Friday, 14 July 2023 03:34

Fact-Checking the Sixth Floor Museum

Written by

Our reporter gives a rundown on how fair and balanced the Sixth Floor Museum is on the JFK case in light of today's state of the evidence.

To my surprise, I don’t think this has ever been done before. But it is imperative that it must be done, for millions of people visit the museum every year. It’s at the epicenter of the crime.

In Episode 1 of Oliver Stone’s 4-part series JFK: Destiny Betrayed, the narrator says: “The Sixth Floor Museum, to this day, insists that Oswald shot Kennedy from that sixth floor window, and virtually everything in the museum is dedicated to that proposition."

I decided to, without bias, see if this was in fact true. In August 2021 I photographed every single exhibit and every single museum label in the museum to fact-check. The following are the results...

* * *

The museum correctly says “witnesses...believed gunfire had come from the grassy knoll...Dozens of people ran up the grassy knoll...Some witnesses said they saw a puff of smoke in the trees there, and one witness [Lee Bowers] observed unfamiliar automobiles in the rail yards and two men standing behind the fence just before the shooting.” However, they did a disservice by next writing: “Officials searched the area, but found only cigarette butts and footprints behind the fence.” What they failed to mention was the fact that those cigarette butts and footprints were FRESH and were found in the exact spot where that puff of smoke was seen. A flash of light was also seen there by Bowers, and an anomalous shape appears there in the Moorman photo that’s not there in later photos. So that was a person.

Sliding along, the museum says “at least five witnesses said they had seen a rifle protruding from an upper window”—but only four did.

We are told that “the easternmost window on the south wall was half open”—but as anyone can plainly see from the photos, the window was only a quarter open! “In the far east corner was a paper bag, later determined to have been used to bring the rifle into the building”—but the bag is not present in any of the crime scene photos! Moreover, any lucid person who reads the Warren Report subchapter “The Long and Bulky Package” (pp. 131-134) will come away convinced that a rifle couldn’t have been in Oswald’s bag.

Next, the museum says “Oswald’s finger prints and palm prints were found on several of the cartons and on the paper bag.” This is so easy to debunk. This is one of those things where you can just go right to the Warren Report and it debunks itself. The Commission admitted that the key box at the window used as the gun rest, as well as the box below it, “contained no prints which could be identified as being those of Lee Harvey Oswald.” (WR 140) This is significant. One box and another nearby had Oswald’s prints. (R 138) Well, Oswald DID work in the building. In their own words: “...the Commission considered the possibility that Oswald handled these cartons as part of his normal duties.” (WR 141) And only one of these prints “was less than 3 days old.” (ibid) The Commission admitted the print “could have been placed on the carton at any time within this period.” (ibid.) And they ultimately said: “The prints do not establish the exact time he [Oswald] was there.” (ibid.) As for the paper bag, when FBI expert Sebastian Latona initially examined it on 11/23, he could find no latent prints on it. (WC Vol. 4, p. 3)

Moving along to the Tippit murder, the museum label says “Tippit died before he reached the hospital”—but as anyone knows, Officer Tippit was killed instantly with a shot through the head and others through the chest.. The museum next said something absolutely astounding under a photo of Oswald’s revolver: “The bullets that killed Tippit came from this gun.” This is ABOMINABLY INCORRECT!

Representative BOGGS: You cannot establish the fact that the bullets were fired in that gun?
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: That is correct. (WC Vol. 3 p. 476)
Mr. CUNNINGHAM: I could not identify those bullets as having been fired from that gun. (Ibid p.482)

The museum tells the common mainstream talking point that “In a roll call of employees…he [Oswald] was discovered missing.” This implies Oswald was the only employee missing, but a check of all the FBI statements reveals that 17 were never in the building after 12:30. (WC Vol. 22, pgs. 632–686)

Museum tourists are told that “Investigators learned that Oswald was a loner with strong leftist leanings.” They might have gotten away with this statement when the museum opened way back in 1989, but not today. We have learned so much since, e. g. that Oswald was almost certainly a double-agent. His former roommate James Botelho even spoke up: “I knew Oswald was not a communist and was, in fact, anti-Soviet…I knew then what I know now: Oswald was on an assignment in Russia for American intelligence.” (JFK and the Unspeakable, by James Douglass, p. 40) For this important point, see also John Newman’s updated version of Oswald and the CIA, James DiEugenio’s Destiny Betrayed, second edition (Chapters 6 and 7, and the extremely important declassified files of HSCA investigator Betsy Wolf) (Click here)

The museum says Oswald “was rated a sharpshooter.” But this is a common cherry-pick, for that was an early test, and Oswald was officially designated as barely a marksman (the lowest of the low). The Warren Report itself said he was a “rather poor shot.” (WR, p. 191) The museum says “Oswald’s wife later testified that he admitted to her that he had tried to kill Maj. General Walker”—however, she might have been manipulated to make this claim. Plus, she is the most unreliable witness, for her stories constantly changed (see this) What the museum conspicuously omitted was that the alleged bullet recovered from Walker’s house could not be linked with Oswald’s rifle (WC Vol. 3 p. 439); and the two main witnesses said the perpetrator was not Oswald. ( WC. Vol.5 pp.446-447; WC Vol. 26 p. 438) They brought up the claim that “Oswald left a note in Russian for his wife with instructions if he did not return that night”—but Marina said she never saw the note! (WC Vol. 23, p. 393) And of course, as everyone knows, the note is undated and makes no reference to Walker. Researchers have concluded that, most likely, Oswald wrote this note in relation to a project other than an attack on General Walker.

We are next told Oswald’s “latent palm print [was found] beneath the wooden stock of the gun.” However, this palm print didn’t appear for a week (4 H 23), and the only person to see this alleged print said it was an OLD print. (Gary Savage, First Day Evidence, p. 108) Beyond that, when the FBI got the rifle the night of the assassination, they could find no trace prints of value on it. (James DiEugenio, The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today, p. 214) We are correctly informed that “During Oswald’s detention no witnesses were able to identify him as the gunman seen firing from the Depository window.”

Continuing on, the museum claims “over two dozen people recorded” the assassination. This is not correct. There were actually 7 who were filming while the shooting was taking place. The museum correctly stated witnesses heard shots “coming from various locations in Dealey Plaza.” They next did a partial good job at listing 6 of the 58 grassy knoll earwitnesses. But they then listed 10 of the only 46 Depository earwitnesses. In other words, they made it seem like there were less knoll ear witnesses! They mentioned James Tague, but omitted that he believed the shots came from the knoll.

Only towards the end of the museum tour do we get to the forensic and ballistics evidence. They incorrectly claim the Warren Report “agreed that Connally showed a reaction by [Zapruder] frame 224.” This wasn’t put forward until the 1970s. Connally said he was hit about ten frames later than this to Josiah Thompson. (Six Seconds in Dallas, pp. 69-70) The museum oddly says the autopsy doctors’ “probe of the back wound revealed no exit point; the tracheotomy had obscured it.” This is frighteningly inaccurate. How can an incision in the front of the NECK obscure an alleged bullet path in the BODY?! The simple fact is that the back wound was probed and found to not go anywhere. (CD 7, p. 284) The bullet lodged in the back and most likely fell out. It also would’ve smashed the first rib had it traversed where the measurements place it. The museum brings up how “The House Committee…concurred that one bullet could have wounded both Kennedy and Connally.” But in order for it to work, they said, JFK would have to be leaning WAY forward (Vol. 7 HSCA p. 100)—which he WAS NOT! (WC Vol. 18, p. 26) Everything else said on the topic of forensic and ballistics evidence lacks serious context and doesn’t tell the full story. More shockingly, the museum never informs its tourists the basic fact that JFK had a massive blowout in the right rear of his head—of course, all indicative of a shot from the front.

The museum’s section on the acoustics evidence is bland and very outdated.

Almost at the end of the tour, we are told that “Depository employee Charles Givens had seen Oswald at about 11:55…on the sixth floor”—but in his Dallas Police statement he made no mention of Oswald. (WC Vol. 24 p. 210) We are next told that “Tests for the Warren Commission showed that Oswald could have run down this staircase to the second floor lunchroom in less than two minutes.” This too is outdated. See here for everything you need to know about this subject.

Finally, at the very end of the tour we come across a wall of big paragraph webs listing all the different theories of who could’ve done it. If anything, this leaves tourists to walk away with the “it will remain a mystery” view rather than “this is a conspiracy”.

My conclusion is that the Sixth Floor Museum simply gave basic official story facts while omitting tons and tons of context. They, as someone once said, “did not take into account all of the available relevant evidence in the case of the assassination, and therefore violated a fundamental requirement of scientific reasoning, which is known as the Principle of Total Evidence.”

While doing a final comb though of all the photographs I had taken, I did manage to find one tiny little museum label that read: “Arguments that Oswald was a patsy…and that gunmen shooting from other locations…have remained popular but unproven.” But those are the two main beliefs of the critics! If the museum is saying they are “unproven”, then they are, in effect, saying the official story is true.

They haven’t shied completely away from conspiracy, though. Notable critics Dr. Cyril Wecht and Josiah Thompson have given presentations there in recent years. Thompson, at one point, even narrated the museum’s audio tour guide. Today, it is narrated by witness Pierce Allman, who was a staunch lone nutter.

One thing people DO get wrong about the museum is the books it has. Robert Groden wrote that: “The Sixth Floor Museum book store is barred from carrying any book that honestly deals with the subject of the Kennedy conspiracy.” (JFK: Absolute Proof, p. 329) This is a not accurate. The museum bookstore does contain some conspiracy books. And their Reading Room contains EVERY SINGLE conspiracy book on the assassination, in addition to every book on the subject. The Reading Room also has thousands of vital Oral Histories with eyewitnesses and researchers, coupled with every newspaper and magazine story on the case. My advice would be to skip the $18 tour and just go straight to the Reading Room. As someone once said, “Study the evidence yourself and make up your own mind.”

In the end, one thing does ring true more than anything. Outside on the Sixth Floor Museum’s historical plaque, it reads:


That is something we can all agree on.

Last modified on Saturday, 15 July 2023 01:18
Mark Mahoney

To be updated shortly.

Find Us On ...


Please publish modules in offcanvas position.