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E-mail from Larry Sturdivan


Pat Speer
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Those familiar with my presentation may recall that one of the things I discovered was that HSCA exhibit F-114. the ballistics gelatin of a subsonic M-16 bullet, was misidentified in Larry Sturdivan's testimony and on the exhibit list. I took from this that there had been an effort to disguise its existence, to hide the fact that subsonic ammunition had been tested. I took from this that the HSCA knew that the use of a silencer in the assassination was likely and that someone had sought to hide this from the American public.

Well, I was probably over-zealous in my analysis. I finally got up the nerve to ask Larry Sturdivan about this. (He's created a website to help sell his book.) http://thejfkmyths.com/

The JFK Myths - the Author's Official Site

He surprised me by answering my question right away and admitting that the exhibit has been mis-labeled. He even blamed himself, stating that he mis-spoke in his testimony and said 800 meters per second instead of 800 feet per second.

While it's nice to know I was right about something, it's somewhat upsetting to think my analysis of the reasons why could be so wrong. I think we all need to walk a line of skepticism and doubt. Sometimes the simplest answers are right in front of our face.

Edited by Pat Speer
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Those familiar with my presentation may recall that one of the things I discovered was that HSCA exhibit F-114. the ballistics gelatin of a subsonic M-16 bullet, was misidentified in Larry Sturdivan's testimony and on the exhibit list. I took from this that there had been an effort to disguise its existence, to hide the fact that subsonic ammunition had been tested. I took from this that the HSCA knew that the use of a silencer in the assassination was likely and that someone had sought to hide this from the American public.

Well, I was probably over-zealous in my analysis. I finally got up the nerve to ask Larry Sturdivan about this. (He's created a website to help sell his book.) http://thejfkmyths.com/

The JFK Myths - the Author's Official Site

He surprised me by answering my question right away and admitting that the exhibit has been mis-labeled. He even blamed himself, stating that he mis-spoke in his testimony and said 800 meters per second instead of 800 feet per second. I took from this that someone at the HSCA double-checked the exhibit against his testimony, and changed the exhibit instead of his testimony.

While it's nice to know I was right about something, it's somewhat upsetting to think my analysis of the reasons why could be so wrong. I think we all need to walk a line of skepticism and doubt. Sometimes the simplest answers are right in front of our face.

Pat, good on you. These sort of posts are educational. Not only do we learn the facts that you have come across, and that you are a person who puts truth sufficiently high in importance to overcome any consideration for a wish to be seen to be right in all things. This makes you trustworthy (but not above scrutiny of course, I'm sure you wouldn't want it any other way). Also, and possibly most important it raises the question of how to deal with having a fundamental building block in a theory 'smashed'. Does one take all the bits that flowed from it and find something else to prop the now missing bit up, or start again? Probably somewhere in between. To not reconsider would be 'the mistake', not the 'initial' mistake.

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Also, and possibly most important it raises the question of how to deal with having a fundamental building block in a theory 'smashed'. Does one take all the bits that flowed from it and find something else to prop the now missing bit up, or start again? Probably somewhere in between. To not reconsider would be 'the mistake', not the 'initial' mistake.

In this instance, the mystery surrounding F-114 was not a fundamental building block. Since most of my presentation comprised my questioning the competence of the government's experts, as opposed to their integrity, the fact that the mistake I found suspicious turned out instead to have come from a convergence of 3 human mistakes, adds to my over-all thesis. While it would have been a little juicier to say the HSCA was deliberately misleading on this issue, the fact that they merely goofed is more consistent with my other findings, and probably closer to the truth.

The three mistakes that converged to lead me down paranoid lane (and thus make my own mistake).

1. Larry Sturdivan mis-spoke in his testimony and said 800 meters per second instead of 800 feet per second.

2. Someone at the HSCA, which had already printed up an exhibit list saying exhibit F-114 represented "M-193 bullet at 800 FPS velocity" re-titled the exhibit for the Final Report as "Composite of two photographs of M-193 bullet exploding in gelatin." This led me to believe the 800 fps was deliberately left out.

3. Mike Russ, on his website, incorrectly listed F-114 as "Composite of two photographs of bullet exploding in gelatin." His leaving out "M-193" led me to wonder if he was cooperating with someone by removing all references to the M-16 and M-193 on the exhibit list. (F-113, which is an "M-16 bullet exploding in gelatin" in the Final Report, is listed on his website as "shadowgraph of 30 caliber bullet in air and gelatin.") By the way, I incorrectly stated in my presentation that this misrepresentation took place on the website of John McAdams. While I found the list on McAdams website I recently discovered it was in fact a link to Russ' site. While Russ appears to be a Posner defender, I found no reason to assume there was anything suspicious about his mistakes.

As a result of these mistakes and my trot down paranoid lane, I cast doubt on the integrity of Sturdivan and McAdams. If I offended them I apologize.

Edited by Pat Speer
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Also, and possibly most important it raises the question of how to deal with having a fundamental building block in a theory 'smashed'. Does one take all the bits that flowed from it and find something else to prop the now missing bit up, or start again? Probably somewhere in between. To not reconsider would be 'the mistake', not the 'initial' mistake.

In this instance, the mystery surrounding F-114 was not a fundamental building block. Since most of my presentation comprised my questioning the competence of the government's experts, as opposed to their integrity, the fact that the mistake I found suspicious turned out instead to have come from a convergence of 3 human mistakes, adds to my over-all thesis. While it would have been a little juicier to say the HSCA was deliberately misleading on this issue, the fact that they merely goofed is more consistent with my other findings, and probably closer to the truth.

The three mistakes that converged to lead me down paranoid lane.

1. Larry Sturdivan mis-spoke in his testimony and said 800 meters per second instead of 800 feet per second.

2. Someone at the HSCA, which had already printed up an exhibit list saying exhibit F-114 represented "M-193 bullet at 800 FPS velocity" re-titled the exhibit for the Final Report as "Composite of two photographs of M-193 bullet exploding in gelatin." This led me to believe the 800 fps was deliberately left out.

3. Mike Russ, on his website, incorrectly listed F-114 as "Composite of two photographs of bullet exploding in gelatin." His leaving out "M-193" led me to wonder if he was cooperating with someone by removing all references to the M-16 and M-193 on the exhibit list. (F-113, which is an "M-16 bullet exploding in gelatin" in the Final Report, is listed on his website as "shadowgraph of 30 caliber bullet in air and gelatin.") By the way, I incorrectly stated in my presentation that this misrepresentation took place on the website of John McAdams. While I found the list on McAdams website I recently discovered it was in fact a link to Russ' site. While Russ appears to be a Posner defender, I found no reason to assume there was anything suspicious about his mistake.

As a result of these mistakes and my trot down paranoid lane, I cast doubt on the integrity of Sturdivan and McAdams. If I offended them I apologize.

this is not to side step this issue. A further implication of my input is highlighted::

point taken. And a good one. However the fundamental building block here may be more conceptual rather than particular.

What I'm getting at is the assumptions made around evidence credibility and how that may be influenced by past ideas or assumptions. Like, if I assume someone has a particular mindset I will tend to evaluate any output from there in that light. To have an inkling that this may be faulty and to reevaluate in that new light is important.

The idea that a source is questionable is not a good reason to continue to not evaluate the output of that source. On a number of occasions I've noticed that anything mentioned as coming from a mcadams site needs to be doubted. This seems to imply that other sources are above scrutiny.

In my opinion ALL 'evidence' from ALL sources need to be questioned, sometimes PARTICULARLY that which appears to be from previously reliable sources, if only to counter a general tendency not to do so.

Throw the human tendencies for wish fulfillment and paranoia etc into the pot and you have basic building blocks of theory development that deserve as much smashing as possible. The facts you are dealing with. The reasons of the assumptions around those facts is another thing. This is also being dealt with and is most instructive in itself.

I recognise that hese are things that are recognised by you and others, I think it's good to emphasise them and consider ways to deal with them, that's all.

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What is the old adage, "Never posit conspiracy when something can be explained by incompetence" or words to that effect. I think that is often (not always, of course) true.

While that is one lesson that can be learned from this example, another is that THE HSCA MISLABELED AN EXHIBIT AND NO ONE NOTICED FOR 25 YEARS! I mean, I'm no ballistician. Shouldn't somebody have caught this mistake years ago? This kinda reminds me of the modern art museum that put a Pollock on display upside down. (I recently noticed that the O'Keefe museum in Santa Fe had a Warhol sideways.) In other words, perhaps the best lesson we can take from this is that we should all keep our eyes peeled... there are plenty of mistakes to expose before we reach the truth.

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But Gerry who said it was the Warhol Campbell soups? Perhaps it was Warhol's Marilyn Monroe lying on her side.

An aside, I can never get over the illogic of the English language. We have the same word for being in a supine position and for telling a deliberate falsehood. I guess the inventors of the language just ran out of words so they had to double-up in many cases.

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But Gerry who said it was the Warhol Campbell soups? Perhaps it was Warhol's Marilyn Monroe lying on her side.

If I remember correctly it was four versions of the same flower, one in each corner. The exhibit had a photograph of the original flower. It was obvious to my girlfriend and I that the version of the flower in the painting was the flower in the photo turned sideways. While this could have been done on purpose, it was such a subtle difference that it easily could have been missed. Since the painting was part of a temporary exhibit--a comparison of O'Keefe's and Warhol's flowers (hers were of course more interesting, save one of Warhol's)--we decided it was just a mistake.

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But Gerry who said it was the Warhol Campbell soups? Perhaps it was Warhol's Marilyn Monroe lying on her side.

An aside, I can never get over the illogic of the English language. We have the same word for being in a supine position and for telling a deliberate falsehood. I guess the inventors of the language just ran out of words so they had to double-up in many cases.

---------------------------

There is "prone", "Supine", and "Laying"; as in "getting Layed/laid" !!

------------------

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Ron,

I think this thread is beginning to run from the supine to the ridiculous.

Edited by Mark Knight
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