Friday, 24 August 2012

First shot disinformation - Part 1

In my previous post entitled, misrepresenting the shooting sequence, I spent a considerable amount of time discussing the dishonesty of lone gunman theorists, concerning the ear witnesses to the assassination. I also discussed how they deliberately cherry pick the statements of witnesses, such as Harold Norman, but ignore the rest of their statements, and deliberately omit the recollections of other important witnesses such as Bonnie Ray Williams, and James Earl Jarman. In this post, I will specifically address the disinformation concerning the first shot I have come across on websites upholding the lone gunman myth.
Let’s bear in mind that the FBI’s lab tests on “Oswald’s” Mannlicher Carcano rifle, determined a minimum of 2.3 seconds was required to work the bolt of the rifle - to eject and then load another round into the firing chamber. Let’s also bear in mind that the speed of the Zapruder camera was determined to be 18.3 frames per second. The LPM theory holds the second shot was fired circa frame 224 of the Zapruder film, and struck both President Kennedy and Governor Connally. With the speed of the Zapruder film at 18.3 fps, the first shot had to be fired at least prior to frame 182 - in order for one gunman to have accomplished the feat on his own. The LPM theory of course holds that the first shot was fired at circa Zapruder frame 160.
(Please note: There is some debate amongst researchers as to whether or not the speed of the Zapruder camera was actually 16 frames per second. If this is correct, then the first shot had to be fired at least prior to frame 187, for the lone gunman theory to be true.)
Dale Myers vs. Max Holland
On his blog site, JFK files, lone gunman kook, Dale Myers, wrote long criticisms of Max Holland’s first shot theory. For those who are unaware, Holland’s theory holds that the first shot was fired before Abraham Zapruder started filming JFK on Elm Street! Myers of course was correct in refuting Holland’s utterly absurd theory. However, what exactly did Myers himself omit and distort? Let’s take a look.
(Please note: I have chosen Myers’ essays, because it’s a good example of dishonesty from the lone gunman crowd, which truly pisses me off.)
Myers explains that the actions of Governor Connally, Nellie Connally, and Jackie Kennedy as seen in the Zapruder film, “proves” the first shot was fired at circa Zapruder frame 160. Myer’s however, omits that both Nellie Connally and Jackie Kennedy claimed to see JFK react to the first shot by grabbing his throat. Pat Speer wrote extensively about the observations and reactions of these three witnesses on his website, and I also discuss Governor Connally in part 2 of my essay.
Like all of his fellow lone gunman kooks, Myers deliberately omits the statements of witnesses who claimed to see JFK waving as the first shot was fired. JFK of course is not waving at frame 160, but is waving between frames 178 and 190. Hence, the observations of these witnesses place the first shot between frames 178 and 190 of the Zapruder film. Witnesses who claimed to see JFK waving as the first shot was fired include Phil Willis, Linda Willis, John Chism, Marvin Faye Chism, Patricia Lawrence, Abraham Zapruder, and Kenneth O’Donnell. There certainly aren’t a lot of witnesses who claimed to see JFK waving as the first shot was fired. However, the important point to bear in mind is that not witness claimed to see JFK wave after the first shot was fired! Certainly something to keep in mind.
Myers also discusses the observations of Bonnie Ray Williams (who was viewing the motorcade from the 5th floor of the TSBD). Myers explains that the last thing William’s saw JFK do before the first shot, was to brush his hair back (which JFK can be seen doing at circa frame 140). He omits however, that Williams claimed in his 1967 interview with CBS that he saw JFK slump after the first shot (yet JFK slumps after the “single bullet” shot at circa frame 224). It’s also important note that Myers omits Williams’ statements to both the Dallas Sheriff’s office and the FBI, where he claimed to hear only TWO shots fired above him. Gee, kind of important isn’t it Dale? But hey, when you’re a diehard Warren commission zealot, who cares if Williams heard only TWO shots, right?
Myers also explains that Harold Norman told the Warren commission he also saw President Kennedy brush his hair back prior to the first shot. What he omits however is that Norman informed the Warren commission he observed the President “slump or something” after the first shot.I think that’s important information to include, wouldn’t you say?
Then we have the recollections of three secret service agents: Samuel Kinney, George Hickey, and Paul Landis. Myers writes: “Holland and Rush also cited the equally vague testimony of three Secret Service agents as supportive of their theory” What a crock! All three agents observed JFK react to the first shot by leaning/slumping to his left (which only occurs after Zapruder frame 224). Here are excerpts from their secret service reports:
Samuel Kinney (22/11/63):
“I was driving SS 679-X, follow-up. As we turned off Main Street (left) about 4 minutes from our destination of Trade Mart. The first shot was fired as we were going into an underpass. The first shot was fired, I glanced from the taillight of SS 100-X, at the President and it appeared that he had been shot because he slumped to the left. Immediately he sat up again.* At this time the second shot was fired and I observed hair flying from the right side of his head”
Paul Landis (27/11/63):
“At approximately this point, I would say, the President's car and the Follow-up car had just completed their turns and both were straightening out. At this moment I heard what sounded like the report of a high-powered rifle from behind me, over my right shoulder. When I heard the sound there was no question in my mind what it was. My first glance was at the President, as I was practically looking in his direction anyway. I saw him moving in a manner which I thought was to look in the direction of the sound. I did not realize that President Kennedy had been shot at this point.I glanced towards the President and he still appeared to be fairly upright in his seat, leaning slightly toward Mrs. Kennedy with his head tilted slightly back. I think Mrs. Kennedy had her right arm around the President's shoulders at this time.”
George Hickey (22/11/63):
“Just prior to the shooting the Presidential car turned left at the intersection and started down an incline toward an underpass followed by 679X. After a very short distance I heard a loud report which sounded like a firecracker. It appeared to come from the right and rear and seemed to me to be at ground level. I stood up and looked to my right and rear in an attempt to identify it. Nothing caught my attention except people shouting and cheering. A disturbance in 679X caused me to look forward toward the President's car. Perhaps 2 or 3 seconds elapsed from the time I looked to the rear and then looked at the President. He was slumped forward and to his left, and was straightening up to an almost erect sitting position as I turned and looked. At the moment he was almost sitting erect I heard two reports which I thought were shots and that appeared to me completely different in sound than the first report and were in such rapid succession that there seemed to be practically no time element between them.”
Despite Myers BS claims, the three agents in question made it perfectly clear they observed President Kennedy react to the first shot (not the second shot), by leaning or slumping to his left. Both Landis and Hickey (along with agent John Ready) can be seen in the famous Altgens’ photograph taken circa Zapruder frame 255 looking to their rear. Myers further states: “None of these reports aid us in determining the exact moment of the first shot either”. Whilst that is true with regard to their statements, Hickey’s rapid head snap between Zapruder frames 193 and 202, helps us place the first shot closer to frame 190 than 160. Although lone gunman zealots love to use Governor Connally’s rapid head snap (circa frame 165) to support their first shot miss theory; they completely disregard Hickey’s rapid head snap. The arrows in Zapruder frames 193 and 202 below point to Hickey.


As we can see, in frame 193, Hickey is still looking to his left. However, by frame 202, he is now facing forward. With the speed of the Zapruder camera at 18.3 fps, the speed of Hickey’s head snap was roughly 0.5 seconds! Now, although Hickey never claimed to have turned from looking to his left upon hearing the first shot, what other possible explanation could there be for his reaction? Bear in mind that Hickey’s reaction is perfectly consistent with the statements of the witnesses who claimed to see President Kennedy waving as the first shot was fired. It is also consistent with the Zapruder camera jiggle and blurring which begins circa frame 188 (by my observation). Myers actually believes Hickey’s reaction supports the mythical shot at frame 160. He can only claim that by ignoring the statements of the aforementioned witnesses to JFK’s wave.

I will discuss the timing of the first shot in more detail in part 2. Also, be sure to check out Pat Speer’s website concerning the timing of the first shot. Speer ultimately concludes the first shot was fired Circa Zapruder frame 188. Speer also does an excellent job of exposing how Vincent Bugliosi cherry picked ear witness statements to support the mythical shot at frame 160. See here.
James Tague
James Tague is undoubtedly one of the most important witnesses to the assassination of President Kennedy. For those who are unaware, Tague was standing near the curb on main and commerce streets when the shooting occurred. Tague was injured when a bullet or a fragment of a bullet struck the curb and dislodged a piece of concrete, which nicked his left cheek.

According to the LPM theory, the first shot was the one that missed. The bullet allegedly struck a branch of the large oak tree in front of the TSBD, magically deflected upwards, and then struck the pavement near the manhole cover, sending a fragment of a bullet towards Tague. However, what the lone gunman kooks who are peddling this garbage don’t tell you is that Tague never claimed to be injured following the first shot! Here’s Tague’s interview with the Dallas times Herald (6/5/1964):
"There was that first shot, then the second and the third.  Some time, I think it was the second shot, a bullet--I'm sure it was a bullet--hit the curb in front of me and I felt a sting on my cheek."
Tague claimed in his interview that he was injured following the second shot, not the first shot. When asked by Warren Commission counsel, Wesley Liebeler which shot had hit him, Tague responded:
Maybe the second or third shot, I couldn’t tell you definitely – I made no connection. I looked around wondering what was going on, and I recall this.”
Liebeler also asked Tague if he heard any shots after he had been hit. Tague responded:
“I believe I did…. I believe that it was the second shot, so I heard the third shot afterwards.”
In 1968, Tague published his personnel account of the assassination in the National Enquirer. Here is the relevant excerpt:
 “There was a loud report, a sharp sudden crackle of sound that seemed to linger in the air. A gunshot, I thought, but not necessarily from a rifle. It passed fleetingly in my mind that perhaps there was some disturbance in the crowd and an eager-beaver officer had fired a warning shot in the air. But the sound didn't seem exactly right for that. There had to be some other explanation. My gaze swept over the rows of faces on the distant curb. Then it darted on to the grassy slope, taking in the masonry which had spectators perching on it or leaning against it. Restlessly, I moved a step or two. One foot struck the metallic cover of a sewer manhole. Then there was a second blast, louder and even more distinct, as if from closer range. At that instant I was facing the gazebo. My attention was so caught up that I was only dimly aware of a stinging sensation in my right cheek. Then a third report followed quickly, not waiting--as the second one had--until the previous one died away.”
In 2003, Tague published his book, Truth withheld, where he confirmed that he was injured following the second shot. Below is the relevant excerpt:
“I stood there wondering what was going on when a limousine emerged from this crowd and headed down Elm Street toward where I was standing… My thoughts were quickly broken by the pop of a firecracker and I recall thinking “What kind of idiot would be setting off a firecracker with the President driving by?”…That thought was soon interrupted by the crack of a high-powered rifle shot, and then almost immediately the crack of a second high-powered rifle shot.  It was then that something stung me in the face…One thing that I have always been positive of is that the first shot was not the shot that hit the curb near me…The first shot sounded like a firecracker.”
In 1992, Tague was interviewed by lone gunman kook, Gerald Posner. According to Posner, Tague claimed he didn’t know which shot had caused his injury. However, in an article written by William Goggins (available on John McAdams website), Tague claimed Posner had misquoted him.
Max Holland also used Tague as a witness for his utterly absurd first shot miss theory. Following the TV airing of Holland’s show, JFK: the lost bullet, Tague wrote an email where he forcefully asserted the following:
"Holland is full of crap. One thing I know for sure is that the first shot was not the missed curb shot. Another thing I am positive about is that the last shot was the missed shot. You may not want to believe the Warren Commission’s final findings, but you can believe the 11 witnesses who state it was the last shot that missed”.
As we can see, Tague was consistent in maintaining the second shot was the one he had associated with his injury. Tague was also adamant that the first shot was not the missed shot! So where did lone gunman theorists get the idea that it was the first shot which nicked the curb. Well, I would say from their rear ends. Frankly, the arrogance and dishonesty of these disinformation artists simply astonishes me. Did they really think they could get away with this crap they’re peddling? Apparently so.
Tague’s recollections are also a blow to the pet theory that President Kennedy was struck by the first non-silenced shot, and Governor Connally was struck by the second non-silenced shot. Now, Tague did believe at times that the third shot was the missed shot. However, this is understandable, when we take into account the fact that like the majority of assassination witnesses, Tague heard the second two shots fired very close together. So naturally there would have been some confusion in his mind as to which of the second two shots was the one which caused his injury. However, he was more consistent in believing the second shot was the one which caused his injury.
So what did cause the damage to the curb? In my opinion, it was a fragment of the bullet which struck President Kennedy’s head from behind. This theory was first postulated by Josiah Thompson in his book, Six seconds in Dallas, and is supported by Warren commission zealots, Larry Sturdivan and Ken Rahn. Also, Pat Speer has made a very convincing argument that the fatal shot to JFK was a tangential wound which struck the top right portion of his head. Lone gunman and conspiracy advocates alike, have used the argument that President Kennedy’s head first moves forward between frames 312 and 313, as proof of a shot to the head from behind. However, as Speer has noted, if you look closely at the frames, Kennedy’s head actually moves downwards (indicating the bullet hit the top of the head!).
A tangential strike to the top of the head would also explain how the bullet sheared apart, and also explains how a fragment would deflect upwards towards the Tague curb, right? For more information on the head wound, be sure to check out Speer’s website. For photographs of the broken bullet, check out JFK Lancer here.
Let’s also bear in mind, that several witnesses such as motorcycle officers James Chaney and Bobby Hargis, SS agents Paul Landis and Clint Hill, Charles Brehm, Abraham Zapruder, Marilyn Sitzman, James Altgens, Bill Newman, and James Earl Jarman, indicated the second shot was the head shot. Now is that Just a coincidence? Also, as I explained in the previous post, other witnesses described the third shot as the head shot. This is understandable when we take into account the fact that these witnesses heard the last two shots fired very close together.
Let me finish by saying that the notion a bullet fragment could travel several hundred feet in mid-air before striking the curb - with sufficient energy to dslodge a piece of concrete, is one of the most ridiculous ideas I have heard concerning the assassination. Bear in mind that no damage to the Oak tree was ever identified. Also, just think how ridiculous it is that a bullet could strike a loose tree branch with such force that it would actually deflect upwards - without leaving a trace of damage on the tree. Truly ridiculous!

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