(PART 1117)


Later that morning [November 22, 1963], Lee Oswald was observed on the elevator, going upstairs, and passed a witness (and her supervisor) and they both saw him carrying a long package. "What'cha got there?" he was asked. And Lee responded that it was a "fishing pole."


The witnesses who saw Oswald with the longer package (that he explained as "fishing rods") did not make their statements to the FBI, but certainly did talk about it years later. It was first published in 1988 in American History Illustrated. I communicated with the author--Ed Oxford--and found his research and interviews to be quite credible. (But that's a whole other story.)


I've never heard that fairy tale before in my life. Who is the female witness, David? And who's the "supervisor"?

I'd love it if that story could somehow be proven to be true, though, because such a "fishing pole" lie being uttered by Lee Harvey Oswald would be just that much more of a solid indication that the package he was carrying on November 22nd contained his Carcano rifle.

Such a "fishing pole" tale, if true, would mean that Oswald told different lies to different people throughout the day on 11/22/63 -- with Lee telling Buell Wesley Frazier that the package contained "curtain rods", while (allegedly) telling someone else later in the day that the (presumably) very same package had a "fishing pole" in it.

You'd then have to ask yourself this question:

Why didn't Oswald just stick with the same story about curtain rods that he started the day with when he drove to work with Frazier? Because the more nonexistent things he tries to cram into that brown paper package, the more obvious (and provable) his lies become.

But I doubt any such "fishing pole" or "fishing rods" encounter ever happened in the first place, much the same way Robert Groden's bombshell "I Was Giving LHO Change At The Time Of The Assassination When We Heard The Shots" witness, Mrs. Reid, was a hoax too, with that wholly unbelievable story being invented many years later.

Because if that story allegedly told by Mrs. Reid had even a grain of truth in it, we would have heard it coming from the mouth of Lee Oswald himself after his arrest — "Hey, why am I being accused of shooting the President?! I was in the office on the second floor at that time, getting change for the Coke machine! Just ask Mrs. Reid. She was right there with me!" (Oswald, of course, never said anything of the kind to the police after he was arrested.)



I'm not going to go further at this point in time. But the witness(es) exist and--from your post--you clearly understand the implications.


Well, then, what are the names of those two TSBD witnesses, David? I asked, but you failed to answer me. Or didn't Ed Oxford mention their names in his 1988 American History Illustrated article concerning the alleged "fishing pole/rods" statement?


You make a serious error when you refer to it as "that fairy tale" and I find it telling that you were unaware of the witness.

Saying "I've never heard that fairy tale before in my life" is revealing.

Surely you do understand that just because you are unaware of something does not mean it is non-existent.


Well, I'm certainly not alone, David. In fact, I'm in very good company when it comes to my ignorance on that topic. Because the late Vincent Bugliosi had apparently never heard the "fishing pole" tale either. No such information, at any rate, can be found on any of the 2800+ pages of "Reclaiming History", because I looked it up (via a word search in the PDF version of Bugliosi's book) and there are zero references to "fishing pole" or "fishing rods" relating to any kind of a story told by any Book Depository witnesses. So, like me, I guess Vince was in the dark about that particular story too.


Proving something like that to be true is important for the very reasons you stated: if true--i.e., if Oswald provided two separate (and different) explanations for the package would imply that Oswald was involved in deception; and of course, the ultimate implication was that what was in the package was neither curtain rods nor fishing rods.

I'll pursue this matter further in the future.

With regard to Buell Frazier .... I go way back to the original work done by the late George O'Toole, who emphasized how totally frightened Frazier was that weekend. Really "freaked out" (to use the more current vernacular).

FWIW: I spent time with Michael Paine in 1995--at his home in Boxboro, Mass.--and he revealed how frightened he was; and actually started crying during my taped interview.

I completely disagree with DiEugenio's oversimplified notion that these people (the Paines, Marina, etc.) are all crooked, etc. My impression, from watching several filmed interviews of Ruth Paine (particularly the ones you have archived on your thread #87) are very enlightening.


DiEugenio...just draws incorrect inferences, talks glibly, postulates false hypotheses (particularly about Ruth Paine), and then mounts his high horse and engages in slander.

To close again with your own quote: "Such a "fishing pole" tale, if true, would mean that Oswald told different lies to different people throughout the day on 11/22/63 -- with Lee telling Buell Wesley Frazier that the package contained "curtain rods", while (allegedly) telling someone else later in the morning that the (presumably) very same package had a "fishing pole" in it." Agreed. That is exactly the case; only I would not say "throughout the day." That [is] an inaccurate characterization of the situation. There are only two points on the time line. Two separate times when he spoke to the issue of what was in the package.

Regarding the question you posed: it's a reasonable one. And I don't have a great answer. But one possibility does occur to me: that when Frazier saw him with the package (early in the morning of 11/22) the rifle was "disassembled", whereas when the "elevator" witness saw him with it, it had been completely assembled and was "thinner" and somewhat longer; consequently, "curtain rods" would not be an adequate explanation for the second observer (or observers).


But via the scenario that you just outlined, David, the completely assembled 40.2-inch rifle would have been too long for the 38-inch brown paper bag Oswald was carrying it in [CE142], and, hence, part of the gun would likely have been sticking out of the top (or bottom) of the bag when the two TSBD witnesses (allegedly) saw Oswald carrying it in the elevator on 11/22/63. Unless the gun could have been placed into the bag at a slight angle, which might have made it possible for a 40-inch object to be completely hidden within a 38-inch paper bag. But I've never done any experiments on this before, so I'm not sure if the 2.2-inch differential in the lengths could be completely compensated for by putting the rifle into the bag at an angle.

Now, I suppose any of the above speculative scenarios are possible, I don't deny that. But allowing part of the weapon to protrude out of the bag (if, in fact, the gun could not be put into the bag in a way to conceal the entire length of the C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano carbine) would have been a risky thing for Oswald to do.

But, I guess under such a circumstance, Lee wouldn't have had too many choices either. He probably wouldn't want to construct a whole new bag from Troy West's TSBD wrapping table just for the purpose of transporting the rifle up to the sixth floor from a lower floor. So, as an alternative, he could possibly have placed his hand over the end of the bag (where the rifle was protruding), in order to temporarily hide the gun from any prying eyes that might want to gaze upon it as Lee ascended to the sixth floor. Such a "fly by the seat of your pants" plan would certainly be possible and doable, IMO.

I still have great doubts about the "fishing pole" / "fishing rods" story, however. But I will readily admit that I could be wrong when it comes to my deep skepticism on this matter. In fact, as I said earlier....

"I'd love it if that story could somehow be proven to be true...because such a "fishing pole" lie being uttered by Lee Harvey Oswald would be just that much more of a solid indication that the package he was carrying on November 22nd contained his Carcano rifle."


To recap (and this is just speculation): "curtain rods" would be a reasonable explanation for the way he described the package to BWF (early on Friday morning) but not the way it appeared when seen on the elevator sometime later. Just a thought. Without a time machine, or modern day security cameras, perhaps we'll never know.

Re your final comment: "But I doubt any such "fishing pole" or "fishing rods" encounter ever happened in the first place" is quite incorrect; and there is no comparison between the situation to which I'm referring and the sort of nonsense promulgated by Robert Groden re Mrs. Reid. Mrs Reid--as you well know--was interviewed by the FBI and Secret Service, and then testified to the WC. From the standpoint of valid historiography, she cannot "amend" her account a half century later, and be credible. Assuming her late arriving account is the truth, I can only say this: If she indeed had "made change" for Oswald, then she would have to have stated that from the beginning. That's not something that can be added to a story a half century later. Once she doesn't say it when originally interviewed, then she cannot expect that account to be believed.

4/6/16 - 5:50 a.m. PDT
Los Angeles, California


Thank you, David Lifton, for your detailed reply of Wednesday morning, April 6th, 2016 AD, written from the great western city of Los Angeles, California, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, long-time rivals of my favorite baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds, Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, Western Hemisphere, Earth, Milky Way.

4/6/16 - 6:59 p.m. EDT
Mooresville, Indiana


There were about four frames [of the Zapruder Film] that Hoover said were missing because of a "printing error". These are about at the point where Kennedy disappears behind the sign.

Groden got these frames from another copy of the film. So the one he showed at Harvard was the most complete version extant. When he showed it on an auditorium sized screen, it seemed to me to be obvious as to why there was a "printing error". [CLICK HERE]


The four frames (Z208—Z211) are missing due to LIFE Magazine damaging (and stepping on!) those frames. That's what happened. Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing sinister. No cover-up. Just an accident by LIFE Magazine. Just as Wesley Liebeler explains in the audio excerpt below (which is from a debate he had with Mark Lane on January 25, 1967):

(The complete two-hour Lane vs. Liebeler debate is HERE.)

But, just like they do with all of the assassination evidence, conspiracists like Jim DiEugenio have to add in a nonexistent layer of "cover-up" when it comes to the topic of the "missing Z-Film frames". But that's what conspiracy theorists do best — they invent sinister activity where none exists. SOP for CTers.



How is a guy dropping the film at Life and stepping on it a "printing error".


Mr. J. Edgar Hoover was clueless about many of the facts surrounding the JFK case—almost to the point of being laughable—as I talk about HERE.

Don't confuse "ignorance" with "cover-up".

[EDIT: And also see David Lifton's post HERE, wherein Lifton indicates that the "printing error" explanation provided by Hoover was actually a reference to the reversal of two of the Z-Film frames that were published by the Warren Commission, and had nothing to do with the "four missing frames" that were damaged by LIFE Magazine.]


OK. Liebeler says someone stepped on the film at Life. But he cannot get anyone to admit as to who did the stepping.

Is that any reason not to include the missing frames in the volumes?

And BTW, when you try and counter me with those frames on your site, you are showing them in stop motion, and in small size thumb nails.

Which is contra my whole point: that Groden showed them in continuous slow and stabilized motion on a very large auditorium screen.


The video below is a Zapruder Film clip I just now created utilizing the four missing frames (Z208—Z211). This clip also includes Z206 and Z207, so we can see what JFK's head looks like just prior to the four damaged frames being re-inserted into the film. I've looped the clip several times in a row in this video, at two different slow motion speeds. Now, if anyone thinks the "missing" four frames—some of which are showing only the very top of President Kennedy's head—somehow provide any kind of definitive proof that JFK has just been hit by a bullet, then I fear that person's imagination has run away with itself:

For a larger view of my Z206—Z211
Zapruder Film clip, CLICK HERE.

Here's what I said about this subject back in 2008:

"Mr. DiEugenio makes a big deal out of the four "missing" (damaged) frames of the Zapruder Film, stating that years ago he had the opportunity to view a complete version of the Z-Film which contained those four missing frames (Z208-Z211), and as a result of that personal viewing (on a "really big screen"), DiEugenio is absolutely positive that President Kennedy was hit by a bullet at "around Z-Frame number 195 or so" [DiEugenio quote; 11/27/08], which comes close to matching the HSCA's erroneous timing for the SBT shot (which was Z190).

And Jim's belief of an approx. Z195 JFK hit is solidified in concrete by merely looking at "missing" frames Z208 through Z211 in motion on an unspliced version of the Zapruder Film.

Jim thinks JFK's head "buckles" during these four missing Z-frames, which is proof to Jim D. that Kennedy was hit by a bullet just a few frames earlier.

It's interesting to note, however, that the four frames in question (Z208-Z211) show only the very top of JFK's head as Kennedy goes behind the Stemmons Freeway sign (and these frames aren't very clear at all). The majority of Kennedy's whole body (and even a good part of his "buckling" head) are completely obscured by the street sign [click to enlarge each frame]:

To think that the above 4 "missing" frames of the Zapruder Film prove that JFK was reacting to a gunshot wound is just incredibly far-fetched and speculative, IMO.

But, the little sliver of JFK's blurry head in Z208 through Z211 was apparently enough ironclad PROOF for Mr. DiEugenio to state as he did state on the November 27th BlackOp program -- "That's it" (i.e., that's all I need to see, folks; those four frames of the Z-Film, with Kennedy almost totally hidden by the street sign this whole time, are enough proof for me that JFK was hit by a bullet before he disappeared behind the signage).

All together now ----

Are you cuckoo, Jim???
Has your train completely left its rails??

Plus, we have this "Pot Meets Kettle" argument from Jim too (unless DiEugenio believes in the ultra-silly theory that has JFK being hit by separate bullets in the upper back and throat):

At one point on the 11/27 BlackOp show, Jim berates Vince Bugliosi and the Warren Commission for postulating a "delayed reaction" by Governor Connally after he was shot in his upper-right back.*

But then we have DiEugenio, just a few minutes later, telling the BlackOp audience (consisting of myself and one other guy in Helena, Montana, who was half asleep on the couch after consuming his heavy Thanksgiving feast) that JFK was absolutely, positively hit with a bullet at about Z195 (based on those critically-important 4 missing blurry Z-Frames that show JFK's "buckling" head).

But what Jim doesn't tell his audience of two is that HE, too, must certainly believe in some type of a physical "delayed reaction" on the part of one of the two shooting victims (JFK in this instance), because we know that Kennedy doesn't start raising his arms up to his mouth and neck areas until Z-Frame 226, which is almost TWO SECONDS after Jim DiEugenio insists that JFK was struck by a bullet back at approximately Z195.

So, Jim must believe that JFK's arm-raising reaction was, indeed, significantly "delayed". But when it comes to anyone else's theories about a delayed reaction on the part of the other victim in the limousine (Connally), Jim can't seem to control his laughter. Go figure the irony of that little two-faced argument there.

But, as mentioned above, I suppose it's possible that Jim believes that Kennedy's arm-raising, which begins at Z226, is due to JFK being hit by a different bullet from the one that Jim says struck him at about Z195.

I'm not sure what Jim's exact shot-by-shot theory is. But maybe he thinks Kennedy was hit at Z195, then again just before Z225, then again at Z313, and then again at Z898 as Bill Greer pulled into the Parkland emergency entrance (via the "real and unaltered" version of the Z-Film).

(Just kidding about that Parkland gunshot. But you never know what a CTer is going to invent next, so maybe I should keep an open mind about a conspiracy theorist postulating a "Z898" shot.)

* = I, however, don't believe the "delayed reaction" theory myself, because I'm quite confident that both victims were hit by Lee Oswald's SBT bullet at precisely Z-Frame 224, with each man's reactions to this Z224 hit being perfectly "in sync" with one another and perfectly corresponding to the bullet striking each victim at exactly Z224, as demonstrated here."
-- DVP; November 29, 2008



If I ever need someone to absolutely distort and mangle anything I say, and to show how you guys are professionals at this, you are that man.

I said JFK's head buckles at 206-211?

And then that is what you show.

This is what I said, and this is what others I quoted have said--which you leave out:

1. JFK stops waving his hand.

2. His body freezes.

3. His head begins to buckle in two dimensions, that is it turns, and begins to ante flex.

Now, was I the first onto this? No. In fact, I was kind of late.

As I said, Ray Marcus did this for Garrison back in 1968.

CBS pinpointed [frame] 190 in 1967.

The HSCA photo panel did this in 1978. And I think Speer buys this also.

So your tripartite strategy: to clip off the frames in thumbnails where you can barely see anything at all, then to isolate them from the previous frames beginning at about 189, and then try to say that this is Jim DiEugenio's idea, and his alone. I mean Puhlese. It's see through.


If I ever need a person to see things that only exist in a CTer's mind, you're the guy!

The "buckling", of course, is nothing but BLURRINESS in the film, which is particularly obvious in Z209 and Z210.

How can you possibly determine any "buckling" through those crappy Z-Film frames? Incredible.


David, the HSCA photography panel, after studying the films, concluded JFK showed signs of being hit before going behind the sign in the Zapruder film. It doesn't make it a fact. But it does make it something other than the "CT myth" you (and many others) want it to be.


It isn't a "CT myth", of course, because the HSCA still supported the SBT even with their absurdly early Z190 timing.

The Z190 timing is just wrong, that's all. Anyone endorsing such an early SBT timeline has no choice but to just completely ignore all of these obvious signs of Governor Connally being hit at circa Z224 — the grimacing, the flinching, the lapel movement, and the hat flipping up — none of which can possibly be the result of a "delayed reaction" to Connally being struck way back at Z190, because each of those things is an involuntary movement on the part of the Texas Governor.


Jim DiEugenio:

I was the one who wrote the 1965 letter to J Edgar Hoover about the reversal of Zapruder frames 314 and 315 in Volume 18 of the Warren Commission. Having a security clearance at North American Aviation at the time, and having no experience in any of that--the letter was written in the name of a friend, Judith Schmidt. FBI Director Hoover's answer--on an FBI letterhead--came back rather quickly: that this was a "printing error," he said.

Your statement that this concerned "four frames" that were "missing" and that this occurred when President Kennedy was about to disappear behind the sign is completely false.

Try paying attention to detail, Jim DiEugenio, before glibly making statements and disseminating false information.

4/6/16 - 5:40 a.m. PDT
Los Angeles, California


This thread again exemplifies why the research community has become little more than a tiresome debating society.

Martin Hay represents the most reasonable school of thought in very effectively critiquing David Von Pein's and Mel Ayton's predictably impossible Oswald-did-it book. David Lifton's curious, belated response relies on unwarranted faith in both Ruth Paine and Marina Oswald, the two witnesses who almost exclusively were responsible for painting a negative picture of Lee Harvey Oswald. David further maintains that Oswald DID carry a rifle into the TSBD that day. Is David now claiming Oswald fired shots? I thought his thesis was that all shots came from the front. What about Jack Dougherty, the only known witness to see Oswald arrive at work that day? He reported that Oswald was carrying no package. [More on Dougherty HERE.] Oswald himself supposedly strongly denied carrying anything other than a lunch sack.

Forgive me if I have any of this wrong:

David Lifton believes that JFK's body was altered before the autopsy at Bethesda, to falsely leave evidence of shots from behind, when all shots actually came from in front. Other than this rather "extreme" theory, he generally accepts all aspects of the official story.

Pat Speer believes that all shots came from the rear, and that the medical personnel at Parkland who claimed to have seen a large hole in the back of JFK's head were mistaken (actually, I think he maintains that we have all been misinterpreting their testimony). He therefore believes the autopsy photos and x-rays showing no such large defect are legitimate.

Jim DiEugenio comes closest to my own perspective, and in my opinion represents one of the few present-day critics who haven't rejected much of the ground-breaking work of the original band of critics, who decades ago conclusively proved there was a conspiracy.

The research community is basically divided on John Armstrong's Harvey and Lee theory. Note--I am presently reading this book, and am even more impressed than ever with the extent of Armstrong's research.

A growing number of researchers, largely associated with Greg Parker's ROKC forum, are putting all their eggs in Sean Murphy's "Prayer Man" basket. Needless to say, if "Prayer Man" is Oswald, his innocence is conclusively proven, but both sides acknowledge that higher-quality images are imperative if a conclusive identification is to be established. This same group just as strongly opposes not only Armstrong's theory, but the general notion that there were people impersonating Oswald.

From my first few JFK assassination classes, I can conclude that more people are simply accepting the official narrative that Oswald acted alone. I can only guess this is due to the favorable publicity the mainstream media gave Posner, Bugliosi, Hanks' Parkland and now Stephen King's monstrous piece of disinformation. I think recent polls are demonstrating this. In other words, our task has become harder. It's tough fighting Stephen King and Hollywood.

My point, again, is that we hardly represent any kind of united front on this subject. The official story is impossible. Impossible. That is with or without Harvey and Lee, or body alteration, or Zapruder film alteration, or Prayer Man, or any other aspect of this case that has been hotly debated on this forum. This is what I tried to stress in my book, and what I have stressed during interviews.

Unless we recognize this simple truth, the lone nutters will eventually win the day. Their version is already in all the conventional history books. As we all know, history is written by the victors.

It should be an undisputed fact at this point that those who assassinated John F. Kennedy were the victors.


The "Oswald Did It Alone" conclusion is not "impossible" at all. In fact, it's the only conclusion that the physical evidence supports.

Another LNer summed things up nicely at another forum nine years ago when he said this:

"[It was] either Oswald alone, or thousands working to make it look like Oz did it alone." -- Bud [alt.conspiracy.jfk newsgroup]; January 19, 2007

David Von Pein
April 3-6, 2016