Note: Contrary to popular belief, the "magic" bullet, CE399, is not the only ballistic evidence found in the JFK assassination evidence. Most people are surprised when informed of how many fragments were left behind:
"FURTHER SCIENTIFIC EXAMINATION OF THE JFK ASSASSINATION EVIDENCE" (1/21/2000)
AND SOME RESULTANT NEWS MEDIA ANALYSIS.
On January 21, 2000, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) released a report on the analysis of materials adhering to Warren Commission Exhibit #567, the nose of a bullet found in the limousine in which President Kennedy was riding when assassinated on November 22, 1963. These materials were found to consist of fibers, as well as human tissue, which, we are told, did not yield conclusive results in DNA testing. On the same day as the release of the report, at least one news program that aired on a Los Angeles radio station stated that the testing of the fibers had proved the "single bullet theory" of the assassination correct, thereby bolstering the concept of a lone gunman.
CAN THE DISPROVING OF A NEGATIVE PROVE A POSITIVE?
The press release accompanying the report states, in part, that:
"...The Department of Justice said that if "alleged fiber evidence embedded in the bullet nose recovered from the front seat of the limousine" was "consistent with the President's shirt collar, tie, and tie liner," then there might have been a "different trajectory than that previously identified" by the Warren Commission. *
The Justice Department's logic is simple to follow: Any fragment of a bullet that passed through clothing would be expected to carry microscopic traces of cloth fibers. Also, if the above bullet fragment proves to have caused any of the wounds that the Warren Report attributed to the nearly pristine bullet found at Parkland Hospital, then the 'Parkland Bullet' ceases to be a 'Single Bullet'. Since the Warren Commission concluded that a lone gunman could not have fired more than 3 shots in the allotted time span, and with one shot missing the car and another causing the fatal wound to the President's head, the addition of two more bullets, rather than just the single bullet, would make 4 shots --- too many bullets --- necessitating the presence of more than one gunman. The new Report found that none of the fibers adhering to the piece of bullet fragment #567 came from the clothing of either man. This, on the surface, would appear to rule out fragment #567 as causing most, if not all, of the non-fatal wounds (the possible exception being the wrist wounds of Governor Connally.) However the question remains: Does the elimination of bullet fragment #567 as causing the non-fatal wounds in any way establish that the Parkland Bullet was, indeed, a single bullet causing all non-fatal wounds? It does not. In the case of the news report above, someone unfamiliar with the facts of the case jumped to the conclusion that if fragment #567 did not cause any of the non-fatal wounds, this automatically proves that the 'Parkland Bullet' did cause all the non-wounds. This, however, is not the basis of a sound argument.
WHAT DOES THE TESTING OF THE BULLET FRAGMENT PROVE?
By being unable to match the fibers to any known fibers within the assassination setting, and by not being able to determine the source of the tissue found, the testing proves nothing at all.
WHAT CAN WE FURTHER LEARN FROM THIS?
In the press release, the Justice Department does, however, implicitly take a position that is not an assumption, but a fact consistent with forensic science --- a bullet passing through clothing and human flesh will contain microscopic traces of cloth fibers, as well as blood and tissue. What the JD does not comment on is the fact that the nearly-pristine bullet found at Parkland Hospital, and which for over 3 decades the Government has contended caused all of the non-fatal wounds to both the President and the Governor, contained not the slightest microscopic residue of either cloth fibers, blood or tissue.Testimony of FBI Agent Frazier; 3/31/64:
This would seem to also rule out the Parkland Bullet as a cause of the non-fatal wounds, making it at least the 4th bullet to have been fired that day in Dallas. * The "trajectory" referred to above is the path of the theoretical 'single bullet', proposed by then-Commission Counsel Arlen Specter to have entered the back of the President's neck, striking no bone and exiting through the front of his throat, entering the back of Governor John Connally, striking a piece of the Governor's rib, exiting through the front of his chest, passing through his wrist and severing tendons, and then partially embedding itself in Connally's leg.
Folks, I have been alerted by the National Archives that a report on the bullet fragment testing has been released. The release being faxed to me now (29 pages). I will scan them and post on our web site right away. A few questions I already have is if the fiber could be carpet from the limousine and if the report will state if the fragment was ever kept in another container? Of course, we already knew the DNA would be inconclusive due to the "sent-by-mistake" memo a few months ago. I request that anyone with further information or insight to please send it along. To refresh your understanding of this testing see the article by Joe Backes and myself at http:// jfklancer.com/LNE/fragments.html Meanwhile I have received the following press release from Karen Gullo (AP).
See below: Sent to JFK Lancer: NARA 2000-075
We are releasing today a report on laboratory analyses of evidence from the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy.
The evidence analyzed was Warren Commission Exhibit (CE) #567 containing the nose portion of a bullet recovered from the limousine in which the President was riding. The exhibit, which has been in NARA custody since 1966, consisted of five fragments: one copper and lead fragment with adhering fibrous debris, and four smaller pieces of organic material. Tests were made of the debris and the organic material to determine their composition for possible relevance to the Commission's conclusion that alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
In requesting such tests, the Department of Justice said that if "alleged fiber evidence embedded in the bullet nose recovered from the front seat of the limousine" was "consistent with the President's shirt collar, tie, and tie liner," then there might have been a "different trajectory than that previously identified" by the Warren Commission. Scientists concluded from the test that the fibers were of non-textile origin and did not come from the clothing of John F. Kennedy, nor of John B. Connally. The Department of Justice also had speculated that the organic fragments might shed light on the assassination, but DNA analysis of them proved inconclusive.
Most of the analysis was accomplished on site at NARA. Instrumental analysis of a portion of the fibrous material was undertaken at the FBI Laboratory (Washington, DC); histological preparations of samples taken from the four organic fragments were processed at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (Walter Reed Complex); and mitochondrial DNA examinations of samples taken from the four organic fragments were conducted at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (Rockville, MD).
The final report on the investigation, entitled "Further Scientific Examination of JFK Assassination Evidence," describes the scientific decision-making process, summarizes the findings, and appends the individual laboratory reports. The three investigative agencies that cooperated on the project were the FBI Laboratory, The Armed Forces Medical Examiner, and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory. The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine of the Maimonides Medical Center and the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education supplied independent participants in the testing.
For work on this matter, I wish to express particular appreciation to Margaret Kelly (NWTD), who coauthored the summary report, and Steven Tilley (NWCTF).
For questions regarding this notice, please contact Jerry George (NCOM) in room 4400, AII; on 301-713-7360, ext. 264; by fax on 301-713-7344; or by email.
JOHN W. CARLIN
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