Friday, October 18, 2013

Thursday - Dr. McClelland's Report from Trauma Room One

Report from the Wecht conference - Thursday, October 17

After Dr. Wecht gave his spiel, in typically fine form and with good humor, we heard from Larry J. Sabato, the University of Virginia professor whose new book on JFK created some news with a new analysis of the acoustical evidence of a shot from the Knoll.

Then Josiah Thompson and Keith Fitzgerald gave their intense and detailed report entitled: Last Second in Dallas: A Micro-Study of the Assassination, in which Thompson shows how flawed the tests were that tried to prove the "Jet Effect" in which an object shot with a high powered rifle will move in the direction the shot originated, thus explaining the backwards movement of JFK's head when shot from above and behind.

Thompson went into the details of the original reports and photos of the experiments by Dr. Alveraz, and discovered that of the half dozen objects shot multiple times from different distances, only a mellen did what Dr. Alveraz said - fell backwards and every single other test object went forward, although Dr. Alveraz didn't bother to report on all of the failures before he obtained the one example he needed to prove his "effect."

Then Thompson and Fitzgerald went into their most recent analysis that led them to a new theory, that JFK was hit twice in the head, once AFTER the Z - frame that shows the head exploding.

Robert Groden, whose new book "Absolute Proof" will be published and released next week, and include a lot of new photographs and material, gave a good presentation on the areas he has been working on.

At the same time Groden was giving his slide show presentation, Timmothy A. Nicholson gave a concurrent report on "An Acoustic Analysis of Witness Reports in the JFK Assassination (A Gunman Near JFK?), which I missed but look forward to reviewing on video when they are available.

In the afternoon, Dr. Don Thomas gave his presentation on "Double Talk: Synchronization of the Acoustical Evidence and the JFK Assassination," and in conversation with Dr. Thomas over lunch, he said that he had obtained the Sabato review but had yet to read it, but promised to do so and report back on what he thinks of it.

Jeffrey Sundberg also gave a talk on "Imaging Properties of the Bell & Howell 414PD Camera and Implications for Authenticity of the Zapruder Film. Given Dr. Wecht's take on the Zapruder film alteration, it was surprising that this was even made part of the program, but it certainly is worthy of discussion, and while I don't yet understand the implications, I am going to look into this further.

While Dr. David W. Mantik, M.D., Ph.D. and Ed Forum member Patrick J. Speer gave their talk on "The Harper Fragment Redux: A Panel Discussion," Dr. Cyril Wecht made his presentation on "The President's Autopsy: A Forensic Pathological and Medical-Legal Critique."

Since he has been doing this for so long, Dr. Wecht could give this lecture in his sleep, but with typical humor laced descriptions of the autopsy, and all of its problems and mistakes, Wecht concluded that "if the autopsy doctors were Asians, they would have committed suicide, if they were Europeans they would have resigned, but since they were Americans, they bullshit their way out of it."

To end the program for the day, Dr. Robert McClelland gave a very detailed and fascinating account of his time in the Parkland's Trauma Room One via teleconference from Dallas.

Dr. McClelland said that he was on one of six surgeons at Parkland at the time (now there are over 60), and when asked to report to the emergency room, he was directed by the head nurse there to Trauma Room One, where there was already two surgeons working on the President, concentrating on the throat wound.

He went to the end of the gurney and stood by the President's head, and noticed the gaping hole in the back of the head and the fact that some of the President's brain was hanging, out and when he called this to the attention of the other two doctors who said they hadn't looked closely at the head wound. At that point, part of the brain fell off the gurney.

After working on the throat wound for a few minutes, the doctors noticed that JFK's heart, that was still beating, was slowing down and then stopped, and he was declared dead.

Dr. McClelland remained in the room, pinned against the wall by the gurney, as Father Huber performed the last rites, and he saw Mrs. Kennedy flinch when he gave a "conditional" absolution to the dead President.

He then watched Mrs. Kennedy exchange rings with JFK, and the battle between Dallas medical examiner and the Secret Service agents, one of whom had a Thompson submachine gun.

Years, later, McClelland said after watching the Zapruder film, he is convinced that the gaping hole in the back of JFK's head was caused by a bullet shot from the front from a gunman on the grassy knoll.

Someone in the audience stated that McClelland "arrived late" and didn't stay long and wasn't concentrating enough to notice the gaping hole in the back of JFK's head, to which McClelland replied that he arrived shortly after the two other doctors began to work on the first physical wound they noticed, the throat wound, and that by taking a position at the end of the gurney, he had very clear view of the head wound, for about eight minutes, and he was concentrating on what he was doing more than anything he had concentrated on before in his life.

Also see: Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette article on Page 7 of the Saturday, October 18th edition.

Surgeon in ER insists 2 gunmen shot JFK
Doctor first to see Kennedy's wound
October 18, 2013 4:00 AM

By Michael A. Fuoco Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A surgeon who half a century ago was among the doctors who tried to save President John F. Kennedy's life said Thursday that the Warren Commission got it wrong in determining a lone gunman assassinated JFK in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

Speaking via teleconference to a Duquesne University symposium marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination, Robert N. McClelland said he was the first doctor in Parkland Hospital's Trauma Room One to notice the massive wound in the back of Kennedy's skull and that a trauma of that size had to be an exit wound.

"The whole right side of his skull was gone. I could look inside his skull cavity. Obviously, it was a mortal wound," he told a spellbound audience of legal, medical, forensic and investigative experts and the public who packed the university's Power Ballroom.

Dr. McClelland, now 83 and professor emeritus at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, said that because it was an exit wound, it logically followed that it had been fired from in front of the president's limousine. And, in turn, that meant a second gunman was involved in the assassination, contradicting the Warren Commission's finding that there was but one assassin.

The Warren Commission determined that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he fired three times with a high-powered rifle on the president's motorcade in Dealey Plaza from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. The commission said that one bullet missed, another went through the president's neck and also wounded Texas Gov. John Connolly -- the so-called "single bullet theory" -- and the third caused the fatal head wound.

But Dr. McClelland was resolute. "Having seen what I saw" in the emergency room and then viewing the Zapruder film of the assassination, he said, he believes JFK "was initially hit from a bullet fired from the sixth floor that went through his back and out through his neck. The next injury was caused by somebody behind the picket fence on the grassy knoll firing a shot that blew out the right side of his head."

Speaking on the first day of the three-day symposium sponsored by the university's Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law, Dr. McClelland also recounted how two days after Kennedy's assassination he and other surgeons tried in vain to save Oswald's life after he was shot by Jack Ruby while being transferred from Dallas police headquarters to the county jail.

In his address, Dr. Wecht, the renowned forensic pathologist and longtime critic of the Warren Report, railed against what he called was the "inept, inexplicable, totally incompetent" autopsy performed on the president by Navy pathologists James J. Humes and J. Thornton Boswell. They concluded the president had been struck by two bullets, fired from above and behind, with the fatal shot being the one that struck his head.

"They had never done a single gunshot wound autopsy before. If you heard of this in another country, you'd say condescendingly and dismissively, 'What do you expect from that country?' but this was our country," Dr. Wecht said. "This should bother you so much; this should be so distressing, even 50 years later."

Dr. Wecht, who used a skull and dissected a brain during his address to illustrate his criticism of the autopsy and what wasn't done, said the "cold case" needs to be reopened.

"The Warren Commission Report is scientifically absurd," he said. The burden of the report's detractors is not to have all the answers about the assassination, he said, but to point out defects in the investigation, which they have done. He received a standing ovation.

Among the speakers today will be Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone, director of the controversial 1991 film "JFK" and director/narrator of the Showtime docu-series "Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States."

Michael A. Fuoco: or 412-263-1968. First Published October 17, 2013 8:00 PMc


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