Mantik Responds to My Zapruder Film Article
I expected that Mantik would eventually respond
to my article about the Zapruder film which proves the authenticity of
the Zapruder film. After all, if I were to succeed in proving that the
Zapruder film is authentic, that throws out many of the bizarre theories
from Assassination Science.
David Lifton has joined him in the attack. However, it appears that
neither of them had the courage to send me their criticisms. It was forwarded
to me by another researcher. I will answer each point (even thought they
refuse to do the same) interspersed and directly below each point to make
it easier for the reader to follow.
But most of their issues can be answered by
the fact that I have something which they don't.
Exemplars! Examples of everyday, ordinary 8 mm home movies shot by
amateurs with similar cameras and film, under similar conditions (outdoor
lighting) which show the same type of ghost images as described in the
Zapruder film. Dr. Mantik states, if we are to take him at his word and
I see no reason not to, at the bottom of page 339 of Assassination Science
that his home movie frames do not show ghost images. And David Lifton told
me that he has no exemplars with ghost images such as mine. I have sent
samples of these exemplars to other researchers. Even before I wrote my
article, I offered to share my research with Dr. Mantik. He refused to
answer my e-mails. I would have gladly sent Dr. Mantik a sample of the
exemplars. I did not include them in my article only because I had
no way to scan them into my computer. I tried a couple of computer stores,
but the smallest width their scanners could handle was 35 mm. So, until
I can find a way to scan them into my computer, you have to take my word
that they exist. Below is the Mantik-Lifton letter with my answers.
GHOST IMAGES IN THE INTERSPROCKET AREA:
A RESPONSE TO TONY MARSH
David W. Mantik and David S. Lifton
Introduction. By purporting to explain the ghost images in the intersprocket
(i.s.) area, Marsh claims to have proved Z-film authenticity. These
best seen in frames after Z-309. In particular, in the upper portion
i.s. area, Z-327 clearly shows the front of the motorcycle on the right
of the limousine. Marsh claims that this particular image is exposed
simultaneously with the immediately preceding frame. This ghost image
supposedly transmitted via a partially open area in the film mechanism
therefore becomes a superposition when the next frame is exposed. His
comments are at http://www.boston.quik.com/amarsh/zapruder.htm. Our
Marsh's proposal is hardly new. Weatherly proposed it to us (with diagrams)
well before ASSASSINATION SCIENCE (AS) was even written. And it is
the idea existed long before that. We suggest that answers to the following
questions will help to clarify the issue of the ghost images even further.
encourage all students to cooperate in answering them.
I did not know that Weatherly had proposed
the explanation I gave. I had asked a few other researchers and no one
had heard of such a complete explanation as I gave. If Weatherly indeed
agrees with my discovery 100% (and he has not stepped forward to say that
he does) then I would gladly attribute the discovery to him. I had never
seen my solution anywhere before. NEVER. If it indeed was proposed before
my article, I would like to see proof of that. None has been offered. Further,
if Weatherly had already proposed this solution, why wasn't that included
in Assassination Science? Because Mantik and Fetzer were biased
against the discovery and wanted to hide that fact from the reader. It
would disprove many of the bizarre theories that they wanted to promote.
Fetzer saw fit to include articles from his little clique which included
totally fabricated witness statements and he himself captioned one illustration
incorrectly which left a false impression in the mind of the reader. And
the book is full of the most ridiculous speculations, yet when Weatherly
supposedly stumbles onto the truth, Fetzer and Mantik decide to withhold
that truth from the reader.
1. If Marsh is right, then why don't we see such ghost images in the
movie portion of the Z-film? Mantik did not see these, nor did Livingstone,
al., as recently reported in THE FOURTH DECADE (July 1998), pp. 34-36.
Who says that we do not see the ghost images
in the home movie portion? What is the source for that declaration? Triple
hearsay? If someone visited the National Archives and reported that he
viewed the home movie portions of the film and saw no ghost images, he
could not be correct. The earliest part of the second 25 feet (before the
motorcade) should show the ghost images and I would be willing to
bet that it does. But no researcher is allowed to just waltz into the National
Archives and examine the original film. It is kept in a temperature and
humidity controlled vault under strict security. That has been our problem
all these years, not being allowed to see the original film. Maybe a sloppy
researcher visited the National Archives and reported seeing the original
film, but was only shown a COPY.
If someone reports that he bought a COPY of the first 25 feet of
the original camera film from the Zapruder family, what are the guarantees
about what copying process was used? The ghost images would be there in
the camera original print, but may be lost by the processing of copies
of copies of copies of the original. The ghost images in the original may
have been so faint, as they are in many motorcade frames, that they are
not easily seen by an amateur, but might be easily seen by a careful
researcher. There is no explanation offered of the source examined.
2. Why are they not seen in a recent film shot in Dealey Plaza by Brian
Edwards through a camera virtually identical to Zapruder's (same brand,
type, close serial number)?
Again, hearsay. Supposedly someone named Brian
Edwards claims that he took film under virtually identical conditions.
Not stated: what camera. Not stated: what film. Not stated:
what settings. Not stated: what lighting conditions. Not stated:
what developing process. Not stated: what quality control at the
developing lab. Which lab still remembers how to develop regular 8 mm reversal
film today? The name of the lab and contact information? The fact remains
that I possess film examples which do show the ghost images. It is a natural
process. If Brain Edwards really does exist and really does have exactly
the same type of camera as Zapruder used, let him open it up and take a
picture of the aperture plate and then upload it to me and others so that
we can see for ourselves what his camera is like. The aperture plate is
the decisive factor. If his aperture plate is like the illustration I created
in the computer (although his will have a rounded corner on the bottom
edge of the open area where it goes from the normally projected frame into
the sprocket hole area) then his camera must be creating double
exposures. It is simply a matter of physics. We don't know what type of
film he used. That is one thing that should always make the reader suspicious
of these claims of duplicating something. Could he have used the exact
same type of film which Zapruder used, vintage 1961? I seriously doubt
it. Let him come forward and state that if that is true. If he instead
used modern film, that film may not record double exposures as well as
Zapruder's 1961 Kodachrome II.
3. Marsh predicts that bright objects on a dark background are more
show up as ghost images, which seems reasonable. In that case, why
is there no
obvious ghost image of the post on far side of the Stemmons freeway
of the waving man with the white shirt?
I covered the reason why the ghost images
do not show up in every frame in my article. It is a battle between the
forces of dark and light. If the tab being exposed has bright information
and then that portion of the normal sprocket hole area where the double
exposure will take place has dark information, then that double exposure
ghost will be easier to see. We can see that clearly in the lower sprocket
hole area of frame 183 where the double exposure from the other frame's
sprocket hole area is only visible in frame 183's sprocket hole
area where it overlaps the dark clothing of the spectators lining the north
curb of Elm Street. Notice that the double exposure from the building in
the 500 block of Elm Street disappear or fades away as the clothing of
the each spectator gets lighter. This effect does not depend on the height
of the image. It depends only on the lightness or darkness of the spectators'
clothing. This effect could not be duplicated back at the CIA's laboratory.
It depends strictly on what clothes those particular spectators chose to
wear. Obviously if a man is wearing a white shirt, the very bright exposure
from the white shirt will swamp out the much darker exposure from the adjacent
frame. I have explained that several times. That is an elementary fact
from photography which any photography student is expected to know. Examine
frame 183 for yourself to see what I mean:
Paul Burke has contributed an illustration
which he feels shows what the design of the aperture plate would expose
on a typical frame with the tabs above and below the frame. He also outlines
the extent of the exposure area which came though the aperture. While I
am not endorsing his illustration 100%, it may be very close to reality.
It may answer Dr. Mantik's questions about why the ghost images did not
extend farther to the left. That would be a combination of the fact that
the groove narrowed into "wells" at the top and bottom of the sprocket
hole area and the light hit the film only inside the area indicated by
the partially shown black circle. Due to technical reasons, I don't feel
that we can state with 100% confidence that the actual area of exposure
is a perfect circle, and the extent which Burke has shown may be slightly
4. If Marsh is correct and if the image in some randomly chosen frame
blurred (e.g., Z-199), then the ghost image in frame n (e.g., Z-200)
also be blurred; likewise when one image is sharp, the other one should
be sharp. Sometimes such consistency is seen, but sometimes it is not.
Here Mantik tries to lend his criticism
an air of scientific inquiry by referring to frames as (n) and and (n-1).
Fine. I have already shown a very clear example of frame 313, which
I would hope that any reasonable person would agree is very blurred, where
the ghost image of the motorcycle from the tab of frame 312 is exceptionally
sharp. And frame 312 itself is exceptionally sharp. If Dr. Mantik can find
examples where the ghost image is blurred, but the frame from which the
tab came is clear, let him specify and document his source. All I have
seen so far is speculation.
5. Marsh claims that the motorcycle man (Chaney) on the right side of
limousine (as seen in the ghost image on frame n) derives from exposure
frame (n-1). Chaney's position with respect to the limousine is therefore
to appreciate. But why does he appear to be so far from the limousine
close to the near curb? Do other photographs corroborate such an odd
"Far," as in behind the limousine, or "far,"
as in next to the limousine? Perhaps Dr. Mantik forgot that Zapruder was
filming with a telephoto lens set on maximum telephoto. That distorts the
perception of depth of field. Other films such as Nix, Bronson, and Muchmore
corroborate the position of Chaney and a full frame copy of the Moorman
Polaroid shows Chaney on the right side of the limousine almost abreast
of Hargis's position. Given the fact that we can see Chaney on the far
right side of Moorman's photo, then we must see him in the sprocket
hole double exposure in frames just before, during, and after frame 313.
If we did not see his ghost image, that would be evidence of tampering.
Not every motorcycle kept the exact same position relative to the limousine
just before, during, and after the shot at 313. In general, the escort
motorcycles were gaining on the limousine as it suddenly slowed down and
they did not. They all started behind the limousine by a few feet and by
the time of the Moorman photo, Hargis had pulled up to almost the rear
tire. An exceptionally careful researcher might even be able to examine
the films and photos very carefully and find that the motorcyclists had
not yet touched their brakes, although Hargis did soon after this and stopped
in the left lane of Elm Street.
6. On several frames (those of greatest clarity), ghost images of the
limousine trunk seem to lie immediately behind the ghost image of the
motorcycle. If this interpretation is correct, then why does the motorcycle
appear to be so widely separated from the main image of the motorcycle?
Because Zapruder was filming from an elevated
position with his camera set on maximum telephoto, some objects will appear
different in relationship to other objects than what we would imagine in
a normal view. Again, Mantik does not specify individual frame numbers.
What frames contain ghost images of the limousine trunk? Which frames seem
to show ghost images of the limousine trunk which lie immediately behind
the ghost image of the motorcycle? Is Mantik saying "ghost images of the
limousine trunk" when he is actually referring to normal exposure images
of the trunk in the sprocket hole area?
7. Marsh claims that the i.s. images on the back of the Stemmons Freeway
represent the Dallas County Records Building. If so, since neither
nor the building is moving and the sun is relatively stationary, why
images not constant from frame to frame? (The motorcycle images are
Because Zapruder is panning the camera.
Objects in the far background move across the frame as a camera pans from
left to right. This is a simple fact of photography. Individual frames
may also show objects in the far background move slightly from frame to
frame due to Zapruder's jiggling the camera and errors in panning.
8. Why does Marsh suggest an odd variant of film alteration that includes
"...a frame or two here and there..." when such irregular removal would
be spotted? More to the point, what would be seen if frames were removed
regular intervals and the adjacent (remaining) frames in this process
simply allowed to overlap into the adjacent intersprocket area? If
process employed slightly magnified frames that partially overlapped
adjacent intersprocket areas, then similar ghost images would result.
could one discriminate between such a deliberate process of alteration
naturally occurring event within the camera? The purpose for altering
in this specific fashion might have been to eliminate bystanders in
foreground whose irregular positions (from frame to frame) would otherwise
have divulged film alteration. But there is an even better reason for
process: when performed with the correct magnification and using just
central image, the entire width (including i.s. area) on the copied
could be covered with an image. And--this is the critical part--the
i.s. image of the original would now lie off the edge of the copied
including all images of sprocket holes and all of the edge prints that
otherwise would have proved so troublesome. And, where this magnified
overlapped into the i.s. area (when not blocked out), a ghost image
adjacent frame would appear.
Just magnifying the image in the normally
projected area would not create the double exposures. And remember that
the appearance of the double exposure is controlled by the difference in
darkness and lightness of the two exposures. As seen in frame 183, the
slightly dark exposure from the tab of the next frame shows up only against
the dark clothing of the spectators lining the north curb of Elm Street.
It is not seen when the clothing of other spectators is much brighter.
So, whether or not a double exposure appears in a particular frame depends
on the realize conditions which existed during and only during the assassination.
If one particular spectator had left his dark jacket at home, the double
exposure would not have appeared at that location.
The double exposures happen only
in the sprocket hole area and go all the way over to the edge of the sprocket
hole area almost into the normally projected frame area. If the magnifying
process which Mantik suggests were used, then the ghost images would
not extend all the way over to the edge of the sprocket hole area where
it meets the normally projected area.
9. Necessarily, the first frame in the film cannot contain an image
prior frame for EITHER sequence. Is this the case for either the motorcade
home movie sequence of the Z-film? And how about other Bell & Howell
of this type? Or, if the lens cap is left on while filming, and then
removed, is a ghost image seen on the first frame after restarting?
actually be a useful test of any similar Bell & Howell camera.
Of course the first frame in the film of
a new sequence in the film can contain an image from a prior frame. Dr.
Mantik does not know this because he is not familiar with and has not examined
similar films. In my exemplars is an example of an ordinary home movie
where someone filmed three sequences. In each transition (in-camera jump
cut) a tab from one sequence is exposed into the first and last frames
of the other sequence. And in one case, it appears as though the person
did almost exactly what Dr. Mantik suggested and exposed one blank frame.
It is totally white and the white tabs are very clearly visible above and
below this frame going into the adjacent frames' sprocket hole areas.
In another example, at the end of the film, the tab from the last frame
extends down into the unexposed black film. The same would be true for
the first frame of a reel exposed. There is no marking or mechanism on
the film which says, "The first frame must start here!" The leader is the
same type of unexposed film which records the normal exposures. So, it
can be pre exposed or post exposed by a tab just like any normally exposed
frame. So, the test has already been done. Only Dr. Mantik's hubris prevented
him from finding out.
10. An analysis of the vertical position of the fender of the ghost
(AS, p. 312) shows erratic movement. This cannot be explained by either
movement of the limousine (which follows the curb with surgical precision
despite gunshots and Greer's turn to the rear) or by erratic vertical
of the camera. Once this behavior is looked for, it becomes obvious
the naked eye. Why does this occur?
Chaney was riding a motorcycle and did
not maintain the same speed or the same orientation as the limousine. Motorcycles
are notorious for fluctuations in the front wheel. That is the way they
are designed. The Lincoln is famous for holding the road. Whether we want
to blame Greer for the assassination's success or not, he drove well. As
I explained earlier, Chaney did not maintain the same position relative
to the limousine just before, during, and after the head shot at frame
313. With a telephoto lens, slight movements might be exaggerated. We also
need to analyze this problem by studying the newly released MPI videotape
and DVD. These apparent discrepancies may disappear when careful measurements
are made on something better than a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy.
11. It is widely assumed that Zapruder's camera captured a full image
the i.s. area. Yet the only evidence for this is the motorcade sequence.
is not the case for the home movie portion, where the image often fades
toward the left edge, as it also does in my father's old 8 mm movies.
observations of the home movie have recently been corroborated by Livingstone,
et al. (THE FOURTH DECADE, July 1998). Although it may initially seem
astonishing, currently available information cannot exclude the possibility
that film alteration itself has produced the full i.s. image in the
Different cameras record the images in
the sprocket hole area in different ways. I have examples where the image
fades out in the sprocket hole area. I have examples where the double exposures
do not extend all the way over to the right edge of the sprocket hole.
The width of the claw is only about 2/3 the width of the sprocket hole.
Different film records differently. Some film does not have a manufacturer's
ID strip. Dr. Mantik is wearing blinders to avoid seeing ALL the currently
available information. His attitude is, "Don't bother me with the facts;
I have a theory to promote."
12. Robert Groden has argued passionately that copying 8 mm films to
the i.s. image was impossible in that era. Yet we now know that this
done. We know this from the copies of the home movie portion of the
the National Archives. These copies, of which there are several, all
i.s. images. But what is odd about these copies is that they contain
two sets of IDs along the edge, thus confirming that they are several
generations removed from the original. But these obvious copies DO
i.s. images--thus refuting Groden's contention! Since the original
of the home
movie section is missing (according to the Archives), then the existence
these home movie copies (with TWO set of IDs) implies that they could
been made by Jamieson. Someone else also had that capability.
Is Mantik letting the cat out of the bag?
Here he admits that the home movie portion of the Z-film is only a copy,
not the original as he had previously suggested. I have not asked Robert
Groden what his latest position about copying the sprocket hole area is,
but I am not convinced that he argued that copying the original film and
preserving the sprocket hole area was impossible. Maybe he just argued
that it was an impossible task for the CIA to do it within a few hours
and have the original film back in Dallas to be shown at 8 AM the next
morning. I would rather see a quote than a hearsay. If the copies
of the original show two sets of IDs along the edge we should not be relying
on them to make definite statements about what the sprocket hole areas
show. Are we really sure that the original home movie section is missing?
Maybe the Zapruder family still has it and refuses to release it. I don't
see what we can do about that. The home movie portion can probably not
be obtained under the JFK Records Act. I dearly wish it could, but we have
to respect people's rights somewhere.
13. The edifice for film alteration is built upon many foundation stones
evidence, as discussed in some detail in AS. Even if this particular
ghost images) were finally shown to be wrong (perhaps Marsh shall eventually
be proved right!), then how does that make all of the other stones
and why would the entire edifice fall merely because one stone was
particular, during his initial talks on this subject Mantik listed
than 20 anomalies that pointed toward film alteration. To vary the
these are like 20 cords in a rope. Why would the fracture of one cord
necessarily destroy the entire rope? Marsh's argument has an inherently
Yeah, yeah. Weak structure, eh? I made
it clear in my article that I was not going to discuss every supposed anomaly
which various authors have brought up. I will discuss them as I get to
them. I just recently discussed Jack White's Observation 5, which Dr. Mantik
seems to endorse, where Jack claimed that Connally said that he turned
left, then right and as we don't see that in the Zapruder film, this proves
that the Zapruder film is a fake. Well, I just proved that Jack based that
partly on someone else's article without checking the facts for himself
(sound familiar, Dr. Mantik?). And it turns out that none of his sources
(no footnotes) got it right. And in fact Jack simply made up the right
turn from his imagination, then said that Connally said it. Most of the
20 or more "anomalies" are like this. Misquoting, misinterpreting, and
14. It is well known among logicians and scientists that proving a
statement is either extremely difficult or impossible, depending upon
circumstances, whereas disproving a general assertion can be achieved
of just one counterexample. For example (see AS, p. 346), Eddington's
expedition to Africa to observe starlight passing near the sun during
eclipse falsified Newton's classic theory of gravitation. Just one
example did this! In that one moment, all of the centuries of evidence
Newton's theory came unglued. Similarly, why does Marsh claim that
supporting authenticity is sufficient to prove it? From a logical point
view, in order to prove authenticity, it would be necessary to show
authenticity of every feature in every frame and that the sequence
identical to the original. Marsh vastly underestimates the enormity
Proving a simple fact of physical reality
is usually quite simple. My discovery is not an example supporting authenticity.
It is a discovery of the physical properties of Zapruder's camera. That
discovery allows the Zapruder film itself to prove its authentic.
Would that Dr. Mantik really believed in that scientific principle that
only one counter example is all that is necessary to disprove a theory.
I have provided just that one counter example. Mantik et al have argued
in Assassination Science that the ghost images could only be produced
by some conspiratorial process and that they do not occur in everyday,
ordinary 8 mm home movies. My examples show that everyday, ordinary 8 mm
home movies have ghost images. If Dr. Mantik is correct, then Assassination
Science will fall like a house of cards.
15. Doug Mizzer adds the following comment. (It was Doug who first
the magnification changes of the Stemmons Freeway sign.) BEGIN QUOTE.
Let's examine Z-348. At Z-348, SS Agent Hill is trying to climb
trunk of the limo. In the upper sprocket hole area is a shadow
on the road
from the limo's right rear hand hold. The edge of the left hand
hold can also
be seen, along with the area in between the hand holds. In this
shadow of Jackie can be seen. Since Z-343, Hill has been holding
handholds and at Z-348 is in the process of switching over to
just the left
hand hold. For Marsh to be correct, the shadow of Hill's arms,
if not more of
his body should be present in the image in the upper sprocket
Guess what? There is no trace of Hill or his shadow in the upper
hole area. This is impossible if the film is authentic! This
can only mean
that the image in the upper sprocket hole area is a double exposure
frame when Hill had not yet reached the limo. And what does that mean?
means that the film has been edited. END QUOTE.
Doug Mizzer? Typical uninformed and sloppy
buff stuff. Clint Hill was holding onto the tire holder with his right
hand, not the right handhold. Read the following quote of Professor David
Wrone on page 45 of the Globe weekly (July 28, 1998) interview:
"Apart from perilously clinging onto the tire holder
on the limousine, we see the motorcade catching up
with the car and the agent almost being clipped by a
And that is exactly what the Zapruder frame to the right of the quote
shows, Clint Hill holding onto the tire holder, not the right handhold.
Yes, I think Dr. Wrone's rhetoric may have been a little overblown (especially
the point about being clipped by a passing vehicle), but try arguing with
Professor Wrone about the fact that any careful researcher can see
that Clint Hill was holding onto the tire holder with his right hand. Go
ahead. I triple dare you!
I do not blame Dr. Mantik for including such uninformed contributions
in his letter. He certainly did not screen, approve or agree with other
people's points. And anyone else certainly had a right to pile on. But
you would think that even Dr. Mantik would give Doug the answer which I
gave him and save him the embarrassment.
16. David Lifton offers the following argument. BEGIN QUOTE
THE "MONA LISA AND THE MUSTACHE" PROBLEM
Tony Marsh points out numerous irregularities which (he says) are inherent
the claw mechanism of the Zapruder camera, and which (he notes) are
Zapruder film in the intersprocket area. And so, he says, the very
these "markers" is proof of authenticity. In short, Marsh says, the
film contains its own "internal evidence" of its authenticity. All
but Marsh has made a serious logical error--and it is not just one
but one of logic.
Let us concede for the moment that the claw mechanism and the shutter
indeed have certain features peculiar to this camera. And let us even
step further and concede for the moment that this or that supposedly
marker appears in the sprocket hole area. Contrary to Marsh's implication,
this doesn't prove anything. And why not? Because the *last step*--if
alteration really occurred--is to reshoot the altered film in the Zapruder
camera! And so, of course, these very same markers (on which Marsh
heavily) will appear in the final product. They will appear there if
is a genuine original because the Zapruder camera was shooting "reality",
November 22, 1963; but they would also be there if the film had been
bumped up to 35 mm, modified, and then rephotographed by the Zapruder
say, on December 5.
Hmm. Not exactly. It is not just the claw which is the
decisive factor. It is where the claw grabs the sprocket hole to
push the film down. As I pointed out in my illustration, some cameras are
designed so that there is a notch at the top of the aperture plate above
the sprocket hole area where the claw finished its push to bring in the
next frame. On such cameras there is not a double exposure in the sprocket
hole area. On some cameras, the claw is designed to grab the sprocket hole
in the sprocket hole area of the frame just exposed. On such cameras there
is a double exposure in the sprocket hole area. There must be, due simply
to the design of the aperture plate to allow the claw to grab the film
in the frame just exposed.
One can not simply reshoot a mock-up Zapruder
film through the original camera to produce a new copy. The pattern of
ghost images depends on the real life conditions which existed only during
the assassination in Dealey Plaza. Whether a ghost image showed up at all
in one location depended on whether that spectator decided to wear a dark
jacket or only his white shirt, as I have pointed out before. The double
exposures are caused only by real-time filming. They can not be duplicated
by refilming. The tabs of single exposure at the beginning of the film
and at the end of the film can not be duplicated if the aperture plate
is not as I diagrammed. David could solve this himself, but refuses to
do so. I have asked him several times to go to U. T. Photo in Burbank,
CA which bought out all the old Bell & Howell business, but David refuses
to help. Maybe some other researcher who has more free time (David is working
on a book and I respect his time constraints). All we need is a picture
of the Bell & Howell aperture plate like Zapruder's. We do not even
need to film a test film through Zapruder's camera. The design of the aperture
plate is what caused the double exposures on the Zapruder film, just as
it did in the exemplars I have.
To use an analogy from the world of art: if one paints a mustache on
a copy of
the Mona Lisa, and then rephotographs the phony Mona Lisa with the
camera, that would still not mean that the *original Mona Lisa* has
mustache. So I reject Marsh's argument not on the ground that he may
correct that he has identified this or that indicator that might be
from the camera, but because his methodology fails to take into account
final step of the forgery--that that very same camera would, of course,
to be used in making the final product, the so-called "camera original
refer to this as the "Mona Lisa and the mustache" problem, and I expect
going to come up again and again, as we debate this issue. Indeed,
very different from the issue that FBI expert Shaneyfelt dealt with
testified that one reason he concluded the pictures of Oswald with
were authentic was that there were irregularities at the edge of the
that matched the lens mold of the Oswald camera. But then he made a
important statement. He testified, in the very next breath, what that
mean (if he were wrong): that the picture in evidence, if altered,
been rephotographed--I stress *rephotographed*--in the Oswald camera.
Shaneyfelt testimony, where this is spelled out in detail). The very
principle applies here. The final step in any forgery (it seems to
me) was to
"reduce back down" to 8mm, which meant that the Zapruder camera had
mounted in an optical printer, to produce the phony "original". And
things that Tony Marsh refers to as "markers" from the Zapruder camera
certainly be on the final product, yet that would not be a valid or
indicator that the product is in fact a genuine original. It comes
to the issue that rephotographing the Mona Lisa, after someone has
drawn on a
mustache. Such rephotography does not make such a copy an original,
that Mona Lisa, when she posed for Leonardo Da Vinci, had a mustache.
QUOTE. (It should be recalled that Zapruder's camera remained in government
hands at least until late January 1964.)
We applaud Marsh's efforts to obtain a manual for Zapruder's camera.
solution, though, would be to shoot new film through that camera. The
refused to do this. The recent films taken through a camera just like
Zapruder's look very different from the Z-film, as does the Zapruder
movie sequence. These mysteries need to be addressed. We encourage
replicate this recent experiment.
For further discussion, note just two (of many) anomalies from the i.s.
First is the presence of two (to date) geometric plus signs, one found
Schaeffer on Elm St. in Z-028, and a second found by Mantik in the
of Z-308. Why are these present at all? Second, the magnification that
in the i.s. area is not consistent. Although Marsh has proposed that
magnification change across the i.s. area is due to a specific feature
camera, the exact mechanism (if true) remains unknown. Much worse than
though is the fact that the magnification is not uniform (see AS, pp.
319-320). This is very troubling. Why should it change--and change
lot--in different parts of the film? No one, including Marsh, has even
to explain this curiosity.
Was Roy Schaeffer examining the original Zapruder film? No.
He was examining a very poor quality B&W. That is why he thinks there
is a broken shadow line at Z-316 (next article).
I can not comment on what someone observes in a very poor quality
copy. It could be anything. Like Morningstar's vapor trails (endorsed by
Jack White) which only appear in a very poor quality videotape and are
never seen in the original film released by MPI.
I don' t think I ever addressed the magnification
issue specifically in my previous article. It's just that the process which
created the double exposure makes the possibility of creating the ghost
images in the sprocket hole only because of an artifact of the magnification
process as proposed impossible. It is not a curiosity. It is sloppy research.
The new MPI production will, no doubt, prove very useful. However, the
of some frames may have been altered. If so, then estimates of camera
will not be accurate, which would be a serious loss of information.
to be clarified. Jiggles have been removed at places and contrast has
apparently been altered. How this affects detailed analysis remains
seen. It would seem wiser meanwhile (when possible) to base research
on the WC
prints or the Archives' slides until these issues are clarified. Those
sources used in Mantik's chapter in AS.
And we have to remember that the MPI digitization
rotoscoped the frames in the computer so things do not move as we would
expect them to move normally. Some objects may even appear to move backwards.
And we still have missing, damaged, spliced, and reversed frames, so the
MPI release is not a perfect reproduction of what Zapruder filmed. We have
to live with that until someone clever figures out a way to put it onto
a CD ROM.
It is precisely relying on the old Archive
slides and WC prints which leads to so many false conclusions. That is
why the MPI release is so important. I could not have made my discovery
if not for the release of the original, clear film with the sprocket hole
information intact. If you think that the Zapruder film was altered, then
why should the information in the very poor copies be any more genuine
than the MPI release, which came directly from the original camera print
stored in the vault at the National Archives?
We recognize that these issues are usually far from simple and often
to resolve. We predict that not even the expert's imminent report for
will put all of these questions to bed. We are all well acquainted
long (and similar) controversy that has raged around the autopsy X-rays
photos. (This is now, with the new ARRB releases, closer than ever
resolution.) It is likely that a similarly long controversy will surround
Z-film, unless surprising new information emerges soon. Finally, we
that terms like "balderdash" and exclamations of "absolute proof" have
place in discussions that purport to be scientific and objective, as
previously explained in AS, pp. 345-351.
All of these issues would be quite easy
to resolve if some researchers would actually do some serious research
and cooperate with other researchers. It would also help if some researchers
would be willing to answer questions, share information, respond to requests,
and be willing to admit their errors.
Addendum - 9/27/98
What you are about to see, fortunate viewer, is
an example which it
seems that no one else in this debate has seen before. A few frames
an ordinary, everyday 8 mm home movie which has ghost images in the
sprocket hole area very similar to the Zapruder film. This example
proves that the ghost images in the 8 mm film are a natural process
some 8 mm movie cameras, not a byproduct of CIA tampering only in
the case of the Zapruder film.
In this example you can clearly see the very
strong ghost image in the
upper sprocket hole area. It is green grass with a white chalk line
across it horizontally. The reason why the ghost image is not strong
example is because the background in the sprocket hole area of the
frame being exposed is extremely dark, almost pure black. So, that
almost totally unexposed by the current exposure of the frame. In fact
can clearly see the very sharp line of demarcation at the bottom of
upper sprocket hole area. This is the sharp outline of the groove where
the claw pushes the film.
What is the source of the ghost image of grass
in the upper sprocket hole
area? Was there suddenly a big patch of grass in the upper stands of
football stadium, brightly lit? If so, how big would that white chalk
have to be in the stands? Anyone with a modicum of common sense can
that the grass in the upper sprocket hole area came from the football
which is in the lower half of the frame. Does the image of the grass
in the upper
sprocket hole area match up with any other area of grass in the normally
projected frame? No. There is no other area showing a white chalk line
wide and the grass in the upper sprocket hole area does not have any
such as the shadows of the goal post in the lower sprocket hole area.
There is a
white chalk end zone line at the bottom of the frame, but it is narrower
white chalk line in the upper sprocket hole area. So the wider line,
placed on the football field with the same width as all the other lines,
must be closer
to the camera. The grass in the upper sprocket hole area is the foreground
the normal frame, a double exposure as explained in my original
Notice that in the lower sprocket hole area there is very little ghost
visible. This is because the tab of exposure had a very dark background
like the top of the normal frame. We can clearly see the yellow goal
upright which extends very high above the normal frame. And we can
faint bluish glow of the sky at the top level of the stadium. We can
the outline of one pillar in the ghost image in the lower sprocket
like the ones we can see in the upper portion of the normal frame area
next to the
upper sprocket hole. Other than those two very bright exposures in
sprocket hole area, the rest of the background was extremely dark,
so only these
two images were double exposed. The much brighter grass and even dark
shadows of the goal post dominate the lower sprocket hole area. The
area in the
middle of the sprocket hole area shows no ghost images, as would be
by the process of double exposures which I explained in my article.
Where this example differs from the Zapruder film is in the positioning
the ghost images in the sprocket hole areas. Whereas in the Zapruder
ghost images extend all the way to the right edge of the sprocket holes
all the way to the left edge of the sprocket holes, in this example
film the reverse
is true. The ghost images extend to the left edge of the sprocket hole,
not extend to the right edge of the sprocket hole. This is a sure indication
the camera model was not the same as Zapruder's, but had a similarly
aperture plate. However, in this case the claw would grab the sprocket
farther to the left of the frame than the Zapruder camera. Another
appears to be that the opposite corner of the inner open area of the
plate at the junction of the normally projected frame area and the
hole was rounded. Like the Zapruder film, this movie was shot on Kodachrome
safety film, only it was type 81 rather than type 37 and was manufactured
I have no idea when it was actually filmed.