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I count FOUR copies and the original Zfilm on 11/22


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Well KC... there's only a small handful of people able to answer that question...

You might PM them directly... but I've not heard them described as having sound... which, if they did, would be one of the first things to mention... one would think.

DJ

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David:

I've followed your posts with admiration, and the Z Film has become (for me) one of the more interesting subtopics in the eternal tale of Dealey Plaza. Following any of these subtopics is daunting, and takes pateince and attention to detail. I note that some members are quite contentious on this Z film subject, resorting to insults. I like the way that you stay above that chatter, and stick to the facts. For me, the most glaring fact (the one that still astounds me) is how the Z film stayed in the hands of Time-Life for more than 12 years, and was kept from public display until the Garrison trial and a 1975 television show. A President is murdered, and this key piece of evidence is held by a private (media) company? Simply astounding... that fact alone resonates strongly with me. When I travel to Rochester, and go by the protected area of Kodak's government work, I get the chills... Doug Horne's work tells us that something sinister probably occurred there, 50 years ago. But provenance and alteration notwithstanding, the film's story (chain of custody, authenticity, public disclosure, ownership) is very telling. And when I think of the three best efforts at investigation - the ones that keep us all from being totally in the dark (Garrison, HSCA, AARB) - behind each of these as the precipitating agent is the Z Film. Its as though the film keeps reminding us to keep digging, keep challenging, and never give up. So, keep up the good work.

Gene

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Thanks Gene...

As I read thru Horne's chapter on the Zfilm I am finding where my thoughts differ from his... I agree with so much yet there are some glaring inconsistencies in some of the key comments.

He only gives the 48fps possibility a page and admits that filmiung this way would make much of the alteration process easier...

The key areas of concentration for me then is the validity of those who saw ANY film on friday or sat morn... there are a few comments from these people in Horne's book... yet the depth of their Q&A is not fully revealed.

and a better 0184 explanation... as I believe there was a 4th copy in the mix starting that afternoon at Kodak/Jamieson

There is no denying the two NPIC events... no denying the Sun 16mm original comes from Rochester... and an 8mm arrives Sat...

that Z has the "master" and 1 first day copy is a matter of faith, not evidence... and I simply cannot believe the original is shown sat morn... meanwhile the FBI is viewing a 16mm film sat morn at Kodak... which is supposedly 0186... (as they simply have no idea where 0185 or 0187 are)

Again, thanks for the kind words as I am getting encouragement from a number of people... once we drop the pretense that the documentation available is an accurate representation of the chain of evidence and that ANYTHING is possible... one must look at it from a planning perspective....

If Z was really connected and influenced to AID the conspiracy for the pure cash of it - (which as one reads more about Abe, that seems all he cared about from the first second)

anything becomes possible..

DJ

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David:

It strikes me that -- whenever the "public" (ordinary folks not deeply steeped in the theories and information) views the Z film -- dramatic showings of the frames move emotions, and create positive action forward. The major investigations were all precipitated by a showing of the film. It may sound corny, but its as if the film has a power and aura all its own. Whatever mystical powers are at play, it seems fundamentally important to pay attention to this film, and all of its subplots... stay with it.

Best,

Gene

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This is a bit of a surprise...?

The SS has an EXTRA COPY OF THE Z FILM - which is plain as day... Zapruder can't have a copy AND the FBI AND Sorrells AND Phillips...

Was Zapruder's BEST DAY COPY taken by Max Phillips and then returned to Zapruder?

Or was the remaining print that Sorrels has sent?

And are they in 8mm or 16mm format at this point... I see notes where both 16mm and 8mm films arew shown on 11/23

thanks

DJ

point: ALL films including the alleged in-camera Zapruder film original/3 alleged copies of the alleged original when removed from the film processor were in 16mm format (2ea. 8mm film strips together, side-by-side) until split, thus creating individual 8mm films. #0183 (original), #0185 (dupe), #0186(dupe), #0187(dupe)

Edited by David G. Healy
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This is a bit of a surprise...?

The SS has an EXTRA COPY OF THE Z FILM - which is plain as day... Zapruder can't have a copy AND the FBI AND Sorrells AND Phillips...

Was Zapruder's BEST DAY COPY taken by Max Phillips and then returned to Zapruder?

Or was the remaining print that Sorrels has sent?

And are they in 8mm or 16mm format at this point... I see notes where both 16mm and 8mm films arew shown on 11/23

thanks

DJ

point: ALL films including the alleged in-camera Zapruder film original/3 alleged copies of the alleged original when removed from the film processor were in 16mm format (2ea. 8mm film strips together, side-by-side) until split, thus creating individual 8mm films. #0183 (original), #0185 (dupe), #0186(dupe), #0187(dupe)

Yes David... understood

If all three and original are slit... which 16mm film is the FBI watching at KODAK saturday morning? (this too could ba a mistake yet Phil Chamberlain remembers them using a 16mm machine since it allowed for stop/go and forward/backward movements of the film and THIS was a 16mm machine...)

I assume creating the 16mm Homer version for Sunday eve is just as easy from 8mm slit or 16mm unslit "master" films ??

Personally, I believe that 0184 and its story are too easily accepted and dismissed.... especially given the recap of where the films are by Philips in his letter to Rowley.

Sorrells cant have 2 films, Zap have master + copy AND a copy goes to Rowley from Max...

0186 was given to Kelly by Sorrells and THIS is supposedly the film seen by the FBI... if this too was 8mm... (and I think sliting the film was very important if the 48fps section actually happened.. to keep the two different speeds, seperated) add that 0185 and 0187 are not visible on these copies (in addition to all the other inconsistencies) and I firmly believe 0184 is part of the mix.

My biggest question/concern at this point is why those that saw the film prior to it leaving Dallas both on Friday and Saturday talk about

1) violent FORWARD movement of JFK's head

2) YET... depris coming out the BACK RIGHT of his head... - no mention of debris falling forward onto the limo occupants OR the violent movment backward prior to this debris shooting our the back

No mention of being pushed backward - only debris... we know JFK was facing SW at the time... and his body was turned to the SW...

At the sound of the BANG! startled onlookers, unless directly to the side, would see him falling FORWARD, especially if the backward movement was actually much slower than we see and speeds up after removal of frames... "Pitching forward" "Head moved sharply forward", "move forward with considerable violence" (Rather) "head suddenly whips to the left" Schwartz

One of these witnesses, Schwartz, tells us that ne simply did not notice the limo stopping - even though he supposedly viewed the film over a dozen times ??!?

Rather, in his broadcast states "the car never stopped, it never paused"... yet this is on 11/25 and Trask states he sees the film THAT DAY...

Rather and DeLoach saw the FORWARD movement when they saw the film "shortly after the assassination"

DeLoach restates this after seeing the film the FOLLOWING weekend... (must be the altered film or a different aspect of the film being described)

Either they are lying to cover for a frontal shot... they are overstating the forward movement - or referring to a different point in the film... or they saw the altered film...

Where/when does Rather see the film on Friday?

DJ

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Mr. LIEBELER - Now, I've got a list of them here that I want to ask you about--picture 207 and turn on over to this picture. It appears that a sign starts to come in the picture--there was a sign in the picture.

ZAPRUDER - Yes; there were signs there also and trees and-somehow--I told them I was going to get the whole view and I must have.

Now... who do you suppose ABETOLD HE WAS GOING TO GET THE WHOLE VIEW... ??

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My biggest question/concern at this point is why those that saw the film prior to it leaving Dallas both on Friday and Saturday talk about

1) violent FORWARD movement of JFK's head

2) YET... depris coming out the BACK RIGHT of his head... - no mention of debris falling forward onto the limo occupants OR the violent movment backward prior to this debris shooting our the back

No mention of being pushed backward - only debris... we know JFK was facing SW at the time... and his body was turned to the SW...

At the sound of the BANG! startled onlookers, unless directly to the side, would see him falling FORWARD, especially if the backward movement was actually much slower than we see and speeds up after removal of frames... "Pitching forward" "Head moved sharply forward", "move forward with considerable violence" (Rather) "head suddenly whips to the left" Schwartz

One of these witnesses, Schwartz, tells us that ne simply did not notice the limo stopping - even though he supposedly viewed the film over a dozen times ??!?

Rather, in his broadcast states "the car never stopped, it never paused"... yet this is on 11/25 and Trask states he sees the film THAT DAY...

Rather and DeLoach saw the FORWARD movement when they saw the film "shortly after the assassination"

DeLoach restates this after seeing the film the FOLLOWING weekend... (must be the altered film or a different aspect of the film being described)

Either they are lying to cover for a frontal shot... they are overstating the forward movement - or referring to a different point in the film... or they saw the altered film...

Where/when does Rather see the film on Friday?

DJ

No mystery, David, if you abandon both the traditional chrons and the nominally oppositional in favour of placing the contemporaneous evidence in chronological sequence. Stripping away the subsequent spins and fabrications give us a first version of the Z film which is both different to, and no more true than, the version with which we are familiar today.

In other words, there was an original, and likely pre-planned, fake that was hastily withdrawn and recast.

Two of Rather's televised descriptions of the Z fake (version 1) from November 25 can be viewed here: http://educationforu...240#entry262770 (#246)

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Thanks for your thoughts Paul...

The only "pre-planned" fake I can understand would be shot from the same pedastal to be used to mix in with the actual film...

you will have to explain further what you mean by "Hastily withdrawn and recast"

Zapruder stating "I told them I was going to get the whole view"... COULD be to his family and be benign... but could also be a slip of the tongue.

Remembering the public only sees individual frames and hears the comments... all that was needed were a few people keeping their mouths shut about what they saw those first couple days

But if the original was actually seen, and we cannot dismiss the slowing or stopped limo from it NOT being portrayed as such in the extant film... or the real bones and debris that DID leave JFK's right rear...

or the subsequent reactions by the agents in the follow-up car, the comments of Chaney and Hargis... the quicker than normal head turns/physcial reactions in the Zfilm... the Nix/Muchmore films' treatment of Hill's movements,

the real impossibility of Hill catching a moving vehicle in two steps, etc... etc.... then the original was altered and a new original created using a single continuous roll that would now have the correct markings of an original...

I simply find it amazing that there has not been more done to more deeply question these first viewers of the film. And how easy some researchers accepted that Schwartz did not notice the limo stopping during his repetitive viewings...

Suggests to ME that like so much in this case, the testimony of those related to the film is simply not reliable or accurate... the FORWARD MOVEMENT was imo, added to the comments to add to the confusion.

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Thanks for your thoughts Paul...

The only "pre-planned" fake I can understand would be shot from the same pedastal to be used to mix in with the actual film...

These are big and interesting questions.

An obvious point arises: why would the plotters stop at preparing backing shots?

The plotters control the route, chose the assassination locus, and are faced with only a finite number of variables in the composition and order of the motorcade, all of which they have sufficient power to adjust (to) should the necessity arise.

Unless we are to believe the planning was kept entirely verbal, the basic outline of the plot must have taken the form of a narrative, storyboard or, more likely, both.

The plotters have access to the best photogrammetrists, special effects men, and camera technology then in existence.

They thus have the power to create, in advance, a synthetic environment which can be buttressed by censorship, editing, the use of planted or pseudo-witnesses, etc.

Why stop at backing shots?

Remembering the public only sees individual frames and hears the comments... all that was needed were a few people keeping their mouths shut about what they saw those first couple days.

But that's precisely what they don't do: Rather's multiple descriptions on November 25 are immensely detailed. They are made before the film is allegedly sold to Time-Life later that day.

There are also print descriptions of the first version - albeit assiduously ignored by first generation critics.

But if the original was actually seen, and we cannot dismiss the slowing or stopped limo from it NOT being portrayed as such in the extant film... or the real bones and debris that DID leave JFK's right rear...

or the subsequent reactions by the agents in the follow-up car, the comments of Chaney and Hargis... the quicker than normal head turns/physcial reactions in the Zfilm... the Nix/Muchmore films' treatment of Hill's movements,

the real impossibility of Hill catching a moving vehicle in two steps, etc... etc.... then the original was altered and a new original created using a single continuous roll that would now have the correct markings of an original...

I simply find it amazing that there has not been more done to more deeply question these first viewers of the film. And how easy some researchers accepted that Schwartz did not notice the limo stopping during his repetitive viewings...

Suggests to ME that like so much in this case, the testimony of those related to the film is simply not reliable or accurate... the FORWARD MOVEMENT was imo, added to the comments to add to the confusion.

Here we face what is likely an insurmountable obstacle for many in understanding the purposes of Z fake version 2: The counter-intelligence view of the utility of conspiracy for the purposes of long-range deception.

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The film, by the 25th, was no longer the original.... Rather could be saying anything he likes... and I have listened to his words a number of times now...

"immensely detailed" ?? only in the fact that he repeats a number of times how the shots came from the TSBD 6th floor...

If you have links or access to these "print descriptions" I would love to see them...

All I've ever seen are 2nd hand reports of what was said... not the actual statements themselves

Regarding the thought that a Zfilm already existed in some form, AHEAD of time is interesting and possible for sure. I have not given that enough thought though so I wont comment at this point.

I am currently looking more deeply at Sorrels.. As he ultimately has 2 copies of the film in his possession AND was with Zapruder, Schwartz and McCormick.

Horne states he had to leave KODAK when he hears about Oswald and Tippit

this is after he has gone to Parkland, back to the TSBD for some reason*

spoke with Brennen& Euins as well as takes them to the sheriff dept

runs into and talks to MERCER yet dismisses her story and THEN runs into McCormick who takes him to Zapruder who in turn all go to KODAK

and THEN Sorrels hears about Tippit, leaves KODAK and heads to Fritz (all this before 2pm)

Any idea which FBI agent would have called the FBI between 1:40 and 2pm with info on the "suspect"?

*Mr. STERN - Why did you designate the Book Depository?

Mr. SORRELS - Because I wanted to get there and get something going in establishing who the people were that were in that vicinity. And upon arrival at the Book Store, we pulled up on the side, and I went in the back door.

Mr. STERN - Just a minute. Had you heard any mention of the Book Depository on police broadcasts as you drove to the hospital?

Mr. SORRELS - No; I never heard anything.

Mr. STERN - And, at this point, you were not certain that the shots came from the Book Depository?

Mr. SORRELS - No; I didn't know at that time

At that time, I made a phone call to my office, because I had not been in contact with them since we had departed from Love Field. I was informed that an FBI agent had called the office and said that Captain Fritz of the Homicide Bureau had been trying to get in touch with me, that he had a suspect in custody.

Mr. STERN - About what time was that?

Mr. SORRELS - That would be fairly close to 2 o'clock, I imagine.

Mr. STERN - About an hour after you had returned----

Mr. SORRELS - Yes. I would say that it was at least that long--maybe a little bit longer

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The film, by the 25th, was no longer the original....

Was there an "original" in the sense you mean? Let us accept there was, if only for convenience's sake.

No, the film hadn't been altered by the time Rather saw it, not according to the contemporaneous evidence.

What you're assuming as definitive is, in essence, CIA limited hang-out, introduced to the HSCA in the mid-1970s, and elaborated upon by an elderly group of Agency loyalists before Doug Horne and the ARRB two decades after that.

The purpose of this limited hang-out was to portray the Agency as essentially passive-reactive. The real deceit, we are to believe, was being conducted elsewhere, at Kodak, by a person (or persons) unknown.

Rather could be saying anything he likes... and I have listened to his words a number of times now..."immensely detailed" ?? only in the fact that he repeats a number of times how the shots came from the TSBD 6th floor...

Again, not so. When Rather began describing the film on November 25, it hadn't been sold: CBS could still have gained the film rights, and broadcast it. Are we to believe he was stupid enough to have taken the risk of repeatedly offering detailed descriptions - and for a short piece of film, they unquestionably are, from the limousine's left turn from Houston onto Elm, to Jackie's actions - only to be exposed, almost immediately, as a xxxx?

That dog doesn't hunt.

If you have links or access to these "print descriptions" I would love to see them...All I've ever seen are 2nd hand reports of what was said... not the actual statements themselves..

Happy to oblige. I suspect you'll enjoy the "35 seconds" one:

Eleven early print descriptions of the Zapruder film

Seventeen early print descriptions of the Zapruder film and its contents

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The film, by the 25th, was no longer the original....

Was there an "original" in the sense you mean? Let us accept there was, if only for convenience's sake.

No, the film hadn't been altered by the time Rather saw it, not according to the contemporaneous evidence.

What you're assuming as definitive is, in essence, CIA limited hang-out, introduced to the HSCA in the mid-1970s, and elaborated upon by an elderly group of Agency loyalists before Doug Horne and the ARRB two decades after that.

The purpose of this limited hang-out was to portray the Agency as essentially passive-reactive. The real deceit, we are to believe, was being conducted elsewhere, at Kodak, by a person (or persons) unknown.

Rather could be saying anything he likes... and I have listened to his words a number of times now..."immensely detailed" ?? only in the fact that he repeats a number of times how the shots came from the TSBD 6th floor...

Again, not so. When Rather began describing the film on November 25, it hadn't been sold: CBS could still have gained the film rights, and broadcast it. Are we to believe he was stupid enough to have taken the risk of repeatedly offering detailed descriptions - and for a short piece of film, they unquestionably are, from the limousine's left turn from Houston onto Elm, to Jackie's actions - only to be exposed, almost immediately, as a xxxx?

That dog doesn't hunt.

If you have links or access to these "print descriptions" I would love to see them...All I've ever seen are 2nd hand reports of what was said... not the actual statements themselves..

Happy to oblige. I suspect you'll enjoy the "35 seconds" one:

Eleven early print descriptions of the Zapruder film

Seventeen early print descriptions of the Zapruder film and its contents

Wow, we are watching Fantasy Island!

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Thanks Paul...

But I have to disagree with your assessment of the film not already being sold as of Monday the 25th.... Why do you keep saying it was not - since there was yet another offer and another added contract on the 25th?

"Print media rights" were sold on 11/23... We do not know what "soon after the assassiantion" means in terms of when Rather and DeLoach see a film.

Dan Rather describes the puch forward part of the image, just neglects to include the "and then back and to the left" falling part.... by the 25th the film was already altered and the MEDIA was telling us exactly what they were expected and TOLD to tell us.... the "master" . Please be specific with your "contemporaneous evidence"

As I read thru the links you provided... I find these are ALL 2nd and 3rd hand accounts... Not a single person you quoted sat and watched the film... these are all filtered descriptions

"What you're assuming as definitive is, in essence, CIA limited hang-out, introduced to the HSCA in the mid-1970s, and elaborated upon by an elderly group of Agency loyalists before Doug Horne and the ARRB two decades after that.

The purpose of this limited hang-out was to portray the Agency as essentially passive-reactive. The real deceit, we are to believe, was being conducted elsewhere, at Kodak, by a person (or persons) unknown."

Paul... can you stick to what YOU'RE ASSUMING and leave me to explain what I am.... If this is your theory, fine. Explain it, defend it, whatever... but please don't attribute it to what Im assuming.. k?

My purpose is to carefully follow each of the films, their viewings, the comments related to them and FIND where the weakest links are.... I have yet to incorporate a film that was already shot as I have yet to see evidence of such.

There is little supporting evidence that 0183 was in Zapruder's possession Friday night... and I'm still working thru the rest...

I had hoped your links would lead to FIRST HAND ACCOUNTS of what was seen on the film as we got from Schwartz and Breneman - yet Schwartz does not NOTICE a limo stop and Breneman is only quoted related to debris exiting the back of the head... Now, while these accounts do describe images that are NOT on the extant film... they also do not include proof that the other aspects of the film, the removal of large chunks for the turn and the limo stop, are actually there.

The following line about the cut from 0132 to 0133 proves they are talking about the altered film. Please explain your POV regarding the "Other Films" comment...

Thanks Paul

DJ

"It opens as the Kennedy motorcade rounds the corner from Houston Street and turns into Elm Street.

Then it picks up the President’s car and follows it down toward the underpass. Suddenly, in the film, Kennedy is seen to jerk. It is the first shot. (DJ: This film has the turn already removed)

Mrs. Kennedy turns, puts her arms around him. A second later, the second shot. The President’s head becomes a blur on the film, lunged forward and up. The second bullet has torn into the back of his head.

He rolls towards Mrs. Kennedy and disappears from sight. Mrs. Kennedy lurches onto the flat trunk deck of the Presidential car as a Secret Service man races to their aid. She is on her hands and knees. She reaches for him. He leaps up on the bumper. She pulls him up on the bumper or he pushes her back as the film ends.

Other films show the car never stopped, but raced to the Parkland Memorial Hospital with Mrs. Kennedy cradling the President"

"OTHER FILMS" show the car never stopped...? so which films DO show the limo stopping? The Z film? It is never clear in your quote.

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Thanks for your thoughts Paul...

The only "pre-planned" fake I can understand would be shot from the same pedastal to be used to mix in with the actual film...

you will have to explain further what you mean by "Hastily withdrawn and recast"

Zapruder stating "I told them I was going to get the whole view"... COULD be to his family and be benign... but could also be a slip of the tongue.

Remembering the public only sees individual frames and hears the comments... all that was needed were a few people keeping their mouths shut about what they saw those first couple days

But if the original was actually seen, and we cannot dismiss the slowing or stopped limo from it NOT being portrayed as such in the extant film... or the real bones and debris that DID leave JFK's right rear...

or the subsequent reactions by the agents in the follow-up car, the comments of Chaney and Hargis... the quicker than normal head turns/physcial reactions in the Zfilm... the Nix/Muchmore films' treatment of Hill's movements,

the real impossibility of Hill catching a moving vehicle in two steps, etc... etc.... then the original was altered and a new original created using a single continuous roll that would now have the correct markings of an original...

I simply find it amazing that there has not been more done to more deeply question these first viewers of the film. And how easy some researchers accepted that Schwartz did not notice the limo stopping during his repetitive viewings...

Suggests to ME that like so much in this case, the testimony of those related to the film is simply not reliable or accurate... the FORWARD MOVEMENT was imo, added to the comments to add to the confusion.

added background via Doug Horne's excellent:

The Two NPIC Zapruder Film Events: Signposts Pointing to the Film’s Alteration

by Douglas P. Horne

quote on

http://lewrockwell.c...rne-d1.1.1.html

...

Note: "prior to..." para1 2nd line

The Traditionally Understood Zapruder Film Chain of Custody, from Friday, November 22nd, 1963 through Tuesday, November 26th, 1963

Here is the commonly-agreed-to chain of custody for the camera-original Zapruder film, as it was known prior to our new understanding of the implications of the two NPIC events:

Friday, November 22nd: Zapruder’s home movie of the assassination was developed at the Kodak Plant in Dallas. When developed, it was a 16 mm wide, 25-foot-long “double 8” film, with sprocket holes running along both outside edges, and was unslit. What does this mean? Simply put, as shot in the camera, and then as developed, all “double 8” home movie films consisted of two 8mm wide image strips going in opposite directions, and upside down when compared to each other. The normal practice immediately following developing was for the developing lab to “split,” or slit, the 16 mm wide film in half, vertically, and then join the two sides of the movie (known as the A side and the B side) together with a splice, so that it could be projected in an 8 mm home projector. A “double 8” movie that has been slit only has sprocket holes on one side (the left side), and is 50 feet long (instead of 25). In the case of the Zapruder film, the A side (family scenes) and the B side (the Kennedy assassination) were not initially split, or slit apart, so that Mr. Zapruder could get three copies (contact prints) exposed at another lab (the Jamieson film lab in Dallas), in Mr. Jamieson’s 16 mm contact printer. That is, the 16 mm out-of-camera format (with opposing image strips going in opposite directions) was temporarily preserved on Friday afternoon, so that Zapruder’s film could be copied.

Before departing for the Jamieson lab to have three contact prints exposed, the 16 mm wide, out-of-camera original was viewed once by the Production Supervisor (Mr. Chamberlain) and Mr. Zapruder, on a Kodak 16 mm processing inspection projector, at twice the normal projection speed – to simply ensure that Zapruder had indeed captured the assassination on film. [5]

Following his return from the Jamieson lab with the three exposed contact prints, all three contact prints were developed at the Kodak Plant in Dallas. After the three dupes were found satisfactory, the original film was slit down the middle to 8 mm in width, and the two halves of the movie spliced together, end-to-end (per normal procedure). The original film, now 8mm in width, was viewed at least twice on an 8 mm projector by several laboratory personnel (including Production Supervisor Phil Chamberlain, and Customer Service Manager Dick Blair), Mr. Zapruder, and his attorney. [6] At least one of the three dupes was also viewed, and was noted to have a “softer” focus than the original film (as would be expected).

Zapruder departed Kodak’s Dallas Plant at about 9 PM, and turned over two of the three “first day copies” to the Secret Service. One was sent to Washington, D.C. – to Secret Service Headquarters – by Dallas Secret Service agent Max Phillips, who placed it on a commercial flight late Friday night. It arrived in Washington after midnight, and sometime before dawn, on Saturday, 11/23/63. The second “same day copy” relinquished to the Secret Service by Zapruder on Friday night was loaned by the Secret Service to the FBI in Dallas the next day, on Saturday; and then flown by the Dallas office of the FBI to FBI headquarters, in Washington, on Saturday evening. [7]

Zapruder went home Friday night with the camera-original film, and one of the “first day copies” in his possession. He was contacted on the phone late Friday night by Richard Stolley, LIFE magazine’s Pacific Coast editor out of Los Angeles, and Zapruder agreed to meet with Mr. Stolley and discuss the film’s potential sale the next morning in his office.

We have now accounted for the whereabouts of all three “first day copies” that weekend. However, the primary focus in this paper should remain on the original film. ARRB consultant Roland Zavada’s formal conclusion in his report was this: “After the dupes were found satisfactory, the original film was slit to 8 mm.” [8] There was absolutely no doubt in his mind about this, for he had interviewed the surviving employees from the Kodak Plant in Dallas, and both high level supervisors present that day concurred in this.

Saturday, November 23rd:

Abraham Zapruder met with Secret Service officials and Mr. Stolley of LIFE in his office on Saturday morning, 11/23/63, and projected the original film for them on his 8 mm projector. [9]

He then struck a deal with Richard Stolley, selling to LIFE, for $50,000.00, worldwide print media rights to the assassination movie (but not motion picture rights). Zapruder agreed in this initial contract that he would not exploit the film as a motion picture, himself, until Friday, November 29th. Zapruder immediately relinquished the camera-original film to LIFE for a six day period, and kept in his possession the one remaining “same day copy.” By the terms of this initial contract with LIFE, Zapruder was to have the original film returned to him byLIFE on or about November 29th, and in exchange he was then to give LIFE the remaining first day copy. [10]

Richard Stolley immediately put the film on a commercial flight bound for Chicago, where LIFE’s principal printing plant was located. [11] The presses for the November 29th edition had been stopped on Friday, the day of the assassination, and the plan was to make major use of the imagery from Zapruder’s film as the issue was reconfigured.

Now, here is the doubtful part of the chain of custody story that will require modification after we study the two NPIC events the weekend of the assassination: the traditional belief, for decades, was that the original Zapruder film remained with LIFE in Chicago from early Saturday evening, until Tuesday, November 26th, when the first issues of the reconfigured November 29th issue began to appear on local newsstands. The principal reference supporting this traditional view of the Zapruder film’s chain of custody, from Saturday through Tuesday, has been pgs. 311-318 of Loudon Wainwright’s 1986 memoir, titled The Great American Magazine: An Inside History of LIFE. In his book, Wainwright recounts hearsay passed along to him from others at LIFE about how the film was processed in Chicago – who was on the team that prepared the use of blowups from the film, how they worked on the layout, etc. [12]The magazine was actually printed at Chicago’s R. R. Donnelly and Company printing plant; prior to the actual layout and graphics work at the printing plant, numerous 8 x 10 inch prints were run off at a separate Chicago photo lab. [13]We shall further discuss the activities in Chicago, and what was actually published in the November 29th issue, toward the end of this article. The only part of the Chicago story that is subject to doubt is the exact timing of when the LIFE editorial and technical team actually performed its layout of the Zapruder frames for the November 29th issue: was it actually Saturday night, or was it really Sunday night, or perhaps even early Monday morning before dawn?

Sunday, November 24th: On Sunday evening, Richard Stolley, on behalf of LIFE, approached Abraham Zapruder on the phone and requested that they meet to negotiate LIFE’sacquisition of additional rights to the film. “Something” had happened that caused the magazine to seek all rights to the film, including motion picture rights, and outright ownership of both the original film, and all copies. These additional rights would prove extremely expensive to Time, Inc., LIFE magazine’s parent company.

Monday, November 25th: After the conclusion of President Kennedy’s funeral on Monday – the funeral ended at about 2 PM Dallas time (CST), with Air Force One flying over the gravesite at 2:54 PM EST, and with the former First Lady, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, lighting the eternal flame at 3:13 PM EST – Stolley, Zapruder, and his attorney for this purpose, Sam Passman, met to renegotiate the sale contract for the film. Earlier that day, LIFE’s publisher, C.D. Jackson, had relayed to Stolley the formal approval of the Board of Time, Inc. for him to renegotiate the contract. [14]

For a renegotiated total price of $150,000.00 ($100,000.00 more than the original contract signed on Saturday), Time, Inc. now gained all rights to the Zapruder film’s imagery (domestic and foreign; and newsreel, television, and motion picture); and permanent ownership of the original and all three copies of the “8 mm color films,” thus erasing any doubt that the original and the copies had been slit to 8 mm on Friday. In addition, the new contract stipulated that Time, Inc. would pay to Zapruder an amount equal to one half of all gross receipts for use of the film, above and beyond the new $150,000.00 sale price. (The contract stipulated that Time, Inc. would also own the two “first-day copies” that Zapruder had loaned to the Secret Service, once they were returned; they never were returned.) [15]

Tuesday, November 26th: The first newsstand copies of the November 29th issue of LIFE began to trickle out; the issue displayed a total of 31 fuzzy, poor resolution, black-and-white images of blowups from individual frames of the film. [16] Twenty-eight of them were quite small; two were medium sized; and one was a large format reproduction. What is hard to understand, in retrospect, is why LIFE magazine published such muddy, indistinct images of a film that its parent company, Time Inc., had spent an additional $100,000.00 to repurchase. We will revisit this question following our examination of the two NPIC “briefing board events,” below.

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Edited by David G. Healy
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