In 1963, most people could not record video. The only people who could make videotapes were television studios. Most news footage was filmed on actual film, and “processed” with chemicals like photo films were up until the 1990s. Hand-held video camcorders didn’t exist, let alone smartphones!
Today, we all know what happens when you “fast-forward” through a video: not only does everyone move quickly, but their actions are much too jerky.
When the forgers made the Zapruder film, they needed to use genuine film of the limousine and the people in it, to make it look realistic—they couldn’t just get Warner Brothers to draw cartoons! They cut and paste this genuine film into a new background film of Elm Street.
Some changes could be made. They could cut people out and move them around a bit. They could make copies of arms, legs and bodies, and stick them back together to make them perform actions that the real people never did.
They could also slow down or speed up any action.
You can slow things down by making several copies of each film frame, and changing the “in-between” copies a little bit so that everything moves smoothly.
Researchers think that this was done for JFK, after he emerges from behind the road sign. He leans over and pulls his elbows up, so that his shirt cuffs appear to wipe his face, and then he basically just stays frozen until the fatal shot:
JFK’s wife, Jackie Kennedy, seems to move more naturally. She seems to have been pasted in at a fairly normal speed.
You can also speed things up. All you need to do is delete some of the frames! When the speed-up rate is changing, you need to change some of the frames a little to make sure everything moves smoothly. It takes skill to do it really well.
Many dozens of eyewitnesses to the assassination overwhelmingly reported that the limousine braked suddenly and came to a stop, or maybe a rolling stop, before accelerating away again. A small number of people have said that they have seen another film of the assassination—not yet seen by the public—which shows this stop very clearly. But Zapruder’s film doesn’t show the limousine stopping at all! It just keeps on driving down Elm Street the entire time:
The forgers needed to remove all evidence of the car stopping. Not only would it have shown evidence of shots coming from the front, over a much longer period of time than we see in the Zapruder film, but people would also have asked why the Secret Service agents stopped the car when the President was clearly in danger.
It was very easy for the forgers to keep the car moving, by deleting more and more frames as it slowed down and stopped, and then less and less as it started off again.
But the four people in the front of the car—the two Secret Service agents in the front seats, and the Texas Governor and his wife behind them—gave the forgers many problems. It was not worth the time and effort to make sure that their motions were perfect, like they had done with JFK and Jackie. These other four people would not be the focus of attention. A quicker job of cutting and pasting would have to do for them.
After the fake film frames had been created, these four people seemed to move smoothly enough when looked at frame by frame, or in slow motion.
But when the film was projected at full speed, there were major problems: “fast-forward” mistakes! We will look at some of these below.
The mistakes are so obvious that anyone looking at the film at full speed would have known that something was wrong with it!
It would not have been feasible for the forgers to start again and create a better fake film. Instead, to cover up these mistakes, they did three things:
The next danger for the forgers was that a film expert might “stabilize” the camera jiggles, frame by frame. If such a “stabilized” film was projected at full speed, the “fast-forward” mistakes would be obvious!
To avoid this danger, they did two further things:
This is exactly how the film was first shown on TV, in 1975! And it is also how it was shown on a 1998 DVD and video release! Control of the “stabilized” versions made sure that these mistakes stayed hidden in plain sight.
From the late 1990s it was possible to use even a home computer to stabilize the film and put it back together at full speed. The mistakes are now obvious for everyone to see with their own two eyes.
You can view a stabilized version of the Zapruder film on YouTube, or directly on a more recent version of my JFK page.
The video clips shown below were originally created in 2003, before YouTube existed, when computers had trouble showing large video clips at full-speed. These clips were created to run at the right speed by doubling up the frames. This does not look as good as the full-speed videos linked above.
We will look at the mistakes in the order that they appear in the film. Some just look ridiculous; others can actually be shown to be humanly impossible, or violate the laws of physics.
The first mistake you should look at is called “Connally’s Hat Trick.” The Governor of Texas, John Connally, was holding his hat in his hand. According to the U.S. Government, he was hit by the “magic bullet” at the same time that JFK got hit in the throat—in other words, when the car is hidden by the sign. This bullet supposedly broke Connally’s right wrist. But after the car comes out from behind the sign, Connally does some sort of superhuman hat-flicking motion—with his broken wrist!
(It happens so fast that it almost can”t be seen in this clip—see the high-quality videos above if you really want to see it!)
The second mistake occurs when Mrs. Connally snaps her head to the rear far too rapidly. Just before she does, she turns her head to the front in a more realistic motion:
This might look fast, but compare it to the “head-snaps” of the Secret Service driver of the limousine:
These have been analyzed scientifically, and shown to be twice as fast as humanly possible, even for an athlete trying to do it as quickly as possible!
You might not think that doing something twice as fast as an athlete is all that big a deal. But imagine running a mile in two minutes, or 100 meters in five seconds, or jumping twice as far, or twice as high, as everyone else in the long jump or high jump at the Olympics!
Not only that, but imagine that you managed to keep control of a car even with those dizzying forces on your brain! (Snapping your head twice as fast means the dizzying forces are four times as big!)
Now, as you looked at that last clip, you might have noticed some other weird things.
The most obvious is that, at exactly the same time, all four people lurch forward suddenly:
You don’t need to know the laws of physics to know what this means: the limo must have braked suddenly at that time. But if you watch the film, the car doesn’t brake at all!
Scientists have taken careful measurements of the film, to figure out when the limousine was slowing down and speeding up. According to its motion on the film, it is gradually slowing down for a few seconds before the time of this lurch! Worse, at the time of the lurch, the car actually starts to accelerate rapidly!
Have you ever been in a car when someone has planted their foot on the gas pedal, and everyone has been thrown forward? Of course not! It’s ridiculous! It violates the laws of physics, and it violates common sense.
The next weird thing you might have noticed is that Governor and Mrs. Connally both “collapse” to the floor very rapidly:
It’s almost like they were nine-pins, designed to fall out of sight!
According to Mrs. Connally, she pulled the Governor down into her lap to protect him, and according to the Governor he then lost consciousness. They never described both collapsing like this. Worse, if you watch one of the full videos above, you can see that the Governor gets back up again, and looks over his wife!
It is quite likely that the Connallys had to be “collapsed” out of sight like this because of a photograph that was taken by an Associated Press photographer and published in newspapers around the world within hours of the assassination:
Zooming in on where the Connallys should be, we see that there is nothing visible except a bunch of flowers:
In the actual assassination, the limo likely stopped for several seconds, and then accelerated again, during which time the Connallys almost certainly would have dropped down to avoid the fusillade of shots reported by eyewitnesses.
By removing the car stop, the forgers had to make the Connallys collapse in a way that would be comical if the implications were not so grave.
For the final “fast-forward” mistake, if you look at one of the stabilized videos above, and follow Jackie Kennedy carefully, you see that after she climbs out onto the back of the limo, she seems to dissolve into the rear seat of the car, and sit on the President’s head!
The only way to cover all up these mistakes was to pretend that Zapruder’s camera jerked around wildly at these times, and then to make sure that any stabilized film was only ever shown in slow motion.
By watching these video clips at full speed, you can see through the lies with your own eyes!
The sign mistake
The blur mistake
The lamppost mistake
The fast-forward mistakes
The blood mistake
The wound mistake