Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Two NPIC Zapruder Film Events: Analysis and Implications

by Douglas Horne (with Jim Fetzer)

The authenticity of the Zapruder film and of the other home movies purportedly taken of the assassination in Dealey Plaza has been hotly contested since I (Jim Fetzer) first organized and moderated the first Zapruder Film Symposium during the JFK Lancer Conference in 1996. 
We have accumulated an enormous quantity of confirming evidence since that time, where those who want to know what actually happened are better off reading the compilation of witness reports from those who were present, which John P. Costella, Ph.D., has compiled, “What happened on Elm Street? The Eyewitnesses Speak”, than they are watching the extant version of the film.  
Indeed, John, who earned his Ph.D. in electromagnetism and is an expert on the laws of optics and the physics of moving objects, has a brilliant visual introduction to the study of Zapruder film fakery, “JFK Assassination Film Hoax: A Simple Introduction”.
Some of the most stunning proof of alteration comes from one of the most prominent figures in the extant film, Clint Hill, the Secret Service agent who was assigned to protect Jackie Kennedy.  As the volley of shots that blew JFK’s brains out to the back rear is virtually complete, Hill rushed forward to protect Jackie.  
As he has consistently maintained for nearly fifty years now, he climbed up on the limo, where she was reaching across the trunk to pick up a chunk of Jack’s skull and brains, pushed her back down into the seat, lay cross her and JFK’s body, peered into a massive, fist-sized hole in the back of his head, and gave his colleagues a “thumbs d0wn”, all before the limousine had reached the Triple Underpass.
Yet, in the Zapruder film and the complementary photograph shown here–which also has to have been fabricated–we only see him climbing on the back of the limo and reaching out toward Jackie before it zooms toward Parkland Hospital and passes beneath the underpass.  What Clint Hill has been reporting–in written reports as well as during spoken presentations–contradicts the extant version of the film.
The principal reason for altering it was that William Greer, the driver, pulled the limo to the left and to a halt after bullets had begun to be fired.  This was such an obvious indication of Secret Service complicity in setting up JFK for the hit that it had to be removed.  That caused a time contraction, which was inconsistent with retaining Clint Hill’s activities, which therefore had to be contracted.
It also did not allow the inclusion of Officer James Chaney’s motoring forward to notify Chief of Police Jesse Curry that JFK had been hit, which provides yet another line of proof demonstrating that the film has been fabricated.
The simplest and easiest to understand, however, is that in revising the original, they blacked out the gaping wound at the back of the head, which Clint Hill has so vividly described, which was observed by a host of witnesses to the assassination or who witnessed the body thereafter.
Try as they might, however, the overlooked a late frame–374–in which the blow out is visible.  So while they even altered the X-rays to conceal the wound reported by these witnesses, the film itself is not even visually consistent:
We have ample proof that the film was fabricated, but knowing exactly how it was done and when has posed a challenging task, which, I am proud to say, Douglas Horne has nailed down in his remarkable studies of events at the National Photographic Interpretation Center the weekend following the assassination.
An 8mm, split film developed in Dallas–which appears to have been the original–was brought on Saturday, the 23rd, and another film, this time a 16mm unsplit film developed in Rochester–which appears to have been the revised version–was brought on Sunday, the 24th.
Doug’s first reports about these events appeared in Murder in Dealey Plaza (2000), where more definitive studies about the fabrication of the film were published in The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2003) and in its latest incarnation in Inside the ARRB (2009), which is supplemented by the studies that Doug Horne has authored here.
I must conclude that those who persist in sincerely denying that the extant film is a fabrication are either unfamiliar with the evidence or cognitively impaired.  Here is Part II of Douglas Horne’s analysis of these events at the NPIC (Part I is here).

by Douglas Horne
So what does all this mean? Let us explore the obvious implications, and let us not pull any punches.
Brazen Deception by “Bill Smith” of the Secret Service:
“Bill Smith” of the Secret Service (and yes, Homer McMahon did express some degree of whimsical, bemused doubt about his true identity) [20] “lied his eyes out” to Homer McMahon about the origins of the assassination film he brought to NPIC with him from “Hawkeyeworks” in Rochester, New York.
We know definitively from the examination of the four briefing board panels by both Homer McMahon and Ben Hunter, in the summer of 1997, that Bill Smith did bring with him to NPIC a version of the Zapruder film, and not “some other film.” This is crucially important, for from this basic fact we know that “Bill Smith of the Secret Service” lied to Homer McMahon and Bill Hunter about a number of things:
(1) he lied when he said a private citizen donated the assassination film out of patriotism because he did not want to make any money on it; for Abraham Zapruder was determined to make as much money as he could off of the film, and did;
(2) he lied when he said he carried the undeveloped film to Rochester and had it developed at “Hawkeyeworks;” for it is well documented that the camera-original Zapruder film was developed at the Kodak Plant in Dallas on Friday, November 22, 1963;
(3) clearly, the film brought to NPIC from “Hawkeyeworks” by Bill Smith was created there, but it was not just “developed” – it was a re-creation of the Zapruder film after its alteration at that facility, intended to masquerade as an original out-of-camera, unslit (16 mm wide), “double 8” film.
It had to have been produced in an aerial-imaging optical printer with an animation stand affixed, such as that shown in Figures 9.4 and 9.5 of Professor Raymond Fielding’s seminal 1965 textbook, The Technique of Special Effects Cinematography(Focal Press, Fourth Edition, 1985). The technique undoubtedly used – aerial imagery – was widely employed in Hollywood during the 1950s and 1960s, and can be read about on pages 224-232.
Those orchestrating the Zapruder film cover-up the weekend of the assassination were determined to call in a different work crew when the altered film (now “reassembled” optically in an “aerial imaging” optical printer as an unslit, 16 mm wide “double 8” film again) was returned to NPIC the night after Brugioni’s “briefing board event.”
The goal was obviously to make a “sanitized” set of briefing boards, from the “sanitized” film, which would now necessarily be absent the more egregious evidence of frontal shots, and therefore of crossfire, and conspiracy. This need is the only reasonable explanation for calling in a different work crew and telling them that the work was “need-to-know” and “above Top Secret,” and that not even their bosses were allowed to know what activity they had been involved in.
Simply put, it was easy to fool McMahon and Hunter and whoever assembled the four panel briefing boards using their prints; the hard part, and the necessary part, was to keep the Brugioni team ignorant of the activity of the McMahon team.
This succeeded remarkably well because of the culture of secrecy within the Agency, and Brugioni never found out about the second NPIC event until 2009. McMahon, who cannot be located today in 2012, and who is presumably deceased, never found out about it. This does not speak well for Arthur Lundahl, or Navy Captain Pierre Sands, however, who both must have understood “the Big Picture”, and known what was afoot at the facility they managed.
So the operative question remains, did the “Hawkeyeworks” facility have the capability to perform aerial imaging? Was there an optical printer with an aerial imaging animation stand installed, present at Hawkeyeworks?
“Hawkeyeworks” Explained:
After the Homer McMahon interview was released in 1998, JFK researchers loyal to the concept of an authentic Zapruder film that is “ground truth” in the Kennedy assassination downplayed the importance of the “Hawkeyeworks” story, either doubting its existence because there was no documentary proof, or alternately saying that the “Hawkeyeworks” lab was solely dedicated to U-2 and Corona satellite photography. But these critics were wrong on both counts.
First, Dino Brugioni, during his 2009 and 2011 interviews with Peter Janney and me, not only confirmed the existence of the state-of-the-art Kodak lab in Rochester used by the CIA for various classified purposes, but confirmed that he visited the place more than once, including once prior to the JFK assassination. (He also confirmed its existence in his recent book, Eyes in the Sky, on page 364.)
Second, Dino Brugioni made clear to me, when I interviewed him in July of 2011, that the “Hawkeye Plant” (as he called it) was an enormous state-of-the-art private sector laboratory founded and run by Kodak, which performed far more tasks than “just” Corona satellite and U-2 “special order” film services.
He said that the Hawkeye Plant was involved in developing new film products and in manufacturing and testing special film products of all kinds, including new motion picture films, and that it definitely had the capability to process motion pictures.
He did not see such equipment himself, but was told by Ed Green, a high-ranking Kodak manager at “Hawkeyeworks” with whom he had a relationship of trust, that the “Hawkeye Plant” could, and did, definitely process motion pictures. When repeatedly questioned about this capability by Peter Janney throughout the 2009 interviews, Brugioni said with great reverence, on several occasions, “They could do anything.” [21]
The CIA refused to provide me with any information about “Hawkeyeworks” when the Agency finally responded to my September 12, 2009 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on February 7, 2011. But that was hardly surprising, since over one year earlier, on January 27, 2010, the CIA wrote to me, cautioning:
“The CIA Information Act, 50 U.S.C. Section 431, as amended, exempts CIA operational files from the search, review, publication, and disclosure requirements of the FOIA.”
What this meant, in rather blunt language, was that if the CIA was running an “op,” such as the alteration of the Zapruder film immediately after JFK’s assassination, then they didn’t have to search for those records or tell me about it, in any way. So the failure by the CIA to answer any of my many questions about “Hawkeyeworks” means literally – nothing.
NPIC Panel I
The plain facts are these:
(1) the 8 mm (already slit!) camera-original Zapruder film was delivered to NPIC late on Saturday evening, 11/23/63, and the two Secret Service officials who brought it to NPIC for the making of briefing boards left with the film at about 3 AM Sunday morning; and
(2) a 16 mm, unslit version of the Zapruder film was returned to NPIC the next night, after dark, on Sunday evening, 11/24/63; and its courier (“Bill Smith”) said it had been processed at “Hawkeyeworks,” and that he had brought it directly to NPIC in Washington, D.C. from Rochester (using the unmistakable code word “Hawkeyeworks”) himself.
“Double 8” home movies which have already been slit at the processing facility do not miraculously “reassemble” themselves from two 25-foot strips 8 mm in width, and connected with a splice in the middle, into 16 mm wide unslit double 8 films. A new Zapruder film was clearly created at “Hawkeyeworks” in Rochester, in an optical printer. Bill Smith told the truth when he said the film he carried had been developed there at “Hawkeyeworks;” he lied when he said that it was the camera-original film taken by the photographer in Dallas.
If “Hawkeyeworks” truly had the physical capability “to do anything,” as Ed Green informed Dino Brugioni, then all that would have been required that weekend would have been to bring in some experienced personnel – an animator or two, and a visual effects director – experienced in the “black arts” of Hollywood. Those personnel, if not already on-site, employed at “Hawkeyeworks,” could have been brought into Rochester on Saturday, November 23rd, the same day the JFK autopsy photographs were being developed in Washington, D.C. at Naval Photographic Center, Anacostia. The JFK autopsy photos developed on Saturday (per Robert Knudsen’s 1978 HSCA deposition transcript) would have provided the guide for the image alteration necessary on the Zapruder film the next day, on Sunday. The JFK autopsy photos document the massive head wound created by clandestine, post mortem surgery on JFK’s head wounds at Bethesda Naval Hospital, and would have provided a rough guide for the massive head wound in the top and right side of the skull that had to be painted onto selected Zapruder film frames the next day, on Sunday. No such parietal-temporal-frontal wound was seen at Parkland Hospital in Dallas by any of the treatment staff the day Kennedy was shot and treated there, but it had to be added to selected Zapruder film frames, to match the illicit post mortem cranial surgery at Bethesda that was being misrepresented in the autopsy photos as “damage from the assassin’s bullet.” [22] In addition to painting on a false wound, of course, the forgers at “Hawkeyeworks” would have had to obscure – black out – the real exit wound, in the right rear of JFK’s head, that was seen in Trauma Room One at Parkland Hospital. (More on this below.)
What is undeniable is that there are undisputed “facts on the ground” which indicate that an optically edited Zapruder film – a re-creation – arrived at NPIC in Washington, D.C. on Sunday night, 11/24/63, after the film had been in Rochester, at “Hawkeyeworks,” all day long. Remember, the two Secret Service officials who had the original 8 mm camera-original film departed NPIC with the film at about 3 AM (4 AM at the latest) on Sunday morning. They may have been at “Hawkeyeworks” with the film as early as 6 AM; and since the Zapruder film did not reappear at NPIC until well after dark on Sunday evening, approximately 12 hours (or more) may have been available to those at “Hawkeyeworks” who were engaged in its alteration.
A final comment here: those who insist upon injecting “Hollywood” expertise into the equation here, must respect “the facts on the ground.” The film that arrived at NPIC Sunday night did not come from anywhere else other than Rochester, N.Y. – it was not couriered from Hollywood, or New York City, or anywhere else other than Rochester – it came from “Hawkeyeworks,” per the words of the courier who brought it to NPIC Sunday night, Bill Smith. And the code word “Hawkeyeworks” meant one thing only – the state-of-the-art, Top Secret Kodak lab located at Kodak Headquarters, in Rochester, New York. Hollywood talent may very well have been involved in altering the Zapruder film, but if so, it was talent employed at the Kodak facilities at “Hawkeyeworks” in Rochester. Anyone who suggests otherwise is not employing the necessary intellectual rigor, for it is undeniable that the camera original film was developed on 11/22/63 in Dallas; undeniable that Zapruder took it home with him Friday night; undeniable that he projected the camera-original film himself on an 8 mm projector in his office Saturday morning, and that he then struck a deal with LIFE; and undeniable that Richard Stolley of LIFE magazine then put the camera original film on a plane for Chicago on Saturday afternoon. This timeline does not allow for alteration in Hollywood or New York City, based on what we now know about the film’s true chain of custody on 11/23/63, for we know without a doubt that the original film showed up at NPIC at about 10 PM on Saturday night, 11/23/63.
The Chicago Timeline Reconsidered:
It is obvious to me, in view of what happened at the “Dino Brugioni event” at NPIC, that the camera-original Zapruder film was intercepted, either at the Chicago airport as soon as it arrived from Dallas, or as soon as it arrived at the offices of LIFE, by the Secret Service. In my view this explains the very late arrival (about 10 PM) of the film at NPIC in Washington, and its delivery by two Secret Service officials who had not yet seen it projected. In his July 2011 video interview with me, Dino Brugioni expressed the opinion that the two Secret Service officials had just gotten off of an airplane, and had come directly to NPIC.
This is a very important fact, for it reinforces the extremely high likelihood that the film brought to Brugioni truly was the original film, and not a copy. Let us reexamine where the three copies were that day, on Saturday, 11/23/63. One “first day copy” remained with Zapruder in Dallas; one had been loaned to the FBI in Dallas by the Secret Service in Dallas, and was flown to FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Saturday night, via the Baltimore airport; [23] and the third “same day copy” had been flown to Secret Service headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Friday night, and had arrived sometime between midnight and dawn. Let us assume that the Secret Service copy in the nation’s capital had arrived by sunrise (a conservative estimate), and that officials at Secret Service headquarters had spent all morning Saturday reviewing it. Even if those conservative timelines were the case, then if it were the film brought to Brugioni for the briefing board work, WHY WAS IT NOT DELIVERED AT NOON, OR ONE O’CLOCK PM ON SATURDAY? The fact that the film delivered to him arrived at 10 PM, and the fact that it had not been seen by the two men who couriered it to NPIC, mitigates against the film he worked with having been the “first day copy” sent to Washington by the Dallas Secret Service (Max Phillips) on Friday night.
That is most unlikely for another reason, as well. Enlargements of tiny 8 mm frames for briefing boards would not have been made from a copy film if the original film were available. Furthermore, Dino Brugioni himself would have noticed the soft focus if he had been working with a copy film, instead of an original.
So in my view, it is clear that the camera-original Zapruder film was intercepted in Chicago by Federal agents identifying themselves as Secret Service late on Saturday afternoon or early Saturday evening, and then flown directly to Washington D.C., and taken immediately to NPIC, in the Navy Yard, from Washington National Airport.
What this means is that the timing of the activities in Chicago reported by Loudon Wainwright in his memoir (mentioned above) was simply off by 24 hours. No doubt he got all the names of those involved correct, and their various roles in preparing the layout in the November 29th issue correct, but was just off by one day in recounting when it happened. After all, he was not present at those events, and was reporting hearsay.
We know that the alteration at “Hawkeyeworks” was finished sometime before the middle of the evening on Sunday, November 24th. We know that because the altered film, now in 16 mm wide, “double 8” format again, arrived at NPIC Sunday night, after dark. We even know that “dupes” of the film were made at “Hawkeyeworks,” according to Bill Smith. [24]
And there is strong evidence that such dupes – or at least one such dupe – known in the trade as “dirty dupes,” were run off as black and white copies at “Hawkeyeworks,” and then rushed to Chicago Sunday night so that the magazine could begin its layout for the revised November 29th issue. Three such “dirty dupes” – all unslit, 16 mm wide, “double 8” versions of the Zapruder film – surfaced in January of 2000 when the LMH Co. materials were physically transferred to the Sixth Floor Museum, in Dallas. They are all black and white products (as are the 31 poor quality blowup prints of the Zapruder film published in the November 29th issue of LIFE). As noted by author Richard Trask, one of them, a “reversal black-and-white positive,” does contain markings that “…appear to be markings used to determine selected images for inclusion in LIFE magazine.” [25]
Unfortunately, both Roland Zavada and Richard Trask (who has endorsed Zavada’s view) have gotten carried away by the discovery of these three black-and-white “dirty dupes,” and have drawn entirely the wrong conclusion from these materials discovered about twelve-and-one-half years ago. They have both concluded that the camera-original Zapruder film was not slit after all, at the Kodak Plant in Dallas, the day of the assassination. This absurd conclusion flies in the face of the expert testimony collected by Zavada himself in 1997 and 1998 as he repeatedly interviewed and corresponded with the surviving managers and technicians who worked at the Kodak Plant in Dallas on the day of JFK’s assassination; flies in the face of the manuscript written by Mr. Phil Chamberlain (the Production Supervisor of the Kodak Plant in Dallas) in the late 1970s; and flies in the face of the many witnesses who saw Mr. Zapruder project his 8 mm camera-original film, using an 8 mm projector, on Saturday, November 23rd. [26]
I have an alternative, and more reasonable, explanation for the origin of these “dirty dupes” – one more in line with Occam’s Razor, and which respects expert eyewitness testimony (instead of disrespecting it). I believe that at least one of the three unslit “double 8” Zapruder film “dirty dupes” found at the Sixth Floor Museum in January of 2000, among the donated materials from the LMH Co. (that once belonged to LIFE magazine), was run off in a contact printer at “Hawkeyeworks” on Sunday evening after the alteration of the Zapruder film was completed. It was then, I believe, rushed to Chicago from Rochester so that LIFE magazine, now behind schedule, could get going on its layout for the delayed November 29th issue. Arrival of just one “dirty dupe” at the Donnelly printing plant on Sunday night would have provided the imagery necessary for the first mail-out issues of the magazine to be ready for mailing Monday afternoon, November 25th, and would also have been consistent with the first newsstand issues hitting the shelves on Tuesday, November 26th, as reported by Trask. In his 2005 book, National Nightmare on Six Feet of Film, Trask writes (on p. 117): “The cardboard container associated with the 16 mm films included a printed address reading ‘Allied Film Laboratory, 306 W. Jackson, Chicago 6, Illinois.’” In my view, this might merely indicate that one “dirty dupe” was received from “Hawkeyeworks,” and that the lab in question ran off two more copies of the first “dirty dupe” after it arrived in Chicago Sunday night. Or it might indicate nothing at all related to the provenance of the dupes. Even if the box does indicate a connection between Allied Film Laboratory and the dupes, the presence of the box alone does not indicate that all three of the dupes were run off in Chicago, nor does it tell us that they were copied from the camera-original film.
As Trask himself says, Kodak lab personnel interviewed in “recent years” (presumably he means the 1980s through 2005, when his own book was published) “…seem to recall that in 1963 all four films were slit into 8 mm format.” Yes, that’s what they have recalled, because that is what happened – all four films (the camera-original, and the three first-day copies) were all slit down to 8 mm on Friday night in Dallas, after the three copies were developed, and before Zapruder departed the Kodak Plant. There is no serious or believable reason to doubt their consistent recollections.
In conclusion, a highly significant fact about the November 29th issue of LIFE, and the four briefing board panels at NARA, that even many “alterationists” have not dealt with adequately, is that the frames in that early issue of LIFE that depict JFK’s head wound appear to show the same head wound seen in the extant film today. [This makes perfect sense to me; no cabal at “Hawkeyeworks” in charge of altering the film to hide evidence of shots from the front would have dared to allow LIFE to have a print of the movie before the film was altered.] My main point here, though, is that the prints posted on the four briefing board panels at the Archives (from the McMahon event) are also consistent with the frames published in LIFE on November 29th, and have frame numbers assigned to them in the NPIC working notes that are consistent with the frame numbers used today in association with those same frames in the extant film. About five or six of the frame numbers denoted in the NPIC notes (which describe the photos mounted on the four briefing board panels) are off by one frame (denoting human fallibility – obvious counting errors attributable to fatigue, or haste that night), but the frame numbers and images associated with the briefing boards are consistent with the extant film today. That is to say, there are no major deviations, or patterns in the frame numbering indicating that the film McMahon worked with was structured differently than the one we know today. The obvious implication of these facts discussed above is that at least the major alterations to the Zapruder film (such as frame excisions and deletions, and alterations of the head wound images) were completed by Sunday night, 11/24/63 – and that perhaps all of the alterations were completed by Sunday night, when the film left “Hawkeyeworks,” on its way to NPIC in Washington, D. C.
Rockefeller Commission Issues: In 1975, President Gerald Ford appointed the President’s Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States – headed by Vice President Nelson Rockefeller – in response to allegations in the media of widespread illegal CIA domestic activities, including mind-control-drug experiments upon unsuspecting American citizens; illegal mail opening; and illegal surveillance of domestic political groups. On March 24, 1975, an American citizen named Paul Hoch (a Berkley, California computer programmer) submitted a long list of interrogatories to the Rockefeller Commission, one of which was the timely question – in the immediate wake of the airing of the bootleg copy of the Zapruder film by the ABC television network on March 6, 1975 – “…what use did the Agency make of the Zapruder film?”
This one simple question from Paul Hoch resulted in a series of exchanges in May of 1975 between Rockefeller Commission Senior Counsel Robert B. Olsen, and the CIA, about the Zapruder film. These exchanges quickly drew Dino Brugioni of NPIC and the new NPIC Director, John Hicks, into the search for Zapruder film records, and forced the CIA to: (1) admit to the Commission, in writing, on May 14, 1975, that it still possessed four surviving briefing board panels mounting Zapruder frame enlargements that had been created sometime in late 1963; and (2) to turn over the previously mentioned six pages of NPIC working notes (along with a handwritten memo from NPIC Director John Hicks) to the Rockefeller Commission, in response to Senior Counsel Robert Olsen’s oral request on May 8, 1975 for textual materials about the Zapruder film that may have been provided to the Secret Service by the CIA. These working notes (referred to above in this article) were finally, belatedly released to the public in 1978 under FOIA, and based on the long, administrative FOIA document number assigned by the CIA, became commonly known to JFK researchers by the shorthand of “CIA Document 450.” The notes created a significant stir among JFK researchers, since they indicated a high level of CIA/NPIC interest in the Zapruder film shortly after President Kennedy’s assassination.
But of significant interest here is the very first response sent by the CIA to Senior Counsel Robert B. Olsen, on May 7, 1975, for the story surrounding this response – what it said, and what it did not say – involves deep levels of duplicity, both within the CIA, and between the CIA and the Rockefeller Commission’s staff. And that duplicity surrounds the first set of briefing boards – briefing boards made from the original, unaltered, camera-original Zapruder film – those made by Dino Brugioni at the Zapruder film “briefing board event” over which he presided, commencing late on 11/23/63 at NPIC.
It went down like this. After the Rockefeller Commission forwarded the Paul Hoch list of questions to the CIA, it stimulated a massive search within the Agency for ways to “come clean” and satisfy the Rockefeller Commission, so that the Commission would eventually leave the Agency alone and publicly report its cooperation with the Commission. Sometime in late April or early May of 1975, in response to the Commission’s inquiries about domestic activities (and more specifically, the Paul Hoch memo asking about the Zapruder film), Dino Brugioni reported to the NPIC Director, John Hicks, that he possessed one of the two-panel briefing boards he had made during his Zapruder film event at NPIC; the board had been returned to NPIC when John McCone retired, and the then-Director of NPIC, Arthur Lundahl, had given it to Dino Brugioni and told him to lock it up, saying that no one was to see it except for Lundahl or Brugioni. Since that time, Arthur Lundahl had retired.
Dino Brugioni not only informed John Hicks about the existence of the two-panel briefing board; he showed it to him. Hick’s response was both profane, and violent. Hicks said to Brugioni, when shown the two-panel briefing board made from the unaltered Zapruder film: “Goddammit, what the hell are you doing with that?” Hicks followed with immediate instructions: “Get the Goddamn thing out of here!” A shaken Dino Brugioni, who is still mystified today about the anger expressed by Hicks, wrapped up the two-panel briefing board, sent it over to the office of CIA Director William Colby, and never saw it again. [27]
Mr. Hicks, the key player in this drama, then proceeded to withhold from the Rockefeller Commission the existence of the two-panel briefing board, and to withhold from Dino Brugioni the fact that a four panel briefing board (different form Dino’s) had also been found at NPIC, along with working notes indicating substantial NPIC activity with the film. [28] (This was peculiar behavior, since Brugioni was the Chief Information Officer at NPIC, and in this capacity was the “briefing board czar” for Mr. Hicks.) Not only was Hicks maintaining the compartmentalization put in place at NPIC the weekend following the assassination, but he is the one and only persuasive candidate who fits the bill as the “probable author” of what can only be viewed as an intentionally misleading communication sent to the Rockefeller Commission about the NPIC Zapruder film activity.
On May 7, 1975 Mr. E. H. Knoche, an intelligence officer who was a special assistant to CIA Director William Colby, signed out a letter to Senior Counsel Robert B. Olsen, which forwarded an unsigned “addendum” (one typewritten page) which summarized Zapruder film activity – the making of briefing boards – at NPIC “in late 1963.” Not only does the addendum provide no specific dates for the activity, but the two separate briefing board events have been conflated into one event, and as described in the addendum, there was only one briefing board event that took place with the Secret Service (which we now know is not true). Mention is made of the creation at NPIC of two sets of briefing boards (consistent with the Brugioni event), but the addendum also states that those two sets consisted of four panels each (which we now know is consistent only with the McMahon event). The addendum also states that Secret Service representatives (plural, and consistent with the Brugioni event, but not with the McMahon event) left with the film and one set of briefing boards. We now know that this is not true, for Brugioni was clear in his interview with me that the Secret Service left with the film, but not with the briefing boards, which had not been completed yet. Secret Service agent “Bill Smith,” at the McMahon event, probably did leave with his briefing board products, so concerned was he with secrecy and tight security. The addendum also states that Mr. McCone retained one set of boards; while this is true, the set of boards he retained was a two-panel set joined with a hinge in the middle (made from an unaltered Zapruder film), not the four panel set that the CIA would soon acknowledge having to the Rockefeller Commission. It is my considered opinion, after my four-hour interview with Dino Brugioni in July of 2011, that Mr. Hicks wrote the addendum forwarded by Mr. Knoche to Olsen on May 7th, and that Hicks’ intention in writing the addendum in the way that he did was to hide the fact that there were two compartmentalized operations with the Zapruder film at NPIC the weekend of President Kennedy’s assassination. If, for example, it became known that Dino Brugioni had retained a briefing board set returned by Mr. Cone, Hicks could explain that away to outsiders by showing them the four panel briefing board set made at the second event. His failure to inform Dino Brugioni, who was supposedly his right-hand man, about the discovery of the four panel set (the set in the Archives today), or the NPIC working notes, speaks to his duplicity within his own organization. [29]
Wrapping up this tale, it was the Knoche letter to Olsen of May 7th (and its intentionally confusing addendum about NPIC activity in support of the Secret Service) that stimulated Olsen’s oral request on May 8th to receive copies of “any memoranda or other textual information provided to the Secret Service by CIA after NPIC’s analysis of the Zapruder film.” Hicks wrote a handwritten internal memo on May 13th, admitting that NPIC had the four briefing board panels and the working notes, but withholding the fact that a two-panel briefing board panel had been found, and shown to him, by Brugioni. It was this Hicks memo and the six pages of notes that were forwarded to Olsen by Knoche on May 14, 1975. In doing so, the CIA (Hicks and Knoche) withheld from the Rockefeller Commission the existence of a different set of briefing boards, and refused to divulge that two different Zapruder film “briefing board events” occurred at NPIC the weekend of the assassination. [Hicks even briefed Olsen in person, at NPIC on May 14th, so presumably Olsen was shown the four briefing board panels which, of course, contain the same image frames seen in the extant Zapruder film today.] [30] So I am forced to conclude that NPIC Director John Hicks (the replacement for the eminent Arthur Lundahl), the engineer of all this legerdemain, must have known that there were two compartmentalized operations at NPIC on November 23rd and 24th, 1963, and that if he were to reveal that, he would be revealing that the Zapruder film had been altered at Hawkeyeworks by the CIA and Kodak and the Secret Service, all working together on the project. It must have been for this reason that Hicks felt the Rockefeller Commission did not have a “need-to-know” about the two-panel briefing board retained by Brugioni; and it must have been for this reason that Hicks felt Brugioni did not have a “need-to-know” about the four panel briefing board set which Hicks was showing to Olsen on May 14th. One final thought: since Brugioni sent the two-panel briefing board back to the CIA Director’s office by special CIA courier, and since Mr. E. H. Knoche worked as a special assistant to the Director of CIA in 1975, and had been working in that capacity at the time of the JFK assassination under Director John McCone, [31] Mr. Enno Henry “Hank” Knoche may very well have known about the compartmentalized operations at NPIC in 1963 as well, and may have been willfully cooperating with Hicks in deceiving the Rockefeller Commission.
The two NPIC “briefing board events” the weekend following President Kennedy’s assassination have together definitively proven: (1) that the film’s chain of custody is not what we thought it was for decades; and (2) that the film was located that weekend in a facility where the means almost certainly existed to alter its image content.
First, based on Dino Brugioni’s very clear recollections of his NPIC “briefing board event,” the camera-original, 8 mm Zapruder film was not in Chicago, at the LIFE printing plant, on the Saturday night following JFK’s assassination; but rather, was in Washington, D.C. at NPIC on Saturday, 11/23/63, from about 10 PM that night, until 3 or 4 AM the next morning, on Sunday, 11/24/63.
Second, the statements of the Secret Service courier who brought the altered, and reformatted 16 mm wide, unslit, “double 8” Zapruder film back to NPIC on Sunday night, 11/24/63 – “Bill Smith” – revealed to Homer McMahon that the Zapruder film delivered to him for the making of prints had been processed at “Hawkeyeworks,” a state-of-the-art, world class photo laboratory at Kodak headquarters, that was regularly used in support of classified CIA contracts. The two major classified CIA-Kodak contracts at the time were in support of “special orders” for U-2 high-altitude and Corona satellite photography, but the overall physical capabilities of the “Hawkeye Plant” went well beyond these two areas, and included much work in the motion picture field, according to what Mr. Brugioni was told by the Kodak employees who managed the Rochester lab, and who were his points of contact there.
We know from the historical record that the two key statements made by “Bill Smith” about the Zapruder film were outright fabrications – to wit, the original film was not donated to the government for free by Mr. Zapruder; and the camera-original Zapruder film was not developed at “Hawkeyeworks” in Rochester, as Smith had claimed. [Zapruder had negotiated an initial sales contract with LIFE magazine for $50,000.00 on Saturday morning; and the camera-original film had been developed in Dallas, not at “Hawkeyeworks” in Rochester.]
Dino Brugioni’s knowledge of the “Hawkeyeworks” facility in Rochester, gained from Mr. Ed Green of Kodak and others whom he knew at the facility, was that it could indeed process motion picture film, and that the Kodak technicians at the Top Secret laboratory “could do anything” with film. Because “Bill Smith” of the Secret Service delivered a Zapruder film to NPIC on Sunday, 11/24/63, whose format had miraculously been transformed, within 24 hours, from a slit, 8 mm wide “double 8” film, to an unslit, 16 mm wide, “double 8” film, it is reasonable to conclude that the Zapruder film’s image content was indeed altered on Sunday, 11/24/63, and that the alteration occurred at “Hawkeyeworks,” from whence Bill Smith had come with the film, which he readily admitted had been processed at that facility.
For all of the foregoing reasons, it is therefore appropriate to briefly review three of the major indicators that the Zapruder film’s imagery has undergone alteration.
The Head Explosion:
As discussed earlier in this paper, Dino Brugioni opined during his July 9, 2011 interview with the author that the head explosion seen today in the extant Zapruder film is markedly different from what he saw on 11/23/63, when he worked with what he is certain was the camera-original film. The head explosion he recalls was much bigger than the one seen today in frame 313 of the extant film (going “three or four feet into the air”); was a “white cloud” that did not exhibit any of the pink or red color seen in frame 313 today; and was of such a duration that he is quite sure that in the film he viewed in 1963, there were many more frames than just one graphically depicting the fatal head shot on the film he viewed in 1963. Mr. Brugioni cannot, and does not, accept frame 313 of the extant Zapruder film as an accurate or complete representation of the fatal head shot he saw in the camera-original Zapruder film on the Saturday evening following President Kennedy’s assassination.
He is supported in this view by two other opinions.
Erwin Schwartz, Abraham Zapruder’s business partner, told interviewer Noel Twyman on November 21, 1994 that when he viewed the original film on Friday, November 22, 1963, he saw biological debris from the head explosion propelled to the left rear of the President when he viewed the film. This debris pattern is not visible on the film today, but dovetails with the consistent recollections of motorcycle officer Bobby W. Hargis, who was hit with great force at the time of the head shot by debris travelling to the left rear. [32]
Similarly, professional surveyors Robert West and Chester Breneman performed the first of several site surveys of Dealey Plaza that they participated in on Monday, November 25, 1963 – for LIFE magazine. Breneman was quoted in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on April 14, 1978 as saying that in using the color prints of individual Zapruder frames provided by LIFE, he could see in some of the prints “large blobs of blood and brain matter flying from Kennedy’s head to the rear of the car.” [33] Whether his remembered date for the LIFE-sponsored survey is precisely accurate or not, the important factor here is that he saw debris traveling to the rear of the President in enlargements made from individual frames of the Zapruder film – imagery that is not seen in the extant film today. If his recollection that those images were provided by LIFE was correct, it suggests covert collusion between some at LIFE magazine and the U.S. government – namely, a joint effort to determine exactly what did happen in Dealey Plaza, apparently using frames from the unaltered Zapruder film.
Given the decades-long ties between LIFE’s publisher, C. D. Jackson, and the U.S. Intelligence Community, such collusion would not be surprising, particularly given LIFE magazine’s history of false reporting in its December 6, 1963 issue about the imagery in the Zapruder film, and its suppression of the film as a motion picture for almost 12 years. [34] It seems clear to me that David Wrone got it all wrong in his book when he assessed LIFE’s primary motive in its dealings with the Zapruder film as profit-driven. On the contrary, spending an additional $100,000.00 dollars on Monday, November 25th (beyond the original $50,000.00 spent on Saturday, November 23rd) to secure motion picture rights and total ownership of the film, and then never exploiting the film commercially as a motion picture for twelve years, speaks to suppression as the primary motive, rather than profit.

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 Parkand 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.
The Missing Car Stop:
One final imagery-related indication that the Zapruder film has likely been altered is the simple proof that about sixteen persons in Dealey Plaza indicated that the President’s limousine stopped, very briefly (for approximately one-half second to one-and-a-half seconds), during the head shot sequence on Elm Street. No such “car stop” is seen on the extant Zapruder film. And yet, many of the witnesses who claim the limousine stopped were those closest to President Kennedy when he was killed, including Jean Hill, Hugh Betzner, Bill Newman, Mary Woodward, Roy Truly, Phil Willis, Alan Smith, DPD patrolmen Earle Brown and J. W. Foster, and DPD motorcyclists Bobby W. Hargis and James Chaney. [36] (Incidentally, none of them recalled seeing the violent back-and-to-the- left “head snap” seen in the extant Zapruder film today, which reinforces the likelihood that it is an optical artifact in the extant film, created by the removal of several exit debris frames during optical editing at “Hawkeyeworks.”)
If Abraham Zapruder was really operating his movie camera at 48 frames per second (the accelerated frame rate required to play back the film in “slow motion” on a home movie projector – three times the normal speed), vice 16 frames per second (the normal frame rate), then anyone engaged in altering the film would have had a much easier time optically excising frames of exit debris, and removing the car stop, through use of an optical printer. All that was required to operate Zapruder’s Bell and Howell camera at the accelerated frame rate of 48 fps was a slight downward pressure on the trigger with the operator’s index finger.
It could have happened this way – consider this: the extant film (that is, the assassination movie, not the Zapruder family scenes present on the two Secret Service copies) in the National Archives (not counting leader) consists of a strip of film 8 feet, 10 inches long (of which only 6 feet, 3 inches contains the imagery of the assassination film, and 2 feet, 7 inches is black, unexposed film with no image showing); then there is a physical splice; then there is a segment of black film containing no imagery that is 19 feet, 3 inches long; then there is another physical splice; then there is another segment of black film containing no imagery which is 5 feet, 8 inches long. Summarizing, after the first splice at the end of the assassination segment, there are a total of just over 24 feet of black film with no image showing. If the camera-original film had actually been shot at 48 frames per second – three times normal speed – then conceivably it would have required approximately three times the length of film in the present assassination segment (i.e., 3 x 6 feet = 18 feet). Currently, there is more than 18 feet of black film that is not contiguous with the assassination movie – that is, there is actually 24 feet of black film that has not been shot, but the problem is, it is not physically connected to the assassination film. The rhetorical question becomes, how do we know the actual, camera-original Zapruder film wasn’t shot at 48 frames per second, and then edited down to normal speed during the alteration process by removing two thirds of the frames when the new film was created in an optical printer? The answer is, we don’t know that – there is room for subterfuge here – because the black, unexposed film on the reel of the extant Zapruder film has been attached with a splice. [37]
An indefensible position:
In his 2003 book, The Zapruder Film: Reframing JFK’s Assassination, author David Wrone wrote the following on page 125:
“Regarding the CIA, no scrap of paper, legitimate witness, or indirect source of any merit places the agency or any of its surrogates indirectly or directly in connection with the film on November 22 or the following two days.”
In view of the two NPIC events discussed above, this statement is demonstrably wrong in every particular. Homer McMahon (Head of the NPIC Color Lab in 1963) and Dino Brugioni (Chief Information Officer at NPIC) were certainly “legitimate witnesses” and “sources of merit,” as was Ben Hunter, a CIA career man who was still working for the Agency when the ARRB staff interviewed him in 1997. The CIA’s code name “Hawkeyeworks,” referring to the Top Secret lab at Kodak headquarters in Rochester, N.Y., with which the CIA had a close association through several classified contracts, was where the second Zapruder film delivered to NPIC, on 11/24/63, had been processed; thus “Hawkeyeworks” certainly qualifies as one of “the CIA’s surrogates.” The “thoroughly documented lack of official interest in the Zapruder film” that David Wrone writes about on page 125 is a figment of his imagination. The two NPIC events detailed by Brugioni (event # 1, commencing 11/23/63) and McMahon and Hunter (event # 2, commencing 11/24/63) indicate a great deal of interest, indeed, by the U.S. government, immediately following the assassination of President Kennedy, and precisely within the two-day period that David Wrone so falsely characterized. Two compartmentalized operations took place on the weekend of November 23-25, 1963, at the CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) in the nation’s capital. Secret Service couriers were shuttling the Zapruder film to Washington, D.C. from Chicago, and then the next day from Rochester, New York, back to Washington again. Even as late as 1975, Mr. Hicks, the Director of NPIC, was withholding important information from one vital and trusted employee (Dino Brugioni), and was withholding other important information from the Rockefeller Commission, in an attempt to keep the lid on what had happened with the Zapruder film at NPIC.
The two NPIC events are indeed “signposts” to the Zapruder film’s alteration. The only way in which the two NPIC events can be properly understood or explained is in the context of the film’s alteration at “Hawkeyeworks” on the very weekend immediately following President Kennedy’s assassination.
Why Do So Many in the JFK Research Community Resist the Mounting Evidence that the Zapruder Film is an Altered Film?
I do not include here, in this question, those who have written books defending the Zapruder film’s authenticity; their obstinacy and closed-mindedness is related to ego, reputation, and to lifelong defense of their established turf. The old orthodoxy always resents the new paradigm that threatens established ways of thinking. [38]
There is a bigger problem within the JFK research community, and it revolves around the following question commonly posed by perplexed members of the “old guard,” first-generation JFK researchers, to whom the concept of an altered Zapruder film seems dangerous heresy. They usually ask, “Why would anyone alter the film, and yet still leave evidence of conspiracy in the film?” (By this they usually mean the “timing problem” in the extant film which makes the single bullet theory impossible; and the “head snap” of JFK’s upper torso and head to the left-rear after frame 313 – which they equate with a shot, or shots, from the right front, and not from the Texas School Book Depository.)
The answers to this valid question are clear to me: (1) those altering the Zapruder film at “Hawkeyeworks” on Sunday, November 24, 1963 were extremely pressed for time, and could only do “so much” in the twelve-to-fourteen hour period available to them; (2) the technology available with which to alter films in 1963 (both the traveling matte, and aerial imaging) had limitations – there was no digital CGI technology at that time – and therefore, I believe the forgers were limited to basic capabilities like blacking out the exit wound in the right-rear of JFK’s head; painting a false exit wound on JFK’s head on the top and right side of his skull (both of these seem to have been accomplished through “aerial imaging” – that is, animation cells overlaid “in space” on top of the projected images of the frames being altered, using a customized optical printer with an animation stand, and a process camera to re-photograph each self-matting, altered frame); and removing exit debris frames, and even the car stop, through step-printing.
In my view, the alterations that were performed were aimed at quickly removing the most egregious evidence of shots from the front (namely, the exit debris leaving the skull toward the left rear, and the gaping exit wound which the Parkland Hospital treatment staff tells us was present in the right-rear of JFK’s head). I believe that in their minds, the alterationists of 1963 were racing against the clock – they did not know what kind of investigation, either nationally or in Texas, would transpire, and they were trying to sanitize the film record as quickly as possible before some investigative body demanded to “see the film evidence.” There was not yet a Warren Commission the weekend following the assassination, and those who planned and executed the lethal crossfire in Dealey Plaza were intent upon removing as much of the evidence of it as possible, as quickly as possible. As I see it, they did not have time for perfection, or the technical ability to ensure perfection, in their “sanitization” of the Zapruder film. They did an imperfect job, the best they could in about 12-14 hours, which was all the time they had on Sunday, November 24, 1963, at “Hawkeyeworks.” Besides, there was no technology available in 1963 that could convincingly remove the “head-snap” from the Zapruder film; you could not animate JFK’s entire body without it being readily detectable as a forgery, so the “head-snap” stayed in the film. (The “head snap” may even be an inadvertent result – an artifact of apparently rapid motion – caused by the optical removal of several “exit debris” frames from the film. When projected at normal speed at playback, any scene in a motion picture will appear to speed up if frames have been removed. Those altering the film may have believed it was imperative to remove the exit debris travelling through the air to the rear of President Kennedy, even if that did induce apparent “motion” in his body which made it appear as though he might have been shot from the front. The forgers may have had no choice, in this instance, but to live with the lesser of two evils. Large amounts of exit debris traveling toward the rear would have been unmistakable proof within the film of a fatal shot from the front; whereas a “head snap” is something whose causes could be debated endlessly, without any final resolution.)
Those who altered the Zapruder film knew that the wound alteration images in frames 317, 321, 323, 335, and 337, for example, were “good enough” to show investigators the film on a flimsy movie screen coated with diamond dust, but they also knew the alterations were not good enough to withstand close scrutiny. That is why I believe C.D. Jackson – the CIA’s asset at LIFE and its best friend in the national print media – instructed Richard Stolley to again approach Abraham Zapruder on Sunday night, and to offer a much higher sale price for Zapruder’s movie, in exchange for LIFE’s total ownership of the film, and all rights to the film. By Sunday night, the name of the game at LIFE was suppression, not profit-making. By Sunday night, November 24th, C. D. Jackson was wearing his CIA hat, not his Time, Inc. businessman’s hat. After striking the new deal with Time, Inc. on Monday, Zapruder received an immediate $25,000.00, and the remainder of his payments ($25,000.00 per year, each January, through January of 1968), were effectively structured as “hush money” payments. His incentive to keep his mouth shut about the film’s alteration would clearly be his desire to keep getting paid $25,000.00 each January, for the next five years.
The alterationists in 1963 also had a “disposal” problem, for they had three genuine “first day copies” of the Zapruder film floating around which threatened to proliferate quickly, unless they could get them out of circulation immediately, replaced with new “first generation copies” stuck from the new “Hawkeyeworks” master delivered to NPIC on Sunday night.
For them, speed was of the essence, not perfection. I believe that once the new “master” was completed at “Hawkeyeworks” early Sunday evening, three new first generation copies were struck from it, as well as at least one “dirty dupe” for the LIFE editorial crew standing by in Chicago. Only after these products were exposed at Rochester, early Sunday evening, was the “new Zapruder film” (masquerading as an unslit, 16 mm wide camera-original “double 8” film) couriered down to NPIC by “Bill Smith,” who took his cock-and-bull story along with him, to his everlasting discredit.
Of course, the cock-and-bull story worked, since Homer McMahon and Ben Hunter knew nothing about the event with the true camera-original film at NPIC the previous night. McMahon and Hunter had no reason, on Sunday night, 11/24/63, to disbelieve “Bill Smith” when he told them that he had brought “the camera-original film” with him, after it had been “developed” at Rochester. After all, the product handed to them looked like a camera-original “double 8” film: it was a 16 mm wide unslit film, with sprocket holes on both sides, and exhibited opposing image strips, upside down in relation to each other, and going in reverse directions.
I am quite sure that by Tuesday, November 26th, all of the original “first day copies” had been swapped out with the three replacements made at “Hawkeyeworks” Sunday night from the new “original.”
NPIC finished up with the new “original” Zapruder film by some time Monday morning, November 25th, or perhaps by mid-day Monday at the latest. McMahon went home after the enlargements (the 5 x 7 prints) were run off, but the graphics people at NPIC still had to finish assembling the three sets of four panel briefing boards.
And the rest is history. Now, through the magic of high resolution digital scans – technology undreamed of in 1963, in an analog world – the forgery and fraud of November, 1963 is being exposed, slowly but surely. Alterations that were “good enough” to hold up on a flimsy, portable 8 mm movie screen back in 1963, look quite bad – very crude – today, under the magnifying glass of today’s digital technology.
The two back-to-back “briefing board events” the weekend of President Kennedy’s assassination at the CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) in Washington, D.C. – compartmentalized operations bracketing the Zapruder film’s alteration at the “Hawkeyeworks” lab in Rochester, N.Y. – are the signposts that illuminate for us, like two spotlights piercing the night sky, the hijacking of our nation’s history almost 49 years ago.
The Zapruder film was altered by the U.S. government, using clandestine, state-of-the-art Kodak resources in Rochester, to remove the most egregious evidence within the film of shots that came from in front of JFK’s limousine. The true exit wound in the rear of his head was blacked out in many frames; frames showing exit debris from the fatal head shot propelled violently to the left rear were removed from the film; and a false “exit wound” was added to many of the image frames, in an attempt to support the lone assassin cover story. The altered film is one of the strongest proofs of a massive government cover-up following President Kennedy’s death, and the intelligence community’s third party surrogates are doing all they can, today, to deny that the film was ever altered, and discredit this story. I believe the facts speak for themselves.
I will close now with this cautionary quote for those skeptics, unwilling to let go of a discredited paradigm, who still feel compelled to defend the Zapruder film’s authenticity:
“It is misleading to claim that scientific advances and scholarly experiments can cause all photo fakes to be unmasked. Questions about authenticity remain. Many photos that once were considered genuine have recently been determined to be faked.”
~ Dino Brugioni, author of Photofakery: the History and Techniques of Photographic Deception and Manipulation (1999).
[20] ARRB interview of Homer A. McMahon conducted on July 14, 1997 by Douglas Horne.
[21] Horne, 2009, p. 1326-1327.
[22] Horne, 2009, p. 987-1013.
[23] Trask, 2005, p. 122.
[24] ARRB interview of Homer A. McMahon conducted on July 14, 1997 by Douglas Horne.
[25] Trask, 2005, p. 118.
[26] Trask, 2005, p. 117-119; and Horne, 2009, p. 1277-1281.
[27] HD Video interview of Dino Brugioni conducted on July 9, 2011 by Douglas Horne.
[28] Ibid.
[29] Ibid.
[30] Handwritten Memo for File written by H. Knoche on 5/14/1975.
[31] Dino A. Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball (Random House, 1991), p. 66.
[32] Horne, 2009, p. 1295-1296
[33] Ibid., p. 1296.
[34] Ibid., p. 1201-1205.
[35] Ibid., p. 1352-1363.
[36] Ibid., 1299-1302.
[37] Zavada, 1998, Attachment A1-1C, “Film Map of Original Zapruder Film” (prepared by ARRB staff member Douglas Horne following examination of the extant Zapruder film on April 4, 1997, at the National Archives)
[38] Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (University of Chicago Press, 1962).
May 19, 2012
Douglas P. Horne graduated Cum Laude from Ohio State University in 1974, with a B.A. in History. He served for ten years as a Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy, and then worked for the Navy for ten more years as a Federal civilian. In 1995 he joined the staff of the President John F. Kennedy “Assassination Records Review Board,” and rose to the position of Chief Analyst for Military Records. In that capacity, he focused on the medical evidence surrounding the JFK autopsy; the Zapruder film; and ensured the release of military records on Cuba and Vietnam. In 2009 he published the extensive five-volume work, Inside the Assassination Records Review Board, which documents the U.S. government’s coverup of the medical evidence surrounding JFK’s assassination, and the alteration of the Zapruder film of President Kennedy’s assassination.
Copyright © 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given. [NOTE: This is one in a series of articles being republished since veterans today.com deleted them in a dispute with its Senior Editor, Gordon Duff, about which I have since written several articles.]