Message from discussion Stand Down Orders
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From: Anthony Marsh <anthony.ma...@comcast.net>
Subject: Re: Stand Down Orders
Date: 5 Oct 2012 21:56:24 -0400
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On 10/5/2012 4:19 PM, John Reagor King wrote:
> In article <506ba9e...@mcadams.posc.mu.edu>,
> Anthony Marsh <anthony.ma...@comcast.net> wrote:
>> On 10/2/2012 5:35 PM, John Reagor King wrote:
>>> In article <506a58d...@mcadams.posc.mu.edu>,
>>> Anthony Marsh <anthony.ma...@comcast.net> wrote:
>>>> On 10/1/2012 8:55 PM, claviger wrote:
>>>>> On Oct 1, 3:24 pm, "Research" <questio...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>> An article written some years ago by Col. Fletcher Proudy details that
>>>>>> military support was called off. But no one knows who told the unit to
>>>>>> stand down.
>>>>>> Army Aid to Help Protect President Kennedy Was Refused
>>>>>> Trained U.S. Army Intelligence Units were told their assisstance
>>>>>> not needed in Dallas during the JFK visit. William McKinney, a former
>>>>>> member of the crack 112th Military Intelligence Group at 4th Army
>>>>>> Headquarters, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, has revealed that both Col.
>>>>>> Maximillian Reich and his deputy, Lt. Col. Joel Cabaza, protested
>>>>>> violently when they were told to "Stand Down" rather than to report with
>>>>>> their units for duty in augmentation of the Secret Service in Dallas.
>>>>>> McKinney said, "All the Secret Service had to do was nod and these units
>>>>>> [which had been trained at the Army's top Intelligence school at Camp
>>>>>> Holabird, Maryland] would have performed their normal function of
>>>>>> Protection for the President in Dallas."
>>>>>> The 315th, the Texas unit which would have been involved if its
>>>>>> support had not been turned down, had records in its files, according to
>>>>>> McKinney, on Lee Harvey Oswald. The 315th had a Dallas office and its
>>>>>> records were up to date.
>>>>>> McKinney added that, "Highly specialized classes were given at
>>>>>> Holabird on the subject of Protection. This included training designed
>>>>>> prepare this army unit to assist the Secret Service. If our support had
>>>>>> not been refused, we would have been in Dallas."
>>>>> IIRC, supposedly the offer of more support from both City and County law
>>>>> enforcement personnel was also turned down. The Chief and Sheriff should
>>>>> have deployed those resources anyway, especially in Dealey Plaza.
>>>>> Leaving the long wooden fence unguarded was an obvious gap in security,
>>>>> even though no shots came from there. Doesn't matter because at least
>>>>> police officer should have been behind that fence in case some punk or
>>>>> drunk tries to throw something at the motorcade.
>>>> NO, because you being the security expert said that there could never be
>>>> a shooter there because that position was so out in the open.
>>>> What did Mary Woodward say?
>>> Ooo, pick me, pick me! After all I'm the one who keeps proving and
>>> proving and proving, day after day after day, in the thread, "Anthony
>>> Marsh says I can't do this ;-)", that I know the Dealey Plaza witness
>>> statements at least a hundred times better than you do, and than the
>>> only other poster besides you and me who has posted in that thread. :D
>>> Mary Woodward, Dallas Morning News, November 23, 1963:
>>> AFTER ACKNOWLEDGING our cheers, he faced forward again and suddenly
>>> there was a horrible, ear-shattering noise coming from behind us and a
>>> little to the right. My first reaction, and also my friends', was that
>>> as a joke, someone had backfired their car. Apparently the driver and
>>> occupants of the President's car had the same impression, because
>>> instead of speeding up, the car came almost to a halt.
>>> Things are a little hazy from this point, but I don't believe anyone was
>>> hit with the first bullet. The President and Mrs. Kennedy turned and
>>> looked around, as if they, too, didn't believe the noise was really
>>> coming from a gun.
>>> Then after a moment's pause there was another shot and I saw the
>>> President start slumping in the car.
>>> THIS WAS followed rapidly by another shot. Mrs. Kennedy stood up in the
>>> car, turned half-way around, then fell on top of her husband's body.
>>> Not until this minute did it sink in what was actually happening. We
>>> had witnessed the assassination of the President.
>>> Contrary to your false claim in the other thread of me "cherry-picking"
>>> the witness statements, I have just quoted all passage from the article
>>> in which anything at all is said about the sounds of the gunfire, no
>>> matter what it was, and from the first word to the last word of my quote
>>> I did not leave out or change a single word. And anyone and their dog's
>>> mother can easily confirm by looking at a photocopy of the complete
>>> article online that I have left out none of Woodward's statements about
>>> the gunfire.
>> This is why you'll always be a WC defender.
> Please explain how my article, "The final photographs of John Fitzgerald
> Kennedy (1)," shows me to be a WC defender, when I plainly say in it
> that certain things were covered up to give the appearance of fitting
> the WC scenario better. Please explain how I'm a WC defender when I
> have said in several recent articles that the WC may well have been
> mistaken in saying that Victoria Adams reached the first floor several
> minutes later than she said she did. Please explain how I'm a WC
> defender when I have been criticizing the WC for nearly a decade
> regarding the woefully inept case they made for the shot that missed,
> and for the single bullet.
Because, as I said, you only cite the WC testimony, never books, never
interviews, never statements from that day, never affidavits.
Just because you realize that the WC does not mean you aren't a WC
defender. You just forgive them their lies because you truly think it
was for the good of the country.
>> Because you only know about
>> the cover-up version of events, not the original version.
> Wrong. I already read the article you quoted below some time ago, and
> you cannot prove otherwise. You aren't sitting here beside me seeing
> what I do and do not read. The fact that I did not *mention* having
> read it before now does not prove that I didn't.
I don't have to be sitting there beside you to see what you are doing.
And you frequent admit these things even it it takes years to come out.
>> Mary Woodward was ordered by her editor to rewrite her story because the
>> first version sounded too conspiratorial.
> Wrong. It is simply said that her account did not sit well with the
> managing editor and city officials. Nowhere does it say that her editor
> ordered her to rewrite the story. Obviously she didn't rewrite the
Does it? What is the IT you are citing?
You have no way to watch her speaking about it on the Journalists
Remember symposium. And you certainly wouldn't be able to read any book
which discusses it and quotes her.
> story, or else I would not have been able to quote her verbatim above
> from that same story *as* *printed* stating that she thought the shots
> came from behind her and a little to the right.
What same story? Oh, you mean the rewritten story. Not the original story.
>> Various conspiracy authors have written about what she actually said.
>> One of them actually used to post here, but I think you scared him away.
> Who would that be?
Again you prove how clueless you are. You can't even figure who that
author is that I am quoting. Maybe because you don't understand that
some people have used aliases here. So if I quote something that was
written by some guy using the alias Careulo you'd say you have no idea
who that is.
Gee, I wonder why he is called Canuck? Is that a slur? Or is it that
he's a Canadian.
>> Mary E. Woodward: The First Dissenting Witness
>> Peter Whitmey
>> A149-1909 Salton Road,
>> Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 5B6
>> The Third Decade, July 1992, pp. 24-26
>> One of the many witnesses to the assassination of President
>> Kennedy was a young junior reporter from the DALLAS MORNING NEWS named
>> Mary Elizabeth Woodward, who was standing on the north side of Elm St.
>> with three other female colleagues (Maggie Brown, Aurelia Lorenzo and
>> Ann Donaldson) next to the large sign that momentarily impaired Abraham
>> Zapruderıs view of the motorcade. Despite being close to the Lincoln
>> convertible carrying the Kennedys and the Connallys, none of the four
>> women were interviewed by either the Dallas County Sheriffıs Department
>> or by the Warren Commission itself. The only official statement given by
>> Miss Woodward was to the FBI on December 6, 1963, published as
>> Commission Exhibit No. 2084.
>> However, since she was a reporter from the DMN, Mary quickly ran
>> back to their offices only a few blocks from the assassination site, as
>> she described during a 1988 interview for ³The Men Who Killed
>> Kennedy.² Upon reaching the newsroom, she was given a tranquillizer
>> by an office nurse, because other members of the staff thought she was
>> ³somewhat hysterical², although, in retrospect, Mary feels she was
>> behaving ³quite rationally under the circumstances.² Her report,
>> entitled ³Witness from the NEWS Describes the Assassination,² was, in
>> fact, written almost immediately following the shooting, prior to the
>> official announcement that the President was dead.
>> Because the DMN was a morning paper, Maryıs account was not
>> circulated until the next day, November 23, appearing on page 3 of
>> section 1 on the right-hand side below a large photo of the alleged
>> assassinıs view of Elm St. from the sixth-floor window of the Texas
>> School Book Depository. On the left-hand side of the page were photos of
>> the ³sniperıs nest² and the entire building, with an article entitled
>> ³Kennedy Killer Hid in Area Used Little² in the bottom left corner,
>> accompanied by a floor plan showing ³the assassinıs hideout.² (It should
>> be noted that a close-up of Miss Woodwardıs article during ³The Men Who
>> Killed Kennedy² is somewhat misleading, in that it was taken from a
>> booklet entitled ³The Assassination Story² by Robert Surrey of American
>> Eagle Publishing Co. in early 1964. It is quite clear that he cut the
>> articles out and assembled them by date but not necessarily in their
>> original locations.)
>> Since Miss Woodwardıs report was prepared so soon after the
>> assassination by an actual eyewitness, it was certainly an important
>> account of the events. As she emphasized in her 1988 interview, the
>> story was ³absolutely my own impressions; it was not from anything
>> anyone had said or what I had read or heard² The most significant
>> statement in her report, which was quoted by UPI later that day, was her
>> recollection as to the direction from which one or more shots originated:
>> ³After acknowledging our cheers he [Kennedy] faced forward again
>> and suddenly there was a horrible, ear-shattering noise coming from
>> behind us and a little to our right.²
>> Although Miss Woodward didnıt specifically state what was
>> ³behindand a little to our right², which many readers probably assumed
>> was the TSBD, clearly she was describing the grassy knoll, as it came to
>> be known. The fact that the sound of gunfire was so painful to the ear
>> strongly suggests the sonic wave preceding at least one of the shots
>> travelled closely by and not from high above [had its source been the TSBD].
>> According to her interview in 1988, Woodwardıs immediate
>> recollection of hearing shots from somewhere other than the TSBD did not
>> sit well with the managing editor and city officials, since it strongly
>> suggested the possibility of more than one gunman being involved.
> Where does it say that her editor ordered her to rewrite the story,
> Anthony? I don't see it.
>> However, there is no evidence that it was removed in that the microfiche
>> copy of the page I received from the Dallas Public Library is a five
>> star (*****) edition.
> And there it is, Anthony. No evidence that it was removed. It was not
> rewritten. It was left in.
> Obviously, or I would have been unable to quote it.
>> Certainly the content of her article gave no hints
>> of shots being fired from behind the motorcade, except for the first
>> being described as sounding like a firecracker, which Miss Woodward
>> believed had missed its target altogether. Both in her report and during
>> the 1988 interview, Mary was quite emphatic that three shots had been
>> fired, with the last shot ³rapidly² following the second.
>> In stark contrast to Miss Woodwardıs account was another
>> reporterıs story entitled ³Assassin Crouched and Took Deadly Aim,²
>> written by Kent Biffle, today a senior editor at the DMNıs ³State Desk²
>> [as of 1992PW]. Even though it too was written early in the
>> investigation (but after the arrest of Oswald), the headline left no
>> doubt as to Biffleıs point of view. No reference was made to any
>> indications of a possible crossfire, only to how upset and confused
>> everyone was following the shooting. Evidence supporting the headline
>> was methodically provided, including a statement from H.L. Brennan, as
>> well as investigators searching the TSBD. Brief reference was also made
>> to the killing of J.D. Tippit.
>> Intriguingly, Biffle makes reference at the end of the report to
>> an unidentified employee of the TSBD who approached the police and
>> stated: ³I donıt know if you are interested in thisbut one of the
>> fellows who works here is gone. Canıt find him anywhere. Heıs 23, about
>> five-foot nine and weighs about 150 pounds. Iıd have to check the
>> payroll records to be sure, but I think heıs been here a couple of
>> months. His name is Lee Oswald.² Although this is the only time
>> Oswaldıs name was mentioned in the article, clearly the implication
>> being made was that Oswald was the one and only assassin involved.
>> Almost two weeks after the assassination, FBI agents Henry Oliver
>> and David Barry interviewed Miss Woodward, presumably at her home
>> located at 4812 Alcott; she was identified in their report as ³Employee,
>> Womenıs News² at the DMN. Brief mention is made of the three other
>> employees who were standing alongside Mary. In regard to the source of
>> the shots, the report emphasizes that ³her first reaction was that the
>> shots had been fired from above her head and possibly behind her.² Mary
>> indicated that initially she thought one or two shots ³might have come
>> from the overpass which was to her right.² However, she had now come to
>> the conclusion that due to the ³loud echo, she could not say where the
>> shots had come from, other than they had come from above her head.² She
>> explained to the agents that she had noticed ³five or six persons
>> standing on top of the overpass² No reference is made in the report of
>> the possibility of one or more shots coming from the grassy knoll or
>> picket fence area, which is more consistent with Miss Woodwardıs initial
>> report. Undoubtedly, the FBI and her employer were both delighted at her
>> uncertain recollections as of December 6, 1963.
>> Like many eyewitnesses, Miss Woodward was not questioned by the
>> Warren Commission or its staff members, even though Mark Lane made a
>> point of emphasizing her November 23 report during his open testimony in
>> Washington D.C. on March 4, 1964, a meeting attended by Chief Justice
>> Warren, Congressman Gerald Ford and Senator John Cooper, among
>> others. Presumably Arlen Specter decided, when he traveled to Dallas,
>> that Jean Hill was an easier witness to discredit than a newspaper reporter.
>> Despite her assertion that gunfire appeared to be coming from her
>> right, two Dallas reporters decided in 1980 that the whole matter was
>> simply a mistake on Miss Woodwardıs part. This conclusion is contained
>> in an article published on August 17, 1980, defending the WARREN
>> REPORTıs conclusions. With no evidence that they actually spoke to Miss
>> Woodward or others, Doug Bedell and Hugh Anyesworth of the now-defunct
>> DALLAS TIMES-HERALD provided their own explanation:
>> ³the origins of the so-called grassy knoll theoryı of a second
>> gunman can be traced to the simple mistake of a DALLAS MORNING NEWS
>> reporter out for lunch with her cohorts to watch the motorcadeWhen
>> Kennedy was shot, she raced back to her office to file a tearful,
>> horrified account of what she had seen. Gunfire, she wrote, came over
>> her right shoulder. The way she was facing, that would mean the shots
>> would have come from the knoll and when her friends saw the story,
>> they rushed in to correct her. The story was corrected for later
>> editions. In spite of affidavits to the contrary, attorney Mark Lane
>> used the womanıs uncorrected account of the shooting to bolster his
>> assertion that another gunman was involved.²
>> Although I am not familiar with Doug Bedellıs background, the
>> name ³Hugh Aynesworth² is closely associated with media attacks against
>> Jim Garrison, following the preliminary hearing of Clay Shaw. In May,
>> 1967, Aynesworth had written a scathing denouncement of the New Orleans
>> investigation for NEWSWEEK; in both examples, he seemed quite prepared
>> to make unsubstantiated or blatantly inaccurate statements in order to
>> emphasize a point. Even though the conclusions of the HSCA in 1979 had
>> clearly added credibility to Miss Woodwardıs account and that of other
>> witnesses, Aynesworth and Bedell were obviously still not impressed,
>> suggesting that the search for a conspiracy was now reaching the
>> ³morbid² level, with the anticipated exhumation of Oswaldıs body in mind.
>> Fortunately, despite the intimidating efforts of certain
>> government officials, employers, reporters and others, witnesses such as
>> Mary Woodward have had the courage to speak up in recent years, so that
>> the truth surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy does not
>> remain buried forever.
>> Coincidentally, researcher Jan Stevens, whom I had met in Dallas
>> in 1991, wrote an article on the same subject, which was published in
>> JFK/DEEP POLITICS QUARTERLY, based in part on an earlier article written
>> in TTD by my Canadian colleague Sheldon Inkol. Sheldon had attended a
>> reportersı conference in Dallas, at which Mary spoke. Janıs article is
>> available at http://roswell.fortunecity.com/angelic/96/woodwo~1.htm .
>>  Warren Commission Hearings and Exhibits, vol. 24, p. 520. References
>> to this source cited hereafter in format: 24H520.
>>  ³The Men Who Killed Kennedy,² originally broadcast in two parts in
>> Britain in 1986; part III broadcast by A&E television network in the
>> fall of 1991. [Parts I to V have been broadcast numerous times since
>> then, usually on the History Channel, and a part VI has been released
>>  ³The Men Who Killed Kennedy.²
>>  SEATTLE TIMES, November 23, 1963, p. 2.
>>  ³Assassin Crouched and Took Deadly Aim,² DMN, Nov. 23, 1963; Sec. 4,
>> p. 1.
>>  24H520.
>>  7H4344 and 7H59.
>>  ³Morbid Search for JFK Conspiracy,² DTH, Aug. 17, 1980; thanks to
>> Paul Hoch for copy.
>>  ³The Case For Conspiracy,² NEWSWEEK, May 15, 1967, pp. 36-38.
>> Back to Peter Whitmey
>> Then there is the video from the Journalists Remember symposium where
>> she explains that she got into trouble for suggesting that the shots
>> came from the grassy knoll. But you'll never get to see it, because you
>> like cover-ups.
> I think you mean listen to it, not see it, since it is audio with some
> still photographs added. And once again you make some of the silliest
> claims of anyone in this newsgroup. Nearly every time you say I won't
> do something, I do exactly what you say I won't do. I just finished
> listening to it, and at 4:17 she said,
I said SEE and I mean Watch. As in have the videotape, which I do and
you do not.
> "The only thing that I guess I got myself in a little bit of controversy
> about, I said that the shots appeared to have come from behind me and to
> my right. And I did say seemed to, I didn't say they did come from that
> direction, because first of all, I have very great difficulty discerning
> the direction of sounds anyway -- I'm the kind of person on the thruway
> when I hear a siren I panic cause I don't know where it's coming from.
> And secondly, I had spoken to my friends just prior to the event,
> suggesting that the grassy knoll would be the perfect spot for an
> assassin. So I said it was somewhat like self-fulfilling prophesies
> that when it happened I naturally, I expected it to have come from where
> I predicted it would come from. So in reality I do believe they did
> come from the School Book Depository Building, so I get a little bit
> upset when I get put in the other column."
> Nowhere in the entire audio did she say her editor ordered her to
> rewrite the story, Anthony. If I'm, uh, "wrong," name the exact minute
> and second where she says anything even remotely like that. You know
I didn't say that was the source.
> you can't, because she didn't. She only said that there was a bit of
> controversy over what she said in the article.
> And what do you mean that I like coverups? Lol, yet another of your
> absurd claims. You haven't shown a coverup here, you've shown exactly
> the opposite of what you falsely claimed.
A cover-up when they change a lead story because it sounds too
And by then they knew it must not be a conspiracy at all costs.
> Now, unlike your silly, false predictions about me, I will now make what
> is almost certainly going to be an accurate prediction about you. In
> all these years, Anthony, I can only recall you admitting you were
> mistaken *once*. That was a few weeks ago when you admitted your error
That's because you refuse to read my messages.
> about the c.27 degrees, initially believing it was the angle of JFK's
> head at that time of the SB, rather than at the time of the head shot.
> But all the other hundreds of times I've corrected you when, for
> example, you've claimed I've said things I never said, you never once
> admitted you were wrong, that I can recall today. I predict you won't
> admit you're wrong here about Mary Woodward and her editor either.
> Please surprise all of us by admitting you were obviously wrong.
>> There are some accidentally interesting tidbits there. Especially Mary
>> Woodward. She said that the grassy knoll would be the perfect place for an
>> assassin and initially believed that's where the shots came from, behind
>> her and to the right. So naturally the WC defenders interpret her
>> statement as indicating the TSBD.
> Proving that I am not the same type of WC defender that you claim I am.
> I unequivocally acknowledged that she quite obviously meant the fence,
> and you quoted me saying so below.
>> She said that now she believes the shots
>> came from the TSBD. Sure, after the government told her what to believe.
>> Later it came out that her editor rewrote her story for the next edition
>> to take out the reference to the grassy knoll.
> Later it came out? Source?
>>> Now, what did she mean by "behind us and a little to the right"? Well,
>>> in the second paragraph of the article, she said that she and her
>>> friends decided to watch the motorcade from "the grassy slope just east
>>> of the Triple Underpass." So "behind us and a little to the right"
>>> obviously meant from the fence.
> And right there you quoted me saying that she *obviously* meant the
> fence. So you have no legitimate excuse to lump me in with "WC
> defenders" who interpret that as indicating the TSBD. Don't you read
> the articles you reply to, Anthony?
She did not say the fence. That is your interpretation. I never claimed
that you thought she meant the TSBD. Maybe some WC defenders have.
>>> As I do not see her naming any other direction whatsoever for the sound
>>> of any shot, she appears to have thought all of the shots, not just one
>>> of them, not just some of them, but all of them, came from the fence,
>> Because you are cherry picking the evidence.
> Nonsense. Quote her verbatim saying that her initial impression was
> that they came from more than one direction. You know you can't,
I never said that. Stop your phony challenges.
> because she never said that. You're the one cherry picking the
> evidence, not me, and you're even claiming the evidence says something
> different from what it actually says, such as claiming all that about
> her editor, and then producing two sources in which nothing at all like
> what you claim is said.
>> Mary Elizabeth Ann Woodward:
>> 'A nightmare of horror'
>> Friday, Nov. 22, 1963. A date that I would give everything I possess to
>> block from my memory as if by doing so it could go back to being Nov. 21
>> and then the whole tragedy would never have happened.
>> But I can't. It did happen and that day and the events preceding it and
>> after it are permanently etched to the most minute detail on the memory
>> of my mind.
>> Even when one is caught up in the whirlpool of history, it is strange
>> how the mind recalls the personal details. At a time of national, even
>> international tragedy and crisis, one seems to think in personal terms.
>> What was I doing at the time? What were my thoughts? My reactions? My
>> story would have to begin the day before. And, like many tragedies, it
>> began with great happiness and expectation.
>> Mary Elizabeth Ann Woodward: "But at last we were going to get a look at
>> Jackie -- the First Lady who had caught all our imaginations..." The
>> picture above is from the motorcade in Dallas.
>> On the night of Nov. 21 a group of friends and I went out to dinner
>> after work. The dinner conversation was charged with excited talk of the
>> Big Day coming up -- the day when we would see our President and, best
>> of all, his beautiful charming First Lady. Most of us had seen the
>> President at one time or another and we all took turns discussing the
>> circumstances of our previous meetings. But, at last we were going to
>> get a look at Jackie -- the First Lady who had caught all our
>> imaginations with her beauty, charm, youth, intelligence and interest in
>> the fine arts. We were all young and felt a kinship with her that we had
>> never felt with a first lady before.
>> When the dinner party broke up we drove back to town and scouted out the
>> best place for us to view the motorcade and decided on Dealey Plaza
>> across the street from the Texas School Book Depository.
>> I was anxious to get home because I wanted to give myself a manicure. I
>> knew the President wouldn't see my hands reaching out from the crowd,
>> but somehow I couldn't bear the thought of going to cheer the President
>> looking less than my best.
>> When Friday, Nov 22 dawned I was up earlier than usual to give myself
>> those extra few minutes that everyone wants when preparing for some big
>> Friday is a busy day in a women's news since we put out both the
>> Saturday paper and the two Sunday sections, so everyone was
>> concentrating on keeping busy. Yet there was excitement in the air as I
>> watched the clock with one eye and looked out the window with the other
>> toward Dealey Plaza and the underpass to watch the gathering crowd.
>> Finally, at about a quarter of twelve, the waiting became too much.
>> Someone had brought cookies, crackers and fruit to the office for the
>> staff to nibble on while reading page proofs. I gathered up a bunch of
>> apples and crackers, and with three friends from the department started
>> down Houston St. to take my place in the crowd. Dealey Plaza is only
>> about three blocks from The News, but by the time we got there the crowd
>> was so heavy we decided to cross Elm St. and wait for the parade on the
>> grassy slopes between the School Book Depository Building and the Triple
>> The motorcade was due to pass our particular vantage point shortly after
>> noon, but as usual for such things, it was running late. The four of us,
>> my roommate, Ann Donaldson, Aurelia Alonzo, Margaret Brown and myself,
>> all from women's news, sat on the Elm St. curb to await the big moment.
>> As we sat there we discussed many things -- mostly about the President
>> or the trip to Dallas and its significance. I told about the time I had
>> met him in Los Angeles when he was a newly elected senator and again in
>> Albuquerque in the final week of the 1960 campaign. We discussed the
>> crowd -- really larger than we had expected -- and Dallas's past history
>> of incidents and how we hoped this one would come off without any
>> mishap. I looked around at the railroad trestle going over the Triple
>> Underpass and remarked that it seemed like an ideal place for a sniper,
>> but reassured myself that it was well guarded.
>> We heard the sound of sirens and Ann walked up to the corner of Elm and
>> Houston to see if the motorcade were rounding the corner. It was a false
>> alarm. Someone in the crowd had fainted and an ambulance was taking him
>> Again we waited, everyone excitedly talking at the same time. Then it
>> happened. We heard sirens again, but this time it was for real. We stood
>> up as the first cordon of motorcycle escorts rounded the corner.
>> At last the presidential limousine was in our range of view. For those
>> in the car, it seemed as though the parade was over. The President and
>> his wife were talking to each other, and for a moment it seemed that
>> after all the waiting we weren't going to get to see them full-face.
>> Then we started our own cheering section and President and Mrs. Kennedy
>> turned around, looked directly at us, flashed their well-known smiles,
>> gave us a wave of recognition, then looked forward again. Ann and I
>> remarked, almost echoing each other, how well and radiant they both looked.
>> The car proceeded down Elm and when it was about 40 yards from us, we
>> heard the first noise. My immediate reaction was that someone had
>> backfired a car deliberately -- a pretty poor excuse for a joke. Ann
>> said no -- it was firecrackers. Before we could say anything more, the
>> sound repeated itself twice in rapid succession. I saw the bystanders
>> fall to the ground, saw the President slump, heard Mrs. Kennedy's
>> anguished cry and saw her crawl out of the car and drag the Secret
>> Service man in before the car speed away from view.
>> Now there was no doubt in my mind. The eagerly awaited noontime break
>> had turned into a nightmare of horror as I eyewitnessed the
>> assassination of the President.
>> The reaction of the crowd ranged from hysteria to numbness. The four of
>> us, each having seen the same thing, turned to one another as if we
>> couldn't trust our own sight, and asked what had happened. Up and down
>> the street other eyewitnesses were asking the same thing. It was
>> impossible to believe what we had really seen.
>> After the immediate numbness came the tears as the realization of what
>> had happened hit us. We were all so overwrought with emotion that we
>> couldn't trust our feet to carry us the few blocks back to the office.
>> Instead, we walked up to the yard of the Book Depository and leaned
>> against a tree as we tried to collect ourselves for the journey back.
>> For some unexplainable reason, I was the only one who felt certain that
>> the bullets had fatally found their mark. I will never know if I am a
>> born pessimist or if I am the only one who was really aware of where the
>> President had been hit and of the seriousness of it.
>> My companions tried to console themselves and me with the thought that
>> perhaps the President had just ducked or that he had only been
>> superficially wounded. But, somehow I knew differently.
>> Holding on to each other and walking among sobbing and benumbed people,
>> we finally made our way back to the office. To my everlasting chagrin, I
>> was the most distraught and was taken to the nurse's office for
>> tranquilizers. I came back upstairs to my own office and by then the
>> city-room was overflowing with reporters and photographers who had come
>> seemingly from nowhere, and the word was out -- the President was dead.
>> Then came the onslaught of rumors -- Vice-President Johnson had died of
>> an heart attack, this was just part of a plot to assassinate all the
>> high government officials, Gov. Connally was fatally wounded -- and the
>> other sickening fact, a patrolman had been shot down by the suspected
>> My first thoughts now were that I wanted to talk with my parents. They
>> live in a small town about 90 miles from Dallas, but I knew
>> instinctively that they would know that I had been a witness, and I
>> wanted to reassure them and to be reassured myself. Amazingly, I got a
>> line through immediately and my mother answered crying, crying for her
>> president, crying for her country, and crying for her daughter who had
>> innocently and unwillingly witnessed the most tragic and dramatic event
>> in the history of our nation.
>> The tranquilizers began to take their effect, but all hopes of any work,
>> outside of the sheer mechanics of the profession, were dashed. In an
>> almost deafening silence everyone tried to do those things which had to
>> be done -- stories to be killed, pages to be made over, advance stories
>> to be rewritten to coincide with this unexpected flow of history.
>> About 4 p.m. the assistant managing editor approached me and asked that
>> I write an eyewitness account. I tried to remember that I was a reporter
>> and that my job was merely to report what I had seen, not to dramatize,
>> not to moralize, not to strike out in frustrated anger. It was easier
>> than I had expected. For once there was no need to embroider. The naked
>> facts were all that I needed.
>> Shortly after 6 p.m. Ann and I left together for home and like millions
>> of other Americans stationed ourselves in front of the television to get
>> the final confirmation of what we had known for hours and what we would
>> never forget.
>> I had been working regularly on Friday nights for the sports department,
>> so I returned to The News about 9 p.m., knowing there wouldn't be much
>> work to be done, since most of the scheduled games had been canceled,
>> but feeling the need to do something.
>> The city-room was like something out of a movie. It was generating the
>> excitement, the pressure I had thought was the daily glamour of
>> newspapering when I was in journalism school, but which in three years
>> of experience I had never seen. Even the usually dark women's news room
>> was ablaze as reporters from all over the country and the world worked
>> into the night on the biggest story of their lives.
>> After I finished what little there was to do in the sports department, I
>> answered the frantic appeal of a reporter from Mexico City and worked
>> until 2 a.m. translating news stories as they came in.
>> Saturday is generally my day off, but this Saturday I was scheduled to
>> work because of a special Thanksgiving food section we were putting out
>> and which had to be made up that day.
>> Out-of-town reporters were scattered around the desks, and one of the
>> women brought a transistor radio which we kept on all day long.
>> Ever so slowly the deep realization began to seep in, and once again I
>> wanted to be home, to be near my family, to be able to really let loose
>> some of the emotions and frustrations that had been pent up inside me.
>> About 3 p.m. I called and canceled my dinner-date for that night and
>> made arrangements to drive home as soon as I finished work.
>> It was good to be home and to relax and let loose around people who
>> understood me and who could understand the impact such a tragedy had
>> made on me personally.
>> No one went to bed very early that night. Long after the television
>> reporters had signed off, we sat around probing each other's minds
>> trying to glean from someone else's mind the answers we could not find
>> on our own. Trying to find, if not meaning, at least a plausible
>> explanation for the event of the preceding day.
>> Nevertheless, we were up early Sunday to begin the day-long vigil that
>> would lead to still another tragedy.
>> The television set was going in the living room while Mother and I
>> prepared Sunday dinner in the kitchen. Suddenly we stopped cold as the
>> second bit of tragedy unfolded before our eyes on the television screen.
>> A self-appointed executioner had gunned down the accused assassin in the
>> halls of the Dallas police department as a stunned world looked on.
>> The drive back to Dallas was filled with self questions and thoughts. My
>> thoughts ticked off as rapidly as the miles as I continued to grope for
>> the answers that eluded me. Finally I turned into the drive of the
>> Holiday Inn next to my apartment and the only possible answer blazed
>> before me. On the big marquee which usually flashed a Texas welcome to
>> visiting conventioneers were the simple words, "On this day of mourning,
>> in God we trust."
> There is NOTHING in that ENTIRE TEXT about her initially thinking shots
> came from multiple directions, Anthony. In fact, that particular
And I didn't make that claim.
> article doesn't even MENTION ***ANYTHING*** about what direction she
> thought the gunfire came from. And there is NOTHING in that ENTIRE TEXT
> about her editor ordering her to rewrite the story. NOTHING.
I didn't say it was in that text.
> You have just posted something that is totally irrelevant to this
>>> even though she said that about the first shot only. But I don't see
>>> her saying that she thought the second and third shots came from
>>> somewhere else, do you? I also don't see her saying that any single
>>> shot sounded louder, or closer, or farther than the other shots, do you?
>> You don't see anything. You can't even see the hand in front of your
>> face with those blinders on.
> Apparently you're the one with the blinders, since you can't see your
> own monumental error in claiming that her editor ordered her to rewrite
> the story, while producing sources in which nothing even remotely like
> that is said.
> Do you ever tire, Anthony, of accusing others of things that you are
> tremendously more guilty of than they are? Do you know what that's
>>> So she is yet another witness, to be added to so very many others, to
>>> support my claim that,
>>> "More than 90% of all the Dealey Plaza witnesses who said that shots
>>> sounded as if they came from the fence on the knoll either specifically
>>> said that ALL of the shots sounded as if they came from there, or else
>>> named no other direction in their entire statements, no matter how many
>>> or how few shots they recalled hearing."
>> There's that stupid 90% again.
> "More than 90%." You don't see the first two words in the sentence?
> And you're always afraid to even try to prove it's stupid.
You have never back up any of your statistical claims and never will.
You can not be pinned down on any fact. It's like trying to nail jello
to the wall.
> Because you know you can't.
>>> shots come from the fence, and none from the Depository? Or is there a
>>> much more plausible explanation, such as, depending on where a witness
>>> was in the Plaza, the same three shots from the same rifle all sounded
>>> as if they came from one direction to one witness, and another witness
>>> in a different part of the plaza thought all of the same shots from the
>>> same rifle sounded as if they were all coming from a different direction?
>>> Bobby Hargis thought all of the shots came from the Triple Underpass.
>>> Who in this newsgroup believes all of the shots came from the Triple
>>> Underpass? I cannot at this moment recall a single poster saying that
>>> here in the past decade.
>>> James Jarman thought all of the shots came from below and to the east of
>>> the Depository. Who in this newsgroup believes all of the shots came
>>> from below and to the east of the Depository? I cannot at this moment
>>> recall a single poster saying that here in the past decade.
>>> Danny Arce thought all of the shots came from the railroad tracks. Who
>>> in this newsgroup believes that all the shots came from the railroad
>>> tracks? I cannot at this moment recall a single poster saying that here
>>> in the past decade.
>>> Harold Norman thought all of the shots came from the floor above him.
>>> Who in this newsgroup believes that all of the shots came from the floor
>>> above him?
>>> Approximately half of the posters here.
>>> Simple, everyday, mundane, common tricks of acoustics, a phenomenon so
>>> common that one would have to be an extremely unusual person not to have
>>> noticed it at least once in their lives. If a witness was at location
>>> A, all the shots sounded as if they came from the TSBD. If a witness
>>> was at location B, all the shots sounded as if they came from the knoll.
>>> If a witness was in location C, all the shots sounded as if they came
>>> from the Triple Underpass.
>> Nonsense. The HSCA actually tested this idea. Listeners in different
>> locations were still able to tell the difference on where the shots came
>> from almost all the time.
> Quote it verbatim. I don't trust you. Many times I have caught you
Quote what? You do clueless that you can't find the HSCA study?
Report No. 4034
Analysis of Earwitness Reports Relating to the Assassination of
President John F. Kennedy
Select Committee on Assassinations
Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc.
50 Moulton Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES iv
SECTION 1. INTRODUCTION....................................1
2. LOCALIZATION OF SOUND...........................2
3. STATISTICAL SURVEYS............................9
3.1 Origin of Shots..........................9
3.2 Number of Shots.........................11
4. REPORTS OF TRAINED OBSERVERS...................14
4.1 Test Conditions.........................16
4.2 Analysis of Observers' Localization
4.3 Loudness and Apparent Size of Acoustic
APPENDIX A. TRANSCRIPTION OF OBSERVERS' NOTES.........A-l
LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES
Figure 1. Muzzle blast and shock waveforms from
2. Loci of muzzle blast and shock waves at two
times after firing of supersonic bullet...............4
3. Observers localizing source of sound along
path of bullet........................................6
4. Observer location at Dealey Plaza....................15
Table I. Thompson's analysis of origin of shots..................9
II. House Committee analysis of origin of shots....10
III. Number of people reporting various origins as a
function of the number of shots reported.......12
IV. Accuracy of forced-choice responses as to
origin (TSBD or knoll).........................17
The analysis of witness reports comprised (1) an examination of
two compilations of testimony given by witnesses present in Dealey Plaza
on November 22, 1963, (2) an analysis of how the sounds of gunfire in
Dealey Plaza would be perceived by witnesses located at different areas
in the Plaza, and (3) the reports of trained listeners who were present
during the acoustical reconstruction on August 20, 1978. The two
compilations examined were those by J. Thompson, in his book, Six
Seconds in Dallas, and by members of the staff of the House Select
Committee on Assassinations.
All earwitness reports, whether of those present in Dealey Plaza in
1963 or of the experienced listeners in 1978, must be examined with an
understanding of the characteristic acoustical behavior of gunfire in a
reverberant space. Section 2 of this report explains how listeners can
misjudge the source and number of shots in such a space. Section 3
reports the analysis of the two compilations mentioned above; Sec. 4
details the observations of trained listeners stationed in the Plaza
during the acoustical reconstruction.
2. LOCALIZATION OF SOUND
The nature of gunfire is such that three basic errors in Judgment
relating to the source and the number of shots are possible:
* confusion of the shock wave and the muzzle blast
* front-back reversals
* misjudgment of interfering echoes.
The acoustic stimulus, or shot, has two primary components: the shock
wave and muzzle blast (illustrated in Fig. 1); and several echoes, or
FIG. 1. MUZZLE BLAST AND SHOCK WAVEFORMS FROM MANNLICHER-CARCANO.
Because a rifle bullet travels at supersonic speed, it generates a
shock wave that spreads acoustically in the shape of a cone, with the
bullet as the tip of the cone. The muzzle blast, which propagates at
the speed of sound, spreads out spherically from the source. Both of
these sounds are very loud. The shock Wave has a peak sound pressure
level of about 135 dB re 2x10-5N/m2, and the muzzle blast, a peak of 157
dB re 2x10-5N/m(2), at l m. The time between arrivals of these two
sounds at a given listener location can vary considerably, depending on
the listener's position with respect to the location of the rifle and
the path of the bullet. Since the amplitude of the shock wave
diminishes as one over the distance from the source and the amplitude of
the muzzle blast diminishes as one over the square of the distance from
the source, the relative intensity of these two sounds also varies
considerably from one listener location to another.
At any reasonable distance, both the conical and spherical waves
are essentially plane waves with respect to a small object such as an
observer's head. Thus, to determine the apparent locus of the source,
we need only take a perpendicular to the appropriate wavefront as it
sweeps over the observer. Figure 2 shows the geometry of the two waves
at two different times. The shock wave, at time 1, has just reached
the observer; its apparent locus is along the path of the bullet on a
perpendicular to the shock wave. At this time, the wave from the muzzle
blast has not reached the observer. At time 2, when the blast wave has
reached the observer, the apparent source of the shot is on a
perpendicular to the plane of the spherical blast wave and, therefore,
at the muzzle of the rifle.
FIG. 2. LOCI OF MUZZLE BLAST AND SHOCK WAVES AT TWO TIMES AFTER
FIRING OF SUPERSONIC BULLET.
Dr. George Gariner confirmed this analysis at a test carried out with
20 to 30 observers at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. The observers were
seated in rows parallel to the path of the bullet. The blast wave was
muffled by firing the rifle through a small hole in an enclosed van.
The reports of the observers are portrayed graphically in Fig. 3.
About 75% of the observers pointed at the path of the bullet, while 25%
pointed away from this path - but still perpendicular to the surface of
the conical shock wave.
This latter judgment is called a front-back reversal. If the sound
of the shock wave were not so brief, an observer would have time to
execute a head motion and tell whether the source was exactly in front
of or behind him. However, the shock wave endures for only about 1
msec and the blast wave about 5 msec; some front-back reversals are
therefore expected. Even if the muzzle blast is not silenced, the
observer may be confused. The further the observer stands away from
the muzzle and the nearer the path of the bullet, the more likely that
localization of sound will be based on the shock wave and, hence,
Some muffling of the blast wave will occur if a rifle is fired from
within an open window. Thus, in the acoustical reconstruction, the
rifle was fired from two locations in the TSBD: (1) in the plane of
the open sixth-floor window and (2) with the muzzle tip withdrawn 2 ft
from the plane of the window.
The buildings around the Plaza caused strong reverberations, or
echoes, that followed the initial sound by from 0.5 to 1.5 sec. While
these reflections caused no confusion to our listeners, who were
prepared and expected ot hear them, they may well have
FIG. 3. OBSERVERS LOCALIZING SOURCE OF SOUND ALONG PATH OF
inflated the number of shots reported by the suprised witnesses during
the assassination. The source of these echoes can be predicted from
the general geometry of the Plaza. For example, one hears a very
strong reflection from the Post Office Annex that arrives about 1 sec
after the shot, regardless of whether the rifle is fired from the TSBD
or the knoll. Because of the long delay, a listener located on the
knoll would recognize this as an echo but might place the source
somewhere in back of him, anywhere from the TSBD to the railway overpass.
From near the TSBD, a listener would hear a strong echo from the
general vicinity of the railway overpass. However, since the initial
disturbance, the shock wave from the bullet, would be almost directly
overhead -- an anomalous locus, especially if the rifle had been fired
from well within the TSBD - this echo would cause some confusion. The
general area of the knoll, to the right of the bridge, would then be a
prime candidate as the locus of the source. Even though this echo
occurs 0.8 sec after the shock wave, it is the first sound that would
make sense to the listener. On the other hand, listeners located near
the railroad overpass would react to the very strong reflections from
along Houston St.
For listeners in the Plaza area, the location of the rifle muzzle
relative to the window opening is a critical determiner of the perceived
sound. The further inside the building the muzzle is located, the
greater the potential for the shock wave to dominate perception. If
the muzzle of the rifle had been withdrawn and, therefore, little or no
blast were present for one or more of the shots in 1963, the
localization judgments of people in the Plaza would have been based
primarily on the shock wave, creating much uncertainty and lack of
During the reconstruction, echoes were heard from the new hotel,
but they arrived some seconds after the primary sound and long after the
earlier echoes from structures bordering the Plaza. The hotel echoes,
therefore, did not interfere with the subjective evaluations in any way.
3. STATISTICAL SURVEYS
3.1 Origin of Shots
According to Investigator J. Basteri, 692 people were present in
the Plaza during the assassination. Two surveys of interviews and
testimony given by some of these people have classified the witness
reports as to the origin of gunfire into four categories: the TSBD, the
Knoll, Other (not TSBD or Knoll), and Don't Know (origin uncertain).
J. Thompson's compilation in Six Seconds in Dallas of 190 witness
reports is summarized in Table I.
TABLE I. THOMPSON'S ANALYSIS OF ORIGIN OF SHOTS.
TSBD Knoll Other Don't Know Total
25 33 6 126 190
13.2% 17.3% 3.2% 66.3% 100%
This sample of 190 is 27.4% of the total available witnesses. It is
difficult to know what, if any, bias is present in the selection of
these witnesses. The sheer size of the sample makes it difficult to
believe that a sizable selection bias was present. It is also difficult
to predict the effect of a selection bias, if one were present. How
could one tell what the witness was likely to report prior to the
interview? People were scattered over a large area of the Plaza, but we
do not know if equal proportions were selected from each area. This
factor could influence the results, since analyses reveal that a person
located near the knoll was more likely to report the knoll as the origin
of the shots than any other location; similarly, a person located near
the TSBD was more likely to report the TSBD as the origin of the shots
than any other location.
The House Committee compilation is drawn from witness interviews by
the Dallas Police Department and the FBI and from sworn testimony in the
Warren Report. The total number of reports in this survey is 178.
With very few exceptions, all these people appeared in the 190 sampled
by Thompson. Similar sample-selection uncertainties apply here as well.
The House Committee analysis is summarized in Table II.
TABLE II. HOUSE COMMITTEE ANALYSIS OF ORGIN OF SHOTS.
TSBD KNOLL OTHER DON'T KNOW TOTAL
49 21 30 78 178
27.5% 11.8% 16.9% 43.8% 100%
Over half the sample had some opinion as to the origin of the
shot; the majority of these reported the origin as the TSBD.
Twenty-one witnesses reported the Knoll as the source, 30 reported some
Other location, and only 4 witnesses gave more than a single location
for the shots. The Four reporting a dual or multiple location are
counted as "Other" in Table II. Of the 49 witnesses pointing at TSBD,
13 were at the depository itself, 16 were in the motorcade, and the
remainder were scattered throughout the area, including at the
Sheriff's Office, the overpass, the knoll, and the triangular park.
A breakdown of these reporting the knoll as the origin of the shots
show that 2 of 21 were located on the knoll. Eight were on the curb
along Elm St. on the knoll side or on that side of the motorcade
traveling down Elm St. Four were near the TSBD. One was on the east
side of Houston. Five were in
the triangular area bordered by Elm, Houston, and Main, and one was on
the railroad overpass.
An analysis of the "Other" responses showed no obvious pattern.
Some witnesses at the TSBD point toward Houston St.; others point down
Elm. Similarly, those at the Sheriff's Office point in an arc ranging
from west of TSBD to the railroad overpass.
Comparing this statistical analysis with Thompson's, the most
striking discrepancy is the relatively low percentage of witnesses
reporting origins other than the knoll or the TSBD in Thompson's
compilation. Another important difference is in the relative number of
people pointing at the TSBD is the knoll. Although the categorization
of a given response is somewhat arbitrary, the major discrepancy in the
two compilations must be laid to a difference in classification of
responses making up the compilations. Zapruder is listed in the
Thompson survey as pointing to the knoll, while his sworn testimony
before the Warren Commission was as follows:*
Liebeler: But you didn't form any opinion at that time as
to what direction the shots did come from actually?
Hence, House Committee staff placed his response in the "Don't Know"
3.2 Number of Shots
The House Committee compilation also categorized witness responses
according to number of shots attributed to the four
*Warren Report, Vol. 7, P. 572.
different categories of origin. This analysis is summarized in
TABLE III. NUMBER OF PEOPLE REPORTING VARIOUS ORIGINS AS A
FUNCTION OF THE NUMBER OF SHOTS REPORTED
No. of Shots Reported
of Shot 2 2 or 3 3 4 Know Total
TSBD 3 2 38 2 1 46
(4.5)* (1.9) (35.5) (1.6) (2.4)
Knoll 5 2 11 0 2 20
(2.0) (0.8) (15.4) (0.7) (1.1)
Other 2 1 22 3 1 29
(2.9) (1.2) (22) (1.0) (1.5)
Don't 7 2 61 1 5 76
Know (7.5) (3.1) (58.6) (2.7) (4.0)
Total 17 7 132 6 9 171(+)
*Expected number of judgments if origin and number of shots
were independent judgments.
+Seven other witnesses report 1, 4-5, 5, 6, or 8 shots.
Reports as to the number of shots range from 1 to 8. Of the 178
witnesses, however, the vast majority, 74.2% (132/178), reported 3
shots, and the mean number reported was 2.98.
Given the scatter in the reported sources of the gunfire, one
tenable hypothesis is that only people in certain locations might hear
the knoll shot. We therefore sought to investigate to what extent the
data matrix was interrelated, i.e., to what extent does one Judgment
influence the other? One test for
this interrelation is to assume the converse --namely, that the
Judgments are independent and to determine how well we can predict the
entire data matrix on the basis of this hypothesis. The expected number,
which is given in parenthesis beneath the number of people actually
reporting, is calculated by determining the probability of each report
From the margins and assuming that a particular cell, the intersection
of that row and column, can be calculated from the product of the
probabilities. For example, 20/171 = .117 report the shot coming from
the knoll and 132/171 = .772 reported B shots. Thus, the Joint
occurrence of both events, assuming they are independent, is (.772)
(.117) = .09, and the expected number of such reports is (.09) (171) =
15.4. The number of people reporting shots in this cell of the matrix
is 11, 4 or 5 fewer than expected. By and large, the predictions are
excellent, and there is no reason to suspect that the two responses are
other than independent.
4. REPORTS OF TRAINED OBSERVERS
On August 20, 1978, Dr. Dennis McFadden of the Psychology
Department of the University of Texas and Dr. Frederick Wightman of the
Department of Audlology at Northwestern University listened to the three
sequences of shots fired during the acoustical reconstruction and
recorded their impressions. Appendix A contains a transcription of
their notes. Their reports concerned the apparent origin of shots, any
apparent secondary sources or echoes, how loud the shots were, and any
other remarks they felt appropriate.
Initially, we were uncertain as to how easy it would be to
determine the correct location and what degree of consistency there
would be among the observers. Hence, for the first sequence, and during
most of the second, the observers were located about 1 m apart and in
such a way that I could see and compare their responses. The
approximate observer locations each sequence are indicated in Fig. 4.
During the first sequence, Dr. Wightman correctly localized all 17
shots, and Dr. McFadden missed only l. Their general qualitative
descriptions and descriptions of the reverberations were also highly
consistent. We were, therefore, more confident about the consistency of
the reports, and during the latter part of the second sequence, Dr.
McFadden moved from his original location at the curb at the top of Elm
directly in front of the TSBD, to across Elm on the southwest corner of
Elm and Houston. For the third sequence, Dr. Wightman and I observed
from the grassy triangle formed by Elm, Houston, and Main Sts., while
Dr. McFadden observed from the railroad tracks, above the northern curb
FIG. 4. OBSERVER LOCATIONS AT DEALEY PLAZA.
My own impressions and the reports of Dr. William Hartmann, the
investigator of the "Jiggle analysis," were very similar to those of
McFadden and Wightman, although my own (hearing )is impaired by about 50
dB in my left ear. The primary manifestation of this difficulty was my
failure to hear some echoes if they occurred to my left. Thus, it would
seem that our observers, because of their special training and
experience, are only slightly more acute concerning nuances of the
echoes and reverberations and, perhaps, in separating the shock wave and
the blast wave than are untrained people.
The emotional condition of our observers during the test and the
emotional condition of the people during the assassination were
undoubtedly quite different. The influence of such emotion on the
localization Judgment may be quite large, but there is no way to
quantify this factor.
4.1 Test Conditions
The shot sequence was unknown to both of the observers. Because
repeats of certain shots were requested during the sequence, I was also
uncertain --despite knowing the planned sequence.
We requested three motorcycles to be running during the test to
provide some background noise that would approximate the original
listening conditions in Dealey Plaza. Unfortunately, these newer
motorcycles were not very noisy, but the shots were so loud that any
reasonable level of background noise would have been low in comparison
with the shots themselves. Our listening conditions were, therefore,
essentially representative of those at the time of the assassination,
except for our being able to hear some very-low-level, long-delay echoes
that originally might have been inaudible.
Our observers did know that there were only two possible locations
for the marksman, whereas there was considerably more uncertainty on
this issue at the time of the assassination. Signal uncertainty of this
kind generally does not seriously degrade the accuracy of Judgments, but
it does depend on the number of potential alternatives. In this case,
as we shall see, the localization reports made by the trained listeners
were, for the most part, of general areas, rather than specific windows
of a building. The total number of potential locations was not,
therefore, large and, thus, was likely to be representative of
localization responses given at the time of the assassination.
4.2 Analysis of Observers' Localization Responses
The descriptive comments made by the observers are difficult to
compare with any degree of precision. However, there was clear
agreement in their reports with respect to the apparent loudness of the
sounds and echoes and the apparent size of the acoustic image. After
each test shot, we asked the two observers to guess whether the shot was
fired from the TSBD or the knoll, independent of what the apparent locus
Table IV is an analysis of this forced-choice data.
TABLE IV. ACCURACY OF FORCED-CHOICE RESPONSES AS TO ORIGIN (TSBD
Sequence Dr. Wightman Dr. McFadden
1 12/12 100% 11/12 92%
2 11/15 73% 14/15 93%
3 19/25 76% 23/25 92%
Overall 47/57 82% 53/57 93%
Overall Agreement 82%
The average accuracy of the reports is nearly 90%, and the
consistency between the two observers is 82%. Also, the average
accuracy is nearly exactly the same whether the shot came from the
TSBD or the knoll. Thus, this analysis shows high accuracy in
localizing the source of the sound and reasonably good consistency.
4.3 Loudness and Apparent Size of Acoustic Image
All observers rated the rifle shots as very very loud, and they
were unable to understand how they could have been described as a
firecracker or backfire. Only the pistol, which was subsonic, produced
a moderate loudness.
Practically all the rifle shots, whether fired from the knoll or
the TSBD, appeared to be diffuse and to occupy a very large acoustic
space. For example, the sound did not seem to come from the sixth floor
window of the TSBD, but from the right upper side of the building. This
apparently large source location may be a result of acoustic scatter of
the muzzle blast -either because of the building in the case of the TSBD
or because of the trees in the case of the knoll. Only the pistol shot
appears to have a reasonably constrained acoustic image and, for that
reason, could be localized with some precision.
One might consider whether silencers would change the apparent
loudness of the size of the image. The Garinther-Moreland study*
reports the average attenuation produced by a number of silencers as
being about 18 dB for all weapon-silencer combinations. Sound from the
supersonic weapons tested were attenuated
*"Acoustical Considerations for a Silent Weapon System: A Feasibility
Study," 1966, p. 70.
by 18.6 dB and 37.5 dB, but even with this reduction, the peak
overpressure was still very large. Two rifle-silencer combinations
produced peak overpressures of 138 dB and 120 dB at 3.8 m, clearly loud
enough to be easy to locate and clearly audible above the motorcycle and
It is difficult to draw any firm conclusions relating the reports
of witnesses in the Plaza to the possible locus of any assassin.
Confusion between the shock wave and muzzle blast front-back reversals,
confusion caused by echoes, and the startle of the witness could all be
used to impeach the testimony of any particular witness. There is no
way of knowing which, if any, of these factors was most significant with
respect to any single observation made on November 22, 1963. Thus, one
witness can be assigned no more credibility than any other. For
example, even if a shot was fired from the TSBD, the witnesses standing
on the knoll would likely report the source of the shot in the following
way. The witness would presumably localize on the basis Of the shock
wave. With the path of the bullet behind the President's car, the
witness would perceive the apparent locus of the shot as being on a line
from himself to the bullet's path -- i.e., in the street or open park
behind the path of the bullet. ,Since this location is impossible, a
front-back reversal is likely. This front-back reversal would place the
source 180(deg). behind the bullet path and, hence, on the knoll.
Despite this uncertainty, two general remarks seem worthwhile--one
based on the test, the other on the statistical analysis.
First, it is hard to believe a rifle was fired from the knoll.
Such a shot would be extremely loud, even if silenced, and it would be
hard to imagine anyone in the vicinity of the knoll missing such an
event. An unsilenced pistol firing subsonic bullets also seems unlikely
because this shot was the easiest to localize of all the shots fired.
It produced the least reverberation. As an acoustic image, it was much
and less diffuse than that of the rifle, sounding much like a
firecracker. It is, however, conceivable that had a pistol been fired
from the knoll at about the same time a rifle was fired from the TSBD
the pistol shot would have been less easily localized, or even
completely masked from some vantage points. As an isolated shot,
however, it is extremely easy to localize.
Finally, if one accepts the hypothesis that a marksman fired from
the knoll and that other shots were fired from some other location, then
it seems most unlikely that only 4 of 178 witnesses would report a
single location as the origin of the shots. Despite the various causes
of confusion in the locus of any single shot, a second shot from a
different location should be distinctive and different enough to cause
more than four witnesses to report multiple origins for the shots.
APPENDIX A. TRANSCRIPTION OF OBSERVERS' NOTES
The tabular information in this appendix was transcribed from notes
made during the acoustical reconstruction on
August 20, 1978 by two trained observers --Dennis McFadden and
Frederick Wightman. Included in this table, along with their
responses, are the number of the shot in each sequence of test firing,
the origin of the shot, and the target fired upon. For convenience in
determining the positions of rifle, target, and listener, the reader may
refer to Fig. 4 of this report.
Abbreviations used within the table are as follows:
* T always refers to the TSBD and K to the knoll.
* In the column headed origin, Tp means the rifle was fired in the
plane of the sixth floor window of the TSBD, T2 means the muzzle was
withdrawn 2 ft from the plane of the window, K indicates a rifle shot
from the knoll, and Kp represents a pistol shot from the knoll.
A.1 OBSERVER: DENNIS MCFADDEN
A.2 OBSERVER: FRED WIGHTMAN
ADDENDUM A: REPORT ON THE TEMPERATURE IN DALLAS, TEX.,
NOVEMBER 22, 1963
ADDENDUM A: cont.
ADDENDUM A: cont.
ADDENDUM A: cont.
ADDENDUM B: REPORT ON WIND CONDITIONS IN DALLAS, TEX.,
NOVEMBER 22, 1963
ADDENDUM B: cont.
ADDENDUM B: cont.
ADDENDUM B: cont.
ADDENDUM B: cont.
ADDENDUM B: cont.
ADDENDUM B: cont.
> making all sorts of false claims about what the original sources say.
> You produced above original sources which *don't* say that Woodward's
> editor ordered her to rewrite her story. You falsely claim that I am
> wrong when I say that less than 10% of the witnesses said shots came
> from multiple directions. I'll bet when I end up reading the complete
> document from the HSCA, it'll say something rather different from what
> you claim.
Not what I said.
>>> Quite obviously all of these shots were being fired from the same rifle
>>> in the same location. Otherwise we'd have to claim that three shots
>>> were fired from the TSBD, three other shots from the knoll, three other
>>> shots from the Triple Underpass, and so forth.
>> More nonsense. You're on a roll. No one claimed to hear 9 shots.
> Exactly my point. ;-)
>>> Bobby Hargis could hear the three shots from the Triple Underpass, but
>>> couldn't hear the three shots from the knoll or the three shots from the
>>> TSBD? Who in this newsgroup believes that? No one.
>> No one said that,
> Exactly my point. ;-)
>> Mr. Straw man.
> No, that's you. ;-)
>>> Mary Woodward could hear the three shots from the fence, but she
>>> couldn't hear the other three shots from the Triple Underpass, and three
>>> more shots from the TSBD? Who in this newsgroup believes that? No one.
>> Mr. Straw Nan does.
> Nope. My point was quite obviously that people are *correct* not to
> believe that.
>>> Harold Norman could hear the three shots from the TSBD, but couldn't
>>> hear the three other shots from the knoll, and three more shots from the
>>> Triple Underpass? Who in this newsgroup believes that? No one.
> Nope, that's also you. You make some of the silliest claims of anyone
> in this newsgroup, several times a day, every day, every week, every
> month, and every year. ;-)
Unlike you I back up all my claims with facts. When challenged I produce
the documents. I even sometimes scan in newspapers and books when I know
that certain people here have no way to find them on their own.