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Re-creating the Zapruder film


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In 2013, I stood on the same pedestal that Abraham Zapruder occupied when he filmed the assassination of JFK in Dealey Plaza.  Zapruder's film took just 26 seconds to capture the action of the limo moving at about 11 mph down the same patch of street that I recorded.  In my video, the cars were traveling at an average of about 35 miles per hour, and I recorded two passes down Elm Street in a total of 42 seconds -- about 20 seconds per pass.  This means that, if the cars I recorded had been traveling at just 11 mph down Elm Street, it should have taken much, much longer for me to record their passage (about three times longer, in fact).  This indicates that Zapruder's film should have taken 52 seconds, or longer, to capture the action on Elm Street between Houston Street and the triple overpass with the limo traveling at just 11 mph for most of the trip.  Allowing for a much greater speed in the last few seconds would still require more than 26 seconds overall to film the JFK assassination.  Unless the film was edited.  Food for thought.... 

Here's the URL of my video on YouTube:  https://youtu.be/bvsf6bZrzKk

Edited by Steven Kossor
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11 hours ago, Steven Kossor said:

In 2013, I stood on the same pedestal that Abraham Zapruder occupied when he filmed the assassination of JFK in Dealey Plaza.  Zapruder's film took just 26 seconds to capture the action of the limo moving at about 11 mph down the same patch of street that I recorded.  In my video, the cars were traveling at an average of about 35 miles per hour, and I recorded two passes down Elm Street in a total of 42 seconds -- about 20 seconds per pass.  This means that, if the cars I recorded had been traveling at just 11 mph down Elm Street, it should have taken much, much longer for me to record their passage (about three times longer, in fact).  This indicates that Zapruder's film should have taken 52 seconds, or longer, to capture the action on Elm Street between Houston Street and the triple overpass with the limo traveling at just 11 mph for most of the trip.  Allowing for a much greater speed in the last few seconds would still require more than 26 seconds overall to film the JFK assassination.  Unless the film was edited.  Food for thought.... 

Here's the URL of my video on YouTube:  https://youtu.be/bvsf6bZrzKk

Steven,

More food for thought.  Others have noticed this also.  I did a very simple and unscientific count of the time to travel down Elm.  This would be 26 seconds plus 21 seconds for a total of 47 seconds.  David Josephs did a better count, I believe, at 15 seconds.  That would be 41 seconds.  The missing time is in the Zapruder Gap.  There is simply no way to account for that gap without editing.  There are no startup and shutdown frames.  Zapruder said he did not quit filming.

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A serious attempt to shot a film with Zappis cam from that pedestal to compare it's features with the odd features of the Zappi-assassination film was made by the ARRB 1997 --and sabotaged by certain members of the ARRB. 

Quote, David Lifton PIG ON LEASH 2003 

(Douglas Horne Requests Test with Original Camera 
 Doug Horne knew what needed to be done: that film should be run through 
the Zapruder camera, in a test conducted at Dealey Plaza, preferably when the 
lighting was the same, and such test film be compared with the Zapruder film.  It 
didn’t  take  a  photo  expert  to  understand  why  this  should  be  done:  a  match 
between the test film and the Zapruder film would be powerful evidence that the 
Zapruder  film  was  a  genuine  original;  contrariwise,  any  mismatch  might  be 
probabtive, even definitive, on the issue of whether the film in evidence was not 
taken by the Zapruder camera.

 

 Neither David Marwell nor Jeremy Gunn wanted to do any such tests.  (WTF)


Marwell  looked with  complete  disdain  at  the  notion  that  the  Zapruder  film 
might  be  a  forgery.    He  said  he  had  experience  in  college,  either  on  the 
newspaper or in a photography club, with contact printing, and he just didn’t see 
how the film could be inauthentic. He kept bringing up the small size of an 8 mm 
film, saying: “You’d need engraving tools.”  As Doug observed later, he simply 
failed to inform himself about optical editing technology.   
Gunn was a different matter. When Marwell left the ARRB, and the problem 
was  passed  to  Gunn,  the  problem  was  political.    Gunn  did  not  have  good 
relations with the five Board members, who—Doug tells me—thought of him as 
a closet assassination buff (and he was, in some ways).  The Board members were 
essentially conservative, and Gunn knew they would never approve doing a test 
in  Dealy  Plaza;  that  their  fear  would  be  a  New  York  Times  headline,  “ARRB 
Suspects Zapruder Film Forgery”. 
Doug thought their fears were completely exaggerated. It was well within the 
rights of the ARRB to investigate the provenance of any assassination record, and 
“record” could be more important that the visual record of the Zapruder film? 
When Marwell departed as Exec Director to take outside employment. Gunn 
became Exec Director as well as General Counsel. This was the autumn of 1997. 
One day, Doug locked horns with Gunn on this issue.  
“I  insisted  on  a  film  test  in  Zapruder’s  actual  camera  in  Dealey  Plaza  on 
November 22 at 12:30 PM,” recalls Doug. 
Gunn was cold, austere, distant, even hostile. 
“What are your reasons for wanting to do this test?” he said. 
“Film authenticity,” replied Doug. 
“And  I  said  that  the  best  way  to  test  inauthenticity  would  be  to  see  if  the 
intersprocket sprocket image looked the same or not  as the intersprocket image 
on the film at the Archives.   That’s exactly what I said.” 
“He then completely astounded me by saying ‘Can you give me a reason to 
conduct this test that has nothing to do with authenticitiy?’” 
 “I  was  floored  by  his  question,”  recalls  Doug,  “And  I  said,  I  literally 
exploded: ‘I can’t believe you’re asking me that question. That’s ridiculous. The 
only reason to do this testis authenticity.’ 
Gunn said : “Let’s call Rollie and put it to a vote.” 
And  so,  right  on  the  spot,  he  called  Rollie  Zavada:  How  did  he  feel  about 
conducting  such  a  test—using  Abe’s  camera,  upon  the  white  pedestal,  on 
November 22, at 12:30 PM? 
 “I’ve already shot test film in Zapruder type cameras,” replied Rollie, “and 
the  only  thing  that  Doug  is  proposing  that’s  any  different  is  to  do  it  on 
November 22, at 12:30 P.M. 
Then Rollie delivered the coup de grace: “I see no reason to do this test with 
Abe’s original camera; it would be good enough to use any camera of the same 
make and model.” 
 “And at that point, I knew I’d lost,” recalls Doug. “I was devastated. Really, I 
was.” 
Gunn immediately. proposed a compromise. 
“We’ve  got  Tom  Samoluk  going  to  Dallas  on  other  business  around 
November 22 [1997]. Can you send us a Zapruder type camera filled with film, 
and we’ll conduct the test that Doug wants, which is to shoot it on 11/22 at 12:30 
PM?” 
 “And Rollie said, ‘Sure, I’ll do that.’ 
 “They thought they were doing a good thing,” says Doug. “I was extremely 
disappointed,  because:  (1)  A  film  pro  wouldn’t  be  conducting  the  test;  (2)  it 
wouldn’t be Abe’s camera.”   
Doug says that he knew that if Zapruder’s actual camera wasn’t used, then 
whatever anomalies were discovered would be attributed to a camera-to-camera 
variation. 
 “Those  were  all  the  things  running  through  my  mind,  so  I  was  very 
disappointed,” recalls Doug. 
But it wasn’t over—yet. 

Samoluk Goes to Dallas  


But let‘s return to Samoluk in November, 1997. It was November, 1997 when Samoluk went to Dallas, tasked with the job of taking  pictures  from  Zapruder’s  perch  on  November  22,  something  he  really didn’t  want  to  do,  because  Dealey  Plaza  can  be  a  zoo  on  assassination anniversaries. 
Meanwhile, Rollie had sent a camera via Federal Express; it was loaded with film,  and  with  directions,  in  a  box  to  the  ARRB  in  Washington;  and  now,  in Dallas, Samoluk retired to his hotel room, and opened the box. He pulled out the camera, pressed the trigger, to make sure it would run, and nothing happened.  He tried again.  Nothing.  Experimenting a bit in the hotel room, Samoluk became convinced that the camera was jammed, and gave up on 
the project. 
Upon returning to Washington, Doug ran over to him when he appeared at 
the ARRB offices, and asked excitedly (“like a puppy dog,” recalls Doug): “Did 
you conduct the test?” 
 “With a sheepish look on his face,” recalls Doug, “he replied, ‘No, I didn’t, 
the friggin’ camera jammed.’” 
 “What do you mean it jammed?” said Doug. 
 “Well, either it jammed or the batteries were no good!”, replied Samoluk. 
 “What do you mean, batteries?” said Doug, growing increasingly upset. “This 
camera doesn’t have batteries, you wind it with a  big gigantic key that is on the 
side of the camera.” 
 “And his jaw dropped open, his eyes got big, he got this ‘oh dooky’ look on his 
face.” 
Doug called Rollie and confirmed that there were no batteries, and that Rollie 
had not wound the camera before he sent it to the Review Board.  
Rollie  had  sent  a  long  list  of  operating  instructions;  but  nowhere  did  it  say 
”Wind the camera.”  
 “This  was  keystone  cops,  man,  USG  style,”  says  Doug,  reflecting  on  the 
experience. 

 

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Looking forward to participating in the conversation about the authenticity of the Zapruder film, now that there actually is a video shot from the same position with which to compare it.  Except in the realm of Quantum Mechanics, time runs at the same speed, no matter how it is recorded, so it makes absolutely no difference how the passage of time is recorded - an event that should take 52 seconds based on the speed of the action being recorded, which only takes 26 seconds, can't be a legitimate, authentic record of that passage of time. Sad that this debate is still being had.

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1 hour ago, Steven Kossor said:

Looking forward to participating in the conversation about the authenticity of the Zapruder film, now that there actually is a video shot from the same position with which to compare it.  Except in the realm of Quantum Mechanics, time runs at the same speed, no matter how it is recorded, so it makes absolutely no difference how the passage of time is recorded - an event that should take 52 seconds based on the speed of the action being recorded, which only takes 26 seconds, can't be a legitimate, authentic record of that passage of time. Sad that this debate is still being had.

Would it be fair to suggest that 50% of the frames are missing? 

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On 6/9/2022 at 7:53 PM, Steven Kossor said:

In 2013, I stood on the same pedestal that Abraham Zapruder occupied when he filmed the assassination of JFK in Dealey Plaza.  Zapruder's film took just 26 seconds to capture the action of the limo moving at about 11 mph down the same patch of street that I recorded.  In my video, the cars were traveling at an average of about 35 miles per hour, and I recorded two passes down Elm Street in a total of 42 seconds -- about 20 seconds per pass.  This means that, if the cars I recorded had been traveling at just 11 mph down Elm Street, it should have taken much, much longer for me to record their passage (about three times longer, in fact).  This indicates that Zapruder's film should have taken 52 seconds, or longer, to capture the action on Elm Street between Houston Street and the triple overpass with the limo traveling at just 11 mph for most of the trip.  Allowing for a much greater speed in the last few seconds would still require more than 26 seconds overall to film the JFK assassination.  Unless the film was edited.  Food for thought.... 

Here's the URL of my video on YouTube:  https://youtu.be/bvsf6bZrzKk

I know it is 26 seconds but I find it easier to evaluate it from fr 133 to 471 in this case. The map below averages the speed along 5 different stretches with an overall average of 16 mph.  430 ft in 18.1 seconds = 16.25 mph. The limo accelerated a lot in the last 100 ft.
I noticed in your video that from the 27 second point to 29 seconds a minivan passes across the screen from left to right. That would mean you were panning slower than the car was moving. In that time the car moves about 110 ft down Elm and you pan about 60 ft along the south lane(The car moving across the frame takes up the other 40 ft.). That should mean your panning rate was about maybe 23 mph for that section of the video.
 There are several factors that are hard to adjust for like the cars in the video are already moving 30+ after they cross Huston, that is why I start with fr 133.  But I think if you adjust for the camera panning around 23 mph and the JFK limo averaging closer to 16 mph the answer will come closer to what we see in the Z film.
 

z timing LOW.jpg

Edited by Chris Bristow
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The expertise in this group is so tremendous and the graphic Chris presented above is a good example of the level of scholarship that I aspire to!  When I shot that video, I tried to pan at different speeds at different times to approximate the faster and slower portions of the limo's progress down Elm Street, so I accept the average of my "panning speed" being about 23 mph.  If the limo's actual average speed was 16 mph as shown, there is still a time discrepancy, but it clearly isn't as enormous as the discrepancy that originally seemed to be the case (30 mph vs 11 mph is a gross oversimplification, for sure).  I think that the most useful thing that my recreation of the Zapruder film brings to the forefront is that Zapruder's film should have taken more than 26 seconds to complete the record of the limousine's transit down Elm Street.  How much more is open to question, of course, but any missing time had to have come from somewhere and my guess is that it's on the editing room floor.  Here's the updated URL for my recreation of the Zapruder film:  https://youtu.be/7-kzRXjuoYs

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Just did a little math.  If it took 19 seconds for me to record the cars on Elm Street at an average panning rate of 23 mph, then it should have taken Zapruder 27.31 seconds to record the events he filmed on Elm Street at an average rate of 16 mph.  If you consult the beautiful graphic above though, the weighted average of the reported speeds is 14.89 mph so the Zapruder film should have been 29.35 seconds long.  Three seconds missing.  Chris Davidson's thread analyzing the Limo Stop some time ago should be a good place to pick this up.

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It's really satisfying when the numbers come out so closely (great minds think alike!).  Always a pleasure to receive your input, Chris!  Best wishes always!!!

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A broken clock is right twice a day, right?

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