(PART 1005)


I've been doing a lot of work on the so-called "mystery photo" of late, and have lightened up the dark section of the photos, and morphed them together. (Yes, there are two of them.) This has led me to some surprising conclusions.

But, first things first. I have long assumed the gash apparent on the gif file below is the 15 by 6 entrance measured at autopsy. (This gash was circled by the late Jack White on the first of the images in the gif.)

So, gun experts, hunters, rock throwers, etc, what do you think? Does this look like a bullet entrance along the back of the head, as described by the autopsy doctors? Or merely "congealed blood", as claimed by the only single-assassin theorist to address this issue, Dr. Chad Zimmerman? Or is it something else entirely? ....


This thread is quite possibly the most dangerous thread ever started on this forum. If people come to agree that that's a bullet hole, then it's game, set, and pretty much match. It would mean that the HSCA Forensic Pathology Panel and Clark Panel were wrong, and that those pushing the single-assassin theory under the belief it's backed up by the "experts" (which is pretty much everyone in academia and the media) has built their castle on quicksand. They would then be forced to embrace the original statements of the doctors, at which point the statements of the HSCA Pathology Panel--including that the brain photos absolutely rule out a bullet entering near the EOP's exiting from the top of the head--could be presented against that scenario.

In short, it would force a re-opening of the case among those currently hunkered down in the Oswald-did-it bunker.



Before I answer your question, I would like to ask a question.

What the heck is this photo anyway?

I have heard so many different takes on it, that I cannot keep them straight.

To this day, some experts cannot explain what it is or why the camera was oriented like that.

Was the point to make it as unrecognizable as possible? Because if that was it, they succeeded.


I'm with Jim on this one. I need some visual aids because I can't make heads or tails of this. Could someone have cropped it for obfuscation purposes?


On November 1, 1966, on a list of the photos prepared for the National Archives, Drs. Humes and Boswell described the black and white versions of the "mystery" photo as "depicting missile wound over entrance in posterior skull, following reflection of the scalp" and the color transparencies of this image as depicting a "missile wound in posterior skull, with scalp reflected."

On November 10, 1966, moreover, Drs. Humes and Boswell, along with autopsy radiologist John Ebersole and autopsy photographer John Stringer, signed a version of this report prepared by the Justice Department that changed these words a wee bit, quite possibly as a result of a typo. This report described the black and white photos as depicting a "missile wound of entrance in posterior skull, following reflection of scalp.” The "over" had been changed to "of" and "the scalp" had been changed to simply "scalp". The color transparencies of this image, not surprisingly, bore the same description as the November 1 inventory.

So, the doctors, accompanied by radiologist Ebersole and photographer Stringer, when writing an inventory list for the archives, initially claimed this photo showed the entrance wound on the back of the head.

The Clark Panel later claimed it showed the forehead. And the HSCA did them one better and claimed it showed an exit near the forehead by the coronal suture.

I feel certain, however, that the initial inventory was correct. For a number of reasons...within this inventory the doctors claimed the back wound was on the back, NOT on the back of the neck as they'd claimed both in their Warren Commission testimony, and in the weeks and months following their inspection for the archives. We have reason to believe, then, that the inventory was the real deal (outside the Justice Department's last minute addition that no photos were missing).

That this inventory was a problem is confirmed, moreover, by what happened next. The doctors were called back a few months later to write a new report, in which they confirmed the accuracy of the Rydberg drawings for CBS. They fought with the justice department over this report, but eventually relented. And that still wasn't good enough. The justice department then pressured Boswell into writing them a letter telling them they should have an independent panel double-check their findings. The justice department then put together a secret panel to do just that, but with the additional instruction that they were supposed to help refute the junk in Tink Thompson's book (which made much of the fact the low entrance wound was incompatible with a blow-out wound on the top of the head).

The findings of this panel were then sealed for a year, only to be released at the beginning of Jim Garrison's trial of Clay Shaw. The timing of this release, moreover, derailed Garrison's attempts at getting Wecht access to the autopsy materials, so he could testify at the trial.

So what were the findings? That the photos of the back of the head with the hair showed an entrance wound at the top of the head, 4 inches higher than determined at autopsy. That the x-rays confirmed an entrance wound in this location. That the photos with the reflected scalp showed forehead, and not the posterior skull. And that the back wound was well above the throat wound, and supported the single-bullet theory. In short, the Clark Panel was a total scam.

In any event, someone within the Justice Department knew the 1966 inventory and 1967 reports written by the autopsy doctors would cause an uproar if released. So, mere days before the end of the Johnson Administration, Justice Department official Frank Wozencraft--from the office of legal counsel, and thus a lawyer personally beholden to Johnson--ordered the archives to refuse access to anyone seeking to read the 1966 inventory and 1967 report under the completely made up grounds that any description of the president's wounds in a government report was considered private as per the government's agreement with the Kennedy family. (This was a flat-out lie. The agreement with the Kennedy family had no such clause.)

As a result, these documents didn't surface for years. '73 or '74, after LBJ was dead.



Cairns said he thought the Harper fragment was low occipital, near the base of the skull, and not upper occipital, where some of the Parkland witnesses placed the large head wound.


Either one of those options—low occipital or upper occipital—is absolutely impossible, because we know that there is not a single solitary bit of occipital bone missing (or blasted out) anywhere on President Kennedy's head, which is a fact that is verified in the X-ray shown below (and also shown in HSCA Volume #7, at 7 HSCA 112):

And FWIW, it's my opinion that the "mystery" photo (also known as the
F8 autopsy photograph) is virtually worthless as far as being able to prove anything about JFK's head wounds. It's a mess, IMO. And I didn't just start saying that today....

"The F-8 photo is, in my opinion, essentially worthless and useless. At least
from the standpoint of trying to PROVE anything definitive regarding the location of the wounds in JFK's head. Others disagree, of course. But, in my view, F-8 is
just a big mess. I can't make head nor tail out of it. Maybe other people can,
but I can't. .... In a way, that F-8 photo is TOO GOOD. It evidently is a picture taken DEEP inside Kennedy's cranium, which doesn't leave very much stuff visible OUTSIDE the cranium for proper orientation. And therein lies the big problem with it, IMO. What's UP and what's DOWN? It's hard to tell."

-- DVP; September 8, 2014

"Don't ask me anything about that mess known as F8, because it's an ink blot test as far as I'm concerned. Totally useless. In a way, that picture is TOO GOOD. If we only had some more "orientation" features within F8, it would sure be more useful. It's an incredible picture, though, I must say. I've often wondered just exactly how (and where) the camera was situated and maneuvered in order to snap that picture?" -- DVP; April 1, 2009

"John Canal thinks F8 is a "simple photo". That must be why [according to some people anyway] Dr. Baden testified with F8 upside-side in 1978, huh? For Pete sake, John, just take a look at all of the major disagreements concerning F8 over the years among the people who post on just the alt.assassination.jfk newsgroup. And there are some very smart people posting there too. And yet many people say F8 shows one thing, while a different batch of people say that F8 is depicting something else entirely. A "simple" photo? I think not. F8 is essentially a worthless and useless mess. But if you want to rely on that "simple" F8 photograph, more power to ya (I guess)." -- DVP; May 17, 2009

"The autopsy photo known as F8 is a complete mess. And if you took the time to explain it to me 101 different times, I doubt it would still make much sense (from a "Which Way Is Up On This Damn Picture?" point-of-view). It would still be a total freaking mess. IMO, autopsy photograph #F8 is not aiding anyone at all who is attempting to locate certain wounds (entry vs. exit points, etc.) on John F. Kennedy's head. Because everybody's got a different "official" opinion on the picture, it seems. In other words, how can mud possibly bring about clarity? IMO, it can't. So I'll choose to dismiss it entirely and utilize better and clearer-to-interpret evidence." -- DVP; August 17, 2008


Thanks, DVP. Your inability/refusal to come to grips with what's in the photo is not uncommon, and has helped fuel my fire in trying to understand the photo. But insinuating that the photo is worthless unless we know exactly what it shows just isn't true.

As stated earlier, the shape of the drainage hole scientifically disproves the orientation for the photo pushed by most LNs, and presumably the HSCA FPP. The proportions of the jar and drainage hole prove the photo was taken at an angle from above. And yet the exposed bone in the photo (supposedly forehead) is flat to the camera. This would be impossible if the skull was lying flat on the table, facing up, as pushed by most LNs (including Bugliosi, if I recall).


It's not that I "refuse" to "come to grips" with the F8 mess of a picture. I just don't think it's possible to utilize F8 as a reliable or definitive piece of evidence.

With so many different opinions about what the photo is depicting, how can anyone use the F8 picture to bolster ANY kind of a theory? I don't think that's possible.

Even if you're right, Pat, about the orientation of the picture, I still can't see any way to DEFINITIVELY say that "this is an entry wound" or "this is positively the exit wound", etc. Because even WITH a proper orientation of the photograph, it's still a big inconclusive mess regarding President Kennedy's head wounds. (IMHO.)


What do you think that shape is in the gif I've created? No thoughts? Nothing?

And is it just a coincidence that shape is 15 by 6, when the mythical cowlick entrance is not?


What makes you think the "shape" that you are convinced is the entry wound measures exactly 15 by 6 millimeters?

And even if it IS the entry wound, why couldn't it be located high on JFK's head, near the cowlick, which is the place on the head that the Clark Panel and the HSCA determined the entry wound was located via OTHER (multiple!) photographs and X-rays?

Tell me again why the "shape" you think is the entry wound in the F8 picture cannot possibly in a million years be located anywhere near the cowlick area of John F. Kennedy's head?

Thank you.


Just look at the photo, David. For that shape to be the cowlick entry, the bone in the background would have to be the front of the head--as opposed to the posterior cranial fossa. And not only that, the whole left side of the head would have to have been missing. It just doesn't add up. If you want to show how it could add up, then please do. I've been wrong before, and am always willing to learn.


There's no way I can add anything definitive with respect to the F8 photo, and that's because I do not think it is possible to determine the exact location of various parts of President Kennedy's head in that picture. As I said before, I could probably stare at it all day long and it wouldn't help me out much.


As far as the measurements, that the proportions match 15 by 6 is demonstrated on the slide. That it is actually 15 by 6, however, is less solid, and is based on the relative proportions of the shape and the back of Kennedy's head under the assumption the shape is on the back of Kennedy's head.


Okay. Thanks, Pat.


Just to illustrate how easy it is to play "Let's Find A Possible Bullet Hole In JFK's Head In The F8 Photo", I don't see why the object within the white circle couldn't be yet another candidate....


When one looks at Kennedy's position at frame 312/313 [of the Zapruder Film], and considers that the fatal bullet supposedly came from six floors up, it's truly hard to believe the bullet would change direction and exit from the top of Kennedy's head.

And that's not the only HUGE problem with the scenario pushed by the doctors and Warren Commission. The brain photos--which I know many assume to be fake but bear with me--are purported to demonstrate that no bullet entered low and exited high. That is what the Clark Panel and HSCA believed, and this is undoubtedly one of the main reasons they decided to go with the cowlick entry. If they didn't, they felt, they'd have to assume there'd been two shots to the head, and thus, two shooters.

So, much as the autopsy doctors, who knew that sectioning the brain might show there'd been two shots to the head, and therefore never sectioned the brain, the Clark Panel and HSCA Panel (and staff) knew that going with the cowlick entry was the only way to maintain the single-assassin conclusion. And so go with it, they did. Never mind that none of the witnesses to the autopsy saw such a wound. Never mind that they had to blackmail Humes into going along with it in public testimony, and then cut him off when he started to walk it back.

Now, there are some, such as Sturdivan, who have convinced themselves that a high-velocity bullet descending from six floors up and entering low on the back of the head will nevertheless exit from the top of the head. But this wasn't borne out by any of the tests performed for the commission. Nor any tests since. While it's true bullet trajectories turn after striking curved surfaces and curve to an even greater degree if the bullet is deformed, this would be an extreme case, whereby a bullet traveling--what?--1700 fps would have to make a 45-degree turn within an inch or two of entering the brain, while leaving no readily observable bullet impact on the brain.

The brain just doesn't offer enough resistance, IMO, to counteract that much forward momentum if the bullet was traveling nose first. And if it was tumbling, well, that's even worse. While a tumbling bullet might very well change direction within a skull, it could not do so without traveling sideways within the brain, and creating a lot more damage than was noted by the doctors.

That's my understanding, anyhow.



And, IMO, that total LACK of brain injury in the LOWER sections of JFK's brain is one of the main reasons we can KNOW for certain that the bullet probably did not enter LOW on the head [see the video below]. It must have entered higher up on the President's head, just as the Clark Panel and HSCA concluded (and correctly concluded, IMO)....

"On one of the lateral films of the skull (#2), a hole measuring approximately 8 mm. in diameter on the outer surface of the skull and as much as 20 mm. on the internal surface can be seen in profile approximately 100 mm. above the external occipital protuberance. The bone of the lower edge of the hole is depressed. Also there is, embedded in the outer table of the skull close to the lower edge of the hole, a large metallic fragment which on the anteroposterior film (#1) lies 25 mm. to the right of the midline. This fragment as seen in the latter film is round and measures 6.5 mm. in diameter.


The foregoing observations indicate that the decedent's head was struck from behind by a single projectile. It entered the occipital region 25 mm. to the right of the midline and 100 mm. above the external occipital protuberance. The projectile fragmented on entering the skull, one major section leaving a trail of fine metallic debris as it passed forward and laterally to explosively fracture the right frontal and parietal bones as it emerged from the head."
-- Via the 1968 Clark Panel Report

More "F8" discussion here:
JFK-Archives.blogspot.com/search="F8 Autopsy Photo Is A Mess"

David Von Pein
August 21, 2015