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Re-creating the Zapruder film

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Thank you Chris and Steven for the weighted average. I have never looked closely at the  3 second difference. I used to think the Wiegman image of the limo was problematic it would loose maybe 40 ft of travel down Elm if it slowed to 2mph for a couple seconds. But seeing the limo was going over 35 mph at the Wiegman position means the 40 ft difference is only about one second. not being able to come up with a dead accurate timing from head shot to Wiegman I have to assume the Wiegman position could represent the limo having slowed to 2mph.

Chris: I think 133 to 485 should be about 468 ft. I get 430 ft from 133 to 471 and frame 485 puts the limo about 40 ft farther into the overpass if going 35 mph. I get 16.8 mph average speed.

353frames (133-486)


425/353 = 1.2ft per frame = 14.94mph

16.8 - 14.94 = 1.86 difference in our two estimates. 1.86 mph is 2.71 additional feet traveled per second. Over 20 seconds it adds 70 ft. Near the overpass the limo was moving at 50 feet per second so this small difference would account for half of the missing travel time down Elm.

From frame 313 to 471 is 8.5 seconds. The 3 measurements on my chart from 313 to 471 add up to 8.38 seconds.
313 to 414 at 14 mph = 4.88sec.
414 to 454 at 25mph = 2.5sec.
454 to 471 at 38 mph = 1.0sec.
Adding these 3 separately I don't need to do a weighted average of the 3 but each separate one would need to be adjusted. I.E. At 414 the speed is 14 mph but obviously it was moving slower at the start of that measurement at 313.
The weighted average was one mph different than my estimate. I would assume the difference would be much less when calculating the weighted from 313 to 471 as that is when the limo was moving the fastest so it would drag the average down less. 
Does the 3 second difference you found apply to frames after 313 more than before 313?

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Mr. SHANEYFELT. Yes; because we were able to determine the speed of the camera, and thereby accurately determine the length of time it takes for a specific number of frames to run through the camera at this 18.3 frames per second, and having located these frame positions in the street, we took the farthest distance point we had in the Zapruder film which was frame 161 through frame 313.
This was found to run elapsed time from the film standpoint which runs at 18.3 frames a second, runs for a total of 8.3 seconds.
This distance is 136.1 feet, and this can be calculated then to 11.2 miles per hour.
Mr. SPECTER. Is that a constant average speed or does that speed reflect any variations in the movement of the car?
Mr. SHANEYFELT. That is the overall average from 161 to 313. It does not mean that it was traveling constantly at 11.2, because it was more than likely going faster in some areas and slightly slower in some areas. It is only an average speed over the entire run.
Mr. DULLES. Over the entire run between what points?
Mr. SHANEYFELT. Between frame 161 and 313.


Referring to my previous reference/posting of 14.94mph:

Using this CE884 version which was never officially released for public consumption.

z168-186 = 21.6ft/18frames = 1.2ft per frame = 14.94mph

z168-171 = .3ft per frame = 3.74mph = Film doesn't show it

14.94mph - 3.74mph = 11.2mph = Shaneyfelt above

Put into a different context and repeatedly stated:

10.2ft/.3ft per frame = 34 Zframes = 1.85seconds@18.3fps

z133-z486 + 34 = 387frames

Chris B's distance of 468ft

486 468ft/387frames = 1.209ft per frame = close enough

1.2ft per frame - .3ft per frame = .9ft per frame x 18.3frames = 16.47ft per sec / 1.47 = 11.2mph = See Shaneyfelt







Edited by Chris Davidson
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On 6/10/2022 at 11:22 AM, Karl Kinaski said:

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 
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 
 “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 
 “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 
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 


Close quote

Karl Kinaski - thanks for posting this, from my 2003 essay "Pig on a Leash."  The error made by Samoluk --and the level of incompetence it implied --was truly astonishing.  The account you describe (i.e., the failure to wind the camera, etc.) is identical to what Doug Horne described to me, years ago. So. . kudos for your excellent reporting. 

Let me now add my own personal experience .  Years later, I met Samoluk --as I shall describe in this post -- and he did not come off in any way as sinister.  His was simply  an absurd error.  Also, he was not a "technical" kind of fellow.  He was --per his bio on  the Internet-- a former Asst. Atty. General of Massachusetts, and today occupies a high level executive position at John Hancock Insurance.  But now back to Doug Horne, how we first met, and some other data re the ARRB.

FYI: I first met Doug Horne when he was employed by the Navy and stationed at Pearl Harbor.  A friend who ran a major Honolulu law firm arranged for me to give a lecture at (or sponsored by) alumni from his Hawaii prep school-- the Punahou School -- the same upscale Honolulu prep school that Obama (later) attended.  At the end of my talk, and during the Q & A, a fellow came forward from the audience, with a copy of Best Evidence, and asked me to sign it.  He said his name was Doug Horne, and was in the Navy, stationed at Pearl Harbor.  He told me he had heard about the proposed creation of the ARRB, and was going to attempt to seek employment there.  I thought that was great, and said so.  "Let me know how it turns out", I said.  Some months later, the phone rang (in my West L.A. apartment).  It was Doug.  "I'm in Washington," he said.  "I got hired!"  Really?!  Yes, he was hired, but -- get this --none of his expenses (traveling from Honolulu to Washington) had been paid for by the USG.  Not one dime.  Doug had paid for it all out of his own pocket. Travel from Honolulu to D.C. That was how serious he was about landing a position on the ARRB (and how meager their resources were that Doug paid for his own move from Honolulu, Hawaii,  to Washington, D.C.)

Meanwhile, hearings were about to start and, as I recollect -- a key issue was going to be the integrity (read "authenticity") of the Zapruder film.  "Doug, let's stay in touch!" I said.  "Call me regularly!  I'm going to put a recorder on my phone. Call me anytime anything of significance occurs. Let's record all the conversations. We'll have the makings of an oral history of the ARRB!"    And so it was: The phone would ring, it would be Doug Horne, and it often began with Doug saying, in a doleful tone, "You  won't believe what happened today."  I'd turn on the recorder, and off we went.

The Oral History  (we tried to create)

I remember one very hectic phone call when Marwell (who was a serious devotee of Gerald Posner) or Gunn (who was open to conspiracy, although it seemed to depend on what side of the bed he awoke, each morning) decided they were going to need serious technical assistance if they were going to "authenticate" the Zapruder film.  Focusing on Kodak, Doug had ended up in contact with Rollie Zavada.  He wanted a memo from me, listing the key issues to be explored--to show Gunn (as I recall).  The purpose, to get the necessary funds authorized.  I provided a brief list of the specifics ("car stop" witnesses, etc),  Doug wrote the required memo, and then steered it through the bureaucratic complexities.  The money was authorized, and that's how Rollie Zavada came to be hired.  Several times a week, Doug would call with a detailed account of what was happening; and so I ended up with shoe-boxes full of audio cassettes documenting my own "back channel" during this crucial period.   

For those who may not remember: the "life" of the ARRB (as distinguished  from the "JFK Records Act") extended from 1995 - 1998.   I have notes and audio recordings pertaining to this period.  There are two memories I'd like to relate here.  The first concerns Samoluk. 

Thomas E. Samoluk (aka "Samoluk")

He came out to SoCal (on ARRB business) and called me to have lunch.  I suggested "Back-on-the- Beach- Cafe," a restaurant actually built out on the beach, in north Santa Monica.  Some 75 feet away was the Santa Monica "bike path", a 10 mile concrete ribbon extending from Malibu (to the north), to Venice Beach (to the south).  On that bright sunny day -- and that certainly fit the description of the day I met with Samoluk-- it was populated with attractive beauties, roller-blading to the north and south, on that concrete bike path.  "Yes, I often come up here, with my laptop, and just sit and work," I told Samoluk, who was from Boston, where it was rainy much of the time.  What I remember most is Samoluk, sitting there in this beachfront paradise, fixated by the scene of these beautiful women, whizzing by on rollerblades, as we discussed the ARRB, and the question of the authenticity of the Zapruder film. 

Groden and the two checks for (a total of) $5,000

Regarding my "second" memory:  the ARRB was holding public hearings (circa 1995, approx), and I thought it would be a good idea to draft a plainly written "technical memo" explaining what "optical printing" was all about, so the reader would have a basic understanding of how "film forgery" would (i.e., might) work.  ASIDE: I had educated myself on this subject by going to the film library at UCLA's Melnitz Hall (the UCLA "film school.")  That's where I learned all about "optical printers," the basic tool necessary to alter motion picture film.  END ASIDE  So I drafted the memo, which dealt with the matter in a carefully written, elementary style, one purpose being to demystify "film alteration," and get past all the hocus-pocus of Robert Groden, with whom I had visited many times (at his home), and who maintained that the Zapruder film could not possibly be a forgery.  (He would never loan me a good copy of his Nix film, even though I paid him $5,000, a sum raised via contributions from several JFK researchers).   I used to carry photocopies of the $5000 (in the form of two $2500 cancelled checks) and joked that I did so to prove--should I appear opposite Groden on some TV program and he were to claim otherwise--that I actually paid Groden that money; but was careful not to even provide him xerox copies of the two checks, because he might try to cash them (joke!).  But now back to the ARRB. . .

My initiation to Optical Printers (and the matter of "splitting" a 16mm film, to get the 8mm format)

My memo focused on something very elementary, but was not necessarily known if you didn't own a home movie camera: how an 8mm film was "one half" of what was actually a 16mm film etc.  I sent copies to those conducting the investigation, my goal being to explain how optical printing worked.  And that as long as the film was remained "unslit," it could be treated as a 16mm film, and then (by dealing with the right or left "half,") be put on a standard optical printer (e.g., an Oxberry printer) and edited; i.e., "optically edited."   Anyway, I was in my apartment, with the TV on, when federal judge John Tunheim, who was chairing that day's public hearing, gave his opening remarks, and then said (approx.):  "And I would like to thank David Lifton, for sending our staff his memo on the Zapruder film". 

"You could have knocked me over with a feather," (as the saying goes).

To recap: I always felt good about the ARRB.  I knew I could write to Tunheim, if I wished. And of course I was staying in regular touch with Doug Horne, who more than once said that I was like a "sixth" member of the Board.  When the ARRB wrote its Report, I reviewed some of the galleys.  Doug was generous in giving me credit; but Gunn, who was completely schizophrenic on the issue of whether there was a high level plot (and very concerned about appearances) took out his blue pencil and deleted roughly half the references to me. Quite a few remained, but there would have been many more, if Gunn hadn't taken out his blue pencil and deleted many of them.

There is much else to relate, when time permits.   I would like to obtain a copy of that video clip, if anyone can locate it.  DSL , 6/18/22 - 11:10 PM, PDT

Edited by David Lifton
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@David Lifton

So you say Samoluk was not playing the fool by pretending he can't tell a cam with batteries from a cam you have to wind up with a wind up key but a genuine fool?
I don't believe it.
In the first place: Whoever gave Samulok the Zapruder Type cam why did he not told Samoluk: "That is a type of cam you have to wind up" and why  didn't they provide Samoluk  with the wind up key to wind up that cam?

The reason why we don't have a Zapruder-reference-film shot by a Zapruder-type -cam to compare it's features with the features of the Zappi-film is ARRB's Samoluk playing the fool. 

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3 hours ago, Karl Kinaski said:


@David Lifton

So you say Samoluk was not playing the fool by pretending he can't tell a cam with batteries from a cam you have to wind up with a wind up key but a genuine fool?
I don't believe it.
In the first place: Whoever gave Samulok the Zapruder Type cam why did he not told Samoluk: "That is a type of cam you have to wind up" and why  didn't they provide Samoluk  with the wind up key to wind up that cam?


Karl, the camera didn't need a separate key to wind it up. It had a built in lever at the side of it that you used to wind it up.

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@ Ray Mitcham ... thx for the clarification ...to me that makes Samoluks actions look even more suspicious ...    it escapes me why the ARRB wasn't sending him down to Dallas a second time to do his job which was to wind up the  camera, climb "Zapruders pesdestal and film ... not a very complicated task ...

Edited by Karl Kinaski
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