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The Zapruder film and film information between the sprocket holes


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Danny Vasquez, who almost daily posts original matter on Facebook about the Kennedy Assassination, wrote on Facebook today:

I am in the Video Transfer business, for many years I have transferred thousands of regular 8mm home movies to DVD for my customers. In the many years I have NEVER come across footage similar to the Zapruder film, ****meaning film information between the sprocket holes. Examples show the Nix film with no information between the sprocket holes, and the Zapruder film with film information within the sprocket holes, I have looked for many years, but all footage from different sources over the years are ONLY similar to the Nix film with a dark image between sprocket holes, with NO film information.

janowitz-strip1.jpg

I would tend to agree, Chris. I'm far from an expert, but I did some shooting with 16mm Arriflex wind-ups in college, and saw plenty of developed film reel with image bleeding over into the sprocket hole area. So why not in a cheaper 8mm consumer model from 15 years previous?

Did the images I saw go flush left, as Lifton and Zavada complain they shouldn't? I'm afraid I can't remember. But apparently your sample above obviates the different color = two passes in the optical printer argument.

Edited by David Andrews
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[...]

DAVID HEALEY - perhaps the good folks here will read the complete Roland 'Zavada Report' (KODAK'S 8mm film guru) re the alleged in-camera original Zapruder film. The Dallas film house owner (film processing lab) that ran off the 3 Zapruder film dupes went into some detail regarding the inter-sprocket imagery.
Wow, David. Un-freaking-believable. On another EF post on the Z film that I've been posting on, when further evidence that no alterations of the film took place, instead of showing the common sense you're now showing here, you swept in and just bashed what I was saying with absolutely nothing to back it up. And now here, when my first post here mentions the Zavada Report and the ghost images explains WHY those images are there, you concur? Jeez.
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[...]

concur to what, son? Roland Zavada wrote a report? Roland jumping on a plane after I spoke with him about special effects cinematography, SMPE specifics the author of same whom lives in Florida, concur with that?

Listen Bud, if you can't spell my name right, you and I have nada, ziltch to talk about. Take you whine someplace else, son! You're dismissed.

Edited by David G. Healy
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If it's true that the movie camera used by Zapruder didn't record information between the sprocket holes, then that would in and of itself be virtual proof that the Z film has been altered. Because one has to ask how it came about that that additional information was introduced.

The only non-sinister scenario I can think of this happening is if the film had been enlarged when copies were made. But that would be stupid, right? Why would a 8 mm film be enlarged and then copied onto the same size film?

The net effect would be the whole film being cropped when played back. Okay, there might be circumstances where someone would want to crop a film. But certainly this would not be done if the goal was merely to make copies. Surely they wanted exact copies.

The bottom line is this: Why have we not heard from Z film experts about this issue? One doesn't need to view thousands of 8 mm films (as Danny Vasquez has) to determine if the inter-sprocket information should be there. One only needs to look at a film made by Zapruder's camera.

Answering my own question, apparently we *have* heard from the Z-film experts on this issue. (By "experts" I was referring to CTers who study assassination films.)

And some, like Lifton," actually agree (in principal) with Danny Vasquez's belief that cameras don't record intersprocket information. Upon reviewing the Lifton video (posted by Doug Caddy), and a summary of the Zavada report (as suggested by David Healy), and reading forum topics like this one, where a film produced by the same model camera as Zapruder's shows intersprocket information, I can see why this issue isn't a big one. And why I've never heard it mentioned.

Apparently Roland Zavada, for the ARRB, did show that Zapruder's camera model would indeed record intersprocket information. Lifton makes a big deal about it not going all the way to the left edge of the film. But looking at the Zavada sample pasted on this page, I think Lifton's argument is way overblown. A manufacturing variation could explain why the intersprocket information on the Z-film is further left than what Zavada was able to reproduce.

(If I got any of this wrong, please correct me... anybody.)

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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Sandy writes:

If it's true that the movie camera used by Zapruder didn't record information between the sprocket holes, then that would in and of itself be virtual proof that the Z film has been altered.

The bottom line is this: Why have we not heard from Z film experts about this issue?

That's like asking "Why haven't any of these so-called expert astronomers answered some guy on Facebook who knows for a fact that the moon is made of green cheese? What are they hiding?"

The very least you should do before making a comment like this is to look for the evidence you think is missing. As it turns out, we have indeed heard from "Z film experts", or at least one of them, about this issue. In a presentation to the Movie Machine Society in Toronto in 1998, Roland Zavada described the extent of the images between the sprocket holes:

Jeremy,

If it were true that that Zapruder's camera couldn't have recorded intersprocket information, then the fact that the early Z-film copies showed it should be a very big deal among those in the CT community, one that is repeatedly pointed out. So I asked, why haven't we heard from any of the Z-film experts on this? I was referring to CT photographic experts who study the assassination films. Not uninterested, impartial, or paid experts like Roland Zavada.

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SANDY - Hasn't what exactly been debunked over and over again, Michael?
Sandy, why are you asking me the above question when the premise of this thread is "Danny says there's info between the sprocket holes of the Z film; he's never seen this before in 30 years of film transfer and therefore it's been altered?"
I asked you what exactly has been debunked because I didn't know what specifically you were referring to. That camera's can't record intersprocket information? That the Zapruder camera model couldn't? Something else?
I'm giving you the answer, that this whole crazy moon-landing wing of the research community STILL thinks the film has been altered, but in actuality, the Z film has been poked, prodded and tested and there is NO evidence it has ever been altered by the Bad Guys.
Oh, okay. So you were referring to the possibility of Z-film alteration when you said it had been debunked over and over again. That's what I wanted to know.
BTW, contrary to what you say here, there is indeed evidence that the film has been altered. For example, it contradicts the testimony of several nearby witnesses who said the procession came to a stop.
I then posted a link that clearly and obviously explains WHY there's "info" between the sprocket holes of the film. Did you even bother to read the link ....
No, I didn't look at your link. Because you gave no introduction as to what it shows or what I should look for in it.
....or did you see that I'm a "Z film is not altered" researcher and just start typing your replies?
Many of your replies to me don't make any sense at all. The Bad Guys altered the film but it took them 13 years to show it? That's ridiculous because the film most probably was NEVER going to be shown in 1975 to the public. We have Robert Groden to thank for sneaking a copy of it onto a late-night broadcast TV show for it to be revealed. ....
This only goes to support what I said. That they (the bad guys) had no intention of releasing the film, but did some alteration just in case it got out some how in the future. Which it did.
.... So that totally demolishes your claim of "yes, they altered the film but weren't quite ready to show it to anyone until 1975; they still needed to cook it to get it ready for its big reveal."
And why do you think - after it was finally revealed to the public on broadcast TV - there was such an outcry, so much that the Church committee was started to investigate the assassinations?
Because they (the bad guys) didn't have the resources necessary to fix certain problem areas, like the backward head snap. Or maybe it was more important to them to remove the part(s) which implicate the Secret Service, and the head snap had lower priority.
(BTW, I'm not convinced that the film has been altered... I keep an open mind. These are the explanations I would give if I were convinced.)
The reason is simple - it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the whole film SHOWS conspiracy. So the Bad Guys have now squirreled away the film since '63, furiously working on it to eliminate any evidence of conspiracy, and yet the public demands action after they have seen it on broadcast TV? The Bad Guys did a pretty lousy job of alteration if you ask me.
They could only do so much back then.
As I and another researcher on EF have said elsewhere, the Bad Guys were NOT omnipotent - they couldn't just snap their fingers and make something happen.
That's right! (Am I the "other researcher?" ;) )
The technology back then - as much as you want to believe otherwise - did NOT exist then to create alterations or painting little green men into the film.
What are you talking about? Special effects had been done for several years prior to 1963. I remember around that time seeing Dick Van Dyke dancing with animated penguins! The animators could easily have made them little green men.
:news
As for adding or removing frames, there is a website (I'm not posting it here as it's easy to find) where you can download all of the frames of the film. I strongly suggest you go there, download them, and then on your computer open one up and then use your right and left arrow keys to cycle through them. If you hit the keys fast enough, it almost gives the illusion of movement. But the key here is to watch the movements of everything - there are no pops, clicks, or hisses, nor jumpy frames. Nothing has been altered or removed. It's that simple.
I use that website all the time.
BRAD - knock off the screen the SS follow-up car practically riding the bumper of JFK's parade car that disappears
Brad, you can't be serious? Knock off the SS car even if the film was bumped up to 35mm? There was NO technology back then to do this. None. And even if the Bad Guys meticulously waited for digital technology to come around (it still wasn't around in 1975 when the film was shown on broadcast TV) even by '75 the technology was still not there.
Yes, the SS car was tail-gating the limo at the very start of the film. According to the ARRB tests of the film, Zapruder had the lens set to a slight zoom in when he shot the film. That, combined with the SS car slowing down as the limo slowed right after it appears from the freeway sign, is why there is a separation between the two cars by the time of Z 310 or so.
It should be obvious to you, Brad, that when you zoom in with a lens, you have a less wide shot than when you don't zoom in, right? You're going to see less of the top, bottom, and left and right edges than when you're not zoomed in.
DAVID HEALEY - perhaps the good folks here will read the complete Roland 'Zavada Report' (KODAK'S 8mm film guru) re the alleged in-camera original Zapruder film. The Dallas film house owner (film processing lab) that ran off the 3 Zapruder film dupes went into some detail regarding the inter-sprocket imagery.
Wow, David. Un-freaking-believable. On another EF post on the Z film that I've been posting on, when further evidence that no alterations of the film took place, instead of showing the common sense you're now showing here, you swept in and just bashed what I was saying with absolutely nothing to back it up. And now here, when my first post here mentions the Zavada Report and the ghost images explains WHY those images are there, you concur? Jeez.
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I mean, what I can't understand about this forum and its members is, it just seems like all common sense on many of the theories here are thrown completely out the window.
I don't want to get too personal here, but you're the guy who thinks that alterations would have been made directly on the 8 mm film. (And therefore could not have been done.) Common sense tells me that if alterations were made, they would have been done on large prints. Which later would be photographed back onto 8 mm film. Or something along those lines.
I explained above and elsewhere that there was NO NEED to even try to alter the Z film because it SHOWS conspiracy.
It's simply the reason why the Bad Buys squirreled it away from all public viewings. The most we got about the film was when Dan Rather did his deceptive description of it on 11/25, and then still frames of it in Life magazine. In a common sense approach, you have to ask yourself, why is that? The answer is simple - they couldn't fix the problem, so they lied and buried the problem.
Precisely my thought, Micheal. They couldn't fix the backward head snap.
But that doesn't mean they didn't fix other things.
And yet on this forum and elsewhere, all pretense of reason is thrown out with the bath water. For example, a group of researchers have done a really good job of not only showing the possibility of Oswald standing in the doorway during and after the shooting (Prayer Man) and they even back it up by meticulously researching and making a chart showing the whereabouts of everyone in the TSBD that day. But as soon as it's posted, the same people who think of the crazy beliefs that the Z film was altered tear into this well-researched PM post, saying "It's not LHO, it's a woman, wearing a dress, taking a photo, holding a bottle, wearing a shiny bracelet, she's 4 foot 11, or 6 foot 5..." and on and on and on. It's ridiculous.
I don't get that either. PM should be taken seriously IMO.
Then, this other guy, who actually recreated the scene in 3D animation software - and which I applaud for his efforts - and can pretty much prove that the size and character of the person there could be Oswald - is completely ignored.
I honestly believe it's because the people who made PM are not from the U.S. and, therefore, the U.S. members are ###### off because THEY didn't think of it and start bashing it. But how does that serve the research community as a whole? It doesn't and makes us all look like a bunch of baying loons and crackpots. It's really sad if you ask me.
Edited by Sandy Larsen
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If it was altered WHY didn't they show it to the public

immediately, saying, "See, here's proof one crazy Commie did it." You don't

alter something and then immediately hide it away from the general public.

You hide it because the alteration wasn't acceptable to those who ordered it. i.e. There was STILL evidence of conspiracy. That's why it was locked away PERMANENTLY.

If it was NOT altered, why is blood spatter visible on only a single frame of the headshot? Why is the large hole in the back of his head not seen? Why does that 'blob' appear in front of his head that no witness described? Why does the limo driver make impossibly fast movements turning his head to see over his shoulder?

Why did they make briefing boards on Saturday with one team of NPIC specialists, and on Sunday SECRETLY make a second set with a different team?

Why does Dino Brugioni state the extant Z-film is NOT the one he saw in 1963?

Tom

Edited by Tom Neal
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[...]

I don't want to get too personal here, but you're the guy who thinks that alterations would have been made directly on the 8 mm film. (And therefore could not have been done.) Common sense tells me that if alterations were made, they would have been done on large prints. Which later would be photographed back onto 8 mm film. Or something along those lines.
[...]

Roland Zavada told me the same thing too. Direct alteration 8mm to 8mm.... Had to school him on reality too!

So, exactly, an 8mm film bump direct to 35mm (one pass) as was done in NYC, for LIFE magazine with the alleged Z-film currently held at NARA.

Think that's a crock? Simply ask Groden where he got his 35mm copy of the Zapruder film...

This is what happens Sandy when rank amateurs jump into the middle of something they know nothing about... or, they DO know something that they want to hide by misdirection...

It's been going on with the Zapruder film commentary for 16 years now, nothing new, just new amateurs.

Edited by David G. Healy
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Sandy,

I misunderstood your original comment. Sorry - my fault!

Exactly why this topic hadn't been taken up by assassination enthusiasts, I'm not sure. Those alleging forgery concentrated mainly on looking for anomalies between witness statements and what we see in the film, and those alleging authenticity had no reason to doubt the intersprocket images.

As far as I'm aware, no-one has refuted Roland Zavada's claim that cameras like Zapruder's did indeed record images between the sprocket holes, and that in many cases these images occupied the whole of the available area, just as we see in the Zapruder film. If that's true, the question is settled, and the Facebook guy's suggestion is incorrect.

I'd like to take up one point that you made in reply to Michael:

there is indeed evidence that the film has been altered. For example, it contradicts the testimony of several nearby witnesses who said the procession came to a stop.

Many similar charges have been made that boil down to: This or that witness statement is contradicted by what we see in a photograph or film; therefore the photograph or film must have been faked. But in these cases there's always a perfectly reasonable alternative explanation: the witnesses were mistaken.

We can't usually prove conclusively that one or the other explanation is correct, although that has been done with one claim beloved by alterationists, the old 'Moorman in the street' nonsense (see http://www.jfklancer.com/moorman_essay.html). In most cases it's a question of which explanation is the more likely to be correct. On the one hand, we know that human memory is fallible and that people often misremember things. On the other hand, altering a photograph or a home movie would have required an enormous amount of effort, and that's with the assumptions that the alteration in question was technically possible and that a suitable opportunity existed in which to make the alteration. It isn't difficult to see that the 'mistaken witness' explanation is by far the more plausible. At least, that's my opinion. Those who think that everything in the world is a conspiracy will find the conspiratorial explanation more plausible. If that's what they think, that's fine by me. I'll leave the reader to make up his or her own mind.

In the case of the supposed limousine stop, we can be virtually certain that it didn't happen, because it isn't just the Zapruder film that shows the car failing to stop. The Muchmore and Nix films appear to match what we see in the Zapruder film. If faking the Zapruder film was difficult, faking all three films would have been as difficult as winning the lottery three weeks in a row. To claim that all three films were faked, when a perfectly reasonable alternative explanation exists, is as ridiculous as claiming that the moon landings were faked.

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Tom Neal writes:

If it was NOT altered, why is blood spatter visible on only a single frame of the headshot? Why is the large hole in the back of his head not seen? Why does that 'blob' appear in front of his head that no witness described? Why does the limo driver make impossibly fast movements turning his head to see over his shoulder?


That's a nice collection of dusty old assertions, most of which were debunked long ago. I've got some more:

  • Why doesn't the Zapruder film show Elvis Presley in the back seat? Well, then? Explain that one if you can!
  • Why can't we see Connally doing a handstand immediately before the head shot? Come on! What have you got to say about that?
  • Why doesn't the film show Greer launching a javelin at Kennedy? Obviously the film has been faked!

Let's take the example of Greer's "impossibly fast" head turn. The best account of the head turn nonsense is this comprehensive debunking by a certain James R. Gordon: http://home.earthlink.net/~joejd/jfk/zaphoax/gordon-greer-turn.html. Anyone who is honestly interested in finding out whether or not the Zapruder film has been faked would surely have discovered this article before posting an online question about Greer's imaginary "impossibly fast" head turn.

Greer's "impossibly fast" head turn was also dealt with by Larry Peters and others on this very forum years ago, at http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=581, another online resource that an objective researcher would surely have discovered. Larry writes:

The timing problem originated when Twyman failed to see Greer's head in motion in at least one or two of the frames. When a grid was made and Greer's head was stabilized, his head rotated as it should have. Twyman saw two or more of the frames as unchanged, so when he finally saw the head in motion, he felt that it had happened to[o] rapidly. Below are frames showing what Twyman failed to see - Twyman thought these frames showed no head motion between them and the grid shows he was apparently wrong.


"Why does the limo driver make impossibly fast movements turning his head to see over his shoulder?" The simple answer is: he doesn't, and everyone who knows what they're talking about has been aware of this for years.

It's an interesting thread. Larry also disposes of the ridiculous suggestion that the Muchmore film and Moorman photograph were faked. He points out that the Muchmore film was undeveloped until it was sold to UPI on the 25th, and that it was shown on TV later that day, leaving the Bad Guys next to no time to manipulate it. The same applies to the Moorman photograph, which was shown on TV three hours after the assassination. The fact that the Muchmore film and the Moorman photograph agree with what we see in the Zapruder film implies that at least the relevant section of the Zapruder film cannot have been faked either.

Later in that thread Clint Bradford has a go at the admittedly easy target of Jack White, the guy who gave serious thought to the idea that the moon landings had been faked, and recounts a list of claims of alteration that turned out to be nonsense. Unfortunately, he fails to deal with the important question of Connally's handstand, which I think leaves open the possibility that the Zapruder film was indeed faked.

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Tom Neal writes:

If it was NOT altered, why is blood spatter visible on only a single frame of the headshot? Why is the large hole in the back of his head not seen? Why does that 'blob' appear in front of his head that no witness described? Why does the limo driver make impossibly fast movements turning his head to see over his shoulder?

That's a nice collection of dusty old assertions, most of which were debunked long ago.

Debunked long ago? Maybe inside your head... There are sites all over the net claiming conclusively that the Moon landings were faked. I don't believe them either.

I've got some more:

  • Why doesn't the Zapruder film show Elvis Presley in the back seat? Well, then? Explain that one if you can!
  • Why can't we see Connally doing a handstand immediately before the head shot? Come on! What have you got to say about that?
  • Why doesn't the film show Greer launching a javelin at Kennedy? Obviously the film has been faked!
Your list of childish responses has completely changed my mind. Thanks for setting me straight.

Tom

Edited by Tom Neal
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If it was NOT altered, why is blood spatter visible on only a single frame of the headshot? Why is the large hole in the back of his head not seen? Why does that 'blob' appear in front of his head that no witness described? Why does the limo driver make impossibly fast movements turning his head to see over his shoulder?

That's a nice collection of dusty old assertions, most of which were debunked long ago.

"Most of which were "debunked" long ago? Most? Because you've declared some of these debunked-inside YOUR head anyway-the world must dismiss the ones you choose to ignore.

I've got some more:

  • Why doesn't the Zapruder film show Elvis Presley in the back seat? Well, then? Explain that one if you can!
  • Why can't we see Connally doing a handstand immediately before the head shot? Come on! What have you got to say about that?
  • Why doesn't the film show Greer launching a javelin at Kennedy? Obviously the film has been faked!
Your list of irrelevant responses has completely changed my mind. Thanks for setting me straight.

You rebuttal of Dino Brugioni was especially noteworthy!

Tom

Edited by Tom Neal
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Tom writes:

You rebuttal of Dino Brugioni was especially noteworthy!


Thank you. You must be referring to the point I made in my reply to Sandy, that human memory is fallible. Remind me, since I've forgotten, but exactly how many decades after the assassination was Brugioni interviewed? Three? Four?

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