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Josiah Thompson's brand new book LAST SECOND IN DALLAS


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6 hours ago, Andrej Stancak said:

1. The analysis of post-Z313 frames pointing to a head shot coming from the rear was new to me. This shot seemed to have occurred in frame Z328, about 0.71 s after the earlier head shot from the front. In all fairness, even Josiah Thompson could not identify this shot for some 30 years. It was discovered by Keith Fitzgerald around 2005. The shot from the rear explains the forward and downward slump of Kennedy after being thrown earlier to the left and back by the frontal shot. The occurrence and latency of this shot fits with the acoustic evidence.

JFK does indeed seem to slump forward after Z328, and his head does seem to change shape around this time.  Whether this is due to a second shot, or just that his skull was shattered and unstable after a single shot at Z313 is very difficult to know with certainty (sadly the Z-film is so blurry during that time it's hard to tell).

6 hours ago, Andrej Stancak said:

2. The novel details and analyses of the acoustic data are extremely valuable and add to the strength of the visual evidence. This includes in the first place a new proof of a synchronising event "I'll check it" which occurred simultaneously in both channel 1 and 2 just seconds before the shooting. (Interestingly, the noise caused by the motorcycle engine showed a drop for about 3 seconds just before the shooting, consistent with slowing down during the hairpin turn to Elm street). However, the book, thanks to contributions of James Barger and Richard Mullen (BBN Technologies), also shows that the previous criticism of acoustic evidence based on a almost 1-minute delay in occurrence of "Hold everything" between channel 1 and 2, used by the Ramsey panel to discredit the HSCA conclusions, was wrong: this mismatch was due to copying "Hold" from one channel onto another at a later stage, possibly by mistake. This overdub of "Hold" at a later stage was demonstrated by examining the presence of multiple frequencies of the humming sound in channel 1 which could only happen by copying "Hold" from the other channel including its unique noise frequency (the recordings and copies were made on the Audograph machines each having a unique speed which shifted the 60 Hz noise frequency in a specific manner).

The audio on the dictabelt is surprisingly complex when you look at the detail of how parts of the recording seem to get copied from one channel to another, and then get relayed at a barely audible volume.

If the acoustics evidence is correct regarding the 95% certainty of a grassy knoll gunman, then these facts must logically follow:

  1. The microphone *MUST* have been starting to turn the corner onto Elm Street during Z175-Z230 when the first shots were fired.
  2. By Z313-Z400 the microphone and the bike *MUST* have been well down Elm Street and *SHOULD* have picked up the very loud siren blaring from the Secret Service follow up car (which was reported by many witnesses, including Sam Kinney who started the siren himself).  About 3 minutes after the shooting we do hear the sounds of several sirens on the dictabelt as the motorcade raced to Parkland Hospital, so we know the microphone was capable of recording sirens.

On point 1, which bike in Dealey Plaza was it that had the stuck open microphone?  The Hughes film shows officer McLain to be turning onto Houston Street at Z150, and the Dorman film shows him to be turning onto Elm Street after Z410:

Hughes-f-01085-Z150.png

Dorman-Mc-Lain-969.png

The DCA film proves there was no other bike anywhere near the camera cars and congressman cars as the motorcade approached Dealey Plaza, so it must have been McLain in the Hughes and Dorman films above:

Mc-Lain-DCA.png

In other words, if the dictabelt audio was recorded in Dealey Plaza it couldn't have been McLain or any other bike as they were nowhere near the required point during the beginning of the shooting.

Point 2 is crucial as it proves that the bike microphone could easily record the sound of sirens, and is consistent with the HSCA claim that if the microphone was in a 300 foot range of the siren it would be recorded.  So why are there no sirens near when the alleged shots were fired?  The only logical conclusion is that the microphone was not in Dealey Plaza, and it was a few miles away, perhaps near the Trade Mart which was en route to the hospital.  This map shows the 2 mile route from the Stemmons ramp near Dealey Plaza to the Trade Mart, which is a good match for the 3 minutes gap on the dictabelt if the bike was just the other side on Harry Hines Blvd:

Trade-Mart-Map.png

It is true to say that the alleged dictabelt shots roughly correlate with Zapruder film events, such as the victims reacting, and the jiggle analysis.  However, with several intractable problems like the lack of a bike in the right place and the lack of a siren, I find it too problematic to use as proof regarding multiple shots at the beginning of the shooting or near the head shot.

Having said all of that, the other evidence Thompson and the HSCA refer to regarding the multiple shots fired during Z175-Z230 and Z290-Z330 does seem to stand up to scrutiny rather well (early witness reports, jiggles in the Z-film from loud shots disturbing Zapruder, etc).

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Posted (edited)

Mark:

I am not sure if you have read Josiah Thompson's book. The book would address your points better than I can.

The microphone on a motorbike was certainly switched on as it recorded engine sound (this would not be case if the motorcycle were parked somewhere miles away from Dealey Plaza). I was satisfied that it captured "I'll check it" (which occurred only seconds before the shooting) and the motor slowed down right after this message for about three seconds, possibly because the motorcycle was doing the sharp turn to Elm Street. The shots rang out just after "I'll check it" and after about 3 seconds of the motorcycle slowing down. The clue "I'll check it" occurred on both channels due to the crosstalk and there was zero lag (or perfect synchrony) between the channels if simulcast, voice-independent impulses were used to synchronise both channels. This was demonstrated by James Barger in 2018, and he has a chapter describing his analysis in Josiah Thompson's book. 

The array of microphone was capturing the sounds of shots along the path of the motorcade which could not occur just by chance. The sounds of shots were modelled to match the test shots fired at Dealey Plaza with a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. The specific architecture of buildings in Dealey Plaza offered several reflecting surfaces which affected the shape of the sound waves produces by a rifle shot. It would not be possible to take the sound wave template, run it through the dictabelt recording and receive statistically significant verifications of the shots by chance (false positives), for instance by falsely detecting electrostatic spikes or other abrupt sounds; the false positives are prevented by implementing statistical analysis which was indeed the case.

I have registered the criticism of acoustic evidence that no picture or film showed officer McLain and his bike at an appropriate location where he would be expected if his microphone registered the shots. Frustrating as it is, the absence of a picture or film showing officer McClain at a certain location is not enough to refute the acoustic evidence. To refute the acoustic evidence, there should be a positive evidence, a picture or film, of officer McLain being somewhere else, e.g., in Parkland area or far ahead of the motorcade. 

 

Edited by Andrej Stancak
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The timing of what siren sounds can be heard during the dictabelt recording is problematic, a deal-breaker in and of itself. As I understand things. Then there is the nature and quality of the motorcycle engine noise. The mic seems to have been on a three-wheeled bike, as that variety used a different engine than the two-wheelers in use. And while there was at least one three-wheeler that trundled through Dealey during the motorcade, one was clearly not in position to have recorded what we hear. It seems that there is good correspondence for the mic being on a trike on Stemmons Freeway. This was discussed by forum participants either upthread here or in another recent thread on the forum. I'm inclined to disregard any conclusions drawn from that recording. Thompson's reliance on it is driving down my interest in his new book. Or does someone specifically address these seemingly intractable discrepancies?

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Some others on the forum, with much more on the ball than I have yet got, raised the issue of synching any known film or photo with the placement of any two or three-wheeled bike, when you consider which one had the stuck mic, and thus made the dictabelt recording.

If I remember correctly these observations passed unchallenged, and so I wonder.

 

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You can't argue with ole Thompson: He believes since his  entrance into the debate (SIX SECONDS IN DALLAS c 1967)  that the Zapruder film ( now stored in the National Archives) is genuine. It is not. It's a 18 million dollar piece of fabricated crap. 

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23 hours ago, Andrej Stancak said:

I am not sure if you have read Josiah Thompson's book. The book would address your points better than I can.

Yes, I have read the book and I followed the points being made regarding the dictabelt and the acoustics reports.  Although I have never studied acoustic science outside this case, I do think the book is written well enough to communicate the salient points to non-experts.

23 hours ago, Andrej Stancak said:

The microphone on a motorbike was certainly switched on as it recorded engine sound (this would not be case if the motorcycle were parked somewhere miles away from Dealey Plaza). I was satisfied that it captured "I'll check it" (which occurred only seconds before the shooting) and the motor slowed down right after this message for about three seconds, possibly because the motorcycle was doing the sharp turn to Elm Street. The shots rang out just after "I'll check it" and after about 3 seconds of the motorcycle slowing down. The clue "I'll check it" occurred on both channels due to the crosstalk and there was zero lag (or perfect synchrony) between the channels if simulcast, voice-independent impulses were used to synchronise both channels. This was demonstrated by James Barger in 2018, and he has a chapter describing his analysis in Josiah Thompson's book. 

Yes, I accept that the noise on the dictabelt is indeed a motorbike which seems to accelerate and decelerate at various points, along with the rider occasionally whistling.  The cause is almost certainly an accidentally stuck open microphone, and this very situation was mentioned in conversation by the dispatcher about 4 minutes after the alleged shots.  I think we can accept this general narrative as proven.

I regard the exact location of the bike and stuck open microphone as unknown, but wherever it was it must conform to the proven evidence above and what is on the recording itself (especially the timing issues I mentioned in my earlier post).  I offer the general Trade Mart area as consistent with the known evidence, but the exact position is probably unknowable.

With the lack of Dealey Plaza ambient noise such as crowd noise before the alleged shots, and sirens after the alleged shots, I feel this rather contradicts the idea of it being recorded in Dealey Plaza.  By contrast, at various points on the other channel we hear Jesse Curry talking with crowd noise in the background, and even a siren very briefly immediately after the shooting when he first reported the incident.  When one microphone picks up known ambient Dealey Plaza noise, why doesn't the other one?  Apart from the microphone not being in Dealey Plaza, I can't think of a plausible explanation.

23 hours ago, Andrej Stancak said:

I have registered the criticism of acoustic evidence that no picture or film showed officer McLain and his bike at an appropriate location where he would be expected if his microphone registered the shots. Frustrating as it is, the absence of a picture or film showing officer McClain at a certain location is not enough to refute the acoustic evidence. To refute the acoustic evidence, there should be a positive evidence, a picture or film, of officer McLain being somewhere else, e.g., in Parkland area or far ahead of the motorcade. 

 

The most likely location of McLain before and during the shooting was Houston Street as depicted in the Hughes and Dorman film frames I linked earlier in the thread which shows him to be in the wrong position to record the audio on the dictabelt.  However, if we look at things another way and force McLain to be where he needed to be it leads to an interesting conclusion.

The Hughes film shows Houston Street to have no bike anywhere just after the Presidential limo turned onto Elm Street:

Hughes-Houston-End.png

This frame was filmed about 3.2 seconds before the Zapruder film starts at Z133, and we can see there is no bike anywhere on Houston Street.  According to the dictabelt theory the first shot is fired as the microphone is just about to start turning onto Elm Street at around Z175, which is about 2.3 seconds after the Z-film starts at Z133.

If we assume McLain was just to the right of the final Hughes frame above, he has to travel the whole of Houston Street in just 5.5 seconds so this means his bike must have averaged 27 MPH (220 feet travelled in 5.5 secs = 40ft/sec).  Once you include reasonable assumptions regarding the time taken to accelerate and decelerate the bike, the peak speed must have been around 35 MPH.

This proposed scenario is the *ONLY* way McLain can have been in the correct position for the dictabelt scientists to be correct, but it requires McLain to have ridden his bike at a preposterous 35 MPH which makes no sense considering the motorcade was travelling at around 10 MPH.

I can't concoct any reasonable scenario to make the dictabelt theory work, but if anyone else can, please do let me know!

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12 hours ago, George Govus said:

The timing of what siren sounds can be heard during the dictabelt recording is problematic, a deal-breaker in and of itself. As I understand things.

That's a good point George, the sirens that are audible later in the recording suggest that the motorcade approached the microphone and then passed it, which supports the idea that it was somewhere en route to the hospital and the motorcade sped past it.

12 hours ago, George Govus said:

Thompson's reliance on it is driving down my interest in his new book. Or does someone specifically address these seemingly intractable discrepancies?

I'm not aware of anyone who has resolved these problems with the dictabelt evidence, so until then I regard it as a red herring.  However, even if you remove the dictabelt from consideration there are other pieces of evidence which support Josiah Thompson's shot scenario involving bunched shots Z175-Z230 and Z310-Z330.  This work includes analysis of the witness evidence and how it relates to measurable events in the Zapruder film such as the jiggle analysis and the movements of the victims.

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Quoting Thompson's reply to Schectman near the end:

Quote

Jeff: Is there or have you gotten pushback to any of this? The physical evidence, the acoustic evidence, the photographic evidence from this Zapruder film, all supports what you’re saying, it all leads to the same conclusion. Where does the pushback come from?

Josiah: Look, I would like to be able to describe to you valid pushback. I can’t. I can’t find anybody saying anything that makes much sense in criticism of this. At various points, I have somebody who developed a particular theory back in the ‘90s, which this denies, and who scrambles to come up with criticism. It’s not worth anything. I’m sorry, I can’t. I would like to be able to describe small mistakes I made in this book, I didn’t. I’d like to be able to tell you of somebody who’s, no, the reviews have been very good, and I’m pleased with that.

On the seventh day he rested.

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Posted (edited)

Well, I read this lengthy article and it turned out that the crictics cannot account for "I'll check it" being synchronous in both channels (as per James Barger's novel analysis, Appendix A). Ramsey panel in their report attempted to suppress this event. The digital analyses under the auspices of Ramsey panel used a too along time window to compute the pattern cross-correlation (PCC) and failed to detect it. Now, Richard Mullen in Appendix B accomplished it by using an appropriately short window and here the PCC shoots high when "I'll check it" pops up. Mr. Nalli wanted to weaken this finding by claiming the background noise was higher for "Check" than for "Hold" event, however, the level of noise will always be larger (or signal-to-noise ratio smaller) if the spectral window is reduced because less averaging is used to estimate the power spectra. 

As "I'll check it" event cannot be refuted (and it excludes "Hold" as being a genuine cross-talk), the critics aim on every possible aspect of Thompson's work. Their own acoustic analyses refrain to what they could hear with their own ears in the recordings, like that "I'll check it" is actually a completely different statement. Sure, Sgt. Bowles who was tasked with the trancripts of original audio recordings clealy heard "I'll check it" and assigned an ID of "4" (Deputy Fisher) just by mishearing it. The Ramsey panel report reproduced Bowles's transcription by replacing "4" with "?" and added "(discounted by sound spectrogram)" (the wrong spectrogram though,  the one with a long spectral window which could not detect this short phrase"). That says it all. 

 

 

 

Edited by Andrej Stancak
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Posted (edited)
On 3/13/2021 at 10:19 PM, Steven Kossor said:

We shouldn't forget that Lifton's observations about body and film alteration predate Horne's by more than 20 years, that Lifton introduced Horne to the alteration evidence before he became associated with the ARRB, and that Lifton conferred regularly with Horne throughout the ARRB proceedings to share information and insights.  I've met both men and shared ideas with them over several years, and their contributions are undoubtedly of vital importance in understanding what happened and why, but each deserves credit for his contributions.  I am dismayed that the conversation about the orientation of JFK's head (facing toward the knoll) in order to allow the exhausting of blood & brain tissue out of the hole in the right rear of his head has been obscured by praise for Thompson's book, which makes its own vital contributions (especially regarding the ways that the audio evidence was manipulated and suppressed over many years).  The Zapruder film doesn't show the necessary orientation (by virtue of the laws of physics and especially fluid dynamics) of JFK's head at the time of the shot from the knoll, so it cannot possibly be an unaltered visual record of the "last seconds in Dallas" as Thompson and others claim it to be.  The truth will out only if we don't stop looking for it.

Thanks for "giving credit, where credit is due."  FWIW: I first met Doug Horne when I was in Honolulu, Hawaii (circa 1995) giving a JFK lecture at the Punahoe School --a very classy private school which, incidentally, is the high school that was attended by Barack Obama.  During the Q & A period following my lecture, I was approached by Doug Horne, who introduced himself, and explained that he was affiliated with the Navy, and--at the time--was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.   Compressing a rather long story: Doug said that he had heard about the creation of the ARRB, and was seeking to apply for a staff position.  I thought that was wonderful, but wondered (probably aloud) what the odds were that he would actually be chosen.  

Some weeks (or months) passed; and one day, the phone rang in my apartment (in West Los Angeles). It was Doug --calling to tell me he had received a letter approving his being hired.  I congratulated him, and then we said our goodbyes.  But a few minutes later, the full force of what I had heard struck me.  I knew that Doug Horne was not just a serious student of the JFK case; but he was a major supporter of my work.  In other words, he not only had read--and carefully studied --Best Evidence, but he believed in its validity. Doug understood the full political implications of "body alteration" --more precisely stated, of wound alteration (and autopsy falsification). That it (the falsification of the bullet trajectories) offered a way (i.e., a mechanism) to fabricate a "false story" of Dealey Plaza.   He understood the larger "political implications" of my work,  -- spelled out in the final chapters of Best Evidence. The notion that altering the President's body (i.e., the wounds) could be the foundation (politically)  for operating the constitutionally mandated line of succession, elevating the Vice President to the presidency, in a manner which created the appearance that it (this profoundly important political shift, from Kennedy to Johnson) was a quirk of fate, an accident of history.  In short, he appreciated a major  concept of Best Evidence: the importance of the assassination having been conceived --and executed --not just as "a shooting" but as a "strategic deception." And now, it seemed, there was a way to act, and to have a serious affect on what appeared to be the "final investigation" of President Kennedy's assassination.

So. . within five or ten minutes, I called him back.  "Doug," I said (rather excitedly), "Do you realize what this means?" I paused and then went on to explain the obvious: "We can conduct our own investigation of the Kennedy assassination!"  I wasn't suggesting "we" do anything untoward or improper; but rather: here was an opportunity to steer the ARRB down the path involving what was truly important; i.e.,  the key alteration of evidence: (a) That the President's body had been altered, (per Best Evidence, first published in Jan 1981, and by three more publishers since); and (b) that the Zapruder film (and other "civilian films")  had --somehow--been gathered and altered.  

We both agreed to "stay in touch", and that's what we did.  On any number of occasions, Doug and I would confer, in detail, as the investigation conducted by the ARRB moved forward.  I also had contact with Jeremy Gunn.  At some point, I provided audio tapes and filmed records of some of my key interviews.  To provide more detail,  I may well come back, at some point,  and review this post, and modify it as necessary.  But there is one incident that stands out, and that I will never forget.

Judge Tunheim and the Z film     

A major mystery was: "How could a motion picture film be altered?  How could that have been done?"  Pursuing that question led to my spending many hours at the library of the UCLA Film School, where I learned all about "optical printers" --the major editing tool used to edit motion picture film.    Doug and I shared an understanding of the importance of film alteration --both the implications, if it had been done; and the details of how that would work. My original focus, of course, was on the many "car stop" witnesses, whereas the Z film(and the other films) showed no such "car stop."   Because of those conversations, the ARRB --at Doug's strong suggestion --ended up contracting with Kodak, to bring in experts to examine the film. (To pursue that involves us in a whole other story, involving Roland Zavada, etc.);  But back to John Tunheim.

Following my increased understanding (i.e., of the link between the car-stop witnesses and the issue of whether the Z film had been altered), I wrote a carefully worded memo to John Tunheim, who was the senior member of the ARRB; about this very issue.   I was pleased- -- in fact thrilled --when it became clear that Tunheim "got it".  He understood how film editing worked; he understood that yes, the Z film could have been altered; and so he approached Robert Groden --and the many mysteries posed by his testimony, including the question of how Robert Groden had obtained access to almost all the civilian films (in his capacity as an HSCA "consultant") --with some skepticism.    

Tunheim's "on air" statement

The finale to this story occurred one day when I was in my West Los Angeles apartment, doing some house cleaning, with the TV on --watching the ARRB hearings.  When, seemingly out of the blue, Judge Tunheim specifically said (and this is close to a direct quote): "I want to thank researcher and author David Lifton, for the work he has done, and the memo he submitted to the ARRB, which demystified film editing, and explained how this worked."  

Again, I will have to return to this subject, and to what he said --but it was broadcast live on C-Span.  I don't know who else Tunheim shared these views with, but I was very pleased to see that he had understood the memo (or memos) that I had written, and extended that "thank you" to me, in a live broadcast, on national TV.  (DSL, 6/04/2021; 8:20 PM PDT; edited, 6/5/21; 1:55 PM PDT)

Edited by David Lifton
Clarity of detail.
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