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How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

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How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Dec 2013, 2:44 am

This is from a post on the Ed forum.

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

From John Crites:
 
"A frangible bullet hitting the president from the right side would have to drag out some of the right side - maybe part of the parietal, via its exit through the back of the head I would think."
 
Hello John
 
This is a very good point you make here, and one of the basic talking points LN's have used for years to deny the possibility of a shooter on the Grassy Knoll. The truth of the matter is, not all bullets are created equal and, under identical conditions, different types of bullets will do different things.
 
The most basic bullet, and the most predictable, is a very long, round nosed, full metal jacket bullet, such as the 162 grain 6.5mm Carcano bullet, travelling at a lower speed range imparted by a muzzle velocity of around 2200 fps and hitting its target within a range of 100 yards. As I have pointed out before, the 6.5 Carcano is unique amomg 6.5mm calibre rifles. Its rifling grooves are somewhat deeper, meaning that it shoots a bullet .268" in diameter as opposed to the .264" diameter bullet fired from other 6.5mm calibre rifles. Translated, the jacket walls of the 6.5mm Carcano bullet are thicker than the jacket walls of any other 6.5mm rifle bullets.
 
It is well known that the 6.5mm Carcano was dubbed the "humanitarian rifle" by Italian troops. However, this was not a reflection on its accuracy. Rather, the bullet was so stable (and sturdy) it often went straight through its victims, without breaking up, and left an exit hole not much bigger than the entrance hole. The joke amongst the troops was that at least it was possible to shoot more than one person with the same bullet, sometimes three if you were lucky.
 
In comparison, look at a modern full metal jacket (FMJ) bullet such as the 5.56mm NATO bullet fired from the AR15 or the M16. This is a much shorter bullet than the 6.5mm Carcano and leaves the muzzle at the outrageous speed of 3200 fps. Not only is the bullet much shorter, causing it to de-stabilize on impact at these high speeds, the tip of the bullet is pointed instead of rounded like the 6.5mm Carcano. While a round nose on a stable bullet will often "punch" its way through matter, a high speed short pointed bullet has a tendency to tumble on impact. The results are devastating, and there is nothing "humanitarian" about them.
 
Getting away from FMJ bullets, the next types of bullets are soft point and hollow point. There are also many other types of controlled expansion bullets but there is not enough room here to discuss them all.
 
The soft point bullet's copper alloy jacket does not extend all the way to the forward tip of the bullet. Rather, the tip has exposed lead. On impact, there is nothing holding the copper alloy jacket at the tip together and it will begin to peel back, pulling the lead with it. As shooters say, the bullet "expands" and becomes much greater in diameter than the original bullet. The greater the expansion, the more matter it damages passing through its victim and the quicker it slows down; often not exiting at all. Most importantly, though, is that the expansion is not always equal on all sides and the expanded bullet is not nearly as aerodynamic as the original bullet. Translation: An FMJ bullet will often travel a very straight path through a body while a soft tipped bullet, due to its expansion, is not nearly so predictable.
 
Finally, we have the hollow point bullets, followed by fragmenting bullets and frangible bullets. The hollow points, which actually have a hollow point on the tip, open up and expand into a mushroom shape more readily than a soft point bullet will, thereby stopping quicker in a wound and inflicting greater damage. Fragmenting bullets are similar to hollow points but usually have deeper and larger openings and often thinner jacket walls. To improve ballistics, this large nose cavity is often filled with a plastic tip to allow the bullet to fly through the air better. Fragmenting bullets are designed to break up into many small pieces on impact and are often fired at high muzzle velocities to enable this. As you will see further in my story, there is often a fine line between a fragmenting and a hollow point bullet.
 
Frangible bullets are something else altogether. They are often made of tiny fragments held together by a weak binding, or from tiny lead balls in a thin copper alloy jacket, held together by some binding agent that will shatter on impact. Whatever the construction, a frangible bullet turns almost to powder when it impacts anything solid. For this reason, they are used in combat training to prevent ricochets and by armed security agents on aircraft to prevent stray bullets from doing further damage to the aircraft. They are touted by some manufacturers as the ultimate expanding bullet, and can have devastating results, but often, on larger game, they disintegrate on impact with the surface of the animal and do not penetrate far enough to do any serious damage.
 
Before I try to explain how a bullet fired from the Grassy Knoll can exit the right rear of JFK's head, let me share a handloading/hunting experience with you. A number of years ago, I owned what I thought was the perfect deer rifle. It was a Winchester Model 70 chambered to shoot the .308 calibre cartridge (7.62x51mm NATO) with a 4x scope mounted on it. I had bought it used and, after correcting a problem it had with a warped forestock that caused it to shoot progressively higher and to the right with each shot, I found it to be a very accurate rifle when sighted in to be accurate at 200 yards.
 
I got into handloading my own cartridges in a big way and began experimenting with different powder loads, different types of powder and different types and weights of bullets. Eventually, I came across a 110 grain .30 calibre hollow point "varminter" bullet that could be loaded into my .308 cartridges. Where I live, the deer are not overly large in size and can often be shot at ranges under 100 yards. While a shot through the lungs is the safest and surest way to kill a deer, we often found, with such a small target, a lot of meat in the front quarters and backstrap ended up getting damaged and had to be discarded. A head shot seemed like a much better idea but did not have the kill guarantee of a lung shot. So, I thought, why not a hollow point bullet for maximum expansion within the deer's head?
 
Well, I'm here to tell you the idea worked just as I thought it would. In fact, it worked so well, when I ran out of hollow point bullets I didn't buy any more of them. The results were simply too obscene. As I said, there is a fine line between a fragmenting and a hollow point bullet. While these bullets penetrated the deers' skulls well enough, making only a tiny .308" entrance hole, they literally came to pieces once inside the skull; often making more than one exit hole and totally disgusting anyone who saw the deer later.
 
This is the point I wanted to make, in answer to your question. While FMJ and soft point bullets will usually have exit wounds coaxial with their entrance wounds, head shots made with hollow point and fragmenting bullets (and possibly frangible bullets) will not necessarily perform in the same way. Often, these bullets will not even exit, and the so called "exit wounds" seen are caused by the build up of hydraulic pressure within the skull seeking a vent through a weak spot where two of the skull bones (ie. occipital/parietal) are seamed together.
 
Do you see now how it is possible for a bullet fired from the Grassy Knoll to cause a large gaping wound in the right rear of JFK's head?

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Albert Rossi on Thu 19 Dec 2013, 7:05 am

Hi Traveller11:

A very informative post.  I believe that this possibility that an assassin shooting from the right front was using hollow-point or "dumdum" ammunition from a high-powered rifle was mentioned by Vincent Salandria in the seminal article he wrote in 1965.  It has been frequently batted about over the years, but few have addressed it with the precision of the  ballistics expert as you have.  But it also should be noted that it was even discussed in the testimony to the WC given by Cmdr. Humes, however in a way which, quite typically, begs the question of the direction of the shot:  he stated he didn't think such a projectile was used because there was not enough fragmentation at the site of entry, meaning the small hole near the occipital protuberance.  It is also curious that his answer didn't really satisfy McCloy, who seemed to be thinking about the total extent of the damage, and who followed up with a question as to whether a tumbling M-C 6.5 mm bullet could be responsible for this.

One of the things I myself have wondered about is why we have not seen critics of the autopsy cite actual forensic protocols involving the damage to hard tissue (skull) from such projectiles.  It would seem to me that a comparison of such damage with what we know (notice I state this cautiously) about the damage to JFK's scalp and skull would be quite valuable.  But I know of no such detailed comparisons with autopsy cases (including wound descriptions to skull, scalp and brain, along with X-rays) where the victim was struck in the head by such a bullet.  Of course, one case would not suffice to make any determinations, especially in light of the statement you made concerning the somewhat erratic behavior of fragmenting projectiles; but broad similarities would be revealing.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Stan Dane on Thu 19 Dec 2013, 8:57 am

Traveller11 wrote:It is well known that the 6.5mm Carcano was dubbed the "humanitarian rifle" by Italian troops. However, this was not a reflection on its accuracy. Rather, the bullet was so stable (and sturdy) it often went straight through its victims, without breaking up, and left an exit hole not much bigger than the entrance hole. The joke amongst the troops was that at least it was possible to shoot more than one person with the same bullet, sometimes three if you were lucky.
 
In comparison, look at a modern full metal jacket (FMJ) bullet such as the 5.56mm NATO bullet fired from the AR15 or the M16. This is a much shorter bullet than the 6.5mm Carcano and leaves the muzzle at the outrageous speed of 3200 fps. Not only is the bullet much shorter, causing it to de-stabilize on impact at these high speeds, the tip of the bullet is pointed instead of rounded like the 6.5mm Carcano. While a round nose on a stable bullet will often "punch" its way through matter, a high speed short pointed bullet has a tendency to tumble on impact. The results are devastating, and there is nothing "humanitarian" about them.
So one could conclude that it is highly unlikely, if not impossible, that CE 399 or any other stable bullet like it did all of the "Tumbling Dice" gymnastics that the "You Can be My Partner in Crime" Warrenistas claimed it did.

You got to roll me!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1EWf6O77jE

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Dec 2013, 9:36 am

Hi Albert

I disagree with Commander Humes' belief that a fragmenting or hollow point bullet would have to show a degree of breakup at the entry site on the skull. As I pointed out, my hollow point bullets made neat little .308" diameter entry holes in the skulls of deer and then came apart inside the brain matter. The hollow points I used did not make a larger entry hole than a soft tipped or full metal jacket would have.

What many people have trouble understanding is that a hollow point or fragmenting bullet does not have to hit bone to begin expanding. The fluid inside the brain cavity is enough to fill the cavity of the hollow point and begin opening it up. The more the bullet expands, the more resistance it meets trying to go through the brain matter and cranial fluid. As fluid cannot be compressed the way a gas can, hydraulic pressures inside the cranial cavity will elevate dramatically, often until a part of the skull blows out from the pressure.

This is what I meant when I said an "exit wound" is sometimes not the exit path of the bullet at all, especially if the bullet fragments into many particles that remain inside the cranial cavity. It is often the weak point in the skull that has failed from elevated hydraulic pressure inside the cranial cavity.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Dec 2013, 9:45 am

Hi Stan

The hardest thing to comprehend about CE 399 is that it was supposed to have exited JFK's throat travelling straight and true, with next to no loss in velocity, and began tumbling on its way to Connally. What made it begin tumbling?

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Stan Dane on Thu 19 Dec 2013, 10:43 am

Traveller11 wrote:Hi Stan

The hardest thing to comprehend about CE 399 is that it was supposed to have exited JFK's throat travelling straight and true, with next to no loss in velocity, and began tumbling on its way to Connally. What made it begin tumbling?
What made it begin tumbling?

I think when Pablo Picasso said "Everything you can imagine is real," he had the Warren Commission in mind. Of all the things they lacked, imagination wasn't one of them.

Isn't that right, Arlen?

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Albert Rossi on Thu 19 Dec 2013, 10:46 am

Yes, I mentioned Humes not so much because I thought his explanation had any weight, but simply to point out that the question was brought up if only to be dismissed.  Knowing what we do about Hume's lack of experience in doing forensic autopsies, I would not be surprised if that answer he gave was coached.  I was sure you would disagree, given the assertion you originally made (and repeat here) about small perforated entries -- precisely the kind of hole that some witnesses claim they saw "above and to the right" of the right ear.

And I certainly find the explanation that the occipital-parietal exit was caused by internal pressure plausible.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Albert Rossi on Thu 19 Dec 2013, 10:49 am

Addendum.  I need to revisit that testimony by Humes, because now that I think of it, I don't recall whether he was speaking of fracture lines in the skull, or whether he meant metal fragmentation on the X-rays.  I think it was the former, but I am now starting to doubt my memory ...

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Albert Rossi on Thu 19 Dec 2013, 11:31 am

There's a lot of other interesting stuff going on during this testimony, but these are the passages I had in mind:




WH2:356 wrote:Mr. SPECTER. Do you have an opinion, Dr. Humes, as to whether there were dumdum bullets used specifically on this wound which struck point “A” of the head, on 3&3?
Commander HUMES. I believe these were not dumdum bullets, Mr. Specter. A dumdum bullet is a term that has been used to describe various missiles which have a common characteristic of fragmenting extensively upon striking.
Mr. SPECTER. Would you characterize the resultant effect on this bullet as not extensive fragmenting?
Commander HUMES. Yes. Had this wound on point “A” on Exhibit 383 been inflicted by a dumdum bullet, I would anticipate that it would not have anything near the regular contour and outline which it had. I also would anticipate that the skull would have been much more extensively disrupted, and not have, as was evident in this case, a defect which quite closely corre- sponded to the overlying skin defect because that type of a missile would fragment on contact and be much more disruptive at this point.



WH2:357 wrote:Mr. SPECTER. All right. Will you now turn your attention, please to the wound which is noted on 385 and 386 being at the---
Mr. MCCLOY. Before we leave that, could I ask a question?
When you talk about dumdum bullets, do you include the ordinary type of soft nose sporting bullets, maybe this is something that Colonel Finck would be more expert on, but was that, was the bullet, could it possibly have been a sporting type of hunting bullet that has a soft nose but is still somewhat firm?
Commander HUMES. From the characteristics of this wound, Mr. McCloy, I would believe that it must have had a very firm head rather than a soft head.
Mr. McCLOY. Steel jacketed, would you say, copper jacketed bullet?
Commander HUMES. I believe more likely a jacketed bullet because of the regular outline which was present.
Mr. MCCLOY. All right.
Mr. DULLES. Could I ask a question?
The CHAIRMAN. ?G. Dulles.
Mr. DULLES. Believing that we know the type of bullet that was usable in

this gun, would this be the type of wound that might result from that kind of a bullet?
Commander HUMES. I believe so. sir.
Mr. DULLES. If my question is clear-
Commander
HLIMES. Yes, sir ; it is,
Mr. DULLES. We think we know what the bullet is. we may be wrong but we

think we know what it was, is this wound consistent with that type of bullet? Commander HUMES. Quite consistent, sir.
Mr. MCCLOY. There is no evidence of any keyholing of the bullet before it

hit, before the point of impact?
Commander
HUhIEs. I don’t exactly follow your question.
Mr. MCCLOY. Was the bullet moving in a direct line or had it begun to

tumble?
Commander HUMES. To tumble?
That is a difficult question to answer. I have the opinion, however, that it

was more likely moving in a direct line. You will note that the wound in the posterior portion of the occiput on Exhibit 388 is somewhat longer than the other missile wound which we have not yet discussed in the low neck. We believe that rather than due to a tumbling effect, this is explainable on the fact that this missile struck the skin and skull at a more tangential angle than did the other missile, and, therefore, produced a more elongated defect, sir.


Last edited by greg parker on Thu 19 Dec 2013, 11:50 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : formatting)

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Dec 2013, 1:06 pm

I can see that Arlen Specter, Commander Humes and most of the WC (McCloy being a notable exception) did not have a good understanding of bullet entrance wounds or dum dum bullets.

In the late 19th Century, European infantry rifles were evolving from shooting large calibre, low velocity cast lead bullets to shooting smaller calibre, higher velocity rifle bullets that would have greater range and be able to kill people at greater distances. However, firing soft lead projectiles at high velocities led to fouling of rifle barrels that reduced accuracy. To solve this problem, the lead bullets were wrapped in a "jacket"; often made from an alloy of copper.

The unanticipated drawback of putting a jacket on a bullet was that now it would not expand on impact as the earlier soft lead bullets did so nicely. This greatly reduced the stopping power of the jacketed bullet, as it would pass through an enemy's body without expanding and doing extensive damage.

In 1895, the British Indian Army, in response to disappointing results with their fully jacketed .303 bullets, set about to improve the performance of these bullets at the Dum Dum Arsenal in India. Their plan was simple, remove about 1 mm of the tip of the round nosed copper alloy jacket, exposing the lead core at the tip. In effect, they had created the world's first soft tipped jacketed bullet.

Independent of the Indian Army, the British Imperial Army had been working on modifying the FMJ bullet, as well. They not only removed the jacket tip, they also created a cavity in the tip of the bullet, making it the world's first jacketed hollow point bullet.

Both of these bullets were banned at the Hague Convention in 1899, and Britain soon abandoned their use, although they were brought back in a number of battles in the early 20th Century in which small numbers of British colonial troops were badly outnumbered by indigenous tribesmen.

While both of these bullets were designed to expand on impact, and possibly fragment, only the first could be truly called a "dum dum" bullet.

In 1907, British experiments began on a new type of bullet that would cause grievous wounds but still remain within the definition of a FMJ bullet, as dictated by the Hague Convention. A pointed jacket was chosen as pointed bullets, as I pointed out, have a greater tendency to tumble when they hit solid material. To enhance this, the bullet had a light aluminum core inside its nose and a heavy lead base. This upset the balance of the mass of this bullet and, upon impact, the base of this bullet would attempt to pass the nose, causing the bullet to tumble as it went through its victim. Of course, it does not take much imagination to see the damage this would cause. This bullet, known as the Mk. VII projectile, was used by the British through two world wars until being replaced by the 7.62mm NATO cartridge. Though not really a dum dum, it has often been referred to as a "latent dum dum".

Commander Humes was obviously totally ignorant on the subjects of bullet wounds and dum dum bullets. He is completely wrong about hollow point and soft tipped bullets fragmenting on impact. The whole point of making these bullets is to have them penetrate their victim and begin expanding once inside their victim. In my experience, both of these types of bullets make very small entrance wounds.

As you say, perhaps Humes was coached before answering Specter's questions. It is hard to conceive that such a senior naval doctor could be so uninformed.

Below are sketches of (left to right) the dum dum bullet developed by the Indian Army, the Mk. V hollow point bullet developed by the British Imperial Army and the Mk. VII spitzer bullet with the aluminum nose inside of the full metal jacket. "Spitzer" is a German term used to define a pointed bullet, as opposed to a round nosed bullet.



Last edited by Traveller11 on Thu 19 Dec 2013, 11:47 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Stan Dane on Thu 19 Dec 2013, 7:18 pm

Albert Rossi wrote:...in the testimony to the WC given by Cmdr. Humes...he stated he didn't think such a projectile was used because there was not enough fragmentation at the site of entry, meaning the small hole near the occipital protuberance.
Traveller11 wrote:I disagree with Commander Humes' belief that a fragmenting or hollow point bullet would have to show a degree of breakup at the entry site on the skull. As I pointed out, my hollow point bullets made neat little .308" diameter entry holes in the skulls of deer and then came apart inside the brain matter. The hollow points I used did not make a larger entry hole than a soft tipped or full metal jacket would have.
Traveller11 wrote:Commander Humes was obviously totally ignorant on the subjects of bullet wounds and dum dum bullets. He is completely wrong about hollow point and soft tipped bullets fragmenting on impact. The whole point of making these bullets is to have them penetrate their victim and begin expanding once inside their victim. In my experience, both of these types of bullets make very small entrance wounds.
Traveller11:
 
Reading through this thread, it seems all the types of bullets discussed here produce small entrance wounds. Are there any kinds of bullets that produce fragmentation at the site of entry? If so, could you describe them and their characteristics?
 
Thanks, and good work!
 
Stan

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Dec 2013, 11:01 pm

It depends what you are shooting. If you fired a hollow point or fragmenting bullet at a Kodiak bear's skull, there is a good chance his skull bone would be thick enough to prevent one of these bullets from penetrating the bone before it began opening up. On the other hand, it might penetrate the skull and leave a small entrance wound. A lot depends on where you hit him, as well.

In the case of thinner skulled creatures such as man, the skull bone offers little resistance to a bullet travelling at supersonic speed.


There is one type of bullet I mentioned that would likely disintegrate on impact with bone, yet even these bullets have evolved to the point their manufacturers believe they will penetrate before disintegrating. These are called frangible bullets and most of them are made from lead-free compressed metal powder contained in a copper alloy jacket.


 http://drtammo.com/products/


Take a close look at the pistol and rifle bullets at the bottom of this page and you will see they are all hollow point bullets, as well. This is necessary to allow the jacket to begin opening upon impact, beginning the disintegration process of the compressed powdered metal core.




P.S. If you are wondering about the tapered bases of the rifle bullets, these are a design called a "boat tail". It was found, over the years, that bullets with flat bases created a great deal of turbulence behind them as they travelled through the air. This turbulence naturally created drag and gave flat based, round nosed bullets (the 6.5x52mm Carcano, for example) very low ballistic coefficients. The spire (spitzer) point and the boat tail base give a bullet a much more streamlined and aerodynamic shape.


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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Stan Dane on Fri 20 Dec 2013, 5:11 am

Traveller11 wrote:P.S. If you are wondering about the tapered bases of the rifle bullets, these are a design called a "boat tail". It was found, over the years, that bullets with flat bases created a great deal of turbulence behind them as they travelled through the air. This turbulence naturally created drag and gave flat based, round nosed bullets (the 6.5x52mm Carcano, for example) very low ballistic coefficients. The spire (spitzer) point and the boat tail base give a bullet a much more streamlined and aerodynamic shape.

Your "boat tail" description made me think about a picture I saw once comparing the shape of a stealth bomber to that of a falcon. Streamlined and aerodynamic!


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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Martin Hay on Fri 20 Dec 2013, 6:02 am

Robert,

Like a lot of people, you obviously believe that there was a large blowout in the lower right rear of JFK's skull. But, of course, the autopsy X-rays do not show this blowout. Can I ask, how do you personally account for that?

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Fri 20 Dec 2013, 9:14 am

Hi Stan

Excellent analogy between a spire point boat tail bullet and stealth bombers and falcons!

When I was working as a logger, I was occasionally lucky enough to spot a rare Peregrine falcon. I once saw one dropping from a mountainside to attack some small ducks in a marsh area. What a sight! It was the fastest I had ever seen any creature moving before. Needless to say, I don't think the duck even knew what hit it.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Fri 20 Dec 2013, 9:38 am

Hi Martin

I think it goes without saying that I firmly believe the x-rays and autopsy photos are a false representation of the facts.

That being said, I believe the autopsy doctors tried to reveal to the public, long after the WCR was published, exactly what happened to JFK that day. I have gone over the interviews with these men and, although much of it is hard to decipher, certain facts are revealed about the bullet entrance just to the right of the external occipital protruberance (low in the back of the head).

I, personally, believe JFK was struck in the head by two bullets in the time period of less than one second; one striking him just inside the hairline at the right temple and one striking him low in the back of the head, just to the right of the EOP. As you know, simply too many witnesses heard the last two shots as being one immediately after the other. Even this may not be accurate, depending on where the witnesses were standing in relation to the two shooters and the time it took the sounds to reach their ears. For all we know, the two bullets may have struck him at the same time and it only sounded as if there were a space between the shots because the sound from one travelled further to a witness's ear than the other. It would be interesting to see how many witnesses on Elm St. only heard two shots and see if they were mostly in a group in the middle of Dealey Plaza.

I believe both bullets were either fragmenting or frangible bullets and that the first bullet entered from behind at the EOP and did not exit the cranial cavity but, rather, broke up entirely; beginning the buildup of a massive hydraulic pressure. Before this pressure was able to blow out somewhere in the skull, the second fragmenting or frangible bullet entered at JFK's right temple and also broke up completely and did not exit the cranial cavity. The breaking up of the second bullet contributed to the pressure buildup of the first, and this pressure now needed to find somewhere to vent. As the first bullet, upon its expansion and disintegration, would have macerated the best part of the back and lower part of JFK's cerebrum plus the upper part of his cerebellum, this, plus the entry hole in the EOP, now provided an easy avenue for the escape of hydraulic pressure. Already weakened by the first bullet, the occipital/parietal bones yielded to the pressure and a fist sized fragment of the brittle skull blew out.

 P.S. No one has brought up the theoretical "mercury tipped hollow point" bullets yet so I thought this was as good a time as any. I do not know if these bullets actually work, or if they even exist but, the concept is rather intriguing and I would be interested in hearing anything on this subject.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Fri 20 Dec 2013, 3:49 pm

Here is an interesting quote regarding the Dum Dum Arsenal in India:

"The arsenal was at the center of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, caused in part by the suspicion of Indian soldiers that the cartridges distributed at the arsenal, which they were expected to bite open, were greased with pig lard (a problem for Muslims) or cow fat (a problem for Hindus)."[2]

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Martin Hay on Fri 20 Dec 2013, 5:21 pm

Traveller11 wrote:Hi Martin

I think it goes without saying that I firmly believe the x-rays and autopsy photos are a false representation of the facts.


Thanks, Robert.

What do you base this on though? I mean, I know what the Parkland doctors said, but what evidence is there of alteration of the X-rays?

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Fri 20 Dec 2013, 7:23 pm

Martin Hay wrote:
Traveller11 wrote:Hi Martin

I think it goes without saying that I firmly believe the x-rays and autopsy photos are a false representation of the facts.


Thanks, Robert.

What do you base this on though? I mean, I know what the Parkland doctors said, but what evidence is there of alteration of the X-rays?

Not being an x-ray technician, I'm afraid I haven't a clue how the x-rays were altered. Perhaps they were x-rays of someone else's head?

I base my conclusions on witnesses, testimony from the autopsy doctors and plain common sense. First, according to the WC and the autopsy doctors, JFK was shot just to the right of the external occipital protuberance (that little bump at the base of the skull at the back of the head) from six stories up with a long thick walled round nosed full metal jacket bullet with a muzzle velocity of 2200 fps. In the real world, this should have produced an exit wound under JFK's nose which, of course, it did not. For this reason, I reject the official version. Do not mistake me though. I still believe JFK had an entrance wound in the back of his head near the EOP. I also believe a second bullet entered JFK's cranial cavity at the right temple less than a second after the first one entered at the back and that neither of these bullets exited his cranial cavity, for the simple fact they were not full metal jacket bullets.

If the witnesses, Parkland and all of the others, had reported seeing a large wound (or several different large wounds) in many different locations on JFK's head, I would gladly accept the argument that eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable. However, the majority of witnesses reported a single large gaping wound in the back of JFK's head, with a lot of them further reporting this wound to be in the lower right. This goes far beyond the realm of coincidence.

Awfully sorry I can't be of help with the x-ray alterations, but you can ask me all the firearms questions you like! Smile

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Martin Hay on Sat 21 Dec 2013, 3:57 am

Traveller11 wrote:
Not being an x-ray technician, I'm afraid I haven't a clue how the x-rays were altered. Perhaps they were x-rays of someone else's head?


The HSCA asked two forensic anthropologists, Dr. Ellis R. Kerley and Dr. Clyde C. Snow, to study the autopsy X-rays alongside pre-mortem X-rays of President Kennedy. As their report states, “It is a well established fact that human bone structure varies uniquely from one individual to another...so that the total pattern of skeletal architecture of a given person is as unique as his or her fingerprints. Forensic anthropologists have long made use of this fact in establishing the positive identifications of persons killed in combat...” (Vol. 7 HSCA p. 43) After performing their analysis, the experts concluded that “the skull and torso radiographs taken at autopsy match the available ante mortem films of the late President in such a wealth of intricate morphological detail that there can be no reasonable doubt that they are indeed X-rays of John F. Kennedy and no other person.” (ibid. p. 45) On top this, a forensic dentist, Dr. Lowell J. Levine, compared the X-rays with JFK's previously existing dental records and reported that the “autopsy films…are unquestionably of the skull of President Kennedy” and that “the unique and individual dental and hard tissue characteristics which may be interpreted from the autopsy films...could not be simulated.” (ibid. p. 61)

The findings of these experts have never been questioned or challenged by any medical or forensic professionals and can rightly be said to establish that the X-rays are indeed of President Kennedy.

As to alteration, the only professional I know of who claims to have found evidence of such is Dr. David Mantik. He claims a white patch was added to the back of the skull to hide the alleged blowout. Mantik says that Optical Densitometry readings show this area to be far too dense. But his work has been disputed by fellow radiologist Dr. Randy Robertson (who also believes JFK's head was struck by a bullet from the knoll as well as one from behind).

Firstly, Robertson points out that the damage "is consistent on both [lateral] views which would negate the added bone in the back of the head argument." Also, "there is complete coherence of the metallic particle distribution on both lateral views. These particles extend both in the dark area in front and the supposed added on white area in the back of the head. This would be nearly impossible to accomplish." Robertson also says that there are "vascular markings" in the "big white patch" which can be matched to the pre-mortem X-rays.

Finally, Robertson addresses the OD measurements:



Any number of problems with the processing of the films could

be called upon to account for the back area of the film being light.

These include film/screen contact, temperature and time of processing,

how the films were held while they were being dried, the exposure

factors of the particular film that was used that night,whether or

not a phototimer was used when the films were taken, whehter the films

might have been fogged or any other defects in the film as well as

numerous other technical factors. You may be getting a hint of the

technical factors that could be responsible for the density readings

that he has found. Any single one of these or any combination of

these factors could be invoked to explain his findings.



([url=http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg Subject Index Files/R Disk/Robertson Randolph H Dr Confidential/Item 01.pdf]http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%20Subject%20Index%20Files/R%20Disk/Robertson%20Randolph%20H%20Dr%20Confidential/Item%2001.pdf[/url])



ln short, there is no doubt that the X-rays are of JFK and no good evidence that they have been altered.



Now, there is general agreement amongst the independent medical experts in this case, including Mantik and Robertson, that a bullet struck the right temple and that the path this bullet took is indicated by the path of missile dust shown here:







So here would be my question to Mantik and those proposing that there was a blowout low down in the rear:





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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Sat 21 Dec 2013, 4:45 am

Hello Martin

This is assuming the bullet or bullets actually exited JFK's head.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Martin Hay on Sat 21 Dec 2013, 5:21 am

Traveller11 wrote:Hello Martin

This is assuming the bullet or bullets actually exited JFK's head.


Yes, of course.

It is my belief that the first head shot was a tangential strike from the knoll that tore the side of the head off. The second entered at the EOP and exited through the already existing defect.

I also think the Parkland doctors were essentially correct.

The autopsy doctors said that the large hole on the right side measured 17 cm and anyone with a ruler can see that this extends into the rear of the head. The X-rays do show damage reaching into the upper rear, where the fragment trail ends. So the question is, why did the Parkland doctors only see damage to the rear and not the entireity of the 17 cm wound involving almost the whole right side? Well, I believe that Dr. Gary Aguilar provided the most reasonable explanation years ago in Murder in Dealey Plaza:

“...that the wound was described as larger at autopsy than noted by emergency personnel is not proof it was surgically enlarged. Wounds picked apart during an autopsy examination are often found to be larger than they first appeared to emergency personnel. In Kennedy's case, moreover, Jackie Kennedy testified that she tried to hold the top of JFK's head down while they raced from Dealey Plaza to Parkland Hospital. It is not hard to imagine the possibility that during the time it took the Presidential limousine to get to Parkland Hospital, clot had formed gluing a portion of disrupted scalp down making JFK's skull defect appear smaller to treating surgeons than it later would to autopsy surgeons.” (p. 187)

In other words, the Parkland staff only saw the rear most part of the wound which fooled them into thinking it was located only in the rear of the head. This is perfectly reasonable and I have no problem accepting it as a probable explanation.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Sat 21 Dec 2013, 5:54 am

This is further complicated by the mortician Tom Robinson only reporting observing two head wounds; a 1/4" hole in the hairline at the right temple and a large gaping wound at the rear of JFK's head.

Please explain to me, in mechanical terms, how you would conceive a tangential bullet strike from the Grassy Knoll would tear the right side of JFK's head off, considering it struck in the right temple.

Next, explain to me how you would conceive a FMJ bullet, fired from six stories up and entering the skull at the EOP, could change directions inside JFK's skull and exit through a wound in the upper right side of JFK's head.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Martin Hay on Sat 21 Dec 2013, 6:24 am

Traveller11 wrote:This is further complicated by the mortician Tom Robinson only reporting observing two head wounds; a 1/4" hole in the hairline at the right temple and a large gaping wound at the rear of JFK's head.

Please explain to me, in mechanical terms, how you would conceive a tangential bullet strike from the Grassy Knoll would tear the right side of JFK's head off, considering it struck in the right temple.

Next, explain to me how you would conceive a FMJ bullet, fired from six stories up and entering the skull at the EOP, could change directions inside JFK's skull and exit through a wound in the upper right side of JFK's head.


Tom Robinson said at one point that the "opening...at the back of the skull" was made by "the physicians". (ARRB MD63) Which is what Humes and Boswell testified to. They said they peeled back the scalp and the shattered bones underneath crumbled and fell away. Of course, Robinson also said that the missing portion had been "blown away" so he kinda contradicted himself. But the fact of the matter is that the skull X-rays establish that at the start of the autopsy that part of the skull was still in place.

I'm not sure what you mean by "mechanical terms" but it appears to me that the bullet struck tangentially at the right temple and was deflected so that it exited the upper right rear. I think perhaps I worded it badly when I said "tore the side of the head off". I explained it better in a piece I wrote on my blog based on the work of Dr Joseph Riley and Dr Donald Thomas:

The first of the two head shots came from the Grassy Knoll and struck at Zapruder frame 313 causing the head to explode in what Dr. Donald Thomas has labelled a typical “Kronlein Schuss” (named for the German ballistics expert who first demonstrated the effect with clay-filled skulls). The energy deposited as the bullet passed through the brain imparted a momentum so great that a temporary cavity was formed. Consequently, a violent wave of hydraulic pressure was applied to the cranium causing it to burst open. The effect was worsened by fractures radiating from the point of entrance giving way under pressure from the brain fluid and macerated tissue, which then burst out through the upper right side of the skull. As forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht told me, the bullet that did the damage was “most likely was some kind of 'soft lead' (i.e., frangible) ammunition rather than the kind of bullet that is the 'hero' of the SBT” which was “military type ammunition that would have produced a different pattern of fragmentation and overall craniocerebral damage. According to Dr. Wecht, “A FMJ [full metal jacket] bullet should not produce” the “lead snowstorm within the brain” that is seen on the autopsy X-rays. This “soft lead” bullet came in at a high, almost 60° angle and struck tangentially at the right temple near the hairline. Breaking up as it penetrated, it took, as objects in motion tend to do, the path of least resistance so that it was deflected upwards and leftwards; exiting high in the posterior near the midline.

The second shot, coming from the depository building at approximately Z327, entered the back of the skull slightly above the EOP and exited near the supra-orbital ridge. This bullet¾likely a 6.5 mm Mannlicher Carcano round behaved as would be expected and did not disintergrate and leave a trail of missile dust in its wake. And because the "pressure vessell" of the skull had already been compromised, it did not create an "explosion" of bone, flesh and fluid as did the shot from the right front. It did, however, create the considerable damage to the subcortex, part of which was described in the Supplemental Autopsy Report as "a longitudal laceration of the right hemisphere which is para-sagittal in position approximately 2.5 cm to the right of the midline which extends from the tip of the occipital lobe posteriorly to the tip of the frontal lobe anteriorly." According to Dr. Joseph N. Riley, who has a Ph.D in neuroscience and specializes in neuroanatomy and experimental neuropathology, the subcortical damage is itself proof that the bullet did not enter 10 cm higher in the skull as the Clark and HSCA panels claimed. "If a bullet entered where the panel places the entrance wound", he writes, "it is anatomically impossible to produce the subcortical wounds."

I would suggest that the bullet entering the EOP also did not follow a completely sraight path. Off the top of my head, I don't know the precise angle from the sixth floor to the back of JFK's skull at frame 327 but I think it's around 14 degrees.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Albert Rossi on Sat 21 Dec 2013, 9:43 am

Martin,

First, thank you for the excellent review of the Willens book.  We owe much to those like yourself, Pat Speer and Jim DiEugenio for continuing to call garbage garbage.

Now, on to the matters at hand.  It is not my purpose here to defend Dave Mantik's work, but I did want to ask some questions which I'm sure all reading this thread would be interested in hearing your response or reactions to. 

First, I don't think anyone argues that the X-rays are not of JFK.  But there are a number of other things besides the patch which suggest doctoring:  a) the mark placed on -- I forget if it is the lateral or anterio-posterior -- which should show missing emulsion, but which does not, suggesting the X-ray is a copy; b) the non-correspondence between the famous half-moon metal fragment in the anterio-posterior and lateral views; c) the impossible optical densitometry readings for the brightness of that half-moon 6.5 mm fragment on the anterio-posterior view.  All of these need to be addressed, I would think, in order to be satisfied there was no tampering.

Second, I believe that Mantik would explain the matching between left and right laterals by the fact that they are the same X-ray, the left merely having been reversed.  At least I seem to remember that argument being made (sorry I can't run it down right now as I'm traveling).  (There is evidence from the testimony that we do not have the complete set of X-rays as well.)

Third, where exactly on the X-ray do you see the "large blowout" which you say is to the right side of the head? Are you thinking of the dark area in the front? (I will just remind here that Mantik thinks that dark area indicates absence of brain, not skull).  It certainly isn't in the back (occipito-parietal), where most of the witnesses at Parkland and Bethesda locate it.  There isn't, as far as I can see, any hole of any size there, even higher up than where most placed it.  The doctors talk about fragments protruding up from the scalp, and the hole being egg-sized.

Fourth, if the hole was higher and more forward, then McClelland and several other doctors must have fantasized about seeing cerebellar tissue protruding?

Others may also have things to say about this, one of the more troubled areas of the forensics of this case (but what area of evidence in this case is not troubled?). It certainly is not an open and shut issue. If it merits a different thread, perhaps one should be opened on it.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

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