Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kennedy’s Head Case

John and Jacqueline Kennedy arrive in Dallas

The J.F.K., conspiracy psychosis is one of the most outstanding examples of sheer unadulterated wilful delusion alive today. In a past posting I examined the Kennedy mythos, which created the Kennedy “Holy Family” and turned John Kennedy into St. John of Kennedy; who also was turned into the incarnate son of God.1 Here I will examine just one element of the Kennedy assassination mythos, where conspiracy idiocy combines with scientific idiocy and mythology.

In this case it is what was revealed by the infamous Zapruder film, which seems to show that John Kennedy’s head as the bullet hits it, the head, moves back and to the left. This of course was used by Oliver Stone in the Film JFK to indicate that John Kennedy was killed by a bullet hitting him in the front. Jim Garrison as played in the movie and in real life played the tape over and over again to the jury in the Clay Shaw trial in New Orleans.2

It is a common belief that when a bullet hits some one it pushes or knocks the person back. This is the purest nonsense. As it is why do people believe it?

The answer is quite simple people have seen an endless array of Hollywood flicks in which people are knocked backwards by bullets hitting them, often a single one. Thus we see some one running towards someone and they are hit by a bullet that knocks them back. This is very dramatic and quite entertaining to see in a film, it is also total nonsense.3

Why is this total nonsense? It is quite simple, bullets weigh less than a 50 grams, (c. one ounce) the average human body weights well over 50 kilograms, (c. one hundred lbs). The energy of momentum of the bullet given its size will be tiny compared to either the inertia of the body it hits if it is not moving or any motion that the body is undergoing. Thus the momentum imparted by a bullet even if moving very fast will be minimal. To look at it from a different perspective remember according to Newton’s third law there must be an equal and opposite reaction. Thus any bullet that knocks some one off their feet will be enough to knock the shooter back also. Since that does not happen we can dismiss this as Hollywood fantasy.4

The TV show Mythbusters showed that this was nonsense when it fired bullets including by a machine gun into hanging pig carcases and got near zero movement. The firing of more than 50 rounds into a pig carcase with no visible movement resulting is especially effective as a debunking of this myth.5

To quote:
“So the killings that people see on television and in the movies, which is the only type of killings most people ever see, where the person being struck by the bullet very frequently is visibly and dramatically propelled backward by the force of the bullet [sometime to the point of toppling over] is not what happens in life when a bullet hits a human being?”

“No, of course not.”6
Regarding Kennedy’s head since the bullet that hit him weighed about 15 grams, (one third of a ounce), and the weight of a full grown adult human head would weight at least 4 kilograms, (c. 10 lbs), and in Kennedy’s case probably close to if not more than 7 kilograms, (c. 14 lbs).; one would expect that bullet would not move the head very much, if at all. Although interestingly a shot from the back could cause the head to move back due to the eruption of debris from the exit wound.7

Zapruder frame 313 showing moment bullet hits John Kennedy in the head

To quote again:
“So the head snap to the rear could not possibly have been caused by the force of a bullet from the front?” I asked.

He replied, “That’s correct. Kennedy’s head simply would not be pushed anywhere near that far back by one-third of an ounce, even traveling in excess of two thousand feet per second.”8
So the head movement in the Zapruder film proves absolutely nothing about where the bullet comes from and those who think it does have taken Hollywood fantasy as reality.

As for the source of the movement of Kennedy’s head to the back, it could be the debris exploding from the exit wound and / or an involuntary muscle movement it is most definitely not the result of a bullet hitting him in the front.9

Therefore it appears that if you are going to argue that John Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy; the head movements of John Kennedy after he was hit in the head are not evidence of it. They are quite consistent with a shot hitting him in the back of the head.

Diagram showing passage of bullet and damage to John Kennedy's skull

1. For some examinations of the Kennedy mythos and why it is a lie, see Vidal, Gore, The Holy Family, United States: Essays 1952-1992, Broadway Books, New York, 1993, pp. 809-826, (Originally Published in Esquire, 1967), and Hersh’s JFK, The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000, Vintage Books, 2001, pp. 220-237, (Originally Published in The New Yorker, 1997), Hersh, Seymour M., The Dark Side of Camelot, Little Brown, New York, 1997, Wills, Gary, The Kennedy Imprisonment, Mariner Books, New York, 2002, (Originally published in 1982).

2. Rodgers, Tom, Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics, Source Books Inc, Naperville ILL., 2007, p. 195, Lambert, Patricia, False Witness, M. Evans and Co. Inc., New York, 1998, p. 129. For an analysis that reveals the worthlessness of JFK as a portrayal of the facts see, Lambert, pp. 209-242, and Bulgliosi, Vincent, Reclaiming History, W.W. Norton and Co., New York, 2007, 1347-1436. For how shoddy and abusive Garrison’s investigation and prosecution of Clay Shaw was see Bulgliosi above and, Posner, Gerald, Case Closed, Anchor Books, New York, 1993, pp. 421-450, Lambert, especially pp. 95-180, 199-208, 273-282.

3. Rogers, pp. 179-194, Bulgliosi, pp. 488-490.

4. Rogers, pp. 181-182, 202-203.

5. Mythbusters Results, Here.

6. Bulgliosi, p. 489. Bulgliosi is questioning a physics expert here.

7. Bulgliosi, p. 489. Rogers, pp. 196-200.

8. Bulgliosi, p. 488. Bulgliosi is questioning another physics expert.

9. Rogers, p. 202, Poser, pp. 314-315.

Pierre Cloutier

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