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Tags jfk , JFK assassination , single bullet theory

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Old 1st April 2011, 08:29 PM   #1
Bill Thompson
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Sharpshooter and JFK

What is the straight dope about the story that sharpshooters could not recreate or renact the same shot that Oswald took to kill Kennedy?

Enough myth and hearsay. What are the facts?
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Old 2nd April 2011, 01:14 AM   #2
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What is exactly meant by recreating or reenacting the shot?

The fact that it is very easy for a sharpshooter to hit a target at that distance in the head?
But if you want to recreate the shot with exactly the same (down to the milimeter) place of hit and creating exactly the same fragments and exactly the same reaction of the body? No. That last thing is just not going to happen. It supposes too much information about the way everything was down to the milimeter (or even more precise). Information which just is not there.

Unfortunately the last case (appeal to perfection falacy?) is often used to wave away the demonstrations which have been made.
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Old 2nd April 2011, 01:50 AM   #3
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That is a very interesting way to look at it.

You are right. No one can reenact anything, if you get down to it.
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Old 2nd April 2011, 02:13 AM   #4
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Can you tell me when a sharpshooter was used to demonstrate that they could make the same kill that Oswald made? I have been googling it and I have not found anything.
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Old 2nd April 2011, 02:25 AM   #5
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WHy would a 'sharpshooter' be used to demonstrate anything?
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Old 2nd April 2011, 02:26 AM   #6
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You can go to The Sixth Floor Museum at the building that used to be the Texas Schoolbook Depository. There, you can take a peek out of a sixth-floor window down to Dealey Plaza. If you haven't been there before, you'll probably be amazed at how small the place is. It's not that tough of a shot.
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Old 2nd April 2011, 02:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bill Thompson View Post
That is a very interesting way to look at it.

You are right. No one can reenact anything, if you get down to it.
But you can show that the narative is possible even plausible.
The shots really weren't that difficult (ignoring for the moment the stress of trying to kill someone).
6 to 8 seconds for three shots (depending it was shot one or shot two that missed) to first hit a neck and then a head at ranges from 50 to 100 meters isn't that impossible.

Heck. The first time I ever shot at a target it was at 100 meters and with an Uzi. Not exactly a sharpshooters choice of weapon I might say. My first shot was dead in the middle of the target where I aimed. Now how difficult would that shot be with a rifle with a real barrel (and not some dinkey 26 cm barrel like the Uzi has) and with a scope?

Last edited by erwinl; 2nd April 2011 at 03:04 AM. Reason: checked correct barrel length of uzi
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Old 2nd April 2011, 03:11 AM   #8
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We've been here many times before. It isn't that hard a shot, he was trained, and he had three tries at it.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...ad.php?t=97082
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Old 2nd April 2011, 04:00 AM   #9
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Myth Busted!

Unsolved History: JFK - Beyond the Magic Bullet.

Here is a Wikipedia summary if you don't want to watch the whole thing.

Originally Posted by wiki
A Discovery Channel special "Unsolved History: JFK — Beyond the Magic Bullet", attempted to replicate, as well as possible, the conditions of that day. The participants set up blocks of ballistics gel with a substance similar to human bone inside. These studies showed that largely undeformed bullets were possible to produce, if they were slowed by a passage through a tissue-like substance before striking bone. Next, two mannequin figures made of ballistic anatomical substances (animal skin, gelatin, and interior bone-like cast) were set up in the exact relative position of JFK and Connally. A marksman, from a distance equal to that of the sixth floor of the Book Depository building, fired the same rifle model found in the Book Depository, using a round from the same batch of "Western Case Cartridge Company" 6.5x52 mm ammunition purchased with the surplus Carcano weapon in early 1963. The path of their single bullet (followed by high speed photography) duplicated, almost exactly, the wounds suffered by the victims that day, the only difference being that the bullet did not quite have enough energy to penetrate the "thigh" substance in front of the Connally figure, because it struck an extra bone in the "rib" model (i.e., it fractured 2 ribs in the model vs. one rib in Connally). It was also slightly more deformed than CE 399, possibly for the same reason. However, this bullet came close to duplicating all wounds in both men with a single shot, with a bullet having little deformation.[73]


It wasn't even a hard shot, especially for a Marine (all Marines are marksmen). I am pretty damn sure I could make it, and I am not a Marine. In fact, it is a little surprising that he missed once.

Last edited by dtugg; 2nd April 2011 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 2nd April 2011, 06:19 AM   #10
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My only experience with rifles are with a single shot bolt action .22 Lee-Enfield No.8 Mk1, the .303 Lee-Enfield rifle & the 7.62mm SLR as used by the British Military until the advent of the SA80.
The very first time I fired the .303 Lee-Enfield, I got a 1" grouping at 100yds with the standard rear folding leaf sight.
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Old 2nd April 2011, 07:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Lensman View Post
My only experience with rifles are with a single shot bolt action .22 Lee-Enfield No.8 Mk1, the .303 Lee-Enfield rifle & the 7.62mm SLR as used by the British Military until the advent of the SA80.
The very first time I fired the .303 Lee-Enfield, I got a 1" grouping at 100yds with the standard rear folding leaf sight.

Rifles, especially with a properly sighted in scope, are very accurate weapons. I think that most of the conspiracies survive because most of the peddlers have never even held a rifle, let alone fired one.

P.S. dtugg, love the avatar.
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Old 2nd April 2011, 07:34 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by dtugg View Post
Myth Busted!

Unsolved History: JFK - Beyond the Magic Bullet.

Here is a Wikipedia summary if you don't want to watch the whole thing.
This. I was going to post this but couldn't recall the name. This one has been busted a long time.
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Old 2nd April 2011, 09:32 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by TheRedWorm View Post
Rifles, especially with a properly sighted in scope, are very accurate weapons. I think that most of the conspiracies survive because most of the peddlers have never even held a rifle, let alone fired one.

...
.
True, that.
The 6.5 caliber rifles are used in Yurp to take moose, and handled by gurls!
Howard Weinberg mentioned the "mule-like kick" of the Carcano.
Mine had more "kick" than a .22 LR rifle, but much less than a .223 Remington.
HW had never fired one... may never have even seen one.
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Old 2nd April 2011, 09:37 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by I Ratant View Post
.
True, that.
The 6.5 caliber rifles are used in Yurp to take moose, and handled by gurls!
Howard Weinberg mentioned the "mule-like kick" of the Carcano.
Mine had more "kick" than a .22 LR rifle, but much less than a .223 Remington.
HW had never fired one... may never have even seen one.

A light breeze has more kick than a .22LR
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Old 2nd April 2011, 10:56 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by TheRedWorm View Post
A light breeze has more kick than a .22LR
.
I found the same scope LHOLN had on his Carcano at a gun store in Culver City.
It's made for .22 LR rifles.
On the Carcano, the cross hairs came loose after just a few shots, making it useless for aiming. Oswald's Carcano had the same problem, but the fixed sights and the flat trajectory of the round are sufficient for the Dealey distance.
Howard Donahue told he that those scopes on his Carcanos also got useless after a few shots.
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Old 2nd April 2011, 04:30 PM   #16
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An excellent (but long) book that decimates JFK CT'ers is "Reclaiming History" by Vincent Bugliosi.

http://www.amazon.com/Reclaiming-His...1786945&sr=8-1
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Old 4th April 2011, 03:39 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bill Thompson View Post
Enough myth and hearsay. What are the facts?
The facts are that they used a sharpshooter from Texas.

Dave
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Old 4th April 2011, 05:43 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
The facts are that they used a sharpshooter from Texas.

Dave
There was even a TV show about recreating it.

Part of the mythology here is to change the sequence of events to make it harder.


Start timer.
Load
Acquire
Aim
Fire
Load
Acquire
Aim
Fire
Load
Acquire
Aim
Fire
Stop timer.

That's wrong, of course. The timer starts at the first "Fire".
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Old 4th April 2011, 07:08 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
There was even a TV show about recreating it.

Part of the mythology here is to change the sequence of events to make it harder.


Start timer.
Load
Acquire
...

That's wrong, of course. The timer starts at the first "Fire".
This post reminded me of video game made of the JFK assassination called JFK Reloaded where the player gets points based on how close to the actual murder you can get, it is very morbid but it quite convincingly shows that the events were possible, it is just very unlikely to get every bullet to ricochet exactly like they did.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JFK:_Reloaded
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Old 4th April 2011, 07:13 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Infoexcavator View Post
This post reminded me of video game made of the JFK assassination called JFK Reloaded where the player gets points based on how close to the actual murder you can get, it is very morbid but it quite convincingly shows that the events were possible, it is just very unlikely to get every bullet to ricochet exactly like they did.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JFK:_Reloaded
Unlikely based on what? Ballistics or a desire to promote another theory? Just wondering.
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Old 4th April 2011, 07:19 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
Unlikely based on what? Ballistics or a desire to promote another theory? Just wondering.
The game has a very complex ballistics model which makes it very unlikely, but the makers made the game in order to support the "magic bullet" theory.
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Old 4th April 2011, 07:36 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by dtugg View Post
I don't think that's what he was asking for. He asked about the "shot that Oswald took to kill Kennedy." The "Magic Bullet" shot was the first one to hit Kennedy, was almost certainly Oswald's second shot, but was not the one that killed him.

Your link talks about the single-bullet theory and whether it's plausible that a bullet that took that path would end up looking like it did (relatively little damage to it).

I think the OP is asking about whether a shooter could get off three shots in eight seconds and still hit the target. Back when the Warren Commission was investigating, some people thought that all three shots were fired in about six seconds. In some testing, most shooters were not able to get three shots to hit their targets in that time frame (but Robert Frazier did). But the fact is, Oswald's shots actually spanned about 8.4 seconds, a leisurely pace that took no particular skill.
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Old 4th April 2011, 08:13 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by CurtC View Post
I don't think that's what he was asking for. He asked about the "shot that Oswald took to kill Kennedy." The "Magic Bullet" shot was the first one to hit Kennedy, was almost certainly Oswald's second shot, but was not the one that killed him.
Regardless, I'm unaware of any reason to think that anyone other than Oswald was involved in the shooting. All problems with it have been roundly debunked.
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Old 4th April 2011, 08:13 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Infoexcavator View Post
The game has a very complex ballistics model which makes it very unlikely, but the makers made the game in order to support the "magic bullet" theory.
The problem is that LHO wasn't trying to ricochet bullets one way or another and wasn't, as far as we know, trying to shoot Governor Connolly. The fact that it easy to have made a shot that would have killed JFK is what the game seems to (seeks to?) demonstrate.

If you're trying to get a particular ricochet then this seems tantamount to asking for someone not to shoot a bullseye but to shoot into exactly the same hole left by someone else's bullseye shot which is beside the point.
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Old 4th April 2011, 08:29 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
If you're trying to get a particular ricochet then this seems tantamount to asking for someone not to shoot a bullseye but to shoot into exactly the same hole left by someone else's bullseye shot which is beside the point.
Which is the point I was making in post #17; the whole issue is a classic example of the a priori/a posteriori fallacy. It's not relevant that it would be extremely difficult to reproduce exactly Oswald's shot, in particular the detailed behaviour of the bullet after it had first struck Kennedy; rather, it's relevant that a shot with that general level of accuracy was not particularly difficult at that range.

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Old 4th April 2011, 08:45 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Infoexcavator View Post
The game has a very complex ballistics model which makes it very unlikely, but the makers made the game in order to support the "magic bullet" theory.
Ah, so built-in bias in the software. Loverly.
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Old 4th April 2011, 08:55 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
Ah, so built-in bias in the software. Loverly.
Please, stop being so suspicious. People have gotten nearly perfect scores in the game with just tiny differences from what actually happened, it drives the point home that the shooting could easily be performed by just one shooter.
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Old 4th April 2011, 09:06 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Infoexcavator View Post
Please, stop being so suspicious. People have gotten nearly perfect scores in the game with just tiny differences from what actually happened, it drives the point home that the shooting could easily be performed by just one shooter.
Okay, "but the makers made the game in order to support the "magic bullet" theory. " threw me.

But if you want me to stop being analytical (not suspicious), good luck with that.
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Old 4th April 2011, 12:54 PM   #29
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGOQ2oebB2M

In the video the shooter is able to hit the target with a Mannlicher Carcano at 650 yards. Oswald's furthest target was only 88 yards away.
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Old 4th April 2011, 04:02 PM   #30
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If a bullet can zig-zag in mid-air, then I must be Darth Vader!

Bullets fly straight until gravity takes an effect on them. They never zig-zag!
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Old 4th April 2011, 06:08 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by 9/11 Chewy Defense View Post
If a bullet can zig-zag in mid-air, then I must be Darth Vader!

Bullets fly straight until gravity takes an effect on them. They never zig-zag!
What if they hit something?
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Old 4th April 2011, 06:13 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Infoexcavator View Post
This post reminded me of video game made of the JFK assassination called JFK Reloaded where the player gets points based on how close to the actual murder you can get, it is very morbid but it quite convincingly shows that the events were possible, it is just very unlikely to get every bullet to ricochet exactly like they did.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JFK:_Reloaded
Thought the same thing.

It's pretty much impossible to get full score on the game, which you would get to shoot all three shots with the same effects as Oswald's three shots. The makers of the game tried to sell this a conspiracy point that Oswald's achievement were impossible.

They overlooked that it's ridiculously easy, within their game, to achieve the main goal: To kill JFK.
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Old 4th April 2011, 09:50 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Bill Thompson View Post
Can you tell me when a sharpshooter was used to demonstrate that they could make the same kill that Oswald made? I have been googling it and I have not found anything.
This was done (I think by PBS's NOVA-but I'm not sure) with several volunteers. I don't believe all were sharpshooters or expert riflemen. A track was constructed with the same slope as Elm St. in Dealy Plaza. A cart with a torso sized target was pulled along the track at the same speed as the presidential limousine. The shooters were in a six story tower and used the same type rifle used by Oswald. I can't recall the specifics but all hit the target at least once or twice, and in the same time frame as indicated on the Zapruder film. If this was the NOVA episode it may have been the one done in November of 1988. Perhaps someone here can provide specifics.
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Old 4th April 2011, 11:16 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by elgarak View Post
Thought the same thing.

It's pretty much impossible to get full score on the game, which you would get to shoot all three shots with the same effects as Oswald's three shots. The makers of the game tried to sell this a conspiracy point that Oswald's achievement were impossible.

They overlooked that it's ridiculously easy, within their game, to achieve the main goal: To kill JFK.
Well, maybe you have some extra knowledge but the makers did say that they wanted to show that it was not a conspiracy.

From this article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology...2/usnews.games

"We genuinely believe that, if we get enough people participating, we'll be able to disprove, once and for all, any notion that someone else was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy," he said.

"The computer ballistics model says it's possible, but players will discover just how hard it is to place those three bullets in exactly the same way that Oswald did."

The key word is exactly, it's easy to make the shots at correct times, but getting all the terminal ballistics to act like they did in real life is unlikely but possible.
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Old 5th April 2011, 10:24 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
What if they hit something?
That's called a ricochet!
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Old 5th April 2011, 10:44 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by 9/11 Chewy Defense View Post
If a bullet can zig-zag in mid-air, then I must be Darth Vader!

Bullets fly straight until gravity takes an effect on them. They never zig-zag!
The bullet did not zig zag..It did not have to... It may have been the programmmentioned above but it was shown that modl of car the rear seat Kenenedy was sitting is is elevated and positioned to the left of the passenger seat looking at the car from the front. The bullet really traveled pretty much the way it was expected
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Old 5th April 2011, 10:46 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by brobradh77 View Post
The bullet did not zig zag..It did not have to... It may have been the programmmentioned above but it was shown that modl of car the rear seat Kenenedy was sitting is is elevated and positioned to the left of the passenger seat looking at the car from the front. The bullet really traveled pretty much the way it was expected
No kidding!
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Old 5th April 2011, 08:24 PM   #38
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the bullet flew straight. no zig-zagging took place.

stop watching Oliver Stone movies to get your history.
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Old 5th April 2011, 09:31 PM   #39
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The recreation of Oswald's shots was done by CBS in 1967. A clip of that was in a CBS "48 Hours" show which I think was shown in 1992. I have a poor VHS copy here which I just looked at. It shows the setup and some of the dozen shooters who participated actually shooting. Using an identical rifle and scope and within the time frame indicated on the Zapruder film one guy had three hits and most if not all the rest had two hits. Bottom line- they proved it was quite possible for Oswald to do what he was accused of doing.
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Old 6th April 2011, 04:34 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Thunder View Post
the bullet flew straight. no zig-zagging took place.

stop watching Oliver Stone movies to get your history.
The CTers demand that reality be changed and the governor be level with JFK. Reality refuses to change the fact that he was sitting lower than the Pres. and the trajectory of the bullet is not "magic" at all.
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