Disclaimer: When I first posted this, I was excited and maybe too sure of myself. I am not an expert in these matters. So I offer the following evidence to support my current thesis that a car bomb in the engine compartment destroyed the front end of the Mercedes and lobbed the engine down the street. I have been alerted to at least one precedent for engine ejection upon impact, so I wonder what a bomb could do.
Note: Jim Stone has stated that the following image is from a photo op scene with a switched car at a switched location. I don’t know. Even if that is true, the footage showing the obliteration of the car’s front end was taken at the scene, when it was still dark.
When I first saw this tableau, I immediately wondered: WHY THE BLANKET?
Now I know. It’s because the front end of the car is almost completely GONE.
Check out these still shots, taken from Loudlabs News footage (posted below):
The carriage and rear end are cocked back from a blast that cleared the engine compartment. The right front wheel and part of the front bumper are about all that’s left, and they are cocked forward.
Now from the driver’s side angle:
Note what looks to be the hood twisted around the left side of the palm tree.
Now, a direct side shot:
The blanket was there to hide the fact that almost the entire front end of the car is gone.
Only a bomb could have done that.
Perhaps this explains the flight of the engine down the street. I leave that to the more technically-minded to decide.
Jim Stone’s analysis: http://www.jimstonefreelance.com/hastingsmurdered.html
A member at the Jim Stone Forum argues that such damage is consistent with a normal high-speed tree impact. That may very well be. But Stone’s analysis has already shown that this was no ordinary car fire.
That raging fire, in my opinion, would not happen from a bomb-free impact. Car experts agree.
Consider, too, the eyewitness testimony at 1:11 of the Loudlabs footage below, where she states that the car “exploded upon impact” with the tree.
Also the other eyewitness who told the local news reporter that her house shook and her windows rattled — that it sounded, and felt, like a bomb had exploded.
Then there’s the engine down the street.
Finally, I went to Google Images and looked up some high-speed vehicle-tree collisions. They are indeed incredibly destructive.
But look at that last photo again:
Seems to me that there is a lot of “gap” between the tree and the cab of the car, and no wreckage in there — just empty space.
Had the car hit the tree at high speed, causing all that damage, I think the cab would be scrunched right up against the trunk. Like when they say that Jed “wrapped his Camaro around” a telephone pole.
It looks to me like the car bumped into the tree and that triggered a detonation.
Here is the Loudlabs footage:
Note: Unless you are a Jim Stone Forum reader, this will not be significant to you.