In The Street - Revisited
debate was begun some years ago over whether Mary Moorman was standing
in Elm Street on November 22, 1963 as JFK's presidential limo passed
by. Ms Moorman snapped a picture with her Polaroid camera at about
the exact moment the fatal headshot was fired killing the 35th President
of the United States. Although Ms Moorman and her companion, Jean
Hill, stated numerous times that Mary was standing in the street,
the extant Zapruder film shows both women standing on the infield
grass. The alignment of physical objects depicted in the photograph
can only be duplicated by standing in the street. Rather than the
Zapruder film proving Ms Moorman's recollection incorrect, the physical
evidence further proves that the extant Zapruder film has been intricately
altered. Heading a team supporting Ms Moorman is Dr. James H. Fetzer
and heading the team supporting the Zapruder film as unaltered is
Dr. Josiah (Tink) Thompson.
H. Fetzer, Ph.D.
the last two months of 2008, Josiah Thompson, Ph.D., and I engaged
in an extended debate over the hypothesis—originally advanced
by Jack White—that features internal to the famous Moorman Polaroid
offers the basis for a proof that the Zapruder film has been altered.
This exchange was ignited after I had posted a piece I co-authored
with David W. Mantik, M.D., Ph.D., “Another Attempted Reenactment
of the Death of JFK” (OpEdNews, 21 November 2008), in response
to what I took to be fawning comments from Tink and from Barb Junkkarinen
about the recent Discovery Channel’s “JFK: Inside the
Target Car”, in which Gary Mack, Curator of The Sixth Floor
Museum, played the central role. Initially, the principal participants
were Tink and Barb (with a few appearances by their allies), on one
side, and me and Jack White, on the other, but John P. Costella, Ph.D.,
and David S. Lifton would also make significant contributions.
What I will present falls into seven sections, to wit: Part I, The
Argument; Part II, Tink’s Objection; Part III, Which Moorman?;
Part IV, Zapruder Alteration; Part V, McCormick on Evidence; Part
VI, More from Mary; Part VII, Mack’s Verification and John’s
Reply; Part VIII, Points of Agreement; Part IX, Tink’s Alternatives
and My Reply; Part X, General Overview, and Appendix, From Lifton’s
“Pig on a Leash”. My argument is that, taken in its totality,
the weight of the evidence—especially Mary and Jean Hill’s
eyewitness testimony—provides strong support for the conclusion
that the images of Mary and Jean were incorporated into the Zapruder
film more or less as frozen figures, which not only impeaches the
Zapruder but the Nix and the Muchmore films as well, where, were a
genuine film available, it would provide a very different account
of their activities that afternoon. Because no alternative explanation
is reasonable, this conclusion lies beyond reasonable doubt.
I. THE ARGUMENT
has provided a flawed, but still useful, summary of the elements of
Jack’s argument at http://tinyurl.com/728nxx
which commits a subtle misrendering in its first point that also helps
to isolate the controversy:
His published claim is made in a special section in MURDER IN
DEALEY PLAZA (2000) and he has reiterated it many times since.
It is really quite simple and could be put this way:
(1) Examination of the Moorman photo shows that the two points forming
“the cross” [(a) the bottom right corner of the lowest
window and (b) the top left corner of the Zapruder pedestal] line
up exactly. They form a unique line-of-sight which can be used to
exactly determine the position of the camera lens.
(2) When we follow this line of sight precisely, it measures 44.5
inches [corrected to 41.5 inches] above the ground at a distance two
feet south of the curb of Elm Street.
(3) Since the Zapruder film shows Mary Moorman holding the camera
at a much higher position, the Zapruder film has been altered. Mary
Moorman was really standing in the street where the drop-off was sufficient
to permit her to take her photo along the line-of-sight described.
There is no argument with (2) and (3) above. They are correct. If
you go to Dealey Plaza (as I've done now twice), what Jack White says
is obviously true. If you line up the points above as Jack White directs
us to do, they constitute a unique and very clear line-of-sight. That
line-of-sight crosses the south curb of Elm Street at a height much
too low to fit the position of Moorman's camera as we see it in the
Zapruder film. About all of this, there is no argument.
What is misleading
about (1), however, is that two lines are required to form “the
cross”, not two points. It is (a) the bottom of the right
corner of the lowest window and the top of the Zapruder pedestal
and (b) the right side of the right corner of the lowest window
and the left side of the Zapruder pedestal, which define the vertical
and the horizontal lines the intersection of which creates “the
cross”. Think about it: two points can define a line but not
a cross. It is not even geometrically possible. And a cross can
exist even though the “two points” are not in contact.
We conducted this experiment by using the Moorman as our guide in
replicating the relationship between the features described above
and thereby creating “the cross”. These features are
not contiguous, but the lines cannot be properly aligned to replicate
the Moorman without including the space between them. As long as
those features are aligned properly to create the cross we observe
in the photograph, the line-of-sight has been properly identified.
(See Attachment 1.)
An ambiguity in measurement requires clarification. In (2), the
height of the line of sight over the grass, which is about two feet
back from the curb, has been given the value of 44.5" but then
has been "corrected" to 41.5". The 44.5" figure
is for Jack's estimate, which can be found, for example, in MURDER
on page 7 of Jack's color photo section. His use of 44.5" is
also found in THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX (2003) on page
249 as well as in the fifth and sixth attachments to this study.
Jack on occasion has come up with a lower number, including 41.5"
using a Leica with a telephoto lens (on page 249). That is the result
of the Mantik/Fetzer experiment, which has also been found by others.
Rick Janowitz and Scott Myers, using a rifle scope equipped with
a laser (on page 251), came up with 42", and Tom Fohne arrived
at the same 41.5" line of sight (on page 254). While Tink likes
to discuss a comparison photo Jack took for 41.5" (below),
we were using Mary's photo as the basis of our experiment, not Jack's.
Our 41.5" finding will be discussed in the text, Jack's 44.5"
in the attachments.
Indeed, when Jack first explained it to us, David Mantik and I independently
visited the plaza to assess his argument. I found the intersection
of the lines and determined that, when I stood at the approximate
location of Mary as portrayed in the Zapruder film, the line-of-sight
was so very sensitive that it had to fall within a circle created
by placing my index fingers and thumbs together, which measures
approximately four inches in diameter. And David arrived at very
similar results. When David, Jack and I subsequently sighted in
on those features with surveying equipment to confirm our findings,
Stewart Galanor was present. When the three of us located the “+”
of the sight line, Stewart was a little dubious about what we were
doing. After Jack, David and I looked through the telescope of the
transit and put the “+” crosshairs of the transit over
the “+” on the enlarged Moorman print we were using,
Stewart asked if he could take a look through the scope.
He sat down on the grass and looked through the eyepiece, consulted
the print, and made a suggestion for a very slight adjustment, which
we made. Afterward he asked whether he could keep the Moorman enlargement
with the crosshairs as a souvenir. Jack gave it to him and may have
also autographed it for him. After his minute adjustment, he agreed
that the crosshairs in the scope matched the Moorman cross, verifying
our placement procedure. (See Attachment 2.) Indeed, on 16 November
2008, Tink acknowledged he knew we had conducted our experiment
appropriately, because Todd Vaughan had verified it by looking through
the transit and because David Mantik had given him a copy of his
notes about it. While the experiment was conducted in an entirely
proper fashion, Vaughan may not have understood why. In concluding
his discussion about it in MURDER, pp. 344-347, Mantik observed
that, to his knowledge, this argument remains unrefuted. Indeed,
even after this exchange, neither Jack nor I believe that it has
II: TINK’S OBJECTION.
But not for lack
of trying. Here’s what Thompson said about the experiment we
and White did take a transit to Dealey Plaza and set it up at Moorman's
position. However, the critical point is: "Where did they point
it?" Fetzer has claimed that they replicated what you see in
the Moorman photo... that is, that they made sure the two points were
not lined up but that they included a "gap" between the
points. They took no photos through the lens of the transit so we
will never know precisely where they pointed it. Todd Vaughan was
there that day in Dealey Plaza and David Mantik invited him to look
through the eyepiece of the transit. He said they had the cross-hairs
of the transit aligned exactly with the two points, thus making no
allowance for the "gap" which is so obvious in the Moorman
What Vaughan has stated on the internet was confirmed by the notes
of the "experiment" David Mantik was kind enough to send
me a few years ago. These notes show that the line-of-sight they measured
crossed the middle of the south curb of Elm Street at a measured height
of 48.25 inches. This is important because, with equal precision,
Gary Mack and I measured the height of the line-of-sight produced
by lining up the two points as it crossed the center of the south
curb of Elm Street. We measured it at 48 inches exactly. Therefore,
it would seem that Fetzer's much-vaunted experiment proved nothing.
All it showed was that if you line up the two points, the resulting
line-of-sight intersects Moorman's position about 3.5 feet above the
transit we used, whose scope had four linear edges, was not equipped
to handle a camera, but David is a Ph.D. in physics, I'm a former
artillery officer, and Steward Galanor a mathematics instructor. This
was not rocket science. We replicated the relevant features of the
photo with our transit. Mary was 5'2" (5'3" with shoes).
The drop to her eyes was about 3" with 2" more to the lens.
The height of her lens above the grass, therefore, should have been
62" (or 63") - 5" = 57" (or 58"). Our line
of sight at 41.5" was around 16" too low. The result of
the Thompson/Mack experiment verified our original findings. Their
measurement above the curb (48") was within .25" of ours
(48.25"), a convergence that would be inexplicable if we and
they had not done our work properly. By intersecting Mary's position
about 3.5' above the grass, it is apparent that, unless Mary was a
midget, she cannot have taken her photo from this location.
Jack's analysis is presented in THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX (2003)
on pages 239-257. Others continually try to misrepresent his analysis
by falsely claiming Jack says the corner of the pedestal must touch
the corner of the window and call this separation "the gap".
But Jack never made such an assertion for a simple but significant
reason. Anyone who has actually studied the pedestal would be aware
of a 1" off-set around its top. Jack's study therefore uses four
linear edges which, when viewed from the Moorman line of sight, create
a "+" so that, anywhere on the line of sight, the "+"
must be present. Indeed, the lines created by the left side and the
top of the pedestal intersect in space. Thus, strictly speaking, the
cross is defined by the intersection of four lines rather than two.
And it is impossible to align them without creating a gap. (See Attachment
3.) A second alleged "gap" in vertical displacement will
be addressed below.
Some are bothered by the so-called Thompson “drum scan”,
in which the "gap" appears to have been exaggerated and
the cambered top of the pedestal smoothed. (See Attachment 4.)
This looks like a deliberate attempt to prove David, Jack, and me
wrong. The gap is incidental to and not essential to the experiment.
The cross is defined without it. Since the point created by the features
of the pedestal only exists in space and is not a physical feature
of the concrete itself, replicating the Moorman as we have done has
to yield an open space. But that is a consequence of the proper alignment
of the four linear edges, not of making two concrete points touch
one another. It should be emphasized that the Thompson/Mack experiment
produced a line-of-sight that was exactly 48” above the curb.
For Mary to have been on the grass, that should have been some 10”
higher. (See Attachment 5.)
III: WHICH MOORMAN?
The fact that Thompson has created a “drum scan”, of course,
raises questions about precisely which version of the Moorman he and
Mack were using in conducting their experiment. This is an important
question for several reasons, including that multiple versions are
known to exist. In his study, “Was Mary Standing in the Street?”,
HOAX, on page 244, Jack presents a Sydney version that shows
an indistinct image of a man's torso but no woman, even though Zapruder’s
secretary, Marilyn Sitzman, was supposed to be standing on the low
pedestal with him. On page 246, a comparison of the "Zippo"
print with the "mystery Zippo" shows Sitzman as smaller
in the latter, which also has a dark object in the window. Although
Thompson talks about the Moorman as though there were only one version,
he has to know better. Otherwise, his own competence to engage in
this debate is open to question. But if he knows better, he ought
to acknowledge it.
Indeed, it is fascinating that his own study includes evidence of
the existence of more than one version of the Moorman. He says, “Here
you have to look at the Moorman photo itself. Please examine the http://tinyurl.com/9fhavm
Moorman photo and http://tinyurl.com/9yhntp
The dispute, then, is quite simple. If the two points White's talking
about line-up in the Moorman photo, he's right. If they don't, he's
wrong. The three tests cited above and the summary of their results
contained in the Lamson graphic and Hepler's measurements show he's
wrong.” But of course Jack was not talking about two points
but four lines! The fact that they “don’t line up”
by being continuous instead of having a tiny space between them does
nothing to undermine the argument. In logic courses in critical thinking,
the substitution of two points for four lines is a classic example
of a straw man, tossing out a false version of an argument to make
it easier to attack. This is also called “a red herring”.
Thompson includes a table of differences obtained by measuring features
of four photographs described as being from “the Mack test”,
“the Vaughan test”, “the Mack-Thompson test”,
and a photo taken by Jack White (Attachment 6).
Tink suggests that the close agreement between the Mack, Vaughan,
and Mack-Thompson tests indicates that they are in closer agreement
with “the Moorman” than the photo taken by Jack White.
But it appears that their “test photographs” were not
only based upon a misunderstanding about the features that define
the cross by focusing on physical points rather than the four linear
edges and using an image that does not represent the appropriate value
of Jack’s estimate at 44.5”. It is not surprising that
differences that go beyond a 1/4” variation from the Mantik/Fetzer/White
result would manifest themselves. But there’s nothing here that
demonstrates that Jack was wrong and they were right, even relative
to “the Moorman”.
an attachment below, Craig Lamson has produced a visual comparing
the Moorman photo, a photo from the Mack test, a photo from the Vaughan
test, a photo from the Mack-Thompson test and a photo taken by Jack
White (showing the intersection he calls "the cross.") It
is clear that all but the Jack White photo show the same line-of-sight.
These results are confirmed by measurements carried out by Ron Hepler
on the various photographs. He measured very accurately the percentage
proportion taken up by two horizontal distances in the various photographs.
His measurement of these photos yielded the following results:
to be more than one possible explanation for these alleged differences,
including that more than one version of the Moorman was involved.
But the fact that Mack, Vaughan, and Mack-Thompson were focusing on
the wrong feature of the Moorman—concrete points instead of
the four linear edges—and an image that does not represent Jack’s
44.5” figure disqualifies any claims they make about alleged
faults with Jack’s observation, which David, Jack, Stewart,
and I confirmed by means of our experiment. In all probability, Tink
has been motivated to attack me because I have also sometimes described
the features that way—as two points defined by the lower-right
window and by the upper-left corner of the low pedestal. This exercise
has therefore been beneficial by forcing me to reconsider the argument
and to be more precise in defending it. Although John Costella would
object that we had not used “the best copy”, Jack has
shown that it makes no difference, insofar as the features that define
the cross are present in them all. (See Attachment 7.) Strikingly,
during the course of this exchange, the conjecture that these studies
had not been performed properly based upon the right features of the
photo would be confirmed.
The second alleged "gap" is one of vertical
displacement. Tink has insisted that we missed a difference of close
to 2" at the pergola, which would have translated into as much
as a 7" difference over the grass. Such a modest gap is almost
too small to be seen on a small, blurry copy of the Moorman. Jack
has candidly acknowledged that there may be a 1" gap at the pedestal,
which Joe Durnavich measured (using a method John first proposed of
counting pixels) to be 1.88". I do not know if he did this correctly
by using an image consistent with our 41.5" estimate, but let
us assume that he did. Since even a 2" difference only adds 8"
to the line of sight over the grass, adding it to our figure of 41.5"
would yield 49.5". Since Mary was 5'2" (5'3" with shoes)
and the camera at lens should have been about 5" lower, the line
of sight should have been closer to 57" (or 58"). This is
still far too low by 8" (or 9") for Mary to be standing
on the grass. So even Tink's strongest argument is still unavailing.
IV. ZAPRUDER ALTERATION
Jack's chapter in HOAX makes a number of very important points that
I have not mentioned:
p. 239, the accurate distance between the lower-right corner of the
window and the upper-left corner of the pedestal is 35 feet;
p. 239, the approximate distance between the upper-left corner of the
pedestal and the grassy area across the street is about 100 feet;
p. 240, in early work, Gary Mack identified "Badgeman", which
was confirmed by MIT and Jet Propulsion Lab, but they would not go public;
pp. 240-241, Jack subsequently identified two additional figures, one
to the left of Badgeman called "Hardhatman", the other the
soldier Gordon Arnold;
p. 242, we find photos showing that Mary and Jean were wearing black
shoes, while the Zapruder film shows both of them in white shoes;
pp. 243-246, most of the copies of her photo are cropped to exclude
the pedestal area, which appears to be the area of greatest interest;
p. 244, a Sydney version shows an indistinct image of a man's torso
but no woman; other studies would show retouching around the pedestal;
p. 246, a comparison of the "Zippo" print with the "mystery
Zippo" shows Sitzman smaller in the latter and a dark object in
p. 247, the crucial point, namely: that four linear edges define the
cross, where the line of sight to the aperture of Mary’s camera
had to be on that line;
p. 248, Jack discovered that, to get the line of sight correct, he had
to sit on the grass, suggesting Mary could not have been located there;
p. 249, Jack found that only one location fits the requirement to replicate
the cross relations in the photo, which is two feet into the street;
pp. 256-257, four windows that are not visible in the Moorman are visible
in other photos of the same area, which indicates tampering.
I want to emphasize here is not just that Mary is 5’2”
tall (62”, or 63” if you take her shoes into account),
but rather that Jack has already proven that the Zapruder film has
been faked by photos on page 242 showing Jean and Mary were wearing
black shoes. The Zapruder shows them wearing white shoes! Jack explains
on pp. 256-257 that the government collected photos and films from
Dealey Plaza (by stationing agents at the film processing plants around
Dallas for several weeks after the assassination) and had ample opportunity
to tamper with them. Mary said that they “borrowed” her
photograph “numerous times”. They made a mistake, however,
by omitting windows that should have been visible in her photograph
(mistakenly called “Zapruder” on page 257). (See Attachment
8.) So we already know that the Moorman has been altered.
Touching up the pedestal area—perhaps to create the impression
that Zapruder and Sitzman were actually there—did not affect
the line of sight, probably because its existence was not known until
Jack noticed it! Another proof that the Zapruder has been faked, moreover,
may be found in frame 12 of the Nix film, which shows Mary off the
curb as the limousine is passing by and preparing to take her Polaroid.
(See Attachment 9.) We even have photographic evidence that Mary was
in the street when she took her Polaroid. This poses a dilemma for
those who want to maintain the authenticity of the films, since this
Nix frame impeaches the Zapruder and the Zapruder the Nix. As a point
of logic, they can’t both be genuine, but they can both be fake.
Indeed, if more proof that Mary was in the street at the moment she
took the Moorman, consider what she said during an interview with
KRLD in 1997 with a host by the name of Charlie Jones, which David
Mantik included in his study of the Zapruder in MURDER on
page 346 as follows:
Uh, just immediately before the presidential car came into view, we
were, you know,there was tremendous excitement. And my friend who
was with me, we were right ready to take the picture. And she’s
not timid. She, as the car approached us, she did holler for the president,
“Mr. President, look this way!” And I’d stepped
out off the curb into the street to take the picture. And snapped
it immediately. And thatevidently was the first shot. You know, I
could hear the sound. And .
Jones: Now, when you heard the sound, did
you immediately think “rifle shot”?
Moorman: Oh no. A firecracker, maybe. There
was another one just immediately following which I still thought was
a firecracker. And then I stepped back up on to the grassy area. I
guess just, people were falling around us, you know. Knowing something
was wrong, I certainly did not know what was wrong.
As David observes, these are her own words—she stepped into
the street to take her Polaroid picture. As if for emphasis, she also
recalls not just stepping back onto the grass, but precisely when
she did so. “In fact,” David writes, “based on our
reenactments and without the additional layers of blacktop, it is
likely that Moorman could have stood erect in the street, with her
camera to her eye, while taking the photo, just as she recalled. It
is unusual in this JFK case to make a prediction, and then later to
have it verified so precisely by a statement directly from the mouth
of the pertinent witness.” Unlike our words, the actions we’ve
taken are almost impossible to forget.
V. MCCORMICK ON EVIDENCE
An important point of which Americans are generally unaware is that
legal procedure permits photographs and motion pictures to be used
as evidence in courts of law only when a foundation for their introduction
has been established by eyewitness testimony. According to MCCORMICK
ON EVIDENCE, 3rd edition (1984), Section 214, for example,
concerning photographs, movies, and sound recordings:
The principle upon which photographs are most commonly admitted
into evidence is the same as that underlying the admission of illustrative
drawings, maps and diagrams. Under this theory, a photograph is
viewed merely as a graphic portrayal of oral testimony, and becomes
admissible only when a witness has testified that it is a correct
and accurate representation of the relevant facts personally observed
by the witness.
The practice of the Warren Commission and apologists for its findings
appears to be the opposite, where photographs and films—including
X-rays—have been used to discount the testimony of eyewitnesses,
which is the better legal evidence.
A widely-held belief holds that eyewitness testimony tends to be
unreliable. It was one of the remarkable aspects of Mantik's research,
therefore, that he discovered a strikingly high degree of agreement
among multiple witnesses about shots that hit the President's head.
This led him to a review of the current literature on the reliability
of witnesses, including a book by Elizabeth Loftus, EYEWITNESS
TESTIMONY (1996). On Table 3.1, he discovered a summary of
research with 151 subjects, which reported that, when subjects consider
what they were observing to be salient (or significant), they were
98% accurate and 98% complete with respect to their observations—reinforcing
their importance as evidence and offering one more indication that
popular opinions are not always true.
problem with photographs and films—including X-rays, we now
know—is that they can be subjected to alteration and fabrication.
Controversy over the admissibility of photographs of O.J. Simpson
wearing Bruno Magli shoes, which his civil counsel maintained had
been faked, offers a recent illustration. Photo analyst Robert Groden
presented excellent studies showing that alleged “Bruno Magli
shoes” were PhotoShopped and had nothing to do with the murders.
Prosecutors successfully impeached Groden’s research by painting
him as a “conspiracy theorist” who does not believe that
Oswald shot JFK. The Oswald backyard photographs have been shown to
be fakes as Jack White has demonstrated in ASSASSINATION SCIENCE
(1998), page 206, which supports Oswald's contention at the time that
his face had been imposed upon someone else's body. What is fascinating
about this discovery is that it would have been unnecessary to frame
a guilty man, another striking indication Lee was indeed the "patsy"
he proclaimed himself to be. That Oswald could never have been convicted
was the subject of my own chapter in MURDER.
During the course of this discussion, these paragraphs—which
I have taken virtually verbatim from ASSASSINATION SCIENCE,
page 210—have been lost from sight. The repeated use of diagrams,
such as those by H.A. Rydberg for the Warren Commission and by Ida
Dox for the HSCA, vividly display the latitude that can be taken in
representing or in misrepresenting their subjects. Rydberg, for example,
was not even allowed to view the cranium but was told what to draw.
His drawings may be found in ASSASSINATION SCIENCE, page
438. Comparisons of Ida Dox drawings of the back of the head and the
President's back with corresponding photos, which are also found in
ASSASSINATION SCIENCE, pp. 441-444, illustrate that the wounds
in the drawings do not have counterparts in the photographs. Numerous
witnesses reported that the "wound" shown in the Dox drawing
of JFK's back was actually a blood clot. Most importantly, this principle
implies eyewitness testimony should take precedence over photographs
VI. MORE FROM MARY
New testimony from a 1963 interview that was discovered by David S.
Lifton at the National Archives is consistent with her later testimony
from 1997. This interview was conducted by Jay Hogan also on KRLD
radio, which is on archives Tape 5B and 6A, a partial transcript of
which is found at http://jfkresearch.com/forum3/index.php?topic=6395.0.
This interview was conducted only three hours after the events and
includes the following assertions by Mary:
Hogan: Hello, Mrs. Moorman?
Hogan: You took the picture just after the
shooting or just before?
Mary: Evidently, just immediately, as the
. . . Cause he was, he was looking, you know,whenever I got the camera
focused and then I snapped it in my picture, he slumped over.
Hogan: About how close were you?
Mary: Ten or fifteen feet, I, no more . .
. Because I fall behind my camera.
Hogan: Were you up on that grassy bank there?
Mary: [We] stepped out in the street. We were
right at the car.
Hogan: How many shots did you hear? You say
“shots rang out”.
Mary: Oh, oh, I don’t know. I think
three or four is what I, I uh, that I heard.
Hogan: Uh huh.
Mary: (continuing) that I’m sure of.
Now, I don’t know, there might have been more. It just took
seconds for me to realize what was happening.
Hogan: Yeah, uh, what was your first thought?
Mary: That those ARE shots. I mean, he had
been HIT. And that they’re liable to hit me, cause I’m
right at the car, so I decided the place for me is to get on the ground
. . .
Hogan: Did you notice any other reactions?
Mary: Uh. they hesitated just for a moment
[referring, I believe, to the car itself rather than to the behavior
of any particular individual—Lifton] cause I think they were
like I was, you know, "Was that a shot?" or was it just
a backfire or just what? And then, course, he clutched himself and
they immediately sped up, real fast, you know, like—to get OUT
Hogan: And in your picture, uh, you uh took
this picture just BEFORE the shot?
Mary: Evidently, at the minute [meaning "instant"—Lifton]
that he, that it hit him because, uh, we was we was looking, at me,
or I mean, he was looking, you know, at the people when my picture
came out. They just slumped over, so I must have
Mary: Yes, uh huh. You could see he's clutched,
he's bent over, and she's . . . and she hasn't even gotten up in my
picture, and she DID get up, STOOD UP, in the car.
Hogan: Uh huh. And you and your friend, Miss
Hill, uh, were together there at the scene. Was anybody else with
Mary: No, uh, uh.
Hogan: OK, well we sure thank you.
THE INTERVIEW CONTINUES WITH JEAN HILL:
Hogan: And also, here, we do have Miss Hill.
Miss Hill, you were an eyewitness, also?
Jean: Yes, I was. I suppose we were the people
closest to the President's car at the time.
Hogan: Uh, that as about 10 or fifteen feet,
Jean: Not anymore than that at all.
Hogan: Uh huh. You were both looking right
at the presidential car, then?
Jean: Yes, we were looking right at the President. We
were looking at his face. As Mary took the picture, I was looking
at him. And he grabbed his hands across his ch—when two shots
rang out. He grabbed his hands across his chest. I have never seen
anyone killed, or in pain before like that but there was this odd
look came across his face, and he pitched forward onto Jackie's lap.
Jean: And uh, she immediately, we were close
enough to even hear her, and everything, and she fell across him and
says "My God, he's been shot."
Hogan: . . . Did you notice particularly any
of the other people around? At the time (she cuts in)
Jean: There was NO one around us on our side
of the street. We had planned it that way; we wanted to be down there
by ourselves; that’s the reason we had gotten almost to the
underpass, so we’d be completely in the clear.
Hogan: Any other reactions form the other
people in the motorcade, that you recall?
Jean: The motorcade was stunned after the
first two shots, and it came to a momentary halt, and about that time
4 more uh, 3 to 4 more shots again rang out, and I guess it just didn't
register with me. Mary was uh had gotten down on the ground and was
pulling at my leg, saying "Get, get down, they're shooting, get
down, they're shooting; and I didn't even realize it. And I just kept
sitting there looking. And uh uh just about that time, well, of course,
some of the motorcycles pulled away. And some of them pulled over
to the side and started running up the bank; there's a hill on the
other side (she is interrupted) . . .
Hogan: Yes, Mam.
Jean: And the shots came from there. After
they were momentarily stopped—after the first two shots—THEN
they sped away REAL quickly.
Hogan: Well, thank you Miss Hill, and also
Miss Moorman, for speaking with us about this.
Jean: Thank you.
So on the day of the assassination, not only was Mary describing how
she stepped into the street to take the photograph and affirming that
the car "hesitated" (Mary) or "came to a momentary
stop" (Jean), but Mary also describes Jackie standing up and
Jean describes Mary as already on the ground and tugging at her leg
to "get down" because they were shooting in their direction.
And in 1997 she would reiterate that she had "stepped out off
the curb and into the street to take the picture" and then, after
taking it, had "stepped back up on to the grassy area".
At the very least, according to Mary and Jean, Mary stepped off the
curb and into the street, took her photograph, stepped back onto the
grass, “got down” and tugged at Jean’s leg to get
her down on the grass with her to avoid their being shot.
VII. MACK’S VERIFICATION AND JOHN’S REPLY
Somewhat to my astonishment, Tink fixated on the following two sentences
of this exchange:
Hogan: Were you up on that grassy bank there?
Mary: [We] stepped out in the street. We were
right at the car.
In his original transcript, Lifton had written “[Unclear]”
where I had written “We”—and, indeed, without any
brackets that distinguished between Lifton’s transcription and
my interpretation. My rationale was that, if “we were right
at the car”, then surely “we” had to have “stepped
out in the street”. But, since “We” included Mary
and Jean as its referents, if “We” stepped out in the
street, then Mary had stepped out in the street, and if “I”
had stepped out in the street, then Mary had stepped out in the street.
So she had done so either way. But that was not how Tink perceived
it. He thought I had made a mistake—even a blunder!—and
wanted to nail me for it. On 17 December 2008, with great fanfare,
he issued, “FLASH! WHAT MARY MOORMAN REALLY SAID ON NOVEMBER
22nd”, and published a reply to an inquiry he had sent to Gary
> > From: “Gary Mack”<GaryM@jfk.org>
>> Hi Tink,
> > At your request, I listened to part of the 11-22-63 KRLD
radio interview of Mary
>> Moorman, which was broadcast around 3:45pm local time. (The
original unedited tape and
>> other KRLD in-house copies are preserved at The Sixth Floor
Museum.) While there may be
>> lower-quality recordings elsewhere, the Museum's tapes are
very clear. Here is the relevant
>> portion concerning where she stood:
> > Jay Hogan: Were you up on that grassy bank there?
> >Mary Moorman: Yes, that's where we were and I stepped out
in the street. We were
>> right at the car.
> >So Mary's memory was that they stood on the grass and then
stepped into the
>> street. Exactly when that happened is not clear from this
My impression is that the logical point—that either way, Mary
was saying that she had stepped in the street—had not registered
with Tink and that, in his enthusiasm over discovering another way
to tarnish me for making a mistake, he not only ignored my point but
rushed to dismiss the next post he received, thinking it was from
me when instead it had been sent to him by John Costella:
> > -John Costella" <jpcostella@> wrote:
> > I'm confused. If this is the same segment of tape that Lifton
was transcribing, then wasn't she
>> describing the moment that she took the photograph?
> > To be in the street, right at the car, she had to be out
there when the limo came to a stop.
>> She didn't say she stepped out a minute before the car arrived,
or was where the car had
> > Gary is therefore confirming that Mary has always maintained
that she stepped out into the
>> street to take her photo. No wonder he had such trouble with
her for that more recent
>> interview (see Jim's cut from Lifton's "Pig on a
Leash" chapter from THE GREAT
>> ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX). [See the Appendix—Fetzer]
> > Curiouser and curiouser. Have we now moved to the point
of doubting the authenticity of the
Moorman Polaroid in toto?
> > This is what we now have (inserting Gary's information):
>> > Q: Hello, Mrs. Moorman?
>> > A: Yes.
>> > Q You took the picture just after the shooting, or just
>> > A: Evidently, just immediately, as the. . . Cause he
was, he was looking, you know, when
>> >(ever?) I got the camera focused and then I snapped it
in my picture, he slumped over.
>> > Q: What type of picture was this.
>> > A: A polaroid picture.
>> > Q: About how close were you?
>> > A: (background talk, as she discusses it; can't make
>> > Q: Fairly close.
>> > A: 10 or fifteen foot, I, no more (unintell). . . Because
I fall behind my camera.
>> > Q: This was right at the underpass?
>> > A: Yes, just a few feet from the underpass (continues,
but she is cut off)
>> > Q: Were you up on that grassy bank there?
>> > A: Yes, that's where we were and I stepped out in the
street. We were right at the car.
>> > . . .
Apparently in the false belief that I had sent him this response—which
is somewhat difficult to believe, under the circumstances—Tink
replied in his characteristically dismissive fashion:
> <gum226@...> wrote:
>> You hopeless ninny. You still don't get it.
>> We've been arguing over what should go in the blank where
Lifton's transcript reads
>> [Unclear]. Instead of speculating, Gary Mack listened
to a clear copy of the tape and
>> reported what was there.
>> That's what I reported. After dumping baseless charges and
insults onto Gary and me,
>> you get taught a lesson in integrity. And then... you still
don't get it.
>> No, the Moorman photo has not been altered. None of the photos
taken in Dealey Plaza
>> that day have been altered.
>> Josiah Thompson
Costella, however, was not to be denied, and his response was very
clear and explicit. What is most interesting is that, while Costella
agrees with Tink on the consistency of Mary’s Polaroid with
the Zapruder film, he has independently proven—on multiple grounds—that
Zapruder was faked:
Quoting John Costella email@example.com
> I didn't dump any baseless charges and insults onto Gary and
> I did say, with smiley face, that I hoped the impeccable secret
source wasn't Gary Mack. But at
> that time I thought you were going to reveal that she didn't
say she stepped into the street at all.
> As it turns out, Gary has confirmed that just three hours after
the assassination, she said she
> stepped into the street. Given that this is damaging to your
case (and his), I now agree that his
> authority is impeccable.
> Let me summarise, from MY point of view, where we are now:
> 1. It has been established, without any doubt, that the extant
Moorman Polaroid could NOT
> have been taken from the street by someone of Mary's height.
It is, in fact, completely
> consistent with the Zapruder film's location of her lens.
> 2. Mary said, just three hours after the assassination, and has
repeated to this day, that she
> stepped out into the street. IGNORE THE QUESTION OF WHETHER SHE
> PHOTO FROM THE STREET.
> 3. Both Mary and Jean describe Jean waving and trying to get
the President's or Jackie's
> 4. The Zapruder film shows the two of them stuck on the grass
like frozen turkeys:
> 5. The Nix and Muchmore films are consistent with the Zapruder
> 6. To my knowledge, no one else described Mary stepping into
> The net results are:
> A. The Moorman Polaroid joins the Zapruder, Nix and Muchmore
films as presenting a
> consistent depiction of the assassination.
> B. Mary Moorman either was and is a complete liar, or the photographic
evidence is fraudulent.
> C. If in B the former is the case, then the Moorman Polaroid
is impeached as evidence – its
> admissibility relies on the testimony of the photographer.
> D. If the latter is the case, then the only possible explanation
I can see for no one else seeing
> her step into the street is that she did it AFTER THE LIMO STOPPED
> MOTORCYCLES DISPERSED.
> As I've said plenty of times, I don't like relying on the Moorman
Polaroid as telling us anything at
> all. What surprises me the most is that Gary's revelation shows
that the issue of WHETHER
> SHE STEPPED INTO THE STREET, regardless of where the photo was
taken from, is the
> key issue here. THAT's the event that does not appear in the
Zapruder film. The Polaroid is
> irrelevant in all this.
> My apologies to David Lifton, who has understood this all along,
and has tried to make me
> understand. I recommend that anyone who hasn't read his section
in "Pig on a Leash" should
> do so. [See the Appendix—Fetzer]
> (And let me also say that I haven't communicated with Lifton
on this issue since 2006, when he
> dug out his transcript.)
> I also give my apologies to Gary and Tink. Although I didn't
state it as vehemently as Jim, past
> behaviour didn't prepare me for them giving us this explosive
and unequivocal evidence
> confirming Lifton's transcript, and filling in the missing pronoun.
> I think we've all learned a lot in the past week.
VIII. POINTS OF AGREEMENT
No doubt attempting to salvage an indefensible position, Tink advanced
a series of points in an effort to determine the extent to which he
and Costella were in agreement. Here I give Tink’s formulations
followed by John’s replies, which are identified by “I1”
for “Internal 1”, and so on.
> > First, with regard to internal evidence (that is evidence
within the Moorman photo) we have
>> several indications that the photo was taken from the grass.
> > INTERNAL EVIDENCE
> > 1. What I called earlier "Objection #1": Am I
correct in concluding that with regard to the first
>> photo of the lone cyclist, there is no way to know whether
the photo was taken from a position
>> above or below the 58 inch high level of the top of the windscreen?
Am I also correct in
>> believing that you agree that the famous Moorman photo was
taken from above that level and
>> that this is evidence that it was taken from the grass? I
thought that was where we had
>> arrived at. Am I right?
> I1. Agreed. Agreed. (But when you say "taken", you
are assuming it is a genuine photograph. I
> would always substitute "consistent with a photograph taken"
for "taken" in all of your points.)
> > 2. The De Haeselaar [Dehaeseleer—Fetzer] experiment
concerning the field of view of the
>> Moorman photo demonstrates that it was taken from the grass.
> I2. Agreed.
> > 3. The Durnavich work on the Moorman photo shows that there
was a vertical "gap" of 1.88"
>> at the pedestal which translates into a gap of about 7"
at Moorman's position. Since the non-
>> gap line-of-sight passes over the curb at 48", this
means that the true Moorman line-of-sight
>> passes over the curb at a height of 55". This is consistent
with the position of the camera in
>> the Zapruder film and is internal evidence that the photo
was taken from the grass.
> I3. Agreed, although you still have the incorrect word "curb"
here. See your point 4.
>> 4. The photo Gary and I took from Moorman's position is an
accurate rendition of the line-of-
>> sight in the Moorman photo. You were right. That photo was
taken from a height of 53.75"
>> above the turf at Moorman's position. I misremembered in
saying it was 53.75" above the
>> curb. Once again, this is internal evidence that the photo
was taken from the grass and is
>> consistent with the height of the camera in the Zapruder
> I4. Agreed.
> > EXTERNAL EVIDENCE
> > 1. Within hours of the assassination, Mary Moorman said
she “stepped into the street." In
> > 1997, she said much the same thing. This is evidence that
her photo was taken from the
> > street not the grass.
> E1. Agreed.
> > 2. No other witnesses to the shooting reported seeing her
step into the street. This includes
> > the two motorcyclists who would have had to veer to avoid
striking her. This is evidence that
> > her photo was taken from the grass not the street.
> E2. Agreed, if she stepped into the street before the limos approached.
If she stepped out after
> the limo stopped (an event you do not believe in, but which I
do), then it is less conclusive.
> > 3. No other photo or films taken that day show her stepping
into the street. All films that
> > include her, show her taking her photo from the grass. These
films would include the Nix,
> > Muchmore, Bronson and Zapruder films which were taken from
various angles. The Altgens
> > photo shows shadows cast by Moorman and Hill from the position
they occupied on the
> > grass, the position evident in the films mentioned just
above. This is external evidence that
> > she took her famous photo from the grass.
> E3. Agreed, although the more accurate statement is that "this
is evidence that all films and
> photographs are consistent".
> > I hope you'll have a go at these points so we can see where
we agree and where we differ. I surmise that our differences are few.
> > Josiah Thompson
> Our differences are indeed few, and I suspect are not resolvable
by scientific means.
Significantly, Jack or I dissent from almost all of these points.
In relation to I2, for example, the new experiment did not contradict
but was consistent with our earlier findings. (See Attachment 10.)
In relation to I3, the notch almost certainly contributed to this
measurement, which probably was not based upon a proper alignment
of the features of the cross. Indeed, in one of the most surprising
implicit admissions of this exchange—second only to Mack’s
confirmation of what Mary said—Tink would acknowledge that he
has never understood the proper definition of the cross “+”
(see Part X), an issue that has arisen for us even in relation to
John Costella's own studies. (See Attachment 11.)
And, in relation
to E3, Jack has also found frames from Muchmore and Bronson that show
Mary or Jean in the street contradicting Zapruder. (See Attachments
12 and 13.)
Thus, for reasons such as these, we are not persuaded that we made
any mistakes in our experiment, but Jack has found more than one indication
of the Moorman photo’s alteration in the area of the pergola.
(See Attachment 14.) This suggests arguments based upon Mary’s
Polaroid are less important than many others and will continue to
be the subject of virtually interminable debates.
IX. TINK’S ALTERNATIVES AND MY REPLY
On 18 December 2008, after this exchange with Costella on points on
which they both largely agreed, Tink advanced the proposition that
we are confronted with two alternatives, namely:
(A1) Since her photo demonstrates that she took it while on the grass,
all we know is that she was not on the street when she took her photo.
This leaves open the possibility that she stepped into the street
either before the limousine came along or after it passed. She
seems to be saying that she stepped into the street as the limousine
passed and she took her photo. We know from the photo that this cannot
be the case. Hence, she may have jumbled in her mind stepping into
the street earlier or later with stepping into the street when the
limousine passed. None of the other photos or films are of any use
here because they don't show what she was doing at the times of interest.
If she stepped into the street much earlier or just after the limousine
passed, it is not likely that any of the other spectators would have
noticed it. Since the motorcyclists would not have had to veer
to avoid her, they would have had nothing to say about her.
Adopting this interpretation requires nothing more. We don't
need to find that either her photo or any of the other films and photos
were altered or that spectators or motorcyclists oddly never mentioned
(A2) The second alternative insists that she stepped into the street
when she took her photo. Since her photo shows it was taken
from the grass, it must have been falsified later. Since the
Nix, Zapruder, Muchmore and Bronson films all show her in the grass
when she took her photo, they too must have been falsified.
Since no other witness mentioned seeing her step into the street at
a critical point in the assassination, we must wonder why they all
missed it. Since at the very least Officers Martin and Hargis would
have had to veer their cycles to miss, we must wonder why neither
ever mentioned this.
Given Occam's Razor as a heuristic advice for deciding between alternatives,
it does not seem doubtful which alternative is preferable.
Moreover, there is another irony working here. White and Fetzer
originally used the Moorman photo as an unimpeachable basis (meaning
that it was clearly and indisputably unaltered by anyone) to demonstrate
that the Zapruder film had been altered. Now it seems the process
of proof has moved in a weird circle. Since White and Fetzer's reasons
for believing the Moorman photo was taken from the street have proven
to be incorrect, in order to believe this we now have to believe that
the Moorman photo itself has been altered as well as the Zapruder
film and also the Nix, Muchmore, Bronson films (and probably the Altgens
So the choice is really simple. Either believe Moorman's statement
or believe the rest of the evidence.
when it comes to conflicts between photographs or films and eyewitnesses
to the events that they represent, the weight of the evidence falls
on the side of the witnesses, not the photographs and films. This,
as I said above, has to be known to Josiah, who works as a private
investigator and can be called upon to offer his testimony in court
or to produce evidence for its introduction into legal proceedings.
The exception, of course, would be if the eyewitness testimony itself
were in doubt. But that is not the case here, since Gary Mack has
confirmed that—merely three hours after the events in question—Mary
had explained that she had stepped off the grass and into the street,
taken her photograph, then had stepped back onto the grass and got
down onto the grass because she and Jean didn’t want to be shot!
That confirms the second alternative, (A2), and the inference that
the Polaroid itself must have been falsified later. Appealing to Occam’s
Razor is unavailing, because Occam only applies when both alternatives
can account for all the evidence.
Tink’s position acquires such specious plausibility as it may
have only by ignoring everything we know about the films: Jack's
studies, Mantik's research, Lifton's investigations, and Costella's
proofs! I would have thought that he would be more reasonable,
but he was in a corner and had to find a way out or confront the ignominy
of acknowledging that, for more than a decade, he has been been fighting
for a losing cause. I admired his chutzpah when he concluded
with, "So the choice is really simple. Either believe Moorman's
statement or believe the rest of the evidence." Astounding!
As though Mantik had not proven the Muchmore cannot be authentic;
as though Jack had not shown that Zapruder might not have even taken
the film; as though John had not adduced compelling scientific proof
that the Zapruder is a recreation; as though Lifton had not documented
the history of the alteration of the film; as though I had never edited
and published THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX (2003)! The assassination
films are authentic only if the events which they depict corresponds
to what actually happened at that time and in that place.
Thus, I asked: What happened to the unresponsive spectators?
the Greer head turns? the "blob" and the blood spray painted
in? the absence of brains and debris being blown out the back
of his head? the absence of brains and debris on the trunk of
the limo? the publication of 232 in LIFE with physically impossible
features? the rapid dissipation of the blood spray? mistakes
inserting the Simmons Freeway sign into the film? mistakes in
introducing the lamppost into the film? the removal of Connally’s
turn to his left? Irwin Schwartz’ report of seeing JFK;s
brains blown out to the left rear? the visible blow-out to the
back of his head seen in frames around 374? the report of Homer
McMahon of observing 6-8 impacts on bodies? reports from William
Reymond, Rich DellaRosa and others of having seen viewed the film
with features that we had predicted based on medical evidence and
eyewitness accounts? the absence of any witnesses reporting
the back-and-to-the-left motion that is the most conspicuous feature
of the extant film? the missing limo stop? the absence of Chaney's
motoring forward to notify Chief Curry JFK had been shot?
Tink adopted the pose that there is a simple choice between accepting
Mary's testimony and the alleged consistency of all of the films and
photographs, when their consistency is not enough to establish their
authenticity. That would dictate, for example, discounting the
massive and detailed proof that the Zapruder is a recreation!
He talked as though Costella were on his side, when he is actually
Tink’s greatest nightmare. It was as though Tink hadn’t
read "New Proof of JFK Film Fakery" presenting John's latest
proof, much less THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX. None of what
I have said here even reaches to the mutually reinforcing deceptions
of (a) the blow out to the right-front in the Zapruder film, (b) the
missing right-front in the anterior-posterior X-ray, and (c) the publication
of 313 in LIFE magazine with a caption saying that the right-front
of his head had been blown out (which was rewritten twice after twice
breaking the plates). And it implicates Zapruder in the deception,
when (d) he described a blow-out to the right-front during an interview
on television that night (HOAX, page 435)! None of it was
true. Jackie herself reported that, from the front, he looked
just fine but that she had a hard time holding his skull and brains
together at the back of his head. None of the witnesses or doctors
reported it. Not even the mortician! It's not just that Tink’s
little boat has sprung a leak. It has sunk like a sieve into
the ocean of truth!
Jack and I still believe in the Moorman line of sight and have yet
to be convinced it does not exist. We still support the results
of the Mantik/Fetzer/White experiment. We have both been persuaded,
however, by the course of this discussion, that even Mary's photograph
may have been changed. But to suggest that we are out of touch
in the face of the mass of evidence that proves the Zapruder, Muchmore,
and Nix are fabrications reflects astounding detachment from reality.
It doesn't matter if we are wrong about the photo. What matters
is that Mary was in the street! We may not always remember what we
said, but it is hard to forget what we did! And it is difficult to
understand how someone with Tink’s obvious talents could persist
in holding such an indefensible position, unless he were dedicated
to upholding a grossly misleading conception of the true causes of
the death of our 35th president. The extent to which he is willing
to pervert logic and distort evidence boggles the mind. If we
believe Mary, then we must disbelieve the Zapruder, Muchmore, and
Nix, among other photos and films. But the evidence that supports
Mary and independently impeaches the integrity of the photos and films
is simply overwhelming.
X. GENERAL SUMMARY
Jack, David M., John, and David L. have all adduced proof after proof
of Zapruder film fakery. In MURDER, Mantik investigates arguments
both for and against its authenticity, including the chain of possession
argument, technical challenges, psychological issues, eyewitness reliability,
Dealey Plaza witnesses, early reenactments, inconsistencies with other
photographic evidence, evidence internal to the film (including film
maps, the two Secret Service copies, and the sprocket images), the
first frame overexposure, the Greer head turns, the trail of debris
on the skull X-ray, and other considerations, which provides overwhelming
support for Zapruder film fakery. Jack’s studies are well known,
including, relative to the Zapruder, the change in the color of Mary
and Jean’s shoes from black to white. Indeed, it continues to
astound me that Tink would persist in defense of the authenticity
of the films in the face of so much contradictory evidence. As far
as I am aware, he has never been able to explain away the simplest
proof that the Zapruder is fake (Attachment 15).
It is fascinating that the most powerful criticism against the line
of sight argument comes from one who has also proven that the Zapruder
is a fabrication. This, I believe, has created a conundrum for Tink
and his associates. If he were to rely upon Costella to discredit
the Moorman, he thereby endorses his expertise and invites his research
on the Zapruder into the mix, which, of course, he does not want.
I support John’s work on the Zapruder and have been enormously
impressed by his technical proficiency. Ironically, in response to
observations by Lifton reflecting unfavorably on the quality of his
reasoning—including, “How is it possible for a (supposedly)
educated man to behave in this way? For Thompson, , this goes much
deeper than the Kennedy assassination. Remember: this is a guy who
started out in life as a philosophy professor, then became interested
in the Kennedy assassination, where he went on record stating that
the Z film "was the closest thing to absolute truth." —Tink
struck out at me on 20 December 2008 with these comments:
> If Lifton wants to participate, he can. In terms of a reply,
this [my own response] is pathetic.
> As explained ad nauseum earlier, talking about the four lateral
edges is just a clumsier way
> of talking about the line-up of the two points. The so called
"notch" that Professor Fetzer tried
> to make so much of simply has to do with the lateral or horizontal
positioning of the alignment
> of the two points. For that reason, John Costella deemed it "irrelevant."
It had nothing to do
> with the height of Moorman's camera. This latter point, of course,
is what this discussion is all
> about. One would have to be stupid not to understand this. Once
again, Professor Fetzer has
> produced zilch about why he and Jack White believe the line-of-sight
argument is valid. This
> is a claimthat both I and his science advisor, John Costella,
deem to be wrong. Do I have to
> quote what John Costella had to say about it?
My response was among the final salvos in this exchange, which has
been so highly productive:
> All, This is stunning! Just as Gary Mack confirmed Mary's tesimony
that shewas standing in the
> street, now Tink Thompson confirms that he has never understood
the line of sight, even after
> the elaborate discussion here! It is difficult to believe—even
mind boggling!—that this "expert"
> on the photograph still does not grasp there is an actual physical
indentation at the top of the
> pedestal, which I have described as a "notch". It is
the principal cause of the "gap". It does not
> "simply have to do with the lateral or horizontal positioning
of the alignment of the two points".
> Jack made this point in the first study I posted, attached as
(A1). Take a look. Read the text.
> The situation here is quite absurd. His blunder is even more
apparent in this Costella cross
> graphic, (A11). And the features defining it do not disappear
in higher quality photos, as shown
(A8). Even if we introduce a 4" diameter on the grass due to
a 1" difference, the line of sight
still too low for Mary to be on the grass! So he has made an observation
> conclusively that he has not understood the argument from scratch!
My inference is that he had not understood Jack and my reasons for
not abandoning the line-of- sight argument—which I have explained
above—because he was not reading all our posts. On several occasions,
I have pointed out that he hasn't read what I have written. He has
published "hatchet job" reviews of books that he has never
read. Even my “science advisor” was forced to conclude
that Tink had never read HOAX! What kind of expert on the
photos and films is that? Ironically, although I would ordinarily
defer to an expert who possesses greater competence than I, in this
instance, for reasons that I have explained, I believe that Costella
is wrong and Jack is right about the line of sight. Tink might like
to cite John’s Ph.D. in physics with his specialization in electromagnetism,
including the properties of light and the physics of moving objects,
to make his case against us, but that would be to concede that qualifications
make a difference, which he still insists is not the case in JFK research!
If there has ever been a more bizarre attitude toward expertise—as
though competence in investigations were inversely proportional to
qualifications—I have never encountered it. In his zeal to impeach
me over the Moorman, he succumbed to the temptation to suppose that
John was completely on his side, when in fact that was far from the
case. Indeed, when I asked him what we would see if we had an authentic
film, John replied:
> I've already said here that I'd give better than even money odds
that a genuine film of the
> assassination would show Mary stepping into the street. But it
would also show her taking a
> photo of JFK slumping after the FIRST shot (there being no previous
ridiculous "chicken dance"
of JFK as shown in the Z-toon; the throat entry shot most likely occurred
> the limo was stopped and there was a barrage of bullets); it
would show Jean Hill reacting more
> like an excited girl than a frozen turkey; it would show the
limo stopping and the motorcycles
> scattering, Chaney going forward to the lead car; it would show
Clint Hill actually push Jackie
> back down in the seat and cover her and the President with his
body (not get stuck on the back
> foothold as the limo speeds out of the Plaza, as the Z-toon also
shows); and, most importantly
> (and gruesomely), it would show the blood and brain matter of
the President flying through the
> air and over the shiny trunk of the limo, over Hargis—indeed,
over everything in its path—
> instead of disappearing into nothingness, as the Z-toon shows,
leaving Hargis and the limo as
> pristinely clean as Senator Specter's magic bullet was undamaged.
This exchange provides ample proof that Mary was in the street, that
her Polaroid must have been altered, and that many of the photos
films of the assassination are not authentic. Indeed, Tel Larcinni
has found a video interview, "Moorman In The Street - JFK Assassination",
on YouTube that leaves no doubt that Mary took her photo from the
street. .There is no reasonable alternative, which means that this
conclusion has been established beyond a reasonable doubt. What
most remarkable, given the precedence given to eyewitness testimony,
is that the study of this issue has led to so many valuable discoveries,
including that Mary and Jean's behavior is not accurately presented
in the Zapruder, which supports the inference that her image and
were introduced into the film like frozen statues, a conclusion
that the five of us endorse where the study of her photo also led
discoveries about the fabrication of the photographic record, including
the Nix, the Muchmore and the Zapruder films. While some differences
remain concerning the ultimate significance of the Mantik/Fetzer/White
experiment, David Lifton, David Mantik, Jack White, John Costella,
and I all agree that images of Mary and Jean were integrated into
the Zapruder film during the process of recreation and that a genuine
film from that day would provide a very different account of their
activities, the ramifications of which are quite substantial.
8 January 2009
800 Violet Lane
Oregon, WI 53575
During a conversation about this exchange, David Lifton reminded me
that he discusses attempts to "revise history" in relation
to Mary Moorman in his chapter, "Pig on a Leash",
in HOAX. And, indeed, on pp. 420-421 he reports on the making
of a recent documentary involving The 6th FloorMuseum, which I discuss
in "Distorting the Photographic Record", pp. 427-435. As
Consider what happened on a recent documentary shoot in Dealey Plaza.
Here was an important issue for The Sixth Floor Museum, which controls
both the Moorman copyright as well as the Zapruder. Mary Moorman was
being interviewed for a documentary to be broadcast on national television.
Mary told major media interviewers as recently as a few years ago
how she stepped into the street to take President Kennedy's picture
and then, after the shots were fired, stepped back on the grass. She
was most specific about these two events: the step into the street,
the step back onto the grass. Here are here exact words:
Moorman: Uh, just immediately before the presidential
car came into view, we were, you know, there was just tremendous excitement.
And my friend was with me, we were right ready totake the picture.
And she's not timid. She, as the car approached us, she did holler
for the president, "Mr. President, look this way!" And I'd
stepped out off the curb into the street to take the picture. And
snapped it immediately. And that evidently was the first shot. Youknow,
I could hear the sound. And . . .
Jones: Now when you heard the sound, did you
immediately think, "rifle shot"?
Moorman: Oh no. A firecracker, maybe. There
was another one just immediately following which I still thought was
a firecracker. And then I stepped back up on the grassy area. I guess
just, people were falling around us, you know. Knowing something was
wrong. I certainly didn't know what was wrong.
The trouble is the Zapruder film shows no such thing. And if this
actually happened, then Mary's account is further evidence—just
like the car stop—that the film was altered through professional
optical editing, where Mary was put up on the grass.
But now, some years later, at a time when The Sixth Floor Museum controls
Mary's copyright, she is being interviewed by the Museum's Gary Mack.
Mack has learned she should not say she stepped into the street, but
she still says she stepped forward. And she says so again and again,
on each successive take. The problem is: Mary doesn't even do that
on the Zapruder film. She just stands there.
And Mary apparently remembers something else—how slowly the
car was moving. Just the way she told me when I visited her back in
November 1971 and she told me that it stopped. Now she simply says
it "wasn't going that fast."
The film shoot stops.
Mack cuts in. HE turns to the cameraman and says, "That's it",
indicating the camera should be turned off.
Someone says "going that fast". Gary Mack looks down at
the grass and fidgets at Mary's blooper. HE turns to Mary and says,
"They will or will not use that. That's OK."
A senior producer walks over, in a casual manner: "Wasn't going
that fast"? he says, mimicking her. Then he continues, "Mary,
you're so cute!" The implication is clear. She should be careful
about what she says and stick to the script.
Mary Ann puts her head in her hands, like a child who has made a mistake.
Mack says, "We're going to do one more take. We'll have it go
Meanwhile, before the shoot resumes, Mary keeps saying that she "stepped
forward". This is clearly a troublesome phrase, because if Mary
"stepped forward" that raises all sorts of problems, one
being that she must then "step back" when the Zapruder film
During one take, the one actually broadcast, Mary tells it this way
and uses the troublesome phrase:
I just stepped to the, uh, to the edge here, and Jean is hollering,
"Look Mr. President, look our way!" and then I snapped the
picture, which was at the same instant, evidently, as the bullet hit
him, not realizing that's what had happened. But I did hear a noise.
[And then I stepped back, and then, two more noises,] and then I could
see people around me falling to the ground, or running, and doing—and
that let me to know that something was happening.
I put the ten words in brackets above because—as actually broadcast—these
particular words were deleted. As actually broadcast, Mary's account
was as follows:
But I did hear a noise, and then I could see people around me falling
to the ground, or running, and doing—and that let me know that
something was happening.
By the deletion of the words ("and then I stepped back, and then,
[I heard] two more noises"), two critical matters were omitted
from Mary's account, namely: (1) the implication that she had stepped
forward, very possibly into the street, especially if she was already
standing at the edge; and (2) the fact that Mary Moorman believes
that she heard three shots—the first as she took her picture
and then two more!
This is quite different than the official version, but it is the one
Mary has always given as her version of this event. Mary always says
that in her various interviews—both during this filming and
elsewhere—and it's plain as day that what she calls the "first
shot" occurred the instant shetook her picture, and then there
were two more. But that raises complications and contradicts the official
version, so the problem was dealt with by making a silent edit (omitting
the bracketed words above). Obviously, when the witness' account came
up against the official version, there was no contest—it was
the official version that prevailed.
Discovery Channel personnel say, with reasonable self-mocking wit,
that they are not scholars and historians but popularizers, that their
speciality is "history-lite". But I wonder if this even
qualifies in that category. It seems to me it is simply false, and
manipulative—and all of it is happening under the auspices of
an interview being conducted by someone from The Sixth Floor Museum.
Is this valid history? I would like to see a full dress interview
of Mary Moorman by an objective investigator in which no attempt is
made to edit or guide her; and the matter of whenit was first pointed
out to her that she should be careful about this issue of whether
or not she "stepped forward" is discussed in detail. Who
communicated to her the fact that, her memory notwithstanding, the
Zapruder film showed something else, so perhaps she should tailor
her story accordingly?
At another point, the matter of Mary's medical bills comes up. Something
that costs almost a thousand dollars. In what appears to be innocent
small talk, Mack says that she'll be able to take care of that easily
in view of the payment being made to her that day. Then they all get
down to business.
The whole thing is so unsavory. It's not even that there is a deliberate
effort to promote lies, but certain people have made up their minds
as how what happened has to be presented—how many shots were
fired, whether the car stopped, whether Mary stepped into the street,
etcetera—and that provides a criterion for what is acceptable,
for what should or should not be said. For what is and is not correct.
I don't know exactly what to call this, but it is certainly not the
proper way to approach documentary film making in the area of history.