That Day in Dallas

by Bob Sparrow

kennedy-in-carI had the pleasure a couple of weeks ago of attending the wedding of Reid Hendrix in Dallas, Texas; Reid is the son of good friends and former ‘hood residents, Cap & Sharon Hendrix, but no relation to Jimmy Hendrix. It is hard to mention the city of Dallas to people of my generation and not have them think of the Kennedy assassination. It was 53 years ago this week when we all not only remember the date of November 22, 1963, but we all know exactly where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news – “President Kennedy has been shot”. Our generation saw Kennedy as a young, energetic, charismatic leader; who we were less concerned about his politics and policies than we were about the goings-on of Jack and Jackie in ‘Camelot’.

That day in Dallas was an historic day in many ways. To me ‘the 50s’ started in 1954 when Bill Haley and the Comets released Rock Around the Clock and ended with the Kennedy assassination. The age of innocence was gone as it was less than three months later when the Beatles made their first appearance in the United States and the psychedelic 60’s were underway.

book-depository

6th Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Although I have traveled to Dallas many times on business, I have never visited the site of the Kennedy assassination, the Texas School Book Depository, or as my colleagues called it, the Book Suppository (Ouch!), maybe that’s part of the reason it’s been renamed the Six Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Regardless of the name, they’ve done a great job of telling the complete, albeit controversial, story of the assassination and the strange series of events that followed. The self-guided tour through the museum exposes you to historic films, photographs, artifacts and interpretive displays that document the events surrounding the assassination. The museum presents the background of Lee Harvey Oswald and what might have been his motivation to shoot Kennedy, the story of Jack Ruby, who shot Oswald two days after Oswald shot Kennedy, and the Warren Commission’s report that unconvincingly concluded that Oswald acted alone.  It is a conspiracy theorist’s paradise.

The highlight of the tour for me was standing by the window on the 6th floor next to the site from where the gunshots came (one can not stand exactly where Oswald was as it is surrounded with Plexiglas). While standing there, one can see a video simulation of the Kennedy convertible turning the corner and coming right toward Oswald (presenting him with what seemed to be a much better target than the car later offered), then taking a left turn on Elm Street (Elm Street?!) where after Kennedy’s convertible moved laterally away from Oswald’s perch until it was about 100 yards away, at which time the shots were fired from the rear.

grassyknoll

 Me searching the ‘grassy knoll’

What about the ‘second gunman behind the grassy knoll’ you say? As you can see by the photo, I examined it quite thoroughly and came away more confused than I was back in the 60s. There’s a lot of stuff that just doesn’t add up. To wit:

  • Oswald was not a particularly good marksman
  • The alleged weapon was an average quality bolt-action rifle, meaning one would have to manually discharge the spent shell and move a live shell into the firing chamber, which makes firing 3 or 4 bullets (they’re not exactly sure) accurately in just a few seconds very difficult
  • Critical documents were withheld from the Warren Commission and they ignored some of the testimony and some of the evidence was tampered with
  • Certain film and photographs of the assassination were confiscated

And to me the most interesting controversy revolved around the ‘Magic Bullet Theory’, which goes as follows: Allegedly one bullet passed through President Kennedy’s neck and Governor Connally’s chest and wrist and embedded itself in the Governor’s thigh. If so, this bullet traversed 15 layers of clothing, 7 layers of skin, and approximately 15 inches of tissue, struck a necktie knot, removed 4 inches of rib, and shattered a radius bone. A magic bullet indeed!

While the tour told an interesting and detailed story, I came away disturbed, disturbed that we still don’t know all thewho-killed facts of what really happened that day, and why. Viable cases have been made for various murder suspects, including Vice President Lyndon Johnson, the CIA, the KGB, Fidel Castro, a Secret Service agent and the mafia, just to name a few!

A lot stuff just doesn’t add up.  So if our government didn’t give us the real scoop on this, I’m going to look into that so-called moon landing we did back in 1969 and perhaps start searching for Elvis, who may still be alive.

 

 

 

 

Hoax, Conspiracy Theories and the Truth!

by Bob Sparrow

“The great mass of people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

shower

The recent fiasco surrounding Manti Te’o’s non-existent girlfriend (photo at left shows her in the shower) and things like the 11 million views on YouTube showing how the federal government and the Screen Actors Guild conspired to create the ‘Sandy Hook Hoax’, have me convinced that our culture will not let the facts stand in the way of a good conspiracy theory.  Not that people haven’t been lied to by their government, or the Screen Actors Guild for that matter, but as a public service I’d like to put forth the real truth about some of our most popular conspiracies.

 

If you think that there is a possibility that Michael and Janet Jackson were actually the same person or that the ‘grassy knoll’ was never michael jacksonjanet jacksonreally examined as thoroughly as it could have been, then you need to read on.

global warmingConspiracy: global warming is a real threat

Supported by: Al Gore, who told us so

Anti-Conspiracy: Global warming is a hoax perpetrated by Carrier, the air conditioning people and a few awning and umbrella companies.

The Truth: My anecdotal findings are that the globe seems to be warmer in the summer, so I lean toward the global warming theory, but it seems to cool down in the winter, so I can’t be sure. I’m going to read Al Gore’s book, An Inconvenient Truth – it’s on the Internet, which he invented.

 

 abby roadConspiracy: Paul McCartney walking barefoot on the Abby Road album cover proves that he was actually dead.

Supported by: Those who had high-tech record players back in the day that could play Beatles records backwards and hear Paul actually say that he was dead at the time.

Anti-Conspiracy: Paul was late for the album photo shoot and forgot to put on his shoes.  What amazingly has gone unnoticed over the years is that Ringo is not wearing any underwear in the photo – he is not dead either.

The Truth: Paul is alive and actually came closer to death when a judge told him he had to pay Heather Mill $235 million in his divorce settlement.

 

elvisConspiracy: Elvis faked his death

Supported by: Elvis weighed approximately 275 pounds at the time of his ‘supposed’ death, yet the casket ‘they’ say he was buried in weighed only 210 pounds.

Anti-Conspiracy: The king didn’t fake his death, but actually died three days later after finishing second in a chili dog eating contest at the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas.

The Truth: Elvis’ death has never been certified and rumors fly around this time of year when an elderly duet that looks an awful lot like an aging, 65 pound lighter Elvis and Jimmy Hoffa, appear for their dinner show in Sun City, Las Vegas.

shakespeare_winkConspiracy: Shakespeare didn’t write his plays

Supported by: All those who claim to have written them

Anti-Conspiracy: Shakespeare actually wrote the plays, but in a hurry to get to the airport one morning, left them at a table at Starbuck’s where they were ultimately picked up by Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe and Woody Allen.

The Truth: Who cares?

 

mood landing fakeConspiracy: We never landed on the moon

Supported by:  A ‘moon set’ was found inside an old cheese warehouse in the New Mexico desert; they also found a man in the warehouse with a large, round, glowing, orange face.

Anti-Conspiracy: No New Mexico license plates were found on the lunar lander.

The Truth: We of course landed on the moon and ended up bringing back some aliens and weather balloons and accidentally left them just outside a warehouse in Roswell, New Mexico.

 

I may be a little confused about that moon landing thing, but hopefully I’ve cleared up a lot of conspiracies for you theorists out there; although things like, ‘Is wedding cake really a birth control method?’ still remains a mystery to us.

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