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Zapruder frame 317

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Found this image in a post by Jack White on the EF in 2010. Douglas Horne discusses frame 317 in his book Inside the ARRB. The "shadow" looks unnatural in relation to the brown colored hair at the top of JFK's scalp. I know this has probably been discussed to death.


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Posted (edited)
On 5/7/2024 at 7:49 PM, Charles Blackmon said:

Found this image in a post by Jack White on the EF in 2010. Douglas Horne discusses frame 317 in his book Inside the ARRB. The "shadow" looks unnatural in relation to the brown colored hair at the top of JFK's scalp. I know this has probably been discussed to death.



1998 MPI "Images of an Assassination" still of Z-317
The black patch is even more obvious in the crop of the 1998 MPI scan of Z-317 presented in Hany Farid's article which attempts to debunk the black patch thesis: https://farid.berkeley.edu/downloads/publications/tr10a.pdf
The black patch is equally evident in Jack White's presentation of the 1998 MPI scan of Z-317:
And the black patch is also visible in this 9/2/2020 letter written by Rollie Zavada which includes Z-317:   https://www.ebay.com/itm/403700159791
But for sure, Wilkinson and Whitehead's 6k scan of Z-317 from the "Forensic Copy" of the Zapruder film they purchased from the National Archives is superior to all of the above:
And why are Wilkinson and Whitehead's 6k scans superior even to the 1998 MPI "Images of an Assassination" stills?
The answer has to do with the distinction between and utility of logarithmic color versus standard colorization. The scratches and mold that you can see on the film are because the 6k scans were made in log color. Sydney Wilkinson explained this to Doug Horne in a letter that he read while being interviewed on the 1/7/2019 Midnight Writer News, Episode 107, https://midnightwriternews.com/mwn-episode-107-douglas-horne-on-the-zapruder-film-alteration-debate/ , as follows:
 "Our scans show everything in the frame, the good, the bad, and the ugly." By that they mean the scratches and the mold on the film. They wrote "There is so much detail that individual grains of 8mm film stock are evident in the 6k logarithmic scans. It's hardly pretty, but the images are glaringly sharp. That is why we see all the scratches, mold, dirt, stains, and other film anomalies. Linear color is what we view on our TVs and computers, the color looks right to us. The versions of the Zapruder film we see on television documentaries or DVDs like "Images of an Assassination" sold in 1998 or on YouTube have been cleaned up and color corrected. Much of the scratches, dirt, mold, etc., have been removed along with color correcting each scene to create a much richer looking element. The processes used to do this can be grueling and take a long time depending upon how much money and how much time the producers want to spend on it. But we did not want to make our images look prettier. We did not want to touch anything because our goal was to conduct a forensic scientific study of the film. We wanted to see what was really there in every frame not what might have been hidden or obscured by cleaning or color correcting. So logarithmic color, or log color for short, is what professionals use when coming from or going to film because it brings out much more detail in blacks and mid-blacks by stretching the blacks into grays. However, without color correction, which we have not done, the image looks a little washed out, but the amount of information in the blacks is substantially increased. The primary reason we want log color space was to see all the information in the shadows, and what we saw was astounding. If our transfer was linear color we never would have seen the patch on the back of the head in frame 317 or it would have looked like a shadow. Most importantly, log shadow space does not make a shadow look like a patch."   
Because Sydney Wilkinson and Thom Whitehead are professionals working within the film industry, they have been able to enlist true Hollywood experts in cinematography and post production who have performed content analysis of the Zapruder film. Among them are genuine cinematography professionals such as Ned Price (https://studentfilmreviews.org/?p=17707 ) and Paul Rutan, Jr. (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0751876/ ) who had the following to say about the Zapruder film. Look them up, they are the real deal.



"...This extreme close-up from the HD scan of Zapruder frame 317 is what prompted one noted Hollywood expert in post production -- Ned Price, the Head of Restoration at a major motion picture studio -- to say: "Oh that's horrible, that's just terrible. I can't believe it's such a bad fake." His film industry colleague, Paul Rutan, Jr., proclaimed we are looking at artwork in this frame (i.e., aerial imaging) -- not at "opticals" (i.e., traveling matte)...."

Horne's "Inside the ARRB," Vol. 4, p. 1361.
Even Rollie Zavada has acknowledged the black patch and conceded that "...it certainly looks like a patch; it looks like it could be an alteration...."
Although Rollie Zavada is not and never claimed to be an expert on film alteration or cinematography. Zavada was a Kodak employee with expertise in Kodachrome II film, and thus is not qualified to evaluate the Zapruder film for content falsification, and the ARRB  mandate that Zavada had did not include "content analysis" for which he is not qualified.  Zavada authenticated that the extant Zapruder film is on Kodak Kodachrome II film -- which is no surprise given that Hawkeyeworks was a joint CIA/Kodak facility -- and then went beyond his expertise to claim that the film had not been altered. But as you can see below, even Rollie Zavada, viewing an inferior copy of Z-317,  admitted that the black patch looks like an alteration, but not being an expert in film alteration, simply said he refused to believe it because he hadn't seen evidence of how it could have been done....

"It certainly looks like a patch; it looks like it could be an alteration. But I haven't seen evidence of how it was done, so I refuse to believe it."  

Having no expertise in film alteration whatsoever he resorted to blind faith in a sacred cow instead of following the evidence wherever it leads even though the Heavens may fall... 



"...In the breakout session, when Josiah Thompson asked him to display the controversial frame 317 and comment on whether the black object covering the rear of JFK's head was a natural shadow or evidence of alteration, Rollie [Zavada] put up the slide (a very dark, muddy image of 317 with much contrast present---an image greatly inferior to the Hollywood scans of the forensic copy), and then said words to the effect: "It certainly looks like a patch; it looks like it could be an alteration. But I haven't seen evidence of how it was done, so I refuse to believe it." [This is very close to a verbatim quote---guaranteed to be accurate in its substance.]

I and several others, including Leo Zahn of Hollywood, then suggested---demanded, actually---that Rollie display ALL of frame 317---not just the portion showing JFK's head. When this slide was finally displayed, I asked everyone present in the room what explanation those who were against alteration had for the extreme difference in density between the shadow on Governor Connally's head, and the extremely dense and dark (almost D-max) "anomaly" on JFK's head in that same frame. The two so-called "shadows" have absolutely no relation or similarity to each other, yet both men were photographed in the same frame, at the same instant in time, on the same planet, with the same light source (i.e., the sun). The ensuing silence was more profound than that inside the whale that swallowed Jonah. Rollie and Tink had no explanation for this. Nor does anyone else, who believes that the Zapruder film is an unaltered film. The most reasonable, and currently the only known explanation for this paradox in frame 317, is alteration---the blacking out of the true exit wound on the back of JFK's head in that frame, and in many others, with crude animation...."

'Josiah Thompson and Rollie Zavada at JFK Lancer: A Critical Report' by Douglas P. Horne, author of Inside the Assassination Records Review Board.

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"The Two NPIC Zapruder Film Events: Signposts Pointing to the Film’s Alteration" by Douglas P. Horne

Next to the Zapruder film chapter in Volume IV of Doug Horne's book, Inside the Assassination Records Review Board, I think that the online essay linked above is the best and most comprehensive tutorial on the Zapruder film that exists.

From the available testimony of CIA NPIC officials Homer McMahon and Dino Brugioni, it would appear that Hawkeyeworks in Rochester, New Your, was a highly classified joint CIA/Kodak film lab that was, in addition to NPIC, in possession of the camera-original Zapruder film on the weekend of the assassination, and all but a few documents from the second briefing board session at NPIC remain classified. I don't know why this would still be the case after all of these years other than that something highly nefarious took place, namely, alteration of the Zapruder film. When Homer McMahon was interviewed by the ARRB in 1996, and divulged the name of the facility, "Hawkeyeworks," the CIA immediately informed the ARRB that even the name of the facility itself was classified. The following is a memo from Doug Horne memorializing that communication:


For me, it is the alterations in the Zapruder film itself that are the surest indications that it was modified that weekend (we know it happened that weekend because the same alterations are present in the NPIC briefing boards made on November 24, 1963, and in the Zapruder film stills that were published in the November 29, 1963 assassination edition of LIFE magazine). In particular, the headshot sequence scenes depict damage to JFK's head that was not reported by any of the Parkland Hospital and Bethesda autopsy witnesses, and which is not present in the autopsy photographs; namely, a cavernous hole in the President's forehead, that is approximately the size of a cantaloupe, as we can see in the following stills from the 1998 MPI "Images of an Assassination" digital copy of the "original" Zapruder film which are highlighted to make the forehead crater clearer to the naked eye:



That wound is somehow -- perhaps magically? -- missing from the autopsy photographs:




The closest witness to the head wound, Jackie Kennedy, of course described to the Warren Commission a wound completely different than what we are seeing in those Zapruder stills above:

"I was trying to hold his hair on. From the front there was nothing -- I suppose there must have been. But from the back you could see, you know, you were trying to hold his hair on, and his skull on...." 

In the Zapruder film we can see Jackie feel the margins of the back of the head wound that she later described to the Warren Commission (and which roughly twenty Parkland Hospital doctors and nurses reported), just before she went out onto the trunk to retrieve a piece of brain that had been blown out of the back of her husband's head that she would turn over to Dr. Marion Jenkins upon her arrival at the hospital:


Notice above that what Jackie Kennedy appears to be feeling with her white gloved hand has the appearance of a large black blob instead of a bloody blow out wound. Zapruder film authenticity apologists of the variety that admit the existence of the large avulsive wound in the back of JFK's head generally claim that we are not seeing the blood, brain and skull we should be seeing because "Zapruder's camera just couldn't pick up such details"; but note that in the same footage WE ARE seeing Jackie's red roses, so WE SHOULD also be seeing the blood, brain and skull associated with that wound.

So what is the deal with that black blob that appears where the occipital-parietal wound should be? It is most clearly seen in frame 317 of Sydney Wilkinson and Thom Whitehead's 6K scans of the Forensic Copy of the "original" Zapruder film that they purchased from the National Archives in 2009, in which we more clearly see that the black blob is a hexagon shaped D-max black patch with sharp edges that has been inserted over the occipital-parietal wound, and is definitely not the "natural shadow" that Zapruder film authenticity apologists claim that it is:



And when we look at the clearest Zapruder film stills from the headshot sequence that follow Z-313 (the frame of the headshot) also from Wilkinson and Whitehead's 6k scans, we see that same black patch covering the back of the head wound morphing in shape from frame to frame:



What would professional cinematographers who are familiar with the special effects of 1960 era films think of this? We don't have to wonder, because Sidney Wilkinson and Thom Whitehead have already solicited opinions from some of them, and the following is what they had to say:


"...I’m going to present one last piece of evidence to complete my case. That evidence consists of expert testimony from three witnesses — Paul Rutan, Jr., Garrett Smith, and Dr. Roderick Ryan.

In my book An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story, I include a partial transcript of an interview of Rutan and Smith, both of whom closely examined a high-quality copy of the extant Zapruder film — that is, the film that is in the National Archives that is purported to be the original film but that is actually the altered, fraudulent copy of the film that the CIA secretly produced at its top-secret Hawkeyeworks facility in Rochester, New York.

I was fortunate to be able to include a portion of that interview in my book. The interview was conducted by Thom Whitehead, a Hollywood television and feature-film mastering editor specializing in motion pictures. The interview was conducted as part of a documentary on the Zapruder film that is being produced by Whitehead and his colleague Sydney Wilkinson.

Douglas Horne, the author of the watershed book Inside the Assassination Records Review Board and who served on the staff of the ARRB, requested permission from Whitehead and Wilkinson to include a portion of the interview in my book, and they graciously agreed. As far as I know, my book is the first and only place where that portion of the interview has been published.

Rutan and Smith

The following are excerpts from the partial transcript of that interview that I included in my book:

Smith: .…Now, as to my credibility, thirty-seven years in the movie business, I’m not sure how much lower you can go than that; and [I] just got done with nearly twenty-five years at Paramount, where I basically ran their mastering for most of those years and spent the last few years investigating new digital production technology.

Rutan: [I’ve] been doing this since 1968, I was delivering film in New York City; and then full time from ’74 I got hired to work for my Dad, and I worked for him for 12 years — started out as janitor, and then shipping, and then film cleaning, and then film repair, and then optical lineup, and then optical printing. So, ever since then I’ve worked for a couple of companies, set up a department at COMPAC video, and I had my own company for 14 years doing restoration.

Whitehead: Do you see any signs of alteration?

Rutan: Yes.

Whitehead: Where do you see them?

Rutan: Well [speaking while pointing at frame 313 on a large HD monitor], in the — this explosion right here doesn’t look, it’s, see [pointing] — it’s got defects on it — but it just doesn’t look real, it doesn’t look like blood, it just doesn’t look real….

Rutan: I think you’re looking at a patch, at a photographic patch that they put on the back of his [JFK’s] head. It’s crude, but if you run the film you’ll see that it moves — differently than his head does, as well. So, it’s an optical, some sort of an optical [effect] that they put on there, to not show the back of his head.

Whitehead: In your opinion, what do you think would have been the most likely way this would have been accomplished?

Rutan: With an optical printer, with an aerial optical printer….

Rutan: Well, the only thing I can see really is how predominant the black patch is in this particular frame [pointing]. I mean, it’s clear to me that that is not the back of his head, that that is some kind of a [sic] optical effect, that has been laid on the back of his head by an optical house. And this [pointing at the large pink “blob” on the right side of JFK’s head] is also an optical effect. But the back of his head is what always — what I’m always drawn to, because you — it’s almost like he’s wearing a toupee, because there’s the top of his head [pointing at JFK’s auburn hair on the very top of his head] and that’s basically the color it should be, and then it’s black, it’s just solid black.

Smith: You know, the density doesn’t match — the shoulders don’t match that [meaning that the shadow on the back of JFK’s shoulders does not match the black patch on the back of his head] and [the black patch] doesn’t match the top of his head [pointing to JFK’s auburn colored hair on top]….

Smith: It just seems really obvious that the frames where they’ve matted out the back of the head, and added in the pink splash, the pink water-balloon — whatever it is that’s supposed to be the blood — it’s just not even believable … maybe fifty years ago that might have passed muster, but for anybody — I mean — my impression is if I showed it to a 12-year old kid, they would say it was a cartoon…."


Edited by Keven Hofeling
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Dino Brugioni Commenting on Z-313 and Z-317 -- Heretofore Unseen Footage From Doug Horne Interview

'NEW, "Director's Cut" of French Zapruder Film Documentary "L'image 313" Now Up on YouTube!'
insidethearrb | November 22nd, 2023 | https://insidethearrb.livejournal.com/21743.html
My 60th Birthday
November 22nd, 2023

Greetings, on this sad 60th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.

America experienced a coup d'etat in 1963; the galactic center of the plot was in the Pentagon, and those angry men, the true power and impetus behind the conspiracy, were aided and abetted by willing handmaidens in the CIA (and some private sector individuals, one of them a former government official). Kennedy was murdered by his enemies---plural. The causes were his refusal to bomb and invade Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and his subsequent attempts to end the Cold War---which included not only detente with the USSR, but withdrawal from Vietnam by 1965, and his secret attempts in the fall of 1963 to pursue a rapprochement with Castro's Cuba.

I am proud to announce that the NEW, Second Edit, or "Director's Cut," if you will, of the French documentary released back on October 18th, is now UP on YouTube.

HERE IS THE LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZed8cNAu10

There are almost 8 minutes of new material added to this interesting documentary, directed by Yannick Rolandeau, and edited by his collaborator, Theo Bonaccio.

For those of you who have not read my original posting about this film, I will simply say that it is about the Zapruder film's diverted chain of custody the weekend following JFK's assassination---and what happened to the film during its diversion on Saturday evening, 11/23, from Chicago to the CIA in Washington D.C.; then on to Kodak Headquarters in Rochester, N.Y. on Sunday morning, 11/24, where the film was modified using visual special effects, and edited; then back to the CIA in Washington, D.C. late on Sunday night, 11/24.

The new material added to this "Director's Cut" of L'image 313 is of two types:

-good images of some of the high resolution Hollywood scans of the Zapruder film (digitally scanned at both 2K and 6K resolution), clearly showing evidence of alteration; and

-new video footage, that the world has not yet publicly seen, of the world's foremost imagery analyst, NPIC's Dino Brugioni, as he views some of the Hollywood scans, and as he views the Zapruder film as a motion picture for the first time since he saw the unaltered film on November 23, 1963.

I highly encourage all of you to watch this new, improved version of Yannick Rolandeau's film.

We can honor the 35th President not only by studying his policies and actions during his administration---understanding the key decisions he made and their context---but we can also honor him by not succumbing to the continuing lies told about his assassination, and by uncovering different elements of the U.S. government coverup. This French documentary is an important new part of that effort. END
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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Richard Bertolino said:

Jackie sticks her fingers into the black spot in frame 336 and seems very shocked in frame 337.


Just as interesting when it comes to Zapruder frames 335 and 337 is that we are seeing Jackie Kennedy's pink shoulder pad where JFK's forehead should be. As you are pointing out, the stills and film footage show that Jackie is concerned about the large avulsive wound in the back of the President's head, but if JFK's forehead were actually missing as depicted below, then her attention should have been on that anterior head damage instead, right?

Note Jackie's white gloved hand probing the margins of the back of the head wound (covered by the black patch in the film) here:



And the following are Z-335 and 337 in which we see Jackie's pink shoulder pad where we should be seeing JFK's forehead:









Edited by Keven Hofeling
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Doug Horne told the story of how Sidney Wilkinson and Thom Whitehead became involved in Zapruder film research in his "Addendum: The Zapruder Film Goes to Hollywood," of his 2009 "Inside the ARRB," Chapter 14, Vol. IV, as follows:

"...On June 3, 2009 I exchanged introductory e-mails with one Sydney Wilkinson, an accomplished professional in film and video post-production in Hollywood—specifically, in the marketing of post production services within the motion picture film industry. She has decades of experience under her belt in dealing with editors, experts in film restoration, and film studio executives. She lives and breathes the professional culture of the motion picture film industry, and has working relationships with many of the major players involved in post-production in Hollywood. When she first introduced herself to me she insisted that she was neither a researcher, author, nor a historian; and in spite of her continued self-deprecation, I have explained to her on numerous occasions since that day that she is now indeed a JFK assassination researcher, by simple virtue of what she is doing, whether she ever publishes a word or not! We are what we do, and what Sydney Wilkinson has done is truly extraordinary.

Sydney revealed to me in short order that she had purchased a dupe negative on 35 mm film of the Forensic Copy of the Zapruder film created by the National Archives. She did so purely for research purposes, to satisfy her own curiosity about whether or not the extant film in the Archives was the authentic out-of-camera original, or whether it was an altered film masquerading as the original. She had already purchased a copy of the Zavada report from the National Archives and knew its contents backwards and forwards, and was also familiar with the interviews of Homer McMahon and Ben Hunter of NPIC conducted by the ARRB staff in 1997. She was aware of my former role as the ARRB’s liaison with Kodak and Rollie Zavada, and was also very familiar with the existing literature about the film’s possible alteration. In short, she was simply a very curious American citizen who, out of both natural curiosity and a sense of patriotism, wanted to know the truth about this famous film. She had literally “put her money where her mouth was” by forking out $ 795.90 for a 35 mm dupe negative of the Zapruder film from a source whose honesty and integrity could not be challenged by any future researchers: the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Counting the extant film as zero, she had obtained a fifth generation copy (as explained earlier in this chapter). If she had requested a projection print (i.e., a positive) she would have purchased a fourth generation copy; but the preferred medium for studying film characteristics in Hollywood is a motion picture negative, so she settled for a dupe negative of a fourth generation projection print. She wanted a dupe negative because her intent from the beginning was to subject the Zapruder film to the serious, professional scrutiny of Hollywood film professionals in an attempt to resolve the ongoing debate about its authenticity. Sydney’s attitude going into this effort was similar to my own attitude about the Zapruder film when I began working for the ARRB in 1995; she was very curious about the issues that had been raised about the Zapruder film’s authenticity, and simply wanted to know the answer, one way or the other.

I was stunned by the simplicity and power of the concept behind her ongoing research effort: only Hollywood visual effects technicians or other film professionals familiar with the optical effects techniques of the 1960s would be truly qualified to say whether or not there was evidence of alteration in the Zapruder film’s image content! While Rollie Zavada was a film chemist and a Kodak project manager (and was eminently qualified to study film density and edge print), he had no practical experience with the creation of motion picture visual effects, and I therefore viewed him as unqualified to make a final determination as to whether or not the Zapruder film was an altered film. (The ARRB’s senior management understood this also, which was why he was not asked to comment upon the film’s image content in his limited authenticity study.) I immediately wondered:

Why hadn’t anyone ever attempted this before? If anyone had attempted it before 2003 (the year that Monaco in San Francisco made the Forensic Copy of the extant film for NARA), the only tool available for study in Hollywood would have been a multi-generation bootleg copy of one of the Moses Weitzman blowups (from 8 mm to 35 mm) made circa 1968; because the provenance of the bootleg copy would have been suspect, so would any results obtained from such a study. If anyone had attempted this subsequent to 2003, neither Sydney nor I was aware of such an effort. Intuitively,

I felt that this was a “first.” A big first. For about thirty years, from 1963 to 1993, the Zapruder film’s authenticity was assumed, and went largely unquestioned, and the principal arguments about the film had been about what its image content depicted. For about the past fifteen years, most of the arguments pertaining to the film had been about its authenticity, not about its image content. The beauty of Syd Wilkinson’s research effort was not only that qualified Hollywood professionals would now be assessing the extant film’s image content to determine whether any frames showed evidence of alteration, but that the provenance of the film being studied could not be questioned! She was not going to be asking Hollywood to study a bootleg copy: she had a bonafide, genuine, guaranteed, unaltered copy of the extant film in the Archives. Truth is often the daughter of time. Conducting this kind of study was an idea whose time had come, and such a study was now overdue. I could hardly believe my good fortune at being included in her research effort.

Sydney then stunned me by saying that someone close to her who was an editor had arranged for an HD (high-definition) digital scan of each frame on her dupe negative, and that the HD scan was already completed. The HD scan of each 35 mm frame contained 1080 pixels in the vertical dimension and 1920 pixels in the horizontal direction, literally a wealth of information. Furthermore, the HD scan performed of each frame was a so-called “flat” or “exposure neutral” scan, in which the film’s images were NOT manipulated to make them more pleasing to the eye (as MPI did with its Ektachrome transparencies taken of each frame in 1997). Wilkinson and her editor friend instructed the person who performed the HD scan not to “clip the whites” or “crush the blacks” when conducting the scan. Such practices are commonly employed by video editors during post-production to make films more visually appealing, but when this occurs detail and valuable information is lost.

The HD scan created of the dupe negative of the Zapruder film was neutral, meaning that it was not shaded or manipulated for artistic or aesthetic purposes, and that there was a maximum of detail to study from each film frame.

And in two frames in particular, those details were apparently stunning, and quite damning. Sydney e-mailed to me JPEG images of two of the HD scans—frames 220 and 317. What I saw was electrifying, and certainly appeared to me at first blush (as they had to Sydney and a close associate of hers who is a video editor) to be evidence that the extant Zapruder film was an altered film, something I had just concluded, for a host of reasons, earlier in this chapter...."


And Doug Horne provided a synopsis with additional details in his online essay entitled "The Two NPIC Zapruder Film Events: Signposts Pointing to the Film’s Alteration

"...Altered Head Wound Imagery: 

California resident Sydney Wilkinson purchased a 35 mm dupe negative of the Zapruder film from the National Archives in 2008—a third generation rendition, according to the Archives—and with the assistance of her husband, who is a video editor at a major post-production film house in Hollywood, commissioned both “HD” scans (1920 x 1080 pixels per scan) of each frame of the dupe negative, as well as “6K” scans of each frame. Because the Zapruder film’s image, from edge to edge, only partially fills each 35 mm film frame obtained from the Archives, the so-called “6K” scan of each frame is therefore ‘only’ the equivalent of a “4K” image, i.e., 4096 x 3112 pixels, for each Zapruder frame imaged. Each Zapruder frame scan still constitutes an enormous amount of information: 72.9 MB, or 12.7 million pixels per frame. These “4K equivalent” scans of the Zapruder film used by this couple to conduct their forensic, scientific study of the assassination images are 10-bit log color DPX scans, otherwise known in common parlance as “flat scans.”

These logarithmic color scans bring out much more information in the shadows than would the linear color normally viewed on our television screens and computers. Therefore, much more information in each Zapruder film frame is revealed by these logarithmic scans, than would be revealed in a linear color scan of the same frame.

As reported in the author’s book, numerous Hollywood film industry editors, colorists, and restoration experts have viewed the “6K” scans of the Zapruder film as part of the couple’s ongoing forensic investigation.

In the logarithmic color scans there are many frames (notably 317, 321, and 323) which show what appear to be “black patches,” or crude animation, obscuring the hair on the back of JFK’s head. The blacked-out areas just happen to coincide precisely with the location of the avulsed, baseball-sized exit wound in the right rear of JFK’s head seen by the Parkland Hospital treatment staff, in Dallas, on the day he was assassinated. In the opinion of virtually all of the dozens of motion picture film professionals who have viewed the Zapruder film “6K” scans, the dark patches do not look like natural shadows, and appear quite anomalous. Some of these film industry professionals—in particular, two film restoration experts accustomed to looking at visual effects in hundreds of 1950s and 1960s era films—have declared that the aforementioned frames are proof that the Zapruder film has been altered, and that it was crudely done.[35]If true, this explains LIFE’s decision to suppress the film as a motion picture for twelve years, lest its alteration be discovered by any professionals using it in a broadcast.

The extant Zapruder film also depicts a large head wound in the top and right side of President Kennedy’s skull—most notably in frames 335 and 337—that was not seen by any of the treatment staff at Parkland Hospital.

The implication here is that if the true exit wound on President Kennedy’s head can be obscured in the Zapruder film through use of aerial imaging (i.e., self-matting animation, applied to each frame’s image via an animation stand married to an optical printer)—as revealed by the “6K” scans of the 35 mm dupe negative—then the same technique could be used to add a desired exit wound, one consistent with the cover story of a lone shooter firing from behind.

The apparent alteration of the Zapruder film seen in the area of the rear of JFK’s head in the “6K” scans is consistent with the capabilities believed to have been in place at “Hawkeyeworks” in 1963.

In a recent critique of the author’s Zapruder film alteration hypothesis, retired Kodak film chemist (and former ARRB consultant, from 1997-1998), Roland Zavada, quoted professor Raymond Fielding, author of the famous 1965 textbook mentioned above on visual special effects, as saying that it would be impossible for anyone to have altered an 8 mm film in 1963 without leaving artifacts that could be easily detected. I completely agree with this assessment attributed to professor Fielding, and I firmly believe that the logarithmic color, “6K,” 10-bit, DPX scans made of each frame of the 35 mm dupe negative of the Zapruder film have discovered just that: blatant and unmistakable artifacts of the film’s alteration.

Critics of this ongoing forensic investigation in California have tried to dismiss the interim findings by displaying other, dissimilar images from the Zapruder film that have been processed in linear color (not logarithmic color), and in some cases are also using inferior images of the Zapruder film of much poorer resolution than the 6K scans, or images from the film in which the linear color contrast has been adjusted and manipulated (i.e., darkened).

Saying that “it just isn’t so” is not an adequate defense for those who desperately cling to belief in the Zapruder film’s authenticity, when the empirical proof (the untainted and raw imagery) exists to back up the fact that it is so.

Anyone else who purchases a 35 mm dupe negative of the Zapruder film from the National Archives for $795.00, and who expends the time and money to run “6K” scans of each frame, will end up with the same imagery Sydney Wilkinson has today, for her scans simply record what is present on the extant film in the National Archives; she and her husband have done nothing to alter the images in any way. Their scans simply record what is present on the extant film...."




Edited by Keven Hofeling
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1 hour ago, Charles Blackmon said:

Worth "discussing to death" because of the profound implications!

In my opinion, you are absolutely right. It is the only option we seem to have to counter the dark forces that continue to seek to conceal the truth, as exemplified by the following which has happened to Sydney Wilkinson and Thom Whitehead's efforts to make their documentary about the Zapruder film entitled "Alteration." To me, it appears that the Sixth Floor Museum, operating as a CIA front, is having some success suppressing the documentary, as outlined below:


In November 2010, Sidney Wilkinson encountered a problem with the Sixth Floor Museum -- that should raise some eyebrows -- which derailed her production plan for her documentary. The short version of that story is told by Dr. David Mantik in the following video:



Doug Horne, Dr. David Mantik, and Sydney Wilkinson on apparent fraud in Zapruder film transparencies committed while in the custody of the Sixth Floor Museum:


Excerpt from 'THE JFK ASSASSINATION DECODED: Criminal Forgery in the Autopsy Photographs and X-rays' by David Mantik, MD, PhD.
April 15, 2013
Revised November 2021
David W. Mantik (DM) and Sydney Wilkinson (SW)
Within several years of the JFK assassination, David Lifton had been captivated by the Zapruder images81 following frame Z-313 " ...because the back of the head seemed all blacked out."82 Curiously, this was several years before he began to suspect that the entire film had been (illegally) edited. He recalls that when Wesley Liebeler (in 1967) had ordered the 4x5 inch transparencies from LIFE magazine for his class (see further discussion of these below) the back of the head still lacked detail.83 In June 1970, under the ruse of a possible purchase, Time-Life permitted Lifton and colleagues to examine multiple film items at their Beverly Hills office. These included 4x5 inch transparencies, an 8 mm film, a 16 mm film and a 35 mm film.84 The back of the head still seemed blacked out to Lifton, which was also consistent with the LIFE magazine images.
On that occasion, Lifton viewed the frames after Z-334 (the last one published by the Warren Commission) and discovered that the supposed right facial wound of JFK (not seen by anyone at Parkland) was enormous-and that it appeared merely to be artwork. Provoked by this, Lifton then studied "Insert Matte Photography" and suggested that the "blacking out" effect might also be artwork.
The blacked-out posterior skull was radically inconsistent with the recollections of the Parkland physicians. More to the point, though, it was also thoroughly inconsistent with their contemporaneous notes, which are included in the Warren Report. These professionals uniformly recalled a right posterior skull defect about the size of an orange. These doctors also (uniformly) disagreed with the autopsy photographs, which, like the Zapruder film, showed no posterior skull defect. In fact, this disagreement (about the hole in the back of the head) was so scandalous that I listed sixteen Parkland physicians85 who stated that the autopsy photographs86) were distinctly different from what they recalled. On the contrary, no physician who saw the autopsy photographs (of the back of the head) immediately recognized them.
Based on my own viewing of the autopsy photographs and X-rays on multiple occasions at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and greatly assisted by optical density measurements made directly on JFK's X­ rays at NARA, I proposed a skull reconstruction87 with a large upper occipital defect. In addition, an adjoining site just to the right of this defect) appeared to be a bone flap that could swing open or closed, which was consistent with the recollections of Dr. Robert McClelland. In fact, McClelland had approved a sketch for Josiah Thompson, which was accompanied by his own pertinent quotation about the bone flap.88 Based on these considerations, even if one accepted an intact (or nearly intact) posterior scalp (i.e., just the soft tissue), a fairly large posterior skull defect could no longer be denied. Curiously enough, such a bony defect was in fact, also consistent with the drawings by autopsy pathologist J. Thornton Boswell.89
So now the question became obvious: How could the scalp appear so intact in the Zapruder film (and in the autopsy photographs), while an obvious defect was seen at Parkland Hospital (at least in the bone, but probably also in the scalp)? Actually, the problem lay even deeper than that: The ancillary autopsy personnel (at Bethesda) agreed with the Parkland witnesses-they also recalled a large hole in the posterior skull.90 Photographs of these witnesses--from both Parkland and Bethesda--consistently illustrated the hole and were compiled by Robert Groden.91
The issue of a posterior skull defect is not a mere curiosity--on the contrary, it goes to the very heart of the JFK assassination case. Such a defect clearly implies a frontal shot, and therefore unavoidably means conspiracy. If the forensic evidence had to be altered (to cover-up a conspiracy), then this posterior defect was an indispensable target for alteration.
The remainder of this essay is a first-person account of our mutual attempts to decipher this paradox of JFK s posterior skull especially as seen in the Zapruder film.
In 2008, my partner (and husband), Thom Whitehead, sold our startup editing company to Deluxe Film Labs. Thom was hired to oversee their newly created editorial department in Burbank, and I chose a new path. After spending over twenty years in sales and development in the post-production industry, I was ready for a new challenge.
I have been interested in the JFK assassination history for decades. In 1978, I spent a memorable college semester in Washington, D.C., working as a congressional intern and studying the activities of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). One of the key subjects that piqued my interest was the iconic Zapruder film. In 2008, I rekindled my interest and began to read about the film with a renewed vigor. I was surprised to discover there were serious concerns about its authenticity. Most notably, there had never been a truly independent, forensic, imaging study---one that was not connected to a government or private entity. It suddenly dawned on me that I might have a golden opportunity to delve deeper into the film imagery by utilizing the resources of Deluxe Labs92--one of the largest and most prestigious professional film labs in history. We knew they would allow us to use any/all of their state-of-the-art film and digital technology. Additionally, considering that Thom and I had spent years working with the top film restoration and post-production experts in the world, I felt confident we would be able to solicit their professional, unbiased guidance. With the absolute best technology and talent available at the time, all we needed was the best possible film element to study.
In November 2008, we purchased a 35mm duplicate negative (dupe neg) of the "forensic version' of the Zapruder "camera original" 8 mm film housed at NARA. It is a US government authorized and certified, third generation film copy. To our surprise, and to the best of our knowledge (as of 2018), it is the only third generation 35mm dupe neg acquired for the purpose of an independent, expert evaluation since NARA made such elements available to the public in 2003.
The following is a brief timeline of the steps I had to take to acquire our 35 mm dupe neg from NARA. It took eight months, and they certainly did not make it convenient, or cost effective in 2008. I hope they have simplified the process since then.
1. I called NARA in March 2008 and was referred to James Mathis, PhD Archivist, Special Access and FOIA Staff. I asked him about access to the original Zapruder film for a potential documentary film project, and what I needed to do in order to purchase the best possible film copy for research purposes. I was baffled when he informed me that the first step (for some forever unexplained reason) was to purchase a copy of the (Roland) Zavada Report93 that had been commissioned by the Assassination Records and Review Board (ARRB) during its tenure. He said NARA considered the report to be the definitive work on the authenticity of the Zapruder film and only after I had carefully read it, and still had questions would they consider moving forward with my request. I did not know any better at the time, so I paid $553.50 for a photocopy of the Zavada Report94 and read all of it--well, at least, the pages that were legible. (The black and white photographic prints of versions of the Zapruder film were useless.)
2. A few months later, I called Leslie Waffen, who at the time was Branch Chief of the Sound and Motion Picture Branch at Archives II, in College Park, Maryland. I introduced myself and told him I had read the Zavada Report and would like to move forward with purchasing a 35mm duplicate negative film copy of the original Zapruder film. To my surprise, he said he had no idea why I had been told I needed to buy, and read, the Zavada Report before moving forward. Really? He explained that my next step was to get written permission from the Sixth Floor Museum95 who owned the copyright to the Zapruder film.
3. In August, I contacted the Sixth Floor Museum and spoke with Gary Mack, who referred me to Megan Bryant. I explained to her that, presently, we were going to use the 35mn dupe neg for research purposes only but were hoping to eventually include it in documentary project sometime in the future. I understood that she would send me the licensing fees if that came to fruition. I followed her instructions on how to obtain their official authorization by completing the 'Formal Reproduction Request" form on their web site, followed by multiple phone conversations with Ms. Bryant.
4. In October, the Sixth Floor Museum approved my request and Ms. Bryant faxed an authorization letter directly to Mr. Waffen at NARA.
5. A few days later, Mr. Waffen96 gave me the names of three ARA­ authorized post-production facilities from which to order our film element directly. I contacted all three, but only one facility (Colorlab film transfers. I paid $795 directly to them and received our film via FedEx a few weeks later.
According to NARA, the film element used to complete my transfer was their 35mm Intermediate (or "reproduction") copy, which is an interpositive,97 silent, color film descended from the direct blow-up 35mm Internegative. NARA considered it to be a "preservation master." At that time, they offered two versions to the public: (1) a "forensic” version--a 35mm, direct optical blow-up Internegative (without any image improvement) from Zapruder's 8mm camera "original,"98 and (2) a “de-scratched" version--a 35mm film element that has been "cleaned up" to look visually appealing. The latter effectively removes dirt and scratches via "a diffused light source in analog printing instead of using a traditional wet-gate method.99 We chose the forensic version because we wanted to work with unadulterated images--as close to the "original" as possible--where nothing had been done to enhance or improve them in any way.
We scanned our 35mm dupe neg directly to 6k files using a Northlight film scanner. At the time, the Northlight scanner was instrumental in the production of Hollywood films and was considered state-of-the-art technology in post­ production.100 It created digital files from the optical image of a film. Great care was accorded to this process in a post-production environment because the introduction of any artifacts or discontinuities could ruin the day for a film director or director of photography. The digital file that is created must replicate exactly the image on the film and reveal all the information present on each film frame.
Due to the relatively small size of the original 8mm Zapruder film (when viewing the entire 35 mm frame on the dupe neg) we decided to scan at Northlight’s maximum available scan size of 6k. The 6k refers to a size of 6144 x 4668 pixels with an effective size of 114.7 Mb of digital data per frame. To put this into perspective, a home HDTV only presents 1920 x 1080 pixels with about 9.7 Mb per frame. Therefore, our scans have more than ten times the resolution and data size as an HD television image. This additional resolution allowed us to electronically zoom into the image without any apparent loss of detail or fidelity. Finally, we could see down to the grain of the 8mm film with complete sharpness and detail--including all of the inter-sprocket and edge areas. As far as we know, the Zapruder film had never been reproduced or studied at this level of digital resolution.
Another important aspect of our scanning process was the use of logarithmic color space, rather than linear color space. This is critical because the use of logarithmic color allows all the color information of the image to be present in the scans, preserving all of the highlight and shadow information. Linear color is what we are accustomed to seeing on TV and computer screens. Although linear color looks correct/normal and lifelike to our eyes, very bright and dark areas of the image must be "clipped" in order to make the majority of the image appear correctly. Logarithmic color, although looking to the untrained eye as "muddy" or "flat," is actually the best way to retain all of the color information in the film.
Finally we used the film industry standard "DPX" (Digital Picture eXchange)101 format to allow easy transfers between various professional workstations. One of the state-of-the-art workstations we continue to use is an Autodesk product called Smoke.102
In 1997 with Douglas Home of the ARRB staff serving as a neutral observer, MPI's designated film contractor, Mccrone Associates, photographed each frame of the extant Zapruder film at the NARA, using large format (4 x 5 inch) Kodak 6121 color positive transparency duplicating film. Those MPI transparencies constituted first generation copies of each frame in the extant film. The extant film is considered to be generation zero. This MPI process had its own shortcomings104 but following their creation these images should have been the best available to the public. (Later, MPI digitized, manipulated, and reassembled the in1ages as a motion picture, creating a product titled "Image of an Assassination" on both VHS tape and DVD, which has been available for purchase by the public since 1998.) The so-called “MPI transparencies" created by McCrone associates were physically transferred to the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas in January of 2000. This followed the donation and legal transfer of the film's copyright, and the LMH Company's film elements, from LMH Co. to the Museum in December of 1999. From 2000 through 2009, upon appropriate request, these MPI transparencies--true first-generation copies (of the extant film), in large format-were available for public viewing at the Museum.
Appearing in late November 2009, this five-volume encyclopedic work by a former staff member of the ARRB contained images of several Zapruder frames--based on Wilkinson's 6k scans. In particular, Figure 88 in Volume I (an image of Z-317) showed a black geometric patch over the back of JFK's head. (See the image below.) Even in the low-resolution format of a paperback, its borders were preternaturally sharp and well defined, far more than would be expected of a normal shadow.
Several months before publication of his book, Home advised me that he planned to visit Thom and Sydney in Los Angeles, so in August 2009, he invited me to their joint viewing.105 While in the film laboratory for several hours, they explained their 6k scans to us. Horne had also viewed them on a prior occasion with three Hollywood professionals. I was particularly fascinated by how unnatural the black patch looked:
• After frame Z-313, this area was clearly darker than before Z-313; before Z-313, JFK's hair looked auburn.
• The edges of the patch were unnaturally sharp.
• Before and after frame Z-313, the back of Connally's head (in a similar shadow as JFK's head) did not show anything like a black patch.
On Friday, November 20 2009, during the weekend of the annual JFK symposium meetings, David Mantik and I met for an appointment at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. I was very excited because we were going to view the first generation Ektachrome transparencies created by MPI in 1997. We were told they were made directly from Zapruder's 8mm camera "original," which meant they were first generation and should have been sharper than our 35mm dupe neg (third generation). According to the Museum, these MPI transparencies were included in a deed of gift from the Zapruder family in December of 1999, along with the copyright to the Zapruder film (and other important Zapruder film elements) from Time-Life, Inc. My primary goal was to determine if the MPI transparencies showed the same anomalies seen on our scans. I was prepared for either outcome.
David and I were given a loupe and light box to carefully look at each transparency. Words cannot describe how stunned I was when I viewed the head shot, frame Z-313, and the frames immediately following. The resolution was beyond anything I expected. Especially, in frames Z-317, Z-321, Z-323, Z-335 and Z-337, the solid, black' patch" that is clearly seen on our 6k scans--covering the right rear area of JFK's head--was even more egregious on the MPI transparencies. It was all I could do to muzzle my emotions. There was no doubt the MPI transparencies corroborated the obvious anomalies seen on our scans. Most importantly, they clearly depicted what should be on the extant Zapruder film housed at NARA.
While Gary Mack sat nearby, my first impression was the same as Sydney's--the resolution and color were so incredible that I felt as if I were seeing these frames for the very first time. But the greatest emotional impact came on seeing the black patch in Z-317. It was so blatant, so childishly done, that I almost laughed aloud. Whether I did or not is in some doubt, but I retain an image of clapping my hand over my mouth to prevent such a laugh.106 I was also easily able to verify the other abnormalities that Home had reported in his book, published just a week later in November 2009.
The following year, in November 2010, I returned to the newly finished Sixth Floor Museum reading room in order to view the same MPI transparencies. Thom was able to join me and I was excited to show him the stunning clarity of the back of JFK's head i.e., the "black patch," on the frames we had been studying for months. This time, I was definitely not prepared for what I saw when I looked through the loupe. Not only were the transparencies much larger in size physically, than the ones I had viewed the previous year with David, but none of them were as clear and sharp. Not even close. Most importantly, and suspiciously, the flagrant image of the black "patch" was gone. Instead, the back of JFK s head appeared to show a natural shadow--what Thom called "fuzzied up"--without the straight and well-demarcated edges I had seen in 2009. We were both stunned. Furthermore the black patch was not nearly so obvious in this supposed first generation copy as it was in our third generation 6k copy. That made no sense whatever to me. Despite being assured by the museum they were the same transparencies that David and I saw the previous year, there is absolutely no doubt that they were not. To this day, Thom and I wonder if those transparencies had been altered.
Shortly after her 2010 visit to the Museum, Sydney telephoned me, sounding anguished and upset. She described the overwhelming shock caused by her most recent visit. I assured her that I stood by the impressions we had both received in 2009, particularly of the black patch. I promised to visit again--to assess her most recent impressions. During this several-year hiatus (2009-2012) at least two other individuals visited the Museum and saw no black patch. The Museum will not disclose the names of any visitors, but Sydney had met retired Kodak film chemist Roland Zavada outside the viewing room on that same day in 2010. (Zavada had lectured at a JFK symposium that day.107) And author Josiah Thompson reported on his visit, which occurred at about that same time--if not the same day.
My second opportunity finally arrived during the annual JFK symposia meetings in November 2012. On the chance that the black patch might re-appear I asked author Peter Jaruley to accompany me on November 16, so that he could serve as another witness. (Sydney was not in Dallas at the time.) The verdict came quickly-the patch in Z-317, and conspicuously present in other frames such as Z- 321 and Z-323, had vanished. Neither Peter nor I saw it. The back of JFK's head appeared little different from all those images I had seen before (excepting for Sydney's 6k images). The powerful emotional response of 2009 did not recur. Furthermore, the back of JFK's head did not show the patently obvious patch I had seen on Sydney's 6k scans. Unlike Sydney, I did not perceive the transparencies I viewed in 2012 to be larger in size than those I viewed in 2009; my impression is that they were simply displayed differently, i.e., in different mountings. The important thing is that we both noted that the anomalies present in 2009 had disappeared in the MPI transparencies we viewed in 2010 and 2012. Before leaving the Museum, I pointedly asked Megan Bryant (Gary Mack was absent) if these were the same images that she had shown me in 2009. She claimed they were.
It is most likely that the images shown to Josiah Thompson and Roland Zavada were the same ones that Sydney and Thom saw in 2010 and that David saw in 2012. If so, then neither of these men has ever viewed the images that Sydney and David saw together at the Museum in 2009. It would have been most enlightening if either Thompson or Zavada could have joined us in 2009.
Of course, the relationship between the release date of Horne's book (late November 2009), and our Museum visit in late November 2009 is most peculiar. Our 2009 visit had occurred about one week before the release of Horne's book! In retrospect, this timing appears noteworthy (if not ominous): Was the Museum caught off guard by our visit? Was the Museum's staff oblivious to the purpose of our visit-possibly because they were still unacquainted with Sydney and Thom's research and because they had not yet seen Figure 88 (Z-317) in Horne's book? Even more to the point: It is our impression that we were the first to see these MPI images at the Museum.
What strikes both of us as most anomalous is the wonderful clarity of Sydney's 6k scans--which are only a third generation--versus the (currently) less impressive "first generation" MPI images now housed at the Museum (but present only after our 2009 visit). This discrepancy makes no sense to either of us. It would be most useful if Sydney's 6k scans could be taken into the Museum viewing room to be compared side by side with the MPI images, but that is not allowed. Nor were we permitted to record any images of the MPI transparencies, either via camera or scanner--so we have only our memories.
The Time-Life transparencies might resolve this paradox. Josiah Thompson had worked with these images and had photographed them while working for LIFE magazine. He used them as models for the sketches in his book, Six Seconds in Dallas. He was kind enough to loan these negatives to me, which I converted into prints. Oddly, Z-317 is missing from my set,108 although Thompson has posted an image of Z-317 online, presumably from his own set. The other images in my Thompson set do not show an obvious black patch.
On January 26, 2000, the Dallas Morning News published an article, "Zapruders Donate JFK Film, Rights," written by reporter Mark Wrolstad, who stated:
Gary Mack, the Museum’s Archivist, was all but whistling Tuesday as he examined what may be the gem of the bunch--oversized transparencies of each Zapruder film frame believed to have been made in 1963 or 1964.
The article notes that Mack was actually (contemporaneously) examining these images--not that he expected to do so at a later time. Mack also stated:
These may be in better condition than the original film is today. We may have something better or sharper, Who knows?
Now, however, we are left to wonder: Had Wrolstad merely invented this story?109 We are confronted with this bizarre question because the Museum (see e­ mail below) explains what supposedly happened: "From [a] misunderstanding, the Museum issued an inaccurate press release on January 25, 2000." Curiously, Mark Wrolstad has not responded to Doug Horne's two written attempts in 2011 to clarify this critical misunderstanding.
So here is the problem: the Museum now claims that they never received the 1963/1964 Time/Life transparencies--and also that they don't know where they are now. Here are responses that I received from Megan Bryant (at the Museum). It is my impression that the following statements are for public consumption.
Subject: Time/Life Transparencies
Friday, Nov 16, 2012, 12:59 PM, Megan Bryant<MeganB@jfk.org> wrote: Dr. Mantik,
After your visit today I checked my files to see if we had previously communicated regarding the question of the Time-Life 1963/64 transparencies. It does not appear that we have, so allow me to clarify our conversation from this morning:
The Sixth Floor Museum does not have-and never did have-4"x5" color transparencies prepared by Time-LIFE in 1963/1964 from the 8mm original Abraham Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination. The collection donated to the Museum in December 1999 by the Zapruder family did include the 4x5 color transparencies made in March 1997 for the MPI Media video project titled Image of an Assassination. Documentation from late December 1999 and early January 2000 confirms the Museum expected to, and did, receive these MPI transparencies from the Zapruder family.
Just prior to the December 1999 acquisition, an inventory provided to the Museum listed an additional 27 4x5 color LIFE transparencies. That, in combination with a verbal comment by Zapruder family lawyer Jamie Silverberg, was misinterpreted to mean the collection would include, simply, LIFE transparencies. From that misunderstanding, the Museum issued an inaccurate press release on January 25, 2000. Museum curator Gary Mack repeated the information to Dallas Morning News reporter Mark Wrolstad and his article appeared the next day. Soon after receiving the donation, but after the press release appeared, Mr. Mack confirmed that the Museum did in fact receive the MPI 1997 transparencies. They included unique reference numbers added by MPI photographers in 1997 to identify specific frames of the film.
Recently, with the assistance of retired Kodak scientist Roland Zavada, the Museum learned that the other 4x5 transparencies in the donation were made on film stock manufactured in 1965 or possibly 1966. Whether they were part of a complete series of frames is unknown, as the donation did not include any explanatory Time-LIFE records.
The whereabouts today of the 1963/1964 Time-LIFE transparencies is not known to The Sixth Floor Museum. Time-LIFE may have records indicating what happened to them.
I believe this should address your question on that particular matter. Thank you,
Megan P Bryant
Director of Collections & Intellectual Property The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza 411 Elm Street
Dallas, TX 75202-3308
Phone: 214.747.6660ext. 5519
Fax: 214.747.6662
Website: www.jfk.org
On 12/13/12, Megan Bryant<Megan8@jfk.org> wrote:
Dear Dr. Mantik,
While the information provided below regarding the Time-LIFE transparencies isn't intended as an official statement of any kind, by all means, if you can help clarify any misperceptions in the research community about the whereabouts of the transparencies, please do feel free to share the information with other researchers-but only in its entirety please. We, as much as you, are interested in knowing the whereabouts of the 63/64 Time-LIFE transparencies, and if clarifying that they are not in the Museum's holdings can help that along, we're all for it.
Megan P Bryant
Director of Collections & Intellectual Property The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza 411 Elm Street
Dallas, TX 75202-3308
Phone: 214.747.6660 ext. 5519
Fax: 214.747.6662
DM: So today no one knows where these Time/Life transparencies are located. On April 10, 1997, Doug Home saw a large stack of 4 x 5-inch color positive transparencies of the Zapruder film (with each frame surrounded by a black border) in the office of Jamie Silverberg,110 while working for the ARRB. The transparencies sighted by Doug Home in 1997 were not on Silverberg's typed inventory list of film elements and were only produced after persistent inquiries by Home about their possible existence. But now none of these men--not Home, not Zavada, not Thompson, nor even Gary Mack--can point to their location. 111
Before surrendering, I wanted to ascertain whether or not the Time/Life transparencies had, after all, been donated to the Museum. So, I asked the Museum one last question: Could I see the Deed of Gift (circa December 30, 1999) or the complete inventory (or catalog), which was probably prepared in 2000-or any copies of these two items? The Museum, however, responded that these were private documents and were therefore not available for my review-nor could I see copies!
Even if both of us had suddenly lost our senses (oddly at the same moment) in 2009 Sydney's 6k scans still exist--and so does the quite obvious "Mask of Death" in Z-317. Furthermore, anyone can still purchase their own copy via NARA. To our knowledge, at least two other documentarians have done so. Sydney has graciously shown her 6k scans to friend and foe alike. Alarmingly some foes have unexpectedly declined to view them saying that they already know what they will see! This reminds us of Galileo's enemies, who likewise refused to look through his telescope,112 but instead chose to believe that theological reasoning, based on texts of Scripture (a la the Warren Report), was the only road to reality. In effect, the truth was out there, but they preferred blindfolds.
In short, this mindset persists today--even though we oxymoronically (and self­ referentially) label ourselves as Homo sapiens.
Douglas Horne 113
What is at stake here is nothing less than historical truth. When an institution that presents itself as a museum--purportedly a guardian of history-­ replaces vital film evidence of President Kennedy's assassination (which apparently contained prima facie evidence of that film's blatant alteration) with substitute evidence (in which the blatant alterations have disappeared), a willful attempt has been made to alter history. The authentic MPI transparencies were available to the public from 2000 until late 2009, a long interval during which the museum's staff was apparently oblivious to what they owned. Following the publication of my five-volume set, Inside the ARRB, in late November of 2009, just one week after David Mantik and Sydney Wilkinson examined the MPI transparencies, the public (and presumably key members of the Museum's staff) awoke to what was at stake here. Here is what likely triggered this aggressive Museum response: Just prior to publication, I had added an addendum to my Zapruder film chapter about the anomalies discovered in Sydney Wilkinson's scans and had actually included an image of Z-317 in my book, as well. (See this image below.)
Was the Sixth Floor Museum, the unapologetic and ardent defender of the Warren Commission's conclusions (that a lone malcontent murdered President Kennedy), going to keep on display powerful evidence of the alteration of the single most important assassination record, the Zapruder film? This was the operative question after my book was published. The implications of the obvious alterations found in the 6k scans, and in the MPI transparencies in 2009 were clear: the true exit wound on President Kennedy's head (in the right rear, just where the Parkland Hospital treatment staff had reported it) had been intentionally obscured in the Zapruder film (likely during 1963), in an attempt to hide evidence of crossfire in Dealey Plaza and therefore of conspiracy. (An exit wound in the rear of JFK's head pointed to a fatal shot from the front and therefore multiple shooters, i.e., conspiracy.) Powerful evidence that the Zapruder film had been altered for the purpose of hiding this exit wound-anomalies in the film that provided virtual proof of the Zapruder film's alteration-would also constitute evidence of a cover-up of major proportions soon after the assassination occurred, something almost as disturbing as the assassination itself.
Restating the question above, “Was this institution, the Sixth Floor Museum, willing to display powerful evidence that would invalidate the Museum's own conclusions about the assassination, or would they instead abandon the interests of historical truth and pursue their own longstanding bias?"
In 2010 and in 2012 Sydney Wilkinson and David Mantik received the answer to this question. The events described in this essay call into serious question the true purpose of the Museum, and cause us to ask "Is the Museum a repository of truth, or an agent of political and historical spin, i.e., a mere disseminator of propaganda?"
Two specific Museum employees (Gary Mack114 and Megan Bryant) were in charge of the Museum's film holdings and were in responsible positions when the MPI transparencies and other film elements from the LMH Co. were received in January of 2000 (as evidenced by the Mark Wrolstad article in the Dallas Morning News). Those same two employees were present in 2009 when Sydney and David both observed the same anomalies in the MPI transparencies that were present in the 6k scans. In 2010 and 2012, while Gary Mack apparently no longer felt a need to be present, after what I shall call the "big switch," Megan Bryant was again present.
Is it truly plausible that Gary Mack 'misunderstood' the contents of the Deed of Gift to the Sixth Floor Museum from the LMH Company, in addition to "misinterpreting" a verbal comment from Zapruder lawyer, Jamie Silverberg and then carelessly released an inaccurate press release? Sadly, it's unlikely we will ever know. This release had been exhibited on the Sixth Floor Museum website until Doug Home began questioning Mark Wrolstad in 2011 and David Mantik began corresponding with Megan Bryant about it in 2012.
What do the events described above say about these two Sixth Floor Museum employees and their integrity?
As each reader answers to this question for himself, keep in mind that the best evidence outside of NARA that corroborated the stunning image content in the 6k scans has now disappeared. It has been switched out. We don't know who switched if out, but we certainly know where the switch took place. Meanwhile, this substitute evidence has been shown to two of the foremost defenders of the Zapruder films authenticity: Roland Zavada and Josiah Thompson. And the sanitized images in the substitute MPI transparencies have reinforced the longstanding opinions of these two men-namely, that the film has not been altered. Now both Thompson and Zavada are more certain than ever, based on their viewing of the altered MPI transparencies, that nothing is amiss with the Zapruder film.
A former high-level official at Archives II in College Park, Maryland (Leslie Waffen) informed Sydney Wilkinson (circa 2008) that the extant film in cold storage "would never be removed from the freezer again" and there it sits today, further deteriorating with the passage of time. In view of the events described above this policy must change. There is only one way to definitively determine the authenticity of the 6k scans commissioned by Sydney Wilkinson and studied by so many in the Hollywood film industry: compare the 6k scans with the extant film at NARA.
A travesty has occurred in Dallas, and it has historical repercussions. The extant 8mm Zapruder film at NARA must be compared to both the 6k scans of the 35mm dupe negative in Hollywood and with the MPI transparencies (currently available for viewing) at the Sixth Floor Museum.
Sydney and David and I are not afraid to conduct this test--in fact, we insist on it. The American people should insist on it. Let's do the three-way comparison, with ample witnesses present, movie cameras running, and let the chips fall where they may. The American people deserve to know their true history not a falsified story. END

As for when exactly Alteration will be released, I was very hopeful it would be soon when in 2020 I published the following as a Facebook post:

Technical analysis is on its way in Sydney Wilkinson and Thom Whitehead's documentary, "Alteration". I don't know the release date, but they provided a screening of a preview of the documentary at the 2019 CAPA Conference and at the 2019 Judyth Baker Conference which is described in this podcast interview of Doug Horne (there is about an hour of very fascinating information on the topic starting at 138:30 https://midnightwriternews.com/?powerpress_pinw=1749-podcast )

In short, the documentary contains the analyses of Hollywood professionals Paul Rotan, Garrett Smith and Ned Price who are "absolutely convinced that a black patch -- an overlay -- has been added to the back of JFK's head in frame 317 and in other adjacent frames" using an optical printer and aerial imaging process. I won't be able to do justice in a brief FB comment to all the fascinating information that is presented on the topic during the podcast, but for those who are interested in this subject matter I can definitely assure you that it will be worth your time to listen to it. I believe that with the release of the "Alteration" documentary we will be seeing the onset of a paradigm shift concerning the Zapruder film and the issue of authenticity, and am very much looking forward to the debate in the JFK research community that will ensue.

I had a brief text exchange with Tom Whitehead that same year, and he was keeping his cards close to his vest regarding a release date at that time.

My assumption is that they are still working on technical details, such as finding a distributor.



Edited by Keven Hofeling
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The following is from Doug Horne's last minute "Addendum: The Zapruder Film Goes to Hollywood," in "Inside the Assassination Records Review Board":

"...But frame 317 provides the most damning evidence of apparent film alteration.31 As David Lifton pointed out in his article in Fetzer’s anthology The Great Zapruder Film Hoax, when he first saw a Moses Weitzman 35 mm blowup of the Zapruder film in 1970 (a positive projection print), and again when he was using an Oxberry optical printer in 1990 to copy the Moses Weitzman high-quality 35 mm internegative of the Zapruder film loaned to him by documentary producer Robert Richter, he noticed that the back of JFK’s head in the frames following the head shot seemed unusually dark, and wondered if it had been ‘blacked out’ somehow during the film’s alteration. He was left with a very strong visual impression resulting from many, many hours of work with the film in 1990, during which he was often looking at magnified images of President Kennedy’s head. He talked about this repeatedly with me, and no doubt with others over the years, but no oral conversation could adequately impart the subjective impact of his visual experience. More than once I asked Lifton if his impression that the head had been blacked out could have been caused by looking at deep shadow on the back of JFK’s head, and each time he impatiently insisted: “No way! It was a patch! The back of the head is blacked out in the Zapruder film.” As the old adage says, “seeing is believing,” and in June of 2009, when Sydney Wilkinson forwarded to me a JPEG image of the HD scan of frame 317, I had my own epiphany. (See Figures 87 and 88.)


The image of the limousine’s occupants in the HD scan of frame 317 forwarded to me by Wilkinson was not nearly as dark, or rich in color, as versions I had seen on television over the years, in documentaries. My initial impression (as a non-film person) was that the HD scan image of Z-317 was somehow washed out, or underexposed. As it turns out, I was incorrect; I was looking at a “flat” or “exposure neutral” scan of frame 317 from Sydney’s dupe negative of the extant film in the Archives. It had simply not been adjusted for purposes of aesthetics to make it more pleasing to the eye. What I saw was stunning. The lower half of the back of JFK’s head—hair that was very light brown, or perhaps a cross between auburn and light gray in the HD scan—was covered up by a jet black patch with very straight, artificial looking edges that appeared to be artwork to me, like opaque black paint placed on top of the natural image of his hair. It was as if a trapezoid (the black patch) with impossibly straight edges had been wrapped around the back of JFK’s head, in exactly the area where the Parkland medical staff had seen the exit wound behind the right ear in the posterior skull. My subjective reaction was that frame 317 was so obviously a composite image of artwork superimposed on top of a real film image that I literally expostulated “Holy xxxx!” when Sydney Wilkinson first brought it to my attention. Furthermore, when compared to the part of Governor Connally’s head that was in shadow in the same frame, the portions of the images of the two men’s heads that were supposedly in shadow were totally dissimilar. The portion of Connally’s head in shadow looked gray, and you could still see details inside the shadow; the black “patch” over JFK’s head was jet-black, with no details visible whatsoever.


And guess what? You can actually see this patch with artificially straight edges on the MPI product sold in 1998, Image of an Assassination. It is best seen in the Close-up Frame view, using the ‘frame-by-frame advance’ feature on your remote. Even though the contrast of the image has been adjusted by MPI and the overall image appears much darker, with brighter and more vivid colors than the exposure neutral scan of Sydney’s, the curved trapezoid with improbably straight edges wrapped around the back of JFK’s head can still be seen! Take a look for yourself at home.


In the surrounding frames on the MPI product, however—frames 313-337—the back of the head is so muddy and dark that the viewer cannot detect whether there is any overt, or blatant evidence of artificiality (i.e., straight edges associated with the black region on the back of the head) or not. The same is not true of the HD scans of the frames beginning with 313 (the ‘head explosion’), and continuing well past frame 337. The back of JFK’s head in all of these HD frames, beginning with 313, looks impossibly dark compared with the remainder of the image. The “black patch” on the HD frames, when viewed in extreme closeup on a high resolution video screen or monitor, appears to ‘hang in space,’ an impossibly dark mask supported by...NOTHING. Words are inadequate to convey how artificial this area of his head looks from frames 313 to 337 in particular, and even beyond that, until Jackie Kennedy pushes her husband’s head down out of view of the camera’s lens as she crawls out on the back of the limousine to retrieve part of his brain from thetrunk lid of the car. Frame 317 is just the most obvious of all of these frames, probably the one frame where the aerial imaging artist forgot to ‘fuzz up’ the edges of the black patch with his airbrush. The HD scan of frame 313 (the ‘head explosion’) also looks particularly bad when viewed in extreme closeup on a high-resolution video monitor: the ‘black patch’ actually comes down over the top of, and covers, the back of JFK’s shirt collar—and the so-called ‘head explosion’ seems to be coming from an area in space that is actually in front of President Kennedy’s head, rather than on his head. In other words, the aerial imaging artist who altered this frame screwed up twice, and in both respects depicted things that cannot be.


One reason I am confident, even at this early stage in this investigation, that I am looking at the result of aerial imaging on an animation stand (such as described by Professor Fielding in his 1965 textbook), and not at a traveling matte, is that upon extreme magnification on a high-resolution screen, I believe I can see the real exit wound in the right rear of JFK’s head bleeding through the black patch in frame 313. This is a subjective impression that most (but not all) people see when I show the extreme close-up of the HD scan of Z-313 to them on the high-resolution screen (1200 x 1920 pixels) on my laptop computer. I believe I am correct because the darker ovoid shape that I see “coming through the black mask” is in exactly the location where the exit wound was described by the Parkland treatment staff, and is also the same size they described—about the size of a baseball (or slightly smaller). For any part of an original image at all to be seen through a patch of black artwork means that we are looking at a composite created by aerial imaging, in which the black paint used by the animator was not completely opaque, and where the light projecting the original film frame up through the condensers onto the animation stand was a bit too bright—so bright that part of the original image could be seen through the non-opaque black paint employed by the visual effects artist on his animation cell. A matte insertion could not, by its very nature, allow any of the original image to “bleed through” the matte, since when a matte is inserted into a film frame that portion of the original image has already been optically excised.


Aerial imaging seems the likely method employed to alter all frames of the head wound for two other reasons, as well. First, the area being covered up (the back of the head) is so small—it would even be small on a 7.5 x 10 inch animation stand in an aerial imaging set-up on an optical printer—that registration problems would surely have occurred if a 35 mm traveling matte had been employed to cover up the real exit defect. (No such registration errors are seen in the HD frames.) Second, aerial imaging artwork is ‘self-matting’ by its very nature, since the animation cell is superimposed over the top of the image being projected through the condensers in the optical printer—which means that the new, composite image can be captured on the first pass by the process camera, resulting in less contrast buildup than would be the case in a traveling matte, which would be two generations farther down the line. This aerial imaging hypothesis is the most likely explanation for the altered frames of the head wounds that will be tested throughout the Los Angeles investigation as it proceeds.

And if the back of the head has been blacked out, it necessarily follows that the so-called massive head wound, seen most vividly in frames 335 and 337, is artwork also. (See Figures 89 and 90.) If one wound has been covered up, a substitute wound must be created to take its place. In her Warren Commission testimony—testimony that was deleted from the 26 volumes of hearings and exhibits published in 1964, and only released by the U.S. government circa 1975—Jackie Kennedy said to J. Lee Rankin: ...from the front there was nothing...” when describing the head wound under oath.


The full quotation of this section of her suppressed testimony is provided below: I was trying to hold his hair on. But from the front there was nothing. I suppose there must have been, but from the back you could see, you know, you were trying to hold his hair on, and his skull on. [author’s emphasis]

It should be no surprise to my readers that this testimony was suppressed! At a time when the Warren Commission, using the frames carefully selected by the CIA’s assets at LIFE magazine, was attempting to persuade the American public that JFK had an exit wound in the right-front of his head, our citizenry couldn’t be allowed to read graphic testimony like this that cast doubt upon the official cover story, or upon images from the Zapruder film published by LIFE. Jackie’s testimony, of course, was consistent with that of the Parkland medical staff in Trauma Room One, who overwhelmingly testified that the exit wound they saw was in the right rear of his skull, and consistently mentioned no damage to the right-front of JFK’s head. In later years, as pointed out elsewhere in this book, Dr. Peters, Dr. Crenshaw, Dr. Jones, and Nurse Bell all specifically stated that the right-front of President Kennedy’s head was undamaged when they saw him at Parkland hospital...."

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Posted (edited)
On 5/8/2024 at 3:43 PM, Keven Hofeling said:

Just as interesting when it comes to Zapruder frames 335 and 337 is that we are seeing Jackie Kennedy's pink shoulder pad where JFK's forehead should be. As you are pointing out, the stills and film footage show that Jackie is concerned about the large avulsive wound in the back of the President's head, but if JFK's forehead were actually missing as depicted below, then her attention should have been on that anterior head damage instead, right?

Note Jackie's white gloved hand probing the margins of the back of the head wound (covered by the black patch in the film) here:



And the following are Z-335 and 337 in which we see Jackie's pink shoulder pad where we should be seeing JFK's forehead:










Edited by Richard Bertolino
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13 hours ago, Keven Hofeling said:

The black patch is even more obvious in the crop of the 1998 MPI scan of Z-317 presented in Hany Farid's article which attempts to debunk the black patch thesis: https://farid.berkeley.edu/downloads/publications/tr10a.pdf

The black patch AND the star-shaped “blob” in front of his face are BOTH inexplicable. 

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