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Guest James H. Fetzer

SIX SECONDS IN DALLAS: Truth or Obfuscation?

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No, that's incorrect. The original film--plus one of the three Dallas duplicates--was in the hands of Time-Life starting with the sale that occurred on the morning of November 23, 1963, in accordance with a contract signed that morning, for $50,000. That contract was for print rights only. By Monday, November 25, a completely different contract was executed--an "all rights" deal (for $150,000) in which Time-Life took possession of the film, and owned all rights (i.e., motion picture rights). The payments would be (and were) made in $25,000 increments, on (or just after) the first of every year, out through January, 1968.

The film was only available--as a motion picture film--inside the offices of Time-Life, at the FBI, at the Secret Service, and at the offices of the Warren Commission.

UPI--as well as other news organizations--had some half dozen frames (in black and white)--on or around 11/28/63, and they were widely published in newspapers on that day and/or the next. As far as I know, UPI never had the Zapruder film as a motion picture film.

Nor was there ever any projection of the Zapruder film at a New York City theater at any time in 1964.

(FYI: Mark Lane was lecturing often to packed audiences at the Jan Hus theater in Manhattan at the time. Can you imagine if he could have told audiences to "go to such a such a theater, and watch the Zapruder film!" Sorry, not a chance.)

One other matter: the contracts showing the original Zapruder film price (of $50,000), plus the multi-page contract in which the price tripled, by Monday, November 25, 1963, were sent to me by Josiah Thompson around 1970. He obtained them in the course of the "discovery process" when he and his publiisher (Bernard Geis, the publisher of Six Seconds in Dallas) were sued for copyright infringement when Six Seconds published sketches of critical Zapruder frames (because Time -Life would not grant permission to run the actual photographs).

As readers of Pig on a Leash know, it was my possession of the Zapruder/Time-Life contract --with the revelation that the contract price had tripled from $50,000 to $150,000 (about $900k in today's money)--that so startled Mrs. Zapruder, when I spoke with her in November, 1971, and caused her to make the significant statements that she did. (See "Speak with Mrs. Zapruder" sub-section of "Pig on a Leash," in the Fetzer anthology about the Z film titled "The Great Zapruder Film Hoax.")

One other fyi: I had dozens of contacts with the ARRB (Horne, Gunn, and Marwell on occasion) because of their interest in BEST EVIDENCE and the fact that so many of the autopsy witnesses with whom I had prior contact (in the form of either interviews recorded on audio, or on film) were called to testify. A similar situation prevailed with respect to the Zapruder film. When they learned I had these contracts, plus the related affidavits filed by the personel at Kodak, attesting to the number of copies made from Z's original) they were most interested. On July 1, 1996, I sent in both contracts, along with a detailed memo analyzing the difference, and explaining the significance of of the tripling in price between November 23, 1963 and November 25, 1963. That memo is titled "Original vs. Final Agreement re Z film: 11/23/63 vs. 11/25/63," and I'm sure appears in the appropriate ARRB files. Lawyers love documents (of course) and I heard back that Marwell was "fascinated," Gunn was "delighted" etc. to have these materials. Subsequently, that submission--and others--led to my being called as a witness on 9/17/96, at the Los Angeles hearing, when I donated my special 35mm copy of the film, made directly from one of the Moe Weitzman "originals."

The entire situation with regard to these two contracts--and the tripling in the price between Saturday and Monday-- is discussed in Doug Horne's chapter 14, "The Zapruder Film Mystery," starting on page 1199 under the heading "The Sale of the Film." Unfortunately, no mention is made of the role I played in supplying the ARRB with these critical documents, and informing them about both the sale of the film (and how optical printing works, etc) but it was a significant one.

DSL

Will the poster please explain what movie theater showed the Zapruder film in 1964?

According to the record (as we now know it), the Z film was locked up tight as a drum at the offices of Time Life.

So I would be very interested in knowing the circumstances of its alleged projection at a New York City theater in 1964. Certainly, there was no media coverage of any such event.

Thanks.

DSL

It wasn't, at least not initially, even in the hands of Time-Life: UPI, Helms' pre-war outfit, had it.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...amp;hl=Muchmore

Paul

DSL_Memo_Re_Zapruder_Contracts__7_1_96_.pdf

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No, that's incorrect. The original film--plus one of the three Dallas duplicates--was in the hands of Time-Life starting with the sale that occurred on the morning of November 23, 1963, in accordance with a contract signed that morning, for $50,000. That contract was for print rights only. By Monday, November 25, a completely different contract was executed--an "all rights" deal (for $150,000) in which Time-Life took possession of the film, and owned all rights (i.e., motion picture rights). The payments would be (and were) made in $25,000 increments, on (or just after) the first of every year, out through January, 1968.

The film was only available--as a motion picture film--inside the offices of Time-Life, at the FBI, at the Secret Service, and at the offices of the Warren Commission.

UPI--as well as other news organizations--had some half dozen frames (in black and white)--on or around 11/28/63, and they were widely published in newspapers on that day and/or the next. As far as I know, UPI never had the Zapruder film as a motion picture film.

Nor was there ever any projection of the Zapruder film at a New York City theater at any time in 1964.

(FYI: Mark Lane was lecturing often to packed audiences at the Jan Hus theater in Manhattan at the time. Can you imagine if he could have told audiences to "go to such a such a theater, and watch the Zapruder film!" Sorry, not a chance.)

One other matter: the contracts showing the original Zapruder film price (of $50,000), plus the multi-page contract in which the price tripled, by Monday, November 25, 1963, were sent to me by Josiah Thompson around 1970. He obtained them in the course of the "discovery process" when he and his publiisher (Bernard Geis, the publisher of Six Seconds in Dallas) were sued for copyright infringement when Six Seconds published sketches of critical Zapruder frames (because Time -Life would not grant permission to run the actual photographs).

As readers of Pig on a Leash know, it was my possession of the Zapruder/Time-Life contract --with the revelation that the contract price had tripled from $50,000 to $150,000 (about $900k in today's money)--that so startled Mrs. Zapruder, when I spoke with her in November, 1971, and caused her to make the significant statements that she did. (See "Speak with Mrs. Zapruder" sub-section of "Pig on a Leash," in the Fetzer anthology about the Z film titled "The Great Zapruder Film Hoax.")

One other fyi: I had dozens of contacts with the ARRB (Horne, Gunn, and Marwell on occasion) because of their interest in BEST EVIDENCE and the fact that so many of the autopsy witnesses with whom I had prior contact (in the form of either interviews recorded on audio, or on film) were called to testify. A similar situation prevailed with respect to the Zapruder film. When they learned I had these contracts, plus the related affidavits filed by the personel at Kodak, attesting to the number of copies made from Z's original) they were most interested. On July 1, 1996, I sent in both contracts, along with a detailed memo analyzing the difference, and explaining the significance of of the tripling in price between November 23, 1963 and November 25, 1963. That memo is titled "Original vs. Final Agreement re Z film: 11/23/63 vs. 11/25/63," and I'm sure appears in the appropriate ARRB files. Lawyers love documents (of course) and I heard back that Marwell was "fascinated," Gunn was "delighted" etc. to have these materials. Subsequently, that submission--and others--led to my being called as a witness on 9/17/96, at the Los Angeles hearing, when I donated my special 35mm copy of the film, made directly from one of the Moe Weitzman "originals."

The entire situation with regard to these two contracts--and the tripling in the price between Saturday and Monday-- is discussed in Doug Horne's chapter 14, "The Zapruder Film Mystery," starting on page 1199 under the heading "The Sale of the Film." Unfortunately, no mention is made of the role I played in supplying the ARRB with these critical documents, and informing them about both the sale of the film (and how optical printing works, etc) but it was a significant one.

DSL

Will the poster please explain what movie theater showed the Zapruder film in 1964?

According to the record (as we now know it), the Z film was locked up tight as a drum at the offices of Time Life.

So I would be very interested in knowing the circumstances of its alleged projection at a New York City theater in 1964. Certainly, there was no media coverage of any such event.

Thanks.

DSL

It wasn't, at least not initially, even in the hands of Time-Life: UPI, Helms' pre-war outfit, had it.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...amp;hl=Muchmore

Paul

Pig On A Leash has been posted on another thread.

Doug Horne: Chapter 14 The Zapruder Film Mystery

The Sale of the Film

The official record shows that Zapruder went home late Friday night with his original film and with one of the three ‘first day copies’—the other two ‘first day copies’ had been loaned to the Secret

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Service. Zapruder would never see them again.

To make a long story short—the details can be found in Trask and Wrone—Zapruder sold his film to LIFE magazine twice: once on Saturday, November 23 for $ 50,000.00, rd and again on Monday,

November 25th, for a renegotiated figure of $ 150,000.00 (plus a future undetermined amount to be awarded to him following overseas licensing to foreign publications). To say that the renegotiation of the contract was highly unusual, just two days after its initial sale, at a much higher benefit to the seller and at a much higher cost to LIFE, the buyer, would be a gross understatement.

The two sales were engineered by Richard Stolley, LIFE magazine’s Pacific Coast regional editor in Los Angeles. He had flown to Dallas immediately after the assassination for just this purpose—to attempt to obtain photographic evidence of the assassination.

After protracted negotiations on Saturday morning, Zapruder agreed to a contract which read as follows:

In consideration of the sum of fifty thousand dollars ($ 50,000), I grant LIFE Magazine exclusive world wide print media rights to my original 8 mm color film which shows the shooting of President Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963. I retain all motion picturerights, but agree not to release the film for motion picture, television, newsreel, etc., use until Friday, Nov. 29, 1963. You agree to return to me the original print of that film, and I will then supply you with a copy print.

Notice that LIFE was to obtain only still picture rights, and that Zapruder was to retain all motion picture rights, with the only caveat being that he could not sell his film as a motion picture until Friday, November 29th, one week after the assassination. Furthermore, LIFE was to return the original to him (presumably on November 29th), at which time he was to give LIFE a copy of the film in exchange, for its further use in relation to printing still images of the film.

Something happened—something big—between Saturday and Monday, because on Monday, November 25th, two days later, after Zapruder’s attorney had gotten involved on Sunday, a new contract was negotiated. The new contract, signed on Monday, gave Zapruder $ 150,000.00 (vice $ 50,000.00), in exchange for the following changes:

This will confirm agreement reached with your authorized representative, Richard B. Stolley, during the past few days wherein I have agreed to sell, transfer and assign to Time, Inc. all my right, title and interest (whether domestic, foreign, newsreel, television, motion picture or otherwise) in and to my original and all three (3) copies of 8 mm color films which show the shooting of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963.

You acknowledge receipt through your agent of the original and one (1) copy thereof, and it is understood that there are two (2) other copies, one (1) of which is with the Secret Service in Dallas, Texas, and one (1) copy of which is with the Secret Service in Washington, D.C.

I have the assurance and agreement of the Secret Service that the copies in their possession are to be released only to me, and I agree that I shall, immediately upon receipt of same,

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deliver same to your office or to such of your authorized representatives as you designate, or I will agree to sign any authorization allowing same to be delivered directly to you.

The payment schedule was for $ 25,000.00 in cash immediately (which Zapruder, fearful of an anti-Semitic backlash, immediately donated to the widow of slain Dallas policeman J.D. Tippit, on the advice of his lawyer), and for the remaining $ 125,000.00 to be paid in installments of $ 25,000.00 annually, on every January 3 for five consecutive years, commencing rd on January 3, 1964 through January 3, 1968, inclusive. Additionally, the contract stated that LIFE would pay to Zapruder an amount equal to one half of all gross receipts for the use of the film (including foreign publication) above and beyond the sum of $ 150,000.00—in other words, Zapruder was to get one half of all gross receipts for Time, Inc.’s use of the film after Time, Inc. had recovered the original purchase price. These additional payments were to be received by Zapruder in amounts not to exceed $ 25,000.00 per year, commencing annually on January 3, 1969 and thereafter.

The letter which stipulated the terms and conditions of the contract was addressed to “Mr. C. D. Jackson, Publisher, LIFE Magazine,” about whom we shall have more to say presently.

On the same date, Zapruder signed another letter to C. D. Jackson, which forwarded to LIFE five typed affidavits dated November 22, 1963 (four from the employees at the Dallas Eastman Kodak plant and one from an employee at the Jamieson Film Company) detailing the provenance of the original film and its three ‘first day copies.’ (The details of these affidavits will be discussed later in this chapter during our examination of authenticity issues.)

It has always been unclear to me whether the affidavits were actually prepared on the day of the assassination, or whether they were prepared by Zapruder’s lawyer on Monday, and backdated. The point is really moot—they were considered essential to proving that Time, Inc. was purchasing genuine merchandise, and in the process of the preparation of these affidavits, key employees actually involved with the developing of the camera original, the exposure of the three ‘first day copies,’ and the developing of those ‘first day copies,’ attested to basic facts about the processing which would prove essential years later to studying the film’s provenance and authenticity....

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One other matter: the contracts showing the original Zapruder film price (of $50,000), plus the multi-page contract in which the price tripled, by Monday, November 25, 1963, were sent to me by Josiah Thompson around 1970. He obtained them in the course of the "discovery process" when he and his publiisher (Bernard Geis, the publisher of Six Seconds in Dallas) were sued for copyright infringement when Six Seconds published sketches of critical Zapruder frames (because Time -Life would not grant permission to run the actual photographs).

So, David, is it fair to assume from this that you do not question Thompson's motive in writing SSID, and consider it a sincere investigation, as opposed to an obfuscation?

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I never questioned Thompson's motives in writing Six Seconds. It is all to easy to return to a situation decades later and say, Why didn't you connect the dots this way or that? etc. Of course, that is separate and apart from the issue of why, decades later, Thompson STILL takes some of the positions he does.

So I think its important to distinguish between the validity (or invalidity) of a position he might take today, in 2010, and the sincerity of his motives in 1966.

Viewing things retrospectively, its all too easy to conjure up "mal intent".

One other matter, and this has to do with the Z frames: as I understand it, the Z frames--as published (in Volume 18)--only go out to frame 334.

The stunning picture of JFK's head--with the so-called "exit wound" on the forward right hand side is at 335, and then another such "clear frame" is 337.

Those two frames played an important role in my own development, and I'm not sure they are in the original slide set. In other words, you'd have to have had tne film--in 35mm format--to readily "see" them.

Once I saw those frames--on a 35mm film at the Beverly Hills office of Time Life in June 1970 (as described in "Pig on a Leash")--I was fairly well convinced that the so called "wounds" were artwork.

Now addressing the situation of "what Thompson knew and when he knew it" --circa 1966--he would, of course, have frame 313, which shows a big red blob (but what does one make of that, in isolation?), and yes, he would have the McClelland drawing. But I don't think the "optical evidence" is necessarily the key thing here.

The question is: how come Thompson had the McLelland diagram, on the one hand (showing an exit at the back of the head) and the autopsy report, with its exit towards the right hand side, and put them together and call that a "double head hit"--rather than realize they were different descriptions on the time line? I closed my Chapter 13 in Best Evidence (on the head wounds) by pointing out the error THompson made, by omitting the time factor, and not realizing that these two descriptions were different. And I quote that paragraph again, in Pig on a Leash, in a section titled 'Thompson's Blunder."

Now, returning to 2010: do I think he was wrong? Yes.

Do I think he set out to obfuscate? No.

Truly, I believe he just didn't "get it."

I would like Thompson to have been the kind of guy who--like Doug Horne--had a "paradigm shift" upon reading Best Evidence (Jan., 1981) and realizing the wound descriptions were different at Parkland and at Bethesda. Instead, he stubbornly sticks to a position that, in my opinion, is provably wrong.

I don't think you can fake that kind of stubborness.

I recall a story LBJ used to tell about someone who was hitting a mule over the head with a two by four. And the person swinging the 2 by 4 was questioned about his behavior, and the question was "Why?"

And the response was; "I'm trying to get his attention."

Well, that's how I feel about the futility of getting Tink to come around on these fundamental questions.

(Apologies, Tink. . but it really has been frustrating).

But I still appreciate his having supplied me with all those films (Bell, Hughes, etc., back around 1969), and the Life/Zapruder contracts, etc.--even though, today, I disagree with him on many points.

DSL

One other matter: the contracts showing the original Zapruder film price (of $50,000), plus the multi-page contract in which the price tripled, by Monday, November 25, 1963, were sent to me by Josiah Thompson around 1970. He obtained them in the course of the "discovery process" when he and his publiisher (Bernard Geis, the publisher of Six Seconds in Dallas) were sued for copyright infringement when Six Seconds published sketches of critical Zapruder frames (because Time -Life would not grant permission to run the actual photographs).

So, David, is it fair to assume from this that you do not question Thompson's motive in writing SSID, and consider it a sincere investigation, as opposed to an obfuscation?

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Guest James H. Fetzer

It troubles me is that Josiah Thompson, in January 2010, still appears to have not read THE GREAT ZARPUDER FILM HOAX (2003), which includes a very detailed report about Rich DellaRosa's viewing of this film on three occasions. No one who has actually read it would be inclined to make the absurd suggestion that he (Rich) was talking about a version from "Executive Action"! What kind of scholar would have not read the most important book on film fakery or have not studied a witness report like DellaRosa's?

Moreover, it is stunning that he does not appear to be aware of some of the blatant disproofs of the film's authenticity, such as "More Proof of JFK Film Fakery" and "Zapruder JFK Film impeached by Moorman JFK Polaroid", not to mention the confirmation of Roderick Ryan's observation that the back of the head wound had been painted over in black and that the "blob" and blood spray were painted in that Horne has reported, which has now been confirmed by seven Hollywood experts--eight counting Ryan!

Josiah Thompson was in a unique position among students of JFK in having access to the very best versions of the film held by LIFE magazine. He was aware of the Parkland physicians' reports, some of which he discusses, including the McClelland diagram, and Offier Hargis' report was hit so hard by debris that thought he himself had been shot. Yet he does not make a point of the inconsistency of the medical evidence with the film, in spite of its blatancy. He is not being candid; he had to have know better.

When you notice that (1) he does not use frames from the film but sketches (allegedly because of a breech of contract with LIFE, that (2) he does not provide sketches of the crucial frames (314, 315, and 315), that (3) his sketch of 313, which was unavoidable, does not include the crucial feature of the "blob" bulging out to the right-front, they together suggest rather strongly that (4) SIX SECONDS was designed to defect attention from the contradiction between the medical evidence and the film.

For him to imply that the conclusion the film has been faked is a "tribal belief"--as though it had no foundation in logic or evidence--exemplifies the inflexible and irrational stance he has adopted. No matter how strong the proof, no matter how many experts on film conclude no only has the film been faked but the fakery was amateurish in the extreme, Josiah Thompson will not budge. There are not many alternative explanations for such a stand, under these conditions, and none is flattering to him.

Even under the most charitable interpretation, which David Lifton extends, surely Josiah Thompson has an obligation to explain to us where he stands on these issues today. That is the least he should do. That he continues to bob and weave and duck and run when he is confronted with the enormous discrepancy between the McClelland diagram and the Zapruder fillm--not to mention that his attempts to explain away his previous commitment to the "double hit" do not add up. He is not being candid with us. Why not?

Why did he not provide sketches of frames 314, 315, and 316? Why was his sketch of the crucial frame 313 opaque with regard to the "blob"? When he published, he believed in the "double hit" and that there was unambiguous evidence of a shot from the front. Given his study of the film, how can he ignore the massive evidence that has been adduced that the film is a fabrication? How, given his massively arrogant attitude, which has no rational justification, can anyone doubt that his role is that of obfuscationist extraodrinaire?

I never questioned Thompson's motives in writing Six Seconds. It is all to easy to return to a situation decades later and say, Why didn't you connect the dots this way or that? etc. Of course, that is separate and apart from the issue of why, decades later, Thompson STILL takes some of the positions he does.

So I think its important to distinguish between the validity (or invalidity) of a position he might take today, in 2010, and the sincerity of his motives in 1966.

Viewing things retrospectively, its all too easy to conjure up "mal intent".

One other matter, and this has to do with the Z frames: as I understand it, the Z frames--as published (in Volume 18)--only go out to frame 334.

The stunning picture of JFK's head--with the so-called "exit wound" on the forward right hand side is at 335, and then another such "clear frame" is 337.

Those two frames played an important role in my own development, and I'm not sure they are in the original slide set. In other words, you'd have to have had tne film--in 35mm format--to readily "see" them.

Once I saw those frames--on a 35mm film at the Beverly Hills office of Time Life in June 1970 (as described in "Pig on a Leash")--I was fairly well convinced that the so called "wounds" were artwork.

Now addressing the situation of "what Thompson knew and when he knew it" --circa 1966--he would, of course, have frame 313, which shows a big red blob (but what does one make of that, in isolation?), and yes, he would have the McClelland drawing. But I don't think the "optical evidence" is necessarily the key thing here.

The question is: how come Thompson had the McLelland diagram, on the one hand (showing an exit at the back of the head) and the autopsy report, with its exit towards the right hand side, and put them together and call that a "double head hit"--rather than realize they were different descriptions on the time line? I closed my Chapter 13 in Best Evidence (on the head wounds) by pointing out the error THompson made, by omitting the time factor, and not realizing that these two descriptions were different. And I quote that paragraph again, in Pig on a Leash, in a section titled 'Thompson's Blunder."

Now, returning to 2010: do I think he was wrong? Yes.

Do I think he set out to obfuscate? No.

Truly, I believe he just didn't "get it."

I would like Thompson to have been the kind of guy who--like Doug Horne--had a "paradigm shift" upon reading Best Evidence (Jan., 1981) and realizing the wound descriptions were different at Parkland and at Bethesda. Instead, he stubbornly sticks to a position that, in my opinion, is provably wrong.

I don't think you can fake that kind of stubborness.

I recall a story LBJ used to tell about someone who was hitting a mule over the head with a two by four. And the person swinging the 2 by 4 was questioned about his behavior, and the question was "Why?"

And the response was; "I'm trying to get his attention."

Well, that's how I feel about the futility of getting Tink to come around on these fundamental questions.

(Apologies, Tink. . but it really has been frustrating).

But I still appreciate his having supplied me with all those films (Bell, Hughes, etc., back around 1969), and the Life/Zapruder contracts, etc.--even though, today, I disagree with him on many points.

DSL

One other matter: the contracts showing the original Zapruder film price (of $50,000), plus the multi-page contract in which the price tripled, by Monday, November 25, 1963, were sent to me by Josiah Thompson around 1970. He obtained them in the course of the "discovery process" when he and his publiisher (Bernard Geis, the publisher of Six Seconds in Dallas) were sued for copyright infringement when Six Seconds published sketches of critical Zapruder frames (because Time -Life would not grant permission to run the actual photographs).

So, David, is it fair to assume from this that you do not question Thompson's motive in writing SSID, and consider it a sincere investigation, as opposed to an obfuscation?

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Guest James H. Fetzer

I quoted the paragraph in full in an earlier post on another thread, which, apparently, like so many others, you didn't bother to read or are now misrepresenting. What I would like to know--given you are making so much of it--is this: Is this not the same paragraph that led Vincent Salandria to conclude that you were a government agent? He has written that he was so outraged by your dismissive attitude that he confronted you personally and accused you of whitewashing the case. What I want to know is whether you are prepared to admit that this paragraph has raised the most serious doubts about your integrity, not only in my mind but also in the minds of other qualified students of JFK. If it was not this paragraph, kindly quote the one that so upset him. Thank you.

I hope this might be relevant to your post, Mr. Cohen.

Professor Fetzer concludes a confused blast against me on another thread by writing, “How could he possibly conclude his book by asserting, ‘It does not prove that the assassination was a conspiracy?’ I think Tink owes us an explanation.”

Here’s the explanation.

The quote does not come from the conclusion of Six Seconds but from a catch-all chapter entitled, “Answered and Unanswered Questions.” He pulled one sentence out of a larger quote that makes clear what is being said.

The book ends with a chapter called “The Warren Report.” This chapter summarizes the points made earlier against the background of the Warren Report. The book ends with this summary paragraph:

"This book has attempted to perform a task of archaeology, to lay bare a whole level of contradictory evidence buried beneath the facile conclusions of the Commission’s Report. This evidence (much of it never published) was either ignored, disregarded, or misrepresented by the Commission. Now it has been brought to light. If its introduction makes necessary the emergence of new conclusions, then so be it." (213)

This was then followed by a catch-all Chapter X entitled “Answered and Unanswered Questions.” This chapter picked up the various pieces of information learned over the course of writing the book that could find no place in the books structure. The questions were things like, “Are the ‘missing frames’ from the Zapurder film still missing?” “Was the rifle found in the TSBD a Mauser or a Mannlicher-Carcano?” “Were the President’s coat and shirt bunched at the time he was struck in the back?” “Does the Altgens photo show Oswald or Billy Joe Lovelady in the doorway of the TSBD?” “Who is the ‘umbrella man’?” “Who owned the jacket discarded by Officer J.D. Tippit’s assailant?” “Which shot caused the ‘Tague hit.?” This chapter then ends with a sixteen-page discussion of whether Oswald shot the President. Included in this section are numerous witness reports I discovered in the Archives detailing movements of various people near the Depository. The last several pages of this section are devoted to enlargements from the Hughes film and Weaver photo concerning the vexed question of whether in the film and photo the outlines of two people can be seen near the sixth floor corner window. The chapter ends with a short paragraph commenting on the miscellaneous evidence put forward in the final sixteen page section:

What does this collection of new evidence prove? It does not prove that the assassination was a conspiracy and that two men were together on the sixth floor of the Depository at the time the shots were fired. Nor does it prove Oswald’s innocence. What it does suggest is that there are threads in this case that should have been unraveled long ago instead of being swept under the Archives rug. It also shows that the question of Oswald’s guilt must remain – nearly four years after the event – still unanswered. (246)

The sentence that Professor Fetzer wants to make much of could have been written just as well as “It does not prove that the assassination was a conspiracy because two men were together on the sixth floor of the of the Depository at the time the shots were fired.” Then this closing paragraph of the section refers back to the topic of the section, “Did Lee Harvey Oswald shoot the President?” The last sentence of the paragraph affirms that that question “must remain – nearly four years after the event – still unanswered.”

By cutting off the front of a sentence from its tail, Fetzer wants to press the idea that I said in Six Seconds that I hadn’t shown a conspiracy in the death of John Kennedy. What I said was that the photo and ancillary evidence concerning two men at the sixth floor window was not dispositive whether a conspiracy existed and whether Oswald was innocent. This statement remains as true today as it was in 1967.

A final word. It is difficult now to get back into the ambience 1967. I can say only that I made a determined effort to write toned-down prose with a scholarly edge to it. Given the temper of the times and the often shrill claims of assassination related writings, a quieter, more objective, more scholarly approach seemed better. But that tone should not mislead anyone as to the robust and serious aim of the book. It was to show that the best reconstruction that can be made of the event shows that shooters fired from three locations. Does this mean a conspiracy was involved in the assassination? Are you kidding?

Josiah Thompson

>Taking a fresh look at SSID, which I am now doing, it is occurring to me that it might be valuable to ask whether or not this book was intended as some sort of >limited hang-out for the CTs, appearing to give new information but concealing more than it revealed.

I must say I am somewhat taken aback by the accusations being leveled at Josiah Thompson on this board over the past several days. Pamela, are you actually suggesting that Thompson intentionally tried to deceive his readers with "Six Seconds in Dallas?" What could possibly be the point of giving "new information but concealing more than it revealed?" What a waste of time! And do we really expect him to have to stand by every claim or theory he espoused 40 years ago? Isn't it possible that he simply made some mistakes, without there being some sinister overtone in play?

Edited by James H. Fetzer

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>Taking a fresh look at SSID, which I am now doing, it is occurring to me that it might be valuable to ask whether or not this book was intended as some sort of >limited hang-out for the CTs, appearing to give new information but concealing more than it revealed.

I must say I am somewhat taken aback by the accusations being leveled at Josiah Thompson on this board over the past several days. Pamela, are you actually suggesting that Thompson intentionally tried to deceive his readers with "Six Seconds in Dallas?" What could possibly be the point of giving "new information but concealing more than it revealed?" What a waste of time! And do we really expect him to have to stand by every claim or theory he espoused 40 years ago? Isn't it possible that he simply made some mistakes, without there being some sinister overtone in play?

I am asking questions.

SSID provided sketches to the Z-film at a time when most of it, in any clear version, was being suppressed. Tink was by his own admission on p.217 working with Mr. George Hunt, Managing Editor of LIFE, for example, in publishing the 'missing frames' for the first time...p. 217 he says "...before WE came into possession of the original print" (caps mine). I am asking if there was an agenda to draw CTs in by presenting sketches of some of the earlier frames while 'ignoring' blatant anomaly of the film that they were aware of because of their close association with it (when this relationship was denied to most of the rest of us).

In addition, as Jim Fetzer has pointed out, whereas there is considerable focus on the earlier frames of the Z-film, there is virtually no attention paid to the critical fatal headshot sequence in the Z-film. Instead, our attention is drawn away to the Nix film. Why is that? Why are there no sketches of the fatal headshot sequence?

The question I am asking is whether these issues are simply lapses, or oversights, or the result of something more deliberate -- giving researchers bits and pieces of things they had not had before while withholding the fact that they all knew the Z-film had been altered and that it was for this reason being suppressed and dribbled out in little 'safe' little bits.

Edited by Pamela McElwain-Brown

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No, that's incorrect. The original film--plus one of the three Dallas duplicates--was in the hands of Time-Life starting with the sale that occurred on the morning of November 23, 1963, in accordance with a contract signed that morning, for $50,000. That contract was for print rights only. By Monday, November 25, a completely different contract was executed--an "all rights" deal (for $150,000) in which Time-Life took possession of the film, and owned all rights (i.e., motion picture rights). The payments would be (and were) made in $25,000 increments, on (or just after) the first of every year, out through January, 1968.

The film was only available--as a motion picture film--inside the offices of Time-Life, at the FBI, at the Secret Service, and at the offices of the Warren Commission.

UPI--as well as other news organizations--had some half dozen frames (in black and white)--on or around 11/28/63, and they were widely published in newspapers on that day and/or the next. As far as I know, UPI never had the Zapruder film as a motion picture film.

UPI had the Z film, and it was shown on US TV, most notably on New York's WNEW-TV in the early hours of November 26:

The Valley Independent, (Monessen, Pennsylvania), Tuesday, November 26, 1963, Page 5

Film Showing Assassination Is Released

NEW YORK (UPI) — United Press International Newsfilm early today was first on the air with exclusive film showing the assassination of President Kennedy.

The film is 16mm enlarged from 8mm. It was shown on a New York City television station.

The sequence, shot by an amateur photographer in Dallas Friday, begins with motorcycle police coming around the corner followed by the Kennedy motorcade.

The President is then seen leaning over when the bullets strike. Mrs. Kennedy puts her right arm around the President and he slumps out of view. The film then shows a Secret Service agent running toward the car.

The film was shown in slow motion and also stopped at key points in the assassination. The scene was shown four times at different speeds and under different magnifications.

Copies have been rushed to United Press Newsfilm clients all over the world.

Same despatch:

1. “Exclusive Films Show Shooting of Kennedy in Dallas,” Logansport Pharos-Tribune, (Logansport, Indiana), Tuesday, November 26, 1963, Page 2

2. “UPI Newsfilm First On Air With Exclusive,” Great Bend Daily Tribune, (Great Bend, Kansas), Tuesday, November 26, 1963, Page 9

3. “UPI Newsfilm Has Shooting On Film,” Humboldt Standard, (Eureka, California), Tuesday, November 26, 1963, p.2

Richard K. Doan, “Now the Task of Righting Upset Schedules,” New York Herald Tribune, 27 November 1963, section 1, p.21:

“WNEW-TV (Channel 5) claimed it was the first TV station in the country to televise an amateur photographer’s film footage of President Kennedy’s assassination. The film was distributed by United Press International and aired by Channel 5 at 12:46 a.m. yesterday.”

Elsewhere in the US:

Milwaukee Journal, November 26, 1963, part 1, p.3

"Movie Film Depicts Shooting of Kennedy”

Dallas, Tex.-AP - A strip of color movie film graphically depicting the assassination of President Kennedy was made by a Dallas clothing manufacturer with an 8 millimeter camera.

Several persons in Dallas who have seen the film, which lasts about 15 seconds, say it clearly shows how the president was hit in the head with shattering force by the second of two bullets fired by the assassin.

Life magazine reportedly purchased still picture rights to the material for about $40,000.

"The film also was being distributed by United Press International Newsfilms to subscribing stations. WITI-TV in Milwaukee is a subscriber, but will reserve judgment on whether to show the film until after its officials have viewed it."

This is what the film by Abe Zapruder is reported to show:

First the presidential limousine is coming toward the camera. As it comes abreast of the photographer, Mr. Kennedy is hit by the first bullet, apparently in the neck. He turns toward his wife Jacqueline, seated at his left, and she quickly begins to put her hands around his head.

At the same time, Texas Gov. John Connally, riding directly in front of the president, turns around to see what has happened.

Then Mr. Kennedy is hit on the upper right side of the back of his head with violent force. His head goes forward and then snaps back, and he slumps down on the seat.

At this time, Gov. Connolly is wounded and drops forward on his seat.

Mrs. Kennedy then jumps up and crawls across the back deck of the limousine, apparently seeking the aid of a secret service man who has been trotting behind the slowly moving vehicle. He jumps onto the car and shoves Mrs. Kennedy back into the seat. Then he orders the driver to speed to the hospital where the president died.

The elapsed time from the moment when Mr. Kennedy is first struck until the car disappears in an underpass is about five seconds."

Mark Lane?

Nor was there ever any projection of the Zapruder film at a New York City theater at any time in 1964.

(FYI: Mark Lane was lecturing often to packed audiences at the Jan Hus theater in Manhattan at the time. Can you imagine if he could have told audiences to "go to such a such a theater, and watch the Zapruder film!" Sorry, not a chance.)

”A motion picture taken of the President just before, during, and after the shooting, and demonstrated on television showed that the President was looking directly ahead when the first shot, which entered his throat, was fired. A series of still pictures taken from the motion picture and published in Life magazine on Nov. 29 show show exactly the same situation.”

from Mark Lane’s Defense Brief for Oswald, published by the National Guardian, 19 December 1963

http://karws.gso.uri.edu/jfk/The_critics/L...l_Guardian.html

Paul

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My replies are in bold-face:

>Taking a fresh look at SSID, which I am now doing, it is occurring to me that it might be valuable to ask whether or not this book was intended as some sort of >limited hang-out for the CTs, appearing to give new information but concealing more than it revealed.

I must say I am somewhat taken aback by the accusations being leveled at Josiah Thompson on this board over the past several days. Pamela, are you actually suggesting that Thompson intentionally tried to deceive his readers with "Six Seconds in Dallas?" What could possibly be the point of giving "new information but concealing more than it revealed?" What a waste of time! And do we really expect him to have to stand by every claim or theory he espoused 40 years ago? Isn't it possible that he simply made some mistakes, without there being some sinister overtone in play?

I am asking questions.

SSID provided sketches to the Z-film at a time when most of it, in any clear version, was being suppressed. Tink was by his own admission on p.217 working with Mr. George Hunt, Managing Editor of LIFE, for example, in publishing the 'missing frames' for the first time...p. 217 he says "...before WE came into possession of the original print" (caps mine). I am asking if there was an agenda to draw CTs in by presenting sketches of some of the earlier frames while 'ignoring' blatant anomaly of the film that they were aware of because of their close association with it (when this relationship was denied to most of the rest of us).

What? By 1967, it had been discovered that certain frames were missing from the original copy of the Zapruder film. The controversy over the socalled "missing frames" was a needless distraction to everyone since the three first day copies had the frames intact. LIFE gave me copies of the frames to publish, and, if memory serves, gave them other news sources. So what?

In addition, as Jim Fetzer has pointed out, whereas there is considerable focus on the earlier frames of the Z-film, there is virtually no attention paid to the critical fatal headshot sequence in the Z-film. [Open your eyes, the fatal headshot sequence is the subject of a whole chapter with measurements, graphs, witness reports, and sketches.] our attention is drawn away to the Nix film. Why is that? Why are there no sketches of the fatal headshot sequence? Because the argument presented did not require them.

The question I am asking is whether these issues are simply lapses, or oversights, or the result of something more deliberate -- giving researchers bits and pieces of things they had not had before while withholding the fact that they all knew the Z-film had been altered and that it was for this reason being suppressed and dribbled out in little 'safe' little bits.

[A few months ago, Barb Junkarrinen, Jerry Logan and I published on this site an article on the damage to the limousine windshield. We agreed with your conclusion that there was no through-and-through hole. Strangely enough, you started taking us to task with criticism of irrelevant details. We also pointed out new information with respect to several of your witnesses, information that changes radically how you would interpret what these witnesses say. Is this payback for showing that you weren't the all-knowing guru of the windshield story? Do you always lapse into character assassination under similar circumstances?]

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I think almost everything David says here is correct. It also demonstrates how two critics, guys who have studied this case for forty years, can disagree about evidentiary matters without falling to the level of insult, inuendo and downright falsehood practiced by Professor Fetzer.

David made the correct point that in the chapter on the double head shot that contains the McClelland diagram, I took the descriptions from Parkland showing a wound in the back of the head as describing the effects of the hit from the right front. The autopsy report and what we knew of Bethesda observations I took to be describing the shot from the rear. All this is stated explicitly in the last paragraph of that chapter.

David, you say I just don't "get it." I might turn the tables and send it back to you. What you don't get is that the Zapruder film is confirmed as authentic by the photo record of Dealey Plaza that constitutes a self-authenticating whole. From the beginning, the Zapruder film has been the central evidence used to show that shots came from more than one direction. That claim is the threshold claim in any study of the assassination. From the beginning, that claim has been supported by the Zapruder film.

I sure wish you would "get it." But until that time I look forward to having the kind of civil and informative discussion we've had this last week.

Tink

I never questioned Thompson's motives in writing Six Seconds. It is all to easy to return to a situation decades later and say, Why didn't you connect the dots this way or that? etc. Of course, that is separate and apart from the issue of why, decades later, Thompson STILL takes some of the positions he does.

So I think its important to distinguish between the validity (or invalidity) of a position he might take today, in 2010, and the sincerity of his motives in 1966.

Viewing things retrospectively, its all too easy to conjure up "mal intent".

One other matter, and this has to do with the Z frames: as I understand it, the Z frames--as published (in Volume 18)--only go out to frame 334.

The stunning picture of JFK's head--with the so-called "exit wound" on the forward right hand side is at 335, and then another such "clear frame" is 337.

Those two frames played an important role in my own development, and I'm not sure they are in the original slide set. In other words, you'd have to have had tne film--in 35mm format--to readily "see" them.

Once I saw those frames--on a 35mm film at the Beverly Hills office of Time Life in June 1970 (as described in "Pig on a Leash")--I was fairly well convinced that the so called "wounds" were artwork.

Now addressing the situation of "what Thompson knew and when he knew it" --circa 1966--he would, of course, have frame 313, which shows a big red blob (but what does one make of that, in isolation?), and yes, he would have the McClelland drawing. But I don't think the "optical evidence" is necessarily the key thing here.

The question is: how come Thompson had the McLelland diagram, on the one hand (showing an exit at the back of the head) and the autopsy report, with its exit towards the right hand side, and put them together and call that a "double head hit"--rather than realize they were different descriptions on the time line? I closed my Chapter 13 in Best Evidence (on the head wounds) by pointing out the error THompson made, by omitting the time factor, and not realizing that these two descriptions were different. And I quote that paragraph again, in Pig on a Leash, in a section titled 'Thompson's Blunder."

Now, returning to 2010: do I think he was wrong? Yes.

Do I think he set out to obfuscate? No.

Truly, I believe he just didn't "get it."

I would like Thompson to have been the kind of guy who--like Doug Horne--had a "paradigm shift" upon reading Best Evidence (Jan., 1981) and realizing the wound descriptions were different at Parkland and at Bethesda. Instead, he stubbornly sticks to a position that, in my opinion, is provably wrong.

I don't think you can fake that kind of stubborness.

I recall a story LBJ used to tell about someone who was hitting a mule over the head with a two by four. And the person swinging the 2 by 4 was questioned about his behavior, and the question was "Why?"

And the response was; "I'm trying to get his attention."

Well, that's how I feel about the futility of getting Tink to come around on these fundamental questions.

(Apologies, Tink. . but it really has been frustrating).

But I still appreciate his having supplied me with all those films (Bell, Hughes, etc., back around 1969), and the Life/Zapruder contracts, etc.--even though, today, I disagree with him on many points.

DSL

One other matter: the contracts showing the original Zapruder film price (of $50,000), plus the multi-page contract in which the price tripled, by Monday, November 25, 1963, were sent to me by Josiah Thompson around 1970. He obtained them in the course of the "discovery process" when he and his publiisher (Bernard Geis, the publisher of Six Seconds in Dallas) were sued for copyright infringement when Six Seconds published sketches of critical Zapruder frames (because Time -Life would not grant permission to run the actual photographs).

So, David, is it fair to assume from this that you do not question Thompson's motive in writing SSID, and consider it a sincere investigation, as opposed to an obfuscation?

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>Taking a fresh look at SSID, which I am now doing, it is occurring to me that it might be valuable to ask whether or not this book was intended as some sort of >limited hang-out for the CTs, appearing to give new information but concealing more than it revealed.

I must say I am somewhat taken aback by the accusations being leveled at Josiah Thompson on this board over the past several days. Pamela, are you actually suggesting that Thompson intentionally tried to deceive his readers with "Six Seconds in Dallas?" What could possibly be the point of giving "new information but concealing more than it revealed?" What a waste of time! And do we really expect him to have to stand by every claim or theory he espoused 40 years ago? Isn't it possible that he simply made some mistakes, without there being some sinister overtone in play?

I am asking questions.

SSID provided sketches to the Z-film at a time when most of it, in any clear version, was being suppressed. Tink was by his own admission on p.217 working with Mr. George Hunt, Managing Editor of LIFE, for example, in publishing the 'missing frames' for the first time...p. 217 he says "...before WE came into possession of the original print" (caps mine). I am asking if there was an agenda to draw CTs in by presenting sketches of some of the earlier frames while 'ignoring' blatant anomaly of the film that they were aware of because of their close association with it (when this relationship was denied to most of the rest of us).

In addition, as Jim Fetzer has pointed out, whereas there is considerable focus on the earlier frames of the Z-film, there is virtually no attention paid to the critical fatal headshot sequence in the Z-film. Instead, our attention is drawn away to the Nix film. Why is that? Why are there no sketches of the fatal headshot sequence?

The question I am asking is whether these issues are simply lapses, or oversights, or the result of something more deliberate -- giving researchers bits and pieces of things they had not had before while withholding the fact that they all knew the Z-film had been altered and that it was for this reason being suppressed and dribbled out in little 'safe' little bits.

Pamela, what you and Jim seem to be missing is that, if you are gonna launch this "You knew the film didn't match the descriptions of the witnesses, and yet you failed to discuss the possibility it was fake--and that makes you suspect" argument at Thompson, you should also extend it to Groden and Lifton, at the very least. Both of them had copies of the Z-film when they wrote their massively influential books. Both of them were well aware of the drawing based on McClelland's statements and the statements of the other Parkland witnesses. And yet, pardon me if I'm mistaken, neither of them included chapters in their books about Z-film alteration.

And why should have they? Lifton was focused on the possibility of body alteration. Groden was focused on the Z-film and the possibility of autopsy photo alteration; he even proposed that the Z-film DID show a blow-out on the back of Kennedy's head.

This second-guessing of Thompson's intentions is just silly, IMO. If his goal was to obfuscate the possibility Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy, why did he propose, and convince untold thousands, Kennedy was killed by multiple assassins? It's not as if someone was about to publish a book claiming the Z-film was fake, and that this proved conspiracy, but was denied publication because Tink's book was published.

Or are you and the Professor arguing that the "THEY" Thompson was working for was unconcerned with the climate of 1967 and 1968 and more than willing to allow thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people to slip further into the conspiracy camp in hopes that the long-term effects of Thompson's book would undermine the articles and books on Z-film alteration sure to come out in 30 years or so?

Because, if so, well... YIKES, that's wacky. The "THEY" of which I am aware is extremely short-sighted, and willing to move bullet wound locations and tell lies about the orientation of autopsy photos in order to shut down discussion in the short term, even though it would undermine their credibility in the long term.

Edited by Pat Speer

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>Taking a fresh look at SSID, which I am now doing, it is occurring to me that it might be valuable to ask whether or not this book was intended as some sort of >limited hang-out for the CTs, appearing to give new information but concealing more than it revealed.

I must say I am somewhat taken aback by the accusations being leveled at Josiah Thompson on this board over the past several days. Pamela, are you actually suggesting that Thompson intentionally tried to deceive his readers with "Six Seconds in Dallas?" What could possibly be the point of giving "new information but concealing more than it revealed?" What a waste of time! And do we really expect him to have to stand by every claim or theory he espoused 40 years ago? Isn't it possible that he simply made some mistakes, without there being some sinister overtone in play?

I am asking questions.

SSID provided sketches to the Z-film at a time when most of it, in any clear version, was being suppressed. Tink was by his own admission on p.217 working with Mr. George Hunt, Managing Editor of LIFE, for example, in publishing the 'missing frames' for the first time...p. 217 he says "...before WE came into possession of the original print" (caps mine). I am asking if there was an agenda to draw CTs in by presenting sketches of some of the earlier frames while 'ignoring' blatant anomaly of the film that they were aware of because of their close association with it (when this relationship was denied to most of the rest of us).

In addition, as Jim Fetzer has pointed out, whereas there is considerable focus on the earlier frames of the Z-film, there is virtually no attention paid to the critical fatal headshot sequence in the Z-film. Instead, our attention is drawn away to the Nix film. Why is that? Why are there no sketches of the fatal headshot sequence?

The question I am asking is whether these issues are simply lapses, or oversights, or the result of something more deliberate -- giving researchers bits and pieces of things they had not had before while withholding the fact that they all knew the Z-film had been altered and that it was for this reason being suppressed and dribbled out in little 'safe' little bits.

Pamela, what you and Jim seem to be missing is that, if you are gonna launch this "You knew the film didn't match the descriptions of the witnesses, and yet you failed to discuss the possibility it was fake--and that makes you suspect" argument at Thompson, you should also extend it to Groden and Lifton, at the very least. Both of them had copies of the Z-film when they wrote their massively influential books. Both of them were well aware of the drawing based on McClelland's statements and the statements of the other Parkland witnesses. And yet, pardon me if I'm mistaken, neither of them included chapters in their books about Z-film alteration.

And why should have they? Lifton was focused on the possibility of body alteration. Groden was focused on the Z-film and the possibility of autopsy photo alteration; he even proposed that the Z-film DID show a blow-out on the back of Kennedy's head.

This second-guessing of Thompson's intentions is just silly, IMO. If his goal was to obfuscate the possibility Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy, why did he propose, and convince untold thousands, Kennedy was killed by multiple assassins? It's not as if someone was about to publish a book claiming the Z-film was fake, and that this proved conspiracy, but was denied publication because Tink's book was published.

Or are you and the Professor arguing that the "THEY" Thompson was working for was unconcerned with the climate of 1967 and 1968 and more than willing to allow thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people to slip further into the conspiracy camp in hopes that the long-term effects of Thompson's book would undermine the articles and books on Z-film alteration sure to come out in 30 years or so?

Because, if so, well... YIKES, that's wacky. The "THEY" of which I am aware is extremely short-sighted, and willing to move bullet wound locations and tell lies about the orientation of autopsy photos in order to shut down discussion in the short term, even though it would undermine their credibility in the long term.

Lifton is the one of the very first to suspect the film was fake.

Groden refuses to consider it is fake, because his entire reputation as the foremost Z film expert would suffer.

Thompson is in the same bind as Groden

The film IS fake, and those who continue to believe it is genuine will be left far behind when the full truth is known.

Jack

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>Taking a fresh look at SSID, which I am now doing, it is occurring to me that it might be valuable to ask whether or not this book was intended as some sort of >limited hang-out for the CTs, appearing to give new information but concealing more than it revealed.

I must say I am somewhat taken aback by the accusations being leveled at Josiah Thompson on this board over the past several days. Pamela, are you actually suggesting that Thompson intentionally tried to deceive his readers with "Six Seconds in Dallas?" What could possibly be the point of giving "new information but concealing more than it revealed?" What a waste of time! And do we really expect him to have to stand by every claim or theory he espoused 40 years ago? Isn't it possible that he simply made some mistakes, without there being some sinister overtone in play?

I am asking questions.

SSID provided sketches to the Z-film at a time when most of it, in any clear version, was being suppressed. Tink was by his own admission on p.217 working with Mr. George Hunt, Managing Editor of LIFE, for example, in publishing the 'missing frames' for the first time...p. 217 he says "...before WE came into possession of the original print" (caps mine). I am asking if there was an agenda to draw CTs in by presenting sketches of some of the earlier frames while 'ignoring' blatant anomaly of the film that they were aware of because of their close association with it (when this relationship was denied to most of the rest of us).

In addition, as Jim Fetzer has pointed out, whereas there is considerable focus on the earlier frames of the Z-film, there is virtually no attention paid to the critical fatal headshot sequence in the Z-film. Instead, our attention is drawn away to the Nix film. Why is that? Why are there no sketches of the fatal headshot sequence?

The question I am asking is whether these issues are simply lapses, or oversights, or the result of something more deliberate -- giving researchers bits and pieces of things they had not had before while withholding the fact that they all knew the Z-film had been altered and that it was for this reason being suppressed and dribbled out in little 'safe' little bits.

Pamela, what you and Jim seem to be missing is that, if you are gonna launch this "You knew the film didn't match the descriptions of the witnesses, and yet you failed to discuss the possibility it was fake--and that makes you suspect" argument at Thompson, you should also extend it to Groden and Lifton, at the very least. Both of them had copies of the Z-film when they wrote their massively influential books. Both of them were well aware of the drawing based on McClelland's statements and the statements of the other Parkland witnesses. And yet, pardon me if I'm mistaken, neither of them included chapters in their books about Z-film alteration.

And why should have they? Lifton was focused on the possibility of body alteration. Groden was focused on the Z-film and the possibility of autopsy photo alteration; he even proposed that the Z-film DID show a blow-out on the back of Kennedy's head.

This second-guessing of Thompson's intentions is just silly, IMO. If his goal was to obfuscate the possibility Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy, why did he propose, and convince untold thousands, Kennedy was killed by multiple assassins? It's not as if someone was about to publish a book claiming the Z-film was fake, and that this proved conspiracy, but was denied publication because Tink's book was published.

Or are you and the Professor arguing that the "THEY" Thompson was working for was unconcerned with the climate of 1967 and 1968 and more than willing to allow thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people to slip further into the conspiracy camp in hopes that the long-term effects of Thompson's book would undermine the articles and books on Z-film alteration sure to come out in 30 years or so?

Because, if so, well... YIKES, that's wacky. The "THEY" of which I am aware is extremely short-sighted, and willing to move bullet wound locations and tell lies about the orientation of autopsy photos in order to shut down discussion in the short term, even though it would undermine their credibility in the long term.

Lifton is the one of the very first to suspect the film was fake.

Groden refuses to consider it is fake, because his entire reputation as the foremost Z film expert would suffer.

Thompson is in the same bind as Groden

The film IS fake, and those who continue to believe it is genuine will be left far behind when the full truth is known.

Jack

Forget "belief" how about fact!

The alteration gang has tried for years and has yet to bring the first "fact" of alteration to the table. None.

With all the handwaving you guys have produced, you cold have flown tothe moon!

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Since Professor Fetzer has now started posting in boldface. My reply is posted in boldface, italics:

Yawn!!! To make a scurrilous point, Professor Fetzer simply quotes the beginning of a sentence and lops off the end. When this is exposed he shifts gear and asks me whether this was the paragraph that made Vincent Salandria in 1967 start the rumor that I was a government agent.

This whole sad, little incident is chronicled in John Kelin's book where Kelin quotes extensive correspondence. Kelin points out that when Vince Salandria started saying this he was roundly dumped on by Sylvia Meagher and Arnoni (whose first name I have forgotter but who was the editor of the Minority of One that first published Salandria.) Like Kelin, I find the whole little incident sad and weird. It's not something that keeps me up at night forty years later.

I have no idea what was running through Salandria's mind when he started attacking someone who had earlier worked with him. Why don't you ask him? Maybe you'll come up with something to continue your attempted smear of me.[/u]

I quoted the paragraph in full in an earlier post on another thread, which, apparently, like so many others, you didn't bother to read or are now misrepresenting. What I would like to know--given you are making so much of it--is this: Is this not the same paragraph that led Vincent Salandria to conclude that you were a government agent? He has written that he was so outraged by your dismissive attitude that he confronted you personally and accused you of whitewashing the case. What I want to know is whether you are prepared to admit that this paragraph has raised the most serious doubts about your integrity, not only in my mind but also in the minds of other qualified students of JFK. If it was not this paragraph, kindly quote the one that so upset him. Thank you.
I hope this might be relevant to your post, Mr. Cohen.

Professor Fetzer concludes a confused blast against me on another thread by writing, “How could he possibly conclude his book by asserting, ‘It does not prove that the assassination was a conspiracy?’ I think Tink owes us an explanation.”

Here’s the explanation.

The quote does not come from the conclusion of Six Seconds but from a catch-all chapter entitled, “Answered and Unanswered Questions.” He pulled one sentence out of a larger quote that makes clear what is being said.

The book ends with a chapter called “The Warren Report.” This chapter summarizes the points made earlier against the background of the Warren Report. The book ends with this summary paragraph:

"This book has attempted to perform a task of archaeology, to lay bare a whole level of contradictory evidence buried beneath the facile conclusions of the Commission’s Report. This evidence (much of it never published) was either ignored, disregarded, or misrepresented by the Commission. Now it has been brought to light. If its introduction makes necessary the emergence of new conclusions, then so be it." (213)

This was then followed by a catch-all Chapter X entitled “Answered and Unanswered Questions.” This chapter picked up the various pieces of information learned over the course of writing the book that could find no place in the books structure. The questions were things like, “Are the ‘missing frames’ from the Zapurder film still missing?” “Was the rifle found in the TSBD a Mauser or a Mannlicher-Carcano?” “Were the President’s coat and shirt bunched at the time he was struck in the back?” “Does the Altgens photo show Oswald or Billy Joe Lovelady in the doorway of the TSBD?” “Who is the ‘umbrella man’?” “Who owned the jacket discarded by Officer J.D. Tippit’s assailant?” “Which shot caused the ‘Tague hit.?” This chapter then ends with a sixteen-page discussion of whether Oswald shot the President. Included in this section are numerous witness reports I discovered in the Archives detailing movements of various people near the Depository. The last several pages of this section are devoted to enlargements from the Hughes film and Weaver photo concerning the vexed question of whether in the film and photo the outlines of two people can be seen near the sixth floor corner window. The chapter ends with a short paragraph commenting on the miscellaneous evidence put forward in the final sixteen page section:

What does this collection of new evidence prove? It does not prove that the assassination was a conspiracy and that two men were together on the sixth floor of the Depository at the time the shots were fired. Nor does it prove Oswald’s innocence. What it does suggest is that there are threads in this case that should have been unraveled long ago instead of being swept under the Archives rug. It also shows that the question of Oswald’s guilt must remain – nearly four years after the event – still unanswered. (246)

The sentence that Professor Fetzer wants to make much of could have been written just as well as “It does not prove that the assassination was a conspiracy because two men were together on the sixth floor of the of the Depository at the time the shots were fired.” Then this closing paragraph of the section refers back to the topic of the section, “Did Lee Harvey Oswald shoot the President?” The last sentence of the paragraph affirms that that question “must remain – nearly four years after the event – still unanswered.”

By cutting off the front of a sentence from its tail, Fetzer wants to press the idea that I said in Six Seconds that I hadn’t shown a conspiracy in the death of John Kennedy. What I said was that the photo and ancillary evidence concerning two men at the sixth floor window was not dispositive whether a conspiracy existed and whether Oswald was innocent. This statement remains as true today as it was in 1967.

A final word. It is difficult now to get back into the ambience 1967. I can say only that I made a determined effort to write toned-down prose with a scholarly edge to it. Given the temper of the times and the often shrill claims of assassination related writings, a quieter, more objective, more scholarly approach seemed better. But that tone should not mislead anyone as to the robust and serious aim of the book. It was to show that the best reconstruction that can be made of the event shows that shooters fired from three locations. Does this mean a conspiracy was involved in the assassination? Are you kidding?

Josiah Thompson

>Taking a fresh look at SSID, which I am now doing, it is occurring to me that it might be valuable to ask whether or not this book was intended as some sort of >limited hang-out for the CTs, appearing to give new information but concealing more than it revealed.

I must say I am somewhat taken aback by the accusations being leveled at Josiah Thompson on this board over the past several days. Pamela, are you actually suggesting that Thompson intentionally tried to deceive his readers with "Six Seconds in Dallas?" What could possibly be the point of giving "new information but concealing more than it revealed?" What a waste of time! And do we really expect him to have to stand by every claim or theory he espoused 40 years ago? Isn't it possible that he simply made some mistakes, without there being some sinister overtone in play?

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The film IS fake, and those who continue to believe it is genuine will be left far behind when the full truth is known.

Jack

What about Z186 thru Z255 (Betzner3/Willis5/Altgens 6), which matches the testimony

of the people with the best view of JFK during that length of time?

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