Saturday, November 23, 2013
The Left-Handed Serbian On The Grassy Knoll Was Paid By The Cubans Under Soviet Orders...With Help From The Mob
People really do believe what they desperately want to believe, and nothing proves that better than conspiracy theories.
For all intents and purposes, today is pretty much conspiracy day here in the U.S. - today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by...well, that's where the mess gets muddled, charlatans make their money, and journalist get something to do.
As far as I've been able to ascertain after extensive research (by which I mean I spent at least a half-hour on Google), there are at least 35 to 40 conspiracy theories regarding the Kennedy assassination (The theory's have a lot of overlap, so it's difficult to determine if some of them are actually stand alone conspiracy theories or just variations on the theme).
Which means, of course, that there are at least 34 to 39 conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination that are complete and utter nonsense, fabrications, figments of someone's imagination, bald faced lies...
Because logically, only one of them can be right.
Me, I'm a Sherlock Holmes fan, and as such, I tend to believe the simplest, easiest explanation is almost always the correct one.
Which means, in the case of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, one Lee Harvey Oswald, perched at a window on the 6th floor of a school book depository in Dallas, Texas, was the one solely responsible for the deed.
Stating that in public will generally get me looks of disbelief and more than a few snide comments about being gullible, swallowing what the government is feeding me, etc, etc.
And to which I reply..show me the proof otherwise. Show me the notes Oswald, an egomaniac and a man who kept a fairly regular accounting of his actions in a well known diary, made that indicate he acted other than alone. Show me even the slimmest credible thread that connects any government (or extra-government) agency with the assassination...just show it to me.
For over thirty years I've had an interest in this subject, and for over thirty years I've examined very intently every conspiracy theory that has made it's way in front of a microphone or a cameraman. Each and everyone of them has been found lacking, most of them glaringly so.
Note to conspiracy creators: It is a good idea to check your theories for anachronistic mistakes before submitting your work - lends you a bit more credibility.
For the past 50 years there have been millions of words written that carefully dissect that fateful afternoon in Dallas, and attempt to show how impossible it was for one gunman to get off 3 shots using that particular rifle in such a small time frame and so on.
The theories that open with that conjecture are the ones that are the easiest to discount as they reveal the writer's inexperience with weapons of any sort, and especially not with the Carcano rifle Oswald used. If you ever have the chance to use a bolt action rifle on a range (as I have) go ahead and try to get off three quick shots (it's actually pretty tempting to try it - there's something oddly challenging about trying to see how quickly you can fire multiple shots from a bolt action rifle).
That people are still making money from conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination is a little sad. P.T. Barnum was spot on with his assessment of human psychology though - give the people what they want to believe and they'll line up to buy it.