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JFK: Zapruder Film Fakery

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Big Boss

Joined: 04 May 2008
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 4:40 pm    Post subject: JFK: Zapruder Film Fakery Reply with quote

Hey guys (and gals lol). I am simply going to post JFK related news concerning the Zapruder Film here. I was reading up on info regarding the current battle between 'good and evil' lol. Doug Horne has an excellent blog titled 'insidethearrb' at livejournal and has recently written a defense against the CIA regarding the Zapruder Film. excellent reading folks Wink.


Eleven Years Ago
May 29th, 16:36

My long chapter on the history of the Zapruder film, and the evidence for its apparent alteration (in order to hide the fact that President Kennedy was killed by multiple shooters in a crossfire, as he was driven into an expertly arranged ambush on Elm Street, on November 22, 1963), is Chapter 14 of my five-volume book, "Inside the Assassination Records Review Board," and appears in Volume IV of that work, which can be purchased at Amazon.com (keywords "Horne JFK").

In Chapter 14 I take to task many of the conclusions reached by retired Kodak employee Roland J. ("Rollie") Zavada, who was rehired as a consultant by Kodak to perform pro bono work for the ARRB during 1997 and 1998. That work included a limited authenticity study, of which I am quite critical in my Chapter 14.

I just received from Rollie himself a 33-page rebuttal to my Zapruder film chapter, in which he takes exception to many of my criticisms, arguments, and assertions. In his cover letter, dated May 26, 2010, Rollie states that he has mailed copies of his 33-page report to many of those mentioned in Chapter 14, which surely must include Josiah Thompson, David Wrone, and Gary Mack. With the sure knowledge that his rebuttal will soon appear on the internet in various venues, I hereby offer my own comments on his paper.

Rollie's need to defend himself is not an unexpected development, and came as no surprise. What does surprise me is that it is so weakly argued, and incomplete.

Much of his paper consists of hairsplitting, in a feeble attempt to defend the flawed methodology he employed in the report he delivered at the eleventh hour to the ARRB in late September of 1998.

Most of it appears to be a grandfatherly scolding, in which Rollie says, essentially---I am paraphrasing here---"You must trust me, I know more than you, and the technology did not exist to successfully alter the Zapruder film without detection, and create an undetectable forgery or facsimile of it or any other 8 mm films in 1963; and even if the film was altered, it would have required a lot of equipment and a lot of personnel."

Experienced film editor David Healy presented a stimulating and convincing lecture at Duluth in 2003 proving that the technology did exist in 1963 to alter 8 mm motion picture films by removing frames, and altering image content; and Professor Raymond Fielding, who discussed in depth the commonly used Hollywood techniques of traveling mattes and aerial imaging in his seminal 1965 film textbook on special visual effects in cinematography, have both provided evidence that the Zapruder film could have been altered in 1963 using existing technology. The only question remains, would such alteration have been undetectable, or would the alteration have left detectable artifacts? This question will be addressed in detail below, near the end of this essay.

In his rebuttal, Rollie presents a list of equipment that he believes would have been essential to alter the Zapruder film at the Hawkeyeworks facility in Rochester, N.Y.---and then implies that no such equipment was present at the facility because of his belief that its sole purpose was in support of the "Corona" spy satellite program. But this is disingenuous. My September FOIA request filed with the CIA, asking for a list of equipment installed at Hawkeyeworks in November of 1963, is as yet unanswered. The CIA has already told me, in writing, that it refuses to search for the information I requested in "operational records," and is currently apparently stonewalling, trying to give the appearance of cooperation, while in effect doing nothing to answer my request.

Rollie's claim that Hawkeyeworks at Rochester was supporting the "Corona" satellite surveillance program is a truthful one, but I suspect that it is only part of the story. I do not believe that "Corona" activity was the only activity supported by that highly classified joint CIA-Kodak film lab in Rochester. Why do I say this? Because Dino Brugioni, the former Chief Information Officer at NPIC in Washington, D.C. (a co-founder of NPIC, and the right-hand man of its first Director, Arthur Lundahl), told researcher Peter Janney in 2009 that at Hawkeyeworks, "they could do ANYTHING" with motion pictures. Dino should have known---for he had visited the place personally on more than one occasion, and knew the CIA official who ran the place. There is nothing Rollie Zavada can say that can refute Dino Brugioni's personal and professional knowledge of what Hawkeyeworks was capable of, for as Rollie said to me in his 33-page rebuttal: "I was not aware of any government activities conducted at the Hawkeye Plant during the time of my Zapruder film study or prior." Well then---Dino Brugioni visited the facility, and Rollie clearly didn't, so whatever Dino Brugioni was personally aware of trumps any later speculation of Rollie Zavada's that the facility was solely dedicated to "Corona." Rollie also wrote the following to me: "In recent discussions with principles [sic] in the Corona Project, none are aware of a motion picture film entering the lab; further, it was reported to me that the Corona Project lab had no motion picture or color film processing capability." This is nothing but an attempt by a Kodak surrogate to issue a statement that sounds like a denial---but which really denies nothing. All Rollie has said here is that (based solely on his discourse with the limited number of persons he spoke to about "Corona") the Zapruder film did not enter the "Corona" lab---he does NOT say it did not enter the Hawkeyeworks facility. Remember, Secret Service agent "Bill Smith," who delivered a 16 mm wide unslit double-8 mm format Zapruder film to Homer McMahon at NPIC on Sunday night, November 24th, told McMahon that it had been DEVELOPED AT HAWKEYEWORKS IN ROCHESTER, AND THAT HE HAD COURIERED THE FILM TO NPIC IN WASHINGTON D.C. FROM HAWKEYEWORKS. Rollie's attempt to define Hawkeyeworks as solely a "Corona" facility is nothing, in my view, but a modified, limited hangout, to use the expressive language of the Watergate era. It is exactly what I would expect the CIA (or Kodak, the prime contractor which ran the facility for the Agency) to say, in an attempt to confuse readers and fuzz-up the issues here.

In an attempt to fuzz-up the Hawkeyeworks issue by identifying that classified lab solely with the "Corona" project, Rollie speculated in his report that "Corona" may have been the codeword that the CIA demanded the ARRB delete from its interview reports with NPIC officials, and from the interview audiotape released to the public. I will state unequivocally now that "Corona" was NOT, repeat NOT, the code word that the CIA wanted expunged from our public records of the interviews we conducted with NPIC employees. The word they wanted expunged was "Hawkeyeworks," NOT "CORONA." At the time of our interviews of NPIC employees in 1997, "Corona" was no longer a classified code-word, and in fact an exhibit was already on display at the Air and Space Museum which told the public all about "Corona," by name, and in great detail. This is a pretty lame attempt by Rollie to confuse the issue of the full range of activities that Hawkeyeworks was capable of tackling, and it won't fly.

Sadly, Rollie Zavada expects us to believe that neither Dino Brugioni (the NPIC's Chief of Information), nor Homer McMahon (the Head of NPIC's Color Lab), was capable of distinguishing the difference between an original 8 mm film, and a copy. He suggests that both Brugioni (who said he handled a slit, 8 mm original Zapruder film on Saturday night, Nov. 23rd), and McMahon (who had delivered to him an unslit, 16 mm wide double 8 film on Sunday night, Nov. 24th, and was told it was an original) were mistaken---and that instead of handling originals, they handled first generation copies. No doubt this dismissive opinion of Zavada's will make Josiah Thompson, David Wrone, and Gary Mack happy, but it is not a persuasive way of addressing the serious import of the NPIC evidence of the film's interrupted chain-of-custody, and of its likely alteration. (If this sounds too much like "inside baseball" to the uninformed reader, I will simply say you must read Chapter 14 of my book, and then Rollie's rebuttal, if you wish to make sense of this journal entry. There is no way around this.) Besides, if Rollie's explanation is correct, then why were two different teams of NPIC officials assembled on two successive nights, to make two entirely different sets of briefing boards, showing what the Zapruder film depicted, and then forbidden to talk about it to anyone? Rollie doesn't address this, because there is no benign answer to this question. The real answer is that the two sets of briefing boards prepared on two successive nights at NPIC were the products of two compartmentalized operations, because briefing boards were being made from two different versions of the Zapruder film: the unaltered original on Saturday night, and the altered (sanitized) film on Sunday night.

THE MOST IMPORTANT STATEMENT in Rollie's paper is this: "The medium is the message." Rollie contends throughout his paper that the Zapruder film could not have been altered using 1963 technology without creating detectable artifacts of forgery. He even quotes Professor Raymond Fielding as saying: "...In my judgment there is no way in which manipulation of these images could have been achieved satisfactorily in 1963 with the technology then available; if such an attempt at image manipulation of the footage had occurred in 1963 the results could not possibly have survived professional scrutiny...".

I couldn't agree more. And there IS EVIDENCE of film alteration in the image content of the extant Zapruder film, as I discussed in some detail in the Epilogue to Chapter 14, titled "The Zapruder Film Goes to Hollywood." The best images we have today of the film have NOT WITHSTOOD PROFESSIONAL SCRUTINY. I even published a black and white image of the most egregious example of this alteration (frame 317) in Volume I of my book. This, I believe, is why Rollie Zavada did NOT discuss the most important section of my chapter---namely, the fact that numerous Hollywood motion picture film experts have developed a strong consensus that the Zapruder film exhibits artifacts which are not like anything they have seen exposed inside a camera when shooting the natural world, and that the film is an altered film. He didn't discuss this important new development in Zapruder film research because he could not refute it. So he just pretended it did not exist. But the problem does exist, and members of the public can see this for themselves by asking for access to the large format (4 X 5 inch) MPI transparencies (made in 1997 from the original film), and the large format (4 X 5 inch) LIFE magazine transparencies (made in 1963 by LIFE) that are held by the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. If you go to the Sixth Floor Museum's website, you can complete a form electronically and request to see these transparencies during a personal visit; all that is required is the money to make a trip to Dallas. (See the frame numbers cited below.)

At this point in time---these are the updated figures reflecting the current state of play---over 30 experts in the motion picture industry in Hollywood have examined the 35 mm dupe negative of the extant Zapruder film being studied by the informal, ad hoc "Hollywood research group," and all of them have expressed serious disquiet about the blacked-out areas on the back of JFK's head---specifically in frames 313, 317, 321, 323, and 329---stating that they have never seen apparent artifacts like these filmed in nature, and that they strongly suggest artificiality, or tampering. Six of these people have flatly stated that the film has been altered, and that the blacked-out areas on the back of JFK's head are all the proof they need. Those who have viewed the film in Hollywood are either editors, restoration experts, or colorists. Even the somewhat degraded black and white images of frame 317 that I published in Volume I of my book are pretty damning; the jet-black trapezoid with the remarkably straight edges on the back of JFK's head in frame 317 just happens to be located exactly where the medical staff at Parkland hospital says there was an exit wound---evidence of a shot from the front. (In my view, it was a crude and blatant attempt to hide the true exit wound---from a frontal shot, not from a shot fired from behind, in the Book Depository---from the public.) When the high definition digital scans of the 35 mm dupe negative are seen on an HD color monitor---and not in a degraded black and white illustration printed on non-glossy paper---they are truly stunning. Eventually, they will be publicly released, but the timing and venue for that release is under the control of the Hollywood research group, and their research is continuing at the present time. Meanwhile, as I stated above, the public can request in-person viewings of the large format transparencies---made directly from the extant film---on the Sixth Floor Museum's website.

Let us also not forget that the late Dr. Roderick Ryan, a former Kodak employee who was Los Angeles/Hollywood based for much of his career, told author Noel Twyman during the 1990s that the large head wound seen in frames 335 and 337 on JFK's skull was, in his opinion, a painting, i.e., artwork. (No such wound was seen at Parkland hospital, either.) Now, Dr. Ryan worked for Kodak also---which is just one more reminder that experts disagree, and that we need not trust what Rollie Zavada says just because he was a Kodak employee. My basic point about Rollie Zavada in Chapter 14 remains unchanged: he never worked in the Hollywood motion picture visual effects industry, and therefore is not qualified to state definitively that the Zapruder film could not have been convincingly altered.

His current position is that it could not have been altered without leaving evidence of alteration---arifacts---that would have given the game away. And yet this is precisely what today's pre-eminent Hollywood film restoration experts and colorists and editors see when they examine the 35 mm dupe negative of the Zapruder film: ARTIFACTS THAT INDICATE ALTERATION. In my opinion, this is why the Zapruder film was purchased lock, stock, and barrel by LIFE magazine in 1963, and then suppressed as a motion picture for 12 years. (LIFE showed the extant film---portrayed as the original---to the Warren Commission on one occasion in February of 1964, and the Commission staffers saw it on a shaky, flexible movie screen without the benefit of the frame by frame, high resolution examination made possible by today's digital scanning technology. LIFE never once licensed it commercially for use as a motion picture, and only published selected frames when it was deemed desirable.) The versions seen today in most documentaries are dark versions that come from less-than-desirable substandard "bootleg" film elements. The MPI video sold in 1998 suffers from aspect ratio problems, and the images of the back of the head are unusually dark since MPI altered the contrast of the images it marketed. But the large-format MPI transparencies at the Sixth Floor Museum, when viewed in person, clearly reveal the artifacts that I discuss here.

I believe in the primacy of empirical evidence. The best empirical evidence available today---the 35 mm dupe negative being studied in Hollywood, the MPI large format transparencies owned by the Sixth Floor Museum, and the extant film itself (in cold storage at the National Archives II facility in College Park, Maryland)---bears evidence that the film was indeed altered. The medium is INDEED the message---but Rollie Zavada does not want to discuss the evidence of alteration (artifacts) that exist in the extant film today. Instead, he wants us to trust him when he says that the Zapruder film was not altered, without discussing the blatant evidence we now have that it WAS altered.

The small comfort that people like Josiah Thompson, David Wrone, Gary Mack, and John McAdams will derive from Rollie Zavada's rebuttal of Chapter 14 of my book will be short-lived, and their crowing will only persuade the limited audience which has not read my book, and those who have not yet seen the evidence of alteration in high definition: frames 313, 317, 321, 323, and 329.

The medium IS the message, and the day will soon come when frame 317 of the Zapruder film will be a major icon of American history, representative of the deceit, lies, and falsehoods sold to us for almost 50 years now about one of the most shameful events in American history. END

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