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Where is the Nix Film? ( Gayle Nix Jackson )


Robin Unger
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quote:
Let me preface this post with a sincere thanks for those of you who welcomed me and have spoken with me on this forum. I have read with great interest the beliefs, theories, and studies forum members have shared regarding the myriad of thoughts and evidence regarding the JFK assassination. In that vein, I would like to ask you to ponder one more. I realize in asking this, some of you may say, "who cares?" and others may be scared to mention names. If you would rather not go public with your thoughts, please message me. To everyone else, I pose this question regarding my Grandfather's film: What do you believe happened to the camera original of the Nix film?

Thank you in advance,

Gayle
My research road went cold after I talked to Reese Schonfeld and Burt Rheinhardt. Arlen Specter, Blakey, and many from the HSCA were of no help either. I noted in the indices of the HSCA, one indicated the camera original was used, the other didn't. So I'm not really sure if it was around then. The ARRB was of no help either. I've chased leads from Mexican presidents, to CNN, to assassination research guys, to a demolished Manhattan bank, etc, etc. to no avail. Was just hoping that maybe one of you knew something I didn't.

Thanks,
Gayle
Mr. MacRae is correct Mr. Daly,

I'm glad my grandfather's film piqued your interest, but sadly, many "shams" have come from his film. I will tell you that I have seen some marvelous photo stabilizations/enhancements done on this board by Martin Hinrichs that shows what Robert Groden pointed to me years ago...someone behind the fence where my Grandfather said the shots came from. His friend, Forrest Sorrels told him the next day he initially thought the same thing, but it had been determined by the powers that be, that Oswald acted alone.

Also, as for Mr. Groden having the original, funny, I have been told that by several first generation researchers over the years. In Robert's defense, I asked him eye to eye if he had it and he told me "no". I still wonder deeply as there's much more to this story.

Thank you for posting and for your interest. I would appreciate any and all help!

Gayle
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quote:

The Sixth Floor doesn't have the original, they have a first generation copy...seemingly like everyone else does, I just got an email from Gary and hope to speak with him soon. Of course, this is a busy time of year for him. If it was restored, I never received a copy. The Sixth Floor Museum now owns the copyright.

Thank you,

Gayle

Original thread on Duncan's forum.

http://www.jfkassassinationforum.com/index.php/topic,8785.0.html

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http://emuseum.jfk.org/view/objects/asitem/items@:32262

From the Sixth Floor Museum's website (source page linked above).....

Gary Mack said....

"Orville Nix, an engineer working for the General Services Administration in the nearby Santa Fe Building, filmed the Kennedy motorcade in Dealey Plaza. He captured the limousine as it first turned onto Houston Street approaching the Book Depository and then the fatal shot to the president on Elm Street, followed by the aftermath as crowds ran to the scene.

The next morning, Nix returned to Dealey Plaza and at 7:28 (according to the clock atop the Book Depository) filmed the scene from the approximate locations where he stood the day before. Investigators can be seen standing near a spot where some eyewitnesses thought a bullet struck the ground. No such bullet is known to have been recovered.

Since he had only exposed about half of the reel, Nix waited before turning the film in for processing. The Friday night high school football games had been canceled following the assassination and the games were rescheduled for the following week. Nix and his son, Orville Nix Jr., drove to Fort Worth on Saturday night, November 30, and filmed a relative who was the majorette leading the school band during half time festivities. On the way back to their home in Dallas, Nix dropped off his completed film for processing at the Dynacolor lab where he usually took his home movies.

Late the next morning, Dynacolor called him at home and said, “Mr. Nix, you’d better come down right away to see your film for it shows the assassination.” Nix and his son watched the film projected onto a sheet or something unusual and Nix was surprised. He wasn’t sure he got much of anything after that first sequence at Main & Houston.

On the way home with the film, Nix and his son realized that, since they had seen the new issue of LIFE magazine with Zapruder film frames of the assassination, their film might also be valuable. Somehow, Burt Reinhardt of United Press International Television News learned about Nix while in Dallas looking for films and made him an offer. LIFE magazine found Nix, too, and made a similar offer. Within a few days, Nix and his son traveled to New York where Reinhardt prevailed.

Burt Reinhardt bought the Nix film for UPITN. Over the years, UPITN licensed the film for a few documentaries and television broadcasts. At the time of purchase, Orville Nix asked Reinhardt if someday the family could have the film back in, perhaps, 25 years or so. Reinhardt said OK and they shook hands.

In 1991, Gayle Nix Jackson, the daughter of Orville Nix Jr. who had heard the story from her father, sought to do just that. Reinhardt had left UPITN long before and became one of the founders of the Cable News Network (CNN).

Gayle contacted the successor company to UPITN, Worldwide Television News (WTN), and they were intrigued enough to contact Reinhardt, who promptly confirmed the 1963 oral agreement. WTN ultimately returned all copies of the Nix film they could find to Gayle except for the 8mm original, which could not be located. Gayle provided documentation from the 1978 House Select Committee on Assassinations showing the original 8mm film, which had been borrowed during their investigation, was returned to UPITN and a signed receipt was included. Nevertheless, WTN never found the original film.

As a favor to me for the Nix family, conspiracy researcher Robert Groden offered to travel from his home in New Jersey to New York City to assist with locating all copies of the Nix film and then flew to Dallas to deliver the reels to Gayle. She licensed use of the film to Oliver Stone for his JFK movie and she loaned the best reels to his production team. Stone retuned the films to Gayle with at least one new 35mm copy for her own use.

Also in 1991, before Gayle acquired the films from WTN, she mentioned that the family kept a battered 8mm copy of the film she thought came from UPITN many years before. Unfortunately, it was in terrible condition, was badly scratched and had been broken and repaired by splicing.

I suggested she call the Dallas FBI office to see if they happened to have a copy….and they did! An agent, a woman, told her their 8mm print had been in FBI files since 1963 (probably from when Orville Nix loaned his original film to them on Monday, December 2, 1963, the day after the film was processed at Dynacolor.)

Gayle asked if she could see it and the agent said sure, but they didn’t have an 8mm projector. Gayle knew that I had one and she soon made arrangements for us to visit the office for a screening. The three of us watched the film and it was in near-pristine, beautiful condition. As we prepared to leave, Gayle turned to the agent and said, “May I have this copy? It’s in much better condition than ours.” The agent, a woman, said she would check with the main office in Washington and would let her know. The next morning, the agent called to say, “Come and get it but may we have your copy in exchange?” Gayle quickly agreed.

Around 1992, Gayle, the family member responsible for managing the film, was asked to provide a video tape copy for a TV production. She asked me for help and I wound up taking the reels to Filmworkers, a new Dallas film post-production company. We looked at the reels and selected the best one for transfer to video – it was a print made by UPITN in 1964, according to the film’s date code, that included slow motion and blowup scenes. The videotape was sent to Stone's production company and they eventually returned it to Gayle.

In 2000, the Nix family transferred ownership of the Nix film to The Sixth Floor Museum. The acquisition included the Nix film copyright along with all film copies, the FBI’s 8mm print, Oliver Stone’s 35mm copy, and the video tape transfer. In 2002 and 2004 the Museum acquired additional items from the Nix family including a replacement camera Nix received from the FBI in 1964 after the agency damaged his original camera during testing." -- Gary Mack, Curator
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http://emuseum.jfk.org/view/objects/asitem/items@:32262

From the Sixth Floor Museum's website (source page linked above).....

Gary Mack said....

"On the way home with the film, Nix and his son realized that, since they had seen the new issue of LIFE magazine with Zapruder film frames of the assassination, their film might also be valuable. Somehow, Burt Reinhardt of United Press International Television News learned about Nix while in Dallas looking for films and made him an offer. LIFE magazine found Nix, too, and made a similar offer. Within a few days, Nix and his son traveled to New York where Reinhardt prevailed.

Burt Reinhardt bought the Nix film for UPITN. Over the years, UPITN licensed the film for a few documentaries and television broadcasts. At the time of purchase, Orville Nix asked Reinhardt if someday the family could have the film back in, perhaps, 25 years or so. Reinhardt said OK and they shook hands.

In 1991, Gayle Nix Jackson, the daughter of Orville Nix Jr. who had heard the story from her father, sought to do just that. Reinhardt had left UPITN long before and became one of the founders of the Cable News Network (CNN).

Gayle contacted the successor company to UPITN, Worldwide Television News (WTN), and they were intrigued enough to contact Reinhardt, who promptly confirmed the 1963 oral agreement. WTN ultimately returned all copies of the Nix film they could find to Gayle except for the 8mm original, which could not be located. Gayle provided documentation from the 1978 House Select Committee on Assassinations showing the original 8mm film, which had been borrowed during their investigation, was returned to UPITN and a signed receipt was included. Nevertheless, WTN never found the original film."

Good Lord, what an amazing coincidence - UPI Newsfilm managed to lose, or claimed to have lost, the original of the film attributed to Mary Muchmore.

To commemorate its fiftieth anniversary, the Columbia Journalism Review exhumed from its archives Maurice W. Schonfeld’s

The Shadow of a Gunman: An account of a twelve-year investigation of a Kennedy assassination film

The author, managing editor of UPI Newsfilm, the film service of United Press International, at the time President Kennedy was killed, had added a second Epilogue, dated 22 November 2011, to a piece originally published in the Review’s combined July-August 1975 issue. The update’s penultimate paragraph, containing a fascinating tit-bit which I’ve highlighted, ran as follows:

Originally, UPI Newsfilm had blown the Muchmore film up to 16mm, slow-moed it, stop-motioned it and delivered prints with scripts to all its clients. The original was turned over to the UPI still picture service, which sent frames from it to its clients. It later cut into the film to print other stills for inclusion in its best-selling book on the day of the assassination. The film was never fully restored.

This was compelling and, seemingly, due to the source, definitive: The original Muchmore had ceased to exist as a film no later than late-December 1963, and for many years after that, with the publication of the joint UPI-American Heritage Magazine commemorative work, Four Days: The Historical Record of the Death of President Kennedy, a work, it should be noted, of quite astonishing tedium.

It was also quite surprising, as according to the FBI in February 1964, based on conversations the previous day with senior people in UPI rather well-placed to know, the original was still intact, and residing happily in a New York bank vault - a full two months after being cut up.

Sometimes I really don’t know which is the more remarkable – those slippery media types, or the strange assassination films which passed through their hands.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=12216&p=253798

From the thread, Was Muchmore’s film shown on WNEW-TV, New York, on November 26, 1963?, post#245 (29 May 2012)

Thank heavens the explanation was such transparent nonsense.

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  • 2 months later...
Guest Robert Morrow

I don't think Gayle would mind my sharing her email with me today. Looks like we have another great book to look forward to!

Hello Mr. Morrow,
My name is Gayle Nix Jackson and I am the granddaughter of Orville Nix. I would truly like a file of your notes on LBJ and his involvement in the JFK assassination that you've researched.
I am will have a book published after the first of the year (missing the boat as Vince Palamara would say) about my grandfather's experiences with the media and government regarding his film. He too came to believe that LBJ had something to do with all of this along with the dignitaries of Oil and Military in Dallas.
Thank you,
Gayle
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  • 1 year later...

Karl:

An honest answer to your question would make a lot of people very happy!

I have been carrying out research into the history of the Nix film, and it seems that the camera-original film may have "disappeared" around 1978, when the HSCA allegedly borrowed it and subsequently returned it to UPITN.

In post #3 above, it was noted that "Gayle (Nix Jackson, the grand-daughter of Orville Nix) provided documentation from the 1978 House Select Committee on Assassinations showing the original 8mm film, which had been borrowed during their investigation, was returned to UPITN and a signed receipt was included." My extensive research has failed to unearth that "signed receipt", which I believe is a crucial piece a paper in the history of the film, and which could be central to finding out who had the film (and or what happened to it) after it was returned by the HSCA.

If anyone reading this thread has any information regarding that signed receipt, could I ask them to please contact me (or Gayle Nix Jackson, at her website http://gaylenixjackson.com),as they may unknowingly have important information which would help in answering your question - Where is the camera-original Nix film?

Chris.

Edited by Chris Scally
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