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The Zapruder Film


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Jack, sorry, can't give a yes no. There is sufficient indication that frames are numbered incorrectly. (eg IMO 313 should at least be 314, possibly more) without any consideration re genuineness. ie it is futile (to some extent) to cite the commonly used frame numbers to prove certain things. Using Costella-altered frames is also futile.

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Anyone with a basic understanding of Newtonian physics (specifically the principle of the conservation of momentum) will understand that an impacting bullet will not have sufficient momentum to cause any appreciable movement in a target that is much heavier (apologies - I don't know what the precise ratio is, but I'm pretty sure JFK's head weighed considerably more than the bullet that penetrated it). The film also clearly shows debris ejecting in front of JFK. Only a bullet fired from behind could have this effect.

The 'headsnap' is therefore irrelevant in determining the direction of the bullet. I'm not even convinced the film shows a headsnap.

Assuming the film wasn't faked (no-one has ever provided any convincing evidence that it was), the shot that hit JFK's head came from behind. Simple.

Paul...evidently you have not studied the research. Click here...

http://www.assassinationscience.com/johnco...ntro/index.html

Jack

Jack,

I have studied the research presented and while everyone has different levels of tolerance for evidence, and I am not nor will ever claim to be an expert in photography or film, I am not convinced that the Z film has been altered or is a fake based up the blur, sign, lamp post, etc., or Morreman in the street. I am still open to persuasion however, if there is something else.

What I have come up with is my own thesis, that the more one looks at a photo or film, the more anomalies will be seen. I haven't tested it yet.

If the case for Z film alteration were convincing, and true, then all it would do is throw out the film as evidence in the crime. Just chuck it in the trash as it tells us nothing about the assassination.

But if it is authentic, and accurately represents what really happened, then that should tell us something, other than the fact that he was murdered by a bullet to the head.

What does the authentic Z film tell us? That's what the question on the table is at the moment.

And if what you say, and what Fetzer says is true, and the film is a fake, then that's the end of the discussion, it's no good as evidence, can't be introduced into evidence as an exhibit and can be thrown in the trash, end of discussion. Move on to the next exhibit and what is real and can be introduced as evidence, and what does that tell us?

But then I decided that if the Z film was positively forged, or otherwise altered, then that is a crime, tampering with evidence, and thus those who did it can be prosecuted.

Thus, it would have to be determined when the film was altered or tampered with, and who did, and why.

Since the provenance of the Z film is well documented, we should be able to identify these culprets, and if we can't find out who the Sixth Floor sniper was, or who was behind the assassination, at least we can get the guys who tampered with the Z film evidence.

The provenance of the Z film shows that Zapruder was escourted to the film lab and three copies of the film made, one going to the Secret Service, two to life mag, and whatever....happened to them, they had to tamper with the original, or all three of the copies. So when did the tapering happen and who did it?

Did they do it just to the original, before they made copies, or did they do it to the original and the copies?

As far as I'm concerned, the Z film should be entered into evidence as Exhibit A1, either as an accurate portrayal of the murder, and if that is the case, I'd like to hear from someone who actually believes that, to tell me what the Z film shows us. What does it say? What is it evidence of, other than a murder.

And if it can be positively shown to be tampered with in any way, then that should be determined, and who was responsible for that tampering should be identified and considered for prosecution for tampering with evidence.

So its not so futal after all Jack.

It's either one way or the other.

Bill Kelly

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Bill, what a wonderful question!

There are numerous finds in the Zapruder film that are more than just significant. They are truly important. I wish I had the time to respond fully to your great question. Unfortunately, I’m facing deadline on a case I’m working on and a report has to get done tonight. So let me just reply by citing one feature.

I think Ray Marcus was the first to notice this over forty years ago. Working on Ray’s find I was able to quantify the movement of Connally’s shoulders. As you run through the Z230s, Connally is turning to his right. The angle subtended by his shoulder with the side of the limousine gets smaller and smaller as he turns. Then dramatically, in frame 238 the shoulder drops and the angle widens. This all happens between frames 237 and 238 in an 1/18th of a second. More than this, in frame 238 we can see his hair is dislodged and his cheeks begin to puff. For forty years, this has seemed to me to be important evidence of a hit on Connally between Z237 and Z238. These effect seem to me to be the momentum transfer effects of a bullet hit and not some delayed reaction on Connally’s part. The bullet drives through his chest splintering a rib and blowing a hole the size of a 50 cent piece out the front of his chest. His hair is dislodged and the compression of the chest wall drives air upward, opening the trap door of the epiglottis and making his cheeks puff. The cheek puff becomes even more pronounced in 239 and 240. Because of Connally’s turn, the trajectory for this hit would lead back to the roof of the Records Building, kitty-corner across the street from the Depository. I have heard that a cartridge case was found up there on the roof of the Records Building years later. In addition, by the early 240s we get a glimpse of Connally right wrist which now seems to be hanging limply down.

This whole effect is seen naturally only in the Zapruder film. It’s been around for forty years but I don’t know if anyone has come up with an alternative interpretation of what we see in the Zapruder film. If so, perhaps someone could educate me. I’d love to hear what the thinking has been on this.

Josiah Thompson

The Zapruder Film - What does it tell us?

If the Z film is an accurate representation of what happened at Dealey Plaza, what does it tell us, other than JFK was shot in the head by a bullet and murdered?

Does it tell us which direction the bullet came from?

Does it tell us how many shots there were and what damage they did?

Does it tell us Moorman was not in the street when she took the photo, and that witness testimony is not always accurate?

Does it tell us how the Secret Service did their job that day?

What does it tell us?

BK

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Photos can lie. In the 1950s-80s I regularly retouched photos for newspaper

reproduction. For magazine higher quality reproductions, we employed

retouching studios in New York, Chicago and Dallas, who used bleach and

color dyes to make retouching perfect. I often airbrushed out backgrounds,

or retouched out imperfections. Today it is more easily done on computers.

I have even mastered that to a very limited extent.

Remember, not every bird is genuine.

Jack

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Anyone with a basic understanding of Newtonian physics (specifically the principle of the conservation of momentum) will understand that an impacting bullet will not have sufficient momentum to cause any appreciable movement in a target that is much heavier (apologies - I don't know what the precise ratio is, but I'm pretty sure JFK's head weighed considerably more than the bullet that penetrated it). The film also clearly shows debris ejecting in front of JFK. Only a bullet fired from behind could have this effect.

The 'headsnap' is therefore irrelevant in determining the direction of the bullet. I'm not even convinced the film shows a headsnap.

Assuming the film wasn't faked (no-one has ever provided any convincing evidence that it was), the shot that hit JFK's head came from behind. Simple.

Paul...evidently you have not studied the research. Click here...

http://www.assassinationscience.com/johnco...ntro/index.html

Jack

Jack,

I have studied the research presented and while everyone has different levels of tolerance for evidence, and I am not nor will ever claim to be an expert in photography or film, I am not convinced that the Z film has been altered or is a fake based up the blur, sign, lamp post, etc., or Morreman in the street. I am still open to persuasion however, if there is something else.

What I have come up with is my own thesis, that the more one looks at a photo or film, the more anomalies will be seen. I haven't tested it yet.

If the case for Z film alteration were convincing, and true, then all it would do is throw out the film as evidence in the crime. Just chuck it in the trash as it tells us nothing about the assassination.

But if it is authentic, and accurately represents what really happened, then that should tell us something, other than the fact that he was murdered by a bullet to the head.

What does the authentic Z film tell us? That's what the question on the table is at the moment.

And if what you say, and what Fetzer says is true, and the film is a fake, then that's the end of the discussion, it's no good as evidence, can't be introduced into evidence as an exhibit and can be thrown in the trash, end of discussion. Move on to the next exhibit and what is real and can be introduced as evidence, and what does that tell us?

But then I decided that if the Z film was positively forged, or otherwise altered, then that is a crime, tampering with evidence, and thus those who did it can be prosecuted.

Thus, it would have to be determined when the film was altered or tampered with, and who did, and why.

Since the provenance of the Z film is well documented, we should be able to identify these culprets, and if we can't find out who the Sixth Floor sniper was, or who was behind the assassination, at least we can get the guys who tampered with the Z film evidence.

The provenance of the Z film shows that Zapruder was escourted to the film lab and three copies of the film made, one going to the Secret Service, two to life mag, and whatever....happened to them, they had to tamper with the original, or all three of the copies. So when did the tapering happen and who did it?

Did they do it just to the original, before they made copies, or did they do it to the original and the copies?

As far as I'm concerned, the Z film should be entered into evidence as Exhibit A1, either as an accurate portrayal of the murder, and if that is the case, I'd like to hear from someone who actually believes that, to tell me what the Z film shows us. What does it say? What is it evidence of, other than a murder.

And if it can be positively shown to be tampered with in any way, then that should be determined, and who was responsible for that tampering should be identified and considered for prosecution for tampering with evidence.

So its not so futal after all Jack.

It's either one way or the other.

Bill Kelly

"The provenance of the Z film shows that Zapruder was escourted to the film lab and three copies of the film made, one going to the Secret Service, two to life mag, and whatever....happened to them, they had to tamper with the original, or all three of the copies. So when did the tapering happen and who did it?

Did they do it just to the original, before they made copies, or did they do it to the original and the copies?

As far as I'm concerned, the Z film should be entered into evidence as Exhibit A1, either as an accurate portrayal of the murder, and if that is the case, I'd like to hear from someone who actually believes that, to tell me what the Z film shows us. What does it say? What is it evidence of, other than a murder.

And if it can be positively shown to be tampered with in any way, then that should be determined, and who was responsible for that tampering should be identified and considered for prosecution for tampering with evidence."

William I realise you asked Jack, but I'll interpose nevertheless. The Original that went to Life was broken, likely because the film was fatigued due to forward backward projection a number of times and then careless handling by Life technician, yet it was this poorly reconstructed film that was used by the presidential omission, not any other of the copies prebreak. Of those, a copy was used to poorly reconstruct the portion that eneded up in a bin (or safe somewhere). The SS got two copies, one of which AFAIK has never seen the light of day, one sent to them stright away, the other thumbed through frame by frame by Holmes and Sorrel that night. Which film we have today, who knows? I's like to see the copy that the SS first received in Washington.

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Anyone with a basic understanding of Newtonian physics (specifically the principle of the conservation of momentum) will understand that an impacting bullet will not have sufficient momentum to cause any appreciable movement in a target that is much heavier (apologies - I don't know what the precise ratio is, but I'm pretty sure JFK's head weighed considerably more than the bullet that penetrated it). The film also clearly shows debris ejecting in front of JFK. Only a bullet fired from behind could have this effect.

The 'headsnap' is therefore irrelevant in determining the direction of the bullet. I'm not even convinced the film shows a headsnap.

Assuming the film wasn't faked (no-one has ever provided any convincing evidence that it was), the shot that hit JFK's head came from behind. Simple.

Paul...evidently you have not studied the research. Click here...

http://www.assassinationscience.com/johnco...ntro/index.html

Jack

Jack,

I have studied the research presented and while everyone has different levels of tolerance for evidence, and I am not nor will ever claim to be an expert in photography or film, I am not convinced that the Z film has been altered or is a fake based up the blur, sign, lamp post, etc., or Morreman in the street. I am still open to persuasion however, if there is something else.

What I have come up with is my own thesis, that the more one looks at a photo or film, the more anomalies will be seen. I haven't tested it yet.

If the case for Z film alteration were convincing, and true, then all it would do is throw out the film as evidence in the crime. Just chuck it in the trash as it tells us nothing about the assassination.

But if it is authentic, and accurately represents what really happened, then that should tell us something, other than the fact that he was murdered by a bullet to the head.

What does the authentic Z film tell us? That's what the question on the table is at the moment.

And if what you say, and what Fetzer says is true, and the film is a fake, then that's the end of the discussion, it's no good as evidence, can't be introduced into evidence as an exhibit and can be thrown in the trash, end of discussion. Move on to the next exhibit and what is real and can be introduced as evidence, and what does that tell us?

But then I decided that if the Z film was positively forged, or otherwise altered, then that is a crime, tampering with evidence, and thus those who did it can be prosecuted.

Thus, it would have to be determined when the film was altered or tampered with, and who did, and why.

Since the provenance of the Z film is well documented, we should be able to identify these culprets, and if we can't find out who the Sixth Floor sniper was, or who was behind the assassination, at least we can get the guys who tampered with the Z film evidence.

The provenance of the Z film shows that Zapruder was escourted to the film lab and three copies of the film made, one going to the Secret Service, two to life mag, and whatever....happened to them, they had to tamper with the original, or all three of the copies. So when did the tapering happen and who did it?

Did they do it just to the original, before they made copies, or did they do it to the original and the copies?

As far as I'm concerned, the Z film should be entered into evidence as Exhibit A1, either as an accurate portrayal of the murder, and if that is the case, I'd like to hear from someone who actually believes that, to tell me what the Z film shows us. What does it say? What is it evidence of, other than a murder.

And if it can be positively shown to be tampered with in any way, then that should be determined, and who was responsible for that tampering should be identified and considered for prosecution for tampering with evidence.

So its not so futal after all Jack.

It's either one way or the other.

Bill Kelly

"The provenance of the Z film shows that Zapruder was escourted to the film lab and three copies of the film made, one going to the Secret Service, two to life mag, and whatever....happened to them, they had to tamper with the original, or all three of the copies. So when did the tapering happen and who did it?

Did they do it just to the original, before they made copies, or did they do it to the original and the copies?

As far as I'm concerned, the Z film should be entered into evidence as Exhibit A1, either as an accurate portrayal of the murder, and if that is the case, I'd like to hear from someone who actually believes that, to tell me what the Z film shows us. What does it say? What is it evidence of, other than a murder.

And if it can be positively shown to be tampered with in any way, then that should be determined, and who was responsible for that tampering should be identified and considered for prosecution for tampering with evidence."

William I realise you asked Jack, but I'll interpose nevertheless. The Original that went to Life was broken, likely because the film was fatigued due to forward backward projection a number of times and then careless handling by Life technician, yet it was this poorly reconstructed film that was used by the presidential omission, not any other of the copies prebreak. Of those, a copy was used to poorly reconstruct the portion that eneded up in a bin (or safe somewhere). The SS got two copies, one of which AFAIK has never seen the light of day, one sent to them stright away, the other thumbed through frame by frame by Holmes and Sorrel that night. Which film we have today, who knows? I's like to see the copy that the SS first received in Washington.

The provenance of the film is covered in HOAX by Fetzer. David Lifton's Pig on a Leash covers it well.

Have you never read Hoax?

Jack

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John,

I'd like to address a couple of these observations.

"The governor is not as precise as one might think, it's mechanical. A full wind up allows for set seconds of filming. At the start the speed governior kicks in and functions more or less as it should to provide an even frame rate. As the spring winds down the time comes when the action of the governor is less and less precice."

...actually, a test of the four 414's in my collection reveal a minimum of one minute of filming time available at full wind up (65-75 seconds was the range) plenty of time to film the assassination sequence. And these suckers are 40 years old, so they may have had even more spring power in 1963.

"If Zap started filming earlier then by the time the frames known as the z film were being exposed it would have been in the more stable rate with the governor working properly in the beginning of the known frames. Towards the end, the governor does not work as precicely in conjunction with the spring winding the film, actuating the mechanisms that drive the 'claw' advancing frames, and the speed drops towards the end of the film."

...can we assume that Zapruder had a fully wound camera for the recording of this event? It's just second nature to wind this camera between shots to keep the wind full. I can't imagine with the President coming he would have started filming the motorcade without a full charge. He had time, afterall.

"Z did not zoom in and out so the effective 'depth of field' is that which he started with. So as the limo comes closer the view finder is looking at a different place to where the lens film combo is pointing, so the limo is at the lower part of the exposed frames. As the film behaves according to these factors as well as the panning is 'stepped' as zap periodically adjusts for the downward movement of the scene producing shifts in distortions, it has all the hallmarks of an amateur film."

...I don't think the Zapruder performed any "step panning". The 414 camera eyepiece has to be placed against the operators eye to be an effective viewfinder. The camera literally touches the operator's face (keep this in mind if you purchase a 414 on ebay - sanitize it first!). This also helps stabilize the camera. The step movements as seen in the Zapruder films happen in 1/18 and 1/9th of a second intervals. It's impossible to move your head in the steps seen in the Zfilm, because more than likely, the Zapruder's head would have to make those movements as well. Also, since the camera is non-reflex, it is entirely possible that Zapruder framed the sequence properly in the eyepiece, and that could lead to vertical discrepancy on what's captured on film due to the relationship between the lens and the viewfinder. (There is less of an argument for this because the portion of the Zapruder film before the Stemmons sign is properly framed).

Bill, in terms of your question, "what does the zapruder film tell us?", first I think it would be interesting to know how many people have actually seen the Zapruder film projected on a projector at 18fps (or after having reverse telecined it) played on a computer screen at 18fps, let alone used these formats for their research. The telecine process that turns 18fps material into 29.97 material is pretty arbitrary, after all, and that process is designed to smooth motion from one format to another.

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Jack. No, I'm not interested in hoaxters, except as a phenomenon. I'd rather use my money to put petrol in my car and go and watch a movie.

edit:'Jack'

Edited by John Dolva
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John,

I'd like to address a couple of these observations.

"The governor is not as precise as one might think, it's mechanical. A full wind up allows for set seconds of filming. At the start the speed governior kicks in and functions more or less as it should to provide an even frame rate. As the spring winds down the time comes when the action of the governor is less and less precice."

...actually, a test of the four 414's in my collection reveal a minimum of one minute of filming time available at full wind up (65-75 seconds was the range) plenty of time to film the assassination sequence. And these suckers are 40 years old, so they may have had even more spring power in 1963.

Thank you. That will help in the synching. If we could have more data like that on the other cameras used it would be good too.

"If Zap started filming earlier then by the time the frames known as the z film were being exposed it would have been in the more stable rate with the governor working properly in the beginning of the known frames. Towards the end, the governor does not work as precicely in conjunction with the spring winding the film, actuating the mechanisms that drive the 'claw' advancing frames, and the speed drops towards the end of the film."

...can we assume that Zapruder had a fully wound camera for the recording of this event? It's just second nature to wind this camera between shots to keep the wind full. I can't imagine with the President coming he would have started filming the motorcade without a full charge. He had time, afterall.

possibly. He hadn't used it much, so second nature may not be a factor

"Z did not zoom in and out so the effective 'depth of field' is that which he started with. So as the limo comes closer the view finder is looking at a different place to where the lens film combo is pointing, so the limo is at the lower part of the exposed frames. As the film behaves according to these factors as well as the panning is 'stepped' as zap periodically adjusts for the downward movement of the scene producing shifts in distortions, it has all the hallmarks of an amateur film."

...I don't think the Zapruder performed any "step panning". The 414 camera eyepiece has to be placed against the operators eye to be an effective viewfinder. The camera literally touches the operator's face (keep this in mind if you purchase a 414 on ebay - sanitize it first!). This also helps stabilize the camera. The step movements as seen in the Zapruder films happen in 1/18 and 1/9th of a second intervals. It's impossible to move your head in the steps seen in the Zfilm, because more than likely, the Zapruder's head would have to make those movements as well. Also, since the camera is non-reflex, it is entirely possible that Zapruder framed the sequence properly in the eyepiece, and that could lead to vertical discrepancy on what's captured on film due to the relationship between the lens and the viewfinder. (There is less of an argument for this because the portion of the Zapruder film before the Stemmons sign is properly framed).

what I mean by step panning is that he panned more or less horizontally and kept correcting this throughout every 20 or so frames, a panoramic layering with the frames aligned show this stepping clearly

Bill, in terms of your question, "what does the zapruder film tell us?", first I think it would be interesting to know how many people have actually seen the Zapruder film projected on a projector at 18fps (or after having reverse telecined it) played on a computer screen at 18fps, let alone used these formats for their research. The telecine process that turns 18fps material into 29.97 material is pretty arbitrary, after all, and that process is designed to smooth motion from one format to another.

yep, and they were sufficiently intrigued to play the stemmons sequence bacxk and forth causin the sprockets to fray and the film to fatigue.

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Photos can lie. In the 1950s-80s I regularly retouched photos for newspaper

reproduction. For magazine higher quality reproductions, we employed

retouching studios in New York, Chicago and Dallas, who used bleach and

color dyes to make retouching perfect. I often airbrushed out backgrounds,

or retouched out imperfections. Today it is more easily done on computers.

I have even mastered that to a very limited extent.

Remember, not every bird is genuine.

Jack

No retouching is "perfect". If you want to see the state of he art in 1963, just take a look at some of the full page ads in Life...high budget work, and the retouching and compositing is easily detected.

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as long as you don't look too closely, Jack

attachment

________________

Joshia, that's a very interesting analysis. One witness did see something around the watertowers next door to cattywampus of the TSBD. From where she stood it may have been in line with the records building roof ledge?

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John...do you agree or disagree with this statement:

"IF the Zapruder film is NOT GENUINE, citing Z frame numbers as evidence of any particular thing is futile."

Yes? No?

AMPLE proofs exist that the z film is a fabrication. See...

http://www.assassinationscience.com/johnco...ntro/index.html

...any one of which impeaches the film as evidence.

Jack

Jack your link is not working, I believe it may be this one..??

http://www.assassinationscience.com/johnco...ntro/index.html

B...

Edited by Bernice Moore
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[b]It tells us JFK was hit with a frangible bullet, or hit by two bullets simutaneously. This became reason for the film to be hidden from the public. Point one. At frame 313 we see an horrific splash of blood, emanating, it seems, forward; sending blood, brain matter, and skull fragments all over Dealey Plaza. This splash of blood looks to extend nearly six feet from the Presidents head; and the Harper Fragment; possibly thrown forward, landed more than twenty yards from the limosine. My eye tells me a bone fragment drifts over the top of the car and can be seen reflected clearly in the top of the trunk lid in frames 326, 327, 328, and 329. But if the Harper fragment was thrown forward, landed and stayed there until discovered the next day, it would have traveled more than twenty yards from the point of impact! This is solid evidence that the 35th President was not hit by a common, steel jacket, hunter's type bullet, fired from an old, poorly made carbine. Quite the contrary. It indicates the man was hit by a frangible bullet that exploded on impact. Or two conventional bullets striking at the same time, causing massive damage and the huge amount of flying material. And undoubedly at least two shooters. The possibility of two frangibles hitting simutaneously is also credible.

The Zapruder Film was hidden from the public and even the Warren Commision, and consequently, the US Government - HAD NO INTENTION OF EVER LETTING THE PUBLIC SEE THE FILM! If Robert Groden had not effectively stolen the film, the public would never have seen it and we wouldn't be discussing it in this way now. Here's why. First off, the jerky and backwards motion of the President (at 313) shows clear evidence of a shot from the right front. But more important is that splash of blood. Why? Because if the film had been shown on say, the evening news a few days after the assassination, law enforcement people, military people, hunters, ballistics experts and just about anybody who had experience with a firearm would have said "...NO WAY!!!!" Because most of them would have seen what happens when for example, a large animal, like a deer or coyote is shot. What you see is a jerk of the body, a puff of matter expelled and then the body goes limp. You can search the net and find examples of people being shot. You can probaby find video of the Congressman (Pennsylvania?) who shot himself at a press conference (circa 1979). He puts a large caliber pistol in his mouth and pulls the trigger. And again, you see a small splash of blood at the top of the head and then he goes limp. Carefull though, that video is NOT for children or the sqeamish, what happens after he falls to the floor is truly gruesome. As a news person I've seen lots of gory video. That one I only watched once; and wished I hadn't. My point again, person shot, spasm of the body, SMALL amount of expelled material, body limp.

Why did I say the film was hidden from the Warren Commision? In a sense it was. The Commision members were given large, blown up, black and white frames to study. I think they were about two feet by two feet. They were great, (I guess) for studying individual frames, but the movements, timing, and CONTINUITY OF MOTION, would be lost without the film itself. This decision effectively shielded Commision members from viewing and analyzing these critical aspects. It has been written that Arlen "Magic Bullet" Spector immediatley called his wife and told her two gunmen shot the President after viewing Zapruder in full motion for his first time. Most of the study of the film (there actually wasn't that much) by Commision members was done using the blow ups.

Then what? The film was commandeered by Time/Life Publications and selected frames, and only a few of those, were printed in magazines and newspapers for a time. Television networks made no move to aquire even temporary rights as they deemed it too gory. The government never moved to claim the film as evidence even though it is the single best, clearest, and most compelling document of the assassination itself. They could have declared it evidence and still given Zapruder and Time/Life some control over rights. The Johnson and then Nixon Administrations effectively planned to keep the entire film, and it's exhibition in full motion form, from the public. And why did they do it? In my opinion, to prevent people from seeing that huge splash of blood and matter, which casts serious doubt on the idea of one gunman using a common bullet. Then Grodin changed history. [/b]

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Bill you may find this information from Doug Horne interesting...

B..

The following excerpts are taken from three enclosures in ARRB Document

D-133, which was prepared by Doug Horne. Document's Author: Douglas Horne/ARRB Date Created: 07/15/97

Date: 07/14/97

Topic: ARRB Interviewed Homer McMahon

. . .

Mr. McMahon was manager of the NPIC (National Photo Interpretation

Center) color lab in 1963. About two days after the assassination of

President Kennedy, but before the funeral took place, a Secret Service

agent named "Bill Smith" delivered an amateur film of the assassination

to NPIC and requested that color prints be mde of frames believed to be

associated with wounding ("frames in which shots occurred"), for purpos-

es of assembling a briefing board. Mr. Smith did not explain who the

briefing boards would be for, or who would be briefed. The only persons

who witnessed this activity (which McMahon described as "an all night

job") were USSS agent Smith, Homer McMahon, and Ben Hunter (McMahon's

assistant). Although no materials produced were stamped with classifi-

cations markings, Smith told McMahon that the subject matter was to be

treated as "above top secret"; McMahon said not even his supervisor was

allowed to know what he was working on, nor was his supervisor allowed

to participate. Smith told McMahon that the had personally picked up

the film (in an undeveloped condition from the man who exposed it) in

Dallas, flown it to Rochester, N.Y. (where it was developed by Kodak),

and then flown it down to NPIC in Washington so that enlargements of

selected frames could be made on NPIC's state-of-the-art equipment.

After the film (either an unslit original or possibly a duplicate)

was viewed more than once on a 16 mm projector in a briefing room at

NPIC, the original (a double-8 mm unslit original) was placed in a 10x

20x40 precison enlarger, and 5" X 7" format internegatives were made

from selected frames. A full-immersion "wet-gate" or liquid gate pro-

cess was used on the original film to reduce refractivity of the film

and maximize the optical quality of the internegatives. Subsequently,

three each 5" X 7" contact prints were made from the internegative. He

recalled that a mimimum of 20, and a maximum of 40 frames were duplicat-

ed via internegatives and prints. All prints, internegatives, and scraps

were turned over to Bill Smith at the conclusion of the work.

. . .

Document's Author: Douglas Horne/ARRB Date Created: 08/14/97

Date: 08/14/97

Topic: Processing of Zapruder Film by NPIC in 1963 (Revised August 15,

1997)

. . .

I asked both men [Homer McMahon and Ben Hunter] if they still recall-

ed that their event occurred prior to the President's funeral, and they

both emphatically said yes. Mr. McMahon said he believes they performed

their work the night of the same day the President was assassinated, and

Bennett Hunter said he was of the opinion they did their work on the sec-

ond night after the assassination (i.e., Saturday night).

. . .

Home McMahon remembered again that the Secret Service agent stated

definitively that the assassination movie was developed in Rochester,

and that copies of it were made in Rochester also, and that he personal-

ly watched one of those copies projected at least 10 times that night

prior to making the internegatives of selected frames. Mr. Hunter agreed

that it seemed very likely to him that the copies of the motion picture

film would "probably have been made in Rochester", but did not independ-

ently recall.

. . .

Document's Author: Douglas Horne/ARRB Date Created: 06/18/97

Date: 06/17/97

Topic: ARRB Staff Interviewed Ben Hunter (Grammatical Edits Made on

June 19, 1997)(Final Edit Made June 20, 1997)

. . .

-The Zapruder film was not copied as a motion picture; in fact, Hun-

ter said that NPIC did not have that capability for color movies, since

they were in the business of still, B & W reconnaissance photography for

the most part. He said that the assigned task was to analyze (i.e., loc-

ate on the film) where occupants of the limousine were wounded, includ-

ing "studying frames leading up to shots", and then produce color prints

from appropriate frames just prior to shots, and also frames showing shots

impacting limousine occupants. He recalled laying the home movie out on

a light table and using a loupe to examine individual frames. He does not

recall whether they received any instructions as to number of shots, or

any guidance as to where to look in the film.

. . .

Document's Author: Douglas Horne/ARRB Date Created: 07/15/97

Date: 07/14/97

Topic: ARRB Interviewed Homer McMahon

. . .

Although the process of selecting which frames depicted events sur-

rounding the wounding of limousine occupants (Kennedy and Connally) was

a "joint process", McMahon said his opinion, which was that President

Kennedy was shot 6 to 8 times from at least three directions, was ul-

timately ignored, and the opinion of USSS agent Smith, that there were

3 shots from behind from the Book Depository, ultimately was employed in

selecting frames in the movie for reproduction. At one point he said

"you can't fight city hall", and then reminded us that his job was to

produce internegatives and photographs, not to do analysis. He said

that it was clear that the Secret Service agent had previously viewed

the fim and already had opinions about which frames depicted woundings.

. . .

END

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Without getting into specifics or restarting recent debates - there's so much "action" in the way of unexplained phenomena in the commonly seen version that it's impossible to rule out tampering.

Oh, OK - the limo motion and jerk forward, and the all-lawn background of much of the tight-shot portion. That's two.

Descriptions of other versions, by Rich Della Rossa and others, must also be taken in account here.

David,

There are a dozen threads going on here discussing alterations, and refuting alteration allegations.

I want to know, if the Zapruder film is what Tink Tompson and others say it is - an accuate portrayal of the murder - then what does it tell us?

If it was altered, why was it altered? To hide something that it would have told us if it wasn't altered?

This thread is working on the assumption that the film can be shown to be an accurate portrayal of the murder, and therefor, I want to know what it does show and tell?

BK

Sorry - To be more exact, the amount of "action" in the commonly seen Z-film tends to obscure answer to three of your questions:

"Does it tell us which direction the bullet came from?"

- Not with the rotoscopy and edits applied to the head wounds.

"Does it tell us how many shots there were and what damage they did?"

- Not with the abovenamed effects, nor with the freeway sign, or the car motion edit.

"Does it tell us Moorman was not in the street when she took the photo, and that witness testimony is not always accurate?"

- Not with the altered and non-reactive background figures.

So - the film obscures more than it answers, and the answers to these three questions have to be No, though another film of the assassination might afford different answers.

Edited by David Andrews
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