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JFK assassination

  1. Dec 14, 2008 #1
    Hey guys,
    I was wondering if anyone coudl help me in understanding why nobody heard the gunshot that killed Kennedy. Was there an issue with acoustics there that caused an echo so a location couldn't be placed on it? I can't seem to find a website with this, and I am writing a research paper on this, so I kinda need a source (or at least if someone just knows from heresay or whatever, then I will know what exactly to google.)

    If anyone could help that would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2008 #2
    you should google ....sound of gun shot JFK
  4. Dec 14, 2008 #3


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    Where did you hear that nobody heard the gunshots?
  5. Dec 14, 2008 #4
    I certainly didn't hear it. Could have had something to do with not being born yet, though.
  6. Dec 14, 2008 #5
    to lax1113

    Many witnesses heard the shot from behind the picket fence on the grassy knoll. They also saw smoke waft out over the fence. One of them was Jean Hill. Another was Mary Moorman. Ed Hoffman, Gordon Arnold, J.C. Price, Bill Newman, and Gordon Willis were others. A good source is the book "Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy," by Jim Marrs; another is "On The Trail Of The Assassins," by Jim Garrison.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2008
  7. Dec 14, 2008 #6
    I'm sorry guys, my wording on that was terrible. It is not that nobody could hear it, but there was controversy as to where it came from. The one couple that I researched was about 10 feet from the picket fence and the guy claimed he wasn't sure where the shot came from. If i were 10 feet from a gun, I would imagine I woudln't only know where it was coming from, but i'd be sure because my ear would be bleeding. Why were people unsure as to where it was coming from? some weird echo.?
  8. Dec 14, 2008 #7
    I have a friend who is a gun enthusiast and he says guns are VERY loud, so I assume a rifle being shot 10 feet away from a person would leave no doubt in that person's mind that the shot came from close by.
  9. Dec 14, 2008 #8
    I know of no "couple" just 10 feet from the fence, and I've read every word ever written on the topic. The nearest couple to the fence were the Newmans, but they were standing near Elm Street, well down the slope from the fence. The best evidence of a shot from the right front is the president's "head snap." His head moved violently back and to the left, indicating a shot from the front right from the area of the picket fence. Google Jean Hill.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2008
  10. Dec 14, 2008 #9
    I've never fired a gun, but do bullets carry enough momentum to snap someone's head back? Video games and movies have completely distorted reality for me with their depictions of people flying back after being shot. :(
  11. Dec 15, 2008 #10
    I'm sure that there is a source on the controversy somewhere that can explain the precise science of "echoes" and and how it applies to the situation at hand.
    I can say that, in my experience, particularly high pitched sounds seem to become more difficult to localize the more confined the area with higher probability of echo effects. Shorter wave lengths are more difficult for the human ear to perceive. An echoed sound wave probably lengthens making it more easily perceptable and perhaps even fooling the human ear into thinking it the true source. This is a guess by the way.
  12. Dec 15, 2008 #11
    Just wait until 2013 when the files gets declassified?
  13. Dec 15, 2008 #12
  14. Dec 15, 2008 #13
    There shouldn't be any more momentum to the bullet at the point of impact than there was when it was fired. If the shooter didn't get thrown back, the target shouldn't either. The bullets that hit Kennedy didn't lose that much momentum, they passed through. You would expect the head to move in the direction opposite the ejecta.
  15. Dec 15, 2008 #14


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    You'd really expect a forward motion, followed by a 'reverse' motion (actually a stoppage of the forward motion). There should be some net forward motion based on how much momentum was absorbed by the head. The reactions of a person's body would probably be greater than any net gain/loss of momentum, making it difficult to analyze. In any event, there was an initial forward motion if you match up photographic frames.

    Who knows how many shots were taken, but the only ones hitting anything were from above and behind. The fatal shot definitely wasn't taken from the grassy knoll, since the exit wound would have been into Jackie instead of out the front. You can argue about whether one bullet could hit Kennedy and Connally, but none of the injuries could have been caused by a shot from the side.

    If there were echoes (multipathing), the sound waves taking the longest path might be the ones best remembered when trying to determine direction, so I wouldn't put much faith in audio evidence. Recorded evidence definitely won't help unless the microphone were moving and you also recorded the position of the microphone as it moved. In fact, it's the motion of the ears that allows a human to determine what direction the sound is coming from.

    On the other hand, photographs of the area on the day of the assination could allow you to determine potential multipath routes (rather imperfect, but the best you could do 45 years later) and compare to the location of the witnesses who gave a direction for the sound.
  16. Dec 15, 2008 #15


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    I'll be 30. :cry:
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