News From NIST: Kennedy Assassination Bullets Preserved in Digital Form

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Source: Rich Press, Public Affairs Specialist, NIST

At the request of the National Archives, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) forensic ballistics lab have used advanced imaging methods to create high-resolution 3D models of the bullets used in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. This historic preservation project will allow historians and others to examine these artifacts without risk of damage to the originals.

Why do this now if the case has been closed for more than 50 years? The mission of the National Archives is to provide the public with access to federal government artifacts and records, and they receive many requests to view these particular objects. This project will allow the Archives to release 3D replicas to the public while the originals remain safely preserved in their temperature- and humidity-controlled vault.

This was strictly a historic preservation project that did not involve any forensic analysis. The methods our researchers developed to complete this project have advanced the science of forensic ballistics and offer a glimpse into the future of the field.

Click HERE for more information and to watch the “Preserving the JFK Assassination Bullets” video.