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It's ALWAYS unreliable.

That's just not true, Craig. You've painted with too broad a brush.

Its reliability depends on a number of things, including: how much time passed between the event and the reporting of the event; the personal bias or prejudice of the eyewitness; the presence of peripheral distractions; the presence or absence of trauma related to the event; the age (very young, in the middle or very old) of the eyewitness; the eyesight of the eyewitness; if the eyewitness had special training in observational techniques, such as, those learned by police officers, cinematographers, or news reporters...; among others things.

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Looming over all of this is the story told by KRLD's Bob Huffaker in the book he co-authored with fellow reporters Bill Mercer, George Phenix and Wes Wise, "When the News Went Live." I interviewed Bob after the book came out in 2004, and he did not back off the following statement:

"Dan brought a 16 mm print of the film to our newsroom a few days after the assassination, and he and I took it into the projection room. Dan had to view it and feed a report about it to Walter Cronkite's evening news. I ran the soundless film over and over again for the better part of an hour while Dan took notes. . . As I ran the now-famous film time after time, Dan and I talked about what it's fuzzy sequence revealed. . . Dan went to a typewriter, then into our television studio, where he reported our conclusions for CBS. Like the rest of us, he read directly from the copy he wrote. . ."

This contradicts Rather's version in all respects. But the story doesn't end there.

By the way, thanks to Craig for posting the video of Rather's "Archive of American Television" interview. There's a blockbuster revelation in there that no one has picked up on so far.

Ken

Edited by Ken Rheberg
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I'm too tired to really think about it, but it seems pretty clear that Robert and Craig have crossed a line.

1. Members should not post gossip about other members a la "I talked to someone and they said you stink" blah blah blah.

and

2. Members should not attack other members. Claiming another member is "warped", "kooky," and living in a "fantasy land," does little to illuminate the issues being discussed.

Might I suggest you both clean up your behavior (and posts) before you end up on moderation?

P.S. Craig is wrong. Dan Rather has admitted that at first glance he'd mistakenly thought the fatal shot toppled Kennedy forward, and not backward. He did not view the film 1 frame at a time. He was not talking about 1 frame. He made a mistake, and misled people.

But he was not alone. The newspapers and airwaves were filled with such mistakes. Some of them were in fact the same mistakes. This raises the possibility, then, that some source was providing members of the media with misinformation.

From patspeer.com, chapter1:

Meanwhile, in radio and TV land, a whole new reign of error was beginning. CBS newsman Dan Rather, after viewing the home movie of the assassination taken by Abraham Zapruder, rushed back to the studio to describe the film for CBS News' radio and television audience. His description was to have many unfortunate consequences. (This first transcript was published by Richard Trask in Pictures of the Pain.)

Dan Rather (Radio Take 1): "Well, let me tell you then, give you a word picture of the motion picture we have just seen. The President's automobile which was preceded by only one other car containing Secret Service Agents...the President's open black Lincoln automobile made a turn, a left turn off of Houston Street in Dallas onto Elm Street, this was right on the fringe area of the downtown area. This left turn was made right below the window from which the shot was fired...as the car made the turn, completed the turn--went below the window from which this shot was fired...went on past the building--keep in mind the window was on the sixth floor...it got about 35 yards from the base of the building...that is if you had dropped a plumb line from the window to the sidewalk to...the President's car was around 35 yards from that spot...President Kennedy had just put his right hand up to the side of his right eye. It appeared that he was perhaps brushing back his hair or rubbing his eyebrow. Mrs. Kennedy was not looking in his direction. In front of them in the jump seat of the Lincoln...were Governor and Mrs. Connally. The Governor, as was the President, was on the side of the car of the building in which the assassin was located. Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Connally were on the opposite side. Two Secret Service men on the front seat...At almost the instant the President put his hand up to his eyebrow...on the right side of his face, with Mrs. Kennedy looking away, the President lurched forward just a bit. Uh, it was obvious he had been hit in the movie but you had to be looking very closely in order to see it. Mrs. Kennedy did not appear to be aware that he was hit but Governor Connally in the seat just in front of the President, seemingly heard the shot...or sensed that something was wrong...Governor Connally, whose coat button was open, turned in such a way to extend his right hand out towards the President and the Governor seemed to have a look on his face that might say "What is it? What happened?" And as he turned he exposed his entire shirt front and chest because his coat was unbuttoned...at that moment a shot very clearly hit that part of the Governor. He was wounded once with a chest shot, this we now know...Uh, the Governor fell back in his seat...Mrs. Connally immediately fell over the Governor. Uh, I say fell, she threw herself over the Governor and at that instant the second shot the third shot total but the second shot hit President Kennedy and there was no doubt there, his head...went forward with considerable violence."

(Note: Rather's description here is quite controversial. As Kennedy's head actually goes slightly forward, and then back and to the left with considerable violence, many see his saying that Kennedy went forward with considerable violence as a deliberate lie designed to sell the American people that the fatal shot came from behind. If it is true that Rather was trying to sell the American people the single-assassin scenario, however, it back-fired, as he also claimed the film showed Connally being hit well after Kennedy had first been hit, which is in conflict with the single-bullet theory so central to the single-assassin conclusion.)

Rather then described the aftermath of the shooting: "Mrs. Kennedy stood up immediately her mouth wide open...The President slumped over against Mrs. Kennedy almost toppling her over as she was standing...Mrs. Kennedy then threw herself out of the back seat of the car onto the trunk of the car almost on all fours...stretched out over the trunk of the car...There was a Secret Service man standing on the back bumper. It would appear that Mrs. Kennedy was either trying to get herself out of what she knew instinctively was danger or perhaps was trying to grab the Secret Service man and pull him into the back seat of the car for help. At any rate Mrs. Kennedy was prone, uh face down on the back of the car on the trunk...The Secret Service man leaned over put his hands on her shoulders and shoved her back into the car. He seemed to be in danger of perhaps rolling or falling off the back. A Secret Service man in the front seat of the car uh was already on the telephone perhaps he had been on the phone all along it was not clear and the car sped away."

Rather then answered a few questions from his fellow newsmen Richard Hotelett and Hughes Rudd. When asked if the limo ever stopped, he replied "The car never stopped, it never paused." When asked the length of the film, he replied "Well, the complete scene that I just described to you covers exactly 20 seconds--that is from the time the car made the turn until the car disappeared onto an underpass." When asked if the President was hit twice, he then added: "It was very clear that the President was hit twice. He was hit, Governor Connally was hit and the Gov...uh the President was hit again." When asked the length of the shooting sequence itself, he then offered: "No more than five seconds and I...am inclined to think slightly less than that perhaps."

(Note: when all is said and done, this was perhaps Rather's biggest mistake. By assuming that the fatal head shot was the third shot, and timing the shooting sequence from the first hit to the final hit, without accepting that there could have been a miss--without studying the eyewitness testimony, moreover, to see that there very likely was a miss--Rather thoroughly misled the public.)

Rather was then rushed onto television to describe the film to Walter Cronkite during CBS News' ongoing coverage of the assassination and aftermath. (Transcript as posted by Paul Rigby on the Education Forum, 11-15-12)

Dan Rather (TV Take 1): "We have just returned from seeing a complete motion picture of the moments preceding, and the moments of, President Kennedy’s assassination and the shooting of Texas Governor John Connally. Here is what the motion picture shows. The automobile, the black Lincoln convertible, with the top down - carrying, in the front seat, two secret service agents; in the middle, or jump seat, the Governor and Mrs. Connally; and, in the rear seat, President and Mrs. Kennedy – made a turn off of Houston Street, on to Elm Street. This was a left turn and was made right in front of the building from which the assassin’s bullet was fired. After making the turn, and going about 35 yards from the corner of the building – six stories up in which the assassin had a window open – and keep in mind here that President Kennedy and Governor Connally are seated on, both on the same side of the car, on the side facing the building: Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Connally are on the side of the car away from the assassin. About 35 yards from the base of the building, President Kennedy, in the film, put his hand up to the right side of his face, the side facing the assassin. He seemingly wanted to brush back his hair, or perhaps rub his eyebrow. Mrs. Kennedy at this moment was looking away, or looking straight ahead. She was not looking at her husband. At that moment, when the President had his right hand up to this side of his face (gestures), he lurched just a bit forward. It was obvious that the shot had hit him. Mrs. Kennedy was not looking at him, nor did she appear to know at that instant that her husband had been hit. Governor Connally, in the seat immediately in front of the President, apparently either heard the shot or sensed that something was wrong because, Governor Connally, with his coat open, his button was undone, turned in this manner (turns back to his right with right arm extended), his hand outstretched, back toward the President; and the Governor had a look on his face that would indicate he perhaps was saying “What’s wrong?” or “What happened?” or “Can I help?” or something. But as Governor Connally was turned this way, his white shirt front exposed well to the view of the assassin, the Governor was obviously hit by a bullet, and he fell over to the side. Governor Connally’s wife, immediately, seemingly instantaneously, placed herself over her husband in a protective position, it appeared; and as Governor Connally fell back, President Kennedy was still leaned over. At that moment another bullet obviously hit the head of the President. The President’s head went forward, violently, in this manner (gestures). Mrs. Kennedy, at that instant, seemed to be looking right-square at her husband. She stood up. The President slumped over to the side and, I believe, brushed against Mrs. Kennedy’s dress. Mrs. Kennedy immediately turned and flung herself on the trunk of the automobile, face-down on the trunk, almost on all-fours. The First Lady appeared to be either frantically trying to get the secret service man who was riding on the bumper of the car - the single secret service man riding on that bumper - to come into the car or to tell him what had happened; or perhaps, from the picture, it appeared she might have been trying to get out of the car some way. The car never stopped. The secret service man in the front seat had a telephone in his hand. The car…its acceleration increased rapidly and it disappeared under an underpass. Three shots - the first one hitting President Kennedy, the second one hitting Governor Connally, the third one hitting the President – consume, possibly, five seconds. Not much more than that, if any. That is the scene shown in about twenty seconds of film that the FBI has in its possession. The film was taken by an amateur photographer who was in a very advantageous position, and who had his camera trained on the President’s car from the time it made the turn in front of the assassin until it disappeared on its way to the hospital. This is Dan Rather in Dallas."

A short time later, he once again described the film to Cronkite. (Transcript as posted by Paul Rigby on the Education Forum, 11-15-12).

Dan Rather (TV Take 2): "We have just returned from seeing a complete motion picture of the moments immediately preceding, and the moments of, President Kennedy’s assassination. The motion picture shows the limousine carrying: in the front seat, two secret service men; in the middle, or jump seat, Governor and Mrs. Connally; and, in the rear seat, President and Mrs. Kennedy; a single secret service man standing on the back bumper; the top of the black Lincoln convertible down. The car made a turn, a left turn, off of Houston Street, on to Elm Street, on the fringe of Dallas’ down-town area; that turn made directly below the sixth floor window from which the assassin’s bullets came. After the left turn was completed, the automobile, with only one car in front of it - a secret service car immediately in front – the President’s car proceeded about 35 yards from the base of the building in which the assassin was. President Kennedy and Governor Connally were seated on the same side of the open car, the side facing the building: Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Connally on the side of the car opposite the assassin. President Kennedy is clearly shown to put his right hand up to the side of his face as if to either brush back his hair, or perhaps rub his eyebrow. Mrs. Kennedy at that instant is looking away, and is not looking at the President. At almost that instant, when the President has his hand up to this side of his face (gestures), he lurches forward something in this manner (gestures): The first shot had hit him. Mrs. Kennedy appeared not to notice. Governor Connally, in the seat right in front of the President – by the way, the Governor had his suit coat open, his suit was not buttoned – perhaps either heard the shot or somehow he knew something was wrong because the picture shows just after that first shot hit the President, the Governor turned in something this manner, with his right arm stretched back toward the President, as if to say “What’s wrong?” or “What happened?” or say something. It exposed the entire white front shirt of the Governor to the full view of the assassin’s window; and as the Governor was in this position, and President Kennedy behind him was slumped slightly over, a shot clearly hit the front of Governor Connally; and the Governor fell back over towards his wife. Mrs. Connally immediately put herself over her husband in a protective position, and as she did so, in the back seat, this time with Mrs. Kennedy’s eyes apparently right on her husband, the second shot – the third shot in all – the second shot hit the President’s head. His head went forward, in a violent motion, pushing it down like this (leans forward, lowering his head as he does so). Mrs. Kennedy was on her feet immediately. The President fell over in this direction (leans to his left). It appeared his head probably brushed or hit against Mrs. Kennedy’s legs. The First Lady almost immediately tried to crawl on – did crawl on - to the trunk of the car, face-down, her whole body almost was on that trunk, in something of an all-fours position. She appeared to be either trying to desperately get the attention of the secret service man on the back bumper, or perhaps she was stretching out toward him to grab him to try get him in. Perhaps even trying to get herself out of the car. The car was moving all the time, the car never stopped. The secret service man on the back bumper leaned way over and put his hands on Mrs. Kennedy’s shoulders – she appeared to be in some danger of falling or rolling off that trunk lid. He pushed her back into the back seat of the car. In the front seat, a secret service man with a phone in his hand. The car speeded up and sped away. It never stopped, the car never paused. That’s what the film of the assassination showed. The film was taken by an amateur photographer who had placed himself in an advantageous position: eight millimeter color film. This is Dan Rather in Dallas."

And that wasn't the last of it. Several hours later (one source claims at 8:26 EST) Rather described the film to Cronkite for a third and final time, and compounded his mistakes. (Transcript as published by Richard Trask in Pictures of the Pain.)

Dan Rather (TV Take 3): "The films we saw were taken by an amateur photographer, who had a particularly good vantage point, just past the building from which the fatal shot was fired. The films show President Kennedy's open, black limousine, making a left turn, off Houston Street on to Elm Street on the fringe of downtown Dallas, a left turn made just below the window in which the assassin was waiting. About 35 yards past the very base of the building, just below the window, President Kennedy could be seen to, to put his right hand, up to the side of his head to, either brush back his hair or cover up his eyebrow. President Kennedy was sitting on the same side of the car, as the building from which the shot came. Mrs. Kennedy was by his side. In the jump seat in front of him, Mrs. Connally, and Governor Connally, Governor Connally on the same side of the car as the president. And in the front seat, two Secret Service men. Just as the president put that right hand up to the side of his head, he, you could see him, lurch forward. The first shot had hit him. Mrs. Kennedy was looking in another direction, apparently didn't see, or sense the first shot, or didn't hear it. But Governor Connally, in the seat in front, appeared to have heard it, or at least sensed that something was wrong. The Governor's coat was open. He, he reached back in this fashion, back as if to, to offer aid or ask the president something. At that moment, a shot clearly hit the governor, in the front, and he fell back in his seat. Mrs. Connally immediately threw herself over him in a protective position. In the next instant, with this time Mrs. Kennedy apparently looking on, a second shot, the third total shot, hit the president's head. He, his head can be seen to move violently forward. And, Mrs. Kennedy stood up immediately, the president leaned over her way. It appeared that he might have brushed her legs. Mrs. Kennedy then, literally went to the top of the trunk, of the Lincoln car, p-put practically her whole body on the trunk. It, it appeared she might have been on all fours, there, reaching out for the Secret Service man, the lone Secret Service man who was riding on the bumper of the car, the back bumper on Mrs. Kennedy's side. Uh, the Secret Service man leaned forward and put his hands on Mrs. Kennedy's shoulder to, push her back into the car. She was in some danger, it appeared, of rolling off or falling off. And when we described this before, there was some question about what we meant by Mrs. Kennedy being on the trunk of the car. Only she knows, but it appeared that she was trying desperately to, to get the Secret Service man's attention perhaps to help pull him into the car. The car never stopped, it never paused. In the front seat, a Secret Service man was, was on the telephone. The car picked up speed, and disappeared beneath an underpass. This is Dan Rather in Dallas."

(Note: in this, his fourth and final description of the Zapruder film, Rather repeated his inaccurate claim Kennedy's head went forward in response to the fatal head shot, but retreated from his speculation Mrs. Kennedy climbed onto the back of the limo while instinctively running from danger. In his 1977 book, The Camera Never Blinks, in which he acknowledged his mistake about the movement of Kennedy's head, but mistakenly claimed that he viewed the film on Saturday the 23rd, Rather did shed some light on something of interest: the reasons for his retreat. He admitted that "an editor" in New York told him to "leave out the part about her trying to flee." And that he did.)

But Rather was not the only one making false assumptions and compromises. An 11-25 AP Dispatch (found in the 11-26 Milwaukee Journal) proves that Rather was not even the only one claiming Kennedy's head jerked forward upon impact long before anyone could possibly have concluded it had indeed jerked slightly forward. It read:

"Dallas, Tex.-AP - A strip of movie film graphically depicting the assassination of President Kennedy was made by a Dallas clothing manufacturer with an 8 millimeter camera.

Several persons in Dallas who have seen the film which lasts about 15 seconds, say it clearly shows how the president was hit in the head with shattering force by the second of two bullets fired by the assassin.

Life magazine reportedly purchased still picture rights to the material for about $40,000.

This is what the film by Abe Zapruder is reported to show:

First the presidential limousine is coming toward the camera. As it comes abreast of the photographer, Mr. Kennedy is hit by the first bullet, apparently in the neck. He turns toward his wife Jacqueline, seated at his left, and she quickly begins to put her hands around his head.

At the same time, Texas Gov. John Connally, riding directly in front of the president, turns around to see what has happened.

Then Mr. Kennedy is hit on the upper right side of the back of his head with violent force. His head goes forward and then snaps back, and he slumps down on the seat.

At this time, Gov. Connolly is wounded and he drops forward on his seat.

Mrs. Kennedy then jumps up and crawls across the back deck of the limousine, apparently seeking the aid of a secret service man who has been trotting behind the slowly moving vehicle. He jumps onto the car and shoves Mrs. Kennedy back into the seat. Then he orders the driver to speed to the hospital where the president died.

The elapsed time from the moment when Mr. Kennedy is first struck until the car disappears in an underpass is about five seconds."

An 11-26 article by John Herbers, published in the 11-27 New York Times, moreover, repeats this same mistake. Herbers writes:

"The known facts about the bullets, and the position of the assassin, suggested that he started shooting as the President’s car was coming toward him, swung his rifle in an arc of almost 180 degrees and fired at least twice more.

A rifle like the one that killed President Kennedy might be able to fire three shots in two seconds, a gun expert indicated after tests. (Note: this line is found in online versions of this article, but is not in a clipping of the article found in the Weisberg Archives. Perhaps it was only added for evening editions of the paper.)

A strip of color movie film taken by a Dallas clothing manufacturer with an 8-mm camera tends to support this sequence of events.

The film covers about a 15-second period. As the President’s car come abreast of the photographer, the President was struck in the front of the neck. The President turned toward Mrs. Kennedy as she began to put her hands around his head.

Connally Turns Around

At the same time, Governor Connally, riding in front of the President, turned round to see what had happened. Then the President was struck on the head. His head went forward, then snapped back, as he slumped in his seat. At that time, Governor Connally was wounded.

The elapsed time from the moment Mr. Kennedy was first struck until the car disappeared in an underpass was five seconds.”

Now this is interesting. Note that the AP article and the New York Times article make the same mistakes and repeat the same non-fact facts (which I have highlighted). Note that they both claim Connally was wounded by the third shot, for example. This suggests that the AP writer and Herbers were either sharing information or being fed some of the same questionable facts from an outside source, most probably the FBI. Well, then, was their main mistake--that Kennedy's head went forward--something told them by the FBI, and, if so, should we then assume Dan Rather was also told to say this? I mean, really, is it just a coincidence that CBS News, the Associated Press, and The New York Times, in short order, all incorrectly reported that the Zapruder film showed Kennedy's head going forward? That's pretty hard to believe.

Which brings us to UPI's article on the film. Here it is, as found in the 11-26 Philadelphia Daily News (4 star edition).

The headline on the front page reads: “Man Who Came to See JFK Makes Tragic Movie”. Beneath this, there is the following explanation: “These dramatic pictures are from an 8mm ‘home movie’ reel, shot by Dallas dressmaker Abraham Zapruder who went to see President Kennedy ride through cheering throngs in Texas city. His camera recorded one of the most tragic moments in American history. Story page 3“. Beneath this, are four frames from a home movie of the assassination.

On page 3, the following story is presented:

Movie Film Shows Murder of President

Dallas (UPI)

An amateur photographer shot an 8-MM movie film that clearly shows, step-by-step, the assassination of President Kennedy.

The film was made by Abraham Zapruder, a Dallas dress manufacturer. He is selling rights to the film privately. It has been seen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service and representatives of the news media.

It is seven feet long, 35 seconds in colour, a bit jumpy but clear.

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.

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.

Well, hell. This article was clearly not written by someone using the information provided the other writers. The film here is reported to be 35 seconds long, not 15. There is no mention of Connally at all, let alone a claim he was hit by the third shot. And yet the ONE mistake the three articles have in common is the same mistake the AP and Times article had in common with Dan Rather's earlier description of the film--the strange claim Kennedy's head went forward in response to the head shot... Hmmm...

And there's something even stranger about this article. The next day's San Francisco Chronicle re-printed three of the frames found on the front page of the Philadelphia paper, and similarly specified, in a caption beneath the second frame, "In this photo from the 8mm movie strip taken by the amateur photographer, Abe Zapruder, motorcycle police are seen rushing to the car after the shots." Well, this was actually misleading on two counts. For one, neither of the two motorcycle police in the frame are rushing to the car; one of them, in fact, is slamming on his brakes. For two, all the frames presented in the article were taken from the south side of Elm Street, with the grassy knoll in the background. Zapruder's film, of course, was taken from the north side. Yes, incredibly, the film frames featured in both the 11-26 Philadelphia Daily News and 11-27 San Francisco Chronicle articles on the Zapruder film were not actually taken from Zapruder's film, but from the film of another eyewitness, Marie Muchmore. Her film had been purchased by UPI on the 25th, and shown on WNEW-TV on the 26th. The sale and broadcast of her film had even been the subject of a UPI article found in some papers, such as The Valley Independent, on the 26th, and others, such as The Eugene Register-Guardian, on the 27th.

And yet no one in the government seemed to notice. Incredibly, neither Mrs. Muchmore nor UPI thought it their duty to share her film with the Secret Service or FBI. This was especially ironic, or disturbing, take your pick, given that UPI's article specified that Zapruder had made his film available to the authorities. In any event, Mrs. Muchmore's and UPI's deceptiveness regarding her film enabled it to pass under the government's apparently defective radar for a lot longer than one might think possible. It would be, amazingly, nearly three months before those investigating the assassination of President Kennedy even learned of its existence.

Mr. Speer

My apologies. I tend to get a little carried away when dealing with Mr. Lamson. I will not let it happen again.

Now, getting back to Dan Rather, I believe we are faced with a paradox here.

On one hand, we can assume that Mr. Rather, being in the field of information gathering, is a trained observer and, though he only viewed the Zapruder film one time, was able to observe and retain many details. While many of us can barely recall what we had for breakfast, some trained individuals can walk into a room of twenty people, for five minutes, and go out of the room and write down what each person looked like, how they were dressed, their placement in that room and whether they were sitting or standing.

On the other hand, it can be argued that Mr. Rather simply was supplying far too many details for someone who saw an unenhanced, unstabilized film once. The forward motion of JFK's head was one such example. It simply would not have been possible for Mr. Rather to have seen that motion, simply because it took place in one frame and our eyes cannot discern something as quick as that. I also do not believe Mr. Rather was "mistaken", as he claimed many years later.

This leaves us with two possibilities, Mr. Rather either really did see JFK's head moving forward (thus telling us the Z film was altered), or Mr. Rather was caught up in the "let's blame Oswald" movement and was embellishing his observations, possibly with encouragement from the FBI.

Mr. Rather tells us a number of times that the film recorded the limousine making the turn from Houston onto Elm. He also tells us in great detail how JFK was brushing his hair back with his right hand at the moment of the first shot. Once again, is Mr. Rather "mistaken" or was he watching a Z film we have never seen.

The Single Bullet Theory was not concocted by Arlen Specter until Spring of 1964, long after Mr. Rather viewed the Zapruder film just following the assassination. To say a mistake was made when Mr. Rather described John Connally being shot while turned back with his jacket open and white shirt exposed by a separate bullet than the one that struck JFK in the back (another thing not seen in the Z film) does not take into consideration the fact this is what was believed for many months after the assassination was that JFK and Connally were struck with separate bullets. Once again, did Mr. Rather actually observe all these things in one viewing, proving alteration, or was he merely embellishing with the encouragement of the FBI?

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Looming over all of this is the story told by KRLD's Bob Huffaker in the book he co-authored with fellow reporters Bill Mercer, George Phenix and Wes Wise, "When the News Went Live." I interviewed Bob after the book came out in 2004, and he did not back off the following statement:

"Dan brought a 16 mm print of the film to our newsroom a few days after the assassination, and he and I took it into the projection room. Dan had to view it and feed a report about it to Walter Cronkite's evening news. I ran the soundless film over and over again for the better part of an hour while Dan took notes. . . As I ran the now-famous film time after time, Dan and I talked about what it's fuzzy sequence revealed. . . Dan went to a typewriter, then into our television studio, where he reported our conclusions for CBS. Like the rest of us, he read directly from the copy he wrote. . ."

This contradicts Rather's version in all respects. But the story doesn't end there.

By the way, thanks to Craig for posting the video of Rather's "Archive of American Television" interview. There's a blockbuster revelation in there that no one has picked up on so far.

Ken

Mr. Rheberg

I assume this viewing Bob Huffaker is describing took place after Mr. Rather's radio and TV broadcasts that Mr. Speer posted for us? Or did it take place before then?

And a "blockbuster revelation" in Mr. Rather's "Archive of American Television" interview?? Good God, man, don't keep us in suspense here! Share it with us! :news

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Looming over all of this is the story told by KRLD's Bob Huffaker in the book he co-authored with fellow reporters Bill Mercer, George Phenix and Wes Wise, "When the News Went Live." I interviewed Bob after the book came out in 2004, and he did not back off the following statement:

"Dan brought a 16 mm print of the film to our newsroom a few days after the assassination, and he and I took it into the projection room. Dan had to view it and feed a report about it to Walter Cronkite's evening news. I ran the soundless film over and over again for the better part of an hour while Dan took notes. . . As I ran the now-famous film time after time, Dan and I talked about what it's fuzzy sequence revealed. . . Dan went to a typewriter, then into our television studio, where he reported our conclusions for CBS. Like the rest of us, he read directly from the copy he wrote. . ."

This contradicts Rather's version in all respects. But the story doesn't end there.

By the way, thanks to Craig for posting the video of Rather's "Archive of American Television" interview. There's a blockbuster revelation in there that no one has picked up on so far.

Ken

Mr. Rheberg

I assume this viewing Bob Huffaker is describing took place after Mr. Rather's radio and TV broadcasts that Mr. Speer posted for us? Or did it take place before then?

And a "blockbuster revelation" in Mr. Rather's "Archive of American Television" interview?? Good God, man, don't keep us in suspense here! Share it with us! :news

The Zapruder film viewing Bob Huffaker describes would have taken place on Monday before all of Rather's broadcasts. Rather didn't see the Zapruder film one time. He saw it over and over again for the better part of an hour, according to Bob, with Rather taking notes and then referring to his own typewritten copy of them for his CBS reports.

The 50th Anniversary expanded edition of Bob's book is coming out on October 7. It'll be interesting to see if he has more to say about this subject.

As for Rather's "Archive" interview, I hope to get back to you later today on that. Thanks for your patience.

Ken

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Looming over all of this is the story told by KRLD's Bob Huffaker in the book he co-authored with fellow reporters Bill Mercer, George Phenix and Wes Wise, "When the News Went Live." I interviewed Bob after the book came out in 2004, and he did not back off the following statement:

"Dan brought a 16 mm print of the film to our newsroom a few days after the assassination, and he and I took it into the projection room. Dan had to view it and feed a report about it to Walter Cronkite's evening news. I ran the soundless film over and over again for the better part of an hour while Dan took notes. . . As I ran the now-famous film time after time, Dan and I talked about what it's fuzzy sequence revealed. . . Dan went to a typewriter, then into our television studio, where he reported our conclusions for CBS. Like the rest of us, he read directly from the copy he wrote. . ."

This contradicts Rather's version in all respects. But the story doesn't end there.

By the way, thanks to Craig for posting the video of Rather's "Archive of American Television" interview. There's a blockbuster revelation in there that no one has picked up on so far.

Ken

Mr. Rheberg

I assume this viewing Bob Huffaker is describing took place after Mr. Rather's radio and TV broadcasts that Mr. Speer posted for us? Or did it take place before then?

And a "blockbuster revelation" in Mr. Rather's "Archive of American Television" interview?? Good God, man, don't keep us in suspense here! Share it with us! :news

The Zapruder film viewing Bob Huffaker describes would have taken place on Monday before all of Rather's broadcasts. Rather didn't see the Zapruder film one time. He saw it over and over again for the better part of an hour, according to Bob, with Rather taking notes and then referring to his own typewritten copy of them for his CBS reports.

The 50th Anniversary expanded edition of Bob's book is coming out on October 7. It'll be interesting to see if he has more to say about this subject.

As for Rather's "Archive" interview, I hope to get back to you later today on that. Thanks for your patience.

Ken

Mr. Rheberg

This would certainly explain the depth and detail Mr. Rather conveys about the Zapruder film. It also makes me wonder how Mr. Rather's description of JFK's head moving violently forward can be explained away as a "mistake". Mr. Rather clearly was watching a different film than the one we have seen.

As to your revelation, I am waiting with bated breath for you to post it.

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t's a shame that ego seems more important than intellect. We could have a very good chance of solving this case if we checked our ego's at the door and with ONE VOICE demanded the release of the files still being witheld.

I've never claimed to be a Homicide expert, but anybody who has worked big city homicide for a year could tell you the Dallas PD effort sucked.

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Mr. MacRae

As Mr. Lamson seems to be desperately avoiding the question, perhaps you could tell this forum how Mr. Rather was able to see the violent forward motion of JFK's head, if that entire forward motion took place in one frame (1/18.3 second) of the Zapruder film?

Poor bobby, you are SO technically inept.

Ever heard of slow speed playback? Frame by frame playback?

You seem to (wrongly) assume the film had to be viewed at a single playback speed. (And what playback speed would that be bobby?)

Again I was not there, so I don't know how the film was viewed by Dan Rather. Neither do you.

But one thing is abundantly clear, you simply don't have a clue how REALITY works.

You should have quite MANY posts ago.

Mr. Lamson

I don't suppose you could verify for us that Mr. Rather was awarded the privilege of viewing the Zapruder film at anything other than normal speed?

Even if Mr. Rather watched the Zapruder film in frame by frame stop action, it is inconceivable that he would have been able to discern the small forward action of JFK's head in the single frame, z312. This motion was only discerned years after the assassination, when technology was developed to allow enhancement of the Zapruder film for analytical purposes. And, small and brief as the forward movement was, it is inconceivable that Mr. Rather would have described it as a "violent forward motion".

That being said, we are still left with the question you CANNOT or WILL NOT answer; how was Mr. Rather able to see the forward motion of JFK's head in z312, if that entire forward motion of JFK's head took place in just one frame of the Zapruder film?

The bold-faced statement above is incorrect. All it took Professor Feynman was a ruler and a copy of the WC volume showing the Z-film frames.

He noted to Lifton the head moves forward after the bullet strikes. All this was covered in Lifton's tome, Best Evidence.

It took the development of no technology that wasn't available in 1963.

In 1967, Josiah Thompson put a nice little chart in an appendix to his book, Six Seconds in Dallas, graphically showing the movement of the head relative to fixed points in the limo. Again, this took only some push pins and a ruler, according to Thompson.

I fail to see what technology you are speaking of. Could you elaborate? It's not a ruler or push-pins, I don't think.

Hank

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Looming over all of this is the story told by KRLD's Bob Huffaker in the book he co-authored with fellow reporters Bill Mercer, George Phenix and Wes Wise, "When the News Went Live." I interviewed Bob after the book came out in 2004, and he did not back off the following statement:

"Dan brought a 16 mm print of the film to our newsroom a few days after the assassination, and he and I took it into the projection room. Dan had to view it and feed a report about it to Walter Cronkite's evening news. I ran the soundless film over and over again for the better part of an hour while Dan took notes. . . As I ran the now-famous film time after time, Dan and I talked about what it's fuzzy sequence revealed. . . Dan went to a typewriter, then into our television studio, where he reported our conclusions for CBS. Like the rest of us, he read directly from the copy he wrote. . ."

This contradicts Rather's version in all respects. But the story doesn't end there.

By the way, thanks to Craig for posting the video of Rather's "Archive of American Television" interview. There's a blockbuster revelation in there that no one has picked up on so far.

Ken

Ok, and this statement about what Huffaker & Rather did was made how many decades after the assassination?

And has what corroboration?

And are we taking into account that people generally try to inflate their own importance when they retell a story (that minnow becomes a whale eventually).

I think we're seeing some of that in the above.

What evidence is there that Rather obtained a copy of the z-film from any source on Monday, and what evidence is there that Rather saw the film multiple times (other than Huffaker's statement)?

I see nothing in that statement that is believable -- as it conflicts with all the evidence made contemporaneous to the assassination. For example, the known evidence indicates Zapruder did not provide a copy to CBS or any television station. And Rather & CBS (or KRLD), having this blockbuster film on hand and available for viewing, did NOT broadcast the film, but instead, only put Rather on the air to describe it? That makes no sense to me.

For those reasons, I find it difficult to put much credence in Huffaker's claims.

Hank

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It's ALWAYS unreliable.

That's just not true, Craig. You've painted with too broad a brush.

Its reliability depends on a number of things, including: how much time passed between the event and the reporting of the event; the personal bias or prejudice of the eyewitness; the presence of peripheral distractions; the presence or absence of trauma related to the event; the age (very young, in the middle or very old) of the eyewitness; the eyesight of the eyewitness; if the eyewitness had special training in observational techniques, such as, those learned by police officers, cinematographers, or news reporters...; among others things.

Reliability is a joke. You want 10 or 15 percent? How about 25?

Good luck with that.

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Mr. Lamson

Do you totally discount the testimonies of:

a) Amos Lee Euins ?

B) Howard Leslie Brennan ?

c) Buell Wesley Frazier ?

d) George deMorenschildt ?

e) James Earl Jarman ?

f) William Eugene Newman ?

g) Gayle Newman ?

h) Harold Norman ?

i) Linnie Mae Randle ?

j) Bonnie Ray Williams ?

k) Abraham Zapruder ????

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