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Cover-Up of the Medical Evidence


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1. The conference's sponsor, Paul Kuntzler, spoke for 5 minutes. Apparently decent and very well meaning, Mr. Kuntzler has been troubled by press coverage since the assassination, and especially since the release of documents following the JFK Act some 15 years ago. With the exceptions of Helen Thomas and Robert MacNeil, no one in the national media, in Kunzler's view, has given this issue the open mind and attention it deserves.

(This gentleman certainly knows how to put on a conference. He secured a substantial portion of the main ballroom of the Willard, one of our finer hotels, and provided seats for about 300 guests. I counted at least 8 flat screen televisions in the anteroom, one showing original footage of that dreadful weekend, another showing "JFK", etc. The ballroom with supplied with a huge flatscreen and an overhead. Unfortunately, I counted about 30 guests in addition to the panelists and technicians that first hour -- many of them in or barely out of college, the balance "forty-something" geezers like me. This, I suppose, is what happens when an event is publicized for the first time the very night before it occurs. I felt sorry for Mr. Kuntzler).

3. He was then followed by Jim Fetzer, who spoke until 11:20 and also served as a bridge between subsequent speakers. Jim launched an attack on the WCR, the HSCA Report, and "Case Closed" that I'm sure is familiar to you all. He recounted his belief that there were at least 6, and as many as 8, shots fired in DP that day, with JFK sustaining a wound to his back from behind, an entrance wound to his throat, and two head wounds, one from behind and another from forward of the vehicle.

4. What, then, is one to make of those X-rays? Enter Dr. Mantik, who had spent nine days at the National Archives and made two principal points today. First, even though five X-rays were taken of JFK's head (he knows this from two witnesses), only three appear in the Archives, and they are copies, not originals. He knows this because the originals should have been roughly textured because of scraped emulsions, but the X-rays he saw were smooth. Dr. Mantik then demonstrated how easy it is to alter copies, suing a pair of scissors and his daughter's toy.

Second, describing a technique termed optical densitometry, Dr. Mantick explained that the massive rear head wound observed by the doctors was deliberately masked by the X-Rays. How does he know this? Because the rear head appears far too bright in the X-rays, with a "contrast factor" of 1000 instead of the usual two. If the X-Ray of the rear head were genuine, then JFK indeed would have been a "bonehead".

Dr. Mantick concluded by noting that the X-rays do not square with pictures and eyewitness descriptions of the brain, with too much matter missing in the front. He also noted 3 doctors did NOT observe a 6.5 mm bullet grain in the brain, which shows up on the X-rays.

5. A little after 11:30, Doug Horne took the floor, also speaking for about 10 minutes. He served on the AARB staff from August 1995 through September 1998 and claims to have found "unequivocal evidence of a government cover-up of the medical evidence", and specifically 'serious fraud' in three areas.

He observed that there were three and not one versions of the autopsy report, Ex. 387. Dr. Humes admitted under oath while deposed by the AARB that he burned a draft report along with his notes in his fireplace. Another "original" autopsy report was then sent to Bobby Kennedy per Secret Service records. Yet, another "original" was thereafter sent to the Nat'l Archives per those same records. How can that be?

Horne then stated that there were two brain examinations, one on November 25, and the second during the period November 29 through December 2. The second examination, which was not of JFK's brain but of a substitute brain, was an occasion for fraud. The photos of that examination were on the wrong kind of film, and were taken from an erroneous perspective. Also, there was no sectioning, as there was in the original exam. All this per the doctors.

Horne concluded that there is something "seriously wrong' with the autopsy photos, which do not square with the observations of Parkland doctors or doctors present at the autopsy. In Horne's estimation, "something is terribly wrong' about all this.

6. Evidently, the sponsor (or perhaps more accurately, Fetzer) has concluded that the Z-film cannot be squared with a 6+ shot scenario, Enter, Thomas "Nike" Lipscomb, who temporarily drove this bus into a ditch. Mercifully, he spoke for only five minutes. He made two points.

Using descriptions of Mr. Zapruder's height, and photographs of Mr. Zapruder's assistant's attire, he appeared to raise questions whether these folks, in fact, were old Abe and his assistant. He didn't overly suggest who these people might have been, and if they weren't Abe and his assistant, where the latter two were when the would be imposters filmed. Nor did Lipscomb even mention the rather famous TV footage shortly after the assassination in which Abe -- undoubtedly the genuine article this time -- says he is Abe and explains how he filmed.

Second, and predictably, Lipscomb showed pictures of witnesses with shoes on upon arriving at Dealey Plaza, counterposed with what these women appear to be wearing in a snippet of the Z-film, white sneakers. It was far from clear to me that they were, in fact, wearing white sneakers or whether, instead, their shoes were obscured by the angle of Abe's camera and/or the grass and we were looking at their socks instead. More importantly, there was utterly no effort made to tie the significance of what was on these womens' feet to how the Z-film was altered. How can altering footwear change shot sequence and location?

Lipscomb then said he and others are at the early stages of this Z-film work. Obviously so. Any charge of alteration based on the evidence he presented today is preposterous.

6. Finally, Joan Mellon began talking about Louisiana and LHO, and I had to leave. Unfortunately, they did not get to Jeff Morley, also a panelist, while I was there.

Caveat: I saw only the first hour folks. So if anything transpired thereafter that changes the above in any significant way, I was not there to observe it.

I was frustrated by the artificial time constraints placed upon us by Fetzer/Lipscomb, who “insisted” that the Press would “walk” at 12:00 if we were not finished with our “one hour” press conference. The rest of us panelists deferred to their judgement, which I feel was unfortunate, because both David Mantik and I, under extremely serious (and I now feel completely unwarranted) time pressure, severely curtailed what we had planned to present.

At least I was wise enough to bring 20 copies of my prepared text, which I made available after the presentation to journalists, so that hopefully I would not be misquoted.

Fetzer told us ahead of time that he was simply going to moderate, and introduce the rest of us after a brief introduction of the evidence, but in my view he tried to present too much OLD information, and instead of abbreviating his content, insisted upon reading every word of his material, and did so far too fast. It was a data dump of major proportions, like trying to drink from a charged firehose. Most of the limited audience probably “tuned out” on his very rapid data dump about 5 minutes into his 18 or 20 minute presentation. Because Jim took up so much time, Mantik and I were essentially forced to wrap up early by Mr. Kuntzler, so as meet our self-imposed “time-constraints.” My presentation at the podium suffered accordingly, as I was mentally editing/omitting text and comment as I spoke. However, my handouts should have made up for any detail I cut out.

I would have been wiser if I had simplified my 20 minute presentation into an outline of “bullets,” and then spoken extemporaneously from my outline. That is a “lesson learned” for me, for which I blame no one.

Apparently the only two video cameras there were from AP and the conservative Sinclair network. If Sinclair wanted to do a “rip job” and present us as lightweight buffs, unfortunately, they could do so. Toward the end of the Press Conference, the sponsor, Mr. Kuntzler, President of Miller Reporting Company (DC’s biggest and most reputable court reporting company), who spent a fortune on this event, decided to present his Grand Unified Field Theory of the Assassination, which includes almost everyone in the U.S. Government and U.S. Industry in 1963. We had hoped he would wait to do this until AFTER the conference, but he did not. Of course it WAS his conference, his event, so I suppose he had a right to present whatever he wanted. He also presented his views to CNN the day before the press conference, and they wrote an article about his views on Sunday on their website.

The intent of the conference was to present relatively NEW material on “fraud in the evidence” in this case. Mantik has proved (to me, anyway) that the 3 head x-rays are forged composite copy films. His optical density measurements prove that. The 2 lateral head x-rays have had a “white patch” superimposed which hides the blowout in the right rear of the head, and the A-P head x-ray has had the 6.5 mm “bullet” fragment superimposed on the copy film, supposedly implicating the Oswald rifle.

My presentation discussed fraud in 3 areas:

-CE 387, the autopsy report in the Archives, is in my view the 3rd version. Humes destroyed a first draft in his fireplace, per his ARRB deposition, and RFK disposed of an “original” listed in the Burkley/USSS receipt dated April 26, 1965. A second “original” was transferred by the USSS to the Archives in October 1967---that is the one in the Archives today. I have a very plausible hypothesis of how the content of each report changed and this will be presented in my book.

-I covered the evidence of 2 brain exams, one on Nov 25th (the real brain, which was sectioned, and whose photos were never placed into the record), and the fraudulent, substitute specimen’s examination between Nov 29th-Dec 2nd, whose photographs were placed into the Archives. The evidence of the first exam would have provided evidence of a frontal shot which exited in the rear of the head, so it was deep-sixed; the fraudulent specimen’s pattern of damage is generally consistent with being shot from above and behind, so it was introduced into the record to support the official cover story.

-There are 3 possible reasons why the back of the head appears intact in the autopsy photos (of course, it was not intact and the photos depict an intentionally “false picture” of what happened):

-photographic forgery (to which I do not subscribe);

-gross manipulation of the scalp (from elsewhere on the head) by the doctors, so as to fool the camera; or

-a partial reconstruction of the back of the head by Mr. Stroble, the Gawler’s funeral home technician, a the direction of the pathologists, so as to fool the camera.

I tend toward suspecting the third option above.

My point was that no one can claim with any certainty that the autopsy photos are photographic forgeries unless or until they do analytic work with the original materials in the Archives---the color slides and B & W negatives. To my knowledge no one claiming photographic forgery has done this…they have all used bootleg prints, which is not real science. It’s wishful thinking. (Mantik has visited the Archives 9 times and has repeatedly taken empirical measurements of the head x-rays with an optical densitometer; he has real data which is repeatable by anyone else.)

I don’t wish to say anything else; I could, but I will not. Everyone involved did their best, but I would only give us a “C minus” in overall presentation. I learned a lot from this experience myself and will do better next time.

Unfortunately, in spite of the great effort and expense extended by Mr. Kuntzler, the media didn’t care very much about this 43 year old story.

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Doug...many thanks for giving us your views and for participating in the "news conference".

Speaking from the view of someone who has been plugging along for 40+ years in a quixotic quest for the truth, let me offer my perspective.

Relative newcomers to the study of this baffling case, as converts are wont to do, often err on the side of ZEAL. It is hard to fault them for this, since their efforts are virtually all POSITIVE. But it is easy to see that zeal sometimes has unintended consequences like you describe.

This "conference" is a good example. It was organized by Fetzer and Kuntzler because they were frustrated by the media's lack of interest and information...indeed misinformation...about the assassination. Kuntzler had the clout and wherewithal to make something happen. Both are relative newcomers to the case, and Fetzer is certainly a zealot for getting to the truth. So, despite errors, they cannot be faulted for TRYING TO DO SOMETHING. Lipscomb is a well-informed relative newcomer who has become quite zealous in the last four months after being exposed to some of the important evidence. He intends to get something done. If this event did not come off as everyone wished, it was not for a lack of trying. The event was a POSITIVE step, even if not perfect. But we must forge ahead, and do better next time, and the next time till we get it right.

You and Mantik are relative newcomers who have made outstanding contributions, though not as zealously as Fetzer and some others.

Some of us just keep tilting at windmills, studying and restudying the evidence...hoping that eventually TRUTH will replace the official fiction of history. I feel that essentially, the case is 90 percent solved. We just cannot get media and government to accept the TRUTH. Indeed, we must constantly battle provocateurs like Posner and his like, wasting time and effort exposing their misstatements, while their efforts are seemingly promoted by the powers that be.

So all our efforts now should be aimed at CORRECTING HISTORY. Research on the case is now about 95 percent complete. Very little is left to be discovered. There will be few new smoking guns discovered... unless confessions come forth.

The official story is a myth concocted to protect the guilty. The guilty may never be brought to justice at this late date, but the media needs to know the truth that there was NO LONE NUT ASSASSIN, but a sophisticated coup. History books need to be corrected while there is still time, or eventually the myth will become accepted history. And that is the pity.

Thanks for your efforts.

Jack

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May 15, 2006 Press Conference:

Prepared Remarks by Douglas P. Horne,

Former Chief Analyst for Military Records,

Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB)

I served on the staff of the Assassination Records Review Board for just over three years, from August 1995 through September 1998. During that period of time the Review Board granted permission for the staff to take the depositions of 10 persons involved in the autopsy on President Kennedy: as a result, today any American citizen can go to the “Archives II” facility in College Park, Maryland and obtain copies of the transcripts of the sworn testimony of the 3 autopsy pathologists; both of the official Navy photographers; both Navy x-ray technicians; a Navy photographer’s mate who developed some of the post-mortem photography; and both of the FBI agents who witnessed the autopsy.

The Review Board’s charter was simply to locate and declassify assassination records, and to ensure they were placed in the new “JFK Records Collection” in the National Archives, where they would be freely available to the public. Although Congress did not want the ARRB to reinvestigate the assassination of President Kennedy, or to draw conclusions about the assassination, the staff did hope to make a contribution to future ‘clarification’ of the medical evidence in the assassination by conducting these neutral, non-adversarial, fact-finding depositions. All of our deposition transcripts, as well as our written reports of numerous interviews we conducted with medical witnesses, are now a part of that same collection of records open to the public. Because of the Review Board’s strictly neutral role in this process, all of these materials were placed in the JFK Collection without comment.

I have been studying these records for 10 years now. The reason I am here today is because contained within our deposition transcripts and interview reports is unequivocal evidence that there was a U.S. government cover-up of the medical evidence in the Kennedy assassination, yet most members of the public know nothing about this. Let me sound a cautionary note here: no single statement of any witness stands alone. Before it can be properly evaluated, the recollections of each witness must be compared to all of his own previous testimony, and to that of other witnesses—before the Warren Commission, the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and even with independent researchers—as well as all available documentary evidence.

Having said this, after considerable study of all of these records, I am firmly convinced that there is serious fraud in the medical evidence of the Kennedy assassination in three areas:

(1) The autopsy report in evidence today, Warren Commission Exhibit # 387, is the third version prepared of that report; it is not the sole version, as was claimed for years by those who wrote it and signed it.

(2) The brain photographs in the National Archives that are purported to be photographs of President Kennedy’s brain are not what they are represented to be; they are not pictures of his brain, but rather are photographs of someone else’s brain. Normally, in cases of death due to injury to the brain, the brain is examined one or two weeks following the autopsy on the body, and photographs are taken of the pattern of damage. Following President Kennedy’s autopsy, there were two subsequent brain examinations, not one: the first examination was of the President’s brain, and those photographs were never introduced into the official record; the second examination was of a fraudulent specimen, whose photographs were subsequently introduced into the official record. The pattern of damage displayed in these ‘official’ brain photographs has nothing whatsoever to do with the assassination in Dallas, and in fact was undoubtedly used to shore up the official conclusion that President Kennedy was killed by a shot from above and behind.

(3) There is something seriously wrong with the autopsy photographs of the body of President Kennedy. It definitely is President Kennedy in the photographs, but the images showing the damage to the President’s head do not show the pattern of damage observed by either the medical professionals at Parkland hospital in Dallas, or by numerous witnesses at the military autopsy at Bethesda Naval hospital. These disparities are real and are significant, but the reasons remain unclear. There are only three possible explanations for this, and I will discuss these possibilities today.

The Autopsy Report

The evidence that a draft autopsy report—as well as a first signed version—existed prior to the report in evidence today is both easy to understand, and undeniable.

The First Draft

On November 24, 1963 the chief pathologist at President Kennedy’s autopsy, Dr. James J. Humes, signed a typed statement he had prepared that read as follows:

“I, James J. Humes, certify that I have destroyed by burning certain preliminary draft notes relating to Naval Medical School Autopsy Report A63-272 and have officially transmitted all other papers related to this report to higher authority.” [Author’s emphasis]

On two occasions before the HSCA, in March of 1977 and in September of 1978, Dr. Humes maintained that he had destroyed notes. He repeated this claim in an interview published by the Journal of the American Medical Association in May of 1992. The reasons given in each case were that the notes were destroyed because they had on them the blood of the President, which Dr. Humes deemed unseemly.

The ARRB General Counsel, Jeremy Gunn, had reason to suspect that an early draft of the autopsy report had also been destroyed, based upon an analysis of inconsistencies between Dr. Humes’ previous testimony about when he wrote the draft report, and existing records documenting its transmission to higher authority. After extremely thorough and persistent questioning by the Review Board’s General Counsel in February of 1996, Dr. Humes admitted, under oath, that both notes from the autopsy, and a first draft of the autopsy report (which had been prepared well after the autopsy’s conclusion and had no blood on it), had been destroyed in his fireplace.

The First Signed Version

A simple study of the receipt trail for the transmission of the autopsy report reveals that the first signed report is missing as well.

On April 26, 1965 the Secret Service transferred the autopsy photographs and x-rays, and certain vital documents and biological materials to the custody of the Kennedy family at the request of Robert F. Kennedy. That receipt lists, among other things:

“Complete autopsy protocol of President Kennedy (orig, & 7 cc’s)—Original signed by Dr. Humes, pathologist.”

Evelyn Lincoln, secretary to the late President Kennedy, signed for receipt of all of the items the same day.

Incredibly, on October 2, 1967 the head of the Secret Service signed a letter transferring the original of CE 387, the autopsy report placed in evidence by the Warren Commission, to the National Archives; the National Archives signed a receipt for CE 387 the next day, October 3, 1967.

Warren Commission Chief Counsel J. Lee Rankin, in a declassified transcript of a January 27, 1964 Executive Session of the Commission, discusses details of the content of “the autopsy report” which are not consistent with the details of the report in evidence today, CE 387, thus confirming that the first signed version contained different conclusions.

The dilemma presented here can best be summarized by the following rhetorical question: How could the U.S. Secret Service transfer the original JFK autopsy protocol to the National Archives (or to anyone else, for that matter) on October 2, 1967 when they had previously given it to the Kennedy family on April 26, 1965? The answer, of course, is that there were two separate reports. The first smooth, or signed version, was given to the Kennedy family at the specific request of Robert Kennedy, and has disappeared. The second signed version is in the National Archives today.

Conclusion

The destruction of both the first draft and the first signed version of the autopsy report are clear evidence of the ongoing malleability of the autopsy report’s specific conclusions during the initial 2 weeks following the conclusion of the post mortem examination. Furthermore, it is clear that when Dr. Humes testified under oath to the Review Board that there was only one autopsy report, and that he only signed one autopsy report, he committed perjury.

[For those interested in obtaining copies of the relevant documents in the receipt trail, or in studying the likely content of the first two versions of the autopsy protocol, I will make copies of the relevant research memo available at the end of the press conference.]

Two Brain Examinations

My most remarkable finding while on the Review Board staff, and a totally unexpected one, was that instead of one supplemental brain examination being conducted following the conclusion of President Kennedy’s autopsy, as was expected, two different examinations were conducted, about a week apart from each other. A thorough timeline analysis of available documents, and of the testimony of autopsy witnesses taken by the ARRB, revealed that the remains of President Kennedy’s badly damaged brain were examined on Monday morning, November 25, 1963 prior to the state funeral, and that shortly thereafter the brain was turned over to RADM Burkley, Military Physician to the President; a second brain examination, of a fraudulent specimen, was conducted sometime between November 29th and December 2nd, 1963—and it is the photographs from this second examination that are in the National Archives today.

Pertinent Facts Regarding the Two Examinations are as follows:

First Brain Exam, Monday, November 25th, 1963

Attendees: Dr. Humes, Dr. Boswell, and Navy civilian photographer John Stringer.

Events: John Stringer testified to the ARRB that he used both Ektachrome E3 color positive transparency film, and B & W Portrait Pan negative film; both were 4 by 5 inch format films exposed using duplex film holders; he only shot superior views of the intact specimen—no inferior views; the pathologists sectioned the brain, as is normal for death by gunshot wound, with transverse or “coronal” incisions—sometimes called “bread loaf” incisions—in order to trace the track of the bullet or bullets; and after each section of tissue was cut from the brain, Stringer photographed that section on a light box to show the damage.

Second Brain Exam, Between November 29th and December 2nd, 1963

Attendees: Dr. Humes, Dr. Boswell, Dr. Finck, and an unknown Navy photographer.

Events: Per the testimony of all 3 pathologists, the brain was not sectioned, as should have been normal procedure for any gunshot wound to the head—that is, transverse or coronal sections were not made. The brain looked different than it did at the autopsy on November 22nd, and Dr. Finck wrote about this in a report to his military superior on February 1, 1965. The color slides of the brain specimen in the National Archives were exposed on “Ansco” film, not Ektachrome E3 film; and the B & W negatives are also on “Ansco” film, and originated in a film pack (or magazine), not duplex holders. The brain photos in the Archives show both superior and inferior views, contrary to what John Stringer remembers shooting, and there are no photographs of sections among the Archives brain photographs, which is inconsistent with Stringer’s sworn testimony about what he photographed.

Further indications that the brain photographs in the Archives are not President Kennedy’s brain are as follows:

Two ARRB medical witnesses, former FBI agent Frank O’Neill and Gawler’s funeral home mortician Tom Robinson, both recalled vividly that the major area of tissue missing from President Kennedy’s brain was in the rear of the brain. The brain photos in the Archives do not show any tissue missing in the rear of the brain, only in the top.

When former FBI agent Frank O’Neill viewed the Archives brain photographs during his deposition, he said that the photos he was viewing could not be President Kennedy’s brain because when he viewed the removed brain at the autopsy, the damage was so great that more than half of it was gone—missing. He described the brain photos in the Archives as depicting a ‘virtually intact’ brain.

Finally, the weight of the brain recorded in the supplemental autopsy report was 1500 grams, which exceeds the average weight of a normal, undamaged male brain. This is entirely inconsistent with a brain which was over half missing when observed at autopsy.

Conclusions

The conduct of a second brain examination on a fraudulent specimen, and the introduction of photographs of that specimen into the official record, was designed to do two things:

(1) eliminate evidence of a fatal shot from the front, which was evident on the brain removed at autopsy and examined on Monday, November 25th, 1963; and

(2) place into the record photographs of a brain with damage generally consistent with having been shot from above and behind.

Until I discovered that the photographs in the Archives could not be of President Kennedy’s brain, the brain photos had been used by 3 separate investigative bodies—the Clark Panel, the Rockefeller Commission, and the House Select Committee on Assassinations—to support the Warren Commission’s findings that President Kennedy was shot from above and behind, and to discount the expert observations from Parkland hospital in Dallas that President Kennedy had an exit wound in the back of his head.

In my opinion, the brain photographs in the National Archives, along with Dr. Mantik’s Optical Densitometry analysis of the head x-rays, are two irrefutable examples of fraud in this case, and call into question the official conclusions of all prior investigations.

[For those who wish detailed verification of this hypothesis, the 32-page research paper on this subject that I completed in 1998 will be made available at the end of this press conference.]

The Head Wound in the Autopsy Photographs

I would like to conclude with some brief closing remarks about the autopsy photographs at the National Archives.

The images of the President’s head wound are inconsistent with both the Parkland hospital observations, and the Bethesda autopsy observations of almost every witness present in the morgue, as follows:

Parkland Hospital

The blowout, or exit wound in the right rear of the head seen in Dallas is not present in the autopsy images, which show the back of the head to be intact except for a very small puncture interpreted by the HSCA as a wound of entry. Furthermore, the autopsy photographs of the head show extensive damage to the top of the head, and to the right side of the head, which was not seen in Dallas during the 40 minutes that the President was observed in trauma room one at Parkland hospital.

Bethesda Naval Hospital

Most witnesses from the autopsy also recall a very large wound at the back of the head, which, as stated above, is not shown in the autopsy photographs. The additional damage many autopsy witnesses recall at the top of the head, and on the right side, is present in the photographs—but not the damage they remember at the rear. One prominent witness, Dr. Ebersole (the radiologist at the autopsy), testified under oath to the HSCA Forensic Pathology Panel in 1978 that the large head wound in the autopsy photos is more lateral and more superior than he remembered, and said that he recalled the back of the head being missing at the autopsy.

Three Possible Explanations

There are 3 possible explanations for these inconsistencies:

(1) Photographic forgery—i.e., “special effects”—to make the rear of the head look intact when it was not;

(2) Major manipulation of loose, and previously reflected scalp from elsewhere on the head by the pathologists, so as to make it appear that the back of the head was intact when it was not; or

(3) Partial reconstruction of the head by the morticians, at the direction of the pathologists, followed by photography that created the false impression that there was no exit defect in the back of the head.

Many JFK researchers have long suspected photographic forgery, but extreme caution is warranted here because all analyses of the autopsy photographs done to date have used “bootleg” materials, and not the original materials in the Archives. The “bootleg” photographs do represent the actual views of the body in the Archives collection, but they are badly degraded, suffer from contrast buildup, and are photographic prints—whereas any true scientific study of these images for authenticity should use the color positive transparencies and B & W negatives in the Archives as subjects, not multi-generational prints of uncertain provenance.

I personally examined magnified and enhanced images of the Archives autopsy photographs at the Kodak lab in Rochester, New York in November of 1997, and I saw no obvious evidence of photographic forgery; but I am the first person to admit that I am not an expert in photographic special effects techniques circa 1963.

I am of the opinion that it is likely that the back of the head appears intact in the autopsy photographs either because the loose scalp was manipulated for photographic purposes, or because the photos in question were taken after a partial reconstruction by the morticians. I was steered toward this opinion by the ARRB testimony of the two FBI agents who witnessed the autopsy. Both men found the images of the intact back-of-the-head troubling, and inconsistent with the posterior head wound they vividly remembered. Frank O’Neill opined under oath that the images of the back-of-the-head appeared “doctored,” by which he meant that the head had been put back together by the doctors. James Sibert testified that the head looked “reconstructed” in these images—he actually used the word “reconstructed” at his deposition.

No final conclusions can yet be drawn about exactly why a large defect in the rear of the head is not shown in the autopsy photographs, when one was seen by so many witnesses. It is sufficient to say that something is terribly wrong here, and that it is an area that requires more study with the original materials. Thank you for your attention.

I also have some interesting declassified FBI documents for anyone that is interested.

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Mr. Horne, I fully believe that the media will not buy all this talk of alteration, not now not ever. The medical evidence, taken at face value and honestly interpreted, convincingly points to the likelihood of more than one shooter. This evidence has been spun by various groups, from Humes on down, to fit desired scenarios. I have created a presentation which demonstrates the likelihood of an entirely different scenario. You may wish to take a look: http://homepage.mac.com/bkohley/Menu18.html

Edited by Pat Speer
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I also have some interesting declassified FBI documents for anyone that is interested.

I'm sure most everyone on this forum would be interested. Perhaps you could post the documents on a seperate thread, or perhaps seperate threads, if the documents cover more than one subject area.

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I also have some interesting declassified FBI documents for anyone that is interested.

I'm sure most everyone on this forum would be interested. Perhaps you could post the documents on a seperate thread, or perhaps seperate threads, if the documents cover more than one subject area.

I am interested as well.

If an e-mail address is required for you to send doc copies I will be happy to provide one.

crobbins92020@cox.net

Chuck Robbins

Edited by Chuck Robbins
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Guest James H. Fetzer

Egad! I am a huge fan of Doug Horne and cannot imagine how he could misreport events that he witnessed up close and personal. While Tom Lipscomb, who is a professional journalist, advanced many recommendations for making the press conference a success--and I am convinced that he was right on all counts!--the time sequence was altered at the last minute by Kuntzler's desire to pacify the demands of Joan Mellen! This was so extreme that, fifteen minutes before the meeting was to begin, we were still deliberating whether she would go first, as Kuntzler was demanding, or fifth, as I had planned from the beginning. Doug told me that he thought that we should keep the original sequence and that she could walk! We talked Kuntzler into keeping with the original plan, but she was suffering from the apparent paranoid delusion that I, as moderator, was not going to let her speak at all! Kunstler thereby imposed a draconian demand that she speak at precisely 10 minutes of noon, which meant that all of us were under extreme time constraints. I was covering the history of the case and the evidence that refutes the "magic bullet" theory and adding other discoveries in introducing everyone in turn. I explained that Michael Baden, M.D., had recently observed that, if the "magic bullet" theory is false, then there must have been at least six shots from at least three directions. I laid out evidence proving that the "magic bullet" theory is false and, on independent grounds, how we know that there were at least six shots from at least three directions. That seemed to be indispensable. Kuntzler was handing me little pieces of paper telling me how many minutes of my alloted 12 I had remaining. I was speed-talking to get through it all, but it happened, including explaining the importance of David's X-ray work. Doug thinks I took 20; how I wish I could have! Only Joan was allocated as much time as she wanted, which panned out at 18. He had 5-6, I had 12, David, Doug, and Tom had 10 apiece, which, together with intros of about 30 seconds each, put her on close to the specified time. Then Jeff Morley finished up. But the topper of the event was a sweeping statement by Kunstler, who knows almost nothing about the case, that enumerates around 30 agencies of the government-- including the Army, the Navy, and everyone except the Good Humor Man - in a conspiracy to kill the President! We made efforts to contain the damage, but who knows if we had any success. I believe that Doug did a fine job of presenting his material in a clear, systematic, and unhurried style, which was quite effective. I have been told that we are going to be given videotapes of the press conference, which I would like to make available to members of the forum to evaluate for themselves. I thought we were all doing our best to make it come out right, but the combination of Joan and Paul proved to be a bit more than the rest of us could manage. The result, alas!, was therefore decidedly mixed. The whole thing came out of the blue on an abbreviated schedule. I don't think any of us had more than a few weeks to plan for this event. My belief was that, even though it posed obvious risks, there was an opportunity here we had to sieze. We gave it our best shot and, if we are lucky, it may produce some benefits in getting our findings to the American people. Let us hope that proves to be the case!

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Dr. Fetzer, did anyone from the media stick around to ask questions? Do you feel you made any inroads? Was everyone lumped in together, or was it made clear in the press conference that there were many faces to the CT community, and that those presenting at the conference were but a few? And what about Kuntzler? Do you think this was just a one-off, or are there likely to be other such events in the future? Your input appreciated.

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Guest James H. Fetzer
Dr. Fetzer, did anyone from the media stick around to ask questions? Do you feel you made any inroads? Was everyone lumped in together, or was it made clear in the press conference that there were many faces to the CT community, and that those presenting at the conference were but a few? And what about Kuntzler? Do you think this was just a one-off, or are there likely to be other such events in the future? Your input appreciated.

Several reporters did stick around, including one for a Russian outlet, who wanted to talk with me. More importantly, Friday before the conference I had made a brief appearance on the Gary Null radio program and offered the advance notice that a press conference would be held in Washington, D.C., on Monday at 11 AM at the Willard. He declared that he would send a crew to tape the conference. What was taped included interviews with the speakers. For some reason, Kuntzler was under the thumb of Mellen, even though their views on the assassination are virtually contradictory. (She thinks it was mainly a New Orleans affair, while he blames it on LBJ, Nixon, and the like. I don't think he realizes that his enthusiasm for her book undermines reasons to take him seriously!) She was so incensed at not having everything her way - it was an incredible display of narcissism - that she even had Kuntzler disrupt my interview in the middle of answering a question. When I told Kuntzler to "Get lost!" because this was so totally unprofessional, he responded by calling security on the ground that, since he had sponsored the event, he was entitled to control everything about it, which was at least faintly absurd. He insisted that my taping be aborted to tape Mellen instead, which no doubt gave her great satisfaction! It was a disgraceful performance by them both, in my opinion, and I quite seriously doubt that there will be a repeat performance. I am very sorry about the way it played out, because there was great potential here that was largely squandered by Kuntzler's many efforts to satisfy her unceasing demands.

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I believe that Doug Horne’s presentation includes some of the most important evidence that has come out on the case in recent years. As someone has said, it should be headline news, but it isn’t. I have send this presentation to all the journalists I know. I hope other members will do the same.

The presentation raises important questions. Who else knows about alteration of the head wounds? Who was the photographer who took the second batch of pictures? Was it William Pitzer and could that experience be linked with his death? As Allan Eaglesham has pointed out: “He (Pitzer) is reported to have been in uniform on the afternoon of his death. An important meeting? A meeting linked with transfer of JFK-autopsy-related materials to the National Archives early the following week?”

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May 15, 2006 Press Conference:

Prepared Remarks by Douglas P. Horne,

Former Chief Analyst for Military Records,

Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB)

I served on the staff of the Assassination Records Review Board for just over three years, from August 1995 through September 1998. During that period of time the Review Board granted permission for the staff to take the depositions of 10 persons involved in the autopsy on President Kennedy: as a result, today any American citizen can go to the “Archives II” facility in College Park, Maryland and obtain copies of the transcripts of the sworn testimony of the 3 autopsy pathologists; both of the official Navy photographers; both Navy x-ray technicians; a Navy photographer’s mate who developed some of the post-mortem photography; and both of the FBI agents who witnessed the autopsy.

The Review Board’s charter was simply to locate and declassify assassination records, and to ensure they were placed in the new “JFK Records Collection” in the National Archives, where they would be freely available to the public. Although Congress did not want the ARRB to reinvestigate the assassination of President Kennedy, or to draw conclusions about the assassination, the staff did hope to make a contribution to future ‘clarification’ of the medical evidence in the assassination by conducting these neutral, non-adversarial, fact-finding depositions. All of our deposition transcripts, as well as our written reports of numerous interviews we conducted with medical witnesses, are now a part of that same collection of records open to the public. Because of the Review Board’s strictly neutral role in this process, all of these materials were placed in the JFK Collection without comment.

I have been studying these records for 10 years now. The reason I am here today is because contained within our deposition transcripts and interview reports is unequivocal evidence that there was a U.S. government cover-up of the medical evidence in the Kennedy assassination, yet most members of the public know nothing about this. Let me sound a cautionary note here: no single statement of any witness stands alone. Before it can be properly evaluated, the recollections of each witness must be compared to all of his own previous testimony, and to that of other witnesses—before the Warren Commission, the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and even with independent researchers—as well as all available documentary evidence.

Having said this, after considerable study of all of these records, I am firmly convinced that there is serious fraud in the medical evidence of the Kennedy assassination in three areas:

(1) The autopsy report in evidence today, Warren Commission Exhibit # 387, is the third version prepared of that report; it is not the sole version, as was claimed for years by those who wrote it and signed it.

(2) The brain photographs in the National Archives that are purported to be photographs of President Kennedy’s brain are not what they are represented to be; they are not pictures of his brain, but rather are photographs of someone else’s brain. Normally, in cases of death due to injury to the brain, the brain is examined one or two weeks following the autopsy on the body, and photographs are taken of the pattern of damage. Following President Kennedy’s autopsy, there were two subsequent brain examinations, not one: the first examination was of the President’s brain, and those photographs were never introduced into the official record; the second examination was of a fraudulent specimen, whose photographs were subsequently introduced into the official record. The pattern of damage displayed in these ‘official’ brain photographs has nothing whatsoever to do with the assassination in Dallas, and in fact was undoubtedly used to shore up the official conclusion that President Kennedy was killed by a shot from above and behind.

(3) There is something seriously wrong with the autopsy photographs of the body of President Kennedy. It definitely is President Kennedy in the photographs, but the images showing the damage to the President’s head do not show the pattern of damage observed by either the medical professionals at Parkland hospital in Dallas, or by numerous witnesses at the military autopsy at Bethesda Naval hospital. These disparities are real and are significant, but the reasons remain unclear. There are only three possible explanations for this, and I will discuss these possibilities today.

The Autopsy Report

The evidence that a draft autopsy report—as well as a first signed version—existed prior to the report in evidence today is both easy to understand, and undeniable.

The First Draft

On November 24, 1963 the chief pathologist at President Kennedy’s autopsy, Dr. James J. Humes, signed a typed statement he had prepared that read as follows:

“I, James J. Humes, certify that I have destroyed by burning certain preliminary draft notes relating to Naval Medical School Autopsy Report A63-272 and have officially transmitted all other papers related to this report to higher authority.” [Author’s emphasis]

On two occasions before the HSCA, in March of 1977 and in September of 1978, Dr. Humes maintained that he had destroyed notes. He repeated this claim in an interview published by the Journal of the American Medical Association in May of 1992. The reasons given in each case were that the notes were destroyed because they had on them the blood of the President, which Dr. Humes deemed unseemly.

The ARRB General Counsel, Jeremy Gunn, had reason to suspect that an early draft of the autopsy report had also been destroyed, based upon an analysis of inconsistencies between Dr. Humes’ previous testimony about when he wrote the draft report, and existing records documenting its transmission to higher authority. After extremely thorough and persistent questioning by the Review Board’s General Counsel in February of 1996, Dr. Humes admitted, under oath, that both notes from the autopsy, and a first draft of the autopsy report (which had been prepared well after the autopsy’s conclusion and had no blood on it), had been destroyed in his fireplace.

The First Signed Version

A simple study of the receipt trail for the transmission of the autopsy report reveals that the first signed report is missing as well.

On April 26, 1965 the Secret Service transferred the autopsy photographs and x-rays, and certain vital documents and biological materials to the custody of the Kennedy family at the request of Robert F. Kennedy. That receipt lists, among other things:

“Complete autopsy protocol of President Kennedy (orig, & 7 cc’s)—Original signed by Dr. Humes, pathologist.”

Evelyn Lincoln, secretary to the late President Kennedy, signed for receipt of all of the items the same day.

Incredibly, on October 2, 1967 the head of the Secret Service signed a letter transferring the original of CE 387, the autopsy report placed in evidence by the Warren Commission, to the National Archives; the National Archives signed a receipt for CE 387 the next day, October 3, 1967.

Warren Commission Chief Counsel J. Lee Rankin, in a declassified transcript of a January 27, 1964 Executive Session of the Commission, discusses details of the content of “the autopsy report” which are not consistent with the details of the report in evidence today, CE 387, thus confirming that the first signed version contained different conclusions.

The dilemma presented here can best be summarized by the following rhetorical question: How could the U.S. Secret Service transfer the original JFK autopsy protocol to the National Archives (or to anyone else, for that matter) on October 2, 1967 when they had previously given it to the Kennedy family on April 26, 1965? The answer, of course, is that there were two separate reports. The first smooth, or signed version, was given to the Kennedy family at the specific request of Robert Kennedy, and has disappeared. The second signed version is in the National Archives today.

Conclusion

The destruction of both the first draft and the first signed version of the autopsy report are clear evidence of the ongoing malleability of the autopsy report’s specific conclusions during the initial 2 weeks following the conclusion of the post mortem examination. Furthermore, it is clear that when Dr. Humes testified under oath to the Review Board that there was only one autopsy report, and that he only signed one autopsy report, he committed perjury.

[For those interested in obtaining copies of the relevant documents in the receipt trail, or in studying the likely content of the first two versions of the autopsy protocol, I will make copies of the relevant research memo available at the end of the press conference.]

Two Brain Examinations

My most remarkable finding while on the Review Board staff, and a totally unexpected one, was that instead of one supplemental brain examination being conducted following the conclusion of President Kennedy’s autopsy, as was expected, two different examinations were conducted, about a week apart from each other. A thorough timeline analysis of available documents, and of the testimony of autopsy witnesses taken by the ARRB, revealed that the remains of President Kennedy’s badly damaged brain were examined on Monday morning, November 25, 1963 prior to the state funeral, and that shortly thereafter the brain was turned over to RADM Burkley, Military Physician to the President; a second brain examination, of a fraudulent specimen, was conducted sometime between November 29th and December 2nd, 1963—and it is the photographs from this second examination that are in the National Archives today.

Pertinent Facts Regarding the Two Examinations are as follows:

First Brain Exam, Monday, November 25th, 1963

Attendees: Dr. Humes, Dr. Boswell, and Navy civilian photographer John Stringer.

Events: John Stringer testified to the ARRB that he used both Ektachrome E3 color positive transparency film, and B & W Portrait Pan negative film; both were 4 by 5 inch format films exposed using duplex film holders; he only shot superior views of the intact specimen—no inferior views; the pathologists sectioned the brain, as is normal for death by gunshot wound, with transverse or “coronal” incisions—sometimes called “bread loaf” incisions—in order to trace the track of the bullet or bullets; and after each section of tissue was cut from the brain, Stringer photographed that section on a light box to show the damage.

Second Brain Exam, Between November 29th and December 2nd, 1963

Attendees: Dr. Humes, Dr. Boswell, Dr. Finck, and an unknown Navy photographer.

Events: Per the testimony of all 3 pathologists, the brain was not sectioned, as should have been normal procedure for any gunshot wound to the head—that is, transverse or coronal sections were not made. The brain looked different than it did at the autopsy on November 22nd, and Dr. Finck wrote about this in a report to his military superior on February 1, 1965. The color slides of the brain specimen in the National Archives were exposed on “Ansco” film, not Ektachrome E3 film; and the B & W negatives are also on “Ansco” film, and originated in a film pack (or magazine), not duplex holders. The brain photos in the Archives show both superior and inferior views, contrary to what John Stringer remembers shooting, and there are no photographs of sections among the Archives brain photographs, which is inconsistent with Stringer’s sworn testimony about what he photographed.

Further indications that the brain photographs in the Archives are not President Kennedy’s brain are as follows:

Two ARRB medical witnesses, former FBI agent Frank O’Neill and Gawler’s funeral home mortician Tom Robinson, both recalled vividly that the major area of tissue missing from President Kennedy’s brain was in the rear of the brain. The brain photos in the Archives do not show any tissue missing in the rear of the brain, only in the top.

When former FBI agent Frank O’Neill viewed the Archives brain photographs during his deposition, he said that the photos he was viewing could not be President Kennedy’s brain because when he viewed the removed brain at the autopsy, the damage was so great that more than half of it was gone—missing. He described the brain photos in the Archives as depicting a ‘virtually intact’ brain.

Finally, the weight of the brain recorded in the supplemental autopsy report was 1500 grams, which exceeds the average weight of a normal, undamaged male brain. This is entirely inconsistent with a brain which was over half missing when observed at autopsy.

Conclusions

The conduct of a second brain examination on a fraudulent specimen, and the introduction of photographs of that specimen into the official record, was designed to do two things:

(1) eliminate evidence of a fatal shot from the front, which was evident on the brain removed at autopsy and examined on Monday, November 25th, 1963; and

(2) place into the record photographs of a brain with damage generally consistent with having been shot from above and behind.

Until I discovered that the photographs in the Archives could not be of President Kennedy’s brain, the brain photos had been used by 3 separate investigative bodies—the Clark Panel, the Rockefeller Commission, and the House Select Committee on Assassinations—to support the Warren Commission’s findings that President Kennedy was shot from above and behind, and to discount the expert observations from Parkland hospital in Dallas that President Kennedy had an exit wound in the back of his head.

In my opinion, the brain photographs in the National Archives, along with Dr. Mantik’s Optical Densitometry analysis of the head x-rays, are two irrefutable examples of fraud in this case, and call into question the official conclusions of all prior investigations.

[For those who wish detailed verification of this hypothesis, the 32-page research paper on this subject that I completed in 1998 will be made available at the end of this press conference.]

The Head Wound in the Autopsy Photographs

I would like to conclude with some brief closing remarks about the autopsy photographs at the National Archives.

The images of the President’s head wound are inconsistent with both the Parkland hospital observations, and the Bethesda autopsy observations of almost every witness present in the morgue, as follows:

Parkland Hospital

The blowout, or exit wound in the right rear of the head seen in Dallas is not present in the autopsy images, which show the back of the head to be intact except for a very small puncture interpreted by the HSCA as a wound of entry. Furthermore, the autopsy photographs of the head show extensive damage to the top of the head, and to the right side of the head, which was not seen in Dallas during the 40 minutes that the President was observed in trauma room one at Parkland hospital.

Bethesda Naval Hospital

Most witnesses from the autopsy also recall a very large wound at the back of the head, which, as stated above, is not shown in the autopsy photographs. The additional damage many autopsy witnesses recall at the top of the head, and on the right side, is present in the photographs—but not the damage they remember at the rear. One prominent witness, Dr. Ebersole (the radiologist at the autopsy), testified under oath to the HSCA Forensic Pathology Panel in 1978 that the large head wound in the autopsy photos is more lateral and more superior than he remembered, and said that he recalled the back of the head being missing at the autopsy.

Three Possible Explanations

There are 3 possible explanations for these inconsistencies:

(1) Photographic forgery—i.e., “special effects”—to make the rear of the head look intact when it was not;

(2) Major manipulation of loose, and previously reflected scalp from elsewhere on the head by the pathologists, so as to make it appear that the back of the head was intact when it was not; or

(3) Partial reconstruction of the head by the morticians, at the direction of the pathologists, followed by photography that created the false impression that there was no exit defect in the back of the head.

Many JFK researchers have long suspected photographic forgery, but extreme caution is warranted here because all analyses of the autopsy photographs done to date have used “bootleg” materials, and not the original materials in the Archives. The “bootleg” photographs do represent the actual views of the body in the Archives collection, but they are badly degraded, suffer from contrast buildup, and are photographic prints—whereas any true scientific study of these images for authenticity should use the color positive transparencies and B & W negatives in the Archives as subjects, not multi-generational prints of uncertain provenance.

I personally examined magnified and enhanced images of the Archives autopsy photographs at the Kodak lab in Rochester, New York in November of 1997, and I saw no obvious evidence of photographic forgery; but I am the first person to admit that I am not an expert in photographic special effects techniques circa 1963.

I am of the opinion that it is likely that the back of the head appears intact in the autopsy photographs either because the loose scalp was manipulated for photographic purposes, or because the photos in question were taken after a partial reconstruction by the morticians. I was steered toward this opinion by the ARRB testimony of the two FBI agents who witnessed the autopsy. Both men found the images of the intact back-of-the-head troubling, and inconsistent with the posterior head wound they vividly remembered. Frank O’Neill opined under oath that the images of the back-of-the-head appeared “doctored,” by which he meant that the head had been put back together by the doctors. James Sibert testified that the head looked “reconstructed” in these images—he actually used the word “reconstructed” at his deposition.

No final conclusions can yet be drawn about exactly why a large defect in the rear of the head is not shown in the autopsy photographs, when one was seen by so many witnesses. It is sufficient to say that something is terribly wrong here, and that it is an area that requires more study with the original materials. Thank you for your attention.

I also have some interesting declassified FBI documents for anyone that is interested.

***************************************************************

"I also have some interesting declassified FBI documents for anyone that is interested."

I would be most appreciative if you might e-mail these documents to me as well, Mr. Horne.

Thank you so very much for your unflinching and undaunted efforts in bringing this information to the forefront.

Sincerely yours,

Theresa C. Mauro

tmauro@pacbell.net

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""I also have some interesting declassified FBI documents for anyone that is interested."

I would be forever grateful if I was able to see the documents of which you speak of.

My E-mail address is

TheDropper@yahoo.com

Sincerely

Mike Crane

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