Friday, June 29, 2007

Italian experts test JFK assassination gun


Italian weapons experts say tests on the type of rifle used to kill U.S. President John F. Kennedy show assassin Lee Harvey Oswald could not have acted alone. The Warren Commission report concluded that Oswald fired three shots with a Carcano M91/38 bolt-action rifle in 7 seconds to kill Kennedy in Dallas in 1963. However, tests supervised by the Italian Army showed it would take 19 seconds to get off three shots with that type of gun, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The tests were done in a former Carcano factory in Terni.

In one test, a bullet was fired through two large pieces of meat to simulate the assumed path of a shot that the Warren Commission concluded struck Texas Gov. John Connally after passing through Kennedy's body. In the test, the bullet ended deformed, while the bullet in the Kennedy assassination remained intact.

Conspiracy theories about the assassination have been circulating for more than four decades.

* * * *

My Two Cents: Holy cow! Is it any wonder that conspiracy theories continue to swirl after more than 44 years with fodder like this spreading around the globe?

First, the Warren Commission deemed that Kennedy and Connally were struck by two bullets fired between Z210 (at the earliest) and Z313 - that's a period of 5.6 seconds for those keeping track. [WR105-110] The Commission also concluded that the "preponderance of evidence, in particular the three spent cartridges" indicated that a total of three shots were fired - two hits and one miss. Of the shot that missed, the Commission wrote that "The evidence is inconclusive as to whether it was the first, second, or third shot which missed." [WR111] Depending on which shot missed, Oswald would have had a minimum time of 7.1 to 7.9 seconds to get off three rounds. If Oswald took more than the calculated 2.3 seconds to load each round between shots, the time span for the entire shooting scenario would increase accordingly. [WR117] So, in fact, the Warren Commission's 7.1 second estimate for the entire shooting sequence was a minimum estimate. More important, FBI firearm experts concluded that the minimum firing time between shots using Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano was 2.3 seconds - that's a total minimum firing time for three shots of 4.6 seconds (don't forget, the clock starts running with the firing of the first shot)! The HSCA later determined that the minimum firing time between shots might have been closer to 1.6 seconds had Oswald used the iron sights instead of the scope (no one knows for sure whether he used the scope).

So why did it take the Italian weapon experts nineteen seconds to get off three shots with a Mannlicher-Carcano? The difference between 4.6 seconds and 19 seconds is considerable, no? What in the world took so long? Did they forget to eat their Wheaties? See for yourself. CLICK HERE to view the Italian shooting tests. [Windows Media Player Required]

No one remotely familiar with the operation of the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle or who had seen the 1967 CBS-TV shooting reconstruction could possibly take this Italian "reconstruction" seriously. But many who haven't done either will.

And how about that Italian single-bullet reconstruction? How does firing a bullet into two "large pieces of meat" constitute an accurate representation of what happened in Dallas? It doesn't, period. And finally, I hate to be the one to break it to United Press International but the single-bullet (CE399) in the Kennedy assassination did not remain "intact" (i.e., pristine). This is a common myth born from hundreds of conspiracy books and articles.

Is it any wonder that so many people embrace Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories when mis-information like this is spread across the globe by a reputable news organization like UPI? Let me guess - conspiracy buffs will embrace this story as they do anything that remotely supports their position. After all, if it's on TV or in print it must be true, right? DKM