JFK ASSASSINATION ARGUMENTS
A CONSPIRACY THEORIST WROTE THIS TO ME:
"DETAIL IN ZAPRUDER FILM UNNOTICED FOR 43 YEARS: Flying Skull
Fragment, Clearly Seen; Reflected in Trunk Lid. ....
The "Harper Fragment"...of skull bone is visible in the
Zapruder film. It becomes visible in frame 313 and flies through the
air before going out of view around frame 337. ....
In frame 313, we see an odd curiosity known to researchers as
the "white spot", or "white blob". .... It looks to be a foot or two
in front of the windshield. It is an elongated oval shape and blurred.
It is not visible in frame 312, although it could be to the right, or
ahead of Zapruder's aim. ....
[An "LOL Break" is required at this point.]
It is a skull fragment flying and spinning through the air,
not, as Dr. David Mantik suggests, a sloppily painted-in object. In
frame 314, the object is just above the windshield, still blurred, and
more of a square shape in this frame. It looks like what it has been
called for more than four decades: "...something in the grass...";
[or] "a spot in the grass.".
In frame 315, the object has moved the same relative distance
that every other object on the screen has moved, allowing for
Zapruder's natural movements. The "white spot" is just above driver
Greer's head. A little less blurred than frames 313 and 314, but now
starting to show a motion all its own. ....
Frame 318. Zapruder's big move. .... In 318, the entire frame
blurs. .... The skull fragment blurs to exactly the same extent all
the other objects in the frame do. This blurred motion, from
Zapruder's movement, verifies the unchanged authenticity of the film
itself; at least in these critical frames. As far as this part of the
film, I see no discrepancies in the continuity of motion. And that
continuity is verified by Zapruder's jump. ....
Frame 326. Jackie's hand and arm are now a bit more in view
(she is just beginning to reach out). The fragment, being propelled
through the air, is disk-like and spinning. A slight change of angle
Frame 327. That white object...is a piece of the President's
skull, blown off by his assassin. We have traced its flight through
the air. In frame 327, it is undoubtedly being reflected in the trunk
lid of the car. .... In frame 327, the triangular shape of the skull
fragment is plainly visible. And because it is moving through the air,
not lying in the grass, its reflection can be seen in the trunk lid.
It is impossible for an object lying in the grass to be
reflected in the trunk lid of the car. I'll say it again. It is
impossible for an object lying in the grass to be reflected in the
trunk lid of the car.
Frame 328. Our second frame where the reflection is clearly
visible. .... The car is moving under the fragment. The fragment is
winging its way toward the center lawn area where it will somehow be
overlooked by investigators and bystanders for more than sixteen
Frame 329. Another frame forward, another reflection. This one
intersecting with the antenna on the rear deck of the car and possibly
the most important frame as far as reflection goes. There is a slight
distortion in the reflection itself. Not the fragment, but the
reflection. This proves the skull fragment to be above and slightlyedit
south of the car. This is only possible because the fragment is flying
through the air. If it were on the lawn, we would not see a
Frame 332. A white smear barely in front of the motorcycle
windscreen of Bobby Hargis. Hargis stated he was hit with bone, blood,
and brain matter, as a result of the shooting.
Frame 333. Just past Hargis's windscreen. Did the fragment hit
the edge of the windscreen? In the sprocket area, agent Hill can be
seen running toward the car. ....
To summarize -- It is patently impossible for an object lying
on the grass to be reflected in the trunk lid of the car. Whatever
that white spot is, it is flying through the air! Even if you choose
to believe it is a tissue paper that just happened to float by at this
instant, it is not on the lawn, it is not stationary.
The object is a large piece of the President's skull. It is far
too coincidental that it appears at the same instant as the fatal head
shot, frame 313. Watching the film at regular speed, you see the
fragment flying and spinning through the air. In frames 320-326, it
elevates a bit, showing the same flight properties of a mostly-flat,
slightly-cupped, triangular-shaped object.
What is the significance of this? A piece of JFK's head flying
out the back of the car.
[DVP interjection at this point --- HUH?? The skull fragment is
supposedly flying out the BACK of the car, and yet it is first visible
many feet to the FRONT of the car at Z313?? Reprise: Huh???? And
Eyewitnesses have mentioned "debris" flying from the
president's head; indeed, Jackie was probably trying to retrieve a
Ike Altgens told the Warren Commission he saw debris flying out
the "right side of the car". It was noticed; but until now, not
identified in the Zapruder film, and I have only been able to do so
because of the reflection. I would like to reiterate the fact that
something lying in the grass cannot be reflected in the trunk lid.
Does this change the parameters of information on the
assassination? I would like to think so. First off, it is a very good
indication of the veracity of the Zapruder film itself. This is
probably the most important fact of my finding and something that can
be incorporated into works that entail other aspects of the
Over the years, the Zapruder film has been attacked as
falsified in many ways; actually I have my own problems with it. But
for these 24 very important frames I have analyzed, I offer my
expertise as a video technician, photographer, and editor.
Those twenty-four frames, the first full second after the fatal
head shot, are real. No alteration. No missing frames. No within-frame
changes; at least not any that pertain to the flight of the skull
Actually, the flight of the fragment proves there are no frames
missing between 313 and 337. The continuity of motion remains perfect
if one tracks the flight of the skull fragment. In a sense we are
fortunate the fragment is there. In my opinion the Zapruder film is
intact and unaltered for this full second, perhaps the most important
second, immediately following the fatal head shot.
What has been altered, we now know, were the frames initially
published in Life magazine. How altered? The "white spot", the flying
skull fragment, was removed from the frames. Maybe the photo editors
speculated that it could well be a skull fragment. Very gory; and may
have given rise, just days after the assassination, to a more detailed
public discussion of the direction of shots. For whatever reasons, the
actions of the Life editors gave rise to speculation and a resulting
spread of misinformation.
The fragment itself. It is almost undoubtedly the "Harper
Fragment", or a larger piece which contained the Harper Fragment.
The angle, direction, and origin of the shots. The fragment is
blown forward in frame 313. Those in the research community who
ascribe to shots from behind will put this forth as proof. I'm not
sure it is, I can offer only video expertise, not gunshot, bullet,
trajectory or anatomy expertise.
But the fragment doesn't just fly forward; it floats backward.
My eye tells me that is because it is spinning. .... So the force of a
bullet hitting from behind was not absolute, and did not send the
fragment forward, at a distance, into the street. Perhaps a shot from
behind was mitigated by another shot. Or the flight of the fragment
was caused by the physical reaction of the president.
Shots from behind would not necessarily indicate the blasting
of skull pieces forward. Those in the research community who endorse
the idea of frangible bullets being used may find evidence here. Those
who've put forth "jet effect" theories may find evidence here, or a
new contradiction of evidence. Multiple shots, hitting simultaneously,
should also be considered.
Previously I mentioned my problems with the Zapruder film and I
would like to address them now. Bear in mind these observations are
based on visual evidence, and I have not examined the film itself, or
attempted any measurements of any kind.
Point one. There is no leader on the film. We won't know
exactly when Zapruder started rolling unless the leader can be found
and proven to fit with what we now know as frame one. Even if Zapruder
started rolling only, say, four frames earlier, those frames could be
Point two. The "splice", at frame 207. It's not a splice at
all, it's a tear; and it accounts for at least a frame-and-a-half
lost, forever it seems. It points at least to carelessness in the
handling of the film, if not an outright change designed to hide
In my opinion, this break at frame 207 is deliberate, and meant
to hide something. If a bullet hits the freeway sign at that frame, a
lone-gunman theory is rendered impossible.
Point three. The real frame 313. If frame 313 can be proven to
be frame 313, that would be nice. The problem is, too much is
happening in that one frame. Kennedy has moved slightly forward. And
the reasons for that are as numerous as writers on the assassination.
The spray of blood is quite large and one cannot altogether
rule out alteration and/or a missing frame. Or two frames combined,
one laid over the other. This would hide evidence, though not disturb
the continuity of motion.
There is not, however, a problem with the continuity of motion
from 313 forward. That leads me to believe a frame before what we know
as 313 may have been removed or combined. This does lead to a huge
discussion of any alteration occurring.
The two parameters of this issue are this: The film remained, except
for a break as a result of being dropped, intact from November 22, 1963,
to the present.
The other side of that coin is the fact that the film was successfully
held from public viewing for a good twelve years. And during that time,
the technology certainly existed for a wholesale re-figuring of the film.
I would defer to David Wrone as to the 'why' and 'why nots' of these
scenarios, and I agree with his school of thought on the possession
and possibility of any changes.
In reference to the Costella/White/Mantik school of thought, I
would say this. Raising the possibility that changes may have been
made to the film is a good thing. We may someday see, through advances
in technology, that indeed some change may have occurred and should
those missing frames (at 207+) ever turn up, we will rely on the
latest technology to restore them. But the "faked" school of
researchers have been mitigated, partly by proofs set forth by others,
and certainly due to the outrageousness of their claims. ....
I agree with those who say the film survived largely intact;
yet, we cannot ignore the missing frames at 207+. I would hold open
the possibility that it has been further altered in some way. It would
little change the way the film has been perceived so far.
In my opinion this is what you are seeing: A nearly unsuccessful
assassination attempt. The goal of the assassins was not to have the
president driving down the street clutching at his throat for five or
six seconds. The first shot did not find its mark. Maybe that is what
umbrella man is doing; signaling the back-up team, as he realizes
the president was not squarely hit.
The most damning thing I see in the film [is] the inaction of
the Secret Service. Slowly gazing back at the book depository. And
notice this in the famed Altgens photograph: the two agents on the
running board, looking back at the depository, are not looking up!
They are looking straight. Straight at Lee Harvey Oswald! Yes, it is
Oswald on the front steps of the depository. The match is the shirt,
another aspect of the assassination covered effectively in Wrone's
[Additional LOL needed here.]
Summing up. .... It is a fact that a portion of JFK's head was
ejected at frame 313 and flew through the air before landing on the
lawn. I'll say it for about the tenth time: something lying on the
lawn cannot be reflected in the trunk lid. ....
I'm not sure my finding will actually change the way anybody
looks at the assassination. I think the "acted alone" school and the
"vast conspiracy" people will continue with their set views. But it is
imperative that all the facts come out. It is obvious that the more
facts, the better, for all researchers and all those wanting knowledge
of the assassination.
[Quoting Beverly Oliver:] "The whole back of his head went
flying out the back of the car." .... Have a look at frames 327 and
328. The back of the President's head. Flying out the back of the car.
Reflected in the trunk lid."
(Copyright: Frank Caramelli Jr. 2007)
(Re-printed here with the author's permission.)
DAVID VON PEIN RESPONDED:
Thanks for the lengthy e-mail and the "White Spot" report.
The ending paragraph of your article, of course, is coming from a
woman (Beverly Oliver) who didn't come forward for SEVEN YEARS to tell
her tale about what she supposedly saw. There's not a speck of
definitive proof that Beverly Oliver is "Babushka Lady".
Plus, the above statement by Oliver would seem to contradict your own
theory about the so-called skull fragment which begins to be visible
in Frame 313 of the Zapruder Film....i.e., Oliver is saying that the
back of the President's head went flying out the BACK of the
car....but you're pretty much saying just the opposite, i.e., the
Harper fragment is flying out the FRONT of the car at the critical
impact point at Z313.
To be perfectly blunt and truthful with you, your whole theory about
the "white blob" is patently absurd from various points-of-view. And
here's why, IMO:
#1.) Per your theory of the white spot being the "Harper Fragment"
from Kennedy's head....WHY does this skull fragment STAY THE EXACT
SAME HEIGHT ABOVE THE CAR (from Zapruder's POV) during the entire time
it is visible on the Z-Film?
Didn't a thing called GRAVITY exist for those few Z-Film frames from
Z313 through approx. Z330? How is it physically POSSIBLE for that
"skull" piece to remain the exact same physical distance above the
limo from Mr. Zapruder's point-of-view if that fragment is actually in
mid-air and subject to the natural forces and laws of gravity?
When watching a stabilized version of the Zapruder Film, like the one
above, and when focusing your attention only on the "white blob" while
watching the key Z-Film frames in question, you can see that the
"white spot/blob" NEVER FALLS (OR RISES), from Zapruder's vantage
point. How is this possible if the "object" is in mid-air?
And I've also checked a non-stabilized version of the film as well
(the 1998 MPI Home Video digital version of the film on DVD)....and in
the MPI version, it's even MORE obvious to me that Zapruder is filming
a scrap of white paper that is lying on the south side of Elm Street.
Also -- Per your theory of the white spot actually being a piece of
JFK's head, are we to believe that a piece of his skull could have
made it out to the front part of the limo AS THE BULLET HIT HIM
IN THE HEAD?
At the EXACT same frame Kennedy is being hit (Z313), you're contending
that a piece of skull has been blown FORWARD several yards....at the
EXACT INSTANT OF IMPACT. I'd say that is another impossibility (or, at
the very least, highly improbable).
#2.) Are we to also believe that this skull fragment is being
propelled forward at tremendous speed at precisely Z-Frame #313 (which
you are obviously advocating, since you think the skull piece is many
feet FORWARD of Kennedy's head at the exact impact frame of
Z313)...but then, after Z313, it suddenly COMPLETELY STOPS that
tremendous forward and UPWARD motion that it obtained between frame
312 and the impact frame of 313, and then it seems to travel BACKWARD
toward the rear of the car.*
* = It's either that explanation, or you must be advocating that the
object, after moving forward very fast at 313, simply stopped ALL
motion altogether (including its UPWARD motion, because it never gets
any HIGHER from Zapruder's viewpoint either), and this fragment was
then hanging in mid-air for several Z-Film frames, and is moving from
right-to-left (from Mr. Z's POV) only due to Zapruder's panning rate
of his camera. Just crazy, IMO.
Also -- Incredibly, you even seem to be suggesting that the piece of
Kennedy's skull could have actually been hanging in mid-air as early
as Z312, which was PRIOR to the President's head exploding at Z313.
You suggested that very thing when you said this in your article --
"It is not visible in frame 312, although it could be to the right, or
ahead of Zapruder's aim."
How on Earth could a piece of JFK's skull be hanging in the air (many
feet to the FRONT of the limousine) 1/18th of a second BEFORE the
President was visibly struck in the head by a bullet? This makes no
logical sense whatsoever.
#3.) The "reflection" theory is new to me. And it is interesting, I'll
admit. But I don't think that it can be proven that the reflection in
the trunk lid is positively coming from an object hanging in mid-air
at that precise point on the film.
Frankly, I don't know what the "reflection" is that can be seen on the
trunk of the limousine. I'd have to do a little more studying on the
subjects of: "The way shadows fall" and "How things will reflect on
metal surfaces on bright sunny days when the sun is in XX position in
the sky", etc. I'll admit, I'm no expert on those kinds of things.
But from the preponderance of evidence that is telling me that the
"white blob" is nothing more than a piece of loose scrap paper on the
south side of Elm Street (see #4 below), I'd be willing to bet some
serious cash that whatever that "reflection" is on the limo's
trunk...it is NOT being caused by a piece of John F. Kennedy's head
which is hanging in mid-air over Dealey Plaza.
Two thoughts I have on the reflection (which are only sheer guesses, I
will fully admit) -- I'm thinking it could possibly be a reflection
from Mrs. Kennedy's white glove on her right hand. But even more
likely (IMO), it could conceivably be a reflection (or glare) from a
portion of the windscreen/windshield on Officer Hargis' motorcycle,
which is heavily reflecting the sunlight, as we can easily see in this
Zapruder Film frame (Z328):
I'll again readily confess that these are only guesses on my
part....and I'll again stress my lack of "official" knowledge
regarding "sunlight reflections", etc.
And I'll also admit that my theory re. Hargis' windscreen would be
totally invalid and shot down in flames if I were to learn that it's
impossible for something to be reflected in the OPPOSITE direction
from which that same object would leave its shadow on the ground;
i.e., Hargis' SHADOW would be falling on the ground in the opposite
direction--to his rear--than would the "reflection" that appears on
the trunk--which is to the FRONT--if my Hargis theory were true. So,
I'm just not sure what to make of the "reflection theory".
#4.) There are photos taken of the south lawn of Elm Street shortly
after the shooting which show a white piece of paper lying on the
grass in the approximate place where the "white blob" would equate to
via the Z-Film.
In the picture above (taken by Richard Bothun), a piece of white paper
of some kind is easily visible on the south side of Elm Street. Some
people have speculated that the paper could very well be a torn-off
portion of one of Mary Moorman's Polaroid photographs that she took
on November 22nd.
Moorman did take one picture of the lead motorcycles coming down the
street prior to the President's car making its appearance on Elm Street.
That piece of paper could be the discarded "backing" from that earlier
And then there's also the photograph above (snapped by Frank Cancellare),
wherein I can see what appears to be a white piece of paper located just
behind the left leg of eyewitness Charles Brehm. And the white paper in
that picture looks to be about the same size of the "spot/blob" seen in
the Zapruder Film, and it is resting in about the same general location
as depicted in the Z-Film as well. [Larger Image.]
So, there's certainly some after-the-assassination photographic
evidence that suggests that the "white spot" that is seen in Abraham
Zapruder's famous home movie could very well be (and probably is)
merely a piece of paper on the south lawn of Elm Street.
BTW, as a sidebar note, the Harper Fragment is almost assuredly NOT
"occipital bone" from the REAR of Kennedy's head. It's very likely
parietal bone from the right-front-top portion of JFK's cranium,
perfectly consistent with the "LN/LHO" scenario.
Here's a portion of what Vince Bugliosi had to say with respect to the
Harper Fragment in his JFK book:
"Dr. [J. Lawrence] Angel...declared the Harper fragment to be "clearly parietal bone" that had come from "roughly the middle of the right parietal" area (i.e., above the right ear)." -- Vincent T. Bugliosi; Pages 236 and 237 of Endnotes in "Reclaiming History" (c.2007)
And as far as your personal thoughts about the Zapruder Film having
possibly been "altered in some way", I will just say this --- If the
Zapruder Film was "altered" or "faked" in some manner by one or more
persons who had the desire to cover up a multi-gun conspiracy in JFK's
murder, I'd then logically ask: Why in the world didn't these film-
fakers remove the #1 thing that spells out "CONSPIRACY" to most
Americans even to this day....with that #1 thing being the HEAD SNAP
TO THE REAR?
It makes no sense to me to even BEGIN believing in some kind of crazy
"Z-Film Hoax" or "Z-Film Alteration" theory until we can figure out
what kind of film-altering morons would have been in charge of
altering the film and then (after the supposedly-conspiracy-removing
alterations were complete) the head snap to the rear STILL REMAINS
INTACT in the final version of the film which was faked or altered by
those always-unknown and always-unnamed conspirators.
That's just plain nuts. There's no skirting around that fact.
And then there's your belief that Lee Oswald was on the steps of the
TSBD (and was photographed by James Altgens). Well, Frank, that theory
was forever debunked just a few short months after the assassination,
on April 7, 1964, when Billy Lovelady drew an arrow on the Altgens
photo to the person you claim is Oswald in the Depository doorway,
with Lovelady telling the Warren Commission that it was he, himself
(Billy N. Lovelady), on the steps. [See Commission Exhibit 369.]
Do you really believe Lovelady was lying when he said it was him (and
not Oswald) standing there on those steps at 12:30 PM on November
To believe that Lovelady was lying or that he was coerced by the
Government into saying it was him and not Oswald on the steps is to
believe in something quite extraordinary and, frankly, pretty stupid-
[EDIT: There is also Lovelady's original 11/22/63 affidavit that was written by Lovelady himself within hours of the assassination, wherein Lovelady says that he watched the motorcade while "standing on the steps in front of the building where I work". And that affidavit was written by Mr. Lovelady long before the "Doorway Man" controversy had ever surfaced.]
Also: Any idea WHY Lee Oswald didn't use his perfect "I WAS ON THE
DEPOSITORY STEPS" alibi after he was arrested? Per your beliefs, LHO
was, indeed, standing in the doorway, but instead of using that as his
TRUTHFUL alibi, he decides he'll tell a lie to the police about having
been INSIDE the building (eating lunch with "Junior") at the time JFK
Now THAT'S really crazy, Frank. Was Oswald trying to frame HIMSELF?
In the final analysis, even if your theory about the "white spot"
being a skull fragment is 100% correct, it does absolutely no harm
whatsoever to the "Lone Gunman" scenario put forth by the Warren
Because your theory has a piece of the President's skull travelling
very rapidly FORWARD toward the front of the limousine at the moment
of the fatal shot....which is perfectly consistent with a bullet
hitting JFK in the head as a result of a gunshot coming from Lee
Harvey Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. And that rifle and that man
named Oswald were located in the Texas School Book Depository, to the
REAR of President Kennedy, at the time JFK was killed.
So your theory about the "white spot" in Mr. Zapruder's film really
amounts to a lot of talk and theorizing about....nothing.
David R. Von Pein
LINK TO ORIGINAL POST (NOVEMBER 9, 2007)
Posted By: David Von Pein