating evidence of a conspiracy vs evidence that supports the official conclusion. Despite this, Roe does occasionally come up with a good find. I'll have to read the article before further opining. Of course,  the initials are just one part of the chain of custody problem.   

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5 hours ago, W. Niederhut said:

Yes and no.  It depends on whether the "bad apple" is an essential premise of an explanatory theory.

It is much easier to debunk a theory based on empirical evidence than to definitively prove one-- something that requires confirmation by all of the known evidence.

From the philosophy of science, we know that a single false, essential premise/fact effectively invalidates a theory.

This is, certainly, true in the case of the Warren Commission's Lone Assassin-in-the-TSBD theory.

That theory is effectively debunked by a wide array of scientific facts-- e.g., ballistic, acoustic, and video evidence.

But, on the flip side, what comprehensive, alternative theory of JFK's assassination by Oliver Stone, DiEugenio, et.al., has been debunked?  None.

 

 

 

I agree that there is a substantial difference between CT nonsense and LN nonsense. I believe the single-bullet theory has been debunked, or at least proven highly unlikely. That pretty much destroys the single-assassin (or LN) theory. Whether or not Todd's initials are on the bullet is on the other hand a minor data point that proves nothing in and of itself. 

My concern, however, is that people inclined to embrace the LN perspective blow things like this way out of proportion, and see the debunking of one data point as a debunking of the whole film. I think (scratch that...know) that CTs should learn to let things like this go. Instead, the reluctance to admit they may be in error on a minor point tarnishes an outsider's perception of all their points. That's just a fact. I know for certain, for example, that when John McAdams was approached about debating me on the JFK evidence, that he orchestrated things so he could debate David Wrone instead. Why? Well, Wrone is one of those who could never never let go of the idea it's Oswald in the Altgens photo, and not Lovelady. And McAdams knew he could use this to make himself seem like the reasonable one. 

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Since CE 399 is just another prop in the rather boring  OSSI DID IT play, I don't care who's initials are on it.  Or any iniials at all. I am more interested in disapearing initials, for exampel: Judyth Vary Bakers initials on Oswalds Reily Coffee Companie  timecards which are visible on the Ossi-timcards uploaded by the National Archives and dissapeard in the timecard versions uploaded by the Mary Ferell Foundation.

Edited by Karl Kinaski
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Pat, you are going to break Tracy's heart with this- so true:

 

"Whether or not Todd's initials are on the bullet is on the other hand a minor data point that proves nothing in and of itself."

That said, that "E" and "T" look mighty big (and awkward) to have been missed by ANYONE all these years. A clumsy, awkward late addition? 

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17 hours ago, Stu Wexler said:

The HSCA firearms panel  did a microscopic analysis and reported every nook and cranny they saw on lab reports. They were not specifically looking for initials but they reported everyone but Todd's. David Mantik and Gary Murr looked in person. John Hunt had high resolution photos that are online. And Gregg D. went looking with the same NIST stuff a few months ago only to say he was wrong and did not see them. I am actually hoping he (and Gary M) both comment on this. Did Gregg do a thorough search or only the area he suspected had the initials?

I would normally concede this but all of the above has me a bit suspicious as it came after Stone's film advertised it widely. If Greg and Gary (and Mantik) concede they could have missed it. I am inclined to say it has been missed.

Stu

What I studied was the less-good NARA photos which show all sides of the bullet (CE399) and then a superior-quality NIST image of only one half of the bullet. I have not seen a NIST image of the other side of that bullet until the Roe photo of it. On the NIST image of the one side accessible to me, I could not find Todd's initials anywhere despite looking for it, but that has no bearing on the present claim because the "ET" initials of the image published by Roe are on the opposite side, which like the dark side of the moon was not accessible to me in the sense I could not find it on the internet. The NIST image of the side of the bullet I studied,  the side which does not have the "ET" initials: https://www.nist.gov/sites/default/files/images/2019/12/04/CE399_Full_Merge_pic5.jpg.

The less-good NARA photos which do show all sides of CE399 show all other initials but do not show any sign of the "ET", at least to me no matter under how much magnification. Here is the NARA photo of the same side of CE399 as the Roe photo: https://www.maryferrell.org/archive/photos/NARA-CE399/Photo_naraevid_CE399-4.jpg.

The inability to see the "ET" in the NARA photos is probably not significant due to (a) the location where the Todd initials are in the superior NIST photo is in the shade in the relevant NARA photo without direct light on it in the NARA photo, and the NARA photos themselves are inferior in quality to the better NIST images; and (b) in the NIST photo the scratching of Elmer Todd's initials is noticeably "fainter" or less deeply engraved and does not show discoloring of the lines as the initials of the FBI lab personnel seem to show. Therefore that the Elmer Todd initials which can now be seen in the NIST image would be missed by examination of photos prior to now does not seem anomalous or unusual.

What would be anomalous or unusual is if there are verified cases of individuals who studied the physical artifact, CE399, in their hands or up close, with a flashlight or other strong light source directly studying every square centimeter of that nose area. I cannot imagine anyone studying the item methodically in that manner who would not see those "ET" initials shown in the NIST photo of Roe's article. If there are credible reports of witnesses having done that and definitively reporting not finding Todd's initials, then there is a problem calling for explanation--if such credible witness reports of close-up examination of the physical object under a light source exist stronger than hearsay or thirdhand rumor.  

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5 hours ago, Vince Palamara said:

Whether or not Todd's initials are on the bullet is on the other hand a minor data point that proves nothing in and of itself."

Stone and DiEugenio argue that the alleged absence of Todd's initials is at least one thing that breaks the chain of evidence for 399. That assertion is now debunked. If anyone wants to argue about chain of evidence of 399 based on other assertions, they are free to do so.

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Steve Roe occasionally comes up with good fines and I acknowledge them when he does. this article is a mixed bag. It does put to bed the issue of Todd's initials but is flawed when it comes to the timeline. Congratulations to Steve for this find. But then Steve presumes an explanation without any evidence or corroborating testimony as to why Frazier said he received the bullet 80 minutes later.  How does he know Frazier used the time on the letter to determine when he received the specimen? This appears to be nothing more than an assumption by Steve. If I'm wrong, perhaps he can provide the evidence of Frazier's thinking.  

Unfortunately, this is yet another example of how Steve uses different levels of scrutiny when assessing evidence supporting the official theory as opposed to evidence supporting a conspiracy. He is eager to dismiss any inconsistencies with the official record as a harmless error but employs an exacting level of scrutiny for evidence supporting a conspiracy. This suggests a bias in his analysis and not a true pursuit of the truth. Steve spends alot of time and effort on disproving Oliver Stone's thesis . His work would be more significant if he could just view evidence through a lens that is not colored towards a particular view, or at least adopt a consistent approach towards the evidence.     

Edited by Lawrence Schnapf
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1 hour ago, Lawrence Schnapf said:

Steve Roe occasionally comes up with good fines and I acknowledge them when he does. this article is a mixed bag. It does put to bed the issue of Todd's initials but is flawed when it comes to the timeline. Congratulations to Steve for this find. But then Steve presumes an explanation without any evidence or corroborating testimony as to why Frazier said he received the bullet 80 minutes later.  How does he know Frazier used the time on the letter to determine when he received the specimen? This appears to be nothing more than an assumption by Steve. If I'm wrong, perhaps he can provide the evidence of Frazier's thinking.  

Unfortunately, this is yet another example of how Steve uses different levels of scrutiny when assessing evidence supporting the official theory as opposed to evidence supporting a conspiracy. He is eager to dismiss any inconsistencies with the official record as a harmless error but employs an exacting level of scrutiny for evidence supporting a conspiracy. This suggests a bias in his analysis and not a true pursuit of the truth. Steve spends alot of time and effort on disproving Oliver Stone's thesis . His work would be more significant if he could just view evidence through a lens that is not colored towards a particular view, or at least adopt a consistent approach towards the evidence.     

I agree. I wrote a response to this article on his website. I don't know if he's published it or not. I said it made some good arguments, but that its assertion as fact at the beginning of the article that CE 399 passed through Kennedy and Connally and was found on Connally's stretcher, was a liability. I mean, if you're gonna debunk a minor claim you should focus on that claim, not preface it with a bunch of disputed stuff that you're not gonna even discuss in your article. I haven't checked but I hope he goes back and adds "The Warren Commission concluded" or some such thing. It would make his article a lot more accessible, and successful in the long run, than it is in its current form. 

Edited by Pat Speer
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There remains the uncertain origins of CE 399, and the fact it is alleged to have passed through four inches of Gov. Connally's ribs and then smashed the Governor's wrist, but emerged looking like a bullet that was shot into cotton wadding. 

There is also the problem that the Governor said the impact of the shot that struck him from behind pushed him violently forward---which is believable, as the bullet struck his rib "the long way." That is, traveling along the rib, not piercing a rib once at a 90-degree angle. 

The Governor is shown being pushed forward at Z-295. JFK is struck in the head of Z-313. 

That is one second apart. 

There is no way a lone gunman armed with a single-shot bolt-action rifle could have accomplished both shots. 

That is the most true, and yet simple version, of the JFKA. I admire many in the JFKA research community, but we do get lost in the weeds. 

 

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11 hours ago, W. Tracy Parnell said:

Stone and DiEugenio argue that the alleged absence of Todd's initials is at least one thing that breaks the chain of evidence for 399. That assertion is now debunked. If anyone wants to argue about chain of evidence of 399 based on other assertions, they are free to do so.

and, if the initials weren't there and NOW are there, then there is a break in the chain of evidence... How'd they get there, Parnell?

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7 hours ago, David G. Healy said:

and, if the initials weren't there and NOW are there, then there is a break in the chain of evidence... How'd they get there, Parnell?

Steve's article predicted what the defense from the CTs would be:

"What next? A claim that the initials “ET” were added recently to CE 399, after Hunt, Mantik and Stone noted their absence?"

I think the answer is that the initials are small and hard to see. And the people such as Mantik didn't really want to see them. But they were always there as Tammi Long noted in 1996.

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1 hour ago, Denis Morissette said:

Someone said Hunt took high-resolution photos of the bullet are online. Where???

From an aged-like-milk comment from James D :

 

Todd's initials are not on it.  We have that from both John, through the photos, and Dave Mantik who held the exhibit in his hand.  Plus Dave's  colleague also had it in his hand and inspected it. Plus we have another witness through Stu. 

 

https://educationforum.ipbhost.com/topic/27467-c399-and-elmer-todds-initials/page/2/

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