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The JFK/DPQ Challenge

"To prove or disprove, that is the question."

Over the years, many things have been published saying certain things could or could not have happened with respect to the many bizarre events that fill the JFK-Dallas saga. Some folks have proven their points by supplying documents, hearsay, or, in some cases, "the dead guy told me -- trust me, folks."

Still others have done "hands-on" work. Howard Donahue, a master-expert with quality weapons, was able to equal the "Oswald shots," but with practice and with the expertise that comes from being a master-expert. Dr. Lattimer did similar experiments, proving that Oswald could have assassinated a melon.

British researcher Ian Griggs, tired of reading that Oswald could not have gotten from the United Kingdom to Helsinki, Finland, made the trip and proved it could be done; in the process, he also proved that 4swald spent lavishly in the local hotels.

We all took for granted that OswaId was involved with some school in Switzerland -- until John Armstrong actually went there and got a first-hand look for himself, discovering in the process that the place was really off the beaten path, and that it was unlikely many people would have known about it.

More of these kinds of hands-on experiments need to be tried. I'd love to rent the "JFK limo" down in Dallas, get it going down Elm Street in low gear, and have someone pop a balloon. When that noise is heard, "time" how long it takes to shift into "drive" gear while hitting the gas and have the heavy vehicle build up enough torque to set the pavement aglow. In the case of JFK's vehicle, heavily armoured, we know it took too long, and we blame the driver.

But how long does it really take? It could be tested. Match the weight, and give it a go. When you get the results, I'll print them.

So I have a different challenge to suggest to anyone who believes Lee Oswald was the lone assassin: Learn the Russian language. Teach yourself, as Oswald supposedly did. Then meet me in front of Uspenskaya St. 36 in Sevastapol, Ukraine, on July 1, 2008, one year from today...

I'm going to take the JFK/DPQ challenge and try to learn Russian. I won't have much time to give to it -- but there's the catch: neither did Oswald. The US Marine Corps is not to be confused with a daycare center for wayward NY City truants. It's a lot of long hours learning essential survival skills. NOT study hall.

What do we really know of Oswald's language situation? We know very little about him learning Russian. It's as if he's magically born in Marine barracks reading Russian newspapers, which, as JFK/DPQ webmaster Allan Eaglesham pointed out, is the most difficult material in a foreign language to read because newspapers, unlike classics of literature or chatter, are filled with idiomatic expressions.

Did Oswald learn Russian while a truant? Unlikely. So, when? In the Marines? With what time? And for those of you who at least consider this challenge and browse through a "teach yourself Russian" book at a bookstore, keep it uppermost in your mind that the "Lee Oswald" we know about was both dyslexic and dysgraphic -- he dealt with reversals in both spelling and writing, and his English spelling was horrific.

Yet he was damn near perfect in his Russian writing, and that's why this challenge exists. I've had people tell me, after two years of intense study, that they knew enough Russian "to get by, but barely." If you think it can be done in spare time, all you will know is standard foreign language 101: "Hello, how are you?" "Oh, I'm fine, thanks."

You do not survive in Minsk on that -- nor would you survive on the score "Oswald" got on the Marine Russian test on February 25, 1959. Yet seven months later, he was on his way there.

I was required to pass two "foreign language proficiency" exams for a PhD. German was easy, and I taught myself French in 17 days and got a 73% on a test where 58% was passing.

But having purchased basic Russian materials -- nothing fancy -- I will say this right now to every reader: visit the bookstorepick up the "how-to" book, and then read the article here NEXT July. Because it is going to say, "No way in hell did Oswald teach himself Russian." I've already dipped my toe in that water, and it's a cold, murky lake.

In his recent work, Vincent Bugliosi criticized my "good mind" for believing in John Armstrong's substitution theory. Okay, I can take criticism -- God knows I dish it out. So Mr. Bugliosi -- I know you are busy with another book for 2008. In your spare time, learn Russian like Oswald did.

If YOU, a well-educated attorney and author, can't do it, I think you would need to explain just how "Oswald" did learn Russian, because if he did not teach himself, who taught him? And when you answer that one, you'll know at least one piece of the conspiracy puzzle. I don't believe for a second that Lee Oswald could have taught himself Russian in a thousand years; and I strongly doubt if he could have been taught Russian by experts.

Oswald worked with Dennis Ofstein at Jaggers-Chiles-Stovall. Ofstein had been taught Russian at the Army Language School at Monterey-the most famous such site at that time. Ofstein admitted that Oswald's Russian was better.

I've read it any number of times that when Oswald was court-martialed the second time, he spent his confinement learning Russian. Can't be done in 6 weeks or 6 months, folks. Mr. Bugliosi, I have a Russian toast for you:

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