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CIA Views Zapruder Tape

Tim Gratz

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I thought the members would be interested in this information. (I cannot recall seeing it posted earlier; forgive me if it has been.)

In the evening of Saturday, November 23, 1963, the Secret Service brought over to the CIA a copy of the Zapruder film. The CIA’s top photo analyst, Dino Brugioni, developed still frames of the Zapruder film, which CIA director McCone took over to the WH to show to LBJ.

Source: Russo, Live By the Sword, Page 339.

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I thought the members would be interested in this information.  (I cannot recall seeing it posted earlier; forgive me if it has been.)

In the evening of Saturday, November 23, 1963, the Secret Service brought over to the CIA a copy of the Zapruder film.  The CIA’s top photo analyst, Dino Brugioni, developed still frames of the Zapruder film, which CIA director McCone took over to the WH to show to LBJ.

Source:   Russo, Live By the Sword, Page 339.

Very interesting indeed.

Did you know that Brugioni wrote a book on photo fakery?


Here is the cover of the book and a photo of Brugioni seen on the LEFT.

Edited by Denis Morissette
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  • 4 weeks later...

I found this book while web-surfing.

The University of Kansas published it,

and the credentials of the author are

those of a legitimate historian.

Has anyone read it?

John Simkins, could you invite him into the FORUM?

[Viewing the Zapruder, I believe the exit wound is blacked out.

JFK appears to have black hair on the back of his head after the 313 Z frame.

I think this is just special effects, and that NIX shows a white (brain and skull)

blowout to the rear, causing Jackie K. to chase the skull fragment straight back onto the hood of the Limousine.

The classic gunman tracks the Limousine,

but I believe the fatal headshot came from Kennedy's left, on the "flat"

near the intersection of the triple overpass and the south knoll parking lot.

This is where W. Tosh Plumlee heard shots from, and Al Carrier believes

the shots came from this area as well. ]


The Zapruder Film:

Reframing JFK’s Assassination

By David R. Wrone

November 2003

400 pages, 40 photographs, 22 in full color, 6-1/8 x 9-1/4

Cloth ISBN 0-7006-1291-2, $29.95 (t)

It is the most famous home movie of all time, the most closely analyzed 26 seconds of film ever shot, the most disturbing visual record of what many have called “the crime of the century.”

In 486 frames—a mere six feet of celluloid—Abraham Zapruder’s iconic film captures from beginning to end the murder of President John F. Kennedy in broad daylight. The film has become nearly synonymous with the assassination itself and has generated decades of debate among conspiracy theorists and defenders of the Warren Commission’s official report. Until now, however, no scholar has produced a comprehensive book-length study of the film and its relation to the tragic events of November 22, 1963.

David Wrone, one of our nation’s foremost authorities on the assassination, re-examines Zapruder’s film with a fresh eye and a deep knowledge of the forensic evidence. He traces the film’s forty-year history from its creation on the “grassy knoll” by Dallas dressmaker Zapruder through its initial sale to Life magazine, analysis by the Warren Commission and countless assassination researchers, licensing by the Zapruder family, legal battles over bootleg copies, and sale to the federal government for sixteen million dollars.

Wrone’s major contribution, however, is to demonstrate how the film itself necessarily refutes the Warren Commission’s lone-gunman and single-bullet theories. The film, he notes, provides a scientifically precise timeline of events, as well as crucial clues regarding the timing, number, origins, and impact of the shots fired that day. Analyzing it frame-by-frame in relation to other evidence—including two key photos by Phil Willis and Ike Altgens—he builds a convincing case against the official findings.

Without fanfare, he concludes that more than three gunshots were fired from more than one direction and that most likely none were fired by alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. If true, then JFK’s death was the result of a conspiracy, for the Commission’s nonconspiracy conclusion requires a maximum of three shots and one gunman.

Wrone, however, does not speculate as to who actually shot JFK or why—or even if Oswald was involved. In fact, he is just as critical of the legion of conspiracy theorists as he is of the Warren Commission (which, he reveals, crushed dissent within its own ranks).

Doggedly pursuing the evidence wherever it leads, Wrone has produced a meticulous, clear-eyed, and provocative new reading of this remarkable cinematic Rosetta Stone.

“An important, valuable, and compelling addition to the literature on the assassination that argues convincingly that the film is both authentic and contains evidence of a conspiracy.”--Michael L. Kurtz, author of Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination from a Historian’s Perspective

“The vivid images captured by the Zapruder film are eminently recognizable, perhaps more so than any other film footage ever captured, so much so that anyone who reflects on JFK’s assassination quite likely does so from Abraham Zapruder’s vantage point.”--Walter E. Dellinger III, Maggs Professor of Law at Duke University and former Solicitor General of the United States

“Wrone’s knowledge of the assassination’s evidentiary base is unparalleled.”--James H. Lesar, founder and president of the Assassination Archives and Research Center

DAVID R. WRONE is professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point.

Home | About the Press | Recent Awards | Contact Us | Order

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Books in Print: | By Author | By Subject | By Title | By Series

©2000 University Press of Kansas

2501 West 15th St., Lawrence, KS 66049

Phone (785) 864-4155; Fax (785) 864-4586

Edited by Shanet Clark
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Wrone wrote reviews of the books by GERALD POSNER and SEYMOUR HERSH

(he found lots of problems in both CASE CLOSED and DARK SIDE OF CAMELOT)

and gets this material published in standard history journals,

quite a feat, believe me.........

Here is his basic theory:


Shanet, Wrone is a history professor at the University of Wisonsin-Stevens Point who has specialized in the Kennedy assassination.  I am quite sure he has a web site but i have not checked it recently.

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  • 14 years later...
On 1/9/2005 at 9:36 PM, Denis Morissette said:

Very interesting indeed.

Did you know that Brugioni wrote a book on photo fakery?


Here is the cover of the book and a photo of Brugioni seen on the LEFT.

Its rare to find a link this old still functional. I might as well save it as text.

Photo Fakery Exposed!

Photo Fakery: The History and Techniques of Photographic Deception and Manipulation Dulles, Virginia: Brassey's, 1999.




Richard A. Widmann

Dino Brugioni begins his study of photo fakery with a brief discussion of Arthur C. Lundahl, the first director of the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center. Lundahl always cautioned that the discovery of a photo that has been tampered with "could have the impact of exploding gunpowder." From this initial thought, Brugioni leads the layperson through the explosive topic of photo fakery with the intent that his book will serve as a reference aid to identify photo fakery and manipulation. 

Brugioni, one of the founders of the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center, certainly has the credentials to write such a volume. Interestingly this CIA expert in the field of photo fakery and manipulation also co-authored the CIA report, "The Holocaust Revisited: A Retrospective Analysis of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Complex." 

In the 1979 CIA Report, which was touted by the media as the only photographic evidence of the Holocaust, Brugioni and his co-author, Robert Poirier, analyzed aerial reconnaissance photography to determine the activities at Auschwitz-Birkenau from June 1944 to January 1945. Although Brugioni has asserted that his interest in the subject was prompted by the television mini-series "Holocaust," others have theorized that the rise of Holocaust revisionism in the late '70's may have actually been the cause.

Brugioni's first experience with photo fakery occurred shortly after the CIA hired him in 1948. He notes that "it became immediately apparent to me, even as a neophyte in the intelligence game, that the Soviets had embarked on a massive program of misinformation during the war years. On reviewing still photos, I found that the Soviets had used heavy brush techniques to delete details of their weapons. Care had also been taken to portray their leaders in the most favorable light. Reviewing Soviet newsreels, I found that many battle scenes had been deliberately staged; often, dramatic scenes of one battle would be superimposed to show up in films of other battles."

Photo Fakery takes the reader through a complete course on photo manipulation. Brugioni explains that there are four different techniques for faking photos: removing details, inserting details, photomontage, and false captioning. The last of these varies from the earlier types in that the photo itself is not manipulated, but the context of what the photo is supposed to convey is falsified.

Examples of the four types of faked photos are presented. A shocking example of the removal of details comes from a Communist Romanian newspaper in which an individual standing in the background of a photo of Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev is simply removed from the photo; a bush fills in the space where this man stood. Another key method is the insertion of details. Brugioni writes, "a good technician can also add details that were not in the original photo. An artist can add in features that may be lacking on the photo." The photomontage is a composite image. Essentially multiple photos are combined to place one object in the context of another.

The final method of faking is false captioning. Brugioni tells us, "proper captioning of a photograph includes descriptive data regarding the 'who, what, where, when, and why' of the subject or scene. In falsely captioned photos only one or more of these elements is usually mentioned." An example is shown of a FBI photo in which a murder suspect is led to believe that one of his intended victims had been killed. The photo shows a man with what appears to be a bullet wound to the back. Brugioni explains that the photo was actually staged and the blood is nothing more than ketchup.

Not only does Brugioni reveal the methods of photographic manipulation and show many examples, he also unravels the history of photo fakery. Brugioni explains that "the art of photo faking is as old as photography itself." His book abounds with faked or manipulated photos dating back to the American Civil War. Such photos show corpses inserted into battle scenes and famous Generals added to group shots. 

Perhaps the most interesting chapter deals with "Spotting Fakes." Brugioni explains why photos have been faked, "Photos have been doctored for many reasons: fraud, greed, malice, humor, profit, deception, education, and to sway public opinion, to rewrite history, to sow discontent, and to waste the time of many people." Surprisingly, this chapter, which begins with reasons for fakery including "to rewrite history" and to "sway public opinion," actually concludes with a discussion of concentration camp photos and Brugioni's work on the subject. 

It is important to note that Brugioni in no way claims that any aerial photos of concentration camps are faked-although it must strike many as incredibly odd that they are included in his chapter on "spotting fakes." It also strikes this writer that Brugioni may be involved in a sort of game or challenge to his readers in general and to Holocaust revisionists specifically to discover his own chicanery.

Concentration camp photos in this chapter include one of Belsen after the British burned the barracks due to fear of an epidemic of typhus and typhoid. It is followed by the same photo run through various stages of computer enhancement to "reconstruct" the camp structures from the ash left from the burned buildings. Another concentration camp photo discussed is an aerial shot of Belzec. Brugioni notes that the photo "revealed the massive pits where the bodies were buried." He also includes one shot of the Birkenau camp from 25 August 1944 and one of Auschwitz I from the same date.

In his text he notes: "In 1978, photo interpreter Robert Poirier and I discovered World War II aerial photos of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp that had inadvertently been taken on leader film during an Allied reconnaissance mission against the nearby I.G. Farben Synthetic Rubber and Fuel Plant. Using a variety of density slicing and enlargement techniques, Holocaust victims who had arrived in boxcars at Auschwitz could be seen being marched to their deaths in the gas chamber. Others could be seen lined up at a processing center for slave labor assignments."

A close examination of these two photos in comparison to the 1979 CIA report on Auschwitz-Birkenau may generate some suspicions. Neither picture in Photo Fakery matches that in the CIA report. The photo of Birkenau in Photo Fakerymight be the same photo that is labeled No. 4 on page 9 of the CIA report. The Auschwitz I photo is closest to Photo No. 2 on page 7 of the CIA report.

In Fakery the Birkenau photograph is cropped very differently (if it is the same photo). The captioning and labeling is also different. In Fakery much more of the Women's Camp is shown and the "Gas chambers" are at the very far right of the photo. Actually it is impossible to see the extreme right of Crematorium II or Crematorium III. The photo goes right into the binding of the book. Therefore the Undressing Room of Crematorium III which is clear in the CIA report is not shown at all in Fakery. In Fakery there is a label reading "Gas Chamber Crematorium" which points to the thick line which may be a fence or hedgerow behind Crematorium II. The label in the CIA report that reads "Engine Room" and points to Crematorium III is now labeled simply "Crematorium." The label in the CIA Report that reads "Prisoners on way to Gas Chambers" now reads "Group on way to Gas Chamber."

Although the labels are different and the cropping is very different, the "prisoners" themselves match up exactly. Therefore it appears that Brugioni chose to use the same photo in both books but to alter its appearance in the more recent one. The odd "Zyklon openings" in Crematorium III clearly visible in the CIA report are now off of the photo entirely. It's not that they don't appear, it's that the photo is cropped to exclude them. The four "dots" that line up behind Crematorium II are still visible in Fakery. Note that the photo under discussion appears to be the same photo in John Ball's Air Photo Evidence on page 40. The new book crops it from "Prisoners undergoing disinfection" and cuts off at the vents of Crematorium II and Crematorium III. 

The Auschwitz I photo is similar to Photo 2 from the CIA report. However in the CIA report it is claimed that the photo is from 4 April 1944 while in "Fakery" it is labeled 25 August 1944. Also, the photo in Fakery is on an angle. In the CIA report the barracks are straight up whereas they appear at an 11:00 angle in Fakery. All of the photo labels are different. Otherwise the photos cover the exact same section of the camp. This photo is similar to the one in John Ball's book on page 44. However the photo in Fakery is upside down and cropped to only show the far right of this view. Actually there are details in Fakery which go further to the right than the photo in Ball's book.

Considering the photographs in Fakery in relation to John Ball's Air Photo Evidence is important. Ball theorizes in his book that a number of the photos in the CIA report have been faked. The particular method of fakery that he identifies is the adding of details. In Ball's work he concludes that "every mark which the authors of the CIA report used to conclude that homicidal gas chambers were in operation on the August 25th photos had been added to the photos after they were exposed in 1944."

One should wonder whether it is plausible that Brugioni altered the presentation of the photos in his new book due to the revisionist work of John Ball. In personal communication with Ball, he explained confidently, "I sent Brugioni my book in 1993 so his cropping has been done to cover up my expose of the drawn-on marks."

The most obvious example of photo faking by Brugioni is in regard to the "prisoners" in the Birkenau photo. John Ball is convinced that these marks were drawn on the photos. Recall that Brugioni admits that a good technician can add details to photos. We must also remember the fourth method of photo faking identified by Brugioni-false captioning. Brugioni claims in his CIA Report that the marks are "prisoners on [the] way to gas chambers" and similarly in Fakery as a "Group on way to [the] gas chamber." 

A good understanding of false labeling should make the reader question if indeed that group is on its way to the gas chambers or in fact are they merely on their way to the barracks or for that matter out for a morning jog. A single photograph of course can not reveal where the prisoners were headed. Only a long series of photos or a film could reveal such information. Surely an expert such as Brugioni knows this. But then again he himself admits that photos are doctored to "rewrite history" and to "sway public opinion."

Brugioni concludes his book by noting that "when a photo is manipulated in any way, truth is compromised; when truth is compromised, distrust begins." He is also quick to comment that "Communist and other nations often rewrote history by removing people and events from photos, despite the fact that copies of the original photos were usually available throughout the world." It's intriguing to wonder if this book might be a secret challenge to revisionists, or perhaps a private struggle of conscience for its author. 

We may never know Brugioni's motives for writing such a revealing book on photographic fakes, nor his motive in writing the CIA report on Auschwitz over 20 years ago. Perhaps Brugioni has considered Lundahl's warning that the discovery of a faked photo "could have the impact of exploding gunpowder." Is Brugioni having second thoughts about his CIA report? The answers to these questions may be explosive indeed.

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"could have the impact of exploding gunpowder."   More like the fizzle of wet gun powder.  I am surprised there was not more comment on this thread. 

There has been countless examples of photo fakery exposed on the forum.  And, as usual there are disbelievers and believers.  Folks are willing to bend reality to deny that which is readily apparent.  Well, are you a photogrammetrist?  Is to often the cry.  Or, there is some manufactured evidence presented to refute the obvious.

Here is an example of what Dino Brugioni was talking about. This is an example of a montage according to Brugioni.  Brugioni is using the term montage for composite imagery.


This photograph showing an Oswald graduating from an aviation electronics and radar operation class at Keesler Air Force Base at Biloxi, MS June 18, 1957.  This is Class 24047, Course 27330. 

Allegedly, this is Harvey Oswald.  But, the photo has been altered to show a Harvey Oswald.  Can you spot it? 

This is a closer look:


What you usually see and are probably familiar with is the following, which exhibits several of the techniques listed by Dino Brugioni.  This magnified and cropped photo avoids showing the weird aspect of the Oswald figure's left shoulder.  There has been much discussion on this photo and I believe, if memory is correct, that Jack White first exposed this as an altered image.   


I suspect from the sloping right shoulder and thicker right neck appearance (which are a characteristics of Lee Oswald) that we are seeing both Harvey and Lee here.

Actually, this crop photo exhibits 4 of the techniques name by Brugioni.  These are insertion, deletion, montage, and naming. 

Edited by John Butler
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Fakery and Counterfakery have kept the provenance of the Z film up for debate in the minds of most open-minded researchers. 

The honest photo experts seem to accept minor changes to the film could have been made and the insurmountably convincing amount of evidence for a large rear headwound fits well with at least a blacking out of the rear of JFK's head.

I have spent time reading what Alvarez said about the motion of the limo. Assuming this part of his analysis is factual, then it is also incomplete in some way. He accepts the witnesses stated the car rapidly accelerated after the 'third' shot, during the duration of the film but reports there is no such acceleration discernable. 

If a piece of the original film was removed ( around Z313) during which the car was braking and then accelerated, then the result may be a film showing a constant speed.


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