Hany Farid via Fourandsix Technologies
Abraham Zapruder’s Bell & Howell Zoomatic movie camera, in the collection of the US National Archives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Over the years there has been a handful of images that many individuals, organizations, and media outlets have asked me to analyze. One of these is the so called Zapruder film which captured the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Since its release, there has been much speculation as to the authenticity of this video. Here I will describe a forensic analysis applied to one aspect of the Zapruder film that, as with the Lee Harvey Oswald photo, debunks certain claims of manipulation. (WARNING: some of the images and descriptions are graphic.)
Abraham Zapruder captured the most complete documentation of the assassination of JFK. After its public release in 1975, challenges to the authenticity of the Zapruder film began to surface. The Zapruder film has been analyzed for evidence to support alternate theories of who and how many people were involved in the assassination. For example, it has been argued that on frame 317 (and neighboring frames) what appears to be a shadow on the back of JFK’s head is the result of tampering, purportedly to conceal evidence of a shot exiting through the rear of JFK’s head. This shot could only have come from a second shooter, as Oswald was positioned behind JFK.
Frame 317 of the Zapruder film (right: a magnified view of
JFK and the questioned shadow on the back side of his head.)
In order to determine if the lighting and shadows in this scene are physically plausible I constructed a 3-D model of the sun’s location and the relevant scene geometry.
JFK was assassinated on November 22nd, 1963 at 18:30 (UTC) in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, TX. It is an easy matter to determine the relative position of the light at this time and place. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration solar calculator, the sun’s azimuth and elevation at this location and date was 181.91 and 37 degrees, respectively.
We next need to know the angle between people and objects in the scene and the sun. At the time of his assassination, JFK’s car was traveling on Elm St. … (keep reading): Photo Forensics Software | Fourandsix Technologies – Blog – The JFK Zapruder Film.
via NeuroLogica Blog
I remain fascinated with the mindset of the conspiracy theorist. Partly this is because I think we all have a little conspiracy theorist inside us – deep within our evolved psyche. There is something very compelling and satisfying about believing that you have peeked behind the curtain and seen the true machinations at work in the world. Hardcore conspiracy theorists are mostly regular people who have fallen into a psychological trap, or perhaps they simply have a greater tendency towards the kinds of thinking that leads to belief in conspiracies. Theirs, however, is a difference in magnitude, not kind.
I recently received an e-mail with an innocent question from someone who appears to fall into the former group – a regular guy whose conspiracy sense has been tickled. The e-mailer’s brother, who is a conspiracy theorist by his account, pointed him to this Youtube video – a short clip from an interview with John McCain and Barack Obama during the 2008 election. Take a look at the interview before reading further.
McCain is apparently posturing about the debate schedule between him and Obama (typical political fare for a US election), and refers back to the debate planning between Barry Goldwater and JFK before the “Intervention and the tragedy at Dallas.” The video would probably pass most people by without a thought, or perhaps just the slightest notice of the word choice by McCain. Calling the assassination of JFK an “intervention” at first seems like an odd word choice. Did he say “the intervention and the tragedy at Dallas,” or “the intervention of the tragedy at Dallas,” – meaning that the tragedy intervened in the course of events? It’s probably the latter. It’s also possible that the wrong word came out, or the intended word did not come to mind (although there does not appear to be any delay or stuttering). Either way, this is a non-event.
Yet conspiracy theorists have taken this one odd word and made it into evidence for a JFK assassination conspiracy. Disclose.tv, for example, describes the moment this way: …
Keep Reading: NeuroLogica Blog » Conspiracy Thinking.