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Speed of the Motorcade


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Bernice,

Thanks very much for those photos from Tampa. Such photos of previous motorcades seem to be rare. Those motorcycles in Tampa look like basic security. (It looks like what Al Carrier, who knows security, has previously called a flying wedge.)

Note also that there appears to be someone in the middle of the front seat, which I believe was usually a military aide. This person was also removed in Dallas.

I don't think anything was left to chance in Dallas. Anything, whether a motorcycle cop or middle seat passenger, that might get in a shooter's way in tracking the moving target and in getting his shot was removed. As someone has mentioned, this was for the cops' safety as well.

Here also is a photo from a Berlin motorcade in, I believe, July 1963. Note the motorcycles at the front, as well as Secret Service standing on the rear. Again, basic security. But why worry about that in a safe place like Dallas?

berlin_Small.jpg

Edited by Ron Ecker
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To correct myself, Gary Mack informs me that full frame Dorman and Towner films show without question that the limo turned from the center of Houston into the center lane on Elm. The Hughes film supposedly shows a regular turn as well. There was no wide turn at all.

-- Larry

Pat,  it's pretty speculative but I have heard reports that some witnesses remarked that Greer almost botched the ultra sharp turn at Elm and Houston and went way out of center,  almost to the curb.  If that were true its just possible that it may have slowed him down a good bit.... that limo was pretty heavy and takes a bit to get moving again. 

I guess you would have to run the light in Dallas to test it but it would be interesting to see how much that turn slows down an average driver and how quick you do come back up to speed without punching it and annoying your passengers.

-- as I said,  just speculation,  Larry

I've done quite a bit of research on silencers and psycho-acoustics, and it is an absolute fact that a silenced shot could have been fired from the Dal-Tex or County Records Buildings without being obvious to the spectators below.  I believe that the fact that neither the WC or HSCA mentions the possibilities of silencers being used in their reports is indicative that they were aware one could have been used.  It makes sense to me that if there were reasons to believe one wasn't used they would have definitely discussed it.

The earwitnesses reveal beyond a shadow of a doubt that SOME LOUD NOISE was heard from an area west of the TSBD. The lone-nutter argument that the earwitnesses heard echoes is completely refuted by the HSCA tests of an actual M-C rifle being fired in Dealey.  If there was a shot fired from the knoll area, it missed.  Due to the reports of smoke on the knoll, which would have been minimal if a shot had been fired, I suspect that someone up there may have lit off a cherry bomb or some other explosive, designed to distract everyone from the TSBD, so that the REAL shooter(s) could escape.

But back on point... Larry's post seems to shut down my speculation about the SS being deliberately distracted.  While I agree that Greer's mistakes are understandable, we still  don't know exactly why he was driving so slow.   We'll probably never know.

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To correct myself,  Gary Mack informs me that full frame Dorman and Towner films show without question that the limo turned from the center of Houston into the center lane on Elm.  The Hughes film supposedly shows a regular turn as well. There was no wide turn at all.

-- Larry

Pat,  it's pretty speculative but I have heard reports that some witnesses remarked that Greer almost botched the ultra sharp turn at Elm and Houston and went way out of center,  almost to the curb.   If that were true its just possible that it may have slowed him down a good bit.... that limo was pretty heavy and takes a bit to get moving again. 

I guess you would have to run the light in Dallas to test it but it would be interesting to see how much that turn slows down an average driver and how quick you do come back up to speed without punching it and annoying your passengers.

-- as I said,  just speculation,  Larry

I've done quite a bit of research on silencers and psycho-acoustics, and it is an absolute fact that a silenced shot could have been fired from the Dal-Tex or County Records Buildings without being obvious to the spectators below.  I believe that the fact that neither the WC or HSCA mentions the possibilities of silencers being used in their reports is indicative that they were aware one could have been used.  It makes sense to me that if there were reasons to believe one wasn't used they would have definitely discussed it.

The earwitnesses reveal beyond a shadow of a doubt that SOME LOUD NOISE was heard from an area west of the TSBD. The lone-nutter argument that the earwitnesses heard echoes is completely refuted by the HSCA tests of an actual M-C rifle being fired in Dealey.  If there was a shot fired from the knoll area, it missed.  Due to the reports of smoke on the knoll, which would have been minimal if a shot had been fired, I suspect that someone up there may have lit off a cherry bomb or some other explosive, designed to distract everyone from the TSBD, so that the REAL shooter(s) could escape.

But back on point... Larry's post seems to shut down my speculation about the SS being deliberately distracted.  While I agree that Greer's mistakes are understandable, we still  don't know exactly why he was driving so slow.   We'll probably never know.

Larry,

I believe much of the confusion relating the extreme turn with in the motorcade was due to it being a much greater angle than they were used to. Gary is correct that Towner shows the turn clearly being maintained in the center, but it was rather sharp and considering the slow speed and the swing with the congested corner, I am sure that those within the motorcade may have subconsciously recalled it as much more dramatic as it was beyond the norm. I don't believe this was a pre-incident factor in setting it up from the inside, but merely worked out well for those who were laying in wait.

Al

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Al, thank you for your clarifying input, much appreciated. I would like to hear comments on decrease in accuracy (or not) of silencers.

John, This is an excellent question that I can only recall being addressed by Bill Miller and Stu Wexler to me through private e-mails. A suppressor will slow the muzzle velocity of the projectile some 10-12%, depending on rifling. This can become a huge factor for long range shots, but keep in mind we are talking about shots within the plaza within 80m. That would only drop the trajectory from origin to impact to 2-3". If the shooter had practiced at specific ranges, elevations and angles prior to the shooting, a preset elevation and azmuth setting would accommodate such deviation. If the shooter was relying on another shooter to pick the location of each shot volley, then that would not be possible. But the variation of trajectory would not be a factor that would allow for a missed shot, if the shooter was on-target with his shot.

I may have missed it but do these trips include planning that say something like ....proceed down elm street, once the crowd is thinning out go to .. speed and proceed to mart...etc. on paper. I may have missed this too... was the slowing start as a reaction to the first shot, if so exactly where did the slowing start?

Generally this is played out as it goes down. There is obvious planning as to what is expected for crowds and considerations made for speed increases on thoroughfares where crowds would not be present. In the case of DP, the crowds were still present, although considerably thinned, but I would expect them to maintain the parade speed until they reached the underpass and accelerated to the onramp to the Stemmons.

Al

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It was nice to come across photos of the assassination site showing more than the usual view. The first one here shows the northern half of Dealey Plaza and the second shows Dealey plaza as well as some of the surrounding buildings.

Thank you again Al, I don't mean to be difficult but I am also interested in a distance of over 80 meters, say up to 160. Can you comment on issues as one goes to such a distance? Also are you willing to talk about wound ballistics?

John

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Pat I'm hoping that you won't mind this apparent divergence of thread, I suspect a number of members are ( I do ) looking here regularly for input from Al and others. Anyway, until you request the thread be taken elsewhere ::

I remember reading a historical novel of the early stages of the 'battle of britain' before dunkirk, when the british were still forming squadrons and changing tactics etc from those applying to biplanes of wwII to those of the much faster wwI planes. One squadron leader with prior experience in china, I think it was(or maybe spain), put on a demonstration of something that he had learnt and that he suspected the germans already knew as indicated by their success in certain battles.  He called the squadron together for a group photo and when everyone was 'in the picture' by a pre arranged signal a gun was fired directly behind the group. the picture was snapped. EVERYONE, irrespective of where they had stood in relation to the shot had turned to look over their RIGHT shoulder! Once they understood this they could train themselves to not forget to scan left, hence lives were saved, battles won, an imbalance redressed. The germans had taken to sneaking up on the left wing! How relevant is this, I don't know.

John, like most of the threads, it goes where it goes. Your point about people's increased awareness is not lost, and is quite relevant. In reading WWI and WWII field reports on wound ballistics and wound locations, one finds that a majority of head wounds occur on the victim's left side. Right-handers are far less aware of what takes place on their left side, and far less able to dodge shrapnel coming from that side. This phenomenon might help explain how so many people standing directly in front of the TSBD facing the motorcade could come to believe the shots came from their right when it is clear at least two shots were fired directly above them. As stated earlier, and as supported by Jack's observations, the "echo" argument is garbage. On the other hand, this argument could be used to defend that there was a shot from the County Records Building, as the turn of the SS men in the motorcade to their right may have been just their reaction, and not necessarily an accurate response to the sounds. I don't believe this, but thought I'd just point out the obvious.

To address some of the other questions, the CIA's manual on assassination given to the Guatemalan rebel army in 54 included the observation that sub-sonic rifles (meaning not just silenced weapons, but weapons whose ammunition has been altered so that the bullet will fly at a subsonic speed) are accurate up to 100 yards. That these men were given .22 caliber rifles along with these manuals is indicative that small caliber rifles equipped with silencers could be effective up to 100 yards.

Similarly, Al's discussion of the "canyon shoot" is quite helpful in undertstanding what probably took place. Hugh McDonald's book about Saul is also supportive of this theory, as Saul was purportedly firing "under" Oswald to disguise his shots. I tried to find verification of this phenomenon in print and was unable to find any actual tests to determine our ability to distinguish rapidly fired shots from one another. I did find numerous articles on "masking," a phenomenon whereby a loud noise can effectively make an ear "flinch." As a result of this "flinch" the witness is completely unaware of a similar tone occurring not only briefly afterwards, but briefly BEFORE, as the loud noise cuts-off the brain's processing of sounds that came immediately prior to its arrival. While the tests on masking I found were conducted at much lower volumes than gunshots, and the length of the effective deafness much shorter than I suspected was the difference between shots, these tests nevertheless verified that there is a direct correlation between the loudness of the original noise and the length of the period of effective deafness.

When I remembered that many of those nearest Kennedy only heard two shots, when people blocks away heard three, with the last two almost on top of each other, I concluded that it was likely there were two shots fired close together from opposite sides of the Plaza, and that those in the middle heard the two shots close enough together whereby the second shot was masked. Since the shot at 313 has been tied via the bullet fragments to Oswald's rifle, this would indicate a second loud noise came from an area just west of the school book depository within a second or so afterwards. The blurs on Zapruder's film indicate a second response shortly after the headshot--attributed by lone-nutters to sobs by Zapruder as a way of cutting off conjecture. I suspect this was his subconscious response to a second sound he didn't remember hearing.

While it may sound stupid to speculate that Zapruder responded to a sound he didn't remember hearing, one should remember that almost EVERYONE these days believes Zapruder responded to a missed shot around frame 160--a shot Zapruder never testified to hearing. In fact, Zapruder's testimony and his assistant Sitzman's statements indicate they could see Kennedy when he was first shot--which contradicts the lone nut claim that Kennedy was first hit at 224. It is one of the many ironies one uncovers when investigating the assassination that the lone-nutters and ABC et al base much of their current theories on their interpretation of the Zapruder film, while completely ignoring the testimony of the man who filmed it.

Edited by Pat Speer
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Thank you again Al, I don't mean to be difficult but I am also interested in a distance of over 80 meters, say up to 160. Can you comment on issues as one goes to such a distance? Also are you willing to talk about wound ballistics?

John

John,

I would be more than happy to comment on extended distances and would prefer that you specify your questions as to them to save going back and forth. I am also happy to converse on wound ballistics as it is an area I specialize in. Please feel free to direct any questions regarding that here.

Al

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Pat I'm hoping that you won't mind this apparent divergence of thread, I suspect a number of members are ( I do ) looking here regularly for input from Al and others. Anyway, until you request the thread be taken elsewhere ::

I remember reading a historical novel of the early stages of the 'battle of britain' before dunkirk, when the british were still forming squadrons and changing tactics etc from those applying to biplanes of wwII to those of the much faster wwI planes. One squadron leader with prior experience in china, I think it was(or maybe spain), put on a demonstration of something that he had learnt and that he suspected the germans already knew as indicated by their success in certain battles.   He called the squadron together for a group photo and when everyone was 'in the picture' by a pre arranged signal a gun was fired directly behind the group. the picture was snapped. EVERYONE, irrespective of where they had stood in relation to the shot had turned to look over their RIGHT shoulder! Once they understood this they could train themselves to not forget to scan left, hence lives were saved, battles won, an imbalance redressed. The germans had taken to sneaking up on the left wing! How relevant is this, I don't know.

John, like most of the threads, it goes where it goes. Your point about people's increased awareness is not lost, and is quite relevant. In reading WWI and WWII field reports on wound ballistics and wound locations, one finds that a majority of head wounds occur on the victim's left side. Right-handers are far less aware of what takes place on their left side, and far less able to dodge shrapnel coming from that side. This phenomenon might help explain how so many people standing directly in front of the TSBD facing the motorcade could come to believe the shots came from their right when it is clear at least two shots were fired directly above them. As stated earlier, and as supported by Jack's observations, the "echo" argument is garbage. On the other hand, this argument could be used to defend that there was a shot from the County Records Building, as the turn of the SS men in the motorcade to their right may have been just their reaction, and not necessarily an accurate response to the sounds. I don't believe this, but thought I'd just point out the obvious.

To address some of the other questions, the CIA's manual on assassination given to the Guatemalan rebel army in 54 included the observation that sub-sonic rifles (meaning not just silenced weapons, but weapons whose ammunition has been altered so that the bullet will fly at a subsonic speed) are accurate up to 100 yards. That these men were given .22 caliber rifles along with these manuals is indicative that small caliber rifles equipped with silencers could be effective up to 100 yards.

Similarly, Al's discussion of the "canyon shoot" is quite helpful in undertstanding what probably took place. Hugh McDonald's book about Saul is also supportive of this theory, as Saul was purportedly firing "under" Oswald to disguise his shots. I tried to find verification of this phenomenon in print and was unable to find any actual tests to determine our ability to distinguish rapidly fired shots from one another. I did find numerous articles on "masking," a phenomenon whereby a loud noise can effectively make an ear "flinch." As a result of this "flinch" the witness is completely unaware of a similar tone occurring not only briefly afterwards, but briefly BEFORE, as the loud noise cuts-off the brain's processing of sounds that came immediately prior to its arrival. While the tests on masking I found were conducted at much lower volumes than gunshots, and the length of the effective deafness much shorter than I suspected was the difference between shots, these tests nevertheless verified that there is a direct correlation between the loudness of the original noise and the length of the period of effective deafness.

When I remembered that many of those nearest Kennedy only heard two shots, when people blocks away heard three, with the last two almost on top of each other, I concluded that it was likely there were two shots fired close together from opposite sides of the Plaza, and that those in the middle heard the two shots close enough together whereby the second shot was masked. Since the shot at 313 has been tied via the bullet fragments to Oswald's rifle, this would indicate a second loud noise came from an area just west of the school book depository within a second or so afterwards. The blurs on Zapruder's film indicate a second response shortly after the headshot--attributed by lone-nutters to sobs by Zapruder as a way of cutting off conjecture. I suspect this was his subconscious response to a second sound he didn't remember hearing.

While it may sound stupid to speculate that Zapruder responded to a sound he didn't remember hearing, one should remember that almost EVERYONE these days believes Zapruder responded to a missed shot around frame 160--a shot Zapruder never testified to hearing. In fact, Zapruder's testimony and his assistant Sitzman's statements indicate they could see Kennedy when he was first shot--which contradicts the lone nut claim that Kennedy was first hit at 224. It is one of the many ironies one uncovers when investigating the assassination that the lone-nutters and ABC et al base much of their current theories on their interpretation of the Zapruder film, while completely ignoring the testimony of the man who filmed it.

Pat,

The issue of "masking" is a broad term and under which you comment, much is in-line with diversionary tactics, such as setting off detonations that are both audibly and visually deterrent to the actual operation at hand. It would draw attention away from both the target and shooter and allow for an easy elimination and escape.

Subsonic projectiles can be very accurate, but due to their low velocity (under 800fps) and their less than ideal wound ballistic performance (easy deflection from and angled impact), they are not ideal in a case such as this. Accountability of shots should have been a major factor and shots from a low end elimination expectancy would have been questionable and risky as it put material into the mix that could not be accounted for under the proposed plan.

I would be careful of weighing to much credibility into the "ballistic matching of Oswald's rifle" with the fragments found within the limo. The frags id to the rifle are both questionable through NAA and more so through rifling characteristics, which I have posted on several times here and at Lancer (which I am no longer a member).

Al

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Thank you again Al, I don't mean to be difficult but I am also interested in a distance of over 80 meters, say up to 160. Can you comment on issues as one goes to such a distance? Also are you willing to talk about wound ballistics?

John

John,

I would be more than happy to comment on extended distances and would prefer that you specify your questions as to them to save going back and forth. I am also happy to converse on wound ballistics as it is an area I specialize in. Please feel free to direct any questions regarding that here.

Al

Al, a scenario, could you look at this speculation of mine, take it to bits, correct and add* if necessary, please. I'll invent words where I don't know the right one.

It has been a day of changing conditions, a tendency for sun, gusty wind conditions, the physical characteristics of the kill zone means that the wind at street level may be unpredictable, but where I am, elevated, it's steadier. I have a clear line of sight over most of the target area. The sun is off to the side behind me. It's noontime, late in the year, northern hemisphere. At my side is my 'signal man?', my job is to just track and shoot. My 'signal man', keeps a wide eye open for the right time, taking into account upcoming people clusters and obstructions, ready to tap my shoulder.

I have prepared in detail. Out of a selection of rifles, I have chosen for this occasion a 7.65 caliber 1949 FN Semi Automatic Argentine Mauser. While not an ideal snipers rifle according to some, in my hands, with my experience highly reliable. (Should the patsy be hard to tie down, the backup patsy with a mauser to match alternate bullet identification is waiting (unwittingly) in the wings.)

The barrel I describe as having a right hand twist (clockwise twist when looking from the trigger area?) The type of scope I have chosen is:____ , it has a magnitude of ... this gives me a good field of view for this shot. This is calibrated with the bullets/cartridges which are prepared by myself with careful test shooting to maximise reliability. I have choosen bullets that have similar behavioural characteristics to those of the patsies' rifles.

Given that I am shooting at a distance of about 150 meters, on a slightly downward path from an area of known wind conditions into one with possible unpredictable conditions I need to consider:___. As I am shooting on a roughly north south direction the coreolis force considerations are:___. The temperature, air pressure, path slope, (other) considerations are:___. Over this distance the bullet should settle into a predictable tumle/yaw quite quickly. I don't like to use a silencer and am confident that the diversions will successfully make that redundant anyway.

I call this type of shot a sideways slam dunk. The path the bullet will be following will be an arc that rises first then drops with increasing rapidity as the velocity of the bullet drops. Also, taking into account the barrel twist and coreolis force I expect this arc to also curve to the right. I expect that on impact the bullet will be pointing fairly level as opposed to the path which will be as stated a downward, sideways right curve. My 'signal man' will ensure that unnecessary collateral damage will be minimised and as the bullet will drop down into the vehicle onto target, wound ballistics should ensure rapid deceleration of bullet and any exits should be contained within the vehicle. The clip of 20 is superfluous but it needs/does not need to be fully loaded to function properly. The physical characteristics of my location will contain brass spitting out of chamber.

It is reasonable for me to expect a ?? inch pattern at 150 meters.

As I know that the target will be travelling from east to west, from my point of view right to left, and I am right/left handed I need to consider with regards to this shoot :___.

The radio is tuned and the coded signals hidden in the open keeping us alert as to the progress of the target. The diversion team is in place. The patsy is 'in the building'.

whack whack, pick pick, rattle click, zip, bye.

A glance over my shoulder as I leave tells me that the conspiracy to create the conspiracy speculations that will hide the real conspiracy is already proceeding successfully.

Home.

I realise that some of these things I am asking may require me to be more precise about some things, and as I don't want to involve you in too wild a scenario, please let me know which 'bits' need tightening.

John

*post edit:: I hope it's clear that I'm not asking for an endorsement of this particular scenario but an evaluation of the technical aspects.

I'll post on wound ballistics shortly.

Edited by John Dolva
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QUOTE.............................

Thank you again Al, I don't mean to be difficult but I am also interested in a distance of over 80 meters, say up to 160. Can you comment on issues as one goes to such a distance? Also are you willing to talk about wound ballistics?

John

John,

I would be more than happy to comment on extended distances and would prefer that you specify your questions as to them to save going back and forth. I am also happy to converse on wound ballistics as it is an area I specialize in. Please feel free to direct any questions regarding that here.

Al

Al, a scenario, could you look at this speculation of mine, take it to bits, correct and add* if necessary, please. I'll invent words where I don't know the right one.

It has been a day of changing conditions, a tendency for sun, gusty wind conditions, the physical characteristics of the kill zone means that the wind at street level may be unpredictable, but where I am, elevated, it's steadier. I have a clear line of sight over most of the target area. The sun is off to the side behind me. It's noontime, late in the year, northern hemisphere. At my side is my 'signal man?', my job is to just track and shoot. My 'signal man', keeps a wide eye open for the right time, taking into account upcoming people clusters and obstructions, ready to tap my shoulder.

I have prepared in detail. Out of a selection of rifles, I have chosen for this occasion a 7.65 caliber 1949 FN Semi Automatic Argentine Mauser. While not an ideal snipers rifle according to some, in my hands, with my experience highly reliable. (Should the patsy be hard to tie down, the backup patsy with a mauser to match alternate bullet identification is waiting (unwittingly) in the wings.)

The barrel I describe as having a right hand twist (clockwise twist when looking from the trigger area?) The type of scope I have chosen is:____ , it has a magnitude of ... this gives me a good field of view for this shot. This is calibrated with the bullets/cartridges which are prepared by myself with careful test shooting to maximise reliability. I have choosen bullets that have similar behavioural characteristics to those of the patsies' rifles.

Given that I am shooting at a distance of about 150 meters, on a slightly downward path from an area of known wind conditions into one with possible unpredictable conditions I need to consider:___. As I am shooting on a roughly north south direction the coreolis force considerations are:___. The temperature, air pressure, path slope, (other) considerations are:___. Over this distance the bullet should settle into a predictable tumle/yaw quite quickly. I don't like to use a silencer and am confident that the diversions will successfully make that redundant anyway.

I call this type of shot a sideways slam dunk. The path the bullet will be following will be an arc that rises first then drops with increasing rapidity as the velocity of the bullet drops. Also, taking into account the barrel twist and coreolis force I expect this arc to also curve to the right. I expect that on impact the bullet will be pointing fairly level as opposed to the path which will be as stated a downward, sideways right curve. My 'signal man' will ensure that unnecessary collateral damage will be minimised and as the bullet will drop down into the vehicle onto target, wound ballistics should ensure rapid deceleration of bullet and any exits should be contained within the vehicle. The clip of 20 is superfluous but it needs/does not need to be fully loaded to function properly. The physical characteristics of my location will contain brass spitting out of chamber.

It is reasonable for me to expect a ?? inch pattern at 150 meters.

As I know that the target will be travelling from east to west, from my point of view right to left, and I am right/left handed I need to consider with regards to this shoot :___.

The radio is tuned and the coded signals hidden in the open keeping us alert as to the progress of the target. The diversion team is in place. The patsy is 'in the building'.

whack whack, pick pick, rattle click, zip, bye.

A glance over my shoulder as I leave tells me that the conspiracy to create the conspiracy speculations that will hide the real conspiracy is already proceeding successfully.

Home.

I realise that some of these things I am asking may require me to be more precise about some things, and as I don't want to involve you in too wild a scenario, please let me know which 'bits' need tightening.

John

I'll post on wound ballistics shortly.

*post edit:: I hope it's clear that I'm not asking for an endorsement of this particular scenario but an evaluation of the technical aspects.

END QUOTE..............................

In another topic : James Richards : Silencers, suppressors and their effect? http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4321

Ryan Crowe provides the following:

"There are four noise levels while firing a weapon..

One is the pressure wave from rapidly expanding propellant gases, second would be the sonic crack of the bullet, third would be the cycle action of the weapon, and fouth would be the flight of the bullet.

The only noise out of the 4 that a silencer can control is the pressure wave, the silencer reduces noise by two parts, first things it does is slows the release through expansion and turbulance of the high pressure gases that are ears hear as a loud "BANG" or "Boom"..

The second part is when some of the kinetic energy of the noise impulse is converted into heat..

Now something that is very important when talking silencers on HIGH powerd rifles is that the only way to eliminate the "sonic crack" of a high velocity rifle round is by the use of "sub sonic" ammo. These can either be bought for some calibers or hand loaded to download the velocity below the speed of sound."

I had not considered the supersonic / subsonic issue. Is it possible to address the technical aspects of the scenario I presented with regards to a choice of sub and super sonic pack? My understanding of this now is that a supersonic bullet may make silencer irrelevant. As I had been assuming a supersonic scenario I now wonder why I had been assuming that. Anyway as this is an educational process for me any comments welcome.

Edited by John Dolva
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Here are the storm drain photos that Groden took. I believe Robert found that the limo would have to of rolled 54' further west after the kill shot for JFK to have come into view from the storm drain. I apolgize for forgetting who requested these.

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I had not considered the supersonic / subsonic issue. Is it possible to address the technical aspects of the scenario I presented with regards to a choice of sub and super sonic pack? My understanding of this now is that a supersonic bullet may make silencer irrelevant. As I had been assuming a supersonic scenario I now wonder why I had been assuming that. Anyway as this is an educational process for me any comments welcome.

John, from what I've read, whether or not a sub-sonic cartridge was used, the use of a silencer is likely. The HSCA performed a test using expert listeners, at the same time they tested the echo patterns in Dealey for the Dicta-belt analysis. And these listeners found that the location of a rifle shot in Dealey was easy to distinguish, even with motorcycle engines running. They were at a loss to understand how the vast majority of witnesses didn't immediately turn in the direction of the shooter and point him out to the police. Their report even suggests that perhaps the sniper fired from inside the TSBD, something which doesn't jive with the eyewitness reports of Oswald's rifle sticking outside the window, and doesn't jive with the position of the boxes in the sniper's nest.

Anyhow, with the use of a silencer and a reduced muzzle blast, the sound of a rifle would be greatly decreased. People near the bullet's path would still hear the sonic crack of the bullet flying by but it would be difficult for these witnesses to get a clear take on the direction of fire, with a small percentage of them actually pointing in the exact opposite direction. The HSCA report tried to use this in conjunction with the theory that the rifle was fired from within the builidng, as an explanation as to why so many pointed towards the grassy knoll, conveniently forgetting that the MAJORITY of witnesses beneath the sniper's nest pointed in that direction.

I believe there was a silenced rifle possibly using subsonic ammunition firing from the Dal-Tex Building, which was disguised by a non-silenced rifle firing from the TSBD and some sort of noise, perhaps an m-80 or cherry bomb, from behind the arcade. I also suspect the first shot from the TSBD was of a subsonic nature, which would explain why so many thought it was a firecracker. That this cartridge was hand-loaded and subsonic could also explain the shallow wound in Kennedy's back, and the indented lip on one of the cartridges.

Edited by Pat Speer
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I also suspect the first shot from the TSBD was of a subsonic nature, which would explain why so  many thought it was a firecracker.  That this cartridge was hand-loaded and subsonic could also explain the shallow wound in Kennedy's back, and the indented lip on one of the cartridges.

Pat,

What would be the purpose of such a shot? I know they wanted to draw attention to that location. But why not make it loud and shoot to kill?

Ron

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I also suspect the first shot from the TSBD was of a subsonic nature, which would explain why so  many thought it was a firecracker.  That this cartridge was hand-loaded and subsonic could also explain the shallow wound in Kennedy's back, and the indented lip on one of the cartridges.

Pat,

What would be the purpose of such a shot? I know they wanted to draw attention to that location. But why not make it loud and shoot to kill?

Ron

I think you're forgetting something, Ron. The shooter wan't Oswald. They had to make sure the real shooter escaped. They wanted the sniper's nest to be discovered after the event, not during the event. They'd probably hoped the first shot would kill Kennedy, and that the other shots wouldn't be necessary. But, as Al and others have pointed out, a bullet fired from a subsonic cartridge behaves slightly different than normal. In this case, the handload may have used too little gunpowder. As a result, the bullet only pierced Kennedy's back. If the first shot was a normal load it would have done a lot more damage. Unless you're willing to believe that the back wound did in fact lead directly to Kennedy's neck, without piercing his lung or nickiing his spine, then I think the shallow back wound is best explained by a reduced-charge.

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Pat,

I guess I misunderstood you. I thought you were implying by the handload, firecracker sound, and shallow wound that the shot was meant not to make a lot of noise nor necessarily be lethal. Somewhere on Weberman's site I remember Hemming calling this a "meat shot," meant (as best I recall) simply to plant evidence in the body. Ballistics and sniper work are just not my field.

Ron

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