Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dale Myers Takes A Stab At Book Reviewing (And Conspiracy Theorist Bashing)

The first time I wrote about Dale K. Myers was in my piece, Dale Myers and Pat Speer Duke it Out. Researcher and critic Pat Speer has an online book on the Kennedy assassination that is an excellent research tool. As Speer said of Myers’ work, “...his depiction of the single-bullet theory is so incredibly misleading.” He took on Myers in a series of online debates regarding Myers’ computer simulations of the Kennedy murder that have been featured on various TV documentaries. He started out years ago using crash-test dummies before moving on to computerized simulations and he’s made a lot of variations on them. After a lot of exchanges between the two, Myers retired from the field of battle after getting his nose bloodied by Speer. You can read my piece HERE and for much greater detail on Pat Speer’s site HERE.

Dale Myers recently posted a review of a newly published book on the Tippit murder from Donald Byron Thomas called, Hear No Evil: Social Constructivism and the Forensic Evidence in the Kennedy Assassination. It’s quite a screed filled with insults towards the author and plenty of good ole’ fashion Bugliosi style conspiratorialist bashing calling Warren Commission critics, conspiracy nut-jobs and boobs. Oh, and throw in a little sarcasm as well to salt the wounds. In the process, Myers comes off as a jerk. But hey, whatever the government says is okay with people like this. After all, the Feds never lie do they?

Myers starts off by dissing the author, Donald Byron Thomas, a Ph.D Entomologist (study of insects–the doctorate degree is never mentioned in the review). Says Myers: “To say that Mr. Thomas, an entomologist by profession, is way out of his league pontificating on the Tippit case would be an understatement devoid of description.” Because he studies bugs? I guess Myers considers himself more immanently qualified to research the Kennedy assassination with his background as a computer geek animator. Amazing. The haughty Myers in a huff! As if producing digital recreations of the discredited Magic Bullet theory gives one total credibility in researching the JFK case. Perhaps he is envious of a book on this subject since he wrote one as well, With Malice: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Murder of Officer J.D. Tippit. A book that is out of print and priced at over a $100 used. (He links it to Amazon, but there is only one new copy there and it’s priced at $169.95! The current cheapest used price is $114.03 and if one has some cash to burn, the most expensive is $1,289.79 from some dude in Germany. Other used books sellers online also price it over $100 as well. While Myers constantly references his book but never alerts the reader of its hefty cost. Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #872,807. Oi!)

Early on, Myers’ opines about Hear No Evil: “Thomas’ take on the Tippit murder is the most outrageous, error-riddled, load of crap I’ve read in a long time. It’s hard to believe that anyone with an ounce of sense would believe such nonsense, but hey, if you don’t know what really happened I guess anything – even the kind of bull droppings that Thomas is hawking – can sound plausible.

He could have ended the review there, but no, no, no. The Emmy award winning animator is not done slinging insults by a long shot. The review is so long I placed it in Word at 12 point type and it stretched on for 38 pages! And that doesn’t include the pages of Errata and end notes. All this babbling for a book he says is a load of crap, filled with half-truths and outright fabrications. But Myers, the Warren Commission’s defender of Truth and Logic must soldier on refuting many of the facts mentioned in the Dr. Thomas’ book both major and petty. For example, he starts out with the initials “J. D.” and says Thomas can’t get the name right alleging that the initials meant nothing. However, researcher, Thomas H. Purvis, who has copy of a Tippet insurance form says he lists his full name as Jefferson Davis Tippit. Purvis also says it was common in the Tippit family to have names of noted leaders.

Myers takes to beating on Dr. Thomas even if he has to use a feather.

To be fair to Myers, he does appear to have found some serious flaws in the research as it’s presented in Hear No Evil. For example, Thomas’ claim that Tippet’s autopsy report had been suppressed or that Tippet suffered three wounds instead of four; the placement of a gas station at a corner where there was none; or that Tippet was shot with different types of bullets rather than different brands. Though I think he errs greatly on the issue of the wallets.

That Pesky Wallet
One of the mainstays of JFK assassination controversy has been the wallet found at the scene of the Tippet murder with Oswald’s ID cards in it. Myers touches on this issue for another opportunity to rip on Thomas and conspiracy theorists in general, but the fact of the matter is that the whole issue is revealed in the first place in FBI agent James Hosty’s 1966 (reprinted in 1996) book, Assignment: Oswald. Further adding credence to the episode is the wallet which is being examined by Dallas Police officers is being filmed. Not so easy to dismiss witness testimony this time around. Myers is reduced to a pitiful declaration, “...the pedigree of the wallet is unknown. It remains to this day, unknown.” Sure, sure...

This is a favorite subject of mine to explore and I wrote about it in The Tale Of The Two Wallets. The genesis of the story is when an unnamed witness hands a black wallet to a Sargent Calvin Owens who in turn brings it to the attention of Captain W. R. Westbrook of the Dallas Police. This examining of the wallet is captured on film (no audio) by Ron Reiland of WFAA-TV. Allegedly Lee Oswald’s ID and one for his alias, Alex Hidell were found in it. Along comes FBI SA Robert Barrett and Capt. Westbrook asks him if he knows the individuals on the IDs, as if Barrett would know, and he does not. Eventually the story of this incident makes it way into FBI agent James Hosty’s, Assignment Oswald, where agent Barrett relates the story to him for the book. (Attempts were made to interview officers Westbrook, Owens, and a third officer seen on film, Captain George Doughty, but were unsuccessful.)

The tricky part is that when Oswald is arrested at the movie theater, there is a wallet in his left pocket on him! So, two wallets in play and that makes a frame-up and hence, a conspiracy. In my view, this is why Myers leaves the wallet a mystery, without pedigree, because either the second wallet story is true, or somebody is lying here. Agent Hosty wrote that fellow agent Barrett told him that an Oswald wallet was found at the Tippit crime scene. Agent Barrett believed without a doubt the case against Oswald being Tippet’s murderer was a “slam-dunk” because the wallet with Oswald’s ID in it was found at the murder scene! Obviously, that is a lie if Barrett’s allegation is false. But why would he lie about such a thing? The lofty Myers has no say on that point.

After all, there can’t be a second wallet as that indicates a frame-up of Oswald for the Tippet murder.

According to Myers, “To date, the wallet’s origin and owner remain unknown.” Not to FBI agent Barrett! Or for that matter, three Dallas Policemen seen with it. Myers furiously typed, “But that doesn’t stop Thomas from turning the wallet episode into some half-baked conspiracy theory like all of his brethren before him.” Gosh, we are all in lock-step here? Does he know the source of this? Which is an FBI agent, right? And apparently Hosty believed it as he included the incident in his book.

What it comes down to is Myers doesn’t want to find out who it belongs to and concedes it is all a mystery. I am sure it would have been so much easier for him if the whole wallet scene had not been filmed! He inserts there is no proof it was Oswald’s yet can’t or won’t attribute it to Tippet–or anybody else. But it has to belong to somebody. Bugliosi had the same problem in Reclaiming History and sent the issue to his End Notes on disc where he finally concluded it was Tippet’s billfold that had fallen out of his trouser pocket. (At no point has anyone at the murder scene, police, FBI, or the ambulance crew said this was the case.) At least Bugliosi could make a decision on the issue unlike Myers, who would rather have it all go away.

Also of note: Neither SA Barrett or Capt. Westbrook, Sargent Owns, or Capt. Doughty wrote up the discovery of the wallet in their official reports. Captain Westbrook apparently never turns it over to the Homicide department. It vanishes. And if it’s a second wallet belonging to Oswald, then it has to, right?

Just Too Much Thinkin’ Goin’ On Here
Not be undone Dale Myers also has J.D. Tippet web site to refute critics. On it Myers heroically claims:

“As long as my health permits, I will continue to be alert for false and misleading information being publicized about the JFK assassination investigation. I will utilize whatever resources are available to refute such information. Future generations deserve to know the truth. During the past forty-one years there has been far too much fiction.”

He’s right. There has been too much fiction and it begins with the Warren Report! Oh well, nothing like being a guiding light of reason against those unruly, superstitious peasants that have the audacity not to believe what their “betters” tell them! Actually, it’s just defending the honor of the status quo since a large majority of the public doesn’t believe them, not matter how many shills they have in place; no matter the mainstream media’s blackout of JFK conspiracy related books, videos, magazines and web sites. After a while it’s just as much a political exercise as it was for the Warren Commission and the government sanctioned investigations that followed.

In Dale Myers’ Lone Nut world everybody tells the truth. Nothing is suspicious at all– it’s all random chance, coincidence, simple little errors that don’t mean anything. Any witness that has something controversial or even hints at conspiracy has to come under close scrutiny. Vince Bugliosi does the same thing in Reclaiming History, and in fact, Myers worked on part of it till they had a parting of ways. So one can see the modus operandi at work here, such as with lead witness Helen Markham with her scatter brained testimony being fully acceptable as opposed to Roger Craig, who defies all the main dogmas of the case and is in turn, treated like the bastard at the family reunion. (Another example is cab driver William Whaley that dropped Oswald off at certain street only to change the address numerous times over the years. But that is okay with these cherry pickers so long as Oswald comes out guilty every time.)

Unfortunately, Myers’ review sets a nasty tone. Laced with insults, sarcasm, condescension and slander, it’s hard to fathom where all the hate comes from. If author Donald Byron Thomas is wrong in his analysis of the facts then say so. It’s a noble enterprise to combat disinformation in the case but this screed ramps up the nastiness to John McAdams levels. Generally, it seems most of the vitriol comes from the Lone Nut believers. Most of their focus seems to be on the critics and not the original source of the controversy to begin with–the Warren Commission and its report. Why such a fevered drive to prove what the Commission was saying as opposed to breaking it all down and really finding something out?

Errata 12/22/10
The Amazon book prices have changed again. Now the latest used price for Dale Myers’ With Malice is $149.99. The latest new price is, incredibly, $1,289.78!

The Warren Report; Hosty Jr., James, Assignment: Oswald; McKnight, Gerald, Breach of Trust; Armstrong, John, Harvey and Lee; Mars, Jim, Crossfire; Bugliosi, Vince, Reclaiming History

Thomas H. Purvis

Dale Myers and Pat Speer Duke it Out

Pat Speer analysis of Myer’s animation