Did Oswald Act Alone?

by Robert Harris

By far, the most difficult part of this article is the beginning, where I should be telling you what this is all about. But there is just no way I can make this sound sane or logical, until you let me show you some facts and evidence, so I'm going to defer some of my conclusions until I can present that to you. I promise however, that although you might not be aware of this evidence, every piece of it will be verifiable and most of it will come from the files of the Warren Commission and the HSCA (House Select Committee on Assassinations), or from reports by the FBI and Dallas police department. I will also be citing two of the nation's top physicists, both of whom analyzed the Zapruder film and worked for the federal government. I will also promise that this article will be different than anything you have read or seen before. That said, I intend to demonstrate that Lee Harvey Oswald, though probably guilty of participation in this crime, did not act alone. I believe I can prove that beyond any reasonable doubt.

The only request I will make of my readers, is that they study this evidence carefully. Some of the things I write about might not seem important at first, but they will, I promise. I would also ask that you be as open minded as you can. Most Americans have very strong opinions on the JFK case, to the point where their beliefs become more like a religion than an exercise in criminology. Like any other controversial issue, this one demands uncompromising objectivity. And any significant conclusions require verifiable, indisputable evidence. Carl Sagan said it best, "An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof.". In this article, I intend to show you that extraordinary proof.

Over the decades that I studied this crime, I arrived at numerous conclusions which were identical with those of Gerald Posner, Vincent Bugliosi, and other advocates of the "lone nut" theory. I saw hard, verifiable evidence, which convinced me that Lee Harvey Oswald was almost certainly guilty, that the fatal headshot did indeed come from the rear as the Warren Commission claimed, and that a single bullet passed through President Kennedy and Governor Connally. I also examined theories and arguments put forward by conspiracy theorists, which were simply ridiculous. "Badgeman", "the driver did it", and even the theory that a shot was fired from the grassy knoll, to name a few, made no sense at all to me.

The Grassy knoll theory, which has always been standard fare among conspiracy theorists, simply doesn't work, because a shot from anywhere in that area would have exited out the left side of the President's head, where there was no damage at all.

To rebut all of the bad conspiracy theories would  be beyond the province of this article. Bugliosi's massive, "Reclaiming History" is by far the greatest repository of conspiracy debunkings, and provides an excellent reference for such analyses.  But impressive as it is, all of this evidence does not resolve what is actually, the most important question of all.

Did Oswald act alone or did he have accomplices?

At first glance, that question seems easy. Most witnesses reported hearing three shots that day, and three shells were found in the alleged sniper's nest. So, it would seem reasonable to conclude that Oswald was the only one to fire at the President. And there is no doubt that based on numerous tests, Oswald could have fired the alleged murder weapon, an Italian Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, rapidly enough to have gotten off three shots during the eight seconds between Zapruder frame 160, when most researchers believe the first shot was fired and frame 313, when the President was killed by a shot to the back of his head.

In addition to that, the FBI presented the Warren Commission with a whole bullet which was alleged to have fallen from a stretcher at Parkland hospital, and was proven to have been fired from Oswald's rifle, to the exclusion of all others. They also found smaller fragments in the limousine, which also appeared to have come from that weapon. As we will see a bit later however, there is a good deal more to this story.

As the owner of a rifle identical to Oswald's, I can also confirm that the weapon is not as bad as some conspiracy advocates have claimed. It is reasonably accurate and in the hands of a moderately competent sniper, certainly could have been used to fire the kill shot that day. But it does have one rather important deficiency. The mechanism to recycle the ammunition is stiff and awkward to operate.

Time required to reload, aim and fire Oswald's rifle

The FBI tested Oswald's weapon thoroughly, and in their original tests, each of their experts required three or more seconds to reload, acquire their target, and fire. Months later, FBI expert Robert Frazier returned to the firing range and after repeated attempts, was able to bring his time down to 2.3 seconds, stating in his Warren Commission testimony, that he was, "firing this weapon as fast as the bolt can be operated..".

Years later, in 1978, the House Select Committee on Assassinations, recruited eight sharpshooters from the Washington D.C. police department, who along with two committee staffers, repeatedly attempted to corroborate their theory (based on their discredited dictabelt analysis) that Oswald fired shots 1.66 second apart. After numerous attempts, they failed every time. To the best of my knowledge, and after more than fifty years, no one has beaten Frazier's 2.3 second time. 

I should point out that HSCA testers were able to get considerably faster times by firing blindly, without attempting to acquire a target. But it would be extremely unlikely that a sniper could have fired the fatal headshot, from almost the length of a football field (90 yards), without aiming.  It also makes no sense that Oswald or whoever fired that shot, was rushing. Unlike the first shot, which seems to have missed and the next, which struck the President in the back, far below the center of the head, the shot at 313 was perfect. It is hard to imagine a sniper not having taken the time to aim carefully. And there was no need to rush, since according to Dr. Luis Alvarez, who did a frame-by-frame analysis of the velocity of the Presidential limousine,  it had slowed to about 8 MPH at that point.

And yet, the Warren Commission, in it's final report stated,
"..a substantial majority of the witnesses stated that the shots were not evenly spaced. Most witnesses recalled that the second and third shots were bunched together."
At one point during the hearings, Warren Commissioner Allen Dulles noted the overwhelming consistency of these witnesses, when he described the ratio of those confirming that shooting scenario in comparison with others,
"There has been a certain amount of testimony indicating there was a longer pause between the report of the first shot... and the second and third shots, that is not absolutely unanimous but I would say it is something like 5 to 1 or something of that kind.."
Of course, witnesses are notoriously prone to error, though it is questionable that so many would make exactly the same mistake. In fact, most "lone nut" advocates, including Posner and Bugliosi, believe exactly the opposite - that the first two shots were closer together than the last two. More specifically, they saw convincing visual evidence of shots being fired at Zapruder frames 223 and (approximately) 160. My own research is in full agreement with them. I have also come to believe that one bullet did indeed, pass through President Kennedy and Governor Connally.

The Single Bullet Theory

If we carefully study the reactions of the two victims at Zapruder frame 223 and immediately after, it is easy to see that a bullet struck Governor Connally, blowing open his jacket and causing his tie, to flip to his left. The President reacted within a scant sixth of one second later, as his hands and arms began to rise. So, they were either hit by the same bullet, or by improbable coincidence, simultaneously, by two different bullets. This brief animation should make that clear.

The Shot at (approximately) Frame 160

It is a bit more difficult to pinpoint the shot prior to that, which was explained in detail in Posner's book, "Case Closed", but there is no serious doubt that it occurred. Posner based much of his analysis on the reactions and statements of Rosemary Willis who was then a young girl, running along the south side of the street, and then came to an abrupt halt shortly after frame 160. In her interview with Posner, she agreed that she stopped in reaction to that shot. Posner also cited a witness account of sparks flying up from the pavement when the shot which apparently missed the President, struck the Elm St. pavement.

I came to the same conclusion but differently - based on the reactions of Mrs. Kennedy and the President himself. Jackie, who was turned toward the crowd on her left, suddenly began to turn toward the President, beginning at frame 169 and was fully facing him, a fraction of a second later. In her testimony, she made it clear that she was still looking to her left when that shot was fired.
"You know, there is always noise in a motorcade and there are always motorcycles beside us, a lot of them backfiring. So I was looking to the left. I guess there was a noise.."
Phil Willis, who was photographing the limo at the time, from the south side of the street, confirmed that she began that turn from left-to-right, immediately following a gunshot. This is from his Warren Commission testimony,
"In slide No. 4 he was looking pretty much toward--straight ahead, and she was looking more to the left, which would be my side of the street. Then when the first shot was fired, she turned to the right, toward him."
At the same time, President Kennedy also twisted sharply to his right and by frame 193 (see below), was shielding his face with his right hand, probably because he had been struck by debris from the bullet that hit the pavement. This still does not pinpoint when that shot was fired, but it obviously occurred  shortly before the reactions of the President, his wife, and Rosemary Willis.

 

If a shot was indeed fired at frame 160, it and the one at 223 were 3.4 seconds apart. The FBI tested Zapruder's camera and concluded that it ran at 18.3 frames per second, so (223-160)/18.3=3.44 seconds, while the shots at 223 and 313 were separated by almost 5 seconds (4.93 to be exact).  So, why was there no consensus of witnesses who recognized that the first shots were noticeably closer together than the final ones? Why did almost all of the relevant witnesses report exactly the opposite?

More Witness Accounts

Reading through the Warren Commission testimonies of witnesses who commented on the spacing of the shots, I found only a few who thought the early shots were closer together than than the final ones. Among the Secret Service agents, police officers, Sheriff's deputies and other law enforcement professionals, there were none.

The Secret Service agents who rode in the Presidential limousine were no exception. This is from the WC testimony of Special Agent, Bill Greer, who drive the limousine,
Mr. SPECTER. To the best of your ability to recollect and estimate, how much time elapsed from the first noise which you have described as being similar to the backfire of a motor vehicle until you heard the second noise?

Mr. GREER. It seems a matter of seconds, I really couldn't say. Three or four seconds.

Mr. SPECTER. How much time elapsed, to the best of your ability to estimate and recollect, between the time of the second noise and the time of the third noise?

Mr. GREER. The last two seemed to be just simultaneously, one behind the other..
 SAIC, Roy Kellerman, who rode in the front, passenger seat, stated that he heard a single "firecracker" sound, a delay and then, "a flurry of shells come into the car.".
Mr. SPECTER.. Was there any timespan which you could discern between the first and second shots and what you have described as the flurry?

Mr. KELLERMAN. I will estimate 5 seconds, if that...

Representative FORD. You don't recall precisely a second shot and a third shot such as you did in the case of the first?

Mr. KELLERMAN. Let me give you an illustration, sir, before I can give you an answer. You have heard the sound barrier, of a plane breaking the sound barrier, bang, bang? That is it.

Representative FORD. This is for the second and the third, or the flurry as you described it?

Mr. KELLERMAN. That is right; that is right, sir.
There were countless others who echoed Greer and Kellerman's testimonies that they heard only a single noise or shot, followed by a delay, and then closely bunched shots at the end. For example, Motorcycle officer Clyde Haygood,
Mr. Belin. Were the three spaced equally distant?

Mr. Haygood. No..

Mr. Belin. Was one more close than the other one?


Mr. Haygood. The last two were closer than the first. In other words, it was the first, and then a pause, and then the other two were real close.
Dallas Morning News reporter, Mary Woodward,
I heard a very loud noise. And I wasn't sure what it was at that point, and I turned to my friends and asked "what was that? Is some jerk shooting off firecrackers?' And then I heard the second one, and this time I knew what had happened, because I saw the president's motion, and then the third shot came very, very quickly, on top of the second one.
Secret Service agent George Hickey, riding in the followup car immediately behind the President, heard a single noise, a delay and then,
"At the moment he was almost sitting erect I heard two reports which... were in such rapid succession that there seemed to be practically no time element between them."
This creates a perplexing dilemma. Clearly, there were two shots fired circa frames 160 and 223 and another at 313, yet there was an almost unanimous consensus of witnesses hearing only one early report and then closely bunched shots at the very end of the attack. Could that many witnesses have made exactly the same error?

Two critical questions arise from this puzzle. Why weren't both of the early shots heard by most witnesses, and why did most of the witnesses hear closely bunched shots at the end of the attack? We will deal with the first of those questions a bit later. The answer to the second, was provided by one of the most brilliant scientists of the 20th century, Dr. Luis Alvarez. In addition to his Nobel prize winning work in particle physics,  Alvarez was the youngest scientist on the Manhattan Project and over the years, filed more than one hundred patents. In his spare time, he and his son discovered what is widely accepted to be the cause of the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Alvarez was also a consultant for the Bell & Howell company, the manufacturer of Abraham Zapruder's camera, and had done studies in Africa, of the effects of high powered rifle shots on camera operators, who blurred frames in reaction to the shots. Alvarez noticed that this only happened when the cameras were handheld and never when they were mounted on a tripod. His  conclusion was that the blurred frames were the result of the cameramen being startled by the shots, causing them to jiggle the camera. He later patented a device for Bell & Howell, which would cushion the blurring effects of such reactions.

Dr. Alvarez decided to apply his knowledge to a study of the Zapruder film, by examining the frames which were published in Life magazine. He searched for a certain type of streaking which he knew, could be caused by startle reactions, calling them "angular accelerations".  In 1976, he published an article in the American Journal of Physics, in which he explained his analysis and conclusions. His paper can be found here,

http://jfkhistory.com/alvarez.pdf              

In that paper, Alvarez said there was a loud and startling noise at Zapruder frame 285, which resulted in heavily blurred frames a fraction of a second later, at frames 290-291.

He also did a frame-by-frame analysis of the velocity of the limousine in relation to people in the background, and confirmed that the driver, Bill Greer, who had been criticized for slowing the limo at that time, did so in reaction to that same noise.  And in fact, if we study those frames carefully, it is easy to see that at the same time he was slowing the limo, Greer spun around to the front at enormous speed. In fact, some conspiracy advocates have claimed (falsely, as I was able to confirm), that his turn was impossible and evidence that the film was altered.

It is unfortunate that Alvarez did not have access to an actual copy of the Zapruder film and could only work with the stills from Life magazine. If he had access to the film, he undoubtedly, would have noticed that Greer and Zapruder were not the only ones to react to that noise.

What Alvarez didn't realize was that at the precise instant in which he identified Zapruder's reaction at 290-291, three of the limo passengers - Secret Service agent Roy Kellerman, Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Connally all began to duck, dropping their heads in almost perfect unison. (See the segment to the left.) Their reactions were simultaneous with Greer beginning to spin around to the front, and heavily blurred frames, which Alvarez identified as a startle reaction by Zapruder.

Governor Connally also turned at the same time, but perhaps because of his wounds, only about 90 degrees. Each of these highly visible reactions began in the same three frames, or 1/6th of a second, at frames 290-292. 

http://jfkhistory.com/nellie4.gifSo, it would seem that Dr. Alvarez was right. There was indeed, a loud and startling noise at frame 285, which simultaneously startled and provoked visible reactions, not only by Zapruder and Greer, but every passenger in the limousine except JFK, who seems to have been immobilized by the bullet which struck near vertebrae in his back. The next and most important question then becomes, what was that noise?

Alvarez, a staunch Warren Commission defender, suggested that it might have been a siren rather than a gunshot - first, because only 1.5 seconds separated it from the fatal headshot at frame 313, which was too close for Oswald to have fired both. And second, because Zapruder's reaction following 313 was more pronounced than his reaction to 285. Of course, a simple, alternative explanation would be that the 313 shot was louder than the one at 285. And in fact, if we look at the limo passengers' reactions to 285                                Slow motion segment capturing the reactions
and then 313, we see the same thing among                                       
them. The reactions to 313 were more dramatic.   

Another highly qualified Physicist analyzed the Zapruder film and Alvarez's paper years later, and wrote articles which addressed these same issues. That was Dr. Michael Stroscio, who holds a Phd in physics from Yale University. Stroscio had also won awards and had chaired Presidential science commissions. In his paper, he agreed with Alvarez on pretty much everything, except for Alvarez's speculation that the loud noise at 285 was a siren. 
"The association of the blast of a siren with the angular-acceleration episode that begins at frame 290 was made by Alvarez but he stated clearly that he was not sure this assignment was correct. Indeed, as correctly pointed out by Alvarez, most eyewitnesses claimed that siren sounded after the fatal wound to President Kennedy's head. These witnesses held that the siren first sounded well after frame 313 and the siren could not be responsible for the angular-acceleration episode that began at frame 290. Alvarez points out that eyewitnesses frequently have flawed memories of stressful events, but it is difficult, indeed, to understand why many witnesses would make the same error."
At this point, it would be useful to do some simple arithmetic. The limo passengers and Zapruder, all began to react at frames 290-292. As Alvarez pointed out in his paper, startle reactions must begin within no more than one third of a second, following the noise. That would suggest that the noise occurred at 284-286, or 285 as Alvarez suggested. In reality however, reactions usually begin a bit faster than that. This passage is from the HSCA report,
Startile reaction times in response to the sound of gunshots were measured in the experimental work of Landis and Hunt in 1939. For "head movement:' "movement of neck muscles,” and "initiation of arm movement,” Landis and Hunt found that the reaction time was 0.06 to 0.2 second (i.e., 1.1 to 3.7 frames).
So, we can think of one third of a second (6 Zapruder frames) as the maximum possible time between the stimulus and the reactions, although we can reasonably suspect that the noise was heard as late at 287 or 288, but no earlier than 285.

As we have seen, there is immense support among the witnesses, for Stroscio's suggestion that this was a gunshot rather than a siren. Obviously, shots at 285 and 313, 1.5 seconds apart, were consistent with the Warren Commission's conclusion that, "Most witnesses recalled that the second and third shots were bunched together.".

If Stroscio is correct, then the shot at 285 would have been the second of three that was heard that day. And there is compelling evidence that this shot did indeed miss the President.

The Second (audible) Shot

In his Warren Commission testimony, Greer made an interesting statement,
"The second one didn't sound any different much than the first one but I kind of got, by turning around, I don't know whether I got a little concussion of it, maybe when it hit something or not, I may have gotten a little concussion that made me think there was something different to it.."
Keeping in mind that he also stated, "The last two seemed to be just simultaneously, one behind the other.", it is hard to think of this being anything other than a gunshot at frame 285, and that the "concussion" Greer felt, was caused by the shock wave of the passing bullet. It is also informative, that he said he felt that concussion when he was turned around. He was certainly, not turned to the rear at frames 160 or 223. He was however, at 285.
But studying the frames around 285, I saw no evidence of anyone being hit then. Initially, I saw that as cause for doubt, but as it turned out, a missed second shot actually provides a perfect resolution to a longtime, unresolved controversy. Greer's recollection that he felt a "concussion" from the second shot, does indeed, suggest a passing bullet. If that is true, then another important witness comes into  the picture. That was James Tague.

Tague's case is interesting and provides an important clue. As students of the case know, he was nicked by a tiny piece of shrapnel or debris, which caused a trickle of blood to run down his cheek. Sheriff's deputies and the FBI, also found a fresh smear of lead on the Main St. curbing near where Tague was standing, just below the overpass at the west end of Dealey Plaza.

This is from a paper by Dr. Stroscio, dated 12/13/1994, discussing Tague,
..it may be that the jerking episode starting at frame 290 is associated with the bullet which caused the fragment that struck James Tague in the cheek. In fact, since James Tague was standing near the triple underpass on the west side of Dealey Plaza, it is certain that he was struck by an object traveling west on Elm Street.
Although he expressed some uncertainty, Tague told the Warren Commission that he was nicked as the result of the second shot he heard. If that was at 285, then the bullet, which seems to have missed the President, went on to strike the pavement some distance west, shattering and causing a tiny piece of debris to nick Tague, and a larger piece of lead to smear on the Main St. curbing. This is from his Warren Commission testimony,
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you hear any more shots after you felt yourself get hit in the face?

Mr. TAGUE. I believe I did.

Mr. LIEBELER. You think you did?

Mr. TAGUE. I believe I did.

Mr. LIEBELER. How many?

Mr. TAGUE. I believe that it was the second shot, so I heard the third shot afterwards.
The evidence is compelling that this was a gunshot, rather than a siren. In addition to the large consensus of witnesses that the final shots were closely bunched, and the simultaneous reactions of the limo passengers and Abraham Zapruder, only a bullet could have created the shock wave that Greer described as "the concussion" he felt. And James Tague's recollection that the second shot was associated with his minor wound, are consistent with this having been a gunshot and very much in contradiction to the notion that it was a siren.

Mrs. Connally

But there is even stronger evidence. It comes from Mrs. Nellie Connally, the wife of Governor John Connally. It was my study of her testimony, combined with her visible actions in the Zapruder film, which convinced me to a virtual certainty, that a shot was fired in the range of frame 285-288. In other articles, I have referred to her as the Rosetta stone of the assassination.

Mrs. Connally's recollection that her husband was struck by a different bullet than the one that hit the President has long been cited by conspiracy theorists as a refutation to the single bullet theory. But when we look closely at her actions in the Zapruder film, in conjunction with her visible actions, a much different story emerges.

Let's first look at the sequence of events that she recalled. This is from her Warren Commission testimony, as she describes the "frightening noise” she heard that day, and then the shot that she believed, wounded Governor Connally.
Mrs. CONNALLY. ..I heard a noise, and not being an expert rifleman, I was not aware that it was a rifle. It was just a frightening noise, and it came from the right. I turned over my right shoulder and looked back, and saw the President as he had both hands at his neck.

Mr. SPECTER. And you are indicating with your own hands, two hands crossing over gripping your own neck?

Mrs. CONNALLY. Yes; and it seemed to me there was - he made no utterance, no cry. I saw no blood, no anything. It was just sort of nothing, the expression on his face, and he just sort of slumped down. Then very soon there was the second shot that hit John.
A revealing controversy arose between the Connallys, in their Warren Commission testimonies. Mrs. Connally testified,
I recall John saying "Oh, no, no, no, no". Then there was a second shot, and it hit John...
But as the victim, Governor Connally knew better. He remembered that he shouted after he was wounded. He testified,
...I immediately, when I was hit, I said, "Oh, no, no, no"
Mrs. Connally heard a single noise, which provoked her to turn to her right, to check the President, who was clearly in distress with his arms having risen upward. It is sometime after that, that she hears the second of three shots, which she mistakenly believed, wounded her husband. There is a simple but very powerful method for determining what happened then. We simply follow her in the Zapruder film and match up her actions with her testimony.

In the Zapruder film, we see her begin to turn to her right at about, frame 230. But before turning completely toward the President, she stops briefly, to examine her husband. From the Zapruder side of Elm St. we can see Governor Connally's contorted face and pained reactions to his wounds, but during those critical seconds, his wife could only see his back. Unaware that he has been wounded, she continues her turn to the rear, to check on the President. I believe this annotated animation makes all of this quite clear. PLEASE study it carefully. It really is important.
At frame 246, Mrs. Connally glances briefly at her husband, but can only see his back. She was unaware that he has been wounded, and will later testify that she thought he was turning to inspect the President,

"John had turned to his right also when we heard that first noise and shouted, 'no, no, no', and in the process of turning back around so that he could look back and see the President..the second shot was fired and hit him."

She continues her turn to the rear at about 249, and can probably see JFK by about frame 258. Of course, his arms have risen, exactly as she described in her testimony.


So, the shot she heard which she believed, wounded her husband, was fired sometime after frame 258 when she looked back at JFK. Studying her in the film, it is easy to determine when she finally realized that her husband was wounded. Her reaction, turning back toward him and dropping her head, was simultaneous with the other limo passengers and Abraham Zapruder, beginning at approximately frame 291. Like the others, she heard the gunshot at 285-288, no more than 1.5 seconds prior to the fatal head shot.

So, it seems that like most other witnesses that day, Mrs. Connally only heard one early shot, and then two more at the very end of the attack. As we discussed earlier, the shot at 223, which appears to have hit both the President and Governor Connally was the actual, second shot. But why didn't anyone hear that shot? An important clue comes from the Governor's Warren Commission testimony,
Mr. SPECTER. In your view, which bullet caused the injury to your chest, Governor Connally?

Governor CONNALLY. The second one.

Mr. SPECTER. And what is your reason for that conclusion, sir?
Governor CONNALLY. ..It is not conceivable to me that I could have been hit by the first bullet, and then I felt the blow from something which was obviously a bullet, which I assumed was a bullet, and I never heard the second shot, didn't hear it.
And this is from his testimony before the HSCA,
Mr. DODD. And did I understand your testimony correctly when you stated that you didn't actually hear a second shot but rather you felt the impact as if someone had punched you almost in the back, a sharp blow to your back?

Mr. CONNALLY. That is absolutely correct.

Mr. DODD. But you did not hear that?

Mr. CONNALLY. I was not conscious of hearing the second shot.
Connally also stated that he did not lose consciousness at that time, and clearly remembered hearing people around him speaking. And yet, he never heard the shot that caused his wounds. If he had been the only one who didn't hear that shot, perhaps we could write his perception off for other reasons. But all he was really doing, was mimicking the large consensus of others, who likewise, only heard one of the early shots. Over the years, it has been argued that some of the gunshots were drowned out by the motorcycles and the crowd noise. To understand the absurdity of that argument, we need to first understand exactly how loud Oswald's rifle is.

In 1978, acoustics experts for the HSCA conducted tests on the rifle using microphones and decibel meters. One of those experts, Dr. James E. Barger, explained that they positioned microphones at varying distances from the alleged sniper's nest and measured both the shock wave and the muzzle blast it produced. This is from his HSCA testimony,
..the shock wave was measured by a microphone 10 feet from the trajectory of the bullet and the muzzle blast was measured by the same microphone which was at the same time 30 feet from the muzzle... The shockwave has an intensity of 130 decibels. The muzzle blast at 30 feet is more intense. It has an intensity of 137 decibels
Of course, the muzzle blast diminishes with distance, and by the time of the fatal head shot at frame 313, would have been heard by the limo passengers as about 115 decibels. The shock wave however, emanates from the bullet itself and would have exposed everyone within ten feet of it, to 130 or more decibels. Experts have confirmed that sound levels of 90 decibels, will provoke involuntary startle reactions. Since levels double, every 10db, we can conclude that Oswald's rifle generated sound levels, which to people within 10 feet of the bullet, were 16 times louder than the level at which involuntary startle reactions will occur.

The following chart, from the Australian government, does a good job explaining how loud various db levels are and how they affect people. I found it at the following URL,




Members of the HSCA, who conducted tests of the rifle in Dealey Plaza, corroborated the fact that the motorcycles were not nearly as loud as the gunshots. This is from their report,
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..
We requested three motorcycles to be running during the test that would approximate the original listening conditions in Dealey Plaza. But the shots were so loud that any reasonable level of background noise woud have been low in comparison with the shots themselves.
So how is it possible, that almost no one reported hearing more than one of the early shots? Equally perplexing is the total absence of startle reactions, prior to frame 290. Certainly, we see people reacting to the first shot, by turning or looking around, but no one is ducking or spinning around at enormous speed, as they did following 285 and 313. And unlike the reactions following 285 and 313, which all began in the same 1/6th of one second, we see reactions prior to 285, spread out over approximately 100 frames, from Mrs. Kennedy at 169, to the reaction of Roy Kellerman turning to the rear at about 270.

As I said in the first paragraph, There is just no way I can make this sound sane or logical, at least until you let me show you some evidence.

Having shown you some of that evidence, I would suggest several conclusions which I believe are indisputable, once the evidence is understood:

1. Shots were fired at the beginning of the attack which could not have come from an unsuppressed, high powered rifle.

2. Shots were fired at the end of the attack which were too close to one another for Oswald to have fired both.

3. Since Oswald could not have fired all the shots, this crime was by definition, a conspiracy.

But wait a minute! If you are a serious student of the case, #1 should be setting off all kinds of alarms, since the bullet which allegedly passed through Kennedy and Connally, and labelled CE399, was proven to have been fired from Oswald's rifle, to the exclusion of all others. But how could that be, since the shot was heard by almost no one?? The answer to that question is presented in great detail in the following article. Please read it all. The most important issues are covered, toward the end.

http://jfkhistory.com/bell/bellarticle/BellArticle.html

Over the past twenty years since I have been seriously researching this case, I have come to other conclusions, some of which I believe are certain, and some which I believe are highly probable. I describe them in detail, along with a great deal of supporting evidence in the following video presentation,

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvqCtaBkyyE


Thank you for your consideration.



Robert Harris