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Zapruder Film Exposed


Chris Davidson
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James and Ian:

With reference to your mentions of the filming speed of the Zapruder and Nix cameras respectively:

According to p. 13 of the Bell & Howell 414 PD Director Series Manual, Abraham Zapruder's camera was only capable of operating at three speeds - Normal, or 16 frames per second; Slow Motion, or 48 fps; and Animation, or Single Frame. As I understand, the standard for 8mm home movie film was in transition from 16 to 18 fps at around that time, and Zapruder's camera was actually a transition model, capable of operating at the new standard speed. This would be consistent with what the FBI found when they tested the camera - their results indicated that it averaged at 18.3 fps.

The Nix camera only has two settings - Run, and Single Frame. Ian mentions the possibility of the Nix film running at 24 fps - Orville Nix actually told the FBI that he thought the camera speed was "40 frames per second", but I believe that Nix was confusing the camera filming speed with the ASA Film Index Dial, which the Keystone K-810 Instruction Manual says (pp. 3, 8) should be set to "10" rather than "40" when using indoor film outdoors, as Nix was doing. When the FBI tested the camera, they found it was running at an average speed of 18.5 fps.

Hope this is of some help to you both.

Chris Scally.

Edited by Chris Scally
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Chris,

before you completely loose me, can we go back a bit. I am spending some time studying this thread.

I follow your point that between 133 and 351 the elapsed time is 9.1 sec. I can verify that on my computer.

The difference in frames is 218.

I agree that if 218 is divided by 18.3 - the acknowledged speed Zapruder was supposed to filming - results in 11.9 seconds. Which is longer than the time counter suggests the frames should last.

That suggests there are frames missing.

11.9 - 9.1 = 2.8 seconds.

2.8 seconds accounts for 52 frames.

I agree that if 218 is divided by 24 - the argued speed Zapruder may have been filming at - results in 9.08 seconds. Which the time monitor states is the exact time for those frames.

So basically you are saying if the camera speed was 24 fps then the frame count matches the time count.

Whereas if the camera was filming at 18,3 fps then the frame count and the time count do not match.

I agree that appears to be the case. But how is that possible? We are talking about the loss of around 52 frames.

The maths may be right, but logically it seems impossible.

James

Addition:-

Can I ask what version of the film you are working with.

I checked some of my copies and realised I am working with the enhanced versions. For example the close up version is a slowed down version. Therefore there are added frames.

Zapruder's original film had 486 frames.

If we subtract the Home movie and motorcycles before JFK then the actual film is 486 - 132 = 354 frames of the assassination.

The total length of that in time is 19.34 seconds.

The strip you are discussing is 133 - 351. That is 218 frames. The time for that ought to be 218/18.3 = 11.9 seconds

Above I was wondering whether there was something suspicious in these two timing values. Now I am not so sure. If a film is captured at 18.3 frames per second and that film has 218 frames then it would be expected to be 11.9 seconds long.

Now I suspect you are going to argue that the real Zapruder film was captured at 24 fps - which the camera had the ability to do - but where is the evidence that Zapruder actually filmed at that speed. If that could be established then I agree there is a serious question to be asked about the Zapruder film. But I do not see the evidence his film was captured at that speed. The present length of the Zapruder film is 486 frames. That is what we would expect for a film captured at 18.3 fps. had the same subject matter been captured at 24fps surely the frame count would be nearer 640 frames.

One further point:-

I see on post 23 that you comment that you can't have 2 films travel the same distance, in the same amount of frames, unless the camera frame rate is the same in both.

I agree. However Zapruder was - we are told - filming at 18.3 fps. Therefore for him that ought to consume 218 frames.

You state that the SS were filming at 24fps. The same amount of information on that film ought to be somewhere in the region of 285 frames.

Is the problem not there?

James,

The SS film was shot at 24FPS. If you have the ability to advance my comp video SS/Z one frame at a time, you will notice both cars in both films advance every frame. There are only progressive frames in both.

This is a 1/1 frame ratio.

To put it in terms of frames, they have the same amount of frames.

In terms of speed, the Zfilm average 196.5ft over 218 frames = 11.22mph

The SS average speed using those same numbers = 14.72mph

I am trying to convey that 24fps or some form of it, was used as part or all of the coverup. This was one of the reasons I showed the video frame of the WC not filming their recreation from the pedestal.

What possible reason would there be to film from any other location? They were afraid to climb up I guess. My speculation of course.

The SS video is very important because it also shows stationary objects where their original positions were, when filmed from the pedestal.

chris

Just a quick followup on this aspect.

The common SS/FBI plat also supports the non-pedestal filming idea of the recreation.

Take note of the LOS lines from the pedestal and other position through what stationary object?

chris

And another followup on this,

I encourage all to compare the location of the Stemmons sign between the SS recreation and Zfilm.

chris

P.S

James, I'm not sure on CE877 where the exact beginning point is for the total distance listed.

Do you know?

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A simple request for the future.

When I refer to CE884 and use data from that document, please don't refer to it as Chris' data.

The information was created by the WC/FBI/SS or whatever entity it may be.

My math and what I exculpate (show or declare (forget the guilty part) I'm more than happy to claim.

thanks

chris

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Chris,

877 says that Main from TUP to Houston street is 425. It does not say which side of Houston street it is referring to. But when I measured on my model from the TUP to the edge of the west pavement I get 425. To measure to the edge of the east pavement is a further 60 ft - the width of Houston street.

Therefore my measurement has always been to the edge of the west pavement. The document is quite specific that the measurement ends at Houston street. Therefore I always include the 10ft of the western pavement on Houston street.

Referring back to the copy of Don's map I used the the measurement from TUP to the Red arrow. That distance should be 495ft - not 595 as stated in a previous post. My error of 100 ft makes a real difference.

Just looking at that copy of Don's map, if the total length is just under 500 ft, then the distance of 136 between these two points now seem logical.

I agree now.

James

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James and Ian:

With reference to your mentions of the filming speed of the Zapruder and Nix cameras respectively:

According to p. 13 of the Bell & Howell 414 PD Director Series Manual, Abraham Zapruder's camera was only capable of operating at three speeds - Normal, or 16 frames per second; Slow Motion, or 48 fps; and Animation, or Single Frame. As I understand, the standard for 8mm home movie film was in transition from 16 to 18 fps at around that time, and Zapruder's camera was actually a transition model, capable of operating at the new standard speed. This would be consistent with what the FBI found when they tested the camera - their results indicated that it averaged at 18.3 fps.

The Nix camera only has two settings - Run, and Single Frame. Ian mentions the possibility of the Nix film running at 24 fps - Orville Nix actually told the FBI that he thought the camera speed was "40 frames per second", but I believe that Nix was confusing the camera filming speed with the ASA Film Index Dial, which the Keystone K-810 Instruction Manual says (pp. 3, 8) should be set to "10" rather than "40" when using indoor film outdoors, as Nix was doing. When the FBI tested the camera, they found it was running at an average speed of 18.5 fps.

Hope this is of some help to you both.

Chris Scally.

Thanks for the enlightenment Chris and for correcting me regarding the Nix film - as I said, I was working from a memory of a few years ago. Do you know what fps speeds the Nix camera could run at, or was it only (nominal?) 18fps (or 16?)?

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Ian:

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

I've gone through the Instruction Manual again, but cannot find anything to indicate what the manufacturer's official film speed was when the camera was filming at the "Normal" setting. However, I note that Dale Myers also calculated the Nix film to have been filmed at 18.5 fps in his "Epipolar Geometric Analysis of Amateur Films Related to Acoustics Evidence in the John F. Kennedy Assassination" (which is available on-line). So, unless someone comes up with something significantly different, I think we can be satisfied that the FBI figure of 18.5 fps is reasonably accurate.

Chris Scally

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Brad's previous inquiry:

The speed of the limo factors into the acoustics analysis recently presented by Donald Thomas:

In his lecture, Mr. Thomas relies on the FBI/WC speed of JFK's limo at slightly over 11 mph. If your research presents the analysis that this speed is not factual, does it not also indicate the audio analysis of Dr. Thomas is based on untrustworthy data?

Brad, I did get a chance to watch the Don Thomas video. Thank you for supplying the link

Here's what I came up with. I'll do it in small bits.

Thomas has the recording motorcycle at approx Z161(Station#3+21.7)while the extant Z313(Station# 4+65.3) headshot occurs.

That 321.7ft starts where the "Houston St corner building aligns onto the street". Edited should say "crosswalk" not corner building. A two foot difference between them.

In other words, take the last Hughes frame of McClain in it, and that's your starting timing point also. Close enough.

In Hughes, from the time "JFK in limo" is aligned with the TSBD corner until McClain hits the starting timing point is approx 6 seconds.

This means, McClain is the distance traveled by the limo in those 6 seconds + the distance from starting point to the TSBD corner, behind the limo.

Remember, there is the Elm St turn to traverse when arriving at the TSBD corner aligned spot on Elm St.

chris

Edited by Chris Davidson
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Brad: Part 2

http://www71.zippyshare.com/v/43677499/file.html

In the background at extant Z233,the front end of the first blue impala convertible aligns with the last wall hole, from Zapruders LOS.

This is also reflected in the attachment.

At that point, it has traveled 99ft from the starting point (McClain crosswalk).

McClain in Hughes is actually trailing the 2nd blue impala convertible. The one directly behind the first.

The cars are 17.5ft in length.

At Z233, most likely, the farthest McClain can be up Houston is 64ft. 99ft-35ft(17.5 x 2) = 64ft

Originally, he needed to travel approx 319.7ft from starting point to Z161 location.

At Z233, 80 frames until Z313, he needs to travel 319.7ft-64ft = 255.7ft to get to Z161 location.

80/18.3 = 4.37seconds.

255.7ft/4.37seconds = 39.8mph average.

I have stabilized versions of the background from Z133-Z255 approx where the background drops out. McClain does not appear farther up Houston in that span. Baker does, just briefly trailing the 1st blue convertible.

chris

Edited by Chris Davidson
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The WC determined the time between the 1st and 3rd shots, document CE560 as 5.5 sec.

If I had to keep a specific time frame in mind of 5.5sec, in terms of a larger picture(scenario with more frames@24 frames per sec), I might have to cut out the equivalent at some point.

The WC starts the extant Zfilm frame count at 133.

The first 132/24frames per sec = 5.5sec.

Let me carry this a little farther for now.

132frames@18.3fps = 7.21sec

7.21sec x 24fps = 173.04 frames

173.04-132= 41.04 frames. Rounded to the next whole frame = 42 frames

Tell me Mr.Specter and Shaneyfelt, what is the significance of that total. And make sure you reiterate that frame rate for us.

Mr. SPECTER. And does a 42-frame count have any significance with respect to the firing time on the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle?

Mr. SHANEYFELT. Yes; we have established that the Zapruder motion picture camera operates at an average speed of 18.3 frames per second. And we have been advised that the minimum time for firing the rifle in successive shots is approximately two and a quarter seconds. So this gives us then a figure of two and a quarter seconds of frames; at 18.3, this gives us this figure of 41 to 42 frames.

Representative FORD. Would you repeat that again, please?

Mr. SHANEYFELT. The camera operates at a speed of 18.3 frames per second. So that in two and a quarter seconds it would run through about 42--41 to 42 frames.

Edited by Chris Davidson
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I spoke with a friend's father the past week about Chris's research & he told me some things about spring wound amateur home movie cameras from the early 1960's that may be useful to Chris & his viewers. The man is in his early 80's & told me he used several spring wound cameras 'back in the day' before batteries & electricity powered those cameras. My friend's father believes current visuals analysts may be overlooking some 'peculiarities' of those old home move cameras in modern research. The man told me that spring wound cameras would often slow down & record less frames per second as the spring 'wound down' during continuous filming, resulting in 'hurried scenes' the longer the film was recorded. In essence, the camera would perform 'self frame excision' by filming fewer frames per second the more the spring 'wound down', making it difficult for analysts studying the film record to determine if humans removed frames or if the camera simply recorded fewer frames during continuous filming.

In Zapruder's case, had Zapruder started filming when he originally said he did on live TV (a few hours after the ambush) his camera may have 'wound down' by the time the execution of JFK took place, making the limo appear to go faster than it actually was traveling by dropping below 24 frames per second the weaker the spring action got.

Also, let's say Zapruder forgot to wind or fully wind his camera before he began filming anything. Depending on when Mr. Z started filming at 24 frames per second he might have been filming at 18, 16, 14 or even 12 frames per second by the time the ambush was triggered.

The presence of the lead motorcycles in the z-film could be an indication that Mr. Zapruder filmed not only the lead motorcycles, but also Jesse Curry's lead car & the JFK limo turn from Main onto Houston St. & then onto Elm St. that followed the lead motorcycles as well (the lead motorcycles can be seen in the Weaver polaroid, just beginning their journey down Elm Street with Curry's car approaching the Elm St. intersection between the intersection & JFK's vehicle, just turning onto Houston St. from Main St). The elderly man believes Zapruder could have filmed all of that entirely and his camera's spring would have been very weak by the time the limo traversed Elm Street.

The man noticed in the SS re-enactment films (not included in the SS film with credits at the end, but in the comparison gif Chris posted for us) following the '59 Chevy's travel down Elm Street (starting from the Z-133 spot in Chris's comparison gif) the next filmed car traveling down Elm Street was a 1956 two-tone Chevy that filming begins before that car becomes visible on Houston St. & then makes the left turn at the Elm St. intersection & continues to the TUP. The man questions why would the SS/FBI film that scene if it didn't exist already on what they using as guides from static photos of the z-frames in their possession?

I believe Chris has discovered unexplored territory in the JFK case with his analysis. I don't recall any other researcher or visuals expert examining the JFK limo speed as seen in the Zapruder, Nix, Muchmore & Bronson films and comparing the speed in each film against the speed in the other films, has anyone else? What Chris raises (among other issues) leaves one wondering if all the aforementioned ambush films match each other or not in limo speed; is it even possible to get 4 different films from 4 different home movie cameras to agree with each other on the speed of the limo during the ambush, considering all cameras were prone to their own 'spring wind down' the longer the photographer continuously filmed a particular scene?

With spring wound cameras running slower as the spring winds down (causing a 'speeded up' effect on the film the camera recorded), wouldn't that make it easier to remove frames & blame the resulting film's frame rate on a 'wound down spring'? How would the public know if any film had frames removed & then the camera given a bogus camera film rate following the removal? How would the public know if frame removal resulted from human intervention or a camera 'self frame removal' from its spring 'winding down'?

This is obviously not an easy subject to analyze, which makes Chris's efforts all the more admirable for tackling it head on. I trust the info shared with me will assist the members engaged in & reviewing Chris's intriguing analysis.

BM

Edited by Brad Milch
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Having been educated as an engineer, here's how I think about the matter.

An event is filmed by two cameras located at different points. The event is a car traveling 200 feet on a street. The 200 foot distance is known for sure.

The frame rates of the cameras are not known (not known for sure).

Each camera, we know, is "honest." That is, each camera films the event as it occurred, and there is no tampering with the film from either camera.

One camera (Camera #1) records the event on exactly 240 frames. The other camera (Camera #2) records the event on exactly 180 frames.

Here's what we know for sure at this point: [1] The time recorded for the event (the time the car took to travel 200 feet) is the same for Camera #1 and Camera #2. [2] Accordingly, the average speed of the car is shown to be the same for both cameras.

NOW LET'S PERFORM A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT EXPERIMENT.

Once again, an event is filmed by two cameras located at different points. The event is a car traveling 200 feet on a street. The 200 foot distance is known for sure.

The frame rates of the cameras are not known (not known for sure).

This time, however, we don't know whether either camera is "honest." That is, it's possible (not certain) there is tampering with the film from either camera. We are sure each camera is in good working order.

One camera (Camera #1) records the event on exactly 240 frames. The other camera (Camera #2) records the event on exactly 180 frames.

We determine Camera #1 took exactly 10.0 seconds to film the event. We determine that Camera #2 took exactly 9.0 seconds to record the event.

Here's what we know for sure at this point: [1] The car appears to move faster in the film from Camera #2 than in the film from Camera #1. [2] The only plausible explanation for this is that frames either have been removed from the Camera #2 film or have been added to the Camera #1 film.

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Jon's excerpt:

Here's what we know for sure at this point: [1] The car appears to move faster in the film from Camera #2 than in the film from Camera #1. [2] The only plausible explanation for this is that frames either have been removed from the Camera #2 film or have been added to the Camera #1 film.

Jon,

Thank you for the splendid summation.

I will continue describing this in WC math terms, but obviously you understand now.

chris

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The WC determined the time between the 1st and 3rd shots, document CE560 as 5.5 sec.

If I had to keep a specific time frame in mind of 5.5sec, in terms of a larger picture(scenario with more frames@24 frames per sec), I might have to cut out the equivalent at some point.

The WC starts the extant Zfilm frame count at 133.

The first 132/24frames per sec = 5.5sec.

Let me carry this a little farther for now.

132frames@18.3fps = 7.21sec

7.21sec x 24fps = 173.04 frames

173.04-132= 41.04 frames. Rounded to the next whole frame = 42 frames

Tell me Mr.Specter and Shaneyfelt, what is the significance of that total. And make sure you reiterate that frame rate for us.

Mr. SPECTER. And does a 42-frame count have any significance with respect to the firing time on the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle?

Mr. SHANEYFELT. Yes; we have established that the Zapruder motion picture camera operates at an average speed of 18.3 frames per second. And we have been advised that the minimum time for firing the rifle in successive shots is approximately two and a quarter seconds. So this gives us then a figure of two and a quarter seconds of frames; at 18.3, this gives us this figure of 41 to 42 frames.

Representative FORD. Would you repeat that again, please?

Mr. SHANEYFELT. The camera operates at a speed of 18.3 frames per second. So that in two and a quarter seconds it would run through about 42--41 to 42 frames.

btw,

You could also think of 42 frames in terms of 18.3fps + 24fps

Translate this to Jon's previous description.

chris

Edited by Chris Davidson
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Moving onward,

132frames@18.3fps = 7.21sec

7.21sec x 24fps = 173.04 frames

173.04-132= 41.04 frames. Rounded to the next whole frame = 42 frames

If I cut out 132 frames from this 174 frame scenario, I have 42 frames moving forward.

Z133-168=35 frames. No data supplied on CE884 for this span

Another 7 frames = the 42 total frames @24fps.

On CE884, a change was made which moved the Elm St physical position of Z161 to Z168 =7 frames

Since the speed of the limo according to CE884 from frames 168-186= 18 frames@21.6ft traveled, this converts to 21.96ft per sec.

In terms of ft/per frame= 21.96/18.3 =1.2ft per frame.

7frames pulled x 1.2 ft per sec = 8.4ft

The distance traveled between the preliminary CE884 Z161-166 = .9ft

Z161later changed to Z168 at the same .9ft

Result, 7 frames traveled (Z161-168) a total distance of .9ft

Difference of 8.4ft - .9ft = 7.5ft

Added to the original 15.5ft pulled back from the snipers nest to StationC equals a total of 23ft pulled back.

7.2ft more to go until we hit that 30.2ft mark.

chris

Edited by Chris Davidson
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