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Zapruder Film Alteration Synopsis


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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Jonathan Cohen said:

No one saw the right temple flap at Parkland because per her own testimony, Jackie Kennedy pressed it back together while in the limousine on the way to the hospital. This damage is clearly evident on the autopsy x-rays.

She never said that.  Show me where.  No indication it was "temple flap".  Cint Hill saw the back of the head blown out, climbing onto the back of the limo then pushing Jackie back into the seat.  Notably missing from the Zapruder Film.

Edited by Ron Bulman
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Posted (edited)
On 5/10/2022 at 2:40 AM, Jeremy Bojczuk said:

Jonathan Cohen writes:

Indeed. If that patch doesn't exist in other copies, that particular copy is worthless.

Copies several generations removed from the original are likely to contain all sorts of weird marks that aren't present in the original. If anyone wants to demonstrate that a black patch exists, the first thing you need to do is to show that it clearly exists in the best quality copy that's available. Those Hollywood experts we've been hearing about for years: have they published anything yet?

This is one more example of uncritical believers seeing what they want to see. It's just like believers who see the image of their preferred deity in a piece of toast.

perhaps as the astute investigator you are you should ask the provenance of that particular z-film clip. I bet you'd find that its a 72dpi copy of a 35mm blowup (4-6k) of the Zapruder 8mm, in-camera original film that was housed at NARA for years. The blowup found its way to a Hollywood theatrical release film restoration house some years back. In fact, that very house ordered and bought the 35mm Z-film blowup from NARA (who made the blowup)... Color reduced and contrast corrected by the restoration house, and guess what...

I'd say the blowup is 2 or maybe 3 generations off of the 8mm in-camera original Z-film? But trust its documented. For some debate is over regarding the Z-film alteration, for years...

Edited by David G. Healy
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Paul Bacon writes:

Quote

How do you and Zavada explain Dino Brugioni's observations?  Faulty memory?

Of course. I have no reason to suppose that he was lying.

Brugioni's interview with Horne took place in 2011, I believe. That means I was mistaken when I wrote earlier that he was interviewed three or four decades after the event. It was actually 48 years after the event.

Once you accept what we've learned so far in this thread, namely that

  • the car-stop almost certainly didn't happen,
  • and that the 'violent' forward head movement almost certainly didn't happen,
  • and that the vertical spray of brain matter is still visible in several frames after frame 313,

there's no good reason to believe that any frames were removed, or that Brugioni's anomalous long-distance recollections were accurate.

Incidentally, Horne claims that a fourth item of incriminating evidence was removed from the film: a trail of brain matter flying horizontally backwards. There's plenty of evidence suggesting that debris did indeed fly backwards, but there's no reason to assume that it would have been caught on film. It could easily have happened while the shutter was closed between the exposure of frames 312 and 313.

None of those four claims stand up. No frames were removed. There's still the matter of the car's turn onto Elm Street, though. Does anyone know what that's all about, or can we assume that that claim fails too?

David G. Healy writes:

Quote

For some debate is over regarding the Z-film alteration, for years.

Correct. It has been clear for ages that the evidence for alteration is much weaker than the evidence against.

There's no need to make up a complex scenario when a much simpler scenario is available, especially when the simpler scenario provides plenty of evidence that the lone-gunman theory is wrong.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Jeremy Bojczuk said:

...what we've learned so far in this thread...

  • the car-stop almost certainly didn't happen,

 

And the car's abrupt and significant slow-down most certainly did happen.

 

3 hours ago, Jeremy Bojczuk said:
  • and that the 'violent' forward head movement almost certainly didn't happen,

 

What are you talking about? The forward head movement can be seen and measured in the extant film. I know that because I once theorized that the head fell merely due to gravity. But my measurement and calculation showed that the head fell faster than gravity, which indicates that it was shot... from behind. This occurs a fraction of a second before the film shows the "violent" backward movement.

 

3 hours ago, Jeremy Bojczuk said:
  • and that the vertical spray of brain matter is still visible in several frames after frame 313,

 

But the truth is that, on the extant film, the spray is significant only on frame Z313, can barely be seen on close inspection on perhaps two other frames, and is only about a foot high. In contrast, the spray described by Brugioni was much more significant, being 3 to 4 ft high and lasting multiple frames. Brugioni himself said the extant film is not what he saw. But then, Jeremy pretends he knows better than Brugioni.

 

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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Posted (edited)
On 5/12/2022 at 1:05 PM, Gene Kelly said:

Ron:

Thanks for creating this thread and summarizing the complex story of the Zapruder film.  As with many subtopics in the assassination, it's difficult to wade through and is passionately debated on both sides of the alteration "fence".  Dino Brugioni and Doug Horne are (imho) credible and compelling witnesses to the factual evidence.  Like other controversial assassination subtopics (e.g., Oswald, the Paine's, the autopsy), the film's provenance and handling are simply fishy.

In fact, there's something 'off' about Zapruder himself, and how his film came to be the centerpiece, that I cannot wrap my arms around (call it an instinct) ... but that's a more difficult two-beer discussion.  Some speculate that that the additional sum of $100,000 that Time Inc. agreed to pay Zapruder the following Monday, in a new contract was in reality “hush money,” in exchange for his silence for the change in image content.  Why on earth would authorities allow a media conglomerate to purchase the exclusive print rights for such an important piece of evidence?  And yet that happened the very next morning, less than twenty-four hours after the assassination ... and then the film is kept from the public for the next 12 years.  The renegotiated contract (highly unusual) gave Time the motion picture rights which it did not acquire in the first contract on Saturday, but - after paying the considerable amount - Time never commercially exhibited the Zapruder film as a motion picture.  Further, the payments to Zapruder were made in $25,000 increments, after the first of every year, through 1968.  Suppression of evidence and very fishy indeed.  

You make several very good points, including the fact that experts have examined the extant film digitally, frame by frame in high resolution, and every one of them conclude that the film is not only an altered film, but a badly altered film.  The following comment can be found on Jefferson Morley's website:

A chunk of the footage is literally just dropped without explanation; the motion blur doesn’t match from frame-to-frame; the image is zoomed-in and cropped down to remove everything in front of the limo during the kill shots: a big sign appears and blocks everything (without obeying physics). The entire film has the image resolution of a child’s watercolor painting ... it does not compare to a professional 35mm Hollywood effects job.

Besides what is obviously missing on the extant film (e.g., additional frames of the head shot, Jackie's reactions, the limousine stop), I would add the following to the list:

  1. The differences between the “Brugioni” NPIC event (Saturday evening) and the “McMahon” NPIC event (Sunday evening) call into question the true chain-of-custody of the Zapruder film the weekend of the assassination. 
  2. Richard Stolley’s recollection that the original film went to LIFE’s printing plant in Chicago on Saturday for immediate processing, warrants reexamination. The original was most likely diverted after it arrived in Chicago and sent to D.C., arriving at NPIC at about 10 PM (per Dino Brugioni’s recollection).
  3. The 8 mm camera original was apparently flown to Hawkeye Works early Sunday morning, after enlargement prints had been made for the McCone briefing boards.  The CIA’s lab technicians would have had most of the day to remove whatever was objectionable in the film, as well as to add the painted-on exit wound consistent with the enlarged, altered head wound depicted in the autopsy photos.
  4. Brugioni, during his 2009 interviews, recalled that the Secret Service agents who arrived with the film at NPIC on November 23rd, and who directed the analysis of the film, paid particular attention to the portion which showed the limousine just ahead of the Stemmons sign, its subsequent disappearance behind the sign, and then the frames after it reappeared. 
  5. Captain Sands, NPIC’s Deputy Director, called in Homer McMahon and Ben Hunter to perform the work required by “Bill Smith” of the Secret Service, who then forbade both McMahon and Hunter from discussing their work with any of their NPIC colleagues (including Brugioni). The fact that the same work crew was not used on Sunday night reveals that a covert compartmentalized operation was afoot.
  6. A 1975 CIA presentation on the NPIC analysis (to the Rockefeller Commission) - replete with sketchy dates and little documentation - appears to have been a conscious decision to obscure the NPIC analysis.  The CIA summary implies that NPIC relied on timing/frame numbers printed in LIFE Magazine, deflecting attention away from the actual analysis done, and to the Secret Service’s supposed sole responsibility for any analysis. 
  7. The documents that came out of the Belin-Rockefeller investigation of the CIA show that the agency did not begin its study of the movie until after photographs had appeared in LIFE. The NPIC analysis had effectively disappeared from the record.  
  8. The only “documentation” that the Zapruder film was in Rochester at Hawkeyeworks are the six interviews conducted by the ARRB staff (by David Horne and others) with Homer McMahon and Ben Hunter.  Most compelling, McMahon, during his 1990s ARRB interviews, stated that it was his impression that JFK reacted to "6 to 8 shots fired from at least three directions". 

I have attached some pictures taken a few years back while visiting Rochester that (at least for me) create a sinister feeling about the Hawkeyeworks location ... what possible valid reason would there be to send the film there that weekend, other than for alteration and coverup?  

Gene

Empty Kodak Bldg in Rochester IMG_0155 (002).jpg

Still Guarded IMG_0160 (002).jpg

Thank you, Gene.  Your post is much better organized and more detailed than the one I started the thread with.

Regarding "something off about Zapruder".  I think I've read, but I don't remember where that maybe he was a (?) thirty second degree Mason.  Seems like I also read something about him having friends or business associates in high places.  Then speculation that maybe someone besides his secretary suggested he film the parade.  If you can turn that into a two beer discussion please do! 

Edited by Ron Bulman
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Sandy Larsen writes:

Quote

the car's abrupt and significant slow-down most certainly did happen.

It's good that Sandy is not arguing that the car stopped. I've given reasons to doubt that the car stopped, all of which apply to the claim that there was an "abrupt and significant slow-down":

  • Only a small minority of witness statements mentioned that the car stopped or nearly stopped. Many more of them mentioned that the car slowed down, but very few said that there was anything like an "abrupt and significant slow-down".
  • A large majority of witnesses who would have had a good view of the car at the time of the head shot didn't mention that the car slowed down at all, let alone that there was an "abrupt and significant slow-down" or that it stopped.
  • In addition to the Zapruder film, three other home movies fail to show the car stopping or coming to an an "abrupt and significant slow-down".
  • If anyone is still claiming that the car pulled to the left-hand curb and stopped (or came to an "abrupt and significant slow-down"), you can add the Moorman photo and the Altgens 7 photo to those four home movies. They show that the car stayed in the middle lane.

A large majority of the witness evidence and 100% of the relevant photographic evidence are consistent with the claim that the car slowed down, but not abruptly or significantly. Isn't it reasonable to conclude that what we see in all four home movies is what actually happened?

Quote

The forward head movement can be seen and measured in the extant film.

As I pointed out earlier, this allows us to explain the very few witness statements that mention a 'violent' forward movement as nothing more than exaggerations. Isn't that a reasonable explanation, given that those witnesses were in a small minority?

Quote

the spray is significant only on frame Z313, can barely be seen on close inspection on perhaps two other frames

I gave links to relatively poor-quality copies of frames 314, 315 and 316, in which the spray is visible. I wouldn't be surprised if better-quality copies not only show the spray more clearly in these frames, but show it in later frames too. If better-quality copies exist which don't show any of this, I'd be interested to see them.

Quote

the spray described by Brugioni was much more significant

Described by Brugioni nearly half a century after the event. What's so unlikely about a 48-year-old recollection being inaccurate?

The point about the relative numbers of witnesses is important. If a claim (in this case, that frames were removed) is based on nothing but witness statements, and a certain number of witnesses said or implied that X happened while a larger number of witnesses said or implied that X didn't happen, we are obliged to believe the majority. The witness statements give us no good reason to believe that frames were removed.

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On 5/13/2022 at 4:23 AM, Jeremy Bojczuk said:

Paul Bacon writes:

Quote

How do you and Zavada explain Dino Brugioni's observations?  Faulty memory?

Of course. I have no reason to suppose that he was lying.

There it is.  This is the difference between you and most of the rest of the people weighing in in this thread.

Dino Brugioni has a very vivid and detailed memory of what he saw.  He was shocked.  You probably should have another look at Doug's interview with Dino.

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4 hours ago, Paul Bacon said:

There it is.  This is the difference between you and most of the rest of the people weighing in in this thread.

Dino Brugioni has a very vivid and detailed memory of what he saw.  He was shocked.  You probably should have another look at Doug's interview with Dino.

This is boilerplate thinking by Jeremy's when it comes to things he believes counters his position on the assassination.  Evidence doesn't matter if it contradicts him. 

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Posted (edited)

From my book INTO THE NIGHTMARE:

 

Senator [Ralph] Yarborough [D-Texas, who was riding in the back seat of the convertible with LBJ and Lady Bird in the motorcade], who had “a lifetime of handling arms,” described for me his reactions to the shots fired in Dealey Plaza, giving an eyewitness and earwitness account that matched that of numerous other witnesses but is, like theirs, at odds over some details with what can now be seen in the altered Zapruder film:

 

The first shot I heard I thought was a rifle shot. The second shot, the motorcade almost came to a halt. They said later that the president‘s car slowed to something like five miles an hour. I wondered what the hell they were stopping for when somebody is shooting. People were jumping out of the car in front of me [the Secret Service followup car] and running to the president‘s car. I thought maybe somebody had thrown a bomb in there. The third shot I heard was a rifle shot.

 

When I asked Yarborough if he thought there was a gunman on the Grassy Knoll, he said,

 

I believe I would have heard or picked the shot up. I just don’t [think so]. I didn’t think so at the time. There’s one possibility -- I don’t think there was a second gunman, but if somebody else fired a shot at the identical time as the gunman in the School Book Depository, if two shots were fired instantly, it would be hard to differentiate them. I know that when I’ve gone deer hunting, if I fire my rifle at the same time as somebody else fires his, you can’t tell the two shots apart. I agree with John Connally that it’s foolish to say that only two shots were fired [Yarborough apparently is alluding to the single-bullet theory, which Connally never accepted].

I’ve talked to Dallas policemen who told me that the people from Washington gave them an awful grilling. They came down with a theory in mind and they didn’t want to hear anything else that might not match up with their theory. I have the suspicion this fellow Ruby knew somebody about it, with his criminal connections. Oswald went by his room in Oak Cliff, to get his gun or something, and the direction he was walking in was the direction of Ruby’s apartment. I think it was a conspiracy, of course, but I don’t know who the conspirators were. Anyway, too many people wanted Kennedy dead.

Edited by Joseph McBride
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On 5/10/2022 at 5:53 AM, Paul Bacon said:

The violent forward head movement was what Rather observed when he saw the original film, I believe (not sure) on Saturday morning.  I think Cartha DeLoache, when he saw the original, made the same observation--he said so at some point--I studied this stuff more than 10 years ago and can't remember a lot of the details.

Doug Horne's theory is that the rest of that forward motion is excised, and that the back and to the left was an artifact of frame removal.  In other words, the back and to the left, was sped up as a result of frame removal.  (This may be why Rather didn't make the observation of "a violent back and to the left" as well--the movement didn't seem as egregious as the movement caused by the shot from behind.)  Further, there was nothing the technicians could do about it--it was an imperfect alteration--they had little time--they needed to hide the fact of "so many shots at one split instant".  And that's why the film was suppressed (among other reasons) for so long.eir

Regarding the picture that Andrej posted, it came from Sydney Wilkenson's work on the film in California--https://www.facebook.com/groups/JFK.thecontinuinginquiry/posts/2497783120274368/

 

Paul, in the link you posted Larry Schnapf talks about Sidney Wilkinson and husband Thom Whitehead discussing their work and showing a video at the 2018 CAPA conference.

Do you (or Larry) know if the presentation was recorded, and, if so is it and or the video mentioned available for public viewing by now?  I'll look around myself but direction or a "no" if so would be helpful.  Thanks in advance to you or anyone else who might know. 

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Jeremy Bojczuk said:
  • A large majority of witnesses who would have had a good view of the car at the time of the head shot didn't mention that the car slowed down at all, let alone that there was an "abrupt and significant slow-down" or that it stopped.

 

That's an argument-from-ignorance logical fallacy: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

 

22 hours ago, Jeremy Bojczuk said:
  • In addition to the Zapruder film, three other home movies fail to show the car stopping or coming to an an "abrupt and significant slow-down".

 

If other films show that there was NOT an abrupt slowdown, and if those films were never in the hands of the feds, then I agree that it didn't happen. (There is a specific reason for believing it may have happened.)

 

22 hours ago, Jeremy Bojczuk said:

 The witness statements give us no good reason to believe that frames were removed.

 

Au contraire... the witness statements are the primary reason to believe frames were removed.

And BTW, of course the slowdown was significant just as I said (and you refute). If it weren't significant, the witnesses wouldn't have noticed it.

 

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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Posted (edited)

Of course, Jeremy is correct in pointing out that if the limo slowed down significantly, then we should see that in any films that weren't confiscated. Can anybody tell me which films were not confiscated?

The only (non-Zapruder) films that have a good view of the shot to the head are the Nix and Muchmore films. Were these confiscated?

 

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Joseph McBride said:

The first shot I heard I thought was a rifle shot. The second shot, the motorcade almost came to a halt. They said later that the president‘s car slowed to something like five miles an hour. I wondered what the hell they were stopping for when somebody is shooting. People were jumping out of the car in front of me [the Secret Service followup car] and running to the president‘s car. I thought maybe somebody had thrown a bomb in there. The third shot I heard was a rifle shot.

 

And,

14 minutes ago, Sandy Larsen said:

Of course, Jeremy is correct in pointing out that if the limo slowed down significantly, then we should see that in any films that weren't confiscated. Can anybody tell me which films were not confiscated?

 

I think that what Yarborough said about Secret Service men leaving their vehicle is most important to consider.  No film or photo shows that at all.  I don't think Yarborough made that up.  So, another point for universal film and photo alteration.  (The exception is before reaching Dealey Plaza, Clint Hill was on and off the p. limo.  Other SS men were off their vehicle when Kennedy stopped and worked the crowd.)   

Why universal?  It's because I see something wrong with just about every film.  I'm sure my anti-fans will jump on that statement.  So, here is my answer before hand.  Read what I have said over the years.  That's pretty much what I have saying.

I think all the films were confiscated, or black backed such as Elsie Dorman and Patsy Paschall.  The only film that escaped their net was the AMIPA film.  And, I'm not to sure of that.   

Edited by John Butler
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3 hours ago, Sandy Larsen said:

The only (non-Zapruder) films that have a good view of the shot to the head are the Nix and Muchmore films. Were these confiscated?

 

The original Nix film disappeared. According to a lawsuit reported in this news article,

Orville Nix sold his film to the UPI news agency for $5,000 in 1963 with an understanding it would be returned after 25 years. During that period, it was turned over to the US government for the Warren Commission and other official investigations of the Kennedy assassination....

The film was last known to be in possession of the government for the House select committee on assassinations in 1978. Its whereabouts have been unknown ever since....

(Although the Nix family eventually got a copy of the film from the FBI, according to the article.)

This means that the U.S. government could have altered the Nix film.

 

But what about the Muchmore film?

 

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Joseph McBride quotes Senaator Yarborough:

Quote

The second shot, the motorcade almost came to a halt.

Correct. The cars following at a close distance behind the presidential car would have slowed down more severely than the presidential car, a phenomenon familiar to anyone who has driven in rush-hour traffic. Part of the motorcade did almost come to a halt.

What Yarborough recalled is what many of the supposed car-stop witnesses recalled: the cars behind the presidential car slowed down.

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