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Zapruder film alteration expertise examples


David G. Healy
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Months ago a forum naysayer or two (regarding possible alteration of the Zapruder film) questioned adequate expertise available to perform film special effects [pre-1963]. A few samples were requested, a list of 80+ films where significant special effects were performed within said film is below:

This page contains a list of the winners and nominees for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences award (Oscar TM) in the Visual Effects category. Covering the period between 1939-1959 (only)

1939

The Rains Came (w). E.H. Hansen and Fred Sersen, 20th Century-Fox.

Gone With the Wind. John R. Cosgrove, Fred Albin and Arthur Johns. MGM.

Only Angeles Have Wings. Roy Advidson and Edwin C. Hahn, Columbia.

The Private Lives of Elisabeth and Essex. Byron Haskin and Nathan Levinson, Warner Bros.

Topper Takes a Trip. Roy Seawright, UA.

Union Pacific. Farciot Edouart, Gordon Jennings and Loren Ryder, Paramount.

The Wizard of Oz. A.Arnold Gillespie and Douglas Shearer, MGM.

1940

The Thief of Bagdad (w). Lawrence Butler and Jack Whitney, UA.

The Blue Bird. Fred Sersen and E. H. Hansen, 20th Century-Fox

Boom Town. A. Arnold Gillespie, and Douglas Shearer, MGM.

The Boys From Syracuse. John P. Fulton, Bernard B. Brown and Joeseph Lapis, Universal.

Dr. Cyclops. Farciot Edouart and Gordon Jennings, Paramount.

Foreign Correspondent. Paul Eagler and Thomas T. Moulton, UA.

The Invisible Man Returns. John P. Fulton, Bernard B. Brown and William Hedgecock, Universal.

The Long Voyage Home. R.T. Layton, R.O. Binger and Thomas T. Moulton, UA.

One Million B.C. Roy Seawright and Elmer Raguse, UA.

Rebecca. Jack Cosgrove and Arthur Johns, UA.

The Sea Hawk. Byron Haskin and Nathan Levinson, Warner Bros.

Swiss Family Robinson. Vernon L. Walker and John O. Aalberg.

Typhoon. Farciot Edouart, Gordon Jennings and Loren Ryder, Paramount.

Women in War. Howard J. Lydecker, William Bradford, Ellis J. Thackery and Herbert Norsch, Republic.

1941

I Wanted Wings (w). Farciot Edouart, Gordon Jennings and Louis Mesenkop. Paramount.

Aloma of The South Seas. Faciot Edouart, Gordon Jennings and Louis Mesenkop, Paramount.

Flight Command. A.Arnold Gillespie and Douglas Shearer, MGM.

The Invisible Woman. John Fulton, and John Hall, Universal.

The Sea Wolf. Byron Haskin and Nathan Levinson, Warner Bros.

That Hamilton Woman. Lawrence Butler and William H. Wilmarth, UA.

Topper Returns. Roy Seawright and Elmer Raguse, UA.

A Yank in the R.A.F. Fred Sersen and E.H. Hansen, 20th Century Fox.

1942

Reap the Wild Wind (w). Farciot Edouart, Gordon Jennings, William L. Pereira and Louis Mesenkop, Paramount.

The Black Swan. Fred Sersen, Roger Herman, and George Leverett, 20th Century Fox.

Desperate Journey. Byron Haskin and Nathan Levinson, Warner Bros.

Flying Tigers. Howard Lydecker and Daniel J. Bloomberg, Republic.

Invisible Agent. John Fulton and Bernard B Brown, Universal.

Jungle Book. Lawrence Butler and William H. Wilmarth, UA.

Mrs. Miniver. A. Arnold Gillespie, Warrn Newcombe and Douglas Shearer, MGM.

The Navy Comes Through. Vernon L. Walker and James G. Stewart, RKO Radio.

One of Our Aircraft is Missing. Ronald Neame and C.C. Steven, UA.

The Pride of The Yankees. Jack Cosgrove, Ray Binger and Thomas T. Moulton, RKO Radio.

1943

Crash Dive (w). Fred Sersen and Roger Herman, 20th Century Fox.

Air Force. Hans Koenekamp, Rex Wimpy and Nathan Levinson, Warner Bros.

Bombardier. Vernon L. Walker, James G. Stewart and Roy Granville, RKO Radio.

The North Star. Clarence Slifer, R.O. Binger and Thomas T. Moulton, RKO Radio.

So Proudly We Hail. Farciot Edouart, Gordon Jennings, and George Dutton, Paramount.

Stand By for Action. A. Arnold Gillespie, Donald Jahraus and Michael Steinore, MBM.

1944

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (w). A. Arnold Gillespie, Donald Jahraus, Warren Newcombe and Douglas Shearer, MGM.

The Adventures of Mark Twain. Paul Detlefsen, John Crouse and Nathan Levinson, Warner Bros.

Days of Glory. Vernon L. Walker, James G. Stewart and Roy Granville, RKO Radio.

Secret Command. David Allen, Ray Cory, Robert Wright, Russell Malmgren and Harry Kusnick, Columbia.

Since You Went Away. John R. Cosgrove and Arthur Johns, UA.

The Story of Dr. Wassell. Farciot Edouart, Gordon Jennings, and George Dutton, Paramount.

Wilson. Fred Sersen and Roger Heman, 20th Century Fox.

1945

Wonder Man (w). John Fulton and A.W. Johns, RKO Radio.

Captain Eddie. Fred Sersen, Sol Halprin, Roger Heman and Harry Leonard, 20th Century Fox.

Spellbound. Jack Cosgrove, UA.

They Were Expendable. A. Arnold Gillespie, Donald Jahraus, R.A. MacDonald and Michael Steinore, MGM.

A Thousand and One Nights. L.W. Butler and Ray Bomba, Columbia.

1946

Blithe Spirit (w). Thomas Howard, UA.

A Stolen Life. William McGann and Nathan Levinson, Warner Bros.

1947

Green Dolphin Street (w). A. Arnold Gillespie, Warren Newcombe, Douglas Shearer and Michael Steinore, MGM.

Unconquered. Farciot Edouart, Devereux Jennings, Gordon Jennings, Wallace Kelly, Paul Lerpae and George Dutton, Paramount.

1948

Portrait of Jennie (w). Paul Eagler, J. McMillan Johnson, Russell Shearman, Clarence Slifer, Charles Freeman and James G. Stewart, Selznick Releasing Organization.

Deep Waters, Ralph Hammeras, Fred Sersen, Edward Snyder and Roger Heman, 20th Century Fox.

1949

Mighty Joe Young (w). RKO Radio.

Tulsa. Eagle-Lion.

1950

Destination Moon (w). Eagle-Lion.

Samson and Delilah. Paramount.

1951

When Worlds Collide (w). Paramount.

1952

Plymouth Adventure (w). MGM.

1953

The War of the Worlds (w). Paramount.

1954

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (w). Walt Disney Studios.

Hell and High Water. 20th Century Fox.

Them! Warner Bros.

1955

The Bridges At Toko-Ri (w). Paramount.

The Dam Busters. Warner Bros.

The Rains of Ranchipur. 20th Century Fox.

1956

The Ten Commandments (w). John Fulton, Paramount.

Forbidden Planet. A. Arnold Gillespie, Irving Ries and Wesley C. Miller, MGM.

1957

The Enemy Below (w). Walter Rossi, 20th Century Fox.

The Spirit of St.Louis. Louis Lichtenfield, Warner Bros.

1958

Tom Thumb (w). Tom Howard, MGM.

Torpedo Run. A. Arnold Gillespie and Harold Humbrock, MGM.

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David.

I don't subscribe to the Zapruder film alteration theory.

I do however, beleive the technology was around in the 50's to alter any film SHOULD the government have wanted too.

Hollywood California.

Look Out Mountain.

TOP SECRET FILM LAB AND FILM STUDIO'S

Edited by Robin Unger
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I don't subscribe to the Zapruder film alteration theory.

I do however, beleive the technology was around in the 50's to alter any film SHOULD the government have wanted too.

Hollywood California.

Look Out Mountain.

TOP SECRET FILM LAB AND FILM STUDIO'S

My investigation has shown to my satisfaction that in 1963, the Zapruder film could not have been altered so to be undetectable by todays standards of investigation. But regardless, if possible, then there has to be opportunity. I would like someone to tell me how the Government was able to alter film copies that they did not have in their possession? Zapruder kept Two films with him through Saturday where Life then gets possession of the original film so to make slides. By late Satuday night or early Sunday - Life Magazine is putting key frames into print and yet Zapruder still has a first generation copy in his possesion. If any of the other film copies were altered, then they sure didn't have ALL the copies, so tell me how it is that Zapruder's print still shows the EXACT same things as the other prints that some alleged could have been altered?? By Sundsy, if any Zfilm copies had been altered, then how could they know that other assassination films would not show up afterwards and expose the dirty deed??? Marie Muchmore's film for example was not known to exist until after 1PM Monday ... AFTER Life had put key frames into print, so how can an alteration supporter explain this all away and do it rationally and logically????

Bill Miller

Edited by Bill Miller
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I don't subscribe to the Zapruder film alteration theory.

Robin,

I have two limited response questions for you to address:

(1) Assuming that every single attempt up to now , to show that the film was altered, has failed, would that be grounds for concluding that it is 100% authentic ? YES/NO

(2) Are you prepared to explain how you know with absolute certainty that the film was not altered ? YES/NO

If you are correct, I and many others will be compelled to admit the error of our ways. While it will be embarrassing, nevertheless, I for one shall not hesitate. What is, is. What is not, is not. There can be no middle ground. All I have to do to mend my ways, is to have someone explain logically to me, not how they know that I and the others are wrong, but how they know for certain that he/she is correct when claiming that the Zapruder film is unquestionably the genuine article, the 'real deal' so to speak.

I have already posted that question in an earlier thread. Last time I looked there had been well over 100 visits, but not one person had replied. Hopefully that will not be the case on this occasion. I really and truly want to understand how one can arrive at such a conclusion.

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I don't subscribe to the Zapruder film alteration theory.

All I have to do to mend my ways, is to have someone explain logically to me, not how they know that I and the others are wrong, but how they know for certain that he/she is correct when claiming that the Zapruder film is unquestionably the genuine article, the 'real deal' so to speak.

I have already posted that question in an earlier thread. Last time I looked there had been well over 100 visits, but not one person had replied. Hopefully that will not be the case on this occasion. I really and truly want to understand how one can arrive at such a conclusion.

You've indicated that no one responded previously, and hope someone will respond this time. BM has responded above(as he has previously). I agree with his assessment. Please explain without wild speculation to our satisfaction how the Z film could have been altered under those circumstances.

RJS

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I don't subscribe to the Zapruder film alteration theory.

All I have to do to mend my ways, is to have someone explain logically to me, not how they know that I and the others are wrong, but how they know for certain that he/she is correct when claiming that the Zapruder film is unquestionably the genuine article, the 'real deal' so to speak.

I have already posted that question in an earlier thread. Last time I looked there had been well over 100 visits, but not one person had replied. Hopefully that will not be the case on this occasion. I really and truly want to understand how one can arrive at such a conclusion.

You've indicated that no one responded previously, and hope someone will respond this time. BM has responded above(as he has previously). I agree with his assessment. Please explain without wild speculation to our satisfaction how the Z film could have been altered under those circumstances.

RJS

For answers, read THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX.

Jack

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You've indicated that no one responded previously, and hope someone will respond this time. BM has responded above(as he has previously). I agree with his assessment. Please explain without wild speculation to our satisfaction how the Z film could have been altered under those circumstances.

RJS

For answers, read THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX.

Jack

Jack, just answer the big question and stop trying to sell another copy of a book that has been a laughing stock around the JFK assassination community in recent years.

Bill Miller

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I don't subscribe to the Zapruder film alteration theory.

Robin,

I have two limited response questions for you to address:

(1) Assuming that every single attempt up to now , to show that the film was altered, has failed, would that be grounds for concluding that it is 100% authentic ? YES/NO

(2) Are you prepared to explain how you know with absolute certainty that the film was not altered ? YES/NO

If you are correct, I and many others will be compelled to admit the error of our ways. While it will be embarrassing, nevertheless, I for one shall not hesitate. What is, is. What is not, is not. There can be no middle ground. All I have to do to mend my ways, is to have someone explain logically to me, not how they know that I and the others are wrong, but how they know for certain that he/she is correct when claiming that the Zapruder film is unquestionably the genuine article, the 'real deal' so to speak.

I have already posted that question in an earlier thread. Last time I looked there had been well over 100 visits, but not one person had replied. Hopefully that will not be the case on this occasion. I really and truly want to understand how one can arrive at such a conclusion.

QUOTE:

Are you prepared to explain how you know with absolute certainty that the film was not altered ?

Ed i am not sure how you take my statement " I don't subscribe to the Zapruder film alteration theory."

and conclude from that, i am saying that i know with absolute certainty that the film was not altered ?

I don't confess to know ANYTHING about this case with absolute certainty. !

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Robin,

First you said, " I don't subscribe to the Zapruder film alteration theory."

Now you say, " I don't confess to know ANYTHING about this case with absolute certainty."

What all of that conveys to the reader is that since you do not subscribe to the alteration theory, then either you support the anti-alterationist position or you do not. Which is it?.... Or are you saying that you are keeping an open mind and presently subscribing to neither one nor the other? That would be quite understandable, and it would leave nobody the opportunity to infer, that since you do not subscribe to the alteration theory, you must necessarily then believe that the Zapruder film is 100% authentic.

To elucidate further, what follows was originally written to be posted as a response to one who, so to speak, 'jumped the gun' in order to put his own 'spin' on things. The implication being that by putting the two questions, I was at the same time somehow suggesting that I believed that the footage was 'doctored' shortly after the assassination. I most certainly do not believe that could even have been possible. What I do believe, is that anyone who viewed the film prior to the WCR would have seen nothing out of place. The film at that time was indeed an authentic representation of what had actually occurred.There was no need to 'doctor' it, for what it depicted left the case completely open for anyone to conclude that JFK's death involved more than just LHO. The point being, that it only became necessary to 'doctor' the footage after the WC had pronounced LHO to be the LN assassin.

This is my response:

Shaping something entirely to one's own preferences and deliberately avoiding either to quote and /or to address the actual questions which were posted, can so very easily be interpreted as being just another

example of psychological judgment assuming pride of place over logical judgment.

Lest there be any doubt whatsoever as to the specific questions which were asked, here they are again:

(1) Assuming that every single attempt up to now , to show that the film was altered, has failed, would that be grounds for concluding that it is 100% authentic ? YES/NO

(2) Are you prepared to explain how you know with absolute certainty that the film was not altered ? YES/NO

Limited YES/NO responses were requested. The fact of the matter is that (2) YES cannot be logically deduced from (1) YES . The fact that one rejects every single attempt that has been made by a great many others to show that the film was altered , does not mean one can then logically conclude that it justifies the assumption (and that's precisely what it is) that (2)YES is verifiable. Rather than announce oneself to all and sundry as being 'atheistic' , would it not be logical and indeed wiser to adopt the role of the 'agnostic' , cultivate a modicum of intellectual modesty , and declare that at the very least one will remain to be convinced one way or the other. It's called keeping an open mind, and it will assuredly be of great assistance in transforming limbic emotional prejudice into neocortical toleration and goodwill towards others, who, presumably, are equally just as committed to seeing that truth and justice will eventually come to pass in the case of the assassination of JFK.

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QUOTE:

Or are you saying that you are keeping an open mind and presently subscribing to neither one nor the other? That would be quite understandable, and it would leave nobody the opportunity to infer, that since you do not subscribe to the alteration theory, you must necessarily then believe that the Zapruder film is 100% authentic.

Yes i always keep an open mind, as the facts of the case change and new information comes to light, i will often re-evaluate my assumptions.

I have two problems with alteration to the Z-film.

( 1 ) In altering the z-film don't you then also have to alter Nix and Muchmore in order to make all the films corrolate.

(2) Why alter the film and still leave in the most damming peice of evidence of a frontal head shot.

" Back and to the left "

Also how are they to know if some ones home movie which the FEDS may have overlooked, may turn up years later to contradict the Alterations made.

I beleive that Life had the john Martin film and the Feds didn't even know about it, until Martin rang the FBI and told them.

So as you see Ed i still have many questions before i am convinced of alteration.

QUOTE:

Limited YES/NO responses were requested.

I don't give yes or no answer's

It's not that simple.

And besides, that is the same way that Spector would have worded his question's and i am not on trial here.

Ask anybody Ed, i am always fair minded and do not make personal attacks on Anyone, you should know this by now you have read enough of my posts.

Thanks.

Edited by Robin Unger
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When considering the mechanical inventions and accomplishments which occurred during the 20th century alone, I do not understand how "anyone" could state that there are mechanical functions, which are not contrary to the basic laws of physics, that could not be carried out when confronted by the best brains in the world !

I can imagine someone stating in 1906 that "Television" was an impossble theory. Or that the thought of gathering soil samples from the planet Mars was absolutely absurd.

Do we really think that figuring out how to alter a strip of 8mm Kodacolor is beyond the scope of human ingenuity ?

Think about this for a moment ! To me this is "Dark Ages" conjecture !

To my thinking, the "Initial" alteration involved only frame excision. A great deal of time passed before "more" needed to be accomplished.

I, of course, am a most avid believer in film alteration of the Zapruder film as well as possibly some photos. When considering the extremes taken to alter or LOSE other evidence in this investigation,

I feel that it is ridiculously naive to believe that this alteration was not "desirable" and a PRIORITY. These conspirators had access to the most advanced equipment and some of the sharpest minds in the entire world. We must not lose sight that this is the governments primary evidence which establishes shot timing, the number of shots, etc. etc.

Of course, every effort has been made and will continue to be made by those, willingly or not, who are supporting the government position on this matter.

I feel very strongly that modern man, can with enough effort, accomplish "anything" that is not in violation of the laws of the universe. I feel that altering 8mm film is not even "a test" of the caliber of this mechanical ingenuity !

This IMPOSSIBILITY THEORY, is and has been, the major stumbling block to progress in this investigation. If this film has been altered in any way.......the government position completely falls apart. Of course the "non alteration" case cannot be conceded without admitting that there was not only concpiracy.....but conspiracy at the highest levels of U.S. government.

Charlie Black

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When considering the mechanical inventions and accomplishments which occurred during the 20th century alone, I do not understand how "anyone" could state that there are mechanical functions, which are not contrary to the basic laws of physics, that could not be carried out when confronted by the best brains in the world !

...

Charlie Black

I don't think the real issue here is the capability to alter the film, per se. We've been doctoring photographs (and film) since the early days of the science/art.

It is a certainty that films, in 1963, could be altered.

The REAL questions, IMO, are:

1) Did ample opportunity exist to alter not only the Z-film, but all the other films and stills?

2) Did the capability exist in 1963 to make alterations that remain undetectable in 2006?

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...

Lest there be any doubt whatsoever as to the specific questions which were asked, here they are again:

(1) Assuming that every single attempt up to now , to show that the film was altered, has failed, would that be grounds for concluding that it is 100% authentic ? YES/NO

(2) Are you prepared to explain how you know with absolute certainty that the film was not altered ? YES/NO

...

Ed,

Your questions create a logical fallacy in several ways.

First, you have created a false dilemma by forcing only a yes/no answer when there are obviously alternatives.

Secondly, you are shifting the burden of proof, incorrectly, away from the claimant. In essence, the logic goes like: "I believe the z-film was altered. Prove to me that it wasn't." This not only incorrectly shifts the burden of proof, but also requires proving a negative.

It is, obviously, perfectly acceptable to call any given theory into question. However, when calling into question a theory that has by in large been accepted, the burden of proof falls squarely on the claimant.

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When considering the mechanical inventions and accomplishments which occurred during the 20th century alone, I do not understand how "anyone" could state that there are mechanical functions, which are not contrary to the basic laws of physics, that could not be carried out when confronted by the best brains in the world !

...

Charlie Black

I don't think the real issue here is the capability to alter the film, per se. We've been doctoring photographs (and film) since the early days of the science/art.

It is a certainty that films, in 1963, could be altered.

The REAL questions, IMO, are:

1) Did ample opportunity exist to alter not only the Z-film, but all the other films and stills?

2) Did the capability exist in 1963 to make alterations that remain undetectable in 2006?

Hello Frank

In response to your question #1

Since I believe that the only alteration that was essential was during a part of the shooting sequence, in which something was revealed that required "covering"......not very many other films or photos were made during this short sequence that would have depicted that aspect that demanded covering. Those few certainly could have been altered or destroyed.

Your question #2

I am not a film analyst. But I have read, even on this forum, those whose primary work is and has been in the film industry, that it is and was possible.

I must return to my initial statement that this revision does not defy the laws of physics, and that it is mechanically possible for some specific individual to have the ability to accomplish anything that is mechanically possible. There have een much, much greater mechanical feats which certainly have been accmplished.

I feel the theory of the "physical impossibility" has been too easily swallowed by too many, who when reconsidering this, should realize that the only thing "impossible" here, is the theory of the "mechanical impossibility" of anything" that does not deny the laws of physics.

Charlie Black

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I don't subscribe to the Zapruder film alteration theory.

I do however, beleive the technology was around in the 50's to alter any film SHOULD the government have wanted too.

Hollywood California.

Look Out Mountain.

TOP SECRET FILM LAB AND FILM STUDIO'S

My investigation has shown to my satisfaction that in 1963, the Zapruder film could not have been altered so to be undetectable by todays standards of investigation. But regardless, if possible, then there has to be opportunity. I would like someone to tell me how the Government was able to alter film copies that they did not have in their possession? Zapruder kept Two films with him through Saturday where Life then gets possession of the original film so to make slides. By late Satuday night or early Sunday - Life Magazine is putting key frames into print and yet Zapruder still has a first generation copy in his possesion. If any of the other film copies were altered, then they sure didn't have ALL the copies, so tell me how it is that Zapruder's print still shows the EXACT same things as the other prints that some alleged could have been altered?? By Sundsy, if any Zfilm copies had been altered, then how could they know that other assassination films would not show up afterwards and expose the dirty deed??? Marie Muchmore's film for example was not known to exist until after 1PM Monday ... AFTER Life had put key frames into print, so how can an alteration supporter explain this all away and do it rationally and logically????

Bill Miller

looks like your wandering over to my side of the 'IF' fence -- "...but regardless, if possible...", eh?

John Costella dealt with the LIFE "key frames" into print issue, might try reading the book...

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