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rare video: CBS Dan Rather butchers Zapruder film narration 11/22/63


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14 hours ago, Chris Bristow said:

I don't understand why he needed to mention twice that the car did not stop. Had he already heard many witnesses saying that it did stop?

Chris,

Here's a few things more to consider.

Dan Rather early comments on Zapruder

I believe I can add another witness to the over 100 list who saw something different on the day of the assassination, or in Dan Rather’s case someone who saw an early version of the Zapruder film that does not relate to later versions.

At first Rather describes the passengers in the p. limo and a Secret Service man on the bumper.  He sees this on Houston Street! 

Later, he describes the vehicle making a left turn off of Houston onto Elm Street.  He said this 3 times!  If this is true, and also seeing the vehicle on Houston Street, then he saw a film without the Zapruder Gap being present.  This makes the Zapruder Gap artificial.

He mentions a Secret Service agent on the bumper 3 times!  He says nothing about Clint Hill’s run to the p. limo from the SS security vehicle.

He says that he saw the president put his hand up to his face and slump slightly forward after the first shot.  As an example, it would look something like this from a scene from a different film on Main Street.

amipa-kennedy-hand-to-head-3a.jpg

He said the first shot occurred about 35 yards from the base of the TSBD.  If so that would make the shot about 205 feet from the turn onto Elm Street.  This would be calculated from the SW corner of the TSBD (the TSBD is 100 ft long and 35 yards is 105 ft).  If the base of the TSBD is calculated as the SE corner of the building then the shot would have occurred about 5 ft from the SW corner of the building.  Somewhere between these points the shot occurred according to Rather.

Rather’s description of the shooting of John Connally sounds suspicious.  To make the shot seem from behind he has Connally turning to the point where his body is almost completely facing backwards. And, then the second shot becomes the third shot!  Was that a slip up?

Yep!  Rather saw a different film then the rest of us.

 

Edited by John Butler
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On 1/24/2021 at 8:49 AM, John Butler said:

Chris,

Here's a few things more to consider.

Dan Rather early comments on Zapruder

I believe I can add another witness to the over 100 list who saw something different on the day of the assassination, or in Dan Rather’s case someone who saw an early version of the Zapruder film that does not relate to later versions.

At first Rather describes the passengers in the p. limo and a Secret Service man on the bumper.  He sees this on Houston Street! 

Later, he describes the vehicle making a left turn off of Houston onto Elm Street.  He said this 3 times!  If this is true, and also seeing the vehicle on Houston Street, then he saw a film without the Zapruder Gap being present.  This makes the Zapruder Gap artificial.

He mentions a Secret Service agent on the bumper 3 times!  He says nothing about Clint Hill’s run to the p. limo from the SS security vehicle.

He says that he saw the president put his hand up to his face and slump slightly forward after the first shot.  As an example, it would look something like this from a scene from a different film on Main Street.

amipa-kennedy-hand-to-head-3a.jpg

He said the first shot occurred about 35 yards from the base of the TSBD.  If so that would make the shot about 205 feet from the turn onto Elm Street.  This would be calculated from the SW corner of the TSBD (the TSBD is 100 ft long and 35 yards is 105 ft).  If the base of the TSBD is calculated as the SE corner of the building then the shot would have occurred about 5 ft from the SW corner of the building.  Somewhere between these points the shot occurred according to Rather.

Rather’s description of the shooting of John Connally sounds suspicious.  To make the shot seem from behind he has Connally turning to the point where his body is almost completely facing backwards. And, then the second shot becomes the third shot!  Was that a slip up?

Yep!  Rather saw a different film then the rest of us.

 

I can see how he would miss Clint hill running and climbing because the head shot would stun you for a moment and maybe give you tunnel vision.
 When he tries to put the limo at a specific location in front of the TSB it would be easy to get that wrong when you base it on Z's point of reference and the limited field of view.
  Rather puts a shot at Connally's 'big' turn around. Early on the FBI also assumed Connally was hit later than JFK. I don't know if he knew enough at that time to even make a slip up.
Maybe he did see the clip of the turn onto Elm or hr filled in the gap with false memory of seeing it turn onto Elm.

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On 1/25/2021 at 7:06 PM, Chris Bristow said:

I can see how he would miss Clint hill running and climbing because the head shot would stun you for a moment and maybe give you tunnel vision.

Unless I misinterpreted what Rather said, he said the Secret Service man was standing on the back bumper.  He said it 3 times.  He gave a description of the p. limo passengers and then said the vehicle turned onto Elm Street.  He didn't say the p. limo was on Houston Street.  It is assumed from what he said after the description.

Rather said nothing of Hill's run from the SS vehicle to the p. limo.  He states directly that the agent, Clint Hill, was already there.  He doesn't mention Clint Hill's name.

On 1/25/2021 at 7:06 PM, Chris Bristow said:

When he tries to put the limo at a specific location in front of the TSB it would be easy to get that wrong when you base it on Z's point of reference and the limited field of view.

I agreed.  The location of the p. limo when shooting occurs is iffy.  

 

On 1/25/2021 at 7:06 PM, Chris Bristow said:

Maybe he did see the clip of the turn onto Elm or hr filled in the gap with false memory of seeing it turn onto Elm.

He states clearly that the p. limo made the turn onto Elm several times.  This film of Rather was made on 11/25/63?  I believe it was the day that he saw it or a day or so after the event.  He seemed still shaken up with what he saw.  If there was FBI or other government officials there then he would have went with the story known at the time by those officials.  By Nov. 23 the story of the lone gunmen was pretty well in place and was being enforced by the FBI and other officials according to some witness testimonies.  

Now, the problem is is Dan Rather believable?  Given his later career of lying, that career may have begun in Dallas or earlier.  

  

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The question is whether or how much Rather "butchered" it or if he saw

the unaltered film? Zapruder, for instance, testified under oath

that he filmed the turn onto Elm Street. The jump cut on the

extant film makes no sense. But some of Rather's description

leaves out events we know occurred, such as Hill jumping onto

the car. It's not believable on the extant film that he could

reach the car in movement that way. The limousine stop was also removed.

Edited by Joseph McBride
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3 hours ago, Joseph McBride said:

The question is whether or how much Rather "butchered" it or if he saw

the unaltered film?

Did Dan Rather butcher the Zapruder film in his CBS tape of 11/25/63?

There are two questions to ask about Dan Rather’s credibility in the 11/25/63 CBS tape of Rather seeing the Zapruder film.

First off, was the film that Dan Rather saw the original Zapruper film?  And, the answer is yes.  He saw the original or a copy of the original with no change.  There was no time in which the Zapruder film could have been altered and presented to Dan Rather at the time he saw it. 

Rather saw the original Zapruder film on the morning of 11/23/63 at 9:00 in the morning.  He said the film was show in the conference room (probably Zapruder’s conference room in the Dal-Tex) on the wall.  There were other people there.  This showing was for the bidding cost of the film.

After the film was shown, Rather went back to the CBS offices and made the tape that was shown later on 11/25/63.  He said he went through it twice from memory since he had not made any notes.  Upon making the film of what he saw, he returned to bid on the Zapruder film and was told that Time Life had bought the film.  He was told for the sum of $50,000.

When Dan Rather saw the Zapruder film on that Friday morning of 11/23/63 the story of the Lone Gunman was mostly in place.  There were still some elements that were not firmly in place, but essentially the story was there by the evening and night of 11/22/63.  There was one gunman, 3 shots were fired in about 5 seconds.  Lee Harvey Oswald was the shooter.  The shots came from the 6th floor of the TSBD.  The first shot hit Kennedy in the back.  The second shot hit Gov. Connally, and the 3rd shot hit Kennedy in the head.  

By the 23rd of November FBI and Secret Service members were enforcing the correct story (as it was known to them at the time) through coercion of witnesses or changing witness affidavits to conform to the correct story.  This is what one finds when looking at witness testimonies.  This is best exemplified by Marion Baker, Bonnie Ray Williams, and many others.   

Rather said the saw the p. limo turn onto Elm Street several times.  This was not an issue early on because no one had seen the Zapruder film except a limited few.  The Zapruder Gap was not a problem early on.  From what Rather said people assumed that the p. limo did make the turn onto Elm from Houston in the film.

I would think the turn onto Elm was in the original film. Otherwise, why was the Zapruder Gap erased from the film.  It is my personal belief that the footage in the Zapruder Gap was used to alter the film so that the shooting could take place down the street, out from under the trees, and in a location where shooting could occur 6th floor Sniper’s Nest in the TSBD.   This would be the Grassy Knoll area.

Dan Rather said that the Secret Service man, Clint Hill, stood on the back bumper 3 times during his discussion.  This is not seen in the Zapruder film.  What we have is Hill’s famous run from the SS security vehicle to the p. limo.  This wasn’t a factor either until the 12 Time Life frames were shown some days later.

You can see Clint Hill riding on the back bumper in some films in the early part of the motorcades travel towards Main Street and Dealey Plaza.  Supposedly, he was ordered off the vehicle at one of the earlier stops the motorcade made so that Kennedy could talk to the crowd.  Maybe so.  Maybe not.  How hard would it be to edit Clint Hill out of films and replace it with the run to the p. limo.  Which scenes may have come from earlier footage of film taken before Dealey Plaza?  Just speculating here.

Many people have problems with his description of the head wound propelling the President forward.  People take “back and to the left” as gospel.  This film has been altered in many places.  Why would this “back and to the left” be any different and taken as true?

The answer is that this fits what people think of a head shot from the front which has the more creditable evidence behind it. 

This is where the second question of Rather’s credibility comes into play.  The question is was there FBI or Secret Service present at the showing of the Zapruder film.  The answer is yes there were Secret Service people there.

The story of the Lone Gunmen was mostly in place and would be refined over time as needed.  On the morning of 11-23-63, the basic elements of the story were being enforced by the Secret Service and the FBI.  So, 3 shots, no vehicle stop, head moving forward, shots came from behind would be the story that Dan Rather told.

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Trying to figure out how much butchering was done by his memory or tunnel vision, and how much was done because of alteration to the Z film, and how much was done by lies he may have been prompted to tell is a tall order!

Many of the witnesses described the limo stop as having stopped or almost stopped. Just how slow does the limo have to go in order for the witnesses to have a hard time telling whether it's stopped or was just moving very slowly?

At 8 miles an hour it would move half of its 21 ft length every second. I think that would be easy to see even from a distance. It would be easy to see even if you were directly in front or behind like the folks on the overpass. At 4 miles an hour the limo would move about 5 feet per second. I would guess you could sense movement if you looked at it for one half of a second and saw it move about two feet.

So I think the consistency of the testimony in which they couldn't be sure if it was even moving would indicate a speed of no more than two miles per hour. 

I can't get past how strange it was that Dan Rather offered up the observation that it didn't stop without being prompted. Similarly I find it strange that Ike Altgens offered the same unprompted observation in his WC testimony.

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9 hours ago, Chris Bristow said:

Trying to figure out how much butchering was done by his memory or tunnel vision, and how much was done because of alteration to the Z film, and how much was done by lies he may have been prompted to tell is a tall order!

A tall order indeed to separate out those things real, recalled incorrectly, or said to be in true with the authority's official story of the event.  Dan rather must have seen the original film or a copy of the original film.  Would the Secret Service give back to Zapruder the original film once they had it in their possession?  I don't think so.  It would be a copy said to be the original.  There simply was no time to alter the film before Rather saw it.  What he said may have caused alterations in the Z film.

As far as Rather's memory goes, he made the tape minutes after, perhaps no more than an hour, after seeing the film.  He rushed back to the CBS offices to do so and then returned to offer a bid on the tape.

This is wikipedia's version of the 3 shots from Gov. Connally.  This matches what Dan Rather said.  It is the initial version of the 3 shots fired in Dealey Plaza.

"Governor Connally, riding in the middle jump seat of the President's limousine in front of the President, recalled hearing the first shot which he immediately recognized as a rifle shot. He said he immediately feared an assassination attempt and turned to his right to look back to see the President. He looked over his right shoulder but did not catch the President out of the corner of his eye so he said he began to turn back to look to his left when he felt a forceful impact to his back. He stated to the Warren Commission: "I immediately, when I was hit, I said, "Oh, no, no, no." And then I said, "My God, they are going to kill us all." He looked down and saw that his chest was covered with blood and thought he had been fatally shot. Then he heard the third and final shot, which sprayed blood and brain tissue over them."

Of course this had to be changed with collateral damage occurring and became the single bullet/magic bullet theory.  In all of this one must keep in mind the official story at the time Dan Rather made his TV tape.  There could be no car stop or slow down.  That would indicate a set up or conspiracy involving Will Greer and perhaps higher officials in the Secret Service.  So, that indicates what Rather said probably came from and with the permission of the Secret Service.  They were there when the film was shown to Rather.  They had seen the film earlier and a story was worked out.

I like your analysis of the slow down of the p. limo.  But, who knows what the original film version portrayed as far as the speed of the vehicle is concerned.  We see only the so-called extant version of the film and not the original.   

  

Edited by John Butler
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There is so much about this that is inconsistent with the extant version of the Z Film today, a few observations:

- Around :35, Rather says a single Secret Service man was standing on the back bumper of the limo, not seen in the film today.

- Around 2:30, Rather demonstrates how JBC turned to his right with his arm outstretched towards President Kennedy, not seen in the film today.

- Around 2:39, Rather says JBC's white shirt is exposed and pointing "to the full view of the assassin's window", not seen in the film today (and virtually impossible given the curve in Elm away from the TSBD vantage point.

- Around 2:59, Rather says a shot clearly hit JBC while in this outstretched, white shirt visible position, not seen in the film today.

- Around 3:30, Rather says "his head went forward in a violent motion, pushing it down like this", and demonstrated by tucking his chin towards his chest, not seen in the film today.

- Around 4:30, Rather says "The car was moving all the time, the car never stopped."  This lines up with the extant film but goes against many witnesses who said the limo did in fact slow to a stop.

- Around 4:45, Rather says the Secret Service man had a phone in his hand, not seen in the film today.

- At 5:00, he sums up: "That's what the film of the assassination showed."  This is either a complete lie on these points, or he was honest and saw a completely different film.

There may be more anomalies, but these are what I noticed.

Thanks

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On 1/24/2021 at 11:49 AM, John Butler said:

Dan Rather early comments on Zapruder

He says that he saw the president put his hand up to his face and slump slightly forward after the first shot.  As an example, it would look something like this from a scene from a different film on Main Street.

 

It could, conceivably,  mean he put his fists up near his throat.  However, note that Jackie said in her Warren Commission testimony that, before the final head shot, JFK put his hand up near his face.  She said he had that quizzical look she used to see when he was thinking about something.

Edited by David Andrews
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4 hours ago, Rick McTague said:

- Around 2:39, Rather says JBC's white shirt is exposed and pointing "to the full view of the assassin's window", not seen in the film today (and virtually impossible given the curve in Elm away from the TSBD vantage point.

- Around 2:59, Rather says a shot clearly hit JBC while in this outstretched, white shirt visible position, not seen in the film today.

 

While JBC's shirt front never faced the TSBD window, I, too, see JBC hit for the first time while half turned to look at JFK, his shirt front facing Zapruder.  I think he's hit just before the moment he gasps in pain, and that the gasp and collapse are not a delayed reaction to a shot that hit him earlier when he was facing forward.  This suggests a shot fired into his back from the south side of Dealey Plaza.

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8 hours ago, Rick McTague said:

There is so much about this that is inconsistent with the extant version of the Z Film today, a few observations:

- Around :35, Rather says a single Secret Service man was standing on the back bumper of the limo, not seen in the film today.

- Around 2:30, Rather demonstrates how JBC turned to his right with his arm outstretched towards President Kennedy, not seen in the film today.

- Around 2:39, Rather says JBC's white shirt is exposed and pointing "to the full view of the assassin's window", not seen in the film today (and virtually impossible given the curve in Elm away from the TSBD vantage point.

- Around 2:59, Rather says a shot clearly hit JBC while in this outstretched, white shirt visible position, not seen in the film today.

- Around 3:30, Rather says "his head went forward in a violent motion, pushing it down like this", and demonstrated by tucking his chin towards his chest, not seen in the film today.

- Around 4:30, Rather says "The car was moving all the time, the car never stopped."  This lines up with the extant film but goes against many witnesses who said the limo did in fact slow to a stop.

- Around 4:45, Rather says the Secret Service man had a phone in his hand, not seen in the film today.

- At 5:00, he sums up: "That's what the film of the assassination showed."  This is either a complete lie on these points, or he was honest and saw a completely different film.

There may be more anomalies, but these are what I noticed.

Thanks

This is a good list.  Have you any ideas on these variations of what Dan Rather said as versus the film that we know.

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4 hours ago, David Andrews said:

This suggests a shot fired into his back from the south side of Dealey Plaza.

Would this be from the Court Records Building, the New Court House or the Old one?

 

4 hours ago, David Andrews said:

While JBC's shirt front never faced the TSBD window, I, too, see JBC hit for the first time while half turned to look at JFK, his shirt front facing Zapruder.

Wasn't Gov. Connally shot directly below his right shoulder blade and the bullet came out under his right nipple.  This type of wound could not be done with Connally facing backwards as described by Dan Rather.

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