CTKAformerly published Probe Magazine.
Most of the articles on this site first appeared in Probe.
If you would like to submit an article to be considered
for publication on this site, please send mail to us at here.
The French Connection, by
Peter Kross Review
by Seamus Coogan
on Lunch with Arlen Specter on January 4, 2012
By Vincent Salandria
1: Review of Peter Janney’s "Mary’s Mosaic"
By Lisa Pease
2: Entering Peter Janney’s World of Fantasy
By James DiEugenio
Awful Grace of God, Religious Terrorism, White Supremacy
and the Unsolved Murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Martin Hay
KENNEDY & ME: A Very Good Book With A Few Pages of Trouble
by Vince Palamara
Jim DiEugenio analyzes and summarizes Larry Hancock's
interesting and unique new book Nexus:
The CIA and Political Assassination
Jim DiEugenio reviews the work
of Chris Matthews on the life and death of President Kennedy,
including his latest biography, "Jack Kennedy: Elusive hero".
Reviews of John McAdams' book JFK
Assassination Logic by:
IN DALLAS: LBJ, the Pearl Street Mafia, and the Murder of President
Reviewed by William Davy
a DVD Robert Kennedy documentary produced,
written and directed by Massimo Mazzucco. Reviewed by Jim DiEugenio
Connally Bullet Powerful evidence that Connally was
hit by a bullet from a different assassin, by Robert Harris
those who were in and around Dealey Plaza that
day and those who made a career of the case afterwards.
Joseph Green on the late Manning
Marable's new full scale biography of Malcolm X.
and the Majestic Papers: The History of a Hoax by Seamus
- and -
and the Conspiracy to Kill Kennedy: A Coalescence of InterestsSeamus Coogan
on Joseph Farrell's new book
No Evil: Social Constructivism and the Forensic Evidence in the
by Donald Byron Thomas
Comprehensive Review by David Mantik of
Wikipedia? by JP Mroz and Jim DiEugenio (3 part series)
Sirhan and the RFK Assassination
Part I: The Grand Illusion Part
II: Rubik's Cube by Lisa Pease
is Anton Batey?
CTKA takes a close look at a most curious radio host who is a JFK
denier, Chomskyite, and yet happens to be in league with John McAdams
and David Von Pein. Yep, its all true.
Reviews of Douglas Horne's multi-volume study
of the declassified medical evidence in the JFK case. Reviewed
Jim DiEugenio, David Mantik and Gary Aguilar.
Exclusive excerpts from Mitchell Warriner's long
awaited new book on
the Jim Garrison investigation
JFK: Inside the Target Car, Part One
Or, How to Rig an Experiment
By James DiEugenio
See Additional Reviews of Inside
the Target Car
Whenever I hear of a new scientific approach to the John F. Kennedy
case, my first reaction is to shudder and then run for cover. I don't
think it is hard to understand why I feel that way. Actually, it's quite
simple. Its because whenever someone says they are going to treat this
case with scientific rigor, sooner or later, the rigor dissipates and
the so-called natural laws of the universe somehow fail. So suddenly,
as with President Kennedy's violent rearward reaction, Newton's laws
of motion don't apply anymore. Or as with the trajectory of the Single
Bullet Theory through Kennedy's body, gun shot projectiles don't move
through soft tissue in straight lines anymore.
Further, alleged "authorities" suddenly get thoroughly confused and
confounded by the evidence. As Pat Speer has shown, Dr. Michael Baden
didn't even know how to orient one of the most important autopsy photos.
NASA scientist Tom Canning moved Kennedy's back wound up to make the
Single Bullet Theory (SBT) work, and then shrunk Kennedy's head to make
the head wound trajectory work. Dr. Vincent Guinn "proved" the SBT theory
with his Bullet Lead analysis—which we now know, through the work
of Pat Grant and Rick Randich, is nothing but "junk science". Its so
junky that the FBI will not use it in court anymore.
At other times, we even get the spectacle of people who should not be
approaching the case at all acting as if they were qualified in a certain
field of scientific endeavor. Vincent Bugliosi used a chiropractor whose
office offered massage therapy—Chad Zimmerman—as an authority
in radiology. Robert Blakey hired statistician Larry Sturdivan to show
films of goats being shot to illustrate the so-called neuromuscular reaction.
(And then they both failed to tell us that Kennedy's reaction does not
match what happens in the goat films.) Urologist John Lattimer was the
first "independent" doctor admitted to the National Archives to report
on the extant autopsy materials there. He somehow missed the fact that
the president's brain was missing. Lattimer then gave us the Great Thorburn
Hoax, which was thoroughly exposed by Milicent Cranor. And, of course,
who can forget Dale Myers' computer 3D simulation, which turned the SBT
from theory to "fact". A "fact" that was ripped to smithereens by Milicent
Cranor, David Mantik, and Pat Speer.
The point of this partial list is simply to show that when the scientific
method encounters the Kennedy case, it somehow loses all semblances to
what most of us expect about that rubric. So for people like me who have
become jaded by the above hijinks, I was not excited about another heralded
and pretentiously headlined story. Especially after what ABC said in
advance about the "indisputability" of the Myers debacle back in 2003.
(See our critique
of this fiasco.)
The latest installment in this sorry pseudo-scientific lineage took
place at the 45th anniversary of Kennedy's murder. That is on November
16, 2008 on the Discovery Channel. The show was called JFK: Inside
the Target Car. One of the problems I had with the show was that
it had contracted out with Adelaide T & E Systems to do much of the technical
work for the show. This is a large engineering company with strong ties
to the Australian Defense industry. In fact, over half of Australian
defense companies are located in the Australian city of Adelaide. The
city relies on billions of dollars a year in contracts to make its economy
hum. And hum it does. Both the population and economy has grown significantly
since the nineties. Another interesting thing about the city of Adelaide
is this: Rupert Murdoch's giant media conglomerate News Corporation was
founded in, and until 2004, was incorporated in that city. In fact, Murdoch
still considers Adelaide the spiritual home of News Corp. Adelaide sounds
roughly like the Australian equivalent of Langley, Virginia—with
the Washington Post and all. As we shall see, there are dubious
aspects of the show to support this interpretation. (This information
was garnered from the Wikipedia entry on the city.)
Further, The Discovery Channel, which hosted this special, is fast becoming
the new CBS. If one recalls the work of people like Jerry Policoff, CBS
was probably the most rabid defender of the Warren Commission from 1963-1967,
and even beyond. In 1964, they put together a special almost immediately
after the Warren Report was published. In other words, it was
almost impossible for them to have read, digested, and analyzed the 26
volumes in time for the broadcast. But that didn't bother them at all.
They went ahead and coronated that disgraceful document. In 1967, they
actually used Warren Commissioner John McCloy as a consultant to their
multi part series—without informing the audience of that fact!
Both these programs are embarrassing to look at today. But both Walter
Cronkite and Dan Rather had their marching orders from above. And like
good corporate foot soldiers, they did what they were told.
Today, the cable version of CBS on the JFK case has become Discovery
Channel. In 2003, they did a show called The JFK Conspiracy Myths. In
this program, the producers used the same sharpshooter that Inside
the Target Car used: Michael Yardley. The aim was to show that Lee
Harvey Oswald could do what the Warren Commission said he did: That is
fire three shots in six seconds getting at least two direct hits. Except
for Yardley the time span was magically and conveniently expanded to
almost eight seconds. Further, his rifle was hooked up to a laser switch
which, of course, eliminates rifle recoil, making it easier to shoot
and re-aim. As Pat Speer noted, Yardley was later honest about his ersatz
experiment. He told a British journalist that he did not think Oswald
could have pulled off the feat of marksmanship attributed to him. End
In 2004, the Discovery Channel was at it again. They ran a new program
called JFK: Beyond the Magic Bullet. This one tried to prove that
the Magic Bullet was not really magical. In other words, it could have
traversed the storied path through two bodies, two dense bones, three
body parts, and still drive itself into John Connally's thigh. And then
reverse trajectory and plunk out. As Pat Speer notes in his review, this
show was riddled with so many factual errors that it looked like it was
being made up willy-nilly. For instance, the entry point on the president's
back was wrongly situated. The narrator said that the Magic Bullet hit
Kennedy in the neck. Which is a lie made up by Gerald Ford. We know today
through autopsy photos that the bullet entered in Kennedy's back. Further,
when they fired this bullet from an elevated platform, it emerged from
the simulated torso of JFK at his chest. Not his throat. Another problem
was that their bullet failed to explode the simulated wrist of John Connally
as the Warren Commission said it did. And then when they found this bullet
after a search in the brush, it was clearly deformed. Not in nearly
pristine condition as in the Warren Commission version. I could go on
and on, but for those interested in all the details, read Speer's
article at his website.
The third aspect of JFK: Inside the Target Car that gave me pause
was the participation of the Sixth Floor Museum through the presence
of curator Gary Mack. The Sixth Floor Museum, since its inception, has
been dedicated to preserving the Warren Commission deception about Oswald.
For instance, when I visited there in 1991, their version of the Zapruder
film was cut off before frame 313, when Kennedy's body rockets backward
off the rear seat. When I saw that piece of censorship to the Z film,
I was reminded of the old joke about the Lincoln assassination, "Well
Mrs. Lincoln, outside of your husband's murder, how did you like the
play?" (I am told this has been changed since. I hope so.) Further,
they sell all kinds of pro-Warren Commission volumes, like the works
of Richard Trask; but few, if any, Warren Commission critiques. Not even
the works of Sylvia Meagher, Philip Melanson, or Gaeton Fonzi. Gary Mack—who
I will discuss at length in part three of this review—makes up
all kinds of weak excuses for this biased expurgation. But I have the
real reason from a source in Dallas who asked someone on the board of
the museum about this issue. The member answered that this was simply
a set policy. Unlike Mack's pronouncements it has nothing to do with
timeliness or updated versions etc. They just don't want people who go
there to be exposed at any length or depth to the critical community
that does not buy the Krazy Kid Oswald stuff.
So the combination of Discovery Channel, Adelaide T & E, the Sixth Floor
Museum, and the dissimulating Mack did not look promising to me. In fact
it was downright unappetizing. I actually felt lucky when Milicent Cranor
and David Mantik reviewed the show for our site. When it comes to the
medical and ballistics evidence, it does not get much better than those
two. While reading their thorough and precise critiques, I began to watch
the show repeatedly at my leisure. I have now seen it three times. It
is clear to me that the show had an agenda from the beginning. And just
about everything they did hewed to that agenda, thereby creating the
preordained end result. But unlike in the other two Discovery Channel
misfires, the producers learned from their previous amateur errors. This
time around they were slicker. They tried to keep the trickster's hand
ahead of the viewer's—read "the mark's"—eyes. But to anyone
familiar with the evidence in the case, the show collapses fairly easily.
And therefore is exposed as another jerry-built propaganda piece for
the pitiful Warren Commission. And like any apologia for that sorry panel,
its self-contained, inherent shame transfers onto its defenders.
When one stops and analyzes this show one understands what it actually
does. And that is this: it conflates, condenses, oversimplifies and therefore
falsifies three complex areas of study in the Kennedy case. These are
1.) The medical evidence 2.)The ballistics, and 3.) The condition of
the limousine after Kennedy is transported to Parkland Hospital. When
I say "areas of study" I mean just that. A beginning student of the Kennedy
case could take over a year to study the medical evidence. And even then
he would not have mastered it. And it would not be his fault. The problem
is not one of retention or reasoning. The problem lies quite clearly
in the twists and turns of the evidentiary record. I mean, Michael Baden
is a forensic pathologist. As I said earlier, he could not orient the
back of the skull photo, the only one with Kennedy's scalp refracted.
Baden also embellished exhibits when he got desperate to prove his particular
version of the evidence. He had his artist alter photos and drawings
to create fractures that are not on the x-rays, and raised edges around
wounds not on the former. One can understand his dilemma: How many gunshot
murder cases have two different autopsies? How many have two wounds which
dramatically move their locations in less than five years? How many have
x-rays which change fragment patterns and in which large fragments not
observable during autopsy x-rays, miraculously materialize on those same
x-rays a few years later? But yet, on these new and changed x-rays, the
fragment trail does not match up with either the alleged entry wound
or alleged exit wound? All of these bizarre inconsistencies are documented
in the JFK medical evidence. We can measure this show's honesty with
what it does with these provable facts.
The ballistics evidence in the JFK case is almost as puzzling. For instance
the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) determined that the
wound in the back of President Kennedy had an abrasion collar on the
bottom. This usually indicates a shot with an upward trajectory. Yet
how could this be if Oswald was firing from six stories above? Were there
two assassins? Was the photo touched up? Or is the scientific deduction
faulty? As I wrote in Part Four of my review of Vincent Bugliosi's Reclaiming
History, the Warren Commission stated that the shot to Kennedy's
head came in low on the rear skull. But it exited above the right ear
and forward of it on the right side. This created problems with both
the horizontal and vertical trajectory of this bullet. For the angle
from the so-called sniper's nest of the Texas School Book Depository
is right to left on the horizontal plane. So did the bullet alter direction
inside the skull? And per the vertical, the bullet would seem to have
exited too high for its entry point. Also, although the type of military
jacketed bullets attributed to Oswald are tough to break apart, in this
case, the bullet to the head did. For there were fragments found on the
x-rays and in the automobile. The problem though is that the fragment
evidence as attested to by the HSCA says that the middle of the bullet
stayed on the outside of the skull, while the nose and the tail hurdled
through the head and landed in the front seat. Yep, that is what they
say. Somehow, the back of the bullet magically levitated at the precise
nanosecond over the middle section and then scooted through the skull.
As we shall see, this is a major problem for this show.
Finally, of late, the condition of the president's limousine has also
become a controversial area of study in this case. Just what was the
condition of the car when it arrived back in Washington DC? What happened
to the car when it arrived at Parkland Hospital? Photos indicate that
a Secret Service agent actually scrubbed down the inside of the car.
But why would he do that? And what else did he do while he was inside
the auto? When were photos taken of the inside of the car and were they
in color or black and white? Was there a hole in the windshield indicating
a shot from the front? And if there was, was that piece of evidence tampered
with? Was the car then driven on a 500 mile mysterious, voyage westward
after its stay in Washington? And if so, why was it driven and not flown?
The above only scratch the surface of how difficult it is to fully comprehend
any of the above complex areas of this case. So when writers like Vincent
Bugliosi call the Kennedy case a simple one, I don't know what they are
referring to. And I never will. But my point in regards to this program
is this: This special tries to conflate all three of these maddeningly
complex areas of study into a sixty-minute program! That is the bottom
line of this show. The reality is that you could spend one hour on just
the condition of the limousine after the assassination until the point
it was rebuilt. One hour would not do justice to the ballistics evidence
in this case. As for the medical evidence: it's safe to say that two
hours would only give you an introduction to the material. Consequently,
when you place them all together and rush through them in what amounts
to—at best—speeded up motion, you have to leave out huge
chunks of crucial information. And here's a major problem with that:
In the JFK case, a crucial aspect of the story is in how the details
changed over time. In real life "simple" murder cases, this does not
happen. And if it does, the court will entertain a motion to throw out
the case on the basis of evidence tampering. This is one of the major
aspects of the JFK case that the authors of this show do not reveal to
the audience. Which is why its honesty should be questioned.
Another serious problem is that of the Curtailed Alternatives. That
is the experiment and the deductions are limited and controlled by the
authors. This means that the variables seem arbitrarily chosen to produce
a desired result. Cranor and Mantik have already shown this was so in
the choice of firing points. But I should point out here, Gary Mack argued
strongly for the so-called Badge Man location of the grassy knoll assassin
for about twenty years. Yet that particular location was never even pointed
out in this ersatz demonstration. Not even to critique it. Yet in his
earlier incarnation as a fierce Warren Commission critic, Mack was at
pains to show its validity for British documentary producer Nigel Turner.
In fact, it was actually one of the highlights of the multi-part series The
Men Who Killed Kennedy. (I will deal with the Mack metamorphosis
in the third part of this essay.)
This Curtailed Alternative method continued even after the show was
(mercifully) over. Mack went online and answered some questions from
viewers. His viewpoint on these answers was remarkably limited for someone
who has been studying this case for over thirty years. I never considered
Gary Mack a front rank, top of the line writer/researcher. But he was
not a dumb or rigidly inflexible person. In fact, when he contributed
to The Continuing Inquiry, he wrote a few good and valuable pieces.
But today, he comes off about as mentally agile as, say, Robert Blakey.
When someone asks him what happened to the bullets fired in the experiment,
Mack admits they did not fragment like the ones attributed to Oswald
did. Got that: Oswald's did but Yardley's did not. He then adds that
he doesn't know why that occurred and then drops the issue. But as Milicent
Cranor points out, and I will discuss later, the matter should not be
dropped at that point. Because this is where it gets really interesting.
When someone later asks him if it was wise to use the alleged assassin's
rifle and ammo for a front shot, Mack's reply is equally superficial.
He says that if Oswald had been a "patsy" it seems likely "that another
gunman would use the same ammunition. If a different weapon were used,
investigators would find evidence and conclude there were two guns. A
conspiracy to frame Oswald would want investigators to think there was
only one gun." Read that twice, and carefully: If the investigators found
two guns, that would equal a conspiracy and the investigators would announce
the frame up of Oswald.
When I read that in my downloaded version of Mack's online talk at the
Discovery Channel web site I wrote in the margin, "Absolutely stupid." Yet,
I don't think Gary Mack is stupid. But just to point out one problem
with this response: It imposes on the reader the supposition that the
investigators themselves were honest i.e. the only conspiracy that existed
was the one that killed President Kennedy. The investigators actually
tried to uncover the true circumstances of the assassination. Therefore
if there was a conspiracy, they would have located it. Mack's bottom
line here is this: There was no cover up.
Anyone who studies this case knows this view deserves the utmost scorn
and derision. Here is how preposterous it is: even two members of
the Warren Commission understood the fix was in early. They were
Senator Richard Russell and Representative Hale Boggs. As author Dick
Russell shows in On the Trail of the JFK Assassins, the senator
so distrusted the investigators that he conducted his own investigation—at
the time the Commission was ongoing! His private inquiry came to the
conclusion that Oswald did not do it. (pgs. 126-127) Representative Boggs
said that J. Edgar Hoover—chief investigator for the official inquiry—"lied
his eyes out to the Commission—on Oswald, on Ruby, on their friends,
the bullets, the gun, you name it." (Texas Observer, 11/98) But
more to Mack's specific point about the two weapons: on November 23,
1963 Deputy Constable Seymour Weitzman executed an affidavit. He swore
that on the previous day he discovered on the sixth floor of the Depository
a 7.65 Mauser equipped with a 4/18 scope, and a thick leather brownish-black
sling on it. (The actual affidavit is in Mark Lane's Rush To Judgment, p.
409) This is not what the Commission later said was Oswald's rifle. They
said it was a 6.5 Mannlicher Carcano. But further, Deputy Sheriff Roger
Craig was standing near Weitzman at the time of discovery. He said that
Weitzman thought it was a Mauser at first. But then he looked at the
rifle at close range and saw that it was stamped "7. 65 Mauser". This
is what confirmed the ID for the constable. (This testimony can be seen
in the film Evidence
of Revision on You Tube, Part IV.) So this directly contradicts
Gary Mack's assumption about the assassins using the same weapon and
the investigators exposing that fact and therefore blowing up the conspiracy.
The show's main talking head is not telling the whole story. And the
viewer should ask: Why not? I will get to the 'why not" later and it
goes to the very heart of the show's credibility. (I should add here,
Mack once published his own journal, which was called Cover Ups. But
that's all forgotten now. Today he says we can trust the FBI, J. Edgar
Hoover, Allen Dulles, Gerald Ford, and the Dallas Police. Yeah sure Gary.)
Very early, the show reveals an agenda. Gary Mack is hard at work to
discredit the evidence of witnesses hearing shots from two directions.
Sounding like Lawrence Schiller, he dredges up the old Dealey Plaza is
an "echo chamber" argument. Therefore directionality was confused. But
as Josiah Thompson has noted, if about the same amount say the shots
originated from the Grassy Knoll as from the Texas School Book Depository,
what does this argument really amount to? (Thompson, Six Seconds in
Dallas, p. 25) He then says that some witnesses later altered their
stories. Revealingly, he does not add that many witnesses were forced
by the authorities to change their testimony to conform to the official
line. Or actually had it changed without their knowledge. (This fits
the show's agenda: don't reveal the cover up.)
After this the show picks up one of its main threads: the condition
of the car once it arrived at Parkland Hospital. The narrator intones
that evidence that was wiped away there, plus some other evidentiary
points, have given Warren Commission critics reason to doubt the official
story and has therefore spawned a huge controversy. He is referring to
the blood spatter pattern inside the car—and he greatly overstates
the case. Very, very few people have had their curiosity piqued by this
issue. And even less have used it to attack the Commission. But, again,
it shows the program's unwinding agenda.
The producers next reveal the fact that a Secret Service agent actually
wiped the interior of the car with what looks like a bucket and sponge.
I say they have to because there are pictures that reveal this fact.
Yet they ask few questions about this incredible incident. Making nothing
of some obvious questions : Who told him to do this? Why? What else did
he do besides wipe anything up? Was this a cover story to plant evidence?
And how do they know it's a Secret Service agent? If it was, did they
try and track him down? They avoid almost all of this and then say they
have two witnesses who saw the car before the bucket brigade arrived.
Yet it is not revealed how they can be certain about this timing. And
further, as limousine expert Pamela McElwain Brown has written, no one
had a really good chance to look inside the limousine once it got to
Parkland to make a measured assessment. Because the convertible top was
raised quickly upon its arrival there. But the show considers this important,
a keystone actually, so we will return to it later because the producers
do the same. But I should note an apparent contradiction here: Mack had
just been trying to discount direct testimony by eye and ear witnesses.
He now reverses course on that issue.
From here the show now goes to a second main thread: Searching Dealey
Plaza for possible firing points to the front of the car. I thought this
little walking tour quite interesting. The first point that Mack and
Yardley visit is what they call the south Grassy Knoll, which would be
in front of the car and to President Kennedy's left. Yardley says it
is a possible shot distance wise, but the angle would only give the assassin
about three inches of Kennedy's head to fire at. As Milicent Cranor has
pointed out, Mack and Yardley never noticed that there is a rise about
ten feet back which would probably eliminate that problem. Moving clockwise
around Dealey Plaza, Yardley and Mack now go to what they call the south
end of the triple underpass. They eliminate this firing point because
Yardley says the shot would necessitate firing through the windshield
of the car. The supposition here is that there was no hole in the windshield.
Again, the producers are not telling the whole story here. Because this
statement is questionable. There is evidence on both sides of this windshield
bullet hole issue. Another authority on the limousine is Doug Weldon.
Weldon wrote an interesting thirty page essay for the anthology Murder
In Dealey Plaza (pgs 129-158) Weldon raises serious questions about
what happened to the car afterwards. For instance, about that 500 mile
trek to Dearborn, Michigan that James Rowley told the Warren commission
happened on December 20, 1963. (See p. 133) But more to the point, Weldon
produces six witnesses who saw a hole in the windshield at Parkland Hospital.
(ibid pgs. 139-140) He also produces evidence that the windshield was
then switched to conceal this hole. (ibid pgs 136-138) But none of this
is mentioned, and this firing point is quickly dismissed.
We then move to what is called the north end of the triple underpass.
What happened here was notable. This point intersects with what is the
end of the famous stockade fence atop the Grassy Knoll. When I visited
the area in 1991, I went to the end of the picket fence where it corners
and then juts out. I thought this was the best firing point along the
knoll area because the car was coming at you at a distance where you
could track it for several seconds before squeezing off your shot. In
fact, Yardley says words to that effect in this show. Then, he and Mack
walk away from this point because there is shrubbery there today, and
go a few steps downward on the slope. (Since they had Dealey Plaza cordoned
off, why didn't they pay a gardener sixty bucks to trim the shrubbery?)
How good is this shot? When they showed it from the shooter's angle,
they moved Jackie Kennedy into the line of fire to try and discredit
it. (I will return to this "mistake" later.) Mack finally dismisses this
site because witnesses in the area could see the assassin. Yet one could
say this about almost any firing point in the Plaza. Because as Mack
intoned earlier, there were hundreds of witnesses in the area. What a
precision hit team would be banking on is that they would be distracted
by the president's car and looking in that direction at the time of the
The reader should note at this point: The show has been all too eager
to dismiss these three alternative sites. And further, Yardley has not
taken one shot from any of them. This should be kept in mind as the show
Yardley and Mack now move to a position further down and behind the
stockade fence. This particular point brings you closer to the car, but
you have much less time to track the target from this venue. This is
why when I visited Dealey Plaza, I thought the previous point would be
a better venue than this one. Yardley notes the tracking problem, but
Mack decides on this point. We will see why later.
The scene now shifts down under to Australia. The narration states that
previously there had been no technology which could simulate a human
head. But today "an exact replica of the human head" is possible. Further,
there was only one place which could produce such an exact replica. That
place is, of course, in Rupert Murdoch's spiritual home of Adelaide.
And the company is Adelaide T & E Systems. When I listened to this segment
I began to smell some snake oil cooking. Why? Because I just don't think
its possible to produce an "exact replica" of a human head. I mean maybe
you could create a reasonable facsimile. But not an exact replica. It's
just too complicated of a phenomenon: the muscles, tendons, nervous system,
blood circulatory system, hair and scalp etc. So I thought this was overstated
in the extreme. You know, Dale Myers and ABC country. And as we shall
see, it was.
What is even more interesting of course is that Adelaide T & E Systems
also builds replicas of the human torso. So it would have been easy to
attach the head to a torso which fit Kennedy's dimensions. But they did
not. The excuse was that it would have added another variable. This rationale
was kind of smelly. The real reason I suspect this was not done is that
in the Zapruder film, upon the bullet's impact, Kennedy's body rockets
backward in the car and bounces off the back seat. Yet this is supposed
to be a shot from behind. The producers probably suspected that when
they simulated the shot from the Depository, Oswald's alleged firing
point, no such reaction would follow. And Gary Mack didn't want to have
to explain this. That would mean getting into the Luis Alvarez/Larry
Sturdivan mumbojumbo about "jet effect" and "neuromuscular reaction".
He had enough problems already.
He immediately went about fixing one of them. As everyone knows, one
of the largest, most insurmountable problems in the Warren Commission
is that all the evidence says that Lee Harvey Oswald was a poor marksman.
Yet Michael Yardley is not. He has won many sharpshooting competitions.
By all accounts, the shot Oswald supposedly took from the Texas School
Book Depository which killed Kennedy was very difficult. Now Michael
Yardley is the opposite. He is a contest winning sharpshooter. Further,
the weapon Oswald allegedly used had a cheap scope which was not properly
mounted. But Yardley placed a modern telescopic site on the rifle and
then sited it in i.e. he took practice shots to make sure it was perfectly
aligned. How does any of this duplicate what the Warren Commission said
happened? But clearly, the producers were not going to risk proving the
critics correct. Namely, they were not going to risk a miss by Yardley.
Not only were they not going to risk a miss, they were going to ensure
it not happening. Because when the show moves up to Sylmar, California
where a shooting range simulating the dimensions of Dealey Plaza is put
together, Yardley is not shooting at a moving target. The car is stationary.
Mack remembered what happened when many others tried to duplicate Oswald's
alleged feat of marksmanship. They couldn't do it. Realizing that would
jeopardize the show, he was removing all those troublesome "variables".
The problem is if you remove too many variables, what conditions are
you actually duplicating? Ones that weren't there?
Yardley then took his first shot from the spot he and Mack decided on
from behind the stockade fence. . This was with a soft nosed hunting
round, which is not the kind of ammunition Oswald was supposed to be
firing. He hit the target, but something weird happened. The entire skull
literally exploded to the point where nothing was left on the platform.
When I saw this, my antennae went up. Outside of some cheap Hollywood
horror movie, I had never seen or heard of such a thing happening. And
I remembered how the show had said so fervently stated that these were
exact replicas of the human skull. I don't think so. As Milicent Cranor
wrote, they appeared too frangible. Why?
Yardley then fired again from that spot behind the fence. This time
with the type of ammo Oswald was allegedly using. This time he hit the
target with a more controlled damage pattern. Mack then went to the car
and observed this closely. He then said something that was quite startling
at the same time that it was revealing. He said that this shot would
have also hit Jackie Kennedy. I then thought back to what had happened
when the show had lined up the other shot, from the better position further
down the fence: they had the models lined up wrong then also. At that
time they were not in Sylmar, but were in Dealey Plaza. No one noticed
this mistake and corrected it? Very hard to believe, because what Mack
said is easily exposed as false. All you have to do is look at the Zapruder
film, which Mack has done hundreds of times. Jackie Kennedy in Z frame
312—right before the fatal shot—is clearly ahead of her husband,.
So a shot coming from a mostly side angle—as this one was—would
not have hit her. And this point gets very interesting. Mainly because
it is so hard to believe that no one caught it. Which is what Mack wants
the pubic to believe.
In fact in the aforementioned online discussion, Gary Mack admitted
that he, and the show, were wrong about this. He then added this: "We
didn't catch it at the time." But yet, according to Robert Groden, this
is a lie. He was in Dealey Plaza at the time the show was filming the
limousine simulations with models in it. He said that he pointed out
to the show's director and Gary Mack that the "positions and locations
of both the actors portraying President and Jackie Kennedy were completely
wrong." Then Groden added something that is really important in understanding
the program's genesis and ultimate purpose. In that regard, it actually
sounds like something J. Lee Rankin would write to his assistant counsel
about the true position of the bullet that entered into Kennedy's back.
Groden posted that both Mack and the director replied that "the positions
and locations were not important to the points they were trying to show." But
if this were so then why did Mack misrepresent that specific point to
the public on the air! He actually said that the shot would have hit
Jackie. I have an idea as to why. Because that was an easy visual way
to discredit a shot from that angle. Almost like the show did focus groups,
they understood this would easily register with the public. I know this
because a colleague from work said this to me the day after the show
aired. Knowing my interest in the JFK case, he came up to me at lunch
and said, "Jim, the shot couldn't have come from the front. It would
have hit Jackie." And we all know it did not. So the evidence Groden
produces from behind the scenes, says that the producers knew they were
wrong and went ahead anyway for propaganda purposes. And Mack then tried
to conceal this when he said they didn't catch it in time. Further, the
quote by Groden that I am using was posted on February 5, 2009. Way after
the show's initial broadcast. He said he was reposting it at this time.
Why? Because his initial post of the information had been removed!
If I was Gary Mack in his present incarnation, when Mack said he didn't
catch the error in time, I would have posted something like this: "Gary,
you're a damned liar!" I will explain that quote in part three of this
Return to Main Page
The Assassinations: Probe Magazine on JFK, MLK, RFK,
and Malcolm X
FLASH! This book is now available on KIndle
for the lowest price ever, of $10.99
New Edition, Updated!
Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba, and
the Garrison Case by James DiEugenio
Order Now! Amazon.com
The entire collection of
Probe magazine on Disk.