The Great Zapruder Film Hoax

Book Description
Perhaps no greater debate has raged in the history of the study of the death of JFK than over the authenticity of a 27-second home movie of the assassination, known as "the Zapruder film". This footage has been described as "the most significant amateur recording of a news event in history". It is surely one of the most controversial. Some students of the crime take it as the absolute foundation for understanding what actually transpired. Others are not so sure.

This book brings together leading experts on the film, including Jack White, the legendary photoanalyst; David Healy, an expert on film production and post-production; John Costella, Ph.D., a physicist with specialization in light and the properties of moving objects; David W. Mantik, M.D., Ph.D., the leading expert on the medical evidence and another authority on the film; David Lifton, a noted student of the assassination and author of BEST EVIDENCE; and James H. Fetzer, Ph.D., a professor of logic, critical thinking, and scientific reasoning.

The evidence that is presented in this volume provides proof that the film has not simply been edited by removing a few frames or by altering the contents of specific sequences (which has indeed been done in this instance) but that the whole film has been created by the use of sophisticated techniques relying upon optical printing and special effects, whereby any foreground can be merged with any background, any specific unwanted events can be removed and any wanted events can be introduced.

The Preface begins by dismantling the arguments of proponents of the film's authenticity, especially Josiah Thompson, who authored a work, SIX SECONDS IN DALLAS (1967), based upon the presumption that the film is authentic. Thompson has argued that the chronology of the film's possession precluded its alteration; that the publication of frames in LIFE magazine's issue of 29 November 1963 made it very difficult to fake; and that the synchronicity of the film relative to other photographs and films disproves it.

But a more complete version of the film was in the hands of the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) run by the CIA already Friday night, where Homer McMahon watched it more than 10 times and observed the impact of six to eight shots fired from at least three directions. If there were copies around other than the official "original", then his chronology does not track them. The frames that appeared in LIFE were few in number (31 out of 486) and poor in quality, excluding the most crucial sequences. And the recreated Zapruder film may have been used as a guide for changing other photographs and films.

So it appears to have happened the other way around. Indeed, the evidence amassed here includes the unresponsive spectators, an impossible frame 232, inconsistencies with the Stemmons Freeway sign, differences in lamppost verticality between the film and DPD photographs, the missing limousine stop, the Greer backward head-turn in frames 302-303, the disappearning blood spray in frames 313-314, the "blob" of gushing brains, the Greer forward head-turn in frames 315-317, the absence of tissue debris on the limousine trunk, and the missing Connally left-turn.

That the film has been fabricated is established beyond reasonable doubt on the basis of internal anomalies, physical impossibilities, eyewitness testimony, and other forms of proof. In conjunction with other available evidence, however, authentic features of this film can be identified, including frame 225, which shows a hole in the windshield; frames 313-316, which show the motion of the President's body (back and to the left); frame 330, which displays a "solar flare" from a shot that hit the chrome strip; and frame 374, which shows a blow-out to the back of the President's head.

Frame 313 requires extensive consideration insofar as it may have been fabricated by merging two shots--one from behind, the other from in front--to reduce the number and conceal the origin of impacts on JFK. There is ample evidence that the driver brought the limousine to a halt, that the President was hit in the head from the rear and fell forward, then was hit again from the front after Jackie had eased him upright, which may be the most complex deception in the history of the case.

This volume emerged from The Zapruder Film Symposium, which was organized and moderated by James H. Fetzer on the Duluth Campus of the University of Minnesota, 9-11 May 2003, and may well prove to have been among the most important conferences in the history of the study of the death of JFK. Certainly, the discoveries reported here remove any question about the film's authenticity and reveal the lengths to which the conspirators were willing to go to cover up the true cause of death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
Prepublication Reviews
"The essays in this subperb collection convincingly demonstrate that seeing shouldn't mean believing when it comes to the Zapruder film. This volume will join Fetzer's two earlier books on the Kennedy assassination as indispensable resources. High recommended." --Kerry Walters, William Bittinger Professor of Philosophy, Gettysburg College
". . . raises deeply distrubing quesitons. This book challenges the authenticity of perhaps the single most important piece of evidence in the Kennedy assassination--the Zapruder film." --Michael Kurtz, Dean of the Graduate School, Southwestern Louisiana University
"The Great Zapruder Film Hoax" by Richard J. DellaRosa



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