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Tink's performance in The New York Times


Guest James H. Fetzer
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David,

Thanks for detailing your beliefs about the conspiracy. We have an honest disagreement about several specific aspects of this case, but the crucial thing is that we both know the official story is a lie.

Lee,

You can certainly express yourself well, and really offer a fresh perspective on this subject. However, like others on this forum, you too frequently resort to unnecessary name calling and personal insults. That detracts from your otherwise impressive arguments. You don't need to do this, and it winds up just reflecting poorly on you.

Once again, we have a popular thread, with active participation from well known critics like Josiah Thompson and David Lifton, that deteriorates into ugly personality disputes between CTers who agree that Oswald wasn't the assassin. This is the problem with the research community in general- always unable and/or unwilling to stop the infighting and address the big picture.

Like Jim Fetzer, I appreciate David Lifton's decades of research. I also learned a lot from reading Josiah Thompson's SSID, and am grateful for the early work he did on this case. I lean towards believing the films were altered, but do not find it necessary to go ballistic on those who don't think they were. I am probably now an agnostic on body alteration, but again will not question the integrity of those who feel strongly about it either way. When these points are discussed on this forum, everyone reading learns something. The problem is that invariably the most invigorating debates, like this one, are saturated with personal feuds and general nastiness.

I have questioned David Lifton and Josiah Thompson about several things that bother me. I've never called them names or ridiculed them personally, and haven't insinuated they were disinfo agents. While I agree with Jim Fetzer about nearly every issue, I have urged him to stop the personal insults and concentrate on his always impressive data. There are other posters here who often baffle me, but I have not, and will not, confront them in a personal way. We can and should analyze what others say, and the debates that follow from that are what makes this forum so interesting. If we could all just do that, without the gratuitious, juvenile insults, we would all benefit and be closer to achieving the goal we share in common- exposing the truth about the assassination of JFK.

I do not have any patience with lone nutters, but would still not attack them personally. I have noted often on this forum about the general transformation of the research community into a "kindler, gentler" form of CTer- which I've termed "neo-con." I've also questioned the prevalence of CTers turned LNers, which I find incomprehensible. If any of them deigned to participate in debates about the subject, I would firmly but politely question them about their sudden change of perspective. I would refrain from addressing them on a personal level, however. What amazes me is that the few LNers here do not attract the wrath of even the most aggressive CT posters on this forum. These CTers seem to reserve their venom for whatever fellow CTers they have an intense personal dispute with.

I've posted this kind of stuff before, and maybe this will fall on deaf ears again. Sometimes I feel like a kid trying to get his parents to stop the incessant arguing. We should all want to have a civil relationship with other researchers, instead of pushing for divorce. There is strength in numbers, and we have the majority on our side. However, if we continue to prove incapable of getting along with each other, then the lone nutters will have won this battle without firing an effective shot of their own.

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David Lifton is correct about Sylvia mentioning witnesses who said they thought the car stopped in Dealey Plaza.

She then says, on page 3, that films and photos do not bear this out.

But David, please, let us be honest about where you got this idea about the film being a cartoon.

I am aware of it, as many others are. You did your little bit of deception to get a look at the Z film--if I recall, by saying you were thinking of buying it.

When you did see it you looked at it and it did not bear out your view of the medical evidence. At least to you.

And is this not what started you down the path to the film being redone at, say, DIsney Studios?

Then, either Newcomb had the idea, or you both had it at the same time. He ran with it in his self published book, and in a magazine article.

That, I think, is the early chronology of the Z film falsification concept.

Jim DiEugenio:

Many of the statements you make in the above post (# 482) are incorrect, and I don’t have the time to go through your misunderstandings, one by one, and correct them.

Since a detailed and accurate account of “what I did, and when I did it” (insofar as the medical evidence concerned) is published in BEST EVIDENCE and since my personal Zapruder chronology is similarly set forth in my essay PIG ON A LEASH (published in the Fetzer anthology HOAX), I fail to understand how you can so completely mangle the chronology of my own work in your post.

If a student did this in a paper in a history class, the teacher would ask: “Didn’t you read the book? Its all there.” And that’s how I feel upon reading your incorrect account. I am loathe to spend time correcting your errors and misunderstandings, but otoh, I don't wish to see misinformation abound because of these errors.

First of all, I don’t think of the Zapruder film as a cartoon, but I do believe that serious art work has been done on some of the frames. I also believe I have characterized the extant film as an optically edited version of the original, but my understanding has grown, over the years, and I think it is much more of a fabrication (rather than a mere “edited version”) than I originally believed. (For more information on this aspect, see John Costella’s work. I have reluctantly arrived at the same conclusion he has, only by a separate route).

Here are some quick corrections to your post:

ITEM: I did not get access to the Zapruder film, as you glibly (and incorrectly describe the situation) “by saying you were thinking of buying it”. That’s ludicrous. This access occurred in June, 1970. Do you believe that I had a million dollars in the bank?

ITEM: I first obtained access to the 4 x5 transparencies of frames of the Zapruder film in 1967—please note the year, 1967--when attending UCLA Law Professor Liebeler’s; and more than once, as I recall. He had arranged such access as part of the course. All of the students in that seminar had that privilege.

ITEM: At that time (1967) I became well aware that the back of JFK’s head was “blacked out” on frames of the film, something, I should add, that I had already noted from the published frames in LIFE. The question was whether this had been done –at LIFE, and for some “innocent reason” (i.e., to eliminate excessive blood, etc.) –or whether this was actually a feature of the progenitor film (from which the slides were made). To answer that question, one would have to obtain access to the actual film, or a print or negative made directly from it. That was impossible in 1967, but that’s what the 1970 Life visit was all about (see below).

ITEM: I first became aware of the car-stop witnesses in 1969, probably from reading Sylvia Meagher’s book. That’s when I first realized the film could have been altered.

ITEM: By 1969—twelve to eighteen months after I had met Newcomb (who I did not meet until a year or so after I had made my original discoveries regarding the alteration of wounds on JFK’s body, see later in this post)—Newcomb obtained an 8mm copy of the Zapruder film from the Garrison investigation. I brought that film to a lab in Hollywood, and had 100 8mm prints made. We distributed them to reporters and researchers. (Again, this is all described in Pig on a Leash).

ITEM: By 1969, I –along with a third party (Pat Lambert)—assembled a reasonably thorough list of the car stop witnesses, based on information in the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission. (Again, see Pig on a Leash) Based on her careful review of the various testimony and reports, Lambert wrote a paper that she subsequently sent to the HSCA. Titled: "Five Seconds to Save The President," it focused on the slow reaction of the SS agents to the shooting. (More recently, one of the Secret Service agents told an interviewer that Clint Hill's action in running to the car "saved the Secret Service." And indeed, if Hill had not reacted, the record would be clear: not a single agent moved to assist the President).

ITEM: In 1970, a meeting was arranged between myself and Haskell Wexler, the purpose being to see if he would agree to permit us (meaning me, Newcomb, my good friend Jack Clemente, an optics expert, and Dennis Roy, a law student) to obtain access to high quality Zapruder film materials, by posing as “appraisers” (acting on his behalf). And would he be willing to write a letter to Life indicating that his film company (Dove Films) was interested in buying the film. Wexler agreed to help. As I recall, I drafted the letter, and he signed it. Richard Pollard, Life’s Director of Photography, took the bait. Around June 20, 1970, a box of high quality film materials was flown out, under armed guard, to Beverly Hills. The chaperone for this operation was Pollard’s assistant, one Ann Drayton. The four of us showed up as “appraisers.” Again, see Pig on a Leash.

ITEM: I rented a 35 mm Recordak Microfilm Reader so that 16 mm film could be pulled through the lens, and read, as a film strip, in order to check and see whether the back of the head was blacked out only on the slides I had examined at Liebeler’s UCLA Class, three years before; or whether the "blacking out" was present the film itself. I was fully prepared for the possibility that the transparencies had been altered, but certainly not the film itself. What was shocking was to see that both the slides AND the film were identical—and so if the blacked out area was indeed artwork, it had been done—somehow—on the film. To me (at the time, and not knowing about optical printers), that was amazing.

ITEM: Fred Newcomb and I were not on the best of terms, at that point, and so he was not aware of my chief purpose. Similarly, I was not aware that he, too, had an agenda of his own. He held a belief (that he had not shared): that the driver shot the President. So my good friend, Jack Clemente, an optics expert from China Lake Naval Air Station, and I were focused on the 16mm film, from the standpoint of the head wounds. We pulled the film through the Recordak Reader, examining it frame by frame, and were rather astonished to realize that the back of the head was blacked out ON THE FILM, itself. We then spent most of our time, as I recall, examining a 35 mm negative of the Z film, from which the 16mm print had been made, and which provided a still clearer version of the imagery (but, the 35 mm film being a negative, it had to be read "in reverse", color-wise). Again, we were using the Recordak machine. Meanwhile, Fred Newcomb and his friend were crouched over a lightbox, examining the individual 4 by 5 transparencies, and apparently focused on the hypothesis concerning the driver. You can read all about this in Pig on a Leash. During the Life representive's bathroom break, Newcomb took out a 35 mm camera, and photographed (or attempted to photograph) some of the key Z frames. Jack and I were both aghast and irate, because we knew that if she returned to the room, we could be in serious trouble.

ITEM: The upshot of this nearly day-long exam (with these high quality materials) was that Fred became more convinced than ever that the driver shot the President—a hypothesis that he originated (back around 1969, I believe) and which I don’t believe I had ever heard prior to that time; whereas I (and my friend Jack) became convinced that the head wounds had been “painted on.” Of course, because of the car-stop testimony, I was already aware that the film must have been altered for that reason alone. But periodic frame removal (to change the perceived velocity of the car), and artwork on individual frames (to change the wound pattern), were two entirely different matters. It was only subsequent to the LIFE visit that I set out to learn all about the frame by frame image-alteration that was in fact is possible if one uses an optical printer.

ITEM: In November, 1971, I flew to Dallas and interviewed five of the the car-stop witnesses: Mary Moorman, Mr. Chism, Bill and Gayle Newman, and Jack Franzen. This further confirmed my own belief that the car in fact had stopped, and had not just “slowed down.”

ITEM: Around 1975, when Paul Hoch discovered CIA documents indicating the film had been at NPIC (the CIA facility in Washington), and I did believe that might have been where it was altered—and I said so in a 1000 word footnote about this in Chapter 24 of Best Evidence, published in 1981.

ITEM: At the time of the ARRB (1995-1998), I worked closely with Doug Horne, mostly in connection with supplying info and records of original interviews pertaining to BEST EVIDENCE. But, in connection with the Z film, I played a significant role, too. Around June, 1996, I assisted Doug when he laid out the major points he was going to make, in a memorandum urging that Z film authenticity be taken seriously. Furthermore, at that time, I provided the documents pertaining to the sale of the film, from Zapruder to Time-Life, for $150,000--even though the initial price, as reported in the media, was only $25k (or $40k). In fact, the price zoomed from $40K (on Saturday, 11/23) to $150K (by Monday, 11/25), the latter being an "all rights" deal. Both Marwell and Gunn were very impressed that I was able to supply this documentation, and the only reason I was able to do so was that, some 20 years or more before, Josiah Thompson had supplised me with copies, and I had filed them in an orderly manner. Anyway, as attorneys, they loved documentation like that, and so they were off and running with their investigation. Of course, starting in 1975, with the information provided by Paul Hoch, I believed that the film was probably altered in connection with its trip to NPIC, but then that changed, as more information became available.

ITEM: I no longer believe the film was altered at NPIC, nor do I believe the film was altered on Saturday night, November 23, because that would not explain the imagery that appears in the first Life issue (dated 11/29, and which was being printed by Monday, 11/25, as I recall).

ITEM: Today, on the basis of other, more recent evidence and analysis (which I have not yet published) I do believe the Zapruder film was altered between 10 pm and around 8 AM, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Moreover, I believe that the 8mm film provided by Zapruder, and sold to Life magazine on Saturday morning (i.e., the film supplied to Dick Stolley), was an altered film. Its my belief that Zapruder was probably aware of the alteration; but that Stolley was unwitting. That 8mm film element --immediately flown to Chicago--was the basis for the black and white images that appear in the 11/29/63 issue of Life. I believe that a “better version” (e.g., akin to “Zapruder film 2.0”) was supplied by Wednesday of the following week (i.e., by 11/27), and that is what became the basis for the high quality color imagery on frames appearing in the Life Memorial Edition (dated approximately 12/7).

ITEM: Doug Horne and I diverge on the when and where of the (initial) Z film alteration. I am fairly certain that it was a Friday night alteration, with certain "follow-up" performed later; he believes it was “Saturday and beyond” and involves falsification done at Rochester, at a highly classified facility known as HAWKEYEWORKS. We disagree on this point; and this matter is far from resolved.

ITEM: As to the origination of the idea that the Zapruder film had been altered: I think Fred Newcomb and I both agreed, by 1969, that "somehow" (we did not know how) the Z film had been altered. As far as body alteration was concerned, the chronology is different: much of my original interviews and key theorizing was done between October 22, 1966 and January, 1967, and there was no co-creator, i.e., no partner or helper in that endeavor. The story of my own sequence of discoveries and insights--supported by my telephone interviews, FBI documents, and the date of the Liebeler memorandum (11/8/66)--is laid out in Best Evidence, which is structured as a chronological narrative. Keeping in mind that I did not meet Fred Newcomb until late 1967:

--I made the initial discovery on 10/22/66 (see Chapter 7 of Best Evidence, titled "Breakthrough")

--I showed it to Professor Liebeler in a five hour meeting on Monday, 10/24/66 (See chapter 9, Best Evidence, titled: “October 24, 196: A Confrontation with Liebeler”)

--I interviewed Dr. Perry about the trach incision (2-3 cm he said) on 10/27/66 (See Chapter 11 of B.E., titled “The Tracheotomy Incision: Dallas vs Bethesda).

--I called FBI agent Sibert about the “surgery of the head area” quote on 11/2/66

(See Chapter12 of Best Evidence, titled: “An Oral Utterance”)

Also note: this phone call to Agent Sibert is documented in official FBI reports, filed by Sibert, in which I am named; FBI assistant Director Rosen's memo to DeLoach, dated 11/17/66. It is also documented in the letter I wrote to FBI Director Hoover at that time, and his pro-forma reply).

--I called Humes and spoke with him twice about the autopsy on 11/2 and 11/3/66. In the second call, I focused on the FBI statement that there had been "surgery of the head area, namely, in the top of the skull." (See Chapter 8 of Best Evidence, "Emergence of a New Hypothesis"; also Chapter 18, "The Pre-autopsy Autopsy")

--Liebeler requested my assistance in bringing notes concerning all my medical research to his office at UCLA, and we had several meetings which became the basis for his drafting what has become known as the "Liebeler Memorandum". The 13 page memo--dated 11/8/66--was sent to Chief Justice Warren, all members of the Commission, most of the lawyers, the Kennedy family, and President Johnson. Among other things, it set forth my discovery of the FBI evidence stating that the President's head wounds had been surgically altered prior to autopsy. The memo explicitly named me as someone who discovered this startling evidence, and suggested that there be a limited reopening of the JFK assassination inquiry, in the medical area. (See Chapter 10, "The Liebeler Memorandum")

--In late November, Liebeler was in Washington, and called Dr. Boswell, who refused to meet with him. On that same trip--I have now learned, from Dulles' papers at the Princeton library--Liebeler attempted to see former CIA Director Allen Dulles about the matter. (But their schedules conflicted, and no meeting was arranged).

--Liebeler's memo was rejected by letter from J Lee Rankin on December 1, 1966. (See Best Evidence).

--Then I set out to investigate further and write about it. When Manchester’s book, DEATH OF A PRESIDENT, was published in March, 1967, I learned about the tri-service casket team that met Air Force One upon its arrival at Andrews. I then spent much time and effort tracing them down, and interviewing them one by one. It was from two of them that I learned about the “decoy” ambulance. You can read about all that in Chapter 16 of Best Evidence (“Chain of Possession: The Missing Link”).

Again, this entire sequence of events is spelled out in BEST EVIDENCE, published in January, 1981.

At some point around 1971, Fred Newcomb learned about the alteration of the body. The story of how that occurred is not something I wish to address in this posting. But he--and his co-author, the late Perry Adams--wrote a chapter about it in the manuscript they set out to write ("Murder from Within"), and that chapter became the basis for a 1500 word article published in PROBE magazine, in September 1975.

I hope this clarifies matters for those who are students of the case, and are interested in the sequence of the discoveries that occurred in these two areas: the Z film, and the President's body.

DSL

12/7/11; 5 AM

Los Angeles, CA

Edited by David Lifton
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David. I've been considering for some time any means whereby an alteration could have happened (as well as extent) and there don't seem to be that many opportunities to consider. I've been considering various apparently unrelated events, that imo if could be connected may provide such an answer, namely an in depth look at Bell, particularly the brief glimpse of a couple walking away from the scene, Harry Holmes, and his apparent handling of the SS copies pre one being sent to Washington, and various other film involvements. Even such obscurities as looking at Simms and Co through the MSC files.

Can you recount any hypotheses that you or others have developed?

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Let us ignore for a moment Kathy Beckett once again using some random methodology concerning which comments she feels are acceptable and which she believes are not (apparently my calling someone a hypocrite is far worse than someone asking me if I’m partaking in illegal drug use)

That was reported to us, and that is why it was acted upon. We didn't receive a report about "illegal drug use", and I didn't see it, so...

I understand you get frustrated. So do I. But there are some things that need to be removed, and if something is offensive, report it. I don't waddle through all of the posts, and I don't think others do. That is precisely why we have a "report " key. Feel free to use it when something offends.

Kathy

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David,

Thanks for detailing your beliefs about the conspiracy. We have an honest disagreement about several specific aspects of this case, but the crucial thing is that we both know the official story is a lie.

Lee,

You can certainly express yourself well, and really offer a fresh perspective on this subject. However, like others on this forum, you too frequently resort to unnecessary name calling and personal insults. That detracts from your otherwise impressive arguments. You don't need to do this, and it winds up just reflecting poorly on you.

Once again, we have a popular thread, with active participation from well known critics like Josiah Thompson and David Lifton, that deteriorates into ugly personality disputes between CTers who agree that Oswald wasn't the assassin. This is the problem with the research community in general- always unable and/or unwilling to stop the infighting and address the big picture.

Like Jim Fetzer, I appreciate David Lifton's decades of research. I also learned a lot from reading Josiah Thompson's SSID, and am grateful for the early work he did on this case. I lean towards believing the films were altered, but do not find it necessary to go ballistic on those who don't think they were. I am probably now an agnostic on body alteration, but again will not question the integrity of those who feel strongly about it either way. When these points are discussed on this forum, everyone reading learns something. The problem is that invariably the most invigorating debates, like this one, are saturated with personal feuds and general nastiness.

I have questioned David Lifton and Josiah Thompson about several things that bother me. I've never called them names or ridiculed them personally, and haven't insinuated they were disinfo agents. While I agree with Jim Fetzer about nearly every issue, I have urged him to stop the personal insults and concentrate on his always impressive data. There are other posters here who often baffle me, but I have not, and will not, confront them in a personal way. We can and should analyze what others say, and the debates that follow from that are what makes this forum so interesting. If we could all just do that, without the gratuitious, juvenile insults, we would all benefit and be closer to achieving the goal we share in common- exposing the truth about the assassination of JFK.

I do not have any patience with lone nutters, but would still not attack them personally. I have noted often on this forum about the general transformation of the research community into a "kindler, gentler" form of CTer- which I've termed "neo-con." I've also questioned the prevalence of CTers turned LNers, which I find incomprehensible. If any of them deigned to participate in debates about the subject, I would firmly but politely question them about their sudden change of perspective. I would refrain from addressing them on a personal level, however. What amazes me is that the few LNers here do not attract the wrath of even the most aggressive CT posters on this forum. These CTers seem to reserve their venom for whatever fellow CTers they have an intense personal dispute with.

I've posted this kind of stuff before, and maybe this will fall on deaf ears again. Sometimes I feel like a kid trying to get his parents to stop the incessant arguing. We should all want to have a civil relationship with other researchers, instead of pushing for divorce. There is strength in numbers, and we have the majority on our side. However, if we continue to prove incapable of getting along with each other, then the lone nutters will have won this battle without firing an effective shot of their own.

Don,

Thanks for your reply.

But let’s get serious for a second shall we?

It was Jim Fetzer who started this Godforsaken thread. Now you are using one post where he expresses his appreciation for Lifton’s work as being somehow supportive in your efforts in putting me down? C'mon, Don.

[snip]

Were they jealous? Was it simply because they disagreed with his theories? Or was something else going on? Ferrell, Weisberg, Meagher, and Feinman – were all of these people jealous of David Lifton’s self-proclaimed ability to separate fact from fiction?

As Jim D has pointed out – Lifton has a history of deception – he is quite proud of it. Weisberg stopped short of outright accusing him of getting others to steal documents from his home. Meagher pleaded with him to pull back on his wacky theories. Ferrell eventually distrusted everything about him. Feinman stated he was a fraud. These four individuals are the bedrock of the critical community. They are its foundations.

[snip]

Mr. Farley,

As usual, you're way off base.

FYI:

(1) Mary Ferrell and I spoke regularly, had many wonderful conversations on the phone, and one of her closest associates, the late Robert Chapman, was one of my best friends. When my book was published, she hosted a major party for me at her home in Dallas. Subsequently, on a trip to New York City, she, and her daughter, and me and my parents, all had dinner at a great NYC restaurant. I have no idea where you're getting your information from, but, as often is the case with your glib pronouncements, you are propagating false information and fiction.

(2) Regarding Roger Feinman: When my photograph was published in the New York Times, in that terrible advertisement for Posner's book, I immediately went to a top notch lawyer. I learned, to my dismay, that they were well within their rights, to place that ad. Shortly thereafter, Feinman phoned and faxed me urging that I let him represent me in a lawsuit. I conveyed what I had been told, and turned him down. Anyway, as is now well known, he went into court, basically made personal and nasty comments about the judge, impugning his integrity (and, as I recall, even linking him to the mob), and so he was disbarred. He appealed, and his appeal was rejected. You can find these records on the net. As a result of that episode, I never saw him as a particularly competent attorney. Its too bad he lost his law license, but that's what happens when you call the judge a fraud.

(3 ) Sylvia Meagher and I had an off-again/on-again relationship. When I rescued her unpublished manuscript from the clutches of Ramparts Magazine, circa August, 1966, she sent me a nice letter, starting "You are a sweetheart." On other occasions, she was angry. Before my book was published, we met and she signed the necessary releases so I could quote her in my book, on the subject of Liebeler.

(4) I have an amicable relationship with Josiah Thompson, who I have known for over 40 years. In a number of areas, we "agree to disagree". So what?

Basically, you have a misunderstanding as to who is (or was) "the foundation" of the critical community. There's many more people "out there" than you realize.

Your focus is misplaced, your "model" of "the community" is completely oversimplified, and your manners are just awful.

DSL

12/7/11 6 AM

Los Angeles, CA

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DL: In 1970, a meeting was arranged between myself and Haskell Wexler, the purpose being to see if he would agree to permit us (meaning me, Newcomb, my good friend Jack Clemente, an optics expert, and Dennis Roy, a law student) to obtain access to high quality Zapruder film materials, by posing as “appraisers” (acting on his behalf). And would he be willing to write a letter to Life indicating that his film company (Dove Films) was interested in buying the film. Wexler agreed to help. As I recall, I drafted the letter, and he signed it. Richard Pollard, Life’s Director of Photography, took the bait. Around June 20, 1970, a box of high quality film materials was flown out, under armed guard, to Beverly Hills. The chaperone for this operation was Pollard’s assistant, one Ann Drayton. The four of us showed up as “appraisers.” Again, see Pig on a Leash.

I rented a 35 mm Recordak Microfilm Reader so that 16 mm film could be pulled through the lens, and read, as a film strip, in order to check and see whether the back of the head was blacked out only on the slides I had examined at Liebeler’s UCLA Class, three years before; or whether the "blacking out" was present the film itself. I was fully prepared for the possibility that the transparencies had been altered, but certainly not the film itself. What was shocking was to see that both the slides AND the film were identical—and so if the blacked out area was indeed artwork, it had been done—somehow—on the film. To me (at the time, and not knowing about optical printers), that was amazing.

And Lifton talks about this in that seminar up in MInny arranged by Fetzer.

This also matches the long three page footnote in his book on pages 555-57. There he says that it was in 1971 when he saw a 35 mm print of the film, and the head wounds did not match the witness testimony, and he writes that the back of the head was blacked out, plus splices in the film that TIme-Life had not reported, these two things struck him as being odd. The next sentence is this: I then began exploring the possibility that the Zapruder film itself had been altered...." No mention of car stop witnesses.

In his Minny presentation, Lifton talks about the film being altered at a movie lab.

TO my knowledge, this is what he has said in public about this issue.

[snip]

No, Jim DiEugenio, I did not talk about the "car stop" witnesses in writing that part of BEST EVIDENCE (circa, 1979) but I certainly did know all about them, having gone to Dallas and personally interviewed five of them in 1971.

In short, during those years, I was moving forward on two fronts: pursuing matters pertaining to the alteration of the body; but also, and during that same period, pursuing the matter of the alteration of the Zapruder film (and other films as well).

Unfortunately, asking you to understand the sequence of events is a bit like asking whether one can "walk and chew gum" at the same time. I managed to do that back in the 1970s, so let's see if we can do something similar, in narrating those events right here in this post, shall we?

The text in the post I made above--and to which you are responding--is accurate. But it does not tell the whole story. Both the car stop witnesses AND the wound information are indicia of film alteration. And there was a third factor as well, one you might wish to keep in mind when it comes to Zapruder film alteration: the two very obvious splices in the film--the second one visible in the published portion of the film in Volume 18 of the 26 volumes,the first one NOT visible because the published portion of the film began at frame 171.

SPLICE Number One: 154/155 (approx) --NOT VISIBLE IN VOLUME 18 (which starts at frame 171)

SPLICE Number Two: 207/212 --VERY VISIBLE IN VOLUME !8

Now let's review the sequence of events, which will perhaps shed light on why I discussed the splices in the film, and the problems with the head-wound imagery, but NOT the car stop witnesses.

THE TWO SPLICES ("What I knew, and when I knew it")

To begin with: I first learned about spliced area #2 from Ray Marcus in 1965; and I showed that to Liebeler on October 12, 1965, when I first met him in his UCLA office. This is all spelled out in Chapter 1 of Best Evidence. As I described there, Liebeler was astonished that the Zapruder film had this splice, and immediately wrote a letter about it (to Norman Redlich, and Rankin), demanding an explanation, and requesting further investigation. A completely absurd reply came back from WC atty Norman Redlich. Liebeler subsequently provided me copies of the correspondence. The whole incident--along with generous quotes from the correspondence--is spelled out in Chapter 1 of B.E. (Perhaps you should review it before writing on the subject).

Now, here's some more to keep in mind when discussing the two Z film splices:

This issue of the splice at 207/212 was discussed at length in Six Seconds in Dallas, published in 1967. For whatever reason, SSD did not mention anything about Spliced Area Number One (154/155) and it is very likely that Thompson was unaware of it. Certainly, the 154/155 splice was not mentioned by LIFE, when they issued their very public explanation (circa 1966, I believe) of the splice at 207/212.

When the Garrison version of the Z film first became available to me (probably via Newcomb, who was provided a copy by Steve Jaffe, circa 1968 or 1969), it became readily apparent that there was a second spliced area--I think that was found by Newcomb, as soon as he put the film on an 8mm movieola machine. But, and quite understandably, one needed the complete film to see that splice because the splice at 154/155 was in a portion of the film NOT published in Volume 18.

"Beyond the splices" . . . THE OTHER TWO AREAS:

Now, going to the next step: In addition to the two readily visible splices, there were these two "other areas" indicating Zapruder film alteration and/or editing:

#1) The head wound information, which I was quite aware of starting with the time I first saw the Zapruder transparencies circa 1967, as described in my post.

#2) The Car stop witnesses (first discovered by me, as I recall, around 1969)

Please note: in terms of "sequence of discovery," the wound information came first (circa 1965-67); the car-stop witnesses came second (circa 1969). The former came from examining the transparencies that I had the opportunity to examine, as a consequence of being affiliated with Liebeler's UCLA Law School seminar on the WC; the latter was something I independently discovered, starting with my noticing Sylvia Meagher's statement about these witnesses. It was on the very first page of her chapter one ("The Motorcade and the Shots") and in a section titled "The Speed of the Presidential Car".

WHAT SYLVIA MEAGHER WROTE ABOUT THE CAR STOP WITNESSES

Meagher noted that the Warren Report, in its section titled "Rumors and Speculations", said that "the car slowed down momentarilty after the shot that struck the President in the head" but the Report asserted that it "did not stop or almost come to a complete halt" etc. In that section, Sylvia Meagher noted that Mark Lane had conducted a telephone interview with Mary Woodward, a reporter for the Dallas Morning News, who was standing at curbside (north side of Elm) and that she had stated, in a news story published on November 23, 1963, that "instead of speeding up. . . the car came to a halt." (2 WCH 43). Meagher then noted "car-stop" accounts of these other witnesses:

* Cycle officer James Chaney, who told Officer Baker that "the car stopped completely, pulled to the left and stopped. . "

•Roy Truly: ". . [he] was standing out there, [and] he said it stopped."

•Other unnamed cycle officers: ". . said it stopped completely."

•Officer Earl Brown: "Actually, the fist I noticed the car was when it stopped. . . "

She then wrote: "In sum, at least seven eyewitnesses to the assassination indicated that the President's car had come to a complete stop, or what was tantamount to a stop."

Then came this sentence: "Apparently the witnesses were mistaken in remembering that the car had stopped; motion pictures, according to the Commission, contradicted them."

MY REACTION TO THIS SITUATION --CIRCA 1969

Reading that sentence, circa 1969, I immediately made the connection to the analogous situation with regards to the frontal throat wound, reported as an entry by Dr. Perry (and others), and then supposedly NOT an entry because the Bethesda autopsy (the supposed "better evidence" or "best evidence") indicated the opposite--i.e., that it was an exit!

I immediately realized that just as altering the body (the "best evidence") could nullify the accounts of the Dallas doctors and nurses, a similar situation existed with regards to the speed of the limousine, where the Zapruder film would be considered "the best evidence." Consequently, if the film was altered, the eyewitness accounts with contrary information would be similarly nullified, or negated--at least in the mind of someone trained to "think like a lawyer."

Sylvia carried the argument as far as she could at the time. She noted that the films could only be seen at the National Archives (remember, there was no Internet in 1967); and she expressed puzzlement as to why Commission counsel "conducted the questioning somewhat improperly and why the Report presents this evidence with some lack of impartiality (in a passage ailing to indicate that some seven witnesses mistakenly believed that the car had stopped at the first shot.)." (See pp 3-5 of Accessories).

As I recall, it was upon reading this material--shortly after the discovery of the "second splice" (the one at Z-155)--that my suspicions about the film increased markedly. It was then that I, along with Pat Lambert, began scouring the 26 volumes (along with all readily available news accounts) to create a list of car-stop witnesses. As I recall, our list grew to about 15.

Then, in November 1971, came my first trip to Dallas.

NOVEMBER, 1971: My Trip to Dallas and First Interviews with 5 of the Car Stop Witnesses

(this is a quick recap of what was published in Pig on a Leash)

I interviewed the 5 witnesses I did in November 1971--Moorman, Bill and Gayle Newman, Mr. Chism,and Jack Franzen--precisely because of my interest in them as car-stop witnesses. That was a key reason for my November 1971 trip to Dallas. That's also the reason I spoke with Mrs. Zapruder at that time--all of this is described in Pig on a Leash, if you would do me the courtesy of reading it, before spouting off on the subject of what I did or did not know, as of a certain date.

My personal examination of the Z film materials in June, 1970--both the transparencies and the 35 mm color negative--occurred at the Beverly Hills office of Time-Life as described in my post, and in Pig on a Leash.

JUNE, 1970: RECAPPING WHAT HAPPENED AT THE BEVERLY HILLS OFFICE OF TIME LIFE

There was no question in my mind--or that of anyone else who attended that meeting--that the Zapruder film had been altered:

(a) The splices were readily visible

(b ) The head wounds looked weird, and "painted on".

In addition, I was very much aware of the "car-stop witnesses."

The question was: How, when, and where?

By pursuing the matter at the UCLA Film School, I soon learned all about optical printers, and how a "car stop" could be eliminated became very clear--the periodic removal of frames could definitely explain the alteration of the velocity of the car. (And this matter is discussed in Pig on a Leash). The question of how wound imagery could be changed--i.e., pictorially altered on a frame-by-frame basis)--was considerably more complex.

Then, of course, there was the question of just who had such optical machinery, and where had the film been, before reaching Life magazine?

1975: Paul Hoch and CIA Document 450 and How I handled the matter in BEST EVIDENCE

Around 1975, Paul Hoch (with whom I had shared my thinking) discovered the CIA documents about the film having been at NPIC, in Washington, either prior to--or in connection with--the sale to LIFE magazine, and immediately forwarded that material to me.

When I wrote BEST EVIDENCE (and the manuscript was turned in on April 1, 1980) I had to decide just what I was going to say (not to mention "how much" I was prepared to say) about "the film", since B.E. was focused on "the body." I tackled that question around 1979, shortly after I discovered witnesses Dennis David (Chapter 25), O'Connor (Chapter 26), Jenkins (Chapter 27) etc. If there ever was any doubt, those "additional chapters" made it crystal clear that the focus of my book had to be on "the body." Editorially, I could not go off "on a tangent" about the Z film.

Consequently, in discussing the Zapruder film, I made the decision NOT to get into the matter of the car-stop witnesses--that would have to be a "subject for another day." And so, in that spirit, I forged ahead, raising the issue of Z film alteration, but not revealing "everything I knew."

Consequently, the footnoted passage you are citing (in Chapter 24, as I recall) does not mention anything about the car-stop witnesses, but--as described in Pig on a Leash (and synopsized in my post right here)--that subject was something I certainly knew all about at that juncture (ie., 1979).

To repeat: unfortunately, there seemed no way to deal with Zapruder film alteration in BEST EVIDENCE (and stay "on topic")--there was no room for it in the book, and so it was an editorial decision I personally made to restrict my discussion of the Zapruder film inauthenticity to (a) the two splices; (b ) the head wound imagery which obviously did not match what the Dallas doctors saw; and (c ) The CIA documents indicating the film had been at NPIC.

The first time I related the full story--and there were many other facets to my pursuit of the "film alteration hypothesis"--was when I made my presentation at Fetzer's Duluth Conference, and when I then when I wrote it all out as one complete narrative titled "Pig on a Leash," which was then published in the Fetzer anthology, HOAX.

DULUTH, MINNESOTA (versus DiEugenio's "Minny"). . and other matters

One other matter: the conference that Fetzer convened was in Duluth, Minnesota, not Minneapolis. (You keep referring to the location as "Minny". . in accordance with your usual negative and sneering manner. Consequently, it becomes unclear as to just what you are referring to. Perhaps you ought to spell out the city [and even the state] properly, to avoid confusion.)

And now, having explained myself, may I perhaps ask, Jim DiEugenio. .. just what were YOU doing back in 1965, 1969, 1971, 1975, and 1980--when all these Z-film related events were unfolding? Were you a Garrison guru way back then? Did you have any concept, at all--back then, or ever since?--that there were problems with the Zapruder film? Or that any of the other key evidence in the JFK case (e.g., the President Kennedy's body) had been falsified?

Or was (and is) your idea of "conspiracy" so limited that it all comes down to the notion that Clay Shaw ("somehow") was involved in the murder of JFK?? And that while all kinds of dark forces were behind the President's murder (forces that sent us into a war in Vietnam and killed perhaps a million Asians), that other "guilty parties" in this "conspiracy" included Edgar Eugene Bradley, and Kerry Thornley?

Inquiring minds want to know.

And. . oh my gosh. . I guess we should all be grateful that you don't include Oswald's landlady, Mary Bledsoe, and Steve Witt, and his umbrella, in your "conspiracy". (My heartfelt congratulations for being so reasonable and sane, on that score).

DSL

12/7/11 1:45 PM PST

Los Angeles, CA

Edited by David Lifton
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Mr. Farley:

As if often the case, your understanding as to what is relevant, and what is not, seems thoroughly out of focus:

If Lee is ever out of focus, it would only be because of a Christmas hangover. You, on the other hand, are permanently and irreparably, Mr MaGoo by comparison.

1) Steve Witt is not someone who "disappeared for fifteen years." Nor is he sinister. At all. He was apparently not sought out by the FBI (as was the case with other pertinent witnesses, who appear in photos, and whose identities are not known). But Witt's identity was certainly known by his dentist, which is how I heard about himin the 1970s. And co-workers of his knew about his story, which is how reporter Earl Golz and Penn Jones found him. Some "disappearance", eh?

When in the 70s did Witt's dentist know about it? What was the dentists name? When did you learn about what the dentist was allegedly told? What was the name of your informant?

Penn Jones was only informed because of the publicity generated by the HSCA going public with the photos. What investigations did you carry out, or what source do you use to confirm Jones was in fact contacted by a co-worker and not merely someone claiming to be?

Moreover, and as I pointed out, he happens to be an important car-stop witness,

Except of course, his testimony does not say or even hint at a stop DURING the gunshots.

which of course doesn't happen to register with you, because your mental apparatus is apparently tuned to a different frequency. In a proper investigation,

Those doing the investigating would have done some basic fact-checking as above regarding the Chinese Whispers you allege led to your "knowledge" of Witt. They would have asked questions. Traced the chain of "whisperers". Obtained their names and try and talk to them. So take us through your investigation of your informant's claim about what Witt's dentist said, please.

which would also have focused on anomalies pertaining to the Zapruder film, Witt's account would have been highly significant, and would have led to the questioning of other witnesses—and it would have been immediately apparent that most witnesses by limo (e.g., the Newmans, both of whom I interviewed, in person, and at length, in 1971), insisted that the car stopped momentarily.

Edited by Greg Parker
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Lee,

I appreciate your passionate reply. I think I've said it before, but I am probably the most "hands off" moderator on this forum. I tend to believe that most everything is fair game, except for truly nasty personal attacks and profanity. I also don't devote as much time to moderating as several others do, so they tend to address things first anyway.

You mention that all of the early critics had issues with David Lifton. That may be the case, but the early critics, like many of the present day critics on this forum, were extremely prone to feuding with each other. I was fortunate enough to share a long evening with Harold Weisberg at his Maryland home in the early '80s, and I can tell you that he despised all the other critics except Harold Roffman, who was not as well known and was like a surrogate son to him. Having worked for Mark Lane's Citizens Committee of Inquiry as a youngster, I can also categorically state that he and Weisberg particuarly hated each other. Lane didn't castigate the other critics in person like Weisberg did, but the whole group was very competitive with Weisberg's young followers, who were far fewer in number.

The critics became really fractured by the Garrison investigation. Some of the best, including Sylvia Meagher, never trusted Garrison from the outset. Others, like Weisberg, became disillustioned and were very critical of Garrison. While Mark Lane and much of the critical community remained loyal to Garrison and saw him as a heroic crusader, the spats and disagreements between the researchers became worse and have continued to this day. Weisberg wound up opposing all other critics, and in a shameful display of petty jealousy he leaked an early draft of Oliver Stone's JFK movie script to the Washington Post, permitting longtime Warren Commission apologist George Lardner to pen a lengthy diatribe in the paper attacking the film. Weisberg also opposed Nigel Turner's landmark television series, The Men Who killed the President, for unknown reasons.

Penn Jones distrusted numerous critics, including Mark Lane. So the feuds we see now on this forum are hardly new. They are just an unfortunate byproduct of the history associated with this case.

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Guest James H. Fetzer

Raymond,

I must correct you, since you appear to have been taken in by irresponsible remarks from unreliable sources like Tink Thompson. Studies conducted at Harvard, which I and David Mantik both cite in ASSASSINATION SCIENCE (1998), have shown that witnesses are 98% accurate and 98% complete with regard to their recollections when what they are recalling was salient (important) to them at the time. The limo stop was a salient feature of their visual experiences on November 22nd, where David Lifton mentions that Sylvia Meagher discounted them on the basis of reports from the Warren Commission that the film did not show them. My inference is that the enormity of the deception had not sunk into her consciousness at the time.

Today, given the astounding extent and variety of the proof of Zapruder film alteration, for anyone to persist in a state of ignorance has to be willing. Anyone who reads "US Government Official: JFK Cover-Up, Film Fabrication", "Who's telling the truth: Clint Hill or the Zapruder film?", or who has watched the Duluth symposium on the Zapruder film--where Jim DiEugenio appears to be conflating the JFK conference I organized in Minneapolis in 1999 with the Duluth conference in 2003, with which he appears to be completely unfamiliar--is not going to commit the mistakes that occur so often on this forum. These resources shed light on some of the most complex and subtle aspects of the cover-up. A wise man would learn from them.

Jim

Are you aware that on the very first page of Sylvia Meagher's book, Accessories after the Fact, Sylvia starts with the puzzling fact that certain witnesses saw the car stop, and yet the Zapruder film doesn't show that? In many ways, she was a very logical person, but she didn't understand why this was so, and so she incorrectly concluded--right there on the page--that here was a case where witnesses must have been mistaken.

David, Sylvia was a LOGICAL PERSON AND SHE CORRECTLY concluded

that the witnesses were mistaken.

the limo slowed abruptly -- thanks to Greer -- but it did not come to a complete stop,

even though some witnesses thought it did.

the vp follow-up car DID come to a complete stop, which created the impression.

there is a mountain of scientific literature

on the unreliability of eyewitness memory,

as I AM SURE YOU MUST BE AWARE.

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David. I've been considering for some time any means whereby an alteration could have happened (as well as extent) and there don't seem to be that many opportunities to consider. I've been considering various apparently unrelated events, that imo if could be connected may provide such an answer, namely an in depth look at Bell, particularly the brief glimpse of a couple walking away from the scene, Harry Holmes, and his apparent handling of the SS copies pre one being sent to Washington, and various other film involvements. Even such obscurities as looking at Simms and Co through the MSC files.

Can you recount any hypotheses that you or others have developed?

Don: I sent you a private message. Hope you go it. Your "email me" is not working. DSL

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I didn't get a private message from you, David. Just send me an email.

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David. I've been considering for some time any means whereby an alteration could have happened (as well as extent) and there don't seem to be that many opportunities to consider. I've been considering various apparently unrelated events, that imo if could be connected may provide such an answer, namely an in depth look at Bell, particularly the brief glimpse of a couple walking away from the scene, Harry Holmes, and his apparent handling of the SS copies pre one being sent to Washington, and various other film involvements. Even such obscurities as looking at Simms and Co through the MSC files.

Can you recount any hypotheses that you or others have developed?

Don: I sent you a private message. Hope you go it. Your "email me" is not working. DSL

Yeah, I got it. I've got the email function disabled. Thanks for the reply.

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Okay, I guess David meant John, not Don. Correct?

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Yeah. I guess habit, > John - Don. I do it too from time to time.

PM was just for some clarification.

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