A Review of the Acoustical Evidence of the John F. Kennedy Assassination

At the time of the assassination it is possible that there was a police radio microphone stuck open in Dealy Plaza. A recording was of the transmission from that microphone at the time, and some believe an analysis of that recording has proven that there was a shot from the grassy knoll

The acoustical Firm Of Bolt, Beranek & Newman, Inc, studied the tape closely. On September 11, 1978 Dr. James Barger testified in open session to the House Select Committee on Assassinations explaining their study Here is that testimony.

Professor Mark Weiss of the Department of Computer Science of Queens College of the City University of New York, expanded on the work of Dr. Barger. On December 28, 1978 Professor Weiss appeared before the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Here is that testimony. Dr. Barger testified again on that day. Since the motorcycle identified as having had the stuck microphone belonged to Office H.B. McLain, he also testified on that day.

Dr. Barger, and Professor Weiss also submitted reports to the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Here is the report of Bolt, Beranek & Newman, and here is the report Weiss and Aschkenasy. An additional report was made by Bolt, Beranek & Newman, relating an report analysis of the earwitness reports related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy

The results of this study led the House select Committee to conclude that it was likely that Lee Harvey Oswald did not kill President Kennedy acting on his own, and recommended further investigation. Rather quickly these acoustic tests came under fire. After hearing the actual recording Officer McLain claimed that the recording could not have come from his motorcycle, because the sounds on it were not consistent with what he believed should have been on that tape due to his own memory of events.

James C. Bowles of the Dallas Police Department was one of the first major critics of the work done for the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Dave Reitzes has posted Bowles' "A Rebuttal to the Acoustical Evidence Theory" at : http://www.jfk-online.com/bowles1.html

In one of the more unusual twist concerning Kennedy assassination research, A drummer/percussionist from Ohio named Steve Barber, listened to a copy of the Dallas Polce recording that was included in an adult magazine and he discovered what he believes is a voice on the recording that would prove that the sounds on the tape could not be shots from Dealy Plaza. In 1982 a Comittee chaired by Norman F. Ramsey of Harvard University, was empanelled to review the previous acoustic studies, and also reviewed Barber's claims. This committee, officially known as The Committee on Ballistics Acoustics, but also known as the Ramsey panel, agreed with Barber that the impulses heard on the tape could not be shots recorded in Dealy Plaza. John McAdams is one of the most active supporters of the lone gunman theory on the internet, and he has a web page at http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/acoustic.htm That gives more detail on Barber, the Ramsey Panel and other critics of the acoustic evidence.

Anthony Marsh has been an active supporter of the original studies by Barger and Weiss, and his critique of the Ramsey study can be found at : http://www.boston.quik.com/amarsh/rebuttal.htm

In March of 2001 Dr D.B Thomas presented a peer reviewed paper reaffirming the conclusions of the original Weiss study and criticizing the Ranmsey panel. That paper can be downloaded at http://www.forensic-science-society.org.uk/Thomas.pdf

In the previous article, Thomas discusses the position of officer McLain seen in the Hughes Film and how that relates to the Zapruder film. In an article entitled Synchronizing the Zapruder Film and the Hughes Film I discuss the problems with Dr. Thomas's analysis.

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