• Head Shot: A Physicist Examines the Kennedy Assassination

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    Head
    Shot

    by G. Paul Chambers is aptly titled because the author hones in
    on the fatal head shot and proves, through painstaking application
    of the laws of physics, that the bullet must have come from the
    right-front of Kennedy, specifically the Grassy Knoll. And Chambers
    is aptly qualified to make such an assessment, having a Ph.D. in
    Physics and Engineering and a career as an experimental physicist
    with the US Navy. However, I wish he had done a similar analysis
    of the other shots, which he doesn’t, and that was a letdown. However,
    overall, Head Shot is an excellent treatise by an intellectual heavyweight.
    Warren Commission apologists will be quite rattled by his book,
    and I expect they will ignore it. I doubt any of them will want
    to go mano-o-mano against G. Paul Chambers.

    Even though
    the narrow focus of the book was a little disappointing, I still
    think it has many merits. He gives an excellent analysis of the
    Warren Commission as to their methods and motives. He explains the
    mindset and political group-think that guided and propelled them.
    And it was based on the idea that unless they found Oswald guilty
    as the lone assassin, the Soviets would be implicated, and World
    War 3 would result. Then, 45 million Americans would die in a nuclear
    holocaust. That is exactly what LBJ told Earl Warren. So, in order
    to save the 45 million, they had to incriminate Oswald. And the
    decision to incriminate Oswald was definitely made before they began
    their investigation. From the start, they assigned a team of investigators
    to identify Oswald’s motive for killing Kennedy. They hadn’t even
    determined that he had done it yet!

    Chambers points
    out that everyone appointed to the Warren Commission was a lifelong
    political hack. There were no physicists, no other scientists, no
    weapons or ballistics experts, no forensic medicine experts or other
    technical experts: just lawyers and politicians. And consider: Gerald
    Ford arbitrarily changed the location of the back wound from the
    back to the neck. He did it openly. And he justified doing it on
    the grounds that he wasn’t lying but rather “clarifying.” Amazing!
    He blatantly altered evidence! But, the fact that he could do it
    — and apparently with the utter conviction that he was acting properly
    — proves the extent to which American politics warps the mind and
    corrupts the soul.

    Chambers reviews
    the attempts to duplicate Oswald’s alleged marksmanship. It has
    never been done. Most shooters could not get off 3 shots in 5.6
    seconds — at all — never mind hit any targets. Finally, the WC produced
    a marksman who got the three shots off in 5 seconds, but he missed
    all his targets and some by a wide margin. Also, he was given unlimited
    time to set up the very first shot (a luxury Oswald did not have);
    he was given stationary not moving targets (again, a luxury Oswald
    did not have) and he was allowed to use metal shims to compensate
    for the inaccuracies in the telescopic sight (again, a luxury Oswald
    lacked). It was a grotesque fabrication — the sham of all shams.

    Chambers reviews
    the eyewitness testimony, and you’d be surprised how many people
    identified the Grassy Knoll shooter by sight, sound, and the whir
    of a bullet flying overhead. We’re talking about 50 people. Of course,
    the Warren Commission ignored all of their testimony. Chambers covers
    the allegations that Kennedy’s body was altered, citing Lifton’s
    work and others, and including relevant photos. In his coverage
    of the HSCA hearings, he focused mainly on the acoustical evidence
    which pointed to a grassy knoll shooter. The House Subcommittee
    concluded that there “probably” was a conspiracy, and they recommended
    that the Justice Department pursue it, which of course never happened.
    But as an aside, let’s examine why.

    When the HSCA
    released its findings and recommendations, the year was 1979, and
    Jimmy Carter was President. Consider that he was the first President
    who was not directly involved with the Kennedy assassination. LBJ,
    without a doubt, managed the cover-up, but many researchers believe
    he was directly involved in the assassination itself. I recommend
    Blood,
    Money, and Power: How LBJ Killed JFK
    by Barr McClellan,
    who was a law partner of LBJ’s attorney, Ed Clark. Note that Barr
    McClellan is also the father of Scott McClellan, the former Press
    Secretary of George W. Bush. Amazing, isn't it, that W hired a man
    to speak for him whose father accuses LBJ of murdering Kennedy?
    It goes to show how callous American politics has become. Ah, it
    was a long time ago, so who really cares, right? Also consider reading
    LBJ:
    The Mastermind of JFK’s Assassination
    by Phillip F. Nelson.

    Following LBJ
    was Nixon. I can’t present all the evidence linking Nixon to the
    assassination, but I will point out that it’s widely believed that
    the whole Watergate scandal stemmed from Nixon’s involvement in
    the JFK assassination. At the time of the burglary, Nixon was way
    ahead of McGovern in the polls. So why did he need to break into
    Democratic headquarters? Certainly not to win the election, which
    was firmly in the bag. It was because he was concerned about “that
    Bay of Pigs thing” (code for the assassination) and what the Democrats
    might do out of desperation. Read H.R. Haldeman’s The
    Ends of Power
    . Also, do an online search for Dirty Politics:
    Nixon, Watergate, and the JFK Assassination by Mark Tracy.

    Then came Gerald
    Ford, who, as I said, blatantly falsified crucial evidence in the
    Warren Report in order to support the Single Bullet Theory. And
    then came Jimmy Carter who surely played no role in the assassination,
    before or afterwards. So why didn’t he do something when the HSCA
    recommended action? All I can surmise is that although Carter was
    a Democrat like Kennedy, he was also a member of the Trilateral
    Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, and he was keenly
    aware that the Kennedy assassination was off-limits — to him or
    any President. And, my own view is that the HSCA was really just
    Warren Commission II. They did their work and made their recommendations,
    but it was all for show. They just wanted to quell the unrest and
    throw the rabble-rousers a bone. Nobody in government wanted to
    reveal the truth about Kennedyu2018s murder — not then and not now.
    It’s not a matter of the guilt or innocence of any individuals.
    The whole moral authority of the government is at stake, and that’s
    what they’re trying to protect.

    But returning
    to Head Shot, the chapter addressing Vincent Bugliosi’s 2500-page
    tome Reclaiming
    History
    was my favorite. Chambers' scientific rebuttals
    to Bugliosi’s fallacious arguments are decisive. To my knowledge,
    Bugliosi has not responded to any of these attacks, and I doubt
    that he will. As a lawyer, he knows that sometimes silence is the
    best rejoinder. But, it’s satisfying to know that Bugliosi can hardly
    be comfortable in his own skin, having written the “last word” on
    the assassination, self-described as “a book for the ages” only
    to have it ripped to shreds by Chambers.

    Although Chambers
    accepts the body alteration hypothesis, he rejects, categorically,
    the charge that the Zapruder film was altered. His arguments are
    based on the technological limits that existed at the time and on
    the timeline, and he says all anomalies can be accounted for. But,
    he never accounts for them. For instance, there is the speed of
    the limousine. Many witnesses said that it practically stopped during
    the shooting, and some said that it did, in fact, stop. But you
    don’t see anything close to that in the Zapruder film. Another odd
    thing is that some of the bystanders seem to be looking in the wrong
    direction — as if the limo hadn’t reached them yet when it had.
    To review the anomalies in the Zapruder film, see
    this video clip
    . I don’t recall that Chambers addressed any
    of these anomalies.

    The climax
    of the book is his analysis of the fatal head shot. He claims to
    have figured out which weapon was used, a Winchester .220 Swift
    rifle using small-caliber (.224) frangible bullet. He explains how
    this rifle stacks up against the “hard math of momentum conservation”
    when analyzing Kennedy’s head recoil in the Zapruder film. The math
    is rather dizzying, but here is the conclusion:

    “It doesn’t
    matter if anyone saw or heard shots coming from the Grassy Knoll.
    It doesn’t matter if anyone saw a shooter in this location or not.
    Application of the incontrovertible Laws of Physics establishes
    that the bullet came from the direction of this site. The angle
    of recoil of Kennedy’s head was 45 degrees with respect to the axis
    of the limousine body. The direction of the momentum of the incoming
    round must have been the same angle — relative to the limousine
    body. A bullet fired at an angle of 45 degrees to the limo axis
    traces back to the infamous Grassy Knoll. That is where the fatal
    head shot originated.”

    Chambers is
    less clear about the origin of the other shots. He thinks the throat
    wound was an entrance wound, probably fired from the Grassy Knoll,
    but perhaps from another forward location. He’s not sure how many
    shots struck Connally or their origin. He accepts that one or more
    shots were fired from the 6th floor window of the Book Depository,
    but he did no ballistics analysis like that of Orlando Martin. And
    one omission in Chambers work seems inexplicable to me: He concedes
    that a bullet entered Kennedy’s back at a downward angle of 45 to
    60 degrees (according to the autopsy doctors) but a 6th floor Depository
    shooter would have been at an angle of only 17 degrees to the motorcade.
    So, how does that compute? Doesn’t that rule out such a shooter?
    Ballistics expert Orlando Martin says so, but Chambers does not
    address it,

    It seems that
    Chambers considered his work finished in proving the origin of the
    fatal head shot. It proved conspiracy, so the rest doesn’t matter
    very much. That was my distinct impression of his attitude.

    Finally, I
    wish he would have defended Oswald more vigorously. He did state
    that the negative paraffin test proved that Oswald did not fire
    a rifle that day, and that such evidence is court-admissable. But
    elsewhere, he seemed to equivocate, leaving open the very slight
    possibility that Oswald was a shooter. That didn’t set well with
    me. If you read JFK:
    Analysis of a Shooting
    by Orlando Martin and JFK
    and the Unspeakable
    by Jim Douglass, you will be completely
    convinced of Oswald’s innocence. Of course, nobody knows what Oswald
    knew. Nobody knows what his handlers told him. Maybe he did think
    that something was going to go down that day. What he told Dallas
    Police investigators has never been released; we have only his public
    statements. But, if you read the above-mentioned books, you will
    know beyond all doubt that Oswald did not kill Kennedy, nor did
    he kill Officer Tippit. Oswald was just what he said he was: a patsy.

    So, although
    Head Shot is never going to be my favorite book on the assassination,
    it is still a valuable and important work with some very unique
    elements. G. Paul Chambers has made a lasting contribution to the
    assassination literature.

    Ralph
    Cinque [send him mail]
    has worked as a chiropractor, nutritionist, and health spa operator.
    He offers a free
    weekly health newsletter
    .

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