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The late Phil Melanson on the "Zapruder film"


Jack White
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HIDDEN EXPOSURE

Cover-Up and Intrigue in the CIA's Secret Possession of the Zapruder film

by

Philip H. Melanson

It has been called the film of the century. It is surely America's most historically important twenty-two seconds of film: the Zapruder film (the Z-film, as researchers call it). On November 22, 1963 Dallas dress manufacturer Abraham Zapruder had come to see President Kennedy pass through Dealey Plaza. Zapruder had forgotten his camera; he rushed home to get it and returned just in time to view the motorcade. Standing on a low concrete wall to the right front of the approaching Presidential limousine. Zapruder peered through his 8-millimeter, zoom lens, Bell & Howell movie camera. The camera was fully wound and set manually on maximum zoom.

The shocking tragedy captured in color by the Z film is all too familiar to many Americans: the death of John F. Kennedy. As the film begins, the motorcade turns and comes toward the camera. President and Mrs, Kennedy smile and wave from inside the open limousine. For several seconds, the President is blocked from Zapruder's view as the limousine passes behind a street sign. When the limousine emerges from behind the sign, Kennedy is clearly reacting to a wound: his hands move up to clutch his throat. He totters to his left; Jacqueline Kennedy looks toward him anxiously. Then the fatal head shot impacts; the President's head explodes in a ghastly corona of blood and brains. His body is thrust violently backward against the seat then bounces forward. Kennedy's exposed skull gleams in the bright Texas sunshine. He falls sideways into his wife's arms. Mrs. Kennedy climbs onto the trunk of the limousine to recover a fragment of her husband's skull. A Secret Service agent jumps aboard and pushes her into her seat as the limousine speeds away.

The Z film is more than gruesome history; it is also the best evidence of the assassination, the baseline of time and motion. By analyzing blowups and calculating elapsed time according to the running speed of Zapruder's camera, investigative bodies from the Warren Commission to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (in 1978) have drawn their conclusions about the timing, number, and direction of the shots, as have scores of private researchers. It is the timing between shots that provides crucial data for the key question: was it a conspiracy? If the elapsed time between bullets hitting the President is too short for a lone assassin to have aimed and fired, then there is proof of conspiracy.

Over the years there have been allegations that elements of the American intelligence community, especially the CIA, were involved in covering up a conspiracy in the JFK assassination, or were active participants in a conspiracy. Some assassination researchers have also suggested that the Zapruder film may have been subjected to sophisticated altering designed to hide a conspiracy. They point to apparent anomalies in the motion of the President's body and to an apparent shadow appearing toward the front of Kennedy's head.1 The speculation is that the original film may have shown that Kennedy was shot from the front, from the grassy knoll, rather than from the rear (from the Book Depository from which Oswald was supposed to have fired); but that the film was altered before it reached the hands of official investigators.

In any criminal case, the integrity of evidence depends upon its chain of possession: who had it when, how and for what purposes before it came into the possession of official investigators to be analyzed by them. In the JFK case the Warren Commission was the official investigating body and the FBI its official investigative arm which conducted tests and analyses of the evidence, including the Z film.

Documents obtained from the FBI, CIA and Secret Service through the Freedom of Information Act contain startling revelations about the Z film's chain of possession. The first documents surfaced in 1976; others in 1981. They provide considerable support for allegations of a CIA cover-up and for allegations regarding possible CIA manipulation of evidence. There is now good reason to question the evidentiary integrity of the Z film. Moreover, it is clear that before the FBI had obtained the film, CIA experts had already analyzed it and had found data which strongly suggested a conspiracy.

The official version of who had the film and camera when and how is as follows.2 The afternoon of the assassination Zapruder took his film to a commercial photo studio in Dallas for rush developing. Word of the film's existence soon leaked out and, within hours, several news and publishing organizations contacted Zapruder with offers to buy it. Zapruder had three copies made. He immediately gave two copies to the United States Secret Service. The Service kept one copy for itself and gave one to the FBI the day after the assassination. Zapruder sold the original and one copy to LIFE magazine on November 23, reportedly for $25,000. LIFE published pictures from the film in its November 29th issue and locked the original film in a New York vault. Zapruder's camera was given to the FBI by Zapruder so that the Bureau could determine the running speed (the number of frames per second at which the film moved through the camera). This figure would then be used to clock the precise time between shots. The FBI later returned the camera to Zapruder, who gave it to the Bell & Howell Company for its archives.

I had long suspected that the official version was incomplete. Several Warren Commission witnesses had mentioned that a copy of the film had gone to Washington, but their references to such an event were vague and conflicting. According to FBI documents, the Bureau did not obtain a copy of the film until the day after the assassination when it borrowed one of the Secret Service's copies. The FBI had the technical expertise for analyzing the film but did not have the film for twenty-four hours; the Secret Service got two copies right away but, by all indications, lacked the technical capacity for a sophisticated in-house analysis. It was clear from CIA documents declassified in the 1970s -- documents unrelated to the assassination -- that the Secret Service of the 1960s and early 1970s had some sort of technical dependence upon the CIA. The CIA had provided technical assistance, equipment and briefings to the Secret Service, even to the point of manufacturing the color-coded lapel pins worn by Secret Service agents.3 It made sense that Secret Service, lacking its own high-powered photographic expertise, might turn to the CIA for help in analyzing the Zapruder film; but there was nothing to substantiate this hypothesis.

Then, in 1976, assassination researcher Paul Hoch discovered CIA #450 among a batch of documents released by CIA because of a Freedom of Information Act request. Item 450 consists of nine pages of documents relating to an analysis of the Z film conducted for the Secret Service by the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) in Washington, one of the world's most technically sophisticated photo-analysis laboratories. For the first time, there was evidence that CIA had possessed and analyzed the film. Apparently CIA had gotten the film from the Secret Service. There is nothing in Item 450, however, that states when the NPIC analysis was done -- hours after the assassination? weeks? months? Nor is it clear whether NPIC analyzed a copy of the film or an original.

Among the nine pages in Item 450 are four pages of handwritten notes and calculations. One notation describes photographic work done by NPIC:

Proc, dry 2 hr.

Print test 3 hr.

Make 3 prints 1 hr.

Proc. and dry prints 1 1/2 hr.

In Dallas, Zapruder was supposed to have had an original and three copies. No other copies were known to exist. Now we find that the CIA laboratory in Washington made three prints -- the same number as were supposed to have been made in Dallas. Did NPIC make more, unaccounted for copies; or did the NPIC-produced copies somehow end up as the Dallas copies? Was NPIC producing third-generation prints; or had it somehow obtained the original?

It was researcher David Lifton who, through our discussions and exchanges of date, first suggested that the previously described notation ("proc. dry" etc) referred to work being done with the original film, not a copy. My discussions with a half dozen photographic experts from both academic and commercial photo laboratories, confirm this point.4 "Processing" refers to developing an original. If NPIC had been working with a copy, the first step would have been to print, then process. The NPIC notation "print test" refers to a short piece of film printed from the original and used to check the exposure -- to see if the negative is too light or too dark -- before printing copies from the original. Thus there is strong indications that NPIC had the original.

The original is assumed to have remained in Dallas in Zapruder's possession until he sold it to LIFE on November 23, the day after the assassination. This allowed time enough for the original to have been flown from Dallas to D.C., analyzed, and returned to Dallas before LIFE got it. Yet, according to Zapruder and the Secret Service, the original never left Dallas until LIFE purchased it. Perhaps the original made a secret trip to Washington.

Zapruder had already kept one secret about the film from the Warren Commission. In his testimony to the Commission, Zapruder stated that LIFE had paid him $25,000 for the film, all of which he donated to charity. What he did not reveal, even under questioning, was that the deal actually called for $125,000 more to be paid in five yearly installments.5 Zapruder also told the Warren Commission that immediately after the assassination, he went to his office and told his secretary to call the police or Secret Service because "I knew I had something, I figured it might be of some help."6 But according to Dallas Secret Service Agent Forrest Sorrels, he was alerted to the film by a reporter from the Dallas Morning News who contacted him and informed him that a man had made some movies that the Secret Service might be interested in.7 The reporter took Sorrels to Zapruder's office. As Sorrels described it, "Mr. Zapruder agreed to furnish me with a copy of this film with the understanding that it was strictly for official use of the Secret Service and that it would not be shown or given to any newspapers or magazines as he expected to sell the film for as high a price as he could get for it."

Whether Sorrels was summoned by Zapruder or got word of the film by some other means and surprised Zapruder by showing up at his office, the question still remains whether the Secret Service would be willing to accept only a copy of the film instead of the original. In 1973, LIFE's Richard B. Stolly, who negotiated the purchase of the film from Zapruder, opined that "If the federal government had not been in such disarray at that moment (immediately after the assassination) somebody with authority and a sense of history would probably have asked Zapruder for the original film and he probably would have relinquished it."8 Whether someone in authority asked or told Zapruder, indications are that he did indeed relinquish it.

Was Zapruder really in a position to get the Secret Service to accept his conditions concerning the use of the film? Presumably, the original could have been subpoenaed as evidence, thereby delaying -- perhaps even ruining -- Zapruder's chance to make a lucrative deal. The Secret Service,

having just lost a President, may not have been inclined to accept a copy of the film instead of the original or to adhere to conditions set by Zapruder. Out at Parkland hospital, Dallas County Medical Examiner Earl Rose, accompanied by a Justice of the Peace, informed Secret Service agents that they could not remove the President's body and take it to Washington, a position fully consistent with Texas law. The agents drew their guns, pushed the medical examiner and the justice against the wall and took the body. If Secret Service agents were such lions in dealing with Earl Rose, why their lamb-like behavior with Abrahan Zapruder?

If Zapruder did manage to strike a bargain with the Secret Service, the terms may well have been that the Service took the original for a brief time (perhaps only eighteen hours) but promised to keep the loan secret so as not to jeopardize Zapruder's chances for a deal. If potential buyers knew that the original had been out of Zapruder's hands, they might have perceived it as second-hand merchandise; if they knew the government was printing extra copies, the exclusivity of the purchase rights might be in doubt.

Exclusivity was very important to the deal, and Zapruder knew it. LIFE's Richard B. Stolly recalled that through all the chaos, Zapruder kept his "business sense."9 Stolly says that Zapruder claimed to have obtained sworn statements from the employees at the film lab in Dallas where the film was first developed, stating that no extra copies of the film had been "bootlegged"; thus "whoever bought the film would have it exclusively."

Even if NPIC was not analyzing the original film but only a copy, documents in CIA Item #450 reveal that the analysis produced some striking data which logically supported a conclusion of conspiracy. he main thrust of NPIC's analysis was to construct various three-shot scenarios. The film was studied and the elapsed time between the frames on which the shots occurred was estimated. Nine different three-shot scenarios were produced, by varying the points (frames) at which the President appeared to have been shot by varying the estimated running speed of the camera.

Whether NPIC knew it or not, the majority of their scenarios precluded a lone assassin. In 1964 the FBI tested the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Book Depository. The Bureau discovered that marksmen could not re-aim and re-fire the weapon any faster than 2.25 - 2.30 seconds.10 Thus any interval between shots which is shorter than that would constitute persuasive evidence that there were two gunmen. Five of NPIC's scenarios had intervals that were too short -- 2.1 seconds, 2.0, even 1.0. There is no indication in the released documents that NPIC thought that the five two-gunmen scenarios were any less valid than the four scenarios which allowed sufficient time for a lone assassin.

One of the scenarios which does allow enough time between shots for a lone assassin is labeled "LIFE Magazine." The calculations in this scenario are identical with those appearing in LIFE's December 6, 1963 article "End to Nagging Rumors: Six Critical Seconds." The article used an analysis of the Z film to attempt to prove that Oswald acted alone. The question arises: was NPIC generating data for LIFE magazine or was the country's most sophisticated photo-analysis laboratory reading LIFE for analytic clues? So far as we know, LIFE conducted its own analysis for its own auricle, and there is no conclusive evidence to the contrary. But one handwritten note scrawled near the LIFE magazine scenario reads: "They know the exact time of the 1st and 2nd shot?" It is a strange question if "they" is LIFE and if their article is already finished or on the stands. Presumably, LIFE should already know whatever their article states that they know, and the article boasts that LIFE has reconstructed the "precise timing" of the shots.

CONTINUED NEXT POSTING

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PART TWO....

In 1982 Bernard Fensterwald Jr., a Washington attorney and assassination researcher, filed suit in federal court against the CIA and forced the release of six hundred pages of previously classified documents relating to the assassination. Among them were additional documents concerning NPIC and the Z film. The documents dated back to the mid 1970s when assassination researcher Paul Hoch asked the Rockefeller Commission, which was investigating possible CIA involvement in the JFK assassination, to check into the NPIC analysis of the Z film. The document, which were withheld by the CIA until Fensterwald's suit in 1982, concern CIA's response to a Rockefeller Commission query about the NPIC analysis.

By itself, and it believed, the 1982 release seemed to minimize CIA's involvement with the Z film. CIA documents claimed that the Agency never possessed its own copy of the film until February 1965, when Time Inc. (TIME-LIFE) provided a copy to the CIA's Office of Training.11 According to an agreement between TIME and the CIA, the film was not to be duplicated, exhibited or published but only used for CIA "training" -- whatever that meant.12 There was no mention of the three copies mysteriously printed by NPIC.

As for the NPIC analysis of the film, the CIA told the Rockefeller Commission that the Secret Service did bring a copy of the film to CIA Director John McCone "late in 1963." NPIC conducted an analysis "late that same night." But "it was not possible to determine the precise time between shots without access to the camera to time the rate of spring rundown." Furthermore, said CIA, Secret Service agents were present during the analysis and "took the film away with them that night."13

All of this certainly refers to the same NPIC analysis described in CIA Item #450. The "rate of spring rundown" (running speed of the camera) was not known and had to be estimated by NPIC. Again, if the Secret Service took one "copy" away with them, what happened to the other NPIC copies? Did the Secret Service know about them? And what about the substantive data produced by the NPIC analysis (the nine scenarios, five of which precluded a lone assassin?) There are indications that the Secret Service never got that data, even though it was precisely the kind of information that they hoped to get from the CIA experts at NPIC.

In responding in 1976 to the Rockefeller Commission's query about the NPIC analysis, the CIA stated: "We assume that Secret Service informed the Warren Commission about anything of value resulting from our technical analysis of the film, but we have no direct knowledge that they did so."14 There is no evidence that the Secret Service ever told the Warren Commission about the existence of the NPIC analysis much less about the results. One possible explanation for this is that the Secret Service withheld the data so that the Warren Commission wouldn't see the five conspiracy scenarios. Another possibility is that the CIA withheld the data from the Secret Service so that the Service wouldn't see them.

One CIA memo contained in Item #450 states "We do not know whether the Secret Service took copies of these notes (on the three-shot scenarios) at the time of the analysis."15 It would seem odd for the Secret Service to go to the trouble to seek out an expert analysis and then not take away any of the data. Yet, no trace of the NPIC analysis has ever appeared in declassified Secret Service files or Warren Commission documents, only NPIC-CIA files. Perhaps the Secret Service never knew that the data existed; perhaps Service agents were only "present" for part of the analysis.

The most intriguing reference in the 1982 release is the CIA's description of when NPIC performed its analysis for the Secret Service: "late in 1963." This could mean November 22 or December 31. Didn't CIA know the date when the analysis took place; or was it using the euphemism "late in 1963" because it was unwilling to admit that it had the film within forty-eight hours of the assassination? CIA stated that NPIC's analysis was done "late that same night" that the Secret Service brought the film to CIA. Why rush or work overtime, unless "late in 1963"16 really meant November 22nd or 23rd?

I decided to pursue another avenue. Several months after the 1982 CIA release, I initiated a Freedom of Information request to the Secret Service and asked for "any and all documents relating to Secret Service possession or analysis of the Zapruder film of the John F. Kennedy assassination, or of Mr. Zapruder's camera, inclusive of any and all documents relating to possession of the film and/or camera by the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) or the Central Intelligence Agency."

The Secret Service response came as a surprise. They claimed that in 1979 they had turned over to the National Archives in Washington all documents relating to the Kennedy assassination. I had previously researched all of the Warren Commission records in the National Archives pertaining to the CIA and the Secret Service but had found nothing relevant to NPIC's analysis. I called Mr. Marion Johnson, the archivist in charge of the Warren Commission records, to inquire whether the 1979 material passed on by the Secret Service had been in the files I had already examined. It had not. Due to a shortage of staff, the Archives had not yet security-cleared and processed the six boxes of "new" material. Johnson and his staff processed the boxes within two weeks.

After five hours of wading through the hodgepodge of newly processed documents -- which included everything from carbon copies of previously released documents, to copies of the contents of Lee Harvey Oswald's wallet at the time of his arrest, to 5x8 close-ups of the blood stains and brain matter on the seat of the limousine -- I came across the only documents related to the Z film. They reveal that, in 1964, Henry Suydam, LIFE's Bureau Chief wrote to Secret Service Director James Rowley to say that LIFE believed that the Secret Service had two copies of the Zapruder film.17 Suydam stressed that the copies were the property of TIME, Inc. and that they should not be shown to anyone outside the government. He further stipulated that the Service could keep them as long as it needed them but must return them to TIME, Inc when it was finished.

Secret Service Director Rowley wrote to Forrest Sorrels, the agent in charge of the Service's Dallas office, and asked for a detailed account of how the Zapruder film came into Secret Service possession.18 Agent Sorrels' response provides a strong indication that "late in 1963," as the CIA vaguely described it, was, in fact, the night of the assassination. Sorrels states that after the film was developed, he obtained "two copies" from Zapruder (the standard explanation), "one copy of which was immediately airmailed to chief (Director of the Secret Service in Washington)."19

"Immediately" would be sometime late in the afternoon following the 12:30 P.M. assassination, after Sorrels had caught up with Zapruder. After a three hour flight from Dallas to Washington, the film would arrive at Secret Service headquarters, be taken to CIA headquarters, then to NPIC -- probably not before early- to mid-evening. So NPIC would be working late into the night on its rush analysis of this most important piece of evidence. It now seems clear that "late that same night," as CIA described it, was actually the very night of the assassination. Why after all -- after rushing the film to Washington by plane -- would the Secret Service delay an expert analysis of a film which could conceivably reveal the President's assassin(s)?

And why would the Secret Service be satisfied with a copy which was less clear than the original? Since it seems certain that NPIC conducted its analysis on the night of the assassination, this greatly increases the likelihood that NPIC had the original (as is indicated by the notations on the CIA Item #450 which described the photographic work). LIFE took possession of the original on November 23; but, before then, Zapruder could have secretly loaned the original to the Secret Service.

In addition to the chain of possession of the film, there is also the matter of Zapruder's camera. The Z film's evidentiary potential is, to an important degree, dependent upon calculating the average running speed of the camera. The reader will recall that at the time of its analysis, NPIC did not know the exact speed of Zapruder's camera. Without this data, absolute and precise determination of the elapsed time between shots are not possible. An interval of forty-two frames between shots with an estimated camera speed of eighteen frames per second would produce an elapsed time of 2.33 seconds. This would allow enough time for a lone gunman to have done the shooting, according to the FBI's calculation of 2.25 to 2.30 as the minimum time needed to aim and fire. But if Zapruder's camera ran at 18.8 frames per second instead of 18.0, this same 42-frame interval would be only 2.23 seconds and would fall just below the lone-assassin minimum.

The FBI, having official investigative responsibility, obtained the camera from Zapruder, tested it, and found the average running speed to be 18.3 frames per second.20 This took place nearly two weeks after the assassination.21 But what of NPIC's very-rushed, very sophisticated analysis conducted the night of the assassination? It makes no sense that after calculating the time between shots in terms of tenths of seconds, NPIC and the CIA would sit back and wait for a couple of weeks until the FBI provided this key piece of data -- the camera speed.

In October 1982, while searching through the FBI's voluminous, poorly organized assassination files, I came across a memo which strongly supported the notion the NPIC had not waited for the FBI. The December 4, 1963 memo written by FBI agent Robert Barrett, reports that on the date Zapruder handed his camera over to the FBI. Barrett goes on to say that, "He (Zapruder) advised this camera had been in the hands of the United States Secret Service agents on Dec. 3, 1963, as they claimed they wanted to do some checking of it."22

We do not know how long the Secret Service had the camera or when they got it from Zapruder. Zapruder told the FBI that the Secret Service had the camera on December 3, when they returned it to him; the Service could have borrowed it from him days before that. Thus we have an important break in the known chain of possession of the camera. It went not from Zapruder to the FBI but from Zapruder to the Secret Service then back to Zapruder and then to the FBI. It was then that the FBI made the crucial calculation of 18.3 frames per second, which everyone henceforth would use as the time frame for analyzing the Z film. It is surely possible, even reasonable, that the Secret Service might have done with the camera what it did with the film -- secretly rush it to NPIC where it could be analyzed, but where it also could have been tampered with.

The search for additional documents continues. Someday, we may know the real chain of possession of the film and camera. For now, this much is clear. The official, historically accepted chain of possession is wrong. The film's secret journey to a CIA laboratory in Washington on the night of the assassination raises serious doubts about the film's integrity as evidence. It also raises questions about who in the intelligence community knew what, when and how concerning John Kennedy's assassination.

CONTINUED IN FINAL PART

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CONCLUDING SEGMENT...

If, as appears to be the case, it was the original of the Z film that was secretly diverted to the CIA laboratory on November 22, 1963, then the means and opportunity for sophisticated alteration did, in fact, exist -- alteration that even the most expert analysis would have difficulty in detecting. By the 1960s cinematography labs had the technical capacity to insert or delete individual frames of a film,to resize images, to create special effects. But it would take an extraordinary sophistication to do so in a manner that would defy detection -- the kind of sophistication that one would expect of CIA photo experts.

Between Zapruder and the Secret Service, they had possession of all three of the Dallas-made copies for nearly twenty-four hours. With the original at NPIC and with three copies made there, it is possible that if the film was doctored, the three NPIC copies of the doctored film were substituted for the three Dallas-made copies. It is even possible that all of the Dallas-made copies went to NPIC along with the original and that the switch was made there. We have only Zapruder and the Secret Service's assertions as to where the copies were for twenty-four hours.

Setting aside the worst-case scenario (so alteration of the original film in order to hide a conspiracy), there is still the fact that NPIC generated data which would logically support a conspiracy theory, and that this data never reached the Warren Commission and appears to have been withheld from the Secret Service as well.

It is possible that the film of the century is more intricately related to the crime of the century than we ever knew -- not because it recorded the crime of the century, as we have assumed, but because it was itself an instrument of conspiracy.

Footnotes:

1. See David S. Lifton, Best Evidence (New York: Macmillan, 1980), p. 355n, 557n.

2. Zapruder testimony in Warren Commission Hearings, vol7, pp. 569-76; Lifton, loc. cit; FBI report of agent Robert M. Barrett, Dec. 4, 1963; statement of George Hunt, Managing Editor, LIFE (cited in Josiah Thompson, Six Seconds In Dallas, Berkeley Ca (Berkeley Publ. Co., 1976, pp. 217-18); Richard B. Stolley, "What Happened Next?" Esquire Nov. 1973, pp. 134-5; 262-3.

3. CIA memo of June 5, 1973 "Secret Service Request," (for technical equipment). This document was part of the CIA's "Domestic Police Training File" (362 pages) obtained by the author through a 1982 Freedom of Information Act request, 1976 hearings of the House Intelligence Committee.

4. I am indebted to Elaine Fisher, Professor of Visual Design at Southeastern Massachusetts University, for providing expertise and suggesting other resource persons.

5. New York Times, May 13, 1965.

6. Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 7, pp. 569-71.

7. Sorrels testimony: Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 5, p.352.

8. Stolly, "What Happened Next."

9. Stolly, "What Happened Next."

10. Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 3, p. 407 (Frazer); vol. 3, p. 153.

11. CIA memo of Oct. 23, 1975 for Deputy Director, "The 'Zapruder Film' of President John F. Kennedy's Assassination" Doc. 1472-492-BT

12. CIA memo of Apr. 23, 1975 for Office of the Inspector General, subject: "The 'Zapruder Film' of President John F. Kennedy's Assassination" (Doc. 1627-1085)

13. CIA "Addendum to Comment on the Zapruder Film," p. 16, 1982; CIA release to Fensterwald.

14. Ibid

15. CIA Item #450, "NPIC Analysis of Zapruder Filming of John F. Kennedy Assassination"

16. CIA "Addendum to Comment . . " (see citation 13 above)

17. Suydam letter to Rowley, Jan. 7, 1964

18. Rowley memo to Sorrels, Jan. 14, 1964 (Secret Service 00-2-34-000)

19. Sorrels to Inspector Kelly, "Zapruder Film of the Assassination of President Kennedy," Jan. 21, 1964.

20. Warren Report

21. Report of FBI Agent Robert M. Barrett (see citation 2), Barrett reports that he received the camera from Zapruder on Dec. 4.

22. Barrett report.

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I find it interesting that this important thread has many readings

but NO comments.

Jack

Jack, I would imagine you are familiar with the allegation by Paul Rothermel, something to the effect that the Hunt family or perhaps it was Bunker or H.L. Hunt had the original copy of the Zapruder film, how much stock if any, do you put in that?

I recently discovered that the famed 60's era assertion [see Farewell America, etc. ] that H.L Hunt watched the motorcade pass by was quite true, corroborated by no other than Hunt's daughter herself, see

H.L. and Lyda - Margaret Hunt Hill; page 262...

"It was a Friday. The presidential motorcade was en route to a luncheon at the Apparel Mart, Daddy and Al stepped over to the office window and watched it pass down Main Street. They were not pleased by the administration that others regarded as "Camelot." They saw no magic in it."

also interesting is her statement regarding the aftermath of the assassination "The Dallas Police called Daddy at White Rock Lake and told him he was not safe and to get out of town immediately."

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  • 3 weeks later...
I find it interesting that this important thread has many readings

but NO comments.

Jack

Jack, I would imagine you are familiar with the allegation by Paul Rothermel, something to the effect that the Hunt family or perhaps it was Bunker or H.L. Hunt had the original copy of the Zapruder film, how much stock if any, do you put in that?

I recently discovered that the famed 60's era assertion [see Farewell America, etc. ] that H.L Hunt watched the motorcade pass by was quite true, corroborated by no other than Hunt's daughter herself, see

H.L. and Lyda - Margaret Hunt Hill; page 262...

"It was a Friday. The presidential motorcade was en route to a luncheon at the Apparel Mart, Daddy and Al stepped over to the office window and watched it pass down Main Street. They were not pleased by the administration that others regarded as "Camelot." They saw no magic in it."

also interesting is her statement regarding the aftermath of the assassination "The Dallas Police called Daddy at White Rock Lake and told him he was not safe and to get out of town immediately."

I am posting this blurb here, because I wanted to make sure Jack White saw it, while I am not really involved in the controversy over the Zapruder film, that does not mean I don't follow the information and persons associated with the film....I saw this the other day, and felt that if Noel Twyman was interested enough to look into it, that was good enough for me.......

TULLIUS, RICHARD F. (FATHER)

Sources: Conversation with Noel Twyman 1/16/95

Mary's

Comments: Father Tullius was 17 years old 11/22/63. He took slides of the JFK motorcade from Love Field to Parkland Hospital and formed a group of people who put their slides together. Many good slides of Parkland Hospital. He was not at Dealey Plaza that day. In 1995, he is Pastor of St. Michael The Archangel Roman Catholic Church in Grand Prairie, TX.

See

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...wRec.do?id=9583

TULLIUS, DOROTHY (MRS. A. BERNARD TULLIUS)

Sources: -----

Mary's

Comments: On 11/22/63, she worked for film company that developed Zapruder film (Jamieson?). She took a "copy" home for a few days and her brother-in-law, Bob Tullius, an auditor with Chrysler Corporation, viewed it then. Bernard Tullius was an electronics engineer with LTV. In 1970, Mrs. Dorothy Tullius was working in Sanger Harris' camera department. In 1994, phone is listed in name of Albert B. Tullius. On 1/13/95, Noel Twyman talked to her and she said her film was made by her nephew, Fr. Richard Tullius, priest in Grand Prairie, TX. (Is he the Richard Tullis in the AARC index? Is he the man filming on the same side of the street as Jim Altgens but wearing a hat?) (See Fr. Richard F. Tullius)

See

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...wRec.do?id=9582

FWIW

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HIDDEN EXPOSURE

Cover-Up and Intrigue in the CIA's Secret Possession of the Zapruder film

by

Philip H. Melanson

If Secret Service agents were such lions in dealing with Earl Rose, why their lamb-like behavior with Abrahan Zapruder?

One of them had the full weight of the CIA's thuggy legions behind him; the other had merely the law. No contest.

LIFE's Richard B. Stolly recalled that through all the chaos, Zapruder kept his "business sense."

But did he? See Lifton's essay Pig on a Leash for a very different truth!

Great to see this important piece of work aired on the Forum. Well done. More, please!

Paul

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  • 2 years later...
I find it interesting that this important thread has many readings

but NO comments.

Jack

agreed jack i posted the link to this article at the mary ferrell site in i think the doug horne thread the only one who showed any interest was bill kelly thanks for posting the print out....b

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Guest James H. Fetzer

Jack,

What fascinates me is that, once this study had been published, there was

no longer any justification for the chain-of-custody argument as a defense

against Zapruder film alteration. Yet Josiah Thompson was still advancing

it when THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX (2003) was published and, so

far as I am aware, has yet to repudiate it, even with the publication of the

chapter about NIPC by Doug Horne in MURDER IN DEALEY PLAZA (2000)

and now the additional confirmation he has acquired about it. So where

and when did this masterful study appear? And why has Tink ignored it?

Jim

I find it interesting that this important thread has many readings

but NO comments.

Jack

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Guest James H. Fetzer

Jack,

What fascinates me is that, once this study had been published, there was

no longer any justification for the chain-of-custody argument as a defense

against Zapruder film alteration. Yet Josiah Thompson was still advancing

it when THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX (2003) was published and, so

far as I am aware, has yet to repudiate it, even with the publication of the

chapter about NIPC by Doug Horne in MURDER IN DEALEY PLAZA (2000)

and now the additional confirmation he has acquired about it. So where

and when did this masterful study appear? And why has Tink ignored it?

Jim

I find it interesting that this important thread has many readings

but NO comments.

Jack

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What fascinates me is that, once this study had been published, there was

no longer any justification for the chain-of-custody argument as a defense

against Zapruder film alteration. Yet Josiah Thompson was still advancing

it when THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX (2003) was published and, so

far as I am aware, has yet to repudiate it, even with the publication of the

chapter about NIPC by Doug Horne in MURDER IN DEALEY PLAZA (2000)

and now the additional confirmation he has acquired about it. So where

and when did this masterful study appear? And why has Tink ignored it?

Phil Melanson's article, Hidden Exposure: Cover Up and Intrigue in the CIA's Secret Possession of the Zapruder Film,

appeared in the inaugural issue of Jerry Rose's remarkable journal, The Third Decade

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...bsPageId=520770

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Guest James H. Fetzer

Michael, Do you know the date of publication? I visited the site and could not tell. Thanks very much. Jim

What fascinates me is that, once this study had been published, there was

no longer any justification for the chain-of-custody argument as a defense

against Zapruder film alteration. Yet Josiah Thompson was still advancing

it when THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX (2003) was published and, so

far as I am aware, has yet to repudiate it, even with the publication of the

chapter about NIPC by Doug Horne in MURDER IN DEALEY PLAZA (2000)

and now the additional confirmation he has acquired about it. So where

and when did this masterful study appear? And why has Tink ignored it?

Phil Melanson's article, Hidden Exposure: Cover Up and Intrigue in the CIA's Secret Possession of the Zapruder Film,

appeared in the inaugural issue of Jerry Rose's remarkable journal, The Third Decade

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...bsPageId=520770

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Michael, Do you know the date of publication? I visited the site and could not tell. Thanks very much. Jim
What fascinates me is that, once this study had been published, there was

no longer any justification for the chain-of-custody argument as a defense

against Zapruder film alteration. Yet Josiah Thompson was still advancing

it when THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX (2003) was published and, so

far as I am aware, has yet to repudiate it, even with the publication of the

chapter about NIPC by Doug Horne in MURDER IN DEALEY PLAZA (2000)

and now the additional confirmation he has acquired about it. So where

and when did this masterful study appear? And why has Tink ignored it?

Phil Melanson's article, Hidden Exposure: Cover Up and Intrigue in the CIA's Secret Possession of the Zapruder Film,

appeared in the inaugural issue of Jerry Rose's remarkable journal, The Third Decade

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...bsPageId=520770

That issue was published November of 1984

However Jim I dont know if that article was ever published before this 3rd Decade issue was released

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