by Douglas P. Horne
LouRockwell.com, June 4, 2012
In 2009, I believed I had discovered new evidence in the JFK assassination never reported by anyone else: convincing photography of the through-and-through bullet hole in the windshield of the JFK limousine that had been reported by six credible witnesses. I revisited that evidence today, and am more convinced than ever that the bullet hole in the limousine windshield is what I am looking at in those images. But the readers of this piece don't have to take my word for it – you can examine the images yourself, and make up your own minds. The evidence is contained in one of the banned, suppressed episodes of Nigel Turner's The Men Who Killed Kennedy – episode 7 in the series, called “The Smoking Guns,” which was aired in 2003, and then removed from circulation by The History Channel in response to intense political pressure by former LBJ aides Jack Valenti and Bill Moyers.
I'll tell you about the stunning evidence I have found in that episode at the end of this article, but first we need to set the stage by reviewing the eyewitness testimony about the damage to the windshield observed the day of JFK's assassination, on Friday, November 22nd, 1963; as well as three days later, on Monday, November 25th, 1963.
Before I reveal the details about the “new” photographic evidence I am talking about here, let's review the Big Picture, the “evidentiary landscape” on this issue (see pages 1439-1450 of Volume V of my book, Inside the Assassination Records Review Board, for full details):
(1) Dallas motorcycle patrolmen Stavis Ellis and H. R. Freeman both observed a penetrating bullet hole in the limousine windshield at Parkland Hospital. Ellis told interviewer Gil Toff in 1971: “There was a hole in the left front windshield…You could put a pencil through it…you could take a regular standard writing pencil…and stick [it] through there.” Freeman corroborated this, saying: “[I was] right beside it. I could of [sic] touched it…it was a bullet hole. You could tell what it was.” [David Lifton published these quotations in his 1980 book, Best Evidence.]
(2) St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Richard Dudman wrote an article published in The New Republic on December 21, 1963, in which he stated: “A few of us noted the hole in the windshield when the limousine was standing at the emergency entrance after the President had been carried inside. I could not approach close enough to see which side was the cup-shaped spot which indicates a bullet had pierced the glass from the opposite side.”
(3) Second year medical student Evalea Glanges, enrolled at Southwestern Medical University in Dallas, right next door to Parkland Hospital, told attorney Doug Weldon in 1999: “It was a real clean hole.” In a videotaped interview aired in the suppressed episode 7 of Nigel Turner's The Men Who Killed Kennedy, titled “The Smoking Guns,” she said: “…it was very clear, it was a through-and-through bullet hole through the windshield of the car, from the front to the back…it seemed like a high-velocity bullet that had penetrated from front-to-back in that glass pane.” At the time of the interview, Glanges had risen to the position of Chairperson of the Department of Surgery, at John Peter Smith Hospital, in Fort Worth. She had been a firearms expert all her adult life.
(4) Mr. George Whitaker, Sr., a senior manager at the Ford Motor Company's Rouge Plant in Detroit, Michigan, told attorney (and professor of criminal justice) Doug Weldon in August of 1993, in a tape recorded conversation, that after reporting to work on Monday, November 25th, he discovered the JFK limousine – a unique, one-of-a-kind item that he unequivocally identified – in the Rouge Plant's B building, with the interior stripped out and in the process of being replaced, and with the windshield removed. He was then contacted by one of the Vice Presidents of the division for which he worked, and directed to report to the glass plant lab, immediately. After knocking on the locked door (which he found most unusual), he was let in by two of his subordinates and discovered that they were in possession of the windshield that had been removed from the JFK limousine. They had been told to use it as a template, and to make a new windshield identical to it in shape – and to then get the new windshield back to the B building for installation in the Presidential limousine that was quickly being rebuilt. Whitaker told Weldon (quoting from the audiotape of the 1993 interview): “And the windshield had a bullet hole in it, coming from the outside through…it was a good, clean bullet hole, right straight through, from the front. And you can tell, when the bullet hits the windshield, like when you hit a rock or something, what happens? The back chips out and the front may just have a pinhole in it…this had a clean round hole in the front and fragmentation coming out the back.” Whitaker told Weldon that he eventually became superintendent of his division and was placed in charge of five plant divisions. He also told Weldon that the original windshield, with the bullet hole in it, had been broken up and scrapped – as ordered – after the new windshield had been made.
When Doug Weldon interviewed Whitaker in August of 1993, his witness insisted on anonymity. Weldon reported on the story without releasing Whitaker's name in his excellent and comprehensive article titled: “The Kennedy Limousine: Dallas 1963,” which was published in Jim Fetzer's anthology Murder in Dealey Plaza, in 2000. After Weldon interviewed Whitaker in August of 1993, Mr. Whitaker subsequently – on November 22, 1993 (the 30th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination) – wrote down all he could remember about the events he witnessed involving the Presidential limousine and its windshield. After George Whitaker's death in 2001, his family released his written testament to Nigel Turner, who with their permission revealed Mr. Whitaker's name, as well as the text of his “memo for history,” in episode 7 of The Men Who Killed Kennedy, “The Smoking Guns.”
In “The Smoking Guns,” the text of Whitaker's memo can be read on the screen employing freeze frame technology with the DVD of the episode. It said, in part: “When [I] arrived at the lab the door was locked. I was let in. There were 2 glass engineers there. They had a car windshield that had a bullet hole in it. The hole was about 4 or 6 inches to the right of the rear view mirror [as viewed from the front]. The impact had come from the front of the windshield. (If you have spent 40 years in the glass [illegible] you know which way the impack [sic] was from.”
(5) The sixth credible witness to a bullet hole in the windshield of the limousine was Secret Service agent Charles Taylor, Jr., who wrote a report on November 27, 1963 in which he detailed his activities providing security for the limousine immediately after the car's return to Washington following the assassination. The JFK limousine and the Secret Service follow-up car known as the “Queen Mary” arrived at Andrews AFB aboard a C-130 propeller-driven cargo plane at about 8:00 PM on November 22, 1963. Agent Taylor rode in the Presidential limousine as it was driven from Andrews AFB to the White House garage at 22nd and M Streets, N.W. In his report about what he witnessed inside the White House garage during the vehicle's inspection, he wrote: “In addition, of particular note was the small hole just left of center in the windshield from which what appeared to be bullet fragments were removed.”
Summary of the Eyewitness Testimony About the Windshield Bullet Hole
Summarizing, six credible witnesses – Stavis Ellis, H. R. Freeman, Richard Dudman, Evalea Glanges, George Whitaker, and Charles Taylor – all reported seeing a bullet hole in the windshield of JFK's limousine either on the day of the assassination (for five of the six witnesses), or on the following Monday (in the case of Mr. Whitaker, who did not see the limousine and its windshield until he reported to work at the Ford Motor Company's Rouge Plant, in Detroit, on Monday morning, November 25th, 1963).
Two of these witnesses – Evalea Glanges and George Whitaker – were absolutely positive that the bullet causing the damage had been a shot from the front, which had entered the front surface of the windshield, and exited the inside surface.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Because if true, the windshield bullet evidence alone disproves the lone assassin myth aggressively promoted by the U.S. government for 49 years now, since the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was supposedly firing from above and behind the limousine as it traveled down Elm Street.
The Windshield Evidence Was Twice Switched-Out – Substituted – By the U.S. Government…
The windshield in evidence today at the National Archives is not the windshield that was in the Presidential limousine on Elm Street, in Dallas, on November 22, 1963. It simply cannot be. Why? Remember, according to George Whitaker, Sr. of the Ford Motor Co., the original was destroyed, per company orders, after it was used as a template to make a replacement on November 25th, 1963.
But it gets much worse than that. The first replacement, the one installed by Whitaker's two lab technicians in Detroit, was damaged on the wrong side by an incompetent Secret Service organization (incompetent not only at protecting the 35th President, but also in implementing a cover-up). Secret Service agent Roy Kellerman (who rode in the right front seat of the limousine in Dallas) testified before the Warren Commission, in March of 1964, that when he examined the windshield (obviously the replacement, installed by Whitaker's team in Detroit) on November 27th, it was smooth on the outside, and damaged on the inside. This is consistent with damage caused by an impact on the front side of the windshield. (Safety glass exhibits damage on the opposite side from which it is struck). Researcher Robert P. Smith (as reported by David Lifton in Best Evidence) interviewed a Mr. Bill Ashby, crew leader at the Arlington Glass Company, who told Smith he removed the limousine's windshield in Washington, D.C. on November 27th; this occurred after Roy Kellerman had felt the interior surface earlier that day and determined it to be damaged on the inside, and smooth on the outside.
But the windshield at the National Archives today exhibits long cracks – not a through-and-through bullet hole – and is damaged on the outside, which is the opposite of what Kellerman noted by physical examination on November 27th.
Co-owner Willard Hess of the automotive firm Hess and Eisenhardt in Cincinnati, Ohio told Doug Weldon that his company also replaced the windshield in the Presidential limousine, and that the glass removed was standard safety glass – consistent with what George Whitaker said his team reinstalled in the limousine in Detroit, immediately after the assassination. Hess and Eisenhardt replaced the standard safety glass with special bullet resistant glass made by the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. (Presumably, the windshield removed by Hess and Eisenhardt was the second new windshield installed – by the Arlington Glass Company – on November 27th, 1963, and is the one in the National Archives today.) Mr. Hess told Weldon that the windshield his company removed was not damaged at the time it was removed.
The clear implication here is that the windshield in the Archives today, which exhibits cracks but not a bullet hole, was intentionally damaged by someone involved in the cover-up AFTER its removal by Hess and Eisenhardt.
This distressing (and depressing) tale of cover-up, deceit, and deception mirrors what was going on with the JFK medical evidence (namely, the President's cranial wounds and throat wound; and the autopsy photographs and x-rays), and the Zapruder film, during the weekend following the assassination – that is, alteration and gross substitution. The pattern is the same, and the pattern is one of lying, and intentionally covering up the truth, by destroying some evidence, and substituting altered evidence in its place. All of this substitution of evidence – tampering with wounds prior to the commencement of the autopsy through clandestine post mortem surgery; the alteration of some of the key autopsy photographs and x-rays (and the destruction of others); and the alteration of the Zapruder film – was all intended to suppress evidence of shots from the front (i.e., proof of conspiracy), so the government could more easily promote its lone assassin cover story.
…And the U.S. Government Later Suborned Perjury in the Matter of the Damage to the Limousine Windshield
Unfortunately for Mr. Charles Taylor of the Secret Service, he – like Galileo Galilei before the Inquisition in the 17th century – was forced to recant, for he had committed heresy when he wrote in his official report on November 27th that he had observed a bullet hole in the windshield of the limousine as the car was closely examined in the White House garage the evening of the assassination, in 1963. In his 1976 recantation, an affidavit prepared for the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), Taylor indicated that he changed his mind after examining the windshield stored in the Archives on December 19, 1975. Like Galileo, when prompted by his inquisitors, Taylor reversed himself, saying: “…I never examined this apparent hole [on November 22, 1963] to determine if there had been any penetration of the glass, nor did I even get a good look at the windshield in well-lighted surroundings…”. This is hardly credible. SA Kinney drove JFK's limousine from Andrews AFB to the White House garage on November 22nd, 1963, and Taylor was the only passenger. The back seat bench (as revealed by horrifying color photographs taken in the White House garage) was still covered with gore, so we know Taylor did not sit there amidst the blood and brain tissue; and it is most doubtful that he sat in one of the uncomfortable jump seats in the middle of the car. Surely, he sat in the right front seat of the limousine all the way from Andrews AFB, to the garage where it was examined that evening – an ideal spot for noticing the bullet hole in the windshield, which would have been within arm's reach for him. Inevitably, when the interior of the car was disassembled that evening inside the White House garage by FBI and Secret Service agents working together, the lights must have been on for this crucial joint inspection! Taylor reported on their activities in detail in his report, prepared on November 27th, 1963. The report makes clear that the agents could see what they were doing. In that context, consider Taylor's written statement in his 1976 HSCA affidavit, about thirteen years later, in which he stated: “I have no doubt that the cracks [seen in the windshield placed in the Archives and in official photographs]…cracks in the inner layers of the glass only, are the ones I noticed on the trip from Andrews Air Force Base…it is clear to me that my use of the word ‘hole' to describe the flaw in the windshield was incorrect.” Taylor's sworn affidavit in 1976, shortly after he was asked by someone in government to examine the switched-out windshield deposited in the Archives, can only be viewed and described for what it was: perjury.
Previously Known Photographic Evidence of a Windshield Bullet Hole
As I documented in chapter 15 of my book, Inside the Assassination Records Review Board, the famous “Altgens photo” taken on Elm Street, the one reported to be equivalent to Zapruder frame 255 in the extant film, appears to many who study it to show a bullet hole in the windshield in some of the versions of that photograph that have been published: namely, in The Torch Is Passed (1964), on page 16; in Groden's The Killing of a President, on pages 30 and 36; on page 314 of Trask's Pictures of the Pain; and in the version published in Fetzer's Murder in Dealey Plaza, on page 149. The apparent bullet hole detected by many viewers in the Altgens photo appears to be just to the right of the rightmost edge of the rear view mirror, as seen from the front. But there is another Altgens photo taken on Elm Street, showing Jackie Kennedy on the trunk of the limousine after the assassination, which also shows damage in the area of the windshield that is left-of-center, as seen from inside the car. Frustratingly, the damage seen in this photograph appears to be some cracks emanating from a frosted white area of the windshield that is left-of-center. It is most clearly seen in The Torch Is Passed, on page 17; in my view, it is unclear whether we are looking at a round bullet hole with two cracks emanating from it, or simply cracks. The poor quality versions of this image published in The Killing of a President (on page 42) and in Pictures of the Pain (on page 316) are useless in resolving this issue.
Therefore, any additional photographic evidence captured the day of the assassination might prove decisive in resolving the windshield debate, once and for all – which leads us back to the headline of this journal entry: “Photographic Evidence of Bullet Hole in JFK Limousine Windshield Hiding in Plain Sight.”
HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT SINCE 2003
On pages 1473-1474 of Volume V my book (in chapter 16), I wrote about the circumstances in which The History Channel, in 2003, was forced by political pressure and by threat of legal action to stop airing the remarkably popular seventh, eighth, and ninth episodes of the series The Men Who Killed Kennedy: “The Smoking Guns,” “The Love Affair,” and “The Guilty Men.” Not only did The History Channel agree to stop broadcasting the three episodes (which were getting very high ratings), but it also pulled all of the DVDs from stores (where they were selling like hotcakes), and agreed to stop selling the three episodes, which were packaged together in a two-disc, three episode A & E network video product titled: The Men Who Killed Kennedy: The Final Chapter, Cat. No. AAE-71255. (Thanks to Phil Singer of Chicago, I own a set of these three banned DVDs.)
Not only did former LBJ aides Jack Valenti and Bill Moyers engage in a high-profile publicity campaign against The History Channel, but an enraged Jack Valenti (who had long been the chief lobbyist in the nation's capital for the motion picture industry) summoned the executive producer of episodes 7, 8, and 9 (including the LBJ episode, “The Guilty Men”) – Dolores Gavin – to Washington, D.C., where she was given the “Valenti treatment,” i.e., browbeaten and intimidated in private, in a rather brutal fashion. (I was informed of this by a Hollywood-based professional who had worked with her on the project; Dolores Gavin herself was the source of the information.) Shortly afterwards, The History Channel succumbed to this overt censorship and all three episodes were added to a new, twenty-first century Index Expurgatorius.
The presumptive cause of this Holy Edict of the American Establishment was the LBJ episode, “The Guilty Men,” which fingered Lyndon Baines Johnson with involvement in the JFK assassination conspiracy. But in retrospect, I now wonder if perhaps the real, principal (but unacknowledged) cause of the suppression was actually the episode titled “The Smoking Guns.” The LBJ episode may have simply been the excuse to ban “The Smoking Guns,” for this episode contains multiple evidentiary proofs of a U.S. government cover-up of the Kennedy assassination evidence.
The Stunning Content of “The Smoking Guns”
There is some “B-roll” in “The Smoking Guns” episode, only a little over two seconds long, which definitely appears to show the bullet hole in the limousine windshield – the through-and-through bullet hole described by the six credible witnesses cited above. This is shown during the segment of the program in which Evalea Glanges was interviewed. This “B-roll” footage appears between the times of 14:02 and 14:04 on the DVD, and consists of a total of 84 video frames (there are 30 video frames per second in a U.S. television broadcast). The black-and-white images appear to come from standard 16 mm B & W newsreel footage, taken by a stocky man wearing a hat who had approached the Presidential limousine as it was parked outside the Parkland Hospital emergency room (and before the bubble top was installed). The point of view (POV) of the camera was that of someone sitting in the limousine, or rather standing just beside it and to the right side. The camera is pointed at the inside surface of the windshield from behind – that is the POV. One man in a suit and tie can be seen standing on the front side, or forward of, the windshield, and two DPD motorcycle patrolmen (are they Ellis and Freeman?) can be seen leaning in and examining the windshield. What looks to me like a through-and-through bullet hole is visible in all 84 video frames, left of center on the windshield (adopting the POV of the camera) and approximately halfway down from the top, although these are only rough approximations. The location appears to be entirely consistent with that described by Charles Taylor and George Whitaker (above).
I wish to make something very clear here: you cannot access the images I am describing above in the U-Tube segment in which this episode has been put up on the internet. First, the timing is different in the U-Tube segment (13:08, vice 14:02), because the U-Tube segment was copied from the broadcast. [The factory DVD location of the clip is at a later point in the program, at 14:02, because of advertising material inserted at the beginning of the DVD.] Second, the size of the U-Tube presentation is so small on one's computer screen, and the resolution so poor in comparison with a big screen HD television, that you can forget seeing this windshield bullet hole on U-Tube. The viewer needs the factory-produced DVD; a good DVD player with functioning frame-by-frame advance; and a big screen, High Definition (1080p) TV. The bullet hole shows up clearly on my 52″ SONY Bravia television. So anyone concerned with doing research here simply must obtain the factory-produced DVD.
Now, no doubt the “lone-nutter” crowd – both those who are in denial of the reality of an American coup in 1963 (because they can't handle the truth), and the U.S. government's third-party surrogates in the midst of the research community (whose job it is to cast doubt on all new research pointing to conspiracy and cover-up) – will react violently to this essay, and that is predictable. But you don't have to listen to their opinions…EXAMINE THE EVIDENCE YOURSELF AND MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND. Just obtain a factory-produced DVD of “The Smoking Guns,” by hook or crook (or E-Bay); put it in your DVD player; go to the specified time of 14:02 into the program; and then examine the 84 video frames, one at a time, on an HD big screen TV. You will find that video frames 1, 15, 31, 37, 47, 59, and 71 best depict the bullet hole. The 16 mm camera was hand-held, so there is some motion and some blurring of the images, and that is why some video frames are more clear than others. In my opinion, the best frames are #1 and # 71 in the windshield sequence.
Then consider how dangerous this two-seconds of “B-roll” footage is to the U. S. government's contrived position on the assassination as we approach the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination: a through-and-through hole in the limousine windshield, made by a frontal shot traveling from front-to-back (as stated by George Whitaker and Evalea Glanges), all by itself, demolishes the lone-assassin myth still being perpetuated by the U.S. government and by its surrogates in the mainstream media in America. No wonder the establishment in America felt this episode had to be suppressed.
And consider the other reasons for its suppression. This episode also features Dr. David Mantik, M.D., PhD., eloquently and clearly discussing his conclusion – based on his nine visits to the National Archives to view the autopsy materials – that the autopsy photographs of the rear of JFK's head are photographic forgeries. It also features former USIA photographer Joe O'Donnell discussing how White House photographer Robert Knudsen showed him two sets of post mortem photos of JFK's head wounds late in 1963: one set that consisted of authentic, pre-alteration images, showing the true entry and exit wounds in the head (an entry wound high in the right forehead, and a large exit wound in the right rear of the skull); and another set of images that was post-alteration, with the entry wound high in the forehead no longer visible, and the back of the head seemingly intact. It also features Dr. Gary Aguilar, M.D., discussing in convincing terms G. Robert Blakey's suppression of the content of interviews the HSCA conducted with JFK autopsy witnesses, and Blakey's intentional misrepresentation of the contents of those interviews in the HSCA's report; the JFK Records Act resulted in the “premature release” of the suppressed autopsy witness interviews in 1993, and the “Big Lie” in the HSCA report was exposed. (The HSCA report, in volume 7, stated that all of the Dallas doctors had to be wrong about the exit wound they recalled in the back of JFK's head, since all of the autopsy witnesses the HSCA had interviewed said the wounds they observed matched the autopsy photos which show the back of the head intact. The release of the interview reports in 1993 revealed that the HSCA had lied about what those witnesses had said.) All of this, and more, was presented in this one key episode.
So ask your friends, go on E-Bay, and one way or another, get your hands on the banned episode of The Men Who Killed Kennedy titled “The Smoking Guns,” and see the bullet hole in the windshield yourself. Then compare it to the photographs of the windshield in the National Archives, and ask yourself what this sorry episode says about the integrity of our national government.
President Kennedy was killed in Dealey Plaza by a crossfire, meted out by shooters firing from multiple directions, from both the front and behind – therefore, he was felled by a conspiracy, by definition. The windshield bullet hole evidence, all by itself, proves a conspiracy; and its clumsy and unsuccessful suppression, all by itself, is proof of a government cover-up of the facts in President Kennedy's assassination, since the U.S. government controlled all of the windshield evidence. The facts contained in this tale prove that we had a coup in America in 1963, and that powerful and influential people were still covering it up in 1975, and 1976, and 1979, and in 2003. Former CIA Director William Colby once said that everyone of any significance in the U.S. media was owned by the CIA. I believe it – otherwise, this windshield nonsense would have been exposed long ago on a show like “60 Minutes.”
I have expressed here my own strong opinion about what is shown in the 84 video frames visible in this documentary. A good follow-on step here would be to obtain the original 16 mm camera footage (presumably a black and white negative, not some multi-generational stock footage), perform a high-resolution digital scan of the film frames in Hollywood, and have them analyzed by motion picture professionals in the film industry who have no axe to grind – not by Gary Mack at the Sixth Floor Museum (who has never been to film school, or worked in the motion picture industry), or by any member of the JFK research community who has espoused a conspiracy or cover-up in the assassination. A true, third-party independent analysis of the camera negative, or of the earliest surviving generation of this newsreel footage, would be a good next step in the process of evaluating these images.
I have sounded the alarm here – and I am not afraid of a truly independent third-party analysis. Let's do a little honest science here, and “let the chips fall where they may.”
Douglas P. Horne graduated Cum Laude from Ohio State University in 1974, with a B.A. in History. He served for ten years as a Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy, and then worked for the Navy for ten more years as a Federal civilian. In 1995 he joined the staff of the President John F. Kennedy “Assassination Records Review Board,” and rose to the position of Chief Analyst for Military Records. In that capacity, he focused on the medical evidence surrounding the JFK autopsy; the Zapruder film; and ensured the release of military records on Cuba and Vietnam. In 2009 he published the extensive five-volume work, Inside the Assassination Records Review Board, which documents the U.S. government's coverup of the medical evidence surrounding JFK's assassination, and the alteration of the Zapruder film of President Kennedy's assassination.