Archive for February, 2010

Jim Marrs Interviews Doug Horne

February 22, 2010

DREAMLAND with Whitley Strieber
February 20, 2010 Kennedy Assassination

JFK Assassination researcher Jim Marrs interviewing Doug Horne, Chief Military Analyst for the Assassination Records Review Board – in operation from 1994 –1998

JM: = Jim Marrs
DH: = Doug Horne

[ 00:00 – 00:32 – announcer lead in…]


JM: Howdy, I’m your host today here on Dreamland, on a very special occasion because today we’re going to hear from Doug Horne. Doug was the chief Military analyst for the Assassination Records Review Board, and to just set the stage, let me explain that in the wake of the Kennedy Assassination, of course, within a week the new President, Lyndon Johnson hand picked a committee headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren and called the Warren Commission – prominent people on there such as John J. McCloy, Allan Dulles, who I found particularly interesting since Kennedy had fired Dulles from his position of CIA director in the wake of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and Gerald Ford, our only unelected President and some others – and they concluded after about nine months that the assassination was the work of Lee Harvey Oswald who acted alone.

This was called into question almost immediately and a few years later we had the Jim Garrison investigation in New Orleans and the jury who was polled afterwards, unanimously said that Garrison had convinced them that there was a conspiracy to kill Kennedy, but they could not bring themselves to believe beyond a reasonable shadow of doubt that Clay Shaw was part of it, so they found him not guilty. But this raised even more questions particularly with some of the witnesses and information that came out in the Garrison trial. So then in the mid 70’s Congress founded the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and they went through a lot of turmoil, changed leadership, and Blakey, the new Chief Council started off by saying they weren’t going to consider any new evidence. Anything new they didn’t want to hear about it, but they would re-examine some of the old evidence, well that forced them into considering the Dallas Police radio tape which according to two separate sets of acoustical scientists showed clearly that there had been shots not only from the School Book Depository but from the infamous Grassy Knoll.

But, the House Committee said well we’re out of funds, we’re out of business, and they encouraged the Justice Department to continue their investigation. This was not done, in fact all the Justice Department did was convene a handpicked committee of National Science Academy people who tried to call into question the Dallas Police tapes. A few years later, in a peer reviewed paper in England they called into question the conclusions of the National Academy of Science Committee. So the whole thing has been in controversy and turmoil ever since. And finally, in the early 90’s we had the Oliver Stone film “JFK” which was based on Jim Garrison’s book, and my book “Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy”. And in the wake of the controversy that stirred up – Congress then named the Assassination Records Review Board.

And this was a group of citizens who were tasked to go into government files and find anything that pertained to the Kennedy Assassination Unfortunately, they were also instructed NOT to do anything with it, don’t make any conclusions, don’t present any of their findings or conclusions to the public, just put all the stuff in the National Archives and maybe twenty or thirty years later some diligent researcher might actually find something.

Well Doug Horne is the man. He is not only a diligent researcher, he was the Chief Military Analyst for the Assassination Records Review Board which put him right in the thick of what they were finding out about the Kennedy autopsy, which of course was done at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

And he even had opportunity to speak with and interview some of the people involved in the autopsy, and he was also privy to the examination of one of the most critical pieces of information – evidence – the famous Zapruder film taken by Abraham Zapruder.

So Doug, I apologize for that long-winded introduction, but now that we’ve laid the groundwork, tell us what you found in your work for the Assassination Records Review Board.

DH: Well, thanks Jim, it’s a pleasure to be here, and don’t apologize, the case IS a mess and it’s been made into a mess by all those investigating bodies, so –

What I found Jim, was that, and these are my conclusions, you know, after working for the Review Board for the last three years of it’s four year lifespan and my conclusions after researching and writing this book for thirteen years, this book “Inside the Assassination Records Review Board”, available on It’s my conclusion that the reason the case has never come together like a normal homicide case is because there’s massive fraud in the evidence. And, it’s a pretty strong statement to make, but it’s backed up in my book by overwhelming evidence, of not only fraud in the evidence. But what that means is a massive cover-up of the medical evidence by the U.S. Government. And, specifically a cover-up of the fact that the President was killed by a crossfire and that evidence of shots from the front was suppressed and only evidence of shots from the rear was admitted into evidence. So the listeners may be wondering – well, wat do you mean by fraud in the evidence – and to summarize very very briefly, without getting inside baseball too much – there are three skull x-rays of the President, and those three are not originals in the national archives, they are copy films. They are altered copy films made from the original skull x-rays and altered in such a manner that the blowout in the back of the head, the exit wound behind the right ear, seen in Dallas by all the Doctors and Nurses has been hidden in the x-rays, it looks like solid bone, but we know they are forgeries.

Number Two: The autopsy report’s been rewritten at least twice, so the version in the archives now is the third written version, and the – particularly disturbing to me is the fact that the brain photographs in the archives, purported to be of President Kennedy’s brain cannot be of his brain as proven by the testimony of two key witnesses. The – one of the FBI Agents who was at the autopsy, Frank O’Neil said – they cant be of President Kennedy’s brain because there is way too much mass present, there is too much tissue present in the organ in the photographs. And, the photographer who took the pictures said – No these can’t be the pictures I took, because they’re taken on the wrong kind of film and they are taken from the wrong angles. And they also don’t show the sections that were made of the brain.

So those are three key areas where there is fraud in the evidence, there are others, but that’s it in a nutshell.

JM: Okay, so in other words what you are telling me, is that when someone steps forward and says – yes but look, this government document states thus and so, you cannot take that to the bank, can you?

DH: That’s correct Jim. Normally the autopsy report is THE medical legal record of someone’s death. In this case, it’s not true since we know at least two written versions of the autopsy report, a typed first draft, and the first signed version, have been destroyed. The autopsy report cannot be used to describe how Kennedy died.

JM: Right, Okay. Well that’s Step Number One. We’ll go to step this up to Number Two, right after this.

[- to 8:50 – commercial break]


JM: Howdy, We’re back here today, this is your host Jim Marrs. We’re talking with Doug Horne, Chief Military Analyst for the Assassination Records Review Board and he’s just informed us that the autopsy on President Kennedy has been altered, fabricated, changed, at the level of the Federal Government. So, Doug, tell us how you KNOW this.

DH: Sure Jim, we know from the testimony taken of Doctors Humes and Boswell – there were three pathologists and President Kennedy’s autopsy, two of them were Navy and they were the lead doctors at the autopsy Doctors Humes and Boswell. The third guy was kind of an outsider, Dr. Finck worked for the Army and he arrived late after the autopsy had started and he was basically a consultant, advising the other, the two Navy men. So we took the testimony of all three…

JM: Excuse me had any of these military doctors had any kind of extensive experience with gunshot wounds?

DH: Almost no, no, almost no is the answer. Doctors Humes and Boswell, the two lead pathologists had no practical experience in forensic autopsies of people killed by trauma, by gunshot wounds. They had only done autopsies of people due to natural – death due to natural causes. And Dr. Finck, the consultant, was a board certified forensic pathologist, but number one, he arrived late, after much of the work had been done Number two, he did not do this every day, he only reviewed reports written by other people. So there was almost no practical experience in forensic pathology during the autopsy on the 35th president, which is really appalling. In retrospect I believe this was intentional. You can steer the conclusions of people who aren’t really qualified in the first place not only because they are in uniform and are following orders but because they’re not forensic pathologists, the two lead pathologists were not , so…

JM: Is it true, that they were – when – I think it was Finck, or one of the autopsy doctors – there was some argument going on about what to do, how to do it – and he said – Well who’s in charge here – and a military officer said – I am – is that true?

DH: That’s correct. During the Shaw trial, Dr. Finck had a rough time on the witness stand and the first day he testified he made that statement under oath, he said – I said, Who’s in charge here – and Dr. Humes – Dr. Finck recalled that Humes the lead pathologist had said – Who’s in charge here – you know, irritated with all the interference during the autopsy and the people giving orders and that – Finck said under oath, an Army General said – I am. He tried to back away from that during his later testimony at the Shaw trial but it was too late, he had already said it under oath, and in fact we know he was being coached – I mean, he was doing so badly on the witness stand that – in terms of telling the truth that other people didn’t want him to tell that, they called Dr. Boswell down and had him waiting in the wings to take over and to get up there and rebut Finck if necessary, so Boswell revealed to us under oath something we didn’t know, that he was called down there by the Justice Department to help with the defense team, and was waiting in the wings because Pierre Finck was doing so badly…
JM: So [… -ive ?..] testimony..

DH: Yeah, so to make a long story short, yeah, Dr. Humes admitted in 1964 to Arlen Specter – To Assistant Council Arlen Specter on the Warren Commission – admitted that he burned the first draft of the autopsy report in his fireplace on Sunday, the weekend of the assassination.

JM: Um,hm

DH: The problem for Humes is that during the House Committee period in the mid 70’s he changed his story, and he said – Well I destroyed the notes in my fireplace, I destroyed notes – because they had the blood of the President on them and he thought it was unseemly. Well, that’s a conflict right there, so when he testified before us General Council Jeremy Gunn really bore in on him on this subject and Humes finally admitted that he destroyed both, the first draft, and notes. So that’s the first – and by the way, Dr. Boswell told us under oath that the first draft was actually typed and it was prepared on Saturday. Boswell told us [..?..] it was prepared Saturday and reviewed by he and Humes, and we also know the third party, Dr. Canada, commanding officer of the hospital portion of the Bethesda complex, those three men reviewed it on Saturday, Humes destroys it in his fireplace the next morning, early Sunday morning. So that’s the first version that’s been destroyed. The second version was a signed version that was given to Robert Kennedy in 1965 by the Secret Service at his request. He was a Senator at that time, from New York and then a year and a half later, when he was required to turn over all the autopsy materials he had in his possession back to the Government so they could be put in the archives – he returned the photographs and x-rays but he did not return a signed version of the autopsy report, along with the – what was left of the brain and other biological specimens. So he kept part of these materials and they’ve never seen the light of day again. So, ah….

JM: So what you’re telling us is, is that standard operating autopsy procedures were NOT followed in the case of the JFK Assassination.

DH: Certainly not with the evidence. I mean the evidence was made by the Government, it never should have been turned over to someone’s family. And when they returned it to the Government, and the Government knew immediately that he had not returned all the materials and that he had kept biological materials, tissue samples, the brain, plus a signed autopsy report. They didn’t go after him, they just let it go, which was appalling. So we know that the next year in 1967, the year after the Kennedy’s returned the materials to the archives – The next year the Secret Service turned over an original autopsy report to the National Archives, and that’s the one we have today, and that’s the third version. In other words Jim, if you – if there’s only one autopsy report, no one can give it to someone else twice. See, you have the Secret Service on record giving a signed autopsy report to Robert Kennedy in 1965 and then he keeps it and doesn’t give it back. And then the Secret Service turns over ANOTHER signed autopsy report two years later to the archives, and that’s the version that’s on file now and therefore I conclude that’s the third written version. So that’s just completely unacceptable.

JM: You think the third version which is now the official Government version, do you think it accurately reflects what was actually found at the Kennedy autopsy?

DH: Oh, no. It is the version that concludes that a bullet transited the body And that was not a conclusion, you know, from back to front, from the upper back at the throat That was not a conclusion of, at the autopsy, the FBI agents were there and they wrote their own report and they know that was not a conclusion during the autopsy itself and I don’t believe that was the conclusion in the version that Robert Kennedy sequestered either. So that was one conclusion that evolved and of course there is no mention of any shot from the front in the autopsy report that exists today and I don’t believe there was in the earlier versions either because that evidence was surppressed during the autopsy itself. I mean, the cover-up began the moment the body arrived. So no, the conclusions were evolving, and that’s why you have different versions, and all that’s all laid out in Chapter Eleven of my book.

JM: Okay so they altered the autopsy report. What about the President’s body, there has been some speculation there may have been alteration actually to the body. Do you have any knowledge of that?

DH: There was, Jim. I consider it a certainty, now. This concept was first raised in 1981 by David Lifton and his outstanding book “Best Evidence” which he worked on for fifteen years. By the way it was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, it didn’t win but it was nominated, which is remarkable…

JM: Um, hm

DH:…and given the subject matter – and Macmillan at the time was very brave to publish that book. So Mr. Lifton believed that the body, the wounds on the head, had been altered before the body had arrived at Bethesda and my conclusion is that he was close but he wasn’t really correct, and I’ve altered my view of this because we just know more now than we did in 1981. We know a lot more, based on the ARRB’s depositions and interviews. I’ve concluded that, yes, the head wounds were altered by surgery, by post mortem surgery after death but it happened at Bethesda before the autopsy began. You see, there was a long period of time, Jim, between the body actually arrived and the time the autopsy started, the body arrived at 6:35 p.m. we know that because of a report written by a Marine Security Guard, Sargeant Boyajian and so it arrives at 6:35 p.m., the autopsy doesn’t begin until 8:15. 8:15 p.m.

And there is a lot of time there for shenanigans to take place, and the shenanigans WERE taking place. We interviewed Tom Robinson, one of the morticians, who prepared the body for burial after the autopsy. He was there for the whole period, he was there for the whole autopsy. We also deposed the two x-ray technicians and one of them, Ed Reed – Ed Reed the autopsy tech and Tom Robinson, the mortician they [.. bo….surgury…] to the President’s skull, done by Dr. Humes. And from the way they described the details of that surgery it’s clear that what Dr. Humes was doing was expanding the exit wound that was seen by the Dallas doctors and nurses, expanding that wound dramatically to five times its original size so that now there’s a large defect on the top of the President’s head and on the right side – which was not present in Dallas.

The reason for him doing that, the primary reason, was to get to the brain and remove evidence. Remove evidence of the shot from the front. Remove the entry wound in the upper right forehead with an incision, remove the entry wound in the bone. Remove part of the skull plate, and remove bullet fragments from the brain, and along with it a lot of brain tissue was removed. So this is – and the process of doing this, you’ve got a much larger skull defect when you are finished with this illicit surgery and that large skull defect is misrepresented by the camera, and in the autopsy report, and this represented to history as – quote – damage caused by an exiting bullet – unquote. So this […] large defect done by the doctors which Tom Robinson was adamant about. He looked at the autopsy photos and said – Oh all this damage at the top of the head, he said – this is not what the bullet did, this is what the doctors did. He was there, he knew that.

JM: So what you are telling us is that these alterations, these shenanigans as you called them, they certainly could not have been done by Lee Harvey Oswald, or by the Russians, or the by the Mafia, or by the anti-Castro Cubans, right?

DH: Exactly, and to prove that point, Jim I will make if brief here but – the body left Dallas in an ornate bronze viewing casket very heavy, over four hundred pounds, made of bronze, with the top half that opens up for viewing, and it arrived at Bethesda in a different casket and in different wrappings. It arrived in a cheap aluminum shipping casket and instead of wrapped in sheets, wrapped in a body bag with a zipper. So the body was not only intercepted in route, where I believe the throat wound was – there was an entry wound in the President Kennedy’s throat seen in Dallas by all the doctors. And that was tampered with before the body arrived at Bethesda. But after the body arrived, the skull wounds were tampered with by the pathologists themselves. So that makes it very clear that interruption in the chain of custody makes it very clear that it was an inside job by the Government.

JM: Right, that’s amazing. Okay, well, we’ll proceed along to Step Three of the analysis of the Kennedy Assassination, when we return right after this.

[- to 25:15 – commercial break]


JM: Howdy, This is Jim Marrs. We’re back here again on Dreamland, and we’re talking today with Doug Horne, Chief Military analyst of the Assassination Records Review Board an we are learning some amazing things, that the basic evidence in the Kennedy Assassination cannot be trusted. Doug lets move on to the Zapruder film, what can you tell us about the Zapruder film which has been called “the clock” of the assassination.

DH: Right,you know for the first thirty years or so, after it was taken by Mr. Zapruder, that one preeminent film of the assassination, the only one of the films that really shows detail of any kind. It was studied – the image content was studied for the first thirty years and people wanted to know what can it tell us about what happened. So for the first thirty years the debates about the film were about the image content.

For the last fifteen years or so, the debate has been, really, is the film authentic or not. The whole territory of the debate, the structure of the debate has changed dramatically and it’s my conclusion, after working for the review board, after we commissioned a limited, I add, I emphasize, LIMITED authenticity study of the film by Kodak. And after studying his report, his report raises more questions than it answered – it’s a very biased and flawed report. And I write about that extensively in my book in Chapter Fourteen. And it’s my conclusion today for two reasons which I’ll enumerate in a moment that the film is an altered film. Altered to hide evidence of an exit wound on the back of the President’s head. It’s been blacked out on the film, and altered to actually paint on a false exit wound in the right front of his head, which mimics, not perfectly either, which generally mimics the enormous damage in these fraudulent autopsy photos which show really, the results of surgery. So the real exit wound behind President Kennedy’s right ear, in the back of his head has been blacked out on the film, a false exit wound has been painted onto the right front and the top of his head, to mimic the autopsy photos – and because those alterations are so apparent now for reasons I will explain in a moment, they are so apparent.

All the other things, Jim, that we thought we knew about the film for thirty years are suspect now. So, the first generation researchers who studied the film and who spent countless hours, hundreds of hours, studying this thing frame by frame concluded there was a timing problem. And that President Kennedy and Governor Connally were shot too close together to have been done by the same rifle and that therefore, their reactions to two different shots occuring very close together was evidence of multiple shooters from behind. That was the original conclusions of the first generation researchers. But I got to tell you, Jim, there are some fifty witnesses or more – that the limousine came to a complete stop during the motorcade, for an instant – for a second or two, and that’s not seen in the film today. So if a car stop has been removed as well, and by the way – something else is not present in the film that should be. Everyone in Dealey Plaza who had their eyes focussed on the President the moment he was killed, the one thing they all described that was common was massive amount of exit debris leaving the back of his head and traveling to the rear. Everybody that watched the murder described that one thing. Their descriptions were different in other ways, but that was the one thing the descriptions had in common. You do not see any exit debris leaving the back of President Kennedy’s head and traveling to the rear in the Zapruder film. So if the car stop has been removed which it may have and if the, if the exit debris leaving the back of his head has been removed, I should say that they’re not present, so therefore I suspect they’ve been removed. I mean I know that the head wounds have been altered in the film, so I don’t necessarily trust the early conclusions of the research community if there’s a timing problem in the film, if time has been removed from the film by removing frames, to remove a car stop and to remove exit debris traveling in the wrong direction then the old argument about the timing problem it’s just suspect, and I submit to you that it’s no longer the primary evidence in the film of conspiracy. The primary evidence in the film, in the film of conspiracy is the alteration of the head wounds. That’s the big story now and that’s the new story that’s in my book. And…

JM: That’s true, and you know the thing that proves that to me is the testimony of not only the police officer Bobby Hargis who was riding to the immediate left rear of Kennedy but also witnesses who saw him that day and he was spattered with blood and brain matter, and he told, he told people that he was so hit with debris that he thought that he had been shot.

DH: That’s right he thought he had been shot, and both he and Martin both of them, to the left rear were covered with blood and gore, and so was the rear of the car, the trunk lid. So the listeners may be wondering why am I so certain that the film has been altered. The primary reason is because a patriot named Sydney Wilkinson, the lady in the film industry in Los Angeles, purchased from the National Archives a 35mm duplicate negative certified to be accurate, certified to be gold standard, the real deal, from the National Archives last year. She then assembled an ad hoc research group in Los Angeles – people from the motion picture industry. Nobody, Jim, had ever done that before. It’s remarkable that it took forty six years for someone to do this, but she did it, and…

JM: These people in the film industry, they had no real knowledge and no real particular concern about the Kennedy Assassination.

DH: They had no vested interest, they were not researchers who had staked out a claim for or against authenticity, they hadn’t written any books on the subject. Most of them hadn’t thought much about it in decades, but these are people that know motion picture films. They had no axe to grind. And Jim, seven out of seven people now that have viewed the digital scans that she made – she made high definition scans of each frame of the Zapruder film from her dupe negatives, Seven out of seven experts, now, experts in the post-production of pictures, people who know what special effects look like – Seven out of seven people that have viewed it now say that the film – the head wounds are not only altered, but they are badly altered. The alterations were very poorly done – and…

JM: They were probably done very hurriedly.

DH: Very hurriedly, in fact I know how hurriedly because the other part of the story proves that the chain of custody found wasn’t what we thought it was and instead of being sent directly to Life Magazine the day after the assassination like we thought it was for years, instead the film went to Washington DC to the CIA’s primary photo analysis facility, the NPIC, National Photographic Interpretation Center. And briefing boards were made Saturday night, the 23rd of November, ’63 from the original eight millimeter film. That’s what you would expect. The problem is, that the next night at the same facility – another Zapruder film was brought,– this is Sunday night, now, the Sunday night before the funeral – another Zapruder film was brought, 24 hours later to the NPIC and those controlling that evolution, brought in a whole different group of workers, not one single person who had been present the night before was present Sunday night, a different group of workers and the film presented was no longer an eight millimeter film it was sixteen millimeter wide double eight film, but it was as yet unslit. So this was an altered film, Jim, masquerading as a camera original. And the Agent that delivered it to the NPIC the second night for a second set of briefing boards to be made said it came from the CIA’s secret photo lab at Kodak headquarters in Rochester NY called Hawkeye Works. So that’s a heck of a story, that a second original film that was developed at a place where we know the original really was not developed. The original was developed in Dallas, Jim, and it was slit from eight millimeters on the day it was developed, so a second Zapruder film was brought to the CIA’s lab in Washington Sunday night, it’s double the width it should be – it’s masquerading as right out of the camera just developed in the wrong city, in Rochester. So what you have, I think, is an authentic set of briefing boards that what the film really showed, made Saturday night. And then you had a sanitized set of briefing boards made Sunday night in the same building by a different group of people sanitized group of briefing boards made from an altered film. And that’s a heck of a story so we have a…

JM: How difficult would it have been to take these, we say briefing boards, I’m assuming your talking about like, they could photograph each frame and blow it up to like an eight by ten, or whatever, they could then mess with it, how difficult would it be then to photograph each of those doctored frames and shoot ‘em frame by frame with the Zapruder – camera, and then be able to argue that it came from his camera and therefore it was in an authentic film.

DH: Yeah the alteration question is one that’s still being researched. The Hollywood experts – there were two ways, Jim, to do a visual effect in a motion picture in those days, of course we didn’t have any digital technology yet, so the two ways to do it were by traveling mattes or by aerial imaging. The people that believe the film was altered, the seven Hollywood experts who have seen it so far, they believe aerial imaging was probably the technique used, its much simpler than a traveling matte, and it’s my personal opinion after reading school text books from 1965, talking to these people in Hollywood is that it WAS possible, that’s my opinion. It was possible to alter the head wound images within one day using aerial imaging. Now if…

JM: Can you explain aerial imaging? What are we talking?

DH: Yeah, very simply I’d love to – if you take a film – Aerial imaging Jim, let me start over, Aerial imaging is done by – with a device called an optical printer. Optical printers are used to copy motion picture films by projecting the original image though a lens and then recording it in another camera. So optical printers are almost always customized and if the – many of them were customized by to handle aerial imaging. So in aerial imaging you had this big Rube Goldberg contraption about six feet tall, very heavy, bolted to the deck and you’re gonna project the original film from below, it bounces off a mirror at a forty five degree angle and comes straight up through the air through a condenser lens. On top of the condenser lens is a glass plate on which you can do animation, so if you are projecting an original film from below frame by frame it’s coming through condenser lens through a glass plate about seven and a half by ten inches. You have acetate frames laid on top of the glass plate. You do your artwork – you block out part of the head, and you paint on a false wound on each acetate frame and you re-photograph this composite image from above in a process camera. So you have a playback camera down below, the process camera up above. But the aerial imaging only requires one pass through the new camera so you retain a good visibility, good resolution, it doesn’t take as long that way and you don’t have registration problems because it’s self matting. Now that’s a little bit of inside baseball, but it’s all explained in Chapter Fourteen. So aerial imaging was, I believe was feasible to have been done within a twelve hour period providing you used a Bell and Howell eight millimeter home movie camera as the process camera and I believe that’s what happened…

JM: Yeah since they had the Zapruder camera then you could use that as the processing camera, right?

DH: Well it – Jim, I don’t recall sitting here right now, when the Government took the camera whether it was that weekend or a week or two later but, yes, as long as you had a Bell and Howell camera, well as long as you had one you were set.

JM: Okay.

DH: So if other things were altered in the film, if time was removed, by removing frames, if the car stop were removed if exit debris was removed coming out the back of the head, which I think it surely was, some of those things may have taken additional time but we do know that the first alterations were done by Sunday night because it’s the Sunday night version of the film from with the NPIC employees made their briefing boards, the second set of briefing boards. We know from examining a surviving briefing board from Sunday night that the blowups they made of the Zapruder frames are the same as the crude pictures in Life the next week – the black and white pictures published by Life the next week, so the initial set of alterations was done by Sunday night rather hurriedly, I do believe, and the pictures in Life that week and the pictures in the second set of briefing boards are identical, so it’s clear that all – many alterations probably the principle ones were done on Sunday, November 24th and I think that’s why they’re crude and their not well done and I think that’s why Life Magazine surpressed the film or the motion picture for twelve years…

JM: I wanted to point out that as far as the public is concerned no one actually got to see the Zapruder film run as a film for a dozen years.

DH: That’s right, it was only shown to the Warren Commission on a shakey movie screen, you know the old fashion movie screen with an eight millimeter projector – the original was looked at three or four times and the rest of the time the Warren Commission had to use a copy and Life Magazine after spending an extra hundred thousand dollars basically tripling the price to buy the second time. They bought it Saturday for fifty thousand for print rights only. They bought it two days later on Monday for a hundred fifty thousand, they paid an extra hundred thousand bucks in 1963 dollars for motion picture rights and they never once in twelve years displayed it as a motion picture for profit. Once the bootleg copy of the film was shown by Robert Groden and Geraldo Rivera and Dick Gregory on television in 1975, Life said forget it, and they sold it back to the family for one dollar. So, because the heat was on them at that point, is why did you surppress this, this back and to the left motion on the President’s body. So they said – Oh we don’t want anything more to do with this. But I believe that’s one of the main reasons it was suppressed for twelve years is because the alterations were so poorly done that if it had been loaned or used to show it as a motion picture that those using it and showing it may have detected the fraud.

JM: Exactly, let me add this quick, here’s a little coda, just a few days ago I received an email from a fellow who’s the nephew of a man who was an investigative reporter for Life Magazine and he was telling me how his uncle suspected conspiracy in the Kennedy Assassination and was trying to pursue that angle when he was called off, told to forget it by his immediate superior at Life Magazine who it turns out – and he was told – was a close friend of Clay Shaw. The man who was prosecuted by Jim Garrison. So we see the inner connections that were taking place at that time, which of course the public has never been privy too.

DH: Wow, you know, Jim, that’s amazing – I’m speechless…There’s one other thing I should point out about the film – I think the head explosion, the infamous head explosion in frame 313 is artwork. I don’t think it’s real. It only lasts for one frame that film was running at eight – over eighteen frames per second on the average. It was running two frames per second fast. A real head explosion would have registered on at least four or five frames of movie film. Maybe seven or eight frames – half a second. That explosion only lasts for one frame – it’s impossibly short and it actually – if you look at the scans made by the Hollywood group – it actually occurs – the explosion is centered forward of the President’s skull, actually outside of his head. So the artist that did that head explosion did a lousy job and they painted it in the wrong place on the frame. And it just doesn’t fly – that dog does not hunt, Jim.

JM: Just does not hunt. That’s amazing. Okay, we’re gonna take a short break and when we come back, Doug I’m gonna ask you – What do we do about all this now? We’ll be right back.

[ to 46:11 – commercial break]


JM: Howdy, this is your host for today, Jim Marrs, we’ve been talking to Doug Horne, Chief Military Analyst for the Assassination Records Review Board who has just blown us away with his knowledge and his conclusions that the Kennedy Assassination was an inside job and that the most basic evidence the body, the Zapruder film has all been altered by elements within the Federal Government of the United States. Doug, where to we go from here?

DH: Well, there’s two possible avenues, I mean, the one is to do what we’ve always been doing, for people that are fascinated and sometimes even obsessed with this evidence to keep studying it and keep writing about it and that’s what I’m doing and the other…

JM: Tell us where we can get your book.

DH: Oh sure, you know I had to go the self publishing route because I wanted to publish a two thousand page book so my book is five volumes. But I don’t want people to be afraid of that, it’s very accessible, it’s written for the ordinary person, so you can get it only at and they’ll print it upon demand within one day or day and a half at the most of when you order it at They’ll print it and it’ll be in the mail to you. And each volume is very reasonably priced. So you can buy one at a time, two at a time or all five. Just put in my last name Horne and word JFK – Horne JFK – HORNE JFK and all five volumes will pop up.

JM: That’s great. I’ve noticed already that there are the debunkers, the naysayers, yes even perhaps, the hired minions who are on the internet saying – Oh, well Doug Horne he’s just fantasizing and he’s just drawing bad conclusions and, yada yada – how would you respond to them?

DH: Well, no, I’m not a medical doctor, Jim. but I’ve been studying the case since 1966 when the first critical books came out and I had a man who’s an MD review the work, he did peer review of my book while I was writing it, learned a lot from him, I learned a lot from the five medical consultants hired by the review board staff during our – while we were in session during the 1990’s – and I had a board certified radiologist peer review my chapter on the x-rays, so I’m pretty confident that I am not blowing smoke. And I would invite anyone who isn’t sure or even someone who is skeptical. Read all the books. Read the Warren report, read the House Committee report and read my book and make up your own mind. Don’t fall into the trap of allowing someone else to characterize my work. Their goal is to get you not to read it. So make up your own mind. I believe that extraordinary crimes require extraordinary evidence. And I have provided the evidence. That’s why the evidence is five volumes, and eighteen hundred and eighty pages of text and ninety pages of illustrations. So people can decide for themselves whether I am qualified or not.

JM: Well, that’s certainly reasonable enough. At this point I – go ahead and give us your bottom line, so what are we talking about here, are we talking about coup d’état?

DH: Yeah, we are Jim, it’s not a pretty story, it’s an ugly story. I don’t think the Government will ever admit to this, because it’s just too unpleasant. And, unfortunately the people in succeeding administrations, they always seem to think the American people can’t handle the truth. In my view, what the American people cannot stomach the most is lies. I’ve pursued this case for decades because I hate being lied to. I just hate it with an intensity that I cannot describe. So I think people can handle the truth particularly forty six, forty seven years later and if we’re gonna understand our real history, you know, we need to come to grips with what really happened to JFK, and Martin Luther King, and Bobby Kennedy, and the nation hasn’t done that yet, you know, as a whole. So, yeah I believe we had a coup d’état. And I believe it was over the….go ahead, Jim…

JM: We’ve kind of been all in the state of denial, haven’t we?

DH: We ARE a nation in denial. We’re a nation that’s a little bit naive, we should be ashamed of ourselves, so if we’re more interested in our mythology, about ourselves in believing in our mythology, about us being the greatest democracy on earth and, you know, bad things don’t happen in our country, they only happen in other countries. That mindset is one I cannot tolerate, after having studied all this evidence. This evidence, the evidence, everything is wrong with this case, it’s what drove me to conclude there was a coup. I didn’t start in 1967 with the conclusion there was a coup, and I’m gonna go cherry pick the evidence that said there was. It was the other way around, the evidence drove me toward my political conclusion which I reached about ten years ago. And this coup d’état in America, Jim, occurred at the height of the cold war and it was engineered by a consensus, I hate to say this, a wide consensus of people in the national security establishment within the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies, that President Kennedy was weak on foreign policy, they thought he was dangerous, and that they were very upset that he wanted to end the cold war and not win it. To these people, winning the cold war not only meant winning the space race or the peace race, it meant winning hot wars, like Viet Nam, Laos, Cuba. It also meant possibly even nuking the Soviet Union, a first strike, preemptive first strike against the Soviet Union. This was the mindset that was confronting JFK, who these people viewed President Kennedy by the third year of his administration as a very dangerous change agent…

JM:…and if he had ended the cold war, not only just think about the the billions and billions of dollars in defense that they would not have made…

DH: Okay, you’re not a kidding, so the – I view the the intelligence cold warriors and the high level people in the Pentagon who all opposed him, so vociferously to his face, quite often, who opposed him as Jihadists. They were our holy warriors of that time who wanted to defeat Communism on the battlefield. I mean, a cold war wasn’t good enough for these people. They wanted victories on the battlefield because of the frustrating stalemate in Korea in 1953. And when they realized he wasn’t going to give it to them in Laos, he wasn’t going to give it to them in Viet Nam, and he wasn’t even going to invade Cuba. These people were absolutely fit to be tied and when he began, you know, to formally try to end the cold war in 1963 with the Peace Speech, in June ’63 and the successful sponsorship of the Test Ban Treaty and getting that through the Senate at the end of that summer. That was it, I mean, and the final straw was probably the fact that he was negotiating back channel with Castro to try to reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba, providing the Russians would leave, so they did not want to see this man reelected.

JM: Right. Okay, look Doug, let me ask you this – do you feel like those same forces, maybe not the exact same people, but their families, the power groups, the financiers, the bankers, behind them, their minions, are they still in power today?

DH: The same mindset is certainly in power, the mindset that, the simplistic mindset that says the best solutions are military solutions. I don’t believe that myself, but there are people around as we know, from studying the last decade, that the Neocons certainly believed that. And they’re still around, they’re waiting to take power again, as soon as Obama leaves office, so, yeah, that mindset is still with us, that military solutions are the best ones, and that we want to – we not only, this – people with this mindset don’t really care whether people like us or not. They want people to fear this nation. And of course, they have plenty of support from all the corporate interests who want to continue to make money hand over fist from money pissed away on arms programs.

JM:Right. And the occupation of other key countries that may be sitting on oil deposits or gas pipelines or even the poppy fields. Right?

DH: Yeah, that’s right.

JM: Amazing. All right, Doug Horne. Thank you so much, this has been extremely enlightening discussion and I personally appreciate what you’re saying. As far as I know you are one of the first government officials who is seen the inside information and who’s come out with the courage to say, Hey, this is an inside job, this was a coup d’état which of course fits all the known facts. I certainly appreciate that, particularly myself because, of course, you know, going back to, oh I think I published an article in 1975 that said that said this is a coup d’état and of course I was the conspiracy theorist. But it turns out that the conspiracy theorists were more right than wrong.

DH: They certainly have been, and I – in the 60’s Mark Lane, and Josiah Thompson blazed the trail and and they were followed by, you know, along with Jim Garrison, and they were followed by you, and David Lifton, and many others, and I’m standing on the shoulders of you people. So, we have to keep fighting the good fight, Jim.

JM: Well, truth will out, and I’m like you, I haven’t been in it because I had any preconceived ideas. I’ve been at the Kennedy Assassination because from the gitgo because I realized something was not right about all that and all I wanted was the truth and I submit and I reinforce and I reiterate what you said which is – Don’t believe us, just study the facts, and study the material, come to your own conclusions.

DH: Right.

JM: Doug, thank you so much, I appreciate you being with us today and this is your Dreamland sporadic host, Jim Marrs saying – Adios.

[ To 57:11 ] [ announcer tag to end – 57:36 ]

Transcribed and made available by Jerry Ellis.

Thanks JE



Building 213 Washington Navy Yard

February 16, 2010

Building 213 Washington Navy Yard – NPIC – from January 1, 1963

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A Visit Inside Building 213

…“Paul, what do you plan to do when you get out of the Marine Corps?” he asked.

“I really have no idea, sir,” I replied. “The only thing I do know is that I’m not going back to Niagara Falls and work in a factory like my father and uncles.”

“Ever thought about working for the CIA?” was his next question. That one hit me like a bolt of lightening out of the blue.

“The CIA?” I asked incredulously as I tried to look up at him while shielding the sun from my eyes with my hand.

“I think you’d like working for the Agency,” he continued. “Why don’t you go down to their employment office and fill out an application? Put my name down as a reference.”

Uncle George handed me a business card printed with his name and walked back to shore for another load of boards. The card displayed nothing more than his name; no American eagle, no 007, no CIA. I tucked the card into my hip pocket and started thinking about what I could possibly do for the Central Intelligence Agency as I continued to drive more nails into more boards on that hot August afternoon.

We talked about a lot of things at dinner that evening, but never once was the CIA mentioned. I later found out that even Sheri did not know uncle George was going to suggest the Agency to me, nor could she shed any light on what he did for them.

The following week, with a day pass from my first sergeant and a friend’s car, I drove the 35 miles from Quantico to 1016 16th Street, NW in Washington, DC. The building looked no different from any of the other office buildings on that street. I double-checked the address before entering the lobby where a young lady at the reception desk asked me for my driver’s license and handed me a short “Visitor” form to fill out. Name, address, and social security number were all I had to write. At the bottom of the form were places for a personal reference and my signature.

I filled out the form, copied down uncle George’s name, scribbled my signature, and handed the form back to the receptionist. She then asked me to take a seat in the waiting area. About 20 minutes later, a gentlemen in a nicely tailored suit approached and invited me back to his office.

I was trying to anticipate how to react to my first interview by a CIA recruiter but was unprepared for what happened next. He asked me only two questions, “How are you this morning, Mr. Grassler?” and “Can you get to 1st and M streets by 10:30?”

“I think we have a position you will find interesting,” he continued as he pointed out a building on a map of the Washington Navy Yard in southeast DC. The number of the building was 213.

He gave me directions, tracing a route on the map with his finger. He then stood up, shook my hand, and wished me luck with my next interview. As I Walked out of his office, somewhat bewildered by the brevity of the process, I couldn’t help but wonder who uncle George really was.

I made it to the corner of 1st and M with time to spare. Building 213 was a white, six-story concrete building with all of its windows bricked in except for a row of dark-tinted windows on the top floor.

There was a parking lot in front and the entire facility was surrounded by a 10-foot high chain-link fence topped with three strands of barbed wire. There were no signs or logos on the property except for the number 213. The building drew no more attention than that of a warehouse.

At the 1st-street entrance, a uniformed officer standing next to a guard booth asked me for my driver’s license. He went into the booth, made a phone call and, within two minutes, handed back my license, gave me a visitor’s parking pass for my windshield, and pointed out the parking space I was to use. He instructed me to see the receptionist at the front desk in the lobby.

The lobby in Building 213 was nothing to write home about. White and sterile would be an adequate description. There was a long desk to the left of the lobby where two uniformed guards were checking the identification badges of people entering and leaving the building. Everyone was wearing a picture badge except me. To the right of the lobby was another long desk, and this one with two women behind it. The sign on the desk read, “Reception”.

I handed one of the women my driver’s license and she asked me to fill out a short form identical to the one I had filled out at the recruitment office. Upon handing back the form, she presented me with my first government badge. I didn’t think it would have allowed me access to anything much more than the mens’ room. The plain white badge was emblazoned with a large red “V”. I soon learned that I was now an official “uncleared visitor”.

With my new badge clipped to my pocket I waited in the lobby while the receptionist made a phone call. In less than five minutes, I was being escorted by another man in a well-tailored suit to a small interview room adjacent to the lobby.

For the next 45 minutes I was “filled in” on the position I was being offered and on the process I would go through to get my clearances. The process could take up to a year, and after seeing the stack of forms I was given to fill out, I calculated that six months of that time would be dedicated to writing. The gentleman quipped that when the weight of the paper work equaled my body weight I would have my final clearances. The longest form was the Personal History Statement. I, my neighbors, and friends would soon discover that the CIA wanted to know everything about me.

As for the job, I knew little more than when I first entered building 213. I was to be a records control clerk with a GS-4 pay grade. For those not familiar with the GS government pay scale, a GS-4’s salary hovers just above the poverty line in Washington, DC. That was about it. Information about what records I would control and for whom was never offered.

Fourteen months later I received my letter of acceptance. One month after my discharge from the Marine Corps I was gainfully employed by the CIA.

The beginning of my career in the federal government was the beginning of a series of adventures few people in any occupation could ever imagine. As an artist, the experiences were even more unique and exciting.

It took a stranger’s name and about 90 minutes for an artist and Marine from Niagara Falls to get a job with the CIA. I have never been hired faster nor have I ever had to wait longer to begin my first day of work. I have never had a better time nor received a better salary. Interestingly, this would be the first of three times I
would work for the CIA. For me, three really was charm!

to be continued…

Steuart’s Garage DC

February 4, 2010

Steuart’s Garage – Washington DC Circa 1920

Later home to the NPIC

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The Journal of Military History Volume 69, Number 4, October 2005Warren, Mame.
Focal Point of the Fleet: U.S. Navy Photographic Activities in World War II
The Journal of Military History – Volume 69, Number 4, October 2005, pp. 1045-1079

Society for Military History

Washington, D.C., was the headquarters of most U.S. Navy photographic activities during World War II. Continuing a distinguished history of naval photography, hundreds of cameramen, including Edward Steichen and his team of professional photographers, fanned out from Washington to document both the European and Pacific theaters. They shot millions of still and motion pictures, and sent them back to various facilities, especially the Naval Photographic Science Laboratory at Anacostia. There, hundreds of men and women worked around the clock to generate images that would inspire both their military commanders and the American people with the prowess of the U.S. Navy in warfare.

Arthur C. Lundahl was the head of the Navy photo laboratory that originally analyzed the Utah Pictures (Newhouse film), supervised the analysis work. When the CIA formed their National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC), Lundahl became head of it and remained in that position until retirement. NPIC are the ones who detected the Russian missiles in Cuba. I’ve never seen a full biography on him, but recall that his photoanalysis experience went back to World War II, and he told us some stories about that. – Richard Hall

Robertson Panel – The Durant Report –
January 14-18, 1953

The first day, the panel viewed two amateur motion pictures of UFOs: the Mariana UFO Incident footage and 1952 Utah UFO Film (the latter was taken by Navy Chief Petty Officer Delbert C. Newhouse, who had extensive experience with aerial photography). Two Navy photograph and film analysts (Lieutenants R.S. Neasham and Harry Woo) then reported their conclusions: based on more than 1,000 man hours of detailed analysis, the two films depicted objects that were not any known aircraft, creature or weather phenomena.

(Note: Brad Sparks was the only researcher ever to interview Woo, who died in 1976. Woo had joined the CIA, in its highly secret Technical Services Division of the Clandestine Service working on spy cameras, several months after the Robertson Panel. Woo was still angry decades later at how the Panel scientists mistreated him and he praised Hynek for “sticking up” for him.) – tabb

A formerly SECRET report released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) shows that CIA officials and consultants thought people seeing and reporting UFOs was more dangerous than UFOs themselves, stating, “the continued emphasis on the reporting of these phenomena [UFOs] does, in these perilous times, result in a threat to the orderly functioning of the protective organs of the body politic.

” Another ‘danger’ cited by the CIA panel was that acknowledging UFOs could results in “…the cultivation of a morbid national psychology in which hostile propaganda could induce hysterical behavior and a harmful distrust of duly constituted authority.”

To counter these supposed dangers, the CIA panel recommended a policy of “debunking” and education designed to persuade people that what they were seeing really wasn’t there.

In explaining how this psychological warfare against the American people should be carried out, the report stated:

“The debunking aim would result in reduction of public interest in ‘flying saucers’ which today evokes a strong psychological reaction. This education could be accomplished by mass media such as television, motion pictures and popular articles”

The panel had further ideas on how what was essentially a disinformation program should be mounted, stating: “It was felt strongly that psychologists familiar with mass psychology should advise on the nature and extent of the program.” The report went on to name certain psychologists who might be recruited to join the debunking project.

The formation of the CIA panel came about as a sort of compromise worked out by the National Security Council (NSC) after events in the summer of 1952. A major UFO flap had taken place across the country, highlighted by puzzling incidents in July 1952, when UFO intruders were simultaneously tracked on ground radar and observed by jet interceptor pilots over the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. The public, the press, and even President Harry Truman demanded to know what was going on. As a result, the US Air Force held a major press conference on July 29, 1952, the largest press conference since WW II, at which it was suggested the UFOs were temperature inversions–layers of warm air trapped under cold air that, by some giant stretch of the Air Force’s imagination, were tracked on radar and seen as maneuvering flying craft by pilots sent aloft on scramble alert.

In August 1952, as documents released as the result of the FOIA suit filed by the author confirm, the CIA began reviewing the Air Force’s handling of UFOs. Ransom Eng, an official with the CIA’s office of Scientific Intelligence, wrote a report in which he characterized the Air Force’s efforts as “scientifically invalid.”

Armed with these criticisms, the CIA wanted to take charge of UFO intelligence [the collection and analysis of UFO evidence], and proposed, through CIA Director Walter Bedell Smith, that UFOs were much too serious of a matter to be left in the hands of the USAF. The National Security Council, however, would only approve a compromise where by a CIA-appointed panel would review UFO reports provided by the Air Force to determine if UFOs were a “direct, hostile threat to national security.”

The struggle for power and funding between the U.S. Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency had been on-going since 1947, the year the CIA was officially created and the Air Force became a separate service branch [after being part of the Army previously]. It would continue for decades thereafter throughout the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and include highly exaggerated Air Force Intelligence claims of Soviet bomber and missile superiority and ‘first-strike’ civil defense preparations, even though in 1955 the CIA gained somewhat of an upper hand with the development and covert deployment of the U-2 high altitude spy plane–at least in the sense of getting the President’s ear.

In January 1953 the CIA’s Robertson Panel, mostly consulting scientists of the CIA’s chosen to review the UFO evidence selected by the USAF, rejected the conclusions of the U.S. government’s top photo analysts from the Naval Photographic Interpretation Center (NAVPIC), Anacostia, MD, Capt. Arthur Lundahl and Lt. Robert Neasham, who had concluded the objects in two 8mm UFO films submitted to the Air Force and examined by the CIA Panel were extraterrestrial spacecraft. Both men were reportedly emotionally shattered by the Panel’s rejection of their studied conclusions.

But within a matter of days Lundahl and Neasham were invited by the CIA to resign their Navy officers’ commissions and come over to the CIA as civilians and establish the CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) at 5th & K Streets in Washington,DC, with Lundahl serving as the founding Director for the next twenty years and Neasham as his top assistant. In 1954 Lundahl was informed the CIA would begin flying high altitude reconnaissance missions over the Soviet Untion and Soviet Bloc [and China] the following year. Lundahl therefore went out an acquired the world’s best computer, a large Swiss-built machine, and set out developing computer-enhanced photo analysis in order to extract intelligence from photos taken from 100,000 feet up.

The mastermind of what was to become the U.S. government’s UFO policy and author of the CIA’s Robertson Panel Report, which found that UFOs did not pose “a direct, hostile threat to National Security,” was Fred Durant, an officer with the CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) who at the time was operating under the cover of being a civilian scientist employed by the Arthur Little Co….

Copyright (c) 2005 by W. Todd Zechel
P.O. Box 117
Prairie du Sac, WI 53578-0117
next in “Close Encounters of the Government Kind pt3”
“The CIA Takes Control”

ExCom Meeting October 1962

February 2, 2010
Posted by Picasa meeting Oct 18.pdf

ExCom meeting, October 18, 1962
The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
Executive Committee Meeting Excerpts
The Oval Office


George Ball under secretary of state
McGeorge Bundy assistant to the president for national security
C. Douglas Dillon secretary of the Treasury
Lyndon B. Johnson vice president
John F. Kennedy president
Robert F. Kennedy attorney general
Arthur Lundahl director, National Photographic Interpretation Center
Gen. Maxwell Taylor chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
John McCone director, Central Intelligence Agency
Robert McNamara secretary of defense
Dean Rusk secretary of state
Llewellyn Thompson ambassador-at-large and
special adviser on Soviet affairs and
other unidentified participants

October 18, 1962, 11 a.m.

[The committee is discussing aerial reconnaissance photos of Cuba]

Arthur Lundahl: Yes sir. Mr. President, gentlemen, the first and most important item which I would seek to call to your attention is a new area hitherto never seen by us some 21 miles to the southwest of Havana which we have at the moment labeled a probable MRBM/IRBM launch complex. The name of the town nearest is this, it is there. The two sites, sir, Nos. 1 and 2, are 2 1/2 miles apart and enlarging this one we look at it and we see for the first time a pattern of Medium/IRBM sites that looks like the things we have been seeing in the Soviet Union. There are two pads here and here. They are separated by 750 feet. There’s a control bunker with cable scars going up to small buildings in board at each of these pads. There is no equipment on the pads yet, they’re under construction. The security fence has been superimposed around the place.

And on 29 August, the last time we went over this area the ground had just scarcely started to be scratched.

[Further discussion of sights]

We’ve never identified as irrevocably the signature of a Soviet intermediate medium range ballistic missile, which is estimatedly a 2,000 mile missile. But the elongation of the pads and the location of the control bunkers between each pair of pads has been the thing that has suggested to our hearts, if not our minds, the kind of thing that might accompany an IRBM. So we have, at the moment, labeled it as such and let the guided missile intelligence analysts come up, finally, with the true analysis of what the range of these missiles might be that are eventually accommodated on this set of pads. Let me switch to the next material[?] … [unintelligible] … Yes sir.

[Further discussion of sights]

Also earlier, Mr. President, we reported to you a number of what we call cruise missile sites, that’s short range coastal defense type missiles. Starting out with the Banes site, with another one located at Santa Cruz del Norte, up here in the Havana area. At the time of that reporting, there were 2 launchers at this position here and here. Since the coverage of that day, 2 more launching positions have been added upward/up north[?] of those 2 positions. The launcher here is uncovered, you can actually see the launcher itself. And down in this small indentment[?] here
appears to be the winged type of air breathing[?] missile which will go on it. The short, stubby winged fellow which conforms to the cruise type of missile that we have seen before. So, our opinion of this thing remains the same, we now would just report two additional launching positions at that complex.

[Discussion of airfields]

John Kennedy: So in other words, from the information we have prior to the development of these new films, you’d say there are how many, ah, different, ah, missile sites, as well as how many different launch pads at each site?

Arthur Lundahl: Well sir, we had not found anything like the MRBM sites in any of the photography up to this l5 October bit. We had found and added to it last night 1 more surface-to-air missile site, so that made a total of 23, as of this location. However, one of them has been pulled up and moved away, at Santa Lucia. We don’t know where they pull these things up and move them to, but we have seen 23 surface-to-air missile sites. We’ve seen 3 of these surface to surface cruise type of missile sites at Banes and up here, we’re at del Norte and then down on the Isle of Pines.

[Further discussion of photos]

John McCone?: The uh, the Joint Committee made an estimate that between 16 and 32 missiles would be operational within a week or slightly more. This is an estimate, a … [unintelligible] … estimate.

[Further discussion of photos]

Dean Rusk: … [unintelligible] … First of all the question that needs an answer really is, is it necessary to take action? And I suppose that there is probable reason to take action here. But the points are taken it looks now as if Cuba is not going to be just an instrumental base for fielding these things, but bases are going to pop out like measles all over the world. It might be an island in … [unintelligible] … Cuba could become just part of the goal, a military problem, and any contest we would have with Soviet Union could[?] get tense any other part of the world, and I think our colleagues in Defense will comment on that very carefully, because that’s[?] a very important point. But, I do think when the full scope of this becomes known that no action would undermine our alliances all over the world, very promptly.

[Speaks on the effect of no action]

I think also we have to think of the effect on the Soviets, if you would do that. Now suppose that they would consider this a major back down and that this would free their hands for almost any type of adventure they might want to try out in other parts of the world. If we are unable to face up to the situation in Cuba against this kind of threat then I think they would be greatly encouraged to go adventuring, and would feel they’ve got it made as far as the … [unintelligible]
… of the United States. They all know that we have an almost unmanageable problem in this country getting any support for foreign policy that we would need to pursue, if we’re going sustain[?] the cause of independence and faith[?] here and in all parts of the world. We’ve got a million men in uniform outside of the United States, we’ve got fine programs, we’ve got a major [cough] major effort we’re making in agriculture. It seems to that inaction, in this situation would
undermine and undercut the long support we need for the kind of foreign policy that will eventually ensure our survival.

Now action involves very high risks indeed. I think that additional information increases the risk because challenge is much more serious and the, uh, counter action I would suppose would have to be heavier … [unintelligible] … talking about. But, we in fact, but, uh, you would have to have in the back of your own mind, whatever decision you take, the, uh, possibility or/not[?] the likelihood
of a Soviet reaction somewhere else running all the way from Berlin right around to Korea and the possibility of a reaction against the United States itself. Don’t think that you can make this decision under the assumption that this is a free ride or easier in any … [unintelligible] … I would suppose that with the first missiles you’re talking about that a quick strike, a quick success a matter of a couple of hours time, 50 or 60 Soviet missiles … [unintelligible]… where it is obvious then the matter is over and finished and that was the purpose of our engagement. That would have much more reduced threats from a military response on the other side. … [unintelligible] … these other installations and getting involved in various parts of the island, I think would increase the risk of a military response down there.

The action also has to be thought of in connection with alliance solidarity, there we’re faced with conflicting elements. Unless we’re in a situation where it is clear that the alliance has worked to understand the problem, then unannounced, unconsulted quick action on our part, could well lead to a kind of odd disunitiveness the Soviets could capitalize upon very strongly. Um, it’s one thing
for Britain and France get themselves isolated within the alliance over Suez. But it’s quite another thing for the alliance for the United States to get itself in the same position, because we are the central bone structure of the alliance and this is a different kind of problem that we have to think very hard about. Now I think that, as far as I am concerned I would have to say to you if we enter upon this path of challenging the Soviets what the Soviets do themselves have to embark[?] tactically dangerous course that no one surely can foresee the outcome. I was prepared to say
when I came over here before I got this information … [unintelligible] … Soviet strike. Very probably, a move by … [unintelligible] … much more general action I think, as far as Cuba is concerned and possibly in other situations
Now there is another … [unintelligible] … I think the American people will willingly undertake great danger, if necessary for something. If they have a deep feeling that you’ve done everything that is reasonably possible to determine whether or not this trip[?] was necessary. Also that they have clear conscience and a good theory of the case. The first point, whether this trip[?] is necessary,
we all of course, remember the Guns of August. We’re certainly convinced of the general situation.

We’ve got the time now that we’ve gotten … [unintelligible] … and this, this question I think is something that’s pretty important. A matter of a clear conscience, in World War II, the Pearl Harbor attack against the background of Hitler’s conduct … [unintelligible] … In the case in Korea, we had an organized, large-scale aggression from North Korea and we were going in as part of the
general United Nations effort. Even with that start the Korean aspect of it … [unintelligible] … general support of the American people before it was over.
Now, these are considerations I’m just mentioning … [unintelligible] … put military in favor of a, uh, a confrontation with Khrushchev, and the implication because the … [unintelligible] … possibility, only a possibility Khrushchev might realize that he’s got to back down. We can’t be, we have no reason to expect that, as far as we’re concerned. It looks very serious nature of on his part. but at least it would take that point out of the way for the historical record and just might plant the seeds of prevention of a great conflict.

[Discussion of the possibility of declaring war on Cuba]

Dean Rusk: I’d like to hear my colleague comment on this, whether the, uh, the actual action we would take, that you have to. No one can guarantee that this can be achieved by diplomatic action, but it seems to be essential that this be challenged and be tested out before military action is employed. And if our decision is firm, and it must be, I can see no danger in communication with Khrushchev privately, worded in such a way that he realizes that we mean business. This I consider an essential first step, no matter what military course … [unintelligible ]
… we determine on, if he replies unsatisfactorily. If the tone and tenor of his reply … [unintelligible] … I don’t believe the threat of general nuclear war should be … [unintelligible] … sole reactive, even if the strike should come first. My chief concern about a strike without a diplomatic effort that it would eventually, that it would immediately lead to war with Cuba and would not be the neat, quick disposal of the bases as was suggested. Furthermore I’m reasonably
certain the allied reaction would be very hostile. Especially if the Soviets retaliate locally and take the area beyond Berlin. Communication with Khrushchev would be useful for the record in establishing the record in our case for action. In general, I feel that a declaration of war would be valuable since it would open up every avenue of military action, air strikes, invasion, blockade. But
we would have to make a case to our allies to justify such a declaration of war.

[Speaks on the possibility of limited action.]

Maxwell Taylor: Mr. President … [unintelligible] … There are a series of alternative plans, (papers shuffling) ranging from Roman numeral 1 of about 50 sorties directed against solely against the known MRBMs, known as of last night, to Roman numeral 5, which covers the alternative invasion plans. All of these plans are based on one very important assumption. That we would attack with conventional weapons against an enemy who is not equipped with operational nuclear weapons. If
there is any possibility that the enemy is equipped with operational nuclear weapons, I’m certain the plans would have to be changed. Last evening we were discussing the relative merits of these forms of military action, assuming that at some point military action was required. It has been the views of the Chiefs, based on discussions within the last two days, and it was certainly my view,
that either Roman numeral 1 or Roman numeral 2, very limited air strikes against very limited targets, would be quite inconclusive, very risky, and almost certainly lead to further military action, prior to which we would have paid an unnecessary price for the gains we achieved.

[Discussion on military tactics]

John Kennedy: Why do you change, why does this information change the recommendation?
Maxwell Taylor: Last evening, it was my personal belief that there were more targets than we knew of, and that it was probable that there would be more targets than we could know of at the start of any one of these strikes. The information of this morning I think simply demonstrates the validity of that conclusion of last evening. Secondly, when we’re talking of Roman numeral 1 as a very limited strike against MRBMs only and it leaves in existence IL28s with nuclear weapon carrying
capabilities and a number of other aircraft with nuclear weapon-carrying capability and aircraft with strike capability, which could be exercised during our attack or at any time following our attack on the MRBMs, with great possible risk and loss to either Guantanamo and or the eastern coast of the U.S. I say great loss, I’m not thinking in terms of tens of thousands, but I’m thinking terms of sporadic attacks against our civilian population, which would lead to losses I think we would find it hard to justify in relation to the alternative courses open to us and in relation to
the very limited accomplishment of our limited number of strikes.

John Kennedy: What about alternative No. 2 on the basis that you’re going against offensive weapons, you’re going to go against their missiles and you’re going to go against their planes, what is the argument against that? I mean, that would prevent them knocking our population.

Maxwell Taylor: It’s much to be preferred over No. l in my opinion. It would have to be larger than shown now because of the additional number of targets required and it fits very closely, to alternative 3 in terms of the number of sorties. No. 2 was prepared before we had the additional information of last night. Tonight’s interpretation we showed 100 sorties. I think it more likely that No. 2, that the information we now have and the information we’re likely to have … [unintelligible]
… tomorrow merge with/into[?] version No. 3 which is a 200 sortie strike. I doubt very much we could stop there.

Dean Rusk: I would agree with that particular scenario[?], that really 2 is hardly possible now. I mean we’re really talking 3 right now. So you’ll have to take the sandbags out. If you’re going to go for all these from the air, from the airfield strikes, … [unintelligible] … other target related …
[unintelligible] …

[Further discussion on military tactics]

John Kennedy: Well under 2 you don’t need to take up the SAM sites before they become

Unidentified voice: Uh, they may be operational at any time.

Robert McNamara: We have almost certainly added two more targets than are indicated here. There are 16 targets shown, we have at least three more targets … [unintelligible] … since last night and we will certainly have some more tonight and tomorrow and therefore because 2 merges very directly into 3 if the SAM sites becomes operational 2 becomes 3 because in a very real sense they … [several voices, unintelligible] …

John Kennedy: Let me ask you this Bob, when we’re talking about 3 vs. 5.

Robert McNamara: Yes sir.

John Kennedy: Uh, then the advantage of 3 is that you would hope to do it in a day?

Robert McNamara: Yes, it could be done in a day.

John Kennedy: And an invasion, 5, would be 7 or 8 or 9 days with all the consequences?

Robert McNamara: That is correct.

John Kennedy: We increase the tension now. If we did 3 would, uh, we would assume that by the end of the day their ability to use planes against this, after all they don’t have that much range so they’d have to come back to the field and organize, right?

Robert McNamara: You would assume that by the end of the day their air force could be nearly destroyed, I say nearly because there might be a few sporadic weapons around.

Unidentified voice: Yes I would … [unintelligible] … we’ll never be guaranteed a 100 percent. … [unintelligible] …

John Kennedy: Well, at least as far as their except of nuclear. I would think you have to go under the assumption that they’re not going to permit nuclear weapons to be used against the United States from Cuba unless they’re going to be using them from every place.

Robert McNamara: Well, maybe. I’m not sure they can stop it. This is why I emphasize a point here, that I don’t believe the Soviets would authorize their use against the U.S. but they might nonetheless be used. Therefore, I underline his assumptions that all of these cases are premised on the assumptions there are no operational nuclear weapons there. If there’s any possibility of that I would strongly recommend that these plans be modified substantially.

[Further discussion on military tactics]

John Kennedy: Holding the alliance, which is going to strain the alliance more, this tack by us on these, uh, Cuba. Which is, most allies regard as a fixation of the United States and not a seriousmilitary threat. I mean you have to apply conditional tactical … [unintelligible] … before they would accept or support our action against Cuba because they think that we’re slightly demented on this subject. So there isn’t any doubt that whatever action we take against Cuba, no matter how good
our films are, that will cause Latin America, and a lot of, a lot of people would regard this as a mad act by the United States which is due to a loss of nerve because they will argue that taken at its worst the presence of these missiles really doesn’t change the verdict, if you think that … [unintelligible] … Well the Senate will think the other way … [unintelligible] … what is anybody else
going to think who isn’t under this gun?

[Further discussion on military tactics]

John Kennedy: If we gave say this 24-hour notice, get in touch with Khrushchev, taking no action with our allies. I would assume that they would move these mobile missiles into the woods.

[Several voices]

Robert McNamara: Mr. President, I don’t believe they’re equipped to do that. I say that because if they were equipped to do that they would have been equipped to erect them more quickly. I think it is unlikely they would move them in 24 hours. If they were to move them in 24 hours I think we could keep enough reconnaissance over the island during that period to have some idea of where they’ve moved. Have every reason to believe we’d know where they were.

Unidentified voice: It would take a little longer though.

Robert McNamara: What?

Unidentified voice: It would take a little longer, to take very careful reconnaissance to know where they are.

Robert Kennedy: I’m not so confident that they couldn’t hide them or get them in immediate readiness in 24 hours.

Robert McNamara: I didn’t say they could get them in immediate readiness in 24 hours, I don’t believe that they, we would lose them with a 24-hour discussion with Khrushchev.

John Kennedy: How quick is our communication with Moscow? Say we sent
somebody to see him and he was there at the beginning of the 24-hour period
to see Mr. Khrushchev, how long would it be before Khruschev’s answer could
get back to us as far as communications?

Llewellyn Thompson?: It would have to go in code probably, what, probably five
or six hours. … [unintelligible] … You could telephone of course.

Robert Kennedy: Wouldn’t really have to go in code, would it?

Llewellyn Thompson?: You could save time by not putting it in a highly
confidential … [unintelligible] … machine?

John Kennedy: Then it would be a couple of hours?

McGeorge Bundy?: Put it this way, it might be answered …[unintelligible ]…
infinite delays on their end … [unintelligible ] …an actual text could be in here
and transmitted and that would get to Khrushchev straight away. Whereas,
somebody else might have the problem of … [unintelligible ] …

Dean Rusk?: I think there is one point we have to bear in mind. [unintelligible]
… So far we know there is no stated relationship that makes these Soviet
missiles or Soviet bases. There is the attempts that Castro made to ally himself
with the Warsaw Pact or join the Warsaw Pact or even to engage in a bilateral
with Moscow, apparently he … [unintelligible] … and failed. He sent Raul and
Che Guevara to Moscow a few months ago apparently for that purpose, other
purposes. Hence, if we were to take action with the present status, the Soviets
would have some latitude and might want to respond, if they did at all. On the
other hand, as a result of warning or communication with them, they declare
these their bases. Then we would have a different kind of problem. Because we
would have a problem of committing action against a stated base there. And
this might mean a war of different proportions.

John Kennedy: The question is really whether the Soviet reaction [and Cuban
resistance?] would be majorly different if they were presented with an
accomplished fact in the daytime, I mean one day, not the invasion …
[unintelligible … accomplished fact whether their reaction would be different
than it would be if they were given a chance to pull ’em out. If we said to
Khrushchev that we, we had to take action against it … [unintelligible] … pull
’em out and we’ll take ours out of Turkey, whether that, whether he would then
send back: “If you take these out we’re going to take Berlin, and we’re going to
do something else.”

Robert McNamara?: The important factor there is that if you do this first strike
you would kill a lot of Russians. That’s … [unintelligible] .. . On the other hand,
if you give them notice, the thing I would fear the most is if just Turkey and
Italy to take action to cause us to … [unintelligible] …
Unidentified voice: You mean if …

Robert Kennedy: [interrupting] What is your preference Tom?

Llewellyn Thompson: My preference is let’s blockade the … [unintelligible] …
the declaration has already led the steps leading up to it [?]. I think it’s very
highly doubtful the Russians would resist a blockade against military weapons,
particularly offensive ones, if at that point if that’s the way we pitched it to
the world.

John Kennedy: And what do we do with the weapons already there?

Llewellyn Thompson: Demand their dismantlement and say that we are going to
maintain constant surveillance, and if they are armed, we would then take them
out, and then maybe do it. I think we should be under no illusions that this
would probably in the end lead to the same thing. But we would do it under an
entirely different posture and background, and much less danger of getting up
into the big war.

The Russians have a curious faculty of wanting a legal basis, despite of all the
outrageous things they’ve done, they attach a lot of importance to this. The
fact that you have that declaration of war, they would be running a military
blockade, legally established, greatly deterred.[?]

John Kennedy: In other words …

Robert Kennedy: [interrupting] If you maybe run through, because he hasn’t
heard the explanation of the blockade.

Llewellyn Thompson: There is a paper there on that, force number 2, there, Mr.
President…. [unintelligible] … It’s a concept … [much rustling of papers] …
John Kennedy: In other words, under this, take these missiles that are now bad
out or the planes that are now bad out.

Llewellyn Thompson: Not at the first stage, I think it would be useful to say if
they’re made operational, we might or would …

John Kennedy: Of course then he would say, if you do that, then we will …
Unidentified voice: Bomb ’em.

Llewellyn Thompson: As Chip says, I agree with you, if they’re prepared to say,
if you do this, then this is nuclear world war, then you do that anyway. I think
he’d make a lot of threatening language, but in very big terms, keeping …
John Kennedy: [interrupting] I would think it’s just more likely he would grab
Berlin, that’s more likely.

Unidentified voice: I think that already …

Llewellyn Thompson: [interrupting] If we just made the first strike I think his
answer would be, very probably to take out one of our bases in Turkey, and
make a quick tune[?], and then sit down and talk. I think the whole purpose of
this exercise is to build up to talk with you, in which we try to negotiate out
the bases. There are a lot of things that point to that, one thing that struck me
very much is that it is so easy to camouflage these things or to hide them in
the woods, why didn’t they do it in the first place? They surely expected us to
see it at some stage. The point of fact, the purpose was for preparations for

Robert Kennedy: Maybe they had something?

Unidentified voice: They may.

Maxwell Taylor: May I ask whether military moves in these five, five days period
would be acceptable in some point of view to the State Department?

Dean Rusk?: Oh yeah, certainly

Dean Rusk?: Certainly it would be helpful.

Unidentified voice: Now of course, Mr. President, there are obvious counters to
the blockade. …

[Several voices, unintelligible]

Robert Kennedy: And also the argument against the blockade is that it’s very
slow death, and it kills up, and goes over a period of months, and during that
period of time you’ve got all these people yelling and screaming, examination of
Russian ships and shooting down of Russian planes that try to land there, you
have to do all those things.

[Further discussion of options]

Unidentified voice/George Ball?: … [unintelligible] … the Soviet reaction, if as
Tommy and Chip predicted, the Soviets would not try to run the blockade, then
they would have deserted their friends in Cuba, and I think there would be
serious political chaos in Cuba if the Soviets deserted their own comrades[?].

Unidentified voice: Also, I assume that you would be in negotiations with

Unidentified voice: In the case of any of these attacks in all logic you would
have a blockade … [unintelligible] … all of these military actions apply also to a blockade.

Unidentified voice: I agree.

Unidentified voice: Oh yeah, sure, sure.

Unidentified voice: What would you do about a declaration of war?

Robert Kennedy?: Simultaneously, seems to me you declare that a state of war
exists, and you call the Congress.

Llewellyn Thompson: I think that Khrushchev will deny that these are Soviet
bases. … [unintelligible] … I think what he’d say, what are you getting so
excited about? We have, the Cubans asked us for us the missiles to deal with
these emigre bases which are threatening, have attacked and are threatening
attack. These are not missiles, other than defensive. They’re much less
offensive than your weapons in Turkey. You’ve got these armed with nuclear
warheads. We haven’t given them nuclear weapons. These are simply to deal
with the threats to Cuba. That would be the general line.

Unidentified voice: Well, that would be patently false on its face as to the
nature of the weapons.

[Several voices, unintelligible]

Robert Kennedy: If we act, it better be Cuban missiles.

Unidentified voice: Surely.

Unidentified voice: I think our action is aimed at Cuba, just as much as possible
in this situation.

Llewellyn Thompson?: You ought to make it, if you do that, perhaps, as easy as
possible for him to back down. I think almost certainly it leads to his answer
would be also this is so serious, I’m prepared to talk to you about it. You could
scarcely refuse that with world war being threatened. And I think you
immediately assume the next step. That’s why I think the attorney general’s point, though certainly valid, is somewhat weakened in that during this period you would be negotiating out of this thing.

Robert McNamara?: But if he were to say let’s talk, then you would have to say to him then stop immediately all activities on such and such fields, sites and so forth…

Llewellyn Thompson: Having imposed the blockade how do you do it?

John Kennedy: The blockade wouldn’t be sufficient, he could go on developing the things he’s got there. You don’t know how much he’s got there.

Unidentified voice: He would, uh, you impose a blockade, impose a blockade on Cuba, and he imposes a blockade on Berlin, and then you start to talk. And then you would trade these 2 off.

Unidentified voice: That’s what he’d figure.

Unidentified voice: That’s what he’d figure, yes.

Llewellyn Thompson: It seems to me one of the points of this … [unintelligible] … always curious as to why said he’d defer this till after the election … [unintelligible] …

John McCone: Mr. President, you might be interested in General Eisenhower’s reaction to this … [unintelligible] … I briefed him … [unintelligible] … careful, I think, not to take any position, because I had no position. I was very careful not to indicate your position … [unintelligible] … However I should report that the thrust of his comments, would indicate that he felt, firstly, the existence … [unintelligible] … capabilities in Cuba was intolerable … [unintelligible] … Secondly, I think that he felt that limited actions, such as strafing, as anticipated, in 1 or 2 or even 3, of this paper[?] would not be satisfactory. It would cause the greatest of fear and concern among[?] our allies, and in all areas of the world, for the Soviets might take similar action against installations,
United States installations over in Germany … [unintelligible] … Turkey or Pakistan or elsewhere.

He felt, really, that if a move was made, and I think I pinned him down, he would recommend it, it should be an all out military action. He talked of conceiving it to go right to the jugular first, and not an invasion, landing on the beach and working slowly across the island, but concentratedattacks right off the bat, at first, in the heart of it … [unintelligible] … And he felt that this was done, probably the thing … [unintelligible] … could be done with the minimum loss of life. Now he said that without the benefit of specific knowledge of troop deployments and equipment deployments and so forth. … [unintelligible] … I thought this would be of interest to you.

[Further discussion on options]

Art Lundahl & JFK

February 2, 2010

Art Lundahl is identified as the person on the left. Who is the person between him and JFK?

Arthur Lundahl, director of the top CIA photo lab in Washington D.C., seen here on the left was the man who discovered the missiles in Cuba and who briefed President Kennedy on the subject.

He was also, however, a man deeply interested in UFOs with a huge UFO library at home, and an active involvement with the subject for 25 years.

Lundahl was rumored to have been the briefer for three presidents on the subject of UFOs. He was involved with the photo analysis for the CIA Robertson, involved with the 1952 Washington flying saucer fragment that was sent to Wilbert Smith in Canada. He was also involved with the famous July 6, 1959 channeling of AFFA the alien at NPIC, where Lundahl and 6 other CIA employees watched a flying saucers fly by the window and sit above the capitol.

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Arthur Lundahl, 77, C.I.A. Aide Who Found Missile Sites in Cuba

Published: Friday, June 26, 1992

Arthur C. Lundahl, an aerial-photography expert whose detection of missile installations in Cuba in 1962 led to the Cuban missile crisis, died on Monday at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md.

He was 77 years old and lived in Bethesda.

He died of respiratory failure, his family said.

Mr. Lundahl, an authority in aerial-photograph intelligence, was the founding director of the Central Intelligence Agency’s National Photographic Interpretation Center.

Analyzing reconnaissance films, he briefed Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy as well as the nation’s top military and diplomatic officials. Mr. Lundahl provided critical intelligence on the arms race and many other international crises, including those involving the Suez Canal; Quemoy and Matsu, islands controlled by Taiwan; Tibet; Lebanon, and Laos.

Geology and Photography

Early in his career he combined his academic training as a geologist with his hobby as a photographer to become an expert in deciphering the details of surface features in pictures and distinguishing natural features from those made by humans.

He developed his new skills during World War II while serving in the Navy, studying aerial photographs of targets in Japan and the Aleutian and Kurile islands.

When the war ended, he became the civilian chief of the Naval Photographic Center’s Photogrammetry Division. In 1953, the C.I.A. hired him to organize its own aerial intelligence efforts, which were growing with the advent of high-resolution photographs taken from high-altitude U-2 airplanes. Later, space satellites further expanded the field.

Mr. Lundahl’s discovery of the Cuban missile installations was a major feat in the annals of intelligence.

His findings, which he reported to President Kennedy at the White House, contradicted the expectations of political and military analysts. The information led Kennedy to impose a blockade on Cuba to cut off further arms shipments. Eventually the Soviet Union withdrew the missiles.

When Mr. Lundahl retired in 1973, he was given a Presidential medal and awards from the C.I.A. and Defense Intelligence Agency, and Queen Elizabeth knighted him. He was also a past president of the American Society of Photogrammetry.

Mr. Lundahl was born in Chicago. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1939 and earned his master’s degree there in 1942. He worked as a field geologist and park ranger.

His wife of 42 years, the former Mary Hvid, died in 1986. He is survived by a daughter, Ann Lundahl; a son, Robert Lundahl, and a granddaughter, all of Bethesda.


A formerly SECRET report released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) shows that CIA officials and consultants thought people seeing and reporting UFOs was more
dangerous than UFOs themselves, stating, “the continued emphasis on the reporting of these phenomena [UFOs] does, in these perilous times, result in a threat to the orderly functioning of the protective organs of the body politic.

” Another ‘danger’ cited by the CIA panel was that acknowledging UFOs could results in “…the cultivation of a morbid national psychology in which hostile propaganda could induce hysterical behavior and a harmful distrust of duly constituted authority.”

To counter these supposed dangers, the CIA panel recommended a policy of “debunking” and education designed to persuade people that what they were seeing really wasn’t there.

In explaining how this psychological warfare against the American people should be carried out, the report stated:

“The debunking aim would result in reduction of public interest in ‘flying saucers’ which today evokes a strong psychological reaction. This education could be accomplished by mass media such as television, motion pictures and popular articles”
The panel had further ideas on how what was essentially a disinformation program should be mounted, stating: “It was felt strongly that psychologists familiar with mass psychology should advise on the nature and extent of the program.” The report went on to name certain psychologists who might be recruited to join the debunking project.

The formation of the CIA panel came about as a sort of compromise worked out by the National Security Council (NSC) after events in the summer of 1952. A major UFO flap had taken place across the country, highlighted by puzzling incidents in July 1952, when UFO intruders were simultaneously tracked on ground radar and observed by
jet interceptor pilots over the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. The public, the press, and even President Harry Truman demanded to know what was going on. As a result, the US Air Force held a major press conference on July 29, 1952, the largest press conference since WW II, at which it was suggested the UFOs were temperature inversions–layers of warm air trapped under cold air that, by some giant stretch of the Air Force’s imagination, were tracked on radar and seen as maneuvering flying craft by pilots sent aloft on scramble alert.

In August 1952, as documents released as the result of the FOIA suit filed by the author confirm, the CIA began reviewing the Air Force’s handling of UFOs. Ransom Eng, an official with the CIA’s office of Scientific Intelligence, wrote a report in which he characterized the Air Force’s efforts as “scientifically invalid.”
Armed with these criticisms, the CIA wanted to take charge of UFO intelligence [the collection and analysis of UFO evidence], and proposed, through CIA Director Walter Bedell Smith, that UFOs were much too serious of a matter to be left in the hands of the USAF. The National Security Council, however, would only approve a compromise
whereby a CIA-appointed panel would review UFO reports provided by the Air Force to determine if UFOs were a “direct, hostile threat to national security.”

The struggle for power and funding between the U.S. Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency had been on-going since 1947, the year the CIA was officially created and the Air Force became a separate service branch [after being part of the Army previously]. It would continue for decades thereafter throughout the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and include highly exaggerated Air Force Intelligence claims of Soviet bomber and missile superiority and ‘first-strike’ civil defense preparations, even though in 1955 the CIA gained somewhat of an upper hand with
the development and covert deployment of the U-2 high altitude spy plane–at least in the sense of getting the President’s ear.

In January 1953 the CIA’s Robertson Panel, mostly consulting scientists of the CIA’s chosen to review the UFO evidence selected by the USAF, rejected the conclusions of the U.S. government’s top photo analysts from the Naval Photographic Interpretation Center (NAVPIC), Anacostia, MD, Capt. Arthur Lundahl and Lt. Robert Neasham, who had concluded the objects in two 8mm UFO films submitted to the Air Force and examined by the CIA Panel were extraterrestrial spacecraft. Both men were reportedly emotionally shattered by the Panel’s rejection of their studied conclusions.

But within a matter of days Lundahl and Neasham were invited by the CIA to resign their Navy officers’ commissions and come over to the CIA as civilians and establish the CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) at 5th & K Streets in Washington,DC, with Lundahl serving as the founding Director for the next twenty years and Neasham as his top assistant.
In 1954 Lundahl was informed the CIA would begin flying high altitude reconnaissance missions over the Soviet Untion and Soviet Bloc [and China] the following year. Lundahl therefore went out an acquired the world’s best computer, a large Swiss-built machine, and set out developing computer-enhanced photo analysis in order to extract intelligence from photos taken from 100,000 feet up.

The mastermind of what was to become the U.S. government’s UFO policy and author of the CIA’s Robertson Panel Report, which found that UFOs did not pose “a direct, hostile threat to National Security,” was Fred Durant, an officer with the CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) who at the time was operating under the cover of being a civilian scientist employed by the Arthur Little Co. In fact, in August 1952 Durant, claiming to represent a small group of “concerned scientists” [actually CIA officers] had approached USAF Captain Ed Ruppelt, Commanding
Officer (CO) of the Air Force’s UFO ‘study,’ Project Blue Book, and USAF Maj, Dewey Fournet, the Pentagon’s liaison to Blue Book.

Most revealingly, the CIA had found it necessary to spy on the Air Force in order to find out what it had collected on UFOs, and Fred Durant had been the perfect man for the secret mission. Similarly, a few years later after the Soviets beat America to the punch with the launch of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth, the CIA’s Fred Durant brought America’s top rocket scientists together with our top satellite developers and began the American space program.

After the Robertson Panel meetings in early 1953, in which it became known that Durant had spied on the Air Force for the CIA in order to learn the USAF’s UFO secrets, the men who’d cooperated with Durant [and thus the CIA], Ed Ruppelt and Dewey Fournet, were forced out of the service as punishment by the USAF’s high-ranking Pentagon brass, and the dispute over control of UFO intelligence….

Copyright (c) 2005 by W. Todd Zechel
P.O. Box 117
Prairie du Sac, WI 53578-0117
next in “Close Encounters of the Government Kind pt3”
“The CIA Takes Control”

Washington Navy Yard NPIC

February 2, 2010
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National Photographic Interpretation Center

The National Photographic Interpretation Center, whose functions have since been absorbed into the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), was formerly a component of the CIA Directorate of Science and Technology (DS&T). NPIC produced imagery interpretation reports, briefing boards, videotapes for national-level consumers, and provided support for the military. NPIC employed some 1,200 image interpreters and archivists.

NPIC — Washington Navy Yard – 4 meter resolution

FROM: The wizards of Langley: inside the CIA’s Directorate – v=onepage&q=&f=false

In 1962, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and members of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board visited and were shocked by the conditions at 5th and K and advised the President that NPIC needed a new building. 3

Kennedy promptly told DCI John McCone “to get them out of that structure” and wanted to know how soon a move could be accomplished. McCone recommended that the Naval Gun Factory appeared to be a reasonable choice but that it would require a year to refurbish it. Kennedy’s reply was “All right, you do it.” 4

On January 1, 1963, NPIC move into its new home – Building 213 in the Washington Navy Yard, often referred to as the “Lundahl Hilton.” It was, according to McCone, a “rags-to-riches” situation. The 200,000 square feet of floor space meant that hundreds of more workers could be added. The building had large elevators, air conditioning, and good security. Most of all, it was the national center that Lundahl had envisioned almost ten years earlier. Most people in the building worked for the CIA – the people who typed letters, drove courier trucks, ran the computes and library searches, and produced he graphics. 5

But the photo interpreters came from the CIA, DIA, Army, Navy, Air Force, and other organizations. An Air Force interpreter who studied photos of Soviet silos might ride the elevator with a CIA interpreter who pored over photos of Chinese nuclear facilities and a Navy representative whose safe was filled with the latest photography of Soviet submarines.

Of course, the environment at the Washington Navy Yard, itself located in a rundown area of Washington, was far from luxurious. And working in a building whose windows, for security reasons, were bricked up certainly could be claustrophobic. But at least NPIC personnel were located in a larger facility with some amenities.

Even before the first KH-9 mission, NPIC officials, including director Arthur Lundahl and senior manager Dino Brugioni, realized that…

Chapter 14 – The Zapruder Film Mystery

The NPIC Revelations of Dino Brugioni in 2009

Peter Janney was in the right place at the right time, for his father, Frederick Wistar Morris Janney, had worked for the CIA for many years, and had known Dino Brugioni. Therefore, when Peter contacted Brugioni and introduced himself as “Fred Janney’s son,” he was able to immediately establish a rapport with Dino based on this history, and it really paid off. Peter and I consider ourselves extremely fortunate that Dino Brugioni was not only still alive in 2009, but that his memory was still so good at the age of about 88, and that he was so patient and accommodating with Peter’s many questions about his involvement with the Zapruder film. Dino Brugioni was the Chief of the NPIC Information Branch, and worked directly for the Director of NPIC, Arthur Lundahl, from 1954 until Lundahl retired in 1973.

Arthur Lundahl, as Dino Brugioni explained to Peter Janney, was the western world’s foremost photoanalyst during those two decades. And anytime that Mr. Lundahl needed a briefing board prepared, it was Dino Brugioni, working with NPIC’s photo-interpreters and graphics department, who oversaw its preparation, and the preparation of the associated notes that Lundahl would use to brief Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy, for example. Dino Brugioni was so closely involved with the briefing boards prepared for President Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis that he was able to author an excellent and captivating book about the role of NPIC in that crucial Cold War episode, called Eyeball to Eyeball. Dino Brugioni, therefore, is the ultimate, insider source for what was going on at NPIC during the 1950s and 1960s. He possesses unimpeachable credentials.

It was the combination of Dino’s unimpeachable credentials and good memory that made what he had to say about his Zapruder film experience at NPIC the weekend of the assassination so important. For Dino Brugioni clarified for Peter, after repeated and persistent questioning, that the event he participated in actually commenced on Saturday evening, November 23rd (rather than Sunday, November 24, as he had incorrectly estimated for David Wrone in 2003); that it involved the original 8 mm film—not a copy—and that it did not involve either Homer McMahon, or Ben Hunter, or Captain Sands, but an entirely different cast of characters. Furthermore, Dino examined photographs Peter Janney had made at Archives II of the 4 surviving briefing board panels made from the photos developed by Homer McMahon and Ben Hunter, and Brugioni stated categorically that the four panels in flat # 90A in the JFK Records Collection are not the briefing boards he produced while on duty at NPIC from late


Saturday evening, November 23rd, through early Sunday morning, November 24th, 1963.
I will first recount the details of what Dino Brugioni relayed to Peter Janney in the seven lengthy interviews during the first half of 2009, and then I will discuss the differences between the “Brugioni” event (Event I) and the “McMahon” event (Event II), and discuss what these differences imply about the true chain-of-custody of the Zapruder film the weekend of the assassination.
Peter Janney first interviewed Dino Brugioni on January 30th, 2009, after reading my interview reports of McMahon and Hunter in Murder in Dealey Plaza. Author and researcher Dick Russell then assisted Peter Janney in establishing contact with me, and Peter and I worked together on a set of extensive follow-on questions that Peter would ask Dino in future interviews. We were vitally interested in ascertaining whether Dino Brugioni had participated in the same event as McMahon and Hunter, or in a different event at NPIC that weekend. In the way of preparation, Peter also flew to Washington, D.C. and examined and photographed both the original NPIC briefing notes, and the 4 surviving briefing board panels (both in flat # 90A) at Archives II, so that he could ask Dino whether those materials looked familiar to him. Janney also obtained an audio recording of my second interview of Homer McMahon, the only one of my three interviews of McMahon that I had been allowed to record. Peter Janney then conducted six additional interviews of Dino Brugioni on February 12th, 13th, 14th, March 6th, May 5th, and June 27th of 2009. In addition to the 7 interviews (which Janney recorded), Dino also called Peter a couple of times and left recorded phone messages in response to follow-on questions.

Here is a summary of the information gleaned from Peter Janney’s 7 recorded interviews, and the two phone messages left for him by Dino Brugioni:
Timing of the event: In the final analysis, Dino was of the very firm opinion that the event at NPIC which he supervised, as NPIC duty officer the weekend of the assassination, began on Saturday night, November 23rd, and ended early Sunday morning, November 24th. In his first interview with Peter, Dino referred to the event as occurring the night of the assassination, but in subsequent interviews, as Dino refreshed his recollection, he became adamant that it commenced the next night—a day after the assassination. The event began about 10 PM in the evening, when Dino personally met two Secret Service agents at the entrance to the NPIC, and ended at about 6 or 7 AM the next morning when Brugioni’s boss, Art Lundahl (the Director of NPIC), arrived and the briefing boards which Brugioni and the NPIC staff had created were presented to Lundahl, along with the briefing notes Brugioni had prepared. Lundahl then took both sets of briefing boards to the office of CIA Director John McCone, along with the briefing notes Brugioni had prepared for him; briefed the DCI; and then returned to NPIC later Sunday morning, November 24th, and thanked everyone for their efforts the previous night, telling them that his briefing of McCone had gone well. Brugioni told Janney that the two Secret Service agents who had delivered the film to NPIC had departed with the film early Sunday morning, as soon as the last frames from the home movie had been enlarged and the briefing boards had been completed.

When Peter Janney challenged Brugioni by telling Dino that he had apparently given author David Wrone an estimate of Sunday, November 24th as the day the event commenced, Dino said, “No, I don’t think so,” and said that he no longer believed the event commenced on Sunday evening because he had a recollection of trying (unsuccessfully) to attend President Kennedy’s funeral on Monday, and in his
memory the end of the NPIC event—turning over the two very large briefing boards to Lundahl, along with the briefing notes—did not occur on the same day that he tried to attend JFK’s funeral. In


summary, then, during the first interview with Janney, Brugioni thought the NPIC event had occurred the same evening as the assassination, but during the subsequent six interviews, he definitively ruled this out and expressed the firm and unwavering opinion that the event he participated in began at about 10 PM on Saturday, November 23rd, and ended at about dawn on Sunday, November 24th.

Attendees: Brugioni said that DCI John McCone was notified sometime Saturday by the Secret Service that photographic support would be needed; McCone notified Art Lundahl, NPIC’s director; and Lundahl in turn called Brugioni because Dino was the duty officer that weekend. In his capacity as duty officer, Brugioni then called NPIC’s number one photogrammatrist, Ralph Pearse, as well as Bill Banfield, the management official in charge of the photographic lab facilities. Brugioni told Janney that Bill Banfield ordered in 3 or 4 photo technicians (who worked on the home movie to enlarge individual frames), and 2 or 3 people from the graphics department (who actually assembled the briefing boards in the graphics department, on the second floor, one floor above the photo lab). In the four follow-on interviews, Janney repeatedly and specifically questioned Dino about whether either a Captain Sands, or Ben Hunter, had been present that night. Brugioni consistently said that he was personally acquainted with both people, and that neither Captain Sands15 nor Ben Hunter was present at the NPIC event he presided over. Two Secret Service agents delivered the home movie of the assassination to NPIC, and the agent who was “in charge” made the decisions about which frames to magnify and create prints from. Dino told Peter Janney that at the end of the night, the Secret Service wanted a list of everyone who had been present at NPIC; he also said that he placed the names of the two Secret Service agents in the briefing notes he prepared for Art Lundahl that night, but that he could not remember now, in 2009, what their names were.

Film format and characteristics: Dino was adamant with Peter Janney, as he had been with David Wrone, that the film delivered to NPIC for processing by the Secret Service was an 8 mm home movie, and he recalled this clearly and without any doubt whatsoever because Bill Banfield had to awaken the owner of the CIA’s favorite commercial photo outlet (Fuller and d’Albert), and ask him to to open his downtown shop, so that Banfield could purchase an 8 mm home movie projector. While Banfield was procuring the 8 mm projector in downtown Washington D.C. in the dead of night, Brugioni, Pearse, and the two Secret Service agents were examining individual frames of the film on a light table with a stereomicroscope. About midnight, when Banfield returned with the 8 mm home movie projector, the film was viewed at least 4 or 5 times, and at different speeds, by the two Secret Service agents, Brugioni (the duty officer), Pearse (the lead photogrammatrist), and Banfield (the production supervisor). Dino told Peter Janney, just as he had told David Wrone, that it was a “white glove operation” all the way, and whereas Wrone did not mention in his account whether or not Brugioni believed he had the original film, Dino made clear to Janney that he did believe it was the original film. He said: “Everything pointed toward it being the original,” and when Janney wisely asked Brugioni if he recalled whether Dino said that Captain Pierre Sands, 15 U.S. Navy, was the Deputy Director of NPIC, which Peter Janney subsequently confirmed on the internet. Sands’ one-page bio states that Pierre N. Sands was born on April 16, 1921, and died on May 26, 2004. He served in the Navy from May 1939-June 1973, and was placed in charge of the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Photographic Center after serving at NPIC. His biography on the internet identifies him as a member of the Presidential briefing staff during the Cuban Missile Crisis.


there were images between the sprocket holes (which are visible on today’s extant ‘original’ film but not on the ‘first generation’ copies), Dino paused and then responded: “I’m almost sure there were images between the sprocket holes.” During a follow-on interview when Janney tested Dino’s firmness of opinion about whether the film was the original or not, Brugioni said definitively: “I’m sure it was.” Dino said one of the factors that reinforced his impression that the film was the original was how nervous the two Secret Service agents were about how the film was handled by the NPIC staff—they repeatedly expressed concern that the film not be torn or damaged in the projector, or in the enlarging equipment. When repeatedly asked by Janney whether he was told where the film had been developed, or flown in from, Brugioni consistently said that no mention was made of where the film was developed, one way or another. Product produced: Brugioni told Janney that while the Secret Service agents made the decisions about which frames to reproduce, there was never any discussion by them of specific frames in which shots occurred, or of how many shots were fired at the motorcade. He did recall that most of their attention was centered around the action just prior to the limousine going behind the road sign, while it was behind the sign, and after it emerged from behind the sign. He said that the lead Secret Service agent had the demeanor of a lawyer who was preparing a case. Brugioni said that a maximum of 20 prints were made from individual Zapruder frames using NPIC’s state of the art enlarger; when Dino viewed
the photos Peter Janney had taken of the four surviving briefing board panels in the JFK Records Collection, he said: “We didn’t make this many photos,” and furthermore, said: “These are not the briefing boards we made that night.” Dino never wavered in his opinion about this—the four briefing board panels in the Archives today were not created at the event he participated in. Brugioni clearly recalled that at the NPIC event he presided over, at least two photos were made of each Zapruder frame that was enlarged, and only two briefing board sets (not the three sets that apparently resulted from the Homer McMahon event) were created. Dino consistently told Janney that the briefing boards NPIC created for Director John McCone and the Secret Service consisted of two panels each; that each panel was three feet high and three feet wide; and that the two panels in each set were joined together by a vertical hinge in the middle, so that the resulting six-foot long board could be folded in half for easy transportation. Brugioni said that there were two items of information posted underneath each photo on the briefing boards he created, and that one of these two items of information was the individual frame number. The phrases such as “7 frames missing,” for example, and the number of seconds that had elapsed between frames that appear on the 4 panels in the Archives today, were not placed on the
briefing boards he created. Furthermore, he indicated that the graphic design format of the 4 panels in the Archives today is markedly different from those he created the night of the event he was involved in. He also said that the Secret Service was vitally interested in timing how many seconds occurred between various frames, and that Ralph Pearse informed them, to their surprise and dismay, that this would be a useless procedure because the Bell and Howell movie camera (that they told him had taken the movie) was a spring-wound camera, with a constantly varying operating speed, and that while he could certainly time the number of seconds between various frames if they so desired, that in his view it was an unscientific and useless procedure which would provide bad data, and lead to false conclusions, or words to that effect. Nevertheless, at the request of the two Secret Service agents, Ralph Pearse dutifully used a stopwatch to time the number of seconds between various frames of interest to their Secret Service customers. Dino Brugioni said that he placed a strong caveat about the limited, or suspect, usefulness of this timing data in the briefing notes he prepared for Art Lundahl. Brugioni’s most vivid recollection of the Zapruder film was “…of JFK’s brains flying through the air.” He did not


use the term ‘head explosion,’ but rather referred to apparent exit debris seen on the film the night he viewed it. Dino had no other specific recollections about content during the 2009 interviews. Dino Brugioni identifies the “Hawkeye Plant:” Peter Janney eventually explained to Dino, well into the interview process, Homer McMahon’s recollections that the film brought to him the weekend of the assassination had come from a CIA lab in Rochester, and gingerly asked Brugioni whether he ever heard of such a place. Dino readily replied that he not only had personal knowledge of such a place, having visited it, but named it for us: he called it the “Hawkeye Plant.” In considerable detail, Dino described how it was a true “clean facility” where all of the technicians had to wear special clothing, special head coverings, and sticky shoes to avoid contaminating photographic products with dust and lint. When Janney asked Dino what this lab’s capabilities were, Brugioni said with wonderment in his voice: “They had the capability to do almost anything” with any film product—except that by implication, they must
not have had a 10 x 20 x 40 state-of-the art enlarger at the “Hawkeye Plant”such as NPIC possessed, and probably were not in the business of making briefing boards, either. Peter asked Brugioni whether they could deal with motion picture film there, and Dino said: “Yes.” Peter Janney then asked the ‘big question,’ which was: Did the “Hawkeye Plant” have an optical printer, specifically an Oxberry printer, installed? Dino’s answer was: “They had everything there.” [Oxberry manufactured the top of the line optical printer in that era, and it was a customized Oxberry optical printer that Moses Weitzman had used to blow up the extant Zapruder film from 8 mm directly to 35 mm in 1968. This response was both encouraging for my developing hypothesis, and also frustratingly vague. I made a mental note when I heard this response to make sure that if a FOIA request was ever filed with the CIA over Zapruder film issues surrounding the NPIC events, that the suit would have to ask whether optical printers used in the duplicating of motion picture films had been installed at the “Hawkeye plant” in 1963.]

Subsequent return of one briefing board: Some undefined amount of time later, Brugioni stated that the CIA returned one of the six foot long, three feet wide briefing boards (with the hinge in the middle) to NPIC, but without the briefing notes that Dino had originally prepared for Lundahl. NPIC Director Art Lundahl told him to keep it wrapped up in paper and secured in a locked cabinet, and to show it to no one without his (Lundahl’s) express, personal permission. [The disposition of the other briefing board was not divulged to Brugioni by Lundahl—but presumably, it was retained by the Secret Service, the customer who had driven the activity that night by requesting NPIC support.]

Meanwhile, Art Lundahl retired in 1973 and was replaced as Director of NPIC by Mr. John J. Hicks, who served as Director from June of 1973-February of 1978. Dino recalled that sometime in 1975, in response to Congressional inquiries (from Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana) about CIA domestic activities, he took the six foot long hinged briefing board to John Hicks, the new Director, and that Hicks became extremely agitated and upset that the CIA had this product. (The only time that Brugioni became agitated and raised his voice during the several hours of interviews with Peter Janney was when he would recall the degree to which Hicks became emotionally upset by the existence of the briefing board Brugioni showed him, and on those occasions, Brugioni would raise his own voice as he vividly recalled Hicks’ exact words and emotional state on that occasion.) Hicks told Brugioni in 1975: “Pack ‘em up right now and get them over to the [CIA] Director’s office,” according to one version; and in another recounting, Brugioni said Hicks shouted: “Get those damn things over to the Director’s office; we’re not supposed to have ‘em!” Dino had the surviving six foot long briefing board wrapped in paper and sent by courier over to the office of CIA Director William Colby. When Peter Janney mailed copies of the 9 pages of documents the Rockefeller Commission obtained from NPIC to Dino, Brugioni expressed both surprise and


irritation that in his internal, handwritten memo of May 13, 1975 forwarding the textual materials up the chain of command, Hicks made no mention of the six foot long briefing board that Dino had sent to the Director’s office. Dino wrote about the NPIC Zapruder event in an NPIC history: In the final telephone interview with Peter Janney, Dino Brugioni revealed that he had written a short synopsis of the Zapruder film event in an official history of the National Photographic Interpretation Center—a several hundred page long, highly classified document—which he had prepared while serving as a paid consultant for the CIA sometime during the decade of the 1980s, following his retirement in 1981. This information angered me, for it meant that the CIA had withheld this information from the Assassination Records Review Board, in violation of the JFK Act, during the period 1994-1998. If the CIA had been an “honest broker,” it would have offered up the pertinent page(s) from the NPIC history related to the Zapruder film for review and release by the ARRB. [Clearly, this excerpt from the highly classified NPIC official history would have to be included in any future FOIA request filed over Zapruder film material.] Dino Brugioni and his colleagues definitely worked on the Zapruder film, and not on a different home movie of the assassination: Peter Janney sent Dino Brugioni photographs he had taken of the four surviving briefing board panels that are in the JFK Records Collection at the National Archives.

While Brugioni definitively stated that his work group did not make those particular briefing boards, he verified that the image content in the four surviving panels was from the same film that his group worked on. Since the prints affixed to the four briefing board panels at NARA are definitely from the Zapruder film, we know that Brugioni also worked on the Zapruder film, and not on a film taken from the opposite side of Dealey Plaza (e.g., the Nix film, Muchmore film, or the film purportedly taken by Beverly Oliver). His recollection of specific image content in individual frames was not sharp, but it was good enough for him to verify that he had worked on the same home movie, with the limousine passing behind, and temporarily obscured by, a road sign. (Any film taken from the other side of Dealey Plaza would not have shown a road sign blocking the view of the limousine.) Like McMahon, Brugioni stated that no one called the home movie “the Zapruder film” the night his group created its two briefing boards, but he was absolutely certain that the film shot by Zapruder was the same film his team had made enlargements from throughout late Saturday night and early Sunday morning, November 23-24, 1963.

The data table below summarizes, in an easy-to-read format, the differences between the two Zapruder film events at NPIC the weekend of the assassination, involving Dino Brugioni and Homer McMahon


NPIC Event I: Beginning Saturday Night, November 23rd (and continuing all night long until early AM Sunday)

NPIC Event II: Beginning Sunday Night, November 24th (and
continuing all night long until early AM Monday)

Persons Involved NPIC personnel: Dino Brugioni, Ralph Pearse, and
Bill Banfield; plus some photo and graphics technicians. (Dino was duty officer that weekend and was told to go in by Art Lundahl, the Director of NPIC, who in turn had been alerted by CIA Director John McCone.) Two Secret Service Agents transported a film which Dino believed to be the camera original home movie. Dino categorically stated that neither Captain Sands nor Ben Hunter was present.

NPIC personnel: Homer McMahon and Ben Hunter, and a “Captain Sands.” One Secret Service Agent who identified himself as “Bill Smith” brought the film from a CIA classified film lab at Kodak headquarters in Rochester; he said it was the original and had been flown directly from Dallas to Rochester, where it had been developed at the classified film lab. Neither McMahon nor Hunter recalled anyone else being present.

Type of Film Viewed Original film—an 8 mm slit film. (An 8 mm projector had
to be purchased to view it.)

Original film—a 16 mm wide, “double 8” film that had not yet been slit. McMahon
recalled other image content on the second half of the film (likely the Z “home movie”).

Viewed on existing 16 mm projection equipment.

Briefing Boards Created Two (2) briefing boards six feet wide, with a hinge in the middle. Lundahl took them both to DCI McCone Sunday AM with briefing notes. One
was later returned to Brugioni, and then given to Hicks in 1975. Hicks was very upset
that it existed, and withheld this info from the Rockefeller Commission. Three (3) briefing board sets consisting of 4 panels each.

The notes associated with the NPIC activity were given to the Rockefeller Commission
in 1975 by the CIA. The notes were released through FOIA in 1978, and the four panels later, in 1993, by the HRG. Dino Brugioni has stated “these are not what I created.”


Implications of the Brugioni interviews: In the final two interviews with Brugioni, Dino came to accept the fact that there had been another event at NPIC that weekend with the Zapruder film involving different personnel, and that knowledge of this had been intentionally kept from him by officials at NPIC. Brugioni had initially been resisted this possibility, since it was his assumption that as duty officer that weekend, he would naturally have known about any and all activity at NPIC during the two days following JFK’s death. [As it turned out, however, the duty officer stayed at home, not at building 213 at the Navy Yard, and only went in to the facility if he was called on the telephone and ordered to “go in” by higher authority; so a compartmentalized operation was entirely possible without Dino knowing about it, providing different employees were involved. This appears to have been what happened that weekend.] But once shown the photos of a different set of briefing boards, and after acknowledging that neither Captain Sands nor Ben Hunter was present at the activity he was involved in, Dino finally faced up to the inevitable conclusion: he had been kept out of the loop — excluded from important additional activity with the Zapruder film that weekend at NPIC. To say that this was something he was not accustomed to would be an understatement. Normally, from 1954 until he retired in 1981, Dino Brugioni would have supervised and approved the creation of all briefing boards, and would have personally prepared the notes used to brief a President, Cabinet official, or Agency director.

Dino seemed a bit nonplused following his March interview, and more than a little miffed at both Mr. Hicks, and his former agency, who together had failed to report the existence of the one surviving large briefing board to the Rockefeller Commission. His frame of mind seemed a bit like a loyal spouse who has just learned that his life partner had been unfaithful, and engaged in a dalliance with someone else.

Analysis: The implications here are unavoidable: the Secret Service had a list of attendees from Event I, commencing late Saturday, November 23rd and ending early Sunday morning, November 24th. They clearly wanted to have NPIC perform additional Zapruder film activity the next night (commencing late on Sunday, November 24th and ending early Monday morning, November 25th), but did not want any of the players who worked on the film Saturday night to know about it, so they ensured that a completely different cast of characters was assembled the second night. Apparently, Captain Sands (an O-6, a senior officer in the Navy), using his authority as NPIC’s Deputy Director, called in Homer McMahon and Ben Hunter to perform the work required by “Bill Smith” of the Secret Service. Then “Bill Smith” forbade both Homer McMahon and Ben Hunter from discussing their work with the Zapruder film with any of their NPIC colleagues. Did either John McCone or Art Lundahl know about it? I don’t know. The obvious question is: Why conduct a compartmentalized operation with the Zapruder film at NPIC the weekend of the assassination? The probable answer is right in front of us, if we will only believe what we have been told by Dino Brugioni and Homer McMahon. Dino Brugioni likely prepared briefing boards for John McCone and the Secret Service from the true camera original, unaltered 8 mm Zapruder film on Saturday, November 23rd. Homer McMahon likely prepared blowups of Zapruder frames from a 16 mm wide, unslit, altered Zapruder film, which had been created in an optical printer at what Dino Brugioni called the “Hawkeye Plant” at Kodak headquarters in Rochester, New York. After all, this is where the Secret Service agent masquerading as “Bill Smith” told him the film had been developed, and the agent was not likely to be mistaken, since he had personally couriered it from that location. Homer McMahon, the Head of the Color Lab at NPIC, throughout all three of his interviews with me, consistently recalled that he had worked with an original film that was an unslit, 16 mm wide, double 8 home movie—and that it came from Rochester, where it had been developed at the CIA’s Kodak-run photo lab which Dino referred to as the “Hawkeye Plant.”

Dino Brugioni used a code name for that CIA-funded lab in Rochester very, very similar to the term


Homer McMahon had employed in 1997, which I am unable to reveal due to the security oath I took when I went to work for the ARRB. But there is no doubt in my mind, based on the remarkable similarity between the names for the lab employed by both McMahon and Brugioni, that they are describing the same facility.

Consider this: if the Secret Service had returned a Zapruder film to NPIC Sunday night that had the same image content as the film viewed Saturday night, there would have been no need for a compartmentalized operation at NPIC. And since the film brought to NPIC Sunday night (for McMahon and Hunter to work on) was a 16 mm wide, unslit double 8 ‘original,’ and not an 8 mm wide, slit original film as seen the night previously by Brugioni, this constitutes proof — providing McMahon is correct in his recollections—that the Secret Service delivered to him a reconstructed, new ‘original,’an altered version of the Zapruder film masquerading as a camera original film.

I believe that both films were assessed by their handlers as ‘originals’ for good reason—one was a true 8 mm, slit, camera original movie, and the other was a professionally altered film, created in an optical printer to mimic an unslit ‘original’ in every way. It is extremely unlikely that either the Secret Service or the CIA would have countenanced creating individual frame enlargements for briefing boards from a copy film, because blowing up a small 8 mm film frame to 40 times its original size for the making of internegatives would have required the highest quality product available, otherwise the resulting internegatives and prints would have been even further degraded by contrast buildup resulting from generational loss of quality. This was even more true for the altered film from Rochester processed on Sunday night at NPIC: because it was in reality a copy masquerading as an original (and not a true camera original), it was imperative from the standpoint of image resolution that the new ‘master’ created at Rochester be the item whose frames were magnified for the second, sanitized set of briefing boards.
I shall close this section by once again drawing attention to a key paragraph in David Wrone’s book, in which he attempted to discredit the arguments in favor of alteration.

First, I would ask the reader to reexamine the data table above that summarizes the specifics of Zapruder film Event I and Zapruder film Event II at NPIC the weekend of the assassination; then, please read the passage below, quoted verbatim from pages 125-126 of The Zapruder Film—Reframing JFK’s Assassination:

Regarding the CIA, no scrap of paper, legitimate witness, or indirect source of any merit places the agency or any of its surrogates indirectly or directly in connection with the film on November 22 or the following two days. The documents that came out of the Belin-Rockefeller investigation of the CIA show that the agency did not begin its study of the movie until after photographs had appeared in LIFE magazine. This thoroughly documented lack of official interest in the Zapruder film drives a stake in the claims of alterationists that Federal agencies immediately after the investigation stole or borrowed the film to whisk it away to Washington or any other city or country for alteration.

Every significant statement in the above paragraph can now be shown to be incorrect, based upon the Homer McMahon/Ben Hunter interviews in 1997, and the extensive series of Dino Brugioni interviews in 2009. Let’s list the reasons, shall we?

• Homer McMahon (the Head of the NPIC Color Lab) and Dino Brugioni (NPIC’s Chie


Information Officer for over two decades) are definitely “legitimate witnesses;”

• The Brugioni and McMahon interviews place the CIA (through NPIC) in direct contact
with the Zapruder film on the two days immediately following November 22nd;

• The CIA’s surrogate, the “Hawkeye Plant” at Rochester, was placed in direct connection with the Zapruder film by “Bill Smith” of the Secret Service on Sunday, November 24th, before the funeral of President Kennedy;

• Any quick perusal of the Homer McMahon interview of July 14, 1997 (which David
Wrone referenced in his book—via endnote 36 on page 127) reveals that the 9 pages of
documents given to the Rockefeller Commission by the CIA in 1975 are not all
associated with the same event, and that while the shot and timing analysis was not
performed the weekend of the assassination, the making of internegatives and prints
from the film did occur on the weekend of the assassination.

• The scheduling of two compartmentalized film processing operations of the Zapruder
film at NPIC the very weekend of the assassination hardly constitutes “lack of official interest.” In fact, it is evidence of the precise opposite: an extremely high level of official interest. David Wrone was aware of the McMahon/Hunter interviews when he completed his manuscript; we know this because he referred to them with an endnote. Are we to believe that he cited something he did not read? Of course not. Wrone intentionally withheld the contents of the McMahon interviews from his book, and while I earlier inferred a reason, only he can explain why. Did Dino Brugioni also tell David Wrone that he handled the original Zapruder film the weekend of the assassination (just as he told Peter Janney)? We will never know. Wrone only describes what Dino handled as “a roll of 8 mm film, ” without showing the slightest curiosity about whether it was the original or a copy. If Dino did describe what he handled (during his interview with Wrone in May of 2003) as “the original,” Wrone chose not to believe it. That is his prerogative as an author and an analyst, but if so, he also chose not to report it. And that is another matter altogether.

In my view Wrone’s strident tone of dismissal in regard to any and all ideas of the so-called ‘alterationists’ in the JFK research community is an overreach, and a disservice to the scholarly discourse that we should encourage within our ranks. He has now paid the price for having a closed mind that was unwilling to fairly consider new evidence about the Zapruder film, which he clearly indicates in his book that he was aware of. He would have served both his reputation, and the cause of JFK assassination research, much better if he had honestly acknowledged the possible implications of the McMahon and Brugioni recollections, while disagreeing with them because he found the weight of other evidence more persuasive. But that’s not what he did.


What the Two NPIC Events the Weekend of the Assassination Tell Us About the True Provenance of the Zapruder Film

The obvious implications of the two NPIC Zapruder film events prior to the President’s funeral are noted below, in what I shall call a working hypothesis, explaining what I believe likely transpired with the Zapruder film the weekend of the assassination:

• First, the camera original Zapruder film really was slit in Dallas at the Kodak
processing plant after the three ‘first day copies’ were developed the evening of the
assassination, just as the Kodak employees told Rollie Zavada when he interviewed
them for his authenticity study. On Saturday morning, November 23rd, after the Secret
Service in Washington, D.C. viewed the first day copy (that had been placed on a
commercial airplane in Dallas and sent to Washington, D.C. by Max Phillips late on
Friday evening), they no doubt realized an immediate need for the original film, so that briefing boards could be made from the clearest possible image frames. [No one would send a copy of an 8 mm film to NPIC to make briefing boards from—one would obtain and send the original film.]

• Second, Richard Stolley’s recollection that the original film went to LIFE’s printing plant in Chicago on Saturday, November 23rd, for immediate processing, obviously requires reexamination. That is to say, the film may indeed have been flown to Chicago, but instead of processing it immediately for use in its November 29th edition, LIFE officials in Chicago may have willingly (or unwillingly) cooperated with Federal officials (of either the CIA or the Secret Service) by diverting the original film on to Washington, D.C., based upon a firm promise that they would get their property back as soon as possible, within one or two days. In my view, if “national security” had been invoked with someone like C.D. Jackson, along with a firm promise that LIFE would get its property back in short order (after it was used to help make enlargements for briefing boards), LIFE would have readily agreed. (Secret Service officials involved in the assassination plot, and their CIA allies in the nation’s capital, would have had all day to view the first day copy of the film they had received early Saturday morning, to discuss what had to be done to sanitize the film, and would have had ample time to grease the skids with C. D. Jackson, probably using the CIA as an intermediary.) Clearly, the original film was either: (1) diverted after it arrived in Chicago (unbeknownst to Stolley) and sent on to Washington, D.C., arriving at NPIC at about 10 PM per Dino Brugioni’s best recollection; or (2) it was simply seized in Dallas late Saturday afternoon (with LIFE’s quiet cooperation) after Zapruder sold it the first time (for the initial sum of $ 50,000.00), and then sent directly to Washington from Dallas, arriving at NPIC at 10 PM, with Stolley’s quiet complicity. (If the second possibility above occurred, it means that Stolley was fibbing in 1973 when he wrote that he put the
film on a plane to Chicago on Saturday afternoon.) My own sense is that the film was
probably diverted after arrival in Chicago, and flown immediately to Washington. After all, there are no written receipts indicating the film actually arrived at LIFE’s Chicago printing plant on Saturday—all we have is Stolley’s personal recollection that he put it on a plane to Chicago. Furthermore, the film could have been intercepted at the airport


in Chicago, and flown directly to Washington, without ever going to the printing plant on Saturday—all without Stolley’s knowledge. This is most likely what happened.

• Third, the Secret Service and the CIA, obviously working together on the project, must have rushed the 8 mm camera original film from Washington, D.C. to the “Hawkeye
Plant” in Rochester by air, immediately after Bill Banfield’s photo technicians had run off the last enlargement prints for the McCone briefing boards, just prior to dawn on Sunday morning. The CIA’s Kodak-staffed lab in Rochester would have had most of the day (probably about 9 or 10 hours), using an optical printer such as the Oxberry commonly used by Hollywood’s special effects wizards, to remove whatever was
objectionable in the film—most likely, the car stop seen by over 50 witnesses in Dealey Plaza, and the exit debris which would inevitably have been seen in the film leaving the rear of President Kennedy’s head—and to add to the film whatever was desired, such as a large, painted-on exit wound generally consistent with the enlarged, altered head wound depicted in the autopsy photos which were developed the day before on Saturday, November 23rd by Robert Knudsen at NPC Anacostia. Captain Sands, a Naval Officer who was the Deputy Director at NPIC, was apparently instrumental to those altering the film in setting up a compartmentalized operation at NPIC, in which workers who had not participated in the events which commenced Saturday night (with the unaltered, true camera original film) would be used to create briefing boards from the now-sanitized, altered film. The delivery of an unslit, 16 mm wide double 8 film to Homer McMahon, well after dark on Sunday night, is proof that he received an alteration, and not the same film processed the night before (which was a slit 8 mm film). Furthermore, if the film worked on by McMahon and Hunter had been the same film worked on the night before, there would have been no need for a compartmentalized operation, and the same duty crew that worked on Saturday night could have been called in again. The fact that the same work crew was not used on Sunday night reveals that a covert operation was afoot.

• Fourth, the three black-and-white, 16 mm unslit versions of the Zapruder film
discovered in 2000 after the LMH Company’s film holdings were transferred to the
Sixth Floor Museum, and which both David Wrone and Richard Trask have written
about in their books on the Zapruder film, were almost certainly made from the altered film after it was manufactured at the “Hawkeye Plant” in Rochester. They would have been run off from the new ‘master’ that Homer McMahon worked with from Sunday night into Monday morning in Washington, but would have been duplicated before the altered film left Rochester for Washington, D.C. In this way, the three black and white dupes could have been sent to the Chicago plant for use in its November 29th issue Sunday evening, at the same time the new 16 mm unslit ‘master’ which was masquerading as ‘the original film’ was being flown to Washington. In this scenario, the three black-and-white copies would precisely match the film in the Archives today, but would not constitute proof of its authenticity.

• Fifth, three newly minted ‘first generation’ copies must have been struck from the new ‘original’ in Rochester before the altered ‘original’ was flown to Washington, D.C. Sunday evening for the preparation of the sanitized briefing boards at NPIC. Quite


simply stated, if you are going to alter the original film, you have to manufacture altered copies as well. [We shall examine the qualities of the three extant ‘first generation’ copies later in this chapter to see whether this part of the hypothesis holds up.]

• Sixth, switches obviously must have been made, as soon as possible, with all three ‘first day copies’ (which had been made on Friday in Dallas). The FBI, as well, must have been complicit in this early switchout, since it supposedly made all of its subsequent second generation copies from the ‘first day copy’ loaned to it by the Secret Service on Saturday, November 23rd. Although the FBI may have viewed a first day copy of the true original film following its arrival in Washington, all second generation FBI copies in existence today would have been struck after the first day copy was switched out with its replacement. A Secret Service ‘first generation’ copy was returned to Dallas by the FBI on Tuesday, November 26th, so the switch could have been made early Monday morning at FBI headquarters, and the FBI’s extant second generation film copies could all have been duplicated from the newly manufactured (altered) ‘first generation’ copy on Monday, November 25th, during the day. [We shall examine the record of what the FBI viewed the weekend of the assassination later in this chapter, and will see whether this part of the hypothesis holds up.] Switching out the first day copy held by the Secret
Service in Washington would not have presented any problems, since under this
hypothesis the Secret Service and CIA were obviously partners in the forgery exercise. Abraham Zapruder’s authentic first day copy could easily have been switched out after it was sent to LIFE late on Monday, after Zapruder’s contract had been renegotiated.

• Seventh, it is highly likely—a virtual certainty, in my view—that the additional sum of $ 100,000.00 that LIFE agreed to pay to Abraham Zapruder on Monday, November 25th in a new contract was in reality “hush money,” doled out to him, rather revealingly, piecemeal—in amounts of only $ 25,000.00 at the beginning of each year, through the end of LBJ’s first term in office—in exchange for his silence about the fact that the government had altered the image content of his film. Even though LIFE obtained legal ownership of the original and all three first generation copies in its new contract on Monday, if the magazine (or the government, during an investigation or inquest) was ever to display the film as a motion picture, then Zapruder would undoubtedly notice that the image content had changed, so in my view his silence had to be purchased, and that was accomplished with the new contract.

• Eighth, and finally, only so much in a film can be altered—there are also things that cannot be altered. It is my belief that the most damaging information in the film to the lone assassin hypothesis—the brief car stop on Elm Street in which the President was clearly killed by a crossfire, by multiple hits to the head from both the front and the rear, and the frames of exit debris leaving the rear of his skull—were removed at Rochester when the new ‘master’ was created. In addition, wounds were painted onto his head with special effects work which somewhat (but not precisely) resembled the damage recorded in the autopsy photos after the clandestine surgery at Bethesda Naval hospital.

However, it is my contention that while the technicians at Rochester could remove the
violent forward motion of the President’s head (seen in the unaltered film by both Dan


Rather and the FBI’s Cartha DeLoach), which occurred during the brief car stop, and
could remove the car stop itself, they could not remove the violent backward motion of the President’s head and body, to the left rear, which was caused by the two nearsimultaneous shots to his head from the right front. Because the infamous ‘headsnap’ back-and-to-the-left could not be removed from the film, the film had to be suppressed as a motion picture, and not shown to the public. This was surely known by everyone at Rochester by late Sunday afternoon or early Sunday evening, which explains why the CIA’s media asset, C.D. Jackson, instructed Richard Stolley on Sunday to begin renegotiating the contract with Zapruder. (The official approval of LIFE’s board the next day would have been a mere formality.) The reader will recall that the new contract gave Time, Inc. the motion picture rights which it did not acquire in the first contract on Saturday, and that even after paying the considerable additional monetary amount of $ 100,000.00 for the motion picture rights, that Time, Inc. never commercially exhibited the Zapruder film as a motion picture. Suppression was therefore surely its true motive.

I ask the reader to keep this working hypothesis in mind throughout the remainder of this chapter as we:

(1) explore what various witnesses recall seeing in the film projected for them the weekend of the assassination; (2) explore what appear to be discrepancies between characteristics of the extant film in the Archives today and test film shot by Rollie Zavada; (3) compare the anticipated appearance vs. the actual appearance today of the 3 ‘first generation’ copies; and (4) compare what is shown in the extant Zapruder film with the condition of President Kennedy’s head as observed at Parkland hospital, and with what people actually saw happen on Elm Street as the motorcade drove through Dealey Plaza.

ARRB Interview with Homer McMahon

February 2, 2010
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Satellite View of Building 213 (NPIC) at the Washington Navy Yard


COPY A4 Updated 02/18/10

ARRB Interview with NPIC Employee Homer McMahon

Hearing Date July 14, 1997

Interviewed by Douglas P. Horne Chief of Military Records of ARRB

Total Time 1:41:19

DH = Douglas Horne
HM = Homer McMahon
JG = Jeremy Gunn
MC = Michelle Combs

Douglas Horne: Okay, it’s Monday, July 14th, 1997, my name is Doug Horne. I’m with the AARB. I am here with Mr. Homer McMahon, former NPIC employee – National Photo Interpretation Center. And I am also here with Michelle Combs of the AARB. And before we begin I’d like to confirm with you on the record, Mr. McMahon, is it okay, do we have your permission to tape this interview?

Homer McMahon: Yes, my name is Homer McMahon, not NPIC, I was CIA. That was my cover.

DH: Oh, okay…

HM: …at the time, and you have my permission to… At that time NPIC was classified top secret.

DH. Yes, sir. Okay. Thank you very much. We may be joined later; this is for the record, by Mr. Jeremy Gunn of the Review Board staff and also by a new employee (Marie B. Fagnant) who is in the building today also. Could you summarize for us sir, your professional experience – training in photography prior to and up to 1963

HM: I started in photography in 1938.

D.H.: Okay.

HM: I worked one summer at the FBI lab. I’m not sure of that summer. [Possible Redaction] My boss was [Jimmy?] Dunlap, who later became, left and went into business for himself and I worked for him part time, at different times.

I was in photography when I was in high school when I worked oh, as a photographer on the yearbook committee. I used to work at…for Pop Baker, and that was Eastman Kodak Photofinishing Georgetown, also a summer…school. I was in photography on the GI bill, I went to the National School of Photography and I went to the Washington School of Photography, and I took several extension courses at the US GS Graduate School at the Law Enforcement Institute of Pathology at Walter Reed.

DH: I see.

HM: I took several courses up at Rochester in Binghamton, under…Ansco in Binghamton Kodak, at Rochester. Other than that, I never had a degree in photography. In those days it was strictly vocational. There was no, you could get a masters degree up there…,the PPA…zip work but I never did or worked on that level,…to make presentations. I was a member of the Professional Photographers of America.

I went to college on the GI Bill at the end of the Second World War. And then I went to work for the CIA. My mentor Mel Fromme (sp. phonetic) was an old OSS operative during the Second World War. His dad ran the National School of Photography; I spent two years there, and he got me a job interview with the CIA. I went out …..? …Street. That was Printing Services Division,…That was Austin Young (?). I worked there for a year and a half to two years. Then I went into business for myself for five years, and then went back for I think ten years…

DH: Went back to the Agency?

HM: Yeah, but I didn’t go back to the printing service division, I went to the Science Division. When Steuart’s Garage closed down, ah,…Kennedy’s brother Bob got that built. And – it was a special building, it was behind the barrier, you now you had the barrier walls, it couldn’t be penetrated. It was in the Navy Yard and I worked there for I guess close to ten years. And that’s when I was chief of the color lab,

DH: I see…

HM: GS 11 – step 7, was my grade when I worked there.

DH: What. Do you recall what year it was that you returned to the CIA and worked for about ten years, what year it was, more or less?

HM: No, I don’t have an accurate recollection.

DH: Okay. It would be, certainly before 1963,…

HM: Oh, yea. Yes.

DH: It would be in the 50s perhaps?

HM: Yes.

DH: Okay. When you went back to the CIA for the second time, were you working at the Stewarts Motors building with…ah?

HM: No. I didn’t work in the Steuart Garage; I’m not going to name names of people that I worked with…

DH: Okay, that’s fine.

HM: I could give you Harry Vicard [or Vickert?]…he’s retired, he worked at the Steuart but he retired, and I talked to him, and he said he could get me an interview, and I went over, or they come over, I was working for Austin Young on…[ in Alexander?]…right there at [Duke Street?]… or King Street, I’ve forgotten which.

DH: That’s okay…

HM: … he came over and interviewed me and I transferred. I was LV16, I was under the GPA scale, I was in the Printing Services Division.

DH: Okay. Let me go off the record and introduce you to some people who just arrived.

DH: Okay back on the record. Mr. Jeremy Gunn, Marie Fagnant and Steve Tilley have joined us.

Mr. McMahon do you remember when you became head of the Color Lab?

HM: When I went over I was hired for that position and I transferred from a LV19 to a GS 11 step 7.

DH: Approximately what year was that?

HM: Late 50s.

DH: Okay, late 50s. Were you working at the National Photo Interpretation Center in November, 1963?

HM: Yes.

DH: Okay. We spoke previously on the telephone on June 9, Mr. Dave Montahue and I called you. I think you may recall that….

HM: Yes.

DH: …You mentioned to us during that telephone call that you were involved in analysis and other events involving a home movie of the assassination. Can you tell us how you first head about this and who told you to come into work?

HM: Okay, I wasn’t an analyst. That was a technical term for somebody who did photo interpretation in my branch. And I was a photo-technologist. And what I did I timed…I – to my best recollection, I was – I worked in a vaulted area behind the barrier on extremely sensitive material. And my classification allowed me to work on anything and everything that I had need to know, and I won’t tell you what those were…but…

DH: And I won’t ask.

HM: We had…it was…a world beyond. We had unlimited budget…we had anything we wanted to buy, unlimited money, and it was a palace, it was Lundahl’s Palace. I think they said 90% of intelligence came from our operation. And that was, that was what the analysists and photo interpreters did. And they knew along with,…I was in the science division now, but they also had accessed and used other information.

But the best I can remember of how I came to work on this project…and…Of course, we all heard of, you known that motorcade where Kennedy got killed, and I think we shut up shop and went home early after that. And it was within the next two days a chap was introduced to me, and I was sworn to his secrecy. It had nothing to do with the agency’s secrecy. And he was, to the best of my knowledge, he was introduced as Bill Smith,…

DH: Bill Smith, of …what…what was…?

HM: Oh, Secret Service, he was an agent. And hh had, he had gotten a roll of film directly from the person that had photographed it, who called the Secret Service and told them that he thought he had that on film, and he shot it with a little Brownie Double 8, and he took it, he took it to Rochester. And we had a division up there – I won’t get into that, but they processed the film, it was Ek…it was Kodacrome, I think I or II, the daylight version, whichever it was, and it was Double 8 and, after he got it processed, they told him there that we were probably the only place that had the equipment that could do what he wanted to, – take every frame on there,(ha ha) of the entire event, and, and make the best possible quality reproductions.

DH: When you say they told him, who do you mean?

HM: Well. (Ha, ha,)…Well, Eastman Kodak had contracts with the US government, and if you want to know, you can go to the CIA – they’s tell you who told him, okay? But he got the film processed, and he brought it to us, and he and three other people timed the film, for – the – through observation you can tell where the gunshots actually caused the hits and the slumps. We didn’t know anything about any audio, it was just visual, and we timed it, and determined where the time between the – physically timed it with a stop watch, where the gunshot hits – hit. And we, we went from I think maybe two frames before the first hit and then we hit every single frame through and – we only…he only counted three hits, possibly four. I couldn’t tell I think, when Connally got hit. It was obvious when – when he got hit the first time, and then the second time he was hit, going off into…the angle up, and…

DH: Could I break in and ask you a question? When you say he and three others timed the film, does this mean that you people viewed it as a motion picture?

HM: Yes, we were in a briefing room, with a camera and a large screen – you said I could use Ben Hunter’s name?

DH: Yes sir.

HM: I worked with Ben Hunter, and I think he was a GS 7 and he was working with me as a trainee at the time in the color lab, and Bill Smith, ah,…excuse me, there were three of us, including myself (ha, ha), that’s it.

DH: That’s it?…

HM: To the best of my knowledge.

DH: So the total number of people you can recall are yourself, Ben Hunter and Bill Smith?

HM: Yes. That’s all that were involved to my knowledge.

DH: How were you first notified to go in? Did this happen during the work day or after hours? How did you first get notified?

HM: I haven’t the faintest idea,

DH: Do you recall…?

HM: ….because I didn’t – I didn’t – I’ve been called in so many times…ah…

DH: For other jobs, right? Do you recall whether you did the job during the day or did…?

Jeremy Gunn: Excuse me, I’m sorry – I just want to make sure we’re clear on the record. When you say you were called in many other times, was that for other jobs?…or…did you mean you were called many times on…

HM: When the goose laid the egg, we went on 12 to 12, these split shifts until we worked out the mission. Or…I don’t think that’s important. The other work I did had nothing to do with this.

JG:…that’s fine.

DH: That’s all we’re trying to do for the record, is to clairfy that when you said that statement, were you referring to this particular film or other jobs?

HM: Okay,…I had other clearances,… but none of these clearances that were given to me under the CIA or other clearances that I held for other government agencies, this was under strictly a, I was told that none of this was to be divulged to anyone. That we had it, that we did it, and I know that it was being used for a briefing but I don’t know who they briefed on it. My only guess, okay, we normally briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the National Reconnaissance Committee, and the President of the United States, with the work that I did. And I didn’t do any of the analysis. I just did the color part that was used in the briefing boards, and the Teleprompters and that kind of work, and it was also distributed under different Top Secret classifications…to the community.

JG: We just want to be clear on when you said you were called in several times, you were only called in once for the film related to the assassination.

HM: I worked on that one, and I worked on it until it was completed and I think it was probably more than a work day.

HM: When we spoke on June 9th, sir, it was your recollection at that time that you went in after hours and you worked basically all night long. Does that refresh your recollection?

HM: Yes,…but it was not during my normal…I don’t think it was during my normal – I don’t think it was…I was called in but I wasn’t told what I was called in for

DH: I see…

HM: I didn’t have the faintest idea what I was going to do there.

DH: Okay. Would you allow me to test your recollection on something that you said a moment ago that you thought this was within two days of the assassination. Is there any particular reason why you associate it as being that close to the assassinatin, any particular other events?

HM: I think, I think I was told that to get the film from the individual, take it and get it processed, and come back, was a couple of days. I’m not sure. I’m not…I don’t really recall that.

DH: Do you recall whether this work that you did was before the funeral or after the funeral of the president?

HM: I’m pretty sure it was before.

DH: Before we get into some details of what you did, how would you best summarize the tasking that your agency received from Mr. Smith? Or could you revisit that topic again? Try to…

HM: Okay. I don’t know how it came through channels to us. I wasn’t told that. What I’m reflecting is what I think happened. I know it wasn’t under any clearances that I held, do I know it was being done for analysis and briefing, but I’m not sure who that was for.

DH: Okay. And what is it that he wanted you to do again, one more time?

HM: Okay, what he wanted us to do, after we came to the decision after we had timed it, was to take a frame by frame presentation of that sequence, and make a…best recollection five by seven internegs not printed two up on an eight by ten…Ben Hunter and myself, exposed them and processed them. Then we had a period of time were you have to wait for the drying of the material, and then we went back and viewed all of the negatives, and we had them marked and identified as to the sequence, and we made three each color contact prints, and again went back and processed those and had to wait for the drying. Ah…

DH: So the color prints were the same size then as the inter negative?

HM: I’m pretty sure we…

DH: Contact? Without an enlarger?

HM: …we contacted the 8 x 10 negatives that were exposed two up. And then they were cut apart and identified on the back, and I did not do that, the identification, I don’t think I did that, I might have.

DH: Okay.

JG: I’m sorry can I interrupt you for a second, I apologize. He wasn’t clear to me about the negatives and the internegatives. You refer to there being five by seven internegatives and eight by ten negatives and I didn’t know whether those were two entirely separate things or whether you were referring to the same thing?

HM: It’s called a work in turn (?)…You take an eight by ten negative, print a five by seven on five by eight,…then you turn it…move the frame, set up the liquid gate, and make the other one, and then put it in the box. So you finish say the first two, then you move the frame to the third frame. These were, this was precision equipment to make a one stage enlargement, and my best guess is 40 X, is what we made the little image to.

DH: By that you mean 40 times the original size?

HM: 40 times the original half frame super double eight…or whatever it was,…

DH: Just for the sake of the…

HM: ….We had three different, okay, we had a ten twenty forty…

DH: Is that the enlarging machine?

HM: Yes, that’s the enlarging machine. And you set up with – this is a coherent light source enlarger…and we set it up with a specific optical lens, and a specific condenser, and a color pack CC filters, so that we could expose all three layers of the Kodachrome on these negatives.

DH: You mentioned wet gate a moment ago?

HM: Yeah, it’s a liquid gate, a liquid gate, it’s a…[new, no?]…today because, it was two parts of a…okay, we made our own liquid. And what the purpose of the liquid was, – it has a refraction index to eliminate the surfaces of the film which degrade the image, the front and back surface. It was called 10-20-40 fluid, and to my knowledge it was two parts of…(pause)…I don’t have…I can’t remember the…

DH: It’s alright. Was this applied by hand or full immersion wet gate?

HM: Oh no, you had little injection, and what happened your front lens came down…okay…it was precision equipment, and the excessive fluid went out, so it was full gate, almost like a microscope. Alright?

DH: Okay.

HM: And if you got air bubbles in it, you had to go back to start again and reinject it and bring it back down.

DH: Alright. May I ask another question before we move along? You mentioned Double 8 film a few times.

HM: Yes.

DH: Do you recall the condition of this movie when you saw it, had it been slit or unslit?

HM: I think it was unslit…the reason I…said that, and we might have slit it, but before we used it, but they were – I thought they were told that they didn’t want to slit the film,…and I don’t, I don’t think we slit it, I think we used it unslit in a 16 mm projector…

DH: That was going to be my next question, how did you project it? You think it was…

HM: I think it was unslit…This was the original film. It had been – I think they ran dupes of it, but we actually worked from the – the acquisition material of the original film.

DH: Is this something you observed yourself or something you were told by Mr. Smith? How do you come to the conclusion today that you had the original film?

HM: Alright, I think it was a combination of everything you said, along with, ah, the quality of the film. Normally when you dupe it, you loose a lot of resolution and when we made them you could ah…Kodachrome is an additive process. It’s black and white film with filers that give you color separation negatives, and then you use…dyes…After you flash them and redevelop them selectively onto the original film, and it has a Yellow coupler, a Magenta coupler, and Cyan coupler that give you the three subtractive primary colors that give you the illusion of image and color and there was very little dye that changes,…it was excellent imagery, and I don’t know if that still exists or not, but I’m pretty sure that’s what I used.

DH: Okay. One more follow up on the first part of the interview, and then we’ll move along. How certain are you that Mr. Smith said he went down to pick up the film from the person who took it and then took it to Rochester? Are you…

HM: I know he took it to Rochester, and I’m not certain other than I think he said he got it from the original person himself, but I am not positive of that. I am positive that he said that he took it to Rochester, hand carried it, got it processed, and then they guided him back to us to do the…

DH: So, Rochester wasn’t set up to do that stuff? In the sense that you had the big enlarger and they did not?

HM: We had a complete world beyond facility…(ha ha) – a multi-billion dollar photo lab, that Kennedy brothers got built for us in what? Three months I thik. They moved out of the Steuart, right in.

DH: Did the NPIC relocate, was it after the Missile Crisis? After the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 that you moved?

HM: ….[Long pause] When did Kennedy’s inauguration take place?

DH: January 1961.

HM: 61. It was shortly after that.

DH: Do you remember the approximate number of internegatives that you made?

HM: It was before the Cuban Missile Crisis, because I did alot – but I’m not going to talk about that. Now what was that question again?

DH: Do you remember the approximate number of frames on the original film of what you made internegatives?

HM: The best recollection is 40

DH: Okay.

HM: (pause)… and it might have been 20, between 20 and 40

DH: Between 20 and 40 – Okay. And which person in the room decided which, who decided which frames would…?

HM: We all did…

DH: It was a joint thing?…

HM: Yea.

DH: This, was this subsequent to viewing it as a motion picture, after that, or?

HM: Yeah. Oh after hindsight is, you know retrospect. Smith said afterward that he wished he had done the whole damn role.

DH: When did he say that?

HM: After we were finished (ha ha).

DH: Oh, during the same event? Okay. After you viewed this as a motion picture, did you, how did you, did you lay it out on a light table and use a loop, what did you do for further study? Before…I’m trying to ask you to recall the…process?

HM: Okay. After it was viewed, and I’m not sure we used a dupe to view it with, or we used the acquisition. We might have used a dupe roll to view it…

DH: Okay, for the projection?

HM: …for the projection, I’m not sure. My recollectino isn’t real good. I know that…I know he had dupes made of it, and yes, we could use loops and we could visually look at that, but when you put it in the type of equipment we had, you can actually physically see it…

DH: I see.

HM: ….on the vacuum board where the film goes.

DH: That would be superior to the loops viewing?

HM: Yes,

DH: Did…you gentlmen…?

HM: ….and we also used a ten-X magnifier to grain focus the image, each image, before we exposed it on the internegative, so we actually were getting the acquisition, the grain on the acquisition material into sharp focus, ’cause you couldn’t see the image of that – ten times forty is four hundred…

DH: So you were focusing on the actual grain?

HM: The actual. Well, it’s not grain, see it…Kodahcrome, the grain is in the negative, and you develop three black and white negatives and then you selectively expose them with the red, green and blue light and develop the complementary, added the primary color, which is Yellow, Magenta and Cyan couplers. So when these are all developed on the tri-pack of film you have, you have a positive dye image. The negative had the grain; the positive had a reciprocal dye image, which would have been a very much finer grain of silver that…Okay the chemical reaction is to replace the fine grain silver positive image with dye, and then you bleach out the sliver and are left with just the dye image, so it’s not technically grainy, it’s perception of what used to be grain.

DH: Okay. Thank you for that technical explanation. Is this process which you have described, is it proprietary to Kodak?

HM: Yes. They had a proprietary…Well no, at the time they passed a law that they had to relinquish the processing of Kodachrome, and there were two or three other…and one branch of Kodak went out and opened another company, so it was not proprietary.

DH: Did it, at any time during this work was the motion picture copied as a motion picture?

HM: No. Not in our operation.

DH: So you only made inter negatives and color prints, is that correct?

HM: Yes.

DH: And the size of the prints again?

HM: I’m pretty sure they were five by seven, by the best of…if they were the same ones I made.

DH: After the prints were made, I assume they had to dry. What happened next? Who were they given to?

HM: Ah, now the mounting on the briefing boards and the photo interpretation, so to speak, I was not involved in. And I think I went home (ha, ha). But Smith probably went to another area, it’s not even a vaulted area, it’s a finishing room upstairs.

DH: Did you and Mr. Hunter stop work at about the same time?

HM: He might have stayed on and helped. There was another chap who was probably involved in that work. And it was probably was done by the other chap,… and I’m sure Bill Smith. And I think you mentioned that Ben Hunter said he didn’t recall Bill Smith as the name of the agent that brought the film in?

DH: He did not independently recall that name.

HM: I remember Snuffy Smith, he was a Senator from Texas, and I think I asked the guy, ’cause I met him when I was overseas, and I asked him if he was any relation? (ha ha)… I knew he had been in Texas, where he got the film.

DH: So you remember asking him this question?

HM: I remember that, and he said no.

DH: Okay, that’s interesting. You just mentioned another chap who may have been involved with the briefing boards and photo analysis…,

HM: I can’t recall the name.

DH: …and you can’t recall their name?

HM: I don’t recall, and even if I did I wouldn’t tell you…because he was young…

DH: Let me ask you this question about names. Do you recall a person named Sands? S-A-N-D-S, at this point?

HM: Nope. Absolutly no recollection of that name.

DH: If I was to call this person Captain Sands, would that help anyway?

HM: Okay. We might have had an intermediate, naval officer that brought the chap in. Someone had to bring him in because they wouldn’t have had clearance and to get behind the barrier was pretty tough to do (ha ha) without presidential or above Top Secret clearance (ha ha).

DH: I see.

HM: …and your…I had a CIA badge that would get me past the guard, and to get behind the barrier I had to have another special badge and that had to be picked up and turned in when I went in and then we were in a vaulted area that had crypto code you had to run to get in the door. So it was virtually not penetrable.

DH: Okay.

HM: …And then after you got in the door you had to have a procedure to disarm the vaulted area or security would be on you…

DH: Extensive security

HM: Yes.

DH: It’s good to hear that…Do you remember a Captain Sands was on the staff at NPIC? Was he…

HM: Even if I am I couldn’t talk about that with you. We – we did have security officers. It was a geo-military operation…I shouldn’t probably tell you that…

DH: I should explain to you the reason why we’re asking you this. Ben Hunter independently recalled that a Captain Sands brought in the film and he could not remember anyone being with him. Subsequently he said there might have been a Secret Service fellow, but he remembered a Captain Sands. But he was unclear…what the person’s job…

HM: Okay, most of the geo-military who were there were undercover, and I can’t mention them.

DH: Okay. Did you create or do you recall anyone taking any records or notes during your work?

HM: I think Hunter and I did the only records of the work, and I think there was on either a yellow…yellow…(a ha)

DH: You just put your hand on a yellow legal pad.

HM: Yes…it was a legal type pad. Unless it was recorded on, we made our marks on some of the…to keep the, but I did not put any classification or any of that nature, I didn’t put any control, no classification or control, on any of the documents. Normally that’s required before it cold leave the vault, it has to be controlled with a Top Secret Cover sheet, but I did not do that. Now after the briefing board is made from the material, and that classification precedes the classification then needs…a cover sheet. We made briefing boards, Teleprompters and graphs for… dissemination to the intelligence community.

DH: For other types of work routinely, but for this job you may have made notes on a yellow legal pad?

HM: Now I’m sure this did not go to the intelligence community, it was not part of the CIA. It was not…This was a Need To Know basis and it was used by whoever brought it in, (ha ha) either for the Warren Commission or to brief somebody else. It wasn’t for history,…I think it was to…I don’t know what it was for…I didn’t even exercise a thought.

DH: Before we move along and before I show you the notes that the Archives has, let me revisit with you, what exactly did Mr. Smith say in regards to secrecy or non-disclosure regarding this event? Could you tell me that story again?

HM: I knew that my immediate supervisor was not allowed in the vault, that it was so sensitive, and he had all the tickets, and he was not allowed in the room. It was strictly on a need to know, do the job and get it out, and no one knew about it, there was no records…

JG: Just so the record is clear, when you say he had all the tickets, you mean all the clearances that he ha, he had a lot of security clearances?

HM: He had all the clearance equal to or the same that I had, but was not allowed, it was not, it was not the CIA or, a – I had all the clearances – the Atomic Energy, the National Security Agency, and it was not under any of these.

JG: Was there any other compartment, or was it just with a name which is…?

HM: There was no code name on it that I know of and if there was I couldn’t tell you. (ha, ha)

DH: Did Mr. Smith tell you it was classified at a certain level?

HM: Yes, he said it was defiantly classified on a Need to Know Basis…and he didn’t give me anything other than it that I was sworn to secrecy and I had – I don’t know whether I had to sign a document, I don’t recall any of that, but I know it couldn’t be divulged.

DH: Did he give you a level of classification, like Confidential or Secret?

HM: I have no…No, it did not have…He said it was Above Top Secret, and

DH: Okay

HM: Okay and that meant it had to have a code name. Now I don’t know what turned up on the briefing boards, I never saw’em.

DH: Before we examine the notes that the Archives has, Jeremy did you want to ask a follow up question?

Jeremy Gunn: Yes, I’d like to go back to something you said eary on in the interview where ah, a couple of things, where you said, “If I recall…he took three hits, possibly four,” and it wasn’t clear to me whether that he was, Kennedy or … Connally. Did you reach a conclusion as to the number of hits on President Kennedy?

HM: My guess, I thought six or eight, but the consensus was two or three.

JG: Hits on Kennedy?

HM:: Yeah, Connally – They said it hit Kennedy and then went into Connally, ricochet….

DH: Did they say that that night?

HM: That was a – We were just trying to get were all the shots of action…and covered frames from both ends of it….and I knew that later they found some sound audio tapes and could get voice prints on sound and could tell how many separate weapons were fired because of the Dopler front and back and from directions it came from – and it showed up on a police tape that was recorded, one of the motorcycles had it on…I don’t know.

JG: Ah…How is you and the others came to reach the observation to the number of hits? Was that while the film was rolling, or was that a frame by frame analysis?

HM: Well the person who brought the film in had already seen it, and he knew where – he had already reviewed it – he already had pre-knowledge before we had it, so maybe we were swayed to go along with his ah, first impression. I don’t know.

JG: Did he say anything? Could you sort of recount the events as they occurred in terms of what, ah, is this Bill Smith,

HM: Yes

JG: …Okay, what Bill Smith said about what he already knew about the film and what it showed?

HM: He viewed it, he viewed it after it was processed at Eastman Kodak –


DH: We’re back on record. Turned the tape over.

HM: Okay. I was just selected to do the job that I covered, and I really don’t think I should talk about what happened before, because I don’t have, – it is hearsay information that I have no real knowledge of it.

JG: …Just so it’s clear…The only things that we want to ask questions about are related to the film of the assassination

HM: Yes.

JG: That’s all we are asking about. But it’s important for us to get as much information as we can about the processing and analysis of the film of the assassination, and the other work we’re not asking about, but this is something we want to get as much information as we can. If Bill Smith told you something about the film, that’s very important for us to be able to know and document what happened, so if you could you just tell us what he said happened?

HM: Okay, to the best of my recollection he said, that he was contacted through his organization of a film, a person called up and they said they had it, and they felt that, they thought they had it, and they felt they didn’t want to give to anyone, or to sell it, or make a profit on it, and they wanted it to go to the Secret Service, and let them have that, and he gave the original film – the person who did the photography, to the Secret Service, and I don’t think anyone else knew about it until much later….alright…

JG: Let me try a question?…You are acquainted with the Zapruder film, the film called the Zapruder film? Is this the Zapruder film or a different film?

HM: I haven’t seen it for 35 years. Ah, I never heard Dalcruder at the time. I heard that much, much later.

DH: Do you mean Dalcruder? Did you say Dalcruder?

HM: He did. The man who took the most famous film was Abraham Zapruder.

HM: Abraham Zapruder. I never heard that name, or if I did I don’t remember it.

JG: But right now, you’re not certain whether the film you processed or that you were involved in working with was the Zapruder film…?

HM: Well, I’m told it was the only coverage they had. That that was it. No one else photographed it. They said it was the only film, and I don’t know if it was or if it was the historic film.

JG: What did Mr. Smith say had happened to the film prior to the time when you got it, regarding processing?

HM: Okay. Because of expedite, and the expedite part is they wanted to find out what happened, and they had film that was generously turned in by a very patriotic person, who told it was given to them because it might help in the investigation. This is what he was told, what I was told, and that it was of the utmost urgency, so he hand-carried it and flew to Rochester, and got it processed at the processing division there. And they were made aware that he was coming, and did it immediately for him, and I also think they made duplications of that, which I was told, and then he came back. Because they told him they couldn’t do what he wanted to get done, and that NPIC could do it, it fell on our laps and we did it.

JG: When you say they couldn’t get done what needed to be done, did you mean enlargements or was there some other?

HM: They didn’t have a laboratory that could do the quality of work that he wanted. He wanted maximum sharpness, the most see-ability, that – that you can get of the imagery and that we were set up to do and we were way beyond the state of the art and the quality that was turned out.

JG: For the film of the assassination, was it your understanding that anything more that could be done to it other than developing the original film and making some films of the original film…?

HM: The prints were duplications of the original film.

DH: Was anything else done to the film besides…?

HM: No, no one else had got…to my knowledge.

DH: Was it your understanding that Mr. Smith had come directly to Washington from Rochester?

HM: Yes, yes, he got off the airplane at the National Airport and came directly to us, to our building.

JG: Just so we are clear on something. It was our understanding that the film had been processed by Kodak. When you said it was done in Rochester, was that an inference that you drew when they said it had been processed by Kodak or did they specifically mention Rochester?

HM: Okay,….you’re getting on classified grounds there, that I can’t answer that question. I know but I can’t talk to you about that. There was another top secret lab that the government used.

JG: If you are uncomfortable talking about it, we can stop that here and that’s fine, but this is something that is important for us to be able to do, and we can go back to the agency and talk to them….

HM: No. You can do that back through the agency, and I know that hasn’t been done, (ha ha) or it is in the public domain….

DH: I think there is a way to rephrase the question so that it is not a classified…so that you don’t perceive a classified intent – I think the way to rephrase the question might be – Did Mr. Smith say this was done at Kodak or did he say this was developed at Rochester?

HM: Okay, again, I know where it was done, and I know who did it, and I’m (ha ha) not going to answer.

DH: Okay, is there any chance that where it was done was a Kodak lab in Dallas?

HM: To my knowledge no. (Pause) When you are in bed with the other (?) guy, we had their top scientists and photo chemists and optical people working in the world beyond. We had their people – I shouldn’t even be talking about it, sorry, and there was a definite link on the national level, where we had the best there was working with us…

JG: Would it be fair to say that there was another facility

HM: Yes…

JG: …where you’re understanding that is where it was processed…

HM: Yes.

JG:…and that facility was mentioned to you by name so that you knew where it was?

HM: Yes.

JG: …In terms of the name of it, we don’t need that…but just,…there…There was a reference to a specific place…?

HM: …I don’t know if there’s been any downgrading…National Photo Interpretation Center was Top Secret, you could not say it. You could say NPIC, and that was secret.

JG: I see, that’s….

HM: …and my cover was that I worked for the CIA. I did not work for NPIC. The military that worked there worked for the military, whether it was Navy, Army, Air Force, whatever. They did not work…for the CIA.

DH: I’d like to ask a follow on question if I can on the opinions in the room while you were discussing the hits, the shots that hit the people in the limousie – the governor and the president. Did Mr. Smith tell you the directions the shots came from, or did you people try to determine that on your own from your study?

HM:…Let me not answer that question, let me take a detour. I’m an army brat. My dad was in the first and second world war. And he was an officer. And when I was four years old, I was taught to shoot tricks. I was one of the greatest trick shot artists. When I was sixteen I used to fire at Perry, at Camp Perry, Ohio, I was in the NRA national championships. I’m talking about target shooting, not tricks. I was what they called a sight shooter. I could hit without aiming. In other words I was a trick shot artist. My dad would hold a dime between his fingers and at fifty foot I could shoot it out (ha ha) with a little trick gun. I’d pump three balls, golf balls and could pump and hit the three of them before they hit the ground. I used to have a rifle range in my basement and I would shoot every day and I became….it was like driving a car and after you’ve done it for so long you’re reflexes do it automatically. I could shoot without looking. I didn’t close one eye and look through a sight. I could actually shoot and hit what I wanted to hit. And I think I could really see the bullets hitting the object, and their trajectory, I could see the path of the bullet, and I could compensate for that if I missed. It was a feedback mechanism. And I was very good at what I did. In fact I’d make money in the money matches with the larger rifles, and I could make four or five hundred dollars in prize money firing, so I was a professional shooter, and yes, I could look at the pictures and tell you how many shots and possibly where they came from up, down, right, left, and this is intuition, and I couldn’t explain how I know that.

DH: What was it, how many shots were there in the assassination? What is your opinion?

HM: About eight shots.

DH: Where did they come from?

HM: From three different directions, at least.

DH: Could you remember what the directions were?

HM: No, but if you have the film, you can plot vectors. Because you can go out, I’m a photogramist as well. (ha ha) You can go out. Okay there’s a way to do it, believe me.

DH: Were you asked to do that?

HM: No.

DH: Did you say that you were looking at the film with the others…

HM: I wasn’t a photogramacist at the time…

DH: I understand. I didn’t…

HM: …I later worked for photo science, this was a photogram. I was a, a aerial photographer and I did aerial photography for whatever you want to call it, for mapping, first, second and third order surveying. I did that for ten or twelve years…and…Now I was a shooter, and that is the only reason I can tell you what I saw and thought I saw, and it wasn’t superior vision, it was just intuition. And no I did not agree with their analysis at the time I was doing the work, and I didn’t have to because I wasn’t a photo analysist, (ha ha) I wasn’t asked to do that.

DH: Yeah. Do you remember what Mr. Smith’s analysis was, or what his…?

HM: He thought there were three shots.

JG: From what direction he opined…?

HM: Well, he went with the standard concept, that Oswald a shooter out of the second story…now you have psychological profiles on Oswald…you’ve got tons of it, you ought to be able to figure out…(ha ha)

JG: Was there a selection made of the photographs to be enlarged – frames to be enlarged?

HM: I didn’t make any selection. It just went sequential, for that one group, everything was sequential, nothing was left out.

JG: Would that be from the first time you first identified there having been a shot until…?

HM: Up to what they thought were three shots…

JG: Approximately how many frames were there between…the sign…shots…

DH: …Well the limo occupants disappear behind the sign at about frame 190 and the fatal head shot according to the Warren Commission was 313, so that’s quite a few frames.

JG: That’s more than a hundred frames…So the question I have is how many frames were actually made?

HM: Maybe then for each of what they thought were the three shots, we, we did before and after, I’m not clear on that. But I know we covered three shots but I thought that, okay, I thought that they were sequential, one frame after the other, when I did it, and again, I’m only talking about forty shots that I was involved in making…

DH: 40 frames?

HM: 40 frames…so then it might have been, that it was befoer each hit that they thought was detectable, but I thought there were others in there, and that, that’s another opinion, so…

DH: Did they ask you…

HM: No. (ha)

DH: …for your opinion?

HM: Hah, well I couldn’t convince anyone.

DH: Did you try?

HM: Yes.

DH: You did express your opinion that night?

HM: Oh, yes, I expressed my opinion, but (ha ha) you know, it was preconceived. That’s the way I thought about it. It was preconceived, so you don’t fight city hall and I wasn’t there to fight them. I was there to do the work. (ha ha)

JG: When you say preconceived, you mean the Secret Service agent already had notion in mind that he was ….and others…?

HM: Yes, and I didn’t care. I had no vested interest in what was happening.

JG: One time in the course of the discussion you were talking about the viewing of the film. If I recall correctly you said that – you referred to there wre people in the room and a camera, and I just wondered if you meant a motion picture…

HM: Motion picture, yea. And I am sure it was a…

JG: Projector.

JG: Motion picture?

HM: It was a projector.

JG: A projector. Was there a camera or was it just a projector?

HM: It was a projector. And we had the still frames filters that we could put in and stop it and run it forwards and back. It was a unique one, not a cheap one. (ha)

JG: Was it 16 mm projector?

HM: I seem to recall it as being a 16 mm, but that again, we had every kind of projector. It was in a briefing room, we went up to one of our briefing rooms and they have all that equipment up there.

JG: When you say Double 8 film I assume you refer to a type of film where there would be one series of images that go down on one side and another series that comes up the other side? Is that right?

HM: Correct, absolutly.

JG: Mpw. when that’s – If that were projected as a 16 mm film you would be seeing two series of action, one in reverse and one going forward, one upside down, do have a recollection of whether that happened?

HM: I think that happened from the original film when I put it on the optical precision enlarger, okay, because, but we would center, you can center that film in the liquid gate, the frame, right in the center of it, and you don’t see it.

JG: That was my next question. I had assumed that when you made the negatives you were focusing just on the single frames that would be in the assassination seqiemce; do you have any recollection now if there was anything in the other part of the picture…, that wasn’t part of the assassination sequence?

HM: I have senile dementia…I can’t remember really anything. Most of my reflections are what I have recalled and remembered after the fact. In other words, I did it once, and then I recalled it, and remembered it. I don’t know how the mind works, but I do know I am not. I am a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. Do you know what a wet brain is? Well, you’re looking at one. I damn near died. And I’m not a competent witness because I don’t have accurate recall. I don’t have absolute recall.

JG: With regards to the other events that you talked about, what is your sense of how accurate your memory is of that?

HM: I just told you, I don’t have a full deck. I don’t know how (ha) I figured I am presenting anything here. This is not…at the time I did it I was not, I was not impaired, but I later became impaired. So whether you are talking to a reliable witness or not, that’s up for you to decide. (ha)

DH: Shall we move on to the notes? I’m going to go off the record to get notes that the Archives.

DH: Back on record. Notes: From Record Group 233 – 90A Doc. ID# 1993.07.22.08:41:07-620600 Titled Analysis of the Zapruder Film Date 5-22-1975

I’m now going to hand these notes to Mr. McMahon and to let him read them and to see if he’s seen them before. Look at them and take your time.

01:16:00 – 01:17:09


HM: Some of the writing is mine.

DH: And by this ah, this page here, sir?

HM: I don’t know whose that is.

DH: Okay. And the page you are not sure about is the page with three shot scenarios. One is labeled Life Magazine, and then two other possiblities…

HM: Okay…This is my writing.

DH: What Mahon has identified as his writing is on the backside of the half page: which reads: “shoot internegatives, one and a half hours,…process and dry internegatives, two hours, print test, one hour, make three prints, looks like they each signed one hour, process and dried prints, one and a half hours, a total of seven hours.”

HM: Yeah.

DH: Below that there is some – That’s in pencil. Below that is some blue ink…long divisions, and additions

HM: This is my writing.

DH: Those are also your writing?

HM: Yes.

DH: Also the pencil?

HM: Yes

DH: Okay, could you explain what that – well? What are the long divisions and additions? Do you recall what they are?

HM: …marks. I don’t know what…? It’s my writing; I think, no wait, I think it’s my writing. It’s either mine or Ben’s.

DH: Okay

HM: Do you have Ben’s handwriting?

DH: I can show you I have one section of the notes that he recalled was his handwriting, if you like and I can ask you if that…

HM: This looks like Ben’s writing up here.

DH: Okay and now you are looking at the other side of the half sheet…

HM: This looks like my writing here…

DH: Okay, the other side of the half sheet, which is a description of four briefing board panels… and when you said it looked like Ben’s writing you were pointing at the, that penciled panel one, panel two, panel three, panel four…

HM: Yeah…

DH: Ben identified for us right below that the printing, print number frame number…These two marks here are the only two that he thought were his writing. Right here and here, underneath the column labeled Panel One.

HM: This is…this looks like Ben’s writing to what I, and this looks like my writing.

DH: And your writing it would be at the bottom of the half page where it talks about time between shots.

HM: I’m not sure about this. This looks like mine and this looks like…

DH: So the ah….Just for the records, the descriptions of the time it took to make internegatives and prints are Mr. McMahon’s writing.

HM: This is not my writing.

DH: Okay, Mr. McMahon is now looking at the page of – the top half says at 18 frames per second, the bottom half at sixteen frames per second and he has just said that…

HM: This is not my writing.

DH:…that is not his writing.

HM: This is not my writing. That might have been Ben Hunter’s.

DH: This next page that is not Mr. McMahon’s writing is a page which on the uppe right hand corner which reads: “Questions from the 8mm film, how do they know exact frames of first and second shot, queston.”

HM: Okay, we didn’t have…we were told what they thought they were, and this is what we we were told they thought they were, and this is what we concluded they were, and this is what we set the photography to…that’s the best I can do…

JG: Do you remember when you prepared the notes that you just looked at?

HM: Yeah, we were in the briefing room, in Building 213 in the Navy Yard, and it was, we were viewing it there because of the equipment.

JG: So that these were made on the day that you processed…?

HM: Yes, this was when we…these are fairly accurate timing shots, time, the way that it could be timed…The 16 frames per second, I don’t know whether I agree on the 18…This might have been …frames pers second. This might have been a further analysis.

JG: Do you know if somebody else comparing the other notes that you don’t recognize at the time or was there a…later…you have any idea…?

HM: They conformed, my best recollection, to what we wrote on that’s all I know…I don’t know why I remembered that.

DH: You mean the yellow legal size paper?

HM: Yea.

DH: Okay, we would like to show you four briefing board panels that survived to see if you recognize the prints.

DH: Let me off The Record While we figure out how to move the briefing board in.
Back on Record:

DH: Okay back on the record and from the same ….90-A. We are looking at the Riff which reads as follows: Document is 90 – A RIF# 1993.07.21 15:48:04.930600 This is titled, quote:
Briefing Panels containing Zapruder Photos of Kennedy’s Assassination enquote
Dated 11, 23, 1963. I am handing Mr. McMahon Panel one of four for his examination.

HM: They’ve been trimmed out, but that’s what we shot.

DH: You say it’s been trimmed?

HM: Yes.

DH: But you recognize it as prints you have made?

HM: Yes. To the best of my knowledge.

DH: We’ll show you the four panels, and ask you if you recognize – the same question for each. This is labeled Panel 2.

HM: Yes.

DH: You also recognize these, for the record, as photographs, prints that you made. If at any time you see something that is not prints you made, please say so. This is Panel 3.

HM: There’s some missing.

DH: This is the final panel, Panel 4.

HM: Yes. I did all those.

DH: Okay. Now that you’ve seen all four panels do you feel like this represents all of the views that you created or do you still feel there is some missing?

HM: No, there are some more…

DH: The notes say, 28, you said earlier there were between 20 and 40.

HM: As a matter of interest I might point out that in the working notes on the page labeled “Briefing Panel,” it lists 28 different prints. A total of 28, and earlier you had said that it was somewhere between 20 and 40.

HM: Yes.

DH: And your opinion now is that you still think some that you made are not present?

HM: Yes, I think there’s some missing.

DH: I know it’s a long time ago…

HM: No I’m not….(ha ha)

DH: …Do you recall the image content that might be missing what it might have showed?

HM: You mention they went behind the sign and came out again. I don’t think they had all that sequence there…And then there was one of the FBI agent jumping up,…not the FBI, the body guard, jumping on the back…and then there was one where his head fell down on her lap – so I don’t see that.

DH: When you say his head you mean the president?

HM: The President’s head – after the one that you showed, the last brefing board that you showed, not this one.

DH: Yes.

HM: Then again that might have been not used.

DH: Here’s the last one, Panel 4, and the last print on the board shows Secret Service Agent Clint Hill on the rear of the limousine, it’s the only frame that shows him.

HM: I think there ultimately were two agents no the back of the limousine, but that was after the barn door was…has since closed at that point…maybe that was there…

DH: Let’s look at Panel 1…Panel one shows the limousine half behind this road sign and there are several road sign shots. At the end of Panel one the car is coming form behind the road sign. Does this sequence look like it represents…?

HM: Yes, that looks fairly en…tire…but I think there were more before the road sign, before…

DH: This frame or the frame…

HM: ….maybe they determined that….

DH: This first frame on Panel 1 – although it is not labeled on the panel, in the working notes it’s labeled “this frame 188.” It’s your recollection that there may have been other frames prior to 188?

HM: Yes… where there was some action of some sort.

DH: I’d like to clarify for the record. I think we’ve covered it already but just for the sake of those who listen to thist tape later…Did you see the actual briefing boards that night?

HM: No. I saw the pictures, the actual pictures. I made the pictures, and I made three each of everything.

DH: Okay, and did you give them to Mr. Smith when you were finished or do you recall?

HM: I know that Ben Hunter, and if it was – Smith, or whoever he was (ha ha), took them and had the briefing boards made upstairs, and I might have gone up but then I didn’t stay to, ah, to see the finished product, or they had to take – make what they call headliners and text and they might have put classifications on them, I think there was a classification that had to be put on, but I’m not positive.

DH: Do you…In relation to the discussions that were held that night by the workers, between yourself and Mr. Smith and Mr. Hunter, do you have any opinion on what these triangles might mean on the briefing boards, Panel one there’s a red triangle, on the first row, on the second row there’s a blue triangle, there’s a blue triangle on the second row on Panel 2?

HM: I haven’t the faintest idea.

DH: Okay…Okay…Do you recall what happened to the internegatives?

HM: Yeah, they were given…all of the information, including the scraps, were given to Bill Smith. (ha ha). Everything we did, including scraps, waste, test sheets, was all given back and nothing, no parts were saved, we didn’t even put it in the classified trash, we gave the trash back.

DH: Okay. Is there anything about this event that we have not covered yet, that we should cover? Anything that comes to mind that we have been discussing now and go…that maybe there’s something important that we feel should be covered that we haven’t asked you about?

HM: Yes. You know what opinions are? Opinions, everybody has an opinion, and yes, I am very opinionated, and I have a lot of opinions, we all have opinions, and I’d just as soon not…I was trying to reflect, this is for history,…and I don’t want to interject anything into this that shouldn’t be. I’m trying to be as open and honest, and telling what I remember, and I don’t have good remembrance. I’m almost 70 years old, I’m almost 80 years old, I’m almost 90 years old, I don’t know, but that’s the best of my knowledge.

DH: Okay,…Welll, I want to thank you very much for your time, and I’m sorry, Michelle, before I close, is there anything you wanted to ask? You’ve been taking notes here today.

K. Michelle Combs: I have one very quick question. Who called you in?

HM: I was not contacted.

MC: Were you in the building…or did you come in?

HM: Okay, I think that I was, okay when I’m contacted from home, it’s by a security officer,

MC: Or by the duty officer?

HM: A duty officer, because they probably had to open the lab, turn on the electricity, lights, and I know it was an all night affair

MC: Do you think the duty officer called your house?

HM: I’m pretty sure it was recorded somewhere in the security, and the opening of the vault would be recorded – if they kept those records.

HM: These had deteriated rather badly. There’s dye, tremendous dye loss…you could see the pictures, the faces and everything else much clearer when I originally made them, so there’s been a tremendous loss of image and quality. You’ve lost about 60% of the…magenta resin core coupler, and about 80 percent of the yellow resin core, and maybe 10 percent of the cyan… so there’s a lot of information that’s not there. That was a problem with the old resin core couplers, they were not stable, buffing solutions couldn’t stabilize the dies for 35 years.

DH: Thank you very much for sharing your recollections and opinions with us. There have been many things about these notes that were actually either not understood or I think misunderstood by many people, including myself. This has been very helpful for the record. Thank you very much.

HM: Okay.

DH: We’re back on the record. This is Doug Horne with Mr. McMahon and I just found one more photographic print, it’s separate from the briefing boards, it looks to me like its eight by ten or very close to eight by ten. It’s bigger than the photos on the briefing boards. It’s Document ID # 1993.07.22.08:33:27:250600 Dated 11-23-63. It’s an eight by ten color print of a frame from the Zapruder film, in between the road sign and the head shot, and on the back there’s a color crayon marking 80X. I’d like to ask Mr. McMahon to explain what this is?

HM: This was made from the 40X internegative and it was a 2X enlargement done on a DeVere, not a precision enlarger, and it shows…I’m not sure in the sequence where it is…but it was made to show what the enlargement would look like compared – The contact print was of a better quality. Because we didn’t have a 2X briefing board enlarger set up to do it. We had to do it on a cheaper Italian DeVere enlarger…If we put on our briefing board enlarger with the liquid gate, we could have gotten equal quality to resolution and sharpness, but it wasn’t available for some reason, so we couldn’t use that equipment and we had to use a lesser, and they would rather go – it was big enough and they wpi;d rather go with the sharpness and the resolution so that….There was too much loss.

DH: Too much loss with reproducing the image in the manner it is in this one print…

HM: Well it was not a liquid gate, it was a 2X conventional enlarger.

DH: Okay, from the internegative…

HM: Okay….from the original 40x interneg, so we elected not to go that way.

DH: So this would have been made a test prior to the prints made for the briefing board, perhaps?

HM: Well we made a contact print, and we made a 2X enlargement.

DH: I see, I see…

HM: And the contact print was far better in quality…

DH: Okay.

HM: But it wouldn’t have been if we had one of the briefing board enlargers to make the 2X.

DH:I see. But you didn’t?

HM: It was, for some reason, it was down, it wasn’t operative.

DH: So this 80X on the back it looks like colored pencil. Is that your writing?

HM: Yes. that’s my writing.

DH: Okay, and there’s a number in the corner, a blue number. It’s either a nine or a six upside down. I think it’s a nine, looks like a nine, do you recognize that number?

HM: It looks like a nine…do you recognize that number…?

Tape Ends….

Over at 1:41:19

[Bill Kelly Notes: Many thanks to Jones Harris for calling attention to the signifiance of this interview, Peter Janney for providing the recording and Jerry Ellis for correcting and filling in the gaps in the transcript.]