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The Discovery of CE399

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The Discovery of CE399

Post by Guest on Thu 24 Oct 2013, 9:42 pm

Conversation with Robert on the "Shooting Damage Communication" thread has segued into the discovery of CE399 (The Magic Bullet) and I think its a subject that still has mileage within it for some interesting discussion.  Once I find my old Education forum thread I will be able to put some meat on the bones but in the meantime here is a run down of some points that should give an overview of why a Darrell Tomlinson -Nathan Pool - O. P. Wright discovered bullet needs to be reexamined:

Why should we reexamine theTomlinson-Poole-Wright discovered stretcher bullet?
i)                    The FBI were, up until December ‘63, under the impression the bullet was found “immediately” and that it was found on Kennedy’s stretcher
ii)                   The Warren Commission, in January ‘64, were still juggling two different stories of where and how the bullet came to be found. One that it was found on Kennedy’s stretcher and the other that it was found of Connally’s stretcher
iii)                 Tomlinson told several variations of how he found the bullet and what he did when he discovered it.  In one story he stated it was him who picked up the bullet and physically handed it to O. P. Wright
iv)                 O. P. Wright told several variations of how he came to know about it and what he did when he found it.  Contrary to Tomlinson’s story he claims he left it on the stretcher and only picked it up when he could find no one in authority with any interest in collecting it
v)                  USSS SA Richard Johnsen’s memo that accompanied the bullet as evidence is unsigned

vi)                 USSS SA Richard Johnsen’s report claims that the bullet may have come from Kennedy’s stretcher
vii)               USSS SA Richard Johnsen’s unsigned memo that accompanied the bullet as evidence claims he was unable to ascertain whether it came from Kennedy’s stretcher
viii)              O. P. Wright, in an interview with Dan Rather, claimed he told Richard Johnsen it may have come from Connally’s stretcher.  A very distinct change of language from what is in Richard Johnsen’s memo and report
ix)                 Wright included nothing in his report about finding the bullet
x)                  Tomlinson claimed to Ray Marcus that Gordon Shanklin was in Wright’s office the week after the assassination and he had with him the bullet.  Tomlinson also claimed he identified it as the bullet he found.
xi)                 The Secret Service allegedly interviewed every Parkland employee connected to events the week after the assassination.  Not one USSS interview of Parkland employees exists in the record
xii)               If Shanklin and the USSS interviewed Wright the week after the assassination, and the USSS interviewed Tomlinson, why was the bullet (which at that point was one of the most important pieces of evidence collected) not included in Wright’s report? The Parkland reports were not typed up until the 10th or 11th of December so what excuse was there that Wright omitted mentioning anything about its discovery and his handling of it?  Claiming that Wright thought the bullet of little consequence and unrelated to the assassination is completed undermined if Shanklin met with him and showed him the bullet.
xiii)              Tomlinson did not utter O. P. Wright’s name during his Warren Commission testimony.
xiv)             Tomlinson and Wright never mentioned the presence of Nathan Pool at the elevator that afternoon
xv)               Pool was found by the HSCA and we do not know how.  Josiah Thompson claimed Pool instigated the call but there is nothing in the record that confirms this
xvi)             When Pool was first interviewed over the telephone by the HSCA he claimed he found the bullet and showed it to Tomlinson and he stated it was a pointed bullet thereby backing up Josiah Thompson’s interviews with Tomlison and Wright
xvii)            When Pool was deposed by the HSCA he now claimed it was a round nosed bullet and the story regarding the bullet’s discovery became quite ambiguous
xviii)          The story of how the bullet entered the consciousness of the autopsy doctors is contradictory
xix)             Everyone at the autopsy was under the impression that the bullet was found on Kennedy’s stretcher
xx)               Sibert and O’Neill claim they found out about the stretcher bullet over the phone from FBI headquarters and relayed this information to the doctors
xxi)             Roy Kellerman claims he found out about the bullet from Rowley over the phone and was told to relay this information to the doctors
xxii)            Sibert and O’Neill claim that once the doctors were given the information about the bullet they then came up with the cardiac massage hypothesis
xxiii)          Roy Kellerman claims it was him who proposed the cardiac massage theory to the doctors and they agreed with it
xxiv)          Roy Kellerman claimed he had a conversation with Sibert or O’Neill about the possibility of a bullet falling out of Kennedy’s back PRIOR to learning about the Parkland stretcher bullet
xxv)           Sibert and O’Neill’s stories do not match and change significantly over the years concerning how and why Sibert came to contact SA Killion at the FBI Laboratory.  O’Neill, in his HSCA testimony, stated that Sibert contacted Kilion to find out if there were any other bullets.  Sibert claimed he contacted Killion to enquire about frangible bullets
xxvi)          O’Neill is on record during his HSCA interview that he is “convinced” the bullet that went in the back “came out the back”
xxvii)        Why did the Secret Service illegally take possession of CE399 and take it to Washington?  The jurisdiction of evidence collection in the hours after the assassination was firmly in the hands of the Dallas Police.

So there's twenty seven reasons to fire up some curiosity.


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Re: The Discovery of CE399

Post by Guest on Thu 24 Oct 2013, 11:14 pm


TO: Robert K. Tanenbaum, Deputy Chief, JFK Task Force

FROM: Belford Lawson, Staff Counsel

DATE: January 12, 1977

SUBJECT: Untaped Telephone Interview of January 10, 1977,- with Nathan Pool, employee of Otis Elevator Company, who was sent to Parkland Hospital to run the elevator while JFK and Connally were in the Hospital

Circumstances of Pool's Assignment to Parkland and Arrival at the Hospital.

Mr. Pool was working at the Great National Life Insurance Building (GNLIB) when he heard a report indicating that President Kennedy had been shot. Mr. M. E. Flesner, District Service Manager of the Otis Elevator Company, called Mr. Pool and instructed him to go to Parkland Hospital to make sure there was no trouble with the elevator.

Mr. Pool recalls that he had begun eating lunch at approximately 11:30 and had finished lunch and returned to work when he received the assignment to report to Parkland. The GNLIB is approximately one mile away from Parkland. Pool drove, reaching the hospital at approximately
1:00 p.m. at the Hines Boulevard entrance. He was cleared to drive back to the emergency room parking area and was cleared to enter the hospital by Mr. Wright, Chief of Security at Parkland.

He places his arrival at the Hines Boulevard entrance at 1:00 p.m. and he estimates his arrival at the emergency room elevator at 1:15 p.m.

Pool's Co-Discovery of the "Tomlinson" Bullet; Surrounding Circumstances.

Upon arrival in the emergency room, Pool was personally taken back to the elevator by what Pool alleges was a Secret Service agent who introduced Pool to a second person who Pool alleges was also a Secret Service agent. The second agent instructed to Pool to permit no riders to board the elevator without prior clearance by the second agent. Pool described the second agent as 5*8", 170 pounds, with dark hair, and stated that this agent was stationed immediately outside the elevator on the emergency room level and remained there throughout most or all of Pool's stay.

Page 2

January 12, 1977

At the time of his arrival at the elevator itself. Pool noticed a single stretcher standing immediately beside the elevator door, near the wall but not close to or parallel to it. Pool remembers that the stretcher had sheets on it, one that was balled-up on a tray beneath the upper surface and one crumpled bloody sheet that covered one-half of that surface area. At this time Pool also recognized D. C. Tomlinson, a Senior Engineer at the hospital plant who had been on duty in the elevator as of approximately 1:00 p.m. Since January of 1961, Pool's elevator maintenance route had included Parkland, and as a result he knew Tomlinson very well.

Prior to his discovery of the bullet, Pool recalls that he and Tomlinson gave another person a ride up to either the second or third floor. Pool cannot remember who the person was except to identify him as a third Secret Service agent. This was the only use of the elevator Pool remembers being involved with before he discovered the bullet. Pool then recounts the following. Upon returning to the first floor, Tomlinson and Pool exited from the elevator. As they stood in the hallway in front of the elevator, they noticed that the same stretcher which Pool had noticed when he first arrived was still in the same disorderly position. They then decided to push the stretcher so that its long side would stand flush with the wall next to this elevator. Pool cannot recall a specific reason for moving the stretcher other than to get it out of the way, nor can he remember who pushed the stretcher first. He definitely recalls that the bullet was not visible on the surface of the stretcher.

Pool heard an object fall from the stretcher as the stretcher was pushed. Pool bent over to pick it up and discovered a bullet which, based on his familiarity with guns, he judged to be a 6mm, i.e. less than a 30-30 caliber. He described the bullet as bronze, long, pointed, and smooth and gave this interviewer the opinion that the bullet didn't look like it had hit anything and didn't look like it had been in anything. A Secret Service agent was within ten feet when Pool delivered the bullet. Pool gave the bullet to Tomlinson who in turn gave it to either a Secret Service agent or to the security officer, Wright. Pool does not remember to whom Tomlinson delivered the bullet because Tomlinson went around a corner to deliver it.

Page 3

January 12, 1977

Pool worked the elevator until the time of Mrs. Kennedy's departure from the hospital with the JFK casket, then went home, having asked Mr. Tomlinson not to mention his name to anyone.

Analysis and Recommendation Pool's testimony contradicts or qualifies the testimony of the Warren Commission, D. C. Tomlinson (6 H 128 ff.) in re: Tomlinson's assertions that

(1) the bullet was visible on top of the stretcher;

(2) that two stretchers were parallel to one another at the time Tomlinson discovered the bullet;

(3) that Tomlinson had personally placed a second stretcher next to the stretcher already in position near the elevator; (4) that Tomlinson was alone when he discovered it. Further development of Pool's testimony may confirm that a Secret Service agent was for a significant period of time close enough to the elevator to plant a bullet; may lead to an identification of that agent; and will reveal the superficiality of the Warren Commission's approach (N.B. 6 H 131, where Tomlinson switches briefly from I to we; no one asked him what he meant by we).

Further interviewing of Pool and Tomlinson is recommended.

Approach to Pool He indicates that he is seldom home (214/544-3323) and asks that we call 214/RI8-4533 during work hours and page him.


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Re: The Discovery of CE399

Post by Alan Dale on Fri 25 Oct 2013, 5:59 am

Hello Lee,

Here's an article in which the author argues that Tomlinson's bullet discovery may have been completely unrelated to the attack on President Kennedy.
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Re: The Discovery of CE399

Post by Albert Rossi on Fri 25 Oct 2013, 6:05 am

The article has also been posted on CTKA:
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Re: The Discovery of CE399

Post by Guest on Fri 25 Oct 2013, 7:58 am

Thanks for adding the links, lads.  Alan, it's great to have you here.  I believe we've met a couple of times at NID.

I'm having an early night tonight but did want to reply to one point of Robert's before I do.

I do not now believe Nathan Pool.  When I first began trying to create an open debate about this issue, only to be met with almost complete resistance to even contemplate alternative scenarios, I was using Nathan Pool as a wedge to show how the story of CE 399's discovery had further contradictions added to it during the reign of the HSCA.  Jim DiEugenio said something on my now missing Education Forum thread that played on my mind.  Jim said he didn't believe that Nathan Pool was even at Parkland. After a while I began to mull over whether Pool was a bullshitter and whether he was inserted to simply further muddy already dirty water.  The more I looked at it objectively the more bizarre the Nathan Pool story was.

It certainly is more than possible he was fabricating everything.  Given the fact that during Nathan Pool's initial telephone interview to the HSCA in January 1977 he claimed the bullet he found with Tomlinson was "...based on his familiarity with guns, he judged to be a 6mm, i.e. less than 30-30 caliber.  He described the bullet as bronze, long, pointed and smooth and gave this interviewer the opinion that it did not look like it had hit anything and did not look like it had been in anything."

How Pool came to the attention of the HSCA began to perplex me.  There was no mention of it in his telephone interview and, after the fanfare he created during his initial telephone conversation with Belford Lawson, his backing up of the theory of the research community's favourite Private Detective suddenly backfired.  Why?  Simple.  When Pool gave testimony to the HSCA in July 1978 (a year and a half after his telephone call) he changed his original story.

Now Pool was claiming the bullet was "...more round nosed than a 303" and that the bullet looked "European."  And when he was asked if there was blood on the projectile he left us with this ambiguous statement "Seemed to me like there probably --  I don't remember if we could tell or not."

I began to think if someone put Pool up to this how would they have done it?  I focused on a couple of pieces of information that originally supported Pool's story.  In the Parkland Hospital reports three witnesses mentioned seeing an Otis repair man near one of the elevators.  Instead of looking at this as evidence that Pool was there that day I instead began to look at it differently.

What if someone with a vested interest in this read through those Parkland reports and then thought about putting someone up to saying they were the Otis repair man and to contact the HSCA?  Far fetched?  Maybe...

On the thread that has been "disappeared" from the Education Forum there were a number of exchanges between me and Tink Thompson where I expressed bemusement that somebody investigating the JFK case who had access to the Price Exhibits and specifically O. P. Wright's report would fail to have presented a copy to Mr. Wright while interviewing him and politely asked "Why is there no mention of a bullet in the report?"

Thompson was very evasive concerning this and I knew he was eventually going to disengage so I followed up with something that finally clicked into place.

I asked him how he knew, because he had made the claim in an interview with Rex Bradford, that Nathan Burgess Pool was the one who contacted the HSCA.  There was absolutely nothing in the record or any literature to support Thompson's statement.

My answer was - deafening silence.

So I asked him if he knew Pool had contacted the HSCA at the time it happened in January 1977.

My answer - deafening silence.

So I finally asked Thompson if he knew Pool had contacted the HSCA by telephone in January 1977 by the time he [Thompson] attended the HSCA Critics Conference in September 1977 eight months later.

My answer - deafening silence.

Bit of a theme developed as you can see.

Thompson was the one banging the drum on re investigating the discovery of CE 399 during that Critics Conference that Bob Blakey put on and Thompson was the one (backed by Paul Hoch) pitching the idea to reinterview Tomlinson and O. P. Wright's wife, Elizabeth Wright.

Well, I declare, enter stage right, Nathan Pool, Otis Elevator Engineer, whose background was never checked, and who went from backing Thompson's story up, to pissing on it from a great height.  Was Thompson upset by this or happy?  I don't know.  Suppose it would be best to ask him but he doesn't seem to want to talk about it.

If anyone ever gets a chance - try asking Thompson how he knew Nathan Pool was the one who instigated contact with the HSCA because he never got round to answering me on my EF thread.  

The very same thread that has somehow managed to relocate itself into Room 101 along with all of Jim DiEugenio's posts and most of our self respect for ever signing up there in the first place.

Very Happy 

Short answer, Robert; I suspect Pool is not only a bullshitter, but a planted bullshitter. BTW: Thompson still supports Pool even though Pool contradicts/undermines both Tomlinson AND Wright.  Looks like Thompson is someone who believes we can have our cake, and eat it too.

Damn shame he didn't cover this with Errol Morris instead of mocking "conspiracy theorists" kooky theories about the "Umbrella Man."

Last edited by Lee Farley on Fri 25 Oct 2013, 9:31 am; edited 1 time in total


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Re: The Discovery of CE399

Post by Robert Charles-Dunne on Fri 25 Oct 2013, 9:24 am

Lee Farley wrote:

What if someone with a vested interest in this read through those Parkland reports and then thought about putting someone up to saying they were the Otis repair man and to contact the HSCA?  Far fetched?  Maybe...

.... and .....

Damn shame he didn't cover this with Errol Morris instead of mocking "conspiracy theorists" kooky theories about the "Umbrella Man."
We're on exactly the same page here, Lee.  Your "what if" comment above immediately made me think of Steven Louis Witt and his "emergence" at just the right time. 

Tink got it bass-ackwards; it is not the Umbrella Man who needs debunking - he exists for eternity on film and photos, and neither Tink nor anyone else has provided a tenable rationale for his behaviour that day.  It is Steven Louis Witt, whose provenance is not certifiable, who needs debunking, and Tink is clearly not up to that task as he no longer evidences sufficient interest in this case.

Hence, his lack of response to your perfectly reasonable line of questioning.

While I don't think people can be discounted based solely upon the company they choose to keep, the tight bond between Tink and Gary Mack should raise eyebrows among anyone who considers themselves remotely literate on this topic.

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Re: The Discovery of CE399

Post by James DiEugenio on Sat 26 Oct 2013, 12:08 pm

If Pool was where he was, then how could he not be named in the l inquiries about the bullet, the WC, SS or FBI.

I just think that is far fetched.

And I agree, the way he surfaced to the HSCA has never been fully explained.

In my article on Rosenbaum and Morris I question why no one of the HSCA ever asked one question or even raised any suspicion about why Witt's testimony did not match the photographic record of the day.    Because it does not.

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