Musings on the byways of popular culture
28/10/2017 by Tahir W 67 Comments
I’m a keen JFK conspiracy theory buff. Anyone else?
28/10/2017 at 10:18
Yeah, loads of people. Or at least that’s what they want you to think.
H.P. Saucecraft says
28/10/2017 at 10:27
Me too. Shame ianess is no longer with us – he’s very widely-read on the subject.
Colin H says
28/10/2017 at 10:32
Was ianess the guy who got really shirty any time someone mentioned the Kennedy thing alongside David Icke, illuminati, Holy Grails, and all that other guff?
28/10/2017 at 10:48
Yes. Because the assassination has absolutely nothing to do with all that other guff.
28/10/2017 at 11:27
I’ll beg to differ.
28/10/2017 at 11:47
I always thought Noel Edmonds was the Grassy Knoll shooter myself.
28/10/2017 at 11:57
But what on earth did he hope to achieve by shooting it?
Moose the Mooche says
28/10/2017 at 14:06
Nothing – he only did it because his Shatner’s Bassoon was out of whack.
28/10/2017 at 15:30
You mean that all along Noel’s tidybeard was just a disguise. Blimey!
28/10/2017 at 23:07
There’s a subreddit hosted by Colin H which advocates the theory that it was the entire Radio One Roadshow, accidentally sent back in time when Tidybeard played a Shadows disc backwards, which carried out the assassination.
28/10/2017 at 10:34
Less keen than I used to be, but I tend towards the mob/ Cuban exile angle – pretty similar to James Ellroy’s American Tabloid pitch.
On the broader ‘conspiracy’ tip, I read Jonathan Freedland’s risible ‘ all conspiracy theorist are tin foil hat nut jobs who are anti-Semites when you scratch beneath the surface’ piece in Friday’s Grauniad.
Real lazy dross. ‘ Everything is OK, democracy is working just fine’ smuggery of the first order. The comments below the article were pretty dim by & large as well.
Arthur Cowslip says
28/10/2017 at 10:40
That sounds like a very entertaining article, must check it out!
Tahir W says
28/10/2017 at 10:52
Oh another Ellroy reader! Yes it was he that made interested in this topic in the first place. Had never really thought about it before.
28/10/2017 at 15:41
I’m inclined towards the Ellroy view also. Including that JFK wasn’t really all that as a POTUS.
Just a rather airheaded womanizer, according to Ellroy’s novels about those times.
Interesting that Dubya is reviled for getting the US embroiled in Iraq but that JFK gets a free pass over Vietnam and Bay Of Pigs.
28/10/2017 at 10:44
I’m passingly interested only. What’s the thoughts on these latest documents that were released? Any juicy nuggets to back up any of the conspiracy theories?
28/10/2017 at 11:03
Not much so far.
Hoover immediately anxious to paint Oswald as the lone killer, but complains that the Dallas PD did not take proper steps to protect him from being killed. Interesting enough, but my feeling is that no closure is likely to result. However it’s early days yet and there are thousands of documents, which will be fine-tooth-combed, you can be sure.
The Guardian piece is a very shallow opinion number. It talks about ‘the evidence’ without mentioning the large body of counter-evidence. The thrust is that there are more important things to talk about than this. Well, yes/no.
28/10/2017 at 11:06
Nothing major that I could glean from the summaries of others.
Inevitably ( given the arena), it is speculation over the nature of material that was redacted by the Spooks at the 11th hour before the release that fueled most heat.
Likely to be several decades before whatever it is sees the light of day. This is bread & butter to the hobbyists/ nutters/ concerned citizens.
As conspiracy matters get ‘meta’ very quickly, there’s been comment on ‘why has Trump released it now?’ – with the automatic answer ‘ to distract from whatever other f*ckery is happening RIGHT NOW!’
Truth be told, trying to pin down what he even thinks his ‘administration’ is doing is like nailing jelly to the wall, so maybe JFK bumph not required.
28/10/2017 at 11:12
I think the release date was somehow set 25 years ago. More interesting to me is why Trump is holding some of them back for the time being.
28/10/2017 at 11:28
Good point, T.
It’s genuinely alarming that such a cretinous individual has access to this stuff (& lots more besides). Given his casual – not to say idiotic – treatment of classified material & his venal nature, it’s not much of a stretch to assume he’s either witholding stuff that could damage his ‘side’ or coveting some bigger dirt on a Democrat ( perhaps a sacred cow figure?) that could be utilised as a grenade in the future when he really needs those smoke & mirrors.
28/10/2017 at 14:07
Perhaps the Russians don’t come out of it very well. We couldn’t have that.
This is one of those questions (like the origin of the Universe, what happens when we die and the contents of the Ginsters’ Brunch Bar) that I’m absolutely happy not knowing the answer to.
28/10/2017 at 10:56
It’s also one of the most written-about and documented and theorised-about events of all time. Trying to get some kind of grip on it in the comments of even the liveliest online community blog is like [INTERN: some simile here pse. pref. not involving jelly/ceiling interface]
I wonder why it’s so compelling a topic? Probably a wealth of theory about that question as well!
I’m quite happy to recognise it as a watershed moment – possibly the start of the ‘sixties’ proper. But the mountain of writing and arguing about it puts me off really exploring it further.
It would have been truly amazing if some document had come to light which suddenly explained it ALL though. Like the last scene in a Sherlock Holmes story.
I know…. and even though the ingredients are written right there on the packet, a lot of people still refuse to believe that there’s really actual pork in it.
28/10/2017 at 11:15
Now now, I do hope that is not meant to be a snide analogy …
On the Sherlock Holmes bit. I don’t think that will ever happen. All the people who could have helped ended up dead or in prison (to paraphrase Tom Waits), or often both. So that gives one an idea of what might have happened to any documents that could have done the same.
I guess I just like mysteries and speculations, is all.
28/10/2017 at 13:15
Were you replying to me? Genuinely not intending to be snide, sorry if that’s how it came across. I do think it’s all interesting and I like mystery, but I just don’t have the staying power to delve deeply into it.
28/10/2017 at 13:31
Yes the first part was addressed to you, but not seriously, so no worries
28/10/2017 at 13:32
28/10/2017 at 11:38
This is true HP, but it’s been said that something like 20 times more material than all the JFK stuff was in circulation within a fortnight of September 11th. Given the tech available that was inevitable, but it also means that the nature of ‘covering things up’ has now changed. Spooks no longer try to hide documents, they just produce tons more, so that in the blizzard of data it’s impossible to discern what’s pertinent.
There may have been a brief time when all the JFK stuff could have been collated ( at least in theory) but conspiracies these days are viral almost as soon as as ‘send’ has been pressed.
28/10/2017 at 11:32
I met a chap once at a university who specialised in ‘Jack the Ripper studies’ – presumably courses about the ‘Ripperology’ industry rather than the Ripper himself. It’d be surprising if there weren’t people around the world earning a living in universities running ‘John Kennedy Conspiracy Studies’ – after all, if hundreds of people have churned out books on something, there’s your ready made ‘body of literature’ to pore over and discuss the history of the writing about something, rather than the something itself. Crap tends to generate more crap.
There is a theory that he was shot by accident by one of his bodyguards who was responding to the shot by Oswald. There is a book called Mortal Error that puts this forward.
While I obviously don’t know, it certainly backs up my theory that most events are caused by cock up rather than conspiracy.
28/10/2017 at 13:28
Didn’t see your comment until I typed mine above. You’ve summed up what I was trying to say in an excellently pithy phrase!
28/10/2017 at 11:46
I’m intrigued by the story that a hack on the Cambridge News got a tipoff that something big was about to happen in Dallas 30 mins before it actually did. The paperwork is all there in the records apparently. Just the sort of thing to keep the pot bubbling for another 50 years.
Cambridge? That means that Syd Barrett was behind the whole thing, and there are clues throughout all his Pink Floyd songs. There you go, that’s the whole thing sorted out.
28/10/2017 at 13:29
There’s a book there, Colin…
28/10/2017 at 13:47
Worryingly, I’ve been approached by a magazine wanting me to deliver interpretations, however crackpot (that word was used), of a deceased artist’s ouevre. I thought about it for the duration of one compilation album and concluded that there was no benefit to anyone in the thing – I would get a fee, of course, but would open myself up to ridicule no matter what I said, and I would very much doubt that anything I (or anyone else) might say on the lyrics of this artist would enhance the appreciation of anyone on Earth to enjoy this artist’s music. Sometimes the mystery *has* to remain – sometimes impressionistic lyrics are just that: impressions of things put into a slightly delphic form to create a series of words or images that go with some music, which cumulatively create a whole bigger than the sum of the parts. Why dismantle it?
28/10/2017 at 14:23
I can help you out a little here Colin if you ever change your mind – Billie Jean was not his lover and the kid was not his son, while Ben was about a pet rat.
28/10/2017 at 15:35
And the outro to “Rats” by Pearl Jam features Eddie Vedder singing “Ben, the two of us need look no more” in hommmmmmmmmage to the great man. Top flight musicology from me and Ruff there, Colin, and it’s yours for free. You’re welcome.
28/10/2017 at 12:38
The main doubts in my mind are a) the poor model of rifle used by Oswald, given the difficulty of the shot he was attempting and b) the way that JFK’s head snaps back when shot from behind. I’m aware that there are scientific/physical reasons why this is feasible but it just looks counter-intuitive.
I maybe sound like a strict amateur here, but isn’t that ‘head wrongly snapping back’ thing now scientifically debunked? It seems counter intuitive but is actually perfectly natural because the exit of the bullet creates a little ‘jet’ that forces the head back?
Back, and to the left….back, and to the left….back, and to the left….back, and to the left….
Black Type says
28/10/2017 at 13:58
We’re through the looking glass here, people…
28/10/2017 at 14:22
That dog don’t hunt
Vulpes Vulpes says
28/10/2017 at 17:19
Build it and they’ll come.
28/10/2017 at 17:22
I say we nuke the site from orbit
28/10/2017 at 17:25
You don’t know shit ’cause you’ve never been fucked in the ass
Sewer Robot says
28/10/2017 at 21:01
Have you ever seen a Russian drink water?
No. Vodka – that’s what they drink..
28/10/2017 at 13:41
Not only does his head snap back sharply as you can see in the Zapruder footage, but apparently there was a much bigger hole in the back of his head, which indicated that the bullet exited there and not in front.
But it’s also the weight of the circumstantial stuff that sways it for me. Especially concerning the role of Jack Ruby. Also the question of plausible motives, where the finger points most decidedly at Mafia and Cuban exiles, all supported by very large amounts of circumstantial evidence.
28/10/2017 at 23:41
When you watch the film and see his head snap back you’re seeing an exit wound open and his brains fly out. This is difficult to interpret as being the result of a shot in the back of the head. A bullet entering his head, from any angle, would make a relatively small hole. The head is not under internal pressure and would not burst like a balloon. I know there are scientific explanations how yes, something hit with a bullet can defy Newtonian physics, but they’re part of the Lone Gunman theory which is one of the more bizarre solutions, not one of the more logical. The correct approach to all this, regardless of the motive and MO for the killing, is to learn about Oswald and his life before the killing. It’s surprisingly well-documented, and once you know how connected he was to the CIA, the idea of him being just this stray random nutter who wandered up with a shitty old rifle and shot JFK because he was a stray random nutter becomes less easy to cling to. But people will continue to believe this, like they believe the Warren Report (or rather reports of the report), because it’s easy – you don’t have to assimilate all the existing evidence that doesn’t fit, and you can comfort yourself with a stroke of Occam’s razor – but it’s not the route to truth in this. A truth we may never reach to everyone’s satisfaction, but it’s still worth the effort. I’ve mentioned this before, but
is something of a must-read on the subject, not least because it gives such a full (and surprising) picture of the man who took the bullet.
Bingo Little says
28/10/2017 at 23:44
My personal theory is that the whole thing was a prank that got badly out of hand.
28/10/2017 at 23:47
It’s certainly more credible than The Lone Gunman theory, Bing.
29/10/2017 at 16:03
Thanks for the book recommendation. It’s on order. Also worth reading is ‘The Last Investigation’ by Gaeton Fonzi, who was an investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Highly recommended by James Douglass, among others.
28/10/2017 at 14:31
My favourite JFK assassination trivia is that John Peel was at the Oswald press conference.
I’ve read so much on the subject that it’s now just a mess of theory that I can’t untangle. It’s certainly not impossible that Oswald acted alone and authorities then created a stronger case around his corpse but that headshot, man, that headshot.
28/10/2017 at 14:43
“And there goes a bullet from Oswald…three more from him later”.
28/10/2017 at 14:56
They’re playing the Zapruder footage at the wrong speed
02/11/2017 at 15:17
And backwards, which is even more confusing.
“He’s dead. No, wait! He appears to be getting better. Jackie’ s sitting down again.”
28/10/2017 at 15:56
I’ve seen a picture of Peel at the press conference somewhere, possibly in his autobiography.
28/10/2017 at 17:02
Black Celebration says
28/10/2017 at 20:40
Are there still re-enactments done for the benefit of tourists? I remember something in the 80s where the actors replicated the event a few times a day.
28/10/2017 at 20:44
If they actually took pot shots at the actual serving President then I am all behind a revival
28/10/2017 at 21:54
It’s surprising that ‘Grassy Knoll’ and ‘Zapruder Footage’ haven’t appeared as band names before now.
28/10/2017 at 22:01
The Umbrella Man would be a good grime artist.
28/10/2017 at 23:10
I think Badge Man was used?
29/10/2017 at 00:17
There’s a TV production company down under called Zapruder’s Other Films.
28/10/2017 at 22:06
For some reason, this was removed from the US version of Dirk Wears White Sox.
For years this song was all I knew about the JFK assassination. At least until this song came along.
…some people choose to learn about the world from books, historical documents etc. … but you can’t dance to those things.
28/10/2017 at 22:18
Lord Buckethead on Twitter, yesterday: “The astonishing truth about JFK is that after the events of 22 November 1963, the 35th President still had more brains than the current one.”
28/10/2017 at 23:46
You have to ask yourself why the wrong people are getting shot.
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