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Moorman - Towner: Fetzer’s Three Claims


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Towner-Moorman.jpg

Professor Fetzer wanders around in the underbrush of fact, here and there advised by Jack White and John Costella. His latest offering is a comparison of the Towner film with the Moorman photograph.

Given this offering, Fetzer has allowed himself the following three conclusions: (1) The Towner photograph throws into doubt the Miller argument that Moorman’s camera is looking down onto the top of the motorcyclists’ windscreens. (2) “Your [that is, Thompson’s] argument about being run over if she were in the street has no basis in fact.” (3) “The Zippos are our best evidence.”

I will take his conclusions in order but first the viewer might want to actually look at the Towner film (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xtwBULHBFg) and the Dorman film (http://jfk.org/go/collections/item-detail?fedoraid=sfm:1995.020.0001; click on expanded view).

First, the claim that the Towner photo throws into doubt the Miller argument that Moorman’s camera is looking down onto the top of the motorcyclists’ windscreens.

Just for starters, he’s got the motorcylists wrong. The motorcyclist pictured above in the Towner photo is Officer B.J. Martin, not Officer Bobby Hargis. Martin was riding the farthest outboard of the limousine while Hargis was riding next to the limousine on its left side. The same mistake is made in the caption for the Moorman photo. It is Martin’s windshield not Hargis’ windshield that is indicated by a red dot. Hence, the placement of the camera is wrong since it is outboard of Martin (not Hargis).

Next, Fetzer defers to White who claims that the windshield (of Martin’s cycle not Hargis’s cycle; see above)“IS SEEN ONLY IN THE ZIPPO PRINT. The thumbprint obscures it in all other Moorman prints.” (White’s emphasis). This is plainly dead wrong. The windshield is seen much more clearly in both the UPI and the FBI prints. Here are the UPI copy and the FBI copy below:

UPIcopyPrestonoriginal.jpg

MoormanFBIprint.jpg

Now look closely at the frame from the Towner film posted by White. The lens of Towner’s camera is either level with or slightly below the top of Martin’s (not Hargis’) cycle. This is exactly what we would expect since Towner was clearly standing in the street to film, as seen in Betzner 2 and the Dorman film. You say, “But Towner was thirteen and may have been quite short then?” We reply, “Towner was at least Mary Moorman’s height of 5"0" to 5"1" back then.” You ask, “How do you know? We reply, “We asked her yesterday afternoon.”

Now look at the Moorman photo. The lens of Moorman’s camera is clearly looking down at the tops of both Martin’s and Hargis’s windscreens. After six years of ignoring and hoping it would go away, this is the point that Fetzer finally had to admit.

Hence, what we see is quite simple. Towner’s lens is looking up at the top of the windscreen as we would expect it to since Towner was standing in the street. Moorman’s lens is looking down on the top of the windscreen as we would expect it to since Moorman was standing in the grass.

In his second claim, Fetzer asserts that the fact Towner took her photo from the street means that our earlier point (that Moorman would have been run over by the cyclists on Elm Street) “has no basis in fact.” This claim also is dead wrong. Note in the Towner film and in the Elsie Dorman film that parked cars have been removed from Houston Street. This gave Houston Street three lanes in each direction with the limousine proceeding down the center of the street. Near the corner of Elm and Houston Streets a few spectators including Tina Towner ventured into the street. However, this was not possible on Elm Street which had only three lanes — half the number present on Houston Street. This is a simple, elementary fact about Dealey Plaza.

And what of the claim that the Zippo copy is the “best evidence” because of the thump print that mars other copies? We have already seen that this is not true since both the UPI and the FBI copies are much superior to the Zippo snapshot and are not marred by the fingerprint.

Three up and three down. We have dismantled every factual claim Professor Fetzer has put up. His latest claims were really elementary and easy to take down.

Josiah Thompson

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Could these images get permanently embedded without lessening Josiahs' image quota, please.

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Towner-Moorman.jpg

Professor Fetzer wanders around in the underbrush of fact, here and there advised by Jack White and John Costella. His latest offering is a comparison of the Towner film with the Moorman photograph.

Given this offering, Fetzer has allowed himself the following three conclusions: (1) The Towner photograph throws into doubt the Miller argument that Moorman’s camera is looking down onto the top of the motorcyclists’ windscreens. (2) “Your [that is, Thompson’s] argument about being run over if she were in the street has no basis in fact.” (3) “The Zippos are our best evidence.”

I will take his conclusions in order but first the viewer might want to actually look at the Towner film (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xtwBULHBFg) and the Dorman film (http://jfk.org/go/collections/item-detail?fedoraid=sfm:1995.020.0001; click on expanded view).

First, the claim that the Towner photo throws into doubt the Miller argument that Moorman’s camera is looking down onto the top of the motorcyclists’ windscreens.

Just for starters, he’s got the motorcylists wrong. The motorcyclist pictured above in the Towner photo is Officer B.J. Martin, not Officer Bobby Hargis. Martin was riding the farthest outboard of the limousine while Hargis was riding next to the limousine on its left side. The same mistake is made in the caption for the Moorman photo. It is Martin’s windshield not Hargis’ windshield that is indicated by a red dot. Hence, the placement of the camera is wrong since it is outboard of Martin (not Hargis).

Next, Fetzer defers to White who claims that the windshield (of Martin’s cycle not Hargis’s cycle; see above)“IS SEEN ONLY IN THE ZIPPO PRINT. The thumbprint obscures it in all other Moorman prints.” (White’s emphasis). This is plainly dead wrong. The windshield is seen much more clearly in both the UPI and the FBI prints. Here are the UPI copy and the FBI copy below:

UPIcopyPrestonoriginal.jpg

MoormanFBIprint.jpg

Now look closely at the frame from the Towner film posted by White. The lens of Towner’s camera is either level with or slightly below the top of Martin’s (not Hargis’) cycle. This is exactly what we would expect since Towner was clearly standing in the street to film, as seen in Betzner 2 and the Dorman film. You say, “But Towner was thirteen and may have been quite short then?” We reply, “Towner was at least Mary Moorman’s height of 5"0" to 5"1" back then.” You ask, “How do you know? We reply, “We asked her yesterday afternoon.”

Now look at the Moorman photo. The lens of Moorman’s camera is clearly looking down at the tops of both Martin’s and Hargis’s windscreens. After six years of ignoring and hoping it would go away, this is the point that Fetzer finally had to admit.

Hence, what we see is quite simple. Towner’s lens is looking up at the top of the windscreen as we would expect it to since Towner was standing in the street. Moorman’s lens is looking down on the top of the windscreen as we would expect it to since Moorman was standing in the grass.

In his second claim, Fetzer asserts that the fact Towner took her photo from the street means that our earlier point (that Moorman would have been run over by the cyclists on Elm Street) “has no basis in fact.” This claim also is dead wrong. Note in the Towner film and in the Elsie Dorman film that parked cars have been removed from Houston Street. This gave Houston Street three lanes in each direction with the limousine proceeding down the center of the street. Near the corner of Elm and Houston Streets a few spectators including Tina Towner ventured into the street. However, this was not possible on Elm Street which had only three lanes — half the number present on Houston Street. This is a simple, elementary fact about Dealey Plaza.

And what of the claim that the Zippo copy is the “best evidence” because of the thump print that mars other copies? We have already seen that this is not true since both the UPI and the FBI copies are much superior to the Zippo snapshot and are not marred by the fingerprint.

Three up and three down. We have dismantled every factual claim Professor Fetzer has put up. His latest claims were really elementary and easy to take down.

Josiah Thompson

To all concerned,

How far down Elm in elevation, is Officer Martin than Towner?

I would imagine this should be taken into account, when making height comparison's.

chris

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Towner-Moorman.jpg

Professor Fetzer wanders around in the underbrush of fact, here and there advised by Jack White and John Costella. His latest offering is a comparison of the Towner film with the Moorman photograph.

Given this offering, Fetzer has allowed himself the following three conclusions: (1) The Towner photograph throws into doubt the Miller argument that Moorman’s camera is looking down onto the top of the motorcyclists’ windscreens. (2) “Your [that is, Thompson’s] argument about being run over if she were in the street has no basis in fact.” (3) “The Zippos are our best evidence.”

I will take his conclusions in order but first the viewer might want to actually look at the Towner film (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xtwBULHBFg) and the Dorman film (http://jfk.org/go/collections/item-detail?fedoraid=sfm:1995.020.0001; click on expanded view).

First, the claim that the Towner photo throws into doubt the Miller argument that Moorman’s camera is looking down onto the top of the motorcyclists’ windscreens.

Just for starters, he’s got the motorcylists wrong. The motorcyclist pictured above in the Towner photo is Officer B.J. Martin, not Officer Bobby Hargis. Martin was riding the farthest outboard of the limousine while Hargis was riding next to the limousine on its left side. The same mistake is made in the caption for the Moorman photo. It is Martin’s windshield not Hargis’ windshield that is indicated by a red dot. Hence, the placement of the camera is wrong since it is outboard of Martin (not Hargis).

Next, Fetzer defers to White who claims that the windshield (of Martin’s cycle not Hargis’s cycle; see above)“IS SEEN ONLY IN THE ZIPPO PRINT. The thumbprint obscures it in all other Moorman prints.” (White’s emphasis). This is plainly dead wrong. The windshield is seen much more clearly in both the UPI and the FBI prints. Here are the UPI copy and the FBI copy below:

UPIcopyPrestonoriginal.jpg

MoormanFBIprint.jpg

Now look closely at the frame from the Towner film posted by White. The lens of Towner’s camera is either level with or slightly below the top of Martin’s (not Hargis’) cycle. This is exactly what we would expect since Towner was clearly standing in the street to film, as seen in Betzner 2 and the Dorman film. You say, “But Towner was thirteen and may have been quite short then?” We reply, “Towner was at least Mary Moorman’s height of 5"0" to 5"1" back then.” You ask, “How do you know? We reply, “We asked her yesterday afternoon.”

Now look at the Moorman photo. The lens of Moorman’s camera is clearly looking down at the tops of both Martin’s and Hargis’s windscreens. After six years of ignoring and hoping it would go away, this is the point that Fetzer finally had to admit.

Hence, what we see is quite simple. Towner’s lens is looking up at the top of the windscreen as we would expect it to since Towner was standing in the street. Moorman’s lens is looking down on the top of the windscreen as we would expect it to since Moorman was standing in the grass.

In his second claim, Fetzer asserts that the fact Towner took her photo from the street means that our earlier point (that Moorman would have been run over by the cyclists on Elm Street) “has no basis in fact.” This claim also is dead wrong. Note in the Towner film and in the Elsie Dorman film that parked cars have been removed from Houston Street. This gave Houston Street three lanes in each direction with the limousine proceeding down the center of the street. Near the corner of Elm and Houston Streets a few spectators including Tina Towner ventured into the street. However, this was not possible on Elm Street which had only three lanes — half the number present on Houston Street. This is a simple, elementary fact about Dealey Plaza.

And what of the claim that the Zippo copy is the “best evidence” because of the thump print that mars other copies? We have already seen that this is not true since both the UPI and the FBI copies are much superior to the Zippo snapshot and are not marred by the fingerprint.

Three up and three down. We have dismantled every factual claim Professor Fetzer has put up. His latest claims were really elementary and easy to take down.

Josiah Thompson

To all concerned,

How far down Elm in elevation, is Officer Martin than Towner?

I would imagine this should be taken into account, when making height comparison's.

chris

Why? Compare the trunk lids from the Towner and Moorman images. In Towner you can't see much , if any of the width of the trunk lid. In Moorman, you see quite a bit of the width of the trunk lid. Towners camera was much lower than Moormans. Camea to subject distances are similar.

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Why? Compare the trunk lids from the Towner and Moorman images. In Towner you can't see much , if any of the width of the trunk lid. In Moorman, you see quite a bit of the width of the trunk lid. Towners camera was much lower than Moormans. Camea to subject distances are similar.

Craig ... its not hard for these guys to see the angle changes in things when the camera is at different levels. At one height the cross bar of the limo may fall on a horizontal plane, but when seen from above - it looks slanted. Its simply perspective and how everything works on a vanishing point on the horizon. This law of nature seems to continually go over their heads and this means they obviously don't understand its purpose as to how to read a picture. With that being said ... you are describing things that they have no comprehension as to what you are talking about.

Bill

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Hi Bill,

Firstly I want to say that on the whole, most of your posts (which I have had the pleasure of reading) seem to be very well written, informative, witty and engaging. You have always struck me as a methodical person with an eye for detail, someone whom is not in the habit of forgetting things easily and can certainly give as good as he takes when the need arises. But rightly or wrongly the most common theme that I have taken from your posts is one of fairness.

The subject of whether or not Moorman took her picture in the street is of little personal interest to me, but reading the different perspectives, observations and logic of those that are contributing is interesting and therefore worth reading. It is with that in mind that I find your comments (highlighted below) somewhat dismissive, condescending and bordering on insulting, which surprised me upon reading them.

I understand that there are clearly two opposing camps on this point but personal differences are now obviously to some extent superseding where Moorman took her picture from. I can also appreciate that both sides have obviously placed much time and effort in advocating their respective positions which makes the very thought of entering this arena not for the faint hearted. But it would be ‘unfair’ to turn this thread into an ‘us or them’ thread which would surely only serve to discourage those of us who may wish to make a contribution in the form of an observation or question such as the one Chris Davidson appears to have made.

I have no affiliations with any sides on this forum and enjoy reading all view points with an open mind. I appreciate and look forward to contrasting views which from time to time allow me to challenge my own beliefs thus hopefully avoid taking them for granted. So I implore you Bill to show the same level of consideration, fairness and indeed helpfulness in this thread as I have seen you show in so many others and encourage not deter readers from contributing so that they we may understand some of the more intricate points better.

Thanks – Steve

PS: I would like to say that it is nice to see Josiah Thompson posting here again as his book: ‘Six Seconds in Dallas’ is a personal favourite of mine.

.....................................

Chris Davidson Posted:

“To all concerned,

How far down Elm in elevation, is Officer Martin than Towner?

I would imagine this should be taken into account, when making height comparison's.

chris”

To which Craig Lamson replied:

“Why? Compare the trunk lids from the Towner and Moorman images. In Towner you can't see much , if any of the width of the trunk lid. In Moorman, you see quite a bit of the width of the trunk lid. Towners camera was much lower than Moormans. Camea to subject distances are similar.”

Bill Miller then wrote:

“Craig ... its not hard for these guys to see the angle changes in things when the camera is at different levels. At one height the cross bar of the limo may fall on a horizontal plane, but when seen from above - it looks slanted. Its simply perspective and how everything works on a vanishing point on the horizon. This law of nature seems to continually go over their heads and this means they obviously don't understand its purpose as to how to read a picture. With that being said ... you are describing things that they have no comprehension as to what you are talking about.

Bill”

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I couldn't agree with you more, Steve. And damn well put!

Josiah Thompson

Hi Bill,

Firstly I want to say that on the whole, most of your posts (which I have had the pleasure of reading) seem to be very well written, informative, witty and engaging. You have always struck me as a methodical person with an eye for detail, someone whom is not in the habit of forgetting things easily and can certainly give as good as he takes when the need arises. But rightly or wrongly the most common theme that I have taken from your posts is one of fairness.

The subject of whether or not Moorman took her picture in the street is of little personal interest to me, but reading the different perspectives, observations and logic of those that are contributing is interesting and therefore worth reading. It is with that in mind that I find your comments (highlighted below) somewhat dismissive, condescending and bordering on insulting, which surprised me upon reading them.

I understand that there are clearly two opposing camps on this point but personal differences are now obviously to some extent superseding where Moorman took her picture from. I can also appreciate that both sides have obviously placed much time and effort in advocating their respective positions which makes the very thought of entering this arena not for the faint hearted. But it would be ‘unfair’ to turn this thread into an ‘us or them’ thread which would surely only serve to discourage those of us who may wish to make a contribution in the form of an observation or question such as the one Chris Davidson appears to have made.

I have no affiliations with any sides on this forum and enjoy reading all view points with an open mind. I appreciate and look forward to contrasting views which from time to time allow me to challenge my own beliefs thus hopefully avoid taking them for granted. So I implore you Bill to show the same level of consideration, fairness and indeed helpfulness in this thread as I have seen you show in so many others and encourage not deter readers from contributing so that they we may understand some of the more intricate points better.

Thanks – Steve

PS: I would like to say that it is nice to see Josiah Thompson posting here again as his book: ‘Six Seconds in Dallas’ is a personal favourite of mine.

.....................................

Chris Davidson Posted:

“To all concerned,

How far down Elm in elevation, is Officer Martin than Towner?

I would imagine this should be taken into account, when making height comparison's.

chris”

To which Craig Lamson replied:

“Why? Compare the trunk lids from the Towner and Moorman images. In Towner you can't see much , if any of the width of the trunk lid. In Moorman, you see quite a bit of the width of the trunk lid. Towners camera was much lower than Moormans. Camea to subject distances are similar.”

Bill Miller then wrote:

“Craig ... its not hard for these guys to see the angle changes in things when the camera is at different levels. At one height the cross bar of the limo may fall on a horizontal plane, but when seen from above - it looks slanted. Its simply perspective and how everything works on a vanishing point on the horizon. This law of nature seems to continually go over their heads and this means they obviously don't understand its purpose as to how to read a picture. With that being said ... you are describing things that they have no comprehension as to what you are talking about.

Bill”

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“Craig ... its not hard for these guys to see the angle changes in things when the camera is at different levels. At one height the cross bar of the limo may fall on a horizontal plane, but when seen from above - it looks slanted. Its simply perspective and how everything works on a vanishing point on the horizon. This law of nature seems to continually go over their heads and this means they obviously don't understand its purpose as to how to read a picture. With that being said ... you are describing things that they have no comprehension as to what you are talking about.

Bill”

I am sorry you feel that way, but they are obviously not very well versed at understanding perspective and how it helps one read a photo. It was not to separate anyone from another other than to point out that some people can read a photo by looking for things that others just do not seem to comprehend.

Bill

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Just quick thanks to both Bill and Josiah for their comments and understanding.

Steve

Yes, and rather than address the issues of alteration vs authenticy of the Z film, I have started a thread that asks the queston of what the film shows if we assume that it authentic and unaltered?

I would specifically like Bill and Josiah, Gary Mack and Barb to respond.

Thanks,

Bill Kelly

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