Sunday, February 16, 2014

NOVA JFK Cold Case 2013


They correctly classify the 50 year old legally unresolved homicide of John F. Kennedy as a cold case, or one that remains open to investigation and periodically reviewed by new investigators with the latest information and scientific technology has to offer, and focus on what are strictly objective issues that can and should be agreeably resolved to a legal and scientific certainty. 

That just hasn't happened yet, at least not as presented in this NOVA TV special that had the opportunity to do some unique and special experiments but apparently decided not to bother. 

That lofty goal was belittled by a preliminary press release in which Marquette professor John McAdams promised that modern science would prove that Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy alone, evidence that I was anxious to see because I thought science had already proved that Oswald could not have killed Kennedy and in the end McAdams' promise was replaced by an anonymous narrator - like the Wizard of Oz from behind the curtain proclaiming: "When it comes to the JFK assassination, there are explanations science cannot provide." 

Check that: "There are explanations science cannot provide." 

And what is the explanation they provide? 

"No experiments can show why someone would take a rifle into a high window and pull the trigger." 

No, science cannot provide a motive, but it can help identify a suspect and classify the killer and a proper investigation of the suspects background usually reveals the motive. So while scientific experiments cannot determine motive, or why "someone would take a rifle into a high window and pull the trigger," according to these NOVA guys, "they can show it probable that Lee Harvey Oswald did that and he alone killed President Kennedy" 

The key word here is "probable" that experiments can show it "probable" that Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy, when in fact experiments have shown that it was only possible for Oswald to have been in position to have done the dirty deed, and more probable that he wasn't on the Sixth Floor at the time of the shooting and that someone else was the sniper in the high window who pulled the trigger of the gun that shot JFK. 

As Jim Leher, a journalist at the scene of the crime said, "In a few seconds one guy gets off three rounds - pow, pow, pow, and changes the course of history," that is, if in fact only one guy was doing the shooting when in fact there is strong evidence of a second gunman, one who shot the president in the head, a shot that did not originate from the Sixth Floor window, details not recognized by this NOVA show. 

Then professor McAdams, now that Gerald Posner has been thoroughly discraced, it is McAdams who is dragged out of his university office every time they need someone to counter silly conspiracy theories, and ensure that the show is "fair and balanced," who says: "History doesn't always make sense. Here's a nothing person, you know, who brought down the leader of the free world." 

Waite a minute! History? Who said anything about history? What happened to science? I thought we were going to apply objective science to the assassination evidence and prove who killed JFK? What's with this interpretive history stuff? 

McAdams can't even say their names: JFK is the "leader of the free world," while Oswald, I suppose he is referring to Oswald as the "nothing person," a nothing person who was an ex-Marine, radar and radio communication specialist who served at a high security U2 base in Japan, was trained in the Russian language, defected to the Soviet Union, returned a few years later with his Russian wife and daughter, was assisted by members of a Dallas anti-Communist Russian Orthodox Church parish that was subsidized by the CIA, worked at a graphics arts firm that placed captions and markers on U2 photos of the USSR and Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and is suspected of being involved in the shooting of Gen. Walker, promoted the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans when it was a target of a CIA operation, visited the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City and associated closely with such CIA assets as George deMohrenschildt, Volkmar Schmidt and Ruth and Michael Paine. And he was only 24 years old. 

Whatever he was, he was not crazy or mentally deranged as some have made him out to be, and most certainly was not a "nobody person," but Oswald fit the COPP - Cover Operational Personality Profile. So even if modern science can prove that Lee Harvey Oswald alone killed President Kennedy, the assassin's personality profile clearly indicates that he was not a deranged loner but a covert operative run by an intelligence case officer and the assassination fits the modus operandi of a covert intelligence operation designed to shield and protect its actual sponsors. 

So how does NOVA's science prove that Lee Harvey Oswald "probably" killed JFK alone? 

Meet Lucien "Luke" and his son Michael Haag. These Hardy Boys are professional firearms instructors, the best in the business with BS degrees whose specialty is shooting incident reconstruction - an important part of forensic science that they wrote the book on. 

Having read the FBI shooting incident reconstruction of a long Florida firefight with drug dealers in which there were a number of federal agent casualties, it is easy to understand the need to recreate the battle afterwards in order to figure out what happened and learn any lessons to prevent mistakes from being repeated. 

As firearm instructors with many years experience in the field, Luke got into the business before there was any formal training or accreditation, or before such TV crime shows like CSI - Crime Scene Investigator made the profession so popular. But Haag was willing to give the producers of this show what they wanted. Luke Haag has the practical experience and folksy wisdom to say something as idiotic as: "The essence of good forensic science is to look at what are competing explanations of an event. And if you rule out that which is impossible, then what remains, however seemingly improbable, is the truth." 

Stop right there! Besides plaggerizing - Poznerizing Arthur Conan Doyle, or neglecting to even credit him for that Sherlock Holmes statement, that is NOT "the essence of good forensic science." 

The purpose of good forensic science is not to weight "competing explanations of an event," that's an academic forensics, like school debating teams, we are discussing forensic science, and the science part is the developing crime scene evidence that is admissible in a court of law and preserving its provenance until it can be - that is until it can be introduced into a court of law, even if that is over 50 years after the committing of the crime. 

Now Luke Haag, with over 47 years in the gun and forensic science business, certainly knows all this, and his son, who grew up in the biz, was consulted in the investigation of a Taiwanese presidential assassination attempt that certainly deserves further looking into, but they certainly knew that they were directly quoting Sir Author Conan Doyle's "The Blanched Soldier" and repeated in "The Beryl Coronet," when they furnished the final quote of the show that "if you rule out that which is impossible, then what remains, however seemingly improbable, is the truth."

Logically applied, taking Holmes' dictum means that since Oswald couldn't have been on the Sixth Floor at the time of the shooting, then the shots must have been fired by someone else, and however inconvenient or improbable, someone else other than Oswald must have killed Kennedy.

Better still is Sir Doyle having Holmes remark that, "I think there are certain crimes the law cannot touch, and which therefore, to some extent, justify private revenge," as he is quoted as saying in "The Adventures of Charles Augustus."

Ah yes, Private Revenge, a certain title for a pulp fiction novel that can be someday applied to the Kennedy assassination and made into a major motion picture, but until then we have to stick to the scientifically objective facts and an equally instructive quote found on the Haag's web site and attributed to a New Zealand investigator - "The gun speaks....and the message of the gun is there to read by one who knows the language."

For forensic science beginners, bullets often have a unique and distinctive marks left by the barrel, fingerprints and DNA are hard evidence, small holes usually represent entrance wounds and large holes an exit wound, and the ballistic details in the Walker, Kennedy and Tippit shootings can get absorbing in detail but inconsequential in the end.

For those actually interested in an honest, objective and thorough analysis of the ballistics in these cases and attempting to reconstruct the shootings as they took place should review the work already done by others, especially Dr Cyril Wecht, Joshia Thompson, John Orr, Esq., Drs. Barger, Weiss and Ackensasy, Don Thomas and Stu Wexler and Larry Hancock.

As for NOVA's presentation, when it comes to the scientific evidence in the assassination they apparently passed on reviewing the acoustic evidence and went straight to the brain - the head shot, but they claim they had to reconstruct it because it is "impossible" to evaluate the original brain, but don't explain why.

They couldn't conduct these experiments on the real brain because it is no longer available, as parts of it were blow away and fell in parts onto the car's trunk, seat and floor, and some fell onto the floor of the Parkland emergency room, while some was scraped out of the cranium and placed into little jars labeled "JFK brain matter," and later flushed into a food processor, while what was left was reportedly buried with the President by his brother when his remains were removed and reburied in a secret late night military exercise in 1967. So much for the provenance of a key piece of the forensic evidence.

For a real forensic examination of a brain see Dr. Cyril Wecht's presentation at the October 2013 "Pass the Torch" conference at the Wecht Center for Forensic Science and Law in Pittsburgh when  he actually sections a brain to show what it actually looks like, and how that would indicate the direction of the shot from where it entered.

John Orr, a federal attorney who on his own time evaluated the ballistic evidence in the assassination and concluded and convinced US Attorney General Janet Reno, as well as the administrators of the National Archives and the FBI to conduct scientific tests on ballistic evidence (CE 567), the bullet fragments found on the limo floor, which contained suspected DNA evidence that could have disproved the single bullet theory and give weight to a probable conspiracy.

Orr's report indicated that the fatal head shot that killed President Kennedy did not originate from the Sixth Floor window, but from another direction, from another rifle and a different type of bullet than those fired from the Mannlicher Carcano, as unlike CE399 - the magic bullet, the bullet that hit JFK in the head fragmented on impact.

But of course you won't learn any of this from the NOVA TV special "Cold Case," which examines competing versions of events and tries to rule out the impossible and however improbable, accept what's left as the truth of the matter, and so be it.

So far, when it comes to the assassination of President Kenned, science and law have failed to find the truth, something that apparently will take a private revenge to ascertain to a scientific certainty.

Bill Kelly


Terry Hildebrand said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terry Hildebrand said...

Although not a scientist myself by vocation, I have read enough about scientific methodology and the philosophy of science to know that theories are not "proven" so much as they are falsified. Scientists attempt to set up experiments that will test if a hypothesis can be supported or not. The NOVA program tried to make people forget that the official "theory" has already been discredited and falsified, and did not explore any alternative hypotheses, except very briefly the suggestion that a shot "might" have come from the front.

The preposterous single-bullet "theory" of the official government narrative has been thoroughly falsified decades ago by various researchers, and most recently by folks like Oliver Stone in his film, Douglas Horne, James Douglass, E. Martin Schotz, David Mantik, and many others.