John F Kennedys Vanishing Brain
Since that horrible day in , controversies and conspiracy theories have swirled around the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Perhaps the most bizarre of these controversies involves things that happened during and after President Kennedys official autopsy. In 1978, the published findings of the congressional House Select Committee on Assassinations revealed that JFKs brain had gone missing.
While some doctors at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas testified that they had seen First Lady Jackie Kennedy holding a part of her husbands brain, what happened to it remains unknown. However, it is documented that JFKs brain was removed during the autopsy and placed in a stainless-steel box that was subsequently handed over to the Secret Service. The box remained locked in the White House until 1965, when JFKs brother, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, ordered the box to be stored in the National Archives building. However, a National Archives inventory of medical evidence from the JFK autopsy conducted in 1966 showed no record of the box or the brain. Conspiracy theories regarding who stole JFKs brain and why soon flew.
Released in 1964, the Warren Commission report stated that Kennedy had been struck by two bullets fired from the rear by Lee Harvey Oswald. One bullet reportedly went through his neck, while the other struck the back of his skull, leaving bits of brain, bone, and skin scattered about the presidential limousine.
Letter From Gerald Ford To James Young
Dear Dr. Young,
I appreciate your most interesting letter of December 27th involving the assassination of President Kennedy.
As a member of the Warren Commission I was very conscientious about my participation in the hearings. However, I have no recollection of the spent bullet you refer to.
Enclosed a document I sent out to individuals who ask me my current views on the conclusions of the Warren Commission.
There are several excellent books on the assassination which might be helpful.
1.) , by David Belin.
2.) Case Closed, by Gerald Posner.
Both of these books should be in any major public library.
Regarding Youngs memoir and interview, please bear in mind that, although Young describes what he saw with his own eyes, he also includes a great deal of history which he necessarily learned from other sources.
Medical Personnel And Assistants
Official autopsy signatories
- Commander J. Thornton Boswell, M.D., MC, USN: Chief of pathology at Naval Medical Center, Bethesda
- Commander James J. Humes, M.D., MC, USN: Director of laboratories of the National Medical School, Naval Medical Center, Bethesda. Chief autopsy pathologist for the JFK autopsy. Officially conducted autopsy.
- Lieutenant Colonel Pierre A. Finck, M.D. MC, USA: Chief of the military environmental pathology division and chief of the wound ballistics pathology branch at Walter Reed Medical Center.
Other medical personnel
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The Death Of John Kennedy
There have been two official investigations. One concluded Oswald acted alone, the other that there was a conspiracy. After half a century, many of the key documents which could tell the whole story remain classified. John F. Kennedy’s brain is still missing from the National Archives. Why, if it is an open and shut case? Why the secrecy, if Oswald was just a “crazed lone gunman”?
Although described as a mix-up, the simplest explanation is deliberate deception by the Warren Commission.
Dan Rather’s “fib”
Dan Rather, at the time an unknown newscaster from a small market Texas TV station, viewed the Zapruder film, then described it to America on the CBS network. As this recording of that broadcast shows, Rather lied to all of America in claiming that the head shot pushed John F. Kennedy’s head forward.
Rather makes the claim that Kennedy’s head “rocketed forward” at 2:15 in the above video. He also makes a point of saying there were only three shots in total. Rather’s meteoric rise to network status and stardom soon followed this broadcast. When the Zapruder film was finally shown publicly, during Jim Garrison’s trial of CIA agent Clay Shaw, Rather’s lie was revealed for all to see.
A Revealing Wink
The Gunshot Wound In The Back
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The Secrets Of Einstein’s Brain
The brains of powerful, intelligent, and talented people like JFK have long been favorite targets of collectors who believe a study of the organs might reveal the secrets of their former owners success.
Sensing that his brain was somehow different, super-genius physicist Albert Einstein had occasionally expressed his wishes to have his body donated to science. However, the creator of the groundbreaking theory of relativity never bothered to write down his wishes.
After he died in 1955, Einsteins family directed that he meaning all of him be cremated. However, Dr. Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who performed the autopsy, decided to remove Alberts brain before releasing his body to the undertakers.
Much to the displeasure of the genius loved ones, Dr. Harvey stored Einsteins brain in his home for nearly 30 years, rather unceremoniously, preserved in two plain Mason jars. The rest of Einsteins body was cremated, with his ashes scattered in secret locations.
After Dr. Harveys death in 2010, the remains of Einsteins brain were transferred to the National Museum of Health and Medicine near Washington, D.C. Since then, 46 thin slices of the brain have been mounted on microscope slides displayed at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia.
John Wilkes Booth’s Neck Bones Or Not
While he might have been an accomplished assassin, John Wilkes Booth was a lousy escape artist. Not only did he break his leg just after murdering President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, just 12 days later, he was shot in the neck and killed in a barn in Port Royal, Virginia.
During the autopsy, Booths third, fourth, and fifth vertebrae were removed in an attempt to find the bullet. Today, the remains of Booths spine are preserved and often displayed at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, D.C.
According to government assassination reports, Booths body was eventually released to the family and buried in an unmarked grave in a family plot at Baltimores Green Mount Cemetery in 1869. Since then, however, conspiracy theorists have suggested that it was not Booth who was killed in that Port Royal barn or buried in that Green Mount grave. One popular theory contends Booth escaped justice for 38 years, living until 1903, supposedly committing suicide in Oklahoma.
In 1995, Booths descendants filed a court request to have the body buried at Green Mount Cemetery exhumed in hopes that it could be identified as their infamous relative or not. Despite having the support of the Smithsonian Institution, the judge denied the request citing previous water damage to the burial plot, evidence that other family members had been buried there, and publicity from the less than convincing escape/cover-up theory.
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Letter From James Young To Gerald Ford
Dear President Ford,
I was active-duty Navy and assigned to the White House as White House Physician in 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated
Knowing that you were on the Warren Commission at that time, I am writing to you confidentially, to see if you have any knowledge about an issue which has puzzled me for years
My particular problem is a description of what occurred at the autopsy. During the autopsy examination, Dr. Jim Humes, then the Chief of Pathology at Bethesda Naval Hospital, and two other pathologists stated that some pieces of President Kennedys skull bones were missing. In order to reconstruct the Presidents head for burial, Dr. Humes wanted to find those pieces which were missing. Dr. Burkley and I requested two of our corpsmen who were assigned to our White House medical unit, to go to the Executive Office Building where the Secret Service had placed the Queen Mary, the open convertible in which President Kennedy had been shot, for bone fragments.
Two of the corpsmen left and returned sometime later with three varying sized pieces of President Kennedys skull bones. In addition, they brought back in an envelope a spent misshapen bullet which they had found on the back floor of the Queen Mary where they had found the pieces of skull bones. The bullet and pieces of skull were given to Dr. Jim Humes.
The Salvaging Of Stonewall Jackson’s Left Arm
As Union bullets zipped around him, Confederate General Thomas Stonewall Jackson would famously sit like a stone wall astride his horse during the Civil War.
However, Jacksons luck or bravery let him down during the 1863 Battle of Chancellorsville, when a bullet accidentally fired by one of his own Confederate riflemen ripped through his left arm.
In what was the common practice of early battlefield trauma treatment, surgeons amputated Jacksons tattered arm.
As the arm was about to be unceremoniously thrown onto a pile of similarly amputated limbs, military chaplain Rev. B. Tucker Lacy decided to save it.
As Chancellorsville Park ranger Chuck Young tells visitors, Remembering that Jackson was the rock star of 1863, everybody knew who Stonewall was, and to have his arm just simply thrown on the scrap pile with the other arms, Rev. Lacy couldn’t let that happen. Just eight days after his arm was amputated, Jackson died of pneumonia.
Today, while most of Jacksons body is buried at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery in Lexington, Virginia, his left arm is entered in a private cemetery at Ellwood Manor, not far from the field hospital where it was amputated.
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‘don’t Let Him Terrorize Again’: Rfk Widow Ethel Says No To Freeing Killer Sirhan Sirhan
John F. Kennedys noodle didnt get buried with him on Nov. 25, 1963, at Arlington National Cemetery and his own brother might have been behind the theft, a new book claims.
Not all the evidence from the assassination is at the National Archives. One unique, macabre item from the collection is missing President Kennedys brain, writes James Swanson in End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, which comes out Nov. 12, just a few weeks before the 50th anniversary of JFKs death.
During JFKs autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital, the brain was placed in a stainless-steel container with a screw-top lid.
For a time, the steel container was stored in a file cabinet in the office of the Secret Service, writes Swanson.
The brain was later placed in a footlocker with other medical evidence and taken to the National Archives, where it was placed in a secure room designated for the use of JFKs devoted former secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, while she organized his presidential papers.
In October 1966, it was discovered that the brain, the tissue slides and other autopsy materials were missing and they have never been seen since, Swanson told The Post.
An investigation was ordered by then-Attorney General Ramsey Clark, but the probe failed to recover the missing brain which remains unaccounted for today, Swanson said.
Swanson rejects that the brain vanished as part as a nefarious plot to hide the facts of the assassination.
The Gunshot Wound To The Head
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Kennedy Papers Reveal Strange Tale Of Lazy Agents And Jfk’s `second Brain’
Documents just released about President John F. Kennedy’s assassination have deepened the mystery about his wounds and show that FBI agents were secretly reprimanded by their director, J. Edgar Hoover, for their lack of surveillance of the presumed assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.
A report on the autopsy of the President’s body reveals that one of the two purported examinations of his brain by doctors at Bethesda Naval Hospital may have studied a brain belonging to someone else.
The report, and Hoover’s strong criticism of his agents in Dallas, are part of the 400,000 pages compiled by the Assassinations Records Review Board now released by the National Archives. It was set up by Congress to collect and release material about Kennedy’s death and ceased work last September.
The discrepancies about the brain examinations are set out in a report to the Board by its chief analyst, Mr Douglas Horne. He concludes that two separate brain examinations might have been conducted “contrary to the official record as it has been presented to the American people.”
Three military pathologists have agreed that they conducted an autopsy of the entire body on November 22nd, 1963, soon after it was flown back from Dallas. But they have conflicting recollections about a later examination of the brain.
Jfk’s Injury Would Still Be Fatal Today
A bullet destroyed the president’s brain, his surgeon says.
“With half of his brain gone and his cerebellum falling out, there’s no way he could have survived then or now,” said Dr. Robert McClelland, professor emeritus at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
McClelland, 83, was a general surgeon at Parkland Memorial Hospital when Kennedy arrived with an elevator-full of secret service men and his frantic wife, Jacqueline. The president was alive at the time. His pulse still sending waves across an electrocardiogram monitor wired to his chest.
“He was even making gasping attempts to breathe,” said McClelland, who turned 34 two days before the assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.
Standing over the president’s gurney in trauma room 1, McClelland saw firsthand the extent of Kennedy’s injuries.
“I could actually look down inside his skull,” he said, recalling how the back of the president’s right cerebral hemisphere was “completely missing.” Kennedy’s cerebellum — the fist-sized lobe at the back of the brain that controls balance — was initially intact, but soon “fell out of the gaping hole in his skull” onto the gurney.
“He had an absolutely fatal injury,” McClelland said.
Kennedy’s heart kept pumping for 10 minutes after he arrived at trauma room 1, according to McClelland.
Kennedy was pronounced dead at 1 p.m. CST, 30 minutes after he was shot.
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The Case Of Jfks Missing Brain
Ike Altgens/AP,JAMES W. IKE ALTGENS
A conspiracy claims that presidents grey matter was swiped from the hospital back in 1963. Lets review the facts.
The world that surrounds the JFK assassination is, at baseline, so bizarre and so susceptible to any cockamamie idea that the news that the former presidents brain is missing seems like a standard news dispatch, a routine day at an office where alien abductions are greeted with a bored shrug.
But the claim that the First Brain was swiped not by the CIA or the Cubans or Marilyn Monroe but by Kennedys own brother, the former attorney general of the United States, Robert Kennedy, has gotten enough mainstream attention to merit a thorough debunking.
The story is this: in the book, End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, author James Swanson reactivated the sleeper cells of JFK conspiracistsnot a difficult taskwith his incendiary claim that RFK had absconded with his brothers brain. The reason, Swanson speculated, was not to keep people from learning the true truth about how many bullets, and from what angle, were shot at the president, but rather because RFK wanted to make certain the world didnt find out the truth about JFKs health.
The Travels Of Oliver Cromwell’s Head
Oliver Cromwell, the sternly Puritan Lord Protector of England, whose parliamentary or Godly party tried to ban Christmas in the 1640s, was far from a wild and crazy guy. But after he died in 1658, his head really got around.
Starting as a Member of Parliament during;the reign of King Charles I , Cromwell fought against the king during the English Civil War, taking over as Lord Protector after Charles was beheaded for high treason.
Cromwell died at age 59 in 1658 from an infection in his urinary tract or kidneys. Following an autopsy, his body was then buried temporarily in Westminster Abbey.
In 1660, King Charles II who had been exiled by Cromwell and his cronies ordered Cromwells head placed on a spike in Westminster Hall as a warning to potential usurpers. The rest of Cromwell was hanged and re-buried in an unmarked grave.
After 20 years on the spike, Cromwells head circulated around small London area museums until 1814, when it was sold to a private collector named Henry Wilkinson. According to reports and rumors, Wilkerson often took the head to parties, using it as a historic though rather grizzly conversation-starter.
The Puritan leaders party days finally ended for good in 1960, when his head was permanently buried in the chapel at Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge.
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