Gerald Ford, JFK
President Gerald Ford appearing at the House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing in Washington, DC, on pardoning former President Richard Nixon, Oct. 17, 1974. Letter to Ford from James M. Young, MD. (inset)
Photo credit: Library of Congress / Wikimedia and AARC

Today, a majority of Americans assume the government lied about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. New evidence seems to prove they are right.

This is the story of a bullet — a spent, misshapen, but otherwise intact, bullet — that James Young, a Navy doctor, said was found late at night, on the floor, in the back of Kennedy’s limousine. He inspected it himself.

The bullet was found by two chief petty officers who, during the autopsy, were sent to retrieve any skull fragments they could find in the limousine. They came back with three pieces of bone, and the bullet. The skull fragments were reported — but not the bullet.

Years later, when reviewing a memoir he wrote in 1963, Young thought about that bullet, and tried to find some mention of it in the Warren Commission Hearings. To his dismay, he found nothing. In 2000, he wrote to President Gerald Ford to ask him about it. After all, Ford had been on the Warren Commission. But Ford said he knew nothing about it either. In 2001, two Navy historians interviewed Young who gave them a highly detailed account of the events of November 22, 1963, some of which he witnessed personally. And he mentioned the bullet.

Recently, Dr. Randy Robertson, a board member of the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC) came upon Young’s papers at a Navy website. This was an exciting discovery.

To understand the significance of this discovery, readers need to know that — according to the official record — only one whole bullet was recovered, the “magic bullet” found on Governor John Connally’s stretcher. And, agents found inside the limousine what is presumed to be two parts of one broken bullet. Numerous very small lead fragments were also found in the limousine, Connally’s wrist, and Kennedy’s brain. If close inspection of the bullet allegedly found in the back of the limousine were to show that it was not fired from Lee Harvey Oswald’s rifle, this would prove to be a threat to the official narrative of a lone assassin. (Please go here for an essay on neutron activation analysis, another test the bullet would have been subjected to.)

Here, Robertson describes in an email to WhoWhatWhy how he came upon this apparently suppressed evidence:

“I was surfing the internet and somehow stumbled upon the Navy Live website. I found the What Price A Rose piece [the memoir] and found it intriguing because although I had heard of Young I never knew he attended the autopsy…”

Robertson is referring to excerpts of the memoir — none of which included the part about the bullet. But he delved further:

“After that I found the earlier piece Navy Medicine and the Kennedy Assassination which contained the dynamite about the bullet…

“After that it was detective work. I FOIA’ed the transcripts and received them and found out the actions Young had taken to find out what had happened to the bullet he had seen and corroborate what he had told the Navy interviewers. That led me to the Ford Library and the wonderful letter.”

Robertson remains cautious about this discovery since only one witness corroborates Young’s claims — the petty officer who found the bullet.

Below you will find links to Young’s letter to Ford and Ford’s bewildering response, as well as a link to Young’s entire memoir which includes a brief history of other unsuccessful attempts to find out what happened to the bullet.

For the convenience of the reader, I have retyped vital parts of Young’s letter to Ford, and Ford’s response.

Letter From James Young to Gerald Ford (Excerpted)


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 Kennedy’s skull bones were missing. In order to reconstruct the President’s 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,” [sic] 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 Kennedy’s 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”[sic] where they had found the pieces of skull bones. The bullet and pieces of skull were given to Dr. Jim Humes.

I have never seen anything written about that spent bullet in the Warren Report or elsewhere. Do you recall any testimony or comments which would clarify my concerns?

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 [is] 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.) Nov. 22, 1963: You Are The Jury, by David Belin.

2.) Case Closed, by Gerald Posner.

Both of these books should be in any major public library.

Best regards,

Regarding Young’s 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.




Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from bullet (National Archives) and limousine (Alvintrusty / Wikimedia – CC BY-SA 3.0).

39 responses to “Navy Doctor: Bullet Found in JFK’s Limousine, and Never Reported”

  1. joliraja says:

    This might connect with an interesting story that Sam Kinney told researcher Vince Palamara. Kinney was a Secret Service agent who drove the presidential limo from the hospital to the airport in Dallas, traveled to Washington in the cargo plane that transported the limo, and then drove it to the White House. He said while in the air he got a call asking him to go down into the cargo hold and look in the limo for a bullet. Kinney told this like a humorous story as he and the other two who went down there with him were aghast at what they saw in the car, one of them threw up, and they never did the search. When I heard they were sent to look for a bullet, my first thought was, “Why, did somebody lose one?” What was the big hurry? Couldn’t they wait for the plane to land and have people who did for a living search the car? I can’t think of any other explanation except some bullet accounting process was going on.

  2. Richard Turnbull says:

    Belin and Posner as credible sources on the JFK-Tippit-Oswald homicides?

  3. John Kesich says:

    I wonder why my comment was not approved.

  4. John Kesich says:

    Fletcher Prouty wrote “Let’s draw a line from the point of impact on that curbstone back to a position within a cicle with an eighteen-inch diameter around the President’s head and shoulders. If we project that line back to some firing point, we have placed the gunman in a window on the second floor of the Dal-Tex building, behind the President’s car.” (JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, p 299)

  5. zelduh says:

    Very (VERY) interesting!

  6. Bryan Armstrong says:

    If there is any doubt, watch the documentary on you tube for free. It is called JFK 2. This documentary points out that JFK’s security was shunned of at the last minute, that the book depository was not covered for security by the secret service(because half the windows were open), and that there are people that have basically confessed about 2 carloads of people(assassins) that were paid to take care of the job.(assassination of JFK). Amen

  7. Greg Strebel says:

    And then there is John Kennedy Jr. No search for the ‘missing’ plane for 8 hours until Ted Kennedy called up Bill Clinton and raised hell. Roger Stone asserts that JFK Jr was potentially a serious impediment to Hillary’s senate run.

  8. Mark O'Blazney says:

    Something isn’t right here………..

  9. Broos says:


  10. Cary David Hoffson says:

    Everything looks like there was more to it and looks like a set-up: going by the book building, and the way anyone could walk out of the book building with out being stopped – shooting a cop and going into the movie theater. Anyone who worked in the book building (or was in it) could have done it, and there had to be more to Jack Ruby, they all knew him at the police station.

    • Jas says:

      Jack Rubenstein and Oswald knew each other. Jack was a mob guy.

    • Sarawan Yaemmanee says:

      no, Jack Ruby was a CIA gunrunner

    • Robbins says:

      He was both – and CIA and Mafia often work together.

    • Bobs_Vendetta says:

      …and always have. And when they hire free agents for jobs they hire from essentially the same pool of operators.

    • Jas says:

      Same difference

    • Sarastro92 says:

      Ruby once worked for Congressman Nixon too.

    • Richard Turnbull says:

      The letter supposedly linking them is very dubious (from an investigation into labor racketeering, where Ruby was supposedly employed by Nixon’s House sub- committee).

    • WarDepartment says:

      According to crusading Texas newspaper publisher and editor Penn Jones, a man widely respected throughout the assassination research community, Jack Ruby worked for Israeli intelligence. Jones actually wrote “counter-intelligence,” but Ruby’s connection to JFK’s mortal enemy, Israel, is potentially a key piece of the puzzle.

    • Richard Turnbull says:

      Jack Ruby was a front man for organized crime, but there’s no way in Hades the Mossad would have recruited an unreliable thug like Ruby for anything important. And unless you can cite some concrete, credible evidence the supposed link is even weaker.

    • Richard Turnbull says:

      Try searching “Helen Markham Tippit-killing witness” and you’ll see how bogus the case against Oswald was for the shooting of Patrolman J.D. Tippit, and it’s even more flimsy in the case of General Walker and JFK.

  11. JayGoldenBeach says:

    J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI could have investigated JFK’s assassination more competently had Hoover not wasted so much manpower on quashing political dissent, chasing imaginary communists (while ignoring a few thousand actual recruited and imported “former” Nazis), etc.

  12. rickahyatt says:

    HURRAH! GHWB signed into law exactly 25 years ago that all JFK assassination materials are to be given to the public by Oct. 26th of this year. There are ENORMOUS implications to this! It was in the mid ’70’s that he ran me as an Agent and as part of that gave me secrets to keep to shout from the rooftops later. One is the comment below that involves how Red China had a specific agenda to rule the world that started with the assassinations of the Kennedys, etc. And a very specific timeline that comes to a head with the current events of the West Pacific, which is really Red China trying to lure up into war with North Korea, another “Vietnam” for us. In the meantime, they have built their “One Million Man Army” through their “One Child Policy” and are intent to rule the planet. I was ordered to remember that a satellite – I think Juno – Would be sent to an unreachable distance to always be sending back in plain fax form the proof of above. If they start WWIII, the world will forever understand that they started it; Inasmuch assassinating a country’s President IS AN ACT OF WAR – And we’ll forever have the moral high ground to do what we will do. 25 years ago exactly, I underwent an unneeded tongue surgery and under the pain and trauma they literally “Switched” my “Legend wife,” a Filipina sex worker I’d been issued, with a much nastier woman that looked similar – But her hair reached down to her buttocks, unlike the first. What did this prove? CIA Dir. William Colby had testified to Congress that his daughter had been switched with a biological double, and they laughed him out of office, so I guess he showed them it could be done… I’d been pumped with information to remember, repress, and repeat (“The 3 R’s”) pursuant to provided mnemonics, dates, calendar events, overlapping religious holidays, etc, just as Colby had told Congress that the many spies in that body did (As “Manchurian Candidates” -we’re taking TERM LIMITS, here!). Bottom line is that I was shown the photo of “The young shooter one the grassy knoll” to compare to photos I have kept and also on the internet of Gary Condit, the professional assassin and his wife. It’s why the CL, JBR, and LP cases are all still in limbo.

  13. Michael Tyrrell says:

    Interesting. Also, wouldn’t the fragmented bullet remains likely be that of a frangible bullet? As an aside, JFK’s limo, a 61 Lincoln, was not the Queen Mary. That was the follow up car; a mid-50s Cadillac.

    • rickahyatt says:

      As you can read from my recent comments, I can also add that then CIA Dir GHWB also told me to remember that he was an investigator in Houston when it happened, and it was he who placed the bullet on JFK’s gurney when it mysteriously appeared, for whatever reason.

  14. Paul Jolliffe says:

    The “official” story is that the nose and the butt end of the bullet that struck President Kennedy in the head somehow fragmented into two major pieces that were later retrieved by the authorities. These two pieces were matched to the “Oswald” rifle by the FBI.
    If Dr. Young’s recollections are correct, and I don’t doubt him, then the most likely scenario is that the bullet found by the Navy corpsmen – undoubtedly fired from a completely different rifle by a different shooter from a different location – was later “switched” with fragments that could be linked to “Oswald”.
    The original whole bullet could then be disposed of, and no one except a very few, would ever be the wiser.

    • Mik says:

      Add-in the book by Dr. Crenshaw, who did the initial surgery on JFK and who admitted that Kennedy was shot 3 times, all from the front. All.

      The fact that the Democratic Party did not demand a renewed inquiry after that book came out says a lot about how gutless they are. And that weakness empowers further GOP criminal behavior. And now Trump. A pathological liar with a Dictator mindset.

    • Robbins says:

      LBJ didn’t want truth investigated. Some think he was involved in conspiracy. RFK didn’t have power anymore, and and he was killed 5 years later before he could get elected President.

    • Richard Turnbull says:

      It’s amazing anyone still thinks Sirhan Bishara Sirhan shot RFK — the bullets that kiled him could not have been fired from his position. Search terms “Security guard Thane Cesar” or “The Girl in the Polka-Dot Dress” will lead into that maze of evidence.

    • Cirze says:

      The DEMs weren’t gutless; they were in on the scam. Everyone well-connected knew how unpopular/hated JFK was by the PTB/CIA. The media even then knew better than to question the easily contradicted “facts.”

    • Richard Turnbull says:

      You are referring to Conspiracy of Silence, by Dr. Charles Crenshaw — it’s around here somewhere. But the book doesn’t go that far, and he did not “do the initial surgery,” although he was present that day and when Oswald’s body arrived two days later.

    • Mik says:

      Dr. Charles Crenshaw boldly proclaimed what many of his medical colleagues at Parkland Hospital were too afraid to say in the years following the JFK assassination (and which the Warren Commission never allowed them to say under oath) : namely, that the President did have a bullet entrance wound in the front of his neck (which could not possibly have been fired by Lee Harvey Oswald), that the kills hot also had to have struck JFK from the front, that the blowout in Kenney’s head was in the right rear, and that the autopsy findings and autopsy photographs do not match the wounds he saw firsthand before Kennedy’s body was illegally removed from Parkland Hospital. Not only was Crenshaw involved in the futile attempts to save Kennedy’s life, he was also one of the surgeons who fought to save the life of JFK’s accused assassin two days later.

      So I don’t know what you are talking about.

    • Richard Turnbull says:

      You must have misunderstood my post — of COURSE all of that is correct, and more. How on earth did you get the idea I was denying any of that?

    • Mik says:

      My apology Richard. The assassination was a turning point in American culture, and it needed resolution. A Congressional Hearing with Dr. Crenshaw would have been the best hope, but it didn’t happen. I blame that on Democratic timidity as much as Republican corruption.

    • Richard Turnbull says:

      Of course, and the role of the mass media in this is shameful, start with “Dan Rather describes the Zapruder film” and go from there!

    • Bobs_Vendetta says:

      That is also probably why the President’s brain disappeared, so there could be no new forensic investigation.

    • H.P. Loathecraft says:

      Wait, the president’s brain disappeared? Oh meant JFK

    • Richard Turnbull says:

      There’s no reliable chain-of-custody for the Mannlicher-Carcano mail order rifle from Klein’s Sporting Goods in Chicago to the P.O.Box supposedly connected to Oswald, to Dealey Plaza, either. In fact there’s no credible case against Oswald for any of the shootings attributed to him: retired Major General Edwin Walker, JFK, or Patrolman J.D. Tippit, but the Warren Commission wasn’t really interested in finding any alternatives, they had their conveniently dead “lone nut,” conveniently killed by another “lone nut.”

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