Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Accidental death?

Down in the garden today I was busy gathering up all the dead leaves from the Autumn Fall. It is a time of death for nature, a natural cycle that happens on purpose every year around this time.

50 years ago this Friday, on the 22 November 1963 (also a Friday) a very unnatural death occurred on Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas, when the then President of the USA, John F Kennedy, was assassinated. But recent compelling evidence has arisen that would suggest although Lee Harvey Oswald attempted to kill Kennedy, he may have actually died as the result of a round being set off accidentally from Secret Service agent George Hickey's rifle, travelling in the car behind.

Born in Massachusetts in May 1917, Kennedy was elected to President in 1960. His foreign policy was dominated by confrontations with the Soviet Union, most famously the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962. He stood his ground with the then Russian president Khrushchev to remove all Russian nuclear missiles from Cuba. The world waited in fear of a nuclear exchange between the two countries, but thankfully Khrushchev relented.

In Berlin in June 1963 he gave his famous speech which included the phrase "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a citizen of Berlin) at the now completed Berlin Wall, blaming it on the failure of communism.

He was a true visionary. He tried to negotiate a nuclear test ban treaty, but failed. It would later come to pass. He fought for improved civil rights and total racial integration, and though he turned down an invitation to speak at the famous rally that Martin Luther King gave his now legendary speech, he was a strong supporter of him.

In May 1961 he laid down the challenge to place a man on the moon before the decade was out.

He truly was one of Americas great Presidents, but many disliked him for his views.

The recent evidence suggests that Oswald fired only two rounds. The third shell casing was in fact an  empty case, placed in the rifle to protect the chamber from damp. The first shot ricocheted off the road, the second went through the Presidents back and out of his chest and on to hit Governor Connaly in the front seat. New computer analysis now has the path of the bullet lining up perfectly, discounting the previous myth of a "magic bullet" turning corners.

But right at this time, in the car behind, George Hickey reached for the only rifle in the Secret Service arsenal, flipped off the safety and stood, about to turn to where the shots came from. The car lurched. At this point new evidence now strongly suggests that he may have accidentally pulled the trigger, and a round was fired straight into the back of Kennedy's head.

The most damning evidence are the bullets themselves. Oswald fired bullets with full metal jackets. These would penetrate and exit the target intact. The bullets that where in the Secret Service rifle however were designed to explode on impact. This would have caused the kind of injury to Kennedy's head that was witnessed by all on that fatal day and shown in the Zapruder film footage. The calibre of bullet was also different to Oswald's.

In a controlled test using respected marksmen, not a single one could recreate the original theory that Oswald got off three accurate shots in five seconds.

A member of the Vice Presidents car, which was two cars behind, later reported a strong smell of gunpowder hitting them as they accelerated away from the scene. This could not have been from Oswald's gun way up in the book depository window.

We'll probably never know for sure. If it is true, George Hickey would have lived with this secret for the rest of his life up to his recent death in 2011. He always denied the allegations and even attempted to sue those who tried to publish the story as fact.

I have no idea if this is true or not of course, but it does raise an interesting angle to the debate. If it were true it would be understandable why this would all be covered up. Not just because of the embarrassment but the far reaching effect on a nation who's moral was already low with recent events and the escalating crisis in Vietnam.

Whatever the cause, it was a very unnatural and sad death.

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