(PART 940)



Has Pamela [Brown] refuted the lapel flip?

Actually, I think it's quite possible she has.

I paid little attention to her article on [the] SBT when it appeared [see the link below], as it's a pretty typical CT rant on that subject:


But, lo and behold, there is a little nugget of research buried within it that casts serious doubt on the legitimacy of the "lapel flip," advanced by Robert Piziali and publicized by Gerald Posner (and endorsed by me for the past decade or so).

Pamela posted an animated GIF of Z223-226 [the one below] that appears to show that the lapel flip was no such thing, but rather a shadow. It looks awfully compelling to me.

Comments, anyone?



Yes, I can comment explicitly.

Firstly, Posner has nothing to do with this other than in supporting his own importance. He was very adept at taking credit for things which were observed/investigated/postulated by others without proper attribution.

I had numerous discussions with John Lattimer about this, and in fact have done some photo work on this myself which is on another computer, but which I have posted to this newsgroup [alt.assassination.jfk].

Rather than a "lapel flip", the correct term might be "suit jacket bulge." It's unclear as to whether the lapel actually "flipped." In discussions with Lattimer, he himself was undecided on this issue. My personal opinion is, and always was, that indeed it didn't. I have used the term lapel flip to describe this action however.

In fact, Piziali is a Johnny come lately. As our moderator Prof. McAdams can attest, the most unlikely of candidates, Cyril Wecht, was the first "official" proponent of this idea.

But "somebody" actually beat him to it.

I can assure you, it is no "shadow" and I go into this in great detail in my book.


I think Governor Connally's lapel is moving. It's not just a shadow (as some people have theorized).

Although, due to the apparent movement of that same part of Connally's jacket at a point which I believe was PRIOR to the bullet passing through the body of John B. Connally [JBC], I've revised my thinking on the "lapel flip" over the years.

I now feel it's quite possible that a combination of the wind (which was gusty that day) and Oswald's CE399 bullet are causing the movement of Connally's lapel that we see in the Zapruder Film.

Something appears to be happening with the right side of Connally's suit coat in this Z222-Z223 toggling clip:

And then we get the bigger "bulging out" (for lack of a better term) of that same area of Connally's jacket at the precise instant when I think the bullet is striking Connally (at Z224). There is no way this is only a shadow, IMO [click to enlarge]:

In the final analysis, the "lapel flip" or "jacket bulge" is probably the LEAST compelling evidence on the Z-Film that proves the SBT is occurring at precisely Z224. There are multiple other indicators that show JBC is "reacting" to an external stimulus just after Z224, e.g.:

JBC opens his mouth at Z225 (his mouth is closed at Z224), and a startled (or pained) look comes over his face; his shoulders "hunch" up, or flinch, starting at exactly Z225.

This "hunching" is extremely important, IMO, because it's showing us an involuntary reaction on the part of the Governor. So we don't need to depend only on the CLOTHING (the lapel) of Connally to prove the Single-Bullet Theory. Connally's OWN BODY is telling us that the bullet has just pierced him. Just look:

Here's another clip showing the very noticeable (but often overlooked) "hunching" of Connally's shoulders and the distressed look that crosses his face at Z225:

And then there's also the very important "hat flip" of JBC's, which begins just an instant later, at Z226:

And I challenge anyone to look at the Zapruder Film clip presented below a few times in a row and arrive at the following conclusion ---- There's NO WAY that President Kennedy and Governor Connally were struck by the same bullet! No way!

Anyone who could utter the above words after watching that Z-Film clip must either be blind or closely related to Oliver Stone.


That is just silly. There is no 'bulging' of the jacket. Has it occurred to you that there may have been a shadow from more than one source? Probably not.


The bulging jacket is obvious.


No it is not. It is a speculation imposed on us by Posner. It does not take into account the fact that there are much more reasonable explanations. The idea falls prey to the fallacy of false alternatives.


The fact that you believe ANY of this was "Posner's" idea shows me that you really haven't done your homework.



I don't know if this has been mentioned before or not (it probably has), but it looks to me as though there is ALREADY A SHADOW covering portions of John Connally's shirt and tie even BEFORE his jacket bulges outward at Z224. You can easily see the varying degrees of "white" on Connally's shirt in these Zapruder clips:


Yes, the lower part of Connally's torso is in shadow throughout z222-225. But this shadow only causes Connally's shirt to change from bright white to gray. This shadow does not cause the white shirt to look black.

Of course, up to now, my posts have not referred to the obvious horizontal shadow that covers the lower part of Connally's torso, turning his white shirt to gray, but to the alleged vertical 'shadow', matching the shade of Connally's coat perfectly, matching the shape of the (our) right edge of Connally's coat perfectly, giving us the allusion that Connally's coat either moved sideways or, more likely, bulged forward.

This video clip [shown again below] also shows coat movement between z222 and z223. As to be expected. Dr. Lattimer's experiments in the 1990s showed the coat bulge should take place a tenth of a second after the bullet passes through the coat. So the bullet did not strike at z224 nor z223 but at z222. This is also consistent with the camera jiggle at z227.

With the bullet striking at z222, it is to be expected to see some coat movement during z222-223, as well as z223-224, as well as a camera jiggle at either z227 or z228, just as the bullet at z312 caused a camera jiggle at z318.


So then, per your explanation, Joe, the bullet strikes at Z222, with the right side of Governor Connally's jacket then RETURNING to its "unbulged" condition at Z223, which was 1/18th of a second AFTER the bullet has gone through the coat.

And then, with the coat now seemingly in a FLAT or "not bulged out" state at Z223, the jacket then makes its huge "bulge" between Z223 and Z224.

Sorry, I can't buy into a Z222 SBT bullet strike. In my opinion, the bullet is going through Connally's torso (and his jacket) at exactly Z224. I'll have to assume the gusty wind blowing through Dealey Plaza at that time (coming from the north or northwest, I believe) is causing any jacket movement that we see in the Zapruder Film prior to Z224.

Question for Joe Elliott:

Why didn't Connally's jacket continue to bulge outward from the force of the bullet between Z222 and Z223? Instead, the coat seems to fall back down into place again, making the right side of Connally's shirt more visible in Z223.


Actually, coat movement during z222-223 is something I heard about, possibly from CTers who argued the z222-223 movement proves the coat movement could have nothing to do with a bullet at z224 nor z223.

But looking closely...I can't say I see much difference between z222 and z223. The main difference is that z222 is more blurry than z223. I think that z222 is so blurry, I can't tell if during z222-223 the coat started to bulge outward, became flatter, or didn't move at all. More white is visible to (our) left of Connally's tie, all right, but could this be caused by z222 being blurry?

I leave it to others to decide if the difference between z222 and z223 is clearly caused by coat movement, or if z222 is too blurry for us to tell.

What is apparent is the coat did move during z223-224. I can clearly see the white of his shirt to the (our) right of his tie, but not to the left.

Everything fits with the coat movement being caused by a bullet....

* The strong camera jiggle at z227. The bullet at z312 caused a strong camera jiggle at z318. So the camera jiggle at z227 implies a bullet during z220-222.

* Dr. Lattimer's experiments in the mid 1990s, using models of JFK's neck and Connally's torso, caused a coat bulge in 4 out of 5 tests. And the coat bulge, when it did occur, occurred 0.1 seconds after the bullet struck. This corresponds with z222.

* The simultaneous reactions of JFK and Connally during the z220s.

....all support a bullet striking at about z222, causing the coat bulge at z224.

Now, I don't know. Maybe the coat movement was a coincidence. A gust of wind moved coat, by coincidence, at the perfect time. Or less likely, there was no coat movement, a shadow or something, makes it appear the coat moved, by coincidence, at the perfect time. But most likely, it is no coincidence. Too many other things support the apparent coat movement being caused by a bullet.


Question for David Von Pein:

If the bullet struck at z224, why wasn't their a strong camera jiggle at z229?

Why did the camera jiggle happen to occur at z227?


As an aside, on a minor point, it could be argued that the camera jiggle at z227 implies a shot at z221, not at z222. But I would imagine a camera jiggle does not always occur precisely 307 ms [milliseconds] after the sound. It is probably something that may vary a little, even with the same person holding the camera. Also, the bullet strike at z312 occurred right at the end of z312. So the camera jiggle at z318 is more accurately described as occurring 5.75 frames after the bullet struck, not 6.0 frames later.

I think the tests of Dr. Lattimer probably provided us the most accurate measure of when the bullet struck. His tests showed the coat bulge reaches its maximum 100 ms after the bullet strikes. This test does not depend on a person's reaction time, which may vary.


Well, I'll admit, I think we could (perhaps) be over-analyzing this thing to death here. ;)

You and I both know that a single bullet (Commission Exhibit Three-Niner-Niner to be precise) went through both limo victims in the early Z220s. No question about that fact.

As for the "jiggle" analysis -- that type of analysis only gets you a "range" of frames for the actual thing that caused the jiggling of Mr. Z's camera. And Z224 is certainly not a million miles away from your preferred SBT frame of Z222.

In my Internet post linked here, I was making fun of some of the conspiracy theorists at Duncan MacRae's JFK forum, accusing them of "hairsplitting" with regard to Dale Myers' excellent 3D computer animation. But now here I am engaging in some pretty good "hair-splitting" of my own with respect to the SBT's precise timing.

Oh, well. Nobody's perfect, I guess. Not even DVP or Whisky Joe Elliott. (Right, Joe?)



If the jiggle at z227 was caused by a shot at z224, it means Mr. Zapruder sometimes reacted within 170 ms to a loud shot and at another time, the jiggle at z318, it took him 310 to 330 ms to react. This seems to me to be a very wide range. I'm certain a person doesn't always react with a very narrow range of time, like always between 307 ms to 312 ms after a loud noise, but I find it hard to believe the time delay could range from 170 ms to 310 ms.

The camera jiggle at z227 is a strong argument against a shot right at z224. It could be that the jiggle at z227 was not caused by a loud noise, he just happened to jiggle the camera. And, for some reason, the loud shot did not cause him to jiggle the camera at z229 or z230. Possible, but not likely.

Pamela's video gave me the impression that the coat bulge took place over at least two film intervals. But looking at better quality stills, I only see clear coat movement between z223 and z224. I find myself changing my mind a lot on different issues.

Actually, it occurred to me after my last post, the one question I should ask is:

Why do you think that z224 is the frame the bullet struck JFK and Connally?

Why not frames z221, z222, z223 or z225?


225 is certainly too late. JBC is already reacting at 225 (shoulder-hunching & open-mouthed "startle").

Z222 is too early, IMO. No reactions seen on JBC in 223 or 224. And an involuntary reaction, per the HSCA's FPP "would have occurred almost simultaneously with the injuries" (and Connally's initial reaction—open mouth, grimace, shoulders hunching—are most certainly "involuntary", IMO).

Quoting from Volume 7 of the HSCA:

"At issue is the time delay between bullet impact and the observable reactions of each man to his injury, which in turn is determined by many factors, including whether or not their reactions were voluntary or involuntary. If involuntary, they would have occurred almost simultaneously with the injuries." -- 7 HSCA 179

Z224 fits perfectly.


Not with the coat movement it doesn't. The coat cannot move that fast.


Since Connally's coat is not connected to a human brain, and therefore not subject to the same "It's Got To Take XX Number Of Z-Frames To React To A Bullet Hitting It" rules that a human being's body parts must abide by, I disagree with your assessment that JBC's jacket "cannot move that fast".

[EDIT --- I'll also add this point (from a 2009 post)....]

"Some researchers prefer to say that the SBT is occurring at Z221 or Z222 or Z223 (Dale Myers prefers Z223), even though there's not a sign of such a SBT hit VISUALLY on Mr. Zapruder's film until Z224. As for me personally, I always go by this rule (just for clarity and consistency) ----> The Zapruder Film frames that I utilize when discussing the details of when JFK and Governor Connally were struck by bullets in Dealey Plaza are always the frames that equate to when the first SIGNS OF IMPACT upon the victims can be seen in the film (i.e., precisely Z224 and Z313)." -- DVP; July 11, 2009


Connally's coat is not connected to nerves and not subject to the same sort of delayed reaction like muscles are. But it does contain a good deal of mass and inertia and Dr. Lattimer's tests of the mid 1990s show that it does take about two Zapruder frames for a coat to reach its maximum movement.

In the tests by Dr. Lattimer, the coat only moved at 3 MPH, moving about 6 inches in 100 ms, or about 2 Zapruder frames. Something like this is to be expected, since the coat weighs many times as much as the bullet and only a fraction of the original momentum of the bullet gets transferred to the coat.

To push the coat 6 inches within half a Zapruder frame, the coat would need to push the coat at a minimum of 12 MPH. So, if as the shutter opened at z224, by the time the shutter closed, the coat would move 6 inches, resulting in roughly what we see. But the Lattimer tests don't show anything like that.

If a test can be run where, within 25 ms, we get a coat bulge like we see in z224, then one can say the coat bulge at z224 may have been caused by a z224 bullet. But, until such a test is demonstrated, we have to go with Dr. Lattimer's results, which show that maximum coat movement takes place 100 ms after a bullet strike, not 0 ms nor 25 ms later.



I'm just going by what I'm SEEING in the Zapruder Film. And what I am seeing is a portion of Governor Connally's suit coat which appears to be lying FLAT against his chest in Z223 (i.e., the coat/lapel is not in a "bulged out" state at all in Z223), and then we see that the coat has moved significantly (bulging outward) just one frame later, in Z224.

It's fairly obvious to me (when looking at a good-quality copy of the Z-Film clip in question, such as the one below), that Governor Connally's coat/lapel is moving (quite a bit) within the span of just ONE single frame of the Zapruder Film:

So, unless my eyes are deceiving me, then Joe Elliott is wrong when he said this on April 30, 2010:

"The coat cannot move that fast."

Governor Connally's coat DID, however, "move that fast" on 11/22/63, from Z223 to Z224. And, IMO, the above Z-Film clip proves it.


David Von Pein
April/May 2010