Conspiracy theories about what happened on the day of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination have been in abundance for decades, but an encounter at the Smithsonian led glass consultant Chris Barry to analyze whether a second shooter could have been involved. He discussed his analysis during the GlassBuild Connect event in a session titled, “The Glass Evidence for a Second Shooter.”
Barry was in Washington, D.C., to help the Smithsonian determine how to best protect the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution in new protective glass cases when someone asked if he could help move some cracked glass. Barry told them he didn’t want to make a special trip out later to help and advised them to move it carefully. That was before he found out that the glass in question was the windshield from the Lincoln Continental in which President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
While helping to move the glass, Barry said that he couldn’t believe his eyes. There was a crack on the front of the windshield, but not on the back.
“Even I knew that the gunman had fired from behind. If glass had broken surely it would be the interior [side of the] glass,” said Barry.
The discovery led him to find a copy of the Warren Report, the official report on the assassination. Other theories are included in the report but they are carefully examined and dismissed, according to Barry.
In response to speculation that a small round bullet hole found on the front of the windshield means that a shot or shots were fired at President Kennedy from the front of the car, the Warren Report states, “The windshield was not penetrated by any bullet. A small residue of lead was found on the inside surface of the windshield; on the outside of the windshield was a very small pattern of cracks immediately in front of the lead residue on the inside. The bullet from which this lead residue came was probably one of those that struck the President and therefore came from overhead and to the rear. Experts established that the abrasion in the windshield came from impact on the inside of the glass.”
Barry decided to conduct simulations to determine if this finding was correct since laminated glass in particular was not discussed in the report. He got some old laminated windshields and set them up in his basement. All tests were conducted facing the inside lite of glass.
At first, he fired a low mass lead fragment at low velocity. The result was no fracture to either of the lites. During the second test he shot a high mass lead fragment at high velocity. Both lites of glass were fractured. In the third test, Barry shot a medium mass lead fragment at medium velocity. Only the outer lite was fractured.
Barry determined that there was no front-surface impact and that the Warren Commission findings are correct despite neglecting to give a detailed description of laminated glass breakage.
“We can all sleep easy in our beds at night knowing there is no second gunman on a grassy knoll or overpass,” he said.
That flies in the face of a videotaped interview with the manager of Ford’s glass division in Michigan who says that on the Monday morning following the Friday assassination he was shocked to come to work to find the Lincoln JFK was killed in was in his shop. LBJ ordered the car flown to Detroit to be completely rebuilt. This man said that there was a through and through bullet hole in the windshield that showed a frontal entry. He was ordered to “shred” the windshield, which he did. This interview can be seen in the video series “The Men Who Killed Kennedy”.
If you are referring to George Whitaker, sad to say that he was a liar. He was in no position to make such a statement because he never worked on the limo when it was transported to the Ford plant. Researcher Pamela Brown effectively debunked Whitaker:
George Whitaker worked at the Rouge in Dearborn, at the Glass Plant. He said he saw the limo in the B building, which was the final assembly building. Whenever the limo was at Ford it went to the Experimental Garage; a different location. There are other FMC employees who have said nearly the same thing as this man did about seeing the limo at Dearborn for the teardown that took place prior to the rebuild. This process did not start until the end of December 1963. (Whether or not it should have started at all is another question).
Vaughn Ferguson, who was the FMC employee in DC directly responsible for the limo spent the four days after the assassination with the limo. His memo, which was mistakenly sent to me by NARA provides concrete documentation as to what did happen during that time.
Mr. Whitaker and other FMC employees likely heard Vaughn Ferguson talking about the limo when he was at Dearborn. He drove the car there from the White House Garage in DC in December 1963. He also loved to play golf when he was there. One of these men was a golf buddy of his. I believe that is how Ferguson’s statements spread and changed. Mr. Whittaker’s story has many gaffes in it, that were mostly sanitized by the time TMWKK [The Men Who Killed Kennedy] was taped, largely because of corrections made after I presented to Weldon and his mentor [James] Fetzer documentation from the Henry Ford Museum that helped define them.
Speaking of F. Vaughn Ferguson’s memo, you can find it here: https://imgur.com/a/fYYT0Lh
Nice try. There was a through and through bullet hole.
Nice try. No one got close enough to that car to be able to confirm it was a through and through shot from rear to front. She wasn’t and isn’t a ballistics expert. I could put a you tube video up of a shotgun shooting grandma that claims the exact opposite and it lends no more credibility than this does….
There was a lot of hearsay after the assassination. The limo was rebuilt, yes, however the windshield was saved, in tact. That is well documented and a proven fact. It was never destroyed. This article is quite accurate and blows the wind out of many conspiracy theorist’s sails. They have spent decades spewing unproven nonsense. The limo glass in 1963 acted just like we would expect it would. There was and has never been any evidence to support that a shot was fired from the front. Sometimes its difficult to accept that a 24 year old nobody ended the life of the most important man on earth at that time. It’s Occam’s Razor. Thats all . . .
Could Oswald’s third bullet have missed Kennedy , hit the inside of the windscreen and then ricocheted back and hit Kennedy in the front of the head ? Would a flattened bullet create a bigger mess ?
Dallas Doctors saw an entry wound in the throat and an egg sized exit wound in the lower right rear of the head. Several doctors and nurses. That is discounted as if they are preschool kids seeing their first gunshot wound. Cracks me up as much as it frustrates me. Anyhow, by the time they reach Bethesda, that wound is 4-5 times larger and extends now to the top of the skull. FBI agents in the room quote autopsy doctor that “It is apparent that surgery was performed on the head, namely in the top of the skull. There was no surgery performed in Dallas. Body is the best evidence. Body was altered. This equals a medical forgery. Body leaves Dallas in an ornamental casket wrapped in a sheet. Arrives at Bethesda in a body bag inside of a shipping casket. These are not theories they are well documented facts.
The Altgens photo clearly shows a hole in the windshield and witnesses at Parkland stated it was through and through hole. This windshield looks nothing like the Altgens photo. There’s a bullet hole to the right of the rear view mirror in the photo.
I agree that photos of the limo speeding from the plaza, and one from the ambulance bay at Parkland show the bullet hole on the other side of the windshield (slightly to the right of the rear view mirror, when viewed from the front of the car looking toward the driver). I have not yet heard a good explanation for why the windshield with the broader crack pattern (produced later and viewed by the Warren Commission) looked very different from the historical photos (and several eyewitness accounts from spectators who had gathered outside Parkland that day and waited outside in very close proximity to the limo). These ‘everyday people’ had nothing to gain from falsifying descriptions of the bullet hole, and their stories are remarkably consistent, despite coming from a variety of different viewpoints.
Looking at pictutes taken of the limousine’s windshield during the shooting and at the hospital afterwards the damage appears to be located above the steering wheel and horizontally to the right of the rear view mirror. Using the steering wheel and view mirror as reference points the location of the damaged portion of the windshield appears relatively fixed. Upon examining later photos taken of the windshield the position of the damage relative to the steering wheel and mirror appears to have moved. In later photos the damaged portion of the windshield is shown closer to the right side of the steering wheel. The initial and later photo’s showing the damaged area of the windshield then show what looks to me like two different locations.