JFK assassination film hoax

The wound mistake

The Zapruder film seems to show the front of JFK’s head being blasted open by a shot:

Researchers like Stewart Galanor, who were lucky enough to see the film in the 1960s (at a private screening in the U.S. National Archives), believed that this proved that JFK was killed by a shot coming from in front of him and to his right (from the “grassy knoll”), because his head moves backwards and to his left.

In the same way, when the film was first shown on TV in 1975, people were outraged. The U.S. Government’s story—that one man in a building far behind the President shot him—didn’t make sense. This led the U.S. House of Representatives to create a new Select Committee to investigate the assassination.

But even in the 1960s, researcher David Lifton discovered that the Zapruder film not just gives us confusing information about where the shot came from, but actually makes no sense at all!

Lifton was a graduate in engineering physics. He took the black-and-white copies of the Zapruder film frames, published by the U.S. Government, to Nobel-prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman. He thought that Feynman would conclude, from the laws of physics, that the shot must have come from the front.

Lifton was dismayed when Feynman ignored all of the frames except the ones that show the President just before and just after the impact of the shot:


(These are modern copies of those frames.) Even though Frame 313 is blurred, Feynman was able to measure the position of JFK’s head compared to fixed parts of the limousine (like the handle reflection between the Kennedys and the Connallys).

Feynman found that JFK’s head moved forwards at the moment of impact.

The laws of physics then tell us that the shot must have come from behind!

The backwards movement of the President’s head after Frame 313 then became the mystery. Were there two shots? Could there be some other physics explanation for this strange phenomenon? Did the red spray of blood force his head backwards, like a jet engine? Could his muscles have gone into spasm because of the brain damage?

In 2001, scientists used modern computers to remove as much of the blur from Frame 313 as possible. When the two clear frames are laid on top of each other, there is no doubt at all that JFK’s head moves forward:

The movement was checked by yet another method: Frame 312 was blurred by the same amount as Frame 313, and then the two frames were compared. Again, the President’s head was found to move forwards.

You can also see something remarkable in this comparison: the red spray of blood in Frame 313 is clearly in front of JFK’s head. Indeed, it blocks our view of his wife’s face, which can be fully seen in Frame 312!

This seems to again tell us that the shot came from behind. There is no other way for bloody brain matter to be blasted forwards.

But Lifton made a discovery that, for more than two decades, was so incredible that it was not given much credence: the head wound shown on the Zapruder film does not at all match the wound described by eyewitnesses and the doctors that treated JFK in Dallas!

We can see the problem just by going one more frame forward, to Frame 314:

The Zapruder film is telling us that the whole front-top of JFK’s head gets blasted away! There is a huge crater where his forehead used to be, through which we can again see his wife.

This would make sense, if he was indeed hit by a high-velocity rifle bullet from behind.

There is only one problem with this: everyone who saw the President after the shooting said that his face was not injured or damaged at all!

JFK autopsy photographs surfaced in the late 1980s, and showed his face to be completely intact:

Even the skeptics had to agree that either the Zapruder film or the autopsy photos (or both) have to be forgeries.

From the 1970s, Lifton had argued that the bright reddish-white wound which seems to appear and snake up the side of the President’s head, which he called “the blob”, completely disagreed with the descriptions of the head wound given by the doctors and nurses at Dallas’s Parkland Hospital, where the President was taken:

In a thousand-word footnote in his 1980 book, Best Evidence, he argued that this tells us that the Zapruder film has been substantially altered, if not completely forged.

However, Lifton would have to wait nearly a quarter of a century for scientists to prove that he was right.

His hundred-page chapter in The Great Zapruder Film Hoax is a wonderful history of the Zapruder film, and the way it was used to convince the American public, over the past four decades.

Introduction page

The fast-forward mistakes

The sign mistake

The lamppost mistake

The wound mistake  You are here!

The blood mistake