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Saturday, November 28, 2009

IARRB Vol. IV Now At Amazon.com


IARRB Volume IV Now Available at Amazon.Com

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Inside the Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Government's Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK (Volume 4) (Paperback)
~ Douglas P. Horne (Author)
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Product Description
VOLUME 4 of 5: Douglas Horne served on the staff of the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) during the final three years of its four-year lifespan, from 1995 to 1998, and is the first U.S. government official involved with the medical evidence to allege a coverup in President Kennedy's autopsy, and in the creation of the autopsy photographs and x-rays. This book, the product of over 13 years of writing and research, provides the best explanation yet offered of the true nature of the medical coverup in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and does so in meticulous detail, with scrupulous use of primary source material. It incorporates the latest information-much of it new evidence not revealed elsewhere-gleaned from the ARRB's depositions and interviews of medical witnesses, conducted from 1996 to 1998. With precise accuracy, and with a relentless focus on the massive fraud uncovered in the official records of the 35th President's assassination, Horne presents a persuasive case that the assassination of JFK was an "inside job," a true coup d'etat in America, that was ruthlessly and brazenly covered up by those who 'broke the back of the American century' in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

About the Author
Douglas Horne served on the staff of the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) during the final three years of its four-year lifespan, from 1995 to 1998, and is the first U.S. government official involved with the medical evidence to allege a coverup in President Kennedy's autopsy.

Product Details
Paperback: 402 pages
Publisher: Douglas P. Horne (November 24, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984314431
ISBN-13: 978-0984314430
Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
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Bill Kelly's Preview - 11/29/09

Doug Horne’s Inside the Assassination Records Review Board (IARRB) is the most important book to be published on the assassination of President Kennedy in decades, not only because it changes the way we look at that murder, but in showing how the remaining issues can be resolved by determining the truth.

All the debates end here, and the arguments are replaced with questions that were posed but not answered when the Assassination Records Review Board was alive and ostensibly overseeing the declassification and release of the government's JFK assassination records. Many of the questions weren't even asked because the ARRB failed to fully use its power to subpoena witnesses and take the sworn testimony of witness.

As Horne, the chief analyst for military records explains, "While the Review Board had the power to subpoena witnesses and grant immunity, the subpoena power was used sparingly (with a limited number of medical and CIA witnesses), and the immunity power was never exercised. The reason: none of the Board Members were convinced there was any conspiracy or coverup, and therefore were only interested in clarifying the record in a few areas. At least the staff of the ARRB was permitted to conduct unsworn witness interviews without seeking permission from the Board Members. Sadly, senior staff members often elected not to even tape record witness interviews, which make the staff's written interview reports incredibly important as historical tools."

To its credit, the ARRB did manage to release millions of pages of documents, identified important records that are missing and others that have been destroyed, and they’ve called attention to those records that they deemed necessary to withhold until 2017, when the last classified secret JFK assassination record is scheduled to be released.

Now however, over a decade after the ARRB shut down, and years before the last record is released, we have a real good idea of what happened in Dallas, and in DC in the aftermath of the President’s murder. And with Doug Horne’s extremely detailed analysis of the military records, his conclusions are hard to avoid.

Supporting the general consensus that there was a conspiracy behind what happened at Dealey Plaza, Horne takes it a step further, and calls it straight and unambiguous – it was a coup d’etat, with those responsible for the murder taking over the government and changing policy. And lying all the way, but hey, after multiple homicides, the lying part is easy.

Building on the recent evaluations of the assassination that are in line with the Cold War history, crediting David Talbot’s “Brothers,” Jeff Morley’s “Our Man In Mexico” and Jim Douglas’ “JFK & the Unspeakable,” Horne surrounds JFK's story with the proper social frame work, and details how the evidence of a Dealey Plaza coup fits like a glove with the overall historical record.

Not only concluding there was a conspiracy, through his own personal journey, Horne takes the reader on a tour of the intestines of the coup and cover-up, from Dealey Plaza and Parkland Hospital, aboard AF1, from Andrews to Bethesda, and a few back alleys we haven't been down before. Along the way he consistently refers to important records and corresponding eye witness accounts, pointing out the contradictions and discrepancies, and sometimes resolving them. Thank God for small victories, and belittling the idea that "We'll never know." Now we can know.

While matching the volume of the work of his nemesis Vincent Bugliosi (at 2,000 plus pages), Horne’s IARRB basically dismisses Bugliosi’s only suspect, mentioning Lee Harvey Oswald only a few times throughout the five volumes, and each time only referring to him as the patsy who was framed for the crime. Rather than follow Ozzie the rabbit, Horne sticks close to the body, what one of his mentors, David Lifton refers to as the "best evidence."

A non-fictional forensic documentary "CSI Dealey Plaza," based on Horne’s book, will certainly make a most definitive and fascinating rebuttal to Bugliosi’s upcoming and lame "Distorting History" HBO series with Tom Hanks, but who will have the courage to make "Inside JFK's Forensic Autopsy and Coup?" It isn't pretty, and its hard to say which is more ugly - the gore of the brain and guts or the betrayal of the Constitution by those behind the coup.

Although Horne’s doesn’t know who shot John F. Kennedy in the back and in the head, he’s quite confident that the shot that killed the President entered the right front temple and blew out the back of his skull. This shot blew apart half the brain and created the Harper fragment and the wounds described by the Dallas doctors before the head wound was surgically altered, removing bullet fragments and enlarging the entrance would to appear as an exit, before the official autopsy began.

It must have been earlier in the day, after Oswald was captured but before Air Force One landed at Andrews, when it was strategically decided not to follow the original Castro Commie cover-story, and go with the lone-nut scenario, a specific decision that precluded an assassin from the front and required the altering of wounds at Bethesda and all other evidence of a second gunman, including the Z-film.

It is from this attempt to disavow the existence of a shooter from the front, that the other lies had to be created, including the Lone-Nut lie to replace the Cuban Commie Rat cover-story that was supposed to have led to an invasion of Cuba, and the Z-film alteration that failed to uphold the first lie.

Horne nicely weaves the details of the crime and the cover-up with the overall historical situation, as well as his personal quest for the truth, one that most people can identify with, and follow, and reluctantly, but eventually coming to agree with his acute and well reasoned analysis, and in the end, his terrifying conclusions.

Volume IV, the first book to be released, contains two chapters - 13, "What Really Happened at the Bethesda Morgue (And in Dealey Plaza?)" and the nearly 200 page Chapter 14, "The Zapruder Film Mystery," which is probably the most controversial, but also contains the convincer.

Besides offering documentary proof and corresponding witness testimony to support this scenario, Horne also demonstrates conclusively that the Zapruder film was tampered with, constituting clear obstruction of justice for tampering with evidence. Unlike previous attempts to brand the Z-film a fake by unexplained anomalies, Horne takes a different approach, and utilizing the recollections of honorable and reputable CIA officials whose reputations cannot be impeached, he demonstrates how the chain of possession was lost and the film altered. While he doesn't know exactly who did it, Horne tells you when and where it was done (KODAK’s Hawkeye Works, Rochester, New York) and how and why they did it.

Because the chain-of-evidence is broken and the provenance of the body and the Zapruder film are no longer certain, as Douglas Horne so conclusively demonstrates, a new legal mandate kicks in, and the rules of the game change.

Just as Oliver Stone’s “JFK” forced Congress to pass the JFK Act, Doug Horne’s book "Inside the Assassination Records Review Board" should embarrass Congress into holding JFK Act Oversight Hearings, force the convening of a Special Federal Grand Jury to investigate crimes related to the assassination, and require a new and proper forensic autopsy of the victim and our national security.

No fewer words could accomplish as much.

[ William E. Kelly, Jr. is co-founder of the Committee for an Open Archvies (COA) and COPA – the Coalition on Political Assassinations. He can be reached at bkjfk3@yahoo.com or at http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/ ]

Bill Kelly0 comments

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Doug Horne Interview with Dick Russell


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Photo: Doug Horne - November, 2009

Dick Russell's Interview with Doug Horne

"Opening a new window through which the truth might emerge." - Dick Russell

From: On the Trail of the Assassins - A Revealing Look at America’s Most Infamous Unsolved Crime – by Dick Russell (Skyhoruse Publishing, 2008), Chapter 41, (p. 363-389).

“Contained within our deposition transcripts and interview reports is unequivocal evidence that there was a U.S. government cover-up of the medical evidence in the Kennedy assassination.”

– Douglas P. Horne
Former Chief Analyst for Military Records,
Assassination Records Review Board.

In my many years on the assassination trail, I had never been especially interested in the questions raised by a number of researchers about the physical evidence indicating that someone other than Oswald must have been involved. I’d perused books like David Lifton’s Best Evidence, but always found the subject a bit too esoteric (and perhaps a little too grisly) for my taste.

My attitude changed, in the course of preparing this book, when it was suggested that I speak with Douglas Horne. He had been an integral part of the third, and last, government body to take witness testimony about the assassination. Established by President Clinton in the wake of Oliver Stone’s controversial movie, JFK, the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB) was chartered to locate and declassify records still being kept secret by the CIA, FBI, and other government agencies, and to make them publicly available in a new “JFK Records Collection” in the National Archives. Although Congress did not want the ARRB to reinvestigate or even draw conclusions about the assassination, the staff did take depositions under oath from certain key individuals.

Analysis of the sworn testimony before the ARRB of ten people involved in the autopsy, and others interviewed previously by the HSCA, have led Horne to the inescapable conclusion that a high-level government cover-up was in place from the very afternoon of the president’s death. We spoke for more than two hours, in an interview tape-recorded with his permission over the phone. Horne’s revelations proved so stunning that I came to believe they should end this book – hopefully opening a new window through which the truth might finally emerge.


DOUG HORNE: I’d been with the Navy for twenty years, first as a surface warfare officer on active duty with the Pacific Fleet for ten years – those are the professionals who drive and manage our Navy’s surface ships – and after that served the Navy for ten more years in a civil service capacity in Hawaii.

I happened to be in Washington , D.C. , on Navy business in ’94 when COPA [Coalition on Political Assassinations] was hosting a JFK assassination research symposium. One of the speakers there was Jack Tunheim, who was the head o the five-member Review Board that had been confirmed by the Senate and was about to begin its business. At the end of his talk, he was asked, “Are you hiring staff?” and he said, “Yes, we’ve just started, it’ll take quite awhile an we’ll have to get them clearances.”

(I should point out here that the Board appointed by President Clinton consisted of five VIPs who set matters of broad policy, but worked part-time and only convened about 3 days every month. The staff of 25-28 people hired to support the Board did the lion’s share of the work.).

The very next day, I submitted a letter to the staff’s executive director, David Marwell, saying I’d like to apply for a job. Getting that job turned out to be a very time-consuming process. Most of the people hired were living in the local area and were able to do in-person interviews, so living in Hawaii , I was at a distinct disadvantage. After undergoing a gauntlet of six telephone interviews, I finally received a job offer in March 1995, and started in August. I had to move at my own expense – this was a real test of my motivations – and I took a massive pay cut. I was able to swing it, but just barely. I basically beat the door down through perseverance, and felt the sacrifices were worthwhile because I had always been captivated by the mystery presented by the JFK assassination, and greatly admired Jack Kennedy’s presidency.

There were four groups of analysts that comprised the majority of the Review Board staff – teams that examined and worked to declassify military records, CIA records, FBI records, and finally, records of the Secret Service and all the remaining agencies. I was hired as a senior analyst on the military records team. About a year-and-a-half later, after my boss quit, they kicked me upstairs to take his job as chief analyst, or team leader for the military records team.


DOUG HORNE: The short answer is because the autopsy was performed by the Navy, and the autopsy report was therefore a ‘military record’ that came under the purview of my records team.

But that’s not the real answer. During the interview process, I learned that Jeremy Gunn – at the time the staff’s head of research and analysis (and destined to become its general counsel) – shared a common interest: a fascination with all the medical evidence, and specifically the conflicts within the medical evidence that seemed un-resolvable. Then, not long after I came onboard, the Board granted permission to take the first two medical depositions: sworn interviews of James J. Humes and “J” Thornton Boswell, the two Navy pathologists who conducted the autopsy at Bethesda Naval hospital. I became the research assistant to Jeremy Gunn, and helped him prepare questions for all ten medical evidence depositions related to the autopsy. I also prepared all the exhibits and assisted Jeremy with them during the questioning of each witness.


DOUG HORNE: It’s long been known that Dr. Humes, who was the chief pathologist at the autopsy, prepared a typed statement two days after the assassination saying that he’d burned his preliminary autopsy notes. He had repeated this several times in the years since, each time claiming he’s thrown the notes into his fireplace because they had on them the blood of the president, which he deemed unseemly. Jeremy had reason to suspect that an early draft of the autopsy report had also been destroyed, based upon an analysis of inconsistencies between Dr. Humes’ previous testimony about when he wrote the draft, and existing records documenting its transmission to higher authority. Humes had never admitted this before but, under persistent questioning by Jeremy in February 1996, he finally did so.

Jeremy and I were left with the conclusion at the end of the Humes deposition that he was a great liar. The question was, what was he lying about? There were so many times when he would try to deflect our questions with either arrogance or bluff, and other times he would try to play dumb, saying, “I’m an old man and I can’t remember.” We didn’t find that convincing.

The second pathologist deposed was Dr. Boswell. After that, there was no doubt about a major medical cover-up. (Boswell was much more forthcoming than Humes, and inadvertently, I think, “gave the store away” on a number of occasions.) It was my idea to use an anatomically correct model of the human skull, which I was allowed to purchase and construct myself, in an attempt to get Boswell to visually identify the true extent of the damage to President Kennedy’s skull. (There shouldn’t have been any doubt this 33 years after the autopsy, but unfortunately much eyewitness testimony disagreed with the autopsy photographs and x-rays, and many of the autopsy photos seemed intended to conceal, rather than to reveal the true nature of the head wounds.)

When Boswell had executed a famous two-dimensional sketch of the damage to the skull on the reverse side of the autopsy body chart on November 22, 1963, he’d indicated that a large area of bone was missing from the top of the president’s skull, but his diagram left unanswered whether any bone was missing from the back of the head. While he was still under oath, we asked Boswell to define where there was bone missing, in three dimensions, on the skull model with a marking pen. We wanted to know how much skull bone might have been missing in the back of the head, if any. Of course, we didn’t tell him that.

And when he soberly, but matter-of-factly marked the area of missing bone on the skull model, it included the entire right rear of the skull behind the ear. Jeremy and I almost fell out of our chairs. Now the autopsy photographs, which show the back of the head to be intact, made no sense whatsoever. Boswell’s annotated skull model implied that three must have been a shot that struck Kennedy from the front, a bullet that exited from the back of his skull. (Exit wounds are large and avulsive; entrance wounds are small and penetrating.)

So following these first two depositions, Jeremy and I knew that the medical evidence was suddenly of tremendous interest. We then pursued the third pathologist involved in the autopsy, Army pathologist Pierre Finck. Dr. Finck used forgetfulness as his defense, which was not convincing, because in a social context, he relayed to us vivid memories of what he was doing in 1938 and the early 1950s – but when it came to the Kennedy assassination, he couldn’t remember anything. Even when we showed him a document that he had signed or written and say, “Do you remember this?” he’s respond, “I don’t know.” We’d say, “Well, is this your signature?” And he’d respond, “Well, it looks like my signature.” He was really slippery. But on a couple of answers, Finck provided useful information.


DOUG HORNE: I am now convinced – and this insight didn’t really come to me until 2006, when I did much of the writing on the manuscript I’m putting together about all this – that Humes and Boswell, who were there at the morgue with the president’s body well before the autopsy started and prior to Dr. Finck’s arrival, were involved in a covert deception operation from the very beginning. I believe they were told, for national security reasons, to destroy or suppress any evidence that the president was shot from the front and to record only evidence that he was shot form the rear – even if they had to manufacture some of it.

I don’t think Finck was initially a part of the deception; the great irony is that even though he was a board-certified forensic pathologist, I believe he was a victim of the Humes-Boswell covert operation. At some point, after the fact, I believe Finck suspected this, but felt he was in so deep by this time, and realized he was so compromised, that he decided not to blow the whistle officially; instead he left a few clues in the record over the years for “CYA” purposes.

He was certainly timid and scared when we took his deposition; this was surprising at the time, since the 1992 interview published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) portrayed him as a “lion,” and a person with a good memory and great certitude about the autopsy’s events and conclusions. The main point I am trying to make here is that Humes and Boswell had possession of the president’s body much earlier in the evening than the official record indicates, and undertook activities to alter the evidentiary record that they did not reveal to Finck.


DOUG HORNE: Let me jump ahead to someone we interviewed later. We were led by a researcher, Kathleen Cunningham, to an ex-Marine who was the sergeant in charge of the security detail at the morgue. Kathleen made clear to us that he was not someone who’d been part of the honor guard, with the white gloves and dress uniforms, whom we read about in William Manchester’s book Death of a President. The group this person supervised was not the joint service casket team, but was a physical security detail from the Marine Barracks in Washington D.C. , dressed in Marine Corps working uniforms, and carrying weapons.

We had an ‘ace’ investigator on our staff, Dave Montague, who specialized in locating people, and he and I interviewed this person. The sergeant’s name was Roger Boyajian, pronounced ‘Boy-gen.’ He had retained an original onion-skin carbon copy of the after-action report that he wrote on November 26, 1963, the day after JFK’s funeral, and had shared its contents with Ms. Cunningham. A document like this one that is contemporaneous is priceless, because it’s not distorted by fading memories, by time – or by anyone’s subsequent theories about the assassination.

So I interviewed Boyajian on the phone, and he then mailed me a photocopy of that document, and authenticated it with a letter written above his signature.

He’d gotten to Bethesda really early, before the president’s body arrived. One of the entries in his report reads: “1835 – President’s Casket Arrives.” That means 6:35 PM, and indicates that he took notes; every military man in those days had what’s called a “wheel book,” a little green U.S. government memoranda notebook that fits into your back pocket. The thing is, that’s a mind-blowing entry, because it is a well-documented fact that the light-gray Navy ambulance, with the president’s bronze casket from Dallas inside, didn’t arrive at Bethesda until approximately five minutes before seven, and it sat outside in front of the main building, for about 12 minutes or so before being driven around to the back of the morgue. HSCA interviews of FBI agents James Sibert and Francis O’Neill revealed that these two men, assisted only by two Secret Service agents, helped carry in this heavy bronze casket (using a dolly), without the assistance of the joint service casket team (which was not present when this happened); and a 1964 FBI report provides a time marker for this event of about 7:17 PM. Yet here was Sergeant Boyajian, four days after the assassination, placing the arrival time of the president’s body almost forty-five minutes earlier.

Now, back in 1979, Dennis David – a Navy petty officer who was standing duty that night at Bethesda National Naval Medical Center as “Chief of the Day” for the medical school – had told author David Lifton that he’d gathered up a group of sailors at the request of the Secret Service, gone to the back of the hospital to the morgue loading dock, and carried in a cheap, lightweight, unadorned gray (or dull silver-colored) aluminum shipping casket from a black hearse. (Not the four-hundred-pound formal bronze viewing casket delivered to Bethesda from Andrews Air Force Base in a light-gray Navy ambulance.) Lifton had asked David to estimate the time, and he’d day around 6:40 or 6:45 PM. This is undeniably a very early casket entry, and of a distinctly different type of casket than the heavy, ornate bronze viewing coffin the president was placed in at Parkland hospital after his death.

After lobbying Jeremy Gunn for months, I was finally allowed to conduct an unsworn interview of Dennis David on the phone. He told the whole story again to me, and nothing had changed form what he’d originally told Lifton seventeen years previously. He also said that he’d asked Dr Boswell early the next morning, after the autopsy was over, if the president had been in the casket that he and the sailors had helped carry in that night; he asked the question because although the Secret Service had told him to carry it into the morgue, he and his sailors were not permitted to stay in the morgue and see it opened. Boswell confirmed to Dennis David that he and his sailors had indeed carried the president’s body into the morgue that evening.

All of this corroborates the Lifton hypothesis that the heavy bronze casket that arrived about 45 minutes later that evening at the morgue loading dock, and was quietly carried into the hospital by the FBI and Secret Service at about 7:17 PM, had to be empty.

It also tells us that we should pay attention to the many people in the morgue who remembered the president’s body arriving in a zippered body bag, because those observations are consistent with, and in fact corroborate, the broken chain-of-custody demonstrated by the impossibly early casket entry. Jermey and I located one additional body bag witness. We interviewed one of the morticians, John Van Hoesen, and he independently recalled – we didn’t ask him – that the president’s body was in a black zippered pouch. He joins several other, previously known body-bag witnesses: Paul O’Conner, Floyd Riebe, Jerrol Custer, and Captain John Stover. This is extremely significant because when the president’s body left Dallas it was wrapped in two sheets, one around the body and one around the head, and was not placed inside a body bag.

Here’s what this all means: Every time we have a witness who says they saw the president removed from a body-bag, or arrive in a shipping casket, they are in audience one, the early arrival audience that was present during, or immediately after, the ‘early’ 6:35 PM arrival of the President’ body documented by Sergeant Boyajian’s report.

Every time a witness says the president’s body arrived wrapped only in sheets, in an expensive bronze casket, they are in audience two, which witnessed JFK reintroduced into the morgue at 8:00 PM by the joint service casket team. I know this sounds strange, but none of those people were making these stories up; they are all credible witnesses who simply saw different events at different times that evening.

The Secret Service, specifically Roy Kellerman, who had been the agent in charge of the Texas trip, was stage-managing these shenanigans as best he could, and attempting to keep the two audiences apart – with the exception of Humes, Boswell, and their Navy superiors, who clearly all knew what was afoot. There was a “shell game” going on with the president’s body between its initial arrival at 6:35 PM and the commencement of the official “autopsy-of-record” at 8:15 PM, when the y-incision was made in the chest. A preliminary medical examination and other manipulations – what Lifton had speculatively called the pre-autopsy autopsy – began about an hour-and-a-half before the official one.

Afterwards, the president’s body was then reintroduced into the bronze casket wrapped in the sheets that it had left Dallas in, was placed in a light gray Navy ambulance (for there was more than one in use that night), and was allowed to be ‘found’ by the joint service casket team. (The casket team, or honor guard, had admittedly lost track of the Dallas casket after its arrival at Bethesda, tearing off in chase of an apparent ‘decoy’ and getting lost in the darkness, on the unfamiliar grounds of the Navy medical complex). After finding the Dallas casket in front of the hospital in a light gray ambulance, it was formally and very publicly taken into the morgue by them at 8:00 PM – by these military men from all of the different armed services in their dress uniforms and white gloves – as recorded in the after-action report of the Military District of Washington.

It really happened that way. The evidence for three separate casket entries into the morgue (at 6:35 the aluminum shipping casket brought in by the Navy sailors, at 7:17 the bronze casket’s surreptitious entry by the FBI and Secret Service, and at 8:00 PM the official “ceremony” or delivery of the bronze casket by the military honor guard) is overwhelming and unimpeachable, and the honest researcher cannot simply be in denial about these events if he takes a scientific, empirical approach to the evidence.

So why was this necessary? Why the shell game?

Because the chain-of-custody of the body has been broken, and it had arrived in the wrong casket and in the wrong wrapping, in order that a clandestine examination (prior to the autopsy proper) and clandestine manipulations (unbeknownst to most autopsy witnesses) could be performed. This covert operation had to be successful completed, and then covered up, if the country was to buy the simplistic story of the assassination that the government was selling, and so to effectuate the cover-up, the president’s body had to be seen publicly arriving at the morgue in the Dallas casket and the Dallas wrappings.

Hence the 8:00 PM casket entry, performed by the joint service casket team – whose job it was to stay with the body and carry the casket – and dutifully record in the after-action report written by the Army. The size of audience number one, which witnessed the early entry and/or the first casket opening, was small and it was composed of either conspirators (Humes, Boswell, and their superiors), or very low level enlisted people who were muzzled after the fact by threat of court martial.

The varying casket and ambulance descriptions, and the serious timeline discrepancies about when the two caskets entered the morgue, prove there was a serious break in the chain-of-custody of the president’s body, which in any medico legal setting (such as a trial or inquest) would invalidate most, if not all, of the autopsy results.

I am absolutely convinced that Humes and Boswell were engaged in a deception that centered around getting the body early and performing certain manipulations on it. The two FBI agents on the scene – O’Neill and Sibert, wrote that they were initially barred from entering the morgue, and it is apparent that hence they recorded in their report dated November 26 that what they sincerely believed to be the first autopsy incision – the Y incision in the chest – happened at 8:15 PM. Dr. Finck didn’t arrive until about 8:30 at night (after the brain, lungs, and heart had been removed) and was also unaware of the Navy manipulations performed on the body between the 6:35 PM arrival of the shipping casket, and the 8:00 PM reintroduction of the body to the morgue in the bronze Dallas casket.


DOUG HORNE: Well, here we go – this is the heart of my book, and it is where I differ significantly with the scenario laid out by David Lifton in best Evidence. Lifton believed at the time his book was published that the reason the Dallas wound descriptions by the treatment physicians at Parkland hospital (of a localized exit wound in the back of the head and an entrance wound in the throat below the Adam’s apple) are so different from the Bethesda wound descriptions ( of a much larger head wound encompassing additional, and massive damage to the top and the right side of the head, and of an exit wound in the throat and an entry wound in the high shoulder not seen in Dallas) is because the wounds on the body were tampered with – altered – while the body was in transit between Parkland hospital and the Bethesda complex in Maryland. He wrote in his book that he alteration of the wounds on the body – post-mortem surgery – was performed not only to remove bullets, but to reverse the apparent trajectories first noted in the throat wound and the head wound at Parkland hospital, and thus ‘fool’ the autopsy pathologists into believing that all of the shots came from behind, rather than from in front. Lifton’s view in his 1981 book was that the body of the president, the road map of the shooting, was altered to deceive the pathologists. He posited that the back of the head was also reconstructed prior to arrival at Bethesda and that its condition not only fooled the Navy pathologists, but also fooled the camera, resulting in the autopsy photos we have today of an intact back of the head.

I have reinterpreted the same body of evidence he examined, and married that body of evidence with certain key HSCA interviews (which are now open-in-full and available to the public), and new findings gleaned from the ARRB interviews and depositions, and have concluded that while the throat wound may possibly have been tampered with in transit, that it was the Navy pathologists, Drs. Humes and Boswell, and possibly one of their superiors, who performed the post-mortem surgery that so drastically altered the head wound – enlarging it to four or five times its original size in an attempt to make it appear more or less consistent with a large exit wound caused by a shot fired from behind.

In altering the head wound they not only dramatically expanded the size of the rather localized exit wound in the rear of the head seen in Dallas, to encompass the top of the skull and part of the right side, but also surgically removed from the body evidence of an entry wound in the right front of the head.

In doing so, they obliterated forensic evidence of a shot fired from the ‘grassy knoll.’

Numerous small bullet fragments – many more than the two mentioned in the record today – were removed from the brain, and disposed of, never to be seen again.

I also conclude, from a key HSCA staff interview report of an autopsy technician, that they removed a large bullet fragment from the president’s back – a significant portion of a bullet found lodged between two of his ribs. The evidence for these claims will be presented in great detail in my forthcoming book.

Furthermore, whereas Lifton believed that the autopsy photos we have today of an intact back of the head were taken immediately after the body’s arrival, I am now of the belief that the partial cranial reconstruction seen in these images was performed after the conclusion of the autopsy and that the deceptive photographic record of the back of the head that is in the archives today was photographed after midnight, after the conclusion of the autopsy, by a different photographer from the one who photographed the autopsy proper.

This is how we end up with “autopsy” photographs showing the back of the head intact, which are in stark disagreement with both the Dallas and the Bethesda eyewitnesses. A large portion of the rear of the cranium was observed to be missing by both Dallas and Bethesda eyewitnesses; the difference between their observations is that most of the Bethesda eyewitnesses who saw the body after 8:00 PM recall not only the back of the head missing, but also significant portions of the top and right-hand side of the skull, as well.

Most witnesses from the autopsy recall a very large area of missing bone at the back of the head – confirmed fro us by the skull diagram Dr. Boswell drew in three dimensions on a model skull. Because this damage does not appear in the autopsy photographs on file in the National Archives, most researchers have believed for many years that the discrepancy is explained by photographic forgery, “special effects” to make the unsworn ARRB medical witness interviews conducted by Jeremy and me, I no longer believe that photographic forgery is an explanation for the perplexing back of the head images.

The alternative possibilities – namely, major manipulation of loose and previously reflected scalp from elsewhere on the head, or partial reconstruction of the head by the morticians, a the direction of the pathologists – seem to be a much more likely explanation for these anomalous photos. To be sure, the photos are a lie – for they do create the false impression that the back of the head was intact when the body arrived from Dallas , and they do provide false “evidence” that all eyewitnesses to a blow-out in the right rear of the head were ‘wrong.’ But I am as certain as I can be that the are not photographic forgeries.

I was steered toward this opinion by the testimony of the two FBI agents, Sibert and O’Neill. We would never have deposed them if I hadn’t insisted on it and persevered. This was about two years into our medical effort, and Jeremy was beginning to doubt the value of the exercise, because the memories were so old and many witnesses’ stories kept changing over time. I mean, I was confused, too, but I knew these differing recollections were important. My attitude was, ‘once these guys are dead, they can’t be interviewed by anybody.’ So Jeremy finally gave the okay to make initial contact with the two FBI agents who had been present at the autopsy. And, to my pleasant surprise, the agents were not only willing to be deposed, they couldn’t wait. They were still offended by not having been deposed by either the Warren Commission or the House Select Committee on Assassinations. And what we got from them was a gold mine in some respects.

Both men found the images of the intact back of the head troubling, and inconsistent with the posterior head wound they vividly remembered. O’Neill opined under oath that the images appeared “doctored,” by which he meant that the head had been put back together by the doctors. Sibert testified that the head looked “reconstructed” – he actually used that word!


DOUG HORNE: I am virtually certain they are not photographic forgeries because I’ve looked at them in extremely close detail, and by this I mean I have studied the so-called camera-original color positive transparencies for hours at a time in Rochester, after they were magnified by enhancing software in the Kodak lab where we took them for digital preservation. We didn’t see any matte lines, or any discontinuities in the hair. We could see individual pores in the skin in between the strands of hair, and all of the grain and resolution seemed consistent across the board in the areas were looking at.

However, I’m convinced that, while not “special effects” forgeries, they are fraudulent and dishonest. They official Navy photographer, John Stringer, and his assistant Floyd Riebe, left the morgue after the conclusion of the autopsy at about 11:45 PM or midnight. Then a second photographer – Robert Knudsen, who was not a trained medical photographer, but a Navy chief photographer’s mate who was a social photographer at the White House – was employed to take the pictures of the head after its reconstruction.

And these photographs were later used to misrepresent the condition of the president’s head when the body arrived at Bethesda . The real photographs of the exit wound in the rear of the president’s skull would have been deep-sixed. It’s that simple.

Shortly after the assassination, on two separate occasions, Knudsen showed another government photographer, Joe O’Donnell, two sets of photographs, one with the back of the head intact (which must have been taken by himself, after midnight, following partial reconstruction of the cranium). So I believe Knudsen knew what hew as doing and what the intent was, but I do not believe he thought he was doing it for sinister reasons. His family described him to us as a very patriotic American who loved President Kennedy, so I conclude that he, too, like Humes and Boswell, was no doubt given a national security cover story to explain why he was engaged in subterfuge.


DOUG HORNE: I’m positive the autopsy report in evidence today, Warren Commission Exhibit #387, is the third version prepared – not the sole version, as was claimed for years by those who wrote it and signed it. A careful study of the receipt trail for transmission of the report, the Humes and Boswell deposition transcripts reveals what happened.

First, Humes and Boswell met about mid-day on Saturday, November 23 (the day after the autopsy) and reviewed a draft of the autopsy report. It is both interesting, and significant, I think, that Dr. Finck was not present. The draft was also reviewed that day by the C.O. of the Naval hospital, Captain Robert Canada. Humes then destroyed both his own autopsy notes, and that first draft, in the fireplace of his home early in the morning of Sunday, November 24. He may have also destroyed the notes of Dr. Finck at that same time. (David Lifton led the ARRB to a very credible witness who signed an affidavit stating that he overheard Finck complaining in 1963 that his notes had disappeared the night of the autopsy, and that he had to reconstruct them from memory afterwards.)

So the first autopsy report – a draft that Finck did not see but which was reviewed by Humes, Boswell, and Captain Canada , was burned early Sunday morning before sunrise.

We also know that the three pathologists met, reviewed, and signed an autopsy report during the daylight hours on Sunday, November 24. But I do not believe the autopsy report signed November 24 – the second version – is the one in the archives today. I say this because Warren Commission staff director J. Lee Rankin is quoted in an executive session transcript from late in January 1964 as saying that the autopsy [report] sows a bullet fragment (by implication, from the headshot) came out the front of President Kennedy’s neck – a conclusion that is most definitely not in the autopsy report in the record today. So where is this second version of the autopsy report?

Apparently, the Kennedy family got a hold of it in 1965 and it has never been seen since. The evidence for this is a receipt prepared by Vice Admiral Burkley, the president’s military physician, on April 26, 1965 which transfers the original autopsy report and seven copies from the Secret Service to Evelyn Lincoln, in compliance with Senator Robert Kennedy’s orders to transfer all of the autopsy materials to his custody. So far, so good, but wait! Incredibly, there is a second receipt transferring shat is described as the ‘original’ autopsy report, only this time it is transferred from the Secret Service to the national archives on October 3, 1967. How could an original document be transferred from the Secret Service to Evelyn Lincoln, and then a second time from the Secret Service to someone else? This can only happen if there are two documents, two autopsy reports.

The first autopsy report transferred, the one passed to the Kennedy family in April, 1965, has disappeared along with various tissue samples and a brain specimen; it is almost certainly the version J. Lee Rankin refers to in the then – Top Secret Warren Commission executive session transcript. The second signed version of the autopsy report transferred by the Secret Service, the one they transmitted to the archives in October 1967, is the item in evidence today; therefore, counting the draft that Humes burned on November 24 in his fireplace, it is (at least) the third version of the autopsy report, overall.

Instead of describing a fragment of the head shot exiting the front of the neck, the report in the archives instead describes a bullet – what came to be known later as the so-called ‘magic bullet’ – transiting the body, from the rear to the front, entering high in the shoulder and exiting the front of the neck below the Adam’s apple. The autopsy report in the archives today is an undated document. Only the transmission letter is dated November 24, and if the report was rewritten as the receipt trail shows it must have been, then the new report could have been substituted in the official record without changing the transmission letter, giving the false impression that it was prepared on November 24.

All we know for sure is that the version in evidence today, CE# 387, was shown to Parkland hospital doctors in Dallas on December 11, 1963. Its conclusions that a bullet transited the body from back to front were used to get the Dallas doctors to doubt their own conclusions on November 22 that the president had been shot in the throat from the front.


DOUG HORNE: That insight, or rather epiphany, came to me fairly early in our investigation, in May 1996, right before the Finck deposition. Jeremy and I were working on the weekend to get ready for it. He asked me to do a study of all events surrounding the brain exam. (In cases of death due to head trauma, the brain is always examined separately after it has been removed from the body and has been fixed to some extent in formaldehyde).

I sat down and pulled out every piece of testimony and every document I could find. After I finished, I walked into his office and said, “Jeremy, if you just do a time-line analysis, it’s clear there were two events. This is really big, and it’s also frustrating because we’ve already deposed Humes and Boswell.”

He looked at me and said, “I also think there were two brain exams.” I was stunned, and asked how he’d come to the same conclusion. “By reading the descriptions of the damage,” he said, “and comparing those descriptions to the pattern of damage evident in the brain photographs in the archives. In my opinion, they don’t match.”

So when we deposed Finck a few days later, we focused in on this one subject, and this is where we got our one big answer from him. The examination of the president’s brain clearly took place on November 25, 1963, based upon the consistent testimony of Dr. Boswell and autopsy photographer John Stringer over the years, furthermore, a lab technician at Bethesda, Leland Benson, told the HSCA that he processed brain tissue on Monday, November 25, on the dame date identified independently by both Boswell and Stringer as the date of the brain exam. (Humes’ answers on this were all over the map, and veried, when he was pressed on the subject.) Finck was known to have been at a brain exam, and wrote in a 1965 report to his boss that he was first contacted about a brain exam by Humes on November 29. When we asked Finck at his ARRB deposition whether the exam he attended had transpired two or three days after the autopsy, or about a week later, he was emphatic in his belief that it occurred at least a week after the autopsy, and as I recall it was just about the only answer he was adamant about. This was consistent with the memorandum he’d written to Brigadier General J. M. Blumberg, his military superior, in February 1965.

We called the Navy photographer, John Stringer, to testify. To our amazement, he disowned the brain photographs in the Archives, for three reasons. First, they were taken on a type of film that he did not use. They also depicted “inferior” views of the underside of the brain that he was certain he did not shoot. And, finally, the photographs of several individual sections of brain tissue that he did photograph – brain tissue that he insisted had been serially sectioned – were not present.

FBI agent O’Neill also swore to us that the brain photos in the Archives could not possibly be of the president’s brain, because there was too much tissue present. O’Neill remembered clearly that more than half of President Kennedy’s brain was missing when he saw it at the autopsy, following its removal from the cranium. Both O’Niell and Tom Robinson, one of the morticians, told us that they recalled that a large portion of the rear of the president’s brain was missing, when they saw it outside the body at the morgue during the autopsy. And each man unequivocally demonstrated the location of the absent brain tissue in my presence, by dramatically placing his right hand on the back of the right side of his own head, behind the right ear. By contrast, in the brain depicted in the archives photographs, the right cerebellum is completely intact. Both John Stringer and many of the Dallas treating physicians recalled severe damage to the cerebellum, the structure low in the rear of the human brain.

There is absolutely no doubt that the second brain exam – on a brain not belonging to John F. Kennedy – occurred sometime between November 29 (when Humes contacted Finck) and December 2, because a Navy chief hospital corpsman named Chester Boyers told the HSCA that he prepared brain tissue slides on December 2. It’s also my firm belief that Dr. Finck – who had arrived late at the autopsy on November 22 – was used as a “dupe” so that he could “authenticate” the photographs of the second brain specimen, in the event that was ever required. I think Finck knew something was wrong by this time, because he engaged in very clever “CYA” by writing, in his report to Brigadier General Blumberg in February 1965, that the brain he subsequently examined looked different than it had looked at the autopsy – although he benignly attributed the change in its appearance in his written report to an arcane “fixation artifact.”

Summarizing, the photographs of President Kennedy’s brain, exposed by John Stringer on November 25, were never introduced into the official record because they showed a pattern of damage – missing tissue from the rear of the brain – consistent with a fatal shot form the front, and that evidence had to be suppressed. The photographs of a second brain, taken sometime between November 29 – December 2, 1963 by an unknown Navy photographer, were introduced into the official record because the brain employed in that exercise exhibited a pattern of damage – to the top-right-side of the brain – generally consistent with a shot from above and behind.

So where did that brain come from? I can only remind you that Bethesda was a teaching facility with a medical school alongside the treatment hospital, and specimens would have been on hand at the medical school for teaching purposes; furthermore, there were regular “brain cuttings” about once per week in the D.C. area that were attended by both Navy personnel at Bethesda and Army personnel stationed at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, or AFIP. So fixed brains would have been available, one way or another.

An accomplished forensic pathologist who viewed the brain photos in the archives at the request of the ARRB told us in 1996 that the brain in these photographs, which appears very gray in the color transparencies, was “very well fixed,” and that it had been in a formalin solution for at least 2 weeks before being photographed, since it showed no traces whatsoever of pink coloration. That ensures it cannot possibly be President Kennedy’s brain, which was examined only 3 days after his death.

Finally, the supplementary autopsy report indicates that the brain depicted in the photographs in the archives weighted 1,500 grams when weighted at the brain exam, which exceeds the weight of an average, normal male brain. This is completely incompatible with a brain that was missing over half its tissue when observed at the autopsy by FBI agent O’Neill, or a brain that was missing most of the right occipital lobe of the cerebral cortex and much of the right cerebellum, as observed by Dr. McClennand at Parkland hospital.

A short discussion on the autopsy x-rays of the skull is imperative here. I believe that independent researcher David Mantik, who is both an MD (a radiation oncologist) and who is also a Ph.D. in physics, has conclusively proven, with his exhaustive optical density measurements of the x-ray materials in the archives, that the three head x-rays in the autopsy collection are not originals but are forged complete copy films that are simply modifications of the authentic skull x-rays.

My own hypothesis and reinterpretation of the medical evidence necessitates that the original x-rays were exposed only after Humes and Boswell had completed their clandestine post-mortem surgery on the skull to remove bullet fragments form the brain and enlarge the head wound. The two lateral skull x-rays, Mantik has demonstrated, had a very dense optical patch superimposed on the copy films over the occipital-parietal area behind the ear to mask the blow-out or exit wound seen in Dallas in the back of the head. Mantik also claims that the single anterior-posterior (or “A-P”) skull x-ray has had a 6.5-millimeter wide artifact, which is intended to represent a bullet fragment – a ‘cross section’ of the ‘assassin’s bullet’ – imposed on the copy film as a special effect, to implicate the Oswald rife as the supposed murder weapon.

To reiterate, the skull depicted in each of the three head x-rays is that of JFK, but artifacts were added to the images during the copying process – through a relatively simple procedure involving applying additional light to specific areas on each film while other areas were masked off – which can now be easily detected using new technology, optical densitometry. I will be offering quite detailed explanation of Mantik’s findings in my forthcoming book.

In short: the autopsy photos are not altered photographically (and yet because of the manipulation of the scalp after completion of the autopsy, some of them present false and deceptive images of the head wounds). Many authentic autopsy images that are known to have been exposed at the autopsy are not in the collection today – they are missing and presumed destroyed. But Mantik’s work has persuaded me that the three skull x-rays are forgeries – altered copy films created from the original skull x-rays. Both sets of images together – the autopsy photographs and x-rays – present a distorted and intentionally dishonest depiction of how the primacy (in 1963, anyway if not today) – of photographs and image technology in our culture, and the assumption in those years that they always reflected ‘reality,’ these fraudulent collections have been used to fool three official investigations (the Clark Panel, the Rockefeller Commission, and the HSCA forensic pathology panel), and continue to present an enduring lie about what happened to President Kennedy in 1963.


DOUG HORNE: We asked Roland Zavada of Kodak, a retired film chemist and a self-taught home movie expert, to do a major authenticity study of the Zapruder film, and he did a very professional job and put a lot of work into it. My own conclusions today about the Zapruder film are in opposition to Zavada’s; he thinks it is authentic and I do not.

My conclusion is the ‘minority position’ within the research community, and is very controversial, and a lot of people think I’m wrong. But I just don’t think his study is conclusive. All of the external indicators on the film are indeed consistent with authenticity – like the date code of when the film came out of the factory, the type of film used, and the processing markings from the lab in Dallas. Well, of course they are. Any conspirator who’s going to change a movie and screw up that kind of stuff isn’t worth two cents. But I don’t think that’s the end of the story, because we uncovered two crucial witnesses from a CIA photo lab who cast serious doubt on the provenance of the film in the archives today.

Here’s how it came about. The Review Board held a public hearing on the Zapruder film, which was televised by C-Span. One of the people watching happened to be one of the two people who actually magnified individual frames from the Zapruder film the weekend of the assassination and made prints for three briefing boards intended for use in briefing high officials in the government The individual who watched the Z-film hearing on C-Span was named Morgan Bennett Hunter, and his supervisor in 1963 was Homer McMahon: both were the CIA employees at NPIC, the National Photo Interpretation Center.

Homer McMahon was then head of the still photography color lab at NPIC, and Ben Hunter was his assistant. After Hunter contacted us and told us he had a story to tell us about the Z-film, we asked the CIA to proved clearance for the two men to speak with us and we then interviewed them multiple times.

The story that Homer and his assistant Ben told us was that, on the weekend of the assassination, they had a film brought to them by the Secret Service. The agent said his name was Bill Smith, which I firmly believe is a pseudonym because we ascertained from a roster of employees that the Secret Service had no special agent named ‘Bill Smith’ onboard in 1963.

The Z-film was brought to them at NPIC on either Saturday night or Sunday night after the assassination, because they were positive it was before the president’s funeral, which was on Monday. They said that Bill Smith brought what he represented to them as being the original Zapruder film. He did not come from Dallas. He came from Rochester, New York, where he said the film had been developed. And he used a code word for a classified film laboratory that the CIA had paid Kodak to set up and run in Rochester, their headquarters and main industrial facility.

The implications of this are off-scale. This assertion by the Secret Service to two CIA film professionals that the original Z-film was developed in Rochester at a secret CIA-sponsored facility, instead of in Dallas, runs contrary to the paper trail that had traditionally been accepted as ground truth since 1967. We therefore now have an almost-too-good paper trail of typed and signed affidavits prepared by Abraham Zapruder – signed by all the processing personnel involved with the film on the day of the assassination – which can no longer guarantee the authenticity of the film in the archives.

Let me explain what I mean by that. The processing affidavits which attempt to establish the film’s chain-of-custody are all dated November 22, the day of the assassination, when Zapruder was running around helter-skelter trying to get his film developed. He went first to a TV station and then some other place, where he was told that since the film’s chemistry was proprietary, it had to go to a Kodak lab to be developed. So, yes, these affidavits still do mean that the Kodak lab in Dallas developed the original film, they establish that Mr. Zapruder exposed three contact prints at the Jamieson film lab in Dallas; and they further establish that he then returned to the Kodak processing plant where the three copies were immediately developed. All of these things happened on November 22 – I don’t doubt that for one minute.

But I think the affidavits recording these events were probably really executed on Monday, November 25, and back-dated to the 22. (No one I am aware of saw Abraham Zapruder running around Dallas on November 22 with a manual typewriter under his arm.)

On Saturday, Zapruder signed a contract with Life Magazine for $50,000 for print rights only, permitting them to keep the materials for only one week. Then, on Monday, a new contract was signed for print and motion picture rights, and Life was to keep the materials forever. Zapruder got a lot more money - $150,000 total now, instead of $50,000 – when he renegotiated his deal on Monday. In support of his new contract, I believe he then had to prove the provenance of the film, so he created the appropriate paper trail in the form of the back-dated affidavits.

At the same time this was going on, you have the two men in the NPIC lab being told over that weekend that the original film came from Rochester. I’ll tell you why that’s important. If Kodak lab technicians in Dallas have developed the original film on the day of the assassination, which they surely did, you can’t take them another, altered and reconstructed film two days later and ask them to develop it again.

If someone had reconstructed a new, altered Zapruder film on an optical printer in a sophisticated lab, they could not blow their cover by taking the new film back to the same developing lab. So, if someone was involved in creating an altered film, they’d have to develop it at some other Kodak facility. And you didn’t have many choices. One choice was the Kodak plant in Chicago, and another was the main plant in Rochester, the choice for developing would be obvious.

If the authentic, original film was really shot in slow motion, at 48 frames per second, instead of using the normal speed setting on the camera of 16 fps, and you wanted to remove certain events such as the car stop on Elm Street that over 50 Dealey Plaza eyewitnesses testified to, you would need to remove several frames, and then recreate a film that runs at normal speed, and that is much shorter than the original in terms of total number of frames. Furthermore, if you wanted to eliminate evidence of shots from the front you would need to black out the exit wound in the back of the head in some frames, and even remove some frames showing exit debris in mid-air; and if you wanted the new Z-film to roughly correspond with the pattern damage in the autopsy photos, you would need to paint on large wounds at the top and the right side of the head in the appropriate frames. The image alteration in these frames would be done using the techniques called aerial imaging at a facility that possessed a sophisticated optical printer.

I know I’m speculating – I don’t know what equipment was in that Rochester photo lab – but this new chain-of-custody for what was represented by the Secret Service to be the original Z-film is very suspicious. All I’m saying is that anyone who believes that the so-called original film in the archives today may be an altered, reconstructed product, and not the true original mentioned in the Zapruder affidavit trail, has valid grounds to be suspicious of it. There are sound reasons, based upon the McMahon/Hunter interviews, to support this possibility.

Those who would create a false legend of the shooting by culling the autopsy photo collection and inserting manipulated photos that told a false story of the wounds and the shooting, would of necessity also have to either destroy, or alter, any motion picture evidence of the assassination that was inconsistent with the officially promulgated version of the assassination.

And if an original and seven copies of an autopsy report can be successfully switched out and substituted, then so can an original and three copies of a motion picture film.

Perhaps a “film switch” is even why Zapruder was allowed to renegotiate his contract with Life Magazine, perhaps that additional $150,000 (which was pro-rated over a six year period) bought his silence and future cooperation. After all, he did see the true original in the Kodak lab the day of the assassination, and did screen it for others (such as Dan Rather) on Saturday, November 23. (Perhaps this is why Dan Rather’s contemporaneous account of what he saw in the film that weekend, broadcast on the radio, differs from what we see in the film in the archives today!). It would have been imperative to reliably obtain Zapruder’s silence over the weekend. This scenario would also explain the accounts we have all heard over the years of others either seeing or possessing different versions of the Zapruder film from the one we know today, if the true original and the three true first-generation copies were not all immediately destroyed.

The reason so many people resist this idea is because the Zapruder film has long been used as a time-clock of the assassination, and considered to be the one thing we can count on in the evidence trail. Based upon the McMahon/Hunter interviews, that approach could now be meaningless.

When I study the film on DVD, and concentrate on the still frames associated with the head shot, and see the enormous head wound on the top of the head and the right side that looks ‘kind of like’ the autopsy photos but not exactly the same, and which seems to float and jump around a bit on the skull as you view the film, I wonder if the scenario I have laid out above could be true.


DOUG HORNE: ‘Shots from multiple directions’ is how I would put it. Because of the voice stress analysis work of George O’Toole in the mid-1970s, suggesting that Oswald was not lying when he said he was just a patsy and that he did not shoot anyone, I am not yet convinced that Oswald shot anyone in Dealey Plaza. He was certainly involved in something – up to his neck – and was probably being ‘run’ by intelligence operatives, and perhaps even engaging in a charade by posing as a leftist Castro sympathizer, but I am not convinced that he shot anyone himself. His shooting skills were below average by the time he was discharged from the Marine Corps, and the murder weapon of record – the war surplus carbine he ordered under an alias – was a terrible weapon in general, and the one he owned was in particularly bad condition, as the FBI later revealed.


DOUG HORNE: Well, you can go two ways. If you accept a government cover-up as a given, then it’s either a benigh one or a sinster one. If it’s benign, then the people engineering the cover-up weren’t part of the murder plot, but they think that for one reason or another, they can’t tell the truth – the truth might endanger the country because it might trigger World War Three if it appears, rightly or wrongly, that there was foreign involvement in the assassination.

Or, there might be a real fear that he public would lose faith in our institutions, if we have to admit to our citizenry that ‘multiple people shot the president and we don’t know who they are and we can’t catch them.’

The other alternative, the sinister one, posits that the people performing the cover-up actions – lets say the actors on the ground, Humes and Boswell and the photographers involved – believe that they are doing a benign cover-up for national security reasons. But the people giving them their orders know better, and are part of the assassination plot.

I believe that the latter scenario detailed above is the most likely one. I’m sure as I can be that Humes went to his grave thinking that, ‘Yes, I lied and I obstructed justice, but I did it for the good of national security, and I’m not going to tell anybody because to do so would open the biggest can of worms in history and turn me into a target, so I did my duty and I’m a patriot and that’s the way it is.’ James J. Humes often acted and spoke over the years as if he was harboring some great secrets about the assassination that no one else was smart enough to figure out, and that he was not going to tell any of us what those secrets were because none of us had a need to know – that only he (and “J” Thorton Boswell) did.


DOUG HORNE: Yeah, several records, and they’ve been around a long time. The FBI agents, Sibert and O’Neill, made a list of who was present at the autopsy, at least the people who chose to voluntarily write down their names.

One of those is the surgeon general of the Navy, Vice Admiral Edward Kenney, the head of the Medical Corps. During the Clay Shaw trial in 1969, Finck revealed that Kenney had told everybody, “you will not discuss these events with anyone.” (Finck also testified at the Shaw trial that an unnamed Army general was in charge of the events in the morgue.)

So, in my view, the candidates for directing sinister activities, by name, are Admiral Kinney and Admiral Calvin Galloway, the head of Bethesda NNMC, as well as Captain John Stover, who was the head of the medical school and forced the Navy’s autopsy participants to sign those “letters of silence” after the autopsy which were so onerous, and which blatantly and openly threatened the Navy personnel with court martial if they were to discuss the events of the autopsy with anyone.

The people we deposed who testified about Stover’s attitude and demeanor, like the x-ray technicians and the photographer Stringer, were clearly still scared of this man over thirty years later.

And last, but not least, Rear Admiral George Burkley, the president’s military physician, tried all night long to limit the scope of the autopsy, and furthermore, appears to have been in charge of coordinating the development of all post-mortem photography. Burkley is almost certainly the person who was responsible for making the many bone fragments from the skull disappear: the 3 fragments brought into the morgue late in the autopsy by the Secret Service, and the Harper fragment and Burros fragment, from Dallas.

I don’t see any of these people as the masterminds of an assassination plot, but I believe some of them were knowing participants at the mid-level of the conspiracy, and others had probably been given a national security cover story to justify the cover-up they were involved in.


DOUG HORNE: That statement in Volume 7 is a big lie. That was a major interpretive find by Dr. Gary Aguilar immediately following the release in 1993 of the HSCA’s own interview reports and depositions, and he’s ‘spot-on’ with his criticism. The House Select Committee’s own medical witness interview reports, and its transcript of the deposition of Dr. John Ebersole, the autopsy radiologist, reveal this statement to be untrue, but no one knew this until these reports were released in 1993 by the JFK Act.

Robert Blakey suppressed these reports by sealing them for 50 years, and we still would not know about this ‘big lie’ even today, if it had not been for Oliver Stone’s movie and the resulting JFK Records Act. This falsehood actually led David Lifton down the wrong path in 1979 and 1980 and caused him to believe that the back of the head was intact when the body was received at Bethesda, simply because he was told by the HSCA in Volume 7 that the photos were ground truth and that all of the autopsy witnesses agreed with what they showed.

So I say, “shame on you, Robert Blakey,” with the utmost invective I can muster, and ask the rhetorical question: “What were you up to in 1978 and 1979?” Your principal medical staff investigator, Andy Purdy, told the ARRB in 1996 that he did not know who was responsible for the statement in Volume 7 that none of the autopsy witnesses disagreed with the autopsy photos and x-rays, and he freely acknowledged that the statement was incorrect. He also told us that he had expected all of the HSCA staff’s medical witness interview reports and depositions to be published, and was surprised when most of them were instead, sequestered for 50 years.

By the way, Robert Blakey also suppressed a key August 1978 deposition transcript of photographer Robert Knudsen for 50 years because it presented recollections and assertions incompatible with the HSCA’s conclusions about the autopsy photographs; furthermore, no one mentioned anywhere in Volume 7 of the HSCA’s report that the deposition was even conducted! In my opinion, Blakey is someone who cannot be trusted to comment accurately or truthfully on the Kennedy assassination. It appears tat he was pursuing an agenda in 1978-79 that may have been incompatible with the truth, and if that assessment is correct, then he is undoubtedly still covering his ass today.


DOUG HORNE: I think we can prove, based on the medical cover-up, that the official story is not true, and that the government knew that and suppressed what was true. Everything else then becomes speculation.


DOUG HORNE: I’m now at the State Department, in a very non-glamorous, nose-to-the-grindstone job as a passport specialist. I review and approve thousands of passport applications every year. It is a way to pay the rent as I work my way toward retirement in about 10 years, and to simply keep me afloat while I try to complete my manuscript in my spare time. I have about 750 manuscript pages written already, and that represents only about 60% or so of the text.

It is my magnum opus, a book that will be so massive, and so detailed, that for me to get my message out unfiltered and in an unabridged fashion, it will have to be made available as a “publish on demand” specialty type item sold on the internet, and printed one copy at a time, as each customer pays for it. I will not submit my work to the arbitrary restrictions on length that are imposed by mainstream publishers, nor will I permit an editor to ‘tone down’ the political content of my manuscript.

I would rather say exactly what I want to say, in the way that I want to say it, and only sell a thousand copies, for example, than water down my life’s work into a three-hundred-page puff piece with inadequate detail and inadequate supporting documentation.

My goal is to tell the truth as I know it, without anyone watering it down – not to make money. My manuscript is a labor of love, and will be the sharing of an intellectual journey with those who are captivated by the medical evidence, and who have a love of detail.

With any luck I will finish the manuscript by the end of 2008, and I hope it will be available to purchase on-line, as “print on demand” item, by November 2009.

Dick Russell’s On the Trail of the Assassins – Buy it:

My review of DR’s OTTOTA:

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Inside ARRB Vol. 1 Cover Jacket


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I’m pleased to report that my book about the medical coverup in the Kennedy assassination, Inside the ARRB, is finally completed, and will be published in the near future, hopefully in December of 2009.

The only real certainty we are left with about the events in Dallas in 1963 is that there was a massive coverup, and that the two official explanations about what happened --- offered up by the Warren Commission and the HSCA --- cannot be true. So much physical evidence was destroyed, and so much tainted evidence was introduced into the official record, that I am convinced the reason the evidence in the Kennedy assassination “doesn’t come together” like a normal homicide case is because there is fraud in the evidence. To continue to assume that all of the evidence held by the U.S. government is sacrosanct, and should be accepted at face value, will only guarantee that there will never be a consensus about what happened. Much of the evidence processed by the Federal government is suspect, and tainted.

If the tainted evidence can be identified, and separated from the more trustworthy evidence, we stand a much better chance of understanding the nature of both the murder, and more importantly, the coverup. The coverup tells us more about the assassination than endless arguments about how many shooters there were, or where they were located in Dealey Plaza.

I felt compelled to attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding the medical evidence by taking a serious look at how much evidence was destroyed in 1963, and which evidence in the official record is likely tainted, and cannot be trusted (and why). It was no easy task; but neither was it an impossible endeavor.

Additionally, I closely examined the statements and testimony of key Parkland hospital and Bethesda autopsy witnesses over the years to see who had been consistent in describing events, and who had changed his testimony as time passed. I acted as a very curious citizen-detective, and made no starting assumptions about the presumed authenticity of any particular item of evidence.

What one believes about JFK’s assassination depends upon which data base one relies upon; there is so much conflicted evidence that one can “cherry pick” the evidence in the official record and come to almost any conclusion about the facts of the shooting. I attempted to examine the broad range of virtually all of the medical evidence, and tried very hard to avoid the limited and selective use of evidence, a mistake made by both the Warren Commission and the HSCA.

My conclusions are that neither the autopsy report (a document rewritten at least twice), nor the autopsy photographs and x-rays (which present dishonest and intentionally misleading images of the head wounds), can be relied upon to determine the reality of the event in Dealey Plaza, and that the original observations of the treating physicians and nurses at Parkland hospital remain the best single guide to the actual wounds sustained by President Kennedy --- but that they still must be judiciously married to certain other key facts, to ascertain what likely happened.

Once one accepts that JFK was killed by a crossfire, the focus shifts to the who and the why, and my book attempts to deal with this subject as well, for the assassination can only be understood in terms of the context in which it took place: at the height of the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

For more information on my book, please reference my blog:



Inside the Assassinations Records Review Board: The U.S. Government’s Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK

By Douglas P. Horne

Chief Analyst for Military Records, Assassinations Records Review Board

Table of Contents

Volume 1

Preface: Why Do I Care?


Part I: The ARRB Medical Witnesses

Introduction: Beginning My ARRB Journey p. 3

Prologue: The Culture of the ARRB p. 9

Chapter 1: Epiphanies p. 25

Chapter 2: The ARRB Medical Evidence Depositions and Unsworn Interviews p. 59

Chapter 3: The Autopsy Pathologists p. 69

Illustration Section (Details Below)

Chapter 4: Autopsy Photography (Part One) p. 131

Volume II

Chapter 4: Autopsy Photography (Part Two) p. 255

Chapter 5: The Autopsy X-Rays p. 389

Chapter 6: The Morticians p. 589

Chapter 7: A Short Trip to Texas p. 641

Volume III

Chapter 8: FBI Agents Sibert and O’Neill p 667

Chapter 9: The Dallas Doctors Depositions – A Government FUBAR of Major Proportions p. 741

Part II: Fraud in the Evidence – A Pattern of Deception

Chapter 10: Two Brain Examinations – Coverup Confirmed p. 777

Chapter 11: Three Autopsy Reports – A Botched Coverup p. 845

Chapter 12: The Autopsy Photographs and X-Rays Explained p. 883

Volume IV

Chapter 13: What Really Happened at the Bethesda Morgue (And in Dealey Plaza?) p.987

Chapter 14: The Zapruder Film Mystery p. 1185

Volume V

Part III: The Political Context of the Assassination

Chapter 15: The Setup – Planning the Texas Trip and the Dallas Motorcade p.1379

Chapter 16: Inconvenient Truths p. 1469

Epilogue p. 1777

Afterword p. 1797

About the Author p. 1805


The illustrations are located at the end of Chapter Three

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Castro with sniper rifle 1957


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John Judge & COPA at Dealey Plaza


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Thanks to Tom Blackwell for the tape of John Judge at Dealey Plaza on the 46th anniversary of JFK's assassination.

John Judge at the Grassy Knoll – November 22, 2009 – 12:30 PM CST Dallas

My name is John Judge. I’m here with the Coalition on Political Assassinations.

I was asked by researcher Penn Jones to continue the tradition of carrying on the moment of silence here on he grassy knoll.

I also hold a conference ever year, right down there at the Hotel Lawrence, of the real researchers, the serious research into the ballistic, acoustic and medical evidence into the assassination of President Kennedy, and the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, and the assassination of Martin Luther King, and the assassination of Malcolm X, and many other people who are murdered and continue to be murdered to this day by political assassination under this state.

I don’t come out here to commemorate the glory of the United States. The United States is in serous trouble. It is not a democracy any longer, as long as we let these murders go on unsolved and as long as we refuse to take back our own history and let the national security state bury it. We are in serious trouble in this country; we are being lied to and we are lying to ourselves if we don’t take a moment and understand that what happened here on November 22nd, 1963 was not a lone gunman in a window, it was a military coup d’etat and the rise of the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned about his final speech.

It was a military coup d’etat that removed the cryptonomic books from all the SAC bombers that day, that shut off the telephones at the Pentagon through all other federal agencies, and reversed the course of Kennedy’s detente with the Soviet Union to end the Cold War, to stop the arms race, to quit nuclear testing, to pullout of Vietnam, to promote racial integration in this country, to get rid of the oil tax depletion allowance for the oil rich Southern Rim, to scatter the CIA to the four winds – these are the reasons why Kennedy was killed, not by a lone-nut, but by a well organized conspiracy and coverup that went to the top of the power systems of this country.

Penn Jones was (a newspaperman) and independent investigative researcher who knew these facts, he tracked the witness deaths in the cases. He asked me to come out here every year because I came out here with him since the 1970s forward.

We always get a legal permit to have this space to hold the moment of silence from the parks department. We are glad to be here and to have people come out. This is a larger crowd than came for many, many years. But since Oliver Stone’s film more and more of you have been coming out.

We are about to getting at the truth of these assassinations, and looking at the serious evidence that’s come out in these cases, not about speculations, not about theories, not about conspiracy theories, which is a new term for any criticism we do of the official lies. You can call us conspiracy theorists if you call everyone else a coincidence theorists.


But we are talking about historic realities, and medical evidence, ballistics, and hard facts. So I want to take a moment to have a moment of silence, but a moment of contemplation, a moment of realization of its import.

The Dallas Morning News came ten years after we started doing this, they finally came out and they said why we are doing out here after all these many years later?
I said the same reason we are here for the same reason your editor told you to come down here and ask us. Because we know and the system knows these murders matter and they’ve lied about them since then.

So take a moment and think about that.


John Judge: John F. Kennedy was someone who stood up to this system and where it was going in those critical years. He refused to go to nuclear war against the advice of all of his generals during the Cuban Missile Crisis, he refused to kill Castro, he refused to get into an extended military carpet bombing of the Soviet Union, which Curtis LeMay wanted to do. And he refused to continue to pour American troops and money into a fruitless war in Vietnam. He understood that other nations needed sovereignty and determine their own futures, and he wanted to help them to do that, not fight them. He refused to participate in plots to kill foreign leaders that were going on from the administration that preceded him. And he refused to cooperate with the national security state.

Not far from my house in Anacosta, a few miles down the road in Sutland, Maryland, is the national archive and records center for the military history records of the United States from World War II until now. These records are for the most part classified. They have a reading room where you can read some of them, but most of them are classified.

They are stored in underground buildings at that site in Sutland, Maryland. Each of those buildings are an acre in size. There are 27 of those buildings in Sutland, Maryland, 27 acres of papers and classified documents of your military history since the end of World War II. Do you think you own America? (If) you don’t own your own history, you are a conquered people. You let this national security state scare you away from finding your history, you are a conquered people, because that’s what conquers do, they take the history away from us.

Now history is passé. We are post literate, post historical, and we’re becoming post scientific and even post logical in this country. We’re like Winston in 1984 having a conversation with Simms at the Ministry of Truth. Simms’ job is to reduce the number of words in the dictionary, so that there won’t be concepts. If there isn’t a word for it there wouldn’t be a concept for thought crime. You know, he said, in a few years, Winston, you and I won’t even be able to have this conversation. Well I can barely have this conversation cross generationally at this point, because of the history is lost.

I just talked to the DC correspondent for the Nation, 20 year old Eric Lang. I said I was going to Dallas for a conference on November 22nd. He gave me a blank stair. I said you don’t know why we go on that date? Do you know the date April 6th, or the date June 4th, the date February 21st. He didn’t know any of those dates, the dates on which the other political leaders were killed.…

…And I think it’s important if you want to think you live in a democracy and be a citizen, you have to be an informed citizen. That’s the way you make decisions. If you’re not going to be informed you’re in trouble.

We got the JFK Records Act passed, we got 6.5 million pages out, the largest release in history except for the Nazi (records). We are now pushing for a Martin Luther King Act, for the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King, to get those files lose. But it’s just a pittance, 15.5 million records, not pages, records, so multiply by at least ten, are buried by the national security state every year. Bush put over a million records back under classification that had already been released, while he was in office, and he increased the secrecy and Obama hasn’t reversed that. And so they continue to bury history at a rate that we are barely able to reverse.

The Freedom of Information Act changes are like plugging a hole in a rusty bucket with which you are trying to drain a spring fed lake.

But that’s the core of the problem here.

Jefferson knew that. He said that if given the choice of a government without a newspaper or a newspaper without a government, he would choose the latter. Why? Because he knew that information flow was more central to democratic process than the machinery of government to carry out the people’s will. He knew that an informed decision was the only thing that meant democracy. And as long as you can’t be informed, and you can’t know, and this is what Martin Schotz says. He says the political paralysis in America is due to the fact that we are allowed to believe everything. Because as long as we can’t know, we can not act.

But I believe we can know. The truth is not that arcane.

We can’t go back on the excuse that we’ll never know what happened.
We’ll never know who did it. People study it and they study it like a regular crime, and they can figure it out. You can figure it out if you want to know.

Perhaps you don’t want to know.

Some people say, Oh, you’re John Judge who gives everybody nightmares.

I said, No, I’m the guy who wakes you up and tells you you’re in one. And you got to get out of that nightmare.


It’s our country, it belongs to us. And there’s more of us and we can think. And that’s the bottom line. They have us divided against each other. They have us pulling against each other. They have us not trusting or talking to each other. But in the end it’s because they fear us. They tap our phones because they’re afraid of us. People ask if I think they tap my phone and I say I hope so because maybe they’ll learn something.


I wish they’d listen to me.

But this is what America is about. It’s not about mourning or weeping over these things for 46 years, it’s about saying, no, we don’t accept this, we aren’t going to live this way, we want to change, and we can change it. They aren’t going to change it for us. We have to change it from the bottom up. But if we decide to live with each other, to trust each other, to cross those lines with each other, and to now, survival with each other because there’s no money left for those poppers to take care of us obviously. But we have to survive with each other, but we can because we are in the last stage of monopoly capitalism. We are at the stage where the corporations merge with the state. This is what Mussolini called fascism. And it is, only now it is on a global, corporate scale of fascism.

One aspect of fascism in monopoly capital is that all the resources are monopolized and all the technology makes labor unnecessary, but in their view, because they want to hoard that surplus, it also makes all of us expendable to them. And that is an objective drive towards genocide. They don’t care now whether labor survives, they don’t need it. By the 1930s miners were told that if the mine starts to collapse, push the mules out first; it costs money to replace a mule. That’s the position that we are in on a global scale now. And they don’t care if any of us survive. In their view, we are dead already. Our choice is to die on our knees or our feet, to stand up to them or not, to live or to die. But we can live with each other and cooperate with each other.

Money is nothing but paper. My bank gives me a piece of paper, I give somebody else a piece of paper at the store, you know, they put the paper in the bank, they give the paper to the next guy. Let’s just print some paper and get on with it. We have a lot of things we have to do in the human community.

You know, they can withdraw the credit, and withdraw the money, but there were communities that prospered in the depression because they got off credit and money, they issued their own local script, produced their own local need, and they survived and prospered during that period. We don’t have to be dependent on this system. And this system can no longer take care of us, nor does it want to. But we can decide we want to live, we can decide that we want to stand up, we can decide that we want the truth and we can decide to exercise the rights that make them real.

They would like us to think that as long as we are told that we have these rights, we should be so glad that we have them we shouldn’t sully them by using them. In other words, I should be so happy that I have free speech that I should sit down and shut up about it.


But that’s not what I think. I think you only have the rights that you use. And the rights that you exercise, that’s how you get rights and that’s how you keep them. And if you stop exercising them you won’t have them.

Turn off the television. Get a little bit of vitamin D and something called Sambathol (?) M1N1, an elderberry extract. There’s ways to survive in this society. And there’s ways for us to have solidarity, and trust and community. But monopoly capital has now alienated us to the point where our primary relations with each other are primarily financial instead of human. And it’s alienated us from every aspect of our human community and sold it back to us in its most distorted form.

I turned the television off in 1970. I still read. I know it’s subversive because they keep track of who goes to the library now. But I think it’s a good idea.

I still try to think. I still have hope. I still believe in people, and I still want to get at the truth, and I hope you do to.


The Coalition on Political Assassinations presents:

15th Annual Regional Conference, November 20-22, Dallas, TX

Latest evidence and research, authors, medical and ballistic experts, academics and researchers into modern political assassinations, including Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy. Resource room with books, DVDs and digital collections. Films and presentations. Join us.

Dr. Cyril Wecht, M.D., J.D., former president American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Jim Douglass, author of JFK and the Unspeakable
Walt Brown, author of Master Analytic Chronology: The Death of President Kennedy
Russ Baker, author of Family of Secrets
Ronnie Dugger, former editor of The Texas Observer
John Armstrong, author of Harvey & Lee will be available to sign his book
Randy Benson, award-winning filmmaker, showing excerpts from The Searchers
T Carter, author of an upcoming book Jerry Ray: A Memoir of Injustice
Ben Rogers, curator of the Penn Jones collection at Baylor University
Jim DiEugenio, author of Destiny Betrayed and editor of Probe
Lisa Pease, co-author of The Assassinations and editor of Probe
Robert Groden, author of The Search for Lee Harvey Oswald and Absolute Proof
Doug Valentine, author of The Phoenix Program and The Strength of the Pack
Ed Haslam, author of Dr. Mary’s Monkey and Mary, Ferrie and the Money Virus
Pat Speer, producer of "The Mysterious Death of Number 35”
Chris Pike, researcher into Operation Northwoods and critic Penn Jones, Jr.


Friday, November 20
Early Bird Lunch, 12:00 pm Founder’s Grill, lobby, Hotel Lawrence (214) 761-9090
Dinner, 5:30 pm, Rodeo Grill, Adolphus Hotel, 1321 Commerce Street, (214) 651-3588
COPA keynote speaker, 7:00 pm, Mezzanine level, Adolphus Hotel
Movies, 10:00 pm, Second floor Rear, Hotel Lawrence, Houston & Jackson Sts.
Resource room open on 2nd floor rear Friday to Sunday, books and DVDs, authors

Saturday, November 21
Speakers 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Second floor Rear, Hotel Lawrence
Movies 10:00 pm, Second floor Rear
Hotel Lawrence, Houston & Jackson Sts.

Sunday, November 22 46th anniversary
Speakers and discussions 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, Second floor Rear
Hotel Lawrence, Houston & Jackson Sts.

12:30 pm Moment of Silence
Commemorating the Assassination of President Kennedy
Grassy Knoll, Dealey Plaza, speakers following
Union Station and West End stations on DART rail. All events open to public.

Registration at door - $60 for all events, $25 Saturday, $20 Friday and Sunday

Coalition on Political Assassinations, PO Box 772, Washington, DC 20044

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Were Castro Plots Hatched at Glen Ora?

Were Castro Plots Hatched at Glen Ora? – By William Kelly

In his Washingtonian article on RFK and the plots to kill Castro, Evan Thomas wrote “…. ‘Please don't expect that any one of these things is going to be a catalyst'," recalled Ted Shackley, the Miami station chief, quoting the CIA’s Cuban covert operations chief Desmond Fitzgerald, “But FitzGerald felt under pressure to make these things work, and the pressure came from Robert Kennedy. He'd say, ‘I saw Bobby,' or ‘I ran into Bobby. I saw him in Middleburg. Here's what we got to crank up for next month.' We would say, tactfully. We can make it work. But the question is, will these events bring Castro down?’” (1)

“I saw him in Middleburg. Here’s what we got to crank up for next month,” is what Fitzgerald is quoted as saying about where the plans were drawn up for the CIA’s covert operations against Cuba. Middleburg.

Middleburg, Virginia, is an old and historic town a few hours drive west of Washington, in upper crust Virginia horse country, where you need two hundred acres to build a house, and the location of Glen Ora, a large horse farm, leased by the President elect Kennedy as a weekend retreat. But is it where the plots against Castro were hatched before they backfired at Dealey Plaza?

Des Fitz is quoted as telling Halpern that it was RFK who was ratcheting up the anti-Castro plots, that “I ran into Bobby. I saw him at Middleburg. Here’s what we got to crank up for next month….”

Looking at the official Presidential schedule, Glen Ora was a frequent destination for President Kennedy, both by helicopter, approximately 25 minutes from the White House lawn, or by car, a two hour drive. (2)

Middleburg and Glen Ora were JFK’s concession to his wife Jackie, a horse women who fit nicely into the stiff, reserved, blue blood upper crust Middleburg hunt club society. (3)

The Kennedys spent weekends in the fall and winter at Glen Ora, even during the Cuban Missile Crisis when Kennedy tried to maintain his normal agenda, and he continued to the run nation’s business from Glen Ora up until his death, and if these reports are correct, he may have planned the operations there that ultimately led to his murder. (4)

Glen Ora was owned by Mrs. Gladys Raymond Tartiere, who it is said, was persuaded to lease her estate to Kennedy by William Walton, a mutual friend, and former Time-Life war correspondent. (5)

The Kennedys seemed to like Glen Ora and Middleburg, and wanted to own a home there, rather than lease one, but as Clark Clifford mentions in his memoirs, Mrs. Tartiere “did not wish to sell.” (6)

So they purchased some land nearby and lived at Glen Ora during the construction of their own home, which they called Wexford, named after the town of Kennedy’s Irish roots. While at Glen Ora, they tried to enjoy life outside of the Washington limelight. As Sally B. Smith wrote “…For Jack’s forty-fourth birthday on May 29, Jackie conspired with Paul Fout to create a three-hold golf course at Glen Ora – ‘rather long & difficult ones – so it will be a challenge to play and not just so easy that one gets tired of it.’ To further amuse Jack, she asked that the holes have Confederate flags that would ‘not be visible from the road.’ The Bradlees visited Glen Ora on May 20 for a birthday celebration, and Ben and JFK inaugurated the course, which had grown to four holes ‘9,000 square yards of pasture, filled with small hills, big rocks, and even a swamp,’ Bradlee recalled. JFK ‘shot the course record, a thirty-seven for four holes.’” (7)

Glen Ora had an interesting history, especially the background of its owners. As Tom Scully notes, “Gladys Rosenthal Byfield Tartiere. Aka Mrs. Raymond Tartiere, had been the JFK family's ‘landlady’ since late 1960, when she leased her 400 acres, Middleburg, VA estate, ‘Glen Ora’, to JFK and Jackie.” Her son Byfield, Jr. “was a US Army Captain in WWII, a member of OSS S1, according to the memoirs of David KE Bruce. In 1943, Byfield was the best man in the wedding of William H.G. Fitzgerald, Lt. Cmdr, USN, and later a philanthropist and US Ambassador to Ireland.” (8)

William Henry Gerald Fitzgerald is husband of Mary Ellen and the father of Desmond Fitzgerald, who is still living in Connecticut, and not the CIA officer.

It would be interesting if it could be determined if the two Desmond FitzGeralds are related, and if Desmond FitzGerald of the CIA was indeed a cousin of JFK, related through the FitzGerald side (See: The Kennedys & the Fitzgeralds).

Desmond FitzGerald of the CIA is the son of Harold and Eleanor FitzGearld. He was the CIA officer assigned to run the Cuban operations, and was close to RFK.

The son of JFK’s landlady, Gladys Rosenthal Byfield Tartiere, Ernest Byfield, Jr. was an OSS hand under David Bruce and the best man at the wedding of William H. G. Fitzgerald. (9)

Byfield, Jr. was also associated with Henry Crown and the General Dynamics contract for the F-111, and may have had something to do with Bobby and Billy Hale’s breaking into the apartment of Judith Campbell Exner’s Los Angeles apartment. Exner, who had married golf pro Dan Exner, had previously been the cut-out between JFK and Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana before the election, and it was Giancana who was involved with John Rosselli and Carlos Marcello in the early CIA plots to kill Castro. Bobby and Billy Hale’s father, I. B. Hale, was a former pro football player and FBI agent who was head of security at General Dynamics.

The Hale twins reportedly broke into Exner’s apartment and placed a wiretapping bug while it was under surveillance by the FBI, but when the FBI ran a trace on the Hale’s car, and discovered their father was I.B. Hale, friend of J. Edgar Hover, they never acted on it, though there’s records of this incident in the official files.

[For more on the Hale Twins, see:

Joseph Califano, the assistant to the Secretary of the Army who worked with the Army support for the CIA’s covert operations against Cuba, said that the military had bugged the White House and overheard all of JFK’s private conversations about Cuba, which makes one wonder if they also bugged Glen Ora and knew what plans were made there as well.

Then, in a final irony, former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara, who awarded the contract to General Dynamics, married Diana Masieri Byfield in 2004, when he was 92 and she was 74. (10)

There’s also the current owner of Glen Ora, Gladys Tartiere’s daughter Elaine Broadhead, who has used the estate in order to promote some of her radical enterprises, including the founding of the Green Party in the USA. (11).

But most significant, I think, is the allegations by Evan Thomas, that Desmond Fitzgerald, when he was head of the Cuban operations at the CIA, met with RFK at Glen Ora and planned attacks against Castro and Cuba while there. (12)
Thomas writes, “…The last of the CIA's plots to kill Castro is a truly weird tale. Following the Bay of Pigs fiasco, President Kennedy deputized his brother (also his attorney general) Robert Kennedy to personally oversee the CIA's campaign against Castro. Typical of the Kennedy administration's highly informal style, Bobby Kennedy bypassed CIA Director John McCone and demanded regular progress reports from Desmond FitzGerald, a dashing CIA officer who became head of the CIA Special Affairs Staff (SAS) at the beginning of 1963, charged with doing whatever he could to eliminate the Cuban leader. The bizarre events that were to unfold have fueled generations of Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorists.”

“The winter FitzGerald took over the Cuban operation, he made clear to his troops that he wanted results. FitzGerald's executive officer, Sam Halpern, tried to show him an organizational chart of the Special Affairs Staff, but FitzGerald said he didn't want to see it; he didn't want to be bothered with bureaucratic detail. ‘But Des. . .,’ Halpern protested. ‘You do it,’ said FitzGerald. He refused to sign the chart or even look at it.”

“During the summer and early fall, five commando raids were launched against Castro's economic infrastructure, in the hopes of "destabilizing" the regime. The raids were costly: Twenty-five CIA agents, Cuban exiles recruited as commandos, were killed or captured. Though it was doubtful that the commandos would bring down Castro by knocking down some telephone poles or by petty acts of sabotage (the negligible Cuban underground was instructed to leave faucets running and light bulbs burning to waste energy), FitzGerald was determined to keep trying.”

“We were saying, ‘Please don't expect that any one of these things is going to be a catalyst’,’ recalled Ted Shackley, the Miami station chief. ‘But FitzGerald felt under pressure to make these things work, and the pressure came from Robert Kennedy. He'd say, ‘I saw Bobby,’ or ‘I ran into Bobby. I saw him in Middleburg. Here's what we got to crank up for next month.’ We would say, tactfully. We can make it work. But the question is, will these events bring Castro down?’”

“Halpern said he began to ‘dread coming in to work in the morning,’ especially Monday mornings after FitzGerald had all weekend to “run into” Kennedy and think up his own schemes—‘all these harebrained ideas,’ as Halpern described a series of plots that would seem like black comedy when they surfaced later during the Church Committee hearings. ‘[Bobby],’ said Halpern bluntly, ‘reinforced [FitzGerald's] worst instincts.’”

“By the time FitzGerald took over the Cuba operation, the CIA had pretty well given up on using the mob. The plots of Bill Harvey, FitzGerald's predecessor as head of the Cuba group, to enlist the Mafia had gone nowhere.”

Indeed, it was no longer William Harvey, Johnny Rosselli, the mob and the CIA, it was the Des Fits of the CIA and the Department of Defense, the United States Army, specifically Joe Califano and General Krulak who were coordinating covert operations against Cuba with the CIA.

And one of their “contingency plans for a coup in Cuba” was being based on a study of the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler and take over the Third Reich that failed, a plan that included revising the continuity of government plans and blaming the assassination on Communists.

If this was one of the plans discussed at Glen Ora, it wasn’t Bobby Kennedy telling Des Fitz what the next operation was to be, it was Des Fitz telling RFK and JFK what they were going to do to get rid of Castro, the Valkyrie contingency that was ultimately flipped and resulted not in the death of Castro, but what happened at Dealey Plaza.

- William Kelly bkjfk3@yahoo.com


(1) Evan Thomas, Washington Monthly, Dec., 1995 Bobby Kennedy’s war on Castro – CIA plot to kill Fidel Castro.

(2) Timeline of Glen Ora History:

Jan 20, 1963 - Kennedy from going Saturday to Glen Ora, their leased near Middleburg. Va. The Kennedys had planned lo eave by helicopter early in the for Glen Ora but finally gave up the trip around 4 pm of the Cog. ' Malcolm Kilduff, an assistant White Rouse press secretary, said,…From Kennedys Call Off Trip to Glen Ora
pqasb.pqarchiver.com/courant/access/938155732 ...

3) Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: A Life By Donald Spoto, p. 169

“…Walton went out to see his old friend Gladys Tartiere, who owned Glen Ora, a four-hundred-acre estate near Middleburg, Virginia, about an hour from the White House. Jackie, who saw photos while she was in the hospital, liked the French-style mansion, the gardens, lawns, woods and pastures and the expansive acres for riding. She judged the place even more appealing than Merrywood and convinced her husband to apply for the lease. But Mrs. Tartiere was not at all enchanted with the idea of the First Family as tenants: she foresaw the Secret Service, the press and vast numbers of visitors roaming all over, and hence all sorts of potential damage to her estate. Already, wherever the Kennedys went, the Secret Service was sure to go, sending messages back and forth….Eventually, after considerable coaxing from Walton and Clark Clifford, one of Kennedy’s attorneys and advisors, Mrs. Tartiere agreed – but only to a one-year lease. The Kennedys took it sight unseen and furnished. At Glen Ora, Jackie escaped the pressures of Washington; there, she trained Caroline to ride, too, and there she was, as nearby residents said, “Just one of the fox hunters.”

4) The former wife of Hoy's late employer, Gladys Rosenthal Byfield Tartiere (Mrs. Raymond F. Tartiere) supposedly leased, with great reluctance, her 400 acre Middleburg, VA estate, "Glen Ora", to serve as the JFK family's "week end White House", from late 1960 until March, 1963. JFK shut down the 1961 Bay of Pigs CIA "Op", from Glen Ora.

5) Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: A Life‎ - Page 169 by Donald Spoto - Biography & Autobiography - 2000 - 416 pages
"Eventually, after considerable coaxing from Walton and Clark Clifford, one of
Kennedy's attorneys and advisers, Mrs. Tartiere agreed — but only to a ..."; also see:
America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis‎ - Page 203
by Sarah Bradford - Biography & Autobiography - 2000 - 640 pages
"Bill Walton came up with Glen Ora, the property of his friend Gladys Tartiere,
... her photographs of the place; she liked it and rented it sight unseen. ..."

(6) Counsel to the President: A Memoir‎ - Page 362 by Clark M. Clifford, Richard C. Holbrooke - Biography & Autobiography - 1991 - 709 pages “Walton soon located a beautiful four-hundred- acre estate called Glen Ora, ...There was only one problem: its owner, Gladys Tartiere, did not wish to sell ..."

(7) Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House By Sally Bedell Smith. P. 201

(8) Tom Scully: Byfield Jr. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=w...mp;aq=f&oq=

(9) Philanthropist William H.G. FitzGerald Monday, January 9, 2006
William H.G. FitzGerald, 96, a Washington-based private investor who was active in philanthropies and served as ambassador to Ireland from 1992 to 1993, died Jan. 5 at George Washington University Hospital. He had an aortic aneurysm.
Mr. FitzGerald, a District resident, was involved in housing projects in the Washington area starting around 1940 and later was chairman of North American Housing Corp., which made modular homes.

He also was a senior partner at the investment firm of Hornblower, Weeks, Hemphill & Noyes and vice chairman of Financial General Bankshares, a multistate bank holding company.

William Henry Gerald FitzGerald was a Boston native and a 1931 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, where he played baseball. After brief Navy service, he attended Harvard Law School before embarking on a business career.
He returned to the Navy during World War II. From 1958 to 1960, he was deputy director for management of the International Cooperation Administration, which became the U.S. Agency for International Development.

In 1987, he started high school scholarships for inner-city children in the Catholic archdiocese of Washington. At the Washington Tennis Foundation, he established a program to mentor inner-city children. The William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center is named in his honor.

He also was a benefactor of the Naval Academy, where he and his wife started a program to send midshipmen to Oxford University for postgraduate study.
He was a former vice chairman of the congressionally mandated African Development Foundation, trustee of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, chairman of the White House Preservation Fund and treasurer of the Atlantic Council of the United States, an international affairs group. He was the senior member of the Order of Malta, a lay religious order of the Catholic church.

He was a member of the University Club in Washington for 71 years.
In 1949, he founded the FitzGerald Cup, an annual squash tournament between Baltimore and Washington.

He was an active tennis player until age 93.
Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Annelise Petschek FitzGerald of Washington; two children, Desmond FitzGerald of Greenwich, Conn., and Anne F. Slichter of Champaign, Ill.; and five grandchildren.

(10) The Overlooked Irony of JFK Defense Secretary Robert S McNamara's 2004 marriage to Diana Masieri Byfield. 78232, Posted by T James Scully, Wed Dec-31-69 05:00 PM

It's been 4 years since the September/December marriage of former US Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara, now 92, to Diana Masieri Byfield, 74.

The irony is the fact that McNamara himself may not even be aware of his recent bride's proximity to one of the controversies of the 1960's that McNamara is forever tainted by. McNamara claimed in 1963 to have been responsible, ultimately, for the decision to award the (at the time) $6 billion, TFX "joint fighter" defense contract to the financially distressed, at that time, General Dynamics.

The contract award was questioned because Boeing had underbid the General Dynamics/Grumman bid by $1 billion, and a consequence was the forced resignation, of Navy Secretary, Fred Korth, on November 1, 1963. Just a year earlier, Korth had been the president of a Texas bank that was exposed to $200 million in outstanding loans to General Dynamics. General Dynamics had merged in 1959 with Chicago financier Henry Crown's Material Service Corp. After the merger, Crown (late father of an early and principal Obama presidential campaign supporter, Lester Crown, listed on Forbes 400 in 2008 with $4.8 billion net worth....) was the largest General Dynamic's stockholder, owning 20 percent of total shares, and by 1963, he was also chairman.

(11) George Archibald - Christmas in Middleburg - December 16, 2006
The prelude to Christmas in this historic small Virginia foxhunting and racehorse town near Washington, D.C. has been a panorama of exciting visual and musical events….

….Middleburg is the town where President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy rented Glen Ora Farm to get away from the Nation´s Capital an hour away by car so Mrs. Kennedy could ride and go hunting in the nation's premiere foxhunting community -- which People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) folks don´t mention in their trampling of people´s rights to hunt for sport.

It´s ironic that Elaine Broadhead, daughter of Mrs. Raymond Tartiere, who rented Glen Ora Farm to JFK and Jackie in 1961, has used the farm she inherited from her parents over the past several years to host a guerilla warfare training center for the Ruckus Society folks who show up at all the World Bank meetings everywhere to stage violent demonstrations and protests against free enterprise and economic capitalism.
The Ruckus folks are intolerant of free enterprise and business generally, even though their wine-sipping leftist sponsors and supporters (such as Elaine Broadhead) are rich and live in luxury because of free enterprise and capitalist business success…..


The last of the CIA's plots to kill Castro is a truly weird tale. Following the Bay of Pigs fiasco, President Kennedy deputized his brother (also his attorney general) Robert Kennedy to personally oversee the CIA's campaign against Castro. Typical of the Kennedy administration's highly informal style, Bobby Kennedy bypassed CIA Director John McCone and demanded regular progress reports from Desmond FitzGerald, a dashing CIA officer who became head of the CIA Special Affairs Staff (SAS) at the begining of 1963, charged with doing whatever he could to eliminate the Cuban leader. The bizarre events that were to unfold have fueled generations of Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorists.

The winter FitzGerald took over the Cuban operation, he made clear to his troops that he wanted results. FitzGerald's executive officer, Sam Halpern, tried to show him an organizational chart of the Special Affairs Staff, but FitzGerald said he didn't want to see it; he didn't want to be bothered with bureaucratic detail. "But Des. . .," Halpern protested. "You do it," said FitzGerald. He refused to sign the chart or even look at it.

During the summer and early fall, five commando raids were launched against Castro's economic infrastructure, in the hopes of "destabilizing" the regime. The raids were costly: Twenty-five CIA agents, Cuban exiles recruited as commandos, were killed or captured. Though it was doubtful that the commandos would bring down Castro by knocking down some telephone poles or by petty acts of sabotage (the negligible Cuban underground was instructed to leave faucets running and light bulbs burning to waste energy), FitzGerald was determined to keep trying.

"We were saying, `Please don't expect that any one of these things is going to be a catalyst'," recalled Ted Shackley, the Miami station chief. "But FitzGerald felt under pressure to make these things work, and the pressure came from Robert Kennedy. He'd say, `I saw Bobby,' or `I ran into Bobby. I saw him in Middleburg. Here's what we got to crank up for next month.' We would say, tactfully. We can make it work. But the question is, will these events bring Castro down?'"

Halpern said he began to "dread coming in to work in the morning," especially Monday mornings after FitzGerald had all weekend to "run into" Kennedy and think up his own schemes--"all these harebrained ideas," as Halpern described a series of plots that would seem like black comedy when they surfaced later during the Church Committee hearings. "[Bobby]," said Halpern bluntly, "reinforced [FitzGerald's] worst instincts."

By the time FitzGerald took over the Cuba operation, the CIA had pretty well given up on using the mob. The plots of Bill Harvey, FitzGerald's predecessor as head of the Cuba group, to enlist the Mafia had gone nowhere.

Bill Kelly2 comments

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Divine Skein at Dealey Plaza

This is the introduction to the unpublished manuscript I wrote with the grant from the Fund for Constitutional Government Investigative Journalism Project (circa 1994), with the addition of Gibson and a few other items. I will continue to expand on this theme, and would appreciate any corrections, critiques or feedback. - BK



By William Kelly

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy remains a Watershed event in modern American history, the ramifications of which have yet to be fully realized. The details of the crime, the acoustics, ballistics, autopsy and medical evidence are covered elsewhere. This report and the ones that follow concern the covert intelligence operations that resulted in the murder of the president and the black propaganda operations that continue to this day, manipulating the news and judicial system to shield those responsible.

The time and the place – 12:30 p.m., Friday, November 22, 1963, Houston and Elm streets, Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas, are notched in our national subconscious, and the picture of that square acre of time and place are etched in our collective memories.

If Dealey Plaza were pictured as a giant mosaic wall mural, broken into pieces like a puzzle, we would have a pretty good idea of what occurred there. Only a few pieces are still missing – the faces in the shadows, the names of the mangers pulling the strings of the puppets and pawns, details unnecessary to understand the nature of the plot.

Although there are many theories as to what happened in Dealey Plaza on that day, the e

vents as they actually occurred only happened one way, and it is the responsibility of the

independent researchers, journalists, professors and historians to determine that truth as

close as possible.

Some people might consider the crime ancient history, even though it is such a current

event that indictments can still be brought down for those responsible for crimes, if not

homicide and conspiracy, then obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence and perjury.

 Besides the issues concerning the accuracy of our historical perspective, truth and the

 pursuit of justice, it is important to know for oneself whether the death of the president

was an unplanned, spontaneous act of a lone madman or a very well planned and executed

coup d’etat.

John F. Kennedy was either killed by a deranged lone-nut, as the official Warren Commission

concluded, or he was the victim of a covert action team of clandestine agents, as much of

the evidence suggests. The truth is either one way or the other, but cannot be both.

If the assassination of JFK was the work of a lone-nut madman, the lessons to be learned

from the tragedy are far less significant than if Kennedy was killed as part of a coup, as the

ramifications stem into the realms of truth, justice, responsibility and national security.

Not for the sake of argument, but for the sake of analysis, a competent homicide investigation

would proceed first by assuming that JFK was killed as an act of elimination. An understanding

of current events and the details of the crime also suggest that what happened at Dealey Plaza

was not only the product of a conspiracy, but by a much more clearly defined MO – Modus

Operandi – that of a covert intelligence operation.

Although anyone with the training and knowledge can conduct such operations, the murder

of the president, because of the extensive cover-up that occurred after the fact, must have had

its origin in the very heart of the U.S. government. If it was an independent operation, a renegade

group or the work of foreigners, those responsible would have been pursued to the ends

of the earth. Instead, the evidence leads directly inside the government itself. Those responsible

 for what happened at Dealey Plaza took over the government and controlled the investigation

of the crime.

But because the modus-operandi MO – is that of a covert operation, by its very name and

nature is meant to be hidden and concealed, so as to protect the real sponsors, in order to

see it you must look at it through a special spectrum. This ‘crystal ball’ is similar to an onion,

an analogy John Judge likes to use, as it has layers of deception that must be pealed off, r

evealing layers of truth, and can only be understood if you are educated in the history and

trained in the crafts and techniques covert intelligence operations.

Allen Dulles' book The Craft of Intelligence was published in 1963, and was the book that he

was promoting when he visited Dallas shortly before the assassination. In it Dulles notes that

the biographical method of study is a good way to learn and understand practically any subject. Pick a person and learn everything you can possibly know about them. Note 1.

And he suggests that Sun Tsu’s book The Art of War is very special and worthy of attention.


As for biographies, Lee Harvey Oswald is one of the first characters you have to come to know

in order to understand the assassination. The primary, but not first suspect, Oswald “is your

man,” as LBJ told the Dallas authorities, and no conspiracy, so the official investigators pretty

much handed the American public the head of Oswald on a platter.

While a typical homicide investigator on the street may not have the historical background or

training in intelligence operations, and may not have the investigative resources federal

governmental agencies have at their disposal, a common man’s instincts will tell you something

 and lead you to clues worth pursing. Every homicide investigator begins with a body, and a

suspect who can usually be identified as one who had the means, motive and opportunity to

commit the crime. We have that with John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald.

Their paths crossed at Dealey Plaza, an intersection out of the Twilight Zone, one that we

keep going back to see if we went in the right direction when we left there.

Oswald had the means, the U.S. Marine Corps training, the experience and the tools - the

ability to kill. He also had the opportunity since he worked in a building at the scene of the

crime, which makes JFK one of the few assassination victims who, rather than being stalked

by his assassin, is delivered to the window his killer.

The problem with Oswald is that he did not have a motive. He actually liked JFK. Not even the

Warren Commission, even though they concluded Oswald was the assassin, could determine

 a motive for the murder. 3.

But the more you learn about Oswald, rather than finding the psychotic, homicidal maniac,

 you realize he was merely a pawn in a much bigger game of power politics, a game that

continues to this day.

Although Oswald may have been a loner, he was seldom alone and not deranged. He was

definitely an operative agent, although exactly who he was an agent for has yet to be precisely

determined, but can be.

At an early meeting of the Warren Commission Allen Dulles handed out copies of a book he

recommended the other Commissioners read - Robert Donovan's The Assassins. 4.

Donovan’s The Assassins purports to show how American assassins are all psychologically

deranged loners, but commissioner John J. McCloy called Dulles on this notion, pointing out

that Lincoln’s assassination was a conspiracy since co-conspirators were hung along with

John Wilkes Booth.

But Dulles paraphrases Donovan, the author of the book, saying that Booth was such a

dominating person in the plot that it almost wasn’t a conspiracy.

And Dulles wasn’t the first to suggest the accused assassin was crazy, as Donald Gibson

points out in, JFK Assassination Cover-up (Donald Gibson. P.99), which also gets into the

Dulles-McCloy exchange over the Lincoln conspiracy. 5.

It is worth quoting Gibson as he writes:

...As was noted earlier, James Reston had suggested, less than 24 hours after the assassination

, that this act was committed by one person and that it reflected a “strain of madness” in the

country. The New York Herald Tribune had editorialized on November 23 that the assassins

in the United States are typically “crazed individuals” and are “real lunatics.” On November

25, the Wall Street Journal asserted that assassins are “idiots” and suffering with “hysteria.”

 Also, in Dallas, Mayor Earle Cabell was quoted in the November 23 Dallas Morning News

describing the assassination as the work of a maniac, as an “irrational act” of a “deranged

mind.” As documented earlier, this was not the view of the police officials or the district


(Allen) Dulles was the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency. He had the experience

in intelligence work and in international affairs. He was one of the most sophisticated men in

the world. Later, we will discuss the relationship between Dulles and the other early sources

of the lone-nut theory. This man probably was not just repeating what he had seen in the

newspapers, unless what was appearing in the media immediately after the assassination

and what he tried to impose on the Commission had a common source.

On December 5, (Earl) Warren briefly mentioned the mental illness issue. He then also

brought this up and he began but did not get to finish a description of a book he had been

reading which focused on “the psychiatric angle.”

On December 16, Dulles was far more aggressive in his promotion of this “angle.” Dulles

was handing out copies of a book which analyzed seven previous attempts on the lives of

U.S. Presidents. Dulles was giving this book to members of the Commission and to the

Commission’s lawyers. As indicated by Dulles, the theme of the book was that such

attempts were typically the acts of lone individuals, usually individuals with mental

disorders. The book that Dulles was pushing was The Assassins by Robert J. Donovan.

Although Dulles did not identify it, the Donovan book was published in the year mentioned

by Dulles as the publication year and Donovan’s book contains a statement that is almost

identical to something said by Dulles.

In response to a comment from McCloy that there was a plot in the Lincoln assassination,

Dulles noted that that was true “but one man was so dominant it almost wasn’t a plot.” In his

book, Donovan, who was in 1963 the New York Herald Tribune’s Washington bureau chief,

argued that in the U.S., assassinations were the work of individuals and he went on to say:

This was true even in the Lincoln assassination, in which, though other conspirators were

involved, Booth was the moving spirit and dominated his accomplices to such an extent

that the plot was the product of one man’s will.”

The implication of this is that if conspiracies have leaders, they aren’t conspiracies! Donovan’s

 analysis contained another ingredient that was important in Dulles’s proffered conclusions

about the assassination, i.e., that the assassins were usually crazy. Donovan’s conclusion:

By and large the true story behind the assassination and attempted assassinations of

American presidents is that the assassins not only were lone operators, but were, most of

them, men suffering from mental disease, who pulled the trigger in the grip of delusion...

When Donovan later wrote the introduction of the Popular Library Edition of The Warren

Commission Report on the Assassination of President Kennedy, he applied his generalization

to the Kennedy assassination:

“For the murder of President Kennedy was so horrifying, so senseless, so heart-rending that

 the act was difficult to comprehend in terms of the average person’s experience. To anyone

who happened to know the history of assassinations of American Presidents, Lee Harvey

Oswald conformed remarkably to the pattern of obscure misfits, loners, fanatics, cranks and

mentally deranged and deluded men who committed these historic crimes. Indeed he even

bore a vague physical resemblance to them.”

“To millions everywhere, however, the crime in Dallas was too momentous in all its


to be accepted as the pitifully simple thing it was, the solitary act of a deranged and

deteriorating wanderer, taking his revenge on the world by destroying one of its finest living

figures. Surely, it seemed to many – especially to many abroad – there MUST be a further

 explanation, a more complex cause, a plot, a conspiracy.”

Donovan uses about eight different terms to suggest that Oswald was a lone nut. The

official line that developed during the hours immediately following the assassination had

not changed; it was restated with even greater emphasis by Donovan.

Donovan was not your everyday journalist. Although he never graduated from college,

he was the Washington correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune, and later the LA

Times, and had written the best seller “PT 109,” that was made into a movie. 6.

Donovan’s Assassins was published in 1955 (Harper, NY), and after Dulles’ genuflection,

he also wrote the introduction to A Concise Compendium of the Warren Commission

Report (Popular Library, NY, 1964), which continued promoting the lone-nut thesis. 7.

The attempt to attribute psychological motives to the accused assassin continues, and

many millions of words have been written on the subject, with Donovan’s original seven

case studies being expanded to over eighty subjects included in the Secret Service

Exceptional Case Study. 8.

One of the problems with all of these official academic psychological studies of assassins

is they accept the false premise that Oswald was the assassin of President Kennedy, when

in fact it can be reasonably demonstrated that he was what he claimed to be – a Patsy.

So these authorative studies are of one animal - the Patsy, when they wrongfully assumed

they were studying another animal - the Assassin. 9.

Whether assassin or fall-guy, Oswald was a covert intelligence operative, and in fact he sets

the mold for what I call the Covert Operative Profile that can be used in the analysis of

political assassins, just as the academic studies profile psychotics. 10.

Rather than use Donovan’s The Assassins as a primer on political assassinations for the

 Warren Commissioners, Dulles should have handed out copies of Sun Tzu’s The Art of

War, which he recommends highly in The Craft of Intelligence for anyone who wants to try

 to understand the arcane world of clandestine espionage and covert intelligence operations.

Just as psychotic assassins are described by armchair psychoanalists as various types

of paranoid skidso maniacs, covert operators can also be defined more precisely by

the type of secret agents they are.

In his book The Craft of Intelligence Dulles elaborates on this theme when he writes,

“In a chapter of The Art of War called the ‘Employment of Secret Agents,’ Sun Tzu gives

 the basics of espionage as it was practiced in 400 B.C. by the Chinese – much as it is

practiced today. He says there are five kinds of agents: native, inside, double, expendable

 and living. ‘Native’ and ‘inside’ agents are similar to what we shall later call ‘agents in

place.’ ‘Double,’ a term still used today, is an enemy agent who has been captured,

turned around and sent back where he came from as an agent of his captors.

‘Expendable agents’ are a Chinese subtlety which we later touch upon in considering

 deception techniques. They are agents through whom false information is leaked to

 the enemy. Sun Tzu says they are expendable because the enemy will probably kill

them when he finds out their information was faulty. ‘Living’ agents to Sun Tzu are

later-day ‘penetration agents.’ They reach the enemy, get information and manage to

get back alive.”

There are many different English translations of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War but Dulles notes,

 “For my remarks on Sun Tzu I am indebted to the recent excellent translation of the Art of

 War with commentaries by General Sam Griffith (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1963).” 11.

Dulles continues: “To Sun Tzu belongs the credit not only for this remarkable analysis

of the ways of espionage but also for the first written recommendations regarding an

organized intelligence service. He points out that the master of intelligence will employ

all five kinds of agents simultaneously; he calls this the ‘Divine Skein.’ The analogy is to

a fish nest consisting of many strands all joined to a single cord. And this by no means

exhausts Sun Tzu’s contribution. He comments on counter-intelligence, on psychological

 warfare, on deception, on security, on fabricators, in short, on the whole craft of intelligence.

 It is no wonder that Sun Tzu’s book is a favorite of Mao Tse-tung and is required reading

for Chinese Communist tacticians. In their conduct of military campaigns and of intelligence

 collection, they clearly put into practice the teachings of Sun Tzu.”

“Espionage of the sort recommended by Sun Tzu,” writes Dulles, “which did not depend

upon spirits or gods, was, of course, practiced in the West in ancient times also, but not

with the same degree of sophistication as in the East; nor was there in the West the same

sense of craft or code of rules so that one generation could build on the experiences

of another.”

Today, the same crafts and techniques are used, just as they were used centuries ago

by Sun Tzu. There have been advances however, not only in the crafts and techniques

of espionage, but also in the technique of criminal profiling, a new tool in which criminal

 behavior is categorized in a similar way.

The category Oswald belongs to, since he should not be among the psychotics studied

by the academics, is the Covert Operative Personality, which also includes other rogues

 of similar persuasion – Feliz Rodriguez, Frank Forini Sturgis, Gerry Patrick Hemming,

Richard Case Nagel, Michael Townley, Frank Terpel, El Nosair Sayyid, Ali Mohammad, et. al.

The Covert Operational Profile fits those who are military trained, usually USMC, and

from a military family, fluent in a foreign language, can travel extensively, maintains

safe house and dead drops, is familiar with codes, ciphers and covert communication

techniques, works on an operational need-to-know basis and does not talk about any

clandestine affairs.

Of course Allen Dulles recognized these traits in Oswald, the primary suspect, but instead

of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, as Dulles recommends in the very beginning of The Craft of I

ntelligence, he promotes Donovan’s psychotic assassins.

In The Craft of Intelligence Dulles wrote: “But in the craft of intelligence the East was

ahead of the West in 400 B.C. Rejecting the oracles and the seers, who may well have

played an important role in still earlier epochs of Chinese history, Sun Tzu takes a more

practical view.”

“What is called ‘foreknowledge’ cannot be elicited from spirits, nor from gods, nor by

analogy with past events, nor from calculations,” he wrote. “It must be obtained from men

who know the situation.” [See: Note 16]

In “The Art of War,” Sun Tzu wrote about The Employment of Secret Agents. “Now the

reason the enlightened prince and the wise general conquer the enemy wherever they

move, and their achievements surpass those of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.”

Sun Tzu: “Now there are five sorts of secret agents to be employed. These are native,

inside, double, expendable and living. A native agent is one of the nationality of the enemy.

 An inside agent is one who lives and works in the enemy camp. A double agent is an

enemy agent who works for both sides. An expendable agent is one that can be cut loose

 after achieving his goal. A living agent is one that can get into the enemy camp and return

with information. When these five types of agents are all working simultaneously and none

knows their method of operation, they are called ‘The Divine Skein,’ and are the treasure

of the sovereign.”

Although satellite and communication intelligence have become more significant in today’s

world of espionage, the nature of the clandestine network in action – the “Divine Skein” is

still the most reliable means of learning the intentions of other people and governments

and acting covertly against them.

In this regard, little has changed since the days of Sun Tzu. The same type of agents are

classified and utilized today, as they were in the ancient Chinese dynasties as well as on

November 22, 1963 at Dealey Plaza. Now their means and method is known as “covert

intelligence operations,” and are “compartmentalized” on a “need to know” basis, so

each member of the network team only knows his job and role, and may not even know

who he is actually working for.

The gunmen who killed JFK were well trained and competent professional marksmen

and killers, operating on a need-to-know basis as part of a covert intelligence operation.

The shooters were the easy part, mere technicians. It is the covert operational managers

at the top of the clandestine pyramid who are actually responsible for the crime, and the

subject of this pursuit.

The accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was an agent trained in what Dulles called

“the crafts of intelligence,” but he wasn’t a very good marksman, and undependable for

that part of the operation. Rather than the assassin, as the evidence suggests, Oswald

 was what he claimed to be, an archetypical patsy, the fall guy set up and framed for a

crime he didn’t commit. Oswald was, at various times in his short, 22 year old career,

an inside agent, a living agent, possibly a double agent, and in the end, an expendable


It is not the pawns in the Great Game we are after, but rather, the Knights, Bishops and

Rooks, the middle managers and who they work for - the intelligence officers who pull t

he chains of the puppets and pawns like Oswald, and Rodriguez, Sturgis and Townley.

Sun Tzu calls the men at the top “wise generals” and the “sovereign,” and the operations

of the network “The Devine Skein,” giving it a sort of deity or godlike association, since

only the patriarch at the top knows all that is going on during the game. To the little man

 on the street it appears to be divine intervention, or the work of God, when actually it is

mere man-made magic.

Professor Paul Linebarger, who wrote the textbook on psychological warfare, trained three generations of American spies in the techniques of psychological clandestine operations – the “black arts,” including E. Howard Hunt, Ed Lansdale and David Atlee Phillips. 12. (Psychological Warfare, Paul Linbarger)

Besides his own textbook on propaganda, Linebarger had his students read

The American Confidence Man by David W. Maurer. 13. (The American Confidence Man,

Pocket Books, N.Y. 1949).

A professor of linguistics at the University of Louisville (KY), Maurer’s book started out as

a study of the slang used by swindlers and crooks in the big time confidence games

prevalent in the first half of the last century. Using a unique social science technique –

Maurer introduced himself to the crooks, told them what he was doing and after obtaining

their confidence, learned their lingo as well as how they pulled off such complicated o

perations as the Big Con or “The Big Store,” which was used as the basis of the popular

movie, “The Sting.”

– Setting up a Big Store in a city where there are lots of transients – Marks, the store

operators pay off the Dicks with the understanding only transients will be marked by

Ropers for a Sting and no locals will be taken advantage of. The Roper meets a Mark

casually, or what appears to be coincidental circumstances, though he’s actually been

selected out of a crowd because of his profile – class, money, out of his home element,

etc. and is brought to the Big Store where the Roper passes the Mark off to the Inside

Man, who sets up the Sting. The Wire is the operation used in the movie “The Sting,”

 though there were other similar, totally theatrical productions like The Ring and The

Stock, which also end with the money being given to the thieves without the Mark

even knowing he was robbed.

“The big time confidence games are in reality, only carefully rehearsed plays in which

every member of the cast – Except the Mark, knows his part perfectly.” - David Maurer,

In the Big Store that is Dealey Plaza, JFK was the Mark, John Connally roped him and

Lyndon Johnson played the Inside Man and greased the official Dicks. And it was the

American people who were swindled of their democracy, without even knowing how

they did it. Well now we know how they did it and can illustrate it quite clearly for

anyone who wants to know.

As with The Sting, the behind the scene network of operators that makes up the

 Devine Skein is compromised of many different types of people, from street-wise

con artists to suave, Ivy League corporate executives and bankers in business suits.

Now ordinary people can look into the glass onion and see The Big Picture, like a

 moving picture that leaves Dealey Plaza into the cool, dark tunnel and then emerges

into the light of day on the trail of the assassins, the picture moves wherever the evidence

leads, to places on the board and individuals who are players in the Great Game, whether

they want to be or not.

The names of the real assassins of President Kennedy may never become as famous

as Lee Harvey Oswald, but I am convinced that we will come to know them, even if they

 are now dead. We look into the Glass Onion, enter the ‘wilderness of mirrors,” not to

name the guilty, but for the adventure of answering the questions, figuring out the

 riddles, to learn the how and the why, and to view today’s circumstances with the

proper perspective.

If Oswald was just crazy, nothing else would make sense, but when you look at the

Devine Skein through the "Glass Onion" of covert operations, it all makes sense, and

you learn to understand what happened at Dealey Plaza.

As William Manchester wrote, “…If you put the murdered President of the United States

on one side of the scale and that wretched waif Oswald on the other side, it doesn’t balance.

You want to add something weightier to Oswald. It would invest the President’s death with

meaning, endowing him with martyrdom. He would have died for something. A conspiracy

would, of course, do the job nicely. Unfortunately, there is no evidence whatever that there

was one.” 14. (The Death of the President, William Manchester, 1967).

But the evidence is there, if you know what to look for and where to look for it. People

ask all the time, “Who killed JFK?” Well, anyone can know the answer, but you just

can’t say a name, you have to take the inquisitive journey and learn for yourself, not

just who killed JFK, but how and why they did it.

While we don’t have all the pieces to the big picture and mural puzzle, especially the

 one with the “smoking gun,” and there probably are no still secret document that gives

 the names to the men who pulled the triggers, the overwhelming circumstantial evidence

fits in very nicely with the covert history of current events.

The psychological makeup of that “wretched waif Oswald” is of little consequence, and

 all the academic studies of the Patsy are wrong because they are based on the false

premise that he was the assassin.

On the other hand, an understanding of the Cold War history and the rules of the

Divine Skein puts things in a proper perspective and balances out the scales of

history, if not justice. The tools of the social scientist are limited. We can read and

interview, and in the end we must judge for ourselves what is real and what is not.

A homicide detective once told me that even if you know who murdered someone,

you still need to develop the evidence to convict them in a court of law. But the

counter-intelligence investigator, the journalist and historian do not have to meet

those same standards to know the truth.

Most of the American people have always known, in fact most assumed or have come

to believe there was a conspiracy at Dealey Plaza. Even if they couldn’t see through

the Glass Onion clearly, they knew in their hearts that something was wrong, not only

with the official version of events, but with our constitutional democracy.

It has only been since Watergate in 1972 that the general public became familiar

with the covert operational terms such as “black bag operation” and “executive action.”

Philadelphia attorney Vincent Salandria calls it the “Transparent Conspiracy,”

where it is prearranged for anyone who takes up the trail of the assassins to be

led into a labyrinth of never ending false trails, dead ends and Machiavellian intrigues.

“The material we already have demonstrates conclusively that only the only

candidate behind the assassination is the American government,” says Salandria,

“so to go into a microanalysis only gets oneself into a hopeless maze, and we fail

 to address the real issues. You can try to develop a model of explanation of what

was going on, what happened and why, but to rehash this is useless.” 15.

(The Transparent Conspiracy, Vincent Salandria, COPA Conference, Dallas, 1998,

John Kelin, ed.).

With an understanding of the crafts and history of covert intelligence operations,

and applying standard homicide investigative techniques, the network responsible

for the assassination can be identified. The Divine Skein provides a model of the

 labyrinth, a map of the maze from those who have been there to those who are

just taking up the trail and want to take it even further. To understand the truth of w

hat happened at Dealey Plaza you can’t get caught up in all of the ballistics,

trajectories, acoustics, autopsies and caskets. Forget the “single-bullet-theory,”

 suspend judgment on any theories you may have developed. Take up the trail

cold and follow it wherever it leads.

At the last meeting of the Warren Commission Allen Dulles tried to have all of the testimony,

reports and exhibits classified, but was over ruled by the other commissioners. “Go ahead

 and publish the stuff,” Dulles said, “people won’t read it anyway.”

John Judge said, “What they are telling us is that ‘We killed the son-of-a-bitch, and you

 can’t do anything about it’.”

Well, Dulles was wrong, and many thousands of people have read it, and I believe we

 can do something about it.

My personal approach is to adapt the style David Maurer developed when he

researched and wrote about the “Big Con,” and get to know the players, the lingo

and the lexicon of the clandestine warriors, learn their history, get to know their

biographies, and where they live, and then slip up next to them and ask them

why they did it.



1. Dulles, Allen; The Craft of Intelligence (June, 1963, Harpercollins, NY)



book_result&ct=result&resnum=3 - v=onepage&q=&f=false

2. Sun Tzu; The Art of War By Sun Tzu – Translated by Samuel B. Griffith



esult&resnum=5 - v=onepage&q=&f=false

3. The Warren Commission Report (1964) http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/

warren-commission-report/ / http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/warren-commission-

report/chapter-7.html - conclusions “...Many factors were undoubtedly involved in

Oswald's motivation for the assassination, and the Commission does not believe t

hat it can ascribe to him any one motive or group of motives. It is apparent, however,

 that Oswald was moved by an overriding hostility to his environment. He does not

appear to have been able to establish meaningful relationships with other people.

He was perpetually discontented with the world around him. Long before the assassination

he expressed his hatred for American society and acted in protest against it. Oswald's

 search for what he conceived to be the perfect society was doomed from the start.

He sought for himself a place in history--a role as the "great man" who would be

recognized as having been in advance of his times. His commitment to Marxism and

communism appears to have been another important factor in his motivation….”

4. Donovan, Robert; The Assassins (Harpers, 1955, Elek Books, London, 1956)
See: Time review, June 20, 1955. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,86


5. Gibson, Prof. Donald: The Kennedy Assassination Cover-Up (Kroshka Books, 1999)




Dxuy4DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2 - v=onepage&q=&f=falsex)

6.Donovan, Robert J., 90, NYT Obit, Saturday, August 10, 2003.

7. Donovan, R.; Introduction to A Concise Compendium to the Warren Report.

 (Popular Library, N.Y.,1964) See: #66 http://www.tomfolio.com/bookssub.asp?subid=1884
Warren Commission. Donovan, Robert J. [Kennedy, John Fitzgerald, 1917-1963]
A Concise Compendium of the Warren Commission Report on the Assassination of

John F. Kennedy. Publisher: NY, Popular Library [1964]. Introduction by Robert J.

Donovan. 637 p.; "Since the tragic death of President John F. Kennedy, a great

controversy, both here and in Europe, has raged over the true facts of the assassination.

To end this debate once and for all, President Johnson set up the Commission, headed

by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Earl Warren. Now, with the publication of the

Warren Commission Report, the public for the first time can find the answers to such

troubling questions as: Was Lee Harvey Oswald really the killer? Was he alone, or a

member of a conspiracy? Just what were his relations with the far Left, the radical

Right, the CIA, and Jack Ruby? What was the true sequence of events of the terrible

crime and its extraordinary aftermath?" "The conclusive findings of the Official

Investigation into the most shocking crime of our century."

8. Exceptional Secret Service Study. http://www.secretservice.gov/ntac.shtml
Assassination in the United States: An Operational Study of Recent Assassins,

Attackers, and Near Lethal Approaches; Journal of Forensic Sciences, Volume 44,

Number 2, March 1999. http://www.secretservice.gov/ntac/ntac_jfs.pdf

9. More Recent Study – Presidential Stalkers and Assassins.
http://www.jaapl.org/cgi/content/full/34/2/154 By codifying their actions based on motive,

presence or absence of delusions, active psychosis, and intent to do harm, the author

 presents five descriptive categories that he suggests capture the various motivations

of presidential stalkers and assassins and characterize the clinical context in which

the behavior occurs…
10. Covert Operative Personality Profile

11. Sam Griffith; Obit; Sun Tzu (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1964)

Retired Brigadier General Samuel B. Griffith II, a noted author, lecturer, and Sinologue,

died unexpectedly 27 Mar. 1983 in Newport, RI. He was born 31 May 1906, Lewiston,

Penn.,U.S. Naval Academy 1929, 2nd Lt. USMC,. Second Nicaraguan Campaign, China,

Cuba, and England. In China, language officer at the US Embassy Peiping. WW II British

commando training, England and Scotland; 1st Marine Div, 1st Raider Bat., Guadalcanal,

 and 1st Raider Reg. in New Georgia, Navy Cross, Sept. 1942 for “extreme heroism and

courageous devotion to duty” at Matanikau River, Purple Heart, Army Distinguished

Service Cross. U.S. Naval War College, Newport, R.I., Chief of Staff, Fleet Marine Force,

staff of the U.S. Commander in Chief, Europe, retired from the Marine Corps 1956, after

more than 25 years service. Following retirement, Gen. Griffith awarded D.Phil. in

Chinese Military History, Oxford University (New College) 1961, translated Sun Tzu’s

The Art of War,1963 and Mao Tse-tung’s On Guerrilla War, 1978, wrote The Battle for

Guadalcanal, The Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and In Defense of the Public

Liberty. Research Fellow Council on Foreign Relations and Institute for Defense

Studies in London.
Also see: Samuel Griffith Society Annual Conference – Adelaide

12. Linebarger, Paul; Psychological Warfare – International Propaganda and

Communications by Paul M. A. Linebarger (1948, U.S. Army; Duell, Sloan and Pearce,

        N.Y. 1954; Arno Press, 1972),

13. Mauer, David W.; The American Confidence Man (The Big Con; Pocket Books, 1949)
The American Confidence Man – (Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, USA, 1974)

14. Manchester, William; The Death of the President (1967, Harper & Row, NY )

15. Salandria, Vincent; The Transparent Conspiracy COPA Conference Vincent

Salandria speech to the Coalition on Political Assassinations, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 20, 1998.

16. Foreknowledge and the Assassination of JFK. http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/


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William Kelly

William E. Kelly, Jr. was born in 1951, the son of a Camden, New Jersey, policeman.

He majored in history at the University of Dayton, Ohio, School of Education, where

he did his thesis on the Bay of Pigs. After graduation he taught history and became

 a freelance journalist and author of regional history books "300 Years at the Point"

and "Birth of the Birdie," a history of golf. He is writing a follow book on golf, "Flight

of the Eagle - The Growth of Golf in America," and a history of rock & roll at the Jersey

 Shore. Kelly formed the Committee for an Open Archives (COA) with his college

associate John Judge, lobbying extensively for the JFK Assassination Records Act,

which was passed in 1992. With others, he was an original founder of the Coaliton

on Political Assassinations (COPA). With Judge, he also assisted the 9/11 Citizen's

Watch, which monitored the work of the 9/11 Commission. Kelly is currently

 attempting to petition federal prosecutors to convein a special federal grand jury

to review the evidence and get Congress to Oversee the JFK Act.

View my complete profile


Inside the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) by Douglas Horne:

A Nearly-Entirely-Positive Review

This is a Review of Volume IV, which includes

Part II: Fraud in the Evidence—A Pattern of Deception (continued)

Chapter 13: What Really Happened at the Bethesda Morgue?

(and in Dealey Plaza)

Chapter 14: The Zapruder Film Mystery.

David W. Mantik, M.D., Ph.D.

February 26, 2010

The death of a democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a

slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.

—Robert Maynard Hutchins, Great Books (1954)—

My title here is a parody of my review1 of Reclaiming History (2007) by Vincent

Bugliosi. Since that review was (in my opinion) rather devastating for Bugliosi, my title

was intended to be sardonic. Despite this, Vince lifted a few quotes from it (out of

context and without my permission) and included them with his abbreviated paperback

version, Four Days in November (2008). The total page count (CD included) of his

massive doorstopper was about 2786, almost exactly three times as long as the 888-page

Warren Report. Horne’s book, by contrast, is shorter: 1880 pages, including the front

matter (pages i-lxxiii). I had stated that Bugliosi’s book was likely to stand forever as the

magnum opus of this case, though not without serious flaws. As a magnum opus,

however, Horne’s five-volume set is a serious challenge to Bugliosi, but with virtually

none of Bugliosi’s flaws. The current review, however, focuses (almost) solely on

Volume IV, which I regard as Horne’s set piece (as that phrase is used in literature and

film, but not in soccer).

Although some men believe that women age like fine wine, in this case it is Horne

himself who has aged well—he waited the better part of a decade after his experiences

with the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) before beginning the serious

work on his book. He does hint, though, that Bugliosi drop-kicked him (he is an Ohio

State Buckeye fan) onto the playing field. Volume IV focuses on the two chief themes of

the entire five-volume set: (1) the illicit surgery, before the official autopsy began, by

pathologists James J. Humes and J. Thornton Boswell2 at the Bethesda morgue and (2)

the Zapruder film riddles. It is likely that the success or failure of Horne’s work will rise

or fall with this single volume. In this review, I shall address these two topics in

sequence, critique a few puzzles, then draw some conclusions and finish with several

suggestions. By way of a caveat emptor, I should confess that I initially encountered

1 Google: “A Not-Entirely-Positive Review.” Also see Jim DiEugenio’s continuing and very extensive

review of Bugliosi’s book at http://www.ctka.net/.

2 Visit their photographs at Douglas Horne, Inside the ARRB (2009), Volume I at Figures 77-80.


Horne at his first COPA (Committee on Political Assassinations) conference (when he

interviewed with the ARRB), have intermittently met him since, and consider him a very

good friend. He is also a very bright and strong-willed investigator.

Illicit Surgery at the Bethesda Morgue

In order to paint Humes and Boswell (H&B hereafter) as the morbid coconspirators,

Horne needs first to clarify the timeline—which he does brilliantly (see the

Appendix at the end of this review). The ARRB learned, for the first time, that JFK’s

body initially arrived at the Bethesda morgue at 6:35 PM local time (in a black hearse).

That information derives from an after-action report (written on November 26, 1963) by

Marine Sergeant Roger Boyajian.3 Quite astonishingly, Boyajian had retained a copy of

his report, which he presented to the ARRB. His report corroborates the recollections of

Dennis David4 who saw the light gray navy ambulance (with the bronze casket from

Dallas) arrive at the front of the hospital, where he saw Jackie exit; its arrival time was

either 6:53 PM or 6:55 PM (the sources vary).5 But just about 20 minutes earlier, David

had directed his on-duty sailors as they delivered the body in a cheap casket, i.e., the

entry described by Boyajian. David estimated (from memory) the delivery time as 6:40

PM, or perhaps 6:45 PM. His estimate is strikingly close to Boyajian’s recorded time of

6:35 PM. Horne concludes that this arrival time of 6:35 PM must now be accepted as a

foundation stone in this case. As further corroboration for this time, he emphasizes that

even Humes agreed with it: before the ARRB, Humes cited the initial arrival as possibly

as early as 6:45 PM.6 In my opinion, therefore, it is very difficult to disagree with this

early arrival time. If this is accepted, though, the repercussions are colossal—it means

that the bronze casket (the one that traveled with Jackie) was empty. Horne next compiles

a long table7 of witnesses to the cheap casket and the body bag, both of which were seen

at this initial entry. He is also very persuasive here, although he rightfully credits Lifton

with much of this groundbreaking work.

Now if the body arrived at 6:35 PM in a cheap shipping casket, when did it exit

the bronze casket (the one that left Parkland)? Horne suggests that this transfer occurred

right after the bronze casket boarded Air Force One. (Lifton again blazed this trail.) As

corroboration for this, Horne8 describes JFK’s Air Force Aide, Godfrey McHugh, as

perturbed about a delay caused by a “luggage transfer” between the two official planes.

After this transfer to a body bag, tampering became feasible. Horne suggests that an

initial foray into the body took place in the forward baggage compartment prior to the

flight to DC; the goal was to extract metal debris or a bullet from the throat wound. (It is

not known whether anything was found.) Horne infers that a similar attempt was made on

3 Ibid. at Figure 68 and at xxxiii. A more detailed account is in Horne’s Appendix 38; see


4 David Lifton, Best Evidence (1988), at 569-588.

5 For example, see Clint Hill’s statement at http://www.jfk-online.com/clhill.html:

“The motorcade arrived Bethesda Naval Hospital at 6:55 p.m.”

Hill also describes landing with Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base at 5:58 PM.

6 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1002.

7 Ibid. at 989-992.

8 Horne cites William Manchester, Death of a President (1967).


the brain, but that attempt likely foundered because the requisite tool (e.g., a bone saw)

was missing.

The second casket entry (via a light gray navy ambulance) occurred at about 7:17

PM. James W. Sibert and Francis X. O’Neill, Jr. (the two-member FBI team) and Roy H.

Kellerman and William Greer (both Secret Service) together delivered the (empty)

bronze casket to the morgue.9 This time is consistent with the arrival time of the bronze

casket (shortly before 7 PM) at the front of the hospital. The third casket entry (with the

body inside) has traditionally been accepted as the official one—at 8 PM (in a light gray

navy ambulance). It was delivered by the Joint Service Casket Team.10 The transfer of the

body must have occurred (in the morgue) after the second entry at 7:17 PM. But it must

also have transpired after the initial X-rays (for reasons to be discussed below).11 Finally,

this transfer must have occurred well in advance of 8 PM so that the bronze casket could

leave the morgue (Tom Robinson recalled this temporary departure12), be “found” by the

official casket team, and then delivered again at 8 PM. This sequence of three casket

entries looks like a classic French farce, i.e., an affair concocted by a half-mad

scriptwriter. Unfortunately, all of the evidence points strongly in the direction of three

casket entries. Perhaps this would have been unnecessary, as Horne points out, if only

Jackie had not insisted on staying with the bronze casket en route to the morgue. (She had

declined a helicopter ride to the White House, which would have separated her from the

Dallas casket.) Most likely the plan had been to surreptitiously transfer the body between

caskets at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. But Jackie’s unexpected decision to

remain with the bronze Dallas casket waylaid those plans, which meant that Kellerman

(who Horne nominates as the morgue manager) had to improvise on the spot. It was a

highly risky business, during which this escapade was nearly uncovered, according to


Lifton had argued that body alteration had occurred somewhere before Bethesda.

He believed that altering the geometry of the shooting through "trajectory reversal"—i.e.,

turning entrance wounds into exit wounds, and planting false entrance wounds on the

body—was the primary reason for the illicit post mortem surgery, and that removing

bullet fragments was only a co-equal, or even secondary, goal of the clandestine

surgery.13 Horne takes a different tack: he believes that the reason for assaulting the body

(before Bethesda) was merely to extract bullet debris, not primarily to alter wounds.

My own views come into play at this point. Before Horne’s work, I had become

convinced that someone had messed with the throat wound, most likely to extract bullet

fragments. The evidence for this was that the two sets of witnesses—those at Parkland vs.

those at Bethesda—had disagreed so profoundly. Also, Malcolm Perry, the surgeon who

performed the tracheotomy, claimed that he had left the throat wound “inviolate,”

meaning that it was easily visible after the tube was pulled. In addition, Charles

Crenshaw insisted that the tracheotomy at Parkland was nothing like the one in the

9 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1006.

10 Horne, supra, Volume I at Figure 70.

11 The entire X-ray collection is listed in Ibid. at Figure 58.

12 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1007.

13 In retrospect, Lifton had been grievously misled by the HSCA’s false statements, namely that the autopsy

photographs were authentic and that all the witnesses agreed with them. This falsehood was only

discovered after the movie, JFK, triggered the release of multiple, sequestered witness statements that

disagreed with the photographs.


autopsy photographs. I also had my own (telephone) encounter with the autopsy

radiologist, John Ebersole.14 I still sense the horror in his voice as he recalled the

tracheotomy and declared that he would never do one like that. Horne’s witnesses (there

are more) only validate my prior conclusion about throat tampering.

Before Horne’s work, I was uncertain about head tampering before Bethesda

(although Lifton had made a strong case for it). Nonetheless, I had to agree that if the

throat had been explored, then of course the head might also have been invaded.

Although Horne is still open-minded about illegal tampering of the skull before Bethesda,

he believes that such an event can be inferred from (1) Finck’s statement (to the defense

team at the Clay Shaw trial in 1969) that the autopsy report (presumably an earlier one, as

the extant one does not say this) described the spinal cord as severed when the body

arrived at Bethesda and (2) Tom Robinson’s comment to the ARRB that the top of the

skull was “badly broken” when the body was received at Bethesda, but that the large

defect (in the superior skull) in the autopsy photographs was “what the [autopsy] doctors

did”—i.e., that the missing skull was due to the pathologists, not due an assassin’s

bullet(s).15 These reports therefore provide more evidence that the head was explored

somewhere before Bethesda; the goal was to retrieve bullet debris, but it failed—because

the brain could not be extracted from the skull. In summary then, the body arrived at

Bethesda as follows: (1) with a radically enlarged tracheotomy16 and no bullet debris in

the neck (perhaps there never was any, as I have suggested elsewhere17) and (2) with the

same (right occipital) exit wound that was seen at Parkland and with a brain that had not

been removed from the skull and that therefore closely, or possibly even exactly,

resembled the Parkland brain. Most likely the brain still contained most, or even all, of

the bullet fragments from Dealey Plaza. (These metal fragments are, of course, absent

from the official record today.) Those are Horne’s conclusions about H&B, but let’s look

at the evidence.

So why does Horne conclude that H&B illicitly removed (and altered) the brain

shortly after 6:35 PM, before any X-rays were taken, and before the official autopsy

began? He here introduces two intriguing witnesses—the two R’s, namely Reed and

Robinson. Edward Reed was assistant to Jerrol Custer (the radiology tech), while Tom

Robinson was a mortician. Rather consistently with one another, but quite independently,

both describe critical steps taken by H&B that no one else reports. (Horne documents

why no one else reported these events—almost everyone else had been evicted from the

morgue before this clandestine interlude.) After the body was placed on the morgue table

(and before X-rays were taken), Reed briefly sat in the gallery.18 Reed states19 that

Humes first used a scalpel across the top of the forehead to pull the scalp back. Then he

used a saw to cut the forehead bone, after which he (and Custer, too) were asked to leave

the morgue. (Reed was not aware that this intervention by Humes was unofficial.) This

activity by Humes is highly significant because multiple witnesses saw the intact entry

hole high in the right forehead at the hairline. On the other hand, the autopsy photographs

14 James Fetzer, editor, Murder in Dealey Plaza (2000), at 433 and 436.

15 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1164.

16 Horne, supra, Volume I at Figure 60.

17 Fetzer (2000), supra, at 258-259.

18 Horne, supra, Volume I at Figure 40, shows a sketch of the morgue floor plan, including the gallery.

19 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1035, 1163-1171 and Volume II at 426 and 437.


show only a thin incision at this site, an incision that no Parkland witness ever saw. The

implication is obvious: this specific autopsy photograph was taken after Humes altered

the forehead—thereby likely obliterating the entry hole.

Reed’s report suggests that Humes deliberately obliterated the right forehead

entry; in fact, the autopsy photograph does not show this entry site. Paradoxically,

however, Robinson (the mortician) recalls20 seeing, during restoration, a wound about ¼

inch across at this very location. He even recalls having to place wax at this site. So the

question is obvious: If Humes had obliterated the wound (as seems the case based on the

extant autopsy photograph), how then could Robinson still see the wound during

restoration? This question cannot be answered with certainty, but two options arise: (1)

perhaps the wound was indeed obliterated (or mostly obliterated) and Robinson merely

suffered some memory merge—i.e., even though he added wax to the incision (the one

still visible in the extant photograph), he was actually recalling the way it looked before

Humes got to it, or (2) the photograph itself has been altered—to disguise the wound that

was visible in an original photograph. The latter option was seemingly endorsed by Joe

O’Donnell, the USIA photographer,21 who said that Knudsen actually showed him such a


Regarding Robinson, Horne concludes that he arrived with the hearse that brought

the body (i.e., the first entry). After that, Robinson simply observed events from the

morgue gallery; contrary to Reed’s experience, he was not asked to leave. Just before 7

PM, Robinson22 saw H&B remove large portions of the rear and top of the skull with a

saw, in order to access the brain. (Robinson was not aware that this activity was off the

record.) He also observed ten or more bullet fragments extracted from the brain.

Although these do not appear in the official record, Dennis David recalls23 preparing a

receipt for at least four fragments.24

Contrary to Reed and Robinson, Humes25 declared that a saw was not important:

We had to do virtually no work with a saw to remove these portions of the skull,

they came apart in our hands very easily, and we attempted to further examine

the brain….

Although James Jenkins (an autopsy technician) does not explicitly describe the

use of a saw, he does recall that damage to the brain (as seen inside the skull) was less

than the corresponding size of the cranial defect; this indirectly implies prior removal of

some of the skull.26

Horne adds an independent argument for multiple casket entries.27 Pierre Finck

told the Journal of the American Medical Association28 that he was at home when Humes

20 Fetzer (2000), supra, at 250.

21 Ibid. at 242.

22 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1005.

23 Lifton (1988), supra, at 492 and 579.

24 Harry Livingstone actually prints a photograph of four fragments in High Treason (1998), at 562. Their

provenance, however, seems uncertain.

25 Warren Commission Hearings, Volume II at 354.

26 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1042-1043.

27 Ibid. at 1000.


telephoned him at 7:30 PM. (In his 2/1/65 report to General Blumberg he cites 8 PM.29)

Finck, as a forensic pathologist, had been asked to assist with the autopsy. As further

confirmation for Finck’s overall timeline, he arrived (see his Blumberg report) at the

morgue at 8:30 PM. But here is the clincher: during this phone call, Humes told Finck

that X-rays had already been taken—and had already been viewed. On the other hand, the

official entry time (with the Joint Service Casket Team) was at 8 PM! If that indeed was

the one and only entry time, how then could X-rays have been taken—let alone

developed and viewed (a process of 30 minutes minimum)—even before the official

entry time? The only possible answer is that the body did not first arrive at 8 PM.

Furthermore, Custer and Reed, the radiology techs, provide timelines consistent with

much earlier X-rays; in particular, they recall seeing Jackie enter the hospital lobby,30

well after the 6:35 PM casket entry—an entry they had personally witnessed. In

summary, eyewitnesses convincingly support a much earlier timeline than the official

entry of 8 PM. Therefore, multiple casket entries are logically required. And that more

relaxed timeline gave H&B time both to perform their illicit surgery and also for skull Xrays

to be taken and read, most likely all before 7:30-8:00 PM.

The reader might well ask why Reed and Robinson (and Custer, too) were

permitted to observe (at least briefly) this illegal surgery by H&B. Horne proposes that

the morgue manager that night (Kellerman) was not present for the first casket entry—

that’s because he was riding with Jackie and the bronze casket. Therefore, before he

arrived (most likely that was shortly after 7 PM), there was no hands-on stage manager in

the morgue. It is even possible that Kellerman himself ejected Reed and Custer as soon as

he arrived. Robinson, on the other hand, dressed in civilian clothing, may have seemed to

Kellerman a lesser threat, so Robinson stayed.

Several conclusions follow from the above analysis. First, the official skull Xrays31

do not show the condition of the skull or the brain as seen at Parkland. Instead,

they were taken after tampering by H&B, perhaps even after significant tampering,

especially if Robinson and Reed are correct. Furthermore, the massive damage seen in

the photographs and X-rays was not caused just by a bullet or even by multiple bullets,

but instead by pathological hands. In particular, for a single, full metal-jacketed bullet

(the Warren Commission’s inevitable scenario) to generate such an enormous defect has

always defied credibility.32 Likewise, Boswell’s sketch (for the ARRB) on a skull33 of

this enormous defect only shows the condition of the skull after tampering by H&B—and

does not reflect the skull as seen at Parkland. (The Parkland witnesses fully concur with

this.) On the other hand, many witnesses at Bethesda saw the condition of the skull

before such tampering began. These witnesses, both physicians and paraprofessionals,

28 Breo, D.L., “JFK’s death, Part II—Dr. Finck speaks out, ‘two bullets, from the rear,’ ” JAMA 268:1749


29 http://www.jfk-assassination.net/weberman/finck1.htm. Or see Horne’s Appendix 29 or 7 HSCA 101,

122, 135, 191. The list of appendices is in Horne, supra, Volume I at xix-lii. The appendices themselves are

at the Mary Ferrell website. See my footnote 3 for a link.

30 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1005.

31 Horne, supra, Volume I at Figures 37-38.

32 See Boswell’s sketch from the autopsy: Horne, supra, Volume I at Figure 11.

33 Ibid. at Figures 12-15.


uniformly describe a right occipital blowout,34 consistent with a shot from the front.

Leaving aside the pathologists, as many as eight Bethesda physicians may be on this

list.35 In photographs,36 both Parkland and Bethesda witnesses demonstrate with

remarkable unanimity, on their own heads, the location of this obvious exit wound on the

right rear skull.

The X-rays do, however, show many small fragments distributed across the top of

the skull.37 So why didn’t Humes extract more of these? I have previously proposed

(based on their actual appearance—as viewed in detail on multiple occasions at the

Archives) that they look more like mercury than like lead. If so, then Humes would not

have been able to palpate them (mercury is liquid) and would therefore have been unable

to remove them during his illicit surgery phase.

We could go on to ask: What other evidence exists for such illicit surgery? Lifton

initially introduced this issue by citing the FBI report (by Sibert and O’Neill), which

quoted Humes as describing surgery to the head.38 Sibert, in the 2000s, still insisted that

they had quoted Humes correctly about such surgery.39 (I also heard Sibert say this in

Fort Myers, Florida, during one of Law’s taping sessions.) Furthermore, the FBI had no

reason to fabricate such a statement. On Lifton’s tape (which I have heard), he queries

Humes about this; to me, Humes does sound remarkably suspicious and evasive. But the

FBI men are not the only witnesses to his statement. Another is James Jenkins, who

quotes Humes40 as asking: “Did they do surgery at Parkland?” Furthermore, Humes was

later told, when some skull fragments arrived at the morgue,41 that these had been

“removed” during surgery at Parkland. We all know that did not happen, so where did

they come from? Horne implies that Humes himself had removed them during the illicit

phase. Another supporting argument is the remarkable ease of removing the brain from

the skull (during the official autopsy phase), but this is not so surprising if it had

previously been removed during the unofficial phase. James Jenkins42 observed that the

brainstem had been cut, as if by a scalpel (not severed by a bullet), which also suggests

its earlier removal that evening (while Jenkins was absent). In any case, such an early

removal was likely essential to successfully search for (and extract) bullet debris. Even

Finck43 bears witness to a transected spinal cord: to the defense team at the Shaw trial in

1969, Finck stated that the autopsy report (presumably an earlier one, as the extant one

does not say this) described the spinal cord as severed when the body arrived at Bethesda.

Finck was still absent when the brain was removed, so someone must have told him this,

most likely Humes.

34 For two eyewitness sketches see Ibid. at Figures 21 & 30. Also see the sketch approved by Parkland

physician, Robert McClelland: Ibid. at Figure 81.

35 Michael Kurtz includes George Burkley, Robert Canada, John Ebersole, Calvin Galloway, Robert

Karnei, Edward Kenney, David Osborne, and John Stover; see The Assassination Debates (2006), at 39 and


36 Robert Groden, The Killing of a President (1993), at 86-88.

37 Horne, supra, Volume I at Figures 37-38.

38 Lifton, supra, at 295-307.

39 William Law, In the Eye of History (2005), at 143-288.

40 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1036 and 1038.

41 See their X-rays in Horne, supra, Volume I at Figure 39.

42 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1037.

43 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1036-1037.


Horne comments further on the throat wound. He concludes that H&B were well

aware of this wound that night and he provides considerable evidence for this

conclusion.44 However, given the absence of the throat wound from the FBI report, H&B

probably learned of it only after the FBI left, i.e., after 11 PM.45 That information then

led to the pathologists’ interim discussion of an exit through the throat, as later reported

by Richard Lipsey.46 Horne even speculates that an early version of the autopsy report

included exactly this scenario, which later had to be discarded because of timing data

from the Zapruder film.

Regarding the throat wound I would add the following. Warren Commission

loyalists like to cite medical articles that ER personnel cannot reliably distinguish entry

from exit wounds. Even if true, though, that comment obfuscates the situation. To the

contrary, in this particular case several facts trump those medical reports: (1) such a tiny

exit wound could not be duplicated in experiments47 and (2) Milton Helpern (who had

done 60,000 autopsies) said that he had never seen an exit wound that was so small

(under similar conditions).48 Then there is the question of the magic bullet. As Horne

summarizes, its provenance has been extensively investigated by Josiah Thompson49

(with recent assistance from Gary Aguilar). In the face of the persistent refusal of the

pertinent witnesses to identify this bullet, most likely it would never have been admitted

at trial—and that alone would thoroughly devastate any Warren Commission case.50 A

final telling blow derives from the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC):

44 Ebersole also confirmed a call to Dallas during our telephone conversations (see my footnote 14). He

estimated the time as about 10:30 PM (Ibid. at 999). What struck me, though, is the reason why he recalled

this event so clearly: he said that after they learned about the throat wound, they stopped searching for

bullet debris on the X-rays (Fetzer (2000), supra, at 437). Quite interestingly, Stringer also seemed to recall

such a telephone call (Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1011; Volume I at 166; or HSCA interview with John

Stringer, Document 013617, at 4). Moreover, Stringer’s estimate of the time agreed with Ebersole’s

estimate. Dr. Robert Karnei (resident pathologist) also recalled a telephone call to Parkland on that Friday

night; see Harry Livingstone, High Treason II (1992), at 186.

45 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 999. Oddly enough, Malcolm Perry, before the Warren Commission,

initially recalled his conversation with Humes as Friday night; see Warren Commission Hearings, Volume

III at 380 or http://jfkassassination.net/russ/testimony/perry_m1.htm:

Mr. SPECTER - Dr. Perry, did you have occasion to discuss your observations with Comdr. James J.

Humes of the Bethesda Naval Hospital?

Dr. PERRY - Yes, sir; I did.

Mr. SPECTER - When did that conversation occur?

Dr. PERRY - My knowledge as to the exact accuracy of it is obviously in doubt. I was under the initial

impression that I talked to him on Friday, but I understand it was on Saturday. I didn't recall exactly when.

46 Horne, supra, Volume I at Figure 83.

47 Olivier, A.G., Dziemian, A.J., “Wound Ballistics of the 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Carcano Ammunition. US

Army Edgewood Arsenal Technical Report CRDLR 3264.” March 1965. Also see Horne, supra, Volume

IV at 1083 and Kurtz, supra, at 35.

48 Kurtz, supra, at 35. Also see Marshall Houts, Where Death Delights; the Story of Dr. Milton Helpern and

Forensic Medicine (1967).

49 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1089-1095. Also see Josiah Thompson, Six Seconds in Dallas (1967), at

176. Thompson here actually wonders if the bullet had been switched by government agents sometime after

its initial appearance. Also see


50 David Wrone has made a similar argument for the chain of possession of the Zapruder film; see Fetzer

(1998), supra, at 265. Wrone claims that a good lawyer could have kept the film out of the courtroom

(although it did surface for the Clay Shaw trial). Given the recent interviews with Dino Brugioni (see

below), that argument today is stronger than ever.


before political leverage was exerted, their scenario actually included a frontal throat


The Zapruder Film Mystery

Based on his relentless defense of the extant film, Josiah Thompson can

justifiably claim the title, “High Priest of Z Film.” His initial claim derives from his work

for LIFE magazine in the 1960s, which led to Six Seconds in Dallas (1967). He claimed

(p. 7): “Quite obviously, the Zapruder film contained the nearest thing to absolute truth

about the sequence of events in Dealey Plaza.” His most recent public paper (2007)52

finalized his claim to the above title. Unfortunately for Thompson, Horne’s work has

created deep fractures in his purported bedrock, and has pulverized some rockheads into

finely ground sand.53 When Thompson wrote his “Bedrock” article he ignored two

witnesses54 who had been extensively interviewed by the ARRB (actually by Horne

himself) and whose interviews were surely already known to Thompson, who is nothing

if not a very bright detective. These witnesses were Ben Hunter and Homer McMahon,

employees of the NPIC (a subsidiary of the CIA), who received the original (in their

view) film from a Secret Service agent. The latter, in turn, had just couriered it from

Rochester, New York, headquarters of Eastman Kodak. Moreover, this agent (“Bill

Smith”) specifically said that the film had been developed (sic) in Rochester. If that was

true, then there must have been a second film, one not shot by Zapruder (his film, after

all, had been developed in Dallas), but rather one filmed from a nearly identical site in

Dealey Plaza.55

But Horne’s next stroke is the mortal blow to the Zapruder film, one beyond even

the skills of a contemporary Parsifal. Horne details Peter Janney’s encounters (including

seven interviews) with Dino Brugioni,56 a founder of the NPIC. John McCone, Director

of the CIA, had telephoned the NPIC director, Arthur Lundahl (Brugioni’s superior),

asking him to assist the Secret Service in analyzing the original (Zapruder) film.57

Beginning late on Saturday night (November 23), Brugioni viewed an original, 8 mm

film and prepared briefing boards, which were presented to McCone the next morning.

Amazingly, Brugioni stated that neither Ben Hunter nor Captain Sands were at his event.

51 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1208-1212; the NPIC proposed such a frontal shot at frame Z-190. Of

course, there is also the article by Paul Mandel (Ibid. at 1202 and LIFE, December 6, 1963) about the

Zapruder film: "…the 8 mm film shows the President turning his body far around to the right as he waves

to someone in the crowd. His throat is exposed---towards the sniper's nest---just before he clutches it."

52 http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Essay_-_Bedrock_Evidence_in_the_Kennedy_Assassination.

53 Ironically, a Captain (Pierre) Sands attended the Hunter-McMahon event (see below). The layman should

understand that “rockhead” is neither an epithet nor a pejorative for certain types of music lovers. It is

merely a geological formation.

54 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1226-1227.

55 John Costella, an Australian Ph.D. physicist with expertise in optics, has offered very compelling

physical arguments as to why more than just an original Zapruder film was absolutely necessary to

fabricate the extant film. See James Fetzer, editor, The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2003), at 145-238. One

researcher has advised me that he has made some progress, but identifying the pertinent photographer(s)

remains an open question.

56 Dino Brugioni, Photofakery: the History and Techniques of Photographic Deception and Manipulation

(1999). His recollections of the Cuban missile crisis are documented at 109-110.

57 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1220-1243.


(Brugioni did not recall ever meeting Homer McMahon; he could therefore

not personally report whether or not McMahon was present at Event I on Saturday night.

Of course, since Brugioni was positive that Ben Hunter was absent, and because Hunter

and McMahon were linked by their recall of one another, then McMahon should not have

been present at Brugioni’s event.) In a detailed analysis Horne shows convincingly that

two separate events, both highly compartmentalized, occurred on successive nights.

During these recent interviews, when Brugioni finally learned—after 46 years—of two

unrelated events, both at NPIC, he was stunned!

Horne assembles a magnificent table58 that contrasts these two events: the

Saturday night (November 23) event with Brugioni and the Sunday night event

(November 24) with Hunter and McMahon. Horne demonstrates how compartmentalized

these two events were: they differed in attendees, film format, and briefing boards.

Brugioni knew Ben Hunter, but did not see him at his event. Brugioni had handled an 8

mm film (Hunter and McMahon had a 16 mm film) that he considered an original; that it

was 8 mm is certain because NPIC had to purchase a projector (near midnight on

Saturday) from a private local store. (The NPIC did not own its own 8 mm projector.)

Brugioni also viewed photographs of the briefing boards currently in the Archives, which

had been authenticated by Hunter and McMahon. However, Brugioni was certain that

these were not his. He was even able to recall how his differed from these. Although

Hunter and McMahon’s film reportedly came from Rochester, Brugioni was not told

where his had originated (most likely it was Zapruder’s original—diverted from Chicago

to DC that Saturday).

Based on these interviews, Horne draws several conclusions: (1) the CIA had an

immediate and high level interest in the film; (2) the original film had been split from 16

mm to 8 mm in Dallas, just as the Dallas witnesses had agreed;59 (3) the extreme

compartmentalization implies that the two films were different; (4) Brugioni viewed

Zapruder’s original (8mm), whereas Hunter and McMahon viewed an altered film (in 16

mm, unslit format); (5) the alterations were done during the day on Sunday, November

24, in Rochester, New York; (6) most likely aerial imaging was used for these alterations;

and (7) the three copies of the original (already in circulation60) then had to be replaced

by copies of the newly altered film. The reason that Horne chooses Sunday is

straightforward: LIFE’s next issue reached the marketplace on Tuesday (November 26)

and it contained images from the extant film (the one currently in the Archives). Some of

these low resolution, black and white LIFE images (in Horne’s opinion—and mine, too)

show signs of alteration, particularly the bizarre debris (sometimes called the “blob”) on

58 Ibid. at 1236.

59 This contradicts Roland Zavada’s final verdict on this question, although his initial conclusion had been

precisely the opposite; see below for more on Zavada.

60 It is possible that some copies of these copies (sic) escaped the dragnet. Dan Rather, for example (The

Camera Never Blinks (1977), at 127), claims that security for the film was extremely poor while he was at

CBS. Multiple individuals have reported viewing a very different Zapruder film, actually one more

consistent with the eyewitnesses (Fetzer (2000), supra, at 354). Millicent Cranor described to me a film that

she saw in 1992 at NBC; she added that John Lattimer must have seen a similar film (Resident and Staff

Physician, May 1972, at 60). The LIFE issue of October 2, 1964, had six different versions according to

Paul Hoch and Vincent Salandria (Fred Newcomb and Perry Adams, Murder from Within (1974), at 143).

In one version Z-323 had a caption that described JFK’s head as “snapping to one side” (also see my

footnote 67); another version replaced this frame with Z-313 and a caption describing JFK’s head as going



JFK’s face and the disappearance of the white object in the background grass. Horne

suspects that the alterations had all been completed by Sunday night, although he seems

not finally wedded to this concept. In any case, Loudon Wainwright61 said that 31 frames

were employed for that issue of LIFE. Although other frames might have been open to

alteration after Sunday, it seems likely that these 31 frames would have restricted later

changes. (There are fewer than 500 in the entire film.)

Horne next reviews the momentous technical issues that bedevil the extant film—

anomalies that really should not be present. In fact, none of these would have been

predicted for an original film. Even a single one casts doubts on authenticity, but when a

complete list is compiled the evidence becomes overwhelming. Aside from image content

issues (which are very serious) this technical list includes the following items: (1) the

location of the punched number 183 is inconsistent on both the extant film and (in

photographic images) on the extant copies, (2) the punched numbers unique to each of

the three copies are quite strangely located, (3) the absence of intersprocket images on the

three copies was not predicted by the Jamieson lab, which had exposed them, (4) Zavada

could not reproduce the septum line, (5) the double registration of the Dallas processing

edge print is odd, (6) no one in Dallas recalled the bracketing (by exposure differences)

that is present in the three extant copies, (7) Zavada has shown remarkable indecisiveness

about when Zapruder’s film was slit from 16 mm format to 8 mm, (8) the “full flush left”

issue62 was not resolved, and (9) claw flare is still a puzzle. That so many purely

technical issues persist would, by itself, be a wonder if the extant film indeed were


Horne also reviews the curious stories of Dan Rather64 and Cartha DeLoach.65

Both had been early viewers of the film and both had reported that JFK’s head had gone

violently forward. To put this into perspective, the reader might ask himself this question:

How many individuals have you met who, after once viewing the film, agreed with the

reports of these two men? I have never met any. An actual Dealey Plaza witness, James

61 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1346. Wainwright was a LIFE employee who published The Great

American Magazine—An Inside Story of LIFE (1986). This includes a (second-hand) account of these

images in LIFE (November 29, 1963). He states that 31 enlargements were used in creating a sequential

layout for that issue.

62 I recently viewed an original Zavada report; there is indeed one image of the red truck (Zavada Report

(1998) at 1285) that does extend very near the left edge, just as Horne states. However, Horne’s point is

that the images in the extant Zapruder film nearly always extend fully left, whereas Zavada’s test images

only rarely show this phenomenon. Horne also cites the Janowitz/Myers film (Horne, supra, Volume IV at

1290), shot in Dealey Plaza with a camera like Zapruder’s. As he viewed it on a DVD it seemed to show

“full flush left,” but Horne noted that he personally could not authenticate this film and would really prefer

to see a film actually shot through Zapruder’s camera. For more on this J/M film see


63 Many of these points had previously been made, as Horne acknowledges, both by Harry Livingstone and

by me, although our work was admittedly based on Horne’s initial efforts. Horne emphasizes that he only

read Livingstone’s book after he had done his own research. That the two of them reached so many

common conclusions (they did indeed do so) is taken by Horne as (at least partial) verification of his own

work. See Fetzer (1998), supra, and Fetzer (2000), supra, and also Harry Livingstone, The Hoax of the

Century: Decoding the Forgery of the Zapruder Film (2004).

64 Rather, supra, at 127.

65 Noel Twyman and I independently discovered DeLoach’s report in his autobiography, Hoover's FBI: The

Inside Story by Hoover's Trusted Lieutenant (1995), at 139. DeLoach does not comment on his obvious

disagreement with the extant Zapruder film.


Altgens, a photographer, also described JFK’s head as going forward.66 Horne also

reminds us that early viewers of the film easily saw debris (possibly brain tissue) flying

to the rear. One of these witnesses was Erwin Schwartz (Zapruder’s partner), who saw

the film multiple times the very day that it was developed.67 Such backward-flying debris

is nowhere seen in the extant film. Horne also notes the unrecorded turn from Houston to

Elm (which both Zapruder and his secretary recalled filming) as well as the now-ancient

problem of the limousine stop (first emphasized by Lifton many years ago). The

discrepancies between the autopsy photographs, on the one hand, and the Zapruder film,

on the other, are also reviewed. Horne offers likely explanations (of incompetent

tampering) for these inconsistencies.

In an Addendum, “The Zapruder Film Goes to Hollywood,” Horne recounts his

viewing of HD scans based on a 35 mm “dupe negative.” His Hollywood contact got her

copy of the extant film (for $795) from a private laboratory, to which she had been

referred by the Archives’ personnel themselves. (There is no other means to obtain such a

copy, as the Archives do not directly reproduce copies.) Horne describes his viewing

experiences with several Hollywood professionals (I have seen these, too). Quite striking

were (1) the black patch over JFK’s head,68 (2) the oddly truncated corner of the

Stemmons Freeway sign,69 and (3) the “blob” on JFK’s face.70 The black patch, in

particular, had sharp and geometric borders and was astonishingly black, especially when

compared to earlier frames (before Z-313) of JFK’s head and also when compared to the

natural shadow on the back and side of Connally’s head. I have since viewed the MPI

transparencies (copied directly from the extant film at the Archives) at the Sixth Floor

Museum in Dallas. These images, too, are quite striking. Since they are accessible by the

public, anyone should be able see them, merely by arranging an appointment with the

Museum. Horne concludes this section by printing his FOIA letter to the CIA and

associated letters on this subject to President Obama, Senator Webb, and DCI Panetta

(the CIA response is still pending). Among other items, he requested information on (1)

the highly secret CIA facility in Rochester, New York (Hawkeyeworks), (2) the optical

printer(s) available there in 1963, (3) the briefing boards prepared by Brugioni (which

might still exist), and (4) Brugioni’s personal history of the NPIC. Brugioni told Janney

that he himself had written this history, which included a brief mention of his Zapruder

film event.

Aside from David Wrone (not discussed here, but worth reading about), the

individual who fares worst as Horne’s mark is Roland Zavada, author of the nowinfamous

Zavada Report. Although this was purportedly a study to confirm the

authenticity of the Zapruder film, no such claim is actually made in that report. After

many tête-à-têtes with Zavada, Horne concludes that Zavada has ruined his own

66 Fetzer (2003), supra, at 200.

67 Also see a review by Richard J. DellaRosa at http://www.jfkresearch.com/book_review.html: “When

interviewed in the 1990s, Zapruder's business partner, Erwin Schwartz, said that he vividly recalled

watching the film and remembered seeing JFK's head suddenly ‘whip around to the left’ and saw an

explosion of blood and brains from his head and that it had been blown out ‘to the left rear.’ ” Also see my

footnote 60.

68 Horne, supra, Volume I at Figures 87-88.

69 Ibid. at Figures 85-86.

70 Ibid. at Figures 89-90.


credibility in matters of the Zapruder film.71 Horne especially, and appropriately,

critiques him for his public dithering on multiple serious issues, all of which are well

documented. I myself have accused him of frequently employing ex post facto logic.72

That may be appropriate in the courtroom but is wholly out of place in a scientific

investigation. Horne specifically faults him for these items: (1) the printing aperture

issue, (2) the bracketing issue, (3) the edge printing light issue, and (4) the inconsistent

locations of the punched numbers on the copy films. I concur with all of these—and have

previously so stated in print.


It is impossible to write any comprehensive treatise about the JFK case and expect

to go unscathed (as I well know). The data are simply too complex and, as Horne

repeatedly emphasizes, they are too often corrupted. The sole recourse then for the

investigator is simply to speculate, based on those data he considers most reliable. Horne

clearly recognizes his vulnerability here. Horne and I differ, as he knows, on several

issues, the most obvious being the role of Robert Knudsen in the autopsy.73

Horne concludes that none (or at least very few) of the autopsy photographs

derive from the official photographer, John Stringer. Instead he nominates Knudsen as

the source of the extant autopsy photographs. Knudsen was the social photographer for

the White House and he told his family that he had been busy that night filming the

autopsy (he was not home for three nights in a row). The embarrassing fact, of course, is

that no one saw him there. Not even the Secret Service agents mention him, though they

surely recognized one another from their White House duties.74 Horne regards the

autopsy photographs as authentic (i.e., not photographically altered), chiefly based on his

viewing of high resolution images at Eastman Kodak, in Rochester, while he served on

the ARRB. (Nonetheless, he maintains that they are highly misleading.) On the other

hand, I regard several images (certainly not all of them) as photographically altered,

especially the posterior head images.75 An entire essay could be spent developing these

divergent arguments (of photo-alteration vs. no alteration), but I shall not do so here. My

viewing of the posterior scalp, with a large format stereo viewer (on multiple occasions

and while sampling all imaginable photographic variations of the two pertinent images),

repeatedly showed that the back of the head, precisely at the occipital blowout, did not

yield a 3D image. This could only occur if the occipital area was precisely identical on

the two photographs in the stereo viewer; such a resulting 2D image is exactly what

would be expected if the same photographic patch (a soft matte insertion) had been used

for each member of the pair. (Ordinarily the two images should have derived from

slightly different perspectives.) Otherwise, the expected 3D images were readily obtained,

both on other portions of these same suspect photographs and also on all other

photographs that I examined. This impression of an anomalous area, precisely where the

71 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1281.

72 See the Preface (by me—but amputated by Harry) to Harry Livingstone, The Hoax of the Century:

Decoding the Forgery of the Zapruder Film (2004).

73 Horne, supra, Volume I at 247-254.

74 Ibid. at 251.

75 Ibid. at Figure 65 (autopsy photographs 43 & 44).


witnesses disagreed with the photographs—and only there—was inescapably striking to

me. Unfortunately, Horne did not perform such stereo viewing, as he acknowledges with

some regret.

In addition, other serious problems plague Knudsen’s role as assigned to him by

Horne. Foremost is his statement to his own son: he rode in the limousine with the bronze

casket.76 Now we know that the bronze casket arrived at the front of the hospital by 6:55

PM and that it arrived at the morgue by 7:17 PM. That is a very tight timeline for

Knudsen, if he was at the morgue at all. In view of that, it does seem unlikely that he took

very early photographs of the right upper forehead. By then (according the timeline

offered by Tom Robinson, and also probably by Ed Reed), H&B had already committed

at least some of their nefarious manipulations. Some skull X-rays may even have been

taken by 7:17 PM. If that is true, how then could Knudsen have photographed the head

before these alterations—as Horne claims he did? Perhaps he got there much earlier (and

did not ride with the bronze casket), but no evidence exists for this. And Stringer himself

clearly implies that photography began only after 8 PM. If both Stringer and Riebe are

correct about this timeline, then what equipment did Knudsen use? And who set it up for

him? That task would typically fall to an assistant, such as Riebe, but Ed Reed tells us

that he saw no photographic equipment when he took the initial X-rays.77 And, since

Knudsen was a total novice at an autopsy, how did he know to take two photographs

from a similar perspective, in order to create stereo pairs?

Here is another major challenge to Horne’s scenario: he proposes that Knudsen

took photographs after reconstruction by the morticians, when both Riebe and Stringer

were absent from the morgue. Horne bases this on Riebe’s recollection78 that they had

both left by then. Unfortunately, that is not what Stringer recalled. In fact, he clearly

stated that he remained until reconstruction had been completed and that he did not get

home until about 4 AM.79 Who would best remember Stringer’s presence during that

time: Riebe or Stringer? Therefore, if Stringer stayed around, Knudsen gets left out.

There is simply no need for two photographers. Furthermore, Stringer never saw


The record shows Knudsen making many trips to develop the autopsy

photographs. And, of all places, they went to the highly secret Anacostia facility.

(Ordinarily, Stringer would have developed his own photographs; furthermore, he would

never have used Anacostia.) That so many trips were required, over the next several

weeks,81 is suspicious in itself. After all, there are only nine autopsy views and only 52

catalogued photographs.82 So why were so many trips necessary?

76 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1003 (footnote 3).

77 Horne, supra, Volume II at 435. Gunn: Did you, at any point, see photographers in the morgue?

Reed: Yes, I did. But they didn’t have their equipment. There was no equipment at that time with them.

78 Horne, supra, Volume I at 237.

79 Ibid. at 165 and 167. Of course, both men could be right. Stringer might have been only temporarily

absent—shortly after Riebe left. Stringer also added a major observation: no photographs were taken either

during or after the embalming. Although Godfrey McHugh reported the opposite, I would be inclined in

this case to believe the photographer.

80 Ibid. at 250. Also recall that Knudsen claimed to be the sole autopsy photographer; by implication,

therefore, he did not see Stringer.

81 Fetzer (2000), supra, at 275.

82 Horne, supra, Volume I at Figure 57.


My conclusions about Knudsen, only briefly supported here, disagree with

Horne’s. I instead conclude that Knudsen indeed worked with the autopsy photographs

(in the darkroom, but not in the morgue), perhaps by improving them cosmetically for the

Kennedy family—or by supervising someone else who did this. I suspect he was an

unwitting conspirator, being played by his superiors. Furthermore, if the Oswald evidence

photographs were doctored, if Dealey Plaza photographs were touched up, if the skull Xrays

were altered (in the darkroom), if the Zapruder film was revised, then why would the

autopsy photographs remain pristine? After all, it is much, much easier to alter a

photograph than to correctly improvise a misleading autopsy scene in the morgue

(especially a scene that was often described by attendees as a madhouse). Furthermore,

time limits do not apply in the darkroom, where one can leisurely keep improving the

image until success is achieved.

I also disagree with Horne about the semicircular defect (with apparent beveling),

as seen in F8.83 This mysterious photo, which I consider to be the back of the head, was

described as precisely that during the initial “military review” by the autopsy personnel

on November 1, 1966. In addition, Paul O’Connor (autopsy technician) clearly confirmed

this.84 Horne concludes that this beveled defect represents an important exit site. Because

it looks like an exit, I agree with Horne that the pathologists should have discussed it. In

fact, they do not—and that is suspicious. However, Roger McCarthy,85 after his own

experiments, concluded that such beveled defects can occur independently of exiting

bullets or bullet fragments. Furthermore, this site does not fit with any other metal debris

in the skull X-rays—certainly not the fragment trail across the top of the skull nor the two

fragments removed by H&B—nor does it match the right occipital blowout. To finally

bury this proposal, no witness at either Parkland or Bethesda observed a scalp wound that

corresponded to this semicircular beveled defect, so it may simply be a red herring.

How many shots struck JFK’s head? Horne argues for three,86 which will perplex

many a reader. Even critics of the Warren Commission typically argue for only two head

shots at most. (The Warren Commission’s scenario was simple: a single shot entered at

the rear, near the external occipital protuberance (EOP).)87 Although I agree with that

shot, a second shot likely entered high on the right forehead, very near the hairline.) I

confess that Horne has forced me to think again about a third shot. Although I had

previously been inclined to ascribe the supposed left temple entry to observer error

(confusing left for right—or perhaps just seeing a blood clot88), I am now more inclined

to believe in such an entry. Horne cites the Parkland physicians—Marion Jenkins, Robert

McClelland, Ronald Jones, and Lito Puerto (aka Porto)89—who clearly reported a small

83 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1027. Also see Horne, supra, Volume I at Figure 66 (autopsy photographs

17&18, 44&45). Larry Sturdivan precisely identifies this site with a pointer; see JFK Myths (2005), at 195

(Figure 44). These sites are also identified in PowerPoint slides from my November 2009 lecture in Dallas;

see the Mary Ferrell website at http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page. Alternate websites,

with slightly updated slides, are at http://www.assassinationscience.com and


84 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1027. Stringer also disagreed with Michael Baden’s orientation (Horne,

supra, Volume I at 165).

85 Fetzer (2000), supra, at 282.

86 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1147-1155.

87 Horne, supra, Volume I at Figure 47.

88 Horne, supra, Volume II at 642.

89 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1150. Also see Horne, supra, Volume III at 757, 765-769.


wound in the left temple. Others include Dr. Adolph Giesecke,90 Dr. David Stewart,91

Father Oscar Huber,92 photographers Altgens93 and Similas94 and, more recently, Hugh

Huggins (aka Hugh Howell),95 who was RFK’s emissary to the autopsy.

Although I was reluctant to visualize Greer with a pistol during the shooting,

Secret Service agents did pull their pistols during the tussle over JFK’s body in the ER. It

is even possible that Greer fired, though I can’t imagine what his target was. But it is

most unlikely that he deliberately fired at JFK. That would have been far too risky—

multiple witnesses would have fingered him, yet no one has done so. Furthermore, no

photograph shows him doing this (although it is theoretically possible that such

photographs have been culled or altered). Besides, although he may have disliked JFK,

we have no evidence that he was involved in the plot to kill JFK.

In the end, though, I must admit that evidence of a third shot to the head persists.

Perhaps the major clue is the right occipital blowout. The right forehead shot96 likely

produced the debris across the top of the skull X-rays (neither the Warren Commission’s

scenario nor the HSCA’s scenario match that trail), but that fragment trail does not fit (at

all) with a right occipital blowout. Furthermore, if the bullet that caused the visible

fragment trail had been mercury filled (as I suggested), then perhaps much of the mercury

remained inside the skull. So what produced the occipital blowout? The Warren

Commission shot (from the rear) surely could not do that. But a shot from the left front

could be just right. What is odd, though, is that no witness at Bethesda, absolutely no one,

ever reported such an entrance hole.97

Then there is the Clarence Israel story, related by Janie Taylor, a biologist at NIH,

across the street from the Bethesda Hospital.98 Israel (now deceased), an orderly in the

morgue that night, saw a doctor working at a “hurried” pace to mutilate three bullet

punctures to the head area. Like Jeremy Gunn, I don’t know what to do with this tale,

although it is striking that three head wounds are cited.

Diana Bowron, a Parkland nurse,99 told Livingstone that less than 50% of the

right brain remained (the right rear quadrant was most effected) and about a quarter of the

left hemisphere was also missing. I am not aware of any other Parkland comments about

the left hemisphere, and there is very little clear-cut information from Bethesda either.

But if Bowron is correct, then her report constitutes powerful evidence for a left frontal

shot. Of course, her report also flatly contradicts the official brain photographs, which

show no missing left brain.100 The optical density data also support Bowron; they show

that only 60-65% of the left brain was present, as measured on the AP skull at the

90 Warren Commission Hearings, Volume VI at 74. However, Giesecke also thought the occipital wound

was on the left side. He later admitted that he had described the wrong side:


91 Harold Weisberg, Post-Mortem (1969), at 60-61.

92 http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~klark/leftwounds.html.

93 Fetzer (2003), supra, at 200.

94 New York Times, November 23, 1963; Edgar F. Tatro, The Quincy Sun, November 21, 1984, at 1-17.

95 Bill Sloan, JFK: Breaking the Silence (1993), at 183.

96 See the incision in the high right forehead, near the hairline, in Horne, supra, Volume I at Figure 62.

97 The autopsy photo of the left lateral head also does not show such an entry hole: Ibid. at Figure 59.

98 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1063-64.

99 Ibid. at 1045 (footnote). Also see Harry Livingstone, Killing the Truth (1993), at 195.

100 Horne, supra, Volume I at Figure 35.


National Archives.101 Of course, in view of Horne’s conclusions, some of this missing

brain might have been due to H&B. But, even if H&B had removed this, that alone would

be suspicious—i.e., they would have had no reason to excise left brain tissue at all unless

trauma had occurred there.

To all of this, Horne adds the support of Dr. Charles Wilbur, who carefully

reviewed the microscopic pathology report of the left brain sample.102 This showed

“extensive disruption … associated with hemorrhage.” Wilbur concluded: “These

observations rekindle my interest in the observations made in Dallas on the ER table (by

several medical personnel) … that there was an entry hole in the left temporal region, in

front of the ear and at the hairline.” In conclusion, I would say that the left temple wound

seems more likely than ever, especially with support from the optical density data.

It might have been expected the brain photographs would have resolved this

mystery; unfortunately, they are not of JFK’s brain. Horne was the first to deduce, from

multiple lines of disparate data (see his detailed table),103 that a surrogate brain had been

introduced at a second brain examination. Even the (sole) autopsy photographer of the

brain, John Stringer, stated in no uncertain terms that these were not his photographs.

One reason was that they were on the wrong brand of film.104 My own optical density

data (taken directly from the extant skull X-rays at the National Archives)105 are totally

inconsistent with the brain photographs (which I have observed at the National Archives

with Cyril Wecht). Insofar as the amount of residual brain goes, one can accept either the

X-ray data as authentic or the brain photographs as authentic, but not both. They are

inconsistent with one another—in fact, wildly inconsistent. To date, no Warren

Commission supporter has come to terms with this intractable paradox. It should also be

emphasized that the optical density data actually preceded Horne’s proposal, but these

data are entirely consistent with his two-brain proposal.

I also object to Horne’s proposal that puncture wounds106 were deliberately

created in the scalp that night.107 Oddly, he does not identify the perpetrator, or even who

issued the order. Of course, none of that is in the official record. Horne proposes that the

high posterior “red spot” (selected by the HSCA as the official entry site—albeit

persistently denied by the pathologists) was deliberately created that night. How the red

color was achieved he does not say. And why that particular site was selected is also

101 David W. Mantik and Cyril H. Wecht, “Paradoxes of the JFK Assassination: The Brain Enigma,” in

James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, editors, The Assassinations (2002), at 264.

102 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1151. Also compare Wilbur’s description of the wound location to that of

Dr. Marion Jenkins before the Warren Commission:


103 Horne, supra, Volume III at 777-844: “Two Brain Examinations—Cover-up Confirmed.” The relevant

table is at 791. Horne’s ARRB memo was dated June 2, 1998. Only while writing this review did I recall

that I had asked this same question some years earlier. See Harry Livingstone, Killing Kennedy (1995), at

268 (footnote): “Is Boswell describing different brains on these two occasions?” Horne, however, was the

one who pursued the question fully.

104 Horne, supra, Volume I at 42-43.

105 Mantik and Wecht (2002), supra, at 250-271.

106 These sites are precisely identified in PowerPoint slides from my November 2009 lecture in Dallas; see

the Mary Ferrell website at http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page. Alternate websites,

with slightly updated slides, are at http://www.assassinationscience.com and


107 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 999.


mysterious—did it fit better with the “sniper’s nest” than did the EOP site? If so, who in

the morgue would have known that so early in the game? But what madness it would be

to create another wound! After all, H&B had already identified a lower (EOP) entry site;

therefore this higher one would immediately imply two shots to the head—exactly what

no one wanted that night. But Horne does not stop there; he also believes that the lower

“white spot” (very near the posterior hairline) was deliberately man-made.108 We might

well ask why he takes these risks. But that question has a simple answer: because he

refuses to consider photographic alteration, he has no choice. Think about this: that red

spot nearly correlates spatially with the 6.5 mm object on the skull X-ray—as it should

since both were fakes. However, what breathtaking serendipity such a match was for

subsequent government panels—they had their entry site!109 But because Horne has

boxed himself in (no photo-alteration allowed) his only option is to say that the red spot

really was present that night. Unless photographic doctoring is permitted, that red spot

could not abruptly appear later. But no one at the autopsy saw this red spot (let alone its

creation)—and the pathologists forever adamantly refused to recognize it (despite

Horne’s insinuation that they themselves had created it). All of this, taken together, is

quite damning evidence in favor of (at least some) photographic alteration.110

Horne suggests that the original Zapruder film may have been shot at 48 frames

per second, an option that was available on that camera:

Removing the Car Stop and the Exit Debris From the Film Would Have Been

Simple if Zapruder Had Actually Filmed the Motorcade at ‘Slow Motion,’ or at 48

Frames Per Second, Instead of at the Normal ‘Run’ Setting of 16 Frames Per


Horne suggests that simple frame excision could then have eliminated much of the

evidence of conspiracy. But this cannot work, as Costella has explained: the ghost images

(in the intersprocket area) make this impossible.112 When Zapruder’s camera exposed

one frame (call it number 10), the gate (the metal frame that actually admits light to the

film) simultaneously exposed (in the intersprocket area) a modest portion of each

108 In his defense, Horne notes that Lipsey recalled seeing the white spot—and also recalled the

pathologists’ discussion of it—during his HSCA interview. He even recalled it well enough that he

identified this site on a sketch. See http://www.historymatters.

com/archive/jfk/hsca/med_testimony/Lipsey_1-18-78/HSCA-Lipsey.htm. As further corroboration,

Horne adds that Robinson also recalled a probe entering low on the back of the head.

109 For an unbiased perspective, however, see the summary reports of the three medical experts for the

ARRB (Horne, supra, Volume II at 583-587). None of them could identify such an entry site on the skull

X-rays—and there was great uncertainty about the red spot, as well. For full summaries see Horne’s

Appendices at the Mary Ferrell website or visit my November 2009 lecture (about these experts) at the

same website: http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page.

110 Most likely the red spot was simply added in the darkroom; after all, that site fit much better with the

“sniper’s nest” than did the EOP site. The white spot was merely an oversight. When the darkroom

magicians covered up the large skull defect they simply neglected to extend their new (photographic)

hairpiece inferiorly enough.

111 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1335.

112 See these ghost images in Fetzer (2003), supra, at 210.


neighboring frame (call these 9 and 11).113 When Costella examined the film he learned

that these ghost images are, in fact, consistent with the central frame in each case—i.e.,

10 is always adjacent to 9 and 11 (and this works for any three adjacent frames). In a

sense then, each adjacent ghost image “belongs” to its primary frame—and not to any

other frame. On the other hand, if frame excision had occurred, each ghost image would

become separated from its simultaneously exposed primary frame; i.e., such excision

would have led to an adjacent ghost image exposed at a different time from the primary

frame. For example, for excision of every other frame, 10 would end up next to 8 and 12;

for excision of two of every three frames, 10 would end up next to 7 and 13. In either

case, these ghost images would not match the frames next to them. And Costella

emphasizes that enough information (e.g., motion blur) exists in these ghost images to

permit such a deduction. The bottom line is that such inconsistencies are not found in the

extant film. Furthermore, there is no escape from this problem, i.e., it is not possible

simply to erase a ghost image from the intersprocket area—once there, it is always there.

Partly based on this very powerful argument, Costella has argued that the extant film

must be a fabrication, i.e., a re-creation using parts of multiple films (and probably only a

rather modest portion of Zapruder’s film at most). At least one of these films must have

been shot during the motorcade, but others could have been shot before or after, even

some days before or after. These then had to be stitched together to compose the extant

film. Even differences of perspective (as would be expected for films shot from slightly

different sites) could be overcome by selecting only pertinent parts of frames.

Costella concludes that the Stemmons freeway sign is one example of such a cut

and paste job. By analyzing the effects of pincushion distortion114 he concludes that the

sign was placed into the film after the fact, i.e., it looks constant in all frames. On the

other hand, if it had been shot from Zapruder’s camera, it should have experienced

pincushion distortion: i.e., the sign would successively change its appearance from one

frame to the next. Furthermore, after several frames, these changes would accumulate to

become even more obvious. But the bottom line is that the Stemmons sign does not show

such pincushion effects, which means that it was placed after the fact by the film forgers.

This situation is closely analogous to the fake hairpiece on the back of JFK’s head, where

the image looks 2D rather than 3D via the stereo viewer. In both cases, the same fake

image was placed (into multiple photographs—or into multiple frames) in a manner that

violates the basic rules of optics.

Based on these arguments, Costella concludes that it would have been impossible

to alter the film without discarding essentially all of the intersprocket areas and starting

all over. In that case, he argues, the total time for (final) fabrication would have taken

much longer than several days. Although Horne does not require completion of a final

film (i.e., the extant film) by Sunday night (November 24) he does suggest that the

Jamieson copies were switched quite promptly, likely within several days. Such a prompt

(yet final) switch implies a timeline that sharply contrasts with Costella’s more leisurely

pace. Even David Healy (a professional video producer with decades of experience)

emphasized in his 2003 Duluth lecture that even if an altered film had been viewed on

Sunday night, November 24, it need not have been the final product (i.e., the extant film),

113 Each intersprocket area therefore contains two ghost images: one from the frame before and one from

the frame after the primary frame that was exposed.

114 Fetzer (2003), supra, at xi, 23, 35, 164-169, 209.


but merely an interim film.115 Horne ultimately agrees that alterations might have

continued for “several weeks” afterwards, especially if a traveling matte had been


Costella also refers to the possibility that the proposed second film of the

motorcade (by an unknown photographer—or photographers) might have been shot in 16

mm format. If so, that would have made forgery ever so much easier, particularly since

the contemporaneous optical printers were not designed for 8 mm. It might also have

made the subsequent first generation copies (the extant ones, which are probably not the

Jamieson copies) appear more authentic after fabrication.

Costella goes on to wonder whether the splices in the film (e.g., between Z-208

and Z-212) were unavoidable during forgery for a simple reason: they may have

contained telltale ghost images of bystanders who appeared under the left edge of the

Stemmons sign.117 A splice is also present at Z-155 to Z-157. Curiously, this is close to

frames where Michael Stroscio, a physicist, identified a possible shot at Z-152 to Z-


There is a final, simple argument against a 48 fps scenario for Zapruder. If 48 fps

had been used, then when the film was shown that weekend, all of the action would have

appeared in slow motion—as if the actors were subject to the lesser gravity of the moon.

However, no one reported such an odd effect, even though someone surely should have.

My final paragraph in this section is not really a criticism of Horne at all. It

merely reflects an unblinking reality: no one (not even Bugliosi119) can address

everything important in this case. I refer here to the police dictabelt and the acoustics

data.120 Horne implies that the acoustics data support conspiracy—based on the number

of audible shots and also on timing problems, i.e., two shots are only 1.66 seconds apart,

an interval much too short for the Mannlicher-Carcano. However, he does not cite the

work of Don Thomas,121 which reinvigorated this subject, nor does he mention the fallout

from that work. The discussion continues; the interested reader may begin with

Wikipedia for current references.122


I stand in awe of the scope, detail, and profound insights that Horne has achieved,

especially in the medical evidence—to say nothing of his Olympian effort. Given the

circumstances of its creation (mostly on weekends, within a cumulative time span of

perhaps two years) it is nothing short of phenomenal. Contrast Horne’s effort with

Bugliosi’s, which extended over several decades, and which may have included writing

assistants and editors. Bugliosi also did not have to self-publish. The bottom line is that I

feel a deep debt of gratitude to Horne for further disentangling this nearly half-century

115 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1309. Healy has suggested two weeks for the complete job (Ibid. at 1339).

116 Ibid. at 1341 (footnote).

117 Ibid. at 220.

118 Fetzer (1998), supra, at 343-344.

119 See my footnote 1.

120 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1127-1131 and 1213.

121 Thomas, Donald B., “Echo correlation analysis and the acoustic evidence in the Kennedy assassination

revisited.” Science & Justice (The Forensic Science Society) 41: 21–32 (2002).

122 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dictabelt_evidence_relating_to_the_assassination_of_John_F._Kennedy.


old Gordian knot. By contrast, I should emphasize that I never experienced that sensation

with Bugliosi.

If H&B indeed played alterationists with the skull and brain (as I now accept),

then Horne has initiated a paradigm shift in our understanding of the cover-up. But, as

Horne acknowledges, this does not necessarily convert H&B into villains. After all, they

may well have considered themselves to be heroic patriots, who single-handedly aborted

World War III,123 depending on exactly what their military superiors124 had told them.

Josiah Thompson has proclaimed that the Zapruder debate has been a gigantic

waste of time, because it is “junk science” that has produced nothing.125 Like Einstein’s

opinion of quantum mechanics,126 Thompson’s mind is stuck in the past. In fact, Horne

has presented revolutionary new data about the chain of possession. In view of

Thompson’s now-shaky bedrock, many will find this new information very convincing

indeed—especially younger researchers new to the case, whose minds are still open. I

have previously summarized traditional historical (and scientific) views that were later

overturned,127 so no one should be surprised at this dénouement. Without nascent

heretics, our world would soon become more impoverished. In retrospect, it was best not

to offer obeisance to Roland Zavada (as the inerrant pope of the film), as Thompson

implied we should do.128 The two-event sequence at NPIC has all the hallmarks of a

covert operation—but for 46 years not even Brugioni knew what had transpired—and he

wrote the history of the NPIC! Some of us did not need more evidence, but others did.

These fence-sitters may now take their own time to decide. Some may even wish to make

a pilgrimage to view the MPI transparencies in Dallas. The real point, though, as Horne

states, is that the alteration of the film is, in itself, major evidence of a government coverup.

I could not agree more.

What remains controversial for many though is the timeline for alteration. Horne

favors a very short timeline, while Costella prefers a distinctly longer one. The early

appearance in LIFE of altered frames (e.g., the “blob” on JFK’s face and the

disappearance of the white object in the background grass) indicate that some frames had

been altered before Sunday night, November 24. In addition, the Hunter/McMahon

briefing boards show the extremely black patch over JFK’s occiput, as well as the blob. It

is possible, though not certain, that incriminating flying debris was also removed by

Sunday night. The Stemmons sign and the lamppost (both added after the fact, according

123 LBJ later gave Humes a personal set of presidential cufflinks, which Humes wore during his ARRB


124 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1188. Horne cites these superiors as Edward C. Kenney (Surgeon General

of the Navy), Calvin Galloway (Commanding Officer of the Bethesda National Naval Medical Center), and

George Burkley (White House Physician). All were admirals. Also see Vincent Palamara’s summary at


125 Josiah Thompson: “One way of looking at this continuing argument is to see it as a gigantic waste of

time, as a prime example of junk science from educated people who ought to know better. It may have

amusement value in some chronicle of ‘silly science,’ but, in terms of knowledge about the Kennedy

assassination, it has produced literally nothing.” See his entire essay at


126 Rebecca Goldstein (a MacArthur Genius Fellow), The Mind-Body Problem: A Novel (1983), at 140-141.

127 Fetzer (2000), supra, at 371-411.

128 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1290. At the 2003 Pittsburgh conference, Cyril Wecht set his sails in

precisely the opposite direction—he advised his audience not to trust the experts but instead to do their own

analysis; see www.cyrilwecht.com/journal/archives/jfk/index.php. I very much side with Wecht.


to Costella) also appear in LIFE’s first JFK issue, in low-resolution black and white

photographs. Now consider this: McMahon concluded that JFK was hit by 6-8 shots,

fired from at least three directions. Evidence for these shots is absent from the extant

film, so he must have seen a different film (though probably not the original). If

McMahon’s observations were correct, then he must have seen a partly altered film. That

would leave time for Costella’s more leisurely scenario.

The chief argument for a short timeline is the need to dispose promptly of the

Jamieson (first-day) copies; the problem, of course, is that the longer these persisted the

longer the original images might be copied—or recalled—by others. Horne notes that the

FBI returned its Jamieson copy to the Secret Service by Tuesday, November 26.129

However, we do not know the disposition of any other FBI copies, i.e., later generation

copies made from the Jamieson copies (that the FBI might have already made by then).130

So perhaps this cover-up was a two-step process: (1) retrieve quickly all possible copies

(including Jamieson copies and all those made from Jamieson’s)131 and (2) sometime

later (e.g., within one or two months) replace those earlier ones by copies subsequently

made from the extant film. Perhaps the FBI was even given some credible excuse for the

delay in replacement (e.g., an improved quality copy was pending); in any case, it is

likely that J. Edgar Hoover would have cooperated with any reasonable suggestion to

abet the cover-up. But LIFE, too, had a copy. However, after their early assassination

coverage, they had no need for the film, as a movie film. Given the role of C. D. Jackson

(LIFE’s publisher), first in the very expensive purchase of the film, and then in his

sequestering of the film (with no profit accruing to LIFE), it is likely (especially in view

of his longtime intelligence connections)132 that he also would have agreed to such a

delayed replacement.

But there is still the matter of the three black and white copies of the extant film,

discovered in the year 2000 by the Sixth Floor Museum among materials sold to

Zapruder in 1975 by Time, Inc.133 Their format is 16 mm, unslit, with the motorcade on

one side and Zapruder home scenes on the other (adjacent) side. These include markings

on the film that identify specific frames actually printed in LIFE.134 An irresistible

deduction from these markings, of course, is that the extant film had already been

completed by that early date. In fact, however, all that is certain is that specific frames

(those made public) must have been finalized by that date. On the other hand, if

Costella’s more leisurely timeframe is adopted, that would imply that these black and

white copies were only later placed into the LIFE collection—marked up appropriately

after the fact—so as to give the impression that the markings (and the extant film, too)

dated to November. Although this scenario may be true, no eyewitness to date has

corroborated it.

129 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1199.

130 The National Archives does possess later generation copies of the extant film, labeled as being from the


131 Costella implies that this collection process was not entirely successful, i.e., that there were “multiple

films” in circulation, “not one.”

132 Ibid. at 1202.

133 Ibid. at 1199.

134 That issue was dated November 29, 1963, but most likely it first appeared on newsstands on Tuesday,

November 26.



The HD scans (cited above) of selected Zapruder frames should be scanned with

an optical densitometer. If possible, multiple wavelengths (colors) should be employed.

These scans should then be compared to controls, e.g., JFK’s head before Z-313 and

Connally’s head (at most any time). This might quantify the magnitude of photoalteration,

thus making the conclusions more scientific. Further studies may be

forthcoming from the Hollywood nexus. New films shot via a camera like Zapruder’s

might yet provide further insights. Of course, if extant films (i.e., original ones, not

altered ones) from Zapruder’s actual camera can still be located that would be even

better. As Horne suggests, at the National Archives two autopsy photographs of the

posterior scalp (from a matched pair) should be overlaid on a view box. If the images of

the suspect area perfectly align, that would constitute powerful evidence of photoalteration.

Control areas should also be extensively compared, just to see what nonidentical

(but stereo-matched) pairs look like. Surprisingly, no one has done this.

There are three X-ray films of the bone fragments,135 which seems a bit excessive.

Is it possible that these extra films were taken to replace those X-rays that had been

discarded—in order that the total number of X-ray films remained fixed at 14? Is it even

possible that these three films are identical to one another? If so, that would be even more

suspicious. To check on this (for the first time—no one has done this), Horne suggests

that the films simply be overlaid to see if they match precisely.

I have never looked for the head brace on the X-rays nor, apparently, has anyone

else. Since the autopsy personnel did not recognize this, it would be useful to look for this

on the X-ray films. (Custer told the ARRB that he had used a blanket behind the head,

but Custer’s memory has not always been reliable.) In view of Horne’s proposal that

Knudsen took autopsy photographs with the head brace (apparently while no autopsy

personnel were present—because no one recalls this), the presence or absence of such a

brace on the X-rays might shed further light on Horne’s proposed timeline for Knudsen

(if he was involved at all).

The optical density data from the X-rays should be confirmed. The National

Archives have their own densitometer(s); perhaps they would even assist with this.

Actually the data need not be too extensive—even a few select data points inside the 6.5

mm object and inside the “white patches”136 could be highly confirmatory.

My observation at the National Archives of intact emulsion (where there should

be none) over the T-shaped inscription on a lateral skull X-ray137 provided prima facie

evidence that this X-ray must be a copy. That clearly means that (1) the original is

missing and (2) the door lies open to alteration (during copying). Surprisingly, no one has

yet attempted to confirm my observation (of the paradoxically missing emulsion), despite

the fact that Chad Zimmerman and Larry Sturdivan had that opportunity after my

135 Horne, supra, Volume II at 389.

136 For an image of the white patch, see Horne, supra, Volume I at Figure 67.

137 See my November 2009 lecture at http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page. Alternate

websites, with slightly updated slides, are at http://www.assassinationscience.com and



observation became public.138 Furthermore, Bugliosi should be a bit red-faced that he did

not accompany them at that critical moment. Even he could have made that observation.

Perhaps some other creative minds can think further about three head shots. My

fear, though, is that this impasse may never be resolved due to insufficient data. Given

the destruction inflicted on the skull by H&B (and perhaps by their predecessors), I am

not even certain that a second autopsy would help to resolve that question.

Addendum: The 6.5 mm Mystery on the AP Skull X-ray

Although Horne’s discussion of the suspicious 6.5 mm object on the AP X-ray is

in Volume II, I could not resist a few comments about it here.139 To date no one else has

explained this object, not even the three experts interviewed by the ARRB.140

Furthermore, each one of the three autopsy pathologists (interviewed separately and

under oath) denied either seeing or removing this thing at the autopsy.141 Even Larry

Sturdivan142 admits that it cannot be a bullet fragment (this admission, almost by itself,

destroys the case against the lone gunman), but then after his visit to the National

Archives he had to confess that it remained as mysterious as ever. He did, however, offer

one half-hearted proposal that he did not really endorse, namely that the fragment had

been present on the AP X-ray, but had fallen off before the lateral was taken. (He

necessarily assumed that the AP had been taken first.) But this does not explain an

awkward fact: the lateral X-ray143 still shows a small metal fragment at precisely the

expected site! Furthermore, this proposal disagrees with Reed’s sequence of X-rays: Reed

said he took the lateral film first.144 In fact, the only viable explanation for this bizarre 6.5

mm object is photographic addition in the dark room.145 Horne recounts my own

adventures with this fantastic forgery in some detail. Given that he began his odyssey as a

layman in medicine and radiology, Horne offers a splendid summary of this entire


138 Sturdivan, supra, at 193.

139 Horne, supra, Volume I at Figure 38; look inside JFK’s right orbit for this white object. Also see Fetzer

(1998), supra, at 120-137.

140 Horne, supra, Volume II at 583-587. Detailed summaries of the experts’ opinions are in Horne’s

Appendices; see the list of appendices in Horne, supra, Volume I at xix-lii. The appendices themselves are

posted at the Mary Ferrell website (see my footnote 3 for a link).

141 Horne, supra, Volume II at 564 (Humes), at 573 (Boswell), and at 580 (Finck).

142 Sturdivan, supra, at 193.

143 Horne, supra, Volume I at Figure 37.

144 Horne, supra, Volume II at 426, 430-431.

145 Fetzer (1998), supra, at 120-137. Also see my lecture (November 2009) at the Mary Ferrell website (see

my footnote 137). Alternate websites, with slightly updated slides, are at

http://www.assassinationscience.com and http://www.assassinationresearch.com.

146 Horne, supra, Volume II at 546-554.


Appendix: Three Casket Entries

Time (PM) Casket Type Witnesses Remarks

Paul O’Connor

6:35 Shipping Roger Boyajian Black hearse

casket Dennis David Body bag

Donald Rebentisch

Floyd Riebe

Note: this first entry was documented by Boyajian and corroborated by the above


7:17 Bronze viewing Jim Sibert Light gray navy

casket Frank O’Neill ambulance

(from Parkland) Roy Kellerman Empty casket

William Greer

Note: this second entry was documented in the report of Sibert and O’Neill.148

8:00 Bronze viewing Joint Service Casket Team Light gray navy

casket Godfrey McHugh ambulance

Body inside, wrapped

in sheets—no body bag

Note: this third entry was supervised by Lt. Samuel Bird from Fort Myer.149

147 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1002-1013.

148 http://www.jfklancer.com/Sibert-ONeill.html. Or see Thompson, supra, Appendix G. The time of 7:17

PM appeared in their interview with Arlen Specter (March 12, 1964): FBI 62-109060-2637 at 2. Also see

Lifton, supra, at 484-485.

149 Horne, supra, Volume IV at 1008 and Volume I at Figure 70. Also see Military District of Washington,

Bird Report and Lifton, supra, at 399, 406-407.

William Kelly

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Transcribed by William Kelly - January, 2010

ARRB Interview with NPIC Employee Homer McMahon

Hearing Date July 14, 1997

Interviewed by Douglas P. Horne Chief of Military Records of ARRB

Total Time 1:41:19

Douglas Horne:

D.H.: Okay, it is Monday, July 14th, 1997, my name is Doug Horne. I am with the AARB. I am here with Mr. Homer McMahon, former NPIC employee – National Photo Interpretation Center. And I am also here with Michelle Combs (sp?) of the AARB. And we before we begin I would like to confirm with you on the record, is it okay, do we have your permission to tape this interview?

Homer McMahon: Yes, I am Homer McMahon, I wasn't NPIC, I was with the CIA. That was my cover at the time, and you have my permission. At the time NPIC was a classified topic.

DH. Yes, sir. Okay. Thank you very much. We may be joined later; this is for the record, by Mr. Jeremy Gunn of the Review Board staff and also by a new employee (Marie B.?) who is in the building today also. Could you summarize for us sir, your professional experience and training in photography prior to and up to 1963.

HM: I started in photography in 1938.

D.H.: Okay.

HM: I worked one summer at the FBI lab. I'm not sure of that summer. [Possible Redaction edit] My boss was Dunlap, who later became, left and went into business for himself and I worked for him part time, at different times.

I was in photography when I was in high school when I worked as the photographer on the yearbook committee. I used to work at…for Pop Baker, and that was at the Kodak photo finishing at Georgetown, also a summer school. I was in photography on the GI bill, I went to the National School of Photography and I went to the Washington School of Photography, and I took several extension courses at the US GS Graduate School at the Law Enforcement Institute of Pathology at Walter Reed.

I took several courses up at Rochester in Binghamton, under…..and Binghamton Kodak, at Rochester. Other than that, I never had a degree in photography. In those days it was strictly vocational. There was no, you could get a masters degree up there…MBA, but I never….. or worked on that level,….to make national presentations. I was a member of the Professional Photographers of America.

I went to college on the GI Bill at the end of the Second World War. And then I went to work for the CIA. My mentor Mel Fromm (sp. phonetic) was an old OSS operative during the Second World War. His dad ran the National School of Photography; I spent two years there, and he got me a job interview with the CIA. I went out .....?...Street. That was printing services division,....That was Austin Young (?). I worked there for two or three years. Then I went into business for myself for five years, and then went back for I think ten years….

DH: Went back to the Agency?

HM: Yea, but I didn't go back to the printing service division, I went to the Science Division. When Stewart's Garage closed down, ah,…Kennedy's brother Bob got that built. It was a special building, it was behind the barrier, the barrier walls, it couldn't be penetrated. It was in the Navy Yard and I worked there for I guess close to ten years. And that's when I was chief of the color lab, GS 11 – step 7, was my grade when I worked there.

DH: What. Do you recall what year it was that you returned to the CIA and worked for about ten years, what year it was, more or less?

HM: No, I don't have an accurate recollection.

DH: Okay. It would be, certainly before 1963, it would be in the 50s perhaps?

HM: Oh, yea. Yes.

DH: Okay. When you went back to the CIA for the second time, were you working at the Stewarts Motors building with…?

HM: No. I didn't work in the Stewart Garage; I'm not going to name names of people that I worked with…

DH: Okay.

HM: I could give you Mike…..he's retired, he worked at the Stewarts but he retired, and I talked to him, and he said he could get me an interview, and I was working for Austin Young, ….right there at Kingston, or….King Street, I forget which, - he came over and interviewed me and I transferred. I was LV16, I was under the GPA scale, I was in the Printing Services Division.

DH: Okay. Let me go off the record and introduce you to some people who just arrived.

DH: Okay back on the record. Mr. Jeremy Gunn, Marie (B.?) and Steve Tilley have joined us.

Mr. McMahon do you remember when you became head of the Color Lab?

HM: When I went over I was hired for that position and I transferred from a LV19 to a GS 11 step 7.

DH: Approximately what year was that?

HM: Late 50s.

DH: Okay, late 50s. Were you working at the National Photo Interpretation Center in November, 1963?

HM: Yes.

DH: Okay. We spoke previously on the telephone on June 9, Mr. Dave Montahue and I called you. You mentioned to us during that telephone call that you were involved in analysis and other events with a home movie of the assassination. Can you tell us how you first head about this and who told you to come into work?

HM: Okay. I wasn't an analyst. That was a technical term for someone who did photo interpretation in my branch. I was a photo-technologist. What I did I timed…to my best recollection, I was I worked in the vaulted area behind the barrier with pretty sensitive material. My classification allowed me to work on anything and everything that I had need to know, and I won't tell you what those were…..but….

DH: And I won't ask.

HM: We had…it was…..a world beyond. We had unlimited budget….we had anything we wanted to buy. Unlimited money. It was a palace, it was Lundahl's Palace. I think they said 90% of intelligence came from our operation. And that was, that was what the analysists and photo interpreters did. They knew along with,…I was in the science area, but they also had access and used other information.

But the best I can remember how I came to work on this project. Of course, we all heard of you known that motorcade where Kennedy got killed, and I think we shut up shop and went home early after that. And it was within the next two days a chap was introduced to me, and I was sworn to his secrecy; it had nothing to do with the agency's secrecy. And he was, to the best of my knowledge, he was introduced as Bill Smith,…

DH: Bill Smith, of …what….?

HM: Oh, Secret Service, he was an agent. He had gotten a roll of film directly from the person that had photographed it who called the Secret Service and told them that he thought he had on film he shot with a little Brownie Double 8, and he took it, he took it to Rochester. We had a division up there - I won't get into that, but they processed the film, it was Kodacrome, I think I or II, the daylight version, whichever that is, it was Double 8 and, after he got it processed, they told him there that we were probably the only place that had the equipment that could do what he wanted to, - take every frame on there, of the entire event, and make the best possible quality reproductions.

DH: When you say they told him, who do you mean?

HM: Well. (Ha, ha,)…Well, Eastman Kodak had contracts with the US government, and if you want to know, you can go to the CIA and they will tell you who told him, but he got the film processed, and he brought it to us, and he and three other people timed the film, for through observation you can tell where the gunshots actually caused the hits and slumps. We didn't know anything about any audio, it was just visual, and we timed it, and determined the time - physically timed it with a stop watch, where the gunshots hits hit. And we went from I think maybe two frames before the first hit and then we hit every single frame thru….He only counted three hits, possibly four. I couldn't tell I think, when Connally got hit. It was obvious when he got hit the first time, and then the second time he got hit, going off into an angle up, and…..

DH: Could I break in and ask you a question? When you say he and three others timed the film, does this mean that you people viewed it as a motion picture?

HM: Yes, we were in a briefing room, with a camera and a large screen - you said I could use Ben Hunter's name? I worked with Ben Hunter, Ben Hunter I think he was a GS 7 and he was working with me as a trainee at the time in the color lab, and Bill Smith, ah,….excuse me, there were three of us, including myself (ha, ha), that's it. To the best of my knowledge.

DH: So the total number of people are - yourself, Ben Hunter and Bill Smith?

HM: Yes. That's all that were involved to my knowledge.

DH: How were you first notified to go in? Did this happen during the work day or after hours? Or how did they first notify you?

HM: I haven't the faintest idea, because I've been called in so many times…ah…

DH: For other jobs, right? Do you recall whether you did the job during the day?

Jeremy Gunn: I just want to make sure for the record. When you say you were called in many times, you mean for other jobs?

HM: When the goose laid the egg, we went on 12 to12, 12 hour shifts until we worked out the mission. I don't think that's important. The other work I did had nothing to do with this.

DH: That's what the question was….when you said that statement, were you referring to this particular film or other jobs?

HM: Okay,…I had other clearances, but none of these clearances that were given to me under the CIA or other clearances that I held for other government agencies, this was under strictly a, I was told that none of this was to be divulged to anyone. We had it, we did it, but I didn't know who was going to be briefed…..My guess, we normally briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the National Reconnaissance Committee, and the President of the United States, with the work that I did. I didn't do any of the analysis. I just did the color part that was used in the briefing boards, and the Teleprompters and that kind of work, and it was also distributed under Top Secret classifications to the community.

JG: We were only trying to clarify if you were called in several times, you were only called once for the film of the assassination.

HM: I worked on that one, and I worked on it until it was completed and I think it was probably more than a work day.

HM: When we spoke on June 9th, you indicated that you were called in and you worked basically all night long. Does that refresh your recollection?

HM: Yes, …I don't think it was during my normal….I didn't know what I was being called in for. I didn't have the faintest idea.

HM: Would you allow me to test your recollection on something else? You said it was within two days of the assassination. Is there any particular reason why you associated it with other events within a few days?

HM: I think I was told that to get the film from the individual, to get it processed, and get it back, it was a couple of days. I'm not sure.

DH: Do you recall whether this work that you did was before the funeral or after the funeral of the president?

HM: I'm pretty sure it was before.

DH: Before we get into some details of what you did, how would you best summarize the tasking that your agency received from Mr. Smith? Could you revisit that topic again?

HM: Okay. I don't know how it came through channels to us. I wasn't told that. What I'm reflecting is what I think happened. I know it wasn't under any of the clearances I held, and I know it was being done for analysis and briefing, but I'm not sure who that was for.

DH: Okay. And what is it that he wanted you to do again, one more time?

HM: Okay, what he wanted us to do, after we came to a decision, after we had timed it, was to take a frame by frame presentation of that sequence, and make a…best recollection five by seven interlays and I printed up eight by ten…Ben Hunter and myself, exposed them and processed them. Then we had a period of time we had to wait for the drying of the material, and then we went back and viewed all of the negatives, and we had them marked and identified as to the sequence, and we made three each color contact prints, and again then we went back and processed those and had to wait for the drying. Ah…

DH: So the color prints were the same size then as the inter negative?

HM: I'm pretty sure we contacted the 8 x 10 negatives that were exposed…. And then they were cut apart and identified on the back, and I did not do that, the identification, I don't think I did that, I might have.

JG: It wasn't clear to me about the negatives and the internegatives. You refer to there being five by seven and eight by ten…. I don't know whether they were separate things or were you were referring….

HM: It's called a working…..You take an 8 by 10 negative and print a five by seven on a five by eight, you print a ……then turn it…set up the liquid gate, and make the other one, and then put it in the box. So you finish say the first two and move the frame to the third frame. This was precision equipment to make a one stage enlargement, and my best guess is 40 x, is what we made the little image to.

DH: By that you mean 40 times the original size?

HM: 40 times the half frame super double eight…or whatever it was, we had three different, we had a ten twenty forty….

DH: Is that the enlarging machine?

HM: Yes, that's the enlarging machine. You set it up with – this is a coherent light source enlarger…We set it up with a specific optical lens, and a specific condenser, and a color pack CC filters, so we could expose all three layers of the Kodacrome on these negatives.

DH: You mentioned wet gate a moment ago?

HM: Yea, it's a liquid gate, a liquid gate, it was two parts of a…..okay, we made our own liquid. And what the purpose of the liquid was, - it has a refraction index to eliminate the surfaces of the film which degrade the image, the front and back surface. It was called 10-20-40 fluid, and to my knowledge it was two parts of……(pause)……I don't have….I can't remember the…..

DH: It's alright. Was this applied by hand or full immersion wet gate?

HM: You had ….injection….you had front lens come down…it was precision equipment, with the excessive fluid went out, so it was full gate, almost like a microscope. And if you have air bubbles in it, you have to go back and start again and reinject it and bring it back down.

DH: Alright. May I ask another question before we move along? You mentioned Double 8 film a few times. Do you recall the condition of this movie when you saw it, had it been slit or unslit?

HM: I think it was unslit and I might have said that, and we might have slit it before we used it, but I thought they were told that they didn't want to slit the film, and I don't, I don't think we slit it, I think we used it unslit in a 16 mm projector…

DH: That was going to be my next question, how did you project it?

HM: I think it was unslit. This was the original film. I think they ran dupes of it, but we actually ran the acquisition material of the original film.

DH: Is this something you observed yourself or something that you were told by Mr. Smith? How do you come to the conclusion today that you had the original film?

HM: I think it was a combination of everything you said, along with, ah, the quality of the film. Normally when you dupe it, you loose a lot of resolution and when we made them you could actually….Kodacrome is an additive process. It's black and white film with filers that give you color separation negatives, you use ….dies….flash them and redevelop them selectively onto the original film, and it has a yellow coupler, a magenta coupler, and cyan coupler that give you the three subtractive primary colors that give you the illusion of image and color and there was very little die that changes,…. it was excellent imagery, and I don't know if that still exists or not, but I'm pretty sure that's what I used.

DH: Okay. One more follow up on the first part of the interview, and then we'll move along. How certain are you that Mr. Smith said he went down to pick up the film from the person who took it and then took it to Rochester? Are you...

HM: I know he took it to Rochester, and I'm not certain other than I think he said he got it from the original person himself, but I am not positive. I am positive that he said that he took it to Rochester, and got it processed, and then brought it to us to dupe it. Rochester wasn't set up to do that stuff.

DH: In the sense that you had the big enlarger and they did not?

HM: We had a complete world beyond facility (ha, ha), a multi-billion dollar photo lab, that the Kennedy brothers got built for us in what, three months I think. They moved out of the Stewart right in.

DH: Did the NPIC relocate after the Cuban Missile Crisis? Was it after the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 that you moved?

HM: When was Kennedy's inauguration take place?

DH: January 1961

HM: It was shortly after that.

DH: Do you remember the approximate number of internegatives that you made?

HM: It was before the Cuban Missile Crisis, because I….but I'm not going to talk about that. Now what was that question again?

DH: Do you remember the approximate number of frames on the film that you made internegatives?

HM: The best recollection is 40 (pause), and it might have been 20, between 20 and 40.

DH: And which person in the room decided which, who decided which frames would…?

HM: We all did….

DH: It was a joint thing? ….

HM: Yea, but in hindsight, Smith said afterward that he wished he had done the whole damn role.

DH: When did he say that?

HM: After we were finished (ha ha).

DH: After you viewed it as a motion picture, how did you, did you lay it out on a light table and use a loop, what did you do for further study? I'm trying to ask you to recall the process?

HM: Okay. After it was viewed, and I'm not sure we used a dupe or we used or… acquisition. We might have used a dupe role to project it. I know he had dupes made of it, and yes, we could use loops and we could visually look at that, but when you put it in the type of equipment we had, you can actually physically see it on the vacuum board where the film goes.

DH: That would be superior to the loops viewing?

HM: Yes, and we also used a Tin-x magnifier to grain focus the image, each image, before we exposed it on the inter-negative, so we actually were getting the acquisition, the grain on the acquisition material into sharp focus, because you couldn't see the image so ten times forty is four hundred…

DH: So you were focusing on the actual grain?

HM: Well, it's not actually grain; Kodacrome, the grain is in the negative, and you develop three black and white negatives and then you selectively expose them with the red, green and blue light and develop the complementary, added the primary colors, which are the primary colors, magenta, yellow and cyan couplers, so when these are all developed on the tri pack of film you have, you have a positive die image. The negative had the grain; the positive had a reciprocal die image, which would have been a much finer grain of silver. Okay the chemical reaction is to replace the fine grain silver positive image with die, and then you bleach out the sliver and are left with just the die, so it's not technically grainy, it's perception of what used to be grainy.

DH: Okay. Thank you for that technical explanation. Is this process which you have described, is it proprietary to Kodak?

HM: Yes. They had a proprietary….Well no, at the time they passed a law where they had to relinquish the processing of Kodacrome, and one branch of Kodak went out and opened another company, so it was not proprietary.

DH: Did it, at any time during this work was the motion picture copied as a motion picture?

HM: No. Not in our operation.

DH: So you only made inter negatives and color prints, is that correct?

HM: Yes.

DH: And the size of the prints again?

HM: I'm pretty sure they were five by seven, if they were the ones I made.

DH: After the prints were made, I assume they had to dry. What happened next? Who were they given to?

HM: Ah, now the mounting on the briefing boards and the photo interpretation, so to speak, I was not involved in. And I think I went home (ha, ha). But Smith probably went to another area, it's not even a vaulted area, it's a finishing room upstairs.....


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postJan 31 2010, 08:57 PM

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QUOTE (William Kelly @ Jan 31 2010, 08:57 PM) *

DH: What. Do you recall what year it was that you returned to the CIA and worked for about ten years, what year it was, more or less?

HM: No, I don't have an accurate recollection.



HM: I think it was unslit and I might have said that, and we might have slit it before we used it,

but I thought they were told that they didn't want to slit the film, and I don't, I don't think we slit it

I think one thing is certain, we either slit the film, or else we didn't slit the film. It was DEFINITELY one or the other.


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postFeb 1 2010, 12:09 AM

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QUOTE (J. Raymond Carroll @ Jan 31 2010, 09:57 PM) *

QUOTE (William Kelly @ Jan 31 2010, 08:57 PM) *

DH: What. Do you recall what year it was that you returned to the CIA and worked for about ten years, what year it was, more or less?

HM: No, I don't have an accurate recollection.



HM: I think it was unslit and I might have said that, and we might have slit it before we used it,

but I thought they were told that they didn't want to slit the film, and I don't, I don't think we slit it

I think one thing is certain, we either slit the film, or else we didn't slit the film. It was DEFINITELY one or the other.


Absolutly. One way or the other.

And you are only dealing with one visit of the Z-film to NPIC, as Dino Brugioni also says he worked on the Z-film that weekend in a completely different session that also made enlargements of the z-film frames for briefing boards that were used to brief CIA director John McCone, who after the briefing, informed RFK that there was evidence of a second shooter, and thus a conspiracy.

Why was the "original" Z-film taken to the NPIC twice, for the same project - making enlargements of the individual frame for briefing boards?

Neither Homer McMahon nor Dino Brugioni, both CIA employees of the NPIC are making any allegations about the film being altered at all, but merely describing the film that they had in their possession that weekend.


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postFeb 1 2010, 12:40 AM

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McMahon interview Part II.

DH: Did you and Mr. Hunter stop work at about the same time?

HM: He might have stayed on and helped. There was another chap who was probably involved in that work. And it was probably was done by the other chap, and I'm sure Bill Smith. And I think you mentioned that Ben Hunter said he didn't recall Bill Smith as the name of the agent that brought the film in?

DH: He did not independently recall that name.

HM: I remember Snuffy Smith, he was a Senator from Texas, and I think I asked the guy, because I had met him overseas, and I asked him if he was any relation? (ha ha)…. I knew he had been in Texas, where he got the film. And I asked him and he said no.

DH: That's interesting. You just mentioned another chap who may have been involved with the briefing boards and analysis…, do you recall their name?

HM: I can't recall the name. I don't recall, and even if I did I wouldn't tell you…because he was young…

DH: Let me ask you a question about names. Do you recall a person named Sands? S-A-N-D-S?

HM: No. No recollection of that name.

DH: If I would call this person Captain Sands, would that help anyway?

HM: Okay. Well, we had an intermediate, a naval officer. They would have had to have someone bring him in because they wouldn't have had clearance. To get behind the barrier was pretty hard to do without presidential or above Top Secret clearance (ha ha). I had a CIA badge and that would get me past the guards, and to get behind the barrier I had another special badge and that had to be picked up and turned in when I went in and then we were in a vaulted area that had crypto code you had to run to get in the door. So it was virtually not penetrateable. And after you got in the door you had to have a procedure to disarm the vaulted area or security would be on you…

DH: Extensive security….Do you remember a Captain Sands was on the staff at NPIC?

HM: Even if I knew I couldn't tell you. It was a geo-military operation.

DH: Ben Hunter recalled that a Captain Sands who brought in the film. Subsequently he said there might have been a Secret Service Agent, but he remembered a Captain Sands.

HM: Most of the geo-military who were there were undercover, and I can't mention them.

DH: Okay. Did you create or do you recall anyone taking any notes during your work?

HM: I think Hunter and I did the only records of the work, and I think there was on either a yellow….yellow…..(ha ha)

DH: You just put your hand on a yellow legal pad.

HM: Yes…it was a legal type pad. Unless it was recorded on;

, we made our marks on some of the…to keep, but I did not put any classification or anything of that nature, I didn't put any classification or control, on any of the documents. Normally that is required before it could leave the vault, it has to be controlled with a Top Secret Cover sheet, but I did not do that. Now after the briefing board is made from the material, and that classification precedes, that would have also had classifications. We made briefing boards, Teleprompters and graphs for dissemination to the intelligence community.

DH: For other types of work, but for this job you may have made notes on a yellow legal pad?

HM: Now I'm sure this did not go to the intelligence community, it was not part of the CIA. It was not….This was a Need To Know basis and it was used by whoever brought it in, (ha ha) either for the Warren Commission or to brief somebody else. It wasn't for history, ….I think it was… I don't know what it was for…

DH: Before we move along and before I show you the notes that the Archives have, let me revisit with you, what exactly Mr. Smith said about secrecy or non-disclosure regarding this event? Could you tell me that story again?

HM: I know that my immediate supervisor was not allowed in the vault, that it was so sensitive, and he had all the tickets, and he was not allowed in the room. It was strictly on a need to know, do the job and get it out, and no one needs to know about it, there was no records….

JG: When you say he had all the tickets, you mean he had had clearances?

HM: He had all the clearances I had, but was not allowed, it was not the CIA or, I had all the clearances – the Atomic Energy, the National Security Agency, and it was not under any of these.

JG: Was there any other compartment, or a name?

HM: There was no code name on it that I know of and if there was I couldn't tell you. (ha, ha)

DH: Did Mr. Smith tell you it was classified at a certain level?

HM: Yes, he said it was defiantly on a Need to Know Basis….and he didn't give me anything other than I was sworn to secrecy. I don't know if I signed a document, I don't recall, but I know it couldn't be divulged.

DH: Did it have a level of classification, like Confidential or Secret?

HM: No, it did not have…He said it was Above Top Secret, and that meant it had to have a code name. Now I don't know what turned up on the briefing boards, I never saw them.

DH: Before we examine the notes that the Archives has, Jeremy did you want to ask a follow up question?

Jeremy Gunn: Yes, I'd like to go back to something you said earlier in the interview where you said, "When I recall…he took three hits, possibly four," and it wasn't clear to me if he was, were you were talking about Kennedy or Connally. Did you reach a conclusion as to the number of hits on President Kennedy?

HM: My guess, I thought six or eight, but the consensus was two or three. They said it hit Kennedy and hit Connally, ricochet…

DH: Did they say that that night?

HM: We were just trying to get were all the shots of action….and I knew that later they found some sound audio tapes and could get voice prints on sound and could tell how many separate weapons and directions it showed up on one of the police tapes that was recorded, one of the motorcycles had it on…..I don't know.

JG: How is you and the others, how did you come to conclude the number of hits? Was it from the film while it was rolling, or was that a frame by frame analysis?

HM: Well the person who brought the film in, he had already saw it, he had pre-knowledge before we had it, so maybe we were swayed to go along with his first impression. I don't know.

JG: Did he say anything? Could you sort of recount what happened, was it Bill Smith, what Bill Smith said what he already knew about the film and what it showed.?

HM: He viewed it after it was processed at Eastman Kodak –


DH: We're back on record. Turned the tape over.

HM: I was just selected to do the job that I covered, and I don't think I should talk about what happened before, because it is hearsay knowledge that I have no real knowledge of it.

JG: …Just so it's clear…..That's what we're asking about. It's important for us to get as much information as we can about the processing and analysis of the film of the assassination, and the other work we're not asking about, but this is something we want to get as much information as we can. If Bill Smith told you something about the film, it's important to us, so if you could you just tell us what he said happened?

HM: Okay, to the best of my recollection he said, that he was contacted by his organization about a film, a person called up and they said they had it, and they felt they didn't want to give to anyone, sell it, or make a profit on it, and they wanted it to go to the Secret Service, and let them have that, and he gave the original film - the person who did the photography, to the Secret Service, and I don't think anyone else knew about it until much later.

JG: Let me try a question….You are acquainted with the Zapruder film, the film called the Zapruder film? Is this the Zapruder film or a different film?

HM: I haven't seen it for 35 years. Ah, I never heard Dalcruder at the time. I heard that much, much later.

DH: Do you mean Dalcruder? Did you say Dalcruder?

HM: He did. The man who took the most famous film was Abraham Zapruder.

HM: Abraham Zapruder. I never heard that, or if I did I don't remember it.

JG: Right now, you're not certain if the film you worked with was the Zapruder film or another film?

HM: I was told it was the only coverage they had. That was it. No one else photographed it. They said it was the only film, and I don't know if it was or if it was the historic film.

JG: What did Mr. Smith say had happened to the film prior to the time when you got it, regarding processing?

HM: Okay. Because of expedite, and the expedite part is they wanted to find out what happened, and they had film that was generously turned in by a very patriotic person, who told it was given to them because it might help in the investigation. This is what he was told, what I was told, and that it was of the utmost urgency, so he hand-carried it and flew to Rochester, and got it processed at the processing division there. And they were made aware that he was coming, and did it immediately for him, and I also think they made duplications of that, which I was told, and then he came back. Because they told him they couldn't do what he wanted to get done, and that NPIC could do it, it fell on our laps and we did it.

JG: When you say they couldn't do what they wanted done, was that enlargements or was there some other?

HM: They didn't have a laboratory that could do the quality of work that he wanted. He wanted maximum sharpness, the most see-ability, and that's what we could do and we were way beyond the state of the art and the quality that was turned out.

JG: Before the film of the assassination, was it your understanding that anything more that could be done besides….?

HM: The prints were duplications of the original film.

DH: Was anything else done to the film?

HM: No, not to my knowledge.

DH: Was it your understanding that Mr. Smith had come directly to Washington from Rochester?

HM: Yes, yes, he got off the airplane at the National Airport and came directly to us, to our building.

JG: Just so we are clear on something. It was our understanding that the film had been processed by Kodak. When you said it was done in Rochester, was that an inference that you drew when they said it had been processed by Kodak or did they specifically mention Rochester?

HM: Now you're getting into classified grounds, that I can't answer that question. I know but I can't talk about it. There was another top secret lab that the government used.

JG: If you are uncomfortable talking about it, we can stop that here and that would be fine, but this is something that is important for us to do, and we can go back to the agency and talk to them.

HM: You can do that back through the agency, and I know that hasn't been done, (ha ha) or it is in the public domain….

DH: I think there is a way to rephrase the question without you perceiving a classified intent – Did Mr. Smith say this was done at Kodak or did he say this was developed at Rochester?

HM: Okay, again, I know where it was done, and I know who did it, and I'm not going to answer.

DH: Okay, is there any chance that where it was done could that be in a Kodak lab in Dallas?

HM: To my knowledge no. (Pause) When you are in bed with the other (?) guy, we had their top scientists and photo chemists and optical people working in the world beyond. We had their people - I shouldn't even be talking about it, sorry, and there was a definite link on the national level, where we had the best there was working with us….

JG: Would it be fair to say that there was another facility where it is your understanding that is where it was processed….in terms of the name of it

HM: Yes.

JG: …..where it was your understanding it was processed….In terms of the name of it, we don't need that..

HM: Yes…but I don't know if there was…..You couldn't say National Photo Interpretation Center…..You could say NPIC, and that was secret. My cover was that I worked for the CIA. I did not work for NPIC. The military that worked there worked for the military, whether it was Navy, Army, Air Force, whatever. They did not work for the CIA.

DH: I'd like to ask a follow on question on the opinions in the room on the discussion of the hits on the governor and the president. Did Mr. Smith tell you the directions the shots came from, or did you people try to determine that on your own from your study?

HM: I may not answer that question, let me take a detour. I'm an army brat. My dad was in the first and second world war. He was an officer. When I was four years old, I was taught to shoot tricks. I was one of the greatest trick shot artists. When I was sixteen I used to fire at Perry, at Camp Perry, Ohio, I was in the NRA national championships. I'm talking about target shooting, not tricks. I was what they called a sight shooter. I could hit without aiming. In other words I was a trick shot artist. My dad would hold a dime between his fingers and at fifty foot I could shoot it out (ha ha) with a little trick gun. I'd pump three balls, golf balls and could pump and hit the three of them before they hit the ground. I used to have a rifle range in my basement and I would shoot every day and I became….it was like driving a car and after you've done it for so long you're reflexes do it automatically. I could shoot without looking. I didn't close one eye and look through a sight. I could actually shoot and hit what I wanted to hit. And I think I could really see the bullets hitting the object, and their trajectory, I could see the path of the bullet, and I could compensate for that if I missed. It was a feedback mechanism. And I was very good at what I did. In fact I'd make money in the money matches with the larger rifles, and I could make four or five hundred dollars in prize money firing, so I was a professional shooter, and yes, I could look at the pictures and tell you how many shots and possibly where they came from up, down, right, left, and this is intuition, and I couldn't explain how I know that.

DH: What was it, how many shots were there in the assassination? What is your opinion?

HM: About eight shots.

DH: Where did they come from?

HM: From three different directions, at least.

DH: Could you remember what the directions were?

HM: No, but if you have the film, you can plot vectors. Because you can go out, I'm a photogramist as well. There's a way to do it, believe me.

DH: Were you asked to do that?

HM: No.

DH: Did you say that you were looking at the film with the others….

HM: I wasn't a photogramacist at the time….I later worked as aerial photographer and I did aerial photography for what do you call it, for mapping, first, second and third order surveying. I did that for ten or twelve years….and….Now I was a shooter, and that is the only reason I can tell you what I saw and thought I saw, and it wasn't superior vision, it was just intuition. And no I did not agree with their analysis at the time I was doing the work, and I didn't have to because I wasn't a photo analysist, (ha ha) I was not paid to do that.

DH: What did Mr. Smith think?

HM: He thought there were three shots.

JG: From what direction.

HM: He held to the standard concept, that Oswald fired out of the second story…you have psychological profiles of Oswald…you have tons of it, you ought to be able to figure out…(ha ha)

JG: Was there a selection made of the photos – frames to be enlarged?

HM: I didn't make any selection. It was all sequential, from that group, everything was sequential, nothing was left out.

JG: Would that be from the first time you could identify there was a shot?

HM: Up to what they thought were the shots.

JG: Approximately how many frames were there between….

DH: …..Well the limo occupants disappear behind the sign at about frame 190 and the fatal head shot according to the Warren Commission was 313, so that's quite a few frames.

JG: So the question I have is how many frames were actually made?

HM: Well, maybe what they thought were three shots, so maybe we we did before and after, I'm not clear on that. I thought they were sequential, one frame after the other, when I did it, and again, I'm only talking about forty shots that I was involved in making…

DH: 40 frames?

HM: 40 frames….so maybe it might have been they did it before each hit they thought was detectable, but I thought there were others…

DH: Did you express your opinion?

HM: Yes, I expressed my opinion, (ha ha) but you know, it was preconceived. That's the way I thought about it. You don't fight city hall and I wasn't there to fight them. I was there to do the work.

JG: When you say preconceived, you mean the Secret Service man had preconceived notion?

HM: Yes, and I didn't care. I had no vested interest in what was happening.

JG: Secret Service agent

HM: I didn't care…..

JG: Motion picture?

HM: It was a projector. And we had the still frames that we could put in and stop it and run it backwards. It was a unique one, not a cheap one.

JG: Was it 16 mm projector?

HM: I seem to recall it as being a 16 mm, but that again, we had every kind of projector. It was in a briefing room, we went up to one of our briefing rooms and they have all that equipment up there.

JG: When you say Double 8 film I assume you refer to a film that had one series of images on one side and one series on the other?

HM: Yes.

JG: If it was 16 mm you would see one going up and the other upside down, do have a recollection of that happening.

HM: I think that happened from the original film when I put it on the optical precision enlarger, because, but we, you could center the film in the liquid gate, the frame, right in the center of it, and you don't see it.

JG: I assume that when you made the negative you would focus on the single frames of the assassination; do you have any recollection now if there was anything in the other part, that wasn't the assassination part?

HM: …..I can't really answer that. Most of my reflections are what I have recalled and remembered after the fact. In other words, I did it once, and then I recalled it, and remembered it.......

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postFeb 1 2010, 01:36 AM

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HM: We were just trying to get were all the shots of action….and I knew that later they found some sound audio tapes and could get voice prints on sound and could tell how many separate weapons and directions it showed up on one of the police tapes that was recorded, one of the motorcycles had it on…..I don’t know.

Wow! THis guy's really up to date. He remembers something about the HSCA.



I don’t think I should talk about what happened before, because it is hearsay knowledge that I have no real knowledge of it.

HM: Okay, again, I know where it was done, and I know who did it, and I’m not going to answer.

HM: Yes…but I don’t know if there was…..

TRANSLATION: I DON"T know where it was, and I DO know where it was, but I wouldn't tell you either way. Anyway, IT'S ALL HEARSAY.



HM: yes, I could look at the pictures and tell you how many shots and possibly where they came from up, down, right, left, and this is intuition, and I couldn’t explain how I know that.

HM: About eight shots.

Thanks Homer. ANOTHER mystery solved.



HM: I seem to recall it as being a 16 mm, but that again, we had every kind of projector.

HM: …..I can’t really answer that. Most of my reflections are what I have recalled and remembered after the fact. In other words, I did it once, and then I recalled it, and remembered it.......

Ah Memories.

But I am CERTAIN in my MEMORY about one thing: Whether it was 8 millimeter or 16 miilimeter or some other millimeter entirely, it was definitely A PROJECTOR.

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postFeb 1 2010, 03:36 AM

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QUOTE (J. Raymond Carroll @ Feb 1 2010, 02:36 AM) *


HM: We were just trying to get were all the shots of action….and I knew that later they found some sound audio tapes and could get voice prints on sound and could tell how many separate weapons and directions it showed up on one of the police tapes that was recorded, one of the motorcycles had it on…..I don't know.

Wow! THis guy's really up to date. He remembers something about the HSCA.



I don't think I should talk about what happened before, because it is hearsay knowledge that I have no real knowledge of it.

HM: Okay, again, I know where it was done, and I know who did it, and I'm not going to answer.

HM: Yes…but I don't know if there was…..

TRANSLATION: I DON"T know where it was, and I DO know where it was, but I wouldn't tell you either way. Anyway, IT'S ALL HEARSAY.



HM: yes, I could look at the pictures and tell you how many shots and possibly where they came from up, down, right, left, and this is intuition, and I couldn't explain how I know that.

HM: About eight shots.

Thanks Homer. ANOTHER mystery solved.



HM: I seem to recall it as being a 16 mm, but that again, we had every kind of projector.

HM: …..I can't really answer that. Most of my reflections are what I have recalled and remembered after the fact. In other words, I did it once, and then I recalled it, and remembered it.......

Ah Memories.

But I am CERTAIN in my MEMORY about one thing: Whether it was 8 millimeter or 16 miilimeter or some other millimeter entirely, it was definitely A PROJECTOR.


I agree with you 100 % And you haven't even gotten the best of it, yet.

It is my humble opinion, that Homer McMahon was a very reluctant witness, who would never have even been known to ARRB if it wasn't for their only public hearing on the Z-film that was shown on CSPAN and caught the attention of Ben Hunter's wife. And after McMahon gave up the farm, he realized it and did everything he could to discredit himself.

Part III coming to you soon.


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postFeb 1 2010, 02:17 PM

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QUOTE (William Kelly @ Feb 1 2010, 04:36 AM) *

And after McMahon gave up the farm, he realized it and did everything he could to discredit himself.

Well he certainly succeeded in discrediting himself, Bill. His testimony here is one big JOKE.

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postFeb 1 2010, 03:20 PM

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QUOTE (J. Raymond Carroll @ Feb 1 2010, 03:17 PM) *

QUOTE (William Kelly @ Feb 1 2010, 04:36 AM) *

And after McMahon gave up the farm, he realized it and did everything he could to discredit himself.

Well he certainly succeeded in discrediting himself, Bill. His testimony here is one big JOKE.


Every witness can be discredited, but I think he discredited himself intentionally, not knowing what the beans were that he spilled.

How do you squeeze the good information from a JOKE?

McMahon's sidekick, Ben Hunter also provides information that you haven't seen yet, right?

Of course, they really did work for the CIA at NPIC, and it has been independently verified from Sydney Greybeal that 70-90% of the strategic intelligence of that time came out of NPIC, where they also figured in the information obtained from other secret sources - including Penkovsky, so he got that part right.

So, as a reluctant and discredited witness, everything he says must be independently verified, and can be.

It just so happens that he is one of the sources of the handwritten notes on the yellow legal pad, verififed through handwriting, and he did in fact make the enlarged color prints for the second set of briefing boards.

Now, did he use the original Z-film as he says, and did it in fact come from Rochester, the one thing he was positively sure about?

Those who think McMahon discredited or a JOKE don't have to go there.


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postFeb 1 2010, 03:34 PM

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ARRB Interview with Homer McMahon. Part III

HM: ......I don't know how the mind works, but I do know I am not.... I am a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. Do you know what a ....wet frame is? Well, you're looking at one. I damn near died. And I'm not a competent witness because I don't have accurate recall. I don't have absolute recall.

JG: With regards to the other events that you talked about, how do you think the accuracy is?

HM: I just told you, I don't have a full deck. I don't know how I am presenting anything here. This is not…at the time I did it I was not impaired, but I later became impaired. So whether you are talking to a reliable witness or not, that's up for you to decide.

DH: Shall we move on to the notes? I'm going to go off the record to get notes that the Archives.

DH: Back on record. Notes: From Record Group 233 – 90A Doc. ID# 1993.07.22.08:41:07-6200 ? Titled Analysis of the Zapruder Fil Date 5-22-1975

I'm now going to hand these notes to Mr. McMahon and to let him read them and to see if he's seen them before. Look at them and take your time.

01:16:00 - 01:17:09

HM: Some of the writing is mine. I don't know whose this is.

DH: And the page you are not sure about is….

HM: This is my writing.

DH: What Mahon has identified as his writing is on the backside of the half page: which reads: "….process….a total of seven hours." That's in pencil. Below that is some long divisions, and …..That's your writing?

HM: Yes.

DH: What is this the long divisions and additions? Do you recall what they are?

HM: It's my writing; I think it is either mine or Ben's. Do you have Ben's handwriting?

DH: I can show you I have one section of the notes that he recalled was his handwriting, what he said…

HM: This looks like Ben's writing….

DH: Other side, which is a description of briefing board panels…. Panel one, two, three, four…print number frame number….Ben identified…These are the only two that he thought was his handwriting. Under Panel One.

HM: This is….this looks like Ben's writing, and this looks like mine.

DH: This is at the bottom of the page where it talks about time between shots.

HM: I'm not sure about this. This looks like mine and this looks like….

DH: Just for the records, the descriptions of the time it took to make internegatives and prints is in Mr. McMahon's writing.

HM: This is not my writing.

DH: Okay, Mr. McMahon is now looking at,….what he says that where it says fifteen frames per second, he says that is not his writing.

HM: This is not my writing. That might be Ben's.

DH: …..Page on the right hand corner reads: "Questions…..first and second shot?"

HM: Okay, we didn't have……we were told what they thought they were, and this is what we concluded they were, and this is what we set the photography to….that's the best I can do….

JG: Do you remember when you prepared the notes that you just looked at?

HM: Yea, we were in the briefing room, in Building 213 in the Navy Yard, and it was, we were viewing it there because of the equipment.

JG: These were made on the day that you processed…?

HM: Yes, these are fairly accurate times…. 16 frames per second, I don't know if I agree on the 18 seconds….This might be a further analysis…..

JG: Do you know if the other person made the notes at the same time…

HM: They conformed, my best recollection, to what we wrote…..I don't know why I remember that.

DH: You mean the yellow legal size paper?

HM: Yea.

DH: Okay, we would like to show you four briefing board panels that survived to see if you recognize the prints.

Off The Record While we figure out how to move the briefing board in.

Back on Record:


DH: The date on this Riff Document is 90 – A RIF# 1993.07.21 154804.930600

Briefing Panels containing Zapruder Photos. Dated 11, 23, 1963. I am handing Mr. McMahon Panel one of four for his examination.

HM: They've been trimmed out but that's what we shot.

DH: You say it's been trimmed?

HM: Yes.

DH: But you recognize it as prints you have made?

HM: Yes. To the best of my knowledge.

DH: We will ask you the same about each panel. This is labeled Panel 2.

HM: Yes.

DH: You also recognize these as photos you made. If at any time you see something that is not prints you made, please say so. This is Panel 3.

HM: There's some missing.

DH: This is the final panel, Panel 4.

HM: Yes. I did all those.

DH: Now that you've seen all four panels do you feel this is all you made?

HM: No, there were more.

DH: The notes say, 28, you said earlier there were between 20 and 40.

HM: You mention they went behind the sign and came out again. I don't think we had all that sequence there….And then there was the FBI….not the FBI, the body guard, jumping on the back…..and one where his head fell on her lap

DH: When you say his head you mean the president?

HM: Then again that might have been not used.

DH: Panel 4, has Secret Service Agent Clint Hill on the rear of the limousine, the only frame that shows him.

HM: I think there might have been two agents no the back, but that was after the barn door…was closed at that point…..

DH: Let's look at Panel 1…….road sign. Does this sequence seem like it represents….?

HM: Yes, but I thought there was some before the road sign….maybe they determined…..

DH: This first frame on Panel 1 – although it is not labeled on the panel, this is Labeled 188. Do you remember if there were any panels prior to 188?

HM: Yes… where there was some action of some sort…

DH: I'd like to clarify for the records, …...Did you see the actual briefing boards that night?

HM: No. I made the pictures, and I made three each, copies of each…..

DH: Did you give them to Mr. Smith when you were finished?

HM: I remember Ben Hunter, and if it was…Smith, or whoever he was, and Ben Hunter, took them upstairs to make the panels, and I didn't stay. I didn't stay to see the finished product. They had to….. and I think they had to put classifications on them, but I'm not positive they did.

DH: In relation to the discussions that were held that night between you, Mr. Smith and Mr. Hunter, do you have any opinions what these triangles are, on the first row, a blue triangle…on Panel 2?

HM: I haven't the faintest idea.

DH: Okay…. Do you recall what happened to the inter-negatives?

HM: Yes, all of the information, including the scraps, were given to Bill Smith. Everything we had, scraps, test sheets, everything, no parts were saved, we didn't even put it in the classified trash, we gave the trash back.

DH: Okay. Is there anything about this event that we have not covered, that we should cover? Anything that comes to mind. That maybe there's something important that we should cover that we haven't asked you about?

HM: Yes. You know what opinions are? Opinions, everybody has an opinion, and yes, I am very opinionated, and I have a lot of opinions, we all have opinions. I know this is for history, and I don't want to interject anything into this that shouldn't be. I'm trying to be as open and honest, and telling what I remember, and I don't have good remembrance. I'm almost 70 years old, I'm almost 80 years old, I'm almost 90 years old, I don't know, but that's the best of my knowledge.

DH: Michelle is there anything you wanted to ask?

Michelle: I have one very quick question. Who called you in? Were you in the building when you were contacted?

HM: Okay, I think that I was, okay when I'm contacted from home, it's by a security officer, a duty officer, because they probably had to open the lab, turn on the electricity, lights, and I know it was an all night affair and there must be some security records, if they kept those records. …..These had deteriated rather badly. There's die, tremendous die loss….you could see the pictures, the faces…much clearer when I originally made them, so there's been a tremendous loss of image and quality. You've lost about 60% of the ….magenta resin corps coupler, and ….percent of the corps, and …, so there's a lot of information that's not there. That was a problem with the old resin corps couplers, they were not stable, buffing solutions couldn't stabilize the dies for 35 years.

DH: Thank you very much for sharing your recollections and opinions, and …..misunderstood by people, including myself. You've been very helpful. Thank you very much.

DH: We're back on the record and I just found another photo, bigger than the others,…

Dated 11/23/6, an 8 by 10 color print of Z-film in between the sign and the head shot, and on back. Color crown marking 80 x. and I'd like Mr. McMahon to explain this.

HM: This…2x enlargement.done on a Deveir (?), not a precision enlarger, it shows, …it was made to show what the enlargement would look like. The contact print was of a better quality. We had to …do it on a cheaper Italian….enlarger,… could have gotten equal quality in resolution and sharpness, but we couldn't for some reason use that equipment and we had to use a lesser, big enough, go with the sharper resolution. Too much loss.

DH: Too much loss...

HM: …..from the original 40x interneg, so we elected not to go that way.

DH: So this was a test prior to the prints for the briefing board?

HM: ….were better quality…..

DH: I see, but you didn't?

HM: For some reason it was down.

DH: Is that your writing?

HM: Yes.

DH: It looks like a nine…do you recognize that number...?


Over at 1:41:19


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J. Raymond Carro...

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postFeb 1 2010, 04:21 PM

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HM And I'm not a competent witness because I don't have accurate recall.

I just told you, I don't have a full deck.

at the time I did it I was not impaired, but I later became impaired. So whether you are talking to a reliable witness or not, that's up for you to decide.

Thanks for the Heads-up, Homer.



I don't know why I remember that.

HM: I think there might have been two agents on the back, but that was after the barn door…was closed at that point…..

HM: I didn't stay to see the finished product.

HM: I haven't the faintest idea.

Great, Homer. That is very helpful.



HM: Yes. You know what opinions are? Opinions, everybody has an opinion, and yes, I am very opinionated, and I have a lot of opinions, we all have opinions. I know this is for history, and I don't want to interject anything into this that shouldn't be. I'm trying to be as open and honest, and telling what I remember

Good man Homer, you tell 'em.



and I don't have good remembrance. I'm almost 70 years old, I'm almost 80 years old, I'm almost 90 years old, I don't know, but that's the best of my knowledge.

Well let's just say you're getting up in years, anyway.



Doug Horne: Thank you very much for sharing your recollections and opinions, and …..misunderstood by people, including myself. You've been very helpful. Thank you very much. [/size][/font]

Yes, Thank you Homer, and thank you Bill Kelly, and thank you Doug Horne.

This thread is a barrel of laughs.

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postFeb 1 2010, 04:21 PM

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Homer McMahon: We had a complete world beyond facility (ha, ha), a multi-billion dollar photo lab, that the Kennedy brothers got built for us in what, three months I think. They moved out of the Steuart right in.

DH: Did the NPIC relocate after the Cuban Missile Crisis? Was it after the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 that you moved?

HM: When was Kennedy's inauguration take place?

DH: January 1961

HM: It was shortly after that.

BK Notes: He got that wrong. It was January 1963 that the new NPIC opened at the Navy Yard according to:

From: The Wizards of Langley: Inside the CIA's Directorate...

http://books.google.com/books?id=bM9r_83Ito8C&pg=PA162&lpg=PA162&dq=NPIC+5th+%26+K+St.&source=bl&ots=qFGUG7gapl&sig=xRrkVvh5J6y3Vcvpvk8ALdZbZRM&hl=en&ei=b8VGS_HwJMHBlAeylYwN&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAcQ6AEwAA - v=onepage&q=&f=false://http://books.google.com/books?id=bM...e[/font]://http://books.google.com/books?id=bM...e[/size][/font]

In 1962, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and members of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board visited and were shocked by the conditions at 5th and K and advised the President that NPIC needed a new building. 3

Kennedy promptly told DCI John McCone "to get them out of that structure" and wanted to know how soon a move could be accomplished. McCone recommended that the Naval Gun Factory appeared to be a reasonable choice but that it would require a year to refurbish it. Kennedy's reply was "All right, you do it." 4

On January 1, 1963, NPIC move into its new home – Building 213 in the Washington Navy Yard, often referred to as the "Lundahl Hilton." It was, according to McCone, a "rags-to-riches" situation. The 200,000 square feet of floor space meant that hundreds of more workers could be added. The building had large elevators, air conditioning, and good security. Most of all, it was the national center that Lundahl had envisioned almost ten years earlier. Most people in the building worked for the CIA - the people who typed letters, drove courier trucks, ran the computes and library searches, and produced he graphics. 5

But the photo interpreters came from the CIA, DIA, Army, Navy, Air Force, and other organizations. An Air Force interpreter who studied photos of Soviet silos might ride the elevator with a CIA interpreter who pored over photos of Chinese nuclear facilities and a Navy representative whose safe was filled with the latest photography of Soviet submarines.

Of course, the environment at the Washington Navy Yard, itself located in a rundown area of Washington, was far from luxurious. And working in a building whose windows, for security reasons, were bricked up certainly could be claustrophobic. But at least NPIC personnel were located in a larger facility with some amenities.

Even before the first KH-9 mission, NPIC officials, including director Arthur Lundahl and senior manager Dino Brugioni, realized that…..

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J. Raymond Carro...

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postFeb 1 2010, 04:27 PM

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QUOTE (William Kelly @ Feb 1 2010, 05:21 PM) *

BK Notes: He got that wrong. It was January 1963 that the new NPIC opened at the Navy Yard

Hey Bill, give poor Homer a break. He was only off by a couple of years, and that's nothing for a guy who's almost 70 or almost 80 or almost 90 years old.


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Craig Lamson

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postFeb 1 2010, 04:39 PM

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QUOTE (J. Raymond Carroll @ Feb 1 2010, 04:27 PM) *

QUOTE (William Kelly @ Feb 1 2010, 05:21 PM) *

BK Notes: He got that wrong. It was January 1963 that the new NPIC opened at the Navy Yard

Hey Bill, give poor Homer a break. He was only off by a couple of years, and that's nothing for a guy who's almost 70 or almost 80 or almost 90 years old.


Gotta laugh too. NPIC had EVERYTHING, money was no object...except for a film processor to process the long roll film from the KH-9's. Maybe Kelly and Horne can explain that away.

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postFeb 1 2010, 05:26 PM

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QUOTE (J. Raymond Carroll @ Jan 31 2010, 08:57 PM) *

QUOTE (William Kelly @ Jan 31 2010, 08:57 PM) *

DH: What. Do you recall what year it was that you returned to the CIA and worked for about ten years, what year it was, more or less?

HM: No, I don't have an accurate recollection.



HM: I think it was unslit and I might have said that, and we might have slit it before we used it,

but I thought they were told that they didn't want to slit the film, and I don't, I don't think we slit it

I think one thing is certain, we either slit the film, or else we didn't slit the film. It was DEFINITELY one or the other.



("Is you is or is you ain't my baby")

I read somewhere that it was generally conceded that they didn't give a slit.


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postFeb 2 2010, 01:53 AM

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QUOTE (Craig Lamson @ Feb 1 2010, 05:39 PM) *

QUOTE (J. Raymond Carroll @ Feb 1 2010, 04:27 PM) *

QUOTE (William Kelly @ Feb 1 2010, 05:21 PM) *

BK Notes: He got that wrong. It was January 1963 that the new NPIC opened at the Navy Yard

Hey Bill, give poor Homer a break. He was only off by a couple of years, and that's nothing for a guy who's almost 70 or almost 80 or almost 90 years old.


Gotta laugh too. NPIC had EVERYTHING, money was no object...except for a film processor to process the long roll film from the KH-9's. Maybe Kelly and Horne can explain that away.


It's not my intention to explain anything away.

This is the CIA's guy, not mine.

And I understand however old he is, he's still alive, so he can be called back to a be questioned properly before a Conressional Oversight Hearing, if they ever hold any.


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