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11*22*63 A Space Absurdity, Corrected

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« on: November 01, 2013, 01:48:50 am »

11*22*63 A Space Absurdity, Corrected  Wink

Thanks to composer Linda Z at Facebook Group JFK ASSASSINATION RESEARCH BUREAU

SBT supporters posit one of the reasons JFK's head and body goes "back and to the left" from the head shot is "neuromuscular reaction". Since I have a medical background Steve Rxx asked me if I could support him on it. Frankly, I've never heard of it before except I connection to the assassination (turns out Belin and Ford on the WC came up with it as an explanation - apparently finding an expert or experts who were willing to testify it exists). I need proof, so I googled around and found this wonderful explanation from a Canadian neurologist, Dr Robert Zacharko, on alt.assassination.jfk in response to a inquiry to him about this theory. Brace yourself, Steve. "Neuromuscular reaction" is complete pseudoscience hogwash.

The Backward Head Snap in the Zapruder Film



I asked Dr. Robert Zacharko, a neuroscientist at Carleton University in Canada,
about the theory that JFK's backward head snap was caused by a neuromuscular
reaction. This is really the only theory that Warren Commission supporters
have to offer as an explanation for the violent backward movement of President
Kennedy's head in the Zapruder film. I wrote to Dr. Zacharko as follows:
In frames 312-313 of the Zapruder film, we see Kennedy's head knocked
forward, but then, suddenly, beginning in frame 314, we see his head and
upper body jolted violently backward and to the left as the rightfrontal
area of his skull explodes. One theory says that this violent backward
motion was the result of a neuromuscular reaction. This reaction would
have had to occur in no more than 56 milliseconds. I have two questions
about this theory:

1. Some object to this theory on the basis that the reaction could not
have occurred so quickly. They point out that the fastest involuntary
reaction known to man is the eye blink, which takes about 40
milliseconds. They argue that this indicates that the backward head snap
would have taken longer to occur, since it involved much more mass. One
author phrases this objection as follows:

. . . it [the head] is suddenly driven forward between frames 312
and 313. Amazingly, in the very next frame, 314, it is already
moving backward, a movement it continues in succeeding frames until
the President's shoulders strike the seat cushion at Z321. . . .
The extremely small time factor combined with the relatively
large mass of the President's head would tend to rule out
such an explanation [i.e., the neuromuscular-reaction theory].
The fastest reflex reaction known to science--the startle
response--takes place over an interval of 40 to 200
milliseconds. Beginning with an eyeblink in 40 milliseconds,
the response wave moves the head forward in 83 milliseconds,
and then continues downward reaching the knees in 200 milliseconds.
The change in direction we observe [in the head snap] occurs in 56
milliseconds (1/18th/second), and involves not the negligible mass
of an eyelid but the considerable mass of a human head
moving forward with an acceleration of several g's.

What is your opinion on the speed of the alleged neuromuscular reaction?

2. One author has objected to the neuromuscular-reaction theory on the
following basis:

A "massive neuromuscular reaction," according to Messrs. Ford
and Belin, occurs when there is "massive damage inflicted to nerve
centers of the brain." The nerve centers of the brain are the
pons, the medulla, the cerebellum--all located in the rear of the
brain. According to the Warren Commission and the HSCA, the head
shot damaged the right cerebral hemisphere of Kennedy's
brain--not a nerve coordination center, not capable of causing
a "massive neuromuscular reaction."

The neuromuscular reaction that supposedly accounts for
the backward snap of Kennedy's head when struck by a
bullet from behind could happen only if a major coordinating
center of the brain is damaged. According to the x-rays and
autopsy photos that lone-gunman theorists champion as
evidence of a shot from behind, those areas of the brain
are intact.

What is your opinion of this objection to the neuromuscular-reaction

Dr. Zacharko responded as follows in an e-mail dated 8 February 1999:

If you ask any neuroscientist what a neuromuscular effect is they will
tell you that it refers to some interface of nerve and muscle for
example. In some cases a simple reflex response (e.g., knee jerk for
example). Can certain reflexes be influenced? Certainly. Do head
movements fall into such a category? No. The head movements that you are

referring to are following the laws of physics. With all due respect to
Belin and Ford I would ask what medical references or more precisely what
research references are being using to document arguments of
neuromuscular reactivity. Simply stated there are none. The pons and
medulla contain centres for respiration, cardiovascular regulation,
visceral reactivity and the like. The cerebellum is also present at this level.
Damage to these areas will interrupt respiration and heart rhythm
and affect motor coordination. Neural damage per se associated with
bullet entry will not cause exaggerated head movement of the type you see
in the Zapruder film. In fact there are no brain sites that will. This
neuromuscular reactivity argument is simply nonsense.[Note: One could
make the argument, ludicrous as it may sound, that Kennedy actually saw
the bullet approaching and jerked his head back reflexively to avoid
being hit.]

The second author does not appear to be any more informed than either
Belin or Ford. There is no such thing as a major coordinating centre.
Those arguments were largely discounted in the 1960's. The brain simply
does not act in such a fashion. It is a coordinated system. Actually
there is a system which is referred to as the extrapyramidal motor
system, which runs from the mesencephalon to the forebrain. It controls
voluntary movement. If this system was to discharge, you would effect
gross motor output. Such discharge would typically represent the invasion
of seizure like activity to motor areas. It would not be coordinated and
certainly not of the type evident in the Zapruder film.

The bottom line is that the head movements are reactions to the direction
of bullet entry. They are not the product of central nervous system
damage. It would almost seem that certain myths are maintained in the
absence of documented data. Information from half-sources of
documentation appear to blend with legitimate sources of information to
provide muddled scenarios.


Dr Robert M. Zacharko
Life Sciences Research Building
Institute of Neuroscience
Carleton University
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The neuromuscular-reaction theory is the principal hypothesis advanced by
lone-gunman theorists. It is untenable. Their other theory, the jet-effect
theory, is ludicrous. Even Larry Sturdivan told the HSCA that the force that
would have resulted from the right-frontal explosion would have been minimal
(and would have pushed the head leftward, not backward and to the left). In
short, lone-gunman theorists have no explanation for the marked backward head

Mike Griffith


Michael Griffith does a nice job on his webpage explaining how nothing could explain such a rapid motion - except the removal of frames in the Zapruder film
Reactions to Six Shots in the Zapruder Film

The Warren Commission said only three shots were fired at President Kennedy. But there is compelling evidence in the Zapruder film alone that six shots were fired. We see reactions to shots in the following frames:
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    You like this.
    Gerald Fxxx A *most* excellent contribution! Thank you. I used to say that reaction could not happen if the area nerve the pro-commission theorists said caused head movement could not have happened if it was blown to a billion pieces upon contact. I mean like if you hit with a stick, but this was an instantaneous explosion obviously seen on the Z-Film. Your contribution here has replaced my dumb-dumb words with intelligent speech! As far as a massive trial if America ever gets this case into a court room - as a Consitutional Lawyer would argue best - I believe using the argument "imperical data is then conversion as direct evidence" certainly applies here. The imperical data is the medical evidence well elaborated on here and in simple enough terms that is medical fact period, and *not* opinion. Science is fact. If argued, it is the fact argued and not a theory, but fact. So the fact established here in the parley is then imperical data for the case and means in a trial it is submitted as Direct Testimony as to the facts of the case and being - there was no nerve struck in the President's head by a weapon causing the head movement. It is compared to like a direct evidence as an authentic autopsy picture or X-Ray, or authentic bullet fragments etc as evidence presented as Direct Testimony and is the facts of the case. Opinions and theories by experts and so on are outside of the facts. From what I read, this is direct medical facts that are not argued but taught in all medical schools and practiced by their graduates. Great piece, than you!
    53 minutes ago Like
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