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Chris Scally

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About Chris Scally

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    The search for the original Nix film; Zapruder film history; DPD radio / acoustics evidence

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  1. Seasons Greetings to all

    Thanks, James, and a Very Happy Christmas to you and yours also.
  2. Same for me here, too - yesterday, and again today!
  3. Inside Inside the Target Car:

    On Thursday, David Josephs posted (above): "If Chris can comment on what he believes happens to the Rowley Film (not offered in this timeline) it would be appreciated... I've exchanged emails and discussed this with Chris but cannot find any conclusions...." David: I’ve just seen your post (quoted above), so apologies for the delay in replying. I’ve effectively “retired” from JFK assassination research since early last year, but I still like to keep in touch with developments. As a result of my “retirement”, however, most of my files have been boxed-up and put into storage, so I can only give you a response as best I can from memory. The Rowley Film, as you accurately describe it, was one of what I believe were two copies of the film, given by Zapruder to Max Phillips on the night of the assassination (one of the two copies of the film was in a Kodak film box, with the number #0186 on it – I got a photo of the box from NARA some years ago; as I recall, they found it for me in a Secret Service file). Phillips sent one copy to Chief Rowley later that night, on a Navy jet which left Dallas Hensley Field Naval Air Station on Mountain Creek Road (or Lane?) almost certainly prior to midnight. There was a story in circulation at one time that Zapruder himself had taken the film to the air station, but I was never able to verify that. The second copy given to Phillips, as I recall, was given to Forrest Sorrels (or his secretary, Lillian Ryan?) probably early the next morning, November 23. As I recall, the copy Sorrels received was a 16mm-wide copy (ie. An unslit version), as his boss, Insp. Kelley supposedly loaned it the FBI on the Saturday morning. Also, I seem to recall, the FBI kept that copy of the film, and – having failed to get it copied in Dallas - sent it to headquarters on an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Baltimore early on Saturday evening. The Secret Service had to ask for its return on Monday afternoon, and eventually got it back from the FBI sometime on Tuesday. This would also explain why Sorrels didn’t have a copy of the film over the weekend – he was depending on Zapruder to project his (Zapruder’s) copy of the film for him over the weekend. Unfortunately, despite many years – and I do mean “years” – of searching, I could never fully and completely document the chain of possession of that Rowley Copy of the film after it arrived in Washington - or indeed, of any of the other first-day copies either. While I have this opportunity, I should add that I also made a determined effort over an extended period of time to find out what version (or versions) of the film Life obtained on the morning of Saturday, November 23. Having spoken to a number of the individuals concerned (including Richard Stolley and – via a third party – the Life Editor in Chicago to whom the film was sent on Saturday midday/early afternoon), I believe that Stolley sent the camera original film to Life in Chicago on a commercial flight from Love Field in Dallas to Medway (or Midway?) airport in Chicago, a belief supported by the person to whom it was addressed in Chicago. This supposed camera-original film was copied by/for Life in Chicago on Saturday evening, while they were preparing the November 29 issue. Three B&W copies were made, and Rollie Zavada has told me that he is fully confident - having examined one or more of those copies – that it was made from a camera-original film, and not a copy. And that leads me to another element of the story. In 2011, I had the very good fortune to be given access to a copy of one of those 16mm black-and-white copies, which was clearly and undoubtedly made before it was slit to 8mm width or damaged by Life or anyone else. I was able to examine the film at great length, and because it was in unslit format, I could view the two sides of the film simultaneously (which is a little disconcerting the first time you view it, as the image on one side is moving in one direction, while the other half of the screen is moving simultaneously in the opposite direction!). However, viewing the film this way also allows you to view the complete - and rarely (if ever?) seen - footage of Zapruder’s grandchildren playing in his back yard, as well as the full Lillian Rogers “office” scene (Side A), while looking at the assassination side (Side B of the film at the same time. Examining the film this way shows that there is no splice or other damage on Side B, but perhaps more importantly, it clearly shows not discontinuity or unnatural movement on Side A either. It is that, more than anything else, which has convinced me that the film was unaltered and un-tampered with at that point in time – the evening of Saturday November 23, in Chicago. To return to your original question, I think the problem is that we do not have what can honestly and incontrovertibly be described as a complete, documented and verifiable chain-of-possession for ANY of the copies of the Zapruder film, or even the original itself. However, by working backwards to as close as possible to around 9 pm on the evening of the assassination, when Zapruder left Kodak with his original and copies, we can make what I can only describe as “educated guesses” about where each print of the film was at any given time. I know that isn’t what we would like, but it unfortunately seems as if that is all we will ever be able to do. Sorry for the length of this reply, David (et al), but I was working from memory and tried to include as much as I could remember, without getting into any of the authenticity issues. If you wish, I’ll try to answer any other questions you may have, but I must emphasize that my responses will only be good as my memory! Regards, Chris
  4. Mr. Harris: Can I just reiterate - from my own personal experience - that NOBODY knows of the existence and contents of every piece of paper in every file in NARA. I will add that even the originators of some of those documents themselves don't remember anything about them. I can give you a very recent specific example of this - the NARA staff copied a series of documents for me recently, and I subsequently contacted the originator of the documents through a third party in order to follow-up on the contents of the set of documents. The originator, who was a research attorney for the HSCA, has no recollection of the anything to do with the subject matter (which was of some serious interest to the HSCA), much less the contents of that specific series of documents. Contact with a member of the HSCA Panel which dealt with the issue, and with which the panel member in question had personal involvement, got the same reply - no recollection whatsoever! Take that in the context of the voluminous JFK assassination files at NARA, and it is a constant source of amazement to me that the under-resourced staff at NARA can find even half of what that do find. The record-keeping of such as the HSCA and ARRB was shamefully inadequate, incomplete and inept, and if Gary says he found a particular document, then I would have no reason whatsoever to doubt him. Just my tuppence-worth! Chris.
  5. Internal server Messages and other errors

    I've had the same message repeatedly for the past 45 minutes, but it seems to have cleared again.
  6. The Dual Life of Albert Osborne

    Yes - sorry I didn't make that clear.
  7. The Dual Life of Albert Osborne

    Jim: I've always suspected - but without any evidence to support it - that they might have been told to to keep quiet by someone. On the other hand, I understood Mr. McFarland was a top surgeon in the UK at the time, so he may have made the decision to keep his mouth shut of his own volition. Looks like another thing we will never know for certain. C.
  8. The Dual Life of Albert Osborne

    Good article, John, and thanks for bringing it to our attention, Jim. I can just add a small side-note to this story, which may be of some interest. In June 1976, I was living in England, and I decided to contact Dr. & Ms. McFarland, who were on the bus journey from Nuevo Laredo to Mexico City with Osborne and Oswald. In a letter to the McFarlands dated June 20, 1976, I asked them if they could identify a photo of one Fred Lee Crisman as the man who sat with Oswald on the bus - you may be aware that back then there was some discussion about Crisman, Osborne and Bowen possibly being one and the same person. Their reply, dated June 24 and signed on their behalf by someone whom I believe to have been Dr. McFarland's secretary, simply said that "Mr. and Mrs. McFarland have given their evidence with regard to this matter and have nothing further to add." I always thought it was a rather bland, formal and "official" reply ... ! Chris
  9. Anatomy Of A Second Floor Encounter

    Michael, As far as I can recall, and I'm reasonably certain of this, there was such a timing analysis done a number of years ago. I don't have it to hand right now, but I know I've seen such a document (and it wasn't Myers' study). Sorry I can't be more specific right now, but I will try to get more details for you in the next week, if that helps. Chris
  10. Alexandra Zapruder Book: Part 2

    George: If the camera-original film was at Life in Chicago well into the Saturday evening, as the evidence clearly suggests, then how could Dino Brugioni have been looking at a slit, 8mm film at NPIC around 10pm that same evening, and believe it to be the original? In addition, it is worth looking at exactly what Brugioni said in his interviews with Peter Janney in May 2009 and Doug Horne in July 2011: Peter Janney (PJ): There’s a paper trail a mile long of the film having been processed in Dallas (on Friday) … that’s where it gets confusing. Because your testimony is that the original arrived at NPIC the next day (Saturday), at 10 pm, and that there was no doubt about it, that it was an 8mm film, and that you were working with the original. Dino Brugioni (DB): I know it was an original because we all put on white gloves. PJ: But you don’t remember the Secret Service saying that they had come from Chicago, or Dallas, or Rochester? DB: No, no, no. ....... Doug Horne (DH): Dino, do you think you had an original home movie, or a copy? Dino Brugioni (DB): No doubt in my mind we had the original. DH: And why do you say that? DB: Because two reasons. One, the – the, eh, the fact that the Secret Service was bringing it in, and the second thing is when I looked at it – it, it was not processed in, in a typical commercial fashion. It [unclear, but sounds like “wasn’t”] in a box, a little box, or anything like, like that. It was very well controlled all the time. That film was controlled by the Secret Service all the time it was there. [Some discussion skipped] DH: Do you recall any image bleed-over … DB: No. DH: … between the sprocket holes? DB: No. DH: … OK. So, Dino Brugioni "knew it was an original because we all put on white gloves", the film was not in typical commercial packing, and because the Secret Service brought it to NPIC and were very protective of the film. It is also important to remember that he said he did not see any inter-sprocket imagery on the film he studied, which should have been the case if it were the original film. I am not suggesting for a single moment any dishonesty on the part of Mr. Brugioni, and I fully respect him as an expert in his field. However, I would suggest that his memory might be slightly at fault on this issue. Given that he was being asked about the detail of something that had happened over 40 years earlier, and that he was well advanced in years when he was first asked about the film, he may well have mis-remembered part of the details - it happens to all of us, I'm afraid. That is my take on the situation, however, but I do not claim to have a monopoly on the truth, so - while I firmly believe I'm correct - I accept that I could be wrong !!!
  11. Alexandra Zapruder Book: Part 2

    Hi, George: There is no evidence to show that the original film was at NPIC over the weekend of the assassination, and much evidence to indicate that it was not there. Zapruder had the original from Friday evening until Saturday morning, at which time he gave it to Life. It was then flown to Chicago, where three B&W copies were made as a first step. The frames they wanted to use in the November 29 issue were then identified, and prints were made in preparation for the magazine. The film was then damaged by a lab technician in Chicago, and it was send to Life headquarters in New York on the Sunday morning. My research into the history of the film indicated that the first copy that NPIC got was probably (almost certainly) one of the two copied that Zapruder delivered to the Secret Service office in Dallas late on the Friday night, and which they sent later that night to Headquarters - the second copy that went to NPIC was probably the second Secret Service copy, which the Dallas office had loaned to the FBI on Saturday morning, and which was then forwarded to FBI HQ by the FBI in Dallas on a commercial flight on Saturday afternoon. Chris
  12. Alexandra Zapruder Book: Part 2

    Jeff: Excellent article, very fair and balanced, as are your later comments in this post. Personally, I find it very frustrating to listen to this debate about how the film could have been "manipulated" by the CIA/FBI/Hawkeye on the night of the assassination, or early the next day. Zapruder didn't give the original film to Richard Stolley of Life until mid-Saturday morning, and Stolley sent it directly to Life in Chicago. Three black-and-white copies were made off the then-still-unslit camera-original film in Chicago that evening during the preparation for Life's November 29 issue, which actually appeared on the following Tuesday/Wednesday, as I recall, and in which some of those B&W frames appeared. It was not until after those three B&W copies were made that the well-known damage to the film was done by a Life lab technician in Chicago that same evening. In July 2011 I had the very great fortune to view and study one of those three copies, and I will happily go to meet my maker in the certain and unshakable belief that the film had not been altered or manipulated in any way at that time. Karl, you are absolutely correct - the ARRB failed/refused to conduct proper or effective tests suggested by Zavada on both the original film and on Zapruder's actual camera. Chris.
  13. Robert Hughes And The Cut Apart Policeman

    Robin: I wouldn't bother waiting for that apology - I suspect that we won't be hearing further from "Mr. Butler".
  14. Robert Hughes And The Cut Apart Policeman

    John: I am fully aware that I used a frame which was not the same as the frame you used. My point is (and was) that the officer at the corner of Main and Houston was "real", and not a "cut apart policeman", and was actually DPD Sgt. Harkness. The unstated basis for your claim that "my" frame was an edit and yours was not is, to say the very least, difficult to understand. There is an abundance of evidence (photographic and audio) to support the presence of Harkness at that corner at the relevant time. He was told by the radio dispatcher to set up his traffic control position a few minutes before the motorcade arrived; when the official cars had passed through the intersection, the Hughes film shows him crossing to street to his motorcycle, which was parked on the west side of Houston and is also visible in a few frames from the Hughes film; and he is then seen travelling down Main towards the Underpass in (IIRC) the Paschal film, and again in the Daniels film as the limo exits the west side of the underpass. Confirmation that he is indeed a Sergeant is found in the Hughes frame below, where his shoulder stripes are clearly visible. I have tried to be helpful to you and your research, but as you wish to persist in claiming that many/most of the assassination films have been altered, and ignoring all/any evidence which is contrary to that view, then I believe my efforts are and would continue to be in vain. Accordingly, I wish you well in your endeavours, but will not be responding or commenting further in this thread. Chris.