Monday, May 16, 2016

Let's take a look at Max Holland's graphic. This is what he believes was the flight path of the first bullet: 

Note first that he doesn't state it as a theory or hypothesis. He just categorically states it as a fact- as if we have no choice but to accept it. So, he's drawn an arrow to the mast arm to show what Oswald hit, but the arrow doesn't really show how steep the angle was. It was steep. You see the convertible. Now look at the back seat where Kennedy would have been. How, in God's name, could Oswald have aimed so poorly as to hit that mast arm when he was aiming for a head sitting in the back seat? He had a 4x scope on that gun. (Of course, I am speaking theoretically here; Oswald was actually in the doorway. This is Holland's story; not mine.) That's what you call missing by a mile. But continuing, we are assuming that the bullet hit the mast arm, glancing it, and ricocheted down the length of Dealey Plaza as shown. And, he adds that the bullet came apart, the copper jacket came off, and the core made the trip down the lane by itself. 

First, how often has this kind of thing happened? What are we talking about here? Is it something like the "Thorburn reaction" which is a medical term that is used in the JFK world and nowhere else?

Do a Google search for jackets coming off of full metal jacket projectiles because I'm finding nothing.

So, the first question is: does this really happen, or is it just a JFK thing? And even if it has happened, how often has it happened? How many times? It seems like they should be able to make a bullet that doesn't do that.

If you're going to postulate something that happens either never or close to never, what is the point? 

So, let me get this straight, Max: You're saying that the entire jacket of a bullet like this came off?

And all from a glancing impact hitting a small cylindrical object?

How do figure, Max? You're claiming an identical bullet caused 7 wounds, traversing the bodies of two large men, and bursting 2 bones, and yet it came through it with hardly any deformation never mind jacket removal.

After much finagling about what the bullet hit, Max seemed to settle on the mast arm of the traffic signal which is this:

Now, I am not going to go into the physics of it, but when you hit a cylindrical object, like this, it's not the same as hitting a flat wall. And the idea that it would cause the jacket to come off is ridiculous. Note that there were multiple firings tests done in Max's research- mainly to determine the amount of damage to the structures hit. But, in no case was it reported that the jacket came off any bullet. 

So Max, do you think that maybe before you claim to know that the jacket came off in flight that you might actually make it happen one time? Is that too much to ask? 

But, I want to get back to the angular aspect: the ricochet.

So, what we're talking about here is like a bank shot or a kick shot in pool.

The kick shot is where you bank the cue ball in order to tap in a ball that's close to a pocket. It's not as common as a bank shot. 

But obviously, it's all about action and reaction, and getting the angle right. 

So, let's take a look at Max's bank shot:

So, he postulates a glancing hit. But why, if the shot was taken from the steep angle of the elevated 6th floor, would the resulting bank be something that travels almost parallel with the ground? Now obviously, it's going down, but that's a pretty small delta compared to the one that came first. In other words, the amount of descent per foot of travel is much, much less for the reaction than for the action. I'm not saying it would bounce off it at the same steep angle, but I certainly wouldn't expect it to do what that bullet did. 

And wouldn't the shooter have a greater likelihood of hitting the mast arm on the side that he was? The shooter was east of the mast arm. Hence, there was a greater surface area of the east side of the mast arm available to him. The west side wasn't available to him hardly at all. Theoretically, he could have hit the very top of the mast arm, which we'll call 12:00. But, he couldn't have gone too much past that. What do you figure? Maybe to 12:05? 12:10? If he hit the east side of the mast arm, why assume that it would deflect all the way down the length of Dealey Plaza? That's ridiculous. The whole theory of this glancing shot hinges on hitting the top of the mast arm or what little of the curve was accessible going west. 

But again: it's a curved object. The idea that the bullet could hit a curved object and deflect off it and travel down the street in a trajectory that was practically parallel with the ground is ridiculous. The idea that it would cause the jacket to come off is beyond ridiculous. It's patently absurd. 

I tested his theory myself, crudely. 

So, the top of the ladder is like the 6th floor window. The top bar of the recliner is like the mast arm of the traffic signal. I can tell you that throwing a large acorn at it, the rare time I hit it, it didn't do what Max said. And it was hard as hell to hit. But, when I did, it did what I expected:

That is not equivalent to sailing down Elm Street. Now, one might complain that I didn't achieve enough of a glance, but that is not only extremely hard to do if you're trying to do it; it's also extremely improbable to happen by accident. What Max is doing is indulging in a dream, in a fantasy, and then treating it like reality, like it actually happened, even though there isn't a shred of evidence for it. Remember: the only evidence is the curb that the bullet hit at the end of Dealey Plaza, 400 feet from the limo, substantially greater than the length of a football field, plus the spectroscopic analysis of the remains of the bullet, and the multiple people who recalled hearing the shot.  That's it.  That's as far as you can go with it. You can't bank on anything else. Holland had the nerve to consider this bankable:

"A witness standing in the vicinity of the traffic signal light structure reported seeing something bounce off the pavement in the lane left of the president’s limousine at the time of the first shot."

Does Holland really think he can go to the races with that?  It is so vague and subjective that it's useless. It's like Monopoly money; it isn't spendable in real life. 

But, Holland thinks that he can take that, and he can make it be that this witness saw the metal jacket from the bullet hit the pavement. He saw it. But tell me, Max, why did the jacket and the core go off in different trajectories? If they both hit the same spot on the mast arm at the same angle, why did they deflect off it at different angles? 

So far, I have found NOTHING to support the contention that copper jackets come off of FMJ bullets, leaving a soft core to sail on by itself. It appears to be just a JFK-land phenomenon. 

I often use the following analogy.  It's because I like to swim.

Let's say that I claim that I can swim to France from Texas, through the Gulf of Mexico, across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Straight of Gibraltar, and on to the Riviera. Before you know it, I'll be hobnobbing with Scarlet Johansson and Kristen Stewart at the Cannes Film Festival. 

So, I start off at Seadrift, TX and I get as far as Matagorda Island, which is one of the barrier islands right off the Texas coast. And then I say: 

"Well, I've gotten this far, and I think it's far enough to establish that I can, indeed, swim to France. My point is made; mission accomplished."    

That's what Max Holland has done except that he didn't even get as far as Matagorda Island. He just got his feet wet up to his ankes. And then he got bit by a jellyfish. 

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