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My RE: to Herbert Blenner


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[Herbert Wrote:]

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory found barium and antimony on both surfaces of paraffin casts made from Oswald's right cheek. They correctly concluded that the barium and antimony found on the outer surface of the cheek cast that was not in contact with Oswald's skin came from an external source.

Their finding of a greater amount of barium on the outer surface than the inner and nearly equal amounts of antimony on both sides were evidence that the barium and antimony on both sides of the cheek cast came from a common source of contamination.

Furthermore the amounts of barium and antimony were consistent with firing a weapon and greater than expected by accidental contamination. These findings of incriminating evidence in the wrong places should have prompted a thorough and scientific investigation.

Although common items contain barium and antimony compounds, these chemicals belong to unique mixtures that distinguish one contaminant from another. By identifying all the contaminants, the W.C. could have shown feasibility of contamination by accident.

On the other hand, analysis of the contaminants had risks. For example finding reagent-grade barium and antimony would have proved Oswald tested positive for planted evidence.

Herbert

Greetings Herbert and Points Taken:

The issues I have with this is that Lead easily alloys and amalgemates itself to a number of elements such as Antimony, Barium, Tin, Silver, and Mercury to name a few. It should be noted that in 1963, most printing was still being done with Lead typecasts using Lead based ink pressed on to nitrate treated paper. This is according to Ray Denning, owner and operator of the Western News newspaper and later Denning's Print Shop.

Such Lead would have contained various amounts of these other elements in the form of contaminates as reagent grade Lead is difficult to produce and very expensive when compared to general grade Lead.

Since LHO's job was handling such material he would normally have been covered with the stuff thus greatly increasing the probability of incurring a false positive with respect to him recently discharging a firearm.

More importantly, performing a NAA test would have destroyed any hope of actually doing a comparison analysis on any unburned and partially burned gunpowder residue which according to the Helson & Barnes Empirical Study of Gunpowder Residue would have existed in concentrations on average of 15% which most certainly would have been deposited on LHO had he been firing any weapons that day. Such a test would have provided a direct forensic connection between LHO and the rifle and pistol he alledgedly fired, as well as the spent cartridges alledgedly found at the crime scenes. Also, unburned and partially burned

particulate residue can actually be driven into the pores of the skin and since the powder grains are treated with a antihydroscopic compound they do not easily lend themselves to washing with water, generally requiring a powder solvent to remove.

It should also be noted that elemental Lead possesses 4 isotopes, the distribution of which varies from region to region, and in the case of bullet lead from batch to batch, thus giving it a unique fingerprint which can be determined by the proper tests. This becomes important when one conciders that CE-399 was duly entered evidence as a Western Cartridge Corporation product produced under a military contract. As per military protocol, ammunition produced would have been headstamped with lot & batch numbers which could have thus been used to determine the isotopic ratio of the bullet lead and establish a forensic connection to CE-399 proving it was in fact a WCC product.

If such examinations were in fact performed and not published, then I can only conclude that they were negative and shows that LHO did not recently fire any weapon otherwise, the investigative agencies would have paraded the results from Hell to High Heaven.

Respectfully:

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