Question about Dealey Plaza Witnesses.


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Online Bill Brown

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Re: Question about Dealey Plaza Witnesses.
« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2022, 03:14:27 AM »
Dan Rather:

"I challenge anyone to watch for the first time a twenty-two second film of devastating impact... then describe what they had seen in it's entirety, without notes."

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Re: Question about Dealey Plaza Witnesses.
« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2022, 03:14:27 AM »


Online Steve M. Galbraith

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Re: Question about Dealey Plaza Witnesses.
« Reply #41 on: June 26, 2022, 05:18:35 PM »
Dan Rather:

"I challenge anyone to watch for the first time a twenty-two second film of devastating impact... then describe what they had seen in it's entirety, without notes."
Richard Stolley, the Life magazine editor/representative who was shown the original film by Zapruder that Saturday morning after the assassination:

"The fact that the body went backwards I frankly didn’t notice it that much at the time. What I did notice is that the spray of blood and brain matter was forward. And there’s no way a shot anywhere else but from behind could cause that to happen. Now, the body jerking back has been explained as I understand it by physicians and neurologists and all the rest. That tremendous damage to the brain caused all sorts of galvanic responses to the body and that’s what drove him backwards."

Online Andrew Mason

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Re: Question about Dealey Plaza Witnesses.
« Reply #42 on: June 28, 2022, 03:33:22 AM »

In any case, what is my intent? My intent is to confirm that most witnesses, perhaps all, did not remember the movement of JFK’s head immediately after he was shot in the head. If this is so, then it is not strange for Dan Rather to not remember the movement of JFK’s head from his one viewing of the Zapruder film.

I assume that while Dan Rather watched the film, he wasn’t going into to see which direction the head moved. This only became a big question later on. And like most/all Dealey Plaza witnesses, he didn’t remember this detail.
The observable motion of the head and body is definitely back and to the left.   Unless one is able to slow the film down, the forward motion which lasts 55-75 ms (from frame 312-313 and perhaps a bit more before 314 is exposed), is not observable to the eye.

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When asked if he noticed the direction the head move, he should have said “I don’t know”. But people don’t do that. If they don’t know, they don’t remember, they try to use logic to figure out what they must have seen. Rather’s logic would likely be that the shot came from the back, therefore the head must have moved forward. And he related this is what he saw. Note, this is not conscious thought. All this takes place subconsciously. He likely would end up with a visual ‘memory’ of JFK’s head moving forward, not realizing that this ‘memory’ was constructed by his subconscious. This is what people do.
Dan Rather may have seen the plume of blood and brain matter spewing forward and outward from the head and had the overwhelming sense of a shot from the rear, which his mind translated into the head moving forward.

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Something similar happened to the Dealey Plaza witness. Did JFK’s limousine stop? Most were in a bad position to see it. But many were near the follow up cars, some of which must have stopped, because of the limousine’s sudden slowdown from 14 to 8 mph. Their subconscious concluded that JFK’s limousine must has stopped as well. And may have even ended up with a memory of the limousine stopping, even though it never did and was not even visible to them at the time of the headshot.

And I have a second intent. To illustrate, once again, how unreliable witnesses are, either to a real time event or a one-time viewing of a film.
Witnesses can be mistaken for a variety of reasons.  But if they are mistaken, unless the mistakes are induced by a factor that is common to the witnesses, the mistakes tend to be randomly distributed over the range of possible mistaken answer and only the non-mistaken witnesses will converge around the correct answer.  If the correct answer requires an estimate of distance or time, the witnesses may be accurate observers but poor estimators of time and distance.

But if the event in question is just a matter of observable fact recollection, then the mistaken witness recollections will be distributed over a range of possible mistaken answers and the non-mistaken recollections converge on the correct answer.  The number of shots, for example, is an example of simple observable fact recollection. At least, that is what observers said. They said the shots were distinct and loud.  The vast majority said 3 shots.  About 20% of the witnesses were mistaken and gave answers that were distributed over the range of possible mistaken answers (1, 2, 2 or 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 more than 4, 5 or 6).  The probability that there were not 3 shots and that this kind of distribution occurred by chance is extremely low.   

I would say that other simply observable facts that should follow the same pattern would be:  1. how JFK reacted to the first shot.  2. where JFK was in relation to where the witness was when the first shot sounded.  3. which shot was the head shot?  4. what was the relative spacing between the three shots? 5. where was the car in which they were riding in relation to the corner at Elm and Houston when they heard the first shot?  6. did the first shot occur before or after you pressed the shutter of your camera?

Observations involving estimates that may not follow the same pattern since they depend on the ability of the witness not only to observe but to estimate time or distance would be:  1. how far from you was the President when the first shot sounded? when he was hit in the head? 2. how many seconds were there between shots?

Observable facts that may be skewed by common factors:  1.  where did the shots come from? (witnesses near reflecting surfaces may have a very different sense of direction of the shots).  2. what colour was the limousine (the dark colour may have appeared blue to those close to the car but black to those farther away or the colour affected by reflected glare). 2. did the motorcade stop?  If the witnesses was standing near to cars in the motorcade that actually did stop (eg. the Cabell car stopped) or if the witness saw brake lights come on in the presidential car, this may have caused the witness to conclude that the motorcade stopped briefly.  (There is some evidence, not conclusive perhaps, that the brake lights did come on).

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Re: Question about Dealey Plaza Witnesses.
« Reply #42 on: June 28, 2022, 03:33:22 AM »


Online John Iacoletti

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Re: Question about Dealey Plaza Witnesses.
« Reply #43 on: June 28, 2022, 10:37:59 AM »
The probability that there were not 3 shots and that this kind of distribution occurred by chance is extremely low.

But it wouldn’t be by chance. People were influenced by media reports.

Online Andrew Mason

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Re: Question about Dealey Plaza Witnesses.
« Reply #44 on: June 28, 2022, 05:23:45 PM »
But it wouldn’t be by chance. People were influenced by media reports.
How do you know that?  Studies have shown that these kind of reports have a modest influence that grows as time after the event grows and the memory fades (Loftus, Eyewitness Testimony, Ch. 4).  But the recollections of the vast majority of witnesses as to the number of shots were taken shortly after the events, many within hours.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2022, 05:24:37 PM by Andrew Mason »

Offline Jerry Organ

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Re: Question about Dealey Plaza Witnesses.
« Reply #45 on: June 28, 2022, 07:29:01 PM »
The observable motion of the head and body is definitely back and to the left.   Unless one is able to slow the film down, the forward motion which lasts 55-75 ms (from frame 312-313 and perhaps a bit more before 314 is exposed), is not observable to the eye.

Yes, the forward explosion (and the vivid exit wound near the upper-front) would indicate the exit of a bullet traveling forward.



Allow animation to fully load so regular speed can begin.

But Rather was seeing the original film enlarged through projection. Very few saw the film that way after 1964; then the HD scans came out in the 1990s. In 1963, Rather might have noticed the initial forward motion of the head as well as the forward explosion of debris.

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Re: Question about Dealey Plaza Witnesses.
« Reply #45 on: June 28, 2022, 07:29:01 PM »


Online John Iacoletti

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Re: Question about Dealey Plaza Witnesses.
« Reply #46 on: June 28, 2022, 10:30:58 PM »
But the recollections of the vast majority of witnesses as to the number of shots were taken shortly after the events, many within hours.

I find that really hard to believe, but if you have specific data on that I’d love to see it.

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Question about Dealey Plaza Witnesses.
« Reply #47 on: June 28, 2022, 11:20:08 PM »
But it wouldn’t be by chance. People were influenced by media reports.

Depending on which reports people were listening to they would most likely believe what they were being told. 

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Re: Question about Dealey Plaza Witnesses.
« Reply #47 on: June 28, 2022, 11:20:08 PM »


 

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