(PART 1193)


"No large bullet of any kind was found." -- James W. Sibert; June 30, 2005

Was Sibert lying in 2005, Garry?


I think it's "fairly obvious" what the answer is, David.


ARLEN SPECTER -- "What did those X-rays disclose with respect to the possible presence of a missile in the President's body?"

DR. JAMES J. HUMES -- "They showed no evidence of a missile in the President's body at any point."

Was Humes lying to Arlen Specter in 1964, Garry?


Surprisingly enough, not this time. What does that have to do with the "missle?" I never said it was on the X-rays or that Humes removed it.

Did Specter ask him if a bullet was turned over to the FBI that night? That's a different question.

David, are you really naive enough to think that nobody lied in this case? 'Cause I got news for you.

You're saying Admiral Osborne and Commander Stover lied. How silly of me.

You know, though, I just don't get the motivation for them to be lying. Can you help me out here? Was it for the ever-popular "fifteen minutes of fame" perhaps?

On the other hand, I have no problem with Sibert's motivation. It would have been done for "the greater good."


Nobody saw any whole "missile" at JFK's autopsy on Nov. 22 -- and this testimony proves it:

"[The X-rays] showed no evidence of a missile in the President's body at any point." -- J.J. Humes

You think a bullet fell out of JFK in the casket between Parkland & Bethesda, eh?

Good luck proving that one.


You have here an anomaly: an empty envelope that contained a "missle" from the autopsy; you have an admiral and a commander who state that they saw this missile; you have the fact that the fragments were put into a small glass jar and handed over to the FBI, so the fragments and the missile are not the same.

And instead of being curious about this, and perhaps trying to explain how this could happen, your knee-jerk reaction is that it couldn't have happened.


I've read all about Osborne's and Stover's stories about seeing (and even holding, per Osborne's incredible fairy tale) a whole bullet during President Kennedy's autopsy.

Vincent Bugliosi covers this topic quite nicely in "Reclaiming History". And, as we can see from the very words of Osborne himself (via his second interview with the HSCA ["Osborne then said that he could not be sure he actually did see a missile and that it was possible the FBI and Secret Service only spoke about the discovery of a missile"]), there is nothing for conspiracy theorists to get excited about here. In short, the "Bullet Found At The Autopsy" story is a bunch of bunk. Let's have a gander:

[Quoting Bugliosi:]

"Conspiracy theorists, eager to find an extra fourth bullet, one more than Oswald is believed to have fired, and hence a conspiracy, got very excited when they learned that the receipt for the two fragments turned over to FBI agents Sibert and O'Neill on November 22, 1963, and signed by the two agents, refers to a "receipt of a missle [sic]" (HSCA Record 180-10120-10362; JFK Document 014834). But the HSCA concluded that "the receipt was in error."

Chester H. Boyers, the navy corpsman who typed the receipt, gave HSCA investigators an affidavit under penalty of perjury that contained his handwritten notes at the time of the autopsy, in which he jotted down during the autopsy that "there were bullet missile fragments recovered. These were placed in a specimen container and delivered to me. The FBI was there and wanted them."

The affidavit says that "although the receipt states that a 'missile' was transferred, this is an error" (HSCA Record 180-10120-10362, Affidavit of Chester Boyers, December 4, 1978 p.3, p.2 of accompanying notes).

Both Agents Sibert and O'Neill confirmed to the HSCA that they received two bullet fragments, not a missile. As Sibert put it in an affidavit, "Regarding the receipt for the 'missile,' I do not recall exactly how the receipt described the fragments but it was certainly not for a whole missile, rather it was for some fragments. ["Two metal fragments," he says earlier.] A single missile to me means considerable substance, more of a whole bullet. This receipt was prepared by someone else and typed up by a naval corpsman. If I had prepared the receipt, I would have listed the items as metal fragments" (7 HSCA 11-12; JFK Document 002191, HSCA interview of Sibert on August 25, 1977; HSCA 180-10100-10135, Affidavit of Sibert on October 24, 1978, p.5; JFK Document 006185, HSCA interview of O'Neill on January 10, 1978).


Although the "fourth bullet rather than two fragments" argument is deader than a doornail, David Lifton has persisted in trying to keep it alive, and his weapon is the faulty memory of others. In 1978, Admiral David Osborne told HSCA investigators that at the time of the autopsy (Osborne was then a captain and chief of surgery at Bethesda) he saw a "fully intact, copper-clad slug" roll out of the president's clothing onto the table when the president's shoulders were raised to remove the suit coat Osborne said Kennedy was wearing (ARRB MD 66, HSCA Outside Contact Report of interview of Admiral David Osborne, June 20, 1978, p.3).

Of course, throughout the HSCA's entire investigation no one else had told the committee about seeing a slug on the autopsy table or anywhere else at Bethesda. The HSCA said it "recontacted Admiral Osborne and informed him that the body of the president had not arrived in any clothes [as Osborne said], but was wrapped in sheets, and that no one else recalled anything about the discovery of a missile. Osborne then said that he could not be sure he actually did see a missile and that it was possible the FBI and Secret Service only spoke about the discovery of a missile" (7 HSCA 15-16; ARRB MD 66).

Lifton contacted Osborne the next year and Osborne proceeded to tell him his original story, claiming that Kennedy arrived in his casket in his clothing, and a "reasonably clean, unmarred" bullet fell from the clothing. But now Osborne added a real zinger. He not only saw the bullet, which is what he told the HSCA, he held "that bullet in my hand." (Lifton, Best Evidence, pp.645-646)

My, my.

Lifton next contacted Captain John Stover in April of 1980. Stover had been the commanding officer of the U.S. Naval Medical School and, like Osborne, was in the autopsy room during the autopsy. Lifton says that Stover confirmed Osborne's assertion that there was a bullet in the autopsy room, saying, "It seems to me that the one they found in Dallas they brought up . . . I think it was in a brown paper envelope" (Lifton, Best Evidence, p.651).

If I can conclude this silly story with one observation over and above the fact that it has been established beyond any reasonable doubt that two large bullet fragments, not a missile or bullet, were found during the autopsy, it would be this. As set forth in the text, we know that Dr. James Humes and his two fellow autopsy surgeons were completely perplexed over (and made a very big issue out of) the fact that they could not find or figure out what happened to the bullet that entered the upper right part of the president's back, Humes only determining what happened to it the following morning when he spoke on the phone to Dr. Malcolm Perry.

If, indeed, Drs. Osborne and Stover recall seeing an intact bullet in the autopsy room that night—and if we're to believe Osborne, he actually held it in his hand—why didn't either one of them bother to mention this bullet to the three pathologists who were so troubled all evening by its absence? You know, "Dr. Humes? Here's the bullet you're looking for"."
-- Vincent Bugliosi; Pages 76-78 of Endnotes in "Reclaiming History" (c.2007)


The two most interesting quotes shown above:

"Osborne then said that he could not be sure he actually did see a missile and that it was possible the FBI and Secret Service only spoke about the discovery of a missile."

[Quoting Capt. John Stover:]

"It seems to me that the one [bullet] they found in Dallas they brought up...I think it was in a brown paper envelope."

Oh boy. That's an ironclad case for a whole bullet being found at the autopsy, isn't it?

For Pete sake, Stover's quote is so vague and uncertain, he's not even talking about a bullet being FOUND in the Bethesda morgue! He's clearly referring to the DALLAS bullet that he (for some reason) seemed to think was "brought up" to Bethesda during the autopsy.


David Von Pein
January 12-13, 2014