Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dealey Plaza

Today I checked one more thing off my “Bucket List”. I visited Dallas’s Dealey Plaza where on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was shot. What struck me most about the Plaza was it’s small size. I always expected it to be much larger but the whole thing is contained in an area of less than a single square block. All the legendary landmarks are only a few steps from each other, The Texas Schoolbook Depository, The “Grassy Knoll”, The “Stockade Fence), The “Triple Overpass” and the spot on Elm Street where the fatal shots hit. As we walked up to the Plaza we were met by a young enterprising salesman who talked us into buying a flier from him outlining some of the conspiracy theories. He was very pleasant and gave us a “Seniors Discount” and posed with Norma for a photo.

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You get both sides of the Conspiracy argument here. The Museum on the Sixth Floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository has the “Official” version, that of Lee Harvey Oswald, the lone gunman in his “sniper’s nest” on the sixth floor firing all the shots with remarkable accuracy from his cheap mail-order rifle. This is also the version concluded (some would say invented) by the Warren Commission.

Over on the “Grassy Knoll” is a display and tables set up by Bob Groden, a Photo Analyst for the House Select Committee On Assassinations and Technical Adviser to Oliver Stone’s movie, “JFK”. Groden was selling a DVD and a magazine containing many unseen photos and evidence suppressed from the American public. This evidence has been sealed until 2017 and even the public showing of his DVD in the USA is illegal as it contains photos from his own archives, the originals of which are sealed. He gave a pretty good talk on the subject and then his partner made a sales pitch for the DVD and magazine which I bought.

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Here is the Texas School Book Depository. In the theory they would have us believe the shots were fired from the second window down on the right hand side.

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This is a shot back at the Texas School Book Depository while standing in the middle of Elm on the “X” that marks the spot of the first bullet strike to the throat.

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This is taken from the spot of the second bullet hit to the head. It is a long shot and the head is a very small target in a moving vehicle. Makes you wonder…

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This is the “Grassy Knoll” and the “Stockade Fence” where everyone looked and the police ran to after hearing shots. One news camera actually caught a puff of smoke at the fence. The pickets have been removed as souvenirs and replaced thousands of times. They were all in place in 1963. This view is from the curb very near where the second shot hit Kennedy in the forehead and blew the back of his head off. It was this large piece of skull Jackie climbed on the trunk to save.

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This was shot from behind the picket fence looking right at the spot where the second shot hit Kennedy (see the painted “X” on pavement). A shot from here would have exited to the rear left of his head, exactly where Jackie was reaching for the piece of skull. This would have been an easy shot for a marksman. Probably only about 75 feet away.

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Like most people alive in 1963, I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news. I was on my way to college class when a car pulled over to the curb and a man called us all over to listen to his radio. I went home and watched TV news with my mother all day. I was 18 and just starting College. This assassination was a turning point in my life and changed my view of the word. It proved that right does not always triumph over wrong and that the “Good Guys” do not always win. It was the point that changed everything that I believed from my previously sheltered life and after that I saw the world in a different way.

I never believed the “Official” version. It just did not go along with the news reports I heard and when the Warren Commission affirmed the made-up story I thought it was a joke. Too many eye witnesses went against what they determined.

1 comment:

  1. Count me in as one who thinks that Oswald was a scapegoat and that the whole story was fabricated by the US government. There's way too much evidence for the grassy knoll theory and too many holes in the book repository story.

    Dealey Plaza is also on my bucket list!

    Another must-see place is the Ford Theatre where Lincoln was shot and the house where he died. Both impressed me muchly.

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