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David Lifton

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  1. 10/30/22 Postscript: IOW: FBI Director Hoover's statement took the following position re the S& O report and the (Bethesda) Naval autopsy report (and addressing any differences between the two): that the S & O FBI report recorded "oral statements" made by the autopsy doctor(s) at the time of the autopsy examination; whereas. . .the Naval autopsy (dated 11/24/63) represented the "final conclusions" of the autopsy. IMHO: that's an interesting prescription for a cover-up, but that's what Director Hoover said, as reported in his statement of 11/25/63 (and which was published in the NY Times, either that day or the next. (DSL, 10/30/22 -10:40 PM PDT)
  2. Yes, I spoke with Haskell Wexler --and so did Fred Newcomb. In fact, it was Fred who made the connection with Haskell; and Haskell who then arranged for us to spend a day (at the Beverly Hills Office of Time-Life), looking at (i.e., examining) a beautiful 16mm copy of the Z film; plus the collection of 4 x5 frame-by-frame transparencies. As I recall, we did not get into (or pursue) any issues of authenticity with Haskell (who, BTW, passed in 2015). His contribution was permitting us to have access to this important film material. As you may also be aware: I arranged to rent a full-sized 35 mm microfilm reader (from somewhere in Beverly Hills) and trundled it up the multiple stairs to the Time-Life office. Once the Z images were viewed on a microfilm reader, it became pretty obvious that the large JFK head wound --the one located towards the front-right-hand-side of the head, and which no one saw at Parkland -- looked "painted on"; also, the back of JFK's head (from Z 221 & Z-223 [as I recall] plus Z 335, Z337) -- where the Dallas doctors saw the "occipital wound" -- appeared to have been deliberately "blacked out" (DSL) P.S. It is very difficult today--in 2022 --to reach back into the past, and recall (or resurrect) my astonishment at some of these visual (or "optical") discoveries. To quote Josiah Thompson (author, Six Seconds in Dallas), the Zapruder film was, as he once said, "the closest thing to absolute truth." Of course, as events evolved and various discoveries were made, it became clear to me, nothing could be further than the truth. The Z film --our precious "time clock" on the assassination -- was a fraud, just another item of falsified evidence. It still contains very valuable data, of course, but in the final analysis --and if the English language is to have any meaning--it is an optical forgery; and best viewed as an artifact, not a fact. As to its being a "time-clock," that idea can be --and should be --discarded. Another factoid: Sheriff Bill Decker was sitting in the back seat of Chief Curry's car, which was stopped near the mouth of the Triple Underpass --when JFK's limo was midway down Elm Street and shots were fired. Either when he testified --or that night, in the Dallas Times-Herald --Decker gave his estimate as to the "length" (in time) of JFK's assassination. It was not "six seconds" or anything like that. As I recall --and I will change this writing if need be --it was closer to 20 seconds. DSL
  3. When I have talked about changing the "medical facts" in the JFK case, I am referring to altering the wounds so as to create a false story of how JFK died. (I am referring there to the geometry of the shooing (i.e., how many times JFK was hit, and from what direction etc.). But that has nothing to do with "the Cuban government" per se. Yes, the Cuban government was dragged into this, but that was by implication; because LHO was framed for a murder he did not commit; and--once that case "emerged" -- LHO's prior political stance, his admiration of Castro, and his travels (attempting to go to Cuba etc.) became pertinent. DSL
  4. Re:Where is the reference for Audrey Bell asking Malcolm Perry where the wound was. Response; this occurred during our filmed interview of Nurse Audrey Bell --in the summer of either 1989 or 1990. I believe --but am not certain --that she made a similar statement when she was interviewed by Doug Horne of the ARRB (circa 1995- 1998). DSL
  5. David. . . miss communicating with you. Please send me your present email address. David dlifton@gmail.com (d l i f t o n @ gmail.com).
  6. Changing the subject slightly: Re: Daniel, "Where is the reference for Audrey Bell asking Malcolm Perry where the wound was." My answer (DSL answer): When I first interviewed Nurse Audrey Bell -- on camera - in 1971 (approx.) We went over this point --repeatedly-- because I was fully cognizant of its importance.
  7. Re the car-stop: The limo came to a brief halt - it stopped completely --and then sped off. How do I know this? Because I interviewed the Newmans, in person, back in 1971 (or 1972). Some years later, I raised the money to do filmed interviews, and returned to Dallas, and went over this same subject, now with a fully professional 16mm film crew. (As I recall, the cost for each such filmed interview-- travel expenses, and all -- was between $3K and $5k). The Newmans said the car stopped; more important, Mary Moorman --in her FBI interview of 11/24/63, published in the WC's 26 volumes --said the car stopped. If memory serves, Vince Palamara did significant research in this area, compilimg a comprehensive list of witnesses who said the car stopped. Depending on how one defines "car stop", the number of "car-stop witnesses" ranges between 16 (at least) to nearly 60. I first discovered the "car-stop witnesses" some decades ago, when the late Pat Lambert and I embarked on a project to review all the Dealey Plaza witnesses, and tabulate their recollections by category. Pat and I had at least a dozen categories (focusing, for example, on how many shots were heard, from where, etc.) It was during this joint research effort that I had the sudden realization that one witness after another mentioned the "car-stop," almost in passing. Pursuing this insight, It was at this time that I discovered --right there on page one (of Chapter one) in Sylvia Meagher's book, Accessories After the Fact (1967) -- that one witness after another mentioned the car stop (!). Prior to my insight, no one gave it any particular emphasis, but I sure did. I immediately realized that if the car stopped --however momentarily --then the Zapruder film (which showed no stop whatsoever_ must have been falsified But (I asked myself). . .how was that possible? How could a motion picture film be falsified? (At that time, I knew little about film alteration). Some Notes Re my Own Path of Discovery Fortunately, I was living in West L.A., UCLA was just minutes away, and I immediately went to the UCLA film library at the Melnitz Film School (again, these details are from memory). Within 30 minutes, I was looking at bound volumes of a professional journal, the American Cinematographer, devoted to editing and optical printing. (Name may be slightly incorrect.) That's when I learned all about "optical printers" --the basic tool for "special effects" photography --and that's when I went into full immersion mode as to how these machines work. CBS Producer Robert Richter loaned me a rather special item --his own personal 35 mm copy of the Zapruder film. (Another person who provided important assistance was producer Haskell Wexler). Subsequently, I raised about $10,000 (from, among several others, Mary Ferrell, and my own family) to rent time (using that 35 mm Z film) on an Oxberry Optical Printer so as to really have some first hand experience on the subject. (Interested readers should Google "optical printer"). Skipping many details and applying the lessons I learned to Dealey Plaza and the JFK assassination, certain insights became rather obvious (at least to me): one was that you could not "plan in advance" to murder the president, unless you also planned in advance to alter the medical evidence (i.e., the body) --via wound alteration and bullet removal -- so as to fabricate a false story about how the President had died. Another insight: you could not "plan in advance" to murder the president (and control all civilian films) unless you arranged in advance to confiscate the key films, and be prepared to do some serious editing (again, using an optical printer). On this point, see the essay that I wrote years ago (on this subject) called "Pig on a Leash." Bottom line: murdering JFK and preparing to fabricate a false story about his death could not be done without controlling at least two important pieces of evidence: (a) his body; and (b) all bystander films. Had I not majored in Engineering Physics at Cornell (and then later, more of the same at UCLA), I would not have had the "intellectual tools" to properly analyze (and address) this situation. (Yes, a smart "english major" might be able to "figure it out" but it took the 5 years of applied math, at Cornell, to really have the mathematical tools to understand and properly analyze the situation). My Experiences with John Tunheim There is much more to the story. But one incident --and my recollection of it --stands out. I had some detailed interaction with Judge Tunheim (of the ARRB). After reading some written analyses that I had sent to him, he completely grasped what had (possibly) been done to the Zapruder film, and the problem(s) that presented to any future investigation. At one of the ARRB hearings (which was nationally televised), Tunheim began his own brief remarks by publicly thanking me --on national TV (!) --for my contribution with their work. I was in my apartment, attending to my own housekeeping chores and with the TV on, watching the nationally televised hearings; and was flabbergasted when I heard Judge Tunheim mention my name, and compliment me in that fashion. ** ** ** ** ** Its amazing to me that, all these years laters, there is still any serious dispute as to whether the JFK limo stopped --ever so briefly-- during the shooting, or the full implications of that fact; i.e., the implication of that fact on another key issue: the authenticity of the Zapruder film; which is-- after all -- the "time-clock" of the JFK assassination. (DSL, 10/29/22, 3:20 PM PDT)
  8. According to a statement issued by FBI Director Hoover about 11/26/66 (and published in the NY Times at the time), the statements in the FBI report about the Bethesda autopsy (i.e., in the Sibert and O'Neill FBI Report) were made by the autopsy doctors at the time of the Bethesda autopsy. (10/29/22 - 1 PM PDT)
  9. My comments: The Sibert and O’Neill FBI report (“S&O report”) —written by the two FBI agents present at the autopsy — was based on what the two FBI agents who witnessed the autopsy heard (and saw) as they witnessed the autopsy proceeding; and made detailed notes on what they heard (or were told, or personally observed). Why do I say that? Because --in Nov. 1966, a few days after the third anniversary of the assassination -- Director Hoover issued a clarifying statement: Around November 26th 1966, and in response to reporters and citizens inquiries, (then) FBI Director Hoover issued a detailed statement — published in the Washington Star (and then the NY Times) — that spelled out just what was the basis for statements in the S&O FBI report. Hoover’s statement — prepared by the Washington Field Office of the FBI —received considerable media attention. Hoover’s statement said: “FBI statements record the oral statements made at the time of autopsy; the Bethesda autopsy recorded the actual conclusions of the autopsy.” (approx, from memory). This distinction —between what was said at the time of autopsy (i.e., actual words spoken), and the final conclusions of the autopsy report (dated 11/24/63, two days later) —is crucial. Basically, Director Hoover was saying: “We don’t know the full story, but here’s what we do know as of this date”; and he then focused on (and made an important distinction between) “words spoken” at the time of autopsy (what he properly called an “oral utterance”) and the “final conclusions” of the autopsy (dated 11/24/63). In other words, Hoover was focusing on the distinction between what his agents heard at the time of the autopsy they attended, and the conclusions of the autopsy, as stated in the Naval autopsy report dated two days later (on 11/24/63). This distinction —and its implications —bears directly on the question of “What Director Hoover knew, and when he knew it”; and is discussed in detail in Chapter 12 of Best Evidence (titled, “An Oral Utterance”). (DSL 10/29/22_ 12:30 PM PDT)
  10. You write as if I argued (in my book Best Evidence [1981, 1982, 1988, 1993]) that JFK's head --and its wounds, as observed at the Bethesda Naval Hospital autopsy -- had somehow been "sculpted" (in some sophisticated fashion) to tell a false story of the shooting. Not true, at all. At autopsy, JFK's head exhibited evidence of grotesque "smashing and bashing" (my words), which was confusing, at best, to the Naval pathologists assigned to perform an autopsy. (See Chapters 7 thru 9 of B. E.; also see Ch 18.) As the Bethesda autopsy surgeon (Navy Cdr. Humes) exclaimed to me in 1966 (when I first spoke with him, and confronted him with these medico-legal facts), "I'd like to know by whom it was done! And when! And where!" (approx, fr memory; See B.E., Chs. 7-9 for exact quotes). The two FBI agents in attendance at Bethesda, Agents Sibert and O'Neill, made careful notes of what the naval pathologists said as they conducted their examination; and they wrote that, based on the anatomical damage that they witnessed (and by what was said by the naval pathologists as they performed their examination), it was "apparent" that there had been "surgery of the head area, namely, in the top of the skull." Of course, there had been no such "surgery of the head area" in Dallas, and Commander Humes (at Bethesda) did not perform any such (post-mortem) medical procedure at Bethesda. But the President's head was (IMHO) such a mess, that that was their initial impression; and that's what they said at the time. "plastic surgery"? Steven Skeen's introduction of the term "plastic surgery" has nothing to do with the medico-legal realities of November 22, 1963, nor with anything I wrote in B.E. What it does reveal is that (apparently) Skeen does not understand the basic facts laid out in Best Evidence; and how, viewed objectively, they add up to one undeniable conclusion: that, sometime during the 5-6 hour period between Dallas and Bethesda, JFK's wounds were altered. IOW: Skeen has jumped into deep waters he apparently barely understands, and has unnecessarily confused an already complex situation by introducing the term "plastic surgeons," which has everything to do with his misunderstanding, but nothing to do with the data carefully presented in my book. My advice is twofold: (a) he should reread --carefully reread -- Chapter 18 of B.E.; (b) he should view the 35 minute video documentary (available on the Internet) which I made in 1981 (and used on my 1981 book tour, and then again in 1988 and 1993), titled "Best Evidence: The Research Video" (DSL, 10/29/22 -9:20 AM PDT). Nobody that I know has ever argued for the existence of "plastic surgery" on 11/22/63. What is plainly evident --plain as day --is that JFK's wounds were crudely altered sometime during the six- hour period between the time the body was observed by the Dallas medical staff (at Parkland Hospital) -where JFK was pronounced dead at 1 PM PST -- and 8 PM EST, the time of the start of the official autopsy, at Bethesda Naval Hospital; where it was reported -- by the two attending FBI agents-- that there had been (as in "already had been") "surgery of the head area, namely, in the top of the skull." (10/29/22 -9:40 AM PDT)
  11. If you could: I would like to see the book with Ho's letters to Truman. Could you provide the title? (And perhaps even the chapter title?) The more we learn of data like this, the more the escalation of the Vietnam War in the first quarter of 1965 (after Johnson was sworn in) seems unnecessary and contrived. DSL, 10/23/22 -3:15 AM PDT
  12. Hi Micah: RE: Report of JFK being placed in a "plastic casket" I'm (a bit) surprised that you never heard of this before. But, as the saying goes, "better late than never". FWIW: I pursued this matter, in detail, many years ago, and prior to the publication of B. E. (Jan 1981). But I was unable to include any of what I knew in B.E. Please send me your email address (I may be able to tell you more). Its a very important issue, but, IMHO:the poster's interpretation is seriously incorrect. DSL 10/19/22 - 9:50 AM PDT My email: dlifton@gmail.com). 10/19/22 - 9:45 AM PDT
  13. To Miles: Sorry to disappoint, but no, that is not the passage to which I was referring. I believe you're searching on the word "role." That's completely different than the two-word expression, "role player." DSL
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