the boneyard tour and the 3rd bullet theory


The architectural group that I am loosely affiliated with, the Dallas Center for Architecture, has a special program running throughout April 2013.
“Place a day” architecture involves a tour and program at a different architecturally significant Dallas location per day for the entire month.
I have toured the Old Municipal building and retraced Lee Harvey Oswald’s doomed path to assassination. I have toured a Sears coffin factory converted into a boutique hotel. I have toured a 1950’s era Hilton hotel, believed to be the first “self-sufficient” hotel in the Southwest US.
And today, I got to tour the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department boneyard. The boneyard is a repository for salvaged architectural elements from demolished Dallas buildings. It is a graveyard of sorts; a fitting tribute to a ciy that loves to tear down it’s history. It was a very cool opportunity to see a collection of artifacts that is off-limits to the public. Additionally, this was the first tour of the boneyard ever given. Yep, I was on it along with 34 other paying guests.
We were told that our tour would end with the signature piece of the collection.
And as we entered the small metal building, we really didn’t know what we were looking at. A long, tubular, black metal pole of some sort. Set behind a perimeter of chains that clearly said “observe from behind these.”
When I found out what it was, I was stunned.
There was a significant event that happened in my city 50 years ago this year. Easily the darkest day in the history of Dallas and an equally dark day for the modern US Presidency. And certainly the quintessential event that most lends itself to the conspiracy theorist.
There is a theory about a third bullet that was shot at JFK. And the theory states that the view of the passing motorcade from the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository was obscured by a traffic signal post at the corner of Houston and Elm street.
Supposedly a fired bullet ricocheted off of this signal post and missed its target. Incidentally, this post is known to be the last original post at this intersection; all others have been replaced at some point over the last 50 years.
A few years ago, a car knocked down this post. The Dallas Parks Department got a call from the city streets department and took posession of the post before it was removed.
News of this somehow got out, and a man who has dedicated over 20 years to establishing the third bullet theory heard about it. He made contact with the parks department, and arranged to make a trip to the boneyard to examine the post. He has made seven trips to date. Some of the trips have included members of the FBI.
The post has been visually analyzed, millimeter by millimeter. It has been stripped of several of its ten coats of paint, bringing to the surface the paint that was on the outermost layer the day of the JFK assassination. The post has been laser-analyzed.
A piece of metal, the size of a speck of dust, was removed. This was thought to be a remnant of a bullet casing. Based on this, there have been some preliminary conclusions drawn about a possible spot where a bullet might have hit the post. Certainly forensic architecture at its finest.
And we were the first group to see it.
As a side note, the parks director who guided our tour mentioned that the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the assassination would be bigger than five Presidents visting Dallas. Interesting. Because that was pretty big.

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