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Silencers, CIA, and paranoia

Pat Speer

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I can't recall where I've seen them, probably an old Guns n Ammo....but isn't there some kind of "brass catcher"(?) available? (Tom Kutzer)


I may be wrong here but I think those things showed up in the 1980's and didn't work all that well.


Edited by James Richards
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This is significant in that the CIA is asserting that rifles firing a sub-sonic charge are still accurate up to 100 yards.  More importantly, on the logistics list they specifically request .22 caliber rifles, when they have their pick of rifles with a much-larger caliber.  This indicates that there were advantages to a .22.  Since the .22 was the rifle requested and was given to the Guatemalans along with the Study in Asssassination, it only makes sense that the "100 yards" comment apllies to the .22.  This is in direct contradiction to the writings of Al Carrier, who insisted a .22 firing a sub-sonic charge would be essentially worthless as a sniper rifle.  While Carrier may have been right, the CIA undoubtedly led their assassins-in-training to believe otherwise.

Shockingly, elsewhere in the assassination manual it states "public figures or guarded officials may be killed with great reliability and some safety if a firing point can be established prior to an official occasion.  The propaganda value may be very high."

This brings up the question of who in the CIA were the propaganda specialists for the Guatemalan operation.  And we have our answers in the names of E. Howard Hunt and David A Phillips. So here we have Robertson, Morales, Hunt, Phillips, and Barnes all tied up in this.  J.C. King proposed assassinations as part of his original plan PBFORTUNE. so he's tied up in it as well.

On the CIA's own historical review of the assassination plots, declassified in 1997,  it notes that "According to (a four letter name's) draft memorandum, after creating a story that BLANK (obviously Arbenz) was trying to oust the communists, he could be eliminated."

Since this was in 1953, this could have been King, who in 1953 was still over-seeing the project, but it could also be Hunt, since he was admittedly involved in seeking out support for Armas' upcoming coup around this time.  Intriguingly, Castillo-Armas himself was assassinated by someone who was immediately identified as a communist, but with evidence so flimsy even Allen Dulles was skeptical. While the real story was never unveiled, the man who rose to power shortly thereafter, Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes, was the U.S.'s main ally in the training of the Bay of Pigs, an operation run by the same CIA men involved in the 1954 coup and the CIA study in assassination. Jake Esterline, the operational planner for the Bay of Pigs, told a CIA interviewer in 1977, when discussing Carlos Alejos' suggestion that the CIA deal with the growing unrest in the training camps by either shipping them or shooting them, "and if you shoot them, bury them deep," said "that is how Ydigoras controlled his position for forty years, so he must have buried them deep.  I think he buried that piece of paper, too, along with (word missed--Basset's barking.)"  If the word purportedly missing is Castillo-Armas, then we have a CIA agent with extensive experience in Guatemala stating his belief that Ydigoras Fuentes killed Castillo-Armas. That Castillo-Armas was in the process of throwing the gambling interests ouf of Guatemala when he was killed, and that he was killed in a manner that would implicate the communists, along the lines of a CIA plan to kill his predecessor, and that the co-ordinated message of the U.S. media and the Guatemalan military was that his assassin was a communist, makes this whole incident disturbing.  One might rightfully wonder if a rogue element of the CIA in league with the gambling interests didn't help Fuentes gain power.

So far this has been a history lesson.  Now comes my application of these facts to the JFK mystery.

For those familiar with my seminar, it should not be a shock that I believe a bullet striking Kennedy in his hairline at 224 went down his neck and quite possibly hit Connally after its exit.  It struck me that both of Kennedy's wounds, the wound in the hairline as measured by the autopsists, and the neck wound as measured by Dr. Perry in Dallas, were smaller than should be expected for a 6.5 mm bullet traveling at 1800 fps.  It occurred to me that perhaps this was in fact a sub-sonic

.22 bullet fired from a similar trajectory as the TSBD, most probably from the roof or upper floors of the Dal-Tex.  It occurred to me as well that such a bullet would lack the energy to create both JFK's and Connally's wounds. So I decided to look into .22 automatic rifles available in 1963, as a silenced burst of gunfire could account for both wounds, and found that the only one widely used,  by the U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam, no less, was the M-16.

In reading about the M-16 and silencers I came across the creepy coincidence that much of the early research on M-16's and silencers took place at Edgewood Arsenal, the home of both the Warren Commission's ballistics expert Alfred Olivier and the HSCA's ballistics expert Larry Sturdivan.  The bullet wound expert present at the autopsy, Dr. Pierre Finck, was also an Edgewood employee, although his stint there seems to have come shortly after the assassination.

Even creepier, when reading about the history of the M-16 in Mortal Error, I came across a photo of the exhibit list of Sturdivan's HSCA testimony and it showed that exhibit number 114 was of an "m-193 bullet at 800 fps velocity." M-193 is the cartridge used in M-16s.  Since Sturdivan testifed that exhibit 113 was of an m-16 bullet   travelling at  3000 feet, which would be the speed of an M-16 bullet upon impact with Kennedy, it seems clear that an 800 fps bullet would be a test of a subsonic m-16 bullet striking Kennedy after being fired around 1000 fps, just under the sound barrier.

My paranoia set in however when I realized that the official list of this exhibit lists it as 800 MPS, not fps, and that Sturdivan's testimony is 800 mps, not fps.  Mps would be meters per second, a reference neither Sturdivan nor his predecessor Olivier  ever use anywhere else in their testimony.  Combined, they make well over 30 references to fps, however.  I then noticed that the exhibit list on the McAdams website mislabels both 113 and 114 and completely disguises that they represent gelatin blocks fired into by an m-16.  Upon studying the wound ballistics of an M-16, I found that it does the most damage after becoming instable and that this usually occurs at 2700 fps, and that bullets travelling in the range of 2500-2700 fps may or may not become instable.  Since 800 mps is 2625 fps,  I momentarily thought it was all just a misunderstanding.  But, after staring at 113 and 114, I found myself unable to accept that 113 represented a bullet releasing only 20 percent more energy.  (Since energy is mass X speed squared and the mass is the same between the two then the only difference is the percentage difference in speed being squared .)  It looks to me more like the 15 times or so more energy that would be the difference between a 3000 fps and an 800 fps bullet. 

Anyhow, I've come to suspect a silenced automatic weapon was fired at Kennedy from the DAL-TEX and that our government for purposes of National Security has been covering it up, perhaps unwittingly.  The book Silencer History and Performance by Alan C Paulson makes note that there are many things associated with silencers which are still considered classified information bv the government.  Perhaps Sturdivan unwittingly entered something into evidence whic was "classified."  Or perhaps someone knew the significance of the 800 fps M-16 bullet and "silenced" it from his testimony.

I'll come back and edit this and maybe add some links but I just wanted to get the word out before I get side-tracked.  I think this could be an important area of research.  Maybe John Ritchson or Al Carrier can chime in with their impressions of 113 vs. 114?


Good Thinking. :ice Not much I can add here that Al hasn't already touched upon.

That said however, there are a few things I would like to add here.

The M-16s that were in use at the time were a militarized version of Gene Stoner

of Armalite Corporation's AR-15 with a 20" barrel and a 1 in 12" rifling twist, firing a 5.56mm/.223 caliber 55 grain FMJ bullet with a sectional density of .157 and a ballistic coefficient of .246, and originally designated a .222 Special.

This weapon proved problematic to say the least for a number of reasons which I won't need to get into at this point for the sake of brevity.

The lightest this weapon could be loaded for to maintain any sort of accuracy would yield about 2,300fps at the muzzle producing roughly 650 ft. lbs. of energy.

If a silencer in combination with a muzzle brake was to be used to reduce the velocity below that of the speed of sound taking your figure of 800fps, the resulting energy at impact in a JFK type scenerio, without going into the math, would be some 70 ft. lbs. which any shooter worth his proverbial salt could well attest would be barely sufficient to break the skin to a human target provided it even hit its intended target because for reasons I clearly spelled out in my ballistic articles, it would almost certainly be tumbling in flight.

Under such conditions one would be better off using a 22 caliber rimfire cartridge

fired from a rifle such as the AR-7 survival rifle and using a 47 grain Hp bullet which under such conditions would perform far better than the aformentioned, compromised .223 Remington cartridge.

I have personally killed more deer with my trusty old Winchester 22 single-shot than with any other weapon, and I did it at ranges up to about 100 meters. Pop the deer once in the head and it would drop like a rock.

Isreali Massad prefered to use a 22 rimfire pistol with a small potato placed over the muzzle which proved to be quite effective as a one shot silencer when fired behind the target's ear at point-blank range.

I hope this adaquately addresses the questions/issues you raised.


Edited by John Ritchson
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  • 3 months later...

Somehow, I'd previously missed this thread. There IS a cartridge that would fall neatly into the category you described, Pat. Originally developed as a "wildcat" hunting cartridge, the .22 Remington Jet was developed in 1959 and became commercially available right around 1962. The .22 Jet was the marriage of necked-down .357 Magnum brass with a 40 gr. .22 caliber bullet. Developers had hoped for over-2000 fps muzzle velocities, but were only able to achieve numbers in the 1800 fps range.

Amazingly, the research I've done on the .22 Jet--NOT related to the JFK assassination, but because a friend had a Colt revolver chambered for the .22 Jet--revealed that the cartridge yielded a nearly-flat trajectory out to 100 yards, according to the few sources that Google could find.

The cartridge was never a commercial success, primarily due to the fact that the angle where the cartridge was necked down tended to allow the brass to "move" backward in the cylinder of the Colt revolvers, which tended to inhibit the cylinder from advancing the next round to firing position.

Research I've done also revealed that Marlin offered a rifle chambered for .22 Jet, but I've never been able to find a picture on the Internet. As I recall, the cartridge was withdrawn from the market in the early 1970's, although some original brass still remains available for handloaders.

So...you have a .22 caliber bullet behind a .357 load, with an 1800 fps muzzle velocity and a nearly flat trajectory out to 100 yards, and spent brass would appear to be from a .357 rather than a .22...sounds almost like the perfect weapon for the assassination scenario, doesn't it? And the cartridge didn't exist before 1959, and it disappeared in the early 1970's...if I was an assassin who'd used one, this would almost be a dream-come-true weapon!

And it fits the profile Pat described SO much better than what Files/Sutton claimed to be using...at least enough to make ME go "Hmmmmmm......"

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Try the following links on the .22 Jet:

Reload Bench

.22 Jet Specs

ballistics data

And I'd like to correct my earlier statement...my friend's gun was a Smith & Wesson Model 53, and not a Colt.

The Marlin gun chambered for .22 Jet was allegedly the Model 62 "Levermatic," which would have made an interesting assassin's weapon...but reports are that, although tested in .22 Jet, it was never available for sale...according to the info I've uncovered. Like everything else on the Internet, this information re: availability of the Model 62 may or may not be accurate.

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More on the Marlin Model 62 Levermatic:


The basic Levermatic action was a strong one, and in 1963, Marlin decided to bring out a centerfire version of the Levermatic. This became the Marlin Model 62. With the centerfire Model 62, Marlin returned to the use of box magazines. In the first catalog listing, the calibers to be offered were .357 Magnum, .256 Winchester Magnum and .22 Remington Jet. (The .256 and .22 Jet were both necked-down versions of the .357.) Subsequent catalogs listed the .256 and the .22 Jet only.

In fact, though, only the .256 Winchester Magnum version was actually produced, and the Marlin Model 62 was the first rifle ever to be produced in that caliber. In some places, the Model 62 is often listed as having been available in .256 and .22 Jet, but the .22 Jet rifles were never made.


from http://www.leverguns.com/articles/malloy.htm

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